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Kew Yobe: 
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The Library Magazine was originally started as a monthly, 
ten cents a number, $i.oo a year, its contents being limited to choici 
selections from English and continental magazines and reviews, thu 
occupying a field similar to the old and excellent Littell's Living Ag 
'and Eclectic Magazine, discarding, however, all fiction and distinctive! j 
light literature, and supplying the very best that they contain, at ahov 
one fourth their cost. 

In consonance with the maxim, ** what is worth reading is wort 
jpreserving," a form of publication was adopted with a special view t^ 
convenience for reference and binding, and beginning with September 
l88o, each issue forms a complete bound volume. This innovation ij 
recognized as being of very great value to real students of literature. 

Beginning with the issue for December, i88o, American topics, trea^ 
ed by American thi^ikers and \;^it^r% of-est^bl'^fhed reputation in liter 
ture, are introduced. Thr Ltbrahy MAGAZiJfE undertakes to occup^ 
so high a stand that it. shall be cojxsjd^ri^d an indispensable part of thJ 
library of every American who asj^irc^-io the broadest culture, an^ 
desires to keep fully abreast With fhe^proi^ress of American and trans 
atlantic thought. The contenrs of any yoltime will indicate how wel 
it succeeds in this ambitious att&iiipt. - 



Beyond . David Swing ', 1 1 

A Vermont Ruskin. The Spectator xj 

English Orthography. F. A. March, LL.D aa 

Study of History. Edward A. Freeman 3a 

Literary Profession in the South. Margaret J. Preston 60 

Reminiscences of the High Church Revival. James Anthony Froude 74 

The Esthetics in Parliament. Justin H. McCarthy 87 

A Day with Liszt in 1880. H. R. Haweis 106 

The Study of Shakespeare. Joseph Crosby 121 

Genius AND Method. Temple Bar 136 

"Who wrote " Gil Blas" ? Henri Van Laun 151 

The Morality of the Profession of Leiters. Robert Louis Stevenson 176 

Thoaias Carlylb. Mrs. Oliphant' 187 

Political Differentiation. Herbert S^nj^cr, ,..^»j^... 215 

Modern Italian Poets. Fr^ois JrlitGU^r ,... .\, ,..>.. c. 236 

A Night os Mount WASHiM}1i«r?. Pi</f. G. W.'Blaikie,..*!.^ 257 

Byron in Greece. Temple Bar. , -. 271 

^^Carlyle's Lectures on the PERi^j^i'OF^SL'RdPEAN. Culture. Prof. Edward 

Dowden .; ..^ . ! , . ^ ^ < . t . .-t 283 

What Became of Cromwell ? Genth3?a;i*e Magaiine ^ ., 31 x 

The United States as a Field for AxsKictjLTUkAt Se-Htlers. The • Earl of 

Airl ie Im. "../>/.."..'. .•.:..'..: 327 

On Novels and Novel-Makers. Good Words 342 

How TO READ Books. John Dennis 356 

William Prescott at Bunker Hill. Robert C. Winthrop 369 

The First Printed Book Known. M. W. Conway 393 

The Revised Version of- the English New Testament. Alexander Rob- 

ert9,^.D 403 

Sir David Brewster.and Sir John Herschhl. Alexander Strahan 424 

CuAiiLEs DiCKEN's IN THE Editor's Chair. Gentleman's Magazine 436 

Justice to Braconsfield. George M. Towle * 456 

The Sword. Blackwood's Magazine 461. 

Eakly Life of Thomas Carlyle. J. A. Froude 49* 

Anecdotes of Bibles. Chambers's Journal 54» 




Thb First Englkh Post. William Allingham 

BoNAPARTB. J. R. Seeley 553 

Thb Origin of London. Cornhill Magazine 59 

William Blake. Frederick Wedmore ; .- .. . 6ij 

Francis Brbt Harte. M. S. V. de V 63I 

Gossip of an Old Bookworm. W. J. Thorns 63J 

Cuneiform Writing. W. O. Sproull, Ph.D 66^ 

Bngush and American English. Richard A. Proctor 674 

Dogs of Litmrature. Temple Bar 

Thb British Census of i88z. Chambers's Journal 7al 

Thb Great Discovery in Egypt. The Saturday Review 7^ 

Amothbr World down Hbrx. W. Mattieu Williams 74J 

\ . - S I, ' 





Man's senses do not disclose the world to his mind : they only 
suggest it. The eye is of amazing utility, and yet it sees only a 
small part of the landscape. Standing on the shore of the deep, 
man can make a survey of twelve miles of wave and sparkle. 
The main ocean lies wholly out of reach of his eye and ear and 
touch. Yet from such an outlook, from a coast, this sensitive 
^creature turns away toward his cottage with his heart full of the 
thought that it has seen immensity. Perhaps the heiart did: the 
eye did not. This same mortal climbs a hill inland and sees a 
valley outstretching in all directions, and he once more feels 
that something awful has just come into his soul through his 
sight. True enough, but that grand something was not that 
valley. In both these instances the objects so viewed and 
admired were greater than those dimensions taken in by the 
sense. These' surveys by the eye only suggested a vast expanse 
that was not seen. Sense, therefore, suggests rather than reveals. 
Man is an animal wholly pervaded by the — Beyond. What his 
sense perceives, he at once multiplies by thousands and millions, 
and thinks not of the unit upon which he began his mathemat- 
ical operation. His five senses are only the little seeds which, 
by an instantaneous process, not known to gardeners, rise up 
into trees and in a second pass to leaf and flower and fruit. In 
music the ear becomes not a realization but a suggestion, for 


no sooner does a performer awaken pleasure than a\^ ' - . n e n < ind 
goes in pursuit of a larger orchestra and a more hea\ ■ / i^^^sic ; 
and when this delighted soul is done with the actuf.. ,uv jg it 
has been off in the clouds, it has been multiplying,^ i »p /s by 
tens and its tens by hundreds. Its original penr. ^ urned 
into a fortune. 

We pity those women of India who pass life in housrs which 
have no outer windows but have only windows that open into 
an interior court, and who, when transferred from one house to 
another, are conveyed in close carriages which have a window 
only in the top. Of these women some reach old age without 
ever having seen a field or a forest,^ or even trees and flowers ; 
but these slaves of masculine jealousy are emblems of man were 
he left to the exact report of only his five senses, for they oper- 
ate in only a small area, they are windows opening into a 
limited court. The perceptions of sense are only a basis of 
subsequent mental action, and it is this subsequent action which 
gives to man his breadth of knowledge and pojjrer of compre- 
hension. Nature really lies beyond the human ken ; and whefi 
man has eyes only, and no spiritual or mental^ vision, he is a 
rather small specim^i of animal life. As seen in the science of 
Darwin or in the account in Genesis, man was a creature of very- 
narrow knowledge and mental power. To Adam's eyes Eve 
was a greater personage than the Deity, for Eve was a visible, 
audible object, and that fact gave her a wonderful advantage in 
this local court. It was when man got away from his physical 
standards and began to use that faculty which looks into the 
" beyond," that the universe began to appear and the woman 
and the apple and the whole Eden affair to assume small pro- 
portions in the midst of the vast scene. 

The conclusion is therefore gently forced upon us that man 
possesses a separate faculty called "imagination," or "idealism," 
which is his real instructor and surveyor. Estimated by his 
senses, man is remarkable for his poverty; estimated by the 
treasures his iniagination brings he is remarkable for his riches. 


From the little visible he proceeds to the immense invisible. 
" Borrowing from Castelar, we affirm that nature gives the toiler 
only the plain girl Leah at the end of the first service, and then 
by granting the more beautiful Rachel the toiler is enticed into 
seven more years of industry. Leah comes as a reward of the 
first outlook, Rachel as the prize of the imagination. This fac- 
ulty is c^ie window throuo^'i which man gazes into eternity. It 
is the real eye of man. In the physical senses the Creator made 
only a moderate provision for his rational creature. Those out- 
reachings answer the purpose of the Indian, who desires only 
plenty of buffalo, and for the Esquimau, who need only seek 
for the white bear and the walrus ; but the moment man would 
cross the line of barbarism a demand springs up for some new 
power of acquisition and of happiness. Providence relents, and 
in the zenana houses and carriages of the imprisoned mortal he 
cuts li.rge windows which look out upon the boundless. March- 
ing up to these windows, the mind, rising in even rags from a 
bed of straw, gazes sweetly out into all that is measureless. 

To the common, prosy, sleeping eye only a few unimportant 
things are visible. It stands so close to its candle that it is 
oblivious of the sun. A few houses, a few feet of railway, a 
piece of a street, and a few policemen a^e in sight, but before 
the spiritual vision there lie empires, arts, governments, indus- 
tries, wonderful men and women, gold for labor, and laurels for 
poetry and learning and eloquence. When the physical senses 
of a humble German cottager fell into a sweet sleep, suddenly 
the inner faculties of his mind began to multiply the cottage by 
millions. The thatched roof rose grandly into great slate- 
covered rafters, the square holes through which a little light 
had wandered became Gothic openings through which a great 
flood of glory poured; the chimney widened its base and 
became a spire in whose far-up height rang softly a chime of 
bells, his fire-place became an altar, and the steam from his 
boiling kettle rolled up as delicious incense. Thus the German 
saw truly and grandly. His dream is a fragment of man's 


history, for when the coarse outer sense makes room for the 
larger perception of the spiritual power the tangible realities 
become only steps on which the soul ascends to the heights. 
The ideal is the explanation of life. Man is an animal whose 
world is not under his feet like the world of the elephant and 
the ox. but it is far away in the front. The present and near 
are not his ocean, but only the little water that is under his 
ship. Hence in journeying man always sits looking forward. 
Women o( gentle intellect and absorbed in fashion can ride 
backward, for their sweet instinct is to keep. dust out of their 
limited eyes. In the general man moves toward the bow of the 
vessel, that he may look not at what is behind him, but out 
toward the untried and unknown. The true human being 
declines riding backward, not from reasons that are physical, 
but spiritual. It makes man sick to have his soul reversed. 

This strange imaginative property makes ideality the royal 
faculty of the mind. Without this potency man retreats toward 
the brute creation, with it he threatens to become angelic. The 
" ideal '* is an advance portrait of destiny. The future partly 
discounts itself and becomes the now. A curious writer in Eng- 
land committed to the form of a small volume, thirty years ago, 
his ingenious thought that the past scenes of our earth are still 
visible somewhere to *some persons, to spirits or at least to 
Deity, for if light journeys only two hundred thousand miles in 
a second, there are fixed stars so remote that the light flung 
back from the men building the pyramids, or from the waters 
which rocked the " happy family " in the ark, is just now reach- 
ing those beings gazing down from those orbs. Events present 
here six thousand years ago are thus just transpiring elsewhere, 
and from some much nearer star might now be seen the battle 
of Salamis, or the death of Jesus Christ. From this little essay, 
out of which Froude perhaps borrowed the fancy, without con- 
fession, in his paper on *' History as a Science," it may be infer- 
red that as the Creator has made a universe in which the by- 
gone days are following the human race, to be seen again, per- 


haps, when the soul can fly from star to star, so it is possible 
that what is called the idealis only a gentle smiting, upon the 
spirit, of light from the infinite future^ — that other hemisphere 
of the now. At least, the imagination is the one faculty that 
binds humanity to the future, and which thus widens the little 
stream of time into an ocean. 

In its ardent work this creative energy will often make mis- 
takes. In its childhood its blunders are many, and sometimes 
serious. The rustle of its own footsteps will often be misunder- 
stood by a child, and will seem the tread of an angry giant, as the 
noise of one's own blood heard in a shell will seem the old roar- 
ing of the sea. A tea-cup held to the ear will dispel the dream 
forever. Not knowing the habit of the mind to throw itself 
outward into the beyond, primitive man transformed his sensa- 
tions into external entities, and out of his longings made incar- 
nations. When the brave men before Homer felt the pulse beat 
with courage, and their souls to be full of war, they mistook 
this inner roaring for tde sound of a far-off sea, and soon be- 
lieved in a Hercules catching a wild lion and performing other 
tremendous labors without fatigue. They expected daily to 
meet the strong man, or some one of his sons, in some gloomy 
wood or mountain shadow. When the primitive woman be- 
gan to believe in physical and spiritual beauty she innocently 
began to suspect it was beyond and above her particular self and 
race, and as little children cause their fears to become external, 
and hear .them moving in closets or letting fall mysterious foot- 
steps on the back-stairs, so the early woman created" an outer 
form, and called it Diana, or Venus, and felt that the Tale of 
Tempe was full of womanly beauty and dance and music far be- 
yond all that was human. The swarm of larger and smaller 
divinities which fill now the dead books of mythology camfe 
from one of the blunders of this telescopic vision of the soul; 
and after all this error was not very harmful, for it were better 
for the human race to imagine greatness to be in a Hercules and 
an Apollo and a Jupiter than not to be fully persuaded of £• 


merit far beyond that already attained by itself; better for 
woman to fabricate a Diana and 'a Venus and a Minerva than 
not to have dreams of her oVn sweet and infinite possibilities. 
Heroism grew as much by the help of Hercules as by the phi- 
losophy of Socrates, as long as the man of ten labors was an as- 
sumed reality. Mythology was a rather harmless mistake for the 
times where it dwelt. Had the ancients possessed only one god, 
he would have been a poor little god after all, for oneness does 
not involve quality ; for were all the reptiles combined into one, 
that one would not be a dove, nor a nightingale, but only a big 
snake. It was not the unity of Deity that marked the necessary 
reform of religion, but the improved quality of the thing uni- 
fied. The Mohammedans had but one god, but the bones of 
slaughtered millions remind us that better than that one was 
that group of celestials which in the age of Pericles sipped am- 
brosia on Olympus. 

The gradual progress of the human mind has corrected many 
of the errors of this stupendous spiritual vision. Colors are now 
poured back upon the soul which were once poured out into 
the woods to make a nymph or an Aphrodite. Society reclaims 
its stolen goods, and makes a Beatrice or a DeStael or a Reca- 
mier. The mythological world is plundered, and out of its mar- 
bles we build up Madonnas and Evangel ines and Luciles. The 
Hercules has thrown away his club to be simply a Prince of 
Orange or a Wellington, and the beautiful Cytherea has come 
in from the mirror-fountains to dwell henceforth in the spirit of 
any cultivated and beautiful woman. Thus has the heart of to- 
day really overtaken much of the " beyond " of yesterday. 

From this inner and powerful sense of sight which has dis- 
tinguished alwaj^s man from the kingdom of brutes, and which 
throws man out of that animal world surveyed by Darwin's 
school, we seem authorized to feel that there is indeed a beyond 
for humanity. His development into greatness here so comes 
from such a gazing far away from his feet, so much of all that is 
good in his literature and art and personal character comes from 


this standing in the bow of the vessel and looking forward and 
from his deep unwillingness to look back, that the heart with 
difficulty rejects the conclusion that there must be a God in the 
advance who is leading along His children by means of an ever- 
increasing glory-track. As the slow and noiseless flow of deep 
rivers point out to one far inland the reality of the ocean,- so this 
long and deep flow of the ideal sentiment announces in advance 
the reality of a Supreme One. The ideal is the wake of a great 
ship that has gone before. So perfect, indeed, will be the uni- 
verse if this is true, and so imperfect would it appear if all 
human longings are to terminate in the grave, that in this 
emergency, and having a perfect freedom of choice, those may 
well be pardoned who shall believe that the imagination is a 
prophet in the bosom, uttering in all times the one rhapsody 
that man is a true child of destiny — a destiny amazing in its 
quality and duration — a destiny not for the race only, but for 
the individual heart. 

David Swing. 


There is a little exhibition of pictures now being held at No. 
14 Grafton street, London, which should not be allowed to pass 
away wholly unnoticed. It represents a portion of the life- 
work of a man who may be called, with a fair approach to 
accuracy, the first genuine oil-painter of whom America has 
been able to boast. It speaks well for his countrymen that 
they were able to recognize in him the artistic merit which is so 
rare a gift, and that Mr. William Morris Hunt's art was univer- 
sally appreciated throughout his native country during his life- 
time. The brief record of his life given in the preface to the 
catalogue of the present exhibition, presents us with a picture 
of an artist's career as pleasant as it is rare, and while making 
all allowances for the omission of the darker shades in the pic- 


ture, we acknowledge reluctantly that of few painters can it be 
said that they were, at the same time, highly educated as youths, 
highly experienced in the world as young men, highly successful 
in the art they practiced and the friendships they gained, and 
highly honored at the close of their career for their pictures, 
their teachings, and their life. Something, we cannot say what, 
that belongs to the artist temperament is generally found to 
prevent either the success sought for or the respect that should 
accompany it; or, if it makes shipwreck of neither fame nor 
respect, yet forms the cause of disaster still more fatal to happi- 
ness, and spreads over reputation and honor a shadow of mor- 
bid sadness which admits of little or no alleviation. Healthy 
genius may exist, we believe it has existed, but it is certainly 
the rarest thing in the world, and all the conditions of modem 
life seem to be against its development. But into this subject 
we need not enter here. Suffice it to say that Mr. Hunt's genius 
for art, such as it was, was indubitably healthy -and honest to 
an unusual degree; judging from his pictures and his instrua- 
tions to his pupils (the latter of which were reviewed two years 
since in these columns, under the title of "Talks kbout Art"), 
no man possessed a saner mind in a saner body, no man knew 
more clearly that art was not rightly the offspring of diseased 
imaginations and secluded lives, but a free, healthy growth from 
the skill and knowledge of free and healthy men. One sen- 
tence of his expresses this sentiment as clearly and as concisely 
as heart could wish, for it could hardly be put into better and 
clearer words than " Paint firm, and be joIlJ^" — an aphorism 
which might be recommended with great advantage, not to the 
preraphaelites alone, or indeed chiefly, but to that class of 
young artists who have somehow succeeded the preraphael- 
ites, and arrived on preraphaelite principles at a very unpre- 
raphaelite conclusion. For assuredly, the "worship of sorrow" 
was never one of the essential motives of the preraphaelitism, 
which, indeed, consisted in affirming the healthiness and beauty 
of all things, rather than the doctrine that beauty an(! disease. 


joy and hysteria, were convertible terms. Fancy the result of 
saying to one of the beardless apostles of this latest artistic cult, 
"Paint firm, and be jolly;" can you not fancy the look of sad 
surprise with which the words would be greeted, if, indeed, they 
did not prove to be altogether too great a trial for the sham 
enthusiast, and cause him to fade away slowly and silently, as if 
in the presence of a veritable " Boojum ?" 

The great interest that attaches to Mr. Hunt's pictures seems 
to us to be chiefly due to the fact that they proceeded from one who 
was practically the first American teacher of art principles, — 
first, not only in reputation and merit, but absolutely in point 
of timp; for speaking roughly, Mr. Hunt may be said to have 
had no predecessors. To all intents and purposes, his talks 
upon art stand in the same relation to American painting as did 
Reynold's Criticisms to English art, and it would be a most 
interesting thing to compare the refined and somewhat courtly 
discourse of our own countryman, with the terse, vigorous sen- 
tences, half Saxon-English and half New England slang, in which 
Mr. Hunt expressed his ideas. 

But we have to mention the pictures in this exhibition, and 
to answer the great question which always presents itself in 
speaking of transatlantic art, — is it original } First, let us say 
that in all probability (j"^S^"S ^y ^^e photographs and the 
charcoal drawings in this gallery), the finest pictures of Mr. 
Hunt are not represented here. Ther^ are a few photographs 
and about half-a-dozen charcoal studies of landscape, which 
seem to show a delicacy of touch and a truth of atmospheric 
effect which are only to be equalled by such men as Corot and 
Daubigny. On the other hand, several of the lai^e oil land- 
scapes in the gallery are coarsely and indolently painted, with 
an amount of hurry and slovenliness very inconsistent with fine 
art. The work is in many places that of a clever amateur, or, at 
the best, of an artist who thought anything he did was *.*good 
enough." There is (if we may use the expression) too much of 
the "Paint firm, and be jolly"- feeiing about the works; and the 


painter was too easily "jolly," too carelessly "firm." And for the 
originality, — ^well, if truth be strictly told, probably none of the 
work is original, but reflected from the work of the several 
French masters whom Mr. Hunt most admired, and with whom 
he for several years constantly associated. Corot, Dau bigny, 
and Millet are chiefly Yesponsible for what ii good in the land- 
scapes; Delacroix and Couture for the style of the figure and 
genre pictures. Into Couture's studio Mr. Hunt entered about 
1846, and he was already famous when the Revolution of 1848 
broke out. His acquaintance with Millet dates from 1852, sub- 
sequent to which time he worked with that painter at Fon- 
tainebleau until his return to America. 'Without entering too 
much into technical criticism of Mr. Hunt's landscapes, it may 
be said broadly that both their faults and merits are due to the 
influence of the great French artists amongst whom he practi- 
cally learnt his art. Mr. Hunt's landscapes are painted for the 
most part in low keys of color, give their c^ief attention to the 
preservation of the general tone of the picture, and habitually 
subordinate form to general effect. Positive color they can 
hardly be said to deal with at all, their aim is to give truly 
the relation of tone to tone, the truths of distance, light, 
and shadow; they are not so much pictures of this or that 
place, as they are delicate melodies suggested by the place and 
its appearance at a certain hour, touched off by skillful fingers, 
and possessing a truth of their own, though not the truth of 
nature. The real diflSctilty of criticising them, and of the artists 
from whose work they had their origin, lies in the fact that not 
being real in the sense of accurate reproductions of nature, they 
are still less ideal in the right sense of t^e word, but are mix- 
tures of certain natural facts arbitrarily selected, and certain 
dominant ways of regarding these facts. • That Mr. Hunt took 
this method of work from the French artists with whom he 
associated is only too certain, and so is the fact that he could by 
no means decide which it was of those artists whom he would 
make his master. In the landscapes exhibited here we have 


now and then one m the style of Tioyon; now one in that of 
Daubigny ; here a Corot, there a Millet, and so on to the end of 
the chapter. It is by no means, therefore, to be understood 
that the works are deliberate imitations of the -bove masters; 
it is quite certain, indeed, that Mr. Hunt was quite unaware of 
the similarity, and indeed would have denied it, as we may 
gather from the following sentence from his " Talks :" " When I 
left it, I thought, 'The first person who comes in will say, "Oh, 
trying to paint like Corot!" ' I wasn't trying to paint like any 
one; but 1 know when I look at nature I thinic of Millet, Corot 
Delacroix, and sometimes of Daubigny." This sentence, in- 
deed, lets us into another secret about Mr. Hunt — the secret, 
namely, that he had no actual method of work; he says so 
plainly enough, in other parts of the book, and it is pretty clear 
from the work itself. The last word to apply to it correctly 
would be " masterly." It is anything but that. Generally inter- 
esting, often meritorious, sometimes (as in the large picture of 
the " Falls of Niagara") simply false and bad, but never mas- 
terly—never, that is, approaching a determined end, by perfectly 
understood and unwasted means. 

We have left ourselves scarcely any space to speak of Mr. 
Hunt's figure-painting and portraiture, both of which are well 
represented in this exhibition, though the examples are few in 
number. The portraits are strongly, even roughly, painted, 
full of vigor, and full of a certain kind of penetration, but 
hardly satisfactory either as pictures or as puMings (we hope 
our readers will observe the distinction). Flesh-painting proper, 
as the old masters understood it (or even as it is understood 
nowadays by Henner, Watts, and Millais), is scarcely attempted; 
but there is a certain sobriety and even dignity of treatment 
which is a rare quality in portraiture, and the flesh suffers but 
little from the cold, gray shadows so common in modern 
French art. Some of the smaller figures are very charmingly 
executed, with a rough delicacy (like the way a strong man 
touches a baby), and show- a kindly feeling for simple domes- 


ticities, which does not d^enerate into twaddle about baby's 
socks or Master Charles's pony. 

In conclusion, we may sum up the exhibition by saying that 
it perhaps interests us more in the painter who executed 
the pictures than in the pictures themselves, for it seems to 
show "genuine artistic genius struggling, despite much admira- 
tion of other men's work, to beat out an individual path of its 
own, and only failing because its possessor saw too clearly the 
merits of too many people. Mr. Hunt wanted to be Couture, 
Delacroix, and Millet rolled into one, and he ended by being — 
and it was no small achievement — a Vermont Ruskin. 

— The Spectator. 



It has often been said that the most important invention ever 
made is that of alfabetic writing. Before that invention men 
used to draw pictures for writing, or make other signs of objects 
or thoughts, and there wer as many different signs as there wer 
words in the writing. The lerned wer all their lives leming to 
read. It is so now in Chinese. The invention of alfabetic wri- 
ting consisted in writing signs for the sounds of spoken lan- 
guage. The elementary sounds ar few in any language, thirty 
to fifty at most, and may be lernd in a few hpurs. This saves 
the labor of a lifetime. In Chinese there ar two languages, one 
spoken and one written, with no helpful connection between 
them ; each has to be lernd by itself. Where the writing is alfa- 
betic there is but one language, the spoken language... Writing 
is only a means of recording and transmitting it, and in a wel 
spelt language spelling may be lernd in a few hours. 

In a- perfect alfabet there is one sign and only one for each 


dementary sound. One who Icnows it can tel at once from 
hearing a word exactly how to write it, and from seeing a word 
exactly how to pronounce it. 

Every one knows that the English spelling is not perfect. 
What with having been mixt up by Saxon, Norman, and • the 
Dane in the first place, and mixf in with Latin, Greek, Welsh, 
Hebrew, French, and a sprinkling of words from all the rest of 
mankind, what with having been put in print by Dutch print- • 
ers, and having been the sport of pedagogs, and professors of 
Latin and Greek, and printers* boys for generations, while great 
changes of pronunciation wer taking place all thru it, upsetting 
the whole gamut of vowel sounds, we hav reacht at last the 
worst spelling in the world. One can never tel in English how 
to write a word from hearing it, or how to pronounce a word 
from seeing it written. The written language is in many respects 
a diflferent language from the spoken. It represents the lan- 
guage of some past generation, or some foren nation, and must 
be lernd, each word by itself, with little help from the sounds. 
We make a very fair approach in complexity and difficulty to 
the Chinese. 

Our people hav been fond of this spelling, or at least proud 
of it. Is there not something that may wel stimulate honora- 
ble pride in having a spelling that cannot be spelt without know- 
ing Latin, Greek and French, and Anglo-Saxon, and a leash of 
other tungs ? But since the science of language has cum into 
being and the English language has really becum a subject oi 
scientific study, and the lerned spelling is found to be mostly a 
hubbub of blunders, the time spent in lerning it is seen to be 
absurd waste for the literary class, and wicked robbery of the 
scant school time of the people. 

Within the last ten years this matter has been very fully 
shown up. ' The lingMistic scholars in whose specialty our spell- 
ing lies hav spoken out very freely in reprobation and objurga- 
tion of it. It is in fact, among foren scholars as well as our 
own, the opprobrium of English scholarship. Illiteracy is also 


everywhere recognised as one of the most pressing clangers to 
free institutions, and to Christian living. 

But what can we do about it ? The apparatus which is famil- 
iar to our generation when any great moral work is to be done 
has been set in motion. Spelling-reform associations hav been 
formd here and in England. ' Lecturers ar in the field. Con- 
ventions, state, national, international, ar held. The press is 
appeald to, and the government. Schemes of reform swarm. 
But it is evident that if the world moves in the regular groovs 
and we hav no cataclysm, an effectual reform, such as to giv 
us a fairly spelt language like Gfjrman or Spanish, wil take seve- 
ral generations. 

When this is said, however, it is not implied that nothing can 
be done at once. It is not necessary to wart till everybody who 
reads English is agreed to a complete system before doing 

From a publisher's point of view, in the first place, as soon as 
there ar a sufficient number of persons altogether who wil buy 
books in amended spelling, or take a periodical printed in it, to 
make a substantial and profitabl bizness, the time has cum 
to establish a publishing house to carry on this bizness, and to 
establish reformd spelling among these buyers. This time has 
already cum. Isaac Pitman of Bath, England, the famous 
inventor of fonetic stenografy, publishes the Phonetic Journal, 
a weekly paper with a circulation of over 1 2,000. His subscribers 
ar scatterd all over the world, but the Journal has been publisht 
since 1843, and- is steadily, if slowly, increasing its circulation. 
Mr. Pitman also publishes various books, tracts, charts and the 
like, and his bizness is one of the great ones in England. There 
is also a great fonetic depot in London, kept by Mr. Fred Pit- 
man, which doutless pays. A bizness-man will see at once 
how this bizness is to spred. As soon as the buyers becum 
numerous enuf, new publishing houses will be started, pushing 
the use of this kind of printing with new vigor, making it famil* 
iar to more persons, and so giving rise to s;til new publishers. 


There ar, in fact, alredy many smaller establishments, emulat- 
ing Mr. Pitman in England, and there can be little dout that 
the time is fully ripe for the starting of an American publishing 
house, if any Pitman is redy to man it. Perhaps no town or 
city would at once support it, but it would rapidly gather its 
constituency from the whole country. 

And one great bizncss coud hardly be bilt up before our 
versatil publishers would all be puting out a book or two in 
amended spelling. 

And now what sort of spelling coud such a publishing house 
use ? What sort of spelling does Mr. Pitman use ? The answer 
to this question indicates that reform must be gradual. Such a 
publishiug house would of course use, as Mi. Pitman does, differ- 
ent kinds of spelling for different purposes ; matter intended for 
enthusiastic reformers is thing, missionary matter to win 
over opponents or interest the indifferent is quite another. 
Looking at the printed matter from another point of view, it 
may be seen to be of three kinds, for scientific use, for sch(5ol 
use, for popular reading. Our dictionaries ar the most familiar 
examples of the first kind. They undertake to giv the pronun- 
ciation, and in order to do it they must hav a fonetic alfabet. 
They make one by adding diacritical marks to a sufficient num- 
ber of the letters. • Webster, for example, has forty letters markt 
to indicate their exact pronunciation. These ar printed along 
the bottom of each pair of pages in the unabrigd dictionary. 
Many other works besides dictionaries need to giv the pronun- 
ciation of occasional words or letters. Books of travel, geo- 
grafical manuals, essays on language, and the like, ar full of 
occasions of that kind. Our dictionaries now use different alfa- 
bets, Worcester and Webster hav each to be lernt, and so with 
other books. Taken all together they present such a compli- 
cation that scholars who use a dictionary a dozen times a day 
hav to look at the key every time to make out the sound in 
doutful cases. It would be a very great immediate gain if 
some complete fonetic alfabet wer agreed on for such uses. 


The National Association of Great Britain for the promotion 
of Social Science has had this matter before them, and taken 
action in favor of an establisht scientific spelling as alternativ 
with and explanatory of the common spelling. No one would 
object to the use of perfect fonetic spelling for such uses as 
these. And this spelling is also exactly what the radical reform- 
ers want to see used at once in everything they read. Newspa- 
pers and other works printed, specially for them may at once be 
printed in this way. The number of readers is now small, but 
most of them ar strong in faith, and believ the only mode of 
progress is to hold up the perfect standard and rally all men to 
it. We may be sure when the battle is won they will hav no 
dout who won it. But perhaps the immediate value of this 
kind of spelling is to be found in its being a guide and stimulus 
to partial reform, rather than in its power of commending itself 
directly to the majority for immediate adoption. 

Our present spelling has departed so far from fonetic spelling 
that very few readers recognize the words in fonetic spelling 
fast enuf to read with plesure. The improvements of spelling 
hav been gradual heretofore, and they ar likely to be so hereaf- 
ter. The publisher of popular reading, newspapers, or books of 
general interest must keep within the bounds of what is easily 
intelligibl. In this field, therefore, reform must be gradual, 
and it seems likely that here the redy reformers will most suc- 
cessfully initiate improvements. The elders of the present genera- 
tion remember the lively combats over the words ending in -£wr 
and 'ick when Webster first gave his authority in favor of -or 
and -ic, I remember when the spelling music first appeard in 
the streets of Worcester, A new-cumer in that center of Mas- 
sachusetts, which is the center of the universe, put out a sign . 
letterd music-store. The school-boys used to stop and spel it 
with derisiv shouts, and plaster the sign with mud-balls in 
summer and snow-balls in winter. But musick has now gon 
after Shakespeare's musigue, and the -our has gon too. Econ^ 
omy backt by etymology seemd to demand these changes. The 


school-masters and the literary men, who control the spelling, 
with the advice and consent of the printers, knew that the Latin 
mmica had no k in it, and honor had no u in it. 

This may teach us what words ar most likely to be changed 
next. They ar words which hav useless letters which ar wrong 
in etymology. The greater part of these ar Anglo-Saxon. The 
familiar words from Latin ar fairly spelt. But fifty years ago 
. the men who knew Anglo-Saxon coud be counted on the fingers. 
It was studied nowhere in England or America. It was left to 
our orators and essay-writers to dilate upon the glories of the 
mother tung, or grandmother tung, of which they knew not 
one word. The lexicografers and professors of language wer 
worse stiL They gave currency to imaginary derivations of 
Anglo-Saxon English words from Latin and Greek, and mis- 
spelt them to perpetuate their blunders. Thus the old English 
//<i«^/ (island), meaning /a5«^ in a/«/^r, was imagined to be from 
Latin insula, and on that baseless fancy a silent s was inserted 
to preserv the memory of the Latin. The old English rime 
(rhyme) was supposed to be from Greek, like rhythm, and so 
was misspelt into the semblance of a Greek derivativ. The old 
sithe (scythe) was thought to be from the root of Latin scindo, 
and was fixt irp accordingly, with its luckless companions in blun- 
dering, scissors and scimitar or scymetar, or however they choose 
to spell the old English cimeter. Twig was a good old English 
word, but our Latin ists thought it was a form of the Latin ////- 
gtia, French langue, and they turnd it into tongue. An Anglo- 
Saxon scholar cannot write such words as these without a pro- 
test. And the Anglo-Saxon scholars ar becoming numerous. 
No branch of study has so grown in favor within the last ten 
years. There ar few, if any, of our well-mand colleges without 
a course in it, and it is fast spreding in our high-schools and 
academies. These etymologies ar- becoming part of the com- 
monplaces of the school-room. They hav alredy reacht the 
popular dictionaries. The new edition of Worcester, our great 
conservativ authority in pronunciation and spelling, has them 


faithfully recorded. Hand, for example, is down in its proper 
place, and we ar told that it is the correct spelling of island; 
and under island the same statement is repeated, with the expla- 
nation that the s has been ignorantly inserted thru confusing it 
with isle, from insula. So with rime and sithe and others. It 
seems impossibl that these blunders can hold their ground 
much longer. 

The same may be said of similar words, the disguise of which 
is not to be traced to the Latin etymologist. Thus the / of could 
is a modern insertion under the influence of W(mld Sind should, 
the /'s of which come from will and shalL The iv in whole is a 
pure blunder, void of malice aforethought; but it separates its 
victim from the kindred hale, heal, health, holy, and weakens the 
significance of the hole family. There is a class of words in 
which an unfonetic and unetymologic a has been inserted; 
feather, from the old f ether, leather, from lether, and the like. 
Webster drew attention to these and spelt them correctly, but- 
there wer not ten Anglo-Saxons in America to stand by him. 
There ar some seventy common words in which ^« has the sound 
of short e, and the spelling reformers might as well reform them 
all at once. Readers of old English whose eyes ar made glad by 
the pages of Chaucer and Spen'feer and Shakespeare ar now 
numerous enuf to make a fashion. There is another habit of 
the erly writing which may well be more extensivly used, that 
of spelling the past tense and participle of verbs as they ar pro- 
nounct, writing / final when that is the sound. It has always 
been in use, was once universal, and is nowagen becoming com-* 
mon ; wisht, mixt, kist, shriekt, and the like, can be used by any 
author without embarrassing his readers. The revival of good 
old spellings commends itself indeed to literary artists and critics 
of English literature as an attractiv trait. There can be no stu- 
dent of Shakespeare who does not find that Mr. Furnivars Intro- 
duction to the " Leopold Shakspere" has a peculiar piquancy and 
keeping from his frequent happy use of these forms. They ar a 
saiice to his good wit, nor can they be caviare to the general. 


The interest in this kind of reform is so great that the Philo- 
logical Society of London has been induced by many appeals to 
take up the matter in ernest and appoint a committee to report 
upon it. Mr. Sweet, the well-known leader of Anglo-Saxon 
scholarship in England, has lately made the report. The pam- 
flet containing it is entitled " Partial Corrections of English 
Spellings recommended by the Philological Society for imme- 
diate adoption." There ar thirty-three pages of it, made up 
largely of lists of words to be amended. The great body of the 
amendments proceed on historical or etymological grounds, such 
as hav been illustrated in this articl. Most of them consist in 
the dropping of silent letters. Silent < is the greatest offender. 
There ar something like twenty counts in the indictment against 
it, twenty lists of specifications, some of them long. The first 
ar words in which e is fonetically misleading, as being used after 
a short vowel and singl consonant. It is regularly an ortho- 
grafic expedient in such a position to denote a long vowel ; have^ 
for example, ought by good right to rime with slave, rave, brave, 
grave, and the like; so give should rime with hive, strive, alive^ 
The verb live is wrong too. There ar hosts of such words: 
fnedicrn, doctrin, genuin, definit, infinit, granit,2XiA so on. Then 
there ar lists in which an e is simply useless, as the length of the 
preceding syllable is plain without it, as in belieite, grieve, where 
the d if thong shows the length ; or in carve, nerve, where the 
consonants ar a sufficient guide. It is advized to change -re to 
-er, centre to center, theatre to theater^(><W\t.\i suCh backing this 
improvement wil no longer figure as an Americanism or a Web- 
sterism. We ar to drop the e of -le in many words, assembl, axl^ 
coupl, beadl, and the like, and in the terminations -able, -ible, and 
'tele, as in probabl, credibl, articL It wil take us a long time to 
get rid of all these ^'s. 

Meantime we can b2 going on with other improvements. The 
filologists, or at least Mr. Sweet, wil hav it that for leopard and 
jeopardy the older spellings lepard, jepardy shall be restored : 
yeoman should be yoman. The unhistorical / of parliament 


should be dropt. The old English ind old French u should be 
restord in guvern (gubernator), munkey, tung, wundgr, wurm, 
and a long list of words now spelt with o. The original /should 
be restored in wimen (women). A long list of words with a 
modern ou should go back to their historic u : jurny (journey), 
dubl (double), cuntry, nurtsh, and the like ; enough, rough, and 
tough ought to be enuf, ruf, titf\ and through, ihruh, or better 

After ^, u is wrong in nativ English words 1 ike ^^r^T (guard), 
gardian, garaniee^ and so -ue in catalog (catalogue), demagogs 
dialog, harang (harangue), and the like. The report also informs 
us that words ending in dubl b, d, g, n, r, t, ar wrong ; we 
should write eb (not ebb^, so ad (not add), eg and pur for egg and 
purr, A great many words derived from old French and Anglo- 
Saxon ar spelt incorrectly with dubl consonants to make them 
look like Latin : a front is spelt into affront, a fair e into affair^ 
a-forthian into afford, a-cursod into accursed, as tho they wer 
compounded with Latin ad- ; and the list is long. A silent b has 
been added without rime or reason to many words : crumb, limb, 
nunb, thumb ; and for a very bad reason to a good many more ; 
those, namely, in which the Latinists hav in modem times in- 
serted it as a reminder of the Latin word from which it origi- 
nally came; dout (doubt) and det (debt), for exampl, had lost 
the b of the Latin dubit-o and debit- in the French from which 
the old English came; doubt and debt icr unhistoric, since they 
would teach that we tbok^them from the Latin insted of the 
French. Many times ch is wrong thru the blundering of the 
Greeklings : ahe is the tru old spelling of ache, as Worcester 
takes care to inform us ; anher has forgotten its Greek. And 
maskerades as anchor; c for s is common : in cinder, old English 
sinder, fancied to be from French cendre ; pence, where c is Jfor 
the plural sign j / once, where c is for the genitiv s, and the like. 

Sovereign is another blunder of the Latinists, who imagindiit 
to be a compound of regn-o, to reign, insted of the adjeclti? 
superan-us, . Milton's sovran has plesant associations, but JWIr. 


Sweet brands it as " a hybrid Italian spelling." He givs us sovretn, 
but that is an anachronism. The >yords which in erly English 
wer spelt -azn and -ein from French -ain hav either taken am 
exclusively, which is the common fact, or -^;?. as citizen^ denizen, 
dozen, sudden, or -an, as human. The best historical spelling is 
soveren. So faren (foreign). Another trublsum intruder is 
gh ; it is thrust in by pure blunder in sprightly, delight, and 
haughty, in old times spritely, delite, and hauty; and it is a mod- 
em variation of h in many words where both ar now useless ; 
plough, for example, though, through, and thorough, as well as 
daughter, straight, weight, 2Si^\h^X\\i^, Why should not receit 
be written as it used to be, like conceit, deceit, and the like? So 
far as the/ of recept-us is concernd, it is needed in one no more 
than in the others. In tch,t is of no use; which is as plain as 
pitch, and the / is unetymolo'gical in all such words. 

These ar specimens of the reform demanded if we ar to hav 
our language accurate in its etymology. Word by word these 
corrections may all be made in popular print without making it 
unintelligibl or even embarrassing. It is quite as likely that 
the next generation will see them generally made as it was that 
our generation should see so many of Webster's corrections 

But if they wer all adopted, there would stil remain the radi- 
cal and pervading inconsistencies and complexities which neces- 
sarily spring from our imperfect alfabet. Our spelling would stil 
be a great hindrance to easy lerning to read and write. The 
English-speaking peopls would stil be hevily handicapt in the 
race with the Germans and most other nations. 

The general adjustment of the alfabet must be made in the 
schools. It cannot be expected that any generation who hav 
lernd the present spelling wil adopt a radically refomid one for 
their own use. But they n^ay be willing to hav it taught to their 

In this direction also great progress has been made, and more 
is at hand. The old methods of teaching beginners to read 


hav givn place in all our better schools to others, which in one 
form or another make use of fonetic spelling. Text-books ar 
prepared with modified letters which complete the aJabet and 
serv as go-betweens for the new and the old. Words ar spelt 
by sounds. Reading matter is prepared in which only those 
words ar used whose spelling is regular. By these and other 
helps, half the time is saved which used to be givn to the begin- 
nings of reading and spelling. The generation taught in this 
way wil be redy to urge the next to go further. And so, by and 
by, the good time wil be here when reading and writing English 

wil almost come by nature. 

Prof. F. A. March, LL.D. 


I look upon the establishment of this society as a sign that 
there is in this great town, just as there might be ip a capital or 
a university, a body of historical students in the higher sense, 
who feel that it will be a help toward their common objects to 
work in some measure in common, and from time to time to 
exchange their ideas on their common subjects of study. Now 
it is no small matter to supply another proof, one among many, 
that the pursuit of business and the pursuit of knowledge are 
not inconsistent. In this last union I have never seen the won- 
der or paradox which some people seem t6 see in it. It seems 
to me that we may fairly expect more and better intellectual 
work from those who have something else to do than from 
those who have nothing to do. Intellectual work, like all other 
work, needs effort; it needs self-discipline; it ^metimes calls 
on a man to do one thing when he feels more inclined to do 

* This was read at Birmingham, November i8, 1880, as the opemng address of 
he president of the newly formed Historical Society. 


another. But surely the man who, in the practice of other 
work, has gained the habit of doing all these things, must be 
better able to do them for the sake of a new object than the 
man who is not in the habit of doing any of them at all. The 
man who is used to map out his time according to rule, as I 
suppose every man engaged in active business must do, will be 
better able to find some time in each day for int-ellectual employ- 
ments than the man who has no thought of mapping out his 
time at all, except according to the frivolous demands of fashicn. 
You may have indeed to overcome a certain temptation to neg- 
lect studies which do not at once bring a return in money. That 
temptation indeed is so low a one that I should hardly have 
affronted you by speaking of it, if the temptation had not some- 
times taken the shape of a kind of philosophical dogma. Men 
of some reputation in the world have gone about preaching the 
doctrine that all studies are useless except those which directly 
tend to fill the pocket. And from this premise they draw the 
inference — an inference that I must allow follows most logically 
from the premise — that no studies can be less' useful than those 
which deal with the events and the languages of past times. You 
have all heard the doctrine that it is loss of time to concern 
ourselves with such trifling events as the fight of Marathdn, a 
fight which happened so long ago and in which so few people 
were killed, when modern science can at a moment's notice pro- 
vide a good accident in the coal-pit or on the railway which 
shall slay a much greater number. That doctrine can hardly 
have an agreeable sound to the votaries of physical science, 
whom we historical students are not in the habit of looking on 
as votaries of destruction. Still the doctrine is there, a doctrine 
put forth in the honor of science by one of no small account in 
other subjects J)esides science. I think that your presence here 
shows that you do not accept that doctrine. It shows, I think, 
that you cast aside the philosophy which teaches that the vari- 
ous branches of knowledge are to be followed, either according 
to the number of guineas that they can bring in or according 
L. M. 8.--2, 


to the number of men that they can slay. You will, I thiirk, 
on the other hand, agree with me that it is some comfort 
that, if our studies are not specially wealth-bringing, they are 
at least not specially bloodthirsty. We have unluckily a good 
deaj to do with recording death and suffering; but we our- 
selves, in the course of our own studies, are never tempted to do 
hurt to man or beast. The accidents of the present time lie 
as much cut of our control as the battles of past times which 
are so scornfully compared with them. In serious truth, I look 
on the formation of this society in such a place as Birmingham 
as one of the best witnesses that historical study, though it may 
not immediately fill the pocket, is not an unpractical but a prac- 
tical study, not a dead but a living thing. Your presence here 
is, I think, a witness that our pursuits are no mere groping into 
things of distant times which have no reference to present affairs 
or present duties, but that they are rather a marshaling of events 
in their due order and relation, an unfolding of effects accord- 
ing to their causes, which at once brings the past to explain the 
present and the present to explain the past. Your presence is, 
I think, a witness that you accept what is surely a highly practi- 
cal truth, that history is simply past politics and that politics are 
simply present history. 

Another thing I think I may take for granted, that we feel 
sure enough of the intellectual dignity and the practical useful- 
ness of our own subject to feel no need to disparage or to forbid 
any other subject, or to put on an attitude of the slightest hos- 
tility toward any other subject. Our subject is History ; but we 
will not write over our door that no natural science shall be 
allowed within it. I think we know too well the way in which 
one branch of knowledge constantly stands in need of some 
other branch. We venture to think that the ^tudy of natural 
science may sometimes be glad of help from the studies of his- 
tory, language, and literature. And we know that the studies 
of history, language, and literature are often glad of help 
'rom the study of natural science. I do not think so meanly of 


any department of genuine knowledge as to believe that it really 
cannot set forth its own merits without depreciating the merits 
of some other department. I cannot believe that it is really 
impossible to hold up the usefulness of one kind of institution 
without running down the usefulness of some other. I cannot 
believe that such an invidious necessity is really involved in the 
pursuit of any branch of knowledge. If any branch of knowl- 
edge can flourish only by depreciating other branches, that would 
at once prove a weakness, an inferiority, on the part of that 
branch whicTh I am unwilling to believe on the part of any genu- 
ine intellectual pursuit of any kind. The fault must surely lie, 
not in the cause, but in the champion. The votary of any branch 
of knowledge who thinks it needful to depreciate any other 
branch can surely not have grasped the dignity of his own 
branch. He must think, mistakenly, I doubt not, that his own 
pursuit has not strength enough, not dignity enough, to stand 
by itself on Its own merits, but that it can flourish only if it 

Bears, like the Turk, no brother near its throne. 

We, on the other hand, believe in the true brotherhood of sci- 
ences. We believe that he who depreciates any one among them 
does no real honor to the other which he tries to exalt. We 
believe that there is room for all, side by side, in an equal con- 
federation which admits nefther tyrant nor ruling state, a union 
in which there is no need for Ephraim to envy Judah, nor for 
Judah to vex Ephraim. As the range of man's knowledge 
widens, new forms of study will always be arising. Let the old 
be ready to welcome the new ; let the new be ready to respect 
the old. All men will never ha^« the same tastes, the same kind 
of intellectual gifts ; one will be always drawn to one pursuit, , 
another to another. To each man's mind his own pursuit must 
seem in some way better, — more attractive, more useful, more 
strengthening to the mind, — in some way or other better, than 
any other. To him doubtless it is better; he will do better work 
by following the pursuit to which he is called than by attempt- 


ing any other. But let hinj remember that it is only to himself 
Xhat it is better; some other pursuit may, in the same sense, be 
as clearly better for some other man. Let us demand equality, 
but not assert superiority. We may be tempted to boast that 
our study is the study of man, while some other studies deal 
only with dead matter. But we shall remember that the study 
of man constantly needs the study of matter as an equal friend 
and companion. We whose study is political history, the his- 
tory of mankind as members of civil communities, feel no slight 
tie of brotherhood toward those who teach us the history of 
man's home the earth before man arose to take possession. We 
feel that tie toward those who teach us the history of those 
earlier forms of animal life which came before man, and against 
which man had often to struggle. We feel it toward those who 
teach us the history of the lower forms of man himself, and who 
put us in the way of tracing the steps by which, out of such rude 
beginnings, civil society could shape itself into the democracy 
of Athens, the kingdom of England, the federal commonwealth 
of America. We will draw no public comparisons between our- 
selves and any others. We may cherish among ourselves the 
belief that in the stud}'^ of man, in his highest form, as the citi- 
zen of a free commonwealth, there is something more bracing, 
more elevating, than in the study of the material universe itself. 
But we will sa}' so only among ou^'selves; we will not blurt out 
the doctrine in any company where an astronomer might be 
pained by hearing us. And we must never forget that^e have 
our thorn in the flesh, that we have certain difficulties to strug- 
gle against which, as far as I can see, do not stand in the way of 
the votaries of other branche^of knowledge. Of course I may 
mistake our position ; I may think that we are persecuted when 
we are not. I remember some years back how a man eminent 
in one of the natural sciences described himself and his brethren 
as an afflicted race, suffering like the Jews in tlie middle ages. 
To me the description sounded a little amazing. I had always 
fancied every professor of any form of natural science as flour- 


isbing like a green bay-tree. I wondered where the persecution 
could lie, till I considered the real position of the Jew of the middle 
ages. He who compared the professors of natural science to the 
Jews of the middle ages had clearly risen above the popular 
view of the Jews of the middle ages. He had gone to original 
sources, not to romance-writers or romantic historians. He had 
read the annals of Saint Albans abbey in the Latin text, and 
he knew that when Aaron the Jew went to the abbey gate it 
was he who proudly threatened the abbot, not the abbot who 
proudly threatened him. The professor meant the mediaeval 
Jew as the mediaeval Jew is described in the writers of his own 
time, rich, proud, feared of all, dwelling in houses like the pal- 
aces of kings. To be sure these advantages had their draw- 
backs ; a sudden caprice of the king, a sudden outbreak of the 
people, might break down th^ir palaces, might empty their' 
money-bags, might even drive them homeless out of the land. 
But all this is no more than the nations of south-eastern Europe 
have to put up with under that paternal government which Brit- 
ish interests call upon us to maintain. One could not therefore 
decently speak of it as persecution. I was surely right in think- 
ing that the likeness between the natural-science professor and 
the Jew of the middle ages was to be found in the normal pros- 
perity of the Jew, not in the occasional interferences with that 
prosperity. But the professors, rich and prosperous as medi- 
aeval Jews, still complained of being persecuted. They could 
hardly mean that they were in disfavor on theological grounds. 
For a persecution on theological grounds, if it does not go the 
full length of stake, bonds, or banishment, is surely what every 
man would wish for. Surely nothing makes a man so run after 
as to call him a heretic. In our studies we have not that advan- 
tage. It can hardly be said that historical study, as such, is of 
any theological color. This or that historian may, in his own 
person, be orthodox, or heretical, or anything else, and he may 
flourish or suffer accordingly. And the man whose convictions 
lead him to no extreme views in any direction, but who is con- 


strained to jog on in a kind of moderate, passive, tolerant ortho- 
doxy, is the most unlucky of all, for he cannot persuade anybody 
on any side to make a victim of him. Natural science, on the 
other hand, as such, has sometimes drawn on itself theological 
censure and even theological persecution. Still I cannot think 
that it was of censure or persecution of that kind that the pros- 
perous professor complained. For that in our times would doubt- 
less have been matter not of complaint, but of rejoicing. The 
persecution, as far as I could make out, consisted in the fact that a 
" vulgar public" insisted on forming its opinion of their doings, and 
of judging them by the laws by which it judged those who were not 
professors. Then, at last, I could not keep down a rising feeling 
of envy, envy perhaps unjust, but certainly natural. I too began 
to feel persecuted ; I began to understand the feelings of a mar- 
tyr on behalf of myself and of my suffering brethren of my own 
studiesi I began to think that, if me " vulgar public" was a Tra- 
jan to our natural-science friends, he was a very Decius to us. 
I did not feel at all like the Jew of the middle ages, dwelling in 
palaces and threatening lordly prelates. It seemed to me as if, 
while our scientific brethren lived a life of alternate prosperity 
and persecution, it was our lot to share deeply with them in 
their persecutions, but to have no share in their prosperity. 

Now certainly, if the public be vulgar, and if to be subjected 
to the judgment of a vulgar public be persecution, the votaries 
of historical knowledge are a sadly persecuted race. It was not 
I — it was not any historical scholar — who gave the public the 
epithet of " vulgar ;" but, vulgar or not vulgar, the public cer- 
tainly insists on judging us. And I, for my part, do not repine 
at our fate. I do not refuse the authority of the judge. I only 
ask him not to give judgment till he has fairly heard counsel 
on both sides. I only appeal, I do not say from Philip drunk 
to Philip sober, biit, according to another story of the same 
king, from Philip in a hurry to Philip when he has really thought 
matters over. Whether we like it or not, we cannot get rid of 
the "vulgar public" as the final judge in all matters. We may 


repine, under his judgments, we may do what we can to lead 
him to reverse them ; but we cannot depose him from his judg- 
ment-seat. Whether we deem him a " strong court " or a weak 
one, we cannot hinder his sentences from being carried out. 
And this is far more true of us, students jDf history and of sub- 
jects closely connected with history, than it is of the students of 
most other branches of knowledge. The inevitable judge has a 
higher sense of his own qualifications in this case than he has 
in the other. The vulgar public — remember again that the epi- 
thet is not of my giving — is ready to believe that the astrono- 
mer or the chemist knows more than he does himself about as- 
tronomy or chemistry ; he is not so ready to believe that the 
historian or the philologer knows more than he does of history 
or philology. Now I will not say that this assumption on the 
part of the vulgar public is true ; but I do say that it is really 
plausible. I believe that the truth lies the other way. I be- 
lieve that, if we walk out into the road, the first man that we 
meet is far more likely to have some rudimentary notion, very 
rudimentary, very inadequate, but still right as far as it goes, of 
astronomy or some other branch of natural science, than he is 
to have the same kind of rudimentary knowledge of history or 
philology. If he has any rudimentary notion of history or phi- 
lology, it is very likely indeed to be a wrong notion ; the chances 
are not only that he has much to learn, but that he has a good 
deal to unlearn. But this very fact helps to prove my position. 
The fact that so many people have some notions, but false no- 
tions, on historical and philological matters is itself a proof that 
the general public — I will drop the unpleasant epithet — does 
think itself qualified to form judgments in history and philol- 
ogy somewhat more decidedly, perhaps somewhat more rashly, 
less perhaps under the guidance of competent teachers, than 
when it forms its judgment in natural science. We see this 
every day in the fact that while any very wild notion in natural 
science is laughed to scorn, not only by men of special knowl- 
edge but by the public at large, notions equally wild in histori- 


cal and philological matters are treated quite gravely, and are 
called matters of controversy. Those who believe that the sun 
is only three miles from tha earth are a class which may be 
counted on our, fingers, and when they put forth their doctrine 
they are laughed at, not only by aistronomers but by the general 
public. That is to say, the general public has learned astronomy 
enough to see the folly of the doctrine that the sun is only three 
miles from the earth. But there is a large body, which puts 
forth a large literature, whose members gravely believe the doc- 
trine of Anglo-Israel, the doctrine that the English nation is of 
Hebrew descent. This doctrine. stands exactly on the same 
scientific level as the doctrine that the sun is three miles from 
the earth ; it is just as little entitled to a serious answer as the 
other doctrine is. But the doctrine of Anglo-Israel is treated ' 
quite gravely; it is looked on as a matter of controversy, a dif- 
ference of opinion ; an attempt to treat the ethnological folly as 
the astronomical folly is treated would by many be thought 
cruelly unfair. Has not the Anglo-Israelite as much *' right to 
his own opinion** as a Kemble, a Stubbs, or a Waitz? Thus the 
general public judges of our subjects, judges often, we think, 
wrongfully, but still judges, and judges with a fuller conviction 
of its own fitness to judge than it shows in the case of the natu- 
ral sciences. 

The truth is that he who gives himself to souftd historical 
study, and who tries to make the results of his studies profitable 
to others, will most likely have to go through a good deal of 
something which it would be too strong a word to call persecu- 
tion, but something which is never exactly agreeable, and which, 
till one gets used to it, is really annoyimg. To any one here 
present who is beginning to give himself to real historical work 
I would say, as the first precept — dare to be accurate. You will 
be called a pedant for being so ; but dare to be accurate all the 
same. Remember that what he who calls you a pedant really 
means is this. He feels that you know something which he 
^oes not know; he is ashamed of himself for not knowing it. 


and he relieves himself by giving you a hard name. To be 
pedantic in matters of historical research is like being sentimen- 
tal in matters of politics ; it means that you have really gone to 
the root of the matter, and have not merely skimmed its surface. 
You must look forward to be perhaps overlooked altogether, 
perliaps to be criticised, laughed at, made subjects of unfair com- 
parison, by men who have no more claim to judge of your work 
than I have to judge of the work of the chemist or the astrono- 
mer. You will have to grapple with a state of things in which 
ever3'body thinks himself qualified to write history, to criticise 
history, and where there is no security that the competent scholar 
will win the public ear rather than the empty pretender. You 
will have to grapple with a state of things in which not a few 
will deem themselves wronged if you make a single statement 
which is new to them, or if you utter a word of which they do 
not in a moment grasp the meaning. You must be prepared for 
criticism in which your main subjects, your main discoveries, 
shall be wholly passed by, and in which some trifling peculiarity 
of which you are perhaps yourself unconscious, to which you are 
perhaps wholly indifferent, or to which perhaps you are not 
wholly indifferent, but for which you can give a perfectly good 
reason, is picked out as if it were your main characteristic^ or 
even your main object. I am here among friends, and I may 
make confessions. I once saw it said of myself that all that I 
had ever done was to alter the spelling of the names of the 
Anglo-Saxon kings. I thought that I had done something 
else, and I did not think that I had done that. I had always 
fancied that, in so trifling a matter as spelling, I had taken the 
safe course of following the scholars who had gone before me. 
But from this piece of criticism I learned the fact that it was pos- 
sible that I — that it was possible, therefore, that any other man 
— might be criticised by one who had neither read the writings 
which he sat in judgment upon nor the writings of earlier 
scholars to whom their author looked up as his masters. Now 
I really think that in all this we have something to go through 


which our brethren in other branches of knowledge have not to 
go through. I have seen it openly said that accuracy in his- 
torical statements does riot matter, provided only the story is 
prettily told. I do not think that any one would speak in this 
way of the truth of statements in geometry. I do not think 
that a chemist who is careful as to the nomenclature of his sci- 
ence is cailed a pedant for his pains. In other branches of 
knowledge it seems to me that the experts judge, and that the 
unlearned accept their' judgment. In history it seems to me 
that the unlearned insist on judging fc5r themselves. And mind. 
I dp not wholly blame them for so insisting. Personally I might 
wish that they would let it alone. But I fully admit that they 
have a plausible excuse for so doing in our case which they have 
not in the case of our scientific fellows. 

Now here I have got on a subject which has been lately dealt 
with by an eminent historical professor. I read lately in one c f 
our chief periodicals much the same complaint that I make. 
The professor complained that the general public will judge of 
historical matters without the knowledge which is needed to 
qualify it to judge. The general public, he said, has a way of 
accepting the pretty view rather than the true view. I fully 
accept his general complaint. Perhaps I might not accept all 
his particular instances ; I certainly cannot accept what he seems 
to propose as the remedy. I hope I am not misrepresenting the 
professor; he used several words which I did not understand, 
and I have perhaps not fully taken in his meaning. But the 
general conclusion that I drew from his paper was that we ought 
to defend ourselves against the inroads of the general public in 
a way which would certainly be self-denying, but which, I could 
not help fearing, might also prove self-destructive. I took the 
professor's counsel to be that, in order to make sure of beinS^ 
judged by competent judges only, we ought to make history i 
dull and unattractive that the general public will not wish 
meddle with it. Now this counsel I cannot accept. Certainl 
*f accuracy and brilliancy are inconsistent, let us have the acd 


*racy and not the brilliancy. Let us by all means be dull and 
accurate rather than brilliant and inaccurate. But surely no 
such hard necessity is laid upon us. Surely a tale may be viv- 
idly told, and at the same time accurately told. Surely the 
inferences drawn frqm the tale may be sound in point of argu^ 
ment, and may yet be set forth in language which is pure, clear, 
and vigorous. Now the general public will come and sit in 
judgment upon us, whether we wish for him or no. But if we 
try to drive him away by designed dullness, he will judge us only 
from without, and not judge us favorably. If we can lead him 
rather to judge us from within, and to judge us favorably, we 
shall surely have gained a double point. If we can combine 
brilliancy with accuracy, we can at once attract him by our bril- 
liancy and instruct him by our accuracy. We shall thus have 
won over the mind of the judge to our cause, and that without 
in any way corruptly leading him to swerve at all from the 
straight course of justice. 

We must then submit to be judged by the general public in a 
way in which the votary of natural science is not judged. The 
general public will* not humbly take things at our hands, as he 
takes them at the hands of the votaries of natural science. He 
accepts, in the teeth of what seems to be tTie evidence of his 
senses, the teaching of the astronomer which teaches him that 
the earth goes round the sun. But he will not with the like 
humility accept the teaching of the historian, even when the 
evidence of his senses supports it. He is loath to accept the 
simple truth that Englishmen are Englishmen ; every man has 
a right to his opinion, and he prefers the opinion that we are 
Romans, that we are Britons, that we are Jews. It is a craze, a 
whim, a fad, something to be pitied or laughed at, to maintain 
the plain and obvious doctrine that we are ourselves and not 
somebody else. It is not a craze, a whim, or a fad, it is an asser- 
tion of the gravest scientific truth, to maintain the certainly 
much less plain and obvious doctrine that the earth goes round 
the sun. Now the general public does right in listening to the 


astronomer; he does wrong in not listening to the historian. 
He is right in believing that astronomy is a science which a man 
cannot learn without study ; and in which therefore those who 
have not studied must be satisfied to listen to those who have. 
He does wrong in his evident belief that history is not a science, 
and that one man has as much right to be listened to about it 
as another. But the wrong, though a wrong, is natural and, I 
think, pardonable. I think that things should be other than 
they are. I think that the fact that a man, after years of dili- 
gent study, has come to a certain conclusion, that he deems it 
to be an important conclusion, and tries to impress it upon 
others, should be thought to be at least a passumption in favor 
of that conclusion. I think it should not be taken for granted, 
as it often is, that the conclusion is a craze, and he who forms 
it a dreamer. But I do not ask for the same implicit acceptance 
of what we say which the astronomer may fairly ask for what he 
says. The nature of our subject forbids it. Our subject lies 
open to men in general in a way in which it seems to me that 
few of the natural sciences lie open. We cannot draw the same 
sharp line between the learned and the unlearned. Every man 
knows some history, even if he knows it all wrong ; he cannot 
help, even without any formal study or teaching, knowing a 
little of something that passes for history. And from such a 
one up to a Waitz or a Stubbs the degrees are endless ; the 
shading off from ignorance to knowledge, from false knowledge 
to true knowledge, is gentle and imperceptible. Then the guides 
are so many and so diverse; the seeming oracles speak with 
such different voices. It is so hard to tell the true voice from 
the false. The wolves put on their sheep's clothing so very 
skillfully that the sheep themselves are sometimes tempted to 
mistake an enemy for a brother. We can hardly blame the 
general public if, when those who profess to be experts say such 
different things, it thinks it can judge as well as the experts 
about a matter which is as much its own as theirs. For the 
study of history is in truth the study of ourselves ; it is the study 


of man. And it is the study of the whole man ; it is the study 
of man in his highest character, as an actor in the moral world. 
It surely appeals to sympathies more open to the world at large 
than any that can be awakened by the motions of the moon and 
the planets, or by the combination of sucl; and such gases and 
fluids. I fight for a democratic equality among all the sciences ; 
but I do say that our study is more directly human, more 
directly open to all mankind, than the other studies. Men can- 
not help wishing to know something, they cannot help knowing 
or fancying that they know something, about the land in which 
they live, about the nation to which they belong, about other 
lands and nations of whose affairs they are getting accustomed 
to hear more and more constantly every day. The last telegram 
from Dulcigno, the last telegram from Ireland, are alike parts 
of history. They^are parts of present history, and, as such, they 
are parts of past history. For Ihe phenomena of the present 
are the results of causes in the past> and without understanding 
the causes we cannot understand the results. Now about things 
like these men will think, they will judge ; and, what is more, 
we wish them to think, we wish them to judge. We do not wish 
to shut ourselves up in any learned exclusiveness, and we can- 
not do so if we would. All that we can do is to ask a public 
that will think and will judge not to be hasty, not to be unfair, 
in its thinking and judging. We do not ask that public to 
accept any man as an infallible oracle, but we do ask that a con- 
viction is not to be set down as a craze or a whim merely because, 
it is the result of the devotion of a life to a subject ; we do ask 
that it shall not be looked on as a deadly wrong if things are 
sometimes said or written on which a sound judgment cannot 
be passed ofT-hand, if things are sometimes said which need to 
be turned over more than once in the mind, which may some- 
times even involve the labor of opening more than one book, 
perhaps of turning to some book written in another land, in a 
strange tongue, and in a distant age. 
That the general public will have some kind of history is 


shown, if by nothing else, by the fact that the immediate ser- 
vant of the general public, the special correspondent, always 
thinks it his duty to purvey some kind of history. That the 
history which he purveys is often of a very wonderful kind is 
another matter. The point is that whenev-er" he goes to any 
place he must send home the history of the place, and not only 
that, that he must throw his history into a learned and confident 
shape, as if he had known it all his life. The historical student 
smiles grimly, and wonders why a man should go out of his way 
to proclaim his ignorance when, if he had simply held his 
tongue, no one would have found it out. If a man sails down 
the Hadriatic, he must write the history of every island he 
comes to ; if he jumbles together Curzola and Corfu, it does not 
greatly matter; who will know the difference? So, if he goes 
to a church congress at Leicester, he must needs write the 
early history of Leicester ; if, instead of this, he gives his read- 
ers the early history of Chester, what does it matter ? Who 
will know the difference ? Not many perhaps in either case ; 
not so many as there should be, at all events in the second case. 
Now it is not wonderful if a man who is perhaps as qualified to 
write the hfstory of either Curzola or Leicester as I am to write 
a treatise on the properties of nitrogen gives a very strange shape 
to the history either of the Illyrian island or of the English 
borough. The thing to be noticed is that he does it at all, that 
he seems to be expected to do it somehow. It is plain that the 
general public does expect to have some kind of history served 
up to it ; but it is equally plain that it is not as yet very particu- 
lar what kind of history it gets. The general public will have 
some taste in the matter: it will have some voice in the matter. 
Our business is to improve its taste, to guide its voice, and to 
teach it to speak the right way. In such a work a society like 
ours may do much ; only we must be prepared to undergo a 
little persecution in the work. Something of course must be 
said about Curzola, something about Leicester. But if any man 
hints that it makes some little difference whether the long his- 


tory of Korkyra went on at Curzola or at Corfu, whether the 
victory of ^thelfrith and the slaughter of the Bangor monks 
took place at Leicester or at Chester, he must bear the penalty 
of his rashness. No man need fear to be called a pedant because 
he distinguishes hydrogen from oxygen, because he distinguishes 
Saturn's ring from Jupiter's belts. But he who shall venture to 
distinguish between two English boroughs, between two Hadrf- 
atic islands, when the authorized caterer for the public informa- 
tion thinks good to confound them, must be content to bear the 
terrible name of pedant, even if no worse fate still is in store for 

I said earlier in this discourse that history was the study of 
man; I said also that history was past politics, and that politics 
were present history. We thus claim for our pursuit that it is 
specially human, specially practical. We claim for it to be 
looked on as a study by which we learn what are the workings 
of man's nature as carried out in political society. We study 
the experience of past times in order to draw from them practi- 
cal lessons for the present and for the future. We see that the 
course of human affairs goes on according to general laws — I 
must use the word lawSy though the word is both vague and 
ambiguous, till somebody gives me a better. Hut we see that 
those general laws do not act with all the precision and -cer- 
tainty of physical laws. We see that men in certam circum- 
stances have a tendency to act in certain ways ; but we see that 
they do not act in those ways with quite the same regularity 
with which objects in the physical universe gravitate to their 
center. We see that those general tendencies are sometimes 
thwarted, sometimes guided, sometimes turned aside. And we 
see that these exceptions to the general course come about in 
more than one v/ay. Sometimes they are what we may call 
mere physical hindrances, like the coming of some other object 
in the way which hinders an object from gravitating to its cen- 
ter.' Thus we may set it down as an axiom that a young state, 
a liberated state, a people buoyant with all the energy of a new 


life, will seek to extend their borders and to find a wider field 
for the exercise of the strength which they feel within them. 
And happy we might deem the state of things in which a young 
, and liberated state can carry out- this irresistible tendency of 
growth without doing wrong to others. Happy we might deem 
it when such a state has on its border a new and untrodden 
world, within which each stage of the growth of the new power 
wins new realms for the higher life of man. Happy, too, we 
might deem it when, though the growth of the new state is 
driven to take a less peaceful form, yet every step of its advance 
carries with it the deliverance of brethren who still remain in 
bondage. The working of this rule stands forth in the history 
of states far removed from one another in time and place^ but in 
all of which the same eternal law of human nature is obeyed. 
When the European Greek had driven back the Persian, he 
carried deliverance to the Greek of Asia. Liberated Achaia 
grew into liberated Peloponnesos. The Three Lands grew into 
the Eight Cantons ; the Eight Cantons grew into the Thirteen. 
The Seven Provinces had not the same field for territorial exten- 
sion as the earlier federations ; but they too grew and waxed 
mighty in other ways, mighty perhaps l^yond their strength, 
too mighty for a while to keep a lasting place as a great Euro- 
pean power. So we may now see with our own eyes a people 
set free from bondage, eager to extend their boundaries in the 
best of ways, by receiving enslaved brethren within the area of 
freedom. But we now see them thwarted, checked, stopped in 
their natural course, bidden to wait — to wait perhaps till the 
nature of man shall be other than it is. Here is the natural 
course of things checked artificially by an external power. A 
greater force stops for awhile the force of nature, like a mill- 
wheel or a dam in the natural world. It has often struck me 
that a great deal of our high diplomacy is very much in the 
nature of mill-wheels and dams ; it is art working against nature. 
Now art may be stronger than nature; it maybe wiser than 
nature; still it is not nature, but something idiffferent. And-art 


will not be wise if it forgets that, though it may check nature, 
it cannot destroy nature, and that nature may some day prove 
itself the stronger. The course of human events, the feelings 
and the actions of nations, are not changed forever because a 
dozen Excellencies round a table have set tbeir names to a 
diplomatic paper. 

Thus the natural tendencies of human events may sometimes 
be artificially thwarted from without. They may also be in 
some sort either thwarted or led, we might almost say naturally, 
from within. A sound view of history will keep us on the one 
hand from what is called hero-worship; it will keep us on the 
other hand from undervaluing the real effect which a single 
great man may have on the course of human events. The 
course of history is not a mere game played by a few great men ; 
nor yet does it run in an inflexible groove which no single man 
can turn aside. The great man influences his age ; but at the 
same time he is influenced by his age. Some of the greatest of 
men, as far as their natural gifts went, have been useless or mis- 
chievous, because they have been out of gear with their own 
age. Their own age could not receive them, and they could not 
make their age other than what it was. The most useful kind 
of great man is he who is just so far in advance of his age that 
his age can accept him as its leader and teacher. Men of this 
kind are themselves part of the course of events ; they guide it ; 
they make it go quicker or slower: but they do not thwart it. 
Can we, for instance, overrate the ^ain which came to the new- 
bom federation of America by finding such a man as Washing- 
ton ready made to its hand? Or take men of quite another 
stamp from the Virginian deliverer. The course of our history 
for the last eight hundred years has been largely affected by the 
fact not only that we underwent a foreign conquest, but that 
we underwent a foreign conquest of a particular kind, such as 
could be wrought only by a man of a particular kind. The 
course of our history for the last three hundred years has been 
largely affeaed by Uie faa that, when English free^m was it) 


the greatest danger, England fell into the hands of a tyrant" 
whose special humor it was to carry on his tyranny under the 
forms of law. English history could not have been what it has 
been if William the Conqueror and Henry VIII. had been men 
other than what they we?re. One blushes to put the two names 
together. William was great in himself, and must have been 
great in anytime or place. Henry, a man not without great 
gifts, but surely not a great man, was made important by circum- 
stances in the time and place in which he lived. But each 
influenced the course of events by his personal character. But 
they influenced events only in the sense of guiding, strengthen- 
ing, and quickening some tendencies, and keeping others back 
for awhile. Neither of them, nor Washington either, belong to 
that class of men who, for good or for evil, turn the world up- 
side down, the great destroyers and the great creators of history. 
Now when w^e look in this way on the influence of the man 
upon his age and of his age upon the man, we shall, I think, be 
led to be cautious, I might say to be charitable, in our judg- 
ment of past men and past generations. There is no such sure 
sign of ignorance, or rather of something far worse than mtere 
ignorance, of utter shallowness of thought, than that contemp- 
tuous sneering at past times which is sometimes thought clever. 
No rational man will wish to go back to any past time, and it is 
quite certain that if he wishes to go back he cannot do so. But 
we should remember that we have received the inheritance of 
past times and of the men of past times; that if we have ad- 
vanced beyond them, it is because they had already advanced 
somewhat ; if we see further than they did, it is because we have 
the advantage of standing on their shoulders. So we hope that 
future generations may advance further than we have advanced, 
that they may see further than we see, and yet that they m^iy 
look back upon us with a remembrance not altogether scorn fiil. 
Blame any age, blame any man in. any age, if it can be show^ 
that such age or such man really and willfully went backwan 
But blame :Jio- age, no man, that really went forward, metj 


because we are tempted to think that the forward course might 
have been speedier. Blame no age, no man, that really reformed 
something, merely because something was left for later ages and 
later men to reform. Such judgments are unfair to the age or 
the man so judged; for every age must be judged according to 
its own light and its own opportunities. And such judgments 
are also shallow in themselves ; for the work which is done bit 
by bit, as each bit is specially needed to be done, will be really 
stronger and more lasting than the work which is turned out 
spick and span, according to some preconceived theory. A few 
anomalies here and there, a few signs that the work was done 
faster in one part and slower in another, will do no practical 
harm. The house will not thereby be the worse to live in, and 
it will better tell the tale of its own building. Here in England, 
at least, we ought to believe that freedom, civilization, tolera- 
tion, anything else that we prize, is really all the better and 
stronger because it has not been cut out all at once, but has 
gll^wn bit by bit by the struggles of generation after generation. 
And if our use of the two guides of our studies, reason and 
experience, leads us to gentler judgments of the past among our 
own and other old-standing nations, it may also lead us to gen- 
tler judgments of the fresh-born and still struggling nations of 
our own time. There are those who seem to think that slavery 
is the best school for freedom, who seem to think that a nation 
which is just set free may be reasonably expected to show itself 
not behind, but rather in advance of, those nations which h^ve 
been working out their freedom for ages. Those who have stud- 
ied the nature of man in his acts will perhaps judge less harshly 
if a nation for which the gates of the house of bondage have 
just been opened does not at once spring to this lofty standard. 
Those who stop to think before they speak will perhaps see 
that when a nation which was enslaved in the fourteenth cen- 
tury has been set free in the nineteenth — when a nation has for 
five hundred years had everything to send it backward, while we 
have Ijad everything to send us forward —it is really to the credit 


of that nation if it comes forth on the level of England five hun- 
dred years back. We cannot fairly expect it to come forth on the 
level of the England of our own day. It is .a homely and an 
obvious doctrine, but one which some minds seem to find it 
hard to take in, that no man can learn to swim without going 
into the water. In the like sort, a nation cannot learn the vir- 
tues of freedom while it remains in bondage. Set it free, and it 
may at least begin to try to practice them, and it is not to be harshly 
judged if it fails to practice them perfectly at first. And even in 
cases where bondage and slavery would be words far too harsh^ 
our wider experience of mankind will perhaps teach us thaf men 
are often better pleased, and that it is often better for them, to 
manage their own affairs, even if they manage somewhat clum- 
sily, rather than to have them managed for them by others in 
some far more clever way. 

In all these ways we claim that history is a practical science — 
a science that teaches us lessons which are of constant practical 
application in the affairs of the present. It is curious to see hotv 
this doctrine is practically received. I have often noticed the 
different ways in which, according to different circumstances, 
men receive any argument, illustration, or allusion drawn from 
past history. Such arguments, illustrations, or allusions may 
be of widely different kinds. , One may be of theclassof which we 
have just been speaking ; it may be a sound and grave argument, 
from cause and effect. Under given circumstances a certain 
result has hitherto commonly happened ; it is therefore likely, 
under like circumstances, to happen again. Another reference 
maybe a n&ere sportive application of a word or a name, fairly 
enough brought in to raise a passing smile, but which, on the 
face of it, proves nothing any way. Now the mere jest is sure 
to be received with delight by the side for which it tells ; the 
gravest argument is scorned by the side against which it tells. 
The argument from experience is grandly tossed aside as "sen- 
timentalism" or " antiquarian rubbish." It is not that any par- 
ticular fault is found with the argument ; it is enotigh that it is 


an argument from fact and experience, ^f fact and experience 
happen to tell the wrong way. But an argument of exactly the 
same kind is cried up to the skies if it happens to tell the right 
way. The practical argument from experience is, of all argu- 
ments, that which is most applauded when it tells on our own 
side, that which is most scorned when it tells on the other side, 
i think that this fact, on the whole, tells in favor of arguments 
from experience and analogy. But it also supplies some warn- 
ings. It may teach us not to be too hasty either in catching at 
an example or at an analogy which seems at first sight to tell for 
us, or in rejecting one which seems to tell against us. Let us 
not trumpet forth the argument which seems to tell for us till 
we have weighed it to see whether it be sound or not. And let 
us not hastily cast aside as " antiquarian rubbish" every argu- 
ment which seems to tell against us. Let us rather weigh them 
too, and see what they too are worth. I have sometimes been 
able to make good use on my own side of sayings which were 
hurled at me as arguments for the other side.^ There are true 
analagles and false ones, analogies which are of the highest 
practical ^^alue and analogies which may lead us utterly astray. 
There is often real likeness, instructive, practical likeness, amidst 
much seeming unlikei^ss; there is often a seeming likeness 
where the real state of the two cases is altogether different, and 
where no practical lesson can be drawn. One who has been 
deep in controversy for the last five years has seen a good many 
real analogies scorned, and a good many false analogies blazed 
abroad as practical arguments. And he may perhaps have been 
led to the conclusion that those who specially call themselves 
practical men— that is, those who refuse to hearken to reason 
and experience; those whose wisdom consists in living from hand 
to mouth, and refusing to look either behind or before ; those 
who put names and formulae in the place of facts ; those who 
see in the world only courts and diplomatists, and whoshuttheir 
eyes to the existence of nations — are exactly the men whose wisest 
forebodings have the strongest gift of remaining unfulfilled. 


And now it may be asked. If we wish to give our studies this 
practical turn, if we wish our examination of the past to supply 
us with a real teaching of experience for the present and the 
future, over what range of time are our researches to be spread ? 
I answer, over the whole range of the history of man as a political 
being. In other words, we can acknowledge no limit which 
would shut out any period of the history of Aryan man on Euro- 1 
pean soil. Let Birmingham set the example which is so deeply 
needed in older seats of historical study. Let there be one spot 
where history shall be studied, but Where the delusive words 
" ancient" and ** modern" shall never be heard. You are not far 
from Rugby; some echoes of the voice of Arnold may have 
reached you. You may have picked up some fragments of the 
teaching which that great master put fdrth with so clear a voice, 
but in which he has found so few disciples. To some he lives 
in his personal memory; to me he lives only in his writings.' 
But it was from those writings that I first learned that history 
was one, that it could be rightly learned only by casting aside 
artificial and unnatural distinctions, and by grasping the great 
though simple truth that the history of European man is one 
unbroken tale. That history is one unbroken series of cause 
and effect, no part of which can be cightly understood if any 
other part is wholly shut out from the survey. Let there be one 
spot where the vain formulae of "ancient" and "modern" his- 
tory, of "dead" and "living" languages, shall be forever un- 
known. Take in the simple fact that the so-called " ancients" 
were not beings of some other order — perhaps demi-gods sur- 
rounded by superhuman mystery, perhaps benighted savap;es 
who knew not the art of getting up good colliery accidents, per- 
haps mere names which seem to lie beyond the range of human 
interest of any kind — but that they were men, men of like pas- 
sions with ourselves, capable of the same faults and the same 
virtues ; men, too, of kindred speech, of kindred blood ; kins- 
men simply further removed in time and place than some other 
kinsmen, but whose deeds and sayings and writings iare as full 


of practical teaching for us as the deeds and sayings and writ- 
ings of the men vfho trod our own soil. Before the great 
discoveries of modern science — before that greatest of all its 
discoveries which has revealed to us the unity of Aryan speech, 
Aryan religion, and Aryan political life — ^the worn-out supersti- 
tions about "ancient" and "modern" ought to pass by like the 
specters of darkness. Does any of you specially give his mind 
to so-called "-ancient" studies, to the study of old Greece or of 
old Italy ? Does any man reproach such a one with wasting his 
time on studies which are unpractical because they are "an- 
cient" } Let him answer, in the spirit of Arnold, that his studies 
are pre-eminently practical because they are pre-eminently mod- 
ern. Does any man give his mind specially to the tongues of 
old Greece and of old Italy? Does any man reproach him with 
devoting himself to the study of tongues which are dead } Let 
him answer in the same spirit, but with a depth of life and 
knowledge on which men in Arnold's day had hardly entered, 
that he gives his mind to those tongues because they are of all 
tongues the most truly living. Grasp well the truth that the 
history of old Greece, of old Italy, is simply an earlier part of 
the same tale as the history of our own island. Grasp well the 
truth that the worthies of those older times, the men who strove 
for freedom at Athens, in Achaia, and at Rome, were forerun- 
ners and fellow-workers of the men who have fought, and who 
are still fighting, the same battle among ourselves. The Acta 
' Sanctorum of political progress is imperfect if we leave out its 
earliest chapters. We must remember PeriklSs and Titmole6n, 
Aratos and Philopoimen, Caius Licinius and Tiberius Gracchus, 
alongside of our Godwines and our Simons, our Hampdens 
and our Chathams, our Washingtons and our Hamiitons. and 
their compeers of our own day whom I will not name. But 
some one will say. What can great kingdoms, great confed- 
erations, under a northern sky, learn from small city common- 
wealths under a southern sky ? Much every, way ; if only this, 
that we may learn how many different shapes that which is 


essentially the same may take under varying circumstances of 
time and place. No fact, no period, in history can exactly repro- 
duce any earlier fact or period, if only because that fact or period 
' has already gone before it. Between a great kingdom under a 
northern sky and a small commonwealth under a southern sky 
there are many and important differences. But there may be 
none the less much essential likeness, and it is the business of 
historical science at once to note the differences, and to dig 
through to the likeness that underlies them. The range of our 
political vision becomes wider when the application of the com- 
parative method sets before us the ekkl^sia of Athens, the comitia 
of Rome, as institutions not merely analogous, but absolutely 
the same thing, parts of the same common Aryan heritage, as 
the ancient assemblies of our own land. We carry on the tale 
as we see that it is out of those assemblies that our modern par- 
liaments, our modern courts of justice, our modern public gath- . 
erings of every kind have grown. And we feel, yet more the 
unbroken tie when we mark that they have all grown by con- 
stant and endless changes of detail, but with no break in the 
long succession, no moment when, as in some other lands, one 
kind of assembly was consciously set aside and another kind of 
assembly consciously established in its pl^e. Our very local 
nomenclature puts on a new life if here in Birmingham, the 
home of the Beormingas, a spot of conquered British soil bear- 
ing the name of the Teutonic gens which won it, we remember 
that we brought with us from our old homes a system of politi- 
cal and family life essentially the same as that of Athens and of 
Rome. We had our gentes, our curiae, our tribes ; and they 
have, like those of the elder nations, left their names on the soil 
which we made our own. As a portion of old Roman soil took 
the name of the great gens of the Claudii, so a portion of Ang- 
lian, of Mercian, soil took the name of the gens of the Beormin- 
gas. Only, while the Claudian gens, as a gens, remained far more 
famous than the local division which. bore the Claudian name» 


the home of the Beormingas has certainly become far more 
femous .than the Beormingas themselves. 

But some will say, Can a man learn all history, from the first 
glimmerings of political history in old Greece to the last politi- 
cal question in our own day ? I trow not, if by learning is meant 
mastering thoroughly in detail from original sources. Life is too 
short for any such unirersal mastery, even if a man gives his . 
whole life to studying history and nothing els6. Still less can 
those do so who have many other things to do besides studying 
history. But, on the other hand, when I speak of learning, I do 
not mean the getting up a mere smattering of the whole story 
and knowing no part thoroughly in detail. I say this : Let each 
historical student choose for minute study some period or peri- 
ods, according as his taste or his objects may lead him. Let 
those periods be late, let them be early ; let them be the very 
earliest or the very latest ; best of all, perhaps, let there be one 
early and one late. Let him master such period or periods thor- 
oughly, minutely, from original sources. But let him, besides 
this special knowledge of a part, know well the general outline 
of the whole. Let him learn enough of those parts of his- 
tory which lie outside his own special subject to put periods 
and events in their true relation to one another. By learning 
some periods of history thoroughly, minutely, from original 
sources, he will gain a power which will stand him in good 
stead even in those periods which he is driven to learn more 
slightly from secondary sources. He will gain a kind of tact 
which will enable him to judge which secondary sources may 
be trusted and which may not. 

Let us for a moment apply these doctrines to the great 
question of the day, the question of the fate of south-eastern 
Europe, the question whfether the New Rome shall be European 
or Asiatic, whether the church of Justinian shall be a temple of 
Christendom or of Islam. It is not my business here to decide 
for either side. Those are questions on which it would be 


unbecoming in the president of your Historical Society to do 
more than point out facts, and to leave others to draw infer- 
ences. I say only that, in order to form an opinion either way, 
a man must have some general notion of the fact^ of the case, 
and that the facts of the case go back a good many centuries. 
I do not set much store by the opinion of the man who asked 
whether there were any Christians in south-eastern Europe, 
besides " a few nomad tribes." I do not set much store by the 
opinion of the man who wrote in a book that in the ninth cen- 
tury the Russians attacked Constantinople, but found the Turks 
too strong for them. Nor do I greatly value his judgment who 
held it for certain that every British ship that sailed to India 
must pass under the walls of Constantinople. To understand 
these matters we must go a little further than this. Nor will it 
do to go back to times two thousand years ago, and then to leap 
from two thousand years ago to our own time. The nations of 
south-eastern Europe are, for good and for evil, what the long 
intermediate time has made them. The greatest of all witnesses 
to the unity of history is the long-abiding drama of the Eastern 
power of Rome. I counseled you just now not to neglect the 
study of the early commonwealths of Greece; but from the 
early commonwealths of Greece we must go on. The great 
work of Greece, in the general history of the world, was to make 
the eastern half of the Roman world practically Greek. The 
throne of the old Rome was moved to a Greek city, and the new 
Rome, the city of Constantine, became the center at once of 
Roman dominion and of Greek intellectual life. Bear in mind, 
how, for age after age, Constantinople stood as the bulwark of 
Europe and of Christendom, bearing up on one side against the 
Persian, the Saracen, and the Turk, on the other side against 
the Slave, the Avar, and the Bulgarian. Her Asiatic rivals 
could only remain as abiding enemies, to be driven back from 
her walls and her empire, till in the end one of them was to . 
force in his way as a conqueror from without. The Persian and 
the Saracen strove in vain for the prize; the Ottoman won it at 


last, to rule as an Asiatic in Europe, to remain five hundred 
years after his landing, as much a stranger as oh the day when 
he first came in. But the European rivals could be more or less 
thoroughly changed into disciples ; they could accept the faith, 
they could imitate tjie models, they couid in some cases adopt 
the language, of the power which, even in attacking, they rever- 
enced. In the long and stirring tale of the battle which Con- 
stantinople waged for Europe, we see the Roman power become 
Greek ; as it becomes more definitely Greek, we see the other 
older nations of the peninsula, the Albanians and Roumans, long 
merged with the Greeks in the general mass of subjects of the 
empire, stand forth again as distinct nations, playing their part 
among the nations from the eleventh century to the nineteenth. 
Long before this we have seen the Slavonic invaders of the 
empire, half its conquerors, half its disciples, spread themselves 
over the inland regions of the Balkan peninsula, while the Greek 
keeps the coasts and the islands. At last, step by step, the. 
empire and its European neighbors come under the power of 
the Asiatic invader. The European invader came to conquer, 
to settle, but at the same time to learn and to imitate. The 
Asiatic invader came simply to destroy. He came neither to 
merge himself in the nationality of the conquered nor to win 
over the conquered to his nationality, but to abide for ages as a 
stranger, holding the nations of the land in bondage in their 
own land. At last a time comes when the enslaved nations fee 
a new strength, a new call to freedom. This and that part of 
those nations, here and there, throw off the foreign yoke ; they 
set up free and national governments on their own soil, and they 
seek to extend the freedom which they themselves have won to 
their brethren who remain in bondage. Here are the facts, facts 
which cannot be grasped except by taking a somewhat wider 
view of history than is implied in the well-worn course of old 
Greece, old Rome, modern England, modern France. But, I 
state the facts only this evening. I leave otheis to draw the 
inferences. Some deem that it is for the general good of man- 


kindj for the special interest of this island, that the Mussulmffn 
Asiatic should reign over the Christian European, that nations 
struggling to be free should be kept down as bondmen on their 
own soil. Many deem that it is a specially honorable and 
patriotic course, specially agreeable to the feelings and duties of 
a free people, to help to keep them in their bondage. Some 
think otherwise. They think, as the old Greek thought, that ^ 
freedom is a brave thing ; they are led to sympathize with na- 
tions striving for freedom rather than with the foreign oppres- 
sor who holds them under his yoke. They think that to give 
help to the cause of those struggling nations is in itself a worthy 
work, that it is a work specially becoming a free people, that it 
is a work, above all, becoming a free people, who, as they hold, 
have promised to do it. Here are two ways of looking at a 
great question, neither of which ways is of much value unless 
it is grounded on knowledge of the facts. It is not for me to 
say here which inference is th'* right one. I can say only, study 
the facts and judge for yourselves. 

Edward A. Freeman, in The Fortnightly Review. 


Literature, from the earliest periods, has always centered 
itself about great cities, great institutions of learning, great libra- 
ries, and powerful religious organizations. The sacred books 
of the Hebrews could only be fitly studied at Jerusalem. .The 
ancient Greek, for whom the culture of Athens was insufficient 
in his day, went to Alexandria, where he had access to the most . 
world-renowned philosophers and to the parchments of the 
schools. The youths of Achaia and the outlying regions of 
Greece must needs resort to the Academy and the Porch. 
*.mbitious Ciceros found in Athens that fostering influence not 



afforded by the city of the Caesars. Horace, Virgil. Ovid, and 
Tibullus could only flourish under the genial patronage of a 
Macaenas in the imperial center. And, to come down to later 
periods, the mediaeval scholars sought Salerno and Pisa and 
Padua ; the Gascon boy went up to Paris ; Roger Ascham could 
only find the learning he needed at Cambridge ; Chaucer must 
live in the light of London ; the German must leave his Swabia 
and go to Leipsic or Gottingen. 

When we look at the outcome of literature, therefore, we find 
little accomplishment anywhere but in the great centers of 
wealth and power and population. Sophocles cannot find stim- 
ulus enough to incite him to the production of his immortal 
tragedies in his native Colonus. Petrarch must come to Rome 
if he would receive the poet's crown. Edmund Spenser cannot 
please himself with his " Faerie Queen" at his isolated Irish Kil- 
colman Castle. Shakespeare must be in the neighborhood of 
the Mitre Tavern, the Globe Theater, and his friend "rare Ben" 
in order to do his work aright. Dr. Johnson must go up to 
Grub street before he can write a book. 

Since it is clear, then, that every worker, be he brain-toiler or 
mere handicraftsman, must have his tools, and that those tools 
must be within easy recch, we argue that for the cultivation of 
letters, for the profession of literature as a trade, there must be 
the coincidence of certain advantageous circumstances in order 
to success. There must be the incentive of critical and sympa- 
thetic minds ; there must be libraries, vicinage, the attrition of 
society, booksellers, publishing houses, the visible consciousness 
of literary demand anxiously awaiting literary supply. All these 
tools are as necessary to the implantation and the cultivation 
and the successful pursuit of the literary life as are the pigments 
and canvas to the painter, the chisel and marble to the sculptor, 
or the rule and plane to the carpenter. Therefore, there must be 
close population, the neighborhood of cities, the spur of con- 
tact, mental action and reaction, peaceful leisures, freedom from 
petty exigencies — in short, the felt presence of throbbing human- 


ity. " Cling to the city and live in her light, my friend !" writes 
Cicero to his Coelius ; " for those who have abilities, Rome is the 
place." • 

This, of course, has special reference to the pursuit of litera- 
ture as aprofession. What encouragement is there, even for the 
artisan, if there is no patronage close at hand? Isolate him, 
lejive him without any near him to appreciate his work, and he 
will lack the stimulus that would make him a skillful workman. 
Cellini must carry his metal carvings to the pope if he means 
to have the approval of the great. 

We do not forget that much of the world's grandest speci- 
mens of literature were never produced as literature. St. Ber- 
nard did not write his moving Latin hymns, that will endure to 
the end of time, because he wanted to be called a poet. Lang- 
dale produced '* Piers Plowman" for other reasons than to be 
named the father of English verse. Dante used his splendid 
poetic faculty, first of all, as a two-edged sword wherewith to 
smite his enemies. In the great results of the Reformation, the 
literature of it was a wholly secondary matter. The barons who 
drew up Magna Charta did not study fine periods. The Solemn 
League and Covenant, the Petition of Rights, the Declaration 
of Independence, were not framed with the purpose of literary 
effect. And when we remember how often in the world's his- 
tory the literature that has had the least self-consciousness, tl^at 
has had in view only some lofty end, has proved the most per- 
fect, even when judged by the strict canons of literary art, it 
would seem as if the modern test — art for art's sake — did not 
hold good. The venerable Bede, the scholarly Alfred, the 
intrepid Wycliffe, had little thought of the artistic quality of 
their work when they were holding up their torches amid the 
earlier Anglican darkness. The old masters painted for religion's 
s^.ke. No moderns make such Madonnas as Fra Angelico's or 
Raphael's. When Madame Rambouillet opened her salon in 
Paris, and thereby took the initiative in the awakening of 
French intellect, she did not do it for art's sake. She mourned 


over the frivolity and folly of French aristocratic life, and only 
sought thus to erect some sort of breakwater against the deluge 
of corruption around her — not to become the leader of that 
Renaissance whose outcome we have in Corneille, Moliere, La 
Rochefoucauld, Racine, and Bossuet. 

Even in the Elizabethan age of letters, the great minds of 
England were wrought up to magnificent effort by other than 
art's impulse or the pursuit of literature purely for itself. The 
wonderful events of those formative times stirred up all men's 
souls to something like an unnatural state of mental activity. 
Shakespeare, no doubt, would have poured forth the marvelous 
treasures of his genius under any circumstances. But although, 
as our most brilliant of American essayists says, " he built up 
his character as instinctively as a bird does her nest," yet his 
immediate surroundings had everything to do with his accom- 
plished work, breathing as he did the same air with Sidney, 
Spenser, Raleigh, and the heroes of the Armada's overthrow. 
This was a pressure infinitely outweighing the fact that his wife 
and children were to be provided for at Shottery, and that he 
had an ambition for building " New Place." 

After our too long exordium, which, however, we deemed 
necessary to the furnishing of the deductions intended to be 
drawn from it, we come now to consider the subject before us — 
the lack, for it almost amounts to that, of a class devoted to the 
profession of literature in our Southern States, and the reasons 

The two States of the South which have given tone and 
character to the educated class above all the others are Vir- 
ginia and South Carolina. They were the earliest settled, 
and their after-prestige has been pre-eminent. Their first 
colonists were the best sort of English and French emigrants. 
The pet colony of the mother-country, the Old Dominion, 
had almost always as governor some royal and titled favor- 
ite, even down to Revolutionary times. We do not claim that 
there was any advantage in that— the reverse, perhaps : we 


only mention it as a fact that the status of affairs was overween- 
ingly aristocratic from the beginning. The younger sons of 
noble English families came over to the new possessions to bet- 
ter their fortunes by scores and hundreds. Sorry enough colo- 
nists some of them were, so far as real manly work was con- 
cerned. But at this day to attempt to deny the fact that the 
preponderating portion of the early settlers were not well-born 
people is to fly in the face of all the records of history. It only 
needs to turn Bancroft's pages and go back to colonial days to 
observe how strong, and at times unmanageable, the aristocratic 
element was. As we write, a leading journal in Richmond is 
giving up its columns from week to week to the colonial record 
of the genealogies that concern hundreds of Virginia families — 
records verified by incontestable references given in profusion. 
Therefore, it is not a matter for ridicule, as it has come to be 
the fashion in some quarters to make it, that the early Virginia 
colonists who prided themselves on their good blood should 
have transmitted the feeling to their children : the absurdity is, 
for their descendants to satisfy themselves with the fact, and be 
content " to sup on past recollections." 

So in South Carolina. The Huguenots of France, exiled by 
the revocation of the Edict, found footing in the new State, and 
early give its one important city that pronounced character for 
high breeding, refinement, gentle manners, and chivalrous living 
which obtained in Charleston in larger measure one hundred 
years ago than to-day. There, also, the commingling of the 
English element was large. These settlers brought habits, tra- 
ditions, and prejudices with them that rule their descendants in 
both these dominant States down to this hour. They were 
largely drawn from classes to whom manual labor had never 
been a necessity, nor the making of their own daily bread a 
pressure and incentive. They found themselves in a land where 
light exertion secured independence. The climate was genial, 
and imposed no heavy burdens on them, as on the inhabitants 
of the New England and Middle States, where one half the year 



is taken up in providing for the other half, or, as a facetious 
New Hampshire friend once expressed it, " where you prepare 
your dinner six months before you eat it/' But a brief period 
elapsed, too, before the system of African slavery was imposed 
upon the South by the mother-country — ^a system whose influence 
in liberating the best Classes of citizens from the necessity of work 
has perhaps, in the long run, been far other than a benefit. We 
have no reasonings to bring forward; we merely note the fact. 
A spirit of distas*^e for work of any kind was the natural result of 
this condition of things, and it too soon became an inheritance 
which descended as surely to the children of the colonists as did 
their estates won from the wilderness. We do not deny that a cer- 
tain physical and mental indolence thus induced has had a hurt- 
ful effect on the Southern character. When the goad of neces- 
sity is removed, when the incentive that leads men to aspire to 
the attainment of higher position is lacking, from the very fact 
that they are as high as they care to be. communities are not 
apt to trouble themselves with any sort of discipline that calls 
for exertion, restraint, and self-denial. 

The predominant tastes of the South were, from the begin- 
ning, English ; and an Englishman is a rural animal to the very 
marrow of his bones. He endures cities, but his greed is to live 
on his own land ; and if by good luck the possession of his fields 
can but date back (as it does in the case of multitudes of middle- 
class men like Charles Kingsley) to the Norman thieves who 
landed at Hastings — " whom." as Emerson says, *' it took a good 
many generations to trim, comb, and perfume into gentlemen"— 
so much greater the pride. What Englishman of means chooses 
to live in Liverpool, or Birmingham, or Manchester, or Shef- 
field ? With this engrained tradition and prejudice, the first 
settlers of Virginia and Carolina paid little attention to the 
building of towns and cities ; and to this day all out-and-out 
Southerners have a smothered contempt for what they are pleased 
to call the vulgarity of towns. We know multitudes of planters 
who would feel stifled in a city, and who, as a mere matter of 
L. M. 8.-3 


preference, would rather have their old wooden mansions, with 
their too often rickety verandahs, than a four-story brown-stone 
front. To own plantations so large that the daily morning ride 
over them was a hearty day's exercise, was enough for the 
masters of the old regime : to have scor^ oi- hundreds of black 
retainers, like feudal dependents, around him, was sufficiently 
flattering to his self-importance. To such men the narrow 
limits of town and city life*were nothing but dwarfing. 

This mode of life, so free, so independent, so allied to nature, 
had disadvantages, from which the whole South suffers at this 
moment. It separated influential families; it imposed sparse 
population ; it engendered a spirit of overweening self-content ; 
it tended to a sentiment of hurtful exclusiveness; it interfered 
with public organizations for the general good; it kept large 
schools from being established ; it discouraged the founding of 
colleges and universities and hospitals and asylums; it made 
against the creation of literary centers; it segregated the edu- 
cated and literary men, and so rendered ineffective an influence 
which, if massed, might have been powerful. **Why," the 
planter of forty years ago would ask—" why take upon ourselves 
the trouble and expense of founding universities when the North 
has Harvard and Yale and Nassau Hall to which we can send 
our sons, who are all the better for this experience abroad ?" 
For, until the slavery agitation began to take hold of the public 
mind, there was not the slightest objection to sending boys 
North for their education. It was much commoner then than 
it now is for our Northern academic youth to finish up with 
Berlin and Bonn. Look over the old catalogues of various 
Northern colleges, and the surprise will be to find how largely 
their students were from the Southern States. The same argu- 
ment applied to literature. Even had the disposition and abil- 
ity not been wanting, why should the easy-going South Caro» 
llnian, Georgian, or Virginian vex his ease by writing books, or 
printing magazines, or editing on any large scale daily news- 
napers ? The North had all the appliances at hand, and codld 


do it better, and would do it, anyhow ; and the idea of competi- 
tion was a bother. He would not disturb his epicurean calm 
by compiling even a spelling-book ; Noah Webster had done it. 
That would suffice. William and Mary College could not be 
manned like Harvard or Yale, so why not be content with the 
former? Hampden-Sidney could not compete with Princeton, 
so wbere*s the use of worry? Cui bono? And so they saun- 
tered on. 

As to the matter of teachers, the parents of Southern children 
were wholly satisfied to look up the foreign product for their 
girls and boys. Such a thing as Southern-born youths fitting 
themselves for teachers would have seemed laughable in the 
good old day. Large numbers of graduates of the English, Irish, 
and Scotch universities made their way to the South, ready to 
exchange the product of their brains for bread ; and a very con- 
venient exchange it was thought to be. Hundreds of young 
New England men and women came down seeking places as 
tutors and governesses ; and no family of any standing could be 
found that had not its tutor and governess for their rising scions. 
Even yet the custom has not fallen into entire disuse. 

This isolated plantation life, so universal long ago, was a 
real hindrance to mental activity and stimulus in the way of 
literary production. It is curious even yet to look over the 
well-preserved, calf-bound volumes of an old plantation library. 
Ther^ will be Clarendon's History, the old Dramatists, Milton, 
Jeremy Taylor, Smith, Tillotson, Addison, Hume, with stray 
copies of " Evelina," '* Pepys's Diary, ** Marmion," Miss Austen's 
early novels, but rarely the modern historians or novelists, or 
even poets. One is far more apt to find Pope than Tennyson. 
But, whatever is absent, there will be sure to be books of gene- 
alogy, and some coj>y of " The Peerage," though it be not Sir 
Bernard Burke's. The reading of these books sufficed for the 
elegant, courtly men they recall their grandfathers as being; 
and for the stately women, who seem to put to shame the degen- 
eracy of the dames of to-day ; and why not for^ them ? A pride 


and enthusiasm for libraries made up of the literature of the 
last forty years is not common even among the educated men 
of t'iie South, exclusive of specialists and professional men. We 
would be unjust to the South if we intimated that there has not 
existed, and does not now exist, among the educated classes an 
acquaintance with current literature. It would be hard to find 
a young lady who had not read George Eliot, or a young man 
of education who does not know something of Darwin and 
Huxley, not to speak of Dickens, Thackeray, William Plack, or 
Thomas Hardy. But, as a general thing, modern books do not 
fill up the shelves of well-to-do, old-fashioned pljwiters. 

Along with other English characteristics pertinaciously clung 
to, the love for out-door sports has always been one of the most 
positive inheritances. To sit within the house and pore over 
books, instead of being abroad on a fine horse, with a pack of 
baying hounds at heel, has ever seemed to the bona-fide South- 
ern man a sort of woman's work. He is apt to think, with Lord 
Herbert of Cherbury, that " if there is a sight on earth that God 
looks down upon with special pleasure it is a fine man on a fine 
horse." Southerners are all bold riders. It would not be easy 
to find a boy of ten who could not manage any animal you 
would seat him upon. Hence, until the civil war altered the 
whole face of things, fox hunts, deer hunts, bear hunts even, 
and partridge shooting were the regular pastimes of the people. 
In the region around us still the annual fox hunts come off as 
regularly as October appears. 

Nevertheless, throughout all our rural districts east of the 
Appalachian chain, the sons of planters, as a rule, have been 
classically educated. There never has been any lack of home- 
born men wherewith to fill the learned professions among us ; 
but, as we have said above, the spur of stimulus to active literary 
labor has been greatly wanting. The thousands in the fJorth who 
turn to letters as a means of livelihood ^ave heretofore had no 
corresponding class in the South. We are instituting no invidi- 
ous comparisons. Things have wholly changed in the laist 


twenty years ; and in the trial of new experiences there are many 
no'v who would gladly be possessed of the capability and self- 
reliance of the young men and women of New En^^land, who 
not only can help themselves, but provide by their individual 
labor for the sustenance of the home circle. A new South must 
grow up before there can be such a state of things general 
among us. , 

It may seem a damaging admission, and one that smacks of 
nide old times, to say that it has been a widespread feeling 
among Southern people that the following of literature as a pro- 
fession has been considered just a trifle effeminate. But this 
admission may as well be made, for it is true. Our youth have 
been so brought up to hear political talk from their very cra- 
dles; they have learned to be so on the defensive in regard to 
the peculiar institution ; they have been more or less in the 
exercise of a certain power, arising from the presence of a ser- 
vile race; tlie temptation to live in the midst of and help to 
control affairs has been so present to them,— that this vivid life 
has had charms not found in any scholarly seclusion. Southern 
literature has run in the line of state papers and national 
speeches and senatorial debates and patriotic orations. In this 
channel the South is not content to yield superiority to the North. 
It has indeed become a taunt that the South aims to raise only 
statesmen and public characters. This, without doubt, has been 
one of the rocks on which our literary force has too much spent 
and broken itself. And here again obtains too largely the Eng- 
lish idea that the great proprietors and landholders have every- 
thing to do with the government of the country. The English 
country gentleman has his eye on the House of Commons ; the 
career of legislator has had overweening attractions for the 
Southern educated mind. The withdrawn life of letters has 
seemed slow; its results were not immediate, nor were they 
assured. Even those who might have distinguished themselves 
with their pens have been turned aside. Jefferson would rather 
have been the author of the Declaration of Independence than 


, have written all Addison's essays. Marshall, though he pro- 
duced the accepted biography of the first President, did it as a 
labor of love, not a work of ambition — not as Motley wrote the 
history of WilHim the Silent. But whatever literary power he 
was possessed of was soon diverted to the far more important 
work of giving shape to the jurisprudence of the United States — 
a work equaling, perhaps, what has been done by Kent or 

Madison and Monroe chose to spend their strength upon state 
papers rather than upon the elegance of letters. Wirt, with his 
charm of style, might have been almost a Geoffrey Crayon, but 
politics overruled him. Kennedy could easily have disputed 
laurels with Cooper had his native Maryland not found more 
important work for him to do. Legare might have written 
works on international law equal to others had not South Caro- 
lina needed him for something else. There have been multi- 
tudes of strangled poets who had the spirit of song choked out 
by surrounding circumstances. Public Southern opinion de- 
cided that there was something more virile to do than spend 
one's days in polishing tropes. At all events, such a choice, if 
there were nothing else to look to, was sure to condemn the 
chooser to that res angusta domi which the comfort-loving, 
physical nature of the Simon-pure Southerner does not find 
agreeable. Mingling with affairs, or looking after his own cot- 
ton, rice, or tobacco fields, would leave him far wider margins 
for the cultivation of his strong social instincts, and add infi- 
nitely more to his pecuniary importance. And, then, was it not, 
in the eye of all around him, voted more manly? (Perhaps the 
erratic and brief career of our Virginia poet, Edgar Poe, had a 
damaging irtfluence on the literary life as viewed from the 
standpoint of success.) We have no sympathy, not even the 
remotest, with any such feeling as this to which we have 
alluded, and only call attention to it as one of the singular 
anomalies of opinion that may have had something to do in 
deterring the youth of our Southern land from throwing them- 



selves into the profession of literature. " Measure goods behind 
a counter,"'the parents of some of them would certainly have 
said, " if you must, but leave the spinning of verses to girls, and 
the painting of pictures and carrying of marbles to those effemi- 
nate people'who have not thew and sinew for man s work." 

It has been undeniable that to be a poet only, to be an artist 
and no more, to be a sculptor, a novelist, an essayist, a mere 
producer of pleasure for other people, as a trade, has not seemed 
the highest aim of manhood to the contracted vision of the 
Southerner. When the Shah of Persia, on his visit, a few years 
ago, to England, saw the duchesses and noble ladies dancing till 
they wearied themselves, he innocently asked , '* Why do these 
lovely ladies tire themselves so ? In my country we have people 
to do this for us !" 

We are not yet sufficiently freed from the traditions and preju- 
dices of by-gone generations to feel that there is true nobility 
in every kind of labor— to realize that 

No earnest work 
Of any honest creature, howbeit weak, 
Imperfect, ill-adapted, fails so much 
That ^tis not gathered as a grain of sand 
Xo swell the sum of human action, used 
For carrying out God's end. 

Yet mixed up with our Saxon blood we have no little of the 
nerve and activity of the old Norman elements of chivalry and 
strength and manliness — elements which have saved the higher 
classes of the South from the undue domination of soft climate, 
easy living, and the too general exemption from the goads of 
labor. For when the stress has come, the educated mind among 
us has always roused itself to meet the emergency. When the 
occasion demanded, Patrick Henry could flash his burning 
words of patriotism like a Chatham. The wars of the Revolu- 
tion, of 1812, of, Mexico, could summon forth as leaders Wash- 
ington, Jackson, and Scott. The late unhappy war furnisheci 
as many heroes to the world's eye from *he South as the North. 


The comrnon soldier from the forests of ^aine could not out- 
suffer the common soldier from the swiamps of Georgia.* 

The slender finger of Randolph of Roanoke was able to make 
senates stir at times. Calhoun could show himself a stern 
Cato. Hayne was not afraid to cross swords with Webster." 
Clay could prove himself a parliamentary leader like Fox. Pres- 
ton of South Carolina could charm like Everett. But, then, the 
underlying motive that goaded the performance was something 
stronger than any thought of literature, or art, or perfection for 
perfection's sake could ever have furnished. It was the sort of 
stimulus that now and then made Napoleon in presence of his 
armies an orator. 

Another reason of the hitherto low condition of literary exe- 
cution among us has been the fact that we have been tpo con- 
tent with ourselves just as we are ; and the dead level of such 
stagnant content has barred progress in the direction of letters, 
as it has our material prosperity. Our critics and judges give a 
harsher name to the characteristic, and call it superciliousness ; 
and perhaps they have some reason for doing so. Just as we 
have scorned to substitute for our old plantation homes, with 
their broad spaces, their cosy ways of living, their old-fashioned 
ease and refinement, the modern spruce villa, with its varied 
appliances for comfort and its labor-saving mechanisms, so have 
we clung to the wonted system of things. It was very well 
under that system to insist upon the pitcher of water being 
brought fresh from the gushing spring an eighth of a mile off 
when anyone was athirst, since a bevy of little black runners 
were glad to have something to do for a change ; but, now that 
these same runners are studying Latin and calculus, it becomes 
us to alter our base, and lay down the more convenient water- 

No doubt, too, our conservative South has been intensely pro- 
vincial in many ways. Our people have lived to themselves, 
and so have missed the mental attrition which mingling with the 
world at large furnishes. They have not gone dbout as travel- 


^rs to the extent that Northern people have. They have not 
been familiarized with literary circles ; they have not in large 
enough degree seen works of art or architecture ; they have not 
sufficiently walked foreign galleries and studied the* master- 
pieces of antiquity, and wandered over museums and stood in 
the quadrangles of hoary universities, and grown enthusiastic 
over the glorious achievements of the old world. They ^ave 
not realized how all lands crown with their highest honore their 
literary and artistic workers. 

For the last fifteen years the South has been endeavoring to 
right herself. Like a great vessel that has weathered the storm 
with the loss of all her sails and masts, she is trimming herself 
as bravely as she can to meet the emergencies before her. She 
sees plainly enough now that 

The old order changeth, giving place to new. 
And God fulfills himself in many ways ! 

and there grows gradually over the Southern mind a spirit of 
acquiescence -and acceptance. 

Those who are observant of the signs of' the time see tokens 
everywhere that pM-edict the passing away of the hindering tra- 
ditions and prejudices that, sacred as they may have seemed to 
the old generations, will now only prove trammels to the new. 
On all hands the South is beginning to encourage the -upbuild- 
ing of its towns and cities : the old plantation life has lost its 
prestige, and never can be again what it was in the past. Neigh- 
borhoods are trying to crowd more together. The impulse of 
vicinage is being felt. Our schools and colleges are everywhere 
coming into healthy operation. The weak idea of the servility 
of labor is fast losing ground. Fresh life has been infused into 
our daiJy and weekly press. Notwithstanding their greater pov- 
erty, the Southern people go abroad far more than they did in 
ante-bellum days, and thereby get the cobwebs of prejudice 
swept from their brains. We have text-books now issuing from 
our universities ; we have volumes of poems published of which 


even The Saturday Review and The Academy of London con- 
descend to take note ; we have begun to send forth essays and 
travels and books of science that meet the commendation of the 
best critics of the land. We might add instances and references 
to verify what we have said, but it is outside of our purpose to 
go into any individual detail. 

A bright and attractive future, then, we believe is about to 
open before those among us who may hereafter give themselves 
to letters. With the possession of genius, which nature has not 
made a matter of geography; with the full equipment which a 
thorough culture demands; with the priceless inheritance of 
the richest historic associations ; with a marvelously picturesque 
past, whose local coloring is the fairest which this transatlan- 
tic land affords ; with the material prosperity which in time 
must come; with our noble rivers, our unopened mines, our 
varied and delicious climates, our great world-staples — cotton, 
tobacco, rice, and sugar ; with the influx of new populations ; 
with the stir and march and thunder of the times filling our 
ears ; with the wealth and prosperity that must give our South- 
ern land its proper place among the great brotherhood of states, 
— what is there to hinder this wide, vast South from taking its 
position as a leader in the world of letters, as the equal and 
peer of the North ? That in the nature of things this time will 
speedily come, we surely do believe. 

Margaret J. Preston. 
Lexington, Va. 


My dear : My present letter will be given to a single fig- 
ure. When I entered at Oxford John Henry Newman was be.^in- 
ning to be famous. The responsible authorities were watching 
him with anxiety ; clever men were looking with interest and curi- 
osity on the apparition among them of one of those persons of 


indisputable genius who was likely to make a mark upon his 
time. His appearance was striking. He was above the middle 
height, slight and spare. His head was large, his face remarka- 
bly like that of Julius Caesar. The forehead, the shape of the 
ears and nose, were almost the same. The lines of the mouth 
were very peculiar, and I should say exactly the same. I have 
often thought of the resemblance, and believed that it extended 
to the temperament. In both there was an original force of 
character which refused to be molded by circumstances, which 
was to make its own way, and become a power in the world ; a 
clearness of intellectual perception, a disdain for conventionali- 
ties, a temper imperious ana willful, but along with it a most 
attaching gentleness, sweetness, singleness of heart and purpose. 
Both were formed by nature to command others, both had the 
faculty of attracting to themselves the passionate devotion of 
their friends and followers; and in both cases, too, perhaps the 
devotion was rather due to the personal ascendency of the leader 
than to the cause which he represented. It was Caesar, not the 
principle of the empire, which overthrew Pompey and the consti- 
tution. Credo in Newmannum was a common phrase at Oxford, 
and is still unconsciously the faith of nine-tenths of the English 
converts to Rome. 

When I first saw him he had written his book upon the Arians. 
An accidental application had set him upon it, at a time, I 
believe, when he had half resolved to give himself to science and 
mathematics, and had so determined him into a theological 
career. He had published a volume or two of parochial ser- 
mons. A few short poems of his had also appeared in the British 
Magazine under the signature of •* Delta," which were reprinted 
in the "Lyra Apostolica." They were unlike any other relig- 
ious poetry which was then extant. It was hard to say why 
they were so fascinating. They had none of the musical grace 
of the " Christian Year." They were not harmonious ; the meter 
halted, the rhymes were irregular, yet there was something in 
them which seized the attention, and would not let it g- 


Keble's verses flowed in soft cadence over the mind, delightful, 
as sweet sounds are delightful, but are forgotten as the vibrations 
die away. Newman's had pierced into the heart and mind, and 
there remained. The literary critics of the day were puzzled. 
They saw that he was not an ordinary man ; what sort of an 
extraordinary man he was they could not tell. "The eye of 
Melpomene had been cast upon him," said the omniscient (I 
think) Athenaeum ;* " but the glance was not fixed or steady." 
The eye of Melpomene had extremely little to do in the matter. 
Here were thoughts like no other man's thoughts, and emotions 
like no other man's emotions. Here was a man who really 
believed his creed, and let it follow him into all his observations 
upon outward things. He had been traveling in Greece; he 
had carried with him his recollections of Thucydides, and, while 
his companions were sketching olive gardens and old castles 
and picturesque harbors at Corfu, Newman was recalling the 
scenes which those harbors had witnessed thousands of years 
ago in the civil wars which the Greek historian has made immor- 
tal. There was nothing in this that was unusual. Any one with 
a well-stored memory is affected by historical scenery. But 
Newman was oppressed with the sense that the men who had 
fallen in that desperate strife were still alive, as much as he and 
his friends were alive. 

Their spirits live in awful singleness, 

he says, 

Each in its self-formed sphere of light or gloom. 

We should all, perhaps, have acknowledged this in words. It is 
happy for us that we do not all realize what the words mean. 
The minds of most of us would break down under the strain. 

Othe'r conventional beliefs, too, were quickened into startling 
realities. We had been hearing much in those days about the 

* Perhaps it was not the Athenseum. I quote from memory. I remember the 
passage from the amusement which it gave me ; but it was between forty and fifty 
years ago, and I have never seen it since. 

John henry newman 77 

benevolence of the Supreme Being, and our corresponding obli- 
gation to charity and philanthropy. If the received creed was 
true, benevolence was by no means the only characteristic of 
that Being. What God loved we might love; but there were 
things which God did not love; accordingly we found Newman 
saying to us — 

Christian, would*st thou learn to love ? 

First learn thee how to hate. 
* * * * 

Hatred of sin and zeal and fear 

Lead up the Holy Hill ; 
Track them, till charity appear 

A self-denial still. 

It was not austerity that made him speak so. No one was more 
essentially tender-hearted ; but he took the usually accepted 
Christian account of man and his destiny to be literally true, and 
the terrible character of it weighed upon him. 

Sunt lacrym^e rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt. 

He could be gentle enough in other moods. " Lead, kindly 
Light," is the most popular hymn in the language. All of us. 
Catholic, Protestant, or such as can see their way to no positive 
creed at all, can here meet on common ground and join in a 
common prayer. Familiar as the lines are they may here be 
written down once more : 

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom 

Lead Thou me on. 
The night is dark, and I am far from home, 

Lead Thou me on. 
Keep Thou my feet ; I do not ask to see 
Far distant scenes— one step enough for me. 

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou 

Should *st lead me on. 
I loved to choose and see my path ; but now 

Lead Thou me on. , 

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, 
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years. 


So longr Thy power has blest us, sure it will 

Still lead us on, . - 

0*er moor and fen, o*er crag and torrent, till 

•The night is gone. 
And with the mom those angel faces smile 
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. 

It has been said that men of letters are either much less or 
much grater than their writings. Cleverness and the skillful 
use of other people's thoughts produce works which take us in 
till we see the authors, and then we are disenchanted. A man 
of genius, on the other hand, is a spring in which there is always 
more behind than flows from it. The painting or the poem is 
but a part of him inadequately realized, and his nature expresses 
itself, with equal or fuller completeness, in his life, his conver- 
sation, and personal presence. This was eminently true of New- 
man. Greatly as his poetry had struck me, he was himself all 
that the poetry was, and something far beyond. I had then 
never seen so impressive a person. I met him now and then in 
private; I attended his church and heard him preach Sunday 
after Sunday ; he is supposed to have been insidious, to have 
led his disciples on to conclusions to which he designed to bring 
them, while his purpose was carefully veiled. He was, on the 
contrary, the most transparent of men. He told us what he 
believed to be true. He did not know where it would carry him. 
No one who has ever risen to any great height in this world 
refuses to move till he knows where he is going. He is impelled 
in each step which he takes by a force within himself. He sat- 
isfies himself only that the step is a right one, and he leaves the 
rest to Providence. Newman's mind was world-wide. He was 
interested in ever3rthing which was going on in science, in poli- 
tics, in literature. Nothing was too large for him, nothing too 
trivial, if it threw light upon the central question, what man 
really was, and what was his destiny. He was careless about 
his personal prospects. He had no ambition to make a career, 
or to rise to rank and power. Still less had pleasure any seduc- 
tions for him. His natural temperament was bright and light; 


his senses, even the commonest, were exceptionally delicate. I 
was told that, though he rarely drank wine, he was trusted to 
choose the vintages for the college cellar. He could admire 
enthusiastically any greatness of action and character, however 
remote the sphere of it from his own. Gurwood's " Dispatches 
of the Duke of Wellington" cime out just then.' Newman had 
been reading the book, and a friend asked him what he thought 
of it. *• Think ?" he said, ** it makes one burn to have been a 
soldier." But his own subject was the absorbing interest with 
him. Where Christianity is a real belief, where there are dis- 
tinct convictions that a man's own self and the millions of 
human beings who are playing on the earth's surface are the 
objects of a supernatural disjDensation, and are on the road to 
heaven or hell, the most powerful mind may well be startled at 
the aspect of things. If Christianity was true, since Christianity 
was true (for Newman at no time doubted the reality of the 
revelation), then modem England, modern Europe, with its 
march of intellect and its useful knowledge and its material prog- 
ress, was advancing with a light heart into ominous conditions. 
Keble had looked into no lines of thought but his own. New- 
man had read omnivorously; he had studied modern thought 
and modern life in all its forms, and with all its many-colored 
passions. ^He knew, of course, that many men of learning and 
ability believed that Christianity was not a revelation at all, but 
had been thrown out, like other creeds, in the growth of the 
human mind. He knew that doubts of this kind were the inevi- 
table results of free discussion and free toleration of differences 
of opinion; and he was too candid to attribute such doubts, as 
others did, to wickedness of heart. He could not, being what 
he was, acquiesce in the established religion as he would acqui- 
esce in the law of the land, because it was there, and because the 
country had accepted it, and because good general reasons could 
be given for assuming it to be right. The soundest arguments, 
even the arguments of Bishop Butler himself, went ho further 
than to establish a probability. But religion with Newman wa? 


a personal thing between himself and his Maker, and it was not 
possible to feel love and devotion to a Being whose existence 
was merely probable ; as Carlyle, says of himself when in a simi- 
lar condition, a religion which was not a certainty was a mock- 
ery and a horror ; and, unshaken and unshakable as his own con- 
victions were, Newman evidently was early at a loss for the intel- 
lectual grounds on which the claims of Christianity to abstract 
belief could be based. The Protestant was satisfied with the 
Bible, the original text of which, and perhaps the English trans- 
lation, he regarded as inspired. But the inspiration itself was 
an assumption, and had to be proved ; and Newman, though he 
believed the inspiration, seems to have recognized earlier than 
most of his contemporaries that the Bible was not a single book, 
but a national literature, produced at intervals, during many 
hundred years, and under endless varieties of circumstances. 
Protestant and Catholic alike appealed to it; and they could 
not both be right. Yet if the differences between them were 
essential, there must be some authority capable of deciding 
between them. The Anglican church had a special theology of its 
own, professing to be based on the Bible. Yet to suppose that 
each individual left to himself would gather out of the Bible, if 
able and conscientious, exactly these opinions, and no others, 
was absurd and contrary to experience. There were the creeds ; 
but on what authority did the creeds rest ? On the "four coun- 
cils ? or on other councils, and if other, on which ? Was it on 
the Church, and if so, on what church ? The Church of the 
Fathers? or the Church still present and alive and speaking? 
If for living men, among whom new questions were perpetually 
rising, a Clnirch which was also Jiving could not be dispensed 
with ; then what was that Church, and to what conclusions would 
such an admission lead us? 

With us undergraduates, Newman, of course, did not enter on 
such important questions, although they were in the air, and we 
talked about them among ourselves. He. when we met him, 
spoke to us about subjects of the day, of literature, of public per- 


sons, and incidents, of everything which was generally interest- 
ing. He seemed always to be better informed on common topics 
of conversation than any one else who was present. He was 
never condescending with us, never didactic or authoritative ; but 
what he said carried conviction along with it. When we were 
wrong he knew why we were wrong, and excused our mistakes 
to ourselves while he set us right. Perhaps his supreme merit 
as a talker was that he never tried to be witty or to say striking 
things. Ironical he could b^, but not ill-natured. Not a mali- 
cious anecdote was ever heard from him. Prosy he could not 
be. He was lightness itself — the lightness of elastic strength — 
and he was interesting because he never talked for talking s sake, 
but because he had something real to say. 

Thus it was that we, who had never seen such another man, 
and-to whom he appeared, perhaps, at special advantage in con- 
trast with the normal college don, came to regard Newman with 
the affection of pupils (though pupils, strictly speaking, he had 
none) for an idolized master. The simplest word which dropped 
from him was treasured as if it had been an intellectual diamond. 
For hundreds of young men Credo in Newmannum was the genu- 
ine symbol of faith. 

Personal admiration, of course, inclined us to look to him as 
a guide in matters of religion. No one who heard his sermons 
in those days can ever forget them. They were seldom directly 
theological. We had theology enough and to spare from the 
select preachers before the university. Newman, taking some 
Scripture character for a text, spoke to us about ourselves, our 
temptations, our experiences. His illustrations were inexhausti- 
ble. He seemed to be addressing the most secret consciousness 
of each of us — as the eyes of a portrait appear to look at every 
person in a room. He never exaggerated ; he was never unreal. 
A sermon from him was a poem, formed on a distinct idea, fas- 
cinating by its subtlety, welcome — how welcome! — from its sin- 
cerity, interesting from its originality, even to those who were 
careless of religion ; and to others who wished to be religious 


but had found religion dry and wearisome, it was like the spring- 
ing of a fountain out of the rock. 

The hearts of men vibrate in answer to one another like the 
strings of musical instruments. These sermons were, I suppose, 
the records of Newman's own mental experience. They appear 
to me to be the outcome of continued meditation upon his fel- 
low-creature^ and their position in this world ; their awful re- 
sponsibilities ; the mystefy of their nature, strangely mixed of 
good and evil, of strength and weakness. A tone, not of fear, 
but of infinite pity, runs through them all, and along with it a 
resolution to look facts in the face; not to fly to evasive generali- 
ties about infinice mercy and benevolence, but to examine what 
revelation really has added to our knowledge, either of what we 
are or of what lies before us. We were met on all sides with dif- 
ficulties; for experience did not confirm, it rather contradicted, 
what revelation appeared distinctly to assert. I recollect a ser- 
mon from him — I think in the year 1839; I have never read 
it since ; I may not now remember the exact words, but the 
impression left is ineffaceable. It was on the trials of faith, of 
which he gave different illustrations. He supposed, first, two 
children to be educated together, of similar temperament and 
under similar conditions, one of whom was baptized and the 
other unbaptized. He represented them as growing up equally 
amiable, equally upright, equally reverent and God-fearing, with 
no outward evidence that one was in a different spiritual con dir 
tion from the other; yet we were required to believe riot only 
that their condition was totally different, but that one was a 
child of God, and his companion was not. 

Again, he drew a sketch of the average men and women who 
made up society, whom we ourselves encountered in daily life, 
or were connected with, or read about in newspapers. They 
were neither special saints nor special sinners. Religious men 
had faults, and often serious ones. Men careless of religion 
were often amiable in private life, good husbands, good fathers, 
ady friends ; in public honorable, brave, and patriotic. Even 


in the worst and wickedest, in a witch of Endor, there was a 
human heart and human tenderness. None seemed good enough 
for heaven, none so bad as to deserve to be consigned to the 
company of evil spirits, and to remain in pain and misery for- 
ever. Yet all these people were, in fact, divided one from the 
other by an invisible line of separation. If they were to die on 
the spot as they- actually were, some would be saved, the rest 
would be lost — the saved to have eternity of happiness, the lost 
to be with the devils in hell. 

Again, I am not sure whether it was on the same occasion, 
but it was in following the same line of thought, Newman de- 
scribed closely some of the incidents of our Lord's passion ; he 
then paused. For a few moments there was a breathless silence. 
Then, in a low. clear voice, of which the faintest vibration was 
audible in the farthest corner of St. Mary's, he said, '* Now, I bid 
you recollect that He to whom these things were done was 
Almighty God." It was as if an electric stroke had gone through 
the church, as if every person present understood for the first 
time the meaning of what he had. all his life been saying. I sup- 
pose it was an epoch in the mental history of more than one of 
my Oxford contemporaries. 

Another sermon left its mark upon me. It was upon evi- 
dence. I had supposed up to that time that the chief events 
related in the Gospels were as well authenticated as any other 
facts of history. I had read Paley and Grotius at school, and 
their arguments had been completely satisfactory to me. The 
Gospels had been written by apostles or companions of apostles. 
There was sufficient evidence, in Paley 's words, "that many pro- 
fessing to be original witnesses of the Christian miracles had 
passed their lives in labors, dangers, and sufferings in attesta- 
tion of the accounts which they delivered." St. Paul was a 
further and independent authority. It was not conceivable that 
such men as St. Paul and the other apostles evidently were 
should have conspired to impose a falsehood upon the world, 
and should have succeeded in doing it undetected in an age 


exceptionally cultivated and skeptical. Gibbon I had studied 
also, and had thought about the five causes by which he ex- 
plained how Christianity came to be believed; but they had 
seemed to me totally inadequate. I was somethfng more 
than surprised, therefore, when I heard Newman say that 
Hume's argument against the credibility of miracles was logi- 
cally sound. The laws of- nature, so i^t as could be observed, 
were uniform ; and in any given instance it was more likely as a 
mere matter of evidence that men should tieceive or be deceived, 
than that those laws should have been deviated trom. Of course 
he did not leave the matter in this position. Hume goes on to 
say that he is speaking of evidence as addressed to the reason ; 
the Christian religion addresses itself to faith, and the credibil- 
ity of it is therefore unaffected by his objection. What Hume 
said in irony. Newman accepted in earnest. Historically the 
proofs were insufficient, or sufficient only to create a sense of 
probability. Christianity was apprehended by a faculty essen- 
tially different. It was called faith. But what was faith, and 
on what did it rest? Was it as if mankind had been born with 
but four senses, by which to form their notions of things exter- 
nal to them, and that a fifth sense of sight was suddenly con- 
ferred on favored individuals, Which converted conjecture into 
certainty ? I could not tell. For myself this way of putting 
the matter gave me ho new sense at all, and only taught me to 
distrust my old ones. 

I say at once that I think it was injudicious of Newman to 
throw out before us thus abruptly an opinion so extremely agi- 
tating. I explain it by supposing that here, as elsewhere, his 
sermons contained simply the workings of his own mind, and 
were a sort of public confession which he made as he went along. 
I suppose that something of this kind had been passing through 
him. He was in advance of his time. He had studied the early 
fathers ; he had studied Church history, and the lives of the 
saints and martyrs. He knew that the hard and fast line which 
Protestants had drawn at which miracles had ceased was one 


whigh no historical canon could reasonably defend. Stories of 
the exercise of supernatural power ran steadily from the begin- 
ning to the latest period of the Church's existence : many of 
them were as well'supported by evidence as the miracles of the 
New Testament ; and if reason was to be the judge, no arbitrary 
separation of the age of the apostles 'from the age of their suc- 
cessors was possible. Some of these stories might be inven- 
tions, or had no adequate authority for them ; but for others 
there was authority of eye-witnesses ; and if these were to be set 
aside by a peremptory act of will as unworthy of credit, the Gos- 
pel miracles themselves might fall before the same methods. 
The argument of Hume was already silently applied to the entire 
post-apostolic period. It had been checked by the traditionary 
reverence for the Bible. But this was not reason ; it was faith. 
Perhaps, tok), he saw that the alternative did not lie as sharply 
as Paley supposed, between authentic fact and deliberate fraud. 
Legends might grow; they grew every day, about common 
things and persons, without intention to deceive. Imagination, 
emotion, affection, or, on the other side, fear and animosity, are 
busy with the histories of men who have played a remarkable 
part in the world. Great historic figures — a William Tell, for 
instance — have probably had no historical existence at all. and 
yet are fastened indelibly into national traditions. Such reflec- 
tions as these would make it evident that if the Christian mira- 
cles were to be believed, not as possibly or probably true, but as 
indisputably true— true in such a sense that a man's life on earth, 
and his hope for the future, could be securely based upon them 
—the history must be guaranteed by authority different in kind 
from the mere testimony to be gathered out of books. I sup- 
pose every thinking person would now acknowledge this to be 
true. And we see, in fact, that Christians of various persuasions 
supplement the evidence in several ways. . Some assume the 
verbal inspiration of the Bible ; others are conscious of personal 
experiences which make doubt impossible. Others, again, appeal 
justly to the existence of Christianity as a fact, and to the power 


which it has exerted in elevating and humanizing mankfnd. 
Newman found what he wanted in the living authority of the 
Church, in the existence of an organized body which had been 
instituted by our Lord himself, and was still actively present 
amon;^ us as a living witness of the truth. Thus the. imperfec- 
tion of the outward evidence was itself an argument for the 
CatboHc iheory. All religious people were agneed that the facts j 
of the Gospel narrative really happened as they were said to' 
hav« happened. Proof there must be somewhere to justify the 
conviction ; and proof could only be found in the admission that 
the Church, the organized Church with its bishops and priests, 
was not a human institution, but was the living body through 
which the Founder of Christianity himsflf was speaking to us. 
" Such, evidently, was one use to which Hume's objection could 
be applied ; and to those who, like Newman, were provided with 
the antidote, there was no danger in admitting the force of it. 
Nor wouifl the risk have been great with his hearers if they had 
been playing with the question as a dialectical exercise. But he 
had made them feel and think seriously about it by his own 
intense earnestness ; and, brought up as most of them had been 
to believe that Christianity had sufficient historical evidence for 
it, to be suddenly told that the famous argument against mira- 
cles was logically valid after all, was at least startling. The 
Church theory, as making good a testimony otherwise defective, 
was new to most of us, and not very readily taken in. To re- 
move the foundation of a belief, and to substitute another, is 
like putting new foundations to a house. The house itself may 
easily be overthrown in the process. I have said before that in 
a healthy state of things religion is considered too sacred to be 
argued about. It is believed as a matter of duty, and the why 
or the wherefore are not so much as thought about. Revolu- 
tions are not far off when men begin to ask whence the sovereign 
derives his authority. Skepticism is not far off when they ask 
why ihey believe their creed. We had all been satisfied about 
Se Gospel history; not a shadow of doubt had crossed the 


minds of one of us ; and, though we might not have been able 
to give a logical reason for our certitude, the certitude was in 
us, and might well have been let alone. I for one began to read 
Hume attentively, and though old associations prevented me 
from recognizing the full force of what he had to say, no doubt 
I was unconsciously affected by him. It must have been so, 
lor I remember soon after insisting to a friend that the essential 
part of religion was morality. My friend replied that morality 
was only possible to persons who received power through faith 
to keep the commandments. But this did not satisfy me, for 
it seemed contrary to fact. There were persons of great excel- 
lence whose spiritual beliefs were utterly different. I could not 
bring myself to admit that the goodness, for instance, of a Uni- 
tarian was only apparent. After all is said, the visible conduct of 
men is the best test that we can have of their inward condition. 
If not the best, where are we to find a better ? 

JAMES Anthony Froude, in Good Words. 


It was matter of no small marvel to the world when it became 
known that Jack Harris and Theocritus Marlowe were elected 
to Parliament. The many people to whom the names of the 
two distinguished poets were familiar asked themselves what 
special knowledge of politics they had ever evidenced, that they 
should be sent to represent any constituency at St. Stephen's. 
Indeed, in the circles of higher culture, and in society generally, 
the speculation was great as to the meaning of the mystery, the 
real reason of which was known only to a very few. 

The Duke of Magdiel had taken a fancy to the two poets. He 
was always in want of new ideas to amuse himself with, and the 
thoughts and theories of Jack and Theocritus opened up to him 
a new world of which he had not dreamed before, and which 


promised to offer him, if not endless amusement — he had out- 
grown even wishing for that — at least entertainment for a con- 
siderable period. So he asked them down to Magdiel Towers, 
and listened with good-humored cynicism to their views of life 
and their rhapsodies on the Beautiful, and paid a kindly atten- 
tion while they read him their poems and other people's poems, • 
and felt feebly thrilled at passages which recalled to him the"" 
wildness of his long-perished youth. One evening, in the smok- 
ing-room, the talk fell upon politics, for a foreign ambassador, 
an ex-colonial governor, and a bishop were among the newest 
visitors to Magdiel Towers, and the duke, who had begun to be 
a little weary of the arts as expounded by his two poets, had 
turned the talk upon the policy of the Government. Jack Har- 
ris had often expressed of late a lofty scorn of politics and its 
professors. He had been heard to aver contemptuously that he 
would not care if England were joined to America to-morrow, 
so long as he were allowed to write his sonnets and read his 
Baudelaire. But he did not remember this as he listened with 
reverent attention to the duke's utterances on foreign affairs ; 
and as he never allowed himself to be long silent upon any sub- 
ject, he soon flung himself boldly into the conversation and 
startled some of his hearers by a novel theory of politics. " The 
politics of the day are all wrong," Jack declared. " They are 
petty in their aims and ignoble in their purposes. What we 
want are higher aims and loftier ideals. The questions on which 
the chosen of the nation waste their strength — what are they ? 
Pitiful matters of political economy and domestic detail. Peo- 
ple rouse themselves to tears over a Turnpike Bill, and allow 
the moments of precious life to perish in miserable speculations 
of Land Reform. We should have something goodlier than all 
this; something that answers more truly to the nobility within 
us, that would feed more fully the hunger of the nation." He 
paused for a moment. The duke's thin lips smiled satyr-like; 
the ex-colonial governor stared ; the bishop looked bewildered ; 
while the foreign ambassador seemed to be reflecting sadly to 



himself that, after all, his command of the English language 
was not so extensive as he had fondly believed it to be. Theoc- 
ritus broke the brief silence. "You are right/' he said; "very 
right. These are miserable motives for politicians to squander 
their strength upon. The true life of a nation lies in the ideal 
to which it i>ays honor, not in the legislation it effects. What 
is the value of a County Franchise compared with a refined 
sense of the Beautiful ? Whether Hodge has a vote or not is 
of the supremest indifference so long as we have among us men 
who can do honor to those things of loveliness the world has 
still to show. Every moment that passes may offer us some 
new delight; there need not be an instant of our waking or 
sleeping day without its gracious accompaniment of beauty. 
He who wakes with the music of the brown bird in his ears, 
and who wanders forth on the fair lawns in ecstasy of delight at 
its strophes and anti-strophes of eternal passion and eternal 
pain — what is it to him whether he happens to be a compound 
householder or no? He has the wings of the morning, 4nd he 
is indifferent to the ten-pound franchise. These are questions 
for peddlers, not for statesmen." 

Jack took up the theme. " Happier the man who sits staring 
long hours into the love-worn eyes of our Lady Lisa, or goes 
a-wandering in the wan flower-stained gardens of Sandro Botti- 
ceUiv where the nymphs are whose limbs are lissom with love, 
than the poor wretch who passes a degraded life in poring over 
Blue Books, and whose only thoughts of woman are whether 
she shall not have the ballot. What woman wants is worship 
of her sovereign and supreme beauty, and not the miserable 
privilege of thrusting a dirty piece of paper into a wooden 

V But all women are not beautiful," the duke dryly interposed. 
• " •* All true women are," Theocritus interposed. " All real 
women must, by very reason of their being, be beautiful. I 
never admit that the others exist. Ugly women are but phan- 
tasms. I shut my eyes and I see them no more." 


The bishop had pretty daughters; the colonial governor had 
a pretty^vife; so they both smiled good-humoredly. As for the 
ambassador, he had given up all attempt at following the con- 
versation, and was framing the basis of a new treaty between 
the smoke-circles of his cigar. 

" We want a new departure in politics," said Jack. " The 
loveliness after which we dream should be m^de the possession 
of the world. We should not waste our time in commercial 
considerations — how true that remark of the Master about our 
indifference as to whether all the Titians in Europe were fash- 
ioned into sand-bags ! — we should rather teach those beneath 
us the. immeasurable meaning of beauty. We would not give 
the people freedom, for freedom is only a phflfee, and I do not 
love, phrases; but m'c would give them beautiful songs, and 
splendid pictures, and the praises of fair women, and set their 
lives to very music." Jack paused for breath, and Theocritus 
took up the strain after the fashion of the shepherds of his Sicil- 
ian namesake. 

'* We want this new creed," he said ; *' the old faiths are dead 
and buried, and the world is weary of their unlaid ghosts. We 
have outlived the religious symbols of our fathers, and can only 
look with pain on pitiful squabbles about the establishment or 
disestablishment of a State church. You might as well ask me 
to take concern in the establishment or disestablishment of 
Mumbo Jumbo, or to proclaim myself the apostle of any other 
mid- African fetichry, as waste one thought on so poor a matter. 
Had we, as of old, a grander faith, such as built abbeys, and 
painted great pictures, in which men limned the women they 
loved, to be adored by ignorant crowds as saints — a faith that 
was tilled with music as with wine — the thing would be at least 
worth keeping for the artistic value it had. But alL else is 
absurd. We are the priests of a new faith, and we will preaclv 
it even to martyrdom." He concluded as he lit another of the 
duke's magnificent cigars, "If ever L go into the House of 
Commons, when I have nothing better to do, I shall expound \ 


my meaning to the world, and show that the true principles of 
the world lie in the combination of liberty and civilization." 

The bishop, who had shown various signs of indignation dur- 
ing the speech of Theocritus, and was about to interrupt him at 
one time when he felt the restraining hand of the duke upon 
his arm. here rose and said he would go to bed; which he did, 
with the conviction in his mind that his grace was going too far 
in bringing such extraordinary people to Magdiel Towers. 

" Yes." said Jack, when the bishop had departed, "liberty and 
civilization — these shall be my political watchwords. The two 
now exist apart. It shall be ofirs to solder close these im()ossi- 
bilities and make them kiss. The Liberal party represents lib- 
erty, indeed, in its crude rough way, but it is a wholly uncivil- 
ized liberty, a naked, shameless savage, as it were. The Tory 
party, on the other hand, have civilization, but they lack the true 
liberty without which even civilisation loses half its value. When 
I enter political life it will be to combine these two great prin- 

The duke had been listening to the last part of the young 
men's speeches with the closest attention and a curious smile 
upon his wrinkled face. " So you shall," he said. *• Much that 
you have said has impressed me, and it will not be my fault if 
you have not the opportunity of fulfilling your mission. If I do 
not mistake the signs of the times, there is a general election 
close at hand. Be ready when I call upon you to represent 
your noble ideas in the senate of your country." 

The general election came sooner than was expected; within 
a very few days of this conversation, while Jack and Theocritus 
were still guests at the Towers, and before the duke had time 
either to forget or repent of his resolution. The boroughs of 
Magdiel and Iram were entirely in the duke's control, for they 
both belonged to him, and he could have returned a gorilla for 
cither of them if he had chosen. Jack and Theocritus were pro- 
posed as candidates by the duke's agent, and as of course no one 
dreamed of contesting, they were returned without opposition, 


and found themselves members of the great" new Parliament 
before they had time to master thie first principles of the law of 
elections as set forth in the shilling handbook whicl^ Theocritus 
had purchased at the Magdiel railway station. 

What was the reason the duke had in returning the two poets? 
He had a grudge against the preceding Government, which was 
likely to come in again, because it had not taken sufficient notice 
of his young son. Lord Lotan. Lord Lotan had not been offered 
a place in the Ministry that went out three years before, although 
the Magdiels had been consistent supporters of the party from 
the days of the Long Parliam^t, and his name had not been 
talked of for the new Cabinet which had been so often discussed 
and formed in fancy long before the threatened appeal to the 
country became an actual fact. So the duke had conceived that 
it would be exceedingly amusing to harass the government by 
sending them two such strange supporters as Jack Harris and 
Theocritus Marlowe. The idea had occurred to him that night 
in the smoking-room, and he saw the opportunity of a new 
amusement in the idea of listening from the peers' gallery to 
such speeches as these in the chamber of St. Stephen's. The 
duke had never denied himself any amusement in his life, and 
he did not intend to on this occasion. He pictured to himself 
the puzzle that the aesthetic ideas of his prot6g6s would be to the 
Ministry, and he sent Jack and Thgbcritus into Parliament. 

There was considerable flutter among the aesthetics when the 
news of the return of two of their leaders to Parliament became 
known, and many were the efforts which their friends made to 
see the pair and learn the solution of the problem. But Jack 
and Theocritus had assumed the airs of reserve and wisdom 
which were becoming to statesmen, and the period that inter- 
vened between the election and the meeting of Parliament was 
passed by them in mysterious seclusion. Those of their allies 
who happened to see them or hear from them were assured that 
they were preparing themselves to fight for their cause. Jack 
had bought a copy of Sir Erskine May's * Parliamentary Prac- 



tice," and he and Theocritus passed long hours in attentive study 
of its pages. 

When the House met. Jack and Theocritus were among the 
very first to be present. Their long hair floated upon their 
shoulders in picturesque abandonment. Jack wore a wide felt 
hat that framed his head as in a dusky aureole, and his form 
was swathed in the drooping folds of a Spanish cloak ; his left 
hand held a bunch of lilies. Theocritus, who aflfected the eigh- 
teenth century, wore a long frock coat with big buttons, that 
came nearly to his heels, and a high hat of the sloping type dear 
to the Directory. He carried a heavy gold-headed cane, and in 
his button-hole a single red tulip "burned like love's very fkme," 
to use his own expression. The policemen were at first inclined 
to bar them from passing, but when Jack frowned upon them, 
and Theocritus exclaimed, " We are members of this House, we 
are the elect Of Magdiel and the chosen of Iram," the guar- 
dians let them go by without further protest. Their appearance 
in the inner lobby created no small sensation even in that crowd 
of newly elected members busy with the strange business of a 
new Parliament. Members of the new Government paused in 
their excited hurryings hither and thither to gaze with wonder 
upon the artistic forms who stood in the center of the lobby 
discussing together their plans of action. Ex-ministers for a 
moment forgot their woes in their wonder at the mystic flower- 
bearers who conversed together, affecting a serene unconscious- 
ness of the attention that was filling their souls with keen delight. 
" Who are they ?" every one asked of every one else ; and when 
young Lord Lydgate, who represented one of his father's pocket 
boroughs, was seen to rush up to them as soon as he saw them 
in the lobby, and remain in deepest consultation with the twain, 
the excitement knew no bounds, and men forgot their immedi- 
ate affairs in order to wait till Lord Lydgate was free to ask him 
who his wonderful friends were. But they waited in vain. 
Lord Lydgate was quite delighted to find his poetic friends were 
ipembers of a House whose membership he valued very litt^ 


himselK and which he only endured to please his father, and he 
was rejoiced at the opportunity of taking Jack and Theocritus 
all over the place and showing and explaining everything to 
them. He finally conducted them to the smoking room, and 
over dainty cigarettes they discussed the future, and Lord Lyd- 
gate learned from the lips of his friends the formation of the 
new party of liberty and civilization. He was charmed by the 
propositions of the poets, wondered he had never thought of- 
them before in connection with a parliamentary career, and 
before'the talk was ended he was a complete adherent of their 
views and a sworn follower of the new party. 

When Jack 'and Theocritus had taken the oaths — after duly 
deciding that tftey could quite reconcile it with their pagan prin- 
ciple to do so — they took their seats at once on the front bench 
below the gangway on the ministerial side of the House, one on 
each side of Lord Lydgate. Though for the first few days, on 
the advice of Lord Lydgate, they kept a discreet silence, and 
occupied themselves in getting the way of the place, it soon 
became known about the House that a new party was going 
through the process of formation, and that it was to be spoken 
of as the Fifth party. The noble lord who headed the Fourth 
party eyed the new-comers with a curious interest, as if he 
reserved to himself the right of absorbing them into the com- 
pany of the gentlemen who acted with him if they proved worthy 
of the honor; while the Third party through its whips made 
some earnest but futile efforts to elicit the opinion of the stran- 
gers on the questions of Griffith's valuation and Home Rule^ As 
the House began to fill. Jack and Theocritus found many friends 
among some of the youthful Liberals and Tories whose business 
in life is the putting on of gorgeous apparel. These they had 
come across occasionally at afternoon teas and garden parties 
in the days before the visit to Magdiel Towers, and these were 
very ready to welcome the poets to the House, though they 
could not, for the life of them, imagine how the deuce they got 
or what the deuce they wanted there. 


A change began to come oyer the House in consequence of 
the presence of the aesthetics. The lobbies were besieged now 
by picturesque long-haired youths of strange attire, who were 
always sending in their names for Mr. Harris or Mr. Marlowe, 
and who had generally some brilliant ideas to propose as to the 
means by which the new principles of liberty and civilization — 
** Lasenby Liberty and civiliiation," a scoffing critic styled it — 
were best to be carried out. Deputations from the Kyrle Soci- 
ety and other bodies of kindred purposes waited upon the mem- 
bers for Magdiel and Iram in the conference-room and broached 
plans for Government subsidization and patronage. Youthful 
painters came down to the House, with huge canvases which 
had been rejected by miserable hanging committees, in order 
that the attention of the Government might be called to their 
case ; and youthful poets, with huge rolls of rejected manu- 
scripts '*n their hands, demanded sternly that hostile publishers 
should be brought to the bar of the House. The ladies' gallery 
too began to change its character not a little ; for it was now 
always besieged by strangely clad damsels sad-eyed and disor- 
dered of hair, who peered through the grating eagerly on the 
bench where Jack and Theocritus sat, and murmured softly the 
while some lines of the two masters' latest lyrics. In the gallery 
under the clock the chosen friends of Jack and Theocritus would 
sit in languid attitudes, with bunches of flowers in their hands, 
looking with dreamy disdain upon all save the three who cham- 
pioned art in Parliament. Sometimes these youths brought 
books with them — volumes of songs inspired by a sad sensuality, 
with which they sought to refresh themselves when the debate 
turned upon some tedious topic connected with the welfare of 
the mass of the people ; but these studies were always harshly 
interrupted by the watchful attendants, to the great disgust of the 
young men, who declared that the tyranny of the time was really 
too oppressive, and made them long for the myrtle-clad swords 
of the Grecian comrades whose characters were at least in 
some respects very dear to them. One fiery soul — it was Heli- 


ogabalus Murdle — declared one day in a. loud tone in the lob- 
by, to an admiring group, that the Speaker ought to be sent 
to prison, and he was about to add that when he got to Par- 
liament he would see it done, when he was promptly removed 
into the outer air by Inspector Denning; and it was with 
very great difficulty, and only after the personal interference 
of Lord Lydgate, whose family commanded several votes in 
another place, that the expelled bard was allowed to enter the 
sacred precincts again. He had, however, the consolation of 
figuring as a martyr in his circle, especially by its women, by 
whom he was regarded as a sort of improved copyof Coriolanus, 
Dante, and Alcibiades combined. Jack and Theocritus peopled 
the smoking-room with their friends, who smoked innumerable 
cigarettes and talked in loud tones of the various women they 
honored with their poetic adoration, and murmured to each 
other fragments of erotic song, which had the effect of greatly 
horrifying some elderly members who did not understand the 
beauty of higher culture. Lord Lydgate liked the whole thing 
immensely. Up to this time he had had nothing to do in the 
House except to dress himself very carefully and wander about 
the lobbies with a simper on his face and a scented handkerchief 
held to his nose. Now he found his time fully occupied, and he 
felt that he was a person of importance. The two members 
were certainly the lions of the hour, and Lord Lydgate, who in 
his vacuous way wanted to be thought clever, fancied that he 
was the only person who truly appreciated the great principles 
of liberty combined with civilization. Jack and Theocritus 
assured him that he was made for high destinies, and alluded 
vaguely to the necessity that would be his, when Prime Minis- 
ter, of being a master of all the principles of artistic truth. 

The new party were quiet for some little time, while the House 
was struggling through some business; but they felt that it 
would not do to allow too much time to pass before they began 
the great campaign. One fateful day, therefore, at motion time. 
Jack Harris rose from his place below the gangway, and gave 


notice that he would on the following day ask the Honorable Gen- 
tleman the Prime Minister if he was aware that the identity 
of the Laura of Petrarcha was still an unsettled question ; and if, 
in view of the great importance of the question, and the necessity 
for England to show herself eminent in striving for its solution, 
he would appoint a select committee of the House to investigate 
the matter. Silence held the astonished Commons for some 
seconds after Jack had given his notice, and then came such a 
shriek of laughter as has seldom disturbed the peace of the Gothic 
chamber, while Jack pulled his swart sombrero over his eyes, 
and devoted himself to the study of a mass of documents in 
relation to the great question he had just propounded to the 
House. Members who did not know who Jack was, asked each 
other if the member for Magdiel was mad, or if a silly practical 
joke was intended ; while those senators who had been favored 
through Lord Lydgate— who had constituted himself the whip 
of the Fifth party — with the views of Jack and Theocritus on 
the union of liberty and civilization, explained that Mr. Harris 
was a great poet, and that he was quite in earnest about 
Petrarch's Laura. One of the Government whips waited on 
Jack, whom he found in deep consultation with Theocritus and 
Lord Lydgate in the quietest corner of the smoking-room, to 
inquire if he really intended asking the question of which he had 
given notice. With all the gravity of offended statesmanship. 
Jack assured his interrogator that he certainly did, and that he 
considered the backwardness of England in these matters of 
research, and her indifference to that love for poetry and poets 
which is the crown of a great country, as the most fatal signs of 
England's degradation. The puzzled whip retired to inform his 
chiefs of Jack's determination, and the three friends were left to 
finish in peace a. scheme they were drawing up for awarding a 
Government prize of a golden apple to the most beautiful 
woman every year. 

Next day the House was unusually crowded at question time, 
and much anxiety was felt for the time when Jack's question. 
L. M. 8.-4 


which stood pretty early on the paper, should-~be reached. At 
last the moment came : the Speaker called Mr. Harris, and Jack 
rose. In a calm tone he read his question and sat down. , Amid 
shouts of laughter the Prime Minister immediately rose and 
advanced to the table with a countenance which his efforts 
wholly failed to render grave. He fancied, he said, that the 
House would hardly require him to reply at any great length to 
the extraordinary question that had just been addressed to him 
(cheers from the House, and counter-cheers from the Fifth 
party) ; he would not like to attribute anything like levity to 
any member of that House (*• Hear, hear," from Lord Lydgate), 
but he really must warn his young friend that he was trifling 
with the temper of that House (great cheering, and " No, no," 
from Lord Lydgate). He had no doubt that the House would 
see in the youth of the member the fittest excuse for his conduct 
(cries of " Order, order," and " Shame " from Lord Lydgate and 
Mr. Theocritus Marlowe). With regard to the question itself, 
he had indeed his own opinions, founded upon a pretty long and 
close acquaintance with the writings of the great Italian poet, 
and he had some thought at a leisure opportunity of communi- 
cating his ideas to the world, in some other form. But he must 
remind the honorable member that topics which might be very 
appropriately considered in the pages of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury were hardly to be considered appropriate to the House of 
Commons, which he must request the honorable member to 
recollect was not a Dilettante Society. As the Prime Minister 
sat down amidst loud cheers, Jack sprang to his feet, and in a 
somewhat excited tone, but with perfectly calm manner, 
informed the Speaker that, in consequence of the peculiar 
nature of the reply of the Prime Minister, he would offer some 
remarks, and would conclude with a motion. The scene instantly 
became one of indescribable confusion; members shouting 
" Order, order " at the top of their voice, while Jack endeavored 
to get his observations heard through the din. 
" Mr. Speaker, the matter to which I wish the attention of the 


House of Commons to direct itself is of the greatest and gravest 
importance to all men whose intellects have passed beyond that 
of the primal savage. Only a mind infected by malignity or 
crippled by imbecility could fail to see, with clearness of very 
sunlight at noontide, the supreme measure of fate-filled neces- 
sity that is now about us and upon us to divine who was that 
most precious and perfect of all fair and radiant women whose 
name the loud lips of Petrarch — golden-mouthed indeed, in 
truer sense than any saintship of them all — had done honor to 
in verse more sweet than the honey which drowned that melo- 
dious singer of old Greece, and more musical in its very oneness 
and entirety of passion than the tremulous measures of Galuppi 
or the high serenity of Margaritone of Arezzo." Thus far had 
jack got — thus much, at least, did Theocritus, who was taking 
notes, make up of what he was trying to say— when the Speaker 
rose and quelled the storm by calling the honorable member's 
attention to the fact that, under one of the newest of the new 
rules, he was not privileged to continue his observations. Jack, 
who had been pulled down by Lord Lydgate when the Speaker 
got up, now rose on a whisper from his whip, and announced 
that he would on a future occasion draw the attention of the 
House to the matter. 

If, however, the House imagined the spirit of the Fifth party 
was broken by this rebuff, they were very much mistaken. Jack 
and Theocritus soon began work in earnest. Theocritus set the 
game afoot by asking the Home Secretary if he would lay upon 
the table of the House a return of the different forms of sonnets 
practiced by poets since the time of Dante of Majano. Jack 
moved for a commission to inquire into the effect of European 
pigments upon Japanese art. Lord Lydgate recommended to 
the House the necessity of erecting statues to Mr. Burne Jones, 
Pico Delia Mirandula, and Walt Whitman, in Palace Yard. 
Theocritus moved that St. Just's laws relating to friendship be 
incorf>orated in the English Constitution. In Committee of 
Sui^lyone day. Jack rose and gravely moved that the Chairman 



do leave the chair, and proceeded to "point out that his reasons 
for doing so were in order to show that he had some dot^bts as 
to the genuineness of a Mantegna which had just been acquired 
by the National Gallery, and which Jack was inclined to believe 
was in reality from the brush of Francia. He made some very 
eloquent remarks on the subject and on art. in general, and 
was called several times to order; and being. threatened with 
being named, sat down after his motion. The Chairman put 
the question ** that 1 do now leave the chair : those who are for 
the motion say * Aye ' " (" Aye " said Jack), " the contrary ' No ' " 
(an angry yell of ** No " from all parts of the House). " I think 
the noes have it," said the Chairman sternl)'. " The ayes have 
it," shouted Jack. " Strangers must withdraw," said the Chair- 
man. The bell rang, and members trooped in, wondering what on 
earth the unexpected division was about ; a matter on which the 
bewildered whips were scarcely better able to inform them. When 
the period of probation had expired, the Chairman again put the 
question with the same result, and his expression of opinion 
tnat the noes have it was again challenged by the Honorable 
Member for Magdicl. " Does the honorable gentleman name a 
teller?" inquired the Chairman of Committees sternly, and with 
a half-hope that he would not do so. But Jack was equal to the 
occasion, and- promptly named Theocritus. The Chairman 
shrugged his shoulders. " The ayes to the right, noes to the 
le t," he said. " Tellers for the ayes, Mr. Theocritus Marlowe 
and Lord Lydgate, tellers for the noes. Lord Richard Grosvenor 
and Lord Kensington." When the division was taken. Jack was 
defeated by a majority of about four hundred as against his 
solitary vote on the great Mantegna question. 

The next step taken by the party was to improve the laws of 
England by a gallant attempt to add to the statute-book a 
measure of their own. Jack pnt down his name to bring in a 
bill for the revival and formation of the Courts of Love in Eng- 
land. This measure Jack had printed like a parliamentary 
paper, and issued it to all his friends — a circumstance which for- 


tunately enables us to reproduce it here, as it never came to its 
first reading. The bill, which was called " The Courts of Love 
(Eiigland) Bill," and which bore on its back the names of John 
Harris, Theocritus Marlowe, and Lord Lydgate, ran as fol- 

" Be it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and 
with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Tem- 
poral, and Commons in the present Parliament assembled, and 
by the authority of the same, as follows : 

"(I.) That certain Courts, Parliaments, or Tribunals shall be 
established throughout England to be used and applied as courts 
of judgment and award in all cases connected with the affairs of 
love that may be brought before it. 

" (2.) That the jurisdiction of the aforesaid Courts, Parlia- 
ments, or Tribunals shall only extend in cases where such judg- 
ment is voluntarily^ appealed to by all persons concerned, but 
that in such cases its jurisdiction shall 6c binding. 

"(3.) That the principles which regulate the actions of the 
aforesaid Courts shall be based upon the rules of Andr6 Le 
Chappelain, Geoffrey Chaucer, and others, as compiled by a 
commission to be composed of the Members in charge of this 

At last the climax came. One night in Committee, Jack rose 
and moved that the estimates be reduced by the salary of the 
Governor of the Mint, on the ground that the coinage of Eng- 
land was hideous in the extreme and called for immediate 

" In a well-governed country," he argued, " everything should 
be beautiful, from the houses wherein we dwell to the coins 
wherewith we traffic with our fellows, and which we are so often 
compelled to touch and gaze upon." He proceeded at consid- 
erable length to dwell upon the exceeding loveliness of Greek 
coins, and to urge upon the Ministry the real necessity for intro- 
ducing a coinage the use of which would infallibly inculcate the 
true principles of beauty in the minds of all classes. " The busir 


ness of money is not alone for the purposes of trade," Jack 
explained. "True money is intensely symbolic, and every coin 
which has to pass through our hands should awaken a flood of 
wonderful associations. And what are the considerations which 
deprive us of this.'* — The basest considerations of convenience. 
PvOple tell me that it is more convenient for coins to be round,* 
that they are troublesome to count if they are in high relief, and 
that they should be as light as possible. Absurd! what^ has 
convenience to do with the matter? Our gold coins should be 
marvels of subtle workmanship, exquisitely suggestive of the 
higher ideal. Let us revive for to-day the images of old Greece, 
the deities whose forms remain forever imperishable in marble. 
In place of the meaningless absurdities which now desecrate 
our. coinage, let the heads of our loveliest women be graven 
upon it by our greatest craftsmen, that their grace may be known 
wherever the commerce of England extends, and their sweet 
memory be made perpettial." Here Jack was interrupted by the 
leader of the Opposition, who asked if the honorable member 
was in order in thus introducing the question of coinage into 
the debate. The Chairman said that he could not actually con- 
vict the honorable member of being out of order, but that he 
was certainly taxing the patience of the House very severely. 
Jack sternly replied that the House must learn patience, and 
that he would not, while the cause of art was at stake, suffer 
dictation from any miserable Philistine Here several members 
rose to order, and one member of the Government moved tha,t 
the words of the speaker be taken down. The Chairman asked 
the honorable member if he applied the phrase ** miserable 
Philistine " to any member of that House. Jack observed firmly 
that he was unavoidably compelled to apply it to every member 
of that House who did not agree with him ; an observation that 
was greeted with shouts of anger from the House and indignant 
cheers from Theocritus and Lord Lydgate. The Chairman rose 
and called upon the honorable member iox Magdiel to with- 
draw the expression. Jack^ folding his arms and looking pale- 


but determined, declined to db so. The Chairman in conse- 
qiience said sadly, ** I najne you, Mr. Harris," and the leader of 
the Ministry immediately rose and moved that the member be 
suspended. The division was defiantly challenged by the Fifth 
party, but the solitary vote they were able to record against the 
overwhelming majority of the House did not save Jack Harris 
from being solemnly suspended. When the numbers were read, 
therefore, and the shouts of laughter which greeted them had 
died away, the Chairman called on Jack Harris to withdraw. 
Jack, however, who had held a hurried consultation with his 
friends, declined to do so until the Sergeant-at-arms was sent 
for. As the hand of Captain Gossett fell upon his shoulder, the 
honorable member for Magdiel rose, and, folding his arms scorn- 
fully, declared that he was glad to suffer martyrdom in so good 
a cause. He then strode sternly out of the House. Theocritus 
Marlowe immediately rose to protest against the shameless tyr- 
anny to which his honorable friend had been subjected. He 
likened the Prime Minister to a second-hand Cicero paltering 
with treachery. He was immediately called to order by a youth- 
ful Liberal lord who had just returned from a diplomatic mission 
to the East, and was summoned by the chairman to withdraw 
the phrase. " I refuse," thundered Theocritus, " to withdraw any 
phrase at the dictates of a tyrant." He was immediately named, 
a division was once more challenged, and in his turn Theocritus 
was summoned to withdraw. Theocritus rose : " It has been the 
misfortune of all great men to be persecuted," he said. " What 
Florence did to Dante, what Athens to Socrates, what Rome to 
Ovid, Westminster does to-day to me. But I will not stir until 
I am dragged at the dictates of despotism from the altar of 
liberty." He sat down and pressed his lips fervently to the tulip 
he habitually carried in his hand, while the House howled with 
laughter, and Lord Lydgate hear-hear'd vigorously. When the 
Sergeant-at-arms appeared, Theocritus rose, and, shaking his 
tulip at Mr. Playfair, went to join his friend, who was waiting 
for him outside in an attitude of Earl^'^-Italian martyrdom, and 


the two went to the play together to Worship the fair actress who 
was the star of aestheticism. 

The next day, however. Jack and Theocritus were free to 
return to the service of the House. There was a look of omi* 
nous calm upon their features which ought to have alarmed the 
unconscious Ministry. There was a lengthy consultation with 
Lord Lydgate in the morning, and it was evident that the Fifth 
party were not crushed. Some rumor of coming wonders must 
have got abroad, for the House wa,s crowded with the worshipp- 
ers of higher culture and the devotees of the intense, who per- 
meated the lobbies and besieged the galleries. Fair women 
looked down eagerly from behind their railings upon the 
crowded chamber, where the terrible three sat in their familiar 

When the questions had come to an end Jack suddenly rose. 
•' Mr. Speaker," he said, " I move that this House do now 
adjourn. The reason for which I do so is, that I wish to criticise 
the conduct of the Ministry in their shameless attack upon me 
and my friend last night, for which I intend to move that a 
vote of censure be passed upon them." Here the House began 
to shout at Jack, who went on through all the clamor with 
observations from which some fragments about "miserable 
despotism," ** sacred cause of art," were caught. Members were 
rising to right and left and front of him shouting for order, but 
Jack refused to sit down, though the Speaker rose. The Speaker 
sat down, and the Prime Minister, rising to his feet, moved that 
the member for Magdiel be no longer heard. The Speaker 
instantly put the question, which was of course carried, but Jack 
calmly defied the decision of the House by springing up and 
going on with his denunciations of the Philistine Ministry. The 
Speaker ordered him to leave the chamber, which Jack refused 
to do. Whereupon the Sergeant-at-arms again made his appear- 
ance. Before the display of force a second time Jack yielded 
and was removed. Theocritus felt that all eyes were on him. 


He rushed to the middle of the House, and declared that the 
proceedings were infamous and cowardly. He was promptly 
removed. After a rapid consultation, the offending members, in 
spite of a protest from Lord Lydgate, were ordered to be con- 
fined in the Clock Tower during the pleasure of the House- -an 
order which was immediately carried out. 

The Home Secretary penned an indignant letter to the Duke 
of Magdiel, reproaching him for sending such representatives to 
Parliament, an epistle which greatly delighted the venerable 
peer. He felt, however, that things had gone far enough. The 
next day he left Magdiel Towers and visited his friends in their 
prison. He found Jack and Theocritus sitting by the fire after 
breakfast smoking cigarettes. Jack had a piece of paper on his 
knees, from which he was jotting down the idea for a sonnet to 
be called " Prison Thoughts," and Theocritus was reading Mr. 
Pater's essays to himself in a low tone. A little pile of visiting- 
cards showed that the tedium of prison life had not been unre- 
lieved. The duke had a long consultation with them. He urged 
them to resign. This the two honorable members firmly declined 
to do. During the conference Lord Lydgate came in. He had been 
discussing the question with the Liberal whips. If the offending 
members would apologize to the House they would be forgiven. 
At last a compromise was arrived at. Jack and Theocritus 
agreed to apologize and return to their places. They would 
hold their seats a little longer to sustain their dignity, and would 
then resign, if the duke would use his influence with the Min- 
i^ry to get them some comfortable Government appointment. 
The programme was carried out. Jack and Theocritus apolo- 
gized to the House and were immediately released. Some little 
time later they both applied for the Chiltern Hundreds on the 
plea that their health required change of air. When their appli- 
cation was granted, they went to Italy for some months. On 
their return they received places in the Education Ofiice. Mag- 
diel and Iram are now represented by a younger son of advanced 


ideas and a steady-going Liberal linen-draper. The first vacant 
place in the Ministry was offered to the duke's son, Lord Lotan. 

Justin H. McCarthy, in Belgravia. 


Franz Liszt is one of the few living representatives of that 
great upheaval of ideas kpown as the Romantic movement of 

Abroad the new aspirations, cramped in politics, found their 
solace and ideal fulfillment in the realms of literature and of art. 
The names of George Sand, Alfred de Musset, M. Lamartine, 
and Hugo ; of De Lamennais in religion ; of Chopin, Liszt, Ber- 
lioz, Wagner in music, are but so many expressions of that sup- 
pressed excitement of new life which found its chief vent in 
literature and art on the Continent, and gave us a new burst of 
painting and poetry, and the Reform Bill, in England. 

The new spirit, the •• Zeitgeist," the young Impulse, of the 
nineteenth century, now grown to maturity, was then abroad and 
busy in overturning kingdoms and theories of art, philosophy, 
and religion with rigorous impartiality. 

There are few survivals of that stirring and romantic epoch. 
Liszt is amongst them. Once the idol of every capital in the 
civilized world as an executive musician, he was placed years 
ago on an unapproachable pedestal. 

Few amongst us even who have reached middle life have 
heard him play; he belongs to the epoch of Paganini, Malibran, 
and Lablache — not to the epoch of Titiens, Joachim, and Rubin- 
stein. To have heard him is to have heard a man who in the 
beginning of this century as completely transformed the school 
of pianoforte-playing as did Paganini the school of violin-playing. 
The Liszt method has profoundly influenced even the severer 

A DA Y WITH LISZT IN 1880. 10/ 

clique of classical experts in Grermany ; and the greatness and 
foresight of Liszt is evidenced in the fact that no pianoforte 
development since has in the least outgrown the impulse given 
it by him nearly fifty years ago; nor as executants can even 
Rubinstein or Billow claim to have done more than offer suc- 
cessive illustrations of the great master's method and manner. 

As I drove through the groves of olives brightening with 
crude berries that clothe the slopes of Tivoli, and entered the 
gateway which leads up to the ducal Villa d'Este, it was with 
something of the feeling of a pilgrim who approaches a shrine. 
Two massive doors open on to a monastic cloister, and tlie 
entrance to the villa itself is out of the cloisters, just as the 
rooms are entered from the cloister of Trinity College, Cam- 

Here for six years past in the autumn Liszt has led a retired 
life, varied by occasional excursions to Rome. 

I was conducted up a staircase which opened on to a lofty 
terrace, and thence into a side room, whilst the Swiss valet dis- 
appeared to summon the Abbate Liszt. In another moment I 
saw a side door open, and the venerable figure of Liszt, already 
for years engraven on my heart, advanced towards me. 

It was the same noble and commanding form — with the large 
finely chiseled features, the restless glittering eye still full of 
untamed fire, the heavy white hair, thick mantling on the brow 
and cropped square only where it reached, the shoulders, down 
which 1 can well imagine it might have continued to flow un- 
checked like a snowy cataract. 

He came forw^ard with that winning smile of bonhomie which 
at once invites cordiality, and drew me to him with both hands, 
conducting me at once into a little inner sitting-room with a 
window opening on to the distant- Campagna. n 

The room was dark, and completely furnished with deep red 
d^unask— cool and shadowy contrast to the burning sunshine of 


Italy. After alluding to our last meeting in Wagner's house at 
Bayreuth, which recalled also the name of Walter Bache, who 
has worked so bravely for Liszt's music in England, he said, 
** Now tell me, how is Bache ? I have a particular, quite partic- 
ular, regard for Bache ; he stayed with me here some years ago, 
and he has been very steadfast in presenting my works in Eng;- 
land; and tell me, how is Victor Hugo? and have you seen 
Renan lately ?" I was overwhelmed by these inquiries and the 
like. I could not give him very good accounts of M. Hugo, 
whose health I feared was declining; but I said that the last 
evening I had spent with him in Paris he had received up to 
twelve at night, and seemed full of life; although his hours are 
much earlier now. Of M. Renan I could of course speak 
much more full}', as he had so recently been in England, 
" Renan took me to M. Hugo's when I was in Paris, and we had 
a delightful evening," he remarked. After asking after a few 
other personal friends, he said, " I am glad to see you here. At 
this time I have a little more leisure. I escape to this retreat 
for rest. At Rome I am besieged (obsede) by all sorts of people, 
with whom I do not care to entertain particular relations — why 
should I ? what have we in common ? — they come out of curi- 
osity to stare, that is all ; and even here I am worried with 
callers, who have no interest for me;" and indeed it was current 
in Rome that the Abbate Liszt would receive no one at Tivoli ; 
and especially ladies were not admitted. 

I could not help admiring the situation of the Villa d'Este. 
" Indeed," said Liszt, *' this is quite a princely residence; it is 
rented by the Cardinal Hohenlohe, with whom I have had very 
old and friendly relations ; he is good enough to apportion it to 
me in the autumn ; you see his picture hangs there. The place 
is quite a ruin. It belongs to the Duke of Modena, but of 
course they cannot keep it up now; the Cardinal spent about 
£2,000 to make it habitable. You shall see presently, the ter- 
races are rather rough ; I don't often go about the place, but I 
will come out with you now and show you some points of < view. 


I lunch about one o'clock; you will stay and put up with the 
hospitalite cie gargon." 

He then led me to the window. Down the slope of a precipi- 
tous mountain stretched the Villa d'Este gardens; tall cypress 
trees marked the line of walk and terrace ; groves of olive, be- 
tween which peeped glittering cascades and lower parterres, 
studded here and there with a gleaming statue, and tall jets of 
water, eternally spouting, fed from the Marcian springs ; the 
extremity of the park seems to fade away, at an immense depth, 
into the billowy Campagna. 

It was like an enchanted scene ; from the contemplation of 
which I was roused by the Abbate taking my arm, and, passing 
through several ante-chambers, we emerged on to the raised 
terrace, which commanded one of the most striking views in 
Italy, or the world. 

" Round to the left," said Liszt, " lies Hadrian's Villa, and 
perhaps your eyes are good enough to see St. Peter's yonder in 
the horizon." The gray mist hung at a distance of eighteen 
miles over the straggling buildings of distant Rome; but they 
gleamed out here and there. Beyond these wooded flanks of 
the mountain ; beyond the ruins of villas where Maecenas and 
Horace and the Antonines held their revels; beyond the 
rushing murmur of cascades and fountains; never silent, yet 
ever maAcing a low and slumberous melody, lay the Campagna 
like a vast lake, over which the shadow of cloud and the flicker 
of sunlight swept and faded out; and again beyond the Cam- 
pagna loomed the Eternal City, with its mighty dome. 

We seemed lifted into the upper air, as on the spacious sum- 
mit of a lofty precipice ; the dry vine leaves hung about, the 
trelilsed parapets, and the Virginian creeper was just begin- 
ning to turn. 

Liszt was silent. As I looked at the noble and expressive 
features, never quite in repose, and strongly marked with^ the 
traces of those immense emotions which have been embodied 
by him in his great orchestral preludes, and thundered by him 


through every capital in Europe, in the marvelous perform- 
ances of his earlier days, I could not hielp saying, " If you do 
not find rest here you will find rest nowhere on earth :" -it was 
indeed a realm of unap{)roachabIe serenity and peace. Then 
we descended by winding ways, pausing in the long walk, thickly 
shaded with olive trees and beloved ilex, where fifty lions' heads 
spout fifty streams into an ancient moss-grown tank. 

"It is," said Liszt, "a retreat for summer: yoii can walk all 
day about these grounds and never fear the sun — all is shade. 
But come down lower;" and so we went, at times turning round 
to look down an avenue, or catch, through the trees, a peep of 
the glowing horizon beyond. 

Presently we came to a central space, led into by four tall 
cypress groves. Here, up from a round sheet of water in front 
of us, leaped four jets to an immense height ; and here we rested, 
whilst the Abbate gave me some account of this Villa or Cha- 
teau d'Este. and its former owners, which differed not greatly 
from what may be found in most guide-books. 

As we reascended, the bell of Sta. Croce, in the tall cam- 
panile over the cloisters which form part of the Villa d'Este, 
ran^ out a quarter to one. 

It was a bad bell, like most Italian bells, and I naturally 
alluded to the superiority of Belgian bells above all others. 
Rather to my surprise Liszt said, " Yes, but how are they 
played ? I remember being much struck by the Antwerp caril- 
lon." I described to him the mechanism of the carillon clavecin 
and tambour, and reminded him that the Antwerp carillon was 
much out of tune, Bruges being superior, as well as of heavier 
caliber, and Mechlin bearing off the palm for general excellence. 
We stopped short on one of the terraces, and he seemed much 
interested with a description I gave him of a performance by 
the great carilloneur M. Denyn at Mechlin, and which remioijed 
me of Rubinstein at his best. He expressed surprise when 
alluded to Van den Gheyn's compositions for bells, laid out like 
regular fugues and organ voluntaries, and equal in their way t< 

ce ^ 



Bach or Handel, who were contemporaries of the great Belgian 
organist and carilloneur. "But," he said, "the Dutch have 
also good bells. I was once staying with the King in Holland, 
and I believe it was at Utrechf that I heard some bell music 
which was quite wonderful." I have listened myself to that 
Utrecht carillon, which is certainly superior, and is usually well 

We had again reached the upper terrace, where the Abbate's 
mid-day repast was being laid out by his valet. It was a charm- 
ing situation for lunch, commanding that wide and magnificent 
prospect to which I have alluded ; but autumn was far advanced, 
there was a fresh breeze, and the table was ordered indoors. 
Meanwhile, Liszt laying his hand upon my arm, we passed 
through the library, opening into his bed-room, and thence to a 
little sitting-room (the same which commanded that view of the 
Campagna), Here stood his grand Erard piano. " As we were 
talking of bells," he said, " I should like to show you an * Ange- 
lus ' which I have just written ;" and opening the piano, he sat 
down. This was the moment which I had so often and so 
vainly longed for. 

When I left England, it seemed to me as impossible that I 
should ever hear Liszt play, as that I should ever see Mendels- 
sohn, who has been in his grave for thirty-three years. How 
few of the present generation have had this privilege ! At Bay- 
reuth, I had hoped, but no opportunity offered itself, and it is 
well known that Liszt can hardly ever be prevailed upon to open 
the piano in the presence of strangers. A favorite pupil, Polig, 
who was then with him at Villa d'Este, told me he rarely 
touched the piano, and that he himself had seldom heard him — 
" but," he added with enthusiasm, " when the master touches 
the keys, it is always with the same incomparable effect, unlike 
any one else : always perfect." 

"You know," said Liszt, turning to me, "they ring the 
• Angelus ' in Italy carelessly ; the bells swing irregularly, and 
tve oft and the cadences are often broken up thus ;" and be- 


gan a little swaying passage in the treble^ike bells tossing 
high up in the evening air : it ceased, but so softly that the half- 
bar of silence made itself felt, and the listening ear still carried 
the broken rhythm through the. pause. The Abbate himself 
seemed to fall into a dream ; his fingers fell again lightly on the 
keys, and the bells went on, leaving off in the middle of a phrase. 
Then rose from the bass the song of the Angelus, or rather, it 
seemed like the vague emotion of one who, as he passes, hears 
in the ruins of some wayside cloister the ghosts of old monks 
humming their drowsy melodies, as the sun goes down rapidly, 
and the purple shadows of Italy steal over the land, out of the 
orange west ! 

We sat motionless — the disciple on one side, I on th3 
other. Liszt was almost as motionless : his fingers seemed quite 
independent, chance ministers of his soul. The dream was 
broken by a pause ; then came back the little swaying passage 
of bells, tossing high up in the evening air, the half-bar of 
silence, the broken rhythm — and the Angelus was rung. 

Luncheon being announced, we rose, and Liszt, turning to his 
young friend Polig, who occupies an apartment at Este, and 
enjoys the great master's help in his musical studies : " Go, dear 
friend," he said, ** and join us in about an hour — nay, sooner if 
you will." 

So we sat down in the cosily furnished little sitting-room — 
dark, like all the Abbate's suite of apartments, and evidently 
intended to shut out the sun. 

I was still heated with ourvclambering walk, and Liszt insisted 
on my keeping on my great-coat, and provided me in addition 
with a priest's silken skull-cap, playfully remarking. " As you 
call me ' Abbate,' I shall address you as ' II Reverendo,* and 
whenever you come here, you will find this priest's cap ready 
for you." 

The " hospitalite de garcon '' proved anything but ascetic. A 
vegetable soup, maccaroni with tomato sauce, a faultless beef- 
steak or " bistecco" dressed with fried mushrooms, cooked dry ; 


a peculiar salad, composed of a variety of herbs in addition to 
leeks, onions, lettuce, and fruit, the like of which I can never 
hope to take until I lunch again with the Abbate at the Villa 

We were alone. I need not say that, in such company, the 
wines seemed to me to possess an ideal fragrance and a Sicilian 
flavor wholly unlike and incomparably superior to the heavy 
vintages of Spain. There were some questions about Mendels- 
sohn and Chopin that I had always wished to ask ; but at first 
the conversation was much more general. We spoke of the 
curious recent fancy of the Italians for Wagner's music ; the way 
his operas had been produced at Bologna, and just then " Rienzi " 
at Rome. '* Yes," he said ; '* the Italians are beginning to un- 
de/stand more kinds of melody than one ; they perceive, per- 
haps, that Wagner's melody pervades each part of his score, so 
that you can have a melodic a plusieurs etages. This notion of 
"a melody in fiats," or "of several stories," struck me as most 
apt, as well as humorous. Speaking of Wagner, I related to 
him an unhappy occasion on which I had been requested by 

Lord to try and prevail on Wagner, when in England, to 

accompany me to his house one night, where we were to meet a 
royal princess most anxious to see Wagner. I reluctantly under- 
took the mission, but failed to induce the great Maestro to go 
with me, and was placed in the unpleasant position of having 
to apologize on my arrival for his absence. " Ah," said Liszt, 
laughing, " a similar thing occurred to me lately : some royal- 
ties at Sienna asked me to get Wagner to meet them ; but I 
-knew Wagner better, and at once declined to charge myself 

with that commission. Your mention of Lord reminds me 

that 1 knew him.years ago; indeed, in my young days, I was on 
one occasion at his house, and, curiously enough, a regrettable 
event occurred to me also. Some ladies present importuned me 
to play, i was not unwilling, but I did not quite care for the 
manner in which I was pressed, and I declined ; indeed, I be- 
lieve I left the house rather abruptly. Well, it was a time when 


I was pkying a good deal' in the various capitals of Europe, and 
much more fuss, was being made with me than was perhaps 
necessary; and then, you know, I was much younger, and I 
dare say acted hastily ; but I have always regretted it." 

He spoke very little of his extraordinary successes when at 
/lis zenith, which can only be compared to the sensation pro- 
duced by Paganini. But he spoke with pride of having received 
the celebrated kiss of Beethoven. ** Ay," he said, " when I was. 
a very young man, and in public, too, it was difficult to get the 
great man to go and hear rising talent ; but my father got 
Schindler to induce Beethoven to come and hear me — and he 
embraced me before the whole company." A similar event 
occurred to Joachim, who, when a boy, received the public em- 
brace of Mendelssohn after playfng a fugue of Bach's. 

Liszt spoke in the highest terms of Herr Richter, at the same 
time regretting that the Wagner Festivals at the Albert Hall 
had not been financially more successful. 

Having been accused, in America and elsewhere, of misrepre- 
senting the relations between Wagner and Meyerbeer, and 
knowing that Wagner will never mention Meyerbeer's name; 
nor allow any one to speak of him in his presence, I asked Liszt 
whether it was true that Meyerbeer had introduced Wagner to 
M. Joly in Paris, with a view to bringing but his "Flying 
Dutchman," knowing all the time that M. Joly was on the point 
of bankruptcy. *' Well," said Liszt, " that is probably true. No 
one is exactly to blame, if a young unknown man fails to arrive 
at once at the Grand Opera de Paris ; getting up a work there 
is a question of many months and thousands of pounds. Wag- 
ner's litwetto was bought for a small sum, his music discarded, 
and he was practically turned adrift. Afterward, he was 
notoriously forced to live by arranging Italian opera tunes for 
the piano and cornet-a-piston. It is possible that Meyerbeer 
may have been of some small use to Wagner at first, but Wag- 
ner will not hear of him. Mendelssohn had the same antipathy." 
Now I saw another opportunity : " I have often wondercdr in 

A DAY WITH LISZT IN i88a 1 15 

reading Mendelssohn's letters," I said, ** why his allusions to you 
are so brief and so few ; here and there, we read that you were 
of the company, that the evening was delightful, and that you 
or Chopin played ; and Mendelssohn seems to have little more 
to say, though in his allusions to many of his great contempora- 
ries he is often explicit and detailed enough." " Ah ! well," 
said Liszt, '* Mendelssohn's letters have been, to some extent, 
what is called arranged and selected for publication. There is 
a good deal which it was not advisable to print, or that couldn't 
be printed ; and then there was something between me and 
Mendelssohn : I am sure I don't quite know what; but at one 
time, a certain coolness sprang up between us ; it was, however, 
much more between our followers than between us. Mendels- 
sohn did not get on with the French : at Paris, for instance, and 
with reason there ; then, at Berlin and Leipsic too he had his 
difficulties with the musical authorities, some of whom were 
certainly my friends. The first time I saw Mendelssohn was at 
Berlin ; I called in the morning, about twelve o'clock ; he was 
charming, full of life and vigor, and received me joyously. 
Madame Mendelssphn pressed me to stay to lunch, and, mean- 
ing to go, I still stayed on talking and playing, till suddenly it 
was six o'clock, and then he said, * Now you must stay and dine.' 
So I stayed, and left about nine o'clock, after a delightful day ; 
then the next time we met, we had some words about Meyer- 
beer, whom Mendelssohn could not endure, and I spoke rather 
hotly. I dare say I was in the wrong, but somehow, from that 
time, we ceased to be quite so cordial, and we did not meet very 
often ; but there was no rupture or quarrel between us, none 
ever ; our partisans quarreled ; but between us personally there 
was never any real animosity. And then quite late in his career, 
a year before he died, Mendelssohn did a very graceful little 
thing. He bought me a MS. of Beethoven, a chorus copied in 
Beethoven's hand out of Mozart's * Don Juan ;' he knew it was 
the kind of thing I should value very highly, and he bade me 
keep it for his sake. Well, I was traveling about — I gave it 


with other things into my mother's keeping, and I suppose it 
was showri about, and some one stole it ; at any rate, it disap- 
peared; but I always like to reniember it, because it proved 
that, notwithstanding the serious differences which had arisen 
between our schools and methods before his death, personally 
he felt kindly toward me down to the last." 

The conversation turning on Heine — " Of course I knew 
Heine. He was one of those original eccentrics whom it is dif- 
ficult to class : his reputation was a celebrite d'auberge. Yes. he 
alluded to me in some of his prose works not unkindly. I had 
the misfortune (maladresse) to set one of his songs to music." 

" How few good poems there are suitable for music I" 

" Yes, and how little good music !" 

Of Paganini he said, " No one who has not heard him can 
form the least idea of his playing. The fourth-string perform- 
ances, the tunes in harmonics, and the arpeggios used as he used 
them, were then all new to the public and the players too ; they 
sat staring at him open-mouthed. Every one can play his music 
now, but the same impression can never again be made." 

Of Bottesini, the double bass soloist, he said, " He is the only- 
great player of my time whom I have never heard." 

Liszt was very humorous upon vamped-up reputations, and 
the airs and graces which musicians give themselves. 

"After a bit, in England, at least, you must be 'dignified* — 
that is a good word; the English like a 'dignified professor!* " 
and he drew himself up like a very Pecksniff, put on a look of 
solemn and dictatorial gravity, lifting both hands sideways as it 
were to keep off all common intruders. 

Speaking of Billow and of Rubinstein, he said, " They are 
two men who stand quite apart from all the rest ; still, the gen- 
eral level of pianoforte-playing has immensely risen within the 
last twenty years. There is, however, a good deal of * humbug * 
about some professional reputations ;** and pretending to hold 
very carefully a watering-pot. he added, " Somereputations take 
a good deal of judicious watering. I could mention some whp 



../ DAY WITH LISZT LV iSSo. 11/ 

had the good fortune to marry people who watered them beau- 
tifully in the newspapers. It makes some difference, you know. 
I don't say that you can create a reputation without talent ; 
but the * humbug * is too often at top, and the ' talent ' at the 
bottom; and in England you are miserably taken in by foreign- 
ers, h is your own fault ; but the way mediocre foreign talent 
has been over and over again pushed in England — especially 
bad singers^s simply scandalous." 

How interesting it would be to read the memoirs and criti- 
cisms of Liszt upon music and musicians for the last fifty years \ 
No one living, perhaps, with the exception of Professor Ella, has 
such a rich store of musical experience and incident to fall back 

" I have often wished," I said, " that you had written more of 
your recollections of those great musicians, artists, and poets 
with whom you have been connected." I alluded to his charm- 
ing Life of Chopin. " Ah !" he said abruptly, " Chopin had no 
life, properly speaking; his was an exclusive, self-centered per- 
sonality. He lived inwardly — he was silent and reserved, never 
said much, and people were often deceived about him, and he 
never undeceived them. People talk of the 'j/y/^* of Chopin, 
the * touch * of Chopin, and of playing like Chopin, When he 
played himself, he played admirably well, and especially his own 
compositions ; but he was supposed to have formed a school of 
Chopin ites, who had the Tradition — and you heard that Mr. 
This, and Madame That — they alone could play like Chopin — 
he had formed them — people danced round them, and they 
affected to have the true Chopin secret. Yes," he said, *• it was 
absurd enough; and Chopin looked on, and said nothing; he 
was very diplomatic— he never troubled himself to stop this cant, 
and to this day there may be those who play * like Chopin ' — 
who have received the sacred 'Tradition.' C'6tait comme cela 
du commencement, ce n'6tait pas I'ecole, c'6tait plut6t 'r6glise 
de Chopin I' " The last words were pronounced in a solemn 
tone, and with a look of mock gravity indescribably humorous. 



As he rose from the table, Liszt said, " You spoke of my sketch 
of Chopin — I have juSt brought out a new edition of it at Leip- 
sic." We went into the library, and he gave me a handsome 
quarto volume of 312 pages, printed in French on fine paper; 
** Take it," he said ; " you will find some forty pages more than in 
the edition you have read." J opened the volume, and on the 
frontispiece found that Liszt had written aslant^ — 

" Au rev6rend Hugh Reginald Haweis, affectueux souvenir 
de la Villa d'Este. 

"November 17, 


"F. Liszt." 

I had conceived, ever since I had studied the life and work* 
of Chopin, the greatest desire to hear him played by Liszt: 
indeed, the number of those still living who have had this privi- 
lege must be very limited. I ventured to say, *• Chopin always 
maintained that you were the most perfect exponent of his 
works. I cannot say how grateful I should be to hear, were it 
only a fugitive passage of Chopin's, touched by your hand." 
" With all the pleasure in the world," replied the immortal 
pianist; and again I sat down by the grand piano, and humming 
to him a phrase of op. 37, I begged that it miglit be like that. 
" I will play that, and another after it." (The second was op. 48.) 

It is useless for me to attempt a description of a performance 
every phrase of which will be implanted in my memory, and on 
my heart, as long as I live. 

Again, in that room, with its long bright window opening out 
into the summer-land, we sat in deep shadow — in perfect seclu- 
sion ; not a sound, but the magic notes falling at first like a soft 
shower of pearls or liquid drops from a fountain — blown spray 
falling hither and thither, and changing into rainbow tints in its 
passage, as the harmonic progression kept changing, and tossing 
the fugitive fragments of melody with which that exquisite noc- 
urne opens, until it settles into the calm, happy dream, which 

A DAY WITH LISZT IN 1880. 1 19 

seems to rock the listener to sleep with the deep and perfect 
benison of ineffable rest ; then out of the dream, through a 
few bars, like the uneasy consciousness of a slowly awakening 
sleeper, and again the interlude, the blown rain of double pearls 
— until once more the heavenly dream is resumed. I drew my 
chair gently nearer, I almost held my breath, not to miss a note. 
There was a strange concentrated anticipation about Liszt's 
playing, unlike anjrthing I had ever heard — not for a moment 
could the ear cease listening ; each note seemed prophetic of 
the next, each yielded in importance to the next : one felt that 
in the soul of the player the whole nocturne existed from the 
b^inning — as one and indivisible, like a poem in the heart of a 
poet. The playing of the bars had to be gone through seriatim ; 
but there were glimpses of a higher state of intuition, in which 
one could read thoughts without words, and possess the soul of 
music, without the intervention of bars and keys and strings ; 
all the mere elements seemed to fade, nothing but perception 
remained. Sense of the time vanished ; all was as it were realized 
in a moment, that moment the Present — the eternal Present- 
no Past, no Future. Yet I could not help noticing each inci- 
dent: the perfect effortless independence of the fingers, mere 
obedient ministers of the master's thought ; the complete trance 
of the player— -living in the ideal world, and reducing the world 
of matter about him to the flimsiest of unreal shadows ; and I 
had time to notice the unconscious habits of the master, which 
have alread}*^ passed into historic mannerisms in his disciples, 
like Cardinal Newman's stooping gait, or Victor's Emmanuel's 
toss of the head. So I noted the first finger and thumb drawn 
together to emphasize a note, or the fingers doubled up. or 
lifted in a peculiar manner, with a gentle sweep in the middle 
of a phrase — things in which those are determined to be like the 
master who can be like him in nothing else ; also the peculiar 
repercussion resonance, since reduced to something like a science 
by Rubinstein, and the caressing touch, which seems to draw 
the soul of the piano out of it almost before the finger reaches 


the key-board. When Liszt passed silently to op. 48, he arrived 
at some stiff bravura passages, which called forth his old vigor. 
Yet here all was perfect ; not a note slurred over or missed ; the . 
old thunder woke beneath his outstretched hands; the spirits of 
the vasty deep were as obedient as ever to their master's call. 
With the last chord, he rose abruptly ; abruptly we came out of 
the dim enchanted land of dreams ; the common light of day 
was once more around me. " Now you must be off !" he 
exclaimed; indeed, I had barely time to catch my tram for 
Rome ; " but," he added, " I have something I wish you to take 
to Bache and Dannreuther ;" and he took out three bronze 
medals, giving me the third to keep; the design was by a 
Roman artist of great merit. On one side was Liszt's own 
profile, on the other a star-crowned Fame holding a palm- 

Before I left. I asked Liszt if I might give some account in 
print of the delightful day I had spent in his company, so that 
the hearts of his many friends and admirers in England might 
be gladdened by some account of him. 

" Whatever you will," he good-naturedly replied ; "write what 
you like, and let me see it when it appears." 

Liszt changes his residence three times every year: from 
Rome to Weimar, from Weimar to Pesth, and at Pesth he is 
usually occupied in bringing out or conducting some of hris 
works. Although probably nothing will ever induce the ma- 
gician of the pinaforte to play in public again, notwithstanding 
his marvelous retention of execution and nervous energy, it Js 
to be hoped that he may still be induced to visit England, 
where his name has already become a tradition like that of 
Malibran (to whom he always said he owed so much), or Pa- 
ganini, with whom he has been popularly classed. And now 
that his orchestral works are getting hold of the musical world 
here, and that every season pianoforte recitals rest for their main 
sensations on his unique compositions, we cannot doubt what 
sort of reception he would meet with in London, could he be 


persuaded to come over and condudt, or even superintend, one 
of his orchestral preludes. But Liszt hates the sea; indeed, I 
am told that he objects even to going over the suspension 
bridge at Florence. I ventured to say to him, " In England we 
have heard of Liszt, but already he js a kind of mythus. ' His 
legend,'^as M. Renan would say, *has begun to form.' People 
are beginning to ask, Was there indeed ever such a person ? 
Come over and prove to us that he still exists." But he only 
shook his head. " I am too old ; I cannot come to England." 
Will he come ? 

Rev. H. R. Haweis, in Belgravia. 


If "silence," as the Count Claudio affirms, be "the perfectest 
herald of joy," my words this evening should be very few ; and I 
might be content to say, as Clown in " As You Like It," "Salu- 
tation and greeting to you all!" For surely there could be, to 
me, no greater joy, as I know of no higher honor, than that of 
being selected by a body of Shakespeare students to address a 
meeting composed of so many lovers of his works, on this the 
anniversary of his birth. At the same time I have a deep sense 
of the difficulty and responsibility of the position I am so proud 
to occupy; for I fully realize how impossible it is for me to 
throw any new light upon a subject which has for over three 
centuries been a favorite theme for the exercise of the highest 
intellects. The literary men of America and England, as well as 
of Germany, France, and Spain, have found their most conge- 
nial tasks in studying the philosophy, sympathizing with the 
human nature, or admiring the glorious poetry of the Stratford 
wool-comber's son. "It is the cause; it is the cause," as poor 
Othello says, for which I ask your attention and forbearance. 

♦ Read before the Shakespeare Club of Wheeling, W. Va.. April 23, x88t. 


"Hear me for my cause/' says the noble Brutus; "be patient 
till the last ; censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses 
that you may the better judge." All hail, then, ye members of 
the Shakespeare Club of Wheeling ! All hail, fellow-students of 
the heaven-gifted bard ; the anniversary of whose birth, in obe- 
dience to one of the purest inspirations of the heart — simple 
gratitude — we are assembled on this joyous occasion to celebrate. 

Since I had the happiness of meeting with you last, we have 
passed through a year of extraordinary activity. Business^ the 
learned professions, speculation, invention, politics, have all 
been on the qui vive. Our own delightful specialty has felt the 
impulse; and perhaps at no time since the 1597 quarto of "Ro- 
meo and Juliet" saw the light in the little shop of its surrepti- 
tious publishers, down to the present da5% has the study of 
Shakespeare Ueen so wide-spread, or the desire to understand 
and enjoy his delightful works been so universally cultivated. 
A few years ago Shakespeare was a sealed book to the young; 
now there is hardly an institution of learning in the land where 
he is not studied as a classic. A few years ago, through a big- 
oted misapprehension of the grandeur, and beauty, and wisdom 
of these immortal works, most of the clergy and members of 
churches (good, God-fearing people, but erring through igno- 
rance) lost all the pleasure and profit of their teachings, because, 
forsooth, they were labelled "plays." Now, this barrier is fast 
breaking down, and ministers of the Gospel are finding the 
grandest illustrations of their doctrines and precepts in the pages 
of Shakespeare. As a witness of this activity, there are to-day 
no less than three new, exhaustively annotated editions of the 
poet in course of publication in this country alone; while of 
ordinary reprints and editions for general use the number is 

It is not, however, to the mass of readers, to the mere shallow 
investigator, or to the man who takes up Shakespeare in order to 
dawdle away a passing hour, that the poet opens out his great and 
loving heart. As most of you well know, the inspiration must be 


soaght by long, close, and persevering labor. The poet must be 
courted with ail the ardor and determination of a lover, if we 
wish to be successful. To many, at first, he seems hard and per- 
verse. They meet, perhaps on the very threshold, an antiquated 
or involved expression — then another, and another — elliptical 
constructions, obscurities of style, and obsolete allusions of all 
kinds ; and they are chilled and disappointed. But let such men 
reflect that these works were written to be understood, and that 
by audiences of less average intelligence than those who attend 
the theaters of to-day ; that the great master of the human heart 
and tongue could not write meaningless nonsense; let them read 
on and on — text and context — again and again, using such helps 
and commentaries as they possess, and they are sure to be re- . 
warded in finding light breaking through the darkest clouds : 
just as when one is beho.lding a piece of statuary in the stereo- 
scope, thd picture at first seems flat, and blurred, and. double; 
but let the eye be steadily directed upon it, and soon, as by a 
flash, it stands out in all the light and shade, the prominence 
and beauty, of the original group. Once imbued with the poet's 
spirits, once illuminated under his influence and inspiration, and 
who can tell the joy, the comfort, the intellectual satisfaction 
that awaits you ! The page is then " as plain as way to parish 
church," and the study becomes no longer a task, but an ever- 
increasing fascination. A few impracticable "ullorxals," am- 
phibious "scamels," or irredeemable " rope-scarres" may remain 
for ingenuity to practice upon ; but even these are constantly 
diminishing under the powerful focus of "dialect" and " folk- 
lore" societies, and the comprehensive study that is directed to 
the elucidation of these works, more than, with the exception of 
the Bible, has ever been exercised upon any other book in the 
world. In the year just passed, not one of us here to-night but 
has felt, more or less, the vicissitudes of life — its sufferings and 
disappointments, as well as its hopes and enjoyments; but I 
believe I speak for you all when I say we have never found 
Shakespeare to fail us. In sickness and io health, in adversity 


as well as in prosperity, our beloved poet has been to us a solace 
and a delight. Of this ennobling pursuit it may well be said 
that, like Antony's bounty : 

There is no winter in 't. 
An autumn *tis that grows the more by reaping. 

Shakespeare has been, and is, our comfort mom and night; 
At home, abroad, through good or ill report. 
The same firm friend, the same refreshment rich. 
And source of consolation. 

Age cannot wither kim^ nor custom stale 
His infinite variety: other /<»r^ cloy 
The appetite they feed ; but he makes hungry 
Where most he satisfies. 

As I before remarked, it is in simple gratitude for the rich 
heritage this poet has left us that we are here to celebrate his 
birthday; to strike the hand of fraternal greeting, and " cheer 
each other in each other's love." 

Let every man, therefore, put himself into triumph, each man to what sport and 
revels his addiction leads him ; for it is our General *s birthday. So much was his 
pleasure should be proclaimed. All offices are open, and there is full liberty of 
feasting, from this present hour till the bell hath told elevgn." 

Shakespeare himself believed in birthdays, and believed in 
keeping them; not that he makes a point of telling us so; but 
we gather it from several of those bits of realism that give such 
a natural effect to the speeches of his characters. Witness 

Cleopatra : 

It is my birthday : 
I had thought to have held it poor ; but, since my lord 
Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra. 

And Cassius to his friend Messala : 

This is my birthday ; as this very day 

Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala. 

It detracts nothing from the pleasure and genuineness of our 
celebration that we are uncertain of the exact day of the great 


poet's birth. We keep the 23d of April as Shakespeare's birth- 
day, just as we keep the 25th of December as our Saviour's birth- 
day, because long tradition has so decided it. Indeed, if we 
reflect a moment, we are all but certain that the 23d of April 
cannot now be the correct date. What we know by record of 
the register is that the child William Shakespeare was baptized 
on the 26th of April, 1564; and we know that it was a common 
custom to baptize infants on the third day after their birth ; but 
then it was not unexceptionably so; for Oliver Cromwell was 
baptized on the fourth day, the earl of Clarendon on the fourth 
day, and John Milton not until the eleventh day after birth. 
Again, we know by record on his tomb that our poet died on the 
23d of April, 1616, in his 53d year, and the tradition is unani- 
mous that he died on his birthday. But this point has always 
been overlooked, that dates were then reckoned in what is called 
old style ;, that in Shakespeare's day the new style (which was not 
then observed in England) was ten days in advance of the old ; 
and that there is now a difference of twelve days between them ; 
so that the 23d of April, O. S., was, in 1564, the 3d of May, N. S., 
a date which a': the present time corresponds to the 5th of May, 
N. S. ; and it has accordingly been made a question whether we 
should not celebrate the occasion on either the 3d or 5th of May 
. in every year. I mention this, not that it is of much impor- 
tance, but it is well enough to bear it in mind, as it has been so 
often asserted that Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same 
day, the fact being that Shakespeare survived Cervantes ten 

At your banquet, a year ago, I endeavored to give a hasty 
outline of our great poet's inner life, as developed through his 
works ; and when I received your kind invitation to address you 
again, I thought it might be interesting to follow this up by a 
rapid analysis of these works themselves (I mean the dramas), 
from, say, " Love's Labor's Lost" down to " The Tempest" and 
"Henry VII L;" and trace not only the changes in the poet's 
style and versification, but \\iit growth of his magnificent mental 


power, after he had shaken of! the trammels of his surrounain^ 
in the dramatic art, and felt the grandeur and nobility of his own 
independent intellect. But I found the subject far too vast for 
ftn occasion like the present. Thoroughly to analyze one play; 
proj)erly to follow the development and harmony of many a 
single character — would fill a moderate volume. Even the bare 
bibliography of these works, from the folio down to the editions 
of Dyce, and Hudson, and Furness, with the changes the text 
has undergone since 1623, would furnish matter for a whole 
course of lectures. ' • . 

It has been remarked as one of the highest characteristics of 
Shakespeare's powers, that whatever play of his we read last 
appears to us the best and loveliest of all. And to me, at least, 
this is true. While I read " Othello," there is no work of human 
genius that can hold a place beside it. It is altogether alone — 
a work by itself, a sj)ecies of itself. Sui generis is the Machia- 
velian villainy of lago ; the subtle knowledge of human nature 
displayed in the conception and realization of this character, the 
noble and faithful mold of the unhappy Moor, the gentle purity 
of Desdemona, and the unredeemed nature of the tragedy in 
which these three play their parts, appear to me so intense, so 
powerful, so apart in their nature and their issues from any means 
which have, before or since, been adopted by the great masters of • 
the dramatic art, that for the time whatever feeling I am capable 
of, whether it be love or hate, or scorn or pity, or admiration or 
grief, is absorbed and lost in th* consideration of this masterpiece. 
Your small dramatist would never have dared to do as the great 
master has done. Even a man of average genius would have 
feared to bring this drama to an issue so unspeakably pathetic, 
by means so revolting; ^^ would have unmasked lago, and have 
reconciled Othello and Desdemona, and we should have had the 
curtain descending on a scene of gratulation and rejoicing. But 
Shakespeare could dare both the highest heaven and the deepn 
est hell of which humanity is capable ; and there was no weak- 
ness in his greatly-complete, artistic soul. There never was 


anything like this for utter sadness. I^ is the most pathetic of 
stories; unmitigated tragedy, misery, and remorse, unbearable 
and unspeakable. Sorrow seems to culminate, to have reached 
its full ; but there is yet a bitterer and a deeper wave, and still a 
wave yet bitterer and deeper ; and so when I read this story, I 
confess it masters me and robs me of judgment, and that here 
the poet makes me wholly his own, and does as he will with me, 
going beyond and outside all criticism. But when I turn to 
" Macbeth," I find an influence of as strong a nature, though 
widely diverse. Let us pause for a moment here, to notice how 
vastly the philosophic, quiet, meditative hero of Shakespeare 
differs from the " pitiful craven" of the stage Macbeth. There 
is no doubt in my mind that Shakespeare had in some sort a 
national portrait in his mind when he drew the character. Mac- 
beth is essentially a Scotchman, a reflective, wary, careful man^ 
not by any means the unmeasured villain many conceive him as 
being; but he is, in no light, the center of the play. By a stroke 
oi genius, which is to the full as daring as it is effective, the 
place of first villain is given to a woman. It is worth notice 
that the great among men are remarkable for the chivalric ten- 
derness with which they write of women ; and in an age when 
men and women alike are doing their best to put an end to this 
old-fashioned and noble sentiment, it is well to notice how com- 
pletely it governs most of the female creations of Shakespeare. 
It is all the more noteworthy here, because of the direct con- 
trast ; but it was necessary among women as among men that 
the poet should run through the whole gamut of possible char- 
acter. Terrible as she is. Lady Macbeth is still a woman ; but 
she is such a woman as no other than Shakespeare could have 
painted without portraying a fiend. True to the instinct of his 
art, the poet strikes the key-note of this play in the first scene, 
and the very stage description — " a blasted heath" — leads the 
mind naturally to the horror of the theme. As I read " Mac- 
beth," with its wild witch-lore, its strange, supernatural ma- 
chinery, its strong reversal of the ordinary relations of man 


and woman, and its overmastering weirdness of incident and 
intention ; when I see how inexorable as fate the dark doctrines 
of evil close around the central figures in the drama ; when I 
see the poor thane at his glory's height, and on the very edge 
of the^ precipice from which he must fall at^ast; when I hear him 
in the utterance of those moralizings which are now in every 
schoolboy's memory, and which are among the saddest verses 
in our language; when, turning from these details, I lay down 
the book, the whole great structure of the poet's theme looks 
out upon me, weird, majestic, massive, overwhelming; like a 
great deserted stronghold in a lonely land, with the darkness of 
night upon it, and the very desolation of woe dwelling, as a 
shadow, upon the landscape that surrounds it. 

Let us next turn for a few moments to " Hamlet." The spe- 
cial fascination of this play is, that every one who reads it with 
any degree of enthusiasm or appreciation has, at one time or 
other, been a Hamlet to himself. There is no man nor woman, 
who is capable of understanding this drama, who has not been 
troubled with those restless longings of the souli and those trials 
of the affections, which make up the sum of the sufferings of the 
Prince of Denmark. "Who'ld these fardels bearf* Have we 
not all borne them, "and felt the burden ? "To grunt and sweat 
under a weary life ;" is not this the lot of many, if not of the most ? 
And that far-reaching thought of sadness, ** I could be content 
to be bounded in a nutshell, but that I have bad dreams," is 
familiar to us all. Here, then, is the man'^el, that in the charac- 
ter of a prince and a scholar — young, accomplished, powerful, and 
flattered — the great art-master has given us each a portrait of 
ourselves. Of all his human pictures this is the greatest and 
the most human— possibly the saddest of all. And yet, though 
this gigantic sorrow runs, like the undertone of a distant ocean, 
through the greatest of Shakespeare's plays, there never was a 
mind less essentially morbid than his. Witness his great, whole- 
some, hearty good humor : " Shall there be no more cakes and 
ale.^" Hear Sir Toby, as at midriight, "mellow ripe," he goes 


homeward, inviting his companions thus: "Shall we arouse the 
night-owl in a catch that wilf draw three souls out of one wea- 
ver?" Just fancy that ; think of the weaver, a poor, wizened, 
weak creature, with scarce half a soul to boast of; but the mer- 
riment of Sir Toby's song shall be so exuberant that out of this 
starved creature's carcass it shall draw three souls ! Can the wit 
of jollity and good humor go further than this ? 

Throughout the historical plays, what strikes us most promi- 
nently is the feeling oi\iKt2x\,y patriotism which blows over them 
like a fresh and health-giving breeze. Shakespeare gloried in 
his England, and the pride he had in his countrymen shines 
out nobly on all occasions. " And you yeomen, whose limbs 
were made in England;" there is no half-heart in that line. In 
the bead-roll of names that runs down the young King's speech 
on the eve of St. Crispin, there is no one that does not awake 
historic recollections; and the' splendid surety for the future 
which the speech displays justifies itself in the pride and exulta- 
tions of a thousand hearts, awakened from the sluggish selfish- 
ness of every day to a wide and noble patriotism. Where shall 
we fine} a chronicler like Shakespeare? De Quincey calls him 
"the great protagonist in the arena of modern /.'7^/r/ ,•" but we 
equally award to him the palm as the great protagonist in the 
arena of history ; for the true end of history is not so much to 
teach the dry facts of genealogy and chronology as to warn 
from evil and inspffe to good ; and never came there a master 
of the art who could do these things as Shakespeare has done 

When we turn our mind to those fourteen immortal composi- 
tions that are called " the comedies," how shall we know where 
to begin, or how to end, in speaking of them ? Here also the 
same critical incapacity pursues us: we cannot tell which is 
finest : the finest is always that which is last rend. The rollick- 
ing humor of "Taming of the Shrew;" the wild fiin of the "Com- 
edy of Errors ;" the sweet, breezy charm of " As You Like It ;" 
the genial wit and society satire of "Love's Labor's Lost;" the 
L. M. 8.-5 


beauty of all these leaves us no power of choice. Jolly Sir Toby- 
Belch, the stately Malvolio, " that cross-gartered gull," the two 
faithful good-natured Dromios, gentle Lady Olivia, dear Viola, 
sad Hermione, jealous suffering Leontes, and that flabbiest of 
all gentlemen, Sir Andrew Aguecheek ; why, here is such a wealth 
and variety of character as fairly bewilders us in choice; we suf- 
fer from a very embarrassment of riches. And even now we 
have left out the king of all Shakespeare's humorous creations, 
the jolly Falstaff — the fat *' Sir John" — who is a host, an army 
in himself, and who has more genuine fun in him than all the 
characters of all other writers of comedy put together — the very- 
personification of good humor. These things go beyond us; 
and from whatever point we review them, we stand amazed at 
the inexhaustible riches of this one master-mind. 

Among the innumerable felicities of Shakespeare, I have 
always esteemed it one, that his birthday falls amid the birth 
time of the year; his advent is connected with the advent of 
spring. We mingle our greetings of the great joy-bringer with 
our greetings of the season of hope and joy. We hold the 
closest communion with him at the very time when we begin to 
hold intercourse with nature ; we have the keenest sense of his 
quickening and gladdening influence when we rejoice beneath 
her quickening and enlivening power. We celebrate his birth, 
we especially cherish his memory, and feel his presence, when 
we begin to live our out of-door life, when we first go forth into 
the woods and fields, and draw our first delight therefrom. 
Shakespeare loved the country. Throughout his works, espe- 
cially in the comedies, he delights to bring his characters into 
close relation with nature; and to carry on the action amid syl- 
van pleasures and rural sights and sounds. He rarely indulges 
in elaborate description ; but many of his scenes, and some 
w^hole plays, breathe the very spirit of the meadow and the 
woodland, the mountain and the sea-shore. He carried with 
him to London the vivid pictures of his youthful rambles over 
the verdurous hills and glades of Warwickshire ; his imagina- 


tion delighted to retrace them on every possible occasion ; and 
we see them reflected in the exiled Duke and the King of Na- 
varre, in Miranda and Imogen and Perdita, in Autolycus and in 
Touchstone. But in six of the plays, in *• Love's Labor's Lost," 
in " Midsummer Night's Dream,'' in " As You Like It," in " The 
Tempest," in " Cymbeline," and in " Winter's Tale," he makes 
nature the pervading presence and the potent minister. The 
entire environment — the setting or frame-work of the characters 
in these plays — is either wholly or mainly or largely sylvan and 
rural ; the life set before us is life out of doors ; men and women 
make mirth or make love; give play to their humors, their pas- 
sions, their activity, in the fields, amid the woods, upon the 
mountains, or beside the sea. And it is remarkable that of these 
six dramas, three of the best were written after the poet had 
quitted the ambitions and turmoils of the city, and gone down to 
spend his declining years amid the scenes of his youth at Strat- 
ford. We may well imagine him, on the banks of his beloved 
Avon — 

When daisies pied, and violets blue. 

And lady-smocks all silver white, 
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue, 

Do paint the meadows with delight ; 

where, fatigued perhaps with his rambles, he finds an arbpr 
in which to repose; or, it may be, in some shady nook, he 
knows — 

A bank where the wild thyme blows, 
Where oxlips, and the nodding violet grows. 
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine. 
With sweet musk roses, and with eglantine : 

there, lulled to sleep by the hum of bees, the songs of birds, and 
the murmur of the river, the " spirits of dreams" appear, and set 
before him his own immortal creations — past, present, and to 
come. This is no fancy sketch ; for as these characters, singly 
or in groups^ exult or lament, sing or soliloquize, around him, a 
"recording angel" is at hand to write down, in congenial num- 


bers, their sayings and their doings, for the delight and instruc- 
tion of after ages. 

Did time permit, it would be an interesting task to analyze the 
dramas I have mentioned, and mark the influence of nature and 
the use the poet makes of it in them. But you can do this, each 
for himself. In *' As You Like It," for example, you will note 
that this out-of-door nature is set before us as a purifying and 
restoring power, as a calmer of troubled thoughts, a healer of 
broken hearts, a harmonizer of distracted lives. The cares and 
splendors, the vices -and miseries, of the court are contrasted with 
the innocence, simplicity, and peace of the country. The forest 
of Arden is not only a happy region, where exiles find a home, 
and captives rejoice in liberty ; where the persecuted find shel- 
ter, and the aflfiicted gain comfort; it is likewise a delightful 
school, a scene of discipline, and a place of reformation. Almost 
every personage in the play is happier and better for a sojourn 
in the forest. In the palace of the reigning Duke, we have sus- 
picion, hatred, and wretchedness, while contentment, peace> and 
tenderness reign in the cave of his banished brother : 

Hath not old custom made this life more sweet 
Than that of painted pomp ? Are not these woods 
More free from peril than the envious Court ? 
And this our life, exempt from public haunt. 
Finds good m everything. 

The difference between the house of Oliver and the shades of 
Arden is the difference between Hell and Paradise. Rosalind and 
Celia do their best to look mirthful and appear happy at Court, but 
they only feel true happiness, and break forth into hearty mirth, 
in *' the sheep-cote fenced about with olive trees." Orlando, 
"cribbed, cabined, and confined," oppressed and ensnared at 
home, expands into the fullness of his noble nature amid the 
congenial amplitude and freedom of Arden. Dispatched on an 
evil errand; Oliver enters the blessed region to be reformed. 
Bent on purposes of destruction, Duk^ Frederick approaches the 
happy forest to be disarmed and converted. We feel inclined to 


condole with the rightful Duke on the recovery of his dukedom, 
to be sorry at his transfer from the cave to the Court ; and we 
sincerely regret when the pure and peaceful life at Arden comes 
to an end. 

Before closing my address, I wish to ask your attention to a 
fact which I think will interest you, and one that has not, I 
believe, hitherto been suggested by any critic or commentator. 
The second or 1632 folio, before it went to press, evidently passed 
through the hands of some competent editor, who corrected a 
large number of the flagrant typographical and other errors 
of the original 1623 edition. And although these corrections 
and improvements possess for us little authority in regulating 
the text, many being evidently explanatory sophistications, and 
others mere modernizations of the spelling and phraseology, 
while almost as many new errors disfigure the second edition as 
are corrected in the first, still they plainly show that some one 
beside the proof-reader revised the book with care and rever- 
ence. Who this editor was has never been ascertained ; but 
from various concurrent circumstances, I have recently become 
convinced that it was the poet John Milton, He was at that 
time in London, engaged in just such literary employment; he 
was twenty- four years of age, an enthusiastic scholar, a poet, 
and a lover of dramatic art ; and he had not yet been baptized 
in the bitter waters of Puritanism, that overflowed the country 
a few years later — a baptism that soured his disposition, effaced 
his charity, and, I cannot but believe, rendered unhappy his 
declining years. That he loved Shakespeare we are well assured 
from his splendid panegyric on the poet that first appeared in 
this very second folio, and which I am almost confident he wrote 
expressly to prefix to this folio, after he had completed his labors 
in revising it. In the folio it appears without date or signature; 
but it was published subsequently in a volume of minor poems 
by Milton, issued in 1645 ; and there it bears the date of 1631. This 
glowing eulogy, the whole-souled expression of the young poet's 
unbigoted and unprejudiced heart, one cannot help contrasting 


with the fact that in his after-life he sets it down among the 
sins and follies of King Charles that he gave a portion of his 
time to reading the plays of Shakespeare ! It was a congenial 
and consistent thing that, before prejudice and Puritanism had 
warped his generous nature, one transcendent genius should set 
the seal of his approval upon the works of another genius still 
, more transcendent ; and that upon the greatest iri his country's 
literary annals, the second greatest should write that noble 
epitaph : 

What neede my Shakespeare for his honor'd bones 

The labor of an age in piled stones. 

Or that his hallowM Reliques should be hid 

Under a starrey-pointing Pyramid ? 

Dear Son of Memory, grat Heire of Fame^ 

What needst thou such dull witnesse of thy Name ? 

Thou in our wonder and astonishment 

Hast built thy selfe a lasting monument ; 

For whilst to th' shame of slow-endeavoring Art, 

Thy easie numbers flow, and that each heart 

Hath, from the leaves of thy unvalued Booke, 

Those Delphic Lines with deep impression tooke ; 

Then thou, our fancy of its selfe bereaving. 

Dost make us Marble with too much conceiving ; 

And, so Sepulcher'd m such pompc dost lie. 

That Kings for such a Tombe would wish to die. 

I have now exhausted my time, and I fear more than ex- 
hausted your patience, with these desultory reflections. In con- 
clusion, let us all devputly thank God for the unspeakable gift 
of Shakespeare ; the rich legacy of whose imperishable works 
has made us better men and happier, better citizens, and better 
Christians. With each returning year, let us never omit to show 
our gratitude, bj'' meeting thus together and celebrating the 
anniversary of his birth; by cordially and sincerely loving each 
other; and by excluding from our studies and our intercourse all 
bickerings and jealousies and animosities; and so shall we set an 
example to our brethren of the " New Shakspere Society" across 
the Atlantic, some of whom seem of late to have forgotten the pre- 
cepts and example of their master, who was hailed by all as the 


"gentle" Shakespeare. There is no fear that we shall, any of 
us, study and enjoy this legacy too much, Ben Jonson said that 
"he loved the man, on this side idolatry, as much as any." If 
wc out-vie old Ben, and make him our supreme intellectual 
idol, it is an idolatry that will be as 'profitable, as it is sweet and 
reverential. See what he has done for the world to claim this 
homage! Has he not set the English tongue to music? Has 
he not taught lovers more about love than lovers know ? And 
Emerson goes so far as to ask, ** What maiden has not found 
Shakespeareyf//^r than her delicacy?" Has he not taught the 
orator more artifices and more arts than the orator knew ? Has 
he not framed the most adroit speech in history? Has he not 
taught king and politician ? Do not sages come to him for wis- 
dom, and humorists cluster around Falstaff for sallies of wit? 
Have not his myriad eyes seen more of men and women, and 
read the secret hopes and fears and inspirations of the human 
heart more truly and keenly than any one, save the great Crea- 
tor of them all ? Of him it may ba truly said, as it was of Plato, 
that the gods, if they were to return to earth, would speak the 
language of Shakespeare. Poets come and poets go ; and it is 
not likely that the world will ever be without a laureate or a 
Longfellow, a Browning or a Whittier, a Lowell or a Leighton. 
These poets are to us as patterns which we may copy. We imi- 

1 tate the polish of Pope, the impassioned grace of Byron, the 
mellifluous cadence of Tennyson ; and although we fall far short 
of success, we perceive no impertinence in the attempt. How 
different the feelings with which we approach Shakespeare. To 
imitate hiin would be a folly that scarce ignorance itself would 
entertain. The higher we rise in intellectual advance, the more 
clearly we see his greatness, and the more reverent is our love. 
Shall we ever have another Shakespeare ? Is it probable we 
shall ever look upon his like again ? I think not ; for genius, as 
transcendent as was that possessed by Shakespeare, seems to be 

r more closely allied to the divine nature than that allotted to 
ordinary men : it is lent to the world but once ; and when it has 


accomplished its work upon earth, it ascends to its home among 
the immortal, and draws the ladder up after it, 

Joseph Crosby. 


" It would," says Sydney Smith, in his " Culture of the Under- 
standing," " be a profitable thing to draw up a short and well- 
authenticated account of the habits of study of the most cele- 
brated writers. It would go far to destroy the absurd and 
pernicious associations of genius and idleness, by showing that 
men of the most brilliant and imposing talents have lived a life 
of intense and mcessant labor." Such an account would indeed 
be peculiarly valuable, and its value would be of a twofold char- 
acter. It would be at once instructive and suggestive, for it 
would go far to prove that genius is, as Buflfon and Johnson 
boldly defined it, the capacity for concentrated labor. It would 
be eminently curious and interesting, for it would be such a 
record of whims, caprices, and eccentricities as it would be diffi- 
cult to parallel outside the walls of a madhouse. It would be a 
perpetual succession of surprises and paradoxes. We shpuld 
find that in the race for fame the hares have been the tortoises, 
and the tortoises have been the hares. We should find men, 
who are in their works the very embodiment of hard and logical 
propriety, guilty, during the process of producing these works, 
of oddities at which Malvolio would have blushed. We should 
be shocked to discover that "rapt orations flowing free" have 
been worked out like mathematical problems, that fervid a|X)s- 
trophes have been compiled, and that laborious dissertations 
have been extemporized. Such an account would, however, be 
a very difficult task. Authors are not fond of being discovered 
in undress. What goes on in the work-room is, as a rule, jeal- 
ously concealed. Genius, like the Nile, keeps its springs secret. 


Few authors have the courage to unfold the genesis of their 
creations, as Edgar Poe has done, and when they have left us 
their autobio;^raphies, they have for the most part been careful 
not to impair the effect of their work by showing us any of the 
scaffolding ; the vanity which has led them to record the most 
trivial incidents in their pilgrimage through life, has led them 
to throw a veil over the arcana of the studio. It is only, there- 
fore, by searching in obscure corners, in ana and anecdotes, in 
familiar letters, in diaries, and in the by-paths of literary tradi- 
tion, that this interesting chapter in the curiosities of literature 
could with any thoroughness be written. That D'Israeli should 
have omitted to supply it is much to be regretted, as he pos- 
sessed singular qualifications for* the task, as well from his dis- 
cursive and recondite erudition as from his custom of collecting 
and noting down such minutiae whenever he encountered them. 
We trust, therefore, that this short sketch, slight and superficial 
though it be, will not be without interest to our readers. 

We wjU divide it into three parts: the method of authors; 
the whims of authors; the circumstances under which great 
works have been produced. 

Meditation and toil — meditatio et labor — are, according to 
Tacitus, the only passports to literary immortality, and with 
some few exceptions the dogma of the great historian will be 
found to hold good. "Nothing great and durable," says Tom 
Moore, " has ever been produced with ease. Labor Is the parent 
of all the lasting monuments of this world, whether in verse or 
in stone, in poetry or in pyramids," and first among the sons of 
toil stands Virgil. It was his custom, Donatus tells us. to throw 
off a number of verses in the morning and to employ the rest 
of the day in polishing and in pruning them down. It took him 
upwards of three years to compose his ten short *' Eclogues," 
seven years to write his "Georgics," which comprise little more 
than two thousand lines, and upwards of twelve years to elabo- 
rate the "^neid," which he was so far from regarding as com- 
plete that lie attempted to rise from his death-bed to commit it 


to the flames. Every line of " Horace" bfears testimony to the 
fastidious labor of its author. There are, sayg Lord Lytton, 
single odes which must have cost the poet six weeks' seclusion^ 
from the dissipations of Ronie. Lucretius's one poem repre- 
sents the work of a whole life, and he has himself told us how 
completely he was absorbed in it, how it filled his waking hours, 
how it haunted him in his dreams. / 

Thucydides was at least twenty years in inditing his great 
work, and that work is comprised in an octavo volume. Demos- 
thenes made no secret of the pains he expended in forging his 
thunderbolts a.^ainst Philip and -^schines; Diodorus informs 
us that he was thirty years in composing his history: and so 
fastidious was Plato that the first sentence in the " Republic" 
was turned into nine different ways before he could satisfy him- 
self. If we are to believe Quintilian, Isocrates was no less than 
ten years on his " Panegyric." Giannone was engaged for nearly 
the same period over his ** History of Naples." Boileau and 
Pope would spend whole days over a couplet, Charlotte^ Bront6 
an hour over a word, and Gray a month over a short copy of 
verses. There is a poem of ten lines in Waller which he has 
owned cost him a whole summer. Gibbon wrote the first chap- 
ter of the " Decline and Fall " three times before he was satisfied 
with it, and nearly a quarter of a century elapsed before the 
entire work was completed. John Foster the essayist would 
sometimes linger a week over a sentence. Addison was so fas- 
tidious that Johnson tells us he would stop the press to insert 
an epithet or even a comma. Sainte-Beuve expended incredible 
pains on every word in his famous " Causeries," and four or ^\^ 
octavo pages were in his estimation a good week's work. " You 
will read this treatise in a few hours," says Montesquieu in a 
letter to one of his friends, " but the labor expended on it has 
whitened my hair." Locke was no less than eighteen years 
over his essay. Tasso toiled like a galley slave at polishing his 
stanzas. So morbidly anxious was Cardinal Bembo about style 
♦hat every poem on which he was engaged passed successively 


through forty portfolios, which represented its various stages 
toward perfection. Pascal's diligence passed into a proverb. 
Cardinal Polignac's "Anti-Lucretius," one of the finest Latin 
poems that modern Europe has produced, was the fruit of 
twenty years* incessant revision, and what applies to Polignac 
applies also to the " De Partu Virginis" of Sannazarius. How 
Petrarch labored at his sonnets may be gathered from the fol- 
lowing memoranda, which were found on the original manu- 
script ofone of them. We adopt the translation of Ugo Fos- . 

I b^an this by the impulse of the Lord, loth of September, at the dawn of day 
after my morning prayers. . . . 1 rau^t make these two verses over again, singing 
them (cantando), and 1 must transpose them. Three o'ctock a.m., 19th of October. 
... I Hke this. 30th of October, ten o'clock in the morning. . . . No, this does 
not please me. aoth of December, in the evening. ... I shall return to this again, 
I am called to supper. . . . i8th of February, towards noon; this is now well ; how- 
ever, look at it again. 

And this is the history of one sonnet. Such is the labor of 
those who write for immortality ! 

The amount of toil expended by Sheridan on his comedies 
was almost incredible; every joke, every epigram, was as care- 
fully elaborated as a paragraph in Gibbon; his easy, sparkling 
dialogue was little better than mosaic work painfully dovetailed. 
Those who would know the price at which Sheridan's fame is 
purchased would do well to consult the fifth chapter in the sec- 
ond volume of Moore's" Life" of him. The translation of Quin- 
tus Curtius by Claude Vaugelas, which was pronounced by 
Voltaire to be a model of classical composition, occupied its 
author for thirty years. John Lewes Balzac averaged a week 
to a page ; Malherbe's fastidious diligence is illustrated by an 
anecdote which is worth repeating. A French nobleman had 
lost his wife, was inconsolable for her death, and, anxious to 
commemorate her virtues, employed Malherbe to dedicate an 
ode to her memory. The poet, though not needy, was by no 
means averse XX> receiving the haodsome fee which was, on the 


completion of the task, to reward his pains. Tliree years elapsed 
before he could finish tha verses to his satisfaction, but just as 
he was about to present it he was disgusted to discover that his 
patron had solaced himself v/ith a second wife, and there was 
nothing for it but for the unfortunate bard to turn his elegy 
into an epithalamium, or forfeit his fee. Among our own writ- 
ers. Gray, Miss Austen, Charlotte Bront6, and Charles James 
Fox were conspicuously distinguished by their morbid sensibil- 
ity to the niceties of style, and it is strange also to find in this 
class old Isaak Walton, whose simple homely diction was,«it 
appears, the result of almost incredible labor. Even Goldsmith 
had bemoaned the trouble his graceful periods cost him. " Every 
one," he once said bitterly, "writes better because he writes 
faster than I." The account given by Rosseau of the labor his 
smooth and lively style cost him, is so curious that we shall let 
him tell his own tale : 

My manuscripts blotted, scratched, interlined, and scarcely legible, attest the 
trouble they cost me. There is not one of them which I have not been obliged to 
transcribe four or five times before it went to press. I could never do anything when 
placed at a table pen in hand : it must be walking among the rocks or in the woods ; 
it is at night in my bed, during my wakeful hours, that I compose — it may be judged 
how slowly, particularly for a man who has not the advantage of verbal memory. 
Some of my periods I have turned or re-turned in my head for five or six nights 
before they were fit to be put to paper. 

Some authors, on the other hand, have been endowed with 
preternatural fluency, a quality which found, however, little favor 
in the eyes of the critics of antiquity. 

Ennius, the Roman Chaucer, wrote with astonishing rapidity, 
and Lucilius with such case that he boasted he could turn off 
two hundred verses while standing on one leg. Statius also 
appears to have been endowed with preternatural facility. In 
Cicero and Livy the faculty of eloquent expression resembled 
an instinct, though Cicero tells us that with him. at least, it was 
partly the result of sleepless diligence during the days of his 
literary apprenticeship. In one year Dryden produced four of 
his greatest works, " Absalom and Achitophel," '* The Medal," 

GENIUS And method. 141 

"The Religio Laici," and " Mac Flecknoe." He was only six 
months in writing " The Ffciid and Panther," three years in 
translating the whole of "Virgil," and twelve mornings in com- 
posing his " Parallel between Poetry and Painting." The orig- 
inal draught of " Alexander's Feast" was struck off at a single 
sitting. Dr. Johnson's " Rasselas" was written in a week to 
defray the expenses of his mother's funeral. Sir Walter Scott's 
rapidity is one of the marvels of literature; he wrote literally 
as fast as the pen could move, and when he dictated, his aman- 
uensis could scarcely keep pace with him, The original manu- 
scripts of the Waverley novels may still be seen ; they are 
frequently for many pages undeformed by a single blot or era- 
sure. Beckford*s "Vathek" was composed by the unbroken 
exertion of three whole days and two whole nights, the author 
supporting himself during his unnatural vigil by copious 
draughts of wine, and what adds to the wonder is that the 
work was written in French. Mrs. Browning's " Lady Geral- 
dine's Courtship," a* poem of great length in a peculiarly diffi- 
cult meter, was completed m twelve hours, while the printer was 
waiting to put it into type. Sir Walter Scott tells us that Mickle 
— the translator of the " Lusiad," and the author *of the beauji- 
ful ballad which suggested the romance of " Ken il worth" — fre- 
quently dispensed with manuscript altoi^ether, and " set up" his 
poems himself, " hot from the brain." Most of our Elizabethan 
dramatists were remarkable for the ease and rapidity with which 
they wrote. One of them, old Hey wood, was the author, " part 
or entire," of two hundred and thirty plays. It is mteresting to 
know, and we know it on the best authority, that Shakespeare 
himself wielded a very facile pen. " His n iid and hand," say 
the editors of the first folio, "went together, and what he 
thought he uttered with that easiness that we have scarce 
received from him a blot on his papers." Milton was at times 
distinguished by the same fluency, and when the fits of inspira- 
tion were on him, his amanuensis could scarcely keep up with 
the flood of verses which came welling forth. In Milton's case 


we may perhaps $uspect that what he dictated with so much 
ease he had been long revolving, ^nd that the breathless dicta- 
tion was in itself an effort rather of memory than invention. 
" Paradise Lost" has all the appearance of being a highly elabo- 
rated work. Swift, Steele, and De Foe were all of them remark- 
able for their rapidity and ease, and to the same class belong 
Fielding and Smollett. Indeed, Steele and Fielding wrote many . 
of their essays while the press was waiting. Johnson, like Gib- 
bon, wrote at first with labor, but afterwards found that, with 
practice, a stately and highly finished style came as naturally as 
ordinary expression comes to ordinary people, We leat'n, for 
example, that some of the best papers in the "Rambler" were 
penned as easily as a letter— that forty-eight octavo pages of 
the " Life of Savage," a singularly polished work, were com- 
pleted at a sitting, and that the " Lives of the Poets" cost him 
no more trouble than a slipshod article costs a professional 
journalist. But Johrson was, we may add, indefatigable in 
revising. Ben Jonson tells us that he wrote " The Alchymist " 
in six weeks ; Fenelpn, that " Telemaque" was produced in three 
months; and Brougham, that his '* Edinburgh Review" articles 
averaged a few hours. But the most portentous example of 
literary fecundity on record is beyond question to be found in 
the person of Lope de Vega. He thought nothing of writing a 
play in a couple of days, a light farce in an hour or two, and in 
the course of his life he furnished the stage of Spain with 
upwards of two thousand original dramas. Hallam calculates 
that this extraordinary man was the author of at least twenty- 
one million three hundred thousand lines. The most volunii- 
nous writer in modern times — an author who was, in facility of 
composition, not far inferior to Lope — would certainly be Robert 
Southey, whose acknowledj^ed jvorks amount to no less than 
one hundred and nine volumes, in addition to whicli he con- 
tributed fifty-two essays to the " Annual Review," ninety- four to 
the " Quarterly," and to minor magazines articles without num- 
ber. After Southey would come Voltaire aind Sir Walter Scott. 


Sheridan defined easy writing to be, as a rule, very hard reading. 
Some of the great men to whom we have alluded can scarcely 
be cited in support of the observation, though in reviewing the 
work thus hurriedly thrown off, there is one circumstance which 
must strike every one. If we except Scott (for Shakespeare, 
whatever may have been his facility of expression, so very far 
from being a voluminous author, has indeed all the marks of an 
exceptionally conscientious artist), the quality of the work pro- 
duced bears no relation to its quantity. Nine-tenths of Vol- 
taire's writing is now known only to the curious. Qryden would 
have stood much higher than he does, had he left us only his 
four or five best poems. Swift is remembered principally as the 
author of " Gulliver's Travels," De Foe as the author of ** Rob- 
inson Crusoe," Bunyan as the author of the " Pilgrim's Prog- 
ress" only. Steele, in spite o£^ Mr. Forster's vindication, lives 
chiefly as the friend of Addison. Southey's fame rests on his 
** Lives of Nelson and Wesley," and their popularity is begin- 
ning to decline. Even Scott's giant reputation, if not exactly 
waning, is gradually narrowing itself into his fame as a story- 
teller. His biographies have been superseded. His essays are 
seldom read. His poetry has not been able to hold its own 
against the poetry which has appeared since his death. His his- 
torical works have already been consigned to oblivion. Indeed 
the whole history of literature goes to show that no parts, how- 
ever bright, no genius, however dazzling, are exempt from the 
curse of Adam. 

Let us now look at the method of authors from another point 
of view, and see how their works have grown up under their 
hand. Godwin wrote "Caleb Williams" backward, beginning 
on principle with the last chapter and working up to the first. 
It is curious to note how many poets have clothed their 
thoughts first in prose. This, Donatus tells us, was Virgil's 
custom. The original form which the "-^neid " took was a 
prose narrative. This narrative was then gradually versifed, 
the poet writing at fim fluehtly, and thea laboriously polishing 


his lines tijl he had brought them as near perfection^ he could. 
Thus Goldsmith worked at " The Traveler" and "The Deserted 
Village." Thus Johnson. composed •* Irene," Butler " Hudibras," 
Boileau his " Satires," Racine and Ben Jonson their dramas, 
and Pope the " Essay on Man." When Balzac was engaged on 
his novels, he sent off the skeleton of the story to the printers 
with huge interstices for the introduction of conversations, 
descriptions, and the like, and on receiving the printed sketch, 
shut himself up in his room, drank nothing but water, ate noth- 
ing but fruit and bread, till he had completed the work by filling 
up the blank spaces. Sou they usually employed himself in 
passing three or even four works through the press at the same 
time, giving each its allotted space in the twenty-four hours. 
Richardson produced his romances by pamfully working out 
different portions at different tinges, sometimes while engaged in " 
his shop, sometimes while sitting surrounded by friends in his 
snug parlor at Hampstead. Peter Pindar's method was to 
compose the poem with which he was occupied, first of all in 
his head without committing a word of it to paper, and then, if 
his amanuensis was away, to tear a sheet of paper into four 
quarters. On each of these slips he inscribed a stanza of four 
or six lines according to the nature of the poem. The paper 
thus inscribed he placed on a book held in his left hand, and 
thus, in spite of his blindness, contrived to write not only legibly 
but with celerity and ease as well. 

It hasalwasrs been my practice [says Gibbon] to cast a long para|^ph in a single 
mold, to try it by my ear, to deposit it in my memory, but to suspend the action of 
the pen till I had given the last polish to my w(M-k. 

Warburton, Hurd, Locke, Parr, and Gibbon always read with 
commonplace books in front of them, and the same method was 
adopted also by Robert Burton, the eccentric author of the 
'" Anatomy of Melancholy," by the great scholars Barthius and 
Tumebus, by Thomas Fuller, the quaintest of historians, and by 
Butler, . the author of ^' Hudibr^/' Casaubon studied with slips 


of paper before him, on which he jotted down catchwords, the 
only assistance his gigantic memory required. Bentley, the 
prince of Grecians, took care to buy his books with broad mar- 
gins, and on these margins he made his memoranda Pope 
always carried a note-book with him, and never hesitated 
to jot down anjrthing which struck him in conversation. 
A great deal of his " Homer" was executed in bed on odd 
scraps of paper, and many of his beautiful couplets were 
rounded off while taking the air in his bath-chair, or driv- 
ing in his little chariot. „ Prideaux's great wock was writ- 
ten to while away the time while the author was recovering^ 
from the effects of an agonizkig operation. Shelley composed 
the " Revolt of- Islam" while lying in a boat on the Thames at 
Marlow; Keats, his "Ode to the Nightingale" in a lane at 
Hampstead. Almost all Wordsworth's poetry was meditated in 
the open air an 1 committed to paper on his return home. 
Burns composed his magnificent lyric " Scots wha' ha wi' Wal- 
lace bled " while galloping on horseback over a wild moor in 
Scotland, and '* Tam O'Shanter" in the woods overhanging the 
Doon. Much of Bloomfield's " Farmer's Boy" was fashioned 
while its author was engaged in his trade of shoe-maker, some 
of the verses being scratched on leather whh an awl. Wash- 
ington Irving's favorite studio was a stile in some pleasant 
meadow, where with his portfolio on his knees he used to 
mold his graceful periods. The " History of Thucyd ides" was, 
if we are to believe Marcellinus, composed under a plane-tree in 
his garden. The greater part of Arnold's " Roman History" 
was written in his drawing-room with his children playing about 
him, and lively conversation, in which he frequently joined, 
going on round the table on which his manuscript rested. 
Priestley and Beddoes were fond of writing under similar cir- 
cumstances. What would to nine men out of ten be an intol- 
erable distraction, was to them a gentle and welcome stimulus. 
Johnson's ** Vanity of Human Wishes" was composed as he 
trudged backwards and forwards from Hampstead> and Tom 


Paine usually clothed his thoughts in expression while walking 
rapidly in the sjtreets. Hooker often meditated the '* Ecclesias- 
tical Polity'* when rcfcking the cradle of his child, and Spinoza 
his " Tractatus" while grinding glasses. Robert Stephens 
thought out many of his works on horseback. Some of Field- 
ing's comedies were scrawled in taverns. Descartes, Berni the 
Italian poet, and Boyse, the author of the once celebrated 
" Deity," usually wrote while lying in bed. Byron tells us that 
he composed the greater part of '* Lara" at the toilet-taWe, and 
the prologue on the opening of Drury Lane Theater in a stage- 
coach. A great part of the best poem Savage ever penned, 
"The Wanderer," was executed piecemeal on scraps of pmper 
which he picked up casually in coi!ee-houses or in the streets, 
an^ in the same miserable way poor Gerald Griffin composed 
** Gisippus.*' Under circumstances still less favorable the Span- 
ish poet Ercilkt completed the first part of the " Araucana." In 
the midst of a savage wilderness surrounded by hostile barba- 
rians and under the naked canopy of heaven, he inscribed on 
small shreds of waste paper the fifteen cantos of his famous 
epic. Among all the distractions of the events they describe, 
Caesar committed to paper the immortal "Commentaries." 
Moore's splendid Eastern romance, " Lallah Rookhr" ^^'as writ- 
ten in a cottage blocked up by snow, with an English. winter 
howling round. Tasso indited some of his loveliest sonnets on 
the walls of the cell in which he was confined as a lunatic ; and 
Christopher Smart his "Song to the Deity," one of the best 
sacred lyrics we have, in a madhouse. 

It is a great testimony to the innate power of genius— to its 
capacity for triumphing over all obstacles — that some of its 
most laborious literary undertakings have been prosecuted un- 
der the most unfavorable conditions. It was in the midst of 
laborious political duties that Nieburh carried on his historical 
labors. In the intervals of a busy mercantile life Roscoe pro- 
duced his" Histories of Lorenzo de Medici and Leo X." It was 
«n the midst of a restless and feverish life that Scaliger, 6u- 


-chanan, Erasmus/ Robert Stephens, and Heinsius accomplished 
their gigantic tasks. Not only were Homer and Milton blind, 
but the same affliction had overtaken Prescott when he produced 
his various historical works, Vhierry when he composed his 
" History of the Conquest of England by the Normans," and 
Isaac D'Israeli when he^ compiled his "Amenities of Litera- 
ture," and to this list must be added Blind Harry, the earliest of 
Scotland's epic poets, Blacklock, and our own Dr. Walcot. 
Half-famished in a miseraole garret, Heyne gave the world his 
edition of " Tibullus." Every one knows how the immortal 
poem of Dante was formulated as he wandered a needy exile from 
one place of refuge to another, how the " Pilgrim's Progress" 
was indited in Bedford jail, and " Don Quixote" in a wretched 
prison in Spain. But these great works are far from exhaust- 
ing the literature which has emanated from the dungeon. We 
must add to the melancholy catalogue "The Kynge's Quhair" 
— one of the best poems which British poetry can boast between 
the death of Chaucer and the accession of Henry VIH., penned 
by James I. while a captive in Windsor Castle ; some of the 
most pleasing of Lord Surrey's poems. Sir Walter Raleigh's 
*' History of the World," Robert Southwell's " Peter's Com- 
plaint," Buchanan's Latin Version of the Psalms, Boethius's 
" Consolation of Philosophy," Fleta, De Foe's " Review," Vol- 
taire's " Henriade," Howel's " Familiar Letters," much of Dave- 
nant's " Gondibert," Dodd's " Prison Thoughts," Grotius's 
*' Commentary on St. Matthew," Coombe's " Adventures of Dr. 
Syntax," Thomas Cooper's "Purgatory of Suicides," and the 
list might be extended even further. Many too are the works 
produced while their authors were in exile. It was in exile 
that Thucyd ides composed his "History of the Peloponnesian 
War," Xenophon his " Anabasis," Ovid his " Tristia," Clarendon 
his " History of the Rebellion," Fortescue his " De Laudibus 
Legum Anglise," Locke his famous " Letter Concerning Tolera- 
tion," Bolingbroke his still more famous " Letter to Sir William 
Wyn^ham" an4 his " Keflections on Exile." That misforti- ' 


should stimulate genius is not surprising, but that sleep should 
possess creative power is curious indeed. And yet Burns tells 
us that he dreamed one of his poems — it may be found in his 
works — and that he wrote it down just as he'd reamed it. Yol- 
taire informed his friend Wagniere that the whole of the second 
canto of the " Henriade" was composed by him in his sleep. 
Coleridge always said that he dreamed " Tubla iChan," and 
Campbell that he was indebted to the same source for the best 
line in " Lochiel's Warning." Dion Cassius solemnly assures 
us that he undertook his history solely in consequence of a vis- 
ion in his sleep; iEschylus, as Pausanias tells us, was wade a 
poet by a dream ; so also was Caedmon ; and Tartini, as every 
one knows, dreamed the " Devil's Sonata." 

But one of the most extraordinary inducements to literary 
activity is that recorded, by Captain Bell, the translator of 
Luther's " Table Talk," whose task was imposed on him by a 
ghost, and a very importunate ghost too. We will give the 
story in the good captain's own words. After alluding to the 
discovery of Luther's work, which had for many years been lost, 
he goes on to say that a friend had told him he would bestow a 
great and substantial service by translating it into English. He 
accordingly began it, but after a while, tiring of his task, laid it 

Then about six weeks after I had received the said book, it fell out that being in 
bed with my wife one night between twelve and one of the clock, she being asleep, 
but myself yet awake, there appeared unto me an ancient man, standing at my bed- 
side, arrayed all in white, having a long and broad white beard hanging down to 
his girdle, who, taking me by my right ear, spake these words following unto me: 
** Sirrah ! will not you take time to translate that book which is sent unto you out of 
Germany ? I will shortly provide for you both place and time to do it," and then 
he vanished away out of my sight. 

-The whole strange story may be read at length in Captain 
Henry Bell's narrative, which is prefixed to Hazlitt's version of 
the " Table Talk." Rotru, the French dramatist, used to say 
that a demon frequently seized his pen, and that, helpless in the 

ip's hands, he let his pen drive on as his supernatural visitant 


guided — ^which reminds us, by the way, of the well-known 
remark of Moliere, made about Corneille. 

Not less strange have been the habits and fancies of authors. 
Cameades, the philosopher, seldom wrote without dosing him- 
self with hellebore, -^schylus, Eupolis, Cratinus. and Ennius are 
said never to have sat down to compose till they were intoxicated. 
Dry den often had himself bled, and, like Fuseli. ate raw meat to 
assist, so he said, his imagination. Shad well, De Quincey, 
Psalmanaazar, Dean Milner, Coleridge, and Bishop Horsley 
stimulated themselves with opium, as De Musset was helpless 
without absinthe. Gray seldom sat down to compose without 
first reading through some cantos of the " Faery Queen." 
Corneille fired himself with the perusal of "Lucan.'* Black- 
stcJne never wrote without a bottle of port wine on his desk, nor 
Schiller without a flask of Rhenish within call. When his im- 
agination was sluggish he would sit with his feet in hot water, 
drinking coffee "to thaw the frost on his wits." Montaigne 
was never happy without his cat, and with the pen in his right 
hand while his left was smoothing the glossy back of his favor- 
ite tabby, meditated his " Essays." Boxhome, the great Dutch 
scholar, could never write a word without a pipe in his mouth, 
and as he preferred a long pipe and yet required the use of both 
hands, he bethought him of a very ingenious device. He had a 
hat with an enormous brim, which impended in front of his 
face; through this he made a hole to support his pipe, thus 
securing the double advantage of shading his eyes and enjoying 
without inconvenience his favorite luxury, and in this way he 
produced his voluminous and valuable writings. Hobbes had 
the same weakness, " ten or twelve pipes with a candle" being 
his invariable concomitants at the desk, and Dr. Parr was not 
less dependent on tobacco. Southey could never write a line 
except at his desk, with his books round him and with familiar 
objects by. Milton could, he said, never compose anything to 
his satisfaction except between the vernal and autumnal equi- 
nox. At those seasons his poetry came like an inspiration. At 


Other times, in spite of the most strenuous efforts, he would bi*^ 
unable to bring to the birth a single verse. Thomson, Collins, 
and Gray had the same superstition about themselves. John- 
son, with his usual bluff common-sense, ridicules such fancies, 
and calls them unworthy of any sensible man — the good Doc- 
tor's theory being that a man. who had the power of writings 
always could write " if he set himself doggedly to it." Crabbers 
fancies about himself are so curious that we. will quote the pas- 
sage in his son's biography of him which bears on the subject: 

He fancied that autumn was on the whole the most favorable season for him ia 
the composition of poetry, but there was something in the effect of a sudden fall of 
snow that appeared to stimulate him in a very extraordinary manner. It was dur- 
ing a great snowstorm that, shut up in his room, he wrote almost currcnte cakmt> 
his '' Sir Eustace Grey." Latterly he worked chiefly at night after all the family had 

Even a robust and practical scholar like Bishop Warburton 
tells us that he could only write " in a hand-to-mouth style," 
and that the blowing of an east wind, a fit of the spleen, or the 
fact that he had not his books round him, cofnpletely destroyed 
bis power of composition. George Wither the poet was obliged 
to watch and fast when he was engaged in making verses; his 
spirit he says was lost if at such times he tasted meat and drink ; 
" even," he adds, " if I take a glass of wine I cannot write a 

Sir Henry Wotton gives a curious account of Father Sarpi— 
Macaulay's favorite historian, and t}ie author of the famous 
" History of the Council of Trent" : 

His manner was to sit fenced with a castle of paper about his chair and above his 
head, for he was of our Lord of St. Albans* opinion, that air is predatory, and espe- 
cially hurtful when the spirits are most enlarged. 

William Prynne, the voluminous author of the " Histrionras- 
trix," was nothing " without a long quilted cap which came an 
inch over his eyes." Buffon was helpless without a spotless 
shirt and a starched frill. Still stranger were the whims of 
Graham, the author of " The Sabbath," and Hogg, the Ertrick 


Shepherd, who, if we are to believe De Quincey. found their 
vein never ran happily unless they sat down to their tasks with 
boots and spurs on. An eminent modern novelist finds his pen 
and his imagination powerless unless he sits surrounded by 
lighted candles in a darkened room, and Horace Walpole tells 
us that Lord Orrery found no stimulus so efficacious as a sharp 
fit of the gout. The great Dutch scholar, Isaak Vossius, and our 
own poet, John Philipps, would employ a servant to comb their 
hiir whilst they meditated their works. Coleridge told Hazlitt 
that when engaged in composition he never found his vein so 
happy as when he was walking over uneven ground, or making 
his way through a coppice with the twigs brushing his face. 
Wordsworth on the other hand preferred a straight gravel walk 
where he could wander mechanically and without any impedi- 
ment to and fro; in this way almost all his later poems were 
composed. Lord Bacon had a fancy for inhaling the fumes of a 
bottle of claret poured out on earth which had been newly up- 
turned. But here we must conclude, though we have by no 
means exhausted our list of the whims and oddities of the 
strange race to whom the world owes so much. 

Templi Bar. 


Le Sage's novel, " Gil Bias of Santillana," enjoys a world-wide 
reputation. It is a vivid picture of manners, an apotheosis "of 
the indifferent worldling to whom neither virtue nor roguery is 
in itself commendable or hateful, but to whom the pursuit of 
happiness, and success in that pursuit, constitute the aim and 
end of existence. The book, it has been shrewdly said, is as 
moral as experience : it is also as useful ; and hence the cause of 
its popularity. Besides, Le Sage possesses in the highest de- 


gree the art of describing, in a fresh, pure, and simple style, that 
which is not pure, and of touching the evils of his time lightly, 
but always on the weak spot. Gil Bias tells his own story, and 
relates his illusions, his struggles, his failures and successes with 
unimpaired cheerfulness and good-humored philosophy. He 
dilates and reflects on all he sees, and on the whole exercises * 
his wit as well on his own history as on the actions of the soci- 
ety in which he lives. All that he narrates is simple and drawn 
from the life; and yet there is hardly a minor fcaiurc of the pic- 
ture which does not aim both at satirizing and finding excuses 
for the foibles of mankind. Gil Bias spares nothing and no- 
body, and even his own shortcomings are exposed with spark- 
ling drollery and vengeful frankness, though he gives himself 
credit — and to others as well — for the upwellings of a better na- 
ture. He is a true type of men kindly disposed and not evil- 
intentioned, but withal weak in the flesh and unable always to 
resist temptation, even whilst he knows that he will repent of it 

It has been said that Le Sage, in his one-act farce, " Le Tem- 
ple de Memoire," represented at the Fair St. Laurent in 1725, 
and afterwards at the theater of the Palais Royal, ridiculed the 
exaggerated admiration for Voltaire — ^then only known by the 
tragedies of "CEdipe," "Artemire," and **Mariamne," and 
through his poem of " La Ligue," a feeble and first sketch of the 
*' Henriade" — by making a poet who wishes to reach the Temple 
of Memory pick up a book from the ground whilst saying, " Je 
prends mon vol terre a terre." Le Sage's farce, interspersed 
with songs, opens with the appearance of Folly and Pierrot. 
F©lly bewails the misfortune that so many men are anxious to 
flirt with her, but that none seems to wish to marry her; where- 
upon her confidant advises her to adopt the name of Glory, and 
to promise a perennial name in history to him who will niake 
her his wife, for " poets are not the only persons who love to be 
mache-lauriers and amateurs de fumee." Fame approves of this 
advice ; Folly thereupon shakes her bauble, ai;d, as if by magic, 


the Temple of Memory arises on the top of a steep hill. Various 
suitors for her hand now come upon the stage. First, a con- 
queror, whose only delight is fighting, bullets, pistols and knives, 
and who declares it as his opinion that "any one at the head of 
a goodly number of cavalry, infantry, and artillery has a right to 
another man's property." Then a rich miller makes her a pro- 
posal. Next an artist asks for her hand, who is dressed as a 
harlequin, professes to be a good fellow, promises to be very 
uxorial, and shows Folly how to borrow different colors from 
his variegated coat. Folly, under the disguise of Glory, recom- 
mends him to marry a rich woman, and not to sue for her hand, 
for he will have a fair chance of dying on a dunghill unless he 
acts up to her recommendation. But the artist replies that he 
will be happy to live with her on such a malodorous spot, where- 
upon Folly, carried away by enthusiasm, exclaims, " Vivent les 
Gueux !" an exclamation which the great French song-writer, 
Beranger, utilized, about ninety years later, as the last line of the 
burden of his song, " Les Gueux." M. Tout-Uni, or Mr. Quite- 
Smooth, a poet, now appears, and is anxious to obtain the hand 
of Glory, but is rebuked for his presumption by M. Pr6ne-Vers, 
ExtoUerof Verses — by whom it is said Voltaire's friend Thi6riot 
was meant — who sues her in the name of that " Phoenix of 
poets," his " illustrissime" friend, the " c616brissime" author of 
an *'el6gantissime" poem, "far superior to all poems past, pres- 
ent, and future, and whose praises he will never cease to sing." 
Folly replies that she knows by these hyperbolic epithets what 
kind of Homer is meant. Three other poets arrive as fresh 
suitors : but Folly now appears under her own true colors, argues 
that no real difference exists between herself and Glory, and 
expresses her willingness to marry them all. Voltaire, of whose 
poem, " La Ligue," Folly had already said — 

Dans ce pofeme si vant^, 
L'art se trouve un peu maltralU. 
Vous arran^jrez votre matiiftt 
dans (sic) dessus dessous, 


Sans devant derrifere ; 

Et les bons morceaiix y sont tous 

Sans devant demure, 

Sans desdus dessous * — 

may, perhaps, have felt still more bitterly the sting of a couplet, 
also sun^ by Folly, and referring to his tragedy, ** CEdipus/' 
written when he was cnly eighteen years old, performed in 171 8 
forty-five times in succession, and published the following 
year with some letters to a friend, in which are analyzed the 
•" CEdipus" of Sophocles, a tragedy of the same name by Cor- 
neille, and his own. The lines sung by Folly in the fifteenth 
and last scene of the " Temple de Memoire" are as follows : 

Un sQJet traits par ComeiUe 
N'avait qu'ua prix tr^-incertaia ; 
Mais il devient une merveille. 
En nous passant de main en main ! 
Ha ! YRument voire ! 
Ziste, zeste et lonla, 
En grand trio te voili, 
Dans le Temple de M^moire. 

Le Sage renewed his attack on the poet ten years later. In the 
last volume of '* Gil Bias," which appeared in 1735, there is a 
portrait of Don Gabriel Triaquero, a fashionable playwright (bk. 
X. ch. 5), whom everybody runs to see, for no better reason than 
that he is fashionable, and which, it was generally believed, was 
intended for Voltaire. When, in 1752, five years after Le Sage's 
death, the " Age of Louis XIV." was published, the then cele- 
brated Voltaire saw his way to pay off a literary grudge, and 
could not resist the temptation. He says in this wcrk: "vGil 
Bias ' is still read because it is true to nature ; but it s entirely 
taken from the Spanish romance called *La Vidad de lo Escu- 
diero Dom Marcos d'Obrego.' " t This criticism of Voltaire was 

* These words are not to be found in the sixth volume of the " Theatre dc la 
Foire," Amsterdam, Zacharie Ch4telain, 1731, in which volume "Le Temple vc 
M^moire *' is published. 

t Ticknor, in his *' History of Spanish Liberaturstt*' V9I. iU.» p. 3, ch. 34, observes: 


soon followed by others. 1 he very trouble Le Sage had taken 
to render his novel perfect, the pains he had bestowed to become 
intimately acquainted with the habits and customs of the Span- 
iards of the times he describes, served as a reason for attacking 
him and his book, and for accusing him of impudent plagiarism. 
Father Juan d*Isla, a well-known Sp nish author, stigmatized 
Le Sage as having stolen " Gil Bias" from a manuscript which 
an unknown Andalusian advocate had given to the Frenchman 
whilst in Spain. The padre had his own Spanish translation of 
the French novel printed and published in Madrid in 1787, 
omitting some parts and altering others, adding to it a long and 
not successful continuation, and stating on the title-page that 
" Gil Bias" was " now restored to its country and native language 
by a Spaniard who does not choose to have his nation trifled 
with." But nobody believed in the Spanish advocate and in the 
manuscript given to Le Sage in Sp^in, for he had never been 
there. In 181 8 Count Francois de Neufchateau read a disserta- 
tion before the French Academy, in which he tried to show that 
Le Sage was the author of " Gil Bias," and this dissertation he 
enlarged, improved, and published in 1820, as a preface to an 
edition of this novel.* The same year, a learned Spanish exile, 
Don Juan Antonio Llorente, who was then living in Paris, and 
who had just published a " History of the Inquisition in Spain," 
presented to the French Academy a Memoir of Critical Obser- 
vations, in which he attempted to establish that "Gil Bias" had 
not been written by Le Sage, but by a Spaniard. This Memoir 

•* The idea that the ' Gil Bias* was taken entirely from the ' Marcos de Obregfon' of 
Espinel. or was very seriously indebted to that work, is as absurd as Voltaire's mode 
of speliin°^ the title of the book, which evidently he had never seen, and of which 
he could even have heard very little." 

* This dissertation was really written by Victor Hugfo, then a very youngf man. 
This is partly hinted at by the words Marius uses in the " Mis^rables": "She (Co- 
sette) would not fail to esteem and value me if she knew that I am the real author of 
the dissertation on Marcos Obregon de la Ronda, which M. Franfois de Neufch^ 
teau appropriated, and used as a preface to hiS edition of ^ Gil Bias; ' " and is abso- 
lutely confirmed m a chapter of '' Victor Hugo racont^ parim Xiimok^ 4e sa vie," a 
work said to be wi;iuea by Madame Hugo. 


was forwarded to a, committee, composed of MM. de Neufchi.- 
teau. Raynouard, and Lemontey ; but no report seems ever to 
have been made. Eighteen months after the presentation cf 
Llorente's Memoir, the first of these gentlemen read to the 
Academy an " Examen du nouveau systeme sur I'auteur de * Gil 
Bias,' ou reponse aux Observations critiques de M. Llorente," 
which was published the same year. This was shortly after- J 
wards replied to by M. Llorente, who amplified and sent forth, 
in the form of a book, his " Observations critiques sur le Ro- 
man de ' Gil Bias de Santillane,' " in which he maintains that 
this novel was the work of the Spanish historian de Solis. chiefly 
because no one but this gentleman could have planned such a 
fiction at the time " Gil Bias" is supposed to have been written. 
Llorente's book is di»rided into fourteen chapters, of which the 
first and twelfth contain the pretended history of the manu- 
script, whilst the other ten attempt to prove its existence. The 
second chapter is called " A Chronology of the Life of Gil Bias," 
and gives the days and the months when certain events of the 
novel are supposed to have happened. According to this chap- 
ter, Gil Bias, born in 1588, was about thirty-two or thirty-three 
years old when Philip III. died, and was fifty-eight or fifty-nine 
when he married for the second time, in 1646. 

In the North American Review for October, 1827, appeared 
an article " Who wrote * Gil Bias ' ?" of which the author, Mr. A. 
H. Everett, inclines to the belief that de Solis, and not Le Sage, 
was the author of "Gil Bias." He bases his opinion chiefly on 
Llorente's " Observations." and states frankly that he has not 
seen the " Examen" pf the Count de Neufchateau, in defense of 
that novel, but has derived the latter's reasons from the work of 
Llorente. Mr. Everett's arguments in favor of a Spanish origin 
of " Gil Bias" are : 

I®. The minute acquaintance of the author with the political, 
geographical, and statistical situation of Spain, ^nd with the 
manners of itg inhabitants. 

2'. The considerable number of errors* more or less obvious. 

WHO WROTE ''GIL BLAS" r ^ 157 

principally in the manner of writing the names of places and 
persons, and most naturally accounted for by considering them 
as the errors of a person transcribing names with which he was 
not perfectly familiar. 

3®. The mixture of Spanish idioms, and even Spanish words 
^ and phrases, to be found in " Gil Bias." 

4<». The illustrating by an example in French, "les intermedes 
font beaute dans une comedie," the verbal niceties of the style 
of the Spanish poet, Gongora. 

5*». The probability of Le Sage having taken " Gil Bias" from 
the same source as " The Bachelor of Sala,manca," which came 
out in 1738 as an avowed translation from an unpublished Span- 
ish manuscript. 

These same arguments, amplified and worked out, as well as 
many fresh ones, have been used in an article also called " Who 
wrote *Gil Bias'?" which appeared in the June number of 
Blackwood's Magazine for 1844, and in which are ably main- 
tained the views of those who persist in believing that " Gil 
Bias" is of Spanish origin. Following chiefly Llorente. the 
writer of this article states that "Gil Bias" is translated from a 
manuscript written in Spanish by Don Antonio de Solis y Riba- 
deneira, author of " Historia de la Conquista de Mejico." The 
reasons given for this assertion are : i*, that this novel abounds 
in facts and allusions which none but a Spaniard could know ; 
and, 2*, that it abounds in errors which no Spaniard could 

It is further stated that Le Sage obtained the manuscript from 
the library of his friend and patron, the Abbe de Lyonne, third 
son of Hugo, Marquis de Lyonne, a lover of Spanish literature, 
who was sent on a secret mission to Spain in 1656 (1658), and 
who, whilst there, lived in great intimacy with Louis de Haro, 
Duke of Montoro. As an additional argfument, it is mentioned 
, that " The Bachelor of Salamanca," published in 1738, which the 
author himself admitted to be a translation from a Spanish 
manuscript, and of which he never produced the original, bears 


a great similarity to " Gil Bias," and contains part of that nranti- 
script relating to America, and not found in the last-mentioned 
work of Le Sage. Nineteen points of resemblance are brought 
forward to prove this. It is also argued that the frequent allu- 
sions in " Gil Bias" to some of the most remarkable characters 
of the court of Louis XIV. only demonstrate " that the extremes 
of society are very uniform . . . and the abuses of govern- 
ment . . . the same, or nearly so, in every countn%" 

The facts and allusions which none but a Spaniard could 
know are as follows : 

1. The custom of traveling on mules, the coin ducats, the 
begging with a rOsary a$ well as the extorting money in the 
manner which Gil Bias delineates, and the subterranean caves 
described by Captain Rolando. 

2. The words " dire son rosaire, rezar su rosario," as foreign 
to the habits of a " vierux militaire ;" traveling the whole day 
without meeting any one; the escorting of a coach, and the 
drawing of that vehicle by mules. 

3. The treatment of prisoners in Spain. 

- 4. The exact description of the class of women known in Spain 
by the name " Beata." 

5. The dinner-hour at twelve during the reigns of Philip III. 
and Philip IV. 

6. The description of the Spanish innkeepers, so different 
from the French, as well as the intimate knowledge displayed by 
Gil Bias of the houses of noblemen at Madrid (bk. ii. ch. 7, and 
bk. vii. ch. 13). 

7. The acquaintance with Spanish habits and customs, as Mer- 
gelina putting on her mantle to go to mass (bk. ii. ch. 7); Gil 
Bias joining the muleteer (bk. iii. ch. i); Rolando informing 
Gil Bias that his comrades were three days in prison before be- 
ing put to death (bk. iii. ch. 2) ; the allusion to the Andalusian 
way of managing a cloak (bk. iii. ch. 5) ; and to the " Caballeros 
en Pla^a," or amateur gentlemen bull-fighters (bk. iv. ch. 7) ; 
the dress of the inquisitor aad his servants; the Inkstand eftDed 

WffO WROTE '*GIL BLAS**f 159 

•'Tintero de E^cribano," which the Spanish scriveners always 
carry about with them, as well as the whole scene between Am- 
brosia de Laraela and Simon (bk. vi. ch. i) ; the custom of carry- 
ing wine in leathern bags (bk. ii. ch. 6) ; the appointment of Ig- 
natio to the archdeaconry of Granada, by virtue of a particular 
bnll (bk. X. ch. 12); and the allusion which the Count-Duke of 
Olivarez makes to Don Alphonso de Leyva about the objection 
of the Aragonese to be governed by any other but the king him- 
self, or by a person of the royal blood (bk. xi. ch. 12). 

8. The use in " Gil Bias" of " Don" prefixed in Spanish to 
the Christian, and never to the surname, as Don Juan, whilst its 
synonym " Dom" is in France prefixed to the surname, as Dom 
Calmet; ''dame" as a translation of " sefiora," and the latter 
word itself; as well as the employment of many other Spanish 
expressions and idions, such as sefior escudero, sefior caballero, 
famosa comedia, hidalgo, contador mayor, oidor, escribano, hos- 
pital de nifios, olla podrida, marmalada de berengaria, picaro. etc." 

9. The knowledge that during the reign of Philip IV. the 
actors lodged in the pwovince^ in the buildings in which dra- 
matic performances were represented. 

10. The idiomatic Spanish verses which Don Gaston de Co- 
gollos sings in the Tower of Segovia (bk. ix. ch. 5). 

11. The words which Lg Sage has evidently translated from 
the Spanish, such as "seigneur, dame, cavalier," as well as many 
expressions of Spanish origin, such as " a Dieu ne plaise, ils sgnt 
tons plus durs que des Juifs, graces au ciel, patriarche des Indes, 
gargon de famille, benefice simple, gargon de bien et d'honneur, 
fameux directeur, laboureur, disciple, viceroi, Juif comme Pilate, 
dormir la sieste. rendre de tres- humbles graces, etc." 

12. The local knowledge of Spanish towns, as shown by Gil 
•Bias, such as the mentioning of a church at Toledo called "de 
los Reyes," the speaking of the Prado of Madrid as the " pre de 
Sai:it-Jer6me," the quoting the " Rue des Infantes" and the 
" Maison des Repenties" in the same town ; and the statement 
that Lucretia, the repentant mistress of Philip IV., is going into 


the nunnery of " la Incamacion," reserved expressly for nuns 
connected in some way with the royal family of Spain. To this 
should be added the mentioning of no less than seventy prov- 
inces and large towns in Spain, and of one hundred and three 
Spanish villages and towns of inferior importance, many of thenx 
unknown out of that country. ^. 

13. The citing of the names of thirteen dukes and eight 
counts, of which four only are fictitious, whilst the title of "Ad- 
mirante de Castilia," also quoted, did not exist when ** Gil Bias" 
was published ; the naming of about sixty persons celebrated in 
their day among the inhabitants of the Peninsula, belonging to 
distinguished families, and the employment of twenty-nine 
names, really Spanish, but applied to imaginary characters, as 
well as forty-five names '* intended to explain the character of 
those to whom they are given, like Mrs. Slipslop and Parson 
Trulliber in English, retained by Le Sag«, notwithstanding the 
loss of their original signification." 

The errors which no Spaniard would make are : 

1. The orthographical mistal^s which abound in "Gil Bias," 
and which prove that Le Sage transcribed his novel from a 
manuscript, such as "CorCuelo" instead of " Corzuelo," " Man- 
juelo" for •* Majuelo," " Londona" for " Londoflo," "carochas" 
for " corozas," " cantador" for ** contador," ** Segiar" for " Se- 
guiar," " Moyadas" for ** Miajadas," " Priego" for " Pliego." 

2. Le Sage's ignorance of Spanish etiquette by supposing as 
equivalent words " Sefior" and " Sefioria," the latter title being 
only given to people of high station and illustrious rank. 

3. The anecdote about the rector of the University of Sala- 
manca being found in the streets intoxicated ; which does not 
tally with Spanish manners, but was interpolated by Le Sage. 

4. The many errors in the spelling of Spanish places, which * 
go far to prove that Le Sage did not copy these names from 
printed books. 

5. The historical errors to be found in " Gil Bias," and of 
which only one, which occurs in the history of Don Pompcyo 


de Castro (bk, iii. ch. 7), is confessed by Le Sage, "though the 
original Spanish author may have fallen into some of them." 

6. The errors of Le Sage himself, such as Donna Mencia's first 
husband dying in the service of the King of Portugal, ^v^ or 
six years after the beginning of the seventeenth century; " Le 
Mariage de Vengeance" (bk. iv. ch. 4), which did not take 
place, as described, in the time of Philip II., but three hundred 
years before^ during the Sicilian Vespers, 1283 ; Gil Bias, after his 
release from the Tower of Segovia, telling his patron, Alphonso 
de Leyva, that four months before he had held an important 
office under the Spanish crown (bk. ix. ch. 10), while he states to 
Philip IV. that he was six months in prison at Segovia (bk. xi. 
ch. 2) ; and, above all, the error of Scipio (bk. ^i. ch. i) return- 
ing to his master in 1621, and informing him that Philip III. 
had died, that the Cardinal Duke of Lerma had lost his office, 
and that the Count of Olivarez was appointed prime minister, 
whilst in reality the Duke of Lerma had been dismissed three 
years before the death of the king, and was succeeded by his 
son, the Duke of Uzeda. Hence it is inferred that Le Sage, in 
transcribing from the supposed Spanish manuscript, left out the 
words "the Duke of Uzeda, son of," for that nobleman was 
really turned out of office at the death of Philip III. 

Moreover, the reasons given why Le Sage claims to be the au- 
thor of " Gil Bias," but merely the translator of the " Bachelor of 
Salamanca," are, that the " Bachelor" " had been long in the pos- 
session of the Marquis de Lyonne and his son before it became 
the property of Le Sage ; and, although tolerably certain that it 
had never been diligently perused, the French author could not 
be sure that it had not attracted superficial notice, and that the 
name was not known to many people." Then, after expressing 
" the tenderness to the friend and companion of our boyhood, 
and gratitude to him who has enlivened many an hour, and 
added so much to our stock of intellectual happiness," the arti- 
cle in Blackwood ends by affirming that "the main fact con- 
tended for by M. Llorente— that is, the Spanish origin of ' Gil 
L. M. 8.-6 


Bias' — is undeniable; and the subordinate and collateral points 
of his system [are] invested with a high degree of probability." 

A late German author and well-known Spanish scholar, 
Charles Frederic Franceson, published in 1857 a pamphlet, 
written in French, " Essai sur la Question de rOriginalite de 
* Gil Bias,' " in which he defended Le Sage against the accusa- 
tions of Llorente. In this essay he argues thet " The Bachelor 
of Salamanca," being published after " Gil Bias," can only be 
called a weakened reflex of the earlier written novel ; that there 
are as many Spanish words and phrases in Le Sage's avowed 
translations, " Le Diable Boiteux," " Guzman d'Alfarache," and 
"Estevanille Gonsalez," as in "Gil Bias;" and that Spanish 
words have not always an equivalent in French, so that " pre " 
is not the saijie as "prado," "maire" as " corregidor," etc. He 
further observes that even Voltaire, who did not know Spanish 
well, in the first two chapters of his tale, " Jenni, ou TAthee," of 
which the action takes place at Barcelona, employs a certain 
number of allegorical names, indicating the character or pro- 
fession of the personages to which they belong, such as Sefiora 
Boca Vermeja (ruddy-mouth), Senor Don Inigo y Mendrozo 
(coward), and some others. He also states that the accusation 
that Le Sage sometimes writes ** Juan, Pedro," and similar Span- 
ish names, and sometimes "Jean, Pierre," in French, is not quite 
correct. The novelist always employs Spanish names w^hen 
they are written differently from French ones, and often accora- 
f)anies them by " Don ;" but when they are identical, or nearly 
so, in both languages, he writes the French form, as " Don Gas- 
ton, don Alphonse, don Louis, don Felix." " Dom" is not the 
equivalent of the Spanish " Don," but is applied in French to 
certain members of religious orders; "dame" and "maitre" are 
used by Moliere in the " Avare," as " dame Claude," " maitre 
Jacques ;"" seigneur" and "cavalier" are only written to give 
local coloring to "Gil Bias;" the four lines which Don Gaston 
de Cogollos sings are possibly taken from a Spanish author, 
whilst the misspelling of proper names, towns, places, etc., iis 


probably owing to printers* errors or to carelessness. M. Fran- 
ceson gives also jn his pamphlet the translation of all the pas- 
sages which Le Sage has borrowed from Espinel's ** Marcos de 
Obregon/' and a list of Spanish authors laid under contribution 
by the French novel-writer, as well as the original passages of 
Firenzuola's Italian translation of Apuleius's " Golden Ass," from 
which Gil Bias's adventures in the cave of the robbers have been 

•*The Chronology of the Life of Gil Bias," as given by M. Llo- 
rente, is wrong, though it seems ridiculous to treat a novel like an 
historical work, and to verify every date on which certain ac- 
,tions of the hero are supposed to have taken place. Gil Bias left 
Oviedo when he was seventeen years old (bk. i. ch. i), and about 
six months afterwards Donna Mencia de Mosquera relates* to 
him that her husband died seven years ago, when the Portu- 
guese army was at Fez (bk. i. ch. 1 1). As Don Sebastian, King 
of Portugal, went in 1578 with an army to Morocco, where he 
was killed the same year. Donna Mencia must have spoken in 
1585 ; therefore Gil Bias was born in 1568, and not in 1588, as 
Llorente says. Then arises the difficulty of explaining how, 
some time after Donna Mencia's adventure, and after Portugal 
had been annex^ to Spain in 1580, the master of Gil Bias, Don 
Bernard de Castil-Blazo, could pass for a spy of the King of 
Portugal (bk. iii. ch. i), and how Don Pompeyo de Castro could 
mention a King of Portugal when no such monarch existed — Le 
Sage, in the later editions of '* Gil Bias," altered this potentate 
into a King of Poland (bk. iii. ch. 7) — and how Captain Rolando 
could say to Gil Bias (bk. iii. ch. 2) that, when he entered the 
town of Leon, the people would not have been more eager to 
see him if he had been a Portuguese general taken prisoner in 
war. Moreover, Gil Bias was imprisoned in the tower of Sego- 
via a few months before the dismissal of the Duke of Lerma. 
which took place in 1618. Our hero was then fifty years old, 
and married Antonia some time afterwards. When the Count- 
Duke of Olivarez was exiled in 1643, Gil Bias would be more 


than seventy; yet, nothing daunted, he returns to his estate 
after the count's death in 1646, calls himself a n)an *' who begins 
to grow old," marries again, twenty-eight years after his first 
marriage, a young lady between nineteen and twenty, and begets 
two children, " of whom he devoutly believes himself to be the 

It must be obvious that any literary man, before beginning to 
write such a work as " Gil Bias" and to describe the events of 
such an adventurous career at a peculiar period of history and 
in a particular country, would consult the different travels and 
descriptions of the land in which his story takes place — would, 
so to speak, try to assimilate himself with the natives, and, by dint 
of reading and studying, become, as it were, bone of their bone 
and flesh of their flesh. In this article ^he attempt will be made 
to prove that Le Sage did so. Let it, however, be remembered 
that the first two volumes of ** Gil Bias" were published in 171 5, 
the third in 1721, and the last in 1735. 

{a) Le Sage acquired tjje habits and customs of Spain (see 
Nos. 1-7, page 6) in some of the books which he perused* The 
traveling by mules and the filthy state of the beds is mentioned : 
'"Le samedi quatrieme d'octobre, ayant change de mules, je 
partis de Pampelone, ayant achete des draps a^ause de la mal- 
proprete des lits." * The same book speaks of the subterranean 
caves in Castile, where it is said " the Spaniards retired during 
the time of the Moors" — though Le Sage places the cave of 
^Lolando in the Asturias — and of the bull-fights " at Erija, five 
leagues from Fuentes . . . where there were four noblemen 
(Caballeros en Plaza), who fought all dressed in black, and with 
feathers in their hats." The Countess d'Aulnoy t describes also 
at full length a bull-fight which took place at Madrid in 1679, 
where six noble knights were engaged, and she mentions another 
fight in her " Memoires." % In her " Relation" § she employs the 

* ** Journal du Voyage d'Espagne," etc. Paris, 1669. 

t " Relation du Voyage en Espagne." Paris, 1690. Lettre X. 

X ** Memoires de la Cour d'Espagne.'* Paris, X690. | Lettre VIII. 


phmse " r6citer le rosaire," and says that all the Spanish ladies 
have one "attache a leur ceinture/' The same book gives also 
many examples of the tricks of inn-keepers in Spain. The 
leathern bag of wine is spoken of by her:* "The wine is put in 
prepared goat-skins, and it always smells of pitch or burning." 
Another book of travels t says that "they (the Spaniards) have 
no other casks but goat-skins, which they call Bollegos, and 
which are so pitched that when I drink I seem to swallow the 
awl (le Saint Crespin) of a shoemaker." The Countess, in speak- 
. ing of the condemned to death, states: J " Les lots du royaume 
de Valence . . . accordent quelques jours aux criminels apres 
qu'ils ont 6te juges." Le Sage says that this law existed also in 
Leon. The particular bull allowing the Spanish kings to appoint 
archbishops is spoken of by Lenglet du Fresnoy,§ who says: 
"Le Roi seul, en vertu dTndults du Saint Siege, nomme aux 
6v^ches en Espagne." What " indults" are is to be found in 
Richelet's Dictionary. 1719: " II y a deux sortes d'indults, actifs 
ct passifs. Les indults actifs donnent le pouvoir de nommer et 
presenter des benefices et de les conferer. Les papes Accordent 
ces indults aux Princes, aux Cardinaux, aux Arcjiev^ues, 
Ev^ques et autres Prelats." M. Llorente also pretends that the 
use of chocolate was unknown in France at the time Le Sage 
wrote "Gil Bias;" but Brillat-Savarin, in his "Physiologie du 
GoAt," saysj : " During the beginning of the Regency (1715-23), 
chocolate was in more general use than coffee ; because it was 
then taken as an agreeable nourishment, whilst coffee was only 
looked upon as a curious and extravagant drink." 

ip) The words and passages in " Gil Bias," evidently translated 
from the Spanish (see No. 8, page 7), and which are said not to 
be French, were partly used, as M. Franceson has already 
stated, to give a local coloring to the original, and are, as such, 

* Lettre IX. t " Relation de Madrid." Cologne, 1665. 

X " M^moires de la Cour d'Espagne." 
% *' M^thode pour ^tudier la G^graphie.** Vol. VI., 1716. 
I '* Meditation VI.," Section 2, % 10. 


found in some of the books of travels which have been men-- 
tioned. The Countess d'Aulnoy* uses "Sefior cordonnier, 
hidalgos, sefior escudero, oidor, I'HCpital de los Niiios. la famosa 
coraedia." Another traveler in Spain, a Dutch diplomatist, 
Aarsens van Somraelsdyck, who wrote in French, t says also, 
*' Entre eux ils se traitent de Sefiores Cavalleros." { Le Sage 
appears not always to have lodged the actors in the^ " posadas 
de los representantes" (see No. 9. page 7), for Laura relates to 
Gil Bias that Phenicia lived *• with the whole troop in a large 
h6tel garni" (bk. vii. ch. 7). 

(r) The dinner-hour was twelve o'clock in Paris as well as in 
Madrid (see No. 5, page 6). Boileau, in his third Satire, written 
in 1665, the very year of Philip IV.'s death, says that, "coming 
from Mass, P. hastens to a dinner to which he was invited, just 
as the clock struck twelve." 

(^) Llorente accuses Le Sage of not knowing his own lan- 
guage (see No. 11, page 7). or, in other words, of introducing 
Spanish expressions into French. This accusation is totally 
wrong. Nearly all of the words or phrases quoted as not 
French are to be found in Richelet's Dictionary, of which the 
third edition, which I have consulted, was published in 1719.- 
There we see "cavalier" described as "^entilhomme qui porte 
I'epee;" "seigneur," sometimes used "en riant," as "Seigneurs 
Chevaliers Catalans;" "a Dieu ne plaise;" "graces a Dieu," 
though not "au ciel;" but. says the French lexicographer. 
" cette expression est basse ;" " rendre graces, rendre des actions 
des graces," though not "rendre de tres-humbles graces;'* 
"femrae de bien et d'honneur." Richelet has also "famille," 
" viceroi," "benefice simple;" he defines "laboureur" as "celui 
qui cultive la terre avec la charue" (sic), and gives as an example 
" un riche laboureur," which expression Le Sage likewise uses 
(" Gil Bias," bk. v. ch. i), and which evidently cannot mean *' a 
rich day-laborer," as Llorente thinks it does. "Disciple." 

* " Relation du Voyage en Espagne. 

t ** Voyage d'Espagne'* (fait en 1655), etc. Cologne, x666. X Ibid. 



spelled "diciple/* is defined as "ecolier;" "fameux," which, ac- 
cording to Llorente, no Frenchman would use in the sense of 
"c61ebre," was, according to Richelet, precisely employed in that 
sense in Le Sage's time. Llorente says about the word "direc- 
teur": "Only a Spaniard, or at least some one who has lived a 
long time in Spain, can know the difference between a monk 
who is only seen in the confessional, and a very reverend father, 
of the * Cordon Alto,* of the • Haut Cordon,' who is called spirit- 
ual director of consciences, and whom the devotees treat to 
pigeons, partridges, and other little dainty dishes." In Riche- 
let 's Dictionary "directeur" is defined as the "ordinary confes- 
sor of a person," and the two following lines are quoted from 
Boileau's tenth "Satire": "But of all mortals, thanks to the 
pious souls, none is so well cared for as a directeur d6 femmes." 
The Countess d'Aulnoy says in her " Relation du Voyage en 
Espagne":* " M. Mellini, the Apostolic Nuncio, consecrated the 
* patriarche des Indes' on Trinity, and the king was present." 

{e) The local knowledge of Spanish towns disp4ayed by Le 
Sage (see No. 12, page 7) might easily have been acquired; for 
in d'Aulnoy's " Relation," in the thirteenth letter, the Countess 
says : " We went to hear mass in the Church de Los Reys at 
Toledo." t The " Maison des Repenties," to which Sirenaissent 
(" Gil Bias,'* bk. ix. ch. 7), may have been an)rwhere ; the Coun- 
tess d'Aulnoy speaks of one in her " Relation ;" and so she does 
four times of the existence of a convent, " Las Descalzas Reales," 
called by Le Sage "Monastere de I'lncamation," where the 
widows and mistresses of the kings of Spain used to retire. In 
the third letter she says : " Philip IV. preferred Maria Calderona 
to a young lady of noble birth who was in attendance on the 
Queen, and who was so hurt by the fickleness of the King, whom 
she really loved, an4 by whom she had a son, that she withdrew 
to Las Descalzas Reales, where she became a nun. . . . The 

♦ Lcttre X. 

t Lldrente says the knowledge of the Church de los Reyes at Toledo ** est une des 
preuves irr^cusables de Textstence d'un manuscrit espagnol." 


King sent word to La Calderona that she had to go in a nun- 
nery, as it. is the custom when the King quits his mistress." In 
the ninth letter the Countess writes : "This order of the Car- 
melites is held here in great veneration. Even Queens, when 
they become widows, are obliged to spend with them the rest of 
their lives. Don Juan (himself the illegitimate son of Philip 
IV.) has an illegitimate daughter who is a Carmelite nun. She 
is wonderfully beautiful, and it is said that she did not wish to 
take the veil ; but it was her destiny, and so it is the fate of 
many others of her rank, who are scarcely more satisfied about 
it than she was. These nuns are called Descalzas Reales, which 
means * royal ladies.' This rule applies even to the King's mis- 
tresses, wiiether they are unmarried or widows. When he ceases 
to love them, they must become nuns." The Countess repeats 
this in her fifteenth and last letter, and also in her " Memoires." 
The knowledge that there was such a convent, says the author 
of the article in Blackwood, is " a still stronger argument in favor 
of the existence of a Spanish manuscript." Calling the Prado 
of Madrid by its right name, and quoting the " Rue des Infantes," 
is not to be wondered at, for there were several guide-books of 
Madrid printed before " Gil Bias" was published. The mention- 
ing of so many provinces, large and small towns, afid villages of 
Spain, is hot marvelous, as there existed many geographical 
hand-books of Spain, written in Latin, as well as Colmenar's 
"Delices d'Espagne et de Portugal." 1707, translated into 
French, and dll published long before " Gil Bias" saw the light. 
A large number of these names are also given in the books of 
travels in Spain already mentioned. The titles of the dukes, 
counts, and celebrated persons to be found in "Gil Bias" may- 
be discovered in d'Aulnoy's "Voyage," in Ijer " Memoires de la' 
Cour d'Esp'dgne," in Salazar's " Inventaire," * and in many other 
works. I find, in the "Inventaire" alone, the names of tli^'"*>,^ 
nobles, their residences and incomes, with a list of archbisnops 

* Salazar, ** Inventaire g^n^ral des plus curieiues recherches Afi& royaumes d'Es* . 

agne, U-aduit de TEspagnol. Paris, 1615. I 



and bishops, viscounts, generals, admirals, priors, commander- 
ies; and also the councils and councilors, presidents, auditors, 
secretaries, and other officers, and the way they are appointed, 
as well as their diflferent incomes. In this little book are like- 
wise given lists of the officers of the king's household, their sal- 
aries and pensions ; and at the end of it a table showing the 
distances between the different towns and villages. In the 
Countess's " Memoires " there is a list of the archbishops, bish- 
ops, and diflferent grandees of Spain ; she also relates the history 
of the Admirante of Castile, a title abolished when Le Sage 
wrote, but not when the Countess penned her book. To say 
that forty-five Spanish names, such as those of Mrs. Slipslop and 
Parson Trulliber (see No. 13, page 8), were not likely to be in- 
vented by any but a Spaniard seems to me to be forgetting that 
Le Sage was an accomplished Spanish scholar; but, even if he 
were " only acquainted with the lighter part of Spanish litera- 
ture," he might easily have compounded these names. The 
orthographical mistakes (see No. i, page 8) are, as Mr. Franceson 
has already observed, chiefly printers* errors or faults of careless- 
ness; though many of them, such as "Contador," "Miyadas," 
•* Majuelo," and " Pliego," are rightly spelled in the early editions 
of "Gil Bias.'' The supposed error of Le Sage in imagining 
""seigneur," "Sefior," and " seigneurie," "Sefioria," to be equiva- 
lent, and on which so much stress has been laid by M. Llorente, 
as proving that the French author must have plagiarized from a 
Spanish manuscript, without understanding what he did (see 
No. 2, page 8), is no error at all.* Le Sage uses tf^p.word " seig- 
neurie" in *' Gil Bias" twelve times : 

r. When speaking of the actresses who treat great lords 
familiarly, and who, far from addressing them as " Excellencies, 
ne leur donnaient pas m^me de la seigneuwe" (bk. iii. ch. 10). 

2"*. Don Rodrigo de Calderon calls Gil Bias " Seigneur de San- 
tillane ;" " he," says Gil Bias, " who had never yet addressed me 

* Llorente says distinctly about the use of the word ^* seigneurie " : *^ Le Sage 
n^eatendait pas mSme ce qu'il copiait." 


in any otlier way but as * vous, sans jamais se servir du terme de 
seigneurie ' " (bk. viii. ch. 5). 

3*. Don Roger de Rada, when relating his adventures, says to 
Gil Bias, "de peur d'ennuyer votre seigneurie" (bk. viii. ch. 8). 

4<». Fabricio addresses Gil Bias as " Seigneur de Santillane," 
and then as " Seigneur, I am delighted with the prosperity of 
your seigneurie;" upon which Gil Bias replies, " Oh ! que diable ! i 
treve de seigneur et de seigneurie" (bk. viii, ch. 9). 

5*. As love-messenger of the Prince of Spain, Gil Bias is ad- 
dressed by the Sefiora Mencia as ** votre seigneurie" (bk. viii. 
ch. 10). 

6*. Gil Bias says of himself, "Gabriel Salero thought that he 
had found in 'ma seigneurie* the best match in Spain for his , 
daughter" (bk. ix. ch. i). 

7*. Gil Bias addresses Sefior Manuel Ordoflez : " My friend 
Fabricio would have done much better to remain with your 
* seigneurie ' than to cultivate poetry" (bk. x. ch. 2). 

8". In stopping at the house of Don Alphonso de Leyva at 
Valencia, Gil Bias relates : " I found in my room a good bed, 
on which my ' seigneurie,' having laid down, fell asleep" (bk. x. 
ch. 5). 

9°. Joseph Navarro says to Gil Bias : " My master has prom- 
ised to speak for you to the Count of Olivarez * sur le bien que 
je lui ai dit de votre seigneurie * " (bk. xi. ch. 3). 

10 . Scipio addresses Gil Bias : " You see that fortune has - 
great designs on * votre seigneurie ' " (bk. xi. ch. 6). 

1 1^ The dancing-master, Martin Ligero, says to Gil Bias : " I 
have been told that it is * votre seigneurie ' who selects the mas- 
ters for my lord Don Henry" (bk. xii. ch. 5). 

I2«. Scipio declares to Gil Bias: "I like better a good office 
with * votre seigneurie * than to be again exposed to Ihe perils of 
the sea" (bk xii. ch. 6). 

In none of these cases can "seigneurie" mean "Sefioria,"a 
title only given to Spanish grandees. In the first two examples 
Le Sage uses the word rightly, as it was then employed in 


French for " title given by the estate." In the last ten examples 
he seems to apply this expression en riant, or for the sake of 

(/) The anecdote about the rector of the University of Sala- 
manca (See No. 3, page 8) is certainly not in accordance with 
Spanish manners, but only demonstrates that, however careful 
an author may be, the difficulties of letting the scenes of a novel 
take place on foreign ground must some time or other induce 
him to commit an error. 

{g) The accusation of the many topographical errors to be 
found in "Qil Bias" (see No. 4, page 8), of which the enumera- 
tion is borrowed from Llorente, and which errors are partly re- 
produced by Blackwood, has been accepted by all Le Sage's 
defenders as true. But, if they had consulted two maps of 
Spain — a large one. ''Carte nouvelle du royaume d'Espagne, 
dediee a Sa Majeste Catholique Philippe V./' Paris, 1705 ; and a 
smaller one, " L'Espagne divisee en tous ses royaumee, princi- 
pautes, etc., a I'lisage de Monseigneur le due de Bourgogne," 
Amsterdam, 1710 — they would have found that Le Sage was 
nearly always right. Notwithstanding all that has been said to 
the contrary, Betancos, Rodillas, Grajal (bk. i. ch. n), Moyados, 
Valpuesta (bk. ii. ch. 9), Lucenot (bk. iii. ch. 2), Villardesa and 
Almodabar (bk. iv. ch. 1 1) — spelled on the large map Villards- 
saz and Almodovar, on the small map Villardesaz and Almoda- 

♦ Richelet, iri his Dictionary, defines ** seig^deurie " as " une terrc seigneuriale," 
and quotes from Molifere's " L'Ecole des Femmes" (Act I. sc. i) Chrysalde's lines 
to Amolpbet who had adopted the name of Monsieur de la Souche : 
**" Que diable vous a fait aussi vous aviser 
A quarante et deux ans de vous dJibaptiser, 
£t d^un vieux tronc pburri de votre m^tairie 
Vous faire dans le monde un nom de seigneurie ?** 
Ricfaelet says also, *" seigneurie* is used en riant, and has the same meaning as 
' signoria ' among the Italians, when they speak to a person civilly ;" and then he 
quotes from MoU^e's " Cocu Imaginaire " : "Trfes-humble serviteur i votre seig- 

t Llorente says in bis " Observations'* : " II n*y a cuen Espagne aticua TiUagc du 
nom de Luceno.*' 


var— Castil Blazo * (bk. v. ch. i), Llirias (bk. ix. ch. lo), Melilla, 
Toralva (bk. v. ch. i), Ponte de Duero (bk. ii. ch. 8), are all, in 
their right places and well spelt, whilst Almerin (bk. v. ch. i), 
which ought to have been Almoharin according to M. Llorente, 
is printed so on the small map,:but figures on the large, one as 
"Lmorin," with the usual sign of a town before it, which makes 
it look like ** Almorin." All these names were not altered in 
later editions, but are to be found in the edition of " Gil Bias" 
published in three volumes, Paris, 1721, and also in the first one 
in four volumes, Paris, 1735, except that " Carrillo" — another of 
Le Sage's supposed misspellings discovered by M. Llorente — 
was correctly printed in the edition of 1721, bnt with only one r 
in the one published fourteen y^rs later. Le Sage's Orbisa (bk. 
X, ch, 10) ought to be Cobisa. Penafiel is mentioned as lying on 
the road from Segovia to Valladolid (bk. x. ch. i) ; "this ought 
to be Portillo," says Llorente, because Valladolid is twelve leagues 
from Pefiafiel, and therefore it is impossible to arrive there in 
one day." Portillo is certainly on the road between Valladolid 
and Segovia, but it seems not impossible to go, twelve leagues 
when one has, like Gil Bias, */ une chaise tiree par deux bonnes 
mules." But M. Llorente is difficult to please. When Gil Bias 
leaves Oviedo, after his father's death, and continues his jour^ 
ney (bk. x. ch. 8) " a petites journees," our Spanish critic ob- 
serves that a carriage drawn by two mules ought not to go at so 
slow a pace, The blunder of placing Alcala de Henarez on the 
road from Madrid to S^ovia seems to be Le Sage's own. The 
author of the article in BlackWood asks: " If Le Sage had in- 
vented the story, and clothed it with names of Spanish cities 
and villages, taken from printed books, can any one suppose 
that he would have fallen hito all these errors?" It has been 
proved that they are not errors' of Le Sage, but of M. Llorente ; 
though, in jnstice to this gentleman, it ought to be stated that 

♦ Llorente writes: " Le traducteur Isla s'est pennis d^omettre les mots (Castil- 
titie OTfry^i^'il savait bien quMl n'y avait point de pays de ce nom en Espagne.*' 

Le Sage use?**' "*^*"*^^"^^' *^°**"'^*"*^^'"^**^^*^"" 

JVJ/0 WROTE '*GJL BLAS"? 1/3^ 

several of the towns mentioned by the French author arc not ' 
found on modern maps. 

{k) In a novel, even a so-called historical one, errors are gen- 
erally found ; how much more arc these, then, to be exp>ected in 
a tale like "Gil Bias"? Le Sage attempted to correct one of 
these errors which occurs in the history related by Don Pompeyo 
de Castro, by transferring the scene from Portugal to Poland ; 
" but how comes it pass." asks the author of the article in Black- 
wood, **that Le Sage, who singles out with such painful anxiety 
the error to which we have adverted, suffers others of equal im- 
portance to pass altogether unnoticed ?" (See No. 5, page 8.) 
This assertion is not quite correct, for the following notice pre- 
faced the edition of "Gil Bias" of 1735 • 

" In the third volume an epoch is mentioned (the time of the 
flight of Laura with Zendono tp Portugal) which does not agree 
with the history of Don Pompeyo de Castro, to be found. in the 
first volume (bk. iii. ch. 7), It appears that Philip the Seqpnd 
had not yet conquered Portugal * and we see here suddenly this 
kingdom under the sway of Philip the Third,t without Gil Bias 
being much the older for it. This is a chronological fault which 
the author has perceived too Jate, but which he promises to cor- 
rect later, as well as many others, if ever a new edition of his 
works should appear." . / 

He corrected this fault there and then, and left the others to be 
altered afterwards. But in 1735 Le Sage was sixty-seven years 
old ; and increasing infirmities, and other literaryjabor probably 
prevented him from accomplishing what he intended. To argue 
from this — as is idbne in Blackwood's Magazine — that Le Sage 
left "to posterity a lasting and unequivocal proof of his plagia- 
rism . . . by dwelling on one anachronism as an error which 
he intended to correct, in a work swarming in every part with 
others equally flagrant, of which he takes no notice," is, to say the 
least of it, a general accusation which requires other proofs than 

♦ The Duke of Alba conquered Portugal in 1586. (Original note of Le Sage.) 
t Philip III- began to reign in 1598, and died in 1621. (Original note of Le Sage 


the remark that these mistakes were those " irfto which the origi- 
nal author had fallen, and which, as his object was not to give an 
exact relation of facts, he probably disregarded altogether." 
However, what is excusable in a Spaniard must equally be so in 
a Frenchman. 

(/) In extenuation of the errors of Le Sage himself (see No. 6, 
page 8) may be brought forward the remark about these being 
mistakes "which the original author . . . probably disregarded 
altogether." Moreover, there is a lapse of fourteen years between 
the publication of the third and fourth volumes of " Gil Bias." 
and therefore Le Sage may well have forgotten that the hero of 
his novel, after having left the tower o\ Segovia, says to Don 
Alphonso de Leyva, in the third volume, that "four months ago 
he occupied an important post at Court" (bk. ix. ch. lo) ; and 
may have allowed Gil Bias to tell the king, in the first book of 
the fourth volume, that "he had been six months in prison" (bk. 
xi. ch. 2). That Le Sage was very negligent in writing his fourth 
volume is also proved by the supposed age of the hero of his 
novel, as compared with his birth and adventures, described in 
the first three volumes. The error of mentioning the dismissal 
of the Duke of Lerma, when Philip IIL died, instead of saying 
"the Duke of Uzeda, son of the Duke of Lerma," can only be 
accounted for by carelessness, for Le Sage speaks rightly of the 
exile of the Duke of Uzeda in another part of "Gil Bias" (bk. 
xi. ch. 5). It seems to have been a fancy of our auth6r to call 
Valcancel Valcazar; for the whole history of Don Henry de 
Guzman was published in many books well known at the time 
Le Sage wrote. 

(t) M. Franceson has already stated that "The Bachelor of 
Salamanca," published after " Gil Bias," is a weakened reproduc- 
tion of this last novel. Mr. Ticknor, one of the best Spanish, 
scholars of modern times, says, in his "History of Spanish Lit- 
erature," that two chapters of "The Bachelor" are taken from 
Moreto's play, " Desd6n con el Desd6n," whilst Sainte-Beuve 
maintains that several chapters are borrowed from Ths. Gage» 

ir^o WROTE ''OIL BLAS'^r 175 

the English- American, " His Travail by Sea and by Land ; or, a 
New Survey of the West Indies, containing a Journall of three 
thousand and three hundred miles within the main land of 
America, etc.," London, 1648, which was translated into French 
by Le Sieur de Beaulieu, H. O'Neil (i.e. A. Baillet), Paris, 1677. 
It becomes therefore difficult to see how " The Bachelor" can 
have formed part of an original Spanish manuscript long in the 
possession of the Marquis de Lyonne and his son; for a great 
deal of the French work appears to have been borrowed from 
printed books, one of them not even translated into Spanish.* 
As for "Gil Bias," Llorente and Blackwood both mention that 
two-thirds of this novel are taken from well-known Spanish 
works. If, therefore, Le Sage copied ** Gil Bias" from a manu- 
script of de Solis, that manuscript was chiefly composed of pla- 
giarisms, and the Spanish author must have been more stupid 
than men ordinarily are to steal from books so well known in 
Spain and to his contemporaries. Moreover, if the " literary 
larcenies" committed in " Gil Bias" amount to so lieavy a bulk, 
how can Le Sage have pilfered his world-famed novel from a 
manuscript? There is not the shadow of an evidence that he 
has done so. The readers of this article will have seen how Le 
Sage became possessed of his intimate knowledge of Sp)ain, and, 
may also have perceived that his French was not quite so bad 
as M. LForente wishes to prove it, nor that his errors were as 
manifold, and, in fact, as clearly faults of a copyist, as his liter- 
ary enemies desire to make it oat. 

The life of an author is not that of a sybarite. -,It is passed in 
laborious and sedentary occupations, which are generally re- 
warded by a not over-abundant pay, and cause many mental 
anxieties. Envy, hatred, and malice not seldom attack him 
whilst he is alive, and are not even silenced after his death.' The 
career of Le Sage is no exception to this almost general rule. 

* In justice to M. Llorente it ought to be stated that he says in his ^ Observa^ 
tions," ch. i. : "On pourrait bien soutenir que Le Sage est Tauteur original d*une 
grande partie du *Bachelier,' beaucoup plus qu'il ne le fut du *Gil Bias.* " 


He was no flatterer of the great ; he did not attach himself to 
any then existing party or influential nobleman ; and he dared 
to have opinions of his own. He was not to be bribed, worked 
hard for his daily bread, and gained a mere pittance ; and he was 
finally obliged, by increasing age and infirmities, to take shelter 
with his only living son, a clergyman at Boulogne-sur-Mer, where 
he died. His fame, of course, increased when he was no longer 
alive to give umbrage ; but this did not prevent a few of his con- 
temporaries from attacking his works, and, above all, his mas- 
terpiece, "Gil Bias." Voltaire and others began the fray, the 
Spaniards took it up through national vanity, and they suc- 
ceeded in making some critics believe what they brought forward, 
and in maJking not a few literary men incline to the opinion that 
"Gil Bias" was merely a copy of a Spanish manuscript. If that 
delosion has been dispelled by the present article, the labor 
bestowed upon it has not been in vain. 

K^NRi Van Laun, in The Gentleman's Magazine, 


The profession of letters has been lately debated in the public 
prints ; and it has been debated, to put the matter mildly, from 
a point of view that was calculated to surprise high-minded 
men, and bring a general contempt on books and reading. 
Some time ago, in particular, a lively, pleasant, popular writer 
devoted an essay, lively and pleasant like himself, to a very en- 
couraging view of the pirofes^ion. We may be glad that his 
experience is so cheering, and we may hope that all others who 
deserve it shall be as handsomely rewarded ; but I do not think 
we need be at all glad to have this question, so important to the 
public and ourselves, debated solely on the ground of money. 
The salary in any business under heaven is not the only; nor 
indeed the first, question. That you should continue to exist is 



a matter for your own consideration ; but that your business 
should be first honest, and second useful, are points in which 
honor and morality are concerned. If the writer to whom I 
refer succeeds in persuading' a number of young persons to 
adopt this way of life with an eye set singly on the livelihood, 
we must expect them in their works to follow profit only, and 
we must expect in consequence, if he will pardon me the Epi- 
thets, a slovenly, base, untrue, and empty literature. Of that 
writer himself I am not speaking; he is diligent, clean, and 
pleasing; we all owe him periods of entertainment, and he has 
achieved an .amiable popularity which he has adequately 
deserved. But the truth is, he does not, or did not when he 
first embraced it, regard his profession from this purely merce- 
nary side. He w'ent into it, I sh^ll venture to say, if not with any 
noble design, at least in the ardor of a first love; and he enjoyed 
its practice long before he paused to calculate the wage. The 
other day an author was complimented on a piece of work, good 
in itself and exceptionally good for him, and replied in terms 
unworthy of a commercial traveler, that as the book was not 
briskly selling he did not give a copper farthing for its merit. It 
must not be supposed that the person to whom this answer was 
addreswied received it as a profession of faith ; he knew, on the 
other hand, that it was only a whiff of irritation; just as we 
know, when a respectable wrjter talks of literature as a way of 
life, like shoemaking, but not so useful, that he is only debating 
one aspect of a question, and is still clearly conscious of a dozen 
others more important in themselves and more central to the 
matter in hand. But while those who treat literature in this 
penny-wise and virtue-foolish spirit are themselves truly in pos- 
session of a better light, it does not follow that the treatment is 
decent or improving, whether for themselves or others. To 
treat all subjects ^ in the highest, the most honorable, and the 
pluckiest spirit, consistent with the fact, is the first duty of the 
writer. If he be well paid, as I am glad to hear he is, this duty 
becomes the more urgent, the neglect of it the more disgrace' 


And perhaps there is no subject on which a man should speak 
so gravely as that industry, whatever it may be, which is the occu- 
pation or delight of his life ; which is his tool to earn or serve 
with ; and which, if it be unworthy, stamps himself as a mere 
incubus of dumb and greedy bowels on the shoulders of laboring 
humanity. On that subject alone even to force the note might 
lean to virtue*s side. It is to be hoped that a numerous and 
enterprising generation of writers will follow and surpass the 
present one ; but it would be better if the stream were stayed, 
and the roll of our old. honest. English books were closed, than 
that esurient bookmakers should continue and debase a brave 
tradition and lower, in their own eyes, a famous race. Better 
that our serene temples were deserted than filled with traflScking 
and juggling priests. 

There are two just reasons for the choice of any way of life : 
the first is inbred taste in the chooser ; the second some high 
utility in the industry selected. Literature, like any other art. 
is singularly interesting to the artist ; and in a degree p^uliar 
to itself among the arts, it is useful to mankind. These are the 
suflftcient justifications for any young man or woman who adopts 
it as the business of his life. 1 shall not say much about the 
wages. A writer can live by his writing. If not so luxuriously 
as by other trades, then less luxuriously. The nature of the 
work he does all day will more affect his happiness than the 
quality of his dinner at night. Whatever be your calling, and 
however much it brings you in the year, you could still, you 
know, get more by cheating. We all suffer ourselves to be too 
much concerned about a little poverty; but such considerations 
should not move us in the choice of that which is to be the bus- 
iness and justification of so great a portion of our lives; and like 
the missionary, the patriot, or the philosopher, we should all 
choose that poor and brave career in which we can do the most 
and best for mankind. Now nature, faithfully followed, proves 
herself a careful mother. A lad, for some liking to the jingle of 
■•vords, betakes himself to letters for his life ; by and by, when he 


learns more gravity, he finds that he has chosen better than he 
knew; that if he earns little, he is earning it amply; that if he 
receives a small wage, he is in a position to do considerable ser- 
vices ; that it is in his power, in some small measure, to protect 
the oppressed and to defend the truth. So kindly is the world 
arranged, such great profit may arise from a small degree of 
human reliance on oneself, and such in particular is the happy 
star of this trade of writing, that it should combine pleasure 
and pi'ofit to both parties, and be at once agreeable, like fiddling, 
and useful, like good preaching. 

This is to speak of literature at its highest ; and with the four 
, great elders who are^ still spared to our respect and admiration, 
with Carlyle, Ruskin, Browning, and Tennyson before us, it 
would be cowardly to consider it at first in any lesser aspect.* 
But while we cannot follow these athletes, while we may none 
of us, perhaps, be very vigorous, very original, or very wise, I 
still contend that, in the humblest sort of literary work, we have 
it in our power either to do great harm or great good. We may 
seek merely to please ; we may seek, having no higher gift, 
merely to gratify the idle nine-days* curiosity of our contempo- 
raries ; or we may essay, however feebly, to instruct. In each of 
these we shall have to deal with that remarkable art of words 
which, because it is the dialect of life, comes home so easily and 
powerfully to the minds of men ; and since that is so, we con- 
tribute, in each of these branches, to build up the sum of senti- 
ments and appreciations which goes by the name of Public 
Opinion or Public Feeling. The total of a nation's reading, in 
these days of daily papers, greatly modifies the total of the 
nation's speech ; and the speech and reading, taken together, 
form the efficient educational medium of youth. A good man 
or woman may keep a youth some little while in clearer air ; 
but the contemporary atmosphere is all powerful in the end on 
the average of mediocre characters. The copious Corinthian 

* Since this article was written, only three of these remain. But the other, being 
dead, yet.^>eaketh. 


baseness of the American reporter or the Parisian chroiiiqueur, 
both so lightly readable, must exercise an incalculable influence 
for ill ; they touch upon all subjects, and on all with the same 
ungenerous hand ; they begin the consideration of all, in young 
and unprepared minds, in an unworthy spirit ; on all they sup- 
ply some pungency for dull people to quote. The mere body of 
this ugly matter overwhelms the rarer utterances of good men ; 
the sneering, the selfish, and the cowardly are scattered in broad 
sheets on every table, while the antidote, in small volumes, lies 
unread upon the shelf. I have spoken of the American and the 
French, not because they are so much baser, but so much more 
readable than the English ; their evil is done more effectively, 
in America for the masses, in French for the few that care to 
read ; but with us as with them, the duties of literature are daily- 
neglected, truth daily perverted and suppressed, and grave sub- 
jects daily degraded in the treatment. The journalist is not 
reckoned an important officer ; yet judge of the good he might 
do, the harm he. does; judge of it by one instance only: that 
when we find two journals on the reverse sides of politics each 
on the same day openly garbling a piece of news for the interest 
of its own party, we smile at the discovery (no discovery now!) 
as over a good joke arid pardonable stratagem. Lying so open ^ 
is scarce lying, it is true ; but one of the things that we profess 
to teach our young is a respect for truth; and I cannot think 
this piece of education will be crowned with any great success, 
so long as some of us practice and the rest openly approve of 
public falsehood. 

There are two duties incumbent upon any man who enters 
on the business of writing : truth to the fact and a good spirit 
in the treatment. In every department of literature, though so 
low as hardly to deserve the name, truth to the fact is of im- 
portance to the education and comfort of mankind, and so hard 
to preserve, that the faithful trying to do so will lend some dig- 
nity to the man who tries it. Our judgments are based upon 
two things : first, upon the original preferences of our soul ; but. 


second, upon the mass of testimony to the nature of God, man, 
and the universe which reaches us, in divers manners, from 
without. For the most part these divers manners are reducible 
to one, all that we learn of past times and much that we learn of 
our own reaching us through the medium of books or papers, 
and even he who cannot read learning^ from the same source at 
second hand and by the report of him who can. Thus the sum 
of the contemporary knowledge or ignorance of good and evil 
is, in large measure, the handiwork of those who write. Those 
who write have to see that each man's knowledge is, as near as 
they can make it, answerable to the facts of life ; that he shall 
not suppose himself an angel or a monster ; nor take this world 
for a hell ; nor be suffered to imagine that all rights are con- 
centered in his own caste or country, or all veracities in his own 
parochial creed. Each man should learn what is within him, 
that he may strive to mend ; he must be taught what is without 
htm, that he may be kind to others. It can never be wrong to 
tell him the truth; for, in his disreputable state, weaving as he 
goes his theory of life, steering himself, cheering or reproving 
others, all facts are of the first importance to his conduct ; and 
even if a fact shall discourage or corrupt him, it is still best 
that he should know it ; for it is in this world as it is, and not 
in a world made easy by educational suppressions, that he must 
win his way to shame or glory. In one word, it must always be 
foul to tell what is false ; and it can never be safe to suppress 
what is true. The very fact that you omit may be what some- 
body was wanting, for one man's meat is another man's poison, 
and I have known a person who was cheered by tTKe perusal of 
"Candide." Every fact is a part of that great puzzle we must 
set together; and none that comes directly in a writer s path but 
has some nice relations, unperceivable by him, to the totality 
and bearing of the subject under hand. Yet there, are certain 
classes of fact eternally more necessary than others, and it is 
with these that literature must first bestir itself. They are not 
hard to distinguish, nature once more easily leading us ; for the 


necessary, because the efficacious, facts are those which are mort 
interesting to the natural mind of man. Those which are 
colored, picturesque, human, and rooted in morality, and those, 
on the other hand, which are clear, indisputable, and a part of 
science, are alone vital in jmportance, seizing by their interest, 
or useful to communicate. So far as the wtiter merel)' narrates, 
he should principally tell of these. He should tell of the kind 
and wholesome and beautiful elements of our life ; he should 
tel] unsparingly of the evil and sorrow of the present, to move 
us with instances ; he shouki tell of wise and good people in the 
past* to excite us by example ; and of these he should tell soberly- 
and truthfully, not glossing faults, that we may neither grow 
discouraged with ourselves nor exacting to our neighbors. So 
the body of contemporary literature, ephemeral and feeble in 
itself, touches in the minds of men the springs of thought and 
kindness, and supports them (for those who will go at all are 
easily supported) on their way to what is true and right. And 
if, in any degree, it does so now, how much more might it do so 
if the writers chose ! There is not a life in all the records of the 
past but, properly studied, might lend a hint and a help to some 
contemporary. There is not a. juncture in to-day's affairs but 
some useful word may yet be said of it. Even the reporter has 
an office, and, with clear eyes and honest language, may unveil 
injustices and point the way to progress. And for a last word : 
in all narration there is only one way to be clever, and that is to 
be exact. To be vivid is a secondary quality which must pre- 
suppose the first ; for vividly to convey a wrong impression is 
only to make failure conspicuous. 

But a fact may be viewed on many sides ; it may be chronicled 
with rage, tears, laughter, indifference, or admiration, and by 
each of these the story will be transformed to something else. 
The newspapers that told of the return of our representatives 
from Berlin, even if they had not differed as to the facts, would 
have sufficiently differed by their spirit ; so that the one descrip- 
tion would have been a second ovation, and the other a pro- 


loaged insult. The subject makes but a trifling part of any piece 
of literature, and the view of the writer is itself a fact more im- 
portant because less disputable than the others. Now this spirit 
in which a subject is regarded, important in all kinds of literary 
work, becomes all important in works of fiction, meditation, or 
rhapsody J for there it not only colors but itself chooses the 
facts ; not only modifies but shapes the work. And hence, over 
the far larger proportion of the field of literature, the health or 
disease 6f the writer's mind or momentary humor forms not 
only the leading feature of his work,, but is, at bottom, the only 
thing he can communicate to others. In all works of art, widely 
speaking, it is first of all the author's attitude that is narrated^ 
though in the attitude there be implied a whole experience and 
a theory of life. An author who has begged the question and 
reposes in some narrow faith» cannot,^if he would, express the 
whole or even many of the sides of this various existence ; for 
his own life being maim, some of them are not admitted in his 
theory, and were only dimly and unwillingly recognized in his 
experience. Hence the smallness, the triteness, and the inhu- 
manity in works of merely sectarian religion ; and hence we find 
equal although unsimilar limitations in works inspired by the 
spirit of the flesh or the despicable taste for high society. So 
that the first duty of any man who is to write is intellectual. 
Designedly or not, he has so far set himself up for a leader of 
the minds of men ; and he must see that his own mind is kept 
supple, charitable, and bright. Everything but prejudice should 
find a, voice through him ; he should see the good in all things; 
where he has even a fear that he does not wholly understand, 
there he should be wholly silent ; and he should recognize from 
the first that he has only one tool in his workshop, and that tool 
is sympathy.* 

* A foot-note, at least, is due to the admirable example set before all young writers 
m the width of literary sympathy displayed by Mr. Swinburne. He runs forth to 
welcome merit, whether in Dickens or Trollopc, whether in Villon, Milton, or Pope. 
This is, in criticism, the attitude we should all seek to preserve, not only in that, but 
m every branch of literary \rork. 


The second duty, far harder to define, is moral. There are a 
thousand different humors in the mind, and about each of them, 
when it is uppet-most, some literature tends to be deposited. Is 
this to be allowed ? not certainly in every case, and yet perhaps 
in more than rigorists would fancy. It were to be desired that 
all literary work, and chiefly works of art, issued from sound, 
human, healthy, and potent impulses, whether grave or laugh- 
ing, humorous, romantic, or religious. Yet it cannot be denied 
that some valuable books are partially insane ; some, mostly 
religious, partially inhuman ; and very many tainted with mor- 
bidity and impotence. We do not loathe a masterpiece although 
we gird against its blemishes. We are not, above all, to look 
for faults but merits. There is no book perfect, even in design ; 
but there are many that will delight, irnpfove, or encourage the 
reader. On the one hand, the Hebrew I^salms are the only 
religious poetry on earth ; yet they contain sallies that savor 
rankly of the man of blood. On the other hand, Alfred de 
Musset had a poisoned and a contorted nature; I am only- 
quoting that generous and frivolous giaiit, old Dumas,' when I 
acfcuse him of a bad heart ; yet, when the impulse under which 
he wrote was purely creative, he Could give us works like " Car- 
mosine" or " Fantasio." In'wliich the lost llote of the romantic 
comedy seems to have been found again to touch and please us. 
When Flaubert wrote " Madame BoVary," I believe he thought 
chiefly of a somewhat morbid realism ; and behold f the t>ook 
turned in his hands into a masterpiece of appalling morality. 
But the truth is. when books are conceived under a great stress, 
with a soul of nine-fold power nine times heated and electrified 
by effort, the conditions of our being are seized with such an 
ample grasp, that, even should the main design be trivial or 
base, some truth and beauty cannot fail to be expressed. Out 
of the strong comes forth sweetness ; but an ill thing poorly 
done is an ill thing top and bottom. And §o this can be no 
encouragement to knock-kneed, feeble-wristed scribes, who 


must take their business conscientiously or be ashamed to prac- 
tice it. 

Man- is imp)erfect; ye^ in his literature he must express him- 
self and his own views and preferences ; for to do anything else 
is to do a far more ^perilous thing than to risk being immoral : 
it is to be sure of being untrue. To ape a sentiment, even a 
good one, is to travesty a sentiment ; that will not be helpful. 
To conceal a sentiment, if you are sure you hold it, is to take a 
liberty with truth. There is probably no point of view possible 
to a sane man but contains some truth and, in the true connec- 
tion, might be profitable to the race. I am not afraid of the 
truth, if any one could tell it me, but I am afraid of parts of it 
impertinently uttered. ^ There is a time to dance and a time to 
mourn ; to be harsh as well as to be sentimental ; to be ascetic as 
well as to glorify the appetites ; and if a man were to combine all 
these extremes into his work, each in its place and proportion, 
that work would be the world's masterpiece of morality as well 
as of art. Partiality is immorality ; for any book is wrong that 
gives a misleading picture of the world and life. The trouble is 
that the weakling must be partial; the work of one proving 
dank and depressing; of another, cheap and vulgar; of a third, 
epileptically sensual ; of a fourth, sourly ascetic. In literature, 
as in conduct, you can never hope to do exactly right. All you 
can do is to make as sure as possible ; and for that there is but 
one rule. Nothing should be done in a hurry that can be done 
slowly. It is no use to write a book and put it by for nine or 
even ninety years ; for in the writing you will have partly con- 
vinced yourself; the delay must precede any beginning ; and if 
you meditate a work of art, you should first long roll the sub- 
ject under the tongue to make sure you like the flavor, before 
you brew a volume that shall taste of it from end to end ; or if 
you propose to enter on the field of controversy, you should first 
have thought upon the question under all conditions, in health 
as well as in sickness, in sorrow as well as in joy. It is this 


nearness of examination necessary for any true and kind writing, 
that makes the practice of the art a prolonged and noble educa- 
tion fpr the writer. 

There is plenty to do, plenty to say, or to say over again, in 
the meantime. Any literary work which conveys faithful facts 
or pleasing impressions is a service to the public. It is even a 
service to be thankfully proud of having rendered. The slightest 
novels are a blessing to those in distress, not chloroform itself a 
greater. Our fine old sea-captain's life was justified when Car- 
lyle soothed his mind with "The King's Own" or "Newton 
Forster." To please is to serve ; and so far from its being diffi- 
cult to instruct while you amuse, it is difficult to do the one 
thoroughly without the other. Some part of the writer or his 
life will crop out in even a vapid book ; and to read a novel that 
' was conceived with any force, is to multiply experience and to 
exercise the sympathies. Every article, every piece of verse, 
every essay, every entre-filet, is destined to pass, however 
swiftly, through the minds of some portion of the public and to 
color, however transiently, their thoughts. When any subject 
falls to be discussed, some scribbler on a paper has the invalu- 
able opportunity of beginning its discussion in a dignified and 
human spirit ; and if there were enough who did so in our public 
press, neither the public nor the parliament would find it in their 
minds to drop to meaner thoughts. The writer has the chance 
to stumble, by the way, on something pleasing, something inter- 
esting, something encouraging, were it only- to a single reader. 
He will be unfortunate, indeed, if he suit no one. He has the 
chance, besides, to stumble on something that a dull person 
shall be able to comprehend ; and for a dull person to have read 
anything and, for that once, comprehended it, makes a marking 
epoch in his education. 

Here then is work worth doing and worth trying to do well. 
And so, if I were minded to welcome any great accession to our 
trade, it should not be from any reason of a higher wage, but 
because it was a trade which was useful in a very great and in a 



very high degree; which every honest tradesman could make 
more serviceable to mankind in his single strength ; which was 
difficult to do well and possible to do better every year; which 
called for scrupulous thought on the part of all who practiced it, 
and hence became a perpetual education to their nobler natures ; 
and which, pay it as you please, in the large majority of the best 
cases will still be underpaid. For surely, at this time of day in 
the nineteenth century, there is nothing that an honest man 
should fear more timorously than getting and spending more 
than he deserves. 

Robert Louis Stevenson, in The Fortnightly Review. 


Those who from however great a distance have shared in the 
long vigil held in that ** little house at Chelsea," of which so 
much has been heard and said in recent days, must have felt it 
something like a. personal relief and solemn satisfaction when 
the last bonds were loosened, and the old man, so weary and 
worn with living, was delivered from his earthly troubles. *' They 
will not understand that it's death I want/' he said one of the 
last times I saw him. He said the same thing to all his visitors. 
As he sat, gaunt and tremulpus, in the middle of the quiet, 
graceful little room, with still a faint perfume about it of his wife 
and her ways, still so like himself, talking in the cadenced and 
rhythmic tones of his native dialect, which suited so well the 
natural form of his diction, with now and then an abrupt out- 
burst of that broken laugh which is so often only another form 
of weeping,-weariness had entered into his soul. Great weak- 
ness was no doubt one of its chief causes ; but also the loneli- 
ness of the heart, the solitude of one whose companion had gone 
from his side, and who, though surrounded by tender friends 


and loving service, had no one of the primary relationships left 
to him, nothing of his very own still remaining out of the wrecks 
of life. His course was over years ago — nothing left for him 
to do, no reason for living except the fact that he was left thercfj 
and could do no other. It is scarcely too much to say that the 
whole nation, in which nevertheless there are so many to whom 
he was but a name, attended him, with uncovered head, and 
unfeigned reverence, to the little churchyard in Annandale where 
he is gathered to his fathers. No one now living perhaps, apart 
from the warmer passion of politics, on the' ground of mere liter- 
ary- fame, would call forth so universal a recogriition — certainly 
no one whose voice had been silent and his visible presence 
departed for so long before the actual ending of his pilgrimage* 
It is possible that any disturbance so soon of the religious 
calm and subduing influence of that last scene would have 
seemed harsh and unseasonable ; but there is more than any mere 
sentimental objection to the immediate awakening of contend- 
ing voices over the Master's grave, in the feeling with which we 
regard the book which has been so hurriedly placed in our 
handsr— the last utterance of the last prophet and sage, what 
should have been the legacy of ripest wisdom, and calm at least, 
if not benignant philosophy. That Carlyle was not one who 
regarded contemporary progress with satisfaction, or had any 
optimist views about the improvement of the world, we were all 
well aware. But never had his great spirit stooped to individ- 
ual contention, to anything that could be called unkindness; and 
we had no reason to expect that any honest and friendly con- 
temporary on opening this posthumous record should receive a 
sting. But now the book, so long mysteriously talked of, and 
to which we have looked as, when it should come, one of the 
most touching and impressive of utterances, has burst upon the 
world like a missile, an angry meteor, rather than with the' still 
shl tii njT as of a star in the firmament which we had looked for. The 
effect would scarcely have been more astonishing if, after having 
'■^id down that noble and mournful figure to his everlasting rest, 

\ .::^ 


he had risen again to pour forth an outburst of angry words 
upon us. Had we been less near the solemn conclusion, per- 
haps the shock and surprise would have been less painful ; and it 
is possible, as some one says, that " a hundred years hence peo- 
ple will read it with the same interest." But this has little to do 
with the immediate question, which is that this record of so 
much of his life reveals to us a far less impressive and dignified 
personality than that which — in the reverential myths and 
legends of the gods of which Carlyle in his old age has been so 
long the subject — his generation has attributed to him. It is 
hard to contend against the evidence supplied by his own hand, 
and it will be very difficult to convince the world that we who 
think differently of him knew better than himself. Neverthe- 
less, there will no doubt be many eager to undertake this for- 
lorn hope, and vindicate the character he has aspersed. . 

It is scarcely possible that there should not be an outcry of 
derision at such an idea. Who, the reader will say, could know 
him so well as himself.^ — which is unanswerable, yet a fallacy, so 
far as I can judge. No one has ever set a historical figure so viv- 
idly before us, with dauntless acceptance of its difficulties, and 
bold and strong presentment of an individual, be he the real 
Cromwell or Frederick or not, yet an actual and living Some- 
body not unworthy (if not perhaps too worthy) of the name. 
But in this latest work of all, where lie has to deal not with 
historical figfures but with those nearest and most dear to 
himself, I venture to think, with respect, that Carlyle has failed, 
not only in the drawing of himself (made in one sad and fevered 
mood) but also of those in whom he was most deeply interested 
and ought to have known best. Nothing can prove more cu- 
riously the inadequacy of personal impressions and highly 
wrought feeling to reach that truth of portraiture which the 
hand of an unconcerned spectator will sometimes lightly attain. 
The only figure in this strange and unhappy book which has 
real life in it, and stands detached all round from the troubled 
background, is that of the man who was least to the writer of 


all the group, most unlike him, the vivacious, clear-heacled, suc- 
cessful, and brilliant Jeffrey, a man in respect to whom there 
was no passionate feeling in his mind, neither love, nor com- 
punction, nor indignant sympathy, nor tender self-identification. 
The sketch of James Carlyle, which for some time has been 
talked about in literary circles, with bated breath, and which 
critics in general, confused and doubtful of their own opinion, 
have turned to as the one thing exquisite in these reminiscences, 
is after all not a portrait but a panegyric — a strange outpouring 
of love and grief, in which the writer seems half to chant his 
own funeral oration with that of his father, and enters into every 
particular of character with such a sense of sharing it, and into 
the valley and shadow of death with such a reflection of solem- 
nity and awe and the mystery of departure upon his own head, 
thai our interest is awakened much more strongly for him, than 
by any distinct perception we have of his predecessor. It is 
impossible not to be touched and impressed by this duality of 
being, this tremulous solemn absorption of self in the shadowy- 
resemblance ; but the real man whom we are supposed to be 
contemplating, shapes very confusedly through those mists. 
This sketch, too, was made in the immediate shock of loss, while 
yet the relations of the dead to ourselves are most clear, strength- 
ened rather than diminished by their withdrawal out of our sight. 
At such a moment it would be strange indeed if the light were 
clear enough and the hand steady enough to give due firmness 
to the outline. That good craftsman, that noble peasant, looms 
out of those mists a hero and prophet like those reflections upon 
the mountains which turn a common figure into that of a giant. 
A tear is as effectual in this way as all the vapors of the Alps. 
LooTcing back through this haze it is no wonder that the gifted 
son with all the reverential recollections of his childhood roused 
and quickened, should see the figures of his kindred and ances* 
tors, his father chief of all, like patriarchs in the country which 
in his consciousness had produced nothing nobler. "They were 
«>mong the best and truest men (perhaps the very best) in their 


district and craft," they were men of "evidently rather peculiar 
endowmeat." The father was "one of the most interesting men 
I have ever known," " the pleasantest man I had to speak with 
in all Scotland," " a man of perhaps the very largest natural 
endowment of any it has been my lot to converse with." 

All this is very touching to read ; and it is infinitely interest- 
ing and fine to see a man so gifted, whose genius has given him 
access out of the lowliest to the highest class of his contempora- 
ries, thus turning back with grateful admiration and love to the 
humble yet noble stock from which he sprang. But with all 
this it is not a portrait, nor are we much thewi^er as to the indi- 
vidual portrayed. " I call him a natural man, singularly free 
from all manner of affectation," Carlyle proceeds, as if the chil- 
dren and the friends were all met together to render honor to the 
dead,and could respond out of their own experience with emphatic 
" Ayes !" with sympathetic shakings of the head, " he was among 
the best of the true men which Scotland on the old system pro- 
duced or can produce ; a man liealthy in body and mind, fearing 
God and diligently working on God's earth with contented hope 
and unwearied resolution." It is an eloquent eloge, like those 
which in France are pronounced over the grave in the hearing 
of friends specially qualified to assent, and to confirm the truth. 
But at the very highest that can be said of it this is description 
merely, and James Carlyle never stands before us — let us not 
say as Cromwell does, but even like Father Andreas in " Sartor 
Resartus," who was partly, no doubt, drawn from him, and who 
with half the pains comes out before us a veritable man.* 

♦ The diflference between this descriptive treatment and distinct portraiture could 
scarcely be better shown than by the following delightful story recalled to me by a 
noble lady, an older friend than myself, as told by Mrs. Carlyle of her father-in-law. 
When they met after her marriage, she offered him a filial kiss, which the old man 
felt to be too great an honor. *' Na, na, Mistress Jean," he said, too respectful of 
his son's lady-wife to call her bluntly by her Christian name, " I'm no fit to kiss the ' 
like of you.'*— *' Hoot, James," his wife cried, distrecsed by the rudeness, though 
not without her share in the feeling, ** you'll no refuse her when it's her pleasure." 
•* Na, na," repeated old Carlyle, softly putting away the pretty young gentlewoman 
irith his hand. He disappeared for some time after this, then returned, clean- 


This IS true also I think, with the exception already noted, of 
all we have in these volumes. There are facts and incidents 
which no man but he could have reported — some of great inter- 
est, some, as was inevitable, of no interest at all — but he whose 
power of pictorial representation was so great, has not been able 
to make either his dear friend or dearest wife a living image to 
our eyes. For this purpose, an imagination not limited by de- 
tails so well remembered, a mind more free, a heart less deeply 
engaged was necessary. It is not in nature that we should look 
upon the figures which walk by our side through life, and share 
every variety of our existence, as we behold others more distant. 
Carlyle had neither the cold blood nor the deliberate purpose 
which would have made such a piece of intellectual vivisection 
possible. Goethe could do it, but not the enthusiast who fixed 
his worship upon that heathen demi-god, the being of all others 
most unlike himself in all the lists of fame. It is hard to under- 
stand why Carlyle took Irving in hand at all. It was in the heat 
and urgency of troubled thoughts, when his wife's death had 
stirred up all the ancient depths, and carried him back to his 
youth and all his associations : and many a beautiful stretch of 
that youth, of walks and talks, of poetic wanderings, of dreams 
and musings which we should have been sorry to lose, is to be 
found in the long and discursive chapter of recollections v/hich 
he has inscribed with his friend's name ;' but of Irving little, not 
much more than a silhouette of him, dark against the clear back- 
ground of those spring skies. It may perhaps be supposed that 
I am scarcely likely to touch upon this subject without bias ; 
but I do not think there was the slightest unwillingness in my 
mind to receive a new light upon it, nor any anticipation of hos- 
tility in the eagerness with which I turned over those pages 

shaven and in his best Sunday clothes, blue coat, most likely with metal buttons, 
and all his rustic bravery, and approached her with a smile. *' If you'll give me a 
kiss now !'* he said. 
Could there be a more delightful instance of the most chivalrous delicacy of feeK 
-^ ? It is worth a whole volume of panegyric. 



coming from the hand of a beloved Master, as much nearer to 
Edward Irving as he was superior to any of us. But here, save 
by glimpses, and those mostly of the silhouette kind as has been 
said, is no Irving. There is but a vague 'comrade of Carlyle's 
youth, mostly seen on his outer side, little revealing any passion, 
prophetic or otherwise, in him, a genial stalwart companion, of 
whom the writer is unwilling to allow even so much as that the 
li^ht which led him astray was light from heaven. And yet it is 
with no petty intention of pulling down from its elevation the 
figure of his friend that this is done, but rather to vindicate him 
as far as possible from the folly with which he threw himself into 
what was nothing but wretched imposture and hysterical shriek- 
ing and noise to the other. Rather that it should be made out 
to be mere excitement, the ever-quickening tide of a current 
from, which the victim could not escape, than that any possibil- 
ity of consideration should be awarded to those strange spiritual 
influences which swayed him. But not to enter into this ques- 
tion, upon which it wac natural that there should be no mutual 
comprehension between the friends, we think the reader will 
make very little of the man who occupies nominally the greater 
part of one of these volumes. His open-air aspect, his happy 
advent when became on his early visits to Annandale, giving to 
Carlyle delightsome openings out of his little farm-house circle, 
aflford a succession of breezy sketches ; and we see with pleasure 
the two young men strolling along "the three miles down that 
bonny river s bank, no sound but our own voices amid the lul- 
laby of waters and the twittering of birds ;'* or sitting together 
among the " peat-hags" of Drumclog Moss " under the silent 
bright skies." All these are pictures " pretty to see," as Carlyle 
says. But there is no growing of acquaintance with this big 
friendly figure, and when we see him in London, always against 
a background more distinct than himself, though no longer now 
of " bright silent skies," but of hot interiors full of crowding 
faces, mostly (alas for the careless record made in an unhappy 
monient !) represented as of the 'ignoble sort — it is less and less 
L. M. 8.-7 


possible to identify him, or make out, except that he is always 
true and noble, amid every kind of pettiness and social vxilgar- 
ity, what manner of man he was. This difficulty is increased by 
the continual crossing and re-crossing of Carlyle himself over 
the space nominally consecrated to Irving, sometimes strikirjg 
him out altogether, and always throwing him back so that even 
the silhouette fails us. Had he lived a hundred years earlier 
the historian perhaps would have been no more tolerant of the 
Tongues or the miracles: but he would have picked out of the , 
manifold ravings of the time, however dreary or unintelligible, 
such a picture of the heroic and stainless soul deceived, as should 
have moved us to the depths of our heart : perhaps thrown some 
new light upon spiritual phenomena ever recurring, whether as 
a delusion of the devil, or a mortal mistake and blunder ; at least 
have set the prophet before us in a flood of illumination, of rev- 
erence, and compunction and tenderness. 

But this gift which has made Abbot Sampson one of our 
dearest friends, stands us in no stead with the man who stood 
by the writer's elbow, whose breath was on his cheek, who was 
the friend and companion of his early years. Strange! and yet 
so natural, that we have only to inte-rogate ourselves to under- 
stand such a disability. He knew his friend far too well to know 
him at all in this way. He was not indifferent enough to per- 
ceive the tendencies of his being or the workings of his mind. 
These tendencies moved him, not to calm observation, but to hot 
opposition and pain, and anxious thought of the results — to the 
anger and the impatience of affection, not to the tolerance and 
even creative enjoyment of the poet who tinds so noble a subject 
ready to his hand. 

In a very different fashion which is yet the same, the prolonged 
sketch of his wife, which almost fills one volume, and more or less 
runs through both, will fail to give to the general reader any idea 
of a very remarkable woman full of character and genius. This 
memoir shares the ineffectiveness of the others, and labors under 
the same disadvantages, with this additional, that his " dearest 


and beautifulest;*' his " little darling," his " bonnie little woman/' 
continues always young to him, more or less surrounded with 
the love-halo of. their youth, a light which, after the rude tear 
and wear of the world which they both went through, it is hard 
to understand as existing thus unmodified either in his eyes or 
about her remarkable and most individual person. To many of 
those who loved her tfiere must be a painful want of harmony 
between the woman they knew, not old because of her force and 
endless energy, but worn into the wrinkles and sparenessof age, 
with her swift caustic wit, her relentless insight, and potent 
humor — and all those gentle epithets of tenderness, and the 
pretty air of a domestic idol, a wife always enshrined and beau- 
tiful which surrounds her in these pages. That such was her 
aspect to him wd learn with thankfulness for her sake ; though 
it is very doubtful how far she realized that it was so ; but this 
was not her ouside aspect, and I shrink a little, as if failing of 
respect to so dear and fine a memory, when I read out the sen- 
tences in which she appears, though with endless tributes of love 
and praise, as the nimble, sprightly, dauntless, almost girlish fig- 
ure, which she seems to have always appeared to him. It must 
be added that a strong compunction runs through the tale, per- 
haps not stronger than the natural compunction with which we 
all remember the things we have left unsaid, the thanks un ren- 
dered, the tenderness withheld, as soon as the time has come 
when we can show our tenderness no longer; but which may 
make many believe, and some say, that Carlyle's thousand expres- 
sions of fondness were a remorseful make up for actual neglect. 
I am not one of those who think so ; but it would be natural 
enough. That he had any intention of neglect, or that his heart 
ever strayed from her, I am very little disposed to believe; but 
there were circumstances in their life which to him. the man, 
were very light; but to her were not without their bitterness, 
little appreciated or understood by him. 

Here is one case for instance. " We went pretty often, I think 
I myself far the* oftener, as usual in such cases my loyal little 


darling taking no manner of offense not to participate^ in my lion- 
ings, but behaving like the royal soul she was, I duUard egoist, 
taking no special recognition of such nobleness." She " took no 
manner of otfense," was far too noble and genuine to take offense. 
Yet with a little humorous twitch at the corner of her eloquent 
^outh would tell sometimes of the fine people who left hct out 
in their invitations as the great man's insignificant wife, with a 
keen mot which told of individual iceling not extinguished, 
though entirely repressible and under her command. And Car- 
lyle did what most men-r-what almost every human creature does 
when attended by such a ministry in life as hers; accepted the 
service and sacrifice of all her faculties which she made to him, 
with, at the bottom, a real understanding and appreciation no 
doubt, but, on the surface, a calm ease of acquiescence as if it had 
been the most natural thing in the world. She for her part — let 
us not be misunderstood jn saying so — contemplated him, her 
great companion in life, with a certain humorous curiosity not 
untinged with affectionate contempt and wonder that a creature 
so big should be at the same time so little, such agrant and com- 
manding genius with all the same so many babyish weaknesses 
for which she liked him all the better ! Women very often, more 
often than not, do regard their heroes so, — admiration and the 
confidence of knowledge superior to that of any one else of their 
power and bright qualities, permitting this tender contempt for 
those vagaries of the wise andfollies of the strong. To sec what 
he will do next, the big blundering male creature, unconscious 
entirely of that fine scrutiny, malin but tender, which sees 
through and through him, is a constant suppressed interest 
which gives piquancy to life, and this Carlyle's wife took her 
full enjoyment of. He was never in the least conscious of it. I 
believe few of its subjects are. Thus she would speak of The 
Valley of the Shadow of Frederick in her letters, and of how the 
results of a bad day's work would become apparent in the shape 
of a gloomy apparition, brow lowering, mouth shut tight, cram- 
ming down upon the fire, not a word said — at least till after this 



burnt-offering, the blurred sheets of unsuccessful work. Never 
a little incident she told but the listener could see it, so graphic, 
so wonderful was her gift of narrative. It did not matter what 
was the subject, whether that gaunt figure in the gray coat, 
stalking silently in, to consume on her fire the day's work which 
displeased him, or the cocks and hens which a magnanimous 
neighbor sacrificed to the rest of the Sage ; whether it was the 
wonderful ^tory of a, maid-of-all-work, most accomplished of 
waiting^maidens, which kept the hearer breathless, or the turn- 
ing outside in of a famed philosopher. Scherazade was nothing 
to this brilliant story-teller; for the Sultana required the aid of 
wonderful incident and romantic adventure, whereas this mod- 
em gentlewoman needed nothing but life, of which she was so 
profound and Ainpretending a student. I have never known a 
gift like hers,' except far off in the person of another Scotch gen- 
tlewoman, unknown to fame, of whom I have been used to say 
that I remembered the incidents of her youth far more vividly 
than my own. 

The story of the cocks and hens above referred to is a very 
good illustration both of the narrator and her gift, though Ican- 
njot pretend to give it the high dramatic completeness, the lively 
comic force of the original. There is another incident of a similar 
character mentioned in these" Reminiscences," when the heroic 
remedy of renting the house next door in order to get rid of the 
fowls was seriously thought of. But, in the case which she used 
to tell, there were serious complications. The owners of the 
poultry were women, — alas, not of a kind to be recognized as 
neighbors. How it came about that members of this unfortu- 
nate class should have domiciled themselves next door to the 
severe philosopher in the blameless atmosphere of Cheyne Row 
I cannot tell ; but there they were, in full possession. Nor do I 
remember how they discovered that Mr. Carlyle's rest, always 
so precarious, was rendered altogether impossible by the inhabit- 
ants of their little fowl -house. When, however, a night or two 
of torture had driven the household frantic, this intelligence was 


^omebow conveyed to the dwellers next door ; and the most vir- 
tuous of neighbors could not have behaved more nobly. That 
very evening a cab drove up to the door, and, all the inhabitants 
crowding to the w^indows to see the exodus — a cackling and 
frightened procession of fowls was driven, coaxed, and carried 
into it, and sent away with acclamations. Mrs. Carlyle pondered 
for some time what to do, but finally decided that it was her 
duty to call and thank the author of this magnanimous sacrifice. 
Entirely fearless of remark by nature, past the age, and never of 
the temperament to be alarmed by any idea of indecorum, she 
was also, it must be allowed, a little curious about these extra- 
ordinary neighbors. She found a person noted among her kind, 
a bright and capable creature, as she described her, with sleeves 
rolled up on her round arms making a pie ! almost, one would 
have said, a voucher of respectability: who accepted her thanks 
with simplicity, and showed no alarm at the sight of her. It was 
characteristic that any thought of missionary usefulness, of per- 
suading the cheerful and handsome sinner to abandon her evil 
life, never seems for a moment to have suggested itself. Was it 
something of that disgust with thehollownessof the respectable, 
and indignant sense of the depths that underlie society, and are 
glossed over by all decorous chroniclers, which appears in every- 
thing her husband wrote, that produced this strange impartiality ? 
It would be hard to say ; but she was a much closer student of 
actual life than he, and \vith a scorn beyond words for impurity.* 
which to her was the most impossible thing in life, had sufficient 
experience of its existence elsewhere to give her something of a 
cynical indifference to this more honest turpitude. She went 
with no intention of judging or criticising, but with a frank grat- 
itude for service done, and (it cannot be denied) a little curiosity, 

* I have been told a most characteristic anecdote on this point : how returning 
one evening alone from a friend's house, in her dauntless way, she was accosted, 
being then ia young and pretty woman, by some man in the street. She looked at 
him with, one can well imagine what immeasurable scorn, uttered the one vofii 
*♦ Idiot ! " and went upon her way. . ' 


t6 se^ hdw life under such circumstances was made possible. 
And there must have been perceptions (as the visitor perceived) 
in the other woman ; she showed her gratitude for this human 
treatment of her by taking herself and her household off instantly 
into more congenial haunts. 

Even this incident, so small as it is, will show hew little in her 
characteristic force such a woman is represented by Carlylc's 
compunctious, tender apostrophes to his "little darling." The 
newspaper tributes to his ** gentle wife." and the " feminine soft- 
ness" which she shed about him, which abounded at the time 
other death, struck me with a sort of scorn and pain as more 
absurdly conventional and fictitious, in reference to her, than any 
blind panegyrics I had ever heard — the sort of adjectives which 
are applied indiscriminately, whether the subject of them is a 
heroic Alcestis or a mild housewife. It was to the former, rather 
. than the latter, character that Mrs. Carlylc belonged, notwith- 
standing the careful orderliness of which her husband was so 
proud — ^the gracefulness and fitness with which she made her 
home beautiful, of which he brags with many a tender repetition : 
and that fine gift of household economy which carried them 
safe through all their days of struggle. Her endless energy, 
vivacity, and self-control, her mastery over circumstances, and , 
undaunted acceptance for her own part in life of that min- 
gled office of protector and dependent, which to a woman con- 
scious of so many powers must have been sometimes bitter if 
sometimes also sweet — it is perhaps beyond the power of words 
to set fully forth. It is a position less uncommon than people 
are aware of ; and the usual jargon about gentle wives and fem- 
inine influences is ludicrously inapplicable in cases where the 
strongest of qualities and the utmost force of character are called 
into play. Equally inadequate, but far more touching, are those 
prolonged maunderings (forgive, O Master revered and vener- 
able, yet foolish too in your greatness as the rest of us.*) of her 
distracted and desolate husband over his Jeanie, which one loves 
him the better for having poured forth in sacred grief and soli- 


tude, like heaped up baskets of flowers, never too many or too 
sweet, over her grave, but which never should have been pro- 
duced to the common eye by way of showing other generations 
and strange circles what this woman was. It will never now in 
all likelihood be known what she was, unless her letters, which 
we are promised, and the clearer sight of Mr. Carlyle's biographer 
accomplish it for us — a hope which would have been almost cer- 
tainty but for this publication, which makes us tremble lest Mr. 
Froude should have breathed so long the same atmosphere as 
the great man departed, to whom he has rfcted the part of the 
best of sons— as to blunt his power of judgment, and the critical 
perception, which in such a case is the highest proof of love. 
Doubtless he felt Carlyle's own utterances too sacred to tainper 
with. We can only with all our hearts regret the natural but 
unfortunate superstition. 

It has been said that these " Reminiscences" are^full of com- 
punction. Here is one of the most distinct examples of the 
husband's inadvertence — so common, so daily recurring — an in- 
advertence of which we are all guilty, but such as has been sel- 
dom recorded with such fullness of after-comprehension and 
remorseful sorrow : 

'• Her courage, patience, silent heroism '^meanwhile must 
often have been immense. Within the last two years or so she 
has told me about my talk to her of the Battle of Mollwitz on 
those occasions [i.e., the half-hour he spent with her on return- 
ing from his walk] while that was on the anvil. She. was lying 
on the sofa weak^— but I knew little how weak — and patient, 
kind, quiet, and good as ever. After tugging and wriggling 
through what inextricable labyrinth and slough of despond I 
still remember, it appears I had at last conquered Mollwitz, s*w 
it all clear ahead and round me. and took to telling her about i 
in my poor bit of joy, night after night. I recollect she answej 
little, though kindly always. Privately at that time she 
convinced she was dying; dark winter, and such the weig 
misery and utter decay of strength, and, night after nigb 


theme to her, Mollwitz f This she owned to me within the last 
year or two, which how could I listen to without shame and 
abasement ? Nevef in ray pretended superior kind of life have 
I done for love of any creature so supreme a kind of thing. It 
touches me at this moment with penitence and humiliation, yet 
with a kind of soft religious blessedness too." 

This and a hundred other endurances of a similar kind had 
been her daily use and wont for years, while she too toiled 
through the "valley of the shadow of Frederick," her mind 
never free of some preoccupation on his account, some expe- 
dient to soften to him those thorns of fate with which all crea- 
tion wais bristling. She showed me one daj* a skillful arrange- 
ment of curtains, made on some long-studied scientific principle 
by which " at lasi,t" she had succeeded in shutting out the noises, 
yet letting in the air. Thus she stood between him and the 
world, between him and all the nameless frets and inconven- 
iences of life, and handed on to us the reK:ord of her endurance, 
with a humorous turn of each incident as if these were the 
amusements of her life. There was always a comic possibility 
in them in her hands. 

While we are «.bout it we must quote one short description 
more, one of those details which only he could have given us, 
and which makes the tenderest picture of this half-hour of fire- 
side fellowship. Carlyle has been describing his way of work- 
ing, his long wrestling "thirteen years and more" with the 
"Friedrich affair," his disgusts and difficulties. After his morn- 
ing's work and afternoon ride he had an hour's sleep before din- 
ner: "but first always came up for half an hour to the drawing- 
room and her; where a bright kindly fire was sure to be burn- 
ing, candles hardly lit, all in trustful chiar-oscuro, and a spoonful 
of brandy in water with a pipe of tobacco (which I had learned 
t6 take sitting on the rug with my back to the jamb, and door 
n^er so little open, so that all the smoke, if I was careful, went 
tip the chimney) this was the one bright portion of my black 
day. Oh those evening half-hours, how beautiful and blessed 


they were, not awaiting me now on my home coming I She was 
oftenest reclining on the sofa, wearied enough she, too, with her 
day's doings and endurings. But her history even of whati«ras 
bad had such grace and truth, and spontaneous tinkling mel- 
ody of a naturally cheerful and loving heart, that I never any- 
where enjoyed the like." 

This explains how there used to be sometimes visible reposing 
in the corner of the fireplace, in that simple, refined, and gra- 
cious little drawing-room so free of any vulgar detail, a long 
white clay pipe, of the kind I believe which is called church- 
warden. It was g,lw:iys clean and white, and I remember think- 
ing it rather pretty than otherwise with its long curved stem, 
and bowl unstained by any " color." There was no profanation 
in its presence, a thing which could not perhaps be said for the 
daintiest of cigarettes; and the rugged philosopher upon the 
hearthrug pouring out his record of labors and trpubles, his bat- 
tles of Mollwitz, his Dryasdust researches — yet making sure " if 
I was careful" that the smoke should go up the chimney and 
not disturb the sweetness of her dwelling-place—makes a very 
delightful picture. He admired the room, and all her little 
decorations and every sign of the perfect lady she was, with an 
almost awe of pleasure and pride, in which it was impossible not 
to feel his profound sense of the difference which his wife, who 
was a gentlewoman, had made in the surroundings of the farm- 
er's l5on of Scotsbrig. 

My first interview with Mrs. Carlyle was on the subject of 
Irving, her first tutor, her early lover, and always her devoted 
admirer and friend. To have been beloved by two such men was 
no small glory to a woman. She took to me most kindly, some- 
thing otj the score of a half imaginary East Lothianism which 
she thought she had detected, and which indeed came from no 
persanal knowledge of mine, but from an inherited memory of 
things and words familiar there. And I shall not easily forget 
ths stream of delightful talk upon which we were instantly set 
afloat, she with all the skill and ease and natural unte^chabl^ 


grace of a born min§trel and improvisatore, flowing forth in 
story after story, till there stood before me, as clear as if I saw 
it, her own delightful childhood in quiet old-fashioned Hadding- 
ton long ago, and the big grand boyish gigantic figure of her 
early tutor teaching the fairy creature Latin and logic, and 
already learning of her something more penetrating than either. 
There were some points about which she was naturally and grace- 
fully reticent — about her own love, and the preference which 
gradually swept Irving out of her girlish fancy if he had ever 
been fully established there, a point on which she left her hearer 
in doubt. But there was another sentiment gradually developed 
in the tale which gave the said hearer a gleam of amusement 
unintended by the narrator, one of those side-lights of self-reve- 
lation which even the keenest and clearest intelligence lets slip 
— which washer perfectly genuine feminine dislike of the woman 
who replaced her in Irving's life, his wife to wh6m he had been 
engaged before he met for the second time with the beaotiful 
girl grown up to womanhood, who had been his baby pupil and 
adoration, and to whom — with escapades of wild passion for 
Jane, andwild proposals to fly with her to Greece, if that could 
be, or anywhere — he yet was willingly or unwillingly faithful. 
This dislike looked to me nothing more than the very natural 
and almost universal feminine objection to the woman who has 
consoled even a rejected lover. The only wonder was that she 
did not herself, so keen and clear as her sight was, so penetrat- 
ing and impartial, see the humor of it, as one does so often even 
while fully indulging a sentiment so natural, yet so whimsically 
absurd. But the extraordinary sequence of this, the proof wh'ch 
Carlyle gives of his boundless sympathy with the companion of 
his life, by taking up and even exaggerating this excusable aver- 
sion of hers, is one of the strangest of mental phenomena. But 
for the marriage to which Irving had been so long pledged, it 
is "pYobableHhat the philosopher would never have had that 
brightest, " beautifullest" of companions ; and yet he could not 
forgive the woman who healed the heart which his Jeanif^ bad 


broken \ glorious folly ^rom one point of view, strangest, sharp, 
painful prejudice on the other. 

All that Carlyle says about his friend's marriage anvi wife is 
disagreeable, painful, and fundamentally untrue. He goes out 
of the way even to suggest that her father's family "came to no 
good" (an utter mistake in fact), and that the excellent man 
who married Mrs. Irving's sister was " not over well " married, 
an insinuation as completely and. cruelly baseless as ever insin- 
uation was. It is no excuse perhaps to allege a prejudice so 
whimsical as the ground of imputations so serious, and yet there 
is a kind of mortal foolishness about it, which, in such a pair, is 
half ludicrous, half pitiful, and which may make the offended 
more readily forgive. 

Other instances of his curious loyal yet almost prosaic adop- 
tion of suggestions, taken evidently from his wife, will readily 
be noticed by the judicious reader. There is a remark about a 
lady'^ dress, which "must have required daily the fastening of 
sixty or eighty pins," unquestionably a bit of harmless satire 
upon the exquisite arrangement of the garment in question 
flashed forth in rapid talk, and meaning little; but fastening 
somehow with its keen little pin-point in the philosopher's seri- 
ous memory, to be brought out half a lifetime after, alack ! and 
give its wound. It is most strange and pitiful to see those 
straws and chips which she dropped unawares thus carefully 
gathered and preserved in his memory, to be reproduced with a 
kind of pious foolishness in honor of her who would have swept 
them all away, had she been here to guard his good name as she 
did all her life. 

I must say something here about the tone of remark offensive 
to so many personally, and painful above measure to all who, 
loved or reverenced Carlyle, which is the most astonishing pecu- 
liarity of this book. The reader must endeavor to call before 
himself the circumstances under which all of it, except tKe 
sketch of his father, was written. He had lost the beloved com- 
panion whom, as we all do, yet perhaps with more remorse and 


a little more reason than most, he for the first time fully per- 
ceived himself never to have done full justice to : he had been 
left desolate with every circumstance of misery added which it is 
possible to imagine, for she had died while he was absent, while he 
was in the midst of oneof the few triumphs of his life, surrounded 
by uncongenial noise of applause which he had schooled himself 
to take pleasure in, and which he liked too, though he hated it. 
It was when he found himsejf thus for the first ti»Tie in the midst 
of acclamations which gratified him as signs of appreciation and 
esteena long withheld, scarcely looked for in this life, but which 
in every nerve of his tingling frame he shrank from — at that 
moment of all others, while he bravely endured and enjoyed his 
climax of fame, that he was struck to the heart by the one blow 
which life had in reserve for him, the only blow which could 
strike him to the heart ! How strange, how Qver-appropriate 
this end to all the remaining possibilities of existence ! He was 
a man in whose mind a morbid tendency to irritation mingled 
with everything; and there is no state of mind in which we are 
so easily irritated as in grief. If there is indeed **a far-off inter- 
est of tears," which we may gather when pain has been dead- 
ened, this is seldom felt at the moment save in the gentlest 
nature. He was not prostrated as some are. On the contrary, 
it is evident that he was roused to that feverish energy of pain 
which is the result in some natures of a shock which makes the 
whole being reel. And' after the first terrible months at home, 
kind friends, as tender of him as if they had been his children, 
would not let him alone to sit forlorn in the middle of her room, 
as I found him when I .saw him first after 4ier death, talking of 
her, telling little broken anecdotes of her, reaching far back into 
the forgotten years. They insisted onappl5Mng to him the usual 
remedies which in our day are always suggested when life 
becomes intolerable. Not to take away that life itself for a time 
which.would be the real assuagement, could it be accomplished, 
but to take the mourner away into new scenes, to "a thorough 
change," to beautiful and unfamiliar places, where it is supposed 


the ghdsts of what has been cannot follow him, nor associations 
v(ound him. He was taken to Mentone, of all places in the 
world, to the deadly-liveliness and quiet, the soft air, and invalid 
surroundings of that shelter of the suffer ng. When he came 
back he described it to me one day with that sort of impatient 
contempt of the place which was natural to a Borderer, as **a 
shelf " between the hills and the sea. He had no air to breathe, 
no space to move in. All the width and breadth of his own 
moorland landscape was involved in the description of that 
lovely spot, in its stagnant mildness and monotonous beauty. 
He told me how he had roamed under the greenness of the 
unnatural trees, "perhaps the saddest," he said with the linger- 
ing vowels of his native speech, "of all the sons of Adam." 
And, at first alone in his desolate house, and then stranded there 
upon that alien shore where everything was so soft and unlike 
him in his gaunt and self-devouring- misery, he seized upon the 
familiar pen, the instrument of his power, which he had laid 
aside after the prolonged effort of ** Frederick," with more or 
less idea that it was done with, and rest to be his henceforth, 
and poured forth his troubled agony of soul, his restless quick- 
ened life, the heart which had no longer a natural outlet close at 

" Perhaps the saddest of all the sons of Adam J" In this short 
period, momentary as compared with the time which he took to 
his other works, fretted by solitude and by the novelty of sur- 
roundings which were so uncongenial, he poured forth, scarcely 
knowing what he did, almost the entire bulk of these two vol- 
umes, work which would have taken him three or four times as 
long to produce had he not been wild with grief, distraught, and 
full of somber excitement, seeking in that way a relief to his 
corroding thoughts. Let any one who is offended by these 
" Reminiscences" think of this. He never looked at the dis- 
turbed and unhappy record of this passion again; "did not 
know to what I was alluding," when his friend and literary- 
executor spoke to him, two years later, of the Irving sketch. 


Miserable in body and mind, his nerves all twisted the wrong 
way, his heart rent and torn, full of sorrow, irritation, remorse- 
ful feeling, and all the impotent longings of grief, no doubt the 
sharpness of those discordant notes, the strokes dealt blindly all 
about him, were a kind of bitter relief to the restless misery 
of his soul. This is no excuse; there is no excuse to offer for 
sharp words, often so petty, always so painful, in many cases 
entirely unfounded or mistaken ; but what can be a more evi- 
dent proof that they were never meant for the public eye than 
Mr. Fronde's "did not know to what I alluded"? He who 
would spend an anxious week sometimes (as Mrs. Carlyle often 
told) to make sure whether a certain incident happened on the 
2 1st or 22d of a month in the Sixteen or Seventeen Hundreds, 
it is not credible that he should wittingly dash forth dozens of 
unverified statements — statements which, if true, it would be 
impossible to verify, which, if untrue, would give boundless pain 
— upon the world. And there is nothing of the deliberate pos- 
thumous malice of Miss Martineau in the book; there is noth- 
ing deliberate in it at all. It is a long and painful musing, self- 
recollection, self-relief, which should have been buried with 
sacred pity, or burned with sacred fire, all that was unkind of it 
— ^and the rest read with reverence and tears. 

The first sight I had of him after his wife's death was in her 
drawing-room, where while she lived he was little visible, except 
in the evening, to chance visitors. The pretty room, a little 
faded, what we call old-fashioned, in subdued color which was 
certainly not "the fashion" at the time it was furnished, with 
the great picture of little Frederick and his sister Wihelmine 
filling up one end, was in deadly good order, without any of her 
little arrangements of chair or table, and yet was full of her still. 
He was seated, not in arty familiar corner, but with the forlorn- 
est unaccustomedness, in the middle of it, as if to show by harsh 
symbol how entirely all customs were broken for him. He 
began to talk 'of her, as of the one subject of which his mind 
was full, with a sort of subdued, half-bitter brag of satisfaction 


in the, fact that her choice of him, so troublesome a partner, ^o 
poor, had been justified before all men, and herself proved right 
after all in her opinion of him which she had upheld against all 
objections; from which» curiously enough, his mind passed to 
the •' mythical," as he calls it, to those early legends of childhood 
which had been told by herself and jotted down by Geraldine 
Jewsbury, our dear and vivacious friend now, like both of them, 
departed. He told me thereupon the story of the "Dancing- 
School Ball " — which the reader will find in the second volun^e 
— without rhyme or reason ; nothing had occurred to lead his 
mind to a trifle so far away. With that pathetic broken laugh, 
and the gleam of restless, feverish pain in his eyes, he began to 
tell me of this childish incident ; how she had been carried to 
the ball in a clothes-basket, "perhaps the loveliest little fairy 
that was on this earth at the time." The contrast of the old 
man's already tottering and feeble frame, his weather-beaten, and 
worn countenance agitated by that restless grief, and the sug- 
gestion of this "loveliest little fairy r* was as pathetic as can be 
conceived, especially as I had so clearly in my mind the image 
of her too — her palest, worn, yet resolute face, her feeble, ner- 
vous frame, past sixty, and sorely broken with all the assaults of 
lifei Nothing that he could have said of her last days, no record 
of sorrow, could have been so heart-rending as that description 
and the laugh of emotion that accompanied it. His old wife' 
was still so fair to him, even across the straits of death — had 
returned indeed into everlasting youth, as all the record he has 
since made of her shows. When there was reference to the cir- 
cumstances of her death, so tragical and sudden, it was with 
bitter wrath, yet wondering awe, of such a contemptible reason 
for so great an event — that he spoke of — "the little Vermin of a 
dogue" which caused the shock that killed her, and which was 
not even her own, but left in her charge by a friend ; terrible 
littleness and haphazard employed to bring about the greatest 
individual determinations of Providence — as he himself so often 
traced them out. 



My brief visits to Carlyle after this are almost all marked in 
my memory by some little word of individual and most charac- 
teristic utterance, which may convey very little indeed to those 
who did not know hiki, but which those who did will readily 
recognize. I 4iad been very anxious that he should come lo 
Eton, at first while he was stronger, that he should make some 
little address to the boys — ^and later that he might at least be 
seen by' all this world of lively young souls, the men of the 
future. His wife had encouraged the idea, saying that it was 
really pleasant to him to receive any proof of human apprecia- 
tion, to know that he was cared for and thought of ; but it was 
not till several years after her loss that, one bright summer 
morning. I had the boldness to suggest it. By this time he 
seemed to have made a great downward step and changed into 
his later aspect of extreme weakness, a change for which I had 
not been prepared. He shook his head, but yet hesitated. Yes, 
he would like, he said, to see the boys: and if he could have 
stepped into a boat at the nearest pier and been carried quietly 

up the river . But he was not able for the jar of little railway 

journeys ^nd changes ; and then he told me of the weakness 
that had come over him, the failing of age in all his limbs and 
faculties, and quoted the psalm (in that version which we Scots 
are born to) : 

Threescore and ten years do sum up 

Oiu* days and years, we see ; 
And if, by reason of more strength, 

In some fourscore' they be ; 
Yet doth the strength of such old men 

But grief and labor prove. 

Neither he nor I could remember the next two lines, which are 
harsh enough, Heaven knows ; and then he burst forth suddenly 
^into one of those unsteady laughters. " It is a mother I want," 
he said, with mournful humor: the pathetic incongruity amused 
his fancy: and yet it was so true. The time had come when 
anotbfiT should gird lii«i and carry him— often where he would 


not. Had it but been possible to have a mother to care for that 
final childhood ! 

The last time I saw him leaves a pleasant picture on my mem- 
ory. In the height of summer I had g<5fte a little too late one 
afternoon, and found him in the carriage just setting out for his 
usual drive, weary and irritated by the fatigue of the movement 
down-stairs, encumbered with wraps though the sun was blazr 
ing ; and it was then he had §aid, ** It is death I want — all I want 
is to die." Though there was nothing really inappropriate in 
this utterance, after more than eighty years of labor and sorrow, 
it is one which can never be heard by mortal ears without a pang 
aiid sense of misery. Human nature resents it, as a slight to the 
life which it prizes above all things. I could not bear that this 
should be my last sight of Carlyle,and went back sooner than 
usual in hopes of carrying away a happier impression. 

I found him alone, seated in that room which to him, as to 
me, was still her room, and full of suggestions of her — a place in 
which he was still a superfluous figure, never entirely domiciled ^ 
and at home. Few people are entirely unacquainted with that 
characteristic figure, so worn and feeble, yet never Ipsing its 
marked identity ; his shaggy hair falling rather wildly about his 
forehead, his vigorous grizzly beard, his keen eyes gleaming -from 
below that overhanging ridge of forehead, from under the shaggy 
caverns of his eyebrows; his deep-toned complexion, almost of 
an orange-red, like that of an outdoor laborer, a man exposed 
to wind and storm and much *' knitting of his brows under the 
glaring sun;" his gaunt, tall, tottering figure always wrapped in 
a long, dark gray coat or dressing-gown, the cloth of which, 
carefully and with difficulty sought out for him, had cost doubly 
dear both in money and trouble, in that he insisted upon its 
being entirely genuine cloth, without a suspicion of shoddy ; his 
large, bony, tremulous hands, long useless for any exertion — 
scarcely, with a great effort, capable of carrying a cup to his lips. 
There he sat, as he had sat for all these years, since her depart- 
ux^ left him stranded, a helpless man amid the wrecks ol life. 

tirOUAS CARLYL^, 111 

fever ddurteous. full of old-fashiondd politeness, he would totter 
to his feet to greet his visitor, even in that last languor. This 
time he was not uncheerful. It was inevitable that he should 
repeat that prevailing sentiment always in his mind about the 
death for which he was waiting ; but he soon turned to a very 
different subject. In this old house, never before brightened by 
the sight of children, a baby had been born, a new Thomas Car- 
lyle, the child of his niece and nephew, a$ near to him as it was 
possible for any living thing in the third generation to be. He 
spoke of it with tender amusement and wonder. It was " a bon- 
nie little manikin," a perfectly good and well-conditioned child, 
taking life sweetly, and making no more than the inevitable 
commotion in the tranquil house. There had been fears as to 
how he would take this innocent intruder, whether its advent 
might disturb or annoy him; on the contrary, it gave him a 
half-amused and genial pleasure, tinged with his prevailing sen- 
timent, yet full of natural satisfaction in the continuance of his 
name and race. This little life coming unconscious across the 
still scene in which he attended the slow arrival of death, awoke 
in its most intimate and touching form the self-reference and 
comparison which was habitual to him. It was curious; he said, 
very curious ! thus to contrast tfie new-comer with " the parting 
guest." It was a new view to him, bringing together the exit 
and the entrance with a force both humorous and solemn. The 
" bonnie little manikin," one would imagine, pushed him softly, 
tenderly, with baby hands not much less serviceable than his 
own, towards the verge. The old man looked on with a half- 
incredulous and wondering mixture of pain and pleasure, burst- 
ing into one of those convulsions of broken laughter, sudden 
and strange, which were part of his habitual utterance. Thus I 
left him. scarcely restrained by his weakness from his old habit 
of accompanying me to the door. For he was courtly in those 
little traditions of politeness, and had often conducted me down- 
stairs upon his arm, when I was fain to support him instead of 
accepting his tremulous guidance. 


And that was my last sight of Thomas Carlyle. I had parted 
with his wife a day or two before her death, at the railway, after 
a little visit she had paid me, in an agony of apprehension lest 
something should happen to her on the brief journey, so utterly 
Spent was she, like a dying woman, but always indomitable, suf- 
fering no one to accompany or take care of her. Her clear and 
expressive face, in ivory-palehess, the hair still dark, untouched 
by age, upon her capacious forehead, the eloquent mouth, 
scarcely owning the least curve of a smile at the bright wit and 
humorous brilliant touches which kept all her hearers amused 
and delighted, seem still before me. She was full of his Edin- 
burgh Rectorship, of the excitement and pleasure of it, and pro- 
found heartfelt yet half-disdainful satisfaction in that, as she 
' thought, late recognition of what he was. To this public. proof 
of the honor in which his country held him, both he and she 
seemed to attach more importance than it deserved ; as if his 
country had only then learned to prize and honor him. But the 
reader must not suppose that this gallant woman, who had pro- 
tected and fought for him through all his struggles, showed her 
intense sympathy and anxiety now in any sentimental way of 
tenderness. She had arranged everything for him to the mi- 
nutest detail, charging her deputy with the very spoonful of 
stimulant that was to be given him the moment before he made 
his speech — but all the same shot a hundred little jibes at him 
as she talked, and felt the humor of the great man's dependence 
upon these little cares, forestalling all less tender laughter by 
her own. I remember one of these jibes (strange! when so 
many brighter and better utterances cannot be recalled) during 
one of the long drives we took together, when she had held me 
in breathless interest by a variety of sketches of their contempo- 
raries — the immediate chapter being one which might be called 
the " Loves of the Philosophers" — I interrupted her by a foolish 
remark that Mr. Carlyle alone, of all his peers, seemed to have 
trodden the straight way. She turned upon me with swifty 
rejoinder and just an amused quiver of her upper lip. **Mi> 


dear," she saidK^if Mr. Carlyle's digestion had been better there 
IS no telling what he might have done !" Thus she would take 
one s breath away with a sudden met, a flash of unexpected 
satire, a Reen swift stroke into the very heart of pretense— which 
was a thing impossible in her presence. Not love itself could 
blind her to the characteristic absurdities, the freaks of nature 
in those about her — but she threw a dazzling shield over them 
by the very swiiftness of her perception and wit of her comment. 

There are many senses known to ajl in which the husband is 
the wife's protector against the risks of life. It is indeed a com- 
monplace to say so, universally as the truth is acknowledged ; 
but there is a sense also in which the wife is the natural pro- 
tector of the husband, which has been much less noted. It is 
she who protects iiim from the comment, from the too close 
scrutiny and criticism of the World, drawing a sacred veil be- 
tween him and the vulgar eye, furnishing an outlet for the com- 
plaints and grudges which would lessen his dignity among his 
fellow-men. And perhaps it is the man of genius who wants 
this protection most of all. Mrs. Carlyle was her husband's 
screen and shield in these respects. The sharpness of his dys- 
peptic constitution and irritable temper were sheathed in her 
determined f culty of making the best of everything. She stood 
between hihi and the world, with a steadfast guardianship that 
never varied. When she was gone the veil was removed, the 
sacred wall of the house taken down, no private outlet left, and 
nothing between him and the curious gazer. Hence this revela- 
tion of pain and trouble which nobody but she, so fully con- 
scious of his greatness yet so undazzled by it, could have toned 
and subdued into harmony. 

And yet. he, with the querulous bitterness and gloom which 
he has here thrust upon us, in the midst of all the landscapes, 
under the clearest skies ; and she, with her keen wit and eyes 1 
which nothing escaped, how open they were to all the charities ! 
One day when she came to see me, I was in great agitation and 
anxiety with an infant just out of a convulsion fit. By the next 


post after her return I got a letter from her, suggested, almost 
dictated, by Mr. Carlyle, to tell me of a similar attack which had 
happened to a baby sister of his some half century before, and 
which had never recurred— -this being the consolatory point and 
meaning of the letter. Long after this, in the course of these 
l^st, melancholy, and lonely years, I appealed to him about a 
project r had, not knowing then how feeble he had grown. He 
set himself instantly to work to give me the aid I wanted, and I 
have among my treasures^a note writ large in blue pencil, the 
last instrument of writing which he could use, after pen and ink 
had become impossible, entering warmly into my wishes. These 
personal circumstances are scarcely matters to obtrude upon the 
wortd, and only may be pardoned as the instances mostat hand 
of a kind and generous readiness to help and console. 

It would scarcely be suitable to add anything of a more ab- 
stract character to such personal particulars. Carlyle*s work, 
what it was, whether it will stand, how much aid there is to be 
found in it, has been discussed, and will be discussed, by all who 
are competent and many who are not. A writer whose whole 
object, pursued with passion and with his whole soul, is to pour 
contempt upon all falsehood, and enforce that "truth in the 
inward parts" which is the first of human requisites, how could 
it be that his work should be inoperative, unhelpful to man ? 
The fashion of it niay fail for the moment, a generation more 
fond' of sound than meaning may be offended by the "harsher 
accents and the mien more grave" than suits their gentle fanc)'; 
but so long as that remains the grand foundation of all that is 
possible for man, how can the most eloquent and strenuous of 
all its modern evangelists fall out of hearing? He had indeed 
few doctrines to teach us. What his beliefs were no one can 
definitely pronounce ; they were more perhaps than he thought. 
And now he has passed to where all knowledge is revealed. 

Mrs. Oliphant, in Macmillan's Magazine. 



The general law that like units exposed to like forces tend ta 
integrate was in the last chapter exemplified by the formation 
of social groups. The clustering of men who are similar in kind, 
when similarly subject to hostile actions from without, and sim- 
ilarly reacting against them, we saw to be the first step in social 
evolution. Here the correlative general law, that in proportion 
as the like units of an aggregate are exposed to unlike forces 
they tend to fprm differentiated parts of the aggregate, has to 
be observed in its application to such groups, as the second 
step in social evolution. 

The primary political differentiation originates from the pri- 
mary family differentiation. Men and women being by the un- 
Hkcnesses of their functions in life exposed to unlike influences, 
begin from the first to assume unlike positions in the social 
group as they do in the family group : very early they respecr 
tively form the two political classes of rulers and ruled. And 
how truly such dissimilarity of social positions as arises between 
them is caused by dissimilarity in their relations to surrounding 
actions, we shall see on observing that the one is small or great 
according as the other is small or great. When treating of the 
status of women it was pointed out that to a considerable degree 
among the Chippewayans, and to a still greater degree among 
the Clatsops and Chinooks, " who live upon fish and roots, 
which the women are equally expert with the men in procuring, 
the former have a rank and influence very rarely found among 
Indians." We saw also that in Cueba, where the women join 
the men in war, " fighting by their side," their position is much 
higher than usual among rude peoples ; and. similarly, that in 
Dahomey, where the women are as much warriors as the men, 
they. are so regarded that, in the f)oHtical organization, "the 
woman is officially superior." On contrasting these exceptional 
cases with the ordinary cases, in which the men, solely occupied 


in war and the chase, have unlimited authority, while the women, 
occupied in gathering miscellaneous small food and carrj'ing 
burdens, are abject slaves, it becomes manifest that diversity of 
relations to surrounding actions initiates diversity of social posi- 
tions. And, as we before saw, this truth is further illustrated by 
those few uncivilized societies which are habitually peaceful, 
such as the Bodo and Dhimals of the Indian hills, and the 
ancient Pueblos of North America — societies in which the occu- 
pations are not, or were not, broadly divi(Jed into fighting and 
working, and severally assigned to the two sexes; and in which, 
along with a comparatively small difference in the activities of 
the sexes, there goes, or went, small difference of social status. 

So is it when we pass from the greater or less political difler- 
entiation which accompanies difference of sex to that which is 
independent of sex — to that which arises among men. Where 
the life is permanently peaceful definite class divisions do not 
exist. One of the Indian hill tribes to which I have frequently 
referred as exhibiting the honesty, truthfulness, and^ amiability 
accompanying a purely industrial life may be instanced. Hodg- 
son says, " All Bodo and all Dhimals are equal — absolutely so in 
right or law, wonderfully so in fact." The like is said of another 
peaceful and amiable hill tribe: **The Lepchas have no caste 
distinctions." And among a different race, the Papuans, may 
be named the peaceful Arafuras as displaying a " brotherly love 
with one another," and as having no divisions of rank. 

As at first the domestic relation between the sexes passes into 
apolitical relation, such that men and women become, in mil- 
itant groups, the ruling class and the subject class, so does the 
relation between master and slave, originally a domestic one, 
pass into a political one as fast as, by habitual war, the making 
of slaves becomes general. It is with the formation of a slave- 
class that there begins that political differentiation between ^he 
regulating structures and the sustaining structures which con- 
tinues throughout all higher forms of social evolution, 

Kane remarks that "slavery in its most cruel form eiista 


among the Indians of the whole coast from California to Beh- 
ririg's Straits, the stronger tribes making slaves of all the others 
. they can conquer. In the interior, where there is but little 
warfare, slavery does not exist." And this statement does but 
exhibit, in a distinct form, the truth everywhere obvious. Evi- 
dence suggests. that the practice of enslavement diverged by 
small steps from the practice of cannibalism. Concerning the 
Nootkas, we read that •* slaves are occasionally sacrificed and 
feasted upon ;" and if we contrast this usage with the usage 
common elsewhere, of slaying and devouring captives as soon 
as they are taken, we may infer that the keeping of captives too 
numerous to be immediately eaten, with the view of eating them 
subsequently, leading, as it would, to the employment of them 
in the meantime, led to the discovery that their services might 
be of more value than their flesh, and so initiated the habit of 
preserving them as slaves. Be this as it may, however, we find 
that very generally among tribes to which habitual militancy 
has given some slight degree of the appropriate structure, the 
enslavement of prisoney^^becomes an established habit. That 
women and children taken in war. and such men as have not 
been slain, naturally fall into unqualified servitude, is manifest. 
They belong absolutely to their captors, who might have killed 
them, and who retain the right afterward to kill them if they 
please. They become property, of which any use whatever may 
be made. 

The acquirement of slaves, which is at first an incident of war, 
becomes presently an object of war. Of the Nootkas we read 
that " some of the smaller tribes at the north of the island are 
practically regarded as slave-breeding tribes, and are attacked 
periodically by stronger tribes;" and the like happens among 
the Chinooks. It was thus in ancient Vera Paz, where period- 
ically they made "an inroad into the enemy's territory .... 
and captured as many as they wanted ;" and it was so in Hon- 
duras, where, in declaring war, they gave their enemies notice 
"that they wanted slaves." Similarly with various existing 

2ift fH^ LiBi^ARY J^AGA^mE. 

peoples. St. John says that "many of the Dyaks are tiiort 
desirous to obtain slaves than heads, and in attacking a village 
kill only those who resist or attempt to escape." And that in 
Africa slave-making wars are common needs no proof. 

The class-division thus initiated by war afterward maintains 
and strengthens itself in sundry ways. Very soon there begins 
the custom of purchase. The Chinooks, besides slaves who 
have been captured, have slaves who were bought as children 
from their neighbors ; and, as we saw when dealing with the 
•domestic relations, the selling of their children into slavery is 
by no means uncommon with savages. Then the slave-class, 
thus early enlarged by purchase, comes afterward to be other- 
wise enlarged. There is voluntary acceptance of slavery for the 
sake of protection ; there is enslavement for debt ; there is en- 
slavement for crime. 

Leaving details^ we need here note only that this political 
differentiation which war begins is effected not by the bodily 
incorporation of other ^c)cieties or whole classes belonging to 
other societies, but by the incorporation of single members of 
other societies, and by like individual accretions. Composed of 
units who are detached from their original social relations and 
from one another and absolutely attached to their owners, the 
slave-class is, at first, but indistinctly separated as a social 
stratum. It acquires separateness only as fast as there arise 
some restrictions on the powers of the owners. Ceasing to 
stand in the position of domestic cattle, slaves begin to form a 
division of the body politic when their personal claims begin to 
be distinguished as limiting the claims Of their masters. 

It is commonly supposed that serfdom arises by mitigation of 
slavery, but examination of the facts shows that it arises in a 
different way. While during the early struggles for existence 
between them, primitive tribes, growing at one another's ex- 
pense by incorporating separately the individuals they capture, 
thus form a class of absolute slaves, the formation of a servile 
'^Jass, eensidcrably higher and having a distmct social stafms. 


accompanies that later and larger process 6f growth under 
which one society incorporates other societies bodily. Serfdoi?i 
originates along with conquest and annexation. 

For whereas the one implies that the captured people are 
detached from their homes, the other implies that the subju- 
gated people continue in their homes. Thomson remarks that 
"among the New Zealanders whole tribes sometimes became 
Rominally slaves when conquered, although permitted to live at 
their usual places of residence on condition of paying tribute in 
food, etc." — a statement which shows the origin of kindred 
arrangements in allied societies. Of iht Sandwich Islands gov- 
ernment when first known, described as consisting of a king 
with turbulent chiefs, who had been subjected iif comparatively 
recent times, Ellis writes: "The common people are generally 
considered as attached to the soil, and are transferred with the 
land from one chief to another." Before the late changes in 
Feejee there w6re enslaved districts, and of their inhabitants we 
read that they had to supply the chiefs' houses "with daily food, 
and build and keep them in repair." Though conquered peoples 
thus placed differ widely in the degrees of their subjection- 
being at the one extreme, as in Feejee, liable to be eaten when 
wanted, and at the other extreme called on only to give specified 
proportions of produce or labor — yet they remain alike as being 
undetached from their original places of residence. That serf- 
dom in Europe originated in an analogous way there is good 
reason to believe. In Greece we have the case of Crete, where, 
under the conquering Dorians, there existed a vassal popula- 
tion, formed, it would seem, partly of the aborigines and partly 
of preceding conquerors, of which the first were serfs attached 
to lands of the state and of individuals, and the others had become 
tributary land-owners. In Sparta the like relations were estab- 
lished by like causes : there were the helots, who lived on and 
cultivated the lands of their Spartan masters, and the perioeci, 
who had probably been, before the Dorian invasion, the superior 
class. So was it also in the Greek colonies afterward founded. 


such as Syracuse, where the aborigines became serfs. ' SimHarfy 
in later times and nearer regions. When Gaul was overrun by 
the Romans, and again when Romanized Gaul was overrun 
by the Franks, there was little displacement of thp actual culti- 
vators of the soil, but these simply fell into lower positions : 
certainly lower political positions, and M. Guizot thinks lower 
industrial positions. Our own country, too, furnishes good illus- 
trations. In ancient British times, writes Pearson, "it is prob- 
able that, in parts at least, there were servile villages, occupie4 
by a kindred but conquered race, the first occupants of the soil." 
More trustworthy, but to the like effect, is the evidence which 
comes to us from old English days and Norman days. Pro- 
fessor Stubbs a^ys : 

The ceorl had his right in the common land of his township ; his Latin name, 
villanus, had been a symbol of freedom, but his privileges were bound to the land, 
and when the Norman lord took the land he took the villein with it. Still the villein 
ret^ned his customary rights, his house and land and rights of wood and hay ; his 
lord's demesne depended for cultivation on his services, and he had in his lord's 
sense of self-ince»'esu the sort of protection that was shared by the horse and the ox. 

And of kindred import is the following passage from Innes : 

I have said that of the inhabitants of the Grange, the lowest in the scale was the 
ccorl, bond, serf, or villein, who was transferred like the land on which he labored, 
and who might be caught and brought back if he attempted to escape, like a stray 
ox or sheep. Their legal name of netivus, or neyf, which I have not found but in 
Britain, seems to point to their origin in the native race, the original possessors of 
the soil. ... In the register of Dunfermline are numerous '• genealogies," or 
stuU-Vxxiks, for enabling the lord to trace and reclaim his stock of serfs by descent. 
It is Dbservable that most of them are of Celtic names. 

Clearly, a subjugated territory, useless without cultivators, 
was left in the hands of the original cultivators because nothing 
was to be gained by putting others in their places, even coiild 
an adequate number of others be had. Hence, while it became 
the conqueror's interest to tie each original cultivator to the 
soil, it also became his interest to let him have such an amouQt 
of produce as to maintain him and enable him to rear o£[sprii^ 


Caiid also to protect him against injuries which would incapaci- 
tate him for work. 

To show how fundamental is the distinction between bondage 
of the primitive type and the bondage of serfdom, it needs but 
to add that while the one can, and does, exist among savages 
and pastoral tribes, the other becomes possible only after the 
agricultural stage is reached ; for only then can there occur the 
bodily annexation of one society by another, and only then can 
there be any tying to the soil. 

Associated men who live by hunting, and to whom the area 
occupied is of value only as a habitat for game, cannot well have 
anything more than a common participation in the use of this 
occupied area: such ownersJiip of it as they have must be joint 
ownership. Naturally, then, at the outset all the adult males, 
who are at once hunters and warriors, are the common posses- 
sors of the undivided land, encroachment on which by other 
tribes they resist. Though, in the earlier pastoral state, espe- 
cially where the barrenness of the region involves wide disper- 
sion, there is no definite proprietorship of the tract wandered 
over ; yet, as is shown us in the strife between the herdsmen of 
Abraham and those of Lot respecting feeding grounds, some 
claims to exclusive use tend to arise ; and at a later half-pastoral 
stage, as among the ancient Germans, the wanderings of each 
division fall within prescribed limits. I refer to these facts by 
way of showing the identity established at the outset between 
the militant class and the land-owning class. For, whether the 
group is one which lives by hunting or one which lives by feed- 
ing cattle, any slaves its members possess are excluded from 
land-ownership : the free-men, who are all fighting men, become 
as a matter of course the proprietors of their territory. This 
connection, in variously modified forms, long continues through 
subsequent stages of social evolution, and could scarcely do 
otherwise. Land being, in early settled communities, the almost 
exclusive source of wealth, it happens inevitably that during 
times ift which the principle that^might is right remains unqual- 


ified, personal power and possession of land go together. Hence 
the fact that where, instead of being held by the whole society, 
land comes to be parceled out among component village com- 
munities, or among families, or among individuals, possession 
of it habitually goes along with the bearing of arms. In ancient 
Egypt, "every soldier was a land-owner" — "had an allotment of 
land of about six acres." In Greece the invading Hellenes, 
wresting the soil from its original holders, joined military ser- 
vice with the land-ownership. In Rome, tpo, "every freeholder 
from the seventeenth to the sixtieth year of his age, was under 
obligation of service ... so that even the emancipated slave 
had to serve who, in an exceptional case, had come into posses- 
sion of landed property." The like happened in the early Teu- 
tonic community. Joined with professional warriors, its army 
included " the mass of freemen arranged in families fighting for 
their homesteads and hearths ;" such freemen or markmen own- 
ing land partly in common and partly as individual proprietors. 
Similarly with the ancient English. " Their occupation of the 
land as cognationes resulted from their enrollment in the field, 
where each kindred was drawn up under an officer of its own 
lineage and appointment;" and so close was this dependence 
that "a thane forfeited his hereditary freehold by misconduct in 

Beyond the original connection between militancy and land- 
owning, which naturally arises from the joint interest which 
those who own the land and occupy it, either individually or 
collectively, have in resisting aggressors, there arises later a fur- 
ther connection. As, along with successful militancy, there 
progresses a social evolution which gives to a dominant ruler 
increased power, it becomes his custom to reward his leading 
soldiers by grants of land.. Early Ec:vptian kings "bestowed on 
distinguished military officers" portions of the crown domains. 
When the barbarians were enrolled as Roman soldiers, "they 
were paid also by assignments of land, according to a custom 
which prevailed in the imperial armies. The possession of these 


kinds was given to them on condition of the sOn becoming a 
soldier like his father." And that kindred usages were general 
throughout the feudal period is a familiar truth : feudal tenancy 
being, indeed, thus constituted ; and inability to bear arms being 
a reason for excluding women from succession. To exemplify 
the nature of the relation established, it will suffice to name the 
fects that " William the Conqueror . . . distributed this kingdom 
into about 60,000 parcels, of nearly equal value, from each of 
which the service of a soldier was due," and that one of his laws 
requires all owners of land to "swear that they become vassals 
or tenants." and will " defend their lord's territories and title as 
well as his person" by '• knight service on horseback." 

That this original relation between land-owning and militancy 
long survived, we are shown by the armorial bearings of county 
families, as well as by their portraits of ancestors, who are mostly 
represented in military costume. 

Setting out. with the class of warriors, or men bearing arms, 
who in primitive communities are* owners of the land, collec- 
tively or individually, or partly one and partly the other, there 
arises the question, How does this class differentiate into nobles 
Jlnd freemen? 

The most general reply is, of course, that since the state of 
homogeneity is by necessity unstable, time inevitably brings 
about inequality of positions among those whose positions wer6 
at first equal. Before the semi-civilized state is reached the dif- 
ferentiation cannot become decided, becpuse there can be no 
large accumulations of wealth, and because the laws of descent 
do not favor maintenance of such accumulations as are possible* 
But in the pastoral and still more in the agricultural commu- 
nity, especially where descent through males has been estab- 
lished, several causes of differentiation come into play. There 
is first that of unlikeness of kinship to the head man. Obvi- 
ously, in course of generations, the younger descendants of 
the younger become more and more remotely related tO 
the eldest descendant of the eldest, and social inferiority 


arises: as the obligation to execute blood-revenge for a 
murdered member of the family does not extend beyond 
a certain degree of relationship (in ancient France not beyond 
the seventh), so neither does the accompanying distinction. 
From the same cause comes inferiority in point of posses* 
sions. Inheritance by the eldest male from generation to gen- 
eration, brings about the result that those who are the most 
distantly connected in blood with the head of the grodpare also 
the poorest. And then there co-operates with these factors a 
consequent factor ; namely, the extra power which the greater 
wealth gives. For when there arise disputes within the lribe» 
the ridier arc those who, by their better appliances for defense 
and their greater ability to purchase aid, naturally have the 
advantage over the poorer. Proof that this is a potent cause is 
found in a fact named by Sir Henry Maine: "The founders of a 
part of our modern European aristocracy, the Danish, are known 
to have been originally peasants who fortified their houses dur- 
ing deadly village struggles* and then used their advantage." 
Such superiorities of power and position once initiated, are 
increased in another way. Already in the last chapter we have 
seen that communities are to a certain extent increased by the 
addition of fugitives from other communities — sometimes crim- 
inals, sometimes those who are oppressed. While, in places 
where such fugitives belong to races of superior type, they often 
become rulers (as among many Indian hill-tribes, whose rajahs 
are of Hindoo extraction), in places where they are of the same 
race, and cannot do this, they attach themselves to those'of 
chief power in their adopted tribe. Sometimes they yield up 
their freedom for the sake of protection : a man will make him- 
self a slave by breaking a spear in the presence of his wished- 
for-master, as among the East Africans, or by inflicting some 
small bodily injury upon him, as among the Fulahs. And in 
ancient Rome the semi-slave class distinguished as clients, orig^ 
inated by this voluntary acceptance of servitude with safety. 
But where his aid promises to be of value as a warrior, the fugi^ 


tnre offers himself in that capacity in exchange for maintenarce 
aiid refuge. Other things equal, he joins hinreeii to some one 
marked by superiority of power and property, and thus enables 
the man already dominant to become more dominant. Such 
armed dependents, having as aliens no claims to the lands of the 
group, and bound to its head only by fealty, answer in position 
to the comites as found in the early German communities, and 
as exemplified in old English times by the " huscarlas" (house- 
cArls), with whom nobles surrounded thenr.selves. Evidently, 
too, followers of this kind, having certain interests in common 
with their protector, and no interests in common with the rest 
of the community, become, in his hands, the means of usurping 
communal rights and elevating himself while depressing the 

Step by step the contrast strengthens. Beyond such as have 
voluntarily made themselves slaves to a head man, others have 
become enslaved by capture in the wars meanwhile going on, 
others by staking themselves in gaming, others by purchase, 
others by crime, others by debt. And of necessity the posses- 
sion of many slaves, habitually accompanying wealth and power, 
tends still further to increase that wealth and power, and to mark 
of! still more the higher rank from the lower. 

Certain concomitant influences generate differences of nature, 
ph)rsical and mental, between those members of a community 
who have attained superior positions, and those who have re- 
mained inferior. Unlikenesses of status once initiated, lead to 
unlikenesses of life, which, by the constitutional changes they 
work, presently make the unlikenesses of status more difficult to 

First there comes difference of diet and its effects. In the 
habit, common among primitive tribes, of letting the women 
subsist on the leavings of the men, and in the accompanying 
habit of denying to the younger men certain chcice viands which 
the older men eat, we see exemplified the inevitable proclivity 
of the strong to feed themselves at the expense of the weak ; and 
L. M. 8.-8 


when there arise class-divisions, there habitually results better 
nutrition of the superior than of the inferior. Forster remarks 
that in the Society Islands the lower classes often suffer from a 
scarcity of food which never extends to the upper classes. In 
the Sandwich Islands the flesh of such animals as they have is 
eaten principally by the c hiefs. Of caiinibalism among the Feejee- 
ans, Seeman says : " the common people throughout the group, 
as well as women of all classes, were by custom debarred from 
it." These instances sufficiently indicate thfe contrast that evety^ 
where arises between the diets of the ruling few and of the sub- 
ject many. And then by such differences of diet, and accompa- 
nying differences in clothing, shelter, and strain on the energies 
are eventually produced physical differences. Of the Feejeeans m^e 
read that "the chiefs are tall, well made, and muscular; while 
the lower orders manifest the meagerness arising from laborious 
service and scanty nourishment." The chiefs among the Sand- 
wich Islanders " are tall and stout, and their personal appearance 
is so much superior to that of the common people, that some 
have imagined them a distinct race." Ellis, verifying Cook, says 
of the Tahitians, that the chiefs are, "almost without exception, 
as much superior to the peasantry ... in physical strength as 
they are in rank and circumstances ;" and Erskine notes a par- 
allel contrast among the Tongans. That the like holds ^mong 
the African races may be inferred from Reade's remark that — 

The court lady is tall and elegant ; her skin smooth and transparent ; her beauty 
has stamina and longevity. The girl of the middle classes, so frequently pretty, is 
very often short and coarse, and soon becomes a matron ; while, if you desccn;! to 
the lower classes, you will find good looks rare, and the figure angular, stunted, 
sometimes almost deformed.* ~~ 

Simultaneously there arise between the ruling and subject 
classes, unlikenesses of bodily activity and skill. Occupied, as 
those of higher rank commonly are. in the chase when not occt 

* While writing I find in the recently issued " Transactions of the Anthropolog- 
ical Institute" proof that, even now in England, the professional classes are both 
taller and beavter than the artisan classes. 



pied in war, they have a life-long discipline of a kind conducive 
to various physical superiorities; while, contrariwise, those 
occupied in agriculture, in carrying of burdens, and in other 
drudgeries, partially lose what agility and address they naturally 
had. Class-predominance is, therefore, thus further facilitated. 

And then there are the respective mental traits produced by 
^ily exercise of power, and by daily submission to power. Th$ 
ideas, and "sentiments, and modes of behavior, perpetually re- 
peated, generate on one side an inherited fitness for command, 
and on the other side an inherited fitness for obedience ; with 
the result that in course of time there arises on both sides the 
belief that the established relations of classes are the natural 

By implying habitual war among settled societies, the fore- 
going interpretations have implied the formation of compound 
societies. The rise of such class-divisions as have been de- 
scribed, is therefore complicated by the rise of further class- 
divisions determined by the relations from time to time estab- 
lished between those conquerors and conquered whose respective 
groups already contain class-divisions. 

This increasing differentiation which accompanies increasing 
integration, is clearly seen in certain semi-civilized societies, 
such as that of the Sandwich Islanders. Ellis enumerates their 
ranks as : 

I, King, queens, and royal family, along with the councilor or chief minister of 
the king. 2. The govenK>rs of the different islands, and the chiefs of several large 
divisions. M«my of these are descendants of those who were kings of the respective 
islands in Cook's time, and until subdued by T-amehameha. 3. Chiefs of districts 
or villages who pay a regular rent for the land, cultivating it by means of their 
dependents, or letting it out to tenants. This rank includes also the ancient priests. 
4. The laboring classes — those renting small portions of land, those working on the 
land for food and clothing, mechanics, musicians, and dancers. 

And, as shown by other passages, the laboring classes here 

grouped together are divisible into— artisans, who are paid 

! wages ; serfs, attached to the soil ; and slaves. Inspection 

makes it tojerably dear that the lowest chiefs, once independ-* 


ent, were reduced to the second rank when adjacent chiefs 
conquered them and became local kings ; and that they were 
reduced to- the third rank at the same time that these local 
kings became chiefs of the second rank, when, by conquest, a 
kingship of the whole group was established. Other societies 
in kindred stages show us kindred divisions similarly to be 
accounted for. Among the New Zealanders there are six grades; 
there are six among the Ashantees ; there are five among the 
Abyssinians; and other more or less compounded African States 
present analogous divisions. Perhaps ancient Peru furnishes 
as clear a case as any of the superposition of ranks resulting 
from subjugation. The petty kingdoms which were massed 
together by the conquering Yncas, were severally left with the 
rulers and their subordinates undisturbed; but over the whole 
empire there was a superior organization of Ynca rulers of vari- 
ous grades. That kindred causes produced kindred effects in 
early Egyptian times, is inferable from traditions and remains 
which tell us both of local struggles which ended in- consolida- 
tion, and of conquests by invading races ; whence would natu- 
rally result the numerous divisions and subdivisions which 
Egyptian society presented : an inference justified by the fact 
that, under Roman dominion, there was a recomplication caused 
by superposing of Roman governing agencies upon native gov- 
erning agencies. Passing over other ancient instances, and 
coming to the familiar case of our own country, we may note 
how, from the followers of the conquering Norman, there arose 
the two ranks of the greater and lesser barons, holding their 
land directly from the king, while the old English thanes were 
reduced to the rank of sub feudatories. Of course, where {per- 
petual wars produce, first, small aggregations, and then larger 
ones, and then dissolutions, and then reaggregations, and then 
unions of them, various in their extents, as happened in mediae- 
val Europe, there result very numerous divisions. In the Mero- 
vingian kingdoms there were slaves having seven diiTerent 
origins ; there were serfs of more than' one grade ; there were 


frjeedmen — men who, though emancipated, did not rank with 

the fully free; and there were two other classes less than free— 
the liten and the coloni. Of the free there were three classes — 
independent land-owners; freemen in relations of dependence 
with other freemen, of whom there were two kinds ; and free- 
men in special relations with the king, of whom there were three 

And here, while observing in these various cases how greater 
political differentiation is made possible by greater political 
integration, we may also observe that in early stages, while 
social cohesion is small, greater political integration is made 
possible by greater political differentiation. For the larger the 
mass to be held together, while incoherent, the more numerous 
must be the, agents standing in successive degrees of subordina- 
tion to hold it together. 

The political differentiations which militancy originates, and 
which for a long time acquire increasing definiteness, so that 
intermi>xture of ranks by marriage is made a crime, are at later 
stages, and under other conditions, interfered with, traversed, 
and partially or wholly destroyed. 

Where, throughout long periods and in ever- varying degrees, 
war has been producing aggregations and dissolutions, the con- 
tinual breaking up and reforming of social bonds obscures the 
original divisions established in the ways described : instance 
the state of things in the Merovingian kingdoms juct named. 
And where, instead of conquests by kindred adjacent societies, 
which in large measure leave standing the social positions and 
properties of the subjugated, there are conquests by alien races 
carried on more barbarously, the original grades may be prac- 
tically obliterated, and, in place of them, there may arise grades 
originating entirely by appointment of the^despotic conqueror. 
In parts of the East, where such over-runnings of race by race 
have teen going on from the earliest recorded times, we see this 
state of things substantially realized : there is little or nothing 
of. hereditary rank, and the only rank recognized is that of ofii- 


cial position* Besides the different grades of appointed state- 
functionaries, there are no class-distinctions, or none having 
political meanings. 

A tendency to subordination of the original ranks, and a sub- 
stitution of new ranks, is otherwise caused : it accompanies the 
progress of political consolidation. The change which has oc- 
curred in China well illustrates this effect. Gutzlaff says : 

Mere title was afterward (on the decay of the feudal system) the reward bestowed 
by the sovereign . . . and the haughty and powerful grandees of other countries are 
here the dependent and penurious servants of the Crown. . . . The revolutionary 

principle of leveling all classes has been carried, in China, to a very great extent 

This is introduced for the benefit of the sovereign, to render his authority supreme. 

The causes of such changes are not difficult to see. In the 
first place, the subjugated local rulers, losing, as integration 
advances, more and more of their power, lose, consequently, 
more and more of their actual, if not of their nominal, rank — 
passing from the condition of tributary rulers to the condition 
of subjects. Indeed, jealousy on the part of the monarch 
sometimes prompts positive exclusion of them from influential 
positions : as in France, where " Louis XIV. systematically 
excluded the nobility from ministerial functions." Presently 
their distinction is further diminished by the rise of competing 
ranks created by state authority. Instead of the titles inher- 
ited by the land-possessing military chiefs, which were descrip- 
tive of their attributes and positions, there come to be titles 
conferred by the sovereign. Certain of the classes thus estab* 
lished are still of militant origin : as the knights made on the 
battlefield, sometimes in large numbers before battle, as at 
Agincourt,when five hundred were thus created, and sometimes 
afterward in reward for valor. Others of them arise from the 
exercise of political functions of different grades : as in France, 
"jvhere, in the seventeenth century, hereditary nobility was con- 
ferred on officers of the great council and officers of the cham- 
ber of accounts — officers who had habitually been of bourgeois 
extraction. ^ The admmistration of law, too, presently Originates 


tfUes'of honor. In France, in 1607, nobility was granted to doc- 
tors, regents, and professors of law; and "the superior courts 
obtained, in 1644, the privileges Of nobility of the first degree." 
So that, as Warn keen tgf' remarks, ^'the original conception of 
Bobilky was !a the course of time so niuc • wfdened that its 
primitive rd«tioo to the possession of a I'ef is no longer recog- 
nizable, and the whole institution &eems' changc(!/' 'These, with 
kindred instances^ which our own country and other European 
countries^ furmsh, «how ulf both how the original dass-divisipns 
become blurred, and how the new class-dh^isioiis arc distin- 
guished by bemgd€-k)cali2e^.-' Thsy are strata which run through 
the integrated society, having, many of them, no reference to 
the land, and nO more connfectiori with on^ place than another. 
his Crtie that of the' titles artificially conferred, the higher are* 
habitually derived from the names of districts and towns : so ' 
shnolatlng,- but only'^lmulating, thfe ancient feudal titles expres- 
sire of actual lords h?|) over territor?es. The ot'her modern titles, 
bowierer, which 4yave arisen with 't'he gro\nh of political, jiidi- 
cial,«and -bther fuftdtlbns, have' not even? nominal tefer^nces to ' 
locaikiesr.- This change naturally afccompanies the growing' 
iotegration of' t;h<^ parts intb a whole, and the rise of an oi^^ani- ' 
zatiori of :^he'wh»ld which didiiegardi the divisfioHsf adnong the ' 
parts. - ' ''f .■ ■" '" : ' ■ - ^"■' ■■''■•.' 

More effbctlve still in weakfening those primitive political 
dfvtstons initiated by militancy, is increasing industrialism. 
Thisactd ki two ways — firstly: by creating a class haying power ' 
derived otherwise than- from territorial possessions or official 
position; andv secondly; by generating ideas and sentiments at 
variance wi tit the ancient asstimptkm^ of class-superiority. As 
we ihavft already .seien. rank and'wealth are'at the outset habitu- 
ally associated. Existing uncivilized' people stHl show us this 
rclsabn. The^ chief oi a kraal among the Koranna Hottentots 
is 'f usually the person of 'greatest property." In the Bechuani 
language " the word kosi . . . has a double acceptation, denot- 
ing ei^^ -a dvief oi" a 'rich «ian." Such small authority aS a 


Chinook chief has " rests on riches^ which <ons«at8 In ixvives, 
children, slaves, boats, and shells." So it was oriffinftlly in 
Europe. In ancient Spain the title ricos hombres, applied to 
the barons, definitely ideatified the two attributes. Isdced 
it is manifest that before the; development of cointiicrce, aed 
while possession of land could ak>ae ^ive. h^'geitesb of means, 
lordship and riches w^re direptly connected;, so that, as Sir 
Henry Maine remarks, ,"rt»e oppositton comoDOitly set up be- 
tween birth apd we^kh. ^ihI paiticulariy .wealth other, than 
landed property, is entirely modern." Whdn, howcYer,*witb the 
arrival of industry at that 3t|ige in wjjich wh^teale transactions 
b^ing large profits, thore ^rise graders wlhp vie with,. and exceed, 
many of the landed nobility ia woal^lv, and w-J^en by coaferring 
obligations on kings and nob)es« ^ch tr^^er^rg^in ao^^l tnfiu- 
ence, there comes an occasional jremoval of ^he 4)af rier betHcen 
them and the titled classes. In France 4he progtess ^gao as 
early as 1 271, when there were issucjd Juters eiinpbliog Reoul 
the goldsmith — "tlie fir^t letters conferring ttoMity inexist- 
epce.** The precedent pw^ established . is ^fOiUowed wifck inorete- 
ing frequency, and .sometimes^ uinler pressure of fitidncial ncecte, 
there grows up the practice of selling titles«iii disguised ways or 
openly : in France, in. 1703, th^ king ea«Obled two^undred per- 
sons at three thousand livres a head ; in 1706, five hundred at 
six thousand. And thcQ the bre^l^in^ dOwn of the ancient 
political divisions thus caused is furthered by that weakenttig 
of them consequent on the growing fi^pirit of equality fostered 
hy industrial life. In proportion as men are daily haibituated to 
maintain their own claims while respecting the claims of ethers, 
w.iich they do in every act of exchange, whether of goods for 
money or of services for pay, there is produced a mcntaJ atti- 
tude at variance with that wiiich accompatii^ subjection ; and, 
as fast as this happ ns, sqch political diatiiiction^ as imply sub- 
jection lose more and more of that respect which gives them 
Class-distinctions, then, date bac)c to ih.e );^imliigs d social 


Hffe. Omitting those smaU wamtering assemblages which are so 
incoherent thAt their component parts are ever changing their re- 
lations to one another and to the environment, we see that wher- 
ever there is some coherence and some permanence of relation: 
among the parts, there begin to arise political divisions. Rela- 
tive superiority of power, first causmg a differentiation at once 
domestic and social, between the activities and po^kions of the 
sisxes. presently begins to cause a diffei^entfeition among males, 
shown in the bondage of captives: a o^aster-class and a slave- 
fclass are formed. 

Where men continue the wandering l?fe ?n pursiiit of wild 
food for themselves or their cattle, the groups they form are 
debarrefd from doing niore by war than appropriate one anoth- 
cfr's umts- individtialty; but where men hax'e parsed Into the 
agricultural or settled state, it becomes possible lor one com- 
Inunrty to take possession bodily of another community, along 
With the terrhory it occupies. When this happens there arise 
additional dass-divisk>ns. The conquered and tribute-paying 
conimunity, besides having its Iteadmen induced to subjection, 
ha» its pe6ple reduced to a state su<ih that, while thejr continue 
to Hve on their l2^ids,4hey yield up, thrdugh the ihtermedtation 
of their chiefs, part of the produce to the conqueror^ : so fore- 
ehf^ufowing what eventu^ly becot)ie& a eet^-cli^. 

From the bcgkm«ftg the n^litant ciasi^, being by terfee of afms 
the domkianH el^s,- beeonlte^ tfoe da^ whkh owns the source of 
food-^h* land. During the hutitiog and past<)r&t stages, the 
warriors of the group hold the* land collectively. On passing 
into the settled state their tenures become partly collective and 
partly irtdlVidual in sundry ways, and eventually almost wholly 
individua^. But throughout long stagte of social evolution, 
land-owning and militancy continoe to be associated. 

The clasB-differentfation of which iiaiflflaiKry is the active cause 
lft^itrtl»^red by the estaWishinaent of d<3finiiie descem, and espe* 
cially «tade<lescent, and the transmission of pofeftion and prop^ 
•ac^to^s^ ekkst acxi of the eld^t cpnttntMdfyv Tbi^ eonidtic^A 


to inequalities of position and wealth between near kindred and 
remote kindred ; and such inequalities of weakU'Once initiated, 
strefigthen themselves by giving to the superior, increased ipeans 
of maintaining their power, by. accumulating appiiancos (or 
offepse and defease. . , • : ■ . ^ 

Such diifler^tiationisi increased at the ^aine tin^je ;ha^ ^. q^w 
differen^iatipa is init^ated,/by ^he in?fpigra^iqn pf {ugitiy^.ttihp 
attach th^n^elves to the ipq^t.powerlul uwjml^r of thegi^oup.; 
now. a^, dependents, who^.wprk, ^nd now as ^med.foUowers— r 
armed followers who form a class bound to tliq domifiant man 
and uncpnnecjt^ed with the land^ And since, in clusters pf ^uch 
groups, fugitives ordinarily flpqk most tp, the strongest^ gro^up^ 
and become adherents of its liea4» they ^rje, instf umentfd in fur- 
thering, those §ubs^uent. integrations and ^iflerfsptiati^as which 
conquests bri^g.ahpwtj , , , i ... . 

Ingquajiitijes of ^o^ial position, bring^ig inequalities ip^the supr 
pli(^^ and kinds of {ood, clothifig» and ^ch^Jter, tend xp est^lr^lis^ 
physgical di^^nces, ^9 the further adyap;tdge pi the rulqrs ^4 
disadvantage of the rul^* ,.An^ beyond tl^e.physiqal differences 
there iare pro^u.ced by the, respective Ijabiis.qf di(€ wen^al differr 
ences» en^otional and inteUectual, streqgtheoii>g the gei^^al oon^ 
trasii of nature, . , ; ., 

When there come the conquests which produce compoun4 
societies, and, again, dqnbly compound ones, there coni^ super- 
positions <A ranks. And the general effect is.that,,whil^ the 
ranks of. the conqujering society become respectively higher than 
those which existed before, those of the conquer^ become 
respectively, lower, * : , 

The class-divisions thMsi formed, dudng the eajrlier stages of 
militancy, are traversed and obscured as fast as the niany emaU 
societies are coftsolidatedihita cdjc laq^e society. Ranlw refers 
rin^ to local OTga;niaation arc graduaUy replaced by Tanks refer- 
ring to general organization* InsUiedd of deputy and enb^Jdeptity 
governing agenta who are^the militant owners of the subdwisfons 
they rule, thcfire come governing agents who more or less dear] 



form strata running throughout the society as a whole — ^a con- 
comitant of developed political administration. 

Chiefly, however, we have to note that while the higher 
political evqlution of large social ^gregates tends to break 
down the divisions of rank which grew up, in tjie small com^po- 
tient social ag^egate^ by substituting other divisions^ these 
original divisions are still more broken down by grQwing indus- 
trialism. Generating a wealth that is not connected with rank, 
this initiates a competing power, and at the same time» by estab- 
lishing the equal positions of citizens before the l^w 'w^ respect 
of trading transactions, it weakens those- divisions which at the 
outset expressed inequalities of position before ^he law. 

As verifying these interpretations I may add that , they har-- 
monizewith the interpretations of cerepionial institutions re- 
cently given. A^ t^e ppimary difference? of r^nk result irom 
vi<:torie$,^nd fis the primary forms of propitiation priginjite in 
the behavior of the vanquished to the vanquishers, so the later 
differences of rank result from differences of R9wer, whi<?h, in 
the last resoru express ttiemselves in physical coercion, and so 
the pb^ervanc^s between ranks are recognitions o{ si|ch* differ- 
ences of power. Ay hep the conquered enemy is.road^. a .slaver 
and mutilated by taking a trophy from his body^ we pep simul- 
taneously originating the deepesf. political distinptijoin an4 the 
ceremony which iparks it ; and with the cqntinueid u^jlitancy 
that compounds and re-compounds social group^, ther^ goes at 
once the development pf political distinctions and the develop- 
ment of ceremonies marking them. A^^d as we before saw that 
growing industrialism dinunishes the rigpr of ceremonial rule, 
so here we see that it tends to destroy those class-divisions 
which militancy originates,. an4 to establi^ others which indi- 
cate differpnces of position consequent pn, differences of apti- 
tude for Uxe various functions \vhich an industrial society needs, 

* ' Herbert Spencer, in The Fortnightly Review. 



One tii the first specimeiw I saw of the " iiiuova scuola,** the 
reah'itit School of Italian poetry, hatppened to be Lorenzo Stec- 
chetti's ** Postuma/' It Cartie'to me accompanied by a feeling 
complatfit o^f the usual sad fate and early death o¥ men of genius, 
and the little \^Iume itself contained a shoVt biography of the 
departed poet; telling how he wa^ bOrn m 1845, iand was left an 
orphan ^t fiVe years oM, how fie Ifved' and studied and loved, 
and fkiaHy- ffeH a victim to a lingering arid pafnful chest disease 
at the eaHy age of thirty-bne. The final scene is described with 
graphic touches : To the suggestion of seeing a prrest he stoutly 
answered B0 1' With his dying breath h^ asked that the window 
should' be Open to let him see the sun once more, but t'hcre wa^ 
»o sun. *^ FiHe** (the end) N^-as his last u'Ord! ' "He is buried,*' 
the account -comfcludes, *' Jnthe <;hurchyard of his viWage (Fin- 
ftiana), uhda' the fifth cypress t6 the left as you enter. The 
tombsto^ be^rs sfmply th« names and dat^s. ffe left af! his 
prop^y t^ charities." The account i^ signed by Eh-; OKnda 
Guei^i, a cousin of SteCchetti'S'; "* le hostre madri furono sor- 
clle** is added for the sake of accuracy. ' < - 

Sorne ti¥ne' after receiving the Volume, T mentioned Stecchetti 
to my fr%n<f Si^noi^ Mazzifcato, expressing my regref at the un- 
timely eietinctioit of hl^ unmistiak'dbre, a^Fthough as' vet under- 
veloped,'gi^; -whereupkin Signor MaiztK:at6 aske^ me With a 
smile to be comforted, for' that the author of ''Postuma." so far 
from bfeing dead, was, on' tlie contrary, iii excellent heakh. and 
might be seeri ev^ry evefning m Bbfogna drinking beer and play- 
ing ** tresettie'* at the brasserie oif th^c5cce!lent*Otto Hofmeister, 
to whom one of his volumes is aflfe(itfOfiately dedicated. " Stec- 
chetti," I was further informed, is a^ pseudonym, the poet's real 
name being Olindo Guerini, the name which stands at the end 
of his own obTtuary ndtfce. - • - - 

The reason for this elaborate hoax in the style of Edgar Poe 

^ems to 4^vf t>eeii that Steii^chcui, who hadliedii skrigeity at- 
tacked rby ^e critics* wUhcid to see bow they iRKbdki modify 
their qpiaioa ot him whea defunct. Moreover, b& appears to 
have thougt^t tfiat a dead, po«?t had a better ohaacein Italy than 
a living Qi^e, ^nd in this he waa evidemly not mistalcen ; for 
'' Postuxna" went through six ^UioAs in a Jhi£l& OKire than a 
year, and jt haiS certainly ((contributed moce to ks author^ repu^ 
tation tl^aR anything be had done before. . . 

A t^ick .of thi3 kind •appears > at .fixst ^ight . acaroely ttiore ac- 
countable and digni^d tton the dedioatida of a.serioas volume 
of poetry to a t^yen^k^per. But all ,tiii8 and more is folly 
esjp^ain^4 ¥rhen we cpnie. to .oondidor the pecaliar.rpQsltion of 
SteccheU;i .^ijid his litersMry companions, Jheir yantitfal eccea- 
triciti^;b^Abe^o tbeobject of ,m0st,«ava©e attacks .off the part 
of Vr^spegta})le". critics./. A^l(the crimes ia.t be Newgate Calen- 
dar of lit^ratu^e and mP^raUty iwene Jaidto their charge ; they 
w^e compared tQ unclean animals (vide ProL Rizei'6 "Sonetti 
al X^ajale")* apd igenerisUly handled ,in a stjrlc CQm|iiired;with 
which the t^^tmen^pf the ." Satanic Sdftool" by the Quarterly 
woul4 apppar jJhe pink of courte3yii Their natorat retort was . 
the assumption <^, ^a 4»xQg|^mted iCynicism aqd Bohetntaniam, 
which,: if in.spme m^as^e i% seemedi to JAUtify:the< attack of 
their , a^ver^ri^s, at ithe^ametwlwe.seinfed to irritate them. 
Tliis, ^.Jea^, is the attitude aasvM»ed byStecobetti inihe elab- 
orate fsss^y iQ defense of the aew school which he has pcvfined 
tojiis*; Nova Pplemica*" and which, in a. convenient for n»,aums 
up .tjie charges piftde gainst cbe movement* iuid,,by:infenBnce, 
its owi^ aifp an^ raison ^'etre* r: 

. Steqchctti begins by crowing over hfa critics 'for. havirig gone 
into the trap §et them by the rumorof his deatii. ** When they 
thought me defunct," he ^iplaims. "they were willing to bury 
me in the Capitol with every honor ; now that they see me 'come 
forth from the hearse,, they will no doubt: con tinue to throw rtic 
from the T^peia^ rock." To iivJuce >sudi a vtolent bourse his 
••5j|)pij?gia" i§ iff§leed iveJJ j^dapted. "Plrima di tiittoi dici,iche 

238 THE^ LiBRAR Y MA iSA^firM,- ^ 

non dcodoriB Dm" he address^ the " nlaleVoTertt ftftSef* M^ihi^ 
outset, and b^msi to discuss reU^otrs questidris iW ^ W^lhriier 
which shpws that the foi-6idden charm 6i wickedness an^©yfohi-' 
ism still Bttadtes:t6 flippant unbelief in Italy. Ih-England the 
days are fortunately over when Shelley thotigltt it nete^iiry td 
proclaim JiiSi atheism jn the vl«hor»s' album at the Chartreuse 
at Montanvert* bwt young. Ftatiaii^ evidently ^111 feveto pbse in 
the interesting attitude- of militant unbelievers, a cfrttimistance 
scarcely Jess oreiKtable tc^ theiif owti tafet than to the wrsdoin of 
the oitthodosccritidS' whom ihey hbipfe't^irHtateu ' 

Stecehetti metxti turiis to ih^ charge ol imhi^raiity raised 
against tbejuew 8chpol,>€lnd again reveals^a mind rather tynftal "^ 
than thooghtlui His gloriftoation of th^ lenses remfinds one of 
the early writiags of Heinft,- wherein he used to preach the dod- - 
trine of the ** third testament^ o^ Joy* wliich would be so true 
andso'pleaBtntif youtWand health and money would only laist 
forever' Stecchetti ' elsewtoerfe proelaimfe Byron, Hfeine, and 
Alfred :de iMnsset tb be his pbetic tflnity.-artd he has evidently"* 
studied hi$ Jiiotlrfs tosofise purpose. Mis pl^a in excuse of the 
cynical temHencyof his poetry 'iasingtilaf'eriou'gh.* He sifnply; 
declares that the public are tired 6f i46sft W6ttie^. that tftejrtrarit 
realities, and thfit th^se deaUdes Are a^nyt^iiig' but what nibral 
and religions ; people might defei re. Thife method is at test as * 
good as^hat of paintiflgiL id use Schiller's word^,** vke a^ the 
devil. b^T'^he side of it,"' so as to please both the Wicked tmd the * 
virtuous -iSignor Stecchetti d^^s not pretend io kny'^eat de- ' 
gree of »viftu^,. neither does -be attend pt -to cov^ hts Hcdntious 
pictures with the mantle of an ulterior m6*M and dldiictic jjur- 
pose;. all he slays is that whkt he de^tnbfe* is true, a^d therefore 
a legitimate' objett rtf modern matistic as opposed to conven- • 
tional "ideal" poetry. This ptea, aUhoiigh it does not justify ' 
the tone of some of Stecchetti's ^x>erts, explkins well the raisori 
d'etre of. the new school. It does not materially ciiffer from the 
I'art ^ur I'lfft-^inciple, of whfkh feo much has been* heard of • 
1^ botli. ia Fmace and ^England; ^neith^t- do the v^ristl^|h6«f. 


mach origiftality ih ^scirlbing thdr pro^mme as a * fetum to 
nature." That pliable tertn has beeh the battle-cry <Jf every 
new movement in literature, and its significance fe to a great 
extent detfermtned by the double question whence that return 
Is made and whether it leads. In Italy, however, Some such 
movement was'needed beyond a tioabt. ' Htr last great poet, Leo- 
pardi, died half a century ago, and he left ho school. Only what 
was kast' Individual in him, his sorr<iw for the fate of his coun- 
try, found ait echo in the patriotic songs which record thfe long 
strife for Italian unity. But even thii motive has lost its mean- 
ing now that the goal is reached. This is well pointed out by 
Stecchettl. who, as soon' as he forgets his cynicism and his griev- 
afices ag^insit the critics,' becomes sensiWe and eVeti 'eloquent. 
"In 1^60,'' he says, "thett was the ideal of a tmited Italy. At 
pl^serit, whert th^ unity fs no longer ' discussed or threatened, 
how can we have and sing the same ideal? Should we, ptr- 
haps, hold m^eet4ngs for ITtalia irridehta? Whkt woiild 'II 
Ptfrtgolo'-and ^* La P^severariza' siy theri > Realism, in short, 
i^ 'nothing but t%e ^etit'of ^ social bnditT6\i— a moment 1n a 
social evolution. . / . We sdannot have an ideal, b^dause we can- 
not find -bn^ in thi? ^iresent state brf thiiigi and the old ones 
w^Hild be no longef ill their ^ace fn Ofirt" State, our s6ciety, our 
family. Give u^ a neW idea, at oncfe de^^atfed and irt' accordance 
with the demands of the epoth, and the singer of that idea will 
be fbi*th<*omfng Without delay ^ neither will' ther^ be' wanting 
the eorifess6i*S: and mattyrs, such ^s there Were for dther Meals." 
-And' here we touch iipon the really important side 6f the new 
movdmrent. The altei^ state of the political condition' in Italy 
ha^ btVMight about a commehslirate change of public feeling. A 
long period of political and' social lethat^ is naturally followed 
by a powerful impulse at iirst in the practical direction ; and, 
however archaeologists and artists and poets may deplore the 
external changes involved in such a movement, it is impossible 
td deny its-'-neccfssityfin the natliral order of things. Students 
oHite^rtlireh&^^ at^t?he'same timt been curious to see ti^h^the^ 


th^ te^yival of Italia^i un.ity wpuJd infuse new life into Italiai^ 
poetry, whether the yaited nation would produce a= great na- 
tional poet. To answer that question in the affirmative would be* 
to say the least, premature. The " nuova scuola" has not at 
present produced a man worthy of being named bj the side of 
Leopardi, but it has as undoabie,dly paved his way if he should 
kppear. This merit is beyond dispute ; it may be proved by 
figures and statistics. "^ few years ago," Steochetti says^ 
"only French books i^e^e r^ad ia Italy, and our. country was 
the drain into which; third and fourth rate Ffec^ch novelist^ 
emptied their inanities. Pope Gregory— ^g(;>od old- so^l— wia^ an 
enthusiastic admirer of Pau^ de Kock's. novels. Italian books^ 
had no sale. How is it> then, that our. little emancipation from 
the gre^t Parisian niarket, our little revival of literature,, has • 
come to pass exactly when our poets bave g^ven up swimming • 
agaii^st tbe stream of the time with their tr^;efiies» idyls,r historic 
romance?, and sacred hymns?" The final sentence alludes to 
Manzopi and his school, against which the veristiw^ge inces", 
santwar, without, however, in their c^lm momeats faiUngto 
acknowledge the genius of the autbor of " I prpmefisi Sposi." 
But, although an ex part^ statement, Steqcheui's remarks are 
true in most respects. M^nzoni's poetry is sublio^e, dignified in , 
expression, and strictly religious; modern Italians are practical,, 
matter-of-fact in speech, and, among the intelligent classeq,, 
thoroughly skeptical, at least anti-Catholic. The ooasequencQ ; 
has been for a number of years a total wan^ of rapport between 
the public and the Manzoniani, and a general decline of inter^t 
in any poetry. what9ver. Stecchetti's statement in this respect 
is fully confirmed by independent testimony. Signor Enrico 
Panzacchi. for example, by no means a blind admirer of the new 
school, states how in former days *'e:^&a the aw)st celebrated 
poets, Prati and Aleardi, had to bow to the indifference of the 
public spirit, and to wait for some event in order to justify in 
some meiasure the publication of a ii^wpoem." vA^l this is 
aUeo6d»;andth£'^fdtQr yoluLmqg; in wj^^:,^ty:|tegyy.BPfl^|j|^.TQ» 

.lippear before tiie.worid, zjbA to whiich they owe their «econd 
nickname of '• Elzeviriani," are fouod on every bookstall. To 
^ve revived .the Interest ^of Italians in their native poetry is, 
absc^^^tely speaking, a feat well worthy of notice apart from the 
intfiiwcinerit of ti»at poetry; 

The faqt i& the moce Curious as the nuova octtola derives its 
poetjf? cachet dijjtinctiy from French sourcea. those Who re- 
saeoiher the movement of the *" Panuttsietis" in France, or have 
.^e^e^ U^ir ei^centric organ La R^ubiique des Lettres, will at 
^^nc$,irecog«i«e:a kind of elective adinicy with the- Italian poets. 
Ther^ is npt, as in the case of some English writers, adiredt im- 
itation^ ILtalian poetry is too .rich in heautilyil and varied foi^ms 
tp have to borrow rondeaiix atidiXMidets and tridtets fixim VlMon 
thfp^h the mediuQi mf M. Theodore de Banvtile. • An innate 
leeli^ for beaaty ateo has protected even Stecchetti and -other 
e^tre^ne membeit of. the j9dKx>llroni the delight ih^lhh and 
abominai^ioQ wht^constiuitssthe higher moml$tyof Zola. But 
theex^rAftlleattfres^thebattle-^cry of realism at any pnKoe, the 
i:evival;p( ^Id v^rseioniiSr the violent radicalism in rel%idn and 
m politics^ the indifforenoe as to ocher people's pi^ejodkies— all 
this w^-tinf} i< Milan awl Bokgna asweH as in Pads. For ft 
should h^ noted that the new nioveroent belongs exttoslvely to 
the no4:ti> o(, Jt«aly. it '\%\ti the two cities alHsady i^med that 
most of thp Vf^isti rieside^ and here theiir works are jpbbM^hed, 
^nd ^^odqubt chi^y mad^ By birth aiso the leaders oi -the school 
belong to th/e fltfwrth. . 

T9 return to the paralteiism with the modern French school, 
it extends .to the taate for certain congenial itiot'etrtents in the 
sister arts of painting and music. When Wagner •s"'^*anrthaoser" 
was hissed of! tl}«.9ta^ in Paris itiwas Grautier and Baudelaire 
and CatuUe Mendez who bc^me his champions ; ;and the appear- 
ance of " Lohengrin" at Bologna was received with poetic accla- 
mations of the highest enthusiasm by the young bards of the 
ancient university city. I may mention in this ,cp.pnectio?i/'that 

*r^d^i pi-oihisirig "comjiospr ftf^ jaod^aJiaJji-^^^ 


Boito, the autlK)r of **Miephistopheie»'!.is at the same time a.di^ 
tinguished poet of the nav schooL 

It is tin%e that we should kave generalities for individual cases, 
and inquire into the merits of. some of the leaders of the new 
movement. To begin with Stecchetti himself, he may be char- 
acterized iiv comparatively ffew words. Therels nothing complex 
or occult in his .poetical iConstitution, arid the themes hie hds 
chosen are of the simplest, One may say most primitive kind. 
Love,, of course, stands at the head'of them ; and as to the nature 
of that love the r^der will be able to form an idea by what has 
been said before. To condemn obvious jtfveniHa of this kind 
with the stem mind of thfe moralist would be. obvJoilisly out of 
place. But even from the acsthctical point of view, which Stec- 
chetti justly asks hiai criticafto occupy*, then© is a great deal that 
is highly o^>jeci:ionable in the tone- pf his aihofous raptures, in 
his frequent referenced to ** la carhe," and similar exCrcscetices 
of a youthful imagination.. Thatanytbin^ a^>pfbaching to a di*- 
rectapp^l to |he senses, whether m the way? of^ |>leasore or of 
horror,^ ceases ta be aHU axiom acknowledged > hf the best 
opinions <p| all ages.; Siteqchetti here has out^Musseted Musset 
and out-Heitied the youthful ; {ieirie m o: mianner which does 
more credit to his powers of assimitation- than ^to His discretion. 
Of Heine '^ " WeltfedMniera "> also we have aknple supply in such 
poems of "Noia," in which the po^ regT«3the happiness of lits 
" Cari vent* anni.!' and k>Qk8 upon the wortd in general thtoijgh 
the black spectacles of his ennui. Again, we find him in other 
poems of the V Po^uma": develop thiac vtaleni; de chambfe^ de 
malade/' which supplies a kind «if poetic commentary ta the story 
of his own <)eath in the preface. 

Quaato 2ak6r^^^amtk gidta in Quegto mendo 

Di pocbi passi che si dc^,a] sol^ ! 

Oh quanta viu ! Ed io son moribondo ♦ 

he exctalms at the end of one of his most melodian sonnets, and 

* '"'' What lovii, what ]oy in this world of a few paces (his garden) wbicb widccQa 
to tlMt^4ML^«iui^;^^aodf^am doomed to d!^**'- w ^^^'' 


the same sad note is faintly Audible in many of his poems. In 
the outbursts of jealousy and other troubles caused the poet by 
the fickleness of his various mi$tre$ses. the influence of Heine's 
early work gains prominence. Stecchetti is alternately cynical 
and sad ; and by saying that he is influenced by Heine I do not 
wish to deny that there is much that is fine and powerful in such 
lines aJs those which I subjoin in a literal translation : 

And since that night I never more saw thee. 
And never knew thy fate or heard thy name. 
At tW« ho»r. it nay bie. 
ThoM aunde^^at ^e gate in tin and ihame^ 
Expecunt who woMld buy 
Thy venal kisses. Maybe thou didst die. 
Pferhaps— the thou^t ftf bitterer' to my heart— 
) ' - Ti»trliaBtfdrgoittenUiyd8i>antdIllt, 
. y . . ,^itoawcolntetHecri^t 

In the chaste duty jof a happy wife ; 

Tending wfth love divine 

The chUdrsn of a lo^eifi^ifth is iidt mlM. 

Bat iir spite of admirable detached passages, it must be owned 
that Stecchetti's love poetry, with it^ raptures and regrets, has 
about it a touch of the mechanical, which extends even to his 
description of external appearance. Hfe has the love of all south- 
em poets forfan"-hah^ beauties, and in Milan no doubt the 
type is by no means fincomthon. At the same time it is scarcely 
credible that the stereotyped phrases of "testa biondaV'"capelli 
biohdi ** should appTy to all the numerous ladies whose charms 
the poet celebrates. 

For this and other reasons onefindis the poet most satisfactory 
where he forgets his Byr6nic attitudes, and gives utterance to 
simple, unsophisticated feeling. The subjoined lyric, in k nieter 
which St^cchetti's reserve for poems of this kind, may not con- 
tain nmch depth of thought or originality of diction, but it has 
the true ring of lyrical poetry : 

' Un organettd siiona per la via 
La mia finea&A 6 apena e vien la aefi, 
^i«w^.<:.«« 'vSal#dalcMttpija]kis(a^zacciaAit 


Nonao percMmi trnniao i-gfioQCchi 

Non so perch^ mi saiga il pianto agli occhi. 
Ecco, io chino la testa in suUa mano 
E penso a te che sci cosi lontano.* 

Almost equally sweet is the sentiment of the stanzas b^ginping 
"Quando tu sarai vecchia," which he has borrowed from Beran- 
ger, Beranger from Ronsard, and Ronsard from TibuUus. Only 
in the last line there is a harsh dissonance peculiar to the Italian 

But Stecchetti is not always in thse m^ftijig mood. He has a 
quiet humor of his own, and his attacks oa his detractors are 
sometimes very quaint and pretty, as. for instance, where in a 
poem of anything but vuximpeachabje. Latin and morality he 
comforts his muse by the sweeping assertioD,'^' Nesciunt critici 
latinum, quamvis macaronicum." He has aba admirably caught 
Heine's trick of throwing, as it were, cold water on the enthusi- 
asm called forth by the passionate begiisiningjDf a love poem. 
Thus he describes with great intensity how« in ^rbeautjfuJ ^''^m. 
he floats in a frail bark op the se^ alone with hi^ loved o#^ 
rocked by the waves and seen only by the stai;?: ' 'Suddenly ^e 
is silent, and, struck by a thought, she lifts her head froqi 
.my 4»houlder8, and with her fac^ stra^qg^ly fi;[^ed ,Qn the cjeep 
darkness of the ni^ht she whispers*/ Be ^^ilj^t, yondef 9^e, tb£ 
lights of Lissa.' " 

Take him all in all Stecchetti i$ a literary phenomenon of no 
small interest. He is evidently young, and his work ^.lw?ws the 
sins and sillinesses pf youth, but there is unmi^aHable pow^ ol 
a more or less undeveloped mind. Among the veri^ti l?e repre- 
sents the Bohemian side of the movement; and his faulty ma^ 
be to a great extent explained from the false and exaggerated 
position in which he was placed by the injudicious attack^ o4 his 

* '"■ An organ sounds In the street; my window in open, and evening b coming. { 

From the fields comes to my chamber jigeoUe breath o( <9priiig. I do not know 
why my knees tremble ; I do not kn. w why-D^ai^^riae; to agr f ycs> Behold, I kaa 
myfaead OB my hand, aad think ol lhiM4llllk^4V04» IMT.** . '^ 


Anothenr exponent ^ the same extreme principles, to whom we 
must now turn, is Emilio Praga, one of the most interesting 
poets of the new school. He is a kind of tragic pendant to 
Stecchetti. What the latter frequently pretends to be the 
former is in sad earnest. There is in the first instance, unfor- 
tunately, no doubt as to Praga being dead. His premature end 
made a painful sensation in Italy, and Domenico Milelli, another 
verista, has laid his volume of - Odi Pagane " on the " grave 
marked No. 10 in the cemetery of Porta Magenta (Milan)," 
where Praga is buried. His life is soon told ; it is typical of a 
phase too common in the rapid transitions of modem existence : 
a man of high imaginative power, in ^arch of new ideals, dis- 
satisfied with established law and custom, and at the same time' 
unable to keep his moral equilibrium without them. Bom in 
1339, Emilio Praga started in life as a landscape painter, it is 
said, of no ordinary power, and with the same tendency towards 
the somber and melancholy which is observable in his poetry. 
But he soon seems to have discovered his vocation for litera- 
ture, and published his first collection of verse at the age of 
twenty-three, under the title "La Tavolazxa" (The Palette). 
It wAs brought out against the advice of pmdent friends, and 
With little hope of success. All the poet asks for is a stray 
flower or sprig of Isiurel; and he compares himself to a Savoyard 
boy going about the cafes pkying his fiddle, and too grateful if 
any one has a ki«ri word tor him. Of kind words, or, indeed, 
of any words, he was not to have many. In those days the 
public interest was entirely taken up by the great political 
changes which had gone before and were impending, and 
Praga's volume fdl dead from the press. But, nothing daunted, 
the poet continued to work, and two years after his first book 
he published a-second of 'increased import and maturity. On 
this second effort, called "Penombre" (1864), Praga's claim to 
immortality must mainly rest. He still published another vol- 
ume of verse, consisting of " Stories and Xflgends"; but narra- 
tive poetry was evidently not- cong^Bkiai^to his intensely Individ- 

246 THU L/mU/^ r MACAZIMM. 

u^l mind. . Neither dp; hi$ di?ariatic efforts seem 1 to 4iave been 
condemned without good reason, if one may j^dge by the speci- 
men printed in a posthumoiLis. volume. It is called ** Fantasma," 
and ij?„ indeed, of a very shadowy character* Its motive is that 
constant wavering between sin and. repentance, which is the 
key-note also of Praga's lyrical poetry; and the author has suc- 
ceeded in cramming intQ a few scenes aauimberof painfjil inci- , 
dents and some very beautiful lines of rhetorical poetry. The 
**Fantasma'' was pjayedat Milan in 1870, and seenJs to have met 
with a moderate success Two pieces, ^'Le.madri galanti'* (writ- 
ten in collaboration with Arrigo Boita) and " II capolavpro 
d'Orlando,-' preceding it, had. been hissed off the stage ; a roman- 
tic drapa, "Altri Tempi," written subsequently, was rehearsed at 
various theaters, but never performed. Praga's solitary dra- 
ipatic success was his faithful and elegant translation of 
Coppee's "Le Passant."; The detached lyrics of his latter 
years Praga intended to collect in a volume of "Trasparenze;" 
bi;t death overtook him in 1874, and the work -ixras published 
posthumously. There is, unfortunately, little doubt that that 
death Wi^s ;^cqelerat^d by his own excesses, although Signor 
Molineri, his biQgrapher, detiies the assertions of- charitable 
critics that Praga died of delirium tremens, and that his later 
poems were written tender the influfintecjof absinthe. Of his pri- 
vate life it is ascertainable only that h? was intensely fond of his 
littje spn, a fact, moreover, which is beatitifuUy apparent from 
his poetry. From that son and from his wife he was separated 
shortly before his death ; fip^r what reason we are nbt toM. 

It would have been unnecessary to dwell on these common 
and melancholy Incidents but for the curious reflex they find in 
Praga's poetr}^ Never has the interconnection between a man's 
life and a man's work been illustrated in a more striking man- 
ner. In the opening " preludio " of "Penombre" the poet 
exclaims — 

Oiaochft canto ana mtscracansoiM 
. M^^liatgtil vero, 


ahd to tbis programtne he has adlici^d thvoughoot his poetical 
career. He is in the first instancie true, a verista in a sense 
more literal and more tragic than the more aesthetic realists of 
the school ever dreamed of. Hence the strong tone of individ- 
ual suffelring which gives to Praga's work an almost painful 
interest. For hfs is not a healthy attitude of life and raind. 
Like Alfred de Musset'fe " Rolla," " il est vcnu trop tard dans un 
mbnde trop vieux ;*' and in that world of doubt and temptation 
and practical strife he is as one in a wilderness. Unlike Stec- 
chetti, Prag^is hot a bold unbeliever or an open sensualist. He 
loves the good but does thfc evil j and at the gay banquet, 
amidst the clinking of glasses and the laughter of girls^ he hears 
the distant bells, which rennfind him of childhood and pure love. 
•'Poor child!" he sa>*s in another poem, "-^hat can you say of 
me ? i am m>t a fool nor a coward ! I have loved you in good 
days and evil, and love thee still with a pure holy love. But 
there are days When ' my heart grows famt, when the mud 
threatens to choke me ; pray, pray for a pure sky.- For do you 
riot know that man ts also a brute ? Fly, fly from me." 

That this frame oltnind leads in its ultimate conseqnences to 
a m6rbtd delight in the horrible will not surprise psychologists. 
This side of Praga's poetry finds its climax in the Hnes ad- 
dressed "A un feto," and is expressed in a less crude, though 
hardly less powerful, form in a poem on the death of Seraphina, 
the twin-sister of Heine's **K5nigin Pomare." Fortunately there 
is a bright cburftbrpart to this dark iide of thfe pictutiei. The 
happy chiidhoiad of pKiga has left its echo in such charming 
creations as the poem called ''Noli,'- after the fishing village of 
i^t name ; and another, dedicated to the memory of the good 
village priest to whom he owed his early education. The poet 
here is genuinely at home, quite as much, at beast, as in the 
vicious atmosphere of a great city, and his r^fret of the past is 
entirely free from the affectation too common in such moral 
effusions. He is, mor^eoEver, a reaMover^ nature, which is not 
$aytitg a iittte 9! an Italian poet; for tbt resp^dttAt^icetiuiqr ^ 


the South has curiously ertoiigfe lelt $%ht tmees in the poetsy- 
of southern nations. The troubadours of Ppovencc refer to 
blue skies and spring blossoms in- the most conventional man- 
ner, and the great Italian poets of the middle ages were not at 
least par excellenoe lovers of nature, any nH>re than Raphael 
and Leonardo were landscape painters^ Piaga's early artistic 
training may tq soone extent account k»r his gei^ainie love of the- 
country. At the same time he is not a minute observer of every . 
little flower add every chaise of eloudsJn the sense, for instance,, 
that Wordsworth' i&;. neither does he ever attempt an actual 
pictorial ejffect. It would be ea^ to guess^ if one did not know,, 
that the hand which penned' the. descriptions of scenery in the. 
" Princess of Thule" mustatonetidie have held the' brush; but 
there is nothing in Praga to belray the old landscape painter 
beyond the intense sympathy with nature already- all uc)ed to. 
The beautiful' poems addressed by Praga to hia^ child; should 
finally be mentioned. The sentiment in these- is^as true as it is 
pure. They are not, as some readers might in fen specimens of 
Italian baby-worship, The poet looks upon his l>oy with the. 
eyes of a thoughtful and even a sad man ; b^ at the same time 
he sees in a child's smile at once the hope and the mystery qI 
man's destiny. 

Un vagito di bimbo, ecco la fedc, 
Bcco il segi'eto dei d«8tidi vmani. 


It wotrid be idle to prophesy that Praga, had he livedo would) 
have been a gneat poet. Of the attributes bdortging to such im: 
had at least two— mtensity and trtith of feeling; but two othera 
seem as conspicuously wanting in the work he has^ left beWndr 
him. These are balance of mind and beauty of form. With re^' 
gard to the latter it may seem presumptuous for a foreigner to: 
speak m an authoritative manner. But judged by the staadardi 
of Dante and Petrarch and Leopardi, and even of Carducci and 
Stecehcttt, Praga seeois to tk^ perfect g^mmetKy ot 
^ophte;4< w ife p i m i< r« and ^l^at tatrmonip^s jrhytbm:,ql ^wt^ 

^fftei i oo t wtdch ati ftaliati poet, albek x>f Hie Re«t?!stic Schoc^, 
can scarcel3r be 'inraglned. 

Stecchetti and Pwiga. vfkth inany others, fe{>res**it, a^ it wete, 
^he extreme left of the vwlw!. Th^ey ane Bohemia As by prbfes- 
sicii, :and in«6oiicl*slble enemies to lltemiy proprieties. Their 
'worics «pe pvfbKshed by a eeita^n fiitD, 4and' their readers^, in afl 
pn^sabilliy, 4ifltited t^ a eertain— although, no doubt, a wide — 
circle of reaiders. All t*»i^ is (twanged as soon as we come to 
«peak: of fittest' ae^nowkdg«d leader <rf the school, Oiosw^ Car- 
dticd. ife^te ttdrtiitted by wrieers o^ all parties to be t^ 
leaxlliig poet of Itriy; the roost estaked bi*d rtost b^uti*- 
fu* lady <rflJi»c<ktfitTy has' paid trfbtfte tty his ^ius; and hts 
liteMry re^i^^fiabiliiy Is coiffir^^d 'by « hand^^>wie Mit^on of his 
collected poems under the a&sptees of tte c61ebrat^d firm of 
Barbara in Florence. In short, tie is oh the straight road to 
classical dignity; And alf- thlshe has achieved without forfeit- 
ing theaddf^atAott of hfe own imtnediate followers. Donienico 
MftetK, a thorcwgh-paced Bc^emiari, dedi<dateS to hhn a pc>et- 
ical confession Of iaiHh, and Steechetti calls him '* nostro duce 
ihtanto <e nostra ibrea." It may be snrtnbed that a poet who is 
thus able to' please Oppositfe parties tnuSIt possess high qualities 
independent of all party considerations. 

• Giosu^ Carducci's Hfe is devoid of stirring incidents ; with 
few interruptions ?t has been • that of the poet and the scholar. 
He was born in 1836, at Val di Castello, near Pietrasanta, in the 
prtwrince of Pisa, the son of a physician of moderate means. 
His elrly youth was passed In a small village of the Maremma, 
where his father had an appointment as inedlcal man to a Fren<^h 
mining company, The dreary solitude of this fc vet-haunted 
region did not depress the spirit of the boy, who itere received 
his fearllest poetic impression*, and who, moreover, was at liberty 
to follow his studious inclinations under his father's gaidance. 
The latter was by literary creed a member of that school of 
Man;R>ni wOrt(hipers which his son was destined to destroy, bt 
itPliiM'^tlymw^to'the backgmcrhd^otase^^ ^Wnt^bit 


hitolUgent raetr.of His day Dr. M^chele GardtiCQt^A;^^^ a €atb6- 
naro, and his liberal views were developed by! his son iirte ihc 
extreme lorms of radicaHsm. , As- early a»^l849! trhe youthful 
republican execrated ftbth name of ChaHesAlberC^dndpersua^d 
his friend the village tailor aiida^eat politician^ t^.rftise theciy 
of " Abasso tutti i re: viva la arepuWic^!'' To' this >CRecd tlie 
poet remained faithful in after-life» and it ^as ^n a, rc^l»)iean, 
although law-abiding, p^tform tiiat he wgfs in iSK-retlurned'iis 
member for Lugo di Rooiagna. On thai oceaaion' 'hb m&de a 
very remarkable speech, which deserves bHftf notiees^i^re itonl^ 
on account 0(f its fundamental 4ifferepce !fr0m anydectioneei*- 
ing address that could possibly be d^livemd in>itliis c«>uiitry. 
His chief fu-guiaent isrtbe fitnes9-ei poets fora poltf^cal care^, 
which he tries to provie by both ancient and modem ih8tant:*es^ 
Plata be says, would not tolerates poet in hi»feptiblic. but tlife 
Platonic Republic itself was: mot^ lyrical than aft-ode of Pindar* 
Solon, OH' the other hand, composed elegies-; Mikon t^enaed the 
"Apologia del Popoiio fd'Ingiiiljert^r* Uhlaad was a stanch 
advocate of liberty in the Frankfort Parjlaoieiit, and Lmnartrne 
braved the fury oftheiriioob lor days together, •* Perhaps my 
adversaries i^ay exclaimi -You are not a Milton pr an Uhland 
or a Lamartine;' 'Neither are you a Plato,' I should reply/* 
Fancy anyone talking of Plato and Uhland; and liamartineto 
the enlightened electors of Gloucester 0|r Boston, and -being 
rewarded with " Ilaritaeapplausi," besides obtaiping the seat. 

It may be mentioned in this connection that on one oooasioa 
Carducci is accused of having sunk; his stern republicaA priji^ 
ciples.- It appears that lie was introduced to the Queen of Italy^ 
who received him. in the most gracious manner, and paid hira 
the compliment dearest to the poet of showing intimate ac- 
quaintance with his works. Soon afterward Carducci wrote the 
ode "Alia Regina d'ltalia," of which an: enthusiastic ^ublisber's 
circular states, " Una distintissima copia"-^"priflted on parch* 
ment and bound in white silk" — was presented to Her Majestft 
and. wlHch raided a »hau^of derisioa in'U^ Co98*fyatfv#*'Pie9l. 

CMiicd'^ .jmotive; -anid/^evon' th« tmeanis^g' oC His '.vcrsesr were 
misrepfdsented tfi: the grossest raannef, till atl^t be was com* 
pelkxi to pobUib an. explanatory letter^ Tq tbe > putslder it 
soems.fiatluml enough tkiftt ev<Qii a republican poet. need opt be 
debarred jfraiinid^idg bonu^^e toa. beaidtiiui a«4 ^iftinguishpd 
tac^ because^ alte*haippena>t9 bQ a q^een. 

it is^luiy IQ tb^ credit ol tbe, Italian Goyenuneot^s^^ii^-r 
deed»C3rdit<^iribifn3elf aGknowledg<)9*Hi;hata i9ano( diaextfem^ 
yieira ' should 'nb(t^4» aay^way have sMgciffd la bis prof esS)iaai4 
career. He was*' ou tbe OQHtrary^ f rom^ the firf^t treated with, tb^ 
disiiafitiofti ^no. doubt' fnUjrdtf^nred by bi^ s«l^)av}y att^Mm^nt^. 
In ji^5f9rat the eariy age of tweptynfive, be^was^ appojiited Pfo^ 
f^orof/G«eek in ^ the University, 4j>4 Pisia, jand in^tliefollovv jng 
>^r obtained the^aafaedt^ingtfisn^ positlc^^t 3ologaat>wl^icl^ 
he^si^m. hold& ? Otoly >pn^<>ne OQQ^io(i» in i8^> he i^ras wi^h twp 
ai^his GcHleagnesHSus^nded; foe a short ticfte; iqr /s^gnjng an^r 
dnessto .Maanni^*"^ fitight iajuryi quite excu^ble," Qar(4ucd 
himself xemarks; " in those d^s rof- political contention." 
, Cardocci's poetical i^orkiis comprised und0<^ the following 
UUes^, V Juvenilia," "Levla .Gravia, " **. Decennalia*!' "N^jov^ 
i?oeste." andi** Qdi; Barbane/'.the^grst: three f>ubl*sbed i^ axol- 
lectjed . f^rm^ as *' PiOesie" <Flomnc^. the- Ifist two . belonging to 
the pretty Elzeyir< edition of.modi^n poets appearing at Bpiogiw^ 
it must; bef churned that in the early poems there is- little, to be^- 
trajf tjbefuttine yeristaor to distingHrish CardMcqi from, the pchoql 
af literature then- iposti ia vagtie.. The stately march pi hi^ stan- 
za •the: dig>nified grace of the.idio%iong;do no^ in any, w^ differ 
fi?cxmrtj^, style 0f Montiand-Mananni. And tbecft, is little vari- 
sttiontof manner-tn the^tneatoicnt of the varipus ijubject^ ; Venus 
s^ Bacekus swre rftily invoked i* a love song or a '■ brin^isi'* is 
attempted, and the patriotic/ addxesees t^ ."'Liberty" and the 
italians^^re full, of.tlieelassiie jnagniloqueneeof Ai^i^to wbotx^, 
iildeed, the foroser is dedicated^ ; - 

,7 .The pheatomenoo is - ^sy- of ^ e^splaa^oktion^ Carducgi '& father 
l^iai|(.«i« #aAfeL»&efin* a<ist«iifih<^M2ift9Qoiap^;.ift94' tbo.p^^t 

i§2 r}f£ i/^i^jj^y MA^dimB, 

himseff joined a society of yiyvmg \h%i^»ryttittnmhofm.wtkim;mif 
chance of Mlkm poetry in t¥ft '^titicv^dhertnce moJl^pHMi 
models of the medieval and R«iiais^nce periods, to tks Hadm 
slori of aH foreign a«d m€Wte*«'^e*n*iii|g. Ifwas [a tliftriiettawy 
organ 4^ ihh 'iftii&vemem,9\gniQcsanJbfiMA\pA^Amgf^ 
that Carducci earned his'SrHiaurels^-and lm> siM^k)ttS'«auiieftat 
this ^Mt -^iitHed^ hi^"sybs^«i)tiy to appear Mioiigst the 
learned editor^ of l4i* c^iarmkig' ^'diaiBt^nd-'uedttioit'Of. JtiHali 
daissi^ piilillsfhed <by8arb^rs(. 1^^ poerkiiiiieelf is by Jio immmw 
ashamed of these antecedents. -^'I <8tert«lv" h© writes, "aad i 
am t^rottd of it, frt>m Alfieri/PaHnV Montis vS>wcdte,fijeop«fdfc; 
through them asid i^h tlKkn i Went kmk to the anideiitaian^ 
Inibued mysdf with Dante imd Pmrnrdi/' Tlie ^ame ttene prti- 
vaiils e^sekitiaHy ill the *^ LeVia OmvisU^^sMd ^begiai %o disappear 
oftty in the •* DWjennfafia,'*' 6otnp^kitvg i<h^ po0ni«k mostly polklcat, 
wftidt were 4^itt«^n^tiring «he teti 4ifetnM years piecedingf tbe 
oeenpatfonof Ronne by the Iialians. The la^t^naiDed cdlectkNi 
contains ohe^ the author's most famous^ or as some wwiM 
«ay most wbtoridus, poems, the ^ Inino a Satana.'' whkh on its 
appearance in 1869 evoked all the thunid^rs of a CoaservatiUlft 
press, and ih the^tyes Of pious persons still surrounds the poet 
^it^ a sort of itiHd iglow of unholiness. A'ddllo Bi^vgogni re* 
lates how on^ evening when walkkig with the poet at Bologna 
they 'Were met by co old priest, who gr^«ted Carducci to the 
m6st cardial manner. Turning to Borgc^t' the kind cM, man 
added : "A very good excellent person the prtofe^or, an-^ic^ 
lent p)ersan1 What a pity "he sh6ald have wdtteii *'Qv^ 
Demone* r meaning the " Hymh td< Satan." That sucfe'a'titie 
alone would >e sufficient to frighten a shnple-minded priest or 
a ptours lady is not a matter for ^rpri^e. Those, howevte*", who 
had the courage to read must have seen that Cardudci's mean- 
ing is n6t qnitk as teriil>le as might appear at first sight* Thie 
Satan glorified by him is not tbe*^ northern phantom**^ of die 
middle agea Justly despised 'by>Mephistophete%< nor ly^ that 
^spirit kA tiegatioift Iiim8etl^^{>erhaps.^he .imareMuig iwo^itf alK 

^Vmom d- Ju<)ff»«fit'*>i9' Ihe. iwarest approach to a pritu^pl^ 
y/lmk^ ait once tl^ " kittg ol torms and phenomena m mauer**^ 
thQ^rit of i^oble resMitaAce which tived. in Hussand Sa^vanaroia 
and Luther, and finally the "ribellione e forza vindice deUa 
regios^*' It may be readily .adnoitted that in this sense many 
enlightpi^ • mem a/re ^evil^worshipers botk in and out of 
It«Jy. ' yi. w^s^no doitbt this perfect rapport with the spirit of 
mod^Oi progfOM which attitacted Cardueci'fr ireaders, and mad€» 
him.t^A^ol Ot ItaUan, more especialiy ctf North Italian/ 

J:h«:^fl|l3hUfeenury impoftaace ^f Cankicci'^work belongs ta 
a ^pjoop^caitiv^l^. l^t^r period. 1st his career the process of sowv> 
log wild qaits has been CMfiously delayed. Speaking oi. the 
"l^v^n^a^" Ef^ricoj P^nzacchJ, pne^ol the leading Italtaji cftt*. 
ics«,iren(uu;k^ i/*li ycmtb in artaa in- life signifies- power and lib^ 
ei^, %h&tith€.pf^j^& of ,C^dac,ci> a( foirty ajre more juvenile 
thfi^^tjbpse he^^rpl^ a]t» twenty." This process of.r^^eration 
\&i^ccQ\xr}^(ir.iqr, l^ th^. ^udy of nmdeirn/ fooe^ literatures, es- 
p^aUyth^^of ;^r^pe£^d;Geraiiaay» Victor Hug^ in the ior- 
m^^and i^eii^ my%hmls^%^ being the. poets to whom Carducci. 
sterns totl^inl^, hin^self mosib indebted* Hence the. accusation. 
ofho^tUecriMc^ that-G^rduoci ha&.beeit all his^ life,. an4 remains* 
little mor^ than .a ^kilU^^^aitd learned Temodeler of other peo- 
ple's ideas^ that l^e l;»iegan by imitdting Dantcand Leopardi, and 
e^dedjbjf p^ia^c^ing HeinQ lM»d the. modern FrencTi: school. 
Ther^ jisr^ griMO ol jtru^th to a .whole heap of etroi^ in this sweep** 
u|g asscrtioiK. U CardMcci adopts his ideas ixom other poets, 
h^.l^nows %t least bow to remodel them. in bis own way so that 
h^4)y ,a trace i^ . th^ origin remains. He has, for example, in 
CQfmnoa wth V4ctor Hugd, a perfect horror of Caesart$m< as 
represfsntedr in modern tinies by the Bonapartes; and he than-^ 
d^fs against the vice^ ol noyiil Versailles as if all philosophers 
mpA R^poblicaaa — Dkierot* and Mirabeau, and Danton->^had 
hjfif^ nipf|^l^j[>|yYi(?#!!^. , PMt.^t; these conclusions a stanch Re> 
puja^ican might well arrive without ^b^jaiiLof the^gasBat^Fi^ochi 


poet. And here^aa to as>L cair ^ecf 'Caftl«cer« indebtedness 
ends, if one excepts a certain imore personal and less conven- 
tional pathos which distinguishes his later from his earlier 

It is very similar with the relations of the Italian poet to 
Heine. Froin:him he is said to have borrowed his " paganism." 
Now Heine's paganism was never of ^ gfennine or of a lasting 
kind. Even when he was in the full vigor of health » and when 
the golden diicats of his unde Salomon jmgled in his pockets, 
his enjoyment of life and beauty was mingled with the melan- 
choly note of romanticismi When e^Eperteifce ^nd ifhieiss had 
chastened him and developed the true gtefctness^Of • Ws genius 
the n&ask of Greek optimism fell from his* face. ''For the old 
gods he has only a rc^etful farewell in *Les Dieux en Exil>" 
and the .finest of his poems is concerned wkh a true man of ^r- 
row. the roediflBval Jewish poetv Jehuda ben Hakvt. Of all this 
theire is oot a trace in CardvJicci. He Is ar genuhie imd healthy 
pj^an in the style of Goethe^ or perhaps stiM' more in tharof 
Piacen^ Heine's ignai enemy, whom Carducci quote* freqaently. 
and with whom (he -shares the lote of ^classical meters. The 
lossonhe has learued from the modem poet is of a negative rather 
than, of a positive kind. In the " Nuove P<^»ie" his style, with- 
out Ipsing anythivig^ of its sonorous breadthris more simple, and 
therefore more. intense., moie- personal. • Tlie im^ryalso has 
grown in boldness i and color. Sffid the tyipiieal dMies of Gfeek 
roythology.are less freqmently called npon.* Ii^ addHton^to this 
the subject matter is more.substamiali nf^ore tangible. Instead 
of vague addresses to Italy or Liberty we ha\«e now st meihorial 
poem on the battle of Mentana, and another "On the Seventy- 
ninth Anniversary of the French Rerpoblic, filst September. 
1 87 1.*' To quote detached portions of these poems would give 
little idea of their continuity of thought and of t*i^r 'foi*ce of 
doclftmatory pathos. It will be better txj give the final stSn^as 
of the address to the *' wild eotirsm*.*' his genius with Which the 
poetfitrefacesJu&**NeAv^oagSv';. .' . - - 'o--- ^-^•♦"- 


■ '{ i C0riiaiiid«gli«nNnikrii3ovni]fctaMe«ifait£ . •- 
E a noi rida Tapril ! 

L'apri) ^^ ^^' itf^icl yw^\ di i^pwi ;e .fiorj , 
L'april san^o.deir anima piena di nu9vi amori 
■* ' * ' ■> /- L*aprile (del i5ens!er.' 

Voliap^ sin, cbela iol^pr^ |di Gk)vie tra la ?oUa- ^ 

Nubc ci arda e punfichi, o che il torrente inghjotta 
-•••••' '•♦ ^ '•'•'*'■ dafviHortarrilicr.' '* '" 

-,.''.- • .''■ ^ ■-:.'. I ;.."• ,.',■.!■,'!.■:: -^ •. fi r.. 
O cbMo disceqda placido dal tuo stellanteiu-clone 
' Ctfh l*<itdiiio'anc<5fa[*grtivfd6 in Iwbcc vision^ i • '■ ' *' '* ' 
,.i ., . 1. '.vAi ';.i .' i\ -} 'Sul4M0EMio:i*to«Sdl.i. ^i '■-■ * 

' Ea ai'fraterno ^umulo posTcIa la fatica. 

His clifthajt' of deV^lopftiei^t Ctfrdticd has; accordifi^ ^6 sGink 
<^hy lirttk^ tiBftcHed !hJ hi^4dst'V61urtt6.'the ^•Ocfi eartrdre,"* 
The title immediately suggest? Leconte de Lisle's ** Poemes-Bki*- 
bares," but those woalcJbejeptirely mistaken M'ho from a kindred 
name would guess^t a j&bidiwd spirits H«;re, indeed, the differ- 
eat instincts of French and'lteliatilftfefafttif^ are strikingly illus- 
trated. The •• Parnarissiens" and their great master and model, 
V1«:t>r'«u^ii^6i**tftftei€'df^>ftid»l8E^^ReHaissah T*he 
ltali44 mk¥(J*irti*tih<Jtf^My^a&hb«rs't^e' Middlfe^ Age^, knd'^esee' 
aGcordif*gfjFthM'tl»6' leid6¥iof- tbe'verlsti bMbose^ ^)ag^i^ni'fbr 
bis fettttte-cty,'^^^ «ffesf tJo revive •f*6«at5kti'yetffr&:' fri these- 
o^et^rs^th^ ffOtfi Biiarfe*#e!'"ai-e wfltterii'fliWl brt*t?hat'^fc<5c6{iht' ex- 
tolk*i'tto*thte-skMd by' 'fenthiisra^tife' Itkliang;:ihd''nbt */them^ 

aloBC. Th^ -cetebbted- Prof.'JMommsert ts a gtfeat ^rf^'h-er of 

— ,-«, — » .^ '- -i * (ii — "mo 111 — i j i i , > > ) ,. • ■■ .• . { * u — ;, «; ? », f . J . ; . ' ,; -r;-t . t; . j ■» 

♦ \' I^^ u^;iVi5^9^ |l>e liea4ft,av»d;^caat§ 9^ .t^ifl'^B^mij^i .let,||ie V*<M of^he 
monsters dye purple thy iron knee-caps ; and on us^shalj smile April— the Aprjl of 
Italian h/Us,tt<ih'Wit6Har vests aild ItoVerS ; the /holy ApriTof the soul, full of new* 
ldv« ; iftd A^ of tlfdogHi;' rLdt>U9^'tIy tmth^ liichtnfnir't)^ Zeltd f rdm tile dcUttcM'etf 
c}9M4(^rfl ^P4 P"r»^Vfv*«' MJIih? «MTep*» e«»«ilif Jwrse .an4 rider. ;Or/ti|I14!&- 
sceni calmly from vour starry s^ddl^. wjth my ey^s, fitill besiyy from thQ iighj.and 
the' vision,' on my Tuscan soil, to rest from niy fatigue on my brother^s tomb, while 
jovt uate tile ^lif^'ftotii^ a beautilul ahtk|ue nana,' t<iwaM' th^ dyitag* «un.*' '■•\^' ■ 

?56 vim S^BM'ity MA€iAZmAi, 

these odes, and^lms kinisdlf translated ^sevetad 4>fiJiem into Ger- 
man. In spheof this high authority, and atth^i-isk of being 
classed among irresponsible, indolent reviewers, I must own thafC I 
cannot see the valuc'Of these metrieai eJipcilmetits- in a language 
which has not only lost the sense of quantity, but even to a ^reqit 
extent that of rhetorical accent. The latter is the vital metrical 
principle in English and German, but the romapce language 
have abandoned even this J?ist rhythmical stronghold, and .iH(W3- 
ure their verses entirely by the number of syllabies. That even 
on this principle fine rhythmical effects may b^^ produced by 
great poets is a tcuisai w^ioh need not be here insisted upon, 
but it is a very different thing where a.cerjain. Aythm is to be 
repeated in a o^rtalg pai^ of (^^chline.. Hore tbc> impotence of 
the modem language ^jecomev noticeable at every step* I doubt 
M ^n ju^wsuy reader woul4^&ufP<<^ H^ratiAP, |f9fft^, if»dbtl^fallO|v- 
ing dainty st^aiwa ^4d£es$ed Jto U^dk^ t^ prosAdJfig^fHy <^ ii^ 
'0<ti';.: ^ . ■ -■ ! ■■• -'■>_ --' . •■ -.r..' , '. .; 

O deviata veadc solitudine 
' Lungidalrutnbrd^gHuomhii! ' ' 

To ma the mo«^ sM<^«W fes^t«of *ft«tt|«eari$hA<^|ib)i«K::5{ 
of rhyn^, which i^^ to i9ey ^i^^Ma^ol ^o^^l^iff^mi^ Ai^.tte 
same time U; is yeqrpps^blje tiiat, ,aA Italian ?ear,f|ia^ 4i9afW^ 
subtle b^ut^cs^f f l^ythm^nd jpi^eMy hi^diaii fcpm xh^^Ptgo^T. 
And tt^ft ;Bame,Te?erv^ipf> sho»ki^ iwde m iJMdgi%'iof Gar- 
<Uicci's. literary in^pprtanoQ in iu .^eattfety* He is ippt^a* lyrical 
poet, and, seldi^ t^ouches ^e bqart;. .< His sttb^^ic^ ^f^ indeed, 
seldom chosen with such a view, being in most instances sug- 
gested by the' great ^events aftd the leading v&€^ of tfhe present 
day. For all these he finds an expression fully satisfactory to 
the rising generation of Italians, who* imoreoiwer, ftdmife the 
nobility <5f his thought and diction; the depth of his %chol^^ 
Ship. Atl this glve^ hirrt a pronilnent jjlace in the modern de- 
velopment of 4iis couotry ; but it i« of CQurse 4ifbrQBit wh^ihis 


posittoa in Internatiomil literature comes to be examined. The 
latter, however^ is of little importance for our present purpose. 
It was the aim of. this article to show that Italian poetry has 
entered upoa a^^new phase, which, whithersoever, it may ulti- 
iaateiy lead^ has at any late the. sympathy of the ypux^ and the 
intelligent among the^natioiv* By the side^^pf thM fact jtkfi; i^ice 
distinctions of more or lesa individual m^it are of comparatively 
little significance^ 

F&jhNCis HusPFER^ in the FoortnightJiy Review. 


The Amerioans were a ,long time. discovering th^ WJ;iite 
Mountains^ Not exactly c^iscovjering ihenK i^t ,is tru^ for they 
are^seen in the horizon of New Knglund from.^f^, s^1d in the 
upper portions of the State of New Hamps^hire they are as^conr- 
spkuious as the Welsh mountains from the west of England* or 
the Cumberland; anid Wes^tmoreland hiijs in the north, f ven 
from Portland on the sea^shoire, eighty or a hundred miles 
away, the niountain range stretches, along l^he south-western 
hodTon, and in a clear day the ^las&i^ .fcffm of Mount Wash- 
ington, \% seen above allies Ae|ghbors., But though the hills 
wereJcnown to exist, nobody; thought ol exploring them. , The 
inhabitafits of a. new counlry h^ time tp igll in loye with 
thepidur^esque^ The battle with, the fore^ and the soil is too 
hard and too universal to admit of p^i^nic excursions in pursuit 
cA the^UJirise qr thQ sunset. Anjd soothf to say, if you wish to 
see beautiful sunrises and sunsets in New Ei;i^laj>d. you do not 
need to go very far for them. The veranda^ot the, frame hc^se, 
qr Its bedroom window, will' in ntiost oases afford admirable op- 
portunities for feasting the eyes of^, these glories of, the sky. 
We shall not readily forget the woiulefful succession of autumn 
sttijisets. Wrhich evening .after evening; presented themselves, as 
•we satswii^ng. ont^erQckil»s^chair-in th^v^randa pf a friend V 
L. M. 8.— o 


house, with the beaotiftt! Contteetieut River and vallejr before 
lis. And the exquifeite ca!m thAl breathed from' the 'artit)er sky 
after the sun had set, atid from the bosom of the ri^'er, ^'here 
crag, ^nd tree, and sky were kll so softly mfrrored, ^terned to 
supply ^ that cobl^^ and reposb that tbiHrig tnen and wom^ 
needed after the'heat and burden df the day. ' * '•• - 

It Ts !ittlewdftder,- therefore; thkt for the^great^ p^rt^of hro 
centuries the White Mountains, and Mount Wii^ihgtoil iheii- 
king, wetTe virt-iraHjr tihktiown: ' After ^H/-\^ hat* did people in 
Scotland know of the Trosachs and Lake Katrine before Sir 
Walter Scott ? or of Rydal and Grasmere before Wordsworth ? 
There arediscov^f^tr ilnd^ ^^tkeitxi: THe White Mountains 
as protuberances on the earth's surface were one thing; as the 
hdm^s 6f pictureisque beatity i^mte -anotlier. The Americans . 
have found them^drthkhowing ih th6 latter sense, and so mdy 
persons more l-emote. To niost "fenglifehmfen, we'believe', they 
have a ver}'- vague arnd sh^dbv^y existence.' AHthonyTrolTope. 
we snppbse, exjire^'sed'his otvn notion before seemg thertn, when 
he ^id that by 'E?rtg!i^hmeri rri general' they w^^ sup|36^e<} to 
lie someWhere between the* R6cky Mountahis' and the Alle- 
ghanieS,'and to'be homes of the Red Indian and 'the buflfald. 
To him, as to many ti istran^er, it Was quite k -sufpHse t6 find 
within a few hours 'by rail fh>ni "Boston a mbuntftirf plateau, 
some forty-five rti ties loVig and thirty w^de, fismghighet thati 
any mountains in Grekt BHtaln, and claiming, though not with- 
out challenge, to be called the Switzerland of New England. 
As for Red Indians and' buffaloes, it^is perhaps unfortunate that 
there are none thereabout. If there had been riesident Red In- 
dians, the grand old Indian names would no doubt have been 
continued for the mountaihs, afe they have been over" all Ameri- 
ca, for the rivers.' What i^ the result?' Why. that the old fiames 
are discarded, and these h6ary Veterans, thtit*(*krty us back into 
the dim ages of the geofogfcal past, are now distinguished from 
one afnothcr by nothirig^- better than the few mod ^rh names that 
America ddights to' honbh Thter^ly liitmnt WebStCr IU1<1 


Mooot Adams and Mount Fjrankliet and Mo^t J^ffecson* and 
so forth, and». towering of j^urae above thepa i^« Mount Wash- 
ingtom Wie cannot s«^ we 4ike the choice. K seeio^ to scamp 
litUeneas ^hezie nature ^as(giMeii.majiesAy*,a^d u> qov^r the n^r 
noorials of theougfa^r past.mth thei m^morieil of yesterday. In 
some..greai:moi«ntainbtlttM. you S0e on ;^ POfite tJi^^^evident 
Bsaicka olgUctiia tsxic^ aiidiyou^are^iar^Fi^ h$ifikJn^nmgination 
to . the far i cHstei^li vage when ioe reigned in. hovy majep^ over 
the whole J^egi^n. When, you karn tthait the 9M>Mntain be^rs the 
name of Jacksoa or Webster,, you seem to hftvii^iQwnd ^le ?tep 
between tlie,atthUn»e and. the. ridicolpus, ; . . . 

It is iesd than>ft hi»ndred. years; since Moiwt We^hingtoni 
which the Indiana.oaUed Agiochook» receiYet^its^ipr^entn^ni^ 
ItJs.Iittle mor&than.hialf tlvi^ time since thQ tot foQtpat,hw9^ 
made to thesummit.^ Abotiit' twenty yearst^ ago a path ior <^-r 
riages was completed.., in. iS^ a r^i^Mray .w^ begun, and cofnn 
pleted iaj869. ,.The height of the 4no!i*ntai^ is $,^93 feet, spn\e 
five hundred more4^an> any ot the, svdiaaent. hills. There, Jiave 
been hotels. on the top fe>r)abQu*.thii:;tyj^?a|s,oqcaftioi^lly blown 
down by stoijD5fcs*^,i;rhe,pr*se«t;fe)^el^ rS»in,|ai^, Hous^/' dates 
from. 1372, , , . ..,.-. " .• . r. . • t ..1 ,n .....* < 

If thft Americans m^ liuteiof .tb^ WWte-MpuQtaHiis daring 
the eariy period; of therr hist^vy^t^ey have* a» ply ;eofppensa^ed 
their >e^rly iiegJect^y, what Jthpy.BwJ^ of tb^m noF^, Th^ dis- 
trict is ttow tr^versod by ffailtfrays bringing' xi^ tonrist aj& near 
to the mountaifis as the ii^tnre of the coumtry allows. Wjhftfje 
the, railway cannot her built„ or rather where .it h^ not been 
budt as yet, stagecoaches supply its place»r /Hotels».accomrao* 
dating four or &ve hundred guests, havebeon-run upat various 
coavenient.poiots^of the district, reaqhed jeA^hert^y the railway 
or the .road, ;*Very often, theee hotels with- their annexes ^d 
offices are. the o^x*-^^^^ within, reaoh pf ,the'/vailway station. 
If you see " Faji^an" or ":Crav«[fojd " on the m^r do nc^ flatter 
yourjselt that ili.te, or; Qvmn ^ town or vijlage>wiith iho^ses, 
stor^a, and f3^ttor> i^3iitutio9» .surronnding* Iv > Jlimply Fa* 


byan's Gt Citavi^l^d*s housie or k©Ul,' wiih iu eimrbntnente. ^ 
And tiGitableiMMises they are> indeed, to be louod in tbe heart 
of w^at Wfti^ fbt^ntty a wUdemefiB. At Fabyan's^ where we 
spent a d^^r^WO/ in' addition to^^ken^Utlbulh^f thane are 
two fsedi^odm H^ii8^> aeodMHAodatkig: iQ MJifmx 6t five .hun^ 
dred. Tlie drawlng^i^oom te otte haiMtredi feet im lei^th/ with 
other dimeti^ofisr e6tifesp<»idii$g. Tlve^q^ster inokides- aanes 
from aM ptitt9( ^f the Uirited States^ but h^dtyaiyf from £ng- 
land or the Coiithiteiit. It is a parely AmerlGaa^hoase, Every- 
thing is arranged in American ia$hionand at American houvs*— 
breakfast, dinner, and supper. Should i^ou happen to arrive 
midway between the canonical pericMls sacred to these neals, 
you must amuse your appetite as you best^:£m till the doors of 
the Salte-a^manger are thrown open. Thetallcofi the gentle- 
men is all American poUti^ The talk of the ladixsis Ameri- 
can gossip. If yo«i 'are riot an Am'erkranir ot if you have not 
American friends; you' are a ^h oiit of the water, and, indeed, 
it is something of pmsufoption for you «o b^ here at all. 

What is rails iiiAmerkaj the waH6fs are ait yKMittg women. 
A glance isenoug^ td show that^ though ^acting i^w in a menial 
capacity, they do not belong to a menial class. Their faces are 
intd^igent, their manner smart and self-^ssessed, their fingers 
lithe and usually adorned witl^ jewelry.- Wh^ are they? Daugh- 
ters of New Englatid farmers,'Of, if you prefer it, landed proprte- 
tors, who have no intention of devoting their lives to> service, 
but' have coi^ here lor a season to see a little of the worlds and 
itt a few weeks wHl return to con^plete their education, or b^n 
life in a different way. An^ American* friend wasced eloquent to 
us over them. "No such jroung women,*' he said, *• in all 
America. They make splendid wives. Presidents and govern- 
ors have married such' young women, and r^ht well off they 
have been." We could believe it all, for th^ faces were intelli- 
gent, the styled work purpose^Iike, aiid th& baring of (he girls 
evhficed thorough seH-respec^ > At meab, the Salle^^ manger is 
arranged ki tables placed ^ro^-way& along ekter sii^ loithe 


room, with |^es for a4<^Eon at eacb« A niQ^t^er'in'Chief re- 
ceives you at the door, and assigns you your table and place 
The bill of fare is as ample and varied as in the best city hotels^ 
and )«>u order whsuever you like. - The gjri in waiting receives 
your order, and quickly your dishes are .planted round you. 
That is to say, your minor dishes are nng/td round your princi- 
pal oae — ^your. butter, potatoes, tomatoes, peas; tumif^ squash, , 
or whatever else o^ v^^etable produce you have called for, make 
up a little solsM? system around the central clish of beef or mat- 
too, till^ under your exertions, the whole syatent is annihilated, 
and the next course begins. For iiqu<MV.the carte, offers you 
wines and liqueurs ^aailpld, bat the^ are seldom called for. 
lee water is almost the o^ly tipple. ^ The hotel has a bar, hid 
away in some put-offthe-way comer, which gentlemen ificHoed 
thereto may (ipd and Irequent as they p]ease> But women aitd 
children are, >fpr the most part, practical^ teetotalers, fiod thus 
upper American society is secured. one element of purity; wom- 
en are not winerbibbers, and, however mueh they may be inter- 
ested in their eatings drink water only. 

Fai^an's istbe ciOBt- convenient poi«t for tbei ascent, of Mount 
Washington, the vpiyimmmit pi which, or tip-top, as they call 
it^ may be reached by railway. You may rise from yourchaif 
iii^ t^e hojtel, step a<^ros8f the platform into the car, an4, wkh a 
siogle chaage of ;caEs< 3t^ o^t six thousand lee^Q and o^ore above 
the level pi the se% The ^rst five or six: miles arc aloAg the 
lovely and pxpstot no feature of much Interest.. Wheii you reach 
^le. ''.base" statl<i>^ you change into the mouatainr car. It is 
much the sa^ae as an ordinary American car, accommodating 
probably fifty passengers. In ascending the Rigi in Switzerland 
by raiA you are placed with your back to the t<^, but in ascend- 
ing Mount Washinj^tofi' you sit k) iheiisual way. T-he .engine 
ifi ifoehind and poshes yoUr and i« deseen4iog iit is i» front, ar- 
r^ing the motion. The principle on whii^h t^ engine works 
is«he same as at -the Rigi-Hth^ne is a iic^Checl rail midway be- 
tween theordinary rails, into which a cog-wtmHrom the engine 


fits. The rate of wfdtfon is abotit three rtitei an lidiir. At first 
the noifee of the eog-wbcd is loud and disfigrcedble, but in a 
few minutes you Refused co it. And as you proc^d a miracle 
could hardiy^pffoducd a more remarkable sensatirtrf.' ' Abdvcf you 
you see the rbad mounting ovei* a huge precfpite- and fey some 
strange. nH«ai*d-lHtfc jX)iiret. you Are swiftly aHd'st^dfljrb6rne 
up. Roufid a <*urve you s^hn^aitr fabrie-^I^ndef ivttn ti^te!^ 
standing with Outsfcretched liitibs over a yaW^iftg ^f. Wlth^ 
out a moment** fear^ <)i» hesitation, ydut* v*'h?de' paks<»^ o^«^r th^' 
gulf, and you=are'safet)A'th<i'o^()b8ite sid^r. P^iff, J«ff, ()iiflf, aftd" 
still tlie^ofdis^Ex<JelWlef;'krtd ks you lobfe bia«kv?ii«f you see 
what a heigflw you have reafche*?. There «re ftfo'ptiisei^r sta- 
tions as at i*ie' Rigi alon^ tbe'linfe, tbt the befet ol fea*ohs-^hat 
there no' inhabltatttfel on the rffOumain ^de.* BM l^vlcer'tre 
thhik, the^rain stops, that the- engine trta/ be -Waterfed: '^'Th*' 
conductor is obligiftg; ilkiws the 'pagsefngetst^g^otit'artd scat-' 
terthem'ft**lve$ blfttl« along the ttfoiwitairi ^^^:' ^Yotf afrfef' gazing' 
on the view toeloW. Wbe« you^^tffenltJoti id'iWek^'tj/a'hfsS^ng' 
noise from above. Can 3'OU b^^ve your'eyes9"» Yotildok- t!|j» 
and'Ste certaki of yoiJT fcllo^-ef^atttfesalidfeg 'dowi* th* fafl^t 
a velocity of soih€f fifty n*iles'6Wh6u¥. ^00 Arid that th*y seat' 
th6ffis€)ve$ on a little sltSd'that fiteon Co bnie of %hfe rails, lihd 
you are told. tteitWh^d^theif tmi^t i^ uhiiVi^ded-iAfey catl* tra^; 
vetisethe wh^lfe dl^ih^e, fmni ^Mim^h^t5C>=bdS6i Mi fbW niiniitiis.' 
The «ted is ilirrrfshfed with A dr^, aftd in ^ite j5rrese?ftt l^s«irice* 
the vehicle ti^d'io b6 phlldi U{> befdr^^hey i'eftctmdTobi'^tf^iii. 
Anything m<(!)f^nWtdiJ!ikd than the dashirtgcoWi^ 6f thte lii^n lit 
full swing yotl'can hatdly Tm4gine. Broken bOn<ts or' brbkeri' 
heads sometimes occur, but to on^ thoroughly^ a^l^ to manfa|;e 
hissied« and ghtlirig'^ithout interrijp^iori from top to' bottoihi 
the motrohj beyond dowbt. is most dtlightluT. ' 

The aftertiobnt has been clear And sunn3r. rind ^ii> View of the 
surrounding couhtfy is glorious; tbough the tn^nt!ains fEt€ 
much less-crowdidihanf afouiid'th^ R^i,aitd\life whote sc^ttWy 
imich'1es8Jgftwd^ati*'varled» As we asccndj tJi^'vc^tiatibh b*-* 


comes manifestly more Alpine. The trees are reduced to pine, 
and the pine becomes dwarfed and scraggy, and finally disap- 
pears. The rocks become rugged and irregular, as if they had 
hard times in the wintry ice and snow. We are yet eight or ten 
hundred feet from the summit, when we become distinctly con- 
scious of a whiff of vapor. Perhaps it is from the engine ? No, 
it is too extensive for that, and now it seems to envelop us as if 
a vapor-bath had been part of the programme. It is impossi- 
ble to resist the conclusion, that we are caught in a fog. And 
as the sun is to set in a few minutes the conclusion is but too 
apparent that we are likely to be baulked of our expected view. 
We do not despair, however. We remember a similar journey 
up the Rigi two years before, when we reached the top in a 
storm, and could not see the one end of the Kulm Hotel from 
the other. Great was our delight on that occasion when, in an 
instant, the fog disappeared, and a clear bar in the sky, between 
the clouds and the horizon, gave the sun a splendid opportunity 
to gild the whole amphitheater of mountains, and disappear 
in a perfect blaze of glory. But no sunset was to be seen from 
the summit of Mount Washington to-night. The whole body 
of the American tourists rapidly made up their minds to that, 
and as soon as they had registered their names and secured 
their rooms, abandoned themselves to disappointment and to 
supper. It seemed to one of my party and myself that, for once, 
we might get an advantage over the Yankees, and by superior 
'cuteness see the sun set after all. We remembered that it was 
very near the^ summit that the mist had come on, and that a 
short walk would bring us into a clear atmosphere again. So, 
while the Americans were at supper, we stole down by the car- 
riage road, and in some twenty minutes were below the mist. 
The summit of the mountain hid the sunset proper, but not far 
off we could easily see the clear sky, the clouds flushed with red, 
and the bright green vaMeys below. It was no drawback that 
the atmosphere around us was still charged with vapor, which 
would come rushing along in occasional whiffs. The optical 


illusions that presented themselves between the light and the 
dark were very curious. We would observe clear silvery lakes 
repwDsing^ in perfect stillness where no lakes had ever been seen 
before; or a bright river would be seen wandering among the 
mountains, all the more remarkable because the want ot streams 
was wh^t wc had remarked as their most conspicuous defect in 
the daylight view. While still v/ondering what it could all be, 
our surprise reached a climax on our observing a splendid blaze 
as if of electric light streaming out in silver lines from a single 
spot. By and by the riddle was solved. It was patches of the 
sky we had seen, of that white, shining, pearly hue you often 
see half an hour after a bright sunset. The dark clouds through 
which these white patches shone completed the illusion. We 
had the pleasure (or the pain ?) of thinking that no eyes but 
ours had seen these curious sights. Retracing our steps, we 
were soon enveloped anew in impenetrable mist. As we neared 
the hotel another illusion was seen that reminded us of the 
Hartz Mountains. Right above our heads a gigantic human 
figure was observed, six times the size of an ordinary man. It 
moved its huge legs lilce one of the old giants, and waved a 
lantern with its enormous arm. But as it neared us, each step 
diminished its bulk one-half, and when at length it passed, it 
was but our own size — an ordinary Yankee coachman going 
down to the stable to look after his horses. It was not difficult 
to account for the phenomenon — particles of mist acted as niag- 
nifying-glasses under the light from the lantern, hence the gigan- 
tic figure of the man. When we reached the hotel we found 
that our disappearance had caused some anxiety, and that 
opinion was divided as to whether or not we had fallen over 
a precipice. The most anxious of our friends, however, had 
been soothed by being told that the road was so plafn that 
we could not be lost unless we had been bent on committing 
suicide. . 

It was the beginning of August, and down below people could 
hardly bear the lightest clothing; but it was cold atop, and the 



hotel on the summit was heated, as if it had been the depth of 
winter. We fancy that that must be the American taste, but it 
did not suit us. Our little bedroom was like an oven, and be- 
tween the hot dry air within, and the. mist outside, breathing 
was reduced to great difficulty. The night brought little sleep 
and less refreshment ; there was little fear of our committing 
the mistake of Mark Twain on the Rigi, and sleeping tiW after- 
noon, as his *' Tramp Abroad" had, just been informing us. 
With the first streak of dawn we were at our window, delighted 
to find that, saving an occasional whiff from the north, the 
mist had disappeared, and that there was the prospect of a full 
view of the sun. In a short time a bell rang loudly, and before 
five o'clock the platform in front of the hotel showed all that 
variety of impromptu toilets usual on such occasions. Nothr 
ing couid have been finer than the dawn. While silver was 
stealing over the sky, a puff of mist, as it rolled up from a 
neighboring valley, would suddenly glow with a bright red flush, 
and as suddenly pass away. By and by the sky showed its 
brightest tints of blue and green, and the clouds their richest 
crown of gold. Then, on the edge of the horizon, came a speck 
of dazzling ruby, expanding with provoking rapidity into a slen- 
der red bow, then into a spotless semicircle, and finally a globe 
of molten gold. All round, the sea of summits was bathed in 
the tender pink of an Alpine dawn, patches of cloud gleamed 
on the mountain sides like masses of opal, and below, the val- 
leys shone out in their freshest green. In a brief half hour the 
^lory was over. The svin and clouds had become common- 
place, the poetical appetite of the spectators was satislied, and a 
new appetite gave signs of great activity, for every one was ask- 
ing when would breakfast be ready ? 

Breakfast was not to be ready for three-quarters of an hour. 
It was very hard. However sleepy you may be, you cannot 
sleep. You have got unsettled, and a meal is necessary to re- 
store your equilibrium. The three-quarters of an hour seem 
like three hours. At length breakfast comes, your prosaic 


wants are satisfied, and there remains only the settling of the 
bill before you are ready to begin the descent. 

Of course there are all sorts of souvenirs of Mount Washing- 
ton to be had by those who care for them. The only one thkt 
particularly took our fancy was the daily newspaper. It was 
truly characteristic of America to print a daily newspaper there, 
and to draw particular attention to the fact that it is the only 
daily paper in the world printed oh the top. of a mountain. 
Among the Clouds, as it is called, cannot lay claim to any extra- 
ordinary amount of originality. The news is limited to a record 
of the weather at the signal station on the previous day, last 
night's arrivals at the hotel, and a few notes from the adjacent 
tourist stations. Such sublunary matters as the presidential 
contest or the war in Afghanistan created little or no interest 
so far above the. surface of the earth. The life of the paper is 
limited to two months of the year; hotel-keepers and railway 
companies use it for advertising; beyond that, it must be con- 
tent to be reckoned a curious toy. 

There are three ways of getting down from Mount Washing- 
ton ; first, by the railway, which most of the visitors preferred ; 
second, by a stage-coach, along a road which winds over a 
shoulder of the mountain, reaching ** Glen House" after an 
eight miles* ride; and thirdly, by the same road on foot. Two 
of us preferred the last of these methods, while another mem- 
ber of our party took a place on the coach. Nothing is more 
surprising to English tourists than the want of inclination for 
walking shown by Americans. As far as we could learn, there 
was but one pedestrian besides ourselves. The coach had a fair 
complement of ladies and gentlemen. It was provided with 
three pairs of horses, not for the descent, but for the upward or 
return journey — six handsome grays, that looked quite stylish. 
It did seem to us for a moment an awkward question what 
would happen if one of these animals were to take a frisky fit 
on the edge of a precipice. It soon occurred to us, however, 
that horses that have to drag a heavy coach daily up eight miler 


of loose sandy road to the top of a mountain no less than four 
thousand feet above the base, must have all their frisky moods 
pretty well taken out of them in the course of the climb, and 
may safely be trusted to perform the descent like lambs. At 
the same time we were not without some anxiety about the 
safety of the friend who had taken a seat on the coach. We 
comforted ourselves by the thought that, as there seemed to be 
do drinking-places on the mountain, the driver must be sober, 
aawi the driving would be very careful. By and by we came to a 
part of the road where a great smash had evidently occurred' 
recently among the trees. An American gentleman told us that 
a month before the coach had been upset at that spot, a lady 
killed, and two or three other passengers seriously wounded. 
"How was it possible," we asked, ** to upset the coach at such a 
place?" " I believe, sir," replied our informant, "the coachman 
was drunk." 

The first half of the descent is over a very rough part of the 
mountain, and one needs to be careful as to apparently *' near 
CtttSi" We saw one that was very tempting, cutting off a long 
acute angle ; but the mountain was so rough and the brushwood 
so scraggy that it cost us quite as much tir.iC as the regular road, 
and double the labor, besides tear and wear of boots and other 
garments. Lower down, the path is very beautiful ; it passes 
through an avenue of trees, as if you were traversing an English 
park, only after a time it becomes somewhat close and monot- 
onous. "Glen House," where the descent terminates, is one of 
the most celebrated of the White Mountain hotels, and shows 
the same* kind of company as we left at Fabyan's. It is situ- 
ated in a finer spot, more secluded and highland, more in the 
very' heart of the mountains. For those wishing to spend some 
time in the district, and plunge wholesale into its characteristic 
enjoyments, we should fancy Glen House a most delightful center. 

From Glen House to G]en Station, the nearest point at which 
yon can strike the railway, is a distance of fifteen miles. Over 
thift space you may travel either by the stage-coach or by pri- 


vate conveyance. We chose the stage. An American stage is 
a curious combination of mediaevalism and the latest improve- 
ments. The latest improvements consist of Saratoga boxes — 
the huge wooden trunks in which American ladies carry about 
their very valuable and varied supply of dresses. To Accommo- 
date these the ^oach is made large, lumbering, and heavy. In- 
side are two seats, as in the old mail-coach, but as they are at a 
considerable distance from each other, a third seat may be intro- 
duced between, having the effect of making the other seats close 
and uncomfortable, and subjecting the whole inmates to the risk 
of suffocation. Outside there is room for only four passengers. 
Six strong horses are needed to drag the ponderous vehicle up hill 
and down dale. The roads are noffe of the smoothest, and as the 
coach is not set on springs, but only suspended by huge leather 
belts, the jolting is absolutely heart-breaking, and something 
like sea-sickness is a common result. These great six-horse 
vehicles traverse the road in both directions several times a day. 
Of course they must meet sometimes. If we had been the driver 
our mind would have been agitated with terrible apprehensions 
as to the kind of spot where the meeting might take place. The 
road is precisely of the width necessary for a single coach. Wlien 
two meet one must leave the road and take refuge in the brush- 
wood adjoining. This is all very well if the brushwood happens 
to be on the same level as the road ; but if the road is a foot or 
two higher than the adjacent wood, or along the- bank of a 
stream, or the side of a ditch, or the edge of a morass, the prob- 
lem is not so simple. To a stranger it seems as if a dead-lock 
were inevitable. We fancy the coachmen have some sort of 
instinctive apprehension of the advent of another coach, and 
forewarned is forearmed. But when a private conveyance 
approaches, the consequences to the owner may be somewhat 
serious. If there is no room to pass he must unyoke his horses, 
lift round his buggy, and retreat before the stage till a passing- 
place can be found. It is wonderful how the horses seem to 
^mderstand these difficulties, and how much common sense they 


show in adapting themselves to them, and taking the only pos- 
sible way to get out of them. For the most part the road lies 
through forest, and it would be always beautiful if it were not 
just a little monotonous. For miles upon miles no human habi- 
tation can be seen. But there is not a spot that is not worth 
looking at, and now and again you get glimpses of wooded moun- 
tain and winding valley on which the eye loves to linger, knd 
which photograph themselves on the memory. 

At Glen Station you may get into the railway and drive 
through some of the most beautiful scenery of the White Moun- 
tains, including the celebrated Crawford Notch, returning to the 
Fabyan House. The " Notch" is a valley, some twenty miles in 
length, through which a little river, the Saco, makes its way, 
while the mountains rise on each side, from the very edge of the 
stream to the height of two thousand feet. At one place the 
opposite rocks come within twenty-two feet of each other. The 
gorge is full of beauty, and here and there small mountain 
streams tumbling into it give rise to beautiful cascades; but 
during the warm tourist season these unfortunately are generally 
empty. The railway winds through the Notch, and as open 
cars are provided on this part of the line, the traveler gets an 
excellent view, if he can contrive to keep himself from being 
blinded by the smoke and cinders from the engine. Of the very 
few houses that meet the eye, one called Willey House has a 
tragical interest. More than fifty years ago an avalanche of 
snow descended from the mountain, burying the whole Willey 
family, nine in number, who had fled from the house for safety. 
If- they had remained they would have avoided their dreadful 
fate; a rock above the house split the avalanche, and the house 
escaped and is there to this day. The railway brought us back 
to Fabyan's, exactly twenty-four hours after we had started. 
The *• round," as they call it, is very interesting, and gives an 
excellent idea of the White Mountains. 

No one would ever seriously think of comparing them with 
Switzerland — they have no snowy summits, hardly even a peak, 


and in magnifcence and variety are never to be talked of in the 
same breath. It would be more suitable to compare them with 
the mountains of Wales or of Westmoreland. We may be under 
the influence of national prejudice, but we cannot award tlie 
White Mountains a place of equality to either. There is no 
doubt more massiveness — more unbroken stretches of wooded 
mountain and grandly sweeping valley ; but there is much less 
variety, and far fewer of those complete little landscapes which 
a painter would delight to copy. They seemed to us a mighty 
whole, a grand tout ensemble, but we did not find those mani- 
fold nooks of exquisite beauty which make Wales and West- 
moreland a perpetual succession of delights, each with some 
features of iis own. As we have already said, there is a want of 
lake and river. The landscape wants eyes. The stretches of 
unbroken green need crags and peaks to break them up, and 
sheets and threads of silver to give them brightness and life. 
We believe, however, that all these defects would have disap- 
peared if our visit had been paid in '* the fall." From what we 
saw elsewhere of the exquisite coloring of the woods at that 
season, we believe the White Mountains must be perfectly beau- 
tiful. And probably the cascades and streams are fuller, and 
the whole aspect of things more bright and lively. 

But there is one great want not remedied at any season — 
human habitations. For the solitudes are not like the bare, 
unclothed solitudes of the Scottish mountains, grand in their 
very loneliness: they are wooded glens and mountains that 
seem to crave habitations to nestle in their leafy shade. But 
of habitations, apart from the big hotels, too big to be pictur- 
esque, there is scarcely a vestige. There are no snug hostelries 
at the roadside to invite the weary pedestrian to rest. There is 
hardly a spot over the whole district, except the hotels, where 
one can get even a cup of milk. Strange to say, in democrat^ 
America, the White Mountains are a strict preserve for 
wealthy. Not by any edict of proprietors threatening trespa 
sers with prosecution, but by the law of the hotels, whose 



practically excludes every poor man. One or two small houses 
make more moderate charges, but the usual rate is four or four 
and a half dollars, not much less than a pound a day. At the 
Summit Hotel, on Mount Washington, the charge for tea, bed, 
and breakfast is four dollars and a half. It is singular how ex- 
tremes meet. The poor man is not more hopelessly excluded 
from the precincts of an aristocratic deer forest in the old coun- 
try than he is from the open beauties of the White Mountains 
in democratic New England. Of course he may carry a wallet 
and sleep in the open air, but young America has no fancy for 
such ways. In many respects, as they say, one man is as good 
as another in America, and, as the Irishman added, a little bet- 
ter; but, if he does not carry a good fat roll of dollars in his 
pocket, the White Mountains are forbidden fruit. 

Prof. W. G. Blaikie, in Good Words. 


At a time when Greece is once more in every one's thoughts 
and on nearly every one's lips, it may be interesting to revert to 
what were more familiar to the preceding generation of English- 
men than they are to the present one — the experiences of Byron 
in Hellas, whether in his youth as a traveler, or in his prime and 
on the eve of his death as a martyr to the cause of Greek inde- 
pendence. For the moment, it ist as a political claimant that 
Greece figures in the public eye. We need hardly say, however, 
that no political virus will find their expression here, and that 
our sole task is to reproduce the impressions made on a suscep- 
L tible and lofty mind by residence among a famous and aspiring 
^ people at an interesting epoch in their fortunes. 
I *, -Byron was in his twenty-second year when, in September, 
III Jl^» he left Malta in the Spider, a brig of war, and after eight 

272 1 HE LIBRA R y JA / GA ZIXE. 

days' sail arrived at Prevesa. Thence he made an inland excur- 
sion of some one hundred and fifty miles, to Tepaleen, where he 
was received with much distinction by the famous Ali Pasha, 
the Governor of Albania, Epirus, and part of Macedonia. After 
a nine days' journey on horseback, he reached Tepaleen at five 
o'clock in the afternoon, as the sun was going down. He has 
left us a description, both in prose and verse, of the scene that 
greeted him. In the former he designates it " a new and delight- 
ful spectacle I shall never forget." In verse, his more natural 
language, he pictures it with the hand of a master, one stanza 
of which is worth citing, if only to show, in these days of exces- 
sive literary artificiality, what an effect can be produced by the 
simplest means — clear seeing and unaffected writing : 

The wild Albanian, kirtled to his knee, 

With shawl-girt head and ornamented gun. 
And gold-embroidered garments, fair to see ; 

The crimson-scarfM men of Macedon ; 
The Delhi with his cap of terror on, 

And crooked glaive ; the lively, supple Greek, 
And swarthy Nubia's mutilated son ; 

The bearded Turk that rarely deigns to speak. 
Master of all around, too potent to be meek. 

Ali Pasha was curious to know why a man so young should 
have left his own country ; for Turks never travel except to con- 
quer, and of literary conquests Ali Pasha had naturally no con- 
<ieption. He pleased Byron by admiring his small ears, white 
hands, and curly hair, and by remarking that he was evidently 
a man of birth — an observation the young poet was careful to 
•repeat to his mother, and to set down in his journal. Making 
his way back to the coast, he touched at Patras, and passed by 
Missolonghi, little conscious that in fifteen years he was to die 
there, and that its name and his own were forever to be associ- 
ated. "I like the Albanians much," he wrote ; "they are not 
all Turks : some tribes are Christians. But their religion makes 
little difference in their manner or conduct." This last obsecya- 



tion, I am assured, is as true to-day as it was then. " They are 
esteemed the best troops in the Turkish service," he goes on : 

I lived on my route two days at once, and three days again, in a barrack, and 
never found soldiers so tolerable, though I have been in the garrisons at Gibraltar 
and Malta, and seen Spanish, French, Sicilian, and British troops in abundance. 

About the middle of November he left Prevesaand journeyed 
through Acarnania and ^Etolia to the Morea, having a body- 
guard of some forty of the people whom he thus extols. In the 
Gulf of Arta occurred the scene he has described so graphically 
in prose, yet prose happily never degenerating into pseudo- 
lyricism. I feel sure the reader will be glad to look upon the 
glowing picture, even though it be not new to him : 

In the evening the gates were secured, and preparations were made for feeding 
our Albanians. A goat was killed and roasted whole, and four fires were kindled in 
the yard, round which the soldiers seated themselves jn parties. After eating and 
drinking, the greater part of them assembled round the largest of the fires, and 
whilst ourselves and the elders of the party were seated on the ground, danced 
round the blaze to their own songs with an astonishing enei^^. All their sonffs 
were narratives of some robbing exploit. One of these, which detained them more 
than an hour, bcpan thus: "When we set out from Parga there were sixty of 
us.^ Then came the burden of the verse : 

Robbers all at Parga ! 
obbers all at Parga ! 

And as they roared out this stave they whirled round the fire, dropped and re- 
bounded from their knees, and again whirled round as the chorus was again re- 
peated. The rippling of the waves upon the pebbly margin where we were seated, 
filled up the pauses of the song with a milder and not more monotonous music. The 
night was very dark, but by the flashes of the fires we caught a glimpse of the 
woods, the rocks, and the lake, which, together with the wild appearance of the 
dancers, presented us with a scene that would have made a fine picture in the hands 
of such an artist as the author of the '* Mysteries of UdoI|pho." 

Riding toward Delphi along the sides of Parnassus, he saw 
a flight of twelve eagles. He seized on the omen and hoped 
Apollo would accept his homage. A few days later he fired at 
an eagle and wounded it. He tried to save it — *'the eye was so 
bright ;" but it pined and died ; and he never attempted the life 
of another bird. He crossed Mount Cithaercn, v^itcd the ruins 


of Phyle. and reached Athens at Christmas. There he stayed 
nearly three months. "Our lodgings," wrote Hobhouse, his 
traveling companion, 

consisted of a sitting-room and two bedrooms opening Into a courtyard, where 
there were five or six lemon trees, from which, during our residence in the place^ 
was plucked the fruit that seasoned the pilaf and other national dishes served up at 
our frugal uble. 

The eldest daughter of the house was the " Maid of Athens." to 
whom was written the exquisite little lyric the whole world 
knows by heart. The following lines are perhaps less familiar 
to most people. They were an impromptu by Byron, on reading 
in a travelers' book, kept by the ladies of the house, some verses 
written by an anonymous traveler : 

This modest baird; like many a bard unknown. 
Rhymes on our names, but wisely hides his own. 
Yet whoso *er he be. to say no 'worse, 
His name would bring more credit than his verse. 

An epigram quite in the style of the " English Bards and Scotch 
Rev ewers." During his stay in Athens he made several excur- 
sions, bat always within the boundaries of Attica, on one occa- 
sion being nearly carried off by a band of pirates lying hidden 
in a cave near Sunium. All this time he was writing the second 
canto of •* Childe Harold," which was begun at Janina on the 
31st of October, 1809. and finished at Smyrna on the 28th of 
March following. He had left, Athens on the 5th, striking on 
horseback into the olive-wood on the road going to Salamis, and 
galloping at a quick, pace, in order to rid himself of the pain of 

He has left but little in prose of the impression his first visit 
to Greece made upon him, the reason probably being that there 
was no person to whom he could pour out his heart. In one of 
his letters to his mother, with whom his sympathies were unifor- 
tunately, but not unnaturally, very slight, he say^, *• I have no 
one to be remembered to in England, and wish to hearnothing 



from it but that you are well ;" and if the date be borne in 
mind, it will be seen that this was not the cynicism of the man, 
"but the loneliness of the boy. He left on record that there are 
places in Epirus without a name, and rivers laid down in no 
map, which may one day, when more known, be esteemed supe- 
rior subjects for the pencil and the pen than *' the dry ditch of 
the Ilissus and the bogs of Boeotia." Like all great poets, he 
immeasurably preferred the rudest Nature to the most finished 
Art. Of the people themselves he observed : 

1 see not much difference between ourselves and the Tuiics, save that they have 
long: dresses and we short, and that we talk much and they litUe. They are sensible 
people. ... I like the Greeks, who are plausible rascals — with all the Turkish 
vices, without their courage. However, some are brave, and all are beautiful, very 
much resembling busts of Alcibiades : the womeif not quite so handsome. 

In another place he says that the Greeks, though inferior to 
the Turks, are better Jhan the Spaniards, who in their turn 
excel the Portuguese. That this was not said from any political 
prejudice, is evident from another passage, in which occurs the 
following prophecy: "The Greeks will sooner or later rise 
against the Turks, but if they do not make haste, I hope Bona- 
parte will come and drive the useless rascals" — presumably the 
Turks — " away." 

Toward the end of July he was back at Athens, having in the 
interim been to Constantinople. He lodged in a Franciscan 
convent, making Athens his headquarters till the following 
satnmer, though continually breaking his residence by excur- 
sions in the Morea. In the course of his wanderings he crossed 
the Isthmus of Corinth eight times ; he could say without boast- 
ing. " The greater part of Greece is already my own, so that I 
shall only go over my old ground, and look upon my old seas 
and moutitains, the only acquaintances I ever found improve 
Upon me." He was back in England in July, 1811. bringing with 
him some marbles, four ancient Athenian skulls afterward given 
to Walter Scott, a phial of Attic hemlock, four live tortoises, a 
greyhound, and two Greek servants. 


Twelve years, as we have said, were to elapse before Byron 
again visited Greece. But what twelve years ! He had mean- 
while filled the world with his fame. From being the lonely and 
friendless youth who had written some fugitive poems that had 
been laughed at, and had retaliated with a satire whose ability 
every one had acknowledged, but whose existence he was him- 
self anxious to forget, he had expanded into a man whose works 
were in everybody's hands and whose deeds awakened universal 
curiosity. In those twelve years he had written " Childe Har- 
old," the " Bride of Abydos," the " Corsair," " Manfred," ** Cain," 
" Don Juan," and a crowd of other poems and dramas of which 
these are but the loftiest types. He had contracted an unfortu- 
nate marriage, had turned his back upon his country, and had 
identified himself with the sorrows and hopes of Italy, where he 
had found as much consolation as was possible to a nature that 
found contentment neither in society nor in solitude, neither in 
obscurity nor in renown, neither in action nor repose. 

And now once more he turned to the land, in singinor of 
whose decayed state and shattered fortunes he had won his ear- 
liest bays. Writing to Mr. Blaquiere on the 5th of April, 1823, 
he said : 

I cannot express to you how much I feel interested in the Greek cause, and 
nothinfif but the hopes I entertained of witnessing the liberation of Italy itself pre- 
vented me long ago from returning to do what litUe I could as' an individual in the 
land which it is an honor even to have visited. 

Mr. Blaquiere, who was proceeding on a special mission to 
Greece, on the part of the London Committee of Emancipation, 
was instructed by them to touch at Genoa on purpose to confer 
with Byron, and the result was a letter from the latter to the 
Committee,, written on the 12th of May, much too long to 
transcribe, but containing the most valuable information and 
couched in the most practical and business-like terms imagin- 
able. It ended with the assurance that the Committee might 
command him "in any and everyway;" and the Writer added, 
" If I am favored with any instructions I shall endeavor to obey 


BYROX nv GREECE. 2'j7 

them to the letter, whether conformable to my own opinion or 

Before the end of the month it was decided that Byron should 
betake himself to Greece, "the only place," he wrote to Tre- 
lawney, ** I was ever contented in. They all say I can be of use 
to Greece, I do not know ho»v — nor do they; but at all events 
let us go." That he did not go from a mere impulse of self- 
indulgence and from a craving for excitement is quite certain. 
He did not see his way clearly to rendering that practical service 
to the Greeks which alone was worthy of consideration, and he 
had a personal presentiment, which he expressed to Lady Bless- 
ington and Count D'Orsay, that he should never return from 
the expedition. Lady Biessington recounts that after giving 
vent to this feeling he leaned his head upon the arm of the sofa 
and burst into tears, which he vainly strove to explain away by 
attributing them to hysterical nervousness. Madame Guiccioli, 
too, with whom the present writer had some acquaintance dur- 
ing the closing years of her life, always narrated that for some 
weeks beforfe his departure his mind was evidently the theater 
of a painful and protracted struggle. 

He slept on board the Hercules on the night of the 13th of 
July, off Genoa, and the next day was supposed to be on his 
way. But at first there was little wind, and when it rose it 
waxed to a furious storm, and the party were driven back into 
port. Byron remarked it was a bad omen, and others observed, 
though he did not, that the start had been made on a Friday, 
which in a queer sort of way, in common with many other peo- 
ple, he usually regarded as an inauspicious day. The only con- 
solation for the mishap was the discovery that some verses had 
arrived for the illustrious adventurer from Goethe, who after- 
ward, referring to the incident, left it on record that "there 
cannot be any doubt that a nation which can boast of so many 
great names, will class Byron among the first of those through 
whom she has acquired such glory." Byron had only time just 
to write a graceful letter of acknowledgment, before he was 


again on the waters. He left Leghorn on the 24th of July, and 
ten- days later cast anchor at Argostoli, the chief port of Cepha- 
lonia. He brought with him about ;£9,ooo, a portion of which 
sum he had at the time in hand, some of which he had raised 
on bills of exchange, while some had been procured by the sale 
of his furniture and books. As for the future, his intentions 
were thus expressed in a letter written on the eve of departure 
from Italy: 

If I remain in Greece, \rhich will mainly depend upon the presumed probable 
utility of my presence there, and of the opinions of the Greeks themselves as to its 
propriety— in short, if I am welcome to them— I shall continue, during my residence 
at least, to apply such portions of my income, present and future, as may forward 
the object ; that is to say, what I can spare for the purpose. Privation I can, or at 
least could once, bear ; abstinence I am accustomed to ; and as to fatigue, I was 
once a tolerable traveler. What I may be now I cannot tell, but I will try. I await 
the commands of the Committee. It would have given me pleasure to have had 
.some more defined instructions before I went ; but these, of course, rest at the 
option of the Committee. 

There is a modesty of tone, a subordination of self, in these 
passages, which is very pleasing, and whiph serves to indicate 
better than any other second description the frame of mind in 
which the great poet entered upon his solemn and heroic mis- 

He soon found that he had a difficult part to play, for there 
were two parties in Greece; one nominally having the direction 
of the movement for independence, the other seeking to wrench 
from them their authority. Byron soon made up his mind that 
he must have nothing to do with these rivalries, unless it were 
to reconcile them. The National Government was necessarily 
only ostensible; there were a number of military chiefs, each 
sighing for supreme command, and each trying to intercept as 
much of the revenue collected for patriotic purposes as possible ; 
tliere was a fleet furnished by private adventure, and an army 
counting more on plunder than on pay. Perceiving the state of 
affairs, and resolved not to be compromised by it, he lingered in 
Cephalorua in considerable discomfort, collecting as best he 



could the requisite information for his guidance. The brave 
Marco Botzaris, who soon afterward fell in action, besought 
Byron to join him in his campaign in the mountains. Metaxa, 
the Governor of Missolonghi, urged him to repair to its rescue, 
for the Turks were directing against it a blockade both by land 
and sea. Colcotroni sent urgent messages inviting him to a 
congress to be shortly held at Salamis ; while Mavrocordato was 
imploring him to travel in all haste to Hydra. " It is easier to 
conceive than to relate." says Count Gamba, " the various means 
employed to engage him in one faction or the other : letters, 
messages, intrigues, and recriminations, nay, each faction had its 
agent exerting every art to degrade its opponent." 

His letters to Madame Guiccioli were frequent. In one of 
them, after expressing a doubt whether he or any foreigner 
could be of use to the Greeks, he added : 

Pray be as cheerful and tranquil as you can, and be assured that there is nothing 
here that can excite anything but a wish to be with you again, though we are very 
kindly treated by the English of all descriptions. Of the Gredcs I can't say much 
Rood hitherto, and I do not like to speak ill of them though they do of each other. 

His letters to the General Government of Greece at the time 
were models of dignified frankness and good sense. Again and 
again he repeated that the Greeks had no enemy to fear except 
their own tendency to discord. The Turks had retreated from 
Acamania; Corinth had been captured, and Missolonghi had 
been relieved ; and to the latter place, before the end of the 
year, the poet repaired to meet and confer with Mavrocordato. 
" I need not tell you," wrote the latter, " how much I long for 
your arrival, to what a pitch your presence is desired by every- 
body, or what a prosperous direction it will give to our affairs. 
Your counsels will be listened to like oracles." 

A good deal of this anxiety, no doubt, was caused by the 
eagerness, the pardonable eagerness, to get hold of the money 
Byron had resolved to embark in the Greek cause. While mak- 
ing for Missolonghi he and his party narrowly escaped capture 
by a Turkish frigate. They had to conceal themselves among 


some rocks off Dragomestri. Count Gamba and all the more 
valuable articles of the expedition were not so fortunate, and 
were towed by the Turkish frigate into Patras. He had the 
skill to concoct a plausible account of himself, and was accord- 
ingly released. 

Once in the midst of the Greeks, Byron never vacillated in his 
determination to throw in his lot with tiiem. He was angry 
with them, disgusted with them, disappointed by them over and 
over again ; but, as he said, " others may do as they please ; they 
may go, but I stay here — that is certain." In a fit oif extreme 
irritation at one of their exhibitions of incapacity and indiffer- 
ence, he declared they were such barbarians he would pave the 
roads with them if he were their master. Yet in quieter mo- 
ments he made every allowance for the effect of centuries of 
oppression ; and Colonel Napier has recorded the opinion that, 
with the exception of Mr. Gordon, Byron was the only man that 
seemed justly to estimate their character. It was an infinite 
relief to him at last to be promised a chance of action ; and in 
the middle of January he found himself appointed commander 
of an expedition to be directed against Lepanto. His little army 
was to consist of a force of Suliotes, who turned out to be the 
most unmanageable rascals ever got together. Nearly half of 
them insisted on having the rank of officers. Byron at once 
discharged the whole lot. This brought them to their senses, 
but they soon again mutinied, and both Colonel Stanhope and 
Count Gamba have given striking accounts of the scene that 
ensued. Each is too long for quotation. Byron was suffering 
from an attack of convulsions, the first symptom of what was to 
follow. The Suliotes broke into his aparment and brandished 
their costly arms. ** Byron," says Colonel Stanhope, " electrified' 
by this unexpected act, seemed to recover from his sickness ; and 
the more the Suliotes raged, the more his calm courage tri- 
umphed. The scene was truly sublime." Finally they had to 
be got rid of, and the expedition, to Byron's infinite chagrin, 
was abandoned. 


Among his other vexations was the desire of some of his asso- 
ciates to promote the cause of Greece by a free use of the 
printing-press. He at once discerned the danger of allowing 
people who could not agree, to publish their grievances to the 
world ; and he, who had been all his life battling for freedom of 
speech and utterance in every form, saw himself regarded as a 
reactionary because he insisted on keeping the main end in 
view, and shaping the means in conformity with it. But he 
stuck to his point, and as, to use his own words, he was main- 
taining nearly the whole machine at his own cost, he carried it. 
His firmness caused him to be regarded as a sort of mediator 
among all the rival chiefs, who on one occasion offered, through 
Colcotroni, to submit their differences to him. Incidents of this 
character encouraged him in spite of his failing health and the 
manifest insufficiency of military resources. *' It were better," 
he wrote, "to die doing something than nothing. My presence 
here has been supposed so far useful as to have prevented con- 
fusion from becoming worse confounded." No offers, however 
flattering, made him deviate from his purpose of attending to 
the practical everyday wants of the government and the army. 
When it was suggested that he should be made governor-general 
of that part of Greece which was already free from the presence 
of the Turks, he troubled himself far less about so vague a pro- 
posal than concerning the condition of the fortifications of Mis- 
solpnghi, the state of discipline among the patriotic levies, the 
strictest observance of international law, so as not to predispose 
any of the powers against Greece, and, finally, about the proper 
method for launching a large loan. 

As far as he cherished any personal wish in connection with 
the enterprise, it was that he should have an opportunity of dis- 
tinguishing himself in some brilliant military exploit, for he had 
rhat Virgil terms an " immense yearning for fame," and it is 
pretty certain that he would have been well content to find in 
some such adventure a glorious death. The lines he had written 
on the 22d of January previously, his thirty-sixth birthday, the 


only lines he wrote during this second visit to Greece, and the 
last that ever proceeded from his pen, were no mere heroics of 
the Muse. They betrayed his innermost thought : 

The sword, the banner, and the field. 
Glory and Greece, around we see ! 
The Spartan borne upon his shield 
Was i)ot more free. 

Tread those reviving passions down. 

Unworthy manhood ! Unto thee 
Indifferent should the smile or frown 
Of beauty be. 

If thou regret'st thy youth, why live ? 

The land of bororable death 
Is here. Up to the field, and give 
Away thy breath ! 

Seek out, less often sought than found, 

A soldier's grave, for thee the best ; 
Then look around, and choose >thy ground. 
And take thy rest ! 

But it was not to be. Had Heaven granted his prayer it 
would have shown itself too partial to one upon whom it had 
already lavished an exceptional number of its favors. Nor, to 
be just, and though Byron ' has been roughly handled and even 
unfairly aspersed by austere moralists, did he deserve the glori- 
ous end he begged for. Great as was his genius, and splendid 
on the whole as was the use he made of it, his life had not been 
uniformly noble enough to close with the honors of a patriot's 
and martyr's death on the battlefield. But if that first place of 
honor was denied him, at least proxime accessit. Though repos- 
ing with his head upon his pillow, he died for Greece, which to 
this hour finds in the recollections of his name, his Muse, and 
his sword, one of the strongest claims to the sympathies of 

Temple Bar. 


From Homer to Goethe. 

" Detestable mixture of prophecy and playacforism " — 
so in his " Reminiscences " Carlyle describes" his work as a 
lecturer. Yet we are assured by a keen, if friendly, critic, 
Harriet Martineau, that " the merits of his discourses were 
so great that he might probably have gone on year after year 
till this time with improving success and perhaps ease, but 
the struggle was too severe," i. e., the struggle w4th nervous 
excitement and ill-health. In a friendly notice of the first 
lecture ever delivered (May i, 1837)* by Carlyle before a Lon- 
don audience, the Times observes : " The lecturer, who seems 
new to the mere technicalities of public speaking, exhibited 
proofs before he had done of many of its higher and nobler 
attributes, gathering self-possession as he proceeded." 

In the following year a course of twelve lectures was de- 
livered "On the History of Literature, or the Successive 
Periods of European Culture," from Homer to Goethe. As far 
as I can ascertain, except from short sketches of the two lec- 
tures of each week in the Examiner, from May 6, 1838, on- 
wards, it is now impossible to obtain an account of this 
series of discourses. The writer in the Examiner (perhaps 
Leigh Hunt) in noticing the first two lectures (on Greek liter- 
ature) writes : " He again extemporizes, he does not read. 
We doubted on hearing the Monday's lecture whether he 
would ever attain in this way to the fluency as well as depth 
for which he ranks among celebrated talkers in private ; but 
Friday's discourse re^lieved us. He 'strode away' like 
Ulysses himself, and had only to regret, in common with his 

♦ %B ist of May was illustrious. On the evening of that day Browning's " Straf- 
ford" was produced by Macready at Covent Garden theater. Dr. Chalmers was at 
this time also lecturing in London, and extensive reports of his lectures are given in 
tb« Times and the Morning Chronicle. ^ 


audience, the limits to which the one hour confined him." 
George Ticknor was present at the ninth lecture of this 
course, and he noted in his diary (June i, 1838): "He is a 
small, spare, ugly Scotchman, with a strong accent, which I 
should think he takes no pains to mitigate. . . . To-day he 
spoke — as I think he commonly does — without notes, and 
therefore as nerarly extempore as a man can who prepares 
himself carefully, as was plain he had done. He was impress- 
ive, I think, though such lecturing could not well be very 
popular ; and in some parts, if^ he was not poetical, he was 
picturesque." Tichnor estimates the audience at about pne 

A manuscript of over two hundred and fifty pages is in ray 
hands, which I take to be a transcript from a report of these 
lectures by some skillful writer of shorthand. It gives very 
fully, and I think faithfully, eleven lectures ; one, the ninth, 
is wanting. In the following pages, I may say, nothing, or 
very little, is my own. I have transcribed several of the most 
striking passages of the lectures, and given a view of the 
whole, preserving continuity by abstracts of those portions 
which I do not transcribe. In these abstracts I have, as far 
as possible, used the words of the manuscripts. In a few 
instances I have found it convenient to bring together para- 
graphs on the same subject from different lectures. Some 
passages which say what Carlyle has said elsewhere I give for 
the sake of the manner, more direct than that of the printed 
page ; sometimes becoming even colloquial. The reader will do 
well to imagine these passages delivered with that Northern 
accent which Carlyle's refined Bostonian hearer thought "he 
took no pains to mitigate." 

At the outset Carlyle disclaims any intention to construct 
a scientific theory of the history of culture; some plan is 
necessary in order to approach the subject and become more 
familiar with it, but any proposed theory must be viewed as 
one of mere convenieticc. 



Ttere is only one theory which has been most triumphant — that of the planets. On 
so other subject has any theory succeeded so far yet. Even that is not perfect ; the 
Btronomer knows one or two planets, we may say, blit he does not know what they are, 
where tbcy are going, or whether the solar system is not itself drawn into a larger sys- 
tem of the kind. In short, with every theory the man who knows something about it, 
knows mainly this — that there is much uncertainty in it, great darkness about it, extend- 
ing down to an infinite deep ; in a word, that he does not know what it is. Let him 
take a stone, for example, the pebble that is under his feet ; he knows that it is a stone 
broken out of rocks old a.s the creation, but what that pebble is he knows not ; he 
knows nothing at all about that. This system of making a theory about everything is 
what we may call an enchanted state of mind. That man should be misled, that he 
should be deprived of'knowing the truth that the world is a reality and not a huge con- 
fused hypothesis, that he should be deprived of this by the very faculties given him to 
tmderstand it, I can call by no other name than enchantment. 

Yet when we look into the scheme of these lectures we 
perceive a presiding thought, which certainly had more than 
a provisional value for Carlyle. The history of culture is 
viewed as a succession of faiths, interrupted by periods of 
skepticism. The faith of Greece and Rome is succeeded by 
the Christian faith, with an interval of pagan skepticism, of 
which Seneca may be taken as a representative. The Chris- 
tian faith, earnestly held to men's hearts during a great epoch, 
is transforming itself into a new thing, not yet capable of 
definition, proper to our nineteenth century; of this new 
thing the Goethe of "Wilhelm Meister" and the **West- 
ostlicher Divan " is the herald. But its advent w^s preceded 
by that melancholy interval of Christian skepticism, the 
eighteenth century, which is represented by Voltaire and the 
sentimental Goethe of " Werther," which reached its terrible 
consummation in the French Revolution ; and against which 
stood iut in forlorn heroism Samuel Johnson. Carlyle's gen- 
eral view is a broad one, which disregards all but fundamen- 
tal differences in human beliefs. The paganism of Greece is 
not severed from that of Rome ; Christianity, Catholic and 
Protestant, is essentially of one and the same epoch. 

There is a sentence which I find in Goethe full of meaning in this regard. It must 
he noted, he says, that belief and unbelief are two opposite principles in human nature. 
The theme of all human history, so far as we are able to perceive it, is the contest 
between these two principles. All periods, he goes on to say, in which belief predomi- 
nates, in which it is the main element, the inspiring principle of action, are distin- 
guished by great, soul-stirring, fertile events, and worthy of perpetual remembrance : 


and, 6n the other hand, when unbelief gets the upper hand, that age !& unfertile, 
unproductive, and intrinsically mean ; in which there is no pabulum for the spirit of 
ihan; and no one can get nourishment for himself. This passagb is one of the most 
pregnaiit utterances ever delivered, and we shall do well to keep it in mind in these dis- 

In attempting "to follow the stream of mind from the 
period at which the first great spirits of our Western World 
wrote and flourished down to these times," we start from 
Greece. When we ask who were the first inhabitants of 
Greece, we can derive no clear account from any source. 
" We have no good history of Greece. This is not at all 
remarkable. Greek transactions never had anything alive 
[for us.^]; no result for lis; they were dead entirely. The 
only points which serve to guide us are a few ruined towns, a 
few masses of stone, and some broken, statuary." Three 
epochs, however, in Greek history, can be traced : the first, 
that of the siege of Troy — ^the first confederate act of the 
Hellenes in their capacity of a European people ; the second, 
that of the Persian invasion ; the third, the flower-time of 
Greece, the period of Alexander the Great, when Greece 
" exploded itself on Asia." 

Europe was henceforth to develop herself on an independent footing, and it has faeoi 
so ordered that Greece was to begin that. As to their peculiar physiognomy among 
nations, they were in one respect an extremely interesting people, but in another un- 
amiable and weak entirely. It has been somewhere remarked l)y persons learned in the 
speculation on what is called the doctrine of races, ths^ the Pelasagi were of Celtic 
descent. However this may be, jt is certain that there is a remarkable similarity in 
character of the French' to these Greeks. Their first feature was what we may call the 
central feature of all others, exhausting (?)* veheituncey not exactly strength^ for 
there was no permanent coherence in it as in strength, but a sort of fiery im^tuosity ; 
a vehemence never anywhere so remarkable as among the Greeks, except among the 
French, and there are instances of this, both in its good and bad point of view. As to 
the bad, there is the instance mentioned by Thucydides of the sedition in Corcyra, 
which really does read like a chapter out of the French Revolution, in which the actors 
seem to be quite regardless of any moment but that which was at hand. 

The story of the massacre is briefly told, which recalls to 
Carlyle, as it did to Niebuhr, the events of September, 1792. 

But connected with idl this savageness there was an extraordinary delicacy of taste 
and genius in them. They had a prompt dexterity in seizing the true relatiooB ti 
pbjects, a beautiful and quick sense in perceiving the places in which the things lay, 
all round the world, which they had to work with, and this, without being entiidy 

^ j^^g ,, existing.'*- " 


^dinirable, was in their own internal province )iighly useful. So the French, with 
tkeir undeniable barrenness of genius, have yet in a remarkable manner the facility of 
9xpits»ni: themselves with precision and elegance, to so singular a degree, that no ideas 
or inventions can possibly, become popularized till they are presented to the world by 
means of the French language. . . . But in poetry, philosophy, and all things the 
Greek genius displays itself with as curious a felicity as the French does in frivolous 
exercises. Singing or music was the central principle of the Greeks, not a subordinate 
one. And they were right. What is not musical is rough and hard and cannot be har- 
monized. Harmony is the essence of Art and Science. The mind molds to itself the 
clay, and makes it what it will. 

This spirit of harmony is seen even in the earliest Pelasgic 
architecture, and more admirably in Greek poetry, Greek 
temples, Greek statuary. A beautiful example may be found 
in the story of how Phidias achieved his masterpiece at Elis. 

When he projected his Jupiter of Elis, his ideas wer^ so confused and bewildered as 
to give him great unrest, and he wandered ~about perplexed that the shape he wished 
would not disclose itself. But one night, after struggling in pain with his thoughts as 
usual, and meditating on his design, in a dream he saw a group of Grecian maidens 
approach, with pails of water on their heads, who began a song in praise of Jupiter. 
At that moment the Sun of Poetry stared upon him, and set free the image which he 
sought for, and it crystallized, as it were, out of his mind into marble, and became as 
symmetry itself. This spirit of harmony operated directly in him, informing all parts 
of his mind, thence tiansferriog itself into statuary, seen with the eye, and filling the 
heart of all people. 

Having discussed the origin of Polytheism, Carlyle speaks 
of divination. 

It is really, in my opinion, a blasphemy against human nature to attribute the whole 
of the system [of polytheism] to quackery and falsehood. Divination, for instance, 
was the great nucleus round which polytheism formed itself — the constituted core of 
the whole matter. All people, private men as well as states, used to consult the oracles 
of Dodona or Delphi (which eventually became the most celebrated of them all) on all 
the£oacerns of life. Modem travelers have discovered in those places pipes and other 
secret contrivances from which they have concluded that these oracles were constituted 
on a principle of falsehood and delusion. Cicero, too, said that he was certain two 
augurs could not meet without laughing ; and he was likely to know, for he had once 
been an augur himself. But I confess that on reading Herodotus there £^pears to me 
to have been very little quackery about it. I can quite readily fancy that there was a 
great deal of reason in the oracle. The seat of that at Dodona was a deep, dark chasm 
into which the diviner entered when he sought the Deity. If he was a man of devout 
frame of mind, he must surely have then been in the best state of feeling for foreseeing 
the future, and giving advice to others. No matter how this was carried on — by divi- 
nation or otherwise — so long as the individual suffered himself to be wrapt in union 
with a higher being. I like to believe better of Greece than that she was completely at 
the mercy of fraud and falsehood in these matters. 

So it was that Pheidippides, the runner, met Pan in the 
mountain gorge.* " When I consider the frame of mind he 

*CarIyle tells the story of Pheidippides evidently from memory, and not quite 



must have been in, I have no doubt that he really heard in 
his own mind that voice of the God of Nature upon the wild 
mountain side, and that this was not done by quackery or 
falsehood at all." But above and around and behind the 
Whole system of polytheism there was a truth discovered by 
the Greeks — 

that truth which is in every man^s heart, and to which no thinking man can refuse 
his assent. They recognized a destiny ! a great, dumb, black power, ruling during 
time, which knew nobody for its master, and in its decrees was as inflexible as ada- 
mant, and every one knew that it was there. It was sometimes called " Moira,'* or allot- 
ment, part, and sometimes *' the Unchangeable." Their gods were not always mentioiMd 
with reverence. There is a strange document on the point, the Prometheus of iEschy- 
lus. iBschylus wrote three plays of Prometheus, but only one has survived. Prome- 
theus had introduced fire into the world, and was punished for that : his design was to 
make our race a little less wretched than it was. Personally he seems to be a taciturn 
sort of man, but what he does speak seems like a thunderbolt against Jupiter. .... 
Jupiter can hurl him to Tartarus ; his time is coming too ; he must come down ; it is 
all written in the book of destiny. This curious document really indicates the prime- 
val qualities of man. 

Stories from Herodotus, " who was a clear-headed, candid 
man," of the Scythian nation who shot arrows in the 
stormy air against their god, and of another people who made 
war upon the south-wind, similarly illustrate that the^cient 
reverence for their deities was not the reverence for that 
which is highest or most powerful in the universe. 

From the religion we pass (Lecture II.) to the literature of 
the Greeks. "The 'Iliad,' or *Song of Ilion,' consists of a 
series of what I call ballad delineations of the various occur- 
rences which took place then, rather than a narrative of the 
event itself. For it begins in the middle of it, and, I might 
say, ends in the middle of it." The only argument in favor of 
Homer being the real author is derived from the common 
opinion and from the unity of the poem. 

There appears to me to be a great improbability that any one would compose an epic 
except in writing. ... I began myself some time ago to read the Iliad, which I bad 
not looked at since I left school, and I must confess that from reading alone I became 
completely convinced that it was not the work of one man. ... As to its unity — its 
value does not consist in ah excellent sustaining of characters. There is not at all the 
sort of style in which Shakespeare draws his characters ; there is simply the cunning 
man, the great-headed, coarse, stupid man, the proud man ; but there is nothing so 
remarkable but that any one else could have drawn the same characters for the pur- 
pose of piecing them into the Iliad. Wc all know the old Italian comedy, their Harie- 


quin, doctor, and Columbine. There are almost similar things in the characters in the 

In fact the " Ilia^ " has such unity — not more and not less 
—as the modern collection of our old Robin Hood, ballads. 

Contrasting the melodious Greek mind with the not very melodious English mind, 
the dthara with the fiddle (between which, by the way, <here is strong resemblance), 
and having in remembrance that those of the one class were sung in alehouses, while 
the other were sung in Icings' palaces, it really appears that Robin Hood's ballads have 
reeeived the very same arrangement as that which in other times produced ** the tale 
of Troy divine." 

• The poetry of Homer possesses the highest qualities be- 
I cause it delineates what is ancient and simple, the impres- 
sions of a primeval mind. Further, 

Homer does not seem to believe his story to be a fiction ; but has no doubt it is a truth. 
... I do not mean to say that Homer could have sworn to the truth of his poems 
before a jury — far from it — but that he repeated what had survived in tradition and 
records, and expected his readers to believe them as he did. 

With respect to the " machinery," gods and goddesses. Homer 
was not decorating his poem with pretty fictions. Any re- 
markable man then might be regarded as supernatural ; the 
experience of the Greeks was narrow, and men's hearts were 
open to the marvelous. 

Thus Pindar mentions that Neptune appeared on one occasion at Nemean* games. 

Here it is conceivable that if some aged individual of venerable mien and few words 

% had in fact come thither his appearance would have attracted attention ; people would 

have come to gaze upon him, and conjecture have been busy. It would be natural that 

a succeeding generation should actually report that a god appeared upon the earth. 

In addition to these excellences, 

the poem of the Iliad was actually intended to be sung ; it sings itself, not only the 
cadenCe, but the whole thought of the poem sings itself as it were ; there is a serious 
recitative in the whole matter. . . . With these two qualities, music and belief, he 
places his mind in a most beautiful brotherhood, in a sincere contact with his own 
characters ; there are no reticences ; he allows himself to expand with some touching 
loveliness, and occasionally it may be with an awkwardness that carries its own apology, 
upon all the matters that come in view of the subject of his work. 

In the " Odyssey " there is more of character, more of unity, 
and it represents a higher state of civilization. Pallas, who 
had been a warrior, now becomes the Goddess of Wisdom. 
Ulysses, in the " Iliad," " an adroit, shifting, cunning man," 
becomes now "of a tragic significance." He is now "the 

* Igthmian ? See Pindar, Olymp. viii. 64. 
L. M.— 10 


much-ehduring, a most endearing of epithets." It is impos* 
sible that the " Odyssey " could have been written by many 
different people. * 

As to detailed beauties of Homer's poetry, we have a touch- 
ing instance in Agamemnon's calling not only on gods but 
rivers and stars to witness his oath ; " he does not say what 
they are, but he feels that he himself is a mysterious exist- 
ence, standing by the side of them, mysterious existences." 
Sometimes the simplicity of Homer's similes make us smile; 
"but there is great kindness and veneration in the smile." 
There is a beautiful formula which he uses to describe death : 

He thumped down falling, and hb arms jingled about him. Now, trivial as this 
expression may at first appear, it does convey a deep insight and feeling of that phe- 
nomenon. The fall, as it were, of a sack of clay^ and the jingle of armor, the last 
sound he was ever to make throughout time, who a minute or two before was alive and 
vigorous, and now falb a heavy dead mass. . . . But we must quit Homer. There is 
one thing, however, which I ought to mention about Ulysses, that he is the very 
model of the type Greek, a perfect image of the Greek genius ; a shifty, nimble, active 
man, involved in difficulties, but every now and then bobbing up out of darknesa and 
confusion, victorious and intact. 

Passing by the early Greek philosophers, whose most valu- 
able contribution to knowledge was in the province of geom- 
etry, Carlyle comes to Herodotus. 

His work b, properly speaking, an encyclopaedia of the various nations, and it dis- 
plays in a striking manner the innate spirit of harmony that was in the Greeks. It 
begins with Croesus, king of Lydia ; upon some hint or other it suddenly goes off into 
a digression on the Persians, and then, apropos- of something else, we have a disquisi- 
tion on the Egyptians, and so on. At first we feel somewhat impatient of being thus 
carried away at the sweet will of the author ; but we soon find it to be the result pf an 
instinctive spirit of harmony, and we see all these various branches of the tale come 
pouring down at last in the invasion of Greece by the Persians. It b that spirit of order 
which has constituted him the prose poet of hb country. ... It b mainly throu|^ 
him that we become acquainted with Themistocles, that model of the type Greek .in 
prose, as Ulysses was in song. ... 

Contemporary with Themistocles, and a little prior to Herodotus, Greek tragedy 
began. i'Cschylus I define to have been a truly gigantic man— one of the latgest char- 
acters ever known, and all whose movements are clumsy and huge like those of a son 
of Anak. In short, his character is just that of Prometheus himself as he has described 
him. I know no more pleasant thing than to study i¥lschylus ; you fancy you hear 
the old dumb rocks speaking to you of all things they had been thinking of since the 
world began, in their wild, savage utterances. 

Sophocles translated the drama into a choral peal of ittel* 
ody. " The ' Antigone ' is the finest thing of the kind ever 


sketched by man." Euripides writes for effect's sake, " but 
how touching is the effect produced ! " 

Socrates, as viewed by Carlyle, is " the emblem of the de- 
cline of the Greeks," when literature was becoming specula- 

\ wilHngty admit that he was a man of deep feeling and morality ; but I can well 
tmdetstand the idea which Aristophanes had of him, that he was a man going to destroy 
ailOHttce with his innovation. . . . H<Ahows a lingering land of awe and attachment 
few die old religion of his country, and often we cannot make out whether he be- 
Uered in it or not. He must havt had but a painful intellectual life, a painful kind of 
life altogether one would think. ... He devoted himsdf to the teaching of morality 
and virtue, and he spent his life in that kind of mission. I cannot say that there was 
any ci^ in this ; but it does seem to me to have been of a character entirely unprofit- 
able^ I have a great desire to admire Socrates, but I o>nfess that his writings seem to 
be made up of a number of "very wire-drawn notions about virtue ; there Ls no conclii- 
skm. in him ; there is no word of life in Socrates. He was, however, personally a co- 
boent and firm man. 

We pass now (Lectures III.) to the Romans. 

We may say of this nation that as the Greeks may be compared to the children of 
andqtaity from their naivete and gracefulness, while their whole history is an aurora, 
the dawn of a hif^r culture and civilization, so the Romans were the meh of antiquity, 
aad ykakt history a glorious, warm, laborious day, less beautiful and graceful no doubt 
than the Greeks, but more essentially useful. . . . The Greek life was shattered to 
pieces against thehdrder, stronger life of the Romdns. ... It was just as a beautiful 
CTjr^ital jar becomes dashed to pieces upon the hard rocks, so inexpressible was the force 
of the strong Roman energy.* 

The Romans show the character of two distinct species of 
people — the Pelasgi and the Etruscans. The old Etruscans, 
besides possessing a certain genius for art, were an agricul- 
tural people — 

endowed with a sort of sulten energy, and with a spirit of intensely industrious thrift, 
aUtid of vigorous thrift. Thus with respect to the plowing of the earth, they declare it 
tobfc a kind of blasphemy against nature to leave a clod unbroken. . . . Now this feeling 
vathe fundamental characteristic of the Roman people before they were distin- 
gtii^ed as conquerors. Thrift is a quality held in no esteem, and is generally re- 
gsurded as mean ; it is certainly mean enough, and objectionable from its interfering 
with all manner of intercourse between man and man. But I can say that thrift well 
tuKferstood includes in itself the best virtues that a man can have in the world ; it 
teaches him self-denial, to postpone the present to the future, to calculate his means, 
and rq;ulate his actions accordingly ; thus understood, it includes all that man can do 
in bk vocation. Even in its worst state it Indicates a great people.t 

Joined with this thrift there was in the Romans a great 

* Here Cariyle speaks of Niebuhr, whose book *' is altogether a laborioos thing, but 
Ixaftords after all very little light on the eariy period of Roman history." 
t See, 1» the same effect, ** a certain editor '* in " Frederick the Great," b. iv. chap. 4. 


seriousness and devoutness ; and they made the pagan notion 
of fate much more productive of consequences than the 
Greeks did, by their conviction that Rome was fated to rule 
the world. And it was good for the world to be ruled sternly 
and strenuously by Rome : it is the true liberty to obey. 

That stubborn grinding down of the globe which their ancestors practiced, i>lowuig 
the ground fifteen times to make it produce a better crop than if it were plowed four- 
teen times, the same was afterwards carried ou^by the Romans in all the concerns of 
their ordinary life, and by it they raised themselves above. all other people. Method 
was their principle just as harmony was of the Greeks. The method of the Romans 
was a sort of harmony, but not that beautiful graceful thing which was the Greek bar' 
mony. Theirs was a harmony of plans, an architectural harmony, which was displayed 
in the arranging of practical antecedents and consequences. 

The "crowning phenomenon" of their history was the 
struggle with Carthage. The Carthaginians were like the 
Jews, a stiff-necked people ; a people proverbial for injustice. 

I most sincerely rejoice that they did not subdue the Romans, but that the Romans 
got the better of them. We have indications which show that they were a mcsm peo- 
ple compared to the Romans, who thought of nothing but commerce, would do any- 
thing for money, and were exceedingly cruel in their measures of aggrandizement and 
in all their measures. . . . How the Romans got on after that we can see by the Com^, 
mentaries which Julius Cssar has left us of his own proceedings ; how he spent ten 
years of campaigns in Gaul, cautiously planning all his measures before he attempted 
to carry them into effect. It is, indeed, a most interesting book, and evinces the 
indomitable force of Roman energy ; the triumph of civil, methodic man over wild and 
barbarous man. 

Before Caesar the government of Rome seems to have 
been a 

very tumultuous kind of polity, a continual struggle between the patricians and ple- 
beians. . . . Therefore I cannot join in the lamentations made by some over thedown- 
fall of the republic, when Caesar took hold of it. It had been but a constant strug- 
gling scramble for prey, and it was well to end it, and to sec the wisest, cleanest, and 
most judicious man of them place himself at the top of it. . . . And what an empire 
was it ! Teaching mankind tliat they should be tilling the ground, as they ought to be, 
instead of fighting one another. For that is the real thing which every man is called 
on to do — to till the ground, and not to slay his poor brother-man. 

Coming now to their language and literature — the peculi- 
arly distinguishing character of the language is " its impera- 
tive sound and structure, finely adapted to command." Their 
greatest work was written on the face of the planet in which 
we live ; and all their great works were done spontaneously 
through a deep instinct. 

The point is not to be able to write a book ; the point is to have the true mind fori^ 


Everything in that case which a nation does equally significant of its mind. If 
any great man among the Romans, Julius Caesar or Cato for example, had never done 
anything but till the groutid, they would have acquired equal excellence in that way 
They would have plowed as they conquered. Everything a great man does carries the 
traces of a great man. 

Virgil's " ^neid " 

ranks as an epic poem, and, one, too, of the same sort in name as the Iliad of Homer. 
But I think it entirely a different poem, and very inferior to Homer, ^here is that 
fatal consciousness, that knowledge that he is writing an epic. The plot, the style, 
alf-is vitiated by that one fault. The characters too, are none of them to be compared 
to the healthy, whole-hearted, robust men of Homer, the much enduring Ulysses, or 
Achilles, or Agamemnon, i^'.neas, the hero of the poem, is a lachrymose sort of man 
^together. He is introduced in the middle of a storm, but instead of handling the 
tackle and doing what he can for the ship, he sits still, groaning over his misfortunes. 
".Was ever mortal," he asks, " so unfortunate as I am ? Chased from port to port by 
the persecuting deities, who give no respite," and so on ; and then he tells them how he 
is **the pious iEneas," In short, he is just that sort of lachrymose man ; there is 
hardly anything of a man in the inside of him. 

"When he let himself alone/* Virgil was a great poet, 
admirable in his description of natural scenery, and in his 
women ; an amiable man of mild deportment, called by the 
people of Naples "the maid." "The effect of his poetry is 
like that of some laborious mosaic of many years in putting 
together. There is also the Roman method, the Roman am- 
plitude and regularity." His friend Horace is " sometimes 
not at all edifying in his sentiments ;" too Epicurean ; " he 
displays a worldly kind of sagacity, but it is a great sagacity." 
After these, Roman literature quickly degenerated. 

If we want an example of diseased self-consciousness and exaggerated imagination, 
a mind blown up with all sorts of strange conceits, the spasmodic state of intellect, in 
short, of a man morally unable to speak the truth on any subject — we have it in Sene- 
ca. ... I willingly admit that he had a strong desire to be sincere, and that he 
endeavored to convince himself that he was right, but even this when in connection 
with the rest constitutes of itself a fault of a dangerous kind. 

But — such is the power of genius to make itself heard at all 
times — the most significant and the greatest Roman writers 
appeared later than Seneca. 

In the middle of all that quackery and puffery coming into play turn about in every 
department, when critics wrote books to teach you how to hold your arm and your 
leg, in the middle of all this absurd and wicked period Tacitus was bom, and was 
enabled to be a Roman after all. He stood like a Colossus at the edge of a dark night, 
and he sees events of all kinds hurrying past him, and plunging he knew not where, 
hot evidently to no good, for falsehood and cowardice never yet ended anywhere but 
in destruction. 


Yet he writes with grave calmness, he does not seem star- 
tled, he is convinced that it will end well somehow or other, 
" for he has no belief but the old Roman belief, full of their 
old feelings of goodness and honesty." Carlyle closes his 
view of pagan literature with that passage in which Tacitus 
speaks of the origin of the sect called Christians : 

It was give» to Tacitus to see dee|>er into the matter than appears from the above 
account of it. But he and the great empire were soon to pass away forever ; and it 
was this despised sect — this Christiis Quidam — it was in this new character that all the 
future world lay hid. 

The transition period (Lecture IV.), styled the "millen- 
nium of darkness,*' was really a great and fertile period, dui;- 
ing which belief was conquering unbelief; conquering it not 
by force of argument but through the heart, and " by the con- 
viction of men who spoke into convincible minds." Belief — 
that is the great fact of the time. The last belief left by 
paganism is seen in the stoic philosophers— belief in one's self, 
belief in the high, royal nature of man. But in their opinions 
a great truth is extremely exaggerated :— 

That bold assertion for example, in the face of all reason and fact, that pain and 
pleasure the same thing, that man is indifferent to both. ... If we look into the 
Christian religion, that digniiication of man's life and nature, we shall find indeed this 
also in it, — to believe in one's self. . . . But then how unspeakably more human is this 
belief, not held in proud scorn and contempt of other men, in cynical disdain or indig- 
nation at their paltriness, but received by exterminating pride altogether from the 
mind, and held in d^radation and deep human sufferings. 

Christianity reveals the divinity of human sorrow. 

In another point of view we may r^ard it as the revelation of eternity : Every man 
may with truth say that he waited for a whole eternity to be bom, and that he has a 
whole eternity waiting to see what he will do now that he is bom. It is eternity, a 
significance it never had without it. It is thus an infinite arena, where infinite issaes 
are played out. Not an action of man but will have its truth realized and will go on 
forever. . . . This truth, whatever may be the opinions we hold on Christian doctrine, 
or whether we hold upon them a sacred silence or not, we must recognize In Christian- 
ity and its belief independent of all theories. 

If to the character of the new faith we add the character of 
the Northern people, we have the two leading phenomena ot 
the middle ages. With much shrewdness, the still rude 
societies of Europe find their way to order and quiet. Then, 
there was that thing which we call loyalty. In these times of 
our own 


loyalty is much kept out of sight, and little appreciated, and many mind^ regard it as 
a sort of obsolete chimera, looking more to independence and sume such thing, now 
regarded as a great virtue. And this is very just, and most suitable to this time of 
movement and progress. It must be granted at once that to exact loyalty to things so 
bad as to be not worth being loyal to is quite an unsupportable thing, and one that the 
worid would spurn at once. This must be conceded ; yet the better thinkers will see 
that loyalty is a principle perennial in human nature, the highest that unfolds itself 
there in a temporal, secular point of view. In the middle ages it was the noblest 
phenomenon, the finest phasis in society anywhere. Loyalty was the foundation of 
the state. 

Another cardinal point was the church, "Like all other 
matters, there were contradictions and inconsistencies with- 
out end, but it should be regarded in its ideal." Hildebrand 
represents the mediaeval church at its highest power. " He 
has been regarded by some classes of Protestants as the 
wickedest of men, but I do hope at this time we have out- ' 
grown all thak .He perceived th^t the church was the high- 
est thing in the world, and he resolved that it should be at 
the top of the whole world, anim^iting human things, and 
giving them their main guidance." Having described the 
humiliation of the emperor, Henry the Fourth, at the. castle 
of Canossa, Carlyle proceeds : — 

One would think from all this that Hildebrand was a proud man, but he was not a 
proud man at all, and seems from many circumstances to have been on the contrary a 
man of very great humility ; but here he treated himself as the representative of Christ, 
and for beyond all earthly authorities. In these circumstances doubtless there are 
many questionable things, but then there are many cheering things. For we see the son 
of a poor Tuscan peasant, solely by the superior spiritual love that was in him, humble 
a great emperor, at the head of the iron force of Europe, and, to look at it in a toler- 
. able point of view, it is really very grand ; it is the spirit of Europe set above the body 
of E4irope ; the mind triumphant over the brute force. . . . Some have feared that the 
tendency of such things is to found a theocracy, and have imagined that if this had 
gone on till our day a most abject superstiti6n would have become established ; but 
this is entirely a vain theory. The clay that is about man is always sufficiently ready 
to assert its rights ; the danger is always th« other way, that the spiritual part of man 
will become overlaid with his bodily part. This then was the church, which with the 
loyalty of the time were the two hinges of society, and that society was in consequence 
distinguished from all societies which have preceded it, presenting an infinitely greater 
diversity of views, a better humanity, a largeness of capacity. This society has since 
undergone many changes, but I hope that that spirit may go on for countless ages, the 
spirit which at that period was set going. 

The grand apex of that life was the Crusades. 

One sees Peter [the Hermit] riding along, dressed in his brown cloak, with the rope 
of the penitent tied round him, carrying all hearts, and burning them up with zeal, 
and stirring up steel-clad Europe till it shook itself at the words of Peter. What a 


contrast to the greatest of orators, Demosthenes, spending nights and years in the 
construction of those balanced sentences which are still read with admiration, descend- 
ing into the details, speaking with pebbles in his mouth and the waves of the 
sea beside him, and all his way of life in this manner occupied during many years, and 
then to end in simply nothing at all ; for he did nothing for his country -wiih all his 
eloquence. And then see ihis poor monk start here without any art ; for as Demosthe- 
nes was once asked what was the secret of a fine orator, and he replied Action, Action, 
Action, so, if I were asked it, I should say Belief, Belief, Belief. . . . Some have 
admired the Crusades because they served to bring all Europe into communication with 
itself, others, because it produced the elevation of the middle classes • but I say that the 
great result which characterizes and gives them all their merits, is that in them Europe 
for one moment proved its belief, proved that it believed in the invisible world, which 
surrounds the outward and visible world, that this belief had for once entered into the 
consciousness of man. 

It was not an age for literature. The noble made his signa- 
ture by dipping the glove-mailed hand into the ink and im- 
printing' it on the charter. But heroic lives were lived, if 
heroic poems were not written ; an ideal did exist ; the heroic 
heart was not then desolate and alone ; the great result of the 
time was " a perpetual struggling forward." And a literature 
did come at last; beautiful, childlike utterances of troubador 
and trouvere ; lasting, however, but a little while, in cotise^ 
quence of the rise of a kind of feeling adverse to the spirit of 
harmony. Petrarch, the troubador of Italy, and the Nibelun- 
genlied represent the period. The spirit of the age did not 
speak much, but it was lost. " It is not so ordered." When 
we hear rude, natural voices singing in the distance, all is 
true and bright, because all false notes destroy one another 
and are absorbed in the air before they reach us, and only 
the true notes come to us. So in the middle ages we only 
get the heroic essence of the whole. 

Of the new-formed nation-s the Italian "first possesses a 
claim on our solicitude." (Lecture V.)* Though Italy was 
not a great political power, she produced a greater number of 
great men distinguished in art, thinking and conduct than 
any other country — and to produce great men is the highest 
thing any land can do. The spokesman of Italy in literature 
is Dante — one who stands beside ^schylus and Shake speare, 

* I made few excerps from this lecture, for a good part of its substance appeatsii 
the lecture " The Hero as Poet," in " Heroes andHero-worship." 

sare, I 

atsk I 


and "we really cannot and deara another great to these." ' 
The idea of his " Divina Commedia," with its three kingdoms 
of eternity, is " the greatest idea that we have ever got at." 
" I think that when all records of Catholicism have passed 
away, when the Vatican shall be crumbled into dust, and St. 
Peter's and Strasburg minster be no more, for thousands of 
years to come Catholicism will survive in this sublime relic 
of antiquity." Dante is great in his wrath, his scorn, his pity ; 
great above all in his sorrow. His greatness of heart, united 
with his greatness of intellect, determine his character ; and 
Itis poem sings itself, has both insight and song. Dante does 
not seem to know that he is doing anything very remarkable, 
differing herein from Milton. 

In all his delineations he has a most beautiful, sharp grace, the quickest and clearest 
intellect ; it is just that honesty with which his mind was set upon his subject that 
carries it out. . . . Take for example his description of the city of Dis to which Virgil 
carries him ; it possesses a beautiful simplicity and honesty. The light was so dim that 
people could hardly see, and they winked at him, just as people wink with their eyes 
under the new moon, or as an old tailor winks threading his needle when his eyes are 
not good. 

The passage about Francesca is " as tender as the voice of 
mothers, full of the gentlest pity, though there is much stern 
tragedy in it. . . . The whole is beautiful, like a clear piping 
voice heard in the middle of a whirlwind ; it is so sweet, and 
gentle, and good." The " Divine Comedy " is not a satire on 
Dante's enemies. 

It was written in the pure spirit of justice. Thus he pitied poor Francesca, and 
VQuld not have willingly placed her in that torment, but it was the justice of God's 
law that doomed her there. . . . Sudden and abrupt movements are frequent in 
Dante. He is mdeed full of what I can call military movements. . . . Those passages 
are very striking where he alludes to his own sad fortunes ; there is in them a wild 
sorrow, a savage tone of truth, a breaking heart, the hatred of Florence, and with it the 
love oif Florence. . . . His old schoolmaster tells him " If thou follow thy star thou 
catiat not a happy harbor." That was just it. That star occasionally shone on 
him from the blue, eternal depths, and he felt he was doing something good ; he soon 
lost it again ; lost it again as he fell back into the trough of the sea. . . . Bitter ! bitter', 
poor exile, — none but scoundrelly persons to associate with. . . . The Inferno has 
become of late times mainly the favorite of the three [parts of the poem] ; it has 
harmonized well with the taste of the last thirty or forty years, in which Europe has 
seemed to covet more a violence of emotion and a strength of convulsion than almost 
any other quality. . . . but I question whether the Purgatorio is not better, and a 
greater thing. . . . Men have of course ceased to believe these things, that there is the 
mountain rising up in the ocean there, or that there are those Malebolgic gulfs ; but 


still men of any knowledge at all must believe that there exists the inexorable ju^ice 
of God, and that i)enitence is a gre^t thing here for man ; for life is but a series of errors 
made good again by repentance, and the sacredness of that doctrine is asserted in Dante 
in a manner more moral than anywhere else. . . . One can well understand what the 
Germans say of the three partfe of the " Divina Commedia," viz., that the first is the 
architectural, plastic part, as of statuary ; the second is the pictorial or picturesque ; 
the third is the musical, the melting into music, song. , 

Lecture VI. — Dante's way of thinking, in the nature of 
things, could not long continue. With an increased horizon 
of knowledge, his theorj'' could no longer fit. " All theories 
approximate more or less to the great theory which remains 
itself always unknown. . . . Every philosophy that exists is 
destined to be embraced, melted down as it were, into some 
larger philosophy." Universities, the art o'f printing, gun- 
powder, were changing the aspects of human life during the 
two centuries that lie between Dante and Cervantes. Loy- 
alty and the Catholic religion, as we saw, gave their character 
to the middle ages. Chivalry, the great product of the Span- 
ish nation, is a practical illustration of loyalty ; and chivalry 
includes, with the German valor of character, another Ger- 
man feature, the reverence for women. The Spanish nation 
was fitted to carry chivalry to a higher perfection than it 
attained anywhere else. 

The Spaniards had less breadth of genius than the Italians, but they had, on the 
other hand, a lofty, sustained enthusiasm in a higher degree than the Italians, with a 
tinge of what we call romance, a dash of oriental exaggeration, and a tenacious vigor 
in prosecuting their object : of less depth than the Germans, of less of that composed 
silent force ; yet a great people, calculated to be distinguished. 

Its early heroes, Viriathus and the Cid (whose memory is 
still musical among the people), lived silent; their works 
spoke for them. The first great Spanish name in literature is 
that of Cervantes. His life — ^that of a man of action — is told 
by Carlyle in his brief, picturesque manner. Don Quixote is 
the very reverse of Dante, yet has analogies with Dante. It 
was begun as a satire on chivalry, a burlesque ; but as Cer- 
vantes proceeds, the spirit grows on him. 

In his Don Quixote he portrays his own character, representing himself, with good 
natural irony, mistaking the illusions of his own heart for realities. But he proceeds 
;ver more and more harmoniously. . . . Above all, we see the good-humored cheexw 



faliMss of the author in the middle of his unfortunate destiny ; never provoked with it ; 
no atrabiltar quality ever obtained any mastery in his mind. . . . Independently of 
chivalry, Don Quixote is valuable as a sort of sketch of the perpetual struggle of the 
human soul. We have the hard facts of this world's existence, and the ideal scheme 
struggling with these in a high enthusiastic manner delineated there ; and for this 
there is no more wholesome vehicle anywhere than irony. . . . If he had given us only 
a high-flown panegyric on the Age of ^old,* he would have found no ear for him ; it 
is the self-mockery in which he envelops it, which reconciles us to the high bursts of 
enthusiasm, and will keep the matter alive in the heart as long as there are men to read 
it. It is the poetry of comedy. 

Cervantes possessed in an eminent degree the thing critics 
call humor. 

If any one wish to know the difference between humor and wit, the laughter of the 
fool, which the wise man, by a similitude founded on deep earnestness, calls the crack- 
ling of thorns under a pot, let him read Cervantes on the one hand, and on the other 
Voltaire, the greatest laugher the world ever knew. 

Of Calderon Carlyle has not read much, " in fact only one 
play and some choice specimens collected in German books," 
and in the German admiration for Calderon he suspects there 
is "very much of forced taste." Lope was "a man of a 
strange facility, but of much shallowness too, and greatly 
inferior to Calderon." In the history of Spanish literature 
there are only these two besides Cervantes. Why Spain 
declined cannot be explained : " We can only say just this, 
that its time was come." The lecture closes with a glance at 
" that conflict of Catholicism and Chivalry with the Reforma- 
tion commonly called the Dutch War." 

Lecture VII. — ^The Reformation places us upon German 
soil. The (German character had a deep earnestness in it, 
proper to a meditatiye people. The strange fierceness known 
as the Berserkir rage is also theirs. 

Rage of that sjprt, defying all dangers and obstacles, if kept down sufficiently, is as a 
central fire which will make all things to grow on the surface above it. . . . On the 
whole it is the best character that can belong to any nation, producing strength of all 
sorts, and all the concomitants of strength — perseverance, steadiness, no| easily excited, 
but when it is called up it will have its object accomplished. We And it in all their 
hbtory. Justice, that is another of its concomitants ; strength, one may say, in justice 
itself. The strong man is he that can be just, that sets everything in its own rightful 
place one above the other. 

Before the Reformation there had been two great appear- 

, ♦ Carlyle had previously made particular reference to the scene with the goat-herds. 


ances of the Germans in European history — the first in the 
overthrow of the empire, the second in the enfranchisement 
of Switzerland. The Reformation was the inevitable result 
of human progress, the old theory no longer being found to 
fit the facts. And " when the mind begins to be dubious 
about a creed, it will rush with double fury toward destruc- 
tion ; for all serious men hate dubiety." 

In the sixteenth century there was no Pope Hildebrand 
ready to sacrifice life itself to the end that he might make the 
church the highest thing in the world. The popes did 
indeed maintain the church, "but they just believed noth- 
ing at all, or believed that they got so many thousand 
crowns a year by it. The whole was one chimera, one miser- 
able sham." Any one inclined to see things in their proper 
light "would have decided that it was better to have nothing 
to do with it, but crouch down in an obscure corner some- 
where, and read his Bible, and gGt what good he can for him- 
self in that way, but have nothing to do with the Machiavel- 
lian policy of such a church." 

At such a time Luther appeared, Luther "whose life was 
not to sink into a downy sleep while he heard the great call 
of a far other life upon him."* His character presents what- 
ever is best in German minds. 

He is the image of a large, substantial deep man, that stands upon truth, justice, 
fBirnes<i, that fears nothing, considers the right and calculates on nothing else ; and 
a^am^ does not do it spasmodically, but quietly, calmly ; no need of any noise about 
)t ; adheres to it deliberately, calmly, through good and bad report. Accordingly, we 
fitid hiru a good-humored, jovial, witty man, greatly beloved by every one, and though 
hU W'.nU were half battles, as Jean Paul says, stronger than artillery, yet among his 
fritiidh lie was one of the kindest of men. The wild kind of force t)iat was in him 
appealer in the physiognomy of the portrait by Luke Cranach, his painter and friend-; 
the rc>ii^h plebeian countenance with all sorts of noble thoughts shining out through 
It. Tbivt was precisely Luther as he appears through his whole history. 

Erasmus admitted the necessity of some kind of reforma- 
tion : — 

But that he should risk his ease and comfort, for it did not enter into his calculations 
at all. ... I should say, to make my friends understand the character of Erasmus, 

* Much of what Carlyle says here of Luther reappears in " Heroes and Hero-wor^ 


that he is more like Addison than any other writer who is familiarly known in this 
country. . . . He was a man certainly of great merit, nor have I much to say against 
him. . . . but he is not to be named by the side of Luther, — a mere writer of poems, a 
litcrateur. ^ 

There is a third striking German character whom we must 
notice, Ulrich Hutten — a straggler all his days ; 

much too headlong a man. He so hated injustice that he did not know how to deal 
with it, and he became heart-broken by it at last. . . . He says of himself he hated 
tumult of all kinds, and it was a painful and sad position for him that wbhed to obey 
orders, while a still higher order commanded him to disobey, when the standing by 
that order would be in fact the standmg by disorder. 


His lifting his cap, when at the point of death, because he 
had reverence for what was above him, to the archbishop 
who had caused his destruction; " seems to me the noblest, 
politest thing that is recorded of any such a moment as that." 
And the worst thing one reads of Erasmus is his desertion of 
Hutton in his day of misfortune. 

The English nation (Lecture VIII.) first comes into deci- 
sive notice about the time of the Reformation. In the Eng- 
lish character there is " a kind of silent ruggedness of nature* 
with the wild Berserkir rage deeper down in the Saxon than 
the others." English talent is practical like that of the 
Romans, a greatness of perseverance, adherence to a purpose, 
method ; practical greatness, in short. In the early history 
before Alfred, " we read of battles and successions of kings, 
and one endeavors to remember them, but without success, 
except so much of this flocking and fighting as Milton gives 
us, viz., that they were the battles of the kites and crows." 
Yet the history of England was then in the making. ^* Who- 
ever was uprooting a thistle or bramble, or drawing out a 
bog, or building himself a house, or in short leaving a single 
section of order where he had found disorder, that man was 
writing the history of England, the others were only obstruct- 
ing it. The battles themselves were a means of ascertaining 
who among them should rule — ^who had most force and 
method among them. A wild kind of intellect as well as 
courage and traces of deep feeling are scattered over thei' 


history. There was an affirmativeness, a largeness of soul, in 
the intervals of these fights Cf kites and crows, as the doings 
of King Alfred show us. 

About the time of Queen Elizabeth the confused elements 
amalgamated into some distinct vital unity. That period was 
*' in many respects the summation of innumerable influences, 
the co-ordination of many things which till then had been in 
contest, the first beautiful outburst of energy, the first articu- 
late, spoken energy." After centuries the blossom of poetry 
appeared for once. Shakespeare is the epitome of the age 
of Elizabeth ; he is the spokesman of our nation ; like 
Homer, -^schylus, and Daijte, a voice from the innermost 
heart of nature; a universal man.* His intellect was far 
greater than that of any other that has given an account of 
himself by writing books. " There is no tone of feeling that is 
not capable of yielding melodious resonance to that of Shakes- 
peare." In him lay "the great, stern, Berserkir rage burning 
deep down under all, and making all to grow out in the most 
flourishing way, doing ample justice to all feelings, not devel- 
oping any one in particular." What he writes is properly 
nature, ** the instinctive behest of his mind. This all-produc- 
ing earth knows not the symmetry of the oak which springs 
from it. It is all beautiful, not a branch is out of its place, all 
is symmetry ; but the earth has itself no conception of it, and 
produced it solely by the virtue that was in itself." Shakes- 
peare has a beautiful sympathy of brotherhood with his sub- 
ject, but he seems to have no notion at all of the great and 
deep things in him. Certain magniloquent passages he seems 
to have imagined extraordinarily great, but in general there 
is perfect sincerity in any matter he undertakes. It was by 
accident that he was roused to be a poet, " for the greatest 
man is always a quiet man by nature." 

We turn from Shakespeare to a very different man— John 

, ♦ Many things said of Shakespeare and Knox in this lecture are repeated ia **H«ro 
''aHeroWorSiip." i— . 


- Luther would have been a great man in other things beside the Refonnaticn, a great 
substantial happy man, who must have excelled in whatever matter he undertook. 
Knox had not that faculty, but simply this of standing upon truth entirely ; it isn't 
that his sincerity is known to him to be sincerity, but it arises from a sense of the 
impossibility of any other procedure. . . . Sincerity, what is it but a divorce from 
^arth and earthly feelings ? The sun which shines upon the earth, and seems to touch 
it, don't touch the earth at all. So the man who is free of earth is the only one that 
can maintain the great truths of existence, not by an ill-natured talking forever about 
truth, but it is he who does the truth. There is a great deal of humor in Knox, as 
bright a humor as in Chaucer, expressed in his own quaint Scotch. . . . Thus when 
he describes the two archbishops quarreling, no doubt he was delighted to see the dis- 
grace it brought on the church, but he was chiefly excited by the really ludicrous 
sp^tacle of rochets flying about, and vestments torn, and the struggle each made to 
overturn the other. 

Milton may be considered " as a summing up, composed as 
it were of the two, Shakespeare and Knox."* Shakespeare 
having reverence for everything that bears the mark of the 
Deity, may well be called religious, but he is of no particular 
sect. Milton is altogether sectarian. As a poet " he was not 
one of those who reach into actual contact with the deep 
fountains of greatness ; " his " Paradise Lost " does not come 
out of the heart of things; it seems rather to have been 
welded together. 

< There is no life in his characters. Adam and Eve are beautiful, graceful objects, but 
no one has breathed the Pygmalion life into them ; they remain cold statues. Milton's 
sympathies were with things rather than .men ; the scenery and phenomena of nature 
the gardens, the trim gardens, the burning lake ; but as for the phenomena of mind, he 
was not able to see them. He has no delineation of mind except Satan, of which we 
may say that Satan has his own character. 

Lecture IX. is wanting in the manuscript. The following 
points from the notice in the Examiner may serve to preserve 
continuity in the present sketch. The French as a nation 
" go together," as the Italians do not ; but it is physical and 
animal going together, not that of any steady, final purpose. 
Voltaire, full of wit and extraordinary talents, but nothing 
final in him. All modern skepticism is mere contradiction, 
discovering no new truth. Voltaire, kind-hearted and " be- 
neficent," however. French genius has produced nothing 
original. Montaigne, an honest skeptic. Excessive unction 
of Rabelais's humor. Rousseau's world-influencing egotism. 
Bayle, a dull writer. 

* So Taine^in \C\% more abstract way, says that Milton sums up th' '*enaissanoe ar 
the^ef ormation . 


Lecture X. — The Preach, as we have seen, sowed nothing 
in the seedfield of time ; Voltaire, on the contrary, casting 
firebrands among the dry leaves, produced the combustion 
we\shall notice by-and-by. No province of knowledge was 
cultivated except in an unfruitful, desert way. Thus politics 
siimmL^d themselves up in the Contrat Social of Rousseau. 
Tht^ sjnly use intellect was put to was to ask why things were 
there, and to account for it and argue about it. So it was all 
over Europe in the eighteenth century. The quack was 
established, and the only belief held was "that money will 
buy money's worth, and that pleasure is pleasant." In Eng- 
land this baneful spirit was not so deep as in France : partly 
because the Teutonic nature is slower, deeper than the 
French ; partly because England was a free Protestant coun- 
try. Still it was an age of logic, not of faith ; an age of talk, 
striving to prove faith and morality by speech ; unaware that 
logic never proved any truths but those of mathematics, and 
that all great things are silent things. " In spite of early 
training 1 never do see sorites of logic hanging together, put 
in reguliir order, but I conclude that it is going to end in some 
measure in some miserable delusion." 

However imperfect the literature of England was at this 
period, its spirit was never greater; it did great things, it 
built great towns, Birmingham and Liverpool, Cyclopean 
workshops, and ships. There was sincerity there at last, 
Arkwright and Watt were evidently sincere. Another symp- 
tom of the earnestness of the period was that thing we call 
Methodism. The fire in Whitefield — fire, not logic — was une- 
qualed since Peter the Hermit. 

As to literature, " in Queen Anne's time, after that most dis- 
graceful class of people — King Charles's people — had passed 
away, there appeared the milder kind of unbelief, complete 
formalism. Yet there were many beautiful indications of 
better things." "Addison was a mere lay preacher com- 
pletely bound up in formalism, but -he did get to say many a 


true thing in his generation." Steele had infinitely more 
naivete, but he subordinated himself to Addison: 

It is a qold vote in Addison's favor that one gives. By far the greatest man of that 
time, I think, was Jonathan Swift, Dean Swift, a man entirely deprived of his natural 
nourishment, but of great robustness, of genuine Saxon mind, not without a feeling of 
reverence, though from circumstances it did not awaken him. . . . He saw himself in 
a world of confusion and falsehood ; no eyes were clearer to see it than his. 

Being of acrid temperament, he took up what was fittest for 
him, " sarcasm mainly, and he carried it quite to an epic pitch. 
There is something great and fearful in his irony " — which 
yet shows sometimes sympathy and a sort of love for the 
thing he satirizes. By nature he was one of the truest of men, 
with great pity for his fellow men. In Sterne 

there was a great quantity of good struggling through the superficial evil. He terribly 
failed in the discharge of his duties, still we must admire in him that sporting kind of 
geniality and affection, a son of our common mother, not cased up in buckram formulas. 
... We cannot help feeling his immense love for things around him, so that we may 
say of him as of Magdalene, ** Much is forgiven him because he loved much." 

As for Pope, 

he was one of the finest heads ever known, full of deep saying, and uttering them in 
the shape of couplets, rhymed couplets.* 

The two persons who exercised the most remarkable influ- 
ence upon things during the eighteenth century were unques- 
tionably Samuel Johnson t and David Hume, "two summits of 
a gpreat set of influences, two opposite poles of it. . . . There is 
not such a cheering spectacle in the eighteenth century as 
Samuel Johnson." He contrived to be devout in it ; he had a 
belief and held by it, a genuine inspired man. Hume's eye, 
junlike Johnson's, was not opened to faith, yet he was of a noble 
perseverance, a silent strength. 

The History of England failed to get buyers ; he bore it all like a Stoic, like a heroic 
silent man as he was, and then proceeded calmer to the next thing he had to do. I have 
heard old people, who have remembered Hume well, speak of his great good humor 
under trials, the quiet strength of it ; the very converse in this of Dr. Johnson, whose 
coarscnajs Wtt& equally strong with his heroisms. 

* It Ls interesting to compare Thackeray ^s estimates of Swift xaA Sterne with Car- 

+ The criticism on Johnson, being to the same effect as that of Carlyle's essay, I 
pass over. 


As an historian, Hume " always knows where to begin and 
end. In his History he frequently rises, though a cold man 
naturally, into a kind of epic height as he proceeds." His 
skepticism went to the very end, so that "all could see what^ 
\v^j;S \\\ it, and gave up the unprofitable employment of spin- 
ning cobwebs of logic in their brain." His fellow-historian, 
Robertson, was a shallow man, with only a power of arrange- 
ment and " a soft sleek style." Gibbon, a far greater historian 
than Robertson, was not so great as Hume. "With all his 
swagger and bombast, no man ever gave a more futile account 
of human things than he has done in the * Dechne and Fall 
of the Roman Empire.'" 

Lecture XI. — It is very strange to contrast Hume, the 
greatest of all the writers of his time, and in some respects the 
worthiest, with Dante; to contrast skepticism with faith. 
" Dante saw a solemn law in the universe pointing out his 
destiny with an awful and beautiful certainty, and he held to 
it, Hume could see nothing in the universe but confusion, 
and he was certain of nothing but his own existence. Yet he 
had instincts which were infinitely more true than the logical 
part of him, nnd so he kept himself quiet in the middle of it all, 
and did no barm to any one." But skepticism is a disease of 
the mind, and a fatal condition to be in, or at best useful only 
as a means to get at knowledge ; and to spend one*s time re- 
ducing realities to theories is to be in an enchanted state of 
mind. Mortality, the very center of the existence of man, was 
in the eighteenth century reduced to a theory— by Adam 
Smith to a theory of the sympathies and moral sense; by 
Hume to e3:pediency, "the most melancholy theory ever pro- 
pounded." Besides morahty, everything else was in the same 

A dlni^ bu^, iniineasurable steam-engine they had made of this world, and, as Jean 
Paul sayt, heaven became a gas; God, a force ; the second world, a grave. ... In that 
huge itiiiverse becuinc one vast steam-engine, as it were, the new generation that fol- 
lowtd tfiuaf h^ve found it a very difficult position to be in, and perfectly insupportable 
£ar tlicm, to be daomed to live in such a plape of falsehood and chimera ; and that tras 


in fact the case with them, and it led to the second great phenomenon we have to 
aotice — the introduction of Wcrtherism.* 

Werther was right : — • 

/ , 

If the world were really no better than what Goethe imagined it to be, there was 
nothing for it but suicide ; if it had nothing to support itself upon but these poor senti- 
mentalities, view>hunting trivialities, this world was really not fit to live in. But in 
the end the conviction that this theory of the world was wrong came to Goethe himself, 
greatly to his own profit, greatly to. the world's profit. 

The same phenomenon shows itself in Schiller's " Robbers." 
Life to the robber seems one huge bedlam, and a brave man 
can do nothing with it but revolt against it. In our own 
literature Byron represents a similar phasis. He is full of 
" rage and scowl against the whole universe as a place not 
worthy that a genuine man should live in it. He seems to 
have been a compound of the Robbers and Werther put 
together," This sentimentalism is the ultimatum of skep- 
ticism. That theory of the universe cannot be true ; for if 
it were there would be no other way for it but Werther's, to 
put an end to it; for all mankind "to turn to the bosom of 
their Father with a sort of dumb protest against it. There 
was, therefore, a deep sincerity in the sentimentalism, not a 
right kind of sincerity perhaps, but still a struggling towards 

All this — skepticism, sentimentalism, theorizing, depen- 
dence on the opinion of others, wages taken and no duty done — 
went on and on. And then came the consummation of skep- 
ticism. ** We can well conceive tlie end of the iast century, 
the crisis which then took place, the prurience of self-conceit, 
the talk of illumination, the darkness of confusion." The new 
French kind of belief was belief in the doctrine of Rousseau, 

♦ A notice, far from accurate, of the origin of Goethe's Werther here follows, and 
th* time is thus characterized by the future historian of Frederick : " It was a time of 
haggard condition ; no genuine hope in men's minds ; all outwards was false — ^the last 
■war for example, the Seven Years' War, the most absurd of wars ever undertaken, on 
no public principle, a contest between France and Germany, from Frederick the Great 
granting to have Silesia, and Louis the Fifteenth wanting to give Madame de Pompa- 
dour some influence in the affairs of Europe ; and 50,000 men were shot for that pur- 
^ t A notice of ** Goctz von Bcrlichingen " follows. 


" a kind of half-madman, but of tender pity too, struggling for 
^ncerity through his whole life, till his own vanity and egotism 
drove him quite blind and fiesperate." Then appeared one of 
the frightfulest phenomena ever seen among men, the French 
Revolution. " It was after all a new revelation of an old truth 
to this unfortunate people ; they beheld, indeed, the truth 
there clad in hell-fire, but they got the truth." It began in all 
the gol4en radiance of hope ; it is impossible to doubt the 
perfect sincerity of the men. At first ** for the upper class of 
people it was the jbyfulest of news ; now at last they had got 

something to do certainly to starve to death is hard, 

but not so hard as to idle to death." 

But the French theory of life was false— that men are to do 
their duty in order to give happiness to themselves and one 
another. And where dishonest and foolish people are, there 
will always be dishonesty and folly ; we can't distill knavery 
into honesty. Europe rose and assembled and came round 
France, and tried to crush the Revolution, but could not 
crush it it at all. " It was the primeval feelings of nature 
they ^ame to crush, but [the spirit of France]* rallied, and 
stood up and asserted itself, and made Europe know even in 
the marrow of its bones that it was there.'' Bonaparte set his 
foot on the necks of the nations of Europe. Bonaparte him- 
self was a reality at first, the great armed soldier of democracy, 
with a true appreciation of the Revolution, as opening the 
career to all talents ; but at last he became a poor egotist, and, 
stirring up the old Berserkir rage against him, he burned him- 
self up in a day. ** On the whole, the French Revolution was 
only a great outburst of the truth that the world wasn't a 
mere chimera, but a great reality." 

Having seen how skepticism burned itself up, it becomes 
interesting to inquire (Lecture XII.), What are we to look fot 
now ? Are we to reckon on a new period of things, of better 
infinitely extending hopes? We do see good in store for us, 

♦ Word omitted in MS. 



The fable of the phoenix rising out of its own ashes, which was 
interpreted by the rise of modern Europe out of the Roman em- 
pire, is interpreted again in the French Revolution, On the 
spiritual side of things we can see the phoenix in the modern 
school of (rerman literature.* We might inquire. What new 
doctrine it is that is now proposed to us ? What is the mean- 
ing of German literature ? But this question is not susceptible 
of any immediate answer, German literature has no particular 
theory at all in the front of it. The object of the men who 
constructed it was not to save the world, but to work out in 
some manner an enfranchisement for their own souls. And — 

seeing here the blessed, thrice-blessed phenomenon of men unmutilated in all that con- 
stitutes man, able to believe and be in all things men, seeing this, I say, there is here 
the ihing that has all other thingr presupposed in it. . . . To explain, I can only think 
of ihe revelation, for I can call it no other, that these men made to me. It was to me 
like the rising of a light in the darkness which lay around, and threatened to swallow 
me up. I was then in the very midst of Wertherism, the blackness and darkness of 
death. There was one thing in particular struck me in Goethe. It is in his Wiihelm 
Meister. He had been describing an association of all sorts of people of talent, formed 
to receive propositions and give responses to them, all of which he described with a 
sort of seriousness at first, but with irony at the last. However, these people had their 
eyes on Wilhelm Meister, with great cunning, watching over him at a distance at first, 
not interfering with him too soon ; at last the man who was intrusted with the man- 
agement of the thing took him in hand, and began to give him an account of how the 
association acted. Now this is the thing, which, as I said, so much struck me. He 
tells Wilhelm Meister that a number of applications for advice were daily made to the 
association, which were answered thus and thus ; but that many people wrote in par- 
ticular for recipes of happiness ; all that, he adds, was laid on the shelf, and not 
answered at all. Now this thing gave me great surprise when I read it. " What ! " I 
said, *' is it not the recipe of happiness that I have been seeking all my life, and isn*t it 
precisely because I have failed in finding it that I am now miserable and discontented ? 
Had I supposed, as some people do, that Goethe was fond of paradoxes, that this was 
consistent with the sincerity and modesty of the man's mind, I had certainly rejected 
it without further trouble ; but I couldn't think it. At length, after turning it up, a 
great while in my own mind, I got to see that it was very true what he said — that it 
was the thing that all the world were in error in. No man has a right to ask for a 
tecipe for happiness ; he can do without happiness ; there is something better than 
that. All kinds of men who have done great things — priests, prophets, sages — have 
had in them something higher than the love of happiness to guide them, spiritual clear- 
•icss and perfection, a far better thing that than happiness. Love of happiness is but a 
Itind of hunger at the best, a craving because I have not enough of sweet provision in 
this world. If I am asked what that higher thing is, I cannot at once make answer, I am 
afraid of causing mistake. There is no name I can give it that is not to be questioned ; 
I couldn't speak about it ; there is no name for it, but pity for that heart that does not 

* Carlyle is assured that there are few in his audience able to read German, but 
anticipates a better tinie. 


feel it ; there is no good volition in that heart. This higher thing was once named the 
Cross of Christ — not a happy thing that, surely.* 

The whole of German literature is not to be reduced to a 
seeking of this higher thing, but such was the commence- 
ment of it. The pliilosophers of Germany are glanced at 

1 studied them once attentively, but found that I got nothiagoutgf thtm. One may, 
just say of them that they arc rht precisely opp&iiite to Hume. , , , This ^tudyof 
metaphysiQ^ I say^ had Doly rht rci^uEE, after hringing me rapidly thru ugh diffcre&t 
phases of opinion, at last to deliver rac altogether out of mctaphyiiiicis. [ found Ji;iko- 
gecher a frothy syiitem, no right beginning to it^ no right endings I began with Htimc 
and Diderot^ and as Jong as T was with them \ ran ai atheism, at blackness, at material- 
ism of all kind^. If I t^ad Kant J arrived at preci'^ely opposite conclusions, that all 
the wotEd was spirit,^ namely ^ that there wa.-; n^ihing material at all anywhere ; and the 
resuk was what I have sifted,, ihat I resoived for my part tin having nothing mate ti> 
do with metaphysics ai atl. 

After the Werther period Goethe " got himself organized at 
last, built up his mind, adjusted to what he can't cure, not 
suicidally grinding itself to pieces." For a time the ideal, art, 
painting-, poetry, were in his view the hig-hest things, goodness 
being inckided in these. God became for him ** only a stub- 
born force, really a heathen kind of thing." As his mind 
gets higher it becomes more serious too, uttering tones of 
most beautiful dcvoutnesg. " In the ' West-ostlicher Divan,' 
though the garb is Persian, the whole spirit is Christianity, it. 
is Goethe himself, the old poet, who goes \xx^ and down sing- 
ing little snatches of his own feelings on different things. It 
grows ejEtremely beautiful as it goes on, full of the tinest things 
possible, which sound like the jingling of bells when the queen 
of the fairies rides abroad." t 

Of Schiller the principal characteristic is *'a chivalry of- 
thought, described by Goethe as the spirit of freedom strug- 
gling ever forward to be free/' His Don Carlos 

is wett des^^ribcd as being like to a tit^hthouse^ high, far-seen « and withal empty. It is 
in fact very like what the people of that day, the Girondists of the French Kevoluti^je^ 
were always talking about, the Roiiheur du peiiple and the refit. . , , The« wai: anob^ 
ness in Schiller, a brotherly feeling, a kindti&ss of j;ympathy fnr what ii true and jiiit-.. 
There ii a kind of sHence too Kt the last. He ji>ave np his talk ahout the BanheurdiiS 
peupk, and tried tg see if he could make them h^ippier instead. 

• Com^parc with this pas&a^ " the Everlasting Yea," of '' Sartor Rtsartus." 
t A defense of Goethe fmn; Che charges of over^serenlty ajid political bdiflenftac^ 


The third great writer in modern Germany is Richter. 

Goethe was a strong man, as strong as the mountain rocks, but as soft as the green 
sward upon the rocks, and like them continually bright and sun beshone. Richter, on 
the contrary, was what he has been called, a half-made man ; he struggled with the 
world, but was never completely triumphant over it. But one loves Richter. .. . . 
There is more joyous laughter in the heart of Richter than in any other German writer. 

We have then much reason to hope about the future ; great 
tilings are in store for us. 

It is possible for us to attain a spiritual freedom compared with which political 
enfranchisement is but a name. ... I can't close this lecture better than by repeating 
these words of Richter, " Thou, Eternal Providence, wilt cause the day to dawn." 

Nothing now remains for me but to take my leave of you — a sad thing at all times 
that word, but doubly so in this case. When I think of what you are, and of what I 
am, I cannot help feeling that you have been kind to me ; I won't trust myself to say 
how kind ; but you have been as kind to me as ever audience was to man, and the 
gratitude which I owe you comes to you from the bottom of my heart. May God be 
with you all ! 

Prof. Edward Dowden in The Nineteenth Century. 


Mizralm cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for balsams. 

Sir Thomas Brownb. 

Death, like life, has its history, and man often terminates 
his strange vicissitudes on earth only to enter on other vicis- 
situdes still stranger in the grave. We wonder no one has 
ever undertaken the posthumous memoirs of the great. 
What a lively volume it would be ! — how startling its paradox- 
es, how fine its irony, how pointed its antitheses ! Write it 
with a pen of lead on leaves of opium, and it would glow with 
eloquence ; indite in the most mournful of styles, and it would 
blaze with wit. It would be a carnival of extremes — ^Addison 
and Joe Miller talking in the same breath, Rabelais and St. 
Paul bawling each other down. Fortune has cracked many a 
good joke in her time, but death's jokes are better. They are 
a little coarse, perhaps, occasionally — a little too broad for a 
nice taste ; but they are meant, doubt it not, kindly. Wajg^e? 


are so high, that we cannot well afford, even when things are 
prospering with us, to keep, like the Roman, consuls, a me- 
mentote mortalem esse in our triumphal chariots. At our 
feasts we omit the skeleton. But for all that we are mortal,, 
and let us hear the Antic's philippics. We can hear them 

When Hamlet let his wit run riot among the tombs, he could 
get no further than imagining that Alexander the Great might 
stop a beer-barrel, or imperial Caesar patch a wall to keep out 
the wind. Bah ! 'twas a foolish speculation. Hamlet was no 
antiquary ; he ought to have known that they were both burnt 
to snuff. But why need we go to fiction } Let Death preach 
his sermon from fact, and moralists have their fling at pride 
fairly. What was the fate of great Talbot — Shakespeare's 
victorious Talbot — ^the scourge of France, the hero of Crotoi 
and Pontoise } A few years ago, some alterations were being 
made in the parish church at Whitchurch, in Shropshire ; the 
tomb of Talbot was opened. On a careful examination of the 
skull — we borrow the narrative of one who was present at the 
exhumation — the cranium was found to be filled with a fibrous 
substance, which was supposed at first to be some preservative 
herb inserted when the bones were wrapped in their cerements 
for the purpose of embalming, but which afterwards turned 
out to be neither more nor less than a mouse's nest, from the 
center of which the bodies of three small mice were extracted. 
In short, the brain of the doughty general who had struck 
terror into the squadrons of Joan of Arc had become the pro- 
creant cradle of a family of church mice, and the fatal gash 
which had terminated his life, furnished the means of ingress 
and egress to these strange intruders in " ambition's airy hall." 
What was the fate of Richelieu ? His skeleton was dug up 
from its grave in the church of the Sorbonne, kicked about 
the streets, and decapitated. A grocer — mark that ! — filched 
away the skull, kept it comfortably till his marriage, when, 
his wife being afraid of it, sold it — ^the considerate husband I — 


to one Armez, who, anxious to turn it into money, offered it 
for sale to the Due de Richeliei^, who wouldn't have it at any 
price. What was the fate of Turenne — " the godlike," " the 
thunderbolt of war " ? His remains were also exhumed, and 
were on the point of being flung into a pit, when a savant, 
struck with the fresh appearance of the bones, and thinking 
that the devastator of the Palatinate was too perfectly articu- 
lated to be thrown away, begged the skeleton for the National 
Academy of Anatomy. So he, who in life taught Marl- 
borough the art of war, served in death to teach medical 
scapegraces the construction of the human frame. Was not 
the author of " Paradise Lost " dismembered by a crew of 
drunken revelers, " one possessing himself of a piece of the 
jaw, another of a fragment of the occiput " ? Did not a '* se- 
lect body of medical gentlemen," with the skull of the mighty 
Dean of St. Patrick's grinning before them on the table, 
express " very lively dissatisfaction at its formation " ? And 
is there not " only too much reason to believe " that the head 
of him who gave us the " Essay on Man " and the " Rape of 
the Lock " has been traveling about England in the pos- 
session of an " itinerant phrenologist " } Food enough for 
reflection here ! — and would you, reader, find food for more, 
go and moralize whither we could lead you. In the heart of 
the city, girt round with squalor, stands, mean and somber, a 
little church.* There you may hold in your hand the head of 
him who was once the father of Lady Jane Grey, once one of 
the proudest of England's proudest nobles. There, perfectly 
preserved, is the head of Henry, Duke of Suffolk. The lines 
which the cares of three centuries and a half ago plowed on 
the features may still be traced ; still may the physiognomist 
read the lineaments of that austere, stubborn, and crafty 
politician. The dent of the false blow which the headsman 
first dealt is there in all its ghastly distinctness ; and there, 

* The church of Holy Trinity in the Minories. 


frightfully stereotyped, is the death-^ony which convulsed 
ihat face when the headsman's work was done. Those were 
the eyes — the very cornea are preserved — which had g^zed on 
Jane as she hung with Ascham over the Phaedo. 

But whither are we straying? Our business is a grave 
antiquarian dissertation. 

What became of Cromwell's body after death ? has, as every- 
body knows, been a vexed question from the times of the 
Restoration to the present day ; and, as wp are not acquainted 
with any satisfactory solution of the problem, we propose to 
devote a few pages to discussing it. The question will admit 
of three distinct divisions. Firstly, was he ever buried in 
Westminster Abbey at all ? Secondly, if he was buried there 
what became of his body when it was exhumed and conveyed 
to the Red Lion Inn, in Holborn } Thirdly, if it ever left the 
Red Lion Inn, what became of it after hanging at Tyburn ? 

Now, there can be no doubt at all that there was a very gen- 
eral impression that his body never left Whitehall for Somer- 
set House ; that its supposed lying-in-state at Somerset House 
and its subsequent interment in the Abbey was a mere mock- 
ery. Let us examine the facts.. Cromtvell died on Friday, 
September 3, at three o'clock in the afternoon. He was then 
embalmed. That is certain. " This afternoon," says the Pub- 
lic Intelligencer for September 4, 1658, " the physicians and 
cherugians apj>ointed by order of the council to embowel and 
embalm the body of his late highness, and fill the same with 
sweet odors, performed their duty." All the authorities, with- 
out a single exception, agree that he was embalmed ; but 
Heath observes, in his " Flagellum," that the body was in such 
a state that the embalming was only partially performed, and 
Noble tells us that it was wrapped up in a sheet of lead ; con- 
sequently it was not exposed to view for long after death — ^a 
circumstance which the Public Intelligencer also notices. It 
remained, or was supposed to remain, at Whitehall till the 
twenty-sixth of September, when it was conveyed, " about ten 

WHk T Became' OF cromwell? 3 ^ 5 

of the clock at night," to Somerset House. There it lay in 
state, and was shortly afterwards interred in Westminster 
Abbey. Now, it is noticeable that, after a few hours subse- 
quent to death, the corpse itself was never seen. And here 
begin our difficulties. Most of the authorities agree in stating 
that the body was privately interred shortly after death ; con- 
sequently the alleged removal to Somerset House was a decep- 
tion. This indeed, is all but certain ; for besides the evidence 
of Heath, who says that an empty coffin was dispatched to 
Somerset House, — evidence which is not of v^xy much value, 
we have the evidence of Bates, Cromwell's private physician, 
that the state of the body necessitated its interment before the 
solemnity of the funeral. And such also is the account of 
Noble. We may, therefore, safely conclude that the magnifi- 
cent funeral of Cromwell, on which Cowley expended so much 
eloquence, was a mock pageant, though the crowd which 
witnessed it had no such suspicion. And now comes the 
question. Where was he interred ? 

Heath, whose political prejudices frequently get the better 
of his reason, complacently informs his readers that " divers 
rumors were spread at the time that the body was carried 
away in the tempest the day before by the prince of dark- 
ness," and is evidently nettled that he cannot prove this satis- 
factory theory. According to Oldmixon, his body was wrapped 
in lead and " sunk in the deepest part of the Thames, two of 
his near relations undertaking to do it ;" and an anonymous 
pamphleteer adds, that it was just below Greenwich. A com- 
mon opinion at the Restoration was that the corpse was taken 
to Windsor and put into King Charles's coffin, while that of 
the murdered king was substituted for Cromwell's ; Cromwell, 
they said, knowing that, if a reaction set in after his death, in 
favor of the Stuarts, his body would be dug up and insulted. 
This theory was, however, refuted by the exhumation of 
Charles I. in the presence of George IV. and Sir Henry Hal- 
ford in 1 81 3, — having had* indeed, no evidence to support it. 


Others say that his body was removed to Newburgh Hall, in 
the North Riding of Yorkshire ; and there they still show a place 
called Cromwell's Vault. Newburgh Hall was the family seat 
of the Fauconbergs, and Cromwell's third daughter, Mary, was 
the second wife of Thomas, Viscount Fauconberg ; but why 
this place should have been particularly selected for the inter- 
ment of the Protector does not appear. According to another 
tradition, it was removed to Narborough, a place about twen- 
ty-five miles from Huntingdon, and for this tradition there is 
some evidence worth reviewing. About the year 1818 the 
rector of Narborough was a Mr. William Marshall. To this 
Mr. Marshall a very curious anecdote was communicated by 
Mr. Oliver Cromwell, of Cheshunt, the great-grandson of 
Richard Cromwell's son, Henry. Mr. Oliver Cromwell's 
mother lived to the great age of 103, and she told her son that 
when a young girl she was well acquainted with Richard 
Cromwell, and had often talked with one of his servants^ This 
servant assured her, she said, that he recollected the hearse 
which conveyed the remains of the Protector passing through 
Cheshunt at night, and that he, then a lad, went on with the 
post-horses which drew the hearse as far as Huntingdon, 
whence he was sent back with the horses. This story must, 
of course, be taken for What it is worth. It is just possible 
(but it is by no means probable), that Cromwell, fearing post- 
humous outrage, may have wished to lie beside his parents in 
the family grave. There, were his resting-place unsuspected, 
he would at least be safe from^ sacrilegious hands. But, would 
such a secret have been likely to have been kept } and how 
came a mere boy to know what that hearse contained ? A 
secret divulged thus far would undoubtedly have gone further, 
and it is certain that no tradition about the Protector's inter- 
ment at Huntingdon was current at the time. The story that 
it was buried at Narborough, a town twenty-five miles beyond 
Huntingdon, is a legend so utterly devoid of foundation that 
it would be absurd to pay the slightest attention to it. It- is 
ndeed difficult to account for its origin. 


We are now come to a very remarkable narrative ; and 
could we be satisfied of the veracity of the witness, and allow 
his solemn assurances to weigh against the intrinsic improba- 
bility of his statement, the problem of Cromwell's last resting- 
place would be solved. Among the reports' current at- the 
Restoration, one of the most popular was that the body of the 
Protector had been, by his own orders, buried on the field 
of Naseby. This report took several forms. The truth of it 
was confidently insisted on in London, and was implicitly be- 
lieved by the people about Naseby. At last the son of Bark- 
stead, the regicide, came forward. He was, he said, prepared 
to assert on oath the truth of what he said. He put forth an 
advertisement that he frequented Richard's Coffee-house, 
within Temple Bar, where he was ready to answer any ques- 
tions which might be put to him. The account he gave is to 
be found in the second volume of the " Harleian Miscellany," 
and this account we will transcribe : 

" At midnight the dead body, being first embalmed and 
wrapped in a leaden coffin, was in a hearse conveyed to the 
said field, Mr. Barkstead himself attending, by order of his 
father, close to the hearse. That being come to the field, 
they found about the middle of it a grave dug about nine feet 
deep, with the green sod carefully laid on one side, and the 
mound on the other, in which the coffin being put the grave 
was instantly filled up and the green sod laid exactly flat upon 
it, care being taken that the surplus mold should be clear 
removed. That soon after the like care was taken that the 
ground should be plowed up, and that it was sowed succes- 
sively with corn." 

Here, then, we have a definite statement, made by a man in 
a highly respectable position, who could have had no conceiv- 
able motive for lying. Those who had the opportunity of 
cross-examining him appear to have been satisfied of his hon- 
esty, and he was not, so far as we can judge of him, a man 
given either to frivolity or romancing. To disbelieve his story 



is to charge the narrator with deliberate and circumstantial 
falsehood. We are certainly not inclined to accept this state- 
ment without much misgiving, but we think it within the 
bounds ! A possibility that the plow of the peasant may some 
day ci:>rroborate the honesty of this strange deponent. We 
shall see presently that the evidence for the identification of 
the body at its disinterment rests on testimony far less con- 
clusive ; nnd we may also observe, in comparing the story 
with the others, that Barkstead is the only witness who could 
not have been mistaken, but who must have lied. The evi- 
dence of the others is based on information more or less 
indirect and presumptive ; the evidence of Barkstead is direct 
and definite. Now, there can be no doubt that for some 
months before his death the mind of the Protector was un- 
hing-ed and morbid, that he anticipated a reaction in favor 
of the exiled house ; and he must have been well aware that 
in the event of the Stuarts returning, his bones would not 
escape insult. There can be no doubt that his body was 
buried somewhere in the strictest privacy long before the 
public funeral. It is equally certain that we have no account 
either of the date or of the spot where that private interment 
took place, and that the secret must have been known only 
to very few, for there was at the time no suspicion that the 
public funeral was a mock ceremony. Wherever, therefore, 
the remams were laid, they were smuggled away, and it was 
of course as easy to transfer them in a hearse' or a carriage to 
any p^rt of England, as it was to bury them secretly in the 
Abbey. If we are to be guided merely by probabilities, we 
should of course reject all the narratives which have been 
cited » and conclude that the Protector was laid privately 
under the pavement of Westminster Abbey at or near the 
p!ace where the empty coffin was lowered on the day of the 
public funeral. To sum up, therefore, the first part of our 
inquiry^ whether Cromwell was actually interred in the Abbey- 
is at least doubtful ; tK^ presumptive evidence is strong, but 


it is by no means either conclusive or satisfactory. It is sup- 
ported by the testimony of no eye-witness. It is affirmed only 
by those who supposed that the coffin which was on the day 
of the public funeral lowered into the vault contained the 
body of the Protector ; ^'when we now know, on the testimony 
of Dr. Bates, that the body had been buried privately long 

And now let us proceed. On the 8th of December, 1660, a 
vote passed the House of Commons that the bodies of Crom- 
well, Ireton,*and Bradshaw, should be exhumed, and hung on 
the common gallows at Tyburn. Accordingly, on Saturday, 
January 26th, the sergeant of the House of Commons pro- 
ceeded to the Abbey with a body pf attendants. The masons 
w^nt to work, and of what ensued we have two accounts, 
neither of which is of such a character as to place it beyond 
suspicion. Both of them, it will be observed, describe the 
body as lying in the state coffin which was deposited in the 
vault on the day of the public funeral — ^the coffin which we 
now know to have been merely for show, and never to have 
contained the body at all. Let^s hear Noble : — 

" They found, in a vault at the east end of the middle aisle, 
a magnificent coffin, which contained the body of Oliver, upon 
whose breast was a copper plate, double gilt, which upon one 
side had the arms of the Commonwealth impaling those of the 
deceased, and upon the reverse this inscription." Then fol- 
lows the Latin inscription which was on the coffin that lay in 
state at Somerset House. 

The other account was handed down by tradition from the 
high sheriff of Middlesex, who superintended the work. He 
found, he said, the body of Oliver Cromwell, which was hid in 
the wall of Westminster Abbey, " and, when discovered, was 
with great difficulty got at, the body being first wrapped in a 
sheet of lead, and afterwards put into a wooden coffin, and an- 
other wooden one, and so on for about half a dozen, cement 
being poured between each to make it secure ; several pick- 


axes were broken before the workmen coiHd get their ends; 
but at length, after much labor and toil, they came to the 
sheet of lead which inclosed the body." There is, however, 
one piece of evidence not without weight, and that is the 
evidence of one Sainthill, a Spanish merchant, who has, in a 
manuscript quoted by Noble, observed that the head of the 
Protector was " in green cerecloth, very fresh embalmed," 
which certainly corroborates what we know from other 
sources, that the body was partially embalmed. The mason's 
receipts for the fees received by him for his odious task is, 
we believe, still in existence. Is this, then, sufficient evi- 
dence to satisfy us that the body thus exhumed was the body 
of Cromwell ? We say emphatically, no. In the first place, 
there is the difficulty about the cofTm. In the second plac^, 
we have no official corroboration of this narrative. It was 
very much against the interests of those employed in this 
work to confess themselves baffled ; it was much more likely 
that they would, in the event of their not discovering the ob- 
ject of their search, have substituted some other body in its 
place. If Cromwell was not buried in the state coffin — ^and 
unless he was placed there subsequently to his previous inter- 
ment, he was not — it would be extremely difficult to identify 
his remains. It is, indeed, true that when the body was ex- 
posed, it was popularly supposed to be that of the Protector ; 
but with regard to the skull, we must remember that it was 
invariably covered with a thick coating of pitch before it was 
exposed ; and had the exhuming party been conscious of any 
fraud, they would obviously have taken every precaution to 
conceal it. But however this may be, certain it is that some 
corpse, genuine or suppositious, was, with those of Ireton and 
Bradshaw, conveyed from the Abbey to the Red Lion inn, 
in Holborn. This was on Monday, January 2oth ; where it 
remained during the Sunday does not appear. Assuming, then, 
that the corpse of Cromwell was really conveyed to the Red 
Lion, the question now arises, did it ever leave the Red Lion 



for Tyburn, or was some other corpse substituted in its 'place 
by Cromwell's partisans? It is, of course, quite conceivable 
that the officers in charge of the remains might have been 
amenable to a bribe ; and it is very probable that such an 
attempt was made. 

It was made, we are told, and not only made, but carried 
out, by a person named Ebenezer Heathcote, an apothecary 
in Red Lion Square. This man was a zealous republican, and 
had married the daughter of one of Ireton's commissaries. 
The tale goes that he gained access to those who kept watch 
ovei the corpse, — who appear, we may add, to have been a 
drunken and dissolute set,— got possession of the body, 
smuggled it away, and buried it privately at midnight in the 
center of Red Lion Square, then as now an open space, the 
exact spot of the interment being just under the place at 
present occupied by the summer-house. This strange story, 
in itself less improbable than any of the others, unfortunately 
rests on no good authority. We find no mention of it in any 
contemporary documents ; it appears to have been dissemi- 
nated in much later times : a circumstance which its advocates 
might of course attribute to the fidelity with which the secret 
was preserved. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to con- 
fute it, and it contributes to perplex still further this myste- 
rious historical enigma. 

Now let us bring forward the evidence for the conveyance 
of the bodies to Tyburn. The most graphic and circumstantial 
account is undoubtedly that given in the " Mercurius Po- 
liticus " for January 30, 1660. " On Monday night, Cromwell, 
Bradshaw, and Ireton, in two several carts, were drawn to 
Holbom from Westminster, where they were digged up on 
Saturday last. To-day they were drawn upon sledges to 
Tyburn ; all the way, as before from Westminster, the uni- 
versal outcry and curses of the people went along with 
them; When these three carcases were at Tyburn, they were 
pulled out of their coffins and hanged at the several angles of 
L. M.— 1 1 


that triple tree, where they hung till the sun was set. After 
which they were taken down, their heads cut off, and their 
loathsome trunks thrown into a deep hole under the gallows. 
The heads of those three notorious regicides, Oliver Cromwell, 
John Bradshaw, and Henry Ireton were set upon poles at the 
top of Westminster Hall." To this effect, also, the author of 
" Short Meditations on Oliver Cromwell : " " But the corpse 
of him whose aspiring mind could never be satisfied, hath now 
no other tomb but a turf under Tyburn." Among those who 
witnessed this shameful spectacle were good Mrs. Pepys and 
her friend Lady Batten, as we learn from Pepys's Diar); for 
January 30. Such, according to general opinion, was the ig- 
nominious resting-place of the body of Cromwell. And here 
for a moment we may pause to notice the absence of all con- 
clusive proof of identification. The whole business seems to 
have been transacted with incredible carelessness and irregu- 
larity. Of the character of the people to whose guardianship 
the remains were intrusted we have already spoken. Official 
testimony there is none, medical testimony there is none. 
The identification of a corpse is, as every coroner knows, 
often a matter of considerable difficulty, even under the most 
favorable circumstances. The identification of a corpse two 
years after its interment, even when decomposition has been 
arrested, requires nice technical discrimination. It was, as we 
said before, the object of the exhuming party to persuade 
their employers that Cromwell's body had been found. It 
would not. indeed, be too much to presume that, in the event 
of a search being unsuccessful, the royalists would them- 
selves have connived at fraud. Their object was, not merely 
to insult the memory of an adversary, but to brand with 
infamy the memory of rebellion, to give the people a terrible 
warning by a terrible example. Would a drunken and turbu- 
lent rabble be likely to be critical ? Who is curious when on 
fire with passion ? and what passion burns more fiercely than 
party passion in a mob ? Had a doubt crossed the mind, who 


would have cared or dared to express it ? A sordid rout on 
its way to have a kick at Sejanus is neither scrupulous nor 
observant. There were, we know, many people whe con- 
fidently believed that the body which swung on the gibbet at 
Tyburn was not the body of the Protector; and as soon as it 
was safe to express their belief, they expressed it. When 
Barkstead came forward with his strange story, the witness 
which might have confuted him was still festering on the 
spikes at Westminster. There were many people living who 
could have placed it beyond doubt that the head there was 
the head of the Protector, but they were silent. Again, is it 
incredible that the sons and daughters of Cromwell, who were, 
we know, devotedly attached to him, would have allowed the 
head of their father to remain jibbeted for twenty-five years, 
without making any effort to rescue it ? It is surely more 
natural to attribute their indifference to the fact that they 
knew it was not there. We have not ventured to express 
our belief in any of the stories we have cited touching the 
burial-places of the Protector, but there can be no doubt at all 
that there has. been, among the various branches of the Crom- 
well family, a tradition to the effect that he was never buried in 
the Abbey. He may possibly have bound his wife, his children, 
and the friends whom it was necessary to take into his con- 
fidence, to secrecy. That secret has probably never been 
divulged, though the depositaries of it may at the painful 
crisis of 1660 have thought themselves justified in assuring 
his relatives that his body was safe from sacrilegious hands, 
and beyond possibility of outrage. This would account, not 
only for the existence of the tradition, but for the various 
discrepancies in detail ; and it would account, above all, for 
the apathy of his kindred subsequent to the exhumation. 

We will now resume our narrative — a narrative to which, 
from this point, as will be seen from what we have just said, 
we are not inclined to attach much credit. The bodies, we 
are told, hung^ a whole day ; they were then cut down and 


decapitated. The trunks were buried at the foot of the gal- 
lows ; the heads, or rather the skulls, were covered with pitch, 
stuck on poles, and conveyed to Westminster Hall. They 
were there fixed in a ghastly row. " Went into the hall, and 
there saw my Lord Treasurer .... and also saw the heads of 
Cromwell, Bradshaw, and Ireton," Pepys enters in his diary 
February 5^ 1661. Here, by the v/ay, we have a curious piece 
of evidence to deal with. We have already npticed Sainthill's 
remark about Cromwell's head being " very fresh embalmed." 
He sa^v thtf skull, it seems, on the spikes at Westminster, and 
the fact that it was an embalmed skull seems at first to be 
strong^ evidence in favor of that skull being the skull of 
Croniweii. The statement is, however, difficult to reconcile, 
first, with the fact that the skulls were plastered with pitch ; 
and, secondly, that the head of Cromwell was so disfigured 
that many took it for the head of Charles the First. Had it 
been fresh embalmed, it is singular that no other spectator 
should have noticed the circumstance, and no other spectator 
has noticed it. It is clear^lso that Sainthlll could never have 
been near enough to inspect it closely, unless, indeed, he had 
an opportunity of examining it previous to its impalement ; 
and this does not appear to have been the case. Granting 
even that it was so, the embalming had not sufficiently pre- 
served the head to establish its identity, or even to distin- 
guish it conspicuously from the other two heads. Cromwell 
was partially embalmed, but embalming was in those days not 
uncommonly employed even in the case of ordinary people, 
and such a circumstance would by no means suffice to estab- 
lish the identity of the skull. It should, moreover, be borne 
in mind that Dr. Bates, in his autopsy, says nothing about the 
head beiny; embalmed. lie merely says that the entrails were 
removed and the cavity stulled with spices. Taking all these 
facts into consideration, we must therefore honestly say that 
we see no proof whatever that the body decapitated at Tyburn 
was the body of the Protector, or that the skull impaled at. 
Westminster was his skull. 


We must now quit history for tradition, and fojlow the for- 
tunes of " Cromwell's skull " to our own day. Since the year 
i8r3 it has been in the possession of a family named Wilkin- 
son. It was, says a writer in " Notes and Queries," carefully 
examined by Flaxman, who did not hesitate to pronounce it 
genuine, and by the eminent antiquary King, who was equally 
satisfied of its authenticity. That Mr. Wilkinson's interest- 
ing relic has been partially embalmed, that it has been impaled 
on a spike and exposed to the weather, that in many partic- 
ulars it closely corresponds with those peculiarities in the 
formation of the Protector's head preserved to us in busts, 
portraits, and medals, is unquestionably true. It is true, also, 
that up to a certain point its pedigree is satisfactory — but up 
to a certain point only. What, then, is its history? 

The story goes that, on a stormy night at the end of James 
the Second's reign, it was blown down. The sentinel on duty 
picked it up, concealed it, and conveyed it home with him. 
It was, however, soon missed, and a proclamation demanding 
its immediate restoration was at once issued by the govern- 
ment. The soldier and his family kept it, therefore, care- 
fully hidden. Some j'^ears afteiVards it was drawn from its 
hiding-place and sold to some connections of the Crom- 
wells, named Russel, in Cambridgeshire. It then got into the 
hands of one Samuel Russel, who publicly exhibited it. By 
him it was sold in April, 1787, to a Mr. Cox, the proprietor of 
a museum in Spring Gardens. On the dispersal of his museum 
it was sold for £2-^3 to three joint possessors, who made a 
peep-show of it in Mead's court. Bond street, in 1799. Finally 
it became the property of the daughter of one of these persons. 
She sold it to Mr. Wilkinson, then M. P. for Lambeth, and by 
him it was transmitted to his son, in whose possession it now is. 

The evidence on which the earlier part of this story rests 
would not, we fear, bear minute investigation. There is, in the 
first place, no authority whatever, except mere hearsay, for 
the story of the sentinel. If the government issued a procla- 


mat I on for the recovery of the skuH, some record of that 
proclamation would undoubtedly remain, but no trace of that 
proclamation has been discovered. Between the abduction 
by the sentliK^l and the transmission to the Russels its history 
is a blank. Another skull may, with a view to a negotiation 
with the Cromwell family, have been in the interval easily 
substituted in place of that originally stolen. It would, more- 
over, as a writer in " Notes and Queries " well observes, be 
absurd to snppose that any head which had for nearly twenty 
years been exposed to such an atmosphere as ours, could 
possibly be so perfectly preserved as the head in Mr. Wilkin- 
son's possession. We say nothing about several minor 
difhculties, — that, for example, presented by the existence of 
the other skull purporting to be that of Cromwell in the 
Ashmolean Museum at Oxford ; and the discrepancy presented 
by the fact that, according to one version of the legend, the 
soldier picked up the head, not at Westminster, but at Temple 
Ban The strongest evidence in favor of Mr. Wilkinson is the 
evidence of Flaxman, who was minutely acquainted with all 
the luemoriais of Cromwell's features which art has left us, 
and who was therefore eminently qualified to give an opinion. 
But in these cases internal evidence is of comparatively little 
value unless corroborated by evidence from without, and the 
testimony of facts is on this occasion not merely deficient, but 
contradictory. At every step in this strange problem we are 
confronted with insuperable difficulties. There is no proof 
that Cromwell was ever buried in the Abbey at all. If the 
burial be assumed, there is no proof that the body exhumed in 
1G60 was his body. If the burial and the exhumation be 
assumed, there is no proof that the corpse left the Red Lion 
:for Tyburn. Assuming these three facts, as well as the story 
of the sentinel, there is no proof that the head purloined by 
him was identical with the head sold to the Russels. 

We are glad to think so. We should be sorry to imagine 
that common hands could maul and palter, with a relic so 


sacred — it is a sacrilege almost too horrible to realize. Rather 
let us hope — and there are good reasons for hoping — that as 
his immortal part lives forever in the memory of a grateful peo- 
ple, so his mortal part has long since mingled with the mold. 
From The Gentleman's Magazine. 



The subject of this paper is not only a large, one, but it is 
one on which much has been said and written already. It is 
also true that a most able and exhaustive report on the agri- 
cultural capacity of America has been recently issued by the 
commission which was appointed by the late Government to 
inquire into the causes of agricultural distress in this countiy. 
But I approach the subject from a somewhat different point 
of view. The purpose for which. the assistant-commissioners 
were sent to America was to inquire into and report as to the 
probable effect of American competition on the owners and 
occupiers of land in this country. My object is rather to in- 
quire what are the prospects of those who contemplate emi- 
grating to America with a view to bettering their condition, 
and to point out what in my judgment are the localities best 
suited for intending emigrants. 

I shall confine myself, as the title of this paper indicates,, 
to the United States, not because I wish to ignore or dispar- 
age in any way the claims of Canada, but because I am not a 
competent witness with respect to that country. When I was 
last in America* I was not on Canadian soil at all, with the 
exception of a few hours which I passed on the Canadian side 
of Niagara Falls. As regards the great and fertile district of 
Manitoba I could say nothing which has not appeared already 
in books or newspapers. And even in respect of the United 

* A few months ago. 


States the knowledge which I have acquired from personal 
Observation is limited to two regions, Western Oregon and 
Colorado, though I have endeavored to avail myself of the 
best sources of information within my reach as to other parts 
of the country. 

Agricultural emigrants may be divided into two classes : 
first, those who intend to cultivate their farms by the labor of 
their own hands ; second, persons possessed of more or less 
capital, or perhaps, I should rather say, a class of larger capi- 
talists, for, as I think I shall show presently every one who 
goes to the United States with the intention of owning land, 
ought to be possessed of a certain amount of capital. 

The class of larger capitalists may be again subdivided into 
arable and pastoral farmers. In the more newly settled West- 
ern States this line is much more sharply drawn than it is in 
this country. In Illinois and the other Middle States there 
are many persons who pursue a system of mixed husbandry, 
who raise grain crops and who also own fine herds of cattle. 
But in the more newly settled States the arable farmers for 
the most part possess very little live stock except their horses 
and a few cows, while those who apply themselves to rearing 
cattle or sheep do very little with the plow. 

^As regards the agricultural laborer I doubt whether a man 
who has been bred to agricultural labor only, and who has 
not the command of some little capital, is likely to do himself 
much good by emigrating to the United States. .Wages, no 
doubt, are high, while there is work to be done, but there is 
not so much constant employment as in this country. It is 
very much the practice in the -United States to take men on 
by the job and to discharge them after the work has been 
done. And as there is very little gre^n crop grown in the 
United States, there is much less employment there for women 
and children than there is here. 

These observations are borne out by the report of the as- 
sistant commissioners which has lately been issued. They say: 



The farm laborer can hardly be said to exist as a distinct class in the United States, 
unief>s it be among the colored people in the Middle and Southern States. In the large 
farms of the West the bothy system is carried out, and buildings are put up in which 
the summer men mess and sleep. In winter' they are off to the towns and cities, and it 
is seldom the same faces are seen two years running on the farm. 

It should be remarked though wages may appear high, the hours of labor from 
spring to autumn are long, and winter is a period of almost complete cessation from 
work for man and beast on the American farm. The very few laborers that are re- 
quired upon a wheat-growing farm in America during the dead winter months is sur- 
prising. In one instance we- were told that only two men were kept upon 5,000 acres. 
When the longer days and the harder work of the American" laborer, together with 
his being employed only when he is wanted are taken into account, the annual cost of 
kboi^ per acre is much less than the amount paid in England. 

At the same time there is no doubt that an energetic active 
man, who can put his hand to anything, who can, for instance, 
take a spell at lumbering or at carpenter work when agricul- 
tural employment is scarce, is likely to do exceedingly well in 
the United States. 

To return to the classes who are possessed of some capital. 
The emigrant who wishes to cultivate his farm with his own 
hands may either enter on the Government land which is 
reserved for homesteads, in which case he has nothing to pay 
beyond the cost of the survey, amounting only to a few 
pounds, or he may purchase land and pay for it by install- 
ments spread over a term of .years. In the case of the Gov- 
ernment lands he cannot homestead more than 160 acres, but 
he may also pre-empt, as it is called, 1 50 acres more, paying 
f<)r it at the rate of $1.25 an acre, if more than twenty miles 
from a railroad, or 11^2.50, or a little more than los. an acre, if 
within twenty miles. He has to pay about is. an acre down, 
and the balance at the end of five years, by which time he 
must have executed certain improvements. In some States 
he may pre-empt 640 acres of what are called desert lands, 
that is lands which will not grow crops without irrigation. 
He must in this case at the end of five years produce a certif- 
icate that he has irrigated the land so as to make it grow 

And in some States the settlers may acquire from the gov- 
ernment 160 acres by planting ten acres, and producing a cer- 


tificate at the end of eight years that a certain number of 
trees are in a healthy growing state. 

It may perhaps be asked what amount of money a settler 
ought to have to start with. To begin at the beginning, the 
journey out from Liverpool, say of a man with a wife and two 
children, to the place where they intend to locate themselves, 
will cost some ;£45> more or less.* As to the rest I will take 
the estimate of Mr. Eaton, a successful farmer who ow»s a 
considerable quantity of land in Colorado. Mr. Eaton's letter, 
which gives the amount required in detail, and which, besides 
contains a great deal of valuable information, may be found 
in a pamphlet entitled " Farm Lands in Colorado," published 
by the Colorado Company, of which Mr. Barclay, M.P. for 
Forfarshire, is chairman. Mr. Eaton calculates that a man 
with a wife and two children will require ;£326 to support himself 
and family, and bring a farm of eighty acres, which is about as 
much as a man with a pair of horses can till, into cultivation. 
If we add £\^ for the cost of the journey out, we have a sum 
of £yj\ as the amount which is required to support the fam- 
ily, and meet the necessary outgoings of the farm until the 
first crop has been reaped and marketed. In the case of a 
man who enters on a homestead we have to deduct ;^43, which 
Mr. Eaton puts down as the first installment of the purchase 
money, because the homesteader has nothing to pay for the 
land, and we thus get £y2.% or say, including the cost of sur- 
vey, ;£335 as the amount required. The man who enters on a 
homestead with this sum in his possession ought, if this 
estimate is correct, to be free from debt and able to invest the 
proceeds of his crop, beyond what he may require for the sup- 
port of himself and family, in any way that may seem best to 
him. But there are some drawbacks. In order to get a 
homestead a man must now go very far west. He will in all 
probability not be very favorably situated as regards access \.o 

* The above is about the cost of the journey to Denver ; to Western Minnesota it^ 
will be somewhat less. 



markets, and consequently the prices he will obtain will be low. 
For the same reason he may probably have difficulty in pro- 
curing many comforts that he has come to look upon almoS. 
as necessaries of life, and he may have to pay v^ry high prices 
for them. In the Northwestern States the winters are very 
long, the cold is intense, and the winds are piercing. Lastly^ 
even in the remote Northwest, great part of the best lands 
has been taken up already. When I was returning from San 
Francisco to New York, I met a man who told me that he had 
gone into the territory of Dakotah to look for land, and that 
there was no good land to be had, except by purchase, within 
five hundred miles of Bismarck, which is the furthest point to 
which the Northern Pacific railroad has yet been extended, 
and which is some f,2oo miles northwest of Chicago. On 
the other hand, the emigrant who purchases can choose his 
own lo(?ation, and the payment is generally made easy to him 
by being spread over a term of years. 

Hitherto I have been referring to those who intend to till 
their farms themselves. I now come to the class who are 
possessed of more capital, and who would desire to obtain 
land in larger quantities. If the settler's capital is large 
enough, I think it is better to buy not less than a section, 
i. e. a square mile, or 640 acres. A smaller lot costs more to 
fence in proportion to its size. Land can be purchased frona 
the railway companies to whom the government has made 
grants, or from parties who have acquired land froni them. 
In Western Oregon improved farms, that is, farms with a 
house and some fences on them, may be purchased zft from 
£S to £Z an acre if near a railroad. Unimproved and uncleared 
lands can be had at all prices down to $2.50 an acre. The 
land in the yalley is open prairie ; on the rolling ground at the 
foot of the hills a good deal of it is covered with oak scrub. 
The cost of clearing is said to vary from $5 to $15 per acre. 
The average yield is reckoned at about 20 bushels an acre, and 
it is said the crop can almost a.lways be depended upon. The 


whole of Western Oregon is within comparatively easy reach 
of Portland, whence the grain is shipped'. The valley is 
drained by the Willamette river, which is navigable for a 
great part of the course; there are also two railroads, and 
another in course of being constructed. Land at some little 
distance from the existing railroads can be purchased, I be- 
lieve, for about £s an acre. The settler in Western Oregon 
has the great advantage of an abundant and cheap supply of 
timber. The sides of the mountains and the edges of the 
streams are covered with splendid firs, some of them 200 feet 
high. When I was going over the proposed line of the 
Oregonian railway, I came across a splendid fir tree which was 
being burned down by means of a live coal put into the heart 
of it. I asked to have it measured, and found it squared seven 
and one-half feet. They told me that there was not enough 
timber in the strip where this tree stood to make 4t worth 
while to put up a sawmill, and that the cheapest mode of get- 
ting the tree out of the way was to burn it.. 

In Eastern Oregon land may be bought of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad Company for $2.60. or about 12^, an acre. In 
some seasons this land is said to be very productive, yielding 
as much as forty bushels of wheat per acre, but the country 
is. sometimes subject to droughts, water is scarce in some 
places, and there is a deficiency of timber. The rates to Port- 
land are very high, but this will probably be remedied in time 
by theconstruction of anew line of railroad, and I think there 
can be no doubt that those who purchase land at present 
priceS'will find their property rise considerably in value mthc 
course of the next few years. 

The only other State as to which 1 can speak from personal 
knowledge is Colorado, Good land can be bought there at 
present for about $10, or a little over £2 an acre. The right 
to take water for irrigation from one of the canals costs about 
£1 an acre. Land in Colorado, from the extreme dryness of 
the climate, is of little use unless it is either irrigated artifi- 


dally or flooded \x\ winter by a stream. A section of good land 
with the necessary water rights will cost about ;^2,ooo. 'The 
price may be spread over a term of years, but the rate of in- 
terest in Colorado is high, not less than lo per cent on farm- 
ing lands, so that those who possess the requisite amount of 
capital will probably prefer to pay the money down. Mr. 
Barclay puts the cost of bringing the land into cultivation, 
not including interest on the purchase money, and charging 
contmct prices for the ^jirork done, at about {p. per acre for the 
first year, so that the whole outlay on 640 acres, including the 
purchase money, will be about ;£3.30o. To this estimate of Mr. 
Barclay's, I think, some other items should be added, as, for 
example, from ;£8o to £\qo for a house and the cost of fencing, 
which, for 640 acres, should probably be about ;^2oo. But 
with a capital of something less than ;£ a man ought to 
be able to make a very good start on a farm of 640 acres. As 
regards the question whether a settler had better locate him- 
self in Oregon or in Colorado, or in one of the Northwestern 
States, perhaps I shall best answer it, so far as m,y opinion is 
worth anything, by stating what I have done myself. After 
having traversed the United States from New York to Puget 
Sound, and having obtained the best information which I could 
procure, I have purchased land in Colorado for a near relation 
of my own, who intends to go put as a settler. My reasons 
are, (i) The yield on irrigated land is larger than either in 
Western Oregon or the Northwestern States, (2) Prices of 
agricultural produce are higher. Mr. Barclay and Mr. Eaton 
both concur in stating that after the first year twenty-five 
bushels of wheat an acre may fairly be looked for on irrigated 
land in Colorado. In Western Oregon the average yield is put 
at twenty bushels an acre. In the Northwestern States it is a 
good deal-less. Sixteen bushels an acre is looked upon as a large 
crop in Minnesota, one of the large wheat-growing States. In 
Iowa it is less. In Dakotah twenty-five and sometimes even 
twenty-eight bushels are raised, but these cases are exceptipnal, 


and are found on the monster farms, where the cultivation of 
wheat is brought to a great perfection. From the best infor- 
mation I can obtain, the average production of Dakotah does 
not much exceed fifteen or sixteen bushels. Then as to prices. 
When I was in Portland, wheat was selling for eighty-seven 
cents a bushel. In Denver the price was at one time $1.20, 
and it has not, I believe, been below $1.10 this year. When 
we look at the prices in the Northwestern States, the dif- 
ference is even greater. In Western Minnesota and Dakotah 
seventy-five cents a bushel is considered a good price for 
wheat. Without going into the elaborate calculations, I 
think any one who will work the figures out for himself will 
see that it will pay better to give $15 an acre for land that will 
grow twenty-five bushels, which will fetch $1.10 a bushel, 
than to give $5 an acre for land that will grow sixteen bushels, 
with the probability that the price may fall much lower. In 
each case the price of the land will be paid off in about the 
same time, but when that has been done, the owner of the 
higher priced and more fertile land will be in possession of a 
much more remunerative property. But are the high prices 
of agricultural produce in Colorado likely to continue ? I 
think so. Prices there do not depend on the European 
markets. There is a large local demand from the mining 
camps, considerably larger than the State itself can supply. 

Then the quantity of land which can be profitably brought 
under tillage is restricted by the amount of water which can 
be utilized for irrigation, and in the more settled parts of the 
State there will soon be very few streams remaining which are 
available for that purpose. As regards a possible fall in price 
in consequence of importations from other parts of the United 
States, the Colorado farmer has a very considerable natural 
protection, by reason of the great distance over which agri- 
cultural produce has to be carried. Take the article of haj', 
for instance, which is in great demand. Large quantities of 
hay are brought into Colorado from Kansas City, a distance 



of over six hundred miles. The freight from Kansas City is 
$10 or a little over £2 a ton, which of itself is considered a 
very good price in most parts of the United States. Great 
part of Western Kansas is almost a desert on account of the 
want of rain and the dearth of water. And though in time 
freights from Kansas City may be somewhat reduced by the 
construction of competing lines, the distance can never be 
much shortened, inasmuch as the Kansas Pacific runs almost 
in a straight line from Kansas City to Denver, 

Other articles of agricultural produce are also high in price. 
When I was last in Denver potatoes were selling at £^ a ton, 
whereas we consider £^ a very good price in this country. 
No doubt the prices both of hay and potatoes were somewhat 
exceptional last year, as the season had been dry and the crop 
therefore short. Still I understand that these articles always 
fetch a high price as compared with what can be obtained for 
them in most other parts of the United States. There are, 
too, great developments projected in the shape of railroads 
connecting with the Colorado lines, and passing through 
Arizona and New Mexico to ports on the Pacific. I think 
there can be no doubt that the construction of these lines will 
tend to stimulate the growth of Denver and of other towns 
in Colorado. I believe that any one who purchases land 
judiciously in Colorado at the present time will not only 
receive a very handsome return for his investment, but that 
the capital value of his property will be very largely enhanced 
in the course of the next few years. The climate of Colorado 
is dry and bracing, owing to the circumstance that even the 
less elevated part of the State on which the town of Denver 
stands is some 5,000 feet above the sea. It is never oppres- 
sively hot. In winter the temperature is sometimes very low ; 
towards the end of last November the thermometer fell to 20 
degrees below zero. Bat the piercing winds which in winter 
sweep over the prairies of Iowa and Minnesota seldom prevail 
in Colorado. Neither is the settler in Colorado liable tb Buf- 


fer from ague, a complaint which sometimes attacks the 
inhabitants of that part of Western Oregon which may be 
described as the valley of the Willamette river. Indeed, 
invalids from many parts of the United States now resort to 
Colorado in search of purer air than they can find at home. 
By way of illustrating the extraordinary clearness of the 
atmosphere a story is told of an enthusiastic tourist who 
started fcom Denver, hoping to reach the top of Pike's Peak, 
the higEest mountain in sight, and return next day. The 
base of the- mountain is more than seventy-five miles from 
Denver, and the summit more than 13,000 feet above the sea, 
or 8,000 feet above the level of the town. I should not myself 
have estimated the distance to Pike's Peak from Denver at 
much more than twenty miles. 

From an agricultural point of view Colorado has one draw- 
back. Owing to the absence of great heat in summer it is not 
possible to grow large crops of Indian corn as is done in 
many parts of the United States. Corn is grown, but the 
yield is so small that I doubt whether it is a profitable crop. 
In respect of other hindrances to successful farming, the 
Colorado beetle, as Mr. Barclay stated in an article which 
appeared about a year ago in the Fortnightly Review, has 
never been seen in Colorado. 

Grasshoppers did a good deal of damage at one time, but I 
understand that they have not made their appearance of late 
years, and the farmers now say they are not much afraid of 
them, even if they should come, both because the area under 
crop being considerably larger than it was a few years ago, 
the damage dome would be spread over a wider surface and 
therefore less felt, and also because they think they Could 
find means of destroying them. 

To any one who is fond of sport Colorado offers great 
attractions. The mountain lakes are full of trout* and the 
marshy lands swarm with ducks. Deer and both brown and 
frizzly bears are to be found in the mountains. 


I have as yet referred only to those emigrants who desire 
to settle on arable lands. But it is well known that the 
breeding and rearing of cattle has attained large proportions 
in the United States. The profits of this business are not 
what they were, though they are stiil large. I have been told 
that a few years ago it was not uncommon for a cattle breeder 
to clear 80 or even loo per cent on his capital. But the profit- 
able nature of the trade has induced large numbers of persons 
to engage in it with the usual and indeed inevitable result, 
that there has been a fall in profits. Still, I believe that with 
good management from 25 to 30 par cent can still be obtained 
on the money invested. The business of cattle breeding in 
this country requires considerably more capital than arable 
farming, and this is the case also in the United States. I 
believe the smallest number with which it is worth while to 
start is about 1,000 head of cattlj^^fA mixed herd — ^that is, a 
herd of cows and calves, yeat-MflgieviCMro-year-olds and three- 
year-olds of this number — if composed, as is usually the case, 
partly of Texan and partly of what are called graded cattle — 
Texan or Colorados crossed with shorthorns or Hereford bulls 
—will cost about ;£ It takes three men to look after 
1,000 cattle, and each of these men will receive about £7^ a 
year with his board. Then each man requires several horses 
or ponies. No * cowboy ' ever thinks of walking ; if he were 
to make his appearance on foot among the cattle, they would 
either cliarge him or there would be a general stampede. I 
do not think it would be prudent foi: any one to go into the 
cattle business without a capital of some £^.000. And the 
larger capitalists have a considerable advantage, because a 
large herd can be much more economically worked than a 
small one. The reason is that the number of men who have 
to be employed in looking after the cattle does not require to 
be increased in the same ratio as the herd. It takes three 
men to look after 1,000 cattle, but five men can look after 2,000, 
and a herd of 20,000 cattle can be worked much more econom- 


ically than one of 2,000. I do not think that Colorado is a 
good place for the small capitalist, the man with £j^,ooo or 
;£, to enter upon the cattle business. I was told that 
what was called the free ranches, the lands, that is, on which 
any one may turn out his cattle, were all overstocked ; and 
that in consequence the cattle on them did not thrive or fatten 
as they used to do. 

The really good ranches are virtually in the hands of a few 
owners. In theory it is open to any one to turn out his cattle 
on the plains, but the water frontages have been bought up 
and fenced off, and as the land is of no use without water for 
the cattle to drink, the man who owns the water frontage also 
practically owns the pasturage adjoining it ; so that if any one 
now wishes to go in for cattle in Colorado, he must begin by 
buying out some one who owns a water frontage. 

But there is still abiijo^ljuijce of land in the United States 
over which a man mayi^tia^^ cattle free of charge. In Texas 
there are immense masses of fine pasture land as yet unoccu- 
pied. I should not, however, from what I have heard of the 
country, advise any one to go to Texas. The people in many 
parts of the State are very wild and lawless, and settlers in 
the southern part, near the Rio Grande, are exposed to the 
depredations of the Mexicans who come across the frontier 
and carry off cattle. Then Texas is very unhealthy for the 
better class of cattle. Cattle of improved breeds, if brought 
into Texas after they are twelve months old, succumb to the 
climate, and it is only by bringing them in very young that it 
is possible to acclimatize them. As for the native Texan 
cattle, they are the type of all that a beef-producing animal 
should not be, they have narrow chests, long legs, and backs 
like razors. I never handled one, but they look as if they 
had very hard hair and skins. Their beef is hard and stringy, 
and fetches the lowest price in the American market. 

In the Territory of Wyoming there is still grazing land to 
be had free, and in Dakotah'and Montana there are large tracts 


still open. The ranchman has many hardships to bear. In 
summer he has to follow his cattle undfer a burning sun. In 
winter he has often to camp out in the snow. He has to be 
absent for long periods of time from civilized society, he has 
to live on hard fare, and often to dispense with many comforts 
which we have come to look on as necessaries of life. He 
sometimes suffers heavy losses from dry summers and severe 
winters. Still, to many men, the free life in the open air has 
a quiet charm. I hardly think, however, that a settler, going 
out from this country, would act wisely in at once entering on 
the cattle business. It is a business which has to be learned 
like any other, and I think a young man going to the United 
States would do well to wait a year or two before he starts a 
herd of his own. This business is not like that of arable farm- 
ing. Many men go out from this country to the United States 
who know very little of farming, and who after a time get on 
very well. They may make mistakes at first, but they come 
right at last. But then the land is always there to fall back 
on. But if a man invests his money in a herd of cattle, and 
mismanages them, he may lose not his income only, but his 
capital, or a great part of it. Sheep-breeding is practiced on a 
larger scale in Eastern Oregon and California, and in Montana, 
New Mexico, and Texas. The profits are large^ but the risks 
are considered to be greater than in the case of cattle. Sheep 
require more attention than cattle. They are subject to scab 
and other infectious diseases to which cattle are not liable ; 
and it is more difficult to bring them through a severe winter. 
In some of the ranges of Colorado there is a poisonous grass 
which kills sheep. Cattle either do not eat it or do not suffer 
from it. A considerable number of lambs are destroyed every 
year by the prairie wolves. As in this country, cattle and 
sheep do not thrive on the same pastures. The sheep eat out 
the best grasses, and leave nothing for the cattle but the 
coarser herbage. As a natural consequence, the men who 
turn out sheep on the free ranges are very unpopular with the 


breeders of cattle. It does not appear that much attention 
has as yet been paid in the United States to the improvement 
of the breed of sheep. At the great cattle show held at Chi- 
cago in November last, the sheep from Canada, both Merinos 
and Cotswolds, were very superior to any that were exhibited 
by the flockmasters of the United States. 

And now let me express a hope that none of those who 
may read this paper will be tempted to invest their means in* 
this or that State, on the strength of what they may have 
read, without first making full inquiry for themselves. I 
should be sorry to have such a responsibility put upon me. 
And let me put in a word by way of caution to those who may 
be tempted by the offers of land in America on the part of 
the various companies which sometimes appear in the news- 
papers here. We may depend upon it these offers are not 
made out of pure benevolence, and that the vendor does not 
fail to put a very handsome bonus in his pocket. I will give 
an instance of the large profits which these middlemen some- 
times expect. Some time since a company, with which I am 
connected, was offered a tract of land in Texas for 60 cents, 
or about half a crown an acre, by an American. We had sent 
out to the United States a gentleman from this country in 
whom we had confidence, with instructions to examine the 
lands which were offered for sale and to report on them. He 
informed us that the parties who were in possession of the 
Texas land grant offered the land at 40 cents, so that if we had 
closed with the offer of the American land speculator, he 
would have pocketed a commission of 50 percent. As it hap- 
pened, we did not purchase the land, but if we had bought it 
direct from the owners, the difference between the price which 
we should have given them and that which would have been 
received by the land speculator, would have more than 
covered the remuneration and expenses of the gentleman 
whom we sent out to report, though he was several months in 
America, and traveled many thousand miles. If any consid- 


erable number of persons should think of trying their fortunes 
in the United States I think they could not do better than 
follow the example of the farmers in the south of Scotland. 
Some two years ago they clubbed together and sent out some 
of their number to examine the country arid report upon it. 
Any one who may go out with the view of obtaining informa- 
tion, either for himself or his friends, will find" many of his 
countrymen either settled in the States and in Canada, or 
residing there temporarily, who will be ready to give him all 
the assistance in their power. And in every part of North 
America I believe that English and Scotch settlers are very 
popular ; there is no jealousy of them, but they are welcomed 
as men who are likely to make good citizens, and to develop 
the resources of the country. AlRLlE. 

Since the above paper was written, the contract between the Canadian gov- 
ernment and the syndicate which has been formed for constructing the Can- 
adian Pacific Railway has been laid before the Dominion parliament. If I am 
rightly informed as to the terms of that contract, no maximum rates for freight 
are to be imposed on the railway company, but they are to be allowed to charge 
as much as they can get ; and, further, the construction of any line that might 
compete with the Canadian Pacific is to be prohibited for a period of twenty years. 
It may be that the political necessity for constructing the Canadian Pacific 
railroad is so great that the Canadian government has had no choice but to ac- 
cept these onerous terms. But I am afraid that they will militate very much 
against the rapid settlement of the country. It is clear that settlers in North- 
western Canada, who are dependent on a railroad which has such an unquali- 
fied monopoly conferred on it, will be placed at a great disadvantage as com- 
pared with their neighbors in the United States, where any one can obtain a 
charter for a railroad if he can find the capital required to build it. 

The Earl of Airlie, in The Nineteenth Century. 




*' Set a thief to catch a thief." Well — even so ! And " Honor 
among thieves" — you may always find the proverb and 
counter-proverb — is an equally noble sentiment. I am not 
going to lay bare the secrets of the prison-house. 

Still, may not the ancient gladiator be allowed to haunt his 
former arena, to examine and criticise the combatants, to 
watch with interest the various "throws"? And the old 
vocalist, who has quietly dropped, let us hope in good time, 
into the teacher of singing— is it unnatural that he should 
sometimes like to frequent the stalls, and make his own com- 
ments on his brethren still before the foot-lights ? For he 
loves his art as much as ever; he understands its secrets 

perhaps better than ever — only But peace ! Is he not 

an aged gladiator — a tired singer? Happy for him if he is 
wise enough to recognize this fact and act upon it. 

Yes — there comes a time when we authors must accept the 
truth, that it is better for us, as welf as our books, to be 
" shelved." We ought never to write at all unless we have 
something to say, and there are few things sadder than to see 
a writer, to whom the world has listened, and listened with 
pleasure, go on feebly repeating himself, sinking from origin- 
ality into mediocrity, and then into the merest commonplace. 
" Stop in time," is the wisest advice that can be given to all 
who live by their brains. These brains — even if the strongest 
— will only last a certain time, and do a certain quantity of 
work — really good work. Alas ! for those authors who have 
to live upon their reputation after their powers are gone. 

Biit though the impulse of genius melts away, and even 
talent ca« be worn out in time, there is one thing which, 
among much lost, is assuredly gained, and that is experience. 
The quickness to detect faults won through fighting with our 



own, and the knowledge how to rectify these errors when 
found, are advantages we possess still, and should not lightly 
underrate. Therefore, if after having written novels for more 
than a quarter of a century, I have lately tried reading them, 
I may be ■ allowed a few words I trust none which of my 
co-mates will misconstrue, nor their readers, and mine, misap- 
prehend ? 

Novel-making — I use the word designedly, for it is a mistake 
to suppose that a novel makes itself — is not an impulse, but 
an art. The poet may be " born, not made ;" but the novelist 
must make himself one, just as much as any carpenter or 
bricklayer. You cannot build a house at random or without 
having learned the bricklayer's trade, and by no possibility 
can you construct a three-volume story, which shall be a real, 
enduring work of art, without having attained that mechan- 
ical skill which is as necessary to genius as the furnace to the 
ore and the lapidary's tool to the diamond. And since most 
long-experienced workmen are supposed to know something 
of their tools, and the way to use them, as well as to be toler- 
able judges of the raw material in which they have worked 
all their days, I do not apologize for writing this paper. It 
may be useful to some of those enthusiastic young people 
who think — as a fashionable lady once said to me — ** Oh, how 
charming it must be to write a novel ! Couldn't you teach 
me } " No ; I was afraid not. And though work is genius — 
as some one has said, and not quite without truth — I could 
not advise my )'X)ung friend to try. 

Novel — the word, coming from the Italian novella, implies 
something new : a rifacciomento, or re-making, in an imagina- 
tive shape, of the eternally old elements of moral life, joy and 
sorrow, fortune and misfortune, love and death. Also, virtue 
and vice; though whether the novel should illustrate any 
special moral, is a much-debated question. 

Apparently, beyond some vague notions of virtue rewarded 
and vice punished, the old romancists did not consider r 


" moral " necessary. There is certainly no " purpose " in the 
Arabian Night's Entertainments, or the Decameron of Bocca- 
cio ; nor very much in Sir Charles Grandison. Probably less 
than none in Tom Jones, and others of the same age and class. 
Even the author of Waverley, the Shakespeare^of novelists, 
only teaches us, as Shakespeare does, by implication. It has 
been left ta tuodern writers to convert the nov^el into a sort of 
working isLeam-engine, usable for all purposes; to express 
tlnough Lheir pet theories of religion or morality, their opinions 
on socud wrongs and remedies, and their views on aesthetic 
and philosophical subjects. From the art of cookery up — or 
down^to the law of divorce, anybody who thinks he has 
anything ic> say, says it in three volumes, mashed up, like hard 
potcitoes, in the milk and butter of fiction. 

A portion, however, of our modern novel-writers repudiate 
the idea of having any moral purpose whatever; and, truly, 
lew of their readers can accuse them of it. ^Amusement pure 
and simple — not always either simple or pure, but always 
amusement — is their sole aim. They — that is the cleverest of 
them — are satisfied to cut a bit at random out of the wonder- 
ful web of lifc^ and present it to you just as it is, wishing you 
to accept it as such, without investigating it too closely, or 
pausing to consider whether the pattern is complete, what 
the mode and reason of the wearing, and whether you only 
see a part or the whole. That there is a whole — that life is 
not chance-work, but a great design, with the hands of the 
Divine Artificer working behind it all — so seldom comes into 
their calculations that they do not expect it to come into 
yours. Therefore, with a daring and sometimes almost blas- 
wphemous inc^enuity,. they put themselves to play Providence, 
to set up tlieir puppets and knock them down, and make 
them between whiles "play such fantastic tricks before hig^ 
heaven," that one feels heaven's commonest law of right anc^ f 
wrong would lo them be, to say the least, extremely incon-^^ 



' But to return. Certainly — whatever my fashionable young 
friend might think — no one can be taught to write novels. 
But to suppose that novel-writing comes by accident or im- 
pulse — that the author has only to sit with his pen in his 
hand and his eyes on the ceiling, waiting for the happy mo- 
ment of inspiration, is an equal mistake. 

To make a novel — ^that is, to construct out of the ever- 
changing kaleidoscope of human fate a picture of life which 
shall impress people as being life-like, and stand out to its 
own and possibly an after geiTerrtion, as such — this is a task 
that cannot be accomplished without genius, but which gen- 
ius, unaided by mechanical skill, generally fails to accomplish 
thoroughly. Much of what is required comes not by intui- 
tion but experience. " How do j^ou write a novel ? " has been 
asked me hundreds of times ; and as half the world now writes 
novels, expecting the other half to read them, my answer 
given in plain print, may not be quite useless. The shoe- 
maker, who in his time has fitted a good many feet, need not 
hesitate to explain his mode of measuring, how he cuts and 
sews his leather, and so on. He can give a hint or two on 
the workmanship ; the materials are beyond his power. 

What other novelists do I know not, but this has been my 
own way — ab ovo. For, I contend, all stories that are meant 
to live must contain the germ of life, the ^g^, the vital prin- 
ciple. A novel, *'with a purpose" may be intolerable, but a 
novel without a purpose is more intolerable still — as feeble 
and flaccid as a man without a back bone. Therefore the 
first thing is to fix on a central idea, like the spine of a human 
being or the trunk of a tree. Yet as nature never leaves 
either bare, but clothes them with muscle and flesh, branches 
and foliage, so this leading idea of his book will be by the 
true author so successfully disguised or covered as not to 
^btrude itself objectionably; indeed, the ordinary reader 
\ight not even to suspect its existence. Yet from it, this 
W principal idea, proceed all after-growths : the kind of plo' 


which shall best develop it. the characters which must act it 
out, the incidents which will express these characters, even to 
the conversations which evolve and describe these incidents, 
all are sequences, following one another in natural order, 
even as from the seed-germ result successively the trunk, 
limbs, branches, twigs, and leafage of a tree. ^ 

This, if I have put my meaning clearly, shows that a con- 
scientiously written novel is by no means a piece of impulsive, 
accidental scribbling, but a deliberate work of art : that though 
in one sense it is. alsa a woe k of nature, since every part 
ought to result from and be kept subservient to the whole, 
still, in another, the novel is the last thing that ought to be 
allowed to say of itself, like Topsy, " Spects I growed." 

Not even as to the mere writing of it. Style or composi- 
tion, though to some it comes naturally, does not come to all. 
When I was young an older and more experienced writer 
once said to me, " Never use two adjectives where one will 
do > never use an adjective at all where a noun will do. Avoid 
italics, notes of exclamation, foreign words and quotations. 
Put full stops insteads of colons ; make your sentences as 
short and clear as you possibly can, and whenever you think 
you have written a particularly fine sentence, cut it out." 

More valuable advice could not be given to any young 
author. It strikes at the root of that slip-shod literature of 
which we find so much nowadays, even in writers of genius. 
To these latter indeed it is a greater temptation ; their rapid, 
easy pen runs on as the fancy strikes, and they do not pause 
to consider that in a novel, as in a picture, breadth is indis- 
pensable. Every part should be made subservient to the 
whole. You must have a foreground and background and a 
middle distance. If you persist in working up one character, 
or finishing up minutely one incident, your perspective will 
be destroyed, and your book become a mere collection of 
fragments, not a work of art at all. The true artist will always 
be ready to sacrifice any pet detail to the perfection of the 


Sometimes, I allow, this is hard. One gets interested- 
novel-writers only know how interested ! — in some particular 
character or portion of the plot, and is tempted to work out 
these to the injury of the rest. Then there usually comes a 
flat time, say about the second volume, when the first impe- 
tus has subsided, and the excitement of the denouement has 
not yet com«, yet the storj'^ must be spun on somehow, if only 
to get to something more eiciting. This may account for the 
fact that so many second volumes are rather dull. But a 
worse failure is when vol. iii. dwindles down, the interest 
slowly diminishing, to nothing. Or else the story is all hud- 
dled up, everybody marriefl or killed somehow — not as we 
novelists try to do it, " comfortably " — but in a hasty, unsat- 
isfactory manner, which makes readers wonder why the end 
is so unworthy of the beginning. 

Either mistake is fatal, and both commonly proceed from 
carelessness, or from the lack of that quality, without which 
no good work is possible, the infinite capacity of taking trou- 
ble. "Look at my MS.," said a voluminous writer once to 
me ; " there is hardly a single correction in it, and this is my 
first draft. I never copy and I rarely alter a line." It would 
have been uncivil to say so, but I could not help thinking 
that both author and public would have been none the worse 
if my friend had altered a good many lines, and re-copied not 
a few pages ! 

While on the question of MSS., let me say one practical 
word. Authors are apt to think that any sort of " copy " is 
good enough for the press. Quite the contrary. An untid)'-, 
useless, illegible MS. is an offense to the publisher, dangerous 
irritation to his " reader," and to the printer an absolute cru- 
elty. Also, many proof corrections often made so wantonly, 
and costing so much trouble and money, are severely to be 
condemned. Doubtless the genus irritabile has its wrongs, 
from hard-headed and often hard-hearted men of business, 
but volumes might be written about the worry, the loss, the 


actual torment that inaccurate, irregular, impecfinious and 
extravagant authors are to that much-enduring and necessa- 
rily silent class — their publishers. 

An accusation is often mad5 against us novelists, that we 
paint our characters, especially our ridiculous or unpleasant 
characters, from life. Doubtless many second-rate writers do 
this — thereby catching the ill-natured class of readers, which 
always enjoys seeing its neighbor " shown up." But a really 
good novelist would scorn to attain popularity by such mean 
devices. Besides, any artist knows that to paint exactly from 
life is so difficult as to be almost impossible. -Study from life 
he must — copying suitable heads, arms, or legs, and appro- 
priating bits of character, personal or mental idiosyncrasies, 
making use of the real to perfect the ideal. But the ideal, 
his own, should be behind and beyond it all. The nature to 
which he holds up the mirror should be abstract, not individ- 
ual ; and he must be a poor creator who Can only make his 
book by gibbeting therein real people, like kite^ and owls on 
a barn-door, for the amusement and warning of society. 

We authors cannot but smile when asked if such-and-such 
a character is " drawn from life," and especially when ingen- 
ious critics fancy they have identified certain persons, places, 
or incidents — almost always falsely. Of course, we go about 
the world with our eyes open — but what we see and how we 
use it, is known only to ourselves. Our sitters are never 
aware they are being painted, and rarely, if ever, recognize 
their own likenesses. Whether or not it may be allowable to 
hold up to public obloquy a bad or contemptible character, I 
suppose it would be fair to describe a perfect character — if we 
could find it ! which is not too probable. For me I can only 
say that during all the years I have studied humanity, I never 
met one human being who could have been " put in a book," as 
a whole, without injuring it. The only time I ever attefi^pted 
(by request) to make a study from nature — absolutely liW^ 
—all the reviewers cried out, to my extreme amuseme 
'* This character i^ altogether unnatural." 



Hitherto I have considered the novel simply as a literary 
achievement— a book "clever," " interesting,"^-above all, a 
book " that will sell." But there is a higher and deeper view 
of it, which no writer can escape, and no conscientious writer 
would ever wish to escape. If we, poor finite mortals, begin 
telling stories, we take into our feeble hands the complicated 
machinery of life, of which none can understand the whole, 
and very few even the smallest bit ; we work it out after our 
own fancy, moral or no moral ; we invent our own puppets 
and put them through their marionnette-like antics, in imita- 
tion of the great drama which a mysterious Hand is for ever 
playing with us human beings — and sometimes we think we 
can do it quite as well, if we had the chance ! But do we ever 
consider that in making up from imagination a picture of 
reality, we are, in rather a dangerous way, mimicking Provi- 
dence } much as children do with their dolls when they make 
them go to school, or be put to bed, or have the measles : im- 
itating ordinary child-life, so far as they understand it, in their 
innocent way. But our ways are not always innocent, and 
our wisdom is sometimes less than a child's. A bad novel, 
which does not " justify the ways of God to men " — as Milton 
vainly tried to do in Paradise Lost — but leaves behind it the 
impression that the world is all out of joint, that there is no 
difference between right and wrong, and nothing in life worth 
living for — such a novel does more harm than a dozen atheisti- 
cal books, or a hundred dull, narrow-minded sermons. Pois- 
on, taken as such, may find an antidote ; there is no defense 
against it when administered in the form of food. 

That the novel, not only in its literary but moral form, is an 
engine of enormous power, no one could doubt who had the 
reading of the letters received, say in a single year, or even a 
single month, by any tolerably well-known author, from all 
parts of the world, and from total strangers of every age, 
class, and degree. Not merely the everlasting autograph beg- 
gars, or the eulogists, generally conceited egotists, who enjoy 


the vanity of corresponding with celebrated folk, but the 
honest, well-meanjng, and often most touching letter-writers, 
• who pour out their simple hearts to the unknown friend who 
has exercised so'strong an influence ovef their lives. To this 
friend they appeal not only for sympathy but advice— often 
of the most extraordinary kind — on love affairs, the education 
of children, business or domestic difficulties, impulses of 
gratitude, revelations of perplexing secrets, outcries of intol- 
erable pain, coming sometimes from the very ends of the 
earth, in a mixture of tragedy and comedy, to the silent recip- 
ient of these strange phases of human life — stranger than 
anything he or she has ever dared to put into any novel. Yet 
so it is ; and any conscientious author can but stand mute and 
trembling in facQ of the awful responsibility which follows 
every written line. 

This, even of the ordinarily good books — but what of the 
bad ones ? 

I believe a thoroughly " bad '* book, as we of the last gen- 
eration used to style such — bad either for coarseness of style, 
as "Tristram Shandy," or laxity of morals, like " Don Juan " 
— does infinitely less harm than many modem novels which 
we lay on our drawing-room tables, and let our young daugh- 
ters read ad infinitum, or ad nauseam ; novels, chiefly, I grieve 
to say, written by women, who, either out of pure ignorance, 
or a boastful morbid pleasure in meddling with forbidden 
topics, often write things that men would be ashamed to 

Absolute wickedness, crime represented as crime, and licen- 
tiousness put forward as licentiousness, is far less dangerous 
to the young and naturally pure mind than that charming 
sentimental dallying with sin, which makes it appear so 
piteous, so interesting, so beautiful. Nay, without even en- 
tering upon the merits of the favorite modern style of fiction 
— in which love to be attractive must necessarily be unlawful 
— there is a style of novel in which right and wrong are mud- * 


died up together into a sort of neutral tint, the author, and 
consequently the reader, taking no trouble to distinguish 
between them. The characters are made interesting, not by 
their virtues but theij faults ; a good woman worships a bad 
man, and vice versa. Now this may be true in real life, though 
I doubt ; but to present it in fiction, to make a really noble 
woman the abject willing slave of a contemptible brute not 
worthy to tie her shoes, or an honorable man doing all sorts 
of erring things for the sake of a feeble or vile woman, whom 
her own sex, and the besj: of the other, would heartily despise 
—the effect of such a picture as this is to confuse all one's 
notions of good and bad, and produce a blurred and blotted 
vision of life, which, to those just beginning life, is either 
infinitely sad or infinitely harmful. Besides, it is not true. 
Time brings its revenges; and if there is one certainty in life, 
it is the certainty of retribution — ay, even in this life: and 
alas ! down to the third and fourth generation — a creed, by the 
young doubted or despised, but which the old, whether opti- 
mists or pessimist^, know to be only too true. 

There is another favorite -subject of modern fiction : a man 
or woman married hastily or unhappily, and meeting after- 
wards some " elective affinity," the right man or woman, or 
apparently such. No doubt this is a terrible position, pathetic, 
tragic, which may happen to the most guiltless persons, and 
does happen, perhaps, oftener than any one knows. Novelists 
seize upon it as a dramatic position, and paint it in such glow- 
ing, tender, and pathetic colors that, absorbed in the pity of 
the thing, one quite forgets its sin. The hapless lovers rouse 
our deepest sympathy ; we follow them to the very verge of 
crime, almost regretting that it is called crime, and when the 
obnoxious husband or wife dies, and theiovers are dismissed 
to happiness — as is usually done — we feel quite relieved and 
comfortable ! 

Now, surely this is immoral, as immoral as the coarsest 
sentence Sh?ikespeare ever penned, or the most passionate 


picture that Shelley or Byron evier drew. Nay, more so, for 
these are only nature — vicious, undisguised, but natural still, 
and making no pretense of virtue; but your sentimentalist 
assumes a virtue, and expects sympathy for his immorality, 
which is none the less immoral because, God knows, it is a 
delineation often only too true, and perhaps only too deserv- 
ing of pity — His pity, who can see into the soul of man. 
Many a condemned thief and hanged murderer may have 
done the deed under most piteous and extenuating circum- 
stances ; but theft still remains theft, and murder murder. 
And — let us not mince words — though modern taste may 
enwrap it in ever such pathetic, heroic, and picturesque form, 
adultery is still adultery. Never do our really great authors 
— our Shakespeares, our Scotts, our Thackerays, our George 
Eliots — deny this, or leave us in the slightest doubt between 
virtue and vice. It is the mild sentimentalists who, however 
they may resent being classed with the "fast" authors — alas! 
too often authoresses — of modern fiction, are equally immoral ; 
because they hold the balance of virtue and vice with so 
feeble and uncertain a hand, as to leave both utterly confused, 
in the writer's opinion and the reader's mind. 

But, putting aside the question of morality, there is another 
well deserving the consideration of novelists, viz., whether 
the subjects they choose are within the fair limits of art? 
Legitimate comedy ought to be based on humor and wit, 
free from coarseness and vulgarity ; and in true tragedy the 
terrible becomes the heroic by the elimination of every ele- 
ment which is merely horrible or disgusting. In the dying 
martyr we ought to see, not the streaming blood or the shriv- 
eling of the burnt flesh, but the gaze of ecstatic faith into an 
opened heaven ; and the noblest battle ever represented is 
misrepresented when the artist chooses scenes fit only for a 
hospital operating-table or a butcher's shambles. 

I cannot but think that certain modern novels, despite their 
extreme cleverness, deal with topics beyond the legitimate 


pfovince of fiction. Vivid descriptions of hangings, of prison- 
whippings; of tortures inflicted on sane persons in lunatic 
asylums, are not fit subjects for. art ; at least, the art which 
can choose them and dilate upon them is scarcely of a heal- 
thy kind, or likely to conduce to the moral health of the 

The answer to this objection is, that such things are ; there- 
fore why not write about them ? So must medical and surgi- 
cal books be written ; so must the most loathsome details of 
crime and misery be investigated by statesmen and political 
economists. But all these are professional studies which, 
however painful, require to be gone through. No one would 
ever enter into them as a matter of mere amusement. Besides, 
as is almost inevitable in a novel " with a purpose " or one in 
which the chief interest centers in some ghastly phase of 
humanity, there is generally a certain amount of, perhaps 
involuntary, exaggeration, against which the calm, judicial 
mind instinctively rebels. "Two sides to every subject; I 
should rather like to hear the other side." 

Without holding the unwise creed that ignorance is inno- 
cence, and that immunity from painful sensations induces 
strength of character, I still maintain that these are topics 
which are best kept in shadow, especially from the young. We 
sometimes admit to our public galleries — though I question 
if we should — the magnificently painted but gross pictures of 
a few old masters, and the realistic horrors upon which a cer- 
tain French school has made its fame. But few of us would 
choose a Potiphar's wife or a newly-guillotined Charlotte 
Corday for the adornment of the domestic hearth. Such sub- 
jects, though manipulated by the most delicate and yet the 
firmest hand, are apt, either in art or literature, to do more 
harm than the moral drawn from them is likely to do good. 

Of course, the case may be argued pretty strongly from the 
other side. Life is not all " roses and lilies and daffydown- 
dillies," therefore why should fiction represent it as such ' 

L. M.— 12. 


Men and women are not angels, and bad people are often 
much more ** interesting " than good people in real life : why 
should we not make them so in novels ? 

I answer, simply because it is we who make them — ^we shortr 
sighted mortals, who take upon us to paint life, and can only 
do so as far as our feeble vision allows us to see it ; which in 
some of us is scarcely an inch beyond our own nose. Only a 
few — but these are always the truly great — can see with larger 
eyes, and reproduce what they see with a calm, steady, and 
almost always kindly hand, which seems like the hand of Prov- 
idence, because its work is done with a belief in Providence — 
in those " mysterious ways " by which, soon or late, ever3rthing 
— and everybody — finds its own level ; virtue its reward, and 
vice its retribution. To judge authors solely by their works 
is not always fair, because most people put their best s6lves 
into their books, which are the cream of their life, and the 
residuum may be but skimmed milk for daily use. But, in the 
department of fiction at least, the individual character gives 
its stamp to every page. Not all good novelists may be ideal 
men and women, but I doubt much if any really immoral 
man, or irreligious woman, ever made a good novelist. 

I wish not to malign my brethren. Most of them do their 
best, and I think we may fairly decline to believe such stories 
as that of the " popular authoress " who, having starved as a 
moral, prosy, and altogether unpopular authoress for several 
seasons, was advised to try " spicy ** writing, and now makes 
her thousands a year. And even sifter weeding from our 
ranks the "fast," the sentimental, the ghastly, the feeble and 
prosy, the clap-trap and altogether silly school, there still 
remains a good number of moderately clever and moderately 
wholesome writers of fiction, who redeem our literature from 
disgrace, or could do so if they chose — if they could be made 
to feel themselves responsible, not to man onl}% but to God 
" For every idle word that men shall say " — (how much more 
write ?) — " they shall answer in the day of judgment." 



To us, who are old enough to have read pretty thoroughly 
the book of human life it matters little what we read in mere 
novels, which are at best a poor imaginary imitation of what 
we have studied as a solemn reality ; but to the young it mat- 
ters a great deal. Impressions are made, lessons taught, and 
influences given, which, whether for good or for evil, nothing 
can afterwards efface The parental yearning, which only par- 
ents can understand, is to save our children from all we can 
—alas, how little ! They must enter upon the battle of life ; 
the utmost we can do is to give them their armor and show 
them how to fight. But what wise father or mother would 
thrust them, unarmed, into a premature conflict, putting into 
their pure minds sinful thoughts that had never been there 
before, and sickening their tender hearts by needless horrors 
which should only be faced by those who deal with evil for 
the express purpose of amending it } Truly, there are certain 
novels which I have lately read, which I would no more think 
of leaving about on my drawing-room table, than 1 would take 
my son to a casino in order to teach him morals, or make my 
daughter compassionate-hearted by sending her to see a 
Spanish bull-fight. 

Finally, as an example in proof of many, almost all, the 
arguments and theories here advanced, I would advise any 
one who hks gone through a course of modern fiction, to go 
through another, considered a little out of date, except by the 
old, and, I am glad to say, the very young. Nothing shows 
more clearly the taste of the uncorrupted healthy palate for 
wholesome food, than the eagerness with which almost all 
children, or children passing into young people, from thirteen 
and upwards, devour the Waverley novels. A dozen pages, 
taken at^ random this moment from a volume which a youth- 
ful reader, I might say gormandizer, has just laid down, will 
instance what I mean. 

It is the story of Nancy Ewart, told by himself to Alan Fair- 
ford, on board the Jumping Jenny, in ** Redgauntlet." Herein 


the author touches deepest tragedy, blackest crime, and sharp- 
est pathos (instance the Hne where Nanty suddenly stops 
short with " Poor Jess ! "). He deals with elements essentially 
human, even vicious ; his hero is a " miserable sinner," no 
doubt of that, either in the author's mind, or the impression 
conveyed to that of the reader. There is no paltering with 
vice, no sentimental glossing over of sin ; the man is a bad 
man, at least he has done evil, and his sin has found him out, 
yet we pity him. Though handling pitch we are not defiled; 
however and whatever our author paints, it is never with an 
uncertain or feeble touch. We give him our hand and are led 
by him fearlessly into the very darkest places, knowing that 
he carries the light with him and that no harm will come. I 
think it is Hot too much to say that we might go through the 
Waverley Novels from beginning to end, without finding one 
page, perhaps not even one line, that we would hesitate to 
read aloud to any young people, old enough to understand 
that evil exists in the world, and that the truly virtuous are 
those who know how to refuse the evil and to choose the 
good. And I — who having written novels all my life, know 
more than most readers how to admire a great novelist — 
should esteem it a good sign of any son or daughter of mine 
who would throw a whole cart-load of modern fiction into the 
gutter, often its fittest place, in order to clasp a huge whole- 
some armful of Walter Scott. 

From " Good Words." 



Have you ever thought of the great pleasure that is to bo 
gained from reading? Have you ever tried to imagine whut 
life would be to you if there were no books in the world, or 
you could not read ? Every child knows, I hope, the joy of 



having a true friend, whose company is dear to him, who can 
be interested in what he is interested, no matter whether it be 
work or play. Now a book is not quite like a f fiend. The 
author can talk to us as he pleases ; he can make us sorrowful 
or glad ; he can make us cry or laugh ; he can give us knowl- 
edge and he can make us think ; but we cannot talk back to 
him,' we cannot tell him what we feel, and he cannot sympa- 
thize with us as a friend can. On the other hand, friends may 
change ; they may go far away ; they may cease to care about 
the things we care for. Book's cannot change, though our 
interest in therh may ; and if they are great and good books — 
for there are bad books, just as there are false friends — it is 
impossible to know them too well or read them tod often. 

I dare say you have heard people speak of a taste for read- 
ing. Some children read greedily any book that comes in 
their way. A biography, a volume of travels, a poem, a his- 
tory, even a cookery-book will attract their attention, and be 
read from the first page to the last. I even knew a boy who 
found inexhaustible pleasure in the study of Bradshaw's Rail- 
way Guide. Such little people have, no doubt, a taste for 
reading. But this taste, to be of mucKgood, needs to be cul- 
tivated. A child may have what is called a natural ear for 
music ; but this will never make him a good musician. He 
must be taught his notes, and learn a great deal besides, before 
his ear for music will prove of much service. Just so does 
the young book-reader need training in order that he may 
read wisely. Now I shall try and tell you, as well as I can in 
a few pages, how to read, and the good that is to be gained 
from reading ; but there is something to be said first. You 
must learn — 

How to use Books. — Books deserve to be treated with care. 
Think of the labor it has cost to produce them ! The author's 
head-work is the hardest labor of all ; but the paper-maker, 
the printer, the binder, the publisher, and sometimes the art- 
ist, have each to use brains and hands in the making of a book 


If it be a good book, which our poet Milton calls " the precious 
life-blood of a master-spirit," no toil is too great to expend 
upon it. If the words are beautiful, so also should be the 
form, and many of our publishers' take delight in bringing out 
editions of famous poets and prose writers that it, is a luxury 
to handle and to read. Now, not only books like these, but 
every book we read, should be used in a careful manner. We 
are gentle towards everything we love, and people who love 
books will be sure to treat them gently. Here are four rules 
to remember — i. Never turn ^own the leaves of a book. 

2. Never play with the leaves so that they become dog-eared. 

3. Never read a book with dirty or inky fingers. 4. Never place 
a book upon the table face downwards, lest you should crack 
the binding. A book that has been well read will no doubt 
show signs of use ; but if it have been read with proper care, 
it will not show signs of neglect. 

Suitable Books, — Young children with a craving for books 
cannot always gratify their special tastes, but must be con- 
tent with what they find in the family bookcase. Pious peo- 
ple, who really want to do children good, will sometimes give 
them tracts or little books which teach them what a wicked 
world they live in, an5 how — ^which is, indeed, quite true — 
pain and sorrow and death are evils common to all men. A 
happy, healthy child, who has been taught to love his heavehly 
Father, who enjoys the sunshine and the flowers and feels his 
life in every limb, may read books of this kind, and for a mo- 
ment be made unhappy by them ; but he looks up to see his 
mother's smile, or he runs out into the fields and hears the 
birds singing,, and the belief that he has been born into a 
happy world is once more strong within him. The tracts, you 
see, make no impression, because they are not fitting food for 
a joyous child ; and just so, books that will do you good ser- 
vice must be books you can partially understand and appre- 
ciate. I say partially^ because it is not necessary you should J 
understand all a book teaches in order to gain delight from it 


and wisdom s^lso. It is a gre^t pity when a boy or girl who 
really likes reading is forced to read dull books or books that 
are unsuitable. And it is a terrible pity when all the litera- 
ture open to boys and girls is of a trivial, feeble sort, or worse 
still, of a corrupting character. Happily good books for the 
' young are numerous, and there are few children, whether in 
country or town, that have not access to some well selected 
parish library. 

The Bible. — And here, perhaps, I may remind you that there 
is one book good for all ages and for all circumstances in life. 
The first book an English child will learn to read is the Bible 
—that is to say. The Book which ranks above all other books 
as containing the word of God. It would be easy to fill these 
pages with good words about the Bible ; but that is not my 
object now. All I want to say is that, apart from the great 
purpose with which it has been given to us, this book, or 
rather these books, for the Bible consists of many volumes 
composed in different ages by historians, prophets, poets and 
apostles — this book, I say, is the most interesting that has 
ever been written. There is, no doubt, much in it hard to be 
understood ; but there is much more which a child can under- 
stand and enjoy. The beautiful Old-Testament stories of 
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of Samuel and David, of Elijah 
and Daniel, are told in our translation of the Bible in the most 
beautiful English that was ever written. Then in Job, the 
book of Psalms, and the prophecies of Isaiah, we have the 
devout thoughts of good men expressed in the highest strain 
of poetry ; and passing on from these, we come to the simple 
g:ospel story — the story of glad tidings — ^with our Lord's par- 
ables and precepts, his gracious deeds and divine words, fol- 
lowed by the Acts of the Apostles, and the letters they wrote 
to the first Christian disciples. Our English Bible is not only 
the first book that should be read by the child, because it 
tells him what no other book can, but because it is the key to 
so many other good books — that is to say, it opens them and 


makes them plain. Nobody who has read this wonderful book 
carefully and who loves the wise and beautiful lessons it con- 
tains, will like to read what is coarse and evil, fee will have a 
taste for something better. 

Two Words explained, — You will all have seen the word " lit- 
erature," but probably you would find it difficult to tell me 
what it means. I must try and explain.the term as well as I 
can. First of all, I will tell you what it is not. Books have 
been written upon every subject in which men are interested. 
The architect, the engineer, the lawyer, the doctor consult 
books that will help them in their professions ; but lawbooks, 
and medical books, and books on architecture — books written 
for a special class — are not literature. On the other hand> 
books written in verse or prose that awaken thought, that 
give solace and delight, and lift us above the narrow round of 
our daily life — books that make us happier, wiser, even merrier 
— are books that deserve to be called literature. Our poets, 
our historians, our essayists, our novelists, the travelers who 
describe what they have seen in different parts' of the world, 
the critics who write about books and show us their faults and 
beauties, have all contribilted to build up what we call* our 
national literature, by which we mean the literature produced 
by Englishmen. Every great people has produced a noble 
literature, and this is, indeed, one of the chief signs of its 
greatness. We read the literature of the Jews in the books 
which form our Bible ; ancient Greece produced a literature 
unequaled in Europe to this day for beauty of language and 
wealth of thought ; Rome, that once ruled the world, did 
so first by the sword, then by her laws, and then by the poets 
and historians who have made the Latin language so famous. 
Modern nations, too — such as Germany, France and Italy— can 
each boast a national literature ; but not one of these coun- 
tries has a literature equal to that which is open to readers of 
the English language. Here, then, is a vast store-house foU 
to overflowing of precious treasures, and thewealtk piled «¥ 


may so puzzle the youth who looks in at the door, that he 
will perhaps hesitate to enter. What can he do ? he may ask ; 
how can he best use the good gifts that wise and great Eng- 
lishmen have left for his service ? In reply to this question 
I must explain to you another word, and that word is Cul- 
ture. You know the difference between land in its natural 
state and land that has been drained and manured, that has 
felt the plowshare and the harrow ; you know, too, the dif- 
ference between the flowers of our woods and fields and the 
flowers that grow in a well-cared-for garden. Some sort of 
difference like this may be seen between people whose minds 
have been allowed to run wild and people whose minds are 
carefully cultivated. The contrast, however, is not quite com- 
plete, because nature however wild, and flowers however un- 
tended, are always beautiful ; but there is no beauty in a mind 
that like the garden of the sluggard, contains nothing save 
wild briars, thistles and thorns. In order, then, to read books 
so as to get good out of them, the mind needs culture, which 
is not mere knowledge, although that is very needful, but the 
power of seeing what is good and wise in a book, and reject- 
ing what is feeble and false. This power cannot be acquired 
off-hand like a lesson. Some people, although they may read 
a great deal, never gain this gift, never know how to use their 
reading wisely. They have a confused notion of many things, 
but they know nothing thoroughly, partly because they have 
never had the training so necessary in early life, and partly 
because they read books in a sleepy, stupid way, content to 
be amused, and not wishing to learn. Reading, you will see, 
may be the idlest of pastimes, a pursuit followed from mere 
indolence and emptiness of mind. I am writing, however, for 
boys and girls who want to know how to read, and for them a 
few hints shall be given that may prove generally useful. 

Reading with a Purpose. — Some of the children who read 
these pages will have visited the British Museum, but few 
probably have entered the reading room with its splendid 


dome and vast shelves of books. Those who may have done 
so will have been told that the books they see are but few in 
comparison with the number contained in that immense 
library. Now it is evident that if a man were to read in that 
room every day and all day through a long life, the books he 
read would be insignificant in number v/hen compared with the 
volumes stored up in the nruseum. What then does the stu- . 
dent do, who wants to make good use of that great library ? 
He selects a subject, and chooses books that will tell him 
what he wants to know on that subject. And just in the same 
way the boy or girl who loves reading, and wishes to gain 
from it something more than mere amusement, must choose 
some subject — that is to say, he must read with a purpose. 
Mind I do not say that amusement is not sometimes a suffi- 
cient reason for taking up a book. We cannot be always wise,, 
and a capital story-book — a book for example like ** Alice in 
Wonderland," or " Cast up by the Sea," is as good a recreation 
for a child on a rainy day as a game of cricket or rounders 
when the sun is shining. As you grow up you will, I hope, 
read a number of stories, and among others, the stories written 
by Sir Walter §cott, which are so pure, so wise, so beautiful, 
that young people, and old people too, will be happier and 
better for reading them. The boy or girl who does not love 
a good tale will not often be found to care for books of any 

But if reading for amusement is an easy and pleasant thing 
to do in leisure moments, reading with a purpose requires 
resolution and courage. Without these virtues neither boy 
nor man will do much good in Hfe, and therefore it is well to 
remember, even in early years, that nothing of lasting value 
can be acquired without labor. There is no doubt plenty of 
reading that needs no thought, but then it does no good, and 
only serves, as people say, to kill time — a horrible expression 
when you come to think about it. To get good from a book 
you must feel a thorough interest in it. A boy who keeps 


pigeons and is fond of them will read with great eagerness any 
book that tells him about those birds ; and you may be sure 
that when he reaches the end of that book he will have 
learned all it has to teach him. And the reason is plain. The 
boy is interested in his subject, he wants to gain knowledge, 
and this desire makes it pleasant to acquire it. So you see he 
has been reading with a purpose. 

A Plan for Reading. — The young reader who is beginning 
to understand the importance of reading is apt to waste the 
time which he is really wishing to improve. Now it is impos- 
sible to give him all the advice that might be of use to him in 
this difficulty, but I will give him one hint that may be service- 
able, and one which an intelligent boy or girl can follow to 
some extent alone, and may follow easily with the help of a 

I will suppose that the student has already some knowledge 
of English history, and especially of that history from the time 
of the Reformation, when a new era began in these islands. 
Whatever is really noble in English literature (with the excep- 
tion of the poetry of Chaucer, who ranks among our greatest 
poets and lived in the fourteenth century) dates from the latter 
part of the sixteenth century, so that speaking roughly we 
may say that all the famous books England has given to the 
world have been given within three hundred years. Suppose 
then that we make our starting point the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth. If the chief events of that interesting reign are 
known to the young reader, he will have learned from it, or 
rather this knowledge will come with riper age, that though 
our ancestors had many faults in those days (different, but not 
perhaps worse faults than we exhibit now), they had also 
splendid virtues, courage, self-denial, the love of enterprise, the 
love of country, faith in themselves "and in God. The books 
people write are an index to character, and the books 
written during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and James I. 
show the character of that age. Therefore you will see that 


the actions of that time, as described by the historian, and tlie 
words of that time, uttered in Hterary form by poets and other 
writers, serve to illustrate each other. Study carefully then 
the history of Elizabeth's reign, and that of her successor, 
store up in your memory the principal dates and events, and 
then when these are familiar read some of the best books, or 
selections from the best books, written during that period, 
and learn the most important facts in the authors' lives. 
This advice is not, of course, intended for very young children, 
but boys and girls of twelve years old and upwards should 
not find it difficult to follow. They might read some of Shake- 
speare's plays, some beautiful passages from Spenser's " Fairie 
Queene," and many of the lovely songs and lyrics written in 
that golden age of English poetry ; and they might read, and 
could not fail to read with pleasure, the lives of the brave 
soldiers, sailors, and travelers who helped to make that age 
so famous — the lives, for instance, of Drake and Frobisher 
of Sir Philip Sidney and of Sir Walter Raleigh, which have 
all been written, and written extremely well, by modern 
writers. It was the age of adventure, and the daring deeds of 
English seamen were as famous then as they have been in 
later years. Read what those men did, and you will say that 
they were men of whom Wolfe and Nelson and Collingwood 
might well have been proud. Read about the Elizabethan 
heroes in the first place, and then if you read the life of Lord 
Nelson, so beautifully told by Southey, or the life of the good 
and brave Collingwood, or the lives of Wellington, Lawrence, 
and Havelock, whose brave doings should be known to every 
English child, you will learn how the spirit that animated the 
men who fought and labored for England three hundred years 
ago has inspired also the splendid deeds achieved in our own 
century. Thus you can see that books will not only tell you 
what has been done by famous Englishmen in days gone by, 
but may also call forth one of the noblest of virtues — patriot- 
ism, or the love of country. And no man who loves Englai»l 



no child who has learned to be proud of his English birthright, 
will do aught that can disgrace the English name. The more 
you know of this dear island — "this precious stone set in the 
silver sea " — the better will you love it, and this knowledge, 
remember, is to be chiefly gained by books. You will under- 
stand now, I think, how close is the connection between the 
history of a country and its literature — between the heroes,, 
martyrs, and statesmen, who have fought, bled, and labored 
for their country's welfare, and the poets and historians who 
have sung their praises or recorded their acts. 

One or two words more must be added here.- You will see 
that the plan of reading suggested may be followed through 
any reign, or any portion of a reign, but though system in 
reading is good, it is not necessary to follow it too strictly. 
Sometimes it may be best to read the book that comes easiest 
to hand, and a good book, remember, may be read and read 
and read again, and each time with greater benefit. What 
child ever grew tired of " Robinson Crusoe " or the " Pilgrim's 
Progress ? " what man that loves reading can grow weary of 
Shakespeare or of Scott } The number of books and cheap 
magazines printed in our day may tempt a young reader to 
be indolent, and to pass from one to another as a butterfly 
from flower to flower without mastering any. A few books 
well chosen and well read will be better than many books 
glanced at carelessly. A sensible man. Sir Thomas Powell 
Buxton, advised his son not to take up any book without 
reading it to the end. The advice may have been good for 
Buxton's Son, but it is not good in all cases, and might disgust 
some young readers altogether. For different minds not only 
is different food needed, but it must be taken in a different 
way. Variety is more necessary in some cases than in others, 
but all minds — ^young minds as well as old — need discipline ; 
and if it be enough for the student to taste certain books, it 
is only when other books are patiently studied and inwardly 
digested. ^ 


How to Remember What is Read. — I have said that we do 
not easily forget what we read on a subject that greatly inter- 
ests us. A man who is told that some one has left him a large 
sum of money is sure not to forget that news. A boy who 
has the promise of a cricket-bat will not forget that promise. 
And so you see there is a connection between a strong inter- 
est and a good memory. It is generally true that ^ man who 
loves poetry remembers poetry ; that the man with a strong 
curiosity to learn the facts of histor)'^ remembers those*facts; 
and it may be safely said that the child wh9se interest is 
thoroughly aroused in any subject is certain to recollect what 
he reads about it. There are many things it is necessary to 
know which cannot attract a child. These must be learned 
by heart ; and as the memory, like every other faculty, grows 
stronger by exercise, it is well that it should be thus used in 
early life. Useful facts, such as dates, if stored in the mem- 
ory while young, will be fresh for use in after days, and in all 
future reading they will be found of service. There are other 
ways in which the memory may be strengthened ; and no 
doubt the young reader will agree with me that if not more 
useful these ways are more agreeable than the dull storing up 
of figures. Suppose, for instance, that after reading a charm- 
ing tale you shut the volunje and try to tell the story to your 
brothers and sisters. This may, no doubt, be difficult at first; 
but the labor will soon become a pleasure, and the effort to 
recall the tale will so fix it in your mind that many a long 
year afterwards it will be still remembered. This is one hint 
to the boy or girl bent upon self-improvement ; and I need 
scarcely add that the endeavor to write down in simple lan- 
guage an account of what has been read is another way of 
strengthening the memory. Indeed, it is something more, 
and may be a lesson in English composition, which is, you 
know, the art of writing English. 

Reading Aloud, — ^The art of reading aloud should be prac- 
ticed by every reader. A book read in a clear voice, with 



proper emphasis and feeling, seems quite different from the. 
same book read in a sing-song drawl. The noblest words 
ever written are likely to fall upon deaf ears whBn read as 
task work and without animation. The mind of the reader does 
not come into contact with the mind of the writer ; and so the 
thoughts uttered, however beautiful and worthy, make little 
if any impression on those who hear them. Every child will 
have noticed this in a church. One clergyman has read the 
words of Bible or Prayer-book so as to compel him to listen : 
another has read the same words so as to send him to sleep. 
To read well you must understand and feel what you are 
reading, and the more alive with meaning the words are to 
you the better will you utter them. Thus a good reader not 
only makes his hearers understand the books he reads but 
proves by his clearness of utterance and modulation of tone 
that he understands it well himself. 

A good voice is what we call a gift of nature and the charm 
of its sweetest tones cannot be acquired ; but the voice is so 
flexible an organ, that, however naturally defective, it can be 
trained and improved, and every young person may learn the 
art of elocution, or of distinct and forcible utterance, which is 
essential to good reading. Poetry and rhythmical prose, that 
is to say, prose that moves in a kind of harmonious measure, 
should be read aloud, and if possible in the open air. Let thq 
boy or girl begin by a clear and energetic recitation of such 
stirring verses as Drayton's "Agincourt," Scott's "Flodden 
Field," Campbell's " Hohenlinden," Macaulay's " Lays," and 
Tennyson's " Charge of the Light Brigade." From these he 
might pass on to descriptive and pathetic poetry — to the in- 
comparable " Elegy " of Gray, to Goldsmith's " Traveler " and 
"Deserted Village," to " Wordsworth's loveliest lyrics, and to 
the many noble passages in Shakespeare which are fitted for 
recitation. And lastly, let him turn to the sublime and unap- 
proachable harmony of Milton, whose majestic verse, although 
perhaps but dimly understood, will fill the ear and gladden 


. the heart with its enchanting music and superb beauty of form. 
Every word in the works of a great poet has a special mean- 
ing, and so you will see how necessary it is that every word 
should receive due attention from the reader. In reading 
prose it is possible to slur over words, to clip them, and to 
treat them with something like contempt, but in reading 
verse this is not so easy to do, and therefore it will be well to 
study the art of reading aloud through the help of our great 
poets. And, in order to succeed in this accomplishment, it is 
advisable — 1 had almost said necessary — to commit poetry to 
memory. Thus only will it become a part, as it were, of your 
mental property, and only by this familiarity with poetical 
words and imagery will you be able to read poetry as it de- 
serves to be read. It is not necessary to do more than men- 
tion the conspicuous faults of bad readers. Some read as if 
they were crying, although the subject may be the merriest 
in the world; some whine and some drawl; some assume an 
artificial sort of voice, altogether unlike the voice in which they 
talk to a friend ; some lay an emphasis on the wrong words; 
some mumble their words so indistinctly, and read in such a 
monotonous tone, that it is impossible to listen to them, with 
patience. Remember, then, in reading aloud, to avoid all tire- 
some effort. Be natural ; speak with clearness ; understand 
and feel what you read ; and you can hardly fail to read well. 
And now, before I end this " talk," let me remind you that 
it is possible to be a slave even to books. Books cannot be 
loved too well, but they must be loved wisely. Spme young 
people live in a kind of book-world, and fojget the living 
world around them, and older people become sometimes so 
absorbed in the imaginary griefs of characters in novels as 
to disregard the real troubles of their friends and neighbors. 
This is not making a good use of books. Then, if books so 
occupy you that you do not care about the beautiful world in 
which you are living, it is a. sign that you are not using them 
to good purpose. The mountains and woods, the sky an< 



ocean, the birds and flowers have a thousand voices ; but it is 
possible to close our ears against them, and to despise that 
Book of Nature which is open to every one and has a lesson 
for all. Yet remember that other books are great and pure 
and noble, in proportion as they make us see more clearly and 
enjoy more thankfully the glories displayed in this infinitely 
wonderful book, of which David speaks so well in the nine- 
teenth Psalm and in the one hundred and fourth Psalm. 
Many and many a lesson must be learned about this world 
which books cannot convey, and the proof of what a man 
knows and can do is not always to be tested by his book- 
knowledge. It is possible to write many books or to read 
them without growing in wisdom, just as it is possible to 
travel in foreign countries and to learn no more than if ytJu 
had remained at home. 

I hope that what has been said will be enough to teach 
many a young reader that one of the most substantial en- 
joyments of life is to be found in books. With such com- 
panions no one need be idle or dull. Let them be used 
thoughtfully and lovingly, and you will find that they grow 
dearer every day. 

John Dennis, in Grt>od Words. 



Fellow-citizens— I cannot assume the position which be- 
longs to me to-day, as president of the Bunker Hill Monu- 
ment Association, and enter on the discharge of the duties 
which devolve upon me in that capacity, without first giving 
expression to my deep sense of the honor of an office which 
has been held heretofore by so many distinguished men. 

♦ An oration delivered at the unveiling of W. W. Story's statue of Col. William 
Prescott, at Boston, June 17, 1881. 


Fifty-eight years have now elapsed since this assoriatioii 
received its charter of incorporation from the Legislature of 
Massachusetts. During that period its presidency has been 
held, successively, by the gallant Revolutionary patriot, John 
Brooks ; by the illustrious defender of the Constitution of the 
United States, Daniel Webster ; by the grand old Boston mer- 
chant and philanthropist, Thomas Handasyd Perkins ; by that 
sterling statesman and admirable governor, Levi Lincoln ; by 
that eminent and learned jurist and judge, William Prescott; 
by the amiable physician. Dr. Abner Phelps ; by the accom- 
plished and independent editor, Joseph T* Buckingham ; by 
the worthy and faithful historian of the association, George 
Washington Warren ; and lastly, by the devoted and excellent 
historian of the battle itself, and of everything relating to that 
battle — including " The Siege of Boston," " The Life of War- 
ren," and '* The Rise of the Republic "-—-our lamented friend, 
whose name I cannot pronounce without a fresh sense of his 
loss to us and to the history of his country — Richard Froth- 

If, my friends, at the termination of the brief service on 
which I can look back, and the certainly not longer service to 
which I may look forward, my own name shall not be thought 
unworthy of such associations, I shall count it to have been 
among the crowning distinctions of a life now drawing to its 

One, only, of my predecessors is left among the living, 
whose term of service, as I may not forget, equals those of 
all others put together, and whose presence is thus welcomed 
with peculiar interest on this occasion. 

One, only, of those predecessors was present, as a witness 
and as an actor, at the conflict which our monument commem- 
orates, — ^John Brooks of Medford — remembered well by some 
ot us as a model governor of Massachusetts, bu{ in 1775 a 
young major in Colonel Frye's regiment ; who aided the 
heroic Prescott in the construction of the redoubt ; who 1^ 


his chosen companion in that midnight stroll upon the shore, 
to make sure that the British sentinels had taken no alarm 
and were still crying " All's well T and who only left this hill 
at last to bear a message, on foot, from Prescott to General 
Ward at Cambridge, — across that Neck of fii;e, on which the 
veteran Pomeroy, while willingly exposing his own life, would 
notrisk the life of a borrowed horse, amid the ceaseless storm 
of shot ^and shell which was sweeping over it from floating 
batteries and from fixed batteries, from the Lively and the 
Falcon and the Glasgow and the Somerset and the Cerberus ; 
a message, not askmg to be relieved by other troops, for Pres- 
cott scorned the idea that the men who had raised the works 
had not the best right, and were not the best able, to defend 
them, but a message imploring those reinforcements Md sup- 
plies of men, of ammunition, and*of food which had been pro- 
mised the night before, but most of which never came, or came 
too late. That was the perilous service performed by our first 
presiding officer. That was the ordeal to which he was sub- 
jected. I may well congratulate myself that no such crucial 
test of courage has been transmitted as an heirloom of this 
chair, or is prescribed as an indispensable qualification of 
those who occupy it. 

For those who have succeeded Governor Brooks, it has 
been privilege and pride enough to assist in the erection and 
preservation of thfs noble shaft ; in commemorating from year 
to year the patriotism and heroism of the men who fought 
this first great battle of the American Revolution ; and in 
illustrating the principles and motives which inspired and 
actuated them. This duty has been discharged faithfully and 
fully in the past, and but little remains to be done by any one 
hereafter. The inspiration and influence which have already 
proceeded from these silent blocks of granite, since they were 
first hewn out from yonder Quincy quarries, — as they were 
slowly piled up through a period of eighteen years, to a height 
of two hundred and twenty-one feet, and as they have since 


stood in their majestic unity and grandeur, — can never be over- - 
estimated. The words which have been uttered at its base and 
around it, from the first magnificent address of Daniel Webster, 
the orator alike of the corner-stone and of the capstone, down 
to the present hour, have been second to no other inspiration 
or influence, since those of the battle itself, in animating and 
impelling the sons to emulate the glory of their fathers, and to 
be ever ready and ever resolved to jeopard their live^, on the 
high places of the field, in defense of Union and Liberty. 

For indeed, my friends, this stately obelisk is no mere mute 
memorial of the past, but a living ^nd speaking pledge for 
the future, that those free institutions for which the first great 
struggle was made here, at the vpry point of the bayonet, shall 
here and always find glad and g'allant defenders, whenever 
and wherever those institutions shall be assailed. It is not a 
structure — thanks to those who designed and built it — capable 
of being desecrated or perverted — as, alas ! the Old South has 
been, and the Old State House still is — ^to purposes of gain or 
traffic. It occupies ground on which no speculation would 
ever dare to encroach, or even to cast a rapacious or covetous 
eye. Its simple, massive masonry may defy any less unimag- 
inable convulsion than such as has recently overwhelmed the • 
poor island of Chios. Not a monolith ; not of any m)rthologi- 
cal or mythical origin ; there will be no temptation for archae- 
ologists to dislocate it from its rightful surroundings, and bear 
it away to strange and uncongenial climes. Here, on the very- 
spot where Prescott fought and Warren fell, it will stand and 
tell its wondrous story of the birth of American Liberty, in 
plain, distinct, unmistakable characters, to the thousands and 
tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands who shall visit 
it or gaze upon it, for as manj*^ centuries as the equivocal hiero- 
glyphics of the obelisk of Alexandria, now so marvelously 
.translated to the Central Park at New York, have told the 
story of Egyptian despots and dynasties. 

How different a story ! What gratitude to God and man 


should swell our hearts at this hour, as such a contrast is even 
suggested — as we turn from the contemplation of Pharaohs 
and Ptolemies to that of dur august and unique Washington, 
and from the darkness of paganism to the glorious light of 
Christianity ! Formal doxologies may.disappear from revised 
New Testaments, — hs they ought to disappear if not found in 
the original text of the sacred volume — but they will never 
fail to be breathed up to the skies from millions of pious and 
patriotic hearts, from generation to generation, for the bless- 
ings of civil and religious freedom, until those blessings shall 
cease to be enjoyed and appreciated ! 

- And now, fellow-citizens, in hailing the return of a day, 
which can hardly be counted of inferior interest or importance 
to any day in the whole illuminated calendar of the American 
Revolution, and is welcoming you all, as it is my official 
province to do, to its renewed observance on these con- 
secrated heights, I have no purpose of entering upon any 
detailed historical discourse. The seventeenth of June, 1775, 
as its successive anniversaries come round, from year to year, 
will never be overlooked, nor ever fail to awaken fresh 
emotions of gratiiude and joy in every American breast. But 
. the more formal and stately commemorations of the day may 
well succeed each other at considerable intervals. Our mag- 
nificent centennial celebration, with all its brilliant incidents 
and utterances, is still too fresh in our remembrance, and in 
the remembrance of the whole country, to bear any early 
repetition. Nor would we forget, if we could forget, that 
other centennial celebrations are now rightfully in order. 

The year '75 belonged peculiarly to Massachusetts — ^to 
Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill. The whole nation 
recognized our claim. From the east and the west, from the 
north and the. south, alike, to yonder plains of the first blood, 
and to this hill of the first battle, the people were seen flock- 
ing in numbers which could not be counted. Citizens and 
soldiers of almost every variety of military or civil associa- 


tion ; representative organizations and representative men ; 
mayors of cities, governors of states, senators and cabinet 
officers, the President of the United^ States to one of them, 
and the Vice-President to both, came gladly, at the call of 
Massachusetts, to unite with her in her sumptuous and splendid 
ceremonials. Six years only have since elapsed, during which* 
we have rejoiced to see other states, and other cities and towns, 
in New York and New Jersey, in Vermont and Pennsylvania, 
in North Carolina and South Carolina, and I know not where 
besides, holding high holidays on the hundredth anniversaries 
of events which have illustrated their own annals. 

Another great year of our Lord and of liberty has at 
length arrived, and is already far advanced, and the attention 
of the whole country is now justly turned to that momentous 
Southern campaign of 1781, which began with the great battle 
of the Cowpens, — ^just celebrated so worthily, — and which 
ended with the surrender of the British army to the allied forces 
of America arid France at Yorktown. I need not say that all 
our hearts ought to be, and are, with our brethren of the 
South, as they are so eagerly preparing to celebrate the great 
events which occurred on their own soil. We should shrink 
from anything which might even seem like competition by 
renewing a general and costly celebration here. Rather let 
our sympathies be freely offered, and our <:ontributions be 
liberally remitted to them ; and let us show how heartily we 
unite with them in their just pride and exultation that the soil 
of the Old Dominion was privileged to be the scene of the 
crowning victory of American independence. And may the 
blended associations and memories of Yorktown and Bunker 
Hill supply the reciprocal warp and woof for weaving afresh 
any ties of mutual respect and mutual affection which may 
have been unstrung or loosened by the storm of civil war, and 
which may still remain snarled and tangled, and for renewing 
the chords of brotherhood and those bonds of union which 
shall be as imperishable as the glories of our common fathers ! 


I have said, fellow-citizens, that I did not come here to-day 
to deliver any elaborate or exhaustive historical discourse. 
Indeed, where could I turn, even if it were expected or desired 
by any one that I should describe in detail the struggle which 
has made this hill so historic and so hallowed — where could I 
turn for any materials which have not already become hack- 
neyed and threadbare, and which are not as familiar as house- 
hold words to those who surround me ? No battle of its size, 
or of any size, the world over, from Marathon to Waterloo, or 
earlier or later, on either side of the ocean, has been more 
thoroughly investigated and more minutely depicted than that 
which took place here one hundred and six years ago to-day. 
Of all its antecedents and inducing causes— the stamp act, the 
writs of assistance, the British regiments, the Boston massa- 
cre, the tea tax, the tea party, the Boston port bill, Lexington, 
Concord — of which one of them all has a single fact, a single 
tradition, a single illustratipn, eluded the research of our his- 
torians and antiquarians, our orators and poets ? And as to 
the conflict itself — to which they all pointed and led, like so 
many guideposts or railway tracks to a common and predes- 
tined terminus — what could be added to the brilliant chapters 
of Bancroft, the thrilling sketch of Washington Irving, the 
careful illustrations of Lossing, the elaborate and faithful 
narrative of Frothingham, and the earlier and most valuable 
histor)'- of Dr. George E. Ellis, who made even Frothingham his 
debtor? Meantime, as I am but too conscious, the rhetoric, 
as well as the record, has been drawn upon to the last dreg. 
Not only have Webster and Everett, again and again, con- 
densed and crystallized all the great scenes and incidents and 
emotions of the day in those consummate phrases and periods 
of theirs, which defy all rivalry, and supply the most inspiring 
and wholesome declamation for all our schools ; but the whole 
story was told again, with signal felicity and skill, in all the 
fullness of its impressive details, by the orator of the Centen- 
nial, General Devens, whose presence is always so welcome 
in his native Charlestown. 


No one, I think, with such histories and field-books and 
hand-books at command, and who has not wholly neglected 
such sources of information, can come up to these consecrated 
heights, to this Mons Sacer of New England, on this day, or 
on any day, without finding the whole scene unrolling itself 
before his eye like some grand stereoscopic panorama. He 
recalls the -sudden gathering of the three selected Massachu- 
setts regiments — with the little Connecticut fatigue party 
under the intrepid Knowlton, in front of General Ward's head- 
quarters at Cambridge on the evening of the i6th of June. 
He sees Prescott taking command, agreeably to the order of 
the commander-in-chief. He hears, as through a telephone^ 
the solemn and fervent prayer of President Langdon, before 
they moved from the Common. He takes up the silent march 
with them, just as the clock strikes nine, and follows close by 
the side of those two sergeants, bearing dark lanterns, behind 
Prescott leading the way. He halts with them after crossing 
to this peninsula, as they approach the scene of their destina- 
tion, and shares their perplexing uncertainties as to the true 
place for their proposed intrenchments. He is here with them 
at last, on this very spot, with nothing brighter than starlight, 
thank Heaven, when they first arrived, to betray them to the 
British in Boston, and with only a little " remnant of a waning 
moon " afterwards. He hears and sees the first spades and 
pickaxes struck into the now sacred sod just as the Boston 
clocks strike twelve — ^giving their ominous warning that the 
night is far spent, that the day is at hand, that four hours at 
most remain before the darkness shall be gone, when they and 
their works must be exposed to the view and the assault of 
the enemy. But he sees a thousand strong arms, every one 
with a patriot's will behind it, steadily and vigorously improv- 
ing every instant of those hours ; and the dawning of that 
bright midsummer St. Botolph's day finds him stan4ing with 
Prescott within an almost finished redoubt of six or seven feet 
'n height, inclosing a space of eight rods square, and swarm- 

r with the sons of Liberty. 


But, alas, the panorama is but half unrolled. Crimson folds, 
not altogether the reflections of a blazing, fiery sunshine, 
begin to show themselves, as the vision of our imaginary- 
visitor proceeds. ,He witnesses the amazement and consterna- 
tion of the British sentinels on ship and shore, as they rouse 
themselves and rub their eyes to descry the rebel intrench- 
ments which have sprung up like a prodigy. He hears the 
angry and furious cannonade which bursts forth at once from 
the dogs of war anchored in the stream. He walks the para- 
pet with Prescott, lo give confidence and courage to his sol- 
diers, as they see one of their number, for the first time, shot 
• down and dying at their side. He perceives the hurried 
preparations in Boston ; he sees the dragoons galloping with 
orders from the Province House to the camp on the Common ; 
he hears the rattle of the artillery wagons along the pave- 
ments. The big barges for transportation come at length in 
sight, with the glittering brass six-pounders in their bows, and 
crowded from stem to stern with grenadiers and light infantry 
and marines in their gay scarlet uniforms. He sees them 
landing at yonder Morton's Point, and coolly refreshing them- 
selves on the grass for an encounter with our half-starved and 
almost wholly exhausted raw militia. The first onset, with 
its grand and triumphant repulse ; the second onset, while 
Charlestown is now blazing, and amid every circumstance and 
complication of horror, but with its even grander and still 
more triumphant repulse, — these pass rapidly before his exults 
ing eye. An interval now occurs. " Will they come on 
again ? " is heard on the American side. " It would be down- 
right butchery for us," is heard from some of the British 
soldfers on the other side. And, certainjy, the pluck of old 
Mother England was never more signally displayed on our 
soil, or on any other soil beneath the sun, than when General 
Sir William Howe, as brave in the field as he was sometimes 
irresolute and unskillful in strategy, with Brigadier Pigot as 
his lieutenant, and with Sir Henry Clinton as a volunteer, led 


up what remained of grenadiers and light infantry — their 
knapsacks stripped from their backs, and relying wholly on 
their bayonets — to that third terrific onset, which comes at 
last to sear the very eyeballs of any actual, or even imaginary 
beholder. But there was pluck at the top of the hill as well 
as at the bottom, or on the way up, — bone of the same bone, 
flesh of the same flesh, blood of the same blood, — ^the valor of 
Old England, inflamed and electrified by the spirit of liberty, 
in the heart, mind, and muscle of New England. 

Prescott with his little band is seen standing undatinted at 
bay, displaying there and ever — as Ebenezer Bancroft of 
Tyngsborough, a captain in Bridge's regiment, who fought 
bravely and was wounded at his side, bore special witness 
that he had displayed through the hottest of the fight — a cool- 
ness and self-posession that would do honor to the greatest 
hero of any age. But, alas ! their ammunition is exhausted, 
and tlie British have overheard that it is. The very last artil- 
lery cartridge has been broken up and distributed to the 
sharpshooters, and there are but fifty bayonets for the whole 
remaining band — hardly a hundred and fifty of them left. 
The grenadiers and marines are already seen scaling the ram- 
parts. The brave but rash Major Pitcairn, who had given the 
first fatal order to fire at Lexington, and who was now the 
first to enter here, falls mortally wounded. But hundreds of 
his men are close behind him, and bayonets and clubbed mus- 
kets are now making a chaotic scene of carnage and havoc 
which beggars all description. The redoubt can no longer be 
held against such desperate odds, and the voice of its wise 
as well as fearless, commander is at length heard, giving the 
word to retire. 

The battle still rages at earthworks and at rail fences — 
almost a separate engagement — where Stark and Pomeroy and 
Knowlton have been doing such gallant service from the 
beginning; and where Putnam, who had advised and accom- 
panied the original movement, and had displayed every attri- 


bute of his heroic nature in promoting its successful prosecu- 
tion, in almost every stage of its progress, is seen still striving 
to make a last stand on the neighboring hill-top, and to cover 
the retreat of his brave comrades from the redoubt. But all 
th^ is auxiliary and incidental, as vain. It is one and 
the same battle, in its inception and in its close. The day is 
decided ; the conflict ended ; and Prescott, among the very 
last to quit the intrenchments, having resolved never to be 
taken alive, and parrying the thrusts of British bayonets by 
dint of. his trusty blade, comes out with garments scorched 
and pierced, but himself providentially unscathed ; and he 
•may now be seen, on the final fold of our imaginary pano- 
rama, at the headquarters of Greneral Ward at Cambridge — from 
which he started the evening before — ^to report that he had 
executed his orders, had made the best fight in his power, 
and had yielded at last onjy to superior force. 

Such, fellow-citizens and friends, are the faint outlines of a 
picture which passes rapidly along before any tolerably in- 
structed eye, as it looks out on these surroundings — impress- 
ing itself on retina and lens as vividly and distinctly as Bos- 
ton's Centennial pageant last autumn, or Harvard's Greek play 
last month, was impressed on every eye which witnessed either 
of them. Such a picture is enough for this occasion. These 
Charlestowh heights, of which it might almost have been said, 
as Virgil said of the afterwards famous Alban Mount — 

Turn neqne nomen erat, nee honos, aut gloria Monti, 

which then had neither glory nor honor, nor even distinct 
and well-defined names — Bunker Hill and its dependent slope, 
Breed — were lost to us on that day. The consequences of the 
battle, and even the confused details of it, developed them- 
selves slowly. It took time for an immediate defeat to put 
on the aspect and wear the glories of a triumph. I doubt 
not that some of the old Mandamus Councilors in Boston 
went to their beds that night thinking what a fine conspicuous 
site this would be for setting up a monument of solemn 


warning, for all time to come, of the disasters which were 
sure to fall on the heads of rebels against British rule ! Even 
by our own New England patriots the result, we are told, was 
regarded at first not without disappointment and even indig- 
nation, and some of the contemporary American accounts, 
private and official, are said to have been rather in the tone of 
apology, or even of, censure, than of exultation. Nobody for 
years, adds Frothingham, came forward to claim the honor of 
having directed this battle. 

No wonder that a cloud of uncertainty so long rested on 
the exact course and conduct of this eventful action. Every 
one was wholly occupied in making history ; there was no* 
leisure for writing history. It was a sudden movement. It 
was a secret movement. It was designed only to get the start 
of the British by an advance of our line of intrenchments. 
No . one imagined that it would involve a battle, and no 
adequate provision was made for such an unexpected contin- 
gency. The very order for its execution — the order of Ward 
to Prescott — the only order from any one, or to any one, 
relating to it, was, without doubt, designedly withheld from 
the order-book of the commander^n-chief at Cambridge, It 
certainly has never been found. ^ 

Meantime, one incident of the conflict had overwhelmed 
the whole people with grief. The death of Warren, the 
president of the Provincial Congress, the chairman of the 
Committee of Safety, the only chief executive magistr^tte 
which Massachusetts then had, and who, only three days 
before, had been chosen one of the major-generals of her 
forces — in the bloom of his manhood, " the expectancy and 
rose of the fair State," beloved and trusted by all — could not, 
and did not, fail to create a sorrow and a shock which absorbed 
all hearts. The death of the glorious John Hampden on 
. Chalgrove Field is the only parallel in history to that of Joseph 
Warren at Bunker Hill. That thrilling lament—almost recall- 
ing the wail of David over Absalom—to which Webster gave 


utterance here in 1825, making the whole air around him 
vibrate to the pathos of his tones, and leaving hardly an 
unmoistened eye in his whole vast audience, was but a faint 
echo of the deep distress into which that event had plunged 
all New England fifty years before. But though one of War- 
ren's proudest distinctions will ever be that he came to this 
hill as a volunteer, before he had received any military com- 
mission, and that he nobly declined to assume any authority 
— ^when Putnam proposed to take his orders at the rail fence, 
and again when Prescott offered him the command at the 
redoubt — his name was long associated, both at home and 
abroad, with the chief leadership of an action to which he had 
come with a musket on his shoulder — though he may have 
exchanged it for a sword before he fell. 

Everything, indeed, was in doubt and confusion at that 
moment. Even Warren's death was not known for a certainty 
at Cambridge for several days after it occurred, and as late as 
the 19th the vote of the Provincial Congress, providing for 
the choice of his successor, spoke of him as one " supposed 
to be killed." All our military affairs were in a state of trans- 
ition, reorganization and complete change. The war was to 
be no longer a local or provincial war. The Continental Con- 
gress at Philadelphia had already adopted it as a war of the 
United Colonies ; and, on the very day on which Warren fell 
they had drawn up and ratified a commission, as general and 
commander-in-chief of all such forces as are, or shall be, 
raised for the maintenance and preservation of American 
liberty, for George Washington of Virginia. Congress had 
heard nothing about Bunker Hill, when this providential ap- 
pointment was made. Lexington and Concord, of which the 
tidihgs had reached them some weeks before, had been enough 
to ripen their counsels and settle their policy. And now the 
public mind in this quarter was too much engrossed with 
the advent of Washington to Cambridge, and the great results 
which were to be expected, to busy itself much with the d^ 
tails of what was considered a mere foregone defeat. 


It was only when Washington himself, hearing at New York 
or Trenton, on his way to Cambridge, of what had occurred 
here, had expressed his renewed and confirmed conviction 
that the liberties of America were now safe ; it was only when 
Franklin, hearing of it in France, wrote to his friends in Lon- 
don : " Americans will fight ; England has lost her colonies 
forever ;" it was only when Gage had written to Lord Dart- 
mouth that " the rebels are not the despicable rabble too many 
have supposed them to be. . . . The number of killed and 
wounded is greater than our forces can afford to lose. . . . The 
conquest of this country is not easy. . . ! I think it ray duty 
to let your lordship know the true situation of affair^ ;" it was 
certainly, only when from all the American colonies there 
had come voices of congratulation and good cheer, recogniz- 
ing the momentous character of the battle, the bravery with 
which it had been fought, and the conclusive evidence it had 
afforded that the undisciplined yeomanry of the country were 
not afraid to confront the veteran armies of Old England at 
the point of the bayonet in defense of their rights and liber- 
ties ; it was only then that its true importance began to be 
attached to the battle of Bunker Hill, as the first regular bat- 
tle of the American Revolution, and the most eventful in its 
consequences — especially in those far-reaching moral influ- 
ences which were to be felt, and which were felt, to the very 
end of the war. 

A much longer time was to elapse before the record of that 
day was to be summed up, as it has recently been, by the lat- 
est and highest authority on " The Battles of the Revolution," 
as " the record of a battle which in less than two hours de- 
stroyed a town, laid fifteen hundred men upon the battle field, 
equalized the relations of veterans and militia, aroused three 
millions of people to a definite struggle for national indepebd- 
ence, and fairly inaugurated the war for its accomplishment." 

Let me not omit, however, to add, that no more emphatic, 
or more generous, or more just and welcome tribute, has ever 


been paid to the men and the deeds we are commemorating 
to-day, than that which may be found in the " Memoirs of the 
Southern Campaign of the Revolution," where an incidental 
allusion to Bunker Hill concludes with these emphatic words : 
" The military annals of the world rarely furnish an achieve- 
ment which equals the firmness and courage displayed on that 
proiid day by the gallant band of Americans ; and it certainly 
stands first in the brilliant events of our war. When future 
g-enerations shall inquire where are the men who gained the 
highest prize of glory in the arduous contest which ushered 
in our nation's birth, upon Prescott and his companions in 
arms will the eye of history beam." 

These are the words written and published seventy years 
ago by Henry Lee of Virginia, the gallant commander of the 
famous Cavalry Legion, known familiarly as " Light Horse 
Harry," and the father of one whose purity of character and 
brilliancy of accomplishments compelled each one of us who 
knew him to exclaim, as the late war for the Union went on, 
'* Cum talis sis, utinam noster esses ! " Would we could call so 
grand a leader ours ! 

Frothingham has told us truly that no one, for years, came 
forward to claim the honor of having directed this battle. 
And there was at least one man— of whom Everett well said, 
" The modesty of this sterling patriot was equal to his hero- 
ism " — who never to the end of his life made any boastful 
claim for himself, who was contented with stating the facts of 
that eventful day in reply to the inquiries of John Adams, and 
in repeated conversations with his own son, and who then 
awaited the judgment of history, letting all considerations of 
personal fame and personal glory go, in the proud conscious- 
ness of having done his duty. 

And now, fellow-citizens, we are gathered here to-day to 
pay a long-postponed debt, to fulfill a long-neglected obliga- 
tion. We have come to sanction and ratify the award of 
history, as we find it in the pages of Ellis and Irving and Froth- 


ingham and Bancroft, to mention no others, by accepting this 
splendid gift from a large company of our fellow citizens, of 
whose names Dr. Ellis, I believe, — to whose inspiration we 
primarily owe it, — is the sole depository ; and by placing the 
statue of Colonel William Prescott in the very front of our 
noble monument — thus recognizing him in his true relation 
to the grand action which it commemorates, and of which he 
was nothing less than the commander. We do so in full 
remembrance of those memorable words of Webster, which 
have almost the solemnity and the weight of a judicial decis- 
ion : " In truth, if there was any commander-in-chief in the 
field, it was Prescott. From the first breaking of the ground 
to the retreat, he acted the most important part ; and if it 
were proper to give the battle a name, from any distinguished 
agent in it, it should be called Prescott's Battle." 

Our celebration to-day has this sole and simple end ; and 
it becomes me, therefore, my friends, to devote the little 
remnant of my address to a brief notice of the career and 
character of the man we are assembled to honor. 

Descended from a good Puritan stock which had emigrated 
from Lancashire in old England, and established a home in 
New England, as early as 1640, he was born in Groton, in this 
good old county of Middlesex, on the 20th of February, 1726. 
Of his boyhood and common-school education there are no 
details. But soon after arriving at maturity we find him 
purchasing of the Indians, then still numerous in that region, 
a tract of land, a few miles beyond the present limit of Groton, 
which his great-grandson stiH holdf by the original Indian 
title. Here he was more or less instrumental, with the 
patriot clergyman of the parish, Joseph Emerson, who had. 
served as a chaplain under Sir William Pepperell, in havin'g 
that part of Groton set off into a separate district, and named 
Pepperell, in honor of the conqueror of Louisbu'rg. 

Meantime, the soldierly spirit which belonged to his nature 
and which had been called into exercise by the proximity of 



the savages, had led him as early as October, 1746 — when the 
approach of a formidable French fleet had created a con- 
sternation in New England — ^to enlist in the company of 
Captain William Lawrence, and march for the defense of 
Boston. A few years later he takes the office of a lieutenant 
in the local militia, and, in 1755, proceeds with his regiment 
to Nova Scotia. Serving there under General Winslow, his 
gallantry attracted special attention, and he was urged by the 
general to accept a commission in the regular army. De- 
clining this offer, he returned home to receive the promotion 
to a captaincy. A happy marriage soon followed, and he re- 
mained for nearly twenty years as a farmer and good citizen 
at his Pepperell home ; as Addison said of some of the heroes 
of his " Campaign " — 

In hours of peace content to be unknown, 
And only in the field of battle shown. 

But the controversies with the mother country were by no 
means unobserved by him. The bill for shutting up the port 
of Boston, with the view of starving the people into submission 
and compliance, signed by the king on the 31st of March, and 
which went into operation on the ist of June, 1774, stirred 
the feelings and called forth the succors of the whole con- 
tinent. Letters of sympathy and supplies of provisions poured 
in upon our Boston Committee of Correspondence, in answer 
to their appeal, from every quarter. The earliest letter but 
two, in order of date, was signed William Prescott, dated 
Pepperell, 4th of July, by order of the committee of that 
always patriotic town — sending at once forty bushels of grain, 
promising further assistance with provisions and with men, 
and invoking them " to stand firm in the common cause." 
The cause of Boston was then the cause of all. 

But the untiring research of the historian, Bancroft, brought 
to light, for the first time, some years ago, a still more import- 
ant and memorable letter from Prescott in behalf of his fellow 
farmers and townspeople, addressed, in the following Augus^ 
L. M.— 13 ^ 


to the men of Boston, which breathes the fiill spirit of Lexing- 
ton and Concord and Bunker Hill conjoined, not without a 
strong foretaste of the still distant Fourth of July. " Be not 
dismayed or disheartened," it says, '' in this great day of trials. 
We heartily sympathize with you, and are always ready to do all 
in our power for your support, comfort, and relief; knowing 
that Providence has placed you where you must stand the first 
shock. We consider that we are all embarked in one bottom, 
and must sink x)r swim together. We think if we submit to 
thbse regulations, all is gone. Our forefathers passed the vast 
Atlantic, spent their blood and treasure, that they might enjoy 
their liberties, both civil and religious, and transmit them to 
their posterity. Their children have waded through seas of 
difficulty, to leave us free and happy in the enjoyment of 
English privileges. Now, if we should give them up, can our 
children rise up and call us blessed ? Is not a glorious death 
in defense of our liberties better than a short, infamous life, 
and our memories to be had in detestation to the latest pos- 
terity? Let us all be of one heart, and stand fast in the 
liberties wherewith Christ has made us free ; and may he of 
his infinite mercy grant us deliverance out of all our troubles." 

No braver, nobler words than these of Prescott are found 
in all the records of that momentous period. 

And now, the time having fully come for testing these 
pledges of readiness for the last resort of an oppressed people, 
and the voices of Joseph Hawley and Patrick Henry having 
been distinctly heard, responding to each other from Massa- 
chusetts to Virginia, " We must fight," Prescott is seen in 
command of a regiment of minutemen. At the first alarm 
that blood had been shed at Lexington, and that fighting was 
still going on at Concord, on the 19th of April he rallies that 
regiment without an instant's delay, and leads them at once 
to the scene. Arriving too late to join in the pursuit of the 
flying regulars, he proceeds to Cambridge, and there awaits 
events, till, on the following i6th of June, he receives ^the 



order from General Ward—the commandet-in-chief of the 
Massachusetts forces, with whom he had been in constant 
communication and consultation — to conduct the secret expe- 
dition which resulted in the battle of Bunker Hill. 

All that remains of his career, after that battle was over, 
may be summarily dispatched. He had originally enlisted 
for eight months, hoping and believing that troops would not 
be needed for a longer period ; but he continued in the service 
until the close of 1776, when Boston had been freed from the 
enemy, when independence had been declared, and when the 
-war had been transferred to other parts of the country. Nor 
did he leave it then until he had commanded the garrison on 
Governor's Island in the harbor of New York, and had 
attracted the notice and commendation of Washington by the 
good order in which he brought off his regiment when the 
American army was compelled to retire from the city. He 
was then more than fifty years old, and physical infirmities 
incapacitated him for the saddle. But in the autumn of 1777 
he once more appears, as a volunteer, at the battle which 
ended in the surrender of Burgoyne; and Trumbull, the artist, 
who unconsciously, and to his own often expressed regret, did 
hira such injustice in his fancy sketch of the battle on this 
hill, has made ample amends in his picture of " Burgoyne's 
Surrender *' — now in the rotunda of the Capitol at Washington 
— by giving him a place, musket in hand, in the principal 
group, next to the gallant Morgan of the Virginia Riflemen, 
whose statue, by a striking coincidence, has just been unveiled 
at the Cowpens, at the Centennial celebration of that great 
South Carolina battle, of which Morgan was the hero, as Pres- 
cott was the hero of this. No two men are more worthy to 
stand side by side in our national historic gallery than William 
Prescott and Daniel Morgan. Honor to the memories of 
them both in all time to come, from every tongue and every 
laeart throughout our land ! 

Again Prescott withdraws to his farm at Pepperell, where 


he constantly exhibits a vigilant interest, and exercises a . 
wholesome influence, in the affairs of the town and of the 
State, serving his fellow citizens as a magistrate and a select- 
man, coming down to Boston in three several years as their 
representative in the State Legislature, and buckling on his 
sword once more, during Shays's rebellion in 1787^ to defend 
the courts of justice at Concord. A man of strong mind, 
determined will, benevolent as he was brave, liberal even 
beyond his means, of courteous manners, the pride of his 
neighborhood, delighting to show kindness and hospitality 
to his old fellow-soldiers, he died at length on the 13th of 
October, 1795, on the verge of threescore-years-and-ten, and 
was buried with military honors. 

He left a name, I need not say, not only to be honored in 
its own right, as long as Bunker Hill shall be a watchword of 
heroism and patriotism in our land, but to be borne, as it has 
been, with eminent distinction by his only son, the learned 
and admirable judge and jurist, and by his accomplished and 
distinguished grandson, beloved by all who knew him, whose 
" Ferdinand and Isabella " and " Conquest of Mexico and 
Peru " and " History of Philip H." were the earHest triumphs 
in American historical literature, and were achieved under 
infirmities and trials that would have daunted any heart which 
had not inherited a full measure of the bravery we are here to 

Nor may I wholly omit to recognize the interest added to 
this occasion by the presence of a venerable lady — his only 
surviving grandchild — who, apart from those personal gifts 
and graces to which I should not be pardoned for alluding, 
brings to the memories of this hour another illustrious name 
in American history — the name of Dexter — associated, in one 
generation, with high national service in the Senate and in 
the cabinet, and, in two generations, with eminent legal learn- 
ing, ability and eloquence. 

But I must not dwell longer on any personal topics, how- 



ever attractive, and must hasten to a conclusion of this ad- 

I have said, fellow-citizens, that we were here to-day, to ful- 
fill a long-postponed obligation, to pay a long-deferred debt. 
But let me not be thought for a moment to imply that there is 
anything really lost, anything really to be regretted, as we 
now unveil this noble statue, and hail it henceforth, for all 
years to come, as the frontispiece and figure-head of this con- 
secrated ground. The lapse of time may have evinced a want 
of quick appreciation on the part of others, but it has taken 
away nothing from the merits or the just renown of Prescott.. 
On the contrary, it has given an additional and most impres- 
sive significance to this memorial, far more than a compensa- 
tion for any delay in its erection. 

I would by no means undervalue or disparage the sponta- 
neous tributes which so ofteti, have immediately, or late, fol- 
lowed the deaths of distinguished men, here and elsewhere, 
and which are fast adorning so many of the public squares 
and parks of our countr>' — at Washington, at New York, and 
in Boston, as well as in other of our great cities — with the 
bronze or marble forms of those who have been lost to our 
civil or military service. Such manifestations are possible in 
our day and generation, when wealth is so abundant and when 
art is so prolific. They would have been all but impossible 
for us, a century, or even half a century, ago. They do honor 
to the men who are the subjects of them. They do honor to 
the natural and irrepressible emotions which prompt them. 
Like the decorations of the soldiers' graves, or the dedication 
of the soldiers' homes, they challenge and receive the sympa- 
thies of all our hearts. They are, however, the manifestations 
of the moment, and bespeak but the impulses of the hour. 

But when it was my privilege, just a quarter of a century 
ago, to inaugurate, and give the word for unveiling, the first 
bronze statue which had ever been erected in the open air 
within the limits of Boston, and when I reflected that nearly 


seveilty years had then elapsed since the death, and more than 
a hundred and fifty years since the birth, of Benjamin Frank- 
lin, whom that statue so admirably portrayed ; when, more 
recently, the statue of Samuel Adams was unveiled at the old 
North End of our city, nearly eighty years after his death, and 
almost a hundred and fifty years after his birth ; and when 
later still, two hundred and ninety-two years after his birth, 
and two hundred and thirty-one years after his death, the 
statue of John Winthrop was seen standing in yonder Scollay 
Square, with the charter of Massachusetts in his hand, look- 
ing out upon the great city' of more than three hundred and 
fi*fty thousand inhabitants, which he had founded — I could 
not help feeling that an accumulated interest, an enchanced 
and augmented glory would gather around those memorials 
for every year which had been allowed to pass since they 
were so richly deserved ; and that the judgment of posterity 
had at last confirmed and ratified the award, which history 
had long ago pronounced, upon the merits of those whom 
they represented. 

And so again, emphatically, here, to-day, inaugurating this 
splendid statue of William Prescott, eighty-six years after he 
was laid in his humble grave, a hundred and fifty-five years 
after his birth, and a hundred and six years after he stood, 
where we now stand, in command of this momentous battle, 
we may all well feel that the tribute has not come a day too 
late for his permanent fame and glory. We may even rejoice 
that no partial or premature commemoration of him had anti- 
cipated the hour when not only the wealth of our community 
and the advancement of American art should suffice for an 
adequate and durable presentment of his heroic form, but 
when the solid judgment of posterity should have sanctioned 
and confirmed the opinions of our best historians, founded on 
the most careful comparison of the most distinct contempo- 
rary records. We recognize in such results that history is 
indeed the great corrector, the grand decider, the irreversible 


umpire, the magic touchstone of truth. An august posthu- 
mous tribunal like that of the ancient Egyptians seems to rise 
before us, open to every appeal, subject to no statute of limita- 
tions — ^to which the prejudices of the moment or the passions 
of the multitude are but as the light dust of the balance — and 
pronouncing its solemn and final decisions, upon the careers 
and characters of all whom it summons to the bar of its 
impartial and searching scrutiny. • 

Nor can there be, my friends, any higher incentive to hon- 
est, earnest, patriotic effort, whether in the field or in the 
forum, than such evidences, and such assurances, that what- 
ever misapprehensions or neglects may occur at the moment, 
and though offices and honors, portraits and statues, may be 
withheld or postponed, the record will not be lost, truth will 
not perish, nor posterity fail to do that justice which the jeal- 
ousy, or the ignorance, or, it may be only the inability, of 
contemporaries may have left undone. 

It is a most interesting part of the story of this day, that 
when Prescott proceeded to the headquarters of his comman- 
der-in-chief. General Ward, at Cambridge, and reported the 
results of the expedition which he had been ordered to conduct, 
and had conducted, he added, perhaps rashly, but with char- 
acteristic courage and confidence, that if he could only have 
three fresh regiments, with sufficient equipments^ and ammu- 
nition, he would return and retake the hill. I know not 
whether he was ever on this spot again, from that hour to the 
present. But he is here at last ! Thanks to the generosity of 
our public-spirited fellow-citizens, and thanks, still more, to 
the consummate skill of a most accomplished American artist 
— second to no living sculptor of the world — who has given 
his whole heart, as well as the exquisite cunning of his hand, to 
the work — he is here at last, " in his habit as he lived ! " 

And now, before 1 proceed with any poor words of my own, 
let the statue speak for itself, and display the noble form 
which has too long been concealed from your impatient sight ! 


The genius of Story presents him to us now, in th^ light 
banyan coat and broad-brimmed hat, which he is known to 
have thrown on during the intense heat of the day and of the 
battle, in exchange for the more stately and cumbrous uni- 
form in which he had marched from Cambridge the night 
before, and which may be seen dropped beneath his feet. His 
eagle gaze is riveted with intense energy on the close-approach- 
ing foe. With his left hand he is hushing and holding back 
the impetuous soldiers under his command, to await his word. 
With his right hand, he is just ready to lift the sword which 
is to be their signal for action. The marked and well remem- 
bered features, which he transmitted to his son and grandson, 
and which may be recognized on at least one of his living 
descendants, have enabled the artist to supply, amply and 
admirably, the want of any original portrait of himself. Noth- 
ing more powerful and life-like has been seen on this hill since 
he was here before. - And that very sword — which so long 
adorned the library walls of his grandson, the historian, and 
which is now one of the treasures of the Massachusetts Histor- 
ical Society — one of those " Crossed swords " whose romantic 
story has so often been told in verse and prose, — that same 
sword which, tradition tells us, lie waved where he now stands, 
when, seeing at length "the buttons on the coats," or, it may 
have been, "the whites of the eyes," of the advancing enemy 
in their original onslaught, he first gave the word "fire!"— 
that same sword I am privileged to hold up at this moment to 
5'^our view, if, indeed, I shall be able to hold it, while it seems 
ready to leap from its scabbard, and to fly from my hand, to 
salute and welcome its brave old master and wearer! "Ko 
blade which ever came from the forges of Damascus, Toledo 
or Genoa was ever witness to greater personal perils, or w^s 
ever wielded by a braver arm. 

Prescott stands alone here now. But our little musetini — 
to be reconstructed, I trust, at no distant day, of enduriog 
materials and adequate dimensions — already contains a mart^ 


statue of the glorious Warren. The great first martyr of the 
Revolution, and the heroic-commander of this earliest Revolu- 
tionary battle, are now both in place. Around them on other 
parts of the hill, in other years, some of the gallant leaders 
who rushed to their aid from other States, or from other parts 
of our own State, will, it is hoped, be seen — Pomeroy and 
^ark and Reed and Knowlton, with Putnam at the head of 
them all. They will all be welcome, whenever they may come. 
Primarily a Massachusetts battle, it was peculia riy also a New 
England battle ; and all New England might well be repre- 
sented on these heights. But the pre-eminent honors of this 
occasion are paid, as they are due — ahd long, long overdue — 
to our grand Massachusetts Middlesex farmer and patriot. 

He has returned ;-:-not with three fresh regiments only, as 
he proposed, but with the acclamations of every soldier and 
every citizen within the sound of what is being said, or within 
any knowledge of what is being done here, to-day. He has 
retaken Bunker Hill ; and with it, the hearts of all who are 
gathered on it, at this hour, or who shall be gathered upon it, 
generation after generation, in all the untold centuries of 
the future 1 


In the forest of Soignies, in Brabant, there were in the 
fifteenth century three priories occupied by Canons Regular 
of the rule of St. Augustin. Of these, history from time to 
time makes mention — history of art more frequently. It was, 
for example, to one of them that the famous painterHugo van 
der Goes, over whose life and works there hangs so thick a 
cloud, retired. Here it was that he spent his last days among 
the kindly friars, who by their singing soothed the hours 
nrhen the darkness settled down upon his mind. Here, too, 
IS we learn, the great Roger van der Weyden more than once 


came to stay; and the priory of Groenendael possessed at all 
events one picture by the master's hand. Curiously enough 
it was in a manual made for the use of- the novices in this 
house that the inscriptions written under Roger's famous 
pictures for the Brussels town hall were preserved, which 
have since enabled students to identify as copies of them the 
beautiful tapestries won by the Swiss from Charles the Bold, 
and hanging to-day in the cathedral at Berne. 

The traditions of this society were to some extent artistic, 
and Roger and Hugo do not seem to have been the only artists 
who retired into or visited their cloisters. Hence it will not 
be surprising if future investigation enables us to refer to 
them some of the productions of the early school of wood- 
cutters and engravers* The forest of Soignies lay near to the 
populous towns of Brussels and Louvain. Religious houses 
situated in it were used as resting-places by the great men 
who had to journey past them. They were thus well suited 
to be centers .from which new ideas might radiate. 

The Canons Regular devoted themselves not only to re- 
ligion, but, like the " Fratres vitae ommunis," to the spread of 
learning also. They contain among their number not a few 
authors famous in their day. Such were Ruysbroeck, John 
of Schoonhoven, Arnold Sheyloven, and Mark Mastelyn, 
The last mentioned of these left behind him a book, entitled 
" Necrologium ViridiaVallis," which in the year 1630 a Brussels 
printer found it worth while to publish. Among other per- 
sons mentioned is one Henricus ex Pomerio or Van den 
Bogaert, in his day Prior of Groenendael. It is to this man 
that the reader's attention is more especially directed.* 

The principril events of his life may be shortly told. He 
was bom at Louvain in the year 1382, in troublous times; he 

• A MS. m the Bjbliotheqtic Royaleat Brussels (No. 11,974), entitled "Gazophyl!a«ura 
So^tantitn sjve historic sncra memoris Sogniae,^' gives a full list of tweqty-<ijEht of 
Bogaarf» wntiu^^ It was from this volume that Sandenis took his intormatioQ. 
See Tar thlt and for ether fact;^ connected with Bogaert, M. Ruelens^s learned mono^^a^ 
on the *' Pojncriura Spirit uaLe " in the ** Documents iconographiques et typographi^bei 
_ de la BibLlatheque Ro^ale de Belgique.'* 




studied at the university of his native town ; and, after earn- 
ing his degree, he went off to Brussels, and there opened a 
school. After some time he returned to Louvain, bringing 
his school with him, and there in due course he rose to a 
prominent position among his fellow-townsmen, becoming 
even town secretary. At the age of thirty, however, he ap- 
pears to have wearied of. the turbulence of civic life, and, 
following the example of many a man desirous of quiet, if not 
for prayer, at all events for study, he retired from the world 
and took refuge in the priory of Groenendael. In 142 1 we find 
him sent as prior to the neighoring convent of Sept-Fontaines, 
whichbelonged to the same order. Ten years later he was raised 
to the dignity of Prior of Groenendael, but shortly afterwards 
was elected to preside over the nuns of St. Barbera at Tirle- 
mont — a position which he held for thirteen years. At length, 
at the age of seventy-two, and much against his own in- 
clination, he was again elected Prior of Groenendael. He held 
the office for the shortest period allowable, and then retired 
to the solitude and peace of his own cell. He died in the 
year 1469. 

So much for the man. With his numerous works, his con- 
troversies with jealous rivals, how he was accused to the 
Pope, how he defended himself and was acquitted — ^with all 
this we have nothing to do. The reader's attention, however, 
must be called to the names of two books which appear in 
the list of his writings. They are " Explanationis figuralis 
super pater noster descriptio," and " Spirituale Pomerium, cum 
figuris." Recent investigation has shown that copies of these 
books are to this day in existence ; and not only so, but that 
they are the earliest books printed from engraved blocks of 
wood to which a date can be assigned among those which are 
known to have come down to us. So far our work has been 
somewhat dull ; but let the reader take heart, for before leav- 
ing hita we hope to be able to discover a fact not unimportant. 

The Explanatio figuralis proves, as we shall hereafter show, 


to be identical with a block-book known as the " Exercitium 
super Pater Noster," the only copy of which, in its original 
state, is preserved in the Public Library at Mons. It was in- 
cluded among the early books recently brought together in 
the gallery of Retrospective Art in the exhibition at Brussels. 
Unfortunately, the last two leaves are wanting — the remainder 
of the book is in the most perfect state of preservation. 

It is a folio volume of the same dimensions as the rest of 
the block-books, and when complete it consisted of five 
sheets. These are only printed on one side ; the other side 
remains blank. The sheets are not gathered up into a quire, 
one inside another, but sewn one by one into the cover, so 
that in turning over the leaves the first page is blank, the 
second and third contain printed matter, the fourth and fifth 
are blank, and so on. In books printed in this fashion it was 
not uncommon to paste the blank sides together two by two, 
and then the volume resembled one printed in the later man- 
ner on both sides of the paper. 

The impressions were taken, not from a form composed of 
type, but from engraved blocks of wood, the whole of a single 
sheet being taken from one block. For the printing of the 
book, five such blocks were required, each containing the 
matter of two consecutive pages. 

The contents of the pages are all similar. In a compart- 
ment across the top of each are four or five lines of wood-cut 
Latin text,* commencing with a sentence from the Lord's 
Prayer, and then proceeding to point out three points worthy 
of attention in connection with it. The center of the page is 
occupied by a wood-cut illustrative of these three points, be- 
low which, in another compartment, are some Flemish verses 
freely translated from the Latin lines above. 

* For example, th*^ text above the fifth cut is : — " Fiat voluntas tua sicut in celo et 
ill terra. Hie nota in seculo tres vivorum defectiones. Primo habencium voluntates 
aclhuc fractal quales sunt infideles. Secundo habencium perversas, quales sunt mali 
chrifitiani. Tercio habencium imperfectas quales sunt boni. Et quia voluntates in 
ct;lu sunL omaes integre, recte et perfecte ideo ut sic in terra fiat ora ut supra et ce.** 


o^eA^lP -l^^ cover.';/ 

t^ "Ocv^ cviV^ \iv \\i^ \>oo\l presenl 

Tcvoti. T\ve f^tst, sV\ows us the brothi 

-^se^i^d oiv 2L b^ivk outside the pric 

est. A stag is seen among the tre 

engaged in meditation, and, a scroll 

us the direction of his thoughts ; it 

doce me orare." To him there con 

with a small tablet on his arm ; h 

pater noster." The figure of the 

robes are light ; his hair hangs in 

his face is mild, and in some deg 

brother looks up at him with more e 

£nd in faces in early wood-cuts. I 

both natural and easy ; there is a a 

of his garments, and an air oi quiet 2 


These two figures — the brother a 

appear in each of the ten cuts. 

companion groups or incidents illu 

the Lord's Prayer, and explains th< 

three points especially worthy of re 

It was long ago known that the I 

Paris possessed a copy of a MS. ec 

Pater Noster," and illustrated with ^ 

without reason, considered to be th 

den Bogaert. More recent investigs 

may not be the case. The prints w 

MS. are impressions from the very s 

which the Mons block-book — the re 

printed ; but the blocks are in a late 

them on which the Flemish verses ^ 

off before these impressions were 

therefore, represents the same cuts 

But there is a more noticeable dif 

bJock-book and the prints in the MS 


the impressions are taken. The reader will probably know 
that in the very earliest days of printing, long before the 
invention of movable types, impressions from a wood-cut 
block were taken, not by means of a press, but by rubbing 
the back of the sheet of paper while it was in contact with 
the block. The block was, first of all, thoroughly wetted with 
some form of watery ink, and then the sheet of paper, well 
damped, was placed in contact with it and held down, while 
the operator carefully rubbed the back of it either with his 
hand, with a brush, or with some kind of burnisher. The ink 
employed for this purpose was alway§ of a light brown tint. 

Owing to the wetness of the paper and the amount of rub- 
bing which was necessary to produce a clear impression, the 
back of the papen(^ten bears almost as clear an image of the 
block as the front ; and the lines of ink lie in deep furrows, 
which, in many cases, remain clear when the ink itself has 

But the discovery of printer's ink, an ink the vehicle of which 
was a greasy substance, and the possibility of thereby taking 
impressions by simple pressure, created a complete revolution 
in the methods of printing. It led to the immediate introduc- 
tion of the printing-press, and thenceforward systems of 
rubbing, brushing, or burnishing were laid aside. The inven- 
tion of printing-ink bears the same relation to the history of 
printing which that of oil-colors does to the history of paint- 
ing. It does so in this manner. When once a printer had had 
experience of the use of the more advanced method, he would 
be quite certain never to recur to the old one. On the other 
hand, it is not to be supposed that the new invention would 
spread like an electric flash over the whole country at once, 
though it may be assumed that it would not be long in becom- 
ing generally known. 

Now, whereas the Mons block-book is printed in light brown 

* It will be seen that it was impossible to print on both sides of a sheet of paper 
by this method. 


water-color ink by means of rubbing, the prints in the Paris 
M3. are taken in black ink, and give, so far as I could see, no 
indications of having been rubbed, but rather pressed or 
rolled against the wood block. Owing to their being pasted 
down at the corners, it is not easy to be certain of this ; but, 
so far as can be seen, they give every evidence of the use of 
some sort of printing-press. 
As we shall hereafter see, the MS. must have been produced 
• before 1440, and hence \^e find the date, resting upon certain 
evidence instead of conjecture, for the group of block-books 
to be before 1440. 

So far we have spoken only of the ^Exercitium ; but the 
Pomerium Spirituale mentioned among the works of Henrick 
van den Bogaert has also come down to u^n a mutilated form, 
and it is by means of it that we discover the very valuable Hate 
for these volumes. It exists in the form of a MS., illustrated 
by cuts preserved in the Bibliotheque Royale at Brussels, and 
in all respects similar to that of the Exercitium found at Paris. 
Each volume consists of a single six-sheet quire in folio. In 
both cases one side of a sheet is occupied by a wood-cut, printed 
in black ink, while the opposite page is filled with MS. text. 
The writing is nothing but a somewhat verbose amplification 
in Latin of the short wood-cut legends which appear on the 
cuts. In the case of the Pomerium the writer of the MS. 
seems also to have been its author, probably some Groenen- 
dael monk who took the Prior's little book as his text, and 
proceeded to write a commentary on it ; or, possibly, he may 
have been the Prior himself. The Paris Exercitum is equally 
obviously a copy by the hand of a scribe taken line for line 
from a volume written by some one else. This is shown clearly 
enough in one case, where the copyist has turned over two 
leaves of the volume he was copying instead of one, and has 
therefore written the wrong line opposite to a certain cut. He 
has found out his mistake after a word or two and corrected it, 
drawing his pen through them and starting afresh. 


The two MSS., therefore, are twins, as abundant confirma- 
tory evidence might be adduced to prove. The style of the 
design of the cuts, of the execution, of the wood-cut letters, 
of the treatment of the subjects,'^and of the MS. is the same in 
. both ; they are the work of the same hands — ^author, wood- 
cutter, printer, commentator — ^and they must belong to the 
same date. 

By carefully measuring the prints in the Pomerium MS., and 
making allowance for compartments containing Flemish text, 
such as those we saw were cut off in the case of the Exerci- 
tium, we find that the blocks of the former were exactly half 
the size of those of the latter, and that the original block-book 
edition of the Pomerium must have formed a quarto volume. 
Such a volume I have nowhere been able to discover, but that 
it has existed there Is ample evidence. We are therefore quite 
prepared to credit the statement of Dumortier* that he had 
seen the Pomerium cuts united in a small volume unaccom- 
panied by MS. 

The subject of the " Pomerium Spirituale " is, as its name 
implies, allegorical. A maiden, representing one of the twelve 
virtues, is discovered kneeling at the foot of one of the twelve 
trees of the spiritual orchard — the symbols of the Divine attri- 
butes — receiving the fruits of the tree. The twelve maidens 
form subjects for meditation for the twelve hours of the day. 
In connection with each of the maidens is represented and 
described one of the incidents of the sacred history, past or 
future, serving to exemplify that attribute which is the real 
subject of the picture. Each print is similar in its general 
design to all the rest. The little maid kneels, sits or stands, 
as the case may be, under a tree on the left, among the 
branches of which, on a scroll, is the name of the attribute. 
Three apples, the fruits of the tree, lie on the ground beside 
her. Behind her is a scroll containing the words which she 

* Dumortier— '* Notes sur rimprimerie," in the Pulletins de 1' Academic royalede 
Belgique, tome viii., 1841. 


addresses to her heavenly spouse. Other inscriptions, in dif- 
ferent places, explain the scene. The right and center of the 
cut are occupied by the event from sacred history. The names 
of the three fruits are engraved in three lines, in a compart- 
ment at the foot of the cut. 

Lastly, the MS. text of the " Pomerium " distinctly informs 
us twice over that the author of the book was Henricus ex 
Pomerio, a canon regular of the monastery of the Blessed 
Virgin of Groenendael. Twice over are we told that the book 
was finished in the year 1440.* To this year, therefore, we 
must refer both MSS.. though that of the " Exercitum " may 
have been produced a year or two earlier or later. Both the 
block-books must be dated before 1440. 

We cannot finally quit this subject without casting a pass- 
ing glance at the style of the execution of the wood-cuts. It 
is the same in both books ; they are obviously the work of 
one hand, and may be treated together. The most marked 
feature is the constant employment of long pointed lines, 
placed closely side by side, to shade large spaces, especially 
as a sort of relieving shadow to detach the figures from the 
ground. The shade is for the most part unpleasantly flat. 
The faces and features are very similar in style to those which 
appear in that most finished of all the early wood-cut books 
— ^the "Ars Moriendi." But such is not the case with the 
hair, which is much less carefully arranged by the Groenen- 
dael artist. The head, however, of the kneeling maiden is 
sometimes very pretty, with its pointed forehead, simple atti- 
tude, and quiet look, the hair being wavy and light. The real 
fault of the cut lies in the masses of gridiron shade, which 
spoil their effect and add nothing to their meaning. Consid- 
ering, however, their early date, and the diflftculties with which 

* The author's name occurs in red at the end of the preface. Further on wc read, 
**£ditum est hoc spirituale pomerium i)er fratrem Henricum ex pomerio canonicum 
i^larem profcssum in monasterio beatae Mariae viridis vallis." On the last page is 
wnttcn, '* Explicit spirituale pomerium editun\ anno domini m"cccc™»xl«"« ; " then fol- 
lows a prayer of eight lines ; and then, " Explicit est sup. spirituale pomerium editum 
et complctum, Anno domini m"cccc''xl«» deo gratias." 


the artist must have had to contend, it must be allowed that 
he has attained an excellence of finish in the arrangement 
and shaping of his lines of no low order. 

To sum up, then. The conclusions which an examination 
of these volumes enables us to assert are as follows : — Some 
time before the year 1440, Henrick van den Bogaert wrote a 
little work entitled "Spirituale Pomerium." He employed 
some artist living in the neighborhood of the priory of Groenen- 
dael, and possibly one of the brothers themselves, to engrave it 
upon blocks of wood with accompanying illustrations, from 
which impressions might be taken by the recently introduced 
process of printing. Nor was this the only work of his so 
treated, but about the same period there appeared, in a similar 
but larger form the " Exercitium super Pater Noster " by the 
same author and artist. At a later time, in the year 1440, the 
former, and probably both books, was taken in hand again, it 
may well have been by the author himself — the blocks were 
trimmed by the removal of the Flemish portions of the text 
now no longer required, and impressions were taken from 
them by a more advanced process of. printing. The prints 
thus made were pasted into a volume of blank paper, pages 
being left plain for the addition of a MS. commentary of a 
more extensive kind than that admitted by the limited space 
available on the cuts themselves. 

The earliest printing-press, therefore, to which both a date 
and a locality can at present be assigned was used near Groen- 
endael, in the forest of Soignies, in the province of Brabant, 
before the year 1440, While it is to be hoped that further 
investigations may enable us to group together other block- 
books as the productions of the same press, it is quite possi- 
ble that they may reveal to us the existence of other centers 
of printing activity at dates considerably earlier. 

* M. W. Conway, in The Academy. 




A revision of the English Authorized Version could not 
have been much longer deferred. By the year 1870, when the 
Revision Companies were appointed, public opinion had 
become quite matured upon the subject. The period for 
debate, extending in real earnest from about 1856, was over, 
and the period for action had arrived. A very healthy tone 
had gradually come to prevail upon the question. Oh the one 
hand, all thought of adding another to those many " Improved 
s^ersions," which had turned out such conspicuous failures, 
was abandoned. On the other hand, that idle sentiment which 
strove for long to regard the Authorized Version as something 
too sacred ever to be touched, had, by the date referred to, 
talked and written itself out. Scholars connected with the 
various churches in our country were all but unanimous in 
the conviction that neither as respects text nor translation 
could the common English Version of the New Testament be 
regarded as satisfactory. As to the text on which the Author- 
ized Version was founded, it was well known to have rested 
on the slightest critical materials, a point which will be more 
particularly adverted to afterwards. And as to the translation, 
the mere fact that more than tv/o centuries and a half had 
elapsed since it was formed, was of itself enough to suggest, 
without going into points of lexical or grammatical correct- 
ness, that, owing to the inevitable changes always taking 
place in language, it could not but call for revision and recti- 

Accordingly, when the Convocation of Canterbury, in Feb- 
ruary, 1870, adopted certain resolutions in favor of instant 
revision, it showed itself for once a true exponent and inter- 
preter of national opinion. The particular resolutions which 
were adopted did the utmost credit to the shrewd sense as 


well as the catholic spirit of the body which had now under- { 
taken to deal with the question. This will be plain from the 
following extracts. After declaring (i) "That it is desirable 
that a revision of the Authorized Version of the Holy Scrip- 
tures be undertaken," and (2) *' That the revision be so con- 
ducted as to comprise both marginal renderings and such 
emendations as it maybe found necessary to insert in the text 
of the Authorized Version," Convocation added the following: 
(3) " That in the above resolutions we do not contemplate any 
new translation of the Bible, or any alteration of the language, 
except when in the judgment of the most competent scholars 
«uch change is necessary ; " (4) " That in such necessary 
changes, the style of the language employed in the existing 
version be closely followed ;" (5) " That it is desirable that Con- 
vocation should nominate a body of its own members to under- 
take the Work of revision, who shall be at liberty to invite 
the co-operation of any eminent for scholarship, to whatever 
nation or religious body they may belong." 

The golden mean was thus indicated between undue conser- 
vatism and unnecessary alteration. The constitution of the 
New Testament Company was also strikingly liberal. Among 
its twenty-seven members, all the leading religious commun- 
ions in our country were represented. Side by side with 
bishops, deans, and other dignitaries of the Church of England, 
there sat, on a footing of perfect equality, scholars connected 
with the Presbyterian, Congregational, Wesleyan, Baptist, and 
Unitarian churches. It may be regarded as a striking proof 
how well-timed was the movement for revision, that scarcely 
one of the divines invited to join the Company declined to 
serve. " Only Dr. Tregelles, influenced by considerations oi 
health, and Dr. (now Cardinal) J. H. Newman, whose co-Qper- 
ation could hardly have been anticipated, failed to come for- 
ward in response to the call of Convocation. Moreover, not 
one of the original members of the Company whom time has 
spared, ceased to act up to the very conclusion of the w©ck«J 


Several lamented losses were incurred, through death, atmong 
the members — Bishop Wilberforce, Dean Alford, and Dr. 
Eadie, all dying within a few years after the commencement 
of the work ; but the only resignation which took place was 
that of the present Dean of Ely, who did not at first belong to 
the members of the Company. 

The work thus begun on June 22, 1870, has been uninter- 
ruptedly carried forward during the last ten and a half years. 
Altogether, the Company have held over 100 sessions, each 
session consisting of four days, and the members sitting each 
day for seven hours. This statement is of itself sufficient 
to suggest how great labor and pains have been expended 
on the task in hand. The result is before us in the Kevised 
Version just published ; and what, let us now inquire, are the 
practical gains which have been secured ? 

There need be no hesitation in saying at once, that, both as 
regards text and translation, an immense advance has been 
made on the Authorized Version. We are, indeed, far from 
supposing that, in either of these respects, the ne plus ultra 
of perfection has yet been reached. Readings have here 
and there been preferred which do not commend themselves 
to our acceptance, and renderings have occasionally been 
adopted from which we very strongly dissent. But both these 
points were, in every case, determined, as they only could be, 
by the decision of a majority of the Revisers; and few indeed 
are the instances in which the present writer differed from 
his colleagues, compared with the vast number of cases in 
which the judgment of the majority of the Company had his 
cordial concurrence.* 

♦ I may give in a note, without lengthened argument, 2t, few examples of various kind$ 
of changes for the worse, which have, in my opinion, been accepted in the Revised 
Version. First, the text adopted at Luk« ii. 14 seems to roe utterly to spoil the paral- 
lelism, while it bsirdly yields % tensei, And Is, besides, opposed to 9, vast amount of exter- 
Ral cvidene«i Secondly, I think an error^has becn^committed in introducing a personal 
refef^ne^ to S*tan in the translation of <Xlt6 rov itoyj^ftov, given at Matt. vi. 13. 
Thifdiy, the two verses, Acts, i, j8, 19, have, quite against the Greek, been printed, as 
apj^Fpnthesis, s^nd this, apparently with the view of avoiding a fancied difficulty, 
vhioh rwUy does not €>cUt. Speaking generally, it seems to me that too many minuta 
variations from the Awthoriawi Version have been admitted. _ ^ 


Readers of the Revised Version will be strongly tempted 
to do it injustice on a first perusal. Their predominant feel- 
ing will be one of disappointment and regret. They will miss 
altogether certain passages with which they have been fa- 
miliar all their days, and will be ready to say that in everv 
chapter the rhythm of the Authorized Version, which has 
charmed their ears from infancy, is unpleasantly disturbed. 
But the prejudice thus apt to be excited should be resisted 
and laid aside. The one vital question in every case is 
whether or not evidence and argument are in favor of the 
Revised Version ; and, if so, the changes which have been 
made should be gratefully accepted. Let us consider this 
point both as respects text and translation. 

As is well known, the Bible was the first book ever printed, 
but that was the Latin Bible. A splendid edition of it, of 
which some^highly prized copies are still in existence, came 
forth from the printing-press of Gutenberg and Fust at Mentz 
in 1452. The Hebrew Bible had also been published under 
the auspices of some wealthy Jews in 1488. But, what seems 
at first strange, no edition of the New Testament in the 
original was issued from the press within the century which 
witnessed the invention of printing. The Songs of the Virgin 
Mary and Zacharias were the only portions printed, as an 
appendix to a Greek edition of the Psalms, before the begin- 
ning of the eventful sixteenth century. The reason of this 
curious fact doubtless was that the Greek language was as 
yet hardly known in Western Europe. But the " new learn- 
ing" was everywhere spreading; editions of the ancient 
classics were pouring from the press ; and an edition of the 
Greek New Testament, superintended by Erasmus, at last 
came out in 1516, the year which marked the birth-throes of 
the Reformation, 

It is right, however, to state that, while the edition of 
Erasmus was the first actually published, one had been printed 
some little time before. This is known as the Complutenslan 


edition (from Complutum, the Latin name of Alpala in Spain, 
where it was printed), and was prepared under the auspices 
of the excellent and accomplished Cardinal Ximenes. The 
printing of the New Testament was finished on January lo, 
1514,. but, for various reasons, it was not published till six 
years afterwards. In the meantime, Erasmus had a request 
addressed to him on April 17, 1 51.5, by Froben, an eminent 
publisher at Basle, that he would immediately set about the 
preparation of an edition of the Greek Testament. Erasmus 
"was at that time in England, and on receipt of Froben's com- 
munication he immediately fell to work. His industry, then 
as ever, was prodigious; and he actually had out his first 
edition of the Greek New Testament, with Latin notes, form- 
ing a large folio of 1,027 pages, before a 3'ear had passed, the 
date of the work bemg February, 1516. Here, then, wc find 
the beginning of our Authorized Version. The^irst edition 
of Erasmus constituted the basis of that text on which our 
common English Version was formed. He, no doubt, in- 
troduced changes into subsequent editions — some of them 
by ho means improvements — and alterations were afterwards 
made by Stephens, Beza, and other editors ; but, without 
gnoing into details, it may simply be stated that when, in 1604, 
at the command of King James, our translators began the 
preparation of the present Authorized Version, the Greek 
text which they used was one substantially the same as the 
fourth edition of Erasmus, published in 1 527. What, then, 
let us inquire, were the critical materials on which that edition 
rested ? 

It has already been hinted how hurriedly Erasmus flung 
forth his first edition of the New Testament. As he himself 
said, " it was rather tumbled headlong into the world than 
edited." In his haste, he laid hold of those Greek manu- 
scripts which lay nearest to his hand, and these happened to 
be both few and inferior in character. They are still to be 
seen at Basle, bearing the marks of having been used as 


" copy " for the printer. Of the one good manuscript to 
which Erasmus had access he made but little use. The au- 
thority he principally followed was a manuscript which the 
monks at Basle had bought for two florins, and small as was 
this price, modern scholars have declared, on examining the 
document, that it was quite enough. What could be expected 
as the result but the production of a very erroneous text ? 
And still more remains to be said on this point. For the 
book of Revelation, Erasmus had only one copy, and even 
that was not complete. The last six verses were altogether 
wanting, and the great scholar had no means of supplying 
them, except through his own imagination and erudition. 
Unwilling to send forth a mulitated edition to the world, he 
took the Latin version of the missing verses, and conjec- 
tu rally re-translated them into Greek. The remarkable fact 
consequently is that, in the common, uncritical editions of 
the Greek Testament, circulating in our own day, there are a 
number of Greek words, which, so far from having been 
written by St. John, can be traced no higher than to the 
learned guesses of Erasmus. 

By the time his fourth edition was published, Erasmus had 
seen the work of Cardinal Ximenes, and took advantage of 
it to clear away many of the erroneous readings he had at 
first adopted, especially in the book of Revelation. But the 
Complutensian text had itself been based on manuscripts of 
modern date and little authority. Nor did subsequent editors 
do much to improve the text down to the date of our Au- 
thorized Version. The only manuscript of the first class to 
which they had access was that now known as D, containing 
only the Gospels and Acts in Greek and Latin, and belonging 
to the sixth century. This manuscript was once the property 
of the Reformer Beza, but he was afraid to use it. He thought 
its readings dangerous, as they certamly are often peculiar ; 
and both he and those who followed him down to the reign 
of King James, adhered substantially to that text which 



we have seen, was founded on such a slender basis by Eras- 

The plain truth then is, that our common English version 
rests upon a Greek original Which can claim almost no crit- 
ical authority. At the time of its preparation, none of the 
sources of a pure text were available. The citations of the 
New Testament found m the early Fathers had not been care- 
fully examined. The ancient versions had not been critically 
studied. The most valuable manuscripts of the New Testa- 
ment had not been discovered. In a word, the science of 
textual criticism had not yet come into existence. 

During the two centuries and a half which have passed^ 
away since then^this science, like others, has made prodig- 
ious strides. Many most able and learned men have devoted 
themselves to its cultivation. In England, the names of Wal- 
ton, Mill and Bentley; and in Germany, the names of Gries- 
bach, Lachmann, and Tischendorf, are honored as those of 
the great departed, who have made it the object of their Jives ^ 
that the very words of Scripture should, as far as possible, be 
recovered.- And the question simply is, shall not the results 
of tkeir labors be made known to English readers ? While 
everything else has advanced, and while the very poorest now 
have access to advantages and comforts which could not be 
enjoyed by the wealthiest two centuries ago, shall we continue 
to stand, in regard to the purity of the text of God's Word, 
at the point where our ancestors stood when the Authorized 
Version was formed ? This is a question which admits of but 
one clear and decided answer, and, accordingly, the text from 
-which the Revised Version of the New Testament has betn 
formed is one which has, in multitudes of passages, departed 
from -that text which constituted the basis of onr .common 
Eng^lish translation. 

But while changes due to this cause will be found in every 
chapter, most of them are of very little importance. It is only 
on rare occasions that the differences of reading mvolve 


questions of doctrine, or can otherwise be regarded as of very 
great consequence. Before proceeding to consider those pas- 
sages of which all will recognize the significance, let us glance 
at some of the minor changes which have been made, both 
asinteresting in themselves and as illustrating the principles 
which have been adopted by textual critics. 

At Mark vi. 20 the Authorized Version runs as follows : " For 
Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and a 
holy, and observed him; and when he heard him he did many 
things, and heard him gladly." But in the Revised Version 
the passage stands thus : " For Herod feared John, knowing* 
that he was a just man and a holy, and kept him safe ; and 
when he heard him, he was much perplexed^ and heard hini 
gladly." Here, there are, no doubt, many ancient authorities 
in favor of the reading represented in the common version. 
But, notwithstanding, it can hardly be questioned on critical 
principles that that reading is erroneous. The difference be- 
tween the two versions springs from the fact that in the one 
text a very common verb is found, while a very uncommon 
verb occurs in the other. Now, Biblical scholars have adopted 
the principle that, where there are conflicting readings, one 
which is difficult or unusual is, in general, to be preferred to 
another which is easy and common. The reason for this rule 
is evident. On the one hand, a transcriber was strongly 
tempted to change an expression or a construction which he 
did not understand into another with which he was quite fa- 
miliar, and which seemed to suit the context. On the other 
hand, it is obvious that there was no temptation to alter a 
common word or construction into one that was unusual and 
could only be comprehended with difficulty. This one con» 
side ration leaves little room for doubt as to the true reading- 
in the passage before us. We can easily fancy a copyist being 
stumbled by the very rare word rjicopzi^ and changing it into 
the common iicoiti ; but the opposite process it is nearly im- 
possible to imagine. There is a different critical principle 


which comes into operation at such passages, as Acts viii. 37 
and I Cor. vi. 20. Additions have, in both these passages, 
been made to the true text. The first verse referred to is a 
baptismal formula, which appears in some copies of the New 
Testament to have crept in from the margin, and which must, 
on every ground of evidence, be dismissed. In the second 
passage, again, these words — " and in your spirit, which are 
God's " — seem to have been inserted with the mistaken view 
of promoting edification. It is quite plain, however, to one 
who considers the apostle's line of argument in the passage, 
that the added words are wholly out of place ; and, in point of 
evidence, they have in fact hardly any support. The exhorta- 
tion of St. Paul appositely ends with — " Glorify God therefore 
in your body," just as his reasoning in the Epistle to the Ro- 
mans is forcibly summed up at chap. viii. i, in these compre- 
hensive words: "There is therefore now no condemnation to 
them that are in Christ Jesus " — ^without the enfeebling and 
unsupported addition here found in the Authorized Version. 
Since, then, the sacred text was apt, in various ways, to be 
added to. Biblical critics have adopted this other general 
principle that a shorter reading is usually to be preferred to 
a longer. If we now turn to i John ii. 23, we shall find a pas- 
sage which calls forth a different line of remark. It will be 
observed that the second half of that verse is printed in italics 
in the Authorized Version, to indicate a doubt as to its gen- 
uineness. No such brand, however, attaches to it in the Re- 
vised Version, and modem criticism pronounces quite de- 
cidedly in its favor. How then did it come to be omitted m 
some even of the best manuscripts ? The answer is that this 
was due to the fact that the two clauses of the verse end with 
three words exactly the same in Greek. The eyes of some 
transcribers were thus deceived. They wrote the first clause, 
and then on looking up from their work to the copy before 
them, their glance fell on the last words of the second, and 
supposing from the appearance which these presented that 


they had just writteh it, they were led to omit the clause alto- 
gether. These words and clauses of like ending have been a 
very fruitful cause of omissions in the manuscripts, but, the 
cause of the mistake being so obvious, there is usually little 
difficulty in making the necessaiy correction. 

Having* thus given some examples of those minor changes 
of text which are represented in the Revised Version, with 
the reasons which may be assigned for the various readings, 
we now pass on to notice those more important omissions and 
alterations which will be observed in the revised translation. 
The first instance of omission which will probably strike the 
English reader is that of the doxology to the Lord's Prayer. 
These words (Matt. vi. 13), " For thine is the kingdom, and the 
power, and the glory, for ever. Amen ; " have entirely disap- 
peared in the Revised Version. The state of the evidence is 
as follows : The words in question are not quoted or com- 
mented on by the earliest of the Fathers, even by those of 
them, such as Origen, who formally expounded the' Lord's 
Prayer ; they never existed in the Latin versions, and they are 
not found in the two oldest manuscripts, B and- K, both be- 
longing to the fourth century, nor in D ; while A and C, both 
dating from the fifth century, are here unfortunately defective. 
On the other hand, the words are found in the ancient Syriac 
version, formed perhaps in the second century, but apparently 
conformed at a later d^te to the text prevailing in the Church, 
so that its authority loses much of the weight it would other- 
wise possess ; and they are also found in the great majority 
of the later manuscripts, but in varying forms, always a sus- 
picious circumstance. What then, are we to conclude re- 
specting the words ? If evidence is to decide, as evidence alone 
ought to decide, there can hardly be a doubt that they did not 
exist in the original text, but crept into it from some of the 
ancient Liturgies. This is a conclusion which some may 
regret, or even refuse to accept. But it should be remembered 
that unless a strict adhesion to critical principles is maintained 


in dealing with Scripture, all must soon become uncertainty 
and confusion ; and that,, if we defy the laws of evidence in 
regard to any one passage which is wished to be retained, we 
cannot logically appeal to these laws either for the exclusion 
or retention of other passages. 

We now turn to Mark xvi. 9-20 (close of St. Mark's Gospel). 
Quotations are made from this passage by Irenaeus and other 
very early writers. It is found in all the ancient versions. It 
exists in A, C, D — ^three of the five great Uncials — and in 
almost all the other Greek manuscripts. But, while there can 
thus be no question as to the canonical authority of the pas- 
sage, there is not a little doubt respecting its authorship. 
Eusebius, the father of ecclesiastical history (circ. A. D. 330), 
tells us that the section did not exist in the best manuscripts 
in his day. And when we look into &<, we find that the verses 
are wholly wanting. When, again, we turn to B, we see that 
in it, too, the verses are wanting ; but a space is left vacant,- 
indicating that the transcriber was aware of the existence of 
the passage. The internal evidence is still more decisive 
against the belief that the section proceeded from St. Mark. 
No fewer than seventeen expressions occur in its twelve 
verses, which are found nowhere else in the second Gospel. 
The difference of style is perceptible even to a reader of the 
English version, and far more so to one who peruses the pas- 
sage in the original. We cannot tell why St. Mark stopped at 
the end of the 8th verse. That must have been due to acci- 
dent, and not intention. The evangelist could never have 
meant to end his work with the wor^^ " for they were afraid." 
No history that was ever given to the world intentionally 
closes with such abruptness. The last word is actually a con- 
junction, being the Greek expression corresponding to the 
English " for.** But such a termination, while it could not 
have beeij intentional, may have been caused by accident. We 
know, for instance, how many works have been left unfinished 
owing to the sudden death of their authors. This was, doubt- 


less, the reason why the history of Thucydides ends so 
abruptly. This, too, was the reason why the great epic of 
Virgil was left with so many of its lines incomplete. And 
every one knows and regrets that it was owing to the sudden 
death of Lord Macau lay that his history is only a magnificent 
fragment. So St. Mark may never have had it in his power to 
complete the Gospel as he intended. But that does not in the 
least detract from the authority of its last twelve verses, while 
the fact of their being due to a different authorship really im- 
parts to them an additional interest and importance. They 
undoubtedly come to us from the period of the Apostles, and 
thus furnish a practical attestation that the second Gospel 
was accepted in the Church even from the earliest times. 

We must next look at another long passage, which stands 
on much the same footing, viz., St. John vii. 53 — viii. 1 1 (the 
woman taken in adultery). That section is wholly wanting in 
A, B, C, K, while it occurs in a peculiar form in D, and is not 
found in the best versions. Internal evidence is also strongly 
against it. The style is entirely different from that of St 
John, and the passage has no connection with the context 
Besides, some manuscripts do not insert it here, but have it at 
the end of Luke xxi., which seems a far more fitting place for 
it. Taking all these facts into. consideration, the almost unani- 
mous opinion of modern critics is that the paragraph formed 
no part of the original Gospel of St. John. At the same time, 
all agree that the narrative is eminently Christian in sentir 
mcnt, 3.nd probably quite historical as to the facts stated. It 
thus comes to us as one^of the very few genuine narratives 
connected with Christ, which have reached us outside of the 
New Testament. The reason why this one has been pre- 
served, while multitudes of others that must have been prev- 
alent in the early Church passed away, is that it secured for 
itself in many copies a place within the sacred inclosurc "of 
the Scriptural text. 

We may now pass to a brief consideration of the fam< 



passage, r John v. 7, 8. The reader will observe that these 
words — "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy- 
Ghost : and these three are one " — have been omitted in the 
Revised Version, so that the passage reads as follows : " For 
there are three that bear record, the Spirit, and the water, and 
the blood ; and these three agree in one." All reference to 
the " three heavenly Witnesses " thus disappears, and the 
most popular of all texts in proof of the doctrine of the Trin- 
ity has no longer a place in the New Testament. This is one 
of the most certain results of textual criticism. The words 
referred to are as undoubtedly spurious as the first verse of 
St. John's Gospel is genuine. They are not quoted or referred 
to by any of the early Fathers, even when expressly treating 
of the doctrine of the Trinity. They do not exist in any of 
the ancient versions, except the Latin, and not in the best 
copies even of that. They are not found in any of the ancient 
manuscripts, nor indeed in any Greek manuscript at all, except 
two, respecting which it is the settled conviction of Biblical 
critics that the words have been translated from the Latin. 
Nothing, therefore, is more certain than that the passage did 
not exist in the original text of the New Testament. It seems 
to have been foisted into the Latin in the supposed interests 
of orthodoxy, and has not been thought worthy of notice even 
on the margin of the Revised Version. 

But what criticism takes away in the above passage, it 
rnakes up for at i Pet. iii. 15. There the Authorized Version 
reads, " But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts." There is, 
however, very feeble support for this reading. All the great 
manuscripts. A, B, C, ^C, with the best versions and several of 
the Fathers, sanction the following as the true text : " But 
sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts." Now, this is a change 
of the greatest doctrinal importance. To see that such is the 
case it must be noticed that the Apostle is here quoting from 
Isa. viii. 13. And, as he applies to Christ language which is in 
the Old Testament made use of with reference to Jehovah, 


there can be no question that he takes for granted the supreme 
Godhead of the Saviour. 

Another passage presenting various readings of great inter- 
est rs found at i Tim. iii. i6. The question there is whether 
we are to jead " God " or "who." Previous to the discovery 
of K. some twenty years ago, the Alexandrian manuscript (A) 
was here of supreme importance, as being the only great 
Uncial containing the passage. From the worn and faded 
condition of the manuscript at the place, and from the fact 
that there is very little difference in the forms for "God" and 
"who," as written in ancient Greek documents, the utmost 
variety of opinion existed among Biblical critics as to the side 
which A really favored. Both the great Vatican manuscript 
(B), and the Ephraem manuscript (C) are here defective,-so 
that the Sinaitic manuscript (&5) has supreme weight in hece 
establishing the true text. And, as it clearly reads " who," 
there is now no doubt that we should read, as in the Revised 
Version, " He who was manifested in the flesh." 

The results reached by criticism may be regarded as certain 
with respect to all the passages which have yet been noticed. 
But it is not so in regard to these two important texts. Acts 
XX. 28, and Col. ii. 2. The renderings of these adopted in the 
Revised Version can only be viewed as resting upon readings 
in favor of which a slight probability may be pleaded. And 
no one who examines the amount of the evidence on either 
side will attach much less weight to the readings which have 
in these passages been placed on the margin than to those 
which have been admitted into the text. 

We now proceed more briefly to look at some of those 
changes which are due to an amended rendering of the text 
of the Authorized Version. 

Positive mistakes of the Greek have been corrected. We may 
turn for an example to Acts iii. 19, 20. The Authorized 
Version here presents an instance of sheer mistranslation; 
and it is important in the interests of eschatology that the 


error should be corrected. It is impossible that the Zitoo^ ocv of 
the original can be translated "when ; " the only proper ren- 
dering is, " in order that," and, with this meaning, it dominates 
the verb not only in the 19th, but also in the 20th, verse. The 
proper translation is, as in the Revised Version, *' Repent ye 
therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 
that so seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of 
the Lord ; and that he may send the Christ who hath been 
appointed for you (even) Jesus." For another example of 
mistranslation, let us look at Gal. v. 17, as it stands in the 
Authorized Version. We there read, " For the flesh lusteth 
against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh ; and these 
are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the 
things that ye would** This rendering completely inverts the 
meaning. In the original it is " the Spirit " and not " the 
flesh," which is represented as the conquering power; and the 
proper translation is that of the Revised Version — " For the 
flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh ; 
for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may 7tot 
do the things that ye would.'' For other examples of mis- 
translation in the Authorized Version we refer the reader to 
Matt. xiv. 8 ; Luke xviii. 12 ; Acts xxvi. 28 ; i Tim. vi. 5 ; Heb. 
xi. 13, etc. 

Mistakes in Greek graminar have been rectified. This might 
be largely illustrated with respect to several points. It is seen 
with reference to the article ; the Authorized Version some- 
times inserts it without any sanction from the original, as at 
John iv. 27, " they marveled that he talked with the woman," 
instead of "they marveled that he talked with^ woman," the 
meaning being thus perverted and obscured. More frequently 
it omits the article when found in the Greek, as so often before 
the official title " Christ " in the Gospels, and as at 2 Thess. ii. 3, 
*• except there come a falling away first," for " the falling away," 
the definite apostacy in question. Sometimes, again, the 
article is over-translated as a demonstrative pronoun, as at 

L. M. — 14 


John i. 21, "Art thou that prophet?" for ''the prophet/' and 
in many other places. The same incorrectness appears in the 
renderings of Greek tenses. Aorists are constantly trans- 
lated as perfects, and though this is necessary and proper in 
some passages, there are many others in which the strict 
grammatical rendering of the tense should be adhered to, as 
at Matt. vii. 22, " Did we not prophesy ? " instead of " Have we 
not prophesied ? " On the other hand, perfects are sometimes 
translated as aorists, to the detriment of the sense, as at Luke 
xiii. 2, where the proper rendering, " because they have suffered 
these things," indicates the recent character of the calamity. 
Imperfects are frequently translated as aorists, and fine f)oints 
indicated in the original are thus concealed, as at Mark xv. 6, 
" he released unto them one prisoner," for, '* he used to release 
unto them one prisoner." See also Luke i. 59; v. 6, etc. 
Further, the Greek prepositions are oftan mistranslated. One 
example out of multitudes is seen at 2 Peter iii. 12, where, 
instead of " The day of God wherein" the proper rendering 
ia " The day of Grod, by reason of which'* Compare Rom. iii. 
25 ; Heb. vi. 7, etc. ; and for an improper translation of other 
prepositions see Luke xxiii. 42 ; 2 Thess. ii. i, etc. — in a word, 1 
the number of grammatical errors in the Authorized Version 
is so great that it would take many pages simply to enumerate 

Unintelligible archaisms have been removed and proper names 
consistently translated. Of course no attempt has been made 
to impart a modern air to the Revised Version. On the con- 
trary, the antique style has been carefully preserved, as shed- 
ding a sort of solemnity about the sacred volume. But a num- 
ber of terms which are now obscure or misleading have been 
replaced by others. It is sufficient to mention " prevent," 
which occurs with the sense of " anticipate " at Matt. xvii. 25 ; 
I Thess. iv. 15 ; " ensue," which is used for " pursue " at i Peter 
iii. II ; and " conversation," which means " conduct " at GaLi. 
3; and many other passages. As to proper names, tbe 



greatest confusion prevails in the Authorized Version. We 
find Timotheus and Timothy, Lucas and Luke, Marcus and 
Mark, Midian and Madian, etc., variously employed in re- 
ferring to the same persons or places. This is often most 
misleading to plain readers, especially in regard to the name 
"Jesus," which is twice employed, not to denote Christ, but 
Joshua, the leader of the people of Israel (Acts vii. 45 and 
Heb. iv. 8). It borders on the grotesque to find Kish spoken 
of as " Cis," Hosea as " Osee," Jeremiah as "Jeremy " ; and it 
is credibly reported that even dignitaries of the Church have 
been known to treat the New Testament form of Korah as a 
monosyllable, while they read in the epistle of Jude of " the 
gainsaying of Core** All these points have, as a matter of 
course, been rectified in the Revised Version. 

Consistency has, asfar as possible, been maintained in translating 
the same Greek words. Variation is, of course, to some extent 
a necessity, since the same word has different meanings in 
different passages. The only question, therefore, is whether 
our translators have not varied their renderings unnecessarily 
and unreasonably, so as, in fact, to have diminished the value 
of their work. That such is, in reality, the case might be very 
largely evinced. But here a few illustrations only can be 
given. At 1 Peter ii. 4, 5, we read, " To whom coming, as unto 
a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, 
and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up," etc., the 
very same word being thus variously translated in the two 
clauses, and the identification of Christ's life with that of his 
people being thus to some degree obscured. The very same 
words rendered " thy faith hath saved thee " at Luke vii. 20, and 
xviii. 42, appear as "thy faith hath made thee whole " at Luke 
viii. 48, and xvii. 19. At chapter vi. 20 of the same Gospel we 
find the words " blessed be ye," while the very same Greek 
words are rendered " blessed are ye " in the next and following 
verses. Exactly identical expressions are variously repre- 
sented in the several Gospels. Compare, for instance, Matt^ 


xxvii. 45; Mark xv. 33; Luke xxiii. 44. Quotations from the 
Old Testament repeated in the same language in different 
passages are very variously rendered, as at Heb. iii. 1 1 and 
Heb. iv. 3,- etc. Different degrees of force are given to the 
very same Greek words in different passages, as at Matt. xvii. 5, 
compared with Mark ix. 7, and in multitudes of other places. 
Now, all this needless variety of rendering must be very per- 
plexing to an English reader, must often lead him to imagine 
differences in the original which do not exist, and must go far 
to deprive him of the advantage which might be derived from 
comparing one passage in which a particular expression 
^occurs with another in which the same word or phrase is_ 

' Unnecessary confounding of one Greek word with unotJrer in 
trafislation has bee^t avoided. This is-the opposite error to that 
which has just been noticed, and admits of large illustration 
from the Authorized Version. Let the following examples 
suflicie. Three different terms are alike translated " bright- 
ness." The first occurs at Acts xxvi. 13 — " I saw in the way a 
light from heaven above the bright7iess of the sun " — a per- 
fectly correct translation. The second is found at 2 Thess. 
\\. 8, " shall destroy with the brightness of his coming," and 
this passage furnishes an instance of sheer mistranslation. 
The word rendered " brightness " is in every other passage (i 
Tim. vi. 14; Tit. ii. 13, etc.) translated "appearing," and should 
always have some such, meaning assigned to it. The third 
term occurs in the striking passage, Heb. i. 3, ** who being the 
brightness of his glory," and is found nowhere else in the New- 
Testament. It denotes the flashing forth of radiance, and not 
a mere reflected splendor, as might be inferred from the 
Authorized Version : it should therefore, be translated by some 
such expression as " effulgence." Again, two very different 
terms are alike translated " hell " in the Authorized Version^ 
and this sometimes grates very harshly on the reader. A bold 
attempt has been made in the revised translation to escaipe 



this result by transferring the word " Hades " into our lan- 
guage, while " hell " is reserved for the other expression. 
This attempt deserves to prove successful, as it serves to dis- 
tinguish between the abode of the dead, or the region of dis- 
embodied spirits, and the popular conception of hell. The 
gain thus secured is strikingly seen in such verses as Acts ii. 
27, 31, where it is almost dreadful to read of Christ's soul not 
having been "left in hell." The meaning, of course, is that 
he was not left in the region of the dead ; and the revised 
translation therefore is, " Because thou wilt not leave my soul 
in Hades, neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corrup- 
tion." Once more, as is well known, two very different words 
are alike translated *' beast " and " beasts " in the Book of 
Revelation. The one simply denotes " living creature," while 
the other is properly rendered " beast." The worst results 
have followed from confounding them — from translating the 
word which occurs, for instance, at Rev. iv. 6, by the same 
term in our language as that which is found at xiii. i. It is» 
indeed, simply horrible to read (chap. v. 14) that " the four 
beasts said. Amen ;" and when the necessary corrections have 
been made, as in the Revised Version, an English reader can-;, 
not fail to have much additional pleasure in perusing the 

Such, then, are a few illustrations of what has been done to 
amend the English New Testament, both as respects text and 
translation. And nov/ the question naturally suggests itself, 
What is to be the fate of the Revised Version ? That is a ques- 
tion which can, of course, be definitely answered only after 
the Version has passed through the ordeal of public opinion. 
But, judging by analogous cases in the past, there is little rea- 
son to be sanguine as to the favorable reception which awaits 
it, at least in the immediate present. We know how high the 
Vulgate now stands in the estimation of the Church of Rome. 
Well, that is substantially the revision of the Old Latin made 
by St. Jerome in the fifth century. And how was his work 


received when it appeared ? Why, it was condemned with the 
greatest severity, and lie himself assailed with the utmost vir- 
ulence, while the greatly improved version which he had pro- 
duced did not obtain general acceptance in the church till 
after a period of 200 years ! Think again how dear to every 
one is now our existing Authorized Version, how proud we 
are of its general faithfulness as well as its noble style, and 
how attached to its sweet and solemn utterances. And how 
^ was // ushered into the world ? Why, it lay neglected ai^d de- 
spised for the first fifty years of its existence, while one of the 
greatest scholars of the age declared that he " would rather 
be torn in pieces by wild horses than impose such a version 
on the poor churches of England"! How then can it be 
expected that the new revision will escape the fate of those 
which have preceded it ? The present writer well remembers 
that when, as a Company of Revisers, we first took our seats 
around the long table in the Jerusalem Chamber, the Bishop 
of Gloucester and Bristol, who has throughout acted as chair- 
man, plainly warned us not to be over-sanguine as to the im- 
mediate success likely to attend our work. And he had 
expressed the same thing previously in his " Considerations 
on the Revision of the English Version of the New Testa- 
ment." His words (p. 221), were : 

Even with the most prospered issues, a generation must pass away ere the labors of 
the present time^will be so far recognized as to take the place of the labors of the past. 
The youngest scholar that may be called upon to bear his part in the great undertak- 
ing will have fallen on sleep before the labors in which he may have shared will bo 
regarded as fully bearing their hoped-for fruit. The latest survivor of the gathered 
company will be resting in the calm of Paradise, ere the work at which he toiled will 
meet with the reception which, by the blessing of Qod the Holy Ghost, it may ulti<. 
mately be found to deserve. The bread will be cast upon the waters, but it will not be 
found till after many days. 

This may appear too despondent a view to take of the matter, 
but it is certainly one which is confirmed by all past ex- 
perience. The old words of Scripture, with which our ears 
have been familiar from childhood, possess an indescribable 
"harm, and w« can hardly be persuaded to part with them for 


others, however more accurately these may represent the 

original. But while this is so, there can, at the- same time, 

be no doubt that the Revised Version will gradually win its 

way to public acceptance, if it deserves to do so. Beyond all 

question it will be subjected to a vast amount of criticism, 

much of which will, doubtless, be intelligent, and not a little, 

probably, the reverse. Considering the long time which lias 

been taken in its preparation, and how many minds have 

aided in suggesting the amendments which it embodies, there 

seems little likelihood that anything new will emerge in the 

discussions it may excite, anything, that is, which was not 

considered by the Company. There is a well-known story 

connected with the Authorized Version, to the effect that a 

certain scholar sent the translators five reasons in favor of 

a particular rendering, but was answered that they had 

already had the suggestion before them, and had found fifteen 

reasons for rejecting it. Something like this will, doubtless 

occur again, and will combine with many other causes to 

occasion delay in the acceptance of the Revised Version. 

•Yet who can tell but, in these times of ours, when everything 

is so rapidly accomplished, a favorable , reception may be 

gained for this new edition of the English Testament at an 

earlier date than its best friends now venture to anticipate ? 

At any rate, the utmost confidence may be felt that no rash 

changes have been made ; that every effort has been put forth 

to render the work as faithful a transcript of the original as 

possible ; that neither ecclesiastical nor theological prejudices 

have been allowed the slightest influence in molding the 

translation ; and that the one object aimed at has been to 

cause the light of Divine truth to shine with a brighter luster 

on the minds of those who are indebted for an acquaintance 

with it solely to the English language. 

Alexander Roberts, D. D., in Eraser's Magazine. 



Already, in these brief reminiscences, I have spoken of 
divines, novelists, and essayists. Incidentially, allusion has 
also been made to poets. The two distinguished masters of 
physical philosophy whose names are written at the head of 
the present paper, may well be taken as representatives of 
the men of science with whom my earlier business projects 
brought me into contact. In settling the programme of Grood 
Words, the desirability of popularizing science was one of the 
aims kept in view. I may now venture to say that this deal- 
ing with scientific topics in the pages of a magazine which 
was to be offered for Sunday as well as week-day reading, was 
felt to have some riskiness about it. At least, there was need, 
for care in selecting the writers. If it would be too much to 
assert now, as it most certainly would be, that Science and 
Religion are in Literature reconciled, it may at least be stated 
that they are not so fiercely hostile as they were twenty years 
ago. One might almost say that religious teachers and the 
younger men of science then were in open feud. Mr. Darwin's 
" Origin of Species " had just been published, and had caused 
an excitement in the religious world which did more than 
bring back the only half-abated tumult and heat arouseyd by 
"The Vestiges of Creation." There is nothing issuing from 
the press to-day approaching in polemical bitterness to the 
loud debates of that stormier time. Darwinism survives, but 
so also does religion ; and it then was thought by a good 
many people that this double result was not possible. Some 
of those, however, with whom I was then working, had hearts 
too brave to fear for the future of Chiistianity. 

" We cannot leave science out of the mag^ines," said Dr. 
Norman Macleod to me in one of our preliminary talks. " And 
there is no cause why we should do so. The thing to make 
sure of is that Christianity is not left out of the science we 


put in. Thank God," he added, " we have Christian philos- 
ophers still left among us, as the world always will have." 

Dr. Macleod, I believe, had some acquaintance with the 
Herschel family on Lady Herschel's side. He made applica- 
tion to Sir John, and received a kind promise in the matter. 
The appeal to Sir David Brewster fell to my lot; and I com- 
municated with him, in the first instance, by letter. At this 
time I had not removed from Edinburgh ; and, owing to his 
connection with the University, I had opportunities from 
time to time of seeing Sir David's easily-recognized figure. 
I had not had the good fortune of being acquainted with him, 
and only knew him by sight. By repute, of course, every- 
body knew him. That held good, indeed, of Europe, no less 
than of Britain. There is no scientific man to-day nearly so 
popularly^ known as he was then. He was always coming 
before the public in some fresh way, announcing some new 
discovery. But to one who, like myself, had chosen publish- 
ing for his business in life, Sir David Brewster was interest- 
ing, not alone as the scientific discoverer and the academic 
dignitary, but as the editor of a " Cyclopaedia," before the 
long lines of the volumes of which I had often stood in ad- 
miration. I was jiecessarily aware, too, of his far-back con- 
nection with The Edinburgh Review and The North British 
Review, for which latter publication I need not hesitate to 
confess an early predilection. I very well remember the. kind 
of professional gratification I felt when I, at length, found 
myself in relation with one whose association with literature 
included all the leading publications, and went back so far. 
But I am hurrying on a little too quickly. 

It was not until the spring of 1862 that I was honored by a 
visit from Sir David at my office, immediately after his 
earliest paper had appeared in Good Words. A partial break- 
down in his health had delayed his writing for the magazine. 
This first contribution attracted a good deal of public notice, 
for it was entitled "The Facts and Fancies of Mr. Darwin/* 


and it was written with not a little of Sir David Brewster's 
indsiveness of style. In the opening sentence he asserted 
that Mr. Darwin's book contained " much valuable knowledge 
and much wild speculation " ; and, as was natural, starting 
from this point of view, the critic dwelt more upon the latter 
division than the former. Nearly Sir David's Brewster*s first 
words upon entering the room on the second floor of No. 42 
George street, Edinburgh, which then formed my office, were, 
" I hear that some of Mr. Darwin's friends think I used too 
sharp language ; but I adhere to all I said. He is very clever, 
but a surprisingly loose reasoner. A capital observer ; I fully 
admit that." Sir David went on to speak very kindly of the 
magazine, and unhesitatingly condemned some of the op- 
position it was then meeting with in certain religious quar- 
ters. Science and religion, he repeated several times during 
the interview, must be one, since each dealt with Truth, which 
had only one and the same Author. His aged face lighted 
up with wonderful fire as he asked, " Did Newton ever doubt 
it, or was he a smaller man than some of these we have now.^ 
But who is it who demurs to-day ? Not Herschel, not Fara- 
day." Most assuredly, I thought to myself, it was not Sir 
David Brewster who did so, for the light of faith was visible 
in his eyes as he spoke. It was the light of faith touched 
with just some sparkles of the flame of battle. For the 
prompt combativeness of the strong man, which had rendered 
his career often stormy as well as nearly always triumphant, 
and which age had only slackened not extinguished, made 
itself seen and felt in the first passages of even fragmentary 
talk. But again and again, as I more fully learned later, his 
speech could soften into a fine restraint : there came X pla- 
cidly gentle expression into the eyes ; and the veteran 
losopher's manners took on a courtliness which bore witn^ 
to his wide social experience. 

Before the interview ended, I found that Sir David had 
bethought himself of the Human Eye as a likely subject for 



one or two articles for Good Words ; and it was to mention 
this that he. had so kindly taken the trouble to climb my stair- 
case. He promised to supply the first paper for the March 
number of the magazine. He continued for some little time to 
talk upon a variety of subjects, his full mind seeming easily 
to well over into fluent conversation on any matter for which 
the slightest of cues happened to offer. As I listened I could 
not help thinking that the speaker carried you back in his 
career, to times and persons that supreme celebrity had long 
since made historic. The venerable man before me — he was 
then in his eighty-first year, — had talked with La Place ; he 
had seen Cuvier; been introduced to Lamarck. But though 
the four-score years had bent his shoulders a little, and worn 
the.figure into what I fear must be called gauntness, drying 
his visage and stamping it with wrinkles, he was arranging, 
with ah enthusiasm not unbefitting youth, for fresh papers to 
appear in a newly-started cheap popular monthly periodical. 
He wrote two articles on the Eye, the second being printed in 
Good Words for August, 1862. The precise titles were, "The 
Eye : Its Structure and Powers ; " and " The Human Eye * Its 
Phenomena and Illusions." It is nearly superfluous to say that 
the papers were models of scientific exposition, giving the 
exactest information in the easiest, most readable style. Any 
one may refer to them to-day with pleasure and advantage. 

In the meantime we removed our business from Edinburgh 
to London, and I had no further personal intercourse with 
Sir David in Scotland. But I had not been very long settled 
in my new quarters before he, on visiting town, again looked 
in upon me. Subsequently I had the favor of several calls 
from him there ; and he went on writing for the magazine 
rHiring 1863, he contributed two papers ; the first of these, 
siMjublished in the January number, being on ** The Character- 
^Vics of the Age." It was full of pleasant banter, deriding 
d try skillfully a number of semi-scientific crazes just then 
r iaking a great stir in London and other places. But in the 



issue for October, he took in hand a more serious topic, one 
which he had much at heart, as the suggester of the " built- 
up " lens for use in lighthouses was likely to have, viz., "The 
Life-boat and its Work." Once again, and only once, did Sir 
David use his pen for Good Words in a paper entitled " Life 
in a Drop of Water," published in February, 1864. I cannot 
resist the temptation to quote the concluding paragraph of 
the article, for it appeared to me at the time, and does so still, 
to be a good specimen of Sir David's style at its best, and very 
remarkable indeed, remembering the years whigh he had 
reached : — 

" Whatever difference of opinion may exist respecting the 
origin of animalcular life, there is but one opinion about its 
universal diffusion. In the lower atmosphere in which we 
live, the air is full of particles, mineral and vegetable, from 
Nubstances injurious to health, and of millions of animalcules 
?)orn and bred in putrid marshes, and in the countless charnel- 
houses of civilization. Neither power, nor wealth, nor science, 
can purify the air which they poison, nor strangle the scor- 
pions which that poison breeds. The storm that changes our 
aerial food may leave us in a less salubrious atmosphere, and 
the zephyr breath even, that wafts to us the perfumes of sum- 
mer, may mingle with them the malaria through which they 
have passed. The thunderbolt from above may precipitate in 
meteorites the solid particles in the atmosphere ; but the as- 
cending lightning-stroke again carries them upward, from the 
metalliferous rocks around us. The cunning of the chemist 
cannot throw down the poison that twinkles in the sunbeams, 
or slay the vampires that swarm under our roofs. In the 
meadows, and on the heath or the river sid j, and on the gran- 
ite peaks, in the day and in the night, in our food and in our 
drink, we cannot escape from the atoms of poison which we 
breathe, and the legions of swarming, crawling, and whirling 
life which are ever at work within us, and without us, and aroofid 
us. The epidemics which are ever filling our homes, with 


mourning, are doubtless the slow and the sudden growth of 
these deleterious visitants. The lance and the leech cannot 
cope with them ; and all the correctives in the pharmacopoeia 
are equally powerless. There is no relief but in resignation^ 
no comfort but in the true anodyne of life, — ^Thy Will be 

Sir David's long life did not reach its end until 1869; but 
his age, and the repeated public reports of weakening health, 
made it impossible to urge appeals for further contributions. 
Again and again, however, expressions of his continued in- 
terest in the magazine reached the office indirectly. Very 
gratefully I bear testimony to the punctuality and consider- 
ateness in every way which he showed in reference to his 
contributions. If any writer had good justification for asking 
postponement or for causing inconvenience by not adhering 
to understandings as to amount of space, it surely was Sir 
David Brewster, at his time of life, and with a mind surcharged 
on what he was writing. But he was just the one who made 
no excuse, required no indulgence. Every one of the promises 
he made was kept to the moment, fulfilled to the letter. I 
was much surprised when he one day, in reply to a compli- 
mentary remark on this score, said, " It costs me a good many 
pains to write against time." But I learned afterwards, from 
those who had opportunities of observing his working habits, 
that this really was so, and that, though he was always ready 
for experimental study, he had a tendency to put off any piece 
of writing to the last moment. How he managed to combine 
precise punctuality with that impulse I cannot tell, but I know 
that he did 'succeed in doing it. His manuscript was very 
legibly penned, and in revising for the press he made little 
alteration : there was every mark of great care being taken 
with the original composition. On the last occasion, or the 
last but one, of his talking with me, he said, 

" Go on giving the people full, true information about the 
facts of the world, and it is impossible that better knowledge 


of it can finally .leave men ignorant of the Maker of the 

I bethought myself of that when he was finally laid to rest, 
full alike of years and honors, in the shadow of Melrose 
Abbey, feeling assured that even his learning had then been 
added to, and that his knowledge had at last become perfect. 

But so far I have confined myself to one of the two names 
prefixed to this paper. During these years, the magazine had 
another scientific contributor, whose fame in some respects 
outshone that of Brewster himself. Sir John Herschel, the 
second — or, if we reckon, as we well may do, his aunt Caro- 
line, the third — of the family dynasty, the inheritor of his 
father's genius as well as his honors, could not, it is true, 
point to the same multiformity of popular achievement as his 
great northern contemporary, the inventor of the kaleido- 
scope, and I know not what else, but his wonderful successes 
in his own loftier, stiller, more solemn field, and an unequaled 
brilliancy of literary style, caused him to be regarded in Eng- 
land in those days as the very sun of the world of science, 
though Faraday and Whewell were yet above the horizon. 

I have already mentioned that he kindly yielded to the 
appeal Dr. Macleod made to him, immediately after Good 
Words started, to become a contributor to its pages. But the 
carrying out of this welcome promise was in some way hin- 
dered month after month, so that the first paper from his pen 
did not actually appear until just a year after Sir David Brew- 
ster's earliest contribution. The precise date was January, 
1863. It was an article entitled " About Volcanoes and Earth- 
quakes, "* and he followed it up with a second essay on the 
same subject next month. In the first of these papers was 
given a most lucid exposition of the causes of the phenomena ; 
in the other was supplied an admirably condensed history of 
the more notable among the recorded catastrophes. A few 
days after the second paper appeared in print, I made my first 
personal acquaintance with the distinguished writer of thenu 


It was, I remember, a dull afternoon when the name of Sir 
John Herschel was unexpectedly announced in the inner 
room of my office. I hurried forward to receive him with all 
possible respect, and my first sight of the visitor gave me a 
gentle, not unpleasant, but still a distinct shock of surprise. 
I saw standing in the dimly-lighted doorway, as it might be in 
the frame of a picture, a small, finely-shaped old man, wearing 
on his head a black velvet skull-cap, from beneath which fell, 
in a loose straggling way, long locks of snow-white hair. His 
face, which had the placid worn look of age, was made very 
striking by large lustrous eyes, above which the expansive 
brow rose deeply furrowed by countless wrinkles. It was like 
receiving a guest from another time, one who brought with 
him the atmosphere of past generations. Indeed, if I must 
quite convey the impression I got during the first seconds of 
his unlooked-for presence, I think I must say that I was rather 
reminded of one of the ancient alchemists than of our-modern 
men of science. But very quickly this sense of a picturesque 
unusualness of dress and appearance merged into an apprecia- 
tion of a strict fitness in it all. Sir John Herschel's bearing, 
even under his weight of years, was grace itself, and the most 
ordinary remarks falling from his lips had a certain polish of 
diction. A little foreignness of aspect and manner seemed to 
me to cling to him throughout, but our interview had not 
advanced very far before I mentally put away my first thought 
of the alchemist, and was quite ready to substitute for it the 
notion of one of the old scholarly Venetian nobles. 

" I was passing," he kindly explained, " and I felt that I 
must call and thank you." (Some little act of service had 
l>een done him ; if I recollect rightly the sending of copies of 
tlie magazine to friends of his whose names he had supplied.) 
" But, besides that, I wanted to say to you, as well as to Dr. 
Macleod, how glad I am to find myself in such good company 
in your pages." 

He went on to speak in words of high praise of several 


well-known contributors, who happened to be among the 
writers in the last number of the magazine. I had to submit 
to a keen, though very courteously-conducted cross-examina- 
tion as to the position of the periodical, its early obstacles, 
and pur means and modes of distributing it. Some of Sir 
John's remarks on particular articles which had appeared in 
Good Words, ranging from the very beginning of it, showed 
that his saying that he had watched its progress with interest 
was not a compliment merely. 

" I am not a very young man," he finally said, shaking his 
head with a sad smile, " and I must not make large promises ; 
but 1 have planned several papers, if I am spared to write 
them. You may depend upon my doing what I can." 

The expectations thus raised were not disappointed, for he 
contributed to the April issue of Gk>od Words a magnificent 
paper on " The Sun." It was the proper theme for the man 
who had once said, " My first love was Light," and he made 
its treatment worthy of it and of himself. He summarized 
the recent discoveries as to the great orb down to the very 
latest announcement, evidently rejoicing in the advances 
which younger men were making on the splendid investiga- 
tions of his father and himself. During the same year (1863), 
Sir John Herschel furnished two more papers,- both dealing 
with the subject of " Comets." Every one of his contribu- 
tions showed his special power of bringing recondite knowl- 
edge down to the level of the common understanding ; and. 
at the same time, his no less unfailing characteristic of mixing 
lofty speculation with the most laboriously-minute expounding. 

A striking instance of this occurs to me as I write. On his 
returning the proof of the second article on " Comets," it was 
found that he had added a footnote containing ahint which, 
if worked out into all its details, must of necessity greatly 
modify the fundamental conception of the physical universe. 
In the body of the paper he had occasion to speak of ,two^ 
kinds of matter, one of which he styles " levitating/' asopposedl 



to ^* gravitating." The npte goes on to say, " But the existence 
of a rej)ulsive force, somehow operated, remains unco'itro- 
verted. . . . All this supposes a real existence of " electricity " 
as a things an entity having forces but devoid of inertia^ which 
ideas if we once consent to detach from each other, we are 
landed in a new region of metaphysical as well as dynamical 
speculation, and may be led to conceive the possible exist- 
ence of a transferable cause of force distinct alike from force 
and from matter." (The italics are Sir John Herschel's own.) 
In times when " force " is a term so largely used, it may be 
worth while recalling that this experienced philosopher had a 
glimpse of a conception more ultimate still, and which he 
believed he could apply in the explanation of physical phe- 
nomena. His lofty imagination always shot new light through 
the topic he was handling. Whether he is speaking of the 
distance and velocity of magnificent Sirius or of the measure- 
ment of " the standard British inch," he plays with the theme 
in a way which alternately makes the large small and the 
small large. 

In this last remark I have unawares anticipated mention of 
Sir John's fi??al contributicjp to Good Words ; it was a paper 
with the title "Celestial Measurings and Weighings," and 
appeared in June, 1864. The thoughtful reader will thank me 
for quoting a fine imaginative passage, in which the veteran 
astronomer may be thought to sum up, with his owi> eloquence, 
his life-long telescopic searchings of the heavens : — 

"Practically speaking, the material universe must be re- 
garded as infinite, seeing that we can perceive no reason 
which can place any bounds to the farther extension of that 
principle of systematic subordination which we have traced 
to a certain extent, and which combines in its fullest concep- 
tion a unity of plan and a singleness of result with an unlim- 
ited multiplicity of subordinated individuals, groups, systems, 
and families of systems. Thus it by no means follows that all 
those objects which stand classed under the general designa- 


tion of * nebulae ' or clusters of stars, and of which the num- 
ber already known amounts to upwards of five thousand, are 
objects (looked upon from this point of view) of the same 
order. Among those dim and mysterious existences, w^hich 
only a practiced eye, aided by a powerful telescope, can pro- 
nounce to be something different from minute stars, may, for 
anything we can prove to the contrary, he included systems 
of a higher order than that which comprehends all our nebulae 
properly such) reduced by immensity of distance to the very 
last limit of visibility. And this conceptions^ we may remark, 
affords something like a reasonable answer to those who 
have assumed an imperfect transparency oi the celestial spaces 
on the ground that, but for some such cause, the whole celes- 
tial vault ought to blaze with solar splendor, seeing that in no 
direction of the visual ray, if continued far enough, would it 
fail to meet with a star. . . . 

" Such a speculation as this just mentioned may possibly 
appear irrelevant. But it must be remembered that it is 
LIGHT, and the free communication of it from the remotest 
regions of the uniyerse, which alone can give, and does fully 
give us, the assurance of a uniform and all-pervading energy 
— a mechanism almost beyond conception^ at once complex, 
minute, and powerful, by which that influence, or rather that 
movement, is propagated. Our evidence for the existence of 
gravitation fails us beyond the region of the double stars, or 
leaves us at best only a presumption amounting to conviction 
in its favor. But the argument for a unity of design and 
action afforded by light stands unweakened by distance, and 
is 'co-extensive with the universe itself." 

1 wish that I was able to recall more fully than I am Sir John 
Herschel's conversation at the interviews with which he from 
time to time favored me. During one of the talks, some 
allusion was made to Africa, and a fair opening arose for 
mentioning his famous labors at the Cape. It was surprising 
to see the quicl^ enthusiasm with which his mind carried him 


back to the southern hemisphere, whose glittering constella- 
tions he was the first learnedly to track. On several occa- 
sions, he spoke of the supposed opposition between science 
and religion, and always repudiated the notion. I remember 
he firmly insisted that in the end theology would gain by 
successful physical investigation, making our knowledge of 
the Deity's operations more definite. This prospect of intel- 
lectual advancement seemed to him to promise spiritual pro- 
gress. Anjrthing that theology lost, he said, would be simply 
non-essentials, founded on mistake, arising from ignorance, 
and really hurtful to spiritual life, not helpful to it. One of 
his remarks was this, — " Science will teach man how God deals 
with him physically in this world, and, as he learns both the - 
wisdom and the love of the methodOjf^such dealing, man can- 
not but know and love his Maker and'Ruler better." Through- 
out, his speech on these matters was, as all acquainted with 
his writings would expect, that of the older generations of 
philosophical thinkers, Brewster, Faraday, Whewell, whose 
knowledge most assuredly added to their faith, not detracted 
from it. 

I had the privilege ct seeing Sir John Herschel two or three 
times after the appearance of his latest paper, and on each 
occasion his unwearied mind was pr(/mptly willing to project 
fresh contributions to the magazi ne. But it was too much to 
hope for. I, indeed, now a little wonder at the courage 
required for the application alike to him and to Sir David 
Brewster to take up their pens at their time of life. The spec- 
tacle of these two patriarchs of science, one turned eighty 
years of age, and the other not very much younger, writing 
side by side in the pages of a sixpenny magazine, with no 
other motive than the wish to increase knowledge among the 
people, seems to me even more impressive looked back upon 
now than it did then. Not a little of the credit of the modern 
popularization of physical science is fairly due to these two 
great men. ^ 


I always remember them together, for when in personal 
communication with either of them, I was in some way made 
to think of the other. In appearance, in manner, and in the 
modes of their relation to the public, they were very different ; 
you might almost term them contrasts. One was combatant, 
ready always to champion science in front of the world, the 
founder of a " British Association " for its promotion ; the 
other, though the most widely-traveled savant of his time, was 
elegant, preferring quiet, working in privacy. But on one 
point they were alike, and the palm must be equally divided 
between them, — ^that is, their eager desire to scatter wide 
among the multitude the knowledge which they so laboriously 

It is a lasting gratification to have been, owing to the acci- 
dents of one's own career, a little helpful to them in their 
great task. 

Alexander Strahan, in The Day of Rest. 


The figure of the amiable, accomplished, and ever-to-be- 
regretted Charles Dickens has been brought before us " even 
in his habit as he lived," with abundance of detail and color. 
Mr. Forster's complete and admirable biograj>hy, done with 
the taste and workmanlike finish of a true " man of letters," 
will be more and more esteemed as the time from hi§ death 
lengthens. Objection was indeed taken to the biographer 
accompanying his hero about as closely as Bos well did John- 
son ; but this really brought before the world much that would 
otherwise have been lost or unseen;. and in the last volume^ 
where the author seems to have accepted this criticism and to 
have become historical, there is a sensible loss of dramatic 
-nvidness. Lately the world has received the closing c(4^0i 


tion of hisietters, edited by Miss Hogarth and Miss Dickens, 
and set off with a graphic and most pleasing commentary 
whose only fault is that of being too short. Here his gaiete 
de coeur, his unflagging spirit, wit, and genial temper, are 
revealed in the most striking way. 

There is, however, one view of him which has scarcely been . 
sufficiently dealt with — namely, his relations with his literary 
brethren and friends, as editor and otherwise. These exhibit 
him in a most engaging light, and will perhaps be a surprise 
even to those abundantly familiar with his amiable and gra- 
cious ways. 

In the old Household Words days, the " place of business " 
was at a charming little miniature office in Wellington Street — 
close to the stage door of the (xaiety Theater. It seemed all 
bow window; at least, its two stories — it had only two — ^were 
thus bowed. The drawing-room floor seemed a sunshiny, 
cheerful place to work in. This is now the workshop of 
another magazine, the Army and Navy. But I always pass it 
with respect and affection. I never came away from it with- 
out taking with me something pleasing. 

Often, about eleven o'clock, he was to be seen tramping 
briskly along the Strand, coming from Charing Cross station, 
fresh ifrom his pleasant country place in Kent, keen and ready 
for the day's work, and carrying his little black bag full of 
proofs and MS. That daily journey from Higham station, 
with the drive to it in his little carriage or wisk car, took full 
an hour each way, and was a serious slice out of his time. 

It is always a problem to me why business men, to whom 
moments are precious, should be thus prodigal in time devoted 
to traveling — coming from Brighton and returning at head- 
long speed. At Bedford Street, by the bootmaker's shop, he 
would turn out of the Strand — ^those in the shops he passed 
-would know his figure well, and told me after his death how 
they missed this familiar apparition — ^and would then post 
along, in the same brisk stride through Maiden Lane, past 


" Rule's," where he often had his oyster, through Tavistock 
Street, till he emerged in Wellington Street, the last house he 
passed before crossing being "Major Pitt's," the hatter's. 
This mention of " Major Pitt " suggests that it was always- 
pleasant to see what pride the tradesmen took in having him 
for a customer, and what alacrity they put to his service, or to 
Qblige him in any way. This I believe was really owing to his 
charming hearty manner, ever courteous, cordial, and zealous ; 
his cheery fashion of joking or jest, which was irresistible. 
The average tradesman has small sympathy or intelligence 
for the regular literary man. It is sometimes caviare, indeed, 
to them. 

Our writer, however, was a serious personality of living 
flesh and bl6od, and would have made his "way in life under 
any condition. His extraordinary charm of manner, never 
capriciously changed, the smile and laugh always ready — the 
sympathy, too, that rises before me, and was really unique — I 
can call no one to mind that possessed or possesses it now in 
the same degree. Literary men, as a rule, have a chilliness as 
regards their brethren ; everyone is more or less working'for 
his own hand. Yet, few men had more anxious responsibili- 
ties or troubles to disturb them, or so much depending upon 
them as he had in many ways. I believe the number of people 
who were always wanting '* something done for them," either 
in the shape of actual money advances, or advice, or produc- 
tions " to be taken," or to be seen, or to have their letters 
answered, or who desired letters from him in their interests, 
was perfectly incredible. Many a man takes refuge in a com- 
plete ignoring of these worries, which would require a life to 
attend to. An eminent and highly popular man of our own 
day, who is thus persecuted, has adopted this latter mode, and 
rarely takes notice of a letter from a friend or stranger, unless 
he is so minded to do. He is strictly in his right. You are 
no more bound to reply to persons that do not know you, than 
you are to acknowledge the attentions of an organ-grinder 
—ho plays for an hour before your window. 


Another little Household Words tradition was this : The 
"chief" himself always wrote with blue ink on blue paper. 
His was a singularly neat and regular hand, really artistic in 
its conception, legible, yet not very legible to those unfamiliar 
with it. Here, as in everything else, was to be noted the 
perfect finish, as it might be styled, of his letter-writing — the 
disposition of the paragraphs, even the stopping, the use of 
capitals, all showing artistic knowledge, and conveying ex- 
cellent and valuable lessons. His " copy " for the printers, 
written as it is in very small hand, much crowded, is trying 
enough to the eyes, but the printers never found any diffi- 
culties. It was much and carefully corrected, and wherever 
there was an erasure, it was done in thorough fashion, so that 
what was effaced could not be read. Nearly all the band 
followed his example in writing in blue ink and on blue paper, 
and this for many years; but not without inconvenience. 
For, like the boy and his button described by Sir Walter 
Scott, the absence of paper or ink of the necessary color af- 
fected the ideas, and one worked under serious disabilities, 
strangeness, etc. Another idiosyncrasy of his was writing the 
day of the month in full, as "January twenty-sixth.'* 

It is in his relations with writers in his periodical, and, in- 
deed, in all connections with his " literary brethren," as he 
modestly called them, that this amiable and engaging man 
appears to the most extraordinary advantage. As I read over 
his many letters on those points, I am amazed at the good- 
natured allowance,^ the untiring good humor, the wish to 
please and make pleasant, the almost deference, the modesty 
in one of his great position as head, perhaps, of all living 
writers — ^to say nothing of his position as director of the 
periodical which he kindled with his own perpetual inspira- 
tions. There was ever the same uniform good nature and 
ardor, the eagerness to welcome and second any plan, a re- 
luctance to dismiss it, and this done with apologies ; all, too, 
in the strangest contrast to the summary and plain-spoken 


fashion of the ordinary editor. I fancy this view has scarcely 
been sufficiently brought out in all the numerous estimates 
of this most charming of men. And, at the risk of some in- 
trusion of my own concerns, I shall be enabled to show him 
in even a more engaging and attractive Tight. The various 
accounts have scarcely been concerned with this side of his 

This patient interest should, in these editorial matters, be- 
come more wonderful when it is considered that his position 
as head of an important periodical made him a marked figure 
for importunity. Many of his friends were tempted to become 
*" 1 iterary." They even had their friends who desired to become 
liteniry, and under pressure would introduce to this great 
writer immature and unprofitable efforts which he had to put 
aside with what excuses he could. Then there were his 
" literary brethren," each with his " novel " or short paper, 
which it would occur to him some morning " he would send 
off to Dickens." These had to be considered, and his good 
nature or courtesy drawn upon. As for the general herd of 
scribblers, the postman on " this beat " could give due account 
of the packages of MS. that daily arrived. It was no wonder 
that he had to compose a sort of special circular answer, 
whicli was duly lithographed and returned with their pro- 
ductions to the various candidates. I believe every com- 
position was seriously glanced at, and some estimate made — 
and many an obscure clever girl was surprised to find her 
efforts appreciated. The usual rejection-form was as fol- 
lows : — 

SiTt— 1 ^"^ requested by Mr. Charles Dickens to express his regret that he cannot 
ACCl^pt the contribution you have had the goodness to offer him for insertion in this peri- 
od leaJ, bo many manuscripts are forwarded to this office, that Mr. Dickens trusts it is 
Ciuly necessary to.suggest to you the impossibility of its business being transacted, if a 
speeEa! tetter of explanation were addressed to every correspondent whose proffered 
wiJ IS deetiiiedt But he wishes me to convey to you the assurance, — firstly, that yo"^ 
favnt hoi beet! honestly read, and secondly, that it is always no less a pleasure to mlftto 
tha» jt Ls htis interest to avail himself of any contributions that are, in his judgment, ^^ 
suU&d to the requirements of Household Words. ^ 

The band of writers he assembled round him and inspired x 



was certainly remarkable. There was Hollingshead, incisive, 
wonderful in collecting facts where abuses were concerned, 
and putting his facts into vigorous downright English. Hi* 
strokes always told, and a little paper of his, conceived in this 
spirit, entitled " Give us More Room," a simple subject, was 
copied at length into the Times, and from the Times into othei 
papers. There was Moy Thomas, now the pleasant writer o: 
the Monday " Causeries " in the Daily News. There was Wal* 
ter Thornbury, with his extraordinary knowledge of London 
antiquities and curious " out-of-the-way " reading, an explorer 
of old " wynds " and alleys, from " Bookseller's Row " to Red 
Lion Square ; very dainty in his taste, as his quaint bookplates, 
designed for him by Mr. Marks, show. He had great anti- 
quarian knowledge, and yet, odd to say, a facile dramatic and 
unantiquarian style. There was also the amiable Charles Cc!^ 
lins — our '* Conductor's " son-in-law — a man of a quiet, pleas- 
ant humor with a flavor of his own, and heartily liked by his 
friends. He had a remarkably sweet disposition, though 
sorely tried by perpetual ill health. His humor was stimulated 
by the companionship of his father-in-law, and took somewhat 
the same cast. For instance, when he was appointed, during 
one of the great exhibitions, to the odd function — but that era 
of exhibitions engendered all sorts of fantastic things — of 
making a collection of all the existing newspapers of the 
kingdom, the oddities that cropped up during this duty tickled 
his fancy and that of his friends hugely. He noted that the 
smaller and more obscure the place, the grander and more 
commanding was the title of its organ — witness, The Skib- 
bereen Eagle, a name that gave him much delight. Writing 
he delighted in, but, by a cruel fate, it was a labor, if of love 
yet accompanied by something like torture. Every idea or 
sentence was wrung from him as he said, like drops of blood. 
Neither ideas nor words would flow. His "Cruise upon 
\ Wheels," a record of a journey along the French roads in a 
gig> is a most charming travel-book, in which his quaint humor 



is well shown. The late Andrew Halliday was another useful 
writer that could be depended on to gather hard facts, and set 
them out when gathered in vivacious style. He enjoyed a 
fixed substantial salary — ^think of that, ye occasional "con* 
tributors " — and I have seen him arrive in his hansom with his 
formal list of " subjects " for treatment, which were carefully 
gone through, debated, ahd selected. He afterwards made 
play-writing his regular vocation, but was cut off in his prime* 
like many a writer. There was Parkinson and there was Pro*, 
fessor Morley ; above al], there was the always brilliant George 
Augustus Sala, perhaps the only writer in periodicals who 
writes a distinctly original style, with personality and unflag- 
ging vivacity. I have not space to dwell on his merits hercv 
but I may at least confess to looking with a sort of wistful 
envy at his exquisite penmanship, that seems never to depar*. 
from one steady standard of excellence. The surprising neat- 
ness and clear picturesqueness of his calligraphy is the delight; 
of compositors, as with humiliation I have to confess that 
mine is their despair. Indeed, I may make a clean breast pf it 
and further own that on one journal of enormous circulation 
the men demanded, and obtained, extra pay "for setting Mr. 

's copy.** As I write, the old Household Words — a title 

infinitely superior to All the Year Round — is revived by the 
old editor's son, a capable, energetic, and clever man, who has 
pushed his way with success. One of the old guild thus 
writes of the new venture in the Daily News : — 

One function of the original Household Words, as of its legitimate successor, AH 
the Year Round, has proved to be that of ushering in new claimants to a place in the 
world of literature and journalism. The great position enjoyed by Dickens in the 
literary world, his early and intimate connection with newspaper work as a man ** in 
the gallery," and his genial and helpful nature, attracted a crowd of aspirants around 
him. He was immeasurably more infested than ever was Pope by *' frantic poetess ** 
and " rhyming peer," and the "parson much bemused with beer" was assuredly not 
wanting. Out of this crowd of claimants he chose his " young men " with the sldll of 
a born leader, and helped them on by tongue and pen, by shrewd counsel, and fierce 
*' cutting " of their articles. If he had any fault, it was in the good nature which p^;^ 
vented him from crushing unhappy creatures, doubtless well fitted for every pureuK^ 
but that of letters ; and who were induced to persevere by his mistaken kindness, to 
'heir own ultimate sorrow and discomfiture. Some had written much or kittle before 



tkey came to him, but the fact remains that it was under his leadership that they 
achieved reputation. Beneath the banner upheld by Charles Dickens and his faithful 
friend, th^ late Mr. W. H. Wills, marched a brilliant array of writers, if not quite of 
the Titanic proportions of the early contributors to Fraser's Magazine, yet noteworthy 
by their brilliant success in the new periodical. Mr. Wilkie Collins had previously 
written fiction, but his most famous work, " The Woman in White," appeared in 
H >usehold Words. The late Mr. Qharles Collins was actually egged on by " the 
Chief " into writing hb remarkable ^^ Eye Witness," and other papers. Mr. Sala's 
** Key of the Street '* unlocked "for him the avenue to his successful career; and Mr. 
Grenville Murray spreads his wings as " The Roving Englishman," and made his 
mark by a Aerce attack on the late Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, whom he satirized as 
** Sir Hector Stubble." Mr. Edmund Yates's best novel, " Black Sheep,'' and scores 
of his best articles, appeared in the journal " conducted by Charles Dickens," as did 
Lord Lytton's '* Strange Story ; " as well as " Hard Times," '* Great Expectations," 
the " Uncommercial Traveler," and a regiment of Christmas stories by the hand of 
the master himself. Among the writers of poems and stories, short and long, essays 
and descriptions, are the well-known names of Harriet Martineau, Mrs. Gaskell, Peter 
C/unningham, Miss Jewsbury, John Forster, Albert Smith, James Hannay, and Mark 

The time when " the Christmas Number " had to be got 
ready was always one of pleasant expectancy and alacrity. It 
was an object for all to have a seat in a " vehicle " which 
traveled every road and reached the houses of a quarter of a 
million persons. With his usual conscientious feeling of duty 
to the public, he labored hard, first, to secure a good and telling 
idea ; and second, to work it out on the small but effective 
scale with which he had latterly grown unfamiliar, owing to his 
habit of dealing with large canvases. Hence the labor was in 
proportion, and at last became so irksome that he gave the 
place up altogether, though it must have been a serious loss 
of profit. Frappez vite et frappez fort, was the system. I 
remember his sajang, when complaining of this tax, " I have 
really put as much into Mrs. Lirriper as would almost make a 
novel." He himself generally supplied a framework and a 
couple of short stories, and the rest was filled in by "other 
hands." I have myself furnished two in a single number. 

As the time drew near, a pleasantly welcome circular went 
forth to a few of the writers of the journal ; the paragraphs 
of which, as they exhibit his lighter touches, will be welcome. 
They show, too, the matter-of-fact, business-like style in which 
the matter was conceived and carried out. 


In inviting you to contribute to our Christmas Number, I beg to send you JAx, 
Dickens's memorandum of the range that may be taken thb year. You will see that 
it is a wide one. , 

The slight leading notion of the Number being devised with a view to placing as 
little restriction as possible on the fancies of my fellow-writers in it, there is again no 
limitation as to scene or first person or third person ; nor is any reference to the season 
of the year essential. 

It is to be observed that the tales are not supposed to be narrated to any audience, 
but are supposed to be in writing. How they come to be in writing requires no ac- 
counting for whatever. Nothing to which they refer can have happened within 
seven years. If any contribution should be of a kind that would derive any force or 
playfulness, or suggestiveness of any sort, from the pretense that it is incomplete — 
that the beginning is not there, or the end, or the middle, or any other portion — the 
pretense will be quite consistent with the general idea of the Number. 

On another anniversary the circular ran : — 

Your tale may be narrated cither in the first or in the third person — may be serious Or 
droll — may be told by an individual of either sex, and of any station. It is not es- 
sential to lay the scene of action in England (tho' the tale is told in England), and no 
reference whatever to Christmas is desired. 

The tale is supposed to be related by wqrd of mouth to a man who has retired Trom 
the world and shut himself tip moodily, gloomily, and dirtily. Generally it should 
have some latent bearing^y implication on the absurdity of such a proceeding — on the 
dependence of mankind upon one another — and on the wholesome influences of the 
gregarious habits of humanity. 

A third was to this effect : — 

The tales may be in the first person or in the third, and may relate to any season or 
period. They may be supposed to be told to an audience or to the reader, or to be 
penned by the writer without knowing how they will come to light. How they come 
to be told at all does not require to be accounted for. If they could express some new 
resolution formed, some departure from an old idea or course that was not quite 
wholesome, it might be better for the general purpose. Yet even this is not indis- 

The following was more elaborate : — 

An English trading-ship (with passengers aboard), bound for California, is supposed 
to have got foul of an iceberg, and becomes a wreck. The crew and passengers, not 
being very many in number, and the captain being a cool man with his wits about him, 
one of the boats was hoisted out and some stores were got over the side into her before 
the ship went down. Then all hands, with a few exceptions, were got into the boat 
— an open one — and they got clear of the wreck, and put their trust in God. 

The captain set the course and steered, and the rest rowed by spells when the sea 
was smooth enough for the use of the oars. They had a sail besides. At sea in the 
open boat for many days and nights, with the prospect before them of being swamped 
by any great wave, or perishing with hunger, the people in the boat began, after a 
while, to be horribly dispirited. The captain, remembering that the narration of stories 
had been attended with great success on fonper occasions of similar disasters, in pre* 
venting the shipwrecked persons' minds from dwelling on the horrors of their condition, 
proposed that such as could tell anything to the rest should tell it. So the stories are 

The adventures narrated need not of necessity have happened in all ca.nes to the 
^>eople in the boat themselves. Neither does it matter wlwther they are tokl in the 



. first or in the third person. The whole narrative of the wreck will be given hy the 
captain to the reader in introducing the stories, also the final deliverance of the 
people. There are persons of both sexes in the boat. The writer of any story may 
suppose any sort of person — or none, if that be all — as the captain will identify him it 
need be. But among the wrecked there might naturally be the mate, the cook, the 
carpenter, the armorer (or worker in iron), the boy, the bride passenger, the bride- 
groom passenger, the sister passenger, the brother passenger, the mother or father 
passenger-, or son or daughter passenger, the runaway passenger, the child passenger, 
the old seaman, the toughest of the crew, etc., etc. 

This was the skeleton or ribs of " The Wreck of the Golden 
Mary/' which, had extraordinary success, though some critics 
were merry on the idea of the suffering passengers having to 
listen to such long narratives — one adding, that he wondered 
that it did not precipitate the catastrophe. 
Another was more general : — 

Mr. Pickens is desirous that each article in the new year's number of Household 
Words shall have reference to something new^ and I beg to ask you to assist us iu pro- 
ducing a paper expressive of that always desirable quality. 

I can give you no better hint of the idea than the roughest notion of what one or 
two of the titles of the papers might be : A New Country ; A New Discovery (in 
science, art, or social life) ; A New Lover ; A New Play, or Actor, or Artress ; A New 

Your own imagination will doubtless suggest a topic or a story which would har- 
monize with the plan. 

Yet one more : — 

In order that you may be laid under as little constraint as possible, Mr. Dickens 
-wishes to present the requirements of the number, in the following general way : — 

A story of adventure — that is to say, involving some adventurous kind of interest — 
would be best adapted to the design. It may be a story of travel or battle, or im- 
prisonment, or escape, or shipwreck, or peril of any kind — peril from storm, or from 
being benighted or lost ; or peril from fire or water. It m?iy relate to sea or land. It 
may be incidental to the life of a soldier, sailor, fisherman, miner, grave-digger, en- 
gineer, explorer, peddler, merchant, servant of either sex, or any sort of watcher— from 
a man in a lighthouse, or a coastguardsman, to an ordinary night nurse. There is no 
necessary limitation as to the scene, whether abroad or at home ; nor as to the time, 
within a hundred years. Nor is it important whether the story be narrated in the first 
person or ia the third. Nor is there any objection to its being founded on some ex- 

In connection with this matter, I may say, that nothing 
was more delightful than the unrestrained way in which he 
confided his plans about his own stories, or discussed others 
connected with mine ; imparting quite a dramatic interest and 
color to what might, as mere business details have been, left 
to his deputy. 


Once, iu a little town in Wales, I had seen a quaint local 
museum, formed by an old ship captain, who had collected 
odds and ends of his profession, mostly worthless ; much like 
what is described in " Little Pedlington." The oddest feature 
was the garden, in whidh he had planted various figure-heads 
. ot vessels, Dukes of York and others, who gazed on the 
visitors with an extraordinary stare ; half ghastly, half gro- 
tesque. This seems to furnish a hint for the machinery of one 
of his Christmas stories, and was suggested to him. 

That notion of the shipbreaker's garden (he wrote, November, 1865) takes my fancj* 
strongly. If I had not been already at work upon the Christmas Number when you 
suggested it, I think I must have tned my hand upon it. As it is, I often revert to it, 
and go about and about it, and pat it into new forms, much as the buttermen in the 
shops (who have something of a literary air at their wooden desks) pat the butter. I 
have been vexed at not being able to get your story into *' Dr. Marigold." I tried it 
again and again, but could not adapt its length to the other requirements of the 
Number. Once I cut it, but was not easy afterwards, and thought it best to restore 
the excision and leave the whole for a regular Number. The difficulty of fitting and 
adapting this annual job is hardly to be imagined without trying it. For the rest, I 
hope you will like the Doctor — and know him at once — as he speaks for himself in the 
first paper and the last. Also I commend to your perusal a certain short story, 
headed " To be taken with a grain of salt." 

I hope you are in force and spirits with your new story, and hope you noticed in the 
Times the other day that our friend is married ! 

How amazing this modesty, and these excuses for not using 
what another would have simply said he found " unsuited to 
the magazine." 

As I look over the records of his interest in my undeserving 
scribble, there comes, mingled with pain and regret for this 
genial, never-flagging friend, something of a little pride in 
having gained the interest of so true and appreciative a 
nature. It will be seen how he encouraged — how even 
grateful he appeared to be, for anything he thought good or 
successful ; and how patient and apologetic he was under 
circumstances where his good will and good nature were 
tried. It was so for a long period of years ; he was the same 
from beginning to end ; no caprice ; steady, firm, treu und fest. 
Carlyle, in a single line, gave the truest estimate of him. 

Another trait in him was his unfailing pleasure in commu- 


nicating some little composition of which he was particularly 
pleased ; or he would tell of some remarkable story that he 
had been sent, or would send one of his own which he 
fancied hugely. It was a source, too, of pleasant, welcome 
surprise to find how he retained in his memory, and would 
quote, various and sundry of your own humbler efforts — 
those that had passed into his own stock associations. These 
generally referred to some experience or humorous adven- 
ture, or it might be some account of a dog. 

After two or three years of industrious practice in short 
stories and essays, I had fancied I could succeed in novel- 
writing with a first attempt, and timidly suggested that I 
might " try my hand " in his weekly journal. He at once 
agreed, and good-naturedly had about half a volume " set up," 
so as to give the production every chance in the reading. 
But the attempt was immature ; its waxen wings melted, and 
he was obliged to decline. By and by 1 got a new pair, and, 
making a formal attempt in two volumes, was lucky enough to 
make a success. 

The history of this little transaction will be found interest- 
ing, not, of course, from my own share, but as illustrating 
that charm of hearty good will which marked every act of his 
where his friends were concerned. Here also enters on the 
scene his faithful coadjutor and assistant, W. H. Wills; a 
sterling character, practical, business-like, and yet never let- 
ting his natufally friendly temper be overcome by the stern 
necessities of his office. He had a vast amount of business, 
as may be conceived ; yet his letters, of which I have some 
hundreds before me now, were always playful, amusing, 
clever, and written in a flowing lengthy style — even to 
" crossing." His sagacity was heartily appreciated by his 
chi^f. He ever appeared a most favorable specimen of the 
successful literar)'- man. 

At the risk of becoming more personal, I may enter a little 
at length on the subject of what Lamb calls the " kindly en- 



gendure "of this story— which, in truth, has some flavor of the 
romance of authorship. I had sent my successful two-volume 
venture to my friend : — 

My Dear , — Do not condemn me unheard (I know you are putting on the hlack 

cap), i have been silent, but only on paper ; for a fortnight after you last heard from 
me I was roaring with pain. The first use of my convalescence was to read your story 
— like a steam engine. My impression is that it is the best novel I have read for years ; 
why I think so I need not tell you. I posted off with it to Dickens, whose impression 
of it results in this : that we should like you to write a novel for All the Year Round. 
If you respond to that wish, it will afford m« very great pleasure. 

In that case, it would be necessary for you to begin at once ; for should you make a 
hit with your plot, we would require to publish the first installment in September next. 
The modus operandi I propose is this : let us have a rough sketch of your plot and 
characters ; Dickens would consider it, offer you suggestions for improvement if he 
saw fit, or condemn it, or accept it as you present it if he saw no ground for remark. 
In case of a negative, you would not mind, perhaps, trying another programme. I 
need not tell you how great an advantage it would bie for you to work under so great a 
master of the art which your novel shows you to know the difficulties of ; and your 
artistic sympathies will, I know, prompt you to take full advantage of hints which he 
would gi\ e you not only in the construction and conduct of your story, but in details, 
as you proceed with it in weekly portions. 

Experience has shown us that the pre-appearance of a novel in our pages, instead of 
occupying the field for after-publication in volumes, g^ves an enormous stimulus to 
the issue in complete form. We can, therefore, insure you for ypur work, if it will fill 
three volumes, five hundred pounds (£500), part of which we would pay for our use 
of your manuscript, and part the publisher of the volumes would pay ; but we would, 
in case of acceptance, guarantee you £500, whatever the republication may fetch. 

Think this over, and when your thoughts are matured, let me have them in your 
next letter. 

This was almost thrilling to read. Every word was as 
inspiring as the blast of a trumpet. It will be rioted how 
pleased the writer is at the very communication of his intel- 
ligence. And then the *' pecune " ! Five hundred pounds ! 
The dilligent magazine-writer might exclaim with one of Jer- 
rold's characters, " Is there so much money in *the world ! " 
It was really liberal and generous. 

* No time was lost in setting to work. I had soon blocked 
out a plan — ^what dramatists call a scenario — and had, about 
as soon, set to work, and written a good many chapters and 
sent them in. 

It will now be characteristic to see what pains were taken 
— how heads were laid together to improve and make good — 
all under the master's directions and inspirations — who, as he 


said often, always gave to the public his best labor and best 
work. This constancy always seemed to me wonderful. He 
never grew fagged or careless, or allowed his work to be dis- 
tasteful to him. This is a most natural feeling, and comes 
with success ; and there is a tendency to " scamp *' work when 
the necessity for work is less. Mr. Thackeray confessed to 
this feeling — in the days when he became recherche — and 
found a sort of distaste to his work almost impossible to sur- 

The first questions started on this great business came from 
my old friend the sub-editor, the master's excellent auxiliary. 
It will be seen how stanch he was, and true to both interests 
— ^that of his journal and that of the writer : — 

I am nearly as anxious as you are about your story. I may tell you that my judg- 
ment is in favor of it, so far as it has gone ; but Dickens, while never wholly losing 
sight of the main end, object, and purpose of the story, often condemns one because 
its details are ill done. He takes such infinite pains with the smallest touches of his 
awn word-pictures, that he gets impatient and disgusted with repetitions of bad writing 
and carelessness (often showing want of respect for, as well as ignorance of, the com- 
monest principles of art). I, perhaps, sin too much on the other side. I say that the 
general public— whom we address in our large circulation— are rather insensible than 
otherwise to literary grace and correctness ; that they arc often intensely excited by 
incidents conveyed to their minds in the worst grammar. 

Mind, I only make these remarks for your guidance. My advice to you is, write for 
all your proofs, go over them very carefully. Take out as many Carlyleisms as you 
can see (your writing abounds with them), make clear that which is here and there 
obscure without a realder's consideration and retracing of the text — a labor which novel- 
readers especially hate ; in short, put as high a polish on your details as you can, and 
I may almost promise you success. Dickens is vagabondizing at present, and wonH be 
back for ten days ; get all ready by that time. 

It is not impossible that we may have to call upon you suddenly to let us commence 
the story in a week or two ; but it may be deferred for a year. At all events, I can 
promise you a decision on all points when G. D. shows up. 

I find a fault in your other novel which is creeping into Miss ; a want of earnest- 
ness ; a Thackerayish pretense of indifference, which you do not feel, to the stronger 
emotions and statements of your characters. If you excite the emotions of your 
readers, and convey the idea that you feel a lofty contempt for emotion in general, 
they feel sold, and will hate your want of taking them in. 

I don't say a word in praise of your new venture, though I think a great deal. I 
want you and your writing to make a hit, not only with C. D. but with the public ; and 
-vrhat i have said (which will make you detest me at least till after church-time on Sun- 
day) may be a small contribution towards that object, which I do most .earnestly desire. 
About Monday, when your heart is open to forgiveness of sins like mine (or before it 
proves less obdurate), let me hear from you. 

Oflte other thtn^;. You see Sala's story lies chiefly in Paris. Could you not adopt 
my suggestion of giving your story its natural progression, and postponing chapter tb* 

L. M.— IS 


to its firet natural place in the story? My conviction is that you would make an 
improvement thereby in all respects. 

After many debates, it was determined to attemptthe ven- 
ture : — 

Next let me convey to you the intelligence (wrote our chief), that I resolve to launch 
it, fully confiding in your conviction of the power of the story. On all business points 
Wills will communicate with you. * 

The only suggestion I have to make as to the MS. in hand and type is that wants 

relief. It is a disagreeable character, as you mean it to be, and I should be afraid to do 
so much with him, if the case were mine, without taking the taste of him here and 
there out of the reader's mouth. It is remarkable that, if you do not administer a dis- 
agreeable character carefully, the public have a decided tendency to think that the 
st<n-y is disagreeable, and not merely the fictitious person. 

What do you think of this title ? It is a good one in itself, and would express 

the eldest sister^s pursuit, and, glanced at now and then in the text, would hold the 
reader in suspense. Let me know your opinion as to the title. I need not assure you 
that the greatest care will be taken of you here, and that we shall make you as 
thoroughly well and widely known as we possibly can. ^ 

Now, this was all encouraging and cordial to a degree. 
Yet, I seem to see the editor here, more or less ; and friendly 
and good-natured as these assurances were, in the case of an 
acquiescence, it will be seen what a difference there was in 
his tone as time went on, and he was good enough to have a 
" liking," as it is called, for the writer ; even the slightly au- 
thoritative air that is here disappeared. I frankly confess 
that, having met innumerable men, and having had dealings 
with innumerable men, I never met one with an approach to 
his genuine, unaffected, unchanging kindness, or one that 
ever foun,d so sunshiny a pleasure in doing one a kindness. 
I cannot call to mind that any request I ever made to him was 
ungranted, or left without an attempt to grant it. 

The letter just quoted conveys a most precious lesson to 
the novel-writer — whose craft, indeed, requires many lessons. 
Having written nearly twenty novels myself, I may speak 
with a little experience, and frankly own that it was not till I 
had passed my dozenth that I began to learn some few prin- 
ciples of the art ; having written, as so many do, " as the 
spirit moved," or by fancied inspiration. 

The allusion to the "bold advertisement" was, indeed, 
^-^ndsomely carried out. Few would *have such advantagciJ 



of publicity as one writing a novel for All the Year Round 
in those days. There was the prestige of association with the 
master, while the, condition in which your work was brought 
before the public was truly effective. 

All this happily settled, the affair was duly announced. No 
expense was spared. Vivid yellow posters, six or seven feet 
long, proclaimed the name of the new story in black brilliant 
characters on every blank wall and boarding in the kingdom ; 
while smaller and more convenient sized proclamations, in 
quarto, as it were told this tale in more modest way. So that, 
if there was really any light at all, it was not under a bushel. 
I had a pride in, and fondness for, these testimonials, and 
have religiously preserved all that dealt with my own efforts ; 
a kind of literature, as may be conceived, of a bulky sort, and 
filling great space as they accumulated. When debating ef- 
fectual titles for these and other writings, I recall his taking 
me to his room without telling me what he had selected, and, 
by the way of test or surprise, exhibiting one of these gigantic 
proclamations stretched at full length across the floor of the 
room. "What do you think?" he would ask. "You must 
know," he would add, his eye beginning to twinkle with 
merriment, "that when Wills corrects the proofs of these 
things, he has to go on his knees, with a brush and pot of 
paint beside him ! " The cost of this system of advertising 
was enormous in the year, but everything was done magnifi- 
cently at " the office." 

A little later I was informed that — 

The next number we make up will contain the first part of your story. I like what 

you have done extremely. But I think the story flags at 's '* chaff." There is 

too much of it. A few pregnant hits at would do all you want better. Again 

the C party requires, I think, the exciseman up to the quadrille, where the real 

business of the evening begins. You see, in publishing hebdomadally, any kind of 
alternation is ver>' dangerous. One must hit, not only hard, but quick. 

Please look well to the passage revealing the acceptance of F — V — ,and overthrow 
of H — , in the bedroom, after the party. This is a strong situation, and, to my mind, 
i» confusedly expressed— in fact, can only be vaguely guessed at by the^eader. 

More criticism ! Everything goes on well so far; but I tell you what we all yearn 

for — some show of tenderness from somebody : the little glimpse of B , a number 

or two agOf with^ his little touch of humor-feeling, was refreshing in the highest 


degree. The characters seem to be all playing at chess — uncommonly well, mind you 
—but they neither do nor say anything sympathetic. 

As the story advanced the councils multiplied, as well as 
the suggestions and improvements. Experiments even were 
made in particular directions, and an episode was furnished 
'* to see how it would look in print; " sheets being " set up '* 
in this way regardless of cost, and dismissed as unsatisfactory. 
AH this was laborious and troublesome, but, as was said, the 
experiment was worfii making, and few sensible writers but 
would have welcomed the opportunity of learning their craft 
under such a teacher. It would be impossible to describe the 
fertility of his resources, the ingenuity exhibited, the pains 
and thought he gave to the matter. Under such auspices — 
and it was admitted that I was a willing pupil, with equal 
readiness to adopt and to carry out all that was suggested — 
the work benefited, it need hardly be said. 

" Is it worth your while," wrote my sub-editor, " to be bothered 
with a second scrawl merely to let me say how admirable I 
think it. Tender, tri^e, and too pathetic even for an old hack 
waiting for his dinner to read with dry eyes. My first mouth- 
ful would have choked me if I had not written this." 

The end gained was satisfactory to all concerned. The work 
was successful, passed through several editions, and still 
sells. The copyright was disposed of for a sum nearly equal 
to what was allotted to me. Indeed, before it was concluded, 
the following pleasant communication, as full of sensible 
advice as '^ was agreeable, set me to work again. One curious 
evidence of its success was the fact that a firm of perfumers 
in Bond Street named a new perfume after the story, and 
this fragrance has much favor among the ladies, and is largely 
sold to this hour. 

lo Paean ! I congratulate you on being at last able to flourish the word Fiim. I 
have not yet read a line of your ending, and this omission will give you a better relish 
for what I am going to say: dictated solely by the ** merits" already developed, 
Diclceiis*s answer to the wish you express at the end of your letter was a glad aOMl 
eager ** Yes ;" in which I heartily and cordially concurred, as you may guess. Let \ 
next novel be for us. We shall want it in from twelve to eighteen months* \ ' 



if I may venture some advice, let me urge upon you to employ at least a quarter of it 
in constructing the skeleton of it from the end of your story, or modifying any little 
detail in the beginning of it — if you would set 3'ourself the task of at least seeing land . 
before you plunge into your voyage, with no chance of veering, or "backing or fill- 
ing," or shortening sail. 

I am sure you have a great chance before you, if you will only give your powers 
their full »wing ; especially if you will let us see a leetle of the good side of human 
nature. ' Ever very faithfully yours, 

W. H.W. 

I have many proof-sheets by me, corrected by his own 
hand in the most painstaking and elaborate way. The way he 
used to scatter his bright touches over the whole, the spark- 
ling word of his own that he would insert here and there, gave 
a surprising point and light. The fi