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A SUCCINCT 11ECORD of liis LIFE. By Archibald For 




" CE'TINGLY I ken, ce'tingly, seh," said my 
Cracker host, taking down his long flint-lock 
rifle from over the cabin door and slipping his 
frowzy head through the suspension-strap of 
his powder-horn and bullet-pouch. " Ce'tingly, 
seh, I ken cyarry ye ter wha' them air birds 
hed their nestis las' yer." 

I had passed the night in the cabin, and now 
as I recall the experience to mind, there comes 
the grateful fragrance of pine wood to empha- 
size the memory. Corn " pones " and broiled 
chicken, fried bacon and sweet potatoes, 
strong coffee and scrambled eggs a 
breakfast, indeed, to half persuade one that a 
Cracker is a bon vivant, had just been eaten. 
I was standing outside the cabin on the rude 
door-step. Far off through the thin pine woods 
to the eastward, where the sun was beginning 
to flash, a herd of " scrub " cattle were formed 
into a wide skirmish line of browsers, led by 
an old cow, whose melancholy bell clanged in 
time to her desultory movements. Near by, 
to the westward, lay one of those great gloomy 
swamps, so common in Southeastern Georgia, 
so repellant and yet so fascinating, so full of 
interest to the naturalist, and yet so little ex- 
plored. The perfume of yellow jasmine was 
in the air, along with those indescribable 



woodsy odors which almost evade the sense 
of smell, and yet so pleasingly impress it. A 
rivulet, slow, narrow, and deep, passed near the 
front of the cabin, with a faint, dreamy mur- 
mur and crept darkling into the swamp 
between dense brakes of cane, and bay- 

" Ye-as, sen, I ken mek er bee-line to that 
air ole pine snag. Hit taint more'n er half er 
mile out yender," continued my host and vol- 
unteer guide, as we climbed the little worm- 
fence that inclosed the house ; " but I allus 
called 'em air birds woodcocks ; didn't know 
'at they hed any other name ; allus thut 'at a 
Peckwood wer' a leetle, tinty, stripedy feller ; 
never hyeard er them air big ole woodcocks 
a bein' called Peckwoods." 

He led and I followed into the damp, moss- 
scented shadows of the swamp, under cypress 
and live-oak and through slender fringes of 
cane. We floundered across the coffee-colored 
stream, the water cooling my India-rubber 
wading-boots above the knees, climbed over 
great walls of fallen tree-boles, crept under 
low-hanging festoons of wild vines, and at 
length found ourselves wading rather more 
than ankle-deep in one of those shallow 
cypress lakes of which the larger part of the 
Okefenokee region is formed. I thought it a 
very long half-mile before we reached a small 
tussock whereon grew, in the midst of a dense 
underbrush thicket, some enormous pine 

" Ther'," said the guide, " thet air snag air 
the one. Sorter on ter tother side ye'll see 
the hole, 'bout twenty foot up. Kem yer, I'll 
show hit ter ye." 


The " snag " was a stump some fifty feet tall, 
barkless, smooth, almost as white as chalk, 
the decaying remnant of what had once been 
the grandest pine on the tussock. 

" Hello, yer' ! Hit's ben to work some more 
sence I wer' yer' las' time. Hit air done dug 
another hole ! " 

As he spoke he pointed indicatively, with 
his long, knotty fore-finger. I looked and 
saw two large round cavities, not unlike im- 
mense auger-holes, running darkly into the 
polished surface of the stump, one about six 
feet below the other, the lower twenty-five feet 
above the ground. Surely it was no very strik- 
ing picture, this bare, weather-whitened col- 
umn, with its splintered top and its two orifices, 
and yet I do not think it was a weakness for 
me to feel a thrill of delight as I gazed at it. 
How long and how diligently I had sought the 
home of Camp ephilus princip alls , the great king 
of the red-headed family, and at last I stood 
before its door ! 

At my request, the kind Cracker now left 
me alone to prosecute my observations. 

" Be in ter dinner ? " he inquired as he 
turned to go. 

" No ; supper," I responded. 

" Well, tek cyare ev yerself," and off he went 
into the thickest part of the cypress. 

I waited awhile for the solitude to regain its 
equilibrium after the slashing tread of my 
friend had passed out of hearing ; then I stole 
softly to the stump and tapped on it with the 
handle of my knife. This I repeated several 
times. Campephilus was not at home, for if he 
had been I should have seen a long, strong^ 
ivory-white beak thrust out of the hole up there, 


followed by a great red-crested head turned 
sidewise so as to let fall upon me the glint of 
an iris unequalled by that of any other bird in 
the world. He had gone out early. I should 
have to wait and watch; but first I satisfied 
myself by a simple method that my watching 
would probably not be in vain. A little exam- 
ination of the ground at the base of the stump 
showed me a quantity of fresh wood-fragments, 
not unlike very coarse saw-dust, scattered over 
the surface. This assured me that one of the 
excavations above was a new one, and that a 
nest was either building or had been finished 
but a short while. So I hastily hid myself on 
a log in a clump of bushes, distant from the 
stump about fifty feet, whence I could plainly 
see the holes. 

One who has never been out alone in a 
Southern swamp can have no fair understand- 
ing of its loneliness, solemnity and funereal 
sadness of effect. Even in the first gush of 
Spring it was now about the sixth of April I 
felt the weight of something like eternity in the 
air not the eternity of the future but the 
eternity of the past. Everything around me 
appeared old, sleepy, and musty, despite the 
fresh buds, tassels, and flower-spikes. What 
can express dreariness so effectually as the 
long moss of those damp woods ? I imagined 
that the few little birds I saw flitting here and 
there in the tree tops were not so noisy and 
joyous as they would be when, a month later, 
their northward migration should bring them 
into our greening Northern woods. As the 
sun mounted, however, a cheerful twitter ran 
with the gentle breeze through the bay thickets 
and magnolia clumps, and I recognized a num- 


her of familiar voices ; then suddenly the 
gavel of Campephilus sounded sharp and strong 
a quarter-mile away. A few measured raps, 
followed by a rattling drum-call, a space of si- 
lence rimmed with receding echoes, and then 
a trumpet-note, high, full, vigorous, almost start- 
ling, cut the air with a sort of broadsword 
sweep. Again the long-roll answered, from a 
point nearer me, by two or three hammer-like 
raps on the resonant branch of some dead cy. 
press-tree. The king and queen were coming 
to their palace. I waited patiently, knowing 
that it was far beyond my power to hurry their 
movements. It was not long before one of 
the birds, with a rapid cackling that made the 
wood rattle, came over my head, and went 
straight to the stump, where it lit, just below 
the lower hole, clinging gracefully to the trunk. 
It was a superb specimen the female, and I 
suspected that she had come to leave an egg. I 
could have killed her easily with the little six- 
teen-gauge breech-loader at my side, but I 
would not have done the act for all the stuffed 
birds in the country. I had come as a visitor 
to this palace, with the hope of making the ac- 
quaintance I had so long desired, and not as 
an assassin. She was quite unaware of me, 
and so behaved naturally, her large gold-amber 
eyes glaring with that wild sincerity of ex- 
pression seen in the eyes of but few savage 

After a little while the male came bounding 
through the air, with that vigorous galloping 
flight common to all our woodpeckers, and lit 
on a fragmentary projection at the top of the 
stump. He showed larger than his mate, and 
his aspect was more fierce, almost savage. 


The green-black feathers near his shoulders, 
the snow-white lines down his neck, and the tall 
red crest on his head, all shone with great brill- 
iancy, whilst his ivory beak gleamed like a 
dagger. He soon settled for me a question 
which had long been in my mind. With two 
or three light preliminary taps on a hard heart- 
pine splinter, he proceeded to beat the regular 
woodpecker drum-call that long rolling rattle 
made familiar to us all by the common red- 
head (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) and our 
other smaller woodpeckers. This peculiar call 
is not, in my opinion, the result of elasticity or 
springiness in the wood upon which it is per- 
formed, but is effected by a rapid, spasmodic 
motion of the bird's head, imparted by a volun- 
tary muscular action. I have seen the com- 
mon Red-head make a soundless call on a 
fence-stake where the decaying wood was 
scarcely hard enough to prevent the full en- 
trance of his beak. His head went through 
the same rapid vibration, but no sound accom- 
panied the performance. Still, it is resonance 
in the wood that the bird desires, and it keeps 
trying until a good sounding-board is found. 
It was very satisfying to me when the superb 
King of the Woodpeckers /zV noir a bee blanc^ 
as the great French naturalist named it went 
over the call, time after time, with grand ef- 
fect, letting go, between trials, one or two of 
his triumphant trumpet-notes. Hitherto I had 
not seen the Campephilus do this, though I had 
often heard what I supposed to be the call. 
As I crouched in my hiding-place and furtively 
watched the proceedings, I remember com- 
paring the birds and their dwelling to some 
half-savage lord and lady and their isolated 


castle of medieval days. A twelfth-century 
bandit nobleman might have gloried in trigging 
himself in such apparel as my ivory-billed 
woodpecker wore. What a perfect athlete he 
appeared to be, as he braced himself for an 
effort which was to generate a force sufficient 
to hurl his heavy head and beak back and 
forth at a speed of about twenty-eight strokes 
to the second ! 

All of our woodpeckers, pure and simple 
that is, all of the species in which the wood- 
pecker character has been preserved almost 
unmodified have exceedingly muscular heads 
and strikingly constricted necks; their beaks 
are nearly straight, wedge-shaped, fluted or 
ribbed on the upper mandible, and their nos- 
trils are protected by hairy or feathery tufts. 
Their legs are strangely short in appearance, 
but are exactly adapted to their need, and their 
tail-feathers are tipped with stiff points. These 
features are all fully developed in the Campe- 
philus prinripalis, the bill especially showing a 
size, strength and symmetrical beauty truly 

The stiff pointed tail-feathers of the wood- 
pecker serve the bird a turn which I have nev- 
er seen noted by any ornithologist. When 
the bird must strike a hard blow with its bill, 
it does not depend solely upon its neck and 
head; but, bracing the points of its tail-feath- 
ers against the tree, and rising to the full 
length of its short, powerful legs, and drawing 
back its body, head, and neck to the farthest 
extent, it dashes its bill home with all the 
force of its entire bodily weight and muscle. I 
have seen the ivory-bill, striking thus, burst 
off from almost flinty-hard dead trees frag- 


ments of wood half as large as my hand ; and 
once in the Cherokee hills of Georgia I watched 
a pileated woodpecker (Hylotomus pileatus) dig 
a hole to the very heart of an exceedingly 
tough, green, mountain hickory tree, in order 
to reach a nest of winged ants. The point of 
ingress of the insects was a small hole in a 
punk knot ; but the bird, by hopping down the 
tree tail-foremost and listening, located the 
nest about five feet below, and there it pro- 
ceeded to bore through the gnarled, cross- 
grained wood to the hollow. 

Of all our wild American birds, I have 
studied no other one which combines all of the 
elements of wildness so perfectly in its char- 
acter as does the ivory-billed woodpecker. It 
has no trace whatever in its nature of what 
may be called a tameable tendency. Savage 
liberty is a prerequisite of its existence and its 
home is the depths of the woods, remotest 
from the activities of civilized man. It is a 
rare bird, even in the most favorable regions, 
and it is almost impossible to get specimens of 
its eggs. Indeed, I doubt if there are a dozen 
cabinets in all the world containing these eggs ; 
but they are almost exactly similar in size, 
color and shape to those of Hylotomm pileatus, 
the only difference being that the latter are, 
upon close examination, found to be a little 
shorter, and, as I have imagined, a shade less 
semi-transparent porcelain-white, if I may so 
express it. 

The visit of my birds to their home in the 
stump lasted nearly two hours. The female 
went into and out of the hole several times 
before she finally settled herself, as I sup- 
pose, on her nest. When she came forth at 


the end of thirty or forty minutes, she ap- 
peared exceedingly happy, cackling in a low, 
harsh, but rather wheedling voice, and evident- 
ly anxious to attract the attention of the male, 
who in turn treated her with lofty contempt. 
To him the question of a new egg was not 
worth considering. But when she at last 
turned away from him, and mounting into the 
air, galloped off into the solemn gloom of the 
cypress wood, he followed her, trumpeting at 
the top of his voice. 

Day after day I returned to my hiding-place 
to renew my observations, and, excepting a 
visitation of mosquitoes now and then, no- 
thing occurred to mar my enjoyment. As the 
weather grew warmer the flowers and leaves 
came on apace, and the swamp became a vast 
wilderness of perfume and contrasting colors. 
Bird songs from migrating warblers, vireos, 
finches and other happy sojourners for a day 
(or mayhap they were all nesting there, I can- 
not say, for I had larger fish to fry), shook the 
wide silence into sudden resonance. Along 
the sluggish little stream between the cane- 
brakes, the hermit-thrush and the cat-bird were 
met by the green heron and the belted king- 
fisher. The snake-bird, too, that veritable 
water-dragon of the South, was there, wrig- 
gling and squirming in the amber-brown pools 
amongst the lily-pads and lettuce. 

At last, one morning, my woodpeckers dis- 
covered me in my hiding-place ; and that was 
the end of all intimacy between us. Thence- 
forth my observations were few and at a long 
distance. No amount of cunning could serve 
me any turn. Go as early as I might, and hide 
as securely as I could, those great yellow eyes 


quickly espied me, and then there would be a 
rapid and long flight away into the thickest 
and most difficult part of the swamp. 

I confess that it was with no little debate 
that I reached the determination that it was 
my duty to rob that nest in the interest of 
knowledge. It was the first opportunity I 
ever had had to examine an occupied nest of 
the Campephilus principalis, and I felt that it 
was scarcely probable that I should ever 
again be favored with such a chance. With 
the aid of my Cracker host, I erected a rude 
ladder and climbed up to the hole. It was 
almost exactly circular, and nearly five inches 
in diameter. With a little axe I began break- 
ing and hacking away the crust of hard outer 
wood. The cavity descended with a slightly 
spiral course, widening a little as it proceeded. 
I had followed it nearly five feet when I found 
a place where it was contracted again, and im- 
mediately below was a sudden expansion, at 
the bottom of which was the nest. Five 
beautiful pure white eggs of the finest old- 
china appearance, delicate, almost transparent, 
exceedingly fragile, and, to the eyes of a 
collector, vastly valuable, lay in a shallow 
bowl of fine chips. But in breaking away the 
last piece of wood-crust, I jerked it a little too 
hard, and those much coveted prizes rolled out 
and fell to the ground. Of course they were 
" hopelessly crushed, " and my feelings with 
them. I would willingly have fallen in their 
stead, if the risk could have saved the eggs. I 
descended ruefully enough, hearing as I did so 
the loud cry of Campephilus battling around in 
the jungle. Once or twice more I went back to 
the spot in early morning, but my birds did 


not appear. I made minute examination of 
the rifled nest, and also tore out the other ex- 
cavation, so as to compare the two. They 
were very much alike, especially in the jug- 
shape of their lower ends. From a careful 
study of all the holes (apparently made by 
Campephilus) that I have been able to find and 
reach in either standing or fallen trees, I am 
led to believe that this jug-shape is peculiar to 
the ivory-bill's architecture, as I have never 
found it in the excavations of other species, 
save where the form was evidently the result 
of accident. The depth of the hole varies 
from three to seven feet, as a rule, but I found 
one that was nearly nine feet deep and anoth- 
er that was less than two. Our smaller wood- 
peckers, including Hylotomus pikatus, usually 
make their excavations in the shape of a grad- 
ually widening pocket, of which the entrance is 
the narrowest part. 

It is curious to note that beginning with the 
ivory-bill and coming down the line of species 
in the scale of size we find the red mark on 
the head rapidly falling away from a grand 
scarlet crest some inches in height to a mere 
touch of carmine, or dragon's blood, on crown, 
nape, cheek, or chin. The lofty and brilliant 
head-plume of the ivory-bill, his powerful beak, 
his semi-circular claws and his perfectly spiked 
tail, as well as his superiority of size and 
strength, indicate that he is what he is, the 
original type of the woodpecker, and the one 
pure species left to us in America. He is the 
only woodpecker which eats insects and larvae 
(dug out of rotten wood) exclusively. Neither 
the sweetest fruits nor the oiliest grains can 
tempt him to depart one line from his heredi- 


tary habit. He accepts no gifts from man, and 
asks no favors. But the pileated woodpecker, 
just one remove lower in the scale of size, 
strength, and beauty, shows a little tendency 
towards a grain and fruit diet, and it also often 
descends to old logs and fallen boughs for its 
food a thing never thought of by the ivory-bill. 
As for the rest of the red-headed family, they 
are degenerate species, though lively, clever, 
and exceedingly interesting. What a sad 
dwarf the little downy woodpecker is when 
compared with the ivory-bill ! and yet to my 
mind it is clear that Picus pubescens is the de- 
generate off-shoot from the grand campephilus 

Our red-headed woodpecker (M. erythro- 
cephalus) is a genuine American in every sense, 
a plausible, querulous, aggressive, enterpris- 
ing, crafty fellow, who tries every mode of get- 
ting a livelihood, and always with success. He 
is a wood-pecker, a nut-eater, a cider-taster, a 
judge of good fruits, a connoisseur of corn, 
wheat, and melons, and an expert fly-catcher as 
v/ell. As if to correspond with his versatility 
of habit, his plumage is divided into four reg- 
ular masses of color. His head and neck are 
crimson, his back, down to secondaries, a 
brilliant black, tinged with green or blue in 
the gloss ; then comes a broad girdle of pure 
white, followed by a mass of black at the tail 
and wing-tips. He readily adapts himself to 
the exigencies of civilized life. I prophecy 
that, within less than a hupdred years to come, 
he will be making his nest on the ground, in 
hedges or in the crotches of orchard trees. 
Already he has begun to push his way out into 
our smaller Western prairies, where there is no 


dead timber for him to make his nest-holes in. 
I found a compromise-nest between two fence- 
rails in Illinois, which was probably a fair index 
of the future habit of the red-head. It was 
formed by pecking away the inner sides of two 
vertical parallel rails, just above a horizontal 
one, upon which, in a cup of pulverized wood, 
the eggs were laid. This was in the prairie 
country between two vast fields of Indian corn. 
The power of sight exhibited by the red- 
headed woodpecker is quite amazing. ' I have 
seen the bird, in the early twilight of a summer 
evening, start from the highest spire of a very 
tall tree, and fly a hundred yards straight to an 
insect near the ground. He catches flies on 
the wing with as deft a turn as does the great- 
crested fly-catcher. It is not my purpose to 
offer any ornithological theories in this pa- 
per ; but I cannot help remarking that the far- 
ther a species of woodpecker departs from the 
feeding-habit of the ivory-bill, the more broken 
up are its color-masses, and the more diffused 
or degenerate becomes the typical red tuft on 
the head. The golden-winged woodpecker 
(Colaptes entrains), for instance, feeds much on 
the ground, eating earth-worms, seeds, beetles, 
etc. ; and we find him taking on the colors of 
the ground-birds with a large loss of the char- 
acteristic woodpecker arrangement of plumage 
and color-masses. He looks much more like 
a meadow-lark than like an ivory -bill ! The 
red appears in a delicate crescent, barely no- 
ticeable on the back of the head, and its bill 
is slender, curved, and quite unfit for hard 
pecking. On the other hand, the downy 
woodpecker and the hairy woodpecker, having 
kept well in the line of the typical feeding 


habit, though seeking their food in places be- 
neath the notice of their great progenitor, 
have preserved in a marked degree an outline 
of the ivory-bill's color-masses, degenerate 
though they are. The dwarfish, insignificant 
looking Picus pubescens pecking away at the 
stem of a dead iron-weed to get the minute 
larvae that may be imbedded in the pith, when 
compared with Campephilus principalis drum- 
ming on the bole of a giant cypress-tree, is 
like a Digger Indian when catalogued in a col- 
umn with men like Goethe and Gladstone, 
Napoleon and Lincoln. 

I have been informed that the ivory-bill is 
occasionally found in the Ohio valley; but I 
have never been able to discover it north of 
the Cumberland range of mountains. It is a 
swamp bird, or rather it is the bird of the high 
timber that grows in low wet soil. Its princi- 
pal food is a large, flat-headed timber-worm, 
known in the South as borer or saw-worm, 
which it discovers by ear and reaches by dili- 
gent and tremendously effective pecking. A 
Cracker deer-stalker, whom I met at Black- 
shear, Georgia, gave an amusing account of an 
experience he had had in the swamps. He 
said : 

" I had turned in late, and got to sleep on 
a tussock under a big pine, an' slep' tell sun- 
up. Wull, es ther' I laid flat er my back an' 
er snorin' away, kerwhack sumpen tuck me 
in the face an' eyes, jes' like spankin' er 
baby, an' I wuk up with er gret chunk er wood 
ercross my nose, an' er blame ole woodcock 
jest er whangin' erway up in thet pine. My 
nose hit bled an' bled, an' I hed er good mint 
er shoot thet air bird, but I cudn't stan' the 


expense er the thing. Powder'n' lead air 
mighty costive. Anyhow I don't s'pose 'at 
the ole woodcock knowed at hit 'd drapped thet 
air fraygment onto me. Ef hit 'd er 'peared 
like's ef hit wer' 'joyin' the joke any, I wud er 
shot hit all ter pieces ef I'd er hed ter lived 
on turpentime all winter ! " 

Of the American woodpecker there are 
more than thirty varieties, I believe, nearly 
every one of which bears some trace of the 
grand scarlet crown of the great ivory-billed 
king of them all. The question arises and I 
shall not attempt to answer it whether the 
ivory-bill is an example of the highest develop- 
ment, from the downy woodpecker, say, or 
whether all these inferior species and varieties 
are the result of degeneracy ? Neither Darwin 
nor Wallace has given us the key that certainly 
unlocks this very interesting mystery. 

The sap-drinking woodpeckers (Sphyropicus), 
of which there are three or four varieties in 
this country, appear to form the link between 
the fruit-eating and the non-fruit-eating species 
of the red-headed family. From sipping the 
sap of the sugar-maple to testing the flavor of 
a cherry, a service-berry, or a haw-apple, is a 
short and delightfully natural step. How 
logical, too, for a bird, when once it has ac- 
quired the fruit-eating habit, to quit delv- 
ing in the hard green wood for a nectar so 
much inferior to that which may be had ready 
bottled in the skins of apples, grapes, and ber- 
ries ! In accordance with this rule, M. erythro- 
cephalus and Centurus carolinus, though great 
tipplers, are too lazy or too wise to bore the 
maples, preferring to sit on the edge of a 
sugar-trough, furtively drinking therefrom 


leisurely draughts of the saccharine blood of 
the ready-tapped trees. I have seen them with 
their bills stained purple to the nostrils with 
the rich juice of the blackberry, and they quar- 
rel from morning till night over the ripest 
June-apples and reddest cherries, their noise 
making a Bedlam of the fairest country or- 

The woodpecker family is scattered widely 
in our country. In the West Canadian woods 
one meets, besides a number of the commoner 
species, Lewis' woodpecker, a large, beautiful, 
and rare bird. The California species include 
the Nuttall, the Harris, the Cape St. Lucas, the 
white-headed, and several other varieties, all 
showing more or less kinship to the ivory-bill. 
Lewis's woodpecker shows almost entirely 
black, its plumage giving forth a strong green- 
ish or bluish lustre. The red on its head is 
softened down to a fine rose-carmine. It is 
a wild, wary bird, flying high, combining in 
its habits the traits of both Hylotomus pikatus 
and Camp ephilu s princip alls. 

In concluding this paper a general descrip- 
tion of the 'male ivory-bill may prove accept- 
able to those who may never be able to see 
even a stuffed specimen of a bird which, taken 
in every way, is, perhaps, the most interesting 
and beautiful in America. In size 21 inches 
long, and 33 in alar extent ; bill, ivory white, 
beautifully fluted above, and two and a-half 
inches long; head-tuft, or crest, long and 
fine, of pure scarlet faced with black. Its 
body-color is glossy blue-black, but down its 
slender neck on each side, running from the 
crest to the back, a pure white stripe contrasts 
vividly with the scarlet and ebony. A mass 


of white runs across the back when the wings 
are closed, as in M. erythrocephalus, leaving the 
wing-tips and tail black. Its feet are ash- 
blue, its eyes amber-yellow. The female is 
like the male, save that she has a black crest 
instead of the scarlet. I can think of nothing 
in Nature more striking than the flash of color 
this bird gives to the dreary swamp-landscape, 
as it careers from tree to tree, or sits upon 
some high skeleton cypress-branch and plies 
its resounding blows. The species will prob- 
ably be extinct within a few years.* 

* Since writing the foregoing, I have made several excursions 
in search of the ivory -bill. Early in January, 1885, 1 killed a fine 
male specimen in a swamp near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi ; but 
was prevented, by an accident, from preserving it or making a 
sketch of it. 


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that equals it in value." Methodist Recorder, Pittsburgh. 

"As to the contents, its readers can hardly ask for an 
improvement." rimes, Hartford, Ct. 

" Embodying pertinent current discussions taking a 
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"Mr. Alden knows how to prepare a feast, and has 
succeeded admirably in the LIBRARY MAGAZINE." Christian Ad- 
vocate, Buffalo. 

" This exceedingly valuable monthly gives more good 
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"Is a most valuable repertory of the choicest solid 
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It seems to me the solid merits of the Magazine will insure its 
success and its permanency at any rate, they ought to." BENSON 
J. LOSSING, LL.D., Dover Plains, N. Y. 

" It certainly is highly interesting. Many of the arti- 
cles are very timely. To our readers who desire a magazine 
filled to the brim with excellent and timely essays, and furnish- 
ed at a price that brings it within the rea"~a of all, we can re- 
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day be obtained for that sum." Champion, Milton, Canada. 


The following extract from a letter from the well-known Author and Ai 
1st PHILIP GILBERT HAMERTON appeared in a recent number of the New! 
Publishers' Weekly: 

"I saw by the advertisements in American periodicals that a New 
pirate had got hold of 'An Intellectual Life . ' We sadly need a copy. 
law. It would be a benefit to all honest men, including American autl 
who would be spared part of the rivalry produced by flooding the 
with cheap pirated reprints. Yours very truly, P. G. HAMERTON.", 

To which I beg leave to reply as follows : 

DEAR SIR, The above note evidently refers to me, as I am the one 
lisher who has reprinted the work referred to at a low price. Of cou 
warms the blood, a little, of an honest man, to have another honest man c 
him a knave. When discussion gets to that point, argument is cut c 
will, however, make a few points on my side of the case. 

First. I am, and long have been, heartily in favor of giving authors J I 
control of their productions upon their oivn terms, within the limits of th I 
bounds of common sense it would hardly be practicable for us to pay copjl 
right to Homer, and it may be an open question as to when Macaula}''s heir I 
should cease to receive their tax ; there is, of course, some limit ; hones I 
"doctors disagree" as to points of equity, expediency, and the best mettj 
ods of bringing a happy future out of the evil present. 

Second. The laws of this country (and I believe the same is true of oil 
countries) are not as you and other authors desire they should be. Evidently I 
too, it is quite as useless for authors to expect to get what they want with} 
out a CHANGE in the laivs, as to hope to reach the result by calling put! 
lishers bad names. Where is the common sense of characterizing me asil 
" pirate " because I multiply (within the bounds of law and of custom sinci] 
the time of Cadmus) copies of your book from the copy I bought am 
paid for, more than in applying the same term to one who reads the boci\ 
aloud to a dozen friends, who consequently do not buy it or more than apply 
ing it to YOU" for appropriating the language and thoughts of the patriarcl 
JOB in one of your books without giving him any paymentyou giv$ 
" credit," doubtless, to the authors whom you quote, but you give them nc 
pay, I give YOU credit, but no "pay" beyond the copy I buy, till we aril 
able to secure a change in the present unsatisfactory laws. 

Third. General Grant once said, " The best way to get rid of a bad law is 
to enforce it; " that is my theory, and I shall continue to practice upon it* 
I expect to aid in securing to you by "enforcement " of the legitimate consul 
quences of the present laws, what authors would never get by whining of 
growling. Some people give to my methods the credit of being, possibly, 
the largest single influence which is working in this country to bring about 
the much desired change in the laws. 

Fourth. While authors certainly have their "rights," readers have some 
rights also. When I was a boy under fourteen years of age the good litera- 
ture accessible to me was limited, nearly, to Murray's English Reader, and 
Josephus' Works. I do not pretend to be the reader's especial champion, 
but I DO look at the question of the "intellectual life " for them from their 
standpoint as well as from that of the author and it is amazing to me that 
an author of your high character, intellectual, humane and Christian (whose 
inspiring words "The humblest subscriber to a mechanics' institute has 
easier access to sound learning than had either Solomon or Aristotle,"! 
have placed before millions of readers) that you should seem to take no 
pleasure in the fact that the best literature of the world has by my efforts 
been placed within the reach of millions to whom it was before unattainable; 
that I give to YOU an appreciative audience (far more appreciative than 
you find among your wealthy patrons) among tens of thousands, who with* 


out my efforts would never have known you. I say readers have rights as 
well as authors; what they are I will not discuss; I say, simply, let the laws 
be changed as authors demand; while Homer, Shakespeare, Milton, and 
Lamb are free to readers, any " monopoly " which living authors can secure 
upon their own writings will not seriously hurt readers and, furthermore, 
folly in law-making, if foolish changes should be made, would be likely 
soon to work its own cure, in this age of the printing press. 

Finally. Hamerton's "Intellectual Life" ought to sell by the hundred 
thousand ought to sell a hundred where it has sold one by the methods of 
your approved publishers; when the "good time coming" is here, and 
authors can make their own terms with publishers and the public, perhaps 
you will give me a little credit and thanks for the LARGER audience you 
will then have because of my present "piracy," Respectfully, JOHNB. ALDEN. 


Rejoicingly testify to the value of the Pirate's prizes, one of the finest of which 
is HAMERTON'S "The Intellectual Life," reduced in cost from $2.00 to 
50 cents in fine cloth, or $1.00 in full Russia, gilt edges. 

"Mr. Alden is doing incalculable service to the cause of international 
copyright." Pioneer Press, St. Paul. 

"Your efforts towards extending useful information to all classes * * * 
ought to render your name immortal." GEN. J. W. PHELPS, Brattleboro, Vt. 

HAMERTON'S 'Intellectual Life.' " Young men ought to own this book in 
a way few books deserve to be owned,that is, by absolute mental possession." 
Dominion Churchman, Toronto. 

" Published in a style befitting the value of this most instructive and 
charming essay. The essay is a jewel worthy of the finest setting." Tran- 
script, Portland, Me. 

"John B. Alden has done another good service to literature by publishing 
'The Intellectual Life, 'by PHILIP GILBERT HAMERTON, in very neat and con- 
venient style at a price far below what it has heretofore been obtainable for. 
* The Intellectual Life,' which has become a classic in our language, is as 
practical and sensible as it is delightful reading." Christian Intelligencer, 
New York. 

"MR. HAMERTON, fine artist and critic as he is, would certainly not object 
to this American reprint of the wisest and most graceful of his works, if he 
could see in what a dainty and beautiful form Mr. Alden has brought it 
out." The Moravian, Bethlehem, Pa. 

" One man has done more than all other agencies combined to cheapen 
choice literature in this country, and that man is John B. Alden. Mr. Alden 
has had the bitterest denunciation and opposition of many of the rich pub- 
lishers who have built up colossal fortunes by levying a heavy tax on 
knowledge. His undertaking involved pioneer work. The difficulties 
thrown in his way would have discouraged and defeated a man of less 
energy and determination than Alden, but he has steadily pressed forward 
until the whole country has felt the effect of his enterprise." Herald-News, 
Denison, Texas. 

" The success that is being achieved by Mr. Alden in his fight against high 
prices encourages him to improve constantly upon his work, and his publi- 
cations to-day are mechanically and in every other way the equals of those 
got out by any other publishing house in the country." Evening Journal, 
Detroit, Mich. 

"Inclosed find $138.47. The books are as cheap as they are good. Are 
notable examples of the publisher's skill, and the virtue of Alden's unex- 
ampled prices." M. E. SATCHWELL, Spirit Lake, Iowa. 

IRemarfeable praise 

For The Library Magazine. 

" This magazine presents a wonderful amount of excellent literature 
in admirable type." Unity, Chicago. 

" Containing a rich and varied assortment of the best articles to be 
found in the best English reviews," Church News, Philadelphia. 

"A mine of information and solid reading." News, Newark, N. . 

n This is the fifth year I have sent you my subscription and ever 
ditional one brings me additional pleasure." DAVID HARLOWE, Milwaukee, "^ 

" Gives a wonderful 15 cents' worth of literature in the shape of 
selected articles from contemporary periodicals." Record, Philadelphia, Pa. 

"The best of all the cheap magazines printed in this country. "- 
Republic, Washington, D. C. 

"As an eclectic magazine it is equal to anything of its kind, and in 
its range of subjects it is superior." Normal Teacher, Indianapolis. 

" Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon it. ''New Age, Augusta. 

"A publication of decided merit." Central Baptist, St. Louis. 

"Articles on topics of general interest by the ablest living writers; 
the selections are very judicious." Educational Weekly, Toronto. 

" It would be difficult to crowd into one hundred pages more arti- 
cles of high excellence and permanent interest." University Magazine, Chapel 
Hill, N. C. 

" To one who takes a keen pleasure in literature, this magazine is 
the most valuable one that comes to our office." Times, Webster, Mass. 

"In no other magazine that it has been our good fortune to see, is j 
so much good reading afforded for the money." Journal, Elkader, Iowa. 

"Always filled with sterling matter, * * * bids fair to outshine 
itself." Commonwealth, Boston. 

" No magazine could find a more wholesome welcome than this in a 
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" The highly educated circle of readers, limited though it may be, 
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" Places within the reach of a great multitude of readers the privi- 
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the high-priced scientific and' literary monthlies." Commercial Advertiser, 

" This periodical is marvelous in its comprehensiveness. The reader 
is entertained as well as instructed, and at a very small expense, indeed, he is 
able to possess the best thoughts of the best minds." Times, Hamilton, Ontario. 

" Cannot fail to interest intelligent readers, furnishing as it does the 
highest intellectual feast, at so moderate a price. Choice articles by eminent 
authors upon almost every subject, will be found in it." Fashion Journal, 
Philadelphia. , 

"Affords a capital chance for obtaining excellent reading at a low 
price . "Morning Star, Dover, N. H. 

" The selection of the articles published brings the reader into com- 
munication with the best writers on all the important topics of the day, and 
keeps him thoroughly posted in regard to the important questions that are agi- 
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ling and valuable information for the money." Mercantile Review, Buffalo. 

" We are pleased to say that it is the best of the kind we are called 
upon to peruse. The subjects are excellent and the articles fresh and clear." 
Maple Leaf, Albert, N. B. 

!IEbe Xi 

THE LIBRARY MAGAZINE aims to be peerless among Magazines 
ui the amount, variety, thought-value, and high literary quality of 
its contents. 

IZINE is $1.50 a year. To give you the opportunity of "proving the 
Spudding" by a '* taste," the three issues for March, April, and May, 
LJ will be sent to you (if ordered before May 1) post-paid for 2 5 cents. 

Hncient /Ifconarcbiea 


cient Eastern World : Chaldea, Assyria, Babylon, Media, Persia, Parthia, 
and the New Persian Empire. By GEORGE RAWLINSON, M. A., Professor 
of Ancient History in the University of Oxford. In three large 12mo. 
volumes, of over 2,000 pages, Bourgeois type, leaded. With all the notes 
and a new and greatly improved index, also with the profuse and fine 
illustrations and maps (over 700) of the English edition. Price per set, 
in fine cloth, gilt tops, &3.00. 

" When the despots of the old world were startled by the invention 
of printing, and trembled at the thought of the peril to a despotic govern- 
ment that lay hidden in an issue of cheap books, the consequent diffusion 
of knowledge and stirring-up of free thought, none ever dreamed of such 
books as these. Even we, who are familiar with so many achievements in 
this line, confess to astonishment. A book of nearly 600 pages, good paper, 
clear, * leaded ' print, nearly 500 illustrations and two maps, neatly bound, 
* * * is indeed a marvel of cheapness. For the subject-matter of the 
book : it is recognized as full and accurate ; an authority on the mat-cr of 
which it treats. It takes long years of study, a costly library, a rare faculty 
of condensation and artistic grouping to present anything like an intelli- 
gible view of scenes more than 4,000 years old ; to ' catch the form and spirit 
of the time,' and make a history out of scattered memoranda in books, or 
on stones and clay cylinders. This Mr. Rawlinson has done, and that he has 
done it well is attested by the universal judgment of all English speaking 
people. No better work on the subject, and no edition so cheap and good, 
can now be found, or be reasonably expected in the future." Eeligio- 
Philosophical Journal, Chicago. 

" The industry displayed in the collection of material is prodigious. 
The narrative is one of intense interest. The style is graceful and dignified. 
The author is evidently at home and inspires the reader with a proper con- 
fidence. Until recently Prof. Rawlinson's great work has been caviare 
to the multitude. Its price confined it to scholarly libraries. But John B. 
Alden announced, some time ago, that he should make this book the test of 
the success of what he calls the Literary Revolution. We have the book be- 
fore us, and declare the test to be successful. Any one may now supply 
himself with the scholar's tools. The fact is notable in the evolution of 
civilization." Evening Bulletin, San Francisco. 

"The illustrations in this cheaper edition really seem to us to be 
superior to the former. The work is of great value, and we recommend our 
brethren in the ministry to secure as soon as possible at these exceedingly 
low rates." Christian Advocate, Hamilton, Ontario. 

' ' The paper is good, the type excellent, the illustrations clear and 
fully equal to those in the original eighteen-dollar edition, and the binding 
neat and substantial. There are extensive notes, and full and complete 
indexes, without any abridgment in any part. They contain everything of 
value that is known in regard to the great monarchies of the ancient Eastern 
world. No library is complete without them." Methodist Recorder \ Pitts- 

" The mechanical execution is every way good. It is truly marvel- 
ous how such books, including such a vast number of illustrations, and 
maps can be printed and sold at the exceedingly small price. We com- 
mend this edition as heartily as we do the enterprise of the publisher." The 
Observer^ St. Louis. 

IRecent publications 

>e WIT AND WISDOM of E. Bulwer-Lytton. 

Compiled by 0. L. BONNEY. A very neat large ISino. volume, Long 
Primer type, fine cloth, gilt tops, uniform with the New Library Edition 
of Bulwer's Works. 

Price, GO cents. 

ZYPT and BABYLON, from Sacred and Pro- 

fane Sources. By GEORGE KAWLINSON, Author of The Seven Great 
Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World, Etc. Large 12mo., Long 
Primer type, fine cloth, gilt tops. 

Price, 6O cents. 


Principles and Methods for Remedying Chronic Affections of the Lower 
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Price, 5 cents. 

UN and WISDOM Gained by Tivo City Boys in a 

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and gold ornaments. 

Price, 35 cents. 

,e WORKS of BULWER LYTTON. New Library 

Edition in 13 vols., large 12mo., fine cloth, library style, gilt tops. 

Price, $9.0O 

Edition in 6 vols. Large 12mo., fine cloth, library style, gilt tops. 

Price, $5.0O 
WERICAN PATRIOTISM. Famous Orations and 
Patriotic Papers from Washington to Lincoln. Compiled by S. H. PEA- 
BODY, Ph.D., Regent Illinois Industrial University. Large 12mo., 684 
pages, Brevier type, cloth. 

Price, 65 cents. 


BURKE. New edition in one very neat vol. , large 16mo. , fine cloth, gilt tops. 

Price, 5O cents. 


Romance, and Outre-Mer, a Pilgrimage beyond the Sea. In one volume, 
large 12mo,, Small Pica type. 

Price, 65 cents. 

OURS WITH the BIBLE, or the Scriptures in 

the Light of Modern Discovery. From the Creation to the Patriarchs 
By CUNNINGHAM GEIKIE. Large 12ino., 381 pages, cloth. 

Price* 50 cents. 


360 pages, large 12ino., formerly published at $1.25. Cloth binding. 

Price, 5O cents. 

OHN C. CALHOUN. A Biography, by JOHN S. JEN- 
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Price f 50 cents. 


Always unabridged and usually in the large type shown tr 
these lines. Following are notable issues, all in neat paper covers 


No. Price. 

6 Enoch Ar den . TENNYSON 2c 

25 The Deserted Village, and Other 

Poems. GOLDSMITH 2c 

26 Cotter's Saturday Night, and 

Other Poems. BURNS 2c 

27 How Lisa Loved the King. 


28 Songs of Seven. JEAN InGELOw. 2c 
36 Schiller's Song of the Bell, Etc. 2c 
84 Essay on Man. ALEX. POPE 8c 

101 Mazeppa. LORD BYRON 2c 

102 Ryme of the Ancient Mariner. 


105 Virginia, Ivry, the Armada, Etc. 


106 The Heart of Bruce. AYTOUN. . 2c 
120 The Raven, Etc. EDGARA.POE. 2c 
123 Hermann and Dorothea. GOETHE 6c 


126 Lay of the Last Minstrel 6c 

127 Marmion 8c 

128 Lady of the Lake So 

131 Rokeby 8c 


134 Lecture on Numbers 3c 

142 Lecture on Emerson 2c 


46 Philosophy of Style 4c 

133 The Coming Slavery 3c 

138 What Knowledge is of Most 

Worth 5c 


2 The Burning of Rome. CANON 


42 The Civilizations of Asia. RAW- 


65 Schiller's Thirty Years' War.... 30c 

66 The Celtic Hermits. CHARLES 


103 The Battle of Marathon. CREASY 3c 
112 The Battle of Waterloo. CREASY 2c 

129 Erasmus, Etc, D'AUBIGNE 2c 


No. Pric< 
5 The Sea-Serpents of Science. 

12 World-Smashing, Earthquakes, 


13 A Half Hour in Natural History 3 
44 The Evidences of Evolution. 


122 Public Health. EDWARD ORTON. 2 


15 American Humorists IRVING. . 
17 American Humorists HOLMES. 

19 American Humorists LOWELL. 

20 American Humorists A. WARD. 

21 American Humorists MARK 


53 Adventures of Baron Munchau- 

107 Battle of the Books, DEAN 


108 Tints of the Times. ORPHEUS 



117 Sesame and Lilies 1C 

118 Crown of Wild Olive 1( 

119 Ethics of the Dust 1C 


14 Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. 

illustrated 1( 

43 Buddhism. JOHN CAIRD 

67 Seneca and St. Paul. CANON 

68 The Crucifixion. DR. GEIKIE... 


1 Rip Van Winkle. IRVING 

64 Bacon's Essays. Complete ] 

113 Conduct of The Understanding. 


115 Luther's Table Talk. By DR. 

124 Legend of the Wandering Jew. .. 

125 Confessions of an Opium Eater. 1( 
132 On Liberty. JOHN STUART MILL. I' 


u Continue to astonish one with their cheapness, if one has a right t 
be astonished at cheap printing in these times." M ail, Toronto. 

" It is the most amazing achievement of cheap publication of whic 
we know anything." Saturday Review, Indianapolis. 

" Brings the gems of literature within the reach of the poorest, an 
the printing and paper are so good that even the fastidious bibliopole woul 
never think of disdaining so presentable a production of his favorite authors 
Presbyterian, Toronto. 

" The number of issues, the variety, and the cheapness are amazing 
Lutheran Observer, Philadelphia. 

CO U PON Tnis Coupon will be received in lieu of 10 cents cash, toward the 
I O C E N TS. pnce of above ELZEVIR LIBRARY costing not less than 50 cents, if 
received on or before May 1, 1885, This offer is to secure your PROMPT response 
and give you a test of the quality of our books. 


A HISTORY of FRANCE from the Earliest Times 

to 1848. By M. GUIZOT and his daughter, MME. GUIZOT DE WITT. Trans- 
lated by Robert Black. With 426 fine illustrations. Complete in eight 
volumes, small octavo, Bourgeois type, leaded. Price per set, in fine 
cloth, beveled boards, gilt tops, &8.00. Also, Cheaper Edition, in 
8 vols., large 12mo., with 04 illustrations. Price $5.OO. 


Intellectual Xife. 

The INTELLECTUAL LIFE. By Philip Gilbert 

HAMERTON. Elzevir Edition, Bourgeois type, leaded, 552 pages. Cloth, 
red edges, 5O cents ; full Russia, gilt edges, very fine, 8S1.OO. 

One of the most charming volumes in the language, and wise 
and helpful as it is delightful. The price of the volume is just one- 
fourth that formerly asked for the Boston edition. 

; ' The print and paper are excellent, and altogether, the vol- 
ume is as pretty to look at as it is entertaining to read." Democrat 
and Chronicle, Rochester, K Y. 

"A book that no one, young or old, should fail to read, and 
especially no young man. It is a marvel of neatness and cheapness." 
Examiner, New York. 

i Hamerton's delightful essays are here put in form that will 
engage the eye of him who loves to see his favorite in pretty dress, 
becoming to $ts excellence. All of the essays are of character to 
entertain the general reader while at the same time the moral or 
lesson of each is so subtly taught as to put itself in possession of the 
reader before he is aware of it." Journal, Indianapolis. 

' 'A charming volume of wise and helpful reading for those 
who keenly appreciate what is finest and noblest in literature." Cen- 
tral Baptist, St. Louis. 

" In a Russian leather suit, and gilded edges, is the best piece 
of book work that we have seen from the press of John Alden. It is 
a book for young men who have heads worth using." Episcopal 
Register, Philadelphia. 

''As attractive as any gift-book of the season. The admira- 
ble essays which it contains are masterpieces of rhetoric and counsel. " 
Free Press, Detroit. 

'* It is not a profound, philosophic treatise, but a plain, enter- 
taining statement of various conditions which enter into the intellec- 
tual life, and of the means by which that life may be reached." 
'Herald, Syracuse, N. Y. 

" We admire the style in which this book is written. The 
statements are simple, direct, and easy to be understood. The lan- 
guage is chaste and the sentiment highly moral and elevating. The 
publisher's part of the work is a marvel of cheapness and beauty com- 
bined, making the volume one of the most suitable gift-books, appro- 
priate for any occasion, that has ever been put upon the market. It- 
is only one of the many books published by Mr. Alden that astonish 
the book-buying world with their striking qualities of great worth at 
littlQCOst." Christian Advocate, Buffalo, N. Y. 

* * ' The Intellectual Life ' of Hamerton is so well known that 
, it needs no commendation and no introduction. It is helpful, sugges- 
\ tive, and quickening. All the chapters are full of practical hints that 
\areto be prized as gold, but those on the physical and moral basis of 
bur intellectual life are worthy a special attention." Lutheran Ob- 
server, Philadelphia. 




LD 21-10m-5,'43 (6061s) 



BIO 1 -