The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 19, May, 1859

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

Author: Various

Release date: March 1, 2004 [eBook #11727]
Most recently updated: December 26, 2020

Language: English


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VOL. III.—MAY, 1859.—NO. XIX.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We read that the late contest for the "American belt," though short, was unusually fierce, and afforded intense delight to the spectators,—in proportion, probably, to its ferocity. By all means let the "profession" take the cestus from the hands of the highwayman and adopt it themselves. It would be one step nearer the glorious days of the gladiators, and would render their combats more bloody and more exciting. Or, better still, let us revive the ancient mode of sparring called the klimax, where both parties "faced the music" without warding blows at all. We scarcely think the ancients were up to "countering," as it is understood now; but they fully appreciated the facetious practice of falling backwards to avoid a blow, and letting the adversary waste his strength on the air. The deceased Mr. Sullivan would hardly recognize his favorite dodge under its classic name of hyptiasmos, or be aware that it was in use by his very respectable predecessor, Sostratus of Sicyon, who was noted for such tricks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One day she began to talk with me.

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

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

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

"Oh, Miss Agnes!" I exclaimed.

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

She interrupted herself, and went on:—

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote A: FROTHINGHAM'S History of Charlestown, p. 286.]

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

[Footnote B: FROTHINGHAM'S History of Charlestown, p. 293.]

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

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

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

"_New York, Sunday, P.M.,

"June 2, 1776_.


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

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

"Your affectionate husband,


* * * * *

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

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

The next is also to his father.

"New York, July 7th, 1776.


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

* * * * *

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

"New York, July 22nd, 1776.


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

"July 23d, P.M.

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

"New York, Aug. 12, 1776

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

* * * * *

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

Head-Quarters, August 14, 1776.

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

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

"Head-Quarters, August 15, 1776.

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

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

"New York, August 16, 1776.


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


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

* * * * *

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

"_Bethlehem, State of Penn.,

"Dec. 24, 1776_.


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

_"Fishkill, State of N. York,

"Jan_. 20, 1777.


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

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

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

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

"Danbury, May 1, 1777.

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

"Danbury, May 13, 1777.


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

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

"Your affectionate daughter,


* * * * *

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

"_Palmer, Thursday even'g,

"July 31, 1777_.


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

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

May 11th, 1779, he writes,—

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

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

* * * * *

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

"Philadelphia, June 5, 1779.

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

"Ever yours."

* * * * *

Philadelphia, June 9, 1779.


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

* * * * *

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

"Windsor, October 7, 1779.


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

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

* * * * *

"Fishkill, October 21, 1779.


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

* * * * *

"Morristown, Oct. 26th, 1779.


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

* * * * *

"Bristol, October 27, 1779.


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

"Ever yours."

* * * * *

"Danbury, December 8, 1779.


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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Better reign in hell than serve in heaven."

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I suppose I am thin-skinned."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Yes,—what has become of her?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greenleaf started up as if he had been galvanized.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"How soon?"

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

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

"Hadn't you better wait?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The flute-player exchanged knowing glances with the seamstresses.

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

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

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

"Oh! indeed!"

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"But the sun shines again to-day."

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

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

Alice dropped her needle and looked steadily at her companion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alice revived.

"Did I speak?" she asked.

"No,—you said nothing."

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

"No,—paid it over yesterday."

"Well, the shares, then?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Bullion's notes for seventeen thousand dollars."

"And Bullion gone to protest."

"He'll come up again."

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

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

Tonsor continued,—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[To be concluded in the next number.]

* * * * *



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

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

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

* * * * *



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

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

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

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

"avesse l' inferno in gran dispetto,"—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

"About six months."

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

"Not one!"

"What did he come for, then?"

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

"Any Americans on board?"

"Yes, thank Heaven, plenty."

"How many are Filibusteros?"

"All of them."

"Bad luck to them, then!"

"The same to you!"

"Caramba" says the Spaniard.

"————," says the Englishman.

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

[To be continued.]



The Professor finds a Fly in his Teacup.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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

Danger to what?—I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In that miserable delusion referred to above, the reverend Aztecs and Fijians argued rightly enough from their premises, no doubt, for many men can do this. But common sense and common humanity were unfortunately left out from their premises, and a layman had to supply them. A hundred more years and many of the barbarisms still lingering among us will, of course, have disappeared like witch-hanging. But people are sensitive now, as they were then. You will see by this extract that the Rev. Cotton Mather did not like intermeddling with his business very well. "Let the Levites of the Lord keep close to their Instructions," he says, "and God will smile thro' the loins of those that rise up against them. I will report unto you a Thing which many Hundreds among us know to be true. The Godly Minister of a certain Town in Connecticut, when he had occasion to be absent on a Lord's Day from his Flock, employ'd an honest Neighbour of some small Talents for a Mechanick, to read a Sermon out of some good Book unto 'em. This Honest, whom they ever counted also a Pious Man, had so much conceit of his Talents, that instead of Reading a Sermon appointed, he to the Surprize of the People, fell to preaching one of his own. For his Text he took these Words, 'Despise not Prophecyings'; and in his Preachment he betook himself to bewail the Envy of the Clergy in the Land, in that they did not wish all the Lord's People to be Prophets, and call forth Private Brethren publickly to prophesie. While he was thus in the midst of his Exercise, God smote him with horrible Madness; he was taken ravingly distracted; the People were forc'd with violent Hands to carry him home…. I will not mention his Name: He was reputed a Pious Man."—This is one of Cotton's "Remarkable Judgments of God, on Several Sorts of Offenders,"—and the next cases referred to are the Judgments on the "Abominable Sacrilege" of not paying the Ministers' Salaries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. The comfortably rich.

2. The decently comfortable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *





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

"Now, really," says the Rev. Mrs. Q., looking up from her bundle of
Sewing-Society work, "you are not going to let Mary marry the

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

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

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

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

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

"But he wears a wig."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

The good Doctor was brushed up for the evening with zealous care and energy; and if he did not look like a pink, it was certainly no fault of his hostess.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(To be continued.)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Ah! si Molière avait connu l'autre!"—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mothers and Infants, Nurses and Nursing. Translated from the French of A Treatise, etc., by DR. AL. DONNÉ, late Head of the Clinical Department of the Faculty of Paris, etc., etc. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, & Co. 1859.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Memoir and Letters of the late Thomas Seddon, Artist, By his BROTHER. London: 1858.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rowse's Portrait of Emerson. Published in Photograph. Boston: Williams & Everett.

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

Barry's Portrait of Whittier. Published in Photograph. Boston: Brainard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Man and his Dwelllng-Place. An Essay towards the Interpretation of
Nature. New York. Redfield. 12mo. pp. 391. $1.00.

Annual of Scientific Discovery; or Year-Book of Facts in Science and Art for 1859, exhibiting the most Important Discoveries and Improvements in Mechanics, etc., etc., etc. Edited by David A. Wells, A.M. Boston. Gould & Lincoln. 12mo. pp. 410. $1.25.

Letters of a Traveller. Second Series. By William Cullen Bryant. New
York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 277. $1.25.

My Thirty Years out of the Senate. By Major Jack Downing. Illustrated.
New York. Oaksmith & Co. 12mo. pp. 458. $1.25.

Tressilian and his Friend. By Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie. Philadelphia.
J.B. Lippincott & Co. 12mo. pp. 372. $1.25.

The New American Encyclopaedia; a Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge. By George Ripley and Charles A. Dana. Vol. V. Chartreuse—Cougar. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 8vo. $3.00.

History of the Institution of the Sabbath-Day, its Uses and Abuses; with Notices of the Puritans, Quakers, etc. By M. Logan Fisher. Second Edition. Revised and enlarged. Philadelphia. J.B. Pugh. 16mo. pp. 248. 50 cts.

Redemption. A Poem. By John D. Bryant, M.D. Philadelphia. John
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Opportunities for Industry and the Safe Investment of Capital; or A
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The Dead Secret. By Wilkie Collins. A New Edition. Philadelphia. T.B.
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The Losing and Taking of Mansoul, or Lectures on the Holy War. By Alfred
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The Big Bear of Arkansas, and other Sketches, Illustrative of Characters and Incidents in the South and Southwest. Edited by William T. Porter. Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson and Brothers. 12mo. $1.25.

Judge Haliburton's Yankee Stories. With Illustrations. A New Edition.
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American Weeds and Useful Plants. Being a Second and Illustrated Edition of Agricultural Botany, etc. By William Darlington, M.D. Revised, with Additions, by George Thurber. New York. A.O. Moore & Co. 12mo. pp. 460. $1.50.

The American Numismatic Manual of the Currency or Money of the
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Dictionary of the United States Congress, containing Biographical Sketches of its Members, from the Foundation of the Government, with an Appendix. Compiled as a Manual of Reference for the Legislator and Statesman. By Charles Lanman. Published for the Author by J.B. Lippincott & Co. Philadelphia. 8vo. $2.00.

A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, adapted to North America, etc., etc. By the late A.J. Downing. With a Supplement, by Henry Winthrop Sargent. New York. A.O. Moore & Co. 8vo. pp. 576. $2.75.

The Roving Editor, or Talks with Slaves of Southern States. By James
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The Chess-Player's Instructor, or Guide to Beginners. Containing all the
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Matrimonial Brokerage in the Metropolis. Being the Narrative of Strange Adventures in New York and Startling Facts in City Life. By a Reporter of the Press. New York. Thatcher & Hutchinson. 12mo. pp. 355. $1.00.

Adam Bede. By George Eliot, Author of "Scenes in Clerical Life." New
York. Harper & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 496. $1.00.

Three Visits to Madagascar, during the Years 1853, 1854, 1856. Including
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The Lady of the Isle. A Romance of Real Life. By Mrs. Emma D.E.N. Southworth. Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 528. $1.25.

The American Home Garden. Being Principles and Rules for the Culture of
Vegetables, Fruits, and Shrubbery. To which are

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