The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Continental Monthly, Vol 2, No 6, December 1862

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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol 2, No 6, December 1862

Author: Various

Release date: April 19, 2008 [eBook #25101]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Joshua Hutchinson and the Online Distributed
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Literature and National Policy.

Vol. II.—NOVEMBER, 1862.—No. VI.



[Pg 641]



On the 10th of April last, upon the recommendation of the President of the United States, Congress offered pecuniary aid to such States as would gradually abolish slavery within their limits. The colonization, from time to time, of the manumitted slaves, with their consent, by the Government, beyond our boundaries, was also contemplated as a part of the system. By the President's proclamation of September last, this offer is still made to loyal States, and practical measures suggested for carrying it into execution. As to the States persisting in rebellion after the close of this year, the President, as a military necessity, has announced a different measure, that is, general emancipation in all such States, with compensation only to loyal masters. Immediate emancipation of all slaves, with compensation for all, costing, as it would, twelve hundred millions of dollars, is now beyond the power of the Government, burdened as it is by an enormous and increasing debt. Nor was such a measure ever wise or expedient. That subject I will discuss hereafter, but will speak now of the plan proposed by the President, and sanctioned by Congress on the 10th of April last.

If this measure seems slow in securing total manumission and colonization, it would be progressive and certain. God works out the destiny of nations by no sudden or spasmodic action. His great and beneficent changes are generally slow and gradual, but when he wills destruction, it is sudden as the lightning's flash, the crash of the earthquake, or the sweep of the hurricane, marked by ruin and desolation. Would we avoid like disasters in solving this stupendous problem, we must follow, in humble faith, the ways of God, and thus by gentle, but constant and successive movements, reach the grand result.

History, however, exhibits a few extraordinary cases, in which man, as an instrument in the hands of Providence, sometimes punishes great crimes, eradicates great evils, and accomplishes great national reforms by acts as sudden as the devastating career of the tempest in sweeping away pestilential vapors. Such may be the case with the revolted States, if they should persist in this wicked rebellion beyond the close of the period of solemn warning.

The coming year may be the great crisis of human destiny. It may see our rivers, like those of Egypt, turned[Pg 642] into blood. It may witness similar loathsome plagues, and pestilence, and fiery hail, and darkness palpable. But may it never behold the dread work of the destroying angel as of old, at the midnight hour, in every dwelling whose lintels were unmarked by the typical blood of the Paschal sacrifice! Avoiding the last dread scene of the great Egyptian drama, may we have, not the Jewish Passover, but the grand American jubilee, when we may hail the South redeemed from the curse of slavery, and forever united with the North, as the one blessed home of universal freedom.

As the South was as earnest as the North in protesting against the landing upon our shores of the first cargo of African slaves, and the continuance of the traffic so long forced upon us under the British flag, and as they all united in excluding the word 'slave' from the Federal Constitution, so will they ultimately coöperate in expunging from our system the institution of slavery.

I shall discuss this question as to the border States under no sectional or party aspect, no influence of passion or prejudice, or any motive but the desire to promote the good of my country. Our national and material interests must be fully considered, as also those great moral principles and intellectual developments which exalt and dignify the character of man. I shall examine the subject inductively and deductively, the facts and the causes.

That a return to the Union with gradual emancipation and colonization by the rebel States would be best for them and for us is certain. But in justice to loyal citizens and communities, and to avoid the danger of foreign intervention by prolonging the contest, it is our duty, after the close of this year, to withdraw the slaves in the rebel States from the culture of the crops used to support their armies, which can only be done by general emancipation in such States persisting then in the rebellion. This is a necessary war measure, designed, like battles or blockades, to suppress the rebellion (alike ruinous to North and South), and which must no longer be permitted to accumulate an immense debt and oppressive taxation, and to exhaust our blood and treasure. The census shows that very few slaves are held by the deluded masses of the South, that the slaveholders are few in number; and full compensation is contemplated by Congress and the President, in all cases of the manumission by us of the slaves of loyal citizens.

By the census of 1790, all the sixteen States then enumerated held slaves, except Massachusetts (then including Maine, although numbered separately), where the institution was abolished by a judicial construction of their constitution of 1780. The following table, from the census, shows the gradual disappearance of slavery from seven of these States, the remaining eight States still continuing the institution:

N. Hamp.1588      
R. Island95238110848175  
N. York21,82420,34315,01710,08875444
N. Jer.11,42312,42210,8517,6572,25467423618

Illinois, by her constitution of 1818, continued slavery in the State, but declared that 'children hereafter born shall be free.' An effort was made in Congress to defeat the admission of Illinois, on the ground that its constitution 'did not conform to the ordinance of 1787.' But it was then decided by the House of Representatives (117 to 54) that 'the ordinance did not extend to States.' In the Senate the vote was unanimous. (See Niles's Register, vol. xix. p. 30.) Rhode Island adopted the Pennsylvania system. Connecticut declared free, at the age of 26, all born after the 1st March, 1784. Indiana pursued in its results the course of Illinois. By the census, Illinois had 917 slaves in 1820, 747 in 1830, 331 in 1840; and Indiana had 190 slaves in 1820, 3 in 1830, and 3 in 1840. New York[Pg 643] in 1799 continued in bondage the slaves then living, but those born after the date of the law were emancipated at the age of 28; and in New Jersey, the males at 25 and the females at 21. This slow and gradual process in States having so few slaves, should inculcate kinder and more indulgent feelings as to those loyal communities where the slaves are so much more numerous, and the time and mode of action so vital.

The great model act of gradual emancipation, drawn by Benjamin Franklin, the great leader on this question, approved by the Quakers, and adopted by Pennsylvania in 1780, liberated all the descendants of slaves born after that date within the limits of the State. To avoid circumlocution, I shall call those born before the date of emancipating laws the ante nati, and those born after the date of such laws, post nati.

I shall consider first the question of gradual emancipation and colonization in connection with Maryland, and afterward apply the same principles to other States.

If the Pennsylvania system of liberating immediately only the post nati, so much more liberal than that of most of the free States, were adopted by Maryland, the cost of manumission there would be very small. In the execution of the emancipation act of Congress in this District, infant slaves were valued officially this year by sworn experts at $50 each. Now by the census of 1860, the infant slaves of Maryland, under one year old, surviving on the 1st June, 1860, numbered 2,391, which, at $50 each, would cost $119,550. This would be the actual expense for the first year in Maryland, but decreasing every year, and ceasing altogether in little more than a generation. Now the total number of slaves under one year of age, born in all the slave States, and surviving on the 1st June, 1860, was, by the census, 113,581, which, at $50 each, would cost $5,679,050, for the first year, and decreasing annually as above stated. The post nati numbered in Delaware 40, in Kentucky 7,281, in Missouri 3,377, and in Virginia 13,850, making the first year's cost as follows:


Now then, applying this principle to Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri, the cost, the first year, would be $654,450, and, if we included Virginia, $1,346,950. This sum, we have seen, would decrease every year. According then to the annual tables, and those of expectancies of life (as calculated for me), the sum of fifteen millions of dollars of United States stock, issued now, and bearing interest at the rate of six per cent, per annum, would make all the border States free States, in the same sense in which Pennsylvania and other Northern free States became so; and less than half this sum, if Virginia should not adopt the measure. The case, then, as regards the border States, presents no financial difficulty whatever. If this plan were adopted, the same just and humane course would doubtless be pursued as in the North, by which the emancipated post nati would remain apprentices until they reached twenty-one years of age, under the same regulations, mainly, as were applicable to white children, bound out by the overseers of the poor. Should the border States consent to proceed more rapidly, I have no doubt the Government would cheerfully pay to loyal masters such additional sum as would give freedom to every slave in all the border States, on the 4th of July, 1876, our first centennial anniversary of the Declaration of American Independence. That day, then, already so distinguished in the annals of humanity, would become the great epoch in the history of our race.[Pg 644]

And now let us examine the cost of all these measures. If the seceded States, including Virginia, should persist in the rebellion until after the close of this year, the sum to be paid the loyal owners of slaves manumitted under the President's war proclamation would probably reach $100,000,000. The emancipation of the post nati, in the four remaining border States, would cost §7,288,132. The manumission in those States, of all the surviving slaves, on the 4th July, 1876, according to the same tables and estimates, would cost a sum equal to $65,000,000, issued now as United States six per cent. stock, making a total for complete emancipation in all the slave States of $172,288,132. This is a smaller sum than four months' cost of the war, whilst wholly and forever removing the discordant element which produced the rebellion, commencing a new and glorious career of material, moral, and intellectual progress, greatly exalting the character of the nation, invoking the blessing of God, securing the future harmony and perpetuity of the Union, and the ultimate fraternity of man. Never, before, would any nation have made so grand an investment in the gratitude of emancipated millions, the thanks of a world redeemed from bondage, the applause of the present age and of posterity—the exchequer of time and eternity. It would live forever in history, and the recording angel would inscribe it in God's eternal archives. Statesmen, scholars, savans, philosophers, poets, patriots, orators, and divines would proclaim its glory. The new drama of man's political redemption would be witnessed by the audience of the world. Music would chant its praise in every clime, and all peoples would swell the chorus. The painter would give it immortality, and the sculptor monuments more enduring than the pyramids, statues more godlike and sublime than ever crowned Grecian Parthenon, or adorned with Parian marble the temples of Augustan Rome. The press would glow with enthusiasm, and the procession of nations march in the grand ovation, not to national airs, or under national banners, but under the world's new flag, and to the music of the world's new anthem of universal freedom and regenerated man.

The census proves that our progress as a nation has been greatly retarded by slavery. If the North had retained, and the South had abolished slavery, their relative positions would have been reversed. Virginia would have taken the place of New York, Maryland of Massachusetts, Delaware of Rhode Island, Kentucky of Ohio, Missouri of Illinois, and Tennessee of Indiana.

I begin with Maryland, because, in proportion to her area, she has greater natural advantages than any one of the thirty-four States, and, if the comparison with the free States is most unfavorable to her, it will be more so as to any other Southern State, as the census shows that, from 1790 to 1860, and from 1850 to 1860, Maryland increased in population per square mile more rapidly than any other slaveholding State.

Maryland borders for two hundred miles the great free State of Pennsylvania, and Delaware one hundred and thirty miles, whose slaves have decreased from 8,887 in 1790, to 1,798 in 1860, and where slavery now exists in name only. Delaware, like Maryland, is also a loyal State, and would be the last to leave the Union, which it was her glory first to enter under the Constitution of 1787. On the west, Maryland is bounded by Preston county, Virginia, containing in 1860 a free population of 13,312, and 67 slaves only. Western Virginia, bordering Maryland on the south, has voted with great unanimity to become a free State, and all appearances indicate that slavery will disappear from Virginia with the close of this year. Maryland then would be surrounded entirely by non-slaveholding States.

Within the heart of Maryland stands this District, where slavery is now[Pg 645] abolished, producing serious losses and embarrassments to the State. The two counties of Prince George and Montgomery, adjoining this District, contained in 1860, 17,790 slaves, being more than one fifth of the slaves of the State. How long can slavery endure, and of what value is it in these counties, where every slave brought or sent to the District is free, and where it is already seriously contended that the language of the Constitution, 'slaves in one State, escaping into another,' cannot apply to this District? With the feeling so intensified already by this rebellion against slavery, it cannot long exist in Maryland. By advancing legislation, and public sentiment, the fugitive slave law is becoming inoperative, and slaves in Maryland are now held by a most precarious tenure. Indeed, unforeseen events, as this terrible rebellion progresses, may sweep slavery from Maryland without compensation or colonization.

But, independent of present or future perils, it is proposed to prove, mainly by the census, that all the material interests of Maryland would be greatly promoted by her prompt acceptance of the offer of Congress. We must consider the area, soil, climate, mines, hydraulic power, location, shore line, bays, sounds, and rivers, and such other causes as affect the advance of wealth and population.

The relative progress of Maryland has been slow indeed. The population of the Union, by the census of 1790, was 3,929,827, of which Maryland, containing then 319,728, constituted a twelfth part (12.29). In 1860, the Union numbered 31,445,080, and Maryland 687,034, constituting a forty-fifth part (45.76). In 1790, the free States numbered 1,968,455, Maryland's population then being equal to one sixth (6.12); but, in 1860, the population of the free States was 18,920,078, Maryland's number then being equal to one twenty-seventh part (27.52). But, if Maryland had increased as rapidly from 1790 to 1860 as the whole Union, her proportion, one twelfth part, would have made her numbers in 1860, 2,620,315; and if her proportional increase had equalled that of the free States, her ratio, one sixth, would have made her population in 1860, 3,153,392. She might not have reached either of these results; but, before closing these articles, it will be proved that, in the absence of slavery, her population, in 1860, would have been at least 1,755,661, or the same per square mile as Massachusetts; and Baltimore, bearing the same ratio to this number as to Maryland's present population, would have contained in 1860, 542,000, instead of 212,000, her present number.

I take the areas from the able report (November 29, 1860) of the Hon. Joseph S. Wilson, then Commissioner of the General Land Office, where they are for the first time accurately given, 'excluding the water surface.' The population is taken from the census, the tables of 1850 and 1860 being compiled with great ability, by the present superintendent, the Hon. J. C. G. Kennedy. I compare first Massachusetts and Maryland, because they are maritime and old States, and both in 1790 had nearly the same population, but, as will be shown hereafter, with vastly superior natural advantages in favor of Maryland.

Area of Maryland, 11,124 square miles; shore line, by tables of United States Coast Survey, viz.: main shore, including bays, sounds, &c., 503 miles, islands 298, rivers to head of tide water 535; total, 1,336 miles.

Area of Massachusetts, 7,800 square miles; shore lines, by tables of United States Coast Survey, viz.: main shore, including bays, sounds, &c., 435 miles, islands 259, rivers to head of tide water 70; total, 764 miles. When we mark the Potomac and its tributaries, the lower Susquehanna, the deep and numerous streams of the Chesapeake, the commercial advantages of Maryland over Massachusetts are vast indeed. Looking at the ocean shore of Maryland, and[Pg 646] also at the Chesapeake bay, the largest and finest estuary in the world, indented with numerous sounds and navigable inlets, three fourths of its length for both shores being within Maryland, and compare this deep and tranquil and protected basin, almost one continuous harbor, with the rock-bound coast of Massachusetts, lashed by the stormy Atlantic, the superiority of Maryland is striking.

Mortality in Maryland, by the late census, viz.: deaths from 1st June, 1859, to 31st May, 1860, 7,370 persons. Same time in Massachusetts, 21,303; making the ratio of deaths to the number living in Maryland, one to every 92, and in Massachusetts one to every 57; and the percentage of deaths in Maryland 1.09, and in Massachusetts 1.76. This rate of mortality for Massachusetts is confirmed by the late official report of their Secretary of State to the Legislature.

As to area, then, Maryland exceeds Massachusetts 43 per cent.; as to the shore line, that of Maryland is nearly double that of Massachusetts, having 68 miles more of main shore, bays, and sounds, 38 miles more for islands, and nearly eight times the number of miles for rivers to head of tide water. As to climate, that of Maryland, we have seen, is far the most salubrious. This is a vast advantage, not only in augmented wealth and numbers, from fewer deaths, but also as attracting capital and immigration. This milder and more salubrious climate gives to Maryland longer periods for sowing, working, and harvesting crops, a more genial sun, larger products, and better and longer crop seasons, great advantages for stock, especially in winter, decreased consumption of fuel, a greater period for the use of hydraulic power, and of canals and navigable streams. The area of Maryland fit for profitable culture is more than double that of Massachusetts, the soil much more fertile, its mines of coal and iron, with the fluxes all adjacent, rich and inexhaustible; whereas Massachusetts has no coal, and no valuable mines of iron or fluxes. When we reflect that coal and iron are the great elements of modern progress, and build up mighty empires, this advantage of Maryland over Massachusetts is almost incalculable. The hydraulic power of Maryland also greatly exceeds that of Massachusetts. Such are the vast natural advantages of Maryland over Massachusetts. Now let us observe the results. Population of Maryland in 1790, 319,728; in 1860, 687,034; increase 367,300. Population of Massachusetts in 1790, 378,717; in 1860, 1,231,065—increase 852,348; difference of increase in favor of Massachusetts, 485,048; excess of Massachusetts over Maryland in 1790, 58,989, and in 1860, 544,031. This result is amazing, when we regard the far greater area of Maryland and her other vast natural advantages. The population of Maryland in 1790 was 28 to the square mile (28.74), and in 1860, 61 to the square mile (61.76); whereas Massachusetts had 48 to the square mile in 1790 (48.55), and 157 to the square mile in 1860 (157.82). Thus Massachusetts had only 20 more to the square mile in 1790, and 96 more to the square mile in 1860. But if the areas of Maryland and Massachusetts had been reversed, Massachusetts, with the area of Maryland, and the population of Massachusetts of 1860 to the square mile, would have numbered then 1,755,661, and Maryland, with the area of Massachusetts and the population of Maryland of 1860 to the square mile, would have had then a population of only 481,728 upon that basis, leaving Massachusetts in 1860, 1,273,393 more people than Maryland. Thus is the assertion in a former part of this article now proved, 'that in the absence of slavery, the population of Maryland in 1860 would have then been at least 1,755,661, and Baltimore at least 542,000.' But, in view of the many other natural advantages of Maryland, as shown in this article, viz.: in climate and salubrity, in shore line and navigable rivers, in fertility of soil, and hydraulic power, in a more central[Pg 647] location for trade with the whole Union, and especially with the West, and nearer supplies of cotton, and, above all, in coal and iron, it is clear, in the absence of slavery, Maryland must have contained in 1860 a population of at least two millions. By the census of 1790, Massachusetts was the fourth in population of all the States, and Maryland the sixth; but in 1860, Massachusetts was the seventh, and Maryland the nineteenth; and if each of the thirty-four States increases in the same ratio from 1860 to 1870, as from 1850 to 1860, Maryland will be only the twenty-fifth State.

These facts all conclusively attest the terrible effects of slavery on Maryland, and this is only one of the dreadful sacrifices she has made in retaining the institution. As to wealth, power, and intellectual development, the loss cannot be overstated.

Nor can manufactures account for the difference, as shown by the still greater increase of the agricultural North-West. Besides, Maryland (omitting slavery) had far greater natural advantages for manufactures than Massachusetts. She had a more fertile soil, thus furnishing cheaper food to the working classes, a larger and more accessible coast, and nearly eight times the length of navigable rivers, greater hydraulic power, vast superiority in mines of coal and iron, a far more salubrious climate, cotton, the great staple of modern industry, much nearer to Maryland, her location far more central for trade with the whole Union, and Baltimore, her chief city, nearer than Boston to the great West, viz,: to the Ohio at Pittsburg and Cincinnati, the Mississippi at St. Louis, and the lakes at Cleveland, Toledo, and Chicago, by several hundred miles. Indeed, but for slavery, Maryland must have been a far greater manufacturing as well as commercial State than Massachusetts—and as to agriculture, there could be no comparison.

But Massachusetts did not become a manufacturing State until after the tariff of 1824. That measure, as well as the whole protective policy, Massachusetts earnestly opposed in 1820 and 1824, and Daniel Webster, as her representative, denounced it as unconstitutional. From 1790 to 1820 Massachusetts was commercial, not manufacturing, and yet, from 1790 to 1820, Massachusetts increased in numbers 144,442, and Maryland in the same time only 87,622. Yet, from 1790 to 1820, Massachusetts, the most commercial State, was far more injured by the embargo and the late war with England than any other State.

It is clear, then, that the accusation of the secession leaders that the North was built up at the expense of the South, by the tariff, can have no application to the progress of Massachusetts and Maryland, because the advance of the former over the latter preceded by more than thirty years the adoption of the protective policy, and a comparison of the relative advance of the free and slave States, during the same period, exhibits the same results.

There is one invariable law, whether we compare all the slave States with all the free States, small States with small, large with large, old with old, new with new, retarding the progress of the slaveholding States, ever operating, and differing in degree only.

The area of the nine free States enumerated in 1790, is 169,668 square miles, and of the eight slaveholding States 300,580 square miles, while the population of the former in 1790 was 1,968,455, and of the latter, 1,961,372; but, in 1860, these nine free States had a population of 10,594,168, and those eight slave States only 7,414,684, making the difference in favor of these free States in 1860 over those slave States, 3,179,844, instead of 7,083 in 1790, or a positive gain to those free States over those slave States of 3,172,761. These free States, enumerated in 1790 and 1860, were the six New England States—New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; and the slave States[Pg 648] were, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky—yet we have seen that the area of those slave States was nearly double that of those free States, the soil much more fertile, the climate more salubrious, as shown by the census, and the shore line, including main shore, bays, and sounds, islands and rivers, to head of tide water, was, for those free States, 4,480 miles, and for those slave States, 6,560 miles. Thus, it is clear, that the increase of population of these slave States should have far exceeded that of those free States. The population of these slave States per square mile in 1790 was six (6.52), and in 1860, 24 (24.66), and of those free States in 1790, was 11 per square mile (11.60), and in 1860, 62 per square mile (62.44). Thus, while the increase of those slave States from 1790 to 1860 was only 18 per square mile, that of those free States was nearly 51 per square mile (50.84), or in very nearly a triple ratio, while in wealth and education the proportionate progress was much greater.

No cause except slavery can he assigned for this wonderful difference, for the colonists of Maryland were distinguished for education, intelligence, and gentle culture. Lord Baltimore was a statesman and philanthropist, and his colony was a free representative government, which was the first to repudiate the doctrine of taxation without representation, and the first to introduce religious toleration. While Maryland has produced many of the most eminent soldiers, statesmen, and jurists, her relative decline in power, wealth, and population, has been deplorable, and is attributable exclusively to the paralyzing effect of slavery.

While the advance of Massachusetts, with her limited area and sterile soil, especially in view of the thousands of her native sons who have emigrated to other States, is one of the wonders of the world, yet, the relative increase of the population of New Jersey, from 1790 to 1860, compared with that of Maryland, is still greater than that of Massachusetts. The law is inflexible wherever slavery disappears. Population of New Jersey in 1790, 184,139, in 1860, 672,035, being an increase of 264 per cent. (264.96) for New Jersey, of 225 per cent. (225.06) for Massachusetts, and for Maryland 114 per cent. (114.88). The ratio of increase per square mile from 1790 to 1860 was: Massachusetts, 48.55 in 1790, and 157.82 in 1860; Maryland, 28.74 in 1790, and 61.76 in 1860; and New Jersey, 22.01 in 1790, and 80.70 in 1860. Thus, while Maryland from 1790 to 1860, little more than doubled her ratio of increase per square mile (28.74 to 61.76), and Massachusetts a little more than tripled her ratio (48.55 to 157.82), New Jersey very nearly quadrupled hers (22.01 to 80.70). It must be conceded, however, that the natural advantages of New Jersey are far greater than those of Massachusetts, whose material and intellectual progress, in defiance of such serious obstacles, now is, and, most probably forever will be, without a parallel. Now the area of New Jersey is but 8,320 square miles; the soil of Maryland is far more fertile, the hydraulic power much greater, the shore line much more than double, viz.: 531 for New Jersey, to 1,336 for Maryland; while New Jersey, with rich iron mines, has no coal, and one third of her area is south of the celebrated Mason and Dixon's line, the northern boundary of Maryland. The comparison, however, which I shall present hereafter, of New York and Virginia, will be the most astounding, while little less remarkable will be found that of North Carolina with Pennsylvania, Kentucky with Ohio, Tennessee with Indiana, Georgia and Missouri with Illinois, Arkansas with Michigan, Alabama and Texas with Iowa or Minnesota, Mississippi and Louisiana with Wisconsin, Delaware with Rhode Island, South Carolina with Maine or Vermont. All, however, prove the same law, and exhibit the same paralyzing effect of[Pg 649] slavery. While the free States have accomplished these miracles of progress, they have peopled seven vast Territories (soon by subdivision to become many more States), immigration to which has been almost exclusively from the North, as compared with the South. It is clear, that if the South retains the institution, it will, before the close of this century, sink into comparative insignificance, and contain less than a sixth in population of the Union. After the calamities which slavery has brought upon the South, the ruin and desolation the rebellion has already accomplished there, who from the North or from Europe would hereafter immigrate to any State retaining the system?—while thousands of the native sons of the South have already fled North or to Europe, and hundreds of thousands will follow.

The slave State which has increased most rapidly to the square mile of all of them from 1790 to 1860, has had a smaller augmentation per square mile than that free State which has increased most slowly per square mile during the same time of all the free States, and the result is the same as to wealth and education also. Under the best circumstances for the slave States, and the worst for the free States, this result proves the uniformity of the rule (like the great law of gravitation), knowing no exception to the effect of slavery, in depressing the progress of States in population, wealth, and education. Would we then in all these advance more rapidly, we must remove slavery and negroism, the retarding cause. I know it is asked, how shall we then cultivate the cotton lands of the South without slaves? This does not apply to the border States; but before closing these letters, I will prove conclusively, by the census and other statistics, what, from long residence in the South, and from having traversed every Southern State, I know to be true, that cotton is now raised there most extensively and profitably by non-slaveholders, and upon farms using exclusively white labor. Indeed the cotton raised on small farms in the South where there are no slaves and exclusively by free white labor, commands a price from five to ten per cent. greater than the slave grown cotton. In Texas, especially, it is a great truth, that skilled, educated, persevering, and energetic free labor, engaged voluntarily for wages or its own use, would, in time, when aided by improved culture and machinery, produce much larger crops and better cotton than now raised by the forced and ignorant labor of slaves, and at a much cheaper rate, at a far greater profit, than any crop now produced in the North, and in a more salubrious climate. In western Texas, counties on the same parallel with New Orleans, and a little north and south, cultivated mainly by Germans without slaves, produced large quantities of the best cotton, and the supply with augmented labor might be increased almost indefinitely. Having thrice visited Texas, and traversed nearly the whole State, north, south, east, and west, I speak from personal knowledge. In one county, I observed first rate wheat, cotton, and sugar cane growing in adjacent fields, and the soil and climate well adapted for all three crops. In Texas, the product of wheat has increased from 41.79 bushels in 1850, to 1,464,273 bushels in 1860, and the number of bales of cotton from 58,072 in 1850, to 405,100 bales in 1860, far exceeding the rate of increase in any other State. (See table of Census, No. 36, pp. 200, 210.) Having very nearly six times the area of New York, Texas, when cultivated by free labor, can produce cotton enough to clothe the people of the world, and supply all Europe with wheat also. The rapid colonization of Texas by freemen ought to add to our wealth, in this decade, a sum equal to the present debt of the United States, and terminate in our favor the effort to supplant us in the supply of cotton for the world.

The isothermals of the great Humboldt (differing so widely from parallels),[Pg 650] which trace the lines of temperature on the earth's surface, prove, as to heat, the climate of the South (running a line from Charleston to Vicksburg) to be substantially the same as that of Greece and Italy—each, in its turn, the mistress of the world. I know, when, the term isothermal was used in my inaugural as Governor of Kansas, it was represented by some of our present rebel leaders, to the masses of the South, as some terrible monster, perhaps the Yankee sea serpent; but I now use the term again in no offence, from its important application to the present case, and knowing that what I now advise would produce incalculable benefits to the whole country, but especially to the South. Indeed, if Texas, with her 274,356 square miles of area, with her salubrious climate, and fertile soil, already worked to a great extent by free labor, were a free State, she would, in time, contain a larger population than any State of the Union. Texas has much more than five times the area of England proper, and, with the same population to the square mile, would contain more than one hundred millions of people. Having, in 1837, offered in the Senate of the United States, and carried, the resolution, recognizing the independence of Texas, first proposing in my letter of the 8th January, 1844, the mode, by compact (alone practicable), by which, on my motion, Texas was admitted into the Union, distinctly advocating, in this letter, the reannexation of Texas, with, a view to secure the ultimate disappearance of slavery and negroism from the whole country, in opposition to the object officially avowed by Mr. Calhoun, to annex Texas for the purpose of perpetuating slavery, I shall, in a future letter, discuss this subject, involving not only our furnishing a certain abundant supply of cheap cotton, but securing the real monopoly of this great product, due to our peculiar soil and climate, and thus ultimately increasing our products and manufactures thousands of millions of dollars, and giving us the control of the commerce of the world.

If Maryland would only initiate this policy, and come now to the rescue of the Union from rebellion and foreign intervention, she would inscribe her name first of all the States on the page of history and in the gratitude of our country and mankind. The position of Maryland upon the Chesapeake, the Potomac, the Susquehanna, and Atlantic, is most commanding. She surrounds the Capitol. It was her own noble donation, and she is its natural guardian and sentinel. Her waters, cutting the Blue mountains and the Alleghany, flow into the Atlantic and Mississippi, thus making her an eastern and a western State. Throughout all her borders, not a citizen would lose anything by the change proposed, but all would be enriched. Take down the barriers of slavery, and a new and unprecedented current of population and capital would flow into the State. Property would rise immensely in value, the price of her lands would soon reach those of Pennsylvania, new towns and cities would spring into life, Cumberland would soon equal the great manufacturing sites of the North, and the railroad to Pittsburg would soon be completed. Baltimore would fulfil her mighty destiny, and the present canal up the Susquehanna, easily enlarged, so as to equal the grand work of New York, would connect her with Lakes Erie and Ontario. That canal already unites the Susquehanna from the Chesapeake with the lakes by the Seneca route (as it should by the Chenango also), and only requires to be enlarged to the extent of the Erie Canal, and the locks also, as wisely proposed in regard to that great work. This would at once develop the great iron and coal mines of the Susquehanna (anthracite and bituminous), supply western and central New York, and the great region of the lakes, and the Chesapeake with these articles, so essential in war and peace. Let the locks of the Erie Canal be enlarged as proposed, and[Pg 651] the ship canal from the Illinois river to Chicago constructed; but in justice to Pennsylvania and Maryland, as vastly important for commerce and revenue, and as a war measure for the cheap construction of iron-clad gunboats in the great coal and iron region, and the defence of the lakes, the Chesapeake, the Delaware, the Albemarle, and of the capital of the Union, let this canal be enlarged also.

While this system of gradual emancipation would greatly promote the material interests of Maryland, and of all the border States, the President does not overstate its influence in crushing the rebellion and restoring peace.

Maryland, the border States, and the South would then indeed commence a new career of progress, by removing slavery and negroism; and their augmented wealth, and that of the whole country, would soon return to the Government, in increased revenue, a sum far exceeding the cost of gradual emancipation and colonization. Indeed, if, as a mere financial question, I was devising the most effective plan for liquidating the national debt and reducing our taxes, it would be thus vastly to augment our wealth and population by adopting this system.

The census of 1860 exhibits our increase of population from 1790 to 1860 at 35.59 per cent., and of our wealth 126.45. Now, if we would increase the wealth of the country only one tenth in the next ten years, by the gradual disappearance of slavery and negroism (far below the results of the census), then, our wealth being now $16,159,616,068, the effect of such increase would be to make our wealth in 1870, instead of $36,593,450,585, more than sixteen hundred millions greater, being more than three times our present debt, and in 1880, instead of $82,865,868,849, over three billions six hundred millions more, or more than seven times our present debt.

Before the close of this letter, it will be shown that the difference, per capita, of the annual products of Massachusetts and Maryland exceeds $120. As to the other Southern States, the excess is much greater. Now, if the annual products of the South were increased $120 each per capita (still far below Massachusetts) by the exclusion of slavery, then multiplying the total population of the South, 12,229,727, by 120, the result would be an addition to the annual value of the products of the South of $1,467,567,240, and in the decade, $14,675,672,400; the first amount being three times our debt on the 1st July, 1862, and the last sum thirty times our debt on that day. This change would not be immediate, but there can be no doubt that, with the vastly greater natural advantages of the South, the superiority of free to slave labor, the immense immigration, especially from Europe to the South, aided by the Homestead bill, and the conversion of large plantations into small farms, an addition of at least one billion of dollars would be made, by the exclusion of slavery, to the value of the products of the South, in the ten years from 1870 to 1880, which sum is more than double our public debt on the 1st July last.

Having considered the relative progress in population of Massachusetts and Maryland, I will now examine their advance in wealth.

By tables 33 and 36, census of 1860, the value of the products of Massachusetts that year was $283,000,000; and of Maryland, $65,583,000. Table 33 included domestic manufactures, mines, and fisheries (p. 59); and table 36, agricultural products. Dividing these several aggregates by the total population of each State, the value of that year's product of Massachusetts was $229.88 per capita, and of Maryland, $95.45, making the average annual value of the labor of each person in the former greatly more than double that of the latter, and the gross product more than quadruple. This is an amazing result, but it is far below the reality. The earnings[Pg 652] of commerce and navigation are omitted in the census, which includes only the products of agriculture, manufactures, the mines, and fisheries. This was a most unfortunate omission, attributable to the secession leaders, who wished to confine the census to a mere enumeration of population, and thus obliterate all the other great decennial monuments which mark the nation's progress in the pathway of empire.

Some of these tables are given as follows:

First, as to Railroads.—The number of miles in Massachusetts in 1860 (including city roads) was 1,340, and the cost of construction $61,857,203 (table 38, pp. 230, 231). The value of the freight of these roads in 1860 was $500,524,201 (p. 105). The number of miles of railroad in Maryland at the same time was 380, the cost of construction $21,387,157, and the value of the freight (at the same average rate) $141,111,348, and the difference in favor of Massachusetts $359,412,883. The difference must have been much greater, because a much larger portion of the freight in Massachusetts consisted of domestic manufactures, worth $250 per ton, which is $100 a ton above the average value.

The passengers' account, not given, would vastly swell the difference in favor of Massachusetts.

The tonnage of vessels built in Massachusetts in 1860 was 34,460 tons, and in Maryland, 7,798 tons (p. 107).

The number of banks in Massachusetts in 1860 was 174; capital, $64,519,200; loans, $107,417,323. In Maryland, the number was 31; capital, $12,568,962; loans, $20,898,762 (table 34, p. 193).

The number of insurance companies in Massachusetts 117; risks, $450,896,263. No statement given for Maryland, but comparatively very small, as the risks in Massachusetts were nearly one sixth of all in the Union.

Our exports abroad, from Massachusetts, for the fiscal year ending 30th June, 1860, were of the value of $17,003,277, and the foreign imports $41,187,539; total of imports and exports, $58,190,816; the clearances 746,909 tons, the entries 849,449; total entered and cleared, 1,596,458 tons. In Maryland, exports $9,001,600, foreign imports $9,784,773; total imports and exports, $18,786,323; clearances, 174,000 tons; entries, 186,417; total of entries and clearances, 360,417 (table 14, Register of Treasury). Thus, the foreign imports and exports abroad, of Massachusetts, were much more than triple those of Maryland, and the entries and clearances very largely more than quadruple. The coastwise and internal trade are not given, as recommended by me when Secretary of the Treasury, but the tables of the railroad traffic indicate in part the immense superiority of Massachusetts.

These statistics, however, prove that, if the earnings of commerce and navigation were added, the annual value of the products of Massachusetts per capita would be at least $300, and three times that of Maryland. In estimating values per capita, we must find the earnings of commerce very large, as a single merchant, in his counting house, engaged in an immense trade, and employing only a few clerks, may earn as much as a great manufacturing corporation, employing hundreds of hands. Including commerce, the value per capita of the products and earnings of Massachusetts exceeds not only those of any State in our Union, BUT OF THE WORLD; and would, at the same rate, make the value of its annual products three hundred millions of dollars; and of our own country, upward of nine billions of dollars per annum. Such, under great natural disadvantages, is the grand result achieved in Massachusetts, by education, science, industry, free schools, free soil, free speech, free labor, free press, and free government. The facts prove that freedom is progress, that 'knowledge is power,' and that the best way to appreciate the value of property and augment wealth most rapidly, is to[Pg 653] invest a large portion of it in schools, high schools, academies, colleges, universities, books, libraries, and the press, so as to make labor more productive, because more skilled, educated, and better directed. Massachusetts has achieved much in this respect; but when she shall have made high schools as free and universal as common schools, and the attendance on both compulsory, so as to qualify every voter for governing a State or nation, she will have made a still grander step in material and intellectual progress, and the results would be still more astounding. She can thus still more clearly prove the fact, establish the law, and give us the formula demonstrating that taxes for the increase and diffusion of knowledge are the best investment for the increase of national, state, and individual wealth. Then all would acknowledge the harmony of labor and capital, their ultimate association in profits for mutual benefit. This social as well as political union, together with the specializing and differentiation of pursuits, and observing duties as rights, would falsify the gloomy dogma of Malthus, founded on the doctrine of the eternal and ever-augmenting antagonism of wages and money, and solve, in favor of humanity, the great problem of the grand and glorious destiny of the masses of mankind. The law of humanity is progress, onward and upward, and will, in time, crush all opposing obstacles. If all—all were fully educated, what miracles would be accomplished, how great the increase of important inventions and discoveries, and how many new and sublime truths in science, sociology, and government would be developed! Would not the progress of the State or nation approximate, then, a ratio depending on its numbers? If all the States had contributed as much as Massachusetts to the treasury and diffusion of knowledge, our whole country, North and South, would have been advanced a century, and this rebellion, based upon the ignorance, imperfect civilization, and semibarbarism produced by slavery, could never have occurred.

By table 35 of the census, p. 195, the whole value of all the property, real and personal, of Massachusetts, in 1860, was $815,237,433, and of Maryland, $376,919,944. We have seen that the value of the products that year in Massachusetts was $283,000,000 (exclusive of commerce), and of Maryland, $65,583,000. As a question, then, of profit on capital, that of Massachusetts was 34 per cent., and of Maryland 17 per cent. Such is the progressive advance (two to one) of free as compared with slave labor. The same law obtains in comparing all the free with all the slave States. But the proof is still more complete. Thus, Delaware and Missouri (alone of all the slave States) were ahead of Maryland in this rate of profit, because both had comparatively fewer slaves; and all the other slave States, whose servile population was relatively larger than that of Maryland, were below her in the rate of profit. The law extends to counties, those having comparatively fewest slaves increasing far more rapidly in wealth and population. This, then, is the formula as to the rate of profit on capital. First, the free States; next the States and counties of the same State having the fewest relative number of slaves. The census, then, is an evangel against slavery, and its tables are revelations proclaiming laws as divine as those written by the finger of God at Mount Sinai on the tables of stone.

For seventy years we have had these census tables, announcing these great truths more and more clearly at each decade. They are the records of the nation's movement and condition, the decennial monuments marking her steps in the path of empire, the oracles of her destiny. They are prophecies, for each decade fulfils the predictions of its predecessor. They announce laws, not made by man, but the irrevocable ordinances of the Almighty. We cannot, with impunity, refuse to obey these[Pg 654] laws. For every violation, they enforce their own penalties. From these there is no escape in the present or the past, nor for the future, except in conformity to their demands. These laws condemn slavery; and the punishment for disobedience is recorded in the result of every census, and finally culminated in the rebellion. Slavery and freedom are antagonistic and discordant elements: the conflict between them is upon us; it admits of no neutrality or compromise, and one or the other system must perish.

We have seen that slavery is hostile to the progress of wealth and population: let us now ascertain its influence on moral and intellectual development.

By table 15 of the census of 1860, the result for that year was as follows: In Massachusetts, value of books printed, $397,500; jobs, 529,347; newspapers, $1,979,069; total, $2,905,916. Same year in Maryland, books printed, $58,000; jobs, $122,000; newspapers, $169,000; total, $350,155. By table 37, census of 1860, Massachusetts had 222 newspapers and periodicals, of which 112 were political, 31 religious, 51 literary, miscellaneous, 28. Maryland had only 57, all political. The whole number of copies issued in Massachusetts in 1860 was 102,000,760, and in Maryland, 20,721,472. Of periodicals, Massachusetts has monthly, 1 political, 10 religious, 18 literary, 7 miscellaneous; quarterly, religious 3, literary 2, miscellaneous 1, and 1 annual. Maryland had none. Not a religious, literary, scientific, or miscellaneous periodical or journal in the State! What terrible truths are unfolded in these statistics! None but a political party press in Maryland, all devoted, in 1860, to the maintenance, extension, and perpetuity of slavery, which had 57 advocates, and not one for science, religion, or literature.

We have seen that the circulation in 1860 of the press in Massachusetts exceeded that of Maryland by more than eighty-one millions of copies. These facts all prove that slavery is hostile to knowledge and its diffusion, to science, literature, and religion, to the press, and to free government.

For schools, colleges, libraries, and churches, I must take the tables of the census of 1850, those of 1860 not being yet published. There were in 1850, in Massachusetts, 3,679 public schools, 4,443 teachers, 176,475 pupils; native adults who cannot read or write, 1,861. In Maryland, 907 public schools, 1,005 teachers, 33,254 pupils; native adults who cannot read or write, 38,426, excluding slaves, to teach whom is criminal.

Thus, then, slavery is hostile to schools, withholding instruction from the children of the poor.

The number of public libraries in Massachusetts was 1,462, volumes 684,015. In Maryland, 124, and 125,042 volumes. Value of churches in Massachusetts, $10,206,000. In Maryland, $3,947,884, of which $2,541,240 is in Baltimore (which has very few slaves), and the remainder is mainly in the seven counties (from which slavery has nearly disappeared) adjoining Pennsylvania.

As to schools, colleges, books, libraries, churches, newspapers, and periodicals, it thus appears that Massachusetts is greatly in advance of Maryland.

Now then, let us contrast loyal Maryland with rebel South Carolina, the author of secession, and assuming for many years to instruct the nation. By the census of 1860, she had a population of 703,708, of whom 402,406 were slaves; and Maryland, numbering 687,049, had 87,189 slaves. Now, by the census of 1860, South Carolina had 45 journals and periodicals, and her annual circulation was 3,654,840 copies. The circulation therefore of Massachusetts exceeded that of South Carolina more than ninety-eight millions of copies, while Maryland exceeded South Carolina more than seventeen millions of copies. So much for South Carolina as a great political teacher. As to schools in 1850: South Carolina had 724 public schools, 739 teachers, 17,838 pupils. Massachu[Pg 655]setts, then, had 158,637 more pupils at public schools than South Carolina, and Maryland 15,416 more pupils at public schools than South Carolina.

The press of Massachusetts, we have seen, circulated in 1860 upward of one hundred and two millions of copies, equal to 279,454 per day, including journals and periodicals, each read, on an average, by at least two persons. This is independent of books and pamphlets, and of the very large circulation of papers from other States and from Europe. What a flood of light is thus shed daily and hourly upon the people of Massachusetts! This intellectual effulgence radiates by day and night. It is the sun in its meridian splendor, and the stars in an ever unclouded firmament. It has a centre and a circumference, but knows no darkness. Ignorance vanishes before it; wealth follows in its train; labor rejoices in its association, and finds its products more than doubled; freedom hails its presence, and religion gives it a cordial welcome; churches, schools, academies, colleges, and universities acknowledge its mighty influence. Science penetrates the secrets of nature, and unfolds each new discovery for the benefit of man. Coal, the offspring of the sun, develops its latent energy, and water contributes its untiring hydraulic power. Machinery takes more and more the place of nerves and muscles, cheapens clothing and subsistence and all the necessaries of life, and opens new fields of industry, and more profitable employment for labor. Steam and lightning become the slave of man. He performs the journey of a day in an hour, and converses in minutes around the globe. The strength of man may not have been much increased, but his power is augmented a thousand-fold. His life may not have been materially lengthened, but, in the march of knowledge, a year now is as a century, compared with man's progress in the darkness of the middle ages. The eternal advance toward omniscience goes on, but is like that of the infinite approach of the asymptote, which never reaches the hyperbolic curve. The onward march of science is in a geometrical ratio, so that in time, the intellectual progress of a day in the future, must exceed that of a century in the past. Knowledge is enthroned as a king, and grand truths and new ideas are his ministers. Science takes the diameter of the earth's orbit as a base line and unit of measurement, and with it spans infinity, and triangulates the nebulous systems amid the shadowy verges of receding space. Its researches are cosmical upon the earth and the heavens, and all the elements minister to its progress. Sink to the lowest mine, or fathom the ocean's depth, or climb the loftiest mountains, or career through the heavens on silken wings, and it is there also. On—on—on; nearer—nearer—still nearer it moves forever and forever, with accelerated speed, toward the infinite eternal. Such are the triumphs of knowledge; and he who diffuses it among our race, or discovers and disseminates new truths, advances man nearer to his Creator. He exalts the whole race; he elevates it in the scale of being, and raises it into higher and still higher spheres.

It is science that marks the speed of sound and light and lightning, calculates the eclipses, catalogues the stars, maps the heavens, and follows, for centuries of the past and the future, the comet's course. It explores the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. With geology, it notes the earthquake, upheaval of mountains, and, with mineralogy, the laws of crystallization. With chemistry, it analyzes, decomposes, and compounds the elements. If, like Canute, it cannot arrest the tidal wave, it is subjecting it to laws and formulas. Taking the sunbeam for its pencil, it pictures man's own image, and the scenery of the earth and the heavens. Has science any limits or horizon? Can it ever penetrate the soul of man, and reveal the mystery of his existence and destiny? It[Pg 656] is certainly exploring the facts of sociology, arranging and generalizing them, and deducing laws. It regards man in his social relations, in families, tribes, and governments, savage, semi-barbarous, and civilized; beginning with the most simple, advancing to the chief, the patriarch, the king, the feudal military, the regal aristocratic, the pure democracy by popular assemblages, as in Athens and the school towns of Massachusetts, rising higher to the central representative, and to the highest, although necessarily more complex, the federal constitutional representative, carrying out the organic division, and the subdivision of legislative and administrative action—regarding the state, the national, and international policy, and, in the lapse of centuries, the confederacy, fusion, and unification of nations. The constitution of empires, with the legislative, judicial, and executive functions, furnish some of the elements of sociology. But we must take the history of man, past, present, and future, note and arrange and generalize the facts, and thence deduce laws and formulas. Sociology is not a mere accidental and disconnected series of facts, but it has laws, although far less known than those appertaining to the physical sciences. The work is commenced, and progresses here and in Europe. But, at this moment, at least in administrative action, Massachusetts is ahead of all the world in the science of sociology.

Man, elevated by knowledge in the scale of being, controls the forces of nature with greater power and grander results, and accumulates wealth more rapidly. The educated free labor of Massachusetts, we have seen, triples the products of toil, per capita, as compared with Maryland, and quintuples them (as the census shows) compared with South Carolina. One day's labor of a man in Massachusetts is equal to three in Maryland, and five in South Carolina. So, if we take our savage tribes, with their huts and tents, their rude agriculture, their furs, their few and simple household manufactures, their hunting and fishing, the average product of their annual labor, at four cents a day each, would be $14.60 a year, or more than a fourth of that of South Carolina (56.91). So that Massachusetts, in material progress, is farther in advance of South Carolina than that State is of the savage Indians. Thus, we have the successive steps and gradations of man: Massachusetts, with free labor and free schools, having reached the highest point of civilization; South Carolina, with slavery and ignorance (except the few), in a semi-barbarous stage; and the lowest savage condition, called barbarous, but nearer to South Carolina than that State to Massachusetts.

Slavery, then, the census proves, is hostile to the progress of wealth and population, to science, literature, and education, to schools, colleges, and universities, to books and libraries, to churches and religion, to the press, and therefore to free government; hostile to the poor, keeping them in want and ignorance; hostile to labor, reducing it to servitude, and decreasing two thirds the value of its products; hostile to morals, repudiating among slaves the marital and parental condition, classifying them by law as chattels, darkening the immortal soul, and making it a crime to teach millions of human beings to read or write. And shall labor and education, literature and science, religion and the press, sustain an institution which is their deadly foe?

But slavery is the enemy of free government. It has commenced and now wages an unholy war against this Union, and thus assails the liberty of our country and of mankind. It has framed a government based on the eternity of chattel slavery, and demands in its name to rule the larger portion of the Union. It seeks to sever the lakes from the gulf, and the mighty Mississippi and its vast arterial tributary system. It asks to be let alone in the commission of all these heaven-daring crimes. In the name of my bleeding[Pg 657] country, of the millions whom it has doomed to death, or wounds, or chains, or misery; in the name of the widows and orphans it has made, whose bitter tears and agonizing sighs now fill our land with sorrow; in the name of the free and blessed government it seeks to overthrow, and the glorious Union it strives to dissolve; in the name of God and man, of religion and liberty, the world arraigns the criminal at the bar of justice. Now is the day of trial: humanity hopes and fears, mankind await the verdict. It is rendered: Guilty upon every charge of the indictment; and heaven records the righteous sentence—Slavery must die, that the Union and liberty may live forever!


The President's order for a draft—aside from its immediate purpose—has an important bearing in a more general view on the education of the public mind. It is an impressive enforcement of the great principle that every able-bodied man in the nation owes military service to his country as sacredly as he owes obedience to his God. This is a principle which probably few persons will hesitate to admit when plainly confronted with it. But the conviction of it has slumbered in the mind of the people during the long years of peace we have enjoyed. There has been almost nothing to remind us of it for fifty years past. The draft is an emphatic proclamation of it. It brings it home to the conscience of the nation; and thousands, who might otherwise have scarcely thought of it, will be led to recognize and to feel it.

It is to be hoped that we shall go further—that the quickened sense of obligation will make us consider what we must do to make the discharge of it of the greatest service to the nation; that we shall learn the lessons of wisdom which the present struggle enforces on us, and see to it, that in the future, by better military organization and instruction, the able-bodied men of the country are rendered more capable of effective military service at a moment's call.

Oar military system, and the enrolment of the people under it, goes indeed upon this principle of the obligation of military service by every able-bodied citizen—and so is a constant testimony to it; but in point of fact it has done comparatively little toward cherishing the military spirit, cultivating the military virtues, and securing an effective military force, ready at any moment for active service in the field. Dreading nothing from foreign nations on this side of the ocean, counting on the obvious policy of the nations of the old world to keep the peace with us, and never dreaming of such a rebellion as has broken out in our midst—we have not only neglected but discountenanced the cultivation of the military spirit. Our men of education and high social position, instead of contributing to make the militia system respectable by the personal performance of military duty, and by using all their influence to give a high tone to the service, have evaded its requirements on themselves, and done all they could to sink it into disregard and contempt: a dereliction of duty as unwise as wrong.[Pg 658]

It is a miserable thing for a country to have to get ready for war when war is forced upon it. This was the case when the rebellion broke out. We were not ready for it. There was indeed no lack of men. Hundreds of thousands responded to their country's call; and the great body of the people were carried away with the delusion that men with arms in their hands are soldiers, and that massing them in great numbers makes them a great army. Wise men—men of military judgment and experience—knew better. But the popular clamor for onward offensive operations prevailed; with disastrous result in the first instance. Not on the whole perhaps to be regretted. It did what nothing else could have done—it dispelled the popular delusion. It did something toward teaching the nation a lesson indispensably necessary to be learned—that a million men with arms in their hands without discipline, are nothing but an armed mob, and that the discipline which alone makes an effective army, implies a great deal more than is gotten in company trainings and regimental parades under our old militia system.

Discipline—discipline—discipline; these are the first, second, and third requisites to make men into soldiers. With it the poorest materials can be made effective. Napoleon made good soldiers of the Italian lazaroni—and a poorer material can scarcely well be conceived. It is Napoleon that said: 'discipline is the first requisite for a soldier—bravery is only secondary.' Indeed the more there is of bravery in an army composed of such men as the New England States and the rural districts of New York send to the war—'reasoning bayonets,' as Napoleon called them, bayonets in the hands of men with heads on their shoulders, and heads that have the habit of doing their own thinking—the more there is of bravery in such a soldiery, the greater the need of discipline. Not only thorough training in the use of arms, but a habit of implicit obedience is indispensable to make good soldiers.

There can be no doubt this war is destined to make us a more military people than we have been before. And good reason we should be. In the first place, because the prevalence of a higher military tone and the maintenance of a more effective military force are indispensable for the national security and defence. Until the millennium comes we shall always be liable to foreign invasions or internal rebellion. In either case there is nothing before us but to fight, and nothing but successful fighting can save us. But how can we fight successfully if we have only raw recruits or an ill-trained militia, and officers better skilled to handle the yard stick than the sword, to marshal a column of figures than a body of men? In the nest place, because the military virtues—courage, fortitude, endurance, subordination, and obedience; the military habits—promptitude, vigilance, order, attention to details; and the physical developments—health, strength, and heightened muscular activity, which come from military discipline—all these are no less valuable as elements of the morale or general character of a nation than indispensable in a merely military view, to a nation's security and success in arms.

To form a disciplined army was the first thing we had to do when the rebellion broke out. It was a great pity, and a sad necessity to have to begin to do it then. We have paid dearly for our folly and neglect. If we had been as well prepared for war as the Swiss always are, it would have saved us millions of treasure, and many score thousands of lives. Let us at least now not fail to learn the lesson of wisdom for our future guidance which the past forces upon us. Let us look out for having a good military organization—a permanent system that shall give us hereafter not the show only but the reality of an effective force; not muster rolls of names of companies, regiments,[Pg 659] brigades, but well-disciplined citizen soldiers, with good officers able to handle and lead them. This is something that can be done—something that ought to be done.

It is a matter for consideration what is the military system that will best keep us ready for war if war be forced upon us, and at the same time with the least detriment or danger to the people or the Government. Is it a large regular force, a standing army, adequate to the defence of the country always on foot and in the pay of the General Government? I think not. The number of regular troops in the service of the Union doubtless will and should be considerably increased. But to keep a large standing army, as many of the great powers of Europe do, is what I hope we shall never come to. I do not so much object to the great expense of it—for that is not worth consideration if it be the only or the best way to provide for the defence of the nation. But it is foreign to the genius and spirit of our institutions, and involves dangers to our liberties. Human nature is human nature—and is pretty likely to continue to be. What history has recorded more than once, it may have to record again.

Shall we then adhere to our present militia system? Not, it is to be hoped, without very great modifications, additions, and improvements. If we do, we shall show ourselves as incapable of learning by our own experience as by the wisdom of history. At the same time, our militia organization furnishes the basis of a military system adapted to the genius of our institutions, fully adequate to our national defence, and one that will save us from the expense and dangers of a standing army large enough for the need of the country in a time of war.

In reorganizing our military system on this basis, I would go to Switzerland for suggestions and guidance. The Swiss system, with certain changes and with some features adopted from the English, is the one most fitted for our country. In Switzerland the motto is: 'No regular army, but every citizen, a soldier.' This motto lies at the basis of their system. But then the system makes every citizen really a soldier. It is a system that has shown itself adequate and admirably adapted for the defence of the country against foreign foes and internal rebellion. Not their mountains merely, but their hearts and arms—and a knowledge on the part of their neighbors what those hearts and arms were capable of—have preserved their independence. And as to internal safety, let any one read the story of the rebellion of 1847, when under Jesuit influence seven of the Swiss cantons formed a secession league (Sonder-Bund), and rose in arms. Immediately an army of more than one hundred thousand men from the loyal cantons was in the field, summoned from their ordinary callings, and in seventeen days the whole struggle was over, despite the strong force and almost impregnable position of the rebels, and despite the menaces of Austria and her offers of help to the insurgents. In seventeen days their citadels were taken, the traitors' league broken, and the loyal army (all but nine thousand men left to see to the expulsion of the Jesuit conspirators and the restoration of order) disbanded to seek their homes and renew their ordinary occupations.

I shall not pretend to go into the details of such a system as we should adopt, but confine myself to such observations as every man of general intelligence, moderately acquainted with military history, is competent to appreciate.

In the first place, there can be no doubt of the importance of a good system for the enrolment of the rank and file, with effective provisions for a certain amount of instruction and drill every year.

The next thing, and which is of still greater importance, is the adoption of a system that shall secure the formation[Pg 660] of proper officers. Dividing each State in the Union into a proper number of military districts, there should be in every district a perfect organization of officers, staff, brigade, regimental, and line—what the French call cadres, the nucleus or skeleton of brigades and regiments—with special provision for their thorough and effective instruction and discipline in all their respective duties. This was a great point in the policy of Napoleon. 'When a nation,' said he, 'possesses neither cadres nor the principles of military organization, it is extremely difficult to organize an army.' Attaching the rank and file to these cadres—whenever and as often as there is need—they can soon be made good soldiers, even if they have had but little training before; and there is no way in which discipline can be so speedily and effectively instilled. The cadre is not only the frame, joint, or articulation, but the system of veins and arteries and nerves of an army. All the military systems of Europe rest upon this principle. To prepare officers fit to be organized into these cadres, they have schools for special instruction—the school of the staff, and of every branch of service—including everything relating to the subsistence and movement of armies.

This brings us to the consideration of a point of fundamental importance. We have no such schools. We have nothing but West Point, and that is nothing to the needs of the country. In every State there ought to be schools to prepare officers for the cadres—special schools for every department of military science and art, either separately or united in one comprehensive institution. The rebels have been wiser than we of the North. For twenty years past, looking forward to this day, the conspirators and traitors now in arms for the overthrow of the Government, and the dismemberment of the nation, have been assiduously training officers. In nearly every Southern State they have had one, and in some States more than one special military school, founded and fostered by the State—beside introducing more or less of military drill into their other schools, and in every way cultivating a military spirit among the people. And they have reaped the advantage of having at the outset of the contest a better supply of competent officers and materials for officers than we had.

But not only should there be such special military schools—one in every State, but there should also be institutions where a sufficient number of young men can get the preliminary education necessary to fit them to enter the schools of officers—an education which, beside being as complete and thorough a literary one as officers ought to have, should also be such in point of military discipline and instruction as shall lay a good foundation for building themselves up and perfecting themselves as officers by subsequent instruction and experience. It is not absolutely necessary to establish institutions exclusively or specially for this purpose. The end might be attained, if sufficient amount of military instruction, drill, and discipline were added to the present course of education in the schools, academies, and colleges of the land. This perhaps would be the best way. It would accomplish the object of preparing a sufficient number of young men to enter the State schools of officers, and would beside tend to diffuse throughout the body of the educated class of the people something of military knowledge and of the spirit of the military virtues—to the great advantage of the nation in any times, but especially in critical emergencies demanding great and heroic sacrifices.

So horrible a thing is war, and so dreadful are its inevitable miseries, that there is at first thought something shocking to many persons, in the idea of making military instruction a part of the system of public education—in cultivating the military spirit, and training the children and youth of a nation to[Pg 661] science and skill in the arts of carnage. The kind and gentle-hearted find little consolation in being reminded that war is one of God's agencies. They acknowledge that the earthquake, the pestilence, the tornado, are His agencies. They find no difficulty in saying, with Wordsworth, in regard to these:

'We bow our hearts before Thee, and we laud
And magnify Thy Name, Almighty God!'

Yet when he adds:

'But Thy most dreaded instrument
In working out a pure intent,
Is man arrayed for mutual slaughter—
Yea, Carnage is Thy daughter.'

they shrink from the thought and the image. It is too dreadful for ready acquiescence.

But there is another side to the subject, and a deeper view. See how the hero preacher, the saintly-hearted Robertson—as pure and tender a spirit as ever breathed—puts the matter:

'Take away honor and imagination and poetry from war, and it becomes carnage. Doubtless. And take away public spirit and invisible principles from resistance to a tax, and Hampden becomes a noisy demagogue. * * * * Carnage is terrible. Death, and human features obliterated beneath the hoof of the war horse, and reeking hospitals, and ruined commerce, and violated homes, and broken hearts—they are all awful. But there is something worse than death. Cowardice is worse. And the decay of enthusiasm and manliness is worse. And it is worse than death—aye, worse than a hundred thousand deaths—when a people has gravitated down into the creed that the wealth of nations consists not in generous hearts, in national virtues, and primitive simplicity, and heroic endurance, and preference of duty to life—not in MEN, but in silk and cotton, and something they call 'capital.' Peace is blessed—peace arising out of charity. But peace springing out of the calculations of selfishness is not blessed. If the price to be paid for peace is this, that wealth accumulate and men decay, better far, that every street in every town of our country should run blood.'

Now it may be that it is God's purpose to save us by the war we are now engaged in from such a 'gravitation'—to save us by war from calamities far worse than any that war can bring upon us. But be this as it may, one thing we must all admit, that horrible as war is, and dreadful as are its miseries, no nation is fit to be a nation that will not defend itself by arms, if war is forced upon it. And no nation is safe, or worthy of a place among nations, if it is not prepared to maintain its existence against invasion from without or rebellion from within. Beside, to be prepared for war is one of the best securities against war.

But the best, the only sufficient foundation for this preparation, must be laid in the education of the young—an education not exclusively military for any, but while professionally military for a sufficient number, yet as to the rest, military in just and due proportion—an education which, as John Milton says, 'fits a man to perform justly, skilfully, and magnanimously, all the offices, both public and private, of peace and of war.' 'The nation,' says Wordsworth, in the preface to one of his grand odes, 'the nation would err grievously, if she suffered the abuse which other states have made of the military power, to prevent her from perceiving that no people ever was or can be independent, free, or secure, much less great in any sane application of the word, without martial propensities and an assiduous cultivation of the military virtues.'


'Those great spirits, that went down like suns
And left upon the mountain-tops of death
A light that made them lovely.'
[Pg 662]


I love Cambridge, and must write very kindly about it. For in the first place, I met there with some of the best men I have ever known. And secondly, it has educated some very noted geniuses and fine poets. I do not envy the American who can linger in its cloisters, ramble in the college walks and survey the colleges themselves with an unmoved spirit. Out of its courts marched Bacon, Newton, Milton, and Jeremy Taylor; Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Byron issued from it but the other day, for what are a few years in the biography of genius? And was it not but yesterday that Tennyson wrote his prize poem there? It was hallowed ground to me, worthy of not unmixed reverence, but of much reverence was it worthy.

I went straightway to the residence of Dr. Whewell, master of Trinity College, and he received me very cordially. His works are well known in America, and I knew them, and directly made complimentary allusions to them, which, did not displease him. 'Sir, you are welcome,' he said, pressing my hand. 'You are very welcome, sir.' He proceeded to talk of America, and spoke of Edward Everett, and his visit to Cambridge in 1842, and of the speech he made. Everett made a decidedly favorable impression. 'We had a visit from another of your countrymen, last year,' said Dr. W. 'Parker of Boston—Theodore Parker. A man of genius, but I believe a rationalist in religion. He saw but few of our men, and, indeed, we were not disposed to receive him. It would have created a scandal. But he is a very clever man.' After tea, I repaired with the Doctor to his study, and had a pleasant chat with him about American literature. We discussed the merits of Longfellow, Bryant, Irving, Cooper, Channing, Bancroft and Emerson. Of the last-mentioned writer, he said, 'He is not like Carlyle, though the newspaper critics are constantly associating them together. I have no sympathy with his opinions, but I am refreshed by reading him. He is a strong man, sir, and your country will be proud of him. Amongst our young men here his opinions are making great strides. 'Tis the vice of the age. Germany has had the disease, and is near recovery. England and America have caught the epidemic. But pantheism, sir, will not live, though here and at Oxford the students are reading Hegel, Strauss, Bruno-Bauer, and Feuerbach. At Oxford,' he added, 'these pernicious doctrines are demoralizing the university. Blanco White and John Sterling were but the pioneers of a large party of university men, who are preparing to avow their disbelief in Christianity.' The Doctor was right. Francis Newman, brother of the Puseyite Newman, who seceded to the Romish Church, and belongs now to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri,—Froude, brother of the deceased Puseyite Froude,—Foxton, an ordained priest of the Church of England, and Travers, another priest and vicar, have quitted Oxford and the Church, and published heretical works, or are preaching heretical doctrines; while, according to the testimony of Archdeacon Wilberforce, and Dr. Vaughan of Harrow, the doctrines of the German theologists have been embraced by half the undergraduates there.

The town of Cambridge is uninteresting. The streets are narrow and dismal, nor have they any ancient buildings or architectural oddities, except the Round Church, to arrest the stranger's attention, as Shrewsbury and Chester have. The surrounding country is level as a prairie, broken only toward the southeast, by the ridiculous dustheaps called the Gog-Magog Hills. These hills belong to the curiosities of Cambridge,[Pg 663] and are as famous in university annals as the colleges themselves. Robert Hale scarcely joked when he said to a friend who visited him during his residence at Cambridge, and who asked him for these hills, 'When that man yonder moves out of the way, you will see them.' They are four miles from the town, and on the estate of the Godolphin family, of which the Rev. Sydney Godolphin Osborne, the S. G. O. of the London Times newspaper, is the present representative.

I was greatly disappointed with the Cam. It is a narrow, muddy stream, varying in depth from five to twenty feet. There is a deep pool near the village of Grantchester, two miles from the town, in which Byron used to bathe, and which bears his name. I would have the stranger that visits Cambridge go to see Grantchester churchyard. It is reached by a pleasant walk across fields, and is really a beautiful spot. Many students who have died at college are buried here. Another walk of three miles along the old coach road, leading to Oxford, will bring him to the Madingley, with its park and mansion, the seat of the Cotton family. Before he leaves this part of the country he should also visit Ely, distant twelve miles, and see the venerable cathedral.

There are seventeen colleges and halls at Cambridge. The halls enjoy equal privileges with the colleges, which is not the case at Oxford. The colleges are: Trinity, St. John's, King's, Queen's, Jesus, Corpus Christi, Caius (pronounced Keys), Sydney-Sussex, Magdalene (pronounced Maudlen), Christ's, Pembroke, Emmanuel, St. Peter's and Downing. The halls are: Trinity, Catherine, and Clare. Bacon, Newton, Byron, Tennyson, and Macaulay were of Trinity College; Milton was of Christ's, Gray of Pembroke, Wordsworth of St. John's, and Coleridge of Jesus. There is an amusing anecdote of Byron current in the university, which I do not remember to have seen in print. The roof of the library of Trinity College is surmounted by three figures in stone, representing Faith, Hope, and Charity. These figures are accessible only from the window of a particular room in Neville's Court, which was occupied by Byron during his residence at college. The adventurer after getting out of this window has to climb a perpendicular wall, sustaining himself by a frail leaden spout. He has then to traverse the sloping roof of a long range of buildings, by moving carefully on his hands and knees, at the imminent risk of being precipitated fifty feet into the court beneath. When the library is gained, a stone parapet has to be crossed, a bare glance at which sends a thrill through the spectator who surveys it from below. This feat Byron performed one Sunday morning, while the heads of the dons and dignitaries were yet buried in their pillows, 'full of the foolishest dreams.' He had abstracted three surplices from the college chapel, which he bore with him along the dangerous route I have described. When the bell, at eight o'clock, rung out its deep-toned summons to the usual morning devotions, and the fellows and undergraduates hurried on their way to the chapel, they were startled to behold Faith, Hope, and Charity clad in surplices which reached in snowy folds to their feet, while their heads were surmounted, helmet-wise, with bedchamber waterewers. An inquiry was instituted by the indignant college authorities. A few select friends knew, and the rest of the college guessed, that Byron was the author of the outrage, but it was never brought home to him. No undergraduate beholds these statues now without a hearty laugh.

When I was at Cambridge, the poet's statue by Thorwaldsen had just been rescued from the cellar of the London custom house, where it had lain for years amongst rubbish of all kinds, because the bigots of Westminster Abbey would not permit it to be erected in the Poet's Corner of that edifice. Dr. Whewell, much to his honor, though he is[Pg 664] no admirer of Byron's poetry, procured it for the library of the college, where the poet was educated.

Many college anecdotes are related of Coleridge in Gilman's unfinished life of him. (When will it be finished?) These, though they are not much known in this country, I shall not repeat; but there is one current at Cambridge which has never yet been published, from deference to the feelings of the descendants of a vain, but otherwise worthy man. Dr.——, the master of —— College, it was known, aspired to a bishopric, but for a long time he had been disappointed, though he had assiduously paid court to the Tory ministry, and intimated, in various ways, that he would have no objection to pronounce the nolo episcopari. Was not Dr. Mansell, the master of Trinity, bishop of Bristol? Watson, bishop of Llandaff, the apologist for the Bible, never strove harder for the archbishopric of York than did Dr. —— to get appointed bishop of any see that might fall vacant. It happened that the see of Durham, the richest in all England, worth at that time, $400,000 a year, did fall vacant, and Coleridge, with borrowed money, posted up to London. In two days the master received a letter, offering him the bishopric—it was a private, friendly letter from the first Lord of the Treasury—on condition that he would support the ministry in more liberal measures than they had yet resorted to. He assembled his friends, and communicated the happy tidings. The next mail conveyed to the Prime Minister his grateful acceptance of the dignity. He was liberal at heart, and had always been so. His vote would be always at the service of the minister and his party whether in or out of office. The pleasing illusion was soon dissipated, and Dr. ——- never held up his head again. Coleridge wrote the Prime Minister's private and friendly letter.

I gathered anecdotes of Bulwer, Macaulay, and Tennyson, that are perhaps not worth the telling. Bulwer was of Trinity Hall. He went one day to bathe in the Cam at Grantchester, and was robbed of his clothes. Before he could emerge from the water, the future dandy author of Pelham had to borrow a suit of corduroys from a rustic. He crept down by-lanes till he reached his rooms, but a friend met him, who teased him into an explanation, and afterward spread the story. He was noted at Cambridge for his foppishness, and for wearing scented kid gloves. Tennyson was manly there, and gentlemanly, as he always is. I shall have something to say about him hereafter.

Connop Thirlwall, the present bishop of St. David's, one of the translators of Niebuhr's 'History of Rome,' and author of the best history of Greece that had appeared before the publication of Mr. Grote's magnificent work, used to say of the fellows of Trinity, when he was tutor of that college, that they were the wittiest companions when drunk, that he had ever met with. It is certain that, thirty years ago, they used to drink to excess, and the Combination Room was the scene of numerous debauches that would have discredited a common tavern. Everybody has heard of Professor Person's reputation in this way. He was a famous compounder of whiskey toddy, and under its influence scattered puns and witticisms in the purest attic Greek. Since his day, the drinking custom is abated, and even Dr. Thirlwall would find in the present fellows of Trinity College a race of men altogether unlike those who frequented the Combination Room, and called for their third bottle, in his time.

I was at much pains to acquire correct information respecting the system of education pursued in the university. The son of poor parents, I found, has but a small chance of receiving classical instruction in England. At Cambridge the sizars, and at Oxford the servitors, form the lowest grade of students. Formerly menial tasks were imposed upon them, and amongst other duties, they had to wait upon the fellows of their colleges[Pg 665] at the dinner table—to bear the dishes and fill the goblets. This custom has long since been discontinued; nor are the sizars of Trinity and St. John's any longer distinguished from the great body of the students by any external mark of inferiority. At the small colleges, however, they wear different gowns, and are recognized without difficulty in the street. Of course, in aristocratic England they are shunned by the richer students. Their expenses for the first year of their college residence ought not to be over $300, and are frequently kept below $200 by the prudence of the individual. If, at the first annual examination of the college they obtain a place in either the first, second, or third classes, they are entitled to receive assistance from the college funds. So privileged, they pay no rent for their rooms, and their commons, or food, is furnished to them free of expense. They are, however, made to feel the humiliation of their position. They dine off the remnant dishes of the fellows' table, after the latter have risen. There is certainly no lack of provisions, which are of a luxurious quality, and are cooked in the best style. The head cook of Trinity College receives a salary of $3,500 a year, and has about thirty assistants.

The educational system pursued at Cambridge is open, I think, to one very grave objection. Unless the student is tolerably wealthy, he is deprived of the advantages which his richer companions enjoy. The brief lectures—of one hour's duration only—delivered daily by the college tutors to a crowd of undergraduates, are ill calculated to benefit the striving individual student. As far as the college is concerned, the youth is left to himself. If he cannot afford the expense of a private tutor, his attainments are due to solitary application, and he is self taught within the very walls of a college. The private tutors reap a rich harvest from this careless system. They are usually members of the university who have recently taken their first degree, and prefer the large recompense of tuition to the miserable stipend of a curacy. To each of their pupils—and a popular private tutor has usually eight or ten—they devote one hour daily, and their charge is $70 for the term. As a term sometimes expires at the end of seven weeks, they receive about $2 an hour. This sum is beyond the poor scholar's means, and he has to run an unequal race at the examinations with his more fortunate competitor.

If appearances are to be trusted, the Trinity undergraduates are not untiring students. They seem to pass their days and nights in the pursuit of pleasure. The great evil of the English universities is the credit system, and though Dr. Whewell endeavored to show me that it was thoroughly discountenanced by the college authorities, he did not succeed in convincing me that they were dealing properly with the difficulty. A student, in defiance of all the restrictions imposed upon his intercourse with the tradesmen of the town, may contract debts to almost any amount. It is notorious that parents are brought to the verge of ruin every year by their sons' misconduct at college, unless they choose to contest the demands of the tradesmen in a court of law, by pleading the infancy of the debtor when he has not attained his majority. The college regulations demand that every tradesman licensed by the university—and with none other is the student authorized to deal—shall send to the tutor, at the expiration of each term, the bills of the respective undergraduates who have been his customers. From the position occupied in society by the friends of the student, the tutor is enabled to judge whether he is exceeding his income. The expenditure which would be excessive for the son of a clergyman, with a small living, would be moderate for the heir to a peerage. It is further required that the expenses of each term shall be paid before the undergraduate recommences his studies, and any tradesman who is known to withhold from the tutor's knowledge any debt, or portion of[Pg 666] a debt, owing him by any student, is immediately deprived of his license. Nevertheless, all but a few of the more wealthy tradesmen conduct their transactions with the students on the understanding that these regulations are to be violated at pleasure. Thus, from term to term, debt is added to debt, until the student is preparing to leave the university. Then the tradesman becomes eager for a settlement. The student endeavors to put him off with promises. The tradesman hurries to a lawyer. A writ is issued, judgment is delivered, and the student has to fly from the university without taking his degree, in order to escape a prison. Or, if he is in his minority, proceedings are commenced against his father, who, if he is a proud man, will rather pay the bill than contest it, though the entire amount will seriously impair the fortunes of his other children. Or he may deny his liability, plead that his son is a minor, and that the articles furnished were not necessaries. In this way, it has been argued by barristers on the plaintiff's side that wine, cigars, jewels, and hired horses were necessaries of life, and the presiding judge has sometimes ruled on one side that they were, and sometimes on the other, that they were not. Hundreds of young men have had their prospects in life blasted by this system, and yet, no cure has been found. I heard of one instance, and it was only one of many nearly similar, where an undergraduate had contracted debts amounting to upward of $10,000 beyond his ability to pay. Of this sum, I recollect some of the items: $1,000 was for cigars, $3,000 for wine, $2,500 for the hire of horses, $1,900 for rings, pins, and other trinkets, and only $200 for books. He had attained his majority, and was sent to prison, his father resolutely refusing to pay his debts. He languished in prison for two years, and died there.

Nor does it always follow that the undergraduate may be saved from this disgrace and ruin by firmness and honorable principles. He is, for the first time in his life, his own master. The superintendence of the college tutor amounts to just nothing at all. Immediately he arrives at the university, he is besieged by tradesmen. It is particularly impressed upon him, that money is not necessary to conclude a bargain. He can pay when he likes. Three years hence will do. The youth is sorely tempted. He finds his new college acquaintance sailing under press of canvas, over the sea of extravagance. They give splendid wine parties, and invite him to the jovial board. He is bound to return the hospitality of these prime fellows. One extravagance leads to another. The port and sherry, that he could afford, shine no more upon his table. He drinks hock now, and claret, and princely champagne, at two dollars and fifty cents a bottle. He smokes cigars at $10 a pound. He is living like a gentleman. Let the poor sizar toil over musty books; he will have a race horse. 'Tis a fine life. How much better than a schoolboy's. He speaks of his father as the governor, and talks in a flash manner of the girls he is acquainted with. He thinks he will marry one of them, but his choice is not determined. The college dons, professors, tutors, fellows, know the temptations, know the risk, know the ruinous goal, but no one arrests his career. Which is most to blame; the raw, undisciplined boy, or the evil university system?

I passed a rare time at Cambridge. What delight it was in those cold mornings to take a bracing walk into the country, and looking back over miles of level land, to behold the chapel of King's College, and the tower of St. Mary's church, which had been the land beacons of aspiring students for so many generations! I verily believe that the chapel of King's College is the finest piece of modern architecture in the world. It is a poem in stone! Teaching so much—not of this earth, only; least of this earth, perhaps. I never wearied of walking in it, and around it, repeating[Pg 667] Wordsworth's sonnet, and feeling that 'for a few white-robed scholars only,' it was not built; but as an utterance of man's spirit, more fervent than he could express in the articulate speech of man. The soul of the individual, nurtured by any semblance of culture, who can stand unmoved beneath that fretted roof, must be cold as the frozen zone. It remains with me, like Niagara.

As a college, Trinity is the most interesting. The chapel is very inferior to that of King's, but it is hallowed by the memory of Newton. Roubiliac's statue of the philosopher is the chief object of interest, and the Trinity men do not envy the scholars of King's their chapel, when they behold that statue. The dean of Trinity, the Rev. W. Carns, author of the 'Life of Simeon,' is the present possessor of the rooms once occupied by Newton. The little watch tower where he pierced the heavens with his telescope is still standing. One ascends it, and surveys the firmament, not without a reverential feeling. Cambridge abounds with the associations of genius. Chaucer studied here, and at Oxford also, it is said; and in treading the great court of Trinity, one cannot help thinking of Bacon. Milton's mulberry tree is yet standing, and puts forth a few fresh leaves every spring in the garden of Christ's College. His manuscript of 'Comus,' partly in his own writing, partly in that of his amanuensis—of one of his daughters, it is probable—is in the library of Trinity College, and may be seen by the curious. The spirits of these venerable men still haunt the scenes of their studious youth, and with their mighty shadows brooding over us, what is the value of dollars and dimes?


'Phil, keep the office door shut and the windows open. None of your sacrilegious games of marbles on the front steps. Behave yourself respectably, and wash bottles till I come back, or I'll turn you off to-morrow. Have an eye to Mrs. Thompson's gate, and if anybody should call for me, you know where I am to be found, I suppose?

Phil responded by a grinning nod, the question was superfluous. It is an attribute of boys of fourteen that they know everything they should not know, and if there be one of the class who excels his fellows in useless knowledge, my Phil is that lad. Apparently busied forever in those light but continuous labors which pertain to an office boy, he contrived to keep a far more watchful eye upon my movements than I was able to do upon his, and could tell (probably did) exactly in what direction I usually bent my steps after the above formula, whether I walked on the right or left hand side of the street, and how soon I reached my destination—the number of times my tender knuckles came in contact with a certain hard green door, and the reception that awaited me inside it, the length of my stay—the only thing he had a legitimate right to know—and the mien, cheerful or dejected, according to the fortunes of the day, with which I returned to the empty office and full bottles, over which he was supposed to mount guard during my absence.

Preferring not to notice the peculiarity of my assistant's manner, as it might involve awkward explanations, I closed the door of his prison with an authoritative bang, that shook the slate outside it, and strode with hasty steps down the village street. There was no occasion[Pg 668] for hurry, the business I had on hand was not of a kind to demand it, and had been pending a reasonable time; nor would any more haste on my part be lively to advance it much, but would rather verify the old proverb, of 'less speed.' I therefore walked fast purely as a matter of principle, in the hope, that the village dames, who I knew were watching my progress from behind the green paper curtains of their 'sittin' room' windows, might possibly judge from my speed, that I had been called to a patient at last. Vain hope! idle precaution! every one of those astute matrons knew at least as well as myself the errand upon which I was bound, and far better than I, as I own in all humility, the state of health in the neighborhood, which precluded all possibility of any professional exertion on my part.

And here I may remark, literally en passant, that the town in which I had chosen to locate was salubrious to a painful and unnatural degree, the very last place in the world for a young physician in ordinary circumstances to seek his fortune, but my circumstances were peculiar—it was not so much fortune that I sought—in short, I had my reasons—and a large practice would have greatly interfered with my more serious occupation. Still, I do not deny that a slight modicum of professional business, just to fill up the intervening time and save appearances, would not have been amiss, and I had been in fact rather anxiously looking for some symptoms of the sort for a considerable time, without any result at all. The inhabitants all took Hall's 'Journal of Health;' they cherished Buchan's 'Domestic Medicine,' they studied the 'Handbook of Hygiene;' they were learned in the works of Fowler. Cold water was cheap and plentiful, they used it externally and internally—exercise was fashionable and inevitable, where every lady was her own help, and every gentleman his own woodsawyer; food was just dear enough to make surfeits undesirable, and medicine was so unpopular that nobody before me ever ventured to open a drug store; the old ladies dispensed a few herbs privately, and that was the end of it. People did not seem to die; if anything was the matter with them, they perseveringly 'kept on,' till it stopped, the disease retiring in despair from their determination to be well. Fat parties, who ought to have been dropsical, were not so at all—they grew fatter, and flourished like green bay trees; lean persons, threatening to go off in a decline, declining to do so, remained. Adventurous little boys, falling from the tops of high trees to the stony ground, sustained no injuries beyond the maternal chastisement and brandy-and-brown-paper of home; babies defied croup and colic with the slender aid of 'Bateman's Drops,' and 'Syrup of Squills,' dispensed by a wise grandma, and children of mature years went through the popular infant disorders as they went through their grammars, and with about as much result; mumps and measles, chills and chicken pox, prevailed and disappeared without medical assistance, and though all the children in the village whooped like wild Indians, no anxious parent ever thought it necessary to call in a physician. There was but one in the place before my advent, a comfortable, elderly man, who selected the profession, as practised in his native town, because it interfered less than any other with his punctual habits of sleeping and eating, and was a gentlemanly sinecure, possessing peculiar privileges. No patient of his ever dreamt of calling him out at night, or keeping him away from his meals; the person to be ill, chose a convenient hour between dinner and tea, and gave respectful notice at a reasonable time beforehand. No extraordinary accidents, requiring wonderful feats of surgery, were ever permitted in his practice; no stranger shocked his nerves by dying suddenly at the village hotel; no mysterious diseases, unknown of science, baffled his skill, or[Pg 669] defied it; the locality was too far south for bronchitis and consumption, too far north for poisonous malaria fevers and coups de soleil; and being inland, just inside the line of the coast scourges of cholera and yellow Jack. In short, to quote the only epitaph in the village churchyard, 'Physicians was in vain.'

It was a beautiful morning on which I took my way through this healthful town—I mean, of course, professionally speaking, a very fine morning, indeed. The air was warm and damp, as if laden with pleurisy and ague; the ground soft and oozy, seemed a sure thing for rheumatism and influenza. The sun unseasonably hot; fever and rush of blood to the head. Old Captain Hopkins is constitutionally inclined to gout—he never had a twinge through the rainy season, but it is just possible that this may settle him. Mother Hawks is rheumatic, is she? if she is about, disseminating scandal to-day, I shall be avenged for her slandering me; and the Sessions girls come out to get the news in all weather. That vicious child of Mrs. Thompson, after keeping me in suspense four months, will probably 'croup up' to-night, and its grandmother Banks is off on a visit, and Dr. Coachey never goes out after dark, and I live right over the way! With these encouraging reflections, and a grateful glance upward, where a copper-colored sun blazed through a sea of purple mist, I pursued my way to the mansion of Colonel Marston, father to Miss Dora Marston, to whom I am honorary cousin.

Colonel Marston's house is situated on a fine grassy knoll, shaded by handsome trees, and inclosed with a well kept hedge; it is just out of reach of village eyes and ears, but not beyond the pale of village curiosity. Anybody there can tell you by what right I address good Mrs. Marston as my aunt, and pretty Dora as my cousin, while being not in the least related to either. My dear mother, now deceased, when a young widow, possessed of some property and a little boy, married Miss Dora's uncle, and became her aunt, thus making me, as I consider, virtually her cousin. At any rate, for twenty years I have been a frequent visitor at the dear old house, recognized in my cousinly capacity by the family, and treated accordingly, and for more than half that time like a wolf in sheep's clothing, have I sought the avuncular mansion with an eye to Miss Dora, a fact she seems surprisingly unconscious of, considering how many times, by hint and innuendo, by sigh and look, and tender courtesy, and honest speech, I have shown her the place she occupies in my mind, and given her, as it appears, the right to drive me out of it, if possible. Tom Hayes is her favorite instrument of torture. He is the young lawyer of the place, as I am the young doctor, and is advancing about as fast in his profession. He is considered a good-looking fellow, though I don't see it, and has undoubtedly a fine voice, upon which pretext he spends about half his time twanging away upon Dora's guitar, and waking Col. Marston from his afternoon nap. It would look better, I must say, for a young man in his position, to be at home, waiting for practice; but I have heard that he says the same of me, and perhaps with equal justice. At all events, it was hard to find his horse already tied to the gate post on that particular spring day, when warm and weary, I arrived on the battle ground, prepared to put my fate to the touch at once.

On one side of the house lay the broad white public road, from which one deviated to approach this earthly paradise; on the other, a narrower private one, a mere cart track, grass-grown, cool, and shady, leading down to the mill stream that ran behind the grounds, brawling and seething and swelled by the spring rains into quite a respectable torrent. Down this path Dora always took me to walk when she wanted me to say anything uncommonly foolish, which could serve her as food for laughter, and down this path again we must always go when[Pg 670] that villain Hayes was of the party, and she wanted to play me off against him, or him against me, or both against her womanly vanities. Accordingly I found them equipped for a walk, loitering on the front piazza, not waiting for me, however, as Dora took pains to explain, and as I could readily believe, for they were flirting over a new song. Not in the best of humor, I took the offered seat near them, wiped my heated brows, and advised my fair cousin not to saunter through the damp woodland paths on this most unhealthy morning. 'I advise you as a physician, mind you,' said I, to give weight to the opinion which might be denied it in my cousinly capacity; but she received it with utter contempt and ridicule of my pretensions, gladly joined by Mr. Hayes, whose white teeth gleamed wolfishly behind a long black mustache, at my expense. We had shaken hands with great cordiality; I had inquired after his clients, he had professed interest in my patients; I had asked him how he had enjoyed the ride with Miss Julia Stevens last evening, and he had just remembered seeing me, as he drove past Mrs. Hedge's in the front garden with Anna Hedge; a reminiscence which went a thought too far, for I had been, at the time of which he spoke, seated on this very piazza beside the innocent young lady opposite, who now showed no tokens of the sweet confusion, with which she listened to my broken confidence last night, and only glanced from one to the other with guileless interest and wondering simplicity.

Now I had said enough to her on that occasion to make me feel some anxiety concerning her demeanor to-day, and some resolution concerning my own. I had a right to expect, after the way in which she then treated me, that if my cheeks burned and my ears tingled, and my heart beat faster, at the remembrance of that sweet meeting, hers would at least betray some consciousness of the fact. But not a fleeting tremor shook her little hand, not a shade of color deepened the rose of her round cheek, not a passing emotion of bashfulness weighed down her curly eyelashes. She was serenely self-possessed, superbly cool, and attentive to the obnoxious Hayes, in proportion as she was disregardful of me.

Burning with suppressed indignation, I accepted her careless invitation, and followed the precious pair into the shrubbery, there being no other way of obtaining the explanation I was determined to have this morning. I had often seen such demonstrations before, and borne them with comparative patience, knowing how well worth the trouble of winning, how true and tender after all, if only it could be reached under these disguising caprices, was the wayward little heart that had tested my love and tried my temper all these years. From her very cradle she provoked me, from the frills of her baby cap she mocked me; and, grown into the ranks of little girlhood, systematically aggravated me by artful preference of all the little boys I most hated, for whose infant attentions she unceremoniously deserted my elder claim and assured protection. And yet, in all her childish troubles, from torn frocks to Latin lexicons, she flew to me for aid, counsel, sympathy, and protection, repenting of all her sins against me, and walking in a straight path again, till between her sweet eyes, and her pretty confessions, her helpless reliance, and gentle ministering to my vanity, she had regained a larger place than before in my alienated heart, and could afford to play the very deuce with it again.

'Twenty years of this sort of thing must have settled the question one way or another,' I argued; 'there is no use in my putting up any longer with this bewitched town, and my empty slate, Phil's nonsense, and Tom Hayes's impudence, my aunt's sermons, and my uncle's lectures, and Miss Dora's caprices; she has either flirted with me, or she has loved me from her cradle.' I have sometimes thought the latter, but I[Pg 671] greatly suspect it is the former. Grand query, which is it? and I resolved to know to-day.

It was in vain, however, that I tried during the shady walk to gain a moment's conversation with Dora, a whisper in her ear, a look of her eye, or a touch of her hand; such favors were reserved for the military cavalier who walked at her side, exultant and triumphantly good-natured, though I seemed to read sneering and defiance in the very cock of his hat. Sullen and morose, as I saw her lifted over muddy places in his proud arms, or climbing a stile by his gallant assistance, I followed more slowly, and completing this pleasant party behind me and before me, and about me, wherever he could get within stumbling reach, trotted my favorite aversion, Rover, an ugly, awkward, senseless, and ill-conditioned puppy, whom Dora had elected her prime pet and favorite, for no better reason apparently than that we all hated him. The colonel kicked him, Mrs. Marston chased him, the cook scalded him, the boys stoned him, and I could hardly refrain from giving public utterance to the anathemas that burned on my tongue, when the wretched animal, who seemed to have an insane attraction to me, floundered about my legs as I moved, or flapped his stump tail under my chair when I sat still. Dora alone, with strange perversity, persisted in ignoring his bad habits, his vulgar manners, his uselessness, his ugliness, and his impudence, and set me at defiance when I objected to him, by pressing him in her beautiful arms—happy cur that he was!—and laying her soft cheek against his villainous bristles, till in very disgust and jealousy I ceased to complain, and learned to submit quietly to his revolting familiarities.

On the present occasion the few private kicks and pinches which I ventured to bestow, availed nothing against his clinging affection, till we drew near the water, and the sight of a rabbit's white tail further up the bank effected my release from his attentions, for he immediately galloped in pursuit of it, and a similar happy accident left me for a moment free to approach Dora without the intervention of my friend, Mr. Hayes, who had gallantly volunteered to scramble up a steep bank for a cluster of pink flowers which Miss Dora persistently admired, as they waved in inaccessible beauty above her head, though sister blossoms bloomed all about her feet. Being thus freed from the attendance of both puppies, as I suitably classed them in my mind, I approached the little queen of my heart, who stood on the very verge of the wet sand, where she had planted herself in express defiance of my professional warning, with the water gently oozing up around her thin slippers.

'Don't come here, cousin! I'm afraid you'll wet your feet!' she called out impertinently as I drew near; but her eyes were not lifted, and such a rosy flush crept up her face as she said it, that I forgot my hot walk and hotter indignation, and glowed less with anger and more with love. I laid my hand lightly on her shoulder, looking down on her mocking lips, and stooping, whispered something in her ear—in spite of female coquetry (in her person), and her uneasy pretexts to escape, in spite of Tommy Hayes, in spite of Rover, that marplot puppy, I had a moment's hearing, and used it manfully, and as I whispered, my heart beat thick with triumph, for she could not raise her eyes to mine, they were pensively watching the source of the rippling flood, and bright tears seemed quivering on the silken lashes, her cheeks wore a warmer scarlet, her pretty lips trembled with the fateful answer, and I was sure it wasn't no, and saw them pout, gracious heavens! to suit one of those shrill female screams which more than trump of war or voice of cannon strike panic into the bold heart of man, and unnerve him to the finger ends. 'My dog, my puppy!' she sobbed, 'he'll be drowned, he can't swim! He's coming[Pg 672] down stream, tail first, poor fellow! I knew it was Rover! Oh why don't you go and save him?'

This passionate appeal was addressed to the sympathizing Hayes, I being in disgrace on account of an unfortunate ejaculation, wrung from me in the first surprise, an impoliteness in strong contrast to the graceful gallantry of the hero of the cliff, who supported the weeping maiden in his arms, and tenderly soothed her excitement, as the unhappy Rover wheeled and eddied toward us.

'Why don't you go?' she reiterated impatiently, stamping her little foot, and as her eyes this time wandered toward me, I responded by throwing off my cap and coat, and preparing to obey; it was of no use to remonstrate or to explain to her that it was almost impossible to rescue the dog, and that the attempt would involve great risk of my own life—what did she care for that? The emotion I had so proudly misinterpreted on her lovely face, was for a blundering senseless puppy; the heart I had so faithfully served to win, was given to a miserable dandy: what remained to me, but to finish a life devoted to an unworthy object, by consistently sacrificing it in the same worthless cause; and with the bitter hope that my failures would end here, I prepared to plunge into the rushing water.

I could not help looking back at Dora, who, tightly clinging to her lover's arm, had been hidden from me during my rapid preparations by his tall figure and ample white linen robes. 'Don't you go,' she had said to him; 'let George go; if he can swear, he can swim—don't you try, Mr. Hayes!'

Mr. Hayes had no idea of trying; he risk his life, a life so precious to a world of spinsters, for a miserable fellow puppy! he wash the dye from those perfumed whiskers—dear to the hearts of so many maidens—he ruin those freshly laundered clothes, he abandon those new French boots! Ridiculous! He glanced down into his companion's pale face with a smile of exquisite amusement, as she said it, but Dora's eyes were tightly shut, and she did not see him; so the sneer travelled to me, who was about to drown in his stead for his lady's pleasure, and gave my heart its last dying pang as I quitted the shore.

A cry of terror and recall, from what had been a dear voice, followed my splashing descent into the deep water, and thrilled my nerves a moment; but I struck out bravely for the whirlpool, where, plunging, yelping, struggling, revolved the wretched beast, to whom my cousin had resolved to sacrifice my life, and for whose sake she was crying on the beach. Much time was lost in reaching, more in capturing the blundering fool, who, mad with fear and fright, dreaded me more than the water, and when I had him in my arms at last, we were rapidly shooting toward the cruel wheel that splashed and creaked a hundred rods below, ready to suck us in to certain death. Well, what would it matter? Dora would be sorry perhaps, at least for the dog, and so desperately bitter and vengeful was I that I was glad her clumsy pet, since she loved him so much, was to drown in my company, that she too might feel what it was to mourn the loss of something dearly loved, and that my death would be associated in her mind with a painful event—in short, I despised the weakness and felt my mad folly, but it would have its way. I closed my eyes upon the shifting scene, and tried to prepare for death, unconscious that the current was bearing me close to the shore, and that my only chance of escape was near. Something struck my face, a thrilling voice called my name, I raised my heavy gaze, and there, clinging to the farthest branches of an old tree that had fallen over into the water, and stretching out her arms to me, was Dora, her cheeks wet, her lips pale, her eyes imploringly fixed on me, or on the burden I carried, regardless of the rushing flood that saturated her floating dress and tiny feet,[Pg 673] and threatened to bear her away from the frail support to which she clung. Feeble, exhausted, despairing, as I was, there was a magnetic power in that dear voice, in that beautiful pale face, that inspired me with hope, and drew me back to life.

A few strokes impelled me nearer, the stream drifted me among the sweeping branches, I was clasped in those beautiful arms, then seized and dragged along by a stronger gripe, and presently lay half senseless and wholly exhausted on the sandy beach.

I was content to lie there while I fancied I felt soft hands press mine, warm tears baptize my face, and gentle touches extricate the gasping Rover from my drowning gripe on his hair; but after he was removed, I seemed to be more roughly handled by less tender fingers, and opened my eyes to find the zealous Mr. Hayes kneeling by my side, and, under his fair mistress's orders of course, doing his duty toward my resuscitation, while at a safe distance stood Dora, her dripping favorite sneezing and floundering in her arms, and her happy face beaming rosier and fairer than ever, by contrast with her soiled and bedraggled garments, as she pressed the precious rescued treasure to her heart, and received her lover's congratulations on its restoration, with only an occasional furtive glance at me, as I lay slowly coming back to life under his active treatment.

So the tears, the pallor, the heroism, the daring rescue, were for the sake of that worthless dog. I was saved incidentally with her interesting favorite, as I might have drowned in his cause, and no questions asked, and having accomplished my high mission, and preserved the stupid brute, lay untended and uncared-for on the sand, dependent on the kind offices of my successful rival! The blood rushed back to my heart, the fiery strength to my nerves, as I slowly drank in the bitterness of this cup.

'Your cousin's better, Miss Dora,' said the benignant Hayes. 'Aren't you going to thank him?'

She moved nearer in instinctive obedience to him, bashful, tearful, trembling, confused, but radiant and lovely as I had never seen her, and lifting her timid eyes to his, as it seemed for further instructions, with a gentle deprecating grace, while she carefully averted them from me. I could bear it no longer, and with an energetic oath sprang up, knocking the astonished Tom back into my place, and extorting a little cry of surprise from Miss Dora, as I strode away toward the village, determined to shake its dust from my feet, and never again look upon the faces of the precious couple I had left. I rushed through my aunt's kitchen like a whirlwind, on my way, and bade her good-by.

'Good-by, Georgy? what does the boy mean?' said she. She was phlegmatic and slow.

'I mean I shall never see you again, aunty. God bless you, I'm going away.'

'Hoity-toity, nonsense!' said she; 'some folly of yours and Dora's; never mind her, a silly girl! you'll be my own boy yet, my dear; but you're dripping wet, George; you have been in the water, you'll take cold, child; here swallow this,' and mingling spirituous with spiritual comfort, the good old lady poured a fiery glass of brandy down my throat, and I poured out my sorrowful story into her motherly ear, as I had done when an orphan boy, and all my life since, waxing warm with anger and contempt as I told it, while her benignant face showed no symptom of the indignation that glowed in mine; she pitied and soothed me, but made no comment.

'So good-by, aunty,' said I, as I finished, in a tone tremulous with weakness and wrath; 'you love me, if Dora does not, and you will remember me kindly I know.' I wrung her hand and kissed her cheek, but she never shed a tear; she had been wont to weep like a watering pot when I went back to[Pg 674] school or college after a visit, and I had always left her, loaded with biscuits and blessings, thankless prodigal that I was! and disposed to laugh at her display of maternal sorrow. How grateful to my wounded and sorrowful spirit, my outraged heart, would such a demonstration of love now have been! but all were alike heartless and cold to-day, and she smiled serenely under my parting kiss, and said, as I ran down the steps, 'Promise me not to go before you are well rested in the morning, Georgy; the coach does not pass through till eleven, and you'll come back, if I have occasion to send for you—before then—professionally?'

I bowed assent; what could I do? and, cut to the heart, went slowly and wearily home. I do not know how or by which way I arrived there, or whom or what I passed upon the road; I saw nothing but the darkness of my fortune, and felt nothing but the terrible sorrow that consumed my heart. Phil was astonished at the gentleness of the reproof he received for being discovered with a crowd of young vagabonds playing pitch-penny in my very office; but I was too broken in spirit to administer justice on him—how could I expect him to be true when all others were faithless?—and quite subdued and conscience-stricken he waited upon me assiduously, till my last bottle was packed at midnight and I sent him to bed, with orders to call me at sunrise. The stage came through at eleven, and I usually rose at nine; but I scorned to comply with my aunt's injunction, to take my ordinary rest, and was bent upon the additional misery of rising early in the morning.

What weary, dreary hours! I heard every one of them strike, as I lay tossing on the patent spring mattress, in that darkly shaded and sacredly secluded room, where I was wont to sleep the sleep of the sluggard, until I saw the day break, for the first time in my life, I think, and the novelty put me to sleep, and thence into a dismal dream, from which I was awakened by a tremendous thumping at the office-door, and the shrill voice of my Phil, in communication with the person outside.

'I shan't open the door for nobody,' that faithful janitor was announcing, 'and if you don't stop knockin' on it, I'll come out and make ye. He's asleep, I tell yer; goin' away to-day, and wants to get up in time for the stage, but I shall let him oversleep hisself, and he'll think better of it by to-morrow. Come this afternoon if you want to see him; that'll do for you.'

'But I tell you it won't do,' returned a gruff voice, which I recognized as that of Colonel Marston's hired man. 'Miss Dora's sick with pleurisy, she catched her death of cold yesterday, fishin' her puppy out of the river. Dr. George was in it, too, and you'd better let me in, for he'll be ravin' when he knows she is out of her head with a fever this mornin', and Mrs. Marston sent me herself, and told me to bring him back, and no excuse.'

I sprang out of bed, and was down stairs questioning the messenger before Phil could invent any more excuses for keeping him out. Dora sick of a fever, and I called in? my pride rebelled at entering the house again, after the treatment I had received from its inmates; but I had promised Mrs. Marston to return whenever 'sent for professionally,' and my promise was sacred; the other doctor was worse than useless, and if Dora should be dangerously ill—lovely, brave Dora, who perilled her life for mine yesterday—for mine and the dog's-but never mind that now, she was heartless, but could I find it in my heart to turn away from her in her sorrow? Alas! I was still so weak, that my love drew me more than my pledged word, along the well-known road that yesterday I had vowed never to tread again.

My aunt met me at the door. I was breathless and agitated, but she seemed more cheerful than I had expected; her eyes were full of tears, for she had just[Pg 675] come from the sick room, but there was a smile on her kind face as it looked pleasantly into mine. 'Is she very ill?' I stammered.

'Not very,' she said, coolly; 'come here a moment, Georgy,' and taking my hand, she drew me into her own little sitting-room, and shut the door. 'My dear boy,' she continued, placing both her soft hands on my shoulders, 'I sent you rather an urgent message, for fear you wouldn't come back in spite of your promise, and I want this settled about you and Dora; you have tormented each other long enough, you with your exactions and jealousy, she with her flirting and all that; I don't say she was not the worst of the two, but that's over. No, she's not very sick—don't interrupt me! She caught cold yesterday, as I thought she would, in that foolish, wicked business you were all engaged in, tempting of Providence I call it, but I hope it will do you good, and learn you a lesson. What, Georgy! you expected a wild, shy young girl to show you her heart without asking? you expected a spoiled, flattered child, whom you have done the most to spoil and flatter, not to tease and torment you when she had it in her power, and could you not bear it better from your little wayward favorite, who, you know, was always true-hearted after all? Pshaw, my dear boy, I needn't plead for our dear baby. Poor Dora has a sore heart, for she thinks you have gone away in anger forever, and her sins against you are all badly punished already. I think you'll forgive her, and I won't tell you if it's worth your while. She looks dreadfully, and feels badly, and as she has hardly been sick a day in her life, thinks she is going to die, or she never would have told me what she did tell me. I'm her mother, it's not for me to betray her; but you're my son, too, and I wish you both happy. Go in now and forgive your old aunty's long speeches; do what you can for my poor little girl, and don't ever give me reason to repent putting so much power into your hands. Georgy, my dear, bless you.'

She gave me an affectionate kiss, under more excitement than I had ever seen her, and fluttered into an inner room, just as the stage rolled by the door; to be saluted by a burst of sobs, and a strange muffled voice asking, hardly intelligibly, 'Wasn't that the coach, mother?'

'Yes, dear.'

'Then he's gone, mother; George is gone, and he'll never come back—do you think he ever will? I treated him so badly; I have been so hateful to him you don't know, even when he nearly drowned saving Rover's life.'

'Poor Rover! he wants to come in and see you.'

'Don't let him in, don't you, mother; I hate the sight of him, ugly, awkward fellow! he nearly drowned poor George, yesterday, and I never can bear to see him again now George is gone; beside, I believe I only loved Rover to plague poor George. Oh! oh, I feel so dreadfully, mother; do you think I'm going to die?'

'Not just yet, my dear. Shall I send for the doctor?'

'No, ma'am, I don't want any doctor. I had as lief die as not, I'm so miserable; beside, if I hadn't, Dr. Coachey would kill me, poking and preaching over me. Oh, if George was only here!'

'George is here, Dora.'

'Oh, is he really?' and she cried harder than ever. 'Well, I can't see him, mother;' after a pause: 'Does he want to see me?'

'No, I sent for him professionally. I can tell him to go away.'

'No, wait a minute, mother; do I look so very badly? Please make the room darker; oh, I don't want to see him at all! I'm ashamed to see him, but I will. I must beg his pardon for all my wickedness, before I get worse, or he poisons me with his dreadful drugs; he hasn't had a patient yet, and he'll be glad of the chance to practise[Pg 676] on me, I know; he will dose me with everything. And, mother, if George is coming in, please turn in Rover.'

Quietly laughing, my aunt came out and ushered me with due ceremony beyond the door, and shut it after her. In a darkened chamber, dim and dismal, before a lowly, slowly smouldering fire, in a great stuffed chair of state, sat poor little Dora, swathed in blankets, and muffled in shawls. Her tiny feet were wrapped in a woollen bundle, and rested on hot bricks, and her aching head was tied up in red flannel bandages that smelled of brandy; she had a mustard plaster on her chest, a cayenne pepper 'gargle' for her throat, and a cup of hot ginger tea stood at her elbow; her pretty nose was swollen out of shape, her bright eyes were red and inflamed, and little blisters had broken out all over those kissable lips; a very damp white handkerchief lay in her lap, and two great tears, that it had not yet wiped away, ran down her flushed cheeks. Poor child! she put up both her small hands when I came in, to hide her little red face; but I could see the 'salt pearls' that rolled between her slender fingers, and melted my heart at once. Sorry and ashamed, and afraid to speak, but more hopeful and happy than I had often felt, I went quietly, and stood behind her chair.

'George!' she said presently, in her poor little broken voice. 'Are you there?'

'Yes, Dora.'

'Are you very angry with me?'

I put one of my hands down over the chair-back, and drew both hers away from before her face, and then came round and kissed it; I could not think of anything better to do.

'Yon are not going away?'

I shook my head. 'That is not for me to say.'

'Who then? Will you please tell me what you mean, George?' She was very gentle and submissive, but the coaxing voice trembled painfully, and the burning hand I touched began to grow cold.

'It is for you to say, Dora, dear! Did you need to ask me that, after all these years?'

Without a single word, but with a fond impulsive movement, that answered quite well instead, she turned to me, and putting both her little arms around my neck, laid her feverish cheek against mine, and cried, as if her heart were breaking.

'My dearest! what is the matter?'

'I thought you were angry with me, and had gone for good; I though I had worn your patience out at last, and you would never forgive me or come back again. Why did you come back, Georgy?'

'Because I loved you, Dora, and couldn't stay away.'

'Yes, you would, if I had not been sick—mother told me so. I had treated you too shamefully, and wounded you too cruelly; but it hurt me, too, and I deserved to have you not forgive me for all I must have made you suffer. You were proud, but you were very patient, Georgy; how long have I plagued you?'

'Twenty years!'

'Then I have loved you twenty years, and tried not to let you know it. I was very proud, very wicked, very mean, but I am sorry now. I was ashamed to have you or anybody see how much I liked you; but now I don't care, I'll tell the truth before I die. I am glad I am sick, George; for if I don't get well, you will remember what I said, and will have thought better of me; and if I live—'

'My dear Dora, you are to marry me in three weeks, so don't let us talk about dying; you have a little cold, that is all, and I'll give you time to get over it, and recover your voice, and get those ugly blisters off your face.'

'Is it very ugly?' she whispered, hiding it against my shoulder.

'Very ugly, indeed, and I hope it will stay so, till we are married; then we shall have no more flirting with Tom Hayes; I would like to have[Pg 677] murdered him yesterday, when—when you wanted me to drown, and not him, Dora.'

'Oh, George! I didn't know the dreadful danger till it was too late, and you were gone. I knew you were brave, and could swim, and he wasn't or couldn't; I thought you would do it easily, and never dreamed you could be drowned, till you were in the water, and he told me, and then—'

'And then my little heroine risked her life to save me.'

'I wouldn't have cared to live without!'

'And cried over me when I was landed?'

'I was so glad and thankful, dear George.'

'But was ashamed to let Tom Hayes see it afterward.'

'No, only ashamed to speak to you, because I had behaved so badly; afraid you would order me away from your sight forever, as soon as you were able. I am bad, I know; but indeed, indeed I am not so bad as you think me!'

Ah! how easy it was to believe it, with that sweetly humble voice whispering in my ear; those pleading eyes truthfully looking into mine; the new charm of her timid, deprecating manner, going straight to my unfortunate, yielding heart, and conquering at once all the territory that had not succumbed to her earlier graces, when in health and spirits. Yet I had seen something of this 'death-bed repentance' before, and I should have preferred to marry her at once, while the swelled nose and the weakened eyes disabled her from coquetry, rather than to use my humble skill to restore her to health and beauty, and the society of Mr. Hayes—rewarded by having my marriage indefinitely postponed, and my promised bride infinitely tormenting me. A physician is accustomed to see promises, made in sickness, unperformed in health, and the debt of gratitude, or otherwise, to the medical attendant left unacknowledged and unpaid: he is obliged to calculate the chances of his fees pretty closely, you see. These thoughts I was weakly about to reveal to Dora, when a tumbling and snorting at the door announced Rover, and happily prevented me.

'Shall I let him in?' I politely inquired of the invalid.

'Just as you please, dear,' she gently answered; 'if he is so disagreeable to you, perhaps I had better give him away,' she added timidly.

Heavens! what a change! I was completely subdued by that last convincing proof of affection; though as to giving him away, what mortal in his senses would take him? Of course he remained, to become a member of my family, growing dearer to us both as he broke uncounted crockery, involved us in innumerable quarrels with our neighbors, and fattened upon meat at ten cents a pound, like the favorite of a Chinese epicure. At the very altar, or rather, I should say, the piano, before which we stood to be married, he interfered with the happy arrangement of the bridal party, with his ill-timed blandishments; but afterward did rue good service by getting under the feet of my groomsman, Mr. Hayes, and endangering his equilibrium as he was about to salute the bride.

'Poor Hayes!' I said, pityingly alluding to this failure afterward with her.

'Oh you needn't pity him,' she answered spitefully, but fortunately proving that the offence which produced the spite was not mine, by standing on tiptoe to kiss me; 'he'll be married to Julia Stevens before the month is out.' And so he was.

Some time has elapsed since the occurrence I have here narrated, gave me my first patient, and decided me to remain in this neighborhood, with or without others; it is fortunate I did so, for the spell is broken that held us in supernatural health, and no invalid reader[Pg 678] of the Continental need address me for the proper name of the locality, with a view of removing to its salubrious air. My practice is increasing rapidly, in spite of Mrs. Thompson's baby, which has hitherto disappointed my expectations of croup, but promises in time a beautiful case of hereditary asthma. Captain Hopkins is on his last legs with the gout, unless he soon resolves to spend part of his income in improving mine; and nine of the Sessions girls have had the scarlet fever. Rheumatism begins to rage among the old ladies, and 'neurology' is greatly in vogue among the young ones; the late fine fruit season has produced much cholera infantum among the juvenile population, with a special tendency to cramps in the cases of the little boys; and the recent fall in the prices of provisions has induced a similar decline in health with certain of the rural economists. A railroad is projected through our midst, which will bring foreign diseases and habits among us, and turn our peaceful Arcadia into a miniature New York. I see, in imagination, a busy and prosperous future in store for me; I see my handsome and hitherto unused sets of surgical instruments often taken from their case, for 'disasters,' 'collisions,' 'smashes,' and 'shocking accidents.' I see fashion reigning in our humble streets, with her neuralgic little bonnets, her consumptive thin shoes, her lung-compressing corsets, and fever-tempting bodices, her unseasonable hours, and unreasonable excitements and unnatural quantities and qualities of food and drink; I see my little stock of drugs increased to a mighty establishment; my Phil, of some use at last, dispensing them rapidly, and Rover, hoarse with barking at the ringing of the night bell. I see Dr. Coachey retiring in despair to his whist and his sangaree, and myself sole autocrat of the village health; and brightest of all these bright visions, I see my pretty Dora, the beautiful spirit of all light and love in my household, infinitely lovelier and more charming than even in her girlish days, but without the faintest symptom of the coquetry that marked her then—blind to all fascinations but mine, and such a tender wife, that she upholds my whiskers (which are inclined to be reddish) to be of the finest auburn, and does not envy Mrs. Tom Hayes the sable splendors which adorn her husband's face; in short, I see daily more occasion to thank heaven for all the happy consequences of Dora's cold.


The rising tide sighs mournfully
Under the midnight moon;
The restless ocean scornfully
Dashes its surging billows down
On a jewelled beach, at the dead of night,
That in the soft and silvery light
That flits and fades, is sparkling bright,
Laved by the changing sea!
[Pg 679]


He is not blind who seeth nought;
Or dumb, who nothing can express;
And sight and sound are something less
Than what is inwardly inwrought.

So seems it foremost of my joys,—
Not ranking those that from above
Assume on earth the name of Love,
The feast which never ends or cloys.

Nor is it less a feast to me
If he, my neighbor, cannot break
The bread with me, or with me take
The wine of all my mystery.

Not less a feast, if so well off
He deems himself in worldly goods,
That at unseen beatitudes
He blindly flings an aimless scoff.

Not theirs the blame who thus disown
The wealth they see not as they walk,
Nor mingle in their household talk
What all to them is all unknown.

Mine be the greater joys that tend
To give me what I cannot give,
And what in living makes me live,
And what I best can comprehend.

And though, amid the daily dust
Of moving men, I move a moat
Within the sunbeam where we float,
With mutual needs and mutual trust,—

Though outward unto outward shows
The kindred claims of sympathy,
And hand to hand and eye to eye
The generous meed of Faith bestows,—

Yet am I conscious that I bear
A something in me dumb and blind
To all the rest of human kind,
[Pg 680]And which but one can partly share.

Though in the turbulent stream of change,
The pressing wants of flesh and sense
Conceal my inward opulence,
And clog the life that else would range;

Yet am I conscious that below
The turbid tide, as through the straits
Of Bab-el-Mandeb's tearful gates,
Strong counter currents constant flow.

Nor do I love that man the less,
Because, in our companionship
There lieth behind the eye and lip,
That something, neither can express.

For inasmuch as mortal love,
Being mortal, cannot fill our need,
I feel the Goodness that can feed
With droppings from the feast above.

Whereby, in Heaven's perfected plan,
Which saves from spoil of worldly flaw,
I read the inevitable law
Of compensation unto man.

Thus, though I grope in darkest night,
Of what men call a world of ills,
The closer concentration fills
My inmost with benignant light.

And though I sit in dull routine
Schooled to the scholarship of books,
My truant spirit outward looks
And Fancy fills the village green!

Yet not in pride, oh, understand,
Not pride of merit do I boast,
Of that, which at its uttermost,
Is of me part, like eye or hand.

In awe, not pride, doth Fancy wield
The sceptre of her gorgeous realm,
Whose revelations overwhelm
With sense of greatness unrevealed.

Thus, whatsoever good is gained
In fantasies of fresh delights,
But wings us to diviner flights
[Pg 681]Unto the ever unattained.

Nor need I more than this to show
All proof of that astounding bliss,
Which from the world of worlds to this,
Through lowliest mind, sends conscious glow.

Not clearer through the density
Of darkling woods, do I behold
The intervening flecks of gold
Reveal unseen intensity.

In this deep truth I hold the key
That locks me from a world of pain,
And opens unto boundless gain
Of sweet ideal mystery.

And though I may not hope to climb
Above the level commonplace,
Or touch that vital growth of grace
Which shapes the fruit of deathless rhyme,

Yet, will I bless the Gracious Power
Which giveth strength to walk the mead,
And catch the sometime wafted seed
That ripens to the quiet flower.

Or, when, foot-weary with the day,
My longing spirit only feels
The tremor of the distant wheels
That bear some poet on his way;

I'll deem it very kindly chance
That gives the apprehension clear
To feel the pageant, far or near,
That moves to other's utterance.

And if I can but feebly keep
With reverent grace my share of good,
And kneeling, gather daily food
By gleaning, where my betters reap,

Yet will I bless the Hand Divine
That with the appetite for least,
Transforms into perpetual feast
The homely bread, the household wine;

And place it foremost of my joys,—
Not ranking those that from above
Assume on earth the name of Love,—
That feast, which never ends or cloys.
[Pg 682]


'The Ash for nothing ill.'—Spenser.

'The Ash asks not a depth of fruitful mould
But, like frugality, on little means
It thrives; and high o'er creviced ruins spreads
Its ample shade, or on the naked rock,
That nods in air, with graceful limbs depends.'—Bidlake's Year.

'Nature seems t' ordain
The rocky cliff for the wild Ash's reign.'—Dryden's Virgil.

Those who would seek the primitive signification of all objects in Nature, unroll their symbolism, and thereby attain the first historical groundwork of poetry, must bear in mind that this system was formed, and, indeed, ripely developed, in an age anterior to all written records of humanity. By ascertaining what words are common to the Indo-Germanic languages, we may easily find how far in civilization those had progressed who spoke the old Aryan, the common mother of the languages of Europe, India, and Persia, ere they parted to form new tribes, with new tongues. So, by comparing the mythologic legends of these later races, we may, with strictest accuracy, determine what was the parent stem. That the religion of the British Celts had striking points of resemblance with that of the Ph[oe]nicians and the Baal-worshipping Shemitic races, with India and Scandinavia and the Greek and Roman systems, is apparent enough to any one who will compare the names, customs, and legends common to all. It was something more than a mere coincidence which gave to Bal of the East and Bal-der of the West the same significant syllable.

Yet it must be remembered that the further back we go to the primæval age of one language and one religion, the more obscure becomes our medium of vision. We see that tribes intermingled, exchanging and distorting traditions of their gods; that migrations disturbed the local force of legends; that the time for celebrating the birth of Spring in the far South or East became sadly misplaced when transplanted to the North; and that, finally, the deep reverence and strange tales attached to trees, flowers, and minerals, being too deeply seated to perish, were fed by being transferred to other objects more or less similar. Thus Christmas, derived from the old heathen Yule or Wheel feast of the Seasons and of Time, and which, like all feasts, was founded in the celebration of the revival of Spring, was actually held at last in mid-winter. So the holly and ivy, expressive of the male and female principles of generation, and of the great mystery of reproduction and revival most in force during the Spring, were substitutes for other symbols—possibly the fig leaves, lettuce, and roses which in milder climes had at that season been employed to set forth the loves of Venus and Adonis—of reviving and of receptive nature.

The most striking illustration of this transfer of earnest religious devotion to such objects is furnished by the Ash Tree. In the far East, men had, during the course of ages, learned to attach extraordinary significance to trees, which, growing, decaying, and dying like man, yet outliving him by centuries, seemed, like animals, to be both far below and yet far above him in many of the conditions of life. In those glowing climes the Banyan was regarded as the tree of trees, and the mighty centre of vegetating life. Hence it was worshipped with such deep reverence that even in modern botany we find it named the ficus religiosa; and it was called by[Pg 683] the earlier Christians the Devil's Tree, in accordance with their belief that all heathen rites were offered to Satan. For it was beneath the Banyan that Vishnu was born, and under it that Buddha taught his sacred lore; it is in it that Brahmins love to dwell; it is the living, green cathedral of God—the leafy cloister of sacred learning, ever holy, ever beautiful, never dying. Like God and Nature, it is ever re-born; it falls drooping to earth to take fresh root, and is, on that account, as well as from its immense size, a wonderfully apt symbol of God renewing himself—of revival and of eternity. It is named from some saint, whose soul is believed to flit through its solemn shades, nay, to animate the tree itself: no wonder that in the laws of Menu it was made the sacred, never-to-be-injured monument of a boundary.[1]

Time rolled on—for the world was old then, though thousands of years have since faded—and from the East there was a mighty emigration to lands far away. What were the causes of this mighty movement—what was it which transplanted the seeds of new nations and new races into the distant Norway and Sweden? As yet, only dim, very dim conjecture can be made. The Mahabharata tells us of a mighty battle which sent forth hero-sages with their armies into the wide world; others have traditions of divisions between the worshippers of the Lingam and Yoni, who alternately contended for the supremacy of the male or female principle in creation. Whatever the causes may have been—priest warring with soldier for power, or a newer and a milder code casting off the older and more aristocratic rulers into outer darkness—one thing is certain, that they went forth strong in faith, fearless of destiny; for the religion of primeval times was terrible and tremendous. It was such religion, such absolute, undoubting slavery to faith, which wore away millions on millions of lives in carrying out in dim, old, barbarous days the rock sculptures of the temples of Ellora—which dug Sibyls' grots, and piled together Cyclopean walls, and pierced Cimmerian caves of awful depth and solid gloom, in the fair isles of the Mediterranean; and which, it may have been at the same time, it may have been at a later day, massed together the miracles of Stonehenge, the enormous dragon rows of Brittany, and the almost indentically similar serpent mounds of our own West. They are all of one faith.

Westward went the Æsir—the children of Light—from the land of the Banyan—In die weite weite Welt hinaus—out into the wild, brave world! Some went Greekward. There is a curious book, by an English scholar, attempting to prove that the names of hill and valley, mountain and seas, in Greece, and of the countries which lead eastward to it, are all those of India but little changed. A problem awaiting the scientific accuracy of a Max Muller or a Grimm, and not to be handily tossed into shape by a poetic Faber, or guessed at by a wild-Irish O'Brien or Vallancey, or a lunatic Betham. It is, however, worth noting that over those South Slavonian provinces, via Greece, flowed for many centuries northward a strangely silent stream of Orientalism, but little disturbed by the outer or upper currents of history. He who has dabbled in Servian-Croat-Illyrian—twin sister to Bohemian—has doubtless been amazed at the wealth of Sanscrit words it contains, albeit he may not go so far as Pococke, who asserts that with Sanscrit alone one may travel in those countries and be understood. Over this path it was, however, even down to the middle ages, that a rich store of Oriental heresies and forbidden lore flowed into freemasonry, into Waldense and Albigense sects, into many a hidden doc[Pg 684]trine and strange brotherhood now forgotten or veiled under some horrible outbreaking of stifling passion and terrible ante-Protestantism. Over this path, on which, in earlier ages, the mitre and rosary and violet robe and confessional, and doctrines of celibacy and monkery and nun-nism, and bell and consecrated taper, and still deeper dogmas or doctrines, wandered from the East into the Church, came also heresies, terrible as Knights Templars', which in due time warred against the Church, and cleft it in twain. The doctrines of wild sects, more or less Manichæan, which came forth strangely to upper life during the fever of the Crusades, all seem to tend obscurely from a Slavonic source. The vices with their adepti were reproached by the Church, gave to most of the languages of Europe a revolting word, modified from the name 'Bulgarian.' The origin of the earlier Bohemian Hussite sects, with their strange devil-worship and doctrine of transmigration, was manifestly Oriental. At a later date the very name of the mystic Jacob Böhme—Jacob the Bohemian—indicates some secret alliance with Slavonian associations; and if the connection of the name with strange Oriental speculations be obscure, that of the teachings of 'the inspired shoemaker' with those of the East is not—witness the often marvellous identity of tone of The Aurora with that of Hermes Trismegistus. It is worth while in this connection to trace the influence of Böhme-ism on 'the fierce sectaries of Lower Germany,' on Anabaptism, and on the illuminati of the ultra Puritans in England, bringing forth Independent Fifth Monarchy men, George Fox, Flood, Law, and Pordage. The seeds of this mystical heresy were obscurely transmitted to New England, which has always had some 'God-Smith,' or Mathias with his 'Impostures,' lurking among the vulgar. I have no doubt that, through traditional influence at least, a Joe Smith and the beginning of Mormonism might be found to have a direct descent from the doctrines of early times.

Let the reader pardon the digression. I am about to speak of the Ash tree—the successor of the Banyan—which has also its connection with English popular superstition. However it was, when the wave of Oriental emigration reached the utmost limits of Northern Europe, it changed its character with the climate. From a vast pantheism of fire, it became one of ice and of snow. In the grammar of its mythology, only a little of the vocabulary was retained, but the grand system of construction remained on the whole unchanged. There is the same stupendous ground-plan of a cosmogony founded on a sublime view of the powers of Nature, and the same exquisitely poetic elaboration of details in the Edda as in the Sacred Books of India, though the one is illumined by the burning sun of the tropics, and the other by the Northern Lights of a winter midnight.

So the children of Odin needed a tree signifying All Creation, All Time, All Nature, and they chose the Ash. Its picturesque beauty, its lightness and easy flowing lines, combined with great strength, and at times with enormous size; its elegant depending foliage and lithe vigor in its prime, and its gnarled, ancient expression when old, well fitted it to set forth the extremes of existence. The firm hold of these trees in the earth, 'their obstinate and deep rooting—tantus amor terræ,' as Evelyn expresses it, gives us a reason why the Ash of their mythology was fabled to reach down to hell; while its stern vitality, expressed by Horace, fitted it to be called the tree of life:

'Per damna, per cædes, ab ipso
Ducit opes animumque ferro.'

'By havoc, wounds, and blows
More lively and luxuriant grows.'

So the Ash became the Banyan of Northern faith, and the great meeting place of the gods—as the reader may see in the following extracts from the Edda:[Pg 685]

Gangler demanded: 'Which is the capital of the Gods, or the sacred city?' Har answereth: 'It is under the Ash-tree Ydrasil, where the Gods assemble every day and administer justice.' 'But,' sayeth Gangler, 'What is there remarkable about that place?' 'That Ash,' answereth Jarnhar, 'is the greatest and best of all trees. Its branches extend themselves over the whole world, and reach above the heavens. It hath three roots, extremely different from each other; the one of them is among the Gods; the other among the Giants, in that very place where the abyss was formerly; the third covereth Neflheim, or Hell, and under this root is the fountain Vergelmer, whence flow the infernal rivers: this root is gnawed upon below by the monstrous serpent Nidhoger. Under that root which stretcheth out toward the land of the Giants, is also a celebrated spring, in which are concealed Wisdom and Prudence. He who hath possession of it is named Mimis: he is full of wisdom, because he drinketh thereof every morning. One day the Universal Father (Al-Fader) came and begged to drink a cup of this water; but he was obliged to leave in pledge for it one of his eyes, according as it is said in the Voluspa: 'Where hast thou concealed thine eye, Odin? Lo! I know where; even in the limpid fountain of Mimis. Every morning doth Mimis pour Hydromel upon the pledge he received from the Universal Father. Do you, or do you not understand this?' The third root of the Ash is in Heaven, and under it lieth the holy fountain of Time-Past (fons præteriti temporis—Urdar Brun). 'Tis here that the Gods sit in judgment. Every day they ride hither on horseback, passing over the Rainbow, which is the Bridge of the Gods. * * * * As for Thor, he goeth on foot to the tribunal of the Gods, and fordeth the rivers Kormt and Gormt. These he is obliged to cross every day on foot, on his way to the Ash Ydrasil, for the Bridge of the Gods is all on fire. * * * *

'Near the fountain which is under the Ash, stands a very beautiful city, wherein dwell three virgins, named Urda, or the Past; Verdandi, or the Present; and Sokulda, or the Future. These are they who dispense the ages of men; they are called Norn[=a]s, that is, Fates. But there are indeed very many others besides these, who assist at the birth of every child, to determine his fate. Some are of celestial origin; others descend from the Genii, and others from the dwarfs.' * * * *

'Gangler proceeds, desiring to know something more concerning the Ash. Har replied: 'What I have farther to add concerning it is, that there is an eagle perched upon its branches, who knows a multitude of things, but he hath between his eyes a sparrow-hawk (qui Vederloefner vocatur). A squirrel runs up and down the Ash, sowing misunderstanding between the eagle and the serpent, which lies concealed at its root. Pour stags run across the branches of the tree, and devour its rind. There are so many serpents in the fountain whence spring the rivers of hell, that no tongue can recount them, as is said in these verses:

'Fraxinus Ygdrasil plura patitur,
Quam ullus mortalium
Cogitatione assequi valeat.
Cervus depascitur inferius (rectius cacumen)
Sed circa latera putrescit.
Nidhoggius (the serpent) arrodit subtus.'

'The Destinies, who reside near the fountain of the Past, draw up water thence, with which they bedew the Ash, to prevent its branches from growing withered and decayed. Of so purifying a nature is that water, that whatever it touches becomes as white as the film which is within an egg.

'Fraxinum novi stantem,
Vocatem Ygdrasil
Proceram et sacram albe luto,
Hinc venit ros,
Qui in valles cadit,
Stat super virente
Urdar fonte.'

'Men call this the honey-dew, and it is the food of bees. There are also in this fountain two swans, which have produced all the birds of that species.'

Does the reader care to know the meaning of all this? It is hardly worth while, since to those who feel its grotesque poetry quite enough of the symbolism is already revealed. But let the plodding German Friedreich 'have his say.' 'The name of the Ash, Yggdrasil,' he tell us, 'signifies God's Horse, from Yggr, a name of the god Odin, and drasil, the poetic term for a horse. With this name one hath God's rule over all things, since he ruleth them even as a rider controls his steed, and by Yggdrasil is consequently signified the almighty power of God. The Ash is the Universe, its twigs are the Ether, spread over the World-all; the eagle is the Infinite glance, penetrating heaven and earth; and the squirrel the medium by which the deeds and condition of the Gods are brought to men. The stags, whose swiftness betokens the rest[Pg 686]less, rapid passions of man, are the ailments of the soul; and the green leaves which they devour, are sound, healthy thoughts.' According to Hauch (Die Nordische Mythenlehre, Leipsic, 1847, p. 28), these swift stags are the four winds of heaven which scatter the leaves. The snake is the destroying force in Nature, and in the clear fountain lies wisdom—which at least teaches us the highly respectable origin of the assertion that 'truth lies at the bottom of a well.' In the next spring lies the knowledge of the future—hinting at much fortune telling by means of pools, and faces of future husbands in basins of water and mirrors; while the three virgins are the Parcæ—the goddesses of destiny. You know these ladies, reader; but here they are grander, gloomier, diviner than were our old friends Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. And the endless strife between the eagle and the serpent, stirred up by the squirrel, is the 'ever-battling, interchangeable action between Spirit and Matter, the ever hence-and-hither rolling, as of waves, to good or evil in the human heart.'

Quaint enough, yet strong, wild, and beautiful. One more explanation is however worth the giving. In all countries and in all ages, writers, from Pliny and Dioscorides down to the genial poet-author of 'Elsie Venner,' have said or hinted that the Ash is abhorred by serpents—an antipathy ridiculed by Evelyn, yet which I have heard maintained to be true by an eminent botanist. In our Edda legend, we find an enmity between the Serpent—the evil principle, and a foe to life and peace—and the Ash—the tree of fresh, vigorous life; the first ever striving to destroy the latter. Is this the origin of the old belief? So in the 'Arcana against Enchantment,' a German book of 1715, we are told that 'the antipathy between the Ash tree, blessed of God, and the Serpent, which so hateth man, is so great that a serpent would rather spring into the fire than into the shadow of an Ash tree.' And in Froschmäusler the same idea is expressed in these quaint verses:

'Ich bin von den Alten gelart,
Der Eschenbaum hab diese Arth,
Dass keine Schlang unter ihm bleib;
Der Schatten sie auch hinweg treib,
Ja die Schlang eher ins Feuer hinleufft,
Ehe sie durch seinen Schatten schleyfft.'

'I have been by ancients told,
The Ash tree hath this gift of old,
That snake may never 'neath it stay,
The shadow drives it, e'en, away.
Sooner a snake in fire would dash,
Than through the shadow of an Ash.'

There is yet another strange superstition connected with the Ash, which one hardly cares to grapple with—so vast is the mass of obscure myths and doctrines which it involves. Let it suffice to say, that from tradition and monuments, in vast variety, it appears that in very ancient times the Passing Through anything was a ceremony of deepest significance and solemnity. To go through a door, to put on a ring, to pass between upright stones (as for instance, the dolmen, or those of the serpent circle of Stonehenge), to wear armlets, all referred to going from death into life, from ignorance to knowledge, from an unregenerate condition to reconciliation. It referred to the life passing into the womb and coming forth as birth. Going into an ark and quitting it, was one form of this Passing Through. Caves were also very holy, because they furnished apt illustrations of it. Spring was typified as going down into the womb or cave or ark or casket or goblet of the earth, and coming forth or being poured out again in fresh beauty. Hence it came that marriage was surrounded in earliest times by symbols of transit, or Passing Through. Lovers plighted their troth in Great Britain, as is yet done in some remote districts of Scandinavia, by joining their clasped hands through holes in the so-called Odin stones. As the Regenerate in the mysteries were obliged to pass through passages in rocks, it was naturally enough believed that[Pg 687] those who were ill might be benefited in like manner. Of course the Ash—the tree of Odin and of all the gods—was hallowed in popular belief by healing virtues; and Evelyn tells us that 'the rupture, to which many children are obnoxious, is healed by passing the infant through a wide cleft made in the hole or stem of a growing Ash tree. It is then carried a second time round the Ash, and caused to repass the same aperture as before.' This act of being borne or passing around a stone or stick against the course of the sun, is a ceremony common to certain rites among almost all nations. It was known to Druids and Hindoos—traces of it may be found even among the debased Fetishism which lingers among American negroes. According to the old philosophy of planetary influences, the Ash tree is peculiar to the sun; whereas serpents are consecrated to dark and gloomy Saturn—another cause for the antipathy between them, and illustrative of the reason why the ailing child should be borne around in reference to the imaginary sympathetic solar rays of the tree.

All trivial enough, doubtless; no longer a matter worthy of deep research and wise marvelling. It is not even worth the while now for scholars to inveigh against the folly of such superstition. There was indeed enough of it. It was believed that by boring a hole in an ashen bough and imprisoning a mouse in it, a magic rod was obtained which would cure lameness and cramps in cattle—the ailments being transferred to the poor mouse, who was the supposed cause of them all. 'There is a proverb, says Loudon (Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum, p. 1223, edition of 1838), 'in the midland countries, that if there are no keys on the Ash trees, there will be no king within the twelvemonth.' Lightfoot says that in many parts of the Highlands of Scotland, at the birth of a child, the nurse or midwife puts one end of a green stick of this tree into the fire, and, while it is burning, gathering in a spoon the sap or juice, which oozes out at the other end, administers this as the first spoonful of food to the newly-born baby.' Trivial enough, yet worth noting as the fragments and humble remains of what was once the mighty mythology of the Northmen, hinting at the faith in the life-giving and life-preserving qualities of the great tree of life—the tree of knowledge of good and evil—the eritis sicut Deus of Runic lore.

Among the strangest and most beautiful after-echoes of this old Norse faith in the magic Ash as the great tree of life, is to my mind, one which has been preserved by Grimm in his 'Mythology' (2d edition, 2d book, page 912), and which the German poet Hoffmann has happily turned in a poem full of spirit and grace. The legend is as follows:

In the churchyard at Nortorf will one day be an Ash,
No human eye hath seen it, yet silently it grows
Among the graves, and every year it bears a single sprout.
Each New Year's night a rider white upon a snow-white steed,
Comes silently among the graves to hew the sprout away;
But there comes a coal-black rider upon a coal-black horse,
And he strives to save the new-born tree and drive the foe afar:
Long they fight till the New Year's dawn—until black knight yields,
And the foeman hews away the twig, and rides into the dawn,
But there will come a time,'tis said, when the white knight must yield,
And the twig will grow and its leaves will blow until the trunk is great:
So great that a proud war horse 'neath its lower branch may go.
And when the branch is grown and blown will come the world's great fight;
The fiercest of her battles, the last great strife of dread;
And the war horse of the mighty king will stand beneath the tree,
And the king will win, and all the world will be his heritage.

'The White Knight,' saith a commentator, 'is Freyr, one of the most glorious among Norse Asen, or chil[Pg 688]dren of the gods—he who rules over rain, sunshine, and earth's fruitfulness. His adversary is Surtur, the Black Demon—a pitiless foe of the Asen, who in the great battle will fight with the evil Loki—'the curse and shame of gods and men'—and set heaven and earth afire. But then there will come a new heaven and a new earth, in which eternal justice shall reign, and the 'Great King'—he whose steed shall wait beneath the Ash of Life—'will rule forever in peace and holiness.'

Dear reader, the battle between Freyr and Surtur is ever raging—in your heart as in all the world. But whenever a great strife for freedom and truth and man's rights is battled out, then the branch has grown, and the horse of the Great King is saddled beneath the Ash, and his rule draws nearer than ever. Even as I write the battle rages, as it never raged before on earth, between the infernal Loki and Surtur and the glorious Asen—the great children of light and of truth. You, soldier of the Lord, who read these lines—you, whose musket is borne in defence of the Union, are as true a child of the great race of light as was ever Odin or Balder, and you are in this great fight fulfilling the prophecies of a thousand years aforetime, which foretold the final battle of freedom. You too are of the Northmen, the children of Odin and of Freyr, the inexhaustible race of warriors and of workmen—the free laborers who forged the swords they wielded against the dark and wily fiend who stole his weapons from the foe ere the war began. And the Horse so easily ruled—the all-powerful Will—stands bridled beneath the eternal Ash Tree of Life; and while he lives and the tree grows, hope need not perish, and freedom cannot die.

In a Floral Lexicon I find it stated that the Ash tree signifies 'grandeur.' E ben trovato—it is not badly imagined—but its real meaning is life, and that not mere existence, but fresh, vigorous, exuberant life, the life of action and of enjoyment. The shaft of the Greek spear, which healed the wound given by the point, was, I doubt not, made of Ash, even as was that which slew Achilles. Thus the Ash, it will be seen, was an important letter in the ancient alphabet of the mysteries. May I hope that when you next sit beneath its graceful boughs, you will recall some of the lore which hallows it, and makes it a strange, living antique, not less curious than coin, weapon, or gem. Read it in all the significance, all the strange spirit of the old mythology, and then think what Nature must have been—or what it may yet be—to men finding as deep a symbol as even the Ash in every high place above the valleys, in every stream, cave, and rivulet, and in every green tree.


[1] 'On an island of the river Nerbudda, twelve miles beyond Broach, in the presidency of Bombay, stands the Banyan-tree, long since mentioned by Milton, and more recently described by Heber. It is called Kureor Bur, after the Hindu saint who planted it.'

Dierbach, Flora Mythologica, page 22.



'On, the drum—it rattles so loud!
There's no such stirring sound
Is heard the wide world round,
As the drum——.'
[Pg 689]



'The happiest people on the face of the earth, sir!'

I had heard the assertion in almost all of the slave States, and knew something of the institution on which it was based: I was now listening to the familiar sentence at an epoch that has become historical. I sat in Charleston, South Carolina, during Secession time, December, 1860.

'They are better fed and better treated than any peasantry in the civilized world. I've travelled in Europe and seen for myself, sir. What do you think of women—white women—working in the fields and living on nothing better than thin soup and vegetables, as they do in France, all the year round? And a man, with a family of nine children to support, breaking stones on the high road, in winter, for eight English shillings a week? Such a thing couldn't happen in South Carolina—in all the South, sir!'

'Perhaps not!' I didn't add that worse social wrongs might and did occur daily, in the eulogized region; knowing the utter unprofitableness of any such discussion, not to mention its danger at a period rife with excitement.

'You are an Englishman,' continued my interlocutor—a portly, middle-aged, handsome man, to whom I had been introduced just before the hotel dinner, toward the close of which our colloquy occurred—'and therefore a born abolitionist—as a matter of sentiment, that is. You know nothing at all about the workings of our institution, excepting what the d—d Yankees please to write about us, and the word slavery shocks you. Call it servitude, vassalage, anything else, it might be endurable enough. One of the advantages, by the way, that Secession is going to bring with it is, that the world will be brought into direct contact with us, and thus see us as we are, not through the eyes of the North.'

'You are in earnest about Secession, then?'

'In earnest! by —— I should think we were! Don't you know we are, from what you have seen here?'

I did, and a moment's reflection might have checked my thoughtless inquiry. I said so.

'Yes, South Carolina's going out of the Union, with or without backers, and she intends to stay out, too; never were people more unanimous. The North has got so far toward being abolitionized as to elect a man avowedly hostile to our institutions, and we are only providing for our safety by seceding. It's quite time. Essentially we are a different people: we shall be the best friends in the world separate. It's all a question of difference of opinion about labor; the North prefers a system regulated by the mercenary dictates of traffic, ruled by capital, and subject to the chronic difficulties of strikes and starvation; the South, a simpler relation, binding master and slave together for their mutual benefit, abolishing pauperism, and dividing society into two unmistakable, harmonious classes—the well-fed, well-cared for, happy negro, and the wealthy, intelligent slaveowner.'

I thought I had read something very like the speaker's sentiments in that morning's Mercury, but didn't say so. I thought also of the existence of another class at the South besides the two so favorably characterized, of which I had seen a good representative in a coarse, half-inebriated, shabbily dressed indivi[Pg 690]dual, who, just after breakfast, had reeled through the crowd always assembled in the large hall of the hotel to exchange and discuss the news, boasting that a son of his had 'cut a man's throat the other day, down on the island,' and admiringly wondering whether it was the paternal or maternal side that he got his bravery from. I deemed it, however, advisable to be reticent on this head. And my reward followed.

'Come, Mr.——, you have been in most of the Mississippi States, I believe, but were never in the Carolinas before, so you don't know how we old-fashioned folks live on our plantations. Suppose you pay me a visit at my place on —— Island, and see? I come of English blood, myself; my grandfather was a Tory in the Revolution'—with a laugh—'and you'll find us a good deal more British than you think possible here in America. England and South Carolina are mother and daughter, you know; and under the influence of free trade, we're bound to be very intimate. All we of the South ask is that our institutions shall speak for themselves, and I can trust a Britisher's proverbial love of fair play to report us as he finds us. What do you say? I'm going down to the island for a week on Wednesday; will you spend your Christmas with me?'

The invitation was given with an offhand cordiality decidedly prepossessing. Expressing my thanks, I at once accepted it in the spirit it was offered.

'That's right! you're my guest, then;' and the Colonel—he had been presented to me by that military designation—shook me by the hand. 'Will you walk?' And we strolled out together into the hall before mentioned.

If I were writing an article on Charleston in Secession time, now, here was an opportunity for description. What a strange, what a memorable period it was! involuntarily reminding one of an historic parallel in the roseate aspect presented by the early days of the first French revolution, when everybody had hailed as the dawning of a celestial morrow the putrescent glow of old corruption blending into the lurid fire of the coming sans-culottic hell. In this case also an infernal ignis fatuus had arisen to tempt its deluded followers toward a selfish fool's paradise, only to be obtained by wading through seas of fratricidal blood. And how they believed in this impossible future in 'the cradle of the rebellion!' Only a minority of darker conspirators apprehended—hoped for—war, thinking it necessary to precipitate the remainder of the Southern States into revolution, and the establishment of a separate nationality; the great majority of South Carolinians accepting Secession with an enthusiasm (or rather self-exaltation) and confidence astounding to witness. There would be no collision; the North could not and dared not push it to the extreme issue; she must endure the punishment due to her 'fanaticism' in inevitable bankruptcy and beggary, while the South, the seat of 'a great, free, and prosperous people, whose renown must spread throughout the civilized world, and pass down to the remotest ages' (I quote from the ordinance of Secession), had infinite possibilities before it. Jack Cade's commonwealth, Panurge's 'world, in which all men shall be debtors and borrowers,' Gonzalo's imaginary kingdom in the Tempest, were not a whit more extravagant than what was hourly talked of and expected from this longed-for slaveholding confederacy at this time in Charleston. But enough of digression on a subject merely incidental to this narrative.

Three days after my conversation with the Colonel, when the city was jubilant with the passage of the act of Secession, I accompanied him to the plantation spoken of. It involved a little steamboat journey, sundry rides in chaise or buggy, and the crossing of more than one of the many creeks or rivers intersecting the low, sandy, swampy coast. I purposely abstain from particularizing the locality. It was to[Pg 691]ward the close of a mild, humid day when we reached the Colonel's residence.

Suppose an old-fashioned two-story house, one of a very common pattern in this region, built of wood, and standing on an open foundation of brick, with a tall, formal chimney projecting at either end, a broad piazza, and a great flight of wooden steps in front and rear, the latter looking seaward. Like the house of Chaucer's Reeve, in summer it must have been all 'yshadowed with greene trees,' the cedar, the cottonwood, the liveoak, fig, mulberry, and magnolia, growing in the sand or light soil accruing from vegetable decomposition; and as the evergreens predominated, its winter aspect was yet pleasant and rural, notwithstanding a certain air of dilapidation and decay, so common in Southern dwellings that the inhabitants seem to be unconscious of it. Adjacent, beyond the short avenue of orange trees by which we had approached, was a double row of negro huts, with little gardens between them, forming a rustic lane; farther on, corn and cotton fields. The geography of the island might be stated as follows: interior woods, girdled by plantations, with houses on the seaboard or shores of the river or inlets; a road circumscribing it, and one running across it.

We were welcomed by the appearance of two or three decently clad house-servants, mulattoes, and an athletic negro, of average nigritude,[2] every tooth in whose head glistened, as his black face rippled into a laugh, when his master favored him with some familiar and approving jocularity. Officiously taking charge of the horse and buggy, he conveyed them to a spacious but dilapidated stable (the door of which, I remarked, hung only by its lower hinge), while the servants were equally zealous in transporting what little baggage we had into the house. There the Colonel presented me to his daughters, two tall and rather handsome girls of the ages of eighteen and twenty, dressed in deep mourning (their mother had died but recently), their aunt, a staid, elderly matron, who seemed installed as housekeeper, and a fat, careless gentleman in shirt sleeves, with a cigar in his mouth, who impressed me as an indolent and improvident poor relation of my host, as, indeed, he proved. There was present, also, the child of a neighbor, a little fair-haired girl, called Nelly, who, hearing my nationality mentioned, would not approach me, which the Colonel accounted for by surmising that she had received 'Tory' impressions of Britisher's from her parent's negroes.

A sincere, if a quiet welcome, and an excellent dinner, comprising fish, game, chickens, bacon, hominy, corn and wheaten bread, and sweet potatoes of a succulence and flavor only attainable in Dixie, all served by decorous and attentive negroes, made me feel very contented with my position. Nor were the surroundings inharmonious. We sat by a wood fire, burning in a fireplace which contained, instead of a grate, old-fashioned iron dogs: most of the furniture, with the exception of a handsome piano, was ancient, and the room ornamented with books, pictures, and mineral curiosities. Among the former I noticed a row of volumes of British parliamentary debates in old print, contemporary with the age succeeding Johnson. Really, as my host had boasted, his household gods were decidedly English—colonial English; and I began to understand the peculiar, ante-revolutionary, patrician characteristics on which he and his class evidently prided themselves. He showed me a portrait of an ancestor who had held high office in the days of Governor Oglethorpe, an old-fashioned miniature on ivory, charmingly painted, in the style of Malbone, and one could easily recognize in it the features of his descendant. In conversing, too, on the early history of the[Pg 692] State, of which he had much to say that I found interesting, he always assumed that a popular, democratic form of government was rather a mistake than otherwise,[3] and, without absolutely condemning the Revolution, implied that South Carolina had been moved to her limited share in it against her direct interests, by a high-spirited patriotism and sympathy with the at present ungrateful and venal North. I do not think that the fact of my nationality influenced him in this; he evidently spoke his convictions.

The ladies were at first reserved, acting, I believe, under the impression that their father's brief knowledge of me hardly warranted my introduction to his family; indeed, I am sure it was exceptional, from all I have since learned of South Carolinian society. The casual mention, however, of the names of a few mutual acquaintances, of unexceptional 'blue blood,' and the fact that both ladies had visited Europe, establishing topics of conversation, they presently warmed into cordiality. I found them well informed and agreeable, less demonstrative in their self-assertion than their Northern sisterhood, but latently wilful, and assumptive of a superior elevation hardly justified by their general air of languid refinement. It reminded me, on the whole, of what I had heard complacently eulogized in Charleston as a tendency toward 'Orientalism' on the part of the women, of which the characteristics were repose, fastidiousness, and exclusiveness—one of the many admirable results of the fundamental institution.

The ladies were, of course, ardent secessionists, expressing themselves with a bitterness, an acrimony, an unreasonableness, which might have astonished me, had I been capable of such a feeling on the subject. Inevitably we slid on to it, when I learnt that their only brother was away doing military duty on Sullivan's Island, and so zealous in the discharge of his assumed obligations that he intended to spend his Christmas in camp, not, as usual, upon the plantation.

'You'll be sorry to hear that, Pomp,' said the Colonel to an evidently favorite servant, who had waited upon us most assiduously, and who was then kneeling before the fat gentleman, and putting a pair of slippers on his feet. He, by the way, had contributed very little to the conversation, only assenting, smiling, and looking the picture of ease and good humor, as he sat lazily beaming behind a tumbler full of Bourbon whiskey and water.

'Yes, sar!' the negro answered, 'too bad, mass' Philip not come home for de holidays. All de people 'spect him.'

'That's a first-rate boy,' said his master, as the negro left the room to fetch something; 'I wouldn't take two thousand dollars for him.' (Every one familiar with the South, must have heard similar encomiums hundreds of times: each household appears to pride itself on the possession of some singularly admirable negro, whose capacity, honesty, and fidelity are vaunted with an air of conscious magnanimity edifying to witness. The desired inference is that the institution, productive of so much mutual appreciation, must be excellent. It never seems to occur to the eulogists that the good is exceptional, or that the praised characteristics might be alleged as an argument for emancipation.)

'That boy has been North with me,' the Colonel continued, 'to Washington, Philadelphia, and as far as New York. The abolitionists got hold of him at the last place, and wanted to run him off to Canada, but Pomp preferred old Carolina. You don't want to be free, do you, Pomp?'

This was a leading question. The slave hesitated a moment, grinned, and evaded it,

''Pears like de colored people at de Norf was mostly a mis'able set,' he answered: 'can't shum!/'[Pg 693]

'You can't see it!' said his master, delighted, and translating a very popular negro phrase for my benefit. And incontinently he launched into a defence and eulogium of slavery, which I shall not oblige my readers to skip by recording. The topic is one on which Southerners are never wearied; and a more uneasy people on the subject than South Carolinians it would be impossible to imagine: long before Secession, they existed in a state of chronic distrust and suspicion about it amounting to monomania.

Next day I accompanied the Colonel over his plantation. It was a large one, somewhat over seven hundred acres, inclusive of forest land, about two thirds being reclaimed upland swamp soil growing seaisland cotton. An old family estate, most of the negroes belonging to it had been born there or in the immediate vicinity; there were about two hundred of them, some living near their master's house, as has been mentioned, the rest in a sort of colony at the other end of the plantation, under the eye of the overseer. These negro settlements merit a paragraph of description.

Their huts were of wood, separate, and standing in little gardens, in which each family enjoyed the privilege of cultivating patches of corn, sweet potatoes, and such vegetables as they chose, a street of about a hundred feet wide dividing the houses. Midway, under the shade of a magnificent liveoak, whose branches were mournful with the funereal moss (always suggestive to my fancy of the 'little old woman,' whose employment in the nursery legend is 'to sweep the cobwebs out of the sky,' having executed her task in a slovenly manner), was a simple apparatus for grinding corn, consisting of two heavy circular stones, placed horizontally in a rude frame under a shed, to be worked by manual power, by upright wooden handles. This served as a mill for the entire negro population.

Entering their huts, you were first conscious of a large brick fireplace, in which a fire was almost constantly burning, though it scarcely lit up the generally dark interior, always much, more picturesque than comfortable, for negroes have little if any notion of ventilation, and can hardly be too warm: they will kindle great blazing fires to lie down by or to heat their food, in the open fields in summer. A few roughly fashioned seats and tables, and a ladder staircase, leading upward to an attic or cockloft, completes the inventory of the interior.

We had passed the inhabitants of these huts, at work in the fields, under the direction of the overseer, a strong, spare man, in a suit of homespun, who rode about among them on horseback, carrying in his hand a cowhide whip, which he had exhibited to me with a smile, and the remark that 'that was the thing the Yankees made so much noise about.' It was a sufficient instrument of punishment, I thought and said, adding that I trusted he found infrequent occasion for the exercise of it.

'Well, they're a pretty well behaved lot generally,' he answered, with that peculiar accent derived from almost exclusive association with negroes common throughout the South; 'but sometimes it 'pears as if the devil had got in among 'em, and I has to lay on all round. A nigger will be a nigger, you know.'

The subjects of this ethical remark were rather raggedly dressed, the men in coarse jackets and trousers, the women in soiled and burnt gowns of indefinite color, generally reefed up about the hips for convenience in working. (Their dilapidation, it may be remarked, was due to the close of the year; they would get new clothes, the Colonel remarked, at Christmas.) They seemed, however, well fed, not too hardly tasked, and, from a sensual point of view, happy and contented. The Colonel spoke to those nearest him patronizingly, asked after absent or sick members of[Pg 694] their families, joked about the coming Christmas, and the 'high time' impending, and inquired how many marriages were to come off on the occasion—the negroes generally deferring their nuptials till the great holiday of the year. He was answered by a perfect shout of negro laughter, hearty, infectious, irresistible.

'Come, how many is there to be?' he repeated, joining in their mirth.

'Six!' the overseer responded, seeing that the negroes did not reply except by continued guffaws.

'Yes, sa! ya! ya bound to have a high old Secesshum time dis Christmas! ya! ya!' added a gray-headed old darky, quite overcome with merriment.

'Why, you'll ruin the young ladies in finding frocks for the girls!' said the Colonel; 'who are these future happy couples, eh?'

'Sal's Joe, sa!' 'Polly's Sue!' 'Big Sam!' 'Pinckney!' 'Cal!' 'Peter!' 'Jule!' and a variety of names were shouted out, not by the owners of them. With a great deal of shyness and simpering and half-suppressed grinning, and real or affected modesty on the part of the women, and equal mirth and awkward self-consciousness on that of the aspirant bridegrooms, the candidates for matrimony—or at least such of them as were present, one couple and a 'boy' being away—were got together and ranged in a row before us, hoes in hand, where they stood, to their own and the boisterous delight of their colaborers. They appeared generally young, healthy, and well-looking negroes, some of them handsome in an African sense. The Colonel surveyed them with much good nature and satisfaction; he was evidently gratified at the prospect of so many marriages among his own negroes; unions 'off the plantation' being looked on with disfavor by proprietors, for obvious reasons.

'Well,' he said, after addressing a few remarks to them, individually; 'I must talk with the young ladies, and see what we can do for you. If Bones (the sobriquet of a negro-preacher, belonging to the estate) won't be jealous, I think I'll try and get Mr. —— over, to marry the whole batch of you in high style, eh?'

The prospect of a white clergyman, an honor generally reserved only for the marriages of favorite house-servants, seemed to afford unmitigated satisfaction to the field hands. They laughed again, thanked their master, assured him of the perfect willingness of their colored pastor to resign his functions for the time being, in view of the superior dignity accruing to the occasion from the presence of Mr.——, and we rode off amid a chorus of jubilations.

'What would an abolitionist say to that scene, do you think?' asked the Colonel, as we galloped homeward to dinner.

'Probably he'd admit that slavery has its pleasant side, but insist on looking at both,' I answered.


[2] An inquiry instituted by Gen. Hunter, at Hilton Head, S. C., during the past summer, for eight negroes of unmixed African descent, resulted in the total failure of the discovery of even one. So much for practical Southern amalgamation.

[3] It was generally credited in Charleston, that, subsequent to Secession, the convention had debated the advisability of attempting some monarchical experiment.


But warlike casuists can't discuss,
If we beat them, or they beat us;
We swear we beat, they swear we lie—
We'll tell you more on't by and by!
[Pg 695]


When Jefferson Davis and his coadjutors so defiantly and with so much apparent confidence entered on the path of rebellion, they probably did not foresee the abyss into which they were about to plunge. They rushed eagerly forward at the first call to battle; but they hardly paused to consider how fearful a thing it is to light the flames of civil war among a people long accustomed to peace and security; to marshal opposing armies drawn from the late happy dwellings of the same community, arraying in deadly conflict father against son, and brother against brother; to add fiery devastation and reckless destruction of property horrid carnage and the saddest bereavements of all kinds; and to replace brotherhood of a common country, a common ancestry, and a glorious history, with the relentless enmities engendered by rebellion and revolution. What wrongs and sufferings, endured by our brethren of the South, or likely to imposed on them by the National Government, would have been sufficient to steel their hearts against the heavy calamities they have encountered and inflicted, or to justify the immense waste desolation already suffered in both sections, in consequence of this most unnatural and fratricidal war? The most ordinary charity would lead to the belief, that if the mighty woes which have followed in the bloody path of the rebellion could have been anticipated, even the bold, bad leaders, and still more the infatuated people, would have suffered much and hesitated long before assuming the dread responsibility. Hate itself, though reënforced and supported by all other passions of a fiendish nature, would have stood aghast at the overwhelming avalanche of horrors which hung ready to be precipitated on our unhappy country. It is hardly within the limits of human depravity, that evils of such magnitude, attended by such world-wide results, should be attributable to the deliberate will and arbitrary action of even the worst members of the human family. For the credit of our common humanity, let it be admitted that the authors of the fatal movement did really believe In their avowed doctrine of peaceable secession, and that they could not have had the least idea of the immense proportions the civil war was destined to assume, nor of the extent of ruin and misery it would necessarily drag in its horrid train. And if the prominent leaders did not intend all the sad consequences of their wicked act of treason, still less can they be considered personally responsible for the fatal popular enthusiasm which has so thoroughly sustained them in their section. Though full of hate and animated by a spirit of infernal mischief, they had not the capacity to stir a nation so profoundly, except from the fact that they were dealing with minds already well prepared for their impassioned appeal, and with elements which had been wrought into discord by causes long preëxisting.

In the midst of this stupendous conflict, individuals seem to be as insignificant and powerless to control it, as if they stood, awed and subdued by the warring elements of nature, and compelled to wait until these should expend their fury and of themselves subside. Thirty millions of people have been suddenly and unexpectedly divided, and the sundered parts have been thrown into fierce and deadly antagonism. Belligerent passions rage and boil among them with all the ungovernable power of the angry waves when the sea is lashed by the destructive tempest. The throes of the suffering nation are as terrible as those of the trembling earth, when, by some internal convulsion, its very foundations seem to be rocked on the fiery waves of the central abyss, and every living creature on its surface becomes[Pg 696] agitated with profound dismay. States have been temporarily but rudely torn from their long and peaceful connections with sister States, and great rents in the political soil, filled with the bodies of slaughtered citizens, mark the lines of separation. Vast armies have been assembled and organized, and have met each other in the shock of battle, on fields made slippery with fraternal blood, where tens of thousands have fallen to rise no more—swept down by the relentless storm of iron hail with which brother has greeted brother in this most unholy war. The measured tramp of the armed hosts has shaken the continent; and the vengeful cries of the unnatural strife have disturbed the inmost peaceful recesses of its great central plains and mountains. From California to Texas; from Colorado to New Mexico; from Maine to New Orleans; from the great lakes to the coasts of the Carolinas; and along the measureless length of 'the father of waters' and his great tributaries, the gathering armies have marched or sailed, and swarmed to the beat of the drum and the sound of the trumpet. More than a million of men, on both sides, have been engaged in these tremendous movements, which unhappily correspond too well in their unexampled magnitude with the physical character of our magnificent country. Civil war has sacrilegiously usurped the mighty instrumentalities of modern peaceful life; and the bloody and destructive work of these vast armies is not less gigantic in scale than have been the ordinary operations of our wonderful industry and our ever-increasing commerce. The sacrifice of life, the destruction of property, the desolation of extensive regions of beautiful and fertile country, the vast expenditure of public means, all concur to characterize this as the grandest and most terrible phenomenon of the kind that has ever occurred in the history of man. To us, who are in the midst of it, and destined to be involved in its results, whatever they may be, it is a subject of deep and awful interest; and while the scenes of the momentous drama are continually shifting around us and presenting new spectacles of slaughter and disaster every day, it is hardly possible to maintain the calmness necessary for an impartial appreciation of the causes which have been sufficiently powerful to turn the destructive energies of so great a nation upon itself, causing it to rend and destroy its own body politic, so recently rejoicing in unexampled prosperity and happiness. Some gigantic power, wielding strength enough to produce the tremendous results already visible, must be somewhere hidden at the source of these grand phenomena. In the physical world, a small quantity of water or a few kegs of powder, flashing into steam or gas by the application of heat, may be used to overthrow the most stupendous material fabrics which the labor and genius of men have ever been able to erect. What fatal means of destruction, and what traitorous hand have been employed to drill and charge the solid columns, or to mine the deep foundations of that beautiful and majestic structure of liberty, which our fathers reared for us with so much labor and sacrifice?

There is only one force adequate to the destructive work—the force of false and mischievous ideas. Ideas have in them the elements of all power. They alone move the moral and social world. Penetrating every crevice of the social structure, they have the force of attraction and repulsion; they consolidate and strengthen, or, like frost and heat, they rend and crumble the hardest material, either slowly or suddenly, as circumstances and conditions may permit or require. They have in them all the terrible might, with all the explosive and dangerous quickness, which belong to the most destructive of physical forces. When, in any community, ideas are harmonious, they have an organizing power wholly independent of their soundness or of their ultimate stability; but when discordant and conflicting, they produce disorganization, ruin, and chaos.[Pg 697]

Unfortunately for our country, opposite and hostile ideas have been growing up among us from the beginning of our national existence—nay, from the very hour when the first cargo of slaves was landed on our shores in the earliest days of our colonial history. Conflicting systems have naturally grown out of these hostile ideas, which have thus embodied themselves in the visible forms appropriate to their respective natures. The colonial authorities protested against the policy of importing slaves, which the mother country persisted in maintaining, until powerful interests were gathered around it, and opinions were thus nurtured to support and defend the fatal error. Slaveholding communities arose out of this sinister beginning; they flourished and became powerful States; and they finally presented the anomaly of maintaining a noble struggle for national independence, avowedly based upon the broadest principle of human right. They aggregated themselves, eventually, into a federal union—a political nationality founded on 'the corner stone' of liberty, and not of slavery. In view of all the circumstances, this was a wonderful result; but the old original opposition, which had been incapable of resisting slavery in the days of colonial infancy and weakness, had not yet been subdued on the day when the nation arrived at its majority and assumed the rights of manhood. The venerable patriots of the revolution were men of the most enlightened and liberal views on the subject; so much so, indeed, as to shame the degeneracy of their unworthy successors in those States which still retain the slave institution. With the general consent, in the Constitution of 1787, the germs of freedom were planted, while at the same time, apparently as a matter of course, the flourishing tree of slavery was effectually girdled, and the axe was already laid at its root. Three very simple provisions effectually secured this momentous result. The provision for stopping the slave trade in 1808, and the antagonist clause for opening wide the gates of our country to the immigration of free white men, together with that which restricted the representation of slave populations in the proportion of three to five—these cardinal provisions marked the certain doom of slavery. In the lapse of time, and with the operation of ordinary social causes, the result was as certain and inevitable as any other effect of natural laws. In spite of the universal prevalence of slavery at first, free labor pushed itself forward and won its way, until, in more than half the original States, slave labor had receded before it and disappeared forever. The wisdom of those great fundamental provisions of our Constitution has been fully vindicated by the results of eighty years' experience. They have worked smoothly and progressively, in perfect conformity with that universal social law which, has made slavery a temporary and transitional institution wherever it has existed among civilized nations.

That such a law exists can hardly be questioned. Its operation is apparent, not only in the partial experience of our own country, but in that of all others where the natural social tendencies have had unimpeded sway. No one has ever denied its existence among the white races; for there it has operated invariably to bring certain emancipation, whenever any nation has reached the proper position in the scale of progress. The rule is universal; history presents no exception. But it has been supposed that slavery of the African to the white man is not subject to this great historical law, on account of the difference of race, whether that difference be fundamental and ineradicable, or whether it be only the consequence of material conditions operating through successive centuries. Neither reason nor experience, however, can be invoked to sustain this supposed exception to the general law. Except in Spanish America, African slavery has disappeared from the dependencies of European powers; and even there, every one knows, the conditions[Pg 698] of slavery are far more favorable to emancipation than in the United States. Yet here, a majority of the original thirteen colonies have wholly discarded slavery, and given themselves up to the dominion of free white men; while others among those known as border States, notwithstanding their apparent immobility, have long been unconsciously preparing to follow in the same path of safety. Even without the rebellion, it is demonstrable, we believe, that the border States could not long have resisted the necessity for gradual, but complete emancipation. The civil war makes it more speedy, not more certain.

In order to establish the principle that slavery, in any part of the United States, is destined to be an exception to that general law which decrees universal emancipation as a certain result, it would be necessary to show the negro to be incapable of improvement; for if he be destined to progressive existence at all, it follows that, sooner or later, he will reach a condition in which he no longer can or ought to be held in subjection or subordination of any kind; and this, too, without the supposition of any moral change or improvement on the part of the slave owner. Indeed, the most usual and plausible, if not also the most truly substantial of all excuses or justifications for enslaving the African, in any form, has, from the beginning, been predicated on the fact that his subordination to the superior intelligence of the white man is calculated to improve him physically, morally, and intellectually. The capacity of improvement thus admitted, the logical result must be eventual liberation. This result is bound up in the very nature of things, and must inevitably be developed at some time or other, as proved by all history, as well as by any rational analysis of human character and intellect. But, only one half the argument has been employed to bring the mind to this irresistible conclusion. We have omitted all examination of the subject in that other aspect which has reference to industrial, economical, and moral considerations affecting the vital interests of the superior race. We need not say how much the discussion of these would serve to strengthen the argument and confirm the conclusion already stated.

Now, it is apparent, this reasoning being admitted, that the attempt to perpetuate slavery, which in its nature is temporary and transitional, is contrary to the palpable laws of social existence and progress, and, if persisted in beyond a certain point, must inevitably lead to violence and disorder. Nature, the supreme authority, by her unalterable laws, wills and decrees one thing; man, in his ignorance and audacity, attempts the opposite. Conflict must necessarily follow; but the decrees of the higher power will be inexorably enforced; they will sweep away every structure, great or small, which man, in all the pride of his puny strength and glimmering wisdom, may vainly seek to place as an obstruction in their path. But, when the Southern people adopted this false idea, that slavery could be perpetuated and made the foundation of stable institutions, they not only placed themselves in conflict with the decrees of natural law, which was the most important and fatal error, but they also indicated hostility to those vital provisions of the Constitution to which reference has already been made. No thoughtful observer of events in this country will require evidence to sustain this assertion. The constant evasion of the law prohibiting the slave trade, and the impunity with which it was frequently and sometimes openly violated, as well as the known public opinion throughout the South on this subject and on that of European immigration, are quite sufficient to establish it. The violent resistance, by fraud and even bloodshed, to the settlement of the Territories by free white men, and the determined effort to establish the law of slavery in every region, against even the vote of the majority, and without any actual in[Pg 699]terest or necessity for so doing, evince too plainly that the Southern people were not prepared to accept the results of the proper workings of the Constitution, which gave preponderance, in the number of States and in Federal representation, to the ever-increasing free white men, against the relatively diminishing numbers of the slaves and their owners. This inequality of power was continually becoming greater, and evidently could not be avoided or remedied under the Constitution, without a complete reversal of the policy of its framers, and of the contemporaneous construction which they placed on it.

Thus it is plain that by the legitimate and intended operation of the Constitution, slavery had come to that stage of its existence, when it must either prepare for its own gradual decline and ultimate disappearance, or it must provide means for invigorating and prolonging its life. There was only one way in which its power could be increased and for some time yet firmly established, viz.: by the reopening of the infamous and almost universally condemned African slave trade. This would have accomplished a double purpose. It would have increased the numbers of the South, and enabled them measurably to balance the representation of the North, as well as to extend their dominion over the Territories, and lay the foundations of new States; or, in case of their success in destroying the Union, it would enable them to carry out their cherished schemes of empire, as an independent power. But, what was, perhaps, more important, it would tend to prolong, if not to perpetuate slavery, by infusing new supplies of barbarism among the African race, lowering their present grade of civilization, retarding their improvement on the whole, and thus postponing the inevitable day of their liberation.

There are strong indications, in the early proceedings of the conspirators, that they seriously entertained the design of replenishing their gangs of laborers from the shores of Africa. It was only after the contest had assumed a serious aspect, and the immense difficulties of their position began to dawn upon them, that they were compelled ostensibly to abandon that design. They were compelled to conciliate the border States, which were all opposed to the foreign slave trade. Virginia, whose chief annual income was derived from the sale of her slave population, rather than from the productions of their labor, was an indispensable ally to the rebellion, and she would hardly assent to the importation of Africans, in competition with her own supply. Moreover, it began to be obvious that the aid of foreign powers would be desirable; and their intervention, if to be obtained at all, could not be solicited or hoped for, without the most explicit disavowal of an intention to reëstablish a traffic which had already been denounced as infamous and piratical by the leading powers of the world. The rebels, therefore, were compelled by the exigencies of their condition to prohibit the slave trade in their permanent constitution. Doubtless they would never have done this, had they not been vigorously assailed by the Federal Government, and forced to modify their purposes with a view to conciliate support at home and abroad.

Thus it is apparent that, at the outset of their treason, the objects of the conspirators, however since modified, were utterly hostile to the letter and spirit of our Constitution, and could never be successfully carried out without the overthrow of the Government. The conflict, therefore, of opposite ideas, involved not only the laws of nature, which cannot be altered or arrested, but, also, established institutions of the most sacred character, which could hardly be expected to succumb to the hostile doctrine without a fearful struggle.

In what manner this conflict of opinions and purposes becomes transformed into physical combat and culminates in bloody war, is to be easily understood when the relations of human intellect[Pg 700] and passion are duly considered. All philosophy teaches that the intellect is the weaker and less active part of human nature. Passion generally predominates in action, and men are usually more disposed to resist with violence all unwelcome ideas, than to study and estimate them fairly by the laborious exercise of reason. Hence, from the early historical ages, when nations were but imperfectly enlightened, wars have been the principal means of propagating ideas; and most of the great social truths gradually unfolded to man, have been written in blood for his instruction and improvement. Doubtless, if human nature had been different, if passion and intellect in his constitution had been mingled in other proportions, it would have been easier, if not better, to have disseminated great truths by the more peaceful means of argument and friendly communication of thought; and it is to be hoped that the time is not far distant when reason will everywhere take the place of passion, and brutal force no longer be necessary for the work of intellectual conviction and moral enlightenment. But, evidently, this time has not yet arrived for the people of our Southern States, whatever may be the condition in this respect of the more civilized and enlightened portions of mankind. Nor, indeed, could any different disposition of the Southern people he expected in their present social condition. One third of their population is composed of African slaves, semicivilized, systematically deprived of knowledge, and subjected to physical coercion, instead of being incited to usefulness by the higher motives of self-interest and laudable ambition. To say that this is a degraded class, is only to recognize their supreme misfortune, and not to reproach or insult them on account of their unhappy condition. But this degradation does not affect them alone. It reaches their oppressors also, and involves them in its unavoidable consequences. By that inevitable law of action and reaction which prevails alike in moral and social as in physical phenomena, the community which has so large a portion of its members in a condition of ignorance and brutality, must, throughout its whole body, partake of the degradation which exists within it, and must be affected, by the very contact, in all its feelings, sentiments, and purposes, through the gross and ignorant passions which such an association cannot fail to arouse. The moral level of the whole society is lowered to the average condition of its constituent parts. To expect the controlling power of such a community to be accessible to reason and conciliation, would indeed argue an utter ignorance of the whole slave system and of its influence upon the minds and hearts of those who sustain it. War is the normal condition of those communities which cherish slavery; and although such an institution, misplaced in connection with the civilization of the nineteenth century, may seem to have changed its original nature in accordance with existing circumstances, yet, when its purposes are thwarted, it is ever ready for military violence. It is like a native barbarian, schooled and trained to apparent civilization, but ever inclined, at the first temptation, to fall into his natural habits of wild and savage life. The Southern organization has already proved itself to be peculiarly fitted for warlike operations; it has been correspondingly unsuited to modern industrial pursuits, except for the simplest and most primitive of all labors, those of agriculture. Indeed, these were always the principal occupations of slaves, even in those early stages of human progress when these classes were left at home to till the soil, while the masters followed their ordinary occupation of war. The same constitution of society at the present day leaves the masters free, it is true, to engage in more humane and elevated occupations, but not without an evident inclination or easy adaptation for those bold and bad pursuits from which slavery originally arose, and which it after[Pg 701]wards contributed so much to sustain and prolong.

But, notwithstanding this natural inclination of slaveholders toward commotion and war, it is not to be denied, on the other hand, that in civil conflicts like ours, in which discordant opinions and important local interests are involved, the issue of peace or war may to a great extent be controlled by that party which has the right of the controversy. Its conduct may be forbearing and conciliatory, or it may be insulting and calculated to invite resistance. A magazine may be dangerous in itself, for an accidental spark or an unintended friction of apparently harmless substances may cause it to explode; but, at the same time, the catastrophe may be brought on by the wilful folly of those whose duty it is to provide the necessary precautions against danger. The North has unquestionably been right in the contest on slavery, as to all the moral and economical aspects of the question; and generally, too, us to all the political principles involved. But has she not been violent and abusive—so offensively obtruding into the local affairs of the opposite section, as unnecessarily to arouse the angry passions of the South, rather than to encourage the calm exercise of reason? The answer to this question is by no means so obvious and easy as may at first be supposed. The whole subject has been so complicated with party movements, that it becomes impossible to follow the ramifications of influence, and to determine what share individuals or parties, on one side or the other, may have had in the responsibility for the angry controversy, its aggravating incidents, and its general results. This, however, is certain: the slaveholders have for many years controlled the Democratic party, and that organization has held the power of government in its hands during far the greater part of our national existence. Important concessions have been made to their interests, from time to time, during the whole period; and no single instance of actual wrong to the South, by the violation, of any acknowledged constitutional right, can be designated, in the whole action of the Federal Government from the time of its establishment down to the commencement of this rebellion.

Nor can it be denied, that while in power with the Democratic party and ascendant in its counsels, the South has been exacting in the extreme, and has often made demands wholly incompatible with the true interests of liberty and humanity. Witness the offensive form in which the fugitive slave law was passed, and its execution enforced in the North, wholly regardless of the natural and irrepressible sympathies of a humane people; and, on the other hand, the unnecessary and sinister excitement deliberately aroused and kept up, in the extreme Southern States, on this subject of fugitives, although it is well known that no considerable losses of that kind have ever been suffered in that quarter. So likewise as to slavery in the Territories. It has often been admitted by Southern statesmen of the extreme school, that the Territories recently organized, over which so much bitter controversy has occurred, are altogether unsuited in climate and productions for the employment of slave labor; and few will deny, whether those Territories be physically adapted or not adapted to the labor of Africans, that the South had not the means of populating them without an increase of slaves from their native continent, or by a resort to some other source of ample supply. Here, then, was a most violent and persistent effort to secure the acknowledgment of a right to do what they had not the means to accomplish, and what they could not obtain the means of doing without the actual overthrow of the Government, as well as a flagrant violation of the moral sentiments of mankind.

On this score, therefore, the account seems to be tolerably well balanced; for if Northern men have sometimes wantonly started hostile and injurious agita[Pg 702]tion, calculated to arouse fierce passions and to close the ears of the Southern people to the voice of reason; these, on the other hand, are liable to equal or greater censure for having made impossible demands, as unnecessary as they were inadmissible, and liable from their very extravagance to be considered as mere pretexts, deliberately adopted with a view to aggravate the quarrel and prevent a reconciliation. It is difficult to admit any other explanation of the extraordinary policy of the Southern leaders. It is not improbable that they will henceforward acknowledge such to have been the motive of their principal political acts for many years past. The terrible events now passing before our saddened eyes, are too solemn and weighty, not to be understood in all their past relations and in all their present import. They stand forth in stern and awful reality, glaring in the lurid light of the past and casting dark shadows over the future, while they sweep away all false pretences, and lay bare the real motives which, from the beginning, have actuated the men who are prominent in performing the great drama.

But these questions of transient passions and objurgatory provocation are trivial and unimportant. They do not touch the real causes of the difficulty; they are but the froth on the surface of the deep and mighty current of events, which was rushing on to the gulf of rebellion. The time had come, in the history of our country, when, by the necessary working of its institutions, the most solemn question of the age was to be determined. Slavery must either accept its inevitable doom and prepare for ultimate extinction, or it must provide new means for prolonging its existence and reëstablishing its waning power. In three quarters of a century, the Constitution of 1787 had done its work. It had suppressed the immigration of Africans; it had established that of Europeans. Free white labor had demonstrated its superiority and achieved a complete victory over slavery; and the political power, long wielded by the Southern men, had passed forever out of their hands, as the representatives and supporters of the slave policy. In the Senate, in the House of Representatives, in the great majority of States, in all the Territories, and, finally, in the very citadel of their former power, the presidential mansion, their almost immemorial superiority had been utterly overthrown. The Government was about to assume its true character, as the home of liberty and the veritable asylum of humanity. Slavery, fallen into the minority, was about to experience an accelerated decline and eventually to disappear. To resist this doom, was to fight against the Constitution and against destiny.

The people of the Southern States were wholly unwilling to accept the condition to which the legitimate workings of the Constitution had fairly brought them. Being a minority in numbers and in representative weight, they rose up in rebellion against this unalterable fact. They foresaw it, and, by every possible device, resisted it before it came. When it arrived, they resisted still more madly, even to the extent of self-destruction. The minority was arrayed not merely against the majority, but also against the necessary results of our institutions and against the decrees of nature: that is to say, against the law of man, and against the law of God. The majority was expected to give way, and to permit the engine of national progress to be reversed, our eighty years of glorious history to be undone, and humanity itself to be turned back upon the dreary path of its earliest and saddest struggles. This refused, the alternative was the destruction of the Government.

It was wholly impossible for the majority to make any satisfactory concessions to a minority infatuated with such ideas. Compromise was impracticable, so long as the rebellious States made the perpetuity of slavery and the predominance of its power an indispen[Pg 703]sable condition of any arrangement. Their demands were forever inadmissible so long as they remained in the Union; and to permit them to effect their purposes as an independent confederacy, was equally out of the question. There is no longer any division of sentiment on this point, whatever doubts may have been expressed in the beginning. Separation of the States would be disastrous and fatal to all the fragmentary governments which would take the place of this majestic Union. The nation instinctively feels that its unity is its salvation—that disunion will be destructive of all its long-cherished and glorious hopes. Its permanent peace, its prosperity and progress, its greatness, its honor, and its influence among civilized nations—all depend on its unity. These, which are the glory of our country to every patriotic heart, were the stumbling blocks to the conspirators. Slavery was ambitious and discontented with its appointed lot; it was determined; it rushed headlong to its fatal purpose. The nation stood in its path, and would not, could not get out of the way. This is the central fact of the whole controversy. National unity is on the one side—the disintegration and anarchy which slavery demands, are on the other. These are the contending forces; they are engaged in mortal combat, and one or the other must be utterly overthrown and destroyed. Slavery must succumb and consent to disappear, or the Union of our fathers must go down in the dust, never again to rise.

Can the enemies of the United States, at home or abroad, suppose that these vital questions can ever he yielded? That the nation can voluntarily abdicate its authority, confess the failure of its work for three quarters of a century; permit all the purposes of its creation to be utterly thwarted, and tamely and basely surrender all those hopes of a glorious destiny, which we have ever been taught to cherish as the goal of our unexampled freedom? The Southern people have been the sport of many delusions and infatuations; but the belief of these incredible and impossible suppositions, is the crowning folly of them all. These restless and daring men occupied the fairest region of the globe, with a virtual monopoly of the cotton culture. The unexampled increase of the cotton trade and manufacture, if it had not filled their coffers with unbounded wealth, had at least given them lavish returns for the labor of their slaves and enabled them to live in unlimited profusion. That under such a system they should have little provident care, but should indulge unbounded confidence in the future, was natural enough, for they conceived their prosperity, which cost them so little labor or anxiety, to be in its nature permanent. When, therefore, they saw gradually approaching the certain downfall of their power, they could not understand that this was the result of natural causes, but attributed it to the malignant enmity of the Government. A social organization, so agreeable, so full of pleasures and advantages, conferring not only ease and luxury, but also station and authority, must necessarily be right in itself, and worthy of every effort and every sacrifice to perpetuate it. What was the Government of the United States, that it should presume to erect itself as an obstacle to the progress of this rich and powerful organization? Was not the whole fabric of human industry dependent on it, and would not foreign nations be compelled by the very helplessness of their starving people to sustain and defend it? Why should there be anything sacred in the institutions of the country, when they evidently tended, by their spirit and operation, to overthrow the power of slavery? Washington was weak, with all his goodness; Jefferson was a demagogue; Madison had not forecast enough to see the necessary results of his political combinations. We have grown wiser; then let us sweep away the obstacles which were placed in our path by the weakness and folly of our de[Pg 704]luded forefathers. Let us prostrate the clumsy fabric which they constructed, since the Yankees have taken possession of it, and are working it for the benefit of Irish and German immigrants and their descendants, and not for that of African traders and negro masters. By some terrible fatality, it was the misfortune of the Southern leaders to believe these delusions. They have gone so far as to act upon them, and have seduced their people into fatal coöperation; and these are now reaping the bloody fruits of an error so profound and awful.

The rebellious States not only thought it practicable to overthrow the National Government; they, doubtless, also held that result necessary to their safety and success. This followed as a logical conclusion from their established dogma that the slavery of the laboring class is the only firm foundation of social order. They convinced themselves that white men could not perform the labor necessary on cotton and sugar plantations. The negro alone was capable of standing the fierce rays of the Southern sun, and of successfully resisting the deadly malaria which prevails in that region. The Southern people firmly believed this doctrine, although their very eyes, in all parts of their territory, except perhaps in the rice fields of South Carolina and Georgia, thousands of white men were and are daily occupied in this very work. So remarkable a delusion, contradicted by their own daily experience, is by no means uncommon under similar circumstances. When the passions of men are aroused and their interests, real or imaginary, involved, they seldom comprehend the true significance, nor do they stop to estimate deliberately the actual conditions, of what is going on around them. Much less do they understand the character and tendency of great social movements, in which they themselves are actively engaged. The strongest intellects, in such circumstances, do not often escape the prevailing prejudices and delusions. A sort of common moral atmosphere pervades the whole society; opinions become homogeneous; and even the worst abuses, sanctioned by time and by universal custom, lose all their enormity, and command the support and approval even of good men. Palpable errors of fact, and, indeed, every available sophistry in argument, have been adopted by the Southern men to sustain the system of slavery.

The deluded victims of these false ideas could not conceive a different organization of labor as possible for them. It was perhaps even natural for them to consider the opposite system in the Northern States, as hostile to their interests and dangerous to their peculiar property in labor. Nor were they in fact mistaken: not that the Northern social system need have interfered violently to overthrow their institutions; but there was an instinctive feeling that the two could not exist together and flourish in the same community. It was obscurely felt that one must give way before the other, whether peacefully or violently, and it was impossible to doubt which of the two was destined to succumb, under the gradual but inevitable operation of our established political forms and principles. Under the dominion of excited and unreasoning prejudices, the Southern mind could see no distinction between the necessary and irresistible operation of principles and the intentional hostility of their hated rivals. Thus, with a fixed conviction of the inevitable end of their system under the Constitution, it was vainly expected to avoid that unwelcome fate, by destroying the Government of the United States, which had been deliberately created by its founders with a view to the ultimate extinction of slavery.

But, alas! this expedient has proved to be a fatal error—none more fatal has ever misled and ruined a prosperous and gallant people. Instead of overthrowing the Government—a consummation[Pg 705] never to be admitted or even thought of, with any toleration, for a single moment—they will only bring the cherished object of their bloody sacrifices to a sudden and disastrous end. Slavery never could have had—never ought to have had any better security than was afforded by the Constitution of this country, administered fairly, as it always has been, if not with evident partiality, toward this exacting interest. Take away from it the support of the Constitution, and, under any circumstances, it would most assuredly fall. But the Government assaulted, in the interest of slavery, for the increase and perpetuity of slavery—that presents an emergency which admits of no hesitation, and in which those who have been most tolerant toward the system, and most ready to yield its unreasonable exactions to save the Government, will be the first to strike it down for the same end. The nation must survive; its enemies must succumb or perish.

Can any one deny that the Federal Government was compelled to take up the gage of battle which the rebels had so vauntingly thrown down? Not merely the interests of civil authority and order, but the preponderance of freedom, and the claims of humanity on this continent, required the most determined resistance to be made, and forbade the possibility of quietly surrendering the destinies of the nation into the hands of the traitors who sought to destroy it, What a spectacle of imbecility and miserable failure in the hour of great peril would have been presented to the indignant world, if, in this great crisis, the national authorities had been so far beneath the occasion as to have declined the proffered contest and basely betrayed their trust, at the first demand of the seceding States! The everlasting scorn of mankind would have overwhelmed and blasted the dastard and degenerate race, who would thus have sacrificed the highest and most sacred interests of humanity. Rather than this, welcome the civil war, with all its sacrifices! Welcome privations, labors, taxes, wounds, death, and all the nameless horrors that swarm along the red path of civil strife! Thousands of precious lives and billions of treasure have already been expended, and yet no patriotic heart thinks of turning back from the battle field, until the Union established by our fathers shall be restored to its integrity.

Compelled to admit the conclusions already stated, let us not do injustice even to the men who are prominent in this iniquitous rebellion. The most difficult of all moral problems is to determine how far individual agency can control social or political events, and what degree of responsibility attaches to those who have been apparently influential in producing disastrous results. An impartial study of history will serve to establish the truth that prominent men who, in any age, may seem to have produced great changes by their individual will, were merely the instruments of society by which irresistible tendencies were carried out to their necessary ends. The very conceptions of such men are the offspring of their times, and in order that they should have power to accomplish their designs, the great social forces of the community must be at their disposal, ready and inclined to perform the work. A great rock or a mighty glacier may be so balanced at the mountain top, that a small force—the sound of a trumpet, a mere breath of air—may dislodge it, and cause it to descend, carrying destruction into the valley. But the force of gravitation is necessary to bring it down and give it the impetus of ruin. So the might of a great people may be poised on some lofty pinnacle of human destiny; but unless there he involved in the existing sentiments and convictions, the situation and surroundings of that people, the elements of force and action, for good or evil, no individual agency and no combination of men can impart the power which they lack. All that was required among the Southern people,[Pg 706] for the initiation of this gigantic rebellion, was some universal animating idea, capable of binding them together in unanimous accord, imparting the necessary force and velocity in the direction of treason, when started and impelled by the efforts of their leading men. Slavery was just such a principle; it was the gravitating power which hurled them down the precipice, and gave the tremendous impetus of ruin which they have exerted in their awful descent. But, in truth, this mischievous power has been accumulating ever since the Government was founded. It grew out of the antecedents of existing society; and the present generation is not wholly responsible for it. The misfortunes of our fathers, their omissions and errors as well as ours, have left this fatal legacy to descend into our hands. We may not have dealt with it wisely, but assuredly the framers of the Constitution did not intend slavery to be perpetual, nor did they provide for it the power to overthrow the Government.


In the black terror-night,
On yon mist-shrouded hill,
Slowly, with footstep light,
Stealthy, and grim, and still,
Like ghost in winding sheet
Risen at midnight bell,
Over his lonely beat
Marches the sentinel!

In storm-defying cloak—
Hand on his trusty gun—
Heart, like a heart of oak—
Eye, never-setting sun;
Speaks but the challenge-shout,
All foes without the line,
Heeds but, to solve the doubt,
Watchword and countersign.

Camp-ward, the watchfires gleam
Beacon-like in the gloom;
Round them his comrades dream
Pictures of youth and home.
While in his heart the bright
Hope-fires shine everywhere,
In love's enchanting light
[Pg 707]Memory lies dreaming there.

Faint, through the silence come
From the foes' grim array,
Growl of impatient dram
Eager for morrow's fray;
Echo of song and shout,
Curse and carousal glee,
As in a fiendish rout
Demons at revelry.

Close, in the gloomy shade—
Danger lurks ever nigh—
Grasping his dagger-blade
Crouches th' assassin spy;
Shrinks at the guardman's tread,
Quails 'fore his gleaming eyes,
Creeps back with baffled hate,
Cursing his cowardice.

Naught can beguile his bold
Unsleeping vigilance;
E'en in the fireflame, old
Visions unheeded dance.
Fearless of lurking spy,
Scornful of wassail-swell,
With an undaunted eye
Marches the sentinel.

Low, to his trusty gun
Eagerly whispers he,
'Wait, with the morning sun
March we to victory.
Fools, into Satan's clutch
Leaping ere dawn of day:
He who would fight must watch,
He who would win must pray.'

Pray! for the night hath wings;
Watch! for the foe is near;
March! till the morning brings
Fame-wreath or soldier's bier.
So shall the poet write,
When all hath ended well,
'Thus through the nation's night
Marched Freedom's sentinel.'
[Pg 708]


On a fair, sunny morning in July, 1862, I started from—no matter where; and taking my seat in a comfortable rail car, turned my face toward the borders of Vermont.

As the road, for the greater part of the way was an up-grade, and as there is on that particular route a way station about every two miles, at each of which the cars unduly stop, our progress was rather slow, and I had ample time to observe alike the wild and rugged scenery through which we were passing, and the countenances and actions of my fellow passengers.

For a time the picturesque character of country engaged my attention; but getting tired, at last, of the endless succession of green mountains, clothed to their summits with dark pine and hemlock; of rocky, tortuous streams, their channels run almost dry by the excessive drought; of stony fields, dotted with sheep or sprinkled with diminutive hay cocks, or coaxed by patient cultivation into bearing a few hills of stunted Indian corn, I began to find the interior of the car a much more interesting field of observation. And it is wonderful how many different aspects of human nature one can see in the course of a day's journey in a railroad car.

The first person who attracted my notice, was a young man sitting opposite to me. His appearance was prepossessing, not so much from beauty of form or feature, as from the pleasant expression of his fair, open face, adorned with side whiskers of a reddish hue, of the mutton-chop genus and pendent species. He looked like an Englishman or Anglicized Scotchman; but from some words he let drop, I am inclined to believe he was a Western man. Be that as it may, he was evidently a tourist, travelling for pleasure through a country that was new to him, and desirous of gaining all the information he could concerning it.

On the hooks above him, hung a heavy blanket shawl, an umbrella, and a little basket. In his hand he held one of Appleton's Railway Guides,' to which he made constant reference, reading from it the names of the places through which we passed, in tones so loud and distinct, that most of his fellow passengers participated in the information. On the seat beside him lay a large book in red binding, which proved to be another guide book, and to which he referred when the smaller one failed him. Immediately behind him sat a saturnine-looking gentleman (also provided with a railway guide), with whom he frequently conversed, addressing him as 'John,' and who seemed to be his travelling companion.

It was impossible not to feel interested in the movements of the tourist. To gentlemanly manners and an air of refinement, there was added a certain boyish simplicity that was quite refreshing to contemplate. He seemed to fraternize with everybody, conversing freely, first with one passenger, then with another; and apparently imparting to all a portion of the genial good humor with which his nature was flooded.

I was amused with a colloquy that took place, in regard to a field of ripening grain, near which the train had stopped.

'Is that a field of wheat?' asked 'John' of his friend.

'Well, really,' said the tourist, ingenuously, 'I don't know the difference between wheat and rye.' Then bending toward the person who sat in front of him, he said, in an earnest manner, 'Pray, sir, can you tell me whether that field is wheat or rye?'

The other glanced at the field rather dubiously, I thought; but answered promptly:

'That's wheat, sir.'

It was rye, nevertheless.[Pg 709]

I observed that the tourist had, by affability, completely won the heart of the conductor. Whenever that official was at liberty—which, by the way, was only for a few minutes at a time, in of the numerous stopping places—he would sit down until the scream of the whistle summoned him again to his duty, when he would hurry through his task, again to his favorite seat.

The gentleman was much struck with the large quantities of wild raspberries, that clothed the fences on either side of the track. 'There were no raspberries,' he said, 'where he came from. At the very next station I saw the conductor go out (although it was now raining), break off a branch, loaded with ripe fruit, from a raspberry bush, and returning to the car, smilingly present it to his friend. The gentleman thanked him warmly; but instead of selfishly devouring the fruit himself, generously shared it with all within reach of his arm, with a diffusive benevolence that put me in mind of the free-hearted Irishman, who, as he gave his friend the half of his potato, said: 'You're welcome to it, if 'twere twice as little.'

At another place the tourist himself got out, and returned with a handful of wayside flowers. Selecting from them a fine, blooming clover head, and a little weed of the bulrush family, he placed them between the leaves of his guide book, saying to his neighbor, as he did so:

'I like to preserve such little mementoes of the places I visit. Once, when travelling at the South, I gathered a cotton bud; and would you believe it, in the course of three months it expanded to a perfect flower, and actually ripened its seeds?'

'Why, then,' said the other, laughingly, 'we need be at no loss for cotton, if it can be cultivated as easily as that.'

In striking contrast to this passenger, was another, who sat a few seats in front of him. His appearance was not prepossessing, on the contrary, 'quite the reverse.' He was a coarse, heavy-looking, thick-set, dirty, Irish soldier, redolent of whiskey and tobacco. His looks inspired me with profound disgust and dislike, which were not at all lessened when I saw him take from the hands of a comrade a black bottle, and applying it to his lips, solace himself with a 'dhrop of the cratur.'

But I found, ere long, that there was a heart beneath that dirty uniform, a soft kernel inside of the rude, unpromising husk. His family were on the car; and as he sat in a lounging attitude, conversing with his comrade (they had both been discharged, I heard them say, from the '6th New York'), a little girl came staggering along the passage way, holding herself up by the seats on either side. As she neared him, she sprang to him, and placed herself between his knees; and the coarse, weather-beaten face beamed down upon her with such a smile—so full of warm, tender, earnest affection, that I felt rebuked for my previous poor opinion of that man.

Nor was this all. At C——, the little girl, accompanied by her mother and several brothers and sisters, got out; while the soldier himself, having seen them all safely deposited on the station platform, and treated them to a hearty smack all round, returned to the car, and resumed his seat. As the train began to move, he started up, thrust his head out of the window, and greeted the group on the platform with another of those bright, loving smiles, that made my heart warm to the rough, sun-burnt soldier, in spite of tobacco, and whiskey, and dirt.

About noon we reached the pretty village of Rutland, Vt.; and there the stentorian voice of the conductor rang out:

'Passengers for Boston, change cars!'

I hastened to obey the mandate; and the last I saw of the genial-hearted tourist (who was going to Montreal), he was shaking hands with his friend the conductor, whose 'beat' extended no further; and bidding him a warm and hearty 'good-by.'[Pg 710]

In the car in which I now found myself, no talkative tourist or companionable conductor enlivened the way; a much more 'still-life' order of things prevailed. But here, too, I soon found objects of interest.

Near me sat a young officer in undress uniform, with a cicatrized bullet wound in his cheek. He had doubtless been home on 'sick leave,' and, though now quite restored to health, was apparently in no hurry to go back. Far from it. Very different thoughts, I fancy, occupied his mind than cutting rebel throats, or acquiring distinction in the 'imminent deadly breach.' There was a lady by his side, with whom, judging by appearances, his relations were of an extremely tender character. They were either newly married, or about soon to 'undergo the operation.' I incline to the latter belief; for in reply to a remark from the lady that they would be late in arriving at their destination, I overheard the gentleman smilingly say:

'Well, at all events, nothing can be done until we get there.'

And here, in passing, I would respectfully suggest to all couples in the peculiarly interesting position of my young fellow travellers, that a railroad car is not the most suitable place in the world, in which to lavish endearments on each other. However delightful the 'exercise' may be to them, truth compels me to say that it is, to cool, uninterested, dispassionate lookers-on, decidedly nauseating.

At the time of which I am writing, the War order, recalling all stragglers, had not been promulgated; and no one, in travelling, could fail to be struck with the predominance of the military element among the population. It was unpleasant to observe, at every railroad station, at every wayside grocery store, groups of idle, lounging soldiers, smoking and gossiping, and having, apparently, no earthly object except to kill time; and to know that these men, wearing their country's uniform, and drawing their pay from her exhausted exchequer, were lingering at home on various pretexts, and basely and deliberately shirking their duty, while rebellion still reared its horrid front, and the Government required every arm that could be raised in its defence. That energetic document put a stop to all this; but the question here arises, Can the men be in earnest? Can that patriotism be genuine which needs to be driven to the battle field?

Ah! here is one brave fellow, who, though still lame from a recent wound, is hastening back to the scenes where duty calls him. He comes into the cars with his sword in one hand, and his overcoat, neatly strapped, in the other. He looks grave and serious—doubtless he is thinking of home, and of the dear ones he has just left. Doubtless, from that cause springs a singular restlessness, that impels him to get out at every stopping place, and pace backward and forward with unequal steps, till the train starts again. As he passes and repasses me, I try to read his countenance. There is no flinching there—no shrinking from duty in that brave soul. In the expressive language of Scripture, he has 'put his life in his hand,' and is ready to offer it at the shrine of his country. As I mark his firm lip, his thoughtful eye, his look of steadfast determination, there come into my mind those grand soul-stirring lines of Percival:

'Oh! it is great for our country to die; when ranks are contending,
Bright is the wreath of our fame; glory awaits us for aye:
Glory, that never is dim, shining on with a light never ending,
Glory, that never shall fade, never, O never, away.'

At the first station beyond Rutland, a woman with a baby—there is always a woman with a baby in the cars—got out. In addition to the baby, she had a carpet bag, a band box, a basket, and several paper parcels. How she managed to carry them all, I know not; but as she was stumbling along, thus overloaded, a lady, just entering the car with[Pg 711] some others, with a sudden, generous impulse, took the baby in her arms, and, at the risk of losing her own passage, carried it to the door of the waiting-room. Then, without stopping to receive the thanks of the grateful mother, she rejoined her friends, smiling at her own exploit, and all unconscious of the admiration her beautiful action had excited in some of her fellow travellers. At the picturesque village of Bellow's Falls, on the Connecticut river, we entered the 'Old Granite State,' but too far south to see the 'native mountains' in their wildest grandeur and magnificence. One specimen, however, greets us as we leave the village—a huge, perpendicular mass of granite, rising sheer up from the railroad to the height of a thousand feet or more; while the river, a wild receptacle of tumbled rocks and broken falls, stretches along the other side of the track, far beneath us. The labor expended in the construction of this mountain road (the Cheshire Railroad) must have been enormous, and affords a striking proof of the indomitable energy and enterprise of the New England character. The high places have literally been brought low, and the valleys exalted. Not once, but many times, the train rushes through between two perpendicular walls of solid granite, so high that not a glimpse of the sky can be seen from the car windows; while beyond, some hollow chasm or rugged gulley has been bridged over, or filled up with the superabundant masses of stone excavated from the deep cuts.

It gives one a feeling of dizzy exaltation to be whirled, at the rate of thirty or forty miles an hour—for as there is for a good part of the way a descending grade, the velocity is tremendous—along the verge of a mountain, and to see other mountains, with valleys, rivers, villages, and church steeples, spread out beneath you, as if on a map. But gradually the face of the country changes; the mountains become less lofty, the granite formations disappear; here stretches a wide, dismal pond of stagnant water, yellow with water lilies (Nuphar), and there a field that has been burnt over, leaving the scorched and branchless trees standing like a host of hideous spectres, until at last the fertile and highly cultivated fields of Massachusetts smile upon us with a pleasant, cheerful aspect.

But, pleasing as it is to contemplate well-cultivated farms and thriving homesteads, it must be confessed that to the eye of the traveller wild mountain scenery has a far stronger attraction; and insensibly, as the train speeds on through the now level country, veiled in a thin, drizzling, mist-like rain, I find my gaze and my thoughts coming back from the outside world, and resting once more on my co-inmates of the car.

Not far from me sits a beautiful young girl, fair haired and blue eyed, and of a peculiarly interesting and lady-like appearance. She has a look of bright intelligence; and on her lap lies a book, the title of which I can read from here: 'English Literature.' But she is deaf and dumb, as is plainly betokened by the rapid, chirological conversation going on between her and a young man, evidently her brother, who sits beside her. Behind them is seated an elderly lady, who seems to have charge of her, and with whom she occasionally converses in writing.

The young man is not, like her, deprived of the organs of speech; but his proficiency in the finger-language is perfectly marvellous. It surpasses even her own in rapidity of movement and graceful ease. It is most interesting to watch them, as, their eyes glancing from hand to face, they carry on their silent conversation; the dumb girl occasionally bursting into a hearty laugh, at some remark of her companion. Nothing could exceed the devoted and tender attention of the brother. Whenever any object worthy of notice in the scenery presented itself, he would touch her lightly on the shoulder to attract attention, and then with a few rapid movements of his fingers, direct her eyes to it, and give an explanation of it. If she required refresh[Pg 712]ment, he would hurry from the car, and hurry back again, with art anxious, eager look, as if he feared something might have befallen her in his absence. She seemed to repose implicit confidence in him; and well was he worthy of it. Heaven's blessing rest upon you, noble young man! for your earnest devotion to that afflicted one.

At one place, where the cars stopped, I witnessed an affecting scene—a soldier parting from his children. Two young girls, the one about fifteen, the other some years younger, stood in the door of the station room, their faces swoln and discolored with weeping. Their mother, pale and sad, stood near them; while the father, a fine looking, strongly-built man of forty, in the uniform of an artilleryman, went forward to see to the stowage of his knapsack and other 'traps.'

The eldest girl had succeeded in subduing her grief into 'a kind of quiet;' but the younger—poor thing! how my heart bled to see her! She did not sob, or cry out; but every muscle of her face quivered with irrepressible emotion, and her trembling limbs seemed scarcely able to support her. There was more than the sorrow of parting there; there was of ever seeing her father again. Her sister tried to soothe hers. Her mother spoke sharply to her; then, with true maternal instinct, went forward to the baggage car, and brought her father back to her. The mother herself did not shed a tear; but her parting time had not come, for she was to accompany her husband on his journey.

"Oh, father!" sobbed the poor girl; and that was all she could say, as she flung her arms around his neck, and clung to him with a convulsive grasp.

He spoke to her soothingly, reasoned with her, sought to calm her; but, in the midst of his tender offices, the inexorable whistle sounded; and tearing himself from her embrace, he sprang into the cars, accompanied by his wife, and took a seat just in front of me. Something rose in my throat as I looked at them, and the unbidden tears sprang to my eyes. The man's fine, expressive countenance, sun-burnt and heavily bearded, grave yet calm, gave evidence of the suffering the past scene had cost him. But the face of the woman was a study. She was evidently determined not to weep. She was resolved, by at least an outward cheerfulness, to sustain her husband in his noble self-sacrificing patriotism. How it would be when her own parting hour arrived, heaven knows; but then the thought of that was resolutely driven away. As we rode along, they conversed much together, and I saw her more than once in calling back a smile to the grave, sad face of her husband.

Brave man! tearing asunder your heart's dearest chords, to deliver your country from the parricidal stroke of fierce rebellion. Brave woman! concealing with Spartan fortitude the sorrow in your heart, that your gallant husband may be strengthened in his noble aim—shall these things be done and suffered in vain? No, no; believe it not. The clouds may gather, reverses may come, but of this be well assured: The right will triumph!

Toward the latter part of my journey, the monotony of the scene was enlivened by a row in the cars. Cause—a woman.

During our short pause in the city of P., two men, who had been seated together, went out, leaving some of their travelling gear on the seat. While they absent, a lady, accompanied by a little boy, entered the car; and, contrary to the etiquette of railroad travel, displaced their baggage, and took possession of the seat. She was a rather coarse-looking woman of about thirty; richly but not very appropriately attired, in a handsome black silk dress, with a sacque or outer garment of the same material, reaching almost to her feet. Her jet black hair hang in thick, short curls all around her head, and was surmounted by one of those little round hats, familiarly known as 'jockeys,'[Pg 713] which are so pretty and becoming on young girls, so hideous on elderly women.

Very soon, the two men came in, and claimed their seat. But the lady refused to move. My attention was first directed to them by hearing one of the men exclaim, in loud and angry tones:

'It's no use talking. Your business, ma'am, is to get out!'

But an image carved in ebony could not have been more immovable than the lady in the black silk dress.

In vain the aggrieved gentlemen represented to her that the seat was theirs, that their baggage was there, that she had no right to take it, etc.; she paid no attention to them.

The cars started; and the two men, there being no seat vacant, stood over her, with wrath and defiance in their looks, waiting in grim silence until she should comply with their request. But she gave no sign of compliance.

After a while the conductor made his appearance. To him they excitedly stated their grievance, but received, apparently, no redress.

Some time had elapsed, and I had forgotten the circumstance, when my attention was suddenly aroused by seeing one of the men, now worked up into an ungovernable passion, seize the lady by the shoulder, and attempt to put her out by force. In a moment all was uproar and confusion. The lady screamed. The little boy roared with fright. Every man in the car started to his feet, and loud cries of 'Put him out!' 'Knock him down!' 'Shame! shame! to touch a woman!' resounded on every side. Half a dozen rough hands seized the man by the collar and arms, and amid the most indescribable noise and tumult, he was unceremoniously hustled out of the car.

The lady seemed to regard herself as a martyr. I heard her excitedly narrating her wrongs to one of her neighbors, finishing off with:

'I was never treated so before; never! never!'

'H'm!' said the person addressed, as if not quite coinciding with her views of the case.

An elderly man, who sat beside me, and whose appearance and manners plainly indicated his title to

'The grand old name of gentleman,'

had started to his feet with the rest, but having been out when the affair commenced, was unable to comprehend what the row was about. As he turned to me with a bewildered and inquiring look, I explained to him the cause of the trouble, at the same time expressing my opinion that the man had been unjustly thrust out, and that the lady was entirely to blame.

'Certainly she was,' said he, with emphasis, 'but the conductor was still more so. He ought to have given the men their seat, and found another for the lady.' Then glancing contemptuously at her, the old gentleman said:

'Oh, she's no lady—she's some common person—no lady would behave in that manner.'

As I was more than half of the old gentleman's opinion, I did not gainsay him. After a pause, he continued, with a self-complacency that amused me:

'Ah, I am a pretty good judge of women; and I don't believe that any lady would travel with a thing like that on her head. No, no; she's some common person, depend upon it.'

It was evident to me that the old gentleman felt very strongly on the subject of 'jockeys;' for, not content with this sweeping thrust, he shortly afterward renewed the subject. It happened that in this particular car there was an appendage affixed to the back of each seat, for the purpose of adding to the comfort of passengers, but which signally failed of that end, as far as the bonnet-wearing part of the community was concerned. As I was much incommoded by it, I requested the old gentleman to turn it down for me. As he did so, he glanced again at our neighbor in the black silk dress, who had taken off her 'jockey,' and was comfortably reposing her raven[Pg 714] locks on the aforesaid appendage, and said, jocularly:

'Now, if you would wear such a thing as that, you could take it off, and be quite comfortable.'

And he laughed, quietly but heartily, at what he evidently considered the preposterousness of such an idea.

'Why is it,' continued the old gentleman, who was evidently a philosopher, 'why is it that women must all dress exactly alike? Why can't they dress to suit themselves, as men do? Now just look around this crowded car—no two men have the same kind of head-covering,' It was true; there were hats of every shape and hue; hats of felt, hats of beaver, hats of straw, caps, military and civil—an endless variety. 'But the womens' bonnets,' added he, 'are all just alike in shape.'

'No, there are some exceptions,' said I, with a sly glance at the owner of the jockey.' On which the old gentleman laughed again, and was about to reply; when arrival of the train at its destination brought our conversation to a sudden stop, and the motley assemblage, whether crowned with hat or cap, bonnet or 'jockey,' parted company, never to meet again on this side of the Dark River.



My dear Sir:—I have your late letter inquiring, as did several of its predecessors, how soon this terrible Civil War is to end, and why we do not close it at once by consenting to Disunion. These inquiries are natural from your point of view; I have briefly answered them already; but the subject is of vast importance, and we have good reason for our desire that correct views respecting it should prevail among the enlightened and just in Europe. We feel that we are entitled to the earnest and active sympathy of such men as you are in every country and of every creed. We feel that we have unjustly, by artful misrepresentations, been deprived of this, and that we have suffered grievously in consequence. Let me endeavor, then, to restate our position somewhat more fully, and to show wherein and why we impeach the justice of the criticisms to which we have been subjected even by humane and fair-minded Englishmen.

I need not, at this late day, prove to you that Slavery is the animating soul of the Rebellion. The fact that no compromise or adjustment of the quarrel was proposed from any quarter during the inception and progress of Secession, which did not relate directly and exclusively to Slavery, is conclusive on this point. Projects for arresting the impending calamity were abundant throughout the winter of 1860-61. Congress was gorged with them; a volunteer 'Peace Congress' was simultaneously held on purpose to arrest the dreaded disruption, and attended by able Delegations from all the Border Slave and most of the Free States, many of the former now fighting in the Rebel ranks; but no one suggested that any conceivable legislation on any subject but Slavery was desired or would be of the least avail. Mr. Alexander H. Stephens, the Vice-President of the Southern Confederacy, and, perhaps, the ablest man in it, who resisted Secession until overborne and carried away by the swelling tide, in his first elaborate speech justifying the movement, ably and candidly set forth the natural fitness, jus[Pg 715]tice, humanity, beneficence, and perpetuity of Slavery as the corner-stone of the new National edifice. The 'Peace Convention' presented the Crittenden Compromise,—that is, the positive establishment by act of Congress of Slavery in all present and future Territories of the United States, south of the parallel of 36° 30' north latitude—as its sole panacea for our national ills. Nobody suggested in that Congress or any similar conference that a permanent abolition of all duties on imports, or any other measure unrelated to slavery, would be of the least use in reclaiming the States which had seceded, or in arresting the secession of others. The sole pretext for the Rebellion was and is that the Free States had not been faithful in spirit and letter to their constitutional obligations respecting Slavery, and could not be trusted to do better in the future than they had done in the past. We are involved in deadly war precisely and only because the Free States, through the action at the ballot-box of a majority of their citizens, refused to coöperate in or make themselves a voluntary party to the further extension or diffusion of Human Slavery.

Bearing this fact in mind, I think you will more readily realize the moral impossibility of our assent, save under the impulse of a last dire necessity, to a Disunion Peace, and for these reasons:

I. Such a peace will naturally secure to Slavery the precise object, for which the Rebellion was fomented. If we consent to divide our country, the victorious Rebels will very fairly say, 'Give us our share of the Federal Territories.' In other words, 'Surrender to Slavery, through Disunion, the very thing which you refused to concede to it to prevent Disunion.' And that demand, if we concede the right and the fact of Secession, can with difficulty be resisted. Yet its concession involves the moral certainty that Mexico and Cuba will in time be overrun, conquered, absorbed, and devoted to Slavery, by the martial, aggressive, ambitious despotism to 'which we shall have succumbed. Read Prof. Cairnes's recent essay on 'The Slave Power,' and you will have a clearer idea of the wolf we now hold by the ears, and which is far less dangerous while so held than he must be if let go.

II. The boundary which Secession proffers is an unnatural and impossible one. It not only alienates from the Union Western Texas, East Tennessee, and other regions wherein a majority have ever been and still are devoted to the old flag, but insists on wresting from us West Virginia—that is, that portion of the old State of Virginia which slopes toward the Ohio river—a region larger in area than three of the States left in the Union put together—a region which, never having been practically slaveholding save to a very limited extent, has ever been preponderately and earnestly loyal—a region mainly held to-day, as it has almost uniformly been held, by the Unionists—a region which, if surrendered to the Confederacy, interposes a wedge of foreign territory between Pennsylvania and Ohio, the East and the West—leaving them connected by a shred (see map) not one hundred miles broad, and rendering a farther and more fatal disruption of the Union wellnigh inevitable. When the Baltimore and Ohio railroad shall traverse for the most part a foreign country—when the Mississippi, through all the lower part of its course, shall have been surrendered by us to a power inevitably hostile to our growth and jealous of our prosperity—when Wheeling and Memphis shall have become foreign ports, and Cincinnati and St. Louis frontier cities—the gravitation of the Free West toward the country to which her rivers are hastening and through which her bulky staples find their natural outlet to the great highway of nations, will be all but irresistible.

III. And this brings me to a vital point, which Europeans have seemed determined not to comprehend—that of the extremely artificial and fragile character[Pg 716] of the political structure which our architects of national ruin are laboring to construct. Mr. Chancellor Gladstone is pleased to favor us with his opinion that Slavery cannot long survive the recognition and perfect establishment of the Southern Confederacy. I beg leave to assure him, in turn, that the Confederacy would not long survive the downfall of Slavery. Let Slavery fall, and a million of bayonets could not keep the North and South disunited even twenty years. Apart from Slavery and its fancied necessities, there is not a Disunionist between New Brunswick and Mexico, Canada and Cuba. The Union is the darling of our affections, the seal of our security, the palladium of our strength. No American ever tolerated the idea of disunion except as he intensely loved or hated Slavery, and regarded the Union as an obstacle to the realization of his wishes respecting it. Were Slavery universal and supreme among us, or were it abolished and its influence effaced, you could find more Thugs in Scotland than Disunionists in America.

IV. And here your statesmen are making a mistake which some of them will live to realize and rue. They suppose that our country, once fairly divided and arrayed under two hostile governments, recognizing and no longer at war with each other, must ever thereafter remain divided. They never reckoned more wildly. Were their wishes fully realized this day, and the Confederacy an undisputed fact, a party would instantly arise—nay, a party already exists—throughout the country, demanding reunion on any terms. Archbishop Hughes has already in either hemisphere struck the keynote of this cry. He truly says that our country cannot be permanently divided. He unworthily adds that, if it cannot be united under the old Constitution, it must be under a new one—in other words, under that of the Confederacy. The Democratic party of the Free States, abandoning the creed of its founders, which has lately ruled the Union by virtue of a close alliance with the Slave Power of the South,—would, the day after we had made peace by acknowledging the Southern Confederacy, reorganize and reagitate under the banner of 'Reconstruction.' Hatred to negroes is the talisman whereby it secures the votes by pandering to the prejudices of the most ignorant and vicious Whites—by hostility to negro immigration (from the South), negro suffrage, negro competition in the labor market, and to negro humanity in general. That Slavery is the natural and fit condition of negroes everywhere and at all times—that the abolition of Southern Slavery would be a great calamity to the white laborers of the North—such is the political philosophy assiduously dispensed and greedily imbibed in the grogshops and 'back slums' of every Northern city, and which politicians and journalists pretending to sense and decency do not hesitate for their party's and their ambition's sake to indorse and disseminate. And there are clashes less debased, though scarcely more heartless, who countenance this inhuman logic. The average mercantile sentiment of this and other great Northern cities runs thus: 'True, Slavery is unjust and barbarous—it is at once a wrong and a mistake—but it is not our blunder. Its perils are braved and its evils endured by those who cherish it, hundreds of miles away; while to us it is a positive advantage. By obstructing the mechanical and manufacturing development of the South, it dooms her products, her commerce, her navigation, to build up Northern marts and factories; by its restriction of Southern industry mainly to the plantation, it opens broad avenues for the disposal of our wares. The sin and the sorrow are monopolized by the South: the gain and the good enure to the North.' How short-sighted and fallacious is this calculation, I need not here demonstrate: suffice it that it is very generally made, and that the result is not merely a general mercantile callousness to the iniquities of the slave-[Pg 717]holding system, but a current sentiment which regards it with active and positive favor.

V. Disunion being an accepted fact, and peace restored on that basis, the Republican party, which has ineffectually resisted the aggressions of the Slave Power and directed the national effort to maintain and preserve the Union, is beaten and prostrate. The Democratic party rallies under the banner of 'Reunion at any price.' What price will be accepted? Simply and obviously, Adoption of the Montgomery Constitution, and application for admission under it into the Southern Confederacy. True, that Constitution inexorably prescribes that

'The citizens of each State shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not thereby be impaired.'

'Sojourn in any State,' you perceive—'not for a day, but for all time.' That clause alone makes Slavery universal and imperative throughout the Confederacy, and no State can evade or override it. But again:

'The Confederate States may acquire new territory * * * * in all such territory, negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognised and protected by Congress and by the territorial government; and the inhabitants of the Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.'

There are more provisions like these; but they are not needed to make every State that adheres to the Confederacy a Slave State, and every foot of territory which may be conceded to or acquired by it, slave soil.

To abasement at the footstool of this triumphant wickedness, everything venal and sordid in the yet Free States would inevitably and intensely gravitate: commerce seeking customers; manufactures eager for markets; shipping greedy of cargoes and freights; but, above all, Democratic politicians hungry for power and pelf, and having the strong instinct of American unity and nationality as their fulcrum. They would gradually but surely undermine the mutilated fabric of our once glorious Union, and tear away its pillars to strengthen and extend the pile whereof Slavery is the acknowledged corner-stone. The Union would gradually crumble and disappear, and the slaveholders' Confederacy be built up from its ruins; the Slave Power would resume its arrested march toward the equator, dragging the Republic behind its triumphal chariot wheels; Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Hayti, &c., would be gradually 'annexed' by it; domestic opposition to its dictates would be summarily suppressed as treason or 'abolition;' the masses of our people would become like the Roman populace under the Cæsars; the forms of a republic might for a season be preserved, but the essence would speedily evaporate, leaving a vast, powerful, rapacious Slave Empire, ruled by some master spirit of the slaveholding oligarchy, and wielding all the power of the nation for the gratification and aggrandizement of that grasping, unscrupulous aristocracy. Having ceased to be the refuge of the hunted and the cynosure of the oppressed, this country would thenceforth awe the nations of the Old World by its military power, and shock them by its profligacy, whereof the Ostend Circular and the murders and forgeries of Kansas were but foretastes, until God in His righteous wrath should bring upon it some visitation like the present, and hurl it from its pinnacle in mercy to mankind.

My friend! we must fight on till we conquer. We have no alternative but absolute ruin. Our triumph is far nearer than it seems, if we can but animate the loyal States to put forth their whole strength for the contest. Our armies are mustered; our leaders are chosen; our munitions provided; and the Proclamation of Freedom is an immense make-weight thrown into the right scale. We must and shall conquer, and save the civilized world from a scourge more baleful than any Alaric or Attila.

Yours, truly,

Horace Greeley.
[Pg 718]


Air—'They tell me thou'rt a favored guest;' or,' Seht ihr drei Rosse vor dem Wagen.'

Look back upon the vanished years,
When all men pointed at our shame;
Think on the curses and the jeers
Which rung and clung around our name:
A byword and a mocking call—
And we may thank the South for all.

The foulness of their Southern slime
Was cast upon our Northern hands;
The curse of murder, craft, and crime
Clung to our fame in foreign lands:
Men thought us prompt to thieve or brawl—
And we may thank the South for all.

Britannia smiles on Davis now,
And blesses all his bayonets;
There was a time when on our brow
She set the shame of Southern debts:
We wore the chain—we dragged the ball—
And we may thank the South for all.

Men spoke of slaves in bitter tone,
When pointing to the stripes and stars;
'The constellation is your own,
The negro gets the bloody scars,
And yet of equal rights you bawl!'
Well—we may thank the South for all.

They stole our starlight—made us blind,
As did of old the Norland elves:
Prometheus stole it—for mankind,
But they—they kept it for themselves,
And held us like their slaves in thrall—
And we—we thanked them for it all.

Thank God! the pact is rent in twain!
Thank God! the light is all our own!
We've burst the bonds and rent the chain,
And drawn the sword, unhelped, alone:
And, holding Freedom's carnival,
We'll thank the South for that and all.

The morning-red is on our brow,
The brand, the curse grows pale with night;
The sword is in our hands, and now
All gleams in glory's golden light:
We're free! Ye nations, hear the call—
We see! and now thank God for all!
[Pg 719]


'All of which I saw, and part of which I was.'


It was nine o'clock at night, when the stage halted before the door of that purgatory for Southern pilgrims, the 'Washington House,' Newbern. As we dismounted from the box, Preston said to me:

'You order supper and a room, while I attend to Phyllis and the chidren. I'll join you presently.'

Seeing that our luggage was safely deposited on the piazza, I entered the hotel in quest of the landlord. The 'office' was a long, low, dingy apartment, with tobacco-stained floor, blackened ceiling, and greasy brown walls, ornamented here and there with advertisements of runaway slaves, auction notices of 'mules, negroes, and other property,' a few dusty maps, and a number of unframed wood cuts of prominent political characters. Among the latter, Calhoun, in bristling hair, cadaverous face, and high shirt collar, looked 'the unkindest cut of all.' Behind the bar, which extended across the further end of the room, was drawn up a whole regiment of glass decanters, and stout black bottles, full of spirit, and ready for active service. A generous wood fire roared and crackled on a broad hearthstone, and in a semi circle around it, in every conceivable attitude, were collected about twenty planters' sons, village shopkeepers, turpentine farmers, itinerant horse dealers, and cattle drovers. Some had their heels a trifle higher than their heads, some were seated on the knees of others, some were lounging on the arms of chairs, and some were stretched at full length on a pile of trunks near by; but all were too much engaged in smoking, expectorating, and listening to a horse-trading narrative, which one of their number was relating, to heed my entrance.

'Wall, ye see,' said the story teller, 'Dick come the possum over him; made b'lieve he was drunk, though he warn't, no more'n I ar; but he tuk darned good keer ter see the ole man get well slewed, he did. Wall, wen the ole feller wus pooty well primed, Dick stuck his arm inter his'n, toted him off ter the stable, and fotched out a ole spavin'd, wind-galled, used-up, broken-down critter, thet couldn't gwo a rod, 'cept ye got another hoss to haul him; and says he: 'See thar; thar's a perfect paragone o' hossflesh; a raal Arab; nimble's a cricket; sunder'n a nut; gentler'n a cooin' dove, and faster'n a tornado! I doan't sell 'im fur nary fault, and ye couldn't buy 'im fur no price, ef I warn't hard put. Come, now, what d'ye say? I'll put 'im ter ye fur one fifty, an' it's less'n he cost, it ar!' Wall, the ole man tuk—swallowed the critter whole—tuk him down without greasing, he did! ha! ha!'

'Ha! ha!' repeated the listening crowd, and 'Yah! yah!' echoed three or four well-dressed darkies, who were standing near the doorway: 'Sarved 'im right; he'm a mean ole cuss, he am;' chimed in one of the latter gentry, as he added another guffaw, and, swaying his body back and forth, brought his hands down on his thighs with a concussion which sent a thick cloud of tobacco smoke, of his own manufacture, circling to the other side of the room.

When the merriment had somewhat subsided, I stepped toward the assemblage, and inquired if the landlord were present. There was no reply for a few moments; then one of the embryo[Pg 720] planters, speaking to a showily-dressed young man near him, remarked:

'Get up, and tend ter the stranger; ye arn't fit to tote vituals to a nigger.'

The young man rose very deliberately, and said:

'Want ter see the keeper, do ye?'

'Yes, sir, I want, a room, and supper for two, at once.'

'Room and supper fur two?'

'Yes, a room with a fire and two beds.'

'Whar d'ye come from?'

'From Goldsboro'; just in by the stage.'

'Oh! stage's in, is it?'

'Yes, sir, the stage is in. You'll oblige me by attending to us at once; we are hungry and tired.'

He looked at me for a moment without speaking, then leisurely walked out of the front door. Two or three of the loungers followed, but the young gentleman who had first spoken rose and politely tendered me a seat. Thanking him, I took the chair vacated by the bartender, and proceeded to warm my hands and limbs, which were thoroughly chilled by the long ride in the cold air.

'Cold, riding after nightfall, sir,' said the young man, who I now observed was the Mr. Gaston whom the trader had so unceremoniously ejected from the shooting ground.

'Yes, sir, it is cold riding on the box.'

'And our rattle-down coaches are so mighty slow; you don't have such fixin's at the North.'

'No, sir; but why do you suppose I'm from the North? I've passed for a Southerner to-day.'

'Oh, I know you Yankees all to pieces; I've lived among you.'

'At college, I suppose?'

'Yes, at Harvard.'

'You graduated early.'

'No, I didn't graduate, I left—left for my health. Ha! ha I' and he broke into a merry fit of laughter, in which several of his companions joined.

'Taken with sudden illness, as you were at the turkey-match, to-day?' I inquired good humoredly, and in a tone that could not give offence.

'Yes, the same disease, I swear. Ha! ha!'

'Ha! ha!' echoed his companions,

'The stranger's inter ye, Gus—inter ye a feet! Come, ye must treat,' shouted the teller of the horse story.

This last individual was tall, raw-boned, and squarely built, with broad, heavy features, and dull, cold, snake-like eyes. His black, unkempt hair, and long, wiry beard, fell round his face like tow round a mop handle, and his coarse linsey clothes, patched in many places, and smeared with tar and tobacco juice, fitted him as a shirt might fit a bean pole. The legs of his pantaloons were thrust inside of his boots, and he wore a fuzzy woollen hat with battered crown and a broad flapping brim. He looked the very picture of an ex-overseer under a cloud, or an itinerant sporting man, anxious for something to turn up.

I declined the proffered drink, but the company rose and approached the counter, while the young planter bade the bartender, who had just reëntered, 'trot out the consolation.'

'Down with the pewter, then, Mr. Gaston,' said the liquor vender. 'No pay, no drinks, is the rule in this yere shanty.'

The young man tossed him a half-eagle. His companions proceeded to imbibe a variety of compounds, while he poured out nearly a glass full of raw whiskey, and drank it down at a swallow. As he replaced the glass on the counter, a slatternly negro woman thrust her head in at the doorway, saying:

'Dar's a 'ooman heah; a wite 'ooman, dat am 'ticler anxyus fur de honor of Mister Mulock's 'quaintance. She'm in de sittin' room.'

'Thar's a call fur you, Bony,' said the young planter to the story teller; 'some young woman with designs on your landed possessions; ha! ha!'[Pg 721]

Without replying, the other followed the serving woman from the room. He was the absconding polygamist for whom the tobacco-chewing female had ventured all the way from Chalk-Leod.

'Is supper ready, sir?' I asked of the bartender.

'Supper? I reckon so. Ye'd better go and see,' was the civil reply.

'Where's the dining room?'

'Over thar—'tother side the hall.'

Passing out of the room, I met Preston, and we proceeded together to the supper table. When we were seated, I remarked:

'By the way, I have just seen the husband of our stage coach acquaintance. He's a rum-looking customer.'

'Yes, I suppose he has taken to drinking again. The whipping and the loss of Phylly have probably worked on him.'

'You don't mean to say he is Phylly's husband?'

'Yes, didn't I tell you?'

'No. Two wives under one roof! Well, that's more than most white men can afford.'

'That's a fact. It's an awkward business; what had better be done?'

'Done? Why, let him go. You'll be well rid of him. He's a worthless fellow, or nature dosn't write English. I read 'scoundrel' all over his face.'

'He has a bad nature; but Phylly's influence on him is good, and she loves him.'

'Loves him! Well, there's no accounting for tastes.'

'That's true,' replied the Squire; 'but we all love those whom we do good to. She married Mulock after nursing him through a long illness, and she has tamed him, though it was taming a wolf.'

We soon left the table. Preston went into the sitting room, while I resumed my seat by the bar room fire.

I had nearly finished my evening cigar, when Preston came into the office, Shaking hands with young Gaston and a number of the others, who all greeted him with marked respect. He said to me:

'What shall I do? Mulock's wife will let him off if I pay her a hundred dollars.'

'Pay her a hundred dollars!' I exclaimed.

'Yes; she'll release him to Phyllis for that—give a paper to that effect. What would you do?

The idea was so ludicrous that, in spite of the Squire's serious manner, I burst into a fit of laughter. Between the mirthful explosions I managed to say:

'Pardon me, Preston; but I never before heard of selling a husband—at so low a price. Ha! ha! Do not buy him; he isn't worth the money.' Then seeing that he appeared hurt, I added: 'What does Phyllis say?'

'I haven't told her; she'll feel badly to have him go, but it's not right for me to pay the money. I should pay my debts first.'

Mr. Gaston, whose attention had been attracted to our conversation by my rather boisterous conversation, now said, making a strong effort to appear serious:

'Excuse me, Squire, but what is it? Has Mulock two wives; and does one offer to sell out for a hundred dollars?'

'Yes,' replied Preston, in a tone which showed a decided disinclination to conversation with him.

'Buy him, then, Squire; I'll give you twenty-five dollars for the bargain, on the spot; I will, I swear;' and, unable to contain himself longer, he burst into an uproarious fit of merriment, in which the by-sitters joined.

Preston's face darkened, and in a grave voice he said:

'Young man, you forget yourself. I am sorry to see you so wanting in respect to others, and—yourself.'

'I beg your pardon, Mr. Preston,' replied Gaston, in an apologetic tone; 'I meant no offence, sir—upon my soul, I did not. If Mulock is for sale for a—'[Pg 722]here his risibilities again gave way—'for a hundred dollars, I'll buy him; for it's cheap; I swear it's cheap, seeing he's a white man.'

Preston, by this time really angered, was about to make a harsh reply, when I interrupted him:

'Never mind, my friend, let Mr. Gaston buy him; he can afford it. Do it, Mr. Gaston; it will be both a capital joke and a good action, do it at once.'

The glass of raw whiskey had somewhat 'elevated' the young planter, and my conscience demurred a little at the advice I gave him; but I recovered my usual self-complacency on reflecting that he would undoubtedly put the money to a much worse use.

Saying, 'D——d if I won't,' Gaston drew forth his purse, and counted out a number of half eagles. Finding he had not enough, he turned to another young planter, and said:

'Here, Bob, I'm short; lend me fifty dollars.'

'Bob' produced his wallet, and, without counting them, handed him a roll of bills.

'Now, stranger, come along, I shall want you to draw up the papers and witness the trade; ha! ha! Is she in the parlor, Squire?'

'Yes,' said Preston, taking the seat I had vacated.

The young man then put his arm into mine, and we proceeded to the 'sitting room.'

Mulock was seated before the fire, gazing intently at the blaze. His wife sat opposite, speaking earnestly to him. She every now and then wetted a short piece of wood with saliva, and dipping it into a snuff bottle, mopped her teeth and gums with the savory powder. She was—as her husband might have said—a perfect 'paragone' of 'poor white' womanhood, with all the accomplishments of her class, smoking, chewing, snuff dipping, and whiskey drinking.

As we approached, she lifted her eyes, and Gaston said to her:

'Are you the lady who has a man for sale—a likely white man?'

'Wall, stranger, I reckon I'm the 'ooman, Thet ar feller's my husband, an' he karn't git off 'cept I git a hundred dollars.'

'Will you give a bill of sale, releasing all your right, title, and interest in him to me, if I pay you a hundred dollars?'

'Yes, I wull—ter ye, or ter ony-body.'

'Wall, now,' continued Gaston, imitating her tone, 'karn't yo take a trifle less'n thet—eighty or so?'

'No, stranger, nary dime under thet. I'm gol-durned ef I does.'

'Well, Mulock, what do you say? Are you willing to be sold?'

'I haint willin' ter be laff'd at by ye, nor nobody else,' replied Mulock, rising, and turning fiercely on the planter. 'I'll larrup the d——d 'ooman ony how, and ye, too, ef ye say much more.'

'Come, Mulock,' said the young man, coolly, but firmly, 'be civil, or I'll let daylight through you before you're a minute older. I'm disposed to do you a good turn, but you must be civil, by——.'

'Wall, do as ye likes, Gus; onything'll suit me,' replied Mulock, resuming his previous position.

'But, d—— you, if I spend a hundred on you, you must go to work like a man, and try to pay it. I wouldn't do it anyhow, if it warn't for Phylly.'

'But Phylly's gone,' said Mulock in a dejected tone; 'gone—toted off by thet d——d trader. If I hadn't a ben in the cussed jug, I'd a killed him.'

'No she isn't gone; she's here—Preston's bought her.'

Mulock sprang to his feet; his dull, cold eye lighted, and seizing the young man by the arm, he exclaimed:

'Doan't ye lie ter me, Gus; is she yere?'

'Yes, so Bob says; he saw her get out of the stage.'

Mulock made no reply, but strode toward the door. Gaston said quickly:

'Hold on, Bony, don't vamoose just[Pg 723] yet. D——d if I'll help you out of this if you don't promise to work like an honest fellow to pay me.'

'I will, Gus; I'll leave off drinkin' ter onst; I'll work day and night, I will.'

'Well, my rustic beauty, are you ready to sign a bill of sale?'

'Yas; but I reckon, bein's as ye set so high on Bony, ye kin go a trifle more'n thet; jest the 'spences down yere?'

'Not another red,' said Gaston.

'Wall, he ain't of no account, nohow; I reckon he ain't wuth no more. Count out th' pewter.'

I procured writing utensils from the bar room, and in a few moments drew up a paper, by which, in consideration of one hundred dollars, to her in hand, that day paid, Jane Mulock, of Chalk Level, in the county of Harnet, and State of North Carolina, did sell, assign, transfer, make over, convey, and forever quit claim unto Phyllis Preston, otherwise known as Phyllis Mulock, of the town of Newbern, in the county of Craven, and State aforesaid, all her right, title, and interest in and to the body, soul, wearing apparel, and other possessions, of one Napoleon Bonaparte Mulock, whom the said Jane charged with being her husband; and also all claims or demands she had on him for a support, she binding herself never to institute any suit or suits against him in any court of the State of North Carolina, or of any other State, or of the United States, for the crime of bigamy, or for any other crime, misdemeanor, or abomination committed against herself at any time prior to the date of said instrument. In testimony whereof she, the said Jane Mulock, did sign the sign of the cross, and affix her seal to a half sheet of dirty paper, whereto Gustavus A. Gaston, and the writer hereof, were witnesses.[4]

Both Mulock and his wife thought the instrument a valid one. He again took Phyllis to his bosom, and Jane, I have been told, married another husband. In view of the latter fact, I have never been able to wholly satisfy my conscience for the part I took in the transaction.


While we were at breakfast on the following morning, Preston said to me:

'I think I had better leave Phylly and Rosey here till I can consult with my wife; we have house servants enough, and Phylly can't work in the field. It may be advisable to let her remain in Newbern.'

'And what will you do with the little yellow boy?'

'Oh, take him with us. There's always something the little fellows can do. We'll call at his mother's and get him.'

We decided to set out for the plantation at once, and Preston ordered a livery wagon to be got in readiness. While we were waiting for it, I strolled out upon the piazza. I had not been there long before 'young Joe,' Preston's only son, rode up to the hotel. He was a manly lad, about twelve years of age, and in form, features, and manner, a miniature edition of his father. He had grown amazingly since at my house, two years before, and I did not at once recognize him; but as soon as he caught sight of me, he shouted out in boyish glee, throwing his bridle over the hitching post, and springing to the ground.

'Oh, Mr. Kirke! I'm so glad you've come; mother will be so glad to see you. We'll have such a nice time,' and he seized me by the hand, and shook it energetically.

'Why, Joe, I thought you were at home!'

'Oh, no! I'm here at school, but father says I'm to have a vacation while you're here. Why didn't you fetch Frank? You promised you would.'[Pg 724]

'I know I did, Joe, but his mother wouldn't let him come; she thinks he's too young to travel.'

'Pshaw! He's old enough—most as old as I am; but never mind, Mr. Kirke; we'll have a fine time, hunting and fishing, and going to the races. They're going to have a big one over to Trenton next week, and I'm dying to go; it's so lucky you've come.'

'Lord bless you, Joe, I never went to a race, and never shot a gun in my life; besides, I can remain only a day or so.'

'Oh, yes, you can; father says you Yorkers are always in a hurry; but you must take it easy now. I'll show you round, and learn you the ropes.'

While I was laughing at the enthusiasm of the young lad, the wagon drove up, and Preston soon appearing, we entered it and drove off. As Joe bounded upon his spirited horse and led the way down the elm-shaded street, I said to his father:

'How that boy rides; he's a perfect Centaur.'

'Yes, he is a good horseman. He's been trained to it. You know we think manly exercises an essential part of a gentleman's education.'

'And you let Joe keep his own horse?'

'Yes, it's awfully expensive; but old Joe raised the colt for the boy, and I couldn't deny him.'

We rode on until we reached the outskirts of the town, when we stopped before a small, tumble-down shanty, built of rough boards, and roofed with the same material. In the narrow front yard, a large iron pot, supported on two upright poles, was steaming over a light wood fire. The boiling clothes it contained were being stirred by a brawny, coal black negro woman, with an arm like the Farnese Hercules, and a form as stout as Wouter Van Twiller's. The yellow boy, Ally, was heaping wood on the fire.

'How do you do, aunty?' said Preston, as we drew up at the rickety gate.

'Right smart, massa, right smart,' replied the woman; then turning round and recognizing the Squire, she added: 'Oh, massa Preston, am dat 'ou? Oh! I'se so 'joiced 'ou got Ally; I'se so 'joiced! De Lord hear my prayer, massa—de Lord hear my prayer. I feel like I die wid joy, de Lord so good ter me. Oh, He'm so good ter me!'

'The Lord is good to all who love Him; He never fails those that trust in Him,' said Preston, solemnly.

'No more'n He doan't, massa; no more'n he doan't. De good missus tole me dat jess af'er dey toted de pore chile 'way; but I couldn't b'lieve it, massa, I couldn't b'lieve it. It 'peared like I neber see 'im agin—neber see 'im agin, but I prayed de Lord, massa, I prayed de Lord all de time—all de time dat de chile wus 'way; I hab no sleep, I eat most nuffin, an' my heart grow so big, I fought it would clean broke; but lass night, jess wen it 'peared like I couldn't stan' it no more; wen I wus a cryin' an' a groanin' to de Lord wid all my might, den, massa, de Lord, He hard me, an' He open de door, an' de little chile run in, an' put him arms round my neck, and he telled me I need neber cry no more, 'case de good massa Preston hab got him! Oh, it wus too much, massa, fur 'ou's so good, de Lord's so good, massa! Oh, I feel like I should die ob joy.' Here she sat down on a rude bench near by, covered her face with her apron, and sobbed like a child. Preston's eyes filled with tears, but brushing them hastily away, he asked, as if to change the subject:

'Did you say the 'missus' had been down?'

'Yes, massa, de good missus come down jess so soon as she hard Phylly war sold, an' wen she fine Ally war gwine too, she come ter see de ole 'ooman, she did, massa—and she try to comfut me. She say de good Lord would fotch Ally back, and He hab, massa! Oh, He hab!'

'Well, Dinah, what shall we do with[Pg 725] Ally? Do you want him to go to the plantation?'

'Oh, yas, massa, I want de chile ter be wid 'ou. I'd rudder he'd be wid 'ou, massa; but massa'—and she spoke timidly, and with hesitation—''ou knows ole massa promise ter sell Ally ter me—ter sell 'im ter me wen I'd a sabed up 'nuff ter buy 'im. An' will 'ou, massa, will 'ou?'

'Yes, Dinah, of course I will,' said Preston.

'Oh! bress 'ou, massa; bress 'ou. It'm so good ob 'ou, so good ob 'ou, massa;' and she sobbed harder than before.

'How much have you saved up, aunty?'

'A hun'red and firteen, massa; an' dar's some more'n dat massa Blackwell am ter gib fur de usin' on it. Massa Blackwell got it. How much shill I pay fur Ally, massa?'

'Well, I don't know; the trader offered three hundred for him; you may have him for half that.'

'How much 's dat, massa?'

'A hundred and fifty dollars.'

'He'm wuth more'n dat, massa Preston; ole massa say Ally wuth two hun'red an' fifty or three hun'red ob any folks' money. He'm a likely boy, massa.'

'Yes, I know that; I don't mean to undervalue him. I wouldn't sell him to any one else for less than three hundred dollars.'

'Oh! tank 'ou, massa; it'm good ob 'ou; berry good ob 'ou, massa;' and again her apron found the way to her eyes.

'Well,' said Preston, after a moment's thought, 'I think you'd better take the boy now, aunty. I'm in some trouble, and I don't know how things may turn with me; so you'd better take him now.'

'But I hain't money 'nuff now, massa.'

'Well, never mind; pay the rest when you can, but don't scrimp yourself as you have, Dinah; I shan't care if you never pay it.'

The woman seemed bewildered, but said nothing. She evidently was unaccustomed to Preston's mode of doing business. I mentioned to him that he could not give a conveyance of the negro boy until the judgment against him was cancelled.

'True,' he replied; 'I didn't think of that. Shall we attend to it now?'

'Yes, at once; further costs may accumulate if you delay.'

Preston told the negro woman to meet him by eleven o'clock, at the store of the person who had charge of her money, and we rode at once to the 'Old State Bank.' Its doors were not then opened, but as the cashier resided in the building, we soon secured notes in exchange for Preston's draft on me, and in less than an hour had the judgment satisfied, and Ally's free papers, properly made out and executed. It was not quite ten o'clock when, as we were leaving the attorney's office, we noticed the slave woman and her son seated on the steps of Mr. Blackwell's store.

'Are you all ready, aunty?' asked Preston.

'Yes, massa, I'se all ready; I'se got de gole all heah,' she replied, holding up a small canvas bag; 'a hun'red an' twenty-sevin dollar an' firty cents—so massa Blackwell say; I karn't reckon so much as dat, massa.'

The woman had made an effort to 'spruce up' for the interview, by putting on a clean white neckerchief, and a bran new pair of brogans, but she still wore the tattered red and yellow turban, and the thin, coarse Osnaburg gown, clean, but patched in many places—in which she was arrayed when bending over the wash kettle.

The merchant then came to the door, and invited us in; Preston handed him the papers to examine, and we all entered the store. As the woman laid the gold on the counter, I said to her:

'Aunty, how long have you been in saving this money?'

'Four year, massa. Ole massa would[Pg 726]n't'gree ter sell de chile till four year ago.'

'And you've hired your time, and earned this by washing and ironing?'

'Yas, sar I'se had ter pay massa a hun'red and firty dollar ebery year, 'sides twenty fur rent; an' I'se had ter work bery hard, of'en till 'way inter de night, but I wanted to hab de chile FREE, massa.'

'And have you had no husband to help you?'

'No, massa, I never had none; I never tuk ter de men folks.'

She was, as I have said, of a coal-black complexion, while Ally's skin was a bright yellow. His father, therefore, must have been a white man.

'You have worked very hard, no doubt, aunty; are these the best clothes you have?'

'Yas, massa, dese am all I'se got.'

'Oh, tank'ou, massa. 'Ou's too good, massa; tank'ou bery much—but 'ou'll leff' me gib dis ter de Squire, massa, 'on't 'ou? I wants ter pay fur Ally.'

'Yes, if he will take it, 'I replied, for I knew that he would not.

The merchant had examined the documents, and Preston had counted the money and put it in his pocket, when, handing the papers to Dinah, the latter said:

'Now, aunty, Ally's free, and I hope he'll prove a good boy, and worthy of such a mother.'

'Oh, he will dat, massa; he'm a good chile; but heah'm ten dollar more massa, it'm de good gemman's, an' he say I kin gib it ter 'on fur Ally.'

Preston laughed: 'I heard what he said. I can't take it, Dinah. You need it to buy some winter clothes. I'll take the risk of what you owe me.'

The shopkeeper then said:

'Take it, Mr. Preston; I'll let Dinah have what she needs out of the store; she knows her credit is good with me.'

'Well,' said Preston, taking the money, 'this makes one hundred and thirty-seven dollars and thirty cents. You need not pay any more—Ally is yours now.'

'Oh! am Ally free, massa? Am de chile FREE? she exclaimed, taking him in her arms, and bursting into a hysterical fit of weeping.

Every eye was wet, but no one spoke. At last Dinah said:

'But, massa Preston, I wants 'ou ter take de chile. I wants 'ou ter fetch him up. I karn't larn him nuffin. I doan't know nuffin massa. He kin git larnin' wid 'ou.'

'But he's all you have. He'll be a help and a comfort, to you at home.'

'I doan't want no help, massa. He'm FREE now—I doan't want no help no more.'

'Well, aunty, I'll take him, and pay you twenty dollars a year, till he's fifteen. He's ten now, isn't he?'

'A'most ten, massa, a'most; but 'ou needn't pay me nuffin; jess gib de chile what you likes. And massa, 'ou'll speak ter Boss Joe 'bout him, woan't 'ou? 'Ou'll ax him ter see Ally gwoe ter de meetin's an' larn out ob de books, woan't 'ou, massa? I wants him ter know suffin, massa.'

'Yes, I will, Dinah, and I'll keep an eye on him myself.'

'Tank 'ou, massa; an' p'raps' ou'll leff de chile come ter see him ole mammy once'n a while?'

'Yes, he may—once a month. Come now, Dinah, get into the wagon; we go right by your house.'

We entered the vehicle, and drove off. When we reached the shanty, the negress got out, and, amid a shower of blessings from her, we rode on to the plantation. For four long years she had worked fifteen hours a day, and denied herself every comfort to buy her child; and when at last she had secured his freedom, she was willing to part with him that he might 'larn suffin out ob de books.' Who that reads this truthful record of a slave mother's love, will deny to her wretched race the instincts and feelings that make us human?[Pg 727]

It was a clear, cold, sunshiny day—one of those days so peculiar to the Southern climate, when the blood hounds through every vein as if thrilled by electricity, and a man of lively temperament can scarcely restrain his legs from dancing a 'breakdown.' We rode rapidly on through a timbered country, where the tall trees grew up close by the roadside, locking their huge arms high in the air, and the long, graceful, black moss hung like mourning drapery from their great branches. The green pine-tassels, which carpeted the ground, crackled beneath our horses' feet, and breathed a grateful odor around us; and the soft autumn wind, which rustled the leaves and swayed the tops of the old trees, sang a pleasant song over our heads. Every pine bore the scars of the turpentine axe, and here and there we came upon a patch of woods where the negroes were gathering the 'last dipping;' and now and then we passed an open clearing where a poor planter was at work with a few field hands. Occasionally we forded a small stream, where, high up on the bank, was a rude ferry, which served in the rainy season as a miserable substitute for a bridge; and once in a while, far back from the road, we caught sight of an old country-seat, whose dingy, unpainted walls, broken down fences, and dilapidated surroundings reminded one that shiftless working men, and careless, reckless proprietors, are the natural products of slavery. Thus we rode on for several hours, till, turning a slight bend in the road, we suddenly halted before the gateway of my friend's plantation. I had observed for half a mile that the woods which lined the wayside were clear of underbrush, the felled trees trimmed, and their branches carefully piled in heaps, and the rails, which in other places straggled about in the road, were doing their appropriate duty on the fences; and I said to Preston:

'I am glad to see you are as good at planting as you are at preaching.'

'Bless you,' he replied, 'it isn't me—it's Joe. Joe is acknowledged to be the best farmer in Jones county.'

At the gateway we met such a greeting as is unknown all the world over, outside of a Southern plantation. Perched in the fences, swinging on the gate, and hanging from the trees, were a score of young ebonies of both sexes, who, as we came in sight, set up a chorus of discordant shouts that made the woods ring. Among the noises I made out: 'Gorry, massa am come!' 'Dar dey is.' 'Dat'm de strange gem-man.' 'How's 'ou, massa?' 'Glad 'ou's come, massa; 'peared like we'd neber see 'ou no more, massa;' and a multitude of similiar exclamations, that told unmistakably the character of the discipline to which they were accustomed. The young chattels are an infallible barometer—they indicate the real state of the weather on a plantation. One may never see among the older slaves of even a cruel master, any but sunshiny faces, for they know the penalty of surliness before a stranger; but the little darkies cannot be so restrained. They will slink away into by-corners, or scamper out of sight whenever their owner appears, if they are not treated kindly.

'Massa's well. Are you all well?'

'Yes, massa, we's right smart; an' all on we's good little nigs eber sense 'ou's 'way.'

'I'm glad to hear it; now, scamper back to the house, and tell 'missus' we're coming.'

'Missus knows 'ou's comin', massa; massa Joe am dar; missus knows 'ou's I comin'.'

After a short drive over a narrow winding avenue, strewn with leaves and shaded with the long branches of the pine, the oak, and the holly, we came to the mansion, which stood on a gentle mound in the midst of a green lawn, sloping gently down to a small lake. It had once been a square, box-like structure; but Preston had so transformed it, that but for its rustic surroundings and the thick groups of giant evergreens[Pg 728] which clustered at its sides, it might have been taken for a suburban villa. Projecting eaves, large dormers, which sprang out from the roof-line and rested on a broad porch and balcony, a rustic porte cochere, and here and there a vine-covered bay or oriole window, broke up the regularity of its outline, and proclaimed its designer a true poet—and poetry, now-a-days, is more often written on the walls of country houses than in the corners of country newspapers.

Nearly all of the 'family,' excepting the field hands, had gathered to witness our arrival; but there was no shouting or noisy demonstrations. After we had greeted Mrs. Preston and her two little daughters—her twin roses, as she called them—my host turned to the assembled negroes, and gave each one his hand and a kind word. The hearty 'Lord bress 'ou, good massa,' and 'Glad 'ou's come, massa,' which broke from all of them, would have gladdened the heart of even the bitterest opponent of the peculiar institution. One old woman, whose head was as white as snow, and whose bent form showed great age, sat on a lower step of the porch, surrounded by a cluster of children. Her mistress raised her to her feet as Preston approached; and throwing her trembling arms around his neck, she sobbed out:

'Oh, massa Robert, ole nussy am happy now; she'll neber leff 'ou gwo 'way agin.'

Mrs. Preston shortly turned to lead the way into the house. As she did so, I noticed peeping from out the folds of her dress, where she had shyly hid away, a younger child, of strange and wonderful beauty. She had not, like the others, the fair complexion and pure Grecian features of her mother. Her skin was dark, and her hair, which fell in glossy curls over her neck, was as black as the night when the clouds have shut out the stars. Her cheeks seemed two rose leaves thinly sprinkled with snow; her eyes, coals which held a smouldering flame. Her face was one of those caught now and then by the old painters—a thing dreamed of, but seldom seen: the pure expression of an ideal loveliness which is more than human. She seemed some pure, spiritual being, which had left its ethereal home and come to earth to make the world brighter and better by its presence. I reached out my hands to her, and said:

'Come here, my little one. This is one I have not seen, Mrs. Preston.'

'No, sir; we have never taken her North; she is too young yet. Go to the gentleman, my pet.'

The child came timidly toward me, and suffered me to lift her in my arms:

'And what is your name, my little one?'

'Selly, sar,' she replied, with the soft, mellow accent, which the planter's children acquire from the negroes.

'What an odd name!' I remarked,

'Yes, sir, it is singular. Her full name is Selma,' replied her mother.

'What! who have we here?' exclaimed Preston, as he turned away from the negroes, and stepped up on the piazza.

'Why, Robert, it's Selly—don't you know your own child?'

Preston took the little girl in his arms, and said:

'It's like you, Lucy. No man ever had a wife like mine, Kirke.'

'No one but Mr. Kirke himself, you mean, Robert,' replied the lady, smiling; then she added:

'Selly has been in Newbern for a time, Mr. Preston did not expect to find her at home.'

We entered the house, and took seats in the drawing room to await dinner. We had not been there long, when 'Master Joe' burst into the apartment, and rushing up to me, exclaimed:

'Come, Mr. Kirke, Joe is outside; he wants to see you—come.'

'Tell Joe to wait; don't disturb Mr. Kirke now,' said his father,

'Oh no, Preston; let me see him at once;' and rising, I followed the lad from the room.[Pg 729]

Joe was a dark-colored mulatto, about fifty years of age. He was dressed in a suit of 'butternut homespun,' and held in his hand the ordinary slouched hat worn by the 'natives.' His hair, the short, crispy wool of the African, was sprinkled with gray, and he had the thick lips and broad, heavy features of his race. He was nearly six feet high, stoutly and compactly built; and but for a disproportion in the size of his legs, one of which was smaller and two or three inches shorter than the other, he might have rated as a 'prime field hand.' There was nothing about him but his high, massive head, clear, piercing eye, and a certain self-poised manner, to indicate that he was more than an ordinary negro.

'Now, Joe, this is Mr. Kirke; make your best bow, old fellow,' shouted the lad, as we opened the door, and stepped out on the piazza. Joe made the requisite bow, and reaching out his hand, said:

'I'se bery glad ter see you, Mr. Kirke.'

'I'm very glad to see you, Joseph; I feel well acquainted with you,' I replied, returning his cordial greeting.

'I feels well 'quainted wid you, sar. I'se wanted ter see you bery much, Mr. Kirke. You'll 'scuse my sturbin' you; but de boy'—and he laid his hand on the lad's head—' 'sisted ou my comin' ter onst.'

Before I could reply, his master came out of the house.

'Welcome home, massa Robert,' said the black man, taking Preston warmly by the hand, and then adding in a quick, anxious tone:

'What luck in Virginny? Did you do it, massa Robert?'

'No,' said Preston, 'I couldn't get a dollar—not a dollar, Joe.'

'I feared dat—I feared dat, massa Robert. Nobody keer nuffin' fur you but ole Joe—nobody but ole Joe, massa Robert!' His eyes moistened, and he spoke in an inexpressibly tender tone—the tone of a mother when speaking to her child.

'Nobody but Mr. Kirke, Joe. He has paid the judgment.'

'Bress you, Mr. Kirke, de Lord bress you, sar. But dar's more you knows, massa Robert. You tole Mr. Kirke 'bout dem?'

'No, Joe. I know I ought to; but I couldn't.

'P'raps Mr. Kirke wouldn't hab paid dat, if he'd know'd de whole!' said Joe, in a hesitating tone.

'Undoubtedly I would, Joe. It's no great matter, I'm sure,' I replied.

'Well, Joe, never mind this now. We'll talk affairs all over with Mr. Kirke before he goes,' said Preston.

'Dat's right, massa Robert; gemman like Mr. Kirke knows 'bout dese tings better'n you nor me.'

Saying we would see him again that day, Preston and I then reëntered the mansion.


[4] This transaction, improbable as it may seem to Northern readers, occurred literally as I have narrated it.—The AUTHOR.


There's not a trade agoing,
Worth knowing or showing,
Like that from glory growing!
Says the bold soldier boy.
[Pg 730]


A question of great magnitude, concerning the fate of vast numbers of freed men in the South, and affecting material interests of world-wide importance, is looming up and shaping itself among the clouds which surround us, and is daily growing more pressing in its demand for solution, and for wise and beneficent action. The entire social and industrial arrangements of the South are likely to be completely disorganized, and more or less permanently broken up. The civil war itself, in its very nature, from its avowed principles and purposes, was well calculated to produce this result; but the proclamation of the President, declaring emancipation after the 1st of January next, in all the rebellious States, comes in at this critical moment speedily to perfect the work which the madness of the rebels had already begun.

We do not propose to consider the legal effect of that measure; its conformity to the Constitution, or to the laws of war; its necessity and propriety under existing circumstances; or its bearing and probable influence on the duration of the war and the ultimate restoration of the Union. It would be worse than useless to embarrass and cripple ourselves with these questions, at the present time, when it is wholly beyond our power to arrest the march of events, and prevent the consummation to which they inevitably tend. The thunderbolt has been launched; and although it pauses in the air or moves slowly in its ominous path, it has been seen of all men, and cannot be effectually recalled. Its inevitable results are already to a great extent secured. The idea of his liberation has been imparted to the slave, and it takes hold of his mind as a spark would adhere to dry wood in a high wind. Every breath of air causes it to spread; it cannot be extinguished.

Whatever view may be taken of Mr. Lincoln's proclamation, and of its effect on the mass of slaves in the rebellious States, a very large and increasing number will certainly escape from bondage and force their way into the lines of our army, with every advance which it makes into the enemy's territory. Our Government invites them and the army will be bound to receive them. It may be safely assumed that many thousands (it is hardly possible to say how many) will throw themselves into our power; and they will certainly have the strongest possible claim to the care and protection of those who have lured them from such homes as they possessed, from regular employment and adequate sustenance, and from all fixed habits of their peculiar condition. Winter will be already upon them, and they will be without homes, and in a great measure, too, without food and clothes. It is not possible that the large numbers destined to abandon their masters at the call of the President, can be advantageously employed as laborers and servants in the army, and it will therefore be absolutely necessary to find other useful and appropriate occupations for them, sufficiently profitable to make them sure of subsistence and of some degree of comfort, from the inception of their new condition.

It must be remembered that the plantation negroes, and, indeed, the negroes generally, in all the rebellious States, have never been accustomed to take care of themselves, or even to direct their own daily labors. They have not the least experience in the management of affairs, except under the control of masters or overseers. They have neither foresight nor enterprise, nor any cultivated capacity to provide for their own wants or for those of their families. If they have lived as families at all, the[Pg 731] head of the domestic organization has never had the responsibility which naturally belongs to that position, and, consequently, has not acquired any of the manly and noble impulses which the sense of that responsibility invariably gives. These unfortunate creatures, deprived of all opportunity for education, never having known the cares and blessings of independence, but receiving their daily support from the hand which guided and compelled their labor, emerge from this condition almost as helpless as children. Generally, in the glimmering twilight of their intellects, they entertain no other idea of liberty but that of living without work. Doubtless they will readily arrive at a better understanding of their new condition; but it is of immense importance that they shall be started in the right path and tutored in the ways of freedom.

The authority which will have thus taken them, suddenly and without any preparation, from their recent employments and their old modes of life, must not leave them, helpless and without resources, to find such occupations as they may. The sacred obligation rests upon us to give them some suitable employment from which they can procure present subsistence and commence that career of industry and improvement which, it is to be hoped, will soon prove them to have been worthy of the boon unintentionally bestowed upon them by the authors of this wicked and insane rebellion. Some other governments, in seasons of distress arising from ordinary causes, do not hesitate to acknowledge the duty of finding work for the laboring masses, who would otherwise suffer and become dangerous in their distress and desperation; but there is no case in which the obligations of government toward an unfortunate people are half so strong and imperative as those which, under existing circumstances, rest upon the United States. They have the double responsibility of past complication in the wrong of slavery, and of present participation in the act of suddenly terminating it.

Doubtless an effective system of colonization, beyond our limits, will be gradually established, and the Africans in this country will eventually find it to be their interest to separate themselves from us and to go in large numbers to Central America or to their native continent. But this process must necessarily be slow, and cannot properly take place on any very large scale until the negroes shall be to some extent trained in the proper habits of freedom and prepared to become citizens of some country in which their rights of equality will be fully acknowledged, not merely theoretically and by profession, but in substance and in actual practice. Moreover, they cannot be sent away with advantage to us, or, indeed, by means of any available resources applicable to that end, until their places shall be supplied by European immigrants, or until the increase of our own white population shall enable us to dispense with their services amongst us, and aid them in finding and settling better homes, in which they may pursue their destined course of progress, unhindered by that fatal competition and unconquerable prejudice which meet them here. It is evident that no possible scheme of colonization can relieve us from the duty of providing for the present and immediate necessities of the vast numbers of freed men who will shortly be thrown upon us by the progress of the war, and as the direct result of the President's liberating proclamation.

The vital and momentous question of cotton production, manufacture, and exportation, is involved in this subject. Shall we continue to supply the markets of the world with this indispensable commodity, the raw material and the manufactured products; or shall we become importers of the greatly inferior article from the East Indies at prices largely enhanced, with the consequent destruction of our manufactures and the[Pg 732] loss of eight millions of exports of American goods with all the prospective increase of this important branch of the national industry? The annihilation of the cotton trade in the United States would change the face of the world. It would diminish the power and importance of our country among the nations to an incredible extent; and it would seriously affect the relations of other powers among themselves. The attitude of France and England toward us, at this moment, gives but a faint indication of what we should suffer at their hands if the organization of labor at the South should be so utterly destroyed as to prevent the cultivation of the great staple which that favored region is so preëminently fitted to produce. It is the influence imparted by this production which the South has endeavored to use as its most formidable weapon, against us in this gigantic rebellion; and whatever countenance the rebels have received, or hereafter expect to receive from abroad, is the result solely of their command of this indispensable production. It is this which supplies them with arms and munitions of war at home, and which builds the piratical ships with which they prey upon our commerce on the high seas. Indeed, but for this all-powerful product of their soil and labor, stimulating them and their foreign allies with the hope of liberating the vast supplies now on hand, the war would, in all probability, have been long since determined. But motives of still wider scope and bearing instigate the unfriendly acts of England and France. It is a question with these powers, whether they shall hold the rebellious States by such obligations as shall make them a virtual dependency for their own advantage, as the record shows they attempted to do in the case of Texas in 1844; or whether these factious and ambitious fragments of the Union shall be subdued by our own Government and brought back to their true allegiance, with the effect of reinstating our envied and dreaded power, and with our virtual monopoly of cotton confirmed and consolidated. It is easy to see how dazzling is the temptation which induces England and France to play the false and dangerous part which they are so plainly acting, in this, the most critical emergency which has arisen during the whole period of our national existence. But the stake at issue, however valuable to them, is of infinitely greater importance to us.

It is not merely a question of philanthropy to the liberated negroes of our Southern section; nor do we approach the limits of the subject, when we show how deeply the wealth and power of our country and its commercial greatness are involved in it. There are other questions of still greater importance necessarily arising out of it, and they concern the rights and interests of the people of the loyal States, especially of the great mass of laboring white men, in every part of the country, North, South, East, and West. Destroy the labor of the South, cut off its cotton crops, and a fatal blow will be struck at the commerce and manufactures of the whole country. Every other branch of industry, throughout all its minutest ramifications, will feel the shock and languish accordingly. If, instead of using our fine Southern cotton at ten cents per pound, we are compelled to go to a distance of ten or twelve thousand miles, paying fifty or sixty cents for the inferior, coarse, short-staple production of India, it is apparent that the whole fabric of our prosperity would be prostrated, and remain so, until industry and commerce should find new and profitable channels for their enterprise. Clothing would be greatly enhanced in value, and this, to the laboring man, would be equivalent to a corresponding diminution of food and all the other comforts of life. Cleanliness and health, necessarily dependent on the abundance and cheapness of clothing, would be to some extent affected; and, indeed, every interest of society, in all sections and among all classes, would suffer more or[Pg 733] less from the same causes. With the cotton production destroyed or materially injured, our means of paying the vast debt which the war will leave against us would be seriously impaired, and the burden of taxation would be to that extent heavier and more intolerable to the masses of our people.

Thus this question of emancipation to the blacks is intimately connected with that of justice to the whites. It involves in it all the most important considerations which combine to control the prosperity of a people; for it affects taxation, employment, wages, clothing, food, and health, and, as a consequence necessarily resulting from these, the proper education of the working classes, and the cause of free government itself. Nor is it without much weight and importance that the greater part of these effects extend beyond the limits of our own country and affect similarly, and, in some instances, even more severely, the laboring classes of other countries. We ought not to forget the steady heroism and noble self-respect with which, in some parts of England, the middle and working classes of the people, in the midst of great sufferings, and in spite of them, have justly appreciated our cause and have defended it against the selfish, sinister attacks of aristocratic enemies—their own would-be leaders and instructors. To these disinterested friends and sympathizers in our mighty struggle we owe at least a grateful recognition; and it becomes us to do every thing in our power to alleviate and shorten the sufferings which the rebellion has brought on them in common with ourselves. No wild, inconsiderate, and destructive schemes, in the guise of philanthropy, should receive our assent or command our support. The crisis demands some wise, practical, and efficient measure for the organization of the labor of the freed negroes in the profitable and important occupations to which they have mostly been accustomed.

Events are rapidly maturing their results, and developing the occasion for the direct interference of our Government through its legislative department. There is no time to be lost. Instant action is demanded. Congress ought to take up the subject, without delay, immediately after its meeting, and never cease the investigation until some proper measure shall have been matured and adopted. The great fact must be recognized that the Southern slaves will have been liberated by the agency of the Government, as a means of suppressing the rebellion, by taking away its chief cause and its most powerful support. These unfortunate men, placed in their peculiar condition by no fault of their own, must necessarily receive the protection and become the wards of the Government. Some system of apprenticeship ought to be adopted, and rules and regulations established by law for their government, education, and employment. They ought to be employed in cultivating the soil of their native States for the production of cotton and sugar, so that the former course of things may be as little interrupted as possible, except in the altered condition of the laborers. The lands which will fall into our possession ought to be immediately prepared for cultivation, and the new system of free labor put into practical operation at the earliest moment. The improvement and education of the laborer ought to be considered quite as carefully as the success and productiveness of his work. Our armies will be able to give ample protection to the communities which may be organized under this arrangement; the lands, by the confiscation act, will easily be made available to carry out the scheme; and, doubtless, any number of Union men will be found in all parts of the South, to coöperate in this plan, by the inducement of a fair participation in its legitimate profits. It will be easy to prevent the system from degenerating so as to admit any of the old habits of slavery, or to tolerate any of its oppressions and inhuman practices. In[Pg 734] the course of time, the present slaveholders themselves, humbled and subdued, as we hope they soon will be, will find themselves compelled to acquiesce in the policy of the Government, and, in the end, will acknowledge the wisdom of the proceeding which substitutes paid and educated labor for that pernicious system of slavery which has blinded and deluded them to their own destruction. Eventually, though gradually, it may well be anticipated, white labor will be employed in the growth of cotton. The Africans will find their advantage in removing farther south, perhaps to Central America, possibly to Africa; and, before many years, the productions of the teeming South will far surpass what they have been, or could be, under the reign of slavery.

We forbear to make any suggestion as to the details of the proposed system. The wisdom of Congress, aided by the experience and the advice of the Executive, will no doubt be sufficient for the great exigency. But in any plan which may be adopted, certain general principles must obtain. They must look to these cardinal points: the actual and complete emancipation of the slave, and his education as far as possible; his subordination to just and necessary, though humane laws which may be made for his control; and, finally, the usefulness and productiveness of his industry, with a fair proportion of the profits allowed to himself, in some proper form, for his own benefit and improvement. With these points securely guarded, we may safely look to the future without much dread of that terrible confusion and disorganization which now threaten the unhappy South. We may at least begin to plant the germs of a reorganization which will speedily bring back again order and prosperity, based on a better foundation than they have ever heretofore had to rest upon.


'Do but grasp into the thick of human life! Every one lives it—to not many is it known; and, seize it where you will, it is interesting.'—Goethe.

'Successful.—Terminating in accomplishing what is wished or intended.'—Webster's Dictionary.


'Love descends.' To be filial is a virtue. But who calls parental affection a virtue? 'Honor thy father and they mother.' It is commanded from Sinai. 'Love and cherish they children.'

The idea is a melancholy one, that as we grow old, and more than ever require sympathy, our children, in the inevitable course of nature, become interested in their own surroundings, and less able to sympathize with us.

Joel Burns was not, in the ordinary sense, growing old. He was in the very flush and prime of his manhood. I have explained with what feeling and affection he regarded his daughter, and how his daughter regarded him. But for Joel Burns is coming the hour of agony and trial. Reader, if perchance you begin to take some interest in this narrative, do not blame Sarah Burns. Could she oppose the vis naturæ? Could she, if she would, battle against that subtle and irresistible leaven which now began to pervade her being? Indeed, she could not. And how unconscious she was! How much more than ever she loved her father!—as she thought. Perhaps she did. For when a young girl[Pg 735] first feels her soul charged with this mysterious influence, how kindly and joyously and lovingly all are embraced!—father, mother, brothers, sisters, friends.

Sarah had only her father; and when her heart began to fructify and expand, all her affections expanded with it. Not that her heart had, as yet, any object to rest on. By no means. But the time had come. There was no resisting it, any more than resistance may be predicated of the green leaf, which must put forth in the spring, bringing bud and flower and fruit after it. Yet, I repeat, Sarah Burns was unconscious, actually and absolutely unconscious. Do not suppose she cared specially about Hiram Meeker. She did not. Her nature only was on the alert, not she. Hiram, all things considered, was the most agreeable man she had met, and why should she not be attracted by him—to an extent? I say attracted: I do not mean anything else. Why should she not be?

Joel Burns, I cannot help pitying you. With no living being with whom you can intimately sympathize, except your daughter—her child, on whom the affluence of your heart had all been shed! You feel instinctively the real state of things. And you quite understand it. You knew it was to be. But you hoped, not quite so soon—not quite so soon.

Perhaps, reader, I may not echo your own sentiments, when I speak of Joel Burns. But I love a genuine nature, as his. I admire beyond expression honesty of soul—that honesty which will not think of itself nor seek to have others think of it different from what it really is.

Yes, I feel sorry for Joel Burns.

Mr. Burns, as I have already observed, took the papers which Hiram put in his hands, in the belief they contained little to satisfy or encourage him. While his confidential clerk was absent, he had permitted his mind to dwell on the 'unfortunate affair' more than was his habit in relation to any matter of business. This, however, was assuming such ugly proportions, that he could not avoid it. Sarah also could not help talking about it. So that Hiram's arrival served to terminate a suspense which had become painful.

Sarah Burns, after receiving Hiram's response to her question (she thought and cared only for the single word 'won'), ran joyfully into the room to congratulate her father and get full particulars. She was surprised to find him seated at the breakfast table, the bundle of papers laid aside untouched, while his countenance certainly gave no indication that he had just received agreeable intelligence.

'Why, father, how grave you look! What is the matter?'

'I did not know I looked specially grave. I suppose I am a little disappointed at Meeker's returning so soon. I find that, without knowing it, I had calculated too much on his efforts.'

'Has he told you what he has done?'

'No. He merely handed me those papers, and said they explained all. I saw by his countenance, however, he had accomplished nothing of consequence. [The fact is, Hiram, desiring to make the surprise as complete as possible, did exhibit the air of one returning from an unsuccessful mission.] 'So let us enjoy our breakfast before I go again into this miserable business.'

'Now, to please me, father, just take a peep at the papers; perhaps it is better than you fear.'

Mr. Burns shook his head.

'Oh, please do,' and she put the bundle in his hand.

Mr. Burns untied the string. 'What have we here? Joel Burns vs. Elihu Joslin. The fellow has involved me in a lawsuit to begin with. I had much better have agreed to his account—much better,' he added, almost pettishly. 'I ought to have gone myself at any sacrifice.'

Sarah had unconsiously taken the papers from her father's hand, and was turning them over. Hiram's assurance still rang in her ears.

'Here is something, father,' handing[Pg 736] him a document marked account current; 'and here something else,' exhibiting another, indorsed Elihu Joslin with Joel Burns—Agreement to sell Paper Mill.

Mr. Burns took both, and was instantly engaged in ascertaining their contents.

Sarah stood by, waiting—and I must say, confidently waiting—the result.

Mr. Burns's mind was, as the reader knows, rapid in its movements. He comprehended the account at a glance; then he looked at Joslin's agreement to sell. That was brief and to the point. Mr. Burns read every word of it.

'It is not possible!' he exclaimed, as he finished the perusal. 'I declare I can't think it possible.'

'What is it, father? Do tell me. What is it?'

'Why. Meeker has gone to New York, and in forty-eight hours has not only brought Joslin to a just settlement, but got from him a contract to sell me his half of the paper mill at a most reasonable price.'

'Good, good. Oh, how rejoiced I am!' and she threw her arms around her father's neck, and kissed him ever so many times. 'Oh, how glad I am. I never saw anything worry you before, father, and it's all over now.'

'A most extraordinary young man,' continued Mr. Burns, taking up the law papers. 'I see what he wanted the power of attorney for, now. A most extraordinary young man. It don't seem possible. Why, he brings Joslin in debt to me several thousand dollars!'

It would not be easy to describe the sensations of Sarah Burns while her father was giving expression to his own feelings. Joy that all cause of annoyance and trouble was removed from him; pleasure that this young man in particular had been the instrument; some slight fluttering at the recollection of her promise, and of the triumphant boldness with which Hiram had said 'Won,' as if he meant—as he did mean—that something more than her father's case had been won—something much more; admiration, too, of Hiram's cleverness, capacity, tact—such admiration as the sex always bestow on real ability. All these, commingled served to produce in Sarah Burns a state of feeling—I should rather say of being—different from what she ever before experienced.

'Come! now for some breakfast,' said Mr. Burns. 'Everything will be cold. Never mind, we can afford a cold breakfast on such news as this. I am sorry I had not pressed Meeker to stay, but I thought he was anxious to get away. He is an odd fellow.'

'Why, he had been to breakfast, father.'

'Yes, but one would suppose he would have run directly here, and said, in a word, how successful he was. He is very odd.

'I think, father, we may excuse his oddity for once.'

'Indeed we may.'

Mr. Burns rapidly finished, and hastened to the office.

He found Hiram at work at his desk on the ordinary business, which had accumulated in his absence, apparently as calm and unconcerned as if he had not been absent.

Mr. Burns seized his hand, and thanked him for his admirable achievement, with all the ardor and sincerity of his enthusiastic and honest nature. Hiram was undisturbed by it. His cold, clammy palm rested in the vigorous, cordial grasp of his employer unresponsive and unsympathizing. But Mr. Burns was in too happy and active a mood himself to be affected by that of his clerk. For the time, his was the ruling influence; and Hiram was the one insensibly to yield.

Mr. Burns asked so many questions that at last he got the particulars from Hiram, which naturally he very much enjoyed. These particulars were recounted with modesty, without the slightest exhibition of egotism or conceit.

'I cannot sufficiently thank you,[Pg 737] Meeker,' said Mr. Burns, 'and I hope to show you some time how much I appreciate what you have done for me.'

'To have done my duty,' replied Hiram, 'is my chief satisfaction; but to merit your approbation is, I confess, a very great happiness.'

Hiram was invited to tea that evening. It happened Mr. Burns was obliged to go out shortly after. I do not suppose, on this particular occasion, that Sarah regretted it. I am sure Hiram did not. For no sooner were they alone together, than Miss Burns, almost with the air and tone of close intimacy, so much was she carried away with the subject (women are such enthusiasts, you know), exclaimed, while she unconsciously moved her chair near Hiram:

'Now, Mr. Meeker, I want you to tell me all about your journey to New York. I insist on having every particular. I so anxious to know how it was you compelled that dishonest wretch to do just what you asked of him. Father says you dictated your own terms. Now for the secret of your power.'

'It was my persuasive manner of showing how much better an honest course is than a knavish one,' said Hiram, smiling.

'Oh yes, I dare say; but tell me what I want to know. You think, perhaps, I don't understand business sufficiently to comprehend you; but you are quite mistaken.'

We have all read how, by her own account, Desdemona was won. And her history gives proof, if we had no other, of the great dramatist's wonderful knowledge of the springs of human action and affection.

On this occasion, Hiram played Othello's part to perfection. After much persuasion he was induced to give, in a modest, but graphic way, a complete account of his trip to New York, with which the reader is already familiar. Before he had concluded, Sarah Burns's appreciation was at the highest pitch. And when, after a little, he took up his hat to leave(he preferred to do so before Mr. Burns returned), he did not appear to notice Sarah's heightened color and unequivocal look of admiration, but bowed himself quietly out, without even taking her hand (he knew it was not Louisa or Charlotte Hawkins he was dealing with), but nevertheless with a low, friendly, almost confidential, yet quite careless 'good night' on his lips. But how all aglow he was, nevertheless, as he walked away from the house!—walked away without turning at the gate to salute Sarah again, though she stood on the piazza expecting it.

At this time many humanizing emotions filled the soul of Hiram Meeker. He could not for the moment resist the genuine a spirit as that of Sarah Burns shed even over his nature.

'Well—well—she is a glorious creation; and—she—loves—me.'

He stopped; his pulse beat quick; he was very near the corner where they had met when Sarah failed to recognize him.

'She would not cut me now—not quite,' he added, in the old tone.


Did she love him? My heart aches when I ask the question.

Miss Burns stood for several minutes on the piazza after Hiram went away. Presently her father came up.

'Why, my daughter, are you here? Has Meeker left? It is early yet.'

'Yes, he went some little time ago. I got the whole story out of him; and when he finished he ran off, because I made him talk so much, I fear.'

Mr. Burns observed that his daughter was somewhat excited; but there was good reason, and he did not feel in any mood for scrutiny.

For perhaps the first time in her life, however, she felt conscious of something like heart vacancy—of some void her[Pg 738] father's presence did not fill. This made her very unhappy. She strove to conceal it, and probably succeeded.

For the first time in her life, her father's kiss did not soothe, comfort, and satisfy her.

As soon as Joel Burns had finished his devotions (his daughter and he knelt always, morning and evening, side by side, and sent up their joint supplications to the Almighty), Sarah hastened to her room. She slept little that night; but when she rose in the morning, after having breathed forth her prayers to God, in whom she so implicitly put her trust, she felt composed and happy, and ready to welcome her father and receive his usual caress.

I have no design to occupy too much of this narrative with the present subject. I am writing the history of Hiram Meeker—not of Sarah Burns. And Hiram's 'little affair' with Sarah, as he used to call it, was scarcely an episode in his life.

The reader can easily understand how quietly, and with a manner both fascinating and insinuating, Hiram installed himself absolutely in the affections of Sarah Burns.

Mark you, Sarah was not a girl to be treated like Mary Jessup, or the Hawkinses, or many others with whom Hiram was or had been a favorite. Hiram knew this magnetically, and he undertook no false moves—assumed no petty freedoms; but he knew how to make such a true-hearted girl love him, and he succeeded.

There were times when Hiram was ready to give up his life-project of settling in New York. There were times when, even arguing, as he could only argue, from his selfishness, he was ready to decide to marry Sarah and down in Burnsville. He would have a large field there. He would start with abundant capital; he would go on and introduce various improvements and multiply plans and enterprises. Then the recollection of the vast city, teeming with facilities for his active brain to take advantage of, where MILLIONS were to be commanded, with no limits, no bounds for action and enterprise, would bring him back to his determination not to swerve from his settled object.

Yet, after all, he could get only so near to Sarah Burns. He knew she admired him—loved him—at least, was ready to love him; but this did not bring him into close communion with her.

After that morning, Sarah's state of mind and heart was at least tranquil. She possessed the true talisman; and it would have been in vain for Hiram to attempt to disturb her repose. As I have said, he understood this very well. He knew he could not trifle, or, as it is called, flirt with Sarah; and he did not try. But after a while he was piqued—then he did admire Sarah more than any girl he ever met. Probably he loved her as much as he was capable of loving; which was—not at all.

At last, just after the conclusion of some brilliant operations, as Hiram called them, of Mr. Burns's, on a lovely day in the summer, when nature was in her glory and all things were very beautiful at Burnsville, Hiram—(I won't say he designed to be false, I have many doubts on that head, and he is entitled to the benefit of them)—Hiram, I say, encountered Sarah Burns a little out of the village, on a romantic path, which he sometimes used as a cross cut to the mill. Affairs were very flourishing—the place full of activity; Joel Burns quite a king and general benefactor there; and Sarah Burns—a charming, very charming girl —his only daughter.

Hiram came suddenly on her. Both stopped, of course.

Mr. Burns that day wondered—wondered exceedingly that the tried and reliable Meeker should fail him on a very important occasion. Something made it necessary that Hiram should visit Slab City, and return in the course of the morning. But the morning passed, and[Pg 739] no Hiram. Mr. Burns drove to the mill: his clerk had not appeared there.

At dinner time the mystery was solved. Hiram, it seems, had been unable to resist all the conspiring influences. When they met, the two had wandered away toward a pleasant grove, and, seated at the foot of a giant oak, he told Sarah Burns in most seductive terms how he loved her, how he had always loved her since they met at Mrs. Croft's.

Sarah did as young girls always do: she burst into tears.

This was not at all to Hiram's taste.

(Don't be severe with him, reader: he could not appreciate the causes which produce such emotions.)

He waited for what he was cool enough to consider hysterical demonstrations to pass, and commenced again to press his suit.

'My father, my father!' exclaimed Sarah; 'I can never give him up.'

'We must leave father and mother, and cleave to each other,' said Hiram solemnly, with anything rather than the tone of a lover. It sounded harsh and repulsive to Sarah, and she began to cry, again, but not as passionately as before.

(Hiram was dissatisfied, selfish ever, he disliked exceedingly that she should think of her father at such a time.)

'I know it,' she finally said, 'and that is why I speak. Whatever may be my feelings, I shall never forget my duty to him.'

'And how will loving me interfere with it?' asked Hiram.

'Whatever may be the consequence to me, I will never leave him. And you—your plans take you elsewhere. I know it very well.'

Hiram was surprised, he could not imagine how his secret purposes could have been discovered, for he had never divulged them.

'You know it, too,' she continued, perceiving he was silent.

'That may he,' he replied; ' but that does not prevent my loving you. And who knows? Perhaps your father will not care to remain, always at Burnsville.'

'Oh, he will never leave it; that I am sure of,' said Sarah, almost sorrowfully, 'And I shall stay with him.'

'Then you do not love me,' said Hiram, in a tone not quite amiable.

'You know better,' exclaimed Sarah, her eyes flashing, and all the spirit of her father beaming forth. 'Hiram Meeker, you know better!'

She was superb in her passion. Something besides affection shone forth now, and Hiram was led captive by it.

'Then shall I stay,' he said resolutely. 'Take me or not, Sarah, I stay, too.'

Mr. Burns was not altogether surprised at the announcement which awaited him on going home that day to dinner. He had seen for some time that his daughter was much interested, and he thought Hiram equally so.

It is true the old feeling continued, and there were times when, it appeared to break forth stronger than ever. Mr. Burns had made up his mind that it was doing Hiram great injustice to yield to it, since the young man was untiring in the discharge of his duties, and also most effective.

So he had endeavored to accustom himself to think of the event of his daughter's engagement with Hiram as very probable. What could possibly be urged against it? Hiram was of respectable family, possessed of extraordinary business ability, bearing an irreproachable character, really without a fault that could be indicated, and a consistent member of the church.

Yes, that was so. And, looking it over carefully, Mr. Burns used frequently to admit to himself that it was so. What then? Why, then Joel Burns would sigh and feel heaviness of heart, he scarcely knew why, and think to himself that there could remain for him no happiness should Sarah marry Meeker. Then he would ask himself, how his wife would have liked Meeker. He did not think she would have liked him.

Nevertheless, as I have said, Mr.[Pg 740] Barns decided the event was coming, and that he could not say nay.

And he did not say nay. He said very little; but when Sarah threw herself in her father's arms, and he kissed her forehead, his heart was nigh to bursting. He restrained his emotion, though.

'We are never to leave you, father. You know that, don't you?'

'My child, no one knows the future; but I am happy that you will live with me.'

Hiram said nothing. Already his old caution was returning.

It will be recollected, when Hiram first came to Burnsville he sought to be admitted as a member of Mr. Burns's family, but was met with a cold and abrupt refusal. Now, Mr. Burns not only desired Hiram to come at once to his house, but put his wishes in so decided a form that Hiram could not object. It was in vain, that Sarah interposed. She begged her father not to insist on the arrangement. Neither had Hiram the least desire to quit his comfortable quarters at the widow Hawkins's, even for the sake of being near the one to whom he had pledged himself forever. But he did not dare betray himself. He did betray himself though, unconsciously, by the absence of any enthusiasm on a point where one would suppose he would exhibit a great deal. Mr. Burns had a single object in having Hiram near him. His daughter's happiness was most precious to him, and he resolved to make himself acquainted with the young man's character, if it were possible.

From the time Hiram began to call at the house of Mr. Burns, he gradually extended his visits over the village, and became a greater favorite than ever with the ladies. Not with the young girls alone, but with elderly spinsters and matrons. Strange how he managed so completely to make them all like him! His position with Mr. Barns grew more and more into consequence, so that he was regarded as unquestionably the best match in the place. When Hiram at last removed from the widow Hawkins's to Mr. Burns's, the village was for a few days the focus of all sorts of guesses and surmises. Mr. Burns had enjoined on both that the engagement should not be made public at present—an arrangement particularly pleasing to Hiram, who would thus be quite at liberty to give what turn he pleased to the subject, and not forfeit the favor of several young ladies already too deeply interested in him.

As may be supposed, when Hiram announced his intended removal to Mrs. Hawkins, that lady was exceedingly surprised, not to say overcome. Hiram, however, coupled the information with such an air of grave importance, dropping a few words about the enormous increase of Mr. Burns's business, and the absolute necessity of frequent evening consultations, that she was completely disarmed. Then he remarked that his leaving the house would by no means cause any diminution of his interest in the young ladies, or in her; indeed, quite the contrary. Such interest must increase daily, the more so that he should not have the pleasure of so openly manifesting it. The widow blushed, she hardly knew why. Hiram squeezed her hand tenderly, and sought out Charlotte and Louisa. Charlotte was in the garden, and—I must tell the truth—Louisa in her chamber, crying. All this was charming to Hiram. He luxuriated in it (though in a more delicious degree), as over a nice steak or a delicate boiled chicken.

Hiram's interview with both the young ladies was, as you may readily imagine, perfectly satisfactory to both. In short, when he quitted the house, all were content and hopeful, and all from different reasons.

It was now that Joel Burns sat himself down to investigate the cause of[Pg 741] those strange sensations which he at times experienced in the presence of Meeker. The first time Hiram came to the table, not as a guest, but as an inmate of the house, nothing could have been more stiff and formal than the conduct of all three. In vain. Mr. Burns endeavored to appear free. The spell was on him; and there sat the one who alone could cause it.

Joel Burns looked at his daughter. She appeared diffident and not at ease, but, as he thought, happy. Hiram sat still, saying nothing and looking quite vacant. He was determined not to exhibit any points till he knew his ground better.

In the office, though, all was right. There he entered into, nay, anticipated Mr. Burns's plans, and he could not fail to evoke his employer's admiration.

I have spoken of Joel Burns's daily devotions; how, with his child, he was in the habit of coming before his Maker, bringing the offerings of their joint hearts. For two or three days after Meeker came to the house this custom was continued. Then Sarah gently asked her father if Hiram might not be admitted. (He had complained to her that it was not Christian-like to exclude him.) A shiver passed over Mr. Burns; a groan almost escaped his lips. How fast the links were giving way which kept his daughter with him! But the request was quite right, and that night Hiram was present at the evening prayer. Sarah, on that occasion, did not sit so near her father as usual. And when they kneeled, her chair was still more removed. So it went on. Sarah, like all who love, invested Hiram with every virtue in perfection (and lovers are more indebted for virtues to the imagination of the sex than they suppose), and was very happy. Hiram, who managed, under the excuse of not permitting the public to learn the secret of their engagement, to visit nearly as much as ever, was happy enough too. Only Joel Burns was sad. Sad, not because he had given away his daughter, but because he feared for her happiness.

What was strange enough, Mr. Burns could not endure to hear Hiram speak on religion, and Hiram was very fond of talking on the subject. He spoke so well, every one said. He exhibited so many evidences of divine grace.

One morning, Sarah came into her father's room, and, after kissing him, said, with a great deal of diffidence:

'Father, I want to ask a favor of you.'

'Certainly, my child. What is it?'

'Won't you please ask Hiram sometimes to lead in prayer?'

Mr. Burns started as if stung by some reptile. He turned very pale.

'What is the matter—what is the matter, father? How pale you look—how very pale you look!'

'Do I? I felt strangely, just at that moment. Yes, dear child, I will do what you request. I suppose I ought to have done so before; but then, you know, it is hard to—yes, dear—I will do as you wish.'

Sarah left the room, wondering not a little, and Joel Burns threw himself on the bed and sobbed.

After a time he recovered his composure. Kneeling at the side of the bed, he ejaculated: 'O God, help me to feel right! and, O Heavenly Father, protect my child!'

That day, after breakfast, Hiram was asked to make the morning prayer.

Shall I attempt to describe his ready utterance; his glib use of the most sacred expressions; his familiar handling of God's name?

Mr. Burns's feelings meanwhile cannot be described. In his presence, at least to his true apprehension, Hiram Meeker was like the Arch Enemy when touched by the spear of Ithuriel. And yet Joel Burns kneeled, trying humbly to commit his soul to God, while Hiram was pouring out what he thought to be a most beautiful prayer!

It is not necessary to go on with par[Pg 742]ticulars. Every two or three months Hiram found it for Mr. Burns's interest to visit New York. More and more he became confirmed in his first determination to ultimately settle there. He kept his views entirely to himself. But he did not neglect his opportunities whenever he visited the city, till at length his plans were matured.

Then, by degrees, he sounded Sarah Burns on the subject. He would suggest that it was best, perhaps, in order better to serve the interests of her father, that he should acquire more knowledge of metropolitan affairs, so that there need be again no danger of another Joslin matter. Sarah exhibited so much distress on these occasions that Hiram forbore to allude to the subject. He perfected his plans, and said nothing about them.

It was a part of his purpose that these plans should leak out somewhat; sufficiently, at least, to set people discussing their probability; and he took measures accordingly. This accounts for the division of opinion in the village, which I spoke of in the first chapter.

Our story opens at this period.

Hiram Meeker and Sarah Burns had gone in company to attend the preparatory lecture on the Friday prior to Communion. At that lecture Sarah heard, for the first time, that Hiram had decided to leave for New York. The reader may possibly recollect the conversation between them as they left the lecture room.

I said, though Sarah Burns could not disbelieve Hiram, her heart felt the lie he told her nevertheless.

Mr. Burns was also present on that occasion. Shall I say it? A thrill of joy shot through him at the announcement; joy, if it must be spoken, that Hiram had proved a dissembler and a hypocrite. His year would expire the coming week. Not a syllable had he said on the subject to Mr. Burns, and he had concluded on this method of acquainting both Mr. Burns and Sarah of his fixed determination.

The latter part of the walk was measured in silence. Some faint perception of the truth was beginning to dawn in Sarah's mind. Her father's spirit began to assert itself in her breast.

Mr. Burns walked slowly along a little behind. It was tea time when they entered the house. He went for a moment to his room. He had scarcely entered it, when the door opened and his daughter came in. She ran up to her father; she threw her arms around his neck; and while she wept bitterly, Joel Burns could hear between the sobs:

'Oh, father, father, your child has come back to you!'


Little lady wants a President all smile and style and grace;
Little master wants a Talleyrand or Crichton in the place;
Little simpletons want this and that to fill the nation's chair;
But the times want Abraham Lincoln—and, thank God, they have him there!

[Pg 743]


Our large debt and vast expenditures demand a resort to every just available source of national revenue. Among these are our mineral lands of the public domain, and especially those yielding gold and silver. On this subject, the Commissioner of the General Land Office, Judge Edmunds, on the 16th of April last, addressed a letter to the Committee of Public Lands of the Senate, from which I make the following extract:

'For a half century prior to the California gold discoveries in 1848, the annual gold yield of the world was, by estimate, from sixteen to twenty millions of dollars, of which Russia produced more than one half. In 1853 the gold product of California was $70,000,000. * * * * Annual yield, estimating upon reported shipments, was $50,000,000, to which by adding two fifths for quantity taken by private hands, besides that converted into articles of ornament and use, the total average would be seventy millions a year. The immense discoveries of gold, silver, quicksilver, tin, copper, lead, iron, and coal, within our limits, justify the estimate that our mineral riches exceed the aggregate metallic wealth of the globe. In a state of peace, with adequate revenue from ordinary sources, the Government has interposed no obstacle to the free access of our citizens and of the people of every nation, to work the mines, of which the United States are the undisputed owners, and by which individuals, in the aggregate, have realized some nine hundred millions of dollars.'

The Commissioner, therefore, very justly concludes that, under existing circumstances, our mineral lands ought to yield a national revenue, and he proposes a preliminary reconnoissance, and licenses, at $10 each, to be paid in the mean time by the miners to the Government. Beyond these suggestions he proceeds at present no farther.

The general estimate of the extent of our mineral lands of the public domain, exceeds twenty millions of acres. It extends from near the 32d to the 49th parallel of latitude, and from the lakes and the Mississippi river to the Pacific. It is not supposed that every acre of these twenty millions contains mines, but that all are so connected as to be embraced in the same mineral region. These lands, at an average price of $25 per acre, would be worth $500,000,000. I do not assert that this is their value, but it is a fact that some of the mines already worked on our public domain are worth many thousand dollars per foot, even in the present difficulty of access by roads, and the enormous cost of provisions. It is sufficient for the argument that these mines and mineral lands are of great value, that they are public property, and, in the present condition of our country, ought to be made a source of revenue.

This question concerns the present and future miners. As to the present miners, they are working these lands without any legal title, but by the long acquiescence of the Government. They are the pioneers, who, amid great dangers, privations, and sufferings, have explored these mineral regions and developed their enormous value. As regards these pioneers now working the mineral lands of the Government, I think, as a general rule, the existing miners' code should be carried into effect. They should be required to register their claims with the proper officer of the Federal Government, to file copies and descriptive notes of their surveys and locations, and to report the product of the mines. This would form a good basis for the reconnoissance proposed by the Commissioner, and for the exploration and resurvey of these claims by the Government. Such proceedings would effect the following results: 1st. To prevent litigation among the present miners. 2d. To enable the Government to separate their lands from the public domain, and to give them a perfect title. 3d. To survey and[Pg 744] designate the unoccupied mineral lands of the Government. I think it would be just, and good policy to confirm the rights of the present miners according to the existing regulations in the several districts, charging them only a nominal price for a complete title and patent from the Government, which price should not be more than the cost of survey and incidental expenses, not exceeding a few cents an acre. This would greatly improve the condition of the present miners, to whom we are indebted for the development of this region; would give them a perfect title, where now they have none; and, in many cases, would enable them to raise the capital necessary for the more profitable working of their mines.

Having thus surveyed and located the mines now worked by the present occupants, and secured to them their titles in fee simple, without rent, regie, or seigniorage, let us now consider the proper policy as to the vast unoccupied public mineral domain. The solution of this problem divides itself into two parts: 1st, the survey and subdivision of these lands; 2d, the price and mode of sale.

As to the first, I would continue the present mode of surveys by townships, sections, and quarter-quarter sections, with further subdivisions thereof. It will be best, however, to adopt the geodetic system, for the following reasons: 1st, The errors in the linear surveys are much greater than in the geodetic, in nearly the ratio of yards to inches. These errors may not be very important as to sections, but, in the minute subdivisions (an acre each) into which the mineral lands should be separated, the errors of the lineal surveys could not be tolerated, and would introduce ruinous litigation as to the boundaries of valuable mines. 2d, The linear surveys give us a description only of the exterior lines of each section; but the geodetic system would inform us of the interior, enable the Government to appraise every acre, to give the proper maps, similar to those of the coast survey, and enable the people to judge of the value of each acre. The additional cost of the geodetic system would hardly reach two cents an acre.

The subdivision of the gold and silver lands, should be into tracts of one acre each, continuing and extending the present system. This is by townships of six miles square, containing 36 sections and 23,040 acres. Each section contains 640 acres; and to separate them into acres, the following system should be adopted. The present subdivision is into quarter-quarter sections, of 40 acres each. These small tracts, by lines running through the centre, north and south, and east and west, I would subdivide into four tracts, each containing ten acres. These ten-acre tracts, by a line running north and south through the centre, I would divide into two equal tracts, each containing five acres; and each of these five-acre tracts, by lines running east and west, into five tracts, each containing one acre. The exterior lines, running east and west, of these one-acre tracts, would each be one hundred and ten yards long (330 feet), and the two sides running north and south, would each have a length of forty-four yards (132 feet). The form of the ten-acre tract and its subdivisions, would be as follows:

Ten Acres.
  110 yards. 110 yards.  
One Acre. One Acre. 44
  do. do.  
  do. do.  
  do. do.  
  do. do.  

This is the only plan by which the sec[Pg 745]tions can be subdivided into tracts of one acre each. Such subdivisions of sections into squares of one acre each is impossible; nor is it necessary, as, of the present subdivisions, neither a half section nor an eighth of a section is square. Before the motion made by me in the Senate of the United States, on the 31st of March, 1836, the sales were made by eighths of a section, an oblong figure, and not by forty-acre tracts.

Many of the present miners' claims are smaller than an acre, but it is impracticable to make more minute subdivisions. This plan would continue our present admirable system of surveys, and, to carry it out, as now proposed, we should only have to mark, by stone or iron monuments, the north and south exterior lines of each section at intervals of forty-four yards, and the east and west lines at distances of one hundred and ten yards, and the survey would be complete, extending from section to section, and from township to township. Having devoted great attention to such subjects, as chairman for many years of the Committee of Public Lands of the Senate, and as Secretary of the Treasury, and having, in early life, made many surveys in the field, I venture, with great deference, to submit these suggestions for the consideration of the President, the Secretary of the Interior, the Commissioner of the General Land Office, Congress, and the country.

Tho system proposed by me would bring here vast foreign capital to invest in working our mines. As the law now stands, no title can be acquired to any of our public mineral lands, and hence the capital invested is extremely limited. By this plan, not only would a certain title be acquired to the mines now worked, and at a nominal price to the present miners, but also for new mines, at their proper value, and thus our vast mineral wealth would be developed much sooner.

There are two considerations which will soon rapidly enhance the value of our mineral lands. These are the Homestead bill and the Pacific railroad. By the gift, substantially, of one hundred and sixty acres of our agricultural public lands to every settler, the soil, in the vicinity of the mines, will be far more speedily occupied and cultivated, and, as a consequence, much cheaper provisions and subsistence furnished to the miners. This result, also, will be greatly accelerated by the construction of the Pacific railroad, together with much lower transportation of emigrants and freight.

The plan proposed (as it ought to be) is just to the mining States and Territories, and to the pioneer miners. Indeed, it is far better for them than the present system.

The next question is, how should the sales be made, and at what price. The gold and silver lands I would sell in one-acre lots, as above designated; our other mineral lands in forty-acre lots, a subdivision now recognized by law.

One surveyor, accompanied by one commissioner for each four townships, should examine, and both should report to the register and receiver of the proper land office, the value of each subdivision of the public mineral lands, together with the proper maps. These views should, together with their own opinions, be communicated by the register and receiver to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, who, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior, should fix the value of these acre lots. These lands then should be advertised for sale to the highest bidder for cash, at minimum rates, not below those estimated, which should be published. The bids, after six months' advertisement, should be received by the register and receiver of the proper land offices, and also by the Secretary of the Interior, up to the same day and hour, when such bids should be at once opened simultaneously, and the land awarded to the highest bidder above the minimum. To prevent fraud, no bid should be received unless accompanied by a deposit of one per cent. of the amount of the bid, to be forfeited[Pg 746] to the Government only if the bid is successful and the amount should not be paid in full. Such tracts as are not sold at or above the appraised value should be disposed if by entry at the minimum price, in the same manner as under our former land system, subject at proper intervals to new appraisements and advertisements.

We have seen that our present Commissioner of the General Land Office estimates our mineral public lands as of greater value than all the mineral lands of the world, and that, up to the 16th of April last, they had yielded, in gold alone, nine hundred millions of dollars. This is exclusive of our valuable mines silver, quicksilver, tin, copper, lead, coal, and iron. The lands yielding this $900,000,000 are estimated at five hundred thousand acres—making their value exceed one billion of dollars; and, at the same rate, the remaining twenty millions of acres would be worth forty billions of dollars, or $2,000 per acre. This would be a most extravagant estimate; but at the average price of twenty-five dollars per acre they would bring, as we have seen, five hundred millions of dollars, being a sum larger than our public debt on the 1st of July last. That this sum at least can be realized to the Government by a proper system from our public mineral lands, is my sincere conviction.

On this subject, the Commissioner says:

'As the development of the mineral wealth of the country advances not only of the gold and silver of California, but of Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico, and the vast mines of useful metals scattered there and elsewhere, with exhaustless supplies of coal to fashion and mould these for the various purposes of life, the yield in a few years may reasonably be estimated at $100,000,000; and when the Pacific railroad shall have spanned the interior, it may be augmented to one hundred and fifty millions of dollars' worth of mineral product.'

This annual product, as estimated by the Commissioner, would make the total value of these lands exceed one billion of dollars.

There may be differences of opinion

as to this estimate of the Commissioner: some may think it too large, and others too small; but, however this may be, it is quite clear that the subject demands the earnest consideration of the country.

No period has been so auspicious as the present to rearrange our gold coinage. Gold has ceased here to be a currency, and is used only in payment of our public debt and receipts of customs.

It is important that our gold coinage (retaining the decimal system) and that of England should be assimilated. This could be easily done by having in our half eagle the same amount of gold and alloy as in the British sovereign, carrying the system through our whole gold coinage. Thus, exchange here upon England or there here, would be quoted and governed by the same rules which regulate exchange between our own cities, and all the mystery and losses of our present system would disappear. This change would slightly depreciate our present gold coinage, but would not affect individual transactions, treasury notes being our currency and a legal tender. Should this plan be adopted, England could stamp on her sovereign, Equal to a U. S. half eagle, and we could stamp on our half eagle, Equal to a British sovereign, and thus furnish a currency, which from necessity would in time be adopted by all the world, avoiding vast trouble, loss of time, and litigation, and saving millions of dollars every year. This measure would soon prove the superiority of our decimal system, and render it universal. The United States and England being the two great commercial and gold producing nations, speaking the same tongue, and having the same coinage, would make the coin and the language of the coin of the world the same, the first great step toward a universal language. This assimilation of the value and language of coin would lead to the decimalizing and assimilation of weights and measures, both grand movements toward the fusion of nations and fraternity of man.[Pg 747]


The New Gymnastics for Men, Women, and Children. By Dio Lewis, M.D. With three hundred illustrations. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1862.

It is with sincerest pleasure that we commend this excellent book to the attention of every teacher and parent in America. We might add that we commend it as a gift book which would be most acceptable to youth, since it teaches them several hundred exercises, the greater portion of which require little or no apparatus, and none which cannot be very readily fitted up in almost any house. This book, moreover, includes a translation of Prof. Klogs's 'Dumb Bell Instructor' and Prof. Schreber's 'Pangymnastikon.' By the way, is this the same work of Schreber's which was translated some years ago by Prof. Sedgwick, of New York, for his Gymnastic Journal? We remember the latter as a work of solid merit, recommending on sound anatomical principles the means of cure by gymnastics and calisthenics for many of the ills that flesh is heir to. We ask, not remembering accurately, and from observing that Prof, Lewis confesses to having greatly abridged the volume in question, a plan never to be commended in any translation whatever. But for the whole work, with this exception, we have only praise. It is, we believe, the most practical, sensible book and the one most easy of application on this subject extant in any language. Let all interested remember that while it is indispensable to every gymnasium and every gymnast, its price is only one dollar.

Eyes and Ears. By Henry Ward Beecher. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1862. New York: G. P. Putnam. 1862.

The crisp, careless dozen and a half of lines which Mr. Beecher snaps at his readers by way of preface to this collection of papers, form the best review of its contents which will probably be written. They came principally, as he informs us, from the New York Ledger, and partially from the Independent; were consequently written very much for the many, and very little for the student of elaborate literature. They are unstudied, unpretentious—true nugæ venales, 'representing the impressions of happy homes, or the moods and musings of the movement * * fragmentary and careless as even a newspaper style will permit.' But, beyond this, we may assure the reader that these 'scintillant trifles' are knocked off from no second-rate material and by no awkward hand, but by one firm and confident in hasty and trivial efforts as in great ones, and producing the great even in the little. Many of these essay-lets have a peculiar charm: they seem to crave expansion—we wish them longer, and are as little pleased to find a fresh title whipping itself in before our eyes as children are at a rapidly managed magic-lantern show, when the impatient exhibitor presents a View in Egypt to eyes which have hardly begun to take in Solomon's Temple. We like them far better than the majority of the more elaborate, infinitely conceited, narrow-minded, squeakingly-witty essays with which the country has been of late visited for its sins from the Country Parson and his disciples.

Slavery in South Carolina, and the Ex-Slaves; or, The Port Royal Mission. By Mrs. A. M. French. New York: Winchell M. French, No. 5 Beekman street, 1862.

No one can write a book, however unpretentious, on the subject of slavery, and fill it with plain facts, without making a startling volume. Take the subject up on the grounds of the barest humanity, even as one would the welfare of animals; laying aside all 'Abolition' or anti-abolition views whatever, and we find a tremendous abyss of abuses, inexcusable even according to the principles of the most rabid pro-slavery disciple. Promi[Pg 748]nent among the facts which such a work as the present presents, is the proof that the black, whatever his degree of intelligence may be, is abundantly capable, under enlightened discipline, of becoming infinitely more profitable to himself and to the world than he has ever yet been. From the tales of distress, from the bewildering, sorrowful negro piety, from the jargon and rags and tears of poor childish contrabands, as simply and sadly set forth by Mrs. French, making every allowance, and penetrating to the depth of the dark problem, we still realize one tremendous truth—that Slavery, as a principle of government, is a lie, and that from a politico-economical point of view it has been a failure. It is a waste of power, and like every waste of human power results in suffering.

The fifty-three chapters of the work before us present the results of the Port Royal Mission, the truths gleaned from the contrabands of their past life, great additions to our Northern knowledge of the practical treatment of slaves, many observations on these facts, and an array of Instances to prove the capacity of the negro. It will be spoken of as an Abolition work, and such it is; but we—who look beyond and above Abolition, and hold the higher doctrines of Emancipation originally set forth in these columns—to the broad interests of humanity, and of the benefit which is to accrue in the first place to the white race from free labor—still commend it as full of material of the most valuable description to the great cause of progress.

The work is fairly printed, but, we regret to add, is disfigured by a mass of wretched woodcuts of the worst possible design, which look as if they had been gleaned from old Abolition tracts, and which we trust will be omitted from the next edition.

Salome, the Daughter of Herodias. A Dramatic Poem. New York; Putnam, 532 Broadway.

When we criticize ever so lightly any modern poetical treatment of an antique subject, we may as well premise that we do so as something which is only partially true, since few writers have ever so perfectly penetrated any foreign national spirit as to reproduce it—let us say, like a translation. Even translations from the Greek are made Miltonically, or Pope-ishly, or Shakespearian-ally, and seldom with that racy literalness which characterizes Carlyle's occasional bits of German poetic version. Sometimes, as in the present instance, the old form is almost unattainable, for Hebrew poetry and the modes of speech used at Herod's court are too little known in their first fresh life to be vividly reproduced. Consequently the more modern forms are indispensable. But, from the stand-point of English poetry, Salome is a production of more than marked ability—it is a boldly conceived, genially executed, oftentimes a truly superb poem. The repentance of Salome has a broad lyrical and musical sweep which seems like an opera of grand passions when the trivial associations of the opera are forgotten. In the concluding scenes we seem to feel the inspiration of Goethe and of Æschylus, for the author has combined with rare tact the spirit of avenging fate with that of atonement—the Pagan and the Christian; and if the language be here and there meagre or lack concentrativeness, we pardon it in consideration of the high idea by which plot, incident, and character are swayed. In one scene, however—the dialogue between Antonius and the Jew—we find a degree of historic truth, a reproduction in dramatic form of the sublime spirit of Hebrew poetry, and an æsthetic color which, had it been maintained throughout, would have neutralized our introductory remarks. This scene is of itself a real poem. Herodias is, we may add, consistent, and bravely accented in every thought and word; had she, however, been more concise, she would have been more consistent to her earnestly malignant nature. 'But, then, Shakespeare exaggerated the monologue!'

In conclusion, we commend Salome cordially to all, for all can read it with pleasure, and many, we may add, with profit. It belongs to a soundly literary school, is disfigured with no extravagances, embodies much real beauty, and is above all a poem of promise of even better works from its author.

Life and Letters of Washington Irving. Vol. 2. By his nephew, Pierre M. Irving. New York: G. P. Putnam.

Like the first volume, this admirable second leads us through one of the most entertaining of tutti frutti which we have ever met in the form of a biography. It is fortunate that Irving—so generally imagined by[Pg 749] 'those of the second after-generation' as a quiet recluse on the banks of the Hudson—was in reality, in his early time and full prime, a traveler, a man of the world, somewhat of a diplomat, and one who knew the leading minds of Europe and of his own country in the days when there were giants. It is really pleasant to travel in these pages over the grande route as it was just before the incredible facilities of modern transit had worn away so many peculiarities—to get home-glimpses of people who generally turn only a formal great-reputation side to the world—and above all, to read Irving as he was and while he grew to greatness. And the work is well done, as Irving knew it would be. We congratulate the world on having gained volumes so fully deserving place by the side of the writings of their subject.

Memoirs of the Rev. Nicholas Murray, D.D. (Kirwan). By Samuel Ibenaus Prime. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1862.

A well compiled life of a Presbyterian divine, who worked long and faithfully in his calling, leaving marks of varied ability, and strove in all things great and small to attain his ideal of duty. Such a work, written in the spirit of truth toward the subject, indulging neither in highflown eulogy nor in abstract essaying, as we find this to be, is a rarity, and is none the less excellent because simply written and unpretentious. Its author is well known in literature, and experience has taught him how to write a biography in the right way. While the work in question is of course possessed of more peculiar interest to the members of a certain sect, it should be observed that it is of a kind which should be read with interest by all Christians, and indeed by all who respect earnestness, philanthropy, and sound goodness.

The Poems of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. New York: G. P. Putnam. 1862.

We have often wanted this book—the whole collection of the poems of our Holmes in one volume—and welcome it as a most delightful gift. All of the racy, charming, naive lays of his younger song-days are here; and it is the highest praise we can award them to say that they are as charming as ever, and will never lose their beauty.

Yet, the poet is too modest in his opening lay, for all are beautiful:

'And some might say, 'Those ruder songs
Had freshness which the new have lost;
To spring the opening leaf belongs,
The chestnut burs await the frost.'

'When those I wrote my locks were brown;
When these I write—ah! well-a-day!
The autumn thistle's silvery down
Is not the purple bloom of May.'

We at least find no frost, no benumbing influence manifested anywhere. We love the old favorites because they were favorites of old. The younger reader, who has only of late months learned the 'Chambered Nautilus,' 'The Deacon's Masterpiece,' or 'Parson Turrel's Legacy,' will, thirty years hence, recall the sweet flavor of their first taste, even as we recall the latter years of the blessed rosy decade of the eighteen hundred and thirties, and, with them, how they were made leafy and odorant and golden by 'The Katydid Song'—by 'The Dilemma'—by 'L'Imanuel;' or how they were be-merried by the 'Dorchester Giant'—'The Oysterman'—the—but the book hath its table of contents!

We believe, honestly and earnestly, that the blue and gold, 'dorézure,' volume before us is the most agreeable, readable, and spirited book of poetry ever written by an American—it is not worth while to sail into the cloudy regions of antique or Old World comparison—and that it would be impossible to select anything in print of the same market value which would be so acceptable as a gift to so great a number of persons. We trust, by the way, that this hint will not be lost on all gentlemen or ladies who play at philop[oe]na, or who are desirous of displaying refined taste at no great expense on birthday and Christmas occasions. And we would beg our reader, for his own sake, not to rely on the fact that he has read many of these lyrics in bygone years, as an excuse for not providing himself with the new edition. We assure him that he can have no idea how much better and fresher and fairer they all seem in company. Something, too, should be said of the excellent full-length, admirably engraved portrait of Dr. Holmes, pre-facing the title—the best likeness of our poet extant, and one which, to use a familiar though somewhat famished phrase, 'is alone well worth the price of the volume.'[Pg 750]



London, Nov. 1, 1862,

My Dear Friend:

I have read Mr. Kirke's celebrated anti-slavery book called Among the Pines, and, so far as published in the Continental Monthly, his Merchant's Story on the same subject; but I have changed my views on this question, and so has England. Antislavery was our policy for more than a quarter of a century to produce a civil war between the North and the South, and now we adopt pro slavery views to make sure the dissolution of the Union. That Union was growing too strong, and with its success the Republican principle too powerful. We are acting in self defence, to save the monarchy and aristocracy of England. The American States were once our colonies, and they have no right to destroy us by restoring the Union.

Lord Palmerston was certain we should have had war on the Trent affair, but Lord Lyons was outwitted by Lincoln. We should have had the war then as we intended, and given decisive aid to the South. But we are aiding them now to equip cruisers to destroy American commerce, and furnishing them arms and munitions of war. They have very little money or credit, but our Government has a large secret service fund, and our capitalists and aristocracy are contributing quietly and liberally. It is done by way of insurance, at large rates, on privateers and cargoes. Confederate bonds are deposited by Mr. Mason, the Minister of the South, to cover all risks. Some time since I converted all my U. S. stock into Confederate bonds, which I shall continue to hold, and have invested £50,000 in this insurance operation, which may pay well.

How we all have wished that Columbus had never discovered America, or that the continent could be submerged; but all will be made right by the success of the South.

Mr. Mason, the Confederate Minister, assures me, that the South would much rather be ruled by England than by the North; that the South are ready for monarchy and aristocracy; that slavery and aristocracy are kindred principles; and that the elite (like the F. F. V.'s) of their slaveholders, would make a splendid nobility. It is his opinion that the South must have a State religion and proscribe all others. Slavery then, he says, would be their corner stone in Church and State, and the first article of their creed would be—slavery is a divine institution. He quoted largely from the Old and New Testaments—from Moses and St. Paul, to prove the divinity of slavery, and said the sermon on the Mount had been mistranslated. His argument is cogent to prove that monarchy and aristocracy should favor slavery as the best means of keeping down, the working classes, now clamoring in England for the right of suffrage.

This doctrine will soon be broached in Parliament, and finds great favor in Exeter hall, where a statue will be erected in honor of Jefferson Davis, the man who saved England by destroying America!

If my friend Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe would write a great novel in favor of Slavery, we would make her a Duchess; and if Mr. Kirke, instead of such stories as Among the Pines, would give us the Bible view of Slavery, and reconcile whipping and branding slaves to the doctrine 'do unto others,' &c., he should be made an Earl. We are anxiously awaiting in England the grand movement which that great and good man ex-President Buchanan will soon make in favor of the South. England wishes Peace Commissioners to settle this question, and Mr. Buchanan to be one of them, on the part of the North, and that truly honest man, Gov. Floyd, another, on the part of the South—although my own choice would be Wigfall!

Something must be done to prevent the free acceptance of parole by our troops[Pg 751]. Thousands and thousands 'have taken the word' and thereby incapacitated themselves from taking further part in the war. Let the press and the people awake to the infamy which a ready surrender on parole conditions brings, and we shall soon see the last of it. Let us continue by commending to all who have yielded themselves up, save in dire need, the following


'Rest sword, cool blushes, and Parolles—live!'

I saw the foe advancing,
Says I, 'Boys,' says I.
'This is rather ugly dancing.
Which the general makes us try,
Where the bayonets are glancing,'
Says I, 'boys,' says I.

When the bullets got to dropping,
Says I, 'Boys,'says I,
I wish there were some stopping
These blue beetles as they fly.
And which set a fellow hopping;'
Says I, 'boys,' says I.

And I'd scarcely pulled a trigger,
Says I, 'Boys,' says I,
I 'aint got a mite of vigor,'—
So I skulked and tried to fly,
But was booted by a nigger,
And back I had to shy.

Then the Confed's came before us;
Says I, 'Boys,'says I,
'I guess they're goin' to floor us,
Or to knock us high and dry;'
When they all sang out in chorus—
'Yield or die! yield or die!

'If you yield, we will parole you.'
Then says I, ' Boys,' says I,
'I have no wish to control you;
But, unless you want to die,
The best way to console you,
Is to go parole,' says I;

'When we won't have no more fighting,'
Says I, 'boys,' says I,
'Yet, in our pay delighting,
We can loaf at ease, all day,
And keep clear of guns affrighting
All a feller's nerves,' says I.

Now I blow and bluster bolder,
And at home, 'Boys,' says I,
'I used to be a soldier,
But I was too brave to fly,
And I'm, therefore, a parol-der,
Of the noblest kind,' says I.

Blackwood's Magazine, for September, treated the British public to an article on Mr. Jefferson Davis, in which that character is, of course, exalted to the pinnacle of greatness. Of its fairness and truthfulness, the following is a good specimen:

'Mr. Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 troops to put down the rebellion. This was the torch that lit up the South, and rendered subsequent compromise impossible.'

Was it indeed? when there is no fact in history so directly clear and plain as that secession was a foregone conclusion in the South, from the moment that the possibility of Lincoln's election was conjectured. We are told that it was entirely the fault of the North that this diabolical rebellion burst out! It is always the North that is to blame, now, with John Bull. But we have more of it:

'Had Mr. Davis's warning voice been listened to in January, we believe that instead of passing a year and a half of bloodshed, enormous extravagance and dire calamity, we should have found that the seceding States would have by this time returned to the shadow of the 'Star-spangled Banner;' and that an enduring peace would have ere now been made between the North and the South.'

All our fault, of course! If we had only let them alone—let them go—they would have taken a frisky turn or two, and then come sweetly back to unity! Our Blackwood writer lacks something. He wants manhood, pluck, spirit, common sense, and very common information. He is deficient in enlarged views of humanity; he cannot comprehend a tremendous struggle of principles involving the social progress of thirty millions, half of whose men at least are much more intelligent and larger hearted than himself. With narrow, petty Tory instinct, he clings to 'aristocracy' in whatever form it occurs, and instinctively wars on the masses. The noblest struggle in history—the greatest effort to advance labor in the scale of social dignity and practical value is all as naught in his eyes and in those of his clan; they flippantly ignore all that is noble in this noble war, and repeat, after Carlyle, his brutal, beastly joke—that America has long been the dirtiest of political chimneys, and requires a good burning out. Take care, Master Carlyle, that from this burning no sparks are wafted England-ward. You, too, will some day[Pg 752] have a chimney on fire, and when it burns the heat will be felt through every brick in Britain.


Is a peculyar Institution.

Iff there had a been no suche place as Paris, ye New Yorke Younge Ladye would have invented itt.

As itt is, shee is thankfull thatt shee hathe been sparyed ye trouble of having that towne builte. For itt is verie usefull to hir; sendying her bonetes, robes, shoos, bootees, parasoletts, skirtes, pettycoates, and chemi—cal preparations—suche as Lubin hys violette and vitivert; Rimmel, hys bandoline; Piver hys Nohiba de la Mecque; Maugenet and Condraye, their savon imperiale; Monpelas hys eau de toilette, wyth othir lyttle thinges too numerouse to mentyon. Boivin or Jouvin, or some other vin, hath long since hadd hir hande—in plaster of Paris—from which he makyth hir gloves, whych are smuggled home unto hir—I wyll not saye howe. But Ive hearde in mye tyme of a state dispatch wyth a bigg redd seale, whych dyd containe four dozen paire of number sixe, ladye's syze.

Whan thatt shee is arayed in these gaye clothynges and other thynges she hathe verament a fyne style suche as yee can see none fyner not in ye Rue Helder ittself. And att a balle shee wereth splendyd jewels, so that oft-tymes yee wold veralye think she were ye image of Notre Dame de Loretto wyth all hir braverye. Wyth suche a one dyd I fall yn love at a hopp at Neweporte—yea, even into a moulte graunte passion de haulte degréz, and wolde gladlie have marryd hir, hadd shee not in frennshe said 'Per ma fey, beau Sire, I wyll gladlie bee engagyd to ye, for itt is ye fashion to bee betrothed, but do not talke of marryage, since I woulde not have folks thinke I am of age to marrye!' Ah, Sainte Marye! butt shee was a bricke!

'About her necke a flowyre of fresh devise,
Wyth rubies set that lusty were to sene,
And she in gown was light and summer-wise,
Shapen full—the colour was of grene,
With aureat sent about her sides clene,
With divers stones, precious and rich;
Thus was she 'rayed, yet saw I ne'er her lich.'

Ye New Yorke Younge Ladye hath many friendes; ye can not speake of any one in societye who is not deare untoe her, or of any notable man of any figure who hath not been introduced to her. Shee entertayneth in a partye seven gentyll men at ones—yea eight or nine will gathir around hir, and when they goe they will all declare that they have had plentye to talk. Shee hath a whole librarye of photograph albumes; yett her crye is 'Give! give!' and, lo! they are given; for itt is a good advertisement to bee in her bookes, and ye younge men know itt. So thatt it sometimes cometh to pass, that when one asketh 'Didd ye ever meet Mr. So-and-soe in societye?' ye answer wyll be: 'Yea—I saw him lately in Josephine Hoopes her album. So thatt under her care ye Carte de Vysite hath become a consolidatyng force of goode societie.

Thys younge ladye is nott idle. Evil befall hym who callyth her a mere lylye of ye vallie. For shee oftetymes goeth among ye poore; yea, teacheth in ragged schooles; scoldeth ye bone-pickers' children in German, and ye hand-organ man his olyve-colored whelpes in Italyan; seweth for ye armye; vysiteth the starvynge familye of which ye home-missionarye hath told her; and makyth up a class for ye poore little Swiss governesse oute of employe. Sometymes shee marryeth an officer, who hathe not much moneye, and then goeth thro' campe life with merrye hearte; or itt may be thatt shee weddeth a clergieman—for, all of thys have I known ye Fifth Avenue belle to do; and I veralye coulde nott see that shee dyd not make as goode a wyfe as anie other woman.

Ye New Yorke Younge Ladye seldom seeth ye gentlymen save by gas-lighte. For it is true thatt when she is lazye shee getteth not up to breakfast so earlye as her Pa and her Brother; or, if shee be converted to ye health-doctrine, she hath coffee and gooeth out ryding before them, and theye departe meanwhiles to their offyces or stores, whence they returne not tyll dynnere in ye eveninge. At noon she giveth—or goeth out untoe—lunche with other ladyes, and collecteth all ye newes of ye day, and displayeth her fashion abilities and feedeth well; whense itt cometh that shee eteth verie little at hir dynnere, and ye strangere who is wythin her gates, and knoweth nott of ye lunchceone, mervayleth gretlye at her slendere diet. Butt verylye shee hathe oftetymes a fyrste-rate tyme at luncheon, and no mystake.

In wyntere she skateth on ye Centrall[Pg 753] Ponde righte splendidlie, for shee is faste of hir nature, albeit shee shunneth the word as being what ye younge menne call 'Bowerye.' Likewyse shee rideth in sleighs unto Highe Bridge, and hath a partycularlie nyce tyme wyth hir beau, or anie other man who is comme yl faut. On Sundaye mornynges itt is a fayre sighte to see her going to and fro churche in a chapeau de Paris de la dernyère agonie, bearyng a parasolett a la ripp snap mettez-la encore debout style; and whych shee sayes is like a homme blasé, because it is Used Upp. Sundaie afternoon yee may find her in ye Sixteenth or Twentie-eighth strete Catholic churches, lystening to ye superbe music and wyshing herselfe an angell. For shee is verie fonde of musicke (especiallie vocale from a handsome Don Juan tenor-io), and often singeth sweetlye hirself; and, per ma fey, I knowe of one whose Te daro un baccio d'amore is very killynge indede.

'Wel can she syng and lustely,
None half so well and semely,
And coude make in song such refraining,
It sate her wonder well to singe;
Her voice full clere was and full swete, * *
Her eyen gay and glad also—
That laughden aye in her semblaunt,
First on the mouth by covenant—
I wote no lady so liking.'

And soe shee goeth on thro' lyfe, a large-heartyd, good-natured soule—stylish to beholde; jollie to talke wyth; greatlye abusyd by ye six-penny novelists, all of whom are delyghted when shee condescendes to smile on them; and greatlye admyred in Paris, where shee oftetimes out-Frensheth ye Frennsh themselves. As for mee, I doe avowe that I adore her, for as muche as shee is a noble bricke, and, as Dan Lydgate sayth, 'a whole teeme, whyppe and alle, wyth a Dalmatian coache-dog under ye axle.' And thatt shee may go itt like a Countesse whyle shee is younge, and a Duchesse whenn shee is olde, is ye hearte's prayer of—

Clerke Nicholas.

Does our reader know Loring's in Boston? It is a place of literary meeting, where one sees those who Athenianize it—poets, philosophers, ministers, but, above all, the pretty girls who read, and the jeunesse dorée who don't—but go there to look at the damsels who do. Why don't New York start a library as alluring as Loring's?

'How do you get books from Loring's?' asked a stranger lately of one of the damsels in question.

'By Hiring,' was the reply.

It was a 'goak,' although the querist didn't see it.

Illinois, Aug. ——

The Continental hath many correspondents—among the 'welcomest' of whom we class the one who speaks as followeth from the far West. We have many a good friend and hearty bon compagnon in that same West:

Dear Continental: 'When you have found a day to be idle, be idle for a day'—a charming saying for the indolent, which Willis prefixes to one of his earlier poems, crediting it to a volume of Chinese proverbs; yet, despite this, I am by no means sure as to its origin, for I suspect it is a trick of the trade for authors to charge all absurdities they are ashamed to own, and all fantastic vagaries they are too grave to acknowledge, to the Celestials, who, we are told, go to battle a fan in one hand and an umbrella in the other (a very sensible way too, with an occasional mint julip this warm weather); but, however all that may be, I adopt the saying; and, lazily resting my head, propose, pen in hand, to scratch down for you a chapter of anecdotes. I would rather sit near you, O Meister Karl, this sunny day of the waning June, in some forest nook; and when you had grown weary of talking (not I of listening) and had lit your old time meerschaum, I would tell you the stories, and you might repeat such as amused you to your readers. The first was suggested to me by your Jacksonville correspondent, in the just come July number.

'I, too, am an 'Athenian:'' and my story of a citizen of that be-colleged town is most authentic. The Rev. Mr. S——, former principal of the 'mill,' as certain profane students were wont to name the Seminary, wherein (did you believe the exhibition tickets) our 'daughters' were ground into 'corner-stones' polished after the 'similitude of a palace,' was a man of unusually modest humility, and somewhat absent-minded.

There came to the school, at commencement (no—hold on!—a young student with three hairs on each lip, and about as many ideas in his brains, has told me that was not the word for the 'Anniversary day' of a female school—O scion of the male school, I submit). It was, then, the 'anniversary of 'the mill.'' A clergyman from abroad, of superior abilities, was expected to address the graduating class.[Pg 754] Row upon row of white-robed maidens smiled in sly flirtation upon rows of admiring eyes in the audience below. Grave school-trustees, ponderous-browed lawyers, the united clergy (the aforesaid Athens boasts some fifteen churches), and last, but not least, the professors and the 'Prex' of the college, par excellence (for there are some half dozen 'digs' or dignitaries so named in the town), sat in a body near the stage—'invited guests.' Songs were sung—the fleeting joys of earth, the delights of study, the beauty of flowers, the excellence of wisdom, and kindred themes discoursed upon by low-voiced essayists, till the valedictory came; but with Mr. S——, meanwhile, all went not merry as a marriage bell: the expected orator came not, and was sought for in vain; the valedictorian-ess ceased; the parting song was sung; an expectant hum rose from the audience; the blue-ribboned diplomas waited in a wreath of roses. At last, embarrassed and perplexed, the preceptor rose. 'Young ladies,' he began, 'I had expected to see here,' and his glance wandered over the picture-studded, asparagus-wreathed hall, till it rested quietly on the aforementioned body of village dignitaries—then he continued: 'I expected to-day an individual more competent than myself to address to you these parting words, but (with a last anxious glance at the Faculty) that individual I do not now behold.'

Until afterward admonished by his better half, Mr. S—— was unconscious of his arrogance, and of the cause of the ill-concealed mirth of the audience.

Rather verbose that anecdote; but, pardon something to the memories of olden times.

It was the same preceptor who, a member of the graduating class having made all her arrangements beforehand, announced, after the usual distribution of prizes, that the highest ever bestowed on a similar occasion was now to be awarded, for diligence and good deportment, to Miss H—— H——; whereupon, in the fewest words possible, he performed the marriage ceremony, and gave her—a husband. Encouraging to the juniors, was it not?

A friend of mine, questioning the other day a small boy as to his home playmates and amusements, asked him of the number and age of the children of a neighbor, at whose house there was, unknown to her, a bran new baby. 'Oh,' answered the five year old, with some scorn,'she hasn't got but two, one of 'em's 'bout as big as me, and the other—the other's on'y jest begun.'

A wee little boy, who had a great habit of saying he was frightened at everything, was one day walking with me in the garden, and clung to me suddenly, saying, 'I'se frightened of that sing,' and, looking down, I saw a caterpillar near his foot.

'Oh, no,' said I, reassuringly and somewhat reprovingly, 'Georgie's not frightened at such a little thing!' Five minutes after, we were sitting on the doorsteps, and, wearing a low-necked dress, I felt on my shoulder some stirring creature; it was a caterpillar, and, with the inevitable privileged feminine screech on such occasions, I dashed it off; then, turning, I met the usually grave gray eyes kindling with mischievous triumph: 'Aunty's frightened of a little sing,' says Georgie, with triumphant emphasis on the 'Aunty.'

Another little rogue, a black-eyed 'possible president' of course, when between two and three years, was opening and shutting a door, amusing himself as he watched the sunshine come and go on the walls of the sitting room, streaming through the lattice of a porch beyond. Presently, while holding the door open, a cloud floated over the sun. 'Aunty, aunty,' cried he, as surprised as he was earnest, 'somebody's shutting door up in the sky.'

I was amused, not long ago, at a passage in the letter of an eldest daughter, eight years old, to her absent father: the womanly dignity of her station and the child's sense of justice quite stifled any tendency to sympathetic remarks. 'Johnny,' she wrote, 'has not been very bad, neither can I say he has been very good; he ran away from nurse twice, and once from mamma, who of course did with him as he deserved.'

A correspondent of mine in the army (a whilom contributor of yours, by the way) writes me this:

'After the Corinthian 'skedadle' (the demi-savans (I don't mean Napoleon's in Egypt, but the provinvial editors—in some cases it amounts to the same thing) having proved the word to be Greek, I suppose it is slang no longer), the Tenth Illinois regiment (Dick Wolcott, you know) camped a few miles to the northward, near the woods; and hasty but shady structures were soon reared in front of the officers' tents; but one morning there arose a great wind, and the 'arboresque' screens became rapidly as non est as Jonah's gourd. A group of uniforms stood watching the flying branches. 'Boys,' said Captain M., gravely, as somewhat ruefully his eye follows the vanishing shelter of his own door, 'that's evidently a left bower.' 'The Captain,' Meerschaum adds, 'is rapidly convalescing.' I fancy this enough for one letter.

Two days later.

I have been keeping these anecdotes for you for some time, and should have sent them earlier; now—it seems almost cruel to laugh since the dark days in Virginia, or to write frivolous nonsense. Yet, I cannot work; and[Pg 755] before these lines reach your readers (if they ever do) the sky will, I hope, be clear again, and the regrets I am tempted to utter would be as out of tune as the exultant predictions of a week ago seem now. Far away to the horizon stretch the golden fields of ripened grain; the abundant harvest is at hand: yet a little while ago we heard dismal laments of blighting rains and hostile insects; and many faithless ones ploughed up their verdant wheatfields in despair. May the harvest of a nation's victory come thus, teaching the incredulous faith in the right—but, ah! the lengthened struggle is what I dread, not the end—that cannot fail us.

I wrote you a special, all-to-yourself letter, not long since, which I hope you will have answered before this comes to you. With a thousand kindly wishes, Ever your's—A. W. C.

Yet one page more. Am I not irrepressible? I send you a rhymed fancy. If it has any significance you will, I know, give it place; if not, not. I will be sincerely acquiescent.


I ride along the lonely sands,
Where once we rode with clasping hands.

The wild waves sob upon the beach,
As mournful as love's parting speech.

Those cruel waves, close-clasped they hold
My lost love, with his locks of gold.

Here, while the wind blew from the south,
He kissed me with his tender mouth.

Oh, sun of hope, in dark eclipse!
Oh, aching heart, and unkissed lips!

On, on I ride, faster, in vain,
I cannot hush the cry of pain

In my sick soul. But, hark! how clear
That voice of voices fills my ear!

'Why waitest thou beside the sea?
Canst thou not die, and come to me?'

Soul-king, I come! Alas! my need
Was great. Press on, my faithful steed.

Deep, deep into the sea I ride:
There my love's hero waits his bride.

The longing billows of the sea
With happy welcome smile to me.

They touch my foot, they reach my knee:
Darling! they draw me thus to thee.

They kiss thy picture on my heart;
Love of my life! no more we part.

The rushing waters still my breath:
Oh! have we dared to fear thee, Death?

Ebenezer Stibbs died, near Lewisburg, O., a martyr to his country's cause, October 14th, 1862, in the seventy-first year of his age. His death was a violent one, though he fell not upon the field of strife; for many of the soldiers of our country have never been enrolled, never promoted, never praised for their gallantry, but, far away from the tented field, in their lonely homes, are going down to their graves without sound of drum or salute of musket, unnoticed and unknown.

And this brave old man was one of them. Residing for a number of years on a farm with his son, he had long been excused, on account of the infirmities of age, from active service on the farm, and even from the numerous little tasks about the house and barn involved in the care of the family and the stock. His son was drafted, and now, 'who shall look after things about the place?' 'Go,' said the brave old hero, 'and serve your country, and I'll attend to matters here.'

He set about the work in good heart, and seemed likely to succeed admirably; but one day, while pushing some hay over the edge of the mow, he lost his balance, plunged forward, falling a distance of some ten or twelve feet, and, striking his head on the hard threshing floor, was so stunned as to become entirely insensible. A member of the household soon after entered the barn and found him bleeding and helpless. Medical aid was immediately summoned, but he survived his injuries only a couple of hours, and died without speaking a word. When this dreadful war shall have ended, and tall white columns shall spring up like an alabaster forest all over the land, to commemorate the glories of the departed brave, let one, at least, of the noble shafts, without legend or inscription, stand as the representative of those who have fallen in obscurity, like the soldiers cut off in the forest, unnoticed and unknown.

A Buckeye correspondent sends us the following, which is too good to keep:


Some years agone, old Deacon S—— kept a corner grocery in the village of B——. Deacon S—— had a son, who officiated in said grocery. Deacon S—— professed to be very pious—so did Deacon S.'s son.

Whether the Deacon and his son were what they professed to be, I will leave the reader to judge from the following conversa[Pg 756]tion, which took place between them, one Saturday night, just before closing the store:



'Dit you charge Mr. T—— mit te ham?'

'Yes, father.'

'Vell, so dit I.'

A pause.



'You had petter charge him again, so you won't forget him.'

'Yes, father.

Another pause.



'Now you can water te vinegar, sand te sugar, and close te store, un den we vill haf family worship, un go ter ped!'

'Yes, father.'

'Law is,' to use the frequent phrase of a Gothamite contemporary, 'a cu'ros thing;' and not the least curious phase which it presents is the difference between what people say before juries and what they think; as is fully illustrated in the following, by Frank Hackett:

'Gracchus,' as the town called him, was a broken-down lawyer, who, as he got old, had prostituted the talents of his early days to the meanest kind of pettifogging and rascality. Everybody did their best to keep out of his clutches, and his 'make up' was seedy enough; yet he managed to keep in court half a dozen 'cranky suits,' in which, to be sure, he figured as a party himself, on one side or the other. The circumstances of one of them, which have just come to our memory, are perhaps worth jotting down:

For some quarters, Gracchus had not paid any rent, and his landlord made repeated requests of him to move out. Even a promise to cancel all arrears would not make him stir. A writ of ejectment would have delighted this 'legal spider;' but Mr. R. knew 'when he was well off,' and refused to resort to that. ' My dear sir, you must go,' said he one day, annoyed at the fellow's obstinacy; 'I have a man coming in right away, who will pay me a good tenant's rent, and I am going to have the office repaired for him. So just make up your mind to quit this afternoon.'

As Mr. R. turned to go out, he examined the window nearest him, and poked his cane through the decayed sash and crumbling glass in two or three places, with the remark: 'A pretty condition this for a business man's office to be in!' Nobody was surprised to hear that evening that a suit had been brought against Mr. R. for damages in trespass.

Mr. R.'s counsel told him that the best thing he could do would be to go to trial as soon as possible, and if he got out of it with a small sum for damages and no further annoyance, he would be lucky. Gracchus had secured 'Squire Sweet to argue the case to the jury—probably 'on shares.' To hear Sweet 'warm up' before the panel, you would have sworn that the 'palladium of justice' and the other 'fixtures' had their salvation staked on the success of his client. And if there was anything he thought himself competent to 'operate largely' on, it was a damage suit. On this occasion, the vivid picture he drew of an unwarrantable intrusion upon this aged and indefatigable servant of the public, the injury inflicted upon his 'valuable health,' and his generous conduct in contenting himself with the paltry sum of eighty dollars by way of damages, was to be set down as the 'Squire's best effort.

The jury went out just as the court was on the point of adjournment, and received orders to seal up their verdict for the morning. Each man had to 'chalk' what in his judgment was a sufficient sum for damages. They ranged all along in the neighborhood of three or four dollars, except one or two individuals, who had believed the whole of the plaintiff's complaint, and went in for something more than nominal damages. One in particular, who always swore by Sweet, aimed so high that the average came above the $13.33 that was necessary to carry costs.

After they had determined upon a verdict, our high-priced friend, with one or two others, went around to the hotel to retire for the night. As they went in, the clerk of the court met them with a pack of cards in his hands, with which a party had just finished playing whist. 'It didn't take us half so long to agree on that case. Sweet and the rest of us marked around on that verdict, just before we finished the last game, and we made it out—two dollars and twenty-five[Pg 757] cents.' 'The d—— you did,' replied our astonished friend. 'Why, how much did 'Squire Sweet mark, himself?' 'Uncommon high. He said he thought five dollars was about the fair thing.' 'Five dollars!' gasped the juryman; 'Squire Sweet put down only five dollars, when he went and told the jury that eighty dollars wasn't nothin' to it. Look a-here, can't I go back and change that figure of mine, afore the verdict comes in?'

It was decided pretty unanimously that—he couldn't.

Our readers will recall the author of the following poem, as a writer who has more than once given us poems indicating much refinement of taste, based on sound old English scholarship:



No mortal yet e'er gained the golden crown
Who did not in his search the cross upbear;
For heaven he need entertain no care
Who fears to sinfulness the Devil's frown,
And lays, if once espoused, his burdens down,
Because so many of his followers have no burden there.

And thus it is so many are awrong;
'Tis easier, they deem, the crown to gain
With limbs at will and shoulders free from pain,
Than bearing this great burden still along:
Besides, will not my brothers be among
The crowned ere I, unless I free my loins again?

Columbia doth seek the crown,—and sooth
No nation of the earth deserves it more;
But, ah! she is unwise as lands before
In hoping thus, what time she quits the Truth,
And showing unto enemies more ruth
Than even God doth show to us, weak worldlings sore.

Where once against the heavens men rebelled,
And forced the Prince of Peace to deadly war,
Did not He spread a deluge deep and far,
Not sweeping them alone, but all they held?
When they His awful earnestness beheld,
Were not they penitent, though vain, as bad sons are?

And why should we but lighten through a spell
These murderous madmen in our country here,
Their craziness to come or far or near
Anew, as more they learn of prompting hell?
Must not we now the CAUSE forever quell,
As Hercules did one time slay a source of fear?

If Truth is mighty, 'tis not so alone;
There's more availability in Error;
That end's not gained that's gained alone With terror:
The way of Right but leadeth to the crown;
Who conquer perfectly, peace-seed have sown;
Reform's remaining ill usurps at last the furrow.

A Correspondent, who is interested in education and not uninterested in humanity, sends us the following bona fide advertisement, specifying the qualifications and accomplishments expected from the lady teachers of a certain Western community:

'When employing a lady as teacher in our Public Schools, we desire, in addition to a thorough education, to secure the following qualifications;

'1st. Ease of address, modest and attractive personal appearance, and habits of neatness and order.

'2d. A uniformly kind and generous disposition, entire self-control, with unyielding perseverance and energy.

'3d. A spirit of concession and adaptability, that will enable her to conform to the general rules and regulations of the schools, and to harmonize her plans and efforts with those of the other teachers.

'4th. A moral and religious character, that will cause her to feel the full responsibility of her position, and make her guard with a watchful eye the habits and principles of the children under her charge.

'5th. Such dignity of person and manners as will secure the deference of pupils, and the respect and confidence of parents. A freedom, both from girlish frivolities, and old-maidish crabbedness and prudery.

'6th. Correct social habits, a well cultivated literary taste, and a mind richly stored with general information.

'Applicants for places as teachers in our Public Schools will be examined in the following branches of study, or others, the study of which would furnish an equal amount of mental discipline: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration, Trigonometry, Mechanical Philosophy, Geography, Physiology, Zoology, Natural Philosophy, Meteorology, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, Astronomy, Orthography, Reading, Penmanship, English Grammar, History, Bookkeeping, Political Science, Moral Science, Mental Philosophy, Logic,[Pg 758] Rhetoric, Evidence of Christianity, Elements of Criticism.

'Yours, Respectfully,
—— ——
'Sup't of Public Schools.'

'Where, oh, where is she?' Tell us, if you can, what worlds or what far regions hold this paragon of damsels.

'Where bides upon this earthly ball
A maid who so embraceth all.'

And where does————,' Superintendent of Public Schools,' find these Perfections, or Maids of Munster?

It must be a wealthy community that, which expects to hire such teachers. And 'to begin with,' they must have 'an attractive personal appearance.' The rogue of a Superintendent!

'Physiology!' Reader, did you ever fairly master even a test book on the subject—say, John Dalton's—and acquire with it the anatomical knowledge essential to a merely superficial comprehension of the subject? Did you ever dissect any, and attend the usual lectures? The Young Lady in question must have done more than this.

'Political Science!'

'Chemistry!' That is rather a heavy draft, too. We have been closely under old Leopold Gmélin in our time, and worked a winter or so hard at the test glasses, and had divers courses of lectures under divers eminent professors, and read Liebig and Stöckhardt and others more or less—just enough to learn that to honestly teach chemistry, even in the most elementary manner, months and years of additional work were requisite.

'Botany!' Botany is rather a large-sized object to acquire—even to become the merest amateur. A year's lectures from Dr. Torrey and some hard work over Gray and De Candolle and the rest, are not enough even for this. It was but yesterday and to us that a gentleman whose special pleasure is botany, who has devoted thousands of dollars and years to the pursuit, ridiculed the suggestion that he was qualified to teach it.

'Zoology, Astronomy, Rhetoric, Meteorology, and—History!'

Don't be alarmed, reader. Very possibly the young lady in question will not be too strictly examined in all these branches—- neither will she be required to impart more than the mildest possible of knowledge to her pupils. Very possibly, too, she will teach Chemistry—think of it, ye brethren of the retort!—without experiments!! For just such atrocious and ridiculous humbug have we known to be passed off on children, in 've-ry expensive' 'first-class' ladies' schools in Philadelphia and in New York, for instruction in Chemistry. The young brains were vexed and wearied day after day to acquire by vague description and by rote the details of an almost purely experimental science.

And, 'a mind richly stored with general information!'

It is a pity that magic is out of date. Something might be done for our Superintendent with the ghost of Hypatia!

Will our friends and readers during the approaching book-buying and holiday presenting times be so kind as to occasionally bear in mind the fact that 'Sunshine in Thought,' by Charles Godfrey Leland, has just been published? As the work in question, while publishing in a serial form, was very warmly and extensively praised by the press, and as high literary authority has declared that 'it presents many bold and original views, very clearly set forth,' we venture to hope that our commendation of it to the public will not seem amiss.—Edmund Kirke.

Our lady readers wanting a constant and most commendable companion for the work-basket, would do well to obtain the daintily bound Ladies' Almanac for 1863, issued by George Coolidge, 17 Washington street, Boston, and sold by Henry Dexter, New York. It is an almanac; contains a blank memorandum for every day in the year, recipes, music, and light reading—and is altogether an excellent subject for a small and tasteful gift.

A Letter from a brave and jolly friend of ours, now i' the field, says, that during the Maryland battles,

'We bolted dinner almost at a single mouthful, with shot singing around us. Jim had the knife knocked out of his hand by a bullet.'

The Continental does not wonder that the dinner in question was finished in one course. Under such very warlike circumstances, we hardly see how it could have been disposed of in the usual piece-meal manner.[Pg 759]


Then she arose with solemn eyes,
And, moving through the vocal dark,
Sat down, with bitter, ceaseless sighs,
The river tones to hark—
Deep in the forest dark.

Sick, sick she was of life and light—
She longed for shadow and for death;
And, by the river in the night,
Thus to her thought gave breath—
Her hungry wish for death:

'Shall I not die, beloved, and free
My weary, hopeless, breaking heart?
Shall I not dare death, love,' said she,
'And seek thee where thou art?
Life keeps our souls apart!'

'So weak, my darling, couldst thou be?'
A far voice stirred the pulseless air:
'Thus vainly wouldst thou seek for me—
My heaven thou couldst not share:
Such death were love's despair!'

Then through the long, lone night she prayed;
At last, 'How weak my dream!' said she.
'I'll meet the future unafraid;
I will grow worthy thee—
I will not flinch,' said she.

'I will not leave both souls so lone:
Where thou art, cowards cannot be;
I will not wrong our love, mine own;
At last I shall win thee.'
I will be brave,' said she.

Then she arose with patient eyes,
And, turning, faced the incoming day.
'There, love, the path to meet thee lies,'
Said she; 'I went astray.
But now I know the way.'

The following pleasant bit of gossip is from our 'Down-East correspondent:'

As I sit down to cover a few slips of paper with a thought or two (spreading it thin, is it?) for the readers of'Old Con.,'—

By the way—a delicious phrase that same 'by the way,' that lets a man turn in from the dusty road a brief while and enjoy a 'rare ripe' or a juicy 'south side'—you ask me, in a genial note, Mr. Editor, what I think of 'Old Con' as the 'family nickname.' Capital! The only objection in the world that I have is, that it reminds me of 'Old Conn,' the policeman, who used to loom up around corners with his big, ugly features, to the terror of the small boys, when I was 'of that ilk.' These huge, overgrown, slow hulks almost always 'pick on' the boys; the real hard work of the force is done by your small, wiry fellows, who step around lively, and don't stop to see whether a man is 'bigger nor they.' Old Conn, though, was a pretty good-hearted man after all, despite unpopularity among the juveniles; and so I say, let us christen the youngster 'Old Con,' by all means—old in the affections of a host of friends, if not in years.

But revenons à nous moutons, as the scribblers say, whose mouton we dare say is less often 'material' than we could wish it were.

As I set about penning a rambling thought, then, and—

En passant, did you never notice how a tendency to ramble will sometimes almost completely control a man? A candidate for Congress, for instance, comes round to your town to talk to you 'like a fa-ther'about what? To tell you that he has made all his arrangements to go to Washington? and could go just as well as not if you would like to have him? and that, on the whole, he wants to go awfully? No, indeed; nine cases out of ten the poor fellow forgets himself, and wanders off into the 'glorious Constitution as our fathers framed it,' and the 'eternal principles,' ' sacrifices' that one's constituency require, and a full assortment of such phrase. Just as some of the speakers, at the 'war meetings' this summer, get up a full head of patriotic steam, and in the excitement of the moment 'don't remember' all about mentioning that they are going themselves. Inclined to ramble!

But this wasn't what I meant to observe at the outset. Let us change the subject, as they say at the medical college.

What I was about to remark originally was—and I don't know as it is original, either. The fact is, there is very little now-a-days that is strictly original—except war-correspondence, and of course nobody but old maids reads that. There is a fellow who writes for the 'Daily——,' and signs himself 'Wabash.' Well, what of it? Nothing; only some people think it ought to be spelt, 'War bosh.'

As I was saying: As I sit down to cover a few slips—it seems to me that I have already filled out one slip of the paper; and, by the by, that reminds me of a bright thing that Ben Zoleen,[5] a bachelor friend of mine, allowed[Pg 760] himself to be the father of, the other day. Ben likes to 'take something,' and about a month ago he took the 'enrolment.' An Irishman, after laying claim to the usual disability—lameness somewhere, and besides 'he was all the man that his wife Joanna had to work for the family'—swore that all the property he had in the world was a big porker, and he had broken out and run away 'the divil knows where,' the day before. 'Well, Mike,' said Ben, with a sympathizing tear, 'yours is not the first fortune that's been lost in this country by a mere slip of the pen' Whist! d'ye hear that?

The thought that first presented itself was the inquiry whether a man—

'Not that man, but another man,' interrupted me just then by coming into the office and communicating the startling, yet not entirely unexpected intelligence that 'they had begun to draft here in P.' 'No,' said I. 'Yes,' said he, going out in a hurry; 'up at the brewery.'

-Whether a man ought to write anything else than a love letter, in the frame of mind that Voltaire said that document should be composed in: 'Beginning without knowing what you are going to say, and ending without knowing a word of what you have said.'

What do you think about it? I think so, decidedly.


We have heard of many an instance where the expression was not that exactly of the idea that was intended; but in the following 'the idea, the expression,' and everything else, are about as thoroughly mixed up as one could well conceive. We were questioning a young lady as to the standing of a clergyman in the town where she lived. 'Oh,' said she, 'he is too popular to be liked very much.' Identical! A favorite, we are told, 'has no friends;' when a poor fellow gets to be popular in the town of C——, we pity him.

Dick Wolcott, of the Tenth Illinois—which has seen no little service since the war began—hath written unto us a letter, from which we pick out the following. A great gossip is this same Dickon of ours, and a rare good fellow:

'We have in our company a number of Germans—brave and 'bully' soldiers all who know better how to handle the arms than the tongue of the land of their adoption; and their staggers at the language furnish us much amusement. I know that they are sensitive on the subject, and ought not to be laughed at; but as they probably will not see this, or if they do, will have forgotten the circumstance, I offer for the 'gossip' the following fair specimen. On the day we crossed the Mississippi and captured the rebels, who had adopted the skedaddling policy of the Fleet-Footed Villain Floyd, we were drawn up in line of battle three times, and three times ye rebs right-faced and 'moseyed.' The last time it was just at dusk, and we were standing in the edge of an opening, expecting to be opened upon by artillery from the other side, which it was too dark for us to see distinctly. As we were not fired upon, a party was sent forward to reconnoitre, and returned with the intelligence that they had again evacuated. On learning this, one of our fellows, brief in stature, but of prodigious red beard, spluttered through his moustache: 'Der tam successionish! dey left vor un-parts known! Donner-wetter!!'

Here is another of Dick's, which dates from the days 'before Corinth'—for he was one of those to whom it was licet adire Corinthum:

'Let me tell you a 'goak' that General Pope got off on us, and which we take as quite a compliment. Our colonel commanding brigade asked permission to take two days' rations, as we were going out to 'clean out' a rebel force that was in a swamp, keeping our men from repairing the road and building a bridge for the passage of artillery, and he didn't know how long we would have to be gone. 'My God! Colonel,' said General Pope, 'when you take one day's rations, you are gone four. If I let you take two, I wouldn't see you again this side of Memphis.'

We are indebted to a brother of the press for the following jotting down:

Our magazine contemporaries, who appear like Neptune among the Tritons, i. e., with the Sea Sons, are sometimes funnily miscomprehended. Thus, the publishers of the Methodist Quarterly Review say that a brother writes to them complaining that he has[Pg 761] not received the February, March, and May numbers of the Review!

About as touching was the complaint of another 'Constant Reader,' who wrote to the editor of similar quadrennial, complaining that, although it was a quarterly review, the agent made him pay a half a dollar for it!

Do you, excellent and all remembering reader, recall an article in our August number entitled, 'Friends of the Future'? One of those 'friends' comes afterward in these quaint lines:


Winning, witty, wicked, and wise,
A je ne sais quoi about thee lies,
Charming the cold, cheering the sad,
Giving gaiety to the glad;
Brilliant, brave, bewitchingly bright,
Playful, pranksome, proudly polite;
Softly sarcastic, shyly severe,
Falsely frank, which fascinates fear!
Not handsome—no hero 'half divine,'
Features not faultless, fair, and fine;
With raven locks, O! 'Rufus the Red,'
I can't in conscience cover thy head;
Nor shall I stoop to falsehood mean,
And swear thine eyes are not sea-green:
Discard deceit in thy defence,
Secure in wit—a man of sense,
So gracefully kind in look and tone,
I think his thoughts are all my own!
Ah! false as fickle—well I know
To scorn the words that charm me so.
Still do I catch the golden bait,
Admiring—where I thought to hate!

'Bien-c'est gentil, ca!' as Jullien used to say at the concerts of his own performers. Still do we opine that 'Rufus' has been well hit off, and should be grateful for his place among those to come.

Yet another correspondent. This one discourseth of the little ones:

Glendale, Wis., Sept. 16th, 1862.

Dear Continental: We rejoice, most of the time, in a house pet, a human puppet, a domestic toy, in the shape of 'Donny.' Would you ever believe that that name had been originally Charles, and passed, by the subtle alchemy of nicknames, to its present form?

Donny lately donned for the first time his first suit of jacket and trousers.

No one was in the house save the half-blind nurse who put them on. And poor Donny wished so much to be admired! 'All dressed up and nobody to see.'

An idea struck him. He 'paddled off' for the hennery. I was behind the bushes and noted him. Walking in a great state before a party of hens, he cried aloud:

'Look at me, chickens!'

I should possibly have forgotten this domestic legend, but that it was recalled yesterday by the fact that our Cousin Joe made a good application of it. There is a very well-educated and very able young theological friend of ours, who has this one weakness—when he has read a book, or taken in a new idea of any kind, he can get no rest until he has fully reproduced it in a 'bold-face, full-display, double-lead' sort of manner to somebody else. Show it off he must, and exhibit himself at the same time. His last acquisition was a mass of entomology—he having had by some means access to a copy of 'Harris on Insects Injurious to Vegetation; and this he reproduced liberally, during an entire evening, to half a dozen undeveloped intellects of tender age. How the words came out—how he did give them the Latin!

'What did you think of him?' I inquired of Joe.

'Look at me, chickens!' was the reply. I saw the point—wonder if I shan't see its application frequently ere I have 'wound up my worsted,' and shovelled up the mortal coal of this life.

There are a great many men, dear Continental, who quite unwittingly are ever crying aloud, 'Look at me, chickens.' After all, 'tis only the old fable of the lion cubasinized.

Thine ever,

Our Chicago friend, J.M., will accept our thanks for his favor. Chicago is a warm friend to our Magazine.

Editor of Continental:

Dear Sir,—Occasionally a 'good thing' comes up to illustrate this wicked rebellion, which all patriots are striving to put down, in our once happy land. When the news of the taking of New Orleans reached our city, a friend meeting on the street another, who, like our worthy President, is fond of a good story, spake as follows:

'Wonder what Jeff. Davis will think now?'[Pg 762]

'It reminds me of a little story,' was the answer.

'Fire away then.'

'When Ethan Allen was a prisoner of war in London, a party of wags, who had made his acquaintance, and who were pleased with his drolleries, and who were in the habit of giving him dinners for the pleasure of his company, discovered in him a marvellous great fondness for pickles. On this platform they procured some East India peppers—which are about as hot as live hickory coals—and placed them in front of his seat at table, in as tempting a position as possible: which done, they sat down to dinner. While the first course was being served, Allen could not restrain his love for the article; and very quietly transferred one of them from the plate to his mouth, giving it a quick pressure of the jaws for the purpose of hastily disposing of it; when, lo and behold! instead of the luscious vegetable he so much enjoyed, he found he had taken into his capacious mouth something about as hot and burning as fire itself. To relieve his agony, he applied his hand to his mouth, at the same time using his napkin to remove the tears and perspiration, and also conceal the contractions of his face, when, hastily casting a glance around the table, he at once discovered the point of the joke in the countenances of those around him. Summoning all his coolness for the instant, he very deliberately deposited the 'pesky' thing in his hand, and then returned it to the plate with all the gravity he could command, remarking at the same time, 'With your permission, gentlemen, I will put that d—d thing back!'

Whether Jeff. Davis and his satellites would not like to perform the same operation with their pet dogma, Secession, I leave for your readers to decide; remarking that, in my own opinion, they would sleep better if they were back again, as in 1860. Prisons and halters are not pleasant to reflect on and anticipate, particularly when they are remarkably well deserved, as they are.

Old Ethan Allen! Would he were alive again! Oh, for one hour of that Dundee! Well, the time will answer its own needs, and this war will not pass by without its man of iron. He cometh! Who is he to be? George McClellan, you have it in you!

Put on steam, and win us the great victory of all time!

Should any man ever collect into a volume all the stories told of the great American showman, we trust that he will not omit the following:


Barnum sat in his office. It was a warm summer afternoon, but the B was busy, as usual. He had before him a plan for exhibiting the great Guyascutus on improved principles, a letter from a man who owned a wife with three arms (to be had cheap), and another from the fortunate proprietor of the great Singing Pig. An offer or petition from the great 'ex' J—— s B—— n to lecture cheaply had been considered and rejected.

'He's played out!' was the brief reflection of Barnum. As he said this the door opened, and there entered a manifest German, who bore a covered cage.

'Vat you bedinks of dat! exclaimed the Deutscher, removing the cloth.

It was a beautiful bird; of perfect pigeon shape, but of an exquisite golden yellow lustre, such as no fowl which Mr. Barnum had ever seen—and his ornithological observations had not been limited—ever wore.

'I sells her dretful cheap,' remarked the bearer, 'verflucht cheap. I gifs him to you for 'pout den or sieben thaler.'

'H'm—no—don't want it,' replied Barnum.

'Den I goes down mit mine brice to five thaler and dere I stops.'

'No—got birds enough,' said Barnum. 'They don't pay. Now, if it was the great Japanese earthworm, a yard long—'

'Goot py. I sorry you no pys it. I dinks I colored her foost rate.'

'Ha!—what!HOW!' cried Barnum, deeply interested; 'artificially colored! Good! I must have that!'

The German smiled a heavy, beery, winky, Limburgy smile, with both eyes shut tightly.

'Yas, I golors de bichin yellows unt creen and plue unt all sorts golors. Only five thalers der piece.'

'Do you think,' said Mr. Barnum, 'that you could prepare a great Patriotic National Lusus Naturæ, recently found perching on Independence Hall, Philadelphia—or hold—that's better—Mount Vernon? Could you color an eagle, with red stars on his breast,[Pg 763] and blue and white stripes running down big tail?'

The Dutchman thought he could, if the eagle's bill were tied, and his claws each stuck into a cork.

'Well, try your hand at it. But hold—go up stairs and put the pigeon into the Happy Family.'

The Dutchman stumped away. In about ten minutes Mr. Feathers, the ornithologist of the Museum, came rushing down, in a wild state of fluttering excitement.

'Good God, Mr. Barnum, you're not going to put that bird into the Happy Family!'

'Why not?' inquired Mr. Barnum, serenely.

'Why—it is the greatest curiosity you own. Heavens! a YELLOW pigeon! Sir, it is an anomaly—an undiscovered rarity—a—a—why, sir, it's an incredibility! I say, to my shame, I never heard of it. From Australia, I presume? There are some undiscovered marvels still left in that queer country.'

'No; it's the California golden pigeon.' ('That will take very well,' quoth Barnum to himself.)

So the pigeon went up to the Happy Family, and entered cordially into the innocent amusements of that blessed band. He sat on the cat's head, and on the dog's back, and suffered the mice to nestle under his wings, and never made them afraid. As for the owl, she fairly made love to him.

Time rolled on.

There came to New York ' a great old boy,' in the person of California Grizzly Bear Adams. 'Old Adams' he liked to be called, though he wasn't very aged. He was 'one of 'em.'

'See here, Barnum,' quoth he one day, in his rough voice; 'you've got a bird in your show which I've got to have. It's the Californy golden pigin. It's a sort o' mine anyhow—mine's a show of Californy critters, and nothing else.'

'You can't have that, Adams,' said Mr. Barnum. ' That's the greatest curiosity in the known world. Nothing like it—unique.'

'Sha—a—aw!' was the reply. 'Stuff! Don't run more o' that con-tusive stuff on me. Rare!! here he winked; 'why, I've seen them yallar pigeons, three and four hundred in a flock, up round Los Angeles and Cabeza del Diablo, and them places. The miners find where the gold is, by 'em.'

'Why didn't you bring some on with you?' inquired Barnum.

'Fact was, they were so everlastin' common that it didn't seem to me they were worth bringin'. Why, you can git a dozen of 'em any day in 'Frisco.'

With much feigned reluctance Barnum yielded his pigeon up to the California show, and all went well—for a time.

Perhaps two weeks had elapsed, when Old Adams burst into the office, excited.

'Barnum!' he cried, 'you infarnal old humbug—that California golden pigin is a darned swindle! It's painted!'

'Why, how you talk!' replied Barnum. 'Humbug, indeed! Haven't you seen golden pigeons, three and four hundred in a flock, in California?'

'It's painted and gilded, I tell you!' cried Adams. 'The color is all coming off the edges of the wings, and its tail is 'most rubbed white!'

'The idea!' replied Barnum, mildly, but with a droll, merry light in his eyes. 'You know you can send out to the San Francisco market any day and get a dozen!'

That is the legend of Ye Golden Pigeon. No—hold on; it is told in the Museum that one day a lady charged Mr. Barnum with having had his Angel Fish artificially colored.

'Indigo,' she remarked.

But the golden pigeon captivated her, and she implored Mr. B. for one of its eggs. He evaded the request on the ground that the 'sect' to which the pigeon belonged was not of the egg-laying kind.

So we should think. Apropos of the Angel Fish, the Continental heard a lady remark lately that they were well named, and lovely enough to have been caught in the ponds of paradise. 'They certainly must be the kind,' she added, 'which they fish for with golden hooks.'

And ah! the merry summer-tide!' as a Minnisinger and many another singer have sung. As we write, summer is losing its last traces in the peach-time of September. Bartlett pears are dead ripe—like the engagements formed at Newport and Saratoga—and china-asters and tuberoses tell of coming frosts. Well, 'tis over—the second season of the year is with the snows of year before last.

'Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan!'
[Pg 764]

and we may continue the service by singing a



Like an argosy deep laden
With the wealth of Indian sands,
Sailing down a summer ocean
To far-off Northern lands,—

Like a golden-visioned story—
Like the hectic's bright decay,
Dying in the painted glory
Of the autumn sere and hoary,
Fade the summer days away.

Persons who insist that 'after all, the Rebels are slandered as to waging warfare in a barbarous manner,' will do well to cast their eyes over the following from the Richmond Dispatch of September 24:

"The Yankees are about to send their army captured at Harper's Ferry against the Indians. Has the Government no means of retaliating for such a breach of faith?'

'A breach of faith!' So, then, we are to understand that the latest uprising of the Indians, as well as that led by that brutal Falstaff, Albert Pike, the Southwest, are all in the service of the Confederacy? For where is there a breach of faith unless the Indians in question are the allies of our Southern foes? This is, we presume, a part of 'the defensive policy of exhausting in detail the superior numbers of the invading North,' which has been proposed as forming a portion of the Confederate policy—other items of which consist of killing prisoners by neglect, and having torpedoes and mines in abandoned villages. We commend this admission of alliance with savages to the special consideration of the London Times.

We observe that a new planet has been discovered at Bilk, in Germany. Well, we have no doubt of the fact, but we don't like the name of the place where they found it. A Bilk planet is extremely suggestive of a Moon hoax. And, talking of hoaxes, has anybody with a sharp stick been as yet deputed by the government to look after the man who gets up proposals of peace for the Philadelphia Inquirer? Ancient friend of ours, such yarns (unintentionally) do harm. They are reprinted in Dixie, and the Dixians say that we are frightened, while Northern doughfaces grasp at them, and get to thinking. Excellent Inquirer! this is not a good time to set people to thinking over peace proposals and compromises.

Does our friend know, by the way, what sort of fowl are hatched from mares' nests'? They are canards. Don't let there be too many of them hatched in serious times like these.

A lady friend, who has brothers in the war, has kindly suggested that, in these days of patriotism, the songs of the Revolution should have more than usual zest, and has kindly copied for us a number, from which we select the following:


[Published in the Boston News Letter, in 1769.]

Young ladies in town, and those who live 'round,
Let a friend at this season advise you,
Since money's so scarce, and times growing worse,
Strange things may soon hap to surprise you:

First, then, throw aside your top-knots of pride,
Wear none but your own country linen;
Of economy boast, let your pride be the most
To show clothes of your own make and spinning;

This do without fear, and to all you'll appear
Fair, charming, true, lovely and clever;
Though the times remain darkish, young men may be sparkish,
And love you much stronger than ever,

Well! that song is as good now as ever it was; and the next is not far off from it:

WAR SONG.—1776.

Hark, hark! the sound of war is heard,
And we must all attend,
Take up our arms, and go with speed,
Our country to defend.

Husbands must leave their loving wives,
And sprightly youths attend,
Leave their sweethearts and risk their lives,
Their country to defend.

May they be heroes in the field,
Have heroes' fame in store;
We pray the Lord to be their shield,
Where thundering cannons roar.


[5] Ben Zoleen=Benzoline.

These compounds make available to the people the higher attainments of medical skill, and more efficient remedial aid than has hitherto been within their reach. While faithfully made, they will continue to excel all other remedies in use, by the rapidity and certainty of their cures. That they shall not fail in this we take unwearied pains to make every box and bottle perfect, and trust, by great care in preparing them with chemical accuracy and uniform strength, to supply remedies which shall maintain themselves in the unfailing confidence of this whole nation, and of all nations.


is an anodyne expectorant, prepared to meet the urgent demand for a safe and reliable antidote for diseases of the throat and lungs. Disorders of the pulmonary organs are so prevalent and so fatal in our ever-changing climate, that a reliable antidote is invaluable to the whole community. The indispensable qualities of such a remedy for popular use must be, certainty of healthy operation, absence of danger from accidental over-doses, and adaptation to every patient of any age or either sex. These conditions have been realized in this preparation, which, while it reaches to the foundations of disease, and acts with unfailing certainty, is still harmless to the most delicate invalid or tender infant. A trial of many years has proved to the world that it is efficacious in curing pulmonary complaints beyond any remedy hitherto known to mankind. As time makes these facts wider and better known, this medicine has gradually become a staple necessity, from the log cabin of the American peasant to the palaces of European kings. Throughout this entire country—in every State, city, and indeed almost every hamlet it contains—the Cherry Pectoral is known by its works. Each has living evidence of its unrivalled usefulness, in some recovered victim, or victims, from the threatening symptoms of Consumption. Although this is not true to so great an extent for distempers of the respiratory organs, and in several of them it is extensively used by their most intelligent physicians. In Great Britain, France, and Germany, where the medical sciences have reached their highest perfection, Cherry Pectoral is introduced and in constant use in the armies, hospitals, almshouses, public institutions, and in domestic practice, as the surest remedy their attending physicians can employ for the more dangerous affections of the lungs. Thousands of cases of pulmonary disease, which had baffled every expedient of human skill, have been permanently cured by the Cherry Pectoral, and these cures speak convincingly to all who know them.

Many of the certificates of its cures are so remarkable that cautious people are led to feel incredulous of their truth, or to fear the statements are overdrawn. When they consider that each of our remedies is a specific on which great labor has been expended for years to perfect it, and when they further consider how much better anything can be done which is exclusively followed with the facilities that large manufactories afford, then they may see not only that we do, but how we make better medicines than have been produced before. Their effects need astonish no one, when their history is considered with the fact that each preparation has been elaborated to cure one class of diseases, or, more properly, one disease in its many varieties.


have been prepared with the utmost skill which the medical profession of this age possesses, and their effects show they have virtues which surpass any combination of medicines hitherto known. Other preparations do more or less good; but this cures such dangerous complaints, so quickly and so surely, as to prove an efficacy and a power to uproot disease beyond anything which men have known before. By removing the abstractions of the internal organs and stimulating them into healthy action, they renovate the fountains of life and vigor,—health courses anew through the body, and the sick man is well again. They are adapted to disease, and disease only, for when taken by one in health they produce but little effect. This is the perfection of medicine. It is antagonistic to disease and no more. Tender children may take them with impunity. If they are sick they will cure them, if they are well they will do them no harm.

Give them to some patient who has been prostrated with bilious complaint: see his bent-up, tottering form straighten with strength again: see his long-lost appetite return: see his clammy features blossom into health. Give them to some sufferer whose foul blood has burst out in scrofula till his skin is covered with sores; who stands, or sits, or lies in anguish. He has been drenched inside and out with every potion which ingenuity could suggest. Give him these Pills, and mark the effect; see the scabs fall from his body; see the new, fair skin that has grown under them; see the late leper that is clean. Give them to him whose angry humors have planted rheumatism in his joints and bones; move him and he screeches with pain; he too has been soaked through every muscle of his body with liniments and salves; give him these Pills to purify his blood; they may not cure him, for, alas! there are cases which no mortal power can reach; but mark, he walks with crutches now, and now he walks alone; they have cured him. Give them to the lean, sour, haggard dyspeptic, whose gnawing stomach has long ago eaten every smile from his face and every muscle from his body. See his appetite return, and with it his health; see the new man. See her that was radiant with health and loveliness blasted and too early withering away; want of exercise or mental anguish, or some lurking disease, has deranged the internal organs of digestion, assimilation or secretion, till they do their office ill. Her blood is vitiated, her health is gone. Give her these Pills to stimulate the vital principle into renewed vigor, to cast out the obstructions, and infuse a new vitality into the blood. Now look again—the roses blossom on her cheek, and where lately sorrow sat joy bursts from every feature. See the sweet infant wasted with worms. Its wan, sickly features tell you without disguise, and painfully distinct, that they are eating its life away. Its pinched-up nose and ears, and restless sleepings, tell the dreadful truth in language which every mother knows. Give it the Pills in large doses to sweep these vile parasites from the body. Now turn again and see the ruddy bloom of childhood. Is it nothing to do these things? Nay, are they not the marvel of this age? And yet they are done around you every day.

Have you the less serious symptoms of these distempers, they are the easier cured. Jaundice, Costiveness, Headache, Sideache, Heartburn, Foul Stomach, Nausea, Pain in the Bowels, Flatulency, Loss of Appetite, King's Evil, Neuralgia, Gout, and kindred complaints all arise from the derangements which these Pills rapidly cure. Take them perseveringly, and under the counsel of a good physician if you can; if not, take them judiciously by such advice as we give you, and the distressing, dangerous diseases they cure, which afflict so many millions of the human race, are cast out like the devils of old—they must burrow in the brutes and in the sea.

Prepared by DR. J. C. AYER & CO.,



And Sold by all Druggists.







The design of The New American Cyclopædia is to furnish the great body of intelligent readers in this country with a popular Dictionary of General Knowledge.

The New American Cyclopædia is not founded on any European model; in its plan and elaboration it is strictly original, and strictly American. Many of the writers employed on the work have enriched it with their personal researches, observations, and discoveries; and every article has been written, or re-written, expressly for its pages.

It is intended that the work shall bear such a character of practical utility as to make it indispensable to every American library.

Throughout its successive volumes, The New American Cyclopædia will present a fund of accurate and copious information on Science, Art, Agriculture, Commerce, Manufactures, Law, Medicine, Literature, Philosophy, Mathematics, Astronomy, History, Biography, Geography, Religion, Politics, Travels, Chemistry, Mechanics, Inventions, and Trades.

Abstaining from all doctrinal discussions, from all sectional and sectarian arguments, it will maintain the position of absolute impartiality on the great controverted questions which have divided opinions in every age.


This work is published exclusively by subscription, in sixteen large octavo volumes, each containing 750 two-column pages.

Price per volume, cloth, $3.50; library style, leather, $4; half morocco, 4.50; half russia, extra, $5.

From the London Daily News.

It is beyond all comparison the best,—indeed, we should feel quite justified in saying it is the only book of reference upon the Western Continent that has ever appeared. No statesman or politician can afford to do without it, and it will be a treasure to every student of the moral and physical condition of America. Its information is minute, full, and accurate upon every subject connected with the country. Beside the constant attention of the Editors, it employs the pens of a a host of most distinguished transatlantic writers—statesmen, lawyers, divines, soldiers, a vast array of scholarship from the professional chairs of the Universities, with numbers of private literati, and men devoted to special pursuits.




Devoted to Social Literature, Arts, Morals, Health, and Domestic Happiness.

The aim of this work from the beginning, has been to unite in one periodical the attractions and excellencies of two classes of magazines—The Ladies', or Fashion Magazines, as they are called, and the literary monthlies; and so to blend the useful with the entertaining, as to please and benefit all classes of readers. The true "Home Magazine" must have its

DEPARTMENTS; as well as its strictly

All these are united in our magazine, and in each department excellence is sought. Nothing is admitted in any way hurtful to morality, honor, or religion.

Probably of no periodical in the country has the press everywhere spoken with unqualified approval. From thousands of similar notices we give the following:

It is a Home Magazine in every sense of the word, healthy, fresh, and sweet—beautiful as the meadows of June. It is a welcome necessity in our home.—Journal, Delhi, Iowa.

Its cheapness makes it accessible to all families, while its literary merits are inferior to none of the more expensive magazines.—Cataract, Cohoes, N.Y.

Arthur has done as much as any man of his age to diffuse good morals and religious principles among the young, and his magazine comes forth from month to month like a sower to sow, and scatters the good seed everywhere.—Philadelphia Inquirer.

Arthur's Home Magazine is undoubtedly the best publication of its character, for the price, published in the United States or any other country.—Independent, Mankato, Minn.

This superb ladies' magazine comes fully up to the best standard of a literary and fashionable periodical.—Tellegram, Ottawa, Ohio.

Any person who cannot get two dollars' worth out of it in a year, will never get it in any magazine.—Independent, Warren, Ill.

Bright, beautiful, and home-like as usual. May its genial presence never fail to cheer our home.—Chronicle, Rochester, Ind.

We never put down this magazine, but that we feel better for having taken it up.—Union Dem., Deposit, N.Y.

We have said so much in favor of Arthur's Magazine that we hardly know what else we can say. It is certainly one of the best and one of the cheapest.—Republican, New Oregon, Iowa.


Including choice pictures, groups, and characters, prevailing Fashions, and a great variety of needle-work patterns.


Of the HOME MAGAZINE is of the highest character. The Editors, who write largely for its pages, are assisted by liberal contributions from the pens of some of the best writers in the country.


Are sent to all who make up Clubs.—Our Premiums for 1863 are—

1. A large Photographic copy of that splendid Engraving, "SHAKSPEARE AND HIS COTEMPORARIES." This copy is made from a proof print, before lettering, and gives all the details with an accuracy and effect that is remarkable.

2. A large Photographic copy, from an engraving of Huntington's celebrated picture, "MERCY'S DREAM," a favorite with every one.

3. A similar copy of Herring's "GLIMPSE OF AN ENGLISH HOMESTEAD." This premium was given last year, and was so great a favorite that we continue it on our list for 1863!


1copy Home Magazine (and one of the premium plates),$2 00
2copies (and one of the premium plates to getter-up of Club),8 00
3copies (and one of the premium plates to getter-up of Club)4 00
4copies (and one of the premium plates to getter-up of Club)5 00
8copies (and an extra copy of Magazine, and one premium plate to getter-up of Club),10 00
12copies (and an extra copy of Magazine, and two premium plate to getter-up of Club)15 00
17copies (and an extra copy of Magazine, and two premium plate to getter-up of Club)20 00

It will be seen that each single subscriber, who pays $2, is entitled to one of the premium plates.

In ordering premiums, three red stamps must be sent, in every case, to pay the cost of mailing each premium.

It is not required that all the Subscribers to a Club be at the same Post Office.


Home Magazine and Godey's Lady's Book, one year, $3 50.
Home Magazine and Harper's Magazine, one year, $8 50.
Home Magazine and Saturday Evening Post, $3 00.


T. S. ARTHUR & CO., 323 Walnut St., Philadelphia.



Steinway & Sons' Factory, Occupying the Entire Block on 4th Ave, from 52d to 53d St.




First Premium at the Great World's Fair in London, 1862,




Excellent Workmanship shown in Grand and Square Pianos.

There were 290 Piano-Fortes entered for competition from all parts of the world, and in order to show what sensation these instruments have created in the Old World, we subjoin a few extracts from leading European papers.

From the "London News of the World."

"These magnificent pianos, manufactured by Messrs. Steinway & Sons, of New York, are, without doubt, the musical gems of the Exhibition of 1862. They possess a tone that is the most liquid and bell-like we have ever heard, and combine the qualities of brilliancy and great power, without the slightest approach to harshness," &c.

Mr. Hoche, one of the most competent musical critics of France, writes to the "Presse Musicale," Paris: "The firm of Steinway & Sons exhibits two pianos, both of which have attracted the special attention of the jurors. The square piano fully possesses the tone of a grand—it sounds really marvelously; the ample sound, the extension, the even tone, the sweetness, the power, are combined in these pianos as in no piano I have ever seen. The grand piano unites in itself all the qualities which you can demand of a concert piano; in fact, I do not hesitate to say that this piano is far better than all the English pianos which I have seen at the Exhibition," &c.

The "Paris Constitutional" says: "In the piano manufacture the palm don't belong to the European industry this year, but to an American house, almost unknown until now, Messrs. Steinway & Sons, of New York, who have carried off the first prize for piano-fortes," &c.


NOS. 82 & 84 WALKER ST., near Broadway, New York.

An Illustrated Poem of Liberty
On Spreading Sheet, convenient for the
Piano-Forte or Organ.

Also, a Record of Events, Family Recipes, Home Miscellany, Calendars for the whole Country, Memoranda Pages, etc.


The Ladies' Almanac—We have seen the advance sheets of this elegant little annual for 1853, and can assure its patrons that, in point of interest, it exceeds the best of its predecessors. Its grand feature is a spirited and timely poem by Geo. Coolidge, Esq., the editor, upon the absorbing topic, "Freedom," which he has treated in a manner that eloquently and feelingly appeals to the reader. The poem is illustrated by some fine designs that in themselves convince, and give added power to the text they embellish. The work of the Almanac is fully up to its old degree of excellence, and in all respects creditable.—Boston Gazette.

17 Washington St., Boston.

The Continued List of Massachusetts Volunteers,
The last two Calls of the President for 600,000 Troops, and giving about
40,000 Massachusetts Names.


Issued by GEORGE COOLIDGE, 17 Washington St., Boston,

And sent by mail, post-paid, on receipt of price. Sold at all usual places.


This Medicine is admitted by all who have tried it to be the best article for COLDS, COUGHS, ASTHMA, PHTHISIC, and ALL IRRITATIONS OF THE THROAT.

It is strictly vegetable, and perfectly safe for the most delicate constitution. Unlike other preparations, it will not brace up the patient, but will heal the disease as by magic.

For more than twenty years Mr. Coy was afflicted with a Cough, with Asthma combined, and at times was laid up for months, unable to do any thing—given over by his physician, who said that his lungs were badly effected. After a perseverance of three months in the use of the pharmakon, he is entirely restored to health. Many references could be given, but the medicine is its own best evidence, for it only needs to be tried to be appreciated.

We, the undersigned, residents of Boston, have known Mr. Coy for a number of years, and can testify that he has had a very severe disease of the lungs since our acquaintance with him, and have no hesitation in saying that we believe he has been cured by the pharmakon, and we most cordially recommend the same as an excellent medicine for all diseases of the Lungs, Throat, and Liver, and all impurities of the blood.

SAMUEL NEWELL, 36 Hanover St.,JOHN L. FILLER, 92 Carver St.,
CHAS. W. LYMAN. 3 River St.,THOS. R. HOLLAND, 12 School St.,
CHAS. FULLER, 12 South Cedar St.,A. P. SHUTE, 21 Hurd St., Chelsea.

Prepared only by Mrs. E. G. COY, Sole Proprietor. ☛ Observe her written signature on the label, without which none is genuine. PRICE, ONE DOLLAR PER BOTTLE. Sold at Wholesale and Retail by

GEO. COOLIDGE, Gen. Agent, 17 Washington St., Boston,
Office of "Boston Almanac," "Lady's Almanac," etc.



All who have friends and relatives in the Army or Navy should take especial care that they be amply supplied with these Pills and Ointment; and where the brave Soldiers and Sailors have neglected to provide themselves with them, no better present can be sent them by their friends. They have been proved to be the Soldier's never-failing-friend in the hour of need.


will be speedily relieved and effectually cured by using these admirable medicines, and by paying proper attention to the Directions which are attached to each Pot or Box.


These feelings which so sadden us usually arise from trouble or annoyances, obstructed perspiration, or eating and drinking whatever is unwholesome, thus disturbing the healthful action of the liver and stomach. These organs must be relieved, if you desire to be well. The Pills, taken according to the printed instructions, will quickly produce a healthy action in both liver and stomach, and, as a natural consequence, a clear head and good appetite.


will soon disappear by the use of these invaluable Pills, and the Soldier will quickly acquire additional strength. Never let the bowels be either confined or unduly acted upon. It may seem strange, that Holloway's Pills should be recommended for Dysentery and Flux, many persons supposing that they would increase the relaxation. This is a great mistake, for these Pills will correct the liver and stomach, and thus remove all the acrid humors from the system. This medicine will give tone and vigor to the whole organic system, however deranged, while health and strength follow, as a matter of course. Nothing will stop the relaxation of the bowels so sure as this famous medicine.


Sores and Ulcers, Blotches and Swellings, can with certainty be radically cured, if the Pills are taken night and morning, and the Ointment be freely used as stated in the printed instructions. If treated in any other manner, they dry up in one part to break out in another. Whereas, this Ointment will remove the humors from the system and leave the patient a vigorous and healthy man. It will require a little perseverance in bad cases to insure a lasting cure.


respectfully invites the attention of the public to the following Numbers of his





FOR LADIES' USE.—For fine neat writing, especially on thick and highly-finished papers, Nos. 1, 173, 303, 604. In Extra-fine Points.

FOR GENERAL USE.—Nos. 2, 164, 166, 168, 604. In Fine Points.

FOR BOLD FREE WRITING.—Nos. 3, 164, 166, 168, 604. In Medium Points.

FOR GENTLEMEN'S USE.—FOR LARGE, FREE, BOLD WRITING.—The Black Swan Quill, Large Barrel Pen, No. 808. The Patent Magnum Bonum, No. 263. In Medium And Broad Points.

FOR GENERAL WRITING.—No. 263, in extra-fine points. No. 810, New Bank Pen, No. 262, In Fine Points, Small Barrel. No. 840, The Autograph Pen.

FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.—The celebrated Three-Hole Correspondence Pen, No. 382. The celebrated Four-Hole Correspondence Pen, No. 202. The Public Pen, No. 292. The Public Pen, with Bead, No. 404. Small Barrel Pens, fine and free, Nos. 392, 405, 603.






The Agricultural Societies of the State of New York, New Jersey, and Queens County, L. I., at their latest Exhibitions awarded the highest premiums (gold medal, silver medal, and diplomas), for these articles, and the public generally approve them.

1st.—PYLE'S O. K. SOAP, The most complete labor-saving and economical soap that has been brought before the public. Good for washing all kinds of clothing, fine flannels, silks, laces, and for toilet and bathing purposes. The best class of families adopt it in preference to all others—Editors of the Tribune, Evening Post, Independent, Evangelist, Examiner, Chronicle, Methodist, Advocate and Journal, Church Journal, American Agriculturist, and of many other weekly journals, are using it in their offices and families. We want those who are disposed to encourage progress and good articles to give this and the following articles a trial.

2d.—PYLE'S DIETETIC SALERATUS, a strictly pure and wholesome article; in the market for several years, and has gained a wide reputation among families and bakers throughout the New England and Middle States; is always of a uniform quality, and free from all the objections of impure saleratus.

3d.—PYLE'S GENUINE CREAM TARTAR, always the same, and never fails to make light biscuit. Those who want the best will ask their grocer for this.

4th.—PYLE'S PURIFIED BAKING SODA, suitable for medicinal and culinary use.

5th.—PYLE'S BLUEING POWDERS, a splendid article for the laundress, to produce that alabaster whiteness so desirable in fine linens.

6th.—PYLE'S ENAMEL BLACKING, the best boot polish and leather preservative in the world (Day and Martin's not excepted).

7th.—PYLE'S BRILLIANT BLACK INK, a beautiful softly flowing ink, shows black at once, and is anti-corrosive to steel pens.

8th.—PYLE'S STAR STOVE POLISH, warranted to produce a steel shine on iron ware. Prevents rust effectually, without causing any disagreeable smell, even on a hot stove.

9th.—PYLE'S CREAM LATHER SHAVING SOAP, a "luxurious" article for gentlemen who shave themselves. It makes a rich lather that will keep thick and moist upon the face.

These Articles are all put up full weight, and expressly for the best class trade, and first-class grocers generally have them for sale. Every article is labelled with the name of

350 Washington St., cor. Franklin, N. Y.







in the SUPREME and CIRCUIT Courts at Washington, COURTS MARTIAL, the COURT OF CLAIMS, before the DEPARTMENTS and BUREAUS, especially in


Aided by two other associates, no part of an extensive business will be neglected. Address,


DUNCAN S. WALKER & ADRIEN DESLONDE will attend to Pensions, Bounties, Prize, Pay, and Similar Claims. WALKER & STANTON will aid them, when needful, as consulting counsel. Address WALKER & DESLONDE, same office, care of Walker & Stanton.


(Late WOOD'S,)
Established 1831.

47 CHATHAM, cor. North William St., & 513 EIGHTH AV.

a general assortment of



Maker of Planes, Braces & Bits, and Carpenters' & Mechanics' Tools,



This widely-known Establishment still maintains its reputation for the unrivalled excellence of its OWN MANUFACTURED, as well as its FOREIGN ARTICLES, which comprise

Tools for Every Branch of Mechanics and Artizans.




The undersigned, himself a practical mechanic, having wrought at the business for upwards of thirty years, feels confident that he can meet the wants of those who may favor him with their patronage.


I have some of the finest Skates in the city, of my own as well as other manufactures. Every style and price.

pointing finger

Skates made to Fit the Foot without Straps.
WILLIAM WARD, Proprietor.




Adapted to every species of mutilated limb, unequaled in mechanism and utility. Hands and Arms of superior excellence for mutilations and congenital defects. Feet and appurtenances, for limbs shortened by hip disease. Dr. HUDSON, by appointment of the Surgeon General of the U. S. Army, furnishes limbs to mutilated Soldiers and Marines. References.—Valentine Mett, M. D., Willard Parker, M. D., J. M. Carnochan, M. D. Gurden Buck, M. D., Wm. H. Van Buren, M. D.

Descriptive pamphlets sent gratis. E. D. HUDSON, M. D., ASTOR PLACE (8th St.), CLINTON HALL, Up Stairs.


Continental Monthly.

The readers of the Continental are aware of the important position it has assumed, of the influence which it exerts, and of the brilliant array of political and literary talent of the highest order which supports it. No publication of the kind has, in this country, so successfully combined the energy and freedom of the daily newspaper with the higher literary tone of the first-class monthly; and it is very certain that no magazine has given wider range to its contributors, or preserved itself so completely from the narrow influences of party or of faction. In times like the present, such a journal is either a power in the land or it is nothing. That the Continental is not the latter is abundantly evidenced by what it has done—by the reflection of its counsels in many important public events, and in the character and power of those who are its staunchest supporters.

Though but little more than a year has elapsed since the Continental was first established, it has during that time acquired a strength and a political significance elevating it to a position far above that previously occupied by any publication of the kind in America. In proof of which assertion we call attention to the following facts:

1. Of its political articles republished in pamphlet form, a single one has had, thus far, a circulation of one hundred and six thousand copies.

2. From its literary department, a single serial novel, "Among the Pines," has, within a very few months, sold nearly thirty-five thousand copies. Two other series of its literary articles have also been republished in book form, while the first portion of a third is already in press.

No more conclusive facts need be alleged to prove the excellence of the contributions to the Continental, or their extraordinary popularity; and its conductors are determined that it shall not fall behind. Preserving all "the boldness, vigor, and ability" which a thousand journals have attributed to it, it will greatly enlarge its circle of action, and discuss, fearlessly and frankly, every principle involved in the great questions of the day. The first minds of the country, embracing the men most familiar with its diplomacy and most distinguished for ability, are among its contributors; and it is no mere "flattering promise of a prospectus" to say that this "magazine for the times" will employ the first intellect in America, under auspices which no publication ever enjoyed before in this country.

While the Continental will express decided opinions on the great questions of the day, it will not be a mere political journal: much the larger portion of its columns will be enlivened, as heretofore, by tales, poetry, and humor. In a word, the Continental will be found, under its new staff of Editors, occupying a position and presenting attractions never before found in a magazine.


Two copies for one year,Five dollars.
Three copies for one year,Six dollars.
Six copies for one year,Eleven dollars.
Eleven copies for one year,Twenty dollars.
Twenty copies for one year,Thirty-six dollars.

Postage, Thirty-six cents a year, to be paid by the Subscriber.


Three dollars a year, in advance. Postage paid by the Publisher.

JOHN F. TROW, 50 Greene St., N. Y.,

pointing finger

As an Inducement to new subscribers, the Publisher offers the following liberal premiums:

pointing finger

Any person remitting $3, in advance, will receive the magazine from July, 1862, to January, 1864, thus securing the whole of Mr. Kimball's and Mr. Kirke's new serials, which are alone worth the price of subscription. Or, if preferred, a subscriber can take the magazine for 1863 and a copy of "Among the Pines," or of "Undercurrents of Wall Street," by R. B. Kimball, bound in cloth, or of "Sunshine in Thought," by Charles Godfrey Leland (retail price, $1. 25.) The book to be sent postage paid.

pointing finger

Any person remitting $4.50, will receive the magazine from its commencement, January, 1862, to January, 1864, thus securing Mr. Kimball's "Was He Successful? "and Mr. Kirke's "Among the Pines," and "Merchant's Story," and nearly 3,000 octavo pages of the best literature in the world. Premium subscribers to pay their own postage.

Finest Farming Lands



At FROM $8 to $12 PER ACRE,

Near Markets, Schools, Railroads, Churches, and all the blessings of Civilization.

1,200,000 Acres, in Farms of 40, 80, 120, 160 Acres and upwards, in ILLINOIS, the Garden State of America.

The Illinois Central Railroad Company offer, ON LONG CREDIT, the beautiful and fertile PRAIRIE LANDS lying along the whole line of their Railroad. 700 MILES IN LENGTH, upon the most Favorable Terms for enabling Farmers, Manufacturers, Mechanics and Workingmen to make for themselves and their families a competency, and a HOME they can call THEIR OWN, as will appear from the following statements:


Is about equal in extent to England, with a population of 1,722,666, and a soil capable of supporting 20,000,000. No State in the Valley of the Mississippi offers so great an inducement to the settler as the State of Illinois. There is no part of the world where all the conditions of climate and soil so admirably combine to produce those two great staples, Corn and Wheat.


Nowhere can the Industrious farmer secure such immediate results from his labor as on these deep, rich, loamy soils, cultivated with so much ease. The climate from the extreme southern part of the State to the Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad, a distance of nearly 200 miles, is well adapted to Winter.


Peaches, Pears, Tomatoes, and every variety of fruit and vegetables is grown in great abundance, from which Chicago and other Northern markets are furnished from four to six weeks earlier than their immediate vicinity. Between the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railway and the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, (a distance of 115 miles on the Branch, and 136 miles on the Main Trunk,) lies the great Corn and Stock raising portion of the State.


of Corn is from 60 to 80 bushels per acre. Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep and Hogs are raised here at a small cost, and yield large profits. It is believed that no section of country presents greater inducements for Dairy Farming than the Prairies of Illinois, a branch of farming to which but little attention has been paid, and which must yield sure profitable results. Between the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, and Chicago and Dunleith, (a distance of 56 miles on the Branch and 147 miles by the Main Trunk,) Timothy Hay, Spring Wheat, Corn, &c., are produced in great abundance.


The Agricultural products of Illinois are greater than those of any other State. The Wheat crop of 1861 was estimated at 35,000,000 bushels, while the Corn crop yields not less than 140,000,000 bushels besides the crop of Oats, Barley, Rye, Buckwheat, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins, Squashes, Flax, Hemp, Peas, Clover, Cabbage, Beets, Tobacco, Sorgheim, Grapes, Peaches, Apples, &c., which go to swell the vast aggregate of production in this fertile region. Over Four Million tons of produce were sent out the State of Illinois during the past year.


In Central and Southern Illinois uncommon advantages are presented for the extension of Stock raising. All kinds of Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep, Hogs, &c., of the best breeds, yield handsome profits; large fortunes have already been made, and the field is open for others to enter with the fairest prospects of like results. Dairy Farming also presents its inducements to many.


The experiments in Cotton culture are of very great promise. Commencing in latitude 39 deg. 30 min. (see Mattoon on the Branch, and Assumption on the Main Line), the Company owns thousands of acres well adapted to the perfection of this fibre. A settler having a family of young children, can turn their youthful labor to a most profitable account in the growth and perfection of this plant.


Traverses the whole length of the State, from the banks of the Mississippi and Lake Michigan to the Ohio. As its name imports, the Railroad runs through the centre of the State, and on either side of the road along its whole length lie the lands offered for sale.


There are Ninety-eight Depots on the Company's Railway, giving about one every seven miles. Cities, Towns and Villages are situated at convenient distances throughout the whole route, where every desirable commodity may be found as readily as in the oldest cities of the Union, and where buyers are to be met for all kinds of farm produce.


Mechanics and working-men will find the free school system encouraged by the State, and endowed with a large revenue for the support of the schools. Children can live in sight of the school, the college, the church, and grow up with the prosperity of the leading State in the Great Western Empire.


80 acres at $10 per acre, with interest at 6 per ct. annually on the following terms:

Cash payment $48 00
Paymentin one year48 00
"in two years48 00
"in three years48 00
"in four years236 00
"in five years224 00
"in six years212 00

40 acres, at $10 00 per acre:

Cash payment $24 00
Paymentin one year24 00
"in two years24 00
"in three years24 00
"in four years118 00
"in five years112 00
"in six years106 00