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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XLI No. 5

Date of first publication: 1852

Author: George R. Graham (1813-1894) (editor)

Date first posted: Sep. 22, 2012

Date last updated: Apr. 19, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20120929

This ebook was produced by: David T. Jones, Ross Cooling, Mardi Desjardins & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


Vol. XLI.      November, 1852.      No. 5.

Table of Contents

The Dreams of Youth

The Cottage Door


Remembered Ones

The Game of the Month

Wild Roses by the River Grow

The Song-Stream

Machinery, for Machine Making


Clara Gregory: or The Step-Mother


Among the Moors

London Coffee-Houses

James Logan of Pennsylvania

Useful Arts of the Greeks and Romans


The Loves of an Apothecary

To My Cigar

The Trial by Battle

The Lucky Penny

A Day with a Lion

Nelly Nowlan’s Experience



Ambition’s Burial-Ground

Review of New Books

Graham’s Small-Talk

Sips of Punch

Fashion Plate

Transcriber’s Notes can be found at the end of this eBook.






                  Air “Pray, Goody, PLEASE TO MODERATE.

Oh! youth’s fond dreams, like eve ’ning skies,

  Are tinged with colours bright,

Their cloud-built halls and turrets rise

  In lines of ling’ ring light;

      Airy, fairy,

    In the beam they glow,

      As if they’d last

      Thro’ ev’ry blast

    That angry fate might blow;

But Time wears on with stealthy pace

  And robes of solemn grey.

And in the shadow of her face

  The glories fade away.


But not in vain the splendours die,

  For worlds before unseen

Rise on the forehead of the sky

  Unchanging and serene.


    Thro’ the dark they shew

      Their lustrous forms

      Above the storms

    That rend our earth below.

So pass the visions of our youth

  In Time’s advancing shade;

Yet ever more the stars of Truth

  Shine brighter when they fade.


Vol. XLI.         PHILADELPHIA, November, 1852.         No. 5.

The Cottage Door

  Those little curly-pated elves,

  Blest in each other and themselves,

    Right pleasant ’tis to see

  Glancing like sunbeams in and out

  The lowly porch, and round about

    The ancient household tree.


  And pleasant ’tis to greet the smile

  Of her who rules this domicile

    With firm but gentle sway;

  To hear her busy step and tone,

  Which tell of household cares begun

    That end but with the day.


  ’Tis pleasant, too, to stroll around

  The tiny plot of garden ground,

    Where all in gleaming row

  Sweet primroses, the spring’s delight,

  And double daisies, red and white,

    And yellow wall-flowers grow.


  What if such homely view as this

  Awaken not the high-wrought bliss

    Which loftier scenes impart?

  To better feelings sure it leads,

  If but to kindly thoughts and deeds

    It prompt the feeling heart.





Rivers constitute an important part of the aqueous portion of the globe; with the great lines of water, with streams and rivulets, they form a numerous family, of which lakes, springs, or the meltings of ice and snow, upon the summits of high mountain chains, are the parents. The Shannon has its source in a lake; the Rhone in a glacier; and the Abyssinian branch of the Nile in a confluence of fountains. The country where some of the mightiest rivers of the globe have their rise has not yet been sufficiently explored to render their true source ascertainable. The origin of others is doubtful, owing to a number of rills presenting equal claims to be considered as the river-head; but many are clearly referable to a single spring, the current of which is speedily swelled by tributary waters, ultimately flowing in broad and deep channels to the sea. Inglis, who wandered on foot through many lands, had a fancy, which he generally indulged, to visit the sources of rivers, when the chances of his journey threw him in their vicinity. Such a pilgrimage will often repay the traveler, by the scenes of picturesque and secluded beauty into which it leads him; and even when the primal fount is insignificant in itself, and the surrounding landscape exhibits the tamest features, there is a reward in the associations that are instantly wakened up—the thought of a humble and modest commencement issuing in a long and victorious career—of the tiny rill, proceeding, by gradual advances, to become an ample stream, fertilizing by its exudations and rolling on to meet the tides of the ocean, bearing the merchandise of cities upon its bosom. The Duddon, one of the most picturesque of the English rivers, oozes up through a bed of moss near the top of Wrynose Fell, a desolate solitude, yet remarkable for its huge masses of protruding crag, and the varied and vivid colors of the mosses watered by the stream. Petrarch’s letters and verses have given celebrity to the source of the Sorques—the spring of Vaucleuse, which bursts in an imposing manner out of a cavern, and forms at once a copious torrent. The Scamandar is one of the most remarkable rivers for the grandeur of its source—a yawning chasm in Mount Gargarus, shaded with enormous plane-trees, and surrounded with high cliffs from which the river impetuously dashes in all the greatness of the divine origin assigned to it by ancient fable. To discover the source of the Nile, hid from the knowledge of all antiquity, was the object of Bruce’s adventurous journey; and we can readily enter into his emotions, as he stood by the two fountains, after the toils and hazard he had braved. “It is easier to guess,” he remarks, “than to describe the situation of my mind at that moment—standing in that spot which had baffled the genius, industry, and inquiry of both ancients and moderns, for the course of three thousand years. Kings had attempted this discovery at the head of armies; and each expedition was distinguished from the last, only by the difference of the numbers which had perished, and agreed alone in the disappointment which had uniformly, and without exception, followed them all. Fame, riches and honor, had been held out for a series of ages to every individual of those myriads these princes commanded, without having produced one man capable of gratifying the curiosity of his sovereign, or wiping off this stain upon the enterprise and abilities of mankind, or adding this desideratum for the encouragement of geography. Though a mere private Briton, I triumphed here, in my own mind, over kings and their armies; and every comparison was leading nearer and nearer to presumption, when the place itself where I stood—the object of my vain-glory—suggested what depressed my short-lived triumphs. I was but a few minutes arrived at the sources of the Nile, through numberless dangers and sufferings, the least of which would have overwhelmed me, but for the continual goodness and protection of Providence: I was, however, but then half through my journey; and all those dangers, which I had already passed, awaited me again on my return. I found a despondency gaining ground fast upon me, and blasting the crown of laurels I had too rashly woven for myself.” Bruce, however, labored under an error, in supposing the stream he had followed to be the main branch of the Nile. He had traced to its springs the smaller of the two great rivers which contribute to form this celebrated stream. The larger arm issues from a more remote part of Africa, and has not yet been ascended to its source.

Upon examining the map of a country, we see many of its rivers traveling in opposite directions, and emptying their waters into different seas, although their sources frequently lie in the immediate neighborhood of each other. The springs of the Missouri, which proceed south-east to the Gulf of Mexico, and those of the Columbia, which flow north-west to the Pacific Ocean, are only a mile apart, while those of some of the tributaries of the Amazon, flowing north, and the La Plata, flowing south, are closely contiguous. There is a part of Volhynia, of no considerable extent, which sends off its waters, north and south, to the Black and Baltic seas; while, from the field on which the battle of Naseby was fought, the Avon, Trent, and Nen receive affluents, which reach the ocean at opposite coasts of the island, through the Humber, the Wash, and the Bristol Channel. The field in question is an elevated piece of table-land in the centre of England. The district referred to, where rivers proceeding to the Baltic and the Euxine take their rise, is a plateau about a thousand feet above the level of the sea. The springs of the Missouri and the Columbia are in the Rocky Mountains; and it is generally the case, that those parts of a country from which large rivers flow in contrary directions, are the most elevated sites in their respective districts, consisting either of mountain-chains, plateaus, or high table-lands. There is one remarkable exception to this in European Russia, where the Volga rises in a plain only a few hundred feet above the level of the sea, and no hills separate its waters from those which run into the Baltic. The great majority of the first-class rivers commence from chains of mountains, because springs are there most abundant, perpetually fed by the melting of the snows and glaciers. They have almost invariably an easterly direction, the westward-bound streams being few in number, and of very subordinate rank. Of rivers flowing east, we have grand examples in the St. Lawrence, Orinoco, Amazon, Danube, Ganges, Amour, Yang-tse-Kiang, and Hoang Ho. The chief western streams are the Columbia, Tagus, Garonne, Loire and Neva, which are of far inferior rank to the former. The rivers running south, as the Mississippi, La Plata, Rhone, Volga and Indus, are more important, as well as those which proceed to the north, as the Rhine, Vistula, Nile, Irtish, Lena and Yenisei. The easterly direction of the great rivers of America is obviously due to the position of the Andes, which run north and south, on the western side of the continent, while the chain of mountains which traverses Europe and Asia, from west to east, cause the great number of rivers which flow north and south. In our own island, the chief course of the streams is to the east. This is the case with the Tay, Forth, Tweed, Tyne, Humber and Thames, the Clyde and Severn being the most remarkable exceptions to this direction. The whole extent of country from which a river receives its supply of water, by brooks and rivulets, is termed its basin, because a region generally bounded by a rim of high lands, beyond which the waters are drained off into another channel. The basin of a superior river includes those of all its tributary streams. It is sometimes the case, however, that the basins of rivers are not divided by any elevations, but pass into each other, a connection subsisting between their waters. This is the case with the hydro-graphical regions of the Amazon and Orinoco, the Cassiaquaire, a branch of the latter, joining the Rio Negro, an affluent of the former. The vague rumors that were at first afloat respecting this singular circumstance, were treated by most geographers with discredit, till Humboldt ascertained its reality, by proceeding from the Rio Negro to the Orinoco, along the natural canal of the Cassiaquaire.

Rivers have a thousand points of similarity, and of discordance. Some exhibit an unbroken sheet of water through their whole course, while others are diversified by numerous islands. This peculiarly characterizes the vast streams of the American continent, and contributes greatly to their scenical effect, of which our illustration gives us an example, selected from the beautiful Susquehanna, the largest Atlantic river of the United States. The St. Lawrence, soon after issuing from the Lake Ontario, presents the most remarkable instance to be found of islands occurring in a river channel. It is here called the Lake of the Thousand Islands. The vast number implied in this name was considered a vague exaggeration, till the commissioners employed in fixing the boundary with the United States actually counted them, and found that they amounted to 1692. They are of every imaginable size, shape, and appearance; some barely visible, others covering fifteen acres; but in general their broken outline presents the most picturesque combinations of wood and rock. The navigator in steering through them sees an ever-changing scene, which reminds an elegant writer of the Happy Islands in the Vision of Mirza. Sometimes he is inclosed in a narrow channel; then he discovers before him twelve openings, like so many noble rivers; and soon after a spacious lake seems to surround him on every side. River-islands are due to original surface inequalities, but many are formed by the arrest and gradual accretion of the alluvial matter brought down by the waters.

The Susquehanna.

There is great diversity in the length of rivers, the force of their current, and the mass and complexion of their waters; but their peculiar character is obviously dependent upon that of the country in which they are situated. As it is the property of water to follow a descent, and the greatest descent that occurs in its way, the course of a river points out generally the direction in which the land declines, and the degree of the declination determines in part the velocity of its current, for the rapidity of the stream is influenced both by its volume of water and the declivity of its channel. Hence one river often pours its tide into another without causing any perceptible enlargement of its bed, the additional waters being disposed of by the creation of a more rapid current, for large masses of water travel with a swift and powerful impetus over nearly a level surface, upon which smaller rivers would have only a languid flow. In general, the fall of the great streams is much less than what would be supposed from a glance at their currents. The rapid Rhine has only a descent of four feet in a mile between Shaffhausen and Strasburg, and of two feet between the latter place and Schenckenschauts; and the mighty Amazon, whose collision with the tide of the Atlantic is of the most tremendous description, falls but four yards in the last 700 miles of its course, or one-fourth of an inch in 1¼ mile. In one part of its channel the Seine descends one foot in a mile; the Loire, between Pouilly and Briare, one foot in 7,500, and between Briare and Orleans one foot in 13,596; the Ganges, only nine inches; and, for 400 miles from its termination, the Paraguay has but a descent of one thirty-third of an inch in the whole distance. The fall of rivers is very unequally distributed; such, for instance, as the difference of the Rhine below Cologne and above Strasburg. The greatest fall is commonly experienced at their commencement, though there are some striking exceptions to this. The whole descent of the Shannon, from its source in Loch Allen to the sea, a distance of 234 miles, is 146 feet, which is seven inches and a fraction in a mile, but it falls 97 feet in a distance of 15 miles, between Killaloe and Limerick, and occupies the remaining 219 miles in descending 49 feet. When water has once received an impulse by following a descent, the simple pressure of the particles upon each other is sufficient to keep it in motion long after its bed has lost all inclination. The chief effect of the absence of a declivity is a slower movement of the stream, and a more winding course, owing to the aqueous particles being more susceptible of divergence from their original direction by impediments in their path. Hence the tortuous character of the water-courses, chiefly arising from the streams meeting with levels after descending inclined planes, which so slackens their speed that they are easily diverted from a right-onward direction by natural obstacles, to which the force of their current is inferior. The Mæander was famed in classical antiquity for its mazy course, descending from the pastures of Phrygia, with many involutions, into the vine-clad province of the Carians, which it divided from Lydia near a plain properly called the Mæandrian, where the bed was winding in a remarkable degree. From the name of this river we have our word meandering, as applied to erratic streams.

The Rhine at Oberweisel.

This circumstance increases prodigiously the extent of their channels, and renders their navigation tedious, but the absence of that velocity of the current which would make it difficult is a compensation, while a larger portion of the earth enjoys the benefit of their waters. The sources of the Mississippi are only 1250 miles from its mouth, following a straight line, but 3200 miles, pursuing its real path; and the Forth is actually three times the length of a straight line drawn from its rise to its termination. The rivers which flow through flat alluvial plains frequently exhibit great sinuosities, their waters returning nearly to the same point after an extensive tour. The Moselle, after a curved course of seventeen miles, returns to within a few hundred yards of the same spot; and a steamer on the Mississippi, after a sail of twenty-five or thirty miles, is brought round again, almost within hail of the place where it was two or three hours before. In high floods, the waters frequently force a passage through the isthmuses which are thus formed, converting the peninsulas into islands, and forming a nearer route for the navigator to pursue. By the “grand cut off” on the Mississippi, vessels now pass from one point to another in half a mile, in order to accomplish which they had formerly a distance of twenty miles to traverse.

Rivers receive a peculiar impress from the geological character of the districts through which they flow. Those of primary or transition countries, where sudden declivities abound, are bold and rapid streams, with steep and high banks, and usually pure waters, owing to the surface not being readily abraded, generally emptying themselves by a single mouth which is deep and unobstructed. The streams of secondary and alluvial districts flow with slow but powerful current, between low and gradually descending banks, which, being composed of soft rocks or alluvial grounds, are easily worn away by the waters, and hence great changes are effected in their channels, and a peculiar color is given to their streams by the earthy particles with which they are charged. Many rivers have their names from this last circumstance. The Rio Negro, or Black River, which flows into the Amazon, is so called on account of the dark color of its waters, which are of an amber hue wherever it is shallow, and dark brown wherever the depth is great. The names of the two great streams which unite to form the Nile, the Bahr-el-Abiad, or White River, from the Mountains of the Moon, and the Bahr-el-Azrek, or Blue River, from Abyssinia, refer to the color which they receive from the quantity of earth with which they are impregnated. The united rivers, for some distance after their junction, preserve their colors distinct. This is the case likewise with the Rhine and the Moselle; the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa. The Upper Mississippi is a transparent stream, but assumes the color of the Missouri upon joining that river, the mud of which is as copious as the water can hold in suspension, and of a white soapy hue. The Ohio brings into it a flood of a greenish color. The bright and dark red waters of the Arkansas and Red River afterward diminish the whiteness derived from the Missouri, and the volume of the Lower Mississippi bears along a tribute of vegetable soil, collected from the most distant quarters, and of the most various kind—the marl of the Rocky and the clay of the Black Mountains—the earth of the Alleghanies—and the red-loam washed from the hills at the sources of the Arkansas and the Red River. Mr. Lyell states that water flowing at the rate of three inches per second will tear up fine clay; six inches per second, fine sand; twelve inches per second, fine gravel; and three feet per second, stones of the size of an egg. He remarks, likewise, that the rapidity at the bottom of a stream is everywhere less than in any part above it, and is greatest at the surface; and that in the middle of the stream the particles at the top move swifter than those at the sides. The ease with which running water bears along large quantities of sand, gravel, and pebbles, ceases to surprise when we consider that the specific gravity of rocks in water is much less than in air.

It is chiefly in primary and transition countries that the rivers exhibit those sudden descents, which pass under the general denomination of falls, and form either cataracts or rapids. They occur in secondary regions, but more rarely, and the descent is of a more gentle description. The falls are generally found in the passage of streams from the primitive to the other formations. Thus the line which divides the primitive and alluvial formations on the coast of the United States, is marked by the falls or rapids of its rivers, while none occur in the alluvial below. Cataracts are formed by the descent of a river over a precipice which is perpendicular, or nearly so, and depend, for their sublimity, upon the height of the fall, and the magnitude of the stream. Rapids are produced by the occurrence of a steeply-inclined plane, over which the flood rushes with great impetuosity, yet without being projected over a precipice. The great rivers of England—the Thames, Trent and Severn—exhibit no example of either cataract or rapid, but pursue a generally even and noiseless course; though near their sources, while yet mere brooks and rivulets, most of our home streams present these features in a very miniature manner. A true rapid occurs in the course of the Shannon, just above Limerick, where the river, forty feet deep, and three hundred yards wide, pours its body of water through and above a congregation of huge rocks and stones, extending nearly half a mile, and becomes quite unnavigable. Inglis had never heard of this rapid before arriving in its neighborhood; but ranks it in grandeur and effect, above either the Welsh water-falls or the Geisbach in Switzerland. The river Adige, in the Tyrol, near Meran, rushes, with resistless force and deafening noise, down a descent nearly a mile in length, between quiet, green, pastoral banks, presenting one of the most magnificent spectacles to be met with in Europe. The celebrated cataracts of the Nile are, more properly speaking, rapids, as there is no considerable perpendicular fall of the river; but for a hundred miles at Wady Hafel, the second cataract reckoning upward, there is a succession of steep descents, and a multitude of rocky islands, among which the river dashes amid clouds of foam, and is tossed in perpetual eddies. It is along the course of the American rivers, however, that the most sublime and imposing rapids are found, rendered so by the great volumes of water contained in their channels. The more remarkable are those of the St. Lawrence, the chief of which, called the Coteau de Luc, the Cedars, the Split Rock, and the Cascades, occur in succession for about nine miles above Montreal and the junction of the Ottawa. At the rapid of St. Anne, on the latter river, the more devout of the Canadian voyageurs are accustomed to land, and implore the protection of the patron saint on their perilous expeditions, before a large cross at the village that bears her name. The words of a popular song have familiarized English ears with this habit of the hardy boatmen:⁠—

  “Faintly as tolls the evening chime,

   Our voices keep tune and our oars keep time.

   Soon as the woods on shore look dim,

   We’ll sing at St. Ann’s our parting hymn.

   Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast,

   The Rapids are near, and the daylight’s past.


  “Utawa’s tide! this trembling moon

   Shall see us float over thy surges soon.

   Saint of this green isle hear our prayers,

   Oh, grant us cool heavens and favoring airs.

   Blow, breezes, blow, the stream runs fast,

   The Rapids are near, and the daylight’s past.”

Kaaterskill Falls.

The Kaaterskill Falls here represented are celebrated in America for their picturesque beauty. The waters which supply these cascades flow from two small lakes in the Catskill Mountains, on the west bank of the Hudson. The upper cascade falls one hundred and seventy-five feet, and a few rods below the second pours its waters over a precipice eighty feet high, passing into a picturesque ravine, the banks of which rise abruptly on each side to the height of a thousand to fifteen hundred feet.

In the grandeur of their cataracts, also, the American rivers far surpass those of other countries, though several falls on the ancient continent have a greater perpendicular height, and are magnificent objects. In Sweden, the Gotha falls about 130 feet at Trolhetta, the greatest fall in Europe of the same body of water. The river is the only outlet of a lake, a hundred miles in length and fifty in breadth, which receives no fewer than twenty-four rivers; the water glides smoothly on, increasing in rapidity, but quite unruffled, until it reaches the verge of the precipice; it then darts over it in one broad sheet, which is broken by some jutting rocks, after a descent of about forty feet. Here begins a spectacle of great grandeur. The moving mass is tossed from rock to rock, now heaving itself up in yellow foam, now boiling and tossing in huge eddies, growing whiter and whiter in its descent, till completely fretted into one beautiful sea of snowy froth, the spray, rising in dense clouds, hides the abyss into which the torrent dashes; but when momentarily cleared away by the wind, a dreadful gulf is revealed, which the eye cannot fathom. Upon the arrival of a visitor at Trolhetta, a log of wood is sent down the fall, by persons who expect a trifle for the exhibition. It displays the resistless power of the element. The log, which is of gigantic dimensions, is tossed like a feather upon the surface of the water, and is borne to the foot almost in an instant. In Scotland, the falls of its rivers are seldom of great size; but the rocky beds over which they roar and dash in foam and spray—the dark, precipitous glens into which they rush—and the frequent wildness of the whole scenery around, are compensating features. The most remarkable instances are the Upper and Lower Falls of Foyers, near Loch Ness. At the upper fall, the river precipitates itself, at three leaps, down as many precipices, whose united depth is about 200 feet; but, at the lower, it makes a descent at once of 212 feet, and, after heavy rains, exhibits a grand appearance. The fall of the Rhine at Schaffhausen is only 70 feet; but the great mass of its waters, 450 feet in breadth, gives it an imposing character. The Teverone, near Tivoli, a comparatively small stream, is precipitated nearly 100 feet; and the Velino, near Terni, falls 300, which is generally considered the finest of the European cataracts. This “hell of waters,” as Byron calls it, is of artificial construction. A channel was dug by the Consul Carius Dentatus in the year 274 B. C., to convey the waters to the precipice, but having become filled up by a deposition of calcareous matter, it was widened and deepened by order of Pope Paul IV. “I saw,” says Byron, “the Cascata del Marmore of Terni twice at different periods; once from the summit of the precipice, and again from the valley below. The lower view is far to be preferred, if the traveler has time for one only; but in any point of view, either from above or below, it is worth all the cascades and torrents of Switzerland put together.”

Falls of Trolhetta.

In the Alpine highlands, the Evanson descends upward of 1200 feet, and the Orco forms a vertical cataract of 2400; but in these instances the quantity of water is small, and the chief interest is produced by the height from which it falls. At Staubbach, in the Swiss Canton of Berne, a small stream descends 1400 feet, and is shattered almost entirely into spray before it reaches the bottom.

Falls of Terni.

Waterfalls appear upon their grandest scale in the American continent. They are not remarkable for the height of the precipices over which they descend, or for the picturesque forms of the rocky cliffs amid which they are precipitated, like the Alpine cataracts; but while these are usually the fall of streamlets merely, those of the western world are the rush of mighty rivers. The majority are in the northern part of the continent, but the greatest vertical descent of a considerable body of water is in the southern, at the Falls of Tequendama, where the river of Funza disembogues from the elevated plain or valley of Santa Fe de Bogota. This valley is at a greater height above the level of the sea than the summit of the great St. Bernard, and is surrounded by lofty mountains. It appears to have been formerly the bed of an extensive lake, whose waters were drained off when the narrow passage was forced through which the Funza river now descends from the elevated inclosed valley toward the bed of the Rio Magdalena. Respecting this physical occurrence Gonzalo Ximenes de Quesada, the conqueror of the country, found the following tradition disseminated among the people, which probably contains a stratum of truth invested with a fabulous legend. In remote times the inhabitants of Bogota were barbarians, living without religion, laws, or arts. An old man on a certain occasion suddenly appeared among them of a race unlike that of the natives, and having a long, bushy beard. He instructed them in the arts, but he brought with him a malignant, although beautiful woman, who thwarted all his benevolent enterprises. By her magical power she swelled the current of the Funza, and inundated the valley, so that most of the inhabitants perished, a few only having found refuge in the neighboring mountains. The aged visitor then drove his consort from the earth, and she became the moon. He next broke the rocks that inclosed the valley on the Tequendama side, and by this means drained off the waters. Then he introduced the worship of the sun, appointed two chiefs, and finally withdrew to a valley, where he lived in the exercise of the most austere penitence during 2000 years. The Tequendama cataract is remarkably picturesque. The river a little above it is 144 feet in breadth, but at the crevice it is much narrower. The height of the fall is 574 feet, and the column of vapor that rises from it is visible from Santa Fe at the distance of 17 miles. At the foot of the precipice the vegetation has a totally different appearance from that at the summit, and the traveler, following the course of the river, passes from a plain in which the cereal plants of Europe are cultivated, and which abounds with oaks, elms, and other trees resembling those of the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, and enters a country covered with palms, bananas, and sugar-canes.

In Northern America, however, we find the greatest of all cataracts, that of the Niagara, the sublimest object on earth, according to the general opinion of all travelers. More varied magnificence is displayed by the ocean, and giant masses of the Andes and Himalaya; but no single spectacle is so striking and wonderful as the descent of this sea-like flood, the overplus of four extensive lakes. The river is about thirty-three miles in length, extending from lake Erie to lake Ontario, and three-quarters of a mile wide at the fall. There is nothing in the neighboring country to indicate the vicinity of the astonishing phenomenon here exhibited. Leaving out lake Erie, the traveler passes over a level though somewhat elevated plain, through which the river flows tranquilly, bordered by fertile and beautiful banks; but soon a deep, awful sound, gradually growing louder, breaks upon the ear—the roar of the distant cataract. Yet the eye discerns no sign of the spectacle about to be disclosed until a mile from it, when the water begins to ripple, and is broken into a series of dashing and foaming rapids. After passing these, the river becomes more tranquil, though rolling onward with tremendous force, till it reaches the brink of the great precipice. The fall itself is divided into two unequal portions by the intervention of Goat Island, a façade near 1000 feet in breadth. The one on the British side of the river, called the Horse-Shoe fall, from its shape, according to the most careful estimate, is 2100 feet broad, and 149 feet 9 inches high. The other or American fall is 1140 feet broad, and 164 feet high. The former is far superior to the latter in grandeur. The great body of the water passes over the precipice with such force, that it forms a curved sheet which strikes the stream below at the distance of 50 feet from the base, and some travelers have ventured between the descending flood and the rock itself. Hannequin asserts that four coaches might be driven abreast through this awful chasm. The quantity of water rolling over these falls has been estimated at 670,250 tons per minute. It is impossible to appreciate the scene created by this immense torrent, apart from its site.

  “The thoughts are strange that crowd into my brain,

   While I look upward to thee. It would seem

   As if God poured thee from his hollow hand,

   And hung his bow upon thine awful front;

   And spoke in that loud voice which seemed to him

   Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour’s sake,

   The sound of many waters; and had bade

   Thy flood to chronicle the ages back,

   And notch his centuries in the eternal rocks.

   Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we,

   That hear the question of that voice sublime?

   Oh! what are all the notes that ever rung

   From war’s vain trumpet, by thy thundering side?

   Yea, what is all the riot man can make,

   In his short life, to thy unceasing roar?

   And yet, Bold Babbler! what art thou to Him,

   Who drowned a world, and heaped the waters far

   Above its loftiest mountains?—a light wave,

   That breaks, and whispers of its Maker’s might.”

It has been remarked that at Niagara, several objects composing the chief beauty of other celebrated water-falls are altogether wanting. There are no cliffs reaching to an extraordinary height, crowned with trees, or broken into picturesque and varied forms; for, though one of the banks is wooded, the forest scenery on the whole is not imposing. The accompaniments, in short, rank here as nothing. There is merely the display, on a scale elsewhere unrivaled, of the phenomena appropriate to this class of objects. There is the spectacle of a falling sea, the eye filled almost to its utmost reach by the rushing of mighty waters. There is the awful plunge into the abyss beneath, and the reverberation thence in endless lines of foam, and in numberless whirlpools and eddies; there are clouds of spray that fill the whole atmosphere, amid which the most brilliant rainbows, in rapid succession, glitter and disappear; above all, there is the stupendous sound, of the peculiar character of which all writers, with their utmost efforts, seem to have vainly attempted to convey an idea. Bouchette describes it as “grand, commanding and majestic, filling the vault of heaven when heard in its fullness”—as “a deep, round roar, and alternation of muffled and open sounds, to which there is nothing exactly corresponding.” Captain Hall compares it to the ceaseless, rumbling, deep-monotonous sound of a vast mill, which, though not very practical, is generally considered as approaching near to the reality. Dr. Reed states, “it is not like the sea; nor like the thunder; nor like any thing I have heard. There is no roar, no rattle; nothing sharp or angry in its tones; it is deep, awful—One.” The diffusion of the noise varies according to the state of the atmosphere and the direction of the wind, but it may be heard under favorable circumstances through a distance of forty-six miles: at Toronto, across Lake Ontario. To the geologist the Niagara falls have interest, on account of the movement which it is supposed has taken place in their position. The force of the waters appears to be wearing away the rock over which they rush, and gradually shifting the cataract higher up the river. It is conceived that by this process it has already receded in the course of ages through a distance of more than seven miles, from a point between Queenstown and Lewiston, to which the high level of the country continues. The rate of procession is fixed, according to an estimate, mentioned by Mr. M’Gregor, at eighteen feet during the thirty years previous to 1810; but he adds another more recent, which raises it to one hundred and fifty feet in fifty years.

The following account of a visit to the Falls of Niagara has been communicated to us by Mr. N. Gould. It forms a part of his unpublished Notes on America and Canada.

“My attention had been kept alive, and I was all awake to the sound of the cataract; but, though within a few miles, I heard nothing. A cloud hanging nearly steady over the forest, was pointed out to me as the ‘spray cloud;’ at length we drove up to Forsyth’s hotel, and the mighty Niagara was full in view. My first impression was that of disappointment—a sour sort of deep disappointment, causing, for a few minutes, a kind of vacuity; but, while I mused, I began to take in the grandeur of the scene. This impression is not unusual on viewing objects beyond the ready catch of the senses; Stonehenge and St. Paul’s cathedral seldom excite much surprise at first sight; the enormous Pyramids, I have heard travelers say, strike with awe and silence on the near approach, but require time to appreciate. The fact is, that the first view of Niagara is a bad one; and the eye, in this situation, can comprehend but a small part of the wonderful scene. You look down upon the cataract instead of up to it; the confined channel, and the depth of it, prevent the astounding roar which was anticipated; and, at the same time, the eye wanders midway between the water and the cloud formed by the spray, which it sees not. After a quarter of an hour’s gaze, I felt a kind of fascination—a desire to find myself gliding into eternity in the centre of the Grand Fall, over which the bright green water appears to glide, like oil, without the least commotion. I approached nearly to the edge of the ‘Table Rock,’ and looked into the abyss. A lady from Devonshire had just retired from the spot; I was informed she had approached its very edge, and sat with her feet over the edge—an awful and dangerous proceeding. Having viewed the spot, and made myself acquainted with some of its localities, I returned to the hotel (Forsyth’s) which, as well as its neighboring rival, is admirably situated for the view; from my chamber-window I looked directly upon it, and the first night I could find but little sleep from the noise. Every view I took increased my admiration; and I began to think that the other Falls I had seen were, in comparison, like runs from kettle-spouts on hot plates. I remained in this interesting neighborhood five days, and saw the Fall in almost every point of view. From its extent, and the angular line it forms, the eye cannot embrace it all at once; and, probably, from this cause it is that no drawing has ever yet done justice to it. The grandest view, in my opinion, is at the bottom, and close to it, on the British side, where it is awful to look up through the spray at the immense body as it comes pouring over, deafening you with its roar; the lighter spray, at a considerable distance, hangs poised in the air like an eternal cloud. The next best view is on the American side, to reach which you cross in a crazy ferry-boat: the passage is safe enough, but the current is strongly agitated. Its depth, as near to the falls as can be approached, is from 180 to 200 feet. The water, as it passes over the rock, where it is not whipped into foam, is a most beautiful sea-green, and it is the same at the bottom of the Falls. The foam, which floats away in large bodies, feels and looks like salt water after a storm: it has a strong fishy smell. The river, at the ferry, is 1170 feet wide. There is a great quantity of fish, particularly sturgeon and bass, as well as eels; the latter creep up against the rock under the Falls, as if desirous of finding some mode of surmounting the heights. Some of the visitors go under the Falls, an undertaking more curious than pleasant. Three times did I go down to the house, and once paid for my guide and bathing dress, when something occurred to prevent me. The lady before alluded to performed the ceremony, and it is recorded, with her name, in the book, that she went to the farthest extent that the guides can or will proceed. It is described as like being under a heavy shower-bath, with a tremendous whirlwind driving your breath from you, and causing a peculiarly unpleasant sensation at the chest; the footing over the débris being slippery, the darkness barely visible, and the roar almost deafening. In the passage you kick against eels, many of them unwilling to move, even when touched: they appear to be endeavoring to work their way up the stream.”

Supposing the cataract to be receding at the rate of fifty yards in forty years, as it is stated by Captain Hall, the ravine which extends from thence to Queenstown, a distance of seven miles, will have required nearly ten thousand years for its excavation; and, at the same rate, it will require upward of thirty-five thousand years for the falls to recede to Lake Erie, a distance of twenty-five miles. The draining of the lake, which is not more than ten or twelve fathoms in average depth, must then take place, causing a tremendous deluge by the sudden escape of its waters. In addition to the gradual erosion of the limestone, which forms the bed of the Niagara at and above the falls, huge masses of the rock are occasionally detached by the undermining of the soft shale upon which it rests. This effect is produced by the action of the spray powerfully thrown back upon the stratum of shale; and hence has arisen the great hollow between the descending flood and the precipice. An immense fragment fell on the 28th of December, 1828, with a crash that shook the glass vessels in the adjoining inn, and was felt at the distance of two miles from the spot. By this disintegration, the angular or horse-shoe form of the great fall was lessened, and its grandeur heightened by the line of the torrent becoming more horizontal. A similar dislocation had occurred in the year 1818; and the aspect of the precipice always so threatening, owing to the wearing away of the lower stratum, as to render it an affair of some real hazard to venture between the falling waters and the rock. Miss Martineau undertook the enterprise, clad in the oil-skin costume used for the expedition, and thus remarks concerning it:—“A hurricane blows up from the cauldron; a deluge drives at you from all parts; and the noise of both wind and waters, reverberated from the cavern, is inconceivable. Our path was sometimes a wet ledge of rock, just broad enough to allow one person at a time to creep along: in other places we walked over heaps of fragments, both slippery and unstable. If all had been dry and quiet, I might probably have thought this path above the boiling basin dangerous, and have trembled to pass it; but, amidst the hubbub of gusts and floods, it appeared so firm a footing, that I had no fear of slipping into the cauldron. From the moment that I perceived we were actually behind the cataract, and not in a mere cloud of spray, the enjoyment was intense. I not only saw the watery curtain before me like tempest-driven snow, but, by momentary glances, could see the crystal roof of this most wonderful of Nature’s palaces. The precise point where the flood quitted the rock was marked by a gush of silvery light, which of course was brighter where the waters were shooting forward, than below, where they fell perpendicularly.” There have been several hair-breadth escapes, and not a few fatal accidents, at Niagara, the relation of which is highly illustrative of Indian magnanimity. Tradition preserves the memory of the warrior of the red race, who got entangled in the rapids above the falls, and, seeing his fate inevitable, calmly resigned himself to it, and sat singing in his canoe till buried by the torrent in the abyss to which it plunges. The celebrated Chateaubriand narrowly escaped a similar fate. On his arrival he had repaired to the fall, having the bridle of his horse twisted round his arm. While he was stopping to look down, a rattle-snake stirred among the neighboring bushes. The horse was startled, reared, and ran back toward the abyss. He could not disengage his arm from the bridle; and the horse, more and more frightened, dragged him after him. His fore-legs were all but off the ground; and, squatting on the brink of the precipice, he was upheld merely by the bridle. He gave himself up for lost; when the animal, astonished at this new danger, threw itself forward with a pirouette, and sprang to the distance of ten feet from the edge of the abyss.

The erosive action of running water, which is urging the Niagara Falls toward Lake Erie, is strikingly exhibited by several rivers which penetrate through rocks and beds of compact strata, and have either scooped out their own passage entirely, or widened and deepened original tracks and fissures in the surface, into enormous wall-sided valleys. The current of the Simeto—the largest Sicilian river round the base of Etna—was crossed by a great stream of lava about two centuries and a half ago; but, since that era, the river has completely triumphed over the barrier of homogeneous hard blue rock that intruded into its channel, and cut a passage through it from fifty to a hundred feet broad, and from forty to fifty deep. The formation of the magnificent rock-bridge which overhangs the course of the Cedar creek, one of the natural wonders of Virginia, is very probably due in part to the solvent and abrading power of the stream. This sublime curiosity is 213 feet above the river, 60 feet wide, 90 long, and the thickness of the mass at the summit of the arch is about 40 feet. The bridge has a coating of earth, which gives growth to several large trees. To look down from its edge into the chasm inspires a feeling answering to the words of Shakspeare:

  “Come on, sir; here’s the place:—stand still. How fearful

   And dizzy ’tis, to cast one’s eyes so low!”

Few have resolution enough to walk to the parapet, in order to peep over it. But if the view from the top is painful and intolerable, that from below is pleasing in an equal degree. The beauty, elevation, and lightness of the arch, springing as it were up to heaven, present a striking instance of the graceful in combination with the sublime. This great arch of rock gives the name of Rock-bridge to the county in which it is situated, and affords a public and commodious passage over a valley which cannot be crossed elsewhere for a considerable distance. Under the arch, thirty feet from the water, the lower part of the letters G. W. may be seen, carved in the rock. They are the initials of Washington, who, when a youth, climbed up hither, and left this record of his adventure. We have several examples of the disappearance of rivers, and their emergence after pursuing for some distance a subterranean course. In these cases a barrier of solid rock, overlaying a softer stratum has occurred in their path; and the latter has been gradually worn away by the waters, and a passage been constructed through it. Thus the Tigris, about twenty miles from its source, meets with a mountainous ridge at Diglou, and, running under it, flows out at the opposite side. The Rhone, also, soon after coming within the French frontier, passes under ground for about a quarter of a mile. Milton, in one of his juvenile poems, speaks of the

  “Sullen Mole, that runneth underneath;”

and Pope calls it, after him, the

  “Sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood.”

Natural Bridge, Virginia.

The Hamps and the Manifold, likewise—two small streams in Derbyshire—flow in separate subterraneous channels for several miles, and emerge within fifteen yards of each other in the grounds of Ilam Hall. That these are really the streams which are swallowed up at points several miles distant has been frequently proved, by watching the exit of various light bodies that have been absorbed at the swallows. At their emergence, the waters of the two rivers differ in temperature about two degrees—an obvious proof that they do not anywhere intermingle. On the side of the hill, which is overshadowed with spreading trees, just above the spot where the streams break forth into daylight, there is a rude grotto, scooped out of the rock, in which Congreve is said to have written his comedy of the “Old Bachelor,” and a part of his “Mourning Bride.” In Spain, a similar phenomenon is exhibited by the Guadiana; but it occurs under different circumstances. It disappears for about seven leagues—an effect of the absorbing power of the soil—the intervening space consisting of sandy and marshy grounds, across which the road to Andalusia passes by a long bridge or causeway. The river reappears with greater power, after its dispersion, at the Ojos de Guadiana—the Eyes of the stream.

[To be continued.





  Not those who’ve trod the martial field,

    And led to arms a battling host,

  And at whose name “the world grew pale,”

    Will be in time remembered most:


  But they who’ve walked the “paths of peace,”

    And gave their aid to deeds t’were just,

  Shall live for aye, on Mem’ry’s page,

    When heroes sleep in unknown dust.





THE BITTERN. AMERICAN BITTERN. Ardea Minor sive Lentiginos.


This, though a very common and extremely beautiful bird, with an exceedingly extensive geographic range, is the object of a very general and perfectly inexplicable prejudice and dislike, common, it would seem, to all classes. The gunner never spares it, although it is perfectly inoffensive; and although the absurd prejudice, to which I have alluded, causes him to cast it aside, when killed, as uneatable carrion; its flesh being in reality very delicate and juicy, and still held in high repute in Europe; while here one is regarded very much in the light of a cannibal, as I have myself experienced, for venturing to eat it. The farmer and the boatman stigmatize it by a filthy and indecent name. The cook turns up her nose at it, and throws it to the cat; for the dog, wiser than his master, declines it—not as unfit to eat, but as game, and therefore meat for his masters.

Now the Bittern would not probably be much aggrieved at being voted carrion, provided his imputed carrion-dom, as Willis would probably designate the condition, procured him immunity from the gun.

But to be shot first and thrown away afterward, would seem to be the very excess of that condition described by the common phrase of adding injury to insult.

Under this state of mingled persecution and degradation, it must be the Bittern’s best consolation that, in the days of old, when the wine of Auxerre, now the common drink of republican Yankeedom, which annually consumes of it, or in lieu of it, more than grows of it annually in all France, was voted by common consent the drink of kings—he, with his congener and compatriot the Heronschaw, was carved by knightly hands, upon the noble deas under the royal canopy, for gentle dames and peerless damoiselles; nay, was held in such repute, that it was the wont of prowest chevaliers, when devoting themselves to feats of emprise most perilous, to swear “before God, the bittern, and the ladies!” an honor to which no quadruped, and but two plumy bipeds, other than himself, the heron and the peacock, were admitted.

Those were the days, before gunpowder, “grave of chivalry,” was taught to Doctor Faustus by the Devil, who did himself no good by the indoctrination, but exactly the reverse, since war is thereby rendered less bloody, and much more uncruel—the days when no booming duck-gun keeled him over with certain and inglorious death, as he flapped up with his broad vans beating the cool autumnal air, and his long, greenish-yellow legs pendulous behind him, from out of the dark sheltering water-flags by the side of the brimful river, or the dark woodland tarn; but when the cheery yelp of a cry of feathery-legged spaniels aroused him from his arundinaceous, which is interpreted by moderns reedy, lair; when the triumphant whoop of the jovial falconers saluted his uprising; and when he was done to death right chivalrously, with honorable law permitted to him, as to the royal stag, before the long-winged Norway falcons, noblest of all the fowls of air, were unhooded and cast off to give him gallant chase.

If, when struck down from his pride of place by the crook-beaked blood-hound of the air, his legs were mercilessly broken, and his long bill thrust into the ground, that the falcon might dispatch him without fear of consequences, and at leisure, it was doubtless a source of pride to him, as to the tortured Indian at the stake, to be so tormented, since the amount of the torture was commensurate with the renown of the tortured; besides—for which the Bittern was, of course, truly grateful—it was his high and extraordinary prerogative to have his legs broken as aforesaid, and his long bill thrust into the ground, by the fair hand of the loveliest lady present—thrice blessed Bittern of the days of old.

A very different fate, in sooth, from being riddled with a charge of double Bs from a rusty flint-lock Queen Anne’s musket, poised by the horny paws of John Verity, and then ignobly cast to fester in the sun, among the up-piled eel-skins, fish-heads, king-crabs, and the like, with which, in lieu of garden-patch or well-trained rose-bush, the south-side Long Islander ornaments his front-door yard, rejoicing in the effluvia of the said decomposed piscine exuviæ, which he regards as “considerable hullsome,” beyond Sabæan odors, Syrian nard, or frankincense from Araby the blest!

Being eaten is being eaten after all; whether it be by a New Zealand war-chief, a New York alderman, a peerless lady, or a muck-worm; and I suppose it feels much the same, after one is once well dead; but, if I had my choice, I would most prefer to be eaten by the damoiselle of high degree, and most dislike to be battened on by the alderman, as being more ravenous and less appreciative than either Zealander or muck-worm.

The Bittern, however, be it said in sober earnest, although like many other delicious dishes prized by the wiser ancients, but now fallen into disuse, if not into disrepute—to wit, the heronschaw, the peacock, the curlew, and the swan—all first-rate dainties to the wise—is a viand not easily to be beaten, especially if he be sagely cooked in a well-baked, rich-crusted pastry, with a tender and fat rump-steak in the bottom of the dish, a beef’s kidney scored to make gravy, a handful of cloves, salt and black pepper quantum suff., a dozen hard-boiled eggs, and a pint of scalding-hot port wine poured in just before you serve up.

What you say, is perfectly true, my dear madam, cooked in that manner an old India rubber shoe is good; not only would be, but is. But you’d better believe it, a Bittern is a great deal better. If you don’t believe me, try the Bittern, and then if you prefer it, adhere to the shoe.

But now to quit his edible qualifications and turn to his personal appearance, habits of life, and location, and other characteristics, we will say of him, in the words of Wilson, that eloquent pioneer in the natural history of America, that the American Bittern, whom it pleases the Count de Buffon to designate as Le Butor de la Baye de Hudson, “is another nocturnal species, common to all our sea and river marshes, though nowhere numerous. It rests all day among the reeds and rushes, and, unless disturbed, flies and feeds only during the night. In some places it is called the Indian Hen; on the sea-coast of New Jersey it is known by the name of dunkadoo, a word probably imitative of its common note. They are also found in the interior, having myself killed one at the inlet of the Seneca Lake, in October. It utters at times, a hollow, guttural note among the reeds, but has nothing of that loud, booming sound for which the European Bittern is so remarkable. This circumstance, with its great inferiority of size, and difference of marking, sufficiently prove them to be two distinct species, although, hitherto, the present has been classed as a mere variety of the European Bittern. These birds, we are informed, visit Severn river, at Hudson’s Bay, about the beginning of June; make their nests in swamps, laying four cinereous green eggs among the long grass. The young are said to be, at first, black.

“These birds, when disturbed, rise with a hollow kwa, and are then easily shot down, as they fly heavily. Like other night birds, their sight is most acute during the evening twilight; but their hearing is, at all times, exquisite.

“The American Bittern is twenty-seven inches long, and three feet four inches in extent; from the point of the bill to the extremity of the toes, it measures three feet; the bill is four inches long; the upper mandible black; the lower, greenish yellow; lores and eyelids, yellow; irides, bright yellow; upper part of the head, flat, and remarkably depressed; the plumage there is of a deep blackish brown, long behind and on the neck, the general color of which is a yellowish brown, shaded with darker; this long plumage of the neck the bird can throw forward at will, when irritated, so as to give him a more formidable appearance; throat, whitish, streaked with deep brown; from the posterior and lower part of the auriculars, a broad patch of deep black passes diagonally across the neck, a distinguished characteristic of this species; the back is deep brown, barred, and mottled with innumerable specks and streaks of brownish yellow; quills, black, with a leaden gloss, and tipped with yellowish brown; legs and feet, yellow, tinged with pale green; middle claw, pectinated; belly, light yellowish brown, streaked with darker; vent, plain; thighs, sprinkled on the outside with grains of dark brown; male and female, nearly alike, the latter somewhat less. According to Bewick, the tail of the European Bittern contains only ten feathers; the American species has, invariably, twelve. The intestines measured five feet six inches in length, and were very little thicker than a common knitting-needle; the stomach is usually filled with fish or frogs.[1]

“This bird, when fat, is considered by many to be excellent eating.”

It is on the strength of Mr. Wilson’s statement as above that I have given among the vulgar appellations of this beautiful bird that of Dunkadoo; though I must admit that I never heard him called a Dunkadoo, either on the sea-coast of New Jersey or any where else; and further must put it on record, that if the sea-coasters of New Jersey did coin the said melodious word as imitative of its common note, they proved much worse imitators than I have found them in whistling bay snipe, hawnking Canada geese, or yelping Brant. They might just as well have called him a Cockatoo, while they were about it.

The other name, Quawk, by which it is generally known both on the sea-coast of New Jersey, and every where else where the vernacular of America prevails, is precisely imitative of the harsh clanging cry with which he rises from the reeds in which he lurks during the day-time, and which he utters while disporting himself in queer clumsy gyrations in mid air, over the twilight marshes in the dusk of summer evenings; and how nearly Quawk approaches to Dunkadoo, that one of my readers who is the least appreciative of the comparative value of sweet sounds, can judge as well as I can.

In England the Bittern, who there is possessed of a voice between the sounds of a bassoon and kettle-drum, with which he makes a most extraordinary booming noise, which can be heard for miles, if not for leagues, over the midnight marshes, a noise the most melancholy and unearthly that ever shot superstitious horror into the bosom of the belated wayfarer, who is unconscious of its cause, has also been designated by the country people, from his cry, “the bog-bumper,” and the “bluttery bump”—but as our bird—the United Stateser, I mean, or Alleghanian, as the New York Historical Society Associates would designate their countrymen—Bittern never either booms, blutters or bumps, but only quawks; a quawk only he must be content to remain, whether with the sea-coasters of New Jersey, the south-siders of Long Island, or my friends, the Ojibwas of Lake Huron.

In another respect I cannot precisely agree with the acute and observant naturalist quoted above, as to its ungregarious nature, since on more occasions than one I have seen these birds together in such numbers, and under such circumstances of association, as would certainly justify the application to them of the word flock.

One of these occasions I remember well, as it occurred while snipe-shooting on the fine marshes about the riviere aux Canards in Canada West, when several times I saw as many as five or six flush together from out of the high reeds, as if in coveys; and this was late in September, so that they could not well have been young broods still under the parental care.

At another time I saw them in yet greater numbers and acting together, as it appeared, in a sort of concert. I was walking, I cannot now recollect why, or to what end, along the marshes on the bank of the Hackensack river, between the railroad bridge and that very singular knoll named Snakehill, which rises abruptly out of the meadows like an island out of the ocean. It was late in the summer evening, the sun had gone quite down, and a thick gray mist covered the broad and gloomy river. On a sudden, I was almost startled by a loud quawk close above my head; and, on looking up, observed a large Bittern wheeling round and round, now soaring up a hundred feet or more, and then suddenly diving, or to speak more accurately, falling, plump down, with his legs and wings all relaxed and abroad, precisely as if he had been shot dead, uttering at the moment of each dive a loud quawk. While I was still engaged in watching his manœuvres, he was answered, and a second Bittern came floating through the darksome air, and joined his companion. Another and another followed, and within ten or twelve minutes, there must have been from fifteen to twenty of these large birds all gamboling and disporting themselves together, circling round one another in their gyratory flight, and making the night any thing, certainly, but melodious by their clamors. What was the meaning of those strange nocturnal movements I cannot so much as guess; it was not early enough in the spring to be connected in any way with the amatory propensities of the birds, or I should have certainly set it down, like the peculiar flight, the unusual chatter, and the drumming, performed with the quill-feathers, of the American snipe—Scolopax Wilsonii—commonly known as the English snipe, during the breeding season, as a preliminary to incubation, nidification, and the reproduction of the species—in a word, as a sort of bird courtship. The season of the year put a stopper on that interpretation, and I can conceive none other than that the Quawks were indulging themselves in an innocent game of romps, preparatory to the more serious and solemn enjoyment of a fish and frog supper.

The Bittern, it appears, on the Severn river, emptying into Hudson’s Bay, makes its nest in the long grass of the marshes, and there lays its eggs and rears its black, downy young; but several years ago, while residing at Bangor, in Maine, while on a visit to a neighboring heronry, situated on an island covered with a dense forest of tall pines and hemlocks, I observed a pair of Bitterns flying to and fro, from the tree-tops to the river and back, with fish in their bills, among the herons which were similarly engaged in the same interesting occupation of feeding their young. One of these, the male bird, I shot, for the purpose of settling the fact, and we afterward harried the nest, and obtained two full-grown young birds, almost ready to fly.

Hence, I presume, that, like many other varieties of birds, the Bittern adapts his habits, even of nidification, to the purposes of the case, and that where no trees are to be found, in which he can breed, he makes the best he can of it, and builds on the ground; but it is my opinion that his more usual and preferred situation for his nest is in high trees, as is the case with his congeners, the Green Bittern, the blue heron, the beautiful white egret, the night heron, which may be all found breeding together in hundreds among the red cedars on the sea beach of Cape May. The nest, which I found in Maine, was built of sticks, precisely similar to that of the herons.

The Bittern is a more nocturnal bird than the heron, and is never seen, like him, standing motionless as a gray stone, with his long slender neck recurved, his javelin-like bill poised for the stroke, and his keen eye piercing the transparent water in search of the passing fry.

All day he rambles about among the tall grass and reeds of the marshes, sometimes pouncing on an unfortunate frog, a garter-snake, or a mouse, for, like the blue heron, he is a clever and indefatigable mouser; but when the evening comes, he bestirs himself, spreads his broad vans, rises in air, summoning up his comrades by his hoarse clang, and wings his way over the dim morasses, to the banks of some neighboring rivulet or pool, where he watches, erect sentinel, for the passing fish, shiners, small eels, or any of the lesser tribes of the cyprinidæ, and whom he detects, wo-betide; for the stroke of his sharp-pointed bill, dealt with Parthian velocity and certitude by the long arrowy neck, is sure death to the unfortunate.

Mr. Giraud, in his excellent book on the birds of Long Island, thus speaks of the American Bittern, and that so truthfully and agreeably withal, that I make no apology for quoting his words at length.

“This species is said to have been the favorite bird of the Indians, and at this day is known to many persons by the name of “Indian Hen,” or “Pullet,” though more familiarly by the appellation of “Look-up,” so called from its habit, when standing on the marshes, of elevating its head, which position, though probably adopted as a precautionary measure, frequently leads to its destruction. The gunners seem to have a strong prejudice against this unoffending bird, and whenever opportunity offers, seldom allow it to escape. It does not move about much by day, though it is not strictly nocturnal, but is sometimes seen flying low over the meadow, in pursuit of short-tailed or meadow-mice, which I have taken whole from its stomach. It also feeds on fish, frogs, lizards, etc.; and late in the season, its flesh is in high esteem—but it cannot be procured in any number except when the marshes are overflowed by unusually high tides, when it is hunted much after the manner the gunners adopt when in pursuit of rail. On ordinary occasions, it is difficult to flush; the instant it becomes aware that it has attracted the attention of the fowler, it lowers its head and runs quickly through the grass, and when again seen, is usually in a different direction from that taken by its pursuer, whose movements it closely watches; and when thus pursued, seldom exposes more than the head, leading the gunner over the marsh without giving him an opportunity to accomplish his purpose.

“When wounded, it makes a vigorous resistance, erects the feathers on the head and neck, extends its wings, opens its bill, and assumes a fierce expression—will attack the dog, and even its master, and when defending itself, directs its acute bill at its assailant’s eye. It does not usually associate with other herons, nor does it seem fond of the society of its own species. Singly or in pairs it is distributed over the marshes, but with us it is not abundant.”

The geographical range of this bird is, as I have before stated, very extensive, extending from the shores of Hudson’s Bay, in the extreme north, so far south at least as to the Cape of Florida, and probably yet farther down the coasts of the Mexican gulfs.

That fanciful blockhead, the Count de Buffon—for he was a most almighty blockhead when he set himself drawing on his imagination for facts—with his usual eloquent absurdity, describes the species as “exhibiting the picture of wretchedness, anxiety, and indigence; condemned to struggle perpetually with misery and want; sickened with the restless cravings of a famished appetite;” a description so ridiculously untrue, that were it possible for these birds to comprehend it, it would excite the risibility of the whole tribe.

If the count had seen the Quawks, as I did, at their high jinks, by the Hackensack, he would have scarce written such folly; and had he been a little more of a true philosopher, and thorough naturalist, he would have comprehended that whatsoever being the Universal Creator hath created unto any end—to that end he adapted him, not in his physical structure only, but in his instincts, his appetites, his tastes, his pleasures and his pains; and that to the patient Bittern, motionless on his mud-bank, that watch is as charming, as is the swift pursuit of the small bird to the falcon, of the rabbit to the fox, of the hare to the greyhound, of all the animals devoured to all the devourers; and that his frog diet is as dear to Ardea Lentiginosa, as his flower dew to the humming-bird, or his canvas-backs, in the tea-room, to an alderman of Manhattan.

As for the Bittern starving, eat a fat one in a pie, and you’ll be a better judge of that probability, than any Buffon ever bred in France; and as for all the rest—it is just French humbug.

At another opportunity, I may speak of others of this interesting tribe. Sportsmen rarely go out especially to hunt them, except in boats, as described by Mr. Giraud, but in snipe and duck-shooting in the marshes they are constantly flushed and shot.

Pointers and setters will both stand them steadily, and cocking spaniels chase them with ardor. Their flight is slow and heavy, and their tardy movements and large size render them an easy mark even to a novice. They are not a hardy bird, as to the bearing off shot; for the loose texture of their feathers is more than ordinarily penetrable, and a light charge of No. 8, will usually bring them down with certainty.

When wing-tipped they fight fiercely, striking with their long beaks at the eyes of the assailant, whether dog or man, and laying aside resistance only with their lives.

Early in the autumn is the best time both for shooting him and eating him, and for the latter purpose he is better than for the former; but for the noble art of falconry, the mystery of rivers, he is the best of all. Avium facile princeps; easily the Topsawyer of the birds of flight, unless it be his cousin german heronshaw, whom the princely Dane knew from a hawk, when the wind was nor-nor-west.

I have taken an entire water-rail from the stomach of the European Bittern.—Ed.





  Wild roses by the river grow,

    And lilies by the stream,

  And there I pulled the blossoms fair

    In young love’s happy dream.


  The lilies bent upon the stem

    In many a graceful twine,

  But lighter was the slender form

    Of her I dreamed was mine.


  The wilding-rose hath fairer hues

    Than other flowers have known,

  But lovelier tints were on the cheek

    Of her I called mine own.


  I pulled my love the wilding-rose,

    The lily-bell so frail,

  Sudden the flowers were scattered far,

    Reft by the envious gale.


  So from my life was reft away

    Love’s flower; I dwell alone,

  Far severed by relentless fate

    From her I called mine own.


  Still by the river blooms the rose,

    The lily by the stream,

  I pull no more the blossoms fair,

    Fled is love’s happy dream.





  “My right to love, and thine to know,

   The life-stream, in its seaward flow,

   Glides, chainless, ’neath the drifted snow.”


Wherever it listeth the free-born wind bloweth:

Wherever it willeth the stream of song floweth:

It revels in twin-light—its lone threads run single;

It passeth calm seas with wild Caspians to mingle.


If blest with true life-mate, in roughest of weather,

They join their glad voices and rush on together;

If lost in a lake whose fair surface is calmer,

It but hides in its bosom to warble there warmer.


If Spring lay a couch all enameled with flowers,

It lingers, enrapt, with the soft rosy hours,

And lists the wood-birds, and the meek insect-hummer,

Through the soft, growing idless of thought-teeming Summer.


And when Fall strews a carpet of brown o’er the meadow

It rests in the dusk of some mountain’s vast shadow;

Laughs out at the vain who look in for their faces,

For it mirrors great groups of the Nations and Races.


Though the Song-stream must cease all its rich, liquid flowing

When Time’s boreal breath o’er cold icebergs is blowing,

While closed the chill surface its depths who shall number,

Or the beats of its heart through the long polar slumber!


For the stream of true song hath a far-reaching mission;

It but gropeth while here, like sick sleeper in vision;

Or like volatile babe, its first word-lessons taking,

It catches faint glimpse of the vastness awaking.


As whither it listeth the free-born wind bloweth,

Wherever God willeth the true Song-stream floweth:

From all Dead Seas it holdeth its crystal wave single,

Till it riseth from earth with sky-dews to commingle.






Of all the leading characteristics of the present age, the most remarkable, and that which is evolving results of the greatest moment, is the general prevalence, and almost universal application of labor-saving machines, of one sort or another, which are gradually but surely bringing about a thorough revolution in all the forms of human industry.

Horse-power, man-power, nay! but almost wind and water power also, are rapidly becoming things almost obsolete and disused; while the giant might of the labor-imprisoned steam is pressed into services the most multifarious and diverse; now speeding the mighty ship with a regularity of time and pace exceeded only, if exceeded, by that of the chronometer; now whirling along, through the ringing grooves of iron, trains, the weight of which must be reckoned not by hundreds nor by thousands, but by tens of thousands of tons, measuring miles by minutes, and almost annihilating time and space; now drilling the smallest eye of the finest needle, turning the most delicate thread of the scarce visible screw, drawing out metallic wires to truly fabulous fineness, or spinning the sea island cottons of the South to threads, beside which the silkiest hair of the softest and most feminine of women waxes apparently to the thickness of a cable.

Henceforth it is apparent that of man, the worker, the skill and the slight, no more the sinews and the sweat, are to be called into requisition; that the head, and not the hand, is to be the chief instrument; that the intellectual and no longer the physical forces are to predominate, even in the merest labor.

To direct, not to wield, the power is henceforth to be the principal duty of the mechanic, even of the lowest grade; and in no respect is the progression, set in movement by the progress of science, more real than in this—that increased intelligence, increased capacity of comprehension, increased application to study, is hourly becoming more and more essential to the working-man of the present and the coming ages.

To be as strong as an elephant and as patient as a camel, with an average intelligence inferior probably to that of either animal, will no longer suffice to the swart smith, who now wields, by simple direction of a small spring or tiny lever, forces ten thousand times superior to any power that could be effected by the mightiest of sledge-hammers swung by the brawniest of human arms.

It is worthy of note, that at all periods, from the first introduction of labor-saving machinery, fears have been entertained, even by scientific men and political economists of high order, that the vast increase of working power would exert an injurious influence against the human worker; as if production were about to outrun demand and consumption, so that there would not in the end be enough of labor to be done to employ those seeking to exercise their industry or ingenuity, and depending on that exercise for the support of themselves and their families. Panics have, moreover, arisen among the workmen of the manufacturing classes, as if the machinery were about to rob them of their daily labor, whence their daily bread; and the consequences have been, especially in the large English manufacturing towns, fearful riots, conflagrations of mills and factories, destruction of much valuable machinery, the ruin of owners and employers, and—as a natural consequence of the cause last named—stagnation in business, deterioration of the laborer’s condition, and actual loss of life.

Now, it is not to be denied that on the first introduction into any factory, or class of factories, of any new labor-saving machine, by which perhaps one man is enabled to perform the work of a dozen or twenty, a large number of hands must necessarily be thrown out of work, and more or less immediate distress arise therefrom; neither is it to be admired, or held as an especial wonder, that poor men, ignorant of the operation of great principles, suffering the extremes of poverty, smarting under the idea that their right to be employed and to earn is superseded and usurped forever by the twin colossi, capital and machinery, and goaded to frenzy by the gross folly of socialist editors and journalists, should attempt to abate, what they naturally esteem dangerous and aggressive nuisances, by physical violence.

But it is certain that they do so wrongfully as regards theoretical rights, wrongfully as regards general principles and the general good, and not least wrongfully as regards their own particular welfare.

For not only is it manifestly unjust that the great mass of mankind, as consumers, throughout the universe, should be deprived of the incalculable benefit of increased supplies of necessaries at decreased prices, in order to advance the interests of a certain class of producers—not only is it manifestly absurd to dream of a return to first principles, either in arts, manufacture or science, to fancy that, once invented, elaborated and rendered public, labor-saving machinery can be abolished and thrown into compulsory disuse—but it can be shown, evidently enough, that the condition of the mechanical and manufacturing laborer is in fact improved, not deteriorated, by every successive step gained in saving labor and lowering the prices of production by the agency of machines.

Their intellectual capacity is improved; their powers of production are increased, in a much more rapid progression than their prices are lowered; and, above all, so infinitely and incalculably is the consumption of products augmented, in excess of the decrease of money values, that, the demand increasing in a ratio far greater than any arithmetical progression, the call for laborers, the increased prices of the entire production, and the command of wages by ability, skill and intellect, increase pari passu. Nor is this all; for it cannot be denied that the mechanic, the artisan and the manufacturer must necessarily rise in position, in self-respect, in social esteem, and in the natural scale of humanity, as a higher range of qualifications are required of him, and as he is compelled to advance in his own attainments and capacities, in order to keep up with the advances of the age and nation.

This is the true solution of the great problem of the laboring classes, their prospects and their condition; and this is the true reply to all the imbecile jargon of the pseudo-philosophical socialists of the French school, concerning the nobility of manual labor, and the equality, or I believe, superiority of the hand-worker to the head-worker; of the delver, the ditcher, the hewers of wood and drawers of water, to the thinker, the inventor, the creator—or in other words, of the equality, or superiority, accordingly as it may be claimed, of mere physical force, unguided by any thing of judgment or intellect, to the highest cultivation of the thinking powers, to the completest development of the loftiest human capabilities, to the largest expansion of those qualities in which, after the affections, we approximate the nearest to divinity. But there is no such thing, nor ever will be. There is no nobility, whatsoever, in the mere act and exercise of bodily labor, or even of patient industry—although in the causes, which stimulate to that exertion and lend endurance to that industry, there may be much of the very noblest.

There is, in the nature of things, no possible show of equality, much less of superiority, as between physical and intellectual ability, between the head-worker and the hand-worker; because, in the latter, the utmost powers that man can put forward are as the toils of a pigmy, a mere Lilliputian, to the enormous forces of the elephant or of the camel; while in the former, the genius of the man, and the grasp of his mental attainments, are a little lower only than those of the angels; and these are hourly making progress toward that perfectionment which never will be attained in this world; whereas, in those there has been no increase, but probably the reverse, from the days of the patriarchs to the present hour.

The world neither does, nor ever will, accept of any equality between mental and physical labors and abilities; and the only hope of raising the condition and social scale of the working-classes lies not in striving impotently to drag down those naturally, constitutionally and educationally their superiors to the lower level, but by encouraging the inferiors to aspire to the like elevation, to cultivate on every occasion their higher faculties, to aim at the attainment of capacity for head-labor in their degree, to learn to think, and not to act only, to strive, in fact, to resemble less the beasts that perish, and more the men who live forever.

Encouragement may do this, kindling the worker to a hope of better things, and showing him that such a hope is not the vain imagination of a dream, but a real, tangible possibility.

Making him discontented with his lot; leading him to misapprehend his own position and to undervalue that of his superior, can tend only to render him a very bad member of society, and a very unhappy member of the human family.

Fortunately, other and far higher causes are at work, than the Utopian dreams of visionary sophists and the sentimental false philosophy of world-reforming lunatics, for the ameliorating the condition, both physical and social, of the laborer. And one of these—nor that the least—when superadded to the increasing purposes and enlarged principles of the times—will be found, I believe, in the necessity arising from the general use of complicated machines, which is compelling the mechanic and hand-laborer to educate his head as well as to harden his hands; to develop his soul as well as his sinews, and to become himself head-worker no less than handy-craftsman. In this most desirable change, not a false pride and real ignorance of their own real position, but a clear perception and humble estimate of their own deficiencies and of the means of overcoming them, are requisite to the working-classes; and he is their true friend who insists to them on the former and assists them toward the latter—not he who mendaciously and mischievously asserts to them—as is now too frequently done—that a hodman is at least equal if not superior to a Herschel, an Irish ditcher to a Descartes or a Newton, and the meanest stoker that fires up a furnace to him whose intellect combined the various principles, and conceived the vast system, of that motive power which, in the last quarter of a century has revolutionized the world of art and science, joined ocean shores by bridges of almost continuous steamboats, and linked continents together by the iron groves and metallic wires which speed the space-annihilating messengers of steam and electricity from hemisphere to hemisphere unhindered.

To these considerations we are naturally led when we envisage the fact that these very labor-saving machines are themselves created by other machines of like principles and scarcely inferior powers, such as we purpose to introduce to our readers, by a series of cuts, with some brief explanation of their uses and principles of action, in this present article.

The unparalleled extension of rail-roads in this country, so peculiarly calculated for their creation by its natural configuration and geological structure, has called for a supply of rail-road materials, both raw and manufactured, to a degree almost inconceivable even at the present day; and so great have been the improvements recently introduced into machinery, so enormous the weight of the persons and freight to be transported, and so extraordinary the speed expected, and in fact demanded, by the traveling public, that nothing short of perfection in finish and strength will suffice, whether for marine engines, locomotives, or in fact, any power machines.

This will easily be admitted when it is considered that on all the really good and well supported lines of road, in the Eastern states more especially, the rate of travel averages from thirty to fifty miles per hour, at an average cost to each passenger of about one-and-a-half cent per the mile of distance.

We of course do not here take into account such miserable effete monopolies as some of our own interior, and some of the Southern roads, or that of the New Jersey Rail-Road and Transportation Company, the rates of which do not exceed fourteen miles to the hour, at a charge of something exceeding three cents per mile—since these are the exceptions to the rule, arising from the mistaken policy of the states through which they pass, in granting them exclusive privileges, enabling them with a minimum of speed, punctuality, civility, cleanliness, safety and comfort, to exact a maximum of fare from all who are so unfortunate as to be compelled to travel by them.

These unimproved concerns, retrogressive in the very centre of the most brilliant progression, may, however, count their days as numbered, their unhallowed and enormous gains as arrested. The latter rail-road, never exceeding the average speed of good stage-coach travel, is now so seriously rivaled by heavy omnibuses running on a plank-road, that its locomotives to-day barely draw an average of three empty cars, where six weeks since they drew from eight to ten, filled to discomfort.

Hitherto all their underhand attempts to buy up this road, by means of individual stockholders, in order to destroy its efficiency and raise the prices, have failed so signally, that it is evident that the people over whom they have so long driven roughshod will endure their insolent tyranny no longer, and they must either tranquilly submit to pass away into contempt, bankruptcy and abeyance, or they must make their road reasonably cheap, as speedy, punctual and convenient to passengers as others—which they can readily do by diverting a portion of their colossal gains from dividends and personal profits to the exigencies of the public, in laying proper tracks, adopting improved engines, employing clean, comfortable and roomy cars, guided by capable and civil conductors, all at the ordinary price of rail-road transportation on the best, fleetest, and most favored lines.

To produce this excellence and finish, tools of peculiar quality—in the form of power-machines, adapted for planing, turning, and drilling iron, cutting gears, and the like—have become actually necessary; doing their work at an incalculably lower price, and greater celerity than the ablest human hands, and with a mathematical regularity and precision which no human experience or dexterity could possibly equal.

It is the creation of these various power-tool-machines, which, as I have stated, is indispensable for the building of power-machinery of any kind; from the marine-engine, which drives the huge steamships of Cunard or Collins over the wild surges of the Atlantic, with all the punctuality, and nearly all the speed of birds of passage; from the locomotive, with its team of iron chargers, bringing the farthest west to our very doors in the oceanic cities, to the fast power-presses, which roll off the news, collected from the uttermost ends of the earth by the agency of steam and lightning, at the rate of 20,000 copies to the hour—and intellectually feeding their hundred thousand hungry readers or ere the paper is well dry—freighted with the fates of nations.

And it is to the creation of these, in their best form and utmost perfection, that the great works at Matteawan, a lovely spot, embosomed in the grandest part of the Highlands of the Hudson, are devoted; while the Depots in New York are intended to keep, at all times, on hand a large supply of tools, required by machinists of all classes, particularly needed in the railroad and machine shop, and such, in a word, as cannot be dispensed with by any of those artificers, who work upon the tough and stubborn produce of the mines.

All these tools are either manufactured by the Messrs. Leonard themselves at the “Matteawan works,” employing some three hundred and fifty hands, or furnished from the “Lowell machine shops,” where from five hundred to a thousand hands are constantly employed in this class of business; or, again, from “The Great Hadley-Falls shop,” at Holyoke; all of which establishments are represented by the same firm, and all of which turn out work, which—it is believed—cannot be surpassed, if equalled, in the world.

The first of these machines which we propose to notice, a representation of which stands at the head of this paper, is perhaps one of the most important, if not the most important of all the tools employed in the machine shop.

This engine has already been noticed in Graham, as employed in the noble press-works of Messrs. Hoe & Co., of New York—vol. XL., No. 6, p. 576. It is used for finishing the surfaces of whatever portions of the machinery must be brought to a smooth and polished face. This is done by the propulsion of the pieces of iron to be planed in a horizontal and longitudinal direction against cutting edges, which again move horizontally across the moving planes, and are pressed downward on them vertically, so as to effect the planing to the uniform depth required. The abraded portions of the metal are thrown off—from the surface of cast iron in a sort of scaly dust, from that of wrought iron in long curled shavings—and the planes can be wrought up to almost any desirable degree of smoothness and finish.

It is but a short time, comparatively, since this machine was first introduced: it is one of the most important among mechanical tools; and it is indeed a triumph of art to see one of these machines under the direction of one person, performing the usual labor of some fifteen or twenty mechanics in former times with their chisels and files. Art observes, and experience confirms the fact, that machinery can and does perform work much more accurately than the most skillful mechanic; and, perhaps, in no instance is this general principle so happily illustrated as in the performance of these machines. The usual cost of motive power is about twenty-five cents per day, per horse power, and allowing one horse to be equivalent to five men, we shall have the labor of one mechanic furnished for five cents a-day. From this it will be seen how important every invention or improvement becomes to the machine-builder, which tends to perform the usual labor on the machine by machinery.

The above cut represents a very excellent planer. There is a great degree of taste and finish employed in its design; indeed the builder may flatter himself that he has one of the best machines built in this country.

This machine, according to its size, weight, and cost, is divided into Nos. 4, 5, and 6, capable of planeing metal from four feet long, by eighteen inches wide and high, to six feet six inches long, by twenty-four inches wide and high—and weighs respectively 1000, 2,600, and 3,500 pounds.

The machine from which the design at the head of this paper is taken may be seen at No. 60 Beaver Street, New York.


This again is a highly valuable and ingenious machine; its special operation is, as its name implies, the turning of any iron work to its required round circumference and requisite degree of polish, whether it is a perfect cylinder, or of various diameters at various points.

By it, all round work for engines is formed and finished—as rods, shafts, and the like. The action of the machine is simple, easy and almost noiseless. The piece of metal is fixed in the spindle, shown in the cut above in contact with the right elbow of the spectator, and secured, longitudinally of the machine, on the sharp point proceeding from the fixture at the left end of the Lathe, behind the operator’s shoulder.

To this, the object of operation, a rapid rotatory movement on its own axis is given by steam-power, and the cutting is produced by its rotation against two steel edges impinging on it laterally, and made to travel horizontally and longitudinally on a bed, so as to cut the bar, submitted to its agency, equally throughout all its length. This instrument is also directed by one man only, while acting with the combined power of very many, and performs its work with an ease equalled only by its great exactitude.


For the benefit of those of our readers, who have no previous acquaintance with mechanism, we shall merely premise that a gear is a wheel with a toothed circumference, like watch-wheels, or what in ruder mechanism are known as cogged-wheels; and those gears, known as level gears, are such as have the toothing on the circumference not perpendicular to the plane of the diameter, but at an acute angle to it, so that when two gears of a peculiar degree of bevil are set in contact, a horizontal rotatory movement may be communicated to one by a corresponding perpendicular rotation of the other. This will be rendered comprehensible by a careful examination of the motive power of the borer in the representation of the instrument, No. 5.

The above cut represents a very cheap and simple gear-cutter. Its principal novelty consists in the use of the large gear-wheel instead of the common graduated table. It is extremely simple, and at the same time possesses all the advantages of the old machine. It will be observed that the crank is connected to the large wheel by a set of intermediate gears, every revolution of which is made to correspond with the number of teeth in the wheel to be cut. This is accomplished by a set of change gears, which accompany the machine.

The changes are made in the opposite end of the Crank Shaft.

It will be observed that one revolution of the crank bears the same relation to the number of teeth in the large wheel, as one tooth in the wheel to be cut bears to the whole number it is to contain. The number of teeth and the pitch of the wheel is consequently derived from the change gears.

When level gears are cut, the head is then set at the proper inclination, and secured by the screw which projects at the rear of the head.

The cheapness of this machine more particularly recommends it, the price being but $250, while its efficiency and regular operation are so well established as to require no further comment.


This is another admirable engine for diminishing and simplifying human labor. It is applied to the boring of all kinds of iron-work for machinery.

The perpendicular drill, as will be readily observed, is worked with a swift, rotatory movement, by means of the bevil gears at its upper extremity. By a wheel—the circumference of which only is displayed in the cut—acting upon the thread of a screw midway its length, it is pressed down upon the piece of work to be drilled.

This piece is secured upon a horizontal table placed under the point of the rotary drill, which table may be elevated or depressed at pleasure, by aid of the small lever projecting backward, which acts on a geared wheel playing on the thread of the great perpendicular screw of the main shaft.


The nature, operation, and application of power in this engine are precisely similar to those shown and explained at No. 2. But it is employed only for the cutting of screws and screw bolts, and the boring of plates, pulleys, etc., which latter operations it performs by aid of Fairmen’s Universal Chuck, which will be described hereafter. In working this lathe, the implement last named is attached to the spindle, immediately under the right hand of the operator.

The engine itself is of unusual neatness and finish.


This little engine is similar in action and principle to the cut, No. 1; the iron, to be planed, moving horizontally and longitudinally on a bed, across which the cutting edges move with a downward pressure and a lateral movement, cutting and finishing the surface to the requisite depth and degree, easily and almost to perfection.

The machine works very simply, and almost noiselessly; it is exceedingly handy, and is directed by one person; is very portable; occupies but an inconsiderable space, and does work precisely of the same description as No. 1, though of inferior dimensions in all respects.


A Chuck generally is explained as being a round plate, which is fastened on to the spindle of a lathe—see No. 5—and is used to bore holes in round or variously shaped plates of metal. It will be observed, in the cut above, that all the upright studs converge toward the centre by one motion of the lever, so that the centre of the article to be bored must correspond with the centre of the spindle. Besides all sorts of plates, as above mentioned, the centres of gear wheels and pulleys are bored by it.

There is a beautiful principle involved in the action of this chuck, though its novelty is in some sort lost in its simplicity. Here, by a simple movement of the hand, the article to be worked is brought to its proper position; while, by the old method, the same position could only be arrived at after a series of trials; nor, in the end, is the article so firmly held, after its correct place shall have been ascertained.

The last representation we shall offer to our readers is the subjoined cut of an improved borer for the wheels of railroad cars. The extreme simplicity of its general arrangements is its most conspicuous feature, and the small space it occupies is another highly important consideration. It will chuck all sized wheels up to three feet diameter, and can bolt on wheels of yet larger dimensions.

In the cut, a car-wheel is shown set on the machine; the upright spindle which passes through it contains the cutters, and is driven by the pulley shown on the left side of the machine, which gives to the spindle-lathe its rotary and alternate motion.

The brief account here given of these very ingenious and simple machines will, it is hoped, answer the desired end of conveying to the general reader some idea of the principles of operation, the perfection, and the immense general utility of these most emphatically labor-saving engines.

We say emphatically labor-saving, because they not only spare and simplify labor by their own direct operation, but indirectly do so fifty or a hundred fold, because they are applied to the creation of those vast space-and-time-annihilating machines, which in the present day surpass the wildest and most marvelous legends of Fairy-land, of necromancers and magicians, as to the powers—incalculable and almost ubiquitous—which they bestow on their possessors, and which create wealth for the countries having sons expert to invent and use them, surpassing the gold of Ophir, and the gems of Golconda.



  Forgotten! ’tis the sentence passed on every thing of earth;

  Naught can escape the heavy doom, that in this world has birth;

  The cloud that floats in azure skies, the flower that blooms so bright,

  The leaf that casts a cooling shade, unnoticed pass from sight.

  —Forgotten! can it be that all, the beautiful, the good,

  The wise, the great, must buried be, ’neath Lethe’s waveless flood?

  Must all this world’s magnificence, its splendid pomp and pride,

  The fanes which man has proudly raised, and Time’s strong arm defied,

  Oh! must it all return to dust, and from remembrance fade⁠—

  Will no faint memory remain, no thought, not e’en a shade?

  Alas! it must; thus has it been—thus must it be again;

  Who reared the lofty pyramids? Their work was all in vain!

  Stricken with awe, we gaze upon those monuments to fame,

  And ask, but ask unanswered, for the mighty builder’s name!

  The countless tumuli outspread upon our western lands,

  Who piled their shapeless forms, and why? Where are the busy hands

  Which ages since heaped high those mounds? Alas! we ne’er can know;

  Their names were blotted out from life long centuries ago.


  And must I be forgotten thus? When earth sees me no more

  Will all this working world plod on as calmly as before?

  Will no sweet memory of me cling round some constant heart?

  Must all remembrance of my life from every soul depart?

  It must not be! Build me a tomb whose top shall pierce the cloud⁠—

  Pile high the marble! set it round with stately columns proud⁠—

  Rear me some fane, dig deep the base, outspread it far and wide,

  And write my name indelibly upon its gleaming side!


  Down! down! rebellious soul, not thus must thou remembered be⁠—

  Not thus a world must ages hence be taught to think of me⁠—

  Not thus would I be carried on by Time’s resistless flood;

  I would not be remembered with the great, but with the good⁠—

  If in my heart one virtue live, one pure and holy thought,

  If in my character one high and noble trait be wrought,

  If in my life one act be found from earthly blemish free,

  If one bright impulse point to Heaven, by that remember me!

C. E. T.




“Do, dear Clara, stay at home to-night; father will be so grieved.”

“He certainly has shown no great regard for my feelings, and he cannot expect me to be over-tender of his. I am sure I could not endure to stay here, and my marvel is that you can.”

Clara Gregory did not observe the tear that glistened in her sister’s eye, as she spoke these words, in a bitter tone; yet her voice was gentler when she spoke again.

“Please, Alice, just tie my tippet for me; my hands are gloved. There, thank you.”

She opened the hall-door, and stood for a moment listening to the moan the leafless trees made as they shivered in the blast.

“Well, Alice, I suppose it is of no use asking you to go with me; so, good-night!” And she slowly descended the steps, and passed down the street.

Alice stood watching her receding form until she disappeared, and then, with a shiver, she turned away.

“How cold it is!” she said to herself. “I must be sure to have it warm and pleasant for them when they come. Let me see. I will have a fire in the little back parlor; it looks so bright and cheery. I know father will like that best.”

The fire was kindled, the rooms were lighted, and the young girl wandered through them, again and again, to assure herself that nothing could make them more home-like and inviting. In the large parlors, with their rich furniture and furnace-heat, there was little for her to do.

A certain awe forbade her to interfere with “Aunt Debby’s” accustomed arrangements, but in the “dear little back parlor” she might do as she listed; and she found ample employment for her fairy fingers.

The fuchsia must be taught to droop its bright blossoms over the pale calla, the door of Canary’s cage was to be set open, the father’s slippers to be placed before his chair, the favorite books to be laid upon the table.

All, at last, was done. The pictures on the wall, the crimson curtains, and the carpet on the floor, reflected the streaming light of the fire with a grateful glow of comfort. One momentous question remained to be decided. Should the old dog be suffered to crouch as usual on the hearth-rug, or be banished to less honorable quarters? After deep and anxious deliberation this was also settled. Carlo was permitted to ensconce himself in the chimney-corner, while his young mistress placed herself in the great arm-chair before the fire and fell to dreaming.

Alice Gregory was but fifteen years old; yet, any one would have longed to know of her dreams, who might have looked on her as she sat there, her thoughtful eyes fixed on the glowing coals, and her youthful face inwrought with feeling. And much she had to make her think and feel; for Alice was a motherless child, and this night was to bring a stranger into that place, so hallowed by the memory of her who had passed thence into the heavens.

Two long hours did the girl sit there, awaiting her father’s return. Sweet visions of the past, dim visions of the future, were about her. All the saddest and the happiest hours of her brief life came back to her. They came as old, familiar friends, sorrowful as were some of their faces; and she clung to them, and could not bear to leave them for those coming hours that beckoned to her with so doubtful promise.

“I hope she will love me,” mused she of the strange mother; “but she cannot as Aunt Mary does, and nobody, nobody can ever love me as my own dear mother did!” she sobbed, with a gush of tears. But presently they staid in their fountain, for she thought of her mother, still loving her, and of her Saviour, ever near, loving her more than mortal could. “I will try to be good and gentle,” thought she, “and she will love me. Nine o’clock! Aunt Debby thought they would be here by seven, I must go and ask her what the matter can be.”

The individual yclept “Aunt Debby” was no less a personage than Mrs. Deborah Dalrymple, whose pride it was, that for twenty years the light of her wisdom, and the strength of her hands, had been the dependence of Dr. Arthur Gregory’s household. On this occasion, Alice found her in the dining-room, seated in state, her bronzed visage graced by the veritable cap with which she had honored the reception of the first Mrs. Gregory. Its full double ruffle, and bountiful corn-colored bows, made her resemble the pictures, in the primers, of the sun with puffed cheeks, surrounded by his beams. She would show no partiality, not she. What Dr. Gregory thought was right, was right. He had been a good master to her as ever a woman need have, and she was sure of a comfortable home the rest of her days whoever came there. Dr. Gregory was in all things her oracle, her admiration, her sovereign authority. The world did not often see such a man as he, that it didn’t. But, barring the doctor, she sensibly realized the world had no more reliable authority than Mrs. Deborah Dalrymple. There she sat, anxiously speculating on the approaching regime, and plying the needles on her best knitting-work with uncommon zeal.

“Aunt Debby, do you know it is nine o’clock?”

“I heard the clock strike nine.”

“Father should have been here two hours ago.”

“I don’t know that.”

“Why! you said he would be here at seven.”

“I don’t know that.”

“What then?”

“I expected him.”

“Well, what can be the reason that he does not come?”

“Great many things.”

“But what is the reason?”

“He knows better than I.”

“What do you suppose?”


Alice came to a pause with a decidedly unsatisfied expression.

“Was it winter when he brought my mother home?”




“Was it a pleasant day?”


Despairing of Aunt Debby’s communicativeness, Alice returned to her solitude, roused a vigorous flame in the grate, and sitting down on an ottoman beside Carlo, commenced an attack on his taciturnity.

“But hark! those are father’s bells! No—yes! yes, they are come!”

Girl and dog sprang to their feet together, and ran to the door. In her haste Alice brushed something from the work-table. It was nothing but her mother’s needle-book, but she pressed it to her lips as she tenderly replaced it, and passed more slowly into the hall.

The cordial greetings were over. The cloaks and furs were laid aside, and Alice sat down in the chimney-corner to observe the new-comer, in whose face the full radiance of the bright fire shone, while she conversed with Aunt Debby about the journey and the weather.

“She is not pretty,” thought she. “Very unlike mother—taller and statelier, with black eyes and hair—still, her features are noble, and she looks good.”

She came to this satisfactory conclusion just as her father suddenly exclaimed⁠—

“Where did you say Clara was, Alice? Has she not returned from Belford?”

“Yes, sir; she is staying with Ellen Morgan to-night.”

“Is Ellen Morgan sick?”

How Alice wished she could say yes, or any thing else than the plain, reluctant no—but out it must come. An expression of pain and displeasure came over the doctor’s countenance, and he glanced quickly at his wife. But she seemed to have no other thought than of the plants over which she was bending.

“What sweet flowers have come to you, in the midst of the snow, Alice!” she exclaimed, as she lifted a spray of monthly rose, weighed down with its blossoms.

Alice’s eyes glistened with pleasure as she saw that her darlings had found a friend.

“They were mother’s,” she began, then stopped suddenly.

“You must love them very dearly,” said Mrs. Gregory, with feeling. “But where is the little Eddie? Shall I not see him?”

“Oh! he begged to sit up and wait, but he fell asleep, and Aunt Debby put him to bed. Would you like to go up and look at him? He is so pretty in his sleep!”

“Indeed he is pretty in his sleep,” thought the step-mother, as she bent over the beautiful child in his rosy dreams. She laid back his soft, bright curls, and lightly kissed his pure cheek, gazing long and tenderly upon him. Tears shone in her eyes as she, turning toward Alice, said softly,

“Can we be happy together, Alice dear?”

“I am sure we shall,” answered the warm-hearted girl impulsively. “Indeed, I will try to make you happy.”



Late the next morning, Mrs. Gregory was sitting in the parlor with little Eddie at her side, where he had been enchained for five long minutes by the charms of a fairy tale. But as some one glided by the door he bounded away, crying,

“There’s sister Clara! Clara, come and see my new mamma!”

Presently, however, he came back with a dolorous countenance, complaining,

“She says I have no new mamma, and she does not want to see her either. But I have,” he continued emphatically, laying hold on one of her fingers with each of his round, white fists, “and you will stay always, and tell me stories, wont you? Was that all about Fenella?”

“We will have the rest another time, for there is the dinner-bell, and here comes your father.”

The joyous child ran to his father’s arms, and then assuming a stride of ineffable dignity led the way to the dining-room.

“Has not Clara yet returned?” asked the doctor, in a tone of some severity.

“Yes, father,” said her voice behind him; and as he turned she greeted him, respectfully, yet without her usual affectionate warmth.

Then came her introduction to the step-mother, who greeted her with a gentle dignity peculiar to her. Clara’s manner, on the contrary, was extremely dignified, without any special gentleness, ceremonious and cold. As the family gathered around the table all but one made an attempt at conversation. But the presence of one silent iceberg was enough to congeal the sociability of the group. Remarks became shorter than the intervals between them, and finally quite ceased. Mrs. Gregory, meanwhile, had time to observe her eldest daughter. She was a handsome, genteel girl of about seventeen, elegantly dressed. Her fair face was intelligent, though clouded at this time with an expression of determined dissatisfaction. The red lips of her pretty little mouth pressed firmly together, as though to make sure that no word should escape them; the dark-blue eyes were continually downcast.

Suddenly little Eddie exclaimed, directing his spoon very pointedly toward Clara,

“What made you say I had no new mamma? There she is!”

The crimson blood rushed to Clara’s temples, as she visited a most reproving glance on the child, while Alice hastened to relieve the awkward predicament by suggesting to him the desirableness of more sauce on his pudding. He was hushed for the moment, but presently broke forth again, as though a bright thought had flashed upon him.

“She isn’t the same dear mamma I used to have, is she? Say, father, did you go up to Heaven and bring her back? Oh! why didn’t you let me go too?”

“No, my child,” said Dr. Gregory very seriously, “I could not go for your dear mamma, nor would I if I could, for she is with those whom she loves more than even us. But, perhaps, she has sent you this mother to love you, and take care of you, till you can go to her, if you are good.”

“I will be good,” said the child very resolutely, and they rose from the table.

Alice and her mother lingered talking at the western window, which commanded a fine sea view.

“She is certainly a delightful woman,” thought Alice, as, after a long chat, she tripped blithely up to her chamber.

As she opened the door, she discovered Clara thrown upon the bed, her face hidden in the pillows, sobbing aloud. She hesitated a moment, then going up to her, said entreatingly⁠—

“Don’t, dear Clara, cry so!”

But her only answer was a fresh burst of tears. So she sat down on the bed-side and took her mother’s miniature, which Clara clasped between her hands. It was a picture of rare beauty, as well might be that of a faultless form, in the first pride of womanhood, glowing with life and love. Alice gazed on it with mournful fondness, and kissed its small, sweet face many times.

“Oh, I am wretched, wretched!” moaned Clara; “the happiness of my life is gone forever.”

Alice took her hand in hers, and said softly⁠—

“You know we thought, when mother died, we could never cease to weep, we could not live at all. Yet we have been even happy since that, though we love her and think of her just as much as ever. Indeed, I believe I love her more and more. I think we shall be happy still.”

“Happy! with this strange woman thrust upon me, every day, in my mother’s stead? I tell you, Alice, it will never, never be. I cannot say but you may enjoy life as well as ever, but not I. I do not want to be happy—I will not be happy with a step-mother. Oh, the odious name!”

In her excitement she rose from the bed and paced the floor.

“You can, undoubtedly, be as unhappy as you choose, and you can hate father’s wife if you want to; but I think it would be a great deal easier to love her,” said Alice. “I am sure, if our own blessed mother could speak to us, she would bid us treat her very kindly and try to make her happy with us.”

“There is no danger but she will be happy enough,” retorted Clara. “Yet she shall lament the day she ever intruded upon us here.”

“Oh, Clara, Clara! you are very wrong. You ought not to speak so or to feel so,” said Alice, sadly, putting her arm about her sister’s waist and joining in her walk. “Certainly she had a right to love our father and to marry him, and I do not see the need of suspecting her of a plot upon our peace.”

“But what infatuated father to ask her? How could he forget my beautiful mother so soon!” and Clara threw herself, weeping, into a chair.

“He has not forgotten her,” replied Alice, almost indignantly. “And you and I have no right to doubt that he loved her even better than we. But I know not why that should render it impossible for him to appreciate loveliness in another. He was very desolate, and I am thankful that he has found such a friend.”

Such a friend? I see nothing remarkably lovely about her.”

“Why, I think she is very attractive.”

Attractive! Pray what has attracted you, dear? She is, certainly, very plain.”

“I do not think she is.”

“She looks as though she meant to rule the world, with her great black eyes and military form.”

“Her ‘great black eyes’ are soft, I am sure, and I admire her form. Then she looks so animated when she speaks, and her smile is absolutely fascinating.”

“Only look at the picture you hold in your hand, Alice, and say, if you can, that you admire her.”

“Nobody is so lovely as mother. But, if you were not determined to find fault, I know this face would please you. At any rate, you cannot dislike her manner; she is very ladylike. She dresses, too, in perfect taste.”

“I suppose she is well-bred, and I have no reason to doubt her dress-maker’s taste. But once more, Alice, I never shall like her, and I beg you never to speak to me of her except from necessity. You, of course, can love her just as well as you have a mind to, but you must not expect me to. I shall try to be civil to her.”

“Oh, I wish you could see Aunt Mary, I am sure she could convince you that you are wrong.

“You think that I cannot understand your feelings, and that nothing is easier for me than to receive a stranger here. But, Clara, you do know that you love not our precious mother more devotedly than I, nor cherish her memory more sacredly; I am quite sure that no child could. It was terrible for me, at first, to think of seeing another here in her place, of calling another by her consecrated name. It was sacrilege to me. But Aunt Mary talked to me so kindly, and taught me to think calmly and reasonably about it, and I became certain that I ought to be an affectionate, dutiful child to my father’s wife if it were in my power. And I am sure it will be easy, for she is loveable.

“I am grateful to father for giving me so excellent a friend. I shall never love her better than Aunt Mary, indeed; but it is so pleasant for us to be together once more in our own home. Only think—you at boarding-school, Neddie at grandfather’s, I at Uncle Talford’s, and poor father here alone. I am sure we shall be vastly happier here together, if you will only be a good girl.”

“I am not going to be!” said Clara, with a pouting smile.

“Ah! not another word,” cried Alice, with a playful menace. “I shall call it treason to listen to you. I shall go away so that you may have nobody to say wicked things to.”

And with the words she ran from the room and shut the culprit in.



Weeks flitted over the Gregorys, whose course it is needless to trace.

Aunt Debby became fully satisfied that if there was a woman in the world fit for Dr. Gregory it was the one he had married. Few children ever had a step-mother like her, very few indeed. Never a loud word nor a cross look had she seen, never! She guessed, too, there were not many women, ladies born and bred, that knew when work was done about right better than she, not many. She didn’t know who should be a judge if she wasn’t, that had kept Dr. Arthur Gregory’s house for upward of twenty years—twenty years last August.

What was that gentleman’s private opinion in the matter, these closing sentences of an epistle given under his hand will tell.

“. . . . A strangely excellent wife is this same Catharine Gregory. Alone in her society, I love her; with my children, I am grateful to her; among my friends, I am proud of her. Every day convinces me more perfectly that I have found in her such a combination of virtues as I have never seen or hoped to see since departed

         ‘The being beauteous

  Who unto my youth was given.’

Hoping, for your sake, my dear Ashmun, (though with doubt I confess,) that this planet bears such another, I am yours,


And many were the doctor’s patients whose pale faces lighted at the sight of her, and whose wo-laden hearts beat freer to the music of her step.

“Ah, Nell!” sighed old, bed-ridden Betty Begoin, “Dr. Gregory is a good doctor, as nobody may better believe than I, for the Lord knows you would have been in your grave nine years ago, Christmas, if He hadn’t put it in the doctor’s heart to save ye. The doctor’s a good doctor, I say, but his wife is better than all his medicines to a poor old thing like me! Nobody looks so kindly and sunny like, nobody reads the Scriptures so plain and clear as she.

“The first Mrs. Gregory was a fine lady, I dare say; I have often heard it. But she never came near us. Well, well! she had a young family to look to, and was weakly and ailin’ toward the last, poor thing! I have nothing against her now she’s dead and gone, anyway.

“A’n’t the gruel hot, dear?

“The doctor is a good doctor as anybody need have, but his wife is better than all his medicines to a poor, sick, old thing like me.”

And many a sufferer was there in whose breast old Betty’s sentiment would find an echo. For, while her husband labored to upbuild the outer man, Mrs. Gregory breathed courage into the fainting heart, and braced it to the effort of recovery. Then, nobody could keep wide awake all night like her; nobody’s cordials were so grateful, yet so harmless; nobody knew so exactly just what one wanted.

And in that dark, dark hour, when life’s last promise is broken, and science can do no more, and loving hearts are quivering under the first keen anguish of despair, how often did they implore that her voice might tell the dying one his doom, that in its gentleness the death-warrant might lose its terror.

How tenderly did she try to undo the ties that bound the trembling spirit to this world and commit it to the arms of Him, who should bear it safe above the swelling waters! How trustingly did she point the guilt-stricken, despairing soul to the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” And who shall conceive an intenser thrill of joy than was hers, as she witnessed the sublimity of that weak Child of Earth triumphant over Death, passing away not as to “pleasant dreams,” but as to “an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

It was only in the inner circle of her life that hearts were cold toward Mrs. Gregory. Alice, it is true, clung to her with the fond dependence of a child upon its parent. Eddie was a wayward and ungovernable creature, perfectly subject to his passionate impulses; in one moment, foaming in a frenzy of infantine rage, the next, exhausting his childish resources for expressions of his extravagant love.

It was no light or transient task to teach such a nature self-control. She unspeakably dreaded to employ that rigid firmness which she saw so indispensible to gaining a permanent ascendency over him. Watchful eyes were upon her and lithe tongues were aching to be busy. She well knew how the thrilling tale would fly of the heartless hardness of the step-mother toward the little innocent.

He had been the darling of most doating grand-parents, to whom he had been committed, a mere baby, at his mother’s death. Mrs. Gregory understood how galling restraint would be to him, hitherto unthwarted in a single wish, uncurbed in a single passion, and she feared to blast the affection which she saw beginning to twine itself about her.

“Yet,” thought she, “I must govern, or the child is ruined. He is given to me to be educated for honor, usefulness, Heaven. And shall I suffer passion and self-indulgence to fasten their clutches on him and drag him down to destruction, lest forsooth, my fair name should get some slander. No, no, I will not be so selfish. I will be faithful to my duty, to my husband. I will treat him as though he were my own.”

But it required many a hard struggle, many a long trial of unfailing forbearance and inexorable resolution, to execute her purpose. Still, she had the satisfaction of seeing that at the end of each the little rebel was drawn more closely to her. With the unerring instinct of childhood, he revered her justice and appreciated her patience.

For him she labored in hope. With delight she watched the development of better dispositions, the formation of healthful habits. It was rare pleasure to follow the rovings of his untiring curiosity; to open to his wondering mind the mysteries of the unfolding leaves, the limitless ocean, and the deep heavens; to watch the strange light that kindled in his beaming eye as Truth dawned upon him.

In this was the step-mother happy. But there was one member of her household in whose heart she had no home. Clara still held herself unapproachable. Neither Mrs. Gregory’s uniform, cordial courtesy toward herself, nor her undeniable superiority as a woman, could avail to move her. She would not like a step-mother, and she was possessed of a strength of will very extraordinary for one of her youth and sex. From this inflexible purpose to dislike, unavoidably grew a habit of perpetual misconstruction. In order not to see good where it obviously is, one must turn good into evil. This Clara unconsciously yet studiously did. To her sister it was at once painful and amusing to notice the ingenuity with which she sought out some selfish motive for the beautiful action, some sinister meaning for the well-spoken words. It was a continual vexation to her to observe the love with which the new-comer was regarded by every other member of the family, and the esteem and admiration in which she was held among the villagers. Yet she was far too proud to intimate her feelings to those sympathizing friends who are ever so very ready to listen to one’s inmost secrets and offer their condolence, then hasten away, wiping their eyes, to gather for one the sympathies of a whole neighborhood. Nevertheless, her cold reserve toward her step-mother, and about her, was not unmarked.

One there was, however, to whom Clara poured forth her sorrows with that perfect freedom which, it is said, exists nowhere except among schoolgirls. Arabella Acton had been her room-mate at Belford, and had parted from her with an agony of tears. Indeed, it was Arabella’s extreme pity that had first impressed upon her the breadth and depth of her misfortune in becoming a step-daughter. Seldom has the post-office establishment been blessed with more faithful patrons than were these two friends. Clara would have blushed to yield her fortress so long as she had such an ally to whom to acknowledge it. Therefore, she lived much secluded from the rest of the family in her little boudoir, where she had assembled all the most sacred relics of her mother, in the persuasion that she was the only one true to her memory. Indeed, she was in the act of conveying her portrait thither one day, when her father met her and forbade it, saying kindly⁠—

“You are too selfish, my daughter; the rest of us love it as well as you.”

Toward her father she was always respectful. She had the greatest reverence for him, but there could no more be that familiarity between them that once had been.

To Mrs. Gregory, this state of feeling was a source of continual but unavailing regret. She could but see that Clara was fast losing her native generosity of character, and falling into habits of selfishness and indolence; but she was perfectly aware that any direct effort of hers to win her could but repel, and that her only way was to wait, hoping for a happier day.



“Alice, it is getting late, and I beg leave to bid you good night. I will wait for Clara.”

“She said no one need wait for her,” replied Alice, “and you are tired to-night, I know. I beg you will not sit up.”

“It will be dreary for her, and I can very well sit up: I shall be writing to my mother—good night, love.”

Mrs. Gregory’s letter was finished, and the last “Graham” read before her solitude was disturbed. At length, as she stood looking out into the starlight, footsteps and mirthful voices broke the stillness. The loitering footsteps draw near, and halt at the door. The mirthful voices subside into the low, earnest hum of conversation. Then the light “Adieu!” and the two part.

A smile still lingered on Clara’s face as she entered and—without observing that the room was occupied—threw herself down beside the fire, whose warmth was no unwelcome thing in the chill April night, and slowly pulled off her gloves. Mrs. Gregory still stood at the window, half hidden by the folds of the curtain. She thought she had rarely seen a more beautiful face than was Clara’s at that moment. Joyous words seemed to tremble on her lips, and laughing fancies to peep out through the long lashes of her eyes, so roguishly! Then, when the little white hands untied the bonnet and took it off, dropping it on the carpet, and let the rich, clustering hair flow about the bright face,

“Ah, she is very charming!” thought her mother, while she said⁠—

“You have passed a delightful evening, Clara.”

Clara started and looked up. The radiant smile instantly died away, and replying coldly⁠—

“Very passable, I thank you,” she rose, and taking a light from the table, left the room.

Mrs. Gregory sighed deeply; and, leaning her forehead against the cold window-pane, stood lost in painful thought, till many stars were set, and the embers on the hearth grew white and cold.

She for whom she thus sorrowed, meanwhile, flew to her chamber and, wrapping her shawl about her, sat down to her writing-desk and scribbled these lines⁠—

“A word with thee, dearest Bel, before I sleep. Oh! if you could have been with me to-night! A little select party at Mrs. Hall’s, and such a delectable evening! All our choice spirits were there, and one entirely new star. A “real, live” star, too, Bel, unquestionably the most elegant man that ever wore a mustache. Oh, you should see him! So distingué! Neither M⁠——, nor Monsieur de V⁠—— is a circumstance to him! I cannot conceive where Mrs. Hall found him; but she is always the first to introduce strangers—the only polite woman in town, I think. I suspect, however, that he is a friend of Frank, who has just returned from his winter’s residence in the south.

“They kept me at the piano half the evening; and this exquisite ‘Don Whiskerando’ accompanied me—so sweetly!—with the flute. Under a perfect cannonade of entreaties he consented to sing, too; although he would be persuaded to nothing but a duett with your humble friend. The richest barytone.

“He will be here to-morrow, and I would give the world if my Bel might be here also! Oh! I forgot to tell you my hero’s name is Brentford—did you ever hear it before?

“Do you not think Ellen Morgan an envious thing? Good night, love—dream of your Clara!

“Oh, one word more. Don’t you think ma chére mère must have an active mind to keep her up till this time, to observe my arrival? Oh, Eve, thou art undone!

“I hope all she saw and heard was satisfactory to her. I suppose she expected that I should continue the conversation after I came in, for she kept so whist, that I was not aware of her presence till she discovered herself by the sagacious observation⁠—

“‘You have had a charming evening, dear,’ in such an insinuating tone! Aweel!”



One morning, a few days after the evening of the last chapter, Mrs. Gregory—on entering the breakfast-room—found her husband reading a letter.

“This is from my sister, Mrs. Horland, of Cincinnati: she is suffering a great bereavement in the death of her husband. It will be difficult, but I believe I must go to her, Catharine. Poor Ellen was always a dependent creature, and I cannot leave her alone. A note from Mr. Horland’s clerk says, that his affairs were left in a very embarrassed condition, and presses urgently that I should come to save Ellen from imposition and fraud.”

“She does, indeed, need you sadly, and we ought to let you go; but, can your practice spare you?”

“There are no patients now whom it would not do to leave with young Philips, I think. I shall return as soon as possible.”

The journey and its object formed the topic of conversation at the breakfast-table, and it was decided that Doctor Gregory should start the next morning.

“Dear Catharine,” said he, at parting, “I pray you to feel that you are mistress of this house. Be sure that the children revere your authority—I am happy in intrusting them to you.”

One week from that day, in the pleasant twilight, an antique family carriage, that had been splendid in its day, drew up before the gateway, and two individuals very much of the same description emerged from its cavernous interior.

“Grandfather and Grandmother Newell, as true as I live!” cried Alice, who was looking out.

All rushed to the window and then to the door to welcome the venerable visitants. With joyous exclamations and great running to and fro, they were at last seated so comfortably that nothing more could be done without making them less comfortable. Eddie was on his grandfather’s knee, Alice leaned over her grandmother’s chair, while Clara was seated between them. Mrs. Gregory hastened to prepare a dish of tea, to refresh them after their ride.

“Well, my poor dears, how do you get along?” asked Mrs. Newell, as soon as the step-mother had disappeared.

Clara looked to Alice.

“As well as we possibly could without our own dear mother,” said Alice. “I am glad you are come to see for yourself,” and she kissed the old lady’s pale, wrinkled cheek.

“Yes, I shall see,” replied the grandmother; and accordingly that evening and the next day were spent in the closest observation.

“See what Mr. Brentford gave me!” cried Eddie, as, returning from a walk with Clara on the following afternoon, he bounded into the room, brandishing above his head an enormous paper of bon-bons.

“Mr. Brentford was very kind, was he not?” said his mother, taking a sugar-plum which the child generously extended to her. He bestowed a similar bounty on every one in the room, and then sat down to the work of feeding himself, which he performed with extraordinary celerity, bolting the sugar-coated poison by the handful.

“There, Neddie, you have had quite enough for this time,” interposed his mother. “You will make yourself sick.”

“No, no!” cried the young gourmand, grasping his precious package with great energy, and turning away, “I want them all.”

“Not all, now—Oh, no, that would not do, at all. Bring them to me, and I will keep them for you, and give them to you when it is best for you to have them.”

Emboldened to disobedience by the presence of those whom he had never failed to conquer, the child hugged his treasure still closer, and arranged his physiognomy for a cry.

“Neddie—I want you to bring me your sweetmeats,” said Mrs. G.

He took refuge by the chair of his grandmother, who began to caress him. The step-mother’s color deepened; but she said in a low, firm tone, not to be mistaken⁠—

“Edward, my child, bring me that package.”

It was with rather slow and reluctant footsteps; but he did bring it and place it in her hands. She said simply⁠—

“That is right,” and left the room.

As she closed the door, however, she heard tremulous tones telling how “they shouldn’t abuse grandma’s little dove—no, they shouldn’t!—who was grandma’s darling!”

This was but one instance, among many, that occurred during the visit, when the step-mother found herself forced to exercise her parental authority, and then to listen to the condolence bestowed on the victim of her despotism.

That evening Mr. Brentford spent there. He made himself very much at home, holding old Mrs. Newell’s yarn for her, listening with the most exemplary complaisance to Mr. Newell’s interminable tales, consigning to Eddie his elegant repeater for a plaything, singing with Clara, playing chess with Alice, talking with Mrs. Gregory, evidently bent on earning for himself the epithet, which the old lady was not slow in bestowing, of “a very pretty young man.”

Mrs. Gregory admired him in all but his conversation, and in this she could not persuade herself that he was not shallow, flippant, and arrogant. She sought to draw him out on many subjects, but found none on which he was thoroughly informed—none on which he expressed fine sentiments that had about them any of the freshness of originality.



“What a genial, delicious air it is, to-night,” said Mrs. Gregory to herself, as she sat alone in her chamber one evening, “so light, too! How beautiful!” she exclaimed, as she opened the window and stepped out on the balcony. As she did so, the sound of voices arrested her attention.

She looked down into the garden, and saw Brentford and Clara slowly pacing along the garden walk, in the light of “the young May moon.” His arm girdled the light shawl that floated about her waist; his cap was placed coquetishly over her dark curls; his musical voice filled her ear.

“Poor, poor child!” murmured her step-mother, as she turned away; “how I wish this stranger had never come here! How continually he is in her society—how much he fascinates her, and how destitute he really is of every thing worthy of her regard. What shall I do? What would my husband have me do? Shall I leave her to her own discretion?—‘I am happy in intrusting them to you!’—Oh! if she only had a mother!”

At that moment, the soft sound of music stole up through the sleeping air. How deep and rich, yet how delicately modulated, was the voice that sung,

  In parlors of splendor, though beauty be glancing,

  Bright mirrors reflecting the fairy forms dancing,

  In banqueting halls, by the lily cheek glowing,

  With flush of the wine, in the silver cup flowing,

  Fair fingers disporting with musical sprite,

  And stealthily clipping the wings of the night;

  I’d hie to the home where the roses are dreaming,

  And Hope, from those eyes, on my spirit is beaming;

  I’d choose the still moonlight, thro’ vine-lattice stealing,

  The face that I love, in its beauty revealing.

  I’d list to the voice that is sweeter by far

  Than the tones of the lute or the heartless guitar.

  The accents of love all my spirit are filling

  With rapture subduing, yet blissful and thrilling.

  Alas! the kind minutes, unkindly are speeding,

  For joy or for sorrow, unstaying, unheeding,

  Oh! dearest, mine own one, wherever may be

  This presence, my spirit ne’er parteth from thee.

The last words melted away in the most liquid melody. “Ah! he will sing her heart away!” thought Catharine, as the magical tone died, echo-like. “How ravishingly-sweet that was! and how adoringly Clara loves music!” She sat down and leaned her head upon her hand, thinking anxiously; then suddenly taking her pencil, wrote these words:

Dear Clara,—Listen kindly, I entreat you, to a few words, which nothing but the most anxious solicitude for your interest could induce me to intrude upon you.

“Are you sure that your father, that your mother would approve so great an intimacy with one so much a stranger as Mr. Brentford? Be chary of your heart, I implore you. He may be all his very prepossessing appearance seems to claim, but remember, you do not know him.

“Forgive these suggestions, at once so unwelcome and so reluctant, and believe that you have no sincerer friend than

Catharine Gregory.

She folded the little note, and stepping across the hall, laid it on Clara’s table.

As she sat at the window, reading, the next morning, the trampling of horses in the court-yard attracted her notice. There sat Clara on her horse, Brentford encouraging her graceful timidity, and caressing the fiery animal on which she was mounted. Another moment and he, too, vaulted into the saddle, and away! Nobody knew better than Brentford that he looked no where so well as on a horse, and understood nothing so well as horsemanship. Mrs. Gregory admired them all, riders and horses, as they passed, looking so elegant, so excited, and so happy.

“Perhaps she did not observe my note,” thought she.

“Do they not look beautiful!” cried Alice, entering at that moment; “Clara’s riding-dress is so becoming to her perfect form. She sits like a queen. And then Brentford—I hardly know which to admire most, him or his horse—and that is saying a great deal.”

“Your comparison is very apt, Alice,” said her mother, laughing: “for Mr. Brentford’s beauty is very much of the same character as that of the noble brute he bestrides. They certainly are both extremely handsome.”

“Well, I wouldn’t care if he were as ugly as Caliban, if I could only ride his magnificent gray. Oh! if I were only old enough to be invited! But I must to my quadratic equations! Oh, I had forgotten—this note Clara left for you.”

Mrs. Gregory hastily opened it, and read thus,

“Clara’s father is not in the habit of troubling himself with the inspection of her affairs; and Mrs. Gregory is entreated not to burden her mind with any undue solicitude.

C. L. Gregory.”

The tears sprang to the step-mother’s eyes as she read these lines; but she brushed them away, for she heard footsteps at her door. It opened, and there stood Dr. Gregory himself. A right joyous meeting was there.

“And where are the children?” he asked.

“Alice left me but a moment ago, Neddie is in the garden, at play, I believe, and Clara has gone to ride.”

“To ride?—With whom?”

“With Mr. Brentford, a young man who came to town about the time you left, and has become somewhat intimate here. I should like to have you make his acquaintance.”

“Why, what is he?”

“You will see for yourself,” answered his wife, with a smile. “But you have told me nothing about your poor sister yet.”

It was not long before Dr. Gregory had an opportunity of meeting the stranger, and holding quite a long conversation with him in his own house.

“That is the man you spoke of?” said he abruptly to his wife, as the door closed on the visitor.

She assented.

“A man, indeed, if hair and cloth can make one. It is a pity he hadn’t a brain inside his comely cranium.”

Clara flashed a vengeful glance on her step-mother, as the doctor thus characteristically uttered himself, and sailed majestically out of the room.



The last rays of a June sun were streaming into Clara’s chamber through the open window at which she sat.

“There goes father into his office!” she exclaimed. “He is alone. Now or never!” and snatching her sun-bonnet, she ran quickly down the stairs and across the garden to the little white vine-covered office that stood at its foot. A moment’s hesitation, as she laid her hand on the latch, and then, with a sudden air of resolution, she opened the door and went in. Her father, who sat at the window, reading, glanced at her as she entered, nodded slightly, and went on with his book.

Clara walked across the floor to the library, and searched it diligently. Yet her father did not ask her what she wanted. She rattled gently the bones of a skeleton that hung in the corner. Still he did not look up. She played a tattoo on the skull of a Hottentot. The imperturbable doctor moved not. So she went up to him and laid her hand on the back of his chair, saying,

“Have you a few minutes for me, father?”

“Oh yes, my dear. Can you wait till I finish this article?” So she leaned upon his chair, gazing out of the window, and wishing herself back in her room.

“Well, Clara, I am ready for you,” said her father at last, closing his book.

But she seemed to have nothing ready to say, and began to pull to pieces a stray branch of woodbine that looked in at the window.

“Why what is it, my child—do you want a new frock, or what?”

“No, sir. I want—I came to ask you—why the truth is, father, that I want to be married, and beg you to tell me yes, when I ask you if I may.”

“Want to be married!” cried the doctor, laughing immoderately. “Now I protest, of all the fooleries, that is the last I should have thought of the child’s asking for! Why, see here, dear—how long is it since you were romping about here, in short dresses, and short hair, and all that? Want to be married!” and he gazed at her with an incredulous smile.

“I am nearly seventeen,” observed Clara, with considerable dignity.

“Oh, indeed! I beg your pardon, madam!” exclaimed her father, in a tone of profound deference, at the same time seating her on his knee. “You want to be married. Now, what for, my little lady?”

“Why, I think, without it, neither I nor one other can ever be happy.”

“And who might that other individual be?”

“I dare not tell you, for you are prejudiced against him, and will refuse me.”

“Prejudiced, am I? What, do you opine, has prejudiced me?”

“I think you adopted the opinions of another before seeing him, and so were not prepared to judge justly.”

“Is it this Brentford, you mean?”

“Yes, sir,” replied the girl, coloring deeply, and turning away her head.

“And what do you suppose would make your happiness with him?”

“We love each other!”

“What is it that you love in him?”

“Why, he is so noble, so generous, so honorable.”

“Are you quite sure that is it, Clara? Or is it that he is so handsome, so genteel, so elegantly bearded, so devoted to you? But I will not keep you on the rack, my poor child. I will tell you at once, that it is not my wish that you should marry mortal man, be he who he may, till you come to years of discretion, which is not likely to be for four or five yet.

“You do not know, now, what you will want when your taste is fully formed, your character consolidated. I am convinced that this man who now captivates you so much, possesses none, or next to none, of the qualities necessary to secure your permanent happiness and elevation in the connection you desire. He is far from being the person to whose influence I should be willing to have you subject your whole future life. And, indeed, if he met my entire approval, I should be very reluctant to have you pledge yourself so early.

“Be not in haste to assume the cares and responsibilities of life, my dear child; they will come soon enough at furthest. I would have you a strong, right-minded, well-developed woman, before you take the station and duties of a woman. I would not suffer you to marry now, unless I were willing to risk the peace of your whole life, which I am far enough from being.” And he drew down her blushing cheek, and kissed it.

“Do you not suppose your lover would find another lady as much to his taste, should you reject him?”

“Never!” replied Clara, emphatically; “he has told me a hundred times that he never loved before, and he never should again.”

“Very well,” returned her father, with a quiet smile, “if he will give you bail for his reappearance here, four years from this day, I shall be ready to listen to his proposals, if I am alive. But why did he not proffer his suit himself like a man, instead of pilfering your heart, and then sending you, poor, quailing thing, to ask the powers if he might have it!” A heavy frown lowered on Doctor Gregory’s brow, which his daughter hastened to dissipate, saying,

“Indeed, he would have seen you, but I preferred to, because⁠—”

“Because what?”

“I thought you would be more willing to listen to me.”

“I hope I should be reasonable with any one. You understand my wishes, Clara, and no doubt, I may depend on your acquiescence in them. You need not trouble yourself any further about a marriage, till you are of age, at least. As to Mr. Brentford, I rely on your judgment and sense of propriety, my daughter, to direct your future conduct. Of course, you will discontinue any intimate friendship with him.

“I am heartily sorry to disappoint you, love, but I have not a doubt you will be infinitely happier in the end.”

Clara’s lip quivered, and her eyes were so full of tears she dared not close them, as she rose, and pulling her sun-bonnet over her face, glided out of the office and up the garden walk. She ran up the stairs to her room, turned the key, and burst into tears.



Weeks have passed, and young Clara Gregory sits again, alone, at that western window, pale and troubled. The letter which she holds in her hand is the secret of her perplexity.

“He still loves me, then! He cannot give me up! He is so miserable—am I not cruel to condemn to misery one whose only crime is loving me too well? How gently he hints it—dear Brentford! But then a secret marriage seems so mean. Father, too. Then I have refused once, so positively. Shall I recant? I that am so inflexible! Indeed I should be ashamed to; still nobody would know it but Brentford himself.

“I never did disobey my father in my life; still, as this letter says, I am the best judge what is necessary to my own happiness—and it concerns me only. Father did not consult my wishes about marrying himself, and so he could not help forgiving me if I should disregard his. Shall I shut myself up at home to see that detestable step-mother exult in her success in frustrating my plans? No, Brentford, no! She shall not exult, she shall know that there are no thanks to her that I am not yours. Yet, but for her, I do not believe father would ever have objected. I will not be thwarted by her! An elopement? What is that more than a thousand ladies have consented to? Some of the very most perfect that ever were imagined, too. Why should I set myself up above all the world in my puritanism? It is no such shocking thing, after all.

“But father relies upon my honor and sense of propriety; oh, well, he will be glad afterward, when he sees how happy I am, and will like me the better, perhaps, for showing a little of his own energy. It will be just the same in the end as though I were married at home, only a bit of romance about it.”

And so the girl went on, zealously persuading her willing self that nothing could be more excusable—justifiable—commendable, than for her to abscond from her father’s house, and secretly to wed against his will.

“Yes, I come, Brentford!” she exclaimed aloud; and seizing a pen, she wrote and sealed a bond to that effect.

“Now I must go,” thought she, “for I have promised.”

That evening she asked her father’s permission to go on a few weeks’ visit to her friend Arabella, who had recently returned to her home.

“Oh yes, my dear, I shall be glad to have you go and enjoy yourself as much as you can, and as fast, too, for we cannot spare you a long while.”

Clara’s cheek burned as she thanked him, and turned away, for she knew he little imagined how long or how eventful was the absence she contemplated.

They thought she seemed strangely sad and agitated the next morning, as she bade them adieu to start on her excursion. Her sister felt a tear drop on her hand, as Clara embraced her and whispered,

“Good bye, dear, dear Alice!”

How anxious she seemed to do every little kindness for her father that morning, how solicitous to please him in all things! When he bade her “good morning,” she seemed to wait for him to say something more; but he only added,

“Be a good girl, my daughter.”

What a rush of emotions crowded each other through her mind, when she found herself seated among strangers in the railway car, speeding away like the wind from that sweet home, and the lifelong friends who loved her as themselves; from the grave of her mother—whither? To the arms of one of whose very existence she had been ignorant but a few weeks ago! For his sake she had forsaken those tried and precious friends—had parted from them with a lie upon her lips. To him she was about to give herself.

Perhaps a painful doubt crossed her mind of the honor of one who could demand from one so young, so unadvised, such a sacrifice of truth, of duty, of home, just for his sake. Perhaps a query arose whether there was enough in him to compensate for all she lost—whether the charm of his society would last through all the vicissitudes of life.

An old man sat before her, and from every wrinkle of his time-worn visage, a quiet tone seemed to ask her,

“Will your heart still cling to its hero when the rust of poverty is on his shining garments, and care has furrowed his fair forehead, and his raven hair has grown gray, and his proud form bent, and his rich voice wasted and broken?”

She felt, too, like a fugitive; she fancied that people looked suspiciously at her. Especially was there an eye that vexed her; a black, piercing eye, that peered out from a pale face through a mourning veil. It looked as though it might read the inmost secrets of one’s heart—and its frequent gaze became almost insupportable to Clara.

But they were rapidly approaching Burrill Bridge, the station where her lover had promised to join her. How intently she gazed from the window, as the Iron Horse began to halt, and the conductor shouted “Burrill Bridge!”

There he stood, as distinguished as ever among the crowd. She felt a thrill of pride as she marked the involuntary deference with which the throng made way for his lofty form, and said within herself, “He is mine!”

With him once more at her side, listening to his fascinating tones, she felt that she was in little danger of making too great a sacrifice for him; she reproached herself that she had ever faltered. Still she felt guilty and unsafe, startled at every new entrance; and it was with an emotion of dread that she glanced toward the stranger, whose observation had been so oppressive to her. But her eye brightened with an expression of relief as it caught the wave of her black garments passing into another car.

After a long, long ride of nearly forty-eight hours, they stopped.

“Oh! how far I am from dear, quiet Vernon, in this great, strange city!” thought Clara. But her heart fluttered as she heard Brentford order the hackman to “drive to —— church.”

“You shall be mine before we rest,” he whispered to her. Before another hour had passed, the solemn, irrevocable words were spoken which sealed her destiny! She felt their momentous import as she never had before.

A little group of loiterers in the vestibule gazed curiously at them as they passed out, and behind them Clara saw the same black eye that had annoyed her so much on the journey. Why should she be there, in the sultry noon, from the dust and weariness of travel?



That same afternoon the bride sat alone in her room in a fashionable hotel. A tap at her door—it is that stranger of the black eye and mourning dress. Though amazed and not altogether pleased, Clara invited her to a seat.

“I think, ma’am, you were married this morning in —— church, to Mr. Bernal Brentford?”

Clara assented, with a faint blush.

“I could not tell you, if I should try, how sorry I am to blast your happiness; but perhaps you will be thankful to me sometime. I must tell you that he, who has just wedded you, is the husband of another. Mr. Brentford has been, for four years, a married man!”

Clara stared at the woman in blank amazement, as though she did not comprehend what monstrous tale she was trying to make her believe.

At last, however, she seemed to understand, and with a sudden burst of indignation, and flashing eyes, she exclaimed,

“Who are you, that dare say such a thing? It is false! I know it is false! Brentford is true—he is honorable. I say, how dare you come here with that foul, despicable slander against him, my noble husband?”

She stood directly before her visitant, and clasped her cold hands together very tightly, that she might not seem to tremble. The black eyes looked mournfully and steadily on her, as the stranger replied,

“Poor girl! I dare come here and tell you this, because I know it is the truth, and I would save an innocent young fellow-being from disgrace and misery. I know one who, five years ago, was as light-hearted a creature as ever trilled a song. Then she met Bernal Brentford. He flattered her. He sang with her. He said he loved her. He took her away from her happy, happy home in the sunny south, and carried her to the city. There he squandered her fortune, and deserted her.

“Could I be human and suffer another poor heart to be murdered in this same way?”

As she spoke she drew a paper from her pocket, and handed it to Clara, who had sunk down into a chair, pale and speechless. She took it, and opened it mechanically. It was a record of the marriage of Bernal Brentford and Bertha Vale, signed and attested in due form. She read it, again and again, then said, suddenly,

“How do I know that this is genuine?”

“There are witnesses, to whom you can refer, if you care to. The means of proof are ample.”

Clara’s ear caught the sound of a well-known footfall on the stairs.

You are Bertha Vale?” said she.


“Sit in that recess, and be silent.”

Summoning all the fortitude of her nature, Clara resumed the book which she had dropped on the entrance of the stranger, and threw herself, in a careless attitude, on the sofa. She was glad of its support—for it seemed to her she should sink to the ground. Brentford entered, and approached her with some playful speech. But as he crossed the floor, his eye fell on the shadow of the figure in the recess. He looked at it and stood aghast. Then in a voice tremulous with passion, he cried,

“How on earth came you here?”

She made no reply, and Clara said, very calmly,

“Why should the lady not be here? She called to see me.”

“You called to see her!” he exclaimed, advancing toward the intruder, and glaring fiercely on her, “You shall not see her, you shall not speak a word to her! Get you hence!”

She rose, saying simply, “I am ready to go.”

“I tell you, Bertha Vale,” hissed her husband in her ear, “if you ever cross my path again, you shall bitterly rue it!”

Her eye fixed itself unwaveringly on his as he spoke, while her small hand freed her arm from the grasp he had taken on it. She did not speak, and casting one pitying glance on Clara, glided out of the room. Brentford stared after her as she went, then walked to the window, to see, apparently, whether she went into the street. There he stood, motionless, for several minutes, then, placing himself, with folded arms, before the faded form upon the sofa, demanded,

“What did she say to you?”

She raised her pallid face from the hands in which it had been hidden, and said sorrowfully,

“I cannot tell what she did say, but she made me know that I have been deceived, and I want to go home.

“Yes, yes, I must go home,” she murmured to herself.

“No, no, she lied, I say. You shall not go—would you go and desert your own Brentford, dearest?”

“You are not mine,” said she, putting away the arm with which he would have encircled her, “you are another woman’s. I want to go home.”

She raised herself and strayed toward the table, where her bonnet lay. Brentford sprang after her and seized her hand, pouring forth a torrent of remonstrance, denial, invective, and command, in the utmost confusion. But Clara’s inexorable will was, for once, her good angel; and, whether he raved or implored, she was still firm. Although so weak and trembling that she could hardly support herself, she suffered him to see nothing but cold, strong resolve; but as she opened the door to go, and saw his look of dark despair, she hesitated, and gave him her hand, saying⁠—

“I do forgive you, Brentford.”

But the gleam of hope that shot into his eyes admonished her, and she quickly shut the door and ran down stairs, without stopping to think, and was soon seated in a carriage and rattling rapidly away.



How like an angel’s sigh of loving pity that summer’s wind breathed on the cheek of the sufferer! How kindly the crimson sunset clouds tried to shed their own glow on its pallor, and even to fill with light the tear that glittered on it. The blush roses, too, that swayed to and fro at the open window, vied with each other who should kiss the thin, white hand that rested on the sill; and her sad eyes beamed forth a grateful blessing on them all, as she lay there, like a child, in her father’s arms.

His face bore a strange contrast to the mournful gentleness of hers; for his dark, heavy brows were knit, and his lips compressed, as though in anger; yet that firm lip quivered, as he said, tenderly⁠—

“How much you have suffered, my poor child! No wonder that it has made you sick and delirious!”

“I have suffered no more than I deserved,” murmured Clara.

“But how did the man try to extenuate his villany?” exclaimed her father, with a sudden flash of indignation from his dark eyes.

“Don’t speak harshly, dear father?” whispered she. “He confessed, at last, that he was married, but said he had long ceased to love; and then, he loved me—so madly!”

A smile of pure scorn curled Doctor Gregory’s lip, and he clasped his child closer in his arms, as he exclaimed⁠—

“Thank God, my daughter, you are safe in your father’s arms once more!”

“Oh, I am thankful,” said Clara, earnestly, raising her tearful eyes to her father’s face, “and I do hope that I may be a better child to you than I have ever been. I have been proud and selfish, but I do think that I am humbled now. Ah! how much I owe you, my father, to atone for the grief I have caused you. It seems to me, now, so strange that I could be so undutiful! I lived long in those few days I was absent from you—and, then,” she added, hesitating, “there is another thing for which I ought to make a long and sad confession—I have been most unkind to her you gave me in my mother’s stead. I have felt it all as I have lain upon my bed, and watched her noiseless footsteps stealing about, ministering to me. I have suffered for it as I have felt her cool, soft hand upon my burning forehead—and, most of all, have I repented it, as I have noticed the beautiful delicacy with which she avoids the most remote allusion to my ingratitude and folly.”

“God bless you, my child!” breathed Doctor Gregory, with deep emotion. “I trusted long to your good sense to correct the evil which I so much mourned. I pitied you—for I knew, but too well, whence you inherited the self-will that was your bane. But your heart is the victor, at last,” and a glow of satisfaction lighted his countenance, as he bowed his manly head to kiss the sweet face that rested on his breast. “But you will have great disappointment and loneliness to sustain, my dear Clara. I fear you will be very unhappy.”

Clara gazed cheerfully and seriously into her father’s face as she replied⁠—

“I think I have learned to be happy in the love of home, and I shall delight in trying to repay the long forbearance and gentleness of my Step-Mother.”





In that part of Asia, where some of our brave countrymen have penetrated only to die—in that country where Charles Stoddart and his friend Conolly, whose faces will never be forgotten by some of us, and whose voices still sound in our ears, consoled each other through a loathsome imprisonment, and went out together to lose their heads in the market-place of the capital; in that distant and impracticable country of Bokhara, which we are ready to say we will never have any connection with—there are people always employed in our service. We are not now thinking of the Bokhara clover, which is such a treat to our cows and horses. We owe that, and lucerne, and others of our green crops, to the interior of Asia; but we are thinking of something more elaborate. In Bokhara, the camel is watched while the fine hair on the belly is growing: this fine hair is cut off so carefully that not a fibre is lost; it is put by until there is enough to spin into a yarn, unequalled for softness, and then it is dyed all manner of bright colors, and woven in strips eight inches wide of shawl patterns, such as—with all our pains and cost, with all our Schools of Design, and study of nature and art—we are not yet able to rival. These strips are then sewn together so cunningly that no European can discover the joins. The precious merchandise is delivered to traders who receive it on credit. On their return from market, they pay the price of the shawls at the Bokhara value, with 30 per cent. interest; or, if they cannot do this in consequence of having been robbed, or of any other misfortune, they stay away, and are never seen again in their native land.

Where is this market?—So far away from home that the traders wear out their clothes during their journey, and their fair skins become as brown as mulattoes. On, on, on they go, day after day, month after month, on their pacing camels or beside them, over table-lands mounting one above another; over grass, among rocks, over sand, through snows; now chilled to the marrow by icy winds; now scorched by sunshine, from which there is no shelter but the flat cotton caps with which they thatch their bare crowns: on, on, for fifteen thousand miles, to the borders of Russia, to sell the shawls which are to hang on ladies’ shoulders in Hyde Park, and where beauties most do congregate in Paris and Vienna.

The passion for shawls among all women everywhere is remarkable. In one country, the shawl may flow from the head like a veil; in another, it hangs from the shoulders; in another, it is knotted round the loins as a sash; in yet another, it is swathed round the body as a petticoat. Wherever worn at all, it is the pet article of dress. From a time remote beyond computation, the sheep of Cashmere have been cherished on their hills, and the goats of Thibet on their plains, and the camels of Tartary on their steppes, to furnish material for the choicest shawls. From time immemorial, the patterns which we know so well have been handed down in a half-sacred tradition through a Hindoo ancestry, which puts even Welsh pedigrees to shame. For thousands of years have the bright dyes, which are the despair of our science and art, been glittering in Indian looms, in those primitive pits under the palm-tree, where the whimsical patterns grow like the wildflower springing from the soil. For thousands of years have Eastern potentates made presents of shawls to distinguished strangers, together with diamonds and pearls.

At this day, when an Eastern prince sends gifts to European sovereigns, there are shawls to the value of thousands of pounds, together with jewels, perfumes, and wild beasts, and valuable horses; just as was done in the days of the Pharaohs, as the paintings on Egyptian tombs show us at this day. And the subjects of sovereigns have as much liking for shawls as any queen. At the Russian Court, the ladies judge one another by their shawls as by their diamonds. In France, the bridegroom wins favor by a judicious gift of this kind. In Cairo and Damascus, the gift of a shawl will cause almost as much heart-burning in the harem as the introduction of a new wife. In England, the daughter of the house spends the whole of her first quarter’s allowance in the purchase of a shawl. The Paris grisette and the London dressmaker go to their work with the little shawl pinned neatly at the waist. The lost gin-drinker covers her rags with the remnants of the shawl of better days. The farmer’s daughter buys a white cotton shawl, with a gay border, for her wedding; and it washes and dyes until, having wrapped all her babies in turn, it is finally dyed black to signalize her widowhood. The maiden aunt, growing elderly, takes to wearing a shawl in the house in mid-winter; and the granny would no more think of going without it at any season than without her cap. When son or grandson comes home from travel, far or near, his present is a new shawl, which she puts on with deep consideration, parting with the old one with a sigh. The Manchester or Birmingham factory-girl buys a gay shawl on credit, wears it on Sunday, puts it in pawn on Monday morning, and takes it out again on Saturday night for another Sunday’s wear, and so on, until she has wasted money that would have bought her a good wardrobe. Thus, from China round the world to Oregon, and from the queen down to the pauper, is the shawl the symbol of woman’s taste and condition. Whence come all these shawls? For it is clear that the supply which arrives from Asia—over bleak continents and wide oceans—can only be for the rich and great. Some of the shawls from Bokhara sell, in the market on the Russian frontier, for two thousand four hundred pounds each. Whence come the hundred thousand shawls that the women of Great Britain purchase every year?

Some of the richest that our ladies wear are from Lyons; and the French taste is so highly esteemed, that our principal manufacturers go to Lyons once or twice a year for specimens and patterns. Some of our greatest ladies of all, even the queen and certain duchesses and countesses offer to our chief manufacturers a sight of their treasures from India, their Cashmeres and other shawls, from a patriotic desire for the improvement of our English patterns. From these, the manufacturers of Norwich and Paisley devise such beautiful things that, but for the unaccountable and unrivaled superiority of the Orientals in the production of this particular article, we should be all satisfaction and admiration. The common cotton shawls, continually lessening in number, worn by women of the working-classes, are made at Manchester, and wherever the cotton manufacture is instituted. In order to study the production of British shawls in perfection, one should visit the Norwich or Paisley manufactures.

If any article of dress could be immutable, it would be the shawl—designed for eternity in the unchanging East—copied from patterns which are the heirloom of a caste—and woven by fatalists, to be worn by adorers of the ancient garment, who resent the idea of the smallest change. Yet has the day arrived which exhibits the manufacture of three distinct kinds of shawls in Paisley. There is the genuine woven shawl with its Asiatic patterns; and there is that which is called a shawl for convenience, but which has nothing Asiatic about it: the tartan—which name is given not only to the checks of divers colors which signify so much to the Scottish eye, but to any kind of mixed or mottled colors and fabric—woven in squares or lengths to cover the shoulder. The third kind is quite modern: the showy, slight and elegant printed shawl, derived from Lyons, and now daily rising in favor. The woven kind is the oldest in Paisley. The tartan kind was introduced from Stirlingshire—without injury to Stirlingshire—which makes as many as ever, but to the great benefit of Paisley. The printed kind has been made about six years, and it is by far the greatest and most expanding manufacture. The most devoted worshipers of the genuine shawl can hardly wonder at this, considering the love of change that is inherent in ladies who dress well, and the difference of cost. A genuine shawl lasts a quarter of a lifetime. Ordinary purchasers give from one pound to ten pounds for one, and can give more if they desire a very superior shawl: a process which it is not convenient to repeat every two or three years. The handsomest printed shawls, meantime, can be had for two pounds, and they will last two years; by the end of which time, probably, the wearer has a mind for something new. The time required for the production answers pretty accurately to these circumstances. It takes a week to weave a shawl of the genuine sort—in the same time, ten or twelve of the tartan or plaid, and twenty or thirty of the printed can be produced.

The processes employed for these three kinds of shawls are wholly different; and we will therefore look at them separately, though we saw them, in fact, under the same roof. As for the tartan shawls, there is no need to enlarge upon them, as their production is much like that of any other kind of variegated cloth. We need mention only one fact in regard to them, which is, however, very noticeable, the recent invention of a machine by which vast time and labor are saved. As we all know, the fringes of cloth shawls are twisted—some threads being twisted together in one direction, and then two of these twists being twisted in the opposite direction. Till a month ago this work was done by girls, in not the pleasantest way, either to themselves or the purchaser, by their wetting their hands from their own mouths, and twisting the threads between their palms. The machine does, in a second of time, the work of fourteen pairs of hands; that is, as two girls attend it, there is a saving of twelve pairs of hands and some portion of time, and the work is done with thorough certainty and perfection; whereas, under the old method, for one girl who could do the work well, there might be several who did it indifferently or ill. The machine—invented by Mr. Hutchinson—must be seen to be understood; for there is no giving an idea, by description, of the nicety with which the brass tongues rise to lift up the threads and to twist them; then throw them together, and rub them against the leather-covered shafts, which—instead of human palms—twist them in the opposite direction. In seeing this machine the old amazement recurs at the size, complication, and dignity of an instrument contrived for so simple a purpose. The dignity, however, resides not in the magnitude of the office, but in the saving of time and human labor.

Of the other two kinds of shawls, which shall we look at first? Let it be the true and venerable woven shawl.

The wool is Australian or German—chiefly Australian. It comes in the form of yarn from Bradford, in hanks which are any thing but white, so that they have first to be washed. Of the washing, dyeing, and warping we need not speak, as they are much the same to the observer’s—and therefore to the reader’s—eye as the preparation of yarns for carpets in Kendal, and of silk for ribbons in Coventry. While the washing and drying, and the dyeing and drying again, are proceeding, the higher labor of preparing the pattern is advancing.

But how much of the lower kind of work can be done during the slow elaboration of the higher? It really requires some patience and fortitude even to witness the mighty task of composing and preparing the pattern of an elaborate shawl. Let the reader study any three square inches of a good shawl border; let the threads be counted, and the colors, and the twists and turnings of the pattern, and then let it be remembered that the general form has to be invented, and the subdivisions, and the details within each form, and the filling up of the spaces between, and the colors—as a whole, and in each particular; and that, before the material can be arranged for the weaving, every separate stitch (so to speak) most be painted down on paper, in its right place. Is it not bewildering to think of?—Much more bewildering and imposing is it to see. As for the first sketch of the design, that is all very pretty; and, the strain on the faculties not being cognizable by the stranger, is easy enough.

There goes the artist-pencil—tracing waving lines and elegant forms, giving no more notion of the operations within than the hands of a clock do of the complication of the works. Formerly, the employers put two or three good foreign patterns into the artist’s hands, and said—“Make a new pattern out of these.” Now that we have schools of design, and more accessible specimens of art, the direction is given without the aids—“Make a new pattern,” and the artist sits down with nothing before him but pencil and paper—unless, indeed, he finds aids for himself in wild flowers, and other such instructors in beauty of form and color. By degrees, the different parts of the pattern shape themselves out, and combine—the centre groups with the ends, and the ends grow out into the sides with a natural and graceful transition. Then the portions, properly outlined, are delivered to the colorers, who cover the drawing with oiled paper, and begin to paint. It would not do to color the outlined drawing, because there are no outlines in the woven fabric. It is dazzling only to look upon. Much less minute is the transferring to the diced paper which is the real working pattern. The separate portions of the finished pattern of a single shawl, when laid on the floor, would cover the carpet of a large drawing-room. The taking down such a pattern upon paper occupies four months.

The weaving is done either by “lashing” or from Jacquard cards. The Jacquard loom answers for the eternal patterns, and the “lashing” method suffices for those which are not likely to be repeated. The man seated at the “piano-machine,” playing on a sort of keys from the colored pattern stuck up before his eyes, is punching the Jacquard cards, which are then transferred in their order to the lacing-machine, where they are strung together by boys into that series which is to operate upon the warp in the weaving, lifting up the right threads for the shuttle to pass under to form the pattern, as in other more familiar manufactures. The “lashing” is read off from the pattern, too, in the same way as with carpet patterns at Kendal; so many threads being taken up and interlaced with twine for a red stitch, and then so many more for a green, and so on. Boys then fasten each symbol of a hue to a netting of whipcord, by that tail of the netting which, by its knots, signifies that particular hue; so that, when the weaving comes to be done, the boy, pulling the symbolic cord, raises the threads of the warp—green, blue, or other—which are required for that throw of the shuttle. Thus the work is really all done before-hand, except the mere putting together of the threads; done, moreover, by any body but the weaver, who is—to say the truth—a mere shuttle-throwing machine. The poor man does not even see and know what he is doing. The wrong side of the shawl is uppermost—and not even such a wrong side as we see, which gives some notion of the pattern on the other. Previous to cutting, the wrong side of a shawl is a loose surface of floating threads of all colors; of the threads, in fact, which are thrown out of the pattern, and destined to be cut away and given to the papermakers to make coarse gray paper. One pities the weaver, who sits all day long throwing the shuttle, while the boy at the end of his loom pulls the cords which make the pattern, and throw up nothing but refuse to the eye. He has not even the relief of stopping to roll up what he has done; for a little machine is now attached to his loom, which saves the necessity of stopping for any such purpose. It is called “the up-taking motion.” By it a few little cogwheels are set to turn one another, and, finally, the roller, on which the woven fabric is wound as finished.

The bundles of weaving-strings and netting which regulate the pattern, are called “flowers.” From the quantity of labor and skill wrought up in their arrangement, they are very valuable. A pile of them, on a small table, were, as we were assured, worth one thousand pounds. We may regard each as the soul or spirit of the shawl—not creating its material, but animating it with character, personality, and beauty. We have said that it takes a man a week to weave a shawl: but this means a “long” shawl, and not a “square.” The square remain our favorites; but the female world does not seem to be of our mind. It is true the symmetry of the pattern is spoiled when the white centre hangs over one shoulder. It is true, the “longs” are heavy and very warm, from being twice doubled. But they have one advantage, which ladies hold to compensate for those difficulties; they can be folded to any size, and therefore to suit any figure—tall or short, stout or thin. We are assured that, for one square shawl that is sold, there are a hundred “longs.”

A capital machine now intervenes, with its labor-saving power; this time of French invention. Formerly, it took two girls a whole day to cut off the refuse threads from the back of a shawl. But this machine, superintended by a man, does it in a minute and a half. A horizontal blade is traversed by spiral blades fixed on a cylinder, the revolving of which gives to the blades the action of a pair of scissors. The man’s office is to put in the shawl, set the machine going, and to beat down the refuse as fast as it is cut off.

The upper surface of the shawl remains somewhat rough—rough enough to become soon a rather dirty article of dress, from the dust which it would catch up and retain. It is therefore smoothed by singing. This very offensive process is performed by a man who must have gone through a severe discipline before he could endure his business. He heats his iron (which is like a very large, heavy knife, turned up at the end) red hot, spreads the shawl on a table rather larger than itself, and passes the red-hot iron over the surface, with an even and not very rapid movement. What would that Egyptian dragoman have said, who, being asked to iron out an English clergyman’s white ducks, burned off the right leg with the first touch of his box-iron? That box-iron was not red-hot, nor any thing like it; yet there is no such destruction here. There is only the brown dust fizzing. Pah! that’s enough! let us go somewhere else.

In a light, upper room, women and girls are at work, sitting on low stools, each with a shawl stretched tightly over her knees. Some of these are darning, with the utmost nicety, any cracks, thin places, or “faults” in the fabric; darning each in its exact color. Some are putting silk fringes upon the printed shawls, tacking them in with a needle, measuring each length by eye and touch, and then knotting, or, as it is called, “netting” the lengths by cross-ties. One diminutive girl of nearly ten, is doing this with wonderful quickness, as she sits by her mother’s knee. The girls do not come to work before this age; nor the boys before twelve. In other rooms, women are seated at tables, or leaning over them, twisting the fringes of plaid shawls, or picking out knots and blemishes with pincers, and brushing all clean, and then folding them, with sheets of stiff pasteboard between, ready for the final pressure in the hydraulic press, which makes them fit for the shop.

The fabric for the printed shawls is light and thin, in comparison with the woven. The thinness is various; from the barège to the lightest gossamer that will bear the pressure of the block. The whole importance of the production consists in printing; for the fabric is simple and common enough. A man can weave ten yards per day of the barège; and the silk gauze, striped or plain, requires no particular remark.

The designing is done with the same pains and care as for the genuine shawl, but the range of subjects is larger. While something of the Oriental character of the shawl patterns must be preserved, much of the beauty of French figured silks and brocades and embroidery may be admitted. Thus the designing and coloring-rooms contain much that pleases the eye, though one does not see there the means and appliances which fill some apartment or another of Birmingham factories—the casts from the antique, the volumes of plates, the flower in water, and so on. The preparation of the blocks for printing, and yet more the application of them, reminded us of the paper-staining, which we had certainly never thought of before in connection with shawls. The wood used is lime-wood. Some of the blocks are chiseled and picked out, like those of the paper-stainer. The cast-blocks are more curious. A punch is used, the point or needle of which is kept hot by a flame, from which the workman’s head is defended by a shield of metal. He burns holes by puncturing with this hot needle along all the outlines of the block he holds in his hands, much as a little child pricks outlines on paper on a horse-hair chair-bottom. There is a groove along the face of each block, to allow the metal to run in. The burned blocks are screwed tight in a press, their joined tops forming a saucer, into which the molten metal (composed of tin, bismuth and lead) is poured. In it goes, and down the grooves, penetrating into all the burnt holes; and, of course, when cool, furnishing a cast of the patterns desired, in the form of upright thorns or spikes on a metallic ground or plate. These plates are filed smooth at the back, and fixed on wood, and you have the blocks ready to print from; one representing one color, another another, and so on, till the plates for a single shawl of many colors may mount up in value to a very large sum.

Before printing, the fabric has been well washed; the barège being passed, by machinery, over cylinders which apply and squeeze out a wash of soap, soda, and glue. All roughness had previously been removed by a “cropping” machine. After drying, it comes to the printing-table, where it is treated much like a paper-hanging. This is all very well; but what is to be done in case of a shower of rain? a not improbable incident in the life of a shawl. A paper-hanging would not stand a driving rain. Are ladies imposed upon in this matter, when they are offered a gay-printed shawl as wearable out of doors? By no means. Nobody knows how it is, but the fact is certain, that a good steaming, at a tremendous heat, fixes the colors by some chemical action, without in the least hurting their lustre: so the shawls go into the steaming-box, and come out of it able to bear as many washings as you please, without any change of color. After drying, in a heat of one hundred and ten degrees, they go up stairs to be surveyed, fringed, folded and pressed.

It seems a pity that the fat, easy, lazy Bokharian, and the slim, lithe, patient Hindoo, should not come to Paisley, and see how shawls are made there. To the one, shaving his camel on the plain, and the other, throwing his antique shuttle under the palm, how strange would be the noise, and the stench, and the speed, and the numbers employed, and the amount of production! To the one, it may be the work of years to furnish to the traveling merchant strips of eight inches wide, enough to make a shawl; and to the other, the production of such an article is an event in life; while here, at Paisley, if the pattern requires months, the weaving of the most genuine and valuable kind occupies only a week. We do not believe that the simple and patient Oriental will be driven out of the market by us, because there is no promise, at present, of our overtaking their excellence. We hope there will be room in the world of fashion for them and us forever—(the “forever” of that world.) We shall not go back to their methods, and it is not very likely that they should come up to ours; so we shall probably each go on in our own way, which is what everybody likes best.



Notwithstanding its proximity to Gibraltar, and the constant intercourse and commerce kept up with Europeans, Tangier preserves its primitive appearance and bears the stamp of a thoroughly Moorish town. Like most Moslem cities it is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and the ride of a few miles will reward the tourist with some very pretty scenery. There is work, too, for the antiquary round about Tangier. Ruins of cities, remains of a Roman aqueduct, traces of the Portuguese dominion, strange tombs of warrior saints who fell in battle, are to be visited. To the north, also, near the sea, there stand the ruins of an old castle, famous as having once been the retreat of a bold chieftain who rebelled against the sultan. This ruin, with portions of its massive outer wall yet standing, covers a large extent of ground, and used frequently to be the destination of my morning rides. Day after day, when riding listlessly through the neighboring lanes, between hedges of the aloe and prickly pear, my horse paused at the old castle, and I went in to raise a panic among bats and owls that were disturbed by my wandering among its gloomy passages and desolate old halls.

A very matter-of-fact soldier had, for a long time, been the attendant on our rides—for it is unsafe to trespass far beyond the town without a guard; this gentleman had not a word wherewith to satisfy my curiosity, or gratify my feminine desire to provide every ruin with its legend. A change of guide, however, brought me at last under the shadow of a charming fellow, a battered, tale-telling old hunter, named Shebah, or the Lion, no doubt from his courage. His conversation was stocked largely with magicians, genii, and enchanted castles, which he built up with much gorgeousness of detail, yet speaking always with a certain dignified simplicity and a peculiarity of idiom that gave a piquant relish to the richness of the diet upon which my ears were put.

One bright September morning, as a small party of us rested on a grassy spot on what perhaps had been the tilt-yard of the castle before-mentioned, enjoying a cool pic-nic breakfast, the old hunter sat cross-legged in our neighborhood, with his long gun beside him, and a knife glittering in his belt, looking with grave wistfulness at the sparkle of our wine, and wrestling mentally, perhaps, with the hard veto of his prophet. To console himself, he lifted up his voice and told us all he knew about surrounding objects, sliding eventually into what he called the Legend of the Castle. I really cannot repeat it after him in his own gorgeous words, that sounded very well upon his lips under the Moorish castle walls, but would trip less successfully from mine in England. I will tell the story as I can, beginning properly with Once upon a Time.

Once upon a time when this castle, now decayed, was a strong fortress, there dwelt in it a certain Arab chief named Muley ben Abel, alias Al Zagal, or the Valiant. Al Zagal’s valor was not tempered with mercy, and he was by no means universally esteemed by all who knew him. The two half-brothers of Al Zagal were, however, known as the Good Lords, and the public preference of these two brothers caused their sudden disappearance. They were followed out of the world by their father, Ibn Amir, when he was a man still in the prime of life. Al Zagal had, after this time, many fingers pointed at him, and became so greatly dreaded by the people that he was not unwilling to give them other cause for dread. He began accordingly to prey upon the country people, and the Sultan, being busy in a war with mountain tribes, had neither time nor inclination to put any check on his proceedings. So Al Zagal collected a troop of black warriors, with consciences of a like color with their skins, and levied black mail on all travelers and merchants as they passed on their way to Granada, “which then,” said the hunter, “our people possessed, and, by the blessing of Allah, will again possess.” The Moors faithfully believe that they shall in due time reconquer Spain; and many families of note, tracing descent from Moors of Granada, still keep the keys of houses, and the title-deeds of lands held by their ancestors, ready to be produced in the good time that is coming. Every Friday the Imaums in the mosque pray for the consummation so devoutly wished.

Al Zagal and his black guards did more mischief than a herd of wolves among the surrounding hamlets, and their den came to be called accordingly the Black Castle. The robbers would sweep by in the night, like a hot wind from the desert, and leave every thing destroyed upon their track.

Now it so happened that the shiek of a small mountain village, distant about half a day’s journey from the Black Castle, (Hamet al Hassan was his name,) had a fair daughter, the only child left to him by thirteen wives, and she was named Lindora. Lindora means light of the dawn; and the damsel was as soft, and quiet, and delightful as her godmother, Aurora. Necessarily she was, for is she not the heroine of the legend that was told us by the Moorish hunter under the Black Castle’s walls?

Hamet, the father, for the sake of peace and quietness, seeing how weak he was, paid a black mail to Al Zagal, that was collected on behalf of the castle, at fixed periods, by one of the chief’s swarthy followers. It happened that such a messenger one day chanced to behold Lindora when she returned from drawing water at the village well.

“Son of Al Hassan,” said the envoy, “give me, I pray thee, thy daughter to my wife, for the maid finds favor in my sight. I will befriend thee with my influence, and cause Al Zagal to remit this tribute.”

“Most worthy envoy of the most noble Al Zagal,” said the old man in reply, “many have asked Lindora at my hands in marriage, but she is betrothed to Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar, my brother’s son; and when he returns from fighting for the sultan, I have promised that they shall be wedded. So even the marriage gifts are prepared against his coming. Wo is me! I have said it.”

But the same night, when the inmates of that mountain hamlet were asleep, a strong light fell upon their eyes, and shrieks and war-cries fell upon their ears, and they awoke to the slaughter, for the band of the Black Castle had come down, and fired the village. Young men fought, and women fled; but in the morning the hamlet was a ruin far behind the backs of the marauders, who drove sheep and oxen on the way before them, and with Lindora and her father in the middle of their band, marched back to the Black Castle, well content with the good stroke of business they had done.

Several weeks after that night, a young Moorish warrior, handsomely equipped, attended by about a dozen lances, galloped up-hill toward the ruin of Al Hassan’s tents. He was an extremely handsome man, you may be sure, because he is the hero of the legend. Not having expected to find any ruin on the spot, his first impression, when he saw no tents, was, that his father’s brother must have struck them, and removed into another neighborhood. Soon, however, he discovered marks of fire, and—by the beard of the Prophet!—blood. Need I say that the young man was Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar, and that his agony at this discovery was dreadful? He sent his spears abroad in vain for tidings, and then turned his own horse’s head toward Tetuan, the nearest town.

Lindora was at this time, of course, in the Black Castle, imprisoned in a lonely tower. The old man, too old to be sold as a slave, would have been promptly dispatched, if the cries of Lindora for her father had not suggested that his life and presence were essential to the preservation of her beauty. The dark envoy was most instrumental in the securing of his safety, but Al Zagal having seen the maiden, who had been seized for his envoy’s satisfaction, was desirous, of course, as the dullest legend reader would perceive, to add her to the roll of his own wives.

When Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar, knowing nothing of all this, reached Tetuan, he went to the house of Al Hadj Halek Ibn Abdallah, a famous marabout, and said, “Salaam on Aleekomm! Know, O holy man, that I am come to thee for news, the odor of which would be sweet unto my nostrils.” The wise man, having heard his question, was able, fortunately, to return an answer. And the youth said: “I will depart this hour again to Fez, and throw myself at the feet of the Prince of Believers to ask vengeance; and it shall come to pass that he shall grant me power to lead his warriors against Al Zagal, destroy his castle, and deliver Lindora from its walls; for the maiden loves me still,” he added, looking at the hilt of his dagger, in which a large opal glittered cheerfully. “Tabeeb, farewell!”

Lindora was at that time in her lonely tower, shrieking with but little intermission. Al Zagal appeared on the battlements, and leaning over, shouted to one of his followers: “Asharky, place thyself at the head of a score of lances, and ride the country through till thou findest a Tabeeb, for the daughter of Al Hassan is possessed.” The Tabeeb who was brought declared the maiden to be in the delirium of fever; so thereafter Al Zagal, who by no means desired that she should die, frequently paced the battlements in a moody way, invoking on her case the blessing of the Prophet.

One day he was awakened from such a reverie by the sound of distant tom-toms and cymbals, and looking up he saw the royal banner coming down the road from Fez. Bright arms of warriors glittered about it, and a dark crowd of country people, that had joined with the great army of the Sultan, was shouting his name; they were his debtors from the surrounding country, now resolved to take this advantageous opportunity of paying him the little things they owed. When the multitude had halted near the castle walls, a single horseman spurred out of the main body—a herald he was—summoning Muley ben Abel, alias Al Zagal, to surrender his castle and give up the prisoners therein, particularly Lindora and her father, otherwise the Lord Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar, Caliph of the Sultan, was prepared in the Sultan’s name to lay siege to its walls. A valorous discussion followed, which was closed by a follower of Al Zagal, who, with a stone from a sling, struck the herald on the forehead, and unhorsed him. Then the siege commenced.

The siege was tedious, for the castle walls were thick, but as the black band was not accustomed to live peaceably on short provisions, it turned very blue when the wine failed, and became finally seditious. Nevertheless the siege was tedious, and Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar began to fear the approach of the rainy season and the departure of his peasant allies, when one day he saw, in strong relief against the morning sky, Lindora and her father led out chained upon the battlements of the Black Castle. Al Zagal had an offer of accommodation to suggest. If the siege were raised he would give up his captives for a ransom of a thousand mets-kal. If not, he would cut off their heads next morning, and throw them down into the camp.

This threw Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar into great perplexity, for his honor as a soldier and his desire as a lover, were played off unpleasantly against each other. While he still pondered in his tent, the tent curtain was drawn aside and the dark envoy entered. Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar knew the dark envoy well, although he did not know him as the first cause of Lindora’s misery: he knew him only as a doughty fighting man throughout the siege. What did the dark envoy want. “Son of Amar,” he said, “grant but a free pass to myself and a few companions, and the castle shall be delivered up to-night into your hands. Al Zagal has wronged me, and the sons of Allah are not able to forgive.”

“Can I believe this?”

“Fear not, Cedi; I will remain in this tent till my word has been fulfilled. To-night Al Zagal, having lulled and deceived thee by this morning’s offer, will make a sally with his whole band, and attempt to cut a way to safety for himself and for his captives through your unsuspicious ranks. He hopes to get beyond the mountains into Rif. His men will be divided into two bands, one headed by myself, the other by my brother, who will join against him at a given signal.”

“Fight thine own battles with Al Zagal,” said Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar; “I will have no traitor for ally.” The youth, nevertheless, profited by the dark envoy’s useful information, and disseminated it industriously throughout his camp. In the night, the castle gates having been thrown open, a band of horsemen passed the drawbridge stealthily with muffled hoofs, formed into rank, and placed their captives in the centre, intending to burst in their old way with a sudden cry upon the sleeping enemy. “By the beard of my father,” said Al Zagal, “we will yet teach the shepherds what it is to have a lion at bay.” He had not long spoken before the lances of the shepherds came upon him, and lances of his own troops also were turned against him. Seeing that he was betrayed, he closed with those men who were faithful to him round the captives, and endeavored to regain the castle; but the enemy possessed the path. There was a terrible fight, and Cedi Mohammed riding high among the torches, friends fought against friends, emirs, splendidly caparisoned on Arab steeds, engaged with half-clad members of the black band, on wiry mountain ponies. Al Zagal, through the tumult and the torch-light fighting desperately, succeeded with a few followers in forcing a way with Lindora back into the castle, of which a large part was already in the hands of the besiegers. He secured Lindora in a secret room, and then descending through dark vaults and passages to a magazine that had long been prepared for any such occasion, added arson to his other crimes. The savage horror of the scene was at its highest as the flames leaped their highest up into the night. The red blaze was a pleasant beacon-fire to men who, waking up by chance in distant places, said it must be the Black Castle that was then on fire, and so there would be peace again upon their tents now that the Black Castle was destroyed.

But among the blazing ruins the strife still went on. The band of Al Zagal had their lives to sell, and valued their lives dearly. “There is one chance more,” said Al Zagal to a gigantic black who had been unhorsed in the struggle; “let us mount the first horses we can get, and we may yet escape beyond the mountains into Rif.” Al Zagal had soon forced an emir from his charger, and was darting from the castle when the dark envoy confronted him. “Know me!” the chief said, “I am Al Zagal.” But the dark envoy struck him, bidding him die like a dog; and after a great struggle he did die, like a brave dog, fighting gallantly. But the dark envoy had fought for Lindora, and had made Lindora his war-cry in the act of treason. Down there came, therefore, in wrath, upon the head of the dark envoy the sword of Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar. There was another desperate encounter, and I suppose no shrewdness could discover which of the two combatants was killed.

Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar rushed, at great peril of his life, among the chambers of the burning castle seeking his Lindora. In the uppermost apartment of the western tower, still spared from the flames, he found her stretched upon a low divan, pale and disheveled, almost senseless. Her lover carried her among the ruins to a resting-place upon the trampled, blood-stained grass, and there under the fresh breeze of early morning she revived: “I am indeed saved by thy hand; O, my beloved, Allah hath heard my prayers, and great is my reward. To-morrow I sleep with my fathers and see thee no more.” The light of the dawn was on her face. “Lindora!” the youth cried, with a sudden fear; “Lindora, speak to me again!” He looked at the opal in his dagger, which for an instant shot forth rays, and then its light departed: it became a dull, dead stone. The soul of Lindora, light of the dawn, had left that couch of trampled grass and blood, and floated forth into the morning sky.

“And what became of her lover?” I inquired of the old hunter, who appeared disposed to make an end at this part of the tale, whereas I desire always to know distinctly what becomes of every one. We were told in reply, that some said he died at the storming of the castle, some said that he went to Granada and fought in a reckless way, became a great man, and never smiled and never married; but the old hunter himself inclined to think that he abandoned war, and being a caliph married largely, and escaped the observation of the world by being overmuch secluded in his harem.

We requested the old huntsman not to kill Lindora when he told the story next. He listened gravely, and replied, with more reproof in his looks than in his voice, that Lindora had become possessed—that is to say, mentally deranged—and in that state, according to his faith, she was regarded as a saint, and sacred to every good Moslem. It was, therefore, good that she should in that state be compensated for her troubles by a certain passage into heaven.


Were I to discuss, to describe, or even cursorily to touch on the social characteristics of any one of the numerous classes of Continental coffee-houses, I should require a book rather than a column. The subject is one so cosmopolitan, so intimately bound up with the progress of civilization, that, while ostensibly penning a paper on coffee-shops, I should be in reality writing a history of the manners, customs and social peculiarities of the peoples who were coffee-drinkers. So, seductive as are the temptations of Continental coffee-shops, I will not venture to touch upon them now. I will reserve for a more convenient opportunity the brilliant Parisian cafés, and the consideration of the influence they have had upon the progress of the decorative arts in France; I will reserve the coffee-houses of Germany where pipes and dominoes are the rule, and clean coffee-cups and clean waiters the exception; the cafés of Venice and Milan; the cafés and cafejis of Stamboul and Smyrna; the coffee-houses where there are concerts; where there are dramatic performances; where there are orchestras recruited by blind men; where there are dances and orgies, and feasts of cucumbers and hard eggs, as on the Port at Antwerp; where circulate massive white tureens of coffee considerably modified, or aggravated by schnaps, as at the great pilots’ coffee-house, the “Kœning Leopold” at Ostend.

Of the present state and position of coffee-shops in one country, I feel myself called upon, however, briefly to treat. The coffee-houses of London have, within the last thirty years, done, to my mind, so much good; have worked such important results, and offer so many curious questions for solution, both social and commercial, that I should be unjust were I to pass them over. I mean the genuine, orthodox, London coffee-houses—coffee-shops, if you will; where coffee is dispensed to the million at varying rates of one penny, three half-pence, and two-pence per cup; where eggs, bread and butter, bacon, and similar refreshments are provided at moderate rates; but where no ardent spirits or fermented liquors of any kind are either demanded by the customers or conceded by the proprietors; where—in lieu of the glasses that were wont to circle round the board, and the good company that was wont to fall underneath it in the old-fashioned coffee-houses—there is provided for the serious, well-conducted frequenters, a feast of newspapers and a flow of cheap periodicals. You and I can remember when such coffee-houses were not. If, in the old time, we wanted a cup, a dish or a bowl of coffee, we were compelled to go to the coffee-room of an hotel for it; provided always that we did not care to consume it at home. And coffee at home, even, was in those days, not by any means a faultless compound. Our aunts and mothers and sisters were blindly attached to certain prejudices and superstitions respecting the fining or clearing of coffee. Noxious compositions, such as dried fish-skins, egg-shells, what ought to have been isinglass (but was fish-bones boiled to a jelly,) together with red-hot coals, were thrown into the unresisting coffee-pot to faciliate the fining operation. Certain strange and fetish rites were also performed with the same view, by knocking the coffee-pot a cabalistic number of times on the hob, and chucking it up in mid air till the hot liquid within became a confused mass of grouts and conflicting flavors. Coffee-houses have effected a great reform in this respect, and have driven away many baneful, though time-honored superstitions.

There is scarcely a street in London—certainly it would be difficult to find three together, unprovided with a coffee-shop. The types do not vary much. Where men go simply for amusement or dissipation, they will naturally congregate in classes: the beggar will go to the beggar’s public-house, and the thief to the thieves’ theatre. But a coffee-house is neutral ground. There are in every coffee-shop whig, and tory, and radical publications, and whigs, tories and radicals assembled harmoniously to read them; for the readers are as mute as the papers.

Something like uniformity, almost amounting to monotony, prevails in the majority of London coffee-shops. The ornamental is generally sacrificed to the useful. A plain room, divided into plain stalls by varnished partitions, and fitted with plain Pembroke tables, papers, periodicals, and magazines, not quite guiltless of coffee stains and bread-and-butter spots, a neat waitress, economical of speech, and who is forever ringing the changes between two refrains of “coffee and slice,” and “tea and an hegg”—are common to all coffee-houses. There is more deal in some, more mahogany in others; there are aristocratic coffee-houses, where they serve you silver salt-castors with your muffins, and silver cream-jugs with your coffee; there are low—very low—coffee-shops, where there is sand on the floor, and an ill odor pervading the place “generally all over.” Yet, in all these coffee-houses, high or low, aristocratic or humble, clean or dirty, deal or mahogany furnished, night or day; I can sit for hours and wonder. I ponder on the evidence of Mr. Pamphilon before the coffee-committee of the House of Commons, not twenty years ago; and, reading that, and reading the excise returns, how I wonder! I wonder when I see these strong bands of honest working-men; of swart artisans; of burly coal-heavers and grimy ballast-porters; who are content to come straight from the factory, the anvil, or the wharf to the coffee-shop; who can bid the shining river of beer flow on unheeded, and content themselves with the moderate evening’s amusement to be found in cheap periodicals. And, forced as I am sometimes to admit the presence in my coffee-cup of some other ingredients besides coffee, such as chicory, burnt beans, pounded bones, calcined clover, or such trifling little strangers—I wonder still at the immense good the penny cup of coffee (as it should be,) but still the cup, coffee or not coffee, has worked in this huge London. Whatever it be, they drink it, and it does not make them drunk; and drinking, they read; and reading, they learn to think, and to wash, and to teach their little children to read, and to think, and to wash, too. I doubt if a murder were ever planned in a coffee-shop.

Charles Dickens.





James Logan was descended from the Scottish family of Logan of Restalrig, known in history for little else save its connection with the celebrated Gowrie conspiracy. Driven from Scotland by the legal proceedings consequent upon the singular discovery of their father’s letters to Gowrie in 1608, the two sons of the last Logan of Restalrig migrated to Ireland and established themselves at Lurgan. Robert, the younger son, subsequently returned to Scotland, where he married, and had a son Patrick, who removed to Ireland, taking with him a well-connected Scottish bride, and an affection for the religious opinions of George Fox. Out of a considerable family, only two children of Patrick Logan grew up to manhood, William, who was a physician at Bristol, and James, the subject of the present biography. The latter was born at Lurgan “in 1674 or 1675.” He seems to have had an aptitude for the acquisition of languages, and daring a youth passed in various places in the three kingdoms—for his parents removed from Ireland back to Scotland and thence to England—James Logan picked up considerable knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish.

How or when he became acquainted with William Penn does not appear. Probably it was through Penn’s second wife, with whose father Logan was acquainted. However begun, community of religious opinions and some superiority in manners and education to the Quakers in general, riveted the bond of union between the proprietor of Pennsylvania and the young disciple, and induced Penn, in 1699, to propose to James Logan, to relinquish his intention of engaging in trade at Bristol, and accompany him to Pennsylvania in the character of his secretary. They sailed in September 1699, and after a three months’ voyage the proprietor and his secretary touched the shore of the new land of promise, in which it was Penn’s intention to pass the remainder of his life. After two years Penn found it necessary to return to England, but he left his secretary in America as his agent and representative. In that arrangement Penn was particularly fortunate. Every body else in authority in Pennsylvania looked upon Penn with jealousy, and strove to attain some selfish ends by infringing his acknowledged rights, or by taking advantage of his necessities. Logan alone acted fairly by him, and exhibited in his correspondence and in his conduct a due regard to his patron’s interest, and a calm consideration of the practical possibilities of the position in which both of them stood. A more unquiet, litigious, hard-dealing set of men than Penn’s colonists can scarcely be conceived. If all is true that is told of them, they certainly used Penn himself very ill, and oppressed every one who was inclined to treat him with more justice or liberality than themselves. Logan did not escape. In 1710 he was obliged to visit England in order to vindicate his conduct before the home authorities. He did so fully, and then returned to pursue his duties and his fortune in the new world. During the six years of paralytic helplessness which preceded the death of William Penn, a correspondence passed between Penn’s wife and Logan, in which we have on the one side interesting but melancholy glimpses of the condition of the great Quaker philanthropist, and on the other valuable information respecting the growing colony. Penn sent his scapegrace eldest son to Pennsylvania, consigning him to the care of Logan and his other sober friends, but other companions were better suited to his taste, and the silly youth brought discredit upon his father and himself. In vain Logan addressed to him letters of sensible but cold advice—too wise by half to have had any weight with a youth so far gone in dissipation. Sage, sentimental aphorisms fall dead upon a wanderer whose own heart and conscience can supply him with better teaching than any mere moral lessons, if he can but be persuaded to listen to its still small voice. This melancholy episode in the life of Penn will be best read in Mr. Dixon’s recent volume.

Logan had ere this time married, and settled himself in Pennsylvania. He prudently continued to devote his attention to commerce, as well as to the public affairs of the colony, and attained to eminent wealth as well as to the highest station. As his years and infirmities increased he partially withdrew from public affairs, and in a residence in the suburbs of Philadelphia devoted his declining years to literature and science. The last office he continued to hold was that of “Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania,” at a salary of 100l. per annum. In 1736 he speaks of having already been obliged for five years past to mount the bench on crutches. He desired to retire, but the government could not find a satisfactory successor to his office. During his period of retirement Logan corresponded with his friends in Europe upon metaphysical subjects, and made communications on natural phenomena to the Royal Society, in letters addressed to Sir Hans Sloane, Peter Collinson, and others. He also employed himself in collecting a library—then not an easy task in that part of the world—and having built a room for its preservation, and endowed it with £35 per annum for a librarian, he left the whole to the city of Philadelphia. The Loganian library still exists, but in combination with two other public libraries. The founder is also perpetuated in one of the public squares of Philadelphia, which bears his name. He died on 31st October, 1751.

Among the founders of Pennsylvania, Logan ought to be had in honorable remembrance. Firm in his friendship to William Penn, and in his adherence to his personal religious opinions, a zealous and useful citizen, honorable and upright in every relation of life, he has also the still further credit of having been the first to tincture the rising colony with literature and all those amenities which learning brings in its train.





In an age when the useful arts have attained so high a development, we are, perhaps, prone to treat with neglect, or even unmerited contempt, the efforts of the nations of antiquity in the same sphere. It is not here as in the province of thought and genius. The poet, sculptor, painter, or philosopher, at the very outset of his labors, is accustomed to contemplate and mould himself to those perfect models spared for his use by the hand of Time. But the artificer, whose nearer concern is with the material and its uses, not with the form, is apt to fix a less ample scope; and while intent on supplying a want, often forgets that the same necessity indicated a similar effort thousands of years ago—an effort often crowned with the same results.

  “The world grows old and again grows young,”

says a German poet; and it may be added, that the sturdy development of new youth often causes men to forget the results attained, before the previous old age had issued in second childhood. Let us, then, consider some of these results, which meet the eye in far too great number and variety to be even succinctly detailed, as they appear in those records which remain of the useful arts of the Greeks and Romans.

Many such results are evidenced by tangible monuments; others can only be sought for in history. The marble, bronzes, temples, aqueducts, theatres, roads, and baths, with numerous similar remains, are with us still—imperishable witnesses to attest the high development of the arts by which they were created. The wines, clothing, tapestries, and suchlike perishable materials, must be sought out and described from the written records of the past.

Any attempt at detail is precluded by the limits of the present article, but we will sketch in outline what we cannot minutely represent. Our object is, to regard the every-day life of the Greeks and Romans as it has been so often pictured—to view their houses and furniture—to cast a hasty glance at their fields and gardens—to survey their roads and their edifices, with the various remains indicative of their industrial condition; and we shall then turn with feelings of less astonishment to the wonderful scenes which the world, now two thousand years older, exhibits to our view in the nineteenth century.

One word more before commencing our task. The useful arts of these nations necessarily followed, in their rise and progress, those fundamental laws which have their seat in the inmost nature of man the inventor. To instance one: with them, as with us, there was seen the unity of end effected by necessity and luxury. We see the mother of invention originate, and luxury or fashion improve, till the first and simpler product has been rendered cheaper and more common—till the art of making something better has rendered easy the production of a necessary, and the artificial wants of the wealthy in the end minister to the convenience and necessities of the poor.

But the identity of these laws we need only suggest to the reader; his own mind will gather them from the scenes of daily life, and more especially from the great collection of the results of industry, open to his view. The influence and connection of religious feeling with the arts of the old world must, however, receive a word of notice. The vast variety of forms into which the polytheism of the Greeks and Romans expanded—forms often beautiful, sometimes grotesque, but always powerful—did not fail to include, in one mode or another, every province of art. Sometimes this influence might retard, sometimes accelerate progress; but, whether to aid or to hinder, it was ever present. Not only in their pillared temples—not only in the gorgeous and elaborate products of their high art, but by the household hearth, in the simple labors of the field, and in the operations of the artificer, religion was a companion and guide. The plough and the loom, no less than the sacred shrine, were under Divine protection; the workers in metal and the potters would look to the god of fire as their patron; rustics to the mighty Pan; the gatherer of the grape to Bacchus; indeed, to such a point was the feeling carried, that the very sewers in Rome were supposed to be under the guardian care of a goddess.

I. Agriculture—Bread and Wine.

Taking a natural arrangement of our subject, into food, clothing, dwellings, traveling, and so forth, we must first glance at those arts which supply the merely animal wants of man. Agriculture was highly valued and skillfully pursued among both nations, though the Romans appear to have estimated the art even more highly than the Greeks. In both countries the soil was fertile, and the productions very similar. Wheat, barley, the olive, the vine, flax, and the fig-tree, with a great variety of garden products, may be enumerated. With regard to the live-stock, horses, mules, oxen, sheep, goats, and swine were reared for the ends of labor or for consumption; but the first-mentioned appear to have been scarce in Greece. The flesh of the kid and pork were the meats in most general use; but animal food, especially among the Greeks, was not so generally consumed as in our own day. Details of production and consumption cannot here be gone into; and we will therefore take the two main productions of both countries—their bread and wine—as examples in this respect.

The plough in use among the ancients differs very little from that still employed in modern times; in all important points, a close similarity is visible. The fashion and combination of these parts varied with them as with us, in order to fit the instrument for different soils. The Greeks and Romans usually ploughed their land three times before sowing; namely, in the spring, summer, and autumn of the year. But in some soils of great tenacity there were nine different ploughings, as mentioned by the younger Pliny in the description of his villa and lands in Tuscany. The harrows, rakes, hoes, spades, and agricultural implements, scarcely demand more than to be mentioned. We need only say, that the general processes of agriculture, including systems of manuring and irrigation, furnished materials for copious dissertations, and were not in Rome considered beneath the notice of the highest citizens.

Grain, when trodden out, shaken, or beaten by the flail from the straw, was, in very early times, pounded in mortars. But a simple form of mill, generally worked by hand, soon superseded the first rough contrivance. In its best form, this consisted of a cone of rough stone, on which was applied a hollow cone of the same material, which revolved in contact with the first. The upper mill-stone was furnished with levers, and turned either by slaves, by mules, or asses. It was hollowed out above into a cup-like shape, to receive the corn, which fell in a stream into a space between the two surfaces, and was reduced to flour before its escape below. Each country family had one or more mills, to grind for its own consumption; and thus the want of public machine mills was supplied. Water-mills were an invention of comparatively late date. They were of simple construction, consisting merely of a cogged wheel, which turned a second connected with the upper mill-stone.

In Rome, the bread continued for a long period to be made by the women of the household, and the trade of baker was unknown; but in Athens bread was mostly bought in the market, and eventually in both nations the art of baking became highly elaborate. Indeed, the variety of breads in use among the Greeks and Romans very much exceeded our own; and in the sumptuous private establishments of later periods, there were many slaves educated professedly for the care of the baking department. The many kinds of bread enumerated by Athenæus may be divided into two sorts, the leavened and the unleavened; many, doubtless, answered to our pastry and confectionary, but there was also a particular class of medicated breads expressly for use in physic. Indeed, so far was this carried, that a certain baker is mentioned by Plato quite in the light of an accomplished physician. The chief article of consumption in Greece was a kind of soft cake, made of barley-meal and sometimes mixed with honey or wine.

The Pelasgians appear to have introduced the culture of the vine into Greece, and subsequently into Italy. The art of making wine was known from the earliest ages, and its origin is lost in fable. To the careful selection of the site for a vineyard, the pruning of the vine, the props, training, manure, and careful cleaning of the soil, we can only allude. The solemn or festal character of the vintage-time, the religious aspect of the customs then observed, their near connection with the origin of the Greek drama, the general joy, and often riotous excess, which marked the gathering-in of the grape, will all recur to mind in connection with this part of our subject. But our more immediate object is, to give a short sketch of the methods by which the juice of the grape was prepared for use.

When gathered, the grapes were first placed in the vat and trodden by men, who often moved in time to the sound of some vintage strain, or enlivened their labors with the song. When the juice thus collected had been drained off, the remaining mass was still further subjected to the action of wooden screw-presses. The first yield of juice was most prized, as producing the best-flavored and richest wine; the second was only used for inferior purposes. One exquisitely rich kind of wine was formed from the juice exuding from over-ripe clusters before they were gathered. The sweet juice, or “must,” before fermentation, was frequently drunk, after undergoing a clarifying process. This “must,” too, was often preserved sweet and unfermented, by inclosing it in air-tight vessels; while grape-jellies were formed by boiling it down to the required consistency, and the addition of honey. This essence of the grape was used for “doctoring” poor wines.

To form the “must” into wine, it was placed in long, bell-mouthed vessels of earthenware, to undergo fermentation. These were sunk in the ground, and exposed to a moderate, equable temperature. When the “must” had become wine, these large vessels were carefully closed, and only opened at intervals to purify their contents, or to subject them to any mixing process. Similar arts to those of modern wine-makers were in use among the ancients, in order to produce the desired qualities. But further, the lids of these vessels were rubbed with an aromatic compound of saffron, pitch, grape-jelly, mastic, and fir-cones; which process was supposed to communicate an agreeable flavor.

Some wines were drunk from the “dolium,” or, as we should say, from the “wood;” but the choicer kinds were drawn off into smaller earthenware vases, called amphoræ—in short, bottled as with us. We may mention that glass was used for these vessels in later times, and a wooden cask was sometimes substituted for the “dolium.” Even after bottling, the Greek and Roman wines were frequently very thick, and required fining or straining before they could be used. Bottled wines were often kept to a great age before consumption; some required from twenty to twenty-five years for attaining perfection, but the ordinary time allowed was seven years. If an earlier ripening was desired, it was produced artificially by heat. Powdered resin was sometimes added on bottling, and various alkaline correctives, aromatic adjuncts, perfumes, essential oils, bitters, and spices, were added to produce the desired flavor; while imitation wines, in great variety, were manufactured in Rome. The colors of wines in Italy and Greece were, as among the moderns, white, red, and brown; the red being either brackish, like some of our port, or ruby-colored, like claret. Sweet wines were formed by incomplete fermentation, and wines prepared from raisins, or partly dried grapes, were also common. An inferior drink for laborers was formed by boiling the grape-husks after the process of expression: it probably resembled our worst kinds of cider.

The commoner wines were ridiculously cheap. We hear of ten gallons being sold for threepence, and a high order of wine in Athens only fetched two-pence a gallon. But then, as with us, high prices were given by connoisseurs for the choice vintages and varieties. The Thracian wine given to Ulysses, the Pramnian mentioned in the “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” and in later times the Thasian, Lesbian, Chian, and the wine of Cos, were among the best kinds of Greek wine. In Italy the wines of Latium and Campana, the Imperial wine, the Cæcuban, Falernian, Alban, Surrentine, Massic, Setinian, and Statinian, were the most highly prized.

The cultivation of the olive, the fig, flax, and the various productions of the field and garden, was doubtless conducted with equal skill. The Romans were familiar with all the appliances of husbandry and gardening, and especially with the arts of grafting and budding; but in this branch of our subject the two examples above given will suffice to furnish a general idea of Greek and Roman skill, and we must hasten to give the reader an account of the modes in use for appropriating the mineral wealth of the soil.

II. Extraction and Use of Metals.

The art of extracting the metals from their ores, lying, as it does, at the very foundation of the means by which the useful arts advance, cannot be said to have reached a high point of perfection in Greece, Rome, or the other countries from which they derived their supply. An idea of mining processes can scarcely be better given than by a description of those used in the Attic silver mines at Laurium.

The veins of silver were situated in a range of pine-covered hills of no considerable height, affording quarries of good marble, in contact with which substance the silver ore was mostly found. These mines were probably opened at a very early period, but the precise date does not appear. The ore, or “silver earth,” as the Greeks called it, was extremely hard and probably very pure and rich in the yield of metal, as the Greeks, from their defective knowledge of chemical processes, could not extract the silver with profit when united with large proportions of other metals. Contrary to common experience, the ore appears to have assumed the form of layers rather than of veins.

The mines were worked, either by perpendicular shafts, or by tunneling the side of the hill. Pillars of the ore were of course left, or the superincumbent mass was supported by props of timber, which was largely imported for the purpose. The noxious vapors exhaling from the mines were carried off by shafts of ventilation. The ore was removed partly by simple machines, partly by unassisted labor. On reaching the mouth of the mine it was broken small with iron pestles in stone mortars. These pieces were then ground down smaller, washed, strained through sieves, and sorted into qualities of different richness.

The art of smelting the ore thus obtained was imperfect, when viewed in comparison with the greater skill of the moderns. “Even in the time of Strabo, when considerable improvements had been effected, there was still no profit to be gained by the extraction of silver from lead ore, in which it was present in small proportions.”[2] But that some improvement took place is evident from the fact, that much ore rejected by the earlier operators was at a later period profitably employed. Crucibles have been found in Egypt similar to those in modern use. Similar ones were probably known to the Greeks, and old remains of bell-shaped smelting furnaces have been met with, furnished with a channel for the escape of the molten metal, which renders it probable that such furnaces were employed in Greece and Rome.

In the silver ore of Laurium lead was largely present, and according to Pliny, the ore was first melted down to the substance called “Stannum,” a union of lead with silver. This was taken to the refining oven, where the silver was separated by heat, and the lead remained half glazed in the form of litharge, which in its turn was reduced. But the ancients were also familiar with the use of quicksilver in the extraction of other metals, and the moderns have only a claim to re-discovery in this respect. The bellows and charcoal were employed to produce the extreme heat required in refining processes.

Various substances are mentioned as the products of these ancient metallic operations; the “flower” of gold and of copper; the “foam” of silver, with some others, all of which were used in medicine. In the mines of Laurium, copper, cinnabar, and “sil,” a lightish yellow earth much used by painters, and containing iron, were also found.

But though Greece had mines of silver and even of gold, still great part of the precious metals in circulation was imported from Asia and Africa. India, the great source of wealth and luxury in all times, furnished copious supplies for those large deposits of bullion stored in the temples and treasuries of Greece.

A very natural transition leads us to the Greek and Roman coinage. Silver money was first coined at Ægina, so early as 869 B. C., and was originally the only current coin in Greece. The early coins are rather rough in appearance, and bear a rude mark on the reverse, as if from a puncheon on which the metal was placed for striking the piece. The Athenian silver money was remarkably pure, indeed so much so as to be taken at a premium throughout Greece. Some coins contained only one-sixtieth part of their weight in baser metal, whilst our own silver coinage contains a twelfth. Among the Greeks, gold coinage was subsequent to silver, and bronze was still later introduced.

The earliest Roman coins were composed of bronze, and were cast in a mould instead of being struck as in Greece. Some remains of Roman coinage show the cut edge of the line of metal which united adjacent coins when taken from the mould, in which the whole row had been cast together; and some such rows are still found in an undivided state. The cumbrous nature of the early Roman coinage was such that each piece weighed a pound. In fact, in this respect it seemed to come near the weighty iron coinage of Sparta, of which we may add that no remains exist.

In Athens and Rome the smallest silver coins were very minute indeed. The Athenians possessed separate silver coins, running from the piece of four drachmæ, in value about 3s. 4d., down to the quarter of an obolus, which was less in value than our halfpenny. The silver coin responding to this value was very minute, weighing less than three grains. There were Roman silver coins even smaller than this; probably some existed of no more than 1½ grain in weight, or considerably less than one quarter of the size of our silver pence. But the great inconvenience of such small coins led to the striking of corresponding values in bronze, and these “silver scales,” for they had just the appearance of such, went out of use.

A gold coinage in Greece probably did not exist before the age of Alexander the Great, though their near neighbors in Asia undoubtedly possessed gold money from an early age; and pieces of this became current in Greece. The few remaining gold coins of Greece appear not to have been struck before the period mentioned above. But on the rise of the Macedonian empire gold coins became plentiful through the country.

Gold was first coined in Rome B. C. 207, sixty years after the commencement of their silver currency. The common size of their pieces was probably about the same with that of our sovereign; but some existed in size only one quarter of our half sovereigns, and representing about 2s. 6d. in silver.

It is necessary in this place to give some account of the bronze of the ancients, a compound fulfilling the most important uses in Greece and Rome. “Money, vases, and utensils of all sorts, whether for domestic or sacrificial purposes, ornaments, arms offensive and defensive, furniture, tablets for inscriptions, musical instruments, and, indeed, every object to which it could be applied, was made of bronze.”[3] Zinc, like steel, was unknown to the ancients. The discovery of a case of surgical instruments in Pompeii, in which the lancets are made of bronze, almost demonstrates to a certainty a want of the art of making steel, and the same conclusion is supported by the existing remains of Greek and Roman weapons. Their bronze was composed of copper and tin, and contained about seven parts of the former to one of the latter. The Corinthian bronze was most valued for the purposes of art, and there were certain varieties of this, into the composition of which silver and even gold were introduced, so as to produce a white or yellow shade in the color. The Delians and Æginetans also excelled in the manufacture of bronze.

The ancients cast metals in moulds, worked them into plates with the hammer, or engraved and embossed them elaborately, as in the manufacture of their metal vases. Their colossal statues, of which the one at Rhodes, 100 feet high, is the most famous example, were mostly cast of bronze.

A constant source of employment to the workers in metal was the manufacture of arms, offensive and defensive. Among the latter may be mentioned shields, greaves, cuirasses, helmets, and coats of mail, consisting either of forged rings linked one within the other, or of scales and rings fastened to some firmly-woven linen or woollen cloth. The offensive arms must have been defective, owing to the ignorance of steel. Iron, silver, and gold were all used in making or ornamenting arms, besides the more common bronze. With the welding of iron, and the use of a kind of solder, the workmen in those days appear to have been familiar.

The necklaces, eardrops, rings, brooches, collars, crowns, goblets, salvers, and vases, manufactured of the precious metals or the finer sorts of bronze, and often set with precious stones, may be enumerated as the chief articles of the jeweler’s and silversmith’s trade. The various tools employed by workmen, the variety of form and modes of working, were all very similar to those of modern days.

III. Houses and Furniture.

The numerous splendid architectural remains in Greece and Italy, sufficiently establish the proficiency of the two great nations of antiquity in the art of building. With architecture, where it becomes one of the fine arts, we have not now to deal; the scope of the present chapter embraces merely their masonry, and its application to the common uses of life. Still we cannot avoid remarking, that elegance of proportion and beauty of design are no less apparent in their works, than solid strength and correct adaptation to the particular uses for which they were intended.

The earlier walls in both countries were undoubtedly very rude efforts—mere lath and plaster, or rough earthen structures strengthened with beams. Log-houses were then common in well-wooded districts. When the art of building had made some progress, brick, rubble, and stone came into general use; until finally, in their best works of art, their stone and marble columns and walls were distinguished by a solidity and accuracy of construction rarely since excelled.

The earliest form of Grecian masonry of which we have any remains is the Cyclopean, in which the walls are formed of huge stones, the interstices of these being filled up with smaller ones. The walls of Mycenæ and Tiryns furnish the best specimens; and in some places the outer walls are supposed to have been sixty feet thick. The labor of constructing such works must have been immense. Another form, sometimes termed the second Cyclopean, consisted of polygonal blocks of large size, fitted together with tolerable accuracy, sometimes with great precision and, like the former, not united by mortar.

A common form of construction was that of facing a rubble wall with square pieces of stone, arranged in a wedge-like manner on their angles. This mode of arrangement was united with the commoner one of horizontal courses, so as to form a kind of pattern, which produced a pleasing effect, still imitated in some of our own buildings. Thick walls among the Romans were often formed by facing the outer and inner surfaces with stones squared and fitted, or with brick, while the interior was filled with rough fragments, strongly imbedded in a mass of their admirable mortar. To bind together the two encasing surfaces, large stones were introduced, extending through the whole thickness of the wall.

But the most perfect kind of wall was that which we call ashlar work, and is still to be seen in the temples of Athens, Corinth, and other Greek cities. The stone or marble was quarried, and then accurately worked with the chisel, so that the eye could scarcely trace the union of the large adjacent blocks. These blocks were connected with those above them by dovetailing; and the stones lying side by side were firmly united by iron cramps fixed with lead. So constant and abundant was this employment of metallic fastenings, that the vast remains of ancient buildings have proved perfect mines for peculators. In a marble temple at Cyzicus, the lines of union of the slabs were covered with gold.

In contrasting the Greek and Roman masonry, we see that the great works of the former were mostly of marble and highly finished, while many Roman remains of great magnificence are composed of rougher stone-work united by mortar, or of a union of stone and brick in alternate courses. The chief superiority of the Romans was in their complete knowledge and application of the principle of the arch, with which the Greeks were not acquainted. There was, it is true, a kind of pointed arch in use among them for corridors; but this was probably formed by cutting a passage through the solid walls when built, not by building the stones up archwise. Such passages are found in the vast Cyclopean walls before mentioned.

Before subjoining any particular account of edifices, we may mention that the lever, the capstan, the crane, pulley, and other simple machines for raising or adjusting stones, were known to the Greeks and Romans. Though they could not pretend to a knowledge of machinery and mechanics even remotely approaching our own, still they had sufficient to answer the ordinary requirements of building. In carpentry, too, the Romans must have possessed considerable skill, or they could never have connected, by a structure of timber, arches so wide as those of Trajan’s bridge over the Danube.

We will now give a short description of the general form and appearance of the Greek and Roman house. In neither nation had the external appearance of a dwelling-house much pretension to beauty. Lying chiefly, almost exclusively, on the ground floor, there did not exist that elevation of structure, or regularity of plan necessary to produce a striking effect on the eye from without. In the Greek house there were two principal divisions, the men’s quarter and the women’s quarter. The outer door was approached by steps, and opened on a narrow passage, on one side of which, in a large house, were the stables, on the other a lodge for the porter. This passage entered on the men’s quarter—an open quadrangle surrounded by porticoes, forming a kind of cloister for exercise or meals. In this court was placed an altar for domestic sacrifice. Various chambers were ranged round the quadrangle behind the porticoes, answering the purposes of private dining-rooms, withdrawing-rooms, picture-galleries, libraries, bed-chambers, and so forth. The great object in the arrangement of chambers was to gain warm rooms, exposed to the sun, for use during winter, and cool, shady apartments for summer occupation. Directly opposite the entrance to the men’s quarter was a passage, closed by a door, and leading to the women’s quadrangle.

Three sides of this square were surrounded by porticoes, as in the men’s quarter; but on the fourth side, opposite to the entrance-door, and usually fronting south, there was a kind of vestibule, on either side of which were placed bed-chambers, the principal in the house. Behind these were large rooms, in which women worked at their spinning, weaving, or embroidery. An upper story, in most cases, extended partly over the space occupied by the lower; but the rooms on the upper floor bore a very small proportion to those on the ground. In early times, before the house had attained its usual main division into separate quarters for the men and women, the upper chambers were assigned to the latter. Afterward they were usually occupied by slaves, or by strangers visiting the family. Balconies were sometimes built, projecting from the windows of this upper floor. The roof was usually flat, and calculated for exercise or basking in the sun; in rarer cases a pointed roof existed. Windows were not common as with us; the necessity for them was not so great; the mildness of the climate, and the fact that nearly all the rooms opened on one or other of the quadrangles—which was, of course, a protection against rain and wind—were sufficient reasons for this arrangement. But some windows did look out on the street, and were closed by curtains and shutters.

Those usual adjuncts of a room in modern times, a fire-place and chimney, were unknown until after their employment by the later Romans. The Greek rooms were usually warmed by portable stoves, or braziers, in which charcoal or wood was burnt. Some of these stoves were, of course, fixed for the common culinary purposes; and in all cases the smoke found its way out as it best could.

Externally the Greek houses were plain in appearance, and destitute of the marble facings so frequent in those of Rome. A glance at the mansions of the wealthy in the latter days of the Roman Republic and under the Emperors, discloses a scene of magnificence perhaps without parallel even in our own days. The thatched or tiled cottages, built of sun-dried bricks and wood, with plainly washed walls and scanty accommodation, where the floors were of rough stone or hardened earth, whence the hardy warriors had issued forth to conquer the world, were no places for the refined luxury of the magnates of the imperial city. Foreign conquest brought the arts ministering to luxury, and the wealth requisite for splendor. Then came the age of splendid palaces in the city, and elegant country villas, seated on shaded and sheltered slopes, and adorned with every mark of urban splendor in the midst of the most attractive rural scenes—mansions and villas crowded with articles of vertù, with costly statues and paintings, with Babylonian tapestries, with Corinthian bronze, moulded, to all the forms that Greek fancy could suggest. Marble columns, of weight so great as to endanger the arches of the sewers over which they passed in their transit to the destined spot, were erected in their lofty halls, and the profuse aristocracy of rank and wealth oftentimes squandered immense fortunes on a dwelling. The house of Publius Clodius cost 131,000l.; and one of the Scauri possessed a Tusculan villa, valued—together with its furniture, decorations, and works of art—at the vast sum of 885,000l.

Before the door of a Roman house of the higher order was an open space—the vestibule. This was a recess open toward the road, but bounded on the other three sides by the outer walls of chambers in the house. The house-door facing the road admitted the visitor into an outer hall. Let us, too, follow his steps, and view the scene of so much magnificence. Passing the porter and his watch-dog, we find ourselves in a lofty hall, the finished development of what, in simpler times, was the chief room of the house. The ancestral images, the sacred hearth, the looms and spinning-wheels are still here to denote the traditional uses of the chief domestic chamber, though now surrounded and overgrown by tokens of a luxury that dazzles the eye and has long weakened the arm. Polished shafts of the finest marble support an elaborate roof rich with gold and ivory, save in the centre, where an opening reveals the deep blue of an Italian sky. Beneath this opening is a marble basin, filled to the brim with the purest water, in the centre of which a fountain casts its spray, dancing and sparkling in the sunbeams. In a recess at the farther end of the hall, we see the chests where family records are guarded with religious care, while through the open doors, or the raised curtains of Eastern tapestry which supply their place, the eye wanders into suites of apartments, everywhere denoting a refined taste delighting in the beautiful effects of proportion and perspective.

Cedar or citron tables, some from the world-old forests of Atlas, so costly that the price of one would buy a moderate estate; side-boards for the display of gold and silver plate, formed of costly woods or marble slabs, and supported by feet of bronze, silver, or even gold itself, moulded into elegant or fantastic devices; chairs and couches of ebony, inlaid with ivory, and covered with cushions, overlaid with coverlets of the richest Eastern fabrics, sparkling with gold and silver threads, or dyed in the brightest tints of the Tyrian purple; elegant bronzes and lofty candelabra, paintings, statues, and marble columns, all unite in realizing a dream of splendor scarcely dreamed of by the poets. Look for one moment at that side-board, where a cup from which Nestor is fabled to have quenched his thirst stands in antique contrast to the latest products of the Alexandrian glass-works—a mingled profusion of beakers, bowls, and vases, superb in their mouldings, and imitating so naturally the tints of the ruby or amethyst as completely to bewilder the gazer’s eye. Some shine like opals, or are cut in relief, representing scenes from ancient history or fable; and among them, perhaps, the wolf-suckled brothers, who laid the foundation of imperial Rome. Others there are, gems of minuteness, cut from amber, doubly valuable because preserving in its interior the perfect remains of some insect thus immortalized.

Passing through this magnificent hall, we gain the peristyle or open quadrangle, which forms so important a part of the Greek house. This is perhaps adorned with flowers and shrubs, or, in a country villa, shaded by a few plane-trees. Porticoes for air and exercise, some of them open to the south for the luxury of basking in the sun, to express which the Romans had a separate word in their language; cool summer-rooms, fronting north, and opening into ornamental gardens, with rows of fantastically-clipped trees; private withdrawing-rooms, bedrooms, baths, terraces and a library, complete the scene of comfort and luxury. These rooms were added according to the wealth or taste of the owner; they were not arranged on a regular plan as in modern houses. The exterior of the house was frequently faced with marble; but, owing to the want of plan and the lowness of elevation, it was usually destitute of effect, though presenting so much splendor internally. The outer door, however, was of striking height, and often surmounted by an elegant cornice. The door-posts of the wealthy were richly inlaid with ivory, tortoise-shell, or even more costly material. The door itself consisted of two halves meeting in the centre, each of which was broad enough to allow two persons to pass. In the days of luxury, precious woods, marble and bronze were in common use among the upper class, for the construction of this outer door. The door turned upon pivots, which either worked in sockets in the sill and lintel, or were encircled by metal rings—the ordinary form of metal hinges being never employed. It was furnished with a circular knocker, and closed by bolts and locks, the remains of which show a skill in the locksmith’s art by no means contemptible.

The floors of the Roman houses were not boarded. In plainer dwellings they were covered with a mixture of fragments of stone and mortar, or with pavement of brick, stone, or common tiles. But in great mansions the floor was one of the special points for display. It was either formed of white, black, or colored marbles, arranged in a check pattern, or it was a specimen of elaborate inlaid work. The tesselated pavements, of which so many remains exist, display two varieties. The first, or plainer kind, is formed of tiles moulded into various forms of animals, flowers, or such devices, each tile being a perfect figure in itself. The second, or real mosaic, was composed of pieces separately formless, but put together in a pattern. The most costly kind of this formed a beautiful inlaid painting composed of highly minute fragments, and representing animals, landscapes, historic, or other scenes. The fragments composing this fine mosaic were of glass, earthen-ware, marble, or even precious stones, as agate and onyx. So minute were they, that one hundred and fifty have been found on a square inch of surface.

The walls were sometimes overlaid with costly marbles; and, as if no product of nature could be sufficiently rich for Roman display, even the marble itself was not unfrequently covered with paintings by first-rate artists. Artificial marbles, in the production of which the workmen of Italy at that time excelled, sometimes supplied the place of the real. But a favorite mode of decoration was by painting the walls in panels—either in fresco, distemper, or encaustic. The colors were usually very brilliant. Wreaths of flowers, architectural, historic, and domestic scenes, or copies of still life, were among the usual subjects for such paintings. Elaborate mouldings cornices, and ornaments in relief, were also employed in decorating the walls. The ceilings were formed of polished beams, with their interstices glued; or they were arranged in panels and then decorated. The beams and panels were gilt, richly inlaid with ivory and tortoise-shell, or painted in brilliant colors.

As the rooms generally derived their air and light from the large hall and the peristyle, both of which opened upward, there was no great necessity for closed windows. But these existed in such rooms as opened on the street, or directly on the air without. They were fitted with lattice-work and shutters, with plates of tile imported from Cappadocia, and at a later period with glass.

The ordinary methods for warming rooms were the same as in Greece, with this important addition, that the use of hot air, conveyed to the various chambers by pipes, was common among the Romans. The hot air was derived from a furnace—either special for the purpose, or that used for heating water supplied to the baths. Moreover, in Rome and northern Italy chimneys were used in dwelling-houses, and probably they were everywhere employed for the baths and bake-houses. It seems to us strange that a contrivance apparently simple should have been so long unknown, and always looked on as a luxury.

Another point in which the Greeks and Romans were very deficient was in the manner of lighting their chambers. The use of oil-lamps was almost universal, and as these were not furnished with glass shades to consume the soot, their rooms were filled with smoke, and the beautiful decorations much defaced. In the older times, candles with a rush wick appear to have been common, and it seems strange that wax-lights when known were not generally adopted. But though the lights were bad, the lamps and their supporting candelabra were distinguished by the elegance of their shape and the beauty of their workmanship. The lamps were made chiefly of terra cotta; but bronze, marble, and the precious metals were also used in their construction. The wicks were of hemp or flax; the lamps either suspended by chains from the ceiling, or placed on candelabra. The ordinary form of these was a slender column, resting on three feet of a griffin, lion, or other animal; the column tall, as it was intended to rest on the ground. Another form was that of a pillar with branches, from which the lamps were suspended by chains. Lanterns, fitted with glass or horn, were used for carrying light.

The Greeks and Romans had not, perhaps, the same variety of articles of furniture which we see around us, but those which they did possess were produced in high perfection of design and workmanship. The couches of the rich were made, of valuable woods, as cedar and terebinth, or more frequently, perhaps, of bronze. Ebony, inlaid with ivory, was frequent in the more splendid specimens. Others were inlaid with tortoise-shell, gold and silver, and furnished with silver, golden, or ivory feet, carved or cast into the resemblance of some animal. Ropes or bands strained across the framework supported the cushion or matress, stuffed with wool, feathers, or down. Over the bed or sofa thus formed were spread the gorgeous tapestries and silks imported from Egypt, Persia and India. Another curious kind of covering was a species of tapestry manufactured of feathers.

Though the ancients mostly reclined, still there were chairs used by the women and by casual visitors. A throne, on which all the ornaments of elaborate workmanship and Eastern manufacture were profusely lavished, was used by the head of the family, when sitting in state to receive his clients. The ordinary chairs had sloping backs, and were always without arms; some of the forms in use are very similar to those of our dining-room chairs. But by far the most expensive article of furniture in the house of a Roman noble was the table, formed either of maple or the citrus wood of Africa. The horizontal sections of this tree near the root were most prized, and when polished and mounted on an ivory or inlaid pillar, often sold for enormous sums. Cicero is said to have given nearly 9000l. for one specimen. The grain of the best wood is described by a Roman writer as “striped like the tiger’s skin, spotted like the panther, purling in a wave-like pattern, or eyed like the feathers in the peacock’s tail.” These were all formed of a solid thick section, and were for particular occasions; others, for common use, were veneered. Smaller tables were frequently made of marble, or imitation marble, of silver, and even gold, their supports being usually formed of carved griffins, and ornamented with wreaths of leaves and flowers.

Mirrors of polished metal, either silver or a compound of copper and tin, were hung on the walls or supported on a marble stand; and tripods supporting slabs of marble were frequent for use and ornament. Cupboards and chests made of bronze or wood, plain or inlaid, were ranged against the walls.

IV. Pottery and Glass.

From the frequent mention of vessels of glass and earthenware, the reader will naturally expect a notice of the arts to which they were due. In Greece and Etruria the fictile art was early developed, and there existed a guild of potters in Rome so early as the time of Numa. The instruments used in the manufacture of pottery—the horizontal revolving table, and the sticks used to vary the shape of the clay during its rotation, together with moulds and graving tools, are among the most ancient inventions. The pottery formed by the Greeks and Romans was of the soft variety, that is, the baked clay of which the vessels are composed may be easily scratched with the knife. The earth was commonly red in color, as we see in the ground of so many Etrurian vases. But other specimens are white, and an artificial black was frequently produced. Varnishes of asphalte, pitch, or tar, burned into the clay, were often employed, and the inner surface of the wine-jars was roughly coated in this manner. For their bright colors the ancients used earths and the ores of various metals. The art of painting vases employed a large number of artists in Greece. Curiously enough, it seems to have died a natural death before the times of the Roman empire; and in consequence, ancient painted vases became very costly, and were much sought for by the connoisseurs. The chief colors employed were black and yellow; the designing is frequently good, but the execution cannot compare with that of the middle-age Italian and other schools of vase painting.

Samos, Athens, end Etruria, were most famous for the exercise of the potter’s art, though many other places were seats of the manufacture. The kilns used for baking were circular in form—in general appearance something like a lime-kiln, but differing in the greater care with which they were built, and in their internal arrangement. They were covered with a dome-shaped roof, and the wares were baked on a circular floor, supported in the centre by a column, round which the fire was lighted.

One object of emulation among the Greek potters was to make vessels of perfect form and great tenuity. Such vessels when produced were highly valued, and some Athenians seem to have attained a high pitch of excellence in the production of these thin and light vases. Greece was the chief school of design in pottery, as in most other arts; and the less inventive Romans were content to borrow, imitate, or at most, modify the forms and patterns of their neighbors.

It was long thought that the ancients did not understand, or at most practiced in a very imperfect manner, the art of making glass; but the vast number of beautiful specimens which have at length been brought to light, have completely dispelled all doubts of their high proficiency in the manufacture of a great variety of vessels from this material. The blowing of glass is an art of high antiquity, and, together with that of casting the fused material into moulds, was probably derived from the East. Even in later times Alexandria was, perhaps, the chief mart from which Rome derived her supply, though manufactories were established in Italy. In the conception and execution of the more elegant designs, the Greek artists, doubtless, found a peculiar province for the display of their taste and ingenuity. Glass was most extensively employed, both for use and ornament: so common, indeed, did it become, that drinking-vessels were sold in Rome at a cheaper rate than they now are in our own country. The methods of working in glass were, probably, very similar to those now in use. “Some glass is fashioned by blowing, some ground on the lathe, and some chased like silver,” says Pliny; and we know that the diamond was used in this last process. One beautiful specimen yet remains to demonstrate the skill with which they worked the brittle material, in the shape of a cup of opaline hue, round which a blue net-work and a green inscription have been carved; the meshes of the net-work, and the letters of the inscription, being united to the body of the cup by slender supports left during the engraving process. The celebrated Portland vase, now in the British Museum, is composed of a rich, dark-blue glass, covered with designs beautifully executed in opaque white enamel, and afterward fined into union with the body of the vessel. This cup was long supposed to have been cut out of a real sardonyx. The Greeks and Romans were adepts in the art of imitating precious stones by colored glass. To use the words of Beckman—“In the Museum Victorium, for example, there are shown a chrysolite and an emerald, both of which are so well executed, that they are not only perfectly transparent and colored throughout, but neither externally nor internally have the smallest blemish.” The metallic oxides were employed to produce the various colors, and with such success, that frauds by palming false stones on the ignorant were as common then as in our own day. Glass was sometimes made in layers of different colors, and then cut cameo-fashion; or colored stems were united longitudinally in a column, so that the horizontal sections displayed a beautiful pattern. Slips of grass were used, as we have seen, in mosaic pavements; glass in panes was employed for windows, or inserted in walls and ceilings for ornament. A story, perhaps fabulous, is told of an invention by which glass was so far deprived of its brittle qualities, that, when thrown down, the vessel composed of it would not break, but merely bruise, like metal.

V. Books and Writing.

Other points yet remain for notice before we quit the subject of domestic life. And first, as in our catalogue of chambers we have mentioned the library, a few words on books and writing materials will not be out of place. The books of the Greeks and Romans were written on long rolls of parchment, or sheets of papyrus connected by glue. This long roll of paper or parchment was fitted at each end to a wooden roller. The reader wound that part of the roll which he had perused on to the left-hand roller, and unrolled the next page from the right-hand roller, proceeding thus until he reached the end of the volume. The writing was arranged in lines which ran lengthwise along the roll, and were divided into columns or pages of a convenient width. The back of the roll was stained, usually of a saffron color, and the volume provided with a yellow or purple parchment case. The ends of the rollers were often ornamented with carved bosses, and a label bearing the title was affixed to the roll. The ink for writing was similar to the Indian ink in use among ourselves; and was prepared either from lamp-black or the dye of the cuttle-fish. Red ink was also employed. The pen was formed from a reed, split and shaped much like our own quills. The booksellers in Rome were, of course, few when compared with the same class in a modern town; but their numbers were great, from the fact that they not only sold books, but also transcribed them. But nations had their public and private libraries, and the value of some collections was immense. The books in a library were arranged in cedar-wood presses round the walls.

The ordinary apparatus for writing consisted of thin wooden tablets, overlaid on one side with a coat of wax, on which the letters were traced by indentation with a pointed metal pencil, or style. The waxen side of each tablet was furnished with a rim, to prevent the characters from rubbing. Two tablets, commonly, and sometimes three, were bound together so as to form a small book; and when three were united, the centre leaf had a layer of wax on both sides. The frames were pierced with holes, and when the letter or memorandum was finished, the adjacent edges of the closed tablets were bound together by a thread passed through the holes, knotted and secured by a seal of simple wax. The signets used for impression were cut in various devices; and this engraving of gems is an art in which the Greeks and Romans excelled most highly. Some tablets have been discovered in which the writing ran from right to left. The custom of using wax tablets again appears in the middle ages.

In their contrivances for measuring time the ancients were strikingly deficient. The length of their hours depended on that of the day, inasmuch as they divided the space between sunrise and sunset into twelve equal portions. Even their sun-dials were but imperfect; and the clepsydræ or hour-glasses, in which the flow of water, not of sand, was the measure of time, were very inaccurate, in spite of all improvements effected in them. They were at first constructed of bronze or earthenware, but afterward of glass. Ctesibius, an Alexandrian mathematician, invented a kind of water-clock, B. C. 135, in which the dropping of water turned various wheels, and raised a small statue, which pointed to the hours. But the great element of inaccuracy, the unequal flow of the liquid, was manifestly present in this contrivance. Punctuality among the ancients must have been no more than a coincidence of guesses.

VI. Dress.

To describe the general type of Greek and Roman dress is a comparatively simple task. There was but little employment for the tailor or dressmaker in Greece or Italy, most of the fabrics of the loom being worn as scarfs or shawls, arranged in loose folds about the person. Fashion, therefore, had much more influence on the material than on the form.

By the Ionic race a long, loose under-garment, or tunic, was at first worn by the men; but afterward this was exchanged for the shorter woollen tunic, worn almost exclusively by the other tribes of Greece. Over this, a large square or oblong cloth, fastened above the right shoulder with a brooch, fell in those graceful folds which constitute the charm of ancient costume. In Rome the outer garment was semicircular in form, of more ample size, white in color, and familiar to us all under the celebrated name of toga. The mode of arranging the folds of the toga varied at different times, but the general idea of the garment was always the same. The color of the toga was either that of the undyed wool, or it was further whitened by the fuller’s art. In one form—the trabea—worn by kings, consuls or knights, purple and white alternated in stripes. The toga was long worn by women, until a loose robe—the stola—reaching to the feet, ornamented with a flounce, and generally furnished with sleeves, usurped its place among the fair sex. Various beautiful shawls, veils, and scarfs, of elaborate tissues, embroidered and richly dyed, were worn by ladies of rank in both nations.

In Greece and Rome those wonderful inventions by which a few towns have become the workshop of the world were as yet undreamt of, and the simpler operations of the loom were frequent beside every household hearth. Even the plan of the house among the Greeks was influenced by this circumstance, for we have seen that a distinct place was assigned for the domestic works of spinning and weaving.

The first operation to be noticed is the spinning of the flax, cotton, or wool into thread. The material to be spun was first rolled into a ball and supported on the distaff, a stick of wood or ivory, which passed through the centre of the ball and was held in the left hand of the person spinning. The fibres of the raw material were drawn out and twisted by the finger, and then fixed into the notch or cleft of the spindle. This was formed of a slender shaft of wood about a foot long, furnished at one end with a slit to catch the thread, and inserted at the other end into a circular piece of heavy wood, stone, or metal. The spindle was kept in constant revolution by the hand of the spinner, and by its weight drew the fibres out of the ball of raw material. These fibres were twisted into thread, partly by the fingers and partly by the whirling of the spindle. When the spindle reached the ground the thread was wound on its shaft, again fixed in the cleft, and the same process repeated till the shaft was covered with as much spun thread as it could carry. The reel thus formed was fixed in a hollow case—the shuttle—so as to revolve freely within it, and the thread was drawn out through a small hole in the enclosing case.

The loom consisted of a simple frame-work, oblong in shape, and erected almost always in a perpendicular position, so that the weaver stood to perform her task. The warp was arranged in vertical threads between the upper and lower cross-bars of the frame; and the alternate threads were separated by a thin stick or cane, so as to form two sets or layers, between which the threads of the woof were introduced. This passing of the woof-thread was effected either with or without the shuttle; of course, always by hand. When the thread of the woof had been passed between the two layers of the warp, it is plain that these layers must change places in order firmly to inclose the introduced thread; i. e. the anterior layer must become posterior, and vice versa. This end was effected by inclosing each separate thread of the warp in a loop, and fastening all the loops of each layer to a separate stick, so that the person weaving could, by drawing one such stick toward her, cause all the corresponding threads of one layer to start from those of the other layer. By this means, after passing one thread of the woof, the posterior layer of the warp was drawn forward so as firmly to inclose it, and into the space between the layers a new thread of woof was again introduced. The layers of the warp were, of course, decussated in this manner on every successive introduction of a thread of the woof. The woof-thread, when passed, was firmly pressed between the layers of the warp, either by the comb or by the “spatha,” a large, flat wooden instrument, much like an enlarged paper-knife. In simple weaving, the repetition of the process described was all that was requisite to form the material; and striped patterns were easily produced, merely by alternately inserting bands of differently-colored woof. A check resulted when both warp and woof were thus alternately varied in hue. But to form more complicated patterns, an intricate arrangement of the leashes, or sets of loops above described, was necessary.

The warp-threads were always firmer and closer in substance than those of the woof—a necessary consequence of their having to bear the brunt of the whole operation without breaking, which, of course, was an inconvenient hindrance. A thick, soft woof was used to produce the nap required for warm blankets or winter shawls. Any rich material introduced, as Tyrian purple or golden thread, was always used as woof. The colors in Greek and Roman fabrics was always wool-dyed. Dimities, twills, and damasks were all woven by their looms. But the profusion of tapestries, carpets, shawls, and scarfs, of splendid hues and elaborate patterns, were all imported from the East—from Persia, Babylonia, Phœnicia, Egypt, Lydia, and Phrygia; nor were silken fabrics ever a domestic manufacture in Greece or Rome.

Much might be said, did our space permit, of the fulling and dressing of woollen cloths after manufacture. The processes employed were very similar to those in modern use: various kinds of fullers’ earth were used, and alkaline liquids were employed for cleansing; but soap was not known to the ancients.

The art of felting is said to be of greater antiquity even than that of weaving. It was employed among the Greeks and Romans chiefly in the production of coverings for the head, which were worn by people traveling. Among the Greeks caps were more common than among the Romans, who were used to supply their place by drawing a fold of the toga over their heads.

The coverings for the feet were very various in form: some mere sandals, in which the sole was fixed to the foot by bands; others resembled our modern shoes in shape, and covered the foot wholly; whilst a third kind reached up the leg. The tanning and dyeing of leather employed a great number of hands, and the colors chosen were often gay.

VII. Public Architecture.

Quitting the in-door life of the Roman, let us turn our attention to other monuments of labor and art, which are no less remarkable. Foremost among these stand the sewers and aqueducts of Rome. So thoroughly was the drainage of the city provided for, that the ground was tunneled through and through with arched passages; and Pliny’s expression, “the hanging city,” is literally correct. The most important of the sewers was built under the rule of the elder Tarquin, and planned in a spirit prophetic of future greatness. It is composed of three concentric arches, forming a channel of fourteen feet in diameter, and proportional height. This was the main trunk, into which was discharged the drainage flowing through a multitude of subterranean channels, together with the vast surplus quantity of water from the aqueducts used to cleanse the net-work of drains. A cart loaded with hay could be driven down the main passages, and Agrippa is said to have performed a sanitary voyage in a boat through the main sewers, when superintending their repair.

More attractive, though not more useful, monuments of labor and care for the public health, remain in the aqueducts, by which a plentiful supply of water was always insured to the city of the seven hills—the mere dilapidated remains of which still suffice for her present use. A mere glance at the proportions of some of these noble works, which conveyed the purifying and health-giving element, through hills and across valleys, from sources varying in distance from sixty miles downward, may well raise a blush at the scant and meagre substitutes which we can show in the nineteenth century. Well may Frontinus, in an exulting tone, compare the useful splendor of the nine aqueducts, which in his time supplied the city, with the useless, slave-grown bulk of the pyramids, or the merely decorative works of Grecian towns.

The most remarkable of the nine aqueducts were the Anio Vetus, the Aqua Marcia, the Aqua Claudia, and the Anio Novus. The Anio Vetus brought a supply from the river Anio, a distance of forty miles. It was built B. C. 273, and consisted of a stone water-course, the channel of which was coated with cement. A still longer one was the Aqua Marcia, extending along a distance of fifty-four miles, six and a half miles being above ground, and chiefly supported on arches. So lofty was the level of the terminal reservoir, that the highest parts of the Capitoline Mount could be supplied from it. This aqueduct united toward its termination with two others, in the same pile of masonry, so as to form one range of building, in which the three water-courses occupied different levels, one above the other, and finally discharged their streams into the same reservoir. At the same period that this aqueduct was constructed, 700 wells, 150 springs, and 130 subordinate reservoirs, were added to the former sources of supply. The Marcian Aqueduct was remarkable for the vastness and solidity of its proportions and construction.

Augustus caused an aqueduct to be built specially for the purpose of supplying the vast basin in which he exhibited sham naval fights to the citizens: but the Anio Novus, one of two new aqueducts built by the Emperor Claudius, was the most striking of all in its architectural effect. For six miles before its entrance into the city the water flowed along a channel supported by arches, some of which reached the height of 109 feet, and constituted a range of great beauty.

When an aqueduct was to be constructed, the first step consisted in forming a large basin at the source of the supply. In this the liquid rested to deposit its impurities, and for a similar purpose the channel was expanded into other reservoirs at various intervals along its course. The channel in which the water flowed was formed of stone or brick, covered with a layer of cement. The slope of the water-course, according to Pliny, was only one quarter of an inch in every hundred feet, but Vitruvius makes it six inches in the same distance. It probably varied with circumstances. An arched covering excluded the sun, and vent-holes in the sides or top provided for a free circulation of air. From the castella or reservoirs lying along the course of the channel, adjacent lands were sometimes irrigated. From the terminal reservoir the water was conveyed to its various destinations through pipes of metal or earthenware. These terminal reservoirs were works of great size and solidity. One such at Cuma is 200 feet long by 130 wide, and is covered in by a vaulted roof resting on four rows of pillars. At Rome there were 247 subordinate basins, in which the water from the terminal reservoirs of the various aqueducts was collected, previously to passing to the baths and houses. A staff of officers and a body of laborers were specially provided to keep the aqueducts in repair.

In their mining operations and in the formation of some aqueducts, we have seen that the ancients were obliged to tunnel. But their most remarkable works of this kind are the subterranean passages, by which the Romans drained many large lakes. One such channel, through which the lake Fucino discharged its water, is still nearly perfect. It is more than three miles long, one mile of the distance being carried through the hardest rock, under a mountain 1000 feet in height. Perpendicular and lateral shafts were sunk into the tunnel for the convenience of working, and 30,000 men were employed on the spot at the same time. Where the tunnel passes through earth it in vaulted with brick.

After the aqueducts the baths follow in a natural order. The great fondness of the Greeks and Romans for ablution, which the warmth of their climate rendered a great luxury, early led to ample provision for bathing, both public and private. Both people were familiar with the use of the hot-air bath, which was especially employed by the Spartans; but the warm-water bath, succeeded often by the cold douche, or plunging bath, was most usual. All the appliances that could minister to comfort and luxury in this department were not only known but common; and to such a degree did the splendor of the public baths at Rome attain, that it was not unusual for emperors themselves to bathe amid a throng of meaner citizens. Lofty, vaulted rooms, lighted by glass, with temperatures artificially contrived to suit the different states of the bather; spacious basins, lined with marble, and fitted with marble, bronze, or even silver benches, were plentifully supplied with water, hot, cold, pure, or scented with the most precious perfumes and essences. Porticoes and vestibules adorned with finished works of art, where the bather took his exercise listening to the recitations of poets, the declamation of orators, or the subtle disputes of philosophy; or perhaps reclined in luxurious ease amid the pleasant murmur of adjacent fountains; cool avenues for the promenaders at mid-day, lawns, terraces, and all the best efforts of their ornamental gardening, were united in the Roman Thermæ, or great public establishments for bathing and recreation, planned and executed in the imperial city and provincial towns. One of these, the Thermæ of Caracalla, was more than a mile in circuit.

The water for the baths was heated in brick furnaces, consisting of two rows of cells arranged over the fire, with which the lower row was in contact, while the upper row received the water from the branch of the aqueduct furnishing the supply. Pipes from the lower cells led into the baths, and these pipes were surrounded by flues, in order that the water should not cool in its transit. The party-walls between the cells of the furnace were also traversed by flues, in order to economize fuel as much as possible. Private baths, on a smaller scale, were attached to every house of consequence; and were favorite places for the display of the owner’s wealth.

The theatres of both nations were constructed with great skill, and especial adaptation to the ends of sight and hearing. They were generally built on the side of a hill, and sometimes, in Greece, literally hewn out of the solid rock. Some were of vast size; the ruins of one at Argos, semi-circular in form, inclose an area 450 feet in diameter. The seats for spectators were arranged in ascending stages, and the outer wall of the structure, behind the topmost row of spectators, was surmounted by a kind of portico, in order to throw back the sound of the actor’s voice. The semi-circular included space was the “orchestra,” where the chorus danced on a boarded floor. The stage, of course, closed the opening of the semi-circle, and was approached from the orchestra by steps. The back of the stage was bounded by a lofty screen, which in the theatre built of wood during the ædileship of M. Æmil. Scaurus was composed of three different substances—the bottom of white marble, the centre of glass, and the highest of gilt wood. The early theatres of Rome were built of wood, but after the time of Pompey stone was universally employed. The art of scene-painting was well understood, and various machines were employed on the stage for instantly changing the scene, or for introducing the actors flying in mid-air.

The amphitheatres of Rome, so called from being as it were double theatres, formed a complete circle, or rather an ellipse. They, too, like theatres, were built of wood, until the time of Augustus, from which period they gradually increased in size and splendor, until Vespasian and Titus caused the crowning work of the kind—the Colisæum—to be erected for the convenience of the immense crowds of sight-seers flocking to the public games. This most celebrated remain of Roman architectural art covers five acres of ground; the longer diameter being 615 feet, and the shorter 510. Four orders of columns, the first pure Doric, the second Ionic, the third Corinthian, and the fourth, Corinthian pilasters, rise one above the other till they attain the great elevation of 160 feet. These columns have one-fourth of their thickness buried in the face of the wall which they ornament. There are eighty columns in each tier, and from their summits spring arches supporting the tier above. There were, therefore, four tiers of seats for the accommodation of spectators, and this sufficiently explains how the building could contain the immense number of 87,000. The numbers contained by these buildings of antiquity were very large; the Attic theatre held 50,000, and the wooden theatre of Scaurus, before-mentioned, could accommodate 80,000.

We have mentioned that the perfect arch was not known to the Greeks; indeed, they have no word for it in their language. But the frequent use of the arch by the Romans, even in walls, where plain masonry would have sufficed, shows it to have been a favorite form of construction, and the triumphal arches built to commemorate victories are among their most splendid remains. Those erected by Drusus, Titus, Septimius Severus, Gallienus, and Constantine, still remain, and with the bas-reliefs commemorative of the events which they were designed to perpetuate still attest the great amount of Roman skill, and the extent of Roman conquests.

Another class of buildings—the basilicæ, exchanges or law courts, are highly interesting from the fact that they were afterward converted into Christian churches. One such edifice was always placed in the forum for the convenience of traders. It was generally of oblong shape, the length being from two to three times greater than the breadth. The earlier edifices of the kind were mere peristyles, or open spaces inclosed by columns, but subsequently the open space was defended by walls—the columns still remaining for ornament. Small private chambers were cut off from one end, for the use of the law officers and merchants; the main area was divided into a nave and two side-aisles. At one extremity of the central nave was placed the tribunal of the judge, which stood within the oblong area so long as the original use of the building merely as a law-court continued; but afterward, when the same edifice was used as an exchange, a semi-circular space was thrown out at one end, and the tribunal placed within this, in order that the seat of justice might not be disturbed by the noise of traffic. The advocates and jurors occupied the space within the semi-circle, while persons interested in the cause were accommodated with side-seats. The columns of the side-aisles supported a gallery, from which rose other columns sustaining a roof usually flat in the centre, and arched down to the supports so as to resemble the shell of the tortoise.

It may, perhaps, seem strange, that in our notice of so many ancient buildings we have not once alluded to temples. The reason for this course is, that no description could be given of such structures without necessitating an account of orders, styles, and proportion, into which our subject does not strictly enter. But the peculiar use of marble in constructing the roofs of temples may be well alluded to in this place. Slabs of this material were employed and fixed, much in the same manner as earthen tiles; descending in parallel rows from the ridge of the roof to the eaves. Bronze, afterward gilt, was also used for the same purpose.

The Greek and Roman towns were generally irregular in plan; their streets narrow and mean, even in Rome, till the great fire in Nero’s reign; after which the city was rebuilt with great regularity. The increasing value of land led to the erection of many-storied houses in the main streets; but the houses of the wealthy were always chiefly composed of ground-floor apartments, wherever space permitted. This subject, and the house-carpentry generally of the ancients, is involved in some obscurity.

VIII. Traveling.

It remains for us to say a few words regarding the facilities for traveling in those ancient times. The great enterprise displayed by the Romans in undertaking and constructing their road-ways, as well domestic as in foreign countries, is familiar to all of us. There are few who have not seen a long, straight, undeviating road, never turning aside to avoid natural obstacles, but pressing right on to its mark, still denoting by its traditional name the track along which the legions marched to victory. The more perfectly constructed of these ways, after the introduction of paving, were among the most durable monuments of Roman skill in art.

The road was first marked out, then the loose earth was excavated down to a solid foundation, on which the lowest course of stones, about six inches in diameter, was laid. On these was placed a mass of rough stones cemented by mortar, forming a kind of rubble work. Then followed a layer of bricks and pottery broken small, and analogous to the burnt earth frequently now employed in our own railways. This coat was also united into a mass by mortar, and upon it was laid the permanent roadway, consisting of large polygons of flinty pavement or basaltic lava, the edges of which were trimmed and fitted with the greatest care. We must certainly yield the palm to the Romans in the art of paving. They combined strength and finish to a degree that may well put our own efforts out of sight. Where the road lay over rocks, the two lower layers were dispensed with as unnecessary; and in carrying it across a swampy country they employed foundations of piles. A raised pathway laid with gravel, mounting blocks for equestrians, and mile-stones to mark the distances, completed the appurtenances of a Roman road. The general direction of road repairs and works was assigned to a class of officers and workmen. Numerous military roads intersected the Roman empire, and this facility of internal communication was a main cause of its duration. It would exceed our limits to give even the names of the principal.

In the construction of bridges, especially such as were of a temporary nature, the Romans were very skillful. Carpentry must have been well understood, in order to form such structures as the bridge thrown across the Rhine by Cæsar in the short space of ten days. Many stone bridges, some of them distinguished for elegance, connected the opposite banks of the Tiber; but the triumph of Roman art in this department, is seen in the bridge, partly of stone and partly of wood, built by Trajan across the Danube. The whole length of this structure was 3010 feet. There were twenty-two wooden arches supported on stone piers, each arch having a span of about 130 feet. Coffer-dams were used in constructing the foundations of piers.

The carriages used by Greeks and Romans were of various kinds, but though they expended large sums on the more splendid, yet in point of comfort their productions never approached the vehicles of modern coach-builders. The want of springs was an inconvenience, which they attempted to remedy by a luxurious array of feather cushions and down pillows. The carriages were either four-wheeled or two-wheeled; the former being mostly used in journeys. A pair of mules or horses were driven, and sometimes four. There is but little peculiarity in the manufacture of these carriages, but the shapes were elegant, and the poles or other parts were often elaborately carved, while the body of the car was perhaps tastefully inlaid. Traveling carriages in the later times were usually furnished with curtains to exclude the sun and air. Covered litters borne by slaves were also in common use among the wealthy for traveling short distances.

The early history of the inventions by which men came to plough the watery deep, and to convert the element of seeming separation into one vast pathway for the mutual intercourse of nations, belongs to another province. Our space will only permit a brief account of the vessels used by the Greeks and Romans in the times of their more perfect nautical skill. The main division of these was into ships of war and ships of commerce. The former were long and narrow, propelled by rowers, and furnished generally with three ranks of oars, rising obliquely one above the other. But the numbers of these ranks varied much, and in one leviathan galley, built by Ptolemus Philopator, there were even forty ranks of rowers. The average number of the crew engaged in a ship of war was two hundred; and these vessels usually performed their voyages in short times, as the propelling power was independent of the wind. They were furnished with a pointed beak, singly or doubly cleft, and usually situated below the water-level, in order more effectually to run down the adversary.

Ships of burden, on the contrary, were chiefly propelled by sails: their form was clumsy and heavy; of course they did not need the beak, and the number of their crews—the rowers especially—was small in comparison with the complements of men-of-war. With regard to the methods of propulsion, we may mention that sails and rigging were both very simple, as compared with the contrivances of our own days. There was usually only one sail—a large square-sail attached to the mainmast. But sometimes four were present, though even then all were not commonly employed together. The oars were of different lengths, in order to provide for the different heights of the rowers above the water-level. The ancient vessel was usually steered by two rudders or stern-oars, one being placed on either side of the stern. Swift, light galleys, with a large complement of rowers, were in use for performing expeditious voyages.

In the construction of their vessels considerable skill was displayed: the planks were united by iron or copper nails, and the seams stopped with rushes or tow. An outer coating of wax and rosin was commonly overlaid; in some cases black pitch, while in others sheet-lead was added, secured by copper nails.

Harbors were constructed, defended by artificial break-waters; with quays for unlading; porticoes and a temple for the votive offerings of the prosperous voyager; warehouses for goods; the usual apparatus of rings and posts for mooring vessels, and a sloping bank on which to haul them up, if a stay were contemplated. Colossal statues and lighthouses were erected at their entrance. Dry docks for building or repairing, rope-walks, magazines for stores, and other necessary conveniences, completed the portal arrangements.

We have thus passed in review many of the most striking results of the useful arts of Greece and Rome. We have seen these results often rivaling, sometimes even superior to those of our own industry.

And now let us pause for one moment, to regard the crowning development of the useful arts of the old world. We see the polished Roman dwelling amidst all the appliances for luxury, splendor, and utility which art, the minister of man, and the adapter of nature, could then gather around him. The marble palaces, the elaborate tissues of the loom, the polished masterpieces of the artificer, the paintings, the sculptures, the mouldings, and the rare devices of the engraver were one and all to him so perfect, that he doubted not they would remain forever the unsurpassed ornaments of the Queen of Nations. A few centuries, and how changed the scene! The iron bond that held together the civilized world in one vast whole has been torn asunder, and we see a rude barbarian spurning with his foot the delicate masterpieces of finished art. Or still later, perhaps, a half-naked savage wanders above the ruins of the buried cities, without a thought of the rich treasures of human industry hidden in the earth beneath him. The new birth of Freedom is for a time the death of Industry. But new life is following close on this death—a stronger, healthier vitality, more mighty in its development, and crowned by yet higher results. Amid the blackest night of anarchy and rapine, man—“the minister and interpreter of nature”—is busy kindling torches to scatter the darkness.

Some imperishable monuments of antiquity were powerful agents in preserving the useful arts to man. As the aqueducts of ancient Rome, conquering the attacks of Time, and the destroying hand of the barbarian, still continued to lead pure streams to the seven-hilled city, so did a knowledge of the useful arts flow in manifold channels from the old world to the new, and Italy became to the moderns what Greece had been to the ancients—the nursing-mother of the arts, and the refiner of nations.

It was long, doubtless, before the rude barbarians borrowed the refinements and arts of a conquered people, whose very civilization they regarded as a badge of slavery. “The ancient inhabitants of Italy,” says Muratori, “were so enervated, and were cast down to such a pitch of poverty, that no power or force of example remained by which to allure the conquerors to a more refined and elegant manner of living. For this reason the Lombards long retained their primitive ferocity and rudeness, and the barbaric style of look and dress, till the more genial sky of Italy, and the neighboring examples of the Greeks and Romans gradually led them, first to some cultivation of manners, and then to refinement.” And what this eminent antiquarian alleges in this particular case was, doubtless, true of all those barbarian hordes that overran the once fertile plains of the South. It was this fierce and savage independence that rendered the rude conqueror insensible, not only to the sight of his slave’s refinement, but even to the influence of the habitual view and contact of those innumerable and beautiful products of art which surrounded him on every side. Nothing less than the development of one strong passion—the passion for freedom—could have quelled those native instincts in the mind, which lead man so powerfully to embrace the inventions of others, and, in fault of these, to invent for himself. Doubtless, the constant succession of the waves of desolation was another main cause of their effacing power. Each succeeding invasion found a still decreasing civilization: the traces of arts and refinement grew ever fainter and fainter, till finally they were almost lost to view.

Boeckh, “Economy of Athens.”

Smith’s “Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.”





            I.—THE OASIS.


Think not that I am hapless, ye who read

  The pensive numbers of my fervent lyre:

That in the heart is sown some upas-seed,

  Is not to prove all healthful germs expire;

That in a garden are some withered bowers,

  Crisped buds and yellow leaves bestrew the ground,

Is not to prove it hath nor herbs nor flowers.

  Think not because I’ve stood on every round

Of Fortune’s ladder, that no oasis

  Amid the desert of my heart upglows

Above the sands and sallow cypresses,

  Cheering the weary pilgrim as he goes;

Not all the fires that rend volcanic wombs

Can kill this one green spot that ’mid my heart-waste blooms.





’Tis true, I’m poor in what the world calls bliss;

  ’Tis true, I have known many wounds of pride,

  With which a weaker nature might have died.

’Tis true, I’ve passed the fearful Charybdis,

Yet ’mid the maelstrom thrilled with happiness.

  We should not murmur ’gainst an earthly trial⁠—

  It throws a stronger sunlight on Life’s dial,

Awakes the spirit in its chrysalis,

And plumes it i’ to the broad, bright heavens to soar.

  And oh! if I could sing the bliss I’ve known,

  While sitting in this study-room alone,

Listing the soul waves wash the eternal shore⁠—

If I could ring it out in one loud song,

’Twould shake the throne of Grief and banish Wrong.


As John Godwin entered Christ’s Hospital so he left it, with no other friends than an uncle, who was a Kentish miller, and an understanding which, if it was impermeable to much learning, retained and fostered whatever at any time it received. A stolid, quiet, precocious boy, with a generous and simple heart, in which strong self-will was seated at depths seldom disturbed, with an original imagination, of which he was always unconscious, with a new suit of clothes, a tall hat, and six shillings in a clothes-box, he was articled to an apothecary. This suit being worn out, another supplied its place; when this in its turn got threadbare, the process of renewal, not without ceremony, was repeated; and, with the best intentions to the contrary, that is as much as the most partial biographer could write of John Godwin’s life for some years. It is true that, in like manner, new notions and ideas, what may be called the provisional phases of manhood, were rapidly worn out and replaced; for every year between fifteen and twenty is itself a distinct era. It is also true, by the bye, that at seventeen he fell in love, desperately and sincerely, with a lady thirteen years his senior, whose great recommendation consisted not so much in an imposing, handsome person as in a baby.

This lady, neither married nor a widow, was somehow connected with the family of his master, and came often to the little parlor behind the shop, whence John, peeping over the muslin curtain, used to throw bashful glances on her as she sat silent and abstracted by the fire-side—silent, and with much sorrow in her great brown eyes. Indeed, she lived and moved in an atmosphere of sorrow; it seemed to encompass her in palpable clouds, so that one even felt her presence at the door before she entered in. A tearless Niobe, deserted and betrayed—a victim, so the little bird said, of a too intense devotion for a student in medicine—John wept for her, pitied her, loved her. When at church, it was the story of the Magdalen, that beautiful story, which kept his eyes on the Book all service-time. Putting the shutters up at night, he took long solitary walks, that, alone with Nature in suburban squares, he might dwell upon his Magdalen; or hastily retiring to bed, there, on the extreme verge of the bedstead, his arms extended into vacancy and night, he would send forth his imagination to feed like a ghoul on the quivering carcases of Susan’s joys. “Now,” he would exclaim, and strike his head emphatically upon the pillow—“Now,” in her sleeping apartment, at 17 Jemima street, Pentonville, she is tossing wildly on her bed, tearful, passionate, delirious, while Grief wrestles with Sleep!—“Now!” And looking through darkness and the intricacy of streets, he contemplated this picture of 17 Jemima street, until it faded into another, in which, having succeeded in reviving the confidence of Susan in the love and honor of man, he was represented as taking unto himself that crushed flower, fostering it into renewed radiance and fragrance, more lasting and more grateful, if more subdued.

John never told his love, for pecuniary reasons. Indeed, it lasted but six weeks, though, considering the instability of sentiment at seventeen, even that period was an age for such fervor to endure. As the lady’s melancholy, however, began visibly to subside, John’s fervor, subsided also; and collapsed altogether when, at the expiration of three months or so, she went on a pleasure excursion to Brighton with another student of medicine, and remained there with a distant and hitherto unknown relation.

The young apothecary soon learned to laugh supremely at this piece of extravagance, palliating his shame by repeating that, to the young, love and folly are constant companions; that a heart like his must always have some object of adoration, whether foolish or otherwise. His own experience entirely warranted the dictum at any rate; for he had had a sweetheart as soon as he was consummately breeched—a sweetheart who almost broke his heart by dividing an orange in his presence with a little boy who had the advantage over him in wearing large frilled collars. Again, in tenderest boyhood, he became possessed with an intense affection for the very tall daughter of a police-sergeant; but she despised him for his stockings. Rising thereat in indignant pride, he resolved at once to make himself renowned, that when Fame should so bruit his merits in the general ear that even the daughter of the policeman should hear the blast, she might learn painfully, and, alas! too late, that genius is not to be judged by its stockings. In pursuit of this end, he forthwith indited some affecting “Lines to E——n,” which were declined with thanks by the editor of the “Gentleman’s Magazine,” mainly in consequence of their being inscribed on paper with an ornamental border, and embellished with original designs, curiously colored. This failure disgusted him with the Muses, especially as he himself half suspected a lack of the poetical leaven. So he determined to turn the current of his ambition into channels better suited to it; and thus, begun out of desire to assuage the wounds his pride had received through the medium of his stockings, and continued afterward for its own sake and by natural bias, he managed to pursue the science of chemistry to very great lengths.

Boyhood, however, with all the follies and crudities of the outer boy, and much of the keen feeling, the trust, the ever misconstrued delicacies of the inner, has now gone by with the young apothecary. He puts all his youth behind him to-day, and advances into steady manhood; for to-morrow he is to be married. That fact fills his shop, and every nook of every chamber thereto pertaining; but particularly in the kitchen, where the fat fingers of the little maid are busy with the promising skeleton of a new cap and many yards of white and blue ribbon, and in the shop parlor, where John sits communing with his soul, the circumambient air is prophetic of it. This shop, it should be said, expensively furnished with such means as his careful mother beguiled her years of widowhood in accumulating for some such purpose, John had entered upon only a few months since. His customers, hitherto, were discouragingly few, perhaps in consequence of his having chosen Doctors’ Commons as the probable Tom Tidler’s ground of his future fortunes; not eligible ground for an apothecary. So he resolved on getting married. He had observed, he said, that “things frequently took a turn” upon such events; and this was the reason he assigned to himself for taking the step at this time. But there were many others.

John sits communing with his soul. It had surprised him, it had struck him more than once with a kind of superstitious suspicion, that even up to the very eve of his marriage some evil or perhaps good influence—he thought about it, but still doubted—seemed always to withdraw his mind from the subject. But bidding his boy—who, lost under a desk, his hands buried anxiously in his hair, had forgotten even the dignity due to his new livery in the perusal of a novel—bidding his boy attend carefully to the shop, and calling his handmaid from below to light the lamp and trim the fire, he now sat down to “have a good serious think.”

To think, and think hard on all things, was common to the bridegroom; and, seated in his easy chair, all quiet, he began to inquire within himself—how long it would be before the last button of his boy’s jacket would be gambled away with a leaden “nicker!” “Good heavens!” he exclaimed, suddenly arresting the panorama, alarmed at the puerility of the thing at such a moment; and, rising, he extinguished the light, drew his chair closer to the fire again, to try if the dusk would not soothe him to soberness. Half an hour later, when the buttoned Mercury emerged from beneath the shadow of the desk, breathing hard and looking stealthily into all dark corners where any cloaked bravo, such as he had just parted company with, might possibly be lurking, at length, reassured, peered through the window to discover what the governor was about, he found the governor thoughtfully posed indeed. His tall figure, clad in sad-colored raiment, disposed carelessly in the cushioned chair, his countenance, handsome but rough-cast, bent full upon the ruddy firelight, while he lazily balanced the burnished poker on his forefinger, he looked a very real if not a very conventional image of abstraction.

A well-regulated memory has been likened to the best-regulated household—a bee-hive. It is said to contain a myriad of little cells, in which are carefully stored away all our treasures, all the sweetness we have gathered in bright days and hours, to be drawn forth thence on drowsy evenings or wakeful nights—enjoyed, and restored. In the memory of our young bridegroom a hundred little chambers at once now gave up their precious things. From remotest and darkest nooks, from the very dungeons of the hive, where they had been stored because they were so precious as to be painful to look on, they now came pouring pell-mell in bountiful confusion: and in all a beautiful young face, lit up with gold-brown eyes, and shaded by gold-brown hair, came and went in a wonderful fragmentary way. For now a massy curl, drooping over his shoulder as together they bend to read from one book; and now her eyes, with a sudden illumination of love and mirth, railing at him; and now her lips closed to reproach him in silence, or half-parted and half-pouted to receive his greeting kiss—alone filled the entire picture. In vain he endeavored to bring steadily before his eyes the integrate sweetness of that face, where a morning radiance rested all day long. Once and again, indeed, he seemed almost to accomplish his desire; and he glanced shyly at the portrait looming dimly on his vision, lest by gazing too earnestly he should disperse it. And, in a moment, the features were all rubbed out: again only a curl drooped on his shoulder, or two eyes smiled up to him, with various and fitfully-remembered meaning, out of blank darkness.

In equal hurry and confusion, the remembrance of past scenes, and groupings, and events, where still the one fair face looked grave or gay, whirled through the dreamer’s mind. Meetings and partings, the last and the first—summer lanes and winter hearths—morning and evening, all rendered up their souvenirs in sad chronological order, regardless of the unities of the pastoral to which they belonged. An old gabled house in the northern suburbs, some ten miles from St. Paul’s was, however, the chief scene of his wedding-eve reminiscences. A snug old house, stuck full of little square dull-eyed casements, it was nursed and shaded in its declining age in shrubby lawns and flower-beds—in rows of elm and straggly sycamore, with fragrant lilac and the golden abundance of laburnum-trees. House and garden, it was a very place of leaves. Except a small paddock in the rear, where an old gray horse used to stand reflectively by the hour, as still as the horse of wood over the neighboring inn, every where were dusty leaves or spruce flowers. On the walls, peeping in at the windows—clinging round one chimney-pot and drooping from another—lying in wait at doors, overhanging paths, toppling the mossy garden-wall, and stealing under the great, shabby wooden carriage-gate, where carriage never deigned to enter—box and briar and creeping plants abounded. But it was beneath the parlor windows that, like well-fed Babes in the Wood, the flowering plants clustered and prospered: nowhere beyond, except in the windows of the chambers above. In one especially. It was at the west side of the house, high up (doesn’t John Godwin remember it?) and looked down the road leading from the city, smiling radiantly. Balsams and old-fashioned scarlet-flowered geraniums, a hot, martial-looking cactus, specimens of that perfect type of blooming English womanhood, the rose, and some novelty with a lengthy Latin name, were gathered there in bright companionship—all the brighter when fanned by the snowy curtain as it flapped pleasantly above in the early morning breeze.

And if this little window high up in the old house smiled radiantly upon all the dusty wanderers who came out of London so far in search of “a mouthful of air,” the elect bridegroom, still balancing the poker there, could tell you with what special radiance it looked all down the road on him. That part of the story is what he is now recalling. How in summer mornings, sunny and still, he used to rise with the lark; how, hours before he could display the advantages of those operations, he got himself starched and pomatumed one or two degrees beyond good taste, perhaps, as he doubts now; but then some anticipation was to be made for the damages of a two hour’s walk. How at the earliest moment, almost breakfastless—for his heart by this time had overrun his stomach—he started off to spend the blessed day of rest with Jessy, to take Jessy to church. Jessy owned the bright brown eyes and the locks of bright brown hair: a compact little goddess of eighteen—a laughing, blooming, deep-hearted and very sensible little goddess, whom to worship were honor; and she used sometimes to peep through the branches of the geraniums on such Sunday mornings, to see whether her “dear boy” were coming; for the little window was the window of her chamber. Jessy innocently imagined that her dear boy had never caught her peeping; she was mistaken; and the bridegroom smiles very grimly, for a bridegroom, as he remembers that fact. And how, having walked his last mile leisurely—for, from a foolish pride, he wished Jessy to believe that the coach had conveyed him to the end of the road, and therefore endeavored to make his appearance as cool as possible—how, having walked his last mile leisurely, and flaunted the dust from his clothes, he suddenly turned an angle, and coming at once in sight, distinguished at the distance of a quarter-mile whether she looked for his coming. If so, though pretending not to see her, all the graces of which he was master were at once put in requisition, up to the last opportunity in a graceful rat-tat-tat at the door.

There was not such a moment in any week as that which elapsed between this rapping at the door and the opening of it. A world of tumult, and impatience, and hesitation were compressed in that small instant: ’twas precisely such a hurly-burly of feeling as that which caused his fingers to tremble over the unbroken seal of the first letter he received from her: and loving-kindness always followed the opening of the door as it had followed the opening of the seal. Even dreaming these scenes into renewed life, Godwin hastened thus to arrive at the porch; for on the threshold he will meet, not the good old servant, she knows well enough how impertinent it would be to answer such a knock as that; but, listening, he hears light swift feet come pit-a-pat, pat-a-pat down the stairs, with just a little jump to finish, the door is flung wide open, and there stands the flower-goddess smiling and shaking her curls, her face irradiate with a positive glory of happiness, only softened by the faintest and least shame-faced of blushes. They say nothing at present; but while with one hand she closes the door, the other is placed upon his shoulder, and, a-tiptoe, she bestows a sharp, uncertain little kiss upon his cheek; whereupon they find themselves in the parlor.

When that sturdy old Viking, Jessy’s papa, makes his appearance, they all go to church; but this the sturdy old Viking does not till the latest moment, defeating his object therein by storming the room-door just, maybe, as Godwin insists upon tying the strings of Jessy’s bonnet, and while, laughing and blushing, she uplifts the white round chin in a naughty, ambiguous way, to assist (or confuse) the operation. For halfpay-captain Burton, a man of war when grog, bluster, and the cat were national bulwarks—brown, boisterous, and the most tarry of tars—was at the same time the most bashful person concerned in the love between his daughter and John Godwin, principally or remotely. When full twelve months had elapsed since the evening that, restlessly pondering the matter upon stepping into bed, he had confirmed his suspicions in a nervous conversation with his wife that John was a-wearing up to our Jess, that nervousness still continued. Not a word in reference to the subject had he ever uttered to his daughter, or to any one after that dreadful evening; for, with a vasty sigh, he then felt himself compelled to avow that he had no reason to say nay if Jess said yea, which her mother communicated to her by-and-by, when Jessy sought her confidence, and which the affectionate little flower-goddess revealed to her dear boy one anxious dusky evening with all her delicacy. And so the matter settled itself; but Captain Burton at once took to the thoughtful and uncongenial pursuit of angling, and so enthusiastically, that, though quite unsuccessful, he did not meet his daughter at breakfast for an entire fortnight. With the countenance of a cheerful martyr, he went up and down into all the chambers of the house, whistling or humming notes that had no pretence to cohesion, or harmony, or to any thing but doleful monotony, and in a thousand other ways displayed the wretchedness of his mind.

And long after the lovers—from frequent communion and from other causes well wotted of by old and young—had outgrown the restraints of bashfulness, and were become sister and brother in manner and wedded in heart, the old sea-captain still felt qualmish on the approach of John’s visits. So it was that on Sunday mornings he usually delayed his greeting to the last moment, when, his grisly hair brushed no way in particular, and tucked under the brim of a very rakish and curley-looking hat, he was prepared to accompany them to church. Along the dusty, pebbly footpath, with here a church-going worshiper from the cottage, and there a church-going worshiper from the hall, the school-children defiling irregularly and dustily in the road. Across the common—down the long lane shadowed, almost darkened, by trees that overhung from high and weedy banks on either side, where birds chattered and sung, and the church-bells rang with softened resonance; at the end the sunshine gloriously outspread, with the tumble-down old church and the tumble-down old gravestones drowsing in the midst: and all like a picture framed in the foliage of the lane. Pleasant enough in reality and destitute of association, that walk was beautiful indeed as remembered by the apothecary. Cool summer airs floated past his face, the freshness of morning moistened on his lips, in his eyes was light, in his heart all happiness, as the recollection rose in fullness before the dreaming bridegroom, and passed gently away. Again as they entered the porch together, in the shadow of a real and earnest thoughtfulness; again as together they knelt down; again as organ and children intoned an old meandering psalm, that ever found an easy path from earth to heaven—the memory came with a shock like electricity and left him confusedly trembling. And the loose afternoon rambles while papa dozed, the botanical excursions into all the shady, shrubby nooks of the garden, where Jessy gathered her hair under that wonderful muslin scarf—pleasant converse or pleasanter silence by open windows, when rain-drops drummed among the leaves—cozy evenings when, determined to be happy (for at heart he was almost as proud of Godwin’s frank openheartedness and sound intelligence as his daughter,) the old captain brought forth a tobacco-pouch that might also have served for a carpet-bag, mixed a pint of grog in a half-gallon bowl, and sat down to talk morals and politics over the table with his guest, while at the same time, beneath the shadow of the table, the joined hands of Jessy and the happy guest talked love—and ceremonial suppers, for parting had to follow—parting itself, when Jessy and her father accompanied him into the porch, and her father wandered uneasily somewhere out of it, and Jessy shook hands with her dear boy where the shadow was deepest, returned his salute with modest fervor, and accompanied her final “God bless you” by a glance lingering and tremulous—and that was the end.

That was the end. The hollow fire broke down sullenly in ruins, and the bridegroom rose slowly to his feet much troubled. But meeting the reflection of his face full in the chimney-glass, he sat down again still more troubled; for the emotion he saw there spoke accusingly. Many months these recollections had lain nearly dormant in his mind: he had thrown them off uneasily from time to time; and to-night, when, more than all days and nights in the past year, he ought least to indulge them, least to be troubled by them or yearn to them, what right had they to swarm all the avenues of thought in this way? Jessy Burton was a dead name, the old house a mere haunted house, so far as he was now concerned. Had they not quarreled and parted long ago? And whose fault was that but Jessy’s? True, his part in the quarrel had been the most active, and she might, perhaps, accuse him of caprice, or something of that sort; but then she had been very passive, and seemed to care very little—he had never seen her cry, or look reproachful, even when matters had come to a crisis; she had very quietly received back all her notes (quite a little heap they were, square and three-cornered, scented and unscented, neatly-written notes and some with words sprawling all about the paper, still “in haste—Yours,” and one with some dead leaves in it)—and did not return his letters in reply. From which, of course, any one could only assume that they had mutually—got⁠——

Well, suppose we think no more about it. Jessy could not work such a pair of slippers as that; and Godwin planted his feet, slippers and all, on each side of the fire-place. Nor could she embroider such chair-covers, or work such curtains, or cut such lamp-screens, or finger the piano so rapidly as Sybilla—nothing like it: he became acquainted with Sybilla two whole months before he parted with Jessy, and therefore he had opportunities of immediate comparison, and ought to know. Sybilla was a handsome, brilliant girl, with a fine high spirit, and excessively fond of him—no doubt of it. He was a pretty fellow to sit dreaming away in that sentimental style, when to-morrow he was to marry such a woman as that, and become the proudest husband to-morrow would shine on! Jessy was well enough in her way, a nice, amiable, pretty girl; but, dear me!—and John made up his mouth to whistle an air, and did not whistle it.

Well! John thought he had better go to bed. The fire was out—no wonder he felt so miserable!—and there was the boy peeping hard through the curtain again; for he was getting hungry and wanted to shut up. The fat fingers of the little maid below had ceased from their labors—the cap was finished, and looked beautiful; and she sat at the fire with her chin on her hands and her elbows on her knees, brooding matrimony in an earnest and lively spirit. In half an hour the buttons ate himself to sleep, Polly found sleep in the realms of speculation, and John, become more comfortable over a renewed fire and a glass of weak toddy, went really whistling up to bed shortly after. “Good night, John,” said he, as he rolled himself up like a chrysalis; “good night, young man! Good night, Sybilla!” And a moment after, with tenderness and an ominous sort of resignation, “Good night, Jessy!”

An hour after dawn, the little bird whose cage hung in the chamber window, trilling, quavering, rattling out his earliest fantasia, roused the bridegroom from sleep. About an hour after dawn, rattling, quavering, trilling his morning song, the little bird (brother to the above) whose cage hung in Jessy’s chamber window, roused her also from sleep. In morning toilette, and bright as any Diana from the bath, Jessy soon put her bloomy face in comparison with her flowers, as, admiring here, plucking a dead leaf there, she busied herself with her bow-pots. Presently she went with a serious air to a battered old trunk in a corner, and carefully took thence a small ivory box. It contained various minute packages of flower-seeds; and the serious expression of her face deepened into a sadness that seemed at home there, as she came to one carefully sealed paper at the bottom of the box. Jessy opened it, and half-a-dozen balsam-seeds fell into a slightly trembling hand: small, dusty, withered-looking seeds—smaller, more dusty and withered-looking than balsam-seeds usually are, and more precious.

Three summers agone, the plant from which they were derived was the best and most promising in Jessy’s little conservatory. Every body admired it—Godwin with an enthusiasm which might have been mistaken for playful sarcasm in any but a doubting lover. This, too, was when the plant was still in its youth, and its beauties mainly prospective; but John Godwin one day brought its mistress a small phial, containing a bright, volatile fluid, prepared at the expense of a night’s rest and as much money as would have bought almost an entire stand at a flower-show, which he said would cause her flower to grow like a banyan, and blow like a whole forest of acacias. The bottle was labeled in regular order—“Miss Burton’s patient: two drops to be taken night and morning in a gill of rain-water.”

The effect of its application to the roots of the flower proved almost marvelous. Large and high the balsam grew, with heavy branches round about it; and never were blossoms so huge, or so many, or so novel in color on balsam before. True, they fell off as soon as they were fully blown, but then they were reproduced elsewhere as constantly; and Jessy’s grief was great when, one morning, she found her pet altogether broken down and faded—suddenly as with blight, beyond hope of resuscitation. Seeds, however, had been preserved, and the following spring were committed to the earth, hopefully; but they woke to a by no means joyful resurrection. Wiry and puny, these poor step-children of Nature languished through the summer in sunniest corners, putting forth numerous pale little blossoms, and looking as miserably gay as a faded beauty in a faded ball-dress. The next generation was still more deplorable; but ere the latest lingerer had abandoned all effort to appear cheerful in cheerful companionship, Hope and Love had closed their outer doors against Jessy Burton, and she turned at once to that miserable lingerer, which seemed to have lingered on purpose to offer her the consolation of fellowship in affliction.

In the best hearts, the simplest and the strongest, a vein of romantic superstition will always be found—a hidden spring, surrounded by wholesome verdure: where it is not, there is sickness. And though it was very sentimental and very absurd, it really did Jessy good to compare her fortunes and the fortunes of her nurselings, with feelings that went beyond mere wonder at a coincidence. The hope and joy that erst-time put forth blossom all day long, she woke one morning to find altogether broken down and faded—suddenly, as with blight, beyond hope of resuscitation. She remembered what unwise abandonment to excess of a new happiness had rendered this blight so sudden and complete, and was self-reproved; but looking on her invalided balsam, she saw that it still grew in a humble, hopeful kind of way—still persevered in blooming with as little dreariness as possible, and always, to appearance, with a cheerful prospect of doing better next time; and she took the lesson to heart along with the reproof. Pondering much both lesson and reproof, Jessy gradually came to hold faith in more than was simply coincidental in so direct a coincidence. It preached to her, by application, most excellent doctrine; and she at last believed it to be one of those small things which (now that revelation, and miracle, and prophecy are no more) are disposed by a very extraordinary Chance, to work good in those who, having eyes, shut them not, and having ears, hear. Furthermore, the simple girl grown wise through grief, vaguely assumed a connection in the future between her floral oracles and herself. Again she sows them on this bridal morning. Perhaps they will recover lost strength and beauty, and bloom as in past time; and then—who knows? Or perhaps they will die right out, be sickly and sorrowful no more, and give place to healthier if less cherished ones. Well, either way—whether the foolish pride of that dear bad boy allow him to seek forgiveness of the caprice she knows he bitterly repents, or whether the anxious unquiet that still besets her go finally to rest—will be happiness.

How unconscious was Jessy, at the moment she closed the mould over her treasures, that that dear bad boy of hers was closing over his breast a waistcoat which, innocent as it looked, would as effectually keep her curls from ever tumbling themselves there as bars of triple steel! How unconscious of more than the existence of the handsome and really graceful woman who, an hour or two later, was arraying herself in garlands and much muslin, a more unemotional sacrifice than the most Roman beeve that ever went lowing to the altar.

Bride Sybilla’s countenance was beautiful and commanding beyond that of most women; her figure graceful and dignified as that of most queens. Tall, pale, yet with a paleness as bright and healthy as the paleness of May-blossom—her head set slightly but boldly forward from her throat—with brilliant teeth, dark brows of gracefulest curve, and dark eyes that could express every thing, but languishing and passion better than all—she would have been an indisputable belle of the season, some time or other, had she made her original and vulgar debut within the circle of courtly existence. In very fact, she was so obviously fitted by nature for vegetation in the conservatory of Fashion: she had so elegant a mind; her shawls draped her so elegantly; she looked so much at home in a carriage—especially an open one, as every body remarked on occasions of pic-nic excursions; she would have adorned an opera-box so thoroughly, and blazed with such magnificence in family jewels—that, at length, it became plain even to herself that she had been born into a false position. Not that she ever expressed such a consciousness, or allowed herself to brood over it; her personal superiority was justifiably regarded as a natural fact, and the fact was worn like an old robe.

But though, by some mistake, Sybilla wasted her radiance in the wrong firmament, it is only fair to say that she was, at any rate, highly respectable. Her father, Mr. Charles Frederick Lee, or as old letters, thrown carelessly on mantelpieces, or stuck indifferently in card-racks and the frame of the chimney-glass—suggested, Charles Frederick Lee, Esq., was, indeed, an eminent example of respectability. A Government employée—clerk at the Custom-house, that is to say—his position was very respectable to start with; and this quality permeated all his relations in life, hovered benignantly about his hearth-rug, and saturated even his umbrella. This he carried with an air sufficient of itself to stamp his respectability; and it is highly probable that the appearance alone of Mr. Lee, as—quitting his residence at Grandison-place punctually to a minute—he walked into the City on fine mornings, with his umbrella at a peculiar angle under his arm, had a greater effect on the public than all the “Hints on Etiquette” that were ever published—price six-pence.

At his residence, Grandison-place, the principle so well exemplified in the person of Mr. Lee was adequately supported in the knocker, (brass,) in the carpetings and hangings, by a classic lamp in the passage, and two very respectable-looking canaries of a subdued color, that hung in burnished cages (done about, of course, with yellow gauze) in the parlor windows, by life-size portraits of the family, an amplitude of light-colored upholstery, and marmalade for breakfast. Much wholesome goodness, however, was diffused throughout the household—cool, serene content, subduing all things equably beneath its shadow—gentleness, affection, peace, and decorous plenty. But thus surrounded, and with such a father, Sybilla was certainly its leading member and brightest ornament. The school-teaching obtained for her by paternity, with two hundred and fifty pounds a-year of income, and a position to support, did not, of course, comprise all the elements of a polite education; but what was taught at the Clarendon-House Academy for Young Ladies, Sybilla made the most of. She danced well, played the piano-forte with considerable brilliancy, wrote with orthodox angularity, and spelt comparatively few words with two t’s that should be spelled with one; she painted fruit and flowers charmingly, as a rather bulky portfolio of such subjects as “Grapes, Roses and Peach,” “A Peach, Roses and bunch of Grapes,” “Roses, Peach, etc.,” evidenced; and as for French, not one of her compeers could pronounce her u’s with so unpuckered a lip, or mould her ll’s with such Italian sweetness; and she really could do more than inquire how you did, Monsieur, and whether you had the bread or the butter.

Such, so far as circumstances could model her, such, and no more, to the common eye, was Godwin’s second love. But Sybilla was one of those who are to a great degree independent of circumstances; and divested of her worldly advantages—with any old lion of a knocker, a passage in primeval night, and a vulgar linnet capable only of drawing water in a thimble from airy depths, she would always have exhibited a certain air of superiority.

Bride Sybilla was naturally impassioned and impressible to an eminent degree. In all the fine oval of her face, not one feature but was skilled in the interpretation of these qualities; and bore their badge unmasked, always accompanied, however, by pride. But, generally, the more powerful such attributes are, the more also are they vacillating and uncertain, being frequently aroused by trifles, and dormant on occasions of comparative excitement. It was so with Sybilla: and thus is explained the fact that, through all the etceteras of the courtship which terminated to-day, she had abruptly migrated between indifference on the one hand and ardent affection on the other; and thus the Dead Sea of commonplace which now encompassed even the toilette-table of the bride might have been accounted for. Elsewhere, all was cheerfulness, bustle, sentiment and perspiration. Somebody was always knocking and ringing—in obedience to the request inscribed on the door—and somebody was always responding to the appeal; doors banged here and there saucily, or mysteriously and inexorably as the doors of Downing-Street: pleasant voices called from room to room the prettiest names, whose owners—all bridesmaids, of course, the whole half-dozen of them—distracted the breakfast-table by the incoherently earnest manner in which they came fluctuating about it, sipping and flitting at the same moment, like busy bees inclined to jollity or butterflies on business; so that never was breakfast broken into such little bits. Delicate silk gowns, the superabundance tucked through the pocket-holes, rustled gaily through the house like all the leaves of Vallombrosa; brilliant eyes and glowing faces, and perfect bouquets of bonnets ascended the stairs like rising suns, and made high noon wherever they appeared. The whisper of consultation on matters culinary and millinery, the noise of females in conclave buzzed from half-open doors, little rivulets of laughter trilled over the banisters and down the passages, while everywhere and in the midst of all mamma bustled, red and important. In short, animation and subdued delight filled every corner of the house, not excepting even that darkest and dirtiest one, where Godwin’s boy—who, with a few other select articles, had been borrowed, buttons and all, for the occasion—was arduously engaged in taking off the edges of some two or three dozen knives, under pretence of cleaning them. The uncertain temperament of Sybilla, however, excepted her not alone from the general fuss. Mr. Lee and Mrs. Finch each evinced coolness, of different degrees and from different causes. Mr. Lee was a person of correct ideas; but, as he would sometimes deprecatingly confess, he was human, and had his moments of weakness like other mortals. Armies of these moments, in battalions of sixty, had assailed him since he woke this morning. Descending upon him with barbarian irregularity, they unfurled all sorts of prophetical banners, descriptive generally of domestic incident—of a house fragrant with candle and warm linen, haunted by bland mediciners and mysterious women with accusing in their eyes, while a nervous husband and a nervous father, keeping grim silence in the parlor, trembled together on the borders of a new relationship, which ever and anon, climaxed by a distant bleating, heard on the opening of a door, put him to total confusion. Recollecting, however, that a well-bred man displays no emotion, he gradually overcame the weakness that had absolutely led him in one fit of aberration to fill his cup from the milk-jug and flavor with a drop or two of coffee, and perused his newspaper with an indifferent lounge, or chatted easily with one or two gentleman arrivals while the important preparations were going on.

This, however, was but indifference: Mrs. Finch’s feeling was one of undisguised sorrow. She was the charwoman, had come to help; and seemed to think it her duty to express in her countenance what her experience of marital existence had been; and as it was pretty generally known that the late Mr. Finch used to get drunk at frequent intervals, and chastise his wife with a light poker, it was only necessary to shake her head and sigh now and then to express all the meaning she intended. Mrs. Finch, however, was a person to whom trouble was so natural and the rule, that her experience went for nothing. If in the course of any week Johnny did not fall down an area, or omitted to be sent to the station-house for breaking a window, Billy was pretty sure to take the measles or something of that sort, Sarah Jane lose herself for a day or two to be restored in tears by the police, or the chimney catch fire. If it rained, Mrs. Finch’s clogs were broken; if it didn’t, Gracious knew how soon it would, and her shoes leaked; but however circumstances smiled upon her generally, she had at least a few weeks’ rent to make up with the “broker’s man” looming in the distance. Poor Mrs. Finch! A thousand such as she grow lean-visaged by multiplicity of such very ludicrous and very real troubles, and their experience also goes for nothing.

If any one, in disregard of the inscription before noticed, forgot that morning to knock while he rang or neglected to ring while he knocked, the omission was amply compensated by the driver of the vehicle which conveyed Godwin and his “best friend” to Grandison-place. Hired drivers usually appear to possess a vivid appreciation of the importance of their “fares” until dismissed by them; and the Jehu in question thundered at the door, pealed at the bell, and otherwise conducted himself on Mrs. Lee’s white door-step with as much impudence as if he had been coachman to a title. Horace (the foot-page) opened to his master with an approving smile, and with the information—which gained by a certain jerking of his chin what emphasis it lost in being deferentially whispered—that there was such a swag of tarts and that down stairs—curran and rarsbry, and—oh! Affluence of feeling and the appearance of Mr. Lee from the parlor to greet his future son prevented further expatiation; and so, throwing up his eyes with consummate meaning, Horace precipitated himself across the banisters and slid into his den below. A second vehicle followed close upon the first, another and another. They remained a short time in rank before the knocker, making very thread-bare endeavors to look as much like private carriages as possible, despite the derogatory appearance of the coachmen’s hats, which Mr. Lee protested were the flabbiest he had ever seen, even upon such heads; and then a preparatory silence which reigned in all the chambers of the house, as if everybody had been taking breath, was broken by a universal rustling on the stairs; and the whole galaxy of beauty and millinery descended into the parlor headed by mamma, who certainly enjoyed most of the millinery, whoever claimed pre-eminence in the other attribute. It must, however, have been evident to the meanest capacity—it was evident enough to that of Horace, who, prompted by desire to see how the governor looked among all them gals, brought up the knives at this moment, zealously offering to place them in Mrs. Lee’s own hands—that if everybody had been taking breath in the silence, nobody was much benefited by the effort; unless, indeed, as appearances seemed more pointedly to indicate, bride and bridegroom, father and mother, man, woman and maid, were endeavoring to get in a reserve-supply for impending emergencies.

Bride Sybilla’s immobility thawed rapidly away as she descended from the business of dressing. Regal and pale no longer, she frankly advanced toward Godwin directly she entered the room, and showed by the trembling hand she placed in his, and the tremulous eyes she raised to his, how completely her heart was turned from winter to the sun. John, who at the same hour of the morning, at the same moment when Jessy was engaged with her foolish balsam-seeds and still more foolish speculations, had to reprove himself for entertaining such thoughts as made his approaching happiness appear rather the work of destiny than love, and still had to reprove, cast away the last rag of doubt as he took Sybilla’s hand, and then found it expedient to turn caressingly to one of the respectable canaries. A few remarks fell stone dead, here and there, from unwilling lips, and silence, like a pall, covered them; when at length some one referred to a watch, and providentially observed that the carriages were waiting, and that a good many boys were assembled about them, and swinging on the railings; had they not better—? Immediate acquiescence, profound diplomacy in pairing of on the part of a couple of young ladies, by which each secured the companionship of the dearest fellow in the world—very pretty skipping down the path and into the carriages on the part of all the young ladies except Sybilla, who walked by her father’s side as if each flag-stone were a feather-bed—four men pulling at the brims of four bad hats, at the doors of four “flies”—and then, as one of the dearest fellows in the world found breath to remark to one of the happiest girls in the world, they were off.

The prospect of matrimony, viewed at the distance of a day or two, is sufficiently distressing; but to stand on the utmost verge of the gulf, to oscillate within its jaws in a vestry-room, while an easy, calculating clerk looms before you, the last landmark on the boundaries of the world, is terrible indeed. In Dante’s “Divina Comedia” men stand transfixed by the eyes of serpents—serpents lie along the ground transfixed by the eyes of men: gradually the bodies of the snakes sprout limbs—they grow erect, and harden into men; gradually the features of the men fall away, their limbs shrink into them, and, with a writhe, they are become snakes—still with set eyes, set ready to renew at once the transformation, according to their doom. If this, as it appears to be, is the most terrible thing either in fact or imagination, it is so only because of its eternal repetition; otherwise, it would have to make room beside it for the equal horror of waiting in a vestry-room for the parson of your nuptials. But, practically, time is a fiction to all but clock-makers, and one may taste eternity in ten minutes under favoring circumstances; in such a case, at least, this comparison of horrors holds good to those who have to endure the latter, as Godwin and a young man similarly fated—who, seated at opposite extremes of the room, endeavored to rival each other in nonchalance—could have attested. Eternity in their particular case expired only at the quarter chime, when the priest entered apologetically. Prayers were read—responses meek and mild were given in doubt that they might prove groans, or worse, on obtaining utterance, and in a few minutes they were married. Sic transit gloria mundi!

With faces so flushed with happiness, and shame, and pride, that now and then it really seemed as if little flames of light were flickering over them, Sybilla and her husband walked up the matted aisle. Books and papers to sign—in an easy, off-hand style, resulting in illegibility. A congratulatory parson and a congratulatory clerk in the vestry, a congratulatory pew-opener at the door, and two congratulatory neighbors of hers in the church-porch—all to be rewarded for their congratulation, to say nothing of lawful charges; which rewards and charges were given with real cheerfulness. Home! John paused upon the last step at the church-gate, twirling in his fingers the last remaining sixpence of the coin he had placed at one end of his purse for such bestowal before starting, (impulse not being trustworthy with him in such cases, but quite the contrary,) and looked about for a recipient. A pale-faced little boy, with a good deal of inquisitive, apprehensive wonder in his gray eyes, stood leaning by the railings, in a white pinafore: it would have been difficult, however, to realize his existence without a white pinafore. A bloodless little fellow, with a subdued quiet in his face, he seemed forever under injunction not to wake the baby, and a look of passive experience in his eyes, his whole appearance, from his collar to his boots, which had been inked round the lace-holes because they got brown there, imparted indescribable suggestions of bread-and-butter and nothing else; with, perhaps, a patient going to bed without that, now and then. Godwin looked painfully at the child as the child looked wonderingly at Sybilla, and, diving into his pocket, he took a shilling between his fingers, thought again, and substituted half-a-crown. This he gave the boy into one hand, and placed the sixpence in the other palm for himself. It was perfectly understood between them that the half-crown was for mother, who had inked the boots, and who could not afford to have the baby woke. Still, and though upon being bashfully thanked Godwin patted the bread-and-butter cheek as kindly and softly as any woman’s hand could have done it, the poor child could scarcely trust in the reality of his fortune, and went slowly sidling up by the church-yard rails, his eyes turned to the gay party, half in expectation of being called back; and it was not till he had watched them out of sight that he turned the corner and ran. Congratulatory parson, clerk, pew-opener and pew-opener’s neighbors—in the profoundest deeps of all and every their hearts there existed not a centillionth of the blessing and good-wishes that overflowed in that of the mother as she heard how her little son got the half-crown. It came to her in time of extremest need, and all day long she pondered the matter with unusual thankfulness; for, like a woman, she believed the giver had guessed her necessity by intuitive goodness. As for the sixpence, it was put aside in an old china cup—was to be saved to buy a spelling-book; but it finally went for bread-and-butter.

Now Godwin first grew perfectly happy. This, at any rate, was right—no future could overturn the propriety of it; and the wheels rattling in orthodox haste, he speedily passed from happiness into hilarity. To Sybilla, however, the rattling of the wheels only served to recall a little grievance, big enough, however, to constitute an important drawback to her nuptial satisfaction. She thought there ought to have been a tour. Her respectability demanded a tour—to Tunbridge Wells and back, at least: indeed, it had always been to her the most prominent feature of the prospect while matrimony was yet prospective. Miss Johnson, who was positively nobody, and a shocking dumpy bride beside, she was taken direct to Margate, and stayed there a week. Fortunately, however, Sybilla here recalled to mind, as she looked in John’s face, where new humor and new meaning scintillated every moment, threatening to blaze right out, that Miss Johnson didn’t bring back from Margate such a husband as hers. This consideration, and another which, to do her justice, she had pretty constantly in view, reconciled her to her fate; the other consideration comprehended a bequest of three or four hundred pounds, which a maiden aunt of Godwin’s (who, rejoicing through life in single blessedness, seemed anxious to avert the bliss from some other one) had made him, on condition of marriage: otherwise, it was to be applied in dowry of three of the most deserving young women in her native town. This latter consideration, also, besides that “things frequently took a turn on such events,” had its under-current influence on Godwin’s resolution of matrimony in the unpromising condition of his affairs; though, of course, he acknowledged it not, and scarce thought of it.

On turning a corner near Grandison-place, the ears of the bridal-party, but more especially those of the bride’s papa, were appalled at hearing several rounds of cheering, or rather a succession of those nondescript roars with which the boy-population is given to express either dissatisfaction or amusement. In this case it was an amused roar; and nervously thrusting his head out of the carriage-window, Mr. Lee perceived with horror that it was emitted by a knot of youths of from twelve to sixteen, and that it seemed to result from observation of what was going on in the kitchen of his own residence. Fact was, that Horace was performing to a company which, originally consisting only of the green-grocer’s boy and the boy of the butcher, had increased in numbers and enthusiasm beyond his expectations. Standing on a chair by the window, innocent of the near approach of his master, he was passing before the eyes of the delighted assembly all the various items of the wedding-feast; while, still more to the popular delight, poor Mrs. Finch danced frantically round him, endeavoring, in fits of indignant or beseeching eloquence, to arouse the foot-page to a clearer sense of decorum. “These, gen’lemen,” persevered he, elevating several in a line with his head, “is the weddin’ taters as that gen’leman in the blue apern was just kind enough to bring us—kidney uns—biles like balls o’ flour. And this here,” dropping the roots and catching up a pasty, “is the weddin’ goosbry pie, and a werry stunnin’ pie it is, too;” smelling it, he expressed his further opinion in his countenance. Mrs. Finch, far gone in the depths of despairing resignation, passively received the tart from the hands of Horace, enabling him to proceed without delay to the exhibition of fish, flesh and fowl, in like manner and with similar comments; until, having exhausted even all the table appurtenances, the cost of which he appeared to be cognizant of, he concluded the exposition with the bellows; which he averred the governor and himself were going to kneel to alternately as long as any thing remained uncooked. It was while an appreciative public were demanding a rehearsal—rather to the alarm of Horace, whose original intention had merely been to display to the two friends above designated the good things he fondly hoped to have a share of “pitching into”—that the noise of wheels came rolling down the road. Dismounting from the chair, Horace retreated rapidly into his den, and solemnly recommenced polishing a tea-urn, leaving the miserable Lee, whose respectability fluttered in rags about him as he did so, to disperse his friends. This, with the help of one of the dearest fellows in the world, who, having a large pair of whiskers, liked to exhibit them in situations of peril and command, was accomplished with greater success than might have been expected; though it was emphatically required of the gentleman in whiskers that he should “get out of that hat,” meaning the glossy chapeau he had purchased only the night before, and notwithstanding that, in reference to the other dearest fellow in the world, who was very young and had no whiskers at all, a young lady was anxiously advised “not to let that little boy eat too much vegetables,” as he didn’t look very well as matters already stood; while the blushing grocer’s boy, holding his forefinger in his mouth, leaned fondly on the arm of the butcher as they passed down the street, in obvious imitation of the bride.

With such exceptions, the hours glided past, accompanied by much the same incident as attends all wedding-days when there is not a “tour.” At the feast, every one sat down inspired with the intention to expound the latest traditions of the usages of fashionable society; and, in the course of the hour, Miss Baker did herself the pleasure of reproving Miss Clark, who had crossed her knife and fork upon her plate, by ostentatiously placing hers at a gentle angle: while a gentleman performed a similar kindness for another, who had got his salt in a vulgar and improper position upon his plate: this reprover also seemed better after the administration of his reproof. Mr. Lightowler, brother of Mrs. Lee, and a toyman, with Mrs. Lightowler, were, however, lamentable exceptions. Exclusively devoted to each other, they sat together, mutually fat and hot, and helped each other from any portion of the table within arm’s length, drinking from one glass, laughing one huge laugh whenever they felt inclined, but particularly at their own jokes, which they didn’t seem to care about any one else appreciating, and all utterly untouched, because utterly unconscious, by the vexation of their host and the undisguised disgust of the most respectable of the company. Partly from this very fact, but principally from the downright simplicity, the good-humor and genial oddity of the man, Godwin resolutely fraternized with the toyman the moment the speeches were all over. An unfathomable Etna of whim, of grotesque humor, was always simmering in the mind of the bridegroom, breaking out at rare intervals in sudden eruption, and with such grim vehemence of delivery that people would pause in their laughter, and scan him for a moment, with serious, half-frightened glances. Elated with the “excellent, light dinner-wine,” and a bottle of “a full fruity port,” he made the hours spin round the clock with quip and crank and story; while Mr. Lightowler sat on the floor at sober intervals and sang comic songs with a whistling refrain, till he whistled even Mr. Lee out of his annoyance at such an exhibition of vulgarity in his brother-in-law, and Mrs. Lightowler into such an admiration of her husband that she at last sat down on the rug beside him and whistled too. And as the moments passed, and evening fell, bright eyes grew brighter with the stars, glowing cheeks more rosy, warm hearts warmer, and everybody and every thing happier and better. Bride and bridegroom happy and proud. Music, and dancing, and sparkling laughter—sentiment, love, flirtation, and a general return to boyhood and girlhood. More love and a little less flirtation—declaration of fond reciprocity between two young men and two young maidens (one declaration in the kitchen by the mangle, and one under the tank in the garden,) an admission of perfect disengagement (and of a trifle more) on the part of another young maiden. More lights, more music, more dancing, more sentiment, more comic songs on the hearth-rug, more full-bodied port for the general company, and more half-and-half for Mr. Lightowler.

No mamma any where in the house! no Sybilla! And papa looking awkward. Almost one o’clock, you see.

One by one the bouquets of bonnets re-appeared immediately upon this discovery, looking very much as if they—their owners, that is to say—knew all about it and enjoyed the ruse. Then followed a general leave-taking, a serious affair in Lightowler’s case, though elsewhere with merriment, and here and there with a kiss. Cabs rolled leisurely from the gate—in the last Godwin and papa: and the house was again as dark and still as those “earthly tabernacles” were doomed soon to be, upon whose front the light of youth, and love, and laughter, shone resplendently but now.

It is a sober business, riding at midnight in a musty-smelling cab; and the reactionary seriousness that oppressed both gentlemen on turning from the deserted house, seemed to increase with the odor of the straw. Very few words, upon very indifferent subjects, passed between them, as John went really home for the first time; and as, on arriving there mamma was just ready to return, Mr. Lee did not alight, but drove back with his wife to their bereaved hearth, after a simple “good-night” had passed among them.

In Jessy’s early girlhood, the mother of the poor little bread-and-butter boy was a servant in her father’s house. Since the death of the woman’s husband, which was but recent, Jessy had proved her best friend—coming with cheerful gossip and “something for the baby” whenever she had an errand into town. Which she had to-day; and had hardly been seated half an hour when she became acquainted with the story of the half-crown, what the gentleman was like and who the lady, and which way they went. The boy had heard the name of the gentleman, as some one called to him, but did not perfectly recollect it: it began with a G, at any rate, and sounded like Godwin.

To the sum of sublunary happiness go many fictions—pretty figments, which, though constantly and forever disproved, are never the less believed in. Even in the contemplation of objects the most beautiful in art and nature fiction is seldom absent; and when the sun sets in clouds of purple and fine gold, it is not enough that they are clouds, however gorgeous; but we must at once set about making woods, and seas, and islands of the blest, of them.

We have sought it in heaven, (an instance is meant,) but with equal propriety and success we might seek it in—matrimony. For what but a sugared fallacy is that Honeymoon so universally accepted as consequent on every marriage—as being a mingling of the sweetness of Hybla with all the soft suffusion of love which lapped Endymion on the hill of Latmos, to be enjoyed in all cases and without limit during the space of one calendar month—for twenty-eight days at least; except in leap-year. At which time, even February days are twenty-nine. A fond conceit! It is wrong to argue everyday life from the privileges of the aristocracy; and only in connection with marriages strictly of convenience does the honeymoon roll through its successive phases with propriety, going out as the monthly bills come in. Careful computation of the laws of accident prove the full average honeymoon to subsist about four days and a half, except in cases where youth, fortune, and fine weather combine with affection, when the average may possibly be doubled. So that wife Sybilla ought to have been much more content than in fact she was, that her matrimonial orb waned not before the expiration of a week; considering that though they were rich enough in youth, they possessed neither fortune nor particularly fine weather. It was, however, this very consideration of lack of fortune, in the sense of money, that caused Sybilla first to descend from out the luxuriant solitudes of love in which, hand in hand, they had sauntered all the week, bringing her husband quickly after her. The initiatory cause of the declension was a nightcap; for after a protracted evening sitting at an open window, Sybilla woke the next morning to find, not the locks of Hyperion straying over the pillow beside her, as before, but a tall, tasseled, miserable white cap, which, encroaching over Godwin’s eyes, elongated his cheeks and exaggerated his nose to a most unhandsome degree. The unconscious sleeper, experiencing symptoms of cold in the head the night before, had ventured, in the dark, to assume that wretchedest of all habiliments, the male nightcap.

When the blossom is ripest, the softest breath may waft it from the bough; in the nodding of that green tassel moved a cruel blast sufficient to scatter the full-blown poetry of any week-grown honeymoon. Accordingly, before breakfast was fairly over, Sybilla remembered that very little business had occurred to interrupt their happiness—before dinner, that Mr. Godwin had paid several bills with undisguisable uneasiness; and, as the result of such souvenirs, not only she but Godwin also sat down at supper that night to a diluted cup, broken-winged and very near the earth. Every day nearer and nearer the earth, for things did not take a turn, but grew worse; and though they had the certainty of aunt’s legacy before them, Godwin soon began to fear almost as much as his wife that if, according to the doggrel of Keats,

  “Love in a cot, with water and a crust,

   Is—Love forgive us!—cinders, ashes, dust,”

it was not much more agreeable in an apothecary’s shop. Not that it had quite come to that yet; he still contrived to maintain the marmalade for breakfast; but not many weeks elapsed ere Sybilla became plainly suspicious that though he might be rich enough in drugs, the money-capital of her husband was well-nigh exhausted. Indeed, she assured herself of the fact by just looking into his desk one morning, privately and with a guilty face.

Now the legacy lay vested in his uncle, the Kentish miller; and as a few months before, in a letter which came hoping that John was in good health, as it left him (the miller) at present, he had received much earnest advice against early marriage, John wished to postpone the demand as late as possible. But the darkening horizon, and a few comfortless hints thrown out by the partner of his cares, precipitated intentions; and so he started one bright morning to receive his little fortune, planning its expenditure very solemnly by the way.

Drearily, Sybilla threw herself open a sofa as her husband passed out at the door, and, half extended, employed an hour in usefully painting a piece of velvet, and uselessly pondering past, present and future. Drearily, she put aside the daubed stuff, and taking up a newspaper some weeks old, concluded each listlessly-perused paragraph with a yawn, till she came to “Important from India,” and read of a bloody engagement there. How in the cold gray dawn a company of the gallant 292d, and a strong detachment of the gallant 293d, marched to reduce the contumacious Bungumshah. How, when the cold dawn kindled into blazing, blasting noon, and long-enduring men fell here and there, suddenly shot dead from the sun, it was deemed expedient to march over them against the contumacious Bungumshah. How, having mistaken the position of that Indian, they came not up with him by nightfall, for all their marching, and very gladly encamped—the greater portion on the plain, but a small detachment of some hundred men or so in a hollow at a little distance, under Ensign Hope. How, in the night sentinels were struck secretly, the camp penetrated by Indian shadows rather than Indian men, the commander killed in sleep—encampment torn from end to end, encampment channeled from end to end with tumult and blood. Ensign Hope listens in the distant hollow, rises up with his hundred men or so, bears down to the verge of the scene swift and silent, goes blazing into it like an Indian storm, and settles the matter. To the right is a ravine; and as the enemy fly, panic-struck, Ensign Hope, with consummate skill, (so the newspaper calls it,) contrives to push the main body to the edge of it—pushes a few over into it, in order to furnish argument of prompt surrender to the rest. Which is profited by; and by the time the camp is thoroughly roused from its hideous nightmare, every soldier with his head still on may place two or three prisoners at the end of his bayonet. As for the Bungumshah, he is disarmed by Ensign Hope himself, with as much grace of manner as a conqueror with one boot on (had no time to advantage by both) might be supposed capable of. Official thanks, loud newspaper laudations, honors present and prospective to Ensign Hope.

Trembling, Sybilla glanced thus rapidly through the narrative, and then, after a moment’s breathless reflection, perused it minutely from first to last, her eyes lingering long about the lines in which the hero’s name happened to be printed, and on the praises and the recital of rewards bestowed upon him. And again she sat entranced, with parted lips and dilated eyes. Ensign Hope! muttered her wonder-bound tongue; Parson Hope, as he used to be called, from his solemn length and inclination to white neckcloths; the blundering boy cadet whose addresses she merrily rejected for those same peculiarities a few years ago! Who could have supposed so much heroism in him?

Only a daughter of Eve, we may pardon Sybilla that she took glory to herself in answering the question. Plainly, love for her was at the foundation of all this heroism; it was to add force and grace to his overtures—to render himself more worthy of her, that he had coveted the reward and reputation consequent on such achievements; and, indeed, none but the brave deserve the fair. Only the wife of an apothecary, as well as merely a daughter of Eve, we might also pardon the dreams she thereupon indulged, in which, as the lady of Captain, of Colonel, very possibly of Lieut. General Sir Victor Hope—for Clive became a peer—she shone enjeweled in her natural sphere, the admired of men, the envy of women. But the bitterness with which she dwelt upon it after a while, as a now impossible career, was altogether unpardonable. Not that she cared, Sybilla said within herself; she was happy enough—never happier; but it was strange that her anticipations of one day becoming a “lady” should be so nearly verified; strange that this news should arrive just when it was too late and of no avail, even if she had cared; very strange that she whom it most concerned, to whom she was sure it was mainly addressed, should be kept in total ignorance for weeks after all the rest of the world had become aware of it! So Sybilla said within herself; but being conscious of some heart-burning, she interpreted her reflections into the mildest language capable: thus the word “strange” really had in it some of the meaning of the word “vexatious.” And, assured of her primal conclusions, Wife Sybilla went on to consider how grievous a thing it was that disappointment in the secret end of his endeavors should embitter to the ears of Victor Hope the very plaudits of his countrymen. Assuredly he was to be pitied, at any rate. And Sybilla went on dreaming and thinking.

Meanwhile Godwin had arrived at the mill of his uncle, who received him in blank silence, took him into a little room, where books and papers were ominously displayed, and talked with him privately. On which Godwin learned that when at the utmost verge of ruin, as the books and papers proved, his uncle had appropriated the moneys which had been confided to him irresponsibly, in justifiable hope (as the papers also proved) of immediate restitution; that to refund, as affairs then stood, would be as certain ruin, without benefit to any one; but the prospect was opening, and if John would only accept twenty pounds or so, and kindly wait a single year, said the old man, fairly crying, why every thing would be made right. So what could John do but quietly button his pocket over the twenty pounds or so—quietly button his coat over a fallen heart, and go home again?

It was a brilliant afternoon when the disappointed man came to the end of his dreary journey, resolved, after much painful deliberation, to confide the whole truth of the case to his wife. Young, and with a knowledge of many things, he was not without hope after all. He had hitherto made no exertion of the talents he was conscious of possessing; and who could say that good might not come out of this evil, at last, in necessitating their vigorous exercise? So, already ashamed of past inaction, and with some show of cheerful resignation to misfortune, he laid the twenty-pound instalment on the table before Sybilla on arriving home, and began the story; which, however, he had occasion to conclude with less and less cheerfulness. Naturally, perhaps, from fore-described circumstances, the contrast between a flushed and victorious soldier in uniform, and a weary druggist in nothing describable, struck Sybilla acutely as her husband entered the door; as, also, distance lends enchantment to the view, the contrast was so much the more prejudicial to the latter. And, unluckily for her, before she had time fairly to extinguish a comparison, which some kind instinct told her was injurious and wrong, Godwin had declared himself not only a weary, unornamental druggist, but a beggared one. His quick eye, rapid in the interpretation of every symptom of thought, was not slow to perceive, however, the change that passed over Sybilla’s handsome countenance—returning over it again and again, spite of all her really laudable endeavors at banishment—ere half the recital was ended; and grief poured into his heart like water into a stricken ship. To dissolve without discontent the day-dreams she had been indulging all day long—dreams long cherished, but never approaching reality till she had abandoned for ever the power of fixing them—would of itself, Sybilla felt, have been a task; but this bitter fact, failing in the very midst of her prideful fancies, thoroughly overcame her. She burst into a flood of tears too plainly rebellious and indignant, and, saying not a word, went up into her chamber. Spirit of the Sublime Respectable! thou dapper doorkeeper to all littleness, thou aider and fosterer of vanity, and selfishness, and hardness of heart—it is to be feared that since when you first put the (then infantine) soul of this woman into a corslet, with apparatus of tight-lacing, its growth has not been good.

At first opening of the flood-gates, Sybilla’s tears were merely the outporings of disappointment; but the more she wept upstairs alone, the more she brooded and brooded, her sobs grew fewer, her tears hotter, and at length deliberately angry. She felt herself deceived—ill used; and her spirit chafed within her so willfully that even the loud, quick song of Godwin’s canary-bird wrought her to extreme irritation. Poor fellow! Had he been brought up like the light-colored canaries at home, surrounded by respectability and yellow gauze, he might have known himself (and Sybilla’s sorrows) better. As it was, however, he abandoned himself to his own emotions, and, thinking perhaps of the leafy old house in the northern suburbs, poured out his melodies like summer rain—faster and louder as Sybilla grew more irritated. He positively disobeyed her command to be still; the epithet “beast” he passed contemptuously over; she stamped her feet in vain. Hopping from perch to perch all the more readily and saucily as it had no tail worth mentioning, still the bird went on with liveliest rattle. At length, in a ferment of passion, Sybilla approached the cage, trembling steadily, as a spear thrown from the hand of a strong man trembles in the earth, seized the head of the guileless little songster, and it sang about the leafy old house no more.

Godwin uttered no remark upon the discovery of this wickedness; but when he retired that evening, anger and grief contending within him—fire with flood—he placed his dead bird on a chair by the bedside, and lay all night with his face toward it. It was the last remaining of all the little meaningful gifts which, after the manner of lovers, Jessy had rendered him in exchange for others. One by one they had departed from him—got lost somehow—as if he were no more worthy of them; and there it lay—the last and most precious, for it had a real, vocal, interpretable language of some sort—dead enough, certainly: with nothing interpretable about it but its dumbness now.

That day set its seal upon the whole eternal future. So completely fateful, so fatefully complete were the events of that day, that though no officer of evil could desire a single addition, still one omission would have raveled toils which not an entire afterlife could break through. And yet how weak were those circumstances in themselves! What mere gossamer-threads were they until strengthened by vanity and temper—even those small vices—into bonds stronger than the seven green withes that bound the limbs of Samson! What petty impediments they were either to happiness or fortune, easy to be overleapt or smiled away by a firm foot or a cheerful heart, such as ought to have belonged, and in one case did belong, to this young woman and man! But in the morning when they woke, a strong wall was found built up of these petty impediments, breast high, between them: breast high, so that their hearts could no longer beat together, nor their feet be mutually upheld, in all the dreary vista of years through which they must yet keep consort—a hard unreflecting face only on each side the wall forever. For Godwin had far-away ideas of perfection in woman—thanks to Jessy Burton; and so keenly did he feel the bitterness displayed by Sybilla, so gross did the selfishness, the violence, the cruelty of her behaviour appear to him, viewed apart from any unkindness displayed through it toward himself, that whole months of repentance and affection would hardly have restored to him his olden happiness and love. The shock was sudden and complete; and the fact of Jessy’s bird being victimized in the shock, pointed his reflections in a direction not easily diverted, even if there had been any prospect of diversion. But, unhappily, the same principle which leads women to excuse and even champion the faults of those they love most, led Sybilla to justify her feelings and their results—to strengthen the belief that she was wronged, deceived, unfortunate: for she loved herself the most. Willful and impassioned, the new-made wife now boldly brought before her eyes the comparison which yesterday she glanced at with nervous obliquity, and taking a comprehensive view of her own merits, her lady-like habits, manners, deportment, and education, her queenly face and form, she fled from the consciousness of wrong-doing in the reflection that she was a “sacrifice”—that these her virtues were pearls cast before some lost apothecary, while a hero, a future Lieutenant-General Sir Victor, was hurrying from fields of glory in the vain hope of crowning his laurels with such precious gems. It is easy to see how thus a pardonable weakness might deepen even into guilt.

But a dreary lesson it would be to follow these two through all the shadows which henceforth, deepening and deepening one by one, fell upon them, till it was day no more, nor ever could be day. Sad to mark the daily-hardening indifference of John Godwin, who, having fallen at once from all his hopes, looked not up again, nor strove to regain the pinnacle, but went plodding along alone, dull and sullen, like the last man in a plague-stricken city, plunging anon over head and ears into some occupation or enterprise, from sheer necessity of doing something, and abandoning it at the very moment of success, from naught but idle despairing—“What was the use?” Sad to mark the daily-growing discontent of Sybilla Godwin, whose willful, passionate nature could resign itself to nothing which interfered with her happiness—a nature which if it could not break through imprisoning bars would beat itself to death against them. Unlike Godwin, however, in whose horizon of unvaried gray no sun was ever visible at all, bright, warm snatches of sunshine would now and then intervene through tempest; but they were so uncertain, so evanescent, so much more allied to the principles that made Sybilla beautiful than to those that ought to have made her good, that they soon became wholly disregarded, and went finally out. So in a thousand ways was fuel added to flame, in a thousand miserable grievances and aggravations, and things that were neither one nor the other but tortured into both; in trifles brooded over and made hideous by exaggeration, till—in a few months—it became questionable whether more misery could be found anywhere in London.

Preserved from a knowledge of all his heart may contain or may be capable of, let no man credit himself with just so much virtue, by no means debit himself with just so much vice as circumstances may hitherto have elicited thence. With fair winds the leaky ship is as safe as the sound; and to thousands who lift their polluted eyebrows in horror over the crimes recorded in the news-sheet the writer of this sketch would say—It is all very much according to the weather. Besides, we arrive abruptly at a climax in the case of other men’s vices; we do not go through all the circumstances and gradations which push on to them, nor know how many of them inevitably sprang from small and almost blameless beginnings as we do in the case of our own vices. Furthermore, it is melancholy to observe how unconsciously men are beguiled through these gradations while to return is possible, and only arouse to a sense of error by a sudden clapping to of the gates which open on the homeward path no more.

Beating fretfully against imprisoning bars, Sybilla now yearned as much for love and gaiety as for marble halls. Her loss in respectability had not proved so signal as she had feared; and, in default, neglect, indifference, wasted youth, a cheerless, heartless existence now supplied the necessities of life to her misery. She forgot, wretched woman as she was, who had rendered her husband the silent, unemotional man he had become; a man without love and without anger—a barren rock, where rich and wholesome verdure used to grow. But, unfortunately, her ignorance detracted nothing from her wretchedness. Again and again, totally incapable either of reconciling herself to her lot or of mending it, she wept bitterly at the thought that it could only change with death; and naturally followed the question, by and by, which of them was likely to outlive the other? It was terrible to think that she should spend all her days in such wretchedness—should die in the midst of it; but, independent of that consideration, Godwin had grown very pale and lean lately; he ate little; and—though he complained not—frequently took medicine. He was not naturally of a strong constitution, and, taken altogether, Sybilla thought she should outlive him. This is the hard fact; the bone and substance of her frequent cogitations; but what pauses lay between, what twinges of self-repugnance now and then broke mercifully in upon them, cannot be written down—enough to say, that they grew daily fainter and fainter. What harm was there in “supposing?” And then, after a decent interval, during which Godwin got neither paler nor thinner, came the consideration—But how long first? And when Sybilla was forced to admit, that a young man like Godwin, however ailing, might well vegetate through a long series of years, she found by the feeling of dissatisfaction which crept involuntarily into her breast how much she had secretly cherished the “supposition.” Nor even after self-detection could she avoid the gracious thought that, if he lived for twenty years, he might as well live forever; but if, now, any thing should happen in—say two years (and a great many things did happen in two years) why, let us see—She would then be not quite six-and-twenty! Well, not more than two years; a year-and-a-half, say; for there would be a year for mourning, which would otherwise bring her over seven-and-twenty, which would be too old. And so Sybilla rehearsed her husband’s death and burial, and her own widowhood and restoration to happiness, and—a little, trembling, guilty thought peeped in to say—to, by that time, Lieutenant-General Sir Victor. True, she often checked these speculations—she felt they were wrong; but, time by time, with less success, until at last what is often expressed after one’s decease became with Sybilla a fixed idea before the event, that “it would be a happy release.”

Meanwhile, John kept on the weary tenor of his way, prematurely old in feature and heart—got leaner and paler; finally got into a slow fever, brought on through his own carelessness, about the time that his wife came to the above conclusion. And now it would afford strange melancholy to lift the veil from that woman’s mind as she tended by his sick-bed—terrible to watch the sudden terror which now inspired her lest her husband should die; for she felt as if her injured conscience had fled up to heaven, had impeached her thoughts, and that this was the result; that devils had power to fulfill her desire, that her soul might be damned to her desire. Strange, and more melancholy still, that when the first few days of Godwin’s illness wore away, this terror was, not supplanted, but accompanied by other feelings of a totally opposite nature! After all, was not this a providential arrangement for the happiness of both parties—a release to each from a yoke which had proved too heavy to bear—an answer to all her tears and sufferings? Of course, her thoughts were not arrayed in words so matter-of-fact as these, but it came to quite the same thing. And now these feelings reigned alternately. As Godwin grew worse, the terror increased; yet as soon as a symptom of amendment appeared, the contrary sentiment immediately assumed sway. But as time wore on, and Sybilla became accustomed to the danger, no doubt remained as to which was most powerful; and when Godwin at length recovered, and all the illness and dying, if any, had to be done over again, Sybilla felt like one betrayed.

Alas! she was now wholly in the toils of the fowler. The violence of her feelings increased day by day; and no longer to attempt description of mysteries impossible to be understood, she returned one evening from an accidental and momentary interview with Captain Hope, who was in England on leave, wrought into a determination to do that herself which it had terrified her should be done by nature on her behalf. So Godwin fell into another fever, and its accompanying symptoms were so new that, though they were less violent than previously, they alarmed him much more. He, however, was not perhaps so easy a subject for experiment as a Suffolk laborer; and whether from one cause or another—whether from observation of the symptomatic nature of his fever, or observation in the cup from which he was drinking at the time, he suddenly fell back upon his pillows one morning, shot through with the conviction that his beautiful wife was poisoning him.

The stricken man lay staring out at the window with fixed eyes awhile, but neither in anger nor horror; for presently he turned his face upon his bed and wept with all his heart. The unkindness, the ingratitude of this woman, each carried in it a sting more venomous than the sting of death; but, like the sting of death, they subdued rather than infuriated him. That she who lay in his bed and sat at his board, whom at any rate he trusted so far, whom at least he jealously protected and cared for, should drain his life from him at her leisure—to-day, to-morrow, any day, as soon as the milk came to make porridge with—smote him more with its treachery than its cruelty. Oh, what seas of anguish broke over him in that hour—casting him to and fro, a helpless waif, utterly abandoned and broken up, in perhaps the lowest deeps of agony that ever man entered upon and lived. His soul shook as in an ague; his spirit seemed oozing from him, until, like a dwindled, half-spent breath, it flickered within him on weak, unfeathered wings, impatient of their own impotence. But soon—for in such extremities men sometimes live through the changes of years in an hour—a sudden access of firmness, of sternness stole upon this fainting spirit, which momentarily grew calmer and more stern, till it was cold and hard as steel. Again his eyes became fixed and staring, but now with an expression enough alone, in its frozen and freezing terror, to have brought Sybilla down upon her knees had she encountered it. And when, half an hour after, the sick man again turned his face wearily upon his pillow, in hope of sleep, he had resolved to let Sybilla do it!

O wretched woman! Little guessed she, when she came presently to look upon this sleeper, the pallor of his face already reflected upon her shrunken heart, how completely the power had passed out of her hands—how terrible, how eternal the punishment she herself should assist him in signalizing. Little knew she that if her soul were now for a time abandoned of all warning, of all saving voices, it was abandoned to the power of her husband, in the hollow of whose hand it lay. To open his hand before her eyes, calmly, mercifully to thrust an index-finger into the spots which already festered so deep in this soul, to put aside the cup not so much from his lips as her own, and hold up to her eyes, day by day, the chalice of repentance—all this was within the compass of his will. But he willed it not; he folded up his will and put it aside; he would rather yield his inclinations to hers, and passively close his fingers while he yielded. Why, what devil was in this man also?

From that day Godwin refused to see any physician, prescribing for himself from a private medicine-chest; and from that day he grew rapidly worse and worse. The olden terrors of Sybilla returned upon her as her husband sank so palpably; she slackened her hand, withheld it altogether in a paroxysm of mortal dread which passed very well for conjugal affection, but still from that day he grew rapidly worse and worse. Till in the noon of a certain night, while she was vainly endeavoring to sleep, in an adjoining chamber, the husband called hurriedly to the wife. The wife then rose, hastened to the door in nervous stupor, and stood rigidly looking in from the threshold. The calm, every-day appearance of the patient, as he sat up in his bed, restored her, however, to confidence; and, loosening her clenched hands, she advanced to the foot of the bed.

“Come nearer, Sybilla,” said Godwin. There was something new in the expression of his voice, and she went to his side like one walking on a lake. The sick man placed one arm round her.

“My wife,” he said, and the words fell whispering from his lips, soft as the sound of falling leaves. “My wife, this fever is coming to an end.”

Sybilla shook from head to foot.

“Place your finger on this place,” he said. She touched his wrist, and thought she recognized the difference between a pulse that beats with blood and a pulse that beats with poison. Again Sybilla shook from head to foot.

“And now do look into my eyes, Sybilla”—still he spoke with the same soft voice—“I think they are growing dim.”

She glanced upward for the first time; and his eyes were not dim at all. They were blazing at her; and before she could withdraw her glance he uttered, “Sybilla, I shall be dead in an hour!” and so fixed her eyes upon his face.

If life was of any value to her, it was fortunate for Sybilla at that moment that her heart had grown accustomed to tumult; otherwise it must have burst. As it was, she gradually withdrew her eyes from Godwin’s, and threw herself upon the bed in a passion of tears. And as she lay, burying her head in the clothing, a change passed over her husband’s countenance. The fires were quenched in his eyes, and now they were really dim—with some strange commingling of pity, and melancholy, and agony, and even of yearning love, all in one tear. It was not, however, a time of abiding, and it, too, passed away.

Meanwhile Sybilla still wept and sobbed with her face hidden. Well would it have been for her had she never lifted that face again; better to have wept and sobbed there till every fountain in her breast was still. But she did lift it; and putting forth her hand to assist herself in rising from the bed, she placed it on a breakfast-cup with which John had been habitually served throughout this last illness, and which was not there before. She bounded backward to the wall with a low, long, tremulous cry, and darted an agonized look at John Godwin. He lay with his head pillowed upon his arm, fixedly regarding her. Her head swam; she looked at her husband with the gaze that blind men turn to the sun; she heard a voice far, far away, when he said with slow deliberation—

“Sybilla, I know it! I have known it for a fortnight. I have drunk from that cup fourteen times since I knew it; but never shall drink from it again. You had better go!” He covered his face.

Mechanically, and still entranced in stupor, she obeyed. Slowly attiring herself in all the minutiæ of walking-dress, not forgetting a cloak since the night was cold, she fled down stairs—fled home!

As the outer-door banged-to, the dying man rose, lifted the window-curtain, and watched the hurrying figure of his wife as it emerged here and there full in the light of a lamp, and went on into the darkness beyond. Again and again, and ever less distinct, the shivering mortal passed through narrowing breaks of light into a wider expanse of darkness, as she had passed through many a mercy-sent dawning of remorse into deeper shades of guilt. At length the retreating figure passed for the last time from his straining vision, and he saw her never again.

“O Sybilla, Sybilla,” he said aloud, as he turned from the window, “I pray Heaven the bitter, bitter punishment you now endure may atone for this offense forever! It is enough; for after all I live! And some day, Sybilla, when sorrow and repentance shall have chastened you, it shall be a joy to you to know that I live—broken, unstrung, all youthful vigor shattered, but still not quite a murdered man. Yet if I had not known so early⁠——”

Shortly after, attired as for a journey, John Godwin stood in the street below—a solitary, hopeless, stricken man. The day had just begun to dawn, as fresh and beautiful as if for the first time it rolled away the darkness from the earth. Clouds laden with soft violet light came up from the East, and shed it all abroad; cool airs came down from the courts of an eternal city, with a message therefrom to all who would stop and listen. More than once did Godwin so pause in the silent streets, listening with fixed attention, drinking the air as draughts of water; and ever as his feet resounded on the pavement again he felt a peaceful sleep settling over his weary spirit. Involuntarily, or rather as a matter of course that no thinking about could affect, he bent his steps toward the leafy old house: he had a vague intention of just looking at it once more. And all his troubles melted away as, one by one, he passed the old landmarks of pilgrimage. Past feelings came back upon him, the same as of old, though robed not now in joy, but in melancholy: the pleasures of an old man’s memory. But how fast his heart beat as he neared the corner whence the old house, and Jessy’s chamber in it, were visible! And there it was! the snowy curtain still flapping in the morning air—the cactus, the roses, the geraniums—the same, the same!

Glancing down the road at about the same time, Jessy descried a man sitting dejectedly on the way-side bank, with his face turned steadily toward her window. Her attention was sufficiently arrested to recall her again and again; and still he sat there—still as before. A thousand unformed emotions suddenly crowded within her; she felt her face grow pale, and her heart sicken. The stranger approached timidly and with an air of guilt; a few paces nearer, and Jessy saw not only who it was, but, by one of those wonderful laws which psychologists vainly endeavor to expound, pretty distinctly how it was. By what mysterious bridge does soul pass over to soul? How came this loving woman to know, from one glance at that bowed form and haggard face, that he had but now escaped, scathed and wounded, through some fearful tribulation which it was necessary for her to know and to share?

Without daring to look again, she knew that Godwin was approaching the house. She went out upon the stairs to listen for his coming; and, after some minutes, seated herself upon them with her hands clasped over her knees, knowing he would come. Her father was away on a short journey—her mother had, months since, gone her last and longest journey: Jessy was alone in the house with the old servant. Presently the expected knock was heard—a faint, appealing knock, it seemed to her; and the next moment they stood once more face to face, with the threshold between them.

Godwin made no attempt to enter: he stood like one sinking under a heavy burden imploring to be relieved.

“Yes! yes! For God’s sake come in!” said Jessy’s trembling voice. And the next moment, as if there he would be safest from the pursuer, she shut the door of her own chamber upon her old lost love. “Now, John, what is all this? What terrible things have you to tell me.”

They sat down together. With dilated eyes and parted lips she listened, as in a very frenzy of words Godwin told his story. Now in drops of molten fire, and now in melancholy tear-drops, he poured out his whole soul before her, till not one agony remained unknown. In the excitement of the story he rose from his chair; and when he had ended all, and stood silent before her, pale and ruined, a wreck most eloquent, her old love, her pity, her anguish burst all bonds: she clasped her arms about his neck, pressed her cheek convulsively to his, and wept as though the flood-gates of her heart were all broken up together. “O, my poor boy! my poor boy! They will kill me too!”

Godwin looked down upon the sobbing girl, trusting his tongue with not a word; and when her tears were all spent, and they stood silently apart, he felt that it was possible to bear up manfully against all distresses, and to go on patiently to the end. But Sybilla was not forgotten; and whatever thoughts passed between Jessy and Godwin in the sympathy of silence, it was of her mainly that they spoke. There was some understanding between them regarding her; her name was the last word uttered before farewell; which, however choked down and delayed, whatever they yearned to say first, each to the other, but were ashamed, had at last to be uttered. “Good-bye, then, dear Jessy,” said Godwin, as they stood as of old in the porch before the door, and it sounded to them both like the snatch of an old-loved, long-forgotten song. She put her hand in his, and the direful Whither and how long? rose up before them, and was answered in each, Anywhere, to the ends of the earth perhaps—forever! “God bless you, dear John,” said she in a broken voice; and yielding herself to his embrace and his kisses, she added, “and, right or wrong, I will love you, dream of you, pray for you, and never cease till I die!” The haggard face of Godwin lit up with one last look, revealing more than words. “O faithful, loving girl,” he said, “what have I lost, and yet not wholly lost!” He passed through the gate, went out upon the road, and for miles turned not his head.

Her Lieutenant-General Sir Victor and all the idols of her vanity shattered about her, Sybilla heard with renewed dismay of Godwin’s disappearance. It was another stroke of the two-edged sword; for she believed that, with the intention of screening her from justice, he had crawled away to die in some obscurity; and had it not been for the consequent excitement, the daily expectation of hearing of his death, the wretched wife must have sunk under the agonies of her remorse. But, when a few weeks were passed came Jessy with news of his life instead—with grief and consolation, and not a word of reproach. Long and painful was the interview between these two women; and, soon after they parted, the high-strung nerves of Sybilla gave way, and she was mercifully laid upon a bed of sickness. But there was a secret between them now, betwixt the innocent and the guilty, that rendered separation impossible; and before Sybilla rose, a repentant woman, they were knit in close bonds of dependence and support.

Five years have now elapsed; and now and then, perhaps this very day, these two strange friends bend their still young and beautiful heads together in secret over some little piece of news—from Paris—Vienna—St. Petersburgh. For, as the best outlet of never-resting emotions, Godwin had turned himself to music, had spent whole nights in pouring from the strings of his violin songs of his experience. Till at last he began to grow famous; and is now known to the cognoscenti by a new name—which, after all, is only Jessy’s name Italianized—as a musician full of ungovernable fire and pathos, as a wild, erratic, fast-consuming genius, careless at once of emolument and praise. And so, suddenly appearing here and there, he still pours music into ears that understand not the bitter secret of its power.





              Oh! bright cigar!

  I love thy wreaths of smoke so dimly curling,

  I love thy murky cloud above me whirling,

              While like a star

  Amid the smoke thy brilliant tip is shining,

  And bids me cast all care and repining

              From me afar.


              Companion dear!

  When weary of this world, its empty pleasure,

  Its ceaseless toil, its cares without a measure,

              Its doubt and fear,

  Then Fancy paints upon thy bright cloud waving

  The far-off friends and scenes my heart is craving,

              And brings them near.


              And when in sorrow

  My heart is bowed, and all is cold around it,

  And dreary thoughts and weary cares surround it,

              Yet still I borrow

  From thee a solace, while dear Hope, reviving,

  Brings to my view, the mists before it driving,

              A bright to-morrow.



(Concluded from page 429.)



Upon the appointed day, the Count of Barcelona, who had passed the preceding eve in masses and prayers, presented himself at the gate of the camp, mounted on a horse from Seville—a steed whose slender legs and light step made him rather resemble a courser for a fête-day than a battle charger.

The champion of the empress was clad in a coat of mail of polished steel, inlaid with gold, the work of the Moors of Cordova, in the midst of which shone a sun of diamonds, which threw rays like pointed flames; round his neck he wore the chain given him by the empress, for whose life and fame he was about to do battle. He struck the barrier three times, and thrice he was asked by a herald who he was, to which he always gave this reply—“I am the Champion of God.” At the third response, the gate was opened, and the Count of Barcelona entered the lists, which were arranged in an oval form, like the ancient classic circus, and bordered with seats, raised one above each other in tiers, filled at this time with the nobility of the Rhine, who had hurried to see the imposing and interesting spectacle.

At one end of the arena the Emperor Henry was seen, in his imperial robes, seated on his throne; on the other, in a wooden lodge, sitting on a common stool, was discovered the empress, dressed in black, holding her infant son in her arms. Directly opposite the hut in which she was immured, stood the pile destined to consume her and her babe, if her champion were defeated; and near it was placed the common hangman, in a red frock, his arms and legs bare, holding in one hand a chafing-dish, and in the other a torch. In the middle of the curve that formed the lists was an altar, whereon lay the holy evangelists, upon which a crucifix was placed. Opposite the altar stood an uncovered bier.

The Count of Barcelona entered the lists, which he rode round, while a flourish of trumpets proclaimed to the accusers of the empress that the Champion of God was at his post; for by this sacred appellation the defender of him or her who appealed to the ordeal of battle was always styled in the ages of chivalry. The count stopped before the emperor, whom he saluted by lowering the point of his lance to his feet; backing his steed, whose head he kept toward the sovereign, till having reached the middle he made him spring on all his feet, executing this demi-volte in so able a manner, that everybody acknowledged him for a most gallant cavalier. Then he advanced slowly toward the lodge of the empress, curbing the ardor of the mettled charger, till he reached the spot where she was seated, when he dismounted, the noble animal standing as still in the lists as if he had been made of marble. Ascending the steps that conducted him to her side, as if to prove to all present his conviction of her innocence, he knelt on one knee, and asked her if she were still minded to accept of him for her champion.

The empress, overpowered by her feelings, could only extend her hand to him, in token of her acceptance of his services. The count took off his helmet, and kissed the offered hand of the empress with deep respect; then rising, with sparkling eyes, fastened his helmet to the saddle-bow, replacing himself in the saddle with a single bound, and with no more assistance from the stirrups than if he had been clad in a silken vest. Opposite the altar, on the other side of the lists, he recognized the jongleur who had been the cause of his coming there, seated at the feet of a beautiful young lady, whom he rightly supposed to be the heiress of Provence. He advanced toward her, in the midst of the enthusiastic applause of the spectators, upon whom his youth, heroic beauty, and chivalrous bearing, had made a lively impression, and whose vows and prayers for his success were the more ardent because he appeared too young and slight to risk his life in single combat against two such formidable knights.

When the count reached the gallery where the fair Provençale was seated, he bowed to the very neck of his charger, till his dark ringlets veiled his face; and then raising his head shook back their scattered luxuriance, while, in the language d’Oc,[4] he addressed the marchioness thus:—“Noble lady, a thousand thanks for the good enterprise you have considered me worthy to undertake; for, but for your message, I should have now been in my own land, without the opportunity of showing my devotion for the ladies, and my trust in God.” He smiled as he uttered these courteous words, and looked into the fine eyes of the fair damsel, who blushed, and cast hers on the ground.

“Noble knight,” replied the young lady, in the same tongue; “It is me who ought to express the debt of gratitude I owe you, since my invitation, sent by no higher messenger than a poor jongleur, has led you to cross seas, rivers, and mountains. You are come. Indeed, I cannot think how I have merited such great courtesy.”

“There is no journey so long, no enterprise so dangerous, that I would not cheerfully undertake, in Christian land, or pagan clime, that a smile from your lips and a glance from your eyes would not repay. Therefore, fair damsel, should I grow weak in this combat, deign to regard me with a smile, and my strength and courage will return to me again.”

At these passionate words the count bowed, and the lady blushed; but the flourish of the trumpets, that proclaimed his foes were in the field, summoned the champion from the side of the Marchioness of Provence to his duty. He put on his helmet, and with three bounds of his fine horse was seen in the space between the pile and the empress; for the Champion of God, according to the rule of the trial by battle, ought to be near the accused, that her prayers and looks might encourage him during the combat.

Guthram de Falkemberg entered in his turn, arrayed in dark armor, and mounted on one of those heavy German horses who resemble those described by Homer; an esquire before him, with his lance, battle-axe and sword. At the gate of the lists he alighted, and advanced to the altar. When he reached its steps, he raised his visor, and laying his hand upon the crucifix, on his baptismal faith, his life, his soul, and his honor, vowed that he believed his quarrel to be just and good; adding to this vow his oath that neither he, nor his horse, nor his arms, were defended by herbs, charms, prayers, conjurations, leagues with the Evil One, or any enchantments whatever, by which he might hope to overcome his opponent. Then, having made the sign of the cross, he knelt at the head of the bier, and there made his prayer.

The Count of Barcelona alighted also, and in like manner advanced to the altar, where he made the same vows, and recited the same oath; and, after making the sign of the cross, knelt down to pray at the foot of the bier. In an instant the Libera was heard chanted by invisible voices, as if sung by a choir of unseen angels. The assistant priests, on their knees, repeated in low tones the prayers for the dying. Nobody remained standing at that solemn moment but the hangman, who was not allowed to join his ominous voice to those of the assembly, because his prayers were not likely, it was considered, to reach the eternal throne, or, if they did, to do those he prayed for the slightest good.

As the last note of the Libera died away, the trumpets sounded, the assistant priests took their places, the two combatants returned to their chargers, and replaced themselves in their saddles, remaining immovable, with their lances in rest, and their bucklers on their arms, guarding their breasts, like two equestrian statues, till the flourish of trumpets ceased, and the emperor, rising from his throne, and stretching forth his sceptre, pronounced, in a loud voice, the words “Laissez aller.”[5]

The two combatants careered against each other with the same courage, but very different fortune; for scarcely had the heavy battle-steed of Guthram de Falkemberg run a third part of the course, when, clearing double the space with three bounds of his charger, the Count of Barcelona was upon him. For an instant nothing was seen but a dreadful shock, a lance shivered in a thousand splinters, and a confused vision of men and horses; another moment, the horse of Guthram rose without his rider, while the corpse of his master, pierced through with his adversary’s lance, lay bleeding on the sand. The Count of Barcelona ran to the horse of his fallen adversary, seized him by the reins, and backing the reluctant animal, forced him to touch with the croup the barriers of the field; this manœuvre, according to the known laws of chivalry, being a sign of mercy given by the victor to the conquered knight, whereby he gave his foe permission to rise, who was indeed conquered; but the generosity of the brave champion was of no avail to him; Guthram de Falkemberg would rise no more, till the sound of the last trumpet summoned his perjured soul to judgment.

A cry of joy broke from the vast multitude, whose wishes and prayers had been all along for the gallant and beautiful young knight. The emperor rose and cried, “Well struck;” Douce waved her scarf; the empress fell on her knees and gave thanks to God for her deliverance. Then the hangman descended slowly from his stand, unbound the helmet from the recreant knight, which he flung on the ground; after which he dragged the corpse by the hair of the head to the bier, and returning to the end of the lists remounted the pile.

The count went to salute the emperor, the empress, and the fair Marchioness of Provence; then, returning to his post as champion, he once more addressed the monarch:—“Saving, Sir Emperor, your pleasure,” cried he, in a loud voice, “will you please to cause Walter de Than to be summoned into the lists?”

“Let Walter de Than be introduced,” replied the emperor.

The barrier unclosed a second time, and Walter de Than entered the lists, armed cap-a-pied, and mounted as ready to make his false accusation good; but when he saw near him Guthram de Falkemberg, stretched on the bier, and remarked that a single thrust from the lance of the Champion of God had sent him to his dread account, instead of advancing to the altar, to take his lying oath, he rode up to the emperor, and, alighting from his horse, said:—“Sir Emperor, I cannot obey your summons to the field; for nothing shall induce me to maintain the cause I have taken, for it is a false and accursed one, as, indeed, God, by his judgment on my sinful companion, has decided it to be. I, therefore, throw myself upon your mercy, that of the innocent empress, and the unknown knight—and a noble one he is—while I proclaim before the court and this assembly, that the whole charge brought by Guthram de Falkemberg and myself against my lady empress is false throughout; and that we were induced and suborned to calumniate her by Prince Henry, your second son, who, fearing lest you should finally prefer to him the babe of which your imperial spouse was then pregnant, devised this conspiracy against the life and honor of his stepmother, and the child she would bear. His gifts and promises corrupted us from our fidelity as true knights and loyal subjects. In virtue of this frank confession, I therefore implore your grace and mercy.”

“You deserve no more mercy than the empress would have found, if she had not obtained from God a champion,” replied the emperor. “Go, then, to her, and at her feet implore for pardon, for she alone can restore your life and honor.”

Walter de Than crossed the lists amidst the hisses, groans, and yells of the spectators, and knelt down before the rescued empress, who was tenderly caressing her infant son, whom she regarded with the expression of a Madonna.

“Madam,” said the recreant knight, “I come, by the command of my lord the emperor, to entreat your clemency; for, since I plead guilty to the wrong of preferring a false and calumnious charge against your honor and the legitimacy of my lord prince, you can do what you please with the criminal.”

“Friend,” replied the young empress, “you may depart in health and safety for me. I will take no vengeance upon you; God will deal with you according to his own pleasure and justice. Go, then; but never let me behold you in Germany again.”

Walter de Than rose and departed, and from that day was seen in the imperial realms no more.

Then the emperor ordered the gate to be opened for the conqueror, who entered the lists once more; but this time looked round in vain for an enemy.

“Lord Knight,” said the emperor to the Count of Barcelona, “Walter de Than will not fight with you. He has confessed his guilt to me, and demanded mercy; and I sent him to the empress, who has granted him his life, on the condition of his leaving my dominions forever. She was too joyful and too full of gratitude for the deliverance God had granted her by your arm to be severe to him.”

“Since it is so with him, I am satisfied,” replied the Count of Barcelona; “and I ask no more.”

Then the emperor descended from his throne, and, leading the charger of the victor by the bridle, in this manner conducted the count to the empress. “Madam,” said he, “behold the knight who has so valiantly defended your righteous cause. You must give one hand to him, and the other to me, that we may conduct him to my throne, where we must all three remain, while justice be done to the corpse of Guthram de Falkemberg; after which, we shall in like manner lead you to the palace, where we will both endeavor to render him all the honor we can, in order to retain him as our welcome guest as long as we can prevail with him to remain at our court.”

The empress quitted her station of doubt and shame, to kneel before the emperor, who raised and embraced her before the vast assembly, as a proof to them that she had recovered his confidence and love. Then he took one of her hands, and the Count of Barcelona the other, and in this manner she was conducted to the throne, upon which the emperor took his seat, placing her on his right hand, and the Champion of God on his left. As soon as they were seated, the hangman came into the lists a second time, and, approaching the corps of Guthram de Falkemberg, cut with a knife the links of his armor, which he divided piece by piece, throwing them about the lists, with these contemptuous words:—“This is the helmet of a coward; this is the cuirass of a coward; this is the buckler of a coward.” When the hangman had stripped the body in this manner, his two assistants entered with a horse dragging a hurdle, to which they attached the corpse, which was then dragged through every street in Cologne to the public gibbet, where it was hanged by the heels, in order that everybody might come and see the dreadful wound through which the sinful soul of the recreant knight, Sir Guthram de Falkemberg, had issued forth to its dread account. And all who looked upon the guilty dead declared that only the just judgment of God could have enabled such a young and gentle cavalier to overcome such a great and renowned warrior in the trial by battle.

The emperor and empress brought the Champion of God to their palace, where they made him a great feast; and, in order to do him honor, placed him at dinner at their own table, and by their side, and declared that they never intended to part with him. Now, the count wanted to return to his own good city of Barcelona, which he had left two months before with more chivalry than prudence. So, mindful of his duty as a sovereign, after he had done his devoir as a knight-errant, he stole out of the palace by night; and, having ordered hay and corn to be given his good steed at the hostelrie, and commanded his squire to groom him, he departed with great secrecy from Cologne, which he left that same night for his own dominions.

The next day, the emperor, missing the count from his table, sent a messenger to the hostel, where he supposed his summons to breakfast would find him. He was soon informed of the departure of his guest, who was supposed to be at least a dozen miles from Cologne by that time. The messenger soon returned to the emperor, to whom he said:—“Sire, the knight who fought for my lady the empress is gone, no one knows whither.”

At this unexpected news Henry turned to the empress, and, in a voice which betrayed his displeasure, said:—“Madam, you have heard what this person has told me. I find your champion quitted Cologne last night, without leaving any trace by which he can be discovered and brought back.”

“Oh, my dear lord!” exclaimed the empress, “you will be still more grieved when you learn the quality of this knight, with which, at present, I think you are unacquainted.”

“No,” replied the emperor; “he has told me nothing more than that he was a Spanish count.”

“Sire, the knight who did battle for me is the noble Count of Barcelona, whose renown is already so great that it exceeds even his lofty rank.”

“How!” cried the emperor, “is this unknown knight no other than Raymond de Berenger. God indeed, sent him to my aid, madam; for the imperial crown has never been so highly honored before. He, however, makes me pay him very dearly by the disgrace and shame his sudden departure has cast upon me. I declare, madam, that I will not receive you into my love and favor till you find and bring him back to my court. Go away yourself for your journey as quickly as you can; for I will either see you with him, or see you no more.”

“It shall be so, since you command it, sire,” replied the empress, who was too well accustomed to the hasty manner and arbitrary disposition of her consort to contest his will, however unreasonable that will might appear to her. She had noticed the marked attention the handsome count had paid to her beautiful maid of honor, Douce, Marchioness of Provence, and, therefore, determined to include her in her train, which consisted of a hundred noble matrons, a hundred young damsels of quality, and a hundred knights; for Praxida resolved to travel in a style suitable to her lofty rank; and she used such expedition, that in two months from the time of her departure she found herself in the noble city of Barcelona. The astonishing report that the Empress of Germany, with a splendid retinue, had arrived at the principal hostelrie, quickly reached the noble count, who knew not how to credit it; till, mounting his horse, he rode thither, and recognized at the first glance the fair lady for whom he had lately fought. The delivered and deliverer met with equal joy, and, after the first salutation, the lord count, kneeling at the feet of the empress, asked “to what fortunate chance he owed the pleasure of seeing her in his own dominions.”

“Lord count,” replied the empress, “the emperor, my spouse, will not permit me to return to his court without you, for your presence at Cologne can alone restore to me his love and favor. Indeed, ever since he has known the honor the noble Count of Barcelona did the imperial crown by becoming my champion, he has resolved to share in no festivities till that happy day when he can welcome you to his court, and thank you for that act of courtesy in a manner befitting your high degree. Therefore, if you wish me to be once more recognized as Empress of Germany, you must hearken to my humble prayer, and accompany me to Cologne.”

Upon hearing these words, the count once more knelt down, and presenting both his hands, in the manner of a prisoner awaiting his fetters, saying, “Madam, it is for you to command, and me to obey; do with me as with a prisoner.”

The empress immediately took a golden chain, whose links encompassed her throat eight times, unwound it, and clasped one end round the right wrist of the Count of Barcelona, while she gave the other to the fair Marchioness of Provence, in whose gentle keeping she willed the captive to remain during the homeward journey. The prisoner, on his part, declared that he was too well satisfied with his guardian to wish to break her chains, unless she were pleased to permit him to relinquish them for a time.

Three days after this interview, the Empress of Germany quitted Barcelona, with her retinue of three hundred noble knights and ladies, bringing with her its chivalrous sovereign, in a chain of gold, held by her fair maid of honor; and in this manner traversed Roussillon, Languedoc, Dauphiny, Switzerland, and Luxembourg; the lord count, according to his vow, neither breaking his chain, nor showing any inclination to do so.

The cortége of the empress was met, five leagues from Cologne, by the emperor, who, being apprised of the coming of the Count of Barcelona, came to welcome him. As soon as he saw the brave cavalier who had saved the honor of his dearly-beloved wife, Henry IV. alighted; Raymond Berenger did the same, though still held in the chain of gold by the Marchioness of Provence. The emperor then warmly embraced and thanked him for the honorable service he had done him, by waging the battle of the Empress Praxida, and besought him to name his reward.

“My lord emperor,” replied the count, “will you be pleased to command the Marchioness of Provence never to let me go, for, since I cannot depart from her wardship without her good pleasure, I think she ought not to quit mine; that thus, being fast linked together for the rest of our lives, we may never be divided from each other in this world, nor in that which is to come.”

Douce of Provence blushed, and even thought proper to make some maidenly opposition to an arrangement so pleasing to herself. The emperor, however, intimated to her, that, being her suzerain, whatever he chose to command she must obey. He therefore fixed the marriage for that day week; and Douce of Provence was so submissive a vassal, that she never even thought of requesting her lord paramount for the delay of a single day. It was in this manner that Raymond Berenger, Count of Barcelona, won the fair heiress, and became possessed of the marquisate and lands of Provence.[6]

Tongue of the South, or Provence, in which part of France oc was used as the affirmative, instead of oui, as in the northern districts.—Translator.

“You may go.” This was the signal at trials by battle, passes of arms, and tournaments, for the combatants to engage.

Henry the Fourth of Germany was subject to fits of jealousy, for which failing he once received personal chastisement, at the fair hands of the empress and her ladies, on a certain occasion on which he had concealed himself in his wife’s apartment, disguised as a foreign knight when his intrusion was resented and punished by severe buffettings from the incensed female court, who either did not recognize the emperor, or pretended to mistake him for a robber. Empresses of Germany appear to have been often the mark for false and murderous accusations; since, nearly a century before this period, the Empress Cunegonda was delivered from the pile by the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, who entered the lists as the Champion of God, and successfully defended her honor.—⁠Trans.





(Continued from page 423.)


There are some women who never lose the habit of blushing; it is lovely in the young, and indicates extreme sensitiveness in the old. Richard inherited his mother’s blushes before they had faded from her own cheeks. The transparency of Mrs. Dolland’s complexion was noticed by Mr. Whitelock; it contrasted well with the dust-covered pages of his books; yet he wondered why her color came and went, and why her lips trembled.

“Nothing wrong with Richard, I hope?” he said.

“I hope not, sir; and that is what I wanted to speak with you about, if you will be so good as to have a little patience with me. I am a simple woman, I know, sir; my husband (ah! you would have understood him) always said I was; but the simple are sometimes wise unto salvation. You live, sir, like a Christian—you never keep open after six on Saturdays—so that my boy gets home early, and not too much worn with fatigue to enjoy the rest and perform the duties of the Sabbath; and, on Sunday, it does him good (he says) to see you in church before the bell has done ringing. I am sure, sir, you are a Christian.”

“I hope so; I am a believer; but many a believer does not live as becomes a follower of Christ,” replied Mr. Whitelock.

“My husband, sir, was one of those who suffered long, and was kind, and thought no evil; in short, sir, you can read his character in 1 Corinthians, chap. xiii. I owe him more than woman ever owed to man. His unfortunate attachment to me lost him his position in society: his father never forgave him for marrying a farmer’s daughter. I thought that I did right, because he, just one-and-twenty, said he could bend his lot to mine, and laugh at poverty, and not live without me, and such like things—as, perhaps, you have said yourself before you were married.”

“I beg your pardon, my good woman,” interrupted the bookseller, “but I never was married, and never uttered such absurdities in my life.”

Mrs. Dolland colored, and twisted the end of her shawl round her finger.

“Lucky, sir—lucky for you—and for—but I beg your pardon; perhaps you never were in love.”

Mr. Whitelock fidgeted, and grumbled something, and the widow’s instinct made her comprehend that he did not relish her conjectures. She continued⁠—

“I believed every word he said: I could not understand his sacrifice, because I had never moved in his sphere; I thought it a fine thing to marry for love, and out-stare poverty. I did not know that the gaze of its stony eyes, and the clutch of its bony hands might drive him to his grave. They said he was consumptive from his birth: I don’t believe it; I know that labor and want take its form. I went to his father; I knelt to him; I told him I would leave my husband—go where they should never hear my name—if he would only receive him and his son; I did, indeed, sir; but he turned from me with cruel words. And, though he knew he was teaching a few poor scholars, just for bread, so he left him—and so he died. I only wish that young, poor girls, who think it a fine thing to many a gentleman, could know the misery it brings: the hardest lot can be borne alone; but to bring another to it, and that other the one you would die to make happy—Oh! that is the hardest of all things to bear! I beg your pardon, sir; but if I did not begin from the first, you could not understand my feelings.”

She wiped away her tears, and Mr. Whitelock told her to proceed. He was so much interested in her tale, told in her simple manner, in her soft voice—a voice so full of that low intonation, which is distinct even in its murmurs—that he could not help wishing some one of his favorite novelists, people who, long ago, wrote the most innocent tales in five or seven volumes, were there to hear it. By his own dreamy abstraction, she was transformed into a young shepherdess, tying a blue ribbon round a lamb’s neck; and the vision, with its adjuncts of green fields and purling brooks—which he never saw more than twice a-year—with an enraptured youth leaning over a stile, and the village church steeple peering above the distant trees, was only dispelled by her resuming her unaffected narrative.

“And speaking as I was, sir, of understanding the feelings, I know that to the last I never quite understood those of my husband. I can’t tell if it was because of the difference of our birth, or of our bringing up, or of both; though, as to the birth, his father had been a poor man once, and got rich, some said, not over rightly—though I can’t quite believe that of my dear husband’s father. I never, as I said, quite understood my husband; for, to the last, I know I gave him pain, by little ways which he never complained of, and I knew not how to change; but what I could understand was his PIETY. He lived the last year of his life, a life of such faith and hope, that the world seemed to fold itself away from him like a vapor, and he looked upon all that stood between Christ and him as evil. He delighted to teach our child texts of Scripture; and even the wise-like copies which he used to set him from Poor Richard’s Almanac faded from his memory toward the last, though Bible words remained with him, and scraps of Watts’s hymns, and long passages of holy poetry; but what he dwelt upon was the future of his child. At that time I got constant work as an embroideress. But the last year he might be said to be more in heaven than on earth: the world was not with him; only hour by hour he used to call me to him and say—‘Remember our great salvation,’ and the next minute he would pray me, clasping my hands within his, not to care about the little lad’s learning, so that he could win Christ. He would go on, adding scripture to scripture, to prove that all this world is nothing worth without that which insures eternal life. He desired neither riches, nor honors, nor wealth, nor learning for that boy—nothing but his becoming wise unto salvation. Sir, I understood thatthat came home to me. Now, sir, the lad is a good lad—tender and loving to me his mother, and, I believe, dutiful to you, sir, though the person below did hint, rather than say, things which I own gave me concern just now—things which make me fear he may not be altogether what I hope; but he is young, and⁠—”

“It is only Matty’s unfortunate manner,” interrupted the bookseller. “She does not mean it: she has an ugly trick of insinuating evil where she means good.”

“How very strange,” said the meek woman. “I am so glad I mentioned it: I should have made my son so unhappy. What a pity she does not hope, sir: poor thing! not to have hope is worse than blindness. Well, sir, have I explained how anxious my husband was that this dear lad should become a righteous man—not a formalist, but a vital Christian—abiding continually in the faith, faithful above all things; believing, like his father, in Christ, and evincing that belief by acts of charity—in word, in deed, in thought—toward his fellow creatures. That, sir, was the religion in which he lived and died; and I should feel unfaithful to his trust if I did not, by prayer, supplication and entreaty, try to keep the lad in the path which his father trod. But he is getting too strong for me: his mind swells like a river after rain. He reads his Bible, to be sure; but he reads other books more frequently. I don’t know if that is quite right. Oh! sir, I weary heaven with prayers to teach me how to keep him in the right; so, that even if he halt, or turn aside, he may return.”

“The boy is a good boy—an excellent lad: I have been turning over in my mind what I could do for him, to put him in the way of bettering his position. He is a right excellent lad,” repeated the bookseller; “and I would have you beware of drawing the rein too tight: I think you are anxious overmuch.”

She shook her head mournfully.

“Sir, I have lived on hope—a holy hope—a hope above the world—the hope of one day seeing him in the courts of his Heavenly Father, met by his earthly father. With that hope to light me, I can walk thankfully into the grave—which, if I live a few months longer, cannot be darker than my sight—certain of the brightness which shall be revealed hereafter. But, oh! sir, if he, his child, should be beguiled by too much worldly wisdom, or learning, to forget God, how could I meet my husband—how could I answer to him for the soul which he left to my care upon his bed of death?”

“My good woman, all the most righteous parents can do is to letter and bind the book carefully, and let the world cut the leaves.”

“Yes,” she answered, “and to pray for him, and keep evil, especially the evil of unbelief, from him, and that is one great reason of my visit, sir. You lent him⁠—”

“The Works of Benjamin Franklin—I remember.”

“Is it the sort of book do you think, sir, that is fit for my little lad? I know it is full of knowledge, about his catching lightning, and inventing wonderful things, and contains great and good advice to young tradesmen; but I fear, though a great man, he wanted⁠—”

“What the best of us want, more or less, my good lady,” said the bookseller, with unusual briskness, “and had much that few of us possess.” And then, after some consideration, he added slowly, rather as if talking to himself than addressing another—“Let me see. The early part of his life was stained, like the lives of many—John Bunyan to wit—with faults almost amounting to crimes; and those would have remained untold, unrecorded—indeed, perfectly unknown, even by his most intimate friends—but for the extraordinary truthfulness of the man’s great nature. In the brief account of his own life, he confesses that he was blown about by every wind of doctrine; and to what purpose? to fall into the quagmire of unbelief. Now, this would be dangerous to read and think over for lads of Richard’s age and eager temperament, if the entire honesty of Franklin’s nature—downright, brave, looking-straight-in-the-face truth—had not made him confess and condemn his errors. He was scourged—as all unbelievers are, if they would only admit so much—by his unbelief; he had to endure the bitterness and self-reproach of knowing that the young friends whom his arguments had perverted turned upon and ill-used him: he recalled his own misconduct—born of, and nurtured by unbelief; and, though his nature was neither pious nor enthusiastic like that of John Bunyan, he saw, like Bunyan, the evil of his ways, particularly in a reasoning point of view. He learned that unbelief was the proof of a weak, not of a strong nature: he saw how foolish it would be to call a boy ‘strong-minded,’ because he would not believe what his father told him! As he grew in years, he strengthened in truth: another proof of his great mind. And then his works live in our literature: they keep their place by their own specific gravity. The lad is old enough to understand this man’s greatness, and the value he was to his country—indeed, to all countries—and to imbibe those lessons of usefulness and industry which are taught in his works, without being tainted by his confessed sin. Infidelity is put, and by himself, at such a disadvantage, that it holds out no temptation: it shows from first to last the confessed blot upon a radiant memory. Ay, indeed, this great man—this man so in advance of his time—this true man was, as I have said, scourged by his infidelity, and he shows his stripes. I dare say” (the bookseller was a great phrenologist, and the science engrafted much charity on his simple, yet shrewd mind) “I dare say the organ was depressed at veneration, but large in benevolence; with an almost over-weight of the reasoning faculties. Ah! if historians would only give us the measurement of heads, and their developments, instead of their own crude or prejudiced analysis of character, we should better know where to render our hero-worship—don’t you think so?”

The mother looked upward: the spirit’s vision was unimpaired, though the sight was fading day by day. Still she always looked upward, as if all her consolation came from thence.

“I do not understand, sir,” she said, simply, “what you have observed has to do with my Richard; but if you are sure the book won’t harm him, won’t shake his faith, or make him think too highly of worldly gifts⁠—”

She paused, and then added—

“You, sir, being a Christian man, know best. I am certain it teaches plenty of hope for this world, and great reliance upon human gifts.”

“Your pardon, my good lady,” said the bookseller; “but which of our gifts is not divine?”

“Ay, sir, but we must acknowledge their origin; and, as my dear husband used to say, not be too fond of setting the farthing-candle of reason to give light to the sun of revelation. He made me understand that.”

She rose to withdraw.

“I fear you are not satisfied, even now.”

She shook her head.

“I pray night and day that he may be so guided as to win heaven. I would fain know what to do,” she continued, still more feebly; “you are so good to him, sir—may God bless you for it! But the lad—and that book. I wish he had taken to it when my sight was strong, I could have read it then: now, if he reads it to me, I think he picks out the passages he knows I would like, and leaves the rest.”

“Did he ever read you the great man’s epitaph, written by himself?”

“Yes, sir: there is hope in the last lines about his appearing (after death) in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author. Certainly, no bad man (Christianly speaking) could frame that.”

“Bad man!” repeated the bookseller, “Why there are scores of editions of his works!

This, as a proof of his goodness, did not strike the widow.

“Then, sir, you are quite satisfied with Richard.” The poor woman’s hands trembled as she folded them together, and the long-suppressed tears flowed over her cheeks. “I beg your pardon for troubling you—I have no right to do so, you are so kind to him; only, sir, please to remember that he has two fathers in heaven, and that I—poor creature that I am—feel accountable to both. I cannot sleep by night: I fear I neglect my duty, and yet I fear to overtax his; he gains knowledge so quickly that I tremble for his faith; and when I am sitting alone, between the dimness of my own sight and of the twilight, a thin, filmy shadow stands before me, and I think that I can see the parting of its lips, and hear them whisper—‘Where is my child—does he seek to win Christ?’”

The compassionate bookseller gazed upon her with deep feeling; the woman so feeble in body, yet so steadfast in what she believed right, was a new interest to him. He rose without a word, went to a dingy escritoir, opened the top, which folded down, and taking out a small bag of gold, selected a sovereign. “Go homewards,” said he, “and as you go, purchase a bottle of Port wine, and what my housekeeper calls a shin of beef. Make it all, mind you, every atom, into beef tea.”

“For Richard?”

“No, woman, for yourself; the weakness of your body adds to the weakness of your sight, and may, eventually, impair your mind. Pray, my good soul, for yourself, as well as for your son. Lay out the money faithfully for the purpose I have named; I know how it is, I know that you feed him—but you devote his surplus earnings to pay your little debts. I have seen you, on a Monday morning, enter a baker’s shop, with a thin, marble-covered book rolled in your hand. I have seen you pay the baker money, and you have left the shop without a loaf. Now, mind what I say.”

“But a whole sovereign!” she said, “it is too much—might I not pay⁠—”

“Not a farthing out of that!” he exclaimed, “why you are quite as much of a shadow as when I saw you first. Well, if you are too proud to take it as a gift, your son shall repay it hereafter. And do not be so anxious about Richard; have you ever considered that great anxiety about any earthly thing, is want of faith in almighty wisdom and goodness? Has He not taken your husband, as you believe, into his presence for evermore? At the very time when you feared most for your boy, did not a door open to him? and was not the crooked made straight? It has always seemed most unaccountable to me, how people, and good people like you—who have hope forever on their lips—suffer so much fear to enter their hearts.”

But there was so much to cheer and encourage in the generosity and kindness of the worthy man, and in the faithful, yet unpretending, nature of his words, that the widow’s hope returned, at all events for a time, to her heart as well as to her lips. She might again have wandered—again have inquired if he thought her “little lad was quite safe,” for she never, in her best of days, could embrace more than one subject at a time—but his housekeeper entered with two cups of broth.

“You forget the time,” she said, abruptly, “though I’m thinking it wont return the compliment to either of you; I can’t say much for the broth, for the meat is not what it was long ago.”

“If the master gets a fit,” she continued, turning to the widow, “it will be your fault—keeping him without bit or sup—here, take the broth, it ain’t pison, and master’s no ways proud; I wish he was. If you can’t take your broth here comfortably, come with me to the kitchen.” Holding the cup in one hand, and leading the more than half-blind sempstress with the other, she conducted her down the narrow, dark stairs, as carefully as a mother would lead a child, but before she had seated her by the fire, the bell rang.

“I rang for you,” said her master, “knowing that your heart and words do not always go together⁠—”

“Then I tell lies; thank ye sir,” she said, courtesying.

“No, only I wish you to bear in mind that Richard’s mother is in a very low, nervous state.”

“How can any one passing through this valley o’ tears be any thing else?” interrupted the incorrigible woman.

Her master seemed as though he heard her not. “And if you speak to her in your usual grumpy, disagreeable manner”—she courtesied more deeply than before—“you add to her misery. I am sure your natural kindness of heart will tell you how cruel that would be.”

“Putting live worms on fishing-hooks, or roasting live cockles would be nothing to it,” observed Matty. Now as the bookseller had a piscatorial weakness, was, moreover, fond of roast cockles, and had recently complained that Matty had forgotten his taste—this was a very hard hit; he looked discomforted, upon which Martha rejoiced. He was by no means ready-witted—but he was occasionally readily angered—and replied to the sarcasm with a bitter oath, producing an effect directly contrary to what he intended. Martha quitted the dusty room, as if suffocated by satisfaction, and went grumbling and tittering down stairs.

“It was a Lucky Penny, sure enough,” she said, “that brought my master and your son together.”

“God bless him!”

“Which him?”

“Both, mistress; we hope he will bless what we love best in the world.”

“Ay, indeed, true for you. I heard tell of a man once who was hung through a ‘Lucky Penny.’”

The widow pushed away the unfinished cup of broth.

“And of another, who made his fortune by one—just as Richard will,” added Matty, relenting.

And yet, despite this and her other sarcasms, it was curious to see how Martha struggled to keep in her bitter words; when she looked at the widow’s shrunk and trembling form, and wasted, though still beautiful features, her better nature triumphed; but if her eyes were fixed upon her kitchen deities, she became sharp and acid immediately. Had she moved in a higher grade of society, with her peculiar talent, she might have been

  “That dangerous thing, a female wit;”

as it was, she kept her master (to whom, from her stern honesty of pocket and purpose, as well as from “habit,” that great enslaver of our “kind,” she was invaluable) on a species of rack, while the only peaceful time Richard spent in her society, was while he read to her what she called, “the state of Europe on the paper.”

“He will soon have been twelve months in his place,” said the widow, smiling.

“Come next new-year’s-day, if we live to see it; Richard says he’ll watch at the corner for the old gentleman.”

“Bother! I dare say he’s dead long ago.”

“No, he is not dead; I am sure he is not dead,” replied the widow. “I should like him to see my boy now; I hope he is not dead⁠—”

“Ay, ay, well we shall see,” quoth Matty. “Before Peter (down, Peter, jewel!) before Peter came, we had a dog called Hope—the most desaven’est crayture she was that ever stole a bone; and always brought it back—when there was nothing on it.”

[To be continued.


A few years ago, while residing at the Cape, I became acquainted with several of those enterprising traders who are engaged in the lucrative but rather hazardous traffic with the natives north of the Orange River. These traders are sometimes absent for more than two years from the colony, moving about with their wagons and servants, from one tribe to another, until their goods are all disposed of, when they return to Graham’s Town or Cape Town with the cattle, hides, ivory, ostrich feathers, and other valuables, into which their original merchandise has been converted, usually at a profit of some four or five hundred per cent. Most of those traders whom I knew in Cape Town confined their operations to the country lying along the western coast of the continent, and stretching from the Orange River toward the Portuguese possessions in Benguela. Some of them had advanced on that side nearly to the great lake which has since been discovered by travelers proceeding from another quarter. The existence of this lake is well known to the natives inhabiting the western coast, who have often spoken of it to their English visitors.

One of the boldest and most successful of these adventurous traders was a Mr. Hutton, a respectable English colonist, who had accumulated a small fortune by his excursions among the Namaquas and the Dammaras, and was talking of retiring from the business. I had heard of him not only as a lucky dealer and a daring hunter, but also as being one of the most intelligent explorers of South Africa; and having been able on one occasion to render him a slight service, I obtained from him in return a good deal of information concerning those parts of the interior with which he was familiar. Some of his own adventures which he occasionally related, in illustration of the facts thus communicated, seemed to me to be curious and interesting enough to be worth preserving. One of them I will endeavor to repeat as nearly as possible in the words in which he told it.

It may be as well, before proceeding with the narrative, to mention briefly the circumstances which drew from Mr. Hutton the account of this singular adventure. The service which I had rendered to him consisted merely in obtaining from the authorities, by proper representations, the liberation of a Namaqua servant, whom he had brought to town with him from the country beyond the Orange River. This dusky youth was in appearance and in character a genuine Hottentot. He had the small stature, the tawny complexion, the deep-set eyes, the diminutive nose, the wide and prominent cheek-bones, and the curiously tufted hair, which distinguish that peculiar race. He was usually silent, grave, and somewhat sullen in mood, except when he was excited by strong liquor, of which, like most of his compatriots, he was immoderately fond. In this state Apollo (as he was preposterously named) became not only lively and boisterous, but excessively pugnacious. The latter quality brought him frequently into collision with some of the saucy and knowing blacks of Cape Town, who found the same malicious pleasure in teasing the poor Namaqua that town-bred youngsters in a London school evince in annoying any rustic new-comer. It was in consequence of an affair of this sort, that poor half-muddled Apollo, after a desperate combat with a gigantic Mozambique “apprentice,” had one day been bundled off by the police to the lock-up house; and his master, who was hardly more familiar than Apollo himself with the ways of the town, came to me to ask my advice and assistance toward getting the unlucky Namaqua released. There was little difficulty in accomplishing this, when the circumstances were properly explained to the presiding functionary; and Apollo, after a few hours’ detention in the “tronk,” (or city jail,) was restored to his master in a sober and very penitent condition.

I was somewhat surprised by the evidences of strong anxiety and even affection displayed by Mr. Hutton for his uncouth protégé in this affair. The latter had certainly nothing in his appearance or ways which could be considered prepossessing. He had, indeed, the grace to evince some attachment for his master; but otherwise his mental and moral traits did not appear to be more attractive than his physiognomy. I had heard that Mr. Hutton, in spite of his reputation as a keen trader and an ardent hunter, was an upright and kind-hearted man; and I concluded that Master Apollo had probably been intrusted by his parents to the trader, with a solemn promise that their precious treasure should be restored to them unscathed; and no doubt Mr. Hutton’s solicitude proceeded from his conscientious anxiety to keep his engagement.

He called upon me that evening, to thank me for my attention to his wishes. In the course of our conversation, I casually remarked that Apollo must be a good servant to have inspired his master with such a feeling of regard for him.

“I ought to care for him,” answered Mr. Hutton, “since he saved my life.”

This reply led, of course, to further questioning, and finally elicited from the trader the narrative which struck me as so remarkable.

“I picked up Apollo about ten years ago,” he said, “on the north bank of the Orange River. He was then a child, not more, I should say, than ten or twelve years old; though you never can judge accurately of the ages of these natives. I found him all alone, and half dead with fever, under a little shelter of boughs and grass, where his people had left him when he was taken ill. They almost always desert their sick people and decrepit relations in that way. It is a shocking custom, and I think it is about the worst part of their character; for, in other respects, I must say, they are not altogether so bad as some travelers would make them out to be. I put the little fellow in one of my wagons, and dosed him with quinine and other medicines; and in a few days he was running about, as well and lively as ever. He told me that his name was Tkuetkue, or some other such crack-jaw affair, with two or three clucks in it, that I would not attempt to pronounce. So, thinking it best to give him a Christian name, I called him Apollo, in compliment to his good looks. He has remained with me ever since, and has always shown himself attached to me in his own way. He is a real savage still. No one but myself can control him; and he generally obeys my orders as long as he can remember them, which is seldom more than a day. But I cannot make him a teetotaler or a man of peace, although I believe I have set him a fair example in both those lines. He will drink whenever he can get the liquor; and when he is excited by drink or provocation he will fight like a mad tiger. Otherwise he is an honest, faithful fellow, and the best after-rider I ever had. An after-rider, you know, is the name given to the Hottentot or black boy who rides with you, and carries your spare gun and ammunition, and sometimes heads off the game, or assists you in any other way, as you order him.”

I knew what an after-rider was, but I was curious to hear how Apollo had been able to render his master the great service spoken of. It seemed that in the first instance he had owed his own life to Mr. Hutton’s kindness.

“Probably he did,” answered Hutton, “although if I had not found him he might have recovered. Those Namaquas and Hottentots have wonderfully tough constitutions; it takes a deal of sickness or starvation to kill them. But the other affair took place about four years ago; and if you care to hear the story, I have no objection to repeat it. I have told it often, for the credit of my friend Apollo.

“I was on my way to Dammara-land, with two wagons and about a dozen people. Two of them were Mozambique blacks, whom I had brought with me from Cape Town, and the remainder were Hottentots and Namaquas that I had picked up on the way. Most of them I got at old Schmelen’s missionary station, on this side of the Orange River. The two negroes were tolerably good servants; they had gained some knowledge of civilized habits in Cape Town. The others could do little besides helping to drive the wagons; though sometimes they were of service in following spoor—traces of game, you know. They knew the country well, and by keeping a pretty sharp eye upon them I was able to make them useful. In tracking game, as I said, they sometimes rendered good service; but they were great cowards, and though some of them could handle firearms tolerably well, I never could get them to face any dangerous animal, such as a buffalo or a rhinoceros, and least of all a lion, with any steadiness. I shot two or three rhinoceroses with little support from any of them, except Apollo, who always stood by me like a Trojan, though his teeth sometimes chattered, and his eyes became like saucers, as we approached the enemy.

“One afternoon,” continued Hutton, “I outspanned near a pool, where many animals of different sorts came at night to drink. We could see their tracks all about the margin. The Namaquas knew the place well, and urged me to encamp at a little distance off, saying that the lions were ‘al te kwaad,’ or very angry, in that region; and that if we rested near the water we should be very likely to lose some of our oxen, and might perhaps be ourselves attacked. For it is a curious fact that when a lion has once tasted human flesh, he seems to acquire a peculiar relish for it, and will leave all other game untouched if he has a chance of seizing upon a man. I did not wish to run any risk, so far as my people, or my oxen either, were concerned; and so, after making them drink heartily, I drove off to a distance of about two miles, and outspanned in a small valley, out of sight from the pool. We kindled a large fire to keep off any wild beasts that might be prowling about, and then turned the oxen loose to pick up what little herbage they could find among the rocks about us. For myself, I felt a strong desire to have a shot at a lion. I had not bagged one for more than three years. In fact, I had been unlucky in two or three long shots, and began to fear that I should get out of practice in that sort of sport, which requires good nerves and experience more than any thing else. I asked four or five of my best men, including Apollo, if they would watch with me at the pool, that night, for lions. Three of them consented, and we left the others with the wagons, with strict injunctions to keep the fire burning, and not to let the oxen stray to a distance. We reached the water just at sunset, and set to work at once with the spades and hoes which we had brought with us, to dig a hole in the sand three or four feet deep, about twenty yards from the pool. In about an hour we finished our hiding-place, throwing up the earth about it so as to conceal us still better from the sight of the wild animals. We then settled ourselves comfortably in the trench, and lay there with our guns in readiness, waiting for the lions.

“We stayed there all night to no purpose. A good many animals came down to drink, but no lions. There were springboks, gemsboks, zebras, quaggas, and some other creatures, but we did not waste our ammunition upon them, as we were in no want of meat; and, besides, a single shot would have alarmed the lions, and prevented them from approaching the water. However, as it happened, we fared no better for keeping quiet; and soon after dawn we came out of our grave, stiff, sleepy and sulky, without having had a glimpse of a lion, though we had heard them roaring in the distance. They had probably been attracted by our wagons and oxen; for they were prowling about them all night, as we afterward learned. The people whom we had left with them were in mortal terror, but had sense enough to keep up a good blaze. The oxen, in their fright, crowded almost into the fire, and by good luck the lions did not venture to attack them.

“I now gave up all hope of meeting the game I had come out for; but I was determined not to return to the wagons without something to show for our night’s watching. We had gone but a few rods from the pool, when a small herd of springboks came bounding through a thicket of thorn-trees just in front of us. They ran and leaped as though something had frightened them; but without waiting to see what it was, I fired both barrels in among them, and knocked over one of the largest. My men all blazed away at the same time, but without the smallest effect. I had just taken my gun from my shoulder, when an enormous lion walked out of the thicket and came slowly toward us. He was not more than thirty yards off, and there was no time to reload. I was taken so completely by surprise that for the first few seconds I stood quite motionless, and uncertain what to do. But I then saw that there was but one course for us. When a party of natives go out with their assagais and knives to attack a lion, as they sometimes do, their custom is, when they see the lion approaching, to sit down on the ground in a cluster. The lion, if he is in fighting mood, singles out one of them, and pounces upon him. Sometimes the unlucky man is killed at once by the first grip of the lion’s teeth and claws; but more often he only receives severe hurt. Then the other natives throw themselves altogether upon the animal; some seize his tail and lift him up, which prevents him from turning upon them, while others stab him with their assagais, and cut him with their knives; and frequently they manage to kill him without any loss of life in their party. But sometimes the victory is on the other side; the lion kills two or three of the natives, and the rest take to their heels. It seemed to me just possible that by sitting down together, and showing a bold front, we might intimidate the lion, and prevent him from attacking us until I had time to reload. I called out loudly, ‘Sit! sit!’ and knelt down myself on one knee at the same moment, preparing to reload if there should be time. But casting a hasty glance around, I saw that all three of my men had taken themselves off at full speed as soon as the lion appeared, and were already half-way to the hill which was just on this side of the wagons. Apollo had started with the rest; but he told me afterward, and I have no doubt with truth, that he thought I was running also; only, not being as light-footed as they were, I could not be expected to keep up with them. As the poor fellow did not dare to look round, he did not discover his mistake until they reached the wagons.

“In this way I was left alone to face the lion. It was useless then for me to run. If I had started with the Namaquas he would have had one of us, and most probably myself, before we had gone fifty yards. My gun was discharged; and, while we were digging the trench, I had given my hunting-knife, which incommoded me, to Apollo; so that I was at that moment completely disarmed. I gave myself up for lost, as a matter of course; and, as I was kneeling there, I just said, ‘God help my poor wife and children,’ and waited for the lion to spring. But the fellow did not seem to be in any hurry. He came slowly up, slackening his pace by degrees; and at last, when he was about twelve feet off, he stopped and sat down on the ground like a cat, looking me full in the face. I sat down also, and looked at him in return; fixing my eyes upon his, and staring as hard as I could. When I was at school, I had read that the lower animals could not endure the steady gaze of a man; and although I cannot say that my own experience had ever confirmed this opinion, it occurred to me to make the trial with the lion. But I really don’t think it had much effect upon him. Now and then he would shut his eyes, or look round to one side or the other, but that was all. Presently he lay down, with his paws drawn up under him, and his head resting on the ground, exactly like a cat watching a mouse. At the same time he kept occasionally licking his lips, as though he had just finished a meal. I saw at once what the rascal’s intention was. He had just been feasting on some animal he had killed, very likely a springbok, and was not hungry. But he had made up his mind to have me for his next meal; and as lions like their food fresh killed, the scoundrel was keeping me until he had digested his breakfast. Wasn’t that an agreeable predicament for a Christian man, as the boers say?”

There was no denying that it was a terrible situation indeed. But I had read, in some missionary work, of a Hottentot who was kept prisoner by a lion in a similar way, and was watched steadily by him for a whole day; but at night, if I remembered rightly, the Hottentot was overcome by exhaustion, and went to sleep, and when he awoke the lion was gone.

“Yes,” replied the trader, “I have heard of the story. The Hottentot was a lucky fellow. You see, a lion, in his disposition and habits, is nothing more or less than a great cat. Some people speak of the lion’s magnanimity, and ascribe some noble qualities to the beast; but that is all nonsense. When a lion is not hungry, if he meets with game he will frequently pass it by without notice. He will seldom kill it out of mere wantonness and cruelty; but neither will a cat, unless it has been taught to do so. A cat, when it is not hungry, will sometimes play with a mouse; that, you would think, must be from a cruel disposition; but, in reality, it is only keeping the creature alive for its next meal. Now, this is exactly what the lion sometimes does, and particularly one that has tasted human flesh; so the natives, at least, will tell you. The natives say that, in such a case, the lion usually waits for the man to go to sleep, and then watches him till he begins to move and shows signs of awaking, when he pounces upon him. In the case of the Hottentot, the lion must have been frightened away by something that occurred while the man was asleep. For myself, I did not doubt that the creature was watching me with the intention of waiting until I should fall asleep from exhaustion, and then springing upon me at the first movement I made. I was safe, I thought, so long as I could keep my eyes open; but if I went to sleep, I should certainly awake in the lion’s jaws.”

There was something so peculiarly frightful, as well as unexpected, in the picture thus conveyed, that I could not restrain a shudder and an exclamation of horror.

“Oh, don’t be alarmed on my account,” said Hutton, with a laugh, “You see I am here all alive and whole. I only want you to understand what the danger really was before I tell you how I escaped. You know I had been up all night, and was tolerably hungry and tired. I had brought a flask full of water with me, and had just emptied it that morning; so that, by good luck, I was not at all thirsty. But for that, I do not know how I should have been able to hold out through the day. The sun came up bright and clear, as it usually is in those deserts, with a blaze of heat, which was reflected from the sand about me until it seemed to burn my skin. I had a broad-brimmed felt hat, with ostrich feathers round it, which warded off the direct rays; but still I think I never felt the sun more oppressive; perhaps it was because I was weak from fasting and want of rest. Still I kept my self-possession, and was constantly on the watch to take advantage of any opportunity for escape. There was just a chance that my men might muster courage enough to come down in a body to my relief; but I believed them to be too chicken-hearted to approach within a quarter of a mile of a lion, and besides, there was the probability that the brute, if he should see them approaching, would spring upon me, and put me out of suspense at once.”

I asked if he did not try to load his gun.

“Of course I did,” he answered; “but at the first motion I made, the old scoundrel lifted his head and growled, as much as to say, ‘None of that my boy, or if you do!—’ If I had persisted, it was clear that he would have been upon me before the powder was in the barrel. He was a huge old fellow—I think the largest lion I ever saw; with a long, grizzled mane, and very knowing look. These experienced old lions are amazingly cunning. He knew perfectly well that my gun was a weapon of some kind or other; and I have no doubt he knew, too, of my people being in the neighborhood; for every now and then he would look sharply in the direction of the wagons. On such occasions I could feel my heart beat violently, and the perspiration would start to my skin.”

And no wonder! But did the lion, I asked, remain perfectly quiet through the whole day?

“No; unluckily he did not,” answered the trader. “His restlessness kept me in constant anxiety. Once a troop of zebras came suddenly by us. When they saw the lion they wheeled quickly about, snorted, and dashed off furiously in another direction. The lion rose to his feet in an instant, turned half round, and looked hard at them. Lions are particularly fond of the flesh of the zebra, and I had strong hopes that he would leave me, and go off after them. But I suppose the cunning rascal reflected that a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush; for he turned back and lay down again, grumbling, and staring harder than ever at me, as though he meant to say, ‘You see, my fine fellow, I have lost a zebra through you; and now I mean to make sure of you.’ You may believe that in my heart I bestowed a few witch’s blessings on the beast; but I thought it best to keep silence.

“The next alarm came from the direction of my wagons. I saw the lion look earnestly in that direction, as he had done once or twice before, and then rise to his feet, and utter an angry growl, drawing back his lips and showing his teeth, as though he saw something that did not please him. I learned afterward that my men, urged on by Apollo, had armed themselves to the teeth, and advanced to the top of the hill. Standing there, with their wonderfully keen sight, they could perceive the lion keeping guard over me; but no sooner did they see the brute rise and turn toward them than they all scampered back to the wagons, and jumped into them, frightened almost out of their wits. After a little while, the lion crouched down again before me, stretched out his paws, yawned and winked, and I thought seemed to be growing tired of his watch. But it was clear that he had made up his mind to remain there till night, otherwise he would have settled my account without further delay.”

I may observe that the calm indifference with which Mr. Hutton had thus far told this singular story was calculated to make a very peculiar impression upon a listener—half of wonder and half of amusement. He spoke, in fact, in the same quaint and cool manner in which an old soldier relates the history of a battle, or a mariner tells of the shipwrecks which he has experienced.

“Toward evening,” he continued, “I heard a low roaring, which seemed to be at a great distance. It appeared to disturb my lion a good deal. From the sound I knew it to be the roar of a lioness; and I thought it likely that the old fellow’s mate was looking about for him. He got up and lay down again, two or three times, moving about uneasily and sniffing the ground, as though he was troubled in his mind; but he remained silent, and at last the voice of the lioness passed gradually out of hearing. This, I think, was the most anxious moment of the whole day to me. For if the lion had answered his mate, and called her to him, she would most likely have been hungry, and in that case would not have delayed an instant in setting upon the nice supper which her husband was keeping for himself. I dare say the cunning old rascal was of the same opinion, and so thought it best to keep his own counsel.

“At last, the night came. The stars were bright, but there was no moon. I could see objects indistinctly at a little distance, and could just discern the outlines of the hills to the eastward. The lion lay quiet, in a shaggy mass, a few yards from me. I knew that he was wide awake, and that he saw distinctly every motion I made. Occasionally I could see his eyes turned toward me, shining like two coals of fire. My last hope now was that, by remaining perfectly silent and motionless, I might tire him out, or keep him from attacking me until something happened, as in the case of the Hottentot we were speaking of, to draw him off. For this purpose it was necessary that I should remain awake, and this was really a matter of the greatest difficulty to me. I was completely worn out, as you may imagine, after being forty-eight hours without food or sleep, and my mind most of the time wrought up to the highest pitch of anxiety. The night was chilly, which alone would have caused me to feel sleepy. Every thing about me was as silent as the grave, and I had to make continual efforts to keep my eyelids open. Every now and then I caught myself nodding, and would awaken with a sudden start of terror, at the thought that the lion might be just preparing to spring upon me. That was really a horrid time. I hardly like to think of it even now. I was like a condemned prisoner who awakes from a nightmare to remember that he is to be executed in a few hours. I don’t think I could have held out in that condition through the night. It was too much for human nature.”

Here the trader paused for a moment, looking serious and absorbed, like a man who has painful recollections recalled to his mind. But he presently roused himself, and proceeded with his story.

“Two or three hours after the darkness had set in, I could hear the animals coming to the water to drink. Some of them passed at a little distance from me, but I did not get a sight of any. The lion saw them plainly, but he only moved his head a little as they trotted by. There was no chance of his leaving me and going after them, as I had hoped. All at once, he lifted his head, looked toward me, and began to growl. ‘Now,’ I thought, ‘the time is come!’ He rose on his feet and growled louder, all the while looking hard at me, as I thought. I braced myself up for a struggle, with my gun in my left hand and my handkerchief in my right. I had a notion of endeavoring to thrust the gun crosswise into his mouth, and then getting my right hand down his throat. It was a very poor chance, but the only one left, and I meant to die game. In fact, I had given up all hope. But in a few minutes the lion, to my surprise, became quiet again, and sat down: he did not lie down, as before, but kept his head stretched forward toward me, like a cat intently examining some objects. At last he lay down again, as though he was satisfied about the matter that had disturbed him. But, in another ten minutes or so, he rose up once more to his feet, and growled more ferociously than ever. It struck me then that another lion might be cautiously approaching me behind, and that my particular friend was objecting to any division of the spoil. If this were the case, my fate would soon be settled. Then I thought it just possible that my men might be making some attempt to save me, under cover of the darkness; but there was little likelihood of their mustering courage enough to do any thing effectual. I was now fully awake, as you may suppose. The lion was standing up, growling continually, and moving from side to side, as if he felt uncertain what to do. At last he crouched, and I saw clearly that he was getting ready for a spring. At that moment I heard a loud yell behind me, and saw every thing around lighted up by a blaze of fire. The yell was kept up constantly for a minute or two, and all at once somebody, looking as though his head and shoulders were all in a blaze, came running in between me and the lion. The brute gave a tremendous roar, more in fright than in anger, and went bounding off into the darkness. I then saw that the person with the fire was Apollo himself. The blaze had gone out, but the little fellow had two or three lighted brands in each hand, and was flourishing them about his head, and dancing and whirling round, in a frantic way, like a little demon—though to me, just then, he seemed more like an angel of light. The poor little creature was in such a state of terror that he could hardly speak, and did not hear a word that I said. ‘Load the gun! load the gun!’ he kept screaming. ‘The great beast will come back! Load the gun!’

“This was good advice, and I followed it as quickly as I could. At first, on rising, I found myself so stiff that I could hardly move my limbs. But the blood soon began to circulate again, and when I had loaded up, we moved off toward the wagons. Apollo ran before me all the way, still in a terrible fright, with a frying pan on his head, and a firebrand in his right hand, jumping and screaming like a madman, to scare the wild beasts. We got safely to the outspan place, and when I had something to stay my hunger, I made Apollo tell me how he had managed the affair, which was still a mystery to me. I found that the poor fellow had tried hard all day to induce the other men to join him in going to my relief. They made one attempt in the morning, as I mentioned, but their hearts failed them. At night Apollo made up his mind to undertake the business by himself, and he set about it in a really ingenious manner. He took one of my large frying-pans, and covered the inside with a thin coating of gun-powder, just enough moistened to make it burn slowly; over this he placed some straw which I used for packing, and sprinkled dry powder upon it; and on the top of all he raised a little heap of brushwood and dry sticks. With this on his head, he started from the wagons just after dark. When he had come about half way, he lay down and crawled toward me so slowly and cautiously that the lion did not observe him until he was within a hundred yards of us. Then it was that the brute first rose up and began growling. Apollo said that when he heard it his heart became as cold as ice, and he almost went into a fit. He lay perfectly still, until the lion became quiet, and he then began again to creep forward, dragging himself along on the ground, inch by inch, and resting for a minute or two at every yard he made. At last, when he thought he was near enough, he took out a lucifer-match from a box which he had brought from the wagon, and lighted it. He touched the straw, which blazed up immediately. It was while he was doing this that the lion became so much excited; but Apollo left him no time to act, for he dashed in upon us, as I have told you, with the frying-pan on his head, and a burning stick in his hand, and routed the enemy at once. So now you know the reason why I feel such a particular regard for the little Namaqua. I really believe he showed more ingenuity and courage in saving my life than he could have mustered to preserve his own.”

Apollo had certainly behaved in a most creditable manner, and I was ready to admit that he deserved all the good that his master could do for him. As for the lion, I supposed nothing more was seen or heard of him.

“You are mistaken there,” said Hutton. “I have the best part of him now at my house. I had an account to settle with the rascal for the horrid torture I had suffered through him. Besides, as he was evidently a ‘man-eater,’ it would not have done to leave him at large, if I could help it. I was sure he would not quit the pool so long as the oxen remained near it; and as I knew that two other traders, Johnson and Le Roux, were only a day or two behind me, I waited till they came up, and we all went out together, with our people and dogs. We hunted for two days before we could manage to turn the old cannibal out of his den, among some rocks and bushes. Johnson happened to be nearest to him, and bowled him over at a long shot. A capital shot it was, too; the ball went in behind the right shoulder and came out under the left flank. I gave Johnson five pounds for the skin, which I mean to have stuffed and set up at home, in memory of the day I passed with the living owner, and the day after. The first I consider to have been the most miserable day, and the other the happiest, that I have ever spent in all my life.”





Dear Aunt—My good mistress has had an invitation to a place—they call it by the name of Cranley Hurst: that is, the invitation did not come from her cousin, but from her cousin’s brother’s wife, who was gone to keep house for her cousin during what she called “her LITTLE ELECTION.” My mistress said she had never been at “Cranley Hurst” since she was a girl, and she had heard that her cousin, the Hon. Francis Cranley (who, for some cause or another, had shut himself up, when a fine young gentleman, all as one as a hermit) had been routed like a hare out of its form, by his little sister-in-law, who pounced down upon him, now and again, like a hawk, scaring and tearing and domineering wherever she went. My poor mistress was a long time what they call temporizing whether she would go or not, when—I am sure it was to her surprise—she got a letter from the Honorable Francis himself. “He says,” says she, “that it’s the first invitation he has given to any living creature to pass the threshold of Cranley Hurst for five-and-twenty years, and he hopes I will give his sister-in-law, Mrs. James Cranley, the pleasure to receive me, and that he himself would be happy to see me in the old place once more.”

“Poor fellow!” sighed my mistress.

Aunt dear, could you tell me why my mistress sighed “poor fellow,” folded up the letter, and laid a rose I had just brought her from Covent-Garden upon it?—where, darling aunt (only think how it raised my spirits) I saw as good as thirty Irishwomen sitting on what we would call pratee baskets, shelling peas for the quality, and working away at the real Munster Irish, as if they had never left the quays of Cork. She put the rose on the letter, as if, in her thoughts, one had something to do with the other, and, resting her elbow on the table, shaded her face with her hand: after a time, a very long time, I came back into the room, and she was sitting the same way.

“Wouldn’t you like a turn in the park, ma’am,” I said; “for a wonder it’s neither an east wind nor a pour of rain?” So she gazed up in my face, with that kind of mazed look which people have when you talk to them, and their thoughts are in deep sea or land graves—or, may-be, in the Eternity, to which they go before the spirit’s time. And what do you think she said?—why “poor fellow!” again. To be sure, thoughts are thoughts, and we had as good, may-be, forget the thought of many a thought we do think. That same evening she stood opposite the glass⁠—

“Ellen,” she says, “I look very old.”

“There’s a power of amiability in your face, ma’am,” I answers, “and you’ve a fine head-piece.” It’s true for me, and I thought I had got over the age beautifully; but I had not; she turned to look at it again:

“I look very old, Ellen.”

“God bless you! ma’am, age is a beauty to many.”

“Not to me.”

“There’s twenty opinions about the one thing.”

“But I am old.”

“More of that to you, ma’am, dear.”

“Do you wish me to be old?”

“I wish you, with all my heart and soul, to grow old,” I says, and from my heart I spoke, and she felt it; but, seeing she was melancholy, I thought to rouse her a bit. “Indeed, ma’am, I never saw you better in my life (that was true;) you’re as heavy again as you were when I first had the blessing of looking in yer sweet face, and sure your eyes are as bright as diamonds (that was a bit of a stretch,) and there’s thousands of dimples in your cheeks this minute (that was another).”

“There, there,” she says, smiling her calm smile, “you will not have me old.”

“Oh, the Holies forbid!” I said again, “it’s I that will have you old—but not yet.”

She took up wonderful after that. Sure we all like a taste of the flattery: some wish it addressed to their head—some to their heart—some to their great families, taking their pride out of blood, so thick, you could cut it with a knife—some (musheroons I call them) to their wealth—more to their beauty, which, though dead and buried to the world, is alive to them. Aunt dear, all like it: somehow, the thing to know is, when and how to give it. Well, my mistress bought a new bonnet, and such elegant caps, and altogether took a turn for the best. She was amused, too, at the notion of a little election, which I wondered at, seeing she was so timid in general.

“I’ll engage Cranley Hurst is a fine, strong house, ma’am,” I made bold to say.

“Oh, no, it’s a long, rambling, wandering sort of place, Ellen; all odd windows and odd gables—all odd and old.” So I said that I’d go bail his honor her cousin’s faction (his people, I meant) would keep off the other party at election times, when they break in, and knock every thing to bits; and I told her how my father remembered when the Kilconnel boys broke into Kilmurray-house, and the master canvassing—destroying, right and left—burning and murdering every one that was not of their way of thinking, and shouting over their ashes for liberty and freedom of election. That was the time, when knowing that more of the Kilconnel boys were forced to come over the Crag-road—where no road was ever made, only all bog—the Kilmurray men laid wait for them, and snared them into a gamekeeper’s lodge, making believe it was a whiskey-still—just a place where they had plenty of the mountain-dew—which (bad luck to it) is a wonderful strengthener of sin, and kept them there drinking and dancing until the election was over; and then, leaving the Kilconnel boys sleeping, the Kilmurray men disappeared in the night. When the poor fellows staggered out in the rising sun and found how it was, they grew very savage, and just fair and easy burnt the lodge. And may-be murderings and destructions did not grow out of that, and lawsuits—and persecutions—that made men of two attorneys, who never had cross or coin to bless themselves with before the burning of Crag-road lodge!

My mistress says they manage things more quietly here. I can’t say whether or not I’m glad of it, for I like a bit of a spree, now and then, to keep the life in me—for the English are wonderful quiet; you might as well travel with a lot of dummies, as with them: and the suspicious looks they cast on you, if you only speak civil to them, or look twice their way; the ladies rowling themselves up in shawls, in the corners of the railway carriage, and keeping their eyes fixed, as if it was a sin to be civil. I travel with my mistress, FIRST CLASS—aunt dear, let all the people know that, coming from mass, Sunday morning—so I see their ways; and the gentlemen bury their noses in a mighty perplexing sort of paper-covered book, called “Bradshaw,” or in a newspaper, which they read to themselves and keep to themselves, never offering to lend the “news” to any one, only shifting it into their pockets, as if they could get more out of it there. They scramble in and out of the carriages, without ever moving their hats, or offering to help the ladies out or in. The truth is they’re a good people; but uncommon surly, or uncommon shy. And as to that book, “Bradshaw,” I thought it must be diverting; people bought it so fast at the railway stations; and you see it sticking out of the pockets of the little scutty coats that are all the fashion, and out of the bags the ladies nurse like babies on their laps, and which they spend months of their time on, to make them look as if made of odds and ends of carpet—which, indeed, they do. I asked my mistress if she would not like to have “Bradshaw,” it must be such pleasant reading. So, with the same quiet smile with which she does every thing, she bought it, and gave it to me, saying:

“There it is, Ellen; I hope you may understand it.”

I was a little hurt, and made answer⁠—

“Thank you kindly, ma’am: nothing puzzles me upon the print but foreign languages or, may-be, Latin.” And as we were going down to Cranley Hurst, I fixed my mistress in the first class, and myself opposite her, with a rale carpet-bag on my lap, and my “Bradshaw” in my hand.

“You may read if you like, Ellen,” said my mistress, the smile twinkling in her eyes (I’m sure her eyes were mighty soft and sly when she was young.)

“Thank you, ma’am,” I answered; “one of my mother’s second cousins married a ‘Bradshaw,’ and may-be I’d find something about his family here.” A gentleman stared at me over his “Bradshaw,” and a mighty pert little old lady, who was reading her “Bradshaw,” let down her glass and asked me when I left Ireland. [Aunt dear, how did she know I was Irish?] I looked and looked at one page—and then at another—leaf after leaf—it was about trains, and going and coming—and figures in, and figures out—all marked, and crossed, and starred—up trains, down trains, and Sunday trains—without a bit of sense.

“When will our train arrive at Cranley station?” asked my lady, after I had been going across, and along, and about, and over “Bradshaw” for an hour or two—I was so bothered, I could not tell which.

“It was written as a penance for poor traveling sinners,” I answered in a whisper, for I did not want to let on I couldn’t understand it: she did not hear me, and asked the question again.

“I can read both running-hand and print, ma’am,” I said; “but none of my family had a turn for figures, and this looks mighty like what my brother got a prize for—they called it by the name of all-gib-raa.”

My mistress sometimes looks very provoking—and that’s the truth—I can hardly think her the same at one time that she is at another.

The little pert lady thrust her “Bradshaw” into her bag, and snapt the clasp—then turning round to the gentleman, she snapt him—“Do you understand Bradshaw, sir?”

“Noa,” he drawled out, “not exactly—I heard of a gentleman once who did, but im-me-diate-ly after he became insane!”

I shut the book—oh aunt, I would not be that, you know, for all the books that ever were shut and opened. What should I do without my senses?

Of all the ancient places you ever heard tell of, Cranley Hurst is the quarest I ever saw. When you think you are at the far end of the building, it begins again—rooms upon rooms—shut up for ages—and passages leading to nothing, and nothing leading to passages—and a broad terrace looking over such a beautiful bog, and a pathway under the terrace to Cranley-marsh (that’s English for bog.) I often go that path, thinking of the waste lands of my own poor country. Oh, aunt, to see the great innocent frogs, the very moral[7] of the Irish ones, and lizards, turning and wriggling among the bullrushes; and between the floating islands of green, plashy weeds, that veil the deep pools, you see fish floating round the great gray stones, which, my mistress says, the Romans flung into Cranley-marsh to make a bridge. You should hear my mistress talk of it—she has such fine English.

“Although it’s a flat,” she says, “I like it better than any mountain I ever saw. Such a combination of rich color—such orchis—such shades and masses of iris—such floats of rush-cotton—such banks of forget-me-nots—such ferns—and, in the spring, such piles of golden blossoming furze: the peat, so dark and intense, forms a rich contrast to the vegetation; and the ‘Roman stones,’ piled here and there into low pyramids, have a gray, solemn effect, and afford shelter to numerous migratory birds, who feed abundantly upon the insects that hover, like metallic vapors, over the deepest pools.” Them were her very words.

The reception, I must tell you, we got at Cranley Hurst, seemed to me mighty cool—I felt my mistress tremble as she leaned on me; but there was neither master nor mistress at the door to welcome her. The servants were there, to be sure, to carry the things to her room; but she paused in the long, low hall, that was furnished like a parlor, to look at one picture, then at another; and while she stood before one of a very dark, sorrowful lady—a little pale, wizen’d woman stole out of a room in the distance, and shading her eyes with one hand, while she leaned with the other on a cross-headed stick, she crept, rather than walked, toward my mistress. Her arms were only little bones, wrapt in shriveled skin, and deep ruffles fell from her elbows. She was more of a shadow than a substance—so very small—so over and above little—that if I had seen her at the Well of Sweet Waters on Midsummer-eve, I would have crossed myself, knowing she was one of the good people. She would have been a fair go-by-the-ground, but for her high-heeled shoes; and, daylight as it was, I did not like the looks of her. The nearer she came, the more wild and bright her eyes glistened; and the lace borders of her cap flew back from her small sallow features. Though I could not help watching the withered woman, I tried to go close to my mistress; but when I made the least motion, she waved her stick, and her eyes flashed so, that I was rooted to the floor at once. She stole over the floor, and the silence was increased by her presence. Aunt, dear, you know I hate silence; and this hung like a weight on my heart, and gathered over us like clouds—suffocating. At last she came close to me; the border of her cap flapped against my hand, but, to save my life, I could not move. Her eyes were on me; they were everywhere at once. She crept round to my mistress, rested her hands on the cross of her stick, and stared at her; her eyes flashing, not like soft summer lightning, but like what we once watched darting into the very heart of the fine ould tower of Castle Connel.

When my lady looked down from the picture, she saw the withered woman.

“Old Maud!” she cried. And, oh! what sorrow there was in them two words!

“The soul outlives the body,” said the woman, in a crackling voice—not loud—but sharp and dry, “and the voice outlives the beauty. They said the fair Cicely Cranley was coming, and I laughed at them. No; they said Mrs. Bingham was coming—that was it—and I said it must be Miss Cicely; for Mistress Bingham had never entered the door of Cranley Hurst since she broke faith with her cousin.”

“Hush, Maud!” said my poor mistress, turning from the witch, who faced round, and would look at her; “there—keep back. Ellen, keep her back—her mind is gone.”

“But not her memory,” screamed the hag, striking her stick upon the floor. “I mind the open window—and the ropy ladder—and my young master’s misery when the hawk ’ticed away the dove that was to be his bride—his own first cousin.”

“It was too near, Maud.”

“No; the Cranleys married in and out—in and out—and what brings you now? withered and shriveled like myself, with only the voice!—nothing but the voice! More worn—and old—and gray—than himself—a lean old man! You called me ‘Ugly Maud’ once; what are you now? Augh!”

She threw down her stick, and began waving her bony arms, and sailing round my poor mistress, in a sort of mock dance. I stepped in between them, to keep her eyes off my lady; but she dodged between us, mocking, and saying cruel words, and looking, just as a curse would look, if it had a body. All of a sudden, a hard, firm step came up the hall: I knew it was the master of Cranley Hurst. The little hag paused, pointed to me to pick up her stick, which, like a fool, I did. Stepping back, she curtsied reverently to my lady, her little pinched face changing into something human; then, going to meet the master, “I came to give the fair Miss Cicely welcome,” she said, “but I could not find her: that old lady stole her voice! She Miss Cicely!”

The master struck something which hung in the hall; they call it a gong: the air and house shook again at the deep, loud noise, and from half a dozen doors servants rushed in.

“Can none of you take care of Maud?” he said. “She is insane, now—quite. Keep her away from this end of the house.”

“I only came to look for Miss Cicely: I found a voice—SHE stole a voice!” said the old creature; and she continued talking and screaming until the doors were shut, the echo of the alarum being like the whisperings of spirits around the walls. I wished myself anywhere away, and I did not know where to go; the house was all strange to me; the cousins seemed afraid to look at each other. My mistress drew down her veil, and extended her hand; hard as it is—thin and worn—the master kissed it as fondly as if it had been the hand of a fresh fair girl of eighteen. Aunt dear, it was as strange a meeting as ever was put in a book—those two aged people—one who had loved, the other who had taken her own will; and small blame to her, aunt. Sure it was better for her to run off at the last moment, than take a false oath at God’s altar.

I shall never forget the look of downright, upright love that shone in the master’s face, as they stood like two monuments forenint[8] each other. I don’t know when they’d have left off or moved, if the sister-in-law, Mrs. James Cranley, had not flung into the hall, followed by her maid, with a clothes-basket, full of printed papers and sealed letters, and a footman running on with a big tea-tray, covered with the same sort of combustables. She came in speaking; and one word was so hot foot after the other, that it was out of the question to know what she meant.

She was a tight-made little lady—nor young, nor old—without a cap (though it would be only manners to ask after it) mighty tight, and terrible active—spinning round like a top, and darting off like a swallow; her head looked like a pretty tiger’s—fierce and keen: she seemed ready to pounce on any thing—living or dead; no creature could be easy, or quiet, or comfortable, or contented in the same room with her. I saw that in a minute, and thought she’d be the death of my poor lady.

As soon as she saw her and the master standing the way I told you of, sure enough she sprung on her: you would have thought they had lain in the same cradle, to see the delight of her: she pulled up her veil, and kissed her on both cheeks.

“You dear creature!” she exclaimed. “Now, I know I shall have your sympathy—your help—your experience. Now, don’t interrupt me, Cousin Francis (the poor gentleman was looking dull and stupid) don’t interrupt me—don’t tell me of difficulty,” she said. “I should think no one in the county has forgotten how triumphantly I carried the question of the green pinafores in the very teeth of the rector and the churchwardens: the children wear them to this very day. I’ll organize an opposition such as no power can withstand. I’ll neither give nor take rest;” (I believed that,) “and if Lady Lockington’s candidate should be returned, in violation of every constitutional right, I’ll petition the house.” She waved her hand round like the sails of a wind-mill. I never saw a prettier little hand, nor one that had a more resolute way with it.

“Gently, my good sister, gently,” said the master; but Mrs. James did not hear him. She pressed my lady into a chair, commanded her maid, with a fine French name, to lay down the basket, and said that she longed for sympathy quite as much as for assistance. “Active as I have been, and am,” she said, “it would delight me to turn over a few of my duties to your care. In town, it is worse—absolutely worse! Remember my committees—seven of a morning! Remember the public meetings—the bazaars, which could not go on without me—the Shanghai Commission—the petitions of the women of England—the concerts—the Attic Improvement Society!—duties of such public importance, that I have not spent an hour in my own house for weeks together; never seen your master’s face except beneath the shadow of a night-cap.” [Aunt, dear! I thought she was a widdy woman until that blessed minute, never hearing tell of her husband.] “Then the college committees for the education of young females, prevent my having time to inquire how my own daughter’s education progresses; and the ”Pap and Cradle Institute“ occupied so much of my attention, that my charming Edward will never get over the effects of that horrid small-pox, all through the carelessness of his nurse—dreadful creature! No, no; there is no repose for me, sweet cousin.” All this time she was tossing over the letters, like one mad, and my mistress shrinking away farther and farther from her. “Is it possible,” she exclaimed at last, “you take no interest in these things?”

The master said that his cousin was fatigued.

“Well, well! it is just possible,” said the lady; “but positively, before she goes to her room, I must interest her in my LITTLE ELECTION.”

At night, when I went up to attend upon my mistress, I told her I did not see any sign of what I should call an election, either in the house, or out of the house, though every living creature was tearing and working away for the dear life, at they could hardly tell what, and not a bit of dinner until half-past eight at night, when Christians ought to be half-way in their beds. Now, my poor lady always had her dinner at two, and yet what did you think she said to me? why—“eight is the fashionable hour!” But she was not herself, for she never troubled about what she’d put on next morning, only sat there like a statue; and when at last I coaxed her to go to bed, she laid awake, keeping down the sobs that rose from her very heart. Sure the quality has quare ways, and quare thoughts! And just as she fell into that sweet sleep which is as soft as swan’s-down, and as refreshing as the flowers in May, before the young birds call for food, or the sun looks upon the earth—that little whirligig of a lady came spinning into the room, as alive and as brisk as if no mortal ever needed sleep. “Whisht!” I says, stopping her frisking. “Whisht! if you plaze, whisht!” The start she took! and asked me what language “whisht” was; and, seeing it diverted her, I drew back to the door, and out on the landing, saying all the “Avourneens” and “Grama-chrees” and real Irish words I could think of, to take her off my mistress. So she called me a “dear creature,” and declared I would be quite attractive at her little election, if she might dress me up as a wild Irishwoman, and if I really would make myself useful. I was glad to get her out of my lady’s room, so that she might rest, but I had no notion of making a fool of myself for all the elections upon the face of the earth—I know my place better than that—I leave that to my superiors. Well, if the house was in a state of disturbance that day, what was it the next? Nothing but making cockades of blue glazed calico and of ribband, and turning her blue silk dresses into flags; and open house—all trying to waste and destroy the most they could; and such sending off dispatches, here, there, and every where; and such baskets-full of letters. Oh, then, surely the post-office should pray for an election as hard as ever it prayed for Valentine’s-day. I lost sight of my poor dear mistress that day, for as good as five hours, for the Honorable Mrs. James Cranley locked me and three others into a loft, making them cockades; and to be sure I did work. And I told one of the girls, when we were fairly come to the end, that I would not have worked as I did, and out of the sight of my poor lady, only for the honor of working for a member of parliament; and to hear the laugh was raised against me. “Why,” said Mrs. James’s English maid, “it’s not a parliament election at all, but an election for the master and mistress of a sort of a charity, called Cranley Hurst College, where children of some particular class are fed, and all that; and I believe some of the country gentry say they ought to nominate the master and mistress; but the Honorable Mrs. James has persuaded the Honorable Mr. Francis that the Cranleys should do it; and the people in the little town said it was neither the gentry, nor the Cranley family, but that every householder had a vote! and that one man’s vote was as good as another’s! and had that printed in the country paper.” And then the lawyers smelt it out, and gathered like crows in a corn-field, trying to strike war between neighbours—which is their custom—and, indeed, poor things, their bread, which must be very uncomfortable food for them, if they have any consciences—which I never heard tell they had; and there seemed but little doubt, if the Cranleys stood to their rights, there would be a lawsuit, and no election till that was over. This drove the Honorable Mrs. James mad: she said if once it got into law, none of them could ever expect to live to see an election at all; and, as I understood, settled it so that each named a candidate, and canvassed for votes. The Honorable Mrs. James wanted to get in one Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw (I wonder had they any call to the book); and they were decent people—bred, born, and reared in the Cranley family—and to be sure, Mrs. James beat Bannagher at canvassing! She was hand and glove with every one that had the least call in life to a vote; she kissed every child in the village; she promised every thing that everybody wanted; she promised Mr. Skeggs his eyesight, and an ould Mrs. Bland the use of her limbs; she danced in a hay-field, and sang Italian songs to those who never heard a word of the language before. Dear! Oh, dear! I could not help thinking how she was wasting her vitals—doing no real good for man or beast! Oh, if my poor mistress had but half her strength, what a woman she would be! And it was sore to see the downright black lies and falsities they all told of each other. There was some grand point of dispute about the weight of a loaf: at one time, one party had held with a mistress of the Cranley charity, that so much bread was enough for each child; and the other set said; “No; so much.” This was a grand quarrel. But those who would have voted for the small bread gave in, and owed they were wrong, and agreed to the large weight; but this made no differ, the others cried against them all the same, and paraded the country with a lump of bread pinched in, to make it look less, and decked it out on the top of its pole with black ribbands, and called it “The Cranley Hurst Starvation Loaf for Poor Children.” Well, I was fairly bothered amongst them; and every time the Honorable Mrs. James came across me—full or fasting, in public or in private—she would make me go over my Irish, and smile, and say—turning to ladies or gentlemen, no matter which, until I was shamed out of my very life—“Now, is not she delicious? Will she not make a sensation? She will carry all before her!”

I’d have given the world for a clear head, just to think about my mistress, and the Honorable Mr. Francis, and that horrid old Maud, who ought to be burnt for a witch, as she is. My mistress was obliged to get her own bonnet and shawl; and indeed, when she went out, she had not strength to come in, only that the Honorable Mr. Francis helped her. At last the day came: I had been up stairs to my lady, and found she had gone down stairs to breakfast!—there was a wonder!—and returning through the back hall, I saw two such pretty looking children, all in rags, not real natural rags, such as we see (I am sure I ought to know what rags are,) but nice, pretty, clean, pink gingham frocks, with pieces cut out of them on purpose—torn down here, and looped up there—and their clean, pretty white legs and feet quite bare, and their dear little, sweet, fat, fubsy hands filled with artificial flowers, poppies, and ears of corn. Well, aunt, you know how I doat on children; so as I just stooped down to kiss them, as I used poor Tom’s, and it seemed so natural to say to the youngest, who was hardly bigger than a Clonmel turf—“O! lanna machree was you, every bit of you”—when I heard a scream of delight from the Honorable Mrs. James: it was like the skirle of a paycock.

“You dear creature!” she shouted, “to get up such a delicious rehearsal; the very thing I wanted. Your dress is quite ready; Clotilde shall dress you. You must talk Irish unceasingly, it will prove the extensive charity we propose—that we mean to take in even the Irish. It is a bold stroke, but this is the period for bold strokes.” And so she talked and hustled me into a room, and the children with me; and before I could turn round (I had not had a bit of breakfast that day, and was starving alive with the hunger) she had my cap off, and my hair down about my shoulders, and my gown off, and a bran new bright scarlet petticoat, that (saving your presence) was half a mile too short, cut into a scollop here, and a scollop there, and a bright blue patch tacked on it here, and a green one there; and the body of a gown that did not half fit, in the same style, with folds of white muslin for shift-sleeves; and a bran new blue cloak, with such a beautiful pink bow in the back of the hood, and—the wickedness of her—to tare two or three slits in that. I was so bothered entirely, that I could not speak; and then the maid tossicated my hair, and stuck a bunch of shamroques over my ear, and placed one of the children in my arms (the grawleen of a thing got hers about my neck in a minute;) and every now and then the Honorable Mrs. James would stop and clap her hands, and talk that outlandish gibberish to her maid.

“And what is it all for, my lady?” I asked, when the breath returned to my body, and the courage to my heart. “Now that you are done with me, I’d like to go back to myself, if you plaze, for I never did join the mummers in my own country, and I don’t like it, my lady.”

“But you must like it!” she exclaimed, “you must like it—you are to be an Irish beggar-woman.”

“None of my breed was ever that ma’am.” I said, feeling as if a bolt of ice had run through my heart; but she never heeded me.

“And those are to be your children!”

“My children!” I repeated, “my children—oh, holy Father!—to even the like of that to me, and I came all over like a flash of fire. So with that she called me a fool, and repeated, it was all for the good of the country—to show the boundless nature of the ”Cranley Hurst Charity“—that it took in even the Irish. Oh, how my blood boiled; and I up and told her, that it was true the English now and again did a great deal for Ireland, and very good it was of them, for no doubt the Irish were a mighty troublesome people; and indeed, it was hard to think how any people could sit down quiet and cheerful that had only potatoes to eat, and rags to cover them. But if the English were good to them, they were always telling them of it, and they never gave their gratitude time to grow; and as for me, I had seen too much real misery in rags ever to make a play of it;” and then the tears would come and choke me almost, and I hid my face in the child’s lap; I was so ashamed of them tears. Now, would you believe, that instead of being angry, she got out her pencil, and wrote it every word down—and clapt her hands in delight, and said it was as fine as Mrs. Keeley’s humor and pathos—and begged of me to say it again, that I might be sure to say it right—in public—and when she found I would not make a mummer of myself, in what she called a tablou, she said she would pay me to do it. And I made answer, that what I could not do for love, I would never do for money, which surprised her. The English think they can get every thing done through their money. And, aunt, she got into such a state, poor lady, she cried, she wrung her hands, she declared she was ruined, she upbraided me, she said I had promised to do it—and all this time the blue flags were flying, and the band playing on the lawn, and a great flat, open carriage of a thing, waiting to take me and the children for a show—for a show through the place! think of that! and while she was debating with me, some one came in, and told her she was guilty of bribery—and while the band played, “See the Conquering Hero comes,” she went off into little hysterics—upbraiding me all the time. And in the thick of it my mistress entered, leaning on Mr. Francis’ arm. “Oh, cousin, cousin!” she screamed, “that horrid Irish woman will lose me my little election!”

The Hon. Mr. Francis seemed not much to mind her, but I heard him whisper my lady⁠—

But I have gained mine!







  Fie upon thee, November! thou dost ape

  The airs of thy young sisters;—thou hast stolen

  The witching smile of May to grace thy lip,

  And April’s rare, capricious loveliness

  Thou ’rt trying to put on! Dost thou not know

  Such freaks do not become thee? Thou shouldst be

  A staid and sober matron, quietly

  Laying aside the follies of thy youth,

  And robing thee in that calm dignity

  Meet for the handmaid of the dying year.

  But ah! thou art a sad coquette, although

  The frost of age is on thee! Thou dost sport

  With every idle breeze that wooeth thee;

  And toy and frolick with the aged leaves

  That flutter round thee; and unto the low,

  Soft murmur of the brooklet, thou dost lend

  A willing ear; and crowning thy pale brow

  With a bright coronet, that thou hast woven

  Of the stray sunbeams summer left behind.

  Thou dost bend o’er it lovingly, and strive

  To answer in a cadence clear and sweet

  As springs first whispers! In the valleys now

  The flowers have faded, and the singing-birds

  Greet thee no longer when thou wanderest forth

  Through the dim forest; and yet thou dost smile,

  And skip as lightly o’er the withered grass,

  As if thou hadst not decked thee in the robes

  That thy dead sister’s wore in festal hours!





  Things changing show no permanency here;

    Writ on Earth’s face is Mutability;

    The surface of old hills wears fast away,

  And the mutations of this globe appear

  Inscribed upon her rocks, which still record

    That present must into the future pass;

    That Man and his frail works shall like the grass

  So perish and decay. Moves he vain lord

  And monarch of a mighty throng, to-day;

    Flit by a few short summers, hies he back

    Unto his primal clod, leaving no track

  Behind. His storms—tell, where now are they?

  Search for them in the herbage fresh and green,

  Or find them in the flowers in humble valley seen.





“A late letter from California states that the writer counted six hundred new graves, in the course of his journey across the Plains.”

  Far away, beyond the western mountains, lies a lovely land,

  Where bright streamlets, gently gliding, murmur over golden sand,

  Where in valleys fresh and verdant, open grottoes old and hoar,

  In whose deep recesses treasured, glitter heaps of golden ore⁠—

  Lies a lovely land where Fortune long hath hidden priceless store.


  But the path which leadeth thither, windeth o’er a dreary plain,

  And the pilgrim must encounter weary hours of toil and pain,

  Ere he reach those verdant vallies—ere he grasp the gold beneath;

  Ay, the path is long and dreary, and disease, with poisonous breath,

  Lurks around, and many a pilgrim finds it but the way to death.


  Ay, the path is long and dreary—but thou canst not miss the way,

  For, defiant of its dangers, thousands throng it night and day,

  Pouring westward, as a river rolleth on in countless waves⁠—

  Old and young, alike impatient—all alike Ambition’s slaves⁠—

  Pressing, panting, pining, dying—strewing all the way with graves!


  Thus, alas! Ambition ever leadeth men through burial plains⁠—

  Trooping on, in sad procession, melancholy funeral trains!

  Hope stands smiling on the margin, but beyond are gloomy fears⁠—

  One by one, dark Disappointment wastes the castles Fancy rears⁠—

  All the air is filled with sighing—all the way with graves and tears!


  Wouldst thou seek a wreath of glory on the ensanguined battle-field?

  Know that to a single victor, thousands in subjection yield;

  Thousands who with pulses beating high as his, the strife essayed⁠—

  Thousands who with arms as valiant, wielded each his shining blade⁠—

  Thousands who in heaps around him, vanquished, in the dust are laid!


  Vanquished! while above the tumult, Victory’s trump, with swelling surge,

  Sounds for him a song of triumph—sounds for them a funeral dirge!

  E’en the laurel wreath he bindeth on his brow, their life-blood stains⁠—

  Sighs, and tears, and blood commingling, make the glory that he gains⁠—

  And unknown, sleeps many a hero, on Ambition’s burial plains!


  Or, the purple field despising—deeming war’s red glory shame⁠—

  Wouldst thou, in seclusion, gather greener laurels, purer fame?

  Stately halls Ambition reareth, all along her highway side⁠—

  Halls of learning, halls of science, temples where the arts abide⁠—

  Wilt thou here secure a garland woven by scholastic pride?


  Ah! within those cloisters gloomy, dimly wastes the midnight oil⁠—

  Days of penury and sorrow alternate with nights of toil!

  Countless crowds those portals enter, breathing aspirations high⁠—

  Youthful, ardent, self-reliant—each believing triumph nigh;

  Countless crowds grow wan and weary, and within those portals die!


  Ay, of all who enter thither, few obtain the proffered prize,

  While unblest, unwept, unhonored, undeveloped genius dies!

  Genius which had else its glory on remotest ages shown⁠—

  Beamed through History’s deathless pages, glowed on canvas, lived in stone⁠—

  Yet along Ambition’s way-side, fills it many a grave unknown!


  But, perchance thou pinest only for those grottoes old and hoar,

  In whose deep recesses hidden, Fortune heaps her glittering store:

  Enter, then, the dreary pathway—but, above each lonely mound

  Lightly tread, and pause to ponder—for, like those who slumber round,

  Thou mayst also lie forgotten on Ambition’s burial ground!


The Upper Ten Thousand. By Charles Astor Bristed. Stringer & Townsend, Broadway.

A very clever book, by a rather clever man. We learn it is the most popular brochure of the season, nor do we wonder at it, for it has all the elements to procure it a fleeting popularity—pungency, personality, impudence, insolence, ill-nature, satire and slang, malignity and mendacity—every thing, in short, likely to tickle the palates of all classes, to pander to the worst tastes, please the worst passions, and gratify the self-adulation of all readers.

It is not to be denied that the descriptions are racy and pointed; that some caste-affectations are skillfully satirized; some local absurdities happily shown up; and that there are some points of humor, and even some sound criticisms, mixed up with much grossness, much ill taste, most disgusting egotism, and personality the most broad, brutal, and malign.

As to Mr. Charles Astor Bristed’s denial of the applicability of Harry Benson, alias Harry Masters, in this edition, to himself, and of all personality or individual satire throughout the pages of the work—he may say what he will, but no one will believe him. An author who, in depicting a fictitious hero, chooses to identify that hero with himself, to the extent of accurately describing the houses of his own grandfather and father-in-law, with their respective bearings, distances and situations in the city, as those of the same kinsmen of his hero—of attributing to him well-known incidents of his own life, such as lending money to a dissipated and debauched young ex-lieutenant of the English army, and then dunning his half heartbroken father for the paltry amount, with rowdy letters, which he subsequently published in the newspapers—buying a negro slave, in order to liberate him and gain Buncombe, as it is called, by making capital of his philanthropy in the public journals—and, lastly, ascribing to his fictitious personage his own domestic grievances, and his own quarrels at a watering-place—all matters of actual notoriety—has no earthly right to complain if the public say he has made himself his own hero.

Nor when he describes invidiously, and most ill-naturedly depicts well-known persons of “our set,” as he chooses to denominate it—though we greatly doubt his belonging even to it, trifling, ridiculous and contemptible as it is—so accurately that neither the persons caricatured, nor any who know them, can avoid at a glance recognizing their identity, has he any reason to wonder if his wit be rewarded with the cowhide. When we compare Mr. Charles Astor Bristed’s positive denial of any personality, with his broad and brutal delineation of the Hon. Pompey Whitey, editor of a New York Socialist, Anti-Rent, Abolition, and Ghost-believing journal, ex-member of Congress—we say brutal, because in it he lifts the veil of domestic life, and touches upon matters which, whether true or false, the public has no right to hear of—we know not which most to wonder at, the audacity, or the shortsightedness, of the falsehood.

The attempt at disguise is so feeble that we doubt not the prototype, either of Pompey Whitey or of the Catholic Archbishop Feegrave, could readily obtain exemplary damages from any jury, if he should think it worth the while to break a butterfly upon the wheel.

To show the perfect identity of the persons Henry Masters and Charles Astor Bristed, we shall proceed to quote two or three passages, which are, by the way, singularly good specimens both of the style of the book, with its flippancy and smartness, its insolence and egotism, its blended capability of amusing and disgusting—the revolting effect it must have on every high judgment and right thinking mind, and the power of entertaining the fashionable mob, who delight in scandalizing and abusing their dearest friends, and the vulgar mob, who are always dying to hear something about the fashionables, be it right or wrong.

Mr. Charles Astor Bristed’s money concerns with ex-Lieutenant Law of the British army!

“At that moment Clara appeared, in a dressing-gown also; but hers was a tricolor pattern, lined with blue silk.

“‘A very handsome young couple, certainly,’ thought the Englishman, ‘but how theatrically got up? I wonder if they always go about in the country dressed this way!’ And he thought of the sensation, the mouvemens divers that such a costume would excite among the guests of the paternal mansion at Alderstave.

“Masters, with a rapid alteration of style and manner, and a vast elaboration of politeness, introduced his wife and guest. Ashburner fidgeted a little, and looked as if he did not exactly know what to do with his arms and legs. Mrs. Masters was as completely at her ease as if she had known him all her life, and, by way of putting him at his ease too, began to abuse England and the English to him, and retail the old grievance of her husband’s plunder by Ensign Lawless, and the ungentlemanly behavior of Lawless père on the occasion, and the voluminous correspondence that took place between him and Harry, which the Blunder and Bluster afterward published in full, under the heading ‘American Hospitality and English Repudiation,’ in extra caps; and so she went on to the intense mystification of Ashburner, who couldn’t precisely make out whether she was in jest or earnest, till Masters came to the rescue.”

Mr. Charles Astor Bristed’s purchase of the negro, and his opinion of Southern gentlemen in general. Of which said Southern gentlemen will doubtless die broken-hearted!

“‘I got these a bargain for 800 dollars from a friend,’ quoth Masters, anent his horses, ‘who was just married and going abroad. Probably a jockey would have charged me four figures for them. That was a year ago last month. I had twenty-six hundred then to spend in luxuries, and invested it in three nearly equal portions. It may amuse to know now. These horses I bought for myself, as I said, for 800 dollars; a grand Pleyel for Mrs. Masters for 900 dollars; and a man for myself for the same sum.’

“‘A man?

“‘Yes, a coachman. You look mystified. Come, now, candidly, is New York a slave State? Do you know, or what do you think?’

“‘I had supposed it was not.’

“‘You supposed right, and know more about it than all your countrymen take the trouble to know. Nevertheless, it is literally true that I bought this man for the other 900 dollars; and it happened in this wise. One fine morning there was a great hue and cry in Washington. Nearly a hundred slaves of different ages, sexes, and colors, most of them house-servants in the best families, had made a stampedo, as the Western men say. They had procured a sloop through the aid of some white men, and sailed off up the Potomac—not a very brilliant proceeding on their part. The poor devils were all taken, and sentence of transportation passed upon them—for it amounts to that: They were condemned (by their masters) to be sold into the South-Western States. Some of the cases were peculiarly distressing—among others, a quadroon man, who had been coachman to one of our government secretaries. He had a wife and five children, all free in Washington; but two of his sisters were in bondage with him—very pretty and intelligent girls report said. The three were sold to a slave-trader, who kept them some time on speculation. The circumstance attracted a good deal of attention in New York; some of the papers were full of it. I saw the account one morning, and happening to have those 900 dollars on hand, I wrote straight off to one of our abolition members at Washington, (I never saw him in my life, but one doesn’t stand on ceremony in such matters, and the whole thing was done on the spur of the moment,) saying that if either of the girls could be bought for that sum I would give it. The gentleman who had the honor of my correspondence put upon him, wrote to another gentleman—standing counsel, I believe, for the Washington abolitionists—and he wrote to the slave-trader, one Bruin, (devilish good name that for his business!) who sent back a glorious answer, which I keep among my epistolary curiosities. ‘The girls are very fine ones,’ said this precious specimen; ‘I have been offered 1000 dollars for one of them by a Louisiana gentleman. They cannot be sold at a lower price than 1200 dollars and 1300 dollars respectively. If I could be sure that your friend’s motives were those of unmixed philanthropy, I would make a considerable reduction. The man, who is a very deserving person, and whom I should be glad to see at liberty, can be had for 900 dollars; but I suppose your correspondent takes less interest in him.’ The infernal scamp thought I wanted a mistress, and his virtuous mind revolted at the thought of parting with one of the girls for such a purpose—except for an extra consideration.’[9]

“‘It must have been a wet blanket upon your philanthropic intentions.’

“‘Really I hardly knew whether to be most angry or amused at the turn things had taken. As to Clara, she thought it a glorious joke, and did nothing for the next month but quiz me about the quadroon girls, and ask me when she might expect them. However, I thought, with the Ethiopian in the ballad, that ‘it would never do to give it up so,’ and accordingly wrote back to Washington that I should be very glad indeed to buy the man. Unfortunately, the man was half-way to Mississippi by that time——Now we are well up that hill and can take a good brush down to the next. G’l-lang, ponies! He-eh! Wake up, Firefly!’

“‘And then?’

“‘Oh, how he got off, after all! It was a special interference of Providence. (G’lang, Star!) The Hon. Secretary felt some compunctions about the fate of his coachman, and hearing that the money was all ready to pay for him, actually paid himself the additional 50 dollars required to bring him back to Washington; so he lives there now a free man with his family—at least, for all I know to the contrary, for I never heard any more about him since.’

“‘And what became of the girls?’

“‘There was a subscription raised for them here. My brother Carl gave something toward it—not that he cared particularly for the young ladies, but because he had a strong desire to sell the gentleman from Louisiana. They were ransomed, and brought here, and put to school somewhere, and a vast fuss made about them—quite enough to spoil them, I’m afraid. And so ends that story. What a joke, to think of a man being worth just as much as a grand piano, and a little more than a pair of ponies!’

“Ashburner thought that Masters treated the whole affair too much as a joke.

“‘Tell me,’ said he, ‘if these people came to New York, or you met them traveling, would you associate with them on familiar terms?’

“‘Not with Mr. Bruin, certainly,’ replied Harry. ‘To give the devil his due, such a man is considered to follow an infamous vocation, even in his part of the country.’

“‘But the Honorable Secretary and the other gentlemen, who sell their men to work on the cotton plantations and their women for something worse?’

“‘H-m! A-h! Did you ever meet a Russian?—in your own country, I mean.’

“‘Yes, I met one at dinner once. I wont pretend to pronounce his name.’

“‘Did you go out of the way to be uncivil to him, because he owned serfs?’

“‘No, but I didn’t go out of my way to be particularly genial with him.’

“‘Exactly: the cases are precisely parallel. The Southerners are our Russians. They come up to the North to be civilized; they send their boys here to be educated; they spend a good deal of money here. We are civil to them, but not over genial—some of us, at least, are not.’

Mr. Charles Astor Bristed’s opinions of British officers in general, which will probably set him forward a good deal when he again visits England! Lieutenant Law again!

“Ashburner felt no disposition to deny the beauty and grandeur of the Hudson. At first the shore was lined with beetling ramparts of trap-rock. After many miles of this, the clear water spread out into a great lake with apparently no egress. But on turning a promontory, the river stretched away nearly as wide as before, under wooded cliffs not dissimilar to those of the Rhine. Then came the picturesque Catskill mountains; and near these Harry was to stop, but Ashburner did not stop with him. At West Point the boat had taken up, among other passengers, two young officers of his acquaintance, then quartered in Canada. They were going to take the tour of the lakes, including, of course, Niagara, and offered Ashburner, if he would accompany them on this excursion first, to show him the lions of Canada afterward. On consulting with Masters, he found that the trip would not occupy more than a month or five weeks, and that after that time the watering-place season would be at its height.

“‘And it will be an excuse for my staying with Carl till August,’ Harry continued, ‘The women are half crazy to be at Oldport already. I would rather stay at Ravenswood. We shall expect you there at the end of July. But,’ and here, for the first time since their acquaintance, Ashburner perceived a slight embarrassment in his manner, ‘don’t bring your friends.’

“‘Oh, dear, no!’ said Ashburner, not comprehending what could have put such a thing into the other’s head, or what was coming next.

“‘I don’t mean to Ravenswood, but to Oldport; that is, if you can help their coming. To tell you the truth, your university men, and literary men generally, are popular enough here, but your army is in very bad odor. The young fellows who come down among us from Canada behave shockingly. They don’t act like gentlemen or Christians.’

“Ashburner hastened to assure him that Captain Blank and Lieutenant Dash were both gentlemen and Christians, in the ordinary acceptation of the terms, and had never been known to misconduct themselves in any way.

“‘Doubtless, inasmuch as they are your friends, but the general principle remains the same. So many of your young officers have misconducted themselves, that the primâ facie evidence is always against one of them, and he stands a chance of being coolly treated.’

“Ashburner wanted to know what the young officers had done.

“‘Every thing they could do to go counter to the habits and prejudices of the people among whom they were, and to show their contempt of American society; to act, in short, as if they were among uncivilized people. For instance, it is a custom at these watering-place hotels to dress for the table-d’hôte. Now I do not think it altogether reasonable that a man should be expected to make his evening toilette by three in the afternoon, and, indeed, I do not strictly conform to the rule myself. But these men came in flannel shirts and dirty shoes, and altogether in a state unfit for ladies’ company. Perhaps, however, we were too fastidious in this. But what do you say to a youngster’s seating himself upon a piano in the public parlor, while a lady is playing on it?’

“Ashburner allowed that it was rather unceremonious.

“‘By various similar acts, trivial, perhaps, individually, but forming a very disagreeable aggregate, these young men made themselves so unpopular, that one season the ladies, by common consent, refused to dance with any of them. But there is worse behind. These gentlemen, so stupid in a drawing-room, are sharp enough in borrowing money, and altogether oblivious of repaying it.’

“Ashburner remembered the affair of Ensign Lawless, and made up his mind to undergo another repetition of it.

“‘I don’t speak of my individual case; the thing has happened fifty times. I could tell of a dozen friends who have been victimized in this way during the last three years. In fact, I believe that your jeunes militaires have formed a league to avenge the Mississippi bondholders, and recover their lost money under the form of these nominal loans. You may think it poetic justice, but we New-Yorkers have no fancy to pay the Mississippians’ debts in this way.’”

It must be a strangely constituted mind that will, for spite at a single loss of an amount trifling to one so wealthy as Mr. Bristed is reputed to be, stoop to slander a whole class of men who have always, till he thought fit to liebel them, borne a reputation the world over, for strict honor; and whose bills are readily cashed the world over, on no recommendation save that of their being proved to be British officers—Lieutenant Law was not one when he swindled Mr. Charles Astor Bristed—the price of their commissions being responsible for their bills if unpaid.

It must be a strangely constituted mind that will stoop, for the sake of gaining pseudo popularity in a foreign country averse to slavery, to slander and abuse a whole section of his countrymen, every one of whom, we mean the gentlemen of the south, after all we have heard, is better born, better bred, better informed, better educated, if not so pedantically drilled to a little Latin and less Greek, than their egotistical slanderer.

But what cannot be expected of a man, who, after a disgraceful brawl, almost in a ball-room, has passed away, and been almost forgotten, has no better taste or sense of decency than to renew it in one-sided print, provoking fresh violence; and cowardly attacking by the pen which he himself wields, with some fluency, if with little force, an enemy unskilled to defend himself with that weapon.

Verily Mr. Pynnshurst was not so far out of the way, when in his wanderings and ways of thinking he embodied this epigram.

“The plume, you know,” says the lady, “is greater than the sword. I read that now in all the journals; what do you think it means?”

“That the pen is more brutal than the sword, with less danger to its wielder.”

At least Mr. Charles Astor Bristed seems to have thought so. It is certainly safer to malign an enemy under the disguise of a false name, than to play at a game with him in which, it is proverbial, that two can play as well as one.

The fact seems to be, that an insane desire for notoriety has fallen upon this unfortunate young man, who has, since first he entered upon the stage of life, been constantly running mucks at all and sundry, in which he has as constantly achieved the renown of being thoroughly belabored. He has now attained his desired notoriety; but it is a notoriety, than which any one, save himself, would prefer the most profound obscurity.

It may be thought that we have dwelt too long upon such a galimatia of frippery, flippancy, and falsehood as this book; but as it is going the round, and selling with almost unequaled rapidity, and will probably continue to do so, owing to its piquancy and sneering levity, we think it right that people with the bane should have the antidote. The book is a bad one, holding up a bad set, false views of society, false notions of morality, a false tone of honor, not to be palliated, much less to be praised and admired, but to be condemned. Nothing about it seems to be true but the self-portraiture of the author.

All the above incidents are literally true, and the extracts from Bruin’s letter almost verbatim copies.

The Heirs of Randolph Abbey. A Novel. Stringer & Townsend. New York.

This is a wonderfully powerful and striking romance, reprinted from the pages of the Dublin University Magazine, a paternity which is almost tantamount to saying that it is excellent; for the Dublin University contains probably less trash than any other magazine in existence, with the exception of Blackwood, and—of course—Graham.

“The Heirs of Randolph Abbey” was at first selected for republication in Stringer & Townsend’s “International,” and was, of course; discontinued when that excellent magazine was merged in Harper’s; so great, however, has been the demand for the conclusion of the tale that the publishers have now produced it in cheap book form.

It is a story of the darkest and most terrible interest, affecting the reader with a sort of grave and mystic awe, like that arising from the perusal of a supernatural story; yet there is nothing supernatural or mystical in the narrative, nothing in short beyond the conflicts of human passions, carried to excess, and unregulated either by human principle or Christian religion, against humility, benevolence, and the charity that thinks no harm.

The tale, as regards the fortunes of the two principal actors, the hapless Aletheia and the noble-minded Richard Sydney, is almost too painfully interesting to be pleasurable reading. The circumstances out of which this powerful romance is formed, probably never did exist, and therefore some readers might consider them unnatural. I am not, however, prepared so to regard them, since such circumstances might readily arise from the natural causes to which they are assigned, and, if arising, might and indeed probably would produce consequences not unlike those deduced by the genius of the author.

The terribly fierce passions of Sir Michael and the Lady Randolph are less easily reconciled, not to Nature—for Nature has exhibited far stronger and more terrible displays of fierce and morbid love distorted into fiercer and more monstrous hatred—but to the routine of daily probabilities, and to the tenor of social life in these days, when the formalities and decencies of society render the display of such feelings, in their extremity, wholly impossible.

Still, so skilfully are the sterner and darker portions of the tale contrasted and relieved by the soft graces and pure gentleness of other characters, such as the sweet Lilias and the high-minded Walter, that there is nothing morbid or repulsive in the pervading gloom which is the general characteristic of the novel, and that the impression left upon the mind at the conclusion is agreeable, rather than the reverse; while the reader feels, on reaching the last page, that he has not been merely entertained, but in some degree edified, by the perusal of a work, affecting nothing less than to preach, and pretending neither to the inculcation of a set moral, nor to the propagation of a creed.

The following passage, one of the finest descriptive passages in the book, will give you an admirable specimen of the forcible style, and thrilling interest, which is conspicuous in every line, and engrafted in every chapter of this singular work.

Lilias Randolph has been suddenly summoned from the humble home in which she has passed her childhood and the first spring time of her youth, under the care of an aged grandsire, among the green hills of Connaught, to visit the proud halls of Randolph Abbey, in order there to become acquainted with her uncle, Sir Michael. For in his old age, prescient of his approaching death, the wealthy baronet has collected his connections around him, that he may study, during the familiar intercourse afforded by a six months’ visit, the character of each; and so decide to which of the four—for so many they prove to be in number, all the orphan children of his brethren, and therefore cousins german—as the worthiest, he shall bequeath his broad domains and more than princely inheritance.

The four are Lilias, Walter, Gabriel, and last in place, but first in interest, Aletheia—a creation of real genius—who is thus introduced to the reader.

“‘This is not all,’ said Sir Michael, who had watched the scene; he turned to Lady Randolph—‘Will she come?’

“His wife made no answer, but walked toward a small door which seemed to open into some inner apartment: she opened it, pronounced the name of ‘Aletheia,’ and returned to her place. There was a pause. Lilias had heard no sound of steps, but suddenly Walter and Gabriel moved aside, she looked up, and Sir Michael himself placing a hand within hers, said—‘This is your cousin, Aletheia; her father, my third brother, died only last year.’ The hand she held sent a chill through Lilias’ whole frame, for it was cold as marble, and when she fixed her eyes on the face that bent over her, a feeling of awe and distress, for which she could not account, seemed to take possession of her.

“It was not a beautiful countenance, far from it, yet most remarkable; the features were fixed and still as a statue, rigid, with a calm so passionless, that one might have thought the very soul had fled from that form, the more so as the whole of the marble face was overspread with the most extraordinary paleness. There was not a tinge of color in the cheek, scarce even on the lips, and the dead white of the forehead contrasted quite unnaturally with the line of hair, which was of a soft brown, and gathered simply round the head; it was as though some intense and awful thought lay so heavy at her heart that it had curdled the very blood within it, and drawn it away from the veins that it might be traced distinctly under the pure skin. It was singular that the immovable stillness of that face whispered no thought of soothing rest, for it was a stillness as of death—a death to natural joys and feelings; and mournfully from under their heavy lids, the eyes looked out with a deep, earnest gaze, which seemed to ignore all existing sights and things, and to be fixed on vacancy alone. Aletheia wore a dress of some dark material, clasped round the throat, and falling in heavy folds from the braid which confined it at the waist; she stood motionless, holding the little warm hand that Sir Michael had placed in hers, without seeming almost to perceive the girlish form that stood before her. There could not have been a greater contrast than between that pale statue and the bright, glowing Lilias, the play of whose features, ever smiling or blushing, was fitful as waters sparkling beneath the sunbeam.

“‘Do you not welcome your cousin, Aletheia?’ said Sir Michael, with a frown. She started fearfully, as if she had been roused by a blow, from the state in which she was absorbed. She looked down at Lilias, who felt as if the deeply mournful eyes sent a chill to her very soul. Then the mouth relaxed to an expression of indescribable sweetness, which gave, for one second, a touching beauty to the rigid face; a few words, gentle, but without the slightest warmth, passed from her pale lips. Then they closed, as if in deep weariness. She let fall the hand of Lilias, and glided back to a seat within the shadow of the wall, where she remained, leaning her head on the cushions, as though in a death-like swoon. Lilias looked inquiringly at her aunt, almost fearing her new-found cousin might be ill. But Lady Randolph merely answered, ‘It is always so,’ and no further notice was taken of her.

“They went to dinner shortly after, and Lilias thought there could not be a more complete picture of comfort and happiness than the luxurious room, with its blazing fire, and warm crimson hangings, and the large family party met round the table, where every imaginable luxury was collected. Little did her guilelessness conceive of the deep drama working beneath that fair outward show. Her very ignorance of the world and its ways, prevented her feeling any embarrassment amongst those who, she concluded must be her friends, because they were her relations, and she talked gayly and happily with Walter, who was seated next to her, and who seemed to think he had found in her a more congenial spirit than any other within the walls of Randolph Abbey. All the rest of the party, excepting one, joined in the conversation. Lady Randolph, with a few coldly sarcastic remarks, stripped every subject she touched upon of all poetry or softness of coloring; she seemed to be one whom life had handled so roughly that it could no longer wear any disguise for her, and at once, in all things, she ever grasped the bitterness of truth, and wished to hold its unpalatable draught to the shrinking lips of others. Sir Michael listened with interest to every word that Lilias uttered, and encouraged her to talk of her Irish life; whilst Gabriel, with the sweetest of voices, displayed so much talent and brilliancy in every word he said, that he might well have excited the envy of his competitors, but for the extraordinary humility which he manifested in every look and gesture. There was one only who did not speak, and to that one Lilias’ attention was irresistibly drawn. She could not refrain from gazing, almost in awe, on Aletheia, with her deadly pale face, and her fixed, mournful eyes, who had not uttered a word, nor appeared conscious of any thing that was passing around her; and her appearance, as she sat amongst them, was as though she was forever hearing a voice they could not hear, and seeing a face they could not see. Lilias had yet to learn that “things are not what they seem” in this strange world, and that mostly we may expect to find the hidden matter below the surface directly opposite to that which appears above. She therefore concluded that this deep insensibility resulted from coldness of heart and deadness of feeling, and gradually the conviction deepened in her mind, that Aletheia Randolph was the name which had trembled on the lips of her unknown friend, when he warned her to beware of some of her new relatives. It seemed to her most likely that one so dead and cold should be wholly indifferent to the feelings of others, and disposed only to work out her own ends as best she might; and thus, by a few unfortunate words, the seeds of mistrust were sown in that innocent heart against one most unoffending, and a deep gulf was fixed between those two, who might have found in each other’s friendship’s staff and support whereon to lean, when for either of them the winds blew too roughly from the storms of life.

“Once only that evening did Lilian hear the sound of Aletheia’s voice, and then the words she uttered seemed so unnatural, so incomprehensible, to that light heart in its passionless ignorance, that they did but tend to increase the germ of dislike, and even fear, that was, as we have said, already planted there against this singular person. It was after they had returned to the drawing-room that some mention was made of the storm of the preceding evening, to which Lilian had been exposed. Walter was questioning her as to its details, with all the ardor of a bold nature, to whom danger is intoxicating. ‘But, I suppose,’ he continued, smiling, ‘you were like all women, too much terrified to think of any thing but your own safety?’

“‘No,’ said Lilian, lifting up her large eyes to his with a peculiar look of brightness, which reminded him of the dawning of morning, ‘the appearance of the tempest was so glorious that its beauty filled the mind, and left no room for fear. I wish you could have seen it. It was as though some fierce spirit were imprisoned behind the deep black veil that hung over the western heavens, to whom freedom and power were granted for a little season; for suddenly one vivid, tremendous flash of lightning seemed to cleave asunder that dark wall, and then the wild, liberated storm came thundering forth, shrieking and raging through the sky, and tearing up the breast of the sea with its cruel footsteps. It was the grandest sight I ever saw.’

“‘I think there must have been another yet more interesting displayed on board the vessel itself,’ said the sweet, low voice of Gabriel. ‘I should have loved rather to watch the storms and struggles of the human soul in such an hour of peril as you describe.’

“‘Ah! that was very fearful,’ said Lilian, shuddering. ‘I cannot bear to think of it. That danger showed me such things in the nature of man as I never dreamt of. I think if the whirlwind had utterly laid bare the depths of the sea, as it seemed striving to do, it could not have displayed more monstrous and hideous sights than when its powers stripped those souls around me of all disguise.’

“‘Pray give us some details,’ said Gabriel, earnestly. He seemed to long for an anatomy of human nature in agony, as an epicure would for a feast.

“Lilian was of too complying a disposition to refuse, though she evidently disliked the task. ‘One instance may be a sufficient example of what I mean,’ she said. ‘There was a man and his wife, whom, previous to the storm, I had observed as seeming so entirely devoted to one another; he guarded her so carefully from the cold winds of evening, and appeared to live only in her answering affection. Now, when the moment of greatest peril came—when the ship was reeling over, till the great mountains of waves threatened to sweep every living soul from the deck, and the only safety was in being bound with ropes to the mast—I saw this man, who had fixed himself to one with a cord which was not very strong, and who held his wife clasped in his arms, that the waters might not carry her away. At last there came one gigantic billow, whose power it seemed impossible to withstand: then I saw this man withdraw the support of his arm from the poor creature, who seemed anxious only to die with him, and use both his hands to clasp the pole which sustained him. She gave a piteous cry, more for his cruelty, I feel sure, than her own great peril; but with the impulse of self-preservation, she suddenly grasped the frail cord which bound him. Then he, uttering an impious curse, lifted up his hand—I can scarcely bear to tell it.’ And Lilian shivered and grew pale.

“‘Go on,’ said Walter, breathlessly.

“‘He lifted up his hand and struck her with a hard, fierce blow, which sent her reeling away to death in the boiling sea; for death it would have been, had not a sailor caught her dress and upheld her till the wave was passed.’

“‘How horrible!’ exclaimed Walter.

“‘Oh, miserable to be thus rescued! Happy—thrice happy had she died!’ said a deep-toned, mournful voice behind her.

“Lilian started uncontrollably, and looked round. The words had been spoken very low, and as if unconsciously, like a soul holding converse with some other soul, rather than a human being communicating with those of her own kind; yet she felt that they came from Aletheia, who had been sitting for the last hour like an immovable statue, in a high-backed oaken chair, where the shadow of the heavy curtain fell upon her. She had remained there pale and still as marble, her head laid back in the attitude that seemed habitual to her; the white cheek seeming yet whiter contrasted with the crimson velvet against which it lay; and the hand folded as in dumb, passive resignation on her breast. But now, as she uttered these strange words, a sudden glow passed over her face, like the setting sun beaming out upon snow; the eyes, so seldom raised, filled with a liquid light, the chest heaved, the lips grew tremulous.

“‘What! Aletheia,’ exclaimed Walter, ‘happy, did you say; happy to die by that cruel blow?’

“‘Most happy—oh! most blessed to die by a blow so sweet from the hand she loved.’

“Her voice died into a broken whisper; a few large tears trembled in her mournful eyes, but they did not fall; the unwonted color faded from her face, and in another moment she was as statue-like as ever, and with the same impenetrable look, which made Lilian feel as if she never should have either the wish or the courage to address her. Her astonishment and utter horror at Aletheia’s strange remark were, however, speedily forgotten in the stronger emotion caused her by an incident which occurred immediately after.”

This specimen of the author’s style will prove a better recommendation than any thing we can say in favor of the book; yet we do recommend it earnestly. It is a work of real genius.

Up-Country Letters. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

This is a brilliant and thoughtful volume, giving fine views of country life in spring, summer, autumn and winter, with here and there a capital daguerreotype of character and manners.

Anglo-American Literature and Manners. From the French of Philarète Chasles, Professor in the College of France. New York: Charles Scribner. 1 vol. 12mo.

This brilliant and vigorous volume should be read for its happy flashes of original thought, and occasional keenness of observation, rather than for its consistent truth. It swarms with errors, but the errors are so sparklingly expressed that they are valuable as epigrams when worthless as opinions. Every thing is sacrificed to point, and even the truths the volume contains are lit up in such a glare of witty impertinence, that they are truths suggested rather than truths expressed. French dogmatism is pertness, and our lively Frenchman’s pertness almost amounts to genius. But he is still a scholar and a critic, and some of the principles he announces are really deep and valuable; it is in their application that he fails. He lacks all sobriety of mind in observing character, manners and men, being chiefly solicitous to find in them pegs to hang his epigrams on, so that the object seen will not be America, Franklin, Irving or Bryant, but Philarète Chasles. And then he is so perfectly content with himself—he chuckles and chirrups so blithely over his own brilliant little self—he has such a sweet unconsciousness that the limits of his conceptions are not the limits of the human mind—that his quick, sharp, knowing, and gleeful spirit becomes, after the first shocks of opposition are over, quite delightful to the reader’s reason and risibles. He seems continually to say of himself, with little Isaac, in Sheridan’s Duenna—“roguish, perhaps, but keen, devilish keen.” We envy the students of the College of France such a Professor of Belles Lettres, who must hear himself talk as gladly as others hear him, and whose very seriousness seems got up for effect. He has a philosophy regarding the “fitness of things;” but to him this fitness consists in the predetermined ease with which nature and man yield occasions for point and antithesis to such a charming fellow as Philarète Chasles.

In truth, our author is a French Hazlitt. We will give some of his sprightly decisions on our American writers, in illustration of his manner. He is a joking, but a hanging judge, vivacious as a coxcomb but ruthless as a Jeffries. In speaking of Washington Irving, he overlooks Irving’s subtle sentiment, purely native to his character, and calls him a mere graceful imitator of old English literature. All that he writes “is a somewhat timid copy, on silk paper, of Addison, Steele and Swift,” and “it glows with the gentle, agreeable lustre of watered silk.” He praises Cooper, it is true, and praises him intelligently; but then he calls Joel Barlow’s Columbiad “a poem which has both eloquence and vigor.” Afterward, forgetting this praise, he lumps the “Columbiad,” Dwight’s “Conquest of Canaan,” and Colton’s “Tecumseh,” together, as “epics, colossi of cotton and papier maché, forming a mass of about ten thousand verses, which, however, yield the palm in absurdity to the epic called ”Washington,“ printed in Boston, in 1843.” It is needless to say that the first three of these epics few Americans have ever read, and the last, which is made the butt of our author’s satire, no American ever heard of. We have made particular inquiries of “the man who read Cooper’s Monnikens,”—who, we are happy to inform the public, is gradually recovering from the effects of his gigantic feat—and even that remarkable individual had not yet got on the trail of “Washington, an Epic.” It seems, if we may believe Philarète Chasles, that the poet in question had read in one Dr. Channing’s writings that America had no national literature. Struck with this astounding fact, which had never occurred to him before, he naively says, that he resolved at once to present his country with an epic. Our French critic deposes that the present has been made, but as the country, which ought to know, is ignorant of the matter, it will take more than a foreigner’s assertion to make us believe it. The coming man, with his coming epic, should therefore be awaited in breathless wonder; “Expectation sits i’ th’ air;” let all our astronomers of letters be on the watch, with telescopes sweeping the whole field of observation, for this new and “mighty orb of song” which is to “swim into our ken.”

Our friend Griswold’s collection of American poetry, the invariable target of all that “gentle dullness which ever loves a joke,” is, of course, made the especial mark of our Frenchman’s malicious raillery. “The distinctive sign of all the specimens,” he says, “is commonplace; they are all made with a shoemaker’s punch. Take off your hats, salute these images, they are from the Gradus ad Parnassum. The worn-out forms of Europe make fortunes in the States, as bonnets of past fashions do in the Colonies. The figures are stereotyped; the lake is ever blue, the forest ever trembling, the eagle invariably sublime. The bad Spanish poets did not write more rapidly stantes pede in uno, their wretched rhymes, than the modern American verse-makers, bankers, settlers, merchants, clerks, and tavern-keepers, their epics and their odes. In the way of counterfeiting they are quite at ease. One re-does the Giour, another the Dunciad. Mr. Charles Fenno Hoffman repeats the songs of Thomas Moore; Mr. Sprague models after Pope and Collins. One takes the Byronic stanza, another appropriates the cadence and images of Wordsworth. Mrs. Hemans, Tennyson, Milnes, all find imitators. Once the consecration of the British public given, the American counterfeit soon appears.” Is not this in the very spirit of little Isaac—“roguish, perhaps, but keen, devilish keen!” Still, it is really too bad that a Frenchman should presume to attack our poetry on the ground of imitation and diffuseness. What has been the larger part of French poetry for five centuries? Has it not been cold imitation of classical models or red-republican spasm? The French poets have been five centuries at work, and yet where is French poetry? graceful, vigorous, vital, national poetry? Why, is it not notorious that it was fast dwindling from frigid imitation into hopeless imbecility when it was roused by the convulsive school—which is but feebleness gone stark mad and raving? The French never had any poetry, growing naturally out of the national mind, like the poetry of Greece, or Italy, or Spain, or England. Ah! Philarète Chasles, smirking so conceitedly in your national glass-house, beware how you throw stones! You Frenchmen, who imitate even in your revolutions—you, whose republican heroes are but caricatures “done into” French from Plutarch, and about as much like the original as Ovid “Englished” by a Grub-Street hack of Charles’s day—you talk of imitation!

The best poets of America, according to our pleasant Frenchman, are Bryant, Emerson and Longfellow. “Bryant has created nothing great; his voice is feeble, melodious, somewhat vague; but pure, solemn, and not imitative. . . . . . By his contemplative gentleness and gravity he reminds one of Klopstock; fantasy and free caprice are found in neither.” Mr. Emerson “is the most original man produced in the United States up to this day;” a true remark, if it be meant to be confined to literature, but perhaps unjust if extended to politics, as in that department our country has produced many marked originalities, ranging all the way from original sin to original virtue. Chasles emphasizes the exquisite beauty of Emerson’s lines to the Humble-Bee—one of the finest poems in the language. Of Longfellow it is said, that he is more varied than either Emerson or Bryant; and “severe intellectual beauty,” “a peculiar sweetness of expression and rhythm,” “great calm approaching to majesty,” “a sensibility stirred in its very deeps, but exhibited in moderated vibration and rhythm,” “a sad, sweet grandeur,” are mentioned as characteristics of this, the first in rank of American poets, and first in virtue of having soared highest “into the middle air of Poesy.” The essential flavor and fragrance of Emerson’s poetic thought, it is hardly to be expected that a foreigner could appreciate, and we are therefore not surprised that after naming Emerson as the most original man in the United States, he should still prefer Longfellow’s poetry.

Our author exercises the utmost severity of his pertness on the female poets whom he selects from our “forests of versifiers;” but we are too gallant to quote his impertinences. There is a good chapter on Audubon, and the introductory paragraph of description is so striking that we cannot refrain from extracting it. “Had you visited the English drawing-rooms in 1832, you would have remarked in the midst of a philosophic crowd, speaking obscurely, and overthrowing without pity the highest questions of metaphysics, a man very different from those about him. The absurd and mean European dress could not disguise that simple and almost wild dignity which is found in the bosom of the solitude which nurses it. While men of letters, a vain and talking race, disputed in the conversational arena, the prize of epigram or the laurels of pedantry, the man of whom I speak remained standing, head erect, with free, proud eye, silent, modest, listening sometimes with disdainful, though not caustic air to the æsthetic tumult, which seemed to astonish him. If he spoke it was at an interval of repose; with one word he discovered an error, and brought back discussion to its principle and its object. A certain naive and wild good sense animated his language, which was just, moderate and energetic. His long, black, waving hair was parted naturally upon his smooth white forehead, upon a front capable of containing and guarding the fires of thought. In his whole dress there was an air of singular neatness; you would have said that the waters of some brook, running through the untrodden forest, and bathing the roots of oaks old as the world, had served him for a mirror. . . . At the sight of that long hair, that bared throat, the independent manner, the manly elegance which characterized him, you would have said, ‘that man has not lived long in old Europe.’”

In taking leave of this volume it may be proper to remark, that it is rather a series of sketches, published originally in a separate form, than a connected view of American institutions and literature. This will account, in some degree, for its lack of proportion and its omissions. As a whole, if a conglomerate can be called a whole, it is a shrewd, mischievous, witty, sparkling, egotistical, flippant, free-and-easy, cut-and-come-again, impertinent, inconsistent, sprightly, Frenchified performance, sipping “the foam of many minds.”

The Clifford Family; or A Tale of the Old Dominion. By One of her Daughters. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo.

The authoress of this volume evinces many admirable qualities of mind and heart, and is especially felicitous in depicting the struggle of generous with selfish passions. The scene of the story is laid in Virginia, at the breaking out of the revolutionary war, and the sad havoc which that event made among lovers whose hearts were opposed to their duties, is very truthfully represented. There is, however, a pervading tone of sadness in the book which weakens the impression due to its essential vigor of description and characterization.

Precaution; a Novel, by James Fenimore Cooper. Containing W. C. Bryant’s Oration on the Life, Writings, and Genius of the Author. Stringer & Townsend, New York.

This is a new and revised edition of the first maiden efforts of the greatest novelist America has yet produced, or, it is probable, ever will produce—the first, the most purely American, and thoroughly original of all American writers. What he lacked in grace, finish, ease of style, plot and composition, he amply overbalanced by his force, sometimes rugged but ever truthful, the sterling, earnest soundness of his heart, the sturdy independent manhood with which he upheld what he esteemed truths, because he believed them to be true, whether they were popular or no. Mr. Cooper was for many years an esteemed contributor to our Magazine, for many years a personal and valued friend, and will forever be by us respected and admired. It has not been with Mr. Cooper, as Antony was willing that it should be with Cæsar,

  “The evil that men do lives after them,

   The good is oft interred with their bones;”

for he never was rightfully appreciated until he was taken away from us. His good has survived him, and much of what was accounted to him for evil during his life, is now admitted to have been good; not least his brave, manly, and successful stand against the tyranny of the press; and the valuable and true lesson which he taught its members, that however much, when an author has stepped out upon the public stage, his public writings, public doings, and published opinions are open to the sternest animadversions of the press, his private life, his domestic affairs, his personal character, and self-entertained opinions are his own, and sacred—that the public has no right to them, and that the press may not go behind the record, without suffering the penalty of meddling and impertinent interference.

To say that Precaution is a great work, or even that it gave any clear indication of its author’s matured powers, were to speak hyperbolically; but it is, at least, highly creditable as a maiden effort: like all Mr. Cooper’s works, it is sensible, sterling, and sincere, and is eminently readable.

Mr. Bryant’s oration is the ideal of what such an oration should be, a model of appreciative criticism—fine style, and just laudation of high qualities, and worthy contribution to the land’s literature. We rejoice to learn that Messrs. Stringer & Townsend propose shortly to bring out a splendid complete edition of his works, finely illustrated by Darley, like Putnam’s edition of Irving, and prophecy equal success to their enterprise.

The Master Builder: or a Life at a Trade. By Day Kellog Lee. Author of “Summerfield, or Life on a Farm.” Redfield, Clinton Hall, New York.

This is a simple, domestic tale, founded on the difficulties, the struggles, and the ultimate success of a poor foundling boy, thrown in his infancy among strangers, and fighting his way, through the great battle-field of life, in spite of all difficulties, by dint of genius, backed by industry, perseverance, energy, honesty, and faith, to happiness, fame, and fortune.

The subject is well conceived, the plot well planned, the characters, in the main, well drawn, though in some sort exaggerated, and the tale, as regards matter, well told.

It would be pleasant to end here; but we should do justice neither to the author nor to ourselves, did we not speak the truth, right out. And the truth is—that all these excellences, and the book itself, are almost in toto ruined by the detestable affectation, false sentiment, and sickening transcendentalism of the manner.

Young ladies of an æsthetic turn of mind, members of a sentimental clique in some small western town, may think such passages as the following sweetly pretty: “She lived opulently in a lofty book;”—monstrous poor lodgings for opulence, it seems to us—“she was industrious; and yet she lived all she could in the woods, and loved to lie down in the hay-fields, or under the oaks on the hill pasture overlooking the village, and warble responses to the birds, and let them sing her at last to sleep. She loved to feed the fishes in meadow-brooks. She built nests for robins and sparrows every spring.” But the author may rely on it, that men of judgment and sense, and women of matured taste, will, according to their natures, laugh at or lament such perversity.

For the writer can write better, but chooses to write worse. Some of his descriptions of scenery are simple, terse, and beautiful—some of his glimpses at character true, shrewd, and striking—though his style is, at times, provincial, inelegant, and ungrammatical; as when he writes that some person “like to have done so and so”—meaning that he “was on the point of doing so;” or that a boy’s nostrils “palpitated the spirit of a man,” which is neither grammar nor sense, much less English.

The author is, as we judge, a young man and a young writer; and therefore it is that we have written so freely, for we are convinced that, if he will lay aside his besetting affectations, eschew pseudo sentimentalism, and write naturally about nature, he may yet take high place as a describer of the domestic and rural life of America.

Personal Memoirs and Recollections of Editorial Life. By Joseph T. Buckingham. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 2 vols. 16mo.

The present volumes are the production of one of the veterans of the American press, connected for more than fifty years with many enterprises in the periodical department of literature, such as the Polyanthos, the New England Magazine, and the Boston Courier. He has known intimately most of the authors, artists, actors, poets, eminent merchants, politicians and statesmen, of his section of the country, and his work overflows with reminiscences of their personal and public character. Starting as a practical printer, he worked steadily up to editorial life and political position; and now enjoys a wide reputation in New England, not only for fearlessness and for ability, but for independence, incorruptible honor, unswerving honesty, and uncompromising consistency—qualities which have stood a little in the way of his interest in those emergencies when judicious apostacy is the road to wealth and consideration. To no one better than to him can be justly applied the words of Sidney Smith, in relation to Sir James Scarlett: “He has never sold the warm feelings and honorable motives of youth and manhood for an annual sum of money and an office. He has never touched the political Aceldama, nor signed the devil’s bond for cursing to-morrow what he has blessed to-day.”

The introductory portion of these volumes, describing the condition of the author’s parents at the close of the revolutionary war, conveys a vivid idea of the injustice done to those soldiers and officers of the war, who had invested their whole means in the discredited continental currency. The tale of poverty which Mr. Buckingham tells, is one of the most pathetic we ever read. The description of the struggles of his mother, left after his father’s death with a large family, to support herself and her children, is more powerful than any thing of the kind we remember in romance. The trusting piety, which mingled with all her miseries and lightened their load, is touchingly delineated. Indeed, the first fifty pages of the book are worthy to be placed in the front rank of biographical literature.

Mr. Buckingham’s style of composition is vigorous, condensed, and pure; and, more than all, bears the mark of his sturdy character and determined will. We trust his work will have a wide circulation.

Sicily: a Pilgrimage. By Henry T. Tuckerman. New York: George P. Putnam. 1 vol. 16mo.

The subject of Mr. Tuckerman’s volume is novel, as Sicily is rarely visited by the tourist, rich as it is in picturesque and beautiful scenery. The author has happily described, in the course of an interesting story, the many natural beauties of the island, and the manners and customs of the inhabitants. The book is written in Mr. Tuckerman’s rich, tasteful, and condensed style, an artist’s hand being visible in every sentence. It deserves to rank as a classic among books of travels. It tells in a short space what some other tourists would have expanded into a couple of volumes—and it tells it well and thoroughly. The author’s reflections on the character of the people are marked by justice and charity, sounding “as bad as truth,” yet explaining the causes of what he is compelled to condemn. The volume belongs to Putnam’s Semi-Monthly Library, and is the sixteenth number of that cheap and admirable miscellany.

Anna Hammer; a Tale of Contemporary German Life. Translated from the German of Temme, by Alfred H. Guernsey. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This is an American translation of a German novel, written by Temme, “a man who bore a prominent part in the attempt made in 1848 to construct a German state from the scattered fragments of the great German people,” and meeting the usual fate of German patriots, was arrested. During his imprisonment he began the present novel, the object being not so much to construct an artistical novel, as to give striking representations of the servility, corruption, and tyranny which result from the present constitution of German government. The author has certainly succeeded in his object, and conveys a great deal of important information in the course of his story. The translation, which is well executed, forms No. 173 of Harper’s “Library of Select Novels.”

The Personal Adventures of “Our Own Correspondent” in Italy. By Michael Burke Honan. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo.

The author of this dashing and exhilarating volume was the correspondent of the London Times during the troubles in Italy, and gives here his personal adventures in the camp of Charles Albert. It is a glorious volume, written by a man whose animal spirits are carried to the height of genius, and full of disclosures which will startle the reader. It is deliciously impudent and reckless, showing, in the author’s own phrase, “how an active Campaigner can find good quarters when other men lie in the fields; good dinners while many are half-starved; and good wine, though the king’s staff be reduced to half-rations.”

Daniel Webster and his Contemporaries. By Charles W. March. New York: Charles Scribner. 1 vol. 12mo.

This is the fourth edition of a work originally published under the title of “Reminiscences of Congress.” It is mostly devoted to Mr. Webster, and gives an animated account of his life, with long descriptions of the great debates in which he has been engaged. Benton, John Quincy Adams, Grundy, Livingston, and many other statesmen, are also more or less powerfully and truthfully sketched. Mr. March’s style is unequal, but has many brilliant and vigorous, and some splendid passages. The book is calculated to be extensively popular.

Marco Paul’s Adventures in the Pursuit of Knowledge. By Jacob Abbot. New York: Harper & Brothers. 4 vols. 18mo.

These little volumes are in Abbot’s most attractive style, giving an account of the journeys of a boy in Maine, New York and Vermont, in search of knowledge. The volume on the Erie Canal and that on the Forests in Maine, are especially interesting. Each volume is well printed and illustrated.

Lydia; a Woman’s Book. By Mrs. Newton Crossland. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1 vol. 16mo.

This is a well-written and elegantly printed novel, designed to exhibit the fatal injury done to a woman’s nature when her affections are lavished on an object unworthy of her love. The description of Lydia’s resistance to all the facts which would demonstrate to another the wickedness of Charlton, and her continued love for him to the very point where she discovers him playing the part of a poisoner, is exceedingly well done, and evinces a more than ordinary familiarity with the weakening effect of affection on character, where affection is not accompanied by sense and principle. The different parts of the story are not very artistically combined, and the characters are not very powerfully conceived, but the volume will still well reward perusal for the excellence of its sentiments and design, and its exposure of the rascality and meanness of that class of fine and “fast” young men who are commonly most successful in winning the love of beautiful, accomplished and virtuous young women.

The Life of Franklin Pierce. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1 vol. 16mo.

General Pierce was Hawthorne’s companion at college, and the present biography is in some respects a labor of love, though it has not the usual felicity of such labor in having in it the best qualities of the author’s genius. It is well written, in the ordinary meaning of the word, but it has hardly a single peculiarity of thought or style to remind one of the author of “The Scarlet Letter,” and “The Blithedale Romance.”

The School for Fathers. An Old English Story. By T. Gwynne. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo.

The object of this novel is to present a vivid representation of English town and country life as it existed a century ago. It is generally well-written, but the story indicates an unpracticed hand in romance, and the transition from Addisonian description to Ainsworthian horrors, is abrupt and unnatural. The scene where the choleric lover blows out the brains of the beautiful lady, as she is going to church to be married to his rival, is a little too exciting even for our hardened critical nerves.

Arctic Journal; or Eighteen Months in the Polar Regions. By Lieut. S. Osborn. New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo.

This is the work of a thorough English sailor, bluff, honest, with a quick eye for what he sees, and a racy dogmatism in recording his own impressions. The descriptions are almost daguerreotypes of objects, and throughout the whole volume a delightful spirit of hope and health breathes. It is invigorating as well as interesting.

Atlantic and Transatlantic: Sketches Afloat and Ashore. By Captain Mackinnon, R. N. Author of Steam Warfare in the Parana. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo.

The sprightly naval captain who stands responsible for this book of American travels, is well-known to many of our citizens as a genial and companionable cosmopolite, who understands the art of making himself at home in a foreign land. His volume is complimentary to the United States, is racily written, and contains much good advice as well as praise. The remarks on American society, and the scale of expanse on which it is conducted, deserve to be carefully pondered by our people of fashion.

Lectures on the Works and Genius of Washington Allston. By William Ware, author of Zenobia, Aurelian, Julian, etc. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

These lectures were prepared just before the accomplished author’s death, and contain by far the best estimate of Allston’s genius and works we have ever read. Though genially, they are critically written, and give evidence of a profound study of art in the works of its great masters. Like all of Mr. Ware’s writings, the book is marked by elegance of style, accuracy of thought, and vigorous powers of description. It will rank high among the best and most readable works of interpretative criticism which have been produced in the United States.

Spiers’ and Surenne’s French Pronouncing Dictionary. Carefully Revised, Corrected and Enlarged. By G. P. Quackenbos, A. M. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 8vo.

This superb octavo is the best and most complete French dictionary we have ever seen. The English edition was considered to be unimprovable, but Mr. Quackenbos has added the pronunciation of each word according to the system of Surenne’s pronouncing dictionary, together with the irregular part of all the irregular verbs in alphabetical order, the principal French synonymes, etc., and to crown all, 4000 new words of general literature and modern science and art. The work is calculated to supersede all other French dictionaries.

Summer Time in the Country. By the Rev. R. A. Wilmott. New York: B. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 16mo.

A quiet, thoughtful, delightful volume, written with much graceful serenity and sweetness of style, and overflowing with beautiful descriptions of nature and apt illustrative quotations from the poets. The author has a wide and catholic taste in wit and literature, abounds in literary anecdote and criticism, and is not without pretensions himself to original thought and accurate discrimination. The volume is one of the pleasantest yet published in “Appleton’s Popular Library.”

Bishop Butler’s Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo.

This is the best edition we have seen of Bishop Butler’s celebrated work, as regards its adaptation to the wants of students and the general reader. It is furnished with a complete analysis of the topics of the Analogy, prepared partly by Dr. Emory, President of Dickinson College, and completed by the present editor, G. R. Crooks. The latter has also supplied a life of Butler, together with notes to the Analogy, and an index. By the aids afforded by this edition, the work is brought within the comprehension of ordinary minds.


Held in his idle moments, with his Readers, Correspondents and Exchanges.

As we approach the close of the year 1852, we feel disposed to be plain in speech—and rude, perhaps, as Brutus was—but at any rate pointed and personal. We have given our readers 112 pages in every number. Has any imitator kept pace with us, or truth with the public, in regard to the amount of reading matter which was pledged for the year? We ask merely for information, and that windy prospecting for 1853 may be taken at its value—that is all. “Only this, and nothing more.”

Sartain’s Magazine.—After a vigorous struggle for three years, against adverse fate, Sartain’s Magazine has been suspended and the list is to be furnished out by others. The publishers spent money with a lavish hand to American authors, but the tide had set in against them—the flood of foreign literature overwhelmed the gallant bark and she has gone down to rise no more. We do not intend to say an unkind word, but we trust that the readers of “Graham” will see in this the safety of standing by old friendships, and not go running after every new doctrine. This Magazine, which was founded in 1826, has gone on steadily and with a secure foothold. No number has ever failed to appear or been delayed in its appearing. But steadily improving in all its years we trust that it thus meets the approval of our large body of readers.

We felt, a year ago, the demand for English magazine articles—the success of the reprint magazines confirmed what we felt, and we therefore nearly doubled the number of pages of Graham that we might give to our readers, in addition to our former supply of original American articles, such papers from foreign sources as struck us as of value or interest to our subscribers. How far we have succeeded in improving the tone and character of Graham it is for you—reader—to say. We shall only add, in answer to carpers generally, that Graham’s Magazine for the last ten years has paid over $80,000 to American writers alone, and that if we meet the public taste, by compulsion—in supplying foreign articles—that we have a right to say to all grumblers who control periodicals—Go and do likewise, or forever be dumb.

Sartain’s Magazine, we understand, spent in three years over $15,000 for original contributions, and it is wrecked—hopelessly wrecked. Will there never be pride enough in the American people to stand by those who support a National Literature? Or to urge upon Congress an International Copy-right Law?

The delicacy and rare seductiveness of a rose-tinted and almond-scented note, which comes to us all the way from Alabama, has awakened us to thoughts of beauty and flowers, of black eyes, rosy lips, and smiles of sunlight. In the very air we hear the rustle of rare music—the dress of our beloved that ought to be—and we wonder whether a bachelor has any right to be happy. The wood is all alive with birds singing to their mates, and from the very roof of our dwelling comes the challenge of a bold songster to some lady-bird, in robe of green and gold, to come and be happy. We are in the country now, and we are going home with a wife! What do you think of that—you vagabonds—who have been assailing our bachelorship in a hundred newspapers.

One of the magazines mentions the astounding sum of “$500!” as designed to be spent upon the illustrations of each number. We have published many a number on which we have expended four times that sum, without any parade about it. The printing and paper of one of our steel-plates costs over that sum always, to say nothing of the original cost of the engraving, which is from one to two hundred dollars. We shall have to begin to brag.

An Impostor.—A fellow who signs himself “G. W. Fox, Ag’t,” has been taking subscriptions for Graham’s Magazine. We have no such agent. Take your magazine of an editor or postmaster, and you wont be cheated.

In Graham’s Magazine will be found one hundred and twelve pages every number this year. We remember a magazine that promised one hundred pages each number, two years ago, but the April number could have been convicted of only sixty pages, for which the December issue only atoned so far as ten additional pages went. But, as Graham promises, we have multiplied 112 by 12 and get 1344, an amount its readers may devoutly expect.Republican, Winchester, Va.

Other magazines, this year, occasionally imitate this feature of Graham, but even by counting the pages of advertisements, plates, and even the cover sometimes. It is supposed that nobody knows this, but we find that those who have bound volumes of the first six months are wide awake, and the whole twelve numbers of the year will tell the whole story. Next year we shall surprise all parties.

Beautiful Music.—Messrs. Firth, Pond & Co., of New York, the extensive music publishers, have sent us copies of their latest issues, all of them produced in the highest style of art. We give a list of them for the benefit of our readers.


Ella Dee—a Southern ballad. Words by Julia M. Harris, of Alabama. Music by A. S. Pfister.

Will no Maiden Marry Me. Written by Charles P. Shiras, Esq. Music by H. Kleber—and really a taking song.

Click Clack, or The Song of the Village Wind-mill. Music by Albert Smith.

Broken Hearted Weep no More—and, Be of Good Cheer. Two pleasing and easy ballads. By T. B. Woodbury, the popular author of Forget Not the Loved Ones at Home.


Spirto Gentil, from Le Favorita, easily arranged by Charles Wels; The Pearl and The Elena. Two beautiful polkas, by Kleber.

Institute Polka Rondo, for young players. By Wm. Juchs.

I’d Offer Thee this Hand of Mine—the well-known melody, arranged with variations.

F., P. & Co. will mail copies to any address.

Lectures on the Results of the Exhibition, delivered before the Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, at the suggestion of H. R. H. Prince Albert. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart.

We have here a series of twelve lectures, reprinted from the English edition by Mr. Hart, embracing a variety of interesting and instructive matters upon the Arts and Manufactures, suggested by the Great Exhibition. The topics are all admirably handled by competent men, and will afford abundant resources to the practical student for examination and inquiry. The lectures are by Professors Solly, Lindley, Willis, Owen and Boyle; and by Messrs. Bell, Playfair, Hensman and others.


Mr. Pipkin makes a vigorous but unsuccessful effort to secure that “Darling Water Lily.”

“Hallo, Smith!”       |       “Hallo, Brown!”


Nervous Gentleman. Don’t you think, Robert, going so fast down hill is very likely to make the horse fall?

Robert. Lor bless yer—no, Sir! I never throwed a Oss down in my Life, ’cept once; and That was one Frosty Moonlight Night, (just such a Night as this it was,) as I was a-drivin’ a Gent (as might be you) from the Station, when I throwed down this werry Oss, in this werry identical Place!


Lately the extreme mildness of the weather in the North of Europe has been the subject of remark in the Paris papers, and it is said that even Russia has not been visited by its usual cold. The Paris press may well talk about the weather, there being scarcely any other topic that the French journals can touch upon. The alledged mildness in Russia may be accounted for, perhaps, by the rules of comparison; for after the severity that has existed since the 2d of December at Paris, and the airs of Louis Napoleon, the air of St. Petersburgh would seem to the Parisians mild in the extreme.

Touching Resignation.—So firm a believer is Sir Francis Head in the intensely virtuous principles of his adorable Prince President, that he has lately been heard to express himself “prepared to suffer martyrdom in so just a cause.” We must confess we think the sacrifice would be of benefit to society in one respect; for, of course the worthy baronet would wish to be burnt on his own Faggot.


Learned (but otherwise highly objectionable) Child (loq.) Oh, Mamma, dear! What do you think! I asked Mr. —— and Miss —— to name some of the Remarkable Events from The Year 700 to the Year 600 B. C., and they couldn’t. But I can—and—The Second Messenian War commenced; and—the Poet Tyrtæus flourished; Byzantium was founded by the inhabitants of Megara; Draco gave Laws to Athens; Terpander of Lesbos, the Musician and Poet; Thales of Miletus, the Philosopher; Alcæus and Sappho, the Poets, flourished; and Nebuchadnez——(Sensation from right and left, during which the voice of Child is happily drowned.)

“Now, tell me, dear, is there any thing new in the Fashions?”




Dress of chinée silk, with three broad flounces. The body half high opens in the front èn cœur; the sleeves are of the pagoda form. Mantille à la Reine of white lace lined with blue: the lace with which it is trimmed is very broad, and is set on in small festoons, headed by a plaiting of narrow satin ribbon, above which is a narrow lace: the hood, à revers, is trimmed to correspond; the neck is finished like the edge of the hood. Bonnet of paille de riz, with a transparent edge, which is covered with a broad blonde; this blonde is continued round the curtain.


Embroidered muslin frock, with two flounces, the worked petticoat appearing below it: colored embroideries are now much admired for children. The body is plain, and is trimmed with work èn stomacher: broad pink sash, tied in front, the ends finished by a broad fringe.


Dress of blue moire antique; the skirt long and full, is trimmed up the centre of the front breadth by six rows of narrow velvet. Watteau body, and rather short pagoda sleeves, with deep engageantes of lace. Sutherland pardessus of white muslin, lined with pink silk; the body opens in front nearly to the waist; the skirt has two openings at each side; the pardessus is trimmed entirely round with two rows of white silk fringe. The sleeves are large; they are of the pagoda form, and are open about half way to the elbow; they are trimmed to correspond. Bonnet of white lace, the form round and open; it has a full, light feather drooping at the left side; the interior is ornamented with pink flowers.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Punctuation has been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete due to condition of the originals used for preparation of the ebook.


Page 454, pleasant t’is to greet ==> pleasant ’tis to greet

Page 454, which burts in an imposing ==> which bursts in an imposing

Page 455, only a mile a part ==> only a mile apart

Page 455, receives it supply ==> receives its supply

Page 460, 144 feet in breath ==> 144 feet in breadth

Page 466, strange noctural movements ==> strange nocturnal movements

Page 467, birds of of Long Island ==> birds of Long Island

Page 472, by twenty four inches ==> by twenty-four inches

Page 482, So distinguè! == So distingué!

Page 485, I shall he ready ==> I shall be ready

Page 491, the workman s head ==> the workman’s head

Page 494, Cedi Mahommed Ibn Amar ==> Cedi Mohammed Ibn Amar

Page 497, artifical wants of the ==> artificial wants of the

Page 502, two valves meeting ==> two halves meeting

Page 508, the house-carpentery generally ==> the house-carpentry generally

Page 509, skillful. Carpentery must ==> skillful. Carpentry must

Page 514, while papa dosed, ==> while papa dozed,

Page 516, and inexorablv as ==> and inexorably as

Page 516, culinary and millenery, ==> culinary and millinery,

Page 517, a few week’s rent ==> a few weeks’ rent

Page 520, the gentlemen was like ==> the gentleman was like

Page 525, in the house of of a Roman ==> in the house of a Roman

Page 529, approaching the corps of ==> approaching the corpse of

Page 533, please to rember that ==> please to remember that

Page 535, curiously tutfted hair ==> curiously tufted hair

Page 540, had an invita- to a place ==> had an invitation to a place

Page 540, turned to at it again ==> turned to look at it again

Page 540, right land eft ==> right and left

Page 543, its not a parliament ==> it’s not a parliament

Page 550, through Lilia’s whole frame ==> through Lilias’ whole frame

Page 550, that one Lilia’s attention ==> that one Lilias’ attention

Page 555, Harper & Brother ==> Harper & Brothers


[The end of Graham's Magazine Vol XLI No. 5 edited by George R. Graham]