Graham's Magazine, Vol. XLI, No. 2, August 1852 by Various

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GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE. Vol. XLI. August, 1852. No. 2.

Table of Contents

Departed Joys Midsummer Days Widows Astronomy Hymn to the Sun Antony and Cleopatra The Two Birds.—A Street Lyric. Miss Harper’s Maid “Whatever He Doeth Shall Prosper.” The Useful Arts To a Whip-Poor-Will Singing in a Grave-Yard Hesperius—A Vision The Pedant Life’s Battle March The Harvest of Gold Seminole War Song Stability Lines Sonnet—Virtue The Shark and His Habits The Fountain of Youth Hush! Hush! Annie Morton Adieu The Ranger’s Chase Impressions of England Sonnet.—Cydnus. Nelly Nowlan on Bloomers Yesterday—To-day—To-morrow! Among the Moors The Old Man’s Evening Thoughts My First Inkling of a Royal Tiger Review of New Books The Aztec Children Graham’s Small-Talk

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

[Illustration: =BELLA.=]

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[Illustration: =FIRST AFFECTION.=]

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[Illustration: DEPARTED JOYS.]

=DEPARTED JOYS.=

=FROM THE MELODIES OF SIR H. R. BISHOP.=

[Illustration]

Could we recal departed joys, At price of parted pain, Oh who that prizes happy hours, Would live his life again? Such

[Illustration]

burning tears as once we shed No pleasures can repay; Pass to oblivion, joy and grief! We’re thankful for today.

Calm be the current of our lives, As rivers deep and clear; Mild be the light upon our path, To guide us and to cheer! For streams of joy that burst and foam May leave their channels dry. And deadliest lightnings ever flash The brightest in the sky!

GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.

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Vol. XLI. PHILADELPHIA, AUGUST, 1852. No. 2.

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[Illustration]

=MIDSUMMER DAYS.=

I scent the ancient sward! I feel it ’neath my tread! The moss, the wiry nard, And the harebells bend their head!

I see the foxgloves glow, Where plow did never go; And the streams, the streams once more, Hurrying brightly o’er Their sandy beds; they roll With the joy of a living soul. Ye know that wood-walk sweet, Where we are wont to meet; On either hand the knolls and swells Are crimson with the heather-bells; And the eye sees, Mid distant trees, Where moorland beauty dwells.

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=WIDOWS.=

=BY THOMPSON WESTCOTT.=

[Illustration]

The word widowhood, from whatever angle of observation it maybe viewed, has about it a dull, bleak, uncomfortable aspect. Clouds encompass it. Wo englooms it. Loneliness isolates it from social comfort, and befogs it amidst lowering disquiet. It floats amidst tears on a dusky day, like a solitary buoy on the salt sea.

We speak of widowhood which is really such. There are philosophers, who are willing to wager that the solitary state is the most delightful of existence. To them, wedlock is a fast bind fast find condition, in which two persons are confined by a clerical jailor, who condemns them to imprisonment for life, and then throws away the key. They transform “wedlock” to “padlock;” and though there is no parautopticism about the wards and chambers of affection, they consider the matrimonial lock, one which may bid defiance to the most dexterous Hobbs. Yet we know that to every heart there is a master-key. Lucky is he who keeps it in his own possession without a necessity for its use; and happy is he who needs not the services of some legal lock-picker to release him ere the coming of the great skeleton-key carrier—Death.

But sentimental prosing is not our purpose. Widowhood has its bright side, though many look too steadily at its darkest aspect. Widows are, according to the venerable Weller, gifted with innumerable methods of circumventing unsuspicious men; and the great inquiry is—How do they manage those blandishments?

From the institution of debating societies down to the present era of Spirit Rapping and feminine right conventions, “the influence of woman,” has been a favorite topic with anniversary orators and declamatory speakers. They have spent vast stores of eloquence in showing her influence as a sister. They have proved how, in her days of pinafores, she obligingly devoured her brother’s candies, or took more than her share of his bread and butter. They have pleasantly adverted to the sisterly affection which, in more mature age, was content to accept or demand the ciceronage of brother to parties or concerts, if no other beau was available. With a very delicate touch they have skimmed over that important period when the love for the brother is all given up to the husband, and have judiciously omitted any reference to sisterhood after wifehood commenced. The influence of wives has, of course, been so thoroughly demonstrated, that all that can be said on that subject are axioms. The privileges of a matron to love her husband and adore her baby, are subjects which have been rhapsodized over in glowing poetry, and treated substantially, and with becoming dignity in unimpassioned prose. Rhymers, dreamers, and orators, have devoted words in endless profusion to the influence of woman, as sister, daughter, wife and mother; but there has never been a full crop of elogiums harvested in relation to her influence as a widow. The singular dearth of cotemporary literature upon this subject, will be acknowledged by bibliopoles. The reason is one which cannot be satisfactorily demonstrated. It may be that literary people are disposed to consider that widows are like sturgeons, who have merely leaped out of the placid current of matrimony for a moment or two, and who will, by the gravity of their wo, inevitably fall back into the connubial tide. Such a simile may do in some cases, but will scarcely hold water upon trial. It is a metaphysical sieve, and may catch many widows in its meshes, but some will inevitably pass through its interstices. Some unfortunate “relicts” are for a long time like fish out of the stream; but they have sufficient determination to keep alive, until they manage to become again immersed in matrimony. Nevertheless, the desire to return to their “destined element” _does_ exist, in many cases, and that very desire forms the great constituent in the influence of widows.

[Illustration]

The manner in which this authority is exercised differs according to circumstances. Some of the unfortunate fair ones who have lost their mates have attractions in the shape of weighty dower. Men of a certain age have keen noses for such charms; and when the widow suspects it, she often leads her importunate admirer by that organ, and by a dexterous management of the mystery of courtship, which is called “getting a bean on a string.” Once the gentleman is secured by that means, the widow takes into her hand the whip of management, and compels the poor beau to trot a weary round in an arena which extends its charmed circle about her.

If the French system of espionage, which is now a constituent of society in Louis Napoleon’s dominions, were in vogue here, we are sure that the index of the chief of police would bear opposite to the name of each widow the word “_dangerous_!” And what can be more threatening to the liberty of a too susceptible man, than a young, accomplished, and fascinating widow? What is bashful maidenhood, with its cherry lips and monosyllabic sentences, to buxom widowhood, with its matured development, sensible ideas, and frank manners? What other witcheries are there about young misses than a taste for ice creams and giddy companionship? Those fascinations fade away when the widow charms us with the certainty that she knows how to make the pot boil, and has a horror of boy beaus. Maidenhood is poetical and theoretical, widowhood is sensible and practical. The young lady, before marriage, is unsteady, indecisive, and capricious. The widow is certain, firm, and self-possessed. The girl scarcely knows her own mind, but the widow not only understands herself but all her male acquaintances. The young lady is greedy of admiration, exacting in her demands, and expects from her lover an obsequiousness of attention which cannot be too excessive. The widow knows that men may admire without adulation, and love fondly without abjectly suing for a return of affection. She knows, also, that those who daring the days of courtship are compelled to excessive complaisance, generally revenge themselves after marriage by neglect and indifference. The fact is, the widow knows something of mankind by actual experience, the maiden has little but romance to tutor her.

Philosophy like this, must have given force to the observations of the venerable parent of Weller the younger—and he was justified by personal experience, in maintaining the position that “widders,” are “werry dangerous.” The world has long since phraseologically settled it, that men “fall in love.” This presupposes that the tender passion is gotten like a broken leg, altogether by accident. The language of Cupid’s surgery is rich in terms which are descriptive of sudden casualties. We know that many a poor fellow has been “shot through the heart” by a pair of eyes, and the records of divers bachelor coroner’s juries held upon unfortunate Benedicts show that woman

May smile, and smile, and murder while they smile,

having committed upon determined celibacy a grievous homicide, or at least a manslaughter. But although love may come to some in the balls of optical revolvers; although, at times, a big whiskered fellow may be charmed out of his single life by the smile of a fair damsel—as a pretty little tomtit is overcome by the glamour of a black-snake—we must not forget, that idiomatic expression hath it, that men “fall in love.” To “fall in love!” what an unhappy catastrophe! To be walking along upon the firm ground of bachelorism, but now, and hey presto! to suddenly find one’s self “over head and ears in love,” like a fly in a cream-jug! Distressing calamity! Who may ever be able to scramble out of such delicious danger; and how many are there that once in are not able to swim a single stroke? There is also this peculiarity about an accident of the sort, that it strongly exemplifies the old adage, that “misery loves company.” The youth who, gazing fondly on Maria Jane, misses his footing, and souses at once in love, cannot help himself. If Maria Jane, pitying his condition, drops him a line, (through the post-office,) or encourages him with hopes—which are generally anchors—it will not do the least bit of good. No! she must be his life-preserver—and unless, in regarding his struggles, she gets too near the brink and herself falls in love, there will be no help for the poor bachelor. But if this casualty _does_ happen, and both are in love, it is wonderful to see how easily they float along. Each helps the other, and in a very short space of time, they are quite comfortable. But it is not every one who “falls in love;” and herein, as we shall shortly show, lies the superiority of widows over spinsters. Some get into the trouble very slowly. At first they survey the ocean of affection with as placid an air as a cosmopolite would gaze upon a mill-pond. Neither admiration nor detestation rules their thoughts. They are altogether indifferent; and although they see many who are treading water, or floating or swimming along with the tide, they feel no anxiety to join in such aquatic feats. But at length the diversion tempts them, and they cautiously take off their shoes and stockings, and venture in a little way. The shore shelves gently, so they think—why should they not venture more? Little by little they progress, until suddenly they step from their sure footing, and are over their heads in a moment without cork or spatterdocks to rely upon. They may struggle against the strong current, but there is no assistance, and they are certain to be carried off by the strong tide.

Difficulties like these are entirely obviated by the widow. She does not suffer a man to fall in love, or to wade in, but she catches the admirer by the hand, drags him at once to deep water, and in a moment he is “out of his pains.” He is not suffered to stand shilly-shally; he is plumped at once souse into Love’s Pacific ocean, and carried along with the billows until he lands at Hymen’s Golden Gate. The maiden may doubt, consider, resolve, and hesitate, whilst the poor fellow who is in love, seeks in vain for a floating timber to support him, but the widow is generally willing to help him out of trouble by getting in it herself, and going along with him hand-in-hand.

These apophthegms may seem too general; and it may be said that there is a tendency in our observations to draw a picture of widowhood by a _silhouette_ of a young widow who is free from incumbrances. This is partly true. There is a marked difference between the widow whose matrimonial interests ended with the grave, and she whose reminiscences of wedlock are daily revived by surviving children. The former is free from earthly ties—she is a girl again, knowing enough about matrimony to have no objection to a second experiment. The latter feels dear bonds which should attach her to her lonely state, and cause her to doubt the policy of prejudicing the interests of her children by rashly assuming new vows. If she is gained, it must be by direct courtship, whilst the young widow is always ready to meet an admirer half way.

But even young widows are of different dispositions. They are all admirers of matrimony, and candidates for second husbands, but they choose various means—according to their inclinations. They may be divided into three great classes—the gay—the sentimental—and the sad.

The gay young widow is like cream candy, a vast improvement upon the crude flour and sugar of maidenhood. The young girl is coy, even in her giddiness; she considers love as an exquisite romance—a mysterious state of happiness—which she desires, yet fears. Hence she is most cautious when she would be most earnest; and whilst she hopes to gain the heart she covets, she often perversely adopts a course which is calculated to alienate that heart forever. With the exception of trifling fops who have not attained the age of maturity—although they may vote and shave—men are earnest, straightforward, and sincere. If they seek the love of a woman, they do so openly and with manly frankness. The young girl may coquette, or flirt with the man who adores her; she may wring his heart with bitter agony; she may show her power, and he may acknowledge it, but he will lose some respect for her—though he bows to her influence. He is honest and sincere. She, perhaps, admits it, but trifles with him. How many young ladies have lost the esteem of those who would have loved and cherished them for life by mere thoughtlessness or caprice. The young widow understands men better. She is rarely a flirt. She can distinguish between the honest lover and the mere admirer. With the latter she may trifle, because she understands him. The former, if not acceptable, will not be allowed to deceive himself; and if he is liked, will be speedily drawn onward to his own happiness. The gay widow is lively, of course. She is fascinating, and she knows human nature. If she “sets her cap” at any particular gentleman, he might as well yield. He cannot hold out against the artillery of charms which are brought against him. He may surrender at discretion, and be led off, a captive, to be confined permanently in silken fetters. All the little fascinations of manner which the belle may possess, but knows not how to use, are by the widow managed with the skill of a veteran. Her eyes are by turns entreating, languishing, merry, or devilish. Her smiles are moulded to bewitch and to mystify. Her manners are easy, and pleasant, and her voice is melodious with rapture, or heart-touching with sincerity. Then, too, she is so lively and yet so sensible, that the “seven senses” of celibacy (two more than the general complement awarded to married people) are quite unable to withstand so many attractions.

The sentimental widow is quite as generous as her livelier sister. She believes in romance and gushing affection. She is lonely after her great loss, and would like another mate. After her first dear man was buried, she felt like a lobster which has parted with a claw, and she retired from gay life until nature, or good luck, should furnish her with the means of reparation. Her heart is buried with her husband, but she considers it only as a seed which in good time will spring up again and blossom. If she weeps, she does it with a gentle sorrow, like a slight sprinkle on a sunshiny day. Her sky has its clouds, but the cerulean of anticipation lies beyond, and gives a pleasant aspect to the mists of sadness. The gay widow laughs as if she had never been married; the sentimental one smiles, but evidently remembers.

The one pretends that she is gay because she is free; the other is cheerful, but hopes to become more cheerful in time. The first audaciously declares that marriage is tyranny, and hopes that no man will ever come near her! the second thinks mournfully upon the past, and wonders whether she “will ever have another Charles Augustus;” yet the sentimentalist mingles with the gay world, a sober votary of pleasure. If she dances, it is but a plain cotillion; and she is shocked when the lively Maria dashes out in a giddy polka. All such things are vanities to the sentimental widow. She thinks how happy she was with her dear departed Charles Augustus, and hopes that she will soon be as happy again.

The sad widow is, for a long time after her bereavement, a sighing pattern of inconsolable grief. The atmosphere of her home is rainy with tears, and when abroad she is cloudy. Yet as time wears on, it is evident that the forty days and forty nights of affliction’s great deluge must go by, and at length the sorrowful widow will look for the appearance of the sun of cheerfulness, and trust that with it will come a rain beau. The gradual assumption of cheerfulness begins to make itself visible in her costume. Half mourning assumes the place of sombre weeds. On her face smiles occasionally chase away the lingering vestiges of regret. The spring of calmness has come, and hyacinthine blossoms of hope struggle up from the sodden desolation of wintry bleakness. Little by little the sad widow becomes resigned to her great loss, and gradually she learns to think that it may be repaired by a new matrimonial gain. Yet she is slow in assuming the garniture of happiness. She may occasionally be coaxed out into the world, and even tempted to attend a party or ball; but she does not forget that she is a widow. She is in the world, but yet not of it. She demeans herself as becomes the lone relict of the late Mr. Sad, and does not like the gayety of Mrs. Lively or the composure of Mrs. Sentiment.

If the persevering Mr. Nosey should approach the trio of widows in the hope of obtaining a partner for the next set, Mrs. Lively may suddenly put on an affectation of grave coyness, Mrs. Sentiment may be gracefully leaning her cheek against her fan whilst thinking of her dear lamented Charles Augustus, but Mrs. Sad will show surprise that the forward Mr. Nosey should dare to presume that _they_ would dance when there are so many “young chits” who have not partners for the dance. But Mrs. L. has no care for these things, and in a very short time she is treading a measure to lively music as if she had never known a single sorrow.

There are so many peculiarities about widowhood, that it would require volumes to treat properly upon the subject. Mathematics might be called in to cipher out the problem of the elder Weller, as to how many times more fascinating is a widow than a maiden—but figures would not satisfy us. We would be sure to continue the subject by the further query—What is a widow like? And the result of all the cogitations might be summed up into the grand deduction—that widows are like gunpowder, always sure to go off when fired by a match.

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=ASTRONOMY.=

[Illustration: =ERA OF NEWTON, HALLEY, AND HERSCHELL.=]

There is no great operation of which we are cognizant, by which Nature at a single bound perfects her marvelous productions. It is only by a combination of instruments operating generally through a series of years. The ultimate result is reached by a progressive advance, to which a number of artificers contribute. The cedar, on whose boughs the snow rests and the fowls nestle, is the work of centuries; and the soil that laps its roots, the air that stirs its branches, the light that plays upon its crest, and the rain that drops upon its foliage, minister to the final development of the original cone. In like manner the social and political changes that have improved the tone of society, elevated the condition of nations, and endowed them with an enduring liberty, have not been accomplished in the twinkling of an eye, or by individual intelligence and will. Popular history may embalm the name of some distinguished patriot or philanthropist, as having been the agent is rescuing a country from the yoke of arbitrary power, and it may record a crisis of revolution confined within the limits of a year or a day; but a comprehensive view of such occurrences will embrace a time of preparation, and crown with honor a variety of laborers, though to one may be due the glory of the sun, and to another the glory of the stars. The signature of the edict that dethroned the heathenism of the ancient civilized world occupied the imperial hand a moment’s space, but the work of apostles, martyrs, and confessors, with the toils and sufferings of ages, are prominent in the picture. So the great demonstrations and achievements of science have transpired by slow degrees, and yield a distinction to be divided among a fellowship of kindred spirits, rather than assigned exclusively to a solitary example of mental prowess. If Keppler discovered the general laws of the universe, the basis of the discovery was laid by Tycho; and the marvelous Napier contributed essentially to the issue obtained, by the invention of the logarithms, an admirable artifice, as it has been justly called, which, by reducing to a few days the labor of many months, doubles the life of the astronomer, and saves him the errors and disgust connected with long calculations. If Newton developed the cause of those laws, he started to his grand result from a point expressly prepared by Keppler, and left the solution of the problem imperfect, for Laplace to finish. It is obviously in wise accordance with the happiness of mankind, that no nation possesses a monopoly of talent and fame, that many of the most remarkable efforts of human genius owe a debt of obligation to the accomplishments of genius at another era, and in a different clime. The fact proclaims the affinity of the species, between whom the mighty deep may roll, or the mountain rampart rise. It evinces, too, their mutual dependence, and will be hailed as a motive by the considerate mind, to the maintenance of universal amity.

To Hevelius, one of the merchant princes of Dantzic, an example of the close alliance of commerce with the fine arts and science which runs through the page of history, we owe the first accurate delineation of the lunar surface, the discovery of a libration in longitude; by his observation of the comet of 1664, he further corroborated the view previously taken, that such bodies are not sublunary, and approximated to the nature of their orbits. His contemporary Huygens, after effecting various improvements in the telescope, discovered one of the satellites of Saturn, that which is now termed the fourth, and obtained an insight into the singular structure of the planet, an inexplicable appearance to all preceding observers. An anagram, in the year 1656, announced to the world the following sentence by a transposition of letters, _annulo_ _cingitur, tenui, plano, nusquam cohærenta, ad eclipticam,_ _inclinatio_—the planet is surrounded with a ring, thin, plane, nowhere adhering, and inclined to the ecliptic. He justly observes, in a letter to his brother: “If any one shall gravely tell me that I have spent my time idly in a vain and fruitless inquiry, after what I can never become sure of; the answer is, that at this rate, he would put down all natural philosophy, as far as it concerns itself in searching into the nature of things. In such noble and sublime studies as these, it is a glory to arrive at probability, and the search itself rewards the pains. But besides the nobleness and pleasure of the studies, may we not be so bold as to say, they are no small help to the advancement of wisdom and morality?” The discovery of the great nebula in Orion was accidentally made by Huygens in the year 1656. Cassini, nurtured in France, soon afterward added four more satellites to the system of Saturn, those now called the first, second, third, and fifth, and he detected the black list, or dark, elliptical line bisecting the surface of the ring, and dividing it into two. Astronomy is under immense obligations to a measure adopted by the courts of France and England at nearly the same period, for the patronage of scientific associations, and the founding of national observatories. The Royal Society of London was incorporated by charter in the year 1662, and numbered among its early members Boyle, Hooke, Wallis, Ward, Newton, and Flamstead. The Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, was founded in the year 1666, and enrolled among its first members Auzout, Picard, Roberval, and Richer. Upon the invitation of Louis XIV. Huygens left Holland to become a royal academician, but being a Protestant, the revocation of the edict of Nantes ultimately compelled him to return to his native soil. The edict did not affect Cassini, a Catholic foreigner similarly invited; and to him, with his son and grandson, the French academy owes much of its early distinction. Besides his before named discoveries, he determined the periods of rotation of the principal planets, and observed the elliptical form of Jupiter’s disc, owing to compression at the poles.

Roëmer, the inventor of the transit instrument with which he made observations from the window of his house, rendered no unimportant service by showing that the instruments need not be fixed on high towers: he also discovered, in the year 1675, the interesting and hitherto unsuspected fact, of the progressive transmission of light through space, and the appreciable velocity with which it travels. This was attained by a series of careful observations of the eclipses of Jupiter’s satellites. It was found, by comparing the times of immersion of the satellites in the planet’s shadow and emersion from it, with the times calculated from the laws of their movements, that there was an acceleration or retardation of the phenomena by a few minutes, plainly dependent upon the variations of the earth’s distance from Jupiter; for

[Illustration]

the retardation was observed to be the greatest when the earth was in that part of its orbit most remote from him. The diameter of the orbit of the earth being a hundred and ninety millions of miles, we are more remote from Jupiter, by the whole of that distance, at one time than at another; as, when the earth is in its orbit at _a_, its distance is greater from _c_ than when at _b_ by the interval between the two points. But notwithstanding this immense addition of space, or any conceivable increase, an eclipse would be observed to occur no later at the one than at the other, if light were propagated instantaneously. Roëmer found, however, a difference of eleven minutes to exist, which he afterward estimated at fourteen, but which the precision of modern astronomy has fixed at sixteen minutes and a quarter. This determines the progressive motion of light, and the rate of its velocity. It requires time for its transmission; and flying over the diameter of the earth’s orbit in sixteen and a quarter minutes gives it a velocity of twelve millions of miles a minute, or upward of a hundred and ninety thousand miles a second. Thus, in the eighth part of a second, it accomplishes the passage of a space equal to the equatorial circumference of our globe: yet so vast is the system to which we belong, that this swift-winged messenger, which requires no more than two hours to travel from the central sun to the farthest planet, could not dart through the intervening solitudes between us and the nearest of the stars under a period of five years. Notwithstanding the velocity of the rays of light, which travel more than fifteen hundred thousand times faster than a cannon ball, experiment has not yet been able to detect that they have any impulsive power. The surmise has, however, been thrown out—and it is not improbable—that the attrition of the solar beams with the terrestrial surface may have some connection with the phenomena of heat.

The national observatory of England—the noblest institution in the world for the extent and exactitude of its astronomical tables, and their practical value in the art of navigation—was originated by the spread of foreign commerce. The growth of colonies across the Atlantic, together with the establishment of relations with India, rendered it of the first importance to have an easy and accurate method of finding the longitude at sea. A plan was proposed, founded upon the principle now in use, of observing the lunar motions and distances during a voyage, and comparing them with a previous home calculation, thus ascertaining the difference between home time and time at sea, from whence the difference of longitude is readily deduced. A reward being sought by the proposer from the government of Charles II. it was referred to a commission to report upon the merits of the scheme. Flamstead, one of the commissioners, at once decided against its practical utility, on the ground of the inaccuracy both of the lunar tables and of the positions of the stars in existing catalogues, which only a lengthened course of observation could rectify. The king, declaring that his pilots and sailors should not want such assistance, immediately instituted the office of astronomer royal, and determined upon founding an observatory. The site—selected by Wren—was a commanding eminence in Greenwich Park, in former times the seat of Duke Humphrey’s tower, within view of all vessels passing along the Thames; a spot which Piazzi was accustomed to call the “paradise” for an observer; being free from a fluctuating atmospheric refraction which annoyed him in the climate of Sicily. The foundation-stone was laid August 10th, 1675. An original inscription, still existing, states the design of the building—the benefit of astronomy and navigation. The observatory has been successively under the superintendence of Flamstead, Halley, Bradley, Bliss, Maskelyne, Pond, and Airy, its present head, with assistants for its proper management. It is not a spot devoted to star-gazing, and the general observance of celestial phenomena, but essentially a place of business, carrying on by day and by night, when the weather permits, those observations of the sun, moon, planets, and principal stars, passing the meridian, from which the nautical almanac derives its information. This has been done with admirable regularity for a long series of years, nor has Europe any data comparable with the Greenwich tables. During the interval in which the office of astronomer royal is necessarily vacant, the business of the observatory proceeds; and that interval is now less than formerly. Thirty-three days elapsed between Bradley’s last observation and Bliss’s first; fifty-three between Bliss’s last and Maskelyne’s first; four between Maskelyne’s last and Pond’s first; and two between Pond’s last and Airy’s first. It has been asserted by Baron Zach, that, if the other observatories had never existed, our astronomical tables would be equally perfect; and Delambre, when delivering an _éloge_ on Maskelyne before the Institute of France, remarked, that if by some grand revolution in the moral or physical world, the whole of the monuments of existing science should be swept away, leaving only the Greenwich observations and some methods of computation, it would be possible to reconstruct from these materials the entire edifice of modern astronomy.

A few years ago it was resolved by the Lords of the Admiralty, that the time should be shown at Greenwich once in every day of the year. This is done by means of a large black ball which surmounts the north-western turret of the observatory. The ball, seen in the vignette, is elevated by machinery to the index, showing the four cardinal points; and, the instant it begins to descend, marks the mean solar time to be 1 P.M. Being plainly observable from the Thames, the arrangement affords a convenient opportunity for seamen to regulate their chronometers and clocks.

[Illustration: =Greenwich Observatory.=]

The fame of Flamstead, the first astronomer royal, does not rest upon any brilliant discovery, but upon an enlightened view of the importance of accurate observation, and the unwearied zeal and industry with which he pursued it. A better representation of him cannot be given than by supposing Tycho Brahe in possession of a telescope, and the adaptation of it to other instruments. Laplace calls him “one of the greatest observers that has ever appeared,” and Delambre remarks, “his name will be eternally cited like those of Hipparchus and Tycho, both of whom, as an observer, he surpassed.” Born in the neighborhood of Derby, and brought up in limited circumstances in that town, he wrought his way to a station at the head of practical astronomy, and established a continental reputation by dint of strong natural genius and unremitting application, in the face of great discouragements. Bad health was a frequent attendant upon him all his days. The patronage of the crown did not screen him from the want of adequate resources, while from several of his scientific contemporaries he encountered dishonorable treatment. The salary attached to his office, then a hundred a year, was often in arrears. Instruments were promised him by the government, but he had to find his own, commencing his duties in 1676 with an iron sextant of seven feet radius, two clocks, and a quadrant of three feet radius, with two telescopes, which he brought with him from Derby. With these instruments he could only measure the relative positions of the stars, and it was not until 1689 that he succeeded in constructing at his own expense a mural arc to determine their absolute places. From this period, through an interval of thirty years, his time was spent in valuable labors, the fruit of which appears in the formation of a catalogue of three thousand stars, and a vast collection of lunar and planetary observations, from which Newton derived material assistance in forming his lunar theory. Yet, as if some annoyance must follow him to the grave, upon his death in 1719, the government of the day attempted to claim his instruments as public property, because found in the national observatory. The name of Flamstead, lost in a great measure to public recollection, or only dimly recognized as one of those who, with “lamp at midnight hour

in some high, lonely tower, ——may oft outwatch the Bear, With thrice great Hermes”—

was revived a few years ago, and acquired notoriety at the expense of Newton and Halley’s fame. It fell to the lot of Mr. Baily to discover a large number of his letters in private hands, with others, and a manuscript autobiography, upon the shelves of the library in the observatory; and, upon their publication in 1835, by order of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, some painful and unexpected disclosures were made. It may be admitted that Flamstead exaggerates his own case, that his temper was irascible, that he did not appreciate the value of Newton’s theory, and over-estimated the importance of his own labors; yet, after having allowed these elements of correction full force, the conclusion is sufficiently plain, that he was most injuriously treated, and that much of the moral distinction with which posterity has crowned the head of Newton, is altogether misplaced. His deep obligations to Flamstead’s lunar observations are acknowledged in the first edition of the Principia, but carefully suppressed in the second, apparently when vindictive feeling had begun to operate; and, in fact, nothing is more remarkable than the opinion universally entertained of the meek and placable disposition of the great philosopher, and the want of temper and honor displayed in his dealings with Flamstead. The truth appears to be, that as when we view a country beneath a brilliant sky and a balmy atmosphere, we are apt to frame our impressions of the people in harmony with the beauty of the scene; so, to the early admirers of Newton, his intellectual greatness invested with fictitious lustre his private character, and the infirmities of the man were lost sight of in the glory of the sage.

But however much we may take from the moral greatness usually attributed to Newton—and a considerable abatement is unquestionably necessary—his reputation for wonderful sagacity and grasp of mind is incapable of impeachment. The course of events has only served to render more conspicuous that sublime intelligence by which he unraveled the mechanism of the heavens, and establish more indisputably his claim to be regarded as the architect of physical astronomy. To determine the motions of the heavenly bodies was the work of Keppler: to explain and demonstrate the causes of those motions was the achievement of Newton. So far, however, from gaining universal assent when first proposed, his theory was ill understood, slightly appreciated, or altogether rejected by numbers of scientific men; and—especially on the continent—it very slowly won its way to notice and confidence. Newton survived the publication of the Principia forty years, and at the time of his death—according to Voltaire—it had not twenty readers out of the country of its production. It was not until the mutual perturbations of the planets began to occupy the attention of the continental philosophers, that his theory was fully admitted abroad, and the work in which it was developed took the rank it has since occupied, preëminent—in the words of Laplace—above all the productions of the human mind. It is a common, but vulgar error, to suppose the merit of our countryman to lie in conceiving the idea of the attraction of gravitation. That idea had been suggested to many minds long before his time, and the impression had been created that such a power in nature was the cause of the planetary motions. Thus Keppler surmised an attractive force to reside in the sun, producing these movements; and he even threw out the conjecture that this force diminishes in proportion to the square of the distance of the body on which it was exerted. Borelli and Hooke, also, distinctly developed the influence of gravity; and both referred the orbits of the planets to the doctrine of attraction combining with their own proper motions to produce curvilinear movements. What really distinguished Newton, was not the idea of gravity as the principle of attachment between the different members of the solar system, but proving it to be so. He succeeded vague surmise upon the point with mathematical demonstration: explained and applied the laws of the force—an accomplishment which crowns him with honor above all his rivals; inasmuch as he who works a mine, and distributes its wealth through society, is incomparably in advance of him who has merely apprehended its existence, but failed in gaining access to its treasures.

[Illustration]

The manor-house of Woolsthorpe, a few miles from Grantham, seated in a little valley near the source of the Witham, was the scene of Newton’s birth. Popular tradition reports, that the fall of an apple from a tree, in the orchard belonging to this house, was the mustard-seed out of which ultimately grew the grand theory of universal gravitation, and the story is not without a leaven of truth. It is certain that, to avoid the plague which ravaged England in 1666, Newton retired from Cambridge; and, when sitting alone, in his garden at Woolsthorpe, his thoughts were directed to that remarkable power which causes all bodies to descend toward the centre of the earth. The supposition presented itself, that as this power extends to the highest altitudes of the earth’s surface, it probably extends much farther into space; so that even the moon may gravitate toward the earth, and be balanced in her orbit by the combined force of attraction and the centrifugal force implied in her motion. If this were true, the planets might be supposed to gravitate toward the sun, and to be restrained thereby from flying off under the action of the centrifugal force. Sixteen years rolled away before this beautiful hypothesis was verified, and difficulties arose in testing it, which seemed to disprove it altogether. It was necessary to calculate the force of gravity at the surface of the earth; to estimate its diminished energy at an increased distance; and, after having found the law of the diminution, to ascertain whether the phenomena of the lunar motions corresponded proportionably with those of falling bodies at the terrestrial surface. Assuming the force of gravity to vary inversely as the square of the distance, it followed that, at the distance of the moon, it would be about 3600 times less than at the surface of the earth. The problem, therefore, to be solved was, whether the versed sine of an arc described by the moon—which measures the space through which in the same time she would fall to the earth, if abandoned to the action of gravity—would be 3600 times less than the space through which in the same time a heavy body falls, at the earth’s surface,

[Illustration]

A B being the arc of the moon’s orbit, _c d_ the sine of the arc, and _e f_ the versed sine. After a careful study of the lunar observations supplied by Flamstead, and a series of calculations—displaying unexampled originality and industry—Newton fully demonstrated that the versed sine of an arc described by the moon in one minute, was equal to the space traversed in descent by a heavy body at the surface of the earth in one second—the exact proportion that ought to exist, according to the modification to which the intensity of gravity is subject by variation of distance.

The first certain gleam of this grand conclusion obtained by Newton, is said so to have overpowered him, that he was obliged to suspend his calculations, and call in the aid of a friend, to finish the last few arithmetical computations. He saw the important relations of the demonstration—the planets wheeling round the sun—the satellites round the planets—the far wandering comets returning to the source of light in obedience to the law of gravitation: a result sufficient to throw the successful discoverer into nervous excitement. It is clear that, if a body be projected into space, it will proceed in the direction of the original impulse, and with a uniform velocity, forever—supposing no obstacle to impede its course. But the combination of two antagonistic forces will produce a resulting motion in a diagonal direction.

[Illustration]

Suppose the straight lines A B, to represent the direction in which the earth would travel under the influence of the projectile force, which launched it into universal space: the straight lines A S, are those it would describe at any point of its orbit, if surrendered to the influence of the sun’s attraction. The primitive impulse is, however, checked by the solar attraction, and the latter by the former; so, that while the earth—if abandoned to either—would describe A B, or A S, the effect of their joint influence incessantly acting is to deflect it from both, and produce a curved path. The cause perpetually operating, the effect is constant—and hence the formation of the terrestrial orbit; and the cause extending to the other bodies in the system, the planetary orbs are deflected from their natural rectilinear paths, and pursue a circuit round the common centre. The force of attraction is, however, proportional to the quantity of matter, and the proximity of the attracting body. Like light, the power of gravitation is weakened by diffusion, and diminishes as the square of the distance increases. This square is the product of a number multiplied by itself. A planet, therefore, twice our distance from the sun, will gravitate four times less than we do—the product of two multiplied by itself being four. Such is the great Law of Gravity, subject to the two conditions, that its force is directly as the mass of the bodies, and inversely as the square of the distance. It extends to the confines of the system, and acts as a mighty invisible chain to keep the primary bodies in brotherly relationship to each other, and in mutual subjection to the central luminary. And who can trace its operation without recognizing a Supreme Potentate, who appointed to the sun his place, launched the planets in the depths, obedient to a law which has preserved the family compact—originally established—unbroken through the long series of ages.

It must, however, be borne in mind that the attraction between bodies is mutual, proportioned to their masses and distances. While the sun attracts the planets toward himself, they also attract the sun, though their effect is comparatively small, owing to the vastness of the solar mass. The planets likewise act upon each other; and as their relative distances are perpetually varying, certain perturbations are caused in the system, which, though minute in each particular case, become considerable by accumulation, and yet are ultimately corrected and repaired by the same cause that produces them. Newton left to posterity the task of thoroughly investigating these inequalities, of showing them to be a result of the law of gravitation, and establishing the permanence of the system, notwithstanding the accumulating influence of its internal disturbances. He himself had no gleam of the latter truth, but seems to have entertained an opinion that the irregularities occasioned by the mutual action of the planets and comets would probably go on increasing till the system either wrought out its own destruction or received reparation from the direct intervention of its Creator. But Euler, Clairaut, D’Alembert, Lagrange, and Laplace, have demonstrated the problem that the perturbations of the planets are periodic in their nature, that accurate compensation for them is laid up in store, so that the system is not arranged upon a principle of self-destruction. The elements of disorder and decay are removed from it. The very conditions of its existence guarantee its stability till the will of the great Ruler shall be expressed to the contrary. When an end shall come to its present constitution, that will not be the effect of its own faulty architecture, but of the fiat of Omnipotence.

[Illustration: =Room in which Newton was born.=]

The house of Newton at Woolsthorpe, now the homestead of a farmer, has been in the ownership of persons anxious to protect it, and preserve every relic of its former occupant. Stukeley thus described it in 1727: “’Tis built of stone, as is the way of the country hereabouts, and a reasonable good one. They led me upstairs, and showed me Sir Isaac’s study, where I suppose he studied when in the country in his younger days, or perhaps when he visited his mother from the university. I observed the shelves were of his own making, being pieces of deal boxes which probably he sent his books and clothes down in on those occasions.” Two sun-dials remain which he made when a boy; but the styles of both are wanting, and one has been recently taken from the wall to be presented to the Royal Society. The room in which he was born has the following inscription upon a tablet of white marble: “Sir Isaac Newton, son of John Newton, Lord of the Manor of Woolsthorpe, was born in this room on the 25th of December, 1642.” The apple-tree, the fall of one of the apples of which, according to tradition, drew his attention to the subject of gravity, was blown down by a gale some years ago, and a chair was constructed out of its timber. The Royal Society of London possesses his telescope; the Royal Society of Edinburgh the door of his book-case; and Trinity College, Cambridge, has a lock of his silver white hair.

While the foundations of physical astronomy were laid by Newton, his confidant and friend, the brilliant and active Halley, pursued a remarkably successful career in the practical departments of the science. Born in mercantile life, yet independent of it through the wealth amassed by his father, he early embarked his means and energies in the advancement of observation. Leaving Hevelius and Flamstead to keep guard over the northern hemisphere, he sailed to St. Helena to inspect the southern; and in honor of the reigning monarch who patronized the expedition, the oak which had screened him from his pursuers after the battle of Worcester, was raised to a place in the skies, forming the constellation Robur Carolinum. The object of the voyage was to determine the absolute and relative positions of the stars invisible to the European eye; but owing to the unpropitious climate of the island, only a catalogue of 360 was made after more than a year’s residence. Upon this voyage the oscillations of the pendulum were observed to decrease in number as the instrument approached the equator; a fact noticed a few years previous by Richer, and explained by Newton to result from the greater intensity of centrifugal force there, proportionably diminishing the force of gravity. The life of Halley was remarkable for locomotion, devoted to various scientific objects. He was twice at St. Helena, twice in the Adriatic, once in the West Indies, now with Newton in his study at Cambridge, anon with Hevelius in his observatory at Dantzic, and then with Cassini watching a comet at Paris. Upon the death of Flamstead, he succeeded to the office of astronomer royal, and though then in the sixty-fourth year of his age, he commenced the observation of the moon through a complete revolution of her nodes, involving a period of nineteen years, and lived to finish it, registering upward of two thousand observed lunar places. It was while journeying in France toward the close of 1680, that he observed the great comet of that year, on its return from proximity to the sun: and being aware of the conclusion of Newton, that such bodies describe very eccentric ellipses, his active mind began to study intently their phenomena, which resulted in a prophecy that has immortalized his name. After cataloguing and comparing a considerable number of comets, that of 1682 fortunately appeared. This he was led to regard as identical with those of 1456, 1531, and 1607, between which there is nearly the same interval. Hence he anticipated its return after the lapse of a similar period. “I dare venture,” said he, “to foretell that it will return again in 1758;” and, sanguine as to the result, he called upon posterity to notice that it was an Englishman who had hazarded the statement. This was a prediction announced in 1705, the accomplishment of which ranks with the greatest achievements of modern astronomy, and will perpetuate the fame of Halley to the remotest generations. He had been gathered to his grave in Lee church-yard seventeen years, when the celestial traveler re-appeared, at the time announced, to verify his words, illustrate his sagacity, and invest him with undying honor.

[Illustration: =Halley’s Tomb.=]

Bradley, the English Hipparchus, the model of observers, as he is styled by Laplace, became the third astronomer royal upon the death of Halley. He had previously effected one of his two great discoveries, the aberration of the stars, an optical illusion, arising from the combined movement of the earth in space, and the progressive transmission of light; a discovery of the highest importance, requiring the greatest precision of observation to detect. Ever since the doctrine of the earth’s translation in space had been received, astronomers had been anxious to find some parallax of the fixed stars, as a sensible confirmation of the fact. Although the whole diameter of the earth’s orbit is relatively insignificant, it is yet absolutely vast. Hence it was deemed no unreasonable expectation that some small apparent change of place in the heavens would be discerned in the case of the fixed stars, when viewed from the two extremities of the earth’s annual orbit—separated from each other by the mighty chasm of a hundred and ninety millions of miles.

Aberration, or wandering, is the name given to this phenomenon. The term is not strictly accurate, as the apparent movements thus denominated are not irregular, but uniform. To discover the physical cause became an object of intense interest to Bradley, but it long baffled his researches and reasonings, and was at length developed by an accidental circumstance. He was accompanying a pleasure-party in a sail on the river Thames. The boat in which they were was provided with a mast which had a vane on the top of it; it blew a moderate wind, and the party sailed up and down the river for a considerable time. Bradley remarked, that every time the boat put about, the vane at the top of the mast shifted a little, as if there had been a slight change in the direction of the wind. He observed this three or four times without speaking; at last he mentioned it to the sailors, and expressed his surprise that the wind should shift so regularly every time they put about. The sailors told him that the wind had not shifted, but that the apparent change was owing to the change in the direction of the boat, and assured him that the same thing invariably happened in all cases. From that moment he conjectured that all the phenomena of aberration he had observed, arose from the progressive motion of light combined with the earth’s motion in its orbit. This sagacious conjecture satisfactorily explains the apparent movement of the stars. Suppose a body to pass from A to B in the same time that a ray of light passes from C to B. Owing to the two motions, the impression of the ray of light meeting the eye of a spectator at B will be exactly similar to what it would have been if the

[Illustration]

eye had been at rest at B, and the molecule of light had come to it in the direction D, B. The star, therefore, whose real place is at C, will appear at D to the spectator at B. This effect is precisely analogous to what takes place when a person moves or travels rapidly through a shower of rain or snow in a perfectly calm state of the atmosphere. Without locomotion the rain-drops or snow-flakes will fall upon his hat, or upon the head of the carriage that conveys him, and not beat in his face, or against the front windows of the carriage. But if he is passing along swiftly, in any direction, east, west, north or south, the rain or snow will come in contact with his face, or enter the front windows of the carriage if they are open, as though the drops or flakes fell obliquely, and not from the zenith. Now as an object appears to us in the direction in which the rays of light strike the eye, it is easy to understand that a star in the zenith will appear at a little distance from it, to a spectator carried along with the earth in its orbit. This discovery established the fame of Bradley, who was exonerated from all future payments to the Royal Society on account of it; and it is of great importance, as the only sensible evidence we have of the earth’s annual motion. Soon after his appointment to the Greenwich observatory, he effected his second great discovery, that of the nutation of the earth’s axis, a slight oscillation of the pole of the equator about its mean place, describing an ellipse in the period of eighteen years. He determined likewise its cause, which theory had previously inferred to be the action of the moon upon the equatorial regions of the earth. Some idea of his industry may be formed from the fact, that in conjunction with his nephew, he made no less than eighteen thousand observations in a single year while astronomer royal; and the number from the year 1750 to 1762 amounted to upward of sixty thousand. The death of Bradley was interpreted as a Divine judgment by the populace. He had taken an active part with the Earl of Macclesfield and others, in urging on and assimilating the British calendar to that of other nations. This rendered it necessary to throw eleven days out of the current year in the month of September 1752—a measure which the ignorance of great numbers of the people led them to regard as an impious intermeddling with the Divine prerogative. Lord Macclesfield’s eldest son, at a contested election for Oxfordshire, was greeted with the cry from the mob, “Give us back the eleven days we have been robbed of!” and Bradley’s mortal sickness, some years later, was viewed as a punitive dispensation for having participated in the sacrilegious theft.

The latter half of the eighteenth century furnishes a large catalogue of distinguished names, men of high scientific ability, and, for the most part, of the finest mathematical minds, by whose labors practical astronomy made vast advances, and the physical theory of the universe, as previously developed, was amply illustrated and confirmed. During this era lunar tables were constructed of sufficient accuracy to be employed to solve the great problem of the longitude at sea. This was the work of Mayer, for which his widow received the sum of £3000 from government; and since that period, the publication of such tables, showing the places of the sun and moon, with the distance of the later from certain fixed stars, for every three hours, three years in advance, has been a national object, contributing to the safety of navigators upon the trackless deep. The same period is also celebrated for the determination of the figure and magnitude of the earth, and for the great improvements made in instruments of observation. If the century opened with lustre derived from the physical demonstrations of Newton, it closed magnificently with the telescopic discoveries of Herschel, the wonderful resident by the stately battlements of Windsor, by whose mechanical skill and matchless industry new regions were added to our solar system, and views unfolded of the infinity of the firmament, and the character of its architecture, which eye had not seen or the mind conceived.

A work specially devoted to the life and labors of Herschel is a desideratum. It is not to the credit of the country, that the men who have headed its physical force upon the field of battle have enjoyed a larger measure of public admiration and gratitude, and found a more speedy chronicle, than those who have enlarged the field of thought, ministered to the intellectual gratification, and elevated the mental character of the community. Bradley had lain in his grave 70 years, Newton 104, and Flamstead 116, before their memory received its meed of justice from the hands of Rigaud, Brewster, and Baily; a slackness to be attributed to the want of a due national estimate of the value of science, rather than to the reluctance of those who were competent to do ample honor to their merits. Herschel still remains without a record of this kind, though the materials for it are abundant, and his claims undoubted. Born at Hanover, the son of a musician in comparatively humble life, but early a resident in England, he appeared first as a professor and teacher of music, but rapidly rose by his own unaided efforts to eminence as an optician and astronomer. Anxious to inspect for himself the sublime revelations of the heavens, but destitute of means to purchase a telescope of sufficient power for his purpose, he resolved to employ some previous knowledge of optics and mechanics in the construction of an instrument. The earliest, a five-foot reflector, was completed in 1774: but altogether he accomplished the construction of upward of five hundred specula of various sizes, selecting the best of them for his telescopes. After having established his fame by the discovery of a new planet, and fixed his residence at Slough, under the munificent patronage of George the Third, he completed the giant instrument that attracted travelers from all parts to the spot, and rendered it one of the most remarkable sites of the civilized world. The tube was forty feet long, the speculum four feet in diameter, three inches and a half thick in every part, and weighing nearly two tons. Its space-penetrating power was estimated at 192, that is, it could search into the depths of the firmament 192 times farther than the naked eye. We can form no adequate conception of this extent, but only feebly approximate to it. Sirius, a star of the first magnitude, is separated by an immeasurable distance from us. But stars of a far inferior order of magnitude are visible to the naked eye. These we may conclude to be bodies far more remote, and reasonably suppose the star which presents the faintest pencil of light to the eye to be at least twice or thrice the distance of Sirius. Yet onward, 192 times farther, the space-penetrating power of the telescope at Slough swept the heavens. It was completed in the year 1789, but the frame of the instrument becoming decayed, through exposure to the weather, it was taken down by Sir John Herschel in 1823.

It will be convenient here to notice a reflecting telescope of far greater magnitude and power, recently constructed by the Earl of Rosse, and now in use at the seat of that nobleman, Birr Castle, in Ireland. The mechanical difficulties involved in this work, the patience, perseverance, and talent required to overcome them—and the great expenditure necessarily incurred—render the successful completion of this instrument one of the most extraordinary accomplishments of modern times; and entitle its owner and projector, from first to last, to the admiration of his countrymen. When the mechanical skill and profound mathematical knowledge essential to produce such a work are duly considered, together with the years devoted to previous experimenting, and an outlay of upward of twelve thousand pounds, this telescope must be regarded as one of the most remarkable and splendid offerings ever laid upon the altar of science. The speculum has a diameter of six feet, and therefore an area of reflecting surface nearly four times greater than that of the Herschelian, and its weight approaches to four tons. The casting—a work of no ordinary interest and difficulty—took place on the 13th of April, 1842, at nine in the evening; and as the crucibles poured forth their glowing contents—a burning mass of fluid matter, hissing, heaving and pitching—for the moment almost every one was anxious and fearful of accident or failure but Lord Rosse, who was observed directing his men as collectedly as on one of the ordinary occurrences of life. The speculum has been formed into a telescope of fifty feet local length, and is established between two walls of castellated architecture, against one of which the tube bears when in the meridian. It is no slight triumph of ingenuity, that this enormous instrument may be moved about and regulated by one man’s arm with perfect ease and certainty.

To return to Herschel. No addition had been made of any new body to the universe since Cassini discovered a fifth satellite in the train of Saturn. Nearly a century had elapsed without any further progress of that kind. The solar system, including the planets, satellites, and Halley’s comet, consisted of eighteen bodies when Herschel turned his attention to astronomy; but, before his career of observation terminated, he increased the number to twenty-seven, thus making the system half as large again as he found it, as to the number of its constituents—a brilliant recompense, but not an over-payment, considering the immense expenditure of time, and toil, and care. A primary planet with six moons, and two more satellites about Saturn, composed the reward. It was on the 13th of March, 1781, that, turning a telescope of high magnifying power—though not his gigantic instrument—to the constellation Gemini, he perceived a cluster of stars at the foot of Castor, and one in particular, which sensibly increased in diameter, while the rest of the stars remained unaltered. Two nights afterward, its place was changed, which originated the idea of its being a cometary body; an opinion embraced upon the continent when attention was called to it, but soon dispelled by clear evidence of its planetary nature. The new planet was named after the reigning monarch by the discoverer, but received his own name from astronomers, which was finally exchanged for the Uranus of heathen mythology, the oldest of the gods, the fabled father of Saturn and the grandsire of Jupiter—referring to the position of the planet beyond the orbits of the bodies named after the latter. By this discovery, the extent of the system was at once doubled; for the path of the stranger lies as far beyond what had been deemed its extreme confine, as that limit is removed from the sun. The first moment of his “attack” upon Saturn, upon completing the forty-feet reflector, he saw a sixth satellite, and a seventh moon later. But Herschel realized his most surprising results, and derives his greatest glory, from the observation of the sidereal heavens. The resolution of nebulæ and the Milky Way into an infinite number of stars—the discovery of new nebulæ of various forms, from the light luminous cloud to the nebulous star—of double and multiple stars—of the smaller revolving round the greater in the binary systems: these were some of his revelations to the world, as night after night, from dewy eve till break of dawn, he gauged the firmament. Caroline Herschel was the constant partner of her brother in his laborious undertakings—submitting to the fatigues of night attendance—braving with him the inclemency of the weather—noting down his observations as they issued from his lips—and taking, as the best of all authorities reports, the rough manuscript to the cottage at the dawn of day, and producing a fair copy of the night’s work on the ensuing morning. He died in 1822; but she has survived to see the heir of his name recognized by the world as the heir also of his talents and fame. It was one of the conceptions of this remarkable man—as bold an idea as ever entered the human mind—that the whole solar system has a motion in space, and is advancing toward a point in the heavens near the star λ Herculis. The idea remains to be verified; but it is not altogether unsupported by evidence, and quite consistent with the analogies of the universe.

The nineteenth century commenced with a fresh ingathering of members into the planetary family. It had been deemed a matter of surprise that the immense interval of about 350 millions of miles between Mars and Jupiter should be void, when only spaces varying from 25 to 50 millions divide Mars, the Earth, and the inferior planets. Keppler had therefore started the conjecture that a planet would be discovered in the vast region between the two former bodies; and thus bring it into something like proportion with the spaces between the latter. This idea was confirmed by a curious relation discovered by Professor Bode, of Berlin, that the intervals between the orbits of any two planets is about twice as great as the inferior interval, and only half the superior one. Thus, the distance between Venus and the Earth is double that between Mercury and Venus, and the half of that between the Earth and Mars. Uranus had not been discovered when Bode arrived at this remarkable analogy, but the distance of that planet being found to correspond with the law, furnished a striking confirmation of its truth. The respective distances of the planets may be expressed by the following series of numbers, whose law of progression is evident.

Mercury’s distance = 4 Venus 4 + 3·0 = 7 Earth 4 + 3·2 = 10 Mars 4 + 3·2^{2} = 16

Jupiter 4 + 3·2^{4} = 52 Saturn 4 + 3·2^{5} = 100 Uranus 4 + 3·2^{6} = 196

The void in the series between Mars and Jupiter, so convinced the German astronomers of the existence of a planet to occupy it—which had hitherto escaped observation—that a systematic search for the concealed body was commenced. At Lilienthal, the residence of Schroeter, an association of twenty-four observers was formed in the year 1800, for the purpose of examining all the telescopic stars of the zodiac. The opening years of the century witnessed the anticipation substantially realized by the discovery of four planets—Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, revolving round the sun, at a mean distance of one hundred millions of miles from Mars, so small as only to be telescopic objects. This discovery we owe to Piazzi, Olbers, and Harding. Some singular features—without parallel in the planetary system—such as their close contiguity, the intersection of their orbits, with their diminutive size—Vesta not being much larger than the Spanish peninsula—led to the surmise that these bodies are fragments of a planet, which once revolved in their mean path with a magnitude proportionate to that of its neighbors. The possibility of such a disruption cannot be denied—the revolution of the fragments round the sun would follow in obedience to the mechanical laws by which the system is governed: but the point is obviously one of those questions which must remain entirely hypothetical. Next to this addition to the system, the most remarkable astronomical occurrences of the present age are the November meteors, the renewed return of Halley’s comet, and the determination of the annual parallax of the star 61 Cygni by Bessel. These will come under consideration in future pages, with the important contributions made to science by the great names of the day, Sir John Herschel, Sir James South, Struve, Airy, Arago, and others.

The progress of Astronomical discovery which has now been hastily traced, reminds us of the obligations we owe to those who have gone before us. While supplied with views respecting the constitution of the solar universe—the number, forms, magnitudes, distances, and movements of its members—upon the general accuracy of which the mind may repose with full satisfaction, the mode of its formation has been grappled with, and a theory presented, derived from the study of the sidereal heavens, which—though not demonstrable—is invested with a high degree of probability. The firmament exhibits dimly luminous appearances, like patches of white cloud, displaying various forms and peculiarities of structure, which are not resolvable into closely packed clusters of stars by any telescopic power, and whose phases are at variance with the idea that they are stellar groups, indistinct and blended from their remoteness. The nebulous substance, in one of its states, is evenly diffused, resembling a sheet of fog. Under another aspect, it is seen winding, and we detect a tendency toward structure, in the material congregating in different places, as if under the influence of a law of attraction. Definite structure appears in other cases, generally the spherical form, with great condensation at the centre, like regular stars in the midst of a thick haze. The question has hence naturally arisen, and it is one of profound interest—What do such appearances indicate? What do the differences in their character portend? Are they void and unmeaning substances in a universe of organization and order; or, are they advancing by a principle of progressive formation to share themselves in that order and organization? The idea has been started that, in these phenomena, we have an exhibition of the first state of the now organized bodies of our system, and of their progress to the ultimate conditions of their being, passing from one stage of construction to another, under control of the law of gravitation. This is substantially the nebular hypothesis of Laplace and Herschel: it supposes a diffused nebulosity, rotating with the solar nucleus, and extending beyond the bounds of the farthest planet, to have gradually condensed at the surface of the nucleus, accelerating thereby the solar rotation, and increasing the centrifugal force, by the action of which successive zones were detached, assuming spheroidal masses by the mutual attraction of their particles. This theory enlists a variety of evidence in its behalf. The fact of the projectile motions of all the planets and satellites taking place from west to east, in nearly the same plane—of their axical rotation likewise being all in the same direction, and corresponding with that of the solar body—is an instance of coincidence so extraordinary as strongly to support the theory of their common origin in obedience to a common law. It is no unimportant consideration that, in the physical and mental constitution of our own nature—with reference also to the inferior animals, both the feeble and the powerful, the tractable and the untamed—in relation too to the vegetable productions of the earth, whether flourishing in green savannas, or rooted in the clefts of the rock—we have a law of gradual formation now operating, which vindicates the idea from the charge of vain conceit, that an analogical law has operated with reference to the earth itself, and the various worlds that compose our system, supported—as the hypothesis is—by such significant evidences as the nebulous appearances in the heavens.

From the view which has now been taken, it is evidently no doubtful point to us—

“Whether the sun, predominant in heaven, Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun; He from the east his flaming rond begin, Or she from the west her silent course advance, With inoffensive pace, that spinning sleeps On her soft axle.” . . . .

How incumbent the duty upon us, then, as we have largely benefited by our predecessors, that—as faithful stewards of their gifts—we should hand them down to posterity with an increase of value! How grand, and yet how simple, those views of the universe, upon the evidence of which we are now invited to gaze! The Sun, a central orb, attended by a stately cortège of planets, forming a system under the empire of law—a system not unique, but a general type of others as countless as the members of the stellar host, whose front ranks alone come within the range of telescopic vision: systems, probably, not physically insulated, but bound together by fine relationships, the nature of which—judging from the progress of the past, it is not arrogant to presume—will yet be revealed to the understanding of man. These are not ingenious theories—splendid conjectures; but established facts, and sober anticipations based upon them. To live and learn is the high vocation of humanity; one of the appointed ends which the great Artificer of existence contemplates in its continued series: the generations that are to come improving upon the acquirements of that which now is. Nor can we fix any limit to the growth of knowledge in relation to the physical universe, clear and insurmountable in the present state as are its bounds with respect to the spiritual world. Who can descry a resting point in the wilderness of space?—discern a barrier to the range of the creation? Vast as are the regions that have been entered, there are vaster amplitudes unapproached beyond them, toward which the mind may advance in endless progression; often indeed faltering in the pilgrimage beneath the burden of those conceptions of space and magnitude which immensity suggests, but still going onward.

[Illustration]

* * * * *

=HYMN TO THE SUN.=

=FROM THE GREEK OF DIONYSIUS.=

=BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT, TRANSLATOR= =OF THE PROMETHEUS AND AGAMEMNON= =OF ÆSCHYLUS, ETC. ETC.=

Mute be the skies and still, Silent each haunted hill And valley deep! Let earth, and ocean’s breast, And all the breezes rest— Let every echo sleep!

Unshorn his ringlets bright, He comes—the lord of light— Lord of the lyre. Morn lifts her lids of snow, Tinged with a rosy glow, To greet thee, glorious sire.

Climbing, with winged feet Of fiery coursers fleet, Heaven’s arch profound, Far through the realms of air, From out thy sunny hair, Thou flingest radiance round.

Thine are the living streams Of bright immortal beams— The founts of day! Before thy path careers The chorus of the spheres With wild rejoicing lay.

The sad and silver moon Before thy gorgeous noon Slow gliding by, Joys in her placid soul To see around her roll Those armies of the sky.

* * * * *

=ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.=

=BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT, AUTHOR OF “THE BROTHERS,” “THE CAPTAINS OF THE OLD WORLD,” ETC.=

Some thirty years before the Christian era, Egypt was not as now a barbarous and desert region, a strip of rudely cultivated land along the margin of the eternal Nile, and all beyond that semi-civilized district a waste of howling wilderness, shifting and fiery sands roamed by the wild hyena, or the wilder Arab, scattered here and there with those gigantic relics of a former race, which, while they recall the original magnificence of the kings, and priests yet mightier than kings, who ruled of yore with a sway revered and dreaded to the very limits of the earth in those huge halls, are now avoided, or visited in fear and trembling by the adventurous traveler, as haunts of the ferocious Bedouin. Her cities were not then the sinks of mingled filthiness and luxury; a foreign rule had not then paralyzed her commerce, desolated her fields, and brutified her men. The Moslem had not then poured upon her, the garden of the Mediterranean shore, a scourge more foul and loathsome than the most terrible of her ancient plagues.

Egypt, although even then shorn of a portion of her ancient glories, and sinking by slow steps into a Roman province, was still the garden, and the glory of the universe. It was a glorious sight to look upon those almost boundless plains, or on those wondrous valleys, bounded on either hand by mountains then clothed with artificial verdure even to their summits, in the early summer, when the tender herbage of the young grain had spread them with an interminable carpet of the brightest green, or in the genial noon of autumn, when the tall wheat and bearded barley undulated in every breeze, a sea of golden fertility.

It was a yet more wondrous sight, and savoring of enchantment, to view her thousand cities blazing with the barbaric splendors of the East—her temples far surpassing in strange, awful magnificence, in gloomy mysticism, and terrific splendor, the simpler and more classic shrines of Greece—her groves of palm, her thickets of acacia, her canals embowered with the broad leaves and lovely blossoms of the azure lotus, her coppices blushing with the scarlet flowers of the pomegranate, or rich with the bursting fig—her palaces, her libraries, her quays, trodden by the mariners of every known realm, her galleys, that had braved the tempests of the “ocean stream,” and visited, in their adventurous roamings, the dark and stormy Cassiterides, or yet more wonderful, had been favored with glimpses of those “Edens of the western wave,” those islands of the blest, in whose remote and uncertain shores the imaginative poets of the Greeks had placed the residence of the departed good.

It was about the period above mentioned, that a war-galley of that construction which had been recently adopted by the Romans, in preference to the lofty and cumbrous castles of the deep, only used for purposes of display and pleasure, was to be seen beating in for the Egyptian shore. She was a noble trireme, and it would seem that the builder had exerted his utmost skill to render her not only seaworthy, and formidable as a ship of war, but rich even to magnificence in her decorations.

Her upturned prow, with its wonted equipage of brazen beaks, to shatter the bows of an adversary, and brazen plates to protect her own, all polished till they flashed back the rays of the summer sun with almost intolerable brightness, displayed along its bulwarks exquisitely moulded railings of a richer metal; while high in front stood a statue, the presiding deity of Rome, a helmed and crested Mars, sculptured with the utmost finish of the Grecian chisel in pure gold. The shields, suspended from the channels, were charged with thunderbolts of the same precious material, upon the dark blue steel of Iberia. The oars were gilded, and from the castled stern floated beneath a golden effigy of the guardian wolf and the twin founders of the Imperial City, a broad sheet of silk, blushing with the crimson effulgence of the Tyrian dye, and, as it was tossed aloft by the light breath of the sirocco, displaying the initials at which the universe trembled—those dread initials S. P. Q. R.—the Senate and People of Rome—at whose edicts the remote Indian and nomadic Scythian shook with unwonted awe.

Gorgeous, however, as were the decorations, perfect as the entire equipment of the galley, there was something in her motions which betrayed even at a nearer inspection, it was evident that while several of her oars were entirely missing, a yet greater number were sprung, and so far weakened as to give her that slow and crippled progress through the water, which the master of the Latin Epic has so aptly compared to the painful writhings of a wounded serpent.

Her prow was in several places pierced and shattered, the sails bore evident marks of having met with rougher treatment than under so bright a sky was likely to have been inflicted by the waves. The breeze though not exactly favorable was not adverse, blowing freshly on her beam. It was such a wind as would now be hailed with delight; but, in those days of imperfect navigation, when all weather was considered foul which would not allow a vessel to run dead before it—though not actually contrary, it was looked upon with distrust at least, and deprecated as producing difficulty at the least, if not danger.

In her disabled state, therefore, this noble galley toiled long and wearily before the lofty pharos of Alexandria was seen towering, like a vast column of snow, from the bosom of the placid sea. For many an hour after this splendid landmark had been visible, did she struggle onward, ere the quays of Parian marble, the long breakwaters, and gigantic moles at its base, could be distinguished on the horizon.

Gradually the inner shores of the harbor opened, a vista of pillared porticoes, architrave and frieze, of Corinthian, Ionic, Tuscan structure, mingled with massive and fantastic forms of the earlier style of Egypt, sphynx and colossus, obelisk and pyramid, blended with the everlasting verdure of the palmy gardens that invested the glorious city with a belt of aromatic verdure.

High on her prow stood the form of a noble-looking leader, in the very prime of strength and manhood, his frame displaying all the graces of Antinous mingled with all the sinewy strength of Hercules. To the first might be referred the massive brow, the short curled, clustering locks that shaded it, and the somewhat effeminate cast of his singularly beautiful features—to the latter, the broad shoulders, the brawny neck, and the firmness of the muscular development that was displayed at every motion. His eyes were of that long-cut narrow form which has been supposed to be typical of a soft luxurious character; but in the dark orbs themselves there lurked, when they were raised, a sparkle, which might easily be kindled into lightning splendidly different from the dream-like softness of their wonted expression.

In the curve, too, of his well-defined and ruddy lips there was that firmness, that bold decision, which almost belied the dimples at their corners, and the voluptuous curve of the chin. He seemed a man who possessed the energy to battle with the universe, to win a world, and when won, the recklessness to cast it away as worthless. Nor did his countenance misrepresent the character of the Triumvir.

It was Marc Antony, the glorious winner of the Roman world, and its reckless loser. It was Marc Antony, returning in defeat—with any other it had been despair; but his was not a temper to yield even for a moment to so base a sinking of the spirit—returning with a single trireme from the half-conquered strife of Actium—hurrying away from his almost victorious fleet on the very instant of victory in a pursuit of a fair but faithless mistress; leaving his devoted followers to the mercy of a heartless conqueror, leaving a world, which another hour would have rendered irrecoverably his own, to cast its subject diadems at the feet of young Octavius.

Bravely, fiercely, had he striven, while the humor was upon him; and farthest into the yielding ranks of the enemy had his brave galley forced her way, until the fatal cry was heard, that Cleopatra, with her sixty light-armed ships, had abandoned the conflict, and was flying at the utmost speed of sail and oar, toward her native shores.

At once, and with a double exertion of valor almost supernatural, he had forced his retrograde passage through the shattered and reeling galleys of Augustus, and expending tenfold the quantity of noble blood to lose a half-won battle, which would have secured to him the empire of the universe.

Even now, although he knew that his all was set upon a single die, that he who might have been an emperor, was now a vanquished fugitive, without a home, a country, a place of refuge, there was no touch of humiliation or sadness in his mien. His eye was thoughtful, indeed, and perhaps somewhat melancholy in its expression, but at all events such was, when unexcited, its usual character.

Moreover, as he neared the quay, as he was gradually enabled to distinguish the things and persons on the quay, there was a sudden brightening of the features, an eagerness of expression, an anxious excitement almost to nervousness of manner, displaying itself clearly in the quivering of the under lip, and the unconscious play of his fingers on the sword-hilt, the dark spots of blood upon which denoted how deeply its blade must have been ensanguined.

The vessel worked up to the wharf. Strong cables were extended from her head and stern to the massive rings of brass which studded the noble piers. On the instant, a bridge was extended from the galley to the neighboring pier; but, ere the quivering planks were steadied, with an active bound the triumvir had thrown himself over the high bulwarks and stood in the centre of the eager throng that crowded round to witness the arrival of a galley from the fleet.

“Ho! by the mother of the gods!” cried an aged man, whose toga proved him a citizen of Rome, as clearly as did the scars on his bold and bronzed visage prove him a soldier, “’Tis Antony himself—victorious, too, by Jupiter! else had we not beheld him here. Shout, comrades, shout—_Io triumphe! Salve Imperator!_”

“Peace ho! Be silent!” shouted a stern, martial-looking figure on the prow. “Peace, brawlers! This day is to be marked as black as Acheron—victory! by Pollux, a rare victory!”

Silently, and unheeding the raised voices and loud queries of the populace, the noble Roman threaded the crowd. Strange—it was passing strange, that no word from Cleopatra—no sable-visaged messenger, no bright damsel of her court, should have met him on his return. “By the faith of Jove!” he muttered, “but that bitter knave, Horace, was not so much in the wrong either;” and he hummed in reckless gayety the well known stanza of the lyric bard—

“At vulgus infidum et meretrix retso Perjura cedit; diffurgiunt cadis Cum face siccatis amici Ferre jugum pariter dolosi.”

“Fie on thee, Antony! hast thou, the veteran of a thousand fields of Mars and Venus, hast thou been cheated by the honeyed words? the last stake was a heavy one, by Hercules! That crown, for which great Julius fell, was worth a higher price than a glance of the brightest eye that ever beamed with a woman’s tenderness. Fie on’t! ’twas boy’s play—boy’s play! but to-morrow—be the gods propitious—Soh! ’tis the palace gate at last, and swart Melancthon at the portals. What ho, Melancthon! Bestir thee, varlet! Say to Cleopatra, Marcus Antonius sends her greeting; and never will he rest till he be where she tarries, be that where it may!”

“Now may the gods avert!” muttered the trembling slave.

“What mutterest thou then? Begone, and speed my bidding, else will I make thee messenger to Hades! Where is the fair Egyptian?”

“She is _not_, Antony,” faltered the trembling Ethiopian, avoiding with the wonted superstition of the day, the usage of words deemed ominous.

“_Is not!_ What mean’st thou, paltering with thy double speeches?”

“_Mortua est_—she is dead!” he cried, mustering all his resolution, and then, as if fearing the wrath of the triumvir, fled hastily into the palace.

“Dead! Cleopatra dead!” muttered the bold Epicurean, and the whiteness of his lips told how deeply he was affected by the unexpected news. “Ho, there!” he shouted. “Bear me a flagon of Falernian hither, and the jeweled cup of Isis—the old Falernian pressed in the first of Caius Marius! ’Twill be my last on this side Acheron! A battle—an empire—and a woman! By the Thunderer! loss enough, methinks, for one day! Lost, too, forever! The first—that—that might be redeemed—ay, and the second won—but the woman! By the bright eyes of Aphrodite! he who has once loved Cleopatra, has loved all womankind! Marc Antony has done with battles. Ho! the Falernian! ’tis well—ay! pour it till it froth—hence with the water! Pure—let it be pure! for, this quaffed, I have done with wine, too. Sweet Cleopatra, this to thee, to thee, in Hades or Elysium, if the poets’ dreams be true. Now hark thee, slave, say thou to Ahenobarbus, if Antony hath forgotten how brave men conquer, he hath not forgotten”—he drained the liquor at a single draught, and hurling the chased and jeweled chalice against the marble pavement, unsheathed his sword, still crusted with the blood of Romans—“hath not forgotten how brave men—die!”

Suiting the action to the word, he buried the massive weapon in his throat, just above the collar-bone, and over the rim of his embossed and glittering corslet. The force of the blow was so great, that he was pitched headlong backward, the cone of his lofty helmet striking fire from the dinted pavement.

The blood gushed in torrents, not from the wound, for there the massive blade stood fixed hilt deep, but from ears, eyes, and mouth. After he fell, not a limb moved, not a pulse throbbed, the last breath rushed forth half choked in blood, with a fearful gurgling murmur. The broad chest slowly collapsed—the bravest of the brave had perished for a woman’s lie!

For Cleopatra was not dead—nor as yet had she even thought to die—but soon

She dared her fallen kingdom to behold In dauntless pride of majesty serene; She dared the coiling reptiles to unfold— Courting their venomed kiss with dauntless mien.

Sublimely fierce—death full before her eyes— She spurned the thought, that she could e’er be seen Swelling the Roman’s pomp, his noblest prize!— A proud reluctant slave, a crownless queen.

And now the coming sun shone in unclouded brilliancy over the lovely gardens, that extended for many a mile beyond the marble suburbs of the Egyptian metropolis, the mightiest work of that famed conqueror, who, building it in the very wantonness of pride, deemed it, perchance, the slightest of his wonderful achievements. The roads which issued from that great city, circulating, like arteries from the human heart, wealth and prosperity to the extremities of her dominion, wandered among brakes and thickets of the coolest verdure; nor had the almost tropic sun of those now scorched and sterile climes the power to pierce the embowering foliage, which covered those magnificent highways with a continuous vault of living freshness. The glossy leaves of the dark fig, and the broad canopy of the aspiring palms, towering a hundred feet aloft to bask in the full glare of day above his head—a pavement of the milk-white marble of Canopus, cool as the snows of Atlas beneath his feet—and the waters, drawn from the distant Nile, glancing and murmuring in their marble channels on either side the highway—the wayfarer might travel on his path, enjoying the breezy coolness of more temperate climes, although he stood beneath the intolerable brightness of an Egyptian sky.

Far in the depths of those fairy gardens, girdled, as it were, by groves of almost impenetrable richness, watered by a hundred fountains, drawn through their secret canals, from the one mighty river, which was to Egypt what the soul is to the human frame, adorned by luxury that could be made to minister happiness to the living, stood the mansion of the dead, the mausoleum of the Ptolemies, the palace-tomb of Cleopatra. Portico above portico, gallery over gallery, it towered a pile of snow-white alabaster, more ample in its vast accommodations, more splendid in its sculptures, more rich in its materials than the proudest dwelling of a line of kings. The lower stories of the building, surrounded by triple colonnades of Corinthian architecture, were constructed of gigantic blocks of stone fitted and dovetailed, as it were, into each other, with a firmness that might well endure forever.

But in these enormous walls there was no opening—door nor window, nor the smallest crevice, to admit the blessed light of day to those huge receptacles of the meanest relics of mortality.

Elsewhere, so singular a form of architecture would have been looked upon as something utterly unnatural and monstrous; but in Egypt, where every species of deception, and what we should now call stage effect, was resorted to in all buildings, and particularly in such as were intended for religious purposes, it was by no means calculated to excite astonishment. Near the summit of this strange edifice, sheltered from the glare of the declining luminary by projecting awnings of muslin, the fabric of the Egyptian loom, then known as Byssus, was a long range of windows, on which the sunbeams glittered with a brilliancy which showed that they were fitted with that most precious of ancient luxuries, transparent glass.

In a small but airy apartment of this mansion of the dead, there were now collected a small group of females, whose gorgeous draperies and jeweled ornaments, would have seemed to denote the proud beauties of some barbaric court, rather than mourners over the soulless tenement which had so recently inclosed the spirit of a man.

Situated at the very summit of the edifice, and commanding a prospect far over the wilderness of aromatic gardens that surrounded it, even to the distant city, overlooking the wide valley of the Nile, with the ocean-like channel of its giant river glancing like a stream of molten gold to the evening sun, and the vast cones of the three great pyramids distinctly drawn against the deep-blue sky, that chamber might well have vied with the most beautiful retreats of king or kaisar—nor were its internal decorations less splendid than the scenery which its windows opened to the view.

Its walls of the purest alabaster, polished till they reflected every object with the radiant exactness of metallic mirrors, its pilasters of the same rich materials, with their Corinthian capitals and bases of solid virgin gold, its tesselated pavement of a thousand dies, its couches glowing with the pictured fabrics of the Eastern loom, its curtains of gauze so delicate that they well nigh justified the hyperbole which had named them woven air, rendered it a befitting shrine for the form of beauty which seemed the presiding spirit of the place.

On one of those rich couches there lay a figure of almost superhuman majesty. The eyes were closed, and the short curls parted from the noble brow; the features were not more pallid than is often seen in life; a strangely voluptuous smile still slept upon the well-defined and as yet unaltered lip, and, but for something of rigidity and constraint in the position of the limbs, it would never have been believed that the dreams of that warrior were those which know no waking.

His helmet, embossed with golden sculptures, rested on the ground at the foot of the low bed, its lofty crest of snow-white horse-hair dancing in the light air which found its way into the chamber, and casting its wavering shadows upon the features of the dead; the elaborately ornamented corslet, which still rested on the massive chest, was stained in several places with broad plashes of gore; but if blood had stained the face or the bare neck, it had been washed off with a care which had removed every sign of violence, every symptom of death.

Perfumes had been liberally sprinkled upon the crisp, auburn locks, censers were steaming with the smoke of musk and ambergris, and garlands of the freshest flowers were cast like fragrant fetters over the cold limbs of the sleeper. But what were all these to a single tear drop from the mourner who sat beside his bed, gazing with a cold, unmeaning gaze on the features of him whom she had loved so mightily—betrayed so madly!

Her hair, the uncurled raven hair of Ethiopia, fell to her very feet in strange profusion, not in the undulating flow of ringlets free from restraint, but in straight, shadowy masses, such as we have sometimes seen, and known not whether to praise or censure, in some sacred painting of the Italian school. Her lineaments of the Coptic cast, chiseled in their flowing lines of majesty and softness, were such as men are constrained to admire despite their judgment; but her form, her limbs, her swan-like neck, her swelling bust, the rounded outlines, the wavy motion, were of a loveliness which, while they baffled every attempt at description, explained at once and justified the passionate adoration of Julius, the frantic devotion of the wild triumvir.

It was Cleopatra who sat there, mourning in desolate despair over him whom alone she had _loved_. Him, strange it is to say, she had loved for himself, for himself alone. No delusion of vanity, no pride of boasting a second ruler of the universe her slave, had mingled with her deep, indomitable passion.

The conqueror had been merged in the man, the man in the lover. In peace or war, in triumph or defeat, absent or at her side, in the flush of health or in the frail humility of sickness, he had been ever the chosen idol of her heart; and never perhaps had she loved him more entirely, or more fervently, than at the very moment of that desertion of his cause, in the hour of his utmost need, which had terminated in the downfall of his honor and her happiness.

Dark, indeed, and incomprehensible are the mysteries of a woman’s heart, impenetrable her motives, unfathomable the sources of her hatred or affection; often most tender in the heart when coldest in the semblance; most passionate when most unmoved, most faithful when most insincere.

It might have been from mere womanish caprice, from a desire of probing the depth of her lover’s feelings, from curiosity to learn and look upon the conduct of a baffled conqueror; or more likely yet from jealousy—jealousy that his love of honor and empire should interfere with his devotion to her beauty, that she had so fatally betrayed him.

She might have overlooked, in the moment of action, the consequences of her flight—she might have fancied the victory gained, and her desertion a matter of no moment—a desertion that would wring the heart, without affecting the cause, of him whom she adored the most, when she most trifled with his peace of mind.

She might have fancied the defeat, should defeat ensue, not irreparable—the empire lost to-day recoverable on the morrow—she might have hoped so to teach the proud triumvir by this reverse, that, when the government of the world should be conquered by their joint forces, the world were the gift of Cleopatra.

It might have been one of these motives singly; it might have been the result of all united—felt, perhaps, but not analyzed even by herself, that had spurred her on till retreat was impossible and hope desperate. Still it was love that caused her to betray him, as it was love that caused her to proclaim herself dead already, ere she had yet thought of dying, in order to mollify his indignation and awaken his sympathies; as it was love that now led her to curse the day when she was born, born to be the fate of Antony.

Her beautiful bosom was exposed to the light, which lingered in a pencil of mellowed lustre, upon its soft, yet sculptured loveliness. The delicate veil of fine muslin which should have veiled those secret beauties, had been violently rent asunder, and hung down in natural folds below her jeweled cincture. On each of her voluptuous bosoms, which hardly heaved under the influence of the chill despair which had frozen up the very sources of her grief, there was a small gout of gore, a speck such as covers the orifice of the smallest punctured wound; but beyond those tiny witnesses there was no stain upon her snow-white kerchief, no trace as of blood which had flowed freely and been wiped away.

Her hands were folded in her lap, the fingers unconsciously playing with a chain of mingled strands of golden thread and dark, auburn hair. Her face was very pale, and cold, and almost stern in its passionless rigidity—the eye was cast downward, immovably riveted on the countenance of the mighty dead; but, from the long, dark lashes there hung no tear. All was composed, silent, self-restrained grief. An occasional shudder crept, as it were, electrically through her whole frame, and now and then her lips moved, as though she were communing with some viewless form; but beyond this there was no motion or no sound.

At a distance from the miserable mistress sat a group of women, attired, as has been said, most gorgeously, but their sad and clouded aspects offered a fearful contrast to their sumptuous garments; near them, and on a table of the richest porphyry, negligently strewn with instruments of music, the Grecian lute, the wild Egyptian systrum, and the Italian pipe, with jeweled tiaras, perfumes, cosmetics, and all the luxuries of a regal toilet, pateræ of solid emerald, drinking-cups of agate, vases and flasks of crystal, there stood a plain, country-looking basket, woven of the slender reeds that grow beside the lake of Mœris, filled with the dark, glossy leaves and purple fruits of the fig-tree.

To a casual glance it might have seemed that there was nothing in the contents of the basket beyond the casual offering of some simple rustic’s gratitude to his queen; but on a nearer view, there might be seen upon the foliage long, slimy trails, twining hither and thither, as if left by the passage of some loathsome reptile. At times, too, there was a slight, rustling sound, a motion of the leaves, not waving regularly as if shaken by the breeze, but heaving up at intervals from the life-like motions of something beneath; and now a scaly back, a small, black head, with eyes glowing like sparks of fire, and an arrowy tongue quivering and darting about like a lambent flame—it was the deadly aspic of the Nile, the most fatal, the most desperately venomous of all the serpents of Africa.

Deeply, fearfully skilled, in all the dark secrets of poisoning and incantation, the wife and sister of the Ptolemies had chosen this abhorred way of avenging upon herself the wrongs of Antony; of baffling the cool malignance of the little-minded man whom Rome’s adulation had even then began to style the August; of freeing herself from the chains, not emblematic, of Roman servitude; from the humiliation of being led along in gliding fetters behind the chariot wheels of the perpetual consul; from the dungeon, the scaffold, the rod, and the axe, which closed alike the triumph of the victor and the misery of the vanquished. Already had the news been conveyed to her—the stunning news that, save in name, she was no more a queen—but the rumor had fallen on a deaf or unregarding ear.

An earthquake, it is written, shook the earth unnoticed by those who fought at Thrasymene, an empire crumbled into ruins unmarked by her who had lost, who had destroyed, an Antony. After the first burst of agony was over, when the self-immolated victim was borne to her in place of the burning, feeling, living lover, she had caused those hated reptiles to be brought to the tomb, which she had entered while yet alive, in the very recklessness of dissimulation and caprice; she had applied them to her delicate bosom, and a thrill of triumphant ecstasy had rushed through her frame as she felt the keen pang of their venomed fangs piercing her flesh, and imbuing the very sources of life with the ingredients of death.

And now she sat in patient expectation, brooding over the ruin she had wrought, calmly awaiting the agony that she well knew must convulse her limbs and distort her features from their calm serenity; while her attendant maidens, with strange and unaccountable devotion, had needlessly and almost unmeaningly followed the example of her, whom they were determined to accompany faithfully not merely to the portals of the tomb, but into the dark regions of futurity. Now, however, when the step was taken from which there is no returning, the courage, which had buoyed them up for a moment and impelled them to the fatal measure, had deserted them.

In the aspect of each, remorse, or pain, or terror was engraved in fearful variety. One gazed with straining eyes, over the glowing landscape, gloriously bathed in the radiance of that setting luminary which would arise, indeed, in renewed splendor but not for her. She saw the distant hills on which she had sported in the uncontaminated freshness of her youth, ere she had been acquainted with the sin and sorrow of courts—the nearer palaces, in whose vaulted halls she had often led the dance in happy, because thoughtless merriment—and her whole spirit was absorbed in that long, wistful view of scenes never to be viewed again.

Another stood, as motionless as the marble column against which she leaned, staring upon her beloved mistress and the lifeless body; but it was evident that the images which were painted on her eye were not reflected on her mind. At intervals a large, bright tear stole slowly down her cheeks and literally plashed on the Mosaic pavement as it fell.

A third, already sensible of the physical agonies that accompany the action of poison on the human system, rocked her body to and fro, every separate nerve writhing and quivering in the extremity of pain, yet still retained so much mastery over her tortures as to repress all outward indications of her suffering and approaching dissolution, beyond a low, choking sob, a fearful and indescribable sound, between a hiccough and a groan.

It was a scene of horribly exciting interest—a scene on which a spectator feels that it is terror to gaze; yet feels that, for his life, he cannot avert his eyes until the agony is over: a scene from which—so strangely were terror and compassion mingled and interwoven with curiosity—no human being could withdraw himself, till he had looked upon the end.

The pale, haughty features of the senseless clay which had wielded and weaponed, a few short hours ago, the energies of a gigantic soul—the deeply seated despair of the silent mourner, still full of life and sensation, but forgetful of herself in the contemplation of her lost idol, unconscious of physical pain in the abstraction of mental agony—the wretched girls repenting their rashness, yet repressing their own anguish lest they should augment hers for whom they had cast life away; and for whom—could it now have been redeemed—they would but have cast it away once again: the stillness of that gorgeous room, the hated reptiles crawling and hissing among the beautiful fruits, the sunshine without and the gloom within, all uniting to make up a picture so awful, yet so exciting, as no poet’s pen or painter’s pencil ever yet created.

It was a scene, however, rapidly drawing to its conclusion: the girl on whose system the venom of the aspic had taken the strongest effect, had already fallen upon the floor; and it seemed, by the long and gasping efforts with which she caught her breath, that her very minutes were numbered. Notwithstanding the miserable plight in which she rolled over and over in her great agony, so callous had the feelings of her companions been rendered by the immediate pressure of their own calamities, that—delicate and tender beings as they were, with hearts ever melting at the slightest indication of sorrow—each one retained her station, wholly absorbed by her own awful thoughts, and careless of all besides.

It was at this crisis, that a shrill and prolonged flourish of trumpets rose—almost painfully—upon the ear. It was a Roman trumpet. There was a pause—a brief, but awful pause; such as is often felt between the first peal of a thunder-storm and the bursting deluge of the shower. Again it rang—nearer, and nearer yet; and now, beneath the very windows of the mausoleum.

As the first note sank into silence, the queen had arisen breathlessly to her feet; and there she stood, motionless as a statue, her eyes still fixed on Antony; but her lips slightly severed, her head and her whole frame expressing the earnestness with which she listened for a repetition of the sounds; but, as the second flourish smote her ear, she threw her arm aloft in triumph, a flash of exultation kindled that glorious brow like a sunburst, and her eyes danced in their sockets with the highly-wrought ecstasy of the moment; but, while her brow and eyes were radiant with delight, the wide expansion of the nostril and the curl of the chiseled lip spoke volumes of defiance and contempt.

“It is too late,” she cried, in accents still clear and musical, though strained far above the natural pitch of her voice. “It is too late, ye Roman robbers. He whom your sacrilegious trumpets would have but now aroused to vengeance, from the lightning of whose eye ye would have fled like howling wolves before the bolt of Jove, whose voice would have stunned you like the thunders of the Omnipotent—the conqueror of the universe has fallen asleep, nor can your senseless clangors waken him to vengeance.”

Even, as she spoke, the rattle of the ladders, by which the legionaries of the victor were scaling the porticoes of that fortress tomb, the shouts of the rude veterans, and the clash of their brazen harness were distinctly audible; and, ere her words were ended, the same wild sounds were heard echoing along the vaulted passages and spacious halls of the story next beneath. Another moment, and their steps were heard mounting the long sloping passages which, in Egyptian architecture, supplied the want of stairs, affording access to the upper chambers. The door, formed like the walls of the apartment, of polished alabaster, and invisible when closed, was evidently forced; and a group of men, whose Italian complexions and features, prominent and strongly marked, denoted them to be the victors of the world, the iron men of Rome—stood on the threshold. All sheathed in complete armor: not decked, like that of the soft Orientals, with gold and precious stones, but of bronze so brightly polished that it reflected every object; perfect in the accuracy with which it was adapted to their frames, in the facility of motion it left to all their limbs, and in its exquisite finish; with crested casques and crimson tunics, it would have been impossible to conceive more martial figures.

Foremost of all, the conqueror of Actium entered the arena of his triumph; and, in truth, although he could not have sustained a moment’s comparison with his more fortunate rival, he looked—at least, if he were not—the hero. No flush of exultation tinged his complexion, no insolence of victory sparkled in his eye; but, not the less did exultation, insolence, and cruelty live within his breast, although he was sufficiently versed in dissimulation to conceal his odious character beneath a vail of stoical philosophy and magnanimous indifference.

“Hail, emperor!” cried the dying sovereign, confronting him with a demeanor a thousand times more lofty than his own. “Hail, conqueror!”—her countenance alone would have expressed the scorn she felt, had not her tones been such that the cold-blooded despot writhed beneath them.

“Comest thou hither, puissant lord, noble successor of the mighty Julius, comest thou hither to violate the ashes of the dead, or to prove thy virgin valor on a woman? _Macte tuâ virtute!_ On, in thy valor and thy glory! Why—the dead Cæsar was to thee as Omphale to Hercules! We are no Amazon to dare thy valor, O, thou second Thesius! Out with thy broad-sword, Cæsar, _the august_!—and see who first will shrink from it—I, or my dead, yonder?”

“No—by the Faith of Jove!—we would have the superb Cleopatra our friend, as she was our uncle’s,” replied the arch dissembler. “Thou art still free—still Queen of Egypt!”

“By the great gods, I am!—nor is it in thy power to make me other! Free was I born and royal—free will I die and royal! Cæsar—I scorn your mercy as I defy your menace! My fathers left to me a crown: crowned will I go to my fathers! What—think you, Cleopatra will live to be a slave?—will live to _be at all_, at your bidding? Go—trample on the subject necks of Romans! The Egyptian spits at your clemency. Why cling you not to your vaunting motto?—It was Rome’s word of old—

Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.

And dare you think me subject, or dare you not assail my pride? I tell you, Roman, you can slay men by thousands at a word; but, for your empire, you cannot make one woman live. Away—defile not me with your hangman hands! These are my subjects,” and she pointed to the dying girls around her, “this my empire—this the sepulchre of my forefathers; who were sages, priests, and kings, when yours were robbers and banditti. And this, that but this morning was a man, and now is nothing, this is my idol and my god! Away—one death like this, is worth a thousand abject lives like thine; and one dead, a hundred live Octavii, if ever earth bore aught so base by hundreds. If I betrayed in thy prime, thou mighty one, most dearly—I, upon myself, have I avenged the treason. If I sent thee before me, behold! I follow in thy footsteps! _Manes_ of the dead rejoice—rejoice, ye are avenged!”

Her eyes glared, awful. The death-sweat was already darkening her brow—the death-foam clammy on her white lip. She must have been devoured by the fiercest inward tortures, yet she made them subject to her will; and the veterans of a hundred battles quailed before the edge of her eloquence, more cutting than the mortal sword. She flung her arm toward the astonished tyrant in defiance, folded her garments decently about her limbs, placed the antique diadem of the Ptolmies upon her raven tresses, and, without another word, composed herself on the couch beside him toward whom she had proved her love so fearfully, and closed her eyes for the last time—for ever!

For many minutes longer, while—mute between astonishment, regret at his frustrated triumph, and admiration of her undaunted valor—the cold Cæsar watched her silent agonies, the convulsed heavings of her bosom, and her loud and painful breathings alone told that she lived.

One long and shuddering sigh—one short, sharp spasm—and the dark eyes opened, but their orbs were glazed and sightless—her jaw fell.

And Egypt never more bowed to a native sovereign.

And Rome was never more uncursed by a Cæsar.

* * * * *

=THE TWO BIRDS.—A STREET LYRIC.=

=BY GEORGE H. BOKER.=

Two birds hang from two facing windows; One on a lady’s marble wall, The other, a seamstress’ sole companion, Rests on her lattice dark and small.

The one, embowered by rare exotics, Swings in a curious golden cage; The other, beside a lone geranium, Peeps between wires of rusty age.

The one consumes a dainty seedling That, leagues on leagues, in vessels comes; The other pecks at the scanty leavings, Strained from his mistress’ painful crumbs.

The lady’s bird has careful lackeys, To leave him in the cheerful sun; Upon her bird the seamstress glances, Between each stitch, till work is done.

Doubtless the marble wall shines gayly, And sometimes to the window roam Guests in their stately silken garments;— But yon small blind looks more like home.

Doubtless the tropic flowers are dazzling, The golden cage is rare to see; But sweeter smells the low geranium— The mean cage has more liberty.

’Tis well to feed upon the fruitage, Brought from a distant southern grove; But better is a homely offering, Divided by the hand of love.

The purchased service of a menial May, to the letter, fill its part; But there’s an overflowing kindness Springs from the service of a heart.

Hark! yonder bird begins to warble: Well done, my lady’s pretty pet! Thy song is somewhat faint and straitened, Yet sweeter tones I seldom met.

And now the seamstress’ bird—Oh, listen! Hear with what power his daring song Sweeps through its musical divisions, Striking each note in rapture strong!

Hear how he trills, with what abundance He flings his varied stores away! Bursting through wood and woven iron With the wild freedom of his lay!

Cease, little prisoner to the lady, Cease, till the rising of the moon; Thy feeble song is all unsuited To the full mid-day glare of June.

Cease, for thy rival’s throat is throbbing With the fierce splendor of the hour: His is the art that grasps a passion, To cast it back with tenfold power.

Cease, until yonder feathered poet Through all his wondrous song has run, And made the heart of wide creation Leap in the glory of the sun!

* * * * *

=MISS HARPER’S MAID.=

It had been a day of boisterous excitement. The gravity of the ship had been strangely disturbed. We had “crossed the line” in the morning, and there had been the usual saturnalia on deck. Of these, as I was returning to India, after a sick furlough, I had been only a spectator; but still, when the evening came, and the fun was at an end, I felt sufficiently weary with the heat and excitement, to enjoy a quiet _causerie_ in my own cool cabin.

My companions were a bottle of “private” claret, and the “chief officer” of the ship. Now this chief officer was an excellent fellow; I think that I never knew a better. His name was Bloxham. He was about eight-and-twenty years of age, with a round, fresh-colored, but intelligent face; bright, laughing eyes, and the whitest teeth in the world. There was in him a rare union of the best parts of the old and the new race of merchant seamen; that is, he had all the openness and frankness, the seaman-like qualities of the old men, without their coarseness and vulgarity; and he had the more refined and gentleman-like manners of the new, without their dandyism and effeminacy. He was in my eyes the very pink and perfection of a sailor.

We discussed the incidents of the day, and discoursed upon the character and objects of the Saturnalia, or rather, as we agreed, the Neptunalia, which we had been witnessing. I have no intention of describing what has been so often been described before. But there is one part of the ceremony on which I must say a few words. Before the unhappy neophyte who has to be initiated into the mysteries of the equator is finally soused in the tub of water, which by a merciful dispensation is made to follow on the begriming and befouling operation of the shaving, he is asked by the operator if he has been “Sworn at Highgate.” Now, to be sworn at Highgate, is to undertake not to do certain things, when you can do better, as “never to drink small beer when you can get strong, _unless_,” (there is always a saving clause,) “unless you like small beer better than strong.” I do not remember all the obligations, though they are not many, named in the recital. But one I have every reason to recollect. Bloxham, with his smiling face and joyous manner, was talking over this part of the ceremony; and when he repeated the words of the Highgate oath, “Never to kiss the maid, when you can kiss the mistress—_unless_, you like the maid better than the mistress,” I could see a significant twinkling in his eyes, which stimulated my curiosity. I asked him what he was thinking of, and he said that he “could believe it very possible to like the maid better than the mistress,” and I said so too. “At all events,” added Bloxham, “it often happens that the maid is the better worth kissing of the two.”

I could see plainly enough from my friend’s manner, that I had not got at the bottom of this roguish twinkling of the eye. His whole face was indeed one bright smile, and there was a world of meaning dancing beneath it. I was determined, as sportsmen say, to “unearth” it; so I said at once, that I should enjoy my claret all the more, if he would impart to it the relish of a good story. Then I took the bottle off the swinging tray, filled our glasses, and told him to “leave off making faces and begin.”

“Well,” he said, making himself comfortable in a corner of my couch, “I must acknowledge that ‘thereby hangs a tale.’ ‘Never kiss the maid when you can kiss the mistress, _unless_, you like the maid better than the mistress.’ At the risk of your thinking me a low fellow, I’ll give you a chapter of my own experiences, illustrative of this portion of our sailorly interpretation of being sworn at Highgate.

“After the last voyage but one, our good ship went into dock for a thorough refitting, and I had a longer spell at home than I had enjoyed for many years. I would not change this way of life for any in the world; but I was glad for once to stretch my legs fairly on dry land, and see something of green fields, brick and mortar, and my shore-going friends in the neighborhood of Canterbury.

“Among the families in which I was most intimate was that of a Mr. Harper. He had made a comfortable fortune by trade, and now was enjoying his _otium cum dignitate_ in a good house on the outskirts of the city. An only daughter kept house for him; for he was a widower. Now Julia Harper, when I first knew her, was a fine, handsome girl of two-and-twenty; tall, well-made, but on rather a large scale, with bright, restless eyes, and a profusion of dark hair. She had a great many admirers in Canterbury, some of whom, there is every reason to suppose, admired the old gentleman’s money as much as the young lady’s eyes, but they met with no great encouragement. Miss Harper, it was whispered, had determined not to marry a Canterbury man. She wished to see more of the world. Her tastes inclined toward the army or the navy; and it was predicted that some fine day a young officer from one of the regiments in garrison, with an eye to the paternal guineas, would succeed in carrying off the prize. Everybody, however, said that she was heart-whole, when I was first introduced to her, and some of my more intimate friends jestingly said that there was a chance for me. I confess that I was a good deal struck by the girl. The artillery of her bright eyes soon began to do some execution. I liked her open, bold manner. I had very little experience of the sex, and I thought that her candor and unreserve betokened a genuineness of character, and a truthfulness of disposition, very refreshing in such an age of shams. I think I liked the old gentleman, too—I know I liked his dinners and his wines—I was certainly a favorite with Mr. Harper. Whether he ever contemplated the probability of his daughter and myself becoming attached to one another, I do not know; but if he did contemplate it, and with pleasure, it must have been pleasure of the most unselfish kind, for of all his daughter’s admirers, in point of worldly advantages, I must have been the least eligible. However, he had been heard to say, that he did not look for a rich son-in-law, as his daughter would have plenty of money of her own; so, sometimes, I thought it possible that the old gentleman would not close his paternal heart against me, if I were to offer myself as a suitor for the fair Julia’s hand, and a claimant to her heart.

“I often met with Julia at the house of mutual friends. I certainly liked the girl; and my vanity was flattered, because, with so many admirers around her, she showed me, as I thought, a decided preference. She seemed to be never tired of talking about the sea. She wearied me with questions about it; and on more than one occasion said—very unguardedly—that she thought a voyage to India would be the most delightful thing in the world. Of course, I made fitting answer, that with a congenial companion, a voyage anywhere would be delightful; and, more than once, opportunity being favorable, I was on the point of declaring myself, when an internal qualm of conscience arrested the dangerous avowal.

“Affairs were in this state, when an accident befell me which brought matters to a crisis. There was a steeple-chase one day in the neighborhood of Canterbury, which I attended on foot. During the excitement of the race, I attempted a difficult cut across the country, failed at a leap which was beyond my powers, and had the misfortune to sprain my ankle. The injury was a very severe one, and I was laid up for many weeks in my lodgings. You have often laughed at me for taking every thing so coolly. I assure you that I did not take this coolly at all. I chafed, indeed, like a lion in the toils; and was continually arresting the progress of my recovery, by putting—in spite of repeated prohibitions—the crippled member to the ground. At last, I began to learn a little philosophy, and resigned myself to the sofa with a groan.

“The loss of my liberty was bad enough; but the loss of Julia’s society was a hundred times worse. Her father came often to see me, and brought me kind messages from his daughter; but, if I had had no more substantial consolations, I believe that I should have gone mad. Julia did not actually come to see me; but she wrote me repeated notes of inquiry, and often sent me flowers, and books, and other tokens of womanly kindness. The messenger employed on these occasions was Miss Harper’s maid—”

“Ah! sworn at Highgate,” I interrupted; “we are coming to it now. Another glass of claret to improve the flavor of the story.”

He tossed off the bumper I had given him, as though he were drinking devoutly to some lady’s health, and then continued with increased animation.

“The messenger employed on these occasions was Miss Harper’s maid. She was generally enjoined to deliver the letters and parcels into my own hands, and sometimes to wait for an answer. She came, therefore, into my drawing-room, and if she had occasion to wait, I would always desire her to be seated. The girl’s name was _Rachel_. She might have been old, or ugly, or deformed, for any thing I cared, or, indeed, that I knew about her. I had a dim consciousness that she had a very pleasant manner of speaking; but I give you my word that, after she had been half-a-dozen times into my room, I should not have known her if I had met her in the streets: I regarded her only as an appendage to the fair Julia, whose image was ever before my eyes, shutting out all else from my view.

“This, however, did not last forever. It happened one day, that when Rachel brought me a parcel, I—in my lover-like enthusiasm—started up from the sofa, and incautiously planted my injured foot on the ground. The result was a spasm of such acute pain, that I fell back upon my couch with an involuntary cry, and a face as colorless as marble. Rachel immediately stepped forward; and, with a cordial expression of sympathy, asked if she could do any thing for me, and proceeded, with a light, gentle hand to arrange the pillows under my crippled limb. I felt very grateful for these ministrations, and as I gave utterance to my gratitude, I looked for the first time inquiringly into Rachel’s face. Though she bore a Jewish name, she did not bear by any means a Jewish cast of countenance. She had dark hair and dark eyes, it is true—but her face was round, her nose short, and if any thing, rather _retroussé_; and she had the sweetest little mouth in the world. I thought that, altogether, she was a very pretty girl, and moreover a very genteel one. I observed now, what I had never observed—indeed, had had no opportunity of observing—that she had a charming little figure. Her shawl had fallen off whilst she was arranging my pillows, so that I could now see her delicate waist, and the graceful outline of her lightsome form; and there was something in her movements that pleased me better than all. I was interested in her now for the first time; and was sorry when she took her departure, with the expression of a hope that I might not suffer further inconvenience.

“I hoped that she would come again on the following day, and I was not disappointed. She came with a note and a _boquet_ from Julia; but, before delivering either, she inquired after me, with—what I thought—genuine concern. I answered kindly and gratefully; and before opening her mistress’s note, asked her several questions, and drew her into conversation. The more I saw of her the better I liked her. She was at first a little reserved—perhaps embarrassed; but, after a few more visits, this wore off, and there was a quiet self-possession about her, which pleased me mightily. I could not get rid of the impression that she was something better than her social position seemed to indicate; at all events, she was very much unlike all the waiting-maids I had ever seen. I soon began to delight in her visits. She came almost every day with some letter or message from her mistress. I looked forward to the time of her coming, and felt duller when she was gone. I thought that it would be very delightful to have such a handmaiden always about me, to smooth my pillows, and bring me my meals, and talk to me when she had nothing better to do.

“I was interested in Rachel, and enjoyed her visits; but, believing still in Julia Harper’s fidelity, I was faithful to the core myself. But circumstances soon occurred which shook my faith, and then my love began to dwindle. The first of these was a mere trifle—but it was a suggestive one. Rachel brought me, one day, a note, and a little bundle of flowers, unusually well-arranged. I read the note, and to my astonishment there was a postscript to it in these words—‘I am sorry that I cannot send you a boquet to-day; there is positively not a flower in the garden.’ I mentioned this to Rachel, and asked whence the flowers had come. She blushed, and said with some confusion of manner, that she had picked them in the garden herself.

“The next was something still more demonstrative of the fair Julia’s disregard of truth. Rachel brought me a note one day, and a parcel containing a pair of worsted-work slippers, which her mistress said she hoped I would wear for her sake until I was able to leave my room. She did not actually say, but she implied that she had worked them for me herself. When I said something to Rachel about the time and trouble Miss Harper—I never said ‘your mistress’ now—must have expended on them, I observed a very curious and significant expression on the girl’s face. I had observed it once or twice before, when I had said something indicative of my confidence in Julia’s sincerity. It was an expression partly of pity—partly of disgust; and seemed to be attended, for I could see the compressure of her little mouth, with a painful effort to repress the utterance of something that was forcing its way to her lips. I was thinking what this could mean, when a piece of folded paper fell from the parcel: I picked it up, and found it was a bill—a bill for my slippers, which Miss Harper had bought at the Berlin Repository in the High Street. I knew now the meaning of the look. Rachel saw that I had got a glimmering of the truth, and I thought that she seemed more happy.

“She had wished me ‘good morning,’ and was about to depart, but I told her that I could not suffer her to go. It was altogether a deplorable day, what we call in the log _squally_. There was a great deal of wind—a great deal of rain; and, just at this moment, the latter was coming down in torrents. After some persuasion, she consented to remain. Then I asked her if she would do something for me; and, with a bright smile, she answered—‘Yes.’ I had a new silk neckcloth waiting on the table to be hemmed. She took it up, and then turning to me, asked naively how she was to hem it without needle and thread. To this question—for which I was well prepared—I replied, that in the other table-drawer she would find something containing both. She searched, and found a very pretty Russian-leather case, silver-mounted, with all the appliances a seamstress could desire. Then I begged her acceptance of it—said that I had ordered it to be made on purpose for her use, and that I should be bitterly disappointed if she did not accept of it. And she did accept it with undisguised pleasure. And every pleasant thing it was to lie on the sofa, and watch her neat little white hands plying the needle in my behalf. I had been longing to see the hand without the glove, and I was abundantly satisfied when I saw it.

“She had hemmed one side of the handkerchief, and we had conversed on a great variety of topics, when the weather began to clear up, and the sun to shine in at the windows. Rachel rose at once to depart. I said that I was quite sure it must be dreadfully wet under foot, and that I was certain she was thinly shod.

“‘Not very,’ she said.

“But I insisted on satisfying myself, and would not be content until she had suffered to peep out beneath the hem of her gown one of the neatest little patent-leather slippers I had ever seen in my life. I said that they were very dainty little things, but altogether fine-weather shoes, and not meant for wet decks. But I remembered presently that I had seen in her hand, when she entered the room, a pair of India-rubber overshoes, and I reminded her of them.

“‘They are my mistress’s,’ she said: ‘I had been desired to fetch them from the shop.’

“‘Wear them,’ I said, ‘all the same—they will be none the worse, and will keep your little feet dry.’

“‘But how can I?’ she answered with a smile; ‘they will not fit me at all.’

“‘Too _small_?’ I said, laughing.

“‘Yes, sir,’ she said, with another smile, even more charming than the first. I told her that I should not be satisfied until I had decided that point for myself; and at last I persuaded her to try. The little rogue knew well the result. Her feet were quite lost in them.

“If I have a weakness in the world, my good fellow, it is in favor of pretty feet and ankles; so, when Rachel insisted on taking her departure, I hobbled as well as I could to the window to see her pick her way across the puddles in the Close. I satisfied myself that the girl’s ankles were as undeniable as her feet; and she was unequivocally _bien chaussée_. I could not help thinking of this long after she was gone. And then it occurred to me that Julia Harper was certainly on a rather large scale. She had a good figure of its kind, and she had fine eyes; but Rachel’s were quite as bright, and much softer; and as for all the essentials of a graceful and feminine figure, the mistress’s was far inferior to the maid’s. I kept thinking of this all the evening, and after I had gone to bed. And I thought, too, of the very unpleasant specimen of Julia’s insincerity which had betrayed itself in the case of the slippers. But it is astonishing how little it pained me to think that Julia might not be really attached to me, and that our almost engagement might come to naught after all.

“I am afraid that if I dreamt at all about female beauty that night, it was less in the style of the mistress than the maid. Morning came, and with it an eager hope that I should see Rachel in the course of the day; but she did not appear. I never kept such long watches in my life. I got horribly impatient. I left my couch, and seated myself at the window, with a sort of forlorn hope that I might see Rachel pass; but I saw only a distressing number of clumsy feet and thick ankles, and no one remotely resembling Miss Harper’s spicy little maid. Night closed in upon me savage as a bear. But the next day was a more auspicious one. Looking prettier than ever, Rachel came with a note from her mistress. I was in no hurry to open it, you may be sure. I asked Rachel a great number of questions, and was especially solicitous on the score of the wet feet, which I feared had been the result of her last homeward voyage from my lodgings. She had by this time habituated herself to talk to me in a much more free and unembarrassed manner than when first she came to my apartments; and the more she talked to me, the more charmed I was; for she expressed herself so well, had such a pleasant voice, and delivered such sensible opinions, that I soon began to think that the mental qualifications of the mistress (none of the highest, be it said) were by no means superior to those of the maid. Indeed, to tell you the truth, my good fellow, I was falling in love with little Rachel as fast as I possibly could.

“This day, indeed, precipitated the crisis. We had talked some time together, when Rachel reminded me (I thought that there was an expression of mock reproachfulness in the little round face) that I had not read her mistress’s letter. I opened it in a careless manner; and had no sooner read the first line, than I burst out into loud laughter. ‘Bravo! Rachel,’ I exclaimed. ‘You are a nice little messenger, indeed, to carry a young lady’s _billets doux_. You have given me the wrong letter.’ She took up the envelope, which had fallen to the ground, and showed me that it was directed to ‘_Edward Bloxham, Esq._’ ‘All the better, Rachel,’ I said; ‘but this begins ‘_I am so delighted, my dear_ _Captain Cox_—’ Hurrah, for the envelopes!’

“I looked into Rachel’s face. It was not easy to read the expression of it. First she seemed inclined to laugh—then to cry. Then she blushed up to the very roots of her hair. She was evidently in a state of incertitude and confusion—puzzled what course to pursue. I folded up the letter, placed it in another envelope—not having, of course, read another word of its contents. What was the cause of Julia’s excessive delight I am not aware up to this moment; but I could not help asking Rachel something about Captain Cox. One question led to another. Rachel hesitated at first; but at last, with faltering voice and tearful face told me the whole truth. She said that she had felt herself, for some time, in a very painful and embarrassing situation. She recognized her duty to her mistress, who had been kind and indulgent to her—but she could not help seeing that much which had been done was extremely wrong. She had all along been ashamed of the duty on which she was employed, and had more than once hinted her disapprobation; but had been only laughed at as a prude. She had often reproached herself for having been a party to the fraud which had been practiced on me. She had not at first fathomed the whole extent of it; but now she knew how bad a matter it was. The truth was, that Miss Harper had for some time been carrying on something more than a flirtation with Captain Cox. But her father disliked the man, who, though very handsome and agreeable, bore any thing but a good character—and, therefore, Julia had acted cautiously and guardedly in the matter, and had feigned an indifference which had deceived Mr. Harper.

“When I first came to anchor at Canterbury, Captain Cox was on ‘leave of Absence;’ and, as he had gone away without making a declaration, it had appeared to Julia that an overt flirtation with me in the captain’s absence—something that would certainly reach his ears—might stimulate him to greater activity, and elicit an unretractable avowal. Her flirtation with me was intended also, to impress on Mr. Harper’s mind the conviction that she was really attached to me, and he ceased, therefore, to trouble himself about Captain Cox. He liked me, and he encouraged me, on purpose that the odious captain might be thrown into the shade. Such was the state of affairs at the outset of Julia’s flirtation with me. But Rachel assured me that I really had made an impression on the young lady’s heart, though she had not by any means given up the gallant captain.

“I asked Rachel how this could be—how it was possible that any heart could bear two impressions at the same time. She said, that she supposed some impressions were not as deep and ineffaceable as others. At all events, she believed that to Miss Harper it was a matter of no very vital concernment whether she married Captain Cox or Mr. Bloxham; but that she was determined to have one or other. The fact is, the girl was playing a double game, and deceiving both of us. All this was very clear to me from Rachel’s story. But she told me it was her own belief, that Julia would determine on taking me, after all—and that for the very excellent reason that Captain Cox was engaged elsewhere. At least, that was the story in the town since his return to barracks.

“Poor Rachel shed a great many tears whilst she was telling me all this. She said that, having betrayed her mistress, she could not think of remaining with her. She was decided on this point. With warm expressions of gratitude, I took her little hand into mine, and said that I would be her friend—that she had done me an inestimable service—that I was glad to be undeceived—that the little incident of the flowers and that of the slippers, had shaken my belief in Miss Harper’s truth, that altogether my opinions had changed, and that I knew there were worthier objects of affection. Then I spoke of her own position—said that of course her determination was right—but that she would confer a very great favor on me, if she would do nothing until she saw me again. This she readily promised; and it was agreed that on the following day, which was Sunday, she should call on me during afternoon service. I pressed her hand warmly when I wished her goodbye, and with greedy eyes followed her receding figure across the Close.

“She came at the appointed hour, looking prettier and more lady-like than ever. She was extremely well-dressed. I shook hands with her and asked her to seat herself upon the couch beside me; and then asked her, laughingly, ‘What news of Captain Cox?’ She said there was not the least doubt that Captain Cox was engaged to be married to a lady in London; and that Miss Harper, on the preceding evening, not before, had been made acquainted with the fact. I then asked Rachel what the young lady had said on receiving back her letter to the captain; and learnt that she had been greatly excited by the discovery, and had been very eager to ascertain how much of the letter I had read. When Rachel told her that I had read only the words, _I am so delighted, my dear Captain_ _Cox_, she somewhat recovered her spirits, but this morning she had pleaded illness as an excuse for not coming down to breakfast, and had not since left her room.

“There was at this time lying unopened on my table, a note from Miss Harper, which had been brought by her father, an hour before. I asked Rachel to give it to me, saying ‘Now let us see, Rachel, whether any new light is thrown upon the subject.’ I think her hand trembled when she gave it to me. I opened and read—

“‘My dear Mr. Bloxham,—Very many thanks to you for your promptitude in returning the note, which, stupid little bungler that I am’ (‘Not so very little, is she, Rachel?’ I paused to remark) ‘I sent you by mistake—I am very glad that I had not sent _the other_ to Captain Cox—for, although it does not much matter if one’s letters to one’s acquaintance fall into the hands of one’s friends, it is not at all pleasant if one’s letters to one’s friends fall into the hands of one’s acquaintance. I wrote to Captain Cox only to tell him how delighted I was to hear of his engagement—for he is going to be married to a Miss Fitz-Smythe—a very lady-like girl, who was spending some time here with the Maurices; and was really quite a friend of my own.’

“I had not patience to read any more. I knew it to be all a lie. So I tossed the letter into the middle of the room, and said, ‘We have had enough of that.’ I was ineffably disgusted. One thing, however, was certain; that Julia Harper, with her £15,000, was now to be had by me for the asking. But I would not have asked, if the money had been told over twenty times.

“I had other views for my humble self. Rachel, I found on inquiry, was the daughter of a Mrs. Earnshaw, the widow of an officer in the Preventive Service. The widow’s means of subsistence were slight, and her daughter had obtained a situation as, what people called, Miss Harper’s maid.

“My good fellow, I can hardly tell you what happened after this; I have a confused recollection of having looked inquiringly into Rachel’s face, read whole chapters of love in it; then threw my arms round her waist, pressed her fondly to my bosom, and whilst I untied her bonnet strings, and removed the obtrusive covering from her head, said to her, ‘We sailors have all been sworn at Highgate—all sworn never to kiss the maid when we can kiss the mistress—_unless we like the maid better than_ _the mistress_, and heaven knows how much _I_ do!’

“After the lapse of two or three weeks, and very delightful weeks they were, too—Rachel Earnshaw became Rachel Bloxham, and I the happiest husband in the world. I have got the very best of little wives, and never, I assure you, for one moment, though we have little enough to live upon, and I cannot bear these long separations, have I deplored the loss of Miss Harper and her fifteen thousand pounds, or regretted that I availed myself of the _saving clause_, when I proved that I had been Sworn at Highgate.”

* * * * *

=“WHATEVER HE DOETH SHALL PROSPER.”=

=BY MRS. MARY ARTHUR.=

I read the records of passing life, With a careful, earnest eye— And smiled or wept, as my pulses leapt, To the scenes that hurried by; From the busy play of infancy To the busier care of age— And nothing so fair as an upright soul Was traced on the glowing page.

“Whatever he doeth shall prosper well”— “In his darkness ariseth light”— So—softly and sweetly a whisper fell, Like the smile of an angel bright. Though he win not the glitter of gold or fame, Yet his wealth shall be far above; He shall coin it freely of precious words From the treasure of God’s deep love.

“Whatever he doeth shall prosper well,” Though his path may be rough awhile, Enough for him is the lights of truth And his Father’s ceaseless smile. He shall grow like a tree by the river-side, And if tempests sweep around— Then proved and tried by their searching wrath Shall the ripened fruit be found.

“Whatever he doth shall prosper well,” (For he waiteth his Father’s will,) Though it seems not so in this outer world, In a better and brighter still. His leaf shall not wither—it keepeth fair, Through the cold or gusty blast; And his fruit shall ripen to holiness When the season comes at last.

* * * * *

=THE USEFUL ARTS.=

=THEIR ORIGIN AND THEIR EARLIEST HISTORY.=

=BY CHARLES WILLIAMS.=

The origin of the useful arts is not like a spring gushing forth from the earth, a simple and indivisible cause of diversified results; it rather resembles the noble river, whose waters arise and increase from a large confluence of streams.

I. _Endowments for Labor._

How greatly, for instance, are the arts attributable to the human hand! The paw of the beaver is admirably adapted to its habits of masonry, but immensely superior is the organ of prehension with which we are gifted, which readily applies itself to, and securely grasps, bodies of every form and size, capable of being moved by the arms of man. Had the hand been undivided, it could only have held such a portion of any mass as was equal to itself; but now, by separating the fingers, it can encompass one larger than itself; and by compressing two of them together, it can safely hold a minute object. And as some bodies are too large to be held by one hand alone, we are endowed with two, inclining toward, and precisely adapted to, each other. The highest advantages of a single hand of much larger dimensions is therefore gained, without any of the discomforts that would arise from a different arrangement.

The admirable division of the hand, and the exquisite adjustment of its several parts, are consequently indispensable to its perfection. Only take from it one of them, and the efficiency of the whole is seriously impaired. The Roman soldier deprived of his thumb was regarded as unfit for service; and there have been instances in England and other countries of such self-mutilation, as an effectual security against a martial life. The thumb is, indeed, of special use. It is neither situated directly opposite to the fingers, nor in the same plane with them, but obliquely, that it may be brought at pleasure to bear on them all, or on each finger separately. How manifestly superior is it to the rudimental thumb of the ape, which is designed for no such services! In strong contrast to the hand, also, as examination will show, is the lion’s paw, which, though consisting of four fingers and a thumb, is only adapted to very different purposes. In the human feet, where extent of surface is required for support, all the toes, unlike the fingers, are arranged in the same plane.

Were the tips of the fingers of bone, instead of flesh, we could not take up such minute bodies as a millet seed, a thorn, or a hair, which we can now do so readily from their being soft and round. Less soft, or more soft, equal difficulty would arise: the fingers have precisely the degree of consistence which is adapted to their intended use. And that they may hold hard bodies, they are provided with nails, admirable indeed for structure and position: were these placed on the tips of the fingers, power would be lost; but they occupy exactly the situation, and are of just the length, which will insure their utmost efficiency. In almost every art where nicety of execution is required, the nails are continually called into action. Who can, indeed, overrate the value of the hand? Smoothness and roughness, fineness and coarseness, heat and cold, are among the many sensible qualities of matter which it enables us to recognize, from the nerves with which it is so abundantly supplied, while its uses defy enumeration. The cuticle, indeed, becomes hard, thickened, and almost horny, thus suffering a loss of sensibility from years of labor; but in this there is a wise and kind law of Providence, by which the laboring man is fitted for his daily and useful toil. Did his hands thrill with every impression, he would be constantly exposed to pain, and restrained by fear from pursuing as he does now his rugged work. But early use has inured him to labor; he therefore wields the axe, strikes in the spade, or swings over his head the huge hammer, almost unconscious of effort; or, equally unharmed, dips his vessel into the furnace of molten metal when it has attained the intensity of a dazzling and scorching whiteness.

Complicated as the mechanism of the hand appears, when the attention is restricted to its surface, it proves still more so when there is a careful examination of its internal structure; while its complexity can only be adequately regarded as other parts of the physical system are duly considered. The wrist, which forms the base of the hand, is composed of eight small bones compacted together; and having little or no motion, they constitute a solid mass. The wrist is joined to the bones of the fore-arm, the radius, and the ulna, which lie alongside each other, and touch only toward the ends. Only one of them is joined to the upper arm, at the elbow; the other only to the hand, at the wrist. The former, by means of a hinge-joint at the elbow, swings backward and forward, carrying with it the whole fore-arm. As often, too, as there is occasion to turn the palm of the hand upward, the radius rolls upon the ulna by the help of a cavity near each end of one bone, to which, in the other, there is a corresponding tubercle.

Other arrangements are equally worthy of consideration. The bones of the shoulders not only give firm attachment to the upper extremity of the frame, but supply origins to the muscles of the arm and fore-arm. The free use of the hand, and the square form of the chest, are alike greatly owing to the clavicle, or collar-bone, which runs across from the breast-bone to the top of the shoulders. The scapula, or shoulder-blade, which is flat and triangular, lies on the ribs, is cushioned with muscles, shifts and revolves in its place with every movement of the arm, and has the power of moving upward and downward, backward and forward, so that when these motions succeed rapidly, the arm is rotated. The upper arm consists of a single bone, the head of which is hemispherical; standing obliquely backward from the bone, and received into a cavity with which the scapula is provided, it forms a ball and socket-joint. In this arrangement there is a provision for the rotating of the arm-bone on the scapula: thus the guards are made in fencing, and various similar movements are performed. In others the wrist has a finer and easier rolling, but this is from the motion of the radius and the ulna. How exquisite and wondrous, then, are the complicated, yet harmonious arrangements of the organic structure, by which the endless diversity of our manipulations is so effectually and happily secured!

Nor must we pause even here; for what is it that directs the hand? It is the mind. The instruments of sense with which we are provided are employed by a being capable of volition. We thus pass from the palpable to the invisible. For that which feels and acts must be distinct from the body, unless the body itself feels and acts. But in as far as the body possesses a distinct organization of nerves for distinct purposes, as sympathy, feeling, and motion, and all the frame does not act together in feeling and volition, something besides the body must exist and operate. And it is mind which enables the man not only to contrive, but to execute. Without it, how useless; with it, when under the power of disease, how injurious, were the hand! But when mind is in healthy play, much may be effected by one hand, or even when the hands are never possessed or lost. On its due exercise the elevation of man is instrumentally and entirely dependent.

Inferior creatures are endowed with an amazing power. We stand astonished and confounded at the phenomena of instinct. But that power is at once perfected.

“The winged inhabitants of Paradise Wove their first nests as curiously and well As the wood-minstrels of our evil day.”

In the first exercise of instinct, the comb of the bee, the habitation of the beaver, and the web of the spider, like the nest of the bird, were not to be surpassed. The dog, or the elephant, justly renowned for sagacity, could not by any effort be taught to fabricate or use the simplest implements. But man is destined to progression. Not only may he be raised from a savage state to the elevation of civilized life, but urged forward from that position through a career of indefinite advancement. “Onwards! Onwards!” is the characteristic motto of humanity. And hence, while man has a hand to be directed by his mind, he has a mind on which circumstances operate; and of these art is the offspring. Sometimes it evinces only a slight or transient stimulus; at others, the stimulus is powerful and continuous. As invention consists in new combinations, its exercise will be inconsiderable when the mind has only few objects to combine, and proportionately great when such objects are numerous. In savage life, invention flags—its exercise is rare; but it is frequent in a highly civilized condition. The history of the arts, therefore, is that of man’s physical and intellectual progress. One art rises after another before our view, as the successive memorials of a triumphal course. Who can describe by anticipation the appropriate insignia of man’s ultimate achievements!

II. _The Hunter._

In accomplishing our present purpose, we shall glance at man in exceedingly diversified circumstances. The pursuit and capture of the fowls of the air and of the beasts of the field, and the taking of fish from the waters, for example, were early means of obtaining sustenance to which the human race must have had recourse. Long before hunting became a sport, such employments were necessarily a prime business of life. Men must, therefore, have soon invented and constructed a net; the Hebrew name of which, signifying “to shut up,” suggests that it arose from the net being contrived to inclose the prey. Nets were used in taking birds in distant times, to an extent of which we can now form no adequate conception. Of clap-nets there were several kinds, but the most common consisted of two sides or frames, over which the net-work was spread. At one end was a short net, which the fowlers fastened to a bush, or a cluster of reeds, and at the other end one of considerable length, which being pulled as soon as the birds were seen feeding in the area within, the two sides instantly collapsed. According to Sir J. G. Wilkinson, the nets of the ancient Egyptians were very similar to those still used in Europe, except that they were usually of a larger size. From these, it is probable that the fishing-nets of the Hebrews did not materially differ. Indeed, the nets and the fishers of Egypt are more than once mentioned in Scripture; and we know that the common fishing-nets of this people are of a long form, with floats on the upper and weights on the lower side.

At the present day, the Arabs, knowing that the birds become fatigued and languid after having been put up two or three times, hastily run in upon them, and knock them down with their bludgeons. They also frequently use a net, placing within it a cage containing some tame birds, that by their chirping and calling they may bring down others; a mode by which numbers of these creatures are and have been destroyed. Other devices are, moreover, adopted, which may, most probably, be traced to a very remote date.

In hunting, a space of considerable size was sometimes inclosed with nets in the vicinity of the water-brooks to which animals repaired in the morning and evening. Here the hunters anxiously waited, taking precautions for observing them unseen; sometimes driving them into the nets, and at others inclosing the prey. On other occasions smaller nets, when employed in a smaller space, proved equally effective. Of Esau we read, in patriarchal times, as being engaged in the chase. Impelled by the ardor of his spirit to seek in the toils, adventures, and perils of hunting, not only his occupation but his sustenance, he appears to have gained high repute by his daring and his skill. And yet the weapons he employed were very simple; for his aged father, when he longed for venison, told Esau to take his “quiver and his bow,” that it might be obtained. To these, however, great power may be given. How much do the aborigines of the North American continent owe to these weapons!

III. _Pastoral Life._

Other means of subsistence are observable in the primitive condition of man. Such are those of Pastoral Life. Abel, the second son of Adam, was “a keeper of sheep;” Jabal, a descendant of Cain, a son of Lamech and Adah, is described as “the father of such as dwell in tents and have cattle;” thus intimating that he was the first who adopted that nomade life, which is still followed by numerous Arab and Tartar tribes in Asia. In primitive times, some branches of the human family tended their flocks and herds on the banks of the Euphrates and its tributary streams; while, during succeeding ages, the descendants of Abraham followed the same employment amidst the fertile pastures of Canaan.

The Oriental shepherd and his family, just as their remotest ancestors did, occasionally take up their abode in caves, with which some parts of the East abound. So capacious are some of these caverns as to admit the master and the whole of his property. In times of great peril, the inhabitants of towns and villages retire, with their wives and children, their flocks and herds, into these dark recesses; which have served as an asylum for those exposed to danger or tyranny, from time immemorial. Some of the caves of Syria are ascribed chiefly to the erosive effect of limestone rocks charged with free carbonic acid; but others are more artificial, consisting of natural fissures enlarged or modified for some particular purpose. Of this we are reminded as we read, that “because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strongholds;” and many excavations formed by human hands are described by Oriental travelers.

But there was a continual migration of ancient tribes, of which we have still mementos:

“The weary Arabs roam from plain to plain, Guiding the languid herd in quest of food; And shift their little home’s uncertain scene With frequent farewell: strangers, pilgrims all, As were their fathers.”

To this mode of existence the tent was peculiarly adapted, consisting only at first, like the common Arab dwellings of the East, of a pole or two in the middle, with a covering of skin, and afterward of hair-cloth, which, though mean and coarse, effectually repels the rain and the dew. The erection of this light and fragile habitation was only the work of a few minutes. No sooner was a suitable spot found for a halting-place, than those on whom that duty devolved hastily unpacked the covering, and addressed themselves to the setting up the pole which forms the centre of the house; another party ran to mark out the space of ground which it was to cover; while a third stood ready to spread out the canopy and tie its extremities to the wooden pins, which the hands of a fourth had just driven into the ground with a huge mallet. Tents were sometimes, as they are still, of an oblong figure, supported, according to their size, by one or more pillars, while a curtain let down occasionally from each of these divisions turned the whole into so many separate apartments.

In the coverings and curtains of the tent we have an exercise of art worthy of special notice. A mingling of hair, wool, or fur plaited together, and fastened down by some natural threads, as hairs of greater length than usual, blades of tough grass, or other vegetable fibres separated from trees and plants, was probably the first advance toward such a fabric. Or it might be after the fashion of a net, so early in use, only with meshes unusually minute. Or hairs of fur, or down, bound about the feet, to prevent inconvenience, would thus become pressed together, and might suggest a somewhat solid and yet elastic fabric. But the idea, however obtained, of a cloth-like substance produced by fibres pressed together, would doubtless lead to efforts to produce it, and here the arts of spinning and weaving take their rise; and the coverings and curtains of the tent stand in relation to the dresses of the people.

An early mode of providing them would, doubtless, be to stretch a number of long threads side by side, and then to pass another alternately above and below them, so that with them this thread might be interwoven. The attempt made on a large scale might lead to another on a smaller, and this to others still more minute. In like manner, the primary use of broad pieces might suggest the employment of narrower ones, till small fibres were used for the same purpose. A mat-mantle was usually worn by the secondary chiefs of the South Sea islands prior to the introduction of European clothing. This article was carefully prepared from the hibiscus bark; that of the young shoots being preferred, which having been slit into shreds, were woven at the top by the hand with singular neatness; and the sight of one of these mat-mantles in the British National Museum, may well suggest similar processes as passed through in times of primitive simplicity.

The Oriental shepherd is, at the present day, very simply attired, as were those of patriarchal times. He puts on his garment, consisting of a single piece, by making his left elbow fast in one of its folds, and then throwing it several times round his body. Light and easy in itself, it is also a firm and secure defense, well adapted to a wandering life; preserving the shepherd from the falling rain, the dewy grass, the coldness of the season, or the hard ground on which he finds his bed. In other instances he wears a cloak, which is altogether shapeless, resembling a square sack with an opening in front, and slit at the sides to let out the arms, and which is his sleeping-dress at night. The dress of the women was, most probably, of a lighter fabric than that of the men in primitive times; but on it much obscurity rests. All accorded, however, with extreme simplicity. Wooden bowls and dishes, sacks made of hair-cloth, and bottles formed of a goat, kid, or calf’s skin, stripped off, without an opening; the apertures made by cutting off the tail and legs being sewed up, and when filled tied about the neck, are still the principal furniture of an Eastern shepherd’s tent. A rod or staff, an ox-goad, a sling, a bow, a javelin, are, at the same time, all his implements and weapons.

To provide water for the flock is a duty of the first importance. There is an abundant supply from the living fountain and the flowing stream; but these are not always to be found. Happy is the shepherd, then, who sees in the expanse before him the clear waters of a pool or lake, at which his flocks and herds may eagerly slake their thirst. But these may fail to be enjoyed; what appeared to be water may prove to be only the mirage—emblem of forbidden pleasures, exciting hope to entail only bitter disappointment. There remains, then, but one alternative—to dig a well; a process indispensable in the earliest days of human history. The well was often covered with a great stone, which being removed, the person descended some steps to the surface of the water, and on his return poured into a trough that which he had brought up. But as this could only be applicable when the well was not deep, other contrivances still employed in the East, and some of which appear on the Egyptian monuments, must have been of high antiquity. “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep,” were words which give additional probability to this supposition. The shadoof, consisting of a tapering lever, unequally balanced upon an upright body, and from the small end of which the bucket is suspended by a rope, has long been the most simple and common of all the machines employed to raise water in the East.

In pastoral regions we have the art of music in its primitive form. To Mercury the invention of the pipe was ascribed in pagan mythology; and with this rustic instrument the shepherd often amused and solaced his leisure hours. Apollo was celebrated as the inventor of the harp; and the hand of the shepherd frequently swept its strings while he rested with his flocks at noontide, or watched and guarded them during the lonely hours of the night. For his skill on this instrument the son of Jesse was distinguished in early life among the shepherds of Palestine. In the antediluvian age, however, Jubal lived—“the father of all such as handle the harp and organ;” the one being, probably, a kind of lyre, and the other a bundle of reeds.

“Thus music’s empire in the soul began: The first-born poet ruled the first-born man.”

IV. _Agriculture._

Agriculture is an art which has ever been a source both of the necessaries and conveniences of life. Moses, following the example of the Egyptians, made it the basis of the state. Accordingly, he apportioned to every citizen a certain quantity of land, and gave him, not only the right of tilling it himself, but also of transmitting it to his heirs. The custom of marking the boundaries of lands by stones, which had prevailed in earlier times, he perpetuated by an express law; and against him who removed them without authority a curse was denounced. Joshua divided the whole country, of which he had taken possession, among the individual Hebrews, running it out with the aid of a “measuring line.”

The occupation of the husbandman was held in honor, not only for the profits it brought, but from its being supported and protected by the fundamental laws of the State; security being an indispensable element of human progress. All who were not set apart for sacred duties, as the priests and levites, were regarded by the laws, and were, in fact, agriculturalists. It is true that the rich and the noble did not place themselves on a level with their inferiors; but none were so distinguished as to disdain the culture of the soil. Elisha the son of Shaphat was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen when Elijah passed by and cast his mantle upon him. Of Uzziah, king of Judah, it was said—“He loved husbandry.” And it became natural to speak of a man, engaging in the highest and noblest service, as “putting his hand to the plough.”

This implement was at first extremely simple, the turning up of the soil being effected by means of sharp sticks. The plough, strictly so called, as observed by many recent travelers, is generally a branch, or small tree, cut below the bifurcation; the share is of wood, and the point of iron. As the husbandman guides the plough, he carries a rod, armed at the extremity with a sharp piece of iron, with which he clears away the weeds from the share of his implement, or goads his oxen. So light is the whole apparatus, that he has to press hardly on it in the upturning of the soil; and he often carries his plough home on his shoulder on returning from the fields at night. The only harrow seems to have been a thick clump of wood, borne down by a weight, or a man sitting upon it, and drawn by oxen over the ploughed field: the same which the Egyptians use at the present time. In this way the turfs were, and still are, broken in pieces, and the fields leveled.

In harvest, the Hebrews used the sickle, so that the stubble remained in the earth. The crops, when bound in bundles, were conveyed by hand, on beasts of burden, or in wagons, to the threshing-floor. This was in some elevated part of the field, and was nothing more than a circular space thirty or forty paces in diameter, where the ground had been leveled and beaten down. At first the grain was thrashed with sticks; but afterward this mode was adopted only in respect to the lesser kinds of grain, and in beating out small quantities. At a later period, it was trodden out by the hoofs of oxen, as it is in the East to this day.

These allusions to agricultural pursuits recall to the mind the words of the prophet—

“Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. Doth the ploughman plough all day to sow? Doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, Doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, And cast in the principal wheat, and the appointed barley, and the rye, in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, Neither is a cart-wheel turned about upon the cummin; But the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread-corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, Nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, Which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.”

Isaiah mentions four ways of threshing: the staff or flail, which was used for the smaller seeds; the drag, formed of strong planks, the lower part of which was made rough with stones or iron; the cart, having wheels furnished with iron edges or teeth; and the feet of oxen driven over the corn when laid on the floor. The grain was winnowed by being thrown against the wind with a shovel.

The traditions of ancient times ascribe many of its arts to the visions and instructions of superior beings. Among these stands forth with special prominence the legend of “the fire-bringing Prometheus,” as depicted by Æschylus with extraordinary power. He appears chained to the mountains of Caucasus; and why is he thus doomed to suffering? For disobedience to the power that rules the world, in bestowing fire on the human race. “Laboring for the people,” and intent on giving them “all-working fire,” it is to restrain him from “his man-loving turn of mind,” that he is cast forth from society, and that the far-distant and barren rock is his inexorable destiny.

How man received the gift of fire we have no means of knowing. It is a Moslem fable that the angel Gabriel brought it to our first parents. Poetry says that the winds blew through the grove, that two trees became ignited from continued attrition, and that Adam beholding the lighted copse fled, turned back, caught the glow of the flame, and then tried various means to obtain it. Again, it tells us that a flint-shaft, aimed at a beast, ground against a rock, and elicited sparks of fire, which led Adam to rub stones together over dry leaves, while Eve gently cherished the kindling flame. More than one ancient people ascribe it to the rubbing of two pieces of wood together, a practice still adopted among barbarous tribes. But however this might be, fire must have been possessed in earliest times for the preparation of human food, as well as for the practice of those arts which are ascribable to the fatherhood of Tubal-Cain.

The presence of the metals, and particularly iron, must have become, in various ways, too obvious to allow the art of smelting the ores to have remained long undiscovered. The detection of virgin fragments, or the accidental effect of fires on the more fusible ores, accounts at once for the strange fictions which existed among the ancients on this subject, especially that of the accidental conflagration of a forest, and the consequent fluxion of some of the metal, from ores lying exposed on, or near the surface. It is a natural conjecture, that in a little time after the deluge, and long before the earth could have been peopled by the posterity of Noah, a large part of it must have become covered with wood. Its removal from many spots would, therefore, be indispensable. Now, the most obvious method of clearing any space from wood is the setting it on fire: and as in the most mineral countries there are veins of metallic ores lying contiguous to the surface of the earth, these being fused while the woods growing over them were burning, might have suggested the first idea of the process of smelting. To adopt a poet’s notion—

“Thus powerful gold first raised its lofty head, And brass, and silver, and ignoble lead: When shady woods on lofty mountains grown, Felt scorching fires, whether from thunder thrown, Or else by men’s design the flames arose— Whatever ’t was that gave these flames their birth, Which burnt the towering trees and scorched the earth; Hot streams of silver, gold, and lead, and brass, As nature gave a hollow, proper place, Descended down, and formed a glittering mass.”

Nor is this merely a poetic fiction: it is sustained by the testimony of many ancient historians, who speak of silver and other metals being melted out of the earth, during the burning of the woods on the lofty Alps and Pyrenees. A similar circumstance is said to have happened at Croatia, not two centuries ago. A large mass of mixed metal, composed of copper, iron, tin, and silver, was fluxed during the conflagration of a wood which was accidentally set on fire.

The structure and use of the bellows may be traced to a very remote period. Rosellini exhibits it, as it was employed in ancient Thebes. Men appear heating a vessel over a charcoal fire, to each side of which is applied a pair of bellows worked by the feet, each operator standing upon and pressing them alternately, while he pulls up the exhausted skin by a string which he holds in his hand. In one representation, the man has left the bellows, which are raised as if full of air, and imply a knowledge of the valve. The common bellows, made of two boards joined together by a piece of leather, was known very early to the Greeks. How serviceable this machine would be in the practice of the arts will be at once perceptible.

Wool, in its native whiteness, was peculiarly suited for clothing to the circumstances of the Israelites, whose economy required so many sprinklings and cleansings. This substance was used for garments, both by those of humbler and of higher grade, until accompanied or superseded by other fabrics.

Among the wild flowers of our rural districts, the eye is sometimes attracted—for example—by the blue flowers of the flax-plant. This vegetable product is so little affected by soil and climate, that one species, with all its characteristics unaltered, flourishes in the cold as well as the temperate regions of the globe. There is scarcely a plant, not even excepting the corn-plants, which can be regarded as of more service to mankind than the flax. Its free use in ancient Egypt is abundantly proved, while many representations are extant of the various processes through which it passed. One of these is found in a very ancient tomb at Beni Hassan, in Middle Egypt. On the right is seen a boiler, an irregularly-shaped vessel. The hieroglyphic inscription means, “The boiling of the knot, bundle of flax.” The three men who complete the picture are beating the flax-stalks, thus prepared, with wooden mallets, in order to deprive it of its outer skin. The hieroglyphic inscription above reads, “Pickling, or hackling the thread of the knot of flax.”

In some of the ancient statues, Minerva is represented with a distaff, to intimate that she taught our progenitors the art of spinning. The Egyptians ascribe this gift to Isis; and the Mohammedans to a son of Japhet. In all countries, from the earliest times, the distaff was accompanied by the spindle. The material employed—being duly prepared—was rolled into a ball, loose enough for the fibres to be easily drawn out by the hands of the spinner. Into the ball the upper part of the distaff was thrust, while the lower was held in the left hand under the left arm, so as to be most convenient for the process. The fibres were drawn out, and at the same time spirally twisted, chiefly by the fore-finger and thumb of the right hand, and the thread so produced was wound on the spindle. The spindle was a stick ten or twelve inches long, having at the top a slit or catch in which to fix the thread, so that the weight of the spindle might continually carry down the thread as it was formed. Its lower extremity was inserted into a small wheel of wood, stone, or metal, the use of which was to keep the spindle more steady, and to promote its rotation: for the spinner, who was commonly a female, every now and then twirled round the spindle with her right hand, so as to twist the thread still more completely; and, whenever—by its continual prolongation—it let down the spindle to the ground, she took it out of the slit, wound it upon the spindle, and having replaced the thread in the slit, drew out and twisted another length. The Arab women twirl the spindle in the same manner to this day. A still simpler process is passed through by the women of the Tartar tribes. They use a reel, which is connected with some silk, cotton, or wool, fastened at the girdle. This reel is spun round and let fall, and as it goes toward the ground it spins out the thread; when it approaches the ground it is taken up, the thread is wound around the reel, which is then set spinning again, and so on, till it has acquired as much thread as it can carry. This may seem very slow work, but habit gives a dexterity of manipulation which renders it less so than would be ordinarily supposed.

In ancient Egypt great skill must have been obtained in spinning. The threads used for nets, for instance, were remarkable for their fineness. Pliny says, so delicate were some of them that a net could pass through a ring, and a single person could carry a sufficient number of nets to surround a whole wood. He tells us that one of the governors of Egypt had some of these nets, each string of which contained 150 threads; and that the Rhodians preserved to his day, in the Temple of Minerva, the remains of a linen corslet, presented to them by Amasis, king of Egypt, the threads of which were individually composed of 365 fibres.

The tomb at Beni Hassan, already referred to, supplies a representation of ancient weaving. The warp is strained vertically on a frame, which seems to be attached by wooden tenons to the wall or roof of the dwelling. Beneath, the roller appears on which the web is wound. Two females, crouching in a posture not uncommon in the East, are at work upon it. The alternate threads of the warp are stretched apart by means of two smooth sticks, one end of which is held by each worker. The woof was then passed by the hand from one to the other. The shuttle does not appear to have been known at that time. The beam was introduced between the threads, perhaps fixed at one end by a slight metal catch; and, when thus fastened, the leverage would enable another woman to press the woof home with considerable force. The beam must have been withdrawn and re-inserted at every turn of the woof. Exceedingly clumsy as this instrument was, yet an extremely beautiful cloth was produced by it.

The Hebrew loom was most probably the counterpart of those still observed by our Eastern travelers. One of them noticed its use in Jerusalem, where the worsted was not worked in, but woven into the piece, and the pattern of the weaving changed, so that the color of the thread was completely thrown out, forming a triple fringe, through which the weft could not be seen. “In two of our specimens,” says Mr. Wilde, “we find twelve thick threads crossing the piece, and the tassels tied exactly as they are at the end of a piece of modern Irish linen. But the slipping of the weft is prevented by a curious process, performed by tying the threads of the warp together, so that each is secured to the thread at each side of it. This process forms a slight ridge at the end of the piece, and is rather ornamental. This fringe appears to be alluded to in that passage of Scripture, where the Israelites were directed to make fringes in the borders of their garments, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribbon of blue. I have seen a species of mummy-cloth in Egypt corresponding to this description precisely. Such was, probably, ‘the hem of the garment.’”[1]

Many of the Egyptian stuffs presented various patterns worked in colors by the loom, independently of those produced by the dyeing or printing process, and so richly composed, that they vied with cloths embroidered by the needle. The art of embroidering was commonly practiced by that people. The Israelites, when in the wilderness, used the skill which they acquired in their captivity, for they made a rich “hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twisted linen wrought with needlework;” “a coat of fine linen” was embroidered for Aaron; and his girdle was “of fine-twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, of needlework.”

In connection with these manufactures of different kinds there is a process of great interest; it is that of bleaching: for cloth washed and exposed to the sun and air assume an unwonted whiteness. We are in ignorance as to the origin of this process; but, in some way or other, a certain degree of putrid fermentation was observed to carry off coloring matter from vegetable fibres. The practice must therefore have arisen of macerating cloth in water mixed with putrescent animal matter, which has continued to the present day from the earliest times. The secret was also found out by many nations of antiquity, that natron, the nitre of Scripture, combined with and carried off the coloring matter with which cloth is stained; and the substance is still used for the same purpose. According to Pliny, the ancient Gauls knew the use of a lixivium formed from the ashes of burnt vegetables as a detergent, and also how to combine it with oil so as to form a soap. In one of the tombs of Egypt we have a representation, as the hieroglyphic inscription denotes, of the washing or fulling of cloth. One man is seen rubbing the fabric in a vessel containing some liquid, and another is shaking it out, preparing it for the next process, which is often depicted—its being well wrung out, stretched lengthwise, and fully exposed to the air.

Another process of great importance is that of dyeing. It is based on the natural attractiveness of color. How often is the infant’s eye first caught by some bright hue! The blue sky and the verdant carpet of nature have a loveliness for all; while these, with the roseate tints of the morning, the golden sheen of noon, and the rich, empurpled dyes of evening, have furnished epithets freely lavished on the topics they have adorned, by the poets of every age. Even Herodotus says of a nation on the borders of the Caspian—“They have trees whose leaves possess a most singular property; they beat them to powder, and then steep them in water: this forms a dye, with which they paint on their garments figures of animals. The impression is so very strong that it cannot be washed out: it appears to be interwoven with the cloth, and wears as long as the garment.” Strabo, in his account of the Indians, mentions on the authority of Nearchus the various and beautiful dyes with which their cloths were figured. Pliny says of the Egyptians, that they began by painting on white cloth with certain drugs, which in themselves possessed no color, but had the property of attracting or absorbing coloring matters. That these cloths were afterward immersed in a heated dyeing liquor of a uniform color, and yet when removed from it soon after, they were found to be stained with indelible colors, differing from one another according to the nature of the drugs that had been applied to different parts of the stuff.

Purple is well known to have been a color of high repute. Moses, under Divine instruction, used purple stuffs for the furniture of the tabernacle and the dress of the high-priest. Purple raiment was worn by the kings of Midian; and a garment of fine linen and purple was given to a favorite by the Monarch Ahasuerus, whose palace was furnished with curtains of this color, on a pavement of red, and blue, and white marble. The Jews made a decree that Simon should wear purple and gold, in token that he was their chief magistrate; and that none of the people should wear purple or a buckle of gold, without his express permission. And Homer thus describes a king—

“In ample mode, A robe of military purple flowed o’er all his frame.”

There is a story that the celebrated Tyrian dye was discovered by accident. A dog having broken one of the shells of the rock-whelk, stained his mouth with the color it contains, and thus led to the examination of this mollusc. It was then found that near to the head, and lying in a little furrow, is a white vein, yielding the beautiful purple tint which was long so highly esteemed.

It might be supposed that such processes as that of dyeing could only be conducted in an advanced state of society; but to this it is not exclusively confined. There is no doubt that, even during the captivity in Egypt, the Israelitish women became acquainted with them. For scarcely had they entered the wilderness than we hear that “the wise-hearted among them” did not only “spin with their hands,” but “brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet,” as well as “of fine linen.”

We even find another process analogous to dyeing, in circumstances in which we should not expect it to be discovered. In some of the islands of the South Sea elegant small ferns grow in abundance, and with these the native women impress figures, in divers colors, upon their cloth—literally, a method of printing, which is but one remove below the boasted invention of the Chinese, by means of engraven blocks, before the art was discovered in Europe. Its resemblance to calico printing is even more striking. For the old method, still continued for certain parts of the work, were by blocks of sycamore, on the surface of which the pattern was cut in relief, in the common method of wood engraving.

Vessels to hold water would be an early requirement of the human race. The shells of some vegetable productions, as those of gourds and the larger kinds of nuts, would readily occur to the mind as adapted to this purpose. The skins of animals taken in the chase would form another resource. The bowls and dishes of the common Arabs are, and have been, made of wood; but, for their production, some tools must be possessed, as well as some dexterity in their use. It is a singular practice of some tribes to cast stones made hot into the fluids contained in wooden bowls, in order to raise their temperature; but the discovery that certain substances could be made to resist the action of fire would at once cause them to have the preference. Who made the discovery—the brickmaker or the potter—we have no means of knowing.

The art of the potter was especially necessary at an early period, from the scarcity of fuel in some parts of the East. Hence we are told of people “who make in their tents a hole about a foot and a half deep, wherein they put their earthen pipkins or pots, with the meat within, closed up, so that they are in the turf above the middle. Three-fourth parts thereof they lay about with stones, and the fourth part of which is left open, through which they throw in their dried dung, which burns immediately, and gives so great a heat, that the pot groweth so hot as if it had stood in the middle of a lighted coal-heap; so that they boil their meat with a little fire, quicker than we do ours with a great one on our hearths.” As the Israelites must have had as much occasion to be sparing of their fuel as any people, and especially while journeying in the wilderness, it has been supposed that they must have had some such practice. It is certain that we read in the Levitical law of “ranges of pots,” thus showing their use at that period. It became still more familiar in after times.

“I went down,” says the Prophet Jeremiah, “to the potter’s house, and behold he wrought a work on the wheels.” The name of the inventor of this simple, yet effective machine, has been lost for ages, if indeed it was ever made known. It consists merely of two wheels or round plates placed horizontally, to which a rotary motion is given. If, then, on the upper one be heaped a mass of clay, it is evident that a tendency to a centrifugal motion will be given to it, which will greatly facilitate the action of the potter’s fingers, in forming out of the rude lump whatever vessel he pleases. With his thumbs separated from the fingers, and held on the clay as it revolves, the rapid motion will enable him readily to mould a hollow vessel.

Of earthenware, jars and drinking-vessels were chiefly made; and, it is probable, from the unvarying character of Eastern customs, that they had the same shapes as those still in use. Vessels formed of clay hardened by the sun, of a globular shape, and large at the mouth, not unlike the vitriol-bottles used in this country, but somewhat smaller, have been observed by modern travelers as borne by females going down to the well to fetch water; while their resemblance to the vessels used at the marriage of Cana in Galilee was exceedingly interesting.

In Egypt and Western Asia the inhabitants have in common use vessels of porous clay, lightly baked, and rather thin in proportion to the size of the vessels. The water they hold constantly oozes through the minute pores of the vessel, forming a thick dew or moisture on the outer surface, the rapid evaporation of which reduces the temperature of the vessel and of the water also much below that of the atmosphere, so that the inhabitants enjoy a perfectly cool and refreshing draught. The vessel forms, at the same time, a most effectual filter. The work of the potter continues to be, as it was, extensive in the East. The people are accustomed to break their earthen vessels when they become defiled, just as they were required to do under the Levitical law.

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[1] Wilde’s Travels.

V. _Settlers in towns._

While, however, these various branches of art were advancing with greater or lesser speed, while the number of the people was increasing, a division of property arose, and the desire was naturally kindled in the bosom of families to dwell apart: a dissatisfaction would therefore arise with the tent, and an effort be made to collect other materials, and to construct separate and more durable dwellings. In the time of Job, and probably for ages afterward, the houses of all ranks in the land of Uz appear to have been built of mud; for of some transgressors he says—“In the dark they dig through houses which they had marked for themselves in the day-time.” We read of others who “dig through” houses “and steal;” thus suggesting to us those clay-built dwellings, which, though not substantial like edifices of later date, were still sufficiently so to require that he should _dig_ through them who would gain a forcible entrance.

On men determining to become settlers in towns, more stable materials were rendered available. The manufacture of bricks ascends to the earliest time of historical record. The first building of which there is any mention after the deluge is the Tower of Babel. Considerable progress appears to have been made, not only in this but the city before “the confusion of tongues” took place. It is expressly stated that well-burned brick was used, instead of stone, in these structures, and that slime, which is generally understood to be bitumen, was employed instead of mortar. Other edifices were reared from bricks formed of earth, and then burned in furnaces or kilns.

The manufacture of bricks was familiar to the ancient Egyptians. In this, as is well known, the children of Israel were greatly oppressed. The circumstance of the bricks they made being mixed with chopped straw, renders it probable that they were not burned, but merely dried in the sun. Herodotus records of Asychis, one of the kings of Egypt, that he built a pyramid of bricks, made of the mud or silt dredged up from the bottom of the Nile. In one compartment of a tomb in Thebes the whole process of brick-making is portrayed. Some persons appear carrying the clay in vessels from the field, others beating it with spades, others taking the bricks out of the mould, and others bearing away the dried bricks, making a balance over their shoulders with ropes attached to a beam.

The first effort of those who would rear a town would be to mark out the extent of the ground they required, including not only a desirable space for building, but pasture-lands for flocks and herds, and also fields for the produce of grain. A wall would now be necessary at the boundary line, as a defense from the assaults of ravenous beasts, or the incursions of hostile bands. This would at first be formed of any stones that could be dug out or collected, and then heaped together; a strong and stable, but rude protection.

The earliest houses would probably be only one story in height: all of them having a similarity in general appearance. But the chief would soon require that his dwelling should accord with his personal elevation, and obedience to his mandate would result in the rudiments of a palace. The sound knowledge or the superstition of the sovereign and his people would give rise to the structure of a temple, and in the course of time to the multiplying of edifices accounted sacred. Other distinctive circumstances would inevitably arise. To walls rendered increasingly massive would be added towers, gradually acquiring a military character; and places of security to which the inhabitants might retire in seasons of peril. On an assault being made, the men who tilled the ground, and those who carried on the business of the town, would unite in its defense; but as attacks continued to be threatened, or were actually experienced, there would be the organization of a martial force, and the population be divisible into the civil and the military; the latter class being supplied with weapons and trained to the exercises of assault and defense.

The implements of the carpenter, like those of other artisans, were long both few and simple. It does not follow that the axe was first formed of iron. As a spear-head of hard wood serves the purpose of some of the South Sea Islanders, so does still an axe of green jade. If to this there was a resemblance in early times, a sharpened piece of iron with a wooden helve would naturally succeed. We know that celebrity might be acquired in its use; for “a man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.” When Solomon was about to build the Temple, he conveyed his wish to the King of Tyre for a supply of timber, knowing as he said, “there is not among us any that can skill to _hew_ timber like unto the Sidonians.”

In early times, the trunks of trees were split with wedges into as many, and as thin pieces as possible; and if they were required to be still thinner, they were hewn on both sides to the proper size. Much advantage was therefore gained by the invention of the saw. As it could only be made of metal, this would occur at a far later period than that to which it is just to ascribe the origin of the axe. That the Egyptians possessed the saw is manifest from their sculptures. David, on the subjugation of the Ammonites, appears to have put them to labor with different implements, among which was the saw. The use of this was not confined to wood; for parts of Solomon’s palace were formed of “costly stones, according to the measure of hewn stones, sawed with a saw.”

The art of the locksmith is nowhere apparent in early times: the bolt, the lock, the key, were all of wood, as they are in the metropolis of Egypt to the present day. To produce these, therefore, the carpenter must have been employed. The Orientals looked to watchmen as their chief means of defense.

The lamp-maker must have been, however, in great request. Metals were often employed in the structure of lamps. The one commonly used in Cairo is of palm-tree wood; the glass that hangs in the middle is half-filled with water, and has oil on the top, about three fingers in depth. The wick is preserved dry at the bottom of the glass, and ascends through a pipe. Such Lamps are very convenient, from their being easily removed from place to place.

And here we are reminded of a valuable substance not yet noticed. According to Pliny, some storm-beaten mariners were boiling their food at the mouth of the river Belus—a small stream running from the foot of Mount Carmel—where the herb kali was growing abundantly, when they perceived that the sand—when incorporated with the ashes of the plant—melted, and ran into a vitreous substance. Nor is the supposition unnatural; for the sand at this place was well adapted to the manufacture of glass; and it is scarcely possible to produce a fire of sufficient heat for metallurgical operations without vitrefying part of the bricks or stones of the furnace. Strabo and Josephus alike supported the statement of Pliny, and probably from the spot referred to, the material was obtained that was used in the glass-works of Tyre and Sidon. At Beni Hassan, glass-blowers are represented at work: glazed pottery was used by the Egyptians; they also made glass bugles and beads for necklaces, and a sort of network with which they covered the wrappers of mummies, so as to form by their various hues numerous devices and figures, resembling those that are made in our bead-purses. The chief articles of that people were, however, bottles, vases, and other utensils, though they must have had great skill in the manufacture of glass, as they counterfeited amethysts, emeralds, and other precious stones, and were practiced in cutting glass and gems. A pane of glass, and numerous fragments of broken glass bottles were discovered on the excavation of the city of Pompeii. And Mr. Layard has found that the people of Nineveh had also acquired the art of making glass. Several small bottles, or vases—of elegant shape—in this material, were found at Nimroud and Kouyunjik. One bears the name of the Khorsabad king. The gems and cylinders still frequently found in ruins, prove that the Assyrians were also very skillful in engraving on stone.

Not very long after the rise of the arts we discover the practice of working in gold. The golden ear-ring presented by Abraham’s steward to Rebekah weighed half a shekel, and the two bracelets for her hands were ten shekels’ weight of gold. The ark of the covenant, though made of wood, was to be overlaid with pure gold, within and without. It was also to have a crown of gold round about, and rings of gold in the four corners. Even the staves were to be overlaid with gold. Similar directions were given as to the table of shewbread and the altar of incense. And Solomon garnished the house of the Lord with gold.

The Egyptians appear to have been familiar with the manufacture of gold. The gold-leaf still found in and about mummy-cases, some thousands of years old, proves not only that they had an abundant supply of the precious metal, but were acquainted with the art of gilding. Their making of golden ornaments and golden vases, of large size and beautiful workmanship, might be inferred from various incidental notices in ancient writers; but, it is placed beyond all doubt by the representations of Rosellini. Among these are numerous vases of a golden color, many of them showing not only manual dexterity, but also considerable taste. A picture in the tomb of Rameses IV. contains a golden vase of great beauty, supported by two Philistines.

There is no mention of silver in Scripture till the time of Abraham. It then appears in the form of money, estimated by weight: “Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.” Jeremiah paid for the field of Hanameel in the same way. The shekel and the talent indeed do not appear to have been originally fixed and stamped pieces of money, but merely weights used in traffic. So general did this become, that the Jews usually had scales attached to their girdles for weighing the gold and silver they received in payment, while the Canaanites carried them in their hands. Silver was so abundant in the days of Solomon that it was “nothing accounted of;” for “the king made silver to be as stones in Jerusalem.”

The mention of brass which occurs in ancient writers must often be understood as meaning copper, either in its pure state or alloyed with tin, rather than the metallic compound with which we are familiar. It is stated that the chief sources of the wealth of the Pharaohs were the mines of the neighboring countries of Nubia and Ethiopia, which were abundantly productive of copper.

The mirrors which were in possession of the Israelitish women when they left Egypt are said to have been of brass, for the laver and the foot of it were made of that metal. Such were all the mirrors made in ancient times. Many metallic mirrors may be observed in our collections of Egyptian antiquities. They are nearly round, but varied in form, according to the taste of the artisan, and are inserted in handles of wood, stone, or metal. Their substance is chiefly copper, but mixed with other metals, most carefully wrought and highly polished. In the Egyptian Museum at Paris, there are several mirrors of a metal which looks like brass.

David provided an immense quantity of copper for the use of the Temple. Of this substance all sorts of vessels were made for the Temple, as they had been for the Tabernacle; and to these may be added weapons, more especially helmets, armor, shields, and spears. Hiram of Tyre was celebrated as a worker in brass. The larger vessels, and the pillars for architectural ornaments, were moulded in foundries; but it appears that this art, even in the time of Solomon, was little known among the Jews, and was peculiar to foreigners, particularly the Phœnicians.

Mines of copper occur in the mountains of Kourdistan, which appear to have been worked from remote antiquity. They formed the chief source from which copper, iron, and lead were obtained by the ancient Assyrians. A disused copper-mine, nearly blocked up with earth and rubbish, and only known to a few mountaineers, was visited by Mr. Layard. He found the metal in various states. Inscriptions on copper, various utensils, and figures of lions in solid metal, have been exhumed from the ruins of Nineveh. Tools, daggers, arrow-heads and armor, were formed from the ore, as was commonly the case among Asiatic nations, while the metal in powder was used to color the bricks and ornaments in the Assyrian palaces.

The general style of building in the East, with which our modern travelers are so familiar, accords with that which is traceable to the remotest ages. Fronting the street, which is usually narrow, as providing a better defense from the sun, and sometimes with a range of shops on one or both sides, dead walls appear, here and there only broken by a window, to which a grotesque frame of lattice-work serves as a guard. The house is entered by a porch or gateway, which conducts into a quadrangular court paved with stone or marble, and is generally surrounded by a cloister; over which, when the house has a number of stories, a gallery, having a balustrade, or else a piece of carved or latticed work, is erected of the same dimensions as the cloister. The apartments are approached by doors from the quadrangular court. When houses are built close together, the staircase is placed in the porch, or at the entrance into the court, and continued through one corner of the gallery or another to the top of the house; but when the houses are not contiguous, the staircase appears to have been conducted along the outside of the building. The roof is always flat; it is often composed of branches of wood laid across rude beams, and is covered with a strong plaster of terrace, to defend it from injury in the rainy season. It is surrounded by a parapet or a wall breast high, serving as a protection to those who go on the roof for various purposes, and also as a means of separation from the adjacent houses. Such a battlement was expressly required by the law of Moses, intimating probably, that terraced houses were at that time less common in Syria than they were in Egypt.

In the survey of ancient buildings, the use of immense masses of stone cannot fail to be observed. It appears from recent discoveries that they were cut from the quarries by a number of metal wedges, placed in a line, and struck simultaneously with a wooden mallet; or that a mass was split by wedges of highly-dried wood saturated with water, and thus acquiring a great expansive force. They were sometimes hewn, either roughly or with greater care. They were raised aloft by means still employed in India, as mounds, or inclined planes, or others equally simple. In all the remains of ancient Egypt we have no trace of any machinery being employed in building; a fact not a little remarkable when we consider how vast and stupendous were many of its edifices.

In the language of the Hebrews, the name of a garden was given to every place where plants and trees were cultivated with greater care than in the open field. Such inclosures are generally defended, as they have been for ages, by loose stones, a wall, or a hedge formed of the wild pomegranate tree, or of thorns mingled with rose-bushes, adorned in their season with their lovely flowers, and giving forth their delightful fragrance. Within, however, but little design or beauty is apparent, the whole commonly presenting only a confused medley of fruit-trees, with beds of esculent plants, having even plots of wheat and barley sometimes interspersed. Solomon could say, “I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruits;” but then he had not only an unusual knowledge of the vegetable tribes, but also vast resources as a sovereign. And travelers still tell us of the supposed remains of the works he constructed, when he said, “I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees.”

Particular attention appears to have been bestowed on the culture of the vine by the Israelites and other Oriental people. The site for this purpose was carefully selected in fields of a loose, crumbling soil, on a rich plain, on a sloping hill, or where the acclivity was very steep, or on terraces supported by masonry; the whole being inclosed by a wall. How luxuriant was the produce of Palestine is evident from the fact, that on the return of the spies they passed through the valley of Eshcol, where they were so much struck by the size and beauty of the vines, that they broke off a branch to take with them to the camp, and to prevent the attached and rich clusters from being bruised, bore it between two on a staff. That the vine was cultured in Egypt, and that the juice of the grape was expressed from its clusters, is apparent, not only from Scripture, but the paintings and sculptures of that country, in which are often and strikingly depicted the vineyards and vine-arbors, the gathering of the grapes, and the treading of the wine-press.

On the construction of military machines we do not enter; we dwell rather on the arts of peace. Music, to which allusion has been made, in connection with pastoral life, has, however, in all ages furnished a powerful stimulus to men when engaged either in assault or defense. The ancient inhabitants of Etruria used the trumpet for this purpose; the Arcadians, the whistle; the Sicilians, the pectida; the Cretians, the harp; the Lacedemonians, the pipe; the Thracians, the cornet; the Egyptians, the drum; and the Arabians, the cymbal.

The transmission of persons and goods on the surface of the water would appear to be desirable in a very remote age. How the idea of doing so arose we know not. It is, however, certain that man did not

“Learn of the little nautilus to sail;”

for that this mollusc has no membrane that it can elevate to catch the wind, has been satisfactorily demonstrated. It is manifest, in other ways, that very different vessels from any having sails were first used. The raft, constructed of rude timbers lashed together, would, for example, be devised at an early period. The means employed to this day on the Euphrates must also have been adopted in a very distant age. The kelck is composed of goat or sheep skins, inflated and fastened close together, on which cross-pieces of wood are placed. The skins, of which great care is taken lest they should burst from becoming dry, are examined and inflated afresh during a voyage. Floated down by the strength of the current, with the occasional use of rudely-formed oars, the materials of the raft are sold on the cargo being discharged, while the skins, exhausted of air, are carried back overland, to be used on the next voyage.

The Arabs, male and female, still cross the Euphrates, or pass upon it to a considerable distance, for agricultural and other purposes, by means of inflated skins; which were probably employed by the patriarch Jacob when he fled from Padan-aran, and “carried away all his cattle and all his goods.” In after times armies crossed rivers by inflated skins, and other contrivances. And among the sculptures of Nineveh obtained by Mr. Layard, is one representing three warriors passing a river: one struggles with the current, the others are sustained by inflated skins.

The ark of bulrushes prepared by the parents of Moses for their beloved child, presents another type of ancient modes of conveyance. Egypt is described by the prophet Isaiah as sending “ambassadors by the sea;”

“And in vessels of papyrus on the face of the waters.”

That the ancients were accustomed to make light boats or vessels of this substance is well known. Theophrastus, describing the papyrus as useful for many things, says, “for from this they make vessels,” or ships; while Pliny observes, “from the papyrus they weave vessels.” Herodotus speaks of covered coracles, or basket-boats, their ribs being formed of poplar, united and lined within with reeds, covered without with leather, and worked by two men, each having a paddle, as common in his day. Similar vessels, excepting only that a covering of bitumen is substituted for one of leather, are still to be seen floating on the bosom of the Euphrates. But to these Egyptian art was not restricted. Herodotus describes boats formed of planks laid together in the manner of bricks, and fastened by an outer layer of deals, the joinings of which were stopped up by cement.

Large vessels, capable of performing long and distant voyages, appear also to have been constructed in early times. They were impelled by oars, or by these combined with sails. Not venturing into the high seas, the mariners merely cruised along the coast, so that in stress of weather a port might easily be gained. Slow and tedious were those early voyages, as they could be directed only by an observation of the stars, which a hazy atmosphere would effectually obscure. In winter no progress could be made; the vessel was then laid up in harbor until the return of the sailing season.

VI. _Inhabitants of Cities._

If, in conclusion, we turn to the contemplation of man in the city, we shall observe the arts at their greatest elevation. It is worthy of remark that the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, and also of the Nile, as well as of Syria, from the sea-coast eastward to the great desert that parts it from Mesopotamia, were occupied by highly-civilized nations, clothed in fabrics of cotton, linen, and wool; while the grassy, treeless plains, extending from the Arab sea westward, as far as the mouths of the Danube, and along the northern borders of the Caspian and Euxine seas, and the intervening chain of the Caucasus, were traversed by independent tribes, clothed in skins and furs. Commercial intercourse and visits took place, as well as hostile excursions, and thus the manufactures of Babylonia were exchanged for the native productions of the Scythian plains and of the interminable forests on their northern boundary.

The Jews seem to have been precluded by the Mosaic law from the preparation and use of fur; and the Greeks and Romans considered the skins of animals badges of rusticity and barbarism; but the finer kinds of fur were known and esteemed by the nobles of Babylon. Ælian, who wrote about the year 110, states that a certain species of mice are found in the district of Teredon, in Babylonia, the soft skins of which are taken to Persia, where they are sewn together into garments remarkable for their warmth.

Of the use of fur both among civilized and barbarous people there are many traces. Thus we have notices of the employment of the skins of sables, ermine, and squirrels, with various contrivances to produce a variegated surface. The practice is supposed to be of Oriental origin, and the tent of Sapor to supply the earliest instance of this parti-colored arrangement. Tacitus, however, describes the same fashion of variegating furs to have been in use among the German tribes at a still earlier period.

The costume of the people who live in cities attains to the highest elegance, splendor, and gorgeousness of which it is capable. Here we discover all that properly belongs to rank, with the means of appeasing an insatiable vanity. Oriental women, in every age, have been distinguished by a passion for dress, personal decoration constituting one of the chief occupations and pleasures of their life. Variety becomes, therefore, an element of delight as well as splendor. But rare and costly garments are also highly prized by the other sex, who frequently regard an immense wardrobe as indicative of rank and taste.

“Solomon made for himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon. He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, and the covering of it of purple;” and the city is traversed by the varied equipages of an opulent people, in which many of the arts are clearly discernible. War-chariots, observable among other nations, were not to be seen among the forces of the Hebrews, whose great men used them chiefly for purposes of state.

Even the tents in which the modern princes of the East often spend the season of summer are arrayed in beauty and magnificence, of which such a fabric might scarcely be deemed susceptible. One belonging to a late king of Persia is said to have cost two millions of money. It was called “the house of gold,” because it was everywhere resplendent with the precious metal. An inscription on the cornice or the antechamber described it as “the throne of the second Solomon.”

The Dewan Khass of the far-famed Shah Allun is a building situated at the upper end of a spacious square, elevated upon a terrace of marble. In former times it was adorned with excessive magnificence. It is about a hundred and fifty feet in length, and forty in breadth. The flat roof is supported by numerous columns of fine white marble, which have been richly ornamented with inlaid flowered work of different colored stones, the cornices and borders having been decorated with a frieze and sculptured work. Formerly the ceiling was encrusted, throughout its whole extent, with a rich foliage of silver. The compartments of the walls were inlaid with the greatest delicacy. Around the exterior of the cornice are the following lines, written in letters of gold, on a ground of white marble—“If there be a paradise upon earth, it is this, it is this.”

In some Oriental edifices, the lower part of the walls is adorned with rich hangings or damask, tinged with the liveliest colors, and investing the apartments “with purpureal gleams.” In the royal garden at Shushan there were “white, green, and blue hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble.” Ingenious devices, as wreaths and festoons in stucco and fretwork, are the ornaments of the upper part of the walls. In the days of Jeremiah, we read of apartments “ceiled with cedar and painted with vermilion;” and since then, costly and fragrant wood, on which exquisite decorations in colors and gold are displayed, have been frequently employed. Painted tiles or slabs of the finest marble have formed the floors, reminding us of the palace of Ahasuerus, where “the beds,” or couches “were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red and blue, and white and black marble;” and all the furniture of the house was in full accordance with the imperial state of the sovereign.

Some of the edifices of the East are thus associated in our minds with the greatest splendor and magnificence. The choicest marble, granite and porphyry form their walls, columns, and floors; silver and gold supply some of their decorations, while others are adorned with the costliest gems. The effect of light falling on such resplendent materials is indescribably dazzling and imposing. The allusions to such buildings in the prophecies of Isaiah, and the Revelation of “the beloved disciple,” will at once occur to those who are familiar with the Scriptures.

The remains of the departed greatness of Egypt, which the congeniality of its climate has contributed so remarkably to perpetuate, consist generally of places for civil assemblies and religious ceremonies. In Upper or Southern Egypt, the site of almost every memorable city is marked by the ruins of a temple, or palace-temple, which was appropriated to both these purposes. The visitor cannot fail to be struck by the vastness of the edifice, or the solemn air by which its ruins are pervaded. The walls bear upon them the records of the past. Covered with reliefs, which are generally colored, the idols appear receiving the homage of the sovereign who founded the structure, together with the battles, sieges, and other events of the wars, out of the spoils of which the majestic pile was reared. Sometimes the king is portrayed returning as a conqueror in triumph, and dragging a long series of captives of different nations to the feet of the presiding divinity. These pictures frequently cover a large extent of surface, and are crowded with figures in action, executed with great spirit and fidelity; the peculiar features and color of the different people being strictly preserved. Explanatory inscriptions in the hieroglyphics of Egypt accompany these reliefs. Some of these halls are six hundred feet both in length and breadth, and are crowded throughout their entire area with massive columns of majestic height. On first surveying the immense cavern temple at Ipsambul, in Nubia, the spectator might well imagine, from the whiteness of its walls, the sharpness of its figures, their brilliant hues, and especially from the parts where the tracings and first outlines appear, showing that this stupendous edifice was never completed, that the artists had only just left their work. But as his eye falls on the deep, black dust, covering the rocky floor on which he treads, into which have mouldered the doors, the door-posts, and all the inner fittings of the temple, he feels that ages have rolled away since the artisans were numbered among the dead.

The art of design, whether apparent in painting or sculpture, was used in Egypt, as must already have appeared, not to excite the imagination, but to inform the understanding. According to Clement of Alexandria, an Egyptian temple was “a writing,” addressing itself, like a volume, to the mind. Accordingly, their artists imitated nature only so far as to convey the intended idea clearly and precisely; generally they did not aim at beauty and grace. When, however, they wished to give a portrait of any particular individual, we find so exact a representation that the features of several of the Pharaohs may be easily recognized. But it is evident that they were ignorant of perspective, and that they did not feel the necessity of studying light and shade in the use of colors. Analogous to the practice of the Egyptians is that of the Chinese, in reference to the rooms of their dwellings, in our own day; for they are adorned with pictorial characters, conveying wise sayings and moral precepts; combining in the person of one artist the work of the scribe, the painter, and the engraver.

Recent discoveries enable us to call up before the mind Nineveh, that “exceeding great city,” where the arts of life attained their utmost elevation. Passing a ponderous and richly-sculptured gate, we see, at certain distances within the walls, other gates flanked by towers adorned by sculptures, or gigantic figures, as winged bulls or lions. Lofty pyramidal structures arise, which served as watch-towers. Tents, often visible within the walls of Oriental cities, occupy open spaces. Other spaces, without the great public edifices, are covered by private houses, standing in the midst of gardens, and built at a distance from each other, or forming streets, which inclose gardens and even arable land, and stretch out to a vast extent.

Distinguished from all other residences is a palatial edifice: its doorways are formed by gigantic winged lions or bulls, or by figures of guardian deities, and lead into apartments which again open into more distant halls. The pavement of these rooms is of sunburnt bricks, or alabaster slabs, of a color agreeable to the eye; and the ceilings are divided into square compartments, inlaid with ivory, adorned with gold, and richly painted with flowers. The tables, seats, and couches are made of metal and wood, some being inlaid with ivory; the legs of the chairs are tastefully carved, and terminate in the feet of a lion or the hoofs of a bull, made of gold, silver, or bronze.

In the walls of the chambers, as in those of the hall, are alabaster slabs, used as panels, with various scenes depicted upon them, and painted in gorgeous colors. _Here_ appears the colossal figure of a king, in the act of adoring his chief divinity, or of receiving from his eunuch the holy cup; the robes of the sovereign and his attendants being painted with brilliant colors, and adorned with groups of animals, figures and flowers. _There_ is a scene of a different character: the king, attended by his eunuchs and warriors, is entering into alliance with other monarchs, or receiving the homage of his captives. And beneath this range there is still a different spectacle: the siege—the battle—the triumph, are all sculptured by the artist’s hand, and decorated with rich and glowing tints, while under each picture are engraved in characters filled up with bright copper, the descriptions of the various objects that are portrayed.

But as we survey building after building, the vast city teems with life. Myriads of rational and intelligent beings occupy its habitations and crowd its streets. Here are the architects, of consummate skill and taste—the builders who can rear edifices of the loftiest proportions and of real grandeur—the sculptors, who cannot only decorate with exquisite ability, but chronicle to coming ages events of the highest interest in the annals of Assyria—and the painters, who array their productions with the liveliest and brightest hues. Here, too, are the artisans, who work with ingenuity, taste, and skill, in wood, silver, copper, gold, lead, ivory, and glass—supplying the costume of the people, the furniture of their houses, their chariots, and missiles of war, and all that is required for the comfort, indulgence, luxury, defense, and enterprise of Nineveh’s vast, energetic, and prosperous population.

But imagination only calls up the spectacle.

“Her walls are gone; her palaces are dust; The desert is around her, and within Like shadows have the mighty passed away! So let the nations learn, that not in wealth, Nor in the grosser pleasures of the sense, Nor in the glare of conquest, nor the pomp Of vassal kings and tributary lands, Do happiness and lasting power abide; That virtue unto man’s best glory is, His strength and truest wisdom; and that guilt, Though for a season it the heart delight, Or to worst deeds the bad man do make strong, Brings misery yet, and terror, and remorse; And weakness and destruction in the end.”[2]

There is yet, however, one art, to which, in conclusion, a brief reference must be made; it is that by which thought is embodied in written and “winged words.” We look with interest on the historic paintings of the Mexicans, on the hieroglyphics of Egypt, and on the cuneiform characters of Assyria and Persia; but we must not forget the fact, that the people of Israel—to whom we have frequently had occasion to refer throughout this paper—are distinguished from all other nations by the authentic history which they possess of their origin and of the most remarkable events of their subsequent progress, as well as by the predictions that regard their future lot. The most ancient books in the world were written, under Divine inspiration, by the hand of Moses; and Herodotus, “the father of history,” was a contemporary of Malachi, the last of the prophets.

In general literature Egypt attained the earliest pre-eminence. To that country many went athirst for wisdom, while none of its children sought it in other climes. At Thebes was its library of sacred books, over which was the inscription, “The Remedy for the Soul;” while the hieroglyphics above the heads of “Thoth” and “Safk,” as deciphered by Champollion, denote that the one was the “Lady of Letters,” and the other the “President of the Library.” Where, then, are we to look for the origin and early history of the arts associated with letters? Before the time of the patriarch Abraham the Egyptians were furnished with the scroll, or papyrus, and with the pen dipped in ink, with which its characters were inscribed. All the implements required for the process are exhibited in pictures of the remotest date. Even the Arabic numerals are older than any of the pyramids.

Small as is the number of our alphabetic signs, they are proved to be capable of more than six hundred thousand millions of billions of different horizontal arrangements. What a power is thus entrusted to the hand at the dictate of the mind—a power which, whether its range, its variety, or its permanence be considered, is alike unparalleled! When the costliest fabrics are moth-eaten, and the colors of the picture have fled, and the marble statue is defaced, and the proud and towering edifice is hurled into ruins, the written words may live, retaining all their power to strike on the mind, to touch the inmost chords of the soul. “Words,” it has been said, “are the only things that last for ever.” “The images of men’s wits,” says Lord Bacon, “remain unmaimed in books for ever, exempt from the injuries of time, because capable of perpetual renovation. Neither can they properly be called images, because they cast forth seeds in the minds of men, raising and producing infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages; so that if the invention of a ship was thought so noble and wonderful, which transports riches and merchandise from place to place, and consociates the most distant regions in participation of their fruits and commodities—how much more are letters to be magnified, which, as ships passing through the vast seas of time, connect the remotest ages of wits and inventions in mutual traffic and correspondence!”

To write is therefore the noblest of the arts of life, and fearful is the responsibility of its exercise. Happy is he who constantly remembers it; and whose maturest thoughts, fixed in the palpable and deathless form of words, enlighten, elevate, and bless, even when the verdant grass is flourishing over his ashes.

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[2] Atherstone.

* * * * *

=TO A WHIP-POOR-WILL=

=SINGING IN A GRAVE-YARD.=

=BY E. ANNA LEWIS.=

Why, melancholy singer, Dost thou hover here at eve, Like one who loves to linger Around the dead and grieve? Why, in the night-time only, Do we hear thy pensive lay? Why art thou ever lonely— Why shunnest the garish day?

Art thou minstrel born from Heaven, Who comest to our earth, At the silent hour of even, To mock the voice of mirth; And to soothe the sad and weary, Who steal away to weep, In the church-yard lone and dreary, Or by the mountain-steep?

Art thou spirit of a maiden, That restless roam’st the air, With sorrow heavy laden, And breathing thy despair? Or one loved, but long departed, That nightly dost draw near, To soothe the broken-hearted, Who are weeping, pining here?

I know not, solemn singer, What thy deep grief may be; Nor why thou here dost linger, But oft thou seem’st like me— A lonely one each morrow, Apart from all the throng, Whose deep and hidden sorrow Bursts forth in plaintive song.

* * * * *

=HESPERIUS—A VISION.=

=BY WM. ALBERT SUTLIFFE.=

“Whither, sweet lady, whither? the night is chill; Weary and worn, say, whither tend thy feet?” “Stranger! I come o’er moor and steepy hill, To hear the beat Of ever-toiling billows—and to sail The midnight deep with daring canvas spread; To seek some isle where storm may not prevail— Where tombs are never shaped for loved ones dead— Where palmy summits lay Their shadows in clear fountains all the day, Where lilies lave Their shining tresses in the resting wave; Thither, kind stranger, through the night at rest, I chase the stars down-sloping to the west.”

“Lady, sweet lady, let me guard thee thither! The wave is treacherous, shivered oft by storm, And many an ambushed wind quick-bringeth cloudy weather, And towering thunder-mist with secret lightnings warm; Many unseemly rocks love human prey, And devious currents often thrust astray; A thousand maelstroms sing harsh Runic rhyme, And sturdy gales beleaguer any time. Let us be twin in hope, in weal or wo,— Sweet lady, let me go!”

She smiled a quiet smile, and “Come,” she said— We entered in, our scanty sail we spread; And as thin mists that creep Out of a dingle deep, Where zephyrs dally, And, wind-caught, float across the dewy lawn, When comes the dawn; So we before the breeze, that then did rally Its powers to bear us on; While she, wrapt up as from the night’s cool kiss, Lay like a chrysalis.

Westward we bore through that propitious night— Through the slow-creeping hours the moonshine lay Upon her alabaster breast and tresses bright, Like furbished silver—Houri gone astray From Mahomet’s heaven seemed she—gloriously Shone her deep eyes, till down the silvered west Pale Dian hid her shield in Ocean’s breast.

And now Apollo Sprang, golden-sandaled, from his orient bed, And quick his upward wonted path ’gan follow While westward still we sped.

Apollo clomb The star-deserted dome, And, at the zenith sat, a noontide king; There with his outspread hands, Flaring upon the lands, Watched our white sail in the wind shivering.

Apollo sank Adown the west, where many a cloudy bank Waited his coming, as the down, a king— While careful shades ’gan clamber, Out of the night’s dim chamber, Night of the many eyes and dusky wing.

“Farewell, Apollo!” The lady sang, “we follow Thee to thy home, thy golden-curtained West; Amid the occident seas, Seeking Hesperides, Floating, we chase thee o’er the rippled breast Of Ocean in his rest.

“Come Venus from thy lair, Up through the stirless air, Quivering with Love’s young heat and sweet despair; As thou wast wont to quiver Upon my childhood’s river, Where all the pendulous willows thrilled to bear The breeze, as men do, care.

“Come out ye many stars! The liberal night unbars Your doors impalpable, that ye may see, And gaze a twinkling fill On human good and ill, Till daybreak’s irksome goad compelleth ye Behind the azure sea.

“We come, we come, Seeking an islet home, Whose breezes all are balm, whose seas are calm; Where, when the eyes grow dim, Fair myths forever swim About the inward vision, and no harm E’er spreads a palsying arm.

“Here would we lie Amid this tremulous beauty till we die; Here would descry Through roofing orange-boughs the pleasant sky, And silently decay in rapturous ease, When death so please.”

She ceased; and now we slid along a sea Of tinted wavelets, such as ne’er before Had blest my seeing; on one side a shore Slipt past us backward, thickly over-bowed With flowered shrubs and trees, all such as flee Harsh Boreal bitings where the North blows loud.

And now a quay we neared, whence led aback Full many a leafy-hung, nymph-haunted track. Then, slow-ascending a white marble stair, A grove we entered in, all carpeted With rarest moss, and every way there led Dim paths ’mid obelisks and fountains fair, And sculptured graces, and some streamlets fled All day and night down to the circling sea, Singing fore’er in music’s earnest glee.

Up ’mid the boughs the zephyrs went a-playing, Making the stars like swinging cressets seem; And from the east came silver arrows straying Of Dian at her moonrise; while a stream Of melody, the Bulbul, rose-embowered, Incessant through the dew-tipt leaflets showered, Sweeter than any dream.

No earthly night, Mantled with dismal light This paradise; but a broad lovely moon, Made a glad twilight here, Unsoiled by any fear, Or harsh intruding doubt, that comes too soon, And lays our bright-eyed hopes upon a cypress bier.

Anon, emerging from the woody maze, There sudden sprang upon the pleased vision, Glimpses of far Elysian, Green meadows glowing through a golden haze, And far-meandering walks, that rose and fell ’Twixt bedded asphodel.

And purling brooks went leaping here and there Over the flowered slopes all in a foam, Pealing like vesper bells that win the prayer— Or silver voices calling loved ones home; And many bees enringed the fragrant thyme, And windy melodies stirred every full-leaved lime.

Here flowers grew in circles round and round, With broad, rich petals for queen’s gathering, There fountains sprang up with a clear, quick sound From vases, such as Babylonian king Ne’er saw the like of; and their spray did fling O’er pure white statues having marble care Over the showered pearls and moistened air.

And ever as we past there ever grew Wondrous variety to stir the sense, Begetting impotence Of fond expression, but a rapture true Claspt all the spirit in a dreamy fold Of ecstasy and gold.

Until, through shady ranges of tall trees, Threaded by every breeze, And well-determined beds of every hue, Orange, vermeil, and blue, A central, templed hill, was near espied, Down-slanting to the sea on every side, With greensward terraces and blooming meet, Sloped even to our feet.

Over the lawns were Dryads tripping far, And Hamadryads peeping from the wood, And now and then a Naiad, like a star; And all were clothed in a merry mood— For not a care there was o’er which to solely brood.

Upon the summit, soothed with lasting ease, Sat the Hesperides Beneath the orchard trees— Sipping the beakered nectar seasoned well, And temperate hydromel; And tasting luscious fruitage, such as fell From boughs ’neath which the scaly dragon rolled, Lay glaring fold in fold.

“O can we herein bide!” the lady said, “I feel my head doth swim— My weary eyes are dim— With too much pleasure is the sense o’erfed; How can we herein bide, And not some ill betide!”

Then said a voice, “Ye may not herein stay! But immortality May here incloséd be; And ye are mortals—ye must hence away, Or ere the night unwombs the clearer day.

“And ye must wait the riving of the chain That gives surcease of pain, And linger lone upon the evening shore Till ye be ferried o’er. But now the nymphs shall cease their merriment, Ere yet your stay be spent, And music shall be struck—shall charm and please You to contented ease.”

Then dropt a quiet o’er the enhancéd glee, As when a Boreal night dusks o’er a frigid sea.

Next grew a hymning sonnet, worded well, Up ’mid the oaken boles, whose listening green Tented the Dryad scene, Wavering across the silence with a spell Worthy to sink the yesty broil of waves, And bid huge winds creep into airless graves, In barred Æolian caves.

“We sing, we sing, The sweet lyre fingering On every vibrant string; The sisters of the sea, Whose silken dynasty Holds us in light, and long, and glad captivity.

“We sing, we sing, The sweet lyre fingering With sound like Hermes’ wing— Of nectarous draughts and deep, Wooing the gods asleep, What time the crystal honey-dews of heaven weep.

“We sing, we sing, The sweet lyre fingering Till windless woodlands ring; How rich the lofty chime, When gods converse in rhyme, And far Olympian peaks reëcho all the time.

“We sing, we sing, The sweet lyre fingering With notes that ever cling, The blue and airy dome That floors the godly home Where thunderous Jove is throned, and Here dwells at home.

“We sing, we sing, With silver vibrating Of every tuneful string, The effervescing wine, In beakers most divine, By Hebe overbrimmed for whom the half-gods pine.

“Ah, well! ah, well! Our island home we tell, Where peace for aye doth dwell; Where, from the drowsy deep, A gilded mist doth creep Up all the sanded shore to shrine us in our sleep.

“Away, away! Our fingers cease to play For alien ears our lay; But, by the sea’s low moan, Sportive we go alone; Our lyre’s notes are dead—our measured hymn is done.”

Then died the hymning sonnet, worded well, Adown the oaken boles that pillared all the dell.

* * * * *

Then all a day and night athwart the sea— A day and night complete we backward sped— And as the dawn grew red— Our half-moon prow slid upward easily Upon the margent of the ocean foam That murmured by our home.

* * * * *

=THE PEDANT:=

=OR CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE SPENT PARTLY IN CAROLINA.=

=BY HENRY HOLM, ESQ.=

(_Continued from page 24._)

CHAPTER V.

And as they oft had heard apart, Sweet lessons of her forceful art, Each, for Madness ruled the hour, Would prove his own expressive power. Collins.

The reason why I came home without completing the tour of Europe was that my worthy father died insolvent. The little severalty which I had from my grandfather Winston, was in that most unmanageable of realties, which Randolph of Roanoke used to describe as the designation of a Virginian estate—“plenty of woolly-heads, plenty of gullies, but ne’er a shilling of coin.” I managed, however, by favor of a young friend, an attaché of the Marshall and Pinckney legation at Paris, to go freely into the Low Countries, and as far up the Rhine as Heidelberg and the Schwarzenwald.

At the borders of Holland and Germany I lingered awhile, in the flat country near the Lippe, in the house of a licentiate in physic, who was about to emigrate to Philadelphia, and who was eager to learn English. In my turn I took some lessons in German. Pfeiffers was a smoker, and so was I. He was a violinist, and I played the flute. He loved to read aloud, and I loved to loll and listen, among the lindens of a low-lying but verdant village on the Rhine.

The book which engaged him just then, was a publication of Goethe’s, translated from Diderot, entitled _Rameau’s Nephew_. I mean Rameau the great musical composer. The original French I could never alight on; but the version was irresistibly comic, as I find on reperusal many years since. Diderot used to frequent the _Café de la Régence_, then as now, the resort of chess-players. There he found Légal, Philidor, and Mayot. And there he encountered the Nephew aforesaid, an odd mixture of pride and meanness, a man of drunken eloquence, venomous sarcasm, and music-mad enthusiasm.

“Dialogue.

“Ah, Monsieur Philosophe, so I meet you again! What are you after here among idlers? Do you likewise lose your time in peg-pushing? (Thus he denominated chess and draughts.)

“_I._—No, but when I have nothing else to do, it is a momentary diversion to see whether they move aright.

“_He._—A singular diversion, indeed. Leave out Philidor and Légal—the others know nothing.

“_I._—And Monsieur de Bussi; what say you to him?

“_He._—As chess-player, that he is what Mlle. Clairon is as actress; both know as much of their play as one can learn.

“_I._—You are hard to please. I observe that none but preëminent men meet your approbation.

“_He._—Ay, at chess and draughts, poetry, eloquence, music, and such like trumperies. Who wants mediocrity in these cases?

“_I._—I almost agree with you. But many must attempt these arts in order that the man of genius may overtop them. Thenceforth he is one among many. But I have not seen you for an age. I never think of you but when I see you. Yet I am rejoiced whenever I recover you. What have you been about?

“_He._—That which you and the others are about—good, bad, and naught. I have moreover, hungered and eaten if occasion served. Then I was sometimes athirst, and often drank; yes, and my beard grew and I was shaved.

“_I._—There you were wrong; for the beard is all you lack in order to be a sage.

“_He._—Quite so! My brow is large and wrinkled, my eye flashes, my nose is high, my cheek is broad, my eyebrows brown and heavy, the mouth well-disclosed, lips well-turned, and the face square. Take notice, this huge chin, if covered by a long beard, would look well in brass or marble.

“_I._—Beside Cæsar, Marcus Aurelius, Socrates?

“_He._—No! I would rather stand betwixt Diogenes and Phryne. I am as shameless as one, and would gladly visit the other.

“_I._—You are always in good case?

“_He._—Yes, usually; but not particularly so to-day.

“_I._—What! with this rotundity of Silenus, and a countenance—

“_He._—A countenance that— Do you consider that the bitter humor which shrivels up the uncle, makes the nephew fat?

“_I._—_Apropos!_ Your uncle. Do you see him often?

“_He._—Yes, often passing in the street.

“_I._—Does he render you no service?

“_He._—If he serves any body, it is without knowing it. He is a philosophe in his way; he thinks only of himself, and the rest of the world he regards as his bellows-hand. His wife and daughter may die for all that he cares, provided the bells that toll them to their grave ring in just twelfths and seventeenths. A lucky man is he! and I know how to reckon this quality in your men of genius, that they are good at one thing, and over and above this nothing. Nothing know they of being citizens, fathers, mothers, kinsmen or friends. _Inter nos_, one would crave to be like them; only wishing that the growth should not become too common. We must have men—not men of genius. No, surely no! These are they who turn the world upside down, and the folly of individuals runs so high at present that one can’t repress them without manœuvre.—No! the monk’s wisdom, in Rabelais, is the true wisdom for our peace, and the peace of others. To do duty, as far as may be, to speak well of the prior, and to let the world wag as it will. And things go right well, for the mass is content with this. If I knew history, I would prove to you, that all the ills on earth come of your men of genius; but history I know none, because I know nothing. Confound me if I ever learnt any thing, and I find myself none the worse off. One day I was at the table of a royal minister, who had mind enough for a dozen. He proved, as plain as two and two make four, that nothing is more useful to nations than lies, and nothing more hurtful than truth. I can’t recall his argument, but it followed as clear as a sunbeam, that men of genius are utterly abominable, and that if a man discerns in his child a token of this perilous gift of nature, he should strangle or drown him.

“_I._—And yet the people who deem thus of genius all think they possess it.”

Such is an introduction to this odd creation, on which the merry Frenchman dwells for a hundred and fifty pages. Some of the passages which my host gave with energy, between the gusts of his meerschaum, are altogether untranslatable. And yet am I tempted to essay one of the vagaries of the mad satirist.

“_I._—There is some reason in all that you say. [He had been enlarging on the French music of that period.]

“_He._—Reason? So much the better. That comes seasonably. Think you I am like the musician in the _cul-de-sac_, as my uncle showed himself? For my part, I make a hit. A collier ’prentice shall talk better of his trade, than an academy and all the Duhamels on earth.

“Here he paced up and down, murmuring airs out of the _Ile des Fous_, the _Peintre amoureux de son modèle_, the _Maréchal ferrant_, the _Plaideuse_—while ever and anon he would stretch hands and eyes and cry, ‘Is that fine? Heavens, is that fine! Can a man have two ears on his head and ask such a question?’ Upon which he would become sentimental again, sing softly, and then elevate his voice as he grew more passionate. Then came grimaces, twists of visage, and contortions of body. Said I to myself, ‘Well, he is losing his wits, and some new scene is coming.’ And in fact he burst out afresh, singing, _Je suis un_ _pauvre miserable—Aspettar e non venire_, etc. etc. He collected and confounded thirty airs, Italian, French, tragic, comic, of every sort and character. Now, with a deep basso he would sink down to the shades; then, contracting his throat, he would rend the heights of air with a pipe-like note, imitating with gait, _pose_, and motions, different musical personages, by turns raving, melted, beseeching and derisive. Now he is a little maid, weeping, and he represents all her petty blandishments. Then he is a priest, a king, a tyrant; he threatens, prays or rages—again, he is a hearkening slave. He grows tender, he despairs, he bewails and laughs, always in tune, in time, in full sense of the words, character and action.

“All the chess-players had left their boards and gathered around him; the windows of the café were besieged outside by passers-by attracted by the noise. The laughter was a peal which threatened the roof. But he perceived nothing, but ran on, carried away by such an alienation of mind and an enthusiasm akin to mania, that it is doubtful whether he would have come to himself, or have to be thrown into a hackney coach and carried to a mad-house singing a snatch from the lamentations of Jomelli.

“Anon, with the utmost precision, truth and incredible warmth, he repeated the finest passages of that portion; the beautiful obligato recitative, where the prophet depicts the desolation of Jerusalem, till he drew a flood of tears; there was not a dry eye. There was nothing more to be desired in tenderness of singing, or force of expression and of grief. He dwelt especially on the places where the artist most evinced himself the great maestro. He abandoned the vocal part, flew to the instrument, and then returned in an instant to singing, so hurrying this transition, that the connection and unity of the whole were maintained. Was I astonished at him? Yes, I was astonished. Was I moved to sympathy? I was, indeed, so moved, but with a dash of the comic mingling with the emotion and modifying its nature.

“But you would have broken into laughter at the way in which he imitated the different instruments. With swoln, out-puffed cheeks, and a rough, obtuse tone, he represented horns and bassoons; with a crying, nasal tone the oboes; with incredible quickness he hurried his voice to mimic stringed-instruments, trying most exactly to give their respective sounds; piping for the piccolos, cooing for the flutes, screaming, chanting with the looks of a maniac, and representing solo the danseurs and danseuses, the men-singers and women-singers, a whole orchestra, a whole opera-house, splitting himself into twenty different roles, hastening, retarding, with the mien of one ’rapt, with eyes winking and mouth in a foam.

“The heat was overpowering, and the moisture, following the furrows of his brow and the length of his cheeks, mingled with his hair-powder, and drizzled the upper part of his coat in gutters. What did he not attempt? He cried, he laughed, he sighed, he gave looks of tenderness, quiet and rage. Now it was a woman, sinking in wo, a wretch yielding to despair, a lofty temple, or birds losing themselves in the silence of eve. Then it was brooks of water, gurgling in some cool and lonesome place; or a torrent dashing down from mountains; a tempest; the wailing of dying men, mingled with the whistling of the wind; the roar of thunder; then night with its darkness, stillness and shade—he even represented silence by sounds. He was entirely beside himself. Exhausted by effort, like a man awakened from sleep or a long swoon, he remained motionless, heavy and stunned. He cast glances around, like one bewildered who tries to recognize the place in which he comes to himself. Awaiting the return of his forces and his senses, he mechanically dries his face. Like one who, awaking, finds his bed surrounded by a great number of persons, in utter forgetfulness and deeply unconscious of all he has been doing, he exclaims at the first moment—‘Now, Messieurs, what is this? Why this mirth? What are you wondering at? What is the matter?’ . . . Then he adds, ‘This is what they call being a musician! But, indeed, some of Lulli’s songs are not to be despised. The scene _J’attendrai l’aurore_ can’t be bettered, unless you alter the words. I challenge any man. No man shall condemn certain passages of Campra, his military marches, the violin-pieces of my uncle, his gavottes, his priestly and opera parts, _Pâles flambeaux, Nuits plus affreuses que les ténèbres. . . . Dieu du_ _Tartare, Dieu de l’oubli._’ . . . (Here he strengthened his voice and sustained the tone with power. Neighbors thrust their heads through the windows; we put our fingers in our ears.) ‘For this,’ said he, ‘one must have lungs, a great organ, and plenty of air. But Ascension is arrived, Lent and the Three Kings are over, and yet they do not know what to set to music, nor consequently what benefits the composer. Lyric poesy is yet unborn; but they already approach it, if they give head enough to Pergolesi, to the Saxon, the Terradeglids, Traetta and others; and if they only read Metastasio often enough, they have already attained it.’”

CHAPTER VI.

Ah! plus que jamais aimons-nous, Et vivons et mourons en des lieux si doux. Les Amants Magnifiques.

The day when one who has been a scribbler begins to resort to dictation, he loses half the pleasure of authorship. No one could desire, indeed, a lovelier amanuensis than my grand-daughter Alice, who now sets down my reminiscences, as I walk up and down the gallery of the long, overshadowed house, smoking my pipe, and uttering what I hope will be considered harmless gossip. Alice might justly blush, if I should make her pen her own praises; so, while she takes pity on my failing eyesight and my cheragra, I will respect her bashful fears.

We have had a house full of company, such as Carolina mansions glory in. Carriages, filled with happy fair ones, under conduct of gay fellows careering alongside, on young horses of great pedigree, have passed away in such number that my plain, but spacious old tumble-down house seems quite a solitude. Of white faces, there are none but Alice’s and mine; for I count not the overseer and his swarming cottage, half a mile off, just beyond the copse of chinquapins. The lawn around the dwelling was laid out as I now behold it, about the year 1750. My father, who kept a diary, has recorded the planting of those towering catalpas, which in June were covered with tropical luxuriance of blossom, and now hang heavy with the verdure of their broad, damp, succulent leaves. The oaks were left from a primitive forest. Three lofty pines mark the spot for the distant traveler. If I could but prevent unsightly gullies of reddish earth, and could coax the scanty grass to mat itself English fashion, I should envy no one his surroundings. But if we have not the smooth, close-shaven green of Christ Church Meadow or Windsor Park, we have a balmy atmosphere and a gorgeous Flora and vocal hawthorn thickets, and dewy odors, such as are unknown in colder climes. Leaving poetry out of the question, our mocking-bird (a misleading name) is not inferior to the nightingale. He is also a songster of the night, and in these regions continues his visits through a longer portion of the year than his transatlantic rival. The mighty fragrance of our magnolia, though oppressive near at hand, comes mitigated on the evening breeze from the river lowlands. Our groves are draped with a thousand fantastic hangings of vines and parasitic plants; and cool springs break forth in more than one spot on this wide, half-tilled estate, which threatens, year by year, to slip out of the family.

Ah me! When I look over my broad acres, some in rustling corn, some in bristling wheat, and some in rank tobacco, omitting tracts of old-field thickly set with volunteer pines, and prairies of stubbly broomsedge, I find every part indissolubly connected with that relation of master and servant, which is an abomination to Mr. Bull and Master Jonathan. I have read the great writers on this head, from Clarkson down. I have familiarized myself with the portrait of the slaveholder, strong in colors of crimson, and illustrated with borders of whips and manacles. But, for my life, I cannot see in yonder cheval-glass any resemblance. Alice, dear child, does not discern in my face any decided lines of truculence; and the very Africans, who have grown old beside me, manifest no dread, but rather cling to my tottering form with a loving regard that is almost filial. I turn my eyes to them, but they are not like the pictures on certain books and hand-bills. Sometimes they are hard-worked; so am I. Sometimes they have felt the burden of bad seasons; so have I. But they are not haggard, they are not melancholy, and they are not malignant. I see the smoke from their little hamlet of clustered houses (for the negro loves his fire at all seasons;) I hear the resonant laugh echoing among the rocks, and shall shortly hear the banjo and the chorus. In bed and board they are better off than the peasants I have seen in the Scotch Highlands, in Savoy, and in Normandy. Of physical suffering they have less than soldiers and sailors. In morals and religion they surpass their free brethren in Philadelphia and New York. I wish in my heart they were all free—if it would make them any happier. But I would no sooner cast them on the wide world, in their actual condition, than I would disperse a family of babes, proclaim a republic in Madagascar, or tear a tortoise from the bondage of his shell. It was not I who stole them from Africa; they were born on the same lands where we live together; and there is not a sunlight or a shade falling on my lot, which does not in due proportion cheer or sadden theirs. Let us call another case, Alice! This philanthropic mystery is too deep for my decrepit wits.

CHAPTER VII.

“Ilion in Tyriam transfer felicius urbem.” Ovid—Heroides.

Philadelphia was the city to which Gottlieb Pfeiffer was bound; and after a tedious beating up stream from the Capes of Delaware, we saw its neat brick rows, its trim rectangles, and its lone steeple, in one of the last years of the last century. Pfeiffer was always talking of a certain regenerator of education whom he called Basedow—a type of Pestalozzi and Fellenberg, only with a dash of crazyhood, and a streak of jacobinism. My young German was going to a village called Germantown, I forget how many miles from the city; where his uncle was a leader among the sectaries called Mennonites, or vulgarly Menneeses. He was a very Quixote in education, and was about to rear the tender youth without bench, birch, or berating, and almost without book. He was to teach _more Socratico_ out of doors, by sheer talk, along the romantic Wissahiccon and the slopes of Chestnut Hill. I gave him my adieux, as he sallied out on his first lesson, with a covey of younglings under his guidance. Poor fellow! he was carried off by the yellow fever.

The Philadelphia which I remember was a sweet and gentle city. Many a boy and girl was then to be met, in all the rigor of plain dress, pacing to Arch Street Meeting. Shade trees were abundant in the great streets. The Chestnut Street Theatre was still called the “New Theatre.” Morris’s famous house was still visible; you got into the country a few hundred yards westward of the old prison; the Dock draw-bridge was in its glory; and many rows of houses in Front street were chequered with glazed brick and adorned with porch-benches. There was a soothing, umbrageous quietude in those broad, well paved stretches of Third street, where tall old fashioned mansions seemed to retire a little under spreading elms, in dignified coolness. I am afraid I should not know the places again. The calm and stillness of Penn’s spirit was yet hovering over the town, with a shade and a natural grace which have long since been scared away by steam-wagons and engine-campaigns. But what was all this to a bewildered creature, who had gained glimpses of the old world before he had studied the new; who had gone over sea dreaming that he was rich, and had come back assured that he was poor; who had been ill-taught and was nevertheless to redeem his patrimony by labors beginning in a log school-house.

CHAPTER VIII.

“And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew; But past is all his fame: the very spot Where many a time he triumph’d, is forgot.” Goldsmith.

In a country where so many hundreds of eminent men have begun public life by schoolmastering, it would be a great piece of affectation in me, if I should employ any deprecatory expressions, or apologize for any determination to repair losses by “taking a school.” The only apology which now seems necessary, is for the presumption of dreaming that by such an occupation any man could make money. In truth, I knew then as well as I know now, that school keeping was not a specific for raising the wind, but I did not know as well as I know now, that it was not in public esteem a literary profession. Though not learned I was fond of books, and took to teaching as I once fondly thought of taking to book selling, because I fancied it would bring me into connections with the wisdom of past ages.

My schoolhouse was on the edge of a pine forest, a few hundred yards from where a brawling springhead burst out of the embankment of rock, some miles from any human habitation. It was not favored with any extensive distant prospects. Could I have perched with the crows which abounded there on the top of some eminent tree, I might have seen the broad but turbid Roanoke, sweeping its heavy tide around a neighboring bluff. But we were shut in to forest scenes. No one who has lived among them can forget the moaning sound made by even a gentle wind among the great branches of the pines; or the solitude formed by their dark surrounding shroud; or the mosaic of sunlight and shade on the earth when rays break through the network of boughs. But the monotony was oppressive, and I sighed for those lighter and varied traits of nature, which belong to a less primeval state of the world. In quiet hours, the wild-turkey’s cry would be heard in the brake; the shrill red-bird, and the shy wood-lark were scarcely ever wanting; and several species of squirrel made no stranger of me, but dropped nut-shells from the hickory over the roof of my academy.

Take a view of the aforesaid seat of learning. The hour is noon. You might take this long house of logs for a châlet in the Emmenthal, if it were not for certain plain indications of another climate. There is a hum of bees through a thousand vines and dogwoods. The song of birds has lulled at this hour of heat, except perhaps the wearisome repetition of his double note by the chewink. But this intermission brings out more fully the music of the brook as it murmurs over the pebbles. The “scorpions”—start not, gentle reader at this southern name of the poor _lacerta_—peep round the gnarled bole of the pine, where the turpentine reflects the burning ray. Two or three switch-tailed horses are tethered in the oasis, ready to carry home double or triple loads of the young academicians. Hats, sunbonnets, and even coats, are hung upon the alder branches. Under the brow of the rock is a row of dinner baskets; and two or three jugs of milk are immersed in the darkest, coolest corner of the spring. Two fiddles and a flute are hid away among the broad leaves of a grape vine that clambers up the bank. All this will be obscure to such as have never gone to an “old-field school.” Inside, the scene is more lively but less idyllic. By counting several who never appeared, I think I made my school to number fifteen, as a maximum. Four or five short wooden forms, with some sloping boards for desks, and a straw-bottomed chair for the master, made up the compliment of furniture; for I scarcely reckon a churn-like vessel at the door, duly _toted_ on the head of a laughing negress, every half-hour, and emptied by two or three gourds with fantastic handles.

One thing is certain—I was as autocratic as Nicholas or Crusoe. My voice was the sole code of laws and often the text-book. The system was the _sic volo, sic jubeo_. The hour of beginning was denoted by my clattering up the pebbly path on my black steed, Rhinoceros. This dispersed the squads around the spring, and broke up the concert under the alders. Little Nanny Lee, who was the Jenny Lind of our community, would sometimes carol away after my ferula had given its three knocks; but we soon fell into places. Ours was a loud school. There was no rubric enjoining silence. There was no reading to one’s self. Hark! the grand overture is performed by the simultaneous play of tenore and treble instruments. One piping voice is rehearsing the alphabet and another the “twenty pence is one and eight-pence;” another is reading of one who unrighteously ascended the apple tree and was experimented on by fair words, grass, and other missiles. A croak between boy and man, is galloping over the _quadrupedante putrem sonitu_; while Mr. Blaney (we always called him Mister,) is in a dignified soliloquy over the trigonometrical survey of a polygonal field, with half-a-score of instruments laid out before him. If my ear serves me, there is a _sotto voce_ addition of uncommanded recitations, concerning cats-cradles, tit-tat-to, and jack-straws.

Scorn not—O ye, who court the muse in Gothic quadrangles, and alcoved libraries, where the light colors your folio through “storied window, richly dight”—scorn not, the lowly lessons of the Red Swamp School-house! Its windows were not all glazed, nor were the crannies of its logs all stopped; but the sun has seldom broken in on brighter faces than some that were radiant in that little company. Though a few were barefoot (how otherwise could they have waded for hours in the rippling stream!) a few were the children of wealth. Among them was one who has since held the ear of a senate. And among them was one—alas, that she should have had me for a master!—who made deeper wounds than she ever knew. But Judith—thou shall not have thy cruelty exposed!

CHAPTER IX.

“’Tis true, he has a spark just come from France, But then, so far from beau—why, he talks sense!” Farquhar.

Riding was an accomplishment among the Romans, as it is in England and some parts of America; but in the South it is one of the necessaries of life. The bareheaded negro child mounts all the colts in the pasture, strains his horse over boundless meads, recking little of falls upon the yielding earth, which indeed seldom occur, and clings to his seat with the tenacity of a limpet. Before he has arrived at the dignity of the hat, he has learned to swim rivers and play the feats of a Centaur. My young master is not slow to practice in the same school, so that the cavalry has had some of its most daring and elegant riders from this part of the Union. I can no longer throw my leg over a saddle; but I still recall the flush with which, accompanied by gallant comrades, I swept through forests, which to an unaccustomed eye had seemed impassable, or, stooping low, pierced the tangle of a brake, up from the basin of some low and deeply shaded stream. For years did I look to the grooming of my spirited Rhinoceros, who repaid the attention by a docility which concealed itself under a show of perverseness.

The long evenings of summer found me sallying on rapid expeditions to the estates of my father’s friends; and I passed more nights in such hospitable mansions than in my own humble lodgings. Hospitality is the law of the land. Where towns are rare and newspapers infrequent, and where even the mail in those days came only once a week, it was doing a generous favor to enter a neighbor’s doors for a long visit, the host would be out before I could dismount, and sometimes a bevy of ladies clustered at the door.

Let me tell the truth. On looking back I perceive that while a flow of unimpeded talk, often prompted by large and capricious reading, made me welcome to every circle, I was, nevertheless, by no means successful in my personal overtures to the reigning sex. It was mortifying to me to observe, that many a roystering bumpkin, full of health and ignorance, made his suit in less time and with fewer embarrassments than I. Even my voyages and travels were of little avail. Indeed, in a self-contained community, where every thing goes by clanship and family tradition, and where the sight of a foreigner is commonly the signal for a joke, there is less éclat in foreign travel, than in seaports and great cities. I was glad, therefore, to fall back on county-connection. My father had married into a distinguished family, who, though poor, could hold up their heads. One of my uncles was high sheriff, and my cousin was in Congress. Revolutionary officers were still living who were of my kin. And I enjoyed a pretty free access to what are somewhat offensively called the first families.

After all I was known to be a poor schoolmaster, and suspected—as I now think, justly, of being a pedant. It would be both sad and comical, if I were to record my experiences as a teacher; the plans I dreamed over; the schedules I copied on large paper; the attempts to make the big boys talk Latin; the experiments in physics which burst my retorts and burnt my fingers; the amazement of parents and the fun of children. I verily believe there was not a more chimerical or less useful teacher, south of Mason’s and Dixon’s line. Lessons went to leeward, while I was drifting away after a project of a new Latin Grammar. The primers were made into boats and cocked-hats, while I invented a new orthography; and my best coat was sewed over with bits of red flannel, while I draughted a lecture on Female Education. Donald Gordon courted Judith Brewster, during the very period in which I was bringing her to the point of conjugating _amo_, _amare_, _amari_. Early hours and hard reading, kept me still advancing in a sort of miscellaneous and preposterous condition. I began a hundred pursuits, with the _furore_ of a crusader. I gathered flowers for an herbarium, and pasted wrong names on the species for want of a master. I made maps of the stars, and pointed them out to Judith, as we walked on the top of the house. My only Italian book was an odd volume of Dante, which broke me down after getting half way up the circling Babel of the Purgatory. My version of the Bucolics shamed me beyond expression, on comparison with Dryden.

In riding about the country, I fell in with planters and county-court lawyers, and doctors, who had little Latin and less Greek, but who nevertheless foiled me in argument. They knew how to talk of crops, of “good seasons for stripping tobacco,” of the weather being giv-y, of long and short staple in cotton, of horizontal ploughing, and of prices at Liverpool; while they could also connect with these questions the political economy of our great products, the effects of the British policy on our carrying-trade, and the theory of state-sovereignty as discussed in Congress. All these things were beyond my ken. That “reading” which “makes a full man” made me often seem a very foolish one. I made blunders in history, and was innocently unacquainted with several dates, such as George Mason’s letters and the Battle of the Cow-Pens. I could have said much about Aegos-Potamos, or the Thirty Tyrants; but my old-time studies were very rapidly turning me into a mummy.

I dictate these confessions, _in perpetuam rei memoriam_, to guard solitary and too-forward boys from going too freely before the gales of their literary propensities. Nevertheless, for individual delight, everlasting novelty and sweet recollections, I still hold my way to have been best of any.

CHAPTER X.

“He cherished his friend, and he relished a bumper, Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper— Then what was his failing? come, tell it, add burn ye, He was, could he help it? a special attorney.” Goldsmith’s Retaliation.

The female readers of these rambling chapters have already been considering—no doubt—how some kind of a plot may be divined from the foregoing hints; but this arises from a total misconception of my plan.

Blessed ladies! toward whom, as viewed in imagination, my heart warms, and live coals stir among the hoary embers, I write not a romance or even a story. These are reminiscences, memorandums, odd leaves torn from the volume of recollection. Thanks to the modern way of publishing by piece-meal, my fair critics cannot be cheated of the _agrodolce_ of the denouement by any perverse brother or nephew peeping into the last pages, and forestalling the catastrophe. No, the winding-up is not to be preposterously revealed. This were as disappointing as for a chemist to see some grand discovery which he longs for printed in the daily sheet before his investigations are half done. You remember Montaigne’s story of the ancient philosopher and the dish of figs which had been laid in honey.

Bent on learning, and not a little conceited in regard to my small and fragmentary acquisitions, I rode about the county in search of some congenial characters, and certainly I alighted on some odd ones. The straggling village around our court-house comprised a church, a school, a doctor’s house and laboratory, a store, several mechanics’ shops, and two lawyers’ offices. In one of the last mentioned lived Gideon Stowe.

Rumor says that Stowe was the son of an overseer; but he was in my day a man of wide-spread reputation at the bar. A strong savor of his plebeianism adhered to him, which he rather cherished than concealed. I see him now, a strong-built man of fifty or thereabout; large-headed, bald and glabrous on the crown, with curly gray-hair gathered around his thick neck. He wore blue broad-cloth, and a white neck-cloth, and his low shoes displayed the blue yarn stockings, which covered a sturdy leg even in summer. Of the graces he made small account. All dignity but that of sinewy argumentation he held far beneath him. I have seen him sit for hours on a court-day, on the counter of the country store, with his feet dangling, as he whittled off pecks of splinters and shavings from a bludgeon of soft pine, as he discoursed on constitutional law to the group who listened and admired. Stowe was the resort of desperate culprits, for an hundred miles around. He loved plantation-talk, was a thriving agriculturist, a wealthy man, and the father of numerous accomplished daughters. If the English of the highway was in any case stronger than the dialect of books he seized on it, as Cobbet used to do.

The collision of sturdy talk daily, for years, had so disciplined him, that his colloquies—when he found a fit antagonist—were like a game at quarter-staff: there was little breathing and there were hard knocks. Stowe was a devourer of books, not only in his own profession, but in history, politics, and theology. He knew little Greek, and no modern language but our own, but had taught himself Latin, which a prodigious memory enabled him to quote with force, though with a contempt of all quantity. He loved to crack the bones of tough places in Persius and Tacitus. His English favorites were Bentley, Warburton, Churchill, and the colloquial effusions of Johnson. The attractions to his house, even leaving five blooming girls out of the question, I found irresistible. But it was a fearful pleasure; for, until repeated floorings had taught me my place, he would bring me down with a momentum, as often as I dared to encounter him.

Anne Stowe, the third daughter, possessed the grace and gentleness of her mother—whom I never knew,—together with some decided traits of the father’s keenness and power. There are circles in which Anne would have been voted a _bas-bleu_; but singular beauty, and several accomplishments of the gayer sort attempered the severer tones of character. Her voice was an organ which subdued whole coteries into attention by its dulcet charm. She sung, she painted, she rode the great horse, she was a gipsy queen in pic-nics and aquatic adventures. Exquisitely susceptible of humorous impressions, and familiar with the purest writers of satire, Anne was never betrayed into a sarcasm; and her lofty sweetness repelled the forward trifling which is common among half-educated young lawyers. Altogether, she stood as a beautiful contrast to her Herculean parent.

When I look back over the days of my youth, I find few greener spots than the long winter evenings spent at the Maples. It was a huge, shambling, unfinished house, open to all comers, with fires worthy of a Saxon castle, and tables groaning with Homeric joints. These were not—alas! for Gideon Stowe—the times of “thin potations.” When the ladies had retired, and the host called for hot-water and the “materials,” his tongue was loosed, and he gloried in—what were to him—the “_noctes, cænaeque deorum_.”

The short, broken, insufficient visits of a city, and the thronged assemblies of fashion, afford no specimens of, what used to be called in the period of Burney and Garrick, conversation. This must be sought where journals are rare, where hospitality is primitive, and where friends—who know one another—prize the continuous flow, and take time for it.

If I may venture a judgment, where there is room for bias and prepossession, I will declare my belief that these conditions no where meet in more perfection than among the educated proprietors of the South. Animated dialogue, from the necessity of the case, takes the place of purchased evening amusements. Wit and beauty are not confined to the sons and daughters of New England; nor will we readily yield to them in that glow, frankness and impulsion, which give electric force to countenance, voice, and gesture. Many a _soirée_ have we kept up till the small hours, when a dozen horses were in the stables, and a tribe of swarthy retainers were making the joists ring in the neighboring dependencies. Here it was that in my heyday I forgot all the grammarians, from Priscian to Adam, all the classics, and all the marvels of the old world; but I was learning much of mankind in its best aspect, and not a little of myself.

_Mme._ Anne Stowe has been dead twenty years, and three of her sons have families near me. Her husband was a wealthy planter; but before he gained her hand she gave more than one refusal to an aspiring young fellow whose name I am not free to mention.

* * * * *

=LIFE’S BATTLE MARCH.=

=BY MRS. J. H. THOMAS, (L. L. M.)=

A mighty throng are they who gird Their armor for the strife; And, with strong hearts, go forth to win The battle-field of Life.

The good, the firm, the true, the brave, The beautiful, are there; Beside the stern, dark warrior’s helm Float woman’s tresses fair.

Rose-lips are wreathed with lofty smiles, Pale cheeks with ardor glow; And fragile forms from easeful halls To death or vict’ry go.

Nor fly they from the noontide heat, To Pleasure’s shaded bowers; Firm fall the feet that trod, erewhile, Among the dew-bright flowers.

To battle with Life’s ills they go— Those hopeful hearts and strong— Nor shrink they from the toilsome march, To struggle fierce and long.

These lessons trite they all have conned: The proudest hopes may fall; And Beauty, Life, and Bloom repair To Death’s great carnival—

Earth’s clinging loves may fade away, Like half-forgotten dreams; And trusting hearts grow dark and cold As cypress-shaded streams—

The calmest brow may droop with grief— The brightest lip may pale; And eagle eyes grow dim with tears, When Hate and Wrong prevail—

And yet most glorious words, I ween, Are woven in the song, That breathes from every heart and lip, As sweep those ranks along.

That Wrong and Hate, though leagued with Might, And Grief, and Pain, and Wo, Can never crush the True and Right, Those brave hearts joy to know.

To each calm, earnest, onward soul, The lofty faith is given, That every flower that fades on earth, Far brighter blooms in Heaven.

They know that each encounter stern With Sorrow makes them strong; And cheerily their bold, true hearts, Uplift the glorious song.

They joy to know that soon their tents On Time’s dim shore will gleam; That soon their steadfast ranks will stand Beside Death’s sullen stream;

That soon from the Eternal Walls Heaven’s silvery chime will sound; And then Life’s myriad victors be With God’s own glory crowned.

* * * * *

=THE HARVEST OF GOLD.=

Three years ago, one Mr. Smith, a gentleman engaged in iron-works in Australia, made his appearance at the Government House, Sydney, with a lump of gold. He offered, for a large sum of money, to point out where he had got it, and where more was to be found in abundance. The Government, however, thinking that this might be no more than a device, and that the lump produced might, in reality, have come from California, declined to buy a gold field in the dark, but advised Mr. Smith to unfold his tale, and leave his payment to the liberality of Government. This Mr. Smith refused to do, and there the matter ended.

On the third of April, 1851, Mr. Hargraves, who had recently returned from California, addressed the Government, stating that the result of his experience in that country had led him to expect gold in Australia; that the results of his exploring had been highly satisfactory; and that for the sum of five hundred pounds he would point out the precious districts. The same answer was returned that had disposed of Mr. Smith, but with an opposite effect; for Mr. Hargraves declaring himself “satisfied to leave the remuneration for his discovery to the liberal consideration of Government,” at once named the districts, which were Lewis Ponds, Summer-Hill Creek, and Macquarie River, in Bathurst and Wellington—the present Ophir. Mr. Hargraves was directed to place himself at once in communication with the Government Surveyor.

Meantime, the news began to be whispered about. A man who appeared in Bathurst with a lump of gold worth thirty pounds, which he had picked up, created a great sensation, and numbers hastened to see whether they could not do likewise. The Commissioner of Crown Lands became alarmed. He warned all those who had commenced their search, of the illegality of their proceedings, and made earnest application for efficient assistance, imagining that the doings in California were to be repeated in Bathurst, and that pillage and murder were to be the order of the day. The Government immediately took active measures for the maintenance of order. Troops were dispatched to the gold fields, and the Inspector-General of Police received a discretionary power to employ what force he thought proper.

Great was the excitement in Sydney upon the confirmation of all this intelligence. Hasty partings, deserted desks, and closed shops, multiplied in number. Every imaginable mode of conveyance was resorted to, and hundreds set off on foot.

On the fourteenth of May, the Government Surveyor reported that, in communication with Mr. Hargraves, he had visited the before-mentioned districts, and after three hours’ examination, “had seen quite enough”—gold was every where plentiful.

A proclamation was at once issued, forbidding any person to dig without a license, setting forth divers pains and penalties for disobedience. Licenses were to be obtained upon the spot, at the rate of thirty shillings per month, liable to future alteration. No licenses were granted to any one who could not produce a certificate of discharge from his last service, or otherwise give a satisfactory account of himself; and the descriptions of such as were refused were registered. A small body of mounted police were at the same time organized, who were paid at the somewhat curious rate of three shillings and three-pence per day, with rations, and lodgings when they could be procured. Fortunately, there was no attempt at disturbance, for the Governor in a dispatch states, “that the rush of people (most of them armed) was so great, that had they been disposed to resist, the whole of the troops and police would have been unable to cope with them.” The licenses, too, were all cheerfully paid for, either in coin or gold.

On the third of June, Mr. Hargraves (who, in the meantime, had received a responsible appointment) underwent an examination before the Legislative Council, when he stated that he was led to search in the neighborhood of Bathurst, by observing the similarity of the country to California. He found gold as soon as he dismounted. He found it everywhere; rode from the head of the Turon river to its confluence with the Macquarie, about one hundred miles; found gold over the whole extent; afterward found it all along the Macquarie. “Bathurst,” observed Mr. Hargraves, “is the most extraordinary place I ever saw. Gold is actually found lying on the ground, close to the surface.” And Mr. Commissioner Green, two days afterward, reported that “gold was found in every pan of earth taken up.”

But the most important event connected with these discoveries, and which is without parallel in the world’s history, remains to be told.

On the sixteenth of July, The Bathurst Free Press, commenced a leader with the following passage:—

“Bathurst is mad again! The delirium of golden fever has returned with increased intensity. Men meet together, stare stupidly at one another, and wonder what will happen next. Everybody has a hundred times seen a hundred weight of flour. A hundred weight of sugar is an everyday fact; but a hundred weight of gold is a phrase scarcely known in the English language. It is beyond the range of our ordinary ideas; a sort of physical incomprehensibility; but that it is a material existence, our own eyes bore witness.” Now for the facts.

On Sunday, eleventh July, it was whispered about in Sydney, that a Dr. Kerr had found a hundred weight of gold! Few believed it. It was thought a capital joke. Monday arrived, and all doubts were dispelled; for at mid-day a tandem, drawn by two grays, drew up in front of the Free Press Office. Two immense lumps of virgin gold were displayed in the body of the vehicle; and being freely handed round to a quickly assembled crowd, created feelings of wonder, incredulity, and admiration, which were increased, when a large tin box was pointed to as containing the remainder of the hundred weight of gold. The whole was at once lodged at the Union Bank of Australia, where the process of weighing took place in the presence of a party of gentlemen, including the lucky owner and the manager of the bank. The entire mass weighed about three hundred pounds, which yielded one hundred and six pounds of pure gold, valued at four thousand pounds. This magnificent mass was accidentally discovered by an educated aboriginal in the service of Dr. Kerr; who, while keeping his master’s sheep, had his attention attracted to something shining on a block of quartz, and breaking off a portion with his tomahawk, this hitherto hidden treasure stared him in the face. The lump was purchased by Messrs. Thacker and Company, of Sydney, and consigned to an eminent firm in London.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner reported a gold field many miles in extent, north-east of Bathurst, adding that it would afford employment for five thousand persons, the average gain of each person being then one pound per day; while provisions, which at one time had been enormously high, owing to the cupidity of speculators, had fallen so low, that the sum of ten shillings a week was quite sufficient for one individual’s subsistence. The reports from the other commissioners were equally favorable; and it is gratifying to find that they all spoke in the highest terms of the orderly and exemplary conduct of the diggers.

Since the discoveries in the neighborhood of Sydney, there have been found, in South Australia, large tracts of country abounding in gold, only sixteen miles from Melbourne. The most recent accounts (December 15, 1851) from these regions are of a most astounding character. In the first week in December nearly fifty thousand pounds value in gold was brought into Melbourne and Geelong. The amount would have been greater but for want of conveyance. “To find quartz,” says the Australian and New Zealand Gazette, “is to find gold. It is found thirty-two feet from the surface in plenty. Gold is actually oozing from the earth.” Nuggets of gold, from fourteen ounces to twenty-seven pounds, are to be found in abundance. A single quartz “nugget,” found in Louisa creek, sold for one thousand one hundred and fifty-five pounds. The Alert was on her way home with one hundred and thirty thousand pounds sterling in gold, and two other vessels with similar rich cargoes.

Every town and village were becoming gradually deserted. “Those who remain behind to mind the flocks demand such wages, that farming will not long pay. Labor is in such demand that any body with a pair of hands can readily command thirty-five shillings per week, with board and lodging.” The Government Commissioners had given in their unanimous report, that the gold fields were already so extensive as to afford remunerative employment for one hundred thousand persons. In conclusion, the last advices describe the excitement as so intense that fears were entertained that sufficient hands would not be left to get in the standing crops.

Every week the number multiplies of gold-seekers’ colonies planted about streams in Australia; at all, the conduct of the diggers is exemplary. Most of them cease from labor on the Sunday, and spend that day as they would spend it if they were in town. The first keg of spirits taken into an Australian gold field had its head punched out by the miners; and Government has since assisted them in the endeavor to repress the use of stronger stimulants than wine or beer. Where every member of the community possesses more or less of the great object of desire; where stolen gold could never be identified; where it would be far from easy to identify a thief who passes to-and-fro among communities composed entirely of chance-comers, having faces strange one to another, a little drunkenness might lead to a great deal of lawlessness and crime. There are men, however, who will drink; and what are called by the miners “sly grog-sellers” exist, and elude discovery in every gold settlement. Yet we read of one man who, being drunk, had dropped the bottle which contained his gold, and are informed that he was afterward sought out, and received due restoration of his treasure from its finder. Some settlements are much more lawless than the rest, and we have read, perhaps, more ill of Ballarat than any other; yet it is of Ballarat that we receive the following sketch from a private correspondent.

The writer, with a party of four young friends, quitted a farm near Geelong, in October last year, to experiment as a digger at Ballarat until the harvest. One man at a gold field can do little for himself; a party of about four is requisite to make a profitable division of the labor. “With this party,” our correspondent says, “I started on Thursday, October the second, for the Gold City of Ballarat. We took with us all requisite tools; a large tarpaulin to make into a tent; provisions to last us for two months. All this was stowed away in our own dray; and our man Tom accompanied it.

“This mode of travelling—the universal mode in Australia—is very pleasant in fine weather. We used to be up at daybreak, and start as soon as we had breakfasted. We would go on leisurely—for bullocks won’t be hurried—and get through a stage of from fifteen to twenty miles, according to the state of the roads, allowing an interval of one hour for dinner. Then we would stop for the night at some convenient camping-ground, where there was a good supply of grass, wood, and water. There, our first proceedings were to make a big fire, and a great kettle of tea—a kettle, mind; then we rigged out a temporary tent, spread our beds on the ground, and went to sleep as comfortably as if we were at a first-rate hotel.

“On Monday night—having left the farm on the previous Thursday—we camped about two miles from the diggings; and making a very early start, we got in sight of them a little after sunrise.

“It certainly was the most extraordinary sight I ever beheld. Imagine a valley, varying in width from one hundred to five hundred yards, inclosed on either side by high ranges of hills, thickly timbered. Through the middle of this valley there winds a rapid little stream, or ‘creek,’ as it is termed here. On the banks of the creek, and among the trees of the surrounding ranges, were clustered tents, bark-huts formed after the native fashion with boughs of trees, and every kind of temporary habitation which could be put up in the course of an hour or two.

“Some idea may be formed of the number of tents and other habitations, when I say that there were then at least five thousand men at work within a space of about half-a-mile up the creek. All these had collected together in a few weeks; for it was only in the latter end of August that gold was first found in this out-of-the-way forest valley—now the site of the ‘City of Ballarat,’ as it was nicknamed by the diggers.

“We chose a place for our tent on a rather retired spot, not far from the creek; in a couple of hours our ‘house’ was put up, the stores stowed away inside it, and Tom and his team were off on the home journey to Geelong. Leaving the others to ‘set our house in order,’ get in a stock of firewood, bake a damper, and perform various other odd jobs attendant upon taking up one’s residence in the Bush—Fred and I set out to reconnoitre the scene of our future operations.

“The place where there was the richest deposit of gold was on the face of a hill, which sloped gradually down from the edges on the right-hand (or east) side of the creek, going towards the source. I mention these particulars, because it is worthy of note that almost all the principal diggings have been discovered in places similarly situated. The whole of the hill was what geologists call an ‘alluvial deposit:’ consisting of various strata of sand, gravel, large quartz boulders, and white clay, in the order I have named them. It is in this white clay, immediately beneath the quartz, that the gold is found. In one part of the hill, where the discovery was first made, this layer of quartz was visible at the surface, or ‘cropped out:’ in other parts it is to be met with at various depths, of from five to thirty feet.

“When first these diggings were discovered, there were, as might be expected, continual disputes as to how much ground each man should have for his operations. One party applied to the Government, which immediately appointed a Commissioner and a whole staff of subordinates, to maintain order and enforce certain regulations, made ostensibly for the benefit of the diggers. Of these regulations the two principal ones were, that each person must pay thirty shillings per month for a license to ‘dig, search for, and remove gold’ (I inclose you my license as a curiosity); and that no person could claim more than eight feet square of ground to work at, at one time. In consequence of this last regulation, the workings were concentrated in a small part of the hill, where the gold was chiefly to be found. This spot was perfectly riddled with holes, of from eight to sixteen feet square, separated by narrow pathways, which formed the means of communication between each hole and the creek. A walk about this honeycomb of holes was most amusing. The whole place swarmed with men; some at work in the pits; others carrying down the auriferous earth to be washed in the creek—in wheel-barrows, hand-barrows, sacks, and tin dishes on their heads. In some of the holes I even saw men digging out bits of gold from between the stones with a table-knife.

“Busy as this scene was, I think the scene at the creek was busier. Both banks, for half-a-mile, were lined with men, hard at work washing the earth in cradles. Each cradle employs three men; and all the cradles are placed close to one another, at intervals of not more than a yard. The noise produced by the incessant ‘rock-rock’ of these cradles was like that of an immense factory. This—together with continual hammering of a thousand picks, and the occasional crashing fall of immense trees, whose roots had been undermined by some mole of a gold-digger—made a confusion of sounds, of which you will find it difficult to form a just idea.”

Our correspondent’s party was not very fortunate in its researches at Ballarat. Having explained this to us, he continues to give his impressions of the place.

“When we arrived there, the influx of people was still going on; tents springing up at the rate of fifty per diem. This continued until the third week in September, when the number of persons on the ground was estimated at seven thousand. Strange as was the appearance of the place by day, it was still stranger at night. Before every tent was a fire; and in addition to this general illumination, there was not unfrequently a special one—the accidental burning down of some tent or other. These little conflagrations produced splendid effects; the bright glare suddenly lighting up the gloomy masses of trees, and the groups of wild-looking diggers.

“Noise, too, was a prominent feature of ‘Ballarat by night.’ From dusk till eleven P. M., there was a continuous discharge of fire-arms; for almost every one brought some kind of weapon with him to the diggings. Then there was a band which discoursed by no means eloquent music: nine-tenths of the score being monopolized by the drum. In the pauses of this—which occurred, I suppose, whenever the indefatigable drummer had made his arms ache—we would hear rising from some of the tents music of a more pleasing character. The party next ours sang hymns very correctly in four parts; and from another tent the ‘Last Rose of Summer’ sometimes issued, played very pathetically on the flageolet.

“Sunday was always well observed at the diggings, so far as absence from work was concerned: and there was Service held twice a day by different ministers. Altogether, though there were occasional fights—particularly on Sundays—there was much less disorder than one would have expected, where a large body of such men were gathered together. While we stayed, there happened only one murder and two or three robberies. You must not take the quantity of gold we got as any criterion of the amount found by other parties. Numbers made fortunes in a few weeks. One party that I knew obtained thirty pounds weight—troy—in seven weeks; and a youth of seventeen, who came out with me in the ‘Anna Maria,’ received five hundred pounds as his share of six weeks’ work. These are but ordinary cases. The greatest quantity known to have been taken out in one day, was sixty-three pounds weight, nearly three thousand pounds worth.

“On Wednesday, November fifth, we packed up, left Ballarat, and set off for Mount Alexander, where we arrived on the Saturday following. The Diggings there are not confined to one spot, but extend for twelve miles up a valley. The gold is found mostly among the surface soil; some I have even seen lying among the grass. We tried first at a place where there was only one party at work; and the trial proving satisfactory, we stayed there three weeks, and obtained thirty-six ounces of gold. For a few days we did nothing; and then we went over to some other Diggings about five miles off. Here we went “prospecting” for ourselves, and the first day found out a spot from which we took thirty-five ounces in one week—the last of our stay; eighteen ounces we found in a single day.

“We then started off, back to Geelong; for I was anxious to be back for the harvest. We reached home on Saturday, December twentieth.”

Writing on the twenty-eighth of December, our informant adds:—

“This gold discovery has sent the whole country mad. There are now upward of fifty thousand men at work at the various diggings; of which I have only mentioned the two principal ones, Ballarat and Mount Alexander. Every body who can by any means get away, is off. It is almost impossible to obtain laborers at any wages. Half the wheat in the country will most likely rot on the ground for want of hands to reap it. Fortunately we shall be able to get in ours ourselves, for our man Tom is still with us, and Mr. R’s four brothers will lend us a hand. We have a very good crop of wheat, for the first year; the barley, of which we had an acre or two, we have already cut and threshed, and are going to send a load in to Geelong to-morrow. I can handle the sickle and flail pretty well for a beginner. We shall cut the wheat next Tuesday. As soon as the harvest is over, and the wheat threshed out and sold, Mr. R. and I mean to make up another party and be off to the diggings. We cannot do all the work on the farm ourselves, and hiring servants now is out of the question. Men are asking seven shillings and sixpence a-day wages, and will only hire by the week at that rate. Things will soon be in the same state as they are in California. All ordinary employments will be put a stop to for a time; but there will no doubt come a reaction in the course of a year or two.”

The reaction anticipated by the writer will not consist in a disgust at gold, or a decrease in the number of gold-diggers. It will be less a reaction than a recovery of balance. Although the gold in Australia is, on the whole, peculiarly accessible, and so abundant that a persevering worker cannot fail to draw a livelihood out of the diggings; yet there are very many workers who are not disposed to persevere. Experience has shown, that a large number of men who rush upon the gold field to pick up a fortune, like all sanguine people, take up quickly with despair, and come away after a few weeks of bad success. Of the large number of people who will be induced by their gold to emigrate into the Australian colonies, many will try the gold fields and abandon them, many will find their health or their acquired habits unsuited to the rough work of the diggings, and the “Home of the Gold Miners”—as one sees it advertised in Sydney papers, “weighing only twelve pounds—nine feet square by eight feet high, for thirty-five shillings.” Such men and others will be more ready to spread about the towns and through the pastures. In a year or two there will be in Australia labor willing to employ itself as readily upon the fields as upon the gold, while the work will proceed at the gold fields steadily enough.

The contrast is very great between the orderly behavior at the gold fields in Australia, and of California. There are few fields, we are told, at which a miner might not have his wife and family; if he could provide accommodation for them, they would be as safe, and meet with just as much respect as if they lived in their own house in town. A clergyman, quitting the Turon settlement, publicly returns his “sincere thanks to the commissioners of the Turon, and to the mining population in general, for the many acts of kindness which he experienced during his short residence among them. He considers it his duty,” he says, “thus publicly to state, not only his own personal obligations, but also the pleasure which he felt in witnessing the general desire of all classes to promote the object of his mission, and to profit by his humble labors; and if,” he says, “he were to judge from their orderly conduct, and from the earnest attention and apparent devotion with which they all joined in the religious services of the Sabbath, he could not help forming a very favorable opinion of the miners. It cannot be denied that the great majority are sober, industrious, and well-disposed.”

The weekly “Gold Circular,” at Sydney gets poetical on the subject:—

“In our first shipment, we could count the value of the gold in pounds sterling by hundreds; in a few weeks it rose to thousands; in a few weeks more it became tens of thousands; and we are fast approaching a period when each ship will convey hundreds of thousands.” At the time when that was written—on December sixth—in the very few months since the digging was commenced, there had been shipped from Australia, gold to the value of three hundred and twenty-nine thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven pounds; and since that time the yield of gold has been increasing. At the same time, California continues unexhausted, and the field of gold in Russia has enlarged.

It will be seen, therefore, that there is just reason for anticipating a change in the value of gold, which will begin to take place gradually at no distant time. The annual supply of gold promises now to be about eight times greater than it was at the commencement of the present century. The value of silver, with reference to corn, fell two-thirds in the sixteenth century, as that of gold is likely to fall in the nineteenth. The price of silver fell in consequence of the increased production from the great mines in America. A piece of gold is now assumed to be worth fifteen or sixteen like pieces of silver; during the Middle Ages it was worth only twelve such pieces. In Europe, under Charlemagne, ten pieces of silver were an equivalent; and, at one period in Rome, silver was but nine times less precious than gold: relative values, therefore, have varied, and they will vary again. Since they were last fixed by law, there have occurred no causes of disturbance. Now, however, a time of disturbance is again at hand.

In France, the monetary unit is a franc; and silver is, by law, the standard coinage; but, a supplementary law having assigned the value of twenty silver francs to pieces of gold of a fixed weight, our neighbors will not be exempted from our difficulty, and the French State, like the English State, may profit, if it please, at the expense of public creditors. Governments have only to do nothing, and a large part of their debts will tumble from them; holders of Government securities have only to be passive, and in the course of years their income will diminish sensibly. Debtors will hold a jubilee, and creditors will be dismayed, if gold shall be allowed to fall in value, without due provision being made to avert, as far as possible, all inconvenience attending that event.

In 1848, the value of gold had been for many years a very little more than the amount of silver allowed by law, in France, as its equivalent. The little difference was quite enough to put gold out of circulation. Gold was more precious as metal than as money: it was, therefore, used by preference as metal; when wanted as coin, it was only to be bought—at more than its legal current value—of the money-changers. There is a vast quantity of gold in circulation now, but it is newly coined.

The fall in the value of gold cannot begin to any appreciable extent, until the utmost available quantity has been employed upon the monetary system of the world. Coinage now goes on rapidly. A huge mass of sovereigns has lately been sent from England to the Australian colonies. When the depreciation once begins, it will be tolerably rapid. It is not absurd to calculate that, if the gold production should continue at its present rate, sovereigns will be as half sovereigns now are in value, in the course of about twenty years.

At the same time, it will be the duty of all States to take such precautions as shall make it impossible for a change of this kind to introduce confusion into commerce, or to change the character and spirit of existing contracts.

* * * * *

=SEMINOLE WAR SONG.=

=BY WM. H. C. HOSMER.=

Fire, famine, and slaughter, Have wasted our band— Our life-blood like water Has moistened the land; But truly our rifles The bullet will speed, While an arm can be lifted— One bosom can bleed.

The raven is croaking A dirge for the slain— Our cabins lie smoking On prairie and plain; But paths we will follow To carnage that lead, While an arm can be lifted— One bosom can bleed.

Our old men lie mangled By wild-wolf and bear; Our babes we have strangled— Dread act of despair; And vengeance will nerve us To desperate deed, While an arm can be lifted— One bosom can bleed.

Pale robbers are swarming In hammock and vale; Their squadrons are forming With flags on the gale; We dread not their footmen, Armed rider and steed, While an arm can be lifted— One bosom can bleed.

* * * * *

=STABILITY.=

=BY J. HUNT, JR.=

Be thou, like yon old mountain oak, Of sturdy mien—in purpose strong; And prove thyself to be unchanged, In every sense, from Right to Wrong.

Let not success unbalance mind; In adverse times be honest, then; Support the Truth, and thou shalt march, A monarch, in the van of Men.

* * * * *

=LINES,=

Suggested by reading an account of the very ancient Willow which still stands in what were once the gardens of Semiramis, at Babylon, with which it is supposed to have been coeval.

=BY MRS. E. L. CUSHING.=

Oh, solitary tree! Living memento of the mighty Past! Strange, dreamy images the mind o’ercast, As dwell its thoughts on thee.

Where roved Semiramis Thou still doth stand—perchance her foot she staid Beneath thy silvery boughs—in their deep shade To woo the zephyr’s kiss.

There now, thou standest lone; And as the winds thine ancient branches sway, Thou dost respond to their light mirthful play, With melancholy moan.

[3]The wandering Arab hears, And deems in thee unearthly spirits dwell; Then hastes with flying foot the tale to tell, Of his dark doubts and fears.

Ancient, mysterious tree! What secrets deep lie hidden in thy breast? ’Twere strange, indeed, if aught could be at rest, Knowing what’s known to thee.

Thou hast outlived thy race! Lone dweller, thou, amid decay and death, Where e’en the violet, with her perfumed breath, No eye may ever trace.

Amid thy foliage dim The wild bee murmurs not, nor e’er is heard, ’Mong thy pale folded leaves, the chant of bird, Warbling her vesper hymn.

Not so, oh mournful tree! When in their glory shone those gardens bright, And plants of every clime, full fair to sight, Smiled gayly there with thee.

Then thou did’st proudly wave Thy graceful boughs above the queenly head Of fair Semiramis, and soft dews shed, Her beauteous brow to lave.

While at thy feet unrolled, Lay Shinar’s plain, in whose bright midst there shone The hundred gates of mighty Babylon— Her towers and domes of gold!

Where are her glories now— Her valiant kings—and he who reared yon tower To brave the heavens? Spent is their little hour! Oh, tree! why lingerest thou?

There thou hast stood and seen Their doom fulfilled—hast seen gray ruin sit In their bright halls, and marked the dark bat flit Where song and dance have been.

Hoary and voiceless tree! Could’st thou find human utterance, to impart All the bright secrets treasured in thy heart— Dark would the history be!

Well might’st thou moralize On worldly hopes—thou that canst boast a span, Ne’er in Time’s earliest records reached by man— The mighty, nor the wise.

Briefer than thine, oh tree! Earth’s glories are; for thou hast seen them pass, Age after age, as in a magic glass— Yet change comes not to thee.

Still may Time pass thee by, Untouched, unscathed—sparing thee still to bind Us to the Past—thou that art close entwined With its strange history.

-----

[3] The creaking sound made by the branches of this aged willow, when moved by the wind, is believed by the superstitious Arabs to proceed from spirits dwelling among its foliage; and the fact that neither birds or insects ever frequent the tree, and that no flowers thrive in its vicinity, confirms them in their credulous belief.

* * * * *

=SONNET—VIRTUE.=

=BY WM. ALEXANDER.=

Hail! holy Virtue! sweet celestial guest! To earth descending from the realms above, Erst camest thou a dear messenger of love! Man’s friend, be he or happy or distrest— Bright emanation of the eternal Mind, Thou express image of the One most high, The God of gods—of matchless purity—

What refuge like to thee can we e’er find? Check us when led by Passion’s voice astray; Each idle wish, rude thought, do thou control; And fling thy golden radiance o’er the soul; That “more and more unto the perfect day,” It brightly still may shine—lit up by thee, A thing sublime—undimmed throughout eternity.

* * * * *

=THE SHARK AND HIS HABITS.=

Far as the breeze can bear, or billows foam, All seas their kingdom, and each clime their home.

As free as a bird says the proverb—as free as a fish say we; for if fish be not their own masters, who are? No other creature has half the facilities for shifting quarters and changing domicile that he has. Furnished with a body in itself a perfect locomotive, a vigorous tail for a piston, and cerebral energy in lieu of steam, the sea offers itself as a railroad of communication and transport in every direction, and the North or South Pole is the only natural terminus to the journey. Man cannot compete with fish here; for few, from various lets and hindrances, care to vagabondize at will, and of these, fewer still possess the means of indulging their fancies—yachts. The yacht animal enjoys himself, no doubt, cruising about the high seas for amusement; but this pleasure has risks, as well as obvious limits. Squalls may upset, or whirlpools engulf the frail craft; the masts may be struck by lightning, the keel by sunk rocks; her rudder may be carried away; her sails torn to ribbons; her ribs melt in the red glare of fire on board; or, if she adventure too far in northern latitudes, the crew is liable to incarceration; and fortunate if, after six months’ bumping, “nipping,” and crushing, they bring her off at last, and manage to escape white bears, famine, and an icy grave. Besides these liabilities to mischief, the wants of those on board compel constant forced halts; here for coal, there for water, and sundry runnings into harbor in dirty weather to the delay of the ship’s voyage; all which “touchings” in order to “go” must retard a sigh in its passage from Indus to the Pole exceedingly.

In birds, wings supply the place and greatly exceed the efficiency of sails; but even wings have their limitations of action, and are also subject to many mishaps. Birds can neither soar toward heaven, nor skim across the waters without being continually made sensible of this; the stoutest pinion cannot long beat the icy air of high altitudes, and remain unnumbed; thus high and no higher may the eagle æronaut mount; and among birds of passage how many thousands die in transit to another continent; who, trusting—like Icarus—to uncertain wings, drop into and cover whole roods of ocean with their feathery carcases.

Quadrupeds again, are even more restricted in wandering over the earth; natural obstacles are continually presenting so many bars to progress in advance: the dry and thirsty desert where no water is; inaccessible snow-capped mountain ridges; the impenetrable screen of forest-trees; the broad lake; the unfordable and rapid river; the impassable line of a sea-girt shore; any of these impediments are enough to keep beasts within an area of no very great range. Thus it fares with all creatures, denizens of either earth or air; but none of these obstacles impede the activity of fish. They may swim anywhere, and everywhere, through the boundless expanse of waters; and, in defiance of trade-winds and storms, traverse the open seas at every season, unchecked; surrounded on all sides with suitable food, and finding at different depths a temperature alike congenial to health and comfort, whether in the torrid or the frozen zone. Some of the scaly tribe, to whom fresh water is not less palatable than salt or brackish, may even go far inland; visit without “Guide” lakes hitherto undescribed by tourists, or follow, à la Bruce, the meanderings of some mighty river from the mouth up to its sources. Supported in a fluid of nearly the same specific gravity as themselves, the upper portion of the body throws no weight upon the lower, and weariness is impossible. Where there is no fatigue repose becomes unnecessary, and accordingly we find these denizens of the deep—like their “mobile mother,” the sea, “who rolls, and rolls, and rolls, and still goes rolling on”—are never perfectly at rest. When all the day has been passed in swimming, and the evening paddled out in sport, away float these everlasting voyagers in a luxurious hydrostatic bed, and are borne through the night wherever the current chances to carry them; and, with only an occasional instinctive gulping for a mouthful of air to replenish the exhausted swim-bladder, on they go till early dawn—bursting upon a pair of unprotected eye-balls, gives the owners thereof timely notice to descend deeper, and to strike out fins and tail in whatever direction waking thoughts may suggest. To such tourists Madame de Stael’s definition of travel—_Le voyage, un triste plaisir_—cannot, of course, apply. Their whole journey through life is indeed singularly placid, conducing to health, and extreme longevity; for though it be not absolutely true as affirmed by Aristotle, that fish have no diseases or “plagues,” it nevertheless is certain that large fish—adequately supplied with little ones for food, well armed, and capable of defending themselves against greater enemies—will live several centuries—a Nestorian age, to which immunity from sudden changes of temperature, as well as a secured sufficiency of wholesome diet, together with their well-known habit of taking things coolly, no doubt materially contribute. So long a period allowed for growth, and such a fine field too for development as the open sea affords, readily explain the enormous size reached by some fish of rapacity in their vast domains, and particularly by those ocean pirates, the dreaded and dreadful sharks; who, according to the authorities, though “overwhelmed with cruelty,” yet “come to no misfortune like other” fish; whose eyes swell with fatness; who do even as they list; growing up the terror of navigators and the scourge of the deep.

The ancients have left us many lively representations of the sanguinary proceedings of these ill-omened Squali, whose reign of terror, after four thousand years of historical renown, remains as firmly established over the waters as ever. In early times, several different species of sharks were confounded, and supposed identical; but as knowledge of the sea and its marine stores has increased, it is now ascertained beyond controversy that these cartilaginous monsters, all of whom are the same in daring and voracity, and terrible according to their size and strength, are of various species. Under the heading “Canicula,” Pliny relates, in his usual pleasant style, the proceedings of one of these, evidently our Tope, the Squalus milandra of the French, La Samiola of the Mediterranean; where, by the way, they still abound, to the terror and detriment alike of Italian and Maltese boatmen. Though this Canicula averages but twelve feet, he is equal to the gigantic white shark in _cynopic_ impudence and rapacity; he has often been known to seize sailors standing beside their craft, and tardy bathers still in their shirts. The poor pearl divers of the Indian seas have particular reason to dread his approach; and the method anciently adopted by them to evade his jaws is very similar to what the black population of the East follow to the present day, and generally with complete success.

“The dyvers,” says Pliny, “that use to plunge down into the sea, are annoyed very much with a number of Sea-hounds that come about them, and put them in great jeopardie . . . . much ado they have and hard hold with these hound-fishes, for they lay at their bellies and loines, at their heeles, and snap at everie part of their bodies that they can perceive to be white. The onely way and remedie is to make head directly affront them, and to begin with them first, and so to terrifie them; for they are not so terrible to a man as they are as fraid of him againe. Thus within the deepe they be indifferently even matched; but, when the dyvers mount up and rise againe above water, then there is some odds betweene, and the man hath the disadvantage, and is in the most daunger, by reason that whiles he laboureth to get out of the water he faileth of meanes to encounter with the beast against the streame and sourges of the water, and therefore his only recource is to have helpe and aid from his fellowes in the ship; for having a cord tied at one end about his shoulders, he straineth it with his left hand to give signe of what daunger he is in, whiles he maintaineth fight with the right, by taking into it his puncheon with a sharp point, and so at the other end they draw him to them; and they need otherwise to pull and hale him in but softly; marry, when he is neere once to the ship, unless they give him a sodaine jerke, and snatch him up quickly, they may be sure to see him worried and devoured before their face; yea, and when he is at the point to be plucked up, and even now ready to go abourd, he is many times caught away out of his fellowes hands, if he bestir himself not the better, and put his own good will to the helpe of them within the ship, by plucking up his legges and gathering his body nimbly togither, round as it were in a ball. Well may some from shipbourd proke at the dogges aforesaid with forkes; others thrust at them with trout speares and such like weapons, and all never the neare; so crafty and cautelous is this foule beast, to get under the very belly of the bark, and so feed upon their comrade in safetie.”

The portraits of two other species besides the Canicula have been so well delineated by the ancients, as to render the recognition of the originals perfectly easy, and exempt from any possibility of mistake. One of these is the Saw-fish of modern writers, described by Aristotle under the name of _Pristis_, and by Pliny under the Latin synonym _Serra_. The saw, or rake, of this shark is at first a supple cartilaginous body, porrect from the eyes, and extending sometimes fifteen feet beyond them. In the earlier stages of development it is protected in a leathery sheath; but hardening gradually as the ossific deposition proceeds, its toothed sides at length pierce the tough integument; the Serra flings away the scabbard, and, after a very little practice, becomes a proficient in the use of his weapon, and always ready for instant assault upon any body or any thing that may or may not offer molestation. Thus formidably armed, and nothing daunted, the larger and fiercer the adversary the more ardently the Serra desires to join battle; above all, the destruction of the whale seems to occupy every thought, and to stimulate to valorous deeds; no sooner is one of these unwieldy monsters descried rolling through the billows, than our expert Sea-fencer rushes to the conflict; and, taking care to avoid the sweep of his opponent’s tremendous tail, soon effects his purpose, by stabbing the luckless leviathan at all points, till he—exhausted by loss of blood—dies at last anemic, like Seneca in the bath. Martyns relates a fight off the Shetland Isles, which he witnessed from a distance, not daring to approach the spot, while the factitious rain spouted up from the vents of the enraged sea mammal, poured down again in torrents sufficient to swamp a boat, over the liquid battle field. He watched them a long time as they feinted, skirmished, or made an onslaught; now wheeling off, but only to turn and renew the charge with double fury. Foul weather, however, coming on, he did not see the final result of the fray; but the sailors affirmed that such scenes were common enough to them, and generally ended in the death of the whale; that when he was _in extremis_, the victor would tear out and carry away the tongue—the only part he cared for—and that, on his departure, they themselves drew near, and enjoyed undisputed possession of the huge carcase.

The other well-defined _Squalus_ of the ancients is the _zygæna_ of Oppian, the Marseilles Jew-fish, the Balance-fish, the Hammer-fish, and were these not aliases enough already, the T-fish might be suggested as an appropriate synonym to add to the rest, the form of this letter suiting the outline of the fish to a tittle. The down stroke represents the body, and the horizontal bar at top the singular transverse head, at the opposite extremes of which two very salient, yellow eyes are situated, commanding from their position an extensive field of vision. When any thing occurs to ruffle the temper of the savage monster, these jaundiced eye-balls suddenly change to a blood-red hue, and roll, furiously glaring, in their projecting orbits; the portal of the mouth opens, and a huge, human tongue, swollen, inflamed, and papillated, surrounded by a whole armory of rending teeth, is thrust forth, presenting to view a creature so strange, hideous and malevolent, that nothing in nature can be compared to him. The domestic circle of the _Squalus zygæna_ numbers every year twenty-four new members; this fearful fecundity of the mother is providentially kept in check by the violent decease of most of the young in cunabulis, for these little cacodemons, untaught by their parents or Dr. Watts to consider it at all “a shameful sight for _Squali_ of one family to snarl, and snap, and bite,” commit the most cold-blooded fratricides, and even eat one another, _proh pudor_! without any remorse; besides this, when grown-up relations come on a visit, the young set are not secure from “battle, murder, and sudden death,” for a single moment, save when directly under the paternal nose; as a natural consequence, few of the nefarious brood survive childhood, or ever attain to full maturity of size and malice. Of such as escape infantine dangers, many in after life fall victims in hostile encounters with larger congeners; in particular with the white shark. The average length of the _S. zygæna_ is only eight or nine feet, but he does not fear to confront the powerful Requin himself, and fight him, too, with such pluck, resolution, and fury, that though the greatly superior weight of the other at length prevails, the victor does not leave the bloody battle-field scatheless, but like a second Pyrrhus, with the conviction that one more such conquest would undo him. We never saw any of these sea-termagants alive and in action, and must therefore refer the reader for full particulars to M. Lacepède, who had that advantage; but to judge from sundry recently dead specimens, with fins down, tail at rest, the hammer head resting on the pavement, and one eye only to be seen at a time, she was quite ill-looking enough to justify belief in all that biographers have recorded against her.

These are the only three sharks of which the ancients have left us any discriminative account, though they doubtless were acquainted with many others frequenting southern seas. It must have been one of this gigantic race, and probably the white shark, to which Oppian refers in the latter part of the fifth _Halieatic_.

“The gashed and gory carcase, stretched at full length, a ghastly spectacle! is even yet an object of recoil and superstitious dread. A vague fear of vengeance keeps awhile the most curious of the captors aloof; at length some venture to approach; one man looks into the gigantic jaws, and sees a triple tier of polished and pointed teeth; another wonders at the width of back; a third admires the herculean mould of the lately terrible tail; but a landsman, beholding the unsightly fish at a distance, exclaims—‘May the earth, which I now feel under me, and which has hitherto supplied my daily wants, receive when I yield it, my latest breath, from her bosom. Preserve me, oh Jupiter! from such perils as this, and be pleased to accept my offerings to thee from dry land. May no thin plank interpose an uncertain protection between me and the boisterous deep. Preserve me, oh Neptune! from the terrors of the rising storm, and may I not, as the surge dashes over the deck, be ever cast out amidst the unseen perils that people the abyss; ’t were punishment enough for a mortal to be tossed about unsepulchred on the waves, but to become the pasture of a fish, and to fill the foul maw of such a ravenous monster as I now behold, would add tenfold horror to such a lot!’”

We participate entirely with this landsman in hearty detestation of sharks, well remembering the mixed awe, interest and disgust inspired by the view of a white shark, albeit, a small one for the species, captured after a furious resistance off the Thunny fishery of Palermo in the night, and brought in next morning by the sailors, at the market hour. Dozens of colossal thunnies, alalongas, pelamyds, and swordfish, lay that morning scarcely noticed: the object of general attraction was the dread Canesca, whose mangled body was stretched by itself in the middle of the Place, surrounded by an appalled yet admiring throng, all loud in exclamations and inquiries. The men who had secured the fish, perfectly satisfied with the results of the night’s toil, smoked their pipes complacently, and gave the particulars of the capture to those who pressed round eagerly to hear the exciting tale. Women, of course, mingled largely in the crowd—when were they, of the lower class, ever absent from any spectacle of horror? and accordingly, with either an infant in arms, or clutching a child by the hand, they pointed out the fish to their equally excited neighbors, and with many fierce gesticulations called him “_bruto_,” “_scelerato_,” “_il Nerone dei pesci_,” and other conventional names of abuse for a shark in Sicily; everybody was exclaiming, everybody rejoicing over his destruction. “_Eccola Beppo_; we have him, you see at last,” said one of the crew to a nearing boatswain, just come into the market. “_Buon’ giorno a lei_, I make you my bow, sir,” said the other, doffing his red worsted cap to the fish; “we are all happy to see you on shore; after this you will not invade _la camera della morte_[4] and make a way for the thunny to slip through our fingers again. No, indeed, my lads, now we really have him, you may mend your nets with something like a sense of security.” “Par Bacco and St. Anthony! will you tell me, sir, where you have put the flannel drawers you took from out of my felucca, as they were drying on Sunday last, five minutes after Giuseppe’s legs were out of them?” “_Cane maledetto_—accursed hound—where’s my brother’s hand you snapped off as he was washing it over the side of his boat, not a week ago?” “_Caro lei!_ did you now chance to swallow Padre Giacomo’s poodle, which disappeared so suddenly the day before yesterday, as he was swimming to shore with his master’s stick?” “Gentlemen,” said the master boatman, and proprietor of the Canesca, “you will get more _out_ of him by looking _into_ him, than by asking unanswered questions; so here, my lads,” addressing two of his men, “wash his head and gills well, and show that gentleman—ourself—he is not so small a Canesca as he is pleased to think.”

The clean water soon brought out the features, as the blood and ooze were removed; and though the collapsed eye-balls, unsupported as in life, no longer shot menacing glances from their cartilaginous pivots, but fell back opaque and dimmed into the sockets, an expression any thing but amiable was still exhibited in their barred pupils of Minerva gray. The whole forehead was bathed with that phosphorescent mucus or jelly which gives this fish its luminous and spectral appearance, when seen in the dusk, and adds new terrors to the ill-omened apparition. The aspect of the face was malign enough; but when the den of his mouth was forced open, and we ventured to peep in, and saw there three rows of sharp and pointed teeth, that alive in one effort of volition might have been brought to bear all at once upon the largest prey, and made him spout blood at every pore, it became apparent that a fish, even like this of only eight or nine feet long, with such a jaw to tear, such a trunk to smash, and such a tail to stun, must have been capable of destroying the life of almost any creature he might encounter; and we entered readily into the feelings of delight and triumph expressed by the fishermen at the capture of so thoroughly a _mauvais sujet_. Besides the jeopardy in which he places life, the mischief a single shark will occasion to the thunny and cod fisheries is incalculable; two or three of these marauders suffice to interrupt, and sometimes effectually to disconcert all the operations of the poor fishermen. The blue shark in particular, during the pilchard season, will hover about the tackle, clear the long lines of every hook, biting them off above the bait—break through the newly shot nets, or fairly swallow the distended mesh-work and its draught together.

Nor is this all, nor yet the worst mischief recorded of sharks: fond as they are of fish, they greatly prefer flesh, and, unfortunately for man, his flesh before that of beast or bird. Acutely discriminative, too, in taste, their partiality is decidedly for a European rather than an Asiatic—for a fair rather than a dark skin: on this account, in a mixed group of bathers, the white complexioned are always the selected victims of a first attack; but to get at human flesh of any description, they will make extraordinary efforts—bound for this purpose out of the sea like tigers from a jungle, right athwart a vessel in full course, to pick off some unwary sailor occupied in the rigging—or leap into a high fishing-boat, to the consternation of the crew, and grapple with the men at their oars; or, when hard pressed and hungry, even spring ashore and attack man on his own element.

A famished shark will snap up every thing; but though he may swallow all, yet there are some morsels even a shark cannot stomach; witness the following lively anecdote from the _Edinburgh Observer_:

“Looking over the bulwarks of the schooner (writes a correspondent of the Scotch newspaper,) I saw one of these watchful monsters winding lazily backward and forward like a long meteor; sometimes rising till his nose disturbed the surface, and a gushing sound like a deep breath rose through the breakers; at others, resting motionless on the water, as if listening to our voices, and thirsting for our blood. As we were watching the motions of this monster, Bruce (a little lively negro and my cook) suggested the possibility of destroying it. This was briefly to heat a fire-brick in the stove, wrap it up hastily in some old greasy cloths as a sort of disguise, and then to heave it overboard. This was the work of a few minutes, and the effect was triumphant. The monster followed after the hissing prey; we saw it dart at the brick like a flash of lightning and gorge it instanter. The shark rose to the surface almost immediately, and his uneasy motions soon betrayed the success of the manœuvre; his agonies became terrible, the waters appeared as if disturbed by a violent squall, and the spray was driven over the taffrel where we stood, while the gleaming body of the fish repeatedly burst through the dark waves, as if writhing with fierce and terrible convulsions. Sometimes also we thought we heard a shrill, bellowing cry as if indicative of anguish and rage, rising through the gurgling waters. His fury, however, was soon exhausted; in a short time the sounds broke away into distance, and the agitation of the sea subsided; the shark had given himself up to the tides, as unable to struggle against the approach of death, and they were carrying his body unresistingly to the beach.”

A poet is born a poet, and a shark is born a shark; in infancy a malignant, a sea-devil from the egg. When but a few weeks old, and a few inches in length, a Lilliputian Squalus exhibits a pugnacity almost without parallel for his age; attacking fish two or three times older and larger than himself, and if caught and placed upon a board for observation, resenting handling to the very utmost of his powers, striking with the tail a finger placed on any part of the body where it can be reached. But though always thus hostile to man, and generally so to each other, love for a season subjugates even these savage dispositions, and makes them objects of a reciprocal regard.

M. Lacepède, who seems to have entered intimately into the private feelings of sharks, speaks highly of their amours.

Plutarch bears testimony to the tenderness of sharks for their offspring. He says:—‘In paternal fondness, in suavity and amiability of disposition, the shark is not surpassed by any living creature. The female brings forth young, not perfect, but inclosed each in a pouch, and watches over these till the brood is excluded with the anxiety as it were of a second birth. After this both parents vie with each other in procuring food, and teaching their offspring to frolick and swim; and should danger threaten the defenseless little ones, they find in the open mouth of their affectionate progenitors a sure asylum;’ ‘from which,’ says Oppian, who relates the same story with variations, ‘they issue forth when the alarm is over and the waters again safe.’

Notwithstanding these short paroxysms of tenderness, taken as a class, it may be safely asserted that nothing in nature is more savage than the whole Dog-fish tribe, the only difficulty being to determine precisely to which of the several species the bad pre-eminence belongs; whether to the White, the Blue or Basking Shark, the Canesca, the Zygæna, the Rough-hound or Bounce, &c., for they are _all_ Red Republicans of the deep; strife is their element, blood their delight, cruelty their pastime. Even the soft sex, which amongst most creatures deserves this winning epithet, in the Squalidæ is so far from being a recommendation, that the females are more ferocious than the males. A Messalina sharkess has been known to dash into a crowd of unhappy bathers, tearing and butchering all one after another, nor, till wearied out and gorged, but still unsated with her victims, leave the spot

Et lassata viris, nondum satiata, recessit.

Well, indeed, do these “fell, unhappie, and shrewd monsters,” as Pliny calls them, deserve the ill names bestowed by man—Lamia the fury, witch or hobgoblin; Anthropophagus, or man-eater, and Requin; so called, in anticipation of the requiems which may certainly be offered up by friends for the soul of any one whose body comes in the way of a shark.

The white shark is one of the largest of the tribe, and measures sometimes from twenty to twenty-five feet; there is however another, the _Squalus Maximus_, only met with in northern latitudes, which greatly transcends him; reaching, when fully developed, thirty and even forty feet in length. One taken off Marseilles with a whole man in armor, _integer et cadavere toto_, pouched in his stomach, affords some grounds for supposing that the great fish that swallowed the prophet Jonah was a shark; especially as this case of the warrior is not a solitary instance, for Rondolet relates the story of a man and his dog going down the open mouth of a shark into the stomach, the first to look about him and to say he had been there, the other to prowl round and pick up offal. That Jonah was swallowed by this _Piscis Anthropophagus_ is probable, though only conjectural; that he was not swallowed by a _whale_ is certain, for whales have very small gullets and no internal “accommodation for a single man,” like the shark; their food consists entirely of small narrow creatures an inch or two long, and not thicker round than the barrel of a common-sized quill.

The origin of this mistake, perpetuated by sculptors and painters, proceeds from a misconception of the Hebrew word _tannanim_, translated _whale_, but evidently designating large fish generally; just as its Latin equivalent _cete_, signifies any heavy fish; size, not species, determining the appellation.

Great as are the dimensions of many existing Squali, there can be no doubt that some of the antediluvian period greatly exceeded in size any species at present known. We are indebted to M. Lacepède for this discovery, and the ingenious procedure by which he arrived at it deserves notice. M. Lacepède was one of the first naturalists who applied the since well understood and more fully developed principle of _ex pede Herculem_ to the objects of natural history. Having received from Dax, in the Pyrenees, a shark’s tooth of the very unusual size of four inches and a half in the enamel, or the part visible above the socket, he was prompted to discover, if possible, the size of its original possessor; for this purpose he measured first the teeth, and next the bodies of all the Squali accessible to him in the museums of Paris, and found in every case, that the relative proportion they bore to each other was as one to two hundred, and applying this general scale to the particular tooth from Dax, M. Lacepède found that he held in hand the relic of a creature that in the days of the flesh must have been fully seventy feet long. The proportions between the body and the head being also definite, it was as readily made clear that a Squalus stretching to this length had jaws with a bow above thirteen feet, and a mouth capable of gaping more than twenty-six feet round. In comparison with such a Squalus, those chronicled by Rondolet requiring two horses to drag them, and even one mentioned by Gillius, weighing four thousand pounds, dwindle into mere minnows and gudgeons.

Cruel as all Squali undoubtedly are, reasons perhaps might be suggested, if not wholly exculpatory of their conduct, sufficient to obtain them an acquittal before either a French or an Italian court of judicature. The French verdict would be _meurtre, avec circonstances attenuantes_. An Italian jury would at once pronounce a shark criminal, _arabbiato_—in a passion—consider this sufficient excuse, and summarily dismiss the case. Such lenient judgments might be based on the grounds of their having teeth unusually numerous, efficient, and long; and on temperament; but sharks possess _also_, enormous abdominal viscera; full one-third of the body is occupied with spleen or liver, and the bile and other digestive juices secreted from such an immense apparatus, and poured continually into the stomach, must be enough to stimulate appetite prodigiously, and what hungry animal was ever tender-hearted? We read in the _Anabasis_, that the Greeks would not treat with the Persians about a truce till after dinner; and every one knows that to be the time most propitious to charity and good neighborhood; a hungry man is ever a churl, and _ventre affamé n’a point d’oreilles_. A shark’s appetite is never appeased; for, moreover, in addition to his bilious diathesis, he is not a careful masticator of victuals, but hastily bolts a repast, producing thereby not only the moroseness of indigestion, but a whole host of _tænias_, which goad and irritate the intestine to that degree, that the poor Squalus is sometimes quite beside himself from the torment, and rushes like a blind Polyphemus through the waves in search of any thing to cram down his maw and allay such urgent distress; he does not seek to be cruel, but he is cruelly famished, and must satisfy, not only his own ravenous appetite, but the constant demands of these internal parasites, either with dead or living animals; so, sped as from a catapult, he pounces on a quarry, and gorges, like a boa constrictor, a meal sometimes so great as to press upon and protrude a large portion of the intestine, which, after one of these crapulous repasts, may not unfrequently be seen trailing several feet from the body.

It is an interesting fact in the history of sharks—and one by no means without precedent in our own—that violent passions, parasites, and indigestions, do not seem to ruffle the equable current of the blood, and that the pulse continues regular, and averages only sixty beats in a minute. As with us a good digestion, (the common accompaniment of a quiet pulse) may be and often is connected with a bad disposition, who knows but that Heliogabalus and Nero, those admirable human types and representatives of the genus shark in so many other particulars, may have resembled them in this also, and in the midst of their orgies and atrocities have enjoyed a calm circulation.

Sharks are sometimes eaten, but more out of bravado and revenge than because they afford a desirable food. Athenæus indeed records that the Greeks were Squalophagi, but they would eat any thing. Archistratus, the _bon-vivant_ of his book, will not allow men to object to a shark diet, merely because the shark sometimes diets upon men. Galen, on the other hand, denounces shark’s flesh, but only from its supposed tendency to produce melancholy. We do not know whether the Latins ever ate them. Among modern nations, Italians and Sicilians cook only the belly of the old fish; and fœtal sharks not much bigger than gudgeons, whenever they can procure a dish. In the still less dainty Hebrides, the _Squalus vulgaris_ is consumed entire; in England they are not relished; but in Norway and Iceland the inhabitants make indiscriminate use of every species that they capture, hanging up the carcases for a whole year that the flesh may mellow. Though no part of the shark is really wholesome, one part, the liver, very valuable in a commercial point of view from the abundance of oil squeezed from it, is highly prejudicial for food, as we learn, on the evidence of the following case of an obscure French cobbler, recorded by an eminent French physician:—

Sieur Gervais, his wife and two children, supped upon a piece of shark’s liver; in less than half an hour all were seized with invincible drowsiness, and threw themselves on a straw mattress; nor did they arouse to consciousness till the third day. At the end of this long lethargy their faces were inflamed and red, with an insupportable itching of the whole body; complete desquamation of the cuticle followed, and when this flaying process was concluded, the whole party slowly recovered.

-----

[4] The last compartment of the complicated network called a _mandrague_, in which the thunny are harpooned and slain.

* * * * *

=THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.=

The knights of España, the valiant, Sought long for the fountain of youth, And this legend of old-time they reverenced As an oracle uttered by Truth:

That over the foaming Atlantic, In a kingdom of ever-bright flowers, Safely sheltered from danger, it offered To all who in faith sought its bowers,

A draught from its goblet like nectar— And, thenceforth the beauties of youth, With its loves, and its joys, all unchanging, Remained with them ever, forsooth.

And I have a fountain upspringing In crystalline beauty for me; I have drunk of its waters, and gladly To others now proffer them free.

In a cool, shady grotto it gushes, Surrounded by sweet-perfumed flowers, I call it my shrine for devotion, There pass I my happiest hours.

White lilies, so pure, of the valley Gather round it like children at home, And violets creep to its margin, For a kiss from its sparkling, bright foam;

The heart’s-ease peeps out from the clusters Of lilies, to look in its face, For often is vividly mirrored Therein all her beauty and grace.

Though the rose from my cheek will soon vanish, And the sheen from my tresses must fade,— Though others will see on my forehead The footprints that long years have made;

Yet youth is now with me, and never Will I lose it—no! never grow old, For the naiad that dwells in my fountain, To me, a high secret has told.

Oh! what is the beauty of figure, The outer youth, vain as the wind! A beauty eternal, unfading, I have in the heart and the mind.

My heart shall continue as youthful, In affections and sympathies bold, And my mind in its thoughts and its fancies Shall never be wrinkled or old.

Ay! I will not grow old! for my fountain— _Contentment_—ne’er fails to supply Every grace, every beauty, I covet, And I cannot her bounty deny. A. G. H.

* * * * *

=HUSH! HUSH!=

=A LEGEND OF RHINELAND.=

=BY DONALD MACLEOD.=

I was so tired of Mayence. I had seen the cathedral so often, and witnessed the stiff recruit drillings in the barrack-yard, and crossed the bridge of boats, and wandered in the palatial gardens of Biberich, and ridden to Francfort to look at the Ariadne, or Lessing’s “Trial of Huss,” or Overbeck’s “Triumph of Religion,” or old Rothschild, or the Austrian soldiers, or the Kaisersaal, or the statue of Goethe, or the shop windows, or the English travelers in thick shoes and incipient moustaches, or at some other of the thousand-and-one curiosities of the quaint old Freistadt—that some change became absolutely necessary.

I tried to speak Danish with the only other idle man in the Three Crowns, but he did not understand me: then he spoke English, but I did not understand him; and then we took off our hats, bowed, grinned at each other in a most imbecile manner, and turned away. He sat down at a little table in the _salle á manger_, and called for a bottle of Braunerberger; and I packed up a little traveling sack, got on board a steamboat, and was whisked off down the Rhine.

On the steamer—_dampfschiff_ says the German, but the Dutchman calls it _stoomboot_—just opposite me sat an old, fat German lady, by the side of her old, fat spouse. He was smoking his pipe; she was patting his plump left hand between her own. Sometimes he would take the meerschaum from his lips, turn round slowly and regard his mate through the light clouds issuing from his mouth; then the old lady would give him a wide and benign smile, and pat his left hand a little more rapidly; after which he would resume the pipe, and both would subside into their ordinary, fat calm.

The only other thing that much attracted my attention on board, was a small boy gorging himself with walnuts, gingerbread and apples in rapid and endless succession, till his dull, blue eyes seemed to be on the point of popping out of his head.

Whether they did so eventually or not, I cannot say, for I went ashore at Lorch, and gave my sack to a one-eyed waiter at the Swan inn.

Lorch, as you know, is just below the Mouse Tower (Mauesenthurm) in which cruel Bishop Hatto was eaten by the rats, in punition of his cruelty in withholding the grain from the people in time of famine—and just above old Baccharach (Bacchi Ara,) which owes its name to its wealth of vines. Above it, in it, around it, below it, the hill sides were green with luxuriant foliage, nearly all the houses are wine shops, grapes are the only fruit—most of the stone is in the form of jugs, and most of the glass is bottle glass—I might add, that what little meadow there is, is bottle green.

Zu Klingenberg am Main, Zu Wuerzburg an dem Stein, Zu Baccharach am Rhein Hab’ ich in meinen Tagen Gar oftmals hörem sagen, Soll’n sein die besten Wein’.

At Klingenburg on Main, at Würzburg on the Stein, And at Baccharach on the Rhine, Every worthy son of Herman, swears in donnerwettrous German, That they grow the choicest wine.

Joyously sweeps the Rhine by Lorch, through the home of the German Lyæus—sweeps swiftly but crookedly in a rollicking, tipsy way, whispering to the vineyards the last news from the glaciers, and stopping for an instant at the gate of Lorch to get a drink of water which the modest little Wisper furnishes.

I went strolling up the banks of that same modest little Wisper, listening to the strange sound of the north wind soughing through the valley—precisely resembling, as the name implies, the busy whispers of a thousand spirits in the air.

When I say the sound of the wind, I use the language of foolish men. I know better. Spirits are they; but whether good or bad, angels or cobbolds, minions of Rübezahl, or gentle fays, gnomes, pixies or Loreleis, I, alas, cannot tell; but I know what I think—For—

When I had gotten well into the valley, and was skirting a knot of thick willows, with my eyes fixed upon a wild looking rock before me, there came a sough heavier than usual, and a gruff “Hein!” was uttered near me. I turned and saw an immense head, all forehead and pale blue eyes, covered with very little hair, and apparently without a body, waving to and fro upon the tops of the rank weeds.

“Dame!” said I.

“Guten Tag,” said the head, and it came toward me. Then I saw that there was a body under it, clad in velveteen shooting-jacket and trousers, with a pipe stem visibly protruding from one pocket, and a _schnaps-flasche_ from another.

Then I returned the salutation; and the head began to be wiped with a yellow silk handkerchief, clutched in a red, fire-like hand, and to talk with great rapidity.

“Hein! it is very warm to-day. Walking for your pleasure, no doubt. Your very good health, sir, and to our better acquaintance. Try a drop of schnaps.” As he spoke he took the pewter flask from his pocket, slipped off the false bottom which served for a cup, filled it, bolted the contents, and then refilling it, handed it to me.

I rendered it all due justice, and pointing to the wild scene before us, asked him if it were familiar to him.

“Familiar!” he exclaimed. “I should suppose so. It is one of the most awful places in the country, although a little safer now than it used to be. You know what happened here to Johann Würzelkopf, Herman Weinsoffer, and Mäusche Kleidermacher?”

“I am sorry to be so ill-informed, but I never even heard of those gentlemen. I wish you would tell me the story.”

“I will; but first try some more schnaps. No more! Why? Well, I will; here’s to you. And now let us sit down here on this bit of wall. Don’t be frightened, and don’t go to sleep, and I will tell about the three little burghers of Mayence.”

I obeyed all the little man’s directions, and he continued:

“Johann Würzelkopf, Herman Weinsoffer and Mäusche Kleidermacher were three young burghers of Mayence, from twenty-one to twenty-five years old it may be; old enough to enjoy personal liberty, but not old enough always to take care of themselves, the proof of which assertion will be seen in the sequel.

“Now, instead of going to mass, like good Rhenish Christians, they must needs pick out the _Pfingstenfest_, that is, Pentecost morning for a frolick on the river, and going to Baccharach below there, they spent the morning in proving the excellence of the wines; and when filled with courage, pottle deep, they came up the river to Lorch, and out to the valley here to seek for adventures, forsooth. Well, they found them.”

Here the little man gave a low, malicious chuckle, and went on.

“They pushed through yonder thicket to the face of those rocks there, which to their eyes took the form of an immense old castle; and the clefts resembled Gothic pointed doors, and the crannies and crevices looked like windows. As they were gazing, they espied at one of these pretended windows three faces of enchanting beauty. Golden hair falling over shoulders of ivory, blue eyes full of merriment, and crimson, pouting lips, smiling just enough to show teeth like pearls. As they gazed, these pretty lips opened a little wider to emit this sound—

“‘Hush! Hush!’ each of the three sweet mouths said ‘Hush!’ and the little sense which remained in the heads of the youngsters was driven away, and they became half crazy with love for the three enchantresses. A white hand and arm then pointed to a doorway, and the young men entered it and made their way along a narrow hall, where they found themselves suddenly in profoundest darkness, while around them rustled, with a thousand echoes, the mysterious ‘hush! hush!’ After some groping about, however, they at last found a door, which they opened and entered an immense saloon, lined with mirrors and blazing with a thousand lights.

“And the sweet voices of the three maidens cried ‘Welcome, welcome!’ and the ivory arms were stretched out toward the young men for an embrace. But the blaze of light dazzled them, and the mirrors showed not three maidens, but three thousand! Turn where they would, they saw ivory arms extended, and red lips smiling welcome, and golden hair rolling over shoulders of snow.

“So the blockheads stood with gaping mouths, grinning foolishly, and open eyes staring at the maidens or their images, until one of the mirrors slid back, and a stern, powerful old man came into the room, clad in a long, velvet robe, to the girdle of which his grizzled beard fell thickly.

“‘You are welcome,’ he said. ‘No doubt you have come to espouse my daughters!’

“But the burghers thought of their schätzen at Mayence, and felt no especial affection toward such a father-in-law. A little amusement with the young beauties were all very well, but matrimony! Ah, that was more serious.

“‘You hesitate,’ said the old man, ‘do not fear; I am no miser, I drive no hard bargain. Each of those maidens has a thousand pounds of gold as portion. And there is room in the castle ditch for three bodies larger than yours are.’

“Then again the charmers wooed the young men with smiles, and opened their ivory arms, and threw back the golden hair, shaking from the tresses an intoxicating perfume.

“‘Do you still hesitate,’ thundered the imperious gray-beard.

“‘No—no—no, my lord,’ stammered the burghers of Mayence.

“‘It is well for you!’ and he laughed a grisly laugh. ‘So, now embrace your brides.’

“So they advanced with extended hands, but only touched the gold surface of the glass; and whichever way they turned, they saw the ivory arms, and heard the mocking laugh of the old man, mingled now with the silvery voices of the maidens, yet could find nothing but the mirrors that multiplied the figures of their brides, until at last they were half crazy. Then the father-in-law guided them toward the smiling beauties, and the touch of their hands and the flavor of their lips achieved the enchantment.

“‘One moment,’ cried the graybeard; ‘before your perfect union, one proof of your tenderness is required. My daughters have lost their favorite birds, a starling, a crow, and a magpie. They are undoubtedly in the forest there, and we are not permitted to leave the castle until after the marriage of my daughters.’

“‘How shall we know them from other birds of the same species?’ asked Würzelkopf.

“‘For it must be confessed,’ added Weinsoffer with much wisdom, ‘that one crow is very like another crow.’

“‘And magpies generally go in pairs, you know.’ This last remark was made by Mäusche Kleidermacher, and exhibited an observation of the habits of birds, remarkably creditable to a burgher of Mayence.

“‘You will have little difficulty in recognizing these birds, my dear sons-in-law, since they all speak when spoken to; the starling with a riddle, the crow in a song, and the magpie in a biography of his grandmother. Go then, my sons, get the birds, come back and be happy.’

“Then he led them to the door, and they went forth into the forest. They had not wandered far before they saw the three birds sitting all upon one tree, saying and doing nothing.

“‘Starling,’ said Johann Würzelkopf, ‘can’st thou make riddles?’ and the starling answered, flying to his shoulder.

“‘What’s on your face, oh burgher, know you, That the best of mirrors cannot show you?’

Johann Würzelkopf of course did not know, and therefore gave up all his attention to his comrade, Weinsoffer, who was asking the crow for a song. That bird, well-known as a musical character since the days of Æsop, sang thus—

“‘Three friars of excellent appetites coasted A land where the ortolans fly ready roasted, And stood, begging all of those nice little pullets To be good enough just to fly down their gullets. But their throats were too large, or the birds too well grown, For not even one could contrive to get down; And the monks went off cursing the country o’er all, Where the birds were too fat, or the gullets too small.’

“Weinsoffer was endeavoring to find the moral of this, when Mäusche Kleidermacher asked the magpie for his biographical-grandmaternal information, and Mag said, as the crow flew on Weinsoffer’s shoulder—

“‘My grandmother was a magpie, Who laid a vast number of eggs, From each of which came a magpie. And I think she would be living yet, Only one day she happened to die.’

“So singing, the magpie hopped upon Mäusche’s shoulder, and the three friends went back to the castle, which they reached and entered before nightfall. But ah! what a change! Instead of mirrors and blaze of torches, and waving of golden hair, and gleam of ivory arms, they saw but cold, bare walls, tapestried by cobwebs, or the light moss produced by dampness. Sole relic of past glory was that three tables stood near each other, covered with all that could tempt the appetite, each in the guard of a toothless, wrinkled, blear-eyed, abominable old hag.

“While the three young men stood gaping, the old hags advanced, and drawing them with cold, claw-like hands toward the tables, cried ‘Welcome, dear bridegrooms.’ And then once seated at the tables, they caressed the poor burghers with their snaky arms, picked out dainty pieces of food and put them with their black, long-nailed fingers into the mouths of the bridegrooms, mumbling out nauseous endearments through their toothless jaws.

“Then they would have a wedding-dance; and springing up, they whirled their partners round and round the rooms, their old joints cracking like fifty castanets, their shrill voices screaming out a rapid song. And the starling, the crow, and the magpie flew rapidly through the mazes of the crazy waltz, perching now and then on head or shoulder, and screaming, croaking, chattering incessantly their riddle, their song, their story of the grandmother, until whatsoever brains were possessed by Johann Würzelkopf, Herman Weinsoffer, and Mäusche Kleidermacher, were so twisted and jumbled together, so wearied and stunned, so deafened and bedeviled, that they fell in sheer exhaustion, each with individual grunt, upon the floor.

“Then all the noise ceased but the low, thousand-voiced utterance, ‘Hush! hush! hush!’

“After lying thus upon the floor for some time, the youths were helped upon their feet by their attentive brides, and supported, with much tenderness, toward the tables. Then each old hag poured a little golden wine into a glass of Venice, and kissing the rim held it to the lips of her bridegroom. And when the three little burghers of Mayence had swallowed the draught, they fell in a senseless lethargy upon the floor.

“When they awaked the sun was high up in heaven. They found themselves lying among the furze at the foot of the rock, which, however, no more resembled a castle than it did a rose-bush. It was as common and disagreeable a mass of stone, granitic or otherwise, as one could wish to see. Full of shame, and foaming with rage, they began to make their way through the woods; but the horrible ‘hush! hush!’ sounded from all sides; the old witches looked out mockingly from every bush, and the three birds followed them, hopping from tree to tree; the starling proposing his riddle, the crow singing his song, and the magpie as biographical as ever.

“Nor were they at all relieved until they got to the edge of the wood, where they met a little man—just as you met me this morning, sir—and of him they demanded what these infernal birds could mean.

“‘The answer to the starling’s riddle,’ said the little man, ‘is, that each of you have received, invisibly to yourselves, a good six inches of additional nose. But the crow instructs you, when you have good, little sweethearts at home, to stick to them, and not to go about gaping at every pretty face whose lips may cry ‘hush! hush!’ as if you expected her to fly down your throats as the friars did the ortolans.’

“‘But the magpie, worthy sir; what does she mean?’ cried the three.

“‘Oh, the magpie! Why she tells just such a story of her grandmother as your grandchildren will tell of you.’

“So Weinsoffer, Würzelkopf and Kleidermacher went on their way, repentant and resolving—which is the moral of this legend—never to get tipsy on holyday mornings, and not to be attracted by every pretty face that might cry ‘hush! hush!’ from a window.

“Such, sir, is the legend, and see yonder is the very magpie!”

I turned to look, but saw no bird whatever, only I heard a chuckling laugh behind me, and when I turned round, the little man with the large head had disappeared.

So I reflected that he was perhaps the father of the three witches, and had been making fun of me. Then I shrugged my shoulders and walked meditatively back to Lorch.

* * * * *

=ANNIE MORTON.=

=BY AMY HARNED.=

“There comes dear father at last!” exclaimed Annie Morton, springing from her seat at an open window through which she had been earnestly looking a long time in expectation of his arrival, while her sewing rested unheeded upon her lap. “Oh, what a long, long week this has been without him: dear father!” And the rich blood mantled on her cheek; her black eyes sparkled, and the smile that parted her ruby lips made her very beautiful, as she stood for one moment ere she sprang through the casement and down the long avenue to meet the carriage which contained her father.

The mother looked after her daughter with pride; but pressing her hand upon her heart as if in pain, she sunk back upon her seat.

“Ah! what will she do without me, wild wayward as she is?” murmured Mrs. Morton. “The world has sadness in store for thee I fear, my daughter; when I am gone, who will shield thee, and care for thee, as I have done?”

A deep shade of sadness rested for a moment upon her face; but it passed away as the mother bowed her head in prayer for her passionate, wayward, but loving child.

She heard the party approaching the house, heard the kind voice of her husband as he answered the questions which Annie poured upon him, and with a sweet smile Mrs. Morton rose to meet them. The excitement of meeting her husband, after his temporary absence, brought a slight flush upon her cheek, making her look better than she really was; but it gladdened the heart of Mr. Morton, for when he left home she was so ill as to cause him much alarm; and as he folded his wife in his arms, he said, tenderly—

“Why, my dear Mary, I shall leave home oftener if my absence causes you to look so well. I have not seen so handsome a woman since I have been in B——; but I must not forget—here is a young gentleman waiting to be presented to you: I know you will welcome him.”

Tears stood in Robert Dennyn’s eyes. There was something in Mrs. Morton’s face, in her sweet, sad smile that reminded him painfully of his mother, who—but a few weeks previous—he had seen laid in the cold ground, hidden forever from his sight. He could scarcely command his voice to speak. Mrs. Morton noticed his agitation, and divined the cause of it. She extended both hands to him, and said—

“Robert Dennyn, I am glad to see you here. Your mother was the dearest friend of my girlhood; for the love of our early days, a son of hers will ever be most dear to me.”

“Charlie will be at home to-morrow, Robert,” interrupted Mr. Morton gaily, anxious to give a less serious turn to the conversation; “but I do not intend to set you down to your books yet awhile, my boy; you have studied too much already—you need rest. I wish to see you strong and well: exercise will be the best thing for you. There are horses in the stable at your service; and Annie, as wild a madcap as ever set foot in a saddle, ready to point out the beauties of all the country round, provided you can read Miss Landon to her, and listen to her chattering. What say you, my little magpie, will you have this young gentleman for your knight-errant? I doubt not he will be willing to do your bidding.”

Annie replied merrily: supper was announced, and, in pleasant chat, the evening passed rapidly away.

Charlie Morton came the next day; and the warm grasp of his hand told to Robert how much he sympathized with him in the trials he had endured since they left college.

No two persons could be more unlike than Charlie Morton and Robert Dennyn. Robert was tall, handsome, and but for the gaucherie of a boy unused to society, would have been very graceful. His face was pale, but the outline was perfect; a little too thin perhaps. At times, his large black eyes flashed and sparkled with a brilliancy that lighted up his pale face, otherwise—in its expression—too grave; and he surprised as well as interested his companions, for when in conversation he would forget himself—few youths could be more irresistible.

Though brought up in a city, he had been more secluded than boys are generally, therefore his manners needed that ease and self-confidence which is only acquired by intercourse with society.

His time, during his vacations, had been passed chiefly with his mother, whom he idolized. As he approached manhood, he saw that mother—so dear—fading slowly away. When the reality first burst upon him that she was dying, Robert was stunned—paralyzed beyond the power of action. Was there no elixir of life within his reach? Alas! no.

The messenger of death came gently, peacefully to Mrs. Dennyn, and she died, blessing her husband and son for their unwearied love, their untiring devotion, which had soothed her many years of suffering.

For a long time, Robert refused to be comforted; he had loved his mother with an intensity which admitted no other thought. Life, indeed, to him seemed a blank without her.

Just at this time, Mr. Morton paid his old friend a visit. He was a man of acknowledged ability, and Mr. Dennyn knew that in placing his son with him, he would secure for him an able legal preceptor, as well as a kind friend. Mr. Morton willingly received him under his charge, while Robert gladly accepted the offer of his father which removed him, for a time, from that home, now rendered painful by its memories of the dead. He came to Mr. Morton’s with a heart saddened by the scenes of sorrow, through which he had so recently passed; and the warm affection with which the family greeted him, made him feel at once that he was not among strangers.

Charlie and himself had long been friends: in college they were regarded as a miracle of brotherly attachment. No wonder—for who could look upon the clear, open, manly brow of Charlie Morton, and hear his ringing joyous laugh, and not love him. Care sat lightly upon him. His step was quick and free; his whole manner beaming with kindness and good-nature made him everywhere a welcome guest, and his return home a cause for rejoicing. His father was very proud of him, for he had come off with flying colors at the final collegiate examination which he had, with Robert Dennyn, so recently passed. The late commencement Annie would have attended, had not Mrs. Morton’s unlooked for indisposition detained her at home. She bore the disappointment with a grace which proved she was not entirely selfish. She was now wild with glee at the return of her only brother, whom she dearly loved.

The coming of Robert Dennyn was an event which decided the destiny of her life. He was just the sort of person to enchain the affections of a girl of seventeen. She soon learned to watch for his coming; to listen for his voice; to note the ever-varying expression of his countenance with an eager interest which none but those who have loved can ever know.

Robert felt the power of her beauty. A warm affection began to spring up in his heart for her—but Annie was pettish and willful. Her passionate temper knew no bounds—her violence repelled him many times when he felt most tenderly toward her.

“She has no heart,” he would say; and struggled to overcome the growing interest he felt in her.

When she would be left alone after having given vent to her temper, Annie would feel overwhelmed with shame and self-reproach; but she was ever too proud to acknowledge her faults, yet—although passionate and willful—Annie’s character had in it the elements of a noble nature, had there been some one near her who could have checked her wayward impulses, and taught her to subdue her proud will. She went on heedlessly; “sowing the wind” in her folly, and, alas! in due time did she not “reap the whirlwind?”

* * * * *

“Annie,” said Mr. Morton one day, “my friend, Mr. Leslie, has purchased Longbrook. I congratulate you, for he has two daughters about your own age. You will no longer want society: you, too, Charlie, must ride over with Annie to see them; and Robert, Mr. Leslie is also an old friend of your father; for the sake of ‘auld lang syne,’ I should like you all to be upon pleasant terms of intimacy.”

Flora and Mary Leslie, though sisters, bore little resemblance to each other, either in person or character. Flora was the more beautiful. Her face was of a style rarely seen; pale as a marble statue and as cold: not a tinge of color ever mantled her cheeks. Her hair—black as night—she wore parted smoothly over her brow, and folded in rich braids on her classic head, with a simplicity that defied ornament. Her eyes were not black, but of a deep, dark blue, with long black lashes that swept over her cheeks, still paler from the contrast. Her figure was tall and exquisitely moulded. Her beauty did not, however, leave a pleasant impression. There was no woman’s gentleness, no warmth in her manner; one felt as in the presence of an iceberg. Her sister, on the contrary, seemed like a little sylph; and Robert Dennyn’s eyes rested so fondly upon her, as to cause Annie Morton’s heart to sink within her.

Mary Leslie’s hair floated in ringlets round her neck with a wild grace; her bright blue eyes gave so clear a light, and her laugh was so innocent and happy, that one felt certain that no guile was in her heart.

Annie Morton and the Leslies were daily companions; and when their hours of study were over, Charlie Morton and Robert Dennyn always knew where to find the young girls. Bright visions of the future rose up before them; and, was it strange that in the dreams of each, the gentle, loving Mary Leslie walked, side by side, through their life with them? Both the young men loved her. The elder sister was too cold. Charlie said she lacked sincerity; and Robert, though he admired her, felt a chill in her presence, the cause of which he did not seek to divine.

But, though the young men loved best to linger by the side of sweet Mary Leslie, Annie Morton was more with Flora. There was something in the boldness and haughtiness of Flora’s manner that agreed with her own impulsive temper, she gradually fell more and more under Flora’s influence. Mrs. Morton watched with pain the growing intimacy of the young girls; she felt—with a mother’s instinct—that Flora was a dangerous companion for her daughter, and often urged her to be more with Mary.

“Why should I not choose my own friends?” Annie would exclaim, when Mrs. Morton remonstrated with her. “What do you know against her, mother?”

“Nothing, my child; but I know my daughter has altered very, very much since she has been so intimate with her. Flora Leslie is not pure and guileless as her sister.”

But the mother’s counsels were unheeded by Annie—she was unhappy. She began almost to hate Mary Leslie. The jealous friend was constantly whispering that, but for Mary, Robert might be all her own. The thought tortured her night and day. A dark, sullen cloud settled over her brow—she became more and more unloving and unlovely. Robert turned from her—to breathe the calm atmosphere which surrounded Mary—with a sigh, that one so beautiful could display so little tenderness.

Mrs. Morton’s health grew more delicate, and Annie therefore more free to do as she willed; for Mr. Morton was too indulgent, and Charlie too much occupied with his own dreams, which were approaching their realization, to notice the change that had crept over Annie.

* * * * *

“I am going to B——, to-morrow, Charlie,” said Robert, the day after his examination; for the three years of study had passed thus quickly away, bringing our young friends over the threshold of manhood and womanhood.

“Leave us so soon! I did not expect this, Robert—what shall I do without you?”

“Surely, in the love of Mary Leslie you will find forgetfulness for all sorrow, or you do not half deserve so priceless a treasure,” said Robert, sadly.

“Mary Leslie!” Charlie stammered, blushed; then laughing off his confusion, said—“Yes, Robert, there will be a wedding, in the fall, at Longbrook—will you be my groomsman? I should have told you this long ago, but—” and he blushed again, and again hesitated.

“Say no more, my dear fellow, I know it all, and will come.”

And he did know all. Only that morning he had gone to Mary Leslie, and told her of his love, and how fondly he hoped it was returned. Tears came in Mary’s eyes while she listened; but she had plighted her faith to another—long ago had she given her heart to Charlie Morton; and, in gentle accents she told him so, while her blue eyes glistened as she saw the suffering she caused. Robert acquitted her of all blame.

“God bless you, Mary,” said he, and they parted friends; and from thenceforth he felt she must be as a sister to him, when his heart was overflowing with love toward her.

* * * * *

The autumn came. The wedding was over. Robert Dennyn grasped the hand of his friend with sincere and earnest wishes for his future happiness. How could he but be happy with that guileless, loving creature for his bride; and Robert was able to meet her, not only with calmness, but without a wish that it should be otherwise.

A new love was beginning to dawn upon him, and he only wondered that the spell of Annie Morton’s loveliness had not been upon him long before. Instead, as of old, leaving her to pursue her walks and rides alone, he was now ever by her side. Annie did not repulse him. A deep purpose was in her heart; to bring this man to her feet who had neglected her in girlhood, and then refuse him, became her determination; and in this she was prompted by her subtle friend.

Flora Leslie saw the devotion of Robert with a bitter heart. The pale student first introduced to our readers had become a man. His figure, then sharp and angular, was now tall and graceful. The light of genius shone in his dark eye, and spread itself over his face, now beautiful to look upon in its manliness. His success, since his examination, had been such as answered the expectations of his friends, who predicted for him a brilliant career. Flora saw that his wife would occupy an enviable position in society. Her quiet country home had no charms for her. Her restless spirit pined for the gay scenes of a city life. Robert Dennyn’s wife would have the position for which she longed; and to prevent his marriage with Annie Morton, and to win him to herself, became the fixed purpose of her soul.

She poured into the mind of Annie suspicions of his truth; told her of his love to her sister, and of the scene to which she had been a witness without their knowledge, when he confessed his love to Mary. This scene she exaggerated until Annie was maddened by the thought that the only being he had ever loved was Mary Leslie; and when Robert, during the merry bridal season, told her of the newborn love that had sprung up in his heart for her, she laughed his love to scorn, and drove him from her with cold and haughty words, though she loved Robert with all the deep love of which her heart was capable.

Robert remained several weeks at Longbrook. He did not choose that Annie should see that her scornful rejection had given him pain, and he unconsciously devoted himself to Flora, who saw that her triumph was approaching. When they met, Annie could not avoid displaying agitation; but she struggled hard with her feelings.

“He shall never know how much I have loved him,” the poor girl would say.

In this Flora encouraged her. “Where is your woman’s pride, that you will permit him to see your wretchedness. This cold, proud man is scarcely worth all this display of affection.”

Just at this time an event occurred which prolonged the visit of Robert. Mrs. Morton died. Robert could not leave his friends in their deep affliction. Poor Annie! her grief was wild and ungovernable. She grew pale and thin; never now, as of old, did the light flash in her eye, and the color mount to her cheek.

How Robert’s heart yearned to fold her in his arms and soothe her agony. He determined to make one last effort to win her love; but again he was repulsed. Her evil genius whispered that now he sought her in compassion; he had seen what Flora called her weakness, and having won from her a confession of her love, would despise her for it.

Robert left her presence convinced that she did not love him, that her conduct toward him had been all coquetry. His first acquaintance with her, when she was scarcely more than a child, recurred to him. He said to himself as then, “She has no heart.”

In this mood he returned to Longbrook. Entering the drawing-room, the first thing that attracted his attention was Flora. She was bending over a table with a small miniature open before her. Her hands were clasped, her whole features convulsed. As he approached she started with well-feigned surprise, stammered a few words, and left the room.

Robert was amazed—who could she love? This cold creature, who had never before displayed the least sign of feeling! From her manner, he inferred, that that love, whoever its object, must be hopeless. He advanced to the table, the picture upon which her eyes had been riveted in such agonized hopelessness was his own. Robert staggered back into the seat which Flora had just quitted. A cold damp moisture settled on his pale forehead, now paler than ever—the coldness settled on his heart.

“Here,” said he, “have I wasted all the love which I possessed upon one incapable of returning it, while this noble creature—It shall not be! she shall not suffer upon my account! I will drive from my thoughts the idol I have cherished, and replace it by the image of this beautiful girl.”

Without a moment’s hesitation he addressed a note to Flora, telling her that he had seen her agitation, and discovered the cause of it; frankly he admitted that he had not loved her—“But,” he wrote, “if you will accept a heart that has not been all yours, my life shall be spent in endeavoring to make you happy.”

Was Flora Leslie happy? Her end was well-nigh accomplished. She saw herself already mistress of a magnificent establishment, surrounded with splendor, receiving the homage due to her beauty; but happiness had fled from her bosom, sweet peace from her pillow, for she felt that she had trampled and crushed to the earth, the hopes of a breaking heart.

Charlie Morton was delighted when he learned the engagement. He hastened to tell Annie of it.

“I once hoped to have seen you his bride, Annie. I think he loved you; but if you did not love him, of course, you were right not to accept him.”

Annie listened calmly, and her good brother never knew that he was the messenger that brought darkness and despair to her soul. A new light broke upon her. Could her friend have been treacherous? But it could not be, Charlie must have been mistaken. She recalled Robert’s fond words, his despair, when he left her so short a time before.

“It cannot be,” she exclaimed; “he loves me still! I will not believe it! Even though it be true, he shall not marry this false girl! I will tell him all!” She wrote a hurried, passionate note to Robert, in which she confessed how much she loved him; there was no coldness now—all pride was gone—merged in the wild thought that she might yet recall him to her side.

Impatiently she waited for his answer, which she felt would be life or death to her. Who shall tell the agony of Robert Dennyn when he received the note, just as he was setting forth for his home in B.

“Once,” he wrote in answer, “Annie Morton knew that she might have asked any thing of me, even life itself—now I am irrevocably bound to another.”

Annie Morton received the note; she took it from the servant, as she stood trembling beside that same window where she sat when first presented to our readers; but how unlike the bright, beautiful girl who then sprang forth so gayly to meet her beloved father, and the strange youth who was to exert so great an influence upon her destiny. Beautiful she was still, for twenty summers had not yet passed over her head; and beauty cannot leave those she has loved so early—the gift will linger till many a year of suffering has passed over the heads of those upon whom she has bestowed the fairy talisman.

Annie read the note—a look of despair stole over her face—her eyes gleamed wildly. She crushed the note in her hand, then tore it into a thousand pieces. For a moment she stood gazing out. A carriage passed. She knew that Robert was in it—and as it rolled on, so passed away from Annie Morton all light and hope eternally. She left the spot where she had been standing, passed slowly up the broad staircase to her room, reached the bed, and consciousness left her. They found her there some hours after—but reason had left her. She had sown the wind in her folly, she was reaping the whirlwind in her misery.

Robert Dennyn and Flora Leslie were never married. The frantic words that fell from poor Annie Morton’s lips, during the first moments of her hopeless insanity, disclosed Flora’s treachery, and the engagement was broken.

Robert Dennyn went on his way, loved, honored, respected by all; but a lonely old age was his portion. He had too kind and good a heart to become a misanthrope; but the flowers of love in his heart were bruised and crushed—they bloomed no more for him.

* * * * *

=ADIEU.=

=BY E. A. L.=

Adieu! Adieu? In silent tears we parted, To journey on, diverging, as two beams, That from the equatorial line have started, Bending their faces toward the earth’s extremes. All day my bosom heaves with heavy sighs; All day I sing thy favorite songs and weep; All night I gaze into thy luminous eyes, Or clasp thy shadow in my feverish sleep— Oh! for the love that was for death too strong! Oh! for the sweet charmed hours that sped too soon, When thou didst steal from Beauty’s laughing throng To meet me by the soft consenting moon, Inclasp my hand in tremulous delight, And bend on me thine eyes angelically bright.

* * * * *

=THE RANGER’S CHASE.=

=A WESTERN STORY OF THE WAR OF 1812.=

=BY J. L. M’CONNEL, AUTHOR OF “TALBOT AND VERNON,” ETC.=

CHAPTER I.

“Come, haste to the wedding!”

On the third of February, 1809, an act of Congress was passed, defining the boundaries of Illinois, and establishing the “First Grade” of Territorial Government. The population of the whole territory did not then exceed twelve thousand; and, with the exception of Chicago, and a few settlements on the Wabash, was confined to a narrow strip of country along the Mississippi. But, upon the organization of the new government, (under Governor Edwards,) the current of emigration received an impulse in this direction; and the fertile prairies, lying nearer to the centre of the state, began to attract more attention. Kaskaskia was the seat of territorial authority, as well as the nucleus of population; and it was northward, along the banks of the river of that name, that the stream of emigrants naturally took its way.

Among those who pushed adventurously forward in that direction, was a certain Thomas Fielding, who migrated from Virginia in the autumn of 1811; his family consisting of a wife, two sons and one daughter. Passing by the settlements in St. Clair county, he pressed on across the prairies, with a world of fertile acres spread before him, until he reached the banks of Shoal Creek, in the county of Bond. A few miles south-west of the point, where the town of Greenville has since been built, he found a tract of land which combined all the advantages of which he was in search. A prairie, several miles in width, was bounded by high and valuable timber along the creek, and stretched away toward the north and west, in all the rich, unbroken beauty of primeval nature. Elevated, but well watered, undulating, though not rugged; that portion of which, with the freedom of the wilderness, he took immediate possession, was easily converted into a beautiful and productive farm. Just within the skirt of the timber, protected by a grove of stately oaks, he erected a spacious, though primitive, mansion; and here, in the grand solitude of wood and plain, he prepared, with his family, to spend the remainder of his life.

It was chiefly with a view to the welfare of that family that he had left the older and more thickly-peopled state of Virginia, to seek a home in the Far West. He was growing old; his sons were approaching manhood: and, after assisting their father in providing for his age, it was natural that they should be solicitous about their own future. Each, accordingly, with the concurrence of the father, selected for himself a sufficient domain; and such was the energy with which they prosecuted their “improvements,” that, by the spring of 1813, there were three separate farms, immediately contiguous, under active cultivation.

Both the sons were married in the course of the following summer—for other emigrants had followed Fielding’s “trail,” until, at this time, there were, perhaps, twenty families within a circle of ten miles diameter. Jane, the daughter, still remained with her parents; but the frequent visits of a certain John Edgar, who lived some eight miles down the river, seemed to give color to the rumor, now rife in the settlement, that she was soon to exchange her maiden name, for that of the young Ranger Captain.

And, without implying any license to dispute about tastes—which, from time immemorial, have been considered out of the pale of controversy—Edgar’s choice was well justified by her qualities, both of mind and person. She was considerably above the medium height, with the free carriage, which health and elastic spirits always give. Even now, though nearly forty years have passed, and she has borne and nurtured a numerous family, her bearing is more erect and graceful than that of many a girl within her ’teens. Dark hair and eyes, with a well arched brow—cheeks a little embrowned by exposure to the sun and wind—a nose rather aquiline than straight—a pleasant mouth, with red lips, which were never known to tremble, save in talking to the Ranger; a round, full chin, surmounting, like an Ionic capital, the marble column of her neck, and a figure, which united the freedom of rural life with the elegance of city cultivation; these were her attractions. Captain Edgar was a lucky fellow—for she loved him with all the fervor of the wilderness; and by nothing in her education had she learned to act as if ashamed of her affection.

He was well worthy of such a bride. Tall, elegantly formed, active, and graceful, he was the very type of a young frontiersman. Gait, carriage, voice, and countenance, were all in unison with the open, manly spirit of his class. Preëminently brave among a people noted for courage; able as a leader, where, in order to lead, superiority must be plainly seen and deeply felt; he was already, though scarcely five-and-twenty, the captain of a company of rangers, whose arduous task it was to protect a frontier of nearly an hundred miles from the depredations of the Indians. The latter, stirred up, as is universally believed in this country, by British agents, since the opening of the war, were gathering, in unprecedented numbers, along the lakes and on the Upper Mississippi; and, like bolts from a thunder-cloud, war parties were moving rapidly in all directions—falling, with the suddenness of Indian strategy, when their descent was least expected, and vanishing among the shadows of the forest, ere their blows could be returned. If the settlements on Shoal Creek had, as yet, escaped incursion, it was chiefly owing to the vigilance and activity of Edgar’s Rangers, and, in circumstances like these, it may well be supposed, that nothing, save the utmost confidence, would have induced the pioneers to trust so young a man with a responsibility so heavy.

But neither war, nor rumors of war, could exclude from the mind of the youthful captain, thoughts of love and anticipations of domestic bliss. In the midst of these alarms, a day was appointed for his marriage with Jane Fielding. It was the 10th of September, 1813—a day memorable in the annals of our country, as that on which Perry achieved his famous victory over Barclay; and though they, of course, knew nothing of the approaching event, it is probable that even so brilliant an anticipation would not wholly have withdrawn their attention from that which so much more nearly concerned them.

A wedding on the frontier, in those days, was a far heartier affair than it now is in the same country. People seem to be somewhat ashamed of getting married of late, and seek to avoid observation, very much as if they were about some act only allowable because not positively prohibited by statutory enactments. The first that the neighborhood learns in these modest times, of a matrimonial union, is the stealthy departure of a close carriage, in which the guilty parties are privately withdrawing, to hide their culprit faces among careless strangers. The public feeling of the olden time was somewhat different. The consummation, in fact, of an union which was already complete in affection, was then deemed an occasion of social congratulation, and sometimes of noisy enjoyment. The neighbors—husbands, wives, sons, and daughters—were all called in, to take part in the hilarity; and each felt that, if the event was, as it should be, a happy one to the parties directly interested, it would be wrong to detract from that happiness, by gloom, reserve, or ceremony.

The pioneers cared little for scented notes of invitation, embossed cards, or emblematic turtle-doves—no more than for the unsubstantial trickeries which now make up a wedding feast. As the day approached, though yet perhaps a week remained, the children of the bride’s family were sent forth to “warn the neighbors in,” or, not unfrequently, the parties took advantage of some other merry-making, to announce the auspicious event, and deliver invitations; and, without other formality, all who lived within a day’s ride of the place, considered themselves invited, and arranged their affairs accordingly. Some inconvenience to the host and hostess might result from the uncertainty about the number of their guests; but the art of providing mathematically for the precise number expected, was not then cultivated; if there was _enough_, it was not material how much _more_ there might be—for that meanness which combines a sordid calculation with the rites of hospitality, was not one of the pioneer’s vices. Preparation was made to receive all who were near enough to reach the place—a profusion of substantial things, such as hearty men and natural women liked, adorned the rude tables; and no grand flourishes of white-aproned waiters, no sham dignity of form or ceremony, encumbered or oppressed the feast. And, though the early backwoodsman might not be the most polished of hosts, yet, tried by the standard of genuine hospitality, he was the most perfect of gentlemen.

Thomas Fielding was a true representative of his class; and those who have been in the West will need no further description. For two weeks before the appointed day, he had invited everybody he met to witness the marriage of his daughter, and take part in the rejoicings; and by those whom he saw, he had sent notice to others; so that at least a week before the eventful tenth, everyone within twenty miles was not only notified, but asked to attend. Preparations were then made upon a corresponding scale; and fervent wishes were expressed that the weather might be fine, that none might fail to come. One of the sons was sent express to Kaskaskia for Jane’s wedding garments—for even in those primitive days woman was true to the tastes of her sex. And, beside, Jane had grown almost to womanhood in the precincts of the Old Dominion; and, in her new home, was as well known for the superior neatness of her dress, as for other advantages of mind and person.

At length the eventful morning came—one of those magnificent autumn days in which the warmth of summer lingers on the hazy landscape of the waning year. They say Italian skies are beautiful throughout the seasons; but it seems to me the autumn must be the glory of the months in all climes, as full manhood is the ultimate bloom of life to all men; and existence, in a country where the climate gives no special beauty to the year’s decline, would seem but little better than working in a tread-mill. We must have variety; the perpetual smile of even a beautiful face would weary us in time; and six months of unbroken sunshine would make us long for a Scotch mist. There is no such monotony in the land of prairies; nor has any country in the world a season of more rich and mellow glories than the western autumn.

——“The fading, many colored woods, Shade deep’ning over shade, the country round, Embrown; crowded umbrage, dusk and dun, Of every hue, from wan declining green, To sooty dark;”

and waving wide savannas, luxuriant as oriental gardens, over which the shadows chase each other statelily, or linger lovingly, like shady islets in a “sea of green.” And then the tempered sunlight, all shorn of summer’s fierceness, by the hazy, dream-like air; and, over all, the arching sky, not laughing, as in April, and not glowing, like July, but full of deep repose, the holy calm of spirit-land. Who that loves beauty would not live in a variable clime?

But it was little that the wedding-guests cared for the glories of September. The sun had scarcely began to decline toward the west, ere they first were seen approaching. From all directions along the narrow road, over prairie pathways, emerging from the timber, or riding slowly along its outskirts, the whole country seemed in motion. Thomas Fielding, with his two sons, all in their holyday suits, stood at the gate, and welcomed all comers with a hearty shake of the hand; while at the front door the younger matrons, with their smiling mother, received the females of each party. The bride-elect was not yet visible; the ceremony was not to take place till evening. The bridegroom had appointed a rendezvous for his company of rangers; and it was at the head of these trusty guardians of the settlement, that he was to approach the scene of his happiness. In the meantime, the guests employed the vacant hours, each according to his fancy, the men in talking over the prospects of the country, the danger of Indian incursions, the plenty of the crops, etc.; while the women were either assisting in the final preparations for the feast, or readjusting their disordered dress—either gossiping with the mother, or teasing the daughter, who still kept her bridal chamber.

Four o’clock in the afternoon arrived; and now the happy captain, with his rangers, might soon be expected; when Jane, her preparations all complete, at last issued from her chamber, and announced her intention to walk out upon the prairie and gather some wild flowers. Several of the younger girls proposed to accompany her, but with a smile and a blush she declined their companionship. It was not pressed upon her, for each had a suspicion of her object. The mothers called their daughters aside, and whispered—

“She is going to meet the captain—let her go alone.”

And, in confirmation of the suspicion, she passed out to the southward and took a path which led in the direction of the road along which the captain was to come. Somewhat more than half a mile from the house stood a little grove, within which she had often met Edgar on his visits to her father’s, and from this point her parents usually saw them approaching the house together. It was to this grove that she went—by a circuitous route, however, so as to justify her excuse for leaving the house, by gathering a few late flowers.

She had been absent from the house little more than an hour, when, rounding a “point” of timber, which puts out from the creek about two miles below the farm, a cavalcade of twenty horsemen was seen, and at once recognized as Edgar’s company of rangers. Another body, about equal in number, was seen at the same time several miles to the west, but all attention was now directed toward the south, in expectation of the appearance of the rangers. The elder ladies smiled sedately, in memory of their own youthful days, and prophesied—

“He’ll not come with the company—you’ll see Jane and him coming up that path, after awhile.”

And the event justified the prediction—at least in part; for, on arriving opposite the little grove Edgar turned off, and directing his companions to ride on, put his horse to a gallop, and was soon within the shadows of the rendezvous.

A vine and a fallen tree, together, formed a pleasant seat; and here, when the skies were clear and the sunlight warm, he had often found her awaiting his approach. He sought the old place now, but she was not there!

“She must be out soon,” he muttered to himself; and springing to the ground, he assumed the seat which he had expected to find occupied. He was disappointed, and both his face and attitude betrayed it. He leaned his rifle against a tree and threw himself back to wait, patiently as he might, for what was not likely to come had he waited till morning! His eyes wandered vacantly over the scene for some minutes, when, suddenly springing up, he exclaimed—

“She has been here and gone away!”

A narrow strip of white muslin was hanging upon a thorn very near him—evidently torn from some article of female dress! It could not be a signal for him; only accident could have placed it there. She must have retreated in haste—and why? Such were the reasonings of the experienced ranger. He reached forward and took it off the briar; but, as he did so, his eye fell upon a far more ominous object! The same bush had retained a piece of red calico, fringed with green, and Edgar at once observed that it had come from the cape of a hunting-shirt such as the northern Indians wore!

It was enough! And yet, with the coolness characteristic of his race, the ranger stooped to the ground and calmly examined the records of a struggle. On each side of the rustic seat there was a single footstep, deeply indented among the leaves, as if two men had sprung suddenly from opposite directions to a common point. Then, in front of the seat, the twigs were broken and the ground was trampled—though but little, as if the struggle had been brief and feeble!

“No _man_ could have been overpowered so soon,” he said; “and it must have been as I expected—_she was alone_.”

But even this conviction did not hurry him away. He carefully examined the ground in the neighborhood, and then, returning to the scene of the struggle, followed the trail, by those slight indications which none but a backwoodsman could have discovered, for several hundred yards to the westward. He thus ascertained these facts: That the actual captors were but two in number; that they had concealed their horses in a small thicket, some distance above the grove where the capture was made; that they had retreated in great haste, keeping within a ravine which drained the prairie; and that, at or near the thicket they had rejoined the main body of marauders, consisting of half-a-score of horsemen.

“They have been frightened away by the gathering at Fielding’s,” thought the ranger.

He hastened back to the grove, and springing upon his horse, galloped away toward the house. He had still a lingering hope, though faint, that he might find his bride at home; but this vanished at once when he rode furiously to the gate and was met by her father.

“Indians!” he shouted, in the loud, full notes of a voice like a trumpet. “Ho! rangers! Mount and follow!”

CHAPTER II.

THE CHASE COMMENCED.

The cause of the alarm scarcely needed to be explained—the word “Indians” was enough.

All was immediately in confusion—men were rushing in every direction for their arms and horses, women were hastily preparing to set out homeward, and, save the rangers, who had picketed their horses together as usual, no one seemed to retain the least coolness. Nor was the consternation unnatural; for many fathers and mothers were there who had left their homes in charge of their children—some of the younger guests had left aged parents—and even those who had closed their houses, leaving no one behind, though they apprehended no bereavement of relatives, expected no less than to find the labor of years a heap of smoking ruins. People less accustomed to alarms would have made more clamor; but the pale faces and rigid features of these stern backwoodsmen, were as eloquent of feeling as the wildest gestures or most extravagant cries.

It was in scenes like this, that the superiority of such a man as John Edgar became evident. He was terribly excited—as the blazing eye and ashy lips might testify; yet his orders were given with the same clearness as if there had been no cause of agitation; and, without betraying any signs of impatience, he sat upon his horse at the gate quietly awaiting their execution. But few moments sufficed for his ready soldiery to assemble. They numbered only twenty in all; but they were soon joined by half-a-score of young men, who had no pressing call homeward. From these he selected ten, among whom were the two younger Fieldings, and placing the company under the command of his lieutenant, he directed them to establish patrols over the district and protect the settlements.

“You’ll bring Jane back to us, John?” said Mrs. Fielding, coming to the gate, with dry eyes, but trembling lips.

“Yes,” he replied sternly, “if I have to follow her to the Rocky Mountains!”

And the mother turned away sorrowing, but hopeful. The character of Edgar was too well known to admit a doubt of his untiring perseverance.

Ten minutes sufficed to make all the provisions necessary to a long chase; at the end of that time Edgar turned his horse’s head toward the prairie, and followed by the ten men of his choice, set out at a long gallop to the west and north. The band had been selected with a thorough knowledge of every man’s qualities; they were all young, hardy, resolute and untiring. Each was equipped with rifle and knife, and each rode a powerful and well-tried horse. Beside the hatred which every ranger bore to the “redskin”—a motive in itself strong enough to bear them forward for many days—they were all warmly attached to Edgar. The latter expected a long chase; for, from certain signs, minute and unmeaning to the inexperienced, but trumpet-tongued to him, he was impressed with the belief that Jane’s captors were not merely a marauding party, making an incursion into this settlement, but a retreating band falling back from some other enterprise, either on account of defeat or division. Their numbers were too great; the character of the dress from which he had found a fragment, and the direction of their movement, all combined to this conclusion. Had he heard of the gallant defense of Fort Stephenson, a few weeks before,[5] his opinion might have been confirmed.

The sun was rapidly declining toward the horizon as they cleared the inclosures of Fielding’s farm and struck at once into the open prairie.

Edgar had followed the trail far enough from the grove, where the capture was made, to be satisfied that he would strike it again in half an hour’s riding, in the direction he had taken, and by following it while daylight remained, he had no doubt of being able to determine the point to which it tended. He would thus be enabled to continue the chase with some certainty after nightfall, while his enemies were probably asleep. This, of course, included the hazard of missing the trail during the hours of darkness: but Edgar’s knowledge of the country was so perfect that he had little fear of this misfortune, and the fact that they could not be more than three hours behind, was a strong incentive to take the risk.

Having halted for a moment, to explain his plan of pursuit, which his men at once approved, he turned again to the north-west and swept away at a rapid gallop. The farms were soon left out of sight, and the view was bounded only by the wavy horizon; but the sun was an all-sufficient guide, and without swerving for a moment to the right or the left the party maintained its direction for nearly an hour. Edgar began then to slacken his pace and to observe the ground more closely, halting from time to time, and waiting for the failing evening breeze to sweep along the prairie; and anon, galloping away again for a few moments, still in the same direction.

He was evidently growing anxious, for his halts became more frequent, and his speed, when in motion, greater. He verged a little toward the west, until the woods in that quarter became partially visible in the haze about the setting sun. He halted once more and gazed up and down the tranquil prairie for a long time. A light breeze swept up from the lower lands, and bending the rank grass, at last revealed the object of his search! A line of broken blades, their under sides glistening in the waning sunlight, was defined by the bending wave, extending as far as the eye could reach toward the north. It was the Indian “trail!”

He sprang from his horse and carefully examined the ground, while his followers, careful not to deface the trail, halted at some distance, and without dismounting, awaited the result of his scrutiny. It was rapid but minute. He turned aside the long grass and inspected the foot prints of the horses in the soil. There were, of course, no shod animals in their possession, yet the hoofs of these had deeply indented the ground, and the tracks were much more distinct at the point than at the heel.

“They were going at full speed,” muttered Edgar; “and,” he continued, gazing along the trail toward the north, where it stretched away, perfectly straight, through sloughs and over mounds as far as the eye could reach, “they are evidently driving for some definite point. What can it be?”

“It must be Colton’s Grove,” said one of the rangers, the most experienced among them, who had approached during the examination. “They would scarcely halt nearer than that, and in the line of this trail there is no other landmark.”

“But that is nearly thirty miles from this spot,” said Edgar; “they’ll not be able to reach there to-night, and besides, it takes them ten miles out of their way.”

“You think they are making for the _Portage_?”[6] said White.

“Yes—they will cross the river as soon as possible, no doubt; and they cannot have canoes on both that and the Illinois. However,” he added, springing again to the saddle, “we must follow the trail as long as we have light, and by nightfall we shall be better able to determine.”

He look the lead again as he spoke, and set off in the same swinging gallop, to the northward, along the trail.

The sun was by this time nearly set, and the air was growing chill and damp. Their horses traveled better, however, and throughout the long twilight of that latitude they could follow the trail as well as at noon. But at the end of an hour the shadows began to creep closer to them, the timber on the left could no longer be distinguished, they could see the broken grass-blades but a few yards before them, and they were at length compelled to slacken their speed. A few stars came out in the heavens, the fleecy clouds in the north disappeared in the gloom, the breeze fell suddenly to a dead calm, the lingering rays in the west went out, and the curtain of night was dropped to the earth. The pursuers were in the middle of a wide prairie, more than thirty miles from the settlement, upon a trail which was no longer visible!

Edgar halted, and the whole party dismounted.

“Here is water, boys,” said the captain, leading his horse to a small stream which trickled through the grass: “we had better let our horses drink and graze for an hour, else they will be too much blown for to-morrow’s march. I think we had then better strike for Colton’s Grove, direct; it cannot be more than twenty miles, and we can reach it before midnight. I hope to find the Redskins there.”

It did not seem to prove Edgar’s ardor in the pursuit, that he thus ordered a halt in the very opening of the chase; but there was not a man in the company who did not know that this was the wisest course. The hearts of the brothers grew heavy, however; for, notwithstanding Edgar’s hope of finding the Indian’s at the grove, it could not escape them, that he expected a long pursuit.

In truth, he was too well acquainted with the Indian character, to have full faith in his own expectations. “If,” he reasoned, “they had designed to spend the night at Colton’s Grove, they would have been at some pains to baffle us on our trail—they would have gone into the timber, or—at least—swerved from the direct course. But, here, they have traveled for thirty miles, straight as the bird flies, for the point where we would naturally expect to find them. They must be deceiving us!”

The thought was by no means a pleasant one; for, calm as he appeared, his impatience almost amounted to agony. And, when he briefly stated the argument to White, the ranger before mentioned, in whose judgment he had much confidence, the weight which it seemed to have with him, only deepened his misgiving.

“There is no choice, however,” said the ranger: “we must go on now to the grove; for—at least—we shall be nearer to the Portage there, than here.”

And this was the course resolved upon.

The hour of rest passed slowly away; and, at its end, the captain again gave the word, to mount and follow. There was now no trail to guide them; but their course was due North, and—led by the stars—Edgar once more put himself in the advance, and galloped away. The prairie was as silent as night and a profound calm could make it; and rolling away down the lowlands, and reverberating along the ridges, the sound of their horses’ footsteps seemed like the rumble of an earthquake. The voices of those who spoke sounded hollow and echoless; and the jingling of spurs, and rattling of accoutrements, seemed smothered by the stillness. The men of that time were taciturn and earnest; and the scene through which they were riding was no bad type of their stern characteristics. They were in pursuit of Indian marauders; and hatred of the savage—which was natural to every Western man—gave depth even to their bearing. Each carried his rifle in his right hand; and, while he governed and assisted his horse over the inequalities of the ground with the left, kept his face steadily directed to the front.

They had been riding thus, a little more than two hours, when Edgar suddenly drew up to a walk.

“We must take it slowly now, boys,” said he, turning in the saddle, as his men followed his example; “for, at a gallop, our horses could be heard five miles.”

“Captain,” said White, riding forward, “isn’t that a light yonder, to the north—here, just above the ground?”

“It is, indeed!” exclaimed Edgar; “in the grove, too!”

“Rather too far to the right, isn’t it?” said the ranger.

“We have been following the Pointers,[7] and their wheeling to the West must have taken us a little out of our course,” Edgar replied. “It must be in the grove.”

He turned a little to the right as he spoke; and, urging his horse to his swiftest walk, struck directly for the light.

“They must suppose there are no men in the country,” he said thoughtfully; “or else this is only a stratagem to take us out of our way, and gain time.”

“They could scarcely have ridden farther than this,” said White; “and if they are not yonder, we are entirely off the trail.”

“They must be there,” Edgar replied, decidedly: even as experienced a ranger as he could not but _believe_ what he _wished_.

The advance continued—not swiftly, but steadily; for they were now less than two miles from the light, and the tall trees of the grove could be distinguished like shadows against the northern sky. The fire was evidently built within the skirts of the wood, and was now burning brightly, as if replenished with fuel since they had discovered it. Occasionally, it was hid from view—when they descended a slope and entered a hollow; and, sometimes shadows passed across it, as if persons were moving about it.

“They are certainly there,” thought Edgar, “and they must have built the fire on Jane’s account. Nothing else could induce them to be so incautious.” Bitter as was his hatred of the savage, this idea rather softened him; and, in the fight which he expected, he resolved to spare as many of them as possible.

He had now advanced within half a mile of the grove; and—though the fire itself was not visible—he could plainly see the reflection on the branches of the trees above. It grew brighter while he gazed, and they could almost imagine that they heard the crackling of dry branches in the blaze. The captain drew his rein, and called a halt.

“There should be a little clump of trees near here,” he said, gazing about in the gloom.

“It lies here, to the right,” said one of the rangers—and, riding a few rods in that direction, they found a small grove of stunted oaks, where they again halted and dismounted. Here they tied their horses, and having examined their arms, marched out upon the open prairie. Edgar briefly explained his plan of attack, and the advance was resumed.

His men were deployed—or spread out—to the right and left, at intervals of twelve or fifteen paces; the captain himself remaining in the centre, and moving directly upon the fire. By this means, he covered a wide extent of ground, and yet kept his men within supporting distance of each other. The flanks were to move a little faster than the centre, gradually converging, when within the grove, but awaiting a signal from the captain, before opening the attack. Each, on making any discovery, was to communicate it to the next, and thus pass it up the line to the captain; and his orders were conveyed in the same way. His immediate object was to discover the Indians’ horses, and thus preclude the carrying off of their prisoner by a portion of the savages, during his fight with the remainder.

He could not have been more impatient to reach the point—on which he was advancing—had it been the rustic bower where he might expect to meet his mistress alone; yet the movement was as slow as the stealthy pace of the tiger, while he is yet too distant to spring upon his victim. And it had all the tiger’s deadliness: for even the keen senses of the Indian could not have detected his enemy’s approach—the first signal could be but the crack of the rifle, the fierce onset, and the gleaming knife.

It seemed an hour, after they left their horses, before they entered the outskirts of the grove, and many minutes were consumed in cautiously and silently pushing their way through the tangled briars and hazel bushes. Within this belt, the ground was more open; but it was covered with dry branches and withered twigs, the breaking of any one of which—under the foot—would have been more than sufficient to alarm the watchfulness of the Indian. They could not yet see the fire; but it was scarcely an hundred yards from them, and concealed only by a thicket, within which it was kindled. The horses had not yet been discovered, nor did the least sound break the profound stillness of the scene. The fire seemed burning low; and the shadows began to creep down from the tree-tops, whither it had driven them. Now and then, a flash—as if the blaze had caught a dry twig—shot arrowy beams out through the thicket, and then fell flickering back within the encroaching darkness. The fire was evidently neglected.

“They are all asleep,” thought Edgar.

The flanks had gradually converged, according to the plan laid down; and they were so thrown forward as to form a half-circle, covering three sides of the little thicket, and all about equally distant from the fire. The captain gave the signal for a halt, and the word passed in whispers either way: the dusky forms stood still, and—unaware of their presence—one could not have distinguished them from the trees among which they were standing. Edgar passed slowly from one end of the line to the other, whispering his orders to each man, and endeavoring to see through the thicket to the _bivouac_. It was too dense to allow a fair view; but he could see deep shadows on the ground, like sleeping men, and—between two of these—there seemed one clothed in white, as if the wedding dress of his stolen bride.

He returned, without further delay, to his post in the centre; and, silently, slowly, the advance commenced. It was like the grasp of a deadly hand, closing fatally; for none within that charmed circle, might escape its implacable gripe.

No sound—not even the breaking of a twig—invaded the stillness, for a space of time which, in the intensity of expectation, seemed an hour. The fire had rapidly fallen to mere cinders, and its light faded to a faint glow, upon the adjacent thicket. The rangers flitted silently from tree to tree, like moving shadows. Each carried his gun poised low, in readiness for immediate action; and each placed his hand upon his knife, for the conflict—man to man. They gradually closed in, until the flanks met upon the farther side, and a cordon was drawn around the thicket, less than twenty paces across. The fate of the slumbering savages seemed sealed; for these were men who never spared an enemy, and never shrank from battle.

Not the stirring of a leaf betrayed their presence, as they paused for the last time, awaiting the signal from their leader. The click of a rifle-lock was heard—clearly audible in the midnight stillness: a rush, a bound, a crashing through the brittle undergrowth, and the whole band, as if moved by one spring, stood round the smouldering fire, gazing wildly into each other’s faces.

There was no one there! They had been creeping—with the deadly stealth of their craft—upon a deserted _bivouac_. Even Edgar’s keen and practiced eyes had been deceived by the reposing shadows; and the white ashes of a log, which had burnt calmly down where it lay, had been conjured by his imagination into the bridal dress of the captive.

The fire had evidently been burning, without being replenished, for many hours.

* * * * *

“We have nothing for it now, boys,” said Edgar, when they had a little recovered from the surprise, “but to wait for daybreak, and then endeavor to recover the trail.”

Within ten minutes, the whole party was asleep.

-----

[5] That brilliant action took place on the 31st of July, 1813.

[6] “Portage de Sioux,” a crossing of the Mississippi, above the mouth of the Missouri.

[7] Two stars in the constellation of _Ursa Major_, much better known to prairie travelers than the Polar star itself.

CHAPTER III.

THE CHASE ENDED.

No more than the first gray streaks of dawn had shot up from the eastern horizon, when the disappointed rangers were again astir. Their horses—which had been picketed upon the prairie, each with a long rope, after the ranger fashion of feeding—were first taken to a little stream to drink, and then moved to a fresh place, to graze until their riders were prepared to mount. Such provision as they had made against their own hunger was then dispatched, without delay, and with little preparation. Fortunately, however, the wedding feast had furnished viands enough for more than ten times their number; and with the readiness of the women of those days, each had been provided by wife, sister, or sweetheart—with supplies, ample and well selected.

It was now plain, that the chase before them was a long one; and it was no equivocal augury of their resolution to follow it to the end, that they thus set out with systematic prudence.

By the time they had finished a hasty breakfast, and each taken a deep draught from the stream where they had watered their horses, the gray of the dawn had deepened into red, and the dew-drops upon the bending grass were sparkling like diamonds in the opening light. The birds within the grove were fluttering, full of matin songs, from branch to branch, or floating off—in long and graceful flights—far over the verdant plain: the grouse came out upon the knolls, where the herbage was short and green, and strutting pompously from side to side, clumsily plumed themselves in the morning beams: on the ridges, farther off, the deer stalked out from sheltering hollows, and stamping daintily upon the ground, or tossing proudly up their antlered heads, snuffed vainly at the rising wind. A low, faint sigh, as of a passing spirit, floated—scarcely audible—along the jeweled grass, and shook the jewels gently from the blades. The stars went slowly out, or blended in the brightening hue of heaven; the shadows—that still lingered round the groves—were fading rapidly, or deepening into shade; the red in the east grew yellow, and an arc of white announced the sun’s approach. The day had taken full possession of the earth and sky.

“There is light enough now, boys,” said Edgar, rising to his feet, “to begin the search for the trail. Let us saddle up and be off.”

Time was never wasted by these men: within five minutes all were in the saddle, and extended along the northern and western skirts of the grove, in search of indications left by the enemy. A signal was given by one at the extreme north—the trail was found, and the whole company at once galloped to the place. Edgar sprang to the ground, and examined the track.

“Just as I suspected, boys,” said he, remounting. “There has been but one Red-skin here, and he has been sent this way, to build that fire and attract us from the pursuit.”

“Indian like,” said White; “they have used our own vigilance to circumvent us. But we’ll never give it up so, captain.”

“Never,” was Edgar’s decided answer. “But we have lost the trail, and must recover it. We must separate into small parties, and continue the chase. We are pretty nearly due east from the _Portage_, for which, I think, they are making—at all events, they will not go south of it. We will meet—in the evening—there; or, if the trail should turn northward, we may come together sooner. Let no one linger on the way—we have lost too much time already.”

The company was soon divided into squads of two and three; Edgar took with him White and George Fielding; and—repeating the injunction not to linger—rode away to the north-west. The three other divisions set out at the same time, upon diverging lines; but all maintaining the same general direction.

For an hour, those in the centre kept all the rest in view; but, at the end of that time, the undulations of the prairie, and the rapidity with which they traveled, had completely separated them. Edgar, and the two companions—whom he had chosen as well for the excellence of their horses, as for their well-known courage and coolness—were upon the extreme right, or northern flank—a post which the young captain had selected, both on account of its danger, and for the advantage it gave him, should the Indians turn to the north. It is with him, that we must continue the chase.

Several hours passed away, during which they had crossed the belts of timber which grew upon the banks of two or three prairie streams; when, on approaching one of the branches of the Cahokia, they suddenly found themselves upon the trail of a single horseman. Keeping away from the timber, it stretched toward the north, parallel with the course of the stream, disdaining the concealment which might have been found in the wood. The three drew up, and Edgar dismounted.

“It is the same Indian who kindled the fire,” he said, after a short scrutiny of the track. “What think you?”

“That if we follow him,” White replied, “we shall be led away from the chase. He takes too much pains to show us which way he has gone.”

“You are right,” said Edgar; “for he has passed here since sunrise, and his horse was as fresh as when he left the grove. The water is all brushed from his tracks, but is not disturbed between. We’ll not follow him.”

And, without further consultation, he sprang again to the saddle, and resumed his original direction—verging, indeed, rather from, than toward, the solitary trail. Those little indications—like circumstantial evidence—more convincing than positive declarations, or more apparent signs, satisfied him that this was an attempt to draw him off. He smiled at the shallowness of the deceit, and rode away. His companions understood his reasoning almost instinctively. [The fact that the grass was dry _in the tracks_, proved that they had been made since sunrise; because the dew must have ceased to drip from one blade to another, and its being undisturbed between, established the freshness of the Indian’s horse, because every bound was a clear spring from the ground.] Fifteen minutes brought them to the outskirts of Cahokia timber; and, after a rigid examination of this, they issued again upon the prairie toward the West, maintaining the same course.

They were now approaching a more densely wooded country. The prairies grew narrower, and were broken, here and there, by groves, and strips of timber, along the banks of numerous little streams. The ground became uneven, in places even hilly; and every thing denoted the approach to the Mississippi. This continued for about three hours, during which they had made scarcely five miles an hour: it was noon, too, and the September sun was pouring upon their heads the overpowering heat of the season. A halt became necessary, both for men and horses. Edgar rode within the shelter of the timber, and dismounted on the bank of a shallow stream—the first they had seen with a gravelly bed.

“We must rest awhile, boys,” he said, “and recruit our horses—or we shall break down before night.”

His companions followed his example; and all led their panting horses to the stream, to drink of its clear sparkling waters. But Edgar drew his back, suddenly, before he had touched the tide; and, arresting the others in the same manner, pointed to the bottom of the rivulet.

“Is not that a horse’s track?” he asked, indicating the spot with his rifle.

“Yes,” said White, “and here are more! And here, to the left, they are plainer, and more numerous. Our visitors must have passed this way, and are not going to the _Portage_!”

The tracks were but faint prints in the shifting gravel of the stream; and, to the eyes of less observant men, would have been quite void of meaning. It was, however, the peculiar faculty of Western Rangers, never to overlook any thing; and their attention once attracted, but a few moments were consumed in determining that, fifteen or twenty horsemen had ridden along the bed of the stream; that they were Indians, and traveling in haste. It might seem a more difficult matter to fix, even approximately, the length of time which had elapsed since their passage; but the invention of rangers was seldom at fault.

“George,” said the captain to Fielding, “get on your horse, and ride up the stream a few rods—as fast as he can walk—in among those tracks.”

Fielding obeyed; and, turning out of the stream a short distance above, came back and dismounted. The little party now stripped their horses of their harness; and, picketing them upon the sweet herbage, stretched themselves upon the sward at the margin of the stream. As soon as the agitation in the waters had ceased, Edgar fixed his gaze upon the footprints—plainly visible—of Fielding’s horse, and watched the gradual process of their filling up, by the current. Scarcely a pebble, or a grain of sand was washed into one of them, that he did not note—scarcely a minute passed whose influence he did not estimate, in slowly obliterating the trail; and when, at the end of an hour, he rose and walked nearer to the water, but a few moments of scrutiny were sufficient to determine how long it would be before the new tracks were as nearly filled up, as were the old when he saw them first.

“They are quite six hours ahead of us,” he said; “and to-morrow night will see them, before we will.”

“They must be making for the ford[8], above the Piasan Bluffs,” said White; “and, if so, will not cross the Mississippi.”

“That is rather too far north,” Edgar replied; “but we will follow them, if they go to the Starved Rock.”

So saying, he threw the saddle again upon his horse, and—imitated by his companions—remounted for the pursuit.

“I think, George,” said he, after a minute’s reflection, “you had better ride on to the Portage; the men will all be there by the middle of the afternoon. Tell them to bait their horses for an hour, and then follow us with all speed, so as to join us at the mouth of the Illinois by sunrise to-morrow. Unless the trail should lead us too much out of the way, we will wait for them there. If you do not find us there, look for three columns of smoke, ranging north and south, and make all haste to come up.”

Fielding made no reply; but, putting spurs to his horse, turned his head to the west, and was soon out of sight—while Edgar and White, now left alone, took their way as rapidly as was possible up the banks of the stream. It was a small force with which to attack twenty savages; but, had the odds been ten times greater, Edgar’s eagerness and White’s zeal would have felt no check. What they might not effect by the strong hand, they trusted to stratagem to compass; and even the savage was no match for the ranger, in cunning.

The two adventurers had gone scarcely a mile, when they were brought suddenly to a halt. The trail was about equally divided—one half the party keeping up the bed of the stream, and the other half issuing toward the left, and leading off westward. This was embarrassing. The prisoner could not be with both divisions; and it was extremely difficult to determine which to follow.

“We are at fault,” said Edgar.

“There is a sign which may set us right,” exclaimed White, pointing to a little strip of some white stuff which fluttered upon a bush, but a few paces from the water. “The briars have befriended us at need.”

Edgar rode rapidly to the place. A narrow strip—evidently torn from Jane’s bridal dress—hung fluttering upon a briar, as if caught in passing. He halted at the distance of several yards, and cautiously approached on foot, closely scrutinizing the ground at every step. The horses had passed, without doubt, near enough to brush against the briars; but directly beneath the fragment, a small dry twig was broken, and the leaves about it were flattened to the ground.

“A mocassined foot has been set there,” he muttered. And on directing the examination to the fragment, his suspicion was confirmed—that it was not accident, but design which placed it there. The fabric was not drawn, as it would have been, had it been torn in passing; and it bore marks of a larger hand than Jane’s.

“They are trying to outwit us, White,” said the captain; “but they don’t know with whom they have to deal. This little piece of muslin is a Red-skin lie—though it did come from Jane Fielding’s dress. We must keep up the stream, and let those decoys go on their way.”

“It has been ascertained,” says Chateaubriand, “that the white man, in America, is capable of enduring more hardships and privations than the Indian, and is decidedly his superior even in his own mode of warfare:” and thence he deduces sundry propositions about differences in race, and other unprofitable speculations. But the facts, about which there is no dispute, instead of being the result of generic distinctions, are the effects of a much later cause—superior intellectual culture. Not that the rangers of those days were highly educated men, in the ordinary acceptation of the term; but any degree in the scale of civilization, by the providence of God, possesses measureless advantages—in all the pursuits of life—over every lower grade. And, though these were decidedly ignorant men, their evident superiority over their enemies—without contradiction in terms—was the fruit of their _intelligence_.

We cannot linger to detail the minute and, to other men, imperceptible signs, or the acute and logical reasonings upon these, which led the adventurers unerringly upon their way: though all would illustrate, so clearly, the principle above. They followed the trail, after it left the stream, several miles toward the north; when, on entering the broken country on the head waters of the Piasan, it verged suddenly to the left, and led, almost “as the bird flies,” directly toward the Illinois river. A little before sunset, they reached the banks of this tranquil stream; and but a moment’s examination was sufficient to determine that the fugitives had crossed here some hours before.

But this was not the only inference that Edgar drew from the signs of their halt. The footprints of several horses led off from the river, in different directions; but it was in that uncertain, winding way which animals take while grazing—and from the extent of these paths, it was evident that a halt of some duration had been made. While minutely examining the ground, the captain suddenly discovered the print of a small shoe, and following it a little aside, he approached the river bank, and discovered the impress of both Jane’s feet in the soft loam. Directly over these, upon a willow branch, hung a small shell comb—evidently placed there as a signal for him. Beside her footprints were those of two savages, who had sought her, and dragged her roughly back to the halting point. Edgar noted these things with the coolness, but also with the fierceness of the ranger; and—grasping his rifle tighter in his hand—walked back to his companion.

“They must have halted here two or three hours,” said the latter.

“They think they outwitted us, and are safe,” replied Edgar. “But they cannot be more than three hours ahead of us, and I think we may overhaul them to-night.”

“They are twenty to two,” said White. “We must wait for the men.”

“We can cross the river,” Edgar answered, “and ride on as long as we have light. By that time we can see which direction the Indians have taken; you can then return here and hasten up the men, who must reach this point before midnight.”

It required but few minutes to cross the river, which at this season is always low. Upon the western bank the trail was still more apparent than upon the eastern. Here, also, there had been a halt, though not so long. “Three hours of daylight, now,” thought Edgar, “and we should overhaul them:” he forgot that his force was but one to ten—that he was more than a hundred miles from any settlement, in the midst of a vast solitude, where he could meet none but enemies. Nor would the reflection have disturbed him, had it occurred. He saw but one image—the helpless captive in the hands of his most hated foes; and, cool and considerate as he usually was, he would not have hesitated to encounter the whole band, with his single strong arm. Fortunately, perhaps, no such opportunity seemed likely to be offered him; for, after winding about for a few miles among the bluffs, the trail ascended the ridge which divides the two rivers, and here turning again toward the north, the fugitives had evidently increased their speed. The long twilight, too, was deepening into night, and the fear of again going astray would compel a halt, so soon as the tracks became invisible.

They followed, however, with all practicable speed, for an hour longer—dismounting at every offshoot from the main ridge, to ascertain their direction; but, at the end of that time, it was no longer safe to proceed, and Edgar reluctantly drew up.

“You had better return to the river now, White,” said he, “and bring the men up as fast as possible. I will expect you before daybreak.”

“If they do not come up, I’ll return myself,” said White; and, turning about, he rode away to the south.

The hardy ranger was now left alone, in the midst of the wilderness. Night had closed in, moonless—and the stars twinkled but faintly down through the woods. The wind—as is usual in this country—had subsided toward evening, and sunset had been followed by a dead calm. When the footsteps of White’s horse died away in the distance, the silence of the grave added depth and awe to the solitude. Not a branch waved—scarcely a leaf stirred; and even the trickling of a little spring, in a ravine near him, only served to make the stillness audible—as a glimmering light but renders darkness visible.

Edgar dismounted, and led his tired horse in the direction of the sound; and, having allowed him to drink, divested him of his harness, and picketed him on a slope of green grass near the spring. His own thirst satisfied, he then seated himself at the foot of a tree; and, drawing his blanket up over him, endeavored to sleep. The stillness was broken only by his horse, eagerly cropping the sweet grass; and the monotony of the dripping fountain, combined with his fatigue, soon brought on that half-dreamy state which precedes oblivion. Indeed, his head was thrown back against the tree, and his eyes were closed, when he suddenly sprung to his feet, and standing as motionless as the trees about him, assumed the attitude of profound listening.

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[8] An obstruction to the navigation of the Illinois, now known as “Apple Creek Bar.”

CHAPTER IV.

THE CAPTIVE FREE.

The neigh of a horse, faint and distant, but unmistakable, had come floating up the ravine upon the still night air. And though, after waiting many minutes, it was not repeated, it had been so distinct as to exclude all doubt.

“It must have come up the hollow,” he muttered, “from any other direction I could never have heard it.”

And, without hesitating for a moment, he prepared to go in the direction indicated. Throwing his blanket at the foot of the tree, he grasped his rifle, poured fresh powder into the pan, lest the night air might have affected the priming, and then, drawing his belt around so as to bring his knife convenient to his hand, he set out cautiously down the ravine—one man in pursuit of more than twenty!

Cautiously and slowly he proceeded down the bed of the ravine—gradually descending toward the lower level of the river bottom. He was guided wholly by the little rivulet which tinkled quietly along his path—for the dim starlight could not penetrate the depth in which he walked; and his progress was consequently very slow. The way was winding, too, and seemed almost to run parallel with the river;[9] and its channel grew deeper and more broken. Other streams came flowing in on either hand, and at every moment he was compelled to halt and grope his way across the gorges. Large trees stood obstinately in his path; and roots and briars, vines and thickets, impeded his advance. But patient perseverance, strengthened by the hope of rescuing the captive, still carried him forward over every obstacle.

More than an hour had been spent thus, and he had begun to listen more attentively, and, if possible, watch more closely for signs of his enemies. He halted on the brink of a deep ravine, which furnished a channel for another small stream; and, before venturing down into its bed, stooped nearly to the ground, and remained for many minutes profoundly listening to every sound. The stillness of night was quite unbroken; and he was on the point of beginning the descent, when his eye caught the flash, as of faint lightning, playing briefly upon the leaves at the bottom of the ravine! It was gone in a moment; and his first impulse was to look up through the tree-tops at the sky. But the stars were shining serenely—there was not the slightest cloud in the heavens. He watched for a long time for its reappearance—but the darkness remained as deep as before. It might have been a fire-fly; yet it was strange that it was not repeated; and it had been, not so much a light, as a flicker, like the blaze of thin fuel, and it had died out gradually, not suddenly disappeared. While he stood irresolute, reflecting upon the singularity of the appearance, an imperfect sound, as of very distant thunder, seemed to float along the earth and die away at his feet. He placed his ear to the ground, and again listened. The stamping of numerous horses became plainly audible—and they could be but a short distance from him. To his practiced ear the sound was familiar enough—and he had no difficulty in determining its locality.

He at once rose to his feet and again examined his arms. Moving cautiously and slowly, he then descended the bank until he reached the bottom of the ravine. Turning to the right, he glided silently and stealthily along its bed for two or three hundred yards, when, on coming to a bend where the stony soil had resisted the action of the elements, his progress was suddenly arrested by a stream of light which shone from beyond the projection, and cast deep shadows upon the opposite bank. The fire from which it came was evidently built within the ravine for concealment—for it was only from above that it could become visible at any considerable distance.

To approach nearer in this direction would not be prudent—for, by the shadows on the bank, Edgar could see that at least twenty horses were picketed just beyond the shoulder of the ridge; and a snort from one of these might attract attention. He had no fear of other sentinels; he well understood the Indian practice of posting none; for, apparently so negligent are these most vigilant of all warriors, that even in their incursions, when they are constantly liable to attack, every man lies down to sleep, trusting solely to concealment and their Manitous for protection.

The ranger therefore slowly retreated a few paces, and then silently climbed the bank upon the left. From this point he could see no light; but, upon advancing along the ridge, a little nearer than he had ventured below, he gained a view, not only of the light, but also of the fire, and the formidable group around it!

More than a score of swarthy Indians, all in their war-paint and grotesque ornaments, and each with his gun and tomahawk beside him, sat smoking, one after the other, in a circle about the fire! A little without the line the excited captain could indistinctly see the shape of something white; and, as his eyes became accustomed to the light, all doubt vanished—it was the Captive Bride, seated apart from her captors, with her face buried in her hands. Could she have known whose eyes were at that moment straining their gaze upon her, how different must have been her emotions.

Edgar grasped his rifle and knife with a fierce energy, which threatened the suicide of an immediate attack. But he soon recovered his calmness, and set coolly about making a thorough examination of the position, and calculating the chances of a rescue.

The place had been well chosen for concealment. It was a circular area, inclosed on all sides, except the southern, by the broken and rain-washed ridges, and not more than an acre in extent. It was, indeed, a sort of basin among the hills; and it was the volume of water, collected here into one stream, that had cut out the ravine along which Edgar was advancing. It was dry now, however, and the grass, which in this country everywhere follows the rains of spring, was growing luxuriantly beneath the shelter of large oak and hickory trees.

Of these there was a little clump or grove in the northern arm of the area; and it was just within the edge of this that the fire was kindled. From that side an experienced scout might have approached within a few paces unobserved; but what could one man do against twenty? All that he could now effect, Edgar thought, was to watch the movements of his enemies, and take advantage of whatever opportunity might offer; or, if none should present itself, as was most probable, patiently to await the arrival of his men.

And now a harassing reflection occurred: What if White should not meet them, or they should miss the way? He would lose the benefit of all the diligence he had used, and having success and rescue almost within his grasp, would have the misfortune to see them glide out of his power! Here, within a few rods of him—buried, perhaps, in thought of him—sat the captive, snatched almost literally from his side, at the altar; and, though she might have heard his voice, he dared not raise it—though he might reach her side in one minute, he dared not advance! His rifle might do him service; for, even at that distance, his unerring skill would have disabled an enemy at every shot; but he knew that, at the first discharge, the pursued would become pursuers, and all chance of a rescue would be at an end! He was sure, besides, that the first motion of the savages upon an attack would be the murder of their prisoner; and, brave as he was, he shuddered, and shrank from the thought.

While he stood in the shadow of a tree, harassed by these reflections, a sudden movement took place in the circle of savages. One, who seemed the chief, rose to his feet, and the council broke up. The warrior turned toward the captive, and, taking a large blanket from the ground, spread it at the foot of a tree, and beckoned her to take it. He did this with so much more courtesy than was usually displayed by Indians to their female prisoners, that Edgar’s blood tingled to the very ends of his fingers.

“The redskin dog designs her for his wife!” he muttered; “but he shall die first, if I lose my scalp!”

Jane rose quietly from her seat, and, wrapping the blanket about her, lay down upon the ground. The chief and two other warriors then placed themselves near her, to prevent escape; the remainder of the party spread their blankets around the fire; and, within a few minutes, all was as still within the faintly lighted space, as if not a living being breathed between the rivers. The fire gradually burnt down to a bed of coals; as the flame went out the shadows crept closer and closer to the dusky group; and so still was the night that, on stealing a little nearer, Edgar could plainly hear the heavy breathing of the tired sleepers.

Still nearer and nearer he slowly crept, though with no definite design or plan of action. The bride who had been snatched almost from his arms, was within that circle—and this gave it a fascination not to be resisted. He was now upon the bank, which sloped gently down to the level of the _bivouac_; and here a narrow, sandy path wound round the jutting points, and led directly toward the smouldering fire. Almost without an effort of the will—drawn by the charm of her presence—he stepped upon the noiseless sand. He commenced the descent—issued from the shadow of a little ridge—was, for a moment, in full view of the whole party—passed on again into the shadows, and stood within twenty feet of the object of his search.

The light from the dying fire played fitfully upon Jane’s face, and a smile, serene as in her happiest moments, gave meaning to the flitting shadows. Beside her, motionless as fallen statues, lay the stern, impassive forms of her captors; but Edgar knew too well that, rigid as they seemed, profoundly as they slept, the slightest noise would rouse them to a dangerous vigilance. Three of them lay between her and him—and two were near enough to grasp her, should she rise. But he gazed upon her face once more, beautiful in the holy calm of sleep—as tranquil as a summer sky. The impulse which had led him thus almost within arm’s length of her, slowly shaped itself into a purpose—the vague attraction settled into conscious resolution.

He began to move cautiously to the left, around the sleeping circle, within the deeper shadows of the grove, from tree to tree, toward that beneath which Jane was slumbering. Nearer, step by step, and silently as the closing in of night, he approached like a shadow. He was now within the influence of the light, and but one tree stood between him and that which he was endeavoring to reach. A breathless pause, during which he gazed upon the form of every sleeper—they were apparently as unconscious, as if each had been a corpse. And yet, how fearful was the risk at every step. The slightest rustle of a bush, the breaking of a twig, even the grating of his feet upon the gravel, might awake his enemies—and then farewell all hope of rescue!

But his was not a nature to shrink from danger. Cautiously drawing the ramrod from his rifle, he took the irrevocable step. Swiftly, but silently, he glided from one tree to the other. Within four feet of him lay Jane, in profound and tranquil sleep, her head resting upon her arm, and one hand extended toward him; while on each side of her, but still nearer than he, her captors were ready to awake at the first movement.

But again he resolved to take the risk, and stretching forth the ramrod, gently touched her open hand. She did not move—he touched it again—and she slightly drew it away. Once more—she opened her eyes, and gazed upon the sleeping Indian before her—fortunately, without disturbing him. He passed the rod slowly before her face; she turned her head, and was about to speak, when he showed himself for an instant, and pressed his finger to his lips. She was silent, though breathless with excitement. But the nerves of a true frontier girl were not easily shaken; and Jane saw at once that her lover’s safety, as well as her own liberty, depended upon her self-command. Obeying a sign from him, she commenced slowly and cautiously, though with trembling hands, to unfold the blanket which protected, but also impeded her. As fold after fold fell gradually off, her heart beat with a wilder and stronger pulsation; and when, finally, she found herself free, she could scarcely forbear springing to her feet, and rushing into Edgar’s arms. By a great effort she restrained herself, and cautiously rose to her feet.

Full fifteen minutes—an age at such a time—had passed since Edgar approached the tree. But the suspense was amply compensated, when, without the least noise, he saw her, by his direction, gain the shadow of the first tree. He lingered still to see that she was unobserved, and then one moment brought him to her side, and joined their lips in a kiss as intense as was the danger by which they were surrounded.

Yet he dared not speak, and there was no time to be lost. The savages might discover the escape at any moment, and their last chance would be gone. He took her by the hand, and walking swiftly, though cautiously, began to retrace his steps through the wood. Five minutes brought them to the head of the ravine, and here he should turn to the left, if he wished to regain the path by which he had approached. But by this course, he must take a wide circuit to avoid the Indian encampment—and every moment was precious. Turning, therefore, to the right instead, he led her, as rapidly as she could walk, in the direction, as he supposed, of the dividing ridge, along which he had traveled in the evening. His observation of localities was usually so accurate, that there seemed no danger of missing the way. But he had been so much absorbed in the approach to the _bivouac_, that he had not noted the windings of the ravine, or even the points of the compass; and his surprise was very great on finding, after an hour spent in pushing forward, that he was apparently as far as ever from the ridge.

It was long past midnight, and but a short time could elapse before the prisoner’s escape must be discovered. It was vitally necessary that he should recross the river before sunrise; and yet, without his horse, this was impossible. Jane expressed confidence in her ability to walk even much farther; but the speed of even so active a walker as she was far from sufficient for escape. Edgar grew silent and anxious, though the cheerfulness of his companion at another time would have drawn many a smile from the gloom of his face.

“We can only push forward, John,” said she; “an enterprise so successfully begun should not be given up in despair.”

“I can never despair so long as you are with me, Jane,” he replied; “but I ought to tell you that, unless I can find my horse, our capture is certain.”

“See, then, if I am not a better night-ranger than Captain John Edgar,” she said; “I hear your horse, now!”

The Ranger drew her to him and kissed her warmly.

“I shall resign in your favor,” said he. “I should have passed without hearing him!”

This was more compliment than earnest; for, as he spoke, a low nicker from the bushes directly in front, indicated the spot where his horse was still standing. The faithful animal was aware of his master’s approach. A few moments sufficed to prepare him for retreat. Edgar doubled his blanket, and placed it behind the saddle. Lifting Jane to this _impromptu_ pillion, he threw himself into his seat, and turned his horse’s head toward home.

“What is that!” Jane exclaimed.

Floating up the ravine came a prolonged war-whoop, ringing among the trees, and dying away in a thousand echoes along the ridges.

“They have discovered your escape,” Edgar said.

He waited to hear no more, but regaining the dividing ridge, set off at a swift pace toward the south. The order was reversed—the chased were now the pursuers—and speed alone could decide the race. Edgar rode a powerful horse, who had borne him safely through many a fight as well as march; but the double weight he was now carrying, the journey he had made, and the efforts still expected of him, forbade the idea of rapid traveling. Yet the bloodhounds were upon his track; and at the dawn of day, now scarcely an hour distant, Edgar knew that they would sweep down upon him like the wind. Escape seemed as difficult as before the rescue.

Yet the Ranger was not cast down, and the strong-hearted pioneer’s daughter gave little thought to danger. As in all women of her class, excitement only evolved her energies; and she talked with a sort of cheerful elation, as if the peril were already passed, and home once more regained. Edgar was far from being so much at his ease; but he had never known fear, and, save on account of the loved one, whose arms encircled his waist, he would rather have made his dispositions for battle than for flight.

His only hope was that the Indians might be delayed in searching the woods around their encampment until he could gain a sufficient start; and this hope vanished almost as soon as formed. They had scarcely ridden three miles, when the thunder of many hoofs came rolling down the ridge. The enemy were in full chase, scarcely a mile behind.

“We must try the virtue of speed,” said Edgar; dashing his spurs into his horse’s flanks, he sprang away at a rate which gave promise of soon distancing the pursuers. Their footsteps soon died away in the distance; and, could he have kept up the pace at which be started, the captain hoped he might reach the river before being overtaken. But at the end of a few minutes, he was forced to draw his rein. The ridge had grown so narrow, that the ravines on either hand intersected each other, and broke it into steep and dangerous gorges. At the first of these his horse came to a dead halt, and neither voice nor spur could force him forward. Edgar sprang to the ground, and looking over the precipice, shuddered at the leap he had been endeavoring to take. A hollow, whose bottom he could not see, cut directly across his path, and extended both to the right and left, farther than his eye could penetrate.

“They are coming, John!” exclaimed Jane, springing to the ground; and he had scarcely time to lead his horse a few yards to the left, when twelve or fifteen Indians dashed furiously up, and, like him, came to a sudden halt. He could plainly see the dusky outlines of their forms, riding back and forward, searching for a crossing. He drew Jane, whose white dress might betray them, behind a tree, and breathlessly awaited their motions. At a word from the chief they all turned directly toward him. He seized Jane by the arm, and dropping his horse’s rein, sprang down the precipitous bank. A fearful yell from the pursuers told him that he was seen; and a rush and a scramble, regardless of the crumbling bank, brought them almost upon him.

“Run, Jane! Down the ravine—run!” he exclaimed, and bringing his rifle up, the foremost warrior fell to the ground, pierced through the head. Another yell, more fearful than the first, heralded a wild spring upon him. But the ranger was more agile than any savage; with one bound he gained a tree, and before they had recovered from their confusion, his rifle was reloaded. Slowly he began to climb the bank—but his first movement was observed, and again they rushed toward him. He turned and fired his last shot—another savage rolled groaning down the bank. But the odds were too great. His enemies were too near to allow his again charging his gun, and an attempt to retreat up the steep ascent would be instant death. He gave himself up for lost—but, drawing his knife, resolved to die fighting to the last.

The click of a rifle-lock directly behind him caught his attention, and the next moment a volley of balls whistled over his head. A rush down the bank immediately followed. The company of rangers, led on by White, had arrived in time to save their captain. The savages, taken by surprise, were unable to make a stand; for with them, as among all undisciplined men, a panic was irremediable. Edgar joined his men, and assumed the command, pushing the charge directly home upon the confused and scattered party. But such as were not disabled by wounds sprang actively up the ascent, and gaining their horses, took to flight. They left seven of their warriors, among whom was the tall chief, lying dead in the bottom of the ravine.

Edgar called his men back from the pursuit, and mustered them within the gorge. Not one of them had received a wound.

“We are all safe,” said George Fielding; “but where is Jane?”

“Here I am,” Jane answered from the ridge above. Instead of flying down the ravine, as Edgar had directed, she had climbed the bank behind him; and, unwilling to leave him in peril so fearful, had determined there to await the issue. Had she been armed, he would not have been alone in the fight.

Day had dawned on the conflict, and now the shadows of the forest were fast melting away. Leaving their enemies to be recovered by their companions, who would soon return for them, the rangers remounted, and set out toward home. Edgar lifted Jane into his saddle, and with little difficulty, catching one of the Indian horses, rode, happy as if already her husband, by her side. On the morning of the third day they once more reached her father’s house, where the rejoicings at her rescue were shared by the reassembled guests, at her wedding with the Ranger-Captain.

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[9] Mississippi.

* * * * *

=IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLAND.=

=BY FREDERIKA BREMER.=

Asylum for Aged Governesses.—Home for the Young.—Queen’s College.—Government School of Design for Women.—Ladies’ Guild.—Some Thoughts.—Review of England.—Its Authors and Authoresses.—Departure.

I had heard some years since, whilst yet in Sweden I had listened to the news, as one listens to some beautiful, half incredible story; I had heard that persons of talent, rank and fortune, had united in England to establish a Home for Aged and Poor Governesses, to enable them to enjoy a bright evening of life, free from anxiety. I had also read Mrs. S. C. Hall’s charming story, “The Aged Governess,” and wished that it might be read and thought upon by many. This story, written solely for the promotion of this good object, describes one of the most common occurrences of life, as we all must acknowledge; namely, how the old instructress, neglected by the young whom she has brought up, often as a second mother—how they, not from badness of heart, not from premeditated neglect, merely from common thoughtlessness—leave her to her fate, after her long, laborious career in the family when they had need of her, and out of the family when they need her no longer—left alone, to live or to die, utterly forsaken.

This story had caused me to think the undertaking must succeed; it is an affair of humanity, and its advocate knows how to touch the heart.

I heard in America that the work had been accomplished; the Asylum for Aged Governesses had been erected, and I set my heart upon visiting it during my visit to London.

Nothing more was needed than that I should mention my wishes to my friends in London. One of the most effective promoters of the good institution, the excellent and cheerful Mrs. Laing, conducted me thither.

It was a beautiful afternoon. It was pleasant to drive with that agreeable and kind woman, in an open carriage, away from the crowded, noisy London into the pleasant suburb of Kentish Town, where the green fields shone in the sun, and trees and flowers nodded in the wind; it was pleasant to listen all this time to Mrs. Laing, who told me how that, ever since her earliest youth, she had wished above every thing to be able some time to be of use to the distressed of her own sex, whose smoother path of life she herself was beginning to tread; and of the happiness which she now experienced, in finding herself in a position to accomplish the warm wishes of her youthful years. Beautiful and cheering is the sun! But still more beautiful and cheering is the sun of human kindness in a human eye!

The carriage drew up at a pair of iron gates. Within these, upon an open space and with a free look-out, stood a large, splendid house, built of gray stone, in the beautiful antique style. This was the Asylum of the Aged Governesses, their last calm haven and home on earth. The building had been completed only in June 1849, and was calculated to receive twenty-two inmates. Rooms for more may yet be added. We passed through the garden, which, however, consisted principally of beautiful grassplats and beds of flowers, shrubs and newly planted trees. Some of the old ladies were walking here, in the bright light of the setting autumnal sun, and tending the flowers. We entered the house. The steps, the doors, all, from foundation to roof-tree, were built as if for a thousand years’ duration, beautifully and excellently—the sterling English spirit breathed throughout it.

In the large common drawing-room, adorned with pictures, book-cases, and all those various things which constitute the peculiar little world of a beautiful room intended for social enjoyment, sat two of the old ladies at their work. Mrs. Laing was received by all as one receives a messenger of joy. The old ladies evidently regarded her as one of their best friends. They were anxious to prove to her that they were well and full of the energy of life. For she had made them understand that no greater trouble could happen to her than that they should die; that she wished them all to live and be happy here, the longer the better.

A little, cheerful, bright old lady, more than seventy years of age, but very lively, and as agile almost as a young girl, went with me through all the different rooms. They were all exactly alike as to arrangement, had the same kind of furniture; carpets and all comforts equally alike. My little conductress was quite alive to all this, and showed me with how much thought every thing had been arranged for their convenience, how easily the bonnet-boxes under the tables were drawn out, how accurately and noiselessly the doors closed, because the edges were lined with listing; how every thing was so arranged that they might find life easy and agreeable. In one of the rooms sat an old lady, who was an invalid, and was no longer able to walk out. She sat in her comfortable easy-chair, the dim eyes, which shone like feeble lights in the still handsome countenance, gazed out from a window which commanded a lovely view over the distant green, church-crowned heights, behind which the sun was now sinking in the calm splendor of autumn, illuminating the room where the old lady sat. Her voice was weak, so were evidently the powers of life; the lamp was about to be extinguished. But within, as well as without, all seemed to be peaceful and bright as regarded her. Freed from the gnawing anxieties of providing for the day, protected from cold rooms, shortness of food, from a desolate home, she may now calmly await the night, sinking quietly; like the sinking sun, which glanced into her chamber kindly, like the loving eye of a friend.

That aged governess, and all the aged ones there! my heart throbs warmly at the thought of them, and of their asylum.

It is in institutions of this kind that one sees the heart in a nation. Here the question was not about any “dangerous classes,” whom society must take in hand in order to secure its own safety. Here the question was about a class, the least dangerous of all, the most defenseless within the range of society—about solitary women, who, after a life of toil and self-denial in the service of the young generation, go forth into silence, no one knows where, and hide an existence which they almost feel to be supernumerary, to be a burden—go forth, often, like the sick bird, which seeks out a gloomy solitude of the wood in which to die.

The aged governess! How hard is frequently her lot! How thankless is society for her labor, how indifferent toward her fate, how unsparing toward her faults—faults which arise precisely from the disproportion in her fate, which demands from the teacher all a mother’s qualities and self-denial, without giving her in return any of the mother’s recompense, the esteem of society, the gratitude of the child, or even a home.

During the several years’ labor which noble-minded men and women in England have given to searching out and alleviating the silent misery which prevailed in this class of society, it has been proved that there is no class more deserving of esteem and attention; that no women better deserve the aid and esteem of society than the aged governesses.

Out of seven thousand teachers (it is estimated that the number of governesses in England amounts to about fifteen thousand) who during this time had come under the notice of the Committee of Direction which had been organized for their aid, several were found in lunatic asylums, but none in prisons. Many were without means of support in their old age, because they had maintained aged parents with the wages of their labor, assisted young brothers and sisters, or had brought up orphan nephews or nieces. Too many in consequence of their labor had weak sight, or were suffering from severe nervous complaints, of all suffering the worst.

Since the public attention in England has been so much directed to the responsible vocation of the governess, to her difficult position, and her unprovided-for old age; the public endeavor has increased with every succeeding year to elevate and improve the condition of the governess. Academies have been established for the education of young persons; annual pensions have been established for the old and needy; the crowning flower of this beautiful growth of human love and gratitude being the Home for the Aged Governesses, the asylum in which I now found myself, and which, when completed, will leave it difficult to imagine one more perfect.

Among the earliest promoters of this institution I found the names of—men. Men had been the earliest friends and protectors of the old, solitary ladies! The Duke of Cambridge, Dr. Thackeray, John Hatchard, (who lately closed a life full of good works) had long, both by word and deed, labored to improve the fate of these lonely beings. These good men, in connection with noble-minded ladies, such as Mrs. S. C. Hall and Mrs. Laing, had carried through this beautiful undertaking, and hence this final home for the aged governess.

Since then have the subscriptions for the support of aged governesses been so numerous, and so considerable in amount, that now a better future may be anticipated with certainty.

A payment of five hundred pounds entitles to nominate a lady to the asylum. And with all the conveniences and even luxuries of the establishment, all has been so well calculated that the cost of each inmate’s support is remarkably small. A physician and medicine are also provided by the institution.

One agreeable thing for the old ladies seemed to me, that they were permitted to have their friends and acquaintance to tea, on the payment of a mere trifle for each guest.

I saw, finally, in the handsome, light dining-room, the greater number of the inmates of the asylum assembled. There, seated at the piano, I played to them Swedish ballads and dances, and afterward cordially shook hands with the kind old ladies, recommending them to follow Mrs. Laing’s advice, to live long and remain well; they must take care and not die; they must take care and not grieve the good lady! They laughed, and seemed especially willing to attend to my admonition.

Why should they not? Every thing which makes old age bright—yes, perhaps, which makes it the most cheerful portion of a woman’s life—quietness, a secure future, all the amenities of daily life, society, retirement, the kindest care, the most faithful guardianship, every thing which at their age might reasonably be desired, all this is theirs. With a joyful heart I left this institution, over which the most splendid autumnal sun seemed to cast its blessing, and drove with Mrs. Laing to the home of the younger governesses, which also, I was desirous of visiting. This institution—under the same direction as the former, is designed as a shelter and home for young ladies who come to London in search of situations as governesses; is intended to be self-supporting through the payments of the parties whom it receives, as well as that it shall afford them all possible comforts at as low a price as possible. Not far from this institution, which is calculated to receive somewhat above twenty young ladies, is _Queen’s College_, a newly established academical institution, which enables young women to study and graduate in the same way as young men; and to advance as far in the acquisition of knowledge as their natural powers will admit of. The formation of a skillful class of teachers, of which it is said there is a great want in England, is the highest object of this college, which is under the direction of the Government and the Established Church.[10] “The Ladies’ College,” situated at no great distance, is an academy of the same class, founded by dissenters from the Established Church. Both institutions are promising beginnings in a path, in which the youngest of earth’s nations, the United States, has gone far in advance of the mother country, and of all the nations of Europe; namely, in its superior means for the intellectual development of woman.

Having long since become clear in my own mind as to the importance of this intellectual development, not merely for women themselves, but even for men, for the whole rising generation; I had inquired in England, as well as in America, what was being done for women? There was only very little to tell me of in England; they had, however, in London, the Asylum for Aged Governesses, (and a more beautiful institution cannot be exhibited in any land,) the Home for Young Governesses, the two Female Colleges, together with “The Government School of Design for Females.” I had already noticed this inscription upon the door-posts of a house in the Strand, directly opposite to where I had my own excellent lodgings. I was very anxious to visit the Female School of Design in this great, magnificent London, the school which bore the grand appellation of “The Government School of Design for Women.” It must be something really great and magnificent, thought I to myself.

The entrance did not promise much. It was narrow and rickety. But—that did not matter, the Englishman has sometimes a way of putting a simple outside to that which within is very splendid. I went up into a room, story above story, in the third floor. Ah! now had vanished all hope of and all esteem for the care of Government, as regarded the instruction of women, at least in the art of design. In a close, dark room, sat from sixty to seventy young women, so closely packed together that they took away from each other light, space, and, as it seemed to me, breathing-room. They had not even space in which to place their models, (some plaster of Paris casts stood on the floor in a dark corner of the apartment) they had not room to place any thing in a right light or proper perspective. In order to enable me to move along the room, the girls were obliged to stand aside, both they and their drawings. I saw two of them busy drawing a real—no, a _withered_ plant which stood in a glass. And yet they came hither, and yet they sat here, day after day, industriously, crowded together as they were, the poor young girls! So great was their desire, so great the necessity for them to learn.

In the house on the opposite side of the street, in “Somerset House,” was “The Government School of Design for Young Men,” and they had every advantage which large rooms, models, teachers could give. And, nevertheless, and in spite of there being every unfavorable circumstance on the side of the girls, yet, in the two years, when public examination had been made of the productions of the two schools, the prises had been awarded to the girls. So unquestionable was the superiority of their talent for decorative art, so nobly just the decision of the male judges. I heard much praise bestowed upon the head mistress of the Female School of Design, as being herself a distinguished artist. I cannot but deplore for her that she has not a better opportunity of developing her own talent and the talent of her young pupils than that which is afforded her by the Government School of Design for Women.

My thoughts involuntarily sped back across the sea to the country, to the people who preëminently among all the nations of the earth govern themselves, and to one of the Schools of Design for Women, which have lately begun to spring up there, with that fresh, vigorous growth, which all great, public, useful undertakings have in the soil of the New World. I saw the school which had been commenced in the first instance in the shade of private life, by Mrs. Sarah Peter, an English lady, with a warm feeling of fellow-citizenship; which had been taken up by the government, and incorporated with the Franklin Institution, at Philadelphia, with an annual endowment of three thousand dollars. I saw once more the large, light halls there; saw the kind, cheerful mistress happy in her vocation, happy in the progress of her pupils, and in the flourishing condition of the school.

I saw the young girls’ beaming countenances, saw how a happy consciousness had arisen within them, as if they would say, “We also have now obtained work in God’s beautiful vineyard!”

I saw them drawing vine-shoots and palms, as decoration for walls and floors; saw genius here unfold its youthful wings in joyful amazement at its own powers; and patient industry gladly take her place in the service of her more ardent sister; saw in the practical direction which the spirit of the New World gives to all work, an infinite future and sphere of operation opened for women in the employment of that talent which Mother Nature has given to them for the beautifying of life—the sense of the beautiful, a feeling for the tasteful and the ornamental—a talent which has hitherto been employed merely in a circumscribed manner.

“See!” said a warm-hearted, right-minded man, Dr. E., who accompanied me through the scholars’ room, “this work by Elizabeth B.! fifteen dollars have been paid for it. And this second design for a carpet, by Miss ——, this has been ordered and twelve dollars are paid for it. This little pattern for calico-printing—see how pretty it is!—has been bought for two dollars—this for three. And these wood-cuts, are they not well done? The young girls who do these are full of orders for similar ones, and can command their own price. This lithograph is another work of Miss ——; and these lithographed groups of flowers, ordered for a little book, are by Miss ——, and twelve dollars are paid for each. But I must introduce you to this young girl, Miss ——. She used formerly to maintain herself by her needle; she did needlework even for my family; but it was discovered that she possessed so remarkable a talent for drawing, that after only seven months’ instruction, she is secure of provision for the whole of her life, by means of art.”

Dr. E. and the head mistress together, selected specimens of the young girls’ various works. “Take,” said they, “this, and this, and this, and this, home with you to your fatherland.”

This was in North America; in the country which preëminently opens a free field for the development of women. In Europe a few individual voices are raised for this object. In America it is the universal voice which says—

“He who points out a new field for the employment of female industry, ought to be regarded as one of the public benefactors. And every means by which such a field becomes accessible to woman recommends itself to society as an important agent in the civilization of the future.”

It delighted me to hear that Charles Dickens, in his Household Words, had made some remarks upon it worthy of his warm heart and clever pen; also to hear that it was seriously contemplated to remove the school to a more favorable locality.

“The Ladies’ Guild,” is the name given to a Female Association in London, which I visited. It is as yet in its earliest commencement, and depends principally upon a discovery of a Miss Wallace, for the application of glass to the hitherto unknown purposes in ornamenting rooms, and the material of furniture. Miss Wallace has taken out a patent for her invention, which she uses entirely for the benefit of persons of her own sex. She was not at this time in England, but the ladies to whom she had communicated her art had united themselves for the formation of a guild, in which instruction in this particular branch of art is given, under certain conditions, to all such as wish to enter the association as working members. I saw here many original and particularly beautiful decorations of glass. I was, however, most struck with the branch of the art called “gems,” in which pieces of cut glass crystals were set in flower-like groups of various colors, yellow, green and red; as well as with plates of glass prepared and burned, so that they resemble white marble, and of a strength so great that a man might stand and stamp his foot upon them without their being cracked. A room whose walls should be set with clusters of these gems, and some of the various brilliant paintings on glass which I saw here, would have the appearance of a fairy-palace, and would realize the most brilliant dreams of our childhood.

They were at this time desirous of preparing such a number of works as would enable them to have an exhibition, by which means the public interest might be turned to the undertaking.

May it succeed! May the well-intentioned, earnest women who commenced the undertaking be so happy as to carry it out for the benefit of their sex! How great the need of such institutions is, may be shown by the simple fact that a single advertisement offering work in this glass manufactory, called forth four hundred replies from gentle-women desirous of obtaining employment.

I saw several of these employment-seekers; for the greater part they were women of middle age, or in the latest youth; and the greater number were clad in deep mourning. They seemed to me like beings who had sat long in darkness, and now were come forth half astonished, half mistrusting, inquiring, “Is there any light, is there any life for us?”

Alas! That in God’s rich, beautiful abundantly-living world, so many beings erected in His image, called to participate in His life, should need to ask thus!

“It must, it will succeed with us!” said the lady superintendent of this new undertaking, with the courageous calmness of conviction.[11] And I believe it will. The thing speaks for itself, and noble-minded men extend a brotherly hand to the ladies to aid them in carrying it out.

Yet once more: may the undertaking flourish, and may it be the precursor of many a similar one!

What a field of beautiful and advantageous activity lies waste through the neglect of rightly cultivating the talent which God has entrusted to woman! Thus, for example, her taste and her feeling for the beautiful are universally acknowledged, and she is permitted to cultivate it—merely for her own adornment and beautifying; and by so doing makes this heavenly talent minister to vanity and self-love. What if this sense of beauty were developed under the guidance of knowledge, for the use of society, for the beautifying of life? Does not woman’s natural taste for ornament and for ornamenting give her an hereditary title in the realm of decorative art? And if she were allowed there to employ her single gift, if she felt herself, through it, living and working, as a fellow-citizen——?

Ought not every country to have its school of art, in which the artistic skill of women might develop itself, in a peculiar and national manner? Might there not, by these means, be a northern art, which, as such, might obtain acknowledgment even in foreign countries?

Might not the daughters of Sweden, so rich in natural feeling and fresh life, study the natural productions of Sweden; draw the pine and the linea borealis, the Apollo-butterfly, and such like beautiful things which God has given to the soil of their fathers; and arrange them in tasteful groups, in vases and baskets, for the decoration of walls and floors; and thus from northern scenes bring forth a northern art, tended by the hands of women, which might beautify northern homes, from the highest to the lowest; which might chase away ugly and common pictures, and let the brightest eye of home, the eye of the child, open into a world of beauty?

Is not, for all men and in all countries, one of the gates which opens into the sanctuary, like that in Solomon’s temple—the beautiful?

We are speaking now merely of a branch of art. But is there not in many other arts and in many manufactures—nay, perhaps in every art and manufacture and science, the more they are developed and ennobled—a department which ought preëminently to be cultivated by women, expressly because of that one talent which has been given to them by nature?

We merely ask. We acknowledge to a profound faith in our own questions. But we would beseech of thinking men and women to consider the subject with us.

For the importance of it lies not merely in the peculiarity of woman’s work. There is something beyond this in woman, through her own work, being able to acquire a self-relying position in society, a noble independence for the life both of soul and body; that she may feel, may know from childhood upward that she may courageously look toward a future which she, through her own power of work, can prepare for herself; to know that creditable work is not disgrace. And that beautiful consciousness which already exists in the intellectual heights of society, may alike in the palace and the cottage of the peasant be acquired by all.

What is it that people are afraid of in this independence of woman? Are they afraid that thereby she will become less womanly? Are they afraid that any being, if it develops itself in freedom and in truth, can become any other than that which God designed in its creation?

Are they afraid that women may take the work away from men?

But all development, all natural division of labor in the world prove that its multiplication and affluence increases in proportion to the various powers which are employed upon it, each in his own way.

In truth, at the present moment, and with the mistaken purposes of existence which have so long depressed the life and consciousness of women, and with them those of men also, one can only wonder that women are what they are.

But when woman becomes that which God intended her to be, man’s equal and helpmate in all spheres of life, _Manua_, or she-man, as the Bible calls her in the first morning of creation.

Amid many gloomy scenes, many sorrowful experiences, I yet live in the steadfastly joyful anticipation of the future, which will some time dawn for society, when the fettered woman shall become wholly free.

It enchants me when I think upon the beautiful relationship—and of this we already, thank God, have seen and still see many examples—which must take place when these two halves of life stand together—not master and slave—resting only upon God and upon themselves, relying upon each other, merely through the free homage of the heart and the intellect. He sees in her a noble, self-dependent being, who needs not and seeks not him for any lower object. And he loves her for that cause. She sees in him a free and noble being, who seeks not and needs not her for an unworthy object, advantage, or pleasure. And she esteems him for that reason. But each needs the other as a helper in the highest work upon earth—the perfecting of life. That they know, and for that cause they extend to each other the hand, as a married pair, as friends; two free, divine beings, united in the highest!

Thus is paradise regained on earth; no longer that first merely natural paradise; but the higher, spiritual paradise, where man and woman shall live together as the angels in heaven.

Is this sight too beautiful ever to become true?

It is too beautiful not to become true!

But if before this a new development of woman’s life and consciousness must take place, the subject need not be further pursued here.

The Chinese cramped up their women’s feet in tight shoes, that they might not go far from home. But the Chinese themselves have remained standing on the same spot, whilst all the rest of the world has gone forward.

* * * * *

Often when the starling comes in spring to our northern land have I seen him sit in the top of the trees, saluting with his song the rising of the sun over the morning-illumed country. And at this moment, when I sit like the bird upon the bough ready for flight, ready to seek my nest, I feel like the starling glancing abroad over the country upon which a new day is ascending.

For the sight of England at this moment is the sight of a new birth, of an awakening life, calculated to awaken every soul in which are the principles of vitality.

Whilst Germany is mute in the sense of an internal chaos, and all her poets dumb, (since her last comet-like genius, wearied of elliptic circuits in search of the eternal, conceals himself in a cloister;) whilst beautiful Italy lies bound, like the Greek slave, yet noble in her deferred revenge—whilst heroically bold France, always foremost in the struggle for the advance of thought—foremost, though too impetuous, wearied by her own eccentric endeavors, allows a daring adventurer to put a rope round her neck, and a gag in her mouth—how vigorously and calmly England proceeds onward in her work for the future; how powerfully she advances under her banners, “the Law and the Gospel;” and in the spirit of these, works out her great destiny by means of her free institutions, her free public discussion; her constellation of statesmen, poets, authors; her scientific and industrial institutions, and lastly, by her movement for a general, unexclusive system of education throughout the nation; retaining through all this a clear consciousness of the foundation of all true freedom and happiness for the people of the earth.

May she advance triumphantly in her career for the new future of Europe, and with her the nations which stand in near alliance with her life!

No country in the world can at this time exhibit such an affluence of good authors as England. And their influence is founded upon the great principles of humanity, which they serve not merely by power of genius, but of practical reason. Authors of the most varied political and religious opinions are united in this—the advocacy of some human right; some human advantage, the crown of which is in heaven, while its root is on earth; or they are rejected by the public mind; every thing must become subservient to the supreme claims of humanity. Merely to mention here some of the cultivators of polite literature: there is the aristocratic Bulwer, spite of his inclination for the merely strong; the democratic, warm-hearted Dickens; Thackeray, the flagellator of much that is great and small, but by no means of the good; Charles Kingsley, whose warm sympathies for suffering humanity might make him unjust toward the self-indulgent if that life which inspires did not also restrain him; and lastly, him who, standing aloof from all parties, yet influences all.

So also, among the beautiful group of England’s distinguished authoresses—women whose power is acknowledged by the whole cultivated world. Mary Howitt, Mrs. Marsh, Mrs. S. C. Hall, with many others still living, among the latest and most remarkable of whom stand Mrs. Gaskill, the Author of Mary Barton, and Miss Bronte, the author of the fascinating novel of Jane Eyre; all these are united in working for the moral elevation of life, although frequently regarding it from different points of view. Nevertheless are they sisters in the higher harmonies and the same fundamentally pure accords, the same holy anthems sound from their harps. They also have obtained free entrance into every noble home in the world, and great power over the life of the heart.

Novels such as Eugene Sue’s and George Sand’s cannot possibly become popular in England, although people are not blind to the gleams of light discoverable in the mysteries of the former; and the many beautiful things which there are in the glorious Consuelo of the latter. But they could not have been written there, nor could their authors live there with any success. The genius of England distinguishes itself from that of France, not so much by its genius, but by its sound reason. The dissimilar fate of England and France, at this time, may be estimated by the dissimilarity in the works of their romance writers. The romance of a people and of their authors have more in common than people believe.

Now that I am about to leave England, I feel with regret how much, from want of time, I must give up seeing, give up knowing—amongst which is the knowledge of persons whose acquaintance would be to me of great value, and of whom I saw sufficient for me to regret it all the more. This is often the sorrowful lot of the traveler, and I have no right to complain. If I should never again see England, yet I shall be eternally thankful that I have seen it, and for that which I have there seen. I thank England for the glorious Asylum which she afforded to a people who raised themselves in the consciousness of their own power, and with no lower object in view than the highest which humanity is capable of. I thank England for affording a new hope for the future of Europe, a new and a fresher courage. And seeing as I do that England is preëminently beyond all other nations designed to extend its dominions, I shall henceforth only rejoice in this, because it extends at the same time the Law and the Gospel, God’s dominion upon earth.

Add to this, that the English race are also the handsomest now existing on the earth; no one can do other than wish that, in this point of view also, they should increase and multiply.

These Englishwomen—I am fond of them. They approach with a frank, warm cordiality which is irresistible, or with a quiet demeanor which expresses esteem both of you and of their own worth, or else—they leave you in peace. This dignity of manner, added to an agreeable kindliness, struck me particularly in the class of female domestic servants, whilst they are commonly as well dressed as the persons whom they serve; at once, as well dressed as unpretending.

And then—they are so handsome, these Englishwomen, that certainly, the whole figure included, they are the most beautiful women in the world.

I have no word sufficiently strong to express my grateful sense of the noble hospitality and good-will which were shown to me while in England. They live in the sanctuary of my heart, together with the names of the friends from whom I received them; I must call some of them my _benefactors_, because the human beings who awaken in us a warmer faith in and love to mankind, are our eternal benefactors.

And greater benefactors in this sense have I never found anywhere than in the United States, and in England, excepting in my own beloved fatherland!

-----

[10] This is a misconception.—Ed.

[11] A worthy daughter is this lady of the well-known philanthropist, Dr. Southwood Smith. Dr. Southwood Smith stands at the head of the movement for Sanitary Reform in England, which is now being effectively carried out in many towns, and the main principles of which are, that every house and family shall have a constant and sufficient supply of fresh water, the erection of healthy dwellings for the poor, together with the careful removal and consumption of all impurity.

* * * * *

=SONNET.—CYDNUS.=

=BY WM. ALEXANDER.=

Cydnus! thou art a memorable stream! Clear, crystal-like, thy proud waves roll apace, As when with snowy plume and pallid face, The daring Grecian felt thy cold extreme— Two thousand summers have now passed away, Yet, like white garments waving ’mid the gloom, Seems thy bright water’s foam. Many a tomb Lines thy green banks, as when in sad array The great procession passed, with viol’s wail, While underneath the canopy of gold, Raised on the deck, lay Egypt’s queen, as cold As when the aspic stung her. Spectres pale Still haunt thy shore; thy waves all uselessly Sweep on; “no galley there—no ship shall pass thereby.”

* * * * *

=NELLY NOWLAN ON BLOOMERS.=

=BY MRS. S. C. HALL.=

“I promised, my dear aunt,” continued Nelly, “when I left you, to tell you every thing I saw! I little knew what a promise that was when I made it! but there’s something so mighty quare has happened lately in this great town, that I should like you to come to knowledge of it; it is so different from what’s going on in poor ould Ireland. I haven’t much time for writing this month, so must tell it _out of the face_, and be done with it. Do you remember the watching we used to have when the war was going on betwixt Miss Mulvany of the big shop, and Mrs. Toney Casey of the red house, about the length of their gowns? All the county cried shame on Miss Mulvany, when the hem of her brand-new-Sunday-silk reached the binding of her shoe, and then they shouted double shame on Mrs. Tony Casey, all the way home from mass, when the next Sunday _her_ dress touched the heel; sure it served us for conversation all the week, and every girl in the place letting down her hems—and happy she, who had a good piece in the gathers—and to see the smile and the giggle on Miss Mulvany’s face! We all knew, when we saw _that_, that she’d come out past the common, the next Sunday; and so she did, and a cruel wet Sunday it was, and she in another silk, a full finger on the ground behind and before, and she too proud to hold it up! and that little villain, Paddy Macgann, coming up to her in the civilist way and asking if he might carry home her tail for her! And then the row there was between Tony Casey and his wife, the little foolish _crayshur_, because he refused her the price of a new gown, with which she wanted to break the heart of the other fool, Miss Mulvany, by doubling the length, and how Mrs. Casey would not go to mass, because she couldn’t have a longer tail than Miss Mulvany! And sure _you mind_, aunt dear, when all that work was going on, how the fine priest stood on the altar, and ‘Girls and boys,’ he says—it was after mass—‘Girls and boys, but especially girls, I had a drame last night, or indeed, to be spaking good English, it was this morning I had it, and I need not tell you, my little darlings,’ (that was the kind way he had of speaking,) ‘that a morning drame comes true. Well, in my drame I was on the Fair green, and there was a fine lot of you, all looking fresh and gay like a bank of primroses, and all sailing about like a forest of paycocks, with tails as long and as draggled as Mary Mulvany _has_ got, and Mrs. Tony Casey has _not_ got.’

“‘No fault of hers, plaze your reverence,’ says Tony.

“‘Hould y’er tongue, Tony,’ said the priest, ‘until you’re spoken to, and don’t be a fool; when a wise man wins a battle, he shouldn’t brag of it; and it is ill manners you have, to be putting your priest out in the face of his congregation. Where was I?’

“‘In a forest of paycocks, your reverence,’ squeaked little Paddy Macgann.

“‘That’s a fine boy, Paddy, to remember what your priest says.’

“‘Your reverence promised me a penny the last time I held your horse,’ squeaked Paddy again; upon which there was a grate laugh, in which his reverence joined. It was mighty sharp of Paddy.

“‘Well, girls,’ continued his reverence, ‘you were all like paycocks, only some had longer tails than others, and very proud you were of them—mighty fine, and quite natural; showing them off, girls, not to one another, but at one another. Well, there is, as you all know, no accounting for drames, for all of a sudden who should come on the green, but the Black Gentleman himself! It’s downright earnest I am. I saw him as plain as I see you; hoofs and horns, there he was; and when you all saw him, of course you ran away like hares, and those that had short gowns got clean off, tight and tidy, but as for poor Mary Mulvany, and all like her, (in dress, I mean) all he had to do, was to put his hoof on the gown tails and they were done for—pinned for everlasting. Girls! remember _the morning drame comes true_! If ye make a vanity of your gown tails, it’s a sure sign that the devil has set his foot on them. Now be off every one of you, and let me see you next Sunday.’ Ah, aunt dear, the tails were cut off to the shoe binding.

“Now, aunt, it would be the greatest blessing in life if the fine ladies here had some little contrivance (those who walk) for keeping their dresses off the streets; it’s a murdering pity to see the sweep they give to the dirt and dust as they float over the pavements; my mistress says, that long ago the upper petticoat reached the ancle joint, and was of quilted silk, mighty handsome, and the dress drawn up so as to show it a bit, and could be let down at pleasure; it’s next to impossible to keep shoes and stockings clean, while what our good old priest called the ‘paycock’s tail’ sweeps the streets as the lady walks. But, indeed, (as my dear, good lady says) ‘extremes meet;’ for will you believe it, that there has been an attempt made by some ladies from America (that wonderful uneasy country, that’s too big to contain itself, and must keep on a-meddling and a-doing for ever more) to revolutionize, that is, stir up a rebellion against every stitch we wear! There is reason in all things; and it would be both more clean and more convenient if the ladies left it to the dear little red-coated ragged-school boys, to sweep the streets; but these ladies (_Bloomers_ they call themselves) are for turning all the women into men, by act of parliament. I don’t know if they have got any plan for turning the men into women, but my mistress says _that_ must follow. You remember, aunt, that we used to call the darling Miss Mildred a ‘bloomer;’ and there was a poem made about her, in such beautiful rhyme:

‘Oh, you are like Cassandra fair, Who won great Alexander’s heart; A bloomer, sweeter than the rose.’

I forget it, aunty, but it continued very learned—about

‘O’Donaghoo and the great O’Brien, That banged the strength out of Orion.’

It was all about her, and her bating Venus for beauty, and went to the tune of ‘Jackson’s Morning Brush.’

“Only think of our darling Miss Mildred being thought of in the same day with _these_ ‘bloomers,’ as if she wore a man’s hat and waistcoat—to say nothing of _the other things_—in the broad light of day; and if _that_ isn’t enough, strapped over the _boot_! Our own, born, bred, and reared Miss Mildred, with the blush of innocence on her cheek, a brow as fair as if it had been bathed in May-dew every morning of her life, with the freshness of youth on her rosy lips, cantering through the country on her snow-white pony, man-fashion, to say nothing of boots and spurs!

“Well, this band of Bloomers is quite different to what you would expect from the name. My mistress bought the picture of one, and that was pretty enough to look at. But think of the dress of a slim young lady of ten years old, on a grown-up woman, particularly if she is rather fallen into flesh, and you’ll see how I saw a stout Bloomer look—certainly, that was not blooming. Any thing looks well on youth and beauty; or rather, youth and beauty look well in any thing; but the deepness of the dress was that it was only a _cloak_, (though that’s not true, for _cloaks_ are not Bloomers,) only a sign, or an all-over sort of badge, for another thing—putting us all into counsellor’s wigs, and turning us into Parliament men and ministers, and police-inspectors and generals, and rifle-brigades. The upsettingest thing that ever crossed the wild waters of the Atlantic!

“My dear mistress shook her poor head, and said to me—for I was greatly troubled at the first going off to think if it was passed into a law here, what I should have to turn to myself, or whether it would not be more patriotic for me to go back to ould Ireland and be a White-Boy at once, because if the women were turned into men, surely we’d have the best of it then, any how. I _was_ troubled, for I hate the law, and as for Parliament, I never could stand the arguments there, as I’d like best to have my own way, without any contradiction, which a woman can do at home if she’s at all _cute_; so, seeing me bothered, (this as I say was at the first) my lady was quite amused, and ‘Ellen,’ she said, ‘do not trouble yourself about it, there is little doubt but that the more civilized we become, the more employment will be found for women, and the more highly will they be respected; but to be either happy or useful, a woman must be employed as a _Woman_, not as a man; she must be employed where her tenderness, her quick perceptions, her powers of endurance, her unselfishness, her devotion, are called into, and kept in, action. She who is the mother of heroes does not covet to enter the battle-field herself,’ said my mistress, all as one as if she was reading out of a printed book—(I never could handle any thing but a stone, and should dead faint at the sound of a pistol, but I was not going to _let on_ that to her)—so, ‘True for you, ma’am,’ I said, though I was fairly bothered, but made _bould_ to add, ‘Sure no lady could attend to the Parliament-house and the wants of a large small family.’

“‘Oh,’ she said, smiling, ‘no married lady, I suppose, would think of entering Parliament, it would be very awkward indeed when a right honorable lady-member was delivering her opinion on the malt tax, or on the duty on bread-stuffs, just as the ladies on the opposition benches cried out ‘Hear, hear,’ to be interrupted by a message from the _other house_, of ‘Please, ma’am, the baby wants you.’’

“Well, I saw a great deal of good sense in this, and thought it would be better for women to be content to be women. I am sure we used to be very happy long ago, before this came into our heads, but the landlady I told you of did not think so: she has two or three friends that come and talk over all the domestic and un-domestic arrangements of all their ‘gossips:’ one of these ladies is a widow—for the second time; and they say she was the death of the first by her tongue, and of the second by her temper, maybe the one helped on the other against both the poor fellows! any how, they both are dead, and she makes a great boast of never taking a third; they say she was never asked: she is what’s called a ‘strong-minded woman,’ she would say any thing, or do any thing; and what I can’t understand—though she is forever abusing the men, and letting on she hates them and their ways—is that she does every thing in the world she can to seem manly. She tramps about in high-heeled boots, with straps; she speaks in—what she calls—a ‘fine, manly tone,’ and hates soft voices, because they are _womanly_; she has a way of her own, of turning the rights of women into the rights of men; she parts her hair at the side, and turns it in an under roll all round—‘because it is like a man’s;’ and yet she calls ‘them men’ bears and brutes enough to fill the zoology gardens; and though she grumbles because men tyrannize over women, she is bringing up her _son_ to have his way in every thing, and makes his sister give the cake from her hand, and the orange from her lips to pamper him.

“Now that’s mighty quare to me—she is the landlady’s prime minister—her name is Mrs. Blounet. Then there are the two Miss Hunters—Miss Cressy and Miss Mary Jane. Miss Cressy is a fine stately woman—all bone—and high-learned, and has spoken more than once on ‘Man, the oppressor;’ but, though Miss Mary Jane dresses bloomer, she does not abuse her fellow-creatures as badly as Miss Cressy. She is five years younger, and very good-looking—by candle-light. To be sure it is wonderful how the tongues of the three go against mankind, when they’re all together, and the landlady making one little lament after another, how that her husband does this, and doesn’t do that; and this often makes me think of what I heard of often, from one we both loved—you will remember _who it was_ when I tell you the advice. ‘If you would lead a happy life, never tell your husband’s faults to any ear but his own; a woman who makes her husband’s failings a subject for conversation, is unworthy his respect or his affection.’ And, if you mind, aunty, the same woman—the heavens be her bed!—used to say, we had two ears and but one tongue: a sign that we should not say all we hear. Anyhow, it would bother the saints to hear the talk of them—Mrs. Blounet hitting ever so hard at Miss Cressy and Miss Mary Jane for being old maids; and, Miss Cressy especially, turning upon Mrs. Blounet for having two husbands—not at a time, though. It was wonderful the talk they used to have, and the suppers; and then Miss Cressy disappeared in the evenings, and poor Mr. Creed—that’s the landlady’s husband—declared she served at a confectioner’s of an evening _in the dress_; and my mistress said that sort of thing would crush ‘the movement altogether;’ as if the dress was thought to be ever so healthy and convenient, its going into that class as a show, and a vulgar attraction, would prevent its ever being recognized as respectable in England. Then Mrs. Blounet took stronger than ever to lecturing in pink trousers—she weighs thirteen stone—and a gray ‘tunic,’ she calls it; but it is just a short petticoat pleated full. Oh! so short.

“And Miss Mary Jane was wonderful, except when Mr. Creed had any gentlemen visitors; _then_ she would allow that Alexander the Great, and Bonaparte, and a few more, were equal to us. But the worst of it was that this spirit of Bloomer was quite upsetting our house: the landlady took to writing about the rights of woman, and left every one of her duties uncared for. Mr. Creed is a police inspector of the P division, and often wanted a hot cup of coffee, but Mrs. Creed downright refused to make it. The baby did as it liked. The only thing its mother corrected was _proofs_!—long strips of printed paper, like dirty farthing ballads; and Mrs. Blounet and she would sit all day, just making mischief, and writing the _botheringest_ nonsense that ever was, while my mistress might wait for her dinner. Think of three guineas a-week for three rooms, and done for!—and yet not able to get a chop dressed, because the landlady is practicing the _rights of women_—by giving us no rights at all. Now, isn’t it quare? And it was worse and worse she was getting, so that between her and the east wind, we had neither peace nor quiet—all the morning she was reading newspapers, and correcting them ‘proofs;’ all the evenings, attending public meetings. And the poor babby!—I have heard her tell her husband that if he wanted it washed, he must do it himself, for she had the rights of her sex to attend to, and it was as much his business as hers to mind it. Oh! it’s wonderful when politics get into a woman’s head how they drive nature out of it!—they beat small tea-parties, and fairs, and dances, and patterns—ay, and falling in love—out and out for making a woman forget herself. And yet if there’s a thing in the world she is proud of, it is that babby, and sitting at the head of her tea-table, pouring out tea, and laying down the law. You used to say, aunty dear, that a woman never went out and out to the bad, until her heart got into the wrong place: indeed, you and the landlady would not agree at all; _for in almost_ _every thing she had reasoned herself out of nature_—and that’s what they try to do—but just wait until I tell you how things went on. We were very uncomfortable: my poor mistress kept waiting for her dinner, and if I had not studied a cookery-book as hard as ever Father Jonas—dear holy man!—studied his breviary, she must have gone days and days without a bit of proper food, for there is but one poor fag of a servant, who was born on her legs, and has kept on them ever since, to cook, and wash, and walk with the children, and lay the cloth, and wait the table, and go everybody’s messages, and open the door, and bear the ill temper of the parlors, drawing-rooms, and every floor, and faction in the house. Well, since the landlady took up with the rights of women, no slave in the free states of America has been so overworked as that poor girl; among other things, the landlady reproached her for taking no pride in laying out supper for the ‘great movers,’ as she called them, ‘in the cause of women:’ and the girl asked what good the ‘movement’ was to her, except to give her more work. Well, you should have heard the landlady’s tongue go after that—no one that did could ever forgot it—how she reproached her for want of public spirit, and proper feeling—and ‘sympathy.’ Now the best of it is, that this good woman’s husband is—as I said—a Police Inspector, though she tried hard and long to make me believe he had a ‘situation in the city,’ which did not sound like policeman. You see, darling, the English are grown very like ourselves in _that_; my mistress says, that a great deal of the pride and spirit they took in honest labor and its profits are gone; and forgetting the respect due to great people—I mean, aunt, great good people, and great good things—they run into every little dirty short cut to wealth they can find; and after all sorts and kinds of money—like mad: in fact, she says,—that there are as many at ‘_their dirty diggings_’ in the city of London, as in that place, they call it by the name of California, in a far away country. Now, to take pride out of mere money there and then, seems of all things the most unnatural for those who have souls in their bodies: the understanding that two and two make four, doesn’t seem much to be proud of, and yet that’s the beginning and end of half the knowledge and pride going—of all the knowledge the gold-seekers care about, just as if grubbing up and counting up would make them all as one as the rale quality; and then, if you say a word, they get up a cry of

‘A man’s a man for a’ that,’

and bother ye’r heart out with ‘it’s nothing what a man _was_, but what he _is_;’ and so I say, but with a different meaning,

‘A grub’s a grub for a’ that;’

and don’t tell me! all the wealth of California and Australia to the back of it, wont change a man; what he was, he is, unless something brighter than gold comes over him; the seeking and loving money never purified a heart yet, nor raised a man the breadth of a straw.

‘It’s not the wealth, but how you use it.’

I see and hear a deal about wealth, but something keeps stirring in my heart, and whispering in my ear, which, as a poor girl, I’ve no right to talk about; there are ways of working up like the little grain of mustard seed my mistress reads of, that grew into a great tree, and sheltered the houseless and homeless. Now _that_ is a fine thing to think of, and I delight in a little story of a mouse letting a lion out of a net—there’s great comfort in _that_—and I feel

‘A man’s a man for a’ that,’

when I hear tell of a little old man who, blessed be God! first thought of Infant Schools—Oh! it’s them are the blessings. The things I love best, are the things that teach people how to keep from sin—of the two I like them better than what takes them out of it. And when I remember WHO sent Temperance abroad to the four quarters of the globe—so that even gentlemen are ashamed of being tipsy—and how as a regenerator that Temperance is only next to Godliness—there’s a glory for Ireland! And I think of a fine ancient white-headed saint in Manchester, Wright by name and nature, who remembers, as my dear mistress says, to tread in his Master’s footsteps, who was sent, ‘not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ And I think of the charities, grander than the Pyramids of Egypt my cousin writes home about; charities purifying the great sins of great London; charities, Aunt darling, increasing every year, and as each new one starts up, from the brain maybe of some poor working man, the people cry out, as with one voice, ‘This can’t be done without.’ I am glad of such thoughts, and such knowledge, for I’ll tell you the truth, I mortally abominate them great bloated gold-finders. When I think of the _gold-loving_ English, I could send all the Fathers of the Church against them, with bell, book, and candle. When I think of the _other things_, Aunt dear, why I can only pray that they may be remembered to them as a people, at the last day;—and I’m willing to do penance for the prayer, if so be it’s a sin!

“But it’s high up above Bloomerism, and all other follies I’ve got, _sure_ enough; only as the lark said, I must come down some time. At last the house became a fair Babel, worse than what I’ve heard of Donnybroke itself, when the boys used to cry out, ‘Oh! the glory’s left ould Ireland—twelve o’clock, and no fight;’ and when the poor fellows would be going about the Fair green, shouting, ‘Who’ll fight me for the sake of St. Patrick.’ The man of the house was sorely to be pitied, he was a mighty quiet man; and impossible as it may seem, very fond of his vixen of a wife (talk as you will, there’s mighty little reason in love,) and his baby; and moreover, he was very little at home at all, which ought to have made her all the pleasanter when he was in it, for it’s very easy to find words going sharp, when a man’s ever and always _molly coddling_ about a house, and bothering about every in and out, no ways becoming to him. Of late, she was always grumbling when he went out, though it was about his business—and yet never peaceable when he came in; I wondered how he took it so easy, but there is no use ever interfering betwixt married people; no matter how bitter they are to-night, they may be all like sugar and honey to-morrow morning, and whatever you say to one, is sure to go to the other—they’re not safe to make or meddle with; if you want to make peace, you must never let one know what the other says when they’re in their ‘tiffs;’ and to keep quit of that you must tell more woppers than is at all pleasant to carry, particularly when the priest is cross, and _puts heavy weights on the penances_.

“I kept as clear of both husband and wife as I could, though they would come now and again, and tell me their troubles; the landlady blaming the tyranny of mankind, and the badness of the laws—and the husband bewailing that she had got among the bloomers; I hinted that may be if the dress which she only wore at their meetings was burned, it might put her off her fancy; but he said, ‘he couldn’t do that—she looked so pretty in it;’ was not that foolish? but Aunt, dear, men is that—and think more of a pretty face with a sharp tongue—than of a plain one, that has nothing to say but goodness. Well, he gave in to her—it seemed so in every thing for ever so long, but I sometimes thought that smooth water runs deep. One evening he told her he was going to have a few of his friends come there, and he hoped she would do her best to make them comfortable; she rose at this, and said she wasn’t going to be no man’s slave, and that if he had company, he must attend to them himself; and that she would dress as she pleased, and have one of her own friends with her, and sit at the head of her tea-table—like the queen; well, he said he hoped she would wear the dress, and have her friend by all means, and he would give her as little trouble as possible; instead of this putting her into good humor, it made her quite fractious, for she liked to be contradicted, that she might have something to complain of: they went on jangling all day—I heard her say:—

“‘The world never will be right until we change places.’

“‘My love,’ he answered, ‘I thought you wanted us all to be in the same place.’

“‘Not I indeed,’ she said, ‘you are much more suited to be a slave than I am; content that every thing should be as it is, so that you may not have the trouble of moving it—augh!’

“‘Very true, my dear.’

“‘I only wish they would make ME an Inspector of Police—I would soon get things in order—I only wish I was a man!’

“‘I wish you were, my dear!’

“‘You know you don’t wish any such thing—Oh yes! you would like finely to be trampled upon, as all poor women are—but _I_ don’t wait on your friends, you may depend on _that_: you may snub me as you always do, and set the baby crying, that my maternal feelings may be worked on to attend to it; you may spill the tea-kittle into the fire, that I may be forced—yes, Mr. Peter Creed—_forced_ to light it again, you having first sent the other white slave out for cigars and muffins—but from this hour I’ll pluck up a spirit!’

“‘Which spirit, my love?’

“And so they went on; I wondered how he could bear it; for she told him over and over again, he was only fit for woman’s work; but my dear mistress says, its always the way—the gentle quiet men get the vixens; and surely young maids are so gentle, that one wonders where the old vixens come from! However, in the course of the evening, as she was flourishing down in her ‘bloomers,’ she told me that she had made up her mind not to do a hand’s turn, let Peter manage as he might; but sit as grand as Cromwell, at the head of her tea-table—pour out her tea, and talk of the wrongs of woman! She was as proud of her beautiful chaney as of her baby. Well, about an hour after, before any one came, I met a strange woman on the stairs, a very tall, thin woman, and then there was a knock at the door; Mrs. Creed kept firm, the poor servant was out; but to my surprise, the tall woman sprang up from somewhere, and introduced the gentlemen to the bloomer ladies in the parlor—oh what a _skrietch_ the landlady gave. ‘Why,’ she said, ‘that is Peter, that is my husband—in my best apple silk.’

“‘Changed places—that is all,’ said the Inspector of the P Division, coolly; ‘we agreed, my good friends, (the first time we have agreed since the new movement,) that I was intended by nature to be one of the _fair_ sex, and my wife—(according to the old fashion,) to be one of the _foul_; so I have taken her place, and when the hour comes, she will accompany you to Great Scotland Yard, and take my duty, while I attend to the house and baby.’ After this speech, he plumped down at the head of the tea-table, the seat she delighted in, and began placing the things—or rather misplacing them—and pouring out the tea. Oh, if you could but have seen her! At first she and her friend, Miss Cressy, stormed; and when they did, the men laughed so loudly, as to drown the storming; then she flew at her husband like a mad cat, and tore his cap, and a cup and saucer were broken; upon which she sat down and went into determined hysterics—the men declaring it was the first time their Inspector had ever occasion to use vinegar and burnt feathers; then a basin of water was thrown over her to bring her to, and in the midst of it the baby cried; just as a fierce cat will run to its kitten—the screaming took another turn, and she called out ‘My child, my child!’ but the men would not let her move—and the Inspector rushed out and returned bringing in the baby, _hush-owing_ it in his arms, and talking all kinds of nursery nonsense to it, and dancing it as a woman would, but far more roughly: then he placed it on his knee, and stuffed cake into its mouth; and then a knock came to the door, with a message that the Inspector of the P Division was wanted immediately, as there was a fire in Holborn; and Peter insisted that the new superintendent of the P Division should act up to her words and go; he had done all according to her wishes, and to please her, had resolved to dress as a woman, and perform all a woman’s duties; and she must therefore take his place, and act his part; that she had declared publicly and privately that she was the better man of the two, and he therefore insisted she should now prove it, and that his friends would see that she did so. I could hardly tell whether to laugh or cry, I was so frightened for fear the poor innocent baby should get hurt; and because it continued screaming, the father went to the cupboard and emptied a whole bottle full of that wicked Daffy’s Elixir, which the women here of that class, half in ignorance, half in laziness, give their infants to keep them quiet; and seemed as though he was going to pour it at once down the dear baby’s throat. Och hone! it was _then_ I pitied the poor mother.

“‘Oh, Peter, Peter!’ she called out, ”even a spoonful is too much. Don’t—don’t. Oh, just give my baby to myself again, and I’ll never be a Bloomer;“ and then the dreadful instigator of the mischief shook her head at her, and cried, ‘For shame, for shame,’ and harangued about consistency, and called upon her ‘to be worthy of herself, and go to the fire and command the force, not like a man, but—a woman!’ And all the time the poor mother was struggling to get at her baby; and, for fear of mischief, I turned over the cup—though to be sure it did for the apple-green silk. Poor woman! she could see nothing but her child, and hear nothing but its cries. ‘Give me my baby, and go to your duty, and I’ll never go near a Rights of Woman woman as long as I live,’ she repeated.

“‘Oh you unworthy member!’ cried her _friend_. ‘If you had a drop of the old Roman blood in your veins you would sacrifice home, husband, child, to the public good.’

“Now, aunt, think of that being said before me—and I being a Roman born, bred, and reared—as you and Father Doyle know well—as if female Romans did not care for their children! I gave it to her then. I never let my tongue go as I did then, since I’ve been in the country. She said she should not forget me, and I told her the remembrance would be mutual. Roman blood, indeed! I saw her out of the house, and going down the street, with a gang of boys after her, calling out, ‘There’s an old Bloomer—there’s an old Bloomer!’

“While I was busy with her the poor landlady got her baby, and humbled herself—as was right—and in another hour the house was quiet enough, and the Inspector gone to his duty. The next morning my dear good mistress sent for the landlady.

“‘I suppose,’ she said to me, going up stairs, ‘I shall lose my lodgers as well as my character.’

“Now my mistress says, that of all laws the law of kindness is the strongest; and, though the landlady entered the drawing-room with every nerve in her body set for a battle, the tears came into her eyes by the time my mistress bade her good morning and told her to sit down—of course, I came away. When Peter came home that evening, I heard his wife go—rather slowly, but she did go—to the door; and I heard _him_ say, ‘Thank you, my love—this is very good of you.’ And when I told my dear lady this, she smiled the old smile, and went on talking so sweetly to me, that I judged it was just the way she talked to her.

“‘Ah!’ she said, ‘it is very wrong to go on laughing at follies that are likely to lead to evil. Not but what ridicule will sometimes gain a quicker victory than reason; but it leaves an ugly scar, which marks to the death.’ (I always put down her exact words.) ‘Whether the young or the ignorant listen patiently or not, to reproof or advice, it is no less the duty of the old to give it; but to be done usefully, Ellen, it must be done kindly. I should have talked to this young creature before, and not have suffered her to go on in her folly without remonstrance. It is a vain creature, as I might have known by the cards—that was one turn of the vanity, this is another. All love of notoriety is vanity; it’s wonderful the forms it takes. One man wants to write a book before he can spell; another talks of joining the legislature because he has been listened to at a vestry; another’s desire leads to heading charity lists—very useful, if he pays the money. One woman piques herself on small hands, and lays them on the top of a muff intended to keep them warm; another gets up an ancestry; another, (the vulgarest,) talks of her rich friends and her accounts at her banker’s, or stuffs your ears with titles, committed to memory from the peerage. But these, Ellen, if you understand them, are innocent vanities, doing no harm. The ill-spelt book will never be published; if the would-be orator gets into parliament, he continues a ‘single-speech Jack’ to the end of his days; the small hands become chilblained; the rich friends get into the list of uncertified bankrupts, the titles are soon drilled off; but the vanity which takes a woman from the sacred duties of home to display her weakness abroad—and unsexes her—strikes at the root of our domestic happiness, and should be treated accordingly. I should have talked to her before, Ellen—I should indeed!—kindly, you know, and nothing daunted even if repulsed. And I am not sure but that kindness can turn even vanity to good account. There are plenty of mischievous people always ready to start new wrongs and new sorrows as causes for discontent; and, between you and me, Ellen, if more extensive employment could be given to women, they would not get into such imaginary troubles; they would have more to do. In gentle, profitable employment the legislature—law-makers, Ellen—have neglected our interests now and then; but short tunics and long trowsers wont alter laws, you know. That young woman confesses she never knew she had any thing to complain of until it was put into her head. And—it makes me smile—but she says, the folly of the thing never struck her until she saw that six-foot-two Peter of hers, with his black whiskers and broad shoulders, _in her dress_, spoon-feeding the baby! She bitterly resents his exposing her to the ridicule of his companions; but I reminded her she had exposed herself by her attempts at establishing so unblushing a notoriety. Certainly the landlady is a changed woman, poor thing! poor thing!’

“It will be some time, dear aunt, before I will be able to write to you again, for we are going to a fine watering-place—over the seas—to seek that health for my mistress that is so plenty on our hill-side. Oh, dear! if every thing in ould Ireland was as plenty as health, what a people we should be!

“Ever, with a heart and a half, your own

“Nelly Nowlan.”

* * * * *

=YESTERDAY—TO-DAY—TO-MORROW!=

=BY CHARLES D. GARDETTE, M. D.=

Last night an aged spirit, worn with care, Forsook its earthly tenement—to soar To that unknown, mysterious Refuge, where The troubled rest—the weary toil no more!

Gently and painfully the “Essence” crept From the o’ertasked clay, and all was still! Dimmed eyes saw through their tears—the sufferer slept, And stricken hearts throbbed with a grateful thrill.

As prayers went up, hope-laden, to the throne Of the Omnipotent! All vain! All vain! Death hath already one more life-blade mown! Rise, lone ones, see! kneel! kneel and pray again!

* * * * *

The sun, this morn, looked with unclouded face O’er the new wakened earth, and Nature smiled Upon her children with a freshened grace, From last night’s harrowing vigil undefiled!

A festal scene! bright eyes beam doubly bright, And loving hearts thrill yet more lovingly, A youthful pair in blissful bond unite, And Heaven approves their pledge of unity!

Thy brightest smile, oh Morn! thou need’st must wear! Thy fairest flowers, oh Nature! thou must strew! To light these young hearts on their path of care, And with fresh fragrance wavering hopes renew!

* * * * *

Drearily, heavily, through the thick air Struggles the sunbeam to pierce with his glare! Droopingly, listlessly, hang the wet leaves; Slowly the mist trickles down o’er the eaves Seeming, in monotone mournful, to say— “Dust to dust!” “Time flitteth!” “What is to-day!” Silently, solemnly, on the damp sod, Kneel a few stricken ones, humbly, to God! Tearfully, trustfully, goes up the prayer: “Him they loved—him they lost”—may they meet there!

* * * * *

=AMONG THE MOORS.=

=FROM HOUSEHOLD WORDS.=

Arrived at Cadiz in 1847, after a ramble through Spain, we felt an irresistible desire to take a peep at Morocco. We strongly desired to see what Mauritania’s children were like; whether they had black or copper-colored faces; whether they wore turbans or caps, sandals or hose, mantles or jerkins; whether they resembled our play-going recollections of Othello. Exactly at ten o’clock, one night late in October, this desire pressed so strongly upon us, that we decided that existence could not be tolerated an hour longer without an instant departure for Morocco. The beautiful blue Mediterranean was scarcely rippled by a wave; the moon shed a glorious light over its glassy surface, while its bed seemed formed of the myriads of stars which the deep, still waters reflected. A lazy felucca lay motionless on the shore; and, in her, a lazy boatman was stretched at full length. We questioned him as to the practicability of our instant embarkation for Morocco. He turned up his head, eyed us inquisitively, as if to satisfy himself how mad we were, told us to “Go with God,” coiled himself up, and disposed his limbs in that posture of utter, uncompromising idleness, of which only the limbs of Spanish boatmen and Italian lazzaroni are capable. The master of a sailing-vessel had, however, more confidence in our sanity and in his own bark, and we struck a bargain with him.

The terms of this treaty were strictly fulfilled; for, aided by a light, fresh breeze, which sprung up soon after we had embarked, we dashed into the pretty bay of Tangiers early on the following morning. Our colors were soon hoisted; and, in obedience to conventional laws, a messenger was dispatched to ask permission for us to land. Meanwhile, we lay there at anchor under a heavy fire of telescopes. Although sailing under the Spanish flag our English faces were soon recognized, and the British consul politely came out in a small boat to receive and to conduct us on shore. Landing in these parts is a sort of national amusement, in which lookers-on take especial delight. It is a practical joke, performed by a party of Moors, who play with every gentleman who desires to land, a game of pickaback through the shallow water of the shore. Ladies are carried, more solemnly, in chairs upon a pair of swarthy Moslem shoulders. The Moors are a handsome race of men; not nearly so black as the Othello of the stage, not generally tall, but the turban and haick add greatly to their apparent height. They also make the most of themselves by an upright and dignified carriage. Their black eyes are full of fire and intelligence. Their bronze complexions and long, swarthy beards, contrast strongly with their snow-white costume.

The circumstance of arriving on a Sunday was favorable to our first impression of a Moorish town. English, French, Spanish, and American flags were gayly floating from various buildings, with the colors of all nations who are civilized enough to afford a Tangerene consulate. The natives did their part to make the appearance of things cheerful; for it happened to be market-day, and the market-place presented a busy and sparkling picture. Moors gravely discussing matters of commerce, and totally indifferent to the appearance of foreigners: Arabs displaying their rich merchandise to the best advantage: Jews scrutinizing some curious relic on which they were asked to lend money (the rate of interest paid for cash so advanced is three-pence per month on the dollar): women sheeted up in their haicks, with only one eye visible, hurrying through the crowd, neither looking to the right nor to the left, fearful of encountering with their one eye the rude glance of man: laden camels instinctively bending to be disburdened of their load of fruit, grain, or other load: bands of wild-looking negroes, with scarcely any covering, hooting in tones most dissonant to civilized ears. To all these discords was added a constant din of Moorish music, which appeared to give ecstatic delight to the negroes, whose wild gestures were marvelous to behold.

Our attention was, by this time, attracted to the houses which, from their peculiar construction, offer a complete contrast to any thing European; the rooms are built so as to form a square court, which is open to the sky; the exquisite climate precluding the necessity of using their painted oil-skin canopy, except as a protection against the heavy rains by which they are occasionally visited. This court is covered with a carpet or matting, according to the season; and in the centre there is a fountain, which—continually playing—produces a delicious freshness; the windows, instead of looking on to the streets, open generally into—and receive light and air from—this court. By this arrangement, the sun is entirely excluded, and the houses are frequently found cooler and more comfortable, notwithstanding the heat of the climate, than European dwellings. The roofs are quite flat, and form terraces, on which people walk in the evening, or whenever the sun is sufficiently temperate. Looking down, from this promenade, the town has a singular appearance; the minarets of the mosques alone standing out in relief from the flat, low, white roofs, give it the appearance of a large church-yard; and this impression is strengthened by the repeated call to prayer from the mosques. It begins at day-break, and is continued at intervals all day; the Moslem priest addressing himself alternately to the four winds.

A considerable part of the population of most Moorish towns is Jewish, and they form—it need scarcely be said—separate and distinct class, being wholly different in habits, manners, and dress from the Mahometans. The male costume is prescribed by law: it consists of a tunic or gaberdine of dark blue-cloth, fitting close to the throat, and descending to the ankles, slashed at the sides, and trimmed with braid; a row of small buttons are ranged down the front, and the slashed sleeves are ornamented to correspond; there is an under-vest of while cotton buttoned to the throat, which one sees by the upper part of the blue dress being left open; the white sleeves are also seen under the open sleeves of cloth; the waist is encircled by a handsome Moorish scarf, of satin, with stripes of all the brightest colors worked in with gold thread; yellow slippers, and a little black cloth cap, resembling that worn by the modern Greeks, complete the Jewish dress worn throughout Morocco. It is a classic costume: the sombre tint of the tunic contrasting, not unpleasingly, with the white Moorish dresses on which the eye is constantly dwelling.

It is said, that many of the frail daughters of Israel offending against their own strict laws, become followers of the Prophet to avoid celibacy, which is the penalty of indiscretion inflicted on Jewish maidens; but, one never hears this charge of heresy brought against the men, who—having no indulgence to crave from Mahometanism, are proverbial for a scrupulous observance of their religious feasts and fasts.

We had not remained long in the city before I was afforded the rare privilege of being present at a Jewish wedding. The solemnization of the marriage rite is preceded by seven days’ feasting and rejoicing at the house of the betrothed. Open house is indeed kept, where the friends and relations of the affianced couple meet every day to eat, drink, and be merry. The guests usually assemble before noon. On my arrival at twelve o’clock, the rooms were already filled with visitors. I was conducted first to a chamber where the bride, prettily attired and veiled, was seated on a bed to be looked at: Moorish modesty forbidding that she should take any other part in the merry-making than that of silently looking on. Passing through the adjoining rooms—where cakes, wine and fruit of every description were spread in abundance—I was ushered into the presence of the family group and their large circle of friends, all of the gentler sex: male visitors being rigidly prohibited. I have rarely seen any thing more classically beautiful than the faces of those Jewish women. One more beautiful and pensive-looking than the rest appeared to take a prominent part in the affair. She was magnificently dressed in amber-colored and crimson silk damask embroidered with gold, white silk with satin stripes; spangles; a jacket of pale blue velvet embroidered with gold and trimmed with gold buttons; sleeves of white gauze, curiously pinned together behind the back, leaving the arms exposed, the rounded form of which was set off by costly bracelets, in keeping with a profusion of jewelry in the shape of brooches, ear-rings, and necklace. A handkerchief was tied over the head, and red slippers, embroidered in silver, completed the dress.

Dancing appeared to form the chief entertainment, and was kept up with great spirit to the discordant sounds of sundry tomtoms and a fiddle. The want of harmony was, however, amply compensated by the singularity of their national dances. They are intended to represent the human passions. They were generally performed singly, though sometimes two persons stood up together, each holding a gay-colored handkerchief coquettishly over the head. They seldom moved from one spot, and their movements were nearly all with the body, not with the legs. Their figures were entirely unconfined by stays. The Terpsichorean part of the rejoicing terminated about six o’clock, and a sumptuous banquet followed, of which about thirty of the guests partook. The table was decorated with massive candelabra, and a costly service of plate, which is generally an heir-loom in the families of these rich Jewish merchants.

As a looker-on, I was not asked to join in the feast; but I am not unacquainted with the mysteries of the Jewish _cuisine_ and can pronounce them capable of satisfying even Epicurean tastes. We had already seen some portions of the viands which now smoked upon the board; for, according to the ancient Jewish custom, the animal part of their food undergoes a process of sprinkling with salt and water, and during this operation it is placed in the open court, and is, therefore, seen by all who may enter the house: indeed, the first thing which attracted our attention on arriving was the goodly array of some two or three dozen head of poultry, arranged in rows upon a wooden machine, resembling a common garden flower-stand, where they were put to drain out every drop of blood. The betrothed had, like myself, nothing to eat; being condemned to remain daily on her show-bed, until the departure of the guests.

I felt curious to know at what time a Moorish bride eats and drinks during the eight days of purgatory to which she is subject; for at whatever hour you enter you find her always in the same position. On the eve of the eighth day she is exhibited until an unusually late hour, in consequence of the customary display of the marriage gifts; all of which are spread out upon the bed where she is sitting, to be curiously examined by the visitors. Amongst the gaudy display of silk and gauze dresses, scarfs, etc.—for the Jews are remarkable for their love of gay colors—may be seen the long glossy tresses, of which the intended bride is—according to the Jewish custom—always despoiled before marriage; being, as wives, strictly forbidden to wear their own hair. They feel no regret at losing what is said to be a “woman’s glory,” as it is certainly one of her greatest ornaments.

On the morning of the eighth day, the friends and relations—who are to be present at the ceremony—arrive as early as seven o’clock, to assist the bride in the last duties of her toilet, which are somewhat onerous; for a Moorish woman indulges freely in the use of rouge, white lead, and powder. Her eyebrows and eyelashes are darkened, the tips of her fingers are painted pink, and her nails are dyed with henna. These operations over, scarf, head-dress and veil are put on by the woman of the highest rank present. The bridal head-dress is formed of paste-board worked over with silk, and profusely ornamented with jewels: it is very high, and resembles in shape the papal crown. The toilet fairly achieved, the damsel is conducted to the principal apartment, and placed in an arm-chair, raised on a kind of dais about three feet from the floor; a bride’s-woman standing on each side, holding in her right hand a long wax-candle, such as those seen on the altars in Catholic churches. There are no bridesmaids; their office being always performed by married women: virgin eyes not being allowed to gaze on a marriage feast. The important moment was now at hand: the moment which was to decide the happiness or misery of the fair timid child, whose youth and beauty it seemed a sin to sacrifice. She was only thirteen years of age.

In proportion as the preceding seven days had been joyous, the eighth appeared solemn. The scene seemed to awaken sad memories in the minds of those present. In the expression of one woman I fancied I could read a mother’s grief for her dishonored child: in another, imagination conjured up a wife weeping over her childless state; and—in the latter—I was not mistaken, for I was afterward informed that the beautiful, pensive-looking woman—whose dress we admired—had just been divorced from her husband, having been wedded two years without presenting him with a representative of his name. This alone was ground for divorce.

All eyes were now turned toward the door: the betrothed peered through her veil, as anxious to behold the ceremony as we were; and, as eight o’clock struck, the Rabbi entered, followed by the bridegroom. Taking his place in front of the bride’s chair, the bridegroom standing on his right, and the guests in a circle round him; the Rabbi read aloud from the Hebraic ritual the moral and social duties to be observed by the man and wife. The greater part of the service is chanted—all present lending their voices. A massive gold ring, of a strange form, was given, to be worn on the forefinger of the right hand. The service ended, the bride was carried in her chair of state to the chamber where she had been exhibited during the preceding week; and—halting on the threshold—a piece of sugar was given to her by the Rabbi, who, taking a full glass of water, at the same time broke the glass over her head. The sugar is typical of the sweets of Hymen: the water of its purity: and the broken glass of the irrevocable character of the ceremony. The bride was then placed again upon the bed, and her mother took her place beside her, as if to guard the precious treasure until called upon to resign her to her husband.

The ceremony of the sugar and broken glass only appertains to Jewish weddings. The cutting off the betrothed’s hair is also peculiar to them: but many of the Moorish and ancient Jewish rites have become identical. The eight days’ feasting and the exclusion of male visitors are alike common to both. A pair of female slippers placed on the threshold of the door is a sign that no male visitor above the age of twelve may cross it. The costume of the Moorish and Jewish bride is also the same, except that women of the Shreefian family—or those descended from the Prophet—wear green. In rich families, the wedding is always followed by horse-races and fireworks. The women look on closely veiled, or—more correctly—sheeted. The bride is carried through the streets in procession, to the sound of music, in a sort of Punch-theatre, placed on the back of a horse. If the procession pass a mosque, all the persons composing it are obliged to take off their shoes and walk barefooted. Lastly—the Moorish bride on arriving at her husband’s house is lifted over the threshold of the door, lest she should stumble while entering, which would be a fearful omen.

* * * * *

=THE OLD MAN’S EVENING THOUGHTS.=

The former days return again— I hear the cricket sing From its pastoral nook in the shaven mead, And the lizard at the spring.

From the silent realm, wild images Come thronging round once more, The bounding limb, the gentle eye, And the crooked form of yore.

At the still twilight’s dewy hour, Their varied tones I hear, As when I ranged these pastures o’er In childhood’s sunny year.

On the evening air a lay is borne, Soft wandering up the vale, Where smoky wreaths o’er cottage brood, Quiet as yon bright sail.

The hamlet has its voices yet— I hear them where I stand, And I love to fancy them still the lays Of the olden minstrel band.

The time is like those fairy hours When life had no regret— I seem to feel its vernal breeze Fanning these temples yet.

Nature is ever beautiful, Her form the youth of old; These limbs are tending to their earth— Mind triumphs o’er the mould. F. G.

* * * * *

=MY FIRST INKLING OF A ROYAL TIGER.=

=BY AN OLD INDIAN OFFICER.=

A change came o’er the spirit of my dream— The boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds Of fiery climes, he made himself a home, And his soul drank their sunbeams: he was girt With strange and dusky aspects: by his sleeping side Stood camels grazing; and some goodly steeds Were fastened near a fountain—— Byron.

Many years have elapsed since the occurrence took place which I am now about to relate; but the period is yet fresh in my mind, when, shortly after arriving at Madras, I was dispatched on a march of several hundred miles to join my regiment, then stationed in the Deccan.

No sooner had our detachment crossed the rocky bed of the Kishnah, and ascended the table-land beyond, than we found ourselves in quite a different climate from the Carnatic. We now inhaled a dry and bracing atmosphere; the mornings and evenings were deliciously cool, and a blanket proved, under canvas, a not superfluous covering at night—for it happened to be at that delightful period of the year when Nature, in these sunny regions of the East, is still arrayed in all her gayest holyday garb—the verdant garlands with which she is then decked out not being yet faded by the withering influence of that simoom-like blast, which, periodically sweeping across the desert, soon licks up with fiery breath every sign of verdure and vegetation, leaving—except where patches of hardy jungle intervene—naught over which the eye can rest save a brown, arid, and burnt-up soil, here and there dotted with still more bare, brown, and desolate-looking masses of stone and rock.

I must not, however, anticipate. On crossing the Kishnah, we entered a region quite different in feature and aspect from that which we had hitherto traversed since leaving the Coromandel coast. High, undulating tracts of land—in some parts covered with low thorny thickets, in others (at this season of the year) with high waving grass, amidst which might occasionally be caught a glimpse of the graceful antelope, or from whence the florikan and bustard were sometimes flushed; whilst peering from an ocean of jungle verdure—like the back of a huge whale—some dark denuded mass of rock, all bristling with native battlements and forts, would occasionally protrude from the surrounding jungle or “meidan,”[12] and pleasingly diversify the scene.

The nature of the vegetation, and agricultural products of the country, appeared likewise to be completely changed, the moment we entered the “Deccan,” from what we had been accustomed to witness in the low and level plains of the Carnatic, which we had so recently left behind. The cultivation of rice, with its concomitant swamps, had in a great measure disappeared, and was replaced in the low grounds by waving fields of Indian corn, and occasionally—though as yet but rarely—by the tall and graceful sugar-cane; whilst Bengal gram,[13] and other stunted pulse, marked the sites of the higher, and consequently drier and more arid portions of the cultivated soil.

The feathery cocoa-nut and fan-like palmyra of the lower country had now given way to the no less serviceable—and hardly less beautiful—date-tree, which, although in this part of the world yielding a scarcely palatable fruit, is nevertheless applied to an infinity of useful purposes, and yields, moreover, a very considerable revenue to the state. For each individual of these

“Groups of lovely ‘date-trees,’ Bending their leaf-crowned heads On youthful maids, like sleep descending, To warn them to their silken beds,”

was taxed to the annual amount of one rupee, which sum was strictly exacted from the poor oppressed Ryot, by the zemindar intrusted with the collection of the revenue of each particular district of the Nizam’s dominions.

To the casual inquirer it might appear that such an impost would amount to almost a prohibition on the culture of this tree; they nevertheless abound in all parts of the country adapted to their growth; and this can only be accounted for, from the numerous and manifold purposes to which every portion of it is usefully and profitably applied. The fruit, although in this part of the world coarse and rough to the taste, is nevertheless made use of for different purposes by the natives; the stems and leaves are severally converted into baskets and mats, and are likewise employed to roof their lowly huts; but the chief produce of the Indian date-tree is the “tara,” or, as called in English, “toddy,” it so plentifully yields, and which is extracted by making deep incisions in the trunk, for here—

“The ‘date,’ that graceful dryad of the woods, Within whose bosom infant Bacchus broods,”

when thus tapped, readily gives forth a sweet, pleasant, and abundant beverage, which, if partaken of at the cool hour of early morn, is both refreshing and salubrious, but soon becomes a deleterious and intoxicating liquor when fermented, by being exposed to the powerful rays of a tropical sun. The tara, or toddy, in this condition is a liquor much sought after, and often conducive to great irregularity and crime amidst English soldiery in the East; and the vicinity of a “toddy tope,” or date-grove, should for this reason be sedulously avoided in the pitching of a camp.

On entering the Nizam’s dominions, after the passage of the Kishnah, the sportsmen of our party found ample scope for the employment of their fowling-pieces; for although snipe and water-fowl were here much more scarce than in the low ground of the Carnatic, this deficiency was amply made up, in the far greater abundance of larger and nobler game.

The rangers of the “meidan,” or open grassy “prairies,” through which the line of march would now often lie for miles, therein found abundance of hares, of partridges, and every variety of quail—occasionally got a shot at a florikan, or a bustard; sometimes even stalked an antelope; and enjoyed occasionally an opportunity of breathing their nags in a gallop after the dog-hyæna, the wily little Indian fox, or a skulking jackal. Such as adventured into the jungle in quest of painted partridge or pea-fowl, sometimes recounted on their return to camp, that they had witnessed indubitable traces of animals of a more formidable kind, and described the appearance of what they concluded must be the foot-marks of the royal tiger, which they had seen imprinted in the sandy bed of the dry “nullahs,” or water-courses they had traversed during their sporting excursions from the camp.

Although these conjectures of being occasionally on the trail of a “Bagh,” (as the royal tiger is called in India) were repeatedly confirmed by the protestations of such of the camp-followers and other natives who might have been employed as “beaters,” still such complete “Griffins”[14] were we all, that we could not bring ourselves to the belief of being actually in the vicinity—perhaps often within the spring—of so dangerous a customer, as, even in our profound ignorance, we were all perfectly aware that a royal tiger must undoubtedly have proved.

Rife with the impression that all “natives” are necessarily liars by nature, without any “old hand” in Indian sports, to instruct and inform us of the real state of things; and in spite of the repeated warnings we received from our servants and camp-followers, we began, after a few marches north of the Kishnah, to be extremely sceptical as to the very existence of any tigers, near so much-frequented a thoroughfare as that between Hyderabad and Madras; and it was only after a laughable adventure, which might have been attended with fatal results, that we at last found out our mistake.

Our camp was, on the occasion here alluded to, pitched near a large village, or more strictly speaking, a small Mahommedan town, situated between two lofty hills, composed of those bare and gigantic masses of granite, so characteristic of the strange geological features of this part of the country. I am however wrong in describing both these elevations as bare and denuded masses of blackened rock. The most northerly of the two possessed, in a most remarkable degree, those stern features of aridity, but the crest of its opposite neighbor, crowned with ruins—apparently the remains of some old stronghold or castle—rose from amidst huge chaotic masses of granite, whose interstices nourished the growth of innumerable parasitical lianes and creeping plants, mostly of a thorny or prickly nature; amongst which the wild cactus might be distinguished, even from the valley beneath, as luxuriantly flourishing and widely spreading its fantastic, fleshy, and thorn-covered growth.

The tents, pitched in the valley formed by those “ruins of some former world,” had the full benefit of the refracted heat emanating from both; and to this moment I can well remember the grilling we underwent on that day, and the delight with which we hailed the prospect of the declining sun, in order to be able to sally forth, and take our usual evening stroll.

Accompanied by the assistant-surgeon doing duty with the detachment—a remarkably short and corpulent personage from the “land o’ cakes,” who stuttered intolerably, besides speaking the broadest Scotch—accompanied by this nondescript character, who, with all his national peculiarities, was, however, a most excellent fellow, and whom, for want of a better “_nom de guerre_,” I shall here designate as Doctor Macgillivan; and attended by a single “ghorawallah,” or “saïs” (_Anglice_, horsekeeper or groom) did I, at the period in question, sally forth from the stifling atmosphere of my tent, in order to breathe the cooling and refreshing evening breeze. Thus accompanied, the doctor and myself bent our footsteps toward the native town, in the vicinity of which our camp had been pitched. We were soon within the precincts of its narrow streets, and wandering through a densely-crowded bazaar.

To a “tazawallah” (a native term corresponding to that of a “Johnny Newcome”)—to a young hand lately imported from Europe—in short, to the animal commonly yclept a “Griffin,” in the East, the usual resort of a large concourse of natives generally presents an untiring source of interest and amusement. The different strange sights, sounds and “smells,” which meet the eye, the ear, and the olfactories of the uninitiated, would in themselves require a long chapter to describe.

This was the first place of any size or note we had yet visited since entering the domains of His Highness the Nizam; and a single glance, as we sauntered along the bazaars, sufficed to show that we were amongst a people quite different from the long-subdued, slavish, and submissive Hindoo inhabitants of the Carnatic.

Here the general outward characteristics of the natives appeared to be a loftier bearing, and a lighter hue of complexion to what we had hitherto seen within the territories of the Company, to the northward of Madras. The predominant race—at least in the town itself—were (as Chiniah, my horsekeeper, informed us) followers of the Prophet—haughty-looking Mussulmans (Moormen, as they are often denominated by our countrymen in the south of India) who, with erect gait and swaggering step, moved proudly past us, their dark eyes flashing fire, their bearded lips curled with contempt for the uncircumcised infidel Nussaranee:[15] the hated “Ferringhees,” whom they longed, but dared not openly to insult. Chiniah, who appeared to entertain a salutary dread of such formidable-looking customers, begged us in no way to interfere with their movements—

“Becase why,” said he, _sotto voce_, as if fearful of being overheard, “Becase why—all Moormen great rascal, but these Deccanneewallahs bigger rascals than all. Give plenty ‘galee’ (abuse) to master; suppose master angry get, and strike ’em, then they quick take out tulwar or creese (sword and dagger) and kill ’em quick!”

“Hout mon! ye dinna mean to say so!” stuttered out the doctor, “come away then, we’ll hae nothing to say to such chiels, for I dinna at all fancy the treatment o’ sic’ like kind of wounds.”

“Come along then, doctor—this way!” said I, perfectly agreeing with him in his conclusions; “but, Chiniah, what are yonder two groups of men in the choultrie, with plenty match-locks, swords, daggers, pistols, and shields?” asked I, pointing to two armed and distinct parties, who appeared to have lately arrived from a long and wearisome march; for they looked way-worn, covered with dust and sweat, and were now apparently preparing to rest, after the toil and heat of the day, but in different compartments of the same “choultrie” or caravanserai: one of those edifices appropriated in the East for the public use of all travelers.

“Ahi! Saïb, come this way!” earnestly said Chiniah, “neber go near them fellow. Deccannee Moormen—they big rascal: them fellow Seikhs and Arabs, bigger rascal still: them cut every man’s, every woman’s throat: them cut master’s throat if fancy take ’em!”

“Hout mon! come away,” interposed the doctor.

“But, Chiniah,” inquired I, “how do you know so much about these people, whom I suppose you have never seen before?”

“I plenty know: I stop five year at Secunderabad in service of Captain M——; him one great shikarree gentleman; him plenty hunt, plenty shoot, plenty trabel, plenty speak Hindostanee. I plenty march with him—I plenty better than English speak Hindostanee—when master learn Hindostanee I can then plenty tings tell.”

Chiniah, who remained afterward for years in my service, told the truth; he had really been long as saïs, or groom, in the service of one of the keenest and best sportsmen of the Deccan; and, as I subsequently became initiated into the “woodland craft” of this part of the world, I found him invaluable from his local knowledge, his capability of enduring fatigue, and often from the presence of mind which, on an emergency, he has more than once displayed. He was, as he averred, far more of an adept in Hindostanee than in the English tongue; however, after his own fashion, he managed to enlighten us on the subject of the formidable-looking groups of warriors who were now assembled in the “Seraï.”

It appeared that they were Seikh and Arab mercenary troops, in the service of the Nizam, and, as I afterward learned, a most refractory and dangerous set of men, who, from their ferocity and numbers, had become the terror of the inhabitants of Hyderabad, and whose long arrears of pay were usually partly liquidated by obtaining grants from the collection of the revenues of certain districts, where they often exercised the most fearful acts of tyranny and oppression upon the poor, mild, defenseless, and unoffending Telougoo cultivators of the soil; for although the population of the towns in the Deccan be mostly composed of Mahomedans, the fields are still cultivated by the aboriginal Hindoo race of this portion of the formerly extensive and ancient empire of Telingana.

As my worthy friend Dr. Macgillivan expressed an equally great aversion to the treatment of gun-shot or match-lock wounds, as he had previously manifested for such as were inflicted by the sharp edge of a Damascus blade, we willingly turned from this dangerous locality, to perambulate the more peaceful regions of the much-frequented bazaar.

In passing through Southern India, the traveler, although he generally carries with him his own supplies, is never in want of the actual necessaries of life; he can generally procure rice and ghee, fowls and eggs, or an occasional sheep; but to every thing in the shape of luxuries—unless we include what he has providently furnished himself with—he must make up his mind to be a perfect stranger; and even fruit of the commonest description is seldom to be had.

Since our departure from Madras, it was only at the large stations of Nellore and Ongole that we had been able to procure this desirable accessory to our daily meals; and we now, therefore, gladly hastened toward a stall, on which were most invitingly displayed pieces of water-melon and sugar-cane, guavas, custard-apples, sweet lemons, plantains or bananas, and—what I have never before seen used as an article of food—the fruit of the cactus, or prickly-pear tree, which Chiniah assured us to be most palatable, and “very good body for!” provided no other beverage were used to wash it down, save the “pure element” in an unmixed and undiluted state.

Purchases of the tempting goods spread out before us, were soon made, with directions to have them sent immediately to camp; but in settling our account with the worthy retailer of the treasures of Vertumnus and Pomona, we were not a little surprised at the much higher value he set on the produce of the cactus, beyond that of his other horticultural stores.

On inquiring, through the medium of Chiniah, as to the reason of this difference of price, when from the very spot where we then stood, we could see the prickly-pear trees—the sources from whence this store of riches was derived—flourishing in all the wild luxuriance of nature, amidst the lofty rocks towering high above, we were informed that it was owing to the danger and difficulty of obtaining this species of fruit, which, although growing wild in the stony crevices of the hill, was far from easy to be procured; the natives having a great objection to repair thither, through dread—as observed the worthy fruit-seller—of the many tigers which infested the place, no less than of a certain “Jinn,” or spirit, which was, he averred, in the habit of haunting—particularly toward nightfall—the old ruin on the summit of the rock. As to the existence of the tigers, we turned as usual, an incredulous ear; but the “Jinn” excited our curiosity in no slight degree, and elicited the desire to follow this perturbed spirit through the dilapidated recesses of his romantic retreat.

“Ask the old gentleman,” said the doctor to Chiniah, “ask him if he believes in the ‘ghaist,’ and what it is like?”

“Albuttah! most certainly;” was the reply of the “phulwallah,” or fruit-seller, when thus questioned as to his belief, “there is no more doubt as to the existence of the ‘Jinn,’ than of that of the ‘Baghs’ which nightly prowl amongst yonder rocks; although I have never seen either myself, but people of unquestionable veracity have undoubtedly beheld both. As to the ‘Jinn,’ sometimes he appears in one shape, sometimes in another; sometimes as the ghost of the Hindoo Rajah, who in the days of the Padshahs of Telingana, suffered himself and his followers to be starved to death, rather than surrender his mountain fortress to the victorious followers of the Prophet, who had besieged it for many months. Some again have seen the spirit in the shape of a Parsee, or Fire-worshiper, as those ‘Sheitanees’ (followers of the Evil One) are said at one time constantly to have exposed their dead, to be devoured by eagles and vultures on the top of yonder tower, of which the remains are yet visible amidst the ruined walls still covering the summit of the hill.”

Such was the purport of the communication of the fruit-seller, translated by Chiniah after his own fashion, and the import of which so fully aroused our curiosity as to determine us to attempt an immediate ascent of the hill.

On being questioned concerning his personal knowledge of the localities in question, Chiniah said he well knew the way to the summit of the rock; and although ignorant of the abode of the “Jinn,” professed his firm belief in the existence of tigers, having on one occasion accompanied his former “sahib” on a tiger-shooting expedition to this very spot; although he admitted that they had not been then successful in the pursuit. Chiniah was, however, a bold and willing fellow; and probably forgetting at the moment that he was no longer under the shadow of the unerring rifle of his former lord, but acting as dry-nurse to a couple of regular “griffs,” he unhesitatingly offered to second our views by performing the part of guide. We accordingly forthwith started on our exploratory expedition, in spite of the warning voice of the old “phulwallah,” who unsparingly censured the rashness of the Ferringhees, whom he stigmatized as being all “dewanah,” or, as the doctor would have expressed it, “gone clean daft!”

Painful and toilsome to a degree was the ascent; but when breathless, almost exhausted with fatigue, with our limbs and garments lacerated by the numerous thorny brambles which had opposed our upward progress, we at last succeeded in reaching the summit of the rock, we felt ourselves amply repaid for all the toil and labor we had undergone.

Like a huge ball of fire, the eastern sun was just dipping its burning orb behind the dark ocean of jungle which bounded our view to the west; and whilst the rest of the landscape was already cast into that brief twilight which so shortly precedes the rapidly approaching darkness of a tropical evening, the white buildings of the town, and the whiter tents composing our camp, pitched in the adjacent hollow, were already looking dim and indistinct under the darkening shadow of the opposite hill: the ruined pinnacles of the lofty “Guebres’ tower” (for such we were determined to consider it) was still lit up by the rays of that brilliant luminary in whose honor it had perhaps been raised by the old fire-worshipers of yore—the time-honored followers of Zoroaster, who was supposed to be the mysterious founder of this creed.

Both time and scene most appropriately combined in our favor to nourish this poetic—though, may-be, far-fetched—idea: the crumbling Cyclopean remains of many other massive ruins, which—as subsequent experience taught me—bore in their solid structure unmistakable evidence of the ancient architecture of the Hindoos, and whose solid and gigantic materials could scarcely have been misplaced save by some convulsive effort of nature: the huge disjointed and blackened fragments of rock cast in every direction around, and forming the colossal stepping-stones of our toilsome accent; all favored the impression that—

“Each ravine, each rocky spire Of that vast mountain, stood on fire.”

* * * * *

The sun had set: the short twilight of the torrid zone was fast merging into darkness, still we continued to explore every nook and corner of the old ruined fort, until warned at last by Chiniah of the lateness of the hour, we reluctantly prepared to retrace our steps.

“Day-time, this bad place—night, ’tis plenty worse!” observed he. “Plenty dark come then: never can see road back to camp: then fall over these big stones. Suppose them tiger come—no rifle got—what we can do?”

“I suspect, Chiniah, your tiger is something like the ‘Jinn’ of the old fellow of the bazaar,” replied I—“a pure creature of fancy!”

Although Chiniah was not sufficiently learned in the Saxon tongue to understand, to its full extent, this figurative mode of speech, he evidently caught the purport of the general meaning of what I said, and replied rather testily that, although he knew nothing about the “Jinns,” he could—if we wished it—show us the tiger’s lair; which, although unsuccessfully watched by his former master, was undoubtedly the usual abode of the “Pharka Bagh,” or “Tiger of the Hill,” of whose existence there could not be the slightest doubt, from the many traces of him which they had then observed—such as hair, skulls, bones, and other remnants of the victims of his hunger, or his wrath.

“Come along, then,” said I: “and since we have not been able to discover any signs of the ‘Jinn,’ show us now where this tiger of yours has pitched his tent?”

Readily did Chiniah comply with this behest: his veracity had been apparently called in question; and he seemed, moreover, gladly to avail himself of the opportunity of descending from the summit of the hill, around which darkness was fast spreading its leaden mantle, when—as he justly observed—there might be considerable difficulty, as well as danger, in finding our way back to camp.

Availing himself, however, of the still glimmering twilight, he unhesitatingly struck into a sort of goat-track, in the opposite direction to that of our ascent, which—winding down the face of the rock—led us to the brink of a deep fissure or chasm, partly over-arched by huge masses of granite, and the “brown horrors” of whose depths our eyes could not fathom by that fast declining and uncertain light.

“There, sar! down there, big tiger, him live—look!” added he, in a whisper, as if afraid of being overheard by the grim tenant of the dark skeleton-strewed Golgotha, which yawned at our feet. “Look! them white things all bones—bullock-bones, buckra-bones, man and woman bones, children-bones, all sort bones, now plenty dark, can’t see—day-time plenty can see. I go down there with Captain M——, but then tiger never find: him gone out. Captain M——, one great Shikar gentleman; wherefore tiger him plenty afraid: him then leave house: him go away to jungle.”

Suddenly stopping short in his interesting discourse, Chiniah, raising his hand to enjoin silence, remained in a listening attitude; whilst, struck by his sudden action, we peered still more intently and in breathless silence into the depths of the abyss below.

A sort of rustling noise—as that proceeding from some large animal making its way through underwood or brambles—was evidently perceptible to us all: then through the nearly total darkness now pervading the cavernous opening below, suddenly glistened forth two round, bright, shining objects, glistening like living coals through the obscurity around—and, ere we had time to form any conjecture as to their origin or cause, an appalling roar issued forth from the yawning chasm at our feet; and so loud, so deep, and so terrific was this awful sound, that for a second it rooted us in silent horror to the spot, where we remained fixed as if suddenly stricken by an electric shock.

“_Sauve qui peut_,” appeared next instant to have become—not the “standing” but “running” order of the day. Chiniah, in his terror, bounded downward, like a mountain goat, from rock to rock; and, being in those days tolerably active myself, and moreover, well accustomed to range “o’er the mountain’s brow,” I followed pretty closely in his wake; for awhile losing sight and—I am ashamed to say—all recollection of my more corpulent and less agile comrade, who was apparently quite distanced in the race. Chiniah and myself had now well nigh, and without accident, succeeded in reaching the bottom of the hill, which—as may well be imagined—was effected in a considerably shorter time than that occupied in our ascent; and whilst here traversing a broad, level, and slippery slab of granite, on a very inclined plane, my feet suddenly slipping from under me, during my still rapid course, I came heavily down “by the stern,” as sailors would term it, on the hard surface of the rock.

Ere I could regain my feet, I heard immediately in my rear a sort of dull rushing sound. Making sure the tiger was now upon me, I gave myself up for lost, and mentally resigned myself to my fate—when, to my infinite relief and satisfaction, instead of being grappled by a deadly foe, the cause of alarm shot rapidly past and proved to be neither more nor less than the rotund corporation of my friend the Doctor; which—after continuing its rotatory course, with all the impetus and rapidity of a huge snow-ball or avalanche, along the steep, smooth, and slippery surface that had caused my fall—was projected over the precipitous ledge terminating the declivity, and then disappeared amidst the sound of crashing branches and opposing brambles, through a dense mass of underwood below. On regaining my feet and looking around, my first sentiment was one of gladness, to find that the enemy was nowhere to be seen; the next was a feeling of alarm at my companion’s still unknown fate.

I cautiously approached the ledge over which I had seen him disappear, and through an intervening mass of jungle and foliage I could indistinctly perceive a white object struggling some twelve or fifteen feet below, and from whence proceeded piteous sounds of suffering and lamentation. This was the Doctor; who—after having shot over the ledge of rock—had been securely lodged amidst the thorny, complex, and massive leaves of a dense bush of cactus, or prickly pear, which grew immediately below.

After a long _détour_, and some considerable delay, I succeeded in approaching the spot where the poor Medico sat impaled, as it were, on his prickly throne; and, with the assistance of Chiniah, succeeded at last in liberating him from so uncomfortable a position, and then conveyed him to his tent.

The reader, who may chance to know the nature of the thorns of the cactus, will be able fully to appreciate the sufferings poor Doctor Macgillivan underwent, together with the time and labor it took to extract the innumerable prickles from that most prominent and vulnerable part on which, by the laws of gravity, he had naturally lodged.

-----

[12] A Persian term, much used in Hindostan, and signifying a plain open space of ground.

[13] A sort of pea, on which the horses are fed in India, and which in Spain, under the denomination of “garbansos,” constitutes a general article of human food.

[14] A term usually applied to a new-comer in India, and having a synonymous meaning to that of “greenhorn.”

[15] Meaning “Nazarenes,” or Christians, who are likewise denominated “Ferringhees,” or Franks.

* * * * *

=REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.=

_Papers from the Quarterly Review. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 18mo._

Another volume of “Appleton’s Popular Library”—books intended to “quicken the intelligence of youth, delight age, decorate prosperity, shelter and solace us in adversity, bring enjoyment at home, befriend us out of doors, pass the night with us, travel with us, go into the country with us.” The present volume contains some happily selected papers from the London Quarterly Review, on “The Printer’s Devil,” “Gastronomy and Gastronomers,” “The Honey Bee,” “Music,” and “The Art of Dress;” papers which are gracefully written, and abounding in interesting anecdote. Our favorite is the article on “Gastronomy and Gastronomers,” in which the art of cooking is raised to its true dignity as one of the Fine Arts, and its great exemplars are generally judged according to the principles of the profoundest philosophical criticism. The great cooks have found in the author of this article one born to be their critic—the Schlegel of gastronomy. From the New Zealand cannibal, with his “cold clergyman on the sideboard,” to the exquisite Brummel, who “once eat a pea,” our author ranges at will, the interpretator of palates. And in truth the subject is worthy of such an analyst. It is generally conceded that the highest action of the mind, in the gladdest rush of its creative energy, is combination. From combination proceeds the picturesque, represented in literature by Shakspeare in England, and Calderon in Spain. The essence of the picturesque is the “union, harmonious melting down and fusion of the diverse in kind and disparate in degree;” and we suppose that in this quality of mind the great cook is preëminent. He creates, by combination, new dishes out of old materials; is the author of edible Hamlets and deliciously flavored Romeos; and appeals, not to gluttons and fat-witted beer guzzlers, but to the fine senses of the educated gastronomer.

It is impossible for an American, to whom a dinner is a mere filling up of an empty stomach, to realize the art and science of eating as practiced and taught in France. Our author tells us that no less a dignitary than M. Henrion de Pensey, late President of the Court of Cassation—a magistrate, says, or said, M. Royer Collard, “of whom regenerated France has reason to be proud”—expressed to MM. Laplace, Chaptol and Berthollet his views of the comparative importance of the astronomical and gastronomical sciences, in these memorable words: “I regard the discovery of a dish as a far more interesting event than the discovery of a star, _for we have always stars enough, but we can never_ _have too many dishes_; and I shall not regard the sciences as sufficiently honored or adequately represented amongst us, until I see a cook in the first class of the Institute.”

In this article we have also a complete account given of the lives and viands of the French masters of cookery, and minute directions given respecting the character of the chief Parisian cafés. It must be confessed that the celebrities of gastronomy have felt the dignity of their art full as much as the sculptors and poets. George the Fourth, by persevering diplomacy, and the offer of a salary of £1000, induced Caréme to come to Carlton House as his _chef_; but the artist, indignant at the lack of refined taste at the monarch’s table, left him at the end of a few months in disgust. Russia and Austria then attempted to bribe him to their kitchens; but, turning a deaf ear to imperial solicitations, and determined never again to leave France, he accepted as engagement with Baron Rothschild. Another of these dignitaries refused to accompany the Duke of Richmond to Ireland, though offered a liberal salary, because he understood that there was no Italian opera in Dublin.

The great book on the palate is M. Brillat-Savarin’s “_Physiologie du Goût_.” Among other important facts established in this world-renowned treatise, there is one of great importance to ladies. “The penchant,” says this profound writer, “of the fair sex for gourmandise has in it something of the nature of instinct, for gourmandise is favorable to beauty. A train of exact and rigid observations have demonstrated that a succulent, delicate and careful regimen repels to a distance, and for a length of time, the external appearances of old age. It gives more brilliancy to the eyes, more freshness to the skin, more support to the muscles; and as it is certain in physiology, that it is the depression of the muscles which causes wrinkles, those formidable enemies of beauty, it is equally true to say that, _cateris paribus_, those who understand eating are comparatively ten years younger than those who are strangers to this science.”

We have all heard that poets are born, not made; but M. Brillat-Savarin makes the same assertion respecting gourmands. The art of eating, it seems, cannot be acquired. Those who have an original aptitude to enjoy the luxuries of the table, are described as having “broad faces, sparkling eyes, small foreheads, short noses, full lips, and round chins. The females are plump, rather pretty than handsome, with a tendency to embonpoint. It is under this exterior that the pleasantest guests are to be found; they accept all that is offered, _eat slowly_, and _taste with reflection_. They never hurry away from the places where they have been well treated; and you are sure of them for the evening, because they know all the games and pastimes which form the ordinary accessories of a gastronomic meeting. Those, on the contrary, to whom nature has refused an aptitude for the enjoyments of taste, have long faces, long noses, and large eyes; whatever their height, they have always in their tournure a character of elongation. They have black and straight hair, and are above all deficient in _embonpoint; it is they_ _who invented trowsers_. The women whom nature has affected with the same misfortune are angular, get tired at table, and live on tea and scandal.”

In the same strain he speaks of _eprouvettes_, “dishes of acknowledged flavor, of such undoubted excellence, that their bare appearance ought to excite in a human being, properly organized, all the faculties of taste; so that all those in whom, in such cases, we perceive neither the flush of desire nor the radiance of ecstasy, may be justly noted as unworthy of the honors of the sitting and the pleasures attached to it.”

As an awful warning to the eaters of America, it should be mentioned that Napoleon owed his ruin to his habits of rapid eating. At Borodino and at Leipsic he was prevented from pushing his successes to a victorious conclusion, solely from the indecision and weakness of mind proceeding from a disordered stomach. On the third day at Dresden—we have it on the authority of the poet Hoffman—he again evinced a lack of his usual energy, owing to his having eat part of a shoulder of mutton stuffed with onions—“a dish,” says the writer in the Quarterly, “only to be paralleled by the pork chops which Messrs. Thurtell and Co. regaled on, after completing the murder of their friend Mr. Weare.” One instance of Napoleon’s good taste, and the only one, we have reluctantly been compelled to give up as a fiction. Tom Moore, in “The Fudge Family in Paris,” mentions Chambertin Burgundy, the most delicious wine in the world, as the “pet tipple of Nap;” but the Quarterly asserts that it was never taken on serious occasions, for after the battle of Waterloo there were found in his carriage two bottles—empty—one of which was marked _Malaga_, the other _Rum_.

We commend this pleasant volume to all readers who desire a cosy companion, full of wit, and anecdote, and information, and stimulating just as much thought as the brain can comfortably bear in the hot summer months.

* * * * *

_The Napoleon Ballads. By Bon Gaultier. The Poetical Works of Louis Napoleon. Now first Translated into English. New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 18mo._

The idea of this volume is capital, but it is wretchedly carried out. The name of Bon Gaultier, a name associated with wit that “sparkles like salt in fire,” raises anticipations doomed to be dismally disappointed. If written by him, he must have been muddy with beer during the hours of composition; but we presume that the English publisher had as little right to put his name to the volume as translator as he had to put that of Louis Napoleon as the author. One of the few good things in the collection is the Decree which prefaces it. It runs thus:

“Louis Napoleon: _Prince President of the Republic._

“_Art._ 1. Considering—that it is good for the people to read good poetry:

“_Art._ 2. Considering that few people can write it;

“_Art._ 3. Considering that he is one of the few, the Prince President has written the following work. Respecting which

“It is Decreed—That any person within France found without a copy, warranted to have been duly paid for, shall be liable to summary trial and deportation, with the confiscation of all his goods and chattels.

“Done at the Elysée, this first of April.

“Louis Napoleon. “Countersigned, “De Maupas.”

This is about as reasonable as many of the President’s decrees; for a tyranny like Louis Napoleon’s defies the powers of the coarsest caricature to reach the depth of its unnatural absurdities.

From the mass of trash which composes the volume, we extract the following clever parody of Tennyson’s “In Memorium:”

“IN MEMORIUM. JUDÆ ISCARIOTTI.

_Obit A. D. 1._

(“The touching piety which has induced the Prince to devote a leisure hour or two to the memory of this remarkable man needs no praise of ours. _Translator._)

“’Tis well—’tis something—we can’t stand Where Judas in the earth was laid, But from his pattern may be made Our conduct to our native land.

“He joined the high-priests—so do I; He took the money—it is true; He was a very noble Do, And planned his treasons on the sly.

“He hung himself on gallows tree— He gently swung in Potter’s Field, And blessed crop that spot must yield Of gracious memories to me.

“My Judas, whom I hope to see, When my last treason has been done, Dear as the rowdy to the dun, More than my bottle is to me.”

There are some spirited lines in the parody of Macaulay’s Armada, and some felicity in the measure of “The Eagle,” a poem after the manner of Poe’s Raven; but the rich materials of the general subject for vitriolic satire and riotous humor, are very imperfectly used. The Prince President is the most accomplished rascal that Europe has yet produced, fertile as she has been in reprobate politicians, and he deserves a Juvenal. There is a meanness about his most vigorous actions which will prevent his being ranked high among the world’s tyrants. He is essentially a robber and ruffian, and his coup d’etat was a piece of brilliant rascality which would have reflected great credit on a captain of a gang of highwaymen. He has not yet performed a single action which indicates a capacity in his nature to rise above vulgar perjury and murder into splendid crime.

* * * * *

_Ingoldsby Legends; Or Mirth and Marvels. By Thomas Ingoldsby, Esq. (the Rev. Richard Harris Barhaw.) First Series. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 16mo._

It is strange that these curious pieces have not been reprinted before. Few contributions to periodical literature, during the present century, are so unmistakably original, and so irresistibly ludicrous, as these legendary audacities; and they are all the more notable from the fact that their author was a clergyman, and passed through life with the reputation of being a pious one. Their chief characteristic is irreverence, not only as regards divine things, but in respect to the sanctities of human life. Indeed, their comic effect results, in a great degree, from the electric shocks of surprise caused by their recklessness, the author’s wit being nothing if not untamed. A spice of the Satanic is in every legend. A mischievousness, which is literally _devilish_ good, plays its wild pranks even with horrors, and impishly extracts fantastical farce out of tragedy. The author’s fancy is a worthy instrument of his tricksy disposition, and is ever ready with queer images and quaint analogies, to support his most venturesome caricatures of sin, death, and the devil. His learning, also, is very great, especially in departments of literature which are unfamiliar to ordinary students, such as old treatises on magic, witchcraft, and astrology, and the like; and this, under the direction of his wit, increases the grotesque effect of his legends. As the result of all these qualities and acquirements we have the most audacious wit of the age, and one of its greatest masters of versification.

* * * * *

_The Life and Letters of Barthold George Niebuhr. With Essays on his Character and Influence. By the Chevalier Bunsen and Professors Brandis and Lorbell. New York: Harper and Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo._

This thick volume of some six hundred pages is crammed with interesting matter. The letters of Niebuhr are among the most instructive in literature, and they range in subject over an immense extent of knowledge. The vigor of his character, and its sterling honesty, are as apparent throughout as the vast acquirements and vivid conceptions of his intellect. His comments on the poets and philosophers of Germany will be read with great interest, as he knew many of them intimately, and expresses his opinions of their defects and merits with singular sincerity and acuteness. His views of Goethe, especially, are entitled to the most thoughtful consideration. The essays on Niebuhr, at the end of the volume, are excellent.

* * * * *

_The Solar System. By J. Russell Hind, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society of London, etc. New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

This is another of Putnam’s admirable publications, the first of a series on popular science, and similar in form to his “Semi-Monthly Library.” The present volume contains two hundred pages, is elegantly printed, and is sold at the low price of twenty-five cents, which is cheapening the solar system beyond all precedent. The volume is succinctly and clearly written, and contains the latest “news from the empyrean.” The only defect we have noticed is in the account given of the discovery of Neptune. The author appears to be ignorant of the important connection which Professor Pierce, of Harvard University, has established with this new planet. He did not, it is true, discover it; but he demonstrated that the planet which was discovered was not the planet which Le Verrier was seeking.

* * * * *

_The Diplomacy of the Revolution: an Historical Study. By William Henry Trescott. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

In this small volume we have a great deal of matter, which is both interesting and new. The author has studied the subject thoroughly, and exhibits many important transactions in the Revolution in a new light. He has gained access to a number of unpublished documents, and has used them with intelligence and discrimination.

* * * * *

_Eleven Weeks in Europe, and What May be Seen in that Time. By James Freeman Clarke. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1 vol. 18mo._

This is a thick volume of three hundred pages, giving an animated account of a flying visit to England and the Continent of Europe. The author is a thoughtful and intelligent tourist, who understood beforehand what he wanted to see, and knew where he could find it. His volume is accordingly crammed with interesting matter relating to famous cities, public buildings, and works of art, and conveys fresh and original impressions of them all.

* * * * *

The Harpers have published the second volume of their edition of _Burns_, edited with great care by Robert Chambers, and containing his letters and poems in the order in which they are written. It is, in fact, a biography of Burns, illustrated by his works, and will probably be the most popular edition in the market, as it undoubtedly is the cheapest and the most perfect. The same publishers have issued Part 19 of Mayhew’s _London Labor and London Poor_, a work which is full of important information gleaned at first hand. It promises to be the most complete book of the kind ever printed. Its revelations of poverty, disease, and vice, sound “bad as truth.”

_Lossing’s “Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution,”_ has also reached its 22d number, and will be completed in two or three more. If we consider the beauty of its typography and illustrations, this work must be admitted to be one of the cheapest ever issued. Its matter is intensely interesting to all who are interested in the history of the country.

* * * * *

The Harpers of New York have published, in addition to the works we have noticed—

“_The Two Families_,” a novel by the author of Rose Douglass. In one volume.

“_Courtesy, Manners and Habits. By George Winfred Hervey_.” A volume in which the principles of Christian politeness are enforced with much good sense and considerable force and brilliancy.

“_Ivar; or, The Skjuts-Boy; a Romance_,” translated from the Swedish by Professor A. L. Krause. An interesting and attractive number of the Library of Select Novels.

* * * * *

_The Cavaliers of England, or The Times of the Revolutions of 1642 and 1688. By Henry William Herbert. New York: Redfield. 1 vol. 12mo._

This volume is composed of four exciting tales illustrative of English history, and are in every way worthy of Mr. Herbert’s powerful and vivid genius. In pictorial faculty, in the disposition and creation of incidents, in the delineation of the passions, and, especially, in the unwearied fire and movement of the style, these stimulating stories are among the best which the press has given forth for a long period.

* * * * *

_An Exposition of Some of the Laws of the Latin Grammar. By Gessner Harrison, M. D. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo._

The work of a ripe scholar, this volume is an important aid to all students of the Latin language desirous of comprehending the general doctrines of its etymology, its inflectional forms, and its syntax. It is not intended to supersede the common grammars, but to be their complement. The author is professor of the ancient languages in the University of Virginia.

* * * * *

_Collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. No. 3. Philadelphia: John Penington._

This valuable work, in which are duly chronicled the researches of the Society, is issued in very excellent style; printed with bold, clear type, upon white, fine paper. The number before us contains, Extracts from Letters of John Quincy Adams—Letters of Thomas Jefferson—History of Moorland, by W. J. Buck—and some valuable Memoranda from the Journal of Henry M. Muhlenberg, D. D. The friends of the Society, and all interested in preserving the records of the past from oblivion, should encourage the circulation of the work.

* * * * *

_The Illustrated Old Saint Paul’s. By W. Harrison Ainsworth. Embellished with spirited Engravings. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson._

Mr. Ainsworth is not a writer in whose productions we have heretofore seen any thing to admire, but the volume before us is written with much ability, and is far less exceptionable than many of his works. The era of the story is that of “The Great Plague of 1665,” and powerfully depicts the horrors of the time. There are two love scenes of marked interest interwoven with the narrative, which give it all the fascination of one of Dumas’s most powerful romances. As virtue is rewarded and vice in some degree punished, the moral of the work will meet the requirements of novel readers.

* * * * *

_The University Speaker: A Collection of Pieces designed for College Exercises in Declamation and Recitation. By William Russel. Boston: James Monroe & Co._

This is a very complete and able work by a competent hand, filled with appropriate suggestions on appropriate passages, designed for the practice of Elocution. The work is admirably printed, and is dedicated to Dr. James Rush of this city.

* * * * *

=THE AZTEC CHILDREN.=

_Their probable Origin and peculiar Physical and Mental Developments; together with other Physiological Facts, connected with their History and Singular Appearance._

=BY AUSTRALIS.=

The two extraordinary and interesting beings known as the “Aztec Children,” have for some considerable time been exhibited in the city of New York, where thousands with an intense and excited interest have sought to gratify their curiosity as to the probable origin and history of these wonderful representatives of ancient Adam.

They have recently been removed from the great metropolis of the United States to the paternal city of the ever memorable and benevolent Penn, where they cannot fail to excite in the bosom of every enlightened freeman and philanthropist, the same lively interest as to their peculiar relations to the great family of man, and their claims to the sympathy and interest of their fellow beings.

It is not the purpose of the author of this sketch to recur to the account furnished by Mr. Stevens in his travels in Central America, which constitutes the source and foundation upon which many of the facts connected with the expedition of Velasquez rest, and from which interesting portions of the history of these children are framed. The admirable work of Mr. Stevens (particularly the account which he gives of the wonderful remains which were brought to his view by the intelligent padre of Santa Cruz del Quiche) furnishes strong ground for the belief of the actual existence of the idolatrous city of Iximaya. His description of the descendants of the ancient sacerdotal order of the Aztec guardians of the once flourishing temples of that people not unknown to Cortez and Alvarado, would seem to indicate a race answering in no remote degree to the present physical construction and appearance of the Aztec children. It is asserted by Velasquez, one of the principal conductors of the expedition which resulted in the capture and flight of these wonderful children, that they constitute a portion of the descendants of the ancient and peculiar order of priesthood called Kaanas, which it was distinctly asserted in the ancient annals of Iximaya had accompanied the first migration of this people from the Assyrian plains. “Their peculiar and strongly distinctive lineaments, it is now perfectly well ascertained, are to be traced in many of the sculptured monuments of the Central American ruins, and were found still more abundantly on those of Iximaya. Forbidden, by inviolably sacred laws, from intermarrying with any persons but those of their own caste, they had here dwindled down, in the course of many centuries, to a few insignificant individuals, diminutive in stature, and imbecile in intellect.” Such is the language of the conductors of the enterprise referred to—such the probable origin of these extraordinary representations of those who in Scriptural language were “called giants,” now reappearing in what might be justly delineated as miniature editions of humanity—Daguerreotyped specimens of him “who was created a little lower than the angels.”

The origin of these interesting little strangers must, we think, remain for the present involved in an obscurity which time and future discoveries can alone remove. Their history and relation to the community from which they have been removed, and their language, habits and occupations in the scale of rational and intelligent beings, are calculated to excite in no ordinary degree the active and inquisitive mind of the physiologist, the antiquarian and the Christian.

In their unusual diminutiveness as human beings—the singular and striking features which give animation to their countenances, and at times the fixed and unmistakable lines which indicate deep thought and feeling—they are objects of profound interest and intense speculation. To the reflecting and intelligent spectator their presence strikingly recalls the language of the Psalmist—“We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” In contemplating them as a portion of the human family, governed by the general laws of Nature, and subject to the uniform operations of her unchangeable economy, we are nevertheless startled at that apparent degeneracy which, in the deprivation of physical strength and beauty, humbles our own pride while it enlists our sympathy.

These phenomena of the human species, in their personal action, the expression of agreeable features, and in the enjoyment of company and the attentions of the visitors who throng around them, afford no ordinary degree of interest and sympathy. The boy measures about thirty-two inches in height, and the girl twenty-nine. They are finely formed, and delicately fashioned in proportion to the reduced size and natural conformation which distinguish their structures. Their color is of the Spanish, or rather more of the Mexican complexion; the hair black and silken in its appearance, slightly inclined to curl, yet glossy and beautiful. Their features, deprived of that refined and graceful adaptation to regularity and beauty which distinguishes the Anglo-Saxon countenance, are nevertheless interesting. Like the representations of those Aztec heads which Stevens has portrayed, “the top of the forehead to the end of the nose of each of these children is almost straight, bearing an unmistakable resemblance to the features of their idolatrous images. They are gratefully sensible of the caresses and little familiar attentions of visitors, and appear always to be interested in the gambols and amusements of children. To their guardians they manifest every warm attachment, and seem with an intuitive sense of their own helplessness and dependence for protection and security, to regard them with a strong filial affection.”

In the relations which have placed them together, and in those associations where custom and habit would seem to produce a community of interest and a kindred sympathy, there appears but little affinity.

It is a curious fact, that there is little or no intercourse between these mysterious representatives of a by-gone race. In public they occasionally manifest some little displeasure toward each other in the petty jealousies and interferences in each other’s objects of pleasure or pastime; but, apart from public exhibitions and in the retirement of domestic life, there are wholly absent those natural communications of childhood—the look of kindness, the inquiry of affection, and the remark of innocent and affectionate solicitude. How shall the want of these common and natural associations of social and conventual interests in these children be accounted for? Man, it is true, by his education and acquirements, loses much of the inherent feelings incident to his early training. He can, by strict discipline, escape and defy speculation—elevate or depress himself by the skill and energy of acquired advantages, but it is difficult to stifle or overcome the first and benevolent emotions inspired by a mother’s kindness.

It is impossible to contemplate these retrograde movements of Nature (for such they decidedly are) without acknowledging that an obscurity rests upon them which neither science nor physiology have as yet been able to remove. The facts, the astounding facts are before us—we see and contemplate a reality which baffles inquiry, rejects reason, and bewilders speculation.

The interest which these little beings have excited in the bosoms of the thousands who have seen them in the city of New York, has been unparalleled in the history and production of those natural phenomena which have in this or any other age been presented to the world. Such an exhibition is as instructive as it is wonderful. There is in such a presentation, inculcated a great moral principle, which it is to be feared has been overlooked, and which it behoves the Christian philosopher, as well as the learned physiologist and the distinguished naturalist, to consider. The great question in relation to the Aztec children is, for what purpose have they been made the representatives, before the civilized world and the American republic, of a supposed or unknown race, yet in ignorance, superstition and moral degradation? Are there no moral purposes in the just government of the Deity to be accomplished by such a revelation? If there yet exists such a race as have produced the unnatural disclosures of moral and physical degeneracy so singularly apparent in the development and unnatural organization of these children, it is certainly the duty (it should be the pride) of government, the boast of philosophy, and the glory of religion, to explore, regenerate, and restore such a race to that moral and mental elevation in which man finds his greatest happiness and his noblest employments.

Such a subject commends itself with an absorbing interest to the labors of the statesman and the mind of the patriot, and should find a ready and zealous advocate in the bosom of every intelligent freeman who cultivates the soil of liberty, or in any way desires the glory and happiness of his fellow man.

The moral regeneration of that country, the very ruins of which have acquired such interest from the pen of Stevens—the exploration of its hidden resources, and its re-establishment to its ancient grandeur, renewed by a moral and political regeneration, would outvie the advantages of twenty expeditions for the purpose of improving the commercial condition of the Japanese, or humbling them into unconditional subjection to the power of a superior enemy.

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=GRAHAM’S SMALL-TALK.=

=Held in his idle moments, with his Readers, Correspondents and Exchanges.=

The Present Volume.—The volume from July to December, just commenced, opens with great promise in the way of an increase of subscribers; and the press from one end of the country to the other gives us the most cheering encouragement in the notices of the July number. When we determined to increase the amount of reading matter—to give our readers 112 pages in every number—we felt assured that the resources at our command, and the intimate acquaintanceship with the taste of our readers which years of editorial efforts on their behalf have given us, would enable us to present a Magazine of far higher literary value than any which had preceded it. Nor were we mistaken. From the first number of the year, the voice of the press and of subscribers, has been emphatic in praise of our new plan. We have gone on adding attractions to the work of various kinds, and trust we have shown a disposition not to be excelled in the general ability and excellence of “Graham” by any competitor or imitator.

Our change, has changed the course of others, and we feel that we shall do no violence to truth in publishing the following notices, selected at random from thousands of similar expressions of appreciation by the American Newspaper Press.

Graham’s Magazine.—This magazine is last in order of reception, but first in order of merit. It has some very fine embellishments, and is filled to the brim with the rich contributions of the best talent in the country. What a revolution Graham has brought about in the Philadelphia Monthlies. “Milliner Magazines”—a soubriquet to which they were justly entitled, for they did little else than record the changes of fashion, and furnish sickly, mawkish tales for milliner’s apprentices—is now, applied to them, a misnomer. From Graham’s the fashion plates are entirely discarded, in the others they form an unimportant feature; and these magazines are now filled with reading matter of an entirely different character—so that where was once “milk for babes” is now “meat for strong men.” As this is all Graham’s work, we hope he will have his reward.—_Eastern Mail, N. Y._

Graham for July, surpasses any thing in its line that has come under our observation. It is well filled with the choicest of reading matter and some beautiful embellishments. Graham never brags about his Magazine, but he is always sure to rival every attempt, no matter by whom made, to throw him in the shade; he seems to know just what the ladies want, and he sees that they have it.—_Lansingburg Gazette._

Nothing but enterprise and untiring energy could produce such a Magazine—and these Graham possesses. Bear in mind that while some publishers give 112 pages of reading matter now and then, (beginning and end of a volume) Graham gives 112 pages every month.—_Gazette, Ellicott Mills, Md._

Graham’s Magazine for July was duly received. It is the very best Magazine published in the United States. It cannot fail to suit all kinds of readers. _American, Albion, N. Y._

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J. K. Mitchell.—The Masonic Mirror for June contains a capital likeness of Doctor John K. Mitchell, R. W. Jr. Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Pa. The many friends of this eminent gentleman will be gratified with this delicate testimony. Dr. Mitchell is too well known as an able medical and literary man to require eulogy at our hands. His popularity as an able speaker and writer, and as a polished, refined gentleman, is second to that of no man among us, and his manly and unselfish stand for the principles to which he is attached, have endeared him to the people. The publishers could not have made a selection better calculated to attract attention and subscription to the work.

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“Knick Knacks.”—Our friend Clark of the Knickerbocker, has in the press of the Appletons, a volume under the above title, embracing the best of the many good things which for years have filled his Editor’s Table and Gossip. That the volume will be readable and popular we have assurance from the avidity with which even his monthly jottings down are looked for. With “the cream of the correspondence,” as Tony Lumpkin says, we shall have a feast of rare wit, with quips and jokes cracking like almonds at the desert of a grand dinner. We bespeak an early copy of the first edition of 10,000.

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=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 120, wonderful too see how ==> wonderful to see how Page 126, supplied by Flamtsead ==> supplied by Flamstead Page 126, the satelites round ==> the satellites round Page 130, seventh a moon later ==> seventh moon later Page 163, des lieus si doux ==> des lieux si doux Page 163, copse of chinquepins ==> copse of chinquapins Page 167, Mem. Anne Stowe ==> Mme. Anne Stowe Page 168, buy a gold-field ==> buy a gold field Page 176, _Sqaulus zygæna_ numbers ==> _Squalus zygæna_ numbers Page 177, M. Lacepede, who seems ==> M. Lacepède, who seems Page 179, The knights of Espãna ==> The knights of España Page 180, On the steamer—dampschiff ==> On the steamer—_dampfschiff_ Page 181, It it is one of ==> It is one of Page 181, Turn were they would ==> Turn where they would Page 182, Hermann Weinsoffer ==> Herman Weinsoffer Page 187, a nose rather aqueline ==> a nose rather aquiline Page 187, type of a young frontierman ==> type of a young frontiersman Page 189, The mother’s called their ==> The mothers called their Page 189, gathering at Fieldings ==> gathering at Fielding’s Page 190, slaken his pace ==> slacken his pace Page 191, of the Mississipi ==> of the Mississippi Page 194, maintaing the same course ==> maintaining the same course Page 195, these were decidely ignorant ==> these were decidedly ignorant Page 196, fast as psssible ==> fast as possible Page 198, and walkingly swiftly ==> and walking swiftly Page 199, were upon his trick ==> were upon his track Page 202, groupes of flowers ==> groups of flowers Page 205, Thackary, the flagellator ==> Thackeray, the flagellator Page 206, bran-new-Sunday-silk ==> brand-new-Sunday-silk Page 206, draggled as Mary Mulvaney ==> draggled as Mary Mulvany Page 207, Any think looks well ==> Any thing looks well Page 207, for cloaks are not Bloomer ==> for cloaks are not Bloomers Page 208, recognized as repectable ==> recognized as respectable Page 212, the turban and hiack ==> the turban and haick Page 212, sheeted up in their hiacks ==> sheeted up in their haicks Page 213, frail daughters of Irsael ==> frail daughters of Israel Page 213, handkerchief coquetishly ==> handkerchief coquettishly Page 213, with massive candelebra ==> with massive candelabra Page 213, eve of the eight day ==> eve of the eighth day Page 214, There are no bridemaids ==> There are no bridesmaids Page 218, wha it is like ==> what it is like Page 218, these big istone. ==> these big stones. Page 235, and is every ready ==> and is ever ready