Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 18, April, 1859 by Various

Part 3 out of 5

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

A bird afloat,
Swims round the purple peaks remote:--

Round purple peaks
It sails, and seeks
Blue inlets and their crystal creeks,
Where high rocks throw,
Through deeps below,
A duplicated golden glow.

Far, vague, and dim,
The mountains swim;
While on Vesuvius' misty brim,
With outstretched hands,
The gray smoke stands
O'erlooking the volcanic lands.

Here Ischia smiles
O'er liquid miles;
And yonder, bluest of the isles,
Calm Capri waits,
Her sapphire gates
Beguiling to her bright estates.

I heed not, if
My rippling skiff
Float swift or slow from cliff to cliff;--
With dreamful eyes
My spirit lies
Under the walls of Paradise.

Under the walls
Where swells and falls
The Bay's deep breast at intervals,
At peace I lie,
Blown softly by,
A cloud upon this liquid sky.

The day, so mild,
Is Heaven's own child,
With Earth and Ocean reconciled;--
The airs I feel
Around me steal
Are murmuring to the murmuring keel.

Over the rail
My hand I trail
Within the shadow of the sail,
A joy intense,
The cooling sense
Glides down my drowsy indolence.

With dreamful eyes
My spirit lies
Where Summer sings and never dies,--
O'erveiled with vines,
She glows and shines
Among her future oil and wines.

Her children, hid
The cliffs amid,
Are gambolling with the gambolling kid;
Or down the walls,
With tipsy calls,
Laugh on the rocks like waterfalls.

The fisher's child,
With tresses wild,
Unto the smooth, bright sand beguiled,
With glowing lips
Sings as she skips,
Or gazes at the far-off ships.

Yon deep bark goes
Where Traffic blows,
From lands of sun to lands of snows;--
This happier one,
Its course is run
From lands of snow to lands of sun.

Oh, happy ship,
To rise and dip,
With the blue crystal at your lip!
Oh, happy crew,
My heart with you
Sails, and sails, and sings anew!

No more, no more
The worldly shore
Upbraids me with its loud uproar!
With dreamful eyes
My spirit lies
Under the walls of Paradise!



It was on the 6th of December, 1856, that I landed with my family at
Civita Vecchia, on my return for the third time to Rome. Before we could
make all our arrangements, it was too late to think of journeying that
day towards the dear old city; but the following morning we set forth in
a rumbling, yellow post-coach, with three horses, and a shabby, gaudy
postilion,--the wheels clattering, the bells on the horses' necks
jingling, the cock's-plumes on their heads nodding, and a half-dozen
sturdy beggar-brats running at our side and singing a dismal chorus of
"_Dateci qualche cosa_." Two or three half-baiocchi, however, bought
them off, and we had the road to ourselves. The day was charming, the
sky cloudless, the air tender and with that delicious odor of the South
which so soothingly intoxicates the senses. The sea, accompanying us for
half our way, gleamed and shook out its breaking surf along the shore;
and the rolling slopes of the Campagna, flattered by sunlight, stretched
all around us,--here desert and sparkling with tall skeleton grasses
and the dry canes' tufted feathers, and here covered with low, shrubby
trees, that, crowding darkly together, climbed the higher hills. On
tongues of land, jutting out into the sea, stood at intervals lonely
watch-towers, gray with age, and at their feet shallow and impotent
waves gnashed into foam around the black, jagged teeth of half-sunken
rocks along the shore. Here and there the broken arches of a Roman
bridge, nearly buried in the lush growth of weeds, shrubs, and flowers,
or the ruins of some old villa, the home of the owl, snake, and lizard,
showed where Ancient Rome journeyed and lived. At intervals, heavy
carts, drawn by the superb gray oxen of the Campagna, creaked slowly
by, the _contadino_ sitting athwart the tongue; or some light wine
_carrettino_ came ringing along, the driver fast asleep under its tall,
triangular cover, with his fierce little dog beside him, and his horse
adorned with bright rosettes and feathers. Sometimes long lines of mules
or horses, tied one to another's tail, plodded on in dusty procession,
laden with sacks;--sometimes droves of oxen, or _poledri_, conducted
by a sturdy driver in heavy leathern leggings, and armed with a
long, pointed pole, stopped our way for a moment. In the fields, the
_pecoraro_, in shaggy sheep-skin breeches, the very type of the mythic
Pan, leaned against his staff, half-asleep, and tended his woolly
flock,--or the _contadino_ drove through dark furrows the old plough of
Virgil's time, that figures in the vignettes to the "Georgics," dragged
tediously along by four white oxen, yoked abreast. There, too, were
herds of long-haired goats, rearing mid the bushes and showing their
beards over them, or following the shepherd to their fold, as the
shadows began to lengthen,--or rude and screaming wains, tugged by
uncouth buffaloes, with low heads and knotted knees, bred among the
malaria-stricken marshes.

Half-way to Rome we changed horses at Palo,--a little grim settlement,
composed of a post-house, inn, stables, a line of straggling
fishermen's-huts, and a desolate old fortress, flanked by four towers.
This fortress, which once belonged to the Odescalchi family, but is now
the property of the Roman government, looks like the very spot for
a tragedy, as it stands there rotting in the pestilential air, and
garrisoned by a few stray old soldiers, whose dreary, broken-down
appearance is quite in keeping with the place. Palo itself is the site
of the city of Alsium, founded by the Pelasgi, in the dim gloom of
antiquity, long before the Etruscans landed on this shore. It was.
subsequently occupied by the Etruscans, and afterwards became a favorite
resort of the Roman nobility, who built there the splendid villas of
Antoninus, Porcina, Pompeius, and others. Of the Pelasgic and Etruscan
town not a vestige remains; but the ruined foundations of Roman villas
are still to be seen along the shore. No longer are to be found there
the feasts described by Fronto,[A] of "fatted oysters, savory apples,
pastry, confectionery, and generous wines in faultless transparent
goblets,"--nor would it now be called "a voluptuous seaside retreat";
but good lobsters are still abundant there, and one can get a greasy
beefsteak, black bread, an ill-cooked chicken, and sour wine, at only
about twice their market value. The situation is lovely, with the sea
washing in along the rounded rim of the coast, close up to the door of
the inn; and on a sunny day, when the white wings of feluccas may be
seen gleaming far off on the blue Mediterranean, and the fishermen are
drawing their nets close into shore, it seems as if it might really be
made "a voluptuous seaside retreat," but for the desolating malaria
which renders it dangerous to rest there for a single night.

[Footnote A: _De Feriis Alsensibus_, Epist. III. See Dennis's _Etruscan
Antiquities_, Vol. I.]

Here, of course, we stopped as short a time as possible; and then,
bidding adieu to the sea, struck inland over the Campagna to Rome. The
country now grows wild, desolate, and lonely; but it has a special charm
of its own, which they who are only hurrying on to Rome, and to whom it
is an obstruction and a tediousness, cannot, of course, perceive. It
is dreary, weird, ghostly,--the home of the winds; but its silence,
sadness, and solitude are both soothing and impressive. After miles and
miles up and down, at last, from the crest of a hill up which we slowly
toiled with our lumbering carriage and reeking horses, we saw the dome
of St. Peter's towering above the city, which as yet was buried out of
sight. It was but a glimpse, and was soon lost. The postilion covered
the worn-out lace of his shabby livery with a heavy cloak, which he
flung over his shoulder to keep out the dampening air, gave a series of
wild flourishes with his whip, broke into guttural explosions of voice
to urge along his horses, and on we went full-gallop. The road grew more
and more populated as we approached the city. Carriages were out for a
drive, or to meet friends on their way from Civita Vecchia; and on
foot was many a little company of Romans, laughing and talking. At the
_osterias_ were groups seated under _frasche_, or before the door,
drinking _fogliette_ of wine and watching the passers-by. At last,
toward sundown, we stopped at the Porta Cavalleggieri, where, thanks to
our _lascia passare_, we were detained but a minute,--and then we were
in Rome. Over us hung the great bulging dome of St. Peter's, golden
with the last rays of sunset. The pillars of the gigantic colonnade
of Bernini, as we jolted along, "seemed to be marching by," in broad
platoons. The fountains piled their flexile columns of spray and waved
them to and fro. The great bell clanged from the belfry. Groups wandered
forth in the great Piazza. The old Egyptian obelisk in the centre
pointed its lean finger to the sky. We were in Rome! This one moment of
surprised sensation is worth the journey from Civita Vecchia. Entered by
no other gate, is Rome so suddenly and completely possessed. Nowhere is
the contrast so instantaneous and vivid as here, between the silent,
desolate Campagna and the splendor of St. Peter's, between the burrows
of primitive Christianity and the gorgeousness of ecclesiastical Rome.

After leaving the Piazza, we get a glimpse of Hadrian's Mole, and of the
rusty Tiber, as it hurries, "_retortis littore Etrusco violenter undis_"
as of old, under the statued bridge of St. Angelo,--and then we plunge
into long, damp, narrow, dirty streets. Yet--shall I confess it?--they
had a charm for me. Twilight was deepening into dark as we passed
through them. Confused cries and loud Italian voices sounded about me.
Children were screaming,--men howling their wares for sale. Bells were
ringing everywhere. Priests, soldiers, _contadini_, and beggars thronged
along. The _Trasteverini_ were going home, with their jackets hanging
over one shoulder. Women, in their rough woollen gowns, stood in the
doorways bare-headed, or looked out from windows and balconies, their
black hair shining under the lanterns. Lights were twinkling in the
little cavernous shops, and under the Madonna-shrines far within them. A
funeral procession, with its black banners, gilt with a death's-head
and cross-bones, was passing by, its wavering candles borne by the
_confraternita_, who marched carelessly along, shrouded from head to
foot in white, with only two holes for the eyes to glare through.

It was dirty, but it was Rome; and to any one who has long lived in Rome
even its very dirt has a charm which the neatness of no other place ever
had. All depends, of course, on what we call dirt. No one would defend
the condition of some of the streets or some of the habits of the
people. But the soil and stain which many call dirt I call color, and
the cleanliness of Amsterdam would ruin Rome for the artist. Thrift and
exceeding cleanness are sadly at war with the picturesque. To whatever
the hand of man builds the hand of Time adds a grace, and nothing is
so prosaic as the rawly new. Fancy for a moment the difference for
the worse, if all the grim, browned, rotted walls of Rome, with their
peeling mortar, their thousand daubs of varying grays and yellows, their
jutting brickwork and patched stonework, from whose intervals the cement
has crumbled off, their waving weeds and grasses and flowers, now
sparsely fringing their top, now thickly protruding from their sides, or
clinging and making a home in the clefts and crevices of decay, were to
be smoothed to a complete level, and whitewashed over into one uniform
and monotonous tint. What a gain in cleanliness! what a loss in beauty!
One old wall like this I remember on the road from Grotta Ferrata to
Frascati, which was to my eyes a constant delight. One day the owner
took it into his head to whitewash it all over,--to clean it, as some
would say. I look upon that man as little better than a Vandal in
taste,--one from whom "knowledge at one entrance was quite shut out."
Take another modern instance: substitute for the tiled roofs of Rome,
now so gray, tumbled, and picturesque with their myriad lichens, the
cold, clean slate of New York, or the glittering zinc of Paris,--should
we gain or lose? The Rue de Rivoli is long, white, and uniform,--all new
and all clean; but there is no more harmony and melody in it than in the
"damnable iteration" of a single note; and even Time will be puzzled
to make it picturesque, or half as interesting as those old houses
displaced in the back streets for its building, which had sprouted up
here and there, according to the various whims of the various builders.
Those were taken down because they were dirty, narrow, unsightly. These
are thought elegant and clean. Clean they certainly are; and they have
one other merit,--that of being as monotonously regular as the military
despotism they represent. But I prefer individuality, freedom, and
variety, for my own part. The narrow, uneven, huddled Corso, with here
a noble palace, and there a quaint passage, or archway, or shop,--the
buildings now high, now low, but all barnacled over with balconies,--is
far more interesting than the unmeaning uniformity of the Rue de Rivoli.
So, too, there are those among us who have the bad taste to think it a
desecration in Louis Napoleon to have scraped the stained and venerable
old Notre Dame into cleanliness. The Romantic will not consort with the
Monotonous,--Nature is not neat,--Poetry is not formal,--and Rome is not

These thoughts, or ghosts of thoughts, flitted through my mind, as the
carriage was passing along the narrow, dirty streets, and brought with
them after-trains of reflection. There may be, I thought, among the
thousands of travellers that annually winter at Rome, some to whom the
common out-door pictures of modern Roman life would have a charm as
special as the galleries and antiquities, and to whom a sketch of many
things, which wise and serious travellers have passed by as unworthy
their notice, might be interesting. Every ruin has had its score of
_immortelles_ hung upon it. The soil has been almost overworked by
antiquarians and scholars, to whom the modern flower was nothing, but
the antique brick a prize. Poets and sentimentalists have described to
death what the antiquaries have left;--some have done their work so
well that nothing remains to be done after them. Everybody has an
herbarium of dried flowers from all the celebrated sites, and a
table made from bits of marble collected in the ruined villas. Every
Englishman carries a Murray for information and a Byron for sentiment,
and finds out by them what he is to know and feel at every step.
Pictures and statues have been staled by copy and description, until
everything is stereotyped, from the Dying Gladiator, with his "young
barbarians all at play," and all that, down to the Beatrice Cenci, the
Madame Tonson of the shops, that haunts one everywhere with her white
turban and red eyes. All the public and private life and history of the
ancient Romans, from Romulus to Constantine and Julian the Apostle, (as
he is sometimes called,) is properly well known. But the common life
of the modern Romans, the games, customs, habits of the people,
the everyday of To-day, has been only touched upon here and
there,--sometimes with spirit and accuracy, as by Charles McFarlane,
sometimes with great grace, as by Hans Christian Andersen, and sometimes
with great ignorance, as by Miss Waldie. This is the subject, however,
which has specially interested me, and a life of several years in Rome
has enabled me to observe many things which do not strike the hurried
traveller, and to correct many false notions in regard to the people
and place. To a stranger, a first impression is apt to be a false
impression; and it constantly happens to me to hear my own countrymen
work out the falsest conclusions from the slightest premises, and
settle the character and deserts of the Italians, all of whom they mass
together in a lump, after they have been just long enough on the soil to
travel from Civita Vecchia to Rome under the charge of a courier, when
they know just enough of the language to ask for a coachman when they
want a spoon, and when they have made the respectable acquaintance,
beside their courier, of a few porters, a few beggars, a few
shopkeepers, and the _padrone_ of the apartment they hire.

No one lives long in Rome without loving it; and I must, in the
beginning, confess myself to be in the same category. Those who shall
read these slender papers, without agreeing to the kindly opinions
often expressed, must account for it by remembering that "Love lends a
precious seeing to the eye." My aim is far from ambitious. I shall not
be erudite, but I hope I shall not be dull. These little sketches may
remind some of happy days spent under the Roman sky, and, by directing
the attention of others to what they have overlooked, may open a door
to a new pleasure. _Chi sa?_ The plainest Ranz des Vaches may sometimes
please when the fifth symphony of Beethoven would be a bore.



Whoever has passed the month of December in Rome will remember to
have been awakened from his morning-dreams by the gay notes of the
_pifferari_ playing in the streets below, before the shrines of the
Madonna and Bambino,--and the strains of one set of performers will
scarcely have ceased, before the distant notes of another set of
pilgrims will be heard to continue the well-known _novena_. The
_pifferari_ are generally _contadini_ of the Abruzzi Mountains, who, at
the season of Advent, leave their home to make a pilgrimage to Rome,--
stopping before all the wayside shrines, as they journey along, to pay
their glad music of welcome to the Virgin, and the coming Messiah. Their
song is called a _novena_, from its being sung for nine consecutive
days,--first, for nine days previous to the Festa of the Madonna,
which occurs on the 8th of December, and afterwards for the nine days
preceding Christmas. The same words and music serve, however, for both
celebrations. The _pifferari_ always go in couples, one playing on the
_zampogna_, or bagpipe, the bass and treble accompaniment, and the other
on the _piffero_, or pastoral pipe, which carries the air; and for the
month before Christmas the sound of their instruments resounds through
the streets of Rome, wherever there is a shrine,--whether at the corners
of the streets, in the depths of the shops, down little lanes, in the
centre of the Corso, in the interior courts of the palaces, or on the
stairways of private houses.

Their costume is extremely picturesque. On their heads they wear conical
felt hats adorned with a frayed peacock's feather, or a faded band of
red cords and tassels,--their bodies are clad in red waistcoats, blue
jackets, and small-clothes of skin or yellowish homespun cloth,--skin
sandals are bound to their feet with cords that interlace each other up
the leg as far as the knee,--and over all is worn a long brown or blue
cloak with a short cape, buckled closely round the neck. Sometimes, but
rarely, this cloak is of a deep red with a scalloped cape. As they stand
before the pictures of the Madonna, their hats placed on the ground
before them, and their thick, black, dishevelled hair covering their
sunburnt brows, blowing away on their instruments or pausing to sing
their _novena_, they form a picture which every artist desires to paint.
Their dress is common to nearly all the peasantry of the Abruzzi, and,
worn and tattered as it often is, it has a richness and harmony of tint
which no new clothes could ever have, and for which the costumes of the
shops and regular models offer a poor substitute. It is the old story
again. The new and clean is not so paintable, not so picturesque, as the
tarnished and soiled. The worn blue of the cloak is softened by the dull
gray of the threads beneath,--patches of various colors are often let
into the jacket or breeches,--the hat is lustreless from age, and rusty
as an old wall,--and the first vivid red of the waistcoat is toned by
constant use to a purely pictorial hue. Besides, the true _pifferaro_
wears his costume as if it belonged to him and had always been worn by
him,--so that it has none of that got-up look which spoils everything.
From the sandals and corded leggings, which, in the Neapolitan dialect,
are termed _cioce_, the _pifferari_ are often called _ciociari_.

Their Christmas pilgrimages are by no means prompted by purely religious
motives, though, undoubtedly, such considerations have some weight with
them, the common peasantry being a religiously inclined people, and
often making pilgrimages simply from a sense of duty and propriety. But
in these wanderings to Rome, their principal object is to earn a little
money to support them during the winter months, when their "occupation
is gone." As they are hired in Rome by the owners of the various houses
adorned with a Madonna-shrine (of which there are over fifteen hundred
in the city) to play before them at the rate of a paul or so for each
full _novena_, and as they can easily play before thirty or forty a day,
they often return, if their luck is good, with a tolerable little sum
in their pockets. Besides this, they often stand as models, if they are
good-looking fellows, and thus add to their store; and then again, the
_forestieri_ (for, as the ancient Romans called strangers _barbari_,
so their descendants call them _foresters_, wood-men, wild-men)
occasionally drop _baiocchi_ and pauls into their hats, still further to
increase it.

Sometimes it is a father and son who play together, but oftener two old
friends who make the pilgrimage in pairs. This morning, as I was
going out for a walk round the walls, two admirable specimens of the
_pifferari_ were performing the _novena_ before a shrine at the corner
of the street. The player of the _zampogna_ was an old man, with a sad,
but very amiable face, who droned out the bass and treble in a most
earnest and deprecatory manner. He looked as if he had stood still,
tending his sheep, nearly all his life, until the peace and quiet of
Nature had sunk into his being, or, if you will, until he had become
assimilated to the animals he tended. The other, who played the
_piffero_, was a man of middle age, stout, vigorous, with a forest of
tangled black hair, and dark quick eyes that were fixed steadily on the
Virgin, while he blew and vexed the little brown pipe with rapid runs
and nervous _fioriture_, until great drops of sweat dripped from its
round open mouth. Sometimes, when he could not play fast enough to
satisfy his eagerness, he ran his finger up and down the vents.
Then, suddenly lowering his instrument, he would scream, in a strong
peasant-voice, verse after verse of the _novena_, to the accompaniment
of the _zampogna_. One was like a slow old Italian _vettura_ all
lumbered with luggage and held back by its drag; the other panting and
nervous at his work as an American locomotive, and as constantly running
off the rails. Both, however, were very earnest at their occupation. As
they stood there playing, a little group gathered round. A scamp of a
boy left his sport to come and beat time with a stick on the stone step
before them; several children clustered near; and two or three women,
with rosy infants in their arms, also paused to listen and sympathize.
At last the playing ceased. The _pifferari_ took up their hats and
looked smilingly round at us.

"Where do you come from?" I asked.

"_Eh!_" said the _piffero_, showing all his teeth, and shrugging his
shoulders good-naturedly, while the other echoed the pantomime.

"_Dal Regno_"--for so the Abruzzi peasants call the kingdom of Naples.

"And do you come every year?"

"_Si, Signore. Lui_" (indicating his friend) "_ed io_"(pointing to
himself) "_siam' compagni per trenta tre anni. E siam' venut' a Roma per
far la noven' ogn' anno."[B]

[Footnote B: "He and I have been companions for thirty-three years, and
every year we have come to Rome to play the _novena_."

To this the old _zampogna_ bent his head on one side, and said,
assentingly,--"_Eh! per trenta tre anni_"--

And, "_Ecco_," continued the _piffero_, bursting in before the
_zampogna_ could go on, and pointing to two stalwart youths of about
twenty-two or-three years of age, who at this moment came up the
street with their instruments,--"These are our two sons. He is
mine,"--indicating one with his reversed thumb; "and that other is
his,"--jerking his head towards his companion. "And they, too, are going
to play in company, as we do."

"For thirty-three years more, let us hope," said I.

"_Eh! speriamo_," (Let us hope so,) was the answer of the _piffero_, as
he showed all his teeth in the broadest of smiles. Then, with a motion
of his hand, he set both the young men going, he himself joining in,
straining out his cheeks, blowing all the breath of his body into the
little pipe, and running up and down the vents with a sliding finger,
until finally he brought up against a high, shrill note, to which he
gave the full force of his lungs, and, after holding it in loud blast
for a moment, startled us by breaking off, without gradation, into
a silence as sudden as if the music had snapped short off, like a

On further conversation with my _ciociari_, I found that they came
yearly from Sora, a town in the Abruzzi, about one hundred miles from
Rome, making the journey on foot, and picking up by the way whatever
trifle of copper they could. In this manner they travelled the whole
distance in five days, living upon onions, lettuce, oil, and black
bread. They were now singing the second _novena_ for _Natale_, and, if
one could judge from their manner and conversation, were quite content
with what they had earned. I invited them up into my room, and there
in the pleasantest way they stunned us with the noise of both their
instruments, to the great delight of the children and the astonishment
of the servants, for whom these common things had worn out their charm
by constant repetition. At my request, they repeated the words of the
_novena_ they had been singing, and I took them down from their lips.
After eliminating the wonderful _m-ms_ of the Neapolitan dialect, in
which all the words lay imbedded like shells in the sand, and supplying
some of the curious elisions with which those Abruzzi Procrusteans
recklessly cut away the polysyllables, so as to bring them within the
rythmic compass, they ran thus:--

"Verginella figlia di Sant' Anna,
Nella ventre portasti il buon Gesu.
Si parturisti sotto la capanna,
E dov' mangiav'no lo bue e 1' asinello.

"Quel Angelo gridava: 'Venite, Santi!
'Che andato Gesu dentro la capanna,
Ma guardate Vergine beata,
Che in ciel in terra sia nostr' avvocata!

"San Giuseppe andava in compagnia,
Si trovo al partorir di Maria.
La notte di natale e notte santa--
Lo Padre e 1' Figliolo e lo Spirito Santo.
'Sta la ragione che abbiamo cantato;
Sia a Gesu bambino rappresentata."

The sudden introduction of "_Quel Angelo_" in this song reminds us of a
similar felicity in the romantic ballad of "Lord Bateman," where we are
surprised to learn that "_this Turk_," to whom no allusion had been
previously made, "has one lovely daughter."

The air to which this is sung is very simple and sweet, though
monotonous. Between the verses and at the close, a curious little
_ritornello_ is played.

The wanderings of the _pifferari_ are by no means confined to the Roman
States. Sometimes they stray "as far away as Paris is," and, wandering
about in that gay capital, like children at a fair, play in the streets
for chance _sous_, or stand as models to artists, who, having once been
to Rome, hear with a longing Rome-sickness the old characteristic sounds
of the _piffero_ and _zampogna_. Two of them I remember to have heard
thus, as I was at work in my studio in Paris; and so vividly did they
recall the old Roman time, that I called them in for a chat.

Wonderful was their speech. In the few months of their wandering, they
had put into their Neapolitan dough various plums of French words,
which, pronounced in their odd way, "suffered a change into something
peculiarly rich and strange." One of them told me that his wife had just
written to him by the hand of a _scrivano_, lamenting his absence, and
praying him to send her his portrait. He had accordingly sent her a
photograph in half-length. Some time afterwards she acknowledged the
receipt of it, but indignantly remonstrated with him for sending her a
picture "_che pareva guardando per la fenestra_" (which seemed to be
looking out of the window,) as she oddly characterized a half-length,
and praying to have his legs also in the next portrait. This same
fellow, with his dull, amiable face, played the role of a ferocious
wounded brigand dragged into concealment by his wife, in the studio of
a friend next door; but, despite the savagery and danger of his
counterfeited position, he was sure to be overpowered by sleep before he
had been in it more than five minutes,--and if the artist's eye left him
for a moment, he never failed to change his attitude for one more fitted
to his own somnolent propensities than for the picture.

The _pifferari_ are by no means the only street-musicians in Rome,
though they take the city by storm at Christmas. Every day under my
window comes a band of four or five, who play airs and concerted pieces
from the operas,--and a precious work they make of it sometimes! Not
only do the instruments go very badly together, but the parts they play
are not arranged for them. A violone grunts out a low accompaniment to a
vinegar-sharp violin which saws out the air, while a trumpet blares in
at intervals to endeavor to unite the two, and a flute does what it
can, but not what it would. Sometimes, instead of a violone, a hoarse
trombone, with a violent cold in the head, snorts out the bass
impatiently, gets ludicrously uncontrollable and boastful at times, and
is always so choleric, that, instead of waiting for the _cadenzas_ to
finish, it bursts in, knocks them over as by a blow on the head, roars
away on false intervals, and overwhelms every other voice with its
own noisy vociferation. The harmonic arrangements are very odd. Each
instrument seems to consider itself ill-treated when reduced to an
accompaniment or bass, and is constantly endeavoring, however unfitted
for it, to get possession of the air,--the melody being, for all
Italians, the principal object. The violin, however, weak of voice as
it is, always carries the day, and the other instruments steal
discontentedly back to their secondary places, the snuffy old violone
keeping up a constant growl at its ill luck, and the trombone now and
then leaping out like a tiger on its prey.

Far better and more characteristic are the ballad-singers, who generally
go in couples,--an old man, dim of sight, perhaps blind, who plays the
violin, and his wife or daughter, who has a guitar, tamborello, or at
times a mandolin. Sometimes a little girl accompanies them, sings
with them, and carries round a tin box, or the tamborello, to collect
_baiocchi_. They sing long ballads to popular melodies, some of
which are very pretty and gay, and for a _baiocco_ they sell a sheet
containing the printed words of the song. Sometimes it is in the form of
a dialogue,--either a love-making, a quarrel, a reconciliation, or a
leave-taking,--each singer taking an alternate verse. Sometimes it is a
story with a chorus, or a religious conversation-ballad, or a story of a
saint, or from the Bible. Those drawn from the Bible are generally
very curious paraphrases of the original simple text, turned into the
simplest and commonest idioms of the people;--one of them may be found
in the Appendix to Goethe's "Italienische Reise." These Roman ballads
and popular songs, so far as I am able to learn, have never been
collected. Many of them do not exist in print, and are only traditional
and caught from mouth to mouth. This is particularly the case with those
in the Romanesque dialect, which are replete with the peculiar wit
and spirit of the country. But the memory of man is too perilous a
repository for such interesting material; and it is greatly to be wished
that some clever Italian, who is fitted for the task, would interest
himself to collect them and give them a permanent place in the
literature of his language.

But to return to our ballad-singers, whom we have left in the middle of
their song, and who are now finishing. A crowd has gathered round them,
as usual; out of the windows and from the balconies lean the occupants
of the houses near by, and the _baiocchi_ thrown by them ring on the
pavement below. With rather Stentorian voices they have been singing a
dialogue which is most elaborately entitled a "Canzonetta Nuova, sopra
un marinaro che da l' addio alla sua promessa sposa mentre egli deve
partire per la via di Levante. Sdegno, pace, e matrimonio dilli medesimi
con intercalare sull' aria moderna. Rime di Francesco Calzaroni." I give
my _baiocco_ and receive in return a smiling "Grazie" and a copy of the
song, which is adorned by a wood-cut of a ship in full sail.

Here is another, of a moral character, containing the sad history of
Frederic the Gambler, who, to judge from the wood-cut accompanying the
Canzonetta, must have been a ferocious fellow. He stands with his legs
wide apart, in half-armor, a great sash tied over his shoulder and
swinging round his legs, an immense sword at his side, and a great
hat with two ostrich-feathers on his head, looking the very type of a
"swashing blade."

The singers of longer ballads carry about with them sometimes a series
of rudely-executed illustrations of different incidents in the story,
painted in distemper and pasted on a large pasteboard frame, which is
hung against a wall or on a stand planted behind the singer in the
ground. These he pauses now and then in his song to explain to the
audience, and they are sure to draw a crowd.

As summer comes on and the evenings grow warm, begin the street
serenades,--sometimes like that of Lindoro in the opening of the
"Barbiere di Sevilla," but generally with only one voice, accompanied by
a guitar and a mandolin. These serenades are, for the most part, given
by a lover or friend to his _innamorata_, and the words are expressive
of the tender passion; but there are also _serenate di gelosia_, or
satirical serenades, when the most impertinent and stinging verses are
sung. Long before arriving, the serenaders may be heard marching up the
street to the thrum of their instruments. They then place themselves
before the windows of the fair one, and, surrounded by a group of men
and boys, make proclamation of their love in loud and often violent
tones. It seems sometimes as if they considered the best method of
expressing the intensity of their passion was by the volume of their
voice. Certainly, in these cases, the light of love is not hidden under
a bushel. Among the Trasteverini, particularly, these serenades are
common. Some of them are very clever in their improvisations and
imitations of different dialects, particularly of the Neapolitan, in
which there are so many charming songs. Their skill in improvisation,
however, is not generally displayed in their serenades, but in the
_osterias_, during the evenings of the _festas_ in summer. There it is
that their quickness and epigrammatic turn of expression are best seen.
Two disputants will, when in good-humor and warmed with wine, string off
verse after verse at each other's expense, full of point and fun,--the
guitar burring along in the intervals, and a chorus of laughter saluting
every good hit.

In many of the back streets and squares of the city, fountains jet out
of lions' heads into great oblong stone cisterns, often sufficiently
large to accommodate some thirty washerwomen at once. Here the common
people resort to wash their clothes, and with great laughter and
merriment amuse themselves while at their work by improvising verses,
sometimes with rhyme, sometimes without, at the expense of each other,
or perhaps of the passerby,--particularly if he happen to be a gaping
_forestiere_, to whom their language is unintelligible. They stand on
an elevated stone step, so as to bring the cistern about mid-height of
their body, and on the rough inclined level of its rim they slash and
roll the clothes, or, opening them, flaunt them into the water, or
gather them together, lifting their arms high above their heads, and
always treating them with a violence which nothing but the coarsest
material can resist. The air to which they chant their couplets is
almost always a Campagna melody. Sharp attacks are given and as sharp
_repliques_ received, in exceeding good-humor; and when there is little
wit, there is sure to be much laughter. The salt is oftentimes pretty
coarse, but it serves its purpose.

A remarkable trait among the Italians is the good-nature with which
they take personal jokes, and their callousness to ridicule of personal
defects. Jests which would provoke a blow from an Anglo-Saxon, or wound
and rankle in the memory for life, are here taken in good part. A
cripple often joins in the laugh at his own deformity; and the rough
carelessness with which such personal misfortunes are alluded to is
amazing to us of a more sensitive organization. I well remember the
extreme difficulty I once had in breaking an Italian servant of the
habit of announcing an acquaintance, whose foreign name he could not
pronounce, and who had the misfortune to be humpbacked, as "_quel
gobbo_" (that hunchback). He could not understand why he should not call
him a _gobbo_, if he was a _gobbo_; and in spite of all I could do, he
would often open the door and say, "_Signore, quel gobbo desidera farle
una visita_," (that hunchback wishes to make you a visit,) when "_quel
gobbo_" was right on his heels. The Italians are also singularly free
from that intense self-consciousness which runs in our English
blood, and is the root of shyness, awkwardness, and affectation.
Unconsciousness is the secret of grace, freedom, and simplicity. We
never forget ourselves. The Italians always forget themselves. They are
sometimes proud, very seldom vain, and never affected. The converse
peculiarity follows, of course. Having no self-consciousness, they are
as little sensitive to their defects as vain of their charms. The models
who come to the studios, and who have been selected for their beauty,
despite the silent flattery incident to their very profession, and
the lavish praise they constantly hear expressed, are always simple,
natural, and unaffected. If you tell them they are very beautiful, they
say, _"Ma che?"_ deprecatorily, or perhaps admit the fact. But they are
better pleased to have their dress admired than their faces. Of the
former they are vain, of the latter they are not. For the most part, I
think they rather wonder what it is we admire in them and think worthy
of perpetuating in stone or color. The other day I was so much struck
with the ear of a model, from whom I was working, that I said to
her,--"You have, without exception, the most beautiful ear I ever saw."
She laughed somewhat derisively, and said, _"Ma che?"_--"It does not
seem to give you any pleasure," I continued, "to know that you have a
very handsome ear."--_"Che mi importa,"_ answered she, _"se sia bello o
brutto? E sempre lo stesso, brutto o bello, bello o brutto. Ecco!"_[C]
--"You don't care, then, whether you are handsome or ugly?"--_"Eh! cosa
a me m'importa,--se sono brutto o bello non so,--a me e lo stesso."_
This was all I could get from her.

[Footnote C: "What do I care whether it is handsome or ugly? It's all
the same to me,--ugly or handsome,--handsome or ugly. There!"]

But to return to our washerwomen. In every country-town a large
washing-cistern is always provided by the authorities for public use,
and, at all hours of the day, the picturesque figures of the peasants
of every age, from the old hag, whose skin is like a brown and crumpled
palimpsest, (where Anacreontic verses are overwritten by a dull, monkish
sermon,) to the round, dark-eyed girl, with broad, straight back and
shining hair, may be seen gathered around it,--their heads protected
from the sun by their folded _tovaglia_, their skirts knotted up behind,
and their waists embraced by stiff, red _busti_. Their work is always
enlivened by song,--and when their clothes are all washed, the basket
is lifted to the head, and home they march, stalwart and majestic, like
Roman caryatides. The sharp Italian sun shining on their dark faces and
vivid costumes, or flashing into the fountain, and basking on the gray,
weed-covered walls, makes a picture which is often enchanting in its
color. At the Emissary by Albano, where the waters from the lake are
emptied into a huge cistern through the old conduit built by the ancient
Romans to sink the level of the lake, I have watched by the hour
together these strange pictorial groups, as they sang and thrashed
the clothes they were engaged in washing; while over them, in the
foreground, the great gray tower and granary, once a castle, lifted
itself in strong light and shade against the peerless blue sky, while
rolling hills beyond, covered with the pale green foliage of rounded
olives, formed the characteristic background. Sometimes a _contadino_,
mounted on the crupper of his donkey, would pause in the sun to chat
awhile with the women. The children, meanwhile, sprawled and played upon
the grass, and the song and chat at the fountain would not unfrequently
be interrupted by a shrill scream from one of the mothers, to stop a
quarrel, or to silence a cry which showed the stoutness of their little

The cobblers of Rome are also a gay and singing set. They do not
imprison themselves in a dark cage of a shop, but sit _"sub Jove"_ where
they may enjoy the life of the street and all the "skyey influences."
Their benches are generally placed near the _portone_ of some palace, so
that they may draw them under shelter when it rains. Here all day they
sit and draw their waxed-ends and sing,--a row of battered-looking boots
and shoes ranged along on the ground beside them, and waiting for their
turn, being their only stock in trade.

They commonly have enough to do, and, as they pay nothing for shop-rent,
every _baiocco_ they get is nearly clear profit. They are generally as
poor as Job's cat; but they are far happier than the proprietor of that
interesting animal. Figaro is a high ideal of this class, and about as
much like them as Raffaello's angels are like Jeames Yellowplush. What
the cobblers and Figaro have in common is song and a love of scandal.
One admirable specimen of this class sits at the corner of the Via
Felice and Capo le Case, with his bench backed against the gray wall. He
is an oldish man, with a long, gray beard and a quizzical face,--a sort
of Hans Sachs, who turns all his life into verse and song. When he comes
out in the morning, he chants a domestic idyl, in which he narrates in
verse the events of his household, and the differences and agreements of
himself and his wife, whom I take to be a pure invention. This over, he
changes into song everything and every person that passes before him.
Nothing that is odd, fantastic, or absurd escapes him, or fails to be
chronicled and sarcastically commented on in his verse. So he sits all
day long, his mind like a kaleidoscope, changing all the odd bits of
character which chance may show him into rhythmic forms, and chirps and
sings as perpetually as the cricket. Friends he has without number, who
stop before his bench, from which he administers poetical justice to
all persons, to have a long chat, or sometimes to bring him a friendly
token; and from the dark interior of his drawer he often brings forth an
orange, or a bunch of grapes, or handful of chestnuts, supplied by them,
as a dessert for the thick cabbage-soup which he eats at _mezzo giorno_.

In the busiest street of Rome, the pure Campagna song may often be heard
from the throat of some _contadino_, as he slowly rumbles along in his
loaded wine-cart,--the little dog at his side barking a sympathetic
chorus. This song is rude enough, and seems in measure founded upon the
Church chant. It is in the minor key, and consists ordinarily of two
phrases, ending in a screaming monotone, prolonged until the breath of
the singer fails, and often running down at the close into a blurred
chromatic. No sooner is one strain ended than it is suddenly taken up
again in the _prestissimo_ time and "slowed" down to the same dismal
conclusion. Heard near, it is deafening and disagreeable. But when
refined by distance, it has a sad and pleasant effect, and seems to
belong to the place,--the long wail at the close being the very type
of the melancholy stretches of the Campagna. In the same way I have
frequently thought that the _Jodeln_ of the Swiss was an imitation of
the echo of the mountains, each note repeated first in octave, or fifth,
and then in its third below. The Campagna song is to be heard not only
in the Campagna, but everywhere in the country,--in the vineyards,
in the grain-fields, in mountain and valley, from companies working
together, and from solitary _contadini_,--wherever the influence and
sentiment of the Roman Campagna is felt. The moment we get into Tuscany,
on the one side, or over into Naples, on the other, it begins to be
lost. It was only the other day, at nightfall, that I was sauntering
out on the desolate Campagna towards Civita Vecchia. The shadows were
deepening and the mists beginning to creep whitely along the deep
hollows. Everything was dreary and melancholy enough. As I paused to
listen to the solitude, I heard the grind of a distant invisible cart,
and the sound of a distant voice singing. Slowly the cart came up over
the crest of the hill, a dark spot against the twilight sky, and mounted
on the top of a load of brushwood sat a _contadino_, who was singing to
himself these words,--not very consolatory, perhaps, but so completely
in harmony with the scene and the time that they struck me forcibly:--

"E, bella, tu non piangera-a-a-i,
Sul giorno ch'io saro mor-or-or-to-o-o-o-o-o."[D]

[Footnote D:

"And, dearest, you will never weep for me-e-e-e,
The day when I shall be no mo-o-o-ore."]

Whether this constant habit of song among the Southern people, while at
their work, indicates happiness and content, I will not undertake to
say; but it is pleasanter in effect than the sad silence in which we
Anglo-Saxons perform our tasks,--and it seems to show a less harassed
and anxious spirit. But I feel quite sure that these people are more
easily pleased, contented with less, less morose, and less envious of
the ranks above them, than we are. They give little thought to the
differences of caste, have little ambition to make fortunes or rise out
of their condition, and are satisfied with the commonest fare, if they
can get enough of it. The demon of dissatisfaction never harries them.
When you speak to them, they answer with a smile which is nowhere
else to be found. The nation is old, but the people are children
in disposition. Their character is like their climate, generally
sunny,--subject to violent occasional storms, but never growling life
away in an uncomfortable drizzle of discontent. They live upon Nature,
--sympathize with it and love it,--are susceptible to the least touch
of beauty,--are ardent, if not enduring, in their affectations,--and,
unless provoked and irritated, are very peaceful and amiable. The flaw
in their nature is jealousy, and it is a great flaw. Their want of truth
is the result of their education. We who are of the more active and busy
nations despise them for not having that irritated discontent which
urges us forward to change our condition; and we think our ambition
better than their supineness. But there is good in both. We do
more,--they enjoy more; we make violent efforts to be happy,--invent,
create, labor, to arrive at that quiet enjoyment which they own without
struggle, and which our anxious strife unfits us to enjoy when the means
for it are obtained. The general, popular idea, that an Italian is
quarrelsome, and ill-tempered, and that the best are only bandits in
disguise, is quite a mistake; and when studied as they exist out of the
track of travel, where they are often debased and denaturalized, they
will be found to be simple, kind-hearted, and generous.


Yes, my dear Dolorosus, I commiserate you. I regard your case, perhaps,
with even sadder emotions than that excellent family-physician who has
been sounding its depths these four years with a golden plummet, and
has never yet touched bottom. From those generous confidences which, in
common with most of your personal acquaintances, I daily share, I
am satisfied that no description can do justice to your physical
disintegration, unless it be the wreck of matter and the crush of worlds
with which Mr. Addison winds up Cato's Soliloquy. So far as I can
ascertain, there is not an organ of your internal structure which is
in its right place, at present, or which could perform any particular
service, if it were there. In the extensive library of medical almanacs
and circulars which I find daily deposited by travelling agents at my
front door, among all the agonizing vignettes of diseases which adorn
their covers, and which Irish Bridget daily studies with inexperienced
enjoyment in the front entry, there is no case which seems to afford a
parallel to yours. I found it stated in one of these works, the other
day, that there is iron enough in the blood of twenty-four men to make
a broadsword; but I am satisfied that it would be impossible to extract
enough from the veins of yourself and your whole family to construct a
crochet-needle for your eldest daughter. And I am quite confident,
that, if all the four hundred muscles of your present body were twisted
together by a rope-maker, they would not furnish that patient young
laborer with a needleful of thread.

You are undoubtedly, as you claim, a martyr to Dyspepsia; or if you
prefer any other technical name for your disease or diseases, I will
acquiesce in any, except, perhaps, the word "Neurology," which I must
regard as foreign to etymological science, if not to medical. Your case,
you think, is hard. I should think it would be. Yet I am impressed by
it, I must admit, as was our adopted fellow-citizen by the contemplation
of Niagara. He, you remember, when pressed to admire the eternal plunge
of the falling water, could only inquire, with serene acquiescence in
natural laws, "And what's to hinder?" I confess myself moved to similar
reflections by your disease and its history. My dear Dolorosus, can
you acquaint me with any reason, in the heavens above or on the earth
beneath, why you should _not_ have dyspepsia?

My thoughts involuntarily wander back to that golden period, five years
ago, when I spent one night and day beneath your hospitable roof. I
arrived, I remember, late in the evening. The bed-room to which you
kindly conducted me, after a light but wholesome supper of doughnuts and
cheese, was pleasing in respect to furniture, but questionable in regard
to physiology. The house was not more than twenty years old, and the
chamber must therefore have been aired within that distance of time, but
not, I should have judged, more recently. Perhaps its close, oppressive
atmosphere could not have been analyzed into as many separate odors
as Coleridge distinguished in Cologne,--but I could easily identify
aromatic vinegar, damp straw, lemons, and dyed silk gowns. And, as each
of the windows was carefully nailed down, there were no obvious means of
obtaining fresh air, save that ventilator said to be used by an eminent
lady in railway-cars,--the human elbow. The lower bed was of straw, the
upper of feathers, whose extreme heat kept me awake for a portion of the
night, and whose abundant fluffy exhalations suggested incipient asthma
during another portion. On rising from these rather unrefreshing
slumbers, I performed my morning ablutions with the aid of some
three teacupsful of dusty water,--for the pitcher probably held that
quantity,--availing myself, also, of something which hung over an
elegant towel-horse, and which, though I at first took it for a child's
handkerchief, proved on inspection to be "Chamber Towel, No. 1."

I remember, as I entered the breakfast-room, a vague steam as of frying
sausages, which, creeping in from the neighboring kitchen, obscured
in some degree the six white faces of your wife and children. The
breakfast-table was amply covered, for you were always what is termed
by judicious housewives "a good provider." I remember how the beefsteak
(for the sausages were especially destined for your two youngest
Dolorosi, who were just recovering from the measles, and needed
something light and palatable) vanished in large rectangular masses
within your throat, drawn downward in a maelstrom of coffee;--only
that the original whirlpool is, I believe, now proved to have been
imaginary;--"that cup was a fiction, but this is reality." The
resources of the house also afforded certain very hot biscuits or
breadcakes, in a high state of saleratus;--indeed, it must have been
from association with these, that certain yellow streaks in Mr. Ruskin's
drawing of the rock, at the Athenaeum, awakened in me such an immediate
sense of indigestion;--also fried potatoes, baked beans, mince-pie, and
pickles. The children partook of these dainties largely, but without
undue waste of time. They lingered at table precisely eight minutes,
before setting out for school; though we, absorbed in conversation,
remained at least ten;--after which we instantly hastened to your
counting-room, where you, without a moment's delay, absorbed yourself in
your ledger, while I flirted languidly with the "Daily Advertiser."

You bent over your desk the whole morning, occasionally having
anxious consultations with certain sickly men whom I supposed to be
superannuated bookkeepers, in impoverished circumstances, and rather
pallid from the want of nutritious food. One of them, dressed in rusty
black, with a flabby white neckcloth, I took for an ex-clergyman; he was
absorbed in the last number of the "Independent," though I observed, at
length, that he was only studying the list of failures, a department to
which, as it struck me, he himself peculiarly appertained. All of these,
I afterwards ascertained from your office-boy, were eminent capitalists;
something had gone wrong in the market,--not in the meat-market, as I
should have supposed from their appearance, but in the money-market. I
believe that there was some sudden fall in the price of indigo. I know
you looked exceedingly blue as we walked home to dinner.

Dinner was ready the instant we opened the front door. I expected as
much; I knew the pale, speechless woman who sat at the head of your
table would make sure of punctuality, if she died for it. We took our
seats without a word. The party was smaller than at breakfast. Two of
the children had staid at school, having their luncheon-baskets well
filled from the cold remains of breakfast. Your eldest girl, Angelina,
aged ten, one of those premature little grown women who have learned
from the cradle that man is born to eat pastry and woman to make it,
postponed her small repast till an indefinite future, and sat meekly
ready to attend upon our wants. Nathaniel, a thin boy of eight,
also partook but slightly, having impaired his appetite, his mother
suspected, by a copious luncheon of cold baked beans and vinegar, on
his return from school. The two youngest (twins) had relapsed to their
couches soon after breakfast, in consequence of excess of sausage.

You were quite agreeable in conversation, I remember, after the first
onset of appetite was checked. You gave me your whole theory of the
indigo crisis, with minute details, statistical and geographical, of
the financial condition and supposed present location of your principal
absconding debtors. This served for what is called, at public dinners,
the intellectual feast; while the carnal appetite was satisfied with
fried pork, ditto roasted, strong coffee, turnips, potatoes, and a good
deal of gravy. For dessert, (at which point Nathaniel regained his
appetite,) we had mince-pie, apple-pie, and lemon-pie, the latter being
a structure of a two-story description, an additional staging of crust
being somehow inserted between upper and under. We lingered long at that
noon meal,--fifteen minutes, at the very least; for you hospitably said
that you did not have these little social festivals very often,--owing
to frequent illness in the family, and other causes,--and mast make the
most of it.

I did not see much of you during that afternoon; it was a magnificent
day, and I said, that, being a visitor, I would look about and see the
new buildings. The truth was, I felt a sneaking desire to witness the
match-game on the Common, between the Union Base-Ball Club, No. 1, of
Ward Eleven, and the Excelsiors of Smithville. I remember that you
looked a little dissatisfied, when I came into the counting-room, and
rather shook your head over my narrative (perhaps too impassioned) of
the events of the game. "Those young fellows," said you, "may not _all_
be shiftless, dissipated characters, _yet_,--but see what it comes
to! They a'n't content with wasting their time,--they kill it, Sir,
actually kill it!" When I thought of the manly figures and handsome,
eager faces of my friends of the "Union" and the "Excelsior,"--the
Excelsiors won by ten tallies, I should say, the return match to come
off at Smithville the next month,--and then looked at the meagre form
and wan countenance of their critic, I thought to myself, "Dolorosus, my
boy, you are killing something besides Time, if you only knew it."

However, indigo had risen again, and your spirits also. As we walked
home, you gave me a precise exhibit of your income and expenditures for
the last five years, and a prospective sketch of the same for the next
ten; winding up with an incidental delineation of the importance, to a
man of business, of a good pew in some respectable place of worship. We
found Mrs. D., as usual, ready at the table; we partook of pound-cake
(or pound-and-a-half, I should say) and sundry hot cups of a very
Cisatlantic beverage, called by the Chinese epithet of tea,--and went,
immediately after, to a prayer-meeting. The church or chapel was much
crowded, and there was a certain something in the atmosphere which
seemed to disqualify my faculties from comprehending a single word that
was spoken. It certainly was not that the ventilators were closed, for
there were none. The minister occasionally requested that the windows
might be let down a little, and the deacons invariably closed them again
when he looked the other way. At intervals, females were carried out, in
a motionless condition,--not, as it appeared, from conviction of sin,
but from faintness. You sat, absorbed in thought, with your eyes closed,
and seemed not to observe them. I remember that you were very much
shocked when I suggested that the breath of an average sinner exhausted
atmospheric air at the rate of a hogshead an hour, and asked you
how much allowance the laws of the universe made for the lungs of
church-members? I do not recall your precise words, but I remember that
I finally found it expedient, as I was to leave for home in the early
train, to spend that night at the neighboring hotel, where I indulged,
on an excellent mattress, in a slumber so profound, that it seemed
next morning as if I ought, as Dick Swiveller suggested to the single
gentleman, to pay for a double-bedded room.

Well, that is all over now. You have given up business, from ill health,
and exhibit a ripe old age, possibly a little over-ripe, at thirty-five.
Your dreams of the forthcoming ten years have not been exactly
fulfilled; you have not precisely retired on a competency, because the
competency retired from you. Indeed, the suddenness with which your
physician compelled you to close up your business left it closed rather
imperfectly, so that most of the profits are found to have leaked out.
You are economizing rather strictly, just now, in respect to everything
but doctors' bills. The maternal Dolorosa is boarding somewhere in the
country, where the children certainly will not have more indigestible
food than they had at home, and may get less of it in quantity,--to
say nothing of more air and exercise to aid digestion. They are not,
however, in perfect condition. The twins are just getting up from
scarlet fever; Nathaniel has been advised to leave school for a time;
and something is thought to be the matter with Angelina's back.
Meanwhile, you are haunting water-cures, experimenting on life-pills,
holding private conferences with medical electricians, and thinking of a
trip to the Bermudas.

You are learning, through all this, the sagest maxims of resignation,
and trying to apply them. "Life is hard, but short," you say;
"Providence is inscrutable; we must submit to its mysterious decrees."
Would it not be better, my dear Dolorosus, to say instead, "Life is
noble and immortal; God is good; we must obey his plain laws, or accept
the beneficent penalties"? The rise and fall of health are no more
accidental than the rise and fall of indigo; and it is the duty of those
concerned in either commodity to keep their eyes open, and learn the
business intelligently. Of the three proverbial _desiderata_, it is as
easy to be healthy as to be wealthy, and much easier than to be wise,
except so far as health and wisdom mean the same thing. After health,
indeed, the other necessaries of life are very simple, and easily
obtained;--with moderate desires, regular employment, a loving home,
correct theology, the right politics, and a year's subscription to the
"Atlantic Monthly," I have no doubt that life, in this planet, may be as
happy as in any other of the solar system, not excepting Neptune and the
fifty-five asteroids.

You are possibly aware, my dear Dolorosus,--for I remember that you
were destined by your parents for the physician of your native
seaside village, until you found a more congenial avocation in curing
mackerel,--that the ancient medals represented the goddess Hygeia with a
serpent three times as large as that carried by Aesculapius, to denote
the superiority of hygiene to medicine, prevention to cure. To seek
health as you are now seeking it, regarding every new physician as if he
were Pandora, and carried hope at the bottom of his medicine-chest, is
really rather unpromising. This perpetual self-inspection of yours,
registering your pulse thrice a day, as if it were a thermometer and
you an observer for the Smithsonian,--these long consultations with
the other patients in the dreary parlor of the infirmary, the morning
devoted to debates on the nervous system, the afternoon to meditations
on the stomach, and the evening to soliloquies on the spine,--will do
you no good. The more you know, under these circumstances, the worse
it will be for you. You will become like Boerhaave's hypochondriacal
student, who, after every lecture, believed himself to be the victim of
the particular disease just expounded. We may even think too much about
_health_,--and certainly too much about _illness_. I solemnly believe
that the very best thing that could be done for you at this moment,
you unfortunate individual, would be to buy you a saddle-horse and a
revolver, and start you tomorrow for the Rocky Mountains, with distinct
instructions to treat any man as a Border Ruffian who should venture to
allude to the subject of disease in your presence.

But I cannot venture to hope that you will do anything so reasonable.
The fascinations of your present life are too overwhelming; when an
invalid once begins to enjoy the contemplation of his own woes, as you
appear to do, it is all over with him. Besides, you urge, and perhaps
justly, that your case has already gone too far, for so rough a tonic.
What, then, can I do for you? Medicine I cannot offer; for even your
respectable family-physician occasionally hints that you need something
different from that. I suspect that all rational advice for you may be
summed up in one prescription: Reverse instantly all the habits of your
previous physical existence, and there may be some chance for you. But,
perhaps, I had better enter more into detail.

Do not think that I am going to recur to the painful themes of doughnuts
and diet. I fear my hints, already given, on those subjects, may wound
the sensitive nature of Mrs. D., who suffers now such utter martyrdom
from your condition that I cannot bring myself to heap further coals
of fire on her head, even though the coals be taken from her own very
ineffectual cooking-stove. Let me dwell rather on points where you
have exclusive jurisdiction, and can live wisely or foolishly, at your

It does not depend on you, perhaps, whether you shall eat bread or
saleratus, meat or sole-leather; but it certainly does depend upon
yourself whether you shall wash yourself daily. I do not wish to be
personal, but I verily believe, O companion of my childhood! that,
until you began to dabble in Hydropathy, you had not bestowed a sincere
ablution upon your entire person since the epoch when, twenty years ago,
we took our last plunge together, off Titcomb's wharf, in our native
village. That in your well-furnished house there are no hydraulic
privileges beyond pint water-pitchers, I know from anxious personal
inspection. I know that you have spent an occasional week at the
sea-shore during the summer, and that many people prefer to do up their
cleanliness for the year during these excursions; indeed, you yourself
have mentioned to me, at such times, with some enthusiasm, your daily
sea-bath. But I have been privately assured, by the other boarders, that
the bath in question always consisted of putting on a neat bathing-dress
and sitting awhile on a rock among the sea-weed, like an insane merman,
with the highest waves submerging only your knees, while the younger
Dolorosi splashed and gambolled in safe shallows behind you. Even that
is better than nothing, but--Soul of Mohammed!--is that called bathing?
Verily, we are, as the Turks declare, a nation of "dirty Franks," if
this be the accepted definition.

Can it be possible that you really hold with the once-celebrated Mr.
Walker, "The Original," as he was deservedly called, who maintained,
that, by a correct diet, the system became self-purifying, through an
active exhalation which repelled impurity,--so that, while walking on
dusty roads, his feet, and even his stockings, remained free from dust?
"By way of experiment, I did not wash my face for a week; nor did any
one see, nor I feel, the difference." My deluded friend, it is a fatal
error. Mr. Walker, the Original, may have been inwardly a saint and a
sage, but it is impossible that his familiar society could have been
desirable, even to fools or sinners. Rather recall, from your early
explorations in Lempriere's Dictionary, how Medea renewed the youth of
Pelias by simply cutting him to pieces and boiling him; whereon my Lord
Bacon justly remarks, that "there may be some boiling required in the
matter, but the cutting to pieces is not needful." If you find that the
water-cure agrees with your constitution, I rejoice in it; I should
think it would; but, I implore you, do not leave it all behind you when
you leave the institution. When you return to your family, use your very
first dollars for buying a sponge and a tin-hat, for each member of the
household; and bring up the five children to lead decent lives.

Then, again, consider the fact that our lungs were created to consume
oxygen. I suppose that never in your life, Dolorosus, did those
breathing organs of yours inhale more than one half the quantity of air
that they were intended to take in,--to say nothing of its quality. Yet
one would think, that, in the present high prices of other food, you
would make the most of the only thing you can put into your mouth
gratis. Here is Nature constantly urging on us an unexceptionable
atmosphere forty miles high,--for if a pressure of fourteen pounds to
the square inch is not to be called urging, what is?--and yet we not
only neglect, but resist the favor. Our children commonly learn to spell
much better than they ever learn to breathe, because much more attention
is paid to the former department of culture. Indeed, the materials are
better provided; spelling-books are abundant; but we scarcely allow them
time, in the intervals of school, to seek fresh air out of doors, and
we sedulously exclude it from our houses and school-rooms. Is it
not possible to impress upon your mind the changes which "modern
improvements" are bringing upon us? In times past, if a gentleman
finished the evening with a quiet cigar in his parlor, (a practice I
deprecate, and introduce only for purposes of scientific illustration,)
not a trace of it ever lingered to annoy his wife at the
breakfast-table; showing that the draft up the open chimney had wholly
disposed of it, the entire atmosphere of the room being changed during
the night. Now, on the other hand, every whiff lingers persistently
beside the domestic altar, and betrays to the youngest child, next
day, the parental weakness. For the sake of family example, Dolorosus,
correct this state of things, and put in a ventilator. Our natures will
not adapt themselves to this abstinence from fresh air, until Providence
shall fit us up with new bodies, having no lungs in them. Did you ever
hear of Dr. Lyne, the eccentric Irish physician? Dr. Lyne held that no
house was wholesome, unless a dog could get in under every door and a
bird fly out at every window. He even went so far as to build his house
with the usual number of windows, and no glass in the sashes; he lived
in that house for fifty years, reared a large family there, and no death
ever occurred in it. He himself died away from home, of small-pox, at
eighty; his son immediately glazed all the windows of the house, and
several of the family died within the first year of the alteration. The
story sounds apocryphal, I own, though I did not get it from Sir Jonah
Barrington, but somewhere in the scarcely less amusing pages of Sir John
Sinclair. I will not advise you, my unfortunate sufferer, to break every
pane of glass in your domicile, though I have no doubt that Nathaniel
and his boy-companions would enter with enthusiasm into the process; I
am not fond of extremes; but you certainly might go so far as to take
the nails out of my bed-room windows, and yet keep a good deal this side
the Lyne.

I hardly dare go on to speak of exercise, lest I should share the
reproach of that ancient rhetorician who,--as related by Plutarch, in
his Aphorisms,--after delivering an oration in praise of Hercules, was
startled by the satirical inquiry from his audience, whether any one
had ever dispraised Hercules. As with Hercules, so with the physical
activity he represents,--no one dispraises, if few practise it. Even
the disagreement of doctors has brought out but little skepticism on
this point. Cardan, it is true, in his treatise, "Plantae cur Animalibus
diuturniores," maintained that trees lived longer than men because
they never stirred from their places. Exercise, he held, increases
transpiration; transpiration shortens life; to live long, then, we need
only remain perfectly still. Lord Bacon fell in with this fancy, and
advised "oily unctions," to prevent perspiration. Maupertuis went
farther, and proposed to keep the body covered with pitch for this
purpose: conceive, Dolorosus, of spending threescore years and ten in
a garment of tar, without even the ornament of feathers, sitting
tranquilly in our chairs, waiting for longevity! In more recent times,
I can remember only Dr. Darwin as an advocate of sedentary living. He
attempted to show its advantages by the healthy longevity attained by
quiet old ladies in country-towns. But this is questioned by his critic,
Dr. Beddoes, who admits the longevity, but denies the healthiness;
he maintains that the old ladies are taking some new medicine every
day,--at least, if they have a physician who understands his business.

Now I will not maintain, with Frederick the Great, that all our systems
of education are wrong, because they aim to make men students or clerks,
whereas the mere shape of the body shows (so thought King Frederick)
that we are primarily designed for postilions, and should spend most of
our lives on horseback. But it is very certain that all the physical
universe takes the side of health and activity, wooing us forth into
Nature, imploring us hourly, and in unsuspected ways, to receive her
blessed breath into body and soul, and share in her eternal youth. For
this are summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, given; for this do
violet and bloodroot come, and gentian and witch-hazel go; for this do
changing sunsets make yon path between the pines a gateway into heaven;
for this does day shut us down within the loneliness of its dome of
light, and night, lifting it, make us free of the vast fellowship of
stars; for this do pale meteors wander nightly, soft as wind-blown
blossoms, down the air; for this do silent snows transform the winter
woods to feathery things, that seem too light to linger, and yet too
vast to take their flight; for this does the eternal ocean follow its
queen with patient footsteps round earth's human shores; for this does
all the fair creation answer to every dream or mood of man, so that we
receive but what we give;--all is offered to us, to call us from our
books and our trade, and summon us into Nature's health and joy. To
study, with the artist, the least of her beauties,--to explore, with the
man of science, the smallest of her wonders,--or even simply to wander
among her exhaustless resources, like a child, needing no interest
unborrowed from the eye,--this feeds body and brain and heart and soul

But I see that your attention is wandering a little, Dolorosus, and
perhaps I ought not to be surprised. I think I hear you respond,
impatiently, in general terms, that you are not "sentimental." I admit
it; never within my memory did you err on that side. You also hint that
you never _did_ care much about weeds or bugs. The phrases are not
scientific, but the opinion is intelligible. Perhaps my ardor has
carried me too fast for my audience. While it would be a pleasure, no
doubt, to see you transformed into an artist or a _savant_, yet that is
scarcely to be expected, and, if attained, might not be quite enough.
The studies of the naturalist, exclusively pursued, may tend to make a
man too conscious and critical,--patronizing Nature, instead of enjoying
her. He may even grow morbidly sensitive, like Buffon, who became so
impressed with the delicacy and mystery of the human organization, that
he was afraid to stoop even to pick up his own pen, when dropped, but
called a servant to restore it. The artist, also, becomes often narrowed
and petty, and regards the universe as a sort of factory, arranged to
turn out "good bits of color" for him. Something is needed to make us
more free and unconscious, in our out-door lives, than these too wise
individuals; and that something is best to be found in athletic sports.
It was a genuine impulse which led Sir Humphrey Davy to care more for
fishing than even for chemistry, and made Byron prouder of his swimming
than of "Childe Harold," and induced Sir Robert Walpole always to open
his gamekeeper's letters first, and his diplomatic correspondence
afterwards. Athletic sports are "boyish," are they? Then they are
precisely what we want. We Americans certainly do not have much boyhood
under the age of twenty, and we must take it afterwards or not at all.

Who can describe the unspeakable refreshment for an overworked brain,
of laying aside all cares, and surrendering one's self to simple bodily
activity? Laying them aside! I retract the expression; they slip off
unnoticed. You cannot embark care in your wherry; there is no room for
the odious freight. Care refuses to sit behind the horseman, despite the
Latin sentence; you leave it among your garments when you plunge into
the river, it rolls away from the rolling cricket-ball, the first whirl
in the gymnasium disposes of it, and you are left free, as boys and
birds are free. If athletic amusements did nothing for the body, they
would still be medicine for the soul. Nay, it is Plato who says
that exercise will almost cure a guilty conscience,--and can we be
indifferent to this, my fellow-sinner?

Why will you persist in urging that you "cannot afford" these
indulgences, as you call them? They are not indulgences,--they are
necessaries. Charge them, in your private account-book, under the heads
of food and clothing, and as a substitute for your present enormous
items under the head of medicine. O mistaken economist! can you afford
the cessation of labor and the ceaseless drugging and douching of your
last few years? Did not all your large experience in the retail-business
teach you the comparative value of the ounce of prevention and the pound
of cure? Are not fresh air and cold water to be had cheap? and is not
good bread less costly than cake and pies? Is not the gymnasium a more
economical institution than the hospital? and is not a pair of skates a
good investment, if it aids you to elude the grasp of the apothecary? Is
the cow Pepsin, on the whole, a more frugal hobby to ride than a good
saddle-horse? Besides, if you insist upon pecuniary economy, do begin
by economizing on the exercise which you pay others for taking in your
stead,--on the corn and pears which you buy in the market, instead of
removing to a suburban house and raising them yourself,--and in the
reluctant silver you pay the Irishman who splits your wood. Or if,
suddenly reversing your line of argument, you plead that this would
impoverish the Irishman, you can at least treat him as you do the
organ-grinder, and pay him an extra fee to go on to your next neighbor.

Dolorosus, there is something very noble, if you could but discover it,
in a perfect human body. In spite of all our bemoaning, the physical
structure of man displays its due power and beauty when we consent to
give it a fair chance. On the cheek of every healthy child that plays in
the street, though clouded by all the dirt that ever incrusted a young
O'Brien or M'Cafferty, there is a glory of color such as no artist ever
painted. I can take you to-morrow into a circus or a gymnasium, and show
you limbs and attitudes which are worth more study than the Apollo or
the Antinous, because they are life, not marble. How noble were Horatio
Greenough's meditations, in presence of the despised circus-rider! "I
worship, when I see this brittle form borne at full speed on the back
of a fiery horse, yet dancing as on the quiet ground, and smiling in
conscious safety."

I admit that this view, like every other, may be carried to excess.
We can hardly expect to correct our past neglect of bodily training,
without falling into reactions and extremes, in the process. There is
our friend Jones, for instance, "the Englishman," as the boys on the
Common call him, from his cheery portliness of aspect. He is the man who
insisted on keeping the telegraph-office open until 2, A.M., to hear
whether Morrissey or the Benicia Boy won the prize-fight. I cannot say
much for his personal conformity to his own theories at present, for he
is growing rather too stout; but he likes vicarious exercise, and is
doing something for the next generation, even if he does make the club
laugh, sometimes, by advancing theories of training which the lower
circumference of his own waistcoat does not seem to justify. But
Charley, his eldest, can ride, shoot, and speak the truth, like an
ancient Persian; he is the best boxer in college, and is now known to
have gone to Canada _incog._, during the vacation, under the immediate
supervision of Morris, the teacher of sparring, to see that same fight.
It is true that the youth blushes, now, whenever that trip is alluded
to; and when he was cross-questioned by his pet sister Kate, (Kate
Coventry she delights to be called,) as to whether it wasn't "splendid,"
he hastily told her that she didn't know what she was talking about,
(which was undoubtedly true,)--and that he wished he didn't, either. The
truth is, that Charley, with his honest, boyish face, must have been
singularly out of place among that brutal circle; and there is little
doubt that he retired from the company before the set-to was fairly
begun, and that respectable old Morris went with him. But, at any rate,
they are a noble-looking family, and well brought up. Charley, with all
his pugilism, stands fair for a part at Commencement, they say; and
if you could have seen little Kate teaching her big cousin to skate
backwards, at Jamaica Pond, last February, it would have reminded you
of the pretty scene of the little cadet attitudinising before the great
Formes, in "Figaro." The whole family incline in the same direction;
even Laura, the elder sister,--who is attending a course of lectures on
Hygiene, and just at present sits motionless for half an hour before
every meal for her stomach's sake, and again a whole hour afterwards for
her often (imaginary) infirmities,--even Laura is a perfect Hebe in
health and bloom, and saved herself and her little sister when the boat
upset, last summer, at Dove Harbor,--while the two young men who were
with them had much ado to secure their own elegant persons, without
rendering much aid to the girls. And when I think, Dolorosus, of this
splendid animal vigor of the race of Jones, and then call to mind the
melancholy countenances of your forlorn little offspring, I really think
that it would, on the whole, be unsafe to trust you with that revolver;
you might be tempted to damage yourself or somebody else with it, before
departing for the Rocky Mountains.

Do not think me heartless for what I say, or assume, that, because I
happen to be healthy myself, I have no mercy for ill-health in others.
There are invalids who are objects of sympathy indeed, guiltless heirs
of ancestral disease, or victims of parental folly or sin,--those whose
lives are early blighted by maladies that seem as causeless as they are
cureless,--or those with whom the world has dealt so cruelly that all
their delicate nature is like sweet bells jangled,--or those whose
powers of life are all exhausted by unnoticed labors and unseen
cares,--or those prematurely old with duties and dangers, heroes of
thought and action, whose very names evoke the passion and the pride of
a hundred thousand hearts. There is a tottering feebleness of old age,
also, nobler than any prime of strength; we all know aged men who are
floating on, in stately serenity, towards their last harbor, like
Turner's Old Temeraire, with quiet tides around them, and the blessed
sunset bathing in loveliness all their dying day. Let human love do its
gracious work upon all these; let angelic hands of women wait upon
their lightest needs, and every voice of salutation be tuned to such a
sweetness as if it whispered beside a dying mother's bed.

But you, Dolorosus,--you, to whom God gave youth and health, and who
might have kept them, the one long and the other perchance always, but
who never loved them, nor reverenced them, nor cherished them, only
coined them into money till they were all gone, and even the ill-gotten
treasure fell from your debilitated hands,--you, who shunned the
sunshine as if it were sin, and called all innocent recreation time
wasted,--you, who staid under ground in your goldmine, like the
sightless fishes of the Mammoth Cave, till you were as blind and
unjoyous as they,--what plea have you to make, what shelter to claim,
except that charity which suffereth long and is kind? We will strive
not to withhold it; while there is life, there is hope. At forty, it is
said, every man is a fool or a physician. We will wait and see which
vocation you select as your own, for the broken remnant of your days.

* * * * *




In the mean while Congress had assembled. The agitation on the subject
of Slavery, far from being suppressed, or even overshadowed, burned more
fiercely than ever before. The Pro-slavery faction in Kansas, stimulated
by the constant support of the National Administration, was engaged in a
final effort to maintain a supremacy over the affairs of that Territory
which the current of immigration from the Free States had been steadily
undermining. Against the will of nine-tenths of the population, it had
framed, with a show of technical legality, a Constitution intended to
perpetuate Slavery, which the Administration indorsed and presented to
Congress with an urgent recommendation for the admission under it
of Kansas as a State. In the commotion which these events excited
throughout the country, the transient gleam of importance which had
attached to the Mormon War was almost extinguished. The people of the
States no longer felt a much more vital interest in news from that
remote region than in tidings from the rebellion in India or of the wars
in China. Their attention, sympathies, and curiosity--were all fastened
upon the action of Congress with respect to Kansas,--for therein, it was
believed, were contained the germs of the political combinations for
the Presidential election of 1860. The same listlessness with regard to
affairs in Utah pervaded the Cabinet. All its _prestige_ was staked on
the result of the impending struggle in the House of Representatives
over the Lecompton Constitution, and its energies were abstracted from
every other subject, to be concentrated upon that alone.

Just at this time, Mr. Thomas L. Kane, of Pennsylvania,--son of the late
Judge of the United States District Court for that State, and brother of
the late Dr. Kane, the Arctic explorer,--solicited the Administration
for employment as a mediator between the Mormons and the Federal
Government. Mr. Kane was one of the few persons of education and social
standing who were well acquainted with Mormon history. He had visited
them at Winter Quarters, in Iowa, during their exodus from Nauvoo, in
the capacity of a commissioner to enlist the Mormon battalion which
served in the Mexican War. During an illness which attacked him there,
he was treated with an unremitting kindness, for which his gratitude
has been proportionate. Belonging to a family whose members have
been distinguished by strong traits of individuality, not to say
eccentricity, from that moment forward he displayed a practical interest
in the welfare of the sect. It is said that he became a convert to the
religious doctrines of Mormonism. Whether this be true at all, and,
if so, to what extent, it would he profitless at the present time to
inquire. For the purposes of this narrative, it is sufficient to assert
only, what is unchallenged, that he was a sincere admirer of the Mormons
as a people, and for a long series of years had defended them, from
every reproach with a zeal which many of his friends thought inordinate.

Its experience in Kansas had familiarized the Cabinet with the use of
secret agents; but, nevertheless, the proposition of Mr. Kane was coldly
received. After a brief correspondence, he started for California, in
no capacity a representative of the government, if he himself is to be
believed, but bearing letters from Mr. Buchanan indorsing his character
as a gentleman, and exhorting Federal officials to render him such
courtesies as were within their power. Having arrived at San Francisco,
he journeyed southward to the lately abandoned Mormon settlement of
San Bernardino, near Los Angeles, travelling under the assumed name of
Osborne, and proclaiming his business to be the collection of specimens
for an entomological society in Philadelphia. There his real name and
purpose were detected, but he succeeded in obtaining transportation to
Salt Lake City, where he arrived on the 25th of February, 1858, and was
greeted by Young and Kimball, and the rest of the Mormon magnates, as an
old and cherished friend.

In the Annual Message of the President to Congress, his disposition to
make every other issue subordinate to that of admitting Kansas under the
Lecompton Constitution was manifest; and it influenced the tone of those
paragraphs which treated of affairs in Utah. Notwithstanding the fact
that the Mormons had committed every act of warfare against the United
States short of taking life, Mr. Buchanan qualified his language
concerning their conduct, stating, that, "unless Brigham Young should
retrace his steps, the Territory of Utah will be in a state of open
rebellion," but declining to accept the logical inference from his own
expression, that the rebellion was at the time open and manifest. He
recommended no further legislation concerning the matter than that four
regiments should be added to the army, to supply the place of those
which had been withdrawn from service in the East.

It was evident that the purpose for which he had originally planned the
expedition had failed. Forced, after all, no less by inclination than by
circumstances, into such a revival of Slavery agitation as he had never
contemplated during the interval between his election and inauguration,
the Utah War only incumbered his administration, promoting neither its
policy nor its prosperity. However it might result, it would not in the
least advance his interests; and it became his opinion, that, the sooner
it was quieted, the better for the welfare of the Democratic party,
which would be held responsible by the country for all mistakes in its
management. "After us the deluge," seemed to be adopted as the motto of
the entire policy of the Administration.

The only movement in Congress concerning Utah, before the New Year, was
the introduction into the House of Representatives, by Mr. Warren of
Arkansas, of a badly-worded resolution, prefaced by a worse-worded
preamble, looking to the expulsion from the floor of Mr. Bernhisel,
the Mormon delegate from the Territory. A lively discussion ensued
concerning the question of privilege under which Mr. Warren claimed the
right to introduce the resolution,--and when it was ruled in order, much
hesitation was evinced about adopting it, some members fearing that it
would establish a dangerous precedent for emergencies that might arise
in the future history of the country. The tone of debate showed that
there was little difference of opinion in the House concerning Utah
affairs,--the unanimity, however, being due in great part to ignorance
and indifference. The issue of Slavery in Kansas was absorbing. Mr.
Warren's resolution was referred to the Committee on Territories, and
slumbered upon their table through the whole session. The only other
movement in Congress, which deserves mention in this connection, was
the introduction, towards the close of January, by Senator Wilson of
Massachusetts, of a joint resolution authorizing the appointment of
commissioners to examine into the Mormon difficulties, "with a view to
their adjustment." This was referred by the Senate to the Committee on
Military Affairs, and was never heard of again.

The recommendation of the President for an increase of the army secured
favorable consideration from committees of both Houses, and the
discussion which ensued, upon the bills reported for that purpose, was
filled with allusions to the Utah question. Mr. Thompson of New York,
and Mr. Boyce of South Carolina, both made elaborate speeches on the
subject; but neither of them proposed any scheme for its solution. Such
a scheme, however, was suggested by Mr. Blair of Missouri, who advised
a reorganization of the Territorial government, in order to vest the
legislative power in the Governor and the Judges, for which a precedent
existed in the instance of the old Northwestern Territory; but no action
was had upon this suggestion. Through the entire debate, Mr. Bernhisel
remained silent. During the winter, the President conferred upon Colonel
Johnston the brevet rank of Brigadier-General, believing that the
uniform discretion he had manifested entitled him to promotion; and the
nomination was confirmed by the Senate.

While such were the transactions in Congress, the Mormons, in December,
had organized a government like that under which they had hitherto
subsisted. Their legislature--the same which had been elected under the
Organic Act of the Territory--met at Salt Lake City on the second Monday
of that month, in the hall of the Council House, and organized by the
choice of Heber C. Kimball as President of the Council and John Taylor
as Speaker of the House. Brigham Young retained the title and authority
of Governor, and addressed to the legislature the customary annual
message, reviewing the condition of the Territory. This document
was prepared in reality by Taylor, and was worded with considerable
ingenuity. Not the slightest allusion was made to the declarations of
independence that had been reiterated throughout the summer and autumn,
but the relations of Utah to the United States were discussed as those
of a Territory to the Union. The President was himself charged with
treason in his action towards the Mormons, the Governor and Judges whom
he had appointed were reviled as depraved and abandoned men, and the
army was again proclaimed a mob,--while Utah was lauded as the "most
loyal Territory known since the days of the Revolution." The theory of
Squatter-Sovereignty was the basis of the argument, and Mr. Buchanan was
accused, and with some reason, of inconsistency in his application of
that doctrine.

In response to this message, the legislature passed a series of
resolutions, pledging itself to sustain "His Excellency Governor Young"
in every act he might perform or dictate "for the protection of the
lives, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Territory,"--asserting
that the President had incurred the "contempt and decided opposition
of all good men," on account of the "act of usurped authority and
oppression" of which he was guilty, in "forcing profane, drunken,
and otherwise corrupt officials upon Utah at the point of the
bayonet,"--expressing a determination to "continue to resist any attempt
on the part of the Administration to bring the people into a state of
vassalage by appointing, contrary to the Constitution, officers whom the
people have neither voice nor vote in electing,"--avowing the purpose
not to suffer "any persons appointed to office for Utah by the
Administration either to qualify for, or assume, or discharge, within
the limits of the Territory, the functions of the offices to which they
have been appointed; so long as the Territory is menaced by an invading
army,"--and declaring that the people of Utah would have their voice in
the selection of their officers. These were sweet-scented blossoms to
blow so early on the tree of Squatter-Sovereignty, at that time scarcely
four years old!

The only acts of the legislature were one disorganizing the County
of Green River, in which the army was encamped, and attaching it for
legislative and judicial purposes to Great Salt Lake County; another
divesting the Governor of power to license the manufacture of ardent
spirits, and conferring that authority upon the President of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; and several others in pursuance
of the system of granting away large tracts of public domain to private
persons, in direct contravention of a clause in the Organic Act of the
Territory, which provides that "no law shall be passed interfering with
the primary disposal of the soil." To these acts Brigham Young attached
his signature as Governor, and affixed the Territorial seal.

A Memorial to Congress was adopted also, which was transmitted to
Washington, and received there and laid before the two Houses on the
16th of March. This document charged that the action of the National
Government towards Utah was based upon the statements of "lying
officials and anonymous letter-writers"; it rehearsed the history of the
Mormons,--their persecutions in Missouri and Illinois,--and declared
that the object of the Utah expedition was to inflict similar outrages.
"Give us our constitutional rights," it said; "they are all we ask; and
them we have a right to expect. For them we contend, and feel justified
in so doing. We claim that we should have the privilege, as we have the
constitutional right, to choose our own rulers and make our own laws
without let or hindrance." Although this Memorial was nothing more than
an infuriated tirade, it was honored in both Houses by reference to the
Committees on Territories, from which it received all the consideration
it deserved.

Indifferent and inactive as this review shows Congress and the President
to have been concerning Utah, a similar apathy was impossible in the War
Department. Not only the welfare, but the lives even, of the troops at
Fort Bridger, depended on its action. Transactions of such magnitude
had not been incumbent on its bureaus since the Mexican War. The chief
anxiety of General Johnston was for the transmission of supplies from
the East as early as possible in the spring. The contractors for their
transportation during the year 1857 had wintered several trains at Fort
Laramie, together with oxen and teamsters. The General entertained a
fear that so great a proportion of their stock might perish during the
winter as to cripple their advance until fresh animals could be obtained
from the States. Combined with this fear was an apprehension for the
safety of Captain Marcy. A prisoner, whom the Mormons had captured in
October on Ham's Fork, escaped from Salt Lake City at the close of
December, and brought news to Camp Scott that they intended to fit out
an expedition to intercept the command and stampede the herds with which
that officer would move from New Mexico. The dispatches in which these
anxieties were communicated to General Scott, together with suggestions
for their relief, were intrusted in midwinter to a small party for
conveyance to the States. The journey taught them what must have been
the sufferings of the expedition which Captain Marcy led to Taos.
Reduced at one time to buffalo-tallow and coffee for sustenance, there
was not a day during the transit across the mountains when any stronger
barrier than the lives of a few half-starved mules interposed between
them and death by famine. All along the route lay memorials of the march
of the army, and especially of Colonel Cooke's battalion,--a trail of
skeletons a thousand miles in length, gnawed bare by the wolves and
bleaching in the snow, visible at every undulation in the drifts.

But before the arrival of these dispatches at New York, the arrangements
of the War Department to forward supplies to Utah had been completed.
The representations of the contractors' agents with regard to the
condition of the cattle at Fort Laramie were received without question,
and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffmann, of the Sixth Infantry, was
dispatched to that post to superintend the advance of the trains.
Additional contracts, of an unprecedented character, were entered into
for furnishing and transporting all the supplies which would be needed
during the year 1858, both for the troops already in the Territory
and for the reinforcements which were ordered to concentrate at Fort
Leavenworth and march to Utah as soon as the roads should be passable.
These reinforcements were about three thousand strong, comprising
the First Cavalry, the Sixth and Seventh Infantry, and two
artillery-batteries. The trains necessary for so large a force, in
addition to that at Fort Bridger, it was estimated would comprise at
least forty-five hundred wagons, requiring more than fifty thousand
oxen, four thousand mules, and five thousand teamsters, wagon-masters,
and other _employes_. To the shame of the Administration, these gigantic
contracts, involving an amount of more than six million dollars,
were distributed with a view to influence votes in the House of
Representatives upon the Lecompton Bill. Some of the lesser ones, such
as those for furnishing mules, dragoon-horses, and forage, were granted
arbitrarily to relatives or friends of members who were wavering upon
that question. The principal contract, that for the transportation of
all the supplies, involving, for the year 1858, the amount of four
millions and a half, was granted, without advertisement or subdivision,
to a firm in Western Missouri, whose members had distinguished
themselves in the effort to make Kansas a Slave State, and now
contributed liberally to defray the election-expenses of the Democratic

It was said to have been contemplated, for a while, during the winter,
to operate against the Mormons from California, and to send General
Scott to San Francisco to direct arrangements for the purpose; but the
project, if ever seriously entertained, was soon abandoned, it being
evident that for the speedy subjugation of Utah the Missouri frontier
furnished the only practicable base-line of operations.

At Camp Scott, the winter dragged along wearily. Between November and
March only two mails arrived there, and the great monetary crisis in the
United States was unknown till months after it had subsided. The Mormons
were constantly in possession of later intelligence from the States
than the army; for, by a strange inconsistency, their mails to and from
California were not interfered with. A brigade-guard was mounted daily
at the camp larger than that of the whole American army on the eve
of the battles before Mexico, and scouting parties were continually
dispatched to scour the country in a circuit of thirty miles around
Fort Bridger; for there was constant apprehension of an attempt by the
Mormons to stampede the herds on Henry's Fork, if not to attack the
regiment which guarded them. No tidings arrived from Captain Marcy, and
a most painful apprehension prevailed as to his fate. At the close of
January, Dr. Hurt, the Indian Agent, after consultation with General
Johnston, started from the camp, accompanied only by four Pah-Utahs, and
crossed the Uinta Mountains, through snow drifted twenty feet deep, to
the villages of the tribe of Uinta-Utahs, on the river of the same name.
It was his intention, in case of need, to employ these Indians to
warn Captain Marcy of danger and afford him relief. It proved to be
unnecessary to do so, and Dr. Hurt returned in April; but the hardships
he endured in the undertaking resulted in an illness which threatened
his life for weeks. On the 13th of March, an express had come in from
New Mexico, bringing news of the safe arrival of Captain Marcy at Taos
on the 22d of January. The sufferings of his whole party from cold and
hunger had been severe. Their provisions failed them, and they had
recourse to mule-meat. Many of the men were badly frost-bitten, but only
one perished on the journey.

On the previous evening,--March 12th,--the monotony of the camp had been
unexpectedly disturbed by the arrival, from the direction of Salt Lake
City, of a horseman completely exhausted by fatigue and cold, who proved
to be no other than Mr. Kane, whose mission to the Mormons by way of
California was at that time totally unknown to the army. The next
morning he introduced himself to the Governor, was received as his
guest, and remained in conference with him throughout the day. What was
the character of their communication is unknown, except by inference
from its results. When presented to Judge Eckels, on the following day,
Mr. Kane exhibited to him the letters he bore from the President, and
other letters, also, from Brigham Young, accrediting him as a negotiator
in the existing difficulties. To General Johnston he showed nothing; nor
did the Governor, to the knowledge of the camp, acquaint either that
officer or any other person with the purport of his business. It was
evident to everybody, however, that the Mormon leaders, conscious of
their inability to resist the force by which they would be assailed so
soon as the snow should melt upon the mountains, were engaged in an
effort, of which Mr. Kane was the agent, to secure through the Governor,
if possible, indemnity for their past offences, in consideration of
acknowledgment of his authority.

The domestic condition of the people of the Valley confirmed the belief
that this was the purpose of Mr. Kane's mission. Dependent as they had
always been, since their settlement in Utah, upon Eastern merchants
for an annual supply of groceries, dry goods, wearing-apparel of all
descriptions, and every article of luxury, their stock of some of even
the necessaries of life--such as coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco, calicoes,
boots and shoes, stationery--was at this time nearly exhausted. Many of
the poorer families were actually half naked, and, to supply them with
covering, an ecclesiastical mandate had been issued, directing all
persons who had spare clothing of any description to deposit it at the
tithing-office in Salt Lake City, to be there exchanged for grain and
cattle with those who were in need.

At the commencement of the rebellion, the Mormon settlements in Southern
California had been broken up, and all the missionaries of the Church
were summoned to return from foreign lands. The influx of population
from these sources, though slight, yet increased the destitution. Almost
all the people, too, had been withdrawn from productive employments
throughout the autumn and winter. Although the number of militia kept
under arms, after the formation of the camp at Fort Bridger, probably at
no time reached fifteen hundred, while in October and November it had
exceeded three thousand, still the fever of excitement which raged
through the community distracted its members from any hearty labor.
Great quantities of winter-wheat, to be sure, had been sown, and the
fields were prepared for cultivation during the coming summer; but no
public improvements were prosecuted, and everybody was prepared for such
an exodus as had been predicted to Captain Van Vliet.

The complete subserviency of the people to the hierarchy was never more
strikingly manifest than in a financial scheme which Brigham Young
devised at this time. Among the Mormons there had always been a quantity
of gold coin in circulation, much exceeding, in proportion to their
number, the amount circulating in any other portion of America. This was
owing to the fact, that the Church had unconstitutionally arrogated to
itself the prerogative of coining and regulating the value of money. The
Mormon battalion which had been enlisted at Winter Quarters in Iowa was
disbanded in California at the close of the Mexican War, and most of its
members went to the gold-diggings. The treasures they there accumulated
were conveyed to Utah, where the Church established a mint and coined
gold pieces of $2.50, $5, $10, and $20. The device on the obverse was
two hands clasped in one of the grips of the Endowment; on the reverse,
a figure from the Book of Mormon, with the motto, "Holiness to the
Lord." The intrinsic value of these coins being more than ten per
cent less than their denominations, they were all retained within the
Territory. Young now prevailed upon his people to surrender whatever
gold and silver they possessed, amounting to several hundred thousand
dollars, and accept in return the notes of a banking association of
which he himself was president and one of his numerous sons-in-law
cashier. These notes were redeemable, in amounts of not less than one
hundred dollars, in live stock, the appraisement of the value of which
rested with the officers of the association. So absolute was the
degradation and ignorance of the population, that they submitted to this
extortion without a murmur.

Mr. Kane had remained in Salt Lake City eight days before starting
towards Fort Bridger,--a period quite long enough for a trusted friend
of the Mormon leaders to ascertain the extremities to which the people
were reduced. To secure the safety of those leaders who were under
indictment for treason, there was no choice except between flight and
inducing the Federal authorities to temporize. Both he and they were
conscious that the advance of the army could not be successfully
resisted, when the snow should cease to bar its way. In case of the
flight of the leaders, or of a general exodus of the population, only
two courses lay open to them,--northward toward the British Possessions,
southward toward the provinces of Upper Mexico.

The first two days of Mr. Kane's sojourn in camp satisfied him of the
cooperation of Governor Cumming in a plan for temporizing, as well as of
the impossibility of enlisting General Johnston or Judge Eckels in any
such scheme. An imaginary affront, to which he believed himself at this
time to have been subjected by the General, led him into a course of
action which, had it been followed out, might have terminated his
mission abruptly. Considering the fact that he was within the
guard-lines of a military encampment, in a country where a state of
warfare existed, it was perhaps too great forbearance on the part of the
General not to have required to be informed of his business, since
he himself volunteered no explanation. An invitation to dinner being
dispatched to him from head-quarters,--and such an invitation was no
slight compliment in a camp where the rations were so abridged,--the
orderly to whom it was intrusted for delivery, whether maliciously or
not it does not appear, pretended to have mistaken his directions, and
proceeded to place him under arrest. The mistake, when discovered, was
of course immediately rectified; but Mr. Kane became so excited in
consequence, that, with the assent of the Governor, he indited a
challenge to the General, and applied to a gentleman from Virginia to
act as his second. Having received a decided rebuff in that quarter, he
was induced to abandon the design by the interposition of Judge Eckels,
who became acquainted with what was passing, and informed the Governor
that he had ordered the United States Marshal to arrest all the parties
concerned, in case another step should be taken in the affair. It was
not till some time afterwards that these transactions came to the
knowledge of General Johnston.

Mr. Kane remained with the Governor until April, absenting himself once,
however, for a day, in order to hold a secret interview with a party of
Mormons who had come into the vicinity of the camp. Notwithstanding his
presence, no precaution to protect the herds was neglected, nor was the
guard-duty at all relaxed. On the 18th of March, although a furious
snow-storm raged all day long, the encampment was moved down Black's
Fork to the immediate neighborhood of Fort Bridger,--a spot less
sheltered, but far more secure from attack. On the 3d of April, an event
occurred for which everybody was prepared. The Governor announced to
General Johnston his intention to proceed to Salt Lake City in company
with Mr. Kane; and on the 5th, they started upon the journey.

The District Court commenced its spring term at Fort Bridger the same
day. In his charge to the grand jury, Judge Eckels was explicit on the
subject of polygamy, instructing them substantially as follows: That
among the Territorial statutes there was no act legalizing polygamy, nor
any act affixing a definite punishment to that practice as such; that,
consequently, whether the old Spanish law or the Common Law constituted
the basis of jurisprudence in the Territory, the definition of marriage
recognized by both was to be received there, which limited that
institution to the union of one man with one woman, and also the
definition of adultery common to both, by which that crime consisted in
the cohabitation of either the man or the woman with a third party; that
among the Territorial statutes there was an act affixing a definite
punishment to adultery, and accordingly that it was the duty of the
grand jury to inquire whether that act had been infringed by parties
liable to their inquisition.[A] No indictment, however, was returned for
the offence; neither were any proceedings had upon the indictments for
treason. The business of the court was restricted to such crimes as
larceny, and assault and battery, among the heterogeneous mass of

[Footnote A: As this charge has become of great importance in the
affairs of the Territory, we subjoin the precise language of that
portion of it which refers to polygamy:--

"It cannot be concealed, gentlemen, that certain domestic arrangements
exist in this Territory destructive of the peace, good order, and morals
of society,--arrangements at variance with those of all enlightened and
Christian communities in the world; and sapping as they do the very
foundation of all virtue, honesty, and morality, it is an imperative
duty falling upon you as grand jurors diligently to inquire into this
evil and make every effort to check its growth. It is well known that
all of the inhabited portion of this Territory was acquired by treaty
from Mexico. By the law of Mexico polygamy was prohibited in this
country, and the municipal law in this respect remained unaltered by its
cession to the United States. Has it been altered since we acquired it?
After a most diligent search and inquiry, I have not been able to find
that any such change has been made: and presuming that this law remains
unchanged by legislation, all marriages after the first are by this law
illegal and void. If you are then satisfied that such is the fact, your
next duty is to inquire by what law in force in this Territory are
such practices punishable. There is no law in this Territory punishing
polygamy, but there is one, however, for the punishment of adultery;
and all illegal intercourse between the sexes, if either party have a
husband or wife living at the time, is adulterous and punishable by
indictment. No consequences in which a large proportion of this people
may be involved in consequence of this criminal practice will deter you
from a fearless discharge of your duty. It is yours to find the facts
and to return indictments, without fear, favor, affection, reward,
or any hope thereof. The law was made to punish the lawless and
disobedient, and society is entitled to the salutary effects of its

At the distance of a few miles from Fort Bridger, the Governor and Mr.
Kane were received by a Mormon guard. At various points on their journey
squads of militia were encountered, and in Echo Canon there was a
command of several hundred. The Big Mountain, which the road crosses
twenty miles from Salt Lake City, was covered so deep with snow, that
the party was obliged to follow the canons of the Weber River into the
Valley. Upon arriving at the city, on the 12th of April, the Governor
was installed in the house of a Mr. Staines, one of the adopted sons
of Brigham Young, and was soon after waited upon by Young himself, in
company with numerous ecclesiastical dignitaries. The Territorial seal
was tendered to him, and he was recognized to his full satisfaction
in his official capacity. He remained more than three weeks. Except
fugitive statements in newspapers, the only connected account of
his proceedings is from his own pen, and consists of two official
letters,--one addressed to General Johnston, under date of April 15th,
the other to the Secretary of State at Washington, dated May 2d. The
former merely announces his arrival, reception, and recognition,
transmits charges against Dr. Hurt, of having excited the Uinta Indians
to acts of hostility against the Mormons, and suggests that he should
desire a detachment of the army to be dispatched to chastise that
tribe, but a requisition for that purpose was made neither then nor
subsequently. The letter to Secretary Cass states that his time was
devoted to examining the public property of the United States which was
in the city,--the records of the courts, the Territorial library, the
maps and minutes of the Surveyor General,--and exculpates the Mormons, in
great part, from the charge of having injured or embezzled it.

During his stay, information was communicated to him, that there was a
number of persons who were desirous of leaving the Territory, but
unable to do so, considering themselves restrained of their liberty.
Accordingly, on the following Sunday, he caused notice to be given from
the platform in the Tabernacle, that he assumed the protection of all
such persons, and desired them to communicate to him their names
and residences. During the ensuing week, nearly two hundred persons
registered themselves in the manner he proposed, and a greater number
would undoubtedly have been glad to follow their example, but were
deterred by the surveillance to which they were subjected by certain
functionaries of the Church before being admitted to his presence. Those
who were registered were organized into trains, with the little movable
property they possessed, and dispatched towards Fort Bridger. They
arrived there in the course of May,--as motley, ragged, and destitute a
crowd as ever descended from the deck of an Irish emigrant-ship at New
York or Boston. The only garments which some possessed were made of the
canvas of their wagon-covers.

Many were on foot. For provisions, they had nothing except flour and
some fresh meat. It is a fact creditable to humanity, that private
soldiers, by the score, shared their own abridged rations and scanty
stock of clothing with these poor wretches, and in less than a day after
their arrival they were provided with much to make them comfortable.

On that same Sunday, the Governor made a speech to the congregation,
being introduced by Brigham Young. He reviewed the relations of the
Mormons to the Federal government; assumed that General Johnston and the
army were under his control; pledged his word that they should not
be stationed in immediate contact with the settlements; and gave
assurances, also, that no military _posse_ should be employed to arrest
a Mormon until every other means had been tried and had failed. At
the close, he invited any of their number to respond. Various persons
immediately addressed the audience in almost frantic speeches,
concerning the murder of Joseph and Hiram Smith at Carthage, the
persecution of the Saints in Missouri and Illinois, the services
rendered by the Mormon Battalion to an ungrateful country during the
Mexican War, the toils and perils of the migration to Utah, and the
character of the Federal officers who had been sent to rule the
Territory. Personal insults were heaped upon the Governor, and a scene
of the wildest confusion was the result, which was quieted with great
difficulty by Young himself. It was manifest that the mass of the
people, overconfident of their capacity to resist the troops, were not
fully prepared for the capitulation the leaders were willing to make to
save their own necks from the halter; and, at a second meeting during
the afternoon, Young yielded somewhat to the popular clamor.

All this while, a movement of a most extraordinary character was being
carried on, which had commenced before the Governor entered the Valley.
The people of the northern settlements, along the base of the Wahsatch
Mountains, including Salt Lake City, were deserting their homes,
abandoning houses, crops, and their heavier furniture, and migrating
southward. Long wagon-trains were sweeping through the city every day,
accompanied by hundreds of families, and droves of horses and cattle.
A fair estimate of the entire Mormon population of Utah is about
forty-five thousand. Of this number, ten thousand is the proportion of
the towns north of Salt Lake City, and upward of fifteen thousand that
of the city itself and the settlements in its immediate neighborhood.
Considerably more than half the people of the Territory, therefore,
shared in this emigration. What was its object and what its destination
are still mysteries; but it was probably directed toward the
mountain-ranges in the southwestern portion of the Great Basin, of the
topography of which region--hitherto unvisited by Federal explorers--the
Mormons undoubtedly possess accurate information. At any rate, it was
initiated and conducted under the direction of the Church, and Young and
Kimball were among the first to lead the way. Commencing late in March,
it continued until June, and before the beginning of May more than
thirty-five thousand people were concentrated on the western shore of
Lake Utah, chiefly in the neighborhood of Provo, fifty miles south of
Salt Lake City. Such a scene of squalid misery, such a spectacle of want
and distress, was never before witnessed in America. More than half
this multitude could not be accommodated in the towns, and lodged in
board-shanties, wigwams, mud-huts, log-cabins, bowers of willow-branches
covered with wagon-sheets, and even in holes dug into the hill-sides.
The most common quarters, however, were made by removing a wagon-body
from its wheels, placing it upon the ground, and erecting in front of
it a bower of cedars. It is needless to dwell on the exasperation which
animated all who submitted to these sacrifices. In the history of the
Albigenses hunted through Languedoc, or of the Jews writhing under the
Spanish Inquisition, a record of similar bitterness of feeling may be
found, but its parallel does not exist outside the annals of religious

Governor Cumming returned to Fort Bridger during the second week in
May, still accompanied by Mr. Kane, and also by a party of Mormons
who intended to escort the latter to Missouri. Upon his arrival, he
addressed a letter to General Johnston, stating, officially, that the
people of Utah had acknowledged his authority, and that the roads
between the camp and Salt Lake City were free for the transit of mails
and passengers, the Mormon forces having withdrawn from the canons, and
none of the Territorial militia remaining under arms except with his
consent and approbation. A day or two later, Mr. Kane bade him farewell
and started toward the States, his mission having been completed.

Book of the day: