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Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. by Various

Part 4 out of 5

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"Northanger Abbey" is written in a fine vein of irony, called forth,
in some degree, by the romantic school of Mrs. Radcliffe and her
imitators. We doubt whether Miss Austen was not over-wise with regard
to these romances. Though born after the Radcliffe era, we well
remember shivering through the "Mysteries of Udolpho" with as quaking
a heart as beat in the bosom of Catherine Morland. If Miss Austen was
not equally impressed by the power of these romances, we rejoice
that they were written, as with them we should have lost "Northanger
Abbey." For ourselves, we spent one very rainy day in the streets of
Bath, looking up every nook and corner familiar in the adventures
of Catherine, and time, not faith, failed, for a visit to Northanger
itself. Bath was also sanctified by the presence of Anne Elliot. Our
inn, the "White Hart," (made classic by the adventures of various
well-remembered characters,) was hallowed by exquisite memories
which connected one of the rooms (we faithfully believed it was our
apartment) with the conversation of Anne Elliot and Captain Harville,
as they stood by the window, while Captain Wentworth listened and
wrote. In vain did we gaze at the windows of Camden Place. No Anne
Elliot appeared.

"Sense and Sensibility" was the first novel published by Miss Austen.
It is marked by her peculiar genius, though it may be wanting in the
nicer finish which experience gave to her later writings.

The Earl of Carlisle, when Lord Morpheth, wrote a poem for some now
forgotten annual, entitled "The Lady and the Novel." The following
lines occur among the verses:--

"Or is it thou, all-perfect Austen? here
Let one poor wreath adorn thy early bier,
That scarce allowed thy modest worth to claim
The living portion of thy honest fame:
Oh, Mrs. Bennet, Mrs. Morris, too,
While Memory survives, she'll dream of you;
And Mr. Woodhouse, with abstemious lip,
Must thin, but not too thin, the gruel sip;
Miss Bates, _our_ idol, though the village bore,
And Mrs. Elton, ardent to explore;
While the clear style flows on without pretence,
With unstained purity, and unmatched sense."

If the Earl of Carlisle, in whose veins flows "the blood of all the
Howards," is willing to acknowledge so many of our friends, who are
anything but aristocratic, our republican soul shrinks not from the
confession that we should like to accompany good-natured Mrs. Jennings
in her hospitable carriage, (so useful to our young ladies of sense
and sensibility,) witness the happiness of Elinor at the parsonage,
and the reward of Colonel Brandon at the manor-house of Delaford, and
share with Mrs. Jennings all the charms of the mulberry-tree and the
yew arbor.

An article on "Recent Novels," in "Fraser's Magazine" for
December, 1847, written by Mr. G.H. Lewes, contains the following
paragraphs:--"What we most heartily enjoy and applaud is truth in the
delineations of life and character.... To make our meaning precise, we
would say that Fielding and Miss Austen are the greatest novelists in
our language.... We would rather have written 'Pride and Prejudice,'
or 'Tom Jones,' than any of the 'Waverley Novels'.... Miss Austen has
been called a prose Shakspeare,--and among others, by Macaulay. In
spite of the sense of incongruity which besets us in the words _prose_
Shakspeare, we confess the greatness of Miss Austen, her marvellous
dramatic power, seems, more than anything in Scott, akin to

The conclusion of this article is devoted to a review of 'Jane Eyre,'
and led to the correspondence between Miss Bronte and Mr. Lewes
which will be found in the memoir of her life. In these letters it is
apparent that Mr. Lewes wishes Miss Bronte to read and to enjoy Miss
Austen's works, as he does himself. Mr. Lewes is disappointed, and
felt, doubtless, what all true lovers of Jane Austen have experienced,
a surprise to find how obtuse otherwise clever people sometimes
are. In this instance, however, we think Mr. Lewes expected what was
impossible. Charlotte Bronte could not harmonize with Jane Austen. The
luminous and familiar star which comes forth into the quiet evening
sky when the sun sets amid the amber light of an autumn evening, and
the comet which started into sight, unheralded and unnamed, and flamed
across the midnight sky, have no affinity, except in the Divine Mind,
whence both originate.

The notice of Miss Austen, by Macaulay, to which Mr. Lewes alludes,
must be, we presume, the passage which occurs in Macaulay's article on
Madame D'Arblay, in the "Edinburgh Review," for January, 1843. We do
not find the phrase, "prose Shakspeare," but the meaning is the same;
we give the passage as it stands before us:--

"Shakspeare has neither equal nor second; but among writers who, in
the point we have noticed, have approached nearest the manner of the
great master, we have no hesitation in placing Jane Austen, as a
woman of whom England is justly proud. She has given us a multitude of
characters, all, in a certain sense, commonplace, all such as we meet
every day. Yet they are all as perfectly discriminated from each other
as if they were the most eccentric of human beings. There are, for
example, four clergymen, none of whom we should be surprised to
find in any parsonage in the kingdom,--Mr. Edward Ferrars, Mr. Henry
Tilney, Mr. Edward Bertram, and Mr. Elton. They are all specimens
of the upper part of the middle class. They have been all liberally
educated. They all lie under the restraints of the same sacred
profession. They are all young. They are all in love. Not any one of
them has any hobby-horse, to use the phrase of Sterne. Not one has any
ruling passion, such as we read in Pope. Who would not have expected
them to be insipid likenesses of each other? No such thing. Harpagon
is not more unlike Jourdain, Joseph Surface is not more unlike Sir
Lucius O'Trigger, than every one of Miss Austen's young divines to
all his reverend brethren. And almost all this is done by touches
so delicate that they elude analysis, that they defy the powers of
description, and that we know them to exist only by the general effect
to which they have contributed."

Dr. Whately, the Archbishop of Dublin, in the "Quarterly Review,"
1821, sums up his estimate of Miss Austen with these words: "The
Eastern monarch who proclaimed a reward to him who should discover a
new pleasure would have deserved well of mankind, had he stipulated
it should be blameless. Those again who delight in the study of human
nature may improve in the knowledge of it, and in the profitable
application of that knowledge, by the perusal of such fictions. Miss
Austen introduces very little of what is technically called religion
into her books, yet that must be a blinded soul which does not
recognize the vital essence, everywhere present in her pages, of a
deep and enlightened piety.

There are but few descriptions of scenery in her novels. The figures
of the piece are her care; and if she draws in a tree, a hill, or a
manor-house, it is always in the background. This fact did not arise
from any want of appreciation for the glories or the beauties of the
outward creation, for we know that the pencil was as often in her hand
as the pen. It was that unity of purpose, ever present to her mind,
which never allowed her to swerve from the actual into the ideal, nor
even to yield to tempting descriptions of Nature which might be near,
and yet aside from the main object of her narrative. Her creations
are living people, not masks behind which the author soliloquizes
or lectures. These novels are impersonal; Miss Austen never herself
appears; and if she ever had a lover, we cannot decide whom he
resembled among the many masculine portraits she has drawn.

Very much has been said in her praise, and we, in this brief article,
have summoned together witnesses to the extent of her powers, which
are fit and not few. Yet we are aware that to a class of readers Miss
Austen's novels must ever remain sealed books. So be it. While the
English language is read, the world will always be provided with souls
who can enjoy the rare excellence of that rich legacy left to them by
her genius.

Once in our lifetime we spent three delicious days in the Isle of
Wight, and then crossed the water to Portsmouth. After taking a turn
on the ramparts in memory of Fanny Price, and looking upon the harbor
whence the Thrush went out, we drove over Portsdown Hill to visit the
surviving member of that household which called Jane Austen their own.

We had been preceded by a letter, introducing us to Admiral Austen as
fervent admirers of his sister's genius, and were received by him with
a gentle courtesy most winning to our heart.

In the finely-cut features of the brother, who retained at eighty
years of age much of the early beauty of his youth, we fancied we must
see a resemblance to his sister, of whom there exists no portrait.

It was delightful to us to hear him speak of "Jane," and to be brought
so near the actual in her daily life. Of his sister's fame as a writer
the Admiral spoke understandingly, but reservedly.

We found the old Admiral safely moored in that most delightful of
havens, a quiet English country-home, with the beauty of Nature around
the mansion, and the beauty of domestic love and happiness beneath its
hospitable roof.

There we spent a summer day, and the passing hours seemed like the
pages over which we had often lingered, written by her hand whose
influence had guided us to those she loved. That day, with all its
associations, has become a sacred memory, and links us to the sphere
where dwells that soul whose gift of genius has rendered immortal the
name of Jane Austen.

* * * * *


"I order and declare that all persons held as slaves in the
said designated States and parts of States are and hereafter
shall be free,... and I hereby enjoin upon the people so
declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in
necessary self-defence."


Saint Patrick, slave to Milcho of the herds
Of Ballymena, sleeping, heard these words:
"Arise, and flee
Out from the land of bondage, and be free!"

Glad as a soul in pain, who hears from heaven
The angels singing of his sins forgiven,
And, wondering, sees
His prison opening to their golden keys,

He rose a man who laid him down a slave,
Shook from his locks the ashes of the grave,
And outward trod
Into the glorious liberty of God.

He cast the symbols of his shame away;
And passing where the sleeping Milcho lay,
Though back and limb
Smarted with wrong, he prayed, "God pardon him!"

So went he forth: but in God's time he came
To light on Uilline's hills a holy flame;
And, dying, gave
The land a saint that lost him as a slave.

O dark, sad millions, patiently and dumb
Waiting for God, your hour, at last, has come,
And freedom's song
Breaks the long silence of your night of wrong!

Arise and flee! shake off the vile restraint
Of ages! but, like Ballymena's saint,
The oppressor spare,
Heap only on his head the coals of prayer!

Go forth, like him! like him, return again,
To bless the land whereon in bitter pain
Ye toiled at first,
And heal with freedom what your slavery cursed!

* * * * *


Our nation is now paying the price, not only of its vice, but also
of its virtue,--not alone of its evil doing, but of its noble and
admirable doing as well. It has of late been a customary cry with
a certain class, that those who cherish freedom and advocate social
justice are the proper authors of the present war. No doubt there
is in this allegation an ungracious kind of truth; that is, had the
nation been destitute of a political faith and of moral feeling, there
would have been no contest. But were one lying ill of yellow-fever
or small-pox, there would be the same sort of lying truth in the
statement, that the _life_ in him, which alone resists the disease, is
really its cause; since to yellow-fever, or to any malady, dead bodies
are not subject. There is no preventive of disease so effectual as
death itself,--no place so impregnable to pestilence as the grave. So,
had the vitality gone out of the nation's heart, had that lamp of love
for freedom and justice and of homage to the being of man, which once
burned in its bosom so brightly, already sunk into death-flicker and
extinction, then in the sordid and icy dark that would remain there
could be no war of like nature with this that to-day gives the land
its woful baptism of blood and tears. Oh, no! there would have been
peace--_and_ putrefaction: peace, but without its sweetness, and
death, but without its hopes.

In one important sense, however, this war--hateful and horrible though
it be--is the price which the nation must pay for its ideas and its
magnanimity. If you take a clear initial step toward any great end,
you thereby assume as a debt to destiny the pursuit and completion of
your action; and should you fail to meet this debt, it will not fail
to meet you, though now in the shape of retribution and with a biting
edge. The seaman who has signed shipping-papers owes a voyage, and
must either sail or suffer. The nation which has recognized absolute
rights of man, and in their name assumed to shed blood, has taken
upon itself the burden of a high destination, and must bear it, if
not willingly, reluctantly, if not in joy and honor, then in shame and

Our nation, by the early nobility of its faith and action, assumed
such a debt to destiny, and now must pay it. It needed not to come in
this shape: there need have been no horror of carnage,--no feast of
vultures, and carnival of fiends,--no weeping of Rachel, mourning
for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are not.
There was required only a magnanimity in proceeding to sustain that of
our beginning,--only a sympathy broad enough to take our little planet
and all her human tribes in its arms, deep enough to go beneath
the skin in which men differ, to the heart's blood in which they
agree,--only pains and patience, faith and forbearance,--only a
national obedience to that profound precept of Christianity which
prescribes service to him that would be greatest, making the knowledge
of the wise due to the ignorant, and the strength of the strong due
to the weak. The costs of freedom would have been paid in the patient
lifting up of a degraded race from the slough of servitude; and the
nation would at the same time have avoided that slough of lava and
fire wherein it is now ingulfed.

It was not to be so. History is coarse; it gets on by gross feeding
and fevers, not by delicacy of temperance and wisdom of regimen. Our
debt was to be paid, not in a pure form, but mixed with the costs of
unbelief, cowardice, avarice. Yet primarily it is the cost, not of
meanness, but of magnanimity, that we are now paying,--not of a base
skepticism, but of a noble faith. For, in truth, normal qualities and
actions involve costs no less than vicious and abnormal. Such is the
law of the world; and it is this law of the costs of worthiness, of
knowledge and nobility, of all memorable being and doing, that I now
desire to set forth. Having obtained the scope and power of the law,
having considered it also as applying to individuals, we may proceed
to exhibit its bearing upon the present struggle of our Republic.

The general statement is this,--that whatever has a worth has also
a cost. "The law of the universe," says a wise thinker, "is, Pay and
take." If you desire silks of the mercer or supplies at the grocery,
you, of course, pay money. Is it a harvest from the field that
you seek? Tillage must be paid. Would you have the river toil in
production of cloths for your raiment? Only pay the due modicum of
knowledge, labor, and skill, and you shall bind its hand to your
water-wheels, and turn all its prone strength into pliant service. Or
perhaps you wish the comforts of a household. By payment of the
due bearing of its burdens, you may hope to obtain it,--surely not
otherwise. Do you ask that this house may be a true home, a treasury
for wealth of the heart, a little heaven? Once more the word
is _pay_,--pay your own heart's unselfish love, pay a generous
trustfulness, a pure sympathy, a tender consideration, and a sweet
firm-heartedness withal. And so, wherever there is a gaining, there
is a warning,--wherever a well-being, a well-doing,--wherever a
preciousness, a price of possession; and he who scants the payment
stints the purchase; and he that will proffer nothing shall profit
nothing; but he that freely and wisely gives shall receive as freely.

But these _desiderata_ which I have named are all prices either of
ordinary use, of comfort, or felicity; and it is generally understood
that happiness is costly: but virtue? Virtue, so far from costing
anything, is often supposed to be itself a price that you pay for
happiness. It is told us that we shall be rewarded for our virtue;
what moralistic commonplace is more common than this? But rewarded
for your virtue you are not to be; you are to pay for it; at least,
payment made, rather than received, is the principal fact. He who
is honest for reward is a knave without reward. He who asks pay for
telling truth has truth only on his tongue and a double lie in his
heart. Do you think that the true artist strives to paint well that he
may get money for his work? Or rather, is not his desire to pay money,
to pay anything in reason, for the sake of excellence in his art? And,
indeed, what is worthier than Worth? What fitter, therefore, to be
paid for? And that payment is made, even under penal forms, every one
may see. For what did Raleigh give his lofty head? For the privilege
of being Raleigh, of being a man of great heart and a statesman of
great mind, with a King James, a burlesque of all sovereignty, on the
throne. For what did Socrates quaff the poison? For the privilege of
that divine sincerity and penetration which characterized his life.
For what did Kepler endure the last straits of poverty, his children
crying for bread, while his own heart was pierced with their wailing?
For the privilege--in his own noble words--"of reading God's thoughts
after Him,"--God's thoughts written in stellar signs on the scroll of
the skies. And Cicero and Thomas Cromwell, John Huss and John Knox,
John Rogers and John Brown, and many another, high and low, famed and
forgotten, must they not all make, as it were, penal payment for the
privilege of being true men, truest among true? And again I say, that,
if one knows something worthier than Worth, something more excellent
than Excellence, then only does he know something fitter than they to
be paid for.

Payment _may_ assume a penal form: do not think this its only form.
And to take the law at once out of the limitations which these
examples suggest, let me show you that it is a law of healthy and
unlamenting Nature. Look at the scale of existence, and you will see
that for every step of advance in that scale payment is required.
The animal is higher than the vegetable; the animal, accordingly, is
subject to the sense of pain, the vegetable not; and among animals the
pain may be keener as the organization is nobler. The susceptibility
not only to pain, but to vital injury, observes the same gradation.
A little girdling kills an oak; but some low fungus may be cut and
troubled and trampled _ad libitum_, and it will not perish; and along
the shores, farmers year after year pluck sea-weed from the rocks,
and year after year it springs again lively as ever. Among the lowest
orders of animals you shall find a creature that, if you cut it in
two, straightway duplicates its existence and floats away twice as
happy as before; but of the prick of a bodkin or the sting of a bee
the noblest of men may die.

In the animal body the organs make a draft from the general vigors
of the system just in proportion to their dignity. The eye,--what
an expensive boarder at the gastric tables is that! Considerable
provinces of the brain have to be made over to its exclusive use;
and it will be remembered that a single ounce of delicate, sensitive
brain, full of mysterious and marvellous powers, requires more vital
support than many pounds of common muscle. The powers of the eye are
great; it has a right to cost much, and it does cost. Also we observe
that in this organ there is the exceeding susceptibility to injury,
which, as we have observed, invariably accompanies powers of a lofty

Noble senses cost much; noble susceptibilities cost vastly more.
Compare oxen with men in respect to the amount of feeling and nervous
wear and tear which they severally experience. The ox enjoys grass and
sleep; he feels hunger and weariness, and he is wounded by that which
goes through his hide. But upon the nerve of the man what an incessant
thousandfold play! Out of the eyes of the passers-by pleasures and
pains are rained upon him; a word, a look, a tone thrills his every
fibre; the touch of a hand warms or chills the very marrow in his
bones. Anticipation and memory, hope and regret, love and hate,
ideal joy and sorrow and shame, ah, what troops of visitants are
ever present with his soul, each and all, whether welcome guests or
unwelcome, to be nourished from the resources of his bosom! And out of
this high sensibility of man must come what innumerable stabs of quick
agony, what slow, gasping hours of grief and pain, that to the cattle
upon the hills are utterly unknown! But do you envy the ox his bovine
peace? It is precisely that which makes him an ox, It is due to
nothing but his insensibility,--by no means, as I take occasion to
assure those poets who laud outward Nature and inferior creatures
to the disparagement of man,--by no means due to composure and
philosophy. The ox is no great hero, after all, for he will bellow at
a thousandth part the sense of pain which from a Spartan child wrings
no tear nor cry.

Yes, it is precisely this sensibility which makes man human. Were he
incapable of ideal joy and sorrow, he, too, were brute. It is through
this delicacy of conscious relationship, it is through this openness
to the finest impressions, that he can become an organ of supernal
intelligence, that he is capable of social and celestial inspirations.
High spiritual sensibility is the central condition of a noble and
admirable life; it is the hinge on which turn and open to man the
gates of his highest glory and purest peace. Yet for this he must pay
away all that induration of brutes and boors which sheds off so many
a wasting excitement and stinging chagrin, as the feathers of the
water-fowl shed rain.

In entering, therefore, upon any noble course of life, any generous
and brave pursuit of excellence, understand, that, so far as ordinary
coin is concerned, you are rather to pay, than to be paid, for your
superiorities. Understand that the pursuit of excellence must indeed
be brave to be prosperous,--that is, it is always in some way opposed
and imperilled. Understand, that, with every step of spiritual
elevation which you attain, some part of your audience and
companionship will be left behind. Understand, that, if you carry
lofty principles and philosophic intelligence into camps, these
possessions will in general not be passed to your credit, but will be
charged against you; and you must surpass your inferiors in their
own kinds of virtue to regain what of popular regard these cost you.
Understand, that, if you have a reverence for theoretical and absolute
truth, less of common fortune will come to you in answer to equal
business and professional ability than to those who do care for money,
and do not care for truth. Are you a physician? Let me tell you that
there is a possible excellence in your profession which will rather
limit than increase your practice; yet that very excellence you must
strive to attain, for your soul's life is concerned in your doing so.
Are you a lawyer? Know that there is a depth and delicacy in the sense
of justice, which will sometimes send clients from your office, and
sometimes tie your tongue at the bar; yet, as you would preserve the
majesty of your manhood, strive just for that unprofitable sense of
justice,--unprofitable only because infinitely, rather than finitely,
profitable. In a stormy and critical time, when much is ending
and much beginning, and a great land is heaving and quivering with
commingled agonies of dissolution and throes of new birth, are you a
statesman of earnestness and insight, with your eye on the cardinal
question of your epoch, its answer clearly in your heart, and your
will irrevocably set to give it due enunciation and emphasis? Expect
calumny and affected contempt from the base; expect alienation
and misconstruction and undervaluing on the part of some who are
honorable. Are you a woman rich in high aims, in noble sympathies and
thrilling sensibilities, and, as must ever be the case with such, not
too rich in a meet companionship? Expect loneliness, and wear it as
a grace upon your brow; it is your laurel. Are you a true artist or
thinker? Expect to go beyond popular appreciation; _go_ beyond it,
or the highest appreciation you will not deserve. In fine, for all
excellence expect and _seek_ to pay.

No one ever held this law more steadily in view than Jesus; and when
ardent young people came to him proposing pupilage, he was wont at
once to bring it before their eyes. It was on such an occasion that he
uttered the words, so simple and intense that they thrill to the touch
like the string of a harp, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the
air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head."
Of like suggestion his question of the king going to war, who first
sitteth down and consulteth whether he be able, and of the man about
to build a house, who begins by counting the cost.

The cost,--question of this must arise; question of this must on all
sides either be honestly met or dishonestly eluded. For observe, that
attempt to escape payment for the purest values, no less than for
the grossest, _is_ dishonest. If one seek to compass possession of
ordinary goods without compensation, we at once apply the opprobrious
term of _theft_ or _fraud_. Why does the same sort of attempt cease to
be fraudulent when it is carried up to a higher degree and applied to
possessions more precious? If he that evades the revenue law of the
State be guilty of fraud, what of him who would import Nature's
goods and pay no duties? For Nature has her own system of impost, and
permits no smuggling. There was a tax on truth ere there was one on
tea or on silver plate. Character, genius, high parts in history are
all assessed upon. Nature lets out her houses and lands on liberal
terms; but resorts to distraint, if her dues be not forthcoming. Be
sure, therefore, that little success and little honor will wait upon
any would-be thieving from God. He who attempts to purloin on this
high scale has set all the wit of the universe at work to thwart him,
and will certainly be worsted sorely in the end.

The moment, therefore, that any man is found engaged in this business,
how to estimate him is clear. Daniel O'Connell tried the experiment of
being an heroic patriot and making money by it. It is conceded by
his friends that he applied to his private uses, to sustaining the
magnificence of his household, the rent-moneys sweated from the
foreheads of Irish peasants. But, they say, he had sacrificed many
ambitions in taking up the _role_ of a patriot; and he felt entitled
to revenues as liberal as any indulgence of them could have procured
him! The apology puts his case beyond all apology. He who--to employ
the old phraseology--seeks to exact the same bribe of God that he
might have obtained from the Devil is always the Devil's servant, no
matter whose livery he wears. Had one often to apply the good word
_patriot_ to such men, it would soon blister his mouth. I find, in
fact, no vice so bad as this spurious virtue, no sinners so unsavory
as these mock saints.

To nations, also, this comprehensive law applies. Would you have
a noble and orderly freedom? Buy it, and it is yours. "Liberty or
death," cried eloquent Henry; and the speech is recited as bold and
peculiar; but, by an enduring ordinance of Nature, the people that
does not in its heart of hearts say, "Liberty or death," cannot have
liberty. Many of us had learned to fancy that the stern tenure by
which ancient communities held their civilization was now become an
obsolete fact, and that without peril or sacrifice we might forever
appropriate all that blesses nations; but by the iron throat of this
war Providence is thundering down upon us the unalterable law, that
man shall hold no ideal possession longer than he places all his lower
treasures at its command.

But there was a special form of cost, invited by the virtue of our
national existence; and it is this in particular that we are now
paying,--paying it, I am sorry to say, in the form of retribution
because the nation declined to meet it otherwise. But the peculiarity
of the case is, as has been affirmed, that it was chiefly the virtue
and nobility of the nation which created this debt at the outset.

And now what is the peculiar virtue and glory of this nation? Why,
that its national existence is based upon a recognition of the
absolute rights and duties of humanity. Theoretically this is our
basis; practically there is a commixture; much of this cosmopolitan
faith is mingled with much of confined self-regard. But the
theoretical fact is the one here in point: since the question now
is not of the national _un_faith or infidelity, but of the national
faith. And beyond a question, the real faith of the nation, so far as
it has one, is represented by its formal declaration, made sacred by
the shedding of blood. Our belief really is not in the special
right or privilege of Americans, but in the prerogative of man.
This prerogative we may have succeeded well or ill in stating and
interpreting; the fact, that our appeal is to this, alone concerns us

Now this national attitude, so far as history informs me, is
unprecedented. The true-born son of Albion, save as an exceptional
culture enlarges his soul, believes religiously that God is an
Englishman, and that the interests of England precede those of the
universe. When, therefore, he sees anything done which depletes the
pocket of England, it affects him with a sense of infidelity in those
to whom this loss is due. England professes to have a _national_
religion; she has, and in a deeper sense than is commonly meant.

We will not disparage England overmuch; she has done good service in
history. We will not boast of ourselves; the actual politics of this
country have been, in no small part, base and infidel to a degree
that is simply sickening. Nevertheless, it remains true that the
fundamental idea of the State here represents a new phase of human
history. Every European nationality had taken shape and character
while yet our globe was not known to be a globe, while before the eyes
of all lookers land and sea faded away into darkness and mystery; and
it was not possible that common human sympathy should take into its
arms a world of which it could not conceive. But a national spirit
was here generated when the ocean had been crossed, when the earth had
been rounded, when, too, Newton had, as it were, circumnavigated the
solar system,--when, therefore, there could be, and must be, a new
recognition of humanity. Our country, again, was peopled from the
minorities of Europe, from those whom the spirit of the new time
had touched, and taken away their content with old institutions,--a
population restless, uncertain, yeasty, chaotic, it might be, full of
the rawness of new conditions, mean and magnanimous by turns, as such
people are wont, but all leavened more or less with a sentiment new in
history,--all leavened with a kind of whole-world feeling, a sense
of the oneness of humanity, and, as derived from this, a sense of
absolute rights of man, of prerogatives belonging to human nature as

The truth of all this has been brought under suspicion by the
flatulent oratory of our Fourth-of-Julys; but truth it remains. Our
nation did enunciate a grand idea never equally felt by any other. Our
nation has said, and said with the sword in its right hand, "Every man
born into this world has the right from God to make the most and best
of his existence, and society is established only to further and guard
this sacred right." We thus established a new scale of justice; we
raised a demand for the individual which had not been so made before.
Freedom and order were made one; both were identified with justice,
simple, broad, equal, universal justice. The American idea, then, what
is it? _The identification of politics with justice_, this it is. With
justice, and this, too, not on a scale of conventional usage, but
on the scale of natural right. That, as I read, is the American
idea,--making politics moral by their unity with natural justice,
justice world-old and world-wide.

This conception--obscurely seen and felt, and mixed with the
inevitable amount of folly and self-seeking, yet, after, all,
this conception--our nation dared to stand up and announce, and to
consecrate it by the shedding of blood, calling God and all good men
to witness. The deed was grand; the hearts of men everywhere were more
or less its accomplices; all the tides of history ran in its favor;
kings, forgetting themselves into virtue and generosity, lent it
good wishes or even good arms; it was successful; and on its primary
success waited such prosperities as the world has seldom seen.

But, because the deed was noble, great costs must needs attend it,
attend it long. And first of all the cost of _applying our principle
within our own borders_. For, when a place had been obtained for us
among nations, we looked down, and, lo! at our feet the African--in
chains. A benighted and submissive race, down-trodden and despised
from of old, a race of outcasts, of Pariahs, covered with the shame of
servitude, and held by the claim of that terrible talisman, the
word _property_,--here it crouched at our feet, lifting its hands,
imploring. Yes, America, here is your task now; never flinch nor
hesitate, never begin to question now; thrust your right hand deep
into your heart's treasury, bring forth its costliest, purest justice,
and lay its immeasurable bounty into this sable palm, bind its
blessing on this degraded brow. Ah, but America did falter and
question. "How can I?" it said. "This is a Negro, a _Negro_! Besides,
he is PROPERTY!" And so America looked up, determined to ignore
the kneeling form. With pious blasphemy it said, "He is here
providentially; God in His own good time will dispose of him"; as
if God's hour for a good effect were not the earliest hour at
which courage and labor can bring it about, not the latest to which
indolence and infidelity can postpone it. Then it looked away across
oceans to other continents, and began again the chant, "Man is man;
natural right is sacred forever; and of politics the sole basis is
universal justice." Joyfully it sang for a while, but soon there began
to come up the clank of chains mingling with its chant, and the groans
of oppressed men and violated women, and prayers to Heaven for another
justice than this; and then the words of its chant grew bitter in the
mouth of our nation, and a sickness came in its heart, and an evil
blush mounted and stood on its brow; and at length a devil spoke in
its bosom and said, "The negro has no rights that a white man is bound
to respect"; and ere the words were fairly uttered, their meaning, as
was indeed inevitable, changed to this,--"A Northern 'mudsill' has no
rights that a Southern gentleman is bound to respect"; and soon guns
were heard booming about Sumter, and a new chapter in our history and
in the world's history began.

Our nation refused allegiance to its own principles, refused to pay
the lawful costs of its virtue and nobility; therefore it is sued in
the courts of destiny, and the case is this day on trial.

The case is plain, the logic clear. Natural right is sacred, or it is
not. If it is, the negro is lawfully free; if it is not, you may be
lawfully a slave. Just how all this stands in the Constitution of the
United States I do not presume to say. Other heads, whose business it
is, must attend to that. Every man to his vocation. I speak from the
stand-point of philosophy, not of politics; I attend to the logic of
history, the logic of destiny, according to which, of course, final
judgment will be rendered. It is not exactly to be supposed that
the statute of any nation makes grass green, or establishes the
relationship between cause and effect. The laws of the world are
considerably older than our calendar, and therefore date yet more
considerably beyond the year 1789. And by the laws of the world, by
the eternal relationship between cause and effect, it stands enacted
beyond repeal, and graven upon somewhat more durable than marble or
brass, that the destiny of this nation for more than one century to
come hinges upon its justice to that outcast race,--outcast, but not
henceforth to be cast out by us, save to the utter casting down of
ourselves. Once it might have been otherwise; now we have made it
so. Justice to the African is salvation to the white man upon this
continent. Oh, my America, you must not, cannot, shall not be blind
to this fact! America, deeper in my love and higher in my esteem than
ever before, newly illustrated in worth, newly proven to be capable
still, in some directions, of exceeding magnanimity, open your eyes
that your feet may have guidance, now when there is such need! Open
your eyes to see, that, if you deliberately deny justice and human
recognition to one innocent soul in all your borders, you stab at your
own existence; for, in violating the unity of humanity, you break the
principle that makes you a nation and alive. Give justice to black
and white, recognize man as man; or the constituting idea, the vital
faith, the crystallizing principle of the nation perishes, and the
whole disintegrates, falls into dust.

I invite the attention of conservative men to the fact that in this
due paying of costs lies the true conservation. I invite them to
observe, that, as every living body has a principle which makes it
alive, makes it a unit, harmonizing the action of its members,--as
every crystal has a unitary law, which commands the arrangement of its
particles, the number and arrangement of its faces and angles,--so
it is with every orderly or living state. To this also there is a
central, clarifying, unifying faith. Without this you may collect
hordes into the brief, brutal empire of a Chingis Khan or Tamerlane;
but you can have no firm, free, orderly, inspiring national life.

Whenever and wherever in history this central condition of national
existence has been destroyed, there a nation has fallen into chaos,
into imbecility, losing all power to produce genius, to generate able
souls, to sustain the trust of men in each other, or to support any of
the conditions of social health and order. Even advances in the right
line of progress have to be made slowly, gradually, lest the shock of
newness be too great, and break off a people from the traditions in
which its faith is embodied; but a mere recoil, a mere denial and
destruction of its centralizing principle, is the last and utmost
calamity which can befall any nation.

This is no fine-spun doctrine, fit for parlors and lecture-rooms, but
not for counting-rooms and congressional halls. It is solid, durable
fact. History is full of it; and he is a mere mole, and blinder than
midnight, who cannot perceive it. The spectacle of nations falling
into sudden, chronic, careless imbecility is frequent and glaring
enough for even wilfulness to see; and the central secret of this
sad phenomenon, so I am _sure_, has been suggested here. When the
socializing faith of a nation has perished, the alternative for
it becomes this, that it can be stable only as it is stagnant, and
vigorous only as it is lawless.

Of this I am sure; but whether Bullion Street can be willing to
understand it I am not so sure. Yet if it cannot, or some one in its
behalf, grass will grow there. And why should it refuse heed? Who is
more concerned? Does Bullion Street desire chaos? Does it wish that
the pith should be taken out of every statute, and the chief value
from every piece of property? If not, its course is clear. This nation
has a vital faith,--or had one,--well grounded in its traditions.
Conserve this; or, if it has been impaired, renew its vigor. This
faith is our one sole pledge of order, of peace, of growth, of all
that we prize in the present, or hope for the future. That it is
a noble faith, new in its breadth, its comprehension and
magnanimity,--this would seem in my eyes rather to enhance than
diminish the importance of its conservation. Yet the only argument
against it is, that it is generous, broad, inspiring; and the only
appeal in opposition to it must be made to the coldness of skepticism,
the suicidal miserliness of egotism, or the folly and fatuity of

Our nation has a political faith. Will you, conservative men, conserve
this, and so regain and multiply the blessing it has already brought?
or will you destroy it, and wait till, through at least a century
of tossing and tumult, another, and that of less value, is grown? A
faith, a crystallizing principle for many millions of people is not
grown in a day; if it can be grown in a century is problematical. The
fact, and the choice, are before you.

Our nation _had_ a faith which it cherished with sincerity and
sureness. If half the nation has fallen away from this,--if half the
remaining moiety is doubtful, skeptical about it,--if, therefore,
we are already a house divided against itself and tottering to its
fall,--to what is all due? Simply to the fact that no nation can long
unsay its central principle, and yet preserve it in faithfulness and
power,--that no nation can long preach the sanctity of natural right,
the venerableness of man's nature, and the identity of pure justice
with political interest, from an auction-block on which men and
maidens are sold,--that, in fine, a nation cannot continue long with
impunity to play within its own borders the part both of Gessler and
Tell, both of Washington and Benedict Arnold, both of Christ and of
him that betrayed him.

We must choose. For our national faith we must make honest payment,
so conserving it, and with it all for which nations may hope; or else,
refusing to meet these costs, we must suffer the nation's soul to
perish, and in the imbecility, the chaos, and shame that will follow,
suffer therewith all that nations may lawfully fear.

What good omens, then, attend our time, now when the first officer of
the land has put the trumpet to his mouth and blown round the world an
intimation that, to the extent of the nation's power, these costs will
begin to be paid, this true conservation to be practised! The work
is not yet done; and the late elections betoken too much of moral
debility in the people. But my trust continues firm. The work will be
done,--at least, so far as we are responsible for its doing. And then!
Then our shame, our misery, our deadly sickness will be taken away;
no more that poison in our politics; no more that degradation in our
commercial relations; no more that careful toning down of sentiment
to low levels, that it may harmonize with low conditions; no more that
need to shun the company of all healthful and heroic thoughts, such
as are fit, indeed, to brace the sinews of a sincere social order, but
sure to crack the sinews of a feeble and faithless conventionalism.
Base men there will yet be, and therefore base politics; but when once
our nation has paid the debt it owes to itself and the human race,
when once it has got out of its blood the venom of this great
injustice, it will, it must, arise beautiful in its young strength,
noble in its new-consecrated faith, and stride away with a generous
and achieving pace upon the great highways of historical progress.
Other costs will come, if we are worthy; other lessons there will be
to learn. I anticipate a place for brave and wise restrictions,--for
I am no Red Republican,--as well as for brave and generous expansions.
Lessons to learn, errors to unlearn, there will surely be; tasks to
attempt, and disciplines to practise; but once place the nation in the
condition of _health_, once get it at one with its own heart, once get
it out of these aimless eddies into clear sea, out of these accursed
"doldrums," (as the sailors phrase it,) this commixture of broiling
calm and sky-bursting thunder-gust, into the great trade-winds of
natural tendency that are so near at hand,--and I can trust it to meet
all future emergency. All the freshest blood of the world is flowing
hither: we have but to wed this with the life-blood of the universe,
with eternal truth and justice, and God has in store no blessing for
noblest nations that will not be secured for ours.

* * * * *


Among the most celebrated corps of the French army, one of the most
conspicuous and remarkable is that peculiar body of troops to which
has been given the name of _Chasseurs a Pied_, or _Foot-Chasseurs_,
to distinguish it from an organization of mounted men in the same
service, uniformed and trained on similar principles. The Chasseurs
a Pied have not attained the same romantic renown as that acquired
by their brethren and rivals in arms, the Zouaves, but, nevertheless,
they have had an exceedingly brilliant career in the late wars
and conquests of France. They possess their own characteristics of
originality, too, and are, in many respects, one of the most efficient
and formidable forces in existence.

In order to convey a clear and correct idea of the new principles
adopted in the organization and equipment of the Chasseurs, and to
furnish our readers with some facts that may be interesting to them
as historical students, and most useful to such among them as are
connected with or may have any aspiration for military life, we must
beg them to go back with us, for a moment, to the very period of the
invention of gunpowder. It would be out of the question, of course, to
attempt, in these pages, a description of all the curious weapons
that were at first employed under the name of fire-arms. We will only
remark that such weapons were, despite the anathemas of Bayard and
the sarcasms of Ariosto, very much used as early as the middle of the
sixteenth century, and played an important part on the battle-fields
of that epoch.

To the Spaniards belongs the credit of having rendered the use of
fire-arms more easy, more regular, and more general among the nations.
For more than a hundred years the Spaniards were the very masters
of the art of war. Their power had begun to decline, but they still
retained their military superiority; and from the Battle of Ceresole,
won by the Count of Enghien in 1544, down to the memorable victory of
Rocroy, gained in 1643 by a hero of the same race and the same name,
they had the upper-hand in all pitched engagements. Their generals
were the very best and most thoroughly instructed, and formed a real
school; they, too, were the only officers who practised strategy.
Their organization was better than any other, and their celebrated
_tercios_ were the very model of all regiments. Their armament was
likewise superior, as they had adopted the musket, which was the
first fire-arm that a man could handle with any facility, load with
rapidity, and aim with any precision. Each of their _tercios_ or
battalions contained a regulated proportion of these musketeers, and
the number was large, compared to the whole mass of troops.

The excellent results attained by the Spaniards, in the more perfect
organization and equipment of their infantry, did not escape the
attention of the French officers; and one of them especially, the Duke
Francis de Guise, endeavored to turn his observations to good account.
It is to him that we are indebted for the first rough sketch of
regimental organization modelled upon that of the _tercios_, and, in
more than one encounter with the Huguenots, the numbers of thoroughly
skilled arquebuse-men embodied in the old French bands in Picardy and
Piedmont secured advantages to the Catholic armies. In the opposite
party, a young general who was destined to become a great king,
endowed with that creative instinct, that genius which is as readily
applicable to the science of government as to that of war, and which,
when tempered with good sense, may bestow glory and happiness upon
whole nations, Henry IV., had taken particular pains to increase the
number and the efficiency of his arquebuse-men, and frequently managed
to employ them in ways as novel as they were successful. At the Battle
of Coutras, he distributed them in groups of twenty-five, in the midst
of his squadrons of cavalry, so that, when the royal _gendarmerie_
advanced to charge the latter, they were suddenly received with
murderous volleys by these arquebuse-men _of the spur_, as they were
called, owing to their combination with the cavalry, and the shock
they thus encountered gave victory to the Protestants. Henry IV. went
even too far with his passion for fire-arms. He increased their number
and their use among cavalry so extravagantly, that the latter arm was
perverted from its proper object. The cavalry, for a long time, forgot
that their strength lay in the points of their sabres, in the dash of
the men, and the speed of their horses.

Most of the great captains of an early day thus signalized their
progress by some improvement in the equipment of their infantry. One
of the most formidable enemies of Spanish power, Maurice of Nassau,
a skilful engineer and tactician, was the first to array infantry in
such a manner as to combine the simultaneous use of the musket and the
pike. Before his time, fire-arms had been used only for skirmishing
service; he commenced to use them in line. This reform was, however,
only foreshadowed, as it were, by the Dutch General; it was reserved
for Gustavus Adolphus to complete it. While he was executing a series
of military operations such as the world had not beheld since the days
of Caesar, he was also creating a movable artillery, and giving to the
fire of his infantry an efficacy which had not been attained before.
For the heavy machines of war which were drawn by oxen to the field
of battle, and which remained there motionless and paralyzed by the
slightest movements of the contending armies, he substituted light
cannon drawn by horses and following up all the manoeuvres of either
cavalry or foot. He had found the infantry formed in dense battalions.
His system arranged it in long continuous lines in which each rank
of musketeers was sustained by several ranks of pikemen, so that his
array, thus distributed, should present to the enemy a front bristling
with steel, while, at the same time, it could cover a large space of
ground with its discharge of lead. Attentive to all kinds of detail,
he also gave his soldiers the cartouch-box and knapsack instead of
the cumbersome apparatus to which they had been accustomed. In fact,
Gustavus Adolphus was the founder of the modern science of battle. In
strategy and the grand combinations of warfare, he was the disciple
and rival of the ancient masters; for, even if this "divine portion"
of the military art be inaccessible to the vast number of its
votaries, and if history can easily enumerate those who were capable
of comprehending it, and, more especially, of applying it, its rules
and principles have, nevertheless, been by no means the same in all
ages. On the contrary, the invention of fire-arms demanded an entirely
new system of tactics, and this the Swedish hero introduced.

The example set by Gustavus was not, however, very rapidly followed,
and, although some slight improvements were introduced by French
officers during the seventeenth century, it was not until the time
of Louis XIV. that the reforms started by Maurice of Nassau, and so
successfully continued by the Swedish army, began to attain their
consummation. The progress made in that direction was due to Vauban,
whose eminent genius had mastered every question and every branch of
study so completely, that, when applied to on any subject connected
with politics or war, his opinion was always clear and correct.
The very numerous essays and sketches from his hand which are found
deposited in the fortresses and in the archives of France all reveal
some flash of genius, and even his wildest speculations bear the stamp
of his high intellect and excellent heart. Engineering science was
carried by him to such a degree of perfection that it has made but few
advances since his time; and it was Vauban who induced Louis XIV. to
replace the pike and the musket with a weapon which should be, at
one and the same time, an instrument for both firing and thrusting,
namely, the bayonet-gun. The Royal Fusileer Regiment, since called the
Royal Artillery, was the first one armed with this weapon, (in
1670,) and in 1703 the whole French army finally gave up the pike.
Notwithstanding some reverses sustained by the infantry thus armed,
and notwithstanding the disapproval of Puysegur and others, this gun
was soon adopted by all Europe, and the success of the great Frederick
put a conclusive indorsement on this new style of weapon. Frederick
had taken up and perfected the ideas of Gustavus Adolphus; and he now
laid down certain rules for the formation and manoeuvring of infantry,
which are still followed at this day; and since that time, no one has
disputed the fact that the strength of foot-troops lies in their guns
and their legs.

Our present firelock differs from the article used during the
Seven Years' War only in its more careful construction and some
modifications of detail. The most important of these relates to the
more rapid explosion of the charge. In 1840 the old flint-locks were
generally replaced by the percussion-lock, which is simpler, is
less exposed to the effects of dampness, and more quickly and surely
ignites the powder. Even the ordinary regulation-musket with its
bayonet was spoken of by Napoleon in his time as "the best engine of
warfare ever invented by man." Since the day of the Great Emperor, and
even during the reign of the present Napoleon, continued improvements
have been made in the character of the weapon used by the French
infantry. The weight, length, correctness of aim, durability, and
handiness of the gun have all been carefully examined and modified, to
the advantage of the soldier, until, finally, we have a weapon which
combines wonderful qualities of lightness, strength, correctness of
equipoise, ease and rapidity of loading, with perfect adaptability as
a combination of the lance, pike, and sword, when it has ceased to be
a fire-arm.

We have not here the space to enter upon a disquisition concerning
these progressive changes; but suffice it to say that nearly all the
peculiar styles of fire-arms were well known at an early period,
and that the rifling, etc., of guns and cannon, with the other
modifications now adopted, are merely the development and consummation
of old ideas. For instance, the rifled arquebuse was known and used
at the close of the fifteenth century, and, although the rifled musket
was not put in general use by the French infantry, from the fact that
its reduced length and the greater complication of movements required
in loading and discharging it deprived it of other advantages when
in the hands of troops of the line, still it was adopted in a certain
proportion in some branches of the French service.

As early as the middle of the seventeenth century, some corps of light
cavalry called _Carabins_ were armed with the short rifle-musket, and
hence the derivation of the term _carabines_ applied to the weapon.
These "carabines" were also very promptly adopted by hunters and
sportsmen everywhere. The Swiss and the Tyrolese employed them in
chasing the chamois among their mountains, and practised their skill
in the use of them at general shooting-matches, which to this very day
are celebrated as national festivals. The Austrian Government was the
first to profit by this preference on the part of certain populations
for accurate fire-arms, and at once proceeded to organize battalions
of Tyrolese _Chasseurs_, or _Huntsmen_,--to give the meaning of the
French word. These Chasseurs were applied in the Austrian service as
light troops, and so great was their efficiency against the Prussians
that Frederick the Great was compelled, in his turn, to organize a
battalion of Chasseur sharp-shooters. France followed suit, in the
course of the eighteenth century, and called into existence various
corps of the same description, under different names. These, however,
were but short-lived, although some of them, for instance, the Grassin
Legion, acquired quite a reputation.

Finally came the French Revolution. The troops of the Republic were
more remarkable for courage and enthusiasm than for tactics and drill.
They usually attacked as skirmishers,--a system which may be employed
successfully by even the most regularly disciplined armies, but which
is sometimes more especially useful to raw troops, because it
gives the private soldier an opportunity to compensate by personal
intelligence for the lack of thorough instruction. Struck by the
aptitude of the French recruits for that kind of fighting, the
Convention, in reorganizing the army, decreed the formation of some
half-brigades of light infantry. The picked men were to be armed with
the new weapon, and received the name of _Carabiniers_. The carabine
of 1793 is the first specimen of that kind of arm which was regularly
employed in France.

Subsequently, owing to many practical defects, when Napoleon
reorganized the equipment of the French armies, the carabine was
dropped from the service, although the regiments of light infantry
were retained, and their picked companies preserved the title of
Carabiniers. In the Imperial Guard, too, there were companies of
Skirmishers, Flankers, and Chasseurs, but neither one of these corps
was distinguished by any particular style of arms or drill. The
Emperor's wish was to have the armament and training of all his
infantry uniform, so that all the regiments should be equally adapted
to the service of troops of the line or light troops. Finally, to
carry out his design with greater ease, he formed all the men who were
more active and agile than the rest, or whose low stature prevented
them from becoming Grenadiers, into companies of Voltigeurs,--and this
was one of his finest military creations.

However, notwithstanding the correctness of Napoleon's views, as a
general principle, the thousand and one uses of a corps of picked
marksmen as light troops were so universally admitted that the
different nations of Europe continued and even augmented that branch
of their military service. Under different names they were found not
only in the armies of England, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, but also
under the banners of the secondary powers, such as Sweden, Piedmont,
and Switzerland.

After the disasters of 1815, the reorganization of the French army
was confided to Marshal Gouvion de St. Cyr, who united to sincere
patriotism every qualification of an able general. He gave to the
French service the basis of its present success, his suggestions
having, of course, been perfected and expanded in the mean time. Among
other things, he prescribed the formation of battalions of Chasseurs,
to be organized in legions, side by side with the infantry of
the line, but with their own special equipment. This plan was not
efficiently executed, and the Chasseur battalions shared the fate
of the Department Legions of France, and were merged in the existing

The project, in a different form, was revived by Marshal Soult, who,
as Minister of War, in 1833, succeeded in securing the passage of
a royal ordinance prescribing the formation of companies of
sharp-shooters "armed with carabines and uniformed in a manner
befitting their special service." These companies were to be united
subsequently into battalions, and were to undergo a particular course
of training. Although the ordinance was not immediately carried
into execution, the impulse had been given, and erelong successful
improvements in the rifle having been effected by an old officer of
the Royal Guard, named Delvigne, and a certain Colonel Poncharra,
inspector of the manufacture of arms, the Duke of Orleans brought
about the formation of a company of marksmen peculiarly trained and
equipped, and provided with the so-called Delvigne-Poncharra carabine.
This company was placed in garrison at Vincennes, where, under skilful
and popular commanders, it gave such satisfaction that it was finally
decided to try the experiment on a larger scale, and a decree of
November 14, 1838, created a battalion of the same character.

This corps, then, and even now, known to the people as the
_Tirailleurs de Vincennes_, wore a uniform very similar to that of the
present Chasseurs, but quite different from that of the infantry of
the period. Instead of the stiff accoutrements and heavy headgear of
the latter, they assumed a frock, wide and roomy pantaloons, and a
light military shako. The double folds of white buckskin, which were
very fine to look at, to be sure, but which oppressed the lungs and
offered a conspicuous mark to the enemy, were discarded; the sabre was
no longer allowed to dangle between the legs of the soldier and impede
his movements; while the necessary munitions were carried in a manner
more convenient and better adapted to their preservation. The arms
consisted of a carabine, and a long, solid, sharpened appendage to
it, termed the _sword-bayonet_. This latter weapon was provided with
a hilt, and could be used for both cut and thrust, with considerable
effect, while, affixed to the end of the carabine, it furnished a most
formidable pike.

Although the Delvigne-Poncharra carabine had great advantages, it
still did not command the range of the coarser and heavier muskets of
the line, and, in order to make up for this in some degree, the most
robust and skilful men of the corps were armed with a heavier gun,
constructed on the same principles, but capable of throwing a heavier
charge with precision, to greater distances. The proportion of men so
armed was one-eighth of the battalion. The use of these two
different calibres of fire-arms had some drawbacks, but they were
counterbalanced by some curious advantages. For instance, the
battalion could keep up a steady fire at ordinary distances, while,
at the same moment, the men armed with the heavy carabines, or
_Carabiniers_, as they were distinctively called, even within their
own battalion, could reach the enemy at points where he deemed himself
beyond the range of the force he saw in front of him. United in
groups, the Carabiniers could thus produce severe effect, and actually
formed a sort of _hand artillery_,--to use an expression often
employed concerning them.

The Tirailleurs thus composed were, owing to the shortness of their
carabines, drawn up in two ranks, instead of in the regimental style
of three ranks. They manoeuvred in line, like all other infantry
battalions, but, in addition to the ordinary drill, were trained in
gymnastics and double-quick evolutions, as well as in fencing with the
bayonet, a special course of sharp-shooting, and what was termed _the
new Tirailleur drill_.

Gymnastics have always been encouraged in the French army, and, when
not carried to excess, they are of the greatest use, particularly in
developing the strength of young men, giving suppleness and confidence
to raw recruits, and facilitating their manoeuvres. Running was
naturally a portion of these exercises, although it was rarely
permitted in the evolutions of French troops, since it was found to
produce much disorder. The Tirailleurs were so trained, however, that
they could move, with all their accoutrements, in ranks, without noise
and without confusion, at a cadenced and measured running step termed
the _pas gymnastique_, or gymnastic step,--and they could use it
even during complicated field-manoeuvres. This was a most excellent
innovation, for it enabled infantry to pass rapidly to any important
point, and to execute many evolutions with the promptitude in some
degree which cavalry obtains from the combination of the two gaits.

The bayonet-exercise was very acceptable to the men, for it augmented
their confidence in their weapons and their skill in handling them.

The target or sharp-shooting drill was much the most complicated and
difficult, as the troops were taught to fire when kneeling and lying
on the ground, and to avail themselves of the slightest favoring
circumstances of the soil. The rules and methods adopted in this
branch of the drill have been the subject of profound and careful
study, and are exceedingly ingenious.

The approval of these measures by the French Government was such,
that, by a decree of August 28th, 1839, the merely temporary
organization of the Tirailleurs was made permanent and separate, and
the corps was sent to camp at Fontainebleau. There, the agility of
the men, their neat and convenient uniforms and equipments, and their
rapid and orderly evolutions struck every one who saw them. When, at
the close of their period of encampment, the King was passing them in
review as a special compliment, he warmly asked Marshal Soult what
he thought of the new corps. The Marshal, in replying, emphatically
expressed the wish that His Majesty had thirty such battalions instead
of only one.

However, the new organization found some opponents, and many urgent
arguments were adduced to prevent its extension. In order to put all
these to the test, it was finally determined to submit the Tirailleurs
to the ordeal of actual warfare; and they were speedily shipped to
Africa, where it was quickly discovered that their gymnastic training
had so prepared them that they easily became inured to the fatigues
and privations of campaigning life. Their heavy carabines succeeded
admirably, and the skill of their marksmen--among others, of a certain
Sergeant Pistouley--was the theme of universal praise.

The Tirailleurs were now brigaded with the Zouaves, and erelong had
shared glorious laurels with those celebrated troops.

Finally, in 1840, the dangers that seemed to be accumulating over
France on all sides assumed so dark a form that the patriotism of the
whole nation was aroused, and, in the midst of the general outpouring
of men and means, the Duke of Orleans was authorized to form no less
than ten battalions of Chasseurs.

The Duke set himself about this important task with all the zeal that
had characterized his first effort to create the organization, and
all the erudition he had gleaned from years of military study and
research. In the first place, he abandoned the title of Tirailleurs,
as being not sufficiently distinctive, and adopted that of Chasseurs a
Pied, or Foot-Chasseurs. The organization by battalions was retained,
and the one formed two years before at Vincennes was designated as the
First Battalion, and recalled from Africa to St. Omer as a model for
the other nine that were to be organized. St. Omer offered extensive
barracks, a vast field suitable to military exercise, and, in fine,
all the establishments requisite for a large concourse of troops. The
ranks were soon filled with picked men from all sides, and ardent,
ambitious officers from every corps of the army sought commands. Among
the latter we may mention a certain Captain, since Marshal de M'Mahon,
who was put at the head of the Tenth Battalion.

Under the eyes of the Prince Royal, and in accordance with a series
of regulations drawn up by him with the greatest care, and constantly
modified to suit circumstances, the battalions were drilled and
trained assiduously in all the walks of their profession connected
with their own destined service. Every branch of their military life
was illustrated by their exercises, and even the officers went through
a thorough course of special instruction under accomplished tutors,
who were also officers of peculiar ability and experience. While
the Duke of Orleans, with the distinguished General Rostolan and two
picked lieutenant-colonels, remained at St. Omer in charge of the
growing force, another lieutenant-colonel was intrusted with the task
of training subordinates to serve as teachers in sharp-shooting, and
for this purpose a detachment was assembled at Vincennes, consisting
of ten officers and a number of subalterns who had attracted attention
by their particular aptitude. These, after having been thoroughly
instructed in the manufacture of small arms, the preparation of
munitions, and the rules and practice of sharp-shooting, were sent to
St. Omer to furnish the new battalions with the officers who were to
form part of the permanent organization. The weapon selected was an
improvement upon the former carabines of the Tirailleurs; and while
the old proportion, to wit, the eighth part of each battalion, were
armed with guns of longer range, and styled distinctively Carabiniers,
these were set apart as the picked company of each battalion. The
Duke, taking up his residence at St. Omer, attended in person to all
that was going forward; and so constant were his exertions, and so
warm the zeal of those who assisted the enterprise, that in a few
months all the battalions were equipped, armed, and well drilled.

One fine spring morning,--it was in May, 1841,--a long column of
troops entered Paris with a celerity hitherto unknown. There was no
false glitter, no tinsel; everything was neat and martial, with bugles
for their only music, and a uniform that was sombre, indeed, but of
such harmonious simplicity as to be by no means devoid of elegance.
This column consisted of the Chasseurs, coming to receive their
standard from the hands of Louis Philippe, and speeding through the
streets with their _gymnastic step_. On the very next day, as though
to signalize the serious and entirely military character of the
organization, four of these battalions were sent off to Africa,
and the remaining six posted at the different leading fortresses of
France, where the collections of artillery, etc., enabled them to
proceed with the perfect development of their training.

It was only a year later, when the Duke of Orleans was snatched away,
on the very eve of some crowning experiments he was about to make in
illustration of the full uses and capacities of this force, that it
received the title of Chasseurs d'Orleans, which the modesty of
its founder would not tolerate during his lifetime. This name they
gallantly bore through the combats that marked their novitiate in
Africa, where it was at once found that the complete preparation of
both officers and men made victory comparatively easy for them. The
deadly precision of their aim struck terror into the Arabs, and, as
early as 1842, the splendid behavior of the Sixth Battalion in the
bloody fights of the Oued Foddah at once ranged the Chasseurs among
the finest troops in Africa. To attempt to follow them step by step
in their career would be idle in the space we have here allotted to
ourselves. We shall therefore cite merely a few instances where their
courage and efficiency shone with peculiar lustre.

In the course of the year 1845, an impostor, playing upon the
credulity of the Arabs, and artfully availing himself of the
organization ready furnished by the religious sect to which he
belonged, succeeded in bringing about a revolt of a great portion of
the tribes in Algiers and Oran. He went by the title of "Master of the
Hour," a sort of Messiah who had been long expected in that region.
But he was more generally known as Bou-Maza, or _The Father with the
She-Goat_, from the fact that a she-goat was his customary companion,
and was supposed by the populace to serve him as a medium of
communication with the supernatural Powers. This man exhibited a great
deal of skill and audacity. His activity was so extraordinary, and
he had been seen at so many different points at almost the same time,
that his very existence was at first doubted, and many supposed him to
be a myth. At one time it was thought that the insurrection had been
quelled, as a chief calling himself Bou-Maza had been captured and
shot, when, suddenly, the real leader reappeared among the Flittas,
one of the most warlike tribes of Algeria, and living in a region very
difficult of access. Against these and the Prophet, General Bourjolly,
the French commander, marched at once, but unfortunately with very
inadequate force. A terrible combat ensued, the Fourth Regiment of the
Chasseurs d'Afrique and the Ninth Battalion of the Chasseurs d'Orleans
having to sustain the brunt of it. Both these corps performed
prodigies of valor, and it was worth while to hear the men of
each reciprocally narrating the glory and the peril of their
comrades,--these telling by what noble exploits the mounted Chasseurs
(d'Afrique) had saved the remains of Lieutenant-Colonel Berthier, and
the others describing the Chasseurs a Pied, how they stood immovable,
although without cartridges, around the body of their commander,
Clere, with their terrible sword-bayonets bloody to the hilt!

On almost the same day, the Eighth Battalion succumbed to a frightful
catastrophe. At a period of supposed tranquillity, the Souhalia
tribe, who had been steadfast allies of the French, were unexpectedly
attacked by Abd-el-Kader at the head of an overwhelming force.
Lieutenant-Colonel Montagnac, with only sixty-two horsemen of the
Second Hussars and three hundred and fifty men of the Eighth Chasseurs
d'Orleans, hurried to the rescue. He was repeatedly warned of the
danger, but, despite all that could be said, he dashed at the whole
force of Abd-el-Kader. At the very first discharge, Montagnac fell
mortally wounded, and in a few moments all the horses and nearly all
the men were disabled. Captain Cognord, of the Second Hussars, rallied
the survivors, and this little handful of heroes, huddled together
upon a hillock, fought like tigers, until their ammunition was
exhausted. The Arabs then closed in upon the group, which had become
motionless and silent, and, to use the expressive language of an
eye-witness, "felled them to the earth as they would overturn a wall."
The enemy found none remaining but the dead, or those who were
so badly wounded that they gave no sign of life. Before expiring,
Montagnac had summoned to his aid a small detachment he had left in
reserve. The latter, on its approach, was immediately surrounded, and
perished to the very last man. There was now surviving of the whole
French force only the Carabinier company of the Eighth Chasseurs, upon
whom the Arabs rushed with fury, from every side. After a resistance
of almost fabulous heroism, during which the flag of the company was
shot away in shreds, and the Carabiniers cut their bullets into
six and eight pieces so as to prolong their defence, every volley
decimating the foe, this little band of seventy men, encumbered with
ten wounded, succeeded in wearying and disheartening the Emir to such
an extent that he determined to abandon the direct assault which was
costing him so dearly, and to surround the French detachment in the
ruined building which served them for a refuge, and so starve them
out. Captain Dutertre, Adjutant of the Eighth, who had been captured
by the Arabs in the early part of the action, was sent forward by the
enemy toward his old comrades. For a moment the firing ceased, and
the Captain shouted so that all could hear him,--"Chasseurs, they have
sworn to behead me, if you do not lay down your arms; and I say to
you, Die, rather than surrender one single man!"

The Captain was instantly sabred, and the conflict recommenced. The
same summons was repeated twice afterwards, and twice failed, when,
finally, the firing ceased, and the Arabs bivouacked around their
prey. Every possible approach was closed and guarded, and, thus caged
in, the Chasseurs remained for three nights and days without food or
drink. At length, by a sudden and desperate dash, on the morning
of September 20th, the seventy heroes, bearing their ten wounded
comrades, succeeded in breaking through the line of Arab sentinels,
and escaped to a neighboring chain of hills. Thither they were pursued
by their wild foemen, who, although infuriated at the daring and
success of this sally, had a sufficient respect for the heavy
carabines of the French, and merely hovered closely on their rear,
awaiting some favorable opportunity to dash in upon them. This moment
soon came. The French soldiers, no longer able to withstand the
torments of thirst, descending from the hills, in spite of the
entreaties of their officers, dashed into a neighboring stream to cool
their burning lips. The instant of doom had come, and, in less time
than it takes to recite the narrative, all but twelve of the little
band were massacred by the exulting Arabs. The twelve escaped to
Djemaa only after terrible privations and sufferings.

We might readily fill a volume with episodes equally glorious and
equally gloomy in the career of the Chasseurs. They were in nearly
all the brilliant actions of the ensuing Algerian campaigns, and, at
Zaatcha, Isly, and other famed engagements, they contended side by
side with the renowned Zouaves for the palm of military excellence.
Their agility, their promptitude in action, their ardor in attack, and
their solidity in retreat, their endurance on the march, their skill
and intelligence in availing themselves of every inequality of ground
and in turning everything to account, made them so conspicuously
preferable, as an infantry corps, for certain operations, that Marshal
Bugeaud caused the number of battalions employed in Africa to be
increased to six. From that time to the present, continual progress
has been, made in the organization, discipline, and instruction of
the Chasseurs, and all the objections which at different periods were,
raised against the special composition and details of the force having
been one by one met and obviated, France now counts no less than
twenty-one battalions of them in her army.

It was for a long time thought by some, that, although the Chasseurs,
like the Zouaves, had been successful in the skirmishing engagements
of Algeria, they would not be found so useful in European warfare.
This opinion was proved to be erroneous at the siege of Rome, in 1849,
where the Chasseurs, armed with their new and terrible weapon, the
_carabine a tige_, in the management of which they had been thoroughly
drilled, rendered the most important service; and from what was seen
of them there it became evident that the existence of such a force,
so perfected in every particular, would hereafter greatly modify the
relations and conditions of the defence and attack of fortified works.
The importance of this fact will impress the reader, when he remembers
how large a part fortresses have played in warfare since 1815, and
especially when he glances at the tendency everywhere perceptible now
toward transforming military strongholds into great intrenched camps,
as revealed at Antwerp in Belgium, Fredericia in Denmark, Buda and
Comorn in Hungary, Peschiera, Mantua, Venice, Verona, and Rome in
Italy, Silistria and Sebastopol in the East, and Washington, Manassas,
and Richmond in America.

Other nations have not been slow to follow French example. Russia
is rapidly manufacturing rifled pieces for her service; England
is providing her whole army with the Minie musket, and Austria and
Prussia are applying inventions of their own to the armament of corps
organized and trained on the principle of the French Chasseurs.

The Duke of Wellington is said to have remarked, not long before his
death, while speaking of the English troops, that they had, indeed,
adopted the new musket, but that it would be physically difficult for
them to transform themselves into light infantry. The same observation
will undoubtedly apply to all the Continental nations excepting the
French; but in the United States, while we could muster the finest
heavy troops in the world, we have also the most abundant material for
just such light infantry as those described in the foregoing sketch.

The Chasseurs are not merely distinguished as perfect light infantry,
but they also form excellent troops of the line. By the weight of
their fire, they are capable of producing in battles and sieges
effects unknown before their appearance on the scene, and that is the
great point, the entirely new feature about them.

The creation of these battalions, well planned and happily executed
as it has been, remains a most important event in military history.
Consecrated by the valor and the intelligence of the officers and
soldiers of France, it has been the signal and the source of new
and rapid reforms. One of these battalions attached to each infantry
division adds fresh force to that fine classification which first
arose under the Republic, and, although somewhat perverted under the
Empire, still remains the basis of the French grand organization,
recalling, as it does, the immortal idea of the Roman Legion.

With the aid of its example, and the emulation inspired by the success
of the Chasseurs, the splendid system of the French infantry-service
has been completed under the present Napoleon; and we now behold the
race he rules so disciplined for war, the respective qualities of the
North and the South of France, the firmness and solidity of the former
and the enthusiasm and ardor of the latter, so beautifully blended,
that we may well exclaim, "Here, indeed, is a whole nation armed! _in
pedite robur_!"

In conclusion, the writer and compiler of this sketch would not be
venturing too far, perhaps, were he to remark that so excellent an
example can be nowhere better followed than in this country, if, as
would to-day appear a certainty, we are to turn aside from the ways of
peace to study the art of war. We have here precisely the material
for whole armies of light infantry, the most favorable conditions
for their equipment and instruction, and, owing to the nature of the
region we inhabit, its dense woodlands, its wide savannas, its broad
rivers, and its numerous ranges of rough mountains, the very land
in which the tactics and marksmanship of the Chasseurs would be most



[It is with feelings of the liveliest pain that we inform our readers
of the death of the Reverend Homer Wilbur, A.M., which took place
suddenly, by an apoplectic stroke, on the afternoon of Christmas day,
1862. Our venerable friend (for so we may venture to call him, though
we never enjoyed the high privilege of his personal acquaintance)
was in his eighty-fourth year, having been born June 12, 1779, at
Pigsgusset Precinct (now West Jerusha) in the then District of Maine.
Graduated with distinction at Hubville College in 1805, he pursued his
theological studies with the late Reverend Preserved Thacker, D.D.,
and was called to the charge of the First Society in Jaalam in 1809,
where he remained till his death.

"As an antiquary he has probably left no superior, if, indeed,
an equal," writes his friend and colleague, the Reverend Jeduthun
Hitchcock, to whom we are indebted for the above facts; "in proof
of which I need only allude to his 'History of Jaalam, Genealogical,
Topographical, and Ecclesiastical,' 1849, which has won him an eminent
and enduring place in our more solid and useful literature. It is only
to be regretted that his intense application to historical studies
should have so entirely withdrawn him from the pursuit of poetical
composition, for which he was endowed by Nature with a remarkable
aptitude. His well-known hymn, beginning, 'With clouds of care
encompassed round,' has been attributed in some collections to the
late President Dwight, and it is hardly presumptuous to affirm that
the simile of the rainbow in the eighth stanza would do no discredit
to that polished pen."

We regret that we have not room at present for the whole of Mr.
Hitchcock's exceedingly valuable communication. We hope to lay more
liberal extracts from it before our readers at an early day. A summary
of its contents will give some notion of its importance and interest.
It contains: 1st, A biographical sketch of Mr. Wilbur, with notices
of his predecessors in the pastoral office, and of eminent clerical
contemporaries; 2d, An obituary of deceased, from the Punkin-Falls
"Weekly Parallel"; 3d, A list of his printed and manuscript
productions and of projected works; 4th, Personal anecdotes and
recollections, with specimens of table-talk; 5th, A tribute to his
relict, Mrs. Dorcas (Pilcox) Wilbur; 6th, A list of graduates fitted
for different colleges by Mr. Wilbur, with biographical memoranda
touching the more distinguished; 7th, Concerning learned, charitable,
and other societies, of which Mr. Wilbur was a member, and of those
with which, had his life been prolonged, he would doubtless have been
associated, with a complete catalogue of such Americans as have been
Fellows of the Royal Society; 8th, A brief summary of Mr. Wilbur's
latest conclusions concerning the Tenth Horn of the Beast in its
special application to recent events, for which the public, as Mr.
Hitchcock assures us, have been waiting with feelings of lively
anticipation; 10th, Mr. Hitchcock's own views on the same topic; and,
11th, A brief essay on the importance of local histories. It will be
apparent that the duty of preparing Mr. Wilbur's biography could not
have fallen into more sympathetic hands.

In a private letter with which the reverend gentleman has since
favored us, he expresses the opinion that Mr. Wilbur's life was
shortened by our unhappy civil war. It disturbed his studies,
dislocated all his habitual associations and trains of thought, and
unsettled the foundations of a faith, rather the result of habit than
conviction, in the capacity of man for self-government. "Such has
been the felicity of my life," he said to Mr. Hitchcock, on the very
morning of the day he died, "that, through the divine mercy, I could
always say, _Summum nec metuo diem, nec opto_. It has been my habit,
as you know, on every recurrence of this blessed anniversary, to read
Milton's 'Hymn of the Nativity' till its sublime harmonies so dilated
my soul and quickened its spiritual sense that I seemed to hear that
other song which gave assurance to the shepherds that there was
One who would lead them also in green pastures and beside the still
waters. But to-day I have been unable to think of anything but that
mournful text, 'I came not to send peace, but a sword,' and, did it
not smack of pagan presumptuousness, could almost wish I had never
lived to see this day."

Mr. Hitchcock also informs us that his friend "lies buried in the
Jaalam graveyard, under a large red-cedar which he specially admired.
A neat and substantial monument is to be erected over his remains,
with a Latin epitaph written by himself; for he was accustomed to say
pleasantly that there was at least one occasion in a scholar's life
when he might show the advantages of a classical training."

The following fragment of a letter addressed to us, and apparently
intended to accompany Mr. Biglow's contribution to the present
number, was found upon his table after his decease.--EDITORS ATLANTIC

_To the Editors of the_ ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

Jaalam, 24th Dec'r, 1862

RESPECTED SIRS,--The infirm state of my bodily health would be a
sufficient apology for not taking up the pen at this time, wholesome
as I deem it for the mind to apricate in the shelter of epistolary
confidence, were it not that a considerable, I might even say a large,
number of individuals in this parish expect from their pastor some
publick expression of sentiment at this crisis. Moreover, _Qui tacitus
ardet magis uritur_. In trying times like these, the besetting sin of
undisciplined minds is to seek refuge from inexplicable realities
in the dangerous stimulant of angry partisanship or the indolent
narcotick of vague and hopeful vaticination; _fortunamque suo temperat
arbitrio_. Both by reason of my age and my natural temperament, I am
unfitted for either. Unable to penetrate the inscrutable judgments of
God, I am more than ever thankful that my life has been prolonged till
I could in some small measure comprehend His mercy. As there is no man
who does not at some time render himself amenable to the one,--_quum
vix Justus sit securus_,--so there is none that does not feel himself
in daily need of the other.

I confess, I cannot feel, as some do, a personal consolation for the
manifest evils of this war in any remote or contingent advantages
that may spring from it. I am old and weak, I can bear little, and can
scarce hope to see better days; nor is it any adequate compensation
to know that Nature is old and strong and can bear much. Old men
philosophize over the past, but the present is only a burthen and a
weariness. The one lies before them like a placid evening landscape;
the other is full of the vexations and anxieties of housekeeping.
It may be true enough that _miscet haec illis, prohibetque Clotho
fortunam stare_, but he who said it was fain at last to call in
Atropos with her shears before her time; and I cannot help selfishly
mourning that the fortune of our Republick could not at least stand
till my days were numbered.

Tibullus would find the origin of wars in the great exaggeration of
riches, and does not stick to say that in the days of the beechen
trencher there was peace. But averse as I am by nature from all wars,
the more as they have been especially fatal to libraries, I would have
this one go on till we are reduced to wooden platters again, rather
than surrender the principle to defend which it was undertaken. Though
I believe Slavery to have been the cause of it, by so thoroughly
demoralizing Northern politicks for its own purposes as to give
opportunity and hope to treason, yet I would not have our thought and
purpose diverted from their true object,--the maintenance of the idea
of Government. We are not merely suppressing an enormous riot, but
contending for the possibility of permanent order coexisting with
democratical fickleness; and while I would not superstitiously
venerate form to the sacrifice of substance, neither would I forget
that an adherence to precedent and prescription can alone give that
continuity and coherence under a democratical constitution which are
inherent in the person of a despotick monarch and the selfishness of
an aristocratical class. _Stet pro ratione voluntas_ is as dangerous
in a majority as in a tyrant.

I cannot allow the present production of my young friend to go out
without a protest from me against a certain extremeness in his views,
more pardonable in the poet than the philosopher. While I agree with
him that the only cure for rebellion is suppression by force, yet I
must animadvert upon certain phrases where I seem to see a coincidence
with a popular fallacy on the subject of compromise. On the one hand
there are those who do not see that the vital principle of Government
and the seminal principle of Law cannot properly be made a subject of
compromise at all, and on the other those who are equally blind to the
truth that without a compromise of individual opinions, interests, and
even rights, no society would be possible. _In medio tutissimus_. For
my own part, I would gladly----

Ef I a song or two could make,
Like rockets druv by their own burnin',
All leap an' light, to leave a wake
Men's hearts an' faces skyward turnin'!--
But, it strikes me, 't ain't jest the time
Fer stringin' words with settisfaction:
Wut's wanted now's the silent rhyme
'Twixt upright Will an' downright Action.

Words, ef you keep 'em, pay their keep,
But gabble's the short cut to ruin;
It's gratis, (gals half-price,) but cheap
At no rate, ef it henders doin';
Ther' 's nothin' wuss, 'less 't is to set
A martyr-prem'um upon jawrin':
Teapots git dangerous, ef you shet
Their lids down on 'em with Fort Warren.

'Bout long enough it's ben discussed
Who sot the magazine afire,
An' whether, ef Bob Wickliffe bust,
'T would scare us more or blow us higher,
D' ye s'pose the Gret Foreseer's plan
Wuz settled fer him in town-meetin'?
Or thet ther' 'd ben no Fall o' Man,
Ef Adam'd on'y bit a sweetin'?

Oh, Jon'than, ef you want to be
A rugged chap agin an' hearty,
Go fer wutever'll hurt Jeff D.,
Nut wut'll boost up ary party.
Here's hell broke loose, an' we lay flat
With half the univarse a-singein',
Till Sen'tor This an' Gov'nor Thet
Stop squabblin' fer the garding-ingin'.

It's war we're in, not politics;
It's systems wrastlin' now, not parties;
An' victory in the eend'll fix
Where longest will an' truest heart is.
An' wut's the Guv'ment folks about?
Tryin' to hope ther' 's nothin' doin',
An' look ez though they didn't doubt
Sunthin' pertickler wuz a-brewin'.

Ther' 's critters yit thet talk an' act
Fer wut they call Conciliation;
They'd hand a buff'lo-drove a tract
When they wuz madder than all Bashan.
Conciliate? it jest means _be kicked_,
No metter how they phrase an' tone it;
It means thet we're to set down licked,
Thet we're poor shotes an' glad to own it!

A war on tick's ez dear'z the deuce,
But it wun't leave no lastin' traces,
Ez't would to make a sneakin' truce
Without no moral specie-basis:
Ef green-backs ain't nut jest the cheese,
I guess ther' 's evils thet's extremer,--
Fer instance,--shinplaster idees
Like them put out by Gov'nor Seymour.

Last year, the Nation, at a word,
When tremblin' Freedom cried to shield her,
Flamed weldin' into one keen sword
Waitin' an' longin' fer a wielder:
A splendid flash!--an' how'd the grasp
With sech a chance ez thet wuz tally?
Ther' warn't no meanin' in our clasp,--
Half this, half thet, all shilly-shally.

More men? More Man! It's there we fail;
Weak plans grow weaker yit by lengthenin':
Wut use in addin' to the tail,
When it's the head's in need o' strengthenin'?
We wanted one thet felt all Chief
From roots o' hair to sole o' stockin',
Square-sot with thousan'-ton belief
In him an' us, ef earth went rockin'!

Ole Hick'ry wouldn't ha' stood see-saw
'Bout doin' things till they wuz done with,--
He'd smashed the tables o' the Law
In time o' need to load his gun with;
He couldn't see but jest one side,--
Ef his, 'twuz God's, an' thet wuz plenty;
An' so his "_Forrards_!" multiplied
An army's fightin' weight by twenty.

But this 'ere histin', creak, creak, creak,
Your cappen's heart up with a derrick,
This tryin' to coax a lightnin'-streak
Out of a half-discouraged hay-rick,
This hangin' on mont' arter mont'
Fer one sharp purpose 'mongst the twitter,--
I tell ye, it doos kind o' stunt
The peth an' sperit of a critter.

In six months where'll the People be,
Ef leaders look on revolution
Ez though it wuz a cup o' tea,--
Jest social el'ments in solution?
This weighin' things doos wal enough
When war cools down, an' comes to writin';
But while it's makin', the true stuff
Is pison-mad, pig-headed fightin'.

Democ'acy gives every man
A right to be his own oppressor;
But a loose Gov'ment ain't the plan,
Helpless ez spilled beans on a dresser:
I tell ye one thing we might larn
From them smart critters, the Seceders,--
Ef bein' right's the fust consarn,
The 'fore-the-fust 's cast-iron leaders.

But 'pears to me I see some signs
Thet we're a-goin' to use our senses:
Jeff druv us into these hard lines,
An' ough' to bear his half th' expenses;
Slavery's Secession's heart an' will,
South, North, East, West, where'er you find it,
An' ef it drors into War's mill,
D' ye say them thunder-stones sha'n't grind it?

D' ye s'pose, ef Jeff giv _him_ a lick,
Ole Hick'ry'd tried his head to sof'n
So 's 't wouldn't hurt thet ebony stick
Thet's made our side see stars so of'n?
"No!" he'd ha' thundered, "on your knees,
An' own one flag, one road to glory!
Soft-heartedness, in times like these,
Shows sof'ness in the upper story!"

An' why should we kick up a muss
About the Pres'dunt's proclamation?
It ain't a-goin' to lib'rate us,
Ef we don't like emancipation:
The right to be a cussed fool
Is safe from all devices human,
It's common (ez a gin'l rule)
To every critter born o' woman.

So _we_'re all right, an' I, fer one,
Don't think our cause'll lose in vally
By rammin' Scriptur' in our gun,
An' gittin' Natur' fer an ally:
Thank God, say I, fer even a plan
To lift one human bein's level,
Give one more chance to make a man,
Or, anyhow, to spile a devil!

Not thet I'm one thet much expec'
Millennium by express to-morrer;
They _will_ miscarry,--I rec'lec'
Tu many on 'em, to my sorrer:
Men ain't made angels in a day,
No matter how you mould an' labor 'em,--
Nor 'riginal ones, I guess, don't stay
With Abe so of'n ez with Abraham,

The'ry thinks Fact a pooty thing,
An' wants the banns read right ensuin';
But Fact wun't noways wear the ring
'Thout years o' settin' up an' wooin':
But, arter all, Time's dial-plate
Marks cent'ries with the minute-finger,
An' Good can't never come tu late,
Though it doos seem to try an' linger.

An' come wut will, I think it's grand
Abe's gut his will et last bloom-furnaced
In trial-flames till it'11 stand
The strain o' bein' in deadly earnest:
Thet's wut we want,--we want to know
The folks on our side hez the bravery
To b'lieve ez hard, come weal, come woe,
In Freedom ez Jeff doos in Slavery.

Set the two forces foot to foot,
An' every man knows who'll be winner,
Whose faith in God hez ary root
Thet goes down deeper than his dinner:
_Then_ 'twill be felt from pole to pole,
Without no need o' proclamation,
Earth's Biggest Country's gut her soul
An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation!


_Slavery and Secession in America, Historical and Economical; together
with a Practical Scheme of Emancipation_. By THOMAS ELLISON, F.S.S.,
etc. Second Edition: Enlarged. With a Reply to the Fundamental
Arguments of Mr. James Spence, contained in his Work on the American
Union, and Remarks on the Productions of Other Writers. With Map and
Appendices. London: Sampson Low, Son, & Co.

We have too long delayed to speak of Mr. Ellison's book. More than a
year ago, before Mr. Stuart Mill or Professor Cairnes had written
in our behalf, before we had received a word of sympathy from any
representative Englishman, save Mr. John Bright, the first edition of
this work was placed before the British public. And we could not
have asked for a better informed or more judicious defender than Mr.
Ellison. "Slavery and Secession in America" is a temperate and concise
statement of the essential features of our national struggle. The
supposed interest of half a million of slaveholders in the extension
of the Southern institution is truly represented as the cause of their
guilty insurrection against the liberties of their countrymen.
Mr. Ellison does not desire immediate emancipation, and wastes no
sentiment upon the sufferings of the negro. But the economical and
social position of Slavery is given with the unanswerable emphasis of
careful figures. He traces the rise and increase of the institution
in the States, until its disgrace culminates in a bloody rebellion.
He clearly shows, that, by acknowledging the doctrine involved in
Secession, by allowing it to govern the intercourse between
nations, the morality of society would be shaken from its base. The
anti-slavery character of the strife in which we are involved is
made to appear,--slavery-diffusion being the object of the South,
slavery-restriction the aim of the North. It is shown that the
Secession ordinances utterly failed to point out a single instance
in which the rights of the Southern people were infringed upon by
the National Executive; also, that the alleged right of Secession is
neither Constitutional, nor, when backed by no tangible grievance,
can it he called revolutionary. In short, Mr. Ellison takes the only
ground which seems possible to loyalists in America: namely, that
Secession--in other words, the treason of slaveholders against the
Constitution of their country--is of necessity punishable by law; and
that good men of all nationalities should unite in the moral support
of a benignant government thus wantonly assailed.

The "practical scheme of emancipation" promised us in the title can
hardly be said to amount to a scheme at all; but there are suggestions
worth attending to, if that delicate matter might be managed as we
would, not as we must.

We have marked but two passages for a questioning comment. General
Taylor, by an inadvertency strange to pass to a second edition, is
represented as putting down the South-Carolina Nullifiers in 1838.
Also, Dr. Charles Mackay, the New-York Correspondent of the London
"Times," is quoted as having once borne anti-slavery testimony. This
is certainly hard. Whatever emoluments slave-masters or their allies
may hereafter have it in their power to bestow this gentleman has
fairly earned. If he ever did say anything that was disagreeable to
them, it should not be remembered against him.

The merit of Mr. Ellison's book is neither in rhetoric, philanthropic
sentiment, nor any exalted theory of political philosophy; it is in an
unanswerable appeal to statistics, and a condensed statement of facts.
The work may be commended to all desirous of arriving at the truth.

But no conventional phrases of a book-notice can express our
obligations to Mr. Ellison and those few of his countrymen who have
publicly rebuked the noisy bitterness of writers striving, with too
much success, to debauch the sentiment of England. Most dear to us is
an occasional lull in that storm of insolence and mendacity designed
to embarrass the Government of the United States in the august and
solemn championship of human liberty committed to its charge. And let
it be remarked that our expectations of English approval were never
Utopian. The great principle involved in the American contest was so
far above the level of the ordinary pursuits of men, that, even
among ourselves, few have been able to transfuse it into their daily
consciousness. We never looked to England for the encouragement of a
popular enthusiasm,--hardly, perhaps, for a cold acquiescence. John
Bull, we said, is proverbially a grumbler, proverbially indifferent to
all affairs but his own; he will be annoyed by tariffs, and plagued
by scarcity of cotton;--what wonder, if we are a little misunderstood?
The minor contributors to his daily press will not be able to think
long or wisely of what they write; we must be ready to pardon a
certain amount of irritation and misstatement. That such was the
feeling of intelligent Americans towards England, at the beginning of
our troubles, we have no doubt. But for the scurrility heaped upon
us by what claims to be the higher British press we were totally
unprepared,--and for this good reason, that such malignity of
criticism as is possible in America could never have suggested it. Let
us not be misunderstood. We acknowledge the "Rowdy Journal" and Mr.
Jefferson Brick. Undoubtedly, newspapers exist among us of which the
description of Mr. Dickens is no very extravagant caricature. But
their editors, if not of notoriously infamous life, are those whose
minds are unenlarged by any generous education,--men whose lack of
grammar suggests a certain palliation of their want of veracity and
good-breeding. Such journals are seldom or never seen by the
large class of cultivated American readers, and are in no sense
representative of them. The "Saturday Review" and "Blackwood's
Magazine" are said to be conducted by men of University training.
Their articles are written in clear and precise English, and often
contain vigorous thought. They publish few papers which do not give
evidence of at least tolerable scholarship in their writers. Of
kindred periodicals on this side of the ocean it may be safely said,
that the intelligence of the reader forces their criticism up to
some decent standard of honest painstaking. We may thus explain the
bewilderment which came over us at that burst of vulgar ribaldry
from the leading British press, in which the organs above named have
achieved a scandalous preeminence. Vibrating from the extreme of
shallowness to the extreme of sufficiency, scorning to be limited in
abuse by adhering to any single hypothesis, the current literature
of England has gloated over the rebellion of Slavery with the cynical
chuckles of a sour spinster. Would that language less strong could
express our meaning! President Lincoln--whatever may be judged his
deficiency in resources of statesmanship--will be embalmed by history
as one possessing many qualities peculiarly adapted to our perilous
crisis, together with an integrity of life and purpose honorably
representing the yeomanry of the Republic. This man, the ruler of a
friendly people, British journalists have proclaimed guilty of crimes
to which the records of the darkest despotisms can scarcely furnish a
parallel. The precious blood of Ellsworth was taken by the "Saturday
Review" as the text of such disgraceful banter as we trust few
bar-keepers in America would bestow upon a bully killed in a
pot-house fray. General Butler, for a verbal infelicity in an order
of imperative necessity and wholesome effect, has been befouled by
language which no careful historian would apply to Tiberius or Louis
XV. But enough of this. We should be glad to believe that these
utterers of false witness were boorish men, in dark and desperate
ignorance of the true bearing of our current affairs. We are unable so
to believe.

It is a relief to turn to that small company of Englishmen who
have extended brother-hands to us in the day of our necessity. No
world-homage of literary admiration is worth the personal emotion with
which they are recognized in America as representatives of that
_Old_ England which has place in the affection and gratitude of every
cultivated man among us. They have done us justice, when contempt for
justice alone was popular, and a cynical skepticism seemed the only
retreat from blatant abuse. Cairnes, Mill, Ellison, and others whom we
need not name,--for the sake of such men let us still think of England
in generous temper. Their sympathies have been with us through this
terrible arbitrament of arms; they were with us in that solemn close
of the old year, when the destiny of our dumb four millions weighed
upon the night. These men have told us that the principle for which we
contend is sound and worthy: they may also tell us that we have made
occasional mistakes in reducing the principle to practice; and of this
we are painfully conscious. It is well for us to forego that reckless
bravado of unexampled prosperity once so offensive to foreign ears.
Yet the best thing we ever had to boast of has been with us in the
storm. According to the admirable observation of Niebuhr,--"Liberty
exists where public opinion can constrain Government to fulfil its
duties, and where, on the other side, in times of popular infatuation,
the Government can maintain a wise course in spite of public opinion."
This liberty has been preserved to us through all the turbulence of
war. Like some divine element, it has mingled in the convulsion of
human passion, and already prophesies the day when the service of man
to man, as of man to God, shall be rendered in perfect freedom.

_A Treatise on Military Law and the Practice of Courts-Martial_. By
CAPTAIN S.V. BENET, Ordnance Department, U.S. Army, late Assistant
Professor of Ethics, Law, etc., Military Academy, West Point. Mew
York: D. Van Nostrand.

In these days of large armies and intense military enthusiasm, the
very title of a military book commends it, _prima facie_, to public
interest; and when it promises to elucidate and systematize the
intricate subject of military law, it has great specific importance
in the eyes of the tens of thousands of officers who are constantly
called upon to administer that law, and to whom the duties of
courts-martial are new and difficult. But, to understand still more
clearly the great value of such a work, supposing it to be well
written, we must go back in the history of military courts, and see
how little had been done to render them systematic and uniform,--what
a comparatively unoccupied field the author had to reap in,--what
needs there were to supply; and then we shall be better able to
criticize his work, and to judge of its practical value.

For a very long period we followed, in our army, the practice of the
English courts-martial, as we adopted the English Common Law in our
civic courts.

The military code to be applied and administered by courts-martial is
contained in the Act of Congress of the 10th of April, 1806, commonly
called "The Rules and Articles of War," and in a few other acts and
parts of acts, supplementary to these, which have been enacted from
time to time, as circumstances seemed to require.

In the year 1839, Major-General Macomb, commander-in-chief of the
army, prepared a little treatise on "The Practice of Courts-Martial,"
which, in lieu of something better, was generally used; and the modes
of proceeding and forms of orders and records there given established
uniformity in the actions and duties of such courts throughout the

Five or six years later, Captain John P. O'Brien, of the Fourth
Artillery, issued "A Treatise on American Military Law and Practice of
Courts-Martial." This work evinced a great deal of legal research, and
a thorough knowledge of the practical applications of military law;
but it is voluminous, wanting in arrangement, and, while valuable as
a storehouse from which to draw materials, not suited for ready
reference, or for the study of beginners. It is now, we believe, out
of print; and, as its accomplished author is not living, it can hardly
be adapted to the wants of the army at the present day.

In the year 1846, Captain William C. De Hart, of the Second Artillery,
published his excellent work, entitled, "Observations on Military Law,
and the Constitution and Practice of Courts-Martial." In his Preface
he says,--"Since the legal establishment of the army and navy of
the United States, there has been no work produced, written for the
express purpose,... and intended as a guide for the administration
of military justice." And, in a note, he adds, "The small treatise on
courts-martial by the late Major-General Macomb is no exception to
the remark." He makes, if we remember rightly, no reference to Captain
O'Brien's work, which appeared but a short time before his own.

The work of Captain De Hart, so far in advance of what had yet
appeared on this subject, written, too, by an expert, who had been
long employed under the orders of the War Department as the acting
judge-advocate of the army, (the office of judge-advocate not being
created till a later day,) was regarded as the chief authority in the
army. But it was never designed, nor can it be easily adapted,
for instruction. It is a philosophical discussion of the subject,
containing many historical citations and illustrations, which show
the reader his authorities without fortifying his positions. For a
text-book, therefore, it lacks arrangement, and is too discursive.

Up to this time, the subject of military law was not studied at the
Military Academy; but in the year 1856, when the course of studies in
that institution was lengthened, so as to consume five years instead
of four, this branch was added to the curriculum, and has since been
retained,--its importance being made every day more manifest. Then a
treatise was wanted, which, while it could be used as authority in our
vast army, should be also suited as a text-book for the cadets, from
which they could recite in the section-room, and which should be their
_vade-mecum_ for future reference,--originally learned, and always

This was Captain Benet's self-appointed task, and he has performed it
admirably. He has examined all the authorities, French and English,
and his book bears the evidences of this original investigation. For
purposes of study, his system is clear, his arrangement logical, and
his divisions numerous and just. All the directions as to _trials_ are
very practically set forth, so that any sensible volunteer officer,
appointed upon a court unexpectedly, could very soon, by the aid of
these pages, make himself "master of the position." And as there is
much concurrent, and sometimes apparently conflicting, jurisdiction of
military and civic courts, this volume ought to be on every lawyer's
table as the special expounder of military law, wherever it may
approach the action of the civil code.

Having said thus much of the general plan, scope, and merits of the
work, let us cast a brief glance at the nature of its contents. It is
called a treatise on _Military Law_. What is military law? It is that
law which governs the army, and all individuals connected with it. In
other words, it has respect to military organization and discipline.
It must not be confounded with _Martial Law_, which is the suspension
of civic law, and the substitution of military law over citizens, not

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