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Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 by Various

Part 4 out of 5

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a speck, for revolutions and great emergencies, you know,--so that we
should not submit to be trodden quite flat by the first heavy-heeled
aggressor that came along. You can tell a portrait from an ideal head, I
suppose, and a true story from one spun out of the writer's invention.
See whether this sounds true or not.

Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin sent out two fine blood-horses, Barefoot and
Scrab by name, to Massachusetts, something before the time I am talking
of. With them came a Yorkshire groom, a stocky little fellow, in velvet
breeches, who made that mysterious hissing noise, traditionary in
English stables, when he rubbed down the silken-skinned racers, in great
perfection. After the soldiers had come from the muster-field, and
some of the companies were on the village-common, there was still some
skirmishing between a few individuals who had not had the fight taken
out of them. The little Yorkshire groom thought he must serve out
somebody. So he threw himself into an approved scientific attitude, and,
in brief, emphatic language, expressed his urgent anxiety to accommodate
any classical young gentleman who chose to consider himself a candidate
for his attentions. I don't suppose there were many of the college boys
that would have been a match for him in the art which Englishmen know
so much more of than Americans, for the most part. However, one of the
Sophomores, a very quiet, peaceable fellow, just stepped out of the
crowd, and, running straight at the groom, as he stood there, sparring
away, struck him with the sole of his foot, a straight blow, as if it
had been with his fist,--and knocked him heels over head and senseless,
so that he had to be carried off from the field. This ugly way of
hitting is the great trick of the French _savate,_ which is not
commonly thought able to stand its ground against English pugilistic
science.--These are old recollections, with not much to recommend them,
except, perhaps, a dash of life, which may be worth a little something.

The young Marylander brought them all up, you may remember. He recalled
to my mind those two splendid pieces of vitality I told you of. Both
have been long dead. How often we see these great red flaring flambeaux
of life blown out, as it were, by a puff of wind,--and the little,
single-wicked night-lamp of being, which some white-faced and attenuated
invalid shades with trembling fingers, flickering on while they go out
one after another, until its glimmer is all that is left to us of the
generation it belonged to!

I told you that I was perfectly sure, beforehand, we should find some
pleasing girlish or womanly shape to fill the blank at our table and
match the dark-haired youth at the upper corner.

There she sits, at the very opposite corner, just as far off as accident
could put her from this handsome fellow, by whose side she ought, of
course, to be sitting. One of the "positive" blondes, as my friend,
you may remember, used to call them. Tawny-haired, amber-eyed,
full-throated, skin as white as a blanched almond. Looks dreamy to me,
not self-conscious, though a black ribbon round her neck sets it off as
a Marie-Antoinette's diamond-necklace could not do. So in her dress,
there is a harmony of tints that looks as if an artist had run his eye
over her and given a hint or two like the finishing touch to a picture.
I can't help being struck with her, for she is at once rounded and fine
in feature, looks calm, as blondes are apt to, and as if she might run
wild, if she were trifled with.--It is just as I knew it would be,--and
anybody can see that our young Marylander will be dead in love with her
in a week.

Then if that little man would only turn out immensely rich and have the
good-nature to die and leave them all his money, it would be as nice as
a three-volume novel.

Little Boston is in a flurry, I suspect, with the excitement of having
such a charming neighbor next him. I judge so mainly by his silence and
by a certain rapt and serious look on his face, as if he were thinking
of something that had happened, or that might happen, or that ought to
happen,--or how beautiful her young life looked, or how hardly Nature
had dealt with him, or something which struck him silent, at any rate. I
made several conversational openings for him, but he did not fire up as
he often does. I even went so far as to indulge in a fling at the State
House, which, as we all know, is in truth a very imposing structure,
covering less ground than St. Peter's, but of similar general effect.
The little man looked up, but did not reply to my taunt. He said to
the young lady, however, that the State House was the Parthenon of our
Acropolis, which seemed to please her, for she smiled, and he reddened a
little,--so I thought. I don't think it right to watch persons who are
the subjects of special infirmity,--but we all do it.

I see that they have crowded the chairs a little at that end of
the table, to make room for another new-comer of the lady sort. A
well-mounted, middle-aged preparation, wearing her hair without
a cap,--pretty wide in the parting, though,--contours vaguely
hinted,--features very quiet,--says little as yet, but seems to keep her
eye on the young lady, as if having some responsibility for her.--

* * * * *

My record is a blank for some days after this. In the mean time I have
contrived to make out the person and the story of our young lady,
who, according to appearances, ought to furnish us a heroine for a
boarding-house romance before a year is out. It is very curious that
she should prove connected with a person many of us have heard of.
Yet, curious as it is, I have been a hundred times struck with the
circumstance that the most remote facts are constantly striking each
other; just as vessels starting from ports thousands of miles apart pass
close to each other in the naked breadth of the ocean, nay, sometimes
even touch, in the dark, with a crack of timbers, a gurgling of water, a
cry of startled sleepers,--a cry mysteriously echoed in warning dreams,
as the wife of some Gloucester fisherman, some coasting skipper, wakes
with a shriek, calls the name of her husband, and sinks back to uneasy
slumbers upon her lonely pillow,--a widow.

Oh, these mysterious meetings! Leaving all the vague, waste, endless
spaces of the washing desert, the ocean-steamer and the fishing-smack
sail straight towards each other as if they ran in grooves ploughed for
them in the waters from the beginning of creation! Not only things and
events, but our own thoughts, are so full of these surprises, that, if
there were a reader in my parish who did not recognize the familiar
occurrence of what I am now going to mention, I should think it a case
for the missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of Intelligence
among the Comfortable Classes.

There are about as many twins in the births of thought as of children.
For the first time in your lives you learn some fact or come across some
idea. Within an hour, a day, a week, that same fact or idea strikes
you from another quarter. It seems as if it had passed into space and
bounded back upon you as an echo from the blank wall that shuts in the
world of thought. Yet no possible connection exists between the two
channels by which the thought or the fact arrived. Let me give an
infinitesimal illustration.

One of the Boys mentioned, the other evening, in the course of a very
pleasant poem he read us, a little trick of the Commons table-boarders,
which I, nourished at the parental board, had never heard of. Young
fellows being always hungry----Allow me to stop dead-short, in order
to utter an aphorism which has been forming itself in one of the blank
interior spaces of my intelligence, like a crystal in the cavity of a
geode.

* * * * *

_Aphorism by the Professor._

In order to know whether a human being is young or old, offer it food of
different kinds at short intervals. If young, it will eat anything at
any hour of the day or night. If old, it observes stated periods, and
you might as well attempt to regulate the time of high-water to suit a
fishing-party as to change these periods.

The crucial experiment is this. Offer a bulky and boggy bun to the
suspected individual just ten minutes before dinner. If this is eagerly
accepted and devoured, the fact of youth is established. If the subject
of the question changes color and expresses surprise and incredulity, as
if you could not possibly be in earnest, the fact of maturity is no less
clear.

* * * * *

----Excuse me,--I return to my story of the Commons-table.--Young
fellows being always hungry, and tea and dry toast being the meagre fare
of the evening meal, it was a trick of some of the Boys to impale a
slice of meat upon a fork, at dinner-time, and stick the fork holding it
beneath the table, so that they could get it at tea-time. The dragons
that guarded this table of the Hesperides found out the trick at last,
and kept a sharp look-out for missing forks;--they knew where to find
one, if it was not in its place.--Now the odd thing was, that, after
waiting so many years to hear of this college trick, I should hear it
mentioned _a second time_ within the same twenty-four hours by a college
youth of the present generation. Strange, but true. And so it has
happened to me and to every person, often and often, to be hit in rapid
succession by these twinned facts or thoughts, as if they were linked
like chain-shot.

I was going to leave the simple reader to wonder over this, taking it as
an unexplained marvel. I think, however, I will turn over a furrow of
subsoil in it. The explanation is, of course, that in a great many
thoughts there most be a few coincidences, and these instantly arrest
our attention. Now we shall probably never have the least idea of the
enormous number of impressions which pass through our consciousness,
until in some future life we see the photographic record of our thoughts
and the stereoscopic picture of our actions. There go more pieces to
make up a conscious life or a living body than you think for. Why,
some of you were surprised when a friend of mine told you there
were fifty-eight separate pieces in a fiddle. How many "swimming
glands"--solid, organized, regularly formed, rounded disks, taking an
active part in all your vital processes, part and parcel, each one of
them, of your corporeal being--do you suppose are whirled along, like
pebbles in a stream, with the blood which warms your frame and colors
your cheeks?--A noted German physiologist spread out a minute drop
of blood, under the microscope, in narrow streaks, and counted the
globules, and then made a calculation. The counting by the micrometer
took him _a week_.--You have, my full-grown friend, of these little
couriers in crimson or scarlet livery, running on your vital errands day
and night as long as you live, sixty-five billions, five hundred and
seventy thousand millions. Errors excepted.--Did I hear some gentleman
say, "Doubted?"--I am the Professor. I sit in my chair with a petard
under it that will blow me through the skylight of my lecture-room, if I
do not know what I am talking about and whom I am quoting.

Now, my dear friends, who are putting your hands to your foreheads, and
saying to yourselves that you feel a little confused, as if you had been
waltzing until things began to whirl slightly round you, is it possible
that you do not clearly apprehend the exact connection of all that I
have been saying, and its bearing on what is now to come? Listen, then.
The number of these living elements in our bodies illustrates the
incalculable multitude of our thoughts; the number of our thoughts
accounts for those frequent coincidences spoken of; these coincidences
in the world of thought illustrate those which we constantly observe in
the world of outward events, of which the presence of the young girl now
at our table, and proving to be the daughter of an old acquaintance some
of us may remember, is the special example which led me through this
labyrinth of reflections, and finally lands me at the commencement of
this young girl's story, which, as I said, I have found the time and
felt the interest to learn something of, and which I think I can tell
without wronging the unconscious subject of my brief delineation.

* * * * *

IRIS.

You remember, perhaps, in some papers published awhile ago, an odd poem
written by an old Latin tutor? He brought up at the verb _amo_, I love,
as all of us do, and by and by Nature opened her great living dictionary
for him at the word _filia_, a daughter. The poor man was greatly
perplexed in choosing a name for her. _Lucretia_ and _Virginia_ were the
first that he thought of; but then came up those pictured stories of
Titus Livius, which he could never read without crying, though he had
read them a hundred times.

--Lucretia sending for her husband and her father, each to bring one
friend with him, and awaiting them in her chamber. To them her wrongs
briefly. Let them see to the wretch, she will take care of herself. Then
the hidden knife flashes out and sinks into her heart. She slides
from her seat, and falls dying. "Her husband and her father cry
aloud."--No,--not Lucretia.

--Virginius,--a brown old soldier, father of a nice girl. She engaged
to a very promising young man. Decemvir Appius takes a violent fancy to
her,--must have her at any rate. Hires a lawyer to present the arguments
in favor of the view that she was another man's daughter.

There used to be lawyers in Rome that would do such things.--All right.
There are two sides to everything. _Audi alteram partem_. The legal
gentleman has no opinion,--he only states the evidence.--A doubtful
case. Let the young lady be under the protection of the Honorable
Decemvir until it can be looked up thoroughly.--Father thinks it best,
on the whole, to give in. Will explain the matter, if the young lady and
her maid will step this way. _That_ is the explanation,--a stab with a
butcher's knife, snatched from a stall, meant for other lambs than this
poor bleeding Virginia!

The old man thought over the story. Then he must have one look at the
original. So he took down the first volume and read it over. When he
came to that part where it tells how the young gentleman she was engaged
to and a friend of his took up the poor girl's bloodless shape and
carried it through the street, and how all the women followed, wailing,
and asking if that was what their daughters were coming to,--if that was
what they were to get for being good girls,--he melted down into his
accustomed tears of pity and grief, and, through them all, of delight at
the charming Latin of the narrative. But it was impossible to call his
child Virginia. He could never look at her without thinking she had a
knife sticking in her bosom.

_Dido_ would be a good name, and a fresh one. She was a queen, and the
founder of a great city. Her story had been immortalized by the greatest
of poets,--for the old Latin tutor clove to "Virgilius Maro," as he
called him, 93 closely as ever Dante, did in his memorable journey. So
he took down his Virgil,--it was the smooth-leafed, open-lettered quarto
of Baskerville,--and began reading the loves and mishaps of Dido. It
wouldn't do. A lady who had not learned discretion by experience, and
came to an evil end. He shook his head, as he sadly repeated,

"--misera ante diem, subitoque accensa
furore";

but when he came to the lines,

"Ergo Iris croceis per coelum roscida pennis
Mille trahens varios adverso Sole colores,"

he jumped up with a great exclamation, which the particular recording
angel who heard it pretended not to understand, or it might have gone
hard with the Latin tutor some time or other.

"_Iris_ shall be her name!"--he said. So her name was Iris.

--The natural end of a tutor is to perish by starvation. It is only a
question of time, just as with the burning of college libraries. These
all burn up sooner or later, provided they are not housed in brick or
stone and iron. I don't mean that you will see in the registry of deaths
that this or that particular tutor died of well-marked, uncomplicated
starvation. They _may_, even, in extreme cases, be carried off by a
thin, watery kind of apoplexy, which sounds very well in the returns,
but means little to those who know that it is only debility settling on
the head. Generally, however, they fade and waste away under various
pretexts,--calling it dyspepsia, consumption, and so on, to put a decent
appearance upon the case and keep up the credit of the family and the
institution where they have passed through the successive stages of
inanition.

In some cases it takes a great many years to kill a tutor by the
process in question. You see, they do get food and clothes and fuel, in
appreciable quantities, such as they are. You will even notice rows of
books in their rooms, and a picture or two,--things that look as if
they had surplus money; but these superfluities are the _water of
crystallization_ to scholars, and you can never get them away till
the poor fellows effloresce into dust. Do not be deceived. The tutor
breakfasts on coffee made of beans, edulcerated with milk watered to the
verge of transparency; his mutton is tough and elastic, up to the
moment when it becomes tired out and tasteless; his coal is a sullen,
sulphurous anthracite, which rusts into ashes, rather than burns, in
the shallow grate; his flimsy broadcloth is too thin for winter and too
thick for summer. The greedy lungs of fifty hot-blooded boys suck the
oxygen from the air he breathes in his recitation-room. In short, he
undergoes a process of gentle and gradual starvation.

--The mother of little Iris was not called Electra, like hers of the old
story, neither was her grandfather Oceanus. Her blood-name, which she
gave away with her heart to the Latin tutor, was a plain old English
one, and her water-name was Hannah, beautiful as recalling the mother of
Samuel, and admirable as reading equally well from the initial letter
forwards and from the terminal letter backwards. The poor lady, seated
with her companion at the chess-board of matrimony, had but just pushed
forward her one little white pawn upon an empty square, when the Black
Knight, that cares nothing for castles or kings or queens, swooped down
upon her and swept her from the larger board of life.

The old Latin tutor put a modest blue stone at the head of his late
companion, with her name and age and _Eheu!_ upon it,--a smaller one
at her feet, with initials; and left her by herself, to be rained and
snowed on,--which is a hard thing to do for those whom we have cherished
tenderly.

About the time that the lichens, falling on the stone, like drops of
water, had spread into fair, round rosettes, the tutor had starved into
a slight cough. Then he began to draw the buckle of his black pantaloons
a little tighter, and took in another reef in his never-ample waistcoat.
His temples got a little hollow, and the contrasts of color in his
cheeks more vivid than of old. After a while his walks fatigued him, and
he was tired and breathed hard after going up a flight or two of stairs.
Then came on other marks of inward trouble and general waste, which he
spoke of to his physician as peculiar, and doubtless owing to accidental
causes; to all which the doctor listened with deference, as if it had
not been the old story that one in five or six of mankind in temperate
climates tells, or has told for him, as if it were something new. As
the doctor went out, he said to himself,--"On the rail at last.
Accommodation train. A good many stops, but will get to the station by
and by." So the doctor wrote a recipe with the astrological sign of
Jupiter before it, (just as your own physician does, inestimable reader,
as you will see, if you look at his next prescription,) and departed,
saying he would look in occasionally. After this, the Latin tutor began
the usual course of "getting better," until he got so much better that
his face was very sharp, and when he smiled, three crescent lines
showed at each side of his lips, and when he spoke, it was in a muffled
whisper, and the white of his eye glistened as pearly as the purest
porcelain,--so much better, that he hoped--by spring--he----might be
able--to--attend----to his class again.--But he was recommended not
to expose himself, and so kept his chamber, and occasionally, not having
anything to do, his bed. The unmarried sister with whom he lived took
care of him; and the child, now old enough to be manageable, and even
useful in trifling offices, sat in the chamber, or played about.

Things could not go on so forever, of course. One morning his face was
sunken and his hands very, very cold. He was "better," he whispered, but
sadly and faintly. After a while he grew restless and seemed a little
wandering. His mind ran on his classics, and fell back on the Latin
grammar.

"Iris!" he said,--"_filiola mea!_"-The child knew this meant _my dear
little daughter_ as well as if it had been English.--"Rainbow!"--for he
would translate her name at times, "come to me,--_veni_"-and his lips
went on automatically, and murmured, "_vel venito!_"--The child came
and sat by his bedside and took his hand, which she could not warm, but
which shot its rays of cold all through her slender frame. But there she
sat, looking steadily at him. Presently he opened his lips feebly, and
whispered, "_Moribundus._" She did not know what that meant, but she saw
that there was something new and sad. So she began to cry; but presently
remembering an old book that seemed to comfort him at times, got up and
brought a Bible in the Latin version, called the Vulgate. "Open it," he
said,--"I will read,--_segnius irritant_,--don't put the light
out,--ah! _haeret lateri_,--I am going,--_vale, vale, vale_, good-bye,
good-bye,--the Lord take care of my child!--_Domine, audi_--_vel
audito!_" His face whitened suddenly, and he lay still, with open eyes
and mouth. He had taken his last degree.

----Little Miss Iris could not be said to begin life with a very
brilliant rainbow over her, in a worldly point of view. A limited
wardrobe of man's attire, such as poor tutors wear,--a few good books,
especially classics,--a print or two, and a plaster model of the
Pantheon, with some pieces of furniture which had seen service,--these,
and a child's heart full of tearful recollections and strange doubts and
questions, alternating with the cheap pleasures which are the anodynes
of childish grief; such were the treasures she inherited.--No,--I
forgot. With that kindly sentiment which all of us feel for old men's
first children,--frost-flowers of the early winter season,--the old
tutor's students had remembered him at a time when he was laughing and
crying with his new parental emotions, and running to the side of the
plain crib in which his _alter ego_, as he used to say, was swinging,
to hang over the little heap of stirring clothes, from which looked the
minute, red, downy, still, round face, with unfixed eyes and working
lips,--in that unearthly gravity which has never yet been broken by a
smile, and which gives to the earliest moon-year or two of an infant's
life the character of a _first old age_, to counterpoise that _second
childhood_ which there is one chance in a dozen it may reach by and by.
The boys had remembered the old man and young father at that tender
period of his hard, dry life. There came to him a fair, silver goblet,
embossed with classical figures, and bearing on a shield the graven
words, _Ex dono pupillorum_. The handle on its side showed what use the
boys had meant it for; and a kind letter in it, written with the best of
feeling, in the worst of Latin, pointed delicately to its destination.
Out of this silver vessel, after a long, desperate, strangling cry,
which marked her first great lesson in the realities of life, the child
took the blue milk, such as poor tutors and their children get, tempered
with water, and sweetened a little, so as to bring it nearer the
standard established by the touching indulgence and partiality of
Nature,--who has mingled an extra allowance of sugar in the blameless
food of the child at its mother's heart, as compared with that of its
infant brothers and sisters of the bovine race.

But a willow will grow in baked sand wet with rain-water. An air-plant
will grow by feeding on the winds. Nay, those huge forests that
overspread great continents have built themselves up mainly from the
air-currents with which they are always battling. The oak is but a
foliated atmospheric crystal deposited from the aerial ocean that holds
the future vegetable world in solution. The storm that tears its leaves
has paid tribute to its strength, and it breasts the tornado clad in the
spoils of a hundred hurricanes.

Poor little Iris! What had she in common with the great oak in the
shadow of which we are losing sight of her?--She lived and grew like
that,--this was all. The blue milk ran into her veins and filled them
with thin, pure blood. Her skin was fair, with a faint tinge, such as
the white rosebud shows before it opens. The doctor who had attended
her father was afraid her aunt would hardly be able to "raise"
her,--"delicate child,"--hoped she was not consumptive,--thought there
was a fair chance she would take after her father.

A very forlorn-looking person, dressed, in black, with a white
neckcloth, sent her a memoir of a child who died at the age of two years
and eleven months, after having fully indorsed all the doctrines of the
particular persuasion to which he not only belonged himself, but
thought it very shameful that everybody else did not belong. What with
foreboding looks and dreary deathbed stories, it was a wonder the child
made out to live through it. It saddened her early years, of course,--it
distressed her tender soul with thoughts which, as they cannot be fully
taken in, should be sparingly used as instruments of torture to break
down the natural cheerfulness of a healthy child, or, what is infinitely
worse, to cheat a dying one out of the kind illusions with which the
Father of All has strewed its downward path.

The child would have died, no doubt, and, if properly managed, might
have added another to the long catalogue of wasting children who have
been as cruelly played upon by spiritual physiologists, often with the
best intentions, as ever the subject of a rare disease by the curious
students of science.

Fortunately for her, however, a wise instinct had guided the late Latin
tutor in the selection of the partner of his life, and the future mother
of his child. The deceased tutoress was a tranquil, smooth woman, easily
nourished, as such people are,--a quality which is inestimable in a
tutor's wife,--and so it happened that the daughter inherited enough
vitality from the mother to live through childhood and infancy and fight
her way towards womanhood, in spite of the tendencies she derived from
her other parent.

----Two and two do not always make four, in this matter of hereditary
descent of qualities. Sometimes they make three, and sometimes five. It
seems as if the parental traits at one time showed separate, at another
blended,--that occasionally the force of two natures is represented in
the derivative one by a diagonal of greater value than either original
line of living movement,--that sometimes there is a loss of vitality
hardly to be accounted for, and again a forward impulse of variable
intensity in some new and unforeseen direction.

So it was with this child. She had glanced off from her parental
probabilities at an unexpected angle. Instead of taking to classical
learning like her father, or sliding quietly into household duties like
her mother, she broke out early in efforts that pointed in the direction
of Art. As soon as she could hold a pencil she began to sketch outlines
of objects round her with a certain air and spirit. Very extraordinary
horses, but their legs looked as if they could move. Birds unknown to
Audubon, yet flying, as it were, with a rush. Men with impossible legs,
which did yet seem to have a vital connection with their most improbable
bodies. By-and-by the doctor, on his beast,--an old man with a face
looking as if Time had kneaded it like dough with his knuckles, with a
rhubarb tint and flavor pervading himself and his sorrel horse and all
their appurtenances. A dreadful old man! Be sure she did not forget
those saddlebags that held the detestable bottles out of which he used
to shake those loathsome powders which, to virgin childish palates that
find heaven in strawberries and peaches, are----Well, I suppose I had
better stop. Only she wished she was dead sometimes when she heard him
coming. On the next leaf would figure the gentleman with the black coat
and white cravat, as he looked when he came and entertained her with
stories concerning the death of various little children about her age,
to encourage her, as that wicked Mr. Arouet said about shooting Admiral
Byng. Then she would take her pencil and with a few scratches there
would be the outline of a child, in which you might notice how one
sudden sweep gave the chubby cheek, and two dots darted at the paper
looked like real eyes.

By-and-by she went to school, and caricatured the schoolmaster on the
leaves of her grammars and geographies, and drew the faces of her
companions, and, from time to time, heads and figures from her fancy,
with large eyes, far apart, like those of Raffaelle's mothers and
children, sometimes with wild floating hair, and then with wings and
heads thrown back in ecstasy. This was about twelve, as the dates of
these drawings show, and, therefore, three or four years before she came
among us. Soon after this time, the ideal figures began to take the
place of portraits and caricatures, and a new feature appeared in her
drawing-books in the form of fragments of verse and short poems.

It was dull work, of course, for such a young girl to live with an old
spinster and go to a village school. Her books bore testimony to this;
for there was a look of sadness in the faces she drew, and a sense of
weariness and longing for some imaginary conditions of blessedness or
other, which began to be painful. She might have gone through this
flowering of the soul, and, casting her petals, subsided into a sober,
human berry, but for the intervention of friendly assistance and
counsel.

In the town where she lived was a lady of honorable condition, somewhat
past middle age, who was possessed of pretty ample means, of cultivated
tastes, of excellent principles, of exemplary character, and of more
than common accomplishments. The gentleman in black broadcloth and white
neckerchief only echoed the common voice about her, when he called her,
after enjoying, beneath her hospitable roof, an excellent cup of tea,
with certain elegancies and luxuries he was unaccustomed to, "The Model
of all the Virtues."

She deserved this title as well as almost any woman. She did really
bristle with moral excellences. Mention any good thing she had not done;
I should like to see you try! There was no handle of weakness to take
hold of her by: she was as unseizable, except in her totality, as a
billiard-ball; and on the broad, green, terrestrial table, where she had
been knocked about, like all of us, by the cue of Fortune, she glanced
from every human contact, and "caramed" from one relation to another,
and rebounded from the stuffed cushion of temptation, with such exact
and perfect angular movements, that the Enemy's corps of Reporters had
long given up taking notes of her conduct, as there was no chance for
their master.

What an admirable person for the patroness and directress of a slightly
self-willed child, with the lightning zigzag line of genius running like
a glittering vein through the marble whiteness of her virgin nature! One
of the lady-patroness's peculiar virtues was calmness. She was resolute
and strenuous, but still. You could depend on her for every duty; she
was as true as steel. She was kind-hearted and serviceable in all
the relations of life. She had more sense, more knowledge, more
conversation, as well as more goodness, than all the partners you have
waltzed with this winter put together.

Yet no man was known to have loved her, or even to have offered himself
to her in marriage. It was a great wonder. I am very anxious to
vindicate my character as a philosopher and an observer of Nature by
accounting for this apparently extraordinary fact.

You may remember certain persons who have the misfortune of presenting
to the friends whom they meet a cold, damp hand. There are states of
mind in which a contact of this kind has a depressing effect on the
vital powers that makes us insensible to all the virtues and graces of
the proprietor of one of these life-absorbing organs. When they touch
us, virtue passes out of us, and we feel as if our electricity had been
drained by a powerful negative battery, carried about by an overgrown
human torpedo.

"The Model of all the Virtues" had a pair of searching eyes as clear as
Wenham ice; but they were slower to melt than that fickle jewelry. Her
features disordered themselves slightly at times in a surface-smile, but
never broke loose from their corners and indulged in the riotous tumult
of a laugh--which, I take it, is the mob-law of the features,--and
propriety the magistrate who reads the riot-act. She carried the
brimming cup of her inestimable virtues with a cautious, steady hand,
and an eye always on them, to see that they did not spill. Then she
was an admirable judge of character. Her mind was a perfect laboratory
of tests and reagents; every syllable you put into breath went into
her intellectual eudiometer, and all your thoughts were recorded on
litmus-paper. I think there has rarely been a more admirable woman.
Of course, Miss Iris was immensely and passionately attached
to her.----Well,--these are two highly oxygenated adverbs,--grateful,--
suppose we say,--yes,--grateful, dutiful, obedient to her wishes for
the most part,--perhaps not quite up to the concert pitch of such a
perfect orchestra of the virtues.

We must have a weak spot or two in a character before we can love it
much. People that do not laugh or cry, or take more of anything than
is good for them, or use anything but dictionary-words, are admirable
subjects for biographies. But we don't always care most for those
flat-pattern flowers that press best in the herbarium.

This immaculate woman,--why couldn't she have a fault or two? Isn't
there any old whisper which will tarnish that wearisome aureole of
saintly perfection? Doesn't she carry a lamp of opium in her pocket?
Isn't her cologne-bottle replenished oftener than its legitimate use
would require? It would be such a comfort!

Not for the world would a young creature like Iris have let such words
escape her, or such thoughts pass through her mind. Whether at the
bottom of her soul lies any uneasy consciousness of an oppressive
presence, it is hard to say, until we know more about her. Iris sits
between the little man and the "Model of all the Virtues," as the
black-coated gentleman called her.--I will watch them all.

----Here I stop for the present. What the Professor said has had to make
way this time for what he saw and heard.

* * * * *

----And now you may read these lines, which were written for gentle
souls who love music, and read in even tones, and, perhaps, with
something like a smile upon the reader's lips, at a meeting where these
musical friends had gathered. Whether they were written with smiles or
not, you can guess better after you have read them.

THE OPENING OF THE PIANO.

In the little southern parlor of the house you
may have seen
With the gambrel-roof, and the gable looking
westward to the green,
At the side toward the sunset, with the window
on its right,
Stood the London-made piano I am dreaming
of to-night.

Ah me! how I remember the evening when it
came!
What a cry of eager voices, what a group of
cheeks in flame,
When the wondrous box was opened that had
come from over seas,
With its smell of mastic-varnish and its flash
of ivory keys!

Then the children all grew fretful in the restlessness
of joy,
For the boy would push his sister, and the
sister crowd the boy,
Till the father asked for quiet in his grave
paternal way,
But the mother hushed the tumult with the
words, "Now, Mary, play."

For the dear soul knew that music was a very
sovereign balm;
She had sprinkled it over Sorrow and seen its
brow grow calm,
In the days of slender harpsichords with tapping
tinkling quills,
Or carolling to her spinet with its thin metallic
thrills.

So Mary, the household minstrel, who always
loved to please,
Sat down to the new "Clementi," and struck
the glittering keys.
Hushed were the children's voices, and every
eye grew dim,
As, floating from lip and finger, arose the
"Vesper Hymn."

--Catharine, child of a neighbor, curly and
rosy-red,
(Wedded since, and a widow--something like
ten years dead,)
Hearing a gush of music such as none
before,
Steals from her mother's chamber and peeps
at the open door.

Just as the "Jubilate" in threaded whisper
dies,
--"Open it! open it, lady!" the little maiden
cries
(For she thought 'twas a singing creature
caged in a box she heard,)
"Open it! open it, lady! and let me see the
_bird!_"

THE UTAH EXPEDITION;

ITS CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES.

If General Henry Knox, of Revolutionary memory, the first Secretary of
War of the Republic, had dreamed that the successor to his portfolio,
after an interval of seventy years, would recommend to Congress the
purchase of a thousand camels for military purposes, he would have
attributed the fancy to excited nerves or a too hearty dinner. Had he
dreamed, further, that the grotesque mounted corps was to be employed
in regions two thousand miles beyond the frontier of the Anglo-Saxon
pioneer of 1789, to guard travel to an actual El Dorado, the vision
would have appeared still more extraordinary. And its absurdity would
have seemed complete, if he had fancied the high road of this travel
as leading through a community essentially Oriental in its social and
political life, which was nevertheless ripening into a State of the
American Union. Yet if General Knox could be roused from his grave at
Thomaston, he would see the dream realized. On the Pacific lies El
Dorado; among the fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains there is a community
which blends the voluptuousness of Bagdad with the economy of Cape Cod;
and within two years a regiment of camel-riders will be scouring the
Great American Plains after Cheyennes, Navajoes, and Camanches.

The propagation of the religion of which Joseph Smith was the prophet
has just begun to attract the notice its extraordinary success,
deserves. So long as the head of the Mormon Church was considered a kind
of Mahometan Sam Slick, and his associates a crazy rabble, it was vain
to expect that the whole sect could be treated with more attention than
any of the curiosities in a popular museum. But a juster appreciation of
the constitution of the Mormon community begins to prevail, and with it
comes a conviction that questions are involved in its relations to the
parent government which are not exceeded in importance by any that have
ever been agitated at Washington. Brigham Young no longer seems to the
American public a religious mountebank, only one grade removed from the
man Orr, who claimed to be the veritable Angel Gabriel, and was killed
in a popular commotion which he had himself excited in Dutch Guiana. On
the contrary, he begins to appear as a man of great native strength and
scope of mind, who understands the phases of human character and knows
how to avail himself of the knowledge, and who has acquired spiritual
dominion over one hundred and fifty thousand souls, combined with
absolute temporal supremacy over fifty thousand of the number.

The situation of the Mormon community in Utah has been peculiarly
adapted, heretofore, to the eccentricities of its inhabitants. Isolated
from Christendom on the east and west by plains incapable of settlement
for generations to come, and encompassed by mountain-ranges, the line
of whose summits runs above the boundary of eternal snow, it was
independent of the influences of Christian civilization. No missionary
of any Christian sect ever attempted to propagate his doctrines in
Utah,--nor, perhaps, would any such propagation have been tolerated, had
it been attempted. The Mormon religion was free to run its own course
and develop whatever elements it possessed of good and evil. When
Brigham Young and his followers from Nauvoo descended the Wahsatch range
in the summer of 1847, and took up their abode around the Great Salt
Lake, the avowed creed of the Church was different from that proclaimed
to-day. The secret doctrines entertained by its leaders were perhaps
the same as at present, but the religion of the people was a species of
mysticism which it is not impossible to conceive might commend itself
even to a refined mind. The existence of polygamy was officially denied
by the highest ecclesiastical authority, although we know to-day that
the denial was a shameless lie, and that Joseph Smith, during his
lifetime, had a plurality of wives, and at his death bequeathed them to
his successor, who already possessed a harem of his own. Property was
almost equally distributed among the people, the leaders being as poor
as their disciples. In this respect at that time they were accustomed
exultantly to compare their condition with that of the early Christians.

Ten year's passed, and the change was extraordinary. The doctrines
of Mormonism, if plainly stated, are no longer such as can commend
themselves to a mind not perverted nor naturally prurient. Polygamy is
inculcated as a religious duty, without which dignity in the Celestial
Kingdom is impossible, and even salvation hardly to be obtained.
Property is distributed unjustly, the bulk of real and personal estate
in the Territory being vested in the Church and its directors, between
whom and the mass of the population there exists a difference in social
welfare as wide as between the Russian nobleman and his serf. In brief,
the Mormons no longer claim to be a Christian sect, but assert, and
truly, that their religion is as distinct from Christianity as that is
from Mahometanism. Many of the doctrines whispered in 1847 only to
those who had been admitted to the penetralia of the Nauvoo Temple are
proclaimed unblushingly in 1857 from the pulpit in the Tabernacle at
Salt Lake City. A system of polytheism has been ingrafted on the creed,
according to which there are grades among the Gods, there being no
Supreme Ruler of all, but the primeval Adam of Genesis being the deity
highest in spiritual rank, and Christ, Mahomet, Joseph Smith, and,
finally, Brigham Young, partaking also of divinity. The business of
these deities in the Celestial Kingdom is the propagation of souls to
people bodies begotten on earth, and the sexual relation is made to
permeate every portion of the creed as thoroughly as it pervaded the
religions of ancient Egypt and India. In the Endowment House at Salt
Lake City, secret rites are practised of a character similar to the
mysteries of the Nile, and presided over by Young and Kimball, two
Vermont Yankees, with all the solemnity of priests of Isis and Osiris.
In these rites, which are symbolical of the mystery of procreation, both
sexes participate, clad in loose flowing robes of white linen, with
cleansed bodies and anointed hair. Since the revelation of the processes
of the Endowment, which was first fully made by a young apostate named
John Hyde, other dissenters, real and pretended, have attempted to
impose on the public exaggerated accounts of these ceremonies; but in
justice to the Mormon Church it ought to be said, that there is no
foundation for the reports that they are such as would outrage decency.
To be sure, an assemblage of members of both sexes, clad in white
shifts, with oiled and dishevelled hair, in a room fitted up in
resemblance of a garden, to witness a performance of the allegory of
Adam and Eve in Eden, which is conducted so as to be sensually symbolic,
is not suggestive of refined ideas; but it is necessary to take into
consideration the character both of performers and witnesses, which is
not distinguished in any way by delicacy. According to their standard of
morality and taste, the rites of the Endowment are devoid of immodesty.

In their political bearing, however, they are more important, and justly
liable to the severest censure. It is established beyond question, that
the initiated, clad in the preposterous costume before described, take
an oath, in the presence of their Spiritual Head, to cherish eternal
enmity towards the government of the United States until it shall have
avenged the death of their prophet, Joseph Smith. And this ceremony is
not a mere empty form of words. It is an oath, the spirit of which the
Endowed carry into their daily life and all their relations with
the Gentile world. In it lies the root of the evasion, and finally
subversion, of Federal authority which occasioned the recent military
expedition to Utah.

When the Territory was organized in 1850, the government at Washington,
acting on an imperfect knowledge of the nature of Mormonism, conferred
the office of Governor upon Brigham Young. For this act Mr. Fillmore has
been unjustly censured. It appeared to him, at the time, a proper, as
well as politic, appointment. But before the succession of General
Pierce to the Presidency, its evil results became apparent, in the
expulsion of civil officers from the Territory and the subversion of
all law. A feeble, and of course unsuccessful, attempt was then made to
supplant Young with Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe, a meritorious, but too
amiable officer of the regular army,--the same whose defeat by the
Cayuses, Spokans, and Coeur d'Alenes, last May, occasioned the Indian
war in Washington Territory. During the summer of 1855, he led a
battalion overland, wintering in Salt Lake City. It was at his option,
at any time during his sojourn, to have claimed the supreme executive
authority. He did not do so, but even headed a recommendation to
President Pierce for the reappointment of Brigham Young. This was the
result of his winter's residence, during which he and some of his
fellow-officers were feasted to their stomachs' content, and entirely
careless concerning the political condition of the Territory. Late in
the spring, he marched away to California, after having expressed to
the President that it was "his unqualified opinion, based on personal
acquaintance, that Brigham Young is [was] the most suitable person for
the office of Governor." Brigham's views of the winter's proceedings, on
the other hand, were expressed in a sermon preached in the Tabernacle,
the Sunday after the departure of the Lieutenant-Colonel, in which he
repeated his declaration of three years previous:--

"I am, and will be, governor, and no power can hinder it, until the Lord
Almighty says, 'Brigham, you need not be governor any longer.'" And he
added,--"I do not know what I shall say next winter, if such men make
their appearance here as some last winter. I know what I think I shall
say; if they play the same game again, let the women be ever so bad, so
help me God, we will slay them."

Most of the other civil officers who were commissioned about the same
time with Colonel Steptoe arrived the August after he had departed.
Within eighteen months their lot was the same as that of their
predecessors. In April, 1857, before the snow had begun to melt on the
mountains, all of them, in a party led by Surveyor-General Burr, were on
their way to the States, happy in having escaped with life. During the
previous February, the United States District Court had been broken up
in Salt Lake City. A mob had invaded the courtroom, armed with pistols
and bludgeons, a knife was drawn on the judge in his private room,
and he was ordered to adjourn his court _sine die_, and yielded.
Indian-Agent Hurt was the only Gentile official who remained in the
Territory.

In the mean while, however, a change of national administration had
taken place, and General Pierce had been succeeded by Mr. Buchanan. For
nearly three years the country had been convulsed by an agitation of the
Slavery question, originating with Senator Douglas, which culminated in
the Presidential election of 1856. The Utah question, grave though it
was, was forgotten in the excitement concerning Kansas, or remembered
only by the Republican party, as enabling them to stigmatize more
pungently the political theories of the Illinois Senator, by coupling
polygamy and slavery, "twin relics of barbarism," in the resolution of
their Philadelphia Platform against Squatter Sovereignty. In the lull
which succeeded the election, Mr. Buchanan had leisure, at Wheatland, to
draft a programme for his incoming administration. His paramount idea
was to gag the North and induce her to forget that she had been robbed
of her birthright, by forcing on the attention of the country other
questions of absorbing interest. One of the most obvious of these was
supplied by the condition of affairs in Utah. It had been satisfactorily
established, that the Mormons, acting under the influence of leaders
to whom they seemed to have surrendered their judgment, refused to be
controlled by any other authority; that they had been often advised to
obedience, and these friendly counsels had been answered with defiance;
that officers of the Federal Government had been driven from the
Territory for no offence except an effort to do their sworn duty, while
others had been prevented from going there by threats of assassination;
that judges had been interrupted in the performance of their functions,
and the records of their courts seized, and either destroyed or
concealed; and, finally, that many other acts of unlawful violence had
been perpetrated, and the right to repeat them openly claimed by the
leading inhabitants, with at least the silent acquiescence of nearly
all the rest of the population. In view of these facts, Mr. Buchanan
determined to supersede Brigham Young in the office of Governor, and to
send to Utah a strong military force to sustain the new appointee in the
exercise of his authority.

The rumors of the impending expedition reached the Mormons at the very
moment they were prepared to apply to Congress for admission as a State.
A Constitution had been framed by a Convention assembled without the
sanction of an enabling act, and was intrusted to George A, Smith and
John Taylor, two of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, for presentation
to Congress. These men, both of them of more than ordinary ability,
helped to present the Mormon side of the question to the country through
the newspapers, during the winter of 1856-7. The essence of their
vindication was, that the character of some of the Federal officers who
had been sent to Utah was objectionable in the extreme; but, granting
the truth of all their statements on this subject, they supplied no
excuse for the utter subversion of Federal authority in the Territory.
Their narrative, however, formed a most spicy chapter in the annals of
official scandal. The three United States judges, Kinney, Drummond,
and Stiles, were presented to the public stripped of all judicial
sanctity;--Kinney, the Chief Justice, as the keeper of a grocery-store,
dance-room, and boarding-house, enforcing the bills for food and lodging
against his brethren of the law by expulsion from the bar in case of
non-payment, and so tenacious of life, that, before departing from the
Territory, he solicited and received from Brigham Young a patriarchal
blessing; Drummond, as an amorous horse-jockey, who had taken to Utah,
as his mistress, a drab from Washington, and seated her beside him once
upon the bench of the court; Stiles as himself a Mormon, so far as the
possession of two wives could make him one. From the early days of
Joseph Smith, his disciple's have never minced their language, and they
expended their whole vocabulary now on such themes as have been cited,
proving, to the satisfaction of everybody, that, in respect to the
judiciary, they had indeed had just cause for complaint. The mission of
Smith and Taylor failed, as might have been expected,--the Chairman of
the Committee on Territories, Mr. Grow, of Pennsylvania, refusing even
to present their Constitution to the House,--and they prepared to return
to Utah.

A month or two later, Mr. Buchanan was inaugurated, and preparations for
the Utah Expedition were immediately ordered. In the first place, an
opinion was solicited from General Scott as to the feasibility of the
undertaking until the next year. That distinguished soldier gave a
decision adverse to the immediate dispatch of the expedition. He
considered that the arrangements necessary to be made were so extensive,
and the distances from which the regiments must be concentrated so
great, that the wiser plan was to consume the year in getting everything
in readiness for the troops to march from the frontier early in the
spring of 1858. It would have been well, had his advice prevailed;
but it was overruled, and the preparations for the expedition were
commenced. The troops detailed for the service were the Fifth Infantry,
then busy fighting Billy Bowlegs among the everglades of Florida,--the
Tenth Infantry, which was stationed at the forts in Upper
Minnesota,--the Second Dragoons, which was among the forces assembled
at Fort Leavenworth, to be used, if necessary, in Kansas, at the
requisition of Governor Walker,--and Phelps's light-artillery battery,
the same which so distinguished itself at Buena Vista, under the command
of Captain Washington. An ordnance-battery, also, was organized for the
purposes of the expedition. Brevet Brigadier-General Harney was assigned
to the command-in-chief, an officer of a rude force of character,
amounting often to brutality, and careless as to those details of
military duty which savor more of the accountant's inkstand than of
the drum and fife, but ambitious, active, and well acquainted with the
character of the service for which he was detailed. He was, at the time,
in command in Kansas, subject in a measure to the will of Governor
Walker.

The whole number of troops under orders for the expedition was hardly
twenty-five hundred, but from this total no estimate can be predicated
of the enormous quantities of commissary stores and munitions of war
necessary to be dispatched to sustain it. It was thought advisable
to send a supply for eighteen months, so that the trains exceeded in
magnitude those which would accompany an army of twenty thousand in
ordinary operations on the European continent, where _depots_ could be
established along the line of march. To appreciate such preparations, it
is necessary to understand the character of the country to be traversed
between the Missouri River and the Great Salt Lake.

The route selected for the march was along the emigrant road across
the Plains, first defined fifty years ago by trappers and _voyageurs_
following the trail by which the buffalo crossed the mountains,
described by Lieutenant-Colonel Fremont, in the reports of his earlier
explorations, and subsequently adopted by all the overland emigration
across the continent. It is, perhaps, the most remarkable natural road
in the world. The hand of man could hardly add an improvement to the
highway along which, from the Missouri to the Great Basin, Nature has
presented not a single obstacle to the progress of the heaviest loaded
teams. From the frontier, at Fort Leavenworth, it sweeps over a broad
rolling prairie to the Platte, a river shallow, but of great width,
whose course is as straight as an arrow. Pursuing the river-bottom more
than three hundred miles, to the Black Hills, steep mounds dotted with
dark pines and cedars, it enters the broad belt of mountainous country
which terminates in the rim of the Basin. Following thence the North
Fork of the Platte, and its tributary, the Sweetwater,--so named by an
old French trapper, who had the misfortune to upset a load of sugar into
the stream,--it emerges from the Black Hills into scenery of a different
character. On the northern bank of the Sweetwater are the Rattlesnake
Mountains, huge excrescences of rock, blistering out of an arid plain;
on the southern bank, the hills which bear the name of the river, and
are only exaggerations of the bluff's along the Platte. The dividing
ridge between the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific is reached in the
South Pass, at the foot of a spur of the Wind River range, a group of
gigantic mountains, whose peaks reach three thousand feet above the line
of perpetual snow. There the emigrant strikes his tent in the morning
on the banks of a rivulet which finds its way, through the Platte,
Missouri, and Mississippi, into the Gulf of Mexico,--and pitches it, at
his next camp, upon a little creek which trickles into Green River, and
at last, through the Colorado, into the Gulf of California. Not far
distant spring the fountains of the Columbia. A level table-land extends
to the fords of Green River, a clear and rapid stream, whose entire
course has never yet been mapped by an intelligent explorer. Here the
road becomes entangled again among mountains, and winds its way over
steep ridges, across foaming torrents, and through canons so narrow that
only noonday sunshine penetrates their depths, until it emerges, through
a rocky gate in the great barrier of the Wahsatch range, upon the bench
above Salt Lake City, twelve hundred miles from Fort Leavenworth. The
view at this point, from the mouth of Emigration Canon, is enchanting.
The sun, sinking through a cloudless western sky, silvers the long line
of the lake, which is visible twenty miles away. Beyond the city the
River Jordan winds quietly through the plain. Below the gazer are roofs
and cupolas, shady streets, neat gardens, and fields of ripening grain.
The mountains, which bound the horizon on every side, except where a
wavering stream of heated air shows the beginning of the Great Desert,
are tinged with a soft purple haze, in anticipation of the sunset, but
every patch of green grass on their slopes glows through it like an
emerald, while along the summits runs an undulating thread of snow.

Throughout this vast line of road, the only white inhabitants are the
garrisons of the military posts, the keepers of mail-stations, and
_voyageurs_ and mountaineers, whose cabins may be found in every
locality favorable to Indian trade. These last are a singular race
of men, fast disappearing, like the Indian and the buffalo, their
neighbors. Most of them are of French extraction, and some have died
without having learned to speak a word of English. Their wealth consists
in cattle and horses, and little stocks of goods which they purchase
from the sutlers at the forts or the merchants at Salt Lake City. Some
of the more considerable among them have the means of sending to the
States for an annual supply of blankets, beads, vermilion, and other
stuff for Indian traffic; but the most are thriftless, and all are
living in concubinage or marriage with squaws, and surrounded by troops
of unwashed, screeching half-breeds. Once in from three to six years,
they will make a journey to St. Louis, and gamble away so much of their
savings since the last visit as has escaped being wasted over greasy
card-tables during the long winter-evenings among the mountains. The
Indian tribes along the way are numerous and formidable, the road
passing through country occupied by Pawnees, Cheyennes, Sioux,
Arapahoes, Crows, Snakes, and Utahs. With the Cheyennes war had been
waged by the United States for more than two years, which interfered
seriously with the expedition; for, during the month of June, a
war-party from that tribe intercepted and dispersed the herd of
beef-cattle intended for the use of the army.

The natural characteristics of the entire route are as unpromising as
those of its inhabitants. At the distance of about two hundred miles
from the Missouri frontier the soil becomes so pervaded by sand, that
only scientific agriculture can render it available. Along the Platte
there is no fuel. Not a tree is visible, except the thin fringe of
cottonwoods on the margin of the river, all of which upon the south
bank, where the road runs, were hewed down and burned at every
convenient camp, during the great California emigration. When the Rocky
Mountains are entered, the only vegetation found is bunch-grass, so
called because it grows in tufts,--and the _artemisia_, or wild sage, an
odorous shrub, which sometimes attains the magnitude of a tree, with a
fibrous trunk as thick as a man's thigh, but is ordinarily a bush
about two feet in height. The bunch-grass, grown at such an elevation,
possesses extraordinary nutritive properties, even in midwinter. About
the middle of January a new growth is developed underneath the snow,
forcing off the old dry blade that ripened and shed its seed the
previous summer. From Fort Kearney to Fort Laramie, almost the only
fuel to be obtained is the dung of buffalo and oxen, called, in the
vocabulary of the region, "chips,"--the _argal_ of the Tartar deserts.
Among the mountains the sage is the chief material of the traveller's
fire. It burns with a lively, ruddy flame, and gives out an intense
heat. In the settlements of Utah all the wood consumed is hauled from
the canons, which are usually lined with pines, firs, and cedars, while
the broadsides of the mountains are nothing but terraces of volcanic
rock. The price of wood in Salt Lake City is from twelve to twenty
dollars a cord.

From this brief review of the natural features of the country, some idea
may be formed of the intensity of the religious enthusiasm which has
induced fifty thousand Mormon converts to traverse it, many of them on
foot and trundling handcarts, to seek a home among the valleys of
Utah, in a region hardly more propitious; and some idea, also, of the
difficulties which were to attend the march of the army.

During the spring of 1857, the preparations for the expedition were
hurried forward, and in June the whole force was collected at Fort
Leavenworth. All Western Missouri was in a ferment. The river foamed
with steamboats freighted with military stores, and the levee at
Leavenworth City was covered all summer long with the frames of wagons.
Between the 18th and the 24th of July, all the detachments of the little
army were on the march, except a battalion of two companies of infantry,
which had been unable to join their regiment at the time it moved from
Minnesota, and the Second Dragoons, which Governor Walker retained in
Kansas to overawe the uneasy people of the town of Lawrence. General
Harney also tarried in Kansas, intending to wait until after the October
election there, at which disturbances were anticipated that it might be
necessary to quell by force.

At Washington, movements of equal importance were taking place. The
Postmaster-General, in June, annulled the contract held by certain
Mormons for the transportation of the monthly mall to Utah, ostensibly
on account of non-performance of the service within the stipulated time,
but really because he was satisfied that the mails were violated, either
_en route_ or after arrival at Salt Lake City. The office of Governor
of the Territory was offered by the President to various persons, and
finally accepted, July 11th, by Alfred Cumming, a brother of the Cumming
of Georgia who fought multitudinous duels with McDuffie of South
Carolina, all of which both parties survived. Mr. Cumming had been a
sutler during the Mexican War, and more recently a Superintendent of
Indian Affairs on the Upper Missouri. He was reputed to be a gentleman
of education, ambition, and executive ability. The office of Chief
Justice was conferred on Judge D.R. Eckels, of Indiana, a person well
fitted for the position by the circumstances of his early life, of the
utmost determination, and whose judicial integrity was above suspicion.

The news of the stoppage of the mail reached Salt Lake Valley July 24th,
an eventful anniversary in the history of Mormonism. It was on the 24th
of July, 1847, that Brigham Young entered the Valley from the East, and
the day had always afterwards been kept as a holiday of the Church. On
this occasion, the celebration was held in Cottonwood Canon, one of the
wildest and grandest gorges among the Wahsatch Mountains, opening at
the foot of the Twin Peaks, about twenty miles southeast from Salt Lake
City. Thither more than twenty-five hundred people had flocked from the
city on the previous day, and prepared to hold their festival under
bowers built of fragrant pines and cedars around a little lake far up
among the mountains. During the afternoon of the 24th, while they were
engaged in music, dancing, and every manner of lively sport, two dusty
messengers rode up the canon, bringing from the States the news of the
stoppage of the mail and of the approaching march of the troops. This
mode of announcement was probably preconcerted with Brigham Young, who
was undoubtedly aware of the facts on the preceding day. A scene of
the maddest confusion ensued, which was heightened by the inflammatory
speeches of the Mormon leaders. Young reminded the fanatical throng,
that, ten years ago that very day, he had said, "Give us ten years of
peace and we will ask no odds of the United States"; and he added,
that the ten years had passed, and now they asked no odds,--that they
constituted henceforth a free and independent state, to be known no
longer as Utah, but by their own Mormon name of Deseret. Kimball, the
second in authority in the Church, called on the people to adhere to
Brigham, as their "prophet, seer, and revelator, priest, governor,
and king." The sun set on the first overt act in the rebellion. The
fanatics, wending their way back to the city, across the broad plain, in
the moonlight, were ready to follow wherever Brigham Young might choose
to lead.

On the succeeding Sundays the spirit of rebellion was breathed from the
pulpit in language yet more intemperate, and often profane and obscene.
Military preparations were made with the greatest bustle; and the Nauvoo
Legion--under which name, transplanted from Illinois, the militia were
organized--was drilled daily in the streets of the city. The martial
fervor ran so high that even the boys paraded with wooden spears and
guns, and the little ragamuffins were inspected and patted on the head
by venerable and veritable Fathers of the Church.

In total ignorance that the standard of rebellion had already been
raised, General Harney, in the beginning of August, detached Captain Van
Vliet, the Quarter-master on his staff, to proceed rapidly to Utah to
make arrangements for the reception of the army in the Valley. He passed
the troops in the vicinity of Fort Laramie. About thirty miles west
of Green River he was met by a party of Mormons, who escorted him,
accompanied only by his servant, to the city. There he was politely
treated, but informed that his mission would be fruitless, for the
Mormon people were determined to resist the ingress of the troops. At
a meeting in the Tabernacle, at which the Captain was present on the
platform, when Brigham Young called on the audience for an expression of
opinion, every hand was raised in favor of the policy of resistance, and
in expression of willingness, if it should become necessary, to abandon
harvest and homestead, retreat with the women to the mountains, and wage
there a war of extermination. They took pains to conduct the Captain
through the well-kept gardens and blooming fields, to show him their
household comforts, the herds of cattle, the stacks of hay and grain,
and all their public improvements, in order to present a contrast
between such plenty and prosperity and such a scene of desolation as
they depicted. Profoundly impressed by the devotion of the people to
their leaders, he started on his return, accompanied by Mr. Bernhisel,
the Mormon delegate to Congress. Two days after he left the city, a
proclamation was issued by Young, in his capacity of Governor, in which
the army was denounced as a mob and forbidden to enter the Territory,
and the people of Utah were summoned to arms to repel its advance.

When this document reached the troops, they had already crossed the
Territorial line, and were prepared for its reception by the report of
Captain Van Vliet as he passed them on his return to the States. Their
position was embarrassing. In the absence of General Harney, each
separate detachment constituted an independent command. The senior
officer present was Colonel Alexander, of the Tenth Infantry, a thorough
soldier in the minutiae of his profession, and distinguished by
gallantry during the Mexican War. He resolved, very properly, in view
of his seniority, to assume the command-in-chief until General Harney
should arrive from the East. On the 27th of September, before the
proclamation was received, the first division of the army crossed Green
River, having accomplished a march of a thousand miles in little more
than two months. That same night it hastened forwards thirty miles to
Ham's Fork,--a confluent of Black's Fork, which empties into Green
River,--where several supply-trains were gathered, upon which there
was danger that the Mormons would make an attack. The other divisions
followed within the week, and the whole force was concentrated. On the
night of October 5th, after the last division had crossed the river, two
supply-trains, of twenty-five wagons each, were captured and burned just
on the bank of the stream, by a party of mounted Mormons led by a man
named Lot Smith, and the next morning another train was destroyed by
the same party, twenty miles farther east, on the Big Sandy, in Oregon
Territory. The teamsters were disarmed and dismissed, and the cattle
stolen. No blood was shed; not a shot fired. Immediately upon the news
of this attack reaching Ham's Fork, Colonel Alexander, who had then
assumed the command-in-chief, dispatched Captain Marcy, of the Fifth
Infantry, with four hundred men, to afford assistance to the trains, and
punish the aggressors, if possible. But when the Captain reached Green
River, all that was visible near the little French trading-post was two
broad, black rings on the ground, bestrewn with iron chains and bolts,
where the wagons had been burned in _corral_. He was able to do
nothing except to send orders to the other trains on the road to halt,
concentrate, and await the escort of Brevet Colonel Smith, of the Tenth
Infantry, who had started from the frontier in August with the two
companies mentioned as having been left behind in Minnesota, and by
rapid marches had already reached the Sweetwater. The condition of
affairs at this moment was indeed critical. By the folly of Governor
Walker's movements in Kansas the expedition was deprived of its mounted
force, and consisted entirely of infantry and artillery. The Mormon
marauding parties, on the contrary, which it now became evident were
hovering on every side, were all well mounted and tolerably well armed.
The loss of three trains more would reduce the troops to the verge
of starvation before spring, in case of inability to reach Salt Lake
Valley. Nothing was heard from General Harney, and in his absence no one
possessed instructions adequate to the emergency.

To understand the movements which followed, it is necessary to describe
briefly the topography of the country between Green River and the Great
Salt Lake. The entire interval, one hundred and fifty miles in breadth,
is filled with groups and chains of mountains, the direct route through
which to Salt Lake City lies along water-courses, following them through
canons so narrow that little science is necessary to render the natural
defences impregnable. In this respect, and in the general character of
the scenery, it bears much resemblance to the Tyrol. In the narrowest of
these gorges, Echo Canon, twenty-five miles in length, whose walls of
rock often approach within a stone's throw of each other, it became
known that the Mormons were erecting breastworks and digging ditches,
by means of which they expected to be able to submerge the road to the
depth of several feet, for miles. The only known mode of avoiding a
passage through this gorge was by a circuitous route, following the
eastern slope of the rim of the Great Basin northward, more than a
hundred miles, to Soda Springs, at the northern bend of Bear River, the
principal tributary of the Salt Lake,--then crossing the rim along the
course of the river, and pursuing its valley southward, and that of the
Roseaux or Malade, into Salt Lake Valley. The distance of Salt Lake
City from the camp on Ham's Fork was by this route nearly three hundred
miles,--while the distance by the road past Fort Bridger, through the
canons, was less than one hundred and fifty miles. At that fort, about
twenty miles west from the encampment of the army, the Mormon marauding
parties had their head-quarters and principal _depot_. It was there that
Colonel Alexander was ordered, about this time, by Brigham Young,
to surrender his arms to the Mormon Quartermaster-General, on which
condition and an agreement to depart eastward early the following
spring, he and his troops should be fed during the winter; otherwise,
Young added, they would perish from hunger and cold, and rot among the
mountains. In his perplexity, Colonel Alexander called a council of
war, and, with its approval, resolved to commence a march towards Soda
Springs, leaving Fort Bridger unmolested on his left. For more than
a fortnight the army toiled along Ham's Fork, cutting a road through
thickets of greasewood and wild sage, incumbered by a train of such
unwieldy length that often the advance-guard reached its camp at night
before the rear-guard had moved from the camp of the preceding day, and
harassed by Mormon marauding parties from the Fort, which hung about the
flanks out of the reach of rifle-shot, awaiting opportunities to descend
on unprotected wagons and cattle. The absence of dragoons prevented a
dispersion of these banditti. Some companies of infantry were, indeed,
mounted on mules, and sent to pursue them, but these only excited their
derision. The Mormons nicknamed them "jackass cavalry." Their only
exploit was the capture of a Mormon major and his adjutant, on whose
person were found orders issued by D.H. Wells, the Commanding General of
the Nauvoo Legion, to the various detachments of marauders, directing
them to burn the whole country before the army and on its flanks, to
keep it from sleep by night surprises, to stampede its animals and set
fire to its trains, to blockade the road by felling trees and destroying
river-fords, but to take no life. On the 13th of October, eight hundred
oxen were cut off from the rear of the army and driven to Salt Lake
Valley. Thus the weary column toiled along until it reached the spot
where it expected to be joined by Colonel Smith's battalion, about fifty
miles up Ham's Fork. The very next day snow fell to the depth of more
than a foot. Disheartened, vacillating, and perplexed, Colonel Alexander
called another council of war, and, acting on its judgment, resolved to
retrace his steps. An express reached him that same day, from Colonel
Smith, by which he was informed of the approach of Colonel Albert S.
Johnston, of the Second Cavalry, who had been detailed to take command
of the expedition in the place of General Harney, and now sent orders
that the troops should return to Black's Fork, where he proposed to
concentrate the entire army.

During the month of August, it having become evident that General Harney
was reluctant to proceed to Utah, anticipating a brighter field for
military distinction in Kansas, Colonel Johnston was summoned from
Texas to Washington and there ordered to hasten to take command of the
expedition. On the 17th of September, he left Fort Leavenworth, and by
rapid travel overtook Colonel Smith while he was engaged in collecting
the trains which he intended to escort to the main body. On the 27th of
October, the column moved forwards. The escort had been reinforced by a
squadron of dragoons from Fort Laramie, but its entire strength was less
than three hundred men, a number obviously insufficient to defend a line
of wagons six miles in length. An attack by the Mormons was expected
every day, but none was made; and on the 3d of November, the whole army,
with its munitions, supplies, and commander, was concentrated on Black's
Fork. Colonel Alexander had arrived at the place of rendezvous some days
previously, being no nearer Salt Lake City November 3d than he had been
a month before. The country was covered with snow, winter having fairly
set in among the mountains, the last pound of forage was exhausted, and
the cattle and mules were little more than animated skeletons.

Colonel Johnston had already determined, while in the South Pass, that
it would be impracticable to cross the Wahsatch range until spring,
and shaped his arrangements accordingly. He resolved to establish
winter-quarters in the vicinity of Fort Bridger, and on the 6th of
November the advance towards that post commenced. The day was memorable
in the history of the expedition. Sleet poured down upon the column from
morning till night. On the previous evening, five hundred cattle had
been stampeded by the Mormons, in consequence of which some trains
were unable to move at all. After struggling along till nightfall, the
regiments camped wherever they could find shelter under bluffs or among
willows. That night more than five hundred animals perished from
hunger and cold, and the next morning the camp was encircled by their
carcasses, coated with a film of ice. It was a scene which could be
paralleled only in the retreat of the French from Moscow. Had there been
any doubt before concerning the practicability of an immediate advance
beyond Fort Bridger, none existed any longer. It was the 16th of
November when the vanguard reached that post, which the Mormons had
abandoned the week before. Nearly a fortnight had been consumed in
accomplishing less than thirty miles.

It is time to return to the States and record what had been transpiring
there, in connection with the expedition, while the army was staggering
towards its permanent winter-camp. The only one of the newly-appointed
civil officials who was present with the troops was Judge Eckels,
who had left his home in Indiana immediately after receiving his
appointment, and started across the Plains with his own conveyance. Near
Fort Laramie he was overtaken by Colonel Smith, whom he accompanied in
his progress to the main body. Governor Cumming, in the mean while,
dilly-dallied in the East, travelling from St. Louis to Washington and
back again, begging for an increase of salary, for a sum of money to be
placed at his disposal for secret service, and for transportation,
to the Territory,--all which requests, except the last, were denied.
Towards the close of September, he arrived at Fort Leavenworth. Governor
Walker had, by this time, released his hold on the dragoons, and,
notwithstanding the advanced period of the season, they were preparing
to march to Utah. The Governor and most of the other civil officers
delayed until they started, and travelled in their company. The march
was attended with the severest hardships. When they reached the Rocky
Mountains, the snow lay from one to three feet deep on the loftier
ridges which they were obliged to cross. The struggle with the elements,
during the last two hundred miles before gaining Fort Bridger, was
desperate. Nearly a third of the horses died from cold, hunger, and
fatigue; everything that could be spared was thrown out to lighten the
wagons, and the road was strewn with military accoutrements from the
Rocky Ridge to Green River. On the 20th of November, Colonel Cooke
reached the camp with a command entirely incapacitated for active
service.

The place selected by Colonel Johnston for the winter-quarters of
the army was on the bank of Black's Fork, about two miles above Fort
Bridger, on a spot sheltered by high bluffs which rise abruptly from the
bottom at a distance of five or six hundred yards from the channel of
the stream. The banks of the Fork were fringed with willow brush and
cottonwood trees, blasted in some places where the Mormons had attempted
to deprive the troops of fuel. The trees were fortunately too green to
burn, and the fire swept through acres, doing no more damage than to
consume the dry leaves and char the bark. The water of the Fork, clear
and pure, rippled noisily over a stony bed between two unbroken walls
of ice. The civil officers of the Territory fixed their quarters in
a little nook in the wood above the military camp. The Colonel,
anticipating a change of encampment, determined not to construct
quarters of logs or sod for the army. A new species of tent, which had
just been introduced, was served out for its winter dwellings. An iron
tripod supported a pole from the top of which depended a slender but
strong hoop. Attached to this, the canvas sloped to the ground, forming
a tent in the shape of a regular cone. The opening at the top caused a
draught, by means of which a fire could be kept up beneath the tripod
without choking the inmates with smoke. An Indian lodge had evidently
been the model of the inventor. Most of the civil officers, however, dug
square holes in the ground, over which they built log huts, plastering
the cracks with mud. Their little town they named Eckelsville, after the
Chief Justice. A _depot_ for all the military stores was established at
Fort Bridger, where a strong detachment was encamped. At the time of its
occupation, the Fort consisted merely of two stone walls, one twenty,
the other about ten feet in height, inclosing quadrangles fifty paces
long and forty broad. These walls were built of cobble-stones cemented
with mortar. Half-a-dozen cannonballs would have knocked them to pieces,
although they constituted a formidable defence against infantry. When
the Mormons evacuated the post, they burned all the buildings inside
these quadrangles. Colonel Johnston proceeded to set up additional
defences for the _depot_, and within a month two lunettes were completed
with ditches and _chevaux-de-frise_, in each of which was mounted a
piece of artillery.

The work of unloading the trains commenced, and after careful
computation the Chief Commissary determined, that, by an abridgment of
the ration, diminishing the daily issue of flour, and issuing bacon only
once a week, his supplies would last until the first of June. All the
beef cattle intended for the use of the army having been intercepted by
the Cheyennes, it became necessary to kill those draught oxen for beef,
which had survived the march. Shambles were erected, to which the poor
half-starved animals were driven by hundreds to be butchered. The flesh
was jerked and stored carefully in cabins built for the purpose.

The business of loading the trains had been carelessly performed at Fort
Leavenworth. In this respect the quartermaster who superintended the
work might have learned a lesson from the experience of the British in
the Crimea. But, unwilling to take the trouble to assign to each train
a proportionate quantity of all the articles to be transported, he had
packed one after another with just such things as lay most conveniently
at hand. The consequence was, that in the wagons which were burned
were contained all the mechanics' implements, stationery, and
horse-medicines, although the loss of the latter was not to be
regretted. The rest of their contents was mostly flour and bacon. Had
the Mormons burned the next three trains upon the road, they would have
destroyed all the clothing intended for the expedition. As it was, upon
searching those trains, only one hundred and fifty pairs of boots and
shoes and six hundred pairs of stockings were found provided for an army
of two thousand men, and some of the soldiers already had nothing but
moccasins to cover their feet, with the thermometer at 16 degrees below
zero,--while there were found one thousand leather neck-stocks and three
thousand bed-sacks, articles totally useless. "How not to do it" had
evidently been the motto of the Quarter-master's Department. The ample
supplies of some articles were rendered unavailable by deficiencies in
other articles equally necessary. In some of its arrangements it seemed
to have proceeded on the presumption that there would be an armed
collision, while in others the probability of such an event was entirely
disregarded. One wagon was loaded wholly with boiling-kettles, but there
was no brine to boil, and at the close of November not a pound of salt
remained in the camp.

One of the first and most important of Colonel Johnston's duties was
to provide for the keeping, during the winter, of the mules and horses
which survived. On Black's Fork there was no grass for their support. It
had either been burned by the Mormons or consumed by their cavalry. He
decided to send them all to Henry's Fork, thirty-five miles south of
Fort Bridger, where he had at one time designed to encamp with the whole
army. The regiment of dragoons was detailed to guard them. A supply of
fresh animals for transportation in the spring was his next care. The
settlements in New Mexico are less than seven hundred miles distant from
Fort Bridger, and to them he resolved to apply. Captain Marcy was
the officer selected to lead in the arduous expedition. He had been
previously distinguished in the service by a thorough exploration of the
Red River of Louisiana. Accompanied by only thirty-five picked men, all
volunteers, and by two guides, he started for Taos, November 27th,--an
undertaking from which, at that season of the year, the most experienced
mountaineers would have shrunk. A party was dispatched at the same
time to the Flathead country, in Oregon and Washington Territories, to
procure horses to remount the dragoons, and to induce the traders in
that region to drive cattle down to Fort Bridger for sale.

On the day of Captain Marcy's departure, Governor Cumming issued a
proclamation, declaring the Territory to be in a state of rebellion,
and commanding the traitors to lay down their arms and return to their
homes. It announced, also, that proceedings would be instituted against
the offenders, in a court to be organized in the county by Judge Eckels,
which would supersede the necessity of appointing a military commission
for that purpose. This document was sent to Salt Lake City by a Mormon
prisoner who was released for the purpose. The Governor sent also, by
the same messenger, a letter to Brigham Young, in which there were
expressions that indicated a disposition to temporize.

The whole camp, at this time, was a scene of confusion and bustle. Some
of the stragglers around the tents were Indians belonging to a band of
Pah-Utahs, among whom Dr. Hurt, already mentioned as the only Federal
officer who did not abandon the Territory in the spring of 1857, had
established a farm upon the banks of the Spanish Fork, which rises among
the snows of Mount Nebo, and flows into Lake Utah from the East. Shortly
after the issue of Brigham Young's proclamation of September 15th, the
Mormons resolved to take the Doctor prisoner. No official was ever more
obnoxious to the Church than he; for by his authority over the tribes
he had been able to counteract in great measure the influences by which
Young had endeavored to alienate both Snakes and Utahs from the control
of the United States. On the 27th of September, two bands of mounted men
moved towards the farm from the neighboring towns of Springville and
Payson. Warned by the faithful Indians of his danger, the Doctor fled to
the mountains, and twenty Pah-Utahs and Uinta-Utahs escorted him to the
South Pass, where he joined Colonel Johnston on the 23d of October. It
was an act of devotion which has rarely been excelled in Indian history.
The sufferings of his naked escort on the journey were severe. They
crossed the Green River Mountains, breaking the crust of the snow and
leading their animals, being reduced at the time to tallow and roots for
their own sustenance. On the advance of the army towards Fort Bridger,
they accompanied its march.

Another class of stragglers, and one most dangerous to the peace of the
camp, was composed of the thousand teamsters who were discharged from
employment on the supply-trains. Many of these men belonged to the scum
of the great Western cities,--a class more dangerous, because more
intelligent and reckless, than the same class of population in New York.
Others had sought to reach California, not anticipating a state of
hostilities which would bar their way. Now, thrown out of employment,
with slender means, a great number became desperate. Hundreds attempted
to return to the States on foot, some of whom died on the way,--and
nine-tenths of them would have perished, had they encountered the storms
of the preceding winter among the mountains. But the majority hung
around the camp. To some of these the Quartermaster was able to furnish
work, but he was obviously incapable of affording this assistance to
all. Thefts and assaults became frequent, and promised to multiply as
the season advanced. To remedy this trouble, Colonel Johnston assumed
the responsibility of organizing a volunteer battalion. The term of
service for which the men enlisted was nine months. For their pay they
were to depend on the action of Congress. The four companies which the
battalion comprised selected for their commander an officer from the
regular army, Captain Bee, of the Tenth Infantry.

The organization of a District Court, by Judge Eckels, helped quite as
essentially to enforce order. Its convicts were received by Colonel
Johnston and committed to imprisonment in the guard-tents of the army.
The grand jury, impanelled for the purposes of the court, were obliged
to take cognizance of the rebellion, and, after thoroughly investigating
the facts of the case, they returned bills of indictment against Brigham
Young and sixty of his principal associates.

During "the campaign of Ham's Fork," as Colonel Alexander's march up and
down that stream was facetiously called by the Mormons, he had been in
constant receipt of communications from Young, of a character similar to
the letter in which the army was commanded to surrender its arms at Fort
Bridger. This correspondence was now abruptly terminated by Colonel
Johnston. Two messengers came to the camp from Salt Lake City at the
beginning of December, escorted by a party of Mormon militia, and
bringing four pack-mules loaded with salt, which a letter from Young
offered as a present, with assurances that it was not poisoned. This
letter contained, besides, certain threats concerning the treatment
of prisoners, and reminded Colonel Johnston that the Mormons also had
prisoners in their power, on whom anything which might befall those in
camp should be retaliated. The Colonel returned no other answer to this
epistle than to dismiss its bearers with their salt, informing them
that he could accept no favors from traitors and rebels, and that any
communication which they might in future hold with the army must be
under a flag of truce, although as to the manner in which they might
communicate with the Governor it was not within his province to
prescribe. A week or two later, a thousand pounds of salt were forced
through to the camp from Fort Laramie, thirty out of the forty-six mules
on which it was packed perishing on the way.

Thus the long and dreary winter commenced in the camp of the army of
Utah. It mattered not that the rations were abridged, that communication
with the States was interrupted, and that every species of duty at such
a season, in such a region, was uncommonly severe. Confidence and even
gayety were restored to the camp, by the consciousness that it was
commanded by an officer whose intelligence was adequate to the
difficulties of his position. Every additional hardship was cheerfully
endured. As the animals failed, all the wood used in camp was obliged to
be drawn a distance of from three to six miles by hand, but there were
few gayer spectacles than the long strings of soldiers hurrying the
wagons over the crunching snow. They built great pavilions, decorated
them with colors and stacks of arms, and danced as merrily on Christmas
and New Year's Eves to the music of the regimental bands, as if they had
been in cozy cantonments, instead of in a camp of fluttering canvas,
more than seven thousand feet above the level of the sea. In the
pavilion of the Fifth Infantry, there drooped over the company the flags
which that regiment had carried, ten years before, up the sunny slopes
of Chapultepec, and which were torn in a hundred places by the storm of
bullets at Molinos del Rey.

Meanwhile, how hearts were beating in the States with anxious
apprehension for the safety of kindred and friends, those who felt that
anxiety, and not those who were the objects of it, best know.

Perhaps the disposition of the camp would have been more in harmony
with the scenery and the season, if the army had dreamed that the
administration, which had launched it so recklessly into circumstances
of such privation and danger, was about to turn its labors and
sufferings into a farce, and to claim the approval of the country for
an act of mistaken clemency, which was, in reality, a grave political
error.

[To be continued.]

* * * * *

THE MINISTER'S WOOING.

[Continued.]

CHAPTER VIII.

WHICH TREATS OF ROMANCE.

There is no word in the English language more unceremoniously and
indefinitely kicked and cuffed about, by what are called sensible
people, than the word _romance_. When Mr. Smith or Mr. Stubbs has
brought every wheel of life into such range and order that it is one
steady, daily grind,--when they themselves have come into the habits and
attitudes of the patient donkey, who steps round and round the endlessly
turning wheel of some machinery, then they fancy that they have gotten
"the victory that overcometh the world."

All but this dead grind, and the dollars that come through the mill,
is by them thrown into one waste "catch-all" and labelled _romance_.
Perhaps there was a time in Mr. Smith's youth,--he remembers it
now,--when he read poetry, when his cheek was wet with strange tears,
when a little song, ground out by an organ-grinder in the street, had
power to set his heart beating and bring a mist before his eyes. Ah, in
those days he had a vision!--a pair of soft eyes stirred him strangely;
a little weak hand was laid on his manhood, and it shook and trembled;
and then came all the humility, the aspiration, the fear, the hope,
the high desire, the troubling of the waters by the depending angel of
love,--and a little more and Mr. Smith might have become a man, instead
of a banker! He thinks of it now, sometimes, as he looks across the
fireplace after dinner and sees Mrs. Smith asleep, innocently shaking
the bouquet of pink bows and Brussels lace that waves ever her placid
red countenance.

Mrs. Smith wasn't his first love, nor, indeed, any love at all; but they
agree reasonably well. And as for poor Nellie,--well, she is dead and
buried,--all that was stuff and romance. Mrs. Smith's money set him up
in business, and Mrs. Smith is a capital manager, and he thanks God that
he isn't romantic, and tells Smith Junior not to read poetry or novels,
and to stick to realities.

"This is the victory that overcometh the world,"--to learn to be fat and
tranquil, to have warm fires and good dinners, to hang your hat on the
same peg at the same hour every day, to sleep soundly all night, and
never to trouble your head with a thought or imagining beyond.

But there are many people besides Mr. Smith who have gained this
victory,--who have strangled their higher nature and buried it, and
built over its grave the structure of their life, the better to keep it
down.

The fascinating Mrs. T., whose life is a whirl between ball and opera,
point lace, diamonds, and schemings of admiration for herself, and of
establishments for her daughters,--there was a time, if you will believe
me, when that proud, worldly woman was so humbled, under the touch of
some mighty power, that she actually thought herself capable of being a
poor man's wife. She thought she could live in a little, mean house on
no-matter-what-street, with one servant, and make her own bonnets
and mend her own clothes, and sweep the house Mondays, while Betty
washed,--all for what? All because she thought that there was a man
so noble, so true, so good, so high-minded, that to live with him in
poverty, to be guided by him in adversity, to lean on him in every rough
place of life, was a something nobler, better, purer, more satisfying,
than French laces, opera-boxes, and even Madame Roget's best gowns.

Unfortunately, this was all romance,--there was no such man. There
was, indeed, a person of very common, self-interested aims and worldly
nature, whom she had credited at sight with an unlimited draft on all
her better nature; and when the hour of discovery came, she awoke
from her dream with a start and a laugh, and ever since has despised
aspiration, and been busy with the _realities_ of life, and feeds poor
little Mary Jane, who sits by her in the opera-box there, with all the
fruit which she has picked from the bitter tree of knowledge. There is
no end of the epigrams and witticisms which she can throw out, this
elegant Mrs. T., on people who marry for love, lead prosy, worky lives,
and put on their best cap with pink ribbons for Sunday. "Mary Jane shall
never make a fool of herself"; but, even as she speaks, poor Mary Jane's
heart is dying within her at the vanishing of a pair of whiskers from an
opposite box,--which whiskers the poor little fool has credited with a
_resume_ drawn from her own imaginings of all that is grandest and
most heroic, most worshipful in man. By-and-by, when Mrs. T. finds the
glamour has fallen on her daughter, she wonders; she has "tried to keep
novels out of the girl's way,--where did she get these notions?"

All prosaic, and all bitter, disenchanted people talk as if poets
and novelists _made_ romance. They do,--just as much as craters make
volcanoes,--no more. What is romance? whence comes it? Plato spoke to
the subject wisely, in his quaint way, some two thousand years ago, when
he said, "Man's soul, in a former state, was winged and soared among the
gods; and so it comes to pass, that, in this life, when the soul, by the
power of music or poetry, or the sight of beauty, hath her remembrance
quickened, forthwith there is a straggling and a pricking pain as of
wings trying to come forth,--even as children in teething." And if an
old heathen, two thousand years ago, discoursed thus gravely of the
romantic part of our nature, whence comes it that in Christian lands
we think in so pagan a way of it, and turn the whole care of it to
ballad-makers, romancers, and opera-singers?

Let us look up in fear and reverence and say, "GOD is the great maker
of romance. HE, from whose hand came man and woman,--HE, who strung the
great harp of Existence with all its wild and wonderful and manifold
chords, and attuned them to one another,--HE is the great Poet of life."
Every impulse of beauty, of heroism, and every craving for purer love,
fairer perfection, nobler type and style of being than that which closes
like a prison-house around us, in the dim, daily walk of life, is
God's breath, God's impulse, God's reminder to the soul that there is
something higher, sweeter, purer, yet to be attained.

Therefore, man or woman, when thy ideal is shattered,--as shattered a
thousand times it must be,--when the vision fades, the rapture burns
out, turn not away in skepticism and bitterness, saying, "There is
nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink," but rather
cherish the revelations of those hours as prophecies and foreshadowings
of something real and possible, yet to be attained in the manhood, of
immortality. The scoffing spirit that laughs at romance is an apple of
the Devil's own handing from the bitter tree of knowledge;--it opens the
eyes only to see eternal nakedness.

If ever you have had a romantic, uncalculating friendship,--a boundless
worship and belief in some hero of your soul,--if ever you have so
loved, that all cold prudence, all selfish worldly considerations have
gone down like drift-wood before a river flooded with new rain from
heaven, so that you even forgot yourself, and were ready to cast your
whole being into the chasm of existence, as an offering before the feet
of another, and all for nothing,--if you awoke bitterly betrayed and
deceived, still give thanks to God that you have had one glimpse of
heaven. The door now shut will open again. Rejoice that the noblest
capability of your eternal inheritance has been made known to you;
treasure it, as the highest honor of your being, that ever you could so
feel,--that so divine a guest ever possessed your soul.

By such experiences are we taught the pathos, the sacredness of life;
and if we use them wisely, our eyes will ever after be anointed to see
what poems, what romances, what sublime tragedies lie around us in the
daily walk of life, "written not with ink, but in fleshly tables of the
heart." The dullest street of the most prosaic town has matter in it for
more smiles, more tears, more intense excitement, than ever were written
in story or sung in poem; the reality is there, of which the romancer is
the second-hand recorder.

So much of a plea we put in boldly, because we foresee grave heads
beginning to shake over our history, and doubts rising in reverend and
discreet minds whether this history is going to prove anything but a
love-story, after all.

We do assure you, right reverend Sir, and you, most discreet Madam, that
it is not going to prove anything else; and you will find, if you will
follow us, that there is as much romance burning under the snow-banks
of cold Puritan preciseness as if Dr. H. had been brought up to attend
operas instead of metaphysical preaching, and Mary had been nourished on
Byron's poetry instead of "Edwards on the Affections."

The innocent credulities, the subtle deceptions, that were quietly at
work under the grave, white curls of the Doctor's wig, were exactly of
the kind which have beguiled man in all ages, when near the sovereign
presence of her who is born for his destiny;--and as for Mary, what did
it avail her that she could say the Assembly's Catechism from end to
end without tripping, and that every habit of her life beat time to
practical realities, steadily as the parlor clock? The wildest Italian
singer or dancer, nursed on nothing but excitement from her cradle,
never was more thoroughly possessed by the awful and solemn mystery of
woman's life than this Puritan girl.

It is quite true, that, the next morning after James's departure,
she rose as usual in the dim gray, and was to be seen opening the
kitchen-door just at the moment when the birds were giving the first
little drowsy stir and chirp,--and that she went on setting the
breakfast-table for the two hired men, who were bound to the fields with
the oxen,--and that then she went on skimming cream for the butter,
and getting ready to churn, and making up biscuit for the Doctor's
breakfast, when he and they should sit down together at a somewhat later
hour; and as she moved about, doing all these things, she sung various
scraps of old psalm-tunes; and the good Doctor, who was then busy with
his early exercises of devotion, listened, as he heard the voice, now
here, now there, and thought about angels and the Millennium. Solemnly
and tenderly there floated in at his open study-window, through the
breezy lilacs, mixed with low of kine and bleat of sheep and hum of
early wakening life, the little silvery ripples of that singing,
somewhat mournful in its cadence, as if a gentle soul were striving to
hush itself to rest. The words were those of the rough old version of
the Psalms then in use:--

"Truly my waiting soul relies
In silence God upon;
Because from him there doth arise
All my salvation."

And then came the busy patter of the little footsteps without, the
moving of chairs, the clink of plates, as busy hands were arranging the
table; and then again there was a pause, and he thought she seemed
to come near to the open window of the adjoining room, for the voice
floated in clearer and sadder:--

"O God, to me be merciful,
Be merciful to me!
Because my soul for shelter safe
Betakes itself to thee.

"Yea, in the shadow of thy wings
My refuge have I placed,
Until these sore calamities
Shall quite be overpast."

The tone of life in New England, so habitually earnest and solemn,
breathed itself in the grave and plaintive melodies of the tunes then
sung in the churches; and so these words, though in the saddest minor
key, did not suggest to the listening ear of the auditor anything more
than that pensive religious calm in which he delighted to repose. A
contrast indeed they were, in their melancholy earnestness, to the
exuberant carollings of a robin, who, apparently attracted by them,
perched himself hard by in the lilacs, and struck up such a merry
_roulade_ as quite diverted the attention of the fair singer;--in fact,
the intoxication breathed in the strain of this little messenger, whom
God had feathered and winged and filled to the throat with ignorant
joy, came in singular contrast with the sadder notes breathed by that
creature of so much higher mould and fairer clay,--that creature born
for an immortal life.

But the good Doctor was inly pleased when she sung,--and when she
stopped, looked up from his Bible wistfully, as missing something, he
knew not what; for he scarce thought how pleasant the little voice
was, or knew he had been listening to it,--and yet he was in a manner
enchanted by it, so thankful and happy that he exclaimed with fervor,
"The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly
heritage."

So went the world with him, full of joy and praise, because the voice
and the presence wherein lay his unsuspected life were securely near, so
certainly and constantly a part of his daily walk that he had not even
the trouble to wish for them. But in that other heart how was it?--how
with the sweet saint that was talking to herself in psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs?

The good child had remembered her mother's parting words the night
before,--"Put your mind upon your duties,"--and had begun her first
conscious exercise of thought with a prayer that grace might be given
her to do it. But even as she spoke, mingling and interweaving with that
golden thread of prayer was another consciousness, a life in another
soul, as she prayed that the grace of God might overshadow him, shield
him from temptation, and lead him up to heaven; and this prayer so got
the start of the other, that, ere she was aware, she had quite forgotten
self, and was feeling, living, thinking in that other life.

The first discovery she made, when she looked out into the fragrant
orchard, whose perfumes steamed in at her window, and listened to the
first chirping of birds among, the old apple-trees, was one that has
astonished many a person before her; it was this: she found that all
that had made life interesting to her was suddenly gone. She herself had
not known, that, for the month past, since James came from sea, she had
been living in an enchanted land,--that Newport harbor, and every rock
and stone, and every mat of yellow seaweed on the shore, that the
two-mile road between the cottage and the white house of Zebedee Marvyn,
every mullein-stalk, every juniper-tree, had all had a light and a charm
which were suddenly gone. There had not been an hour in the day for the
last four weeks that had not had its unsuspected interest,--because he
was at the white house, because, possibly, he might be going by, or
coming in; nay, even in church, when she stood up to sing, and thought
she was thinking only of God, had she not been conscious of that tenor
voice that poured itself out by her side? and though afraid to turn her
head that way, had she not felt that he was there every moment,--heard
every word of the sermon and prayer for him? The very vigilant care
which her mother had taken to prevent private interviews had only served
to increase the interest by throwing over it the veil of constraint
and mystery. Silent looks, involuntary starts, things indicated, not
expressed, these are the most, dangerous, the most seductive aliment of
thought to a delicate and sensitive nature. If things were said out,
they might not be said wisely,--they might repel by their freedom, or
disturb by their unfitness; but what is only looked is sent into the
soul through the imagination, which makes of it all that the ideal
faculties desire.

In a refined and exalted nature, it is very seldom that the feeling of
love, when once thoroughly aroused, bears any sort of relation to the
reality of the object. It is commonly an enkindling of the whole power
of the soul's love for whatever she considers highest and fairest; it
is, in fact, the love of something divine and unearthly, which, by a
sort of illusion, connects itself with a personality. Properly speaking,
there is but One true, eternal Object of all that the mind conceives, in
this trance of its exaltation. Disenchantment must come, of course; and
in a love which terminates in happy marriage, there is a tender and
gracious process, by which, without shock or violence, the ideal is
gradually sunk in the real, which, though found faulty and earthly, is
still ever tenderly remembered as it seemed under the morning light of
that enchantment.

What Mary loved so passionately, that which came between her and God in
every prayer, was not the gay, young, dashing sailor,--sudden in anger,
imprudent of speech, and, though generous in heart, yet worldly in plans
and schemings,--but her own ideal of a grand and noble man,--such a man
as she thought he might become. He stood glorified before her, an image
of the strength that overcomes things physical, of the power of command
which controls men and circumstances, of the courage which disdains
fear, of the honor which cannot lie, of constancy which knows no shadow
of turning, of tenderness which protects the weak, and, lastly, of
religious loyalty which should lay the golden crown of its perfected
manhood at the feet of a Sovereign Lord and Redeemer. This was the man
she loved, and with this regal mantle of glories she invested the person
called James Marvyn; and all that she saw and felt to be wanting she
prayed for with the faith of a believing woman.

Nor was she wrong;--for, as to every leaf and every flower there is an
ideal to which the growth of the plant is constantly urging, so is there
an ideal to every human being,--a perfect form in which it might appear,
were every defect removed and every characteristic excellence stimulated
to the highest point. Once in an age, God sends to some of us a friend
who loves in us, _not_ a false imagining, an unreal character, but,
looking through all the rubbish of our imperfections, loves in us the
divine ideal of our nature,--loves, not the man that we are, but the
angel that we may be. Such friends seem inspired by a divine gift of
prophecy,--like the mother of St. Augustine, who, in the midst of the
wayward, reckless youth of her son, beheld him in a vision, standing,
clothed in white, a ministering priest at the right hand of God,--as he
has stood for long ages since. Could a mysterious foresight unveil to us
this resurrection form of the friends with whom we daily walk, compassed
about with mortal infirmity, we should follow them with faith and
reverence through all the disguises of human faults and weaknesses,
"waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God."

But these wonderful soul-friends, to whom God grants such perception,
are the exceptions in life; yet sometimes are we blessed with one who
sees through us, as Michel Angelo saw through a block of marble, when he
attacked it in a divine fervor, declaring that an angel was imprisoned
within it;--and it is often the resolute and delicate hand of such a
friend that sets the angel free.

There be soul-artists, who go through this world, looking among their
fellows with reverence, as one looks amid the dust and rubbish of old
shops for hidden works of Titian and Leonardo, and, finding them,
however cracked or torn or painted over with tawdry daubs of pretenders,
immediately recognize the divine original, and set themselves to cleanse
and restore. Such be God's real priests, whose ordination and anointing
are from the Holy Spirit; and he who hath not this enthusiasm is not
ordained of God, though whole synods of bishops laid hands on him.

Many such priests there be among women;--for to this silent ministry
their nature calls them, endowed, as it is, with fineness of fibre, and
a subtile keenness of perception outrunning slow-footed reason;--and she
of whom we write was one of these.

At this very moment, while the crimson wings of morning were casting
delicate reflections on tree, and bush, and rock, they were also
reddening innumerable waves round a ship that sailed alone, with a wide
horizon stretching like an eternity around it; and in the advancing
morning stood a young man thoughtfully looking off into the ocean, with
a book in his hand,--James Marvyn,--as truly and heartily a creature of
this material world as Mary was of the invisible and heavenly.

There are some who seem made to _live;_--life is such a joy to them,
their senses are so fully _en rapport_ with all outward things, the
world is so keenly appreciable, so much a part of themselves, they are
so conscious of power and victory in the government and control of
material things, that the moral and invisible life often seems to hang
tremulous and unreal in their minds, like the pale, faded moon in the
light of a gorgeous sunrise. When brought face to face with the great
truths of the invisible world, they stand related to the higher wisdom
much like the gorgeous, gay Alcibiades to the divine Socrates, or like
the young man in Holy Writ to Him for whose appearing Socrates longed;--
they gaze, imperfectly comprehending, and at the call of ambition or
riches turn away sorrowing.

So it was with James;--in full tide of worldly energy and ambition,
there had been forming over his mind that hard crust, that skepticism
of the spiritual and exalted, which men of the world delight to call
practical sense; he had been suddenly arrested and humbled by the
revelation of a nature so much nobler than his own that he seemed
worthless in his own eyes. He had asked for love; but when _such_ love
unveiled itself, he felt like the disciple of old in the view of a
diviner tenderness,--"Depart from me, for I am a sinful man."

But it is not often that all the current of a life is reversed in one
hour; and now, as James stood on the ship's deck, with life passing
around him, and everything drawing upon the strings of old habits, Mary
and her religion recurred to his mind as some fair, sweet, inexplicable
vision. Where she stood he saw; but how _he_ was ever to get there
seemed as incomprehensible as how a mortal man should pillow his form on
sunset clouds.

He held the little Bible in his hand as if it were some amulet charmed
by the touch of a superior being; but when he strove to read it, his
thoughts wandered, and he shut it, troubled and unsatisfied. Yet there
were within him yearnings and cravings, wants never felt before, the
beginning of that trouble which must ever precede the soul's rise to a
higher plane of being.

There we leave him. We have shown you now our three different
characters, each one in its separate sphere, feeling the force of that
strongest and holiest power with which it has pleased our great Author
to glorify this mortal life.

CHAPTER IX.

WHICH TREATS OF THINGS SEEN.

As, for example, the breakfast. It is six o'clock,--the hired men and
oxen are gone,-the breakfast-table stands before the open kitchen-door,
snowy with its fresh cloth, the old silver coffee-pot steaming up a
refreshing perfume,--and the Doctor sits on one side, sipping his coffee
and looking across the table at Mary, who is innocently pleased at
the kindly beaming in his placid blue eyes,--and Aunt Katy Scudder
discourses of housekeeping, and fancies something must have disturbed
the rising of the cream, as it is not so thick and yellow as wont.

Now the Doctor, it is to be confessed, was apt to fall into a way
of looking at people such as pertains to philosophers and scholars
generally, that is, as if he were looking through them into the
infinite,--in which case, his gaze became so earnest and intent that it
would quite embarrass an uninitiated person; but Mary, being used to
this style of contemplation, was only quietly amused, and waited till
some great thought should loom up before his mental vision,--in which
case, she hoped to hear from him.

The good man swallowed his first cup of coffee and spoke:--

"In the Millennium, I suppose, there will be such a fulness and plenty
of all the necessaries and conveniences of life, that it will not be
necessary for men and women to spend the greater part of their lives in
labor in order to procure a living. It will not be necessary for each
one to labor more than two or three hours a day,--not more than will
conduce to health of body and vigor of mind; and the rest of their time
they will spend in reading and conversation, and such exercises as
are necessary and proper to improve their minds and make progress in
knowledge."

New England presents probably the only example of a successful
commonwealth founded on a theory, as a distinct experiment in the
problem of society. It was for this reason that the minds of its great
thinkers dwelt so much on the final solution of that problem in this
world. The fact of a future Millennium was a favorite doctrine of the
great leading theologians of New England, and Dr. H. dwelt upon it with
a peculiar partiality. Indeed, it was the solace and refuge of his soul,
when oppressed with the discouragements which always attend things
actual, to dwell upon and draw out in detail the splendors of this
perfect future which was destined to glorify the world.

Nobody, therefore, at the cottage was in the least surprised when there
dropped into the flow of their daily life these sparkling bits of ore,
which their friend had dug in his explorations of a future Canaan,--in
fact, they served to raise the hackneyed present out of the level of
mere commonplace.

"But how will it be possible," inquired Mrs. Scudder, "that so much less
work will suffice in those days to do all that is to be done?"

"Because of the great advance of arts and sciences which will take
place before those days," said the Doctor, "whereby everything shall
be performed with so much greater ease,--also the great increase of
disinterested love, whereby the skill and talents of those who have much
shall make up for the weakness of those who have less.

"Yes," he continued, after a pause,--"all the careful Marthas in those

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