Part 3 out of 3
the Kent Road," when suddenly I heard a step behind me.
I turned quickly, with an expression of horror in my face, and by
the light of the newly risen moon beheld an elderly gentleman, with
green cotton umbrella, approaching me. His hair, which was snow
white, was parted over a broad, open forehead. The expression of
his face, which was slightly flushed, was that of amiability
verging almost upon imbecility. There was a strange, inquiring
look about the widely opened mild blue eye,--a look that might have
been intensified to insanity, or modified to idiocy. As he passed
me, he paused and partly turned his face, with a gesture of
inquiry. I see him still, his white locks blowing in the evening
breeze, his hat a little on the back of his head, and his figure
painted in relief against the dark blue sky.
Suddenly he turned his mild eye full upon me. A weak smile played
about his thin lips. In a voice which had something of the
tremulousness of age and the self-satisfied chuckle of imbecility
in it, he asked, pointing to the rising moon, "Why?--hush!"
He had dodged behind me, and appeared to be looking anxiously down
the road. I could feel his aged frame shaking with terror as he
laid his thin hands upon my shoulders and faced me in the direction
of the supposed danger.
"Hush! did you not hear them coming?"
I listened; there was no sound but the soughing of the roadside
trees in the evening wind. I endeavored to reassure him, with such
success that in a few moments the old weak smile appeared on his
"Why?--" But the look of interrogation was succeeded by a hopeless
"Why!" I repeated with assuring accents.
"Why," he said, a gleam of intelligence flickering over his face,
"is yonder moon, as she sails in the blue empyrean, casting a flood
of light o'er hill and dale, like-- Why," he repeated, with a
feeble smile, "is yonder moon, as she sails in the blue empyrean--"
He hesitated,--stammered,--and gazed at me hopelessly, with the
tears dripping from his moist and widely opened eyes.
I took his hand kindly in my own. "Casting a shadow o'er hill and
dale," I repeated quietly, leading him up the subject, "like--
"Ah!" he said, pressing my hand tremulously, "you know it?"
"I do. Why is it like--the--eh--the commodious mansion on the
A blank stare only followed. He shook his head sadly. "Like the
young men wanted for a light, genteel employment?"
He wagged his feeble old head cunningly.
"Or, Mr. Ward," I said, with bold confidence, "like the mysterious
disappearance from the Kent Road?"
The moment was full of suspense. He did not seem to hear me.
Suddenly he turned.
I darted forward. But he had vanished in the darkness.
NO. 27 LIMEHOUSE ROAD.
It was a hot midsummer evening. Limehouse Road was deserted save
by dust and a few rattling butchers' carts, and the bell of the
muffin and crumpet man. A commodious mansion, which stood on the
right of the road as you enter Pultneyville, surrounded by stately
poplars and a high fence surmounted by a chevaux de frise of broken
glass, looked to the passing and footsore pedestrian like the
genius of seclusion and solitude. A bill announcing in the usual
terms that the house was to let, hung from the bell at the
As the shades of evening closed, and the long shadows of the
poplars stretched across the road, a man carrying a small kettle
stopped and gazed, first at the bill and then at the house. When
he had reached the corner of the fence, he again stopped and looked
cautiously up and down the road. Apparently satisfied with the
result of his scrutiny, he deliberately sat himself down in the
dark shadow of the fence, and at once busied himself in some
employment, so well concealed as to be invisible to the gaze of
passers-by. At the end of an hour he retired cautiously.
But not altogether unseen. A slim young man, with spectacles and
note-book, stepped from behind a tree as the retreating figure of
the intruder was lost in the twilight, and transferred from the
fence to his note-book the freshly stencilled inscription, "S--T--
COUNT MOSCOW'S NARRATIVE.
I am a foreigner. Observe! To be a foreigner in England is to be
mysterious, suspicious, intriguing. M. Collins has requested the
history of my complicity with certain occurrences. It is nothing,
bah! absolutely nothing.
I write with ease and fluency. Why should I not write? Tra la la?
I am what you English call corpulent. Ha, ha! I am a pupil of
Macchiavelli. I find it much better to disbelieve everything, and
to approach my subject and wishes circuitously, than in a direct
manner. You have observed that playful animal, the cat. Call it,
and it does not come to you directly, but rubs itself against all
the furniture in the room, and reaches you finally--and scratches.
Ah, ha, scratches! I am of the feline species. People call me a
I know the family, living No. 27 Limehouse Road. I respect the
gentleman,--a fine, burly specimen of your Englishman,--and madame,
charming, ravishing, delightful. When it became known to me that
they designed to let their delightful residence, and visit foreign
shores, I at once called upon them. I kissed the hand of madame.
I embraced the great Englishman. Madame blushed slightly. The
great Englishman shook my hand like a mastiff.
I began in that dexterous, insinuating manner, of which I am truly
proud. I thought madame was ill. Ah, no. A change, then, was all
that was required. I sat down at the piano and sang. In a few
minutes madame retired. I was alone with my friend.
Seizing his hand, I began with every demonstration of courteous
sympathy. I do not repeat my words, for my intention was conveyed
more in accent, emphasis, and manner, than speech. I hinted to him
that he had another wife living. I suggested that this was
balanced--ha!--by his wife's lover. That, possibly, he wished to
fly; hence the letting of his delightful mansion. That he
regularly and systematically beat his wife in the English manner,
and that she repeatedly deceived me. I talked of hope, of
consolation, of remedy. I carelessly produced a bottle of
strychnine and a small vial of stramonium from my pocket, and
enlarged on the efficiency of drugs. His face, which had gradually
become convulsed, suddenly became fixed with a frightful
expression. He started to his feet, and roared: "You d--d
I instantly changed my tactics, and endeavored to embrace him. He
kicked me twice, violently. I begged permission to kiss madame's
hand. He replied by throwing me down stairs.
I am in bed with my head bound up, and beef-steaks upon my eyes,
but still confident and buoyant. I have not lost faith in
Macchiavelli. Tra la la! as they sing in the opera. I kiss
DR. DIGGS'S STATEMENT.
My name is David Diggs. I am a surgeon, living at No. 9 Tottenham
Court. On the 15th of June, 1854, I was called to see an elderly
gentleman lodging on the Kent Road. Found him highly excited, with
strong febrile symptoms, pulse 120, increasing. Repeated
incoherently what I judged to be the popular form of a conundrum.
On closer examination found acute hydrocephalus and both lobes of
the brain rapidly filling with water. In consultation with an
eminent phrenologist, it was further discovered that all the organs
were more or less obliterated, except that of Comparison. Hence
the patient was enabled to only distinguish the most common points
of resemblance between objects, without drawing upon other
faculties, such as Ideality or Language, for assistance. Later in
the day found him sinking,--being evidently unable to carry the
most ordinary conundrum to a successful issue. Exhibited Tinct.
Val., Ext. Opii, and Camphor, and prescribed quiet and emollients.
On the 17th the patient was missing.
STATEMENT OF THE PUBLISHER.
On the 18th of June, Mr. Wilkie Collins left a roll of manuscript
with us for publication, without title or direction, since which
time he has not been heard from. In spite of the care of the
proof-readers, and valuable literary assistance, it is feared that
the continuity of the story has been destroyed by some accidental
misplacing of chapters during its progress. How and what chapters
are so misplaced, the publisher leaves to an indulgent public to
BEING A NOVEL IN THE FRENCH PARAGRAPHIC STYLE.
--Mademoiselle, I swear to you that I love you.
--You who read these pages. You who turn your burning eyes upon
these words--words that I trace-- Ah, Heaven! the thought maddens
--I will be calm. I will imitate the reserve of the festive
Englishman, who wears a spotted handkerchief which he calls a
Belchio, who eats biftek, and caresses a bulldog. I will subdue
myself like him.
--Ha! Poto-beer! All right--Goddam!
--Or, I will conduct myself as the free-born American--the gay
Brother Jonathan! I will whittle me a stick. I will whistle to
myself "Yankee Doodle," and forget my passion in excessive
--Hoho!--wake snakes and walk chalks.
The world is divided into two great divisions,--Paris and the
provinces. There is but one Paris. There are several provinces,
among which may be numbered England, America, Russia, and Italy.
N N. was a Parisian.
But N N. did not live in Paris. Drop a Parisian in the provinces,
and you drop a part of Paris with him. Drop him in Senegambia, and
in three days he will give you an omelette soufflee, or a pate de
foie gras, served by the neatest of Senegambian filles, whom he
will call Mademoiselle. In three weeks he will give you an opera.
N N. was not dropped in Senegambia, but in San Francisco,--quite as
They find gold in San Francisco, but they don't understand gilding.
N N. existed three years in this place. He became bald on the top
of his head, as all Parisians do. Look down from your box at the
Opera Comique, Mademoiselle, and count the bald crowns of the fast
young men in the pit. Ah--you tremble! They show where the arrows
of love have struck and glanced off.
N N. was also near-sighted, as all Parisians finally become. This
is a gallant provision of Nature to spare them the mortification of
observing that their lady friends grow old. After a certain age
every woman is handsome to a Parisian.
One day, N N. was walking down Washington street. Suddenly he
He was standing before the door of a mantuamaker. Beside the
counter, at the farther extremity of the shop, stood a young and
elegantly formed woman. Her face was turned from N N. He entered.
With a plausible excuse, and seeming indifference, he gracefully
opened conversation with the mantuamaker as only a Parisian can.
But he had to deal with a Parisian. His attempts to view the
features of the fair stranger by the counter were deftly combated
by the shop-woman. He was obliged to retire.
N N. went home and lost his appetite. He was haunted by the
elegant basque and graceful shoulders of the fair unknown, during
the whole night.
The next day he sauntered by the mantuamaker. Ah! Heavens! A
thrill ran through his frame, and his fingers tingled with a
delicious electricity. The fair inconnue was there! He raised his
hat gracefully. He was not certain, but he thought that a slight
motion of her faultless bonnet betrayed recognition. He would have
wildly darted into the shop, but just then the figure of the
mantuamaker appeared in the doorway.
--Did Monsieur wish anything?
Misfortune! Desperation. N N. purchased a bottle of Prussic acid,
a sack of charcoal, and a quire of pink note-paper, and returned
home. He wrote a letter of farewell to the closely fitting basque,
and opened the bottle of Prussic acid.
Some one knocked at his door. It was a Chinaman, with his weekly
These Chinese are docile, but not intelligent. They are ingenious,
but not creative. They are cunning in expedients, but deficient in
tact. In love they are simply barbarous. They purchase their
wives openly, and not constructively by attorney. By offering
small sums for their sweethearts, they degrade the value of the
Nevertheless, N N. felt he was saved. He explained all to the
faithful Mongolian, and exhibited the letter he had written. He
implored him to deliver it.
The Mongolian assented. The race are not cleanly or sweet-savored,
but N N. fell upon his neck. He embraced him with one hand, and
closed his nostrils with the other. Through him, he felt he
clasped the close-fitting basque.
The next day was one of agony and suspense. Evening came, but no
Mercy. N N. lit the charcoal. But, to compose his nerves, he
closed his door and first walked mildly up and down Montgomery
Steeet. When he returned, he found the faithful Mongolian on the
These Chinese are not accurate in their pronunciation. They avoid
the r, like the English nobleman.
N N. gasped for breath. He leaned heavily against the Chinaman.
--Then you have seen her, Ching Long?
--Yes. All lity. She cum. Top side of house.
The docile barbarian pointed up the stairs, and chuckled.
--She here--impossible! Ah, Heaven! do I dream?
--Yes. All lity,--top side of house. Good by, John.
This is the familiar parting epithet of the Mongolian. It is
equivalent to our au revoir.
N N. gazed with a stupefied air on the departing servant.
He placed his hand on his throbbing heart. She here,--alone
beneath this roof. O Heavens, what happiness!
But how? Torn from her home. Ruthlessly dragged, perhaps, from
her evening devotions, by the hands of a relentless barbarian.
Could she forgive him?
He dashed frantically up the stairs. He opened the door. She was
standing beside his couch with averted face.
A strange giddiness overtook him. He sank upon his knees at the
--Pardon, pardon. My angel, can you forgive me?
A terrible nausea now seemed added to the fearful giddiness. His
utterance grew thick and sluggish.
--Speak, speak, enchantress. Forgiveness is all I ask. My Love,
She did not answer. He staggered to his feet. As he rose, his
eyes fell on the pan of burning charcoal. A terrible suspicion
flashed across his mind. This giddiness,--this nausea. The
ignorance of the barbarian. This silence. O merciful heavens! she
He crawled toward her. He touched her. She fell forward with a
lifeless sound upon the floor. He uttered a piercing shriek, and
threw himself beside her.
* * * * *
A file of gendarmes, accompanied by the Chef Burke, found him the
next morning lying lifeless upon the floor. They laughed
brutally,--these cruel minions of the law,--and disengaged his arm
from the waist of the wooden dummy which they had come to reclaim
for the mantuamaker.
Emptying a few bucketfuls of water over his form, they finally
succeeded in robbing him, not only of his mistress, but of that
Death he had coveted without her.
Ah! we live in a strange world, Messieurs.
AFTER THE FRENCH OF VICTOR HUGO.
As long as there shall exist three paradoxes, a moral Frenchman, a
religious Atheist, and a believing sceptic; so long, in fact, as
booksellers shall wait--say twenty-five years--for a new gospel; so
long as paper shall remain cheap and ink three sous a bottle, I
have no hesitation in saying that such books as these are not
To be good is to be queer. What is a good man? Bishop Myriel.
My friend, you will possibly object to this. You will say you know
what a good man is. Perhaps you will say your clergyman is a good
man, for instance.
Bah! you are mistaken; you are an Englishman, and an Englishman is
Englishmen think they are moral when they are only serious. These
Englishmen also wear ill-shaped hats, and dress horribly!
Bah! they are canaille.
Still, Bishop Myriel was a good man,--quite as good as you. Better
than you, in fact.
One day M. Myriel was in Paris. This angel used to walk about the
streets like any other man. He was not proud, though fine-looking.
Well, three gamins de Paris called him bad names. Says one:--
"Ah, mon Dieu! there goes a priest; look out for your eggs and
What did this good man do? He called to them kindly.
"My children," said he, "this is clearly not your fault. I
recognize in this insult and irreverence only the fault of your
immediate progenitors. Let us pray for your immediate
They knelt down and prayed for their immediate progenitors.
The effect was touching.
The Bishop looked calmly around.
"On reflection," said he, gravely, "I was mistaken; this is clearly
the fault of Society. Let us pray for Society."
They knelt down and prayed for Society.
The effect was sublimer yet. What do you think of that? You, I
Everybody remembers the story of the Bishop and Mother Nez
Retrousse. Old Mother Nez Retrouse sold asparagus. She was poor;
there's a great deal of meaning in that word, my friend. Some
people say "poor but honest." I say, Bah!
Bishop Myriel bought six bunches of asparagus. This good man had
one charming failing; he was fond of asparagus. He gave her a
franc and received three sous change.
The sous were bad,--counterfeit. What did this good Bishop do? He
said: "I should not have taken change from a poor woman."
Then afterwards, to his housekeeper: "Never take change from a poor
Then he added to himself: "For the sous will probably be bad."
When a man commits a crime, society claps him in prison. A prison
is one of the worst hotels imaginable. The people there are low
and vulgar. The butter is bad, the coffee is green. Ah, it is
In prison, as in a bad hotel, a man soon loses, not only his
morals, but what is much worse to a Frenchman, his sense of
refinement and delicacy.
Jean Valjean came from prison with confused notions of society. He
forgot the modern peculiarities of hospitality. So he walked off
with the Bishop's candlesticks.
Let us consider: candlesticks were stolen; that was evident.
Society put Jean Valjean in prison; that was evident, too. In
prison, Society took away his refinement; that is evident,
Who is Society?
You and I are Society.
My friend, you and I stole those candlesticks!
The Bishop thought so, too. He meditated profoundly for six days.
On the morning of the seventh he went to the Prefecture of Police.
He said: "Monsieur, have me arrested. I have stolen candlesticks."
The official was governed by the law of Society, and refused.
What did this Bishop do?
He had a charming ball and chain made, affixed to his leg, and wore
it the rest of his life.
This is a fact!
Love is a mystery.
A little friend of mine down in the country, at Auvergne, said to
me one day: "Victor, Love is the world,--it contains everything."
She was only sixteen, this sharp-witted little girl, and a
beautiful blonde. She thought everything of me.
Fantine was one of those women who do wrong in the most virtuous
and touching manner. This is a peculiarity of French grisettes.
You are an Englishman, and you don't understand. Learn, my friend,
learn. Come to Paris and improve your morals.
Fantine was the soul of modesty. She always wore high-neck
dresses. High-neck dresses are a sign of modesty.
Fantine loved Tholmoyes. Why? My God! What are you to do? It
was the fault of her parents, and she hadn't any. How shall you
teach her? You must teach the parent if you wish to educate the
child. How would you become virtuous?
Teach your grandmother!
When Tholmoyes ran away from Fantine,--which was done in a
charming, gentlemanly manner,--Fantine became convinced that a
rigid sense of propriety might look upon her conduct as immoral.
She was a creature of sensitiveness,--and her eyes were opened.
She was virtuous still, and resolved to break off the liaison at
So she put up her wardrobe and baby in a bundle. Child as she was,
she loved them both. Then left Paris.
Fantine's native place had changed.
M. Madeline--an angel, and inventor of jet work--had been teaching
the villagers how to make spurious jet.
This is a progressive age. Those Americans,--children of the
West,--they make nutmegs out of wood.
I, myself, have seen hams made of pine, in the wigwams of those
children of the forest.
But civilization has acquired deception too. Society is made up of
deception. Even the best French society.
Still there was one sincere episode.
The French Revolution!
M. Madeline was, if anything, better than Myriel.
M. Myriel was a saint. M. Madeline a good man.
M. Myriel was dead. M. Madeline was living.
That made all the difference.
M. Madeline made virtue profitable. I have seen it written:--
"Be virtuous and you will be happy."
Where did I see this written? In the modern Bible? No. In the
Koran? No. In Rousseau? No. Diderot? No. Where then?
In a copy-book.
M. Madeline was M. le Maire.
This is how it came about.
For a long time he refused the honor. One day an old woman,
standing on the steps, said:--
"Bah, a good mayor is a good thing.
"You are a good thing.
"Be a good mayor."
This woman was a rhetorician. She understood inductive
When this good M. Madeline, whom the reader will perceive must have
been a former convict, and a very bad man, gave himself up to
justice as the real Jean Valjean, about this same time, Fantine was
turned away from the manufactory, and met with a number of losses
from society. Society attacked her, and this is what she lost:--
First her lover.
Then her child.
Then her place.
Then her hair.
Then her teeth.
Then her liberty.
Then her life.
What do you think of society after that? I tell you the present
social system is a humbug.
This is necessarily the end of Fantine. There are other things
that will be stated in other volumes to follow. Don't be alarmed;
there are plenty of miserable people left.
Au revoir--my friend.
AFTER THE FRENCH OF M. MICHELET.
WOMEN AS AN INSTITUTION.
"If it were not for women, few of us would at present be in
existence." This is the remark of a cautious and discreet writer.
He was also sagacious and intelligent.
Woman! Look upon her and admire her. Gaze upon her and love her.
If she wishes to embrace you, permit her. Remember she is weak and
you are strong.
But don't treat her unkindly. Don't make love to another woman
before her face, even if she be your wife. Don't do it. Always be
polite, even should she fancy somebody better than you.
If your mother, my dear Amadis, had not fancied your father better
than somebody, you might have been that somebody's son. Consider
this. Always be a philosopher, even about women.
Few men understand women. Frenchmen, perhaps, better than any one
else. I am a Frenchman.
She is a child--a little thing--an infant.
She has a mother and father. Let us suppose, for example, they are
married. Let us be moral if we cannot be happy and free--they are
married--perhaps--they love one another--who knows?
But she knows nothing of this; she is an infant--a small thing--a
She is not lovely at first. It is cruel, perhaps, but she is red,
and positively ugly. She feels this keenly and cries. She weeps.
Ah, my God, how she weeps! Her cries and lamentations now are
Tears stream from her in floods. She feels deeply and copiously
like M. Alphonse de Lamartine in his Confessions.
If you are her mother, Madame, you will fancy worms; you will
examine her linen for pins, and what not. Ah, hypocrite! you, even
YOU, misunderstand her.
Yet she has charming natural impulses. See how she tosses her
dimpled arms. She looks longingly at her mother. She has a
language of her own. She says, "goo goo," and "ga ga."
She demands something--this infant!
She is faint, poor thing. She famishes. She wishes to be
restored. Restore her, Mother!
It is the first duty of a mother to restore her child!
She is hardly able to walk; she already totters under the weight of
It is a charming and elegant affair. It has pink cheeks and
purple-black hair. She prefers brunettes, for she has already,
with the quick knowledge of a French infant, perceived she is a
blonde, and that her doll cannot rival her. Mon Dieu, how
touching! Happy child! She spends hours in preparing its toilet.
She begins to show her taste in the exquisite details of its dress.
She loves it madly, devotedly. She will prefer it to bonbons. She
already anticipates the wealth of love she will hereafter pour out
on her lover, her mother, her father, and finally, perhaps, her
This is the time the anxious parent will guide these first
outpourings. She will read her extracts from Michelet's L'Amour,
Rousseau's Heloise, and the Revue des deux Mondes.
THE MUD PIE.
She was in tears to-day.
She had stolen away from her bonne and was with some rustic
infants. They had noses in the air, and large, coarse hands and
They had seated themselves around a pool in the road, and were
fashioning fantastic shapes in the clayey soil with their hands.
Her throat swelled and her eyes sparkled with delight as, for the
first time, her soft palms touched the plastic mud. She made a
graceful and lovely pie. She stuffed it with stones for almonds
and plums. She forgot everything. It was being baked in the solar
rays, when madame came and took her away.
She weeps. It is night, and she is weeping still.
HER FIRST LOVE.
She no longer doubts her beauty. She is loved. She saw him
secretly. He is vivacious and sprightly. He is famous. He has
already had an affair with Finfin, the fille de chambre, and poor
Finfin is desolate. He is noble. She knows he is the son of
Madame la Baronne Couturiere. She adores him.
She affects not to notice him. Poor little thing! Hippolyte is
distracted--annihilated--inconsolable and charming.
She admires his boots, his cravat, his little gloves his exquisite
pantaloons--his coat, and cane.
She offers to run away with him. He is transported, but
magnanimous. He is wearied, perhaps. She sees him the next day
offering flowers to the daughter of Madame la Comtesse
She is again in tears.
She reads Paul et Virginie. She is secretly transported. When she
reads how the exemplary young woman laid down her life rather than
appear en deshabille to her lover, she weeps again. Tasteful and
virtuous Bernardine de St. Pierre!--the daughters of France admire
All this time her doll is headless in the cabinet. The mud pie is
broken on the road.
She is tired of loving and she marries.
Her mother thinks it, on the whole, the best thing. As the day
approaches, she is found frequently in tears. Her mother will not
permit the affianced one to see her, and he makes several attempts
to commit suicide.
But something happens. Perhaps it is winter, and the water is
cold. Perhaps there are not enough people present to witness his
In this way her future husband is spared to her. The ways of
Providence are indeed mysterious. At this time her mother will
talk with her. She will offer philosophy. She will tell her she
was married herself.
But what is this new and ravishing light that breaks upon her? The
toilet and wedding clothes! She is in a new sphere.
She makes out her list in her own charming writing. Here it is.
Let every mother heed it.*
* * * * *
* * * * *
She is married. On the day after, she meets her old lover,
Hippolyte. He is again transported.
* The delicate reader will appreciate the omission of certain
articles for which English synonymes are forbidden.
HER OLD AGE.
A Frenchwoman never grows old.
A SOUTHERN NOVEL.
AFTER BELLE BOYD.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY G. A. S--LA.
"Will you write me up?"
The scene was near Temple Bar. The speaker was the famous rebel
Mary McGillup,--a young girl of fragile frame, and long, lustrous
black hair. I must confess that the question was a peculiar one,
and, under the circumstances, somewhat puzzling. It was true I had
been kindly treated by the Northerners, and, though prejudiced
against them, was to some extent under obligations to them. It was
true that I knew little or nothing of American politics, history,
or geography. But when did an English writer ever weigh such
trifles? Turning to the speaker, I inquired with some caution the
amount of pecuniary compensation offered for the work.
"Sir!" she said, drawing her fragile form to its full height, "you
insult me,--you insult the South."
"But look ye here, d'ye see--the tin--the blunt--the ready--the
stiff; you know. Don't ye see, we can't do without that, you
It shall be contingent on the success of the story," she answered
haughtily. "In the mean time take this precious gem." And drawing
a diamond ring from her finger, she placed it with a roll of MSS.
in my hands and vanished.
Although unable to procure more than L1 2s. 6 d. from an
intelligent pawnbroker to whom I stated the circumstances and with
whom I pledged the ring, my sympathies with the cause of a
downtrodden and chivalrous people were at once enlisted. I could
not help wondering that in rich England, the home of the oppressed
and the free, a young and lovely woman like the fair author of
those pages should be obliged to thus pawn her jewels--her marriage
gift--for the means to procure her bread! With the exception of
the English aristocracy,--who much resemble them,--I do not know of
a class of people that I so much admire as the Southern planters.
May I become better acquainted with both!
Since writing the above, the news of Mr. Lincoln's assassination
has reached me. It is enough for me to say that I am dissatisfied
with the result. I do not attempt to excuse the assassin. Yet
there will be men who will charge this act upon the chivalrous
South. This leads me to repeat a remark once before made by me in
this connection which has become justly celebrated. It is this:--
"It is usual, in cases of murder, to look for the criminal among
those who expect to be benefited by the crime. In the death of
Lincoln, his immediate successor in office alone receives the
benefit of his dying."
If her Majesty Queen Victoria were assassinated, which Heaven
forbid, the one most benefited by her decease would, of course, be
his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, her immediate successor.
It would be unnecessary to state that suspicion would at once point
to the real culprit, which would of course be his Royal Highness.
This is logic.
But I have done. After having thus stated my opinion in favor of
the South, I would merely remark that there is One who judgeth all
things,--who weigheth the cause between brother and brother,--and
awardeth the perfect retribution; and whose ultimate decision I, as
a British subject, have only anticipated.
G. A. S.
Every reader of Belle Boyd's narrative will remember an allusion to
a "lovely, fragile-looking girl of nineteen," who rivalled Belle
Boyd in devotion to the Southern cause, and who, like her, earned
the enviable distinction of being a "rebel spy."
I am that "fragile" young creature. Although on friendly terms
with the late Miss Boyd, now Mrs. Hardinge, candor compels me to
state that nothing but our common politics prevents me from
exposing the ungenerous spirit she has displayed in this allusion.
To be dismissed in a single paragraph after years of-- But I
anticipate. To put up with this feeble and forced acknowledgment
of services rendered would be a confession of a craven spirit,
which, thank God, though "fragile" and only "nineteen," I do not
possess. I may not have the "blood of a Howard" in my veins, as
some people, whom I shall not disgrace myself by naming, claim to
have, but I have yet to learn that the race of McGillup ever yet
brooked slight or insult. I shall not say that attention in
certain quarters seems to have turned SOME PEOPLE'S heads; nor that
it would have been more delicate if certain folks had kept quiet on
the subject of their courtship, and the rejection of certain
offers, when it is known that their forward conduct was all that
procured them a husband! Thank heaven, the South has some
daughters who are above such base considerations! While nothing
shall tempt me to reveal the promises to share equally the fame of
certain enterprises, which were made by one who shall now be
nameless, I have deemed it only just to myself to put my own
adventures upon record. If they are not equal to those of another
individual, it is because, though "fragile," my education has
taught me to have some consideration for the truth. I am done.
I was born in Missouri. My dislike for the Northern scum was
inherent. This was shown, at an early age, in the extreme distaste
I exhibited for Webster's spelling-book,--the work of a well-known
Eastern Abolitionist. I cannot be too grateful for the
consideration shown by my chivalrous father,--a gentleman of the
old school,--who resisted to the last an attempt to introduce
Mitchell's Astronomy and Geography into the public school of our
district. When I state that this same Mitchell became afterward a
hireling helot in the Yankee Army, every intelligent reader will
appreciate the prophetic discrimination of this true son of the
I was eight years old when I struck the first blow for Southern
freedom against the Northern Tyrant. It is hardly necessary to
state that in this instance the oppressor was a pale, overworked
New England "schoolmarm." The principle for which I was
contending, I felt, however, to be the same. Resenting an affront
put upon me, I one day heaved a rock* at the head of the Vandal
schoolmistress. I was seized and overpowered. My pen falters as I
reach the climax. English readers will not give credit to this
sickening story,--the civilized world will avert its head,--but I,
Mary McGillup, was publicly SPANKED!
* NOTE, BY G. A. S.--In the Southwest, any stone larger than a pea
is termed "a rock."
But the chaotic vortex of civil war approached, and fell
destruction, often procrastinated, brooded in storm.* As the
English people may like to know what was really the origin of the
rebellion, I have no hesitation in giving them the true and only
cause. Slavery had nothing to do with it, although the violation
of the Declaration of Independence, in the disregard by the North
of the Fugitive Slave Law,** might have provoked a less fiery
people than the Southrons. At the inception of the struggle a
large amount of Southern indebtedness was held by the people of the
North. To force payment from the generous but insolvent debtor--to
obtain liquidation from the Southern planter--was really the
soulless and mercenary object of the craven Northerners. Let the
common people of England look to this. Let the improvident
literary hack; the starved impecunious Grub Street debtor; the
newspaper frequenter of sponging-houses, remember this in their
criticisms of the vile and slavish Yankee.
* I make no pretension to fine writing, but perhaps Mrs. Hardinge
can lay over that. O, of course! M. McG.
** The Declaration of Independence grants to each subject "the
pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness." A fugitive slave may be
said to personify "life, liberty, and happiness." Hence his
pursuit is really legal. This is logic. G. A. S.
The roasting of an Abolitionist, by a greatly infuriated community,
was my first taste of the horrors of civil war. Heavens! Why will
the North persist in this fratricidal warfare? The expulsion of
several Union refugees, which soon followed, now fairly plunged my
beloved State in the seething vortex.
I was sitting at the piano one afternoon, singing that stirring
refrain, so justly celebrated, but which a craven spirit, unworthy
of England, has excluded from some of her principal restaurants,
and was dwelling with some enthusiasm on the following line:--
"Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!"
when a fragment of that scum, clothed in that detestable blue
uniform which is the symbol of oppression, entered the apartment.
"I have the honor of addressing the celebrated rebel spy, Miss
McGillup," said the Vandal officer.
In a moment I was perfectly calm. With the exception of slightly
expectorating twice in the face of the minion, I did not betray my
agitation. Haughtily, yet firmly, I replied:--
"You looked as if you might be," the brute replied, as he turned on
his heel to leave the apartment.
In an instant I threw myself before him. "You shall not leave here
thus," I shrieked, grappling him with an energy which no one,
seeing my frail figure, would have believed. "I know the
reputation of your hireling crew. I read your dreadful purpose in
your eye. Tell me not that your designs are not sinister. You
came here to insult me,--to kiss me, perhaps. You sha'n't,--you
naughty man. Go away!"
The blush of conscious degradation rose to the cheek of the Lincoln
hireling as he turned his face away from mine.
In an instant I drew my pistol from my belt, which, in anticipation
of some such outrage, I always carried, and shot him.
"Thy forte was less to act than speak,
Thy politics were changed each week,
With Northern Vandals thou wast meek,
With sympathizers thou wouldst shriek,
I know thee--O, 'twas like thy cheek!
Maryland! my Maryland!"
After committing the act described in the preceding chapter, which
every English reader will pardon, I went up stairs, put on a clean
pair of stockings, and, placing a rose in my lustrous black hair,
proceeded at once to the camp of Generals Price and Mosby to put
them in possession of information which would lead to the
destruction of a portion of the Federal Army. During a great part
of my flight I was exposed to a running fire from the Federal
pickets of such coarse expressions as, "Go it, Sally Reb," "Dust
it, my Confederate beauty," but I succeeded in reaching the
glorious Southern camp uninjured.
In a week afterwards I was arrested, by a lettre de cachet of Mr.
Stanton, and placed in the Bastile. British readers of my story
will express surprise at these terms, but I assure them that not
only these articles but tumbrils, guillotines, and conciergeries
were in active use among the Federals. If substantiation be
required, I refer to the Charleston Mercury, the only reliable
organ, next to the New York Daily News, published in the country.
At the Bastile I made the acquaintance of the accomplished and
elegant author of Guy Livingstone,* to whom I presented a curiously
carved thigh-bone of a Union officer, and from whom I received the
following beautiful acknowledgment:--
"Demoiselle:--Should I ever win hame to my ain countrie, I make
mine avow to enshrine in my reliquaire this elegant bijouterie and
offering of La Belle Rebelle. Nay, methinks this fraction of man's
anatomy were some compensation for the rib lost by the 'grand old
* The recent conduct of Mr. Livingstone renders him unworthy of my
notice. His disgusting praise of Belle Boyd, and complete ignoring
of my claims, show the artfulness of some females and puppyism of
some men. M. McG.
Released at last from durance vile and placed on board of an Erie
canal-boat, on my way to Canada, I for a moment breathed the sweets
of liberty. Perhaps the interval gave me opportunity to indulge in
certain reveries which I had hitherto sternly dismissed. Henry
Breckinridge Folair, a consistent copperhead, captain of the canal-
boat, again and again pressed that suit I had so often rejected.
It was a lovely moonlight night. We sat on the deck of the gliding
craft. The moonbeam and the lash of the driver fell softly on the
flanks of the off horse, and only the surging of the tow-rope broke
the silence. Folair's arm clasped my waist. I suffered it to
remain. Placing in my lap a small but not ungrateful roll of
checkerberry lozenges, he took the occasion to repeat softly in my
ear the words of a motto he had just unwrapped--with its graceful
covering of the tissue paper--from a sugar almond. The heart of
the wicked little rebel, Mary McGillup, was won!
The story of Mary McGillup is done. I might have added the journal
of my husband, Henry Breckinridge Folair, but as it refers chiefly
to his freights, and a schedule of his passengers, I have been
obliged, reluctantly, to suppress it.
It is due to my friends to say that I have been requested not to
write this book. Expressions have reached my ears, the reverse of
complimentary. I have been told that its publication will probably
insure my banishment for life. Be it so. If the cause for which I
labored have been subserved, I am content.
LONDON, May, 1865.