Part 4 out of 4
feel and react against the passions she evoked, and were competent to
warn her of the peril of her work. But as for Kitty--
Here was Hugh Guinness before her, a Cain with the curse of God
upon him. It was clearly her business to bring him back again to his
father, and afterward convert him into a member of the church, if
possible. She went about the work with as little doubt as if it had
been the making of a pudding.
But she was shy, tender, womanly withal. Doctor McCall laughed as
he looked down at her, and spoke deliberately, as though giving his
opinion of a patient to another physician. "I'll tell you honestly my
opinion of Hugh Guinness. He was, first of all, a thoroughly ordinary,
commonplace man, with neither great virtues nor great vices, nor force
of any kind. If he had had that, he could have recovered himself when
he began to fall. But he did not recover himself."
"What drove him down in the first place?"
He hesitated: "I suppose that his home and religion became hateful to
him. Boys have unreasonable prejudices at times."
"And then, in despair--"
"Despair? Nonsense! Now don't figure to yourself a romantic Hotspur of
a fellow rushing into hell because heaven's gate was shut on him.
At nineteen Hugh Guinness drank and fought and gambled, as
other ill-managed boys do to work off the rank fever of blood.
Unfortunately--" he stopped, and then added in a lower voice,
quickly, "he made a mistake while the fever was on him which was
"A mistake?" Kitty was always of an inquiring turn of mind, but now
she felt as if her curiosity was more than she could bear, while she
stood, her eyes passing over the burly figure in summer clothes and
the high-featured, pleasant face with its close-cut moustache. What
dreadful secret was hid behind this good-humored, every-day propriety
of linen duck, friendly eyes and reddish moustache over a mouth that
often smiled? You might meet their like any day upon the streets. Was
it a murder? At best some crime, perhaps, which had sent him to
the penitentiary. Or--and church taught Kitty shuddered as a vague
remembrance of the "unpardonable sin" rose before her like an actual
horror. Whatever it was, it stood between herself and him, keeping
them apart for ever.
"Irretrievable?" she said. It was only curiosity, she knew, but her
voice sounded oddly far off to herself, the room was hazy, her whole
body seemed to shrink together.
"What can it matter to you? You belong to another man, Miss Vogdes."
She lifted herself erect. Doctor McCall was speaking more loudly than
usual and looking keenly into her face.
"I know: I shall be Mr. Muller's wife. Of course, I recollect. But
you--this Hugh Guinness is my father's son," stammered Kitty, her face
very white. "I had some interest in him."
"Yes, that's true. He is, as you say, in some sort a brother of
yours." He took her hand for the first time, looking down at her face
with some meaning in his own, inexplicable, very likely, to himself,
though the thoughts in Kitty's shallow brain were clear enough to him.
"You are tired of standing," seating her gently in Peter's chair. A
thick lock of hair had fallen over her face: he put out his hand
to remove it, but drew back quickly. "We have talked too long, Miss
Vogdes," in a brisk, cheerful tone. "Some other time, perhaps, we can
return to this question of Hugh Guinness. That is," with a certain
significance of manner, "if it be one in which Mr. Muller wishes you
to take an interest." Nodding good-humoredly to her, he buttoned on
his oilskin cape and went out into the rain without another word. He
pulled off his cap outside to let the rain and wind reach his head,
drawing a long breath as if to get rid of some foul air and heat.
Of all that wet August the next morning was the freshest and
cheerfulest. Doctor McCall had packed his valise, carried it to the
station, and was now walking up the street, his hands clasped behind
him and his head down, after the leisurely fashion of Delaware and
Jersey farmers. People nodded an approving good-morning to him.
Busy Berrytown had passed verdict on him as a man who was idle for a
purpose, who permitted his brain to lie fallow, and who "loafed
and invited his soul" during these two weeks for the best spiritual
"Too much brain-work, my friend Doctor Maria Muller tells me," said
the lawyer, De Camp, to a group of men at the station as McCall passed
them. "Is here for repose."
"Advanced?" said little Herr Bluhm, the phrenologist.
"Well, no. But Doctor Maria thinks his mind is open to conviction,
and that he would prove a strong worker should he remain here. She
has already begun to enlighten him on our newest theories as to a
Spontaneous Creation and a Consolidated Republic."
"Should think his properer study would be potatoes. Smells of the
barn-yard in his talk," rejoined one of the party.
"Doctor Maria's a fool!" snapped Bluhm. "She has read the index to
Bastian's book, and denies her Creator, and gabbles of Bacteria,
boiled and unboiled, ever since."
Doctor McCall meanwhile went down the cinder-path, to all passers-by
a clean-shaven, healthy gentleman out in search of an appetite for
breakfast. But in reality he was deciding his whole life in that brief
walk. Why, he asked himself once or twice, should he be unlike the
other clean-shaven, healthy men that he met? God knows he had no
relish for mystery. He was, as he had told Kitty, a commonplace man, a
thrifty Delaware farmer, in hearty good-fellowship with his neighbors,
his cattle, the ground he tilled, and, he thought reverently, with
the God who had made him and them. He had made a mistake in his early
youth, but it was a mistake which every tenth man makes--which had no
doubt driven half these men and women about him into their visionary
creeds and hard work--that of an unhappy marriage. It was many years
since he had heard of his wife: she had grown tired of warning him of
the new paths of shame and crime she had found for herself. In fact,
the year in which they had lived together was now so long past as to
seem like a miserable half-forgotten dream.
Irretrievable? Yes, it was irretrievable. There was, first of all,
the stupid, boyish error of a change of name. If he came back as this
child wished, all the annoyance which that entailed would follow him,
and the humiliating circumstances which had led to it would be brought
to life from their unclean graves. His father believed him dead.
Better the quiet, softened grief which that had left than the disgrace
which would follow his return. "I should have to tell him my wife's
story," muttered McCall. But he did not turn pale nor break into a
cold sweat at the remembrance, as Miss Muller's hero should have done.
This was an old sore--serious enough, but one which he meant to make
the best of, according to his habit. He had been a fool, he thought,
to come back and hang about the old place for the pleasure of hearing
his father talked of, and of touching the things he had handled a day
or two before. Growing into middle age, Hugh Guinness's likeness to
his father had increased year by year. The two men were simple as boys
in some respects, and would have been satisfied alone together. The
younger man halted now on the foot-bridge which crossed the creek,
looking out the different hollows where his father had taken him to
fish when he was a boy, and thinking of their life then. "But his wife
and mine would have to be put into the scales now," with an attempt at
whistling which died out discordantly.
There was one person to whom the shameful confession of his marriage
must be made--Miss Muller. That was the result, he thought, of his
absurd whim of loitering about Berry town. When he had met Maria
Muller before, he had no reason to think she cared a doit whether he
was married or single. Now--McCall's color changed, alone as he was,
with shame and annoyance. With all his experience of life and of
women, he had as little self-confidence as an awkward girl. But Maria
had left him no room for doubt.
"It would be the right thing to do. I ought to tell her. But it will
be a slight matter to her, no doubt."
If he had been a single man, in all probability he would have asked
Maria Muller to marry him that day. He was a susceptible fellow, with
a man's ordinary vanity and passions; and Maria's bright sweet face,
their loiterings along shady lanes and under Bourbon roses, the
perpetual deference she paid to his stupendous intellect, had had due
effect. He was not the man to see a strong, beautiful woman turn pale
and tremble at his touch, and preserve his phlegm.
He threw away his cigar, and jumped the fence into the Water-cure
grounds. "I'll tell her now, and then be off from old Berry town for
Miss Muller was standing in the porch. She leaned over the railing,
looking at the ragged rain-clouds driven swiftly over the blue
distance, and at the wet cornfields and clumps of bay bushes gray with
berries which filled the damp air with their pungent smell. Her dog,
a little black-and-tan terrier, bit at her skirt. She had just been
lecturing to her three students on the vertebrae, and when she
took him up could not help fumbling over his bones, even while she
perceived the color and scent of the morning. They gave her so keen a
pleasure that the tears rushed to her eyes, and she stopped punching
"'The rain is over and gone,'" she recited softly to herself, "'the
vines with the tender grape give a good smell, and the time of the
singing of birds has come.' There is no poetry like that old Hebrew
love-song. If only it had not been hackneyed by being turned into a
theological allegory! Ha, doggy, doggy! There comes a friend of ours!"
suddenly laughing and hugging him as she caught sight of a large man
coming up the road with a swinging gait and loose white overcoat. She
broke off a rose and put it in her breast, tied on her hat and hurried
down to meet him, the Song of Solomon still keeping time with her
thoughts in a lofty cadence: "'Who is this that cometh up from the
wilderness leaning upon his beloved? Set me as a seal upon thine
heart, as a seal upon thine arm. For love is strong as death.'"
"What's that, Maria? I heard you intoning as I came up the hill?" Her
eyes were soft and luminous and her voice unsteady. I am afraid Doctor
McCall's eyes were warmer in their admiration than they should
have been under the circumstances. Why should she not tell him? She
repeated it. She had been chattering for two hours on cervical, dorsal
and lumbar vertebrae, without stopping to take breath. But she grew
red now and broke down miserably.
"'Love is strong as death,' eh?" said McCall, awkwardly holding the
gate open for her. "Friendship ought to be tough enough to bear a
pretty stout strain, then. Such friendship as ours, I mean. For I
think a man and woman can be friends without--without--Well, what do
you think, Maria?" feeling a sudden imbecility in all his big body.
The little woman beside him looked up scared and ready to cry: "I
don't know, John, I'm sure. Do be quiet, Hero!" Then like a flash she
saw that he meant to ask her to marry him: he meant to place love upon
the higher basis of friendship. Maria was used to people who found new
names for old things. Why! why! what folly was this, as she grew cold
and hot by turns? So often she had pictured his coming to claim her,
and how she would go out as one calm controlling soul should to meet
another, to be dual yet united through all eternity; and here she was
shivering and tongue-tied, like any silly school-girl! Love-making and
marriage were at a discount with the Advanced Club of which she was a
member, and classed with dancing, fashionable dressing and other such
paltry feminine frivolities. But Maria had meant to show them that a
woman could really love and marry, and preserve her own dignity. She
tried to find her footing now.
"Come into the summer-house, John. I should think our friendship would
bear any strain, for it does not depend on external ties."
"No, that's true. Now, as to your phalansteries and women's clubs and
sitz-baths, why that's all flummery to me. But young women must have
their whims until they have husbands to occupy their minds, I suppose.
There's that little girl at the Book-shop: how many leagues of tatting
do you suppose she makes in a year?"
"I really cannot say," sharply.
"But as to our friendship, Maria--"
"Yes. There may be a lack of external bonds" (speaking deliberately,
for she wanted to remember this crisis of her life as accurate in all
its minutiae); "but there is a primal unity, a mysterious sympathy, in
power and emotion. At least, so it seems to me," suddenly stammering
and picking up Hero to avoid looking at McCall, who stood in front of
"I don't know. Primal unities are rather hazy to me. I can tell by a
woman's eye and hand-shake if she is pure-minded and sweet-tempered,
and pretty well, too, what she thinks of me. That's about as far as I
"It pleases you to wear this mask of dullness, I know," with an
indulgent smile, with which Titania might have fondled the ass's head.
"But as to our friendship," gravely, "I feel I've hardly been fair
to you. Friendship demands candor, and there is one matter on which I
have not dealt plainly with you. You have been an honest, firm friend
to me, Maria. I had no right to withhold my confidence from you."
If Miss Muller had not been known as an advanced philosopher, basing
her life upon the Central Truths, she would have gained some credit
as a shrewd woman of business. "What do you mean, John?" she said,
turning a cool I steady countenance toward him.
"Sit down and I will tell you what I mean."
* * * * *
The patients, taking soon after their two hours' exercise, made their
jokes on the battle between the two systems, seeing the allopathist
McCall and Doctor Maria Haynes Muller in the summer-house engaged in
such long and earnest converse. Homoeopathy, they guessed, had the
worst of it, for the lady was visibly agitated and McCall apparently
unmoved. Indeed, when he left her and crossed the garden, nodding to
such of them as he knew, he had a satisfied, relieved face.
Maria went immediately in to visit her ward as usual. The patients
observed that she was milder than was her wont, and deadly pale.
One of them, addressing her as "Miss Muller," however, was sharply
rebuked: "I earned my right to the title of physician too hardly to
give it up for that which belongs to every simpering school-girl," she
said. "Besides," with a queer pitiful smile, "the sooner we doctors
sink the fact that we are women the better for the cause--and for us."
She met her brother in the course of the morning, and drew him into
"William," she said, fumbling with the buttons of his coat, "he is
going: he is going to take the afternoon train."
"Who? That fellow McCall?"
"Why do you speak so of him, William? He has just told me his story.
He is so wretched! he has been used so hardly!" She could scarcely
keep back the tears. In her new weakness and weariness it was such
comfort to talk to and hang upon this fat, stupid little brother, whom
usually she despised.
"Wretched, eh? He don't look it, then. As stout and easy-going a
fellow as I know. Come, come, Maria! The man has been imposing some
story on you to work on your sensibilities. I never fancied him, as
you know. He doesn't want to borrow money, eh?" with sudden alarm.
"What is it, then? Don't look at me in that dazed way. You, are going
to have one of your attacks. I do wish you had Kitty's constitution
and some sense."
"William," rousing herself, "he is going. He will never come back to
Berrytown or to me. Our whole lives depend on my seeing him once more.
Ask him to wait for a day--an hour."
"If he doesn't take the noon express, he can't go in an hour. You
certainly know that, Maria. Well, if I have to find him, I'd better go
at once," buttoning his coat irritably. "I never did like the fellow."
"Beg him to stay. Tell him that I have thought of a way of escape,"
following him, catching him by his sleeve, her small face absolutely
without color and her eyes glittering.
"Yes, I'm going. But I must find my overshoes first. It begins to look
Miss Muller watched him to the door, and then crossed the hall to her
own room, locking the door behind her. The square table was piled with
medical books. She sat down and dropped her head on her arms. Over
went a bound volume of the _Lancet_ and a folio on diseases of the
kidneys to the floor. She looked down at them. "And I was willing to
give him up for that--that trash!" sobbing and rubbing her arms like
a beaten child. But she had so strong a habit of talking that even in
this pain the words would come: "I loved him so. He would have married
me! And I must be kept from him by a law of society! It is--it is,"
rising and wrenching her hands together, "a damnable law!"
For Miss Muller had taught herself to think and talk like a man.
REBECCA HARDING DAVIS.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
A party of four Americans in London--Mr. Hill Bunker of Boston, Mrs.
Bunker, his wife, Miss Amy Abell of New York, and myself--we find
ourselves growing weary of that noisy town. We talk of a trip to the
country. It is the merry month of May.
"Just the time for 'bowery England, as Bulwer phrases it," says Amy.
"Let us go to Romsey and see the Boyces."
Carried unanimously. We take the train from the Waterloo Station
two hours later. When we get down at Romsey, "Fly, sir?" asks the
attentive porter--carries our luggage, calls the fly and touches
his hat thankfully for three-pence. The Romsey fly is a lumbering,
two-seated carriage, rather more pretentious than a London cab, but
far behind the glossy gorgeousness of a New York hackney-coach.
A short drive brings us to the White Horse Inn, under whose covered
arch we roll, and are met at the door by a maid. She conducts us to
a stuffy coffee-room up a flight of crumbling old stairs, and meekly
desires to know our will.
"Send the landlord, please."
The landlord comes, bowing low, and we make inquiries concerning the
distance to Paultons, the estate where the Boyces have been spending
the summer, and where we venture to hope they still are. He says it
is a matter of four miles, and that we can have a fly over for six
shillings. We order the fly to be got ready at once, and inquire if we
can have dinner now, it being late in the afternoon.
"Yes, sir," he replies. "Would you like some chicken and
"How long will they be in cooking?"
"Matter of arf an hour, sir."
As this means a matter of an hour, I ask if he can't get us up
something in a shorter time. He suggests that chops can be cooked
"Chops be it, then. In the words of the immortal Pickwick, chops and
"No tomarter sauce, sir," with profound gravity.
"Sparrowgrass, then--chops and sparrowgrass."
He retires, and we all rush to the windows and look out upon the
quaint old village--a curious, old-fashioned scene. We feel as if
we had somehow become transmogrified, and instead of being
flesh-and-blood men and women from practical New York, were playing
our parts in some old English novel. Odd little tumble-down houses,
with peaked roofs and mullioned windows, ranged about a triangular
common, look sleepily out upon a statue of Palmerston in the middle of
the open place, the gray walls of Romsey Abbey, a thousand years old,
against the blue sky behind them.
About six o'clock our fly is at the door, and we are off, rattling
through the ancient streets into the smooth open country. Oh the
quaint, delightful old hedge-lined road, deep down below the level
of the fields on either side--a green lane shut in with fragrance and
delicious quiet! The hedges, perched upon the bank, tower high above
our heads, and there is no break in them save at rustic gates. We meet
characters on the road who have just stepped out of Trollope's novels.
A young man and girl stand on a bridge across which we trundle,
leaning companionably on the old stone parapet, and looking up the
little river through a long avenue of trees to the pillared mansion of
"Broadlands." A laborer, with a gay flower stuck in the buttonhole
of his smock-frock, goes whistling along the brown road under the
hedgerows. A country gentleman, driving alone in a basket phaeton,
looks inquisitively at our half-closed windows as if expecting the
sight of an acquaintance. Crumbling milestones stand by the wayside,
with deep-cut letters so smoothed by the hand of time that we cannot
read them as we pass. Flowers grow thick in the hedgerows. A boy is
lolling on the green grass in front of a cottage door--an uncombed
English hind, with a face of rustic simplicity and stolid ignorance.
At last we come to a gate which bars the road. The driver gets down
and opens it, and when we have passed through in the fly he tells us
we are now on Mr. Stanley's broad estate of Paultons. The driver wears
corduroy trousers, and touches his hat every time we speak to him and
every time he answers. He does not merely touch it when he is first
addressed, but he touches it continually throughout the conversation.
Bunker considers his conduct extremely touching.
We are presently driving through a bosky wood, and the driver touches
his hat to remark that we are nearly there now, he thinks.
"But where is the bad road the landlord spoke of?"
"Bad road, sir?" touching hat.
"Yes: the landlord said we could not drive fast because the road was
bad. Where is it bad?"
"All along back of 'ere, sir," touching hat. "We have pahst the worst
of it naow, sir: the rest is not so 'illy, sir," touching hat.
"Hilly? We haven't passed over anything bigger than a knoll. If this
is what the landlord meant by a hilly road, it _is_ a rich joke. Why,
it's as smooth as a floor, almost."
"He should go to California," says Amy, who has feeling reminiscences.
"He should go to the Yosemite Valley, over the road which runs through
Chinese Camp and Hodgden's. Probably the man never saw a rough road in
his life. I doubt if there is such a thing in England."
After half an hour's trundling along the unfenced roads of this fine
old estate, crossing ancient stone bridges, rolling through leafy
groves, startling fat cattle from their browsing, getting a hat-touch
from a shepherd who is leading his flocks across the fields in true
pastoral style, we reach the manor-house, standing stately amid dells
and dingles, pollards of fantastic growth and patches of fern and
gorse. The Boyces have returned to Paris, but nurse and the children
are still at the gardener's house, and thither we drive along the
banks of a sylvan lake, beyond which the rooks are cawing about the
The old gardener is nurse's father, and though he is now so old that
he no longer does any work, he is maintained in comfort by the family
in whose service he has spent a lifetime. Forty years of honest
service in one family! No wonder he feels that his destiny is for ever
linked with that of the people who have been his masters, man and boy,
for forty years. He has a delightful little cottage with thatched roof
and mullioned windows, and pretty vines rioting all over it, and in
front of it a flower-garden full of early bloom. The lilacs which
grow about so profusely are not of the color of our lilacs in America,
being of a rich purple; we should not know they were lilacs but for
the familiar odor.
A delicious ride back to Romsey in the twilight, carrying two of the
Boyce children with us. In the evening I stroll out alone, to look at
the village in the moonlight. The streets are like narrow lanes. The
houses are very old, and for the most part dilapidated, but streets
and houses are all as clean and neat as wax. Presently I come upon
the old abbey, its rugged walls and towers looming solemnly in the
moonlight, and pass the parson's house near by, all overrun with
vines, thinking of Trollope again and Framley parsonage.
Before going back to the White Horse Inn I wander round the village
until I find that I am lost. The discovery is not very alarming in a
place so small as this, even at night. I resolve to turn every corner
to the left, and see what will come of it. I presently find that
getting out into the country comes of it; and having crossed a bridge
and come upon a silent brickyard, and seen the long road winding
away into the open country, I am reminded of Oliver Twist--or was
it Pip?--running away from home and trudging off under the stars to
London. Somehow, it seems this road must lead to London.
Turning about, but still walking at random and turning left-hand
corners, I presently see the abbey tower again, and make for it. The
street through which I pass is apparently the home of the British
working man. A light burning in any house is most rare. Occasionally a
man can be seen through the odd little windows, smoking a pipe by the
blaze of the fire on the hearth. Here are the abbey windows, and now
I know where I am. Down this narrow, winding street, across the open
place where Lord Palmerston stands stonily in the moonlight, and I am
at the White Horse Inn again.
At nine o'clock next morning there is a rap at the door of my room.
The door being opened a man-servant is discovered, who touches his
forehead (having no hat to touch) and says, "The ladies would like to
'ave you breakfast with them, sir."
He is so very respectful in his manner of saying this that he is
inaudible, and being asked what he said, repeats the touching his
forehead and then repeats his words.
There are no muffins at breakfast--a fact which I record merely
because this is the first time since we have been in England that this
peculiarly English dish has been omitted at breakfast. It appears on
inquiry that muffins are a luxury of large towns. In villages they
are rarely obtainable at less than about a week's notice. In fact, you
can't get anything to eat, of any sort, without pretty liberal notice.
After breakfast we go to see the old abbey. It is an imposing and
well-preserved pile. It was founded by Ethelwold, a thane--one of
those righting, praying, thieving old rascals who lived in the tenth
century, and made things lively for any one who went past their houses
with money on his person. When Ethelwold had stolen an unusually large
sum one day, he founded the monastery and stocked it with nuns. It
was but a wooden shanty at first, but after having served till it was
worm-eaten and rotting with age, it was torn down and a fine stone
convent was built.
We walk about in that part of the abbey which is free from pews--by
far the larger part--and stare at the monumental stones let into the
floor and walls. If we did not know that Romsey had been the home
of Palmerston, we should learn it now, for these stones are thickly
covered with the legends of virtue in his family--wives, sisters, sons
and so forth, whose remains lie "in the vault beneath." After perusing
these numerous testimonials to the truly wonderful virtues of an
aristocracy whom we are permitted to survive, and after dropping some
shillings in the charity-box, which rather startle us by the noise
they make, we pass out of the cool abbey into the hot churchyard, and
read on a lonely stone which stands in a corner by the gate that
here lies the dust of Mary Ann Brown, "for thirty-five years faithful
servant to Mr. Appleford." Mary Ann no doubt had other virtues, but
they are not recorded: this is sufficient for a servant.
An hour's ride on the velvet cushions of a railway carriage brings us,
with our Paultons friends, the Boyce boys, to Southampton, which was
an old town when King Canute was young. We take rooms at a pretentious
marble hotel with a mansard roof, attached to the station--a railroad
hotel, in fact, but strikingly unlike that institution as we know it
in America. Wide halls, solid stone staircases, gorgeous coffee-room,
black-coated waiters, and the inevitable buxom landlady with a
regiment of blooming daughters for assistants--one presiding over the
accounts, another officiating at the beer-pumps, a third to answer
questions, and all very much under the influence of their back hair
and other charms of person. One of them alleviates the monotony of the
office duties by working at embroidery in bright worsteds.
Strolling out, Bunker and I consult certain shabby worthies who are
yawning on the boxes of a long line of wretched hacks drawn up by the
sidewalk across the street, and find that we can charter a vehicle for
two shillings an hour. These cabbies have more nearly the air of our
own noble hackmen than any we have seen in England. Americans are no
novelty to them, for ship-loads of American tourists are put off here
at frequent intervals, and the cabbies have a thin imitation of
the voting hackman's independence. They stop short, however, of his
impudence. They are lazy, but they touch their hats occasionally.
We choose two of the tumble-down vehicles and go after the ladies. My
driver is an elderly man with a hat which has seen better days, and
I have chosen his hack, not because it is less likely to drop off
its wheels than the others, but because he himself looks like a seedy
Bohemian. He proves to be a very intelligent fellow, with a ready turn
for description which serves him in good stead whenever his horse gets
tired of walking and stops short. At such times our Bohemian pretends
that he has stopped the horse himself in order to point out and
comment upon some curious thing in the immediate vicinity.
It is pleasant driving. The hack is open, and we hoist sun-umbrellas
and look about comfortably. Presently the weary horse stops in the
middle of the street.
"'Ere you are, sir," says Cabby briskly, turning half round on his box
and pointing to an old stone structure which stretches quite across
the High street. "This 'ere is the old Bar Gate, sir, one of the
hancient gates of the town. Part of the horiginal town wall. Was a
large ditch 'ere, sir, and another there, and a stone bridge betwixt
the two, and the young bucks in them days did use to practice harchery
right 'ere where you see the lamp-post. The Guild'all is _hin_ the
gate, sir, right hinside it, with a passage hup. I'll drive through
the harch, sir, and you'll see the hother side. Cluck!" (to the
On the other side, the horse not taking a notion to stop again, the
driver is not forced to resume his remarks. Turning about as we pass
on, we look up at the old Norman gate-tower, with its handsome archway
and projecting buttresses, and Amy says she fancies she sees a knight
in armor looking out through the narrow crevice which may have been a
window in olden times. This, being an altogether proper fancy for the
place, is received with applause.
The next time the horse concludes to stop we are in the midst of what
is here called the Common--in fact, a magnificent old forest park,
with a smooth road running through it, and numberless winding paths in
among the bosky depths. I fancy Central Park might come to look like
this if allowed to go untrimmed and unfussed-over for two or three
"The Common, sir," says Cabby, turning about, "where King Chawles did
use to 'unt wild boars. Fav'rite walk of Halexander Pope, sir, the
poet, and Doctor Watts, which wrote the 'ymn-book. Cluck!"
From the top of a high hill a splendid wide landscape is seen, with
Romsey in the distance, and (the horse having stopped again) Cabby
points out Queen Elizabeth's shooting-box across the fields. In a lot
close by cricketers are at play, and a little farther on, where there
is a vine-covered beerhouse, a crowd of clod-hoppers are gathered in
a green field, looking at two of their number engaged in a
rough-and-tumble fight in their shirt-sleeves.
The road after this running down hill, the horse continues to jog
along for a considerable distance, stopping at last under a towering
old wall looking out on the sea.
"Wind Whistle Tower, sir," says Cabby, pointing up at a square tower
projecting from the old wall overhead, and above it the remains of
an old round tower thickly overrun with ivy. And, using his fingers
industriously, Cabby proceeds to call off the names of various castles
and towers here visible--notably, Prince Edward's Tower, bold and
round, from whose summit three men were looking down.
"What are those?" asks Bunker in the carriage behind us, pointing to
the old brass guns which sit on the wall like Humpty Dumpty.
"Them, sir," says Cabby, "was put there by 'Enry the Heighth, and this
'ere wall was the purtection of the town when the Frenchmen hassaulted
"Ho!" says Bunker, contemptuously. "Just fancy one of our ironclads
paying any attention to the barking of those popguns!"
Whereupon the horse starts again, and we go lazily on, Cabby dropping
in a word of enlightenment here and there to the effect that this old
tumble-down part of the ancient wall is the celebrated Arcade, which
formed part of the wall of the King's Palace; and this queer old lane
running up through the walls like a sewer is Cuckoo lane; and that is
Bugle street, where in olden times the warden blew; and here are the
remains of Canute's palace, with its elliptical and circular arches
and curious mouldings.
Discharging the cab in the High street, we walk about. In a shop where
we pause for a moment there is a quartette of half-naked barbarians,
such as, with all our boasted varieties of humanity, were never yet
seen in New York. We have abundant Chinese and Japanese there, and
occasionally an Arab or a Turk, and the word African means with us a
man and a brother behind our chair at dinner or wielding a razor in
a barber-shop. These men here are pure barbarians, just landed from a
vessel direct from Africa. Hideously tattooed, and their heads shaved
in regular ridges of black wool, with narrow patches of black scalp
between, they are here in a small tradesman's shop in bowery England
buying shirts. They know not a word of English, but chatter among
themselves the most horrible lingo known to the Hamitic group of
tongues. They grimace in a frightful manner, and skip and dance, and
writhe their half-naked bodies into the most exaggerated contortions
known to the language of signs. The dignified English salesmen are
at their wits' end how to treat them. The instinct of the British
shopkeeper fights desperately with his disposition to be shocked. From
the Ashantee gentlemen's gestures it can only be concluded that white
shirts are wanted, but when white shirts are shown the negroes make
furious objection to the plaited bosoms. They want shirts such as are
fashionable at home. It is easy to be seen that they are Dandy Jims
in Africa. They are all young, and, in a sense, spruce. One of them
carries a little switch cane, evidently just bought: while he examines
the shirts, testing the strength of the stuff by pulling it with his
two hands, he holds his cane between his bare legs for safe-keeping.
Sitting in the billiard-room of the hotel in the evening smoking our
cigars, Bunker and I are accosted by a brisk little man, who asks us
if we play billiards. Bunker doesn't. I do sometimes at home, but not
the English game.
"Oh, we play the 'Merican game too. 'Appy to play the 'Merican game
with you, sir."
"Try him a game," says Bunker. "It won't hurt you."
Not liking to refuse an invitation from a polite Englishman, who
appears to be a stranger here, I consent. This is billiard-room
etiquette the world over.
The cue is like a whip-stock. It positively runs down to a point not
bigger than a shirt-button, and it bends like a switch. The balls are
not much larger than marbles. To make up for this, the table is big
enough for a back yard, broad, high, dull of cushion, and with six
huge pockets. I am ignominiously beaten. My ball jumps like a living
thing. It hops off the table upon the floor at almost every shot, and
when it does not go on the floor it goes into one of the six yawning
pockets. The pockets bear the same relative proportion to the balls
that a tea-cup bears to a French pea. At the end of the game my ball
has been everywhere except where I intended it to go, and I have
"A hundred's the game," says the Englishman, putting up his cue. "One
I wonder if this is an English custom--to pay your victor a shilling,
instead of paying the keeper of the tables. But as there is no one
else to pay, I pay the Englishman. Bunker has fallen asleep in his
"Going on the Continent?" the Englishman asks.
"Not at present. We return to London first, and go from there."
"'Ave you got a guide?"
I am on the point of saying that guides are a nuisance I do not
tolerate, when the Englishman hands me a bit of paste-board. "There is
my card, sir," he says. "A. SHARPE, Interpreter and Courier." On the
opposite side I read--
SPEAKS SPRICHT PARLE PARLA
French, Franzoesich, Frangais, Francese,
German, Deutsch, Allemand, Tedesco,
Italian and Italienisch u. Italien et Italiano ed
English Englisch Anglais Inglese
fluently sehr gelaeufig. courrament. correntemente.
At present he has charge of this billiard-room, but he is ready to
follow me to the ends of the earth for a period of not less than three
months. I tell him I can get on without a guide.
"But I would go on the most reasonable terms. I would go for as low as
ten pounds a month and my expenses."
"Would you go for nothing?" Bunker wakes up and pops this out at him
so suddenly as to quite take his breath away.
He expands his hands at his trousers pockets, shrugs his shoulders and
looks volumes of reproach.
"Because," Bunker adds, in a soothing tone, "I shouldn't like to have
you along, even at that price."
He immediately goes to putting the room to rights.
"Horrible breath that man had," says Bunker when we come out: "did you
"Take that breath around with us on the Continent! Why, if he was in
Cologne itself, his breath would be in the majority."
I had my umbrella in the billiard-room, and next morning I can't find
it anywhere. At breakfast I ask the pompous head-waiter if he knows of
my umbrella. He states that he does not. After breakfast I look in the
billiard-room. It is not there. I go down to the office, and interrupt
the worsted work there in progress by requesting that a search be made
for my missing umbrella. The young lady whose ear I have gained
kindly condescends to call the porter, and turning me over to that
functionary returns to her worsted. The porter is respectful, but
doubtful. The moment he learns that the lost article is an umbrella
his manner is pervaded with a gentle hopelessness. He, however,
listens forbearingly to my story.
"And aboot what time was it, sir, when ye went ty bed?"
"About half-past eleven."
"Oh, then the night porter ull know of it, sir. He's abed now. I'll
ask him when he gets oop."
And so, when we go to Netley Abbey, I take a covered cab, because of
my lost umbrella. It was a beautiful umbrella to keep off the sun.
Nobody can make an umbrella like an Englishman. I should be sorry
to lose it. I bought it in Regent street only a few days ago, but I
already love it with a passionate affection.
Through the hot paved streets, over a floating bridge, past the
cliff at the river's mouth, through a shady grove of noble yews
and sycamores, past a picturesque hamlet full of vine-curtained and
straw-thatched cottages, through a forest of oaks and past a willow
copse, and there is the grand old ruin of Netley Abbey lifting its
picturesque and solemn fingers of ivy-hung stone above the tops of the
trees which surround and shelter it in its hoary age.
It is really curious how dramatically effective a grand old ruin is.
The weird sense of being in the presence of olden time comes over us
immediately. We look about us to see the spirit of some cloistered
monk come stealing by with hood and girdle. Here--actually here,
in these nooks all crumbling under Time's gnawing tooth--did old
Cistercian monks kneel with shaved heads and confess their sins, and
their bones have been powdered into dust three hundred years!
Romsey Abbey--within whose well-kept walls we rather yawned over
Palmerstonian eulogiums--is a thousand years old. This abbey is only
six hundred and thirty-two years old. Romsey has been restored, and
modern men go to church there on Sunday decorously. Netley has been
left to go to utter ruin. Grass grows in its long-drawn aisles. Owls
hoot in its moss-clothed chimneys. It is dramatically effective.
We wander through cloistered courts into the main body of the church.
Yonder stood the pulpit, here gathered the worshipers. The carpet is
green grass. Trees grow within the walls. Ivy clambers from side to
side of the tall windows, in place of the stained glass once there.
Most of the windows have tumbled to decay, walls and all. The roof is
the sky--naught else.
We climb up the stone staircase in the turret. All the stone steps are
worn with deep hollows where human feet have trodden up and down for
centuries, and storms have sent rivulets of water pouring through many
a wild night. Some of the steps are worn quite in two and broken away,
which makes the ascent frightening to the ladies.
Up here ("on the second floor," as Bunker says) the carpet is again
grass, and Bunker and I clamber through a little archway into the
cloister gallery, where the monks used to look down on the service
below when they felt inclined. The ladies look after us, brave
adventurers that we are (only two or three million men have been here
before us, perhaps, since the ruin became a popular success), and
refuse to follow in our rash footsteps. The crumbling wall is full of
owls' nests. Rooks and swallows fly continually in and out of their
holes. We could kick a loose stone down into the chancel if there were
any stones to kick.
The ladies declare themselves dizzy and afraid, and we help them down
the dark winding turret staircase again, and go into the enclosed
parts of the ruin. Here is where the monks lived. The walls still
stand, and parts of the roof. The windows are thickly ivy-hung and
moss-grown. Here is the room where the monks did whilom dine. For
three hundred years this dining-room was in daily use, and in the spot
where erst the dining-table stood now grows a stalwart tree, whose
branches tower and spread beyond the crumbling walls. Passing strange!
More strange is the sight in the next room, the chapter-house, where
the abbot held his gravest councils, and where the most honored of the
monks were buried beneath the floor when they died. And since the
roof fell in, after long battling with storms, perhaps a hundred years
after the last monk was buried, one day a seed fell. A tree grew up in
the room. It spread its tall branches high above the piled-up stones,
and shook its brown leaves down, autumn after autumn, for years and
years. It grew slowly old, and at last it died. It fell down in its
death in the room where it had grown, and its once sturdy trunk struck
against the old ruined walls and broke. Its roots were torn out of the
ground by the fall, and stuck up their gnarled fingers in the empty
room. And the grass grew over the roots, weaving a green cloak to hide
their nakedness. The old trunk stretches now across the space in the
room, and leans its old head against the abbey wall. I didn't read
this story in a guide-book. It was told to me by the principal actor,
In the abbot's kitchen we get into the huge hooded fireplace--seven
of us--and there is room for more. We look up the chimney and see
the glossy green ivy leaves overhead, and the blue sky shining beyond
them. We toss a pebble down into the subterranean passage where, they
say, the monks were wont to pass out after provisions during a time
of siege; which must have been somewhat demoralizing to the besiegers,
whoever they were. I stoop to pick up something in the grass of
the kitchen floor, which has a glitter of gold upon it, and my face
flushes with eager anticipation as I seize it.
"What have you found?" asks Amy.
"A relic of the monks?" asks Bunker.
"It's a champagne cork," I am forced to reply. "The truth is, Netley
Abbey is a show, like Niagara Falls and Bunker Hill Monument. Of
course crowds of tourists come here, and of course they pop champagne
and ginger beer, and cut their confounded initials in the venerable
"Yes," says Bunker, "I saw 'W.S.' cut in the wall at the top of the
turret stairs. Saves you the trouble, you know."
"I don't do that sort of thing, thank you."
Nevertheless, it was curious to see some nobody's name cut at full
length in the stone, with the date underneath--1770.
When we return to the hotel the night porter reports that he has not
found my umbrella. So I must go off without it. Our train leaves at
ten minutes past five this afternoon, and we shall be in London early
in the evening. It is now four o'clock: we have ordered dinner for
this hour, and so we sit down to our soup.
"Please give us our dinner without any delay now," I say to the
pompous head-waiter, "for we must take the train at ten minutes past
The man bows stiffly and retires. We finish the soup, and wait.
When we get tired of waiting we call the head-waiter to us: "Are you
hastening our dinner?"
"Fish directly, sir," he answers, and walks solemnly away. We begin to
grow fidgety. Fifteen minutes since the soup, and no fish yet. Bunker
swears he'll blow the head-waiter up in another minute. Just as he is
quite ready for this explosion the fish arrives. All hail! I lay it
"Why, it's not done!" I cry in consternation. "There, there! Take it
away, and bring the meat."
With an air of grave offence the man bears it solemnly out. Then we
wait again. And wait. And wait.
"Good gracious!" cries Bunker, "here's half an hour gone, and we've
had nothing but soup! I really must blow this fellow up."
"Stop! there it comes."
Enter the waiter with great dignity, and solemnly deposits before
us--the fish again!
He has had it recooked. We attack it hurriedly, and bid the waiter for
Goodness' sake bring the rest of the dinner _instantly_, or we must
"And I'm about half starved," growls Bunker.
More waiting. Five minutes pass. Ten.
"Oh come, I can't stand this!" cries Bunker, jumping up with his
napkin round his neck, and striding over to the head-waiter, where he
stands in a Turveydroppy attitude, leaning against a sideboard with
his arms folded. "Look here!" Bunker ejaculates: "_can_ you be made
to understand that we are in a hurry? Would half a dollar be any
inducement to you to wake up and look around lively? Because we have
got to take those cars in exactly twelve minutes," showing his watch,
"and as the dinner is already paid for, I want to get it before I go."
"Certainly, sir," says the pompous ass with slow indifference, "dinner
directly. John!" to our waiter, who is now placing the meat on the
table, "serve the genl'm'n's dinner _directly_."
Bunker stares at the fellow as Clown stares at Harlequin after having
cut him in two, in dumb amazement at the fact that Harlequin is not in
the least disturbed by being cut in two.
"I wonder," he mutters as he returns to the table, "if that
unmitigated wooden image of a dunderhead would pay any attention if I
were to kick him?"
"No--not if you were to tie a pack of fire-crackers to his coat-tail
and light them. He knows his business too well. The first duty of
an English head-waiter is to be dignified, as it is that of a French
head-waiter to be vigilant and polite."
"Besides," remarks Amy quietly, "I don't suppose the man had an idea
of what you meant by 'those cars,' if he even knew what a half dollar
"Well, we must be off. Time's up. We shall miss the train. Good-bye,
boys. You can sit still and finish your dinner in peace."
Good-bye to our friends from Paultons--good-bye. And then we rush out,
and _do_ miss the train. It is five o'clock ten minutes and a quarter.
English trains go on time--English dinners don't.
We finally get off at seven o'clock. Just before we leave a waiter
comes up to me and says in a casual manner, "Found your humbreller
"Wat kind of er humbreller was it, sir?"
"Neat little brown silk umbrella, with an ivory handle."
"W'y, I wouldn't wonder if that was your humbreller in the corner now
in the reading-room, sir."
I make haste to look. Yes, there it is, my beloved, long-lost
umbrella, quietly leaning against the wall in a dark corner, behind a
pillar, behind a big arm-chair, where nobody ever placed it, I'll take
my oath, but this rascally waiter, who expects to get a shilling for
showing where he hid it.
"Is _that_ your humbreller, sir?" the waiter says, rubbing his
hands and getting in my way as I walk briskly out, at peril of being
stumbled over by my hurrying feet. I scorn to reply, but I give him
a glance of such withering contempt that I trust it pierced to his
wicked heart, and will remain there, a punishment and a warning, to
the last day of his base life. An English waiter's hide is very thick,
however. He has probably hidden many a gentleman's umbrella since.
At eleven o'clock we are back in our cozy London lodgings, and at
twelve we are sleeping the sleep of profound fatigue, and dreaming of
ghostly monks wandering among the weird old ruins of Netley.
Here, in the heart of the hills, I lie,
Nothing but me 'twixt earth and sky--
An amethyst and an emerald stone
Hung and hollowed for me alone!
Is it a dream, or can it be
That there is life apart from me?--
A larger world than the circling bound
Of light and color that lap me round?
Drowsily, dully, through my brain,
Like some recurrent, vague refrain,
A world of fancy comes and goes--
Shadowy pleasures, shadowy woes.
Spectral toils and troubles seem
Fashioned out of this foolish dream:
Round my charmed quiet creep
Phantom creatures that laugh and weep.
Nay, I know they are meaningless,
Visions of utter idleness:
Nothing was, nor ever will be,
Save the hills and the heavens and me.
KATE PUTNAM OSGOOD.
OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
THE GLADSTONE FAMILY.
There is no doubt that had Mr. Gladstone followed his personal
inclinations when his Irish education scheme broke down last March,
he would have retired from office. He is now sixty-four, and it may be
fairly questioned whether there exists a man who for forty-six years
has worked his brain harder. It is no light labor to read for the
highest honors in even one school at Oxford, and Mr. Gladstone read
for them in two. He gained "a double first," which meant at that time
a first class both in classics and mathematics. Forthwith he plunged
into political essay-writing, until in 1834 he further added to his
labors by entering the House of Commons as M.P. for Newark.
Mr. Gladstone's father was, as most people are aware, a Liverpool
merchant of Scotch descent. This gentleman was the architect of his
own fortunes, which arose in no slight degree out of his connection
with the United States. Having been sent to this country by a firm
largely interested in the corn trade, he discharged their business
to their entire satisfaction, whilst at the same time he made very
valuable business connections on his own account, which materially
served him when at a later period he himself embarked in business.
He made a large fortune, but it did not appear at his death to be so
great as it was, because he gave his younger sons the bulk of their
portions during his lifetime--to avoid legacy duty, people said.
To his eldest son he left considerable estates in Scotland--to the
younger sons, about one hundred thousand pounds apiece. The eldest,
Sir Thomas Gladstone, is a very worthy man, but nowise remarkable for
ability. He has one son, and has had six daughters. Four survive, and
all are unmarried.
The next brother, Robertson, an eccentric person whose indiscreet
speeches must often have made his statesman brother feel very hot,
continues the paternal business at Liverpool. The third, John Neilson,
was, socially speaking, the flower of the flock. He was a captain in
the navy, from which he had retired many years prior to his death in
1863, and a member of Parliament. By his wife, a singularly excellent
and charming woman, he had several children, who may be said to pretty
nearly monopolize the feminine charms of the Gladstone family. One
of these married the earl of Belmore, an Irish nobleman, who lately
returned from a not very successful gubernatorial career in New
South Wales. Both Sir Thomas and Captain Gladstone were decided
William Ewart is the fourth brother. "That young brother of mine will
make a noise in the world some of these days," said Captain Gladstone
to a fellow-middy as his brother turned away from bidding him good-bye
just before he was about to start on a cruise; and the words were
certainly prophetic. Mr. Gladstone married when he was thirty. His
wife was one of the two sisters of Sir Stephen Glynne. The English
aristocracy contains a great many sets, and the Glynnes were in the
intellectual set, comprising such men as the dukes of Argyll and
Devonshire, and Lords Derby, Stanhope and Lyttelton. Mrs. Gladstone
and her sister were married on the same day to two of the finest
intellects of their time. The younger, whose mental gifts were far
superior to those of her sister, married Lord Lyttelton.
Mr. Gladstone has a large family. The eldest son has for some time
been in Parliament, but has established no reputation for notable
capacity, and it is said that, with the exception of one of his
younger brothers, none of the family are remarkable in this respect.
Mrs. Gladstone is a person of great kindness of heart and untiring
benevolence. She is full of schemes for doing good: hospitals,
convalescent institutions, etc. find in her an ever-ready friend,
to the neglect, it is whispered, of her domestic duties. There is an
amusing story told of how some time ago a few guests arrived at her
house in response to an invitation to dinner. They waited in vain for
the rest of the party, for whose delay their hostess was at a loss
to account. At length she turned aside and opened her blotting-book,
which quickly revealed the cause of the guests' non-appearance--the
invitations were lying there. They had been written, but never sent.
In London the prime minister--who has an indifferent official
residence, which he and his family have occasionally occupied, in
Downing street--lives in Carlton-House Terrace. It is a beautiful
house, but not by any means well adapted for party-giving, for it is
so constructed that circulation is almost impossible. If you once
get into a room, you must stay there; whereas half the charm of
Lady Palmerston's famous parties at Cambridge House was the free
circulation the rooms afforded, enabling you to pass right round a
quadrangle, and thus easily find an acquaintance or get away from a
bore. Mr. Gladstone's house has a fine double staircase, and it will
derive interest in after days from the circumstance that, standing at
the head, Lord Russell took leave of the party he had led, and pointed
to his then host as his successor.
Carlton-House Terrace is in many respects the most delightful
situation in London, for, whilst extremely central, it is very quiet.
It stands between Pall Mall and St. James's Park. One side faces a
strip of beautifully kept garden, which lies between the terrace and
the row of palaces formed by the Senior United Service, Athenaeum,
Travelers' and Carlton Clubs. The other side has a charming prospect
over St. James's Park. In summer this is really lovely, for all ugly
objects are obscured by the foliage, amid which glimpses are obtained
of the pinnacles and fretted towers of the palace of Parliament on the
one hand, and those of its venerable neighbor, the majestic abbey,
on the other. It was here that Bunsen passed his London days, and the
reader of his memoirs will remember frequent references to the charms
of his house. It may well be imagined how great a boon it is to the
toil-worn minister to find himself, as it were, in a garden, with only
the distant roar, like that of the sea, to remind him as he sits in
his study that five minutes walk across that pleasant park will bring
him to Downing street, and three more to the Treasury bench in the
House of Commons.
In the country most of his time is spent at Hawarden Castle in
Flintshire, about six hours from London. This is the ancestral seat of
Mrs. Gladstone's brother, Sir Stephen Glynne, lord lieutenant of
the county, whose family have held this property for centuries. Sir
Stephen is a very shy man of retired habits. By a family arrangement
his house is the country abode of his sister and brother-in-law.
In earlier life, Sir Stephen and his two brothers-in-law, Mr.
Gladstone and Lord Lyttelton, formed an unfortunately favorable
estimate of certain mines, into which much of the fortune of Sir
Stephen and his sisters went, and from which it never came out again.
There was one other brother, the late rector of Hawarden. He died
about a year ago, and Mr. Gladstone's second son, Stephen, was
appointed his successor. The living, in the gift of Sir Stephen, is
very valuable. Mr. Glynne, the clergyman, died without a son, and the
title will therefore on Sir Stephen's death be extinct. As matters
now stand, it may be presumed that Mr. W.H. Gladstone, the prime
minister's eldest son, will succeed to the Hawarden estates.
Mr. Gladstone has himself recently increased the family interest
around Hawarden by purchase. About five years ago the state of his
finances were the talk of the town, and a number of people, especially
of the Conservative party, avowed themselves in a position to assert
from personal knowledge that he was ruined. There was no just ground
for such a statement, and like so many other absurd rumors it died
out. None of Mr. Gladstone's daughters are married, nor is his eldest
WHITSUNTIDE AMONG THE MENNISTS.
Certain great festivals of the Christian Church which were ignored by
the Puritans and Quakers have always continued in high repute among
the Pennsylvania Germans. Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide and
Ascension Day are celebrated not only in the Lutheran, the Reformed
or Calvinistic and the Moravian churches, but among the descendants
of those Swiss Anabaptists who, being driven from their homes by
religious persecution, finally took shelter in that part of the land
of Penn now called Lancaster county, these quiet sectarians being
known among us by the names of Mennists and Amish (pronounced
Menneests and Ommish).
The movable feast of Whitsunday or Pentecost, which occurs on the
seventh Sunday after Easter, is a solemn occasion in the Mennonite
meetings, for at this time is held one of the great semi-annual
observances of bread-breaking and feet-washing. The ensuing day,
Whitmonday, is a great secular festival. All the spring bonnets are
then in readiness for the "Dutch" girls. The young farmer of eighteen
or more, whose father has granted his heart's desire in the form of a
buggy, or who has otherwise attained to that summit of rural felicity,
harnesses and attaches to it one of the horses with which the farm is
so well supplied, and takes his girl into the county-town. Here
they walk the streets, partake of simple refreshments, meet their
acquaintances or talk with them in the tavern parlor. Sometimes they
visit a circus or menagerie whose managers have made a timely visit to
our inland city.
On the ensuing day, Tuesday, while the Dutch boys are working the
corn, you may perchance hear their father's voice raised to a higher
pitch than usual, which circumstance he explains when he comes in
sight, thus: "The boys is sleepy to-day. Yesterday was Whissuntide,
you know. They got home late." For custom forbids their leaving
the girl of their choice before the small hours, and allows them,
nevertheless, no remission from labor on the succeeding day.
The people, however, whose religious services I am about to describe
impose upon their members a stricter rule of earlier hours, etc. They
are called New (or Reformed) Mennists.
It was on Whitsunday, May 31, 1868, that I paid a visit to one of
our New Mennist meeting-houses, and found before nine o'clock in the
morning that the services had already begun. The first apartment we
entered was a sort of tiring-room, where along the walls hung
the shawls and black sun-bonnets of the sisters. Here were also
traveling-bags, and a cradle stood ready to receive one or more of the
babies that were in attendance. In the adjoining room were heard
the familiar notes of "Old Hundred," and "Du bist der Weg" was sung
pleasantly without any instrumental accompaniment.
When we entered the whitewashed apartment in which the meeting had
assembled I saw upon a small platform at the farther end five men, who
were apparently preachers or elders. At the same end of the room were
seated the soberly clad members of the sect--the men on one side of
the apartment, with their broad-brimmed hats removed; on the other
side the sisters, with their extremely plain book-muslin caps and
otherwise sober attire.
A portion of the services was in English. Dr. ----, a practitioner of
medicine and a bishop in this Church, spoke extemporaneously in our
language. He gave a long account of the ordinances of the Jewish
Church, and then of those which the "Lord Jesus instituted in the
place of these--the baptism that was celebrated a week ago, and this
Lord's Supper, this feet-washing, this kiss of peace, this manner of
visiting offenders;" the last phrase being an allusion to the severe
rule which forbids the New or Reformed Mennists to eat, etc. with
those excommunicated by the society.
The Mennists, as I understand, hold in general those doctrines that
are considered evangelical. The services were much prolonged, and the
congregation became restless. But at length, while a younger brother
was speaking in "Dutch" or German, there came in another bearing
a parcel wrapped in a white cloth. He was followed by one carrying
something tied in a blue-and-white cloth, which being opened disclosed
a demijohn. The white parcel was received by the preacher upon the
desk, and when opened showed a great loaf of our beautiful Lancaster
county bread divided into slices. After prayer several preachers took
slices, and passing around among the congregation broke off bits
which they gave to the communicants. The wine in the demijohn was then
poured into small, bright tin cups, like milkmen's measures, and was
distributed among the members. A hymn in the German language was sung,
two lines at a time, while the wine was handed round.
After these services were concluded feet-washing began by reading the
passage from the 13th chapter of John on the subject, and this
was followed by many remarks. I observed that one elderly brother,
speaking in a mournful tone and in our Dutch manner, quoted,
"Nimmermehr soll du mein Fees wasche" ("Thou shalt never wash my
feet"). These discourses were followed by the announcement, "Next
Sunday there will be bread-breaking at Landisville."
Now arose a confusion from carrying out benches, from arranging others
in two long rows facing each other, etc. The two principal preachers
were seen disencumbered of their coats, much animated conversation
began, and feet-washing did not seem to be observed with so much
seriousness as the Supper. I took a seat near the end of two long
benches which were arranged to face each other, and on which sat some
of the brethren whose feet were to be washed by one of the preachers.
Common unpainted tubs containing water were brought in by two men. Dr.
----, the bishop already mentioned, had a great piece of white linen
tied around his waist. He passed along between the two rows of men as
they sat facing each other, bearing his tub alternately from a brother
in one row to one in the other, so that both rows were finished
at about the same time. Quietly the men took off their shoes and
stockings. They did not put their feet forward much. As Dr. ---- came
to each participant he set his tub down before him, washed his feet a
little, wiped them on the long white apron or towel, then shook hands
with him and kissed him. He thus ministered to thirty persons, a
somewhat laborious undertaking, but his powerful frame was suited to
the exertion. The same water and the same towel served for all.
Meantime, the sisters, in another part of the room, were arranged in
smaller companies on benches placed in a similar manner. I said to a
sister, "Do the preachers wash the sisters' feet?"
"Oh no," she answered: "the sisters does it."
Some of the sisters were very friendly, and not unwilling to converse.
One said, "One sister washes as many as she is pretty well able: it's
hard on the back."
"And does she have a towel?" said I.
"She girds a towel, and then she washes and wipes them, and gives them
"Do you all have your feet washed?" I inquired further.
"No, not those that have any weakness that prevents."
"And will all these brothers have their feet washed?"
"All that communes."
"And do not all commune?"
"Yes, without they feel that they have something against another. Now
if I feel that I have something against her--placing her hand upon a
"I understand," interrupted I. "'If thou bring thy gift to the
altar--' And how many," I continued, "will there be in such a meeting
as this that will not commune? Will there be half a dozen?"
"Oh yes; but by another year all will likely be right, and then they
will commune. Now, I did not commune nor have my feet washed."
"Why not?" said I.
"Why, I felt at this time such confusion of mind, as if the Enemy was
"Well, it was not anything against a brother or sister?"
"No, I count them all ahead of me: I count myself the poorest member."
At the conclusion of the feet-washing a hymn was sung. Among those who
had their feet washed was a young man apparently about twenty-two, and
who looked full of fun. It seems that even such may be in membership
with so strict a sect. It was about one o'clock when the meeting
ended, having been in session four hours and a half.
The great simplicity of the surroundings on this occasion may lead
the reader to suppose that the congregation was poor. It was, however,
composed in a great measure of some of the thriftiest farmers in one
of the richest upland sections of the United States.
Some time after attending this meeting I called upon an aged Amish man
to converse with him upon their religious society, etc. The Amish
are another branch of the Mennonites, and those among us are likewise
descendants of Swiss refugees. They are the most primitive of the
three divisions of the sect, preserving the use of the Dutch or German
language not only in their religious meetings, but almost entirely in
their own families.
I mentioned to this aged man the feet-washing that I had attended,
and told how Dr. ----, the bishop, had washed the feet of the other
"Did he wash them all?" said my Amish acquaintance.
"Yes, all that were assigned to him. How is it among you?"
"They wash each other's, every two and two. If he washes them all, he
puts himself in Christ's place. _He_ says, 'Wash each other's feet.'"
This, I am also informed, is the rule among the third division, the
Old Mennists, the most numerous branch of these remarkable people.
THE RAW AMERICAN.
London at present abounds in Americans on their way to the Vienna
Exposition. Many of them are commissioners from various States. Some
have lands to sell or other financial axes to grind. Of such the
Langham Hotel is full. The Langham is the nearest approach to an
American hotel in London. There, though not a guest, you may pass in
and out without explaining to the hall-porter who you are, what you
are, where you come from or what you want: you may there enter and
retire without giving your pedigree, naturalization papers or a
certificate of good character. At other English hotels something
analogous to this is commonly required.
We, who have been in England a full year, look down with an air of
superiority on the raw, the newly-arrived American. We are quite
English. We have worn out our American clothes. We have on English
hats with tightly-curled rims and English stub-toed boots. We know the
intricacies of London street navigation, and Islington, Blackfriars,
Camden Town, Hackney, the "Surrey Side," Piccadilly, Regent and Oxford
streets, the Strand and Fleet street, are all mapped out distinctly
in our mind's eye. We are skilled in English money, and no longer pass
off half crowns for two-shilling pieces. We are real Anglo-Americans.
But the raw American, only arrived a week, is in a maze, a confusion,
a hurry. He is excited and mystified. He tries to appear cool and
unconcerned, and is simply ridiculous. His cards, bearing his name,
title and official status, he distributes as freely as doth the winter
wind the snow-flakes. Inquire at the Langham office for Mr. Smith, and
you find he has blossomed into General Smith.
He is always partaking or about to partake of official dinners. He
feels that the eyes of all England are upon him. He is dressed _a la_
bandbox--hat immaculate in its pristine gloss, white cravat, umbrella
of the slimmest encased in silken wrapper. A speck of mud on his
boots would tarnish the national honor. Commonly, he is taken for a
head-butler. He drinks much stout. He eats a whitebait dinner before
being forty-eight hours in London, and tells of it. All this makes him
You meet him. He is overjoyed. He would talk of everything--your
mutual experience in America, his sensations and impressions since
arriving in England. He talks intelligibly of nothing. His brain is
a mere rag-bag, shreddy, confused, parti-colored. Thus he empties it:
"Passage over rough;" "London wonderful;" "Dined with the earl of
---- yesterday;" "Dine with Sir ---- to-day;" "To the Tower;"
"Westminster;" "New York growing;" "Saint Paul's"--going, going, gone!
and he shakes hands with you, and is off at a Broadway gait straight
toward the East End of London for his hotel, which lies at the West
In reality, the man is not in his right mind. He is undergoing the
mental acclimatization fever. Should he stay in London for three
months, he might recover and begin to find out where he is. But six
months hence he will have returned to America, fancying he has seen
London, Paris, Rome, Geneva, Vienna, and whatever other places
his body has been hurried through, not his mind; for that, in the
excitement and rapidity of his flight, has streamed behind him like
the tail of a comet, light, attenuated, vapory, catching nothing,
Occasionally this fever takes an abusive phase. He finds in England
nothing to like, nothing to admire. Sometimes he wishes immediately to
revolutionize the government. He is incensed at the cost of royalty.
He sees on every side indications of political upheaval. Or he becomes
culinarily disgusted. Because there are no buckwheat cakes, no codfish
cakes, no hot bread, no pork and beans, no mammoth oysters, stewed,
fried and roasted, he can find nothing fit to eat. The English
cannot cook. Because he can find no noisy, clattering, dish-smashing
restaurant, full of acrobatic waiters racing and balancing under
immense piles of plates, and shouting jargon untranslatable,
unintelligible and unpronounceable down into the lower kitchen, he
cannot, cannot eat.
The occasion commemorated in the following verses--one of those
festive meetings with which tender-hearted Philadelphians are wont to
brace themselves up for sorrowful partings--called forth expressions
of deep regret and cordial good wishes, in which many of our readers,
we doubt not, will readily join:
If from my quivering lips in vain
The faltering accents strove to flow,
It was because my heart's deep pain
Bade tears be swift and utterance slow;
For in that moment rose the ghosts
Of pleasant hours in bygone years;
And your kind faces, O my hosts!
Showed blurred and dimly through my tears.
I could not tell you of the pride
That thrilled me in that parting hour:
Grief held command all undenied,
And only o'er my speech had power.
I found no words to tell the thoughts
That strove for utterance in my brain:
With gratitude my soul was fraught,
And yet I only spoke of pain.
O friends! 'tis you, and such as you,
That make this parting hard to bear!
Pass all things else my past life knew:
I scarcely heed--I do not care.
I lose in you the dearest part
Of pleasant time that here now ends:
Hand parts from hand, _not_ heart from heart,
And I must leave you, O my friends!
What can the future's fairest hours
Bring me to recompense for these?
Acquaintances spring like the flowers--
Friends are slow growth, like forest trees.
Come hope or gladness, what there will--
Days bright as sunshine after rain--
The past gave life's best blessings still:
We'll find no friends like these again.
I leave you in the dear old home
That once was mine--now mine no more:
Henceforth a stranger I must come
To haunts so well beloved of yore;
Yet if your faces turn to mine
The kindly smile I'm wont to see,
Not all, not all I must resign--
My lost home's light still shines for me!
Whatever chance or change be mine
In other climes, 'neath foreign skies,
Your love, your kindness, I shall hold
Dearest amid dear memories.
O eyes grown dim with falling tears!
O lips where Sorrow lays her spell!
The saddest task of all life's years
Is yours--to look and say farewell!
LUCY H. HOOPER.
AUGUSTIN'S, April 7, 1873.
Between the careers of Cavour and Thiers no sound parallel can easily
be traced, but in their characters--or rather in their diplomatic
methods and arts--there would seem to be some curious and almost
ludicrous points of resemblance, if we may accept as true a sketch
of the great Italian statesman made by M. Plattel, the author of
"Causeries Franco-Italiennes," fifteen years ago. M. Plattel, who
wrote from close personal observation, at that time described Count
Cavour as being physically "M. Thiers magnified;" or, if you prefer,
M. Thiers is the count viewed through the big end of an opera-glass.
The count, says M. Plattel, "has the spectacles, and even a similar
expression of finesse. When things take a serious turn, the count puts
both hands in his pockets; and if you see him do that, expect to hear
this threat: 'If you do not pass this bill, _signori deputati_, I
consider you incapable of longer managing the affairs of the country:
I have the honor of bidding you good-evening.' For (and this is a
strange peculiarity) this first minister is never steadier than when
in danger of falling; and his grand oratorical, or rather ministerial,
figure of speech is to seize his hat and his cane, whereupon the
chamber rises and begs M. de Cavour to sit down. M. de Cavour lets
them plead a while, and then--he sits down again! Reading his speeches
now in Paris, I can fancy the count with his hat by his side and his
hand on the door-knob. Heaven knows how many times that comedy-proverb
of Musset called 'A door must either be open or shut,' has been
gravely played by the Sardinian Parliament and the prime minister!"
It is with a very droll effect that a French paper has revived this
curious description, _a propos_ of the perpetual repetition of the
drama played by the French Assembly and the French president, in which
the constant threats of resignation on the one hand are invariably
followed by passionate and despairing entreaties to "stay" on the
other. It is the old story of Cavour and the door-knob over again;
and even the great Bismarck, by the way, does not disdain a resort
occasionally to the same terrible pantomime. "The only _coup d'etat_
to be feared from M. Thiers," said M. Dufaure in the Assembly, "is his
withdrawal." It is, the quarreling and reconciliation of Horace and
Lydia: "What if the door of the repudiated Lydia again open to me?"
"Though you are stormier than blustering Adriatic, I should love to
live with you," etc. Such is the billing and cooing, after quarrel,
between the president and the Assembly. Still, it is clear that the
puissant hat-and-cane argument must date back to Cavour.
* * * * *
The recent proposition of some English writers to elevate a certain
class of suicides to the rank of a legalized "institution," under the
pleasant name of "euthanasia," suggests the inquiry whether, without
any scientific vindication of the practice, there will not always be
suicides enough in ordinary society. At any rate, however it may be in
England, just across the Channel, in France, thousands of people every
year break the "canon 'gainst self-slaughter," leaving the ills they
have to "fly to others that they know not of." The official figures
show that in a period of twenty-two years no less than 71,207 persons
committed suicide in France. The causes were various--business
embarrassments, domestic chagrins, the brutishness produced by liquor,
poverty, insanity, the desire to put an end to physical suffering by
"euthanasia," and so on; but they are pretty nearly all included in
the "fardels" which Hamlet mentions, from the physical troubles of the
"heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to," up
to the mental distress wrought by the "whips and scorns of time, the
oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, the pangs of despised
love," and so on in the well-remembered catalogue. Perhaps the most
interesting point in these statistics concerns the means employed for
suicide. These are thus tabulated: Hanging, 24,536; drowning, 23,221;
shooting, 10,197; asphyxia by charcoal fumes (a true Paris appliance),
5587; various cutting instruments, 2871; plunging or jumping from an
elevated place (an astonishing number), 2841; poison, 1500; sundry
other methods, 454. Hanging and drowning are thus accountable for more
than half the French suicides. The little stove of charcoal suggests
itself as a remedy at hand to many a wretch without the means to buy
a pistol or the nerve to use a knife. The cases of voluntary resort
to poison are astonishingly few, but it must be remembered that the
foregoing figures only embrace successful suicides, and antidotes to
poison often come in season where the rope or the river would
have made quick and fatal work. _La France_ notes, regarding these
statistics, that their details show that men oftenest use pistols, and
women oftenest try poison, in their attempts at suicide. What is more
curious, each man is likely to employ an instrument familiar to him:
thus, hunters and soldiers resort to the pistol, barbers trust
the razor, shoemakers use the knife, engravers the graving-tool,
washerwomen poison themselves with potash or Prussian blue; though,
of course, these are only general rules, with a great many exceptions.
And in Paris it is said that among all ranks and professions, and in
both sexes, at least half of the suicides are by asphyxiation with
charcoal. Surely in France one hardly needs to preach any doctrine of
not patiently suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
A healthier and more inspiring morality would be that of the story of
the baron of Grogzwig and his adventure with the "Genius of Despair
and Suicide," as narrated in an episode of _Nicholas Nickleby_; for
the stout baron, after thinking over his purpose of making a voluntary
departure from this world, and finding he had no security of being any
the better for going out of it, abandoned the plan, and adopted as a
rule in all cases of melancholy to look at both sides of the question,
and to apply a magnifying-glass to the better one.
* * * * *
In Philadelphia, at least, where there is still a respect for age, the
tidings will be received with respectful regret of the death of Nono,
a noted pensionary of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, at the ripe age
of more than a hundred years. To have achieved the celebrity of being
the oldest inmate of that institution was no despicable distinction,
but the venerable centenarian had other claims to honor. A native of
the Marquesas Islands, he was brought by Bougainville in 1776 to
the Royal Museum, afterward known as the Jardin des Plantes. It has
frequently been alleged that parrots may live a hundred years:
Nono has established the fact by living still longer. As he thus
contributes an illustration to science, so surely he might point a
general moral and adorn a historic tale. If Thackeray could discourse
so wisely on "Some Carp at Sans Souci," the vicissitudes which this
veteran Parisian witnessed in the French capital from 1776 to 1873,
under two empires, two royal dynasties and three republics, might be
worth a rhapsody. Nono seems to have been a well-preserved old parrot.
Magnificent in youth, he attained literally a green old age, for his
plumage was still fresh and thick. Very naturally, he had lost his
houppe, and was almost totally bald. However, his eye was clear and
bright enough to have read the finest print or followed the finest
needlework; and it had the _narquois_, lightly skeptical look of those
who have seen a great deal of life. In short, Nono was a stylish and
eminently respectable old bird. That worthy person, Monsieur Chavreul,
who treats the animals of the Jardin like a father, has stuffed
and mounted the illustrious Nono as a testimonial of affection and
* * * * *
The connection between war and botany is, at first, not specially
obvious, and yet a very clear bit of testimony to their relation was
disclosed by the siege of Paris. Two naturalists have published a
_Florula Obsidionalis_, which, as its name partly indicates, is a
catalogue of the accidental flora of the late investment of Paris.
They reckon in their list not less than one hundred and ninety species
before unknown to the neighborhood of the French capital, whereof
fifty-eight are leguminous (such as peas, beans, etc.), thirty-four
are composite, thirty-two are _plantes grasses_, and sixty-six belong
to other families. Almost all are to be found chiefly on the left bank
of the Seine, though also discoverable at Neuilly and in the Bois de
Boulogne. Of course, these new-comers are all accounted for as the
produce of seeds brought by the German army. They will gradually die
out; and yet some few may remain as permanent conquerors of the soil,
since among the flora of Paris is still reckoned one plant whose seed
was brought into France by some Russian forage-train in 1815.
* * * * *
As the impudence, dishonesty, laziness and rapacity of servants at
watering-places have long been familiar subjects of satire, it is
just to say a word on the other side in favor of some extreme
Northern resorts. At the White Mountains, for example, the waiters and
waitresses are of a better class than is generally met. Some of the
young girls are farmers' daughters, who go to the hotels to see the
fashions and earn a little pocket-money. The colored cook at one of
the great houses teaches dancing during the winters. Not a few are
school-teachers, others students at country academies, who pass their
vacation in this way in order to earn enough to buy text-books or
pay the winter's tuition. Many of them are more intelligent and well
educated than some of the shoddies they wait upon. They are usually
quicker in movement and of more retentive memory than the average
American waiter; and though each has a great deal to do at times, yet
even during the tremendous moment of dinner they contrive to find a
few little intervals for harmless flirtations in the dining-room. They
are for the most part well-mannered too, and if they talk to you of
each other as "this lady" or "that gentleman," what is it more than
some waiters do with far less reason? The New Hampshire villages
become versed every summer in the latest imported fashions, thanks to
the quick eyes of the hotel waitresses.
LITERATURE OF THE DAY.
Lars: A Pastoral of Norway. By Bayard Taylor. Boston: Osgood & Co.
Mr. Taylor's muse has of late become very still-faced, decorous and
mindful of the art-proprieties. Cautious is she, and there is perhaps
nothing in this pastoral that will cause the grammarian to wince, or
make the censorious rhetorician writhe in his judgment-seat with
the sense that she is committing herself. Not such were the early
attributes of the great itinerant's poetry. When he used to unsling
his minstrel harp in the wilds of California or on the sunrise
mountains of the Orient, there were plenty of false notes, plenty
of youthful vivacities that overbore the strings and were heard as a
sudden crack, and, withal, a good deal of young frank fire. Now there
is much finish and the least possible suspicion of ennui. But the
life-history of _Lars_ is worth reading. It is a calm procession of
pictures, without pretence, except the slight pretence of classical
correctness. The first part, which reflects Norwegian manners in a way
reminding us more or less of the exquisite stories of Bjornsen, tells
how two swains of Ulvik, Lars the hunter and Per the fisher, quarrel
for love of Brita, and at a public wrestling decide the question by a
combat, fighting with knives, in Norse fashion, while hooked to each
other at the belt. They strip, _a la_ Heenan and Sayers. Mr. Taylor,
who does not often come behind the occasion when he can get a human
figure to describe statue-wise or under a studio light, is perhaps a
trifle too Phidian in bringing out the good looks of his fish-eating
The low daylight clad
Their forms with awful fairness, beauty now
Of life, so warm and ripe and glorious, yet
So near the beauty terrible of Death.
Lars, the victor, has all the ill-luck. His foe falls lifeless, his
sweetheart calls him a murderer, and he flies from the law. Another
scene quickly shows him crossing the broad ocean, as so many
Norwegians and Swedes had crossed before him, and seeking the
protection of Swedish forts on Delaware banks. Long, sad days pass on
Till shining fisher-sails
Came, stars of land that rose before the land;
and soon he leaps to shore in New Sweden, only to find that the
civilization he seeks has set like a sinking planet into the abiding
enlightenment of another race and creed. Governor Printz's fortress
on Tinicum isle is a ruin of yellow bricks: the wanderer strays up the
To where, upon her hill, fair Wilmington
Looks to the river over marshy weeds.
He saw the low brick church with stunted tower,
The portal-arches, ivied now and old,
And passed the gate: lo! there the ancient stones
Bore Norland names and dear familiar words!
It seemed the dead a comfort spake.
The governor is a myth, the Swedes are dead, the Scandinavian tongues
have been changed to English, and an English exactly conformed to King
James's translation of the Scriptures. The first girl he speaks to
checks him for addressing her with a civility:
"Nay," she said, "not _lady_! call me Ruth."
With the father of this primitive Nausicaa, on Hockessin Farm, the
wanderer abides as herdsman. Soon, under the propaganda of Ruth's
soft eyes and the drowsy spell of the Delawarean society, he joins the
peaceful sect amongst which he labors. It is easier, though, to
change his plural pronouns to the scriptural _thou_ and _thee_ of King
James's translators than to tame his heroic Viking blood, swift to
boil into wrath at the show of oppression. Such an outburst leads to a
quaint scene of acknowledgment and repentance, where lies
Up beyond the woods, at crossing-roads,
The heart of all, the ancient meeting-house.
Lars, prayed over by the brethren, bursts forth in tears and
supplications among the worshipers, and is received into full harmony
So into joy revolved the doubtful year,
And, ere it closed, the gentle fold of Friends
Sheltered another member, even Lars....
And all the country-side assembled there
One winter Sabbath, when in snow and sky
The colors of transfiguration shone,
Within the meeting-house. There Ruth and Lars
Together sat upon the women's side;
And when the peace was perfect, they arose:
He took her by the hand, and spake these words,
As ordered: "In the presence of the Lord
And this assembly, by the hand I take
Ruth Mendenhall, and promise unto her,
Divine assistance blessing me, to be
A loving and a faithful husband, even
Till death shall separate us." Then spake Ruth
The like sweet words; and so the twain were one.
It is not often that a liturgy has been translated into metre with
less change of its form and substance.
The imbedding of a raw Northern native in this lap of repose and in
this transfiguring matrimonial alliance is the grand problem of the
poem. What will Lars do, now that he is a man of peace and a Child of
Light, with the burden of conscience? In America he is a saint and an
apostle. In Europe he is known but as a proscribed murderer. The later
scenes, where Lars, accompanied by his true and tender wife, meets his
old love, his neighbors, and his rival restored to life, are of a more
ambitious character than any that have preceded. The holy principles
imbibed on the shores of Delaware are made to triumph, and Lars,
dropping the sharp blade from his hand in the thronged arena whither
he is forced once more, stands first as a laughing-stock, and then as
an apostle, among his old neighbors. It is a position full of moral
force, and we find ourselves--suddenly recovering in a degree from the
calm view we had taken of the poem as a work of art--asking _how_ we
should be so sensible of the grandeur of the situation if the poet by
his skill had not brought out its peculiarity.
* * * * *
A Lady of the Last Century. By Dr. Doran. London: Bentley.
This is the life of a lady remarkable in herself and in her
surroundings. Of every day in her life she could say, in the words of
Horace, "I have lived." "She never had a fool for an acquaintance,"
says her biographer, "nor an idle hour in the sense of idleness." Her
father, Mr. Robinson, who belonged to an eminent family which had been
settled about a century at Rokeby, subsequently the seat of Scott's
friend Morritt, in Yorkshire, married when a boy of eighteen a rich
young lady of very superior quality in every respect, and by her had
a large family. His wife's mother married secondly Middleton, the
biographer of Cicero, who took a great fancy to her grand-daughter,
Elizabeth Robinson, and paid much attention to her intellectual
development. In fact, from the cradle to the grave she was thrown
amongst the erudite and cultivated in a very uncultivated age. During
her girlhood Elizabeth Robinson had every advantage and pleasure which
wealthy and devoted parents could give her, and when twenty-two she
married Mr. Edward Montagu, a grandson of the first earl of Sandwich,
and first cousin of the celebrated Lady Mary's husband.
Mrs. Montagu was far more fortunate in her choice than the brilliant
daughter of the duke of Kingston. Her husband was in every way
estimable and amiable, and her letters afford ample evidence how
thoroughly she appreciated his character. They had only one child, who
died in infancy, and when Mr. Montagu died he bequeathed to his widow
the whole of his property, which she in turn left to her nephew, who
took the name of Montagu and became Lord Rokeby.
A few years after their marriage Mr. Montagu, already affluent,
received a great accession of fortune in the shape of colliery
property in the north of England. This enabled his wife to entertain
very liberally, and, in conjunction with her talents and high
connections, gave her a commanding place in society. They took a large
house in Hill street, then the extremity of the West End, which became
the resort of that class who, being anxious to put an end to eternal
card-playing and introduce rather more of the intellectual into
social intercourse, received from a chance circumstance the name
of "blue-stockings." There were to be seen Burke, Fox, Hannah More,
Johnson, Lord Lyttelton, etc. Subsequently, Mrs. Montagu fitted up
a room whose walls were hung with feathers, and thence came Cowper's
well-known lines and Macaulay's passage: "There were the members
of that brilliant society which quoted, criticised and exchanged
repartees under the rich peacock hangings of Mrs. Montagu." After
her husband's death a great deal of business devolved on her in the
management of his estates, and here she showed those qualities which
are singularly conspicuous in Englishwomen of rank. She went down to
Northumberland, inspected her farms, visited her colliers, and
made acquaintance with her tenants. She seems particularly to have
appreciated the people in Yorkshire, and her descriptions of them
recall in no slight degree some of those of the sisters Bronte. Her
principal seat was at Sandleford in Berkshire, where she spent
large sums in improvements under the celebrated landscape-gardener
She survived her husband twenty-five years, and about twenty years
before her death removed to a fine house which she had erected in a
then new part of London, Portman Square, and which is still known as
Montagu House. But the entertainments there given were, though more
splendid, less notable than in the humbler mansion in Hill street, for
Mrs. Montagu herself was getting into years, and many of those who had
been the brightest ornaments of the Hill street parties were passing
away. Mrs. Montagu died in 1800, at the age of seventy. She was of an
affectionate disposition, but had somewhat less sensibility perhaps
than most men would like to see in a woman; yet, on the whole, she
played her part in life extremely well, being wise, generous and true.
The book is particularly interesting for the rich aroma of association
around it, and would have been far more so had Dr. Doran taken the
trouble to give a few notes, of which there is not a single one in the
whole book--a serious drawback, more especially to American readers.
* * * * *
The Treaty of Washington: Its Negotiation, Execution, and the
Discussions relating thereto. By Caleb Cushing. New York: Harper &
Mr. Cushing has given another proof of the great capacity of some
men to do very clever work, but to fail utterly in giving an adequate
account of the work itself or of the way in which it was done. Trained
by long experience in public business, and intimately acquainted
by long residence in Washington with the methods of diplomatic
negotiation and interpretation, he was eminently fitted to be the
colleague of Mr. Evarts as counsel for the government before the
Geneva arbitration. Here he undertakes to give an account of the
task there brought to a result so favorable to the United States.
Unluckily, he shows that he is always and only an advocate. Much that
may have been useful for his duties in that office is prominent in a
disagreeable way in his recital of the Geneva award. His language is
loose and offensive, often without meaning to be so, but oftener in
a way that shows how much he must have been galled by the lord
chief-justice of England. Whatever Sir Alexander Cockburn may have
done there, and however much he may have fallen from his high estate
as one of the arbitrators to the less dignified position of an
advocate for English claims, he will have a sweet revenge in seeing
the anger that he has excited in one of the American representatives,
now become their spokesman. Mr. Cushing falls into the blunder that
was once so common in our American state papers as to give good cause
for that happy phrase of Nicholas Biddle--"Western Orientalisms." The
tone of the book, which ought to be a simple story, is stilted and
rhetorical. The result of all the long discussions is the best praise
of our American statesmen who were its authors, but it is dwarfed and
lessened by the fulsome praise given to the foreign representatives
who brought it about. Of "bad language," in keeping with the
bad spirit of the book, the following may serve as specimens:
"Pretensiveness," "frequentation," "annexion," "capitulations"
instead of "treaties," "monogram" for "monograph," "it needs to,"
"howmuchsoever," "law-books invested with the reflection of fine
scenery," "imposed itself," "I demand of myself," and other such
phrases without number.
Once done with Sir Alexander Cockburn and the work at Geneva, Mr.
Cushing shows himself and his country to much better advantage in
discussing the "Mixed Commission" now sitting at Washington, the
Northwest Boundary, the Fisheries, and the general provisions of the
Washington treaty. He has, however, simply forestalled the ground
for some better writer on the important history which belongs to that
negotiation, and will give the reading and reflecting public, both
abroad and at home, a very unfavorable impression of the great task in
which he played so important a part, and of the qualities of mind and
temper he must have brought to it, since at this late day he finds
no better impetus to the work of writing its history than unexplained
anger at one of the members of the board before which Mr. Cushing
argued the cause of his country, and helped to win it.
The Drawing-Room Stage: A Series of Original Dramas, Comedies, Farces,
and Entertainments for Amateur Theatricals and School Exhibitions. By
George M. Baker. Illustrated. Boston: Lee & Shepard.
Five Years in an English University. By Charles Astor Bristed, late
Foundation Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge. Third edition.
Revised by the Author. New York: G.P. Putnam & Sons.
Memoirs of Madame Desbordes-Valmore. By the late C.A. Sainte-Beuve.
With a Selection from her Poems. Translated by Harriet W. Preston.
Boston: Roberts Brothers.
Livingstone and his African Explorations: together with a Full Account
of the Young, Stanley and Dawson Search Expeditions. New York: Adams,
Victor & Co.
The Mother's Register: Current Notes of the Health of Children. From
the French of Professor J.B. Fonssagrines. New York: G.P. Putnam &
Thorvaldsen: His Life and Works. By Eugene Plon. Translated from the
French by J. M. Luyster. Illustrated. Boston: Roberts Brothers.
Scientific and Industrial Education: its Importance to our Country. By
G.B. Stebbins. Detroit: Daily Post Printing Establishment.
Never Again. By W.S. Mayo, M.D., author of "Kaloolah," "The Berber,"
etc. New York: G.P. Putnam & Sons.
The World-Priest. From the German of Leopold Schafer. By Charles T.
Brooks. Boston: Roberts Brothers.
The Cuban Question in the Spanish Parliament. London: Press of the
Treason at Home: A Novel. By Mrs. Greenough. Philadelphia: T.B.
Peterson & Brothers.
Myths and Myth-Makers. By John Fiske, M.A., LL.B. Boston: James R.
Osgood & Co.
An Account of the Sphynx at Mount Auburn. Illustrated. Boston: Little,
Brown & Co.