Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 by Various

Part 4 out of 5

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

cities; most have already served,--are therefore inured to the
work,--accustomed to privations, which they undergo gayly,--to fatigues,
at which they joke,--to dangers in battle, which they treat as mere
play. They are proud of their uniform, which does not resemble that of
any other corps,--proud of that name, _Zouave_, of mysterious
origin,--proud of the splendid actions with which each succeeding day
enriches the history of their troops,--happy in the liberty they
experience, both in garrison and on expeditions. It is said that the
Zouaves love wine; it is true; but they are rarely seen intoxicated;
they seek the pleasures of conviviality, not the imbrutement of
drunkenness. These regiments count in their ranks officers, who,
_ennuied_ by a lazy life, have taken up the musket and the
_chechia_,--under-officers, who, having already served, brave, even
rash, seek to win their epaulettes anew in this hard service, and gain
either a glorious position or a glorious death,--old officers of the
_garde mobile_,--broad-shouldered marines, who have served their time on
shipboard, accustomed to cannon and the thunderings of the
tempest,--young men of family, desirous to replace with the red ribbon
of the Legion of Honor, bought and colored with their blood, the
dishonor of a life gaped wearily away on the pavements of Paris.

"Composed of such elements, one can scarcely imagine the body of Zouaves
other than brilliant in the field of battle. The officers are generally
chosen from the regiments of the line, men remarkable for strength,
courage, and prudence; full of energy, pushing the love of their colors
to its last limit, always ready to confront death and to run up to meet
danger, they seek glory rather than promotion. To train up their
soldiers, to give them an example, in their own persons, of all the
military virtues,--such are their only cares. Our ancestors said,
'_Noblesse, oblige_'; these choose the same motto. _Their_ nobility is
not that of old family-titles, but the uniform in which they are
clothed, the title of officer of Zouaves. _Esprit de corps_, that
religion of the soldier, is carried by the Zouaves to its highest pitch;
the common soldiers would not consent to change their turban for the
epaulettes of an ensign in the other service; and many an ensign, and
not a few captains, have preferred to await their advancement in the
Zouaves rather than immediately obtain it by entering other regiments.
There exists, moreover, between the soldiers and officers, a military
fraternity, which, far from destroying discipline, tends rather to draw
more closely its bonds. The officer sees in his men rather companions in
danger and in glory than inferiors; he willingly attends to their
complaints, and strives to spare them all unnecessary privations. Where
they are exposed to difficulties, he does not hesitate to employ all the
means in his power to aid them. In return, the soldier professes for his
officer an affection, a devotion, a sort of filial respect. Discipline,
he knows, must be severe, and he does not grumble at its penalties. In
battle, he does not abandon his chief; he watches over him, will die for
his safety, will not let him fall into the hands of the enemy if
wounded. At the bivouac he makes the officer's fire, though his own
should die for want of fuel; cares for his horse, arranges his
furniture; if any delicacy in the way of food can be procured, he brings
it to the chief. Convinced of the desire of their master that the
soldiers shall be well fed, the Zouaves often insist that a part of
their pay be expended for procuring the provisions of the tribe.
[Footnote: In accordance with Arab customs, the Zouaves, who (to use the
ordinary expression) "live in common," compose a circle to which they
give the name of _tribe_. In the tribe, each one has his allotted task:
one attends to making the fires and procuring wood; another draws water
and does the cooking; another makes the coffee and arranges the camp,
etc.] The colonel is the man most venerated by these soldiers, who look
upon him as the father of the family. They are proud of the colonel's
success, and happy to have contributed to his honor or advancement. When
an order comes directly from him, be sure it will be religiously obeyed.
'When _papa_ says anything,' they repeat, one to another, 'it must be
done. Papa knows it is _already_ done; be wants us to be the best
children possible.' In critical moments, the colonel can use the
severest Draconian code, without having anything to fear from the
disapprobation of his men."


I mourn no more my vanished years:
Beneath a tender rain,
An April rain of smiles and tears,
My heart is young again.

The west winds blow, and, singing low,
I hear the glad streams run;
The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun.

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.

I plough no more a desert land,
To harvest weed and tare;
The manna dropping from God's hand
Rebukes my painful care.

I break my pilgrim staff, I lay
Aside the toiling oar;
The angel sought so far away
I welcome at my door.

The airs of Spring may never play
Among the ripening corn,
Nor freshness of the flowers of May
Blow through the Autumn morn;--

Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look
Through fringed lids to heaven,
And the pale aster in the brook
Shall see its image given;--

The woods shall wear their robes of praise,
The south wind softly sigh,
And sweet, calm days in golden haze
Melt down the amber sky.

Not less shall manly deed and word
Rebuke an age of wrong;
The graven flowers that wreathe the sword
Make not the blade less strong.

But smiting hands shall learn to heal,
To build as to destroy;
Nor less my heart for others feel
That I the more enjoy.

All as God wills, who wisely heeds
To give or to withhold,
And knoweth more of all my needs
Than all my prayers have told!

Enough that blessings undeserved
Have marked my erring track,--
That, wheresoe'er my feet have swerved,
His chastening turned me back,--

That more and more a Providence
Of love is understood,
Making the springs of time and sense
Sweet with eternal good,--

That death seems but a covered way
Which opens into light,
Wherein no blinded child can stray
Beyond the Father's sight,--

That care and trial seem at last,
Through Memory's sunset air,
Like mountain-ranges overpast,
In purple distance fair,--

That all the jarring notes of life
Seem blending in a psalm,
And all the angles of its strife
Slow rounding into calm.

And so the shadows fall apart,
And so the west winds play;
And all the windows of my heart
I open to the day!



There has been a sort of stillness in the atmosphere of our
boarding-house since my last record, as if something or other were going
on. There is no particular change that I can think of in the aspect of
things; yet I have a feeling as if some game of life were quietly
playing and strange forces were at work, underneath this smooth surface
of every-day boarding-house life, which would show themselves some fine
morning or other in events, if not in catastrophes. I have been
watchful, as I said I should be, but have little to tell as yet. You may
laugh at me, and very likely think me foolishly fanciful to trouble
myself about what is going on in a middling-class household like ours.
Do as you like. But here is that terrible fact to begin with,--a
beautiful young girl, with the blood and the nerve-fibre that belong to
Nature's women, turned loose among live men.

--_Terrible_ fact?

Very terrible. Nothing more so. Do you forget the angels who lost heaven
for the daughters of men? Do you forget Helen, and the fair women who
made mischief and set nations by the ears before Helen was born? If
jealousies that gnaw men's hearts out of their bodies,--if pangs that
waste men to shadows and drive them into raving madness or moping
melancholy,--if assassination and suicide are dreadful possibilities,
then there is always something frightful about a lovely young woman.--I
love to look at this "Rainbow," as her father used sometimes to call
her, of ours. Handsome creature that she is in forms and colors,--the
very picture, as it seems to me, of that "golden blonde" my friend whose
book you read last year fell in love with when he was a boy, (as you
remember, no doubt,)--handsome as she is, fit for a sea-king's bride, it
is not her beauty alone that holds my eyes upon her. Let me tell you one
of my fancies, and then you will understand the strange sort of
fascination she has for me.

It is in the hearts of many men and women--let me add children--that
there is a _Great Secret_ waiting for them,--a secret of which they get
hints now and then, perhaps oftener in early than in later years. These
hints come sometimes in dreams, sometimes in sudden startling
flashes,--second wakings, as it were,--a waking out of the waking state,
which last is very apt to be a half-sleep. I have many times stopped
short and held my breath, and felt the blood leaving my cheeks, in one
of these sudden clairvoyant flashes. Of course I cannot tell what kind
of a secret this is; but I think of it as a disclosure of certain
relations of our personal being to time and space, to other
intelligences, to the procession of events, and to their First Great
Cause. This secret seems to be broken up, as it were, into fragments, so
that we find here a word and there a syllable, and then again only a
letter of it; but it never is written out for most of us as a complete
sentence, in this life. I do not think it could be; for I am disposed to
consider our beliefs about such a possible disclosure rather as a kind
of premonition of an enlargement of our faculties in some future state
than as an expectation to be fulfilled for most of us in this life.
Persons, however, have fallen into trances,--as did the Reverend William
Tennent, among many others,--and learned some things which they could
not tell in our human words.

Now among the visible objects which hint to us fragments of this
infinite secret for--which our souls are waiting, the faces of women are
those that carry the most legible hieroglyphics of the great mystery.
There are women's faces, some real, some ideal, which contain something
in them that becomes a positive element in our creed, so direct and
palpable a revelation is it of the infinite purity and love. I remember
two faces of women with wings, such as they call angels, of Fra
Angelico,--and I just now came across a print of Raphael's Santa
Apollina, with something of the same quality,--which I was sure had
their prototypes in the world above ours. No wonder the Catholics pay
their vows to the Queen of Heaven! The unpoetical side of Protestantism
is, that it has no women to be worshipped.

But mind you, it is not every beautiful face that hints the Great Secret
to us, nor is it only in beautiful faces that we find traces of it.
Sometimes it looks out from a sweet sad eye, the only beauty of a plain
countenance; sometimes there is so much meaning in the lips of a woman,
not otherwise fascinating, that we know they have a message for us, and
wait almost with awe to hear their accents. But this young girl has at
once the beauty of feature and the unspoken mystery of expression. Can
she tell me anything? Is her life a complement of mine, with the missing
element in it which I have been groping after through so many
friendships that I have tired of, and through--Hush! Is the door fast?
Talking loud is a bad trick in these curious boarding-houses.

You must have sometimes noted this fact that I am going to remind you of
and to use for a special illustration. Riding along over a rocky road,
suddenly the slow monotonous grinding of the crushing gravel changes to
a deep heavy rumble. There is a great hollow under your feet,--a huge
unsunned cavern. Deep, deep beneath you, in the core of the living rock,
it arches its awful vault, and far away it stretches its winding
galleries, their roofs dripping into streams where fishes have been
swimming and spawning in the dark until their scales are white as milk
and their eyes have withered out, obsolete and useless.

So it is in life. We jog quietly along, meeting the same faces, grinding
over the same thoughts,--the gravel of the soul's highway,--now and then
jarred against an obstacle we cannot crush, but must ride over or round
as we best may, sometimes bringing short up against a disappointment,
but still working along with the creaking and rattling and grating and
jerking that belong to the journey of life, even in the
smoothest-rolling vehicle. Suddenly we hear the deep underground
reverberation that reveals the unsuspected depth of some abyss of
thought or passion beneath us.----

I wish the girl would go. I don't like to look at her so much, and yet I
cannot help it. Always that same expression of something that I ought to
know,--something that she was made to tell and I to hear,--lying there
ready to fall off from her lips, ready to leap out of her eyes and make
a saint of me, or a devil or a lunatic, or perhaps a prophet to tell the
truth and be hated of men, or a poet whose words shall flash upon the
dry stubble-field of worn-out thoughts and burn over an age of lies in
an hour of passion.

It suddenly occurs to me that I may have put you on the wrong track. The
Great Secret that I refer to has nothing to do with the Three Words. Set
your mind at ease about that,--there are reasons I could give you which
settle all that matter. I don't wonder, however, that you confounded the
Great Secret with the Three Words.

I LOVE YOU is all the secret that many, nay, most women have to tell.
When that is said, they are like China-crackers on the morning of the
fifth of July. And just as that little patriotic implement is made with
a slender train which leads to the magazine in its interior, so a sharp
eye can almost always see the train leading from a young girl's eye or
lip to the "I love you" in her heart. But the Three Words are not the
Great Secret I mean. No, women's faces are only one of the tablets on
which that is written in its partial, fragmentary symbols. It lies
deeper than Love, though very probably Love is a part of it. Some, I
think,--Wordsworth might be one of them,--spell out a portion of it from
certain beautiful natural objects, landscapes, flowers, and others. I
can mention several poems of his that have shadowy hints which seem to
me to come near the region where I think it lies. I have known two
persons who pursued it with the passion of the old alchemists,--all
wrong evidently, but infatuated, and never giving up the daily search
for it until they got tremulous and feeble, and their dreams changed to
visions of things that ran and crawled about their floor and ceilings,
and so they died. The vulgar called them drunkards.

I told you that I would let you know the mystery of the effect this
young girl's face produces on me. It is akin to those influences a
friend of mine has described, you may remember, as coming from certain
voices. I cannot translate it into words,--only into feelings; and these
I have attempted to shadow by showing that her face hinted that
revelation of something we are close to knowing, which all imaginative
persons are looking for either in this world or on the very threshold of
the next.

You shake your head at the vagueness and fanciful incomprehensibleness
of my description of the expression in a young girl's face. You forget
what a miserable surface-matter this language is in which we try to
reproduce our interior state of being. Articulation is a shallow trick.
From the light Poh! which we toss off from our lips as we fling a
nameless scribbler's impertinences into our waste-baskets, to the
gravest utterance which comes from our throats in our moments of deepest
need, is only a space of some three or four inches. Words, which are a
set of clickings, hissings, lispings, and so on, mean very little,
compared to tones and expression of the features. I give it up; I
thought I could shadow forth in some feeble way, by their aid, the
effect this young girl's face produces on my imagination; but it is of
no use. No doubt your head aches, trying to make something of my
description. If there is here and there one that can make anything
intelligible out of my talk about the Great Secret, and who has spelt
out a syllable or two of it on some woman's face, dead or living, that
is all I can expect. One should see the person with whom he converses
about such matters. There are dreamy-eyed people to whom I should say
all these things with a certainty of being understood;--

That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.

----I am afraid some of them have not got a spare quarter for this
August number, so that they will never see it.

----Let us start again, just as if we had not made this ambitious
attempt, which may go for nothing, and you can have your money refunded,
if you will make the change.

This young girl, about whom I have talked so unintelligibly, is the
unconscious centre of attraction to the whole solar system of our
breakfast-table. The little gentleman, leans towards her, and she again
seems to be swayed as by some invisible gentle force towards him. That
slight inclination of two persons with a strong affinity towards each
other, throwing them a little out of plumb when they sit side by side,
is a physical fact I have often noticed. Then there is a tendency in all
the men's eyes to converge on her; and I do firmly believe, that, if all
their chairs were examined, they would be found a little obliquely
placed, so as to favor the direction in which their occupants love to

That bland, quiet old gentleman, of whom I have spoken as sitting
opposite to me, is no exception to the rule. She brought down some
mignonette one morning, which she had grown in her chamber. She gave a
sprig to her little neighbor, and one to the landlady, and sent another
by the hand of Bridget to this old gentleman.

----Sarvant, Ma'am! Much obleeged,--he said, and put it gallantly in his
button-hole.--After breakfast he must see some of her drawings. Very
fine performances,--very fine!--truly elegant productions,--truly
elegant!--Had seen Miss Linley's needle-work in London, in the year
(eighteen hundred and little or nothing, I think he said,)--patronized
by the nobility and gentry, and Her Majesty,--elegant, truly elegant
productions, very fine performances; these drawings reminded him of
them;--wonderful resemblance to Nature; an extraordinary art, painting;
Mr. Copley made some very fine pictures that he remembered seeing when
he was a boy. Used to remember some lines about a portrait written by
Mr. Cowper, beginning,--

"Oh that those lips had language! Life has past
With me but roughly since I saw thee last."

And with this the old gentleman fell to thinking about a dead mother of
his that he remembered ever so much younger than he now was, and
looking, not as his mother, but as his daughter should look. The dead
young mother was looking at the old man, her child, as she used to look
at him so many, many years ago. He stood still as if cataleptic, his
eyes fixed on the drawings till their outlines grew indistinct and they
ran into each other, and a pale, sweet face shaped itself out of the
glimmering light through which he saw them.--What is there quite so
profoundly human as an old man's memory of a mother who died in his
earlier years? Mother she remains till manhood, and by-and-by she grows,
as it were, to be as a sister; and at last, when, wrinkled and bowed and
broken, he looks back upon her in her fair youth, he sees in the sweet
image he caresses, not his parent, but, as it were, his child.

If I had not seen all this in the old gentleman's face, the words with
which he broke his silence would have betrayed his train of thought.

----If they had only taken pictures then as they do now!--he said.--All
gone! all gone! nothing but her face as she leaned on the arms of her
great chair; and I would give a hundred pound for the poorest little
picture of her, such as you can buy for a shilling of anybody that you
don't want to see.--The old gentleman put his hand to his forehead so as
to shade his eyes. I saw he was looking at the dim photograph of memory,
and turned from him to Iris.

How many drawing-books have you filled,--I said,--since you began to
take lessons?--This was the first,--she answered,--since she was here;
and it was not full, but there were many separate sheets of large size
she had covered with drawings.

I turned over the leaves of the book before us. Academic studies,
principally of the human figure. Heads of sibyls, prophets, and so
forth. Limbs from statues. Hands and feet from Nature. What a superb
drawing of an arm! I don't remember it among the figures from Michel
Angelo, which seem to have been her patterns mainly. From Nature, I
think, or after a cast from Nature.--Oh!----

----Your smaller studies are in this, I suppose,--I said, taking up the
drawing-book with a lock on it.----Yes,--she said.--I should like to see
her style of working on a small scale.--There was nothing in it worth
showing,--she said; and presently I saw her try the lock, which proved
to be fast. We are all caricatured in it, I haven't the least doubt. I
think, though, I could tell by her way of dealing with us what her
fancies were about us boarders. Some of them act as if they were
bewitched with her, but she does not seem to notice it much. Her
thoughts seem to be on her little neighbor more than on anybody else.
The young fellow John appears to stand second in her good graces. I
think he has once or twice sent her what the landlady's daughter calls
bo-kays of flowers,--somebody has, at any rate.--I saw a book she had,
which must have come from the divinity-student. It had a dreary
title-page, which she had enlivened with a fancy portrait of the
author,--a face from memory, apparently,--one of those faces that small
children loathe without knowing why, and which give them that inward
disgust for heaven so many of the little wretches betray, when they hear
that these are "good men," and that heaven is full of such.--The
gentleman with the "diamond"--the Koh-i-noor, so called by us--was not
encouraged, I think, by the reception of his packet of perfumed soap. He
pulls his purple moustache and looks appreciatingly at Iris, who never
sees him, as it should seem. The young Marylander, who I thought would
have been in love with her before this time, sometimes looks from his
corner across the long diagonal of the table, as much as to say, I wish
you were up here by me, or I were down there by you,--which would,
perhaps, be a more natural arrangement than the present one. But nothing
comes of all this,--and nothing has come of my sagacious idea of finding
out the girl's fancies by looking into her locked drawing-book.

Not to give up all the questions I was determined to solve, I made an
attempt also to work into the little gentleman's chamber. For this
purpose, I kept him in conversation, one morning, until he was just
ready to go up-stairs, and then, as if to continue the talk, followed
him as he toiled back to his room. He rested on the landing and faced
round toward me. There was something in his eye which said, Stop there!
So we finished our conversation on the landing. The next day, I mustered
assurance enough to knock at his door, having a pretext ready.--No
answer.--Knock again. A door, as if of a cabinet, was shut softly and
locked, and presently I heard the peculiar dead beat of his thick-soled,
misshapen boots. The bolts and the lock of the inner door were
unfastened,--with unnecessary noise, I thought,--and he came into the
passage. He pulled the inner door after him and opened the outer one at
which I stood. He had on a flowered silk dressing-gown, such as "Mr.
Copley" used to paint his old-fashioned merchant-princes in; and a
quaint-looking key in his hand. Our conversation was short, but long
enough to convince me that the little gentleman did not want my company
in his chamber, and did not mean to have it.

I have been making a great fuss about what is no mystery at all,--a
schoolgirl's secrets and a whimsical man's habits. I mean to give up
such nonsense and mind my own business.--Hark! What the deuse is that
odd noise in his chamber?

----I think I am a little superstitious. There were two things, when I
was a boy, that diabolized my imagination,--I mean, that gave me a
distinct apprehension of a formidable bodily shape which prowled round
the neighborhood where I was born and bred. The first was a series of
marks called the "Devil's footsteps." These were patches of sand in the
pastures, where no grass grew, where even the low-bush blackberry, the
"dewberry," as our Southern neighbors call it, in prettier and more
Shakspearian language, did not spread its clinging creepers,--where even
the pale, dry, sadly-sweet "everlasting" could not grow, but all was
bare and blasted. The second was a mark in one of the public buildings
near my home,--the college dormitory named after a Colonial Governor. I
do not think many persons are aware of the existence of this
mark,--little having been said about the story in print, as it was
considered very desirable, for the sake of the institution, to hush it
up. In the northwest corner, and on the level of the third or fourth
story, there are signs of a breach in the walls, mended pretty well, but
not to be mistaken. A considerable portion of that corner must have been
carried away, from within outward. It was an unpleasant story; and I do
not care to repeat the particulars; but some young men had been using
sacred things in a profane and unlawful way, when the occurrence, which
was variously explained, took place. The story of the Appearance in the
chamber was, I suppose, invented afterwards; but of the injury to the
building there could be no question; and the zig-zag line, where the
mortar is a little thicker than before, is still distinctly visible. The
queer burnt spots, called the "Devil's footsteps," had never attracted
attention before this time, though there is no evidence that they had
not existed previously, except that of the late Miss M., a "Goody," so
called, or sweeper, who was positive on the subject, but had a strange
horror of referring to an affair of which she was thought to know
something.--I tell you it was not so pleasant for a little boy of
impressible nature to go up to bed in an old gambrel-roofed house, with
untenanted, locked upper-chambers, and a most ghostly garret,--with the
"Devil's footsteps" in the fields behind the house, and in front of it
the patched dormitory where the unexplained occurrence had taken place
which startled those godless youths at their mock devotions, so that one
of them was an idiot from that day forward, and another, after a
dreadful season of mental conflict, took holy orders and became renowned
for his ascetic sanctity.

There were other circumstances that kept up the impression produced by
these two singular facts I have just mentioned. There was a dark
storeroom, on looking through the keyhole of which, I could dimly see a
heap of chairs and tables, and other four-footed things, which seemed to
me to have rushed in there, frightened, and in their fright to have
huddled together and climbed up on each other's backs,--as the people
did in that awful crush where so many were killed, at the execution of
Holloway and Haggerty. Then the Lady's portrait, up-stairs, with the
sword-thrusts through it,--marks of the British officers' rapiers,--and
the tall mirror in which they used to look at their red coats,--confound
them for smashing its mate!--and the deep, cunningly wrought arm-chair
in which Lord Percy used to sit while his hair was dressing;--he was a
gentleman, and always had it covered with a large _peignoir_, to save
the silk covering my grandmother embroidered. Then the little room
down-stairs, from which went the orders to throw up a bank of earth on
the hill yonder, where you may now observe a granite obelisk,--"the
study," in my father's time, but in those days the council-chamber of
armed men,--sometimes filled with soldiers;--come with me, and I will
show you the "dents" left by the butts of their muskets all over the
floor.--With all these suggestive objects round me, aided by the wild
stories those awful country-boys that came to live in our service
brought with them,--of contracts written in blood and left out over
night, not to be found the next morning,--removed by the Evil One, who
takes his nightly round among our dwellings, and filed away for future
use,--of dreams coming true,--of death-signs,--of apparitions,--no
wonder that my imagination got excited, and I was liable to
superstitious fancies.

Jeremy Bentham's logic, by which he proved that he couldn't possibly see
a ghost, is all very well--in the day-time. All the reason in the world
will never get those impressions of childhood, created by just such
circumstances as I have been telling, out of a man's head. That is the
only excuse I have to give for the nervous kind of curiosity with which
I watch my little neighbor, and the obstinacy with which I lie awake
whenever I hear anything going on in his chamber after midnight.

But whatever further observations I may have made must be deferred for
the present. You will see in what way it happened that my thoughts were
turned from spiritual matters to bodily ones, and how I got my fancy
full of material images,--faces, heads, figures, muscles, and so
forth,--in such a way that I should have no chance in this number to
gratify any curiosity you may feel, if I had the means of so doing.

Indeed, I have come pretty near omitting my periodical record this time.
It was all the work of a friend of mine, who would have it that I should
sit to him for my portrait. When a soul draws a body in the great
lottery of life, where every one is sure of a prize, such as it is, the
said soul inspects the said body with the same curious interest with
which one who has ventured into a "gift enterprise" examines the
"massive silver pencil-case" with the coppery smell and impressible
tube, or the "splendid gold ring" with the questionable specific
gravity, which it has been his fortune to obtain in addition to his

The soul, having studied the article of which it finds itself
proprietor, thinks, after a time, it knows it pretty well. But there is
this difference between its view and that of a person looking at us:--we
look from within, and see nothing but the mould formed by the elements
in which we are incased; other observers look from without, and see us
as living statues. To be sure, by the aid of mirrors, we get a few
glimpses of our outside aspect; but this occasional impression is always
modified by that look of the soul from within outward which none but
ourselves can take. A portrait is apt, therefore, to be a surprise to
us. The artist looks only from without. He sees us, too, with a hundred
aspects on our faces we are never likely to see. No genuine expression
can be studied by the subject of it in the looking-glass.

More than this; he sees us in a way in which many of our friends or
acquaintances never see us. Without wearing any mask we are conscious
of, we have a special face for each friend. For, in the first place,
each puts a special reflection of himself upon us, on the principle of
assimilation referred to in my last record, if you happen to have read
that document. And secondly, each of our friends is capable of seeing
just so far, and no farther, into our face, and each sees in it the
particular thing that he looks for. Now the artist, if he is truly an
artist, does not take any one of these special views. Suppose he should
copy you as you appear to the man who wants your name to a
subscription-list, you could hardly expect a friend who entertains you
to recognize the likeness to the smiling face which sheds its radiance
at his board. Even within your own family, I am afraid there is a face
which the rich uncle knows, that is not so familiar to the poor
relation. The artist must take one or the other, or something compounded
of the two, or something different from either. What the daguerreotype
and photograph do is to give the features and one particular look, the
very look which kills all expression, that of self-consciousness. The
artist throws you off your guard, watches you in movement and in repose,
puts your face through its exercises, observes its transitions, and so
gets the whole range of its expression. Out of all this he forms an
ideal portrait, which is not a copy of your exact look at any one time
or to any particular person. Such a portrait cannot be to everybody what
the ungloved call "as nat'ral as life." Every good picture, therefore,
must be considered wanting in resemblance by many persons.

There is one strange revelation which comes out, as the artist shapes
your features from his outline. It is that you resemble so many
relatives to whom you yourself never had noticed any particular likeness
in your countenance.

He is at work at me now, when I catch some of these resemblances,

There! that is just the look my father used to have sometimes; I never
thought I had a sign of it. The mother's eyebrow and grayish-blue eye,
those I knew I had. But there is a something which recalls a smile that
faded away from my sister's lips--how many years ago! I thought it so
pleasant in her, that I love myself better for having a trace of it.

Are we not young? Are we not fresh and blooming? Wait a bit. The artist
takes a mean little brush and draws three fine lines, diverging outwards
from the eye over the temple. Five years.--The artist draws one
tolerably distinct and two faint lines, perpendicularly between the
eyebrows. Ten years.--The artist breaks up the contours round the mouth,
so that they look a little as a hat does that has been sat upon and
recovered itself, ready, as one would say, to crumple up again in the
same creases, on smiling or other change of feature.--Hold on! Stop
that! Give a young fellow a chance! Are we not whole years short of that
interesting period of life when Mr. Balzac says that a man, etc., etc.,

There now! That is ourself, as we look after finishing an article,
getting a three-mile pull with the ten-foot sculls, redressing the
wrongs of the toilet, and standing with the light of hope in our eye and
the reflection of a red curtain on our cheek. Is he not a POET that
painted us?

"Blest be the art that can immortalize!"


----Young folks look on a face as a unit; children who go to school with
any given little John Smith see in his name a distinctive appellation,
and in his features as special and definite an expression of his sole
individuality as if he were the first created of his race. As soon as we
are old enough to get the range of three or four generations well in
hand, and to take in large family histories, we never see an individual
in a face of any stock we know, but a mosaic copy of a pattern, with
fragmentary tints from this and that ancestor. The analysis of a face
into its ancestral elements requires that it should be examined in the
very earliest infancy, before it has lost that ancient and solemn look
it brings with it out of the past eternity; and again in that brief
space when Life, the mighty sculptor, has done his work, and Death, his
silent servant, lifts the veil and lets us look at the marble lines he
has wrought so faithfully; and lastly, while a painter who can seize all
the traits of a countenance is building it up, feature after feature,
from the slight outline to the finished portrait.

----I am satisfied, that, as we grow older, we learn to look upon our
bodies more and more as a temporary possession, and less and less as
identified with ourselves. In early years, while the child "feels its
life in every limb," it lives in the body and for the body to a very
great extent. It ought to be so. There have been many very interesting
children who have shown a wonderful indifference to the things of earth
and an extraordinary development of the spiritual nature. There is a
perfect literature of their biographies, all alike in their essentials;
the same "disinclination to the usual amusements of childhood"; the same
remarkable sensibility; the same docility; the same conscientiousness;
in short, an almost uniform character, marked by beautiful traits, which
we look at with a painful admiration. It will be found that most of
these children are the subjects of some constitutional unfitness for
living, the most frequent of which I need not mention. They are like the
beautiful, blushing, half-grown fruit that falls before its time because
its core is gnawed out. They have their meaning,--they do not live in
vain,--but they are windfalls. I am convinced that many healthy children
are injured morally by being forced to read too much about these little
meek sufferers and their spiritual exercises. Here is a boy that loves
to run, swim, kick football, turn somersets, make faces, whittle, fish,
tear his clothes, coast, skate, fire crackers, blow squash "tooters,"
cut his name on fences, read about Robinson Crusoe and Sinbad the
Sailor, eat the widest-angled slices of pie and untold cakes and
candies, crack nuts with his back teeth and bite out the better part of
another boy's apple with his front ones, turn up coppers, "stick"
knives, call names, throw stones, knock off hats, set mousetraps, chalk
doorsteps, "cut behind" anything on wheels or runners, whistle through
his teeth, "holler" Fire! on slight evidence, run after soldiers,
patronize an engine-company, or, in his own words, "blow for tub No.
11," or whatever it may be;--isn't that a pretty nice sort of a boy,
though he has not got anything the matter with him that takes the taste
of this world out? Now, when you put into such a hot-blooded,
hard-fisted, round-cheeked little rogue's hand a sad-looking volume or
pamphlet, with the portrait of a thin, white-faced child, whose life is
really as much a training for death as the last month of a condemned
criminal's existence, what does he find in common between his own
overflowing and exulting sense of vitality and the experiences of the
doomed offspring of invalid parents? The time comes when we have learned
to understand the music of sorrow, the beauty of resigned suffering, the
holy light that plays over the pillow of those who die before their
time, in humble hope and trust. But it is not until he has worked his
way through the period of honest, hearty animal existence, which every
robust, child should make the most of,--not until he has learned the use
of his various faculties, which is his first duty,--that a boy of
courage and animal vigor is in a proper state to read these tearful
records of premature decay. I have no doubt that disgust is implanted in
the minds of many healthy children by early surfeits of pathological
piety. I do verily believe that He who took children in His arms and
blessed them loved the healthiest and most playful of them just as well
as those who were richest in the tuberculous virtues. I know what I am
talking about, and there are more parents in this country who will be
willing to listen to what I say than there are fools to pick a quarrel
with me. In the sensibility and the sanctity which often accompany
premature decay I see one of the most beautiful instances of the
principle of compensation which marks the Divine benevolence. But to get
the spiritual hygiene of robust natures out of the exceptional regimen
of invalids is just simply what we Professors call "bad practice"; and I
know by experience that there are worthy people who not only try it on
their own children, but actually force it on those of their neighbors.

----Having been photographed, and stereographed, and chromatographed, or
done in colors, it only remained to be phrenologized. A polite note from
Messrs. Bumpus and Crane, requesting our attendance at their
Physiological Emporium, was too tempting to be resisted. We repaired to
that scientific Golgotha.

Messrs. Bumpus and Crane are arranged on the plan of the man and the
woman in the toy called a "weather-house," both on the same wooden arm
suspended on a pivot,--so that when one comes to the door, the other
retires backwards, and _vice versa_. The more particular speciality of
one is to lubricate your entrance and exit,--that of the other to polish
you off phrenologically in the recesses of the establishment. Suppose
yourself in a room full of casts and pictures, before a counter-full of
books with taking titles. I wonder if the picture of the brain is there,
"approved" by a noted Phrenologist, which was copied from _my_, the
Professor's, folio plate in the work of Gall and Spurzheim. An extra
convolution, No. 9, _Destructiveness_, according to the list beneath,
which was not to be seen in the plate, itself a copy of Nature, was very
liberally supplied by the artist, to meet the wants of the catalogue of
"organs." Professor Bumpus is seated in front of a row of
women,--horn-combers and gold-beaders, or somewhere about that range of
life,--looking so credulous, that, if any Second-Advent Miller or Joe
Smith should come along, he could string the whole lot of them on his
cheapest lie, as a boy strings a dozen "shiners" on a stripped twig of

The Professor (meaning ourselves) is in a hurry, as usual; let the
horn-combers wait,--he shall be bumped without inspecting the

Tape round the head,--22 inches. (Come on, old 23 inches, if you think
you are the better man!)

Feels of thorax and arm, and nuzzles round among muscles as those horrid
old women poke their fingers into the salt-meat on the provision-stalls
at the Quincy Market. Vitality, No. 5 or 6, or something or other.
_Victuality_, (organ at epigastrium,) some other number equally

Mild champooing of head now commences. Extraordinary revelations!
Cupidipbilous, 6! Hymeniphilous, 6+! Paediphilous, 5! Deipniphilous, 6!
Gelasmiphilous, 6! Muslkiphilous, 5! Uraniphilous, 5! Glossiphilous, 8!!
and so on. Meant for a linguist.--Invaluable information. Will invest in
grammars and dictionaries immediately.--I have nothing against the grand
total of my phrenological endowments.

I never set great store by my head, and did not think Messrs. Bumpus and
Crane would give me so good a lot of organs as they did, especially
considering that I was a _dead_-head on that occasion. Much obliged to
them for their politeness. They have been useful in their way by calling
attention to important physiological facts. (This concession is due to
our immense bump of Candor.)

_A short Lecture on Phrenology, read to the Boarders at our

I shall begin, my friends, with the definition of a _Pseudo-science_. A
Pseudo-science consists of _a nomenclature_, with a self-adjusting
arrangement, by which all positive evidence, or such as favors its
doctrines, is admitted, and all negative evidence, or such as tells
against it, is excluded. It is invariably connected with some lucrative
practical application. Its professors and practitioners are usually
shrewd people; they are very serious with the public, but wink and laugh
a good deal among themselves. The believing multitude consists of women
of both sexes, feeble-minded inquirers, poetical optimists, people who
always get cheated in buying horses, philanthropists who insist on
hurrying up the millennium, and others of this class, with here and
there a clergyman, less frequently a lawyer, very rarely a physician,
and almost never a horse-jockey or a member of the detective police.--I
did not say that Phrenology was one of the Pseudo-sciences.

A Pseudo-science does not necessarily consist wholly of lies. It may
contain many truths, and even valuable ones. The rottenest bank starts
with a little specie. It puts out a thousand promises to pay on the
strength of a single dollar, but the dollar is very commonly a good one.
The practitioners of the Pseudo-sciences know that common minds, after
they have been baited with a real fact or two, will jump at the merest
rag of a lie, or even at the bare hook. When we have one fact found us,
we are very apt to supply the next out of our own imagination. (How many
persons can read Judges xv. 16 correctly the first time?) The
Pseudo-sciences take advantage of this.--I did not say that it was so
with Phrenology.

I have rarely met a sensible man who would not allow that there was
_something_ in Phrenology. A broad, high forehead, it is commonly
agreed, promises intellect; one that is "villanous low" and has a huge
hind-head back of it, is wont to mark an animal nature. I have as rarely
met an unbiassed and sensible man who really believed in the bumps. It
is observed, however, that persons with what the Phrenologists call
"good heads" are more prone than others toward plenary belief in the

It is so hard to prove a negative, that, if a man should assert that the
moon was in truth a green cheese, formed by the coagulable substance of
the Milky Way, and challenge me to prove the contrary, I might be
puzzled. But if he offer to sell me a ton of this lunar cheese, I call
on him to prove the truth of the caseous nature of our satellite, before
I purchase.

It is not necessary to prove the falsity of the phrenological statement.
It is only necessary to show that its truth is not proved, and cannot
be, by the common course of argument. The walls of the head are double,
with a great air-chamber between them, over the smallest and most
closely crowded "organs." Can you tell how much money there is in a
safe, which also has thick double walls, by kneading its knobs with your
fingers? So when a man fumbles about my forehead, and talks about the
organs of _Individuality_, _Size_, etc., I trust him as much as I should
if he felt of the outside of my strong-box and told me that there was a
five-dollar- or a ten-dollar-bill under this or that particular rivet.
Perhaps there is; _only he doesn't know anything about it_. But this is
a point that I, the Professor, understand, my friends, or ought to,
certainly, better than you do. The next argument you will all

I proceed, therefore, to explain the self-adjusting mechanism of
Phrenology, which is _very similar_ to that of the Pseudo-sciences. An
example will show it most conveniently.

A. is a notorious thief. Messrs. Bumpus and Crane examine him and find a
good-sized organ of Acquisitiveness. Positive fact for Phrenology. Casts
and drawings of A. are multiplied, and the bump _does not lose_ in the
act of copying.--I did not Hay it gained.--What do you look so for? (to
the boarders.)

Presently B. turns up, a bigger thief than A. But B. has no bump at all
over Acquisitiveness. Negative fact; goes against Phrenology.--Not a bit
of it. Don't you see how small Conscientiousness is? _That's_ the reason
B. stole.

And then comes C., ten times as much a thief as either A. or B.,--used
to steal before he was weaned, and would pick one of his own pockets and
put its contents in another, if he could find no other way of committing
petty larceny. Unfortunately, C. has a _hollow_, instead of a bump, over
Acquisitiveness. Ah, but just look and see what a bump of
Alimentiveness! Did not C. buy nuts and ginger-bread, when a boy, with
the money he stole? Of course you see why he is a thief, and how his
example confirms our noble science.

At last comes along a case which is apparently a _settler_, for there is
a little brain with vast and varied powers,--a case like that of Byron,
for instance. Then comes out the grand reserve-reason which covers
everything and renders it simply impossible ever to corner a
Phrenologist. "It is not the size alone, but the _quality_ of an organ,
which determines its degree of power."

Oh! oh! I see.--The argument may be briefly stated thus by the
Phrenologist: "Heads I win, tails you lose." Well, that's convenient.

It must be confessed that Phrenology has a certain resemblance to the
Pseudo-sciences. I did not say it was a Pseudo-science.

I have often met persons who have been altogether struck up and amazed
at the accuracy with which some wandering Professor of Phrenology had
read their characters written upon their skulls. Of course the Professor
acquires his information solely through his cranial inspections and
manipulations.--What are you laughing at? (to the boarders).--But let us
just _suppose_, for a moment, that a tolerably cunning fellow, who did
not know or care anything about Phrenology, should open a shop and
undertake to read off people's characters at fifty cents or a dollar
apiece. Let us see how well he could get along without the "organs."

I will suppose myself to set up such a shop. I would invest one hundred
dollars, more or less, in casts of brains, skulls, charts, and other
matters that would make the most show for the money. That would do to
begin with. I would then advertise myself as the celebrated Professor
Brainey, or whatever name I might choose, and wait for my first
customer. My first customer is a middle-aged man. I look at him,--ask
him a question or two, so as to hear him talk. When I have got the hang
of him, I ask him to sit down, and proceed to fumble his skull,
dictating as follows:--


_Each to be accompanied with a wink._

_Amativeness_, 7. Most men love the conflicting sex, and all
men love to be told they do.

_Alimentiveness_, 8. Don't you see that he has burst off his
lowest waistcoat-button with feeding,--hay?

_Acquisitiveness_, 8. Of course. A middle-aged Yankee.

_Approbativeness_, 7+. Hat well brushed. Hair ditto. Mark the
effect of that _plus_ sign.

_Self-esteem_, 6. His face shows that.

_Benevolence_, 9. That'll please him

_Conscientiousness_, 8-1/2. That fraction looks first-rate.

_Mirthfulness_, 7. Has laughed twice since he came in.

_Ideality_, 9. That sounds well.

_Form, Size, Weight, Color, }
Locality, Eventuality, etc.,} 4 to 6. Average everything that
etc.,_ } can't be guessed.

And so of the other faculties.

Of course, you know, that isn't the way the Phrenologists do. They go
only by the bumps.--What do you keep laughing so for? (to the boarders.)
I only said that is the way _I_ should practise "Phrenology" for a

_End of my Lecture._

----The Reformers have good heads generally. Their faces are commonly
serene enough, and they are lambs in private intercourse, even though
their voices may be like

The wolf's long howl from Oonalaska's shore,

when heard from platform. Their greatest spiritual danger is from the
perpetual _flattery of abuse_ to which they are exposed. These lines are
meant to caution them.



No fear lest praise should make us proud!
We know how cheaply that is won;
The idle homage of the crowd
Is proof of tasks as idly done.

A surface-smile may pay the toil
That follows still the conquering Right,
With soft, white hands to dress the spoil
That sunbrowned arms have clutched in fight.

Sing the sweet song of other days,
Serenely placid, safely true,
And o'er the present's parching ways
Thy verse distils like evening dew.

But speak in words of living power,--
They fall like drops of scalding rain
That plashed before the burning shower
swept o'er the cities of the plain!

Then scowling Hate turns deadly pale,--
Then Passion's half-coiled adders spring,
And, smitten through their leprous mail,
Strike right and left in hope to sting.

If thou, unmoved by poisoning wrath,
They feet on earth, they heart above,
Canst walk in peace they kingly path,
Unchanged in trust, unchilled in love,--

Too kind for bitter words to grieve,
Too firm for clamor to dismay,
When Faith forbids thee to believe,
And Meekness calls to disobey,--

Ah, then beware of mortal pride!
The smiling pride that calmly scorns
Those foolish fingers, crimson dyed
In laboring on thy crown of thorns!


War has been pronounced the condition of humanity; and it is certain
that conflict of some kind rages everywhere and at all times. The most
combative people on earth are the advocates of universal and perpetual
peace. There is something essentially defiant in the action of men who
avowedly seek the abolition of a custom that has existed since the days
of Cain, and which was well known to those magnificent beasts that
ranged over the earth's face long before man began to dream or was
dreamed of. To fight seems a necessity of the animal nature, whether the
animal be called tiger, bull, or man. Those who have fought assure us
that there is a positive pleasure in battle. That clever young woman,
Miss Flora Mac-Ivor, who passed most of her life in the very highest
fighting society, assures us, that men, when confronted with each other,
have a certain instinct for strife, as we see in other male animals,
such as dogs, bulls, and so forth. It is even so; and, further, the
fondness that men have for accounts and details of battles is another
evidence of the popularity of war, and an absolute stumbling-block in
the way of the Peace Society, which has the hardest of combats to fight.

The journals of the world are at this time full of the details of a war
such as that world has not witnessed since 1815, and in comparison with
which even the Russian War was but a second-rate contest. The old
quarrel between Austria and France, which has repeatedly caused the
peace of Europe to be broken since the days of Frederick III. and Louis
XI., has been renewed in our time with a fierceness and a vehemence and
on a scale that would have astonished Francis I., Charles V., Richelieu,
Turenne, Conde, Louis XIV., Eugene, and even Napoleon himself, the most
mighty of whose contests with Austria alone cannot be compared with that
which his nephew is now waging with the House of Lorraine. For, in 1805
and in 1809, Napoleon was not merely the ruler of France, but had at his
control the resources of many other countries. Belgium and Holland were
then at the command of France, and now they are independent monarchies,
holding strictly the position of neutrals. In 1809, Napoleon had those
very German States for his active allies that now threaten Napoleon
III.; and some of the hardest fighting on the French side, in the first
days of the campaign, was the work of Bavarians and other German
soldiers. That part of Poland which then constituted the Grand Duchy of
Warsaw was among his dependent principalities; and Russia sent an army
to his aid. In 1805, Napoleon I. had far more of Italian assistance than
Napoleon III. has had at the time we write; and in 1809, the entire
Peninsula obeyed his decrees as implicitly as they were obeyed by
France. Napoleon III. entered upon the war with the hereditary rival of
his country with no other ally than Sardinia, though it is now evident
that there was an "understanding" between him and the Czar, not pointing
to an attack on England, but to prevent the intervention of the Germans
in behalf of Austria, by holding out the implied threat of an attack on
Germany by Russia, should its rulers or people move against the allies.

Whatever may be thought of the motives of the French Emperor, and
however little most men may be disposed to believe in his generosity, it
is impossible to refrain from admiring the promptness and skill with
which he has acted, or to deny to him the merit of courage in daring to
pronounce so decidedly against the Austrians at a time when he could not
have reasonably reckoned upon a single ally beyond the limits of Italy,
when England, under Tory rule, was more disposed to act against him than
with him, and when the hostility of Germany, and its readiness to
support the Slavonic empire of Austria, were unequivocally expressed. So
great indeed, were the odds against him, that we find in that fact the
chief reason for the indisposition of the world to believe in the
possibility of war, and its extraordinary surprise when war actually
broke out.

To those who had closely scanned the affairs of Europe, and who observed
them by the light of the history of nearly four centuries, the coming of
war was no surprise. They foresaw it, and predicted its occurrence some
time before that famous lecture which the Emperor of the French
administered to the Emperor of Austria in the person of Baron Huebner.
With them, the question was not, Shall there be a war?--but it was, When
will the war break out? They reasoned from the _cause_ of the quarrel
between the two empires; while those who so long clung to the belief
that peace would be preserved, and who so plausibly argued in support of
their theory as to impose upon wellnigh the whole world, concerned
themselves only with its _occasion_. The former referred to things that
lay beyond the range of temporary politics, and, while admitting that
the shock of actual conflict might be postponed even for a few years,
were certain that such conflict must come, even if in the interval there
should happen an entire change of government in France. France might be
imperial, or royal, or republican, she might be Bonapartean, or
Henriquist, or Orleansist, or democratic,--tri-color, white, blue or
red,--but the quarrel would come, and cause new campaigns. The latter
thinking that the dispute was on the Italian question only, and knowing
that that was susceptible of diplomatic settlement, and believing that
there would be a union of European powers to accomplish such settlement,
rather than allow peace to be disturbed, never could suppose that the
balance of probabilities would be found on the side of war. It is due to
them to say, that a variety of causes conduced not merely to make them
firm in their faith, but to win for their views the general approbation
on mankind. Prominent among these was the striking fact, that there had
been no European was, strictly so called, with the single exception of
the Russian contest,--and that was highly exceptional in its
character,--for four-and-forty years. The generation that is passing
away, and the generation that is most active in discharging the business
of the world, never had seen a grand conflict between Christian states,
in which mighty armies had operated on vast and various fields. Old men
recollected the wars of Napoleon, but the number of such men is not
large, and their influence on opinion is small. Of quarrels and threats
of war all had seen enough; but this only tended to make them slow to
believe that war was really at hand. If so many quarrels had taken
place, and had been settled without resort to arms, assuredly the new
quarrel might be settled, and Europe get on peaceably for a few years
more without warfare. Neither the invasion of Spain in 1823, nor the
revolution of 1830, nor the Eastern question of 1840, nor the universal
outbreaks of 1848-9, nor the threats of Russia against Turkey when she
sought to compel the Sultan to give up those who had eaten his salt to
the gallows of Arad, nor the repeated discussions of the practicability
of a French conquest of England had led to a general war. If so many and
so black clouds had been dispersed without storms, it was not reasonable
to believe that the cloud which rose in the beginning of 1859 might also
break, and leave again a serene sky. It may be added that we have all of
us come to the conclusion that this is the best age the world has ever
known, as in most respects it is; and it seemed scarcely compatible with
our estimate of the age's excellence to believe that it _could_ send a
couple of million of men into the field for the purpose of cutting one
another's throats, except clearly as an act of self-defence. Man is the
same war-making animal now that he was in the days of Marathon, but he
readily admits the evils of war, and is peremptory in demanding that
they shall not be incurred save for good and valid reasons. He is as
ready to fight as ever he was, but he must fight for some definite
cause,--for a cause that will bear examination: and it did not seem
possible that a mere dispute concerning the manner in which Austria
governed her Italian dominions was of sufficient moment to light up the
flames of war anew on a scale as gigantic as ever they were made to
blaze during the days of Napoleon. Then, so far as the Russian War threw
any light upon the policy of France, the fair inference was that she at
least was not disposed to fight. France made the peace by which that war
was brought to a sudden end. She dictated that peace, much to the
disgust of the English, who had just become thoroughly roused, and who,
little anticipating the Indian mutiny, were for carrying on the contest
until Russia should be thoroughly humiliated. Considering all these
things, it was not unreasonable to believe that peace could be
maintained, and that Austria, far from taking the initiative in the war,
would be found ready to make such concessions as should lead to the
indefinite postponement of hostilities.

Those who reasoned from the mere occasion of the war were perfectly
right, from their point of view. Unfortunately for their reputation for
sagacity, their premises were entirely wrong, and hence the viciousness
of their conclusion. If we would know the cause of the war, we must
banish from our minds all that is said about the desire of Napoleon III
for vengeance on the conquerors of his uncle, all that we are told of
his sentimental wish for the elevation of the Italian people to a
national position, and all that is predicated of his ambitious longings
for the reconstruction of the First Empire. We must regard Napoleon III
in the light of what he really is, namely, one of the greatest statesmen
that ever lived, or we shall never be able to understand what are his
purposes. We have nothing to do with his morals, but have to regard him
only as the chief of France, pursuing the policy he believes best
calculated to advance that country's interests, and doing so in strict
accordance with her historical traditions, and in the same manner in
which it was pursued by the ablest of the Valois kings, by Henry IV. and
Sully, by Richelieu and Mazarin, by Louis XIV., by the chiefs of the
First Republic, and by Napoleon I. He may be a good man or a bad man,
but his character is entirely aside from the question, the nature and
merits of which have no necessary connection with the nature and merits
of the men engaged in effecting its solution. Let us examine the
subject, and see if we cannot find an intelligent, reasonable cause for
Napoleon's course of action, that shall harmonize with the duties, we
might almost say the instincts, of a great French statesman. The
examination will embrace nothing recondite, but we are confident it will
show that the French Emperor is no Quixote, and that he has been forced
into the war by the necessities of his situation, and by the very
natural desire he feels to prevent France from being compelled to
descend to a secondary place in the scale of European nations.

Modern Europe, in the sense in which we understand the term, dates from
the last quarter of the Fifteenth Century. Then England ceased to
attempt permanent conquests on the continent. Then Spain assumed
European rank and definite position. But two powers then began
especially to show themselves, and to play parts which both have
maintained down to the present time. The one was France, which then
ceased to dread English invasions, from the effects of which she was
rapidly recovering, whereby she was left to employ her energies on
foreign fields. The other was the _House of Austria_, which, by a series
of fortunate marriages, became, in the short period of forty years, the
most powerful family the modern world has ever known. On the day when
Maximilian, son of Frederick III., Emperor of Germany, wedded Mary of
Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold, the rivalry between France and
the Austrian family began. Philip, son of that marriage, married Juana,
daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella; and their son, Charles I. of the
Spains, became Charles V. of Germany. Thus there centred in his person a
degree of power such as no other sovereign could boast, and which alone
would have sufficed to make him the rival of the King of France, Francis
I., had no personal feeling entered into the relations between them. But
such feeling existed, and grew out of their competition for the imperial
crown. The previous ill-will between the Valois and the Hapsburg was
greatly increased, and assumed such force as permanently to color the
course of European history from that day to this. The rivalry of Charles
and Francis was the cause of many contests, and the French monarch,
though he was "The Most Christian King," in the opinion of some, more
than once aided, or offered to aid, the German Protestants against the
Emperor. To Philip II. and Henry II. the rivalry of their fathers
descended as an inheritance. It was in their warfare that the Battle of
St. Quentin was fought. The progress of the Reformation led monarchs in
those days to take a view of affairs not much unlike that which monarchs
of this century took in the days of the Holy Alliance, and after the
revolution of 1830. The hatred of Protestantism led the two kings to
draw together, though Henry II. had had no mean part in that work which
had enabled the Protestant Maurice of Saxony to render abortive all the
plans of Charles V. for the full restoration of Catholicism in Germany.
During the thirty years that followed the death of Henry II., the
dissensions of France had rendered her unable to contend with the House
of Austria, then principally represented by the Spanish branch of that
family; and Philip II. at one time thought of obtaining the crown of
that country for a member of his own house. But no sooner had Henry IV.
ascended the French throne, and established himself firmly thereon, than
the rivalry of France and Austria became as clearly pronounced as it had
been in the reign of Francis I.; and at the time of his death that most
popular of the Bourbon kings was engaged on a plan having for its object
the subversion of the Austrian power. His assassination changed the
course of events for a few years; but Richelieu became the ally of the
Swedes and Protestant Germans in the Thirty Years' War, though he was a
Cardinal, had destroyed the political power of the Huguenots, and might
have aspired to the Papacy. Mazarin, another Cardinal, followed
Richelieu's policy. Louis XIV. was repeatedly at war with the House of
Austria, though he was the son of an Austrian princess, and was married
to another. His last war with that house was for the throne of Spain,
when the elder branch of the Hapsburgs died out, in 1700. Louis XV. had
two contests with Austria; but in 1756, under the lead of Count Kaunitz,
France and Austria were united, and acted together in the Seven Years'
War, the incidents and effects of which were by no means calculated to
reconcile the French to the departure of their government from its
ancient policy. One of the causes of the French Revolution was the
Austrian alliance, and one of its effects was the complete rupture of
that alliance. Austria was the most determined foe that the French
Republic and Empire ever encountered. Including the war of 1815, there
were six contests between Austria and republican and imperial France. In
all these wars Austria was the aggressor, and showed herself to be the
enemy of _France_ as well as of those _French principles_ which so
frightened the conservatives of the world in those days. In the first
war, she took possession of French places for herself, and not for the
House of Bourbon; and in the last she purposed a partition of France,
long after Louis XVIII. had been finally restored, and when Napoleon was
at or near St. Helena. She demanded that Alsace and Lorraine should be
made over to her, in the autumn of 1815. She sought to induce Prussia to
unite with her by offering to support any demand that she might make for
French territory; and, failing to move that power, endeavored to get the
smaller German States to act with her,--the same States, indeed, that
are now so hostile to France, and which talk of a march upon Paris, and
of a reduction of French territorial strength. Nothing prevented the
Austrian idea from being reduced to practice but the opposition of
Russia and England, neither of which had any interest in the spoliation
of France, while both had no desire to see Austria rendered stronger
than she was. It was to England that Austria owed her Italian
possessions, which, in 1814, she at first had the sense not to wish to
be cumbered with; and to make her still more powerful north of the Alps
was not to be thought of even by the Liverpools and Castlereaghs. The
Czar, too, had in his thoughts a closer connection with France than it
suited him then to avow, and for purposes of his own; and therefore he
could not desire the sensible diminution of the power of a country the
resources of which he expected to employ. Nicholas inherited his
brother's ideas and designs, and we are to attribute much of the
ill-feeling that he exhibited towards the Orleans dynasty to his
disappointment; for the revolution that elevated that dynasty to the
French throne destroyed the hope that he had entertained of having
French aid to effect the conquest of Turkey. There never would have been
a siege of Sebastopol, if the elder branch of the Bourbons had continued
to rule in France. It required even a series of revolutions to bring
France to that condition in which the Western Alliance was possible. But
there would have been something more than "an understanding" between
France and Russia concerning Austria, had the government of the
Restoration endured a few years beyond 1830. It suited the Austrian
government to show considerable coldness towards the Orleans dynasty;
but assuredly so wise a man as Prince Metternich, and who had such
excellent means of information, never could have believed otherwise than
that the establishment of that dynasty saved Austria from being assailed
by both Russia and France.

The rivalry of France and Austria being understood, and that rivalry
leading to war whenever occasion therefor chances to arise, it remains
to inquire what is the occasion of the existing contest. When Napoleon
III. became head of France, as Prince-President, at the close of 1848,
Austria was the last power with which he could have engaged in war,
supposing that he had then been strong enough to control the policy of
France, and it had suited him to make an occasion for war. She was then
engaged in her death-and-life struggles with Hungarians, Italians, and
others of her subjects who that year threw off her yoke, while the
Sardinians had endeavored to obtain possession of Lombardy and Venice.
Francis Joseph became chief of the Austrian Empire at the same time that
Louis Napoleon ascended to the same point in France. Certainly, if the
object of France had been the mere weakening and spoliation of Austria,
then was the time to assail her, when one half her subjects were
fighting the other half, when the Germans outside of her empire were by
no means her friends, and when it was far from clear that she could rely
upon assistance from Russia. Austria was then in a condition of
helplessness apparently so complete, that many thought her hour had
come; but those who knew her history, and were aware how often she had
recovered from just such crises, held no belief of the kind. Yet if
France had assailed her at that time, Austria must have lost all her
Italian provinces; and it is now generally admitted, that, if Cavaignac
had sent a French army into Italy immediately after the victory won by
Radetzky over Charles Albert at Somma Campagna, (July 26th, 1848,) the
"Italian question" would then have been settled in a manner that would
have been satisfactory to the greater part of Europe, and have rendered
such a war as is now waging in Italy quite impossible. Russia could have
done nothing to prevent the success of the French arms, and it is
probable that Austria would have abandoned the contest without fighting
a battle. At an earlier period she had signified her readiness to allow
the incorporation of most of Lombardy with Sardinia, she to retain the
country beyond the Mincio, and to hold the two great fortresses of
Peschiera (at the southern extremity of the Lago di Garda, and at the
point where the river issues from the lake) and Mantua. She even asked
the aid of France and England to effect a peace on this basis, but
unsuccessfully. Cavoignac's anomalous political position prevented him
from aiding the Italians. He was a Liberal, but the actual head of the
reactionists in France of all colors, of men who looked upon the
Italians as ruffians wedded to disorder, while Austria, in their eyes,
was the champion of order. France did nothing, and in December Louis
Napoleon became President. An opportunity was soon afforded him to
interfere in Italian affairs. The armistice that had existed between the
Austrians and the Sardinians after the 9th of August, 1848, was
denounced on the 12th of March, 1849, by the latter; and Radetzky closed
the order of the day, issued immediately after this denunciation was
made, with the words,--"Forward, soldiers, to Turin!" The intentions of
the Sardinians must have been known to Louis Napoleon, but he took no
measures to aid them. He saw Piedmont conquered in a campaign of
"hours." He saw Brescia treated by Haynau as Tilly treated Magdeburg. He
saw the long and heroical defence of Venice against the Austrians,
during the dreary spring and summer of '49,--a defence as worthy of
immortality as the War of Chiozza, and indicating the presence of the
spirit of Zeno, and Contarini, and Pisani in the old home of those
patriots. But nothing moved him. He would not even mediate in behalf of
the Venetians; and it was by the advice of the French consul and the
French admiral on the station that Venice finally surrendered, but not
until she had exhausted the means of defence and life. At that time, few
men in America but were in the habit of denouncing the French President
for his indifference to the Italian cause. He was charged with having
been guilty of a blunder and a crime. His consent to the expedition to
Rome aggravated his offence, for it was an act of intervention on the
wrong side. But the passage of ten years enables us to be more just to
him than it was possible for us to be in 1849. He was not firm in his
seat. He was but a temporary chief of the State. He was surrounded by
enemies, political and personal, who were seeking his overthrow, without
any regard for the tenure of his office. He knew not his power. His
object was the restoration of internal peace to France, her recovery
from the weakness info which she had fallen or had been precipitated. He
dared not offend the Catholics, who saw then, as they see now, a
champion in Austria. He was the victim of circumstances, and he had to
bow before them, in order that he might finally become their master.
Then he had no occasion for a quarrel with Austria. She was at the
lowest ebb her fortunes had known since the day that the Turks appeared
for the second time before Vienna. She could not have maintained herself
in Italy, even after the successes of Radetzky, had not Nicholas sent
one hundred and fifty thousand men to her assistance in Hungary. What
had France to fear from her? No more than she had to fear from her on
the day after Austerlitz.

Years rolled on, and brought with them great changes; and the greatest
of those changes was to be seen in Italy, in reference to the position
of Austria there, and its effect upon France. Austria rapidly
reestablished her power in Italy, not only over Lombardy and Venice, but
over every part of the Peninsula, excepting Sardinia. Tuscany was
connected with her by various ties, and was ruled as she wished it to be
ruled. Parma and Modena were hers in every sense. She was the patron and
protector of the abominable Bomba, and her support alone enabled him to
defy the sentiment of the civilized world, and to indulge in cruelties
such as would have added new infamy to the name of Ezzelino. She upheld
the misgovernment of the Papal States, which has made Rome the scandal
of Europe. All the nominal rulers of the Italian States, with the
honorable exception of the King of Sardinia, were her vassal princes,
and were no more free to act without her consent than were the kings the
Roman Republic and Empire allowed to exist within their dominions free
to act without the consent of the proconsuls. What the proconsul of
Syria was to the little potentates mentioned in the New Testament, the
Austrian viceroy in the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom was to the nominal
rulers of the various Italian States. It only remained to bring Sardinia
within this ring-fence of sea and mountains to convert all Italy into an
Austrian dependency. There is nothing like this in history, we verily
believe. In the short period of ten years after the capture of Milan by
Radetzky, (August 4, 1848,) the Austrians had established themselves
completely in nearly every part of Italy. Of the twenty-seven millions
of people that compose her population, twenty-two millions were as much
at the command of Austria as were the Hungarians and Bohemians. Had she
had the sense to use her power, not with mildness only, but beneficially
to this great mass of men, and had nothing occurred to disturb her
plans, she would have nearly doubled the number of her subjects, and
have more than doubled her resources. She would have become a great
maritime state, and have converted the Mediterranean into an Austrian
lake. Had they been well governed, the Italians might, and most probably
would, have accepted their condition, and have become loyal subjects of
the House of Lorraine. Foreign rule is no new thing to them, nor have
they ever been impatient under its existence, when it has existed for
their good. The people rarely are hostile to any government that is
conducted with ordinary fairness. There is no greater error than that
involved in the idea that revolutions or changes of any kind originate
from below, that they proceed from the people. Almost invariably they
come from above, from governmental action; and it is ever in the power
of a government to make itself perpetual. The term of its existence is
in its own hands. At the very worst for Austria, she might have
accomplished in Italy what was accomplished there three centuries ago by
Spain, then ruled by the elder branch of the Hapsburgs. She might have
commanded almost everything within its limits, with Sardinia to play
some such part as was then played by Venice.

This is said on the supposition, first, that her government should have
been mild and conciliatory, active only for good, and that all her
interference with local rule should have been on the side of humanity;
and, second, that no foreign power should have interfered to prevent the
full development of her policy. Unfortunately for her, but fortunately
for other nations, and especially so for Italy, she not only did _not_
govern well, but governed badly; and there was a great power which was
deeply, vitally interested--moved by the all-controlling principle of
self-preservation--in watching all her movements, and in finding
occasion to drive her out of Italy. She was not content with upholding
misgovernment in Naples, Rome, Tuscany, Modena, Parma, and elsewhere,
but she meant to subvert the constitutional polity established in the
Sub-Alpine Kingdom of Sardinia. The enemy of constitutionalism and
freedom everywhere, she was especially hostile to their existence in the
little state that bordered on a portion of her Italian possessions,
whence they always threatened Lombardy with a plague she detests far
more heartily than she detests cholera. No natural boundary or _cordon
militaire_ could suffice to stay the march of principles. Nothing would
answer but the subversion of the Sardinian constitution and the bringing
of that nation's government into harmony with the admirable rule that
existed, under the double-headed eagle's protection, in Naples and
Modena. Unless all Austrian history be false, Austria's object for years
has been a revolution in Sardinia, and Rome has aided her. This is the
necessity of her moral situation with reference to her little neighbor.
The world has smiled at Austria's late complaint that Sardinia menaced
her, it seemed so like the wolf's protestation that the lamb was doing
him an injury; but it was really well founded, though not entitled to
much respect. Sardinia _did_ menace Austria. She menaced her by the
force of her example,--as the honest man menaces the rogue, as the
peaceful man menaces the ruffian, as the charitable man menaces the
miser, as the Good Samaritan menaced the priest and Levite. In the sense
that virtue ever menaces vice, and right constantly menaces wrong,
Sardinia was a menace to Austria;--and as we often find the wrongdoer
denouncing the good as subverters of social order, we ought not to be
astonished at the plaintive whine of the master of thrice forty legions
at the conduct of the decorous, humane, and enlightened Victor Emanuel.

The only foreign power that had a direct, immediate, positive interest
in preventing the establishment of Austrian power over Italy was France.
Several other powers had some interest adverse to the success of the
Austrian scheme, but it was so far below that which France felt, that it
is difficult to make any comparison between the several cases. England,
speaking generally, might not like the idea of a new naval power coming
into existence in the Mediterranean, which, with great fleets and
greater armies, might come to have a controlling influence in the East,
and prevent the establishment of her power in Egypt and Syria. She might
see with some jealousy the further development of Austrian commerce,
which has been so successfully pursued in the Mediterranean and the
Levant since 1815. But then England is not very remarkable for
forethought, and she has a just confidence in her own naval power.
Besides, would not Austria, in the event of her adding Italy virtually
to her dominions, become the ally of England in the business of
supporting Turkey against Russia, and in preventing the further
extension of Russian power to the South and the East? The old
traditionary policy of England pointed to an Austrian alliance, and
nations are tenacious of their traditions. The war in Italy was
unquestionably precipitated by Austria's belief that in the last resort
she could rely upon English support; and she made a fatal delay in her
military movements in deference to English interposition. Prussia could
not be expected to see the increase of the power of the House of Austria
with pleasure; but it was possible that the extension of its dominions
to the South, by giving it new objects of ambition, and forcing upon it
a leading part in Eastern affairs, might cause that house to pay less
regard to German matters, leaving them to be managed by the House of
Hohenzollern. Russia, under the system that Nicholas pursued, could not
have seen Austria absorb Italy without resisting the process at any
cost; but Alexander IV., [Footnote: I call the present czar Alexander
the _Fourth_, as there have been three other Alexanders _sovereigns_ of
Russia; but he is generally styled Alexander the _Second_.] a wiser man
than his father was, never would have gone to war to prevent it, his
views being directed to those internal reforms the success of which is
likely to create a _Russian People_, and to place his empire in a far
higher position than it has ever yet occupied. Yet Russia could not have
witnessed Austria's success with pleasure; and the readiness with which
she has agreed to aid France, should the Germans aid Austria, is proof
sufficient that she is desirous that Austria should not merely be
prevented from extending her territory, but actually reduced in extent
and in means. From no part of Europe have come more decided
condemnations of the course of Austria than from the Russian capital.
The language of the St. Petersburg journals touching the Treaties of
Vienna has been absolutely contemptuous; and that language is all the
more oracular and significant because we know that the editors of those
journals must have been inspired by the government. It has been justly
regarded as expressing the views of the Czar, and of the statesmen who
compose his cabinet. Though not disposed for war, and probably sincerely
desirous of the preservation of peace everywhere, the rulers of Russia
are quite ready to support France in all proper measures that she may
adopt to drive the Austrians from every part of the Italian Peninsula.
They are too sagacious not to see that France cannot hold a league of
Italian territory, and the reduction of Austrian power is just so much
gained towards the ultimate realization of their Oriental policy.

Of the other European powers, and of their opinions respecting the
effect of Austrian supremacy, little need be said. Such countries as
Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and Portugal have little weight in
the European system, individually or collectively. Even Spain, though
she is not the feeble nation many of our countrymen are pleased to
represent her, when seeking to find a _reason_ for the seizure of
Cuba,--even Spain, we say, could not be much moved by the prospect of
Austria's reaching to that condition of vast strength which would
necessarily follow from her undisputed ascendency in Italy. The lesser
German States would probably have seen Austria's increase with pleasure,
partly because it would have helped to remove their fears of France and
Russia, and partly because it would have been flattering to their pride
of race, the House of Austria being Germanic in its character, though
ruling directly over but few Germans,--few, we mean, in comparison with
the Slaves, Magyars, Italians, and other races that compose the bulk of
its subjects. Turkey alone had a direct interest in Austria's success,
as promising her protection against all the other great European powers;
but Turkey is not, properly speaking, a member of the European

But the case was very different with France. She is the first nation of
Continental Europe,--a position she has held for nearly four centuries,
though sometimes her fortunes have been reduced very low, as during the
closing days of the Valois dynasty, and in 1815; but even in 1815 she
had the melancholy consolation of knowing that it required the combined
exertions of all Europe to conquer her. Her wonderful elasticity in
rising superior to the severest visitations has often surprised the
world, and those who remember 1815 will be most astonished at her
present position in Europe, or rather in Christendom. Her position,
however, has always been the result of indefatigable exertions, and a
variety of circumstances have made those exertions necessary on several
occasions. Great as France is now, and great as she has been at several
periods of her history since the death of Mazarin, it may be doubted if
she is so great as she was at the date of the Treaty of Westphalia, the
work of her arms and her diplomacy (1648). At that time, and for many
years afterwards, several nations had no pronounced political existence
that now are powers of the first class. Russia had no weight in Europe
until the last years of Louis XIV., and her real importance commenced
fifty years after that monarch was placed in his grave. Prussia, though
she attained to a respectable position at the close of the seventeenth
century, the date of the creation of her monarchy, did not become a
first-class power until two generations later, and as the result of the
Seven Years' War. The United States count but eighty-three years of
national life; and they have had international influence less than half
of that time. England, which the restoration of the Stuarts caused to
sink so low in those very years during which Louis XIV. was at the
zenith of his greatness, has been for one hundred and seventy years the
equal of France. On the other hand, the two nations with which France
was formerly much connected, Turkey and Sweden, have ceased to influence
events. France allied herself with Turkey in the early years of her
struggle with the House of Austria, to the offence of Christian peoples;
and the relations between Paris and Constantinople were long maintained
on the basis of common interest, the only tie that has ever sufficed to
bind nations. Both countries were the enemies of Austria. The second
half of the Thirty Years' War was maintained, on the part of the enemies
of Austria, by the alliance of France and Sweden; and between these
countries a good understanding frequently prevailed in after-times, the
growth of Russia serving to force Sweden into the arms of France. Poland
has disappeared from the list of nations, and her territory has
augmented the resources of two countries that had no political weight in
the first century of the Bourbon kings, and those of France's rival.
Thus France has relatively fallen. That ancient international system of
which she was the centre for nearly one hundred and fifty years--say
from the middle of the reign of Henry IV. to the Peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle, (1599-1748)--has passed entirely away from the world,
and never can be restored. France has seldom seriously thought of
attempting its restoration, though some of her statesmen, and probably a
large majority of the more intelligent of her people, have from time to
time warmly favored the idea of the reconstruction of Poland; and of all
the errors of Napoleon I., his failure to realize that idea was
unquestionably the greatest. The turn that things took in the French
Revolution enabled France to establish an hegemony in Europe, which
might have been long preserved but for the disasters of 1812; but the
empire of Napoleon I. was never a political empire, being only of a
military character. France then led Europe, but she lost her ascendency
on the first reverse, like Sparta after Leuctra. History has no parallel
to the change that the France of 1814 presented to the France of 1812.
On the 1st of October, 1812, the French were at Moscow; on the 1st of
April, 1814, the allies were in Paris. Eighteen months had done work
that no man living at the first date had expected to see accomplished.
What happened in 1815 was but the complement of 1814. Then France was
struck down, trampled upon, spoiled, insulted, and mulcted in immense
sums of money; and finally forced to pay the cost of an armed police,
headed by Wellington himself, which held her chief fortresses for three
years, and saw that her chains were kept bright and strong. Never, since
Lysander demolished the Long Walls of Athens to the music of the Spartan
flute, had the world seen so bitter a spectacle of national humiliation,
so absolute a reversal of fortune,--the long-conquering legions
perishing by the sword, and him who had headed so many triumphal
processions perishing as it were in the Mamertine dungeon.

It was from the nadir to which she had thus fallen, that the rulers of
France, acting as the agents of its people, have been laboring to raise
her ever since 1815. They have had a twofold object in view. They have
sought territory, in order that France might not be driven into the list
of second-class nations,--and military glory, to make men forget
Vittoria, and Leipzig, and Waterloo. All the governments of France have
been alike in this respect, no matter how much they have differed in
other respects. The legitimate Bourbons,--of whom an American is bound
to speak well, for they were our friends, and often evinced a feeling
towards us that exceeded largely anything that is required by the terms
or the spirit of a political alliance,--the solitary Orleans King, the
shadowy Republic of '48, and the imperial government, all have
endeavored to do something to elevate France, to win for her new
glories, and to regain for her her old position. The expedition into
Spain, in 1823, ostensibly made in the interest of Absolutism, was
really undertaken for the purpose of rebaptizing the white flag in fire.
Charles X. and M. de Polignac were engaged in a great scheme of foreign
policy when they fell, the chief object of which, on their side, was the
restoration to France of the provinces of the Rhine,--and which Russia
favored, because she knew, that, unless the Bourbons could do something
to satisfy their people, they must remain powerless, and it did not
answer her purpose that they should be otherwise than powerful. The
conquest of Algiers was made for the purpose of gratifying the French
people, and with the intention of spreading French dominion over
Northern Africa. It was a step towards the acquisition of Egypt, for
which land France has exhibited a strange longing. In this way the loss
of French India and French America, things of the old monarchy, were to
be compensated. The government of Louis Philippe expended mines of gold
and seas of blood in Africa, much to the astonishment of prudent men,
who had no idea of the end upon which its eyes were fixed. When the
Republic of 1848 was improvised, even Lamartine, not an unjust man,
could talk of the rights of France in Italy, and of her proper influence
there; and the wicked attack on the Romans, in 1849, was prompted by a
desire to make French influence felt in that country in a manner that
should be clear to the sense of mankind.

When Louis Napoleon became President of France, it was impossible for
him to devote much attention to foreign affairs. His aim was to make
himself Emperor, to restore the Napoleon dynasty. This, after a hard
struggle, he effected in 1851-'52. It must be within the recollection of
all that the French invasion question was never more vehemently
discussed in England than during the ten or twelve months that followed
the _coup d'etat_. This happened because it was assumed that the Emperor
_must_ do something to revenge the injuries his house and France had
suffered from that alliance of which England was the chief member and
the purse-holder. Whether he ever thought of assailing England, no man
can say; for he never yet communicated his thoughts on any important
subject to any human being. We may assume, however, that he would not
have attacked England without having made extensive preparations for
that purpose; and long before such preparations could have been
perfected, the Eastern question was forced upon the attention of Europe,
and the two nations which were expected to engage in war as foes united
their immense armaments to thwart the plans of Russia. Blinded by his
feelings, and altogether mistaking the character of the English people,
the Czar treated Napoleon III. contemptuously, and sought to bring about
the partition of Turkey by the aid of England alone. It will always
furnish material for the ingenious writers of the history of things that
might have been, whether the French Emperor would have accepted the
Czar's proposition, had it been made to him. Certainly it would have
enabled him to do great things for France, while by the same course of
action he could have struck heavy blows at both England and Austria. As
it was, he joined England to oppose Russia, and the English have borne
full and honorable testimony to his fidelity to his engagements. The war
concluded, his attention was directed to Italy, and he sought to
meliorate the condition of that country; but Austria would not hear even
of the discussion of Italian affairs. The events that marked the course
of things in Paris, in the spring of 1856, showed that nothing could be
hoped for Italy from Austria. She spoke, through Count Buol, as if she
regarded the whole Peninsula as peculiarly her property, meddling with
which on the part of other powers was sheer impertinence, and not to be
borne with good temper, or even the show of it.

The twenty-second meeting of the Congress of Paris, held the 8th of
April, was long, exciting, and important; for then several European
questions were discussed, among them being the affairs of Italy. The
protocol of that day proves the sensitiveness of the Austrian
plenipotentiaries and the earnestness of those of Sardinia. Eight days
later, the Sardinian plenipotentiaries, Cavour and De Villa Marina,
addressed to the governments of France and England a Memorial relating
to the affairs of Italy, in the course of which occur expressions that
must have had a strong effect on the mind of Napoleon III. "Called by
the sovereigns of the small states of Italy, who are powerless to
repress the discontent of their subjects," says the Memorial, "Austria
occupies militarily the greater part of the Valley of the Po and of
Central Italy, and makes her influence felt in an irresistible manner,
_even in the countries where she has no soldiers_. Resting on one side
on Ferrara and Bologna, her troops extend themselves to Ancona, the
length of the Adriatic, which has become in a manner an Austrian lake;
on the other, mistress of Piacenza, which, contrary to the spirit, if
not to the letter, of the Treaties of Vienna, she labors to transform
into a first-class fortress, she has a garrison at Parma, and makes
dispositions to deploy her forces all along the Sardinian frontier, from
the Po to the summit of the Apennines. This permanent occupation by
Austria of territories which do not belong to her _renders her absolute
mistress of nearly all Italy_, destroys the equilibrium established by
the Treaties of Vienna, and is a continual menace to Piedmont." In
conclusion, the plenipotentiaries say,--"Sardinia is the only state in
Italy that has been able to raise an impassable barrier to the
revolutionary spirit, and at the same time remain independent of
Austria. It is the counterpoise to her invading influence. If Sardinia
succumbed, exhausted of power, abandoned by her allies,--if she also was
obliged to submit to Austrian domination, _then the conquest of Italy by
this power would be achieved_; and Austria, after having obtained,
without its costing her the least sacrifice, the immense benefit of the
free navigation of the Danube, and the neutralization of the Black Sea,
_would acquire a preponderating influence in the West_. This is what
France and England would never wish,--this they will never permit."

These are grave and weighty words, and were well calculated to produce
an effect on the mind of Napoleon III.; and we are convinced that they
furnish a key to his conduct toward Austria, and set forth the occasion
of the Italian War. The supremacy of Austria once completely asserted
over Italy, France would necessarily sink in the European scale in
precisely the same proportion in which Austria should rise in it. The
subjects of Francis Joseph would number sixty millions, while those of
Napoleon III. would remain at thirty-six millions. The sinews of war
have never been much at the command of Austria, but possession of Italy
would render her wealthy, and enable her to command that gold which
moves armies and renders them effective. Her commerce would be increased
to an incalculable extent, and she would have naval populations from
which to conscribe the crews for fleets that she would be prompt to
build. Her voice would be potential in the East, and that of France
would there cease to be heard. She would become the first power of
Europe, and would exercise an hegemony far more decided than that which
Russia held for forty years after 1814. It was to be expected that the
Italians would cease fruitlessly to oppose her, and, their submission
leading to her abandonment of the repressive system, they might become a
bold and an adventurous people, helping to increase and to consolidate
her power. They might prove as useful to her as the Hungarians and
Bohemians have been, whom she had conquered and misruled, but whose
youth have filled her armies. All these things were not only possible,
but they were highly probable; and once having become facts, what
security would France have that she would not be attacked, conquered,
and partitioned? With sixty millions of people, and supported by the
sentiment and arms of Germany, Austria could seize upon Alsace and
Lorraine, and other parts of France, and thus reduce her strength
positively as well as relatively. All that was talked of in 1815, and
more than all that, might be accomplished in sixty years from that date,
and while Napoleon III. himself should still be on the throne he had so
strangely won. That degradation of France which the uncle's ambition had
brought about at the beginning of the century would be more than
equalled at the century's close through the nephew's forbearance. The
very names of Napoleon and Bonaparte would become odious in France, and
contemptible everywhere. On the other hand, should he interfere
successfully in behalf of Italian nationality, he would reduce the
strength of Austria, and prevent her from becoming an overshadowing
empire. Her population and her territory would be essentially lessened.
She would be cut off from all hope of making Italy her own, would be
compelled to abandon her plans of commercial and maritime greatness,
would be disregarded in the East, would not be courted by England, would
lose half her influence in Germany, and would not be in a condition to
menace France in any quarter. The glory of the French arms would be
increased, the weight of France would be doubled, new lustre would shine
from the name of Napoleon, the Treaties of Vienna would be torn up by
the nation against which they had been directed, the most determined foe
of the Bonaparte family would be punished, and that family's power would
be consolidated.

Such, we verily believe, were the reasons that led Napoleon III. to plan
an attack on Austria, that attack which has been so brilliantly
commenced. That he has gone to war for the liberation of Italy, merely
as such, we do not suppose; but that must follow front his policy,
because in that way alone can his grand object be effected. The freedom
of the Peninsula will be brought about, because it is necessary for the
welfare of France, for the maintenance of her weight in Europe, that it
should be brought about. That the Emperor is insensible of the glory
that would come from the rehabilitation of Italy, we do not assert. We
think he is very sensible of it, and that he enjoys the satisfaction
that comes from the performance of a good deed as much as if he were not
a usurper and never had overthrown a nominal republic. But we cannot
agree with those who say that the liberation of Italy was the pure and
simple purpose of the war. He means that Austria shall not have Italy,
and his sobriety of judgment enables him to understand that France
cannot have it. That country is to belong to the children of the soil,
who, with ordinary wisdom and conduct, will be able to prevent it from
again relapsing under foreign rule. The Emperor understands his epoch,
and will attempt nothing that shall excite against himself and his
dynasty the indignation of mankind. If not a saint, he is not a
senseless sinner.

Our article is so long, that we cannot discuss the questions, whether
Napoleon III. is not animated by the desire of vengeance, and whether,
having chastised Russia and Austria, he will not turn his arms against
Prussia and England. Our opinion is that he will do nothing of the kind.
Prussia is not likely to afford him any occasion for war; and if he
should make one, he would have to fight all the other German powers at
the same time, and perhaps Russia. The only chance that exists for a
Prussian war is to be found in the wrath of the Germans, who, at the
time we write, have assumed a very hostile attitude towards France, and
wish to be led from Berlin; but the government of Prussia is discreet,
and will not be easily induced to incur the positive loss and probable
disgrace that would follow from a Russian invasion, like that which took
place in 1759. As to England, the Emperor would be mad to attempt her
conquest; and he knows too well what is due to his fame to engage in a
piratical dash at London. An invasion of England can never be safely
undertaken except by some power that is master of the seas; and England
is not in the least disposed to abandon her maritime supremacy. There
would have to be a Battle of Actium before her shores could be in
danger, and she must have lost it; and no matter what is said concerning
the excellence of the French navy, that of England is as much ahead of
it in all the elements of real, enduring strength, as it has been at any
other period of the history of the two countries.


_The Iron-Manufacturer's Guide to the Furnaces, Forges, and
Rolling-Mills of the United States_. By J.P. LESLEY. New York: John
Wiley. 1859.

This valuable book is published by the Secretary of the American
Iron-Association, and by authority of the same. This Association--now
four years old--is not a common trades-union, nor any impotent
combination to resist the law of supply and demand. Its general objects,
as stated in the constitution, are "to procure regularly the statistics
of the trade, both at home and abroad; to provide for the mutual
interchange of information and experience, both scientific and
practical; to collect and preserve all works relating to iron, and to
form a complete cabinet of ores, limestones, and coals; to encourage the
formation of such schools as are designed to give the young iron-master
a proper and thorough scientific training, preparatory to engaging in
practical operations." In pursuance of this wise and liberal policy, the
Association has now published this "Iron-Manufacturer's Guide,"
containing, first, a descriptive catalogue of all the furnaces, forges,
and rolling-mills of the United States and Canada; secondly, a
discussion of the physical and chemical properties of iron, and its
combinations with other elements; thirdly, a complete survey of the
geological position, chemical, physical, or mechanical properties, and
geographical distribution of the ores of iron in the United States.

The directory to the iron-works of the United States and Canada
enumerates 1545 works of various kinds, of which 386 are now abandoned;
560 blast-furnaces, 389 forges, and 210 rolling-mills are now in
operation; and the directory states the position, capacity, and
prominent characteristics of each furnace, forge, or mill, the names of
the owners or agents, and, in many cases, the date of the construction
of the works, and their annual production. The great importance of the
iron-manufacture, as a branch of industry, in this country, is clearly
demonstrated by this very complete catalogue. It shows that in the year
1856 there were nearly twelve hundred active iron-factories in the
United States, and that they produced about eight hundred and fifty
thousand tons of iron, worth fifty millions of dollars. When we consider
that the greater part of the iron thus produced is left in a rough and
crude state, merely extracted from its ores and made ready for the use
of the blacksmith, the machinist, and the engineer,--when we remember
that human labor multiplies by hundreds and by thousands the value of
the raw material, that a bar of iron which costs five dollars will make
three thousand dollars' worth of penknife-blades and two hundred and
fifty thousand dollars' worth of watch-springs, we begin to understand
the importance of the iron-manufacture, as an element of national
wealth, independence, and power.

A fourth part of all the iron-works which have been constructed in this
country have been abandoned by their projectors, in despair of competing
with the cheap iron from abroad, which the low _ad-valorem_ tariffs have
admitted to the American market. The story which these ruined works
might tell, of hopes disappointed, capital sunk, and labor wasted, would
be long and dreary. From an excellent diagram, appended to the "Guide,"
illustrating the duties on iron, the importations, and the price of the
metal, for each year since 1840, we learn that the average annual
importation of iron under the specific tariff of 1842 was 77,328 tons,
while under the _ad-valorem_ tariff of 1846 it was 373,864 tons. The
increase in the importation of foreign iron under the tariff of 1846 was
more than ten times the increase of the population, and more than
thirty-eight times the increase in the domestic production. The
iron-masters of this country have been compelled to struggle against a
host of formidable difficulties,--adverse legislation, the ruinous
competition of English iron, the dearness of labor, and the high rates
of interest on borrowed capital. These have all been met and, let us hope,
in good part overcome. Slowly, and with many hindrances and disasters,
the iron-business is gaining strength, and achieving independence
of foreign competition and the tender mercies of legislators.
Very conclusive evidence of this gradual growth is presented
in the unusually accurate statistics of the "Iron-Manufacturer's
Guide." Of the 1,209,913 tons of iron consumed in the United States
in the year 1856, 856,235 tons, or seventy-one per cent, of the whole,
was of domestic manufacture. The catalogue of iron-works shows that
the country now possesses many extensive and well-constructed works,
of which some are still owned by the men who built them, but the
larger part have descended, at great sacrifices, to the hands of
more fortunate proprietors. Beside the accumulated stock of machinery,
knowledge of the ores and fuel has been gained, experience has
refuted many errors and pointed out the dangers and difficulties to
he overcome, the natural channels of communication throughout the
country have been opened, and a large body of skilled workmen has been
trained for the business and seeks steady employment. Whenever a rise in
the price of iron stimulates the manufacture, the domestic production of
iron suddenly expands, and increases with a rapidity which gives
evidence of wonderful elasticity and latent strength. Twice within
twenty years the production of American iron has nearly doubled in a
period of three years. Twelve years ago no railroad-iron was made in the
United States. In 1853 we imported 300,000 tons of rails, and in 1854
280,000 tons; but in 1855 only 130,000 tons were imported, while 135,000
tons were made at home, and in 1856, again, nearly one half of the
310,000 tons of rails consumed was of domestic production. The admitted
superiority of the American rails has undoubtedly contributed to this

In spite of these encouraging signs, these sure indications of the
success which at no distant day will reward this branch of American
industry, it must not be imagined that checks and reverses are hereafter
to be escaped. The production of the year 1857 promised in the summer to
be much larger than that of 1856; but the panic of September wrought the
same effect in the iron-business as in all the other manufactures of the
country, and in the spring of 1858 more than half of the iron-works of
the United States were standing idle. Mr. Lesley states that the returns
received in answer to the circular issued by the Iron-Association, July
1, 1858, were, almost without exception, unfavorable, and that these
replies are sufficient to prove a very serious diminution in the
production of iron for the year 1858. When the manufacture of iron, in
its various branches, has expanded to its true proportions, and has
reached a magnitude and importance second only to the agricultural
interest of the country, the iron-masters of that generation may read in
this first publication of the Iron-Association the record of the
struggles and trials of their more adventurous, but less fortunate

The construction of the directory which constitutes the first part of
the "Guide" might be improved in several respects. An alphabetical
arrangement of the furnaces, forges, and rolling-mills, in each State,
would be much more convenient for reference than the obscure and
uncertain system which has been followed. If a State can be divided,
like Pennsylvania, into two or three sections, by strongly marked
geological features, it would, perhaps, be well to subdivide the list of
its iron-works into corresponding sections, and then to make the
arrangement of each section alphabetical. But convenience of reference
is the essential property of a directory; and to that convenience the
natural desire to follow a geological or geographical arrangement should
he sacrificed. Some important items of information, such as the means of
transportation, and the distance of each furnace or forge from its
market, are not given in all cases; the power by which the works are
driven, whether steam or water, is not uniformly stated; and the
pressure of the blast used, that very important condition of success in
the management of a furnace, is stated in only a very few instances. A
useful piece of information, seldom given in the descriptions of forges
and rolling-mills, is the source from which the iron used in the works
is obtained; and it is also desirable that the nature of the work done
in each forge or mill should be invariably stated. It would he
interesting to know the number of men employed in the iron-manufacture
throughout the country, and it would not seem difficult for the
Association to add this fact to the very valuable statistics which they
have already collected. The descriptions of abandoned works are not all
printed in small type. If this rule is adopted in the directory, it
should be uniformly adhered to. The maps accompanying the directory,
which were made by the photolithographic process, are all on too small a
scale, and consequently lack clearness. The colored lithographs, which
exhibit the anthracite furnaces of Pennsylvania and the iron works of
the region east of the Hudson River, are altogether the best
illustrations in the book.

An elaborate discussion of iron as a chemical element occupies another
division of the book. Its purpose is to instruct the iron master in the
chemical properties and relations of the metal with which he deals; and
to this end it should be clear, concise, and definite, and, leaving all
disputed points, should explain the known and well-determined
characteristics of iron and its compounds with other elements. Mr.
Lesley, the compiler of the book, distinctly states in the Preface that
he is no chemist, and we are therefore prepared to meet the occasional
inaccuracies observable in this chemical portion of the "Guide." It
lacks condensation and system; matters of very little moment receive
disproportionate attention; and pages are filled with discussions of
nice points of chemical science still in dispute among professed
chemists, and wholly out of place in what should be a brief elementary
treatise on the known properties of iron. If these questions in dispute
were such as the practical experience of the iron-master might settle,
or, indeed, throw any light upon, there would be an obvious propriety in
stating the points at issue; but if the question concerns the best
chemical name for iron-rust, or the largest possible per cent. of carbon
in steel, the practical metallurgist should not be perplexed with
problems in analytical chemistry which the best chemists have not yet

Valuable space is occasionally occupied by the too rhetorical statement
of matters which would have been better presented in a simpler way;
thus, the fervid description of oxygen, however appropriate in Faraday's
admirable lectures before the Royal Institution, is out of place in the
"Iron-Manufacturer's Guide." We must also enter an earnest protest
against the importation, upon any terms, of such words as
"ironoxydulcarbonate," "ironoxydhydrate," and the adjective "anhydrate."
Some descriptions of considerable imaginative power have found place
even in the directory of works. From the description of the Allentown
furnaces we learn, with some surprise, that "no finer object of art
invites the artist"; and again, "that the _repose_ of bygone _centuries_
seems to sit upon its immense walls, while the roaring _energy_ of the
present day fills it with a truer and better life than the revelry of
Kenilworth or the chivalry of Heidelberg." The average age of the
Allentown works subsequently appears to be nine years.

Another principal division of Mr. Lesley's book treats of the ores of
iron in the United States. This portion of the book contains much
valuable and interesting information, which has never been published
before in so complete and satisfactory a form. The geographical and
geological position of every ore-bank in the country, which has been
opened and worked, is fully described, with many details of the peculiar
properties, mineralogical associations, and history of each bed or mine.
The inexhaustible wealth of the country in ores of iron is clearly
shown, and the superiority of the American ores to the English needs no
other demonstration than can be found on the pages of this catalogue of
our ore-beds. Two or three geological maps, to illustrate the
distribution of the ores, would have been an instructive addition to the
book. In this section, as in the preceding one on the chemistry of iron,
much space is misapplied to the discussion of questions of structural
geology, of opposing theories of the formation of veins, and other
scientific problems with which the iron-master is not concerned, and
which he cannot be expected to understand, much less to solve. We regret
the more this unnecessary introduction of comparatively irrelevant
matters, when we find, at the close of the volume, that the unexpected
length of the discussion of the ores has prevented the publication of
several chapters on the machinery now in use, the hot-blast and
anthracite coal, the efforts to obtain malleable iron directly from the
ore, and the history and present condition of the iron-manufacture in

The American Iron-Association, by their Secretary, have accomplished a
very laborious and valuable work, in accumulating and digesting the mass
of facts and statistics embodied in this, the first "Iron-Manufacturer's
Guide"; but the subject is as inexhaustible as the mineral wealth of the
country, and we shall look for the future publications of the society
with much interest.

_An Essay on Intuitive Morals_. Being an Attempt to Popularize Ethical
Science. Part I. Theory of Morals. First American Edition, with
Additions and Corrections by the Author. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, & Co.
1859. pp. 294.

Four years ago last March this book appeared in England, published by
Longman; a thin octavo, exciting little attention there, and scarcely
more on this side the water, where the best English books have of late
years found their first appreciation. The first notice of it printed in
this country, so far as we know, appeared in the "Harvard Magazine" for
June, 1855,--a publication so obscure, that, to most readers of the
ATLANTIC, this will be their first knowledge of its existence. About two
years later, Part II appeared in England, and then both books were
reviewed in the "Christian Examiner"; yet, to all intents and purposes,

Book of the day: