Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860

Part 4 out of 5

the recent death of Governor Newman, Leete had been Chief Magistrate
of the Colony of New Haven, which was now, and for a few years later,
distinct from Connecticut.

The Deputy-Governor received them in the presence of several other
persons. He looked over their papers, and then "began to read them
audibly; whereupon we told him," say the messengers, "it was
convenient to be more private in such concernments as that was." They
desired to be furnished "with horses, &c.," for their further
journey, "which was prepared with some delays." They were accosted,
on coming out, by a person who told them that the Colonels were
secreted at Mr. Davenport's, "and that, without all question, Deputy
Leete knew as much"; and that "in the head of a company in the field
a-training," it had lately been "openly spoken by them, that, if they
had but two hundred friends that would stand by them, they would not
care for Old or New England."

The messengers returned to Leete, and made an application for "aid
and a power to search and apprehend" the fugitives. "He refused to
give any power to apprehend them, nor order any other, and said he
could do nothing until he had spoken with one Mr. Gilbert and the
rest of his magistrates." New Haven, the seat of government of the
Colony, was twenty miles distant from Guilford. It was now Saturday
afternoon, and for a New-England Governor to break the Sabbath by
setting off on a journey, or by procuring horses for any other
traveller, was impossible. An Indian was observed to have left
Guilford while the parley was going on, and was supposed to have gone
on an errand to New Haven.

Monday morning the messengers proceeded thither. "To our certain
knowledge," they write, "one John Meigs was sent a-horseback before
us, and by his speedy and unexpected going so early before day was to
give them an information, and the rather because by the delays was
used, it was break of day before we got to horse; so he got there
before us. Upon our suspicion, we required the Deputy that the said
John Meigs might be examined what his business was, that might
occasion so early going; to which the Deputy answered, that he did
not know any such thing, and refused to examine him." Leete was in no
haste to make his own journey to the capital. It was for the
messengers to judge whether they would use such despatch as to give
an alarm there some time before any magistrate was present, to be
invoked for aid. He arrived, they write, "within two hours, or
thereabouts, after us and came to us to the Court chamber, where we
again acquainted him with the information we had received, and that
we had cause to believe they [the fugitives] were concealed in New
Haven, and thereupon we required his assistance and aid for their
apprehension; to which he answered, that he did not believe they
were; whereupon we desired him to empower us, or order others for it;
to which he gave us this answer, the he could not, or would not, make
us magistrates... We set before him the danger of that delay and
their inevitable escape, and how much the honor and service of his
Majesty was despised and trampled on by him, and that we supposed by
his unwillingness to assist in the apprehension he was willing they
should escape. After which he left us, and went to several of the
magistrates, and were together five or six hours in consultation, and
upon breaking up of their council they told us they would not nor
could not to anything until they had called a General Court of the

The messengers labored with great earnestness to shake this
determination, but all in vain. For precedents they appealed to the
promptness of the Governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, "who,
upon the recite of his Majesty's pleasure and order concerning the
said persons, stood not upon such niceties and formalities." They
represented "how much the honor and justice of his Majesty was
concerned, and how ill his Sacred Majesty would resent such horrid
and detestable concealments and abettings of such traitors and
regicides as they were, and asked him whether he would honor and obey
the King or no in this affair, and set before him the danger which by
law is incurred by any one that conceals or abets traitors; to which
the Deputy Leete answered, 'We honor his Majesty, but we have tender
consciences'; to which we replied, that we believed that he knew
where they were, and only pretended tenderness of conscience for a
refusal.... We told them that for their respect to two traitors they
would do themselves injury, and possibly ruin themselves and the
whole Colony of New Haven."

"Finding them obstinate and pertinacious in their contempt of his
Majesty," the messengers, probably misled by some false information,
took the road to New Netherland, the next day, in further prosecution
of their business. The Dutch Governor at that place promised them,
that, if the Colonels appeared within his jurisdiction, he would give
notice to Endicott, and take measures to prevent their escape by sea.
Thereupon Kellond and Kirk returned by water to Boston, where they
made oath before the magistrates to a report of their proceedings.

The fugitives had received timely notice of the chase. A week before
Kellond and Kirk left Boston, they removed from Mr. Davenport's house
to that of William Jones, son-in-law of Governor Eaton, and
afterwards Deputy-Governor of Connecticut. On the day when the
messengers were debating with Governor Leete at Guilford, Whalley and
Goffe were conducted to a mill, at a short distance from New Haven,
where they were hidden two days and nights. Thence they were led to a
spot called Hatchet Harbor, about as much farther in a northwesterly
direction, where they lay two nights more. Meantime, for fear of the
effect of the large rewards which the messengers had offered for
their capture, a more secure hiding-place had been provided for them
in a hollow on the east side of West Rock, five miles from the town.
In this retreat they remained four weeks, being supplied with food
from a lonely farm-house in the neighborhood, to which they also
sometimes withdrew in stormy weather. They caused the Deputy-Governor
to be informed of their hiding-place; and on hearing that Mr.
Davenport was in danger from a suspicion of harboring them, they left
it, and for a week or two showed themselves at different times at New
Haven and elsewhere. After two months more of concealment in their
retreat on the side of West Bock, they betook themselves, just after
the middle of August, to the house of one Tomkins, in or near
Milford. There they remained in complete secrecy for two years, after
which time they indulged themselves in more freedom, and even
conducted the devotions of a few neighbors assembled in their

But the arrival at Boston of Commissioners from the King with
extraordinary powers was now expected, and it was likely that they
would be charged to institute a new search, which might endanger the
fugitives, and would certainly be embarrassing to their protectors.
Just at this time a feud in the churches of Hartford and Wethersfield
had led to an emigration to a spot of fertile meadow forty miles
farther up the river. Mr. Russell, hitherto minister of Wethersfield,
accompanied the new settlers as their pastor. The General Court gave
their town the name of Hadley. In this remotest northwestern frontier
of New England a refuge was prepared for the fugitives. On hearing of
the arrival of the Commissioners at Boston, they withdrew to their
cave; but some Indians in hunting observed that it had been occupied,
and its secrecy could no longer be counted on. They consequently
directed their steps towards Hadley, travelling only by night, and
there, in the month of October, 1664, were received into the house of
Mr. Russell.

There--except for a remarkable momentary appearance of one of them,
and except for the visits of a few confidential friends--they
remained lost forever to the view of men. Presents were made to them
by leading persons among the colonists, and they received remittances
from friends in England. Governor Hutchinson, when he wrote his
History, had in his hands the Diary of Goffe, begun at the time of
their leaving London, and continued for six or seven years. They were
for a time encouraged by a belief, founded on their interpretation of
the Apocalypse, that the execution of their comrades was "the slaying
of the witnesses," and that their own triumph was speedily to follow.
Letters passed between Goffe and his wife, purporting to be between a
son and mother, and signed respectively with the names of Walter and
Frances Goldsmith. Four of these letters survive; tender,
magnanimous, and devout, they are scarcely to be read without tears.

In the tenth year of his abode at Hadley Whalley had become extremely
infirm in mind and body, and he probably did not outlive that year.
Mr. Russell's house was standing till within a little more than half
a century ago. At its demolition, the removal of a slab in the cellar
discovered human remains of a large size. They are believed to have
belonged to the stout frame which swept through Prince Rupert's lines
at Naseby. Goffe survived his father-in-law nearly five years, at
least; how much longer, is not known. Once he was seen abroad, after
his retirement to Mr. Russell's house. The dreadful war, to which the
Indian King Philip bequeathed his long execrated name, was raging
with its worst terrors in the autumn of 1675. On the first day of
September, the people of Hadley kept a fast, to implore the Divine
protection in their distress. While they were engaged in their
worship, a sentry's shot gave notice that the stealthy savages were
upon them. Hutchinson, in his History, relates what follows, as he
had received it from the family of Governor Leverett, who was one of
the few visitors of Goffe in his retreat. "The people were in the
utmost confusion. Suddenly a grave, elderly person appeared in the
midst of them. In his mien and dress he differed from the rest of the
people. He not only encouraged them to defend themselves, but put
himself at their head, rallied, instructed, and led them on to
encounter the enemy, who by this means were repulsed. As suddenly the
deliverer of Hadley disappeared. The people were left in
consternation, utterly unable to account for this strange phenomenon.
It is not probable that they were ever able to explain it."

In the first years of the retirement of the Colonels at Hadley, they
enjoyed the society of a former friend, who did not feel obliged to
use the same strict precautions against discovery. John Dixwell, like
themselves, was a colonel in the Parliamentary service, a member of
the High Court of Justice, and a signer of the death-warrant of the
King. Nothing is known of his proceedings after the restoration of
the monarchy, till he came to Hadley, three or four months later than
Whalley and Goffe. After a residence of some years in their
neighborhood, he removed to New Haven, where, bearing the name of
James Davids, and affecting no particular privacy, he lived to old
age. The home-government never traced him to America; and though,
among his acquaintance, it was understood that he had a secret to
keep, there was no disposition to penetrate it. He married twice at
New Haven, and by his second nuptials established a family, one
branch of which survives. In testamentary documents, as well as in
communications, while he lived, to his minister and others, he
frankly made known his character and history. He died just too early
to hear the tidings, which would have renewed his strength like the
eagle's, of the expulsion of the House of Stuart. A fit monument
directs the traveller to the place of his burial, in the square
bounded on one side by the halls of Yale College.


You, who would with wanton art
Counterfeit another's part,
And with noisy utterance claim
Right to an ignoble name,--
Inharmonious!--why must you,
To a better self untrue,
Gifted with the charm of song,
Do the generous gift such wrong?

Delicate and downy throat,
Shaped for pure, melodious note,--
Silvery wing of softest gray,--
Bright eyes glancing every way,--
Graceful outline,--motion free:
Types of perfect harmony!

Ah! you much mistake your duty,
Mating discord thus with beauty,--
'Mid these heavenly sunset gleams,
Vexing the smooth air with screams,--
Burdening the dainty breeze
With insane discordancies.

I have heard you tell a tale
Tender as the nightingale,
Sweeter than the early thrush
Pipes at day-dawn from the bush.
Wake once more the liquid strain
That you poured, like music-rain,
When, last night, in the sweet weather,
You and I were out together.
Unto whom two notes are given,
One of earth, and one of heaven,
Were it not a shameful tale
That the earth-note should prevail?

For the sake of those who love us,
For the sake of God above us,
Each and all should do their best
To make music for the rest.
So will I no more reprove,
Though the chiding be in love:
Uttering harsh rebuke to you,
That were inharmonious, too.




People will talk. _Ciascun lo dice_ is a tune that is played oftener
than the national air of this country or any other.

"That's what they say. Means to marry her, if she _is_ his cousin.
Got money himself,--that's the story,--but wants to come and live in
the old place, and get the Dudley property by-and-by."--"Mother's
folks was wealthy."--"Twenty-three to twenty-five year old."--"He
a'n't more'n twenty, or twenty-one at the outside."--"Looks as if he
knew too much to be only twenty year old."--"Guess he's been through
the mill,--don't look so green, anyhow,--hey? Did y' ever mind that
cut over his left eyebrow?"

So they gossipped in Rockland. The young fellows could make nothing
of Dick Venner. He was shy and proud with the few who made advances
to him. The young ladies called him handsome and romantic, but he
looked at them like a many-tailed pacha who was in the habit of
ordering his wives by the dozen.

"What do you think of the young man over there at the Venners'?" said
Miss Arabella Thornton to her father.

"Handsome," said the Judge, "but dangerous-looking. His face is
indictable at common law. Do you know, my dear, I think there is a
blank at the Sheriff's office, with a place for his name in it?"

The Judge paused and looked grave, as if he had just listened to the
verdict of the jury and was going to pronounce sentence.

"Have you heard anything against him?" said the Judge's daughter.

"Nothing. But I don't like these mixed bloods and half-told stories.
Besides, I have seen a good many desperate fellows at the bar, and I
have a fancy they all have a look belonging to them. The worst one I
ever sentenced looked a good deal like this fellow. A wicked mouth.
All our other features are made for us; but a man makes his own

"Who was the person you sentenced?"

"He was a young fellow that undertook to garrote a man who had won
his money at cards. The same slender shape, the same cunning, fierce
look, smoothed over with a plausible air. Depend upon it, there is an
expression in all the sort of people that live by their wits when
they can, and by worse weapons when their wits fail them, that we old
law-doctors know just as well as the medical counselors know the
marks of disease in a man's face. Dr. Kittredge looks at a man and
says he is going to die; I look at another man and say he is going to
be hanged, if nothing happens. I don't say so of this one, but I
don't like his looks. I wonder Dudley Venner takes to him so kindly."

"It's all for Elsie's sake," said Miss Thornton; "I feel quite sure
of that. He never does anything that is not meant for her in some
way. I suppose it amuses her to have her cousin about the house. She
rides a good deal since he has been here. Have you seen them
galloping about together? He looks like my idea of a Spanish bandit
on that wild horse of his."

"Possibly he has been one,--or is one," said the Judge,--smiling as
men smile whose lips have often been freighted with the life and
death of their fellow-creatures. "I met them riding the other day.
Perhaps Dudley is right, if it pleases her to have a companion. What
will happen, though, if he makes love to her? Will Elsie be easily
taken with such a fellow? You young folks are supposed to know more
about these matters than we middle-aged people."

"Nobody can tell. Elsie is not like anybody else. The girls that have
seen most of her think she hates men, all but 'Dudley,' as she calls
her father. Some of them doubt whether she loves him. They doubt
whether she can love anything human, except perhaps the old black
woman that has taken care of her since she was a baby. The village
people have the strangest stories about her: you know what they call

She whispered three words in her father's ear. The Judge changed
color as she spoke, sighed deeply, and was silent as if lost in
thought for a moment.

"I remember her mother," he said, "so well! A sweeter creature never
lived. Elsie has something of her in her look, but those are not the
Dudley eyes. They were dark, but soft, in all I ever saw of the race.
Her father's are dark too, but mild, and even tender, I should say. I
don't know what there is about Elsie's,--but do you know, my dear, I
find myself curiously influenced by them? I have had to face a good
many sharp eyes and hard ones,--murderers' eyes and pirates',--men
that had to be watched in the bar, where they stood on trial, for
fear they should spring on the prosecuting officers like tigers,--but
I never saw such eyes as Elsie's; and yet they have a kind of drawing
virtue or power about them,--I don't know what else to call it: have
you never observed this?"

His daughter smiled in her turn.

"Never observed it? Why, of course, nobody could be with Elsie Venner
and not observe it. There are a good many other strange things about
her: did you ever notice how she dresses?"

"Why, handsomely enough, I should think," the Judge answered. "I
suppose she dresses as she likes, and sends to the city for what she
wants. What do you mean in particular? We men notice effects in
dress, but not much in detail."

"You never noticed the colors and patterns of her dresses? You never
remarked anything curious about her ornaments? Well! I don't believe
you men know, half the time, whether a lady wears a ninepenny collar
or a thread-lace cape worth a thousand dollars. I don't believe you
know a silk dress from a bombazine one. I don't believe you can tell
whether a woman is in black or in colors, unless you happen to know
she is a widow. Elsie Venner has a strange taste in dress, let me
tell you. She sends for the oddest patterns of stuffs, and picks out
the most curious things at the jeweller's, whenever she goes to town
with her father. They say the old Doctor tells him to let her have
her way about all such matters. Afraid of her mind, if she is
contradicted, I suppose.--You've heard about her going to school at
that place,--the 'Institoot,' as those people call it? They say she's
bright enough in her way,--has studied at home, you know, with her
father a good deal,--knows some modern languages and Latin, I
believe: at any rate, she would have it so,--she must go to the
'Institoot.' They have a very good female teacher there, I hear; and
the new master, that young Mr. Langdon, looks and talks like a
well-educated young man. I wonder what they'll make of Elsie, between

So they talked at the Judge's, in the calm, judicial-looking
mansion-house, in the grave, still library, with the troops of wan-hued
law-books staring blindly out of their titles at them as they talked,
like the ghosts of dead attorneys fixed motionless and speechless,
each with a thin, golden film over his unwinking eyes.

In the mean time, everything went on quietly enough after Cousin
Richard's return. A man of sense,--that is, a man who knows perfectly
well that a cool head is worth a dozen warm hearts in carrying the
fortress of a woman's affections, (not yours, "Astarte," nor yours,
"Viola,")--who knows that men are rejected by women every day because
they, the men, love them, and are accepted every day because they do
not, and therefore can study the arts of pleasing,--a man of sense,
when he finds he has established his second parallel too soon,
retires quietly to his first, and begins working on his covered ways
again. [The whole art of love may be read in any Encyclopaedia under
the title _Fortification_, where the terms just used are explained.]
After the little adventure of the necklace, Dick retreated at once to
his first parallel. Elsie loved riding,--and would go off with him on
a gallop now and then. He was a master of all those strange Indian
horseback-feats which shame the tricks of the circus-riders, and used
to astonish and almost amuse her sometimes by disappearing from his
saddle, like a phantom horseman, lying flat against the side of the
bounding creature that bore him, as if he were a hunting leopard with
his claws in the horse's flank and flattening himself out against his
heaving ribs. Elsie knew a little Spanish too, which she had learned
from the young person who had taught her dancing, and Dick enlarged
her vocabulary with a few soft phrases, and would sing her a song
sometimes, touching the air upon an ancient-looking guitar they had
found with the ghostly things in the garret,--a quaint old
instrument, marked E.M. on the back, and supposed to have belonged to
a certain Elizabeth Mascarene, before mentioned in connection with a
work of art,--a fair, dowerless lady, who smiled and sung and faded
away, unwedded, a hundred years ago, as dowerless ladies, not a few,
are smiling and singing and fading now,--God grant each of them His
love,--and one human heart as its interpreter!

As for school, Elsie went or stayed away as she liked. Sometimes,
when they thought she was at her desk in the great school-room, she
would be on The Mountain,--alone always. Dick wanted to go with her,
but she would never let him. Once, when she had followed the zigzag
path a little way up, she looked back and caught a glimpse of him
following her. She turned and passed him without a word, but giving
him a look which seemed to make the scars on his wrist tingle, went
to her room, where she locked herself up, and did not come out again
till evening,--old Sophy having brought her food, and set it down,
not speaking, but looking into her eyes inquiringly, like a dumb
beast trying to feel out his master's will in his face. The evening
was clear and the moon shining. As Dick sat at his chamber-window,
looking at the mountain-side, he saw a gray-dressed figure flit
between the trees and steal along the narrow path that led upward.
Elsie's pillow was impressed that night, but she had not been missed
by the household,--for Dick knew enough to keep his own counsel. The
next morning she avoided him and went off early to school. It was the
same morning that the young master found the flower between the
leaves of his Virgil.

The girl got over her angry fit, and was pleasant enough with her
cousin for a few days after this; but she shunned rather than sought
him. She had taken a new interest in her books, and especially in
certain poetical readings which the master conducted with the elder
scholars. This gave Master Langdon a good chance to study her ways
when her eye was on her book, to notice the inflections of her voice,
to watch for any expression of her sentiments; for, to tell the
truth, he had a kind of fear that the girl had taken a fancy to him,
and, though she interested him, he did not wish to study her heart
from the inside.

The more he saw her, the more the sadness of her beauty wrought upon
him. She looked as if she might hate, but could not love. She hardly
smiled at anything, spoke rarely, but seemed to feel that her natural
power of expression lay all in her bright eyes, the force of which so
many had felt, but none perhaps had tried to explain to themselves. A
person accustomed to watch the faces of those who were ailing in body
or mind, and to search in every line and tint for some underlying
source of disorder, could hardly help analyzing the impression such a
face produced upon him. The light of those beautiful eyes was like
the lustre of ice; in all her features there was nothing of that
human warmth which shows that sympathy has reached the soul beneath
the mask of flesh it wears. The look was that of remoteness, of utter
isolation. There was in its stony apathy, it seemed to him, the
pathos which we find in the blind who show no film or speck over the
organs of sight; for Nature had meant her to be lovely, and left out
nothing but love. And yet the master could not help feeling that some
instinct was working in this girl which was in some way leading her
to seek his presence. She did not lift her glittering eyes upon him
as at first. It seemed strange that she did not, for they were surely
her natural weapons of conquest. Her color did not come and go like
that of young girls under excitement. She had a clear brunette
complexion, a little sun-touched, it may be,--for the master noticed
once, when her necklace was slightly displaced, that a faint ring or
band of a little lighter shade than the rest of the surface encircled
her neck. What was the slight peculiarity of her enunciation, when
she read? Not a lisp, certainly, but the least possible imperfection
in articulating some of the lingual sounds,--just enough to be
noticed at first, and quite forgotten after being a few times heard.

Not a word about the flower on either side. It was not uncommon for
the schoolgirls to leave a rose or pink or wild flower on the
teacher's desk. Finding it in the Virgil was nothing, after all; it
was a little delicate flower, that looked as if it were made to
press, and it was probably shut in by accident at the particular
place where he found it. He took it into his head to examine it in a
botanical point of view. He found it was not common,--that it grew
only in certain localities,--and that one of these was among the
rocks of the eastern spur of The Mountain.

It happened to come into his head how the Swiss youth climb the sides
of the Alps to find the flower called the _Edelweiss_ for the maidens
whom they wish to please. It is a pretty fancy, that of scaling some
dangerous height before the dawn, so as to gather the flower in its
freshness, that the favored maiden may wear it to church on Sunday
morning, a proof at once of her lover's devotion and his courage. Mr.
Bernard determined to explore the region where this flower was said
to grow, that he might see where the wild girl sought the blossoms of
which Nature was so jealous.

It was on a warm, fair Saturday afternoon that he undertook his
land-voyage of discovery. He had more curiosity, it may be, than he
would have owned; for he had heard of the girl's wandering habits, and
the guesses about her sylvan haunts, and was thinking what the chances
were that he should meet her in some strange place, or come upon
traces of her which would tell secrets she would not care to have

The woods are all alive to one who walks through them with his mind
in an excited state, and his eyes and ears wide open. The trees are
always talking, not merely whispering with their leaves, (for every
tree talks to itself in that way, even when it stands alone in the
middle of a pasture,) but grating their boughs against each
other, as old horn-handed farmers press their dry, rustling palms
together,--dropping a nut or a leaf or a twig, clicking to the tap of a
woodpecker, or rustling as a squirrel flashes along a branch. It was
now the season of singing-birds, and the woods were haunted with
mysterious, tender music. The voices of the birds which love the
deeper shades of the forest are sadder than those of the open fields:
these are the nuns that have taken themselves away from the world and
tell their griefs to the infinite listening Silences of the
wilderness,--for the one deep inner silence that Nature breaks with
her fitful superficial sounds becomes multiplied as the image of a
star in ruffled waters. Strange! The woods at first convey the
impression of profound repose, and yet, if you watch their ways with
open ear, you find the life which is in them is restless and nervous
as that of a woman: the little twigs are crossing and twining and
separating like slender fingers that cannot be still; the stray leaf
is to be flattened into its place like a truant curl; the limbs sway
and twist, impatient of their constrained attitude; and the rounded
masses of foliage swell upward and subside from time to time with
long soft sighs, and, it may be, the falling of a few rain-drops
which had lain hidden among the deeper shadows. I pray you, notice,
in the sweet summer days which will soon see you among the mountains,
this inward tranquillity that belongs to the heart of the woodland,
with this nervousness, for I do not know what else to call it, of
outer movement. One would say, that Nature, like untrained persons,
could not sit still without nestling about or doing something with
her limbs or features, and that high breeding was only to be looked
for in trim gardens, where the soul of the trees is ill at ease
perhaps, but their manners are unexceptionable, and a rustling branch
or leaf falling out of season is an indecorum. The real forest is
hardly still except in the Indian summer; then there is death in the
house, and they are waiting for the sharp shrunken months to come
with white raiment for the summer's burial.

There were many hemlocks in this neighborhood, the grandest and most
solemn of all the forest-trees in the mountain regions. Up to a
certain period of growth they are eminently beautiful, their boughs
disposed in the most graceful pagoda-like series of close terraces,
thick and dark with green crystalline leaflets. In spring the tender
shoots come out of a paler green, finger-like, as if they were
pointing to the violets at their feet. But when the trees have grown
old, and their rough boles measure a yard through their diameter,
they are no longer beautiful, but they have a sad solemnity all their
own, too full of meaning to require the heart's comment to be framed
in words. Below, all their earthward-looking branches are sapless and
shattered, splintered by the weight of many winters' snows; above,
they are still green and full of life, but their summits overtop all
the deciduous trees around them, and in their companionship with
heaven they are alone. On these the lightning loves to fall. One such
Mr. Bernard saw,--or rather, what had been one such; for the bolt had
torn the tree like an explosion from within, and the ground was
strewed all around the broken stump with flakes of rough bark and
strips and chips of shivered wood, into which the old tree had been
rent by the bursting rocket from the thunder-cloud.

----The master had struck up The Mountain obliquely from the western
side of the Dudley mansion-house. In this way he ascended until he
reached a point many hundred feet above the level of the plain, and
commanding all the country beneath and around. Almost at his feet he
saw the mansion-house, the chimney standing out of the middle of the
roof, or rather, like a black square hole in it,--the trees almost
directly over their stems, the fences as lines, the whole nearly as
an architect would draw a ground-plan of the house and the inclosures
round it. It frightened him to see how the huge masses of rock and
old forest-growths hung over the home below. As he descended a little
and drew near the ledge of evil name, he was struck with the
appearance of a long narrow fissure that ran parallel with it and
above it for many rods, not seemingly of very old standing,--for
there were many fibres of roots which had evidently been snapped
asunder when the rent took place, and some of which were still
succulent in both separated portions.

Mr. Bernard had made up his mind, when he set forth, not to come back
before he had examined the dreaded ledge. He had half persuaded
himself that it was scientific curiosity. He wished to examine the
rocks, _to see what flowers grew there_, and perhaps to pick up an
adventure in the zooelogical line; for he had on a pair of high, stout
boots, and he carried a stick in his hand, which was forked at one
extremity, so as to be very convenient to hold down a _crotalus_
with, if he should happen to encounter one. He knew the aspect of the
ledge, from a distance; for its bald and leprous-looking declivities
stood out in their nakedness from the wooded sides of The Mountain,
when this was viewed from certain points of the village. But the
nearer aspect of the blasted region had something frightful in it.
The cliffs were water-worn, as if they had been gnawed for thousands
of years by hungry waves. In some places they overhung their base so
as to look like leaning towers that might topple over at any minute.
In other parts they were scooped into niches or caverns. Here and
there they were cracked in deep fissures, some of them of such width
that one might enter them, if he cared to run the risk of meeting the
regular tenants, who might treat him as an intruder.

Parts of the ledge were cloven perpendicularly, with nothing but
cracks or slightly projecting edges in which or on which a foot could
find hold. High up on one of these precipitous walls of rock he saw
some tufts of flowers, and knew them at once for the same that he had
found between the leaves of his Virgil. Not there, surely! No woman
would have clung against that steep, rough parapet to gather an idle
blossom. And yet the master looked round everywhere, and even up the
side of that rock, to see if there were no signs of a woman's
footstep. He peered about curiously, as if his eye might fall on some
of those fragments of dress which women leave after them, whenever
they run against each other or against anything else,--in crowded
ballrooms, in the brushwood after picnics, on the fences after
rambles, scattered round over every place that has witnessed an act
of violence, where rude hands have been laid upon them. Nothing.
Stop, though, one moment. That stone is smooth and polished, as if it
had been somewhat worn by the pressure of human feet. There is one
twig broken among the stems of that clump of shrubs. He put his foot
upon the stone and took hold of the close-clinging shrub. In this way
he turned a sharp angle of the rock and found himself on a natural
platform, which lay in front of one of the wider fissures,--whether
the mouth of a cavern or not he could not yet tell. A flat stone made
an easy seat, upon which he sat down, as he was very glad to do, and
looked mechanically about him. A small fragment splintered from the
rock was at his feet. He took it and threw it down the declivity a
little below where he sat. He looked about for a stem or a straw of
some kind to bite upon,--a country-instinct,--relic, no doubt, of the
old vegetable-feeding habits of Eden. Is that a stem or a straw? He
picked it up. It was a hairpin.

To say that Mr. Langdon had a strange sort of thrill shoot through
him at the sight of this harmless little implement would be a
statement not at variance with the fact of the case. That smooth
stone had been often trodden, and by what foot he could not doubt. He
rose up from his seat to look round for other signs of a woman's
visits. What if there is a cavern here, where she has a retreat,
fitted up, perhaps, as anchorites fitted their cells,--nay, it may
be, carpeted and mirrored, and with one of those tiger-skins for a
couch, such as they say the girl loves to lie on? Let us look, at any

Mr. Bernard walked to the mouth of the cavern or fissure and looked
into it. His look was met by the glitter of two diamond eyes, small,
sharp, cold, shining out of the darkness, but gliding with a smooth,
steady motion towards the light, and himself. He stood fixed, struck
dumb, staring back into them with dilating pupils and sudden numbness
of fear that cannot move, as in the terror of dreams. The two sparks
of light came forward until they grew to circles of flame, and all at
once lifted themselves up as if in angry surprise. Then for the first
time thrilled in Mr. Bernard's ears the dreadful sound that nothing
which breathes, be it man or brute, can hear unmoved,--the long,
loud, stinging whirr, as the huge, thick-bodied reptile shook his
many-jointed rattle and flung his jaw back for the fatal stroke. His
eyes were drawn as with magnets toward the circles of flame. His ears
rung as in the overture to the swooning dream of chloroform. Nature
was before man with her anesthetics: the cat's first shake stupefies
the mouse; the lion's first shake deadens the man's fear and feeling;
and the _crotalus_ paralyzes before he strikes. He waited as in a
trance,--waited as one that longs to have the blow fall, and all
over, as the man who shall be in two pieces in a second waits for the
axe to drop. But while he looked straight into the flaming eyes, it
seemed to him that they were losing their light and terror, that they
were growing tame and dull; the open jaws closed, the neck fell
backward and downward on the coil from which it rose, the charm was
dissolving, the numbness was passing away, he could move once more.
He heard a light breathing close to his ear, and, half turning, saw
the face of Elsie Venner, looking motionless into the reptile's eyes,
which had shrunk and faded under the stronger enchantment of her own.



It was commonly understood in the town of Rockland that Dudley Venner
had had a great deal of trouble with that daughter of his, so
handsome, yet so peculiar, about whom there were so many strange
stories. There was no end to the tales that were told of her
extraordinary doings. Yet her name was never coupled with that of any
youth or man, until this cousin had provoked remark by his visit; and
even then it was rather in the shape of wondering conjectures whether
he would dare to make love to her, than in any pretended knowledge of
their relations to each other, that the public tongue exercised its
village-prerogative of tattle.

The more common version of the trouble at the mansion-house was
this:--Elsie was not exactly in her right mind. Her temper was
singular, her tastes were anomalous, her habits were lawless, her
antipathies were many and intense, and she was liable to explosions
of ungovernable anger. Some said that was not the worst of it. At
nearly fifteen years old, when she was growing fast, and in an
irritable state of mind and body, she had had a governess placed over
her for whom she had conceived an aversion. It was whispered among a
few who knew more of the family secrets than others, that, worried
and exasperated by the presence and jealous oversight of this person,
Elsie had attempted to get finally rid of her by unlawful means, such
as young girls have been known to employ in their straits, and to
which the sex at all ages has a certain instinctive tendency, in
preference to more palpable instruments for the righting of its
wrongs. At any rate, this governess had been taken suddenly ill, and
the Doctor had been sent for at midnight. Old Sophy had taken her
master into a room apart, and said a few words to him which turned
him as white as a sheet. As soon as he recovered himself, he sent
Sophy out, called in the old Doctor, and gave him some few hints, on
which he acted at once, and had the satisfaction of seeing his
patient out of danger before he left in the morning. It is proper to
say, that, during the following days, the most thorough search was
made in every nook and cranny of those parts of the house which Elsie
chiefly haunted, but nothing was found which might be accused of
having been the intentional cause of the probably accidental sudden
illness of the governess. From this time forward her father was never
easy. Should he keep her apart, or shut her up, for fear of risk to
others, and so lose every chance of restoring her mind to its healthy
tone by kindly influences and intercourse with wholesome natures?
There was no proof, only presumption, as to the agency of Elsie in
the matter referred to. But the doubt was worse, perhaps, than
certainty would have been,--for then he would have known what to do.

He took the old Doctor as his adviser. The shrewd old man listened to
the father's story, his explanations of possibilities, of
probabilities, of dangers, of hopes. When he had got through, the
Doctor looked him in the face steadily, as if he were saying, _Is
that all?_

The father's eyes fell. That was not all. There was something at the
bottom of his soul which he could not bear to speak of,--nay, which,
as often as it reared itself through the dark waves of unworded
consciousness into the breathing air of thought, he trod down as the
ruined angels tread down a lost soul trying to come up out of the
seething sea of torture. Only this one daughter! No! God never would
have ordained such a thing. There was nothing ever heard of like it;
it could not be; she was ill,--she would outgrow all these
singularities; he had had an aunt who was peculiar; he had heard that
hysteric girls showed the strangest forms of moral obliquity for a
time, but came right at last. She would change all at once, when her
health got more firmly settled in the course of her growth. Are there
not rough buds that open into sweet flowers? Are there not fruits,
which, while unripe, are not to be tasted or endured, that mature
into the richest taste and fragrance? In God's good time she would
come to her true nature; her eyes would lose that frightful, cold
glitter; her lips would not feel so cold when she pressed them
mechanically against his cheek; and that faint birth-mark, her mother
swooned when she first saw, would fade wholly out,--it was less
marked, surely, now than it used to be!

So Dudley Venner felt, and would have thought, if he had let his
thoughts breathe the air of his soul. But the Doctor read through
words and thoughts and all into the father's consciousness. There are
states of mind that may be shared by two persons in presence of each
other, which remain not only unworded, but _unthoughted_, if such a
word may be coined for our special need. Such a mutually
interpenetrative consciousness there was between the father and the
old physician. By a common impulse, both of them rose in a mechanical
way and went to the western window, where each started, as he saw the
other's look directed towards the white stone that stood in the midst
of the small plot of green turf.

The Doctor had, for a moment, forgotten himself, but he looked up at
the clouds, which were angry, and said, as if speaking of the
weather, "It is dark now, but we hope it will clear up by-and-by.
There are a great many more clouds than rains, and more rains than
strokes of lightning, and more strokes of lightning than there are
people killed. We must let this girl of ours have her way, as far as
it is safe. Send away this woman she hates, quietly. Get her a
foreigner for a governess, if you can,--one that can dance and sing
and will teach her. In the house old Sophy will watch her best. Out
of it you must trust her, I am afraid,--for she will not be followed
round, and she is in less danger than you think. If she wanders at
night, find her, if you can; the woods are not absolutely safe. If
she will be friendly with any young people, have them to see
her,--young men, especially. She will not love any one easily, perhaps
not at all; yet love would be more like to bring her right than anything
else. If any young person seems in danger of falling in love with
her, send him to me for counsel."

Dry, hard advice, but given from a kind heart, with a moist eye, and
in tones that tried to be cheerful and were full of sympathy. This
advice was the key to the more than indulgent treatment which, as we
have seen, the girl had received from her father and all about her.
The old Doctor often came in, in the kindest, most natural sort of
way, got into pleasant relations with Elsie by always treating her in
the same easy manner as at the great party, encouraging all her
harmless fancies, and rarely reminding her that he was a professional
adviser, except when she came out of her own accord, as in the talk
they had at the party, telling him of some wild trick she had been

"Let her go to the girls' school, by all means," said the Doctor,
when she had begun to talk about it. "Possibly she may take to some
of the girls or of the teachers. Anything to interest her.
Friendship, love, religion,--whatever will set her nature at work. We
must have headway on, or there will be no piloting her. Action first
of all, and then we will see what to do with it."

So, when Cousin Richard came along, the Doctor, though he did not
like his looks any too well, told her father to encourage his staying
for a time. If she liked him, it was good; if she only tolerated him,
it was better than nothing.

"You know something about that nephew of yours, during these last
years, I suppose?" the Doctor said. "Looks as if he had seen life.
Has a scar that was made by a sword-cut, and a white spot on the side
of his neck that looks like a bulletmark. I think he has been what
folks call a 'hard customer.'"

Dudley Venner owned that he had heard little or nothing of him of
late years. He had invited himself, and of course it would not be
decent not to receive him as a relative. He thought Elsie rather
liked having him about the house for a while. She was very
capricious,--acted as if she fancied him one day and disliked him the
next. He did not know,--but (he said in a low voice) he had a
suspicion that this nephew of his was disposed to take a serious
liking to Elsie. What should he do about it, if it turned out so?

The Doctor lifted his eyebrows a little. He thought there was no
fear. Elsie was naturally what they call a man-hater, and there was
very little danger of any sudden passion springing up between two
such young persons. Let him stay awhile; it gives her something to
think about.--So he stayed awhile, as we have seen.

The more Mr. Richard became acquainted with the family,--that is,
with the two persons of whom it consisted,--the more favorably the
idea of a permanent residence in the mansion-house seemed to impress
him. The estate was large,--hundreds of acres, with woodlands and
meadows of great value. The father and daughter had been living
quietly, and there could not be a doubt that the property which came
through the Dudleys must have largely increased of late years. It was
evident enough that they had an abundant income, from the way in
which Elsie's caprices were indulged. She had horses and carriages to
suit herself; she sent to the great city for everything she wanted in
the way of dress. Even her diamonds--and the young man knew something
about these gems--must be of considerable value; and yet she wore
them carelessly, as it pleased her fancy. She had precious old laces,
too, almost worth their weight in diamonds,--laces which had been
snatched from altars in ancient Spanish cathedrals during the wars,
and which it would not be safe to leave a duchess alone with for ten
minutes. The old house was fat with the deposits of rich generations
which had gone before. The famous "golden" fireset was a purchase of
one of the family who had been in France during the Revolution, and
must have come from a princely palace, if not from one of the royal
residences. As for silver, the iron closet which had been made in the
dining-room wall was running over with it: tea-kettles, coffee-pots,
heavy-lidded tankards, chafing-dishes, punch-bowls, all that all the
Dudleys had ever used, from the caudle-cup that used to be handed
round the young mother's chamber, and the porringer from which
children scooped their bread-and-milk with spoons as solid as ingots,
to that ominous vessel, on the upper shelf, far back in the dark,
with a spout like a slender italic S, out of which the sick and
dying, all along the last century, and since, had taken the last
drops that passed their lips. Without being much of a scholar, Dick
could see well enough, too, that the books in the library had been
ordered from the great London houses, whose imprint they bore, by
persons that knew what was best and meant to have it. A man does not
require much learning to feel pretty sure, when he takes one of those
solid, smooth, velvet-leaved quartos, say a Baskerville Addison, for
instance, bound in red morocco, with a margin of gold, as rich as the
embroidery of a prince's collar, as Vandyck drew it,--he need not
know much to feel pretty sure that a score or two of shelves full of
such books mean that it took a long purse, as well as a literary
taste, to bring them together.

To all these attractions the mind of this thoughtful young gentleman
may be said to have been fully open. He did not disguise from
himself, however, that there were a number of drawbacks in the way of
his becoming established as the heir of the Dudley mansion-house and
fortune. In the first place, Cousin Elsie was, unquestionably, very
piquant, very handsome, game as a hawk, and hard to please, which
made her worth trying for. But then there was something about Cousin
Elsie,--(the small, white scars began stinging, as he said this to
himself, and he pushed his sleeve up to look at them,)--there was
something about Cousin Elsie he couldn't make out. What was the
matter with her eyes, that they sucked your life out of you in that
strange way? What did she always wear a necklace for? Had she some
such love-token on her neck as the old Don's revolver had left on
his? How safe would anybody feel to live with her? Besides, her
father would last forever, if he was left to himself. And he may take
it into his head to marry again. That would be pleasant!

So talked Cousin Richard to himself, in the calm of the night and in
the tranquillity of his own soul. There was much to be said on both
sides. It was a balance to be struck after the two columns were added
up. He struck the balance, and came to the conclusion that he would
fall in love with Elsie Venner.

The intelligent reader will not confound this matured and serious
intention of falling in love with the young lady with that mere
impulse of the moment before mentioned as an instance of making love.
On the contrary, the moment Mr. Richard had made up his mind that he
should fall in love with Elsie, he began to be more reserved with
her, and to try to make friends in other quarters. Sensible men, you
know, care very little what a girl's present fancy is. The question
is: Who manages her, and how can you get at that person or those
persons? Her foolish little sentiments are all very well in their
way; but business is business, and we can't stop for such trifles.
The old political wire-pullers never go near the man they want to
gain, if they can help it; they find out who his intimates and
managers are, and work through them. Always handle any positively
electrical body, whether it is charged with passion, or power, with
some non-conductor between you and it, not with your naked
hands.--The above were some of the young gentleman's working axioms;
and he proceeded to act in accordance with them.

He began by paying his court more assiduously to his uncle. It was
not very hard to ingratiate himself in that quarter; for his manners
were insinuating, and his precocious experience of life made him
entertaining. The old neglected billiard-room was soon put in order,
and Dick, who was a magnificent player, had a series of games with
his uncle, in which, singularly enough, he was beaten, though his
antagonist had been out of play for years. He evinced a profound
interest in the family history, insisted on having the details of its
early alliances, and professed a great pride of race, which he had
inherited from his father, who, though he had allied himself with the
daughter of an alien race, had yet chosen one with the real azure
blood in her veins, as proud as if she had Castile and Aragon for her
dower and the Cid for her grandpapa. He also asked a great deal of
advice, such as inexperienced young persons are in need of, and
listened to it with great reverence.

It is not very strange that Uncle Dudley took a kinder view of his
nephew than the Judge, who thought he could read a questionable
history in his face,--or the old Doctor, who knew men's temperaments
and organizations pretty well, and had his prejudices about races,
and could tell an old sword-cut and a bullet-mark in two seconds from
a scar got by falling against the fender, or a mark left by king's
evil. He could not be expected to share our own prejudices; for he
had heard nothing of the wild youth's adventures, or his scamper over
the Pampas at short notice. So, then, "Richard Venner, Esquire, guest
of Dudley Venner, Esquire, at his elegant mansion," prolonged his
visit until his presence became something like a matter of habit, and
the neighbors settled it beyond doubt that the fine old house would
be illuminated before long for a grand marriage.

He had done pretty well with the father: the next thing was to gain
over the nurse. Old Sophy was as cunning as a red fox or a gray
woodchuck. She had nothing in the world to do but to watch Elsie; she
had nothing to care for but this girl and her father. She had never
liked Dick too well; for he used to make faces at her and tease her
when he was a boy, and now he was a man there was something about
him--she could not tell what--that made her suspicious of him. It was
no small matter to get her over to his side.

The jet-black Africans know that gold never looks so well as on the
foil of their dark skins. Dick found in his trunk a string of gold
beads, such as are manufactured in some of our cities, which he had
brought from the gold region of Chili,--so he said,--for the express
purpose of giving them to old Sophy. These Africans, too, have a
perfect passion for gay-colored clothing; being condemned by Nature,
as it were, to a perpetual mourning-suit, they love to enliven it
with all sorts of variegated stuffs of sprightly patterns, aflame
with red and yellow. The considerate young man had remembered this,
too, and brought home for Sophy some handkerchiefs of rainbow hue,
which had been strangely overlooked till now, at the bottom of one of
his trunks. Old Sophy took his gifts, but kept her black eyes open
and watched every movement of the young people all the more closely.
It was through her that the father had always known most of the
actions and tendencies of his daughter.

In the mean time the strange adventure on The Mountain had brought
the young master into new relations with Elsie. She had saved him in
the extremity of peril by the exercise of some mysterious power. He
was grateful, and yet shuddered at the recollection of the whole
scene. In his dreams he was pursued by the glare of cold glittering
eyes,--whether they were in the head of a woman or of a reptile he
could not always tell, the images had so run together. But he could
not help seeing that the eyes of the young girl had been often, very
often, turned upon him when he had been looking away, and fell as his
own glance met them. Helen Darley told him very plainly that this
girl was thinking about him more than about her book. Dick Venner
found she was getting more constant in her attendance at school. He
learned, on inquiry, that there was a new master, a handsome young
man. The handsome young man would not have liked the look that came
over Dick's face when he heard this fact mentioned.

In short, everything was getting tangled up together, and there would
be no chance of disentangling the threads in this chapter.


It is barely fifty years since England refused the gift of the
pictures that now constitute the Dulwich Gallery. So rapidly,
however, did public opinion and taste become enlightened, that
twenty-five years afterwards Parliament voted seventy-three thousand
pounds for the purchase of thirty-eight pictures collected by Mr.
Angerstein. This was the commencement of their National Gallery. In
1790 but three national galleries existed in Europe,--those of
Dresden, Florence, and Amsterdam. The Louvre was then first
originated by a decree of the Constituent Assembly of France. England
now spends with open hand on schools of design, the accumulation of
treasures of art of every epoch and character, and whatever tends to
elevate the taste and enlarge the means of the artistic education of
her people,--perceiving, with far-sighted wisdom, that, through
improved manufacture and riper civilization, eventually a tenfold
return will result to her treasury. The nations of Europe exult over
a new acquisition to their galleries, though its cost may have
exceeded a hundred thousand dollars.

We are in that stage of indifference and neglect that one of our
wealthiest cities recently refused to accept the donation of a
gallery of some three hundred pictures, collected with taste and
discrimination by a generous lover of art, because it did not wish to
be put to the expense of finding wall-room for them. But this spirit
is departing, and now our slowness or reluctance is rather the result
of a want of knowledge and critical judgment than of a want of
feeling for art.

To stimulate this feeling, it is requisite that our public should
have free access to galleries in which shall be exhibited in
chronological series specimens of the art of all nations and schools,
arranged according to their motives and the special influences that
attended their development. After this manner a mental and artistic
history of the world may be spread out like a chart before the
student, while the artist with equal facility can trace up to their
origin the varied methods, styles, and excellences of each prominent
epoch. A gallery of art is a perpetual feast of the most intense and
refined enjoyment to every one capable of entering into its phases of
thought and execution, analyzing its external and internal being, and
tracing the mysterious transformations of spirit into form. It has
been well said, that a complete gallery, on a broad foundation, in
which all tastes, styles, and methods harmoniously mingle, is a court
of final appeal of one phase of civilization against another, from an
examination of which we can sum up their respective qualities and
merits, drawing therefrom for our own edification as from a perpetual
wellspring of inspiration and knowledge. But if we sit in judgment
upon the great departed, they likewise sit in judgment upon us. And
it is precisely where such means of testing artistic growth best
exist that modern art is at once most humble and most aspiring:
conscious of its own power and in many respects superior technical
advantages, both it and the public are still content to go to the
past for instruction, and each to seek to rise above the transitory
bias of fashion or local passions to a standard of taste that will
abide world-wide comparison and criticism.

An edifice for a gallery or museum of art should be fire-proof,
sufficiently isolated for light and effective ornamentation, and
constructed so as to admit of indefinite extension. Its chief feature
should be the suitable accommodation and exhibition of its contents.
But provision should be made for its becoming eventually in
architectural effect consistent with its object. The skeleton of such
a building need not be costly. Its chief expense would be in its
ultimate adornment with marble facings, richly colored stones,
sculpture or frescoes, according to a design which should enforce
strict purity of taste and conformity to its motive. This gradual
completion, as happened to the mediaeval monuments of Europe, could be
extended through many generations, which would thus be linked with
one another in a common object of artistic and patriotic pride
gradually growing up among them, as a national monument, with its
foundations deeply laid in a unity of feeling and those desirable
associations of love and veneration which in older civilizations so
delightfully harmonize the past with the present. Each epoch of
artists would be instructed by the skill of its predecessor, and
stimulated to connect its name permanently with so glorious a shrine.
Wealth, as in the days of democratic Greece and Italy, would be
lavished upon the completion of a temple of art destined to endure as
long as material can defy time, a monument of the people's taste and
munificence. There would be born among them the spirit of those
Athenians who said to Phidias, when he asked if he should use ivory
or marble for the statue of their protecting goddess, "Use that
material which is most _worthy_ of our city."

Until recently, no attention has been paid, even in Europe, to
historical sequence and special motives in the arrangement of
galleries. As in the Pitti Gallery, pictures were generally hung so
as to conform to the symmetry of the rooms,--various styles, schools,
and epochs being intermixed. As the progress of ideas is of more
importance to note than the variations of styles or the degree of
technical merit, the chief attention in selection and position should
be given to lucidly exhibiting the varied phases of artistic thought
among the diverse races and widely separated eras and inspirations
which gave them being. The mechanism of art is, however, go
intimately interwoven with the idea, that by giving precedence to the
latter we most readily arrive at the best arrangement of the former.
Each cycle of civilization should have its special department,
Paganism and Christianity being kept apart, and not, as in the
Florentine Gallery, intermixed,--presenting a strange jumble of
classical statuary and modern paintings in anachronistic disorder, to
the loss of the finest properties of each to the eye, and the
destruction of that unity of motive and harmonious association so
essential to the proper exhibition of art. For it is essential that
every variety of artistic development should be associated solely
with those objects or conditions most in keeping with its
inspirations. In this way we quickest come to an understanding of its
originating idea, and sympathize with its feeling, tracing its
progress from infancy to maturity and decay, and comparing it as a
whole with corresponding or rival varieties of artistic development.
This systematized variety of one great unity is of the highest
importance in placing the spectator in affinity with art as a whole
and with its diversities of character, and in giving him sound
stand-points of comparison and criticism. In this way, as in the Louvre,
feeling and thought are readily transported from one epoch of
civilization to another, grasping the motives and execution of each
with pleasurable accuracy. We perceive that no conventional standard
of criticism, founded upon the opinions or fashions of one age, is
applicable to all. To rightly comprehend each, we must broadly survey
the entire ground of art, and make ourselves for the time members, as
it were, of the political and social conditions of life that give
origin to the objects of our investigations. This philosophical mode
of viewing art does not exclude an aesthetic point of view, but rather
heightens that and makes it more intelligible. Paganism would be
subdivided into the various national forms that illustrated its rise
and fall. Egypt, India, China, Assyria, Greece, Etruria, and Rome,
would stand each by itself as a component part of a great whole: so
with Christianity, in such shapes as have already taken foothold in
history, the Latin, Byzantine, Lombard, Mediaeval, Renaissant, and
Protestant art, subdivided into its diversified schools or leading
ideas, all graphically arranged so as to demonstrate, amid the
infinite varieties of humanity, a divine unity of origin and design,
linking together mankind in one common family.

Beside statuary and paintings, an institution of this nature should
contain specimens of every kind of industry in which art is the
primary inspiration, to illustrate the qualities and degrees of
social refinement in nations and eras. This would include every
variety of ornamental art in which invention and skill are
conspicuous, as well as those works more directly inspired by higher
motives and intended as a joy forever. Architecture and objects not
transportable could be represented by casts or photographs. Models,
drawings, and engravings also come within its scope; and there should
be attached to the parent gallery a library of reference and a
lecture- and reading-room.

Connected with it there might be schools of design for improvement in
ornamental manufacture, the development of architecture, and whatever
aids to refine and give beauty to social life, including a simple
academic system for the elementary branches of drawing and coloring,
upon a scientific basis of accumulated knowledge and experience,
providing models and other advantages not readily accessible to
private resources, but leaving individual genius free to follow its
own promptings upon a well-laid technical foundation. As soon as the
young artist has acquired the grammar of his profession, he should be
sent forth to study directly from Nature and to mature his invention
unfettered by authoritative academic system, which more frequently
fosters conventionalism and imposes trammels upon talent than endows
it with strength and freedom.

Such is a brief sketch of institutions feasible amongst us from
humble beginnings by individual enterprise. Once founded and their
value demonstrated, the countenance of the state may be hopefully
invoked. Their very existence would become an incentive to munificent
gifts. Individuals owning fine works of art would grow ambitious to
have their memories associated with patriotic enterprise. Art invokes
liberality and evokes fraternity. The sentiment, that there is a
common property in the productions of genius, making possession a
trust for the public welfare, will increase among those by whose
taste and wealth they have been accumulated. Masterpieces will cease
to be regarded as the selfish acquisitions of covetous amateurs, but,
like spoken truth, will become the inalienable birthright of the
people,--finding their way freely and generously, through the
magnetic influences of public spirit and pertinent examples, to those
depositories where they can most efficaciously perform their mission
of truth and beauty to the world. Then the people themselves will
begin to take pride in their artistic wealth, to honor artists as
they now do soldiers and statesmen, and to value the more highly
those virtues which are interwoven with all noble effort.

In 1823, when the National Gallery of England was founded, the
English were nearly as dead to art as we are now. A few amateurs
alone cultivated it, but there was no general sympathy with nor
knowledge of it. Yet by 1837, in donations alone, the gallery had
received one hundred and thirty-seven pictures. Since that period
gifts have increased tenfold in value and numbers. Connected with it,
and a part of that noble, comprehensive, and munificent system of
art-education which the British government has inculcated, are the
British and Kensington Museums. Schools of design, with every
appliance for the growth of art, have rapidly sprung into existence.
Private enterprise and research have correspondingly increased.
British agents, with unstinted means, are everywhere ransacking the
earth in quest of everything that can add to the value and utility of
their national and private collections. A keen regard for all that
concerns art, a desire for its national development, an enlightened
standard of criticism, and with it the most eloquent art-literature
of any tongue, have all recently sprung into existence in our
motherland. All honor to those generous spirits that have produced
this,--and honor to the nation that so wisely expends its wealth! A
noble example for America! England also throws open to the
competition of the world plans for her public buildings and
monuments. Mistakes and defects there have been, but an honest desire
for amendment and to promote the intellectual growth of the nation
now characterizes her pioneers in this cause. And what progress!
Between 1823 and 1850, in the Museum alone, there have been expended
$10,000,000. Within twelve years, $450,000 have been expended on the
National Gallery for pictures, and yet its largest accession of
treasures is by gifts and bequests. Lately, beside the Pisani
Veronese bought for $70,000, eight other paintings have been
purchased at a cost of $50,000. In 1858, $36,000 were given for the
choice of twenty, of the early Italian schools, from the Lombardi
Gallery at Florence,--not masterpieces, but simply characteristic
specimens, more or less restored. The average cost of late
acquisitions has been about $6,000 each. In 1858, there were 823,000
visitors to both branches of the National Gallery. Who can estimate
not alone the pleasure and instruction afforded by such an
institution to its million of annual visitors, but the ideas and
inspiration thence born, destined to grow and fructify to the glory
and good of the nation? At present there are seventy-seven schools of
art in England, attended by 68,000 students. In 1859, they and
kindred institutions received a public grant of nearly $450,000. The
appropriation for the British Museum alone, for 1860, is L77,452.

To the Louvre Louis XVIII. added one hundred and eleven pictures, at
a cost of about $132,000; Charles X., twenty-four, at $12,000; Louis
Philippe, fifty-three, at $14,500; and Napoleon III., thus far,
thirty paintings, costing $200,000, one of which, the Murillo, cost
$125,000. Russia is following in the same path. Italy, Greece, and
Egypt, by stringent regulations, are making it yearly more difficult
for any precious work to leave their shores. If, therefore, America
is ever to follow in the same path, she must soon bestir herself, or
she will have nothing but barren fields to glean from.


Novelties are enticing to most people: to us they are simply
annoying. We cling to a long-accepted theory, just as we cling to an
old suit of clothes. A new theory, like a new pair of breeches, ("The
Atlantic" still affects the older type of nether garment,) is sure to
have hard-fitting places; or even when no particular fault can be
found with the article, it oppresses with a sense of general
discomfort. New notions and new styles worry us, till we get well
used to them, which is only by slow degrees.

Wherefore, in Galileo's time, we might have helped to proscribe, or
to burn--had he been stubborn enough to warrant cremation--even the
great pioneer of inductive research; although, when we had fairly
recovered our composure, and had leisurely excogitated the matter, we
might have come to conclude that the new doctrine was better than the
old one, after all, at least for those who had nothing to unlearn.

Such being our habitual state of mind, it may well be believed that
the perusal of the new book "On the Origin of Species by Means of
Natural Selection" left an uncomfortable impression, in spite of its
plausible and winning ways. We were not wholly unprepared for it, as
many of our contemporaries seem to have been. The scientific reading
in which we indulge as a relaxation from severer studies had raised
dim forebodings. Investigations about the succession of species in
time, and their actual geographical distribution over the earth's
surface, were leading up from all sides and in various ways to the
question of their origin. Now and then we encountered a sentence,
like Professor Owen's "axiom of the continuous operation of the
ordained becoming of living things," which haunted us like an
apparition. For, dim as our conception must needs be as to what such
oracular and grandiloquent phrases might really mean, we felt
confident that they presaged no good to old beliefs. Foreseeing, yet
deprecating, the coming time of trouble, we still hoped, that, with
some repairs and make-shifts, the old views might last out our days.
_Apres nous le deluge_. Still, not to lag behind the rest of the
world, we read the book in which the new theory is promulgated. We
took it up, like our neighbors, and, as was natural, in a somewhat
captious frame of mind.

Well, we found no cause of quarrel with the first chapter. Here the
author takes us directly to the barn-yard and the kitchen-garden.
Like an honorable rural member of our General Court, who sat silent
until, near the close of a long session, a bill requiring all swine
at large to wear pokes was introduced, when he claimed the privilege
of addressing the house, on the proper ground that he had been
"brought up among the pigs, and knew all about them,"--so we were
brought up among cows and cabbages; and the lowing of cattle, the
cackling of hens, and the cooing of pigeons were sounds native and
pleasant to our ears. So "Variation under Domestication" dealt with
familiar subjects in a natural way, and gently introduced "Variation
under Nature," which seemed likely enough. Then follows "Struggle for
Existence,"--a principle which we experimentally know to be true and
cogent,--bringing the comfortable assurance, that man, even upon
Leviathan Hobbes's theory of society, is no worse than the rest of
creation, since all Nature is at war, one species with another, and
the nearer kindred the more internecine,--bringing in thousand-fold
confirmation and extension of the Malthusian doctrine, that
population tends far to outrun means of subsistence throughout the
animal and vegetable world, and has to be kept down by sharp
preventive checks; so that not more than one of a hundred or a
thousand of the individuals whose existence is so wonderfully and so
sedulously provided for ever comes to anything, under ordinary
circumstances; so the lucky and the strong must prevail, and the
weaker and ill-favored must perish;--and then follows, as naturally
as one sheep follows another, the chapter on "Natural Selection,"
Darwin's _cheval de bataille_, which is very much the Napoleonic
doctrine, that Providence favors the strongest battalions,--that,
since many more individuals are born than can possibly survive, those
individuals and those variations which possess any advantage, however
slight, over the rest, are in the long run sure to survive, to
propagate, and to occupy the limited field, to the exclusion or
destruction of the weaker brethren. All this we pondered, and could
not much object to. In fact, we began to contract a liking for a
system which at the outset illustrates the advantages of good
breeding, and which makes the most "of every creature's best."

Could we "let by-gones be by-gones," and, beginning now, go
on improving and diversifying for the future by natural
selection,--could we even take up the theory at the introduction of the
actually existing species, we should be well content, and so perhaps would
most naturalists be. It is by no means difficult to believe that
varieties are incipient or possible species, when we see what trouble
naturalists, especially botanists, have to distinguish between
them,--one regarding as a true species what another regards as a
variety; when the progress of knowledge increases, rather than
diminishes, the number of doubtful instances; and when there is less
agreement than ever among naturalists as to what the basis is in
Nature upon which our idea of species reposes, or how the word is
practically to be defined. Indeed, when we consider the endless
disputes of naturalists and ethnologists over the human races, as to
whether they belong to one species or to more, and if to more,
whether to three, or five, or fifty, we can hardly help fancying that
both may be right,--or rather, that the uni-humanitarians would have
been right several thousand years ago, and the multi-humanitarians
will be a few thousand years later; while at present the safe thing
to say is, that, probably, there is some truth on both sides.
"Natural selection," Darwin remarks, "leads to divergence of
character; for more living brings can be supported on the same area
the more they diverge in structure, habits, and constitution," (a
principle which, by the way, is paralleled and illustrated by the
diversification of human labor,) and also leads to much extinction of
intermediate or unimproved forms. Now, though this divergence may
"steadily tend to increase," yet this is evidently a slow process in
Nature, and liable to much counteraction wherever man does not
interpose, and so not likely to work much harm for the future. And if
natural selection, with artificial to help it, will produce better
animals and better men than the present, and fit them better to "the
conditions of existence," why, let it work, say we, to the top of its
bent. There is still room enough for improvement. Only let us hope
that it always works for good: if not, the divergent lines on
Darwin's diagram of transmutation made easy ominously show what small
deviations from the straight path may come to in the end.

The prospect of the future, accordingly, is on the whole pleasant and
encouraging. It is only the backward glance, the gaze up the long
vista of the past, that reveals anything alarming. Here the lines
converge as they recede into the geological ages, and point to
conclusions which, upon the theory, are inevitable, but by no means
welcome. The very first step backwards makes the Negro and the
Hottentot our blood-relations;--not that reason or Scripture objects
to that, though pride may. The next suggests a closer association of
our ancestors of the olden time with "our poor relations" of the
quadrumanous family than we like to acknowledge. Fortunately,
however,--even if we must account for him scientifically,--man with
his two feet stands upon a foundation of his own. Intermediate links
between the _Bimana_ and the _Quadrumana_ are lacking altogether; so
that, put the genealogy of the brutes upon what footing you will, the
four-handed races will not serve for our forerunners;--at least, not
until some monkey, live or fossil, is producible with great toes,
instead of thumbs, upon his nether extremities; or until some lucky
geologist turns up the bones of his ancestor and prototype in France
or England, who was so busy "napping the chuckie-stanes" and chipping
out flint knives and arrow-heads in the time of the drift, very many
ages ago,--before the British Channel existed, says Lyell[1],--and
until these men of the olden time are shown to have worn their
great-toes in a divergent and thumb-like fashion. That would be evidence
indeed: but until some testimony of the sort is produced, we must
needs believe in the separate and special creation of man, however it
may have been with the lower animals and with plants.

No doubt, the full development and symmetry of Darwin's hypothesis
strongly suggest the evolution of the human no less than the lower
animal races out of some simple primordial animal,--that all are
equally "lineal descendants of sense few beings which lived long
before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited." But, as
the author speaks disrespectfully of spontaneous generation, and
accepts a supernatural beginning of life on earth, in some form or
forms of being which included potentially all that have since existed
and are yet to be, he is thereby not warranted to extend his
inferences beyond the evidence or the fair probability. There seems
as great likelihood that one special origination should be followed
by another upon fitting occasion, (such as the introduction of man,)
as that one form should be transmuted into another upon fitting
occasion, as, for instance, in the succession of species which differ
from each other only in some details. To compare small things with
great in a homely illustration: man alters from time to time his
instruments or machines, as new circumstances or conditions may
require and his wit suggest. Minor alterations and improvements he
adds to the machine he possesses: he adapts a new rig or a new rudder
to an old boat: this answers to _variation_. If boats could engender,
the variations would doubtless be propagated, like those of domestic
cattle. In course of time the old ones would be worn out or wrecked;
the best sorts would be chosen for each particular use, and further
improved upon, and so the primordial boat be developed into the scow,
the skiff, the sloop, and other species of water-craft,--the very
diversification, as well as the successive improvements, entailing
the disappearance of many intermediate forms, less adapted to any one
particular purpose; wherefore these go slowly out of use, and become
extinct species: this is _natural selection_. Now let a great and
important advance be made, like that of steam-navigation: here,
though the engine might be added to the old vessel, yet the wiser and
therefore the actual way is to make a new vessel on a modified plan:
this may answer to _specific creation_. Anyhow, the one does not
necessarily exclude the other. Variation and natural selection may
play their part, and so may specific creation also. Why not?

[Footnote 1: Vide _Proceedings of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science_, 1859, and London _Athenaeum_, passim. It
appears to be conceded that these "celts" or stone knives are
artificial productions, and of the age of the mammoth, the fossil
rhinoceros, etc.]

This leads us to ask for the reasons which call for this new theory
of transmutation. The beginning of things must needs lie in
obscurity, beyond the bounds of proof, though within those of
conjecture or of analogical inference. Why not hold fast to the
customary view, that all species were directly, instead of
indirectly, created after their respective kinds, as we now behold
them,--and that in a manner which, passing our comprehension, we
intuitively refer to the supernatural? Why this continual striving
after "the unattained and dim,"--these anxious endeavors, especially
of late years, by naturalists and philosophers of various schools and
different tendencies, to penetrate what one of them calls "the
mystery of mysteries," the origin of species? To this, in general,
sufficient answer may be found in the activity of the human
intellect, "the delirious yet divine desire to know," stimulated as
it has been by its own success in unveiling the laws and processes of
inorganic Nature,--in the fact that the principal triumphs of our age
in physical science have consisted in tracing connections where none
were known before, in reducing heterogeneous phenomena to a common
cause or origin, in a manner quite analogous to that of the reduction
of supposed independently originated species to a common ultimate
origin,--thus, and in various other ways, largely and legitimately
extending the domain of secondary causes. Surely the scientific mind
of an age which contemplates the solar system as evolved from a
common, revolving, fluid mass,--which, through experimental research,
has come to regard light, heat, electricity, magnetism, chemical
affinity, and mechanical power as varieties or derivative
and convertible forms of one force, instead of independent
species,--which has brought the so-called elementary kinds of matter, such
as the metals, into kindred groups, and raised the question, whether the
members of each group may not be mere varieties of one species,--and
which speculates steadily in the direction of the ultimate unity of
matter, of a sort of prototype or simple element which may be to the
ordinary species of matter what the _protozoa_ or component cells of
an organism are to the higher sorts of animals and plants,--the mind
of such an age cannot be expected to let the old belief about species
pass unquestioned.

It will raise the question, how the diverse sorts of plants and
animals came to be as they are and where they are, and will allow
that the whole inquiry transcends its powers only when all endeavors
have failed. Granting the origin to be supernatural, or miraculous
even, will not arrest the inquiry. All real origination, the
philosophers will say, is supernatural; their very question is,
whether we have yet gone back to the origin, and can affirm that the
present forms of plants and animals are the primordial, the
miraculously created ones. And even if they admit that, they will
still inquire into the order of the phenomena, into the form of the
miracle. You might as well expect the child to grow up content with
what it is told about the advent of its infant brother. Indeed, to
learn that the new-comer is the gift of God, far from lulling
inquiry, only stimulates speculation as to how the precious gift was
bestowed. That questioning child is father to the man,--is
philosopher in short-clothes.

Since, then, questions about the origin of species will be raised,
and have been raised,--and since the theorizings, however different
in particulars, all proceed upon the notion that one species of plant
or animal is somehow derived from another, that the different sorts
which now flourish are lineal (or unlineal) descendants of other and
earlier sorts,--it now concerns us to ask, What are the grounds in
Nature, the admitted facts, which suggest hypotheses of derivation,
in some shape or other? Reasons there must be, and plausible ones,
for the persistent recurrence of theories upon this genetic basis. A
study of Darwin's book, and a general glance at the present state of
the natural sciences, enable us to gather the following as perhaps
the most suggestive and influential. We can only enumerate them here,
without much indication of their particular bearing. There is,--

1. The general fact of variability;--the patent fact, that all
species vary more or less; that domesticated plants and animals,
being in conditions favorable to the production and preservation of
varieties, are apt to vary widely; and that by interbreeding, any
variety may be fixed into a race, that is, into a variety which comes
true from seed. Many such races, it is allowed, differ from each
other in structure and appearance as widely as do many admitted
species; and it is practically very difficult, perhaps impossible, to
draw a clear line between races and species. Witness the human races,
for instance.

Wild species also vary, perhaps about as widely as those of
domestication, though in different ways. Some of them appear to vary
little, others moderately, others immoderately, to the great
bewilderment of systematic botanists and zoologists, and their
increasing disagreement as to whether various forms shall be held to
be original species or marked varieties. Moreover, the degree to
which the descendants of the same stock, varying in different
directions, may at length diverge is unknown. All we know is, that
varieties are themselves variable, and that very diverse forms have
been educed from one stock.

2. Species of the same genus are not distinguished from each other by
equal amounts of difference. There is diversity in this respect
analogous to that of the varieties of a polymorphous species, some of
them slight, others extreme. And in large genera the unequal
resemblance shows itself in the clustering of the species around
several types or central species, like satellites around their
respective planets. Obviously suggestive this of the hypothesis that
they were satellites, not thrown off by revolution, like the moons of
Jupiter, Saturn, and our own solitary moon, but gradually and
peacefully detached by divergent variation. That such closely related
species may be only varieties of higher grade, earlier origin, or
more favored evolution, is not a very violent supposition. Anyhow, it
was a supposition sure to be made.

3. The actual geographical distribution of species upon the earth's
surface tends to suggest the same notion. For, as a general thing,
all or most of the species of a peculiar genus or other type are
grouped in the same country, or occupy continuous, proximate, or
accessible areas. So well does this rule hold, so general is the
implication that kindred species are or were associated
geographically, that most trustworthy naturalists, quite free from
hypotheses of transmutation, are constantly inferring former
geographical continuity between parts of the world now widely
disjoined, in order to account thereby for the generic similarities
among their inhabitants. Yet no scientific explanation has been
offered to account for the geographical association of kindred
species, except the hypothesis of a common origin.

4. Here the fact of the antiquity of creation, and in particular of
the present kinds of the earth's inhabitants, or of a large part of
them, comes in to rebut the objection, that there has not been time
enough for any marked diversification of living things through
divergent variation,--not time enough for varieties to have diverged
into what we call species.

So long as the existing species of plants and animals were thought to
have originated a few thousand years ago and without predecessors,
there was no room for a theory of derivation of one sort from
another, nor time enough even to account for the establishment of the
races which are generally believed to have diverged from a common
stock. Not that five or six thousand years was a short allowance for
this; but because some of our familiar domesticated varieties of
grain, of fowls, and of other animals, were pictured and mummified by
the old Egyptians more than half that number of years ago, if not
much earlier. Indeed, perhaps the strongest argument for the original
plurality of human species was drawn from the identification of some
of the present races of men upon these early historical monuments and

But this very extension of the current chronology, if we may rely
upon the archaeologists, removes the difficulty by opening up a longer
vista. So does the discovery in Europe of remains and implements of
pre-historic races of men to whom the use of metals was unknown,--men
of the _stone age_, as the Scandinavian archaeologists designate them.
And now, "axes and knives of flint, evidently wrought by human skill,
are found in beds of the drift at Amiens, (also in other places, both
in France and England,) associated with the bones of extinct species
of animals." These implements, indeed, were noticed twenty years ago;
at a place in Suffolk they have been exhumed from time to time for
more than a century; but the full confirmation, the recognition of
the age of the deposit in which the implements occur, their
abundance, and the appreciation of their bearings upon most
interesting questions, belong to the present time. To complete the
connection of these primitive people with the fossil ages, the French
geologists, we are told, have now "found these axes in Picardy
associated with remains of _Elephas primigenius, Rhinoceros
tichorhinus, Equus fossilis_, and an extinct species of _Bos_."[1] In
plain language, these workers in flint lived in the time of the
mammoth, of a rhinoceros now extinct, and along with horses and
cattle unlike any now existing,--specifically different, as
naturalists say, from those with which man is now associated. Their
connection with existing human races may perhaps be traced through
the intervening people of the stone age, who were succeeded by the
people of the bronze age, and these by workers in iron.[2] Now,
various evidence carries back the existence of many of the present
lower species of animals, and probably of a larger number of plants,
to the same drift period. All agree that this was very many thousand
years ago. Agassiz tells us that the same species of polyps which are
now building coral walls around the present peninsula of Florida
actually made that peninsula, and have been building there for
centuries which must be reckoned by thousands.

[Footnote 1: See Correspondence of M. Nickles, in _American Journal
of Science and Arts_, for March, 1860.]

[Footnote 2: See Morlet, _Some General Views on Archaeology_, in
_American Journal of Science and Arts_, for January, 1860, translated
from _Bulletin de la Societe Vaudoise_, 1859.]

5. The overlapping of existing and extinct species, and the seemingly
gradual transition of the life of the drift period into that of the
present, may be turned to the same account. Mammoths, mastodons, and
Irish elks, now extinct, must have lived down to human, if not almost
to historic times. Perhaps the last dodo did not long outlive his
huge New Zealand kindred. The auroch, once the companion of mammoths,
still survives, but apparently owes his present and precarious
existence to man's care. Now, nothing that we know of forbids the
hypothesis that some new species have been independently and
supernaturally created within the period which other species have
survived. It may even be believed that man was created in the days of
the mammoth, became extinct, and was recreated at a later date. But
why not say the same of the auroch, contemporary both of the old man
and of the new? Still it is more natural, if not inevitable, to
infer, that, if the aurochs of that olden time were the ancestors of
the aurochs of the Lithuanian forests, so likewise were the men of
that age--if men they were--the ancestors of the present human races.
Then, whoever concludes that these primitive makers of rude flint
axes and knives were the ancestors of the better workmen of the
succeeding stone age, and these again of the succeeding artificers in
brass and iron, will also be likely to suppose that the _Equus_ and
_Bos_ of that time were the remote progenitors of our own horses and
cattle. In all candor we must at least concede that such
considerations suggest a genetic descent from the drift period down
to the present, and allow time enough--if time is of any account--for
variation and natural selection to work out some appreciable results
in the way of divergence into races or even into so-called species.
Whatever might have been thought, when geological time was supposed
to be separated from the present era by a clear line, it is certain
that a gradual replacement of old forms by new ones is strongly
suggestive of some mode of origination which may still be operative.
When species, like individuals, were found to die out one by one, and
apparently to come in one by one, a theory for what Owen sonorously
calls "the continuous operation of the ordained becoming of living
things" could not be far off.

That all such theories should take the form of a derivation of the
new from the old seems to be inevitable, perhaps from our inability
to conceive of any other line of secondary causes, in this
connection. Owen himself is apparently in travail with some
transmutation theory of his own conceiving, which may yet see the
light, although Darwin's came first to the birth. Different as the
two theories will probably be in particulars, they cannot fail to
exhibit that fundamental resemblance in this respect which betokens a
community of origin, a common foundation on the general facts and the
obvious suggestions of modern science. Indeed,--to turn the point of
a taking simile directed against Darwin,--the difference between the
Darwinian and the Owenian hypotheses may, after all, be only that
between homoeopathic and heroic doses of the same drug.

If theories of derivation could only stop here, content with
explaining the diversification and succession of species between the
tertiary period and the present time, through natural agencies or
secondary causes still in operation, we fancy they would not be
generally or violently objected to by the _savans_ of the present
day. But it is hard, if not impossible, to find a stopping-place.
Some of the facts or accepted conclusions already referred to, and
several others, of a more general character, which must be taken into
the account, impel the theory onward with accumulated force. _Vires_
(not to say _virus) acquirit eundo_. The theory hitches on
wonderfully well to Lyell's uniformitarian theory in geology,--that
the thing that has been is the thing that is and shall be,--that the
natural operations now going on will account for all geological
changes in a quiet and easy way, only give them time enough, so
connecting the present and the proximate with the farthest past by
almost imperceptible gradations,--a view which finds large and
increasing, if not general, acceptance in physical geology, and of
which Darwin's theory is the natural complement.

So the Darwinian theory, once getting a foothold, marches boldly on,
follows the supposed near ancestors of our present species farther
and yet farther back into the dim past, and ends with an analogical
inference which "makes the whole world kin." As we said at the
beginning, this upshot discomposes us. Several features of the theory
have an uncanny look. They may prove to be innocent: but their first
aspect is suspicious, and high authorities pronounce the whole thing
to be positively mischievous.

In this dilemma we are going to take advice. Following the bent of
our prejudices, and hoping to fortify these by new and strong
arguments, we are going now to read the principal reviews which
undertake to demolish the theory;--with what result our readers shall
be duly informed.

Meanwhile, we call attention to the fact, that the Appletons have
just brought out a second and revised edition of Mr. Darwin's book,
with numerous corrections, important additions, and a preface, all
prepared by the author for this edition, in advance of a new English



Alas, Salome! Could'st thou know
How great man is,--how great thou art,--
What destined worlds of weal or woe
Lurk in the shallowest human heart,--

From thee thy vanities would drop,
Like lusts in noble anger spurned
By one who finds, beyond all hope,
The passion of his youth returned.

Ah, sun-bright face, whose brittle smile
Is cold as sunbeams flashed on ice!
Ah, lips how sweet, yet hard the while!
Ah, soul too barren even for vice!

Mirror of Vanity! Those eyes
No beam the less around them shed,
Albeit in that red scarf there lies
The Dancer's meed,--the Prophet's head.


False and Fair! Beware, beware!
There is a Tale that stabs at thee!
The Arab Seer! he stripped thee bare
Long since! He knew thee, Vanity!
By day a mincing foot is thine:
Thou runnest along the spider's line:--
Ay, but heavy sounds thy tread
By night, among the uncoffined dead!

Fair and Foul! Thy mate, the Ghoul,
Beats, bat-like, at thy golden gate!
Around the graves the night-winds howl:
"Arise!" they cry, "thy feast doth wait!"
Dainty fingers thine, and nice,
With thy bodkin picking rice!--

Ay, but when the night's o'erhead,
Limb from limb they rend the dead!


_Popular Astronomy. A Concise Elementary Treatise on the Sun,
Planets, Satellites, and Comets_. By O.M. MITCHELL, Director of the
Cincinnati and Dudley Observatories. New York. 1860.

In this volume Professor Mitchell gives a very clear, and, in the
general plan pursued, a very good account of the methods and results
of investigation in modern astronomy. He has explained with great
fulness the laws of motion of the heavenly bodies, and has thus aimed
at giving more than the collection of disconnected facts which
frequently form the staple of elementary works on astronomy.

In doing this, however, he has fallen into errors so numerous, and
occasionally so grave, that they are difficult to be accounted for,
except on the supposition that some portions of the work were written
in great haste. Passing over a few mere oversights, such as a
statement from which it would follow that a transit of Venus occurred
every eight years, mistakes of dates, etc., we cite the following.

On page 114, speaking of Kepler's third law, the author says, "And
even those extraordinary objects, the revolving double stars, are
subject to the same controlling law." Since Kepler's third law
expresses a relationship between the motions of three bodies, two of
which revolve around a third much larger than either, it is a logical
impossibility that a system of only two bodies should conform to this

On page 182, it is stated, that Newton's proving, that, if a body
revolved in an elliptical orbit with the sun as a focus, the force of
gravitation toward the sun would always be in the inverse ratio of
the square of its distance, "was equivalent to proving, that, if a
body in space, free to move, received a single impulse, and at the
same moment was attracted to a fixed centre by a force which
diminished as the square of the distance at which it operated
increased, such a body, thus deflected from its rectilinear path,
would describe an ellipse," etc. Not only does this deduction, being
made in the logical form,

If A is B, X is Y;
but X is Y;
therefore A is B,

not follow at all, but it is absolutely not true. The body under the
circumstances might describe an hyperbola as welt as an ellipse, as
Professor Mitchell himself subsequently remarks.

The author's explanation of the manner in which the attraction of the
sun changes the position of the moon's orbit is entirely at fault. He
supposes the line of nodes of the moon's orbit perpendicular to the
line joining the centres of the earth and sun, and the moon to start
from her ascending node toward the sun, and says that in this case
the effect of the sun's attraction will be to diminish the
inclination of the moon's orbit during the first half of the
revolution, and thus cause the node to retrograde; and to increase it
during the second half, and thus cause the nodes to retrograde. But
the real effect of the sun's attraction, in the case supposed, would
be to diminish the inclination during the first quarter of its
revolution, to increase it during the second, to diminish it again
during the third, and increase it again during the fourth, as shown
by Newton a century and a half ago.

In Chapter XV. we find the greatest number of errors. Take, for
example, the following computation of the diminution of gravity at
the surface of the sun in consequence of the centrifugal force,--part
of the data being, that a pound at the earth's surface will weigh
twenty-eight pounds at the sun's surface, and that the centrifugal
force at the earth's equator is 1/289 of gravity.

"Now, if the sun rotated in the same time as the earth, and their
diameters were equal, the centrifugal force on the equators of the
two orbs would be equal. But the sun's radius is about 111 times that
of the earth, and if the period of rotation were the same, the
centrifugal force at the sun's equator would be greater than that at
the earth's in the ratio of (111)^2 to 1, or, more exactly, in the
ratio of 12,342.27 to 1. But the sun rotates on its axis much slower
than the earth, requiring more than 25 days for one revolution. This
will reduce the above in the ratio of 1 to (25)^2, or 1 to 625; so
that we shall have the earth's equatorial centrifugal force (1/289) x
12,342.27 / 625 = 12,342.27/180,605 = 0.07 nearly for the sun's
equatorial centrifugal force. Hence the weight before obtained, 28
pounds, must be reduced seven hundredths of its whole value, and we
thus obtain 28 - 0.196 = 27.804 pounds as the true weight of one
pound transported from the earth's equator to that of the sun."

In this calculation we have three errors, the effect of one of which
would be to increase the true answer 111 times, of another 28 times,
and of a third to diminish it 10 times; so that the final result is
more than 300 times too great. If this result were correct, Leverrier
would have no need of looking for intermercurial planets to account
for the motion of the perihelion of Mercury; he would find a
sufficient cause in the ellipticity of the sun.

Considered from a scientific point of view, some of the gravest
errors into which the author has fallen are the suppositions, that
the perihelia and nodes of the planetary orbits move uniformly, and
that they can ever become exactly circular. At the end of about
twenty-four thousand years the eccentricity of the earth's orbit will
be smaller than at any other time during the next two hundred
thousand, at least; but it will begin to increase again long before
the orbit becomes circular. Astronomers have long known that the
eccentricity of Mercury's orbit will never be much greater or much
less than it is now; and moreover, instead of diminishing, as stated
by Professor Mitchell, it is increasing, and has been increasing for
the last hundred thousand years.

Finally, the chapter closes with an attempt to state the principle
known to mathematicians as "the law of the conservation of areas,"
which statement is entirely unlike the correct one in nearly every

It will be observed that we have criticized this work from a
scientific rather than from a popular point of view. As questions of
popular interest, it is perhaps of very little importance whether the
earth's orbit will or will not become circular in the course of
millions of years, or in what the principle of areas consists or does
not consist. But if such facts or principles are to be stated at all,
we have a right to see them stated correctly. However, in the first
nine chapters, which part of the book will be most read, few mistakes
of any importance occur, and the method pursued by Newton in deducing
the law of gravitation is explained in the author's most felicitous

* * * * *

_El Fureidis_. By the Author of "The Lamplighter" and "Mabel
Vaughan." Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 16mo.

That large army of readers whose mere number gave celebrity at once
to the authoress of "The Lamplighter" will at first be disappointed
with what they may call the location of this new romance by Miss
Cummins. The scene is laid in Syria, instead of New England, and the
"village" known to New Yorkers as Boston gives way to "El Fureidis,"
a village in the valley of Lebanon. But while so swift a transition
from the West to the East may disappoint that "Expectation" which
Fletcher tells us "sits i' the air," and which we all know is not to
be balked with impunity, there can be no doubt, that, in shifting the
scene, the authoress has enabled us to judge her essential talent
with more accuracy. Possessing none of the elements which are thought
essential to the production of a sensation, "The Lamplighter" forced
itself into notice as a "sensation book." The writer was innocent of
all the grave literary crimes implied in such a distinction. The
first hundred and fifty pages were as simple, and as true to ordinary
nature, as the daisies and buttercups of the common fields; the
remaining two hundred pages repeated the stereotyped traditions and
customary hearsays which make up the capital of every professional
story-teller. The book began in the spirit of Jane Austen, and ended
in that of Jane Porter.

In "El Fureidis" everything really native to the sentiment and
experience of Miss Cummins is exhibited in its last perfection, with
the addition of a positive, though not creative, faculty of
imagination. Feeling a strong attraction for all that related to the
East, through an accidental connection with friends who in
conversation discoursed of its peculiarities and wonders, she was led
to an extensive and thorough study of the numerous eminent scholars
and travellers who have recorded their experience and researches in
Syria and Damascus. Gradually she obtained a vivid internal vision of
the scenery, and a practical acquaintance with the details of life,
of those far-off Eastern lands. On this imaginative reproduction of
the external characteristics of the Orient she projected her own
standards of excellence and ideals of character; and the result is
the present romance, the most elaborate and the most pleasing
expression of her genius.

There is hardly anything in the work which can rightfully be called
plot. The incidents are not combined, but happen. A shy, sensitive,
fastidious, high-minded, and somewhat melancholy and dissatisfied
Englishman, by the name of Meredith, travelling from Beyrout to
Lebanon, falls in love with a Christian maiden by the name of
Havilah. She rejects him, on the ground, that, however blessed with
all human virtues, he is deficient in Christian graces. One of those
rare women who combine the most exquisite sensuous beauty with the
beauty of holiness, she cannot consent to marry, unless souls are
joined, as well as hands. Meredith, in the course of the somewhat
rambling narrative, "experiences religion," and the heroine then
feels for him that affection which she did not feel even in those
moments when he recklessly risked his life to save hers. In regard to
characterization, Meredith, the hero, is throughout a mere name,
without personality; but the authoress has succeeded in transforming
Havilah from an abstract proposition into an individual existence.
Her Bedouin lover, the wild, fierce, passionate Arab boy, Abdoul,
with his vehement wrath and no less vehement love, passing from a
frustrated design to assassinate Meredith, whom he considered the
accepted lover of Havilah, to an abject prostration of his whole
being, corporeal and mental, at the feet of his mistress, saluting
them with "a devouring storm of kisses," is by far the most intense
and successful effort at characterization in the whole volume. The
conclusion of the story, which results in the acceptance by Meredith
of the conditions enforced by the celestial purity of the heroine,
will be far less satisfactory to the majority of readers than if
Havilah had been represented as possessed of sufficient spiritual
power to convert her passionate Arab lover into a being fit to be a
Christian husband. By all the accredited rules of the logic of
passion, Abdoul deserved her, rather than Meredith. Leaving, however,
all those considerations which relate to the management of the story
as connected with the impulses of the characters, great praise cannot
be denied to the authoress for her conception and development of the
character of Havilah. Virgin innocence has rarely been more happily
combined with intellectual culture, and the reader follows the course
of her thoughts--and so vital are her thoughts that they cause all
the real events of the story--with a tranquil delight in her
beautiful simplicity and intelligent affectionateness, compared with
which the pleasure derived from the ordinary stimulants of romance is
poor and tame. At least two-thirds of the volume are devoted to
descriptions of Eastern scenery, habits, customs, manners, and men,
and these are generally excellent. Altogether, the book will add to
the reputation of the authoress.

* * * * *

_Life and Times of General Sam. Dale, the Mississippi Partisan_. By
J.F.H. CLAIBORNE. Illustrated by John M'Lenan. New York: Harper &

The adventures of General Dale, Mr. Claiborne tells us, were taken
from his own lips by the author and two friends, and from the notes
of all three a memoir was compiled, but the MSS. were lost in the
Mississippi. We regret that Dale's own words were thus lost; for the
stories of the hardy partisan are not improved by his biographer's
well-meant efforts to tell them in more graceful language. Mr.
Claiborne's cheap eloquence is perhaps suited to the unfastidious
taste of a lower latitude; but we prefer those stories, too few in
number, in which the homely words of Dale are preserved.

Dale does not appear to have done anything to warrant this "attempt
on his life," being no more remarkable than hundreds of others. He
saw several distinguished men; but of his anecdotes about them we can
only quote the old opinion, that the good stories are not new, and
the new are not good. As there is nothing particularly interesting in
the subject, so there is no peculiar charm thrown around it by the
manner in which Mr. Claiborne has executed his task. A noticeable and
very comic feature is presented in the praises which he has
interpolated, when ever any acquaintance of his is referred to. We
readily acquiesce, when we are told that Mr. A is a model citizen,
and that Mr. B is alike unsurpassed in public and private life; but
the latter statement becomes less intensely gratifying when we learn
the fact that Mr. C also has no superior, and that there are no
better or abler men than D, E, F, or G. We were aware that
Mississippi was uncommonly fortunate in having meritorious sons, but
not that so singularly exact an equality existed among them. Are they
all best? It is like the case of the volunteer regiment in which they
were all Major-Generals. Occasional eminence we can easily believe,
but a table-land of merit is more than we are prepared for; and we
are strongly led to suspect that praise so lavishly given may be
cheaply won.

* * * * *

_The Money-King and Other Poems_. By JOHN G. SAXE. Boston: Ticknor &
Fields. 16mo.

We regret having overlooked this pleasant volume so long. In a
previous collection of poems, which has run through fifteen editions,
Mr. Saxe fully established his popularity; and the present volume,
which is better than its predecessor, has in it all the elements of a
similar success. The two longest poems, "The Money-King" and "The
Press," have been put to the severe test of repeated delivery before
lyceum audiences in different parts of the country; and a poet is
sure to learn by such a method of publication, what he may not learn
by an appearance in print, the real judgment of the miscellaneous
public on his performance. He may doubt the justice of the praise or
the censure of the professional critic; but it is hard for him to
resist the fact of failure, when it comes to him palpably in the
satire that scowls in an ominous stare and the irony that lurks in an
audible yawn,--hard for him to question the reality of triumph, when
teeth flash at every gleam of his wit and eyes moisten at every touch
of his sentiment. Having tried each of these poems before more than a
hundred audiences, Mr. Saxe has fairly earned the right to face
critics fearlessly; and, indeed, the poems themselves so abound in
sense, shrewdness, sagacity, and fancy, in sayings so pithy and wit
so sparkling, are so lull of humor and good-humor, and flow on their
rhythmic and rhyming way with so much of the easy abandonment of
vivacious conversation, that few critics will desire to reverse the
favorable decisions of the audiences they have enlivened.

Among the miscellaneous poems, there are many which, in brilliancy,
in keen, good-natured satire, in facility and variety of
versification, in ingenious fancy, in joyousness of spirit and pure
love of fun, excel the longer poems to which we have just referred.
We have found the great majority of them exceedingly exhilarating


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