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tastes. It seems to us a little like carrying into history the precedence. which the rules of the British army allowed at that time to British officers. If Wolfe's merits had been overlooked or neglected, the case might be different; but considering how very generally and abundantly they have been acknowledged, we are not prepared to admit his title to occupy an entire chapter in the Life of Washington.
The part of his book in which Mr. Irving gives least satisfaction, is that in which he traces the rise and progress of the revolutionary struggle. This, indeed, is a rather thread-bare topic, not particularly suitable to his peculiar genius, and one, too, which fully brings out the difficulty or rather the impossibility of completely reconciling the demands of biography with those of general history. What is a great deal too much for the one, may still be a great deal too little for the other; and the reader is thus exposed to the double inconvenience of being stuffed and
starved at the same time. Washington's participation in the revolution, beyond that of many other private citizens, hardly commenced till his appointment as Commander-in-Chief of the revolutionary armies. It is true that, as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, and as a delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress, he had given all the weight of his high character to the policy of opposition to the pretensions of the mother country. But he was not one of those men who take the lead in popular assemblies. It was not till he was selected as Commander-inChief, that he began to occupy a place in the foreground of the revolutionary
It is with his arrival at Cambridge, to place himself at the head of the forces there, that this first volume ends. The appearance of the two remaining volumes will give us, we hope, a speedy opportunity of resuming the subject, and of giving something more of completeness to our criticism.
IRDS are singing round my window, Tunes the sweetest ever heard; And I hang my cage there daily, But I never catch a bird!
So with thoughts my brain is peopled,
"At last I heard a voice upon the slope,
Cry to the summit, 'Is there any hope?'
IN the twilight of a day not long ago, I sat in a spacious library, where the ruddy firelight glanced and glowed, and threw wizard gleams on antique furniture, and heavy shelves of old books, and lit, with faint radiance, the tranquil features of the friend with whom I sat and talked. The noble portrait of a great divine, whose life was lovely and gracious as the May, and whose living words, now that he is gone from earth, still keep the secret of the morning, watched us from the shadow of the wall, and seemed to wear a pensive sympathy, as we discoursed, with twilight voices, on themes which his spirit in its earthly life loved so well. We spoke of the possibility of a holier future for this troubled world, and my friend, who has a gentle spirit and a great heart, avowed his steadfast faith in a good time coming-not yet come, he said, but on its rapid way. Far enough off, it was, to warn us not to be guilty of spiritual absenteeism in idle reveries of its benignant days, but to bate no jot of earnest effort against the wrongs and woes of society which impede its march. Coming, and to come, when men get their republican principle of individual rights, which makes them so watchful of their own well-being, so interpreted as to make them more watchful of the wellbeing of each other, and expanded and elevated into the Christian principle of social relations. A good time, surely
It were unnecessary to record what answer his speech charmed from my lips, but while the rosy twilight softly flashed and failed, and the noble features of the portrait on the wall seemed to listen and understand, I thought it a good and happy thing that there are still hearts in the unbelieving world, who do not question the prophetic dreams of youth, and who keep unsullied the legend and the promise of the good time coming. Then my spirit wander
ed away in thought, and sought for some reason more potent to sustain faith in the future, than the subtle conviction of a private soul. And this it found, at length, in the memory of some lonely places, where sleep those whose lives were too beautiful and loyal to let us think the visioned future a cheat, or that God, who rules the world, sows hopes in pure hearts not to be fulfilled. Of all such spots as these, I hardly know one more sacred than that which keeps the revered bones of Roger Williams. It is in the little State of Rhode Island. There, too, is the city which he founded with pious prayers, and named Providence; thus giving to the Republic one town, which, in name, at least, remembers God. There, too, in the very core of the town, is a public legend, which silently, amidst all commercial and civic tumults, recalls to thoughtful eyes the world's unsolved problem, and the happy future which God will one day give the race. For, in the very heart of the city stands a large building, of brown sand-stone, on the architrave of which, between two sculptured sachems' heads, at either end of the edifice, the builder, "building better than he knew," has carved in block letters, the unselfish and rebuking legend,-What Cheer?
You stand before it, and the inscription resumes its ancient form of a question, but with a newer meaning to your musing eyes. What Cheer for the wild, disordered world? What Cheer for the nineteenth century of Christian advancement, and Christian knowledge? What Cheer for the twentieth, yet to come, and for its generations yet unborn? What Cheer for the suffering and the poor?
Even now, the sunset radiance is slowly mellowing away, and the low, silvery word that reaches us from the crowd of figures, standing, or passing and repassing, before the building,
might, so timid is it, be the parting word of some sylph of the sunset to the receding splendor. Yet not from any sylph, but from the sweet lips of a young girl, has breathed that word
'Farewell." Famed of old to make the sad heart linger, it fulfills its office on the young man standing by her side, who still holds her hand.
Farewell, Mabel," he says, see you to-morrow."
"To-morrow," she assents. to-morrow is the Sabbath. Shall I not see you with a happier spirit than you have shown lately?"
“I do not know," he replies, moodily. Happiness is not a mushroom that springs up in a night."
Her face and it is a beautiful and cheerful one, though a slight veil of sympathy and sorrow for him, and his mysterious condition of mind, covers it now becomes a little sadder at this answer. She looks in his face with the lingering light from the rich west lying softly in her eyes. He does not look at her, but keeps his gaze on the small hand he still retains within his own.
I am afraid you are unhappy without cause-that you are whimsical," she remarks, with innocent gravity. "I do not know any one with less apparent reason for sorrow than you. You must not waste your years thus. You are young-with health, and wealth, and friends. Life is before you;—what are you going to do with it? The world has a right to expect some usefulness from you, with your scholarship and abilities.”
He does not answer, but clenches his lips firmly.
Perhaps you have been reading some morbid book lately," she continues.
"I do not think all the morbid books between Werther and Malthus would much affect me," he replies. "There is only one book that I study much, and that is a very morbid one.
"What is it?" she asks. "The human heart-my own!" is the mournful answer.
"Is that so sad?" she says quietly. "Better leave it, then, and study some other human heart. I can readily imagine how one might become foolishly miserable who pored forever with introverted eyes over his own nature, which with the best of us is unworthy of what we might have made it. Yes-it is a
sad book, and a dark one, and it will make you a dark student!"
“Let it make me so,” he replies impetuously; "it holds all that is worth knowing the secret of all wisdom; and I will read it, and be a dark student !"
Ah! it is little use to talk with you; but you will yet change your mind. My dark student”—she says playfully, yet with a sorrowful badinage-"go to your dark book! I will trip home. Farewell, my dark student!"
Farewell, Mabel," he answers. The last gleam of the sunset follows her slender figure, as she flits away, until she turns the corner of College street, and is gone; and then it fades and vanishes, and the twilight only lights the form of the Dark Student. The wholesome influence of her presence has departed from his nature, like the sunshine, and his own night returns upon him, and all the hypochondriac ghosts nursed in its noxious mystery begin to rise. The unheeding crowds come and go, and momently change around him, like the figures of a phantasmagoria. All this busy, active life passing through his consciousness only like the echoes and shadows of a harlequinade, yet intensifies the sense of utter isolation. His wandering eye,' tracking the upward flight of a streetdove, rests upon the architrave of the building, and sneers at the legend. "What Cheer?" he murmurs; No Cheer! None!" The feeling prompted by the words suggests his unhappiness. Then, because the conviction is forced upon him, his lips utter a subdued but savage curse. Outraged
sentiment and shocked conscience arise and upbraid him, and a demoniac perverseness urges him to frame defenses against their charge. As he walks slowly towards his dwelling, a horde of undisciplined feelings, wayward, reckless, desperate, and insane, start up and join madly in the spiritual conflict. which has begun within him.
Philosophic egoism never came, in all its monstrous results, to a crazier conclusion than this. He goes slowly home, not the man he was three years before, but an unnatural growth from him. Once his life was generous and gracious with Hope and Youth. In the green spring-time of boyhood he had seen the vision of the future stand resplendent in the forward sky, and all
his being yearned to its shining portals. Then he had noble sympathies, strong enthusiasms, lofty aspirations. Then he owned, like a blossomed wand of power, the desire to serve his race and time. But his boyhood passed, and glowing with the noble selfishness which bade him follow his ideal of a heroic life, he journeyed out from home into the Babylon of the world. He went into society with all his brave, unshaped ambitions. What lessons had society to teach him? Had it to teach him how to change his noble selfishness into selfrenunciation more noble? Had it to bring him before the snow-white statues of great examples, and mould his plastic nature to the perfect symmetry of theirs? Had it to temper and shape his aspirations into earnest, definite aims?
-to warn him against sins that sully and sadden, and sorrows that enslave the soul?-to confirm his possibilities, and unfold his capacities for noble deeds?
Not so. It had pitfalls of temptation for his feet, and he fell! It had snares of grief to entrap him, and he was a bondsman! The imagination which had stirred his nature to heroism, by glassing, in colossal proportions, the wants and woes of his time, was now the magic mirror which magnified his petty sins and sorrows into enormous guilt and shadowy woe, and showed him to himself as a most vile and wretched man. Had society, then, to teach him, with all its myriad voices, the wisdom of repentance and endurance? Not 80. It had to leave him untaught and uncomforted; it had, then, to fill the mirror with gloomy dilations of the mean lives and low aims of the men it had unmade-shocking him with the revelation and filling him with misanthropy and despair. It had, then, to conceal the splendid dream of a heroic possibility, by a confusion of glittering gauds and greeds, and a siren whirl of illusions. It had, then-not to infuse into his veins the guarding virus of that philosophy which gives to manly lives only the containing present and holding the trustful future, yet resigns it to God-but to infect him with the prevalent disease of self! He received it into the currents of his life. To cherish his own individuality above all things; never to abandon the presence of his own personality; to bow down in worship to the gigantic I
which society sets up in Babylon, ordaining also a fiery furnace for all who refuse the universal homage; to prate eloquently about the royalty of self, till self forgets that other souls are royal, too; to nourish self with all rare culture of art, literature, music, and social intercourse, for the development and gain of self alone; to study and analyze the inner mysteries of his own spiritual and intellectual nature, for the delight of self; to account self the centre of the Universe, and to forget the circumference ;-all this he learned to do. And the crust gathered and hardened around his heart, and the torments and the phantasms which, with metaphysic certainty, such lives generate and wreak upon themselves, were born, and avenged their birth upon him.
The vision of the future was obscured by the siren whirl of illusions. The sympathies, enthusiasms, and aspirations, fell down and died, and their corpses were aversions, despairs, and memories. The blossomed wand of power-that beautiful desire to serve his race and time-withered slowly, became a serpent, and stung him with remorse. And he is here now, still possessed by the demon of self. The eternal battle of life, he has made an eternal bivouac. Youth is quick and strong in his veins; rare talents, tempered and made keen by exquisite culture, are his; the magic purse of Fortunatus is in his hand; and, while the moans and cries of the suffering world swell up to heaven on every side, he is careless and cold.
Now, while the twilight deepens into night, and the stars come glimmering one by one, he sits alone in his pleasant chamber, and awful thoughts and reveries possess him. While the hours come and go, and the drowsy tides of sleep begin their nightly flow upon the town, he sits alone, a miserable and haunted man. To-night, the thoughts and reveries of years are gathering to a focus. To-night is, for him, one of those seasons of ghastly emotion, which come and are remembered as epochs in such lives. As he sits and reads by the lamplight, horrid fancies and fearful sensations continually thicken in his mind; and, while thus doubly occupied, his consciousness can yet wander out, fancy-free, into the night.
Without, all is quiet. The red
Autumn stars burn in the dark blue sky. A low, warm wind wanders through the streets of the city, so softly that not a flame of the streetlamp wavers. The faint perfume which floated from the trailing robes of the Summer, as it swept southward to the tropics, still lingers in the solitary and shadowy air. There is no noise, save some lonely footfalls sounding on the pavement, and then dying away in the distance. Quiet in all the thoroughfares of the great city. Quiet in the darkened dwellings, with only a dim lamp burning here and there, from the window of some restful chamber. Quiet in the newspaper offices, where Saturday night has sunk down with Sabbath healing on weary hands and brains, quenched the hot glare of gas-lights, hushed the scratch of the pen, the click of the types, the clashing din of machinery, and sifted a dust of silence over all. Quiet in the shops and stores, where the ghost of traffic is laid till Monday dawn; above whose bolted doors the golden-lettered signs, illegible in dusk, gleam like funeral inscriptions in a forgotten tongue. Quiet in the churches, till the Sabbath morning wakes sectarian bells, and calls to polemics and theologic prayer, from those white spires and belfries which stand so silently against the divine gloom. Quiet on all the mournful tintamars of daily life; quiet in the beating heart and burning brain; on field, and hill, and wood, and on the dark and drifting river that slips smoothly through the city, beneath the wooden bridges, past black wharves, and past the hulls of ships, and widens out into the broad waters of the bay, which also sleeps. Quiet in the grave-yard and the cemetery, where the cold dew gathers on the tombstones, and sparkles on the late flowers and withering grasses of the decaying year. Quiet everywhere. If any stir at all, it is in the bones of Roger Williams, moving in their mouldering coffin, as if dimly conscious that all has not gone right in the old State and City whose foundations he laid with prayer and pride. If any stir beyond this, it is in the heart of the Dark Student.
And, by this time, there is stir enough there; for the heart that, waking or sleeping, has learned to keep Manfred's solemn vigil, is now filled with fever, and the ghosts of madness
are moving in its unhealthy and haunted calm. The sense of stir-the abstract idea of motion-but of a frantic motion, which is noiseless-occupies him. But there is, also, an unearthly consciousness of the deep night-quiet that shrouds all things in its mysterious veil, and a more unearthly sense of quietude within, which seem to be superior to all other emotion. He can hear the throbbing of his own heart, but he cannot know that its furious pulses are beating down with rapid strokes a crowd of minutes which stand between him and the crisis of his life.
Strange that he, whose eyes have been so long introverted to his own being, and whose intellect is so subtile in analysis and divination of whatever elemental shapes enter and take possession there, does not divine what the emotions that now agitate him portend. But he does not. Foresight and memory are both gone from him. The airy troops that do their wild work on his nature, vanish into imperishable darkness. Others succeed them-he knows not how, nor from whence, they are born. He feels a terrible and deadly fear of what, he knows not; and yet he is, outwardly, very calm, and, sitting in the quiet lamp-light, (how quiet it is!) he reads a favorite volume with interest and pleasure. It is a volume of the vague and mystic writings of Jacob Böhmen. He reads it with a strange, hot mist in his eyes, and a slow whirl in his brain, and finds a newer interest, and a sweeter beauty in its colored metaphors. Yet, while thus absorbed, he is conscious of every object in the shadowy room, and aware of all the outward scenery which slumbers under the night silence and the
The room is very still. The wind lifts the long trailing curtains of the windows, and waves the dusky shadows on ceiling, and floor, and wall. It hardly moves the steady flame of the brass lamp on the table by which he sits and reads. Near him, on a pedestal, stands the lovely bust of the Greek Clytie. The hushed and mournful face is turned towards him, and seems to muse on his mystery. He is conscious of all this. He thinks of it as a picture-himself reading, and the beauteous head watching him--the two central objects in the room. The room is large, high, and square, and full of