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crafty aristocracy in their way, who, persevering efforts he succeeded at last, withont having endangered their own against every obstacle, in gaining credit persons much if anything, reaped no in the right quarter to his extraordinary insignificant share, both of the glory and statements. In short, charitably stretchprofit of the bloody battles they claimed; ing a technical point, the American Conwhile some of the genuine working sul tinally saw father and son embarked heroes, too brave to beg, too cut-up to in the Thames for Boston. work, and too poor to live, laid down It was the year 1826 ; half a century quietly in corners and died. And here since Israel, in early manhood, had sailed it may be noted, as a fact nationally a prisoner in the Tartar frigate from the characteristic, that however desperately saine port to which be now was bound. reduced at times, even to the sewers, An octogenarian as he recrossed the Israel, the American, never sunk below brine, he showed locks besnowed as its the mud, to actual beggary.
foam. White-haired old ocean seemed Though henceforth elbowed out of as a brother. many a chance threepenny job by the added thousands who contended with him against starvation, nevertheless, somehow he continued to subsist, as
CHAPTER XXVII. those tough old oaks of the cliffs, which
BEQUIESCAT IN PACE. though backed at by hail-stones of tempests, and even wantonly maimed by It happened that the ship, gaining her the passing woodman, still, however port, was moored to the dock on a cramped by rival trees and fettered by Fourth-of-July; and half-an-hour after rocks, succeed, against all odds, in keep. landing, hustled by the riotous crowd ing the vital nerve of the tap-root alive. near Faneuil Hall, the old man narrowly And even towards the end, in his dis- escaped being run over by a patriotic mallest December, our veteran could triumphal car in the procession, fiying a still at intervals' feel a momentary broidered banner, inscribed with gilt warmth in his topmost boughs. In his
letters:Moorfields' garret, over a handful of regnited cinders (which the night before
“BUNKER-HILL. might have warmed some lord), cinders
1775. raked up from the streets, he would drive away dolor, by talking with his GLORY TO THE HEROES THAT FOUGHT !" one only surviving, and now motherless child-the spared Benjamin of his old It was on Copps' Hill, within the city age-of the far Canaan beyond the sea; bounds, one of the enemy's positions rehearsing to the lad those well-remem- during the fight, that our wanderer bered adventures among New-England found his best repose that day. Sitting hills, and painting scenes of nestling down here on a mound in the gravehappiness and plenty, in which the low- yard, he looked off across Charles River liest shared. And here, shadowy as it towards the battle-ground, whose inwas, was the second alleviation hinted cipient monument, at that period, was of above.
hard to see, as a struggling sprig of To these tales of the Fortunate Isles corn in a chilly spring. Upon those of the Free, recounted by one who had heights, fifty years before, his now feeble been there, the poor enslaved boy of hands had wielded both ends of the Moorfields listened, night atter night, as musket. There too he had received that to the stories of Sinbad the Sailor. slit upon the chest, which afterwards, in When would his father take him there? the affair with the Serapis, being tra** Some day to come, my boy;" would versed by a cutlass wound, made him be the hopeful response of an unhoping now the bescarred bearer of a cross. heart. And “would God it were to- For a long time he sat mute, gazing morrow!" would be the impassioned blankly about him. The sultry July reply.
day was waning. His son sought to In these talks Israel unconsciously cheer him a little ere rising to return to sowed the seeds of his eventual return. the lodging for the present assigned For with added years, the boy felt added them by the ship-captain. “Nay," relonging to escape his entailed misery, by plied the old man, “ I shall get no fitter coinpassing for his father and himself, à rest than here by the mounds." voyage to the Promised Land. By his But from this true "Potters' Field," the toy at length drew him away; and en- sledging-time; but, as soinelimes hapcouraged next morning by a voluntary pens in such cases, by subsequent overpurse made up annong the reassembled sight, abandoned to oblivious decay. passengers, father and son started by Type now, as it stood there, of for ever stage for the country of the Housatonic. arrested intentions, and a long life still But the exile's presence in these old rotting in early mishap. mountain townships proved less a return “Do I dream?" mused the bewildered than a resurrection. At first, none old man, “orwbat is this vision that knew hiin,
nor could recall having heard comes to me, of a cold, cloudy morning, of him. Ere long it was found, that long, long ago, and I heaving yon more than thirty years previous, the last elbowed log against the beech, then a known survivor of his family in that sapling? Nay, nay; I can not be so region, a bachelor, following the exam- old." ple of three-fourths of his neighbors, “Come away, father, from this dismal had sold out and removed to a distant damp wood,” said his son, and led him country in the west ; where exactly, forth. none could say.
Blindly ranging to and fro, they next He sought to get a glimpse of his saw a man ploughing. Advancing slowly, father's homestead. But it had been the wanderer met him by a little heap burnt down long ago. Accompanied by of ruinous burnt masonry, like a tomhis son, dim-eyed and dim-hearted, he bled chimney, what seemed the jams of next went to find the site. But the the fire-place, now aridly stuck over hero roads had years before been changed, and there, with thin, clinging, round The old road was now broused over by prohibitory mosses, like executors' washeep; the new one ran straight through fers. Just as the oxen were bid stand, what had formerly been orchards. But the stranger's plough was hitched over new orchards, planted from other suck- sideways, by sudden contact with some ers, and in time grafted, throve on sun- sunken stone at the ruin's base. ny slopes near by, where blackberries “ There; this is the twentieth year had once been picked by the bushel. my plough bas struck this old hearthAt length he came to a field waving stone. Ah, old man,-sultry day, this." with buckwheat. It seemed one of “ Whose house stood here, friend ?" those fields which himself had often said the wanderer, touching the halfreaped. But it turned out, upon in- buried hearth with his statf, where a quiry, that but three summers since, a fresh furrow overlapped it. walnut grove had stood there. Then he “Don't know; forget the name ; gone vaguely remembered that his father had West, though, I believe. You know sometimes talked of planting such a
'em?" grove, to defend the neighboring fields
But the wanderer made no response ; against the cold north wind; yet where his eye was now fixed on a curious precisely that grove was to have been, his natural bend or wave in one of the beshattered mind could not recall. But it mossed stone jambs. seemed not unlikely that during his long “What are you looking at so, father?” exile, the walnut grove had been planted “* Father !' bere,” raking with his staff, and harvested, as well as the annual "my father would sit, and here, my crops preceding and succeeding it, on mother, and here 1, little infant, would the very same soil.
totter between, even as now, once again, · Ere long, on the mountain side, he on the very same spot, but in the unroof passed into an ancient natural wood, ed air, I do. The ends meet. Plough which seemned some way familiar, and midway in it, paused to contemplate a Best followed now is this life, by hurstrange, monldy pile, resting at one end rying, like itself, to a close. against a sturdy beech. Though wber- Few things remain. ever touched by his staff, however lightly, He was repulsed in efforts, after a penthis pile would crumble, yet here and sion, by certain caprices of law. His there, even in powder, it preserved the scars proved his only medals. He dicexact look, each irregularly defined line, tated a little book, the record of his forof what it had originally been-namely, tunes. But long ago it fader out of a ha.t-cord of stout hemlock (one of the print-himself out of being—his name woods least affected by exposure to the out of memory. He died the same day air), in a foregoing generation chopped that the oldest oak on his native hills and stacked up on the spot, against was blown down.
* In Nature there is nothing melancholy." an unbought thing—coming with and
forining the very framework and tissue Sou . of one's being—not at all to be dispensed
Nor is there. For melancholy, we with, save at the peril of losing your know, means black bile* and a misan
own self. And this we declare, albeit it thropist is a filoúvópuros—a man-hater
inay appear unorthodox-albeit parents both of them inconsistent with the love
train and teachers thrash us into a conunity of brethren. We have absolutely
trary belief--and these great world-in. nu iaith in the atrabiliar, and regard Auences seem all to tend towards the much of the “inarticulate dumb show,"
making of us a community of apathists. and all of the lugubrious utierances of
The sum total of their teaching may our numberless Byronlets, very much in
be thus expressed : “Nature has made the same light as we do the disconsolate
us altogether wrong; we, however, are brayings of some woe-begone A
going to rectify nature. And, in order But, while these are our sentiments
to effect this, begin by getting rid of all there is, nevertheless, in every person of those fine feelings; they are nothing but fine feelings, iz tinge of sadness the re
romance, and sentimentality, and very salt of the strange, motley minglings of
troublesome at best. Make yourself these awful life-and-death commningling hardy (i. e. heartless). Scour off this scenes that seems to steep nature in exquisite coating of susceptibility, so tears, and renders everything sadly sol that, instead of a soul on whose surface emn to the eye and to the heart.
every passing sunbeam and shadow may We remember reading, some years
daguerreotype itself, you will be sensible ago, in those delightful “ Conversations
to naught that comes not in positive with Goethe," by Eckermann, a passage
cuffs and downright hard blows !" wherein Givēthe refers to the modern
Now, to these doctrines, friend, we, * Passion-school" of poetry, the follow
for one, cannot subscribe credo. Nay, ers of which, says he, seem to regard
on this score, we are utter unbelievers ! every person as sick, and the whole
We say, feelings make the man-opinions world une vast lazaretto-and observes
are but the outer dress. We live, as that it is the function of poetry to make saith Festus, Is more contented with lite, and to exhibit the joyous side thereof. Now, this "In feelings, not in figures on a dial ; may be just, but it would be well for us We should count time by heart-throbe. He most to remember that the author of this dic- lives, tum was he who, a few years previously,
Who thicks most-feels the noblest acts the best!” with passionate fire-words, pended the
“Nature,” says Novalis—that most Sorrows of Werter!
ethereal of thinkers- "is ar Æolian Else how, indeed, are we to interpret harp, a musical instrument; whose tones the melodious inoanings of a poor
again are keys to higher strings in us." ley, - tiliing the earth," as our great, be
And this is that which constitutes sensinignant Thomas Carlyle tells us," with
tiveness--the more heart-tones that we inarticulate wail; like the infinite inar
have in unison with the great Æolian ticulate grief and weeping of forsaken
harp of Nature, that resounds with juchildren /
bilee and wail all around us—in proporAnd more especially is what we have
tion as we increase the points of affectienunciated above, the case with that class which we may call sensitive spirits,
bility—in proportion as our feelings pulFor we recognize two types of man: the
sate with the great heart of humanitycold, leavy, sluggish, unexcitable, nil
so much, and in such proportion, are we
sensitive. admirari man—the phlegmatic, and he
And is it, then, that there are those whoun nature has strung with finer chords-he of the flashing eye, and the
who are to an exquisite degree alive to impulsive temperament, and the acute
all vague, boundless, inexplicable imperception, and the exquisite sensibility
pressions; to whom -the sensitive man.
“The meanest flower that blows can give Now, this sensitiveness is an innate, Thoughts that too often lie too deep for tears ;"
* μέλας, χολή.
and whose heart-tones tremble, in pangs nation that he is never to be understood. or in pleasures, to every note of
... How long? For ever? . “ The still, slow music of humanity qu
Not generally. Until, in the profundi
ties of the soul, he realizes that life is a There are. Nor are they to be regard- struggle—not at all an attainment, and ed otherwise than with wonder and awe feels that it is not in sentiment alone, by us--presenting, as they do, endless but in feeling combined with action, that and interesting anthropological studies. true happiness consists. Poor Jean Jacques, for instance.
And here we return to the original Here is, in effect, a sensitive spirit. With question of sensitiveness. Now let us a reticulation of nerves the finest and see if the application of our etymologic most susceptible possible--thrilling in
wand will not raise from the dead and ecstasy, or writhing in agony-full of a buried past, some shapes that may assist thousand whims, and humors, and incon- us in the realization of the whole subsequences--vacillating between the poles ject. of endless contradictions, presenting a “ Sensitive,'* is merely the Latinized very Sphinx-riddle for solution—the sub- form of our good old Saxon adjective, limation of his own happiness and woe.
-a sensitive person is, thereReadily can we understand his bewilder- fore, just a person of feeling. And to mont-his perfect bamboozlement--at the
show that there is, or was, a proper degeneration of inane buckram individuals gree of appreciation among mankind on among whom, by some strange mishap, this subject, we may observe that or anachronism, he found himself exist- “Sense "+-that sublimation of everying. And perfectly can we appreciate thing that is excellent and desirable in how, living among such a race, he should human nature, is but an abstraction from imagine himself to be essentially differ- this same verb, to feel—the idea of ent from any possible human creature.
which underlies and vitalizes it. So it “Je ne suis fait comme aucun de ceux is with those two beautifully expressive que j'ai vus ; j'ose croire n'étre fait words, “ compassion,"I and" sympathy," comme aucun de ceux qui existent. Si that sound forth with the soft, wailing je ne vaux pas mieux, au moins je suis melody of an infinite, world-embracing autre. Si la nature a bien ou mal fait pity, both of them imply a fellow-sufde briser le moule dans lequel elle m'a fering, a fellow-feeling. jeté, c'est ce dont on ne peut juger
Oh! what a story do these words tell qu'après m'avoir lu."
us—how they burst with meaning! This is bis constantly reiterated decla- And what a perversion, what a radical ration. Now, this was just the case untruthfulness, and unfaithfulness to the with Bernardin de Saint Pierre, and a
holiest emotions of our being does it score of others whom we might men- manifest, when these precious, priceless tion. But the thought was merely im- words (and worse still, the feelings which aginary. There is not in them a single they symbolize) are warped to denote finesse of feeling, not a nuance of char- mere pretended, tawdry, pseudo-emotions acter, but that has been felt and illus- -when sentiment degenerates into sentrated in multitudes of individual expe
timentality. riences—which, in fact, bas been, is now,
But that there are fine feelings—that and shall be.
there is even a subdued solemn sadness This, indeed, is one of the peculiari- - which are at once natural and noble, ties characteristic of the class to which we can neither afford to lose sight of nor we refer. Each individual conceives deny. And why not? Is not life itself himself to be sui generis—perfectly even such? Amid Nature's blush and unique in his formation—a very Phænix,
bloom--even though only that no now bird ever springs out of his ashes. “Ah!" says the senti- "Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her owo; mental he or she— “I don't expect to Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, be appreciated—I was born to be misun- And, even with something of a mother's mind, derstood—I don't feel as other people
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can do—and there's no help for it!"" And
To make her foster-child, her inmate, Man, so the matter rests—he wrapping bim
Forget the glories he hath known, self up in this incrustation of a determi- And that imperial palace whence he came,"
* Sentio, to feel.
+ Sensum, from Sentio. + Con, patior-σύν, πασχω.
yet she cannot quite accomplish: it. Still resting our head on our arms, weep the stalks there over her fairest scenes the tears of baffled inquires and heart throbShadow
bings unresponded to—unresponded to, * Grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous "- because their answer is only to be found of an infinite sorrow. The shudow of
in that Absolute which is their birthourselves ? Perchance!
place, and which to ns, exists but in the And then, in this strange, parti
desire. And so we glide through a colored life of ours, doubt forms the youth back-ground upon which every picture “Haunted for ever by the Eternal Mind.” paints itself. Every system rests upon But even in manhood, there are mohypothesis, the actual merges into the ments solemn and calm, when, amid our shadowy confines of the probable and sad satiety, we ask ourselves these same the possible, and the whole
child-questionings over again. Times " Is rounded with a sleep."
in which we realize with Dante that The Sphinx is no mere philosophic "Tutte l'oro, chè sotto la luna, idealization or poetic myth, but a pro- E che qià fu, di queste anime stanche foundest reality-a reality which every Non poterebbe farne posar una." hervie soul must experience as a very And when the same eternal whence condition of its heroism. Fate surrounds and why and whither, come with awful as with unanswerable problems, and an force over us. But still without a re* endless study” with which to tantalize sponse. .. Why? ... Because and in vain occupy ourselves, and then the Finite can never make out the theosets us to eating our own souls, from the rem of the Infinite. sheer iinpossibility of an answer. These We stand beneath “the long-drawn « Obstinate questionings
aisles and fretted vaults" of a vast mysor sense and outward things,
tery-temple-at each end of which Fallings from us, vanishings,
hang, in drapery folds, the curtains of Blank misgivings of a creature
life and death. Through the mysteryMoving about in worlds not realized,
stained windows, glimmer faint streaks High instincts before which our mortal nature Doth tremble like a guilty thing surprised,"
of a dim, religious light—which light eternally haunt and trouble us.
we name knowledge. The phantasma* Thus has the bewildered wanderer
gorical fetters of a sense, of a phenome
nal world, bind us and limit our expeto stand, as so many have done, shouting, question after question, into the Sibyl
rience. How, then, can we hope to arcave of Destiny, and receive no answer
rive at a solution to the infinite prob
lems? but an echo." Do we not live out a childhood teem
Have we not, then, cause for thoughting with these dreams ?
fulness—for sadness—for sorrow? And bave we lain on the heathery hill-side, trated woes of mankind wailing in infiFor many a long, long summer's day then, in addition, come the boundless
“miseries of human life "—the concenwithout the power, and, indeed, without the desire to move, gazing with calm
nite discord, and lacerating every heart placidity, or breast heaving with ecstasy
possessed of a particle of sensibility. of emotion on the deep blue ether that And so the tender heart sinks down deshung over ns, listening
ponding, the consummation of the reali.
zation being the consummation of his ** To the cadence of the whirling world Which dances round the sun,"
Moreover, this acuteness of sensibility, and,
allied to a feeling of longing, constitutes * With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls," the very essence of poesy. we would string fancy into fancy, com- " Hast thou not found some spot bine together all we bave ever heard or Where miserable man might find a happier lots imagined concerning ourselves, or na- is the language of poetry. The response ture, or God-pursue with a motley, yet thereto-lying all around us, in "thouDot incoherent logic, a thought-linking sand-figured, thousand-toned harmonious vagary with vagary and the known nature"—she, too, gives us. For, inwith the unknown, till we found our deed, what is the poet, but one whose selves in labyrinthine mazes from which heart, strung in sympathetic unison with we fain woald have—but found it impos- all the manifold voices of the universe, sible-extricated ourselves. And still renders back these voices; and, like the there would come ever up the eternal harp of Evlus, "changes even the valgar Why; till we would turn us round, and wind into articulate melody?"