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San Sranciseo: 

Wo Fat: 




411 Clay Street, 412 Commercial Street. 




Ir THis were a book for the public, it would go from 
my hands without a single prefatory line; but being for 
family circulation—the edition restricted to fifty copies 
few explanatory words will be quite proper, if, indeed they 


are not necessary. 

During the sad days that have elapsed since my wife 
was taken from me, my home-hours especially have been 
inexpressibly lonely. I could not read, and society rather 
increased my sorrow than ameliorated it. I thought then 
that, perhaps, if I revived in a diary the incidents of my 
own and my wife’s life, it would not only console and 
occupy me, but be of value and interest to our children. 
For the purpose of placing the proposed memorative jot- 
tings in a convenient, readable shape, I conceived the idea 
of printing them. I saw the worthy printers, made an 
engagement with them, and, without plan or preparation, I 
set to work, agreeing to furnish enough “‘copy” from day 
to day to keep the compositor employed. Since January 
last, during the short intervals lying between the children’s 
and my own bed-time—subject to constant interruptions— 
without consultation with my temper and inclination, and 
from memory, and without premeditation—have these pages 
been written. Indeed, I can truly say they were never 
revised except in the proofs; and in these latter my cor- 
rections have been merely of orthographical errors. There 
is much truth in what Cowper says: “A single erratum 
may knock out the brains of a whole passage.” 

As in some Christian climes they build 
crosses by the wayside to remind the pilgrim 
of Heaven, even so do I raise this memorial= 
stone to turn my children’s thoughts to thet 
Mother, and to the Golden Land whither she 

has gone. 


( v & 
Ney Weree ann &. 


“She was a golden sentence 
Writ by her Maker.” 

I pRoposE to write a memoir of my wife and myself, 
not so much to bring up pictures of her and our past life 
for my own sad pleasure, as for the higher and more prac- 
tical design of influencing, and deepening by such means, 
the character of our children, and to preserve the impres- 
sions already made by her upon their hearts. I can easily 
conceive that a history of Aer life at least, limited and 
retired as it may have been, will not fail to carry with it 
some useful lessons, that may bring forth good fruit. Though 
dead—to use an ordinary but defective phrase—she yet 

Perhaps there is no condition to which young children 
are exposed, so melancholy and so fraught with danger, as 
that of their bereavement of their mother. No one—noth- 
ing on earth—can supply her place as an educator of the 
impressionable and plastic heart and mind of a child, The 
lessons we receive from her are so tenderly imparted; the 
influences she wields so inflexibly interweave themselves 
with the affections; her authority is so gently and patiently 

6 My WirE AND J. 

exercised, and, I may say, so eagerly and naturally ac- 
cepted, and there is in her example and didacticism such 
winning force and sincerity, that the moral and intellectual 
life, brought under the sway of such a teacher, never en- 
tirely loses the holy impressions it thus receives. The first 
offerings we make to God are at the altar of our mother’s 
lap and bosom, and, somehow or other, ever afterwards 
we see Him through her sweet face, and hear Him in her 
tender accents. ‘This is the true anthropomorphism—older 
than Art—old as Eden—and the one emotion and senti- 
ment which gives to religion its most attractive aspect. 
Time and experience may stain and begrime these impres- 
sions, but they are never wholly effaced. Like the writings 
called Palimpsest are they, which, though burdened with 
successive strata of characters, never lose the first tracings 
which underlie all. There is no word in our language 
that retains its perfume so long, and that throws around 
us such a touching and mysterious spell, as that of mother. 
It is at once a poem and a flower—it is a joy, and yet a 
tear. It brings up to us the form of an angel who stood 
at the side of our cradle, who brought to us little soothing 
harp-like songs, whose echoes never die from our hearts; 
who walked through our youth with us with loving looks 
and hands brimful of blessings; and it stirs our nature, and 
moves our sensibilities, as no other name can do. She it 
is who clings longest in our memory, and from whom we 
caught the first insight into those religious truths which 
make up the hopes and fears of our latest years. That 
name, and that face, which shine through our past with 
beauty and tenderness inexpressibly touching, are the last 
to abandon us, and often have they lifted up the prodigal 
when all other influences have failed. Well, indeed, did 
Coleridge call her ‘The holiest thing alive.” | 
Wife! Mother! True names, true angels of light and 


love, from whom I have received in equal degree every 
blessing I have. Pure guides and teachers are you even — 
now, and from the seed you planted have sprung up every 
virtue and joy I possess. God grant that your loving, puri- 
fying labors may go on; that from your blest abodes your 
love may guard me yet, your hands guide and lead me 
aright, until the end is reached; and may your dear faces 
be the first to beam upon me when I awake to the new 
life in the Better Land beyond. 

To describe ourselves, to perpetuate more especially my 
wife’s influence, to raise up a shrine, as it were, which 
shall hold her image, whither our children can go and find 
repose and new purpose; to show them what and who we 
are by bringing them face to face with our tastes, pursuits, 
and modes of expression; to introduce them into our 
inmost selves, and, perhaps, by these means to continue to 
teach them when our lips are hushed—to embalm_ our- 
selves, I may say—these are the chief motives to this 
writing. God grant that from these pages they may gather 
some lessons for good, and may His blessings rest upon 
them always. 

Exiza Hamitton Rircuie was born in Sargent Street, Phil- 
adelphia, at 2.10 A.M., on Sunday, December 29th, 1833. 
She is the eldest child of Archibald Alexander Ritchie of 
New Castle, ‘Delaware, and Martha Hamilton Ritchie of 
Philadelphia. The family of her father is Scottish in its 
origin, on both his paternal and maternal sides. Her pater- 
nal great grandfather and his family left Scotland shortly 
after the death of Cromwell, and went to the North of Ire- 
land, where they remained but a few years. From there 
they came to the United States, then an English colony, 
and settled in Pennsylvania. Her great grandfather, William 
Ritchie, was born on the passage across the Atlantic. When 

8 My Wire anp J. 

he reached manhood he went to North Carolina, and there 
married the sister of Hugh Williamson, Governor of the 
State, and a scholar of much distinction in that day, and 
who was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and 
also studied medicine at Utrecht and Edinburgh. I will 
continue the notice of this gentleman by adding a few facts 
in relation to his distinguished career. On the completion 
of his professional studies he came back, and commenced 
the practice of his profession at Philadelphia. He soon, 
however, abandoned his residence there, and went to Lon- 
don, in the service of the Colonies, being a coadjutor of 
Franklin. The discovery and transmission to Congress of 
the celebrated Hutchinson papers, are solely due to him. 
On his return he removed to North Carolina, and rep- 
resented that State in the Continental Congress from ’82 
to ’93; was one of the signers of the Constitution of the 
United States, and the author of a work on “Observa- 
tions on the Climate of America,” and of a “ History of 
North Carolina.” He held. the. degrees: of LL, and 
M. D., and was a member of many learned societies 
here and in Europe. Dr. David Hosack read before the 
New York Historical Society a biographical paper on Dr. 
Williamson, which describes him as a person of extra- 
ordinary ability. He says: “If piety, patriotism, talents 
and learning, and these all devoted to his country’s good 
and the best interests of mankind, entitle their possessor to 
praise and gratitude, you will cherish with respect the mem- 
ory of Hugh Williamson, whose name will be associated 
with those to whom we are most indebted for our coun- 
try’s independence, and the first successful administration 
of that happy constitution of government which we now 
enjoy.” ‘Thomas Jefferson said of him, in speaking of Dr. 
Williamson’s Congressional career, that he found him ‘a 
very useful member, of an acute mind, attentive to business, 

ee ore 9 

and of a high degree of erudition.” President John Adams 
also said, that when he first met Dr. Williamson in Boston, 
in 1773, he “made a strong impression upon me and gave 
me a high opinion of the intelligence as well as the energy 
of his character.” In Trumbull’s picture in the Rotunda of 
the Capitol at Washington is to be seen the portrait of Dr. 
Williamson. He married a Miss Maria Apthorpe, daughter 
of Hon. Charles W. Apthorpe, ‘‘a member of his Majesty’s 
Council for the Province of New York,” and had by her 
two sons, one of whom was a young man of large promise, 
but who died at an early age. The family of William Ritchie 
was related to Leitch Ritchie, Provost of Edinburgh, and a con- 
temporary and friend of Sir Walter Scott. His son, my wife’s 
grandfather, was named from his uncle Hugh Williamson, 
and by him adopted and sent to Carlisle College, to be 
educated for the Presbyterian Church. One of his class- 
mates was John Latta, who was subsequently Presbyterian 
Minister at New Castle, and, I will add, a teacher of my 
mother. Mr. Ritchie had no taste for the profession pro- 
posed to him by his uncle, and as he abandoned all 
idea of the Church, he lost the favor of his patron, who 
discarded him. Subsequently he, by a devise in his uncle’s 
will, received an estate in land in Tennessee, a portion of 
which has passed to me from my wife. His father, too, 
devised the bulk of his property to a younger son, and thus 
created an estrangement never gotten over. Of this col- 
lateral branch no male heirs survive, and, so far as I am 
informed, my wife’s brother, Archibald Alexander, is the 
sole male descendant of the family. 

Mr. Latta persuaded Mr. Ritchie to go to New. Castle, 
where he married Esther Alexander, my wife’s grandmother. 

The Alexander family springs from a highly respectable 
source. From the family records I find that ‘Thomas and 
William, sons of Archibald Aléxander, of an honorable 


10 My WIFE AND J. 

family in the western part of Scotland, went to Ireland 
during the religious persecution under James I, being 
staunch Presbyterians.” They were subsequently joined by 
others of the family, and they took part in the struggle 
between James and the Prince of Orange, and bore a con- 
spicuous part in the battle of the Boyne, ‘Two of William’s 
sons, Robert and Archibald, came to this country in 1737, 
and settled in Virginia; and John, another of the family, 
went to Scotland as heir to the earldom of Stirling. Some 
descendants of this latter branch came from Scotland to 
visit my wife’s great grandfather at his home at Fairfield, 
Delaware. My wife’s aunt, Mary A. Morris, has told me 
that when a child she saw and remembers these relatives 
on the occasion of the visit referred to, 

Esther Alexander’s father was Archibald, son of Robert. 
He served during the whole Revolution as Surgeon in the 
Continental Army, and at its close he settled in Delaware. 
He was also appointed Port Physician under the Govern- 
ment, at New Castle. Subsequently he retired to his country 
home, Fairfield, near Wilmington, Delaware, where he died, 
“leaving no son to perpetuate his name.” 

Dr. Alexander married into one of those old Swedish 
families which settled Delaware. An ancestor of Mrs. Alex- 
ander ‘‘had served under Gustavus Adolphus, and was paid 
by a grant of land in the New World.” Her family is partly 
Huguenot. ‘Two of her brothers were surgeons in our first 
Navy, one of whom was lost in a national ship during the 
Revolution, Her only sister married in Kentucky, whose 
daughter became the wife of Governor Shelby of that State. 

My wife’s father, Archibald Alexander Ritchie, was in- 
tended for the Navy, but he rather anticipated that design 
by running away from home when a lad of thirteen years 
of age, in company with Gibson Tilton, who became sub- 
sequently a Captain in the Navy. They shipped on board 


a vessel bound to China wa Liverpool, at which latter place 
they duly arrived. That experience of sea life was rough 
enough to satisfy their most sanguine expectations, and both 
were ready to go back to their respective homes and for- 
swear salt water for the residue of their days—at least in 
the forecastle of a ship of that period, than which no more 
sad, depraved and selfish life can be fancied. In port was 
a ship bound to the United States, which had one vacant 
berth, and as each was equally anxious to find the home- 
nest again, and both could not go, they tossed pennies for 
the place, and Tilton won. Mr. Ritchie continued on to 
China, and, with the determination and force of character 
which always distinguished him, he applied himself to the 
duties of his humble position and mastered them. He was 
not satisfied with that, but stepped beyond his sphere, and 
readily taught himself those degrees of astronomic knowl- 
edge and the use of the quadrant, hitherto the monopoly of 
the cabin, by means of which we find finger posts amid 
the trackless seas to “the haven where we would be.” He 
soon distinguished himself by his intelligence, and so suc- 
cessful was his perseverance, and rapid his promotion, that, 
at the age of nineteen, he commanded the brig “Treaty,” 
engaged in the Spanish trade—the property of a well-known 
and opulent merchant of Philadelphia, Mr, Craig. Mr. 
Craig told imy father that he was refused insurance on the 
vessel commanded by Captain Ritchie, on account of his 
youth, but that such was his confidence in the judgment 
and ability of the young commander, he preferred to aban- 

don the insurance rather than depose him. 

While he was still in command of a vessel owned by 
Mr. Craig, he married Martha Hamilton, daughter of a 
deceased Irish gentleman of Philadelphia—John Hamilton— 
who was born in Newton-Stewart, Tyrone County, Ireland. 
There survive him two brothers, one of whom is a Surgeon 

12 My WIFE AND J. 

in the British Navy, and the other a Minister of the Church 
of England. When my wife and I were at Booth-hurst, my 
father’s residence in Delaware, on our way to Europe, he 
told her that when a law student with Chancellor Ridgely, 
at Dover, Delaware, he met her grandfather frequently at 
the house of the Chancellor, “an elegant, well-bred and 
highly educated Irish gentleman, who was welcomed every- 
where for his address and accomplishments.” 

When Mr. Ritchie married Miss Hamilton, her guardian 
did not warmly encourage his wooing, and so, on the eve 
of his departure on another voyage to China, to wit: the 
31st day of January, 1831, he and his fair bride, without 
consulting the guardian, appeared before the Rey. Mr. Aber- 
crombie, and were made one flesh. She made no mistake 
because of her urgency and impatient protest against the 
usurpation of her vicarious father—‘“this maid who run 
from her guardage’”—for her married life was eminently a 
happy one. ‘That proceeding was simply a sort of, surety — 
while he should be absent. On his return they were mar- 
tied publicly. We will see anon how coincidently and 
homogeneously events and traits run through a family. 

My wife made her appearance while her father and his 
ship were on the sea, bearing fragrant teas and golden silks 
homeward, I suppose she was pretty-——her mother says she 
was to a rare degree—she must have been, for over the 
faces of sucklings God throws something of Himself, and 
such a rare, sweet character as hers must have shown its 
promise even in her cradle-life. It is wise and beautiful 
to say that when infants smile they see the angels and talk 
with them. Few things belonging to child-life suggest such 
quiet wonder, and such tender poetic abstractions, as these 
wandering auroras flashing over the wee winsome face of 
a baby. I have looked at them oftentimes with a sad sur- 
prise, my mind all the while swept by odd_ speculations, 


and coming back, like a rondo in music, to the minor 
strain with which it commenced. 

The father came home on the first of April following, 
and found the little stranger the mother had borne next 
her heart—a treasure richer by far than any orient pearls 
or costly fabrics he had ever carried across the seas, Next 
time he passed to the main he had in his night’s watches 
a new presence—he saw a little star added to the heaven 
of his heart—a baby life, rich, warm and hopeful, to give 
- vigor to his endeavors—a tiny hand to help, in its dear, 
weak way, to lift him higher towards prosperity and happi- 
ness. They called her Eliza Hamilton, after her maternal 
grandmother; but when learning to talk, by one of those 
‘pretty distractions of speech so common with children— 
bless the neologism!—she called herself ‘‘Lide.” That 
name supplanted the antetype; she bore it always, and she 
bears it still. 

Mr. Ritchie’s connection with the China trade, as a com- 
mander, ceased in 1838, and in that same year he became 
the resident agent at Canton of the once well known com- 
mercial house of Platt & Son of Philadelphia. At this time 
he had added two more to his family—Martha Hamilton-— 
who is now the wife of Major-General M. D. L. Simpson, 
of the Army, and Archibald Alexander, who, at this writ- 
ing, resides in Lake County, California. 

The following year, July 5th, his family sailed from New 
-Castle to join him, accompanied by Sarah Hamilton, the 
sister of Mrs. Ritchie, now Mrs. John Holliday of Man- 
chester, England. They arrived safely at Macao, the point 
fixed upon as their residence—Canton being the place of 
business of Mr. Ritchie. 

It can readily be conjectured that in that antipodal part 
of the world, and at, educational opportunities were 
not abundant. Foreign residents were divided into three 

14 My Wire anp J. 

classes, to wit: Merchants, who were supposed to be wholly 
engaged in trade and its engrossing occupation; the Diplo- 
matic Service, expected to be national and beyond tempta- 
tion, but perhaps the busiest and keenest in bargains, and 
most rapid in accumulations; and lastly, the Missionary es- 
tablishment, some members of which were hearty and sin- 
cere in evangelism, while others, like the diplomatic body, 
to which many of the missionaries were attached as inter- 
preters, were devoted to the carnal appetites of laymen. Mr. 
Ritchie stood high among the first named of these classes, 
and he earned his position by his clear and penetrating judg- 
ment, and by living up to the highest requisitions of mer- 
cantile honor. Those were days, less even than now, when 
morality and fair dealing were not always invoked in the 
commercial intercourse of aliens with Chinese, and when 
_violations of revenue laws were so common and open as to 
“be regarded rather as clever and admirable stratagems than 
breaches of honesty. 

In this general scramble for gain, and the prospect of a 
reversion some day to a Christian land of spires and stee- 
ples, there could be no chance for the device and fosterage 
of a school system. ‘The only teachers were the mission- 
aries and their wives, who, by these means, eked out the 
pittance paid by the Board of Missions. Lide’s teacher 
was Madame Gutzlaff, the wife of the celebrated Prussian 
missionary, who, with Morrison and Medhurst, made mis-. 
sionary labors successful, if not in a proselytical point of 
view, at least in philological researches, and large and valu- 
able contributions to our then scanty knowledge of Chinese 
customs and life. . 

Gutzlaff had married, in Batavia, an Englishwoman of 
wealth and education—a person who, under the isolation 
in which people there were placed, taught as a duty, but in 
this special case as an act of grace to Lide’s parents, who 

were mimes of her and her husband. He was an undiluted 
savan, a man of great linguistic ability, who had an intel- 
lectual constitution. and vigor capable of sustaining the 
dialects of a hemisphere; who wrote in various Asiatic lan- 
guages, and in English, French and German, and who drew 
up the Treaty of Peace, signed at Nankin in 1842, which 
filled England’s coffers so full that ever since she has been 
the money-lender of the world. 

- Lide has often spoken to me of her child life at Macao. 
She could paint with well chosen and distinctive phrase the 
physical and artificial characteristics of that town, the arc of 
the Bay, the high hill, upon the slopes of which were hung 
the white houses, overlooking the roadstead and the prom- 
enade on the white beach, over which the throbbing sea 
swelled and broke. It is noticeable how vivid and how 
deeply indented upon the mind of a child is a view in 
which water forms a constituent, especially when that water 
is the great sea, running around the land in graceful sweep, 
and then away off, until the horizon falls down upon it. Her 
mind, always susceptible to all esthetic influences, and agi- 
tated to a wonderful degree, even as a child, by scenery of 
softness or grandeur, would be likely to retain impressions 
of foreign places, especially where a portion of her child- 
hood had been passed. She did not know then that in a 
garden where’ her feet had often strayed, overlooking the 
scene that held such golden pictures for her eyes, Cameons 
had, three centuries before, written the Lusiad. I have 
no one to aid me with morceaux of her child-history at 
Macao, All I know of it is from occasional stirrings of 
her memory when she met some one who had known her 
or her family in China, or when she, in the quiet hours of 
home-life, went back to her early days to inform and de- 
light me with her vivid picturings and terse alfo-relievo de- 
lineations—softened gleams of light that sparkled through 

16 My Wire anv J. 

the intervening years from her childhood, like the rapid flash 
of the firefly beating against the summer gloaming. 

Some four or five years ago Mrs. A. A. Low came to San 
Francisco, ez route for China-—the same who had charge of 
Lide when she returned in 1844—and she and my wife clasped 
hands and strode through the gone years back to the Praya 
Grande at Macao; mounted the acclivities of the two hills 
which held the town; walked through the gardens they had 
known in the years past; shrieked at the cry of “coéra,” and 
were aghast at seeing his flecked back disappearing among 
the trailing shrubs. ‘They spoke, too, of Mrs. Parker, the wife 
of the Commissioner, with whom Lide made a visit to the 
Hong merchants of Canton—being the first foreign females 
who had penetrated that far. And what a curiosity she was 
to all, with her sweet face which nature had painted with 
such rare delicacy, and her long yellow locks sweeping, like | 
an eddy from Pactolus, over her gleaming shoulders! For 
she had exquisite hair, fine as floss, and brilliantly radiant, 
especially when the warm sunlight laid golden fingers upon 
it. Her face was a marvel of purity and refined expression 
—the same as Raphael pictured in the cherubim of the 
Madonna di San Sisto with a grace so tender that one sus- 
pects an inspired touch guided the master’s hand. 

I have her picture taken then when she had just put her 
feet into her ninth year. It stands before me. I have taken 
it down and set it up under my wistful eyes. Ah! darling, 
something like unto this I fancy you are now, in the dawn 
of your angel life, 

‘‘Where tears are ever banished, 

And smiles have no tas 

The sad, weary look of your latest years is gone, and, 
instead, is the beauty of your perennial youth. 
Mr. Ritchie had determined to send Lide to the United 


States to be educated, for she developed so promisingly— 
her perceptions were so acute, her memory so retentive; she 
had such a greed to understand the reason why, the nature 
of principles, the casus rerum—qualities that at once are a 
security for the future, and a source of just pride to a_pa- 
rent. She has been described to me as a most lovable 
child—unselfish, sensitive, keen in her sympathies, and even 
then developing the tenacity of purpose and constancy in 
friendships which made her character so solid and reliable 
in her maturer years. Under the tuition of Madame Gutz- 
laff she made equal progress. Her teacher always loved her 
for her zeal in study, for her sweet refinement which sat on 
her as gracefully as a well fitting garment, and her charm- 
ing docility. And yet with that docility she possessed, when 
a woman at least, the rarest and most nicely balanced firm- 
ness I ever saw in any person in my life. She could say 
~“no” with a grace that clothed itself with all the sweetness 
of compliance—could say it at the right time and at the 
right place, and, when said, as well call yonder fair star down 
with a whisper, or fillip out the sun, as to induce her to 
change. For as she never determined without reason, so 
she could not be changed by persuasion. But if you could 
convince her that her reasoning was at fault, or that her 
conduct should, as a matter of right and conscience, be 
modified or changed, she had the moral courage to retro- 
grade, and if reparation was due, it was paid to the “utter- 
most farthing.” I remember once I was present when she 
promised Eustace punishment on the repetition of some of- 
fence. After the child had gone, I remarked: ‘ Lide, I be- 
lieve you'd hang Eustace to-morrow at nine o'clock if you 
said so.” She replied quietly: ‘Yes, Rob, z/ I had said 
so, I certainly would.” That little word 7/ is the finger- 
board that points to a world of moral strength and beauty, 
and it is the expression of a z// without which self-conquest 


18 My WIFE AND ). 

is impossible. It had the effect of proving to me that threats 
are unwise and become impotent by use. It taught, also, 
even as Fuller said: ‘“‘Thou oughtest to be wise, even to 
superstition, in keeping promises, and therefore thou shouldst 
be equally cautious in making them.” Her whole life was 
founded on this principle. 

At Macao she had scarcely any society of her own age. 
That at her father’s house was composed almost exclusively 
of English and American families, and there were not enough 
of these to contribute many child companions for her amuse- 
ment. She was thrown constantly among adults—uncon- 
sciously was moulded up to large ideas, heard only the style 
and language of men and women, who, in that far off place, 
and at that period, spoke few common-places—as people, 
isolated from the world, mutually dependent on each other 
to a degree unappreciated by the aggregate of great heter- 
ogeneous places, and made up of traveled men, of merchants 
of large scope and interests, very rarely do. You find few 
small men or drones in such communities. ‘They are out of 
place there, and without sympathy and support, and so they 
fall away from want of encouragement, or, perhaps, by endem- 
ical fever; for disease in such climates lays a heavy hand upon 
the sluggard. In the commercial seaports of China we could 
have found in 1842 a comparatively small foreign population. 
At Macao, for example, and ab uno disce omnes, there were but 
few families. ‘The business duties were performed during the 
cool, early morning and forenoon hours, and all the rest of 
the day was given to visits in sedan chairs, the szesfa, and 
in reading. ‘They met at dinner parties every day—reunions 
where there were thinking men and women; where strong, 
solid remarks came in as the rule, and not as the excep- 
tion; and where, as there were no delles and beaux, there 
was no foppery of phrase—no small talk, as we to-day un- 
derstand it. At that epoch they were four months distant 


from London and Paris, and what the great world said, 
thought and did, was in those remote communities discussed 
with an appreciation and critical discrirnination that people 
at home have not time or disposition to do. In one word, 
the society of such places was more than mediocre in in- 
telligence, unusually refined because of its easy freedom, 
delicate and affectionate from its reciprocal dependence, and 
as of one household from its intimate intercommunication 
and isolation. When I look at the usual pastimes and train- 
ing of children, I am disposed to be grateful that Lide’s life 
in Macao was passed under the influences referred to. What- 
ever the general effect may be of thus bringing a child in 
contact with a society so far beyond her years, in her case 
the education was advantageous—it developed self-reliance, 
it kept her strangely active mind in a state of aspiration and 
reflection; it made her think upon subjects she would not 
have ordinarily met with until she had reached a score of 
years, and it was just such a training as her strong and al- 
most masculine mind—it was certainly so in power—required. 

In 1842, Lide’s aunt, Sarah Hamilton, married John Hol- 
liday, Esq., of the firm of Holliday, Wise & Co. It was 
a simple enough affair as I have heard him describe it. ‘They 
met at the house of Mr. Ritchie with a few friends, attended 
by one single bridesmaid—even the sweet little one, who took 
golden hair and ruddy cheeks, where they were never seen 
before, under the sandal-wooded eaves of a Canton home— 
and there they plighted troth, and with the blessing of the 
Church were made one. ‘Twenty-six years later she stood 
before them again in that land of churches and homes, 
where Shakspeare sang and Hampden died, and witnessed 
the marriage of their eldest born. 

In the year 1843, Lide was placed under the care of 
Mrs. Gutzlaff, and started for New York on board the ship 
“Panama.” That vessel had weighed anchor and turned 

20 My WIFE AND J. 

seaward, when Mr. Ritchie pursued her with a “fast” boat 
and brought his child back. He had been told the “Pa- 
nama” was unseaworthy, and he would not trust the dar- 
ling child to the chances of a long and dangerous sea 
voyage ,when a suspicion of the vessel’s strength had been 
conveyed to him. She, however, reached her destination in 
safety, and, so far as I am aware, without mishap of any 

The following year, under the matronal care of Mrs. A. 
A. Low, wife of the well known New York merchant, Lide 
sailed in the good ship “Paul Jones.” There was another 
passenger of whom she has spoken to me——a Mr. Perkins, 
of Boston—a person of culture and breeding, who contrib- 
uted greatly to the pleasure of the trip. She remembered 
the leading incidents of the voyage, and has frequently gone 
over them in speaking to me of her early days. The ship 
either touched at Japan, or, for ‘some days, was becalmed 
within sight of its wooded shores, and reached by its “spicy 
breezes.’ She amused herself by learning the nomenclature 
of the ropes, masts and sails; sought to know the mode by 
which the ship was directed over the trackless waves, and 
wondered how the pretty stars, hung up so high, could lend 
their aid to that end. She retained her knowledge well— 
for, several years later, at an exhibition in Philadelphia, where 
a miniature vessel was placed, she astonished its custodian, 
who was an “old salt,’ by running over the marine term- 
inology with the glibness of a maintopman. 

Those were short pastimes for the mornings, up to the 
hour of “shootirig the sun;” but when the long summer 
evenings came, of the period when they were going through 
the tropical belt, there were dearer employments, bits of 
poetry that Mr. Perkins recited with a vocal sparkle as 
bright as the luminous spots passing over the dise of the 
sea. Being from Boston, of course Longfellow would come 


in for the largest share of those evenings. Mr. Perkins gave 
Lide a volume containing ‘“ Voices of the Night,’ which I 
have preserved as a cherished souvenir of her early life-— 
for she was then, as Tupper says, “the wife already born 
to me in the world.” Perhaps it was that trip, and _per- 
haps that gift, which laid the foundation of her warm ad- 
miration of Longfellow. I am disposed to think that he 
was, of all poets, her favorite—only because his sentiments 
are so healthy, and because he is essentially a Christian in 
its largest sense. She was in full communion with all that 
is progressive in Philosophy, but when Philosophy meant to 
destroy her creed, when it was iconoclastic, when it sought 
to substitute a depraved Pantheism for a real personal God, . 
teaching that what we call by the hallowed name of Father 
is stone-blind Fatalism, then she regarded it as inimical to 
the truest interests of mankind, and consequently vicious. 
And so she loved Longfellow for his hearty humanity, his 
high moral standard, and his pure Christian purpose and 
aim. The-little pieces pressed between the pages of the 
“Princess,” as we press flowers touched by the hand of one 
we loved, such as the ‘ Bugle Song,” these were especial 
favorites; and yet Tennyson, in contrast with Longfellow, is 
as sensuous and passionate as if he had been born under 
the “Cross.” But of these tastes and preferences I will 
speak at a later period. 

Lide had been consigned to a grand aunt by marriage, 
of Philadelphia, who was originally a Quakeress, but after- 
wards a Calvinist, and thither she went on her arrival at New 
York. She bore the character of a pious, kind-hearted wo- 
man, motherly, and excellent in all her thoughts and ways. 
The report of her sanctity went as far as China, and Mr. 
Ritchie deemed himself fortunate in securing a guardian for 
his child so rare and exemplary. Lide took to that hearth- 
stone happy smiles and warm, rich sympathies—blossoms. that 

22 My Wire anv J]. 

came from the care and kindness that had watched over her 
young years hitherto. Later, her father found that this young 
child-life had been thrust into black Cimmerian darkness, and 
asked to circle, expand and bear the fruitage she promised 
under the sun of the golden Orient. The aunt was good in 
the Calvinistic mode. She was devout, and of high principle 
in almost all ways; but her religion was austere and ascetic, 
and her devotion that of the slave who fears the whip; it had 
nothing in it of love and the tears that come from the trust 
that God’s highest attribute is pity—ineffable compassion for 
the nature that, “poor, wretched, blind”’ as it is, is His creation. 
She had no palliation for the venial offenses of sweet, confid- 
ing, clinging childhood; for did she not believe, as Lide heard 
preached at the church where she was taken, that “ Hell 
is paved with the skulls of children—of infants!” And 
to hear such cruel didacticism, (she seeing all the while 
through the windows and high above the chimney tops 
“the witchery of the soft blue sky’) was she dragged three 
times to church on dominical days, including a long intro- 
ductory Sunday School session. Her aunt’s religion sub- 
dued the native charities of her sex within her, and she 
was hard and inhuman. She punished Lide_ by stripes; 
by days of confinement, leaving her foodless and fam- 
ished; by fierce outbursts of anger, unrestrained, cruel and 
unchristian; and by the wrongs growing up from her abso- 
lute ignorance of her ward’s high-strung and thorough- 
bred nature. Blows made her—-they. make all delicate, 
beautiful organizations—firm, sharp-knit and determined. 
One touch of kindness would have opened all her heart, 
and shown her, what she was, sweet and good and com- 
plaisant. Parents can be assured that when soft, patient 
words and persuasive tones and conduct fail, the rod will 
be anything in the world but salutary. This cruel perse- 
cution and harsh, unloving life continued for three years, 


and one wonders how Lide’s sweet, confiding nature stood 
up under it. She has often spoken to me of the days she 
passed with her aunt with a feeling of sadness, and yet in 
a ludicrous, laughable way, for even that life had its cari- 
catures. She could never appreciate, could not under- 
stand the passionate outbursts of her aunt, or indeed of 
any other person. It was a mystery to her—that mental 
weakness which surrendered one to the unchecked influ- 
ence of anger—she, so even, so thoroughly the mistress of 
herself. JI have seen her stand in the face of provocations, 
aggravated and unreasonable, calm and unruffled as if she 
were marble; giving no evidence of emotion except per- 
haps a slight suffusion of pallor, and a just perceptible 
tremor of voice. This is heroism in its most exalted ex- 
pression—the courage and heroism of that most difficult of 
all conquests, that of one’s self. Never, never, during all my 
married life, have I seen her for one moment lose her 
aplomb and presence of mind—no matter how sorely she 
may have been tempted. 

These experiences were not without their beneficial uses. 
On the Spartan principle of making a man drunk to show 
the pernicious effects of intemperance, the aunt’s ebullitions 
of temper taught Lide the vice of the example, and the 
necessity of disciplining the passions. Beside the bitter, 
cold and harsh treatment endured there, she was isolated 
in all respects, and without sympathy—totally deprived of 
all society, under that roof, that comprehended her exquisite 
nature. It deepened her sensibilities, and strengthened her 
calm, yet warm nature. It sent her to her books, fostered 
a taste for reading, and left her to find in her music solace 
and mysterious sympathy, than which there are none greater, 
except in the perfect congeniality of one—only one human 

And her daily contact with the mocking skeleton of her 

24 My WIFE AND i. 

aunt’s religious faith brought her prejudices not only against 
the tenets she held, but really against the truth and human- 
ity of all creeds. The warm, loving nature of a child 
demands that the altar should be ornamented with—not a 
death’s grim head, but flowers. It is useless, too, to attempt 
to teach young happy hearts that God is to be worshipped 
through stripes, vigils and fasting; for the sunshine, the rills, 
flowers, plants, and their own overflowing gladness, contra- 
dict it. By the culture of home sentiments, by educating 
the beautiful within us, by poetry, through joys and smiles 
more than tears, these are ever preparations for our educa- 
tion in religion. Jean Paul says: ‘There is no better priest 
to lead and accompany the young soul, with dancing and 
great joy, to the high altar of religion than the poet, who 
annihilates a mortal world to build on it an immortal.” In 
these respects, at least, the world is growing wiser, and it 
is time. I really believe that the cheerless and harsh aspect 
given to religion by its professors is the mother of half the 
materialism and disbelief of to-day. I feel now the dear 
maternal hand laid athwart my own as I knelt in prayer at 
her knees. I hear the little child-hymns she sung to me, 
and the swell of the organ she sometimes touched, on Sab- 
bath evenings especially. I feel her great love consecrating 
all, and then and by those means she hallowed God in my 
heart, and made Him appear to me compassionate and loy- 
ing. If I had not had that dear face gleaming through all 
my childhood, at once mother and priestess, long since, aye, 
in the years ere the dear wife laid hold of me, I would 
have gone down before the sensuousness of the world—its 
scepticism, its sophisms and incredulity. In thus speaking 
of my own experience and condition, I marvel how Lide’s 
heart and faith could have stood up against what she saw | 
and endured. Richter says: “Let not fear create the God 
of childhood; fear was itself created by a wicked spirit’”— 


dear Jean Paul, who was, as he described Fenelon to have 
been, at once “child, woman, man and angel.” 

The effect of all that discomfort, false preaching and Druid- 
‘ical gloom, was to take Lide from Calvinism and plant her 
dear young heart among the grand symphonies and far 
reaching harmonies of the litany and canticles of the Epis- 
copal Church. 

Few children—none other that I know, could have en- 
'dured it. A hard, negative nature, one that had no soul 
or heart to be touched, would have got along very well 
under that discipline—even to the dark room and starving 
process. Lide’s moral constitution was delicate and beauti- 
ful, and so she suffered amply from that unjust treatment. 

I have a strong impression that Lide, or some one else, 
told me that she was absolutely driven from her aunt's 
house by her cruelties; that she at first thought of going 
to New York and appealing to the captain or owner of 
some China bound ship to take her to her father’s home: 
then she thought of seeking shelter with Mrs. Low, but at 
last she determined to go to New Castle and reside with 
her grandmother. That Lide planned an escape I am sure, 
and that she executed it, I believe. But it was now the 
autumn of 1847, and her parents were upon the sea, and 
ere yet the heats had gone, and the Indian summer had 
painted the leaves with “sere and yellow,” they arrived at 
New York. 


‘‘Howe’er it be, it seems to me, 
‘Tis only noble to be good.” 

A few days later, Mrs. Ritchie gave birth to a daughter, 
who was formally called Esther; but, as the child grew up, 
this,, perhaps the most euphonious of Biblical names, was 
laid away, and family usage called her Hettie. 

The arrival of her parents was soon communicated to 
Lide, and, in company with her aunt, she came to New 
York. With rare discretion she did not then communicate 
to her father with what infidelity her aunt had executed 
her trust. In the pleasure of meeting her parents,-and the 
added hope of her own emancipation, she gave no tongue 
to her wrongs. She always—and it was one of her marked 
and orderly traits—selected the appropriate season for ey- 
erything. If she had impatience or impulse, her disciplined 
mind kept them in place, and she was not restless and 
disturbed because she held a secret. Her lips had a faith- 
ful warder in her discretion, and they opened not until the 
procession of her thoughts and words had been marshaled 
by her judgment. : 

Pending the confinement of her mother, and until her 
father had settled upon a home for his family, it was pro- 
posed that she should return to Philadelphia with her aunt, 
which she deferentially declined to do, and her refusal 
was uttered with such decision and point as to give him 
great annoyance. <A few days later, and after inquiry, he 




heard, for the first time, the little history of her outraged 
heart—her humiliating and enforced submission to her 
aunt's unloving guardianship. He had no blame for him- 
self, for he had made what he had reason to suppose to 
be the wisest disposition of his child, and after careful in- 

From that day Lide and her parents never saw that 
aunt again. 

If I did not believe that Lide’s experience under that 
roof carried with it a useful lesson and moral, and had, to 
a great degree, influenced her character, I would have been 
satisfied with a bare reference to it. Perhaps-—and this 
disturbs me a little—that, as she forgave her aunt, and 
when she forgave she did it utterly, she would be the first 
to counsel absolute forgetfulness of all the wrongs she had 

On the recovery of Mrs. Ritchie, she and the children 
removed to Philadelphia for the winter. They boarded 
with a Mrs. Bullock, who lived on Ninth Street, near 
Spruce, and when Mr. Ritchie saw them all comfortably 
housed, he returned to China to close his business. 

In addition to the four children already named, there 
were three others, who were born in China, to-wit: Ellen 
H., who is now the wife of Major George H. Elliot, of the 
Corps of Engineers of the Army; William L., one of twins, 
and Hugh Canton—so called because he was the first for- 
eign child born in the city whose name he bore. 

Mrs. Bullock had a daughter somewhat older than 
Lide—a person ‘of sincere and unaffected piety; and, in 
saying this, I have written the highest encomium a woman 
can receive. She had, withal, intelligence, and some re- 
verses her family had suffered imparted to her character a 
depth and strength that prosperity never bestows. Nothing 
so matures the moral power of a woman as the contest 

28 My WIFE AND J. 

growing out of the loss of property, and, illatively, of 
friends. The new condition brings into exercise every 
power we possess, and braces and invigorates our whole 
nature. The ordeal may be severe, but, with each con- 
quest of self and our pride, comes new vigor and strong 
self-reliance; and there is such divinity developed by the 
probation, that really we—at least the true and religious— 
bless the blow that brought to us such power and inde- 
pendence. When a woman thus suffers and conquers, a 
pure spirit of piety is evoked, for she feels that not to her 
own unaided self must be ascribed the victory, but to Him 
who endowed her with strength to struggle, and who has 
promised that to those who bear the cross shall come the 
crown, in that land where is 

“Peace, endless, strifeless, ageless.” 

One can easily imagine how the influence of such an 
association fell upon Lide’s dear heart with an inexpressible 
tenderness and power. She herself bears this testimony in 
the only letter of hers I ever saw, written at that period. 
It is addressed to her father, who was then in China. I 
will give its concluding lines, mot a mot: 

“T can not close my letter, however, without noticing 
your remarks on private devotion. I have been in the 
habit, for some months past, of spending a few moments, 
morning and eyening, in reading a portion of the Bible. 
and in prayer. ‘This has made me much happier, and I 
find that all things go well when the blessing of God rests 
upon them. I do not know whether my general deport- 
ment has been improved by this, but certain it is, I sue- 
ceed much better in everything I undertake. 

“I was first led to adopt*this by the example of Mary 
Bullock, She is a very pious young lady, and apparently 


very happy. She and I formed a great friendship last win- 
ter, and it was her influence entirely which taught me 
where to look in time of need. 

“May God grant you His merciful protection, my dear- 
est father, while you are exposed to the perils of the 
ocean, and bring us all once more together.” 

This extract opens to us also “a golden chamber” in 
the heart of her father, through which we see him as a 
man of his reticent, profound nature is not usually seen. 
His early life, passed under the stars, and within hearing 
of the mysterious voices and eloquent revelation of those 
great prodigies, the sea and sky, brought to him the im- 
pressive truth, that there is over us and all things, a great 
personal and all-wise God. The moment that fact became 
clear and undeniable, responsibility and conscience followed 
as a corollary. He was an industrious and thoughtful 
reader, and had amassed a wonderful degree of knowledge. 
I doubt if ever there was a man who had been to him- 
self a more thorough and profound teacher—for after his 
departure from home, he never had any education except 
that he gave himself. And he was educated, and to such 
a degree that few were his superiors, either in specialties 
or generals. Every one who came in contact with him 
was impressed with his remarkable perception and mental 
acuteness, as well as with the extent and reasoned results 
of his information. A physician told me that his knowl- 
edge of medicine and surgery was wonderful for a layman, 
and I was surprised, on one occasion, with his large ac- 
quaintance with matters of theology. I do not know what 
his creed was—even whether he had any, beyond his belief 
in God, and his personal accountability for his conduct 
here. Whether his works had the “merit of congruity or 
condignity,” is perhaps a nicety and subtility of theory dis- 

30 My WIFE AND |. 

cussed rather by the theologian than by Him to whose com- 
passion and love Mr. Ritchie confided. His character was 
earnest, solid and manly, and his intelligence large, choice 
and refined. His own admiration of his child, and _ his 
recognition of the fact that, adowing for sexuality, Lide was 
his parity, at least in his best qualities-—all these had 
strong effects in the formation of her character. No other 
one of his children (all but the three eldest were too 
young to know him) had any personal individual sympa- 
thy with, or intuition of, their father’s fine and large brain, 
as she was the only one who inherited his mental gifts, 
and his persistent, heroic perseverance and industry. Some 
thought that Willie would grow like him, but he died be- 
fore he showed any decided resemblance. 

Lide had been under the tuition of a Miss Woodruff, 
but when her mother came to Philadelphia to live, she was 
placed as a day scholar with Madame Gardelle, who pre- 
sided over an institution where the graces of the sex were 
educed, and the rough points rounded to an easy outline. 
I have often had many a gentle contradiction, when, half 
in earnest, I ridiculed her on the frippery and dross of 
such a system of education as that I supposed Madame 
Gardelle’s to have been. I really knew nothing of the 
school. I had a vague impression of having heard that it 
was fashionable, and from that text I preached. I would 
sportively bait my darling to draw out her rejoinders. She 
rarely fought with buttons on her foil. Whatever she did 
was done earnestly, and with her whole heart; and yet no 
one enjoyed with. more relish than she the colloquial “és 
and jousts of an educated society. 

In the early part of 1848, Mrs. Ritchie removed to New 
Castle, and, hiring a house, gave her children that neces- 
sity for the moral growth of child-life—a home. That 
autumn Lide was sent to the “Oakland Institute,” at Nor- 
ristown, Pa. 


As I have adopted the synchronal mode of narration, | 
must here refer to myself in advance of any memoir of 
my early life. Here, too, the streams of our lives ap- 
proach their confluence. We were nearing each other, 
and yet no presage or sign ran before to advise us of the 
coming commingling, which, God grant, will be forever. 

During the greatest part of the year 1847, I was a pris- 
oner in the hands of the Mexicans, and that captivity was 
a matter of national report and knowledge. My family 
was known to most persons in my native State, and the 
“deep peril” in which I had fallen, awakened unbounded 
commiseration for me—more especially as the Mexican 
Government threatened to execute me as a spy. ‘That 
sympathy—in Delaware, at least—was heightened by the 
fact that the Legislature voted me a sword and thanks for 
“gallantry in the field,” and for my participation in board- 
ing and destroying the brig “Creole,” under the guns of the 
Castle of San Juan de Ulloa, as well as by the passage of 
a resolution instructing our Senators and Representatives to 
call on the General Government to interpose. to save me 
from the “threatened wrong.” 

There appeared at that time also a prize novel of the 
sensational school, called ‘‘’The Secret Service Ship,” which 
professed to give a faithful narrative of my capture, im- 
prisonment and escape. One can easily fancy that the 
truth was lost in a maze of fiction, and that I was repre- 
sented as performing exploits which shamed even that of 
the LTheban, who, when a nursling, strangled a brace of 
Pythons. It can easily be imagined that I was a sort of 
hero. I have within reach now a roll of newspaper ex- 
cerpts—prose and poetry—replete. with praise of me, which 
Lide carefully kept, even from those days, long gone, and 
which I found among the little love treasures she had gar- 
nered in the glad time when my image was first cast upon 

32 My WIFE AND } 

the retina of her heart. She had then seen me several 
times, and by one of those rare good happenings which 
the “angels who have charge of us,” send as blessings, had 
conceived an admiration for me. 

I had then just returned to my home after my long im- 
prisonment. It was on Christmas day, and I remember 
well that the snow was lying in the churchyard, the trees 
were leafless, an archipelago formed of tiny icebergs floated 
in the broad stream that flows before New Castle, and the 
whole country was sad and desolate in the extreme, after 
the tropical warmth of Mexico—her orange groves yellow- 
ing the hills, her flowery chznampas scattered over the face 
of Lake Chalco, and the golden sunlight rippling through her 
valleys. I have always been affected to sadness on seeing 
snow covering the graves—so cheerless does it seem, 
heaped up, as it were, upon the bosoms of the dead; 
bosoms where, perhaps, in the days gone, throbbing heads 
had hid away their tears from a world of pain. The 
flowers, the clambering vines and caressing tendrils of the 
beautiful summer were then all withered, and so the quiet 
homes in the churchyard of those we love were without 
those symbols of the warm golden land, whither, we be- 
lieve, they are gone. Indeed, the incessant falling of the 
flakes, making a twilight over all the scene, and shutting 
out the blue sky, which always brings quiet to the 
mourner, seemed then so to narrow my vision, as to ex- 
clude almost the very idea that stars, rainbows and Heaven 
were gleaming outside. But here, comes in a lesson of 
hope to help the moral life staggering under the burden 
Death throws upon us, that though the grave fills all our 
world with obscurity and gloom, yet beyond 

‘With silver sound, 
The flood of life doe flowe.” 

Lide remained at Norristown until the autumn of 1850, 


when she graduated. At that school she had taken, from 
the very first, the highest position in all the branches taught 
there—as, for example, Moral Philosophy, Botany, Geom- 
etry, Anatomy, Latin, English Grammar, and Rhetoric. She 
manifested a decided taste for philosophical studies —for 
the exact sciences—especially the “seven” of the old schools. 
She had then and always the gift of which Pope said: 

**Good sense, which only is the gift of Heaven, 
And, though no science, fairly worth the ‘seven.’ ” 

I have most of her school books, all well thumbed and 
used. In her “ Davies’ Legendre” are several notes in her 
own handwriting. At the end of the Ninth Book are these 
words: “July 18th, 1850, finished the nine books of ‘ Davies’ 
Legendre "—an achievement.”’ 

For instrumental music—I, mean, of course, the piano— 
she displayed a rare facility of touch, combined with rapid 
reading and wonderful expression. More brilliant performers 
could have been found, but not one who exceeded her in 
delicacy, and in that rare skill in expressing what I may 
call the rhythm of melody. To paraphrase a French 
expression, her music was full of tears. 

Her diploma is dated September 26th, a.p. 1850, and it 
certifies that she had passed her final examination, and that 
“her attainments in science and polite learning are such 
as to entitle her to the honors and immunities of her alma 
mater.” With the diploma she received the gold medal, 
and pronounced the valedictory. I heard Mr. Ralston, the 
Principal of that school, say, some three years later, that 
Lide was the most tractable, proficient, and accomplished 
pupil he ever had in his Institute; and that such were her 
rare qualities of attainment and self-command, that he 
would have given almost anything he had to have retained 


34 My WIFE AND J. 

her as a teacher. He could bestow no higher praise, and, 
better than all, she merited it. 

She left Norristown on her graduation, and came to her 
mother’s. At the same time I returned to New Castle, 
broken in health, from hardships endured while a prisoner 
and while engaged on a survey of the Atlantic Coast of 
Maryland, together with the loss of my only sister. 



‘“‘On the sea 
And on the shore he was a wanderer.” 

| 7 
Here is a proper place to introduce my own biography, 
ics is a part of my plan, 

a Loam” the sixth son of James Rogers and Maria his 
wife nee Booth, My father was the son of Daniel Rogers, 
- of Accomac County, Virginia, who removed to Delaware, 
and was afterwards Governor of the latter named State. 
% He was descended from an old English family, originally 
. of om Wales. His father married one of the “ Croppers ”"— 
iy, vet a name well known in Virginia. 

a “My mother was the daughter of James Booth, Chief 
“ Jus stice of Delaware, who was a descendant of the reputable 
family of Sir George Booth, of Cheshire, England. Her 
Becher was Ann Clay, the granddaughter of Jehu Curtis, 
who came from an ancient family in the County of Kent, 

shu Curtis is buried 1 in Saale nebo s Neweastle, 

a “In memory of | 

ek. - JEHU CURTIS, Ese., 

. Late Speaker of the Assembly, 
- A Judge of the Supreme Court, 

36 My WIFE AND ). 

Treasurer and Trustee of the Loan Office, , 
Who departed this life Nov. 18th, 1753, 
Aged 61 years. 

If to be prudent in council, 
Upright. in judgment, 

Faithful in trust, 

Give value to the public man ; 

If to be sincere in friendship, 
Affectionate to relations, 

* And kind to all around him, 
Make the private man amiable, 
Thy death! O, Curtis! 

As a general loss! 

Long shall be lamented.”’ 

I am named after my granduncle, Rev. Robert Clay, 
who was rector of Immanuel Church for forty years. He 
was of the well known family of Clay, of Sheffield, York- 
shire, England. I might say much more of my lineal and 
collateral relatives, but I will merely add that I am of a 
family second to none in its position and antiquity. 

My father was a lawyer of much eminence in his native 
State, handsome in person, elegant and courtly in manners, 
chivalric as a Paladin in his sense of honor, and imvall 
respects a rare man. He and his wife were well mated— 
she having been a celebrated beauty; but, what is of more 
importance, at least to her children, a highly educated and 
thoroughly pious woman. 

My father was a man with ample means; his household 
was provided with every comfort and luxury, and all his 
surroundings were in unison with his position. 

My eldest brother, William, when I was quite a lad, 
married Mary C. Barney, granddaughter of Judge Chase, 
one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, 



and Commodore Barney, and my favorite always. When 
she came to my father’s house, a bride, I remember how 
much struck I was with her coal black eyes, full of the 
vivacity of an ardent and intelligent temperament. 

The most impressive incident of my early life was the 
sickness and death of their child. It was certainly my 
introduction to, and first sight of, the mystery we call 
Death. I had just returned from Baltimore, and as I 
passed into the house I was awed with its silence, for it 
was usually full of pleasant voices. It was past noon, and 
the world was brimful of the splendor of the sunshine, 
and all the glory of an unclouded sky. I ascended to the 
second floor, and entered into the chamber of my brother, 
and saw him bending over a cradle which held his child. 
His wife was at the foot of it, kneeling, with hair dishev- 
eled, and wringing her hands in mute agony. The boy 
was exquisitely beautiful, with a head as gracefully shaped 
as that of the young Augustus—one of the marvels of the 
Vatican—and perhaps as rare an infant, in all the graces 
and beauty of mature babyhood, as could be seen any- 
where. It had been suddenly seized with membranous 
croup—that terrible scourge of children—and when I saw 
it, it was gasping for breath, and over its fair face was 
that expression of pain and eager appeal for relief that 
is so agonizing to see in the faces of sick children. I 
know nothing more painful to a bystander than such vain 
implorations breaking over the face of a voiceless child, 
and which no tenderness can assuage. 

No one heeded me, and that struck me as so strange, 
after an absence of several days. I did not understand the 
child’s sickness, even, for I had never seen human suffer- 
ing in that shape before. If I had, it has long since 
passed from my memory, blotted out by that one central 
figure of a moribund child. 

38 My WIFE anv J. 

The little sufferer passed away during the night, and 
when, with the morning, I entered the room, and saw the 
waxen face and closed eyes, and touched the cold cheek 
and crossed hands, I experienced an emotion of wonder 
and dread I did not recover from for many a year. If I 
remember rightly, there was no one present. Had there 
been, and could I have been then taught, in a hopeful, 
loving way, the secret I learnt in later years from a statu- 
esque child, upon whose arm fluttered a butterfly — the 
sweet emblem of a life nothing can destroy—I would have 
been saved physical suffering, and, better than all, the su- 
perstition and morbid fear that death excited within me 
throughout all my boyhood. Added to the gloom which 
sat in the house, Mary raved all the night, talking all sorts 
of weird things, and in her 

‘*Madness laughing wild 
Amid severest woe.” . 

When she recovered—if she ever did recover from that 
shock—she seemed to bring me and my brother Dan 
nearer to her: making us little articles of dress, teaching 
us by her example and care the beauty of cleanliness, 
training us in polite habits, and in such ways educating us 
up to our condition, and to love her through all the 
wrongs and misrepresentation she endured in her later life. 

It is hard for a child—for a joyous little optimist, as I 
then was—to have any religious idea of death. Indeed, it 
must always remain a mystery to all, whether of tender or 
mature years. People do not see the necessity of such an 
ordeal, and to men’s minds it seems about the only blur 
or defect in this wondrous sphere we call earth. In view 
of such a tribulation, such (I believe it was Bolingbroke 
who said) an indecent ending, people may, at least under 
the pressure of bereavement, be excused for indulging ma- 


terialism. It does require a great deal of faith to float us 
over the shallows which lie about us. I have had such 
misgivings; and yet annihilation is really a greater antag- 
onism to the general law than death itself. Now, when I 
hear caviling and Sadduceeism, they pain me inexpressibly, 
for they would bring into contempt my richest hopes. I 
always, now-a-days, turn away from all discussion that 
can wound the eager aspiration I have for immortality, 
and to touch again the “vanished hand.” 

There was no influence over all my early life so potent 
as that exercised by my only sister. She was even dearer 
to me, in a certain way, than my mother—for, in addition 
to the sympathy and congeniality of youth, she was as 
exquisite in character as in person. Those who knew 
her will never forget her exceeding purity of life and 
beauty of appearance. She led all my young years by her 
gentleness and goodness, for I esteemed her and loved 
her, and revered her as something even beyond my ideal 
woman. She filled all my tender heart as with music, and 
no presence satisfied, and soothed me, and brought me 
such a sense of happiness, as hers. It is impossible to exag- 
gerate her winning ways, her dear charity of forgiveness 
and forgetfulness—for I was wayward—and she gave me 
back all my love, and was happy in being with me. I 
have, to-day, some letters addressed her at this period of 
my life, and they are replete with an inexpressible tender- 
ness and love that would seem impossible, if I did not 
know that they were genuine. At parties and picnics 
no one followed her with step and eyes as I did; and 
always when she approached me, she singled me out with 
a smile, or, in passing, threw at mea loving speech. It is 
now twenty-two years since they laid her away in the church- 
yard, and yet her fresh, beautiful face and graceful figure, 
and her soft, winning refinement and sweetness, are as dis- 

40 My WIFE AND J. 

tinct. in my memory as if they had gone from me but 

Asa child I had the benefit of a tutor, but when that sys- 
tem of education was broken up by his death, I was sent to 
the academical department of the college at Newark, Dela- 
ware. I remained there rather more than a year. As I was 
without any special discipline or personal government, I grew 
up, as a matter of course, impetuous, headstrong, and im- 
patient of control, and so was constantly under the punitive 
process. That I could not endure, and so one cold, winter 
night, when the ground was covered with snow, and the 
whole heavens burning with a phenomenal aurora boreals, 
I broke out from the tutor’s room, where I was confined, 
and walked home. I remained under my father’s roof 
while he was deliberating what he should do with me; but, 
tired of the suspense, and dreading, what Lamb calls the 
“dry drudgery at the desk’s dead wood,” one autumn 
evening, packing a small carpet bag, I went to Baltimore, 
to the house of Mrs. Chase, the widow of Judge Chase. 
Remaining there a few days, I went on to Washington, to 
see Mr. Forsyth, who had been Secretary of State, and who 
was a classmate of my father at Princeton College. I 
expressed the wish to him to be appointed a midshipman, 
and it was done forthwith. I entered upon that life from 
no consciousness of fitness or aptitude, but merely attracted 
by its plausibility and tinsel, and the facilities it offered for 
seeing the world. 

I came home to a disappointed household, for my father 
had other views for me. To say the truth, my honey-~ 
moon passed away ere my trunk was packed, and I would 
have resigned at once if it had not been from pride. 

I reeeived orders to proceed to Boston, to join a vessel, 
whose destination was Brazil. One Sunday afternoon, in 
the season of the Indian Summer, while the family was 


at church, I left home, to avoid the pain of parting. The 
day I joined the ship she sailed for Rio de Janeiro wa 
Norfolk, and to this time I have not forgotten that first 
night at sea. The contrast of a midshipman’s mess to the 
home whose warmth I felt still, was ludicrously sad. How- 
ever, I hid away my dejection, made friends as rapidly as my 
bonhome would permit, and when, after passing the Equator, 
the trade winds pushed us along over the dazzling tropic 
seas, I felt such an eager curiosity to touch new lands, that 
I forgot all my nostalgia, and I could have heard the ranzg 
des vaches without tears or longings to go back. In our 
youth, tears are as April rain drops breaking from a fugitive 
cloud, which, ere they reach the meadows and hills, sparkle 
with the sunshine. It is later—it is when we stand as 
strangers among a new generation, and the friends of the 
‘long gone days are scattered--some in other lands, and 
some resting from their labors—then tears,- as we are 

* Thinking of the days that are no more,”’ 

are the bitterest and saddest testimony we have of our help- 
less humanity. 

Arrived at Rio, I was selected as an ade of the Com- 
modore, and had little to do beyond helping the che/, as 
Pelham says, in sublimely astonishing the natives. ‘There 
I lived on shore most of the time, and spent the days in 
“silken idleness ’—loitering, flirting and sleeping. 

We went to Montevideo, and there, time and again, 
have I seen Garibaldi and his dark-eyed Azzfa, who clung 
to him so closely during his famous escape from Rome in 
1848, and who, during that flight, died in a peasant’s hut, 
and was buried by the hands of compassionate strangers. 

On my return to Rio de Janeiro, I was transferred to 
the line of battle ship ‘‘ Delaware,” and my place was filled 
by Spencer, who was soon afterwards hung for mutiny. 


42 My Wire anv J. 

From Rio we sailed for the Mediterranean, and, after a 
long passage, dropped anchor under the north “ Pillar of 
Hercules,” while the other could be seen standing clear 
and bold above the purple line of the African coast. My 
first sight of the old world was the headland of Trafalgar, 
and near rose Cadiz, crowning a rocky acclivity, where, 
in the olden days, the Tyrians raised altars to Hercules. 
On the opposite side, Tangier thrusts its head above forts 
and embattlements, and frowns on the fair Andalusia, upon 
which, in the medieval times, she threw hordes of swarth 
turbaned warriors. | 
Gibraltar was more interesting to me in its ethnological 
curiosities than in any other aspect. As I saw it, it seemed 
to hold a representative of every race on the earth, and I 
was never tired of observing them. I saw there some 
pretty Rebeccas, and to this day I remember the sturdy 
English children running through the sidewise streets, and 
scampering over the smooth parade grounds, fair and 
ruddy. I wandered through the galleries which wind to 
an extent of two or three miles, until they reach an alti- 
tude of a thousand feet or more. I sauntered over the 
“neutral ground,” and on to San Roque, and the little 
town of Algeciras, where, they said, were the prettiest faces 
to be found in Spain. Surely that was enough to start the 
blood in my then susceptible heart, and so I walked its 
streets, sending inquisitive glances over the hanging gal- 
leries and low arched windows, sometimes rewarded by 
an encounter with black flaming eyes, and yet again see- 
ing parchment faces where I looked for those smoothed 
by youth, and stained with olive by the same sun that 
ripened the orange on the hillsides. I found filth and 
paupers, where I sought the traditional beauty of Andalu- 
sia. I took away some pleasant memories; and yet now, 
the gray rocky promontory, the horizon of the Atlantic, 


the blue Mediterranean, pretty laughing children—‘“ deep 
set, fiery orbs,” in many a maiden, left by Saracen a thou- 
sand years gone—all these lie confused in my memory, 
but bright as the changing colors of the kaleidoscope. 
From here we pushed through “that dark blue sea,” 
which, perhaps, of all the waters of the world, is the most 
beautiful intrinsically, as it is the most historical and 
legendary. We halted at the Balearic Isles—at Mahon, of 
which I remember but little beyond its sausages, called, I 
believe, sobresuela ; its low social standard, and its rouge 
ef nor tables. I was glad to escape from them, for really 
I never had any taste for gambling, and then I was too 
fresh and imaginative to be vicious. Port Mahon was the 
United States Naval Station, and as it was a small place, 
and, 1 may add, wholly dependent on the patronage of 
our ships, one can easily imagine that the contact im- 
proved neither Mahonese or my countrymen. I became 
so tired of the place that I asked the Commodore to order 
me on the first vessel about to leave, which was the frigate 
“Congress.” Besides, I had an old friend on board of 
her—Edward Simpson 
additional inducement to press my application. It was 

and his company offered me an 

granted, and the day I reported for duty, she sailed for 
Leghorn. Of this place I remember only its newness and 
its lack of architectural and art attractions. I found but 
little to interest me—nothing that touched me, except the 
tomb of Smollett, whose bones should lie on English soil, 
among her great dead. But Pisa is very near, and there 
one can find the Past grandly shrined in its churches and 
other structures. Beside these, are landscapes replete with 
the tenderest aspects—for do we not find there the Vale 
of Arno, and its silver stream singing through flowery 
meadows, as it hastens to the sea? ‘I ascended the Cam- 
panile, and from its circling arcades I saw precious views, 


‘““pastorally sweet.” Under the moving clouds, the tower, 
at moments, seemed as if it would tumble; and I must 
confess that in leaning out and looking earthwards, one 
experiences a sensation of uneasiness almost painful. 

After that ascent I wandered through the Campo Sandi, 
lingering over the sarcophagi with their quaint reliefs, then 
sauntering through the dim aisles of the Cathedral and 
Baptistry, finding a thousand suggestive sights in their bas- 
reliefs, mosaic pavements, and incised columns. These 
were wonders to my young mind; but will I not be ap- 
preciated when I say, that I loved, more than “the dim 
religious light,’ the sunny Lung’ Arno, the quivering stream 
plunging through the flowery pastures, and the bright, 
laughing life moving along its grassy slopes ? 

And from here we sailed through the blue Tuscan Sea, 
down past the Tiber, and the ruins lying skeleton-like along 
the Roman Coast; and, passing through the outlying isles, we 
rounded Ischia, and halted almost under the shadows 
the setting sun threw from Vesuvius. Then a new life 
dawned upon me, and if I could not sfeak as a poet, I surely 
felé as inspired as any. Pompeii was a wonder, in whose 
silent streets gathered the gloom of seventeen hundred 
years, which, when dispelled, disclosed to us the common 
life of the day when Paul preached Him who-had just died 
on a cross. These, and all the country lying as far as 
Avernus and Point Misenum, were full of strange pleas- 
ures; but San Carlo filled me as ruins could not do, for 
there were fairy lands, the silver songs of Grisi and Mario, 
and ‘Taglioni floating through the mazes of the inspiring 
and enchanting ballet. Ah! I was young then, and I felt 
and dreamed—more than I reasoned. To me the skies 
were ever fair, and the world was bright and full of hope. 

Naples sits beside a summer sea, and listens all through 
the day, and through the bright starry night, to the throb- 


bing waves singing along its glistening beach, as she sat 
and listened in the time when galley beaks clove those 
azure depths. And as on the day when Menades wantoned 
among the grottoes and groves of Capri, to the sound of 
lute touched by Imperial hands, even yet, Oh! Parthenope, 
art thou frail as fair—what though above the Aphrodite’s 
temple is seen the Christian’s cross ! 

Past Ischia again, down through the watery strait dividing 
Messina from Sicily, and before the south wind to Trieste. 
I did not remain there long, for, within sight of me, were 
the horses of Lysippus and the winged Lion of St. Mark. 

One boisterous night I left the Metternich Hotel, and 
jumping into a steamer that seemed too frail to tempt the 
wild waves, I crossed the Adriatic, and when the day broke 
I could see along the Grand Canal the stately palaces, and 
the swelling dome of Santa Maria della Salute. 

I was ten weeks there, wandering through churches and 
galleries, but, better than all, idling along in a gondola, 
under the shadows of palaces, and, at night, when the moon 
hung golden above the Veronese hills, where, in Romeo’s 
time, it tipped “with silver all the fruit-tree tops,” 
the scene inexpressibly beautiful, and listening to serenades 
on the Grand Canal that stir one to a degree of rapture 
and impressiveness never to be forgotten—music heard 
there has a pathos and effect that touches too deep for 
tears—or, seated among the colonnades of the Piazza, the 
square full of gay loungers, rapt with the harmony that filled 
the air with its joyous voices. Well do I remember one ex- 
quisite face I saw there, and even now it gleams through my 
memory bright and clear, with a glory that no painted saint 
ever wore. It was that of an Athenian girl, from the land of 
Pericles and Aspasia; the antetype of all the beauty which 
one sees to-day in the Medicean Venus, and the chaste 
marble forms along the galleries of the Vatican. I followed 


46 My Wire anv J. 

her when she stole through the canals, and launched tell- 
tale flowers in the lap of her gondola, and glided along the 
Grand Canal near her, when the songs of the gondolier 
kept time with the beat of his oar. Later, when I stood 
within the propylea of the Parthenon, clambering among the 
jacent columns, or attempting to decipher, within the Tem- 
ple of Theseus, the stone tablets which tell of Marathon, 
or watching the wonderful beauty of Bozarris’ daughter, 
then the dark hair and eyes of the Greek maiden at Venice 
had ceased to move me. I was in love with it for just 
nine days, and then I opened my eyes. I remember it 
as I remember voices and faces heard and seen in a 

Past Salamis and Leucate, from which the loving Les- 
bian leaped, and on through the sunny seas to Smyrna. 
Here the Plague was slaying its thousands, and yet I wan- 
dered through the bazars, feasting my eyes on silks and 
velvet rugs, and sucking the incarnadine pulp of the lus- 
cious figs. 

From here, on board an Austrian steamer, I passed up 
within near range of the slopes of ‘Troas, running all the 
day in sight of Olympus, through the Hellespont, musing 
on Hero and Leander; on through Marmora, and dropped 
anchor off Stamboli. I staid at a hotel at Pisa, planted 
near an old cemetery, darkened by groups of cypress. 
Among the guests were a Greek Count and his wife, the 
erring Lady Ellenborough—said to be the most beau- 
tiful woman in England. Isat next to her at table, 
and under her firman and her care, visited the seraglio, 
the Agia Sofia, founded by Constantine, and_ picnicked 
with her at Scutarii She led me up the Bosphorus, 
past the beautiful hills crowned with kiosk and min- 
aret, and on to the Black Sea, and near “the dread 
Symplegades.” Friday, too, with some officers from India, 


we went to a mosque on the European side of the Bos- 
phorus, and saw the Sultan as he went to prayers—a 
handsome fellow enough, but sensuous as a Sybarite, whose 
life lies along the triangle whose vertices are the Harem, 
the Mosque and the Divan. 

I was here several weeks, and then went to Jaffa. In 
company with a half dozen or more, I left Joppa and 
passed through the Vale of Sharon, and remained all night 
at Ramla or Arimathea. ‘The next day we traversed the 
“Tiill country of Judea,’ and on to Jerusalem, where I 
remained a week, visiting all the places made memorable 
in the mission of our Savior; was tattooed on the left arm 
at the Holy Sepulchre, received my certificate of pilgrim- 
age, and then went back again. Many years have passed 
since I made that visit, and yet I can close my eyes now 
and see all the topographical figures of that country, that 
Lamartine has described as so sad and dreary. 

From Joppa I went to Alexandria, and remained forty 
days in quarantine with the Plague, and then, when admit- 
ted to pratique, and after seeing everything there, from 
Pompey’s Pillar to Cleopatra’s Baths and Needle, I as- 
cended the Nile to Cairo. Here I passed some few days 
among the Pyramids; and, during the long evenings watched 
the groups in the Esbekeejah, gathered around a story 
teller—the trees hung with paper lamps, and the little 
canals, which run in every direction, looking like streams 
of silver as they flowed through the changing shadows. 

Here are examples of some of the best points of Ara- 
bian architecture that can be found—for Cairo has as many 
mosques as Rome has churches. I have very pleasant 
memories of this place ; but-perhaps the clearest and most 
durable are those associated with new, and, in some re- 
spects, enchanting pictures of Oriental life. I happened to 
be there on the return of a caravan from Mecca, and that 

48 My Wire AND | 

sight reintroduced me to the land of Romance lying through 
the “Thousand and One Nights.” ‘Then Cairo was not 
reached by rail, and it was the central station of the over- 
land route to India. I fancy that now the peculiar types 
of Eastern life have fled before the snort of the locomo- 
tive, and that, should we desire to see the Orient, we must 
pierce as far as Damascus—aye, farther, 

Returning to Alexandria, I sailed for Mahon, touching 
at Tripoli and Malta. 


“They enter’d—'twas a prison room 
Of stern serenity and gloom,” 

1 reached Delaware in the spring of 1844, having been 
away nearly four years, During my absence my father had 
retired from the practice of his profession, and built, at 
his farm near New Castle, a country residence. I found 
the family at its new home, and the change to me was a 
delightful one. The town is small, and though, at the 
period I speak of, possessed of a society that in breeding 
and intelligence was equal to the best anywhere, yet, as it 
had neither the attractions and conveniences of a city, nor 
the charms and seclusion of the country, I was glad. that 
my lines were now to be cast among the woods and green 
fields of Boothhurst. I have a taste for extremes, and so 
I could not tolerate any intermediate life between a me- 
tropolis and a farm. | 

In the autumn of 1844 I was ordered to the Naval 
School at Philadelphia for a course of study during the 
winter, preparatory to my examination, I must confess 
that I had been for some time disgusted with the Navy, 
and had determined to leave it, just as soon as I could. 
Instead of living at the Naval Asylum, I took up quarters 
at a fashionable boarding house on Chestnut Street, Phila- 
delphia. That winter was idled through, passed in the 
intellectual way most young men, without any special em- 
ployment, pass their time. If I read, it was nothing to 


50 My WIFE AND J. 

improve me. In cutting the leaves of the freshest novel I 
reached the acme of my literary labor. And yet the sea- 
son was not altogether without a certain sort of culture. 
I saw society in all its phases, and I usually walk with 
open eyes. I saw the world as it is under the glitter of a 
chandelier, and heard the /rou-frou of fashionable silks. 
I saw all the good and bad, the strategists, diplomats. I 
saw maneuvering, and all the tricks of those fiercest of all 
cannibals, men and women in a condition of high Chris- 
tian civilization, and I saw enough to prove to me that 
the greatest barbarism is found with the society which 
boasts of the highest intelligence. 

The spring came, and I‘had determined to resign ; but 
as it might be said that I took that step to avoid the 
ordeal of an examination for which I was not prepared, I 
threw away kid gloves, employed a tutor, and, like Lord 
Eldon, in the days of his harsh noviciate, bound towels 
about my head to keep me awake, and studied ordnance 
and spherics, all the nights through. The day came 
when I was to be intellectually measured. I answered 
the call, found myself among the naval grandees, was 
turned over to the Professors, was well sifted by them, 
and then Commodore Perry laid molliter manu upon me, 
and I escaped him by leading him into a lecture on gun- 
nery, to which TI listened so attentively that he forgot to 
ask me a single question. Three weeks later, I was or- 
dered on scientific duty in connection with coast survey, 
and stationed at Baltimore. On my arrival there I entered 
my name as a student at law with Benjamin C. Presstman, 
Esq., then City Attorney of Baltimore. 

Another winter passed, and with the spring came mut- 
terings from the Rio Grande. The message of Mr. Polk, 
Congressional proceedings, and the unusual activity at the 
naval depots, boded no good to my design of separating 


myself from the service. Of course the actual inauguration 
of hostilities placed a caveat on my resignation, and I de- 
termined to apply for duty, make a dash the first oppor- 
tunity, to prove myself, and then return. At my request 
I was ordered to a small schooner then fitting out at New 
York, she being one of three vessels of light draught de- 
signed for service in the rivers and dayous of Mexico. 
When I saw her I thought her a very tub, and too fragile 
to tempt the sea. The newspapers abused the Government 
for putting in peril the lives of officers by placing them on 
board such craft. My father became alarmed, and at once 
left for New York. When he saw the tiny form of my 
vessel, he begged me not to go to sea in her. I flattered 
away his fears, and he returned home with a diminished 
admiration of marine pursuits. JI did ask, however, a 
short leave to be present at the marriage of my sister, 
but the threadbare formula, ‘exigencies of the service,” 
shut the door on my application; and so I had no chance 
_ to say to the dear one the common epithalamium, ‘“ God 
bless you.” She married Joseph N. Barney, a Lieutenant 
in the Navy. 

We sailed from New York in June, 1846, and when 
we cleared Sandy Hook, the Captain consulted with his 
officers, (there were but four of us all told) whether we 
should creep along the coast, or plunge boldly seaward. 
The latter course was adopted. We pushed on to Hat- 
teras, and then, with a steady gale abeam, we put her at 
her hurdle race across the Gulf Stream. It was night, and 
the wind blew fiercely enough to make “the floods clap 
their hands.” I had the watch on deck, and, battening 
the hatches down and lashing myself, (the two helmsmen 
doing the same) I carried all the canvas the schooner 
could bear. She groaned under it as with a human cry of 
anguish, shivering along her whole frame as if in fear of 

52 My WIFE AND J. 

the mad waves which raised themselves on every side, and, 
like a high mettled steed touched by the spur, dashed 
headlong, tossing the spray on high as she beat the waves 
with her rounded prow; burying under the foam, some- 
times leaping up as if she would escape from the deadly 
contest, and then again borne down, the whole hulk liter- 
ally submerged. 

There is a fine picture of some such an incident in 
‘“Fothen,” in his trip from Smyrna to Cyprus, where he 

says: “The gale rouses itself once more, and again the 
raging seas come tramping over the timbers that are the 
life of all.’ I remembered that description as I passed 

the Gulf, and yet I doubt.if the scene Kinglake paints 
had half the terrible grandeur of that I witnessed. My 
Hydriots at the tiller did not ask me in words “to tempt 
the storm no further,’ but in the moments when the craft 
was thrown clear of the scudding spray, and in the short 
intervals when the driving clouds opened and let down 
upon us a shred of moonlight, I could see in their faces a 
mingled expression of protest and fear. When the daylight 
came, we had passed beyond the stream and into smooth 
water. ‘Then all the sails were loosened, and the agile 
craft went ambling cheerily as through long level mead- 
ows of green. 

It was a wet voyage, made in the mid-rainy season, and 
so when we got under the shelter of El Moro Castle, I 
was glad enough. I have vivid recollections of Havana— 
the soft and warm air, the dark glowing eyes of the women, 
and the gardens outlying the walls. In the Plaza, every 
evening, the Band of the Governor-General drew together - 
a large assemblage. ‘The men, as a rule, filled the square 
proper; but outside were drawn up the long-shafted volanies, 
crowding the streets; and there, resplendent. under the 
moon, their black hair burnished by the golden light, the 


women gathered—sensuous with all the charms of trop- 
ical prematureness, and, like the flowers of that clime, 
budding, expanding and fading in a day. 

In Havana the ashes of him “who gave a new world 
to Castile and Leon” are urned—the spot at once the 
scene of his disgrace, and, I may add, his canonization, 
For three centuries they had reposed at St. Domingo; but 
near the end of the last century all that was left of the great 
Admiral, “fragments of a leaden coffin, a few bones and 
a quantity of mould,” were deposited within a casket, and 
with great pomp carried to Cuba. It was an old tale, long 
before Wolsey’s lament, and so po it ever be. As was 
said of Sheridan : 

‘© And bailiffs may seize his last blanket to-day, 
Whose pall shall be borne up by statesmen to-morrow.” 

Perhaps I can say, that as I was young and had a rare 
capacity for pleasant enjoyments, I found Havana delicious. 
The air is full of that soft exhaustion comparable to noth- 
ing but the half swoon which comes from a Turkish bath, 
when you are wrapped in shawls and laid away upon a 
divan, dallying with slumber, reserving nothing of earth 
except the dim consciousness of being lifted above it. 
Pope tells of the luxury of that clime, when he says: 

*‘Tsles of fragrance, lily silvered vales, 
Diffusing languor in the panting gales.” 

When I got out of the harbor, and was tossed upon 
the long lazy swell, and the sun went down, and silver 
stars rose up from the purple hills, and lights gleamed 
landward, which came out to us trailing golden garments 
after them ; then, in musing over that scene, I felt that I 
had parted from the pleasant Island of Cuba with keen 

54 My Wire anv J. 

I don’t know when it was, but one lazy afternoon we 
struck the “Star Mountain,’ or Orizaba, which rises just 
beyond the rim of the shore—so, at least, it seemed to 
me, bearing upon its head, monk-like, a snowy hood, and 
upon its strong shoulders, innumerable trees—feathery and 
palmated—as seen on the background of the sky. It is, 
not even excepting Vesuvius, the most graceful mountain 
form I ever saw—the Apollo Belvidere among the grand 
statuary the Master cut and hewed and molded in the 
“dim eclipse’ of the primal day. 

Soon we reached the flats. off Vera Cruz, and as we 
pushed southward and were abeam of the city, a flash 
came from the ramparts of San Juan d’Ulloa, and a shot 
ricocheted ahead of us, making little geysers where it im- 
pinged the water. That was my introduction to the grim 
pastime men call war. 

On our arrival we were placed on what I shall call 
diplomate duty-— perhaps I should say, I was. Several 
times a week I had to go to the foreign squadrons to get 
newspapers and the news from Mexico. Indeed, our 
English cousins kindly smuggled all our correspondence 
with our friends in Mexico. I was so employed all sum- 
mer, with the exception of the time engaged in an expe- 
dition against Alvarado. We had no killed, and but one 
wounded, and this latter was I. It happened in this wise: 
A single dragoon came to the beach, mounted, and several 
officers took shots at him, without effect. I picked up a 
musket that some neophyte in ordnance had innocently 
charged with three cartridges, (1 ascertained that after- 
wards) I fired at my friend, and the recoil not only laid 
me flat on deck, but injured my face severely. I was 

‘“*The engineer 
Hoist with his own petar.” 

I had a messmate, a brother of Senator Brown of Mis- 

: j i we 


sissippi, who was as tired of the Navy as I was. He and 
I resolved to resign, go to New Orleans, take a cotton 
ship for Liverpool, and then, making a hotch-potch of our 
means, travel on foot over Europe as Goldsmith did with 
his violin, and Bayard Taylor and Ross Browne did with- 
out it. I was to be appointed treasurer, orator, historio- 
grapher and interpreter. We were to wander on foot, to 
join the dance on the village green, to reach a peasant’s 
chalet before nightfall; and I was to impress the simple 
hearts of the rural folk by a sad and fatigued mien. Brown 
was to be the middle figure in the picture, and was not to 
bring his face in, (it was, perhaps, as plain and practical a 
one as could be found anywhere) until I had coaxed shel- 
ter and food.. That was an old plan of mine redivivus, 
and it would certainly have been carried out had it not 
been for my capture. 

I had had a difficulty with my Captain, and was applied 
for by Captain Raphael Semmes—he of “Alabama” 
fame—who commanded the brig “Somers,” from the main- 
yard of which vessel, Spencer was hung for mutiny. 

We assumed our position on the blockade, to which 
duty we were ordered. It was then December, and the 
season of the passionate and querulous Aquilon. It is a 
wind all will remember who ever encountered it. Some- 
times it seemed as if it would skim the sea of everything 
that floated upon it—choleric, fierce and unrelenting— 
Hercules frenzied and free. Then, when alone at night, 
on watch, peering through the darkness for blockade run- 
ners, and feeling within myself an aspiration for something 
beyond the false and cribbed life of a naval officer—I 
wished myself anywhere rather than in the condition I 
held, so uncongenial and artificial was it. 

While engaged in this duty, Parker, Hynson and I, with 
a boat’s crew consisting of five picked men, at midnight 

56 My Wire anv J]. 

boarded the brig ‘‘ Creole,” moored to the walls of San 
Juan de Ulloa, burnt her, took her crew prisoners, and 
escaped. It brought us medals, swords, thanks, and public 
notice, and to-day it forms the epitaph and blazonry of 
Hynson’s tomb at Annapolis. Captain Semmes, in a work 
he published, called ‘Service Afloat and Ashore,” gives 
me many honorable mentions, and so I will not say he 
should be hanged. 

The successful issue of that enterprise suggested an ex- 
pedition to reconnoitre, and, if possible, to destroy a depot 
of ammunition situated near Vera Cruz. I volunteered to 
conduct it, and, in disguise, made two reconnoissances. 
_ On the occasion of my third visit, and while I was in the 
boat about shoving off, Captain Semmes summoned me on 
board again, and told me that some/hing suggested to him 
to call me and persuade me to put on some evidence of 
my official character. He says, in the book referred to, 
that he could not put aside a presentiment of evil. He 
and I talked the matter over many times afterwards, and 
I am induced to believe that he accepted the suggestion 
as spiritual. Let it have been whatever you please, it 
saved a neck that, as it was, cost a great deal of trouble 
to preserve. | 

I had with me a sailor named Fox, and a volunteer— 
Assistant Surgeon Dr. Wright. I had finished the recon- 
noissance to my entire satisfaction, and had reached the 
dunes, which, on that shore, break the uniformity of the sand 
belt, when Wright suggested the propriety of pursuing an 
apparent road to the landing place. I entreated caution, 
for I felt certain that, where it debouched, I had seen a 
camp fire, and I suspected the presence of a large patrol. 
He had left me scarcely five minutes, when I heard the 
neigh of horses and the jingling of arms, and looking 
around, I saw him pursued by a body of horsemen. I 


ran towards them, and, presenting a loaded pistol, Fox 
doing the same, they halted. The pursued did not. 
While I was engaged in the parley, he reached the shore, 
and escaped in the boat which waited me. ‘Thus aban- 
doned, I had no resource but to surrender. Fox and I 
were led to the fire, and then a drum-head court martial 
was organized. 

Will I be believed when I say, that, at that moment of 
disappointment and agony, I almost courted the death 
which, like the sword of Damocles, was suspended above 
me by a thread? I had heard and read, scores of times, 
of the inhumanity of Mexicans. The history of the Santa 
Fe expedition had especially prepared me for any degree of 
cruelty that semi-civilized people could inflict. But it was 
not bodily suffering I feared. It was the failure of all my 
schemes ; it was the agony and suspense introduced to my 
home circle, and the sad prefiguration of weary days and 
months of isolation, of protracted suffering, and moral and 
intellectual stagnation or delirium. 

The drum-head Court held its session upon a little sand 
hillock, within a few feet of me, while Fox and I.were 
euarded at the fire. With all its grim aspects, the group- 
ing and all the accessories were the constitution of as 
_ pretty a picture as any artist could have desired. Take 
myself and. Fox, and the guards, with drawn sabres, stand- 
ing before the burning embers-—the ruddy light heighten- 
ing our figures, and lambent over the surrounding space. 
‘In the middle ground is a group of dismounted cavalry, 
some erect, armed with lances, from the barbed ends of 
_ which fluttered, in the night air, little pennons; and some 
seated upon the sand, holding their escopefas between their 
knees ; and all dressed in the dzarre, gaudy style, peculiar 
to the lower classes of that people. Just behind these were 

the dark moving forms of the horses, with their bright 

58 My Wire AND }: 

curious eyes and gay trappings, and beyond stretched the 
sea, heaving under the splendor of a full moon, the deli- 
cate tracery of the spars and rigging of the squadron 
drawn against the almost opaline sky. More inland rose ~ 
the stained steeples of the churches of Vera Cruz, all lying 
shadowy and spectral under the touch of the enchanting 
moonlight. And to add to all, imparting to it a most 
pathetic effect, were the break of the waves upon the 
beach, and that subdued and mysterious plaint that can 
always be heard from the heaving sea, in the hush of a 
tropical night. 

While the council still debated, and on their ‘firresolution 
lingered death hitherwards,” the rapid reverberation of a 
horse’s hoofs beating upon the hard sand were heard, and 
an officer dashed among us, checking his animal within a 
few paces of me. A pistol I had fired when I surren- 
dered, to alarm the boat’s crew, had alarmed the garrison. 
at Vera Cruz, and brought my rescuer to me. We were 
at once ordered to the city, and soon were challenged 
under the walls. Then I heard the noise of gliding bolts 
and falling chains; the gates were swung open, and our 
procession marched in. Pursuing a narrow and obscure 
street, we halted before a gloomy looking building, where 
we were formally transferred to new custodians; and here, 
too, my true and staunch friend Fox was separated from 
me. A soldier beckoned to him—no leisure for words 
was permitted us—I reached out my hand, and he clasped 
it as if we were never to meet again in this life, and in 
an instant a dark world, as it were, stood sullen and grim, 
between him and me. 

I could swell this memoir to a considerable extent with 
many really interesting incidents of my eight months’ cap- 
tivity. Some of these were matters of very general interest 
at the time, were published over the whole country, and 


agitated upon the floor of Congress. The fact that I was 
held and tried as a spy, and my threatened execution, were 
_ Matters affecting all who bore arms in that war, and 
raised a general cry of indignation. The Legislature of 
my native State, after a vote of thanks to me for gallantry, 
_ passed a resolution, asking the General Government to 
save me from the threatened wrong. These public pro- 
ceedings; the short biographies of me which appeared from 
time to time; the suspense and uncertainty of my fate for 
several months; the stress laid on the circumstance that I 
was captured while preparing an expedition to destroy a 
magazine ffom which the enemy would draw his powder 
supplies in the event of the investment of Vera Cruz; and 
the sinking of the “Somers” the day after my capture, 
with a loss of more than one half of her officers and 
crew—all contributed to make my case one of great and 
general interest. That 

* Distressful stroke 
That my youth suffered,” 

had a very important influence, too, in winning me my 
wife, and so I hastily sketch it. If I uttered less as to it, 
my plan of showing our children “what and who we are” 
would be imperfectly carried out. 

My imprisonment at Vera Cruz continued near three 
months, during which time I was isolated from all the 
extraneous world. I had no mind for reading, and so I 
employed myself in writing a novel. It had a real plot, 
and its dramatis persone were people I had met. It re- 
lieved many a tedious hour, occupied my mind and heart, 
and, in some measure, redressed the injuries from which I 
suffered. I preserved the poor bantling throughout all my 
captivity, got it home with me, and one day placed all its 
royal thoughts upon a funeral pyre, and its dust was 

** Borne abroad upon 
The winds of heayen, and scatter’d into air.” 

60 My WIFE AND: sh: 

At that period General Scott was preparing for his de- 
scent on Vera Cruz, and already his vanguard had reached 
Tampico. I was ordered to prepare for’'a march—I, who 
had no clothing but that I stood in—whither, I knew not. 
I had had my trial as a spy, and as it was unfavorable to 
me, through the influence of Gen. La Vega an appeal was 
taken to the military authorities at the capital. 

February 16th, I passed out of the city into the open 
country. It was another life to me, and the sweet sea 
breeze laid its hands in benediction upon me, and all the 
world looked so new, that it seemed as if I was going 
back to some pleasant dream. As we got well clear of 
Vera Cruz, and the sea ‘opened all her swelling bosom to 
my eager eyes, I felt as if 1 would be happier if I could 
lay my head there and be all at rest. When, too, I saw 
afar and near the ships with their outspread sails—some 
of which were hastening to that point whither was my 
home—-and recollected that I was being dragged into an 
uncertain captivity, | must confess I could not repress my 

The first night we halted at the village of Las Vegas. 
As we approached it, Don José, the officer who commanded 
the escort, said that if I would pledge my honor not to 
escape, he would send it in advance, and allow me 
vreater freedom. I gave the pledge, and he and I en- 
tered the hamlet alone. We went to the house of the 

Alcalde, which was beautifully situated upon a little knoll 
overlooking the thatched roots of the villagers’ cabins, 
grouped at its base. 

One night, some two months before, wha the “Somers” 
lay at Anton Lizardo, a cry of “ Help!’ was heard by the 
watch on deck, and a boat was lowered, which picked up 
a canoe containing two persons—a Texan who had escaped 
from Mexico-with the aid of his companion, who was, I 


believe, of French birth. The fugitive had promised his 
rescuer a large reward should he reach the squadron in 
safety—a promise he could not fulfil, for he was a stranger 
to all in the fleet. The ‘Somers’ was ordered to land 
the Frenchman some distance up the coast, and, during the 
passage, I not only took the fellow into my mess, but col- 
lected from the officers quite a handsome sum for him. 
When he left us, he bade me good bye with many grate- 
ful expressions, and said he could never forget my kind- 
ness. As I dismounted on my arrival at the Alcalde’s, 
and stared at the idlers about me, what was my surprise and 
pleasure to see the Frenchman the “Somers” had landed 
as described. Without reflecting, I stepped forward and 
offered my hand, but to my ‘astonishment he turned from 
me, saying that he had never seen me before. I went 
back to myself, wondering whether the genial optimism I 
had nourished, was not a mere aspiration and sentiment, 
and human virtue a dream and hope rather than a living 

That same night held as bright a moon as ever shone 
upon earth, and as I was then in a measure free, I re- 
solved to go to bed and watch the stars through the low 
French window. I did so, but ina little while fell asleep. 
I don’t know how long [ had been sleeping, when I 
awoke and found my hand in the grasp of some one or 
something. For a moment I was somewhat alarmed, but 
when I recovered myself, I heard a voice say, “Hush!” 
and looking along my hand, I saw the face of my friend, 
who had turned from me on my arrival. The truth 
flashed on me in an instant. He whispered me to be 
quiet, and in so/fo voce told me that it would have been 
as much as his life was worth to have recognized me; 
that he had now come to evince his gratitude; that all 
arrangements had been made to convey me to the sea 


62 My Wire anv J. 

coast, and from there he could soon place me in safety 
with my countrymen. Will I demean myself by saying 
that I add listen to his temptation, and, fora moment, be- 
guiled by the picture of safety—an escape from the menace 
and danger which imperiled my life—I was almost per- 
suaded. It was but for a moment, however. I then felt 
that my escape would give my generous and humane cus- 
todian, if not to death, at least to disgrace and degradation 
from rank; and, explaining all to the noble fellow, I re- 
fused, blessing him rather in my thoughts than by words— 
for indeed I could not speak from very fear of tears. 
The next morning, when I left, he stood among the spec- 
tators, with as much apparent unconcern as if he had 
never seen me before. 

At sunset, February 19th, I reached the Castle of 
Perote—as cheerless and desolate a spot as I had ever 
seen. My life here was sad and miserable enough. My 

room had a brick floor; the window was double grated, 
‘and the outer walls hid all the landscape from’ me, except 
the very apex of the mountain, which gives to the castle 
its name. ‘The only friends | had here were the post 
sutler and his family. He fed and clothed me—for the 
provision made by the Mexican authorities was scanty and 
meagre enough. My want of proper clothing and com- 
' forts, and my sufferings from the cold, caused me the 
rheumatism which afflicted me so grievously, a year or two 

Don Ramon had a niece, whose comeliness, and whose 
kindness to me, made her the boast of that portion of the 
army which occupied Perote. Her beauty was of a higher 
order than that of almost any other Mexican girl I ever 
saw. She had, to be sure, the same physical characteris- 
tics—dark hair and eyes, and the brunettish skin; but her 
eyes, lying under the shade of long silken lashes, were — 


clearer; her hair more polished and Caucasian in texture, 
and her complexion finer and fairer. Anywhere she would 
have attracted attention. Although but fourteen, she was 
physically matured. In all other respects she was a child— 
as pure and winning as Virginia. She was not up, per- 
haps, to the highest teaching of the accidence. She could 
read, and her penmanship was tolerably expressive; but of 
the world beyond the small hamlet where she resided, she 
knew absolutely nothing. If I had told her the most im- 
probable thing conceivable, she would have believed me. 
Sometimes as she and I sat in the corridor, during the 
midday hours, she would make me go over, and over 
again, the little descriptions I’ gave her of our northern 
life, and later, I feared I made her impatient of her own 
obscure and isolated condition. ‘The governor of the fortress 
permitted me to visit the family of Don Ramon, who had 
rooms just beneath me, and there, at vespers, I knelt with 
the family before the “ Holy Mother;’ played little games, 
and heard the singing of the rude ballads of the country, 
with an accompaniment of the guitar. 

My parting with that family, from which I had received 
the most disinterested kindness extended me during my 
captivity, was as painful as if I had been separating myself 
from my own family. 

I was sent to Puebla, and, in passing through a small 
town em route, 1 had a rough handling from a mob. At 
the “City of the Angels,” where, at that time, was found 
the most fanatical population in Mexico, I received only 
insults; and the authorities, on the representations and at 
the request of some gentlemen among the foreigners, sent 
me to the capital, to save me from the injury threatened 
me. : 

I reached Mexico the middle of April, and on the per- 
sonal guarantee of a Mr. Voss to produce me when re- 

64 My Wire anv J]. 

quired, I was permitted the liberty of the city. I was re- 
fused parole, because I still held the status of a spy—at 
least so far as their records went. During my stay there 
I made many acquaintances, and, I may say, friends. To 
a certain extent I went into society; but as I had no 
desire to compromise any one, I made my visits “few 
and far between.” Here were sent other prisoners, with 
whom I, of course, had an intimate association. Among 
these were Cassius M. Clay, recently Minister to Russia; 
Borland, afterwards Senator from Arkansas; and Gaines, 
subsequently Governor of Oregon. ‘There were some lesser 
lights, and perhaps more agreeable fellows—certainly more 
congenial to me—but as they never rose above the horizon, 
I omit the mention of their names. 

In mid-July an order was issued to all American resi- 
dents of the city to retire to Morelia, some eighty leagues 
in the interior. General Scott had then reached Puebla, 
and was preparing to advance upon the capital; for the 
defense of which an army had been collected, and a cred- 
itable system of fortifications constructed. A second order 
was promulged, directing the prisoners of war-—officers, of 
course—to present themselves at the Palace on the ensu- 
ing Sunday, to surrender their parole, and prepare to go 
to Toluca. I at once communicated with my surety, who 
simply replied, “Sauve gui peut,’ but not to attempt to 
escape from the city, as it would be certain death. He 
was under the ban then, and concealed in the house of an 
Englishman, about a league from Mexico. I determined 
to escape, let the hazard be what it might. A Scotch 
friend procured the form of a passport as far as Chalco, 
beyond which no one but a mzlifar was permitted to pro- 
ceed, except under a special license; and, as he was. an 
expert penman, he forged the name of the Military Gov- 
ernor to it. In that passport I was described as the cook 


to Her Britannic Majesty’s Minister—whom, by-the-by, I 
knew, and so could have carried off my honors. very well if 
I had been pushed by any inquisitive patrol. By a safe 
hand my horse and accoutrements were sent to a place 
called San Rafael, at the base of the mountain range whose 
proudest peak is Popocatapetl. . 

On the evening of July 31st, attired in a suit befitting 
my station, I bade my friend good bye. I felt, indeed, I 
had need of the “God speed you,” which rose out of his 
valedictory words, as a benediction. I left the city in a 
canoe, commanded by an Indian woman, and by the canal 
which existed, I believe, in the Aztec days. I was accom- 
panied by Walker, an artist; one of whose battle pieces 
can be found in the Capitol at Washington, and who, 
having been a resident at the City of Mexico for some 
years, had no appetite for the fare promised at Morelia. 

It is a temptation to describe my escape at length, but 
I will not yield to it. I will merely summarize its inci- 

We got safely through the garrison at Las Vegas, near 
the city, and next morning reached Chalco, then occupied 
by General Alvarez, (from his ferocity called the ‘“ Pan- 
ther of the Pacific’) with his notorious Pintos— Indians 
from Sonora. From there we went on foot to Miraflores, 
where we passed that night, concealed. ‘The next morn- 
ing I was informed that my escape was known, and _ that 
parties were in pursuit of me. From Miraflores we went 
on to San Rafael, and midway we were stopped by a guer- 
rilla band, from whom we escaped by saying we were 
artisans of the /adrica, or manufactory, at the former place, 
going over to see friends at San Rafael. Fortunately 
the Director had foreseen just such a rencontre, and he 
provided Walker and me with what are called carfas de 

seguridad, or credentials, declaring that the bearers were 

66 My Wire AnD J. 

Englishmen, and employes at the faérica in question. ‘The 
exhibition of these, which were borrowed from. genuine 
Britishers, who were indeed what we represented ourselves 
to be, and the fact that it was Sunday, when such com- 
munication was common, rescued us from the danger that 
seemed at first hazardous enough. At San Rafael we pro- 
cured a guide who had been already engaged by some 
friends there, who had been advised of our coming, and 
at dusk, amid a heavy rain, we commenced the ascent of 
Popocatapetl, from whose crater, two centuries before, Cortez 
had procured sulphur for his gunpowder. Our cicerone 
lived on the mountain, knew its trails, coverts and easiest 
gradients; but in the darkness, that to me had a most 
solemn and weird depth, he lost his path, and we went 
stumbling over fallen trees and into deep arroyos, our- 
selves and horses floundering over together. After one 
or two such disasters, we led our animals, for they 
were really unable to carry us, especially as, having at- 
tained an altitude which brought us to the snow region, 
the rarified air made respiration most painful.. On the 
ridge which forms the shoulder, as it were, of Popocatapetl, 
we found a charcoal burner, who informed us, that in the 
village through which we must pass, in order to reach 
Puebla, was the renowned guerrilla chief, General Rea, 
with eight hundred men. ‘This was startling intelligence, 
for the main road was occupied by the army of Santa 
Anna, and Rea held the only one left to us. In that part 
of Mexico there was no evading the highways, for immense 
ravines and impenetrable chaparrals render their avoid- 
ance impossible. ‘This news determined our guide to retro- 
grade, for he had a wholesome fear of the medieval way the 
petty Mexican leaders had of dealing with such as he, and 
so he went back; but for us, nulla vestigia retrorsum— 
and so, getting full directions as to our route, we pushed on, 

a ~ 

The descent of the mountain range, on the Puebla side, is 
gradual, and at daylight we attained level ground. Near 
Huajocingo we met an arrzro, who confirmed the accounts 
we had of General Rea’s presence on our line of escape. 
We paused, in doubt whether to go on, or to go back to the 
mountain fastnesses, and there remain concealed until our 
environment was more peaceful. But after a careful judg- 
ment of all the probabilities, we resolved to push on, and 
trust to the Power who had borne us so far safely. We 
were then only twelve miles from Puebla, where our army 
was—and, in a certain sense, in safety. 

Huajocingo is situated upon a single street, and on either 
side were dense chaparrals of thorny cactus, which made a 
divergence impossible. We reached the edge of the town 
while the darkness still brooded over the low thickets and 
adobe houses, and at the time when sentinels zwe// sleep— 
for, of all hours, and under such circumstances, that just 
preceding the dawn is the most assured of safety. In- 
stead of moving through at a rapid pace, we gave our horses 
a loose rein, and let them go slowly through the sand that 
muffled their steps. When, after an age of suspense, we 
reached the furthest edge of the town, we gave them the 
spur, and did not check them until we gained the garia 
at Puebla. 

One can easily imagine my feelings as I passed under 
the shelter of the American flag, after an imprisonment of 
eight months, marked by privations and perils. I doubt 
if there was then any person in the world happier than 
myself. I went at once to headquarters, and reported to 
General Scott, from whom I received many congratulations 
and eulogiums. Semmes—my old commander—was with 
the army, bearer of dispatches from my Government to 
that of Mexico, demanding that I should be, if not re- 
leased, at least placed on the footing of a prisoner of war. 

68 My WIFE AND J. , 

Next day I passed into the hands of Lee and Beauregard, 
and was examined as to the defences of the capital, and 
from their penetrating curiosity I naturally went to a tailor. 
I offered my services to the Commander-in-Chief, and was 
appointed to the staff of the Third Division of Regulars. 
On the third of August, my division took up its march 
for the capital. The story of that campaign is now a part 
of the history of the country, and I shall not dwell on my 
own participation in it. With pride can I say that I was 
present in every battle fought in the Valley of Mexico. 
And I will be excused, in terminating the separate history 
of myself, by introducing a speech made by John M. Clay- 
ton, Senator, and afterward Secretary of State, in support 
of a resolution presented, mofo proprio, to indemnify me 
for loss when the “Somers” sunk, and for my extraor- 
dinary expenses while a prisoner, and on army duty: 

“T have the honor to present the memorial of Passed 
Midshipman Rogers, asking. compensation for losses* and 
injuries received in the service of his country: His me- 
morial is couched in terms as modest and unassuming as 
they are respectful to Congress, and glances at the leading 
incidents of an eventful story of daring enterprise and heroic 
fortitude, in captivity and distress, to which there can 
scarcely be found a parallel in the annals of the war. I 
shall ask of the Senate that this memorial be printed, in 
order that he may have the full benefit of his own state- 
ment; and I now propose to make a few remarks in 
relation to the claim which he presents, for the purpose of 
drawing the attention of the Chairman of the Committee 
on Military Affairs, and the members of it, to the facts of 
the case, because I suppose that is the committee to whom 
the memorial may most appropriately be referred. This 
young officer was one of the daring few who, in the month 


of November, 1846, were distinguished for cutting out and 
destroying the Mexican barque ‘Creole,’ then moored under 
the guns and fastened to the walls of the fortress of San 
Juan de Ulloa. Subsequently to the destruction of that 
vessel, the naval commander, under whom Mr. Rogers — 
served, was desirous that a reconnoissance should be made 
of the localities in the vicinity of Vera Cruz, as well for 
the purpose of aiding a land attack, as of destroying the 
enemy's depot of ammunition; and this young sailor vol- 
unteered, with a few others—a small boat’s crew—to per- 
form this dangerous service. On three successive nights 
this small party penetrated the dense chaparral in the 
neighborhood of the City of Vera Cruz, made a complete 
reconnoissance of all the objects of importance which they 
were sent to examine, and afterwards reported complete 
drawings of the localities around the city, which were held 
by General Worth to be of great value, as he occupied, 
in the investment of the city, the particular spot which was 
the subject of this investigation. It was during this recon- 
noissance—on the last night of it—that Mr. Rogers was 
captured by a band of Mexican guards; and his capture - 
was undoubtedly owing to his own generous impulse in 
saving a brother officer. On that occasion he narrowly 
escaped death at the moment of his capture, in conse- 
quence of the exasperated feelings of the Mexicans conse- 
quent on the destruction of the ‘Creole.’ He was carried 
that night to prison in Vera Cruz, where he remained four 
days and nights without sustenance, in a cell swarming 
with vermin, and where the only intelligence that reached 
him was, that he had been condemned to death as a spy, 
by a civil tribunal, the sole evidence offered before it 
being to the effect, that he was the leader of the party 
engaged in cutting out and destroying the ‘Creole.’ He 
‘then remained in constant expectation of death for many 

70 My WIFE AND |]. 

weeks, and when, as he thought, his death summons was 
coming, his only answer to it was the request, that he 
might avoid the Mexican mode of killing a man behind 
his back, and meet death as an American, who could look 
it in the face. He remained in that state of suspense for 
a long period; his imprisonment at Vera Cruz lasting for 
three months. For some reason the bloody sentence which 
had been recorded against him was never executed, and 
a military commission was ordered to sit upon his case. 
When Gen. Scott was advancing to invest Vera Cruz, Mr. 
Rogers was marched on foot from that city to Perote, and 
confined in the noxious cells of ‘that fortress. As the 
American army advanced into Mexico, he was again re- 
moved, and conveyed to Puebla. All his property had 
been lost in the wreck of the ‘Somers,’ and that which 
was conferred upon him by the hand of friendship or 
charity, was taken from him by the robbers; whilst his life 
was at the same time in constant peril from the excited 
state of public feeling against our countrymen. At a short 
distance from Puebla the incensed rabble stoned him, and 
on that occasion, also, he narrowly escaped death. Owing 
to this excited state of public feeling, his guard was com- 
pelled to remain with him within a league of Puebla till 
midnight, lest he should be torn to pieces by the exasper- 
ated populace in the city. When taken to Puebla, in so 
great peril was he, that the foreign residents of that State 
interceded in his behalf, and obtained an order for his 
removal to the City of Mexico. In rags and wretched- 
ness, he was marched to the capital, where he remained a 
prisoner until intelligence of the battle of Cerro Gordo 
arrived, when General Santa Anna, the hero of the Alamo, 
ordered his victim to be conveyed still further into the 
interior. Knowing that death would be the consequence 
of that removal, he made a successful effort to escape. 


Always in infinite peril, he made his way, in Mexican dis- 
guise, being often subjected to examination from bands of 
guerrillas and Mexican guards, until he reached the plains 
which led him to Puebla, where General Scott was_pre- 
paring, with his victorious army, to advance upon the City 
of Mexico. From his knowledge of the localities in the 
neighborhood of Mexico, and the numbers and condition 
of the Mexican forces, Mr. Rogers was now enabled to 
give valuable information to the Commander-in-Chief; and 
his character for courage and intelligence being well known, 
he was employed as a volunteer azde-de-camp by General 
Pillow, and in all the bloody actions which succeeded, he 
was distinguished as amongst the bravest of the brave. ‘The 
dispatches of the commanding general, whose aid he was, 
fully attest his character for skill and gallantry, and recom- 
mend him, in the strongest terms, to the notice of the 
Commander-in-Chief, bestowing upon him as high eulo- 
giums as on any other officer of his division. Engaged 
in all the other actions in the field, Mr. Rogers was par- 
ticularly distinguished for his conduct, as his brother officers 
relate, in the storming of Chepultepec, where he was one 
of the seven who first mounted the walls of that fortress, 
and planted the standard of his country over ‘the Halls 
of the Montezumas.’ The sailor has now returned from 
the wars, but no brevet commission awaits him, because 
the deck was not the field of his fame. He has earned 
his laurels upon the land, but although promotion may 
not attend him for the service which he performed upon 
land, his claims for justice are strengthened by this service; 
and the only object which I have in view on this occasion, 
is to commend his claims for sheer justice to the consid- 
eration of the Committee on Military Affairs. I think that 
a stronger case could scarcely be presented for the con- 
sideration of an American Congress. I do not undertake 

72 My WIFE AND ]. 

to point out the mode or measure of redress which the 
case demands. I leave that to the ability, the patriotism, 
the benevolence of the gentlemen of the Military Commit- 
tee. We all unite in commendation of those of our coun- 
trymen who have been distinguished in this war. We 
are accustomed to rejoice over the achievements of our 
countrymen in Mexico, without reference to party distinc- 
tions. When the gallant dead are brought from Mexico 
to their home, we follow the hearse, ‘the. war horse and 
the muffled drum,’ and unite in signifying to the world 
that the whole nation sorrows for the fallen. I hope that 
the same feeling which is so successfully invoked in behalf 
of the memory of the gallant dead, may be manifested to 
the living, and that when the pensioner shall return from 
Mexico—the crippled and war-worn soldier—claiming his 
dues, we shall be ready to award to them just compensa- 
tion for the services which they have rendered to their 
country. I hope it may never be said of us: 
‘How proud they can press to the funeral array 
Of him whom they shunned in his sickness and sorrow; 

And bailiffs may seize his last blanket to-day, 
Whose pall shall be borne up by statesmen to-morrow !’ ” 

Just here, although perhaps it might come in with more 
relevancy later, I will quote two sentences, written by my 
wife, on a fly leaf of a manuscript lecture I delivered be- 
fore the Legislature of Delaware, in obedience to its reso-_ 
tion. ‘They are precious memorials to me: 

“To me, a line, however insignificant, traced by the 
hand of my own dear Rob, is a treasure. How inestima- 
bly valuable, then, the record of a weary and painful cap- 
tivity! Subsequently, his name was resounding with accla- 
mation through the length and breadth of our land, 
while I, scarcely more than a child, ventured only to 


regard him from afar, as some ‘crystal girded shrine,’ 
immeasurably above my humble level. 
“August 23d, 1851. Live H. Ritcatr. 

“And now I am his wedded wife—privileged to share 
his sorrows, as well as_ his joys; and a holy privilege I 
esteem it. To me he is still worthy of the same exalted 
worship as when the above lines were written. I look at 
him now with the same glistening eye and heaving breast 
as then, and 

‘T’d rather live in the light 
Of one kind smile from him, than wear 
The crown the Bourbon lost.’ 

“July 2rst, 1853. LipE Rocers.” 

In the same book she commenced to copy some letters 
I published in 1848. I can not say why, except from 
that pure worship she had of me from the very time when 
she “was scarcely more than a child.” From the first I 
completely possessed her, and, thank God, she held for 
me, up to her latest breath, the same constant and _all- 
absorbing passion. It was her very life. And to-day it 
has so consecrated me, that I shall live true to it to the 
last moment of my existence. 

I left Mexico in the first train, and en roufe stopped one 
night at Perote, with my old friend, Don Ramon—seeing 
dear Panchita and all the family. He came to Vera Cruz 
with me, for the purpose of seeing, as he said, the last of 

We reached New Orleans, where Generals Quitman and 
Shields, and I, had the freedom of the city. From there 
I passed up the river, and reached my home on Christ- 
mas, as already related. 



‘“‘Lay her i’ the earth— 
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh 
May violets spring. 
A ministering angel shall my sister be ”—— 

I passed a fortnight at Booth-hurst, when I grew impatient 
of its quiet life, after the excitement of a campaign, and the 
excesses and demoralization war will always breed, with the 
best of us. Every inducement was used to keep me happy 
there, and I saw that my parents were disturbed at the 
restlessness I took no pains to conceal. I could not read— 
that taste had been unused for a long time; and my native 
town, easily amused, as it was, with all the small and 
habitual ways it had been accustomed to for a century or 
more, soon grew distasteful and wearisome to me. My 
sister was then at Baltimore. Had she been at Booth- 
hurst, she could have made it tolerable; although I, who 
had been leading so wild and semi-savage a life during 
the preceding eighteen months, could not be satisfied with 
the simplicity and every-day-alike time, of even the home 
of my parents. I was as one who had been drinking to 
excess, and to whom some stimulant was an absolute ne- 
cessity. I went to Washington and threw myself into its 
maelstrom, and was tossed within its vortex, with the thou- 
‘sands of idlers who frequent that place. From there | 
went to Cincinnati, and renewed the irregularities I had 
inaugurated at the capital. But that idle and reckless life 
was terminated by a blow that was as unexpected as it was 


terrible—the death of my only sister. The next train after 
the receipt of the news of that wholly unexpected bereave- 
ment, I started for Delaware, and reached there two days 
later, at midnight. Instead of going direct to Booth-hurst, 
I passed on to New Castle, and, halting the carriage at 
the edge of the town, I went on foot to the churchyard. 
They said my sister was dead, and yet I could not be- 
lieve it; and so, led by a strange infatuation of incredulity 
and doubt, I leaped the wall, and sought the place she 
would certainly be—where my ancestors were buried—if 
‘she had been called away by “‘sister spirits.’ How well 
I remember that night, even after the lapse of twenty-two 
years. It was mid-summer, and the long grass half hid the 
low gravestones, and the white monuments, standing here 
and there, in the “palpable obscure,” had an_ unearthly 
look, as if they were’ of those 
aes Spiritual creatures who walk the earth 
Both when we wake and when we sleep.” 

The weeping willow, standing at the porch of the church, 
hung low, to the very ground, and as the deep trailing 
branches swung to the breeze which came from the river, 
a mournful sighing reached me, and it needed no stretch 
of fancy to suppose that the spirits of the dead spoke to 
me in sympathy—wondering to see a human form bend- 
ing over a new-made grave, and to hear a cry of agony at 
finding a confirmation of its worst fears. And when the. 
clock struck from the tall white steeple I saw in the star- 
light, its sad palpitating sound seemed the murmur of 
sympathetic voices from the mid-air. In addition to all 
these, paradoxical as it may appear, the silence was pain- 
fully profound. There was a stillness, as if 

‘©All earth was but one thought, and that was death.”’ 

The scene, the solemn night, the narrow homes of the 

76 My WIFE AND J]. 

dead, and the first sharp sting of my bereavement, did not 
soften me, and fill me with that hopeful sadness which 
came later. I saw then ‘through a glass darkly.” The 
grave limited my vision. I beheld nothing except its moist, 
repulsive chambers, where was laid a loved form I would 
have died to save from wound or harm. ‘Then I half 
believed that the dead would never ‘‘be raised from their 
sleep,” and that, blind creatures as we are, we hoped in 
resurrection simply because our pride and pampered nature 
revolted at the disgusting picture of mere corruption and 
resolution to dust, and nothing more. It was later—it was 
the secret and subjective life on a sick bed, in the com- 
munion that arose from.a contemplation of another exist- 
ence; or amid the loneliness and aspiration born of a 
solitary sojourn on the sea beach, for a half summer, the 
ensuing year—that brought me something more than the 
belief that ‘“‘vxesurgam” is not an idle fancy—a mere 
shrinking from annihilation. Yet with this better nature of 
to-day, exalted and purified by an association with an angel 
during so many years, and taught by her, during her last 
earthly days, with an inexpressible pathos and tenderness, 
that we will live again—even now there are times when 
no rainbow comes to me through the mists of tears. 
When I had become, in a measure, more quiet and 
subdued under the influences of home, and the repose I 
found there, I determined to try the effect of naval duty 
on me. I received orders to report to the Hydrographical 
Department of Coast Survey. I was assigned to the party 
then engaged in a reconnoissance of that portion of the 
Atlantic Coast of Maryland known as “ Fenwick’s Island,” 
and placed in charge of a shore station. There was nota 
house within many miles of me, and so I pitched a tent 
for myself and servant. My dog and a small datau were 
all the resources I had against the emu: of idleness. Be- 


tween me and the main land stretched an immense sound, 
in many parts so shallow, that I could walk for miles with- 
out sinking deeper than my waist. I had reason to know 
this—for, in going one day to a point south of me, to 
make some observations, my boat upset, and I had to 
walk at least two miles, carrying my theodolite, before I 
reached land. At moments I was surrounded by sharks, 
but as they had plenty of small fish for food, so far as I 
was concerned, I felt they were innocuous. 

There were many days I had no work to do—when, for 
example, the steamer, engaged in taking soundings, had 
gone for supplies, or had been blown off by foul weather. 
At these times I would walk for miles, along the beach, 
gathering kelp or thready conferve, borne northward by 
the Gulf Stream. Occasionally I found the husk of a 
cocoanut, or the rind of an orange, and then, recumbent 
upon the sand, I would dream of the brilliant lands, lying 
under the tropical sun, away beyond the horizon, which 
touched the sea before me. But oftener, I closed my 
eyes to all my surroundings, and wandered through the 
past, and among the ruins of many a shattered fane, built 
by my young hopes and aspirings. I grew strangely mor- 
bid, and weary of all things and myself. I had such a 
craving, such avidity for repose, that many, many a time 
have evil thoughts pointed out to me the doctrine of the 
sophists of the Porch, “that a wise man may justly and 
reasonably withdraw from life whenever he finds it expe- 
dient.” I remember that my brother William, at that 
period, addressed me a letter remonstrating against the 
melanchoha into which I had fallen, and recommended me 
to carefully peruse Wordsworth, the poet of reflection, and 
to avoid Byron. 

I soon grew tired of that isolated, harsh life, Beside, 
I was sick, and suffered from imsommia, and my unquiet 

78 My WIFE AND J. 

heart burned within me, and threw its own lurid glare 
over all my thoughts. I was reduced to a skeleton, having 
fallen from one hundred and fifty-eight pounds to one 
hundred and three. My forehead ached and pained me 
with a sort of edemafous affection, the result of my confine- 
ment and hardships in Mexico. I suffered intensely, too, 
from rheumatism; was without curative means, and de- 
prived of all comforts. My tent—rather what is techni- 
cally called a ‘“‘fly”—gave me no shelter from the changes 

of temperature peculiar to that portion of the sea coast. 
I knew that to remain there, under such conditions, would 
seriously imperil my life; and so I determined, no matter 
what the result of such..a breach of military discipline, to 
abandon my station and go home. I did so, in Septem- 
ber, 1850, and reached Delaware. So wan and sick was 
I, that all thought me in a decline. 

Lide had just returned from school, and every little 
while she saw me at church, or in the street. She kept 
then a journal, and I was made the subject of many a 
speculation and sympathetic speech. It contained frequent 
references to my pallor and debility, and pity of the sad 
sort into which I had fallen. That journal, which. regis- 
tered the source and first throbbings of her love for me, 
I preserved until the destruction of all our letters and 
diaries, when we were about to sail for Europe. 

I first saw her, to notice her, at church, and I was 
struck with her girlish, fresh appearance, and her exquisite 
complexion—nothing more. At that period I felt very 
little interest in society at New Castle, and, like most per- 
sons who had mixed much with metropolitan people, | 
had no great partiality for provincials. This is a very 
common feeling and opinion, and, I will add, a very 
stupid and erroneous one. ‘There can be found among 
-city-bred folk, perhaps, a higher degree of art in breed- 


ing, and a more ready savoir faire; but society in the 
rural districts is kept together by a superior moral or re- 
ligious element, and, consequently, has a- higher degree of 
excellence in all those constituents which make up the 
best Christian civilization. 

The autumn and winter of 1850 were passed in Dela- 
ware. I made one visit to Cumberland, Maryland, where 
I sojourned some weeks with a friend. That time was 
pleasantly disposed of. His house was situated at the foot 
of quite a clever range of hills, over which I wandered 
every day, gathering wild anemones, and the dazzling 
leaves and blossoms of the rhododendra. I can never for- 
get those rambles; for those portions of Pennsylvania and 
Maryland, outlying the Cumberland District, are full of 
romantic mountain features, abounding especially in pic- 
turesque scenery. In the Indian summer days _ passed 
there, I was wont to ascend the highest points, and dream 
over the golden and purple landscapes, stretching away on 
‘every side, with nothing to break the profound mountain 
stillness, except the whirr of startled quail, or the~ drum- 
ming of the grouse. 

I returned to Delaware in January, having been invited 
by the Legislature of that State to deliver the lecture 
already adverted to. I read it also at Milford, and at 
Lancaster, Pennsylvania. | 

The sweet spring came, with its crocuses and primroses, 
and I found it hard to confine myself to my law studies, 
which had been resumed. Booth-hurst has a glorious 
wood—part of it so tangled and reticulated with creeping 
vines, especially grape and eglantine, that I could scarcely 
penetrate to the pretty little bowers they hid from a world 
less enterprising than myself. JI had one such favorite 
spot, where I used to keep trysts with thrush and catbird, 
which, later, came almost to know me. 

So. My Wire anv J. 

Just beyond the wood, and across the road, was a coun- 
try place called ‘‘Swanwick,”’ whose mistress, (Mrs. Fisher) 
years later, became one of Lide’s. most cherished friends, 
and who certainly was one of the most exquisite types of 
Christian womanhood I ever met with. There I went 
almost every night, and found always a select society drawn 
from Philadelphia, than which there was none more agree- 
able and refined. 


**T do not love 
_ Much ceremony; suits in love should not, 
Like suits in law, be rock’d from term to term.”’ 

Summer came, with its torrid breath, and during the 
evenings I sought the river. breezes, at a place at New 
Castle, called the “ Battery.” There, gathered the peripa- 
tetic half of the town for refreshment after the heats of 
the day, and to enjoy the brilliant effects of the com- 
mingling of moonlight and water; and to see and hear the 
golden river singing, in its wild, weird way, as it hurried 
on, and was lost in the twilight of the distance. One 
beautiful evening, I accompanied a cousin there, and soon | 
was thrown within a circle of girls, one of whom they 
called “Lide’’—my sister's sobriquet—the name, of all 
others, the most pathetic to me. She was dressed in a 
white lawn, sown with coral drops, short sleeved, and low 
necked, but not to the extent of the decollefee style of to- 
day. Her hair was exceedingly full and rich, braided in 
heavy bands, as was the mode then; and, as she stood in 
the moonlight, she seemed almost transfigured in the 
“glory that shone around.’”’ Her head was without orna- 
ment, except a single half-blown rose, circled by leaves, 
drooping on the side next her heart. Her* beautiful white 
neck and complexion gleamed, as with an awreole, such as 
the old art drew from Heaven, and threw around the 

Madonna. And I thought, then, and I have thought ever 

R2 My Wire AND |. 

since, that I had never seen such an exquisite revelation 
of purity and loveliness. It rose above her as a nimbus; 
it consecrated her, and was so distinct and diffused, that 
every unhallowed, every impure thought, perished in her 
presence. Her face—its soft, tender expression; her clear 
gray-bluish eyes— innocent, intelligent, and winning—all 
these were the insignia and livery of chastity, that was en- 
throned in her heart, and revealed its holy presence in 
her winning beauty. Her figure, too, matched all—well 

rounded, running into the rich, healthy embonpoint of youth, — 
to a little degree lacking. flexibility, only because of her ~ 

very obvious embarrassment as I approached. My cousin 
presented me, and, as -was very natural in a young girl, 
when first at the side of him of whom she had thought 
when apart from the world—even in the silence of her 
own chamber—she was fairly confused. She and I have 
often chatted and laughed, and thanked God, over all those 
dear memories; for I knew, later—in the after years of — 
fruition and happiness—that even then she loved me, had 
always loved me from the first, and that no other human 
being had ever caught her fancy for a moment. The 
dress she wore that first night, she kept throughout all the 

years of tryst and married life, and after she left me, I « 
found it, and another I had admired, carefully treasured up. ~ 

I now gave the law the go-by. The new life that had 
grown up in my heart, under the inspiration of her asso- 

ciation, possessed me completely; and I had no pleasure — 

away from her, I found her fresh and guileless, absolutely _ 

ignorant of the world; far beyond any of her sex I ever 
saw in studies which form the curricula of colleges, and 
withal, so diffident of her own powers, that she had no 
consciousness of their perfection, even when others were 
applauding their expression, and wondering at their matur-_ 


ity. I had always a romantic sort of idea, that when I ie a 


1 Bich ined to marry, I would catch, if I could, a 
n agua girl, and train her up to a com- 
similation with my own ideas. Some years before, 
: P cfitied to adopt a child of thirteen—a witching little 
elfi whose mother was a widow; and I had a vague sort 
or that I would, if she developed well, marry her. 
oe I put to myself the converse of the proposition— 
t is, if she did not develop well, what then?—I could 
A, * t answer; and so that scheme of adoption, and the con- 
fin mation of “that amity with nuptial knot,” happily failed. 
“All men—or at least many—have had the same plan. | 
oni of success in one instance, and failure in another. 
_____ That old sentiment had a rapid resurrection when I met 
a ite I saw a rare, pretty, fresh girl, as innocent as a 
nursing, very clever, passionately fond of music, and in- 
_ spired by everything beautiful, and that belongs to the 
a _ pathos of profound emotion. Her truth and simplicity, 
~ added to her educational accomplishments, were a rare 
: iat Like most young men who had been prematurely 
7 eg - introduced to the world, and who judged all women from 
; es own questionable and equivocal experience, I had 
Sy n y misgivings as to human purity—notwithstanding the 
ae of my earliest life—she at whose knees I had 
i ded little hands in prayer, and the sister who had knelt 
 besic = me. Lide had cured me of that heresy ere I had~ 
known her a week, and, at the end of that period, I was 
eally ashamed that I had ever entertained so unworthy a 
houg nt. I made up my mind that very first evening to 
have her—to win her, if it were possible. I was perfectly 
arm xe with her ingenuousness, and with the sturdy ma- 
; which made up her character. She was as the col- 
i An of a Grecian Temple—pure, upright and solid; and 
wned with the graceful volute and simplicity of the 

nic type. 


84 My Wire anp |]. 

During the long summer afternoons I read to her the 
warm metre and wonderful imagery of ‘Tennyson, or the 
clearer and purer measure and simplicity of Coleridge. 
Every day, too, I brought her a bouquet of wild flowers, 
culled from the garden of my own uncultivated heart-— 
sent letter-wise, and passionate as any. I had an autobi- 
ography of myself—incomplete, imperfect, boyish, and sen- 
timental; but in its very irregularity and wildness, and im- 
piety against rule and method, lay its whole charm and 
influence. That she kept and conned; and all its mad 
aspiration and luxuriance laid hold of her, and twined 
about her dear heart, and blossomed in beauty, and upon 
its branches her thoughts came as little birds, and sung 
of me. 

Sometimes, too, she and one or two of her companions 
went with me in a yacht belonging to my brother, and on 
one such occasion I struck on a sunken pier, knocking a 
hole in the bottom of the vessel. Dan took Lide ashore 
in a little skiff, when she behaved like a heroine as she 
was, exhibiting no nervousness or fear. 5 

And again, she and I, on horseback, wandered off 
through the long lanes, between blossoming hedgerows, 
talking low, sweet talk-—lovers’ talk—the sweet nothings 
that flow up from young hearts—words thrown into the 
stream to tell its drift. 

And when the moon came up, and the winds were 
hushed at the coming of the night; or, in the afternoons, 
when the meadows were all fresh, and dripping with the 
summer showers—she and I wandered by the river beach, 
listening to the break and dash of the swelling tide, and 
watching “the stately ships” sailing out to sea. It was one 
such evening—the sky was full of clouds, and, far and near, 
the rain, at times, broke over the fields, and shut half the 
world out from us; and the drifting mists would separate 


and open up long reaches of blue sky, over which the 
fading day struggled with the advancing night—it was then 
I asked her to bless me with her love, and to be the 
dear wife to lead me along the coming years— 

‘*VYoked in all exercise of noble end, 
And so, through those dark gates, across the wild 
That no man knows.” 

And while I spoke, I remember well that the heavy cloud- 
masses, just above us, broke, and left a little lakelet of 
blue sky, into which twin stars sailed, silvering the feathery 
edges of the environing clouds. She uttered no words, 
but bent her head, drooping low, until it nestled upon my 
breast, where it lay through the coming years, on until 
the last; and there she was hushed to her last sleep, from 
which she awoke an angel, in the Golden Land. 

The town people—at least some of them-—felt a strange 
interest in my wooing. They said that a man who had 
seen so much of the world, must necessarily have come 
away with its stains. I was a flirt—a social Free Lance, 
who made war on all, and whose shibboleth was “ Beauty.” 
Lide saw for herself; and while, perhaps, she had no 
doubts, she was sorely troubled, as her journal disclosed. 
Poor, sweet child, the heart that had so frequently, at twi- 
light, bent over one little mound in the churchyard, held 
no such wrong; and in its love for thee, it was almost as 
guileless as thine own. I knew that my native self would 
win recognition at last, and so the town reports scarcely 
moyed me. I was armor-proof, and not hurt by these 
shafts; but Lide’s mother gave them heed, at first. She 
knew the condition of her child’s heart, and that, so far as 
eligibility went, I was equal to her requisition. ‘Then she 
certainly did not understand Lide—did not know that she 
“entertained an angel.’ It is a rare knowledge, and not 

86 My Wire AND i 

often seen; but she knew it later.. And in saying this, I 
do not by any means intend to derogate from her maternal 
affection and virtues. I reached down to the depths of 
Lide’s profound nature from the first; but her family—ex- 
cept, perhaps, her aunts Mary Morris and Mrs. Gemmill— 
knew nothing of the tree from its blossom. In its fruit- 
age, though, they recognized the odor of Hesperides. 

Few parents sound the depths of a daughter’s heart— 
especially when that heart is weaned, and takes its strength 
from its own natural instincts and provision. Some parents 
seem to suppose, that, in the equipping of a child’s per- 
son, and providing food, their duties are performed. But 
even children who have attained maturity, have sometimes 
little griefs, or joys, which would send them back again 
to their mother’s bosom, if sympathy, and sweet, loving 
compassion, had not dried up, with the old nourishment. 
We do not try to forget the difference of age between our- 
selves and our children, and we take no pains to stand 
upon the same plane with them—rejuvenating ourselves, 
and trying to enter wholly into their fresh and beautiful 
souls. There is, in inexperience, something exquisitely 
beautiful and winning—especially the inexperience of a girl. 
The modest innocence of maidenhood is almost a mani- 
festation of something divine; and if ever a daughter de- 
mands the care, and tenderness, and overwatching of a 
mother, it is just when she is passing into womanhood. 
If we are not strangers within such a heart; if we can win 
our children to sob, and spend their unquietness and griefs, 
upon our bosom; if we caress them, and put loving arms 
about them, and they feel that they can take to us all 
their sorrows; in doing this—in educating so our “ bairns’”—— 
we can not better equip them to meet the storms and soil- 
ure of the world. 

Lide had a rare nature, than which there could be none 


more sensitive, tender, and beautiful. She was as a mu- 
sical instrument, of a mechanism so delicate and_ nicely 
poised, that a rough, unknowing hand jarred and impaired; 
but under an intelligent and sympathetic touch, it spoke 
with a ‘‘golden tongue” that “flattered to tears.” Then 
few understood her. She was known as intelligent, good- 
tempered, and sweet; but no one there could measure her 
to the full extent of her grand heart, so replete with har- 
monies, and the beauty we call Truth, in its largest sense. 

**To those who knew her not, no words can paint, 
And those who knew her, know all words are faint.” 

It was her isolation, her wandering through the greater 
part of her childhood without the full sympathy she coy- 
eted, and the failure of that full recognition her intelligent 
and half-divine nature required, that made her love for me 
the overwhelming and all-absorbing passion-——the beauty 
and consolation of her whole life. 

On the ninth of September, 1851, Mrs. Ritchie, Lide, 
and I, went to Philadelphia by one of the river boats. 
Lide was to spend a few days with a friend in the coun- 
try, some twelve miles away, to which point I was to drive 
her. I was then engaged to her. It was a beautiful day— 
for | remember it well—and all the trip, seated on deck, 
I talked to her, apart from all auditors. She was distressed, 
excited, and nervous. Something had reached her the day 
previous, in regard of myself. An officious friend—one of 
what the French call “rompeuses et trompettes—had said 
something highly disparaging to me and my intentions, 
and had placed to my door, purposes simply dishonorable 
and rascally. She was jarred and unstrung, doubtful, per- 
plexed, and wavering. She had not exactly mistrust; she 
did not doubt my integrity; but as she had placed her all 
on the venture of her love, and, as a deep, earnest nature 

88 My WIFE AND J]. 

such as her’s, like a vine, entwines about and is upheld 
by the tree which sustains it, she reasonably looked with 
grave alarm, lest, from some cause, her support would be 
taken from her, and she would fall to the ground, to 
wither and perish. I encouraged her by declarations of 
my honesty and sincerity. I soothed her with promises, 
and renewed the vows made at the old trysts, telling her 
that she, and no other, should be my wife. She knew 
not then—Heaven knows I knew not-—that ere another 
sun would set, each could claim the truest and most sacred 
title the sexes know. | 
Arrived at Philadelphia, we drove to what was then 
called, ‘Washington Hotel.” She and her mother went to 
bed, and I, under the sesame of a cigar, sadly wandered 
through all my past life, and tried to trace a horoscope of 
its future. I had resolved to leave the Navy, and try the 
Bar, and in some region remote from my native town. 
I expected to encounter opposition to my proposed change 
of life, and as my pride would not permit me to involve 
others in the experiment, I determined to go out alone, 
and rely upon my. own resources. I felt, too, that if I 
could twine my door-posts with nuptial flowers, ere I 
started, I would have the strongest incentive to exertion. 
In working up all these problems, in speculating and 
weaving all my plans, the dear, fresh face of the darling 
came up; her delicious and clinging trust, her surrender of 
her hopeful heart to me. If I should go, as I proposed, 
I felt that she should have entire composure, and not be 
left to the chances of scandal-mongers, who knew me as 
one knows how the trees grow, or why and how the re- 
pulsive larva, in its resurrection, becomes the velvet-winged 
butterfly. Ere my cigar had gone clean to ashes, I had 
resolved all the primary and secondary stages of my plan, 
and then I retired. | 


The next day, September 1oth, Lide had an engagement 
with the dentist, and I accompanied her. She was de- 
tained there but a short time, and, as the weather was 
delicious, she and I~naturally sauntered on the shady side 
of the street, and in a direction not by any means acci- 
dental. | 

A few months before, I had assisted at a runaway match 
between a naval friend and the daughter of an inexorable 
ex-army Officer. 1 had secured the services of Rev. James 
Bonner, who was, I believe, the Assistant Rector of St. 
Stephen’s, and well known to be ready, at all times, to 
make a fugacious couple one. ‘That morning I had bought 
a wedding ring, and, within its interior band, I had had 
engraved these words and initials: “One hope—one life. 
R. C. R.; E. H. R.” I have it now—mute souvenir of a 
happy, blessed day—it and a tress of hair, the most elo- 
quent memorials I have of my married days, and _ her, 
whose face brightens all my past worth remembering, and, 
God forgive me, is the dearest and most alluring in that 
mystic realm which, to my hope and belief, lies within 
reach of our inward sense. She wore it from that date 
until I rewedded her with its counterpart, on that day 
when she passed from this life to a better one, and never 
shall it band other finger again. 

She accompanied me, inquiring nothing, until we reached 
the residence of Mr. Bonner; and when I rung, and the 
servant pointed to the little parlor, she followed me, her 
face full of wonder and diffidence, and yet, unhesitating 
trust. When we entered, and while we waited the coming 
of the priest, I told her that I should now settle her doubts 
and perplexities forever; and that while what was to follow 
was marriage, and indissoluble, she must regard it as sim- 
ply a pledge of my honesty- and love; as a solemn and 
irrevocable betrothal, and nothing more. Mr. Bonner soon 


go . JS NAPS AND i! 

appeared, and his coming hushed any answer that might 
have struggled up to the “door of her lips.’ He made 
an inquiry as to the motive of my visit. I stated it zm 
limine, promptly and gravely, and tremulously, for I was 
embarrassed, and my pretty bride trembled, as a dove, 
frightened at the near gyrations of a hawk. At first he 
objected to marry us, because of the tender minority of 
my sweet one, who had no tongue, but over whose fair 
cheeks and neck, quick red flushes quivered, with the rep- 
etition of heat lightning, flashing through a tender summer 
even. When I told him we were citizens of another State, 
he hesitated no longer; and, under the wondering eyes of 
his wife and servant, attracted by that unusual spectacle—- 
for our appearance and dress were assurances of our gentle 
life and station—we were married. As I see it now, it 
was a poesy—a lyric full of harmonious rhythm—the an- 
thesis of two blossoms from a single stem. 

Lide, notwithstanding her position and its embarrassing — 
surroundings, felt the solemnity of the rite, and its responsi- 
bilities; and she spoke her dear promises in an undertone, 
sometimes in a whisper, her voice quivering with nervous 
timidity. And yet her joy—for she loved me—broke in 
splendor over her face; and her eyes, like an April sky, 
were wet with tears, and yet radiant with the sunshine of 
smiles. Ere she realized it, the blessing was pronounced, 
and solemnly responded to by the auditors; we had signed 
our names, received the certificate, and had passed out 
with the consecration of prayer to the street, 

** Each interwoven with the other’s fate.” 

My philosophic humor and judgment condemn such an 
act as usually dangerous, and involving great risk. I 
should say that clandestine marriages are ill-advised, very 
imprudent, and, in most cases, unjustifiable. Where one 


ends happily, an hundred terminate in sorrow, and perhaps 
in blasted lives. I must frankly say that I was not pressed 
to mine by parental rigor and obduracy. In view of the 
happy. life it introduced and inaugurated; remembering that 
it made me the owner of a heart than which no _ purer, 
greater, and more tender ever throbbed; and in the face 
of a marriage that has been so rarely beautiful—I am not 
fit to judge impartially, and to apply a criticism and re- 
proof that, in my own case, can not “point a moral.” J 
can offer no excuse, save that I saw a rich and rare treas- 
ure—an exquisite casket, replete with gems—and hid it 
within my greedy bosom, lest some one else should get it. 
And it was worth all the risk and misconstruction to have 
the pleasure, even under the rose, of calling her w/e, and 
seeing and being hallowed by the beautiful revelations the 
dear child made, from day to day, of a higher nature, a 
purer and more emotional heart, than even I dreamed she 

We kept up the same circumspection, we invaded no 
propriety; but we grew nearer and nearer, drifting into an 
intimacy not of marriage, and yet something beyond that 
of mere lovers. I lived strictly within the bounds I had 
placed about me. 

I remained at Booth-hurst until the verdure had gone, 
and the sad yellow leaves were whirled over the old paths 
in the wood by the first frosty breath of winter. I had 
some recurrence of my rheumatism, and, much to Lide’s 
distress, I determined to pass the winter at Natchez, or 
New Orleans, returning in the spring to be married. Our 
engagement was announced, and it was arranged we should 
correspond. 3 

On the twenty-fifth of November, 1851, I left for Pitts- 
burg vza Philadelphia, where my brothers Dan and Julian 
were then living. From that point I took a steamer with 

2 My Wire AND ys 

Mr. Gliddon, one of the authors of ‘Types of Mankind,” 
and his wife. She was, I believe, a cousin of Leigh Hunt, | 
and charming enough for any man to be proud of. 

At Pittsburg, I received the first letter Lide wrote me, 
calling me ‘‘ husband,” and signed, as she did most always 
through the later years, “Your own little wife.” One can 
easily fancy the rapture that came to me as my impatient 
eye lingered over those endearing terms. Such matters 
have no relation to the world; they fill a man’s heart with 
a glory as of the sun, revivifying it, and quickening the 
germs of all good feeling, charity, hope, and humanity; 
and yet they so affect the moral life—they invest it with 
such beauty, they throb with such emotion—that we never 
forget them; they survive almost all other remembrances. 
During all my married life, did that phrase—‘‘ Ever your 
own little wife’”—pathetic, and full of faith in herself and 
me, thrill me as no other expression ever could thrill 
me. And now, all the letters, except one or two little 
notes, bearing that touching profession of a love “ which 
passeth all understanding,” are gone, clean gone; and 
as I struggle to reconstruct our life, and set up her im- 
age here, I bow my head in sorrow that I can not give 
some of her letters, to show, as nothing else can show, the 
exquisite perfection of her sensibilities, and her wonderful 
faculty of expressing them in clear, graphic, and forcible 
phrase. She always wrote charmingly, but especially at that 
time. If her letters had less of the abandon of later years, 
they abounded with a joyous enthusiasm, gracefully and 
_ tenderly embodied, with a modesty and exquisite charm of 
expression I have never seen excelled. My own to her | 
are all gone, too—burnt upon the same pyre; and as I was 
then young, and loved, and was full of sympathy with ey- 
erything beautiful, and my heart half beside itself with 
the joy and majesty of her possession, it can be easily 


imagined with what wild eloquence of phrase I wrote to 
her. All gone are they, and now nothing survives—scarcely 
nothing beyond the image ‘the limner’s art’? has_pre- 
served, the shining tress, and the golden betrothal-wedding 
ring, against which the last wave of her earthly life faintly 
beat. It encircles my finger now, and perhaps when I 
pass through the gate of the skies, its image may be borne 
to her—for did she not tell me she would wait me the 
little while I lingered here? 

‘It is only proper to say that these references to the little 
things of life—the commonplaces of our experience—are 
intended to show to our children the esthetic, and, if I 
may so speak, the spiritual element in the nature of their 
parents; or, to use the scholastic phrase, the esotericism of 
the school in which the Master taught us. These minor 
phases of life, these generally unnoticed palpitations of the 
heart, are the signs which denote the degree of vigor and 
health of the love we bore to each other. 


‘* Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, 
And slips into the bosom of the lake: 
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip 
Into my bosom, and be lost in me.” 

I had a most disagreeable trip, for the season was one 
of unusual severity. “At Evansville, Indiana, the river 
banks were bridged with ice. We grounded as we en- 
deavored to make a path, and then the cold put its arms 
about us; hedged us in with solid walls of ice; hung icicles 
everywhere about the boat, in strange caprice of form and 
sparkling splendor, and scattered over the decks spangles 
of frost and snow that seemed baby stars, and dressed us 
up in such wild device and imagery, that half the day 
would I go a little distance off and admire the strange 

There was a general alarm among the passengers. Added 
to the discomfort of our position, was the fear of an ex- 
plosion; for we carried beyond the legal rate of steam, in 
the effort to extricate ourselves from our unpleasant en- 
vironment. ‘Two days of confusion, excitement, and nerv- 
ous expectation of an ascent, were quite enough for me. 
I can say, just here, that I had no fear of explosions and 
snags, but throughout all the hours, I had a little spirit 
rapping at my heart; and over my memory, as if it were 
a Claude Lorraine glass, was pictured one sweet, pensive 
face; and I heard, through the nights, a voice as low and 
soft as the whisperings of an Eolian harp, calling me back, 


and with a pathos I could not resist. I got my luggage 
on shore, and, hiring a cart to carry it to Evansville, some 
seven miles distant, I went on foot through the frozen 
snow, with the temperature at six degrees Fahrenheit. 
I had filled my wardrobe with clothes adapted to the 
pleasant tropical weather of New Orleans, proposing to 
remain there until the swallows led me north again; and 
so I suffered from a positive insufficiency of warm clothing. 

From Evansville to Urbana, I traveled in an open, 
springless wagon, and my sufferings were distressingly hard 
to endure. I reached Columbus moneyless, for my funds 
had been remitted to the original objective point, and 
passage paid through. I went, of course, to the best hotel, 
where I proposed to remain until I could get means from 

-. home. By chance I met a friend, who supplied me. I 

should add—not for my own praise, but for the sake of 
recording a pleasant incident that honored him more than 
me—that when the landlord heard I was he of Mexican 
notoriety, he declined to receive a single cent from me. 

I reached New Castle on Lide’s birthday. She had 
had no idea of my return, and so, when I threw myself 
within the door, I sent wonderment to her heart, as if 
something supernatural had appeared to her. All that 
winter through I lived at Booth-hurst, studying law pending 
the day hours, and passing the evenings at the side of the 
darling wife. She and I determined on our plans, at least 
as to our second marriage, which was appointed for April 
15, 1852. The long winter nights; the cold days; the 
heavy icicles depending from the projecting eaves; the den- 
dritic pictures painted by the artist Frost on the window 
panes; all these passed away, and the season of grass, and 
_ delicately folded clover leaves springing up from the moist 
earth; the sweep of the swallow through the soft air; all 
these were coeval with the day named for our wedding. 

g6 My Wire. anb- |, 

The night came. Our respective families, with one or two 
of Lide’s ztmes, were there. We had one single brides- 
maid, dear Bessie, my sister’s only child. Lide was dressed 
in pure white, upon her head the sweeping veil of gossa- 
mer, and the fillet of orange blossoms banding her rich 
chestnut hair; her face full of that rare expression of purity, 
so marked an element of her beauty, then and always, 
even to’the moment when she was borne to the spot where 
she sleeps now, under the fragrant geranium blossoms. 
We were married by an Episcopal minister, Rev. Mr. 
Billoup, which church Lide had declared her own by bap- 
tism. At Mrs. Ritchie’s request, we remained at her house, 
where we lived happily enough, for we had need of no 
one beside ourselves. In the attic I built a small study, 
and there I placed my little library. And through the 
evenings, Lide and I sat there, she engaged with her 
needlework, while I endeavored to master the jargon of 
“uses and trusts,’ and the “rule in Shelley’s case,’ and 
to thread the labyrinth of ‘contingent remainders.” But 
oftener I would take up and read aloud some work of 
poesy or romance—some golden-thoughted book, embroid- 
ered with pearls, and replete with the illuminated letter of 
sentiment—more fitting food to our young hearts, during 
the time of the “honeymoon,” than the uncouth and tor-_ 
tuous fictions of the common law. And by day, too, we sat 
there, cheek to cheek, looking through the small window; 
along the broad river shimmering athwart the green mead- 
ows, and twisting through the timbered slopes, far away in 
the distance. O, happy days of youth and love, how sweet 
and bright you seem, with your silver gleam, wandering 
through the past—days so dear, and yet stained by many a 
tear—remembering that you can never come again !- 

**O, death in life, the days that are no more!” 


I do not remember any out-of-the-way incident during 
that summer. Lide and I were very happy, and never so 
much so as when left to ourselves. We made frequent 
trips to Booth-hurst to dinner, spending the evenings there, 
and going home through the summer twilight; lingering, 
with a sense of awe and solemnity, in the thick wood; 
watching the darkness closing up the leafy aisles, and the 
fireflies beating against the bosom of night.. And I remem- 
ber, too, that, during the gleaning season, and at that 
same hour of “twilight gray,” she and I would sit upon 
the verandah of Booth-hufst, watching the stars coming up 
from the wood, and listening—which always had a strange 
charm for both of us—to the song and musically wild 
chorus of the negro harvesters, going townward. 

My brother William was then living at Wilmington, 
Delaware, and, of all my sisters-in-law, his wife was more 
closely associated with my young years. She was then a 
beautiful woman, unusually clever, and charming in ad- 
dress and conversation. Her house was the perfection of 
good taste, and her menage wonderfully methodical and 
perfect. Lide and I passed some days there during that 
summer, and I was happy to introduce to that household 
one so pure, and ingenuous, and natural as she was. 

I will say here that many of my friends expected me 
to take into my family some dazzling city-child, who could 
bear off the’ honors of a ball; one who, perhaps, would 
have pleased my pride for a twelvemonth; whose life would 
have been an aspiration for a society where wealth was 
indispensable, and which I had not; who would not have 
appreciated and answered my requisitions for heart and 
intelligence, and who would have broken my heart, or I 
her’s, if she had chanced to have one, ere we had cele- 
brated the second anniversary of our nuptial day. 

William was a man of rare culture, educated to a degree 


98 My WIFE AND is 

even unusual among those who claimed the degrees of an 
alma mater. 'To solid acquisitions, he added a remarkable 
esthetic taste, cultivated up to the highest demands of dilet- 
tanteism. Poetry, painting, and music, were unfailing sources 
of delight to him; and his taste was educated to appre- 
ciate their most refined and delicate expressions. In ad- 
dition to his knowledge of them as sciences, he was fairly 
versed, in the two first, at least, as arts. In the last, Lide 
went beyond him—not in the individual history of com- 
posers, and of music as a science, or in its philosophic 
aspect, but in sympathy with the genius and spirit of what 
I may call the subjective life of melody. Her grace, and 
force of expression of..sonafas, for example, were some- 
thing remarkable; for she felt every chord she struck. I 
have heard her play the ‘Six Songs without Words,” with 
a feeling and tenderness such as I never heard before or 
since, and which has brought tears to my eyes, 

Throughout all that summer we passed a half-idle life, 
making little pilgrimages to the old trysting spots, and 
going to Philadelphia on shopping excursions. During the 
long evenings we were alone in our eyrie; sitting in its 
darkness, with clasped hands, looking up to the Heavens, 
and the bright gleam of the stars flashing through their 
serene depths. Under such influences we auspicated our 
future— wondering where our lines would fall—dreading 
the separation which then began to disclose itself. 

And there, too, on one soft, early summer night, while 
we sat in the darkness, our study lighted alone by the 
stars, she laid her hand in mine, and, half in rapture, her 
voice quavering with emotion, she told me of the growing 
mystery of a new life lying next her heart—a new soul 
God had fashioned—throbbing within her, and filling her 
with inexpressible wonder and awe. And then she crept 
nearer me, and reached her arms about my neck, and 


even as a little child, laid her face against mine, and wet 
my cheek with tears. O, Father, among all the beautiful 
lives Thou hast consecrated with something of Thyself, was 
there ever one, so perfect and pure as that Thou laidst 
upon my breast in benediction ? 

‘That same summer, I presented myself for admission at 
the Bar in Delaware, was duly examined, and_ passed. 
Previously, I had been admitted at Baltimore. The next 
day, I assisted the Attorney General in the prosecution of 
an indictment of a negro, for murder. When I opened 
the case, the Court was crowded, many of the auditors 
being ladies—among whom was the darling, with inciting 
eyes. I was, at first, in a sort of terror; but my head 
served me throughout, and I passed the ordeal with honor. 

That season was one of great political excitement. Pierce 
was the nominee of the Democratic party, and he was 
assailed by the opposition press with a vituperation, and an 
application of scandalous epithets, without parallel, even in 
this country of unlicensed freedom, and unrestrained lib- 
erty of abuse. The “Tribune” charged him with cow- 
ardice ‘at the battle of Cherubusco—an accusation as unde- 
served as mendacious. During the fever of the campaign, 
I went to a small town called Delaware City, on a fishing 
excursion, in the yacht of my brother. There happened 
to be assembled there a large County meeting, which was 
addressed by prominent speakers, who met the charge of 
cowardice made against Pierce. My name being men- 
tioned, and my presence known, I was hurried up to the 
platform—rather borne upon the shoulders of the mad, 
enthusiastic crowd—and then there was that appalling. hush 
of expectation so trying to an unpractised, nervous speaker. 

The next day, and for some days thereafter, the Demo- 
cratic papers were full of my praise, and my remarks were 
pretty fully reported. I would never, perhaps, have recog- 

100 My WIFE AND if 

nized them as mine, simply because, at the time, I really 
didn’t know what I was saying. - 

That speech, and others I made, reached Washington, 
and, a few days afterward, I was ordered to a naval store- 
ship, fitting out at New York. Fortunately an attack of 
rheumatism came on, and saved me from the voyage to 
which the author of “Swallow Barn” would have consigned 
me. On my return to Delaware, I had a little bit of 
malice to gratify, and so | commenced to write some con- 
trasts of the campaign in Mexico, so far, at least, as the 
Presidential candidates were concerned; and an ex-mulitazre, 
who had served under General Scott, and who was then 
editing the opposition paper in Wilmington, replied, and 
our contest waxed warm; I—impetuous, indulged I—for 
a wonder, never, for a moment, losing my temper. When 
our disputation had reached its climax, and dialectics were 
rapidly tending to the argumentum baculinum, | was again 
ordered away—to Boston—as master of the sloop-of-war 
“Albany.” I had rheumatism then, but not quite as badly 
as when I was ordered to the storeship at New York; and 
yet I managed to get a Board of Surgeons to examine 
me, and it “condemned me’’--to employ the equivocal 
nautical term. A friend took my place, and the ‘‘Albany” 
sailed away to the West Indies, and from that day to this, 
no tidings of the hapless craft have ever been received, 

During that enforced sojourn at Boston, Mr. Webster 
died, and I went to Marshfield to his funeral. When the 
body was placed on the lawn, and I had a fair opportu- 
nity to see the face of the “Great Expounder”—to see it 
under the seal God had placed upon his lips and eyes—I 
was struck with the majestic beauty of his features, over 
which beamed that mysterious smile which the faces of 
most dead wear, to a greater or lesser degree. I remem- 
ber the day well—a soft one in the mid-Indian summer; — 


the sea, near, throbbed under the golden sunlight, while 
on the land, the foliage of the trees and shrubbery was 
painted in burning crimson. 

When Mr. Ritchie returned from China, in 1847, and 
while his wife was still at New York, he made a visit to 
Boston, taking Lide with him. They halted at Springfield, 
and, one morning, at breakfast, she saw a person seated 
opposite to her, with such a remarkable physiognomy, such 
grandeur and massiyeness of brow, that she was impressed 
with them; and when she and her father retired, she ex- 
pressed to him her admiration of the intellectual beauty 
of her wis a vis. She was then told that she had seen him 
whom the witty Sidney Smith called, ‘a walking Cathe- 
dral’”—Daniel Webster. I will add, that I have several 
times seen her face flushed with excitement over the reply 
to Hayne—especially the peroration of that speech, where 
he refers, with such strength and majesty of phrase, to the 

When I started from New Castle for Boston, I had 
arranged all my plans with Lide. I had determined to 
leave the Navy—to resign at once, rather than go to sea. 
Notwithstanding that precedent agreement, she was alarm- 
ingly nervous during my absence, lest some unexpected 
misfortune would hurry me off on a cruise. Her condi- 
tion augmented her nervous anxiety, and when I returned 
to her, some time in November, I found her quite ill. 
All that time the little life was completing its ordained 
time, and yet its advent was not expected until February. 
In December, 1852, she had a severe pleuritic attack, 
which relaxed her strength, and alarmed both her physi- 
cian and myself. Its immediate effect was to produce 
premature confinement. On the twenty-seventh day of that 
month, at 11 a.m., the little stranger made its appearance, 
“and was named Eliza Jacobs, after my sister. It was the 

102 My Wire anv J. 

tiniest human creature I had then ever seen—just big 
enough to fill a large mug; but with a perfectly formed 
oval face, the size of the disc of a sunflower. It was a 
rare curiosity to me, and I wondered whether it would 
ever grow. 

Lide entered into the struggle of childbirth wholly un- 
prepared. Instead of being strong, and disciplined for such. 
a fearful contest, she was altogether unstrung; and the 
sage-femme aggravated the evil, to an alarming degree, by 
her tenacity to the old heresy, that there is but one nur- 
ture for an infant—that given by the maternal mamma. 
Her method was all for the child, and it regarded the 
mother as a mere instrument for the subsistence of the 
offspring—nothing more. Lide’s supply was meagre and 
wholly inadequate, and she was sick and alarmingly weak; 
but these obvious disabilities had no weight with the nurse. 
These things went on unchecked, until, to my eyes at 
least, my poor darling was daily being pushed nearer and 
nearer the churchyard, just opposite. I had no disposition 
to trespass upon the gynecian domain, and yet I had, per- 
haps, some right to “be master of what was mine own.” 
A long illness supervened; the nurse was dismissed; and 
as, even then, I could not reconcile myself to the views 
of Lide’s mother as to the nurture of the little one, I left 
the house, with wife and child. 

I desired to avoid all allusion to that difference; but I 
could not wholly pretermit it, for, otherwise, I must have 
omitted all reference to the cause of the estrangement with 
Lide’s parents, which succeeded. In halting my pen here, 
it is not because of any consciousness of error, or any ab- 
juration of former opinions; but that her grave beats back 
all clamor, and hushes all strife. From that holy spot, let 
nothing but ‘violets spring.” And yet, in her tenacious 
clinging to me at that time; her entire adoption and de- 


fence of my conduct and opinions; and her deference and 
obedience to my higher claims on her heart and duty, 
above all others—all these brought into exercise a hero- 
ism, a firmness, and a devotion to me, as courageous, as 
they were beautiful 

**With all the tenderness of wifely love.” 

Pierce had been inaugurated, and Washington held two- 
thirds of the old volunteer army of the Valley of Mexico, 
and “three hundred thousand more,” ready to serve their 
country in civil life. I had fully made up my mind to go 
to some new field, “‘open to all comers.” I had resolved 
to venture out alone, as already stated, to be /ador mea 
fortuna; to have nothing from my parents even, although 
they were able, and lovingly anxious to aid me to the 
extent of their ability. I waited until the first attack of the 
horde of office-seekers had been made, and then I went 
to the capital, and was received by the President and Cab- 
inet with great cordiality. Him I had known well in Mex- 
ico; had served on his staff during the Trist armistice—he 
having been appointed by General Scott one of the Peace 
Commissioners—and had been to him, at that time, to use 
the Tennysonian simile, 

“ Kin as horse’s ear and eye.” 

My contest with the Navy Department, during the pre- 
ceding canvass, had been, I was told, a source of some 
merriment at an informal Cabinet meeting. Mr. Dobbin, 
Secretary of the Navy, was especially kind to me; as was 
Judge Campbell, the Postmaster General. ‘They endeay- 
ored to dissuade me from leaving the Navy; referred, in 
handsome terms, to the position I had attained in it by 
my conduct in Mexico; and Mr. Dobbin promised to do 
all he could for me, so long as he should remain at the 

104 My Wire AND J. 

head of that Department. But when I disclosed all my 
heart to him—told him of the sweet life infolded within 
my own, and that I loved it far beyond any mere honor 
the Navy offered—when, in one word, I opened the door 
of my heart and showed him the sweet face that made all 
its brightness, he said no more—declining, though, to re- 
ceive my resignation, until I had reached California, and 
had assured him of my success. Judge Campbell pursued 
the same line of persuasion; but when I repeated to him 
that my resolution was fixed, he offered to send me to’ 
San Francisco on postal duty, which would, at least, save 
me the enormous fare then charged. All these kind words 
and ways of men in power, touched me deeply, and I 
would have been happy, except that that very complaisance 
assured my separation from my wife, whose love for me 
was something wonderfully beautiful and absorbing. ‘The 
untried land, and the profession I had then adopted, had 
no terrors for me; all my woes and fears centred about 
the one sweet life that it seemed almost death to part 
from. I accepted the offer of the Postmaster General, 
and, when I returned to Booth-hurst, Lide knew all at a 

I busied myself in preparation. My uncle, Judge Rogers, 
who had sat with honor upon the Supreme Bench of Penn- 
sylvania for more than a score of years, loaned me a part 
of his law library, and I shipped it to San Francisco. My 
day of sailing from New York was fixed for June 6th. On 
the evening of the day preceding my departure from 
Bocth-hurst, a letter came from the President of the Pacific 
Mail Steamship Company, offering me and my family a 
complimentary passage to California, “in consideration of 
the distinguished services I had rendered the country, 
during the recent war with Mexico.” Had it reached me 
two days sooner, I should have accepted it, and taken 


wife and “bairn” with me. I had already received the 
trust offered me by Judge Campbell, and as I was bound 
in honor to execute it, I had to decline the honor ten- 
dered me by the Company in question. 

Lide had, by that time, through her dear womanly ways, 
her intelligence, and her resemblance to my sister, en- 
twined herself around the heart of my parents, and she 
stood, in their love, as their own child. ‘There was no 
need of my father’s promise to guard her—I knew he and 
my mother would do that, fully and perfectly; but all 
these assurances scarcely mitigated the grief I had. My 
proposed departure from Lide was as if the keen thrust of 
a blade had passed through the fibres of my heart. . 

She went to New York with me. Her uncle, General 
Morris, of the Army, commanded that harbor, and had his 
headquarters at Bedloe’s Island; and it was arranged Lide 
should remain some time with her aunt, after my departure. 
Then, and always, aunt Mary A. Morris was very near 
us. She stood really 72 loco parents, a position she had 
won by her earnest sympathy with, and her thorough 
understanding, of us. She always loved Lide as she 
loved the child of her own heart, and when I left, she 
took her, and, like Naomi, laid her in.her bosom, and 
became a mother unto her. To this fondness for my dar- 
ling, she added an almost devotional feeling of gratitude 
that Heaven had given her, in her own niece, an example 
of perfect womanhood. She saw, too, how I filled all 
Lide’s life, and that her love for me was “something 
apart—her whole existence.”’ She understood both of us; 
appreciated us and our trials, and encouraged us, and loy- 
ingly prepared us, by tender words and motherly ways, for 
the separation so near at hand. Of all Lide’s family, her 
aunt Mar , and her aunt Lizzie Gemmill, stood nearest 
her heart, from her early days down to the very last. In- 


106 My Wire anv J. 

dependent of aunt Mary’s moral qualities, she has an*intel- 
ligence, an intellectual energy and force, that make her 
an uncommon person. 

I can not dwell upon that portion of our life. ‘To-day, 
in this far-off land, alone in my chamber, and looking 
from my window upon the dear home where I spent the 
only really happy part of my existence, the conjuration of that 
parting blinds me with tears, and gives me many a wistful 
thought of the day when I will lie beside her. When we 
passed down the harbor and were near Bedloe’s Island, I 
saw her upon the ramparts, supported by her aunt, and I 
beheld no more of the external world until another day, 
and then we had reached the blue sea, and the land had 
gone clean out of sight. 


**T hear the tread of pioneers 
Of nations yet to be; 
The first low wash of waves where soon 
Shall roll a human sea.” 

I left New York in the steamer ‘“ Georgia,” which vessel 
was commanded by Captain James D. Bullock, an old 
messmate of mine, and, subsequently, the well known 
Confederate agent at London. His wife was on board—a 
gentle little weakling, who, a few months later, passed to 
the skies. — 

Those were the days when the worst people, of both 
sexes, formed the majority of the great body of travelers 
to California; the days when all that is true, heroic, false, 
and selfish in our nature, had expression. Our steamer- 
world was ‘‘an epitome of the macrocosm;” it had a rep- 
resentative of almost every condition of society; where all 
that is mean and generous, virtuous and corrupt, were 
strangely moving in the same orbit. Perhaps I do not go 
too far when I say, that the phenomenon California pre- 
sented, from 1849 to. 1854, will never be repeated. The 
world will not see again so many strange people, brought 
from every quarter of the globe, under the aurz sacra _fames 
that marked that epoch. One can easily imagine, that at 
no period was I led by any degraded tastes, or had any 
congeniality with depraved people—much less, at a time 
when I bore still the almost palpable impression of a 
wife’s sweet head against my bosom, and always felt that 

108 My WIFE AND |. 

her bright, pure eyes were upon me. Among the women, 
I did not make one acquaintance during the whole passage. 
There was one—a bride, who owned a sweet, pretty, and 
modest face, and, in some few regards, reminded me of 
my wife. I perhaps would have made her acquaintance, 
but, poor thing, she sickened with yellow fever, and soon 
afterward died. 

I was a fortnight at Panama, and I passed most of the 
time in wandering over the old town and ramparts; plun- 
dering its convent ruins of green moss, and the pretty im- 
bricated leaves of the leek; and in sending wifeward a 
thousand sad and hopeful thoughts. I found the separa- 
tion from her so full of ‘pain, and so productive of misery, 
and mental and moral exhaustion, that I determined to 
bring her to me without delay, no matter what the risk 
and imprudence. I accordingly wrote her to commence 
her preparations; that I should send for her at once. I 
felt no apprehension as to providing for her; but, I must 
confess, I was embarrassed when I thought of the disposi- 
tion to be made of the little one. 

Our passage from Panama was tedious and painful. At 
Acapulco, I accidentally met the Mexican officer who had 
me in charge when I was confined at Vera Cruz, and he 
loaded me with presents of fruit and fowls. I. caught 
there a severe dysentery, which alarmed me, and my few 
friends on board; but which yielded to care and medicines. 
We had many cases of yellow fever on board,.and some 
deaths; and, in all respects, the trip was one of great dis- 
comfort and unhappiness. 

We reached San Francisco July 8th, I think it was, at 
the commencement of the summer—the season of dust, and 
wind, and fogs—and my first impressions were by no 
means favorable. Then the sand-hills clasped hands, and 
almost ringed the city; and they were as magazines, from 


which the summer winds obtained supplies of pellets, with 
which, then, more than now, they peppered pedestrians. 
The ungraded streets, too, crept up and over the verdure- 
less and brown hills; and, except the scrub oak, there was 
no green thing to be seen—nothing upon which the eye 
could rest with any degree of pleasure after looking upon 
the dunes, and the tawny skin of the mountains skirting 
the bay. I felt a degree of disappointment, at first, that 
was painful—for I am sensibly affected by my _ surround- 
ings—and I thought, then, that, in all colonization schemes, 
there should be educated eyes and taste to select the best 
spots for, and to lay out, a city. The natural site of San 
Francisco is, in all elements, capital; but the mistake was 
to permit the tunneling of the hills, that should have re- 
mained untouched. I doubt if any one can show, even in 
America, any such prodigal waste of natural advantages and 
beauties, as San Francisco can furnish. 

The day I came here—that is, when I had landed—lI 
felt unutterably sad. I saw my home before me—the 
place where wife and I must pass our life, and then came 
up the thousand fancies naturally born of my new position, 
But I was not of the sort, then, that sits aside and mourns 
over “phantasms and dreams.” I stepped on shore, and 
took the nearest street, which, happily, conducted me to 
the chief restaurant of the place. Tired of sea food, I 
sat down to my breakfast with*an eager appetite. Let me 
think what I had—not for the purpose of declaring my 
taste, but to call my grandchildren’s attention perhaps, to 
the taxes imposed upon the stomach by “publicans and 
sinners,” in 1853—the period when the flush times began 
to wane. I had cafe au lait, ordinary French twist, two 
eggs, a brace of chops, a modicum of butter, and a tooth- 
pick. To pay for those things, I subtracted from my 
store four genuine dollars. I determined, then, that I 

110 My Wire anv J. 

would bring myself down to the elements. From that 
meal I rose with a half reproach to my appetite, and at 
once sought my cousin, James R. Bolton, a member of 
the house of Bolton, Barron & Co., than which there was 
none more respectable in this city. From the moment I 
crossed the threshold of his counting-room to this day, 1 
have had, from him, as generous, delicate, and rare a 
kindness as if I had been his brother. He is one of those 
men of honor, breeding, and generosity, that make us 
proud of human nature. 

Mr. Barron, his partner, was then in Mexico, and I, on 
the invitation of my cousin, occupied his cosy room. In_ 
the same building, I got an office, and, with James’ 
aid, I furnished it comfortably. So, under the auspices of 
such a gentlemen, was I introduced to the San Francisco 
world. I was then fixed, sign up, and ready for the liti- 
gious world. Mr. Barron soon returned, and he, Bolton, |, 
and Mr. Thomas Bell, their friend, made up a pleasant 
quartette, and we passed most of the time together. 

I had not been here a fortnight before I made a fee 
of some fifty dollars, with which I purchased an enamelled 
bracelet, and, having had inscribed on the clasp these 
words, ‘‘ First Fruits,’ sent it to my wife. Aunt Mary, in 
a letter which now lies before me, says of that offering: 

“JT wish I had power to paint her face, so photographed 
in my memory, when, at our home, on Bedloe’s Island, 
she received the little case containing your gift of an en- 
amelled bracelet. The expression will never fade from my 
recollection, as she held it up, and, with that sweet half 
lisp, read the words your hand had sent with it—‘ First . 
fruits for my dear wife. May God bless her, and her great 

That period of my life had nothing remarkable in it. ~ 


My days were passed in seeing the city, and in making 
acquaintances, rather than in study. ‘The fact is, students 
are not the property of new communities; they come later, 
when wealth and population accumulate, and civilization 
supervenes, with its thousand vices and virtues. 

When I reached here, I found the city divided between 
two opinions. First, there were those who held that the 
gold fields would soon be exhausted, and the country given 
up to its primal uses—supplying hides and horns. The 
corollary was: make all the money you can, and then re- 
turn to your old aris ef focts. Home was never dreamed 
of in connection with San Francisco, and when one spoke 
that sacred word, he at once pointed to the hills from be- 
hind which the sun rose. This class scouted the idea of 
the country having any agricultural capacity, and vinicul- 
tural promise; and so, denying the future of the State, they 
made no investments, as we plant fruit trees, expecting 
that in the years to come they would mature, and _ yield 
their rich products for our health and enjoyment. People 
who held that opinion, for the most part are the drones 
and thriftless part of our population to-day. ‘The other 
class was made up of thinkers and calculators, fellows who 
leap years ahead of their time. They saw the geograph- 
ical position of the city, and its grand harbor, and remem- 
bered that this latter was unique in position and capacity. 
From its headlands a keen eye, as it were, could look into 
the antipodal regions; could see the tea plants maturing 
on the hill slopes; the yellow fibres of silk bursting from 
the bosom of the chrysalis; the hum of hand-looms weay- 
ing the costly satins; they saw steamships bearing these 
valuable products to our. shores, and from thence by a 
trans-continental road they reached New York, and from 
there they were distributed worldwards. ‘They had seen 
the golden fruits laughing from among the leaves above 

[12 My Wire AND J]. 

the walls of the Mission Gardens; they saw the shrewd old 
padres pressing out the rare racemes of grape, and enter- 
taining you with home-brewed wine; and they saw, every- 
where, in our valleys, and on the hill-sides, a soil which, 
to use Jerrold’s expression, if “tickled with a hoe, laughed 
with a golden harvest.” In one word, they saw a State of 
great natural wealth, of every variety of temperature, and 
that it only needed strong hands to build it up to a con- 
dition of prosperity. ‘Those who beheld these visions, and 
had that “evidence of things unseen” called faith, are to- , 
day the capitalists and lenders. 

I believed in the destiny of the State, and, in my daily 
walks, I saw the sand-hills razed, and broad streets stretch- 
ing from bay to sea. I saw commerce and _ enterprise 
bringing to us Oriental wealth, and bearing our staples of 
wine, grain, and fruit, over and beyond the Sierra Nevada. 
I saw a great and populous metropolis lying where then 
the “golden sand” heaved up under the sea-winds; and a 
noble race growing up, under the nurture and influence 
of Christian civilization. In seeing these things, I became 
reconciled to the place, and schemed how I should bring 
to my side the dear life that was fretting beyond the sea, 

I wrote to Lide to prepare to come here, wza Cape 
Horn, in the steamer “San Francisco,’ expected to sail 
from New York in September; and as that vessel was com- 
manded by Commodore Watkins, an old friend of Mr, 
Ritchie; and as many families of army officers were also 
to embark in her, I regarded myself fortunate in securing 
Lide, through the Company’s agent here, a good cabin in 
that vessel. One morning in August I met a friend, to 
whom I communicated my good fortune in procuring the 
berth in question. Instead of congratulating me, he ex- 
pressed regret that I had concluded to permit my wife to 
take so long a voyage, and, really, a dangerous one; adding, 


that he had an old zwfime of thirty years’ standing, who would 

_ sail that day for New York, and would come back on the 

succeeding steamer, and who would gladly take charge of 

my wife on the return trip. I at once accepted the offer, 

and, as I had but an hour to spare ere the departure of 
the steamer, I wrote Lide to communicate with the person 
who was to be her escort, and to come out in his care. 
The whole thing was arranged within the hour, and at 12 m. 
the vessel sailed away, bearing the dear missive that was 
to lay my wife upon my bosom again. 

The suggestion was a happy one—perhaps I should say 
providential—for the fate of the “San Francisco” is well 
known. She was caught in a severe storm, her decks 
were swept by a sea, and the cabin, set apart for Lide, 
washed overboard. ‘The vessel foundered, and, soon after, 

These were days of almost isolation from the world, 
when we were nearly a month from New York, and so I 
was kept in ignorance when my wife would sail—and, I 
must add, in a state of most painful suspense and anxiety. 
I made several visits to New Almaden in the interval with 
my good cousin and his partner. It is a beautiful spot, 
and through the generous hospitality of these friends, who 
were the agents, I had always everything to render my 
stay agreeable and entertaining. 

On secular days, and dominical too, I took long walks 
with James R. Bolton; frequently to the ‘‘ Mission Dolores,” 
then reached by only one road, by Mission Street. Bolton, 
Barron & .Co. had large interests there, and so that was 
the objective point of our rambles oftener than any other 
place. We would ascend the highest point of the hills, sit 
astride of the ridge, as it were, looking over the valley at 
our feet; or, better than all, over the wide sea. 

At all times, a view of the ocean, with its mysterious 


114 My WIFE AND J]. 

murmur sounding in my ear, at once delights and saddens 
me. I never find any monotony in its broad expanse— 
quite the reverse. With a sense of its tremendous power ° 
comes. also soft, delicious pictures, in which sea and sky 
commingle and blend. If the wind is silent, or comes 
in “frolic mood,” nothing can equal the tender beauty of 
the silvered sea. At one moment the lover-like clouds 
come down and lie softly in its bosom; and again it 
heaves and throbs, as if it would ascend to the blue of the 
skies, and lose itself in the greater depths of the empyrean. 
I prefer it in its repose, when it lies hushed and _resplen- 
dent under the crimson splendor of the setting sun, or as 
the silver twilight rises from the nether world, bringing 
with it the wonders of night and stars. 

Then, in those walks, I looked on the sea in a mytho- 
logical sense, as a god to be propitiated; or as a good St. 
Christopher, who bore, upon his broad shoulders, the ten- 
der life which made up all my hopes and joys. Often 
and often have I then run my eye along the “ watery 
plain” to find a mote lying in the eye of the sea; a 
craft that, perhaps, held above the reach of the wild waves ~ 
all that I most loved, and whose coming would be to me 
as “sunlight in a dark place.” 

The “Presidio,” at that time, was another point of at- 
traction—not that I cared for the ceremony of “mounting 
guard,” but because I found life, and strong pulses, and 
wholesome respiration in the exhilarating air; and glorious 
lights and shades dancing upon the hill-slopes on the - 
northern side of the bay. I kept a little journal then, 
which les under my hand now. It has a few dedicatory 
lines in these words: ‘ Dedicated to my beloved wife, of 
whom are all my better thoughts, and with whom is my 
whole heart.” 

I can not say why it was not destroyed with the others, 


It should have been, for it is simply a heart-history during 
the period when she was upon the sea; of days of wretched 
impatience, suspense, and depression. And, perhaps, be- 
cause of its privacy, of its exclusive reference to her, and 
of the circumstances under which it was written, she would 
not destroy it. As it recalls an unhappy period of my life, 
and is replete with passages of pain and sadness, I will 
not quote from it, as I proposed to do when I first 
alluded to it. 2 

At that period I made the acquaintance of Mrs. Alfred 
Wheeler, whom I saw married, only four days before Lide 
came. ‘They say brides are always pretty. She was rarely 
and dazzlingly so. In her rich wedding costume, and 
within the charmed atmosphere which surrounded her, she 
was one of the fairest pictures I ever saw. She is a pure 
blonde-—usually an insipid style of beauty, and infrequently 
opulent with character. She is a charming exception—a 
person of marked mental and moral characteristics, and, 
in many respects, unusually superior. ‘Those who have the 
honor of her intimacy, will bear concurrent testimony to 
her attractive charms. I give her this special notice, for 
she was the most intimate friend my wife ever had—-nearer 
to her than any one on this coast, her own family by no 
means excepted. It was one of those rare female friend- 
Ships distinguished by entire unselfishness, founded upon 
congeniality, delicate and refined; and where there were 
sympathies of taste, and, in many ways, of feeling. 


**Absence, with all its pains, 
Is by this charming moment wip’d away.” 

On Saturday, October 15, 1853, just at sunset, Lide 
reached here in the. steamer: .“‘ Cortez,” vza Nicaragua. 
She was, if possible, more girlish looking than when I left 
her; so very young in appearance that people would not 
believe her a married woman. Our child had been left 
behind; first, because I had desired it; and next, being 
weaned, there would have been difficulty in providing 
proper nourishment for it. The method of - preparing 
milk, so common now, was not generally known then, and 
cows are not usually found on steamships. It was my 
intention to send for “ Lala,’ (for so she had nicknamed 
herself) the next year; but I did not foresee that she would 
take so firm a hold of my parents, so that, to separate 
them, would be almost impossible. It was a grievous 
error on my part, and I here confess it. 

I had prepared a room for my wife on Stockton Street, 
in one of the two houses called “ Botts’ Row;”’ had fur- 
nished it expressly for her, and finding wall paper exactly 
like that which I. had placed in the ‘Eyrie,” at Mrs. 
Ritchie’s, I had the room papered with it. The chamber 
set of furniture I bought for her then, she used, up to her | 
departure for Europe, and she would never permit me to 
substitute a handsomer and more fashionable one for it. 

The next day after her arrival, she, James Bolton, and 
I, started for a walk of the enczente of the city, and we 


ended it by ascending the steep slope of Telegraph Hill, 
from the eastern side. From there she had a view of the 
neighboring country, the bay, sea, and purple Coast Range, 
than which there is nothing prettier anywhere. I can 
honestly say J did not see, that day, any of the exquisite 
reaches and coloring of hill and sky cousin James called 
her attention to. I saw only the pure, pretty, ruddy face 
of the wife I loved with all my heart. The day I remem- 
ber as one of unsurpassed tenderness—soft, clear, and blue, 
and so transparent, that objects far away could be seen 
with unusual distinctness. It was, to use a line from 

“One of those heavenly days, that can not die.” 

And again I say, bright and beautiful as were the heav- 
ens and landscapes then, they had no such divine aspect 
and suggestiveness as did that small wife-face, which 
glowed with soft and bright eyes, and a complexion never 

We remained a month at the boarding-house referred 
to, which was not especially agreeable, and then I took a 
house at the southwest corner of Lombard and Dupont 
streets, just erected opposite that occupied by Mrs. Wheeler. 
The situation overlooks the north bay, the stretch of stream, 
and mountain ranges, which make the view, looking 
through San Pablo Bay from North Beach, one of rare 
beauty and picturesqueness. On the left is Angel Island, 
and as you go seaward, your eyes rest upon a succession 
of mountain peaks and ridges, great gaps, ravines, and de- 
pressions—the dreamy apex of Tamalpais crowning all— 
such as one never tires of; at least one who finds in fine 
scenery, not only natural beauties, but lessons, that educate 
our hearts and minds up to the grand truths God writes 
upon the hills, and meadows, and floods. 


118 hy WIFE AND if 

The high ground upon which my new residence was sit- 
uated, sloped gently to the bay; and when, as during the 
rainy season, it was covered with verdure—as well as the 
opposite hills—nothing could be. more beautiful. If San 
Francisco, in mid-summer, has, in its physical surround- 
ings, many repelling features, its winter season brings full 
compensation for the poverty and threadbareness of the 
dry. From autumn to spring, the temperature is unequaled. 
There are no sudden changes; no abrupt introduction of 
snow-storms; and no keen, trenchant blasts. Ice rarely 
forms, and when it does, it does not outlive the forenoon; 
and snow comes no nearer than the Coast Range and Mt. 
Diablo. Then the whole country is one vast lawn, and 
every tuft of grass is interwoven with wild flowers. Even 
from the sides of the sand hills, strawberry plants and 
lupines hang blossoms of showy splendor. In the small 
piazza of our first home, Lide and I used to sit, especially 
on the Sabbath days of the winter time—the time of the 
young grass and flowerets, and soft, windless mornings and 
noons—watching the ships passing to and fro; the silver 
waters of the bay running off among the hills about 
Benicia; and the innumerable changes of the clouds, that 
hung low enough to touch the ridges of the mountains of 
Marin County, which come near to the bay, and cast 
shadows into its clear waters. She had a strong taste for, 
and appreciation of, the esthetic in nature; and no one— 
not even John Ruskin—had a nicer eye for the great 
chiart oscuro of the clouds and mountains. ‘The hills are 

the canvas where that great artist, Nature, best displays her 

richest combinations of lights and shades; and upon those 
immediately opposite our house, the soft light of the fore- 
noon, and the grander splendors of the sunset, gave magic 
changes that no tongue, or pen, or pencil could even ap- 
proximately portray. ; 




At the boarding-house just named, there were two 
brothers, with whom I became quite sociable; and when 
I spoke of going to housekeeping, they requested I would 
permit them to live with me. I yielded to their request, 
and yet my wife did not approve of it. I regarded them 
agreeable, and I supposed they would be rather an ac- 
quisition than a drawback. Besides, those were the days 
of high charges and extravagant ways. Kents were some- 
what appalling—all the way from two hundred to five 
hundred dollars per month. Peaches one dollar each, and 
difficult to get at that price. Strawberries twenty-five dol- 
lars per quart; eggs six dollars per dozen; fresh butter 
four dollars per pound; and coal seventy-five dollars per 
ton. ‘Help’—to use the New England phrase—was from 
seventy-five to one hundred and fifty dollars per month. 
To a man whose office rent was in proportion, his mensal 
expenses were really alarming.. I saw, the other day, a 
copy of the Fee Bill of the “San Francisco Medical Soci- 


ety, at that period. Here are some of the items: 
For a single visit, in a case in which no further visits are 
I oa ol oe ks ap glee ceca da aene odens $ 32 
For each visit during regular attendance, or for advice at 
RED RR a 16 
Mummmedetaimed. for each hour...:...:.....:..---..eeede ce 32 
Seememrttsem Opinion, Or advice..........-......065 $50 to 100 
For a consultation visit in the night......... .........05. 100 
For an opinion involving a question of law................ 150 
For a certificate of the state of health..... ......... Bake om 50 
eosin contin yas wins weds keels ase wentee’ 32 
Smee Ordinary labor... .... 6.0... c eee eee neee 150 
Por the extirpation of tumors...................-.- $100 to 1,000 
Sueeeeeperation for cataract. ........... 5c cece eee e eee 1,000 

My two friends shared all my household charges, and, 
guoad hoc, their association was desirable. 
That first winter in California was eminently a happy 

120 My WIFE AND J]. 

one. Lide and I were no longer separated, and the very 
presence of each to the other was the saumnum bonum of 
our hopes. All the days we were at Wheeler’s, or they at 
our house, having little card parties, and petit soupers; or 
we would mount on horseback, and wander through the 
defiles of the sand hills to the sea beach. Very frequently, 
too, at their house, there would be musical parties, when 
some celebrity, such as Vieuxtemps, would be introduced, 
and others, whose names I have now forgotten. As | 
have already said, I write all these pages from mere un- 
aided memory. I remember bare occurrences in plenty, 
but the life and motion which made them beautiful and 
agreeable, have almost, .long since, perished, and are for- 

Buntin (for so I always called her) and I, at least once 
a week, went to the theatre on foot; but on grand benefit 
nights, we appeared ez grande /enue, and went in a Car- 
riage, which cost enough to buy a horse elsewhere, On 
the odd lay evenings, when she and I ventured out by 
ourselves on a frolic, she would put on long boots, and, 
with umbrella and lantern, we picked a path down Stock- 
ton Street, through pools and sloughs; and frequently have 
I carried a candle-box, with which I bridged many a hole, 
or lakelet, obstructing our path, And when we reached 
dry ground, or the planked sidewalks, we would go to a 
grocery store, and beg the grace of room for our lantern 
and soiled boots. And then we would step aside into 
some little nook, where we were screened by make-believe 
candle and tea boxes; and my pretty one would draw off 
her boots—or rather I would for her; smooth her rich 
hair; and I played looking-glass, by indicating when this 
or that article of dress was arranged. No need had that 
exquisite face and head for any other adornments than her 
glad expression and happy eyes, her rich complexion and 


- glossy hair, then braided, as in the trysting days, in broad 
puffs. Wherever she went, she won admiration—for no- 
where could be seen a face more sweet and happy. 
These pictures are perhaps very commonplace and trivial, 
and yet they are the sum of my married life. As my wife 
and I were in no sense public persons—as indeed the cur- 
rent of our existence flowed placidly under the delicious 
shade of home—of course the narrative of our occupations 
and pastimes must be, in a certain sense, entirely devoid 
of all excitement and romance. But is there no _ teach- 
ing—are there no lessons to be found in a life passed 
wholly within the limits of home? If I should say, as I 
do, that my wedded days had been entirely contented and 
happy, would it not be a rarer occurrence, and more sug- . 
' gestive, and holding more practical and higher. moral in- 
struction, than if I could record here a career of political 
successes and excitement, or active participation in battles, 
Or prodigious accumulations of misused wealth? When 
One passes beyond forty years of age, he sees the world 
through a different medium than that which belonged to 
his early years. He rates human success and human tri- 
umph at a heavy discount; and he sees in the crown, won 
when his blood beat quickest, only tinsel and~ pasteboard. 
As one nears the goal, and looks back over the past, to a 
career of quiet married days—trials borne cheerfully for the 
dear wife’s sake—with an inward satisfaction at having 
done all in his power to keep from her the heavy hand 
of the world; feeling that he has led her, with a cheerful, 
tender solicitude, through all the years, loved and cher- 
ished her with a whole heart; believe me, there can be 
no satisfaction, and tranquil, inward content, like to these. 
As now I stand alone with broken vases at my hearth, in 
which lingers still the perfume of crushed flowers; as I 

seek, from day to day, the places where she has been, and 

122 My WIFE AND J. 

feel this constant craving to see her face again; and as I 
lift my gaze from these ruins of home and heart to the 
golden skies whither I believe she has gone, and where 
perhaps I will meet her again—better satisfied am I with 
these fragments from the old life at home, than could I 
be with any earthly honor. In telling my children of what 
we did and thought; in going over the mere routine of 
our daily life, and teaching them that all I am and all I 
have enjoyed are the blessings she gave me—in these they 
will find the highest philosophy and the noblest guerdon 
the world can offer. It is to show them ourselves under 
the influence of home and happiness, and our ways and 
forms of thoughts, that these pages are written. 

We passed that first winter in the avocations named, and 
when the spring came, Lide and I were heartily tired of 
promiscuous housekeeping. Such associations were well 
enough in the early days of California, when the menage 
was sO enormously expensive; but as I was growing stronger 
to meet all such demands, I resolved to dissolve the un- 
congenial copartnership. In pursuance of that plan, I took 
a small house on the south side of Union Street, west of 
Mason, just then finished, and we went there with a single 
servant. It was a baby house, and yet large enough for 
a pair of lovers such as we were. Our principal guest 
then was Charles L. Strong—a man who possessed a hearty, 
generous, and gentle nature, and to whom both Lide and 
I were attached. He had a delightful establishment over 
his store, on Montgomery Street; in arrangement and com- 
fort, perhaps luxury, the finest in the city. As I desired 
to get Lide in a more central position—our own being in- 
conveniently remote, and its approaches difficult to pass 
over, especially during the rainy season—lI accepted Mr. 
Strong’s invitation to join his mess. That was in the sum- 
mer of 1854. 


I did not attend to my business, at that time, with ex- 
emplary assiduity and application. I was satisfied with that 
_ degree of industry that brought me a sufficiency of means 
for my wants. I passed most of the time with Lide, and 
she and I, and Mr. Strong, made afternoon excursions 
around the city, and as far as San Mateo—which latter 
place was then, and for some years later, the goal for 
double team races among the gentlemen of San Francisco. 
Indeed, it was the only baiting-place to be found on the 
peninsula; and a pretty good hotel had been erected there, 
where many San Francisco families spent the summer. At 
that period it was notable as being the spot where the tim- 
bered lands of the peninsula commenced, and where groups 
of really respectable oaks could be met with. Then this 
city had few or no gardens, and its appearance, during the 
summer, was desolate and threadbare in the extreme. 

Lide and I were happy enough to get, even occasionally, 
into a country where there were sunshine and shade. At- 
tached to the hotel was a garden, where a rose, or other 
household shrub, could be seen, and in which we delighted; 
-and over in the clefts and dimples of the hills were to be 
found groves, and the music and silver spray of mountain 
streams. Many a Sabbath morning have we wandered 
there—out of reach, to be sure, of the sound of the church 
bells; but where were, nevertheless, ‘“‘God’s first temples’”— 
the groves-——and the silence of the glades, and the swelling 
abutments of the hills, which, in mid-summer, were golden 
with wild oats; or, in winter and &pring, starred with wild 

During that period Lide and I had several agreeable 
trips—to Napa, to Martinez, and to New Almaden. 

In May, 1854, the family of Mr. Ritchie arrived here, 
and immediately went on to Benicia, where they resided 
until some time in 1855. Lide went to see her mother 

124 7 My WIFE AND ], 

on board the steamer, whither I accompanied her. She 
did not then encounter her father. ‘The year succeeding, 
_ the family residence at Benicia was burnt to the ground, 
when Mr. Ritchie removed to San Francisco. 


‘*What are your politics ?—I have none; 
I have my thoughts. I am no party man; 
I care for measures more than men, but think 
Some little may depend upon the men; 
Something in fires depends upon the grate.” 

In the autumn of that year—that is, in 1854—I was, 
quite unexpectedly to myself, nominated as a member of 
the Assembly. It was a period of intense political excite- 
ment. The government of the City and State was in the 
hands of a clique of tricksters, whose sole aim was official 
pillage. ‘The municipality was, to them, as a stranded 
whale to Laplanders. Nominations were made only for 
the purpose of making plunder formal, and_ securing its 
fair and equal distribution among the disinterested persons 
who formed what are called conventions. These latter were 
the Pretorian Guards, who bestowed the Purple, not ac- 
cording to the Alexandrian mode, ‘‘to the most worthy,” 
but to the highest bidder. The very ballot box was denied 
to peaceful, honest voters. The exercise of the simple 
elementary privilege and duty of a citizen as a suffragist, 
was to place one’s person in danger—omitting all refer- 
ence to abuse from the professional party workers. A 
select coferie controlled the whole election, named candi- 
dates for the fat city offices, and elected them. The 
“stuffing” of ballot boxes, and the use of bribery, were 
open and barefaced; and that inalienable right of the 
American citizen to elect his own rulers, which makes the 

126 My Wire anv J. 

clap-trap phrase of stump orators, was the veriest joke and 
travestie ever enacted under the solemn forms and safe- 
guards of law. The worst Irish element had the ascend- 
ancy; and it was as insolent as it was corrupt. 

At “Laurel Hill Cemetery” there is an elaborate mon- 
ument, tall, costly, of bad design and worse execution. It 
is erected over one they called “the man of the people ”— 
who was mechanic, and then Senator. He had been a 
stone-mason, and from the granite he and his father had 
chiseled, his character and courage had taken hardness and 
firmness. He had the physique and force of a gladiator, or | 
of the modern pugilist; and, in the early times here, he 
had passed to the head of political bullies by mere muscle, 
resoluteness, and will. He had fidelity in friendships; was 
true to all his pledges, whether to punish or reward, and 
so he passed to his chieftainship by a rude sort of chiv- 
alry, in which was some natural virtue. He had fixed his 
regards on the Senatorship. He coveted a seat among the 
patres conscript, in that Hall where his father’s chisel had — 
aided in carving the ruffled acanthus leaves on the capitals 
of its noble columns; and that cynosure sometimes blinded 
him and his coadjutors to the nice distinctions men call 
honor—a blossom or flower, though, we rarely seek in the 
morass named Politics. He was one of a triumvirate that 
sought to govern the City and State; in whose energy there 
was something manly, and whose determination and strat- 
egy, to a certain extent, had something heroic in them. 
He came from the prolefaires, but he rose above them— 
not from educational fitness, but by the exercise of a pro- 
digious will, avd a judicious system of pensions and re- 
wards. Had he had intellectual force coequal with his 
resolution, then David C. Broderick would have been a true 
type of a class which popular governments, for good or 
ill, frequently bring to the surface, But it must be said 


in this connection, that such a man, and such qualities, in 
a community influenced by educated and refined men, 
would never have lifted himself into any position beyond the 
petty posts a ward, or township, can confer. His success 
and advancement grew from the crude elements of society 
here, and the disorganization peculiar to the extraordinary 
circumstances attending the colonization of this coast. 

When he had attained the prize, to the pursuit of ‘which 
he had given so many years of intrigue, and for which he 
was entirely unfitted by mind and association, he became 
honest and incorruptible, they say. He was, though, sadly 
out of place on the floor of the Senate—without that ad- 
dress and ecla¢ which come from long association with 
society, and which are borne gracefully only when they 
spring from a proud self-consciousness or intellectual aplomb. 
But he represented a principle, nevertheless—that of the 
spirit of free government, and equal rights before the law; 
and which is now the vital force of progress, and irresisti- 
ble. It culminated in the late civil war; it has slain its 
thousands and ten thousands; he was an early martyr to it, 
and his death consecrated a life that otherwise would have 
been without one manly triumph, and unworthy of any 
special commendation. 

His competitor, but afterwards his tributary, William M. 
Gwin, represented the party which led Broderick to mar- 
tyrdom, and which, in. turn, hopelessly fell before Rich- 
mond. He had the education of a gentleman, and, fro 
tanto, was fitted for Senatorial life at Washington. But all 
the world said that his eyes were always fixed upon the 
Spolia opima, and upon nothing else. In that respect he 
was not eccentric; for placemen, at Washington, are there 
only for the purpose of relieving the Government of its 
plethora of money. 

At the period I speak of, Irish preponderance, insolence, 

128 My WIFE AND ). 

and influence, set in motion, in San Francisco, the “ Know 

Nothing” element, and the “ Lodges” of that order were 
thronged; not by converts to its really narrow principles, 
but by people chafing under the rule of iniquitous politi- 
cians. They would have ranged themselves under the 
“Great Dragon” himself, to clean the city of the “vile 
crew’? which impoverished and disgraced it. 

On the eve of the election, in September, 1854, at a 
mass meeting, held at the Metropolitan Theatre, a People’s 
ticket was nominated; and the next day, details of citizens 
who had determined on a fair election, armed themselves 
to protect the sanctity of the ballot boxes. ‘Their candi- 
dates were overwhelmingly successful. It was one of those 
sudden popular ebullitions not misnamed Revolution. 

To my chagrin I was elected. I had endeavored to 
defeat myself, by beseeching my friends to vote against 
me—for Legislative life, at least in California—to a man 
thoroughly home-happy, and, I hope, honest—was simply » 
the tyranny of self-denial. When I married, I laid aside 
all ambition in my entire contentment and happiness. 1 
put away all my old aspirations; and I deemed that the 
highest good I could accomplish, would be to dedicate 
myself to her, who afforded me more joy and_ pleasure 
than could be extracted from honor or station. I had seen 
enough of society in its generic sense, and I knew that 
its highest triumphs are merely the largest opportunities for 
display. Wife and I had no wish to be lifted out of sight 
of each other, and we desired no domain larger than our 
hearthstone. We did not, by any means, underrate the 
world, and the many advantages it offers to the successful. 
We merely set a higher value on our own happiness, and 
we fully appreciated the truth and beauty of Hare’s ex- 
pression, ‘‘that to Adam, Paradise was a home; to the 
good among his descendants, home is a Paradise.” 


As I grope among the odds and ends of that period, 
lying pell-mell in my memory, I come across one face, 
old and furrowed, and belonging to an odd sort of person 
enough; and yet, who was not without a large admixture 
of donhomie and intelligence. I refer to Henry S. Foote, 
Esq., a quondam Senator from Mississippi. He had just 
then built a residence on the opposite. side of the bay, at 
San Antonio, and had decided to remain here, long enough, 
at least, to try his chances for the Senatorship from this 
State. He had a hearty admiration of Lide, and he omit- 
ted no opportunity of expressing and evincing it. He 
regarded her as a person of unusual force of character, and 
in the possession of educational accomplishments of a high 
order. He has said to me, time and again, that he 
thought her one of the best educated women he ever met 
with, and with every moral and physical feature to match. 
He regretted she could not be persuaded to place herself 
at the head of a Pacific Female Seminary—not from any 
need to herself, but to meet the requisitions of a commu- 
nity rapidly increasing in population and culture. In one 
word, he would have persuaded her to be a benefactress; 
to be, in education, on this coast, what Florence Nightin- 
gale was in therapy, in the Crimea. Perhaps if she had 
not been a happy wife, she mzghf have been a “school- 
marm,” for which she had a half sort of penchant. Let us 
not underrate the dignity, and even grandeur, of the posi- 
tion of teachers. They are secular parents in the schools, 
and on their example and precept, in a great measure, de- 
pend the very life and character of a nation. What an 
institution of learning can accomplish, when fitly and ably 
conducted, may be seen by a reference to the chronicles 
and matricula of Harrow and Rugby. 

I determined to accept my Legislative responsibilities, 

more especially as there was to be a Senator elected. 

130 My WIFE AND ‘3 

The contest was narrowed down to Broderick and Gwin, 
and outside of them no choice was possible. ‘Those were 
the days when majorities were bought, sold, and “traded,” 
as any chattel; and when the Legislature, supposed and 
intended to be the cream of the State’s honesty and intel- 
ligence, was purchasable and purchased as you buy any 
means to an end. 

En passant, I will say, that these are the concomitants 
of what we call popular governments; and the more widely 
diffused the liberty, the greater and more flagrant the cor- 
ruption. Let the voting franchise be restricted to a prop- 
erty qualification; make a knowledge of reading and writ- 
ing, and of the language of the country, conditions pre- 
cedent to the right of suffrage; give to the Presidential 
tenure a term of not less than a decade of years; abolish 
the noxious system of rotation in office, and adopt the 
principle of guamdiu se bene gesserit as the sole condition 
of incumbency. Do these, and you advance the premium 
on honesty and education; and a strong government will 
be the necessary consequence. 

Lide was then enczenfe, and so I would not permit her 
to accompany me to Sacramento; and to live at Strong’s 
without me, was not, of course; to be spoken of. In that | 
dilemma I wrote my brother Dan to abandon his resi-— 
dence at Pittsburg, and to come to San Francisco and fol- 
low his profession, the law. He yielded to my wishes— 
more especially as the fuliginous atmosphere of that city 
had seriously impaired his health. He reached here a 
few days before the Legislative session commenced, and 
under his protection and care, Lide lived during my absence. 
The fact is, that during the whole winter I vibrated be- 
tween the capital and this city; for my wife fretted over 
our short separation, with an urgency and discontent equal 
to my own. During the fever of the Senatorial contest, 



no member could be absent from his seat, for fear of what 
is expressively termed a snap judgment; and so Lide came 
to Sacramento and remained with me until the Joint Con- 
vention had adjourned, sie die. When I was finally lib- 
erated, I was as joyous as a lad at vacation time. 
‘And four and twenty happy boys 
Came bounding out of school; 
There were some that ran, and some that leapt, 
Like troutlets in a pool.” 

On my return I took the house I had formerly resided 
in, opposite to that of Mr. Wheeler—Dan of course coming 
to live with us. 

On the twenty-ninth of May, 1855, Eustace Barron was 
born. He was named after my friend, Mr. Barron, who 
has been already referred to. He was a sturdy fellow from 
the first, and never, during his whole infancy, did he give 
his mother the slightest trouble. Soon after his birth, we 
removed to a brick house a client had built for me, on 
Prospect Place, near California Street. From Lide’s room, 
which opened upon a balcony, there was an extended and 
pretty view of the bay, and the hills which outlie Oakland. 
At this time, Dr. R. T. Maxwell became our family physi- 
cian. Up to that period, Dr. C. F. Winslow had held that 
relation, which was terminated by his departure from Cali- 
fornia. As both Lide and I had been educated in the 
belief that the attendant physician of a family should be 
carefully selected, both with reference to his professional 
ability and his character as a man and a gentleman; and, 
when so chosen, should not be put away except from 
grave cause—Dr. Maxwell remained in that position up to 
my wife’s translation to her home beyond, and holds it 
yet, with me and my children. 


‘* While yet we live, scarce one short hour perhaps, 
Between us two, let there be peace.” 

“ Oh, men! what are ye, and our best designs, 
That we must work by crime to punish crime.” 

When the intelligence reached here of the capture of 
Sebastopol, the countrymen of the Allied Powers in this 
city held a grand /efe, opposite to the house of Mr. Ritchie, 
in honor of that questionable triumph. He invited some 
of his friends to come to his residence to witness the cel- 
ebration, it being ‘‘a good place of espial;” and-he selected 
that occasion as a fitting opportunity for a reconcilement 
with Lide and me. When his nephew, William G, Morris, 
who was tenderly attached to his cousin, brought the olive 
branch, its acceptance or rejection was left exclusively to 
her determination. I knew there could be found no wife 
more tenacious of her own and her husband’s dignity than 
she, and so I promised to be guided by her. She prop- 
erly decided to accept the situation. We went, and she 
was folded within her father’s arms, from which she should 
never have been separated. 

From day to day she grew more and more dear to him, 
and he saw what a treasure he had in his eldest born, who 
was singularly and remarkably unlike the rest of his child- 
ren, both in character and appearance. He was quick to 
perceive her moral and intellectual wealth, and he beheld 
in her a refinement—an exquisite specimen of womanhood— 


that had no approximation, much less equality, in his own 
household, if indeed it had in all his association. He was 
a man to instinctively recognize the exact relation that 
thoughtful acquirements, and an exquisite moral organiza- 
tion, bear to specious emotions, and, what is aptly and 
sneeringly termed, sciolism. 

Then, and all the years afterward, did Lide thank God 
that she and her father had been reconciled—for, July 
g, 1856, he was thrown from his wagon while going from 
Sonoma to Napa, and instantly killed. In all the sad cir- 
cumstances attending that event, the imparting the news 
to her poor mother, consoling and nursing her, Lide de- 
-clared herself the true daughter and woman. 

I have already stated my ideas of Mr. Ritchie’s charac- 
ter, that he was a remarkable man in many _ respects— 
foremost in his profession, clear and precise in reasoning, 
and even profound in his deductions. He possessed a 
rare encyclopedical knowledge; and yet, in many special- 
ties, he was even perhaps in a certain sense learned. I 
have hitherto expressed the surprise he gave me once by 
his exegesis of some chapters of the Old Testament. He 
was a good and faithful husband; firm and steadfast in his 
friendships, sociable and conversational; and yet a man of 
strong and obstinate, and, of course, sometimes, unjust 
prejudices—a quality now and then associated with sturdy 
characters, as his, but as frequently a concomitant of weak 
ones. ‘The obituary which follows is from the pen of Chief 
Justice Baldwin, of this State, and the author of ‘Flush 
Times,” and of “ Party Leaders :” 

“Tt is due to the memory of the lamented Captain 
ArcuipaLp A. Ritcuir that some notice should be given 
to the virtues which distinguished him in life, and the ex- 
traordinary qualities which adorned his character. He was 

134 My WIFE aNnpD ): 

born at New Castle, in the State of Delaware, on the 
twenty-eighth day of January, 1806. His life was enter- 
prising and adventurous. Few men have experienced more 
of the vicissitudes, or borne part in more stirring and ex- 
citing events than Captain Ritchie. Whether in the United 
States or China, he exhibited the best qualities of the 
American merchant. He possessed an extraordinary intel- 
lect, whose natural vigor was greatly improved by reflec- 
tion, reading, and study. Indeed, it is not extravagant to 
say of him that he had talent enough to qualify him for 
‘almost any station of honor or trust, in any department of 
administration or practical affairs. As a writer, few men, 
even writers by profession, equaled him in the vigor and 
masculine sense which distinguished his productions. He 
was acute, discriminating, and well informed upon all the 
questions of the day, and he was blessed with a judgment 
remarkable for its solidity and clearness. It was impossi- 
ble for any one to converse with him for an hour without 
acknowledging the presence of an intellect of uncommon 
strength and scope. He was one of the best types we ever 
knew of an intelligent, comprehensive merchant; who had 
a true conception of the dignity of his calling; who saw 
the relations which his profession held to the great interests 
of the world. He was a man not only of enlarged intel- 
lect, but of great moral worth. He lent himself readily 
to the advancement of every scheme of public interest, and 
encouraged by his influence and his purse every worthy 
object of public importance that claimed his attention. 
Nor only this: he was kind, humane, and charitable toward 
all deserving objects. He was a warm friend, and in the 
relations of domestic life irreproachable. No man lent 
more ready or efficient aid to the support of the laws of 
his country, or inculcated a higher reverence for the prin- 
ciples of free government; no man had more honesty of 


purpose, or went further, or was more self-sacrificing in 
his devotion to what he esteemed correct principles of in- 
dividual or governmental action. He was at once one of 
the ablest men, and one of the most public-spirited, liberal, 
enlightened merchants, we ever knew. 

“Probably no man commanded more of the public es- 
teem, or wielded a greater, though it may have been a 
quiet, influence, than Captain Ritchie; for he loved not 
ostentation, and never obtruded his views upon his fellow 

“We have often heard the remark that if Captain 
Ritchie had been educated for the law, he would have 
been a leading member of the bar; and elevated to the 
bench, would have been a distinguished jurist in any State 
in the Union. Yet with such gifts, it may be doubted if 
he were not less appreciative of them than any intelligent 
gentleman of his acquaintance. He possessed social qual- 
ities of a high order, and though energetic and diligent in 
business, found time to devote himself to the education of 
his children and to the society of friends. 

“The loss of so good a man, at this time, may be con- 
sidered a public calamity; while it brings to his bereaved 
family a burden of grief only relieved by the sympathy of 
a large circle of friends, and a consciousness that the life 
which has gone out was not spent in vain; that he whom 
it animated was useful and honored when he lived, and 
will be affectionately remembered now that death has re- 
moved him from our midst. 

“The heritage of a good name has fallen upon his 

My brother Dan, who had been in bad health for some 
time, and to whom a sea voyage had been recommended, 
left us in January, 1856, on board the United States frigate 

136 My WIFE AND J. 

“Independence,” for a cruise through the South Pacific. 
He was offered the post of Secretary of the Commodore 
commanding the squadron, which, while it afforded sufh- 
cient activity to his mind, gave him ample leisure to visit 
the different points where the ship might touch. It is not 
the office of these memoirs to dwell upon merely collateral 
incidents and individuals; but I can not overlook the de- 
parture of Dan, without pausing a moment to express my 
estimation of his character. He and I are the two young- 
est of our family, and we have been more nearly associated 
than brothers usually are. From the days of our earliest 
boyhood until now, I have never seen him different—al- 
ways the same gentle, sweet, and self-denying person. As 
a child he was eminently pure, and as a man he is still 
the child. I can not conceive of a person more religious 
and conscientious than he. With him it is but a step to 
Heaven. He and I have been chastened -alike, except 
that to him God was perhaps more kind, by taking his © 
wife before she had 

‘Set herself to him, 
Like perfect music.” 

But he finds a consolation in his well-disciplined mind, 
sanctified and strengthened by firm and habitual religious 
ways, that I can not. Her death found him a true and 
unquestioning Christian, while through the grief that too 
frequently hardens, I must struggle with doubts and per- 
plexities, and perhaps never attain that peace which im- 
parts to his life such an enviable charm. In vain do I - 
seek among all my acquaintances for a man who, in all 
the constituents of a Christian gentleman, is greater than he. 

The political frauds already spoken of, and more espe- 
cially the intrigues of the late banking firm of Palmer, 
Cook & Co., induced an ex-banker—James King of Wil- 
liam—to publish and edit a small penny sheet, for the 


declared purpose of calling general attention to such abuses, 
and, if possible, remedy them. I do not use too strong 
a phrase when I say that the political corruption in this 
city, at that period, was unequaled anywhere in depravity. 
The municipality was in the hands of a clique as dishon- 
est as resolute, and its magnificent dowry was wasted under 
the forms of law, and was distributed as the spoils of party, 
to keep up its unity and solidity. Worse than all, there 
was no remedy—for, I am sorry to add, the Judiciary in 
the last resort was too frequently ‘induced by potent cir- 
cumstances.’ Decisions then were sometimes a matter of 
secret or contraband traffic, and there was always a pro- 
chain amt, who, for a consideration, would, Procrustes-like, ~ 
make the law accommodate itself to any suitor, or to any 
- circumstances. 

The chiefs, and, to use the cant term, “the wire-pullers,” 
were the targets for King’s thrusts—among whom was one 
James Casey. The community foretold—at least antici- 
pated—the result; for such scoundrels assumed to them- 
selves the impunity to murder as to steal. King was shot 
by Casey, in the public street, in broad daylight. That 
outrage stirred the town to its profoundest depths. So 
Rome was agitated, some centuries before, when Cesar 
fell; and so will be any community, not thoroughly base, 
when vice plays the bravo, and essays to stifle censure. 

He lay becalmed between two worlds for many days, 
and then the current swept him off into the mists which 
veil eternity. His pulse had ceased to beat, but not so 
that of the great public he had, no matter from what mo- 
tives, desired to serve. His death provoked a tumult—for 
he died in seeking to introduce reforms, and he was, in 
the popular favor, placed among the Demiurgiu. The 
mob—trather the people—organized and armed themselves. 
They suspended, to a certain degree, the operation of the 


138 My WIFE AND ]. 

law, and, sitting as a High Court of Appeals, hung Casey 
precisely as an abnormal tribunal had, some few scores of 
years before, led Royal Charles to the block. It was not 
done by constitutional ministers; it had no precedent within 
the rules and decisions of courts; but it was justice worthy 
of an Oriental apologue, and not the less commendable 
because dehors the law. I must confess that there are 
sometimes; in these popular ebullitions, a decided manifesta- 
tion of the divine spirit of Right. They may be danger- 
ous, and they are; but they purify and cleanse as the 
lightning, and they sear like it, too. 

The “ Vigilance Committee” fortified itself on Sacramento 
Street. From its own number it selected an Executive 
Committee, and it sat as usurpers; but the usurpation was 
healthy, and it transfused new blood and life into the com- 
munity. It hung—not in every case justly; it expatriated, 
but with too nice a discrimination; and it administered a 
crude sort of equity with a Cromwellian energy. During © 
its rule the city was governed as it had never before been 
governed, and one had a sense of security never experi- 
enced under that imaginary symbol called the “e@gzs of 
liberty.”” It was one of those rare occasions when the 
people felt, and thought, and saw clearly; and, in the 
main, did right. Jnterdum vulgus rectum videt. ‘This 
phrase expresses my ideas, but its scope was too narrow 
for Lide. She was strong in her democratic ideas; be- 
lieved in the people with a larger faith than I did, and 
was as unaristocratic as John Bright, or Guiseppe Gari- 
baldi. She had read and reread Mill on “Civil Liberty,” 
and knew Carlyle by heart. She applauded the doings of 
the “Committee,” as she applauded all intelligent and gen- 
erous popular manifestations. But let us place here some 
limitations, else she will be misunderstood. That which 
moved France in 1793 was right, as a principle, but ter- 


ribly cruel in action. The Protectorate was full of high, 
honest motives, and, in its contest against the tyranny of 
the Throne, right and worthy. The Declaration of Natural 
Justice, penned by Jefferson in ’76, and which makes the 
corner stone of our constitutional edifice, is perhaps the 
highest expression of human progress and liberty the world 
has ever seen. ‘The war it introduced was not only defensi- 
ble, but it is the grandest landmark Christian civilization 
in its progress has set up, since ‘‘the Lord God of Israel 
visited and redeemed his people.’’ Thus she thought, and 
such examples taught her a love of that Justice and Free- 
dom which, after all, are the highest qualities of our Anglo- 
Saxon race. It was that same teaching which made _ her 
so zealous, and true, and devoted, during the late civil war. 

We may revile as much as we please, but the Puritan 
element is indestructible. It is identified with progress, 
educational triumphs, and the best conquests of civilization. 
It is the active principle at work everywhere, and to resist 
it, is simply impossible. Lide and I have had many a 
sturdy battle over such matters, and her intelligence always 
supplied her with proofs and illustrations, and her native 
sense of justice and right, with arguments. In all cases, 
and under all circumstances, she had a cool temper that 
nothing could disturb or upset; and she reasoned with an 
intuitive synthesis. She fought in such arenas as a Refarius,; 
covered you with a net, and then gave the coup de grace 
at her leisure. Judge Currey, late Chief Justice of this 
State, and a lawyer who appreciates and can detect dia- 
lectics, told me that in analysis and an acute perception 
of sophisms, he had rarely seen her equal. ‘‘I heard her 
once,” said he, ‘“‘give an exposition of Renan’s specious 
reasoning in his ‘Life of Jesus,’ that filled me with won- 
‘der and admiration.” The honorable Judge is right; but 
where he saw one swing of her mace, I have seen a 

140 My WIFE AND ]. 

thousand. I should say, while on this subject, that so 
thoroughly did she hold in contempt all displays, and 
withal so modest and unpretending was she, that she was 
always annoyed when I alluded to the. line of her studies, 
and her proficiency in branches of education generally 
supposed to be outside the tastes and position of her sex. 

To show how little she was cramped by the modern 
system of female education, at least that which prevailed 
when she was educated, I will add that she had an extra- 
ordinary enchant for both physiology and therapeutics. 
Her physician, Dr. Maxwell, can bear witness to her re- 
markable aptitude for these studies. Her mind seemed 
peculiarly prone to all subjects connected with, say, geology, 
botany, chemistry, anatomy, and history. Professor Wm. P. 
Blake, author of ‘Geological Reconnoissance in Califor- 
nia,” and a brochure entitled ‘‘’The Reduction of. Silver 
Ores,’ and who is even now, while I write, the geologist 
of the San Domingo Commission, thought her, to use his © 
own phrase, one of the best lay-geologists he ever met 
with. For several years he was accustomed to visit my 
house very intimately 

indeed, was my guest for many 
weeks—and, frequently, he and my wife were employed 
with a small laboratory he used in the field, in testing 
metals and making analyses. 

In etymology she was more proficient than any unpro- 
fessional person I ever met with, and her knowledge of it 
was remarkable—-certainly so, when we regard her sex. 
‘When a question of radices arose, I was satisfied with a 
reference to her. While at Strong’s, Judge Freelon, a 
friend of his, and an old one of mine, whom I first knew 
in Mexico, we being in the same division, was accustomed 
to dine with us several times a week. He has many ac- 
complishments, but he especially prided himself on_ his 
critical knowledge of pfzlology, and in this term I include 


ideology. No dinner ever passed without a discussion be- 
-tween him and my wife on some radix or other, and I 
never knew him to come, but that Webster's Dictionary 
was served regularly with the soup. Mr. Strong and I 
were merely auditors when these wranglings commenced, 
and during their continuance; and he and I, and, for that 
matter, the Judge, too, will admit that he was, in that 
especial branch, no match for her. ‘To give, too, due honor 
and dignity to the triumph, I believe my judicial friend had 
been, at one period of his life, a college Professor of Greek. 
_ Lide’s knowledge of Latin, to which she applied herself 
for some ten years, aided her, as a matter of course, with 
the e/vmons, and it facilitated her in‘her teachings of Eustace 
in that language. Indeed, he will admit that, from his 
mamma, he acquired a more thorough knowledge of Latin 
than from his regular teacher, who is a canfab. Last year, 
when I attempted to take her place in teaching the child, 
and reading ‘‘Czsar’s Commentaries,” he, with more 
frankness than politeness, said: ‘‘Papa, you don’t know 
half as much Latin as mamma did.” The boy was quite 
right, and if he had said so of a half dozen other things, 
he would not have gone far astray. 

Her readings.were what almost all her sex call ‘‘heavy.”’ 
Her prime favorites were Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, 
Draper, Prescott, Motley, and Thackeray. She took to 
modern novels as a pastime, or by way of relaxation, and 
of these, I think Reade was her favorite. I do not mean, 
of course, to place him, in her estimation, above, or equal 
to, Thackeray and Dickens, whom, with Hawthorne, she 
regarded as at the head of the present school of romance. 
Her prime pet, and which she read over and over again, 
was the “Newcomes.” She regarded it as a wonderful 
book, and, perhaps, unequalled in the language. It had a 
rare charm for her, as it has for all lovers of genuine, 
hearty sentiments. 

142 My Wire anv J, 

In poetry, of course Shakespeare held the prominent 
place, and she had studied his works as one studies a lan- 
guage. No one could have a heartier admiration for him 
than she had, and few general readers could excel her in 
her critical appreciation of his wonderful composition. In 
this connection, I must not omit to say that the ‘ Book of 
Job” was a great favorite, and that she frequently read it, 
and each time was impressed with its theosophy. 

Then came Coleridge, Tennyson, Longfellow, and Shelley, 
in all of whom she delighted, from a sympathy with all that 
is delicate in thought and expression. ‘There was another 
book which, especially during her early married life, she 
read with a great deal of care, and the boldness and daring 
philosophy of which had a peculiar charm for her; I mean 
Bailey’s “ Festus.” I think that work, and some kindred 
teachings in pneumatology, and my example, led her into 
some experiments of table-moving, and, let me frankly and 
bravely say, spiritualism. I will speak, though, of this 
subject later. 

She had no very exalted idea of the literary talent of 
her sex, and no one despised more thoroughly than she, 
the claims women put forward for equality and the right 
of suffrage. ‘‘Strong-minded women” were her abhor- 
rence, and lest she might be suspected of such a tendency, 
it made her anxious to conceal the peculiar tastes she had 
for studies usually called masculine. She believed that God 
-had drawn natural and clearly-defined limits to her sex, 
which it was folly to endeavor to overleap; and while she 
thought that statutory law and usage were unjust in nar- 
rowing the sphere of woman, and excluding her from 
employments naturally within reach of her physical, mental, 
and moral capacities, yet, she held to the belief that the 
happiest, proudest, and most influential position her sex can 
aspire to, and which should satisfy all the aspirations of true 


womanhood, is that of wife, in its best sense, and, naturally, 
of mother. 

She had an admiration for George Eliot, perhaps, more 
than for any other /ierateuse; but she had an idea that the 
literary faculty in her sex is rare, and always lacks the 
power, philosophy, and grandeur of that in man. 

With all her strong points in taste and cultivation, prone 
as they were, from their intrinsic force and quality, to step 
upon the domain men claim as their own, she had, never- 
theless, as rarely delicate and refined sensibilities, and as pro- 
found and tenacious affections as could be found anywhere. 
While as a wife her merit was exquisite and unexcelled— 
while she clung with implicit trust, and, in clinging, 
declared the sweetest charm of her sex—yet, at the same 
moment, her perceptions were so keen, her foresight and 
forethought so far-reaching, that even while she clung she 
would counsel and direct. I can honestly say that I never 
erred in following her advice, but that I always did when 
I disregarded it. In three matters, especially, growing out 
of my business, I consulted her. They seemed plausible 
to me, and promised to be richly productive. She warned 
me against their tempting seeming, and pointed out to me 
their meretriciousness. I turned from her judgment, and 
was guided by my own. The result was disaster, and the 
rescue that followed came through her wifely ways, and the 
pursuance of her judicious counsel. 

I now regarded myself as permanently settled here, and 
so I resolved to get a home of my own, “however hum- 
ble.” Besides, Lide, at that period, was threatened with a 
vertebral weakness, and Dr, Maxwell recommended a house 
without stairs—that which is described by the word ‘“bun- 
galow.” As I never halted in my efforts to make her 
comfortable and happy, I bought her a lot on Brannan 
Street, near Third, almost w7s-a-vis to the home of her 

144 My WIFE AND }: 

mother, and at once commenced to build. I proposed to 
erect a temporary establishment, and so I did not use any 
care as to plan or adornment, and beauty of construction. 
Indeed, at that period, a very common sort of house was 
an expensive affair. Mechanics were in great demand, and 
their per diem was scarcely less than that of a Senator, and, 
I must frankly say, more honestly earned. Later, when I 
desired to multiply conveniences, and to remedy original 
defects made or suffered by the contractor, I found it a 
most expensive process, and it tasked my architectural tastes 
and ingenuity. 

On the tenth of September, 1856, the anniversary of my 
first nuptials, Lide, Baby Eustace, I, and a “deft lass,” who 
answered to the name of Mary, took formal possession of 
our first, and the only home I ever had, as a married 
man. It was hard work to make a pathway through the 
confused mass of household utensils, lying pell-mell within 
the little rooms. Lide was spared all trouble. I made her. 
sit quietly upon a sort of dais I had constructed, from 
which she could look out and direct. As I recall the 
whole scene now, I am reminded of Captain Cuttle in the 
house of Mrs. McStinger—‘ his legs drawn up under his 
chair, on a very small desolate island, lying about midway 
in an ocean of soap and water.” All the little chars re- 
quired in the new building, arranging and adapting every- 
thing to the demands of comfort, employed me for many 
days. But it was home, and when we planted, we hoped 
to reap. The promised blossoms on the shrubs I placed 
in earth under her eye, were for ourselves, and they were 
beyond the caprice of an unromantic landlord. How 
beautiful, too, and how full of a very tender pathos, is the 
sight of the little ways and domesticities of a happy home: 
the charming foot-prints and unpremeditated finger-marks 
seen where a loving, cultivated wife presides; the fragrance 


and softness that make its temperature; the grace and 
beauty that consecrate the commonest objects; the tiny 
shoes left by the barefooted dazrns on the floor; the mu- 
tilated toys scattered carelessly about; and through the open 
window, come, perhaps, the lisping voices of the ‘chiels’”’ 
from among the drooping branches of the willow in the 
garden. Ah, me, in drawing this picture of the old, happy 
time, but gone forever now, I feel glad to think, that the 
days which come and go are bearing me nearer the little 
mound where she lies. 

I turn from this writing, and look along the walks where 
she lingered through the gone years, when the soft, bright 
days of early spring clothed all the plants with the wonders 
of leaflets and buds, and the blessed showers beaded them 
with glittering rain drops. The scene is but little changed 
now. Even while I write, the moon comes up from 
behind the hazy hills, and hangs like a jewel in mid-air— 
filling the old garden with quivering alternations of light 
and shade—and, so bright is it, that only here and there 
can I see the soft beam of the stars. The trill of the 
linnet, that in the old, happy days she and I listened to, 
as it came from the jasmine tree, breaks out again, filling 
me with strange thoughts, with eager aspirations for an 
inexplicable something which is, and yet is not; and from 
which I go back helpless—I came near to add, hopeless, 
to the sharp disappointments of this “ work-day world.” 

To-day, while the setting sun was throwing golden shafts 
through the waving willow branches, and beating against 
the casement of her old room, I stood in the garden 
walk beneath, waiting, in spite of my disenchanting mem- 
ory, to see the dear face, as I have in the aforetime lin- 

gered to see it; for she often, at that hour, came there to 

146 My Wire anv J]. 

fill her eyes and heart with the wonders of the burning 

sunset, that, 
‘“Like a sea of glory, 
Spread from pole to pole.” 

And as she stood in the golden air, and the light fell with 
a tremulous gleam athwart her pure face, and flecked her 
beautiful hair, she seemed the type of all that is spiritual 
in humanity—even as a saintly figure apotheosised by the 
old art. There were the sunbeams as of old, and the 
open window through which they poured and laughed 
along the wall; but her face came not, though I waited 
until the twilight filled all the walks with sombre shadows; 
and now-—now do I bitterly know I will never see it here 

A day or two ago, while ransacking my desk, I came 
across some detached leaves of a journal, written at that 
period. They are at once a / deum and a maserere, full of 
the new home and happy forecastings, and recording my 
first recognition of the sickness which has brought such 
utter desolation to me. 

In November, 1856, I was elected Public Administrator 
of the City and County of San Francisco. My nomination 
was unsought, and I was elected without resort to undue 


**Divines can say but what themselves believe; 
Strong proofs they have, but not demonstrative ; 
For, were all plain, then all sides must agree, 
And Faith itself be lost in certainty. 

- To live uprightly, then, is sure the best; 
To save ourselves, and not to damn the rest.” 

The journal last referred to contains frequent allusions to 
experiments in spiritualism, which I investigated with my 
wife, and several friends, who were by no means credulous 
or easily imposed upon, if we admit that imposition is 
probable among honorable people who meet at a private 
house for the purpose of exposing an error, or confirming 
a truth. I refer to that inquisition as a concatenation in 
the chain of our lives, and because I really think it bears 
useful lessons. Our children are entitled to some insight 
into our religious convictions, and I shall state them frankly. 
It is a delicate subject, I know, more especially in this age 
of intellectual activity and inquiry. Except from Froissart, 
I think it was, I hardly ever heard of spiritualism until a 
friend, the brother of Dr. KKane, the Arctic explorer, men- 
tioned to me some strange—one especially—happenings in 
his own knowledge. Then, again,-it was a subject of 
earnest conversation one evening at the house of Dr. 
J. K. Mitchell of Philadelphia, who was a physician of 
much eminence, and who related to me some wonderful 
phenomena lying wholly within his own experience. Later, 
on my passage from New York to Aspinwall, in 1853, 

148 My Wire AND J]. 

Captain James D. Bulloch narrated to me a strange inci- 
dent, which occurred to him in connection with a person 
he and I had known well. Some two years after I had 
reached here, I saw, at the house of a friend, for the first 
time, some experiments in table-moving. Whatever the 
power may be—magnetic, electric, or spiritual—the table 
did move, and under my touch. “It was a trick,” you 
say. Perhaps ¢hat was; but later, I have seen table-moving 
demonstrated in startling contradiction to Professor Fara- 
day’s dicta to the contrary. I need not add, that, assuming 
the table did move, it does not follow the motory agency 
came from a spiri/. I admit the non-seguitur,; but if with 
the movement you can connect an intelligence outside of 
yourself—or, to use quaint old Burton’s distinction, if it be 
obsession and not possession, what then? To employ the 
logical phrase, this is not pefito principi—it stands in the 
category of proven. 

We conducted that inquiry for our own honest purpose 
of testing the truth of the alleged and seemingly well- 
authenticated communication with the spirits of those we 
call dead. We had our curiosity to gratify, and yet we 
sought to probe the subject to its foundation. We never 
went astray over it; never experienced any super-excitation; 
met all developments with a clear and sifting mind, and 
accepted nothing on faith. But all who struggle for the 
truth, no matter with what composure, strength, and eleva- 
tion of mind, must pay at least the penalty of misrepre- 

It is difficult to say, with precision at least, the exact 
influences upon me resulting from that inquiry; but I 
can honestly add that no harm followed—quite the con- 
trary. If then I had impulses and intellectual mercuri- 
ousness, they were held in check by the calmer.and more 
analytical temperament of my wife. She and I believed in 
the princ~ple—that is, as Bailey expresses it: 


“That spirits are about us, and believe 
That, to a spirit’s eye, all heaven may be 
As full of angels as a beam of light 
Of motes.” 

We always believed in it, as most Christians do, and as 
all the Christians nearest to Christ, in point of time, did. 
If I am asked whether we gave credence to all or half of 
the declared revelations made, or professed to have been 
made, by “ Media,’ I would unhesitatingly say no. On 
the contrary, we held most of them to be charlatans, and 
worthy of the d:/does. But, at the same time, I declare 
that I have absolute faith in the supernatural appearances, 
as authenticated by the Scriptures, as well as by the experi- 
ence of holy men and laymen, throughout all the ages 
lying within the leaves of the Chronicles. John Wesley 
said, that to. give up witchcraft, is to give up the Bible. I 
suppose no Christian questions the New Testament in its 
testimony as to demonism, nor the abundant evidence fur- 
nished by Old and New, as to the ministrations of angels 
or good spirits. ‘To me the admission that they ever 
existed, is to admit the fossibility of their re-appearance to- 
day; and the acceptance of one class, whether of good or 
of bad spirits, is, by the law of correlation, to allow the 
other. The “familiar spirit” of the Bible I firmly cling 
foyer, to give my faith clearer expression, I call it 
“guardian angel,” which every household, that has an 
empty chair, must accept. While I reject, as already 
stated, many of the alleged evidences of spiritualism, I 
believe, nevertheless, that God sometimes permits the angel 
world to exercise an influence over some, or all of us here. 
The Pope issued an Encyclical Letter some few years ago, 
admitting the truth of spiritualism, but called it a device of 
Satan. Bishop Hopkins of Vermont, in an address deliv- 
ered before the ‘‘ Young Men’s Christian Association” at 

150 My WIFE AND {: 

St. Louis, was equally frank and admonitive; and so of 
many other ofthe ecclesiastics. It is very proper for the 
Church to warn us against errors, and the evil machinations 
of the Devil; but as to pneumatology, and: the constitution © 
of the life to come, Lide and I thought for ourselves. 
For myself, I can say that I have something beyond instinct, 
and yet entirely separate from reason, as to the reality 
of another existence. I recognize, frequently, within me, 
an unmistakable something super-sensual, that no human 
being can reason me out of. . And, in addition to these 
spontaneous convictions, let me say that I can see, in the 
nameless and indefinable spiritual expression visible on the 
faces of the dead, the calm and smile left and imparted 
by the soul in its first recognition and reception of the 
golden life just then apparent to its consciousness. Arch- 
bishop Hare very properly said, “‘that the imagination and 
feelings have each their truths as well as the reason. ‘The 
absorption of the three, so as to concentrate them on the ~ 
same point, is one of the universalities requisite to a true 
--It is well to remark here that I am not arguing any 
question of faith; not assailing any tenet or usage of the 
Christian Church; but merely anxious to present my im- 
pressions, to state the struggles I have borne, and the gen- | 
eral influences which have directed me. I can add now that 
I prefer the religious condition which has its basis upon the 
moral, rather than the intellectual life. I hold that love, 
rather than philosophy, is the best evangelizer. | 
Lide and I held at- that time, indeed, at all times, an 
identity of creed on all these subjects. We had great con- 
fidence in the Church as a teacher, and as an important 
coadjutor in modern progress; but Lecky, Draper, Spencer, 
and Huxley broke a little of our reverence for much 
taught by theology. They instructed us that there had 


been, and were, perhaps, errors and absurdities in much 
of that part of the hierarchy built up by councils; and we 
did not accept all the Church taught merely because so 
taught. That is, as members, we did not surrender our 
reason and conscience to the keeping of the priesthood. 
Our private judgment did not manifest itself openly against 
the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, but, at the 
same time, we did not give to all her instructions absolute 
submission. We recognized the right involved in the ac- 
cepted truism, that God’s ‘service is perfect freedom.’”’ We 
acknowledged the earnest, and, I will say, inspired effect- 
iveness of the Church as a civilizer; and, as the aggregated 
efforts of the united many are more powerful for good 
than. the desultory and undisciplined acts of the few, we 
attached ourselves to it. It was proper, too, as an exam- 
ple, and as conducing to a more subtle spiritual com- 
munion in its offices of adoration and worship. 

I hope I am not misunderstood. God knows I mean 
right, and am far from feeling and _ believing anything 
unworthy of the example and teaching of the dear ones 
who “departed this life in His faith and fear.’ Neither 
do I desire to depreciate or belittle the Church, which 


And ends, and rightly, in Heaven and with God; 
While Heaven is also in the midst thereof.” 

I have declared that the effects on me flowing from an 
inquisition into spiritualism, were more beneficial than 
Otherwise, principally because it called my attention to a 
much neglected subject. 1 had been disposed to doubt and 
cavil—perhaps, reject. I had been a deist, and strongly 
impregnated by the pantheism of the oldest Greek philos- 
ophy; and while the investigation taught me nothing of 
revealed religion, it put me on the inquiry as to that, and 
all cognate subjects, and, so far, it was beneficial, Then I 

152 My WIFE AND ]. 

simply held to the primary truth, that we are in the hands of 
an all-wise and omnipotent God, whom I did not and do not 
invest with the dread elements so often taught us, as making 
up His nature, by those strict constructionists called Cal- 
vinists. JI gave and give to Him more merciful and more 
loving attributes than most pulpits teach, and I believed 
and believe, that the purpose of our creation was higher 
than that we should be used as fuel to keep ablaze the 
“flaming horror of consuming’ fires.” 

I can say that I have examined with some care, and, 
perhaps, critical judgment, the passages relied upon to sup- 
port the cremation theory, and I do not regard them as 
by any means intrinsically strong enough to support a 
doctrine so cruel and sanguinary. It is to attribute to 
God passions and qualities that would degrade a man— 
making Him more cruel than he of old, who hung tablets 
so high that people could not read. them, and who then 
punished them for an innocent disobedience. 

‘*They who read not in the best belief 
That all souls may be saved, read to no end. 
We were made to be saved. We are of God.” 

Sin musf, in some way, answer for its transgression of 
God’s laws; but not to the extent of eternal and unre- 
deemable damnation. How we are to be punished, He 
only knows; but that there will be something just and 
expiatory, I do not doubt. I merely question the sound- 
ness of the belief that there will be fire and hell through- 
out the eternal cycles, if at all. I have been. often struck 
with that incident in our Savior’s mission when James 
and John asked Him if He would ‘command fire to 
come down from Heaven, and consume” the Samaritans 
who did not “make ready for Him.” He rebuked them, 
saying: “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 


For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives, 
but to save them.” He said also that we “‘are of more 
value than many sparrows.” This chapter records the 
general nature of my struggles and doubts, and discloses 
the tribulation under which I have lived many a year. 
My greatest difficulty had been to comprehend, from an 
intellectual stand-point, the necessity, object, and nature of 
the afonement. The theory and the historical proof both 
suggested embarrassment, and when one regarded them by 
the law of probabilities, scanned and analyzed them, he 
turned away dissatisfied and doubting. JI have had hard 
work to throw from me the influence left after a perusal 
of the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of ‘Gibbon’s Roman 
Empire,” a work of wonderful research, and impressively 
majestic in its composition; and even now, when I venture 
out upon that sea, with Reason as my pilot, I am sure 
to sink “foundering in the vast abyss.” 

At first sight it seems incomprehensible that a God 
should assume man’s nature; be born in a manger; be 
compelled to escape into Egypt; should unhesitatingly ac- 
cept the betrayal, the scourging, the crucifixion—a death 
so ignominious and cruel—He who could “pray to His 
Father, and he shall presently give Him more than twelve 
legions of angels.” 

And then I wondered—believing as I do that all the 
starry worlds are inhabited—whether people there demanded 
_the same redemption as we. I did not question the fact 
that, at the period named, there appeared some remarkable 
person who did perform the wonderful acts we call mzracles, 
but their ascription to the “only Son of God” was rather 
difficult to accept. 

Take Swedenborg for example, whose reputed “inner- 
‘sight,’ and spiritual association and intercourse, rest pre- 

cisely upon the same evidence as the miracles do, viz: 


154 My Wire AND J], 

human testimony. If that same testimony has any value 
at all, we must believe that he communicated matters, and 
declared facts wholly impossible, except on the theory of 
his professed relation with the spiritual world. And on 
the authority of such vouchers as Erasmus, together with 
my sound faith in such fossblites, as well as on the 
structure and intrinsic sincerity of Swedenborg’s philosoph- 
ical writings, [ am not prepared to say that his followers 
are infatuated and heretical. Strange as it may appear, 
(I merely declare a conclusion, keeping back all insight 
into the ratiocination) the Swedish philosopher has helped 
me in my recognition of the truth of the Redemption. 
But there were two other aids which have largely contrib- 
uted to produce that result. During the last year of Lide’s 
life, when she was spiritualized by sickness, and bore God’s 
seal as an angel—and so to me was as one inspired— 
she professed her belief in the a/onement. ‘That avowal 
forever silenced my doubts, and calmed my intellectual 
agitation, as to that subject; and so I say I am a believer. 
The other is that the New Testament bears intrinsic testi- 
mony of a divine mind, and that it is quite beyond the 
invention and capacity of that dual-natured animal, called 

And yet all the wonders declared in the New Testament 
are not a whit more strange than the thousand marvels 
constantly, daily recurring in the physical world: the rising 
and setting stars; the little life, imprisoned within the seed- 
capsule, bursting through the earth clods and rising into 
resurrection in the sunny air in its marvellous garments of 
leaves and blossoms; and, more strange than all, are the 
tissues, bones, muscles, and the vascular and cerebral life 
within us. Reason helps us, and is grand in its triumphs 
up to a certain stage, and yet it halts blind and powerless 
before some of the simplest manifestations of organic life. 


To say, then, that we will not believe in a thing because 
we can not understand it, is to leave us without a place to 
stand upon; for really we can explain nothing about us 
only from noting effects. How absurd, then, to reject the 
atonement because we can not bring it within the com- 
prehension of our finite reason. It is generally the case, 
that, after expending years in the solution of such prob- 
lems, and in attempting to bring them within the theory of 
probability and reason, we get back to the starting point, 
no wiser than when we set out. In matters of religion 
we must be ingenuous and credulous as a little child. 
“Whoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God asa 

little child, shall in no wise enter therein.” My own ex- 
perience, too, is in testimony of the truth embodied in 
this saying: ‘‘Thou hast hid things from the wise and 

prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” 

Lide and I, during the last few months of her earthly 
life, talked much of these matters, and I found her faith 
strong and sustaining. She declared her entire belief in 
the grand miracle of the Redemption, and she called on 
me to examine and weigh it. No need then and now to 
seek to test it from my own stand-point. She simplified 
it, and led me up to’ the temple, and I became then an 
acolothist as it were; and although I do not at present 
comprehend more than I did in the aforetime yet I desire 
to learn, and the scoffing and incredulity which seem to 
be the earliest lessons young men receive as they enter 
upon the world, were and are, forever dead within me. 

She and I had no conversation then as to spiritualism, 
but she foresaw, with her clear comprehension, the effect 
her departure must have upon me; that I would be im- 
pelled to seek her through all the plausible possibilities of 
communication; that I would be persuaded to ‘give heed 
to wandering spirits and the instructions of demons,” and 

156 My WIFE AND if 

so she asked me to give up spiritualism. She and I had 
seen enough to fill us with wonder—enough to be repressed 
rather than encouraged, in pursuing it. She said there is 
something very strange and mysterious in it, and that it 
should be left alone. In 1857, the latter part of that 
year, she abandoned it, and so have I abandoned it for- 
ever, 7 

I have already said that she and I believed that there is 
a world of spirits, whose influence is sometimes felt here. 
So believed Thomas Aquinas, who saw St. Bonaventura 
rise in the air by supernatural means. So believed Loyola, 
who had a similar experience of levitation. So believed 
Tertullian, who declared that there was ‘a sister who 
conversed with the angels.’ So believed all the Christian 
Fathers. So believed the ecclesiastical chroniclers from the 
early times down, and so believe some of the most bril- 
liant minds of these modern days. 

Paul declared to Festus that he was converted by a. 
miracle. Zaccharias “‘saw a vision,’ and conversed with 
Gabriel. The madonna was foretold by an angel, of her 
miraculous conception. ‘The woman at the sepulchre ‘“ be- 
held two men in shining garments.” ‘The prison doors 
were opened to St. Peter by angels. Christ, during His 
Passion, was “strengthened by an angel.” Even more 
remarkable than all these, was when an angel announced 
our Savior’s birth to the shepherds, and “suddenly there 
was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host.’ 
There is testimony enough as to all these things scattered 
through all times and among all people, and she and I 
held it sufficiently good and credible to support our belief 
that to our world have been manifested visitants from 
another. We must believe it, or you sweep ail substance 
from Christianity. The Holy Scripiures are rooted in in- 
spiration, and their vitality springs from supernaturalism. 


In one word, there was Scripture warrant for @/7 we held 
to, and our belief was authorized and approved by it. I 
heard Mr. Wyatt preach a sermon in ‘Trinity Church, in 
this city, in which he expressed his belief in the ministra- 
tion and constant presence near us of guardian spirits, in 
all respects coincident with the notions we held. 

What we believed did not depend upon, to use Dr. 
Reid’s classification, either the principle of credulity or 
of veracity. It had for its ground work the imposing test 
of demonstration. ‘That is to say, looking to the meta- 
physical nicety of the word—to us it was proven. 

The Free Love and Communistic doctrines of spiritual- 
istic sects—their new ideas, and the strange images they 
have erected—their demolition of fanes, to which the ten- 
der, loving hand of a cherished mother led us in the days 
of childhood—of the blessed tokens of the Christmas and 
Easter seasons hung up above the hearthstone, and of the 
refined aspirations woven in with every association and 
remembrance of a religious home—all these assaults, upon 
what we held dear, she and I despised and abhorred as 
sincerely as any. What the temper and disposition of our 
minds were at that time and at the period of the investigation 
referred to, can be seen from the following extracts from 
a prayer I wrote November 24th, 1856: 

“We thank Thee also for the Christian privileges and 
blessings we enjoy; that we live in an age of enlighten- 
ment and progress, and that Thou hast given to us under- 
standing to comprehend Thy great love for us, and the 
religion Thou hast vouchsafed to establish among us. 

“Grant that the way of truth may be pointed out to. us, 
that we may not be left in ignorance and superstition; but 
that our minds may be rightly directed by Thee, and our 
hearts cultivated and enlarged by true Christian knowledge . 

158 My Wire anv J. 

and charity. More especially do we pray that we may not 
be tempted by false doctrine and teaching; that we may 
not be seduced from the faith of our fathers by deceitful 
persuasion and pretences! But that we may be taught the 
worship most acceptable to Thee, and best promotive of 
our spiritual welfare. 

“And if thou hast, indeed, permitted those who once 
had being in this mortal life to come back to us for the 
accomplishment of Thy wise and inscrutable purposes, may 
we then be properly impressed with the solemnity of such 
a revelation, and see in it not only the display of Thy 
great power, but the exercise of Thy great goodness. Sanc- 
tify, we beseech Thee, such teachings to good uses and 
ends, and may they contribute to our religious progTess, 
and direct us to purity and holiness. 

“We pray Thee that our hearts and lives may be 
purged of all viciousness and mischievous propensities; that 
the utterances of our tongues may be pure, and xoverned 
bythe solemn thought that Thou seest all we do, and 
hearest all we say. We pray Thee to give us strength to 
successfully guard against the temptations which daily beset 
us, the pernicious examples around us, and to resist the 
influences of our own corrupt and sensual passions and 

“Grant that we may endeavor, from day to day, to purify 

and exalt ourselves by moral readings, religious thoughts 
and actions, and aid us with Thy power and Spirit when 
we sincerely endeavor to combat the evil that is within 
and without us. Endue us constantly with Thy Holy 
Spirit, and may it strive with us, encouraging us in all 
good; repressing all impure influences, and helping our 
weaknesses with its strength and countenance.” 

I. find this endorsement upon the paper containing the 
prayer : 


“This prayer was written at the period’ when I com- 
menced experiments in what is called spiritualism. <A 
belief so utterly opposed to our pre-conceived notions and 
teachings, may well claim God’s especial aid to compre- 
hend, if true; to contradict and avoid, if false.” 

It is a blessing that I should have discovered the manu- 
script of the entire prayer, for it explains our nature and 
our mental and moral s/e/uvs at that time. Minds so 
armed, and which, upon the threshold of such an investi- 
gation, seek a strength beyond themselves, can not get far 
astray. So far as I may be concerned, I care nothing for 
the reproach and censure of persons——at least for those whose 
mental force is no greater than my own, and whose moral 
refinement has no delicacy or beauty mine has not. But 
for the dear life, which now has passed to that sphere 
where Truth and Goodness are—for her sweet sake, who, 

when here, was the soul of all that is pure and virtuous— 

I hope I may be able to describe clearly the sincerity and 
beauty of her earnest strivings to be good. 

She was an Episcopalian—-the Church in which I was 
baptized, and that which my parents professed and consci- 
entiously brought me up in. She adopted it as most con- 
sonant to her aspirations and reason; she lived in it, and 
passed from it to the clearer life beyond. I shall tread 
the same path, feeling that it will lead to happiness at 
last. God forgive me, if this real human love, which has 
brought me so many joys, should have with me a stronger 
persuasion than anything else. I can not help it, if the 
human experience of the wife-blessing I had through the 
gone years, has an influence more direct than that of the 
profound, mysterious, and incomprehensible Creator, whom 
I am taught to believe as “without body, parts, or pas- 
sions; whom I can not incarnate; who is too vague and 
infinite for my heart and mind; who is 


160 My WIFE AND J; 

‘Beginning of Zll ends, and end of all 
Beginnings, throughout whole Eternity ! 

Originator without origin.” 

Now-a-days, when I go to church, I am satisfied with 
the prayers, that are simple enough ‘and impressive enough 
to express my thought, and to bear up my aspirations to 
Him into whose hands we all must fall, sooner or later. 
And yet, and yet, to me, at least, there is more in the 
music than in the formulary; for, to a mourner, there are 
voices and inspirations in the anthems, we hear and feel 
in nothing else. Origen said, that he believed that in public 
worship “‘we are in the presence of the Lord, the holy 
angels, and the spirits of the departed.” If this be so, and 
I believe it, then, indeed, is music the ladder of the patri- 
arch’s vision, upon which, at least, one angel comes down 
to me, whose wings beat against my heart, and whose 
voice thrills within my ears with an added melody to the 
tender intonations I so well remember. Perhaps I may be 
regarded as superstitiously imaginative, but at such moments 
I feel as if there was something that lays soft hands on me, 
touches me with kisses as it were, and lifts me up, and 
bears me through the nave, on billows of music. And 
so I always dream in church, keeping nothing of the 
world in sight but the stained window; its symbols of the 
agony and glory of the ‘‘Holy One;” and the floral offerings 
that, especially at this Easter season, impart to the service 
such a spirit of beauty and hope. 

I sometimes think that religion, so far, at least, as the 
personal offices and relation of the priesthood is concerned, 
is lacking in warmth and sympathy, and seeks rather to 
excite our fears than our love. It is too much of an ab- 
straction, wearing the cold mystery and repelling awe of 
a sphinx—turning dead, cold eyes to us when we reach 
out with loving, longing and yearning arms, The Church 


does not come down to our level, forgetting that religion 
“is oft-times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.” 
We have desires and yearnings which, at times, at least, 
influence us toward the altar, and fill us with a sense of 
our weakness, and our dependence upon a power beyond 
ourselves, and these constitute the best elements of piety. 
Go to the chancel with such impulses and longings, and 
the chances are you will be put off to some more con- 
venient season, or comforted with some passage of Scrip- 
ture, harsh and comminatory. Perhaps the Church should 
not be made responsible for the unsympathetic character of 
its priests; but people, at such times, at least, will not sep- 
@iate the one from the other. The great secret of the 
success of evangelism in the Romish Church, and its unity, 
is the paternal relation existing between clergy and _ laity. 
It is needless to add, that when the pastor moves among 
his flock, enters homes and hearts, he makes more con- 
verts than he does from the pulpit. Personal sympathy 
and kindness move more than sermons. 

Mariolatry is “a fond thing and vainly invented,” but one 
sees in its devotees an intensely human craving for sympathy 
with one who was all human, and who perhaps bears with 
her still a remembrance of our infirmities. And it is the 
teaching that Christ ‘‘was made like unto us in all things, 
sin only except,” that gives to religion its most attractive 
aspect. Lide, during the last few months of her life, 
longed to see Mr. C. B.- Wyatt, the old Rector of Trinity 
Church, to whom she could unburden herself on the sub- 
ject of her hopes and doubts. She knew his true instincts 
as man and priest, and that his religious views fully recog- 
nized our double nature of earth and heaven. : 
It is at the grave we are bruised and our hearts lacer- 
ated with cold dogmas and colder Scripture texts, that ob- 
scure our sky 

rainbow, stars and all. I except, alone among 

162 My Wire anv J. 

all Protestants, the exquisite burial service of the Episco- 
pal Church, than which there is nothing more grand in any 
language—more especially when the anthems fall upon our 
hearts from the lips of music. I remember once in this 
city to have attended the funeral of a brother lawyer who 
was a Congregationalist. The sermon preached on that 
occasion exceeded in bigotry and narrow-mindedness any- 
thing I ever heard or read. The poor widow, on the 
declaration of some passage that completely shut the door 
of heaven against all except a few elect, cried out in open 
church an indignant protest against such cruelty. 

There was something exquisite, to a pure character such 
as Lide’s, in the simplicity and appropriateness of the Epis- 
copal Church prayers. The Litany she justly regarded as 
the most pathetic and solemn form of supplication in the 
world. It includes every feeling and want that distinguish 
our human condition, and no formula of petitionary wor- 
ship can ever equal it as af~ humble declaration of our 
finiteness, and as an eloquent appeal to a Father, infinite 
in power, as well as in compassion. ‘That entreaty, sin- 
cerely uttered and felt, contains all’ that our poor hearts 
need offer to the throne of the God of all things. Such 
are its grandeur and beauty and fitness, that one can be 
excused in attributing its composition to inspiration. 

Lide, it can be seen, had generous views as to religious 
matters, and they were in full sympathy with our human 
progress, which to-day broadens the theological platform 
and adapts religion to human wants and weaknesses. Her 
conception of God was formed from the harmony and 
beauty of His commonest manifestations, throughout all 
nature, and that He is essentially compassionate and for- 
giving. She saw the Redeemer’s life and character full— 
oh, so very full—of ineffable pity and goodness. She saw 
that His religion was founded upon love, and that it fully 


recognizes the weakness and frailties of our man-nature. 
She saw that His ministrations were among the poor, the 
outcast, and miserable. She saw that His disciples were 
selected from among the lowliest, and from the humblest 
social conditions; and that all His days were passed in 
healing the sick, feeding the poor, casting out devils, open- 
ing the sight of the blind, and even raising the dead to 
life. She saw in His ministry the highest expression of 
that charity which ‘‘suffereth long and is kind;” and that, 
crowning all and hanging up forever a hope to the most 
abandoned, in the moment of His agony on the cross, 
His divine heart opened to the prayer of the poor male- 
factor, whose spirit He bore within His own bosom, to 
Paradise. Thus she felt, and thought, and hoped, and so 
her life was pure, beautiful, and instructive, and her death 
simply grand in its tranquil heroism and tender religious 

After years of impatient 4nquiry and longing; repelled 
one day by much that is cruel and harsh in the Bible, and 
then again attracted by the tenderness, and love, and hu- 
manity of the Saviour’s mission and teachings; fully con- 
scious that there are no genuine philosophy and morality 
that are not in full sympathy with Christianity, and in 
recognition of the government of a Supreme Personal In- 
telliigence—I have come to the conclusion that sincere 
piety is in, as already: quoted, receiving ‘‘the Kingdom of 
God as a little child.” The more we question—the more 

we seek to comprehend matters deliberately and wisely 
concealed from us—the more rapid the aggressions of scep- 
ticism and unbelief. God is a great and inscrutable mys- 
tery, whom we can not solve. He is, too, to use Sebastian 
Frank’s saying, ““an unutterable sigh lying in the depths of 
the soul.” An aspiration for Him, diffusing and cultiva- 
ting, so far as we can do, the love and charity He has 

164 My Wire anv J. 

implanted within us; placing our hands in His, in full 
faith that He doeth all things well; loving Him and our 
neighbor-—herein lie our duties, and in their fulfillment is 
true religion. The sigh and tear of a bereaved heart carry 
us nearer Heaven than philosophy can do—profound and 
majestic, according to man’s ideas, as it may be. Indeed, 
it is true, that “the wise and prudent have no such reve- 
lations as little babes.” To me, all my old yearnings and 
ponderings brought discontent and incredulity. A few 
golden words from the lips of one whose wings were ex- 
panding for the homeward flight; the quiet, pulseless form 
from which God had taken to Himself the beautiful life 
that had animated it; and the tears he sent, both as con- 
solation and hope—these teach more than the philosophy 
I had consulted in the gone years; they teach patience 
and resignation ; they teach, too, that it is only through the 
sleep we call death, we can awake as angels, in the Better 


‘Black spirits and white, 
Red spirits and gray, 
Mingle, mingle, mingle, 

You that mingle may.” 

All these years were quiet and happy, with nothing to 
annoy us except the enforced separation from our daughter. 
I usually spent all my evenings at: home. At no period 
of my married life have the club and billiard-room, or 
any other male invention for pastime, ever taken me from 
my wife. The moment I reached the house I passed at 
once into her possession, and no one could question her 
jus disponendi of my evenings to suit herself. She had, 
though, difficult work to allure me from the little library; 
and when she proposed a visit to a neighbor, it required 
a great deal of coaxing to wean me from the easy chair, 
and the pretty pictures I saw in the sheets and jets of 
flame blown from the shining facets of the candle coal. 
The truth is, she made home so beautiful and attractive, 
that, to leave it, at any time, was to give up a greater 
pleasure for a lesser one. 

Nothing marred the even flow of my life at that time, 
except a very severe accident I had—falling from a wind- 
mill, and miraculously escaping death. I was confined to 
the house many days, and, for some months, I was driven 
to the use of crutches. My brother Dan was here then; he 
had returned from his South Sea trip, much improved in 

166 My WIFE AND J. 

health, and was at the office punctually, attending to our 
business. As I was then wholly under the care of my 
wife, requiring only quiet and nursing, I accepted the 
tumble as a guasz blessing. 

From mid-summer of 1855, up to our departure in 
1868, Dr. Maxwell and his family were our most inti- 
mate friends, always excepting Mrs. Wheeler. We had 
known each other previous to our coming to California, 
and, naturally enough, the old friendship was renewed 
here. They had only one child, and she grew up to be 
confessedly the most beautiful girl in San Francisco, and 
its most charming delle. Her beauty, distinguished as it 
was, did not run ahead of her sweet, unaffected character. 
Take her for all in all, a more lovable person could not 
be found anywhere. 

About this period, Mrs. L. W. Fisher, who has been 
already referred to, came to California. She resided near 
us, and, as Lide and I had known her in Delaware, we 
were glad that a person so excellent in all respects had 
come here. Perhaps a more delicious type of well-bred, 
refined womanhood was never seen in this country—its 
superior nowhere. Her manners were gentle, easy, and 
natural, and her native goodness and ingenuousness had 
been developed in a society reputable for its excellence 
and accomplishments. 

During the first decade of our colonization here, there 
was no general society. In the social heavens the constel- 
lations were small, and wide apart. ‘The diffused and 
scattered houses, the steep grades, the absence of sidewalks 
or frottoirs, made an exchange of visits, between persons 
living in remote parts of the city, difficult and wearisome. 
Then there were no indications of permanence. People 
always spoke of a return to their old homes as merely a 
matter of time, and the incentive to pecuniary success. 


Many of those who were married had left their wives in 
the East, and there were few well-bred, educated women 
here—that class of the sex which imparts tone, dignity, and 
virtue to society. Men highly cultivated—men of refined 
experience and proper antecedents, were to be encountered; 
but the majority rather degraded itself and morality by 
associations that were at once a violation of the marital 
vows, and the commonest demands of decency. Society ex- 
cuses, indeed, sometimes rewards, these offences, and yet 
they are not the less disgraceful and shameless. Women 
are most interested in keeping up among men a high 
principle of fidelity to their obligations as husbands, and 
yet, strange to say, they themselves too often applaud and 
give encouragement to these breaches of that virtue, which 
is at once the soul and the highest beauty of married life, 
Why should my sex be esteemed honorable and be respected 
because of integrity to business matters, and yet shamefully 
violate the duty they owe to the mother of their children, 
without the forfeiture of the respect and esteem of their 
fellows ? 

Later, homes began to be founded; the churches were 
fairly attended; a system of public and private schools was 
established, and children—the sweet, welcome faces of 
children—were seen in the streets and door-ways. It was 
time such missionaries began their propagandism of moral- 
ity and home influences, for there was a depravity of 
morals here without parallel in the United States. 

And sometimes I think it is not to be wondered at—for 
the history of the colonization of this State was, in all 
respects, abnormal and peculiar. When I remember the 
character of the pioneers, gathered from every quarter of 
the globe under the influence of one of the most impetu- 
ous passions of our nature, I am not surprised that there 
was demoralization—a complete want of the principle of 

168 My Wire anv J. 

cohesion and sympathy. One wonders, that from such dis- 
cord and barbarous license, there should have emerged the 
order and government that distinguished the ‘Territorial 
reign and the ensuing State organization. But it is notice- 
able that the political virtue of system and law advanced 
much more rapidly than the social. The former naturally 
asserts itself where there is property to be protected ; the 
latter is fostered and advances only from intellectual and 
moral culture. ‘The one grows out of interest, as it were, 
but the other has its root and growth from the home 
hearth and the chancel. 

It was not until about 1859 and ’60 that people looked 
upon this State as a possible home, and homes were 
planted. The civil war rooted many here, and business 
interests were commenced that naturally ramified until 
population began to be permanent. Residents commenced 
to look ahead, and so, many of the best qualities of pros- 
perity developed themselves. Society did not move apace. - 
There was everything repulsive in a new country to women 
who were habituated to the ease and luxury of the ripest 
civilization. The sex now-a-days seeks in marriage the 
means for the largest display, and it seems that the old 
fashioned honesty and modesty are fast going out, and the 
grossest sensualism is coming in. San Francisco had little 
to attract those persons whose tastes and habits were 
formed under the sensuous warmth of metropolitan. life. 
Here were wanting all the opportunities wealth demands 
for its ostentation. The very motive that sends Americans 
to Paris would keep them from this city. ‘There is really 
nothing to entice here a woman, for example, who has 
always lived within reach of the highest culture and pas- 
times of an opulent community. We are yet in the 
material stage, and, beyond physical wonders, we have 
nothing to tempt the stranger. ‘Those who find in home 


the gratification of all desires, and whose relations extend 
only to those who sympathize with their own tastes and 
habits, will be happy here as anywhere. But it must be 
said that San Francisco is destitute of what I call a society 
of esprit, high breeding and refinement. There are some 
families here qualified for the highest demands society can 
make, and yet the preponderance is not up to the, standard 
to be found in any large city. In this temperature are being 
developed the finest phystqgues of America, and here will 
grow up men and women overflowing with luxuriant health. 
At the same time it must be said that this very physical 
superiority requires a careful and strict moral nurture to 
check its obvious tendencies. Our American freedom of 
intercourse between the sexes has its advantages and draw- 
backs, but it has its conservatism and safeguard, too, in 
the cultivation of the truth that modesty is the highest 
honor and beauty of the female sex. Our San Francisco 
life is usually called “fast,” and the tendency is to. sen- 
suosity. Society *is permeated by it, and I can see no 
promise of the substitution of higher and more religious 
aims and training. There are many families in this city 
of high breeding and integrity, yet unfortunately their ex- 
ample and influence are not strong enough to check the 
evil complained of. ‘The fault is in the paucity of educated 
women—women who have been reared to regard Christian 
principle as superior to all other considerations. Society 
here does not represent progress—the progress that ele- 
vates and teaches; that turns out “brave men and chaste 
women,” and which demands as the condition of matri- 
culation, intelligence, refinement, and a decent respect to 
principle. Women make society. It is moulded by their 
refinement or their want of it. The general tendency to 
break down the natural and prescribed distinctions that are 

necessary between the sexes, without we wish to go at once 
¥; ) iw) 

170 My Wire anp J. 

into Free Love and Saznt Simonianism, comes from, and 
is agitated by, the women. Under the name of “ Women’s 
Rights,” is preached a socialism that, if it grows and ex- 
tends, must destroy every tie that, in our hearts, we should 
cultivate as religion. 

There is here, also, a palpable disposition to misrepre- 
sent the commonest offices of friendship between the sexes; 
to look out for opportunities to malign; ‘‘the prurient curi- 
osity’’ that develops into slander, and the suspicious mind 
that sees licentiousness in a smile and lewdness in a salu- 
tation. These are especially traits in the young men who 
constitute the deaux of our social world. 

I must confess to no great admiration of San Francisco 
society—feeling that it is crude, and built upon the loosest 
elements of a new community. I know, as already said, 
that there are here men and women of high integrity and 
refinement, but I know that they are sadly out of propor- 
tion to the sinners. A recent murder trial in this city has 
developed but ome of the many sadly immoral associations 
that are so common that but few precautions are used for 

Lide visited all the people worth knowing, through whom 
she took the rounds once per annum. Home to her was 
the dearest spot on earth, and, as a rule, she found visiting 
oppressive, and without adequate compensation for the self 
denial and trouble involved. She went to Dr. Maxwell’s 
oftener than to any other place, with whose wife she was 
very intimate. There could be found the very best of San 
Francisco society. His intelligence, Mrs. Maxwell’s hos- 
pitality, and Ella’s engaging beauty, made their drawing 
room one of the most attractive in the city. 

It was there we first knew M. S. Latham, Esq., who 
was then one of the Senators from this State. He was a 
person who carried into, and who left, public life with a 


character for unswerving integrity—strange and attractive 
enough when one recollects the rottenness of the politics 
of that period, or of any period, at least in the United 
States. His example only proves that a public man can 
be a gentleman in all respects. He served in both Houses 
of Congress, was Collector of the Port of San Francisco, 
and, for a short period, Governor of the State of California. 
In all these relations to the people and to the Govern- 
ment, he proved himself to be an honest man. When he 
settled his accounts as Collector, and which embraced mil- 
lions of dollars, it was found the Government was his 
debtor one cent, which was duly paid to him. 

I have read somewhere, that Samuel Rogers, whilom 
banker and poet, hung in his library one of the only two 
bills for a million sterling ever uttered by the Bank of 
England. Is not Latham’s penny, which represents honesty, 
capacity, and an unusually intelligent administration of a 
perplexing and responsible office, of far greater value and 
honor than the million bill, which was, I believe, an in- 
heritance? In addition to these official honorifics, he has 
a warm, generous nature, and is a clever conversationalist 
and highly entertaining companion. Lide had always a 
high regard for him, and when she was sending her last 
messages, a few hours before she closed her eyes to this 
world, she said: ‘‘ Rob, do not forget to give my love to 
Mr. Latham, and my regrets I did not see him.” 

Among our most intimate friends were two brothers— 
Benjamin and Charles IX. Smith. The latter was accident- 
ally shot while on a hunting expedition. ‘Tetanus super- 
vened, and he died, most sincerely. regretted. Ben. has 
“been as of my household, for many years—a brother, as 
it were, of Lide and myself. He is a rare good fellow— 
true, honest, brimful of humanity, and companionable, and 
one regrets there are not many more like him. 

i792 My WiFE AND J]. 

On the thirtieth of May, 1859, at 6 a.m., Robert Bolton 
leaped into the world with a lusty cry, well equipped in 
flesh and abounding in health. His babyhood went on 
smoothly enough. He gave no trouble ; was, as Eustace 
had been, a good child; rarely-took his mamma from her 
bed, sleeping through the night too profoundly for even 
hunger to disturb him. We had a capital wet nurse for 
him, whose wealth of nutriment would have been ample 
for all the family of the “old lady who lived in a shoe.” 


¥ To aid thy mind’s development—to watch 
Thy dawn of little joys—to sit and see 
Almost thy very ‘growth—to view thee catch 
Knowledge of objects—-wonders yet to thee ! 
To hold thee lightly on a gentle knee, 
And print on thy soft cheek a parent’s kiss— 

This, it should seem, was not reserv’d for me!” 

It was now six years since Lide and I had seen the 
dear people at Booth-hurst—especially the little one whom 
I last saw a wee baby, lying upon her mamma’s bosom. 
Lide was sorely puzzled whether to go with me or remain 
with her child—while I had inwardly resolved not to move 
without her. The nurse was competent; I had two brothers 
then living with us, Dan and Eugene—the latter of whom 
had come here as one of the afaches of the Army Pay 
Department—and there were JZesdames Ritchie, Wheeler, 
and Maxwell to supervise the nursling. Lide determined 
to accompany me, and I knew, later, she hoped to induce 
me to bring Lala back with us. Would that I had then 
seen that matter as clearly as she did! | 

We sailed from here October 4; 1859, in the ‘‘Golden 
Gate,” Captain Whiting. Lide left her baby and home with 
great distress, enduring all that rather than be separated 
from me. We took Eustace with us, who was then four 
_ years old—an age when the mischievous in a child begins 
to develop itself, and constant supervision is necessary. 

174 My Wire anv J, 

We had as compagnons de voyage Custis Lee and Charles 
Winder, both of whom were afterwards noted officers in 
the Confederate service, the latter having been killed at 
Gettysburg. ‘To Lide the trip was unpleasant, for she suf- 
fered from sea-sickness, which was accompanied by dis- 
tressing nervous headaches. She always had an invincible 
prejudice against sea. voyages, chiefly because of the odors 
of shipboard. Her sense of smell was something wonder- 
fully acute, painfully so, and nothing was more obnoxious 
to her nostrils than the scent of coal, bilge water, and the 
eliquament that usually pervade ships. The heat, too, was 
intense, which completely exhausted her; and, to add to 
all, Eustace had an attack of croup. So much did she 
suffer from the tropical warmth, that the day we reached 
Panama she fainted, and did not recover her consciousness 
until I carried her out on deck. 

We made the passage to New York in a trifle over nine- 
teen days. It was a clear, crisp day that we landed, but © 
on the next, when we rose from our comfortable bed at 
the ‘‘Clarendon Hotel,” the housetops were white with the 
rime and snow of early winter—most inopportune visita- 
tions in the midst of the usually delicious Indian summer. 
We were scarcely housed when Eustace was taken ill with 
measles and Panama fever, and, for a fortnight, Lide was 
detained at his sick bed. 

After an imprisonment of many days, Lide and _bairn 
were liberated, and we went to Delaware. There we re- 
mained until the middle of November, when we returned 
to New York to spend a few days with cousin Estelle 
Morris, who had married Dr..Carnochan, a surgeon of 
high repute; a very Murat in his dash among muscles and 
bones, and whose bold operations with the scalpel have 
awarded him a distinguished place in the surgery of the 


That visit was made charmingly agreeable through Estelle’s 
sweet savor fazre, her graceful and affectionate hospitality, 
her high breeding and intelligent conversation. It was 
distinguished, too, by Patti’s dedu/ in opera, and before the 
footlights I passed almost every evening during that visit. 
Church had, at that time, too, placed on exhibition his 
“Heart of the Andes,” and it was the first genuine land- 
scape Lide had seen. It is a picture of marvellous beauty 
in detail, splendid in coloring, brilliant in composition, and 
replete with an exquisite comprehension of the vivid lights 
and shades seen only in the hills and forests of the tropics. 
She detected at once its salient points, and was hushed to 
silence before so vivid a manifestation of true genius. 

I had intended, indeed it was the chief purpose of my 
visit East, to take Lala back with me, and I ventured to 
say so to my parents. My father told me frankly he could 
not spare her; that it would break his heart to give her 
up then, at a time when he most required her company, 
and that she was a necessity to him and to my mother. 
My brother William, who always had great influence with 
me, made a personal appeal to me, and I yielded; yielded, 
too, when my darling had warned me that considerations of 
the child’s welfare should govern me, rather than mere 
sympathy for the isolated condition of my parents. She 
was right-—indeed, she was always right. She saw with a 
clearer vision than I did; she saw that our separation from 
our daughter, and at an age, too, when her mind was im- 
pressible, and receiving images never perhaps to be erased, 
in this world at least, was a violation of a parental obli- 
gation and duty. Her calm, neutral judgment regarded 
alone the welfare of the child—the young heart that, under 
her own eye and within the influence of her teaching and 
example, would open its blossoms skyward. I saw the 
lonely life of the two who had been kind and true to me, 

176 My WIFE AND J. 

and that the beautiful face and sweet ways of their grand- 
child would charm their declining years, and help their 
weakness and isolation. I saw-in that surrender the only 
means I had to repay the love and devotion that had shel- 
tered my young years. Mine was a sentiment honorable 
to my heart; but Lide’s was something higher—it was a 
principle, a thorough appreciation of her maternal duty, 
that put aside as unworthy all lesser considerations, and 
she justly thought that all pity and sympathy are always 
upon a plane far below that of duty. Lide reasoned; I 
felt. From her exalted position, her eye swept not only 
through this life, but reached the hereafter. I stood upon 
the hearthstone, gazing upon the smouldering ashes, and 
saw my parents’ grief and their rapidly increasing infirmi- 
ties, and their leaning upon-my child as upon a staff, and 
I beheld only that. She saw above and beyond—the fire 
gone, the chairs empty, the life of the child wasted—her 
young and plastic years passed, and her susceptibility to 
other teachings and influences dulled. I builded for a day; 
but Lide would have shaped and laid out her work for 
now and hereafter. When a principle was involved, she 
had the heroism and will to adhere to it with the tenacity 
that alone comes from a high religious purpose —no 
matter what the degree and nature of the pain caused. If 
she and I had had a sum given to each as a specific trust, 
-and had encountered a mendicant, she would have suffered 
in suppressing the pleadings of her own dear, sweet heart, 
but she never would have yielded; while I would have 
given all, and then would have tortured myself for my 
compliance. It is needless to add which of the two is 
most declarative of the higher principle. In one word, 
her mind predominated, and yet her heart was brimful of 
goodness, and tenderness, and compassion. She was of 
the stuff that martyrs are made, and, in a matter of con- 


science, she would have faced Torquemada, and an auéo 
de Fe, with a courage equal to that of any saint known in 

I have a note addressed by her to my mother, which 
contains this passage, that bears somewhat on her steadfast 
adherence to principle. She is speaking of her purpose 
as to Lala’s education : 

“YT am sure that you will believe me sincere, when I 
say that I have all a daughter’s respect and affection for 
you and for father, and that I am truly anxious to avoid 
wounding your feelings; but I can not change my views 
upon this subject. I explained them all at length to you 
when I was at Booth-hurst, and told you of the course I 
had marked out for the future—a course not determined 
upon until after careful, and, I may add, prayerful delib- 
eration. My judgment may be erroneous, for, like other 
human beings, I am not infallible; but, in a matter like 
this, I dare not allow feeling to sway me. I must be 
guided by the dictates of my own conscience, and once 
being convinced of what I consider the proper course, I 
can not go to the right or to the left.” 

I left my daughter with my parents, and on the fifth of 
January following, Lide and I sailed from New York for Cali- 
fornia. When we reached our little home, just at twilight, on 
the twenty-sixth of the same month, a cheerful fire was blaz- 
ing in the grate, and the fragrance of flowers filled the rooms. 
So happy was she to reach the old ingleside again, that 
she declared no temptation would again separate her from it. 

While we were East, occurred the John Brown raid—a 
fanatic whom Hugo has canonized, and Emerson named 
as one of the greatest orators the world ever knew;. that 
his speech, on the occasion of his trial, and that of Lincoln 
at Gettysburg, are the highest expression of true eloquence. 

In the history yet to be written, when Progress has reached 

178 My WIFE AND J. 

out its hand, and toppled over all thrones, and when mis- 
sionaries will preach from the Tartar wall on the then old 
error of Buddhism, and when the lion and the lamb shall 
be led by the young child, then, perhaps, will John Brown 
figure as a Colossus. But in the light of sober truth, and 
under a system permitted and protected by law, he must 
be regarded as heroically mad, wild, and chimerical as 
Mazzini, but incomparably more respectable than George 
Francis Train. And yet there was heroism, foolish and 
fatal as it may have been, in the old man’s defiance of 
the “law,” in his impetuous and impotent crusade against 
an institution over which the Constitution had thrown its 
protecting shield. ‘There zs, too, something dramatic and 
respectable, and even sympathetic, in the history of John 
Brown’s seizure of Harper’s Ferry, and his defiance of the 
servitude and the ownership in human flesh, that, talk as 
we please, was the most barbarous feature of our boasted 
civilization. But while we applaud his courage, we must 
condemn his conduct as treasonable and insensate. 

Lide had a large sympathy with reformers, and men of 
the people; with all schemes and resolutions that clear the 
way for modern liberty, and raise the masses to the level 
where their humanity at least shall be recognized. So 
have I, so far as encouraging and diffusing general educa-. 
tion go, opening all places and distinctions to merit, whether 
for peer or peasant, and breaking up a discriminating and 
inexorable primogeniture; but I no more believe in poli- 
tical equality than I do in social. . 

The War commenced, in fact, on the passage of the 
Ordinance of Secession by South Carolina, in December, 
1860. Its genesis found me a Breckenridge Democrat, 
and what apocalypt could have foretold that, when in April, 
1865, Lee laid down his arms to Grant, Freedom would 
pierce the savannas, rescue the slave from the jungles, and 


invest him with all the eszgmia and franchises of a free- 
man? Search through all the changes in the capricious 
errations of man, and you will find nothing so startling as 
the results of that war. All through the winter and spring 
I watched the march of events, and I saw that compromise 
was impossible. [ stood with bated, fluttered breath, really 
undecided what to think, or say, or do, in so dire an 
emergency. J had been all my life associated with the 
South, and called myself Southern; possessed their sectional 
prejudices, and believed in their superiority; and yet my 
reason taught me that the conduct of that Confederation 
was a violation of all the principles of the Government, 
and even as mad and treasonable as was John Brown’s 
raid over the Potomac, October 16th, 1859. 

Pending that suspense and uncertainty, rather led by my 
heart and associations to adopt the Southern view, my 
wife, my good angel, here, within the little library of the 
old home—where, at midnight, I now write these lines— 
with her clear, incisive reasoning, did she expose and _ lay 
bare the sophisms of the State Rights doctrines. We dis- 
cussed the whole matter patiently, and with reference to 
its gravity and importance. She persuaded me to give 
the subject its legitimate consideration, and above all, she 
begged me to lay aside the prejudices of education and feel- 
ing, and to judge as an American. A little while afterward, 
on the twenty-second of February, 1861, I delivered a lec- 
ture on “Garibaldi,” and I, took that opportunity to make 
a public declaration of my views on the political situation. 

I occupied myself at this time in preparing and speaking 
several lectures. ‘Thomas Starr King and I delivered “a 
course” before the “ Mercantile Library Association” of 
this city. I lectured also before the military companies in 
conjunction with Generals Halleck and Shields, Judge Free- 
lon and Senator Baker. I repeated these lectures at Napa 

180 My WIFE AND J. 

and at Stockton. My subjects were ‘Napoleon III,” 
“Garibaldi,” ‘“‘General Scott,’ and ‘‘General McClellan.” 

I also became a contributor to the “ Bulletin,’ having 
written seventeen articles for that paper, on various sub- 
jects, over the nom de plume of “Kuzzilbash.” In 1867 
Bret Harte and I edited a hebdomad called ‘‘The Califor- 
nian,’ and when we retired from that paper, we projected 

e “Overland Monthly,” of which he and I were to be 
the editors. My departure for Europe prevented me from 
carrying out my part of the arrangement. 

In March, 1863, I caught a very severe cold, and paid 
no attention to it. I was so hoarse I cotfld scarcely speak, 
and aphonia supervened, which became chronic, and thus 
my active professional oratorical life died, without hope of 
resurrection. | 

February 12, 1861, my eldest brother William died, quite 
unexpectedly, at Washington. He was a person of remark- 
_ able intellect, which had been richly cultivated by careful 
study, reflection, and observation. Withal, he was a 
thorough gentleman in its highest sense. The following 
notice of him, from the “National Intelligencer,’ was 
written, I believe, by Senator Brown of Mississippi, and is 
a tribute rather under, than over, the mark: 

“Diep, on the twelfth of February last, Wm. H. Roeerrs, 
formerly of Delaware, but for several years past a oo 
of Washington, aged fifty years. 

“In his native State he shone as a bright ornament of 
the Bar, ranking with the highest of the profession. His 
legal reputation alone, unassisted by any partisan merit, 
(for he was not a party man) procured him the appoint- 
ment from President Polk of United States District Attor- 
ney, the duties of which he fulfilled with great ability and 
fidelity. He had also great abilities as a statesman. These, 


added to polished manners and kindness of heart, would 
have insured for him the highest political honors in his 
State; but his innate sensitiveness shrank from any attempt 
to pursue the thorny path which every one must pursue 
who aspires to political success. 

“At an age comparatively early he left his domicil in 
Delaware and took up his residence in the City of Wash- 
ington. Here he soon distinguished himself, particularly 
in his several able and successful defenses of accused naval 
officers before the famous Court of Inquiry, efforts which 
will be remembered by all who were cognizant of the 
proceedings of that court. 

“Although Mr. Rogers took no part in the administra- 
tion of political affairs, yet he distinguished himself as a 
political writer. In various parts of the Union, from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific, evidences of his ability in this 
respect may be found. He interested himself only in 
questions of universal interest, and, within a few months 
previous to his death, was zealously employed in the dis- 
cussion of those mighty questions which have recently 
rent asunder this Empire. His knowledge, ability, ur- 
banity of manner, and hospitality of soul, added to the 
charming society of his wife, brought around him many of 
the leading statesmen of the day, of all shades of opinion; 
also some of those enlightened men who, eschewing poli- 
tics, sought in the literary society of Mr. and Mrs. Rogers 
a pleasure far superior to anything which mere political 
discussion can afford. He had cultivated to an exalted 
degree an innate taste for literature and art. His mind 
was stored with classic lore, ancient and modern. In the 
study of the fine arts he had polished and perfected his 
judgment by the facilities of foreign travel. ‘To the extent 
of his humble means he was the ready patron of the pa- 
tient and struggling artist, both while he was combatting 

182 My WIFE AND if 

with fortune in the development of his genius, and_ after 
that development had brought forth to the eye of the 
world the images of his soul. The last he was enabled to 
do successfully, because his taste and judgment were highly 
appreciated by all who knew him, in painting, in statuary, 
in architecture, as well as in letters, particularly in the 
classic drama. ' 

“Mr. Rogers was a son of the Hon. James Rogers of 
Delaware, a venerable and distinguished citizen of that 
State, who at the age of eighty years has beheld his bright- 
est flower blasted in the summer of its life. His wife and 
now disconsolate widow is a grand-daughter of two great 
champions of the Revolution—-Samuel Chase and Commo- 
dore Joshua Barney.” 

The hoarseness which accompanied my cold did not 
alarm me at first; indeed, I treated it as a merely tem- 
porary embarrassment of my vocal organs—a stridor which 
would pass away with a dose of squills and a hot bath. 
When I felt that the membrane of the throat was thick- 
ening, and so crippling my vocal chords, and my voice 
sank to a whisper, I felt then somewhat uneasy, and, too 
late, begun to use drastic remedies. Lide and I went to 
the Warm Springs, at the old Mission of San Jose, hoping 
that my separation from all business, and the disuse of 
my tongue, would restore me the purity of my voice. I 
used sulphur baths and emetics, but these remedies had 
no effect. I was then ordered to take a trip to Panama 
and back, for the purpose of trying the effect of the warmth 
of the tropics. I booked myself for the ‘ Constitution,” 
Commodore James T. Watkins, to sail May 2d. Three 
days before my departure, a small steamer, called the 
‘“ Hancock,” exploded her boiler at San Pedro, near Los 
Angeles, killing William L,. Ritchie, my wife’s second 


brother—a youth of fine promise. Of the sons, he alone 
gave evidence of intellectual ability, and he possessed some 
salient points of character that furnished hope for the future. 
He was a clever lad, and his death was sincerely regretted. 

Early in the forenoon on the day named, we sailed. 
As I passed into the street, under the ceonofhus which 
arched my gate, I could see nothing for tears. My sepa- 
ration from my wife, under all these circumstances, gave 
me great distress. I was absent until June 6th, and there 
was no apparent benefit from the trip. I returned with 
the same hoarseness and raucity. I had neglected the use 
of remedies too long, and when I had consented to adopt 
them, the mischief was beyond their reach. 

I arrived here on Saturday, at 2 a.m., and as there were 
no carriages at the landing place, I came home through 
the rich moonlight, on foot. The steamer was not ex- 
pected until the next day; but a pair of keen ears heard 
the familiar step upon the gravel, in the garden walk, and 
soon I held the dear life within my embracing arms. 

_I was not permitted to remain long at home. I had 
scarcely any voice after I reached here, and my physician 
was disappointed and discouraged to find little or no im- 
provement of my speaking power. It was the season of 
boisterous winds, and when the afuces of the sand hills take 
wings, and fly over the city, thicker than locusts; and, like 
them, eating up the verdure and stripping the fields of 
the wild flowers. San Francisco is sad and dreary in its 
summer aspects, and while the mornings are usually clear 
and lovely, the afternoons are gloomy from the mists borne 
from the sea by the trade winds. One can imagine how 
bare these breezes strip the country, and what sadness they 
impart to the landscape. 

Dr. Maxwell advised me to leave town during the sum- 
‘mer. While, perhaps, he did not share the general con- 

184 My Wire anv J 

cern as to my health, he felt, at least, that the dust and 
fogs would increase the irritation of my throat, and he 
counseled a visit East. He thought that a radical change 
of climate would be of great benefit. I made a mistake, 
I think. If, instead of the hot weather which exhausts 
and prostrates, I had essayed the bracing and strengthening 
qualities of a cold climate, I sometimes think the result 
would have been different. Dr. Maxwell is a physician of 
skill and experience, and it is with diffidence I express 
this opinion. 

There was another farewell—keen and heart-rending; but 
it was not without its consolation, for I determined to 
bring my child back with me. I was thoroughly con- 
vinced of Lide’s sound judgment in that matter, and I had 
resolved to make all the amends to her possible. 

I sailed in July with Commodore Watkins—a rare gen- 
tleman, and competent seaman-—the finest type I ever saw 
of a merchant commander. } 

I reached New York during the heated term of that 
year. ‘That city mourned its ninety souls fer diem, dead 
under the fierce blows of the sun, on constitutions made 
defenceless through steady draughts of cold water. 1 did not 
remain there long. I became tired of the torrid warmth 
that left Broadway comparatively throngless—the sultry, 
windless nights, and the piquant pipe of the mosquito. I 
sought Booth-hurst—the deep shades of its old woods, the 
paths where Lide and I had been; the tangled thickets 
where the wild grape and eglantine hooded the hawthorn, 
and where, under the ruddy leaves of the trees, we hunted 
nuts through the autumns of the gone days. And there I 
saw the child, and a delightful spiritual something of the 
mother in her soft blue eyes; in her fair skin, through 
which the throbbing blood threw a roseate glow, and in 
her thick masses of golden hair. The old faces were 


there, too—unchanged since I last saw them—and, to me, 
as sweet and pure as in the days when my child hands 
wandered over them. , 

I returned to New York, and, by the advice of Dr. 
Carnochan, placed myself under the care of Dr. Marcy, 
the great apostle of Hahnemann in the United States. I 
remained there during most of September, daily pelting 
my interior with pimping pilules. I must confess I lacked 
faith from the beginning—for I see in the homceopathic 
system tissues of sophisms. I broke away from globules 
and Dr. Marcy, who was a good conversationalist; but all 
his discuss}ons were muddy with political prejudices, and, 
like a turaed stream, flowed fiercely, overlapping its banks, 
and sweeping all riparian things away. 

I went to Baltimore, and sought in vain for the friends 
I had known there years before. The family circles, within 
which I had passed many a happy hour, were destroyed 
by the fierce and truculent passions of war; and, in many 
cases, those who had been nurtured from the same_ breast 
were unpitying enemies then—all the corollary of the State 
Rights doctrine. 

The “Monumental City” was one vast barrack, and all 
the graces and charms of its once reputable social life had 
been superseded by the horrors of “grim-visaged war.” 
From there I went to Washington, and, in wonder, and 
some touch of grief, saw its enczente broken by barbette and 
embrasure, and through the streets beheld vast caravans of 
army wagons, and the rapid passing of dragoons. 

General Halleck, who had been my warm friend at San 
Francisco, was a sort of Commander-in-Chief of the army, 
resident at Washington. I induced him to send me to the 
Army of the Potomac, then under the leadership of General 
Meade. It was stated that he and Lee were manceuvering 

for position, and that a battle was imminent. I started in 

186 My Wire anv J, 

-a special train—my movements being much accelerated 
and my visit made more agreeable, by the attentions of 
General Simpson. . 
* The two armies confronted each other, and, so far as 
could be ascertained, were well matched in numbers and 
discipline. ‘The day I reached there, General Warren had 
handsomely whipped Confederate Hill, and captured some 
fifteen hundred prisoners. I saw them coming in, in the 
gray of the morning, after a night of exposure to a drench- 
ing rain, and a sadder and yet more impoverished looking 
set I never had seen anywhere before. 

As I reached headquarters, far on our left was heard 
the sharp crack of artillery, from among the wooded slopes 
of the Blue Ridge; and little wavy and threaded lines of 
smoke slowly moved up to the purple outline of the hills, 
marking the headlong dash of Buford, pushing rebel Stuart 
out of sight among the tall pines. Meade advanced his 
whole line, offering Lee battle; but the latter slowly re- 
treated, and when night came, a heavy rain shut out all 
the view, and compelled a blessed armistice to the weary 
combatants. The next morning, the Confederates had 
gone clean out of sight, and our columns concentrated at 
Fairfax Court House. Seeing no chance for a fight, which 
had been the motive of my visit, together with the desire 
to see old friends I had known in Mexico, I returned to 
the capital, bearing the rebel flags captured by Warren, 
which were duly deposited in the War Department. 

On the twentieth of October, 1863, I left Booth-hurst 
with my child, and her parting with my parents was most 
affecting. We sailed the next day in a little steamer called 
the “ Champion,’ with near one thousand passengers—a 
vessel and equipage shamefully unseaworthy and insufficient. 

We reached San Francisco in that pleasant interval lying 
between the summer winds and the winter rains. I laid 


again upon the mother’s bosom, the child, lost to it so 
long, both almost strangers to each other; no sweet tie 
between them knit by daily association, and interwoven by 
years of common talk and ways. Then I began to realize 
the unhappy effects growing out of my too ready sympa- 
thies with my parents, and my unwise disregard of my 
wife’s counsel and superior rights. She herself did my 
heart full justice, although she thought my judgment erred. 
The truth is, I was led by my compassion, and I could 
not believe that any evil could result from leaving the child 
with my parents. I made a grievous mistake. 


‘*A boat at midnight sent alone 
To drift upon the moonless sea; 
A lute, whose leading chord is gone; 
A wounded bird, that hath but one 
Imperfect wing to soar upon; 
Are like what I am, without thee.” 

That autumn Lide was very ill. A sadly depleting hem- 
orrhage brought her very low, and she rose from her sick- 
bed with an alarming weakness and emaciation. ‘The rains 
came before the summer winds had well ceased, and they | 
succeeded each other so rapidly, that our old pathways were 
almost obliterated, which precluded her from taking the ex- 
ercise necessary to her. Besides, the grade of the street had 
been changed, the /roffoirs destroyed, and, during the whole 
winter, the road was impassable. For the first time an 
unequivocal cough developed itself; slight, to be sure, but 
to my ear and heart, so sensitive to any vicissitude affect- 
ing her health, full of menace and pain. Dr. Maxwell 
proposed to her a trip East, not so much, perhaps, for a 
change of climate, as to separate her from her household 
duties. She had been accustomed, for some months, to 
drill Eustace in his Latin, and other lessons; and when 
Lala came, she also was placed under the same tutelage. 
The children went to school, and it was her self-imposed 
duty to aid them in the preparation of their school tasks. 
They gave her much annoyance and solicitude, and her 


fidelity of attention completely exhausted her. I would 
remonstrate, but so long as she said, ‘‘It is my duty, my 
dear,’ and knowing the character of her firmness and 
principle, I could reply nothing. I saw later that the task 
was obviously beyond her strength, in her then infirm con- 
dition, and so I insisted on her abandonment of her teach- 
ing, at least for a season. 

How rarely do children realize, and are grateful for, the 
thousand denials and sharp sorrows their rearing and edu- 
cation cause their parents. There are martyrs at the home 
hearth, whose quiet, patient endurance betoken a higher 
courage and principle than any ever found at the stake; 
wives immolating themselves for perhaps insensible, brutal 
husbands, and mothers who absolutely lay their lives down 
in humble heroism to their children, who perhaps forget 
how dearly their nurture has cost. I have seen one such, 
_and I feel like bending my knee in praise as I go over 
all the history of her uncomplaining fortitude, and ten- 
acious adherence to her moral obligations. But the Father 
marks these sacrifices, and this heroism, and, in the other 
world, I firmly believe that He will reward such martyrs 
with a happiness accorded to no other condition of human 
suffering and trial. 

One day, in the early spring of 1865, on my return to 
the house after office hours, I found Lide nervous and 
sick, and the traces of tears upon her cheeks. When I 
approached her, and asked, in some distress of tone, the 
reason of so unusual a spectacle, she threw her arms about 
me, and’*sobbed as only such a strong nature can do, 
When she became quiet, she said to me that Dr. Maxwell 
had told her she must leave San Francisco during the 
summer then approaching, and that her health was crit- 
ical—“‘ leave you, darling Rob, and my dear little home.” 
I soothed her by telling her that our separation would be 

190 . My WIFE AND ): 

short, and that she must endure it for the good results 
promised—and all the while my own heart was full of 
unutterable woe. 

It was arranged she should sail May 3d, and her mother, 
who desired to make a visit to her sister, Mrs. Gemmill, 
residing in Delaware, determined to go at the same time, 
taking her daughter Hettie with her. 

During that winter, or the previous autumn, Charles L. 
Strong came here from Virginia City, with his wife and 
two children, ex route for New York. He desired to have 
the younger baptized, and asked Lide to be one of its god- 
mothers. She consented, and yet with much reluctance, 
solely because she regarded the responsibility as great— 
looking at it, as she did, from the standpoint of the Prayer 
Book, with its solemn vows and obligations. Except with 
her own children, she never before or afterwards stood 
sponsor to any child. 

Lide sailed May 3d in the ‘Constitution,’ commanded 
by Commodore Watkins, and reached New York after a 
most disagreeable passage of twenty-two days. I have 
nothing to say as to my own sorrow at parting with her. 
Perhaps others have gone through the same tribulation, 
and that my suffering is common to married life. If so, 
then indeed the Divorce Courts misrepresent us, and wedded 
people are much happier than I deemed them. I have 
been behind the scenes so often, that really the rouge and » 
padding, the puppet angels and gemz, are very familiar 
things, and altogether different from the fairy land seen 
from the boxes. I have had an unusual insight into the 
domestic life of many a couple, for, as Court Commis- 
sioner, I have tried more than a hundred cases of divorce. 
My experience is, that the deep love and sentiment which 
blessed my own married life are rather rare, and that the 
history of my union is not that of many others. 


I remained at the house with the children, and that 
summer was one of the unhappiest of my life. Everything 
seemed to go wrong, and the chiels especially were a 
source of great trouble and anxiety. I never had had any- 
thing to do with their control, and my own nature lacked 
the peculiar qualities that so admirably fitted Lide for Em- 
press of the household. Indeed, the form of government 
of this house was an unconditional monarchy by reason of 
the absolute perfection of the sovereign. My regency was 
unsuccessful, not because of any incapacity, but because I 
succeeded one whose administration had been faultless. 
Lala had never before lived with me, and as children only 
love from constant association, I had no right to expect a 
willing, cheerful obedience. I was then reaping ‘the tares 
I had sown, reaping them in distress and tears. All that 
my wife had predicted as evils to arise in the coming years, 
was having a sure and sad fulfillment, and I had the re- 
pentance that comes but once, and that is always. 

I found myself utterly unable to give to Lala the at- 
tention she required, and so I sent her to Santa Cruz, 
where I placed her under the care of a.very excellent 
governess. I had no solicitude as to Eustace and Bolton— 
for boys are not easily soiled; and if the world does begrime 
them, it leaves no stain as upon girls. 

Dan was then engaged to be married to Annie H. Jones, 
the daughter of Judge Jones of Pennsylvania, a person of 
some note in that State, and who, when the civil war 
broke out, offered his sword and life to his country. He 
died for the land he loved so well—died as a soldier 
desires to die—in the front rank, leading his brigade to 

Dan went East in September, to be married, and I sent 
Lala to her mother by him, to be placed at a good school. 
She was duly matriculated to the “Convent of the Sacred 

192 ant 2) WIFE AND ]. 

Heart,” near Philadelphia, and although most of our friends 
regarded the selection as singular, we being Protestants, 
yet Lide was not, of course, moved by what others said, 
especially as she had given the matter of the school proper 
consideration. We thought that where the heart is properly 
cultivated—that where true and fixed principles of honor and 
virtue exist—especially in a girl, the natural fruitage will be 
healthy religious convictions. I can not say that we looked 
upon her conversion to Catholicism as the worst evil that 
could befall her. We were willing to trust her reason when 
she should reach a proper age, and, in the meantime, we 
had the promise from those in charge of her that no means 
should in anywise be used to proselytize her. - ‘To the 
clamor of our friends, Lide merely said: “I have placed 
my child where there is the promise of the largest good 
to her. My husband approves of my course; that is suffi- 
cient for me.” 

I can not linger over the sad days of our separation, 
and the sharp sting it gave me. I, who was daily and 
hourly accustomed to. the ministrations of a wife, whose 
earnest nature entered into and vivified her love; who was 
truly seamesed to me as a woman is rarely to a man, is 
only half himself when left in such a condition as I was. 
I had, however, one distraction during the summer months: 
it was in building a residence for my brother and his 
expected bride. There was still another, sadder to be 
sure, and yet an occupation of my mind, helping and 
encouraging my wife’s brother Hugh, who was suddenly 
seized by a marasmus and cough, shockingly rapid in their 
conquest of his fine, handsome /pfyszque, and which, in 
a few days, developed phthisis, with its most angry and 
pitiless expression. In January following he succumbed. 
The last month of his illness his head lay upon the “fond 
breast” where it was first hushed to sleep. 


The summer winds had now passed, and the autumn 
promised a mild winter. Charles Strong and his wife were 
then in New York, and about to sail for San Francisco. 
Lide determined to come out in their company, and under 
their care, and not wait, as she had proposed, for Dan and 
his wife, and Mrs. Ritchie. Her separation from me was 
enforced on sanitary grounds—to escape the sea winds 
and the dust, which severely test the throat and lungs of 
the strongest. All her letters were replete with unquiet- 
ness; complaints of the burning heats of the East, and 
longings for me, and this little cottage. She had passed 
most of the summer with Mrs. Fisher, who lived at ‘ Butler 
Place,’ which was within the far suburbs of Philadelphia; 
and occasionally, too, she spent a few days at Booth-hurst, 
where she could follow the paths lying through the thick 
wood which our joint feet had aided to beat among the 
silken tufts of the wild grass. She begged to come back, 
and in winning, irresistible phrase, pleaded to lay her head 
upon her “little home’”—by which name once, when weary 
and sad, long, long ago, and ever thereafter, she called my 
bosom. With as warm a yearning did I reach out to her, 
and call her back to the ‘‘little home.” 

Wonder, wonder, if now—if through these. sad_ nights, 
when I am seated within the little library, she comes to 
me as in the happy gone years, and nestles her. dear, angel 
head in the bereaved empty “little home!” Wonder if, 
when I am so desolate and unquiet, and I find no conso- 
lation either in hope or tears, she places white spirit 
hands upon me, and tries, through her old humanly, wifely 
ways, by kisses and soft, loving pattings of my cheek, to 
still and hush my grief? “Perhaps she does,” say some 
who pass through chambers where happy hearts sing cheer- 
ily from day to day; but I, who have laid my better self 

down among the mists that sweep so unlovingly over the 

194 My Wire anv Jj, 

little mound in the cemetery yonder, I say and know she 
does sO come, and wz so come, just so long as I linger 
here; and when at last I fold my hands to sleep, on her 
bosom I will awake to the better life beyond. 

I made many changes in the cottage while she was 
gone—wainscoted the dining-room, built he dressing and 
bath rooms em suite, re-painted and re-carpeted the whole 
house. When, on her return, one bright, soft November 
day, she entered the house, and with a face transfigured 
with joy, exclaimed, ‘“Have the good Fairies been here 
while I have been gone!” [I felt more than repaid for 
all the labor and sacrifices I had used. 

The ensuing month Dan and his wife and Mrs. Ritchie 
came, and, with the exception of the sad condition of poor 
Hugh, over all the future beamed the bright aurora of hope. 
Lide’s health,:I may say, was improved; her cough was 
in a measure repressed, and she seemed stronger. We 
passed a quiet winter—when the sun shone taking little 
promenades, and when the paths were dry, looking in upon 
Mrs. Wheeler, and spending sundry evenings with Mrs. 

In March we made a visit to Morrisania, belonging to 
cousin Will. Morris, a pretty little spot, situated at the de- 
bouchure of Napa Valley. Yesterday I found a little journal 
I kept at that time, and, for the purpose of showing to 
my children the character and the general flow of the let- 
ters and diaries I destroyed, I will extract verbatim the 
reference to that visit made in the journal cited:  ~ 

“Marcu 12, 1866. 
“On Saturday morning Lide, the boys, and I, jumped 
on board the Napa steamer, just as she was leaving the 
wharf, and went to Suscol. The previous week it had 
rained, and we were anxious lest the morning in question 


would be of a piece with the preceding ones. But the 
clerk of the weather proved himself to be amiabie—for 
he turned the wind from the clear quarter, opened all the 
blue sky to us, drove the storm-clouds away, and left in 
their stead, fleecy cloud-phantasms—delicate and airy as if 
painted on the blue sky by the Artist Frost. 

“The air was cool, yet there was pleasure in sitting 
out on deck and gazing on the mountains, gorged and 
ravined as far as we could see, and covered with verdure 
of exquisite freshness and delicacy. ‘There was no uni- 
formity of color—far from it. In some places the green 
was as warm as if made up of osier branches, while in 
others it was dark as ivy leaves, and scattered between 
were brown spots where the plow had been. Add to these, 
splendid contrasts of light and shade, and I have tried to 
outline as beautiful a view as I have seen for many a day. 

SAD Leo we reached Mare Island, where we landed a 
score of Jack Tars who had been on ‘liberty.’ We hadn't 
time to go on shore. We lounged idle eyes on the groups 
at the landing, on the extraordinary domicils, standing a 
little inland, which seem all the world like lazy school- 
boys put in a row for punishment, and then, swinging 
around, we encountered the low hull of the ‘Comanche,’ 
which looked like a monster of the Liassic sea. 

‘ “We were soon in Napa Creek, winding through the 
sedgy marsh lands, flecked with white wings of water fowl 
and green clumps of tussack grass; and beyond, were the 
velvety slopes of the Coast Range, broken by groves of 
trees and the houses of the settlers. Will. met us at the 
embarcadero, and soon we were driving inland, through 
an avenue of locust trees, while on either side were rows 
of peach in early blossom, and the pear, which, with its 
white flowering, looked beautiful and bride-like. ‘This spot 
was once the great fruit producer of this State. I remem- 

196 My Wire anp J. 

ber that, in 1853, when peaches were worth quite a dollar 
apiece, Lide and I stopped here on our way from Napa, 
where we saw at least fifty baskets of them; and how we 
longed for a taste. of just ne! Since then we have 
crushed our teeth on quite as many. 

“The first day we spent in looking at the improvements 
and in listening to the details of proposed changes, in eat- 
ing fresh eggs and drinking creamed milk. The next day 
the sky was clear again, and when the sun got well up, the 
air was mild and soft. Morris and I took our fishing rods 
and sauntered up the stream which brawls over its pebbled 
bed through the whole length of his domain, on its way 
to Napa Creek. We found a quiet little nook, where the 
brook deepened, in a cluster of trees—of bay trees and 
willow, and a sort of elder which grew on the edge, its 
green branches trailing to the very water. We paused 
here, but with no piscatory intent. ‘The place was so 
secluded and quiet, the flow of the rivulet so even and 
murmuring, the grass so green, and the sun so vivid, that 
really we thought of nothing but lying quiet, and dreaming 

the afternoon away. But, before we should be lost in idle- 

ness, we tossed our line into the stream, little caring whether 
we had a bite or not. Ten trout were bent.on immola- 
ting themselves, and so in a little while they lay panting on 
the grass, and soon they hadn’t life enough for somersets. 
We had no feeling of triumph and pleasure, such as an- 
glers describe. If it would have restored them to life, we 
would have tossed them back into the brook, and left 
them to the chances of another idler. We walked back 
to the house, and, leaving our rods, we started again and 
followed the creek up to the mountain slopes, some ten 
miles above. Its course was distinctly traced by the line 
of trees which stretched away toward the hills, with a 
directness so unusual, that it seemed as if the hand of 

OO  —— 


an had placed them there. And yet we found spots 
| enough, where fallen trunks of trees lay across and 
1g the brook; where huge rocks were heaped up, from 

-where the foliage was so thick that only little lines of 
nlight could get through. One such spot we have marked 
a hiding-place from the garish sun some summer day— 
ecular bower, where the branches of the trees on either” 
= interlace, letting the sunlight through in vapory gleams, 
‘where the waters, rushing for some yards over the 
ky ledge, leap from the bluff rim of a boulder into 
dark little pool below—not angrily and noisily, but lan- 
hingly and sportively, as if Naiads had their home there. 
_ “We went on until we came to a small farm-house, situ- 
2 ed on the hill slope, on the edge of the ravine through 
whi sh this same stream leaped. ‘The owner came out, a 
tht, sun-browned fellow, the place of whose nativity we - 
could not conjecture. He looked like an Italian, but he 
had not the accent of one, and when I sought to identify 
him path that race that once imprisoned me, I found a_ 
lack of verisimilitude which started me off on other con- 
As we walked away from him, we were preceded 

e had the complexion, hair, and eyes of one, and no 
ever wore redozo as she did, without she had been 
or passed years in the clime of the maguey. I feel 
nd and grateful to the women of that race—for when 
ril and danger they warned and guarded me; when 
y they have fed me; and when their countrymen 
persecuted me, they had kind words of hope and . 
agement. So it was-I followed this woman with 
tt full of unexpressed blessings. 

“We got back a little before sunset, and until dinner we 
nged and idled with the dogs, or watched setting hens— 

198 My WIFE AND J. 

wondering how they amused themselves during incubation. 
One of them—a yellow speckled thing—seemed the most 
earnest creature I ever saw, She went to her work as if 
she fully appreciated its responsibility, and as if she had a 
wager she would hatch every egg she sat upon, and [ll 
bet she did it. 

‘When the sun peeped through the windows of our rooms” 
the next morning, we felt a regret in thinking that, when 
he went down, we would be back at San Francisco. After 
breakfast we sat upon the porch, much too dull for any 
emotion, and yet, at moments, we had a clear conscious- 
ness of the unusual beauty of the landscape we looked 
upon—made up as it were of hill and river—valley and 
meadow land. Away to the south, beyond the brown tule 
lands, through which the creek meandered, looking like a 
cord of silver, rose up the mountains of Marin County 
and the bluff sides of Angel Island; and, standing out 
from the purple haze of the far perspective, were the white 
sails of water-craft. Near us were parallels of peach and 
pear trees in full blossom, and here and there stood iso- 
lated oaks, hung with flowing tufts of moss, their gnarled 
‘arms bare yet, and leafless. 

“The afternoon was blustering, and so when we reached 
the city it was quite dark. As we went homeward through 
the misty streets, we could not but go back to the crimson 
blossoms of the peach we. had just left; the long line of 
locusts and their leaflets; the clear singing brook and its 
glassy slopes, and that quiet which gave to the whole 
scene a religious aspect and sentiment. During these two 
days we had seen pictures more gorgeous than Church or 
Bierstadt had ever Paes mere Seshts of which I thus 
limn from memory.’ 

Some rough winds that came early that spring took me 


to the side of Lide very often in consultation as to the 
avoidance of the dust and asperity of the coming summer 
in this city. A migration—a swallow’s flight to some spot 
where the sun dallies all day with leaflets and blossoms, 
and the wind stirs in lyrics, as it were—this was the sub- 
ject of our thought and constant deliberation—some place 
where Lide could be within arm’s reach-—no longer than 
a day between us. Mr. Barron had built a country seat at 
Menlo Park, some thirty miles from the city—midway to 
San Jose. 1 had been there frequently, and always admired 
the soft climate of that place, and the bay and hills which 
border the peninsula on either side. A change from the 
city being decided on as a necessity to Lide, I naturally 
turned my regards to Menlo Park as filling all the condi- 
tions we demanded—especially those of temperature and 
accessibility. JI made frequent visits of exploration there, 
hunted all the ground lying between the foot-hills and the 
sanded rim of the Bay, and, at last, quite by accident, fell 
upon a six-acred lot, over which were distributed, at proper 
convenient intervals, deciduous oaks, hung with mistletoe 
tufts, and bossed with clumps of matted moss. Its owner 
had to sell, and as the property was suitable in all respects, 
and the terms quite within my reach, I bought it. On the 
anniversary of my second nuptials I laid the corner post of 
“Oak Cottage.” | 


“The pure air 
Braces the listless nerves, and warms the blood: 
I feel in freedom here.” 

The month of April, 1866, was dark and sad within my 
household. Lide had a hemorrhage, and, of course, I 
lived in a condition of fear and nervous apprehension. 
-She passed out of all danger under the careful attention of 
Dr. Maxwell, and the affectionate nursing of ‘her mother. 
When she became really convalescent, I resumed my 
supervisory trips to the country, watching the progress of 
the house, laying out the grounds, and adapting all things 
to the taste and necessities of her for whom all was in- 
tended. I then coveted the wealth of the “Comstock 
Lead”’—not for any purpose higher than smoothing and 
embellishing the path in which “ Buntin”’ trod. 

My cottage was not an extensive affair, and yet it was 
in exquisite taste. The roof projected some eleven feet, 
supported alone by brackets, and a verandah girded the 
house, over ten feet in width—-along its edge a low 
balustrade, around which the honeysuckle and rose soon 
entwined themselves, and starred the green curtain of leaves 
with blossoms. January 14th we formally took possession of 
it. Lide had all things to suit her, and the introduction 
of water from the Cor’ Madera, a stream that laughed 
along the slopes of the near Coast Range, enabled me to 
have a bountiful supply for house and grounds. I had 
also a carriage built after my own pattern, and a fine 


mountain wagon, and I purchased a pair of gentle staunch 
horses, in addition to a pony for the children. Besides 
these, a friend of mine presented Lide with a noble look- 
ing carriage horse, who was so gentle, that, unattended, 
she was accustomed to drive him all about the neighbor- 

The change for her was a wholesome one. She seemed 
to thrive in the sweet, equable temperature of Menlo Park; 
and as I had surrounded her with every luxury within my 
means, I really began to believe that her health would be 
entirely re-established. JI can proudly and consolingly say 
that no wife was ever more assiduously and lovingly tended. 
_ There is no condition of life unvisited by the spirit of 
frailty and decay which underlies everything human, whether 
animate or inanimate. No matter how and with what we 
may hedge ourselves in; no matter how alert and watchful 
we may be, we can not shut out the inevitable and ruthless 
visitations of sickness and death. ‘The latter we shrink 
from as we shrink from nothing else—for there 7s some- 
thing awfully mysterious in the rigid calmness, the silence 
and appalling mystery that follow the destruction of our 
vitality by that terrible incognito we call Death, which 
reaches out and strikes us from an ambush even in the 
golden air, and the heart-warmed temperature of home. 
Who knows, who knows, but that the Father, who in all 
else manifests Himself so lovingly, has given to Death so 
revolting an aspect for the: purpose of heightening the sur- 
prise and pleasure of the golden chamber which lies just 

«The clouds ye so much dread 

Are big with mercy, and shall break 

In blessings on your head.” 

We were scarcely nestled within our little rural home, 

202 My WIFE AND J. 

and were soothing ourselves with cheerful forecastings, when 
news came to us that Dan’s wife gave birth to a boy on 
Saturday, the twenty-first of July. On Monday Lide came 
to town with me, and found Annie quite ill. She grew 
worse during the night, and ere the day came again she 
had passed to 

‘*The bosom of her Father and her God.’’ 

They had been married less than a year, were very 
happy, their promise of the future was specious and fair, 
and reasonably they had the right to look forward to years 
of wedded happiness. One can say nothing in the face of 
such terror; it confounds us, and we stagger to our knees, 
almost unconsciously ejaculating complaints and _ prayers. 
Such the frenzy of the despair which comes to us while 
we are prone under the blow; but soon we open our eyes, 
and one by one come the stars; and echoes of strange 
voices sound in our hearts from lands we know not of; 
and then we throb under aspirations for something we can- 
not shape, and around us we feel the pulses of another 
life, and hear a murmur as of the sea, that just lives above 
the silence; and then over the tropical night which lies 
above us, is seen the silver gleam of “the constellation of 
the cross,’ and so, under that sign, the weary wanderer is 
guided home at last. 

Thank God for that somethmg—for the revelations in our 
hearts; for hope, for the eager instinct To Be. Thank God 
that he has thrown us these succoring planks, and for the 
lights He has set up on the shore which we see gleaming 
steadily through the mists about us. 

The babe Annie left passed safely through the storm 
that rocked its cradle life. Dan picked it up, in his half 
stupefaction, and its voice and smile, and the strong faith, 
and the ardent prayer of his Christian heart, bore him 
safely above the flood of his sorrow, 


All that summer was overshadowed by her sad fate, for 
her death came without premonition—there was absolutely 
nothing to forewarn us. Poor Dan, he lost the brightest 
years of his life in looking for the “one fair spirit to be 
his minister,” and he had scarcely found her—had scarcely 
clasped his bride to his bosom, ere God, not gently, but 
abruptly, tore her from him. But He was not all unkind— 
He laid on his bosom a sweet child-life, developed it in 
beauty, and gives to his manhood the delicious burden of 
shaping it to good, and so affording to a man of his reli- 
gious trust and virtue one of the highest, if not the highest 
of the privileges we can have. 

But the poor orphan had a hard struggle for it. He 
lay panting for many days and weeks by the shore of the 
sea through whose obscurity his mother had gone, and we 
had almost abandoned hope—were ready to fold hands 
and sit down in despair. Lide held the little darling to 
her bosom during all that season of waiting for God’s man- 
ifestation, and she, with Dr. Maxwell and Mrs. Ritchie, 
under God’s blessing, gave to Dan a babe with strong life 
and promise. He has, up to this day, grown marvelously 
in beauty and sweetness, and already has yielded his father 
a harvest of comfort, the wealth of which no one knows 
except those who have suffered from a like tribulation. 

Our first summer was spent in preparing for those to 
follow; in planting, in embellishing, in laying out roads, 
and in hunting up spots for picnics—quiet dells threaded 
by silvered laughing streams, in which grew quivering 
aspens, and feathery ferns. We searched, too, along the 
mountain trails for the rarest views; for the silence that, 
after leaving the city, touches our fagged hearts with a 
consoling calm few wot of in the hard, crisp, and restless 
agitation that makes our California life so wasting to the 
heart, mind, and _ body. 

204 jy WIFE AND J. 

Toward the end of October, the wind commenced 
veering from the south, the mists gathered on the hills, 
the spiders hung tender filaments from branch to’ branch 
on the oaks, and troops of wild fowl sailed through the 
white clouds. The evenings grew chilly, and we were 
driven from the starlight to the arrowy flames on the 
hearth; and so, on Lide’s account, I had to come back to 
town. All the summer—Saturdays and Sundays excepted— 
I went daily to and fro in the cars, leaving ‘Oak Cot- 
tage’ at 7 A.M. and the city at 5 p.m. That travel was 
what Milton calls 

“A quotidian of sorrow and discontent,” 

and it was the only drawback associated with my country life. 

By the first of November we were back to the accus- 
tomed places, and looking forward to hear the feet of the 
blessed rain pattering upon the roof, and its hearty laugh 
-as it gurgled down the spouts. During the winter we 
had, Lide and I, our little home pastimes—playing Jdezzque; 
reading, and entertaining our few visitors. But the piano— 
during the transition from daylight to darkness—— when 
through the window we saw the crimson bars the sunset 
laid across the blue sky, and the twilight with its sad 
shadows—then, as Lide ran the keys over, sometimes in 
wild, mournful improvisation, or through the most delicate 
bits of Beethoven’s sonafas, that was the hour I fancied 
most, and that she loved most; the hour of retrospection 
and timid lookings forward; the hour for that sort of mus- 
ing that ends in tears. 

There was a German musician here—Mr. Trenkle— 
whom we had often met at Maxwell’s; a person of rare 
musical ability, and whose expression and grace of touch 
of the piano were something unusually exquisite. He fre- 
quently came and played for Lide, and she for him, and 



there were no visits to the house more agreeable than his. 
He was in miserable health—indeed, supposed to be dying 
of consumption—and the sympathy his pallor and painful 
inspiration excited with us, gave to his music an added 
charm. I have perhaps heard greater musicians than he, 
but never one whose touch was more full of pathos and 

Again, when the skies were clear we went to hear 
“Fanchon” or “ Pauvrette,” and several times we slipped 
away to the “Circus” to refresh ourselves with the bright 
faces and laugh of the little ones, and afterwards we halted 
at “Swain’s” and iced the children—-sometimes ourselves. 
But these junketings were exceptional—the rule was to stay 
at home and chat and read. 

So the winter passed, and in May we left town for the 
country again. Under the clear skies of Menlo Park, and 
the inspiration of its pure, sweet air, Lide seemed to have 
lost her cough, indeed increased in flesh, and recovered 
the bright look that always imparted such a glow to her 
beautiful features. She was spared all annoying cares of 
housekeeping. Her servants were well trained, and soon 
fell into her orderly ways. Her household was always the 
very perfection of system and comfort. The law of her 
mind was order and regularity, and her very presence 
seemed to confer upon her entire en/ourage a spirit of 
grace and harmony. 

At that time croguef was the favorite rural pastime, and 
when women play it, zzfhout lovers, it has many fascina- 
tions both to the contestants and lookers on. I laid out 
my croquet ground to the maximum size, for I was partial 
to ample verge. I had also rods, and guns, and books— 
the last were sent from town to do summer duty, and were 
always restored to their wonted shelves when the winter 
came. The neighborhood was full of v/as, and the place 

206 My Wire anv J; 

soon became quite the fashion. Saturdays and Sundays 
were “field days,” until really Menlo Park lost its charac- 
ter for seclusion, and, so far, I became dissatisfied with 
it. My own cottage had its share of visitors, and we fre- 
quently had croquet tournaments. I remained in the coun- 
try from Friday to Monday, not at “Oak Cottage” always, 
but in wandering among the hills and scouring the vicinage 
within a radius of ten miles or more. Lide was very often 
my companion—she and the boys—and frequently our ex- 
cursions extended to the sea coast. There was one drive 
of exquisite beauty, from my doorstep across the Coast 
Range to a small inn at a baiting spot called San Gregorio, 
within a mile of the sea, from where could be heard the 
sullen dash of the surf. It was our favorite jaunt, of all 
others. From my door the road wound through groups of 
live oaks, so beautiful a feature of that part of the country, | 
and as we ascended the long slope leading to the top of 

the range, there were opened to us a series of pictures — 
rarely to be met with even in California. They had all 
the constituents of just such landscapes as an artist would 
delight to paint; a combination of mountain, valley, and 
water scenery, harmoniously blended. 

The slope alluded to runs down into a middle ground 
of timbered and meadow land; then came a shining breadth 
of water, and bounding the whole, a chain of blue mount- 
ains, out of which rises the ponderous head of Mount 
Diablo—-their flanks and afices here and there bearing up 
the lace-like clouds. From the heighth of the slope, going 
seaward, there was no water to be seen—nothing but the 
wooded spurs of hills; deep ravines with profound purple 
depths, and over all the soft smile lying along the infinite 
spaces of the sky. 

The drive to the sea shore is full of the wildest charms 
and changing scenes. After the top of the mountain is 


left, the road skirts a ravine; sometimes crossing a stream 
whose course is almost concealed by lines of trees and 
nodding shrubs; and then we wind along the brook near 
enough to hear its happy song as it tumbles along the 
rocky ledges, or sweeps around the ragged juttings of the 

As I write, I remember one spot where Lide and I 
always paused to lunch—where the stream doubled; flowing 
broad and limpid over a sanded bed, leaving a little river- 
like breadth of beach, as full of painted pebbles as any 
bit of strand you can find. Just where the stream resumes 
its seaward flow, it is fringed with willow and aspen, and 
the spaces between them were pearled with snow drops, 
and red with clusters of wild roses, while on the very edge 
of the brook tiny ferns trailed their feathery stalks, and 
lichens clung to the facets of the rocks. 

We used to lunch on the border of a grassy esplanade, 
and near a group of redwood -trees, the least of which 
could not have been less than two hundred feet in alti- 
tude—all of them straight as a liberty pole—bearing aloft 
to their very crown a thousand leafy wings. 

At that spot the rivulet flows through a cleft of the 
chain of hills, and so abrupt are their sides, that, in places, 
the road touches the very outline of the stream. A more 
sequestered spot can not be found, and one where per- 
vades such a delicious sense of repose—-and where one 
forgets, in the happy voices of the flowing tide, and the 
profound quiet of the dingle, the noise and tramp of city 
life—all the sad wail and plaint of restless humanity. 

I can not speak for others, but for myself I can: say, 
that I have always ‘had a larger sense of life and its en- 
joyment in the unfrequented spots of the world; in places 
where Nature is supreme, and where the imperfect imita- 
tion we call “Art,” approaches not. I read occasionally of 

208 My Wire anv J. 

a recluse living in the forest depths, aside from his fellow 
man; beyond the reach of the voices, and vices, and in- 
quisitiveness of his kind. JI am not prepared to say that 
such an existence is criminally selfish, or even in bad taste, 
more especially when one can carry into his seclusion the 
comforts of life, and a library of old books. I would now, 
more than ever, really enjoy such an existence; and had I 
not children, like Thoreau I would try a secluded life, at 
least as long as he did. 

One day Ella Maxwell accompanied us to the spot I 
have just imperfectly described, and she was charmed. 
We brought our tiffin with us, and proposed to spend half 
the day there. I drove the horses a short distance from 
the place we had selected for our encampment, for the 
purpose of hitching and feeding them. When I returned 
to Lide and Ella, I found them sitting beside the stream, 
with their bare feet immersed in it, against which the tide 
beat with refreshing pulse. During my absence they had 
taken off their stockings and shoes. Ella I had known 
from her childhood, and she was then as my own daughter, 

Beyond this dell, some few miles away, was San Grego- 
rio, where there was an excellent hotel. There I passed 
many Saturday afternoons, and Lide went with me several 
times during that summer. Between the inn and the 
ocean is a small loch, a mile or more in extent, and it 
stretches down so close to the sea, that frequently, espe- 
cially at neap tides, the surf breaks over the isthmus sep- 
arating the two, The row over the lake, and the stroll 
over the beach, were sources of intense pleasure. Over 
its surface trailed purple flags, and in their chalices 
were half buried curious blossoms, and these filled the 
lower end of the lake, lying in broad patches, scarcely 
leaving an aisle big enough for our boat. We would 
pause, oftentimes, in the deepest water, where these leafy 


discs were not found, and try our lines in search of trout. 
The children tended them—while Lide and I searched 
the hill slopes with half curious, dreamy gaze, listening to 
the dash of the sea upon the hard beach, or watching the 
water-fowl to be seen in every direction. But that beach 
was the rarest delight to her and to me—a beach only 
at low tide, for when the water is high, the foamy feet 
of the waves tread to the very base of the cliff. As far 
as we could see this land-wall extended itself, its face cor- 
rugated by the eternal beat of the sea-wind and the flying 
spray. From the face of the cliff protruded infinite varie- 
ties of fossil conchtfera-—memorials of ages when the earth 
was fresh and dripping in the mists of the primal morn- 
ings. There was written the history of the earliest forms 
of life, and at a period so remote that it puzzles us to try 
to compute it. And when that shell-life was imprisoned 
in these argillaceous cliffs the ichthyosaurus broke the 
waves yonder with its fin-like feet, and the winged ptero- 
dactylus, which, like Milton’s fiend; . 

** Sinks, or swims, or wades, or creeps, or flies.”’ 

We made several what I must call, scientific visits to 
that spot. Lide looked on, while I, with a hammer, beat 
out the well preserved skeletons dropped there millions of 
years agone by the surging floods. Those researches were 
a rare delight to one who had laid up, during her early 
life, a most respectable store of geological knowledge, and 
who had improved it by the readings of her maturer years. 
Dr. Maxwell has to-day, in: his cabinet, many fossil speci- 
mens gathered by my darling in those trips. 

The return to Oak Cottage was made by a road that, 
for many miles, skirts the sea, and crosses the San Mateo 
range of mountains, from which one at every turn of the 

road catches exquisite bits of landscape, made up of fields 

210 /My WIFE AND |. 

of golden grain, wild recesses lying among the hills, and 
long sweeps of sea view. | 

During the months of May and June, Lide and Bolton— 
who developed much of his mother’s scientific tastes—were 
wont to roam over the fields contiguous to ‘the house, to 
gather wild flowers and mosses, tiny crvpfogamia, of which 
there were many interesting kinds there. The blossoms, 
which in the early spring yellow the meadows and paint 
the hill slopes with such vivid varieties of colors, were to 
her a source of exquisite delight. And how. beautiful are 
the little baby buds, cradled among the clover tufts until 
the May sun broadens them into flower, and then they 
overshadow and tramp upon the blades of grass that shel- 
tered them! ‘They have their little life everywhere—under 
the shades of the oaks, decking the bosom of the mead- 
ows; creeping up to the beaten tracks on the roads; hang- 
ing from the rocks, and even swinging from the bosses of 
the trees—wherever a shoot of grass thrusts itself to the: 
sun, there will you find the enameled petal of the flower. 

It was these golden freshets of flowers flowing over all 
the country in the vernal time, the soft temperature, and 
the massive mountains, that made Lide so attached to 
California. She knew, too, that through all the seasons 
the sweet life of flowers could be nurtured at the graves 
of those we love, And, darling, at times I am consoled 
in thinking, that perhaps thou dost see the .tender typical 
buds and blossoms that have their birth and death and 
resurrection upon the mound where I laid thee down. And 
when I shall lie at thy side, will there remain kind hands 
to nourish still these sweet memorials of the lives that have 
been—the pure types, too, of the Life to be? 

I have near me now several books—her common /eré- 
arta—full of the skeletons of the flowers her sweet hands 
gathered in those happy days—days I can know no more 
in this world. } 


Menlo Park had rather a choice society, if not in an 
intellectual point of view, at least made up of pleasant, 
warm-hearted people, many of whom were persons of 
wealth, to whom hospitality is easy and agreeable. It has, 
during the summer, the piquancy given by well bred people 
from beyond the Sierra Nevada, who are received gener- 
ously, and with a breadth of hospitality I’ dare say they 
never saw equaled, much less excelled. 

Lide did the visiting for her little family. I had no time 
to do so. I went to Barron’s as if it was my own house, 
and sometimes I threaded the by-paths through the wood, 
and so across the railroad to see ‘“‘the dear old Commo- 
dore,” as Lide called Commodore Watkins. Sometimes I 
was persuaded by my wife to go through the neighborhood 
on a round of visits, and that circuit counted for the whole 
season. I was there too small a portion of the day to see 
my neighbors as often as I perhaps would have liked to 
do, under other circumstances. Besides, when the sun sets, 
at. Menlo Park, the air becomes chilly, and Lide’s health 
was too fragile to encounter any risks. A few evenings 
before we came to town that autumn, she had made an 
afternoon visit to Mrs. Thomas H. Selby, and not intend- 
ing to remain as late as she did, was not provided with a 
shawl or cloak, ‘The weather became suddenly chilly, and 
she contracted a cold she never recovered from. 


«For now I stand as one upon a rock, 
Environ’d with a wilderness of sea; 
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave, 
Expecting ever when some envious surge 
Will in his brinish billows swallow him.” 

The rains came early, and shut Lide within doors, com- 
-pletely closing up all avenues to the exercise so necessary 
to her. It stormed most of the winter, and sometimes it 
rained for days, almost without intermission, Whenever 
there was a subsidence of the rain, and the sun broke 
through the clouds, ‘even for a half hour, I would take 
her out to a short drive, or we would walk as far as Sec- 
ond Street and back again. From day to day she grew 
more feeble, and all exercise became painful to her, more 
especially as she suffered from shortness of breath. Her 
cough increased, and she lost flesh to an alarming degree. 
Until April the rain fell almost continuously—at least with 
so much frequency that, for weeks at a time, she was un- 
able to leave the house. ‘The auscultation made by Dr. 
Maxwell showed an alarming increase of tubercular deposit, 
and he advised another departure frem California, stating 
that she could not possibly survive a summer here—that 
is, in this city, “If there were,” added hej tetas 
terior, comfortable hotels, I should not counsel departure 
from. this State; but in the absence of comforts and soci- 
ety, I advise her to go East, if not to Europe.” 

Mrs. Maxwell and Ella had determined to go to Phila- 


delphia the succeeding March, and it was arranged Lide 
should accompany them. I was to follow in July or 
August, and take her to some genial climate during the 
winter. They sailed that date, but Lide was too weak to 
go with them; and it was also thought that, by starting so 
early, she would reach the eastern side during its most 
changeable and unpleasant season. 

Her cousin William G. Morris placed his country house, 
at Suscol, at her service, until she should start for the East, 
and so we removed there in April, with children and serv- 
ants. That spring, as a rule, was damp and _ without 
warmth, and we had occasional showers of rain; and yet 
there were some days simply perfect, when the air was full 
of golden sunshine and exhilarating purity. The country 
around Morrisania was then a vast lawn, or an extended 
flower-bed. When the temperature was mild, Morris would 
take us out in his wagon, up the creek, where could be 
found the greenest verdure and the prettiest flowers. We 
three adults would find a pretty spot where we would halt 
to pick wild violets and fox glove, while the children crept 
through the elder bushes, and along the creek, fishing, or 
launching chip-armadas on the rapid stream. 

To me came then, for the first time, the possible danger 
of losing my wife. I had had faith in her constitution, and 
my own loyalty to make every sacrifice that might conduce 
to her recovery; and yet I feared she might never be well 
again. I could not understand, and even now my bereave- 
ment has failed to enlighten me, why the pure and beau- 
tiful, who are even as missionaries and preachers—declar- 
ing the testimony of God’s wisdom by their very virtues 
and beauty—why they should be so strangely taken away, 
abruptly terminating their mission, while the most wretched 
and demoralizing forms and examples of vice are left to 
evangelize evil and crime and misery.. But, my children, 

214 My WIFE AND J. 

as at this moment I sit within this little cottage where the 
happiest years of your dear mamma were passed; while, 
too, I see all her life, even to the end when her religious 
faith and hope lifted her above the dread mystery of 
death—let me impress upon you the sincerity of my con- 
viction that all things are ordered aright; that there is above 
a great compassionate God, who will in the Hereafter make 
clear all that is so dark and inexplicable now. 

From Suscol I took Lide to the “White Sulphur 
Springs,” in Napa County, whither’ I went every Friday 
evening and remained until Monday. ‘They lie in a vast 
gorge, or in the lap of the hills, around which the mount- 
ainous walls rise, screening the little dell where the cottages 
nestle, from the harsh. spiritings of the chill sea breezes. 
As a,general rule you can find there, from May to Octo- 
ber, soft, delicious, warm weather, and some of the most 
refined and most respectable persons of San Francisco are 
to be met there during the summer. 

There Lide gained comparative strength and a greater 
share of cheerfulness, and she was enabled to stroll a few 
yards every day. Every one was kind and attentive to her, 
and they seemed to endeavor, in a most affectionate way, 
to help her to health. 

At this period her English cousin Toston By Holliday 
Esq., came to San Francisco from China, em route to Eng- 
land. He was at Suscol when Lide and I were there, and 
as he is a jolly fellow, full of fun and spirits, manly and 
intelligent, he added much to Lide’s enjoyment. He and 
I went to the ‘‘Geysers” together, and Lide was so far 
recovered that she and Nellie Elliot, her sister, accompanied 
us as far as Calistoga, and remained there until master 
Joseph and I had returned from our trip. 

Early in June Lide came to San Francisco to make her 
preparations to leave for New York. It was now. determ- 


ined she should be taken to some European clime, where 
she might find a fitting temperature, new scenes, and so 
new thoughts, and be relieved from all cares, so far as the 
same could be done. While she was thus engaged in pre- 
paring herself, she was taken severely ill with congestion of 
the lungs, and Dr. Maxwell was exceedingly anxious to 
hurry her departure. Of course there was but one person 
in the world whe could fill all the requirements she de- 
manded in an escort, and that person was her husband. I 
was then engaged in one venture in a neighboring State 
which required my personal attention to save me from 
severe pecuniary loss. I held, too, the Commissionership 
of the Twelfth Judicial District, an office that corresponds 
to Master in Chancery, and I was in all respects entirely 
unprepared to leave. But I did not hesitate for one mo- 
ment. I resigned my office, and I abandoned every plan, 
profit, and enterprise I had, to give myself up to her, who 
was, and who always had been true to me—oh, so hero- 
ically and unselfishly true to me !—-and who was the most 
exquisite type of wife and woman I ever saw, and who 
would have died for me had it been necessary. How well 
do I understand the old patrician’s boast over the dead 
body of his child: ‘I would rather be the father of this 
dead son, than any living one in christendom,” 

I took passage for Lide, myself, and her servant, on 
board the steamer ‘Golden Age,” Captain Farnsworth, to 
sail June 22d. ‘The week preceding our departure she be- 
came very ill, and on the 21st it was exceedingly doubtful 
whether she could be removed to the steamer, and it was 
not until the night of that day that Dr. Maxwell told me 
the start must be attempted. The next day she seemed to 
me most alarmingly ill—so much so that they could not 
dress her beyond a loose wrapper. She was not permitted 
to say good-by to any but her children. I carried her to 

216 My WIFE AND fs 

the carriage, her mother alone going with us, and so to 
the steamer, where she was at once put to bed. Few, if 
any, expected her to reach Panama alive, and I must con- 
fess that at one time I shared the general fear. 



~ It is a wholesome habit to record our daily thoughts and observations, 
which, trite as they may be, carry some useful lessons. It not only imparts 
healthy exercise to our minds, but also helps us to the rarest of. all knowl- 
edge—a knowledge of ourselves.—ANON. 

I have some pencil memoranda of that trip, most of 
which were written under her eye—she generally seated at 
my side. For the purposes already indicated, and as they, 
in a great measure, represent her tastes and feelings, I shall 
introduce them bodily: 

““*GotpEN AGE,’ Monday, June 22, 1868. 

“We got off punctually at 11 a.m. These farewells are 
keen and piercing, especially with the children. Lide has 
borne the trial with a courage and resolution that surprise 
me. As we pushed out from the wharf, she remained per- 
fectly motionless—evidently endeavoring to control her grief; 
and yet in her agony what a sweet picture she is. Her 
cheeks are stained with tears, and in her white hands, 
clasped over her bosom, are two rosebuds, gathered from 
her own little garden. As we crossed the bar, she had a 
paroxysm of weeping. She felt, and I felt, that we had 
indeed left our home, and over the future rested only dark 
clouds. How sweetly, and yet how sadly does that home 
come up to me now—its places consecrated by so many 
years of happiness, and its paths worn by the tread of thir- 
teen years. Perhaps there are some who call these little 


218 My WIFE AND ): 

sorrows, to be brushed away with the corner of one’s ker- 
chief, as it were; yet to those who appreciate them, they 
are calamities even. 

‘We are now running the shore along—the deeply in- 
dented slopes of the Coast Range swept by exquisite shad- 
ows; the green and tawny knolls; the mists hanging like 
veils about the mountains; the broad plateau embraced 
between the foot-hills and the banks overhanging the sea, 
where I see the showering spray, through which the sun- 
light breaks, leaving rainbows behind. While these con- 
stitute a beautiful picture, yet as I look at them, they fill 
me with inexpressible sadness, and I bow my head in grief. 
Lide is more subdued now, and I open the door to show 
her the long line of beach, and the grand old hills, grim 
and green, standing between the broad sea and the pleas- 
ant valleys of the land she loves so much. They fill her 
with sadness, and she sees them no more for her tears. 

‘‘Near dark the weather was calm, and the movement of | 
the ship was merely onward, with a slightly tremulous mo- 
tion, as if she shuddered as she swept into the twilight. 
The sun has gone down, the land has retired beyond the 
sea-mists, and silver gleams come through the grey face of 
the heavens, from the starry eyes beyond, The first night 
at sea is sad enough, and my heart is troubled as I look 
behind and before me. If our boys were here, we would 
be happier; and yet, under all the sad circumstances of 
our departure, it was better to leave them behind. 

“I remained on deck until 10 p.m., but now I sit within. 
the little cabin, and I have no other thought than of the 
pale face of my darling wife—paler under the splendor of 
the lamp-light. For the past few days she has been so ill 
that I take her to fairer and softer skies—to the golden 
realm of the tropics—with the hope she may find health 
and strength there, or at least be relieved from suffering. 


_Ah, well, I Zave hope. I look to all nature, and find that life 
and health are the law, and disease the exception—an ab- 
normal thing in the wise and exquisitely ordered mechan- 
ism of the world—-and that God is of infinite mercy, so 
searching and permeating, that the tiniest object is as replete 
with wonder and law and wisdom as the most stupendous 
works of His hands. Perhaps even now He sees this poor 
heart of mine, which so earnestly appeals to Him, and in 
His immeasurable compassion will hear its prayer, and 
lift up to health the sweet, pure life it clings so lovingly to. 

“JuNE 23d. 

“It is a tender and delicious morning. We are run- 
ning through a sparkling blue sea, and the Santa Barbara 
Islands are seen off our port beam—great purple piles, 
with a sweet opaline sky lying beyond them. We are now 
passing Richardson’s Rock, which is covered with tawny 
sea-lions, and a little beyond are the gray and arid bluffs 
of San Miguel. These chalky cliffs slander the main land 
that we see far away yonder, for there are verdurous 
mountains, and near them, the orange blossoms and pol- 
ished leaves of grape vines. 

“J have helped the dear weakling out on deck, who is 
now feverless and stronger. ‘The saline air, with its crisp 
touch, will raise her up again, and upon her cheek will 
return the old hue of health. 

“At sunset the high island ridges had disappeared, and 
there was no land in sight on any side. The wind which 
pursues us is gentle and dry, and the skies are clear and 
hopeful. After the sun had gone down I walked a half 
hour on deck, under the smile of the stars, through which 
sailed a baby moon—and I disliked to go to my bed. 

‘ JuNE 24th. 

“My sight can reach no land to-day. We are running 

220 My WIFE AND J. 

before the same kind wind which came to us as we left 
the ‘Golden Gate,’ except that now it is a little more vig- 
orous, sending us rapidly along, and frosting the waters 
everywhere; for as the waves sweep high and break, they 
give to the sea a rimy look. At 10 o’clock last night we 
passed from abreast California soil to Mexican. Like one 
who leaves his hearthstone and lingers a moment to see 
the loved places ere he passes away, .so, last evening, did 
I, just as the twilight commenced to obscure it, cast loving 
regards on the Coast Range of my adopted State. But as I 
travel now with eyes looking forward rather than behind, 
I will not indulge my sadness at parting from my home. 
I must and will look forward hopefully, for er dear sake. 
‘““We are not crowded. I suppose two hundred passen- 
gers are our complement, and it includes a very common 
set of persons. A large proportion is Jews, and who are 
by no means the best representatives of the intelligence 
and respectability of that extraordinary race. ‘They are the 
pedlers found through the suburbs of San Francisco, who 
roam among the mining camps, with packs full of odds 
and ends—the type we have in our minds (long neglected 
beards and aquiline noses) when we speak of Jews. The 
higher model—the esthetic, refined, and clear-brained 
Israelite—I looked for among our passengers and found not. 
“Tide and I belong to a coterie that, somehow or other, 
usually filters through the crowd of passengers, and then 
coheres. The Captain, as it were, confers knighthood, for 
at his table is the creme de la creme, while the Purser and 
doctor select from the commoners, and usually, of course, 
get the crisp, sparkling fellows, who hate ceremony at sea, 
and dine at their ease in linen jackets. Lide and I hold 
the posts of precedence at the Captain’s right, but as she 
can not go to the table, I must do the honors alone. 
‘Life on shipboard is always dull enough to me. One 


day is the history of all days—the same routine of eating, 
tippling, smoking, and chatting. I can not, for the life of 
me, read at sea; and, somehow or other, conversation runs 
ordinarily in the same groove of commonplaces. If I open 
a book, I am sure to give my eyes license to wander away 
over the breaking, restless sea, while my mind follows 
slip-shod and indolent, fascinated rather by the pictured 
page of the ocean than the duller one of the book. I 
do not find life at sea exactly wearisome and inane, but 
when we pass into the splendor and sensuousness of the 
tropics, I must confess I am as a hasheesh-eater—lounging 
in half recognition of the world, but conscious of a dream 
life that idles under palms, on a hillside a clear stream 
breaking with a glad voice from under nodding oleanders 
and jasmine, and all the outer world silent and exhausted 
under the fervid flush of the fierce sun. 

“"Those, however, who follow nautical life as a means 
of subsistence, and who live abaft the mainmast, generally 
fill in the spare hours with reading—perhaps study. It 
suggests, and cultivates, too, a strong religious sentiment— 
not Pantheism, by any means, for there, more than any 
place else, is one brought face to face with God. Sift an 
intelligent person, whose life is passed on the sea, and 
you will find him replete with generous sentiments, and a 
hearty religious faith. 

“The sea has its epics and idylls—grand, heroic storms, 
with a mse en scene never seen on land; skies dark and 
heavy, upon which God writes His power with the thun- 
derbolt. And again, instead of terror He paints all the 
firmament with the wonderful splendors of sunrise and sun- 
set, and brings from the infinite depths of space, to beau- 
tify the face of night, numberless starry worlds, throbbing 
with life, and lighting our little earth with their silver 
smiles. Away out here, with no land in sight, where the 

222 My WIFE AND ik 

water is daprs lazuli; where the graceful mew poises itself 
above us with extended wings, and the waves lift them- 
selves in playful or angry mood, I can conceive of nothing 
more inspiring and beautiful than the sea, the sweet fresh 
air, and the almost cloudless sky. This evening I sat out 
on deck, looking on the water breaking into myriads of 
fantastic forms, under as full and soft a moon as ever shone 
before. In these latitudes, where the atmosphere is so 
limpid, the stars seem more: numerous, nearer, and, as a 
consequence, more brilliant. To-night the heavens were 
literally ablaze with light, and the milky way one vast zone 
of silver splendor. How I wish the darling, who drove 
me on deck for exercise, could have sat with me, and 
gone over all these glories, with our blended eyes, as it 

“JuNE 25, 1868. 

‘““T broke out early this morning, and was glad to find © 
the sun sailing in splendor through an unclouded sky. I 
had a salt water bath, and the sensation of being clean is 
high among the ordinary blessings of life. 

‘“‘Lide is looking better to-day, and by degrees she is 
gaining strength. She sits out on deck most of the day, 
in the sweet, bracing air, going within only at the approach 
of night. The Captain and all are very kind to her, and 
if I owned the steamer, she could not have more care. 

“We are within reach of land again. The bold Coast 
Range of Lower California can be seen through the morn- 
ing haze, and we are still pushed along by the same breeze 
which waited for us as we left the ‘Golden Gate.’ The 
weather continues exquisitely soft, and notwithstanding we 
are entering upon the meridian of heat, there is nothing 
to show it except the tenderer aspect of the skies, and the 
diurnal bulletins of our speed and position. 


“"This forenoon we passed through a vast breadth of 
water as highly discolored as that of the Sacramento. River. 
The Captain could not account for it, except on the thecry 
of a muddy discharge from some stream——an explanation 
by no means satisfactory to me. The best of us, when 
appealed to as-authority to settle some doubt, or to account 
for a phenomenon, will rarely confess ignorance; and so 
we venture on a theory rather to retain the respect of those 
who refer to us for information, than to place our intelli- 
gence in jeopardy by professing ignorance. ‘The answer of 
the Captain belonged to the category named. 

“We have on board General Warren, United States Min- 
ister at Guatemala, who was formerly Assistant Postmaster 
General; a person of good conversational power, and who 
has seen and observed much. His pictures of life among 
the coffee princes of Costa Rica have stirred my blood, 
more especially as he describes a climate that perhaps 
would suit the constitution of Lide. It is not for myself 
I plan now—it is for her, whose restoration to health 
must, for the future, be the single object of my life and 

“Vide and I chat a great deal with Mitchell, a brother 
of ‘Ik Marvel,’ a man who has seen much; who seems to 
despise the energetic life and quality of the age, preferring 
the lazy sensuousness of a tropical clime to any other. 
And yet, with these poetical preferences, he has a hard 
sort of materialism that runs painfully near to misanthropy. 
He is a man, putting his conversation against his brother’s 
books, of finer capacity and larger intelligence than that 
same brother. He pains me at times, but again and always 
I have a sort of admiration of his hard, rasping phrases, 
that indicate a strong, decided nature—warped, as it may 
have been, by some or many disappointments. 

“These, with a married lady who travels under my super- 

224 My Witec ANDO 

vision—a Jellish, frivolous person—and a San Francisco 
friend, H. L. Breed, make up the coterie which flanks 
the Captain at meal times, and constitutes the upper crust 
of the society of this trip. 

“June 26th. 

“Another gorgeous morning. I was up betimes, and, 
looking landward, saw close to us the craggy and seamed 
heights of the Island of Santa Marguerita. It has a dreary 
aspect, and seems drearier as 1 remember the loss of the 
steamer ‘Independence,’ wrecked yonder where the surf 
dashes against the rocky abutment vs @ wis to us. With 
the glass I see her boiler lying on the sand, a memento 
of a sad mishap, by which two hundred lives were lost by 
fire and wreck: Years ago, a friend who was on board of 
her at the time, gave me a harrowing account of the ter- 
rible disaster. 

“‘Lide extended her reach to-day. «She got as far as the. 
stern, where she has been sitting, enjoying the pleasant 
breeze. She improves every day. As we expected to meet 
the steamer ‘ Montana’ this evening, I prepared letters to 
the friends left behind, to relieve their suspense and anxi- 
ety as to Lide. At sunset we passed her some ten miles 
away, and I half execrated the craft as she passed out of 
sight among the mists that hung about the horizon. But 
I forgot my displeasure and disappointment as I gazed at 
the sunset, the illuminated clouds, the vivid transition of 
colors, and the fairy palaces built against the blue sky—their 
pinnacles and towers, their delicate frostwork and misty 
aisles. There are few natural sights so magnificent and 
impressive as sunsets, especially when seen in the tropics 
at sea. ‘The clearness of the atmosphere, the transparency 
of the clouds, and the exceeding splendor of the sun-rays, 
unite in making that daily miracle peculiarly beautiful. 


“We are running within two miles of the beach, where 
I see showers of spray cast up by the surging sea, and 
‘behind, bold and stately, lifting their clear outline into the 
upper air, are the eternal hills. , High above tremble 
many a silver star, while to the south, just swinging above 
the horizon, is the Southern Cross—that most mystic and 
beautiful of all the stellar forms. Through my memory 
run now the half forgotten words of Bailey’s apostrophe to 
the Cross, in ‘Festus,’ and J am impressed to a lively 
degree with the religious mystery a sight of it suggests. 

“As we rounded Cape St. Lucas, this evening, the pleas- 
ant breeze which has pushed us along ever since we lost 
sight of the ‘Heads,’ left us, and we experience a stiff, 
flawy wind, which comes from the Gulf of California, and 
as we rise and fall upon the long swell of the Gulf, the 
steamer’s timbers creak and groan as with a human cry of 
anguish, ‘These narrow planks are all that separate us from 
the Eternity which seems so far away, yet which neverthe- 
less lies so near, that a single inspiration alone divides us. 

“JUNE 27th. 

“Last night and to-day have been-very disagreeable—a 
clouded sky with a dash of rain, a heavy sea, and a stiff 
breeze. I have done nothing all day but read a novel— 
sitting at Lide’s side,.who has been touched with sea- 
sickness. At this moment it is twilight, and the dying 
splendors of a brilliant sunset paint all the western sky. 

“ Notwithstanding the untoward wind and the heavy sea, 
our good ship strenuously pursues her way, Generally 
speaking, she is not a favorite. Her day is gone; larger 
tonnage, greater verge, and increased conveniences, have 
almost pushed her aside. But in the matter of strength, 
comfort, and good ventilation, she is the best vessel of the 


226 My WIFE AND J. 

““Sunpay, June 28th. 

“This morning when I got up and looked out, I saw 
the long point of Cape Corrientes stretching out toward 
us, and, under the haze, were the blue hills of the Coast 
Range. This part of the coast of Mexico is more pictur- 
esque, perhaps, than any other portion of the sea shore 
lying along our route. It is broken by bays, and the mid- 
dle ground, lying between the sea-strand and the mountains, 
is thick with trees and bits of green meadow. Enhancing 
the view are seen masses of boulders lying along the 
beach, over which the surf dashes, and just outside the 
breakers are bits of rocks that the ocean in the gone cycles 
has conquered from the land. 

“We have had no sun to-day. Shoreward the clouds 
lie piled over the foot-hills, and gather upon the ridges 
above; and seaward, too, the sky is all gray and leaden, 
except in places where the sunlight is trying to beat through. 
Occasionally I can see glimpses of blue sky, through aisles - 
of silver edged clouds. 

“A “stowaway’—as those persons are called who hide 
when the ship sails, for the purpose of avoiding payment 
of the fare—died to-day. She was a drunken mother, who 
had abandoned her children, and who has had for several 
days past delirium tremens. As we are nearing Manzanillo, 
her body will be buried on shore. As I never saw her, 
knew nothing of her except hearing her mad shrieks, and 
having no sympathy with an intemperate person, especially 
an intemperate woman, I can feel no regret that she has 
left forever a husband and children she disgraced. 

“The land lies nearer to us. The furthest mountains 
are half hid by the clouds, and the /omas, which stretch 
down to the sea, are crowned with diadems of groves. 
Green trees fringe the land-line of the beach, and immense 
rollers dash against the shore, throwing up clouds of spray. 


Just abreast of us now, high up beyond the reach of the 
breakers, I see the wheel of the steamer ‘Golden Gate,’ 
lost here some eight years ago. Like the ‘ Independence,’ 
she was wrecked, and consumed by fire, two hundred and 
seventy lives being lost. Such ‘accidents’ run into the 
history of our California civilization, and they are inherent 
to what we call our American enterprise. God knows how 
many lives have been sacrificed upon the altar of go-ahead- 
ativeness. ‘There is in our character a lack of strength and 
steady purpose, a lack of prudence and regard for human 
life, that naturally depreciate us with sensible people every- 
where. The fact is, we need more strength in our gov- 
ernmental system—-a something to repress the tyranny and 
license of our people, especially corporations. Universal 
suffrage, and Ireland, too, are the sources of many of our 
evils. ‘To vote may be the natural right of all, as the new 
school proclaims; but, like many of our natural rights, it 
sshould be surrendered, under conditions, for the common 
good, and its enjoyment should be based upon an allodial 
possession, as already stated. 

““We reached Manzanillo after sunset, where we remained 
a couple of hours. It was too dark to see that prince of 
‘mountains—snow-clad Colima. Indeed, there was nothing 
to be seen but the lights on the beach, and the market 
‘canoes which surrounded the steamer. At IO P.M. we got 
off, and as I go to bed, we are again at sea. 

“ JuNE 29th. 
“To-day opened favorably. A blue sky looks down 
upon us with its tender smiles, a few golden clouds lie 
in bars on the seaward sky, while upon the land they are 
piled up in every imaginable device of grotesque beauty. 
The Coast Range, as seen abreast of us to-day, was grandly 
‘beautiful. It was of the bluest tint, except away down on 

228 My WIFE AND J]. 

the foot-hills, where the variegated colors of the flora im- 
part to them a rare beauty, and here and there a vapory 
column, as of descending rain, is seen, looking like an 
immense curtain of lace. In some places the mist shuts 
out portions of the Coast Range, while everywhere else it 
stands clear—disclosing ‘cone after cone, then smooth out- 
lines, then wavy, and again heaved up in mountainous 
bulk, reaching up to the cloud-domain. Down near the 
sea shore are seen islands, over which flow freshets. of green 
shrubs, while here and there a wooded spur outruns its 
fellows and leaps into the sea. I can not conceive of a 
landscape more delicate and yet bolder than this, uniting 
the two qualities of softness and grandeur—a rare union, 
except in these tropical climes. 

“Tf I were wealthy, and the dear life at my side were 
strong and hardy, I would spend all my days in quest of 
_the beauty which lies in Nature and Art—especially in the 
former. It would not be an existence that would generate © 
utility, or that would have influences beyond myself; but 
at least it would make me happy, which I believe we 
all, in one way or another, are striving to be. I am not 
aware, either, that. such a life would be useless, by any 
means. I must confess I hate the cant which constantly 
and vehemently calls for recruits for the public good, and 
which forgets that there are no such generous and pure 
humanitarians as happy men, | 

“T lift my eyes from this page to the perdurable hills 
yonder, towards the fleecy mists; to imagined streams wan- 
dering with winsome voice down the hill sides among the 
groves at their feet. I see quiet shades. I hear the flutter 
of golden-hued wings; hear birds whispering, and calling 
to their mates among the leafy aisles, and I wish myself 
there with her whose hand now touches mine, and away 

from the clamor and the throngs of the impatient busy 


“J raise my eyes again and see a most delicious bit 
of purple curve where the shore runs off from the hills, 
as it were; as if it longed to bring its growth of wide- 
branched trees down to the surf, which flings clouds of 
spray through the sunny air. Abreast of us, lying some 
few furlongs from the shore, is a group of rocks white as 
with snow drifts, which at this distance looks like a fleet 
of ships under full sail How or when they were left 
there, whether upheaved, or caught by the advance of the 
sea, Heaven only knows, I do not. Near them is another 
‘group of little rocky islands, etiolated by the winds and 
sun, and the incessant dash of the sea. As I see them 
now they bear a wonderful resemblance to the ruins of 
some stupendous fortress of a distant age and unknown 
race. In one of them is niched out a perfect similitude 
to the gateway of an old castle. It is arched above, com- 
plete in its proportions, and so deep that I can almost 
fancy I can see through to an open court beyond. Near 
by, lying more shoreward, is quite a large island, dusky at 
its apex, but scoured white near the base, where that ever 
‘restless and petulant washerwoman, the sea, has been at 
work. Surely such a series of bold landscapes should make 
this trip a delightful one to tourists. But one longs to 
leave the sea, and penetrate to yon wooded mountains, 
and find the never-to-be-forgotten beauties of a primal: for- 
- est, and rich liftings up of the spirit, as one stands there 
in ‘God’s first temples.’ ! 

“After dinner, when we got on deck, we found the ship 
sailing within a horizon no bigger than a punch-bowl— 
narrowed down by a fierce rain-storm. At moments the 
‘lightning shot through the mists, and then the thunder 
came sharply—awfully from out the heavy masses of fog 
which enveloped us. And all the while the steamer drove 
through the sheets of rain unchecked by the elemental war, 

230 My WIFE AND ): 

“'To-night we expect to reach Acapulco. 

“When we left San Francisco, Mr. Latham sent Lide 
an exquisite corbeille de fleurs, and they have hung from 
the cabin roof ever since. Morning.and evening I sprinkle 
them with water, trying in all sedulous ways to preserve 
them fresh, to keep the color that nature’s rare hand has 
spread over petal and stem. ‘They afford her a pleasure 
even beyond that imparted by their delicate beauty—the 
sad pleasure of association and thought—a link that con- 
nects us with the dear home, dearer as we get further from 
it. Over me now crowd a thousand thoughts, such thoughts 
as press out of one’s heart its joyousness and hope. At 
this hour I sit in the little cabin at her side, holding her 
hand, talking, scribbling, but oftenest gazing at the sweet 
wife face, over which sickness has thrown a most pathetic 
expression of spiritual aspiration and sadness, refined by a 
purity almost unearthly. Her disease shows no ravages 
yet. All change that comes is that of Heaven, developing | 
her soul, the part of us that sickness only heightens. And 
then how sweetly, how patiently and uncomplainingly she 
endures all, forgetting herself, commiserating only me— 
for how frequently does she say, ‘Rob, darling, how much 
I pity and love you, thinking of your sad life should I go 
first.’ We should envy those we call the dead, it is the 
survivors who deserve compassion. Alas! alas! she has 
begun to educate and prepare me for the survivorship ist 
God seems to have ordained. 

' After she gets her breakfast, I place her chair in that 
part of the ship where the breeze is strongest, and there 
she sits until dark. JI am at her side, or within call, all 
the time. We are separated only when I go to my meals— 
she takes hers on deck. These jottings are made while we 
sit together, or near each other. 


| “ JuNE 30th. 
“T got up at 3 a.m., and looking out the window, I saw 
we had arrived at Acapulco. I retired to my bed again, 
and rose at 6 o'clock, dressed, and went on deck. I 
found launches alongside, and a gang of half-nude natives 
engaged in filling us up with coal. At the gangways was 
a flotilla of canoes laden with fruits of the country, handi- 
works of shells, and mimic trees of coral, their tips sacri- 
legiously colored, as if nature had left her work incomplete. 
The skies were leaden, and soon about the hill-tops gath- 
ered murky clouds, and then they shot their spears of rain 
about us, soaking oarsmen, coal-heavers, and fruit-vendors 
to the skin. We did not anchor off the town, but in front 
of the coal-sheds; and yet some of the passengers, having 
no fear of the army of clouds gathering on the neighbor- 
ing mountains, albeit half an eye could see they carried 
lakes in their broad paunches, went on shore. I had seen 
Acapulco many times before, and I had not curiosity enough 
to make it another visit at the expense of a wet jacket; 
and so I remained on board. From my standpoint there 
were visible no portions of the town. The whitened walls 
_of the fortress were within my visual reach, but, in the 
embrasure and upon the barbette, no guns were seen, no 
fluttering standard, and no sentinel marched upon the 
ramparts. Near by, hemming in the coal-sheds, were seen 
groves of cocoa, waving their pinnated branches with a 
grace I stood long admiring; and grouped beneath, near 
the centre of the groves, I saw the gleam of monumental 
stones. I observed nothing more but the low thicket 

growth on the hill-sides, the sombre clouds, and slanting 

rain. I wandered about the decks, impatient of delay, for 
the close cabins, the noise and confusion, and the sloppy 
decks, made it very uncomfortable for Lide. About noon 
“we went to sea right in the teeth of a half gale, and 


232 My WIFE AND J], 

despite the long rollers with their angry crests pouring in 
from the broad main, And ever since have we been 
plunging on, buffeted by opposing waves, and through 
heavy sheets of pelting rain. ‘he deep night is upon us; 
the thin scud flies over us; the massive waves rise up and 
thunder along our oaken sides; the wind moans fitfully 
through the rigging, and the pale moon thrusts her face 
from betweén the driving clouds, her flitting light making 
the scene more spectral and weird. 

“I see the purple mountains lying under the clouds on 
our left, and I know that Tehuantepec is reached. The 
day is fair, a pleasant breeze stirs, and I sit at Lide’s side, 
watching the receding land. ‘The steamer pitches and tum- 
bles among the rapidly increasing billows, and over all 
the white clouds come and go, contracting and expanding 
their plumed edges, the very peacocks of the firmament. 
I turn from sea and clouds to the adventures of ‘ Ralph 
Brakespere,’ and I continued on until the gallant Free Com- 
panion’s life goes out under a felon blow. I like the 
book—not its mannerism of style, not its half pedantic 
medieval lore, but its dexterous painting of a life and 
period exceedingly fascinating to me. I have sat forward 
all the day, the precious wife within squeeze-hand distance; 
refreshed by the pleasant breeze, idling over a book, but 
oftener watching the strange characters nature and expe- 
rience write upon the human face. Sometimes I “him, 
even here where occupation is labor and annoyance—I 
more frequently muse, I dream, too, and aspire, as I have 
ever done, am ever doing, and I shall go on dreaming 
and hoping to the last. What boots it? In a few years 
more my very name will be forgotten, and others will suc- 
ceed me, with hearts restless, and yearning, and unsatisfied, 
even as mine is now. — 


“It is sunset—the western sky is packed with clouds; 
golden rifts lie along and through the masses, and here 
and there crimson eyes look out from the openings, while 
all the topmost clouds turn gloomy, surly backs upon their 
more happy brethren lying below, within the fiery splendor 
of the sun. I can not enough admire these tropical sun- 
sets. I never tire of them, from the moment the sun 
dips until the last luminous ray and golden arabesque are 
gone. Then, when all is gray, I half awake to my too 
often weary self—I came near to say, awake in teats, Surely 
my life has sombre lines lying along itsvfuture. Beyond 
that future, What? Ah, darling, darling! there perhaps 
you will le upon my bosom, and no death can come be- 
tween us—-no searching for each other in tears, 

“AuLy 2d. 

“To-day dawned vaporishly and reluctantly through the 
misty rain. I got up and peered out as early as 5 o'clock, 
and saw nothing but the beating rain, the feathery waves, 
and at intervals the vivid lightning, and then heard the 
heavy break and roll of the thunder. So it has been ever 
since, and we wallow among the long waves of Tehuan- 
tepec. During such weather ships are very uncomfortable. 
The passengers huddle in the cabin, the skylights are 
closed, and the air is heavy with disagreeable odors. Then, 
too, the children troop and scream along the tables, and 
Babel comes again. ‘This trip Lide and I are not affected 
by such annoyances, My cabin has a door opening out on 
the side deck, and a half hood protects me from the rain. 
Seated at that opening, we are ‘rid of all the clatter and 
confusion of the saloon, and can feel the fresh sea air, and 
can see the waves without exposure. ‘This escape from 

the children and the seclusion we enjoy, are advantages I 

234 My WIFE AND ]. 

sought for Lide, and she sits near me and is supported by 
me, and together we look out upon the sea. 

“The heavens are full of heavy masses of clouds which 
let down rain in broad bars. In the crown of the sky the 
blue reigns supreme, made softer by the shafts of light 
shot by the outlying sun. The sea is very dark, except 
where the keel of the ship has been, and there turquoise 
tosses among the snowy crests and lace-like edgings of the 
broken waves. 

“The journey is nearing its end, at least on the Pacific 
side. We hope to reach Panama on Sunday night, and 
then, after a whirl over the Isthmus by rail, we will come 
to the Atlantic, whose waves beat the shore near which I 
was born. 

“JuLy 4th. 

“To-day passes quietly. At meridian the ensign was 

hoisted and cheered. One is happy to be far from the 

din and smoke, of ‘Independence Day’ upon land. The 
skies are heavy with clouds, and every few moments we 
are driven under shelter by gusts of rain. Last night, after 
sunset and a short twilight the moon came up, and coaxed 
every one on deck. Even Lide, putting on a shawl, half 
hid from the night air behind me and peeped out at the 
exquisite scene. It was clear everywhere, and the sea was 
hushed,. except that, Endymion-like, it panted under the 
soft touch of Selene, who, from the upper air looked 
down with a tremulous, golden smile. But an envious 
cloud lying on the southern horizon saw all this dalliance, 
and, astride of a breeze, rapidly came up and dashed all 
- the sea and sky with darkness and rain. 

“Sunpay, July 5th. 

‘All the morning: I have been packing luggage, and when 

ay sf oats: e - 


1 had finished that the ship was midway, as it were, be- 
tween the Ladrones Islands and Mentuosa. The day is 
magnificent—a pleasant breeze. stirs, the sea heaves in 
graceful swell, and inspiration is a luxury. Although Lide 
suffers from the heat and finds the voyage tedious, yet she 
feels a better pulse under the soft sky, and in this tender 
air. We have had no such day as this since we embarked. 

“This morning we passed a whaler, and within a hundred 
yards of us his boats captured a huge ‘blackfish.’ As we 
passed, the monster was ‘blowing,’ and at moments threw 
himself half out of the water, vainly endeavoring to escape, 
the waves near him being dyed with his blood. 

“This part of the coast is very picturesque and beauti- 
ful. Its peculiar feature and charm are the islands which 
lie seaward, and within a maximum of forty miles from the 
shore. We are now passing three, separated only a mile 
or two from each other. 

“Since I came on board, it has been a subject of fre- 
quent conversation between General Warren, Mitchell, and 
myself, as to the feasibility of forming a small colony and 
settling in Salvador on coffee and sugar cane plantations. 
That country has an exquisite climate, a soil: peculiarly 

adapted to the growth of that berry, and the General says” 
that the Government of that State would gladly endow us 

with every privilege in its power. I must confess, that if 
the dear one who controls my life would consent, I would 
cheerfully unite with such an association. Independent of 

the promised pecuniary profit, the country and climate. 
have peculiar charms for me. Lide’s health will always ~ 
govern me in the choice of a home, for I have put aside © . 

all employments and dedicated myself to its restoration, 
and, if necessary, I will go to “the uttermost parts of the 
earth” to find a single day of sunshine for her. It is, 
then, on her account I view this scheme with favor, 

236 My Wire anv J. 

“The island of Mentuosa is within a mile of us, and 
from its crown down to the water edge, it is one mass 
of dense foliage. I see cocoa, mango, and cactus, and I 
see no others I know by name. The whole island looks 
like an immense tree, with its branches trailing in the 
white surf that breaks about the base. In these tropical 
climes nothing can equal the splendor and luxuriance of 
the vegetation. ‘The trees are almost hid by parasites, and 
numberless plants struggle for every inch of ground in 
which to-grow, and spread abroad and flaunt their ban- 
nered leaves and blossoms. I have always, since I spent 
a year or more in Rio de Janeiro, had a longing to live 
in the tropics. J can endure any degree of heat, and yet 
in the languor of that clime there is the loss of all phys- 
ical and intellectual energy—it is a life of indolent sensu- 
ousness which may produce a Cleopatra, but never an 
Antony or a Ceesar. 

“Jury 9th. 

‘When I rose on Monday morning last and went on 
deck, I saw dimly through the misty rain that we were 
in the Bay of Panama. At 1:30 p.m. we reached our an- 
chorage, in sight of the saintly effigies on the /acade of the 
Cathedral, and the mouldering belfry of the Jesuit Con- 
vent. All of our luggage was sent on shore, and we were 
all ready to follow it, expecting to reach the Aspinwall 
steamer by sunset, when a dispatch came that the Atlantic 
steamer would not be ready to receive us until the next 
day. There was a general growl on the receipt of this 
intelligence, and nobody was more expressive and objurga- 
tory than myself. While I was in this condition of excita- 
tion—only on Lide’s account though—the Captain of a 
war-ship of our navy, whom I had known some years 
before, came alongside, and offered to take me on shore 


and bring me back again. I had intended to remain at 
Panama all night, taking Lide with me for the purpose of 
giving her a good night’s rest, and also to avoid the early 
start necessary should we stay on board. But when I was 
reminded of the danger from fever I abandoned the pro- 
ject. I accepted the invitation, though, for a row on 
shore, and I went in company with Warren, Mitchell, 
and Breed. 

“We landed at the same spot where Lide and I dis- 
embarked eight years before, on our return to San Fran- 
cisco. There were the same crumbling ruins; the same 
cocoa trees with their feathery branches; the same clumps 
of moss and lichen covering up the rents in the sea-wall; 
the same hanging balconies from which stared at us half 
nude natives, and the same swarthy, impudent boatmen. 
We went through the narrow streets—so narrow that from 
the balconies on either side tips of outstretched fingers 
could touch, and reached the Grand Hotel on the Plaza. 
This building is a recent creation, all spick and span new, 
and from behind a marble bar a handsome /azsano, dressed 
in an enviable suit of white, and owning a pair of dark 
languid eyes and long soft lashes, dispensed ‘cocktails.’ 
But, alas! there was no ice on the Isthmus, the usual — 
monthly cargo not having arrived. As I like my claret 
blood warm, the loss of a cool drink did not put me to 
any inconvenience or cause me any disappointment— 
although I sympathized with my companions. 

“We then sallied out for a paseo. The square was full 
of loungers and lazy harlequin-looking soldiers. ‘There had 
been, the day before, a revolution—a simple enough affair 
in that country—gifts of cigars and reales to the rank and 
file; promises of perquisites to the officers; a fronuncia- 
-miento; a hurrah; the occupation of Bogota; the kicking 
out of the old incumbents and the induction of the new. 

238 My Wire AND J. 

Voila tout. Blood is rarely shed; almost invariably it is 
clatter, threats, shooting from one church tower at the 
enemy in another a‘ half mile away. Pesos and blank 
cartridges accomplish the whole affair. The Panama Rail- 
road Company pays a very large annuity to the Granadian 
Government for its franchise, and that is a prize worth 
contending for in the arena called pronunciamientos. In a 
country where an artisan or common laborer can house, 
feed, and equip himself for thirty dollars per annum, the 
subsidy paid by the company will subsist half the popula- 
tion—the trade and passenger trafhe provide for the- other 
half. ‘There are blessings oftentimes flowing from wrong, 
and so, if England and the United States would occupy 
this country, found a strong government and protect it, not 
only would they increase the commercial business. of the 
world, but they would evangelize, exalt, and improve a race 
that really has some good in it. And yet this usurpation 
would not square with right; but where was right consulted © 
when it obstructed the path of commerce—national greed 
and gain? . 

“While it was daylight we wandered down to the esplanade 
built some two centuries ago by the Spaniards; now, as 
then, the promenade of maiden, dwenna, and lover. ‘The 
sea-wall is broken in places, but take it all in all, it is 
wonderfully well preserved. ‘The coping of both inner and 
outer walls is as true in its alignment as when Spanish 
trowels placed it there. In those days they laid the founda- 
tions deep and broad. The cement is as tough and strong 
as the stone, and where brick has been used, the rain and 
wind and saline air have scraped it out, leaving the cement 
firm and as defying as ever. Near by the walls of the 
Conyent are seen, the tower crumbling and _ splintered; 
while the trees growing in the inner court thrust their 
branches and sparkling leaves through the windows; and 


to lintel and eaves, and in the hollow spaces in the walls, 
moss and shrubs cling, contrasting strangely and sadly with 
the stains and hues and decay which denote the rapid march 
of time, and the transitory nature of all human things. 

“Beyond and seaward the islands were seen through the 
coming gloaming, and lights from the vessels lying in the 
harbor danced over the water with the sparkle of coming 
stars. Landward, just behind the city, looking down upon 
the narrow streets and perishing cathedral and _fortifica- 
tions, is the hill of Ancon, from which Bilboa first saw 
that quiet and boundless sea well called the Pacific. And 
as the clouds in the west were changing from gold to 
crimson, and then to gray and ashen, and the pure mystic 
cross rose ftom out the wave, as it were, and beamed 
across the ruddy hue the sunset had left, tender loving 
thoughts went northward along the wave to our little home, 

and the dear bairns left behind. My heart aches as Il 
think of the broad seas we are putting between us; and 
as I behold, too, the dear weak life I bear to other scenes 
trusting it will find strength and health there, I am at 
times ready to abandon myself to despair. | 

“At 8 P.M. we went on board, and: found the ship sur- 
rounded by launches and coal-boats, and heard the quick 
throbs of the little engine hoisting the cargo out. I saw 
there was no sleep for us. For myself I cared nothing, 
but for my poor dear wife, whose eyes were weary, and 
whose body could scarce endure these drawbacks, it made 
me sick and almost desperate to feel I was powerless to 
shelter her from such, indeed all, evils. 

“While it was yet night we were called to a slim and 
hurried breakfast, and then were packed like sheep on 
board the little steamer ‘Taboga,’ which waited for us 
alongside. We left the ship while the sun was just lifting 
his upper rim above the wave, and for the few minutes 

240 My Wire anv f, 

we were going on shore, I watched the splendor of his 
coming; the golden bars of clouds, the crimson and apple 
green sky, and the luminous masses of mist lying along 
the range of hills to the northward. 

“By the kind forethought and influence of General 
Warren a separate car had been provided for our party, 
and I was glad to take possession of it, for Lide’s little 
strength had been overtasked, and she was exhausted. But 
then, as always, she accepted these discomforts with forti- 
tude, and her sweet patience and composure won the 
sympathy and admiration of all who approached her. 

“Tt was by no means an idle hour we were kept wait- 
ing. I at least had opportunity for thought and observa- 
tion in gazing at the natives, and the throngs of passen- 
gers at the station. Here comes an orange-vendor, her 
saya white as a snow-bank; heavy masses of laced ruffles 
hang from her shoulders, and her head is turbaned with 
a broad dandanna. On all sides press bare-legged boys: 
bearing baskets of eggs and fruit; with eyes dark and 
flashing, and smooth olive skins and glistening teeth of 
pearl. ‘Through the noisy, chattering throng, with the im- 
petus of a battering-ram comes the burly Britisher, fresh 
from Australia; his hat bandaged in white to protect a face 
already parboiled and blistered by the burning sun; bear- 
ing cages of screaming macaws and tufted cockatoos; and, 
astride his shoulder, a chattering monkey. In strange con- 
trast to all these you see the long, thin face, and lank, 
stooping figure of your traditional Yankee; his crude, inde- 
pendent antagonism to all foreign ways; his bold pushing — 
forward to see all things, and open contempt of the people 
who hedge him in with words and wares he has no knowl- 
edge of; and his by no means idle threat to ‘clean out 
the whole pack if they don’t let him be.’ He may be 
rough and bluster, but he is brave. He may ‘d—n the 


greaser’s eyes,’ but he gives him a shilling. He may 
rudely elbow you, and yet he will offer you a ‘smile’ from 
the bottle peeping from his side pocket, and no knight 
errant of the troubadour’s lay ever surpassed him in_ his 
chivalry and gallantry to woman. ‘The world to-day is 
deep in a new crusade—a crusade against error, exclusive- 
ness, privilege, tradition, and caste, by which man seeks to 
enjoy the rights he owns by investiture from the King of 
Kings, and he who bears the banner in the van, is that 
same inquisitive, drawling Yankee. 

“We got off about 7 p.m.—the weather beautiful, a soft 
wind stirring, and no rain-signs to be seen among the 
swan-like clouds lying along the horizon. ,The general 
topographical and botanic characteristics of the ride across 
the Isthmus are well known; the difficulties, too, under 
which the railroad was constructed, and the energy of those 
who were engaged in it. The statistics—the absolute fig- 
ures of cost—can not guide one in appreciating the labor 
involved. Besides, the mortality to the workmen from the 
miasma had all the fatality and terrors of an epidemic. 
The ride is a beautiful one, and perhaps unequaled on the 
continent. The fora of the tropics is so gorgeous, so 
splendid in growth and rich in color that one never tires 
of it. The soil, enriched by the decomposition of vege- 
table matter for ages, and the fervid heat rapidly develop 
the life of tree and plant into forms, outlines, splendor of 
color, and enormity of growth, inconceivable to those whose 
feet have never passed beyond the temperate zone. And 
yet if the tropics produce to such an extent these vegetable 
wonders, they seem to have been less generous and benefi- 
cent to animal life—especially human life. Within the 
equatorial influences men do not attain that physical and 
intellectual excellence of organization with which they are 
so liberally endowed in the temperate zone. Extremes of 


242 My Wire anv f, 

heat and cold seem to have precisely the same stunting 
effects. On the Isthmus the men are slight of figure, fem- 
inine, and narrow in breadth, and they have not any of 
that force and vigor which distinguish your Britisher all 
over the world. Education, and a higher moral principle 
in government and society seem impossible to the races 
lying in the torrid belt; and yet they would have a very 
large influence in improving that people if they could be 

“T sat at the car window, and at Lide’s side of course, 
the whole journey across, never tired of seeing the white 
blossoms of the wild jasmine, the plumiliform coronals of 
the palms, the parasites swinging from the upper branches 
of the large trees, and the curious network of vines twist- 
ing from tree to shrub, and so compact as to completely 
shut out a view of all objects beyond. 

‘““We reached. Aspinwail at 10 a.M., where we were left 
to amuse ourselves until 4 P.m., when the passengers were 
admitted on board the steamer. I had a friend at court, 
and so I and my poor sick darling were permitted to pass 
the gate as early as 1 o'clock. And yet with that grace 
Lide had a most harassing day—for the heat was intolera- 
ble to her, and her cabin was simply stifling. I could get | 
no ice; I could find no cool place for her; and so, during 
that whole day, she had to sit upon the upper deck, with 
no resource against the distressing heat and noise. 

“Aspinwall is a busy and energetic place. Through it 
rolls the stream of traffic from all the western coast of the 
hemisphere, and indeed from China and Australia. It is 
situated on the edge of a wet jungle, as it were, and to 
those whose constitutions are sensitive to malarious influ- 
ences the neighborhood is dangerous, without one fortifies 
himself with quinine, and even then, where timidity is a 
quality of the person, I will bet on fever against czmchona. 


“We left at half past six, and when dark fell upon us 
we were undulating upon the long swell of the Caribbean 
Sea. The sky was dark and gloomy, heavy clouds ‘brooded 
in sullen mind’ on the east horizon, and here and _ there 
stars struggled through the gathering mists, with their silver 

“Fripay, July roth. 

“For two days it has blown quite steadily and strongly, 
and a heavy swell has made the steamer disagreeably 
vibratory. Lide, whose day at Aspinwall was one of in- 
tense pain and weariness, is now up again, and yet weak 
and pining. I would the journey were over—for to her the 
best of ships and the most attentive of captains can afford 
but littke amelioration from the hardships of sea travel. 

“After breakfast, when I went on deck, I saw the out- 
line of Nevassa through the sea mist, and beyond I descried 
several sail. We are getting near the great highway of 
commerce, and so every day we can expect to see white 
sails dotting the ‘solemn main.’ ‘To-day has been very 
pleasant—a kind breeze stirs, the skies are clear, and the 
sea seems bluer than I remember ever to have seen it 

“On the edge of the vapory horizon, to the westward 
and northward, I see the shadow either of Cuba or St. 
Domingo, and on every side I 

‘Behold the threaden sails, 
Borne with the invisible and creeping wind.' 

“Tide is out on deck, drawn by the genial sun and 
soft temperature. I sit near her, watching bits of a/g@ and 
kelp hurrying past, and occasionally a nautilus, with its tiny 
purple sail, goes floating by—riding over the waves as 
serenely as if borne by wings. 

“While I write these lines we are passing Point Masa, 

244 My Wire anv J. 

I think it is called—being the easternmost portion of Cuba. 
Hayti lies hid—the horizon is not clear—and so that place 
of negro horrors is happily concealed from sight. Perhaps 
if, during the recent physical disturbances in this region, 
it had been submerged by earthquake and hurricane, civ- 
ilization would have lost nothing. . 

‘We approach the perils of the Windward Passage, and 
around us lie dangerous reefs and coral spurs. ‘This part 
of the sea reminds me of the recent historical discovery 
(to me) that Columbus did not land upon San Salvador 
as we have been always taught, but on Watling’s Island— 
the easternmost of the group lying near the Bahamas. 

* TULY, FaGe, 

“Lide’s repertoire of books is provokingly meagre, and 
so I have no pastime in reading. I have already noted 
‘Brakespere “—which I read with pleasure during the Pacific 
portion of the trip, and I went through ‘ Mabel’s Progress,’ 
which is written in good English, and with enough pas- 
sionate scenes and surprises to blind me at moments. 
Since I laid aside these books, I have employed the leisure 
Lide gives me, in watching whatever changes the face of 
ocean presents; a sail, when one is in sight; the waifs 
torn by storm and wave from shore and rock; but even 
dearer than all has been the sky with its grotesque cloud- 
forms, and at night the brilliant constellations which are~ 
ever to me ‘a beauty and a mystery.’ And then again I 
shut my eyes and look in upon myself, and go back along 
the dusty path of my life with a weary, sad heart. But 
unhappiest of all is the future, which I scan with eager, 
anxious eye, asking it to tell me what fate it bears for me 
within its silent, mysterious bosom. And from it the 
transition to the feeble life that leans upon my strength is 
easy, and yet how full of pain! I see her pale face in: 


everything, and my heart hears mournful whisperings. It 
seems so strange that we, who ask nothing from the world 
but a quiet corner, and are content to leave the chase of 
its follies to all others, can not rest undisturbed in the 
nook that sheltered us. In this world, such are its changes 
and vicissitudes, that one, to borrow Byron’s figure, is a 
pendulum vibrating between hopes and tears. 

“At 8 A.M. we passed one of the group of islands in 
‘Crooked Island Passage,’ and we are happily hastening on 
to our journey’s end. We expect to reach New York on 
Wednesday morning next, D. V., and there and then will 
be found immobile beds and bedrooms; firm land beneath 
my step; the not unpleasant din of a great city; ice cream 
and other refections for my darling; green lawns at Cen- 
tral Park, sweet-scented shrubs, music, and flowers. On 
her account I wish the trip at an end. She has a fastidi- 
ous and delicate taste always, and the viands here, kept on 
ice during the past ten days, are anything but succulent 
and agreeable. She has had nothing since she came on 
board she could relish, and, notwithstanding I have douceurs 
ready for the steward, I can succeed in getting nothing she 
can fancy. There shall be compensation when we reach 
New York. 

“There is a remarkable difference between the people 
of the Eastern States and Californians—a dissimilitude that 
is apparent to all. It is a distinction founded upon tem- 
perature, civilization, and currency. With Eastern folk are 
the qualities that spring from sharp and acute competition 
at trade, and the rivalry that sometimes is not accustomed 
to weigh and be governed by high principles of honor, 
and fair, open dealing. What they call ‘smart,’ is really 
nothing but dishonesty in masquerade. ‘There is not among 
commercial Americans as high a standard of punctilious 
honor as can be found in England for example—an open, 

246 My Wire anv J. 

honorable comity and principle that are proof above all 
temptations, and that nothing can shake or destroy. 

“Californians are accustomed to liberal expenditures; 
they produce gold; it is acquired (has been) with less toil 
than elsewhere, and without demeaning tricks or undue 
advantages. ‘Thrown together in a new and unsettled coun- 
try they have confronted common dangers, have shared 
each other’s food, slept under the same blankets, and have 
panned gold from the same streams. In one word, the 
peculiar circumstances of their civilization have knit them 
together as people never were before, and all over the 
country they are recognized as brave, generous, and hon- 
orable. On leaving the Pacific and touching the Atlantic, 
there are as striking differences of manhood as there are 
dissimilarities between the physical character of each. Lide 
-and I used to note these changes and distinctions with 
something of regret.’ [When she reached’ Europe she 
saw that the diversity was greater still.] 

‘“‘T Jaid this writing aside to take a look at Watling’s 
Island which is now broad on our port beam, and about 
two miles distant. For the reason already stated, this land 
has an. interest to me it never had before. 

“TI go back and see the launches of Columbus steering 
through this sea; the mutinous disaffection of his crew; the 
discovery of the broken twig and its cluster of land-berries 
floating upon the sea; the reed, and the staff with its quaint 
device and incision. I see, then, that all murmuring was 
hushed; that when the mariners sung at the coming of 
twilight the salve regina, felt the favoring breeze falling 
full upon the sail, heard the appeal of the Admiral and 
the promised ‘doublet of velvet’ and pension to him who 
first saw land, they felt they were under the protection of 
the Virgin, and that she would bring them to ‘the prom- 
ised land.’ I see Columbus on the watch during that weary 


night, with throbbing heart and anxious eyes peering through 
the solemn darkness. I stand with him when he saw the 
tremulous beam from a torch shooting athwart the dark- 
ness, and I see the glory his grateful heart threw over his 
face when the gun from the ‘Pinta’ announced the sight 
of land. 

“The morrow comes, and with it a view of this line 
of beach, over which tossed these same waves; the high 
bluffs crested with wood and plants and swinging blossoms; 
censors, bearing perfumes as prayer to Him who had borne 
the great discoverer safely over the haunted deep. There, 
too, perhaps, he landed, and there knelt and kissed the 
soil which was bedewed with his tears of joy. I see, too, 
the wondering natives, urged by their superstitious curiosity 
to emerge from their leafy coverts they had sought on the 
landing of the strange people they supposed had come down 
from heaven in a cloud. I see them kneel to the Span- 
iards and offer them homage as to gods. 

“Lo, the scene shifts and I am pushed forward, and I 
open eyes of wonder to the changes near four centuries 
have made. On the wooded slope before me, which, be- 
ginning at the ridge of the inland hills runs down to the 
sea, I can discern houses here and there, and cattle 
browsing over the hillside lawns. In the offing, toward 
Palos, I view the ponderous hulk of a steamer, moved by 
a power, in calm and storm, that, as it were, bridges the 
seas. I see beyond, in the high civilization of the region 
to which I am bound, a country greater and richer, and 
more replete with ‘gorgeous palaces,’ than the land of 
Cipango, the old discoverer sought. JI hear the hum of 
the telegraph along which winged words come and go, over 
mountains and through the coral caves of the sea, with 
the celerity of light. I see on the old wild wastes of the 
ocean the footsteps of commerce, and all the land bearing 

248 My Wire anv J. 

up homes, and noisy with the rapid shoot of the shuttle 
and the sharp ring of the anvil. Over all, subduing all, 
and lifting our hearts above the hum and the clatter and 
the dust of life, I see the steeples bearing the Christian 

“Watling is an English island, under the government of 
the Bahamas, and it is described as unusually fertile, pro- 
ducing the finest cattle and crops of all this archipelago. 

‘“No more land this side of Barnegat. We plunge now 
towards the Floridian coast, and the rapid flow of the 
Gulf Stream. | 

‘“‘Sunpay, July 12, 1868. 

“This morning I came out of fairy dreamland to a 
misty sky, and the patter of rain was the reverdle which sum- 
moned me to another day of idle, languid sea-life. I rose 
and entertained myself by watching the sheets of rain pelt- 
ing the sea, and the narrow circle in which we moved. 
While I looked the wheels stopped, and all was quiet save — 
the dash of the waves against the side. An incident of 
this sort on board a steamship in mid-sea, is a fruitful 
source of alarm. One passenger said the ship was on fire, 
and it was questionable whether it could be put out. An- 
other that the machinery was hopelessly crippled, and so 
on through the catalogue of possibilities—each story or 
suggestion measured by the fears of the utterer. ‘The sim- 
ple truth is the journals were heated, and we stopped to 
allow them to cool, and as I write these lines we move 
on again at the usual speed. 

‘““T am seated near a group of passengers who listen to 
a strange-looking fellow who is preaching on the subject 
of the late war. He wears one of those turbaned hats 
first introduced here from India, and under its broad brim 
I see stubbles of gray hair, which his sleek brown wig 
makes more conspicuous. His moustache and pointed 


goatee are dyed to a polished jet, and yet his face—the 
deep lines, the filmed eyes, and the ridges of .skin about 
his chin—betokens a man who has passed beyond the grand 
climacteric. He is evidently a character, shrewd, observ- 
ant, who has seen much, and pretty well sifted. down his 
observations. At certain intervals during the day, do I see 
him with a small portfolio and inkstand, jotting down, as 
I suppose, the incidents of the voyage. I must confess I 
am inquisitive to know who he is, where from, and _ all 
about him. 

“Lide and I attended service this morning. ‘There were 
two clergymen officiating—one an educated Englishman, 
and the other was the roughest and most unclerical-looking 
person I ever saw. How he was ever admitted to Orders, 
I can not imagine. He preached the two previous Sab- 
baths, but I could not, although acutely susceptible to the 
beauty of the Episcopal ritual, especially when heard at 
sea, persuade myself to go to hear him. I have my own 
ideas as to the standard of morality and intelligence for 
those who seek the sacerdotal office, and I do not believe 
that one in a hundred is ‘inwardly moved by the Holy 
Ghost to take upon himself the office and munistration to 
serve God. As there is no man | honor more than a 
true Christian Priest, so is there none I despise so much 
as a false one. 

“The singing had no particular claim to excellence, but, 
touching as it did memories of my early years, recalling 
the voices in the old church of the town where I was born, 
I must confess it subdued and saddened me. 

“There was service again in the afternoon on the upper 
deck, and this time the Briton had it all to himself. I 
stood on the outer rim of the audience—caring alone for 
the singing. They sang ‘Old Hundred,’ and in the choir 
were several women I had, the whole passage, put down 

» ») 


250 My WIFE AND ]. 

as Jewesses. ‘The clearest ring, and finest what the Freneh 
call “mébre, came through their red lips. 

“Juty 13th. 

“This is an exquisite day—soft and full of sunshine. 
There are but few clouds in the sky—playful, boyish- 
looking fellows, wandering here and there, and again hang- 
ing motionless as if they were watching their own beauty 
in the clear crystal depths of the sea. I especially admire 
that cloud yonder with its face exquisitely dappled with 
apple green bars, and its plumed edges tipped with crim- 
son. It is the delle of the heavens, and she moves grace- 
fully away towards the southern lands; to paraphrase Ten- 
nyson, folding all her sweetness up and slipping into the 
bosom of the blue sky. 

“To-morrow will be our last day on board, provided 
all goes well; and then, ere we go hence and are seen no 
more, what an army of mulatto boys will press us for 
gratuities in reward for the disinterested and ready atten- 
tions we have had from them. Like a sinner converted 
in the face of some peril, they are constant in devotion, 
always at hand, for within a few hours we will separate. 

“My old friend with the polished wig is a genuine 
philanthropist. He is raised high in my estimation; he 
stands upon a pedestal among the worthies whose statues 
fill the gallery of my memory. ‘There are among the 
passengers two invalids, poor as a matter of course—for 
poverty and bodily infirmities somehow or other too fre- 
quently join hands. One is—well, I have said poor, that 
is enough; and the other, in addition to his poverty, has a 
hip disease from lying in the trenches before Richmond, 
and whose patriotism is rewarded as people too often re- 
ward it, by passing it with a shrug, as if to say, ‘Poor 
devil, why wasn’t he killed?’ We will be generous with 



flowers to decorate the graves of the dead heroes, but we 
have no sixpences for the maimed living ones. God wots 
this zs a strange world, and notwithstanding the Sermon 
on the Mount has been preached to us for a century or 
more, charity seems to grow from day to day testier and 

“My old friend——he with the brown wig, and who 
jots us all down, Heaven knows for what uses—he, moved 
to pity by the sad sort of these two men, has been running 
about with his hat in his hand, and has raised fifty dollars 
for them. It was a pleasure to see the old almoner; to 
hear his honest persuasion, and to note his unwearied cir- 
cuit of all the steamer, begging a pittance for the two 
cripples whom God had afflicted. I doubt not but that 
Heaven’s chancery glows with the splendor of that act as 
the angel bears it there. 

‘“Turspay, July 14th. 
“The wind which comes to us this morning is burdened 
with the odor of land. We are nearing the end of our 
journey, and the signs around us, especially the open-deck 
coasters and the jaunty, vacht-like pilot-boats, indicate our 
approach to an important commercial centre. We hope 
to reach New York early to-morrow, and as I have many 
little offices to perform for Lide, I shall close my diary. 
“Thank God we have reached this far without any 
happening, and that His hand _ has safely borne the dear 
life that is more precious to me than anything else in this 


**T can not say that I have studied with the eye of a philosopher, but 
rather with the sauntering gaze with which humble lovers of the picturesque 
stroll from the window of one print-shop to another; caught, sometimes by 
the delineations of beauty, sometimes by the distortions of caricature, and 
sometimes by the loveliness of landscape.” 

I discontinued my pencilings until I sailed for Liverpool, 
and then I was wont, each day, to jot down any matter 
that impressed me. ‘Those memoranda ceased on my ar- 
rival in England. For the purposes already stated, I shall 
introduce here those sketches, without changing them in 
any respect : 

“Ar Sra; August 20, 1868. 

“T will go on with my scribblings, which will first re- 
view the period that has elapsed since my arrival from San 
Francisco. i 

“We reached New York at 7 a.m., July 15th, and our 
good friend Ben Smith, who had just returned from Europe, 
met us on our arrival. He came in the nick of time, for 
I was annoyingly embarrassed with the many things I had 
to perform, and which could not be done by «delegation. 
At that hour even the sun was unpleasantly hot, and I was 
anxious to get my wife to the hotel as soon as possible. 
Ben’s advent left me free to battlé with Customs’ officers, 
porters, and express men. I sent Lide to the Brevoort 
House with him while I extricated my luggage from the 
heaps piled upon the wharf, and then I simply asked the 


Inspector to call and see me at my hotel. He came the 
next day, and came not in vain. Every package of my 
lot escaped patefaction, and yet the Government was not 

“We reached New York at a period long to be remem- 
bered by those who were there at that time, Its meteoro- 
logical record declared it the hottest ‘spell’ known since 
the commencement of this century. The heat was even 
insufferable to me, and I am one of the salamandride. 
There was no relief either in thin clothes, the bath, or 
niveous drinks. I cared nothing for myself, but I ex- 
hausted my ingenuity in devices to keep the darling com- 
fortable. I had her room changed to one looking out on 
Fifth Avenue—the first floor—two large, airy chambers, 
with bath, ez swzfe. She suffered as she always did from 
the heat, but somehow or other I managed to put a cool 
stratum of air between her and the irradiate atmosphere 
from the streets. 

“We remained there until the twenty-third of July, when 
we departed for Booth-hurst. £% roufe to Philadelphia we 
passed through bits of country that abounded in hedgerows 
and cultivated fields; saw long sweeps of lawn, and trim 
cottages overlooking them; saw, in a word, evidences of 
taste and wealth. I thought then I would like to come 
back to the place where I was born, growing old with 
the natural changes of the seasons, and at last. be hid away 
with those of my race who have preceded me in the quiet 
churchyard. And yet when I remember the rime, the 
icicles, the harsh, cutting winds and snow-drifts, I feel 
more reconciled to my adopted State. 

“T found the old home as I left it—the -same old 
wood, but its paths were overgrown with tangled briar 
and eglantine, and scarce traceable. My parents were 
hanging out signs of old age, and there were new graves 

254 My WIFE AND J. 

in the churchyard; new faces came to look at me, and 
the friends of my youth were scattered far and wide with 
but few exceptions, and these last were they had 

“T passed near a month at Booth-hurst—not all happy— 
for I lived in sight of the churchyard, and daily saw that 
soon my dear parents would lie down there, and that then 
the ‘accustom’d hall’ would lose its chief charm to me. 
Besides, the weather was damp and hot, and Lide retro- 
evraded—losing flesh again, and much of her old and 
habitual cheerfulness. 

“Lala had now joined us, and as she had had double 
pneumonia—for some days whirled in the eddies, now 
borne near the land, and then down the stream, drifting 
rapidly toward that sea from which no voice comes back 
to tell whither the loved ones go—there was necessity for 
travel to her to build up her health and strength. I de- 
termined to resume my journey at once, and it gave flat- 
tering prospects of pleasure, for Mrs. Maxwell, Ella, and 
Ben Smith had consented to go to Europe with us. 

“‘Lide, Lala, and I left Booth-hurst on the seventeenth 
instant—the anniversary of the death of my sister—and on 
the nineteenth we sailed from New York for Liverpool, 
on the steamer ‘ Manhattan,’ on board of which I pen this 
imperfect review of the past month. 

“May Heaven guard us and carry us safely, and raise 
up to health the dear wife. ‘And so,’ as Tiny Tim ob- 
served, ‘God bless us all. Every one.’ 

‘““Fripay, August 21, 1868. 

“The hempen lines, connecting us with our native land, 
were loosed at half past 4 p.m., and we pushed out into 
the stream. It was a very quiet farewell. Some few per- 
sons gathered on the wharf who had friends on board; 


there were some tears, waving of kerchiefs, ‘God bless 
you,’ (this phrase is always pathetic and brimful of relig- 
ious humanity to me) and so we passed away. Lide and 
I had several leave-takers, the one nearest to us being 
Estelle Carnochan; and yet I could not feel sad, for I was 
buoyed up with the hope of finding, in European lands, 
that entertainment, temperature, and novelty, that would 
perhaps win back to Buntin’s cheek the old healthy plump- 
ness and glow. ‘These departures are so common in this 
era of rapid and facile locomotion, as to cause no excite- 
ment except to owners and passengers. To cross the 
Atlantic now is a very ordinary affair, and the transit is so 
comfortable and fashionable, that all Europe has an oppor- 
tunity of seeing few good, but hordes of the most vulgar, 
people we have among us. The time was when they who 
ventured out on sea invoked the formal prayers and _bless- 
ings of the Church. Is the omission now—that is, its 
infrequency—because ships are stronger, the application of 
science to machinery and navigation more general, and, as 
old Waller says, because now, more than ever, 

‘We tread on billows with a steady foot’? 

“This is my first passage in a propeller, and looking to 
the fact of less vibration than in a side-wheeler, less jar- 
ring and din of machinery, I prefer this class of vessels. 
Besides greater speed, there is an enormous saving in fuel. 
Pity it is that the San Francisco and China steamers, in 
all other respects the finest vessels in the world, should not 
have adopted the screw principle, which the experience of 
all the world has pronounced the most superior. 

“Since we got well out to sea, the weather has been 
cloudy and damp. At midday yesterday the temperature 
was 60 degrees Fah., and at same hour to-day, 76 degrees— 
a changeableness that keeps me feverish and fearful, as I 

256 My WIFE ae it 

regard the pale face of Lide, whose very life hangs upon 
the constancy and measure of sunbeams. 

“To-night—that is, at the time of sunset—I waste the 
tenderest blue sky lying between bars of white cloud, at 
the edges apple green, especially where touched by the 
crimson fingers of the sun. ‘Towards the zenith there were 
fretted clouds, and vague, dreamy openings leading into 
the mysterious Infinite. Under one ribbed piece of vapor- 
ous sky, which formed the snowy margin of a serene lake 
of blue, sailed a bark, her swollen sails looking like bits 
of cloud-land, and in the vagueness of the horizon she 
seemed as a phantom ship floating in mid-air—a mimic 
craft set afloat along the sparkling azure by the F/azry 
Morgana. vi 

“T recollect just now that the genial author of ‘The 
Sketch Book’ professes a partiality to these abstractions 
coincident with my own. I will allow one of his phrases 
to drift in just here. He says: ‘I delighted to muse for 
hours together on the tranquil bosom of a summer's sea; 
to gaze upon the piles of golden clouds just peering above 
the horizon, fancy them some fairy realms, and people them 
with a creation of my own; to watch the gentle, undu- 
lating billows, rolling their silver volumes, as if to die away 
on these shores.’ 

“The ‘watery plain’ is, to many persons, annoyingly 
monotonous, whether it be tempestuous or placid; but to 
those who find pleasure and entertainment in a contem- 
plation of the book of nature, there are no pages that 
suggest so many pleasing and humanizing reflections as 
those of the sea, and the sky above it. The ocean is such 
a type of power, grandeur, and majesty, and it is so rep- 
resentative of God, that I am surprised it does not impress 
all with a sense of awe, and a humiliating conviction of 
our own weakness and poverty. It is the stirring of this 


indescribable sentiment of beauty and sublimity that makes 
reading impossible to me at sea, and which enchains and 
-engrosses my attention as no other natural object can sles 
to the same degree. 

“Independent of the varied changes wrought upon the 
face of the ocean by the wind, as a mirror to the sky, in 
which the heavens repeat themselves in strange multiplicity 
and refinement of image, it is an object oft strange and 
vivid enchantment to me. 

*“ AUGUST 22d. 

“Last evening the wind ‘chopped round,’ as the blear- 
eyed salt at the wheel says, and now it is dead ahead, and 
our sails are furled. This morning the weather has been 
quite warm, and all of us idle about the decks. Lide, with 
all the timidity of a child at its premere pas, essayed a 
short turn on the upper deck; and then she called me to 
her side, and with her slender arm through niine that 
pressed: me with such loving dependence, we had a sweet 
little promenade. Ella is in the hands-of two clergymen— 
sociable enough fellows, but one insists on wearing greased 
boots, as if he had prepared himself for a fishing excur- 
sion. Ben regales Mrs. Maxwell with sketches of India, 
especially the mausoleum at Agra; and, like a Chinese play, 
the last description runs over several days and nights. It 
is his strong trump card, and he goes over all the archi- 
tectural wonders of that monument with the impassioned 
tongue of an Oriental story-teller. 

- “Before midday heavy masses of clouds. moved along 
the heavens, pregnant with rain, and although we had no 
showers falling within our sensible horizon, yet beyond it 
they fell in apparent profusion, diffusing humidity through 
our immediate temperature. Lide was driven below by 

the contrefemps, but after tiffin. the sun broke through ‘the 

258 My Wire anv J. 

environment of clouds and drove them beyond our little 
world. 7 

“We have but few cabin passengers—a happy happening 
for us, but a sorry disfavor to the owners. The ship is 
very comfortable, having the rare luxury of cabins on deck, 
where the free fresh air is to be had without application 
to the quartermaster, and which Lide must have. 

“The Captain had to-day on the cabin table a Plan- 
chette—the first I had ever seen. He has several curious 
women about him, and they zealously and noisily invoke 
some communications from the ‘orb supernal.’ I have 
read some strange accounts of the doings and sayings of 
Madamoiselle P., and from no less a paper than ‘ Once-a- 
Week,’ and an English friend at San Francisco related to 
me his own singular experiences with her. Of course I 
have nothing to say of a matter I know nothing about— 
whether it is a delusion, or whether it really is phenomenal, 

“Ever since luncheon the weather has been lovely. ‘The 
wind is still ahead, and yet it is only a ‘cap full.’ This 
Atlantic voyage is a wearier one than that from San Fran- 
cisco to Panama, where land, and high picturesque land 
too, is almost daily in sight. There is something very 
agreeable and suggestive in sailing, as it were, under the 
tremulous shadows of mountains, and within easy sight of 
a tropical vegetation. ‘There is also a sense of security at 
the proximity of land, which offers an escape in the event 
of an accident. But on board an English steamer one 
generally feels in safe hands—he feels some confidence in 
the attainment of his objective point. For in ‘Old Eng- 
land’ popular clamor, passion, and fersuasion are hushed, 
or break innocuously at the foot of the temple where Jus- 
tice is enthroned. ‘There, in the old time, the law has 
reached out and dragged anointed heads from the throne 
and sent them to the block, or relegated them beyond the 


Channel. And to-day it holds corporations to a. strict 
account, and has a summary way to reach all persons who 
neglect any and all precautions to protect property, and 
especially human life. 

**AuGcusT 23d. 

“We touched to-day the banks, creeping through, since 
daylight, dense showers, which prescribed our view to the 
ship’s length. ‘The skylights are shut, and the cabin is 
intolerably close and disagreeable. We are ‘cribbed and 
confined’ in orbits so narrow that we interfere with each 
Other, few as we are. We see each other as under the 
lens of a microscope, and its magnifying force is too great. 

“At 10 a.m. we had service according to the formulary 
of the Established Church—prayers for the Queen, who, 
by the measure of our judgment, does not require them; 
and prayers for the heir apparent, who, if we accept com- 
mon report, demands the intercession of every chapel in 
the Christian world. It was a pleasant sight to see ‘Jack’ 
mustering in the cabin— 

¢ Square 

In make, of a complexion white and ruddy, 
Good teeth, with curling, rather dark brown hair ’— 

and tidy in his navy blue. The English make attention to 
church service, in both national and commercial marine, 
a matter of discipline, as it is, I believe, a requirement 
of law, and this duty is the cause of much of the solidity 
in English character, 

“The Captain read the service, and yet, he sees every 
day, pacing the deck or conning a prayer book, a genuine 
clericus; who adheres to black vestments, narrow tape-like 
collar, side whiskers; and who carries the set, solemn ex- 
pression he should lay aside when he leaves the lectern. 
Let me dispose of him by adding that he has. the face of 

260 My WIFE AND ]. 

a bird, and, as the author of Guy Livingstone says, ‘he 
seems to peck while. speaking.’ . 

“The Captain is large, deep-chested, and grows a dew- 
lap worthy of an adult Durham. He has a good dasso, 
distinct in articulation, and he reads well, with perhaps too 
much of the range of declamation. 

“T say I admire that English trait which introduces re- 
ligion as a household matter, and which attaches it to home 
as well as to naves and to chancels. It is this association 
of God with their commonest life that imparts to English- 
men such honesty, integrity and loyalty to duty. They are 
never ashamed of these religious usages, and they rarely 
pretermit them for any allurement of pleasure. 

‘Ella, who has a fair contralfo voice, and the bird-look- 
ing clergyman, improvise a choral service, and it added 
much to the touching effectiveness of the occasion. ‘This 
noon, too, she, the two clergymen, and the Captain, seated 
themselves astern, and sung old church melodies, that took 
me back to the days when I was purer and better than I 
am now. ‘These familiar tunes have, under certain condi- 
tions of place and feeling, a singularly humanizing effect— 
purifying us of much of the filth that, somehow or other, 
the world flings at us. Most of us have some happy 
memories associated with our youth and home; and by 
their guidance to go back to the sunny time of our boy- 
hood, when we were, perhaps, without care—to the old 
hearthstone, to the playground, to the church and to the 
dear old faces—is of itself a depuration that gives us new 
vigor and hope. 

“Lide has been on deck; it was at midday, when the 
sun flushed the air with some warmth, but she came down 
early and sat in the cabin. Under her recommendation I 
make Lala tramp the planks an hour every evening, and 
the child -has a good stride, plenty of muscle, and keeps 


pace with me. ‘The exercise is wholesome for both of us. 

“All day we have been in sight of fishing smacks; 
some at anchor—portions of the great fleet which fills the 
Banks of Newfoundland in quest of the cod. During the 
dense fogs which prevail here, it is no infrequent occur- 
rence for the steamers to run fishermen down, with the 
loss of all on board. One of this squadron, a French 
brig, made signals to us, and the Captain kept away under 
the impression that the call was an important one; but 
when her boat came alongside, bearing a letter and the 
request we should mail it, one can easily imagine that the 
skipper for the nonce forgot he read prayers this morning. 

“At 4 P.M. it blew up quite cold, and I donned my 
great coat, and sat on deck reading the ‘Christmas Carol,’ 
_half the time blinded by tears. It is quite true Dickens is 
not a great artist; that his works are deficient in plot, and 
too crowded with dramatis persone; but in pathos, in the 
expression of the tenderest sentiments, in broad humanity 
and high moral aims, he has no superior in any language. 
In the aggregate qualities of a writer, in intellectual force 
and manhood, Thackeray is the greater. 

“T will say in this connection, that it is a grim sort of 
a joke that this evening the Captain, who is a Britisher, 
should have read to his American passengers scraps from 
Chuzzlewit, bearing hard upon their countrymen. 

‘“‘AuGusT 24th. 

“T have nothing new to-day except a severe headache, 
which I tried to walk off; but at sunset the rain came 
and drove me below decks. ‘The cabin is boisterous. The 
Captain is here, and half his passengers are with him, play- 
ing ‘forfeits,’ ‘muggins, and ‘consequences.’ ‘The first 
brought songs, and at this moment the whole party sings 

262 My Wire anv J. 

the ‘Star Spangled Banner,’ and under Her Majesty’s flag, 
too. All signs of international amity and good fellowship 
are delicious to me, and so I admire the Captain’s dasso, 
which swells above tenor, sofrano and contralto, as if it 
were a real individual bearing the starred flag through the 
din and confusion of battle. 

‘“‘Lide continues as usual. ‘The dampness of the weather 
and the inhibition the cold temperature has placed on ex- 
ercise, have somewhat affected her. These Atlantic airs 
are crisp and raw, especially in this latitude, and they place 
heavy hands upon an invalid so sensitive as she is. ‘The 
question is not can she be restored to health, but how long 
can she be kept alive? ‘There are cases reported where 
people have recovered, even when cavities have already 
been formed in the lungs; but if there are really any such, 
they are very rare. As life has been prolonged for many 
years even with tubercular deposits going on from day to 
day, why can I not hope a similar success and happiness 
in the case of my own darling? 

“AuGusr 25th. 

“At midday we had accomplished the half of our voy- 
age. Our distance was computed by ‘dead reckoning,’ for 
no sun has appeared to-day; on: the contrary, it rained 
during most of the forenoon; but after dinner it subsided 
into mist. At the sunset hour there was an overcasting 
of the heavens; but before the twilight had well made its 
appearance a crimson arrow shot through the clouds, and 
along its pathway I saw the blue sky. The rent increases, 
and ‘gives token of a goodly day to-morrow.’ . 

“T saw the Captain reading and laughing heartily over 
the satires contained in Boz’s ‘American Notes,’ and even 
while he was so humorously entertained, he picked his 
teeth with his pocket-knife—a dozen persons being seated 


near him, most of whom were ladies. On the occasion 
of Dickens’ last visit to the United States, at the Press 
dinner given to him, he then and there recanted the errors 
of the book in question, and promised it should be sup- 
pressed in all future editions of his works, and yet there 
are Englishmen who still believe that the ‘Notes’ are 
true and unexaggerated’ photographs of life and man- 
ners in America. Criticism that is just will do us no 
harm ; but when it is not so, then we can afford to laugh 
at it. We are sadly wanting in dignity and aplomb. We 
are a people who can stand upon our feet, and who need 
no aid from any extraneous source. The time has come 
when the world should forget: our few peculiarities in its 
admiration of our strong and generous manhood. 

“Jt is evening now and all the passengers are swarming 
at the cabin tables. ‘The Captain has gathered his party 
together, and they laugh and rollick with rare good humor. 
Lide and I are seated together, and we love to see these 
enjoyments—-to see this gladness on.the human face. rather 
than sadness. If each one of us loved his neighbor a little 
more, and regarded it his duty to endeavor to make all 
happy who come within his influence, then, as Lacon says, 
“this world would be a paradise and hell a fiction.’ 

“My candle is nearly out, and I shall go and join the ° 
crowd that laughs with the Captain. May God cultivate 
within me a spirit of humanity and charity, and aid me 
in my poor efforts to help make the world happy and 
gladsome ! 

‘AuGusT 26th. 

“The sun says we made a good run since yesterday. 
There is a crisp and frosty breeze stirring, and I saw furs, 
great coats, gloves and mufflers on the promenade. I saw 
cheeks pinched and goose-fleshed, and when the ‘log was 

264 My WIFE AND J. 

hove, and Jack hauled in the dripping line, his hands 
shivered. There was no caressing it, as he sometimes 
does when the air is warm and the saline drops touch his 
hands with a pleasant freshness. It is the coldest day we 
have had, and the breeziest—clear and frosty as an Indian 
‘summer day; such a day as stains the leaf with red and 
russet, and fills the landscape with the exquisite but som- 
bre changes of autumn. Ah me, ah me, I see about me 
the dead leaves! How full of tender, aye, sad reflections 
are they as they lie along the aisles of wood, or are whirled 
on high by the winter winds and cover over the graves of 
those we love! How emblematic, too, are they of my own 
sad heart, over which a coming grief casts its wintry gloom, 
and changes: all the joyousness of blossoms to withered 
dead leaves! 

“The sea is very blue to-day, except where the breeze 
breaks the wave-tops into clusters of snow drops. or cotton 
pods. Looking abroad over the ocean and seeing the deep 
color of the water, and then looking aloft, I find the skies 
opaline, except where lie heaps of clouds. And there the 
wind frays the edges, and sends fluttering and wreathing 
over the adjoining blue a net-work of white or lengthened 
ribbons of gauze. Such a day as this stirs the blood, and 
sends it dancing through the arteries—it lifts one up and 
distributes health through all the system. 

“We saw this morning to the southward several sail, 
and this afternoon, broad abeam, two large square-rigged 
vessels. But the most beautiful sight of all was the Cunard 
steamer ‘Java,’ bound to New York, which passed within 
a half mile of us. As she neared us, evidently pushed to 
her utmost, lifted on the long rollers, the spray dashing in 
broad masses from her sharp bow, her decks crowded 
with passengers, she presented as beautiful a sight as one 
generally beholds at sea. She is a handsome vessel, and 


obviously of great speed. As I gazed at her, I could not 
but think what a proud intellectual triumph she presented; 
a creation that so simulates life; moving with such tremen- 
dous energy despite the forces of the elements; making of 
the sea as safe and accessible a highway as any upon the 
land. Every day I watch the ease and power of the ma- 
chinery of this vessel, but viewing the ‘Java’ as I did, her 
entire length, and seeing her moved as it were by invisible 
means, I could not but regard the development of my race 
as directed by a Divine Mind, and as the appointed means. 
of some vast and perfect scheme of the Infinite Power, 
which directs and overwatches man, as it does the wander- 
ing constellations. 

AvuGusT 27th. 

I can not say any good of to-day—for the air is raw, 
the wind untoward as a virago’s temper, obstinately per- 
verse, and our chances of making a good run considerably 
lessened. I braved it through and walked a half hour be- 
fore dinner—a recipe I frequently use when I am under the 
dominion of dyspepsia. 

“Lide is, of course, below decks, and thus losing all ex- 
ercise she suffers proportionally. She seems to carry with 
her unpropitious weather always. Every day, on rising, I 
go on deck for the purpose of observing the weather, and 
when I find it disagreeable so as to exclude her from the 
Open air, it makes me sad, and sometimes morose. ‘Too 
frequently I get into an irreligious temper, failing to under- 
stand the purpose of all these unhappy afflictions—disease, 
death, and the consequent mystery that lend strength to in- 
fidelity and positive sin. The Book which we were taught 
as inspired, and the sublime and yet inexplicable atone- 
ment—all these are attacked .as mythical and of human 

origin, having no higher source than ourselves. 

266 My WIFE AND J], 

“Oh, I sincerely wish that she and I could go out to- 
gether into the nothingness or somethingness, whichever 
lies outside this flimsy incertitude we call life! I sit at 
her side and watch the play and tender light of her bright 
eyes. I hear the sweet modulation and pensive tones 
which underlie all her speech. I see in her grace of 
face and form the most exquisite conceivable perfection, 
and I feel the inner sense and spirit of beauty which per- - 
vades all her whole being. There, there, [ doubt no more 
—for these very traits and faculties—-this very physical ex- 
cellence must be, ave, the ‘outward and visible signs of an 
inward and spiritual life.’ I believe always—I only some- 
times /ear we cheat ourselves with a delusion we call 
immortality. | 

“Aueust 28th. 

“To-day has been as nasty as can be—foggy and damp, 
and our good ship is shut in as it were with walls of mist. 
All this afternoon the steam whistle has been giving warn- 
ing to any vessels which might be in the vicinity. ' I stood 
on deck while the fog was most dense, and as I looked 
out on the narrow circle in which we moved, and saw 
heavy masses of vapor moving down upon us, I thought 
how weird and strange the sound of the whistle seemed. 
Besides, one could not separate from these strange feel- 
ings the indefinable dread lest, in this whzte darkness, we 
should encounter a ship. However, all these things are 
properly the business of the officers of the ‘ Manhattan,’ 
and I will leave the conduct of the vessel to them; more 
especially as I have a fearless reliance on Him who holds 
the sea in the hollow of His hands. 

“AuGusT 30th. 
“The past two days have been intensely disagreeable, 
because of the fog, and clammy feel and appearance of 


things. For myself, as I have said before, I care nothing; 
but when I see the sweet wife drooping and suffering and 
sad, it fills me with an angry despair. 

“Last night, at half past eleven, I was on deck, and 
broad on our beam I saw. a light flashing from what is 
called, ‘Fast Rock.’ Between us and it, looking all the 
world like a dusky cloud, passed a full-rigged ship, and 
ere it emerged from the shadow, I came below. I had a 
strange feeling of sad pleasure as I gazed at that evidence 
of the land I seek, and while I could see nothing of #rra 
jirma, not even the loom of the land, yet I felt that, hid 
by the darkness, was the extreme southwest point of Ireland. 

“T went to bed, for the night was thick and hazy; but 
at 2 a.m. I got up and went on deck. We had just passed 
“Fastnet Light,’ which outlies Cape Clear, but I could see 
no land—the crabbed and curtained fog hid it all up just 
to spite me. I wandered about the deck until I could see 
the first dim glow of dawn, and then I fixed myself in the 
rigging, and with my glass I sought the mainland. It was 
a grey cold morning, and as I gazed seaward, I saw an 
army of mist moving down upon us. Still I clung to the 
shrouds, hoping to catch one, just one glimpse of land 
ere the mists should reach us. My vigils and hopes were 
rewarded, but at best it was an aggravation. Just as day 
fairly broke I saw the shadowy outline of land, then a piece 
of green hill—a Torso as it were, and below a narrow 
rim of white shore, against which the sea dashed and _ broke. 
I was the only passenger on deck, and I had the monop- 
oly of the first view of Kinsale Head, named from a baron 
who, for some service done the King some centuries ago, 
killing a continental Curiatius, was rewarded with the dig- 
nity of wearing his hat in the presence of his sovereign. 

“In five minutes the fog came, stretched its arms about 
us; thrust its curious fingers through the rigging; trailed its 

268 My Wire anv J. 

white garments before us, and then clasped us so tight as 
to completely blindfold us. Shivering and disappointed I 
walked the deck until 6 a.m., when seeing in the face of 
the mist no signs of relenting, I went disappointed to my 

“At 8.20 a.m. the servant called me just as we rounded 
the lower lip of land below Queenstown. I paid no atten- 
tion to my toilette, I merely ducked my head into the ewer, 
brandished a comb near my hair, and within three minutes 
was on deck. I encountered ‘an eager and a nipping air,’ 
and from the Atlantic came a cold and inhospitable wind. 

‘Before me, as we stood at the entrance of Cork Cove, 
was Queenstown—situated on the slope of a hill; the houses 
irregular in position, and looking all the world as if they 
had originally started on a race up the slope, and had 
stopped to rest themselves. On both sides of the narrow 
entrance, some distance above the plane of the sea, were 
fortifications, and on the verge of the bluffs were Martel 
towers, reminding me of the day of French invasions and 
domestic and foreign smugglers. The JAlafeau was culti- 
vated to the very edge of the crests overlooking the sea 
and bay, cut and divided into little squares, separated by 
lines of hedges, looking like a huge chess-board, and the 
towers and whitewashed houses seemed the pawns and 
knights, and yonder churches the bishops. Except to the 
left of the harbor, and within a gorge to the right, run- 
ning up from the channel shore, the whole country was 
cheerless and treeless. ‘The scene was somewhat softened 
by the wheat ricks scattered here and there where the har- 
vest had just been gathered. But then the side of the hills 
just above the beat of the waves was brown and dingy— 
hacked and cut by the assaults of the sea for these thou- 
sands of years, and all beyond were gloomy clouds hiding 
the outlying country and the Wickiow range of mountains. 


The general expression of the scene was a disappointment. 
It had the newness of a land just being won from the fal- 
low of a millard of years, and yet it commenced to build 
and till, long before the spur of the knight or the smile of 
the Queen of Beauty were heard and seen. 

“In the wooded gorge referred to was a mass of build- 
ings, not unlike a sea coast hotel at home, which, they 
told me, was the seat of Lord Fermoy. ‘There was no 
lawn running down to the sea; no troops of deer brows- 
ing in the fields; no marine lakes and long-necked swan; 
no life and no ‘ancestral trees.’ However, he is only an 
Irish Lord. 

“A tug came alongside and took a few of the passen- 
gers, and then we stood away—leaving coast and hill behind, 
and the purple Wicklow Mountains, of which I caught just 
a glimpse as we passed the Island Lights of Ballycotton. 
At dinner-time ‘we passed Tuskar Island, while shoreward 
could be seen the low coast and land of Waterford, dotted 
here and there with houses; but beyond, the twilight was 
coming, and its dusky garment covered up all the land and 
hid it from me. ? 

“TY hurried through dinner and went on deck. ‘Tuskar 
was some five miles astern; midway in the channel hung 
a curtain of heavy mists, and on the left a dark line marked 
the receding Irish coast. To the north, lying salient from 
a light ground of sky and cloud was a distinct outline, 
purple in hue and dense as if it were the sharp ridge of 
mountains. I thought at first it was the clear edge of the 
Wicklow range, but measuring it with a clearer ken and 
pondering the topography in my mind, I concluded that it 
was all cloud-land. Overhead I was glad to see openings 
through which shone the blue sky, and luminous clouds 
ranged themselves around as if fair weather was behind. 
The wind holds on from the southward, and I fear that 

270 My WIFE AND ). 

to-morrow I will not see the Welsh coast. Thus I am, as 
it were, without first impressions, which constitute so de- 
lightful a charm after a sea voyage, and which are the 
key note in the after years bringing up the half forgotten 
music of travel, and imparting harmony to the whole. 

“At sunset, with a sweet charity I appreciate, the clouds 
lifted landward and great bars of ruddy light laid bare the 
undulating outline of the Wicklow Mountains. Seen under 
the vaulted arch-of the clouds, they were lovely—lovelier 
from the crimson ground against which they rested. The 
piece of golden-hued sky, too, overhead, interspersed as it 
was with purple and white clouds—some of which lay with 
all the airy lightness of a dream in the notches and laps 
of the hills, refining the whole picture—all these made up 
as pretty a morceau of landscape as I have seen for many 
a day—the more soft and welcome because the sky in every 
other quarter was sullen and dreary. 

‘““T went to bed dreaming of Welsh landscapes and the 
Mersey’s verdant banks. 

“AUGUST 31st. 

“T could not sleep, and so I got up at half-past three 
this morning and went on deck. It was clear and cold. 
When day came we were abreast of Orme’s Head, and be- 
yond were the mountains of Wales. When we reached the 
gap through which the Dee flows to the sea, Lide and 
others of the party came on deck. I had posted myself 
as to the different points, and so I had an enhanced pleas- 
ure in sitting at her side and watching her bright eyes as 
they ran along my outstretched arm and finger to the towns 
clustering on the hill slopes, the storied mountains which 
give to Wales such a charm when seen from the sea, and 
the country lying about Liverpool. We gaze on England 
at last-— 


«*«Thou glorious island of the sea! 

Though wide the wasting flood 
That parts our distant land from thee, 

We claim thy generous blood.’ 

“We came to the bar at low water, and, to our disgust, 
we were compelled to drop anchor, and fret all through 
the indolent increase of the flood. At nine o’clock we got 
on board the tug, and as we shoved off from the ship 
which had borne us in safety across the sea, we gave her 
three grateful cheers. In a few minutes we reached the 
famous docks, and waited the usual custom examination of 
our luggage. I had received a description of the officer in 
charge, and knew his name, and as soon as I landed I 
espied my friend, and at once went eagerly forward and 
offered my hand. ‘Why, Captain Harris,’ I said, ‘I’m 
delighted to see you again. You are looking as hale and 
hearty as ever. You have not forgotten me I hope. Eh? 
My name is Mr. Rogers, just from America, in the steamer 
yonder—the ‘ Manhattan.” 

““Why how d’ye do, Mr. Rogers. I’m really glad to 
see you back again. Really, you Americans come and go 
so often that I can’t keep the run of you. I’m glad to see 
you, and he gave my hand a hearty squeeze, and pumped 
it as if he was thirsty and impatient to get something from 

““Are these your ladies?’ the Captain asked, pointing to 
my party, who had seated themselves upon one of the 
benches under the shed where the luggage was being placed 
to be examined. | 

“<«They are, Captain. Shall I present you?’ | 

@eepeenkee, Halloa, there! Mr. Parker! Mr. Parker! 

“A good looking person of thirty or thereabouts came 
up, wearing the custom livery of Her Majesty. 

““Mr. Parker, Mr. Rogers, just in from America—an 

a0 My WIFE AND J. 

old friend of mine. Wait on him at once, and you need ’nt 
open his boxes. You can take his declaration, that will be 
enough. He’s an old friend of mine, and we know our 
man. Please show your boxes to Mr. Parker,’ he added, 
addressing me. Mr. Parker and I shake hands. I thanked 
him, pointed my luggage out, and it received the technical 
chalking, and I was at liberty to pass into her Majesty’s 
dominions. f . 

“JT mention this incident to show the influence of tact 
and polite words in an ordeal where travelers too fre- 
quently lose their temper, and so increase the rigor of the 

Here end my pencilings. After my arrival I really had 
no time to jot down my impressions. Lide’s demands 
on me were constant, for she had left her maid at New 
York, and did not get another until we reached London, 
and when not with her, I was sight-seeing. Lala was 
always near, of course; but she was not equal to the ser- 
vices I performed. Always during our whole married life, 
she preferred my ministration to those of all others in all 
things I was able to do. What remains to be written will 
come from memory, and I feel now how difficult it will 
be to write either with freshness or accuracy. 


*'To England, over yale and mountain, 
My fancy flew from climes more fair, 
My blood, that knew its purest fountain, 

Ran warm and fast in England’s air.” 

The docks of Liverpool are a wonder—massive, exten- 

sive, and absolutely perfect. The country outlying. the city, 
as seen from the steamer, had nothing strange or striking. 
Indeed, the approaches are in some respects rather disa- 
greeable to the eye. But the city has the solid and busy 
look which such a mart should have; and while there are 
fairer and more beautiful scenes all over England, there 
are none more expressive of enterprise and wealth. It is 
a city of great commercial importance, into which the 
_commerce of the world pours its varied treasures, and it 
abounds in all those conveniences and maritime accom- 
modations, the natural fruit of its necessities and position. 
I was especially impressed with the completeness and sub- 
stantial character of its buildings, which were for use, not 
ornament. The streets are clean, and the whole aspect 
of the place declares the sturdy nature and taste of the 
people. Every department is a system in itself, and in 
its operations complete. The municipal regulations seemed 
to be thorough, and to furnish an example that it is a 
pity we Americans can not imitate. 

The men are splendid specimens of robust health, gen- 

erally dressing well, and if not with elegance, at least with 

274 My Wire AND J. 

great comfort. In these respects—that is vigor, handsome- 
ness, and equipment—the women are not to be compared 
with the males. I have really seen but very few well | 
dressed women; and the remark made then, when J had 
been but a dav in the country, was confirmed by my entire 
European experience. 

Joseph F. Holliday met us soon after our arrival, hay- 
ing come with his brother Cecil to welcome us. That 
same afternoon, Lide feeling comparatively strong under the 
excitement of the novelty and pleasure of reaching the old 
world, all of us took carriages, drove about the city, to the 
Botanical Gardens at Edgehill, St. George’s Hall, and the 
Exchange Buildings—these last being really admirable in 
construction and good patterns of the Greek architectural 
art, which comprehends all that is graceful in form and 

After Lide had gone to bed, Ben, Joe Holliday and I 
started out to see the slums and gin shops—the places 
where are seen the worst and most wretched forms of vice 
and human degradation. What need to build chapels in 
heathen lands, and plant the cross where idols are, while 
here at home is a darker superstition and harsher gentil- 
ism than any to be found beyond the seas! In all my 
life I had never seen poor human nature so depraved and 

The next day Lide and Lala, under the escort of their 
two English cousins, left Liverpool for Alderley Edge, the 
seat of Mr. Holliday; while Ben, Mrs. Maxwell, Ella and 
I crossed to Birkenhead, to take the rail for “rare old 

Once in the country the soft charm of an English land- 
scape is seen. It seems one great garden, so neat and 
trim are the hedges of hawthorn, so evenly cultivated all 
the fields, and so romantic and cosy the neat farm houses 


of stone covered with ivy. I was enchanted with all I 
saw, and my admiration of the English character consid- 
erably enhanced. I was surprised to see the lands so well 
timbered—much beyond my expectation—and as I looked 
out on the green hedged fields, sweeping away on my right 
until they were lost in the haze of the distance, sprinkled 
with church spires, and hamlets half hid among the trees, 
and the dreamy Welsh hills lying against the clear sky, 
they made up a tender idyll, or as refined and delicate a 
prospect as one can find anywhere. It is a scene which, 
in addition to the sympathy and fitness of its constituents, 
was warmed and spiritualized by the genius of a high Chris- 

tian civilization. ‘The lines of the railroads are marked by 
trim hawthorn hedges, and the margins generally sodded 
where it can be done. In fact, if I had any fault to find, 
it was in this evenness, and the uniform beauty of the 
whole country. It was at times painfully ordered and 
arranged, and I really occasionally longed to see a bare 
spot, a waste, an exception to this system of highly wrought 
cultivation; to see places where man had not plowed, 
smoothed, and packed down to a level. It seemed as if 
every foot of ground has felt the spade, grubbing hoe and 
roller, © 

At midday we arrived at Chester and went to the Queen’s 
Hotel. We were too impatient to stop even long enough to 
attend to our luggage, but ordered a carriage at once and 
drove to Eaton Hall, the renowned seat of the Grosvenor 
family. The Park, containing I can not say how many 
acres, is channeled and grooved with broad roads, laid out 
so that one can catch the finest landscapic effects; bor- 
dered by low thickets where art has helped nature with 
contributions of garden plants, making little coverts for 
grouse and pheasant. And lying under the shade of the 
trees, or feeding in the open spaces, were troops of deer, 

276 My Wire anb |. 

so tame that they scarcely noticed us as we passed by. 
From the magnificent Grosvenor gateway, built of white 
freestone and deep cut with heraldic device, to the Hall, 
is a ride of two miles. ‘The road is superb, graveled and 
winding, opening up at every few yards little surprise pic- 
tures; here bringing into view the long descent toward 
Wales and its picturesque mountains; there the natural 
terraces of the Dee hills, and all the diversified country 
away over to Rowton Moor. And to give perfectness to 
the scene, you catch at times a glimpse of the River Dee. 
The Belgrave Lodge Avenue, for example, extends 

“?Pwixt avenues of proud ancestral trees,” 

for more than two miles. 

I do not pretend to describe anything in detail. I can 
only give my impressions, and those in a vague, imperfect 
way from memory, after an interval of more, than two 
years. Eaton Hall is said to be the finest seat in Eng- 
land. ‘The ‘“‘Noble Marquis of Westminster” has an in- 
come of near a million sterling, and so he and his no 
less opulent predecessors were not stinted in means with 
which to build, and to adorn with the highest glories of 
all the arts. And yet with all this enormous wealth ‘‘my 
Lord” warms his person with the cheap garments to be 
found in the “ Jews’ Quarter” in London, 

The Hall is pointed Gothic of the time of Edward 
III, and yet the architect has not failed to add effects 
not strictly lying within the order to which the pile be- 
longs. Indeed I was struck with the church-like character 
of the whole building; and although the walls, battlements, 
parapets, and niches are charged with heraldic achieve- 
ments in relief, yet the ecclesiological expression is not 
lost, and, I will add, it rather derogated from the effect 
such a building should produce. We approached it from 


the west side, I believe, and yet it is from the banks of 
the Dee below the building is seen to the highest advan- 
tage. JI was not pleased with my first view, perhaps be- 
cause the time having passed in which visitors were admit- 
ted, no honeyed coaxing and display of coin could tempt 
the steward to admit us to the interior and so disobey the 
orders of the “noble Earl.” ‘The last lay day expired but 
a few hours previous to our arrival, and the law of exclu- 
sion was peremptory and inflexible. I had hard work to 
get admission to the grounds even. ‘The steward resisted 
my application with an obstinacy that spoke well for his 
fidelity, and I must have been engaged well nigh a half 
hour in lubricating ‘this old warder of the gate.” 

It was a great disappointment to us that the doors of 
the Hall were closed against us, for, from all accounts, 
the interior is without an equal in the kingdom. We had, 
however, admission to the private gardens, but with all 
their trim parterres and statuary and fountains they held 
no such beauties as the wild flowers and ferns growing in 
the fields bordering the Dee. ‘This river is of course a 
charming feature——its placid flow, the shrubs and trees 
that line its banks, and the tortuous course of the stream; 
but to the eye of an American it seems small, and in one 
sense insignificant. 

But one seeks, amid all this grandeur and lavish osten- 
tation of wealth, for some of the sacred signs of that quiet 
and seclusion, that place of rest and shelter from the 
world, which give to the word home such a beauty and 
half religious sanctity. ‘There can be nothing of that kind 
in such a ‘‘show-house,” in an establishment that at best 
is, as it were, a treasure-box, to which its owner admits 
the world to worship and envy. In the little village of 
Eccleston, near by, and which is the property of the 
Marquis of Westminster, are many charming little cottages 

278 My Wire anv J. 

buried among masses of woodbine, and rimmed with haw- 
thorn blossoms and the scarlet berries of the holly, where 
can be found, as Coleridge so prettily phrases it, 

‘Three treasures—love and light, 
And calm thoughts regular as infants’ breath.” 

I will venture to say that there is more real happiness 
in the Porter’s Lodge of Eaton Hall, than in the Hall 
itself. ; 

Chester is, I believe, the oldest town in England—it is 
certainly the oddest. Near a score of years before Pom- 
peli was destroyed, the Romans built a wall around it, and 
many remains of the first conquerors have been exhumed— 
coins, a well preserved hypocaust or sweating bath, frag- 
ments of columns, and some Latin inscriptions. But one 
forgets the testimony of the antique, which is fragmentary, 
in the curious and quaint old houses of the time of James 
I, and earlier, which are entire. The sharp gables, the 
heavy hanging balconies, the unique carvings, and the 
strange contrast that these memorials of the days long, 
long ago, bear to the structures and ways of modern times, 
unite in declaring “‘rare old Chester’? one of the most 
attractive places in England. It is curious in its churches, 
ingenious and entertaining in its legends, and its annals 
embrace some of the most remarkable persons and events 
mentioned in English chronicles. Although most of the 
sovereigns of that country have contributed to the spirit. 
and interest of the narrational life of Chester, yet none 
have given to it a sadder and more poetic charm than 
Charles I, who from Phoenix Tower saw the defeat of 
his forces on Rowton Moor. 

We wandered through the churches, and heard with 
credulous ears the stories the old sacristans told us; and 
in the Cathedral I saw hanging to the wall the tablets of 


my progenitors in the maternal line, the Christian names 
of whom are borne by some of my relatives to-day. We 
visited the most quaint of the houses, indeed almost every 
spot to which is attached any traditional or historical inter- 
est, and of course were interested in everything. ‘The 
“Rows” are one of the most curious features of that city. 
They are literally passages through the first stories of the 
houses, as if the side walls had been torn away entirely, 
and enough of the front walls to give light and air. The 
back parlors, if I may so speak, remain, and have been 
converted into shops. ‘These passages are higher than the 
street—in many cases ten feet—to which, at intervals, stair- 
ways lead. It is a capital contrivance, as Albert Smith 
says, for “old ladies of weak minds who quail at meeting 
cattle, and young ladies of extravagant ones, who doat on 
shopping, in spite of the weather.” 

I can not even enumerate, much less describe, the half 
I saw. The visit was one of the most pleasant of my 
life, and I always recur to it with delight. After the day 
visits were over, Ben and | strolled through the old city 
by moonlight. Standing upon the spots where so many 
successive generations had been all through the ages since 
our Saviour came to the world, and looking at the dusty 
and crumbling memorials of lives that had passed away, 
a flood of sad and half humiliating sensations came over 
me, and a sense of my own weakness and _transitoriness 
fell upon my heart with a feeling of pain. ‘‘ Man dieth, 
and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where 
is he?” 

The following day we started for Leamington, where we 
arrived that same evening. ‘The whole journey was through 
the same sweet landscapes. We passed through towns, and 
within sight of quiet, half secluded villages, where I longed 
to pause and spend days, and where I could be alone 

280 My Wire AND J. 

with the dear darling life with whom I was ever in full 
sympathy of tastes and harmony of intellectual enjoyment 
and aspiration, 

Leamington is that rare thing in England almost all 
brand new, and I think I would like it better if I could, 
Aladdin-like, some fine night when all the good people 
were asleep, transport in the midst thereof an old castle, 
or church overgrown with moss and ivy, and mottled all 
over with the greenish patches that are as the footsteps of 
old ‘Time. : 

It is a spa, the mineral waters of which are said to be 
efficacious in epidermal diseases. Its houses are models 
of neatness and tranquil domestic beauty; usually situated 
in the centre of a garden, and half hid, in the season of 
leaf and blossom, by trees and running vines. It is one 
of the most charming places I ever visited, and in its 
 vicinage are the most classic spots in England. ‘The streets 
are broad, and the park-like gardens, which here and there 
run down to its very sidewalks, impart to the whole city 
an elegance, and an expression of beauty and taste that 
are as pleasant and agreeable as they are, to such an extent 
and with such frequency at least, rare and exquisite. 

The next day quite early we took carriage and visited 
Kenilworth and Coventry. We drove through an exquisite 
country—perhaps more charming than any I had seen. It 
seemed to me the ground was more undulating, the fields 
greener and broader, and the trees larger and more um- 
brageous. Where the Avon flowed, the course of the 
stream was marked by deeper masses of foliage, and a 
greater variety of such vines and plants as are usually 
found by the courses of running brooks. Upon the up- 
lands, gathered in groups or standing singly, were the tra- 
ditional oaks, as well as elms and pines; while, everywhere 
“that rare old plant, the ivy green,” climbed, and gable 



ends bearing up huge masses of creeping plants, were seen 
through aisles of wood, or crowning the rolling hills. 
While I was thus gazing and admiring, I happened to 
look to the left, and Kenilworth broke upon me in all its 
amazing grandeur. I had not been led to expect it just 
tien, ana fora moment I was startled. At that time I 
had never been so impressed by any memorial of my race 
as I was by that castle. 
We entered by the great gate—itself as large as many a 
baronial hall—and stood where mailed warriors and _ lady- 
loves had passed. ‘The grandeur, and the melancholy ex- 
pression which naturally attaches to the finger marks of 
time, especially in a ruin to which history and song have 
imparted the enchantment of romance, are to me _ inde- 
scribably impressive. As I wandered from place to place, 
reviving in my mind the pageant of Queen Bess’ visit to 
Robert Dudley, and the tender and pensive charms which 
cling to the love and fate of poor Amy Robsart, a feeling 

of meditative sorrow stole over me, which cast its not un- 

welcome influence over all the scene. And as, from the 
pictures my thought and imagination wove, I looked on 
the mouldering, broken parapets, the tracery of arch and 
mullioned window, and the kind, caressing hand _ the pity- 
ing ivy laid upon all the ruin, I felt that vivid interest 
and sympathy as if I had once seen this flower in all the 
freshness and beauty of its blossom, and had returned to 
find it faded and evanescing. 

_ After visiting Czesar’s Tower, and its enormous breadth 
of masonry—being, it is said, the only vestige of the fortress 
built in the reign of Henry I; then the Lancaster build- 
ing erected by John of Gaunt in 1571, with its exquisite 
fretwork, its groined arches, and windowed recesses over- 
looking the old lake; after seeing, indeed, in detail, all the 
interior wonders of the castle—go: out through the old tilt 


282 _ My Wire AND J. 

yard where, in the knightly times, lances were shivered 
while bright eyes looked on; pursue the ridge over the. 
margin of the lake, and passing down into the meadow, 
Kenilworth impresses you by its entirety as few vestiges of 
human skill and power can do. The extent of the ruin 
is enormous, and as you look at the broken walls and 
through the windows to the placid blue sky, see the crum- 
bling spans of the arches and the masses of shining leaves 
that partially mantle the desolation time and storm have 
made; if, seeing all these things, and hearing in fancy 
the plaintive echoes of the life and its tragic experiences 
that have made this spot so peculiarly attractive, you are 
not profoundly touched and refined, then indeed humanity 
has no lessons for you, and its tenderest sighs are as the. 
idle voices of the inconstant wind. 

From there we went to Coventry, and when we reached 
the ‘‘King’s Head” Inn, passing a few steps to the corner, 
I saw the grotesque effigy of “Peeping Tom.” For dear . 
human nature’s sake I am glad to believe that incident 
of the ride: pure fiction, notwithstanding the Latin epistle 
to the contrary, addressed to Seward, a canon of Lichfeld. 
It says that a groom of the Countess gazed on her while 
she passed, and that the horse, seeing his trainer at the win- 
dow, neighed, and so discovered the scoundrel. Whether 
that be true or false, matters not, except as a question of 
human depravity; but the story of Lady Godiva I think 
authentic on the authority of the Benedictine monk, Mat- 
thew of Westminster, and of Dugdale. There is something 
of vratsemblance in the whole story, for it is in strict keeping 
with the manners and romance of the times. And if it is 
not genuine, or at least historically attested, (1 think it is) 
I would retain it for the sweet influences and instruction 
it carries with it. I know no single incident so full of 
womanly chivalry and beauty as that of 


** Godiva, wife to that grim Earl, who ruled in Coventry.”’ 

No one has told the legend as Tennyson has done, and 
so delicately put in words the strugglings of a woman 
whose philanthropy and pity put to such a test all the 
modest shame and shrinking of a chaste wife and lady. 
What a pretty picture of purity is it where he says: 

**And, like a creeping sunbeam, slid 
From pillar to pillar, until she reached 
The gateway.” 

As | am inclined to believe, as I look at women’s cos- 
tumes and conduct of to-day, that the age is leaving behind 
the delicate refinement and innocence which shed such a 
tender halo and charm over the story of Godiva, I hope 
that such an example of true womanhood and _ purity will 
long keep its triumph in song, and be commemorated in 
the place the story has made immortal. 

The three churches, whose “tall spires” are so marked 
a feature, as you approach Coventry, were visited, of course. 
The Tower of St. Michael’s, from base to rod, over three 
hundred feet, I admired, and yet I gave the preference to 
Trinity, said to be the first parish church in England. I 
visited St. Mary’s and the “Great Hall” by myself. In- 
deed I strolled into them without exactly knowing where 
I was going. ‘The latter is some four and a half centuries 
old, and boasts of a splendid window of stained glass. The 
roof is bracketed in oak, and the medallions are quaint 
figures of angels and beasts. At the end of the Hall is a 
minstrel gallery, from which hung some fine specimens of 
Civic armor, with antique bills and, pikes. 

There are, also, portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence, of 
George III and George IV, as well as several others of 
the sovereigns of England. But the most attractive feature 
of the Hall is an unusually fine piece of tapestry, divided 

284 My Wire anv J. 

into six squares. That which contains a life size figure of 
Margaret of Anjou, seated at a table, upon which is a 
missal, interested me more than the others. 

I sat alone in this room, and its silence and _ those 
memorials of a ‘gone day made me very quiet and con- 
‘templative. And while so impressed, the bells of St. Mar- 
tin’s Church rang their sweet chimes, which added to my 
temper a touch of not unpleasant sadness. 

That same evening I passed all alone in my room, filled 
with the regrets that I could not: have the dear wife with 
me, whose intelligent mind would so keenly appreciate all 
the notable objects I had seen during the past few days. 
I determined to visit Warwick Castle and Stratford on 
Avon, the next day, and then return to her. 


‘Indeed, the whole country about here is poetic ground; everything is 
associated with the idea of Shakespeare.” 

The next morning, in company with my companions, 
I went to Stratford, va Warwick. We secured an open 
carriage to enable us to see the picturesque country 
through which we were to pass. I was told that that part 
of England is full of lovely landscapes, as it is, I believe, 
one of the richest in agricultural wealth. 

One who has leisure, and who travels without the em- 
barrassments of a party, especially if he is impelled by a 
desire to see the exquisite rural life and pictures which 
abound in England as they abound nowhere else, should 
abandon the railway lines of travel, and trust, in a great 
measure, to pedestrianism, or to an open wagon, for in no 
Other way can that country be properly seen. Hid away 
in quiet places, and yet amid the most charming’ pastoral 
scenes, are shrines and representative bits of English life, 
lost altogether to those who depend upon railroads as a 
means of locomotion. Go where you may, history and 
poetry have touched every spot and.consecrated it. Be- 
sides, one sees the habits and ways of all classes, from 
peer to peasant, how they live, and the exact relation the 
one bears to the other. He sees the workings of a system 
of Government founded to a great degree on caste; he 
sees almost all the soil held in tenancy by the agricultur- 
ist, and a hereditary nobility which possesses by entail the 

286 My WIFE AND |. 

fairest portion of the dominion. He sees, in a word, that 
the Government and Church are the prerogatives of a few, 
and that two. branches of the system are the exclusive 
property of those who claim under a_ principle called 
‘“»rimogeniture.” To the actual and potential sharers of 
such privileges, the scheme is just and conservative; but to 
those who help to support what they can not enjoy, there 
is naturally suggested some doubt as to the propriety and 
justice of such a method of rule. 

But under kingcraft and feudalism places and things 
and men in England have attained their interest —their 
legendary and historic charms. Monarchs, or, better than 
all, autocrats, improve, beautify, and strengthen with a 
celerity and completeness not to be found in a Govern- 
ment based upon popular rights. The latter is the hap- 
piest and the most natural, but it is the crudest, slowest, 
and most practical. Paris, under the Empire, was the 
most beautiful city in Europe, but for the few days the 
Communes or Republicans held it, they tried hard, with 
powder and petroleum, to destroy the monuments a cen- 
tury of peace and imperialism will not restore. 

There are on the continent what are called classical 
objects of interest that transcend anything ‘to be found in 
England. Rome, for example, with her solemn ruins, 
which were old and crumbling when English history com- 
menced, and Greece, from whose monuments the Roman 
bofrowed all that is graceful in his copy, and so on to the 
wonders of the oldest civilization of all which lies along 
the Nile. But to an American there is a family claim in 
‘English life and history we can find nowhere else, and so 
on this account we Yeel an enchantment there no other 
land can give us—the affectionate interest that belongs to 
a common ancestry and language. 


Warwick crowns a hill at the base of which flows the 
* Avon. In the days when it was the 
‘© Good old-fashioned plan, 

That they shall take who have the power, 
And they shall keep who can,” 

this place was encircled by a wall. It was founded in the 
Saxon days, but except in a historical aspect, there is noth- 
ing interesting in it. In St. Mary’s Church is the cele- 
brated Beauchamp Chapel, which, with the exception of 
that fo Henry VII in Westminster, is said to be the finest 
in England. The altar is richly adorned, but I forgot all 
else in contemplating the tomb.and effigy of the Earl of 
Warwick, whose daughter Anne, I think it was, became 
the wife of Richard Neville, called “the King-maker.” 
There is a monument here also to Dudley—FElizabeth’s 

As you enter the town from Leamington, the castle lies 
on the left. At its base flows the Avon, and upon a rock, 
around which the stream leaps and foams, the castle is 
constructed. This feudal fortress is more intelligible of the 
old days—the mode of life, the measures of defense, dis- 
cipline and punishment—than Haddon Hall, or even 
Kenilworth. As you enter by the old passage-way, you 
look with amazement on the double crenellated towers, 
but your surprise and admiration are considerably aug- 
mented as you pass by the drawbridge, guarded yet by the 
portcullis, into the inner court, where the whole arrange- 
ment of the castle can be seen. Before you is the keep, 
and on the left the inhabited portions of the castle. ‘The 
baronial or great hall is noticeable for its splendid collec- 
tion of ancient armor, and the suite of apartments leading 
from it contain many family and other paintings. The 
most attractive to, me was an original portrait—at least so 
they told me—of Charles I. My visit was limited to a 

288 My Wire anv J. 

few hours, and so I saw all these things too hurriedly even 
to remember names. I left the party lingering with a 
servant who described articles of virtu with a painful in-a- 
hurry-to-get-rid-of-you voice, and J ran over to the green- 
house, to see the celebrated Warwick vase, found at Tivoli; 
and from thence down the slope among the Lebanon cedars 
to where the Avon sobbed against the grim old castle 
walls, or laughed when it reached the sunshine and flowed. 
past the golden meadows. 

I ascended Guy’s Tower, too, and saw all the sweet 
lawns running off to Edgehill, where the first battle of the 
civil war of Charles I was fought; the swelling acclivities 
and the low, grassy laps lying between; and the spot where 
Arden was, in whose haunts Orlando “abused the young 
plants with carving Rosalind on their barks; hung odes 
upon hawthorns, and elegies on brambles.” 

We pushed on to Stratford, loitering for a few minutes 
over the spot to which Guy, Earl of Warwick came, to 
spend his days in prayer and penance, his Countess all 
the while ‘‘mourning his absence in the castle” near. 

Arrived at Stratford, we went at once to the “Red Horse 
Hotel,” and really, before I could collect my ideas, l 
passed through the low archway into an entry, and seeing 
a door open, walked into “a little parlor, some twelve feet 
square.” As I was about to sit in an armchair I was 
attracted by an engraved plate which declared it to be 
“the throne of Geoffrey Crayon,” and the poker, “his 
sceptre,’ was there—all preserved with as much care and 
respect as if they had been consecrated by the touch of 
the “great enchanter’’ whose. life has made the whole 
place a “pilgrim shrine.” 

I must confess, that although I was a palmer from a 
far land visiting a spot made immortal as being the birth- 
place and grave of the most extraordinary genius of any 


age—as I sat in that littlke room, while my dinner was 
being prepared, and thought of the kind and genial author 
of the “Sketch Book,” I almost forgot the shrine and my 
vow, and pondered more of my’later countryman than of 
my earlier one. I mused over his quiet, gentle life; his 
delicate and tender sympathies, and his genius, which was 
exercised for the improvement of all hearts, through teach- 
ings as noble in aim as pleasant in utterance. And | 
remembered that one sweet Indian summer day I went to 
the village church at Tarrytown, which overlooked the 
Tappan Sea, and saw the placid face of him who _ had 
sat in the little parlor of the “Red Horse” and hallowed 
it forevermore. And then I followed the quiet procession 
and saw them place all that was mortal of ‘“ Geoffrey 
Crayon” in the little cemetery that overlooks the stream 
he loved so well. } 

I think mine hostess of the ‘‘Red Horse” was a little 
child when Irving was the guest of (and now I conjec- 
ture) her mother. She spoke in tender remembrance of 
his good face, and when she brought me some sheets of 
note paper on which I found stamped the name of the 
hotel, I put aside several as souvenirs of my distinguished 

It was market day at Stratford-on-Avon, and the street 
on which the hotel is situated was crowded with wagons, 
huckster carts, and town people. I threaded’ my way 
through them and passed up Hurley Street, and without 
inquiring found the house said to be that in which the 
great poet was born. It is now public property, and so, 
seizing the bell-rope, I gave it a sound pull, and heard 
its noisy alarm jingling through the chambers, in one of 
which Shakespeare’s first cries broke upon a world which, 
ever since, has regarded him as its transcendant genius. 

The interior is plain enough, and yet no hall in England, 
37 3 

290 My Wire “AND J. 

hung as it may be—with ‘‘trophy, sword, and hatchment,” 
or graced with the rarest creations of the sculptor’s and 
painter’s art—can attract as the humble home of the poet 
has done. 

There have been collected there all the memorials of 
him that could be found, which I accepted, as a matter 
of course; although, if perhaps I had been incredulous 
enough to question their genuineness, it would at least 
have quarreled with the faith that constitutes the best en- 
joyment of the pilgrim. I had.not passed over the seas 
with the unbelieving faculty; I came with all the trust of 
the devotee who hangs chaplets to the wayside altar, and 
lifts loyal eyes to the meek face of the saint, and so I 
received all the old dame told me with the ingenuous faith 
ofa child. | 

As I have already said; 1 was good-natured enough to 

assent to the authenticity of these commemorative treasures. 
If one third the town had claimed to be his descendants, 
I should have half bent my knee to each and all in full 
credence, and would have expected to have heard them 
talk as their great progenitor wrote. When I donned the 
~ “sandal shoon and scallop shell,’ I put aside all incredu- 
lity; and so, when on my way to Shakespeare’s grave, I 
halted at a green grocer’s shop, led by a shoeblack who 
had met me in the street, and recognized me as an Amer- 
ican “from my boots,” and was introduced to the proprie- 
tor’s wife, who claimed to be the only posterity of “sweet 
Will,” and I examined all the memorials she held as heir- 
looms, I even swallowed all her pretensions, and paid her 
according to the measure of my belief. | 

To me there is nothing so unpleasant, when my mind 
is occupied with the influences which naturally belong to 
spots made secret by human genius, or some great histor- 
ical event, as to have a garrulous guide at my elbow, going 


Over in stereotyped phrase the tale he tells to all, and of 
which he has no appreciable comprehension or sensibility. 
I never begrudge the sixpence—I sometimes double it to 
rid myself of such an antagonism to my complete enjoy- 
ment. But guides are not always the most obnoxious 
drawbacks to the sightseer’s pleasures; a companion is fre- 
quently worse, for you can not get rid of him with a six- 
pence. He constantly stands between you and the sun, 
overwhelming you with exclamations, or chilling you with 

I need not add that I turned my shoeblack away after he 
had found the sacristan of the church, who lived near by, 
for the gate was locked. An old woman soon came hob- 
bling across the street, and she introduced me into the 
churchyard, and under the branches of the lime trees which 
grow on each side of the avenue leading up to the church. 
The building is one of a class of Christian houses of wor- 
ship seen only in England—stained and weather-beaten—on 
_ which are traced some good specimens of the ecclesiastical 
art, and the whole is hallowed by the sober touch of 
time, which imparts a charm that is irresistibly pensive 
and elevating. I passed up the avenue, and through a 
Gothic porch into the nave, and heeding nothing except 
the sad reverberation of my own footsteps over the paved 
aisle. JI halted not until I had reached the chancel and 
stood at the marble slab where Shakespeare is buried. 
Deep cut thereon are the lines which all the world knows 
by heart, and which, doubtless, have saved the poet’s dust 
from removal. Overlooking his tomb, in a small niche, 
is a marble bust of the poet, said to have been placed 
there not long after his death. I needed no such reminder 
of his noble face, for the same features and genial expres- 
sion of companionableness are seen in every household of 
the English-speaking races, 


292 My WIFE AND ). 

Antiquarians may dispute when and where he was born, 
but of the spot of his interment there is no ques- 
tion. The feelings excited by such a visit, and all the 
aecessories of the locality, are not easily forgotten. The 
‘place becomes Religion, ’’ and ,we aré impressed as only 
one other impresses us, and that the mount overlooking 
Gethsemane, and the sad city of the sacrifice of Him 
we call the “Son of God.” You forget all else except 
that the great magician lies beneath your feet—him whose 
fame fills the world, and to whom there never will be an 
equal. You see funeral effigies and threadbare hatchments 
hanging to the walls; you see the aisles tesselated by marble 
slabs, bearing quaint oid epitaphs; you see the arches and 
the spacious ceiling cut in Gothic device; you see the 
light coming through 

“Storied windows richly dight,” 

struggling among the clustering branches of the elm; you 
see all these, but you muse only cf Shakespeare, whose 
honored dust is separated from you by the at piece of 
marble which echoes your tread. : 

I sat some time on the chancel step, alone in the 
church, alone with all its eloquent memorials that reminded 
me of the vanity of human life, its hopes, its toils, and its 
empty ambition. ‘The monumental tablets and the cold 
stone effigies brought back to me the images of lives that 
have been—that, perhaps, once moved through these aisles 
and lingered over the poet’s tomb as I have done—felt, 
hoped, and dreamed as I do. Whither have they gone? 
Whither has fled the vast genius that, like an imperial 
conquerer, drags all the world after his triumphal car? I 
know not—no man knows; but I feel that that thoughtful, 
wonderful mind, to which God imparted so much of Him- 
self, is not dead, but survives in a higher sphere of exist- 


ence that is endless in duration, and eternal in progression. 

And sO, purer I hope, chastened and yet exalted, I 
passed from the church into the yard, where the ivy lays 
its green hand in pity over the crumbling tomb-stones, to 
hide the gaps Time has made, and on, under the shades 
of the elms, down to the “soft flowing Avon,” that, as it 
swept by the grassy bank, tenderly sighed and murmured, 
as if in sympathy with the quiet peB oe which fills all the 
place where sleeps 

‘““Sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy’s child,” 

I now turned iy steps to Alderley Edge, yearning to 
see the sweet face from which I’ had been separated too 
long, and which, without exaggeration, I hungered to see. 
Her uncle, John Holliday, Esq., has a seat about sixteen 
miles from Manchester, and I had promised to be there 
on the occasion of the marriage of his son Joseph, 
who has been already referred to. On the evening of 
September 5th I reached the station at Alderley, having 
telegraphed my departure from Leamington. I was met 
by Joe and his fancee, and Lala and her cousin May— 
the latter a healthy looking English girl of sixteen, and 
who became a great favorite of both Lidé and mine. 
The groom took my luggage check, and I jumped into 
the wagonette with the girls, and we started up the slope 
of a long ridge overgrown with fir, beach, and oak— 
here and there a cottage nestling among the trees, with 
gable point and finial reached by ivy, and then next I 
dashed an admiring eye over the “Vale Royal,’ and the 
mountains of Wales that lay half hid among the clouds, 
which the setting sun burnished with gold and crimson. 
While I gazed, we passed the low porter’s lodge, almost 
hid among trees, and clasped in the hug of the ivy; then 
along a smooth road by a terrace, that overlooked a tender 

294 My Wire AND }. 

bit of lawn, as seen through the interstices of interlacing 
trees and vines, and then we halted at the stone porch of 
the mansion—one mass of green that climbs to the chim- 
ney-tops, that hardiest and most typical of all creeping 
plants—the ivy. I entered the hall, and at the threshold 
of the drawing-room was received by Mr. and Mrs. Hol- 
liday with a genuine English welcome. From them I 
turned into a small reception room, and in a moment had 
the dear head lying upon my bosom, and the old hand 
patting my cheek. 

It was near dinner time, and’ I hurried to our chamber 
to prepare for that meal which, in England, is something 
of a ceremony grafted on the familiarity of home life. 
En grande tenue is the rule, but there the conventionalism 
ends. The usage is a happy one, and it by no means 
infringes upon the freedom and easy intercourse which 
constitute the highest charm of social life. It keeps one 
up to a proper degree of discipline, and represses an un- 
due tendency to democracy of dress and manner. 

The approaching nuptials brought to the ‘‘Ferns” (so 
the home of Mr. Holliday had been baptized—for that 
exquisite cryptogam, in the autumn months, fills all the 
glades and shady nooks in Alderley Edge) some of the 
nearest friends of the family. Among these I admired Mr. 
John Wise, a former partner of Mr. Holliday in China, 
who had retired, married, and had a brace of pretty 
dream-faced children. He was a representative Britisher, 
of the Palmerston school—bold, frank, and patriotic—in a 
word, he is a thorough Englishman, and I liked him for 
his strong characterism. 

I found the darling embarrassed, and suffering in the 
chill, humid atmosphere which’ gives to England her rich 
perennial lawns. That same atmosphere makes a sturdy 
race too; but when it chances on a weakling, it shakes 


the very life out of it, as something abnormal and foreign 
amid its noble oaks and vigorous stock. And so those 
who grow feeble, go out from its saline and moist temper- 
ature to the gentle nursing and philanthropic air of Nice 
or Mentone—in too many cases to die there, and then are 
brought home to rest in the sweet churchyards of the 

Her cough had increased, and her sheoke were pallid— 
had lost much of their wonted warmth. She had gentle 
nursing, comforts, luxuries; she had all the attention and 
tenderness possible. Her Aunt Sarah was somewhat of a 
valetudinarian—a sufferer with that scourge that comes from 
a damp climate—neuralgia; but, nevertheless, she preter- 
mitted nothing that could contribute to Lide’s encourage- 
ment and enjoyment. ‘The whole house seemed to have 
united to promote her invalescence, ane there was abso- 
lutely nothing left undone. : 

Ah, good friends, kind friends, this side the sea there 
is a grateful heart that, even amid its tears and desolation, 
remembers you and prays Heaven to bless you all. 

Lide’s chamber was at an angle; and within near visual: 
reach were emerald lawns, over and around which grew 
the sacred holly, with its clusters of coral berries; a broad 
graveled road which wound between well-combed hedge- 
rows; and, starting out from among trees “in circular 
array,’ were villas and cottages hung with swinging plants, 
and all the perspective was embroidered with orchards, 
villages, and sunny meadows. 

The habits of the house suited her weakness, and there 
were no guest duties that imposed any law that clashed 
with her comfort and convenience. The hospitality was so 
graceful that Aer accommodation became the rule of the 
household. During the midnight hours she slept in im- 
patient superficial naps, from which the flutter of an ivy 


296 My WIFE AND J, 

branch would alarm her, or the clear notes of the sedge 
warbler. Towards the dawn—during the interval between 
that and the stirring of the servants, or the coming of the 
bustle which belongs to the birth of a new day—then she 
slept, in a measure refreshingly. Breakfast in that dear 
English home made no requisition on punctuality or form- 
ality. It is a meal of adandon, and of pleasant, piquant 
review of the persons and things of the day before; when 
all ceremony is laid aside; doors closed, servants excluded, 
edibles within reach, and when conversation is, as it were, 
dressed in shooting jacket. Even the butler, with his 
waves of shirt bosom and white vest, does not invade the 
exclusiveness of that. delicious meal. 

After that chatty refection the men separate—the busi- 
ness ones to town, and the idlers sauntered to the croquet 
ground; or, puffing their segars, loitered over the columns 
of the last ‘‘’Times,’’ and discussed Gladstone and the dis- 
establishment of the Irish Church. 

Until Lide rose, I usually sought the croquet ground, or 
took short promenades down the turnpike towards the vil- 
lage—peeping through gateways into the sweet gardens, 
where I usually saw flowers that reminded me of home, 
and there were none so commemorative of it as the clem- 
atis and the coral honeysuckle. 

She got up when the sun was high enough above the 
trees to emblazon all her windows and fill her chamber 
with warmth. She took a cup of tea before rising, and 
usually it kept her up until tiffin. When she descended 
she walked a short distance down the carriage road, or 
circled the petit rond in front of the porch; and then when 
luncheon was served she had picked up a little appetite. 
That repast was altogether without ceremony—to which 
men rarely came, when ‘Ze /ollet” and all its mazes of 
terminology were wandered through by the women, but 
along which I could not follow. 


*' The companionable part of the children of the family-— 
that is, omitting the nursery—were Lide, who subsequently 
married E, Halton, Esq., a most estimable, quiet, and well 
bred .gentleman; and Charlie, who was then just over his 
majority—a clever, frank, and sociable fellow, who had a 
score and a half of cricket, single stick, running, and 
wrestling medals. He has withal a good voice, and some 
histrionic cleverness, which win him much praise at the 
private theatricals that generally follow him. Joe and May 
I have already mentioned. The two who belonged to the 
midday dinner, were Cecil and Minnie. ‘Take the family 
altogether—father, mother, and children—and one will not 
find its superior anywhere. The devotion and respect of 
the children to their parents, and their affectionate and 
free intercourse with each other, make it one of the hap- 
piest and most exemplary households I ever saw. There 
is still another son-—John-—who, when I was at the 
“Ferns,’ was in London educating his palate as a tea- 

All the mornings were passed at the croquet grounds, 
or in rambles about the country. Sometimes I strolled 
over the ridge to the ‘‘ Wizard,’ where there is an inn 
and a legend. The latter simply relates that a farmer who 
was riding a ‘milk-white steed” over the Edge, to sell at 
a small town near, was stopped by a wizard, who ordered 
him, on pain of death, to return at evening and bring the 
horse with him. The farmer could not sell the animal, 
and on his return he was taken into a large hall where 
were many milk-white horses, just like his own, with war- 
riors near them, all fast asleep. The wizard bought the 
horse and then dismissed the farmer, ‘““and now my story 

On the summit of the ridge is a noted crag, called 
** Holywell Rock,” from which can be had a fine view of 


298 My WIFE AND : 

Cheshire plain, and the purple hills of Derbyshire and 
Yorkshire. Near it is the beacon, erected when the French 
threatened invasion under the “ pe/t¢ Corporal,” for the pur- 
pose of a signal. Our ancestors were slow. ‘To-day, 
should a hostile fleet leave Boulogne, every soul in Eng- 
land would know it ere the vanguard could find an anchor- 
age in her waters. 

Independent of the “white stemmed birches,” the Edge 
is rich with mosses and lichens, that cling to the branches 
of the hawthorn, and the fences and walls. I remember 
well, that one day I pushed through the woodlands and 
came to a rivulet that broke over a ledge of rocks, and 
where it dripped from the overhanging shelves, and threaded 
the little plateau below, arose the feathery forms of ferns, 
and all the face of the rocks was embossed with clumps 
and moss. 

I returned to the house, making a long d#efour, which 
brought me through heaps of copper dust, and I trespassed 
upon private domain ere I reached home again. 

Near to the “Ferns” is the seat of Baron Stanley. 
Through the beeches in his Park I could see the gleam 
of “Radnor Mere,’ which is the pretty name of a pretty 
little lake, that, perhaps, attracted Adam de Aldethley, of 
the Baron’s stirps, whom the Conqueror rewarded with a 
grant of land in England. It was one of this family that, 
at Bosworth Field, refused to “bring his power” to Rich- 
ard III; and still another, at Flodden Field, was the sub- 
ject of the well known lines of Scott, 

‘Charge, Chester, charge! on, Stanley, on!” 

During our stay at the ‘Ferns,’ Joe Holliday was mar- 
ried to a Miss Long. In England marriages, except when 
exempted by special license, are solemnized before mid- 
day. On that occasion it was a ga/a-time, at least so it 


seemed to me, for through all the distance to Wilmslow 
Church, a mile or more away, people thronged the road. 
There the costume ez regde is morning dress, except the 
bride and maids, who seem to have the sole monopoly of 
full dress. The groom, his family and friends, proceeded 
to the church in carriages, with servants in livery, and 
from the outer gate to the entrance into the nave a carpet 
was spread, up to the very selvages of which pressed the 
villagers of both sexes—a well behaved and respectable 
crowd. As our party entered and passed up the main 
aisle, the organ broke forth into a symphony, and the 
chimes from the steeple above pealed out in gleeful sound. 
We entered the chancel and seated ourselves, waiting the 
bride and her companions. I employed my leisure in ex- 
amining the rood screens or parclose and their enrich- 
ments, and the bracketed ceilings—indeed, all the obviously 
antique structure of the church. Some one seeing my eyes 
wandering over all the interior, and noting everything with 
an interested observation, whispered that the building was 
one of the oldest in England, erected near eight centuries 
ago, and that the right of presentation, during the greater 
part of that period, existed in one family. But the organ, 
which has all this time been running a half capricezo, stops, 
and then bursts out in a loud, rapturous swell—half march, 
half anthem—and the bridal party sweeps up the aisle. 
The father of the groom and the mother of the bride 
head the procession, then the bride and her brother, and 
closing up came the “best men’ and bridesmaids. When 
they reach the chancel step the groom meets. the bride 
and they ascend and kneel at the altar rail. All is hushed 
to silence—symphony and chimes, and the pause is em- 
ployed in prayer. They rise, and standing up, the cere- 
mony proceeds. 

Well, well, I did not see or hear much of it, for the 

300 My WIFE AND J. 

past opened to me, and I went through the happy gone 
years, and saw my ‘sweet girl-bride in the little parlor far 
away, and the wondering auditory of mistress and servant, 
while we declared the dear promises that she, at least, has 
so faithfully kept. I come back again, and feel her cling- 
ing love and truth that have blessed me as human love 
and constancy have blessed few. Well, well, I see my life 
growing sadder, sadder, from day to day. I see I am to 
be left alone—the blessing gone, empty arms and the fire 
on the home-hearth extinguished forever. Well, God has 
made me very happy, and I see—yes, yes, I see that I 
must soon walk by myself with tears. She is happier than 
I, far happier, and I envy her. Yes, I can not help it. 

«Through the long drawn aisle and fretted vault, 

The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.” 

Friends gather round, and “God bless you” falls from 
many a lip. The bridal party returns behind the farelose, 
to sign the parish register, and while so engaged, liveried 
servants distribute the “favors ’’—little white nosegays with 
silver leaf—and mine and Lide’s are near me now. We 
returned to the seat of the bride’s mother, near by the 
“Ferns,” for the wedding breakfast, and there I found my 
darling, with her aunt, for neither had gone to the church, 
it being too far, 

Covers were set for some sixty persons, and they were 
all filled. People eat in England pretty much as they do ~ 
in America, and I noticed no difference in the vigor of 
the appetites and the material to satisfy them. The usual 
toasts were made to bride and groom, and to the respect- 
ive parents, and the usual speeches accompanied them. 
That of Mr. Holliday, Zere, referred to his own quiet nup- 
tials in the far country, and to his wife’s pretty little brides- 
maid, now a woman, and then he pointed all the company 


to the pure angel face of my own darling. We soon broke 
up; the bride and groom retired to put on traveling cos- 
tume, and then they entered the carriage to spend the 
honeymoon on the continent, and as they drove away 
they were showered with old shoes and slippers. ‘The 
same night there was a grand sorree at Mrs. Long’s, which, 
however, Lide and I did not attend. 

The weather had been, up to this time, quite pleasant; 
but there were premonitions of a change, and we were 
anxious, like the swallow, to take our flight southward. 
We fixed our departure for the fourteenth of September, 
but as the clouds menaced rain on that day, we resolved 
to wait for sunshine. I filled in a part of the interval by 
a run to the “ Peak.” 

Mr. Holliday made up a little party—there were seven 
of us in all; but to my sorrow the dear wife could not 
accompany us—the weather was unpropitious, and travel 
demanded of her a strength she could scarcely spare. 

We took rail at Alderley for Stockport, a busy place on 
the Mersey, and on through Buxton, a town of some note 
for the medicinal virtues of its mineral waters. It is situ- 
ated in a valley; its horizon everywhere touches bleak 
hills, and you see also wide wastes of moorland, The 
whole aspect of the country is so unlike anything I had 
seen in England, that I rather enjoyed its contrast. Be- 
tween Chester and Derby, from Stockport to Buxton, there 
seems to be a chain of hills, through which the railroad 
runs—I may say through a series of tunnels. ‘There is a 
ruggedness, a bit of nature in that chain and the streams 
tumbling through the vales that are refreshing after the 
sight of trim.lawns, and the precise rows and furrows of 
cultivated fields. I saw many spots full of winning attrac-. 
tiveness—little dells traversed by shining rivulets; clumps 
of trees, and wooded dimples lying in. the face of the 


302 My WIFE AND J]. 

hills—that almost persuaded me to leave the rail-carriage 
and go afoot. E 

We halted at Bakewell and ordered carriage for Chats- 
worth. We filled in the delay by examining the intaglios, 
or Derbyshire gems, which visitors are expected to pur- 
chase as souvenirs. The spar and marble are worked up | 
into articles of wear—paper weights, etc-—many of them 
containing views of the noted spots in that region. And 
Mr. Holliday bought some sort of cake, or pie, which that 
old Saxon town is reputable for, and which I munched 
all the way to Chatsworth, between whiles. It was a bitter 
cold day for the season, and as I rode with the driver 
and against the disagreeable wind, I was half benumbed 
when we reached the “ Palace of the Peak.” But I have 
a pretty distinct idea, nevertheless, of the hills beyond the 
‘‘Seat”—the undulating country lying along its slopes; the 
Wye silvering the bed of the valley; the trees and brows- 
ing deer, and the vast pile of buildings which has been 
slowly accumulating since the sixteenth century. ‘The place 
has played—as every portion of England has—its part in 
history. Here Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned when 
the Earl of Shrewsbury was her keeper. The war, too, 
that. preceded the Protectorate swept there, and Chatsworth 
was alternately occupied by Roundhead and Cavalier. But 
your traveler, as you generally find him, does not go to 
the seat of his Grace the Duke of Devonshire because 
history has been there. ‘That is something abstract and 
invisible. It is purely ideal; and one must know some- 
thing of the poor Queen, something of the grim old Puri- 
tan who was taken from his cradle by a mischievous 
monkey and carried to the housetop, and a part of whose 
youth, strange to say, was spent in robbing orchards— 
must know the chronicles before he can thoroughly appre- 
ciate these places. But there is the grand compound which 


wealth has heaped up—-the outward and visible signs of 
enormous rents; royal gifts, and the thousand dazzling 
treasures that Midas has gathered. It is all full of en- 
chantment; it is blinding and wonder-bringing as the treas- 
ures Aladdin saw in the cave, and I have no desire to 
depreciate it; but in turning a half desert into an oasis; 
in taming the wilds; in bringing where the heath grew the 
rarest triumphs of plant-life of all countries; in leaving 
some of the best points and beauties of nature, and placing 
at their side the richest results of civilization—in these 
things are higher claims than in all the singularly ornate 
enrichments that make of the interior of the mansion one 
of the rarest treasure-houses of the world. It is rapture 
all. It is a carnival of wealth—stairways of scented woods; 
walls rich with the golden light and shadows that some- 
times float through the ocean of dreams; grand halls hung 
with paintings which tell of the glory of the antique hero- 
ism; and from out the half shadow of niches emerges the 
sensuous grace that the sculptor’s hand hews from marble. 
The very floors hold pictures of rare beauty, and the walls, 
ceilings, and all the spaces within are adorned with every 
device of art, until your brain is confused with the bril- 
liant and varied forms of beauty you see in that vast kal- 
eidoscope. I was glad to get into the open air, and to 
give my mind repose by running my eye along the hills, 
over the nodding tops of the woods, and the lawny slopes 
which run down to the river banks. 

I turned from the orangery, notwithstanding I saw among 
the gleaming leaves and blossoms the marble forms of 
Venus and Cupid, and a copy of the Medicean vase at 
Florence. But I had beheld, scores of times, whole’ hill- 
sides bearing the blossoms of the orange, and as often had 
gathered the golden,fruit where it had been warmed to 
luscious life under the sun of the tropic lands. So of the 

304 My Wire anv J. 

camelias which I had seen in full bloom in the open air, 
and with a luxuriance that no hot-house can ever give. 
But in roaming over the grounds, especially by the walk 
to what is called the ‘Strid,’ where His Grace’s—rather 
perhaps Paxton’s—taste has heaped up rocky mounds, and 
embossed their faces with creeping plants that bear upon 
their slender backs hosts of flowers, and with miniature 
cascades and singing streamlets surrounding you—these I 
enjoyed, and these brought me calm and wholesome 
pleasure. I of course wandered through the Grand Con- 
servatory, and was pleased, at least with the wonderful 
nicety and skill of its construction; but I looked on the 
tropical plants as I look at a caged lion—seeing the dwarf- 
ishness which comes from the substitute art places for 
nature. In looking at the palms there, I thought of Ten- 
nyson’s lines : 

“The solemn palms were ranged 
Above, unwooed of summer wind.” 

There were two pictures that struck me in the collection 
of His Grace, although perhaps I am not naming the best 
by any means: ‘ Bolton Abbey in the Olden Time,” by 
Landseer, and the ‘‘ Monks at Prayer,’ by whom I know 
not. The former has been so often engraved that most 
persons are familiar with its composition; but the other I 
never heard of until I made this visit. The latter is full 
of power, and its naturalness is wonderful. The grouping 
of the figures, the distribution of the light which comes 
through a Gothic window, and the manner in which the 
whole is brought out, unite in making it a notable picture. 

We halted at Edensor, lying within the Park, and had 
a fair tiffin of roast beef and beer. I craved a warm 
potation, but there was nothing of the sort to be had. 
The wind was cutting, and pinched my cheeks as if it 
had a personal resentment to gratify. 


After we had finished we jogged on to Haddon Hall, 
most of the way in sight of the Wye, and we pursued it 
until the Derwent mingled with it. I had a muffler with 
me, and I covered all my face except one eye, as I have 
seen the women of Istamboul do with their yvashmacs. 
They desire to conceal their beauty from the gzaour, I 
protected mine from the chopping wind. 

We passed through Rowsley, a small village near the 
confluence of the two streams named. It is within a short 
distance of Haddon. You have a fine view of the Hall 
as you approach it. It stands on a shelf, or natural ter- 
race, overlooking all the vale through which the Wye 
flows, and behind are heavy masses of wood, while around 
the Hall itself are noble trees. It is from a point near 
Rowsley, from where the entire front of Haddon is seen, 
that the finest view can be obtained. The building is cas- 
tellated, and yet it is devoid of adequate defenses. It has 
the aspect of a grim old warrior, and yet I doubt if war 
ever reached its gates. It has crenellated turrets and mas- 
sive-looking walls, but they are rather parts of an archi- 
tectural design than means of defense. It has the peculiar 
construction of an age earlier than Stephen, and yet the 
controlling character is the Elizabethan. A portion is 
Norman, and yet its certain history commences even later 
than the date of 1427 which appears on one of the east 

There is no building in England, that gives us so faith- 
ful an account of how our feudal ancestors lived, as Had- 
don Hall. It is the Pompeii of the medieval age. It is 
sombre throughout, and it has all the melancholy of a 
ruin, which it is in one sense, and yet is not. Here it 
was, amid the drearier silence and superstitious mysteries 
that come with the twilight, that Mrs. Radcliffe drew her 

weird and startling pictures, that made my flesh creep 

306 5 WIFE AND J. 

when I was younger than I am now. You enter by a 
small door under an archway, and pause a moment to 
peep into the porter’s lodge, where is seen an old bed- 
stead. From this entrance you pass by a flight of steps 
into the quadrangle, and there gain a good idea of the 
construction of the building. On the four sides are offices 
and apartments—one of which, called the ‘Chaplain’s 
Room,” contains various articles belonging to the war equip- 
ment of that period—and trenchers—these latter of enor- 
mous capacity. I must confess that from all I have seen 
I am of the opinion that our earliest ancestors were by no 
means nice and clean either in person or habit. ‘Their 
meals were a rude kind of barbecue, where a half deer, 
or a quarter ox were served on platters, and where what 
we call refinement was wholly wanting. A rough sort of 
chivalry rescued them from much of the depravity of say- 
agery, and the offices of priest and troubadour, prayer and 
song, gradually led them to the cultivation of those heroic 
virtues which through eight hundred years have distin- 
guished the English above all other people. You have all 
the story there in Haddon Hall—doublets and hunting- 
horns, chapel and minstrels’ gallery, and sweet Dorothy 
Vernon, when “the silver, snarling trumpets ‘gan to chide,” 
gliding along the terrace and under the helping shadows 
of the lime-trees, to meet “ Young Porphyro.” 
“And they are gone; ay, ages long ago 
These lovers fled away into the storm.” 

I wandered through the chapel, many portions of which 
it is supposed were constructed in 1300; through the Great 
Hall; the dining-room—in which latter there is some good 
wood carving—wainscoted throughout; the drawing-room, 
hung with arras, and the State Bed-room, the walls of 
which are also hung with Gobelin tapestry. Pushing aside 
the tapestry, you enter a room which must have suggested 


the worst horrors of the ‘‘ Mysteries of Udolpho’—for it 
is gloomy enough. It has genuine Gobelin, on which is 
represented the discovery of Moses among the reeds, by 
Pharaoh’s dusky daughter. After I had seen all these I 
ascended Peveril’s Tower, and found delight in looking 
over the valley, and the River Wye winding through the 
broad meadow land. 

Quite an entertaining monograph could be made up on 
Haddon Hall; for, independent of the architectural eras 
it marks if I may so speak, it reveals the form and ways 
and mode of life that belonged to a most interesting period 
of English history. It contributes something illustrative of 
all the peculiar habits, and both social and out-of-door-life 
- conditions of our early ancestors. One can easily imagine 
how powerfully impressed I was, coming from a country 
whose civilized chronicles have no memorials in any man- 
ner corresponding to these. It is, I believe, the only spot 
in England where the ancient life and manners have left 
their interesting pictures, and where one can see how the 
most fortunate of our ancestors lived. 

During my stay at the “Ferns” I went to Manchester a 
half dozen times, and was always impressed with its man- 
ufacturing greatness. It is the entrepot of the cotton trade, 
where that great staple of my own country is converted 
from the raw product of the boll into the finely painted 
tissues that clothe half the world. Manufactures bear a 
distinguished part in evangelizing the gospel of progress. 
They represent the new ideas, and all the fabrics of the 
looms are as missionaries, ‘preaching down” the abso- 
luteness that for so many years has harnessed the many 
to bear burdens for the few. ‘The clatter of the shuttle is 
a protest against privilege, and trade dubs a truer knight- 
hood than: kings, “under their cloth of state.” So it is 
that the Manchester school is the progressive school of 

308 My Wire anv J. 

England, and from out her marts and manufactural estab- 
lishments have been evolved principles and measures that 
are among the creative spirits of the age. This advance- 
ment and influence are the. marked external features of 
that city, and are seen everywhere—in its buildings, in its 
population, and in its municipal government. ‘There is 
the ‘““New England”—not the sentimental youngster of 
Disraeli, inheritor of garter and strawberry leaves, but the 
practical, clear-headed men of the people, whose type is 
Richard Cobden. 

On the sixteenth of September, I think it was, we left 
dear Alderley, in whose sweet, quiet life we learnt the 
beauty and sanctity that are the genius of an English 
home. It was a sad exodus to the darling—for before 
her were the chilling prospects of strange peoples, unfa- 
miliar tongues, and the bitter presentiments and delusive 
hopes that came from her sad infirmity. 

God tried her almost beyond her strength. He gave 
her the weariest burden that could be imposed—the strong- 
est inducements to live, with the inexorable doom of 
death. When I look back to all that weary year of pain 
and promise, vainly endeavoring to bear her up above the 
implacable floods—to-day hopeful and grateful, to-morrow 
despairing and prayerful, always ready, cheerfully so, to 
surrender myself to save her—I wonder that I remain 
here. I sit with the sounds of midnight in my ear, hear 
the low. moan of the wind about the house as if it were 
her imploring sigh to lie again upon “the little home;” 
hear the crepitation of the plants, and the beat of the pen- 
dulous branches as they swing with the breeze, and to my 
ears are borne the muffled throbbing of a distant convent 
bell; all these sounds bring up the glad, weary past, and 
they allure me—yes, I must speak the truth—they, with 
the wretchedness coming from my broken life, try to win 


me to follow her through the darkness which has closed 
around her. But above all these temptations, I hear her 
earnest voice, and she repeats the loving admonition with 
which she tried to strengthen me during the last few weeks 
of her life. Se bore all without a single murmur, and 
her patience and resignation are the highest example I can 
have. Must I be less heroic than she was, and shame 
the teaching and pattern she gave me? 


** Dozens 
Of fresh imported, starving country cousins 
To London come, the wax-work to devour, 
And see their brother beasts within the tow’r.” 

Aunt Sarah and Lide Holliday accompanied us to Lon- 
don. Mr. Holliday was to follow two days later. We 
traveled by the ‘fast line,” stopping at one or two royal 
stations only, yet Buntin found the journey tedious only as 
we reached its end. 

Of course there was pleasure in the landscapes, and the 
day was fair and auspicious. We had a compartment to 
ourselves, and Aunt Sarah had provided several delicacies, 
and she had traveling cushions, and all the luxuries to 
gratify even the capricious wants of an invalid. | 

We passed Harrow-on-the-Hill late in the afternoon, 
and I had much interest in looking at it as being the 
spot where Byron had been a pupil. JI remembered his 
lines addressed to it, written while yet a boy, and they 
are replete with that marked sentiment which later became 
rank misanthrophy, embittering his life. But that spot did 
not awake in me the same melancholy and _ affectionate 
regard as did Kensal Green, where Thackeray lies. I 
pointed it out to Lide, who had so hearty an admiration 
of him, and who believed with Edmund Yates, that he 
was “the purest English prose writer of the century, and 
the novelist with a greater knowledge of the human heart 


as it really is than any one, with the exception, perhaps, 
of Shakespeare and Balzac.” We reached Euston Station 
in the deep gloaming, and so when I passed into the 
streets, I could see nothing except by the glare of the 
gaslights. It was though a sensation in itself to be in 

*“A mighty mass of brick, and smoke— 
—— A wilderness of steeples peeping 
On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy ! 
A huge dun cupola, like a foolscap crown 
On a fool’s head—and there is London town!’ 

Rooms had been engaged for us by Mr. Holliday at the 
Albemarle Hotel, Albemarle Street, and we found them 
very comfortable; and as we dined in our own parlor, we 
- felt we had something of the privacy and satisfaction of 
home. The other members of our party were in London 
when we reached there, but the second day thereafter they 
went to Paris, where we were to meet them. 

After dinner I started through the Mall, and past the 
club houses, and around by Trafalgar Square, so boyishly 
impatient was I to see the place that had been in my 
dreams and thoughts since I read of Whittington and _ his 
Cat. JI must confess that I found London “dusky and 
dirty,’ as Byron describes it. The fair weather we left 
behind us ere we had reached Harrow-on-the- Hill. 

The next day after our arrival the “sea-coal canopy” 
reached the house-tops, and where it was occasionally 
rifted, there was no blue sky to be seen, only sullen and 
heavy clouds. Over London I never saw a burst of sun- 
light. Once at Sydenham, for a space of five minutes, the 
heavens opened, and a broad ray of sunshine poured along 
the Kentish lawns, and then vanished as suddenly as it 
came. The absence of warmth in the temperature, the 
chill, humid feel of every ripple of air, and the general 

312 My WIFE AND ]. 

expression imparted by the sky to the streets, had their 
depressing effect on Lide, and I felt that my visit to Lon- 
don must be short. She determined to see the city from 
the carriage window, and not to exhaust her energies by 
sight-seeing where a descent from her coach would be 
necessary. I had only a day or two, and so I resolved to 
hurry through the prominent objects without delay. 

The next day was Sunday, and none of the lions were 
to be seen except the churches, parks, and Zoological Gar- 
dens. In the morning, soon after breakfast, without guide 
or map, I started out alone to see one particular object, 
and that was where, in all the fashionable English novels, 
after the vicissitudes the hero and heroine are compelled to 
undergo, they are at last made one and happy—St. George’s 
Church, Hanover Square. I must confess I had a curi- 
osity to see it, and I gratified it by marching there my 
first Sabbath in London. I had no great desire to inspect 
the interior, and yet I passed within the door and took a 
rapid glance at it. As I am given to musing, I, of course, 
thought how many sad and happy hearts had plighted 
troth in that chancel, and what a strange record it would 
be if all the glad and unhappy experiences of those hearts 
could be written down. I came back, and then wandered 
through St. James’ Park, gazing at the odd looking groups 
near where I entered, who held a little market fair where 
cheap sorts of things were vended, for the most part con- 
sisting of milk and cheeses. I was struck with the sober, 
moral enjoyment of the Sabbath that pervaded the streets. 
I mislaid my gloves on setting out on my walk, supposing, 
of course, I could buy another pair at a hundred places. 
I sought through a dozen streets, and found none but beer 
taps open. The glovers were all closed. 

That same afternoon, Mr. Halton, Lide Holliday’s fancee, 
and who is one of the Fellows I believe they are called, 


of the Zoological Society, invited us all to go to the gar- 
dens. My wife had to remain at the hotel, for the clouds 
had a dark, angry look, and rain was but a question of a 
few hours. Lide Holliday, Lala, and I went, and ere we 
reached Regent’s Park, the rain fell in such sheets as if to 
shut us out from the entrance. We made a run for it, 
and, half soaked, reached the building devoted to our 
great protoplasts, from whom, according to the Darwinian 
theory, we were evolved during the primal days. It was 
a sloppy day, suitable for the grallatores we saw, but 
scarcely so for people who were enveloped in the thin 
Sunday textiles that the autumnal weather permits. Only 
the matriculated, and those they recommend, are admitted 
on dominical days, and so we had the run of the gardens, 
and could see without inconvenience, and at our leisure. 
London is full of such charities, where people can find 
pastime, instruction, and amusement, and I know no place 
there where a few hours can be passed more pleasantly, 
and, to a certain degree, more instructively, than in the 
Zoological Gardens. 

Before the sunset time the rain had ceased, and there 
was an apparent essay on the part of the blue sky to 
throw the veil of clouds off, so that its pretty face could 
be seen. 

We went back to the hotel on foot—Lala and I to- 
gether, and the betrothed, with lagging steps, behind. 
They talked, I suppose, the glad, happy talk that comes 
softly and blithely as the songs of birds. Lala and I were 
on new ground and among the Sunday suits of the holiday 
classes, and we had inquisitive eyes for all the odd people 
drifting on the stream that flowed through the parks and 
streets. These great thoroughfares, filled with the current 
of human life, present to an observant person never-ending 
hints for thought. The human face is, of all earthly ob- 


314. My WIFE AND J]. 

jects, the most suggestive to me, and I never tire of 
watching it. I see some that are as foundations, upon 
which I build up superstructures under the teaching and 
guidance of that great architect we call Imagination. The 
bright, glad eyes of a maiden raise up the kiosk of an 
oriental clime. ‘The massive, full-cheeked face of the mid- 
dle aged gentleman yonder reflects the stone front over- 
looking a park, or aligned with others on some fashionable 
street, and a forte-cochere, through which rolls his carriage. 
Here, on this bench, is one whose face constructs the ideal 
neat, clean and modest home, where honest labor endows 
with content, and love and Christian prayer consecrate 
as nothing else on earth can. And coming towards us, 
pushing through the crowd, and holding to me a begrimed, 
alms-beseeching hand, is a pauper, and in her unkempt 
hair, and weather and misery-stained cheeks, I see a dark 
lane abounding in wretchedness and poverty and guilt— 
human souls festering and blackening with the corroding 
touch of crime. Civilization builds churches, and the 
shadows of their steeples fall upon gentiles who need more 
than the distant heathen the prayers and “purses of priest 
and parish. 

The next day brought no sunshine; but Lide Holliday, 
Lala, and I started off early and walked the round of St. 
James’ Park. We touched places where that grey-bearded 
old fellow, History, had been. For example, the spot 
where Charles I was decapitated, who, perhaps, would have 
died the humble death commoners die if he had not writ- 
ten to his queen that he proposed “for those rogues, Ireton 
and Cromwell, no reward, but that for a silken garter, 
they should be fitted with a hempen rope.” We stared at 
Buckingham Palace, but no royal face answered our gaping 
gaze; looked boldly at the Horse Guards, and at last stood 
under the stained walls of Westminster Abbey. Bt 


History, and Art, and Letters, have their masters here; 
crowned heads and commoners lie in this great Republic 
of Death, where pomp and rank do not.come, and where 
all resolve themselves alike to a common undistinguishable 
dust. Approach, oh, Vanity, and learn from these monu- 
mental marbles the fate of all human kind! We enter, 
and before us pass the shadows of twelve centuries. From 
Sebert, King of the East Saxons, down to this day, have 
been laid dead human forms in this consecrated earth; 
and great as any was he, who, but the other day, lay in 
that nave, deep in votive blossoms. In the years to come 
no tablet there will touch the pilgrim’s heart more sor- 
rowfully than that which bears the name of Charles Dickens. 

It is the great dead which gives to Westminster Abbey 
its highest interest, and yet St. Paul’s shares with it the 
honor of being a national mausoleum. Around the former 
is added the charm which antiquity gives, and although 
the latter is regarded one of the finest cathedrals in the 
world, yet it made no such impression upon me as does 
Westminster Abbey. 

Entering by a low archway, I stood within the nave, 
and was impressed with its gloomy grandeur. The ex- 
pression is that most agreeable to the reverential feelings 
which pervade the heart and mind of the true pilgrim. 
The whole place is filled with a solemn twilight, and in- 
dependent of the tombs and effigies, there is in nave, 
chantry, and cloister the solemn touch of the past—the 
faint and dying footfalls of the years long gone. I moved 
along the pavement, and my tread fell upon the bruised 
records of lives that had been; and except for these stones, 
their very names would have long since perished, and 
been forgotten. 

I have always been impressed, and especially here in 
Westminster, with the recumbent effigies upon the Gothic 

316 Five WIFE AND iE 

tombs. ‘They perpetuate the most solemn and painful tes- 
timony of death—its dread repose, its lifeless sleep; and 
the clasped, imploring hands bring to us an awe and 
gravity that touch us more deeply than any other form of 
monumental gesture or utterance can do. 

As you pass into the Chapel of Henry VII, on the 
right is the tomb and effigy of Mary Stuart, and almost 
opposite is that of her great rival and enemy, Queen 
Elizabeth. It is really a suggestive lesson to stand near 
these tombs and hear the tender sympathy expressed for 
the one, and the abhorrence of the other. The grace, 
beauty, and accomplishments of the ill-fated Queen of 
Scots reach down to us through the dusky ages, and we 
surrender our sympathy, although there is so much in her 
history we must condemn. ‘There are few historic per- 
sonages around whom gather so much of romance and 
sentiment; and the chronicles that speak of her winning 
face and form, the charm and influence of her soft man- 
ners, of her long captivity, and the cruel death met with 
such composure, win from us the tear of sympathy, and 
our hearts refuse to hear the accusations our judgment pre- 
fers. So it is that the beauty and benignity of her graceful 
womanhood have made of her tomb one of the most at- 
tractive shrines in the Abbey. 

The emblems and enrichments that seek to perpetuate 
the royal dead; the grace and grandeur of arch, column, 
and window, and all the tales that history whispers to you 
as you pace chapel and cloister, are as nothing to the 
worship and emotions which stir your heart when you 
stand upon the ashes of those who have ‘made you heir 
of the spiritual life of the past ages.’ In that temple are 
those who still speak to you through the tenderness, the 
witchery, and the consolation of song. ‘Though their 
‘bodies are dust,” yet they live still, and hold communion 


with you; fill in your hours with joy, exalt you, teach, 
strengthen, and purify you. 

Besides the men who touch you with the soft measure 
of verse, are those who have graced every department of 
English learning—philosophy, mechanics, science, and the- 
ology—-as well as statesmen who have been foremost in 
the polity which has made England “heart of the world.” 

I doubt if there be any spot on earth so replete with 
teachings, so suggestive of wholesome moral lessons, and 
that excites such tender feelings and recollections, as West- 
minster Abbey. In its architecture and monuments is an 
epitome of English history, and in the names of its dead 
are the heroes of the highest Christian civilization. 

We passed through the Hall so famous in the judicial 
annals of England, to the Houses of Lords and Commons, 
and spent several hours in examining them, and then took 
a little steamer for the Tower. The Palace of Westmin- 
ster I gazed at with: much interest; for whether we regard 
its sacred, or—to use an antithetical term I never ad- 
mired—profane associations, it is full of an enchanting 
interest. But I can not even pause to mention what I 
saw. In this little cabinet which I am setting up for my 
Gaels, 2 am fortunate if I can get a toe of the foot of 
Hercules. I have not room enough even for the samples 
I have gathered. I merely set up cairns where I place a 
thought or two, and something of the hopes and feelings 
of two lives, where, in the years to come, perhaps their 
children may find a golden sentence, at least their 

‘Footprints on the sands of time.” 

I wandered all through the Palace, and saw the trophies 
art has brought to adorn the places from which Law flames 
as a ‘‘sword which turns every way,’ and holds in check 
swarthy thousands even in that land where the primal 

318 My WIFE AND J. 

parents sinned, and where was uttered the sad curse that 
blights now the lives of to-day—‘“dust thou art, and unto 
dust shalt thou return.” 7 

I saw all—device, arabesque, the enriched walls, the 
painted windows through which the light sifts and receives 
a thousand changing hues, and the canvas where history 
is embodied by the ‘“limner’s art,’ and brave deeds live 
in pigments that keep alive the chivalry that makes us free. 
And then I went midway on the bridge spanning the 
Thames, and gazed at the east front, where bays and but- 
tresses, parapets and pinnacles, oriel windows and_ sharp 
belfry towers unite in making an imposing structure. But 
when I consider that there was wanting nothing of wealth 
and material to make one of the finest buildings in the 
world, I was disappointed at the results. One single good 
mind and taste moving among the chaos of elements there, 
would have shaped them into matchless forms of grace 
and grandeur. 

As we went down the Thames a stiff breeze came from 
the Surrey shore, and took the edge from the anticipated 
enjoyment of the river ride. I saw “the huge dun cupola” 
through the smoky sky, and the outworks and embattle- 
ments of the Tower. We landed, and walking a_ short 
distance, reached a small refreshment room near the Mid- 
dle Tower, I think it was. Here we had to wait until 
the number of visitors reached—I have forgotten how 
many—say a baker’s dozen, when we proceeded, under the 
lead of a warder costumed in the livery of the yeomen of 
the guard of the reign of Henry VII.” Of Course one 
would like to protest against this sort of machine way of 
seeing one of the great objects of interest in London. It 
can easily be imagined how thoroughly and_ intelligently 
one can see the treasures of the Tower, especially when 
the great majority of the party were women-—women who 


wore the amplest hoops and folds of the fashion of then, 
without taking into the account the enormous chzgnons, for 
which English women, above all others, were notorious 
three years ago. However, I submitted with a good grace, 
pushed myself as far in the van as hoops and good breed- 
ing permitted, watched the index of the warder, and listened 
to all “the words roted in his tongue,” with a grateful dip 
of the head when he reached a period. But I wandered 
off from arms and knight errantry, armored horse and 
riders, spears and slingers, lances, spurs, and coats of mail, 
to the sombre arches, the crenelles, and imprisoned eyes 
peering through, to where Essex was beheaded on the 
green within the Tower that bears his family name; and 
Anne Boleyn, with her “oval face and black hair,’ who 
laid her life down with as serene a smile as when a Queen 
she first landed at that same Tower, “amidst the great 
melody of trumpets, and divers instruments, and a mighty 
peal of guns.”. I saw poor Katherine Howard too, the 
sweet blonde whose portrait to-day hangs at Windsor, who 
at twenty years of age expiated on the scaffold the one 
error of her childhood. But with the pathos of subdued 
music came to me the saddest thoughts in thinking of the 
sweetest, purest life of all who have made that spot famous— 
the pretty pupil who found in Plato a pleasure play could 
not seduce her from—poor Lady Jane Grey. 

It is a pensive history—-it is as fascinating and in- 
structive as sad. We know the tale of her life better than 
our warder did; we feel her goodness and beauty that 
come through the darkness of the ages, with all the fresh- 
ness and splendor of inspiration. She fascinates us to-day 
as she did the little children of her own time, who brought 
her flowers when a captive; and all ages will pay to her 
pure goodness a homage that is as a garland hung over 
her tomb. And I, how well. / understood her refusal to 

320 My WIFE AND J. 

say farewell to her husband, whom that day she felt she 
would meet. in that land where 7 

**All is calm as night, yet all immortal day.” 

Her whole character is thus summed up by Fuller: “She 
had the innocence of childhood, the beauty of youth, the 
solidity of middle, the gravity of old age; the learning of 
a clerk, and the life of a saint, all at eighteen.” 

The Tower was in a certain sense of higher interest to 
me than the Abbey—for during many centuries it has 
been a fortress, a. prison, and a palace. ‘To-day it attracts 
more than any other spot in England—its armories, its 
regalia, and its history investing it with a charm to be 
found nowhere else. Its mournful record as a prison is 
more replete with pleasure to me than is the history of its 
pageants as a palace. It is the same with us all. The 
sighs and plaints which are borne to us from the cell and 
block more strangely move us than do the joyous cries 
from revelry and dance. ‘The Beauchamp Tower contains 
a great many memorials of prisoners who have been con- 
fined there—mottoes, names, dates, and inscriptions. I 
remember one date as early as 1462. Near the celebrated 
device of Robert Dudley, an oak tree bearing acorns, I was 
rather surprised to see the name of “ James Rogers.” 

My visit to the Tower was necessarily hurried and un- 
satisfactory, and yet it afforded me much pleasure. Per- 
haps the least interesting thing I saw was that which at- 
tracts most persons—I refer to the Crown Jewels. If they 
had been seen by me in use, I might perhaps have ad- 
mired them more than I did. None I believe belong to 
a reign earlier than that of Charles I, at whose death all 
the royal ornaments, kept in Westminster Abbey, were 
scattered. ‘The ruby in the shape of a heart, in the crown 

of the present Queen, is said to have been worn by the 
Black Prince. 


I took the route to St. Paul’s when we left the Tower. 
Seen from Blackfriar’s Bridge, the dome and _porticoes 
stand out inall their beauty; but as you move on through 
the narrow street from which you enter, the place is 
dwarfed, as it were. I was disappointed with the interior, 
perhaps because it so sadly needed restoration—being out 
of repair, and dingy and dirty. And then there is a de- 
cided want of artistic taste in its adornments, rather in the 
absence of that adornment which gives to the medieval 
church so finished an aspect. It has not, I believe, a 
single stained glass window. One can not call the monu- 
ments a desirable addition—for the majority of them are 
in wretched taste, and too often the execution is equally 
bad; and yet every design has to receive the sanction of 
a Committee of the Royal Academy. The whole interior 
is painfully naked and cold, and it has the damp temper- 
ature of a charnel-house. There are a great many illus- 
trious men in St, Paul’s—Wellington, Nelson, Collingwood, 
Hallam, Samuel Johnson, Sir William Jones, and many 
others. ‘The first named lies in a huge sarcophagus in the 
crypt—in a measure thrust out of sight. 

It was now getting quite dark, and through the columns 
and piers the gray shadows fell in silence and gloom. 
For a little while we wandered among the shops outside, 
and along the narrow streets and lanes that distinguish that 
part of London. The darkness was now covering up all 
the river and descending upon the housetops, and so, call- 
ing a Hansom, we speeded hotelwards, 

The weather continued heavy and damp, and as Lide 
had finished her shopping, I determined to start for the 
continent the following Monday, September 21st. A maid 
was engaged who had but recently returned from Paris, 
and who came with high recommendations. I was the 

more anxious to get off as the density and humidity of 

392 My WIFE AND J. 

the atmosphere made Lide’s respiration painfully difficult. 

Lide Holiday, Lala and I made a visit to Madame 
Tussaud’s ceroplastic exhibition, and I must confess I was 
pleased. In the matter of costumes there is pleasant pas- 
time, if not instruction. She has,. for example, in the 
“Hall of Kings,” the models, dress, and ornaments of all 
the Kings and Queens of England since the conquest. 
The relics of Emperor Napoleon are also of great interest, 
and in some respects unique. Many of the paintings, too, 
are of merit and of historical value, and indeed the whole 
exhibition amuses, gratifies, and instructs. It would require 
a very long sojourn, a systematic head, and quick, untiring 
feet, to see London even fairly. Months could be passed 
there to great advantage, for the place wins on you, more 
especially if you happen to be comfortably quartered—an 
essential when one is occupied in sight-seeing. One does 
not often encounter harder labor than that of the traveler 
who has an intelligent curiosity to satisfy. London makes 
a heavy demand on brain, patience, and muscle. There 
is something hidden away in the English sights, that must 
be studied and pondered. Paris is superficial; displays its 
wares and wonders to attract; and Parisian character and 
life are best seen from the streets. Not so with the great 
British metropolis, for its better part does not he along 
its thoroughfares, and English sights and pleasures are en- 
crusted, like English manners, with a cold and unsympa- 
thizing exterior. ‘They are all like the heavy iron gates to 
their homes and haunts—massive, made strong enough to 
shut out a mob, and bossed with sharp studs and knobs. 
But let them be swung open once, and you enter upon a 
welcome that is sincere and manly. There is in the very 
Physique, dress, and expression of an English crowd, the 
indices of its earnest, strong nature; and if it lacks the 


polish and suavity of its Latin neighbor, it has a more 
genuine and hearty sincerity, | 

One of the places in London where a person can spend 
a week pleasurably and instructively, is the British Museum. 
I passed one day there, and I scarcely went beyond the 
knowledge of its departmental arrangement. It is full of 
treasures that represent, 1 came near to say, all nature and 
civilization. Its specimens of geology, botany, zoology, 
and mineralogy are without an equal; and the collection of 
Egyptian, Grecian, Roman, and Celtic remains, as a whole, 
are unsurpassed, Its illustrations of the rise and progress 
of the art of Printing, not merely in England, but also in 
Germany, France, and Italy, were full of strange and all- 
absorbing interest to me. From the Block-books down, I 
evolved the intellectual man @ da Darwin, and I had some 
difficulty in separating myself from autographs, manuscripts, 
charters, and seals. Not the least attractive portion of the 
Museum were the Biblical MSS., especially the Cadex 
Alexandrinus, which contains the Greek text of the Scrip- 
tures written on vellum, in Uncials, about the fifth century. 
There is: also a Syriac version of the books of Genesis 
and Exodus, written by a deacon, a.p. 464. I refer to 
these few objects as especially impressive—at least to me; 
and because the preservation of the Old and New Testa- 
ments during a long period by memory alone, and through 
so many political and social changes—if I can employ a 
term that supposes something of our own civilization—has 
always been a source of much trouble and doubt to me; 
for the theocracy of the Israelites, before the rule of the 
- Kings, embraces a period of 3,500 years. 

All the while I was in the Museum the weather was 
delicious for the examination I madé—tempering one’s 
mind to soberness, and excluding an annoying, giggling set 
of yisitors—it rained during all my stay there. 

224. My WIFE AND J. 

I stood upon the threshold of the Library and looked 
along its circling shelves, and thought how fecund is the 
human mind, seeing there a million of its progeny. I 
thought it, as good and graceful Geoffrey Crayon says, 
“one of these sequestered pools of obsolete literature, to 
which modern authors repair, and draw buckets full of 
classic lore, or ‘pure English, undefiled,’ wherewith to 
swell their own scanty rills of thought.” 

There is still another museum—that at Brompton, which 
held me half a day—not unlike that of Cluny at Paris. 
It is a museum of manufactures, connected with art— 
jewels, porcelain, armor, tapestries, watches, etc.—that is 
fascinating to a great degree. Besides, here are the car- 
toons of Raphael; the paintings Vernon bequeathed to the 
nation, and several pictures by Turner. Ruskin had made 
me avid to see the tracings of his favorite’s brush—of 
whom he had said: “This Turner, whom you have known 
so little while he was living, will one day take his place 
beside Shakespeare and Verulam. By Shakespeare human- 
ity was unveiled, by Verulam the principles of nature, and 
by Turner its aspects.” This is great praise, and you can 
read it all, and more, on his monument in St. Paul’s; and 
you feel it, at least you feel no ordinary emotions of pleas- 
ure as you stand before some few of his paintings. A 
Venitian scene I saw at South Kensington is gorgeous with 
coloring—it is sunset photographed; it comes up to me 
now vividly and profoundly; it describes with pigments the 
dream-grandeur—the opium-distilled visions that De Quincy 
has set to “noble words.” Even I could see the defects 
which came from his profuse employment of color with- 
out a proper regard of place and individuality; and yet 
there pervades all his pictures a sensuous warmth that is 
in paints what Tennyson is in words and illustrations. If 
Turner had been a poet such as the Laureate, he would 


have produced the “ Princess’”—a poem that few can un- 
derstand without study. He did attempt poetry—wrote in 
blank verse “The Fallacies of Hope,” and the Royal 
Academy catalogues will show extracts from it—epigraphs, 
as it were, printed under the titles to his pictures. 

I saw also some of West’s, Reynolds’, and Gainsborough’s, 
that of course afforded me pleasure. My recollection of 
the cartoons is distinct, but any remarks I may make of 
Raphael will come in when speaking of Rome and Florence. 


‘Gay sprightly land of mirth and social ease, 
Pleas’d with thyself, whom all the world can please.” 

Monday, September 21st, Lide, Lala, I and the maid 
left Charing Cross station for Paris, vza Folkstone and 
Boulogne. I marched light, as they say, having sent all 
except hand luggage direct to Paris, It was a bright day, 
and my wife felt strengthened under its exhilarating touch. 
Mr. Holliday accompanied us to the station. We said 
good-by to aunt Sarah and Lide Halton at the hotel, and 
we promised to embark from England for America, on our . 
return. My darling’s parting with the family then was for 
this earthly life—-and yet none of us thought the shadow 
would pass between us so soon. 

It was a beautiful day, as I have said, and all the coun- 
try was full of glad sunshine. ‘The traveler who has passed 
through Kent remembers well the pretty pastoral pictures 
he sees on every side—rich green lawns, wooded emi- 
nences_ bearing up church steeples and gable fronts of 
homes half hid among the trees and framed in vines; 
sweet hamlets gemming the dales and lying within the 
coils of silver streams, and the beautiful hop-vines, full of 
yellow swinging strobiles growing in exquisite columniation 
on the sunny slopes of the hills. 

We reached Folkstone about midday, and at once em- 
barked on the channel steamer. The sea and air were in 
perfect harmony—the one smooth, and the other full of 


the warmth of sunshine. We sat on deck the whole pass- 
age, and Lide enjoyed it—for the fresh saline air was 
easily respired, and seemed to suit her weak lungs. She 
had a fright that gave her much nervousness, and she did 
not readily recover from such attacks. One of the passen- 
gers fell overboard, and the wheel struck him, breaking 
one of his legs. Notwithstanding so great a disadvantage, 
he maintained himself; and yet it must have been at least 
a quarter of an hour before he was rescued. The passen- 
gers were in a state of terrible excitement; many of the 
women had hysteria, and several fainted. When the poor 
fellow was brought on board there was an involuntary 
cheer. ‘The task of lifting him on deck was torture to 
him, but he uttered neither groan nor word of complaint. 

Boulogne was reached while the sun was still high. I 
took the nearest hotel, which they said was the best—the 
Flotel des Bains, For the purpose of giving Lide rest I 
determined to remain there all night, and as I had apart- 
ments au premier, delightfully airy and sunny, I was entirely 
satisfied. While she laid down for a szesfa, Lala and I 
took a tramp to the quay, looking at the fish-women with 
their ‘‘home-spun coifs,’’ and getting near enough to take 
in the marble column erected to commemorate the assem- 
blage there of the. army with which Napoleon proposed to 
invade England. 

Before sunset I went to the upper town and mounted 
the bluff which had been strongly fortified in the rude old 
days of long ago, and from which there is a fine view 
that includes, in clear weather, as Dickens says, “the grass 
growing in the crevices of the chalk cliffs of Dover.” I 
was much struck with the tidy look of the Jdomnes in 
charge of scores of children. In an article by Dickens 
called “Our French Watering-place,” he speaks of Bou- 
logne as being “ wonderfully populous in children; English ° 

328 My Wire anv J. 

children, with governesses reading novels as they walk 
down the shady lanes of trees, or nurse-maids interchang- 
ing gossip on the seats.” The English form a large pro- 
portion of the residents of oulogne-sur-Mer, and they are 
unmistakable in appearance and in their pronunciation. of 
French. It is sought for its bathing facilities and the gen- 
eral salubrity of its climate, and has always been a favorite 
spot where the British debtor can escape the prehensile 
quality of a cafpias. 

The moment you touch the soil of France, coming from 
England, you see the strangest contrasts—and they are 
especially noticeable in the peasantry. ‘The corresponding 
class across the channel is usually more ignorant, more 
stolid in the moral and intellectual constitutions, and, as a 
consequence, more brutal. ‘There is a hardness in the 
English peasantry you will see in no other in Europe, the 
Russian excepted. He loves beer, rum, and poteen; makes 
pugilism national and respectable; encourages the belliger- | 
ent in dogs and pits them against one another; and, in a 
word, cultivates his animal passions and tastes, and neg- 
lects his moral and intellectual ones. One sees with pleas- 
ure that physical discipline that developes hardiness, and 
makes a strong, healthy race; but the fault I find is the 
training that makes him a hero who can sustain the great- 
est amount of pounding. In the English artisan and 
laborer there is no sense of beauty—nothing of that senti- 
ment that loves to clothe his home with shrubs and flowers. 

How different in France, where you see, even among 
the poorest, the expression of a taste for the sunny, glad 
things that God has scattered over the earth in such bounty 
and beauty. Their very costumes, their festivals, their tidi- 
ness, and their easy breeding, all indicate a sense of refine- 
ment you seek in vain for in the same rank in England. 
One of the most attractive sights is to see the lower classes, 


on Sunday in Paris, in their holiday suits, swarming through 
the Champs Elysees, and especially the Louvre. At the 
latter place I have watched them with admiration, for no- 
where can you see a more well-behaved and _ orderly 

The next day we started for Paris. We were kept in 
the sa//e until the train should arrive from Calais. In the 
press and confusion of the crowd of passengers my poor 
dear weakling had her first lesson in the rude selfishness 
of European travelers, and their utter disregard of the 
consideration due women—in my Lide’s case, a feeble, 
distressed invalid. Having the little traps, the darling, Lala 
and the maid to attend to; bustled and harassed by the 
eager sauve gui peut multitude-—seeking places, too, in a 
train already crowded—imposed on me duties almost be- 
yond my power to perform. I had scarcely succeeded in 
getting places for my dear ones ere the convoz was in mo- 
tion. Plzce aux dames has not been heard in France these 
many days. 

Passing a short distance from Boulogne, you almost touch 
a little curve of sandy beach where the sea comes in; and 
then you reach the Liane, fringed here and there with the 
ungraceful umbellated poplar. The country there has no 
very strong points, so far as I could see from the carriage 
window; and as the sun no longer glossed the meadows, 
and the rain came and stippled the panes, I felt a tinge 
of disappointment. But history came in and threw a little 
brightness over the places near and through which we 
passed. We broke into the forest of Hardelot and across 
a breadth of sand into Montreuil, where Sterne picked up 
La Fleur, whose “festivity of temper” made the ‘Senti- 
mental Journey” so pleasant. Then we came up to the 
Somme and dashed athwart the path of Edward’s archers 

on their way to the heights of Cressy near by, where the 

330 My Wire AND J. 

Black Prince won his spurs, and the ostrich crest from the 
blind King.of Bohemia. 

At Abbeville I saw bastioned rainipards and fosse, and I 
felt I had» entered upon the feudal domain. My interest 
was vividly awakened, and Lide and I flattened noses 
against the windows, and we helped each other to see all 
that was to be seen. All this while we were winding along 
the curved margin of the Somme, until we reached Amiens, 
where we halted twenty minutes. We had a well stocked 
luncheon basket, and while the people were stretching their 
limbs, we satisfied our appetites. 

There was but one stoppage more, and that was when 
we touched the Oise. We were delayed some thirty min- 
utes, and in the effort to reach Paris “on time,” we attained 
a prodigious speed such as I had never before experienced. 
After leaving Chantilly, we entered upon a forest of exceed- 
ing beauty, and ere the twilight came we saw the abbey 
church of St. Denis, in which were buried many of the 
sovereigns of France. But alas, the rude iconoclasts of 
1793, by solemn charter, despoiled altar and tomb, melted 
the leaden roof into bullets, and where royal bones mould- 
ered, cattle were bought and sold. The French people 
have their periodic frenzies, and, pending the passion, one 
seeks in vain for a parallel to their depravity and im- 

Five minutes after passing St. Denis we were entering 
‘the station at Paris. I did not wait for luggage, for Lide 
was painfully fatigued, and I longed to place her in the 
comforts of a pleasant chamber. ‘The ride from the depot 
to the ‘‘Grand Hotel de |’Athénée” was a pleasure’ in 
itself. The gay streets, the brilliant appearance of the 
cafés, the festive air and vivacious mien of houses and 
habitants, were sufficiently striking to attract us all, and 
even bring to Lide a brief forgetfulness of her pains and 


weariness. I soon had her in comfortable quarters, and 
then I went for my luggage. I found no difficulty with 
the revenue officials, and even the ocfroz duty was remitted. 

Lide retired early; but while she, Ella and Mrs. Max- 
well were indulging welcome talk and relating their little 
experiences since they separated at Liverpool, I descended 
to the street, made the circuit of the new Grand Opera 
House and the Grand Hotel, and so back to my quarters. 
That first evening, too, when the flush of my introduction 
to Paris had subsided, I leaned against the forse cochére of 
the hotel, and as I heard the music from the theatre ad- 
joining, thought of the sweet ebbing life I was vainly striv- 
ing to preserve, and the hopeless future that stretched 
before me, I almost reproached Heaven as cruel and un- 
just. Soon, however, the bitter passed away, and then came 
a feeling of inexpressible sadness. 

The next day Ben and I tramped through the principal 
Boulevards—I under his conduct, for he had been in Paris 
before. I was of course impressed with the beauty of these 
grand avenues, the broad, well paved carriage-ways, and 
the ample /voffoirs, lined with trees. In the Boulevard des 
Ltalens, for example, are spacious cafes and_ restaurants, 
ornamented most profusely with gilding, distemper work, 
and mirrors; and they usually have wide projecting awn- 
ings, under which, at all times during the day and late 
through the night, can be seen throngs of men and women 
sipping creams and eau sucre, coffee and cognac. The 
crowds of well dressed people, the glittering shops with 
their brilliant stuffs and wares, en éfalage,; the long rows of 
white limestone buildings, usually of six or seven stories, 
and the light and strangely attractive frivolity everywhere, 
unite in making of Paris the most enchanting city in the 
world, at least to the sensuous well-to-do fdneur. There 
are only two classes in that capital—the amused and the 

a2 My WIFE AND J: 

amusers; and let the caprice and sensuality of the former 
have any desire and appetite they will, the latter will grat- 
ify them if it is earthly and possible. There are amassed 
every object that can cater to any craving and_ passion, 
whether refined or coarse, whether it be for science or 
art. It is at once the most accomplished and _ polished, 
the most beastly and depraved place on earth. Mendicancy 
is thrust out of sight, the coarser and most repulsive phases 
of humanity that of all other places are found most abject 
in crowded cities, rarely or ever obtrude themselves upon 
the fashionable promenades, and so Paris presents the quo- 
tidian spectacle of a vast population engaged in a constant 
brilliant feriation. 

But one soon tires of that never-ending don-bon life— 
the unremitting whirl of pleasure. Even the Bois, with its 
holiday procession, where the mistress bears off the honors, 
and vice flaunts its gayest attires—one gets tired of. that, 
and longs for a life that beats evenly—to sit near a rural 
stream that flows placidly, and under the shade of trees 
in whose branches the birds can come and go, woo and 
sing, at will. We had bright weather at that period, and 
Lide and I where constantly in the open air during the 
sunny hours. She had some shopping to do, and the 
beautiful magasins, replete with the richest fabrics of female 
wear and ornament, were of course attractive to her. She 
always dressed with grace and neatness, and yet she never had 
the usual fondness of her sex for jewelry. Her ears had 
never been pierced, in her hair she wore only fillet or 
flowers, and her costume and carriage and taste declared 
the pure lady. One would have singled her out for just 
what she was-—a thorough high-bred woman, who, while 
she had the tastes of her sex, had also all the splendid 
qualities that make up the noblest womanhood. 

She found Paris very charming and beautiful, and she 


was on the move as much as her strength would permit 
her to be. A day or two after her arrival she complained 
of suffering in her left breast—probably the result of some 
exposure on the passage from London, aggravated some- 
what by the disagreeable weather that distinguished the 
first week of our sojourn there. I called in Dr. Beylard, 
who blistered her, and after a day or two, and when the 
temperature became soft, she felt much better, and resumed 
her drives. 

Our hotel had a fair restaurant attached to it, but sev- 
eral times a week Ben, the Maxwells and ourselves, took 
a carriage and went to the Cafe Riche or Café Angiats 
and had little dinner frolics; or we wandered off to the 
Palais Royal, and along its arcades, looking into the bril- 
liant shop windows. Lide wore a respirator over her 
mouth, to prevent the unhealthiness coming from the in- 
spiration of the night air, and people were attracted by the 
odd appearance it gave to the face. She, though, was 
amused at the notice it invited; but several times, with her 
sweet heroism of look, reproved impertinent stares. She 
had no fondness, as I have already stated, for jewelry; but 
one night she saw a set of turquoise, exquisite in color, 
which she admired very much. I was always on the gue 
vive to see and hear what she fancied, and I laid away in 
my memory the expression of her preference until the gift 
days came, and then the pleasure of presenting the par- 
ticular thing she had admired and forgotten, and in seeing 
her delight, both for the offering and the recognition of 
the watchful providence of my love, was reward enough for 
me. When in Paris a few months later, en route for Rome, 
I remembered the turquoise set, and was happy to find it 
just where she had seen it. I bought it, and presented it 
to her on her birthday. Within a few hours of her deposi- 

334 My Wire anv J, 

tion of this human body, she asked me to give that set 
to our daughter. 

By way of explanation of the last phrase, I should say 
that the common expression, ‘“‘she is dead,” is not only 
false in fact, but extremely repulsive to one who believes, 
as I most devoutly do, in Immortality. She used to love 
these lines, so appropriate and comforting now: 

‘There is no death! What seems so is transition. 
This life of mortal breath ‘ 

Is but a suburb of the life elysian, 
Whose portal we call death.’’* 

A very clever English writer says: “As we cast off our 
clothes at night, and wake to the world of visions, so it 
is at death—we cast off our temporary material bodies, 
which are only so much apparel, and become conscious 
of the world of spirits. A man never really des.” 

Our bankers, L’Herbette, Kane & Co., invited us and 
the Maxwells to go to the French opera to hear “ Ham- 
let” —Nilsson playing the part of Ophelia. To quote an 
extract from a letter Lide addressed Mrs. Wheeler from 
Paris, she says: ‘‘I was delighted. The music is by Thomas, 
and is quite pretty—of the lighter German school; but the 
mise en scéne exceeded anything that one ever sees in the 
United States. It was truly superb; and you can imagine 
how much I enjoyed it when you remember that it is 
more than a year since I have been out in the evening,” 
The mzse en scéne she refers to is where Ophelia drowns 
herself, and the illusion was startling from its naturalness. 
The mad heroine of the play is seen floating away, in her 
hand ‘‘ weedy trophies,” and 

‘*She chanted snatches of old tunes” — 

as she passed out of sight. I can not imagine how the 
cheat was made so conformable in appearance to a real 


She admired Nilsson—especially her purity of tone and 
expressive vocalization; but she could not well see in what 
the Norwegian canfafrice was equal to Patti, who was then 
in Paris, playing an engagement. The latter is, in the 
rank of song, JZarguise indeed, the other but a simple 
commoner. I heard Patti in “ Lucia” a day or two later— 
it was the opening night, and the Parisian modlesse were 
there; the noble, too, in that nobler and higher domain 
they call Belles Lettres and Art, and I doubt if there ever was 
heard in Paris any such impassioned, and, what Bacon 
calls, “representative poesy,”’ as that of Patti’s rendition of 
the mad scene especially. 

I made a visit with Lide to Notre Dame. She was 
much struck with it—perhaps to a greater extent because 
of the character impressed upon it by the events which 
have taken place there. Besides, the edifice is a rare speci- 
men of the Gothic, and contains some of the finest of the 
elements that distinguish that order. We looked at the 
relics, of course-—pieces of the true cross, and crown of 
thorns; but nearer to us in time, and heard in boisterous 
resonance through the naves and chapels, were the ribald 
scoffers of °93, who, with blasphemous lip and irreverent 
hand, pulled down the Holy Rood, and set up in its stead 
the image of the ‘Religion of Reason.” ‘There, too, the 
boy of Ajaccio placed upon his own head the imperial 
crown—in that grand old church which, to use his own 
language, “‘donnera a la solennité un caractére plus auguste.” 
Fancy, though, this little bit of antithesis on that occasion— 
Pope Pius VII preceding the Emperor’s magnificent coach, 
riding upon a mule. Well did the annalist add: ‘ gur-jit 
beaucoup rire ies Parisiens.’ And there, too, amid a pomp 
that has no equal in these days, Napoleon III espoused 
the graceful Countess de Teba. In all the extraordinary 
vicissitudes which make the Bonaparte family so historically 

336 My Wire AND J. 

remarkable, there are none so strange and striking as those 
of the past few months. It was but the other day, as it 
were, I saw the Emperor, wife and son, sitting in state, 
and at their feet all France offered the allegiance of life, 
sword, and purse. Yesterday he was a prisoner in the 
hands of one he thought to demean, and to-day is an 
exile in that land across the channel, from where he can 
see the column his uncle raised at Boulogne. 

And from the apostolic efhigies on the face of Notre 
Dame, that have looked down upon all the changes of 
five centuries with their mysterious marble eyes, we crossed 
the Seine, leaving behind us the Morgue, with its thousand 
elegies, and entered the Hotel de Ville. Leaning on me, 
-Lide traversed the vast halls, lingered over the rich dec- 
orations, and, coloring all, came the sad wail history bore 
to us from those the revolutionary tribunes that sat here 
had sent to the block. She and I could not shake off 
these, and everywhere in Paris the memories of the victims 
who crowded the guillotine came to us, white with terror, 
and cheeks stained by tears, that the cruel headsmen scoffed 
and jeered. And when, too, I bore her through the 
Luxembourg, that had been prison and palace—through 
its salles, replete with memorials of all that is grand, and 
sad, and abject in French chronicles for two centuries— 
through all these, to the gallery of paintings, where she 
saw in Muller’s “Call of the Condemned’’ the inflores- 
cence of all her sad thoughts and remembrances of the 
Revolution of ’93, she was fairly moved to tears. In that 
same letter to Mrs. Wheeler she refers to that painting: 
“Here, almost within sight of the spot where the guillotine 
was erected during the revolution, the scene depicted by 
the artist assumed nearly a life-like reality. ‘Two groups 
especially impressed me—pboth represented the last sad 
separation of a condemned from his wife and daughter, 


while the brutal soldiers hurried him away to a violent 
death. ‘To me it was inexpressibly touching, and affected 
me even to tears.” She speaks of it also in a letter to 
Dr. Maxwell, which I shall insert later. 

Near me now is an engraved copy of that picture. I 
sent for it from its intrinsic worth, the pathetic scenes it 
depicts, and because of that tribute of compassionate tears 
the dear heart paid to the touching eloquence of its truth. 
Those who have seen it will not readily forget it. It por- 
trays a large room, in which are some fifty figures—the 
central portion of the foreground is occupied by that of . 
André Chenier, the poet; and in the background, after 
ascending a flight of steps, is an open gateway, through 
which the picture receives its light. At the foot of the 
Steps is an Officer calling the list of the condemned; at his 
feet is the figure of a kneeling girl in prayerful interces- 
sion; and, indeed, each individual and each group is a story 
in itself—-all representative of the peculiar emotion that 
such a “call” would naturally evoke—the whole uniting 
to make the most pathetic composition I ever saw. The 
figures which moved. Lide so deeply are well in the fore- 
ground. They are those of the father whose name has just 
been called—the wife has sunk insensible on a chair—he 
still retains her hand; his daughter clings to him in front, 
and a soldier has seized him by the collar of his coat to 
lead him to the tumbrel you see through. the open door, 
into which the unwilling victims are being thrust. There 
is in the whole composition such realistic description, it is 
pervaded with such terrible fidelity, and it so. truly portrays 
an incident that contemporaneous narrative describes with 
such thrilling horror, that one in looking at it can scarce 
restrain his tears. Lide was so deeply impressed with it 
that no other painting came between it and her memory. 
The brilliant life and air of Paris, and the noted places 


338 My Wire anv J. 

she visited, seemed to have endowed her with more strength 
than she had had since leaving San Francisco. She says 
in the letter already quoted: ‘‘Since my arrival in Paris: I 
have improved very much in appetite and general strength. 
I feel much s/rvonger than at any time since I was so ill 
in January.” She continues: ‘“‘I grow so depressed and 
homesick that I feel as though I must go back at all 
costs. I recall my precious (to me at least) little home, 
and all its delights and pleasures, And then when I look 
into the future with its uncertainties, | am almost distracted, 
and a well nigh irrepressible longing to go back possesses 
me. Since I have been able to go out and divert my 
mind from sad thoughts, I have felt better.” 

Of course I was with her, and completely under her 
orders all the time; but she compelled me to go out when 
from any cause she remained at home. I usually rose 
early and took a promenade until she had had what she 
called her “morning nap.” Her maid then brought her 
a cup of tea, about which time I returned and arranged 
with her the plans for the day. While she was dressing, I 
was generally employed in doing some trifles for her until 
breakfast was served. We then went out together; or, if 
she was otherwise occupied, I went with Ben, or with him 
and the Maxwells. 

The Hotel de Cluny is a rare museum—the rarest per- 
haps in Europe. Its collection of /adence alone is full of 
interest, and the relics of the time of the renazssance are 
really a study, and to properly see would occupy one for 
weeks. Lide, the Maxwells, Ben and I spent some hours 
there, and she was delighted. The building itself has many 
striking features, the chief of which are the curiously orna- 
mented windows. Until very recently the Place of the 
Hotel Cluny enjoyed the distinction of having the only 
remains of the Romans known in Paris, for the partial 


restoration of the ruins discovered there disclose a /rigz- 
darium; but there have been discovered, in excavating for 
the office of the Omnibus Company, the arena and mefa 
sudans of an amphitheatre, coins, medals, some ceramic 
remains, and two skeletons. 

Strange to say, Lide had strength enough to ascend to 
all the chambers, and examine every object she regarded 
worthy of observation. I always carried a small camp- 
stool which she used to rest herself upon, and so she was 
then enabled to do a pretty fair day’s work of sight-seeing. 
Usually I carried her up all ascents and stairways, except 
at the Hotel de Russie at Rome. 

With the same vigor did she make a good inspection of 
Hotel des Invalides, the refectories, the Salles des Mare- 
chaux et du Conse#, and the old church. But she seemed 
to have displayed a reserved strength for the Tomb of 
Napoleon, in the Place Vauban. She, of course, did not 
descend to the crypt; but there was scarcely any necessity 
for that, as the sarcophagus containing the ashes of the 
Emperor is seen best from above. 

She always had a large admiration of the character of 
Napoleon—at least of the strong qualities he possessed, and 
of his extraordinary genius as a soldier; and so her visit 
to his sepulchre was a source of pleasure. The tomb is 
of porphyry, and it is a monolith, while the sarcophagus is 
of red granite. She was impressed with the massive sim- 
plicity of the whole affair, and regarded it as in keeping 
with his wonderful life and history. 

’ And another day, when the weather was soft and spring- 
like, we all went to “ Ze Jardin des Plantes,” the extent of 
which can be seen when I add that it covers seventy-seven 
acres of ground. She walked through its entire area, pass- 
ing out by the house of Buffon, where I secured a car- 
riage. Of course she saw only superficially, and yet all the 

340 My WIFE anv J. 

prominent features—menagerie, orangery, and gardens of 
naturalization and seeds, and the nursery ground, were in- 

We were not pleasantly situated at the hotel to which we 
had gone, our room being small, and that of Lala being 
separated from us by several numbers. The bed was so 
narrow, that, to give Lide increased comfort, I slept upon 
the floor; and as I persisted in doing so, it gave her 
much annoyance, and so we determined to change quar- 
ters. We found apartments at the “ Hotel du Prince de 
Galles,’ Rue d’ Anjou St. Honoré, where no English was 
spoken, and where we had the larger convenience of a par- 
lor. In some respects we were more comfortable there— 
Lide and I certainly were, for we had rooms ez art 
Ben remained, but he came to see us daily. 

Lide was strong enough one bright Sunday to go to 
Versailles, to see the Grandes Eaux, or the playing of all 
the fountains, and it was a regular “field day,’ when people 
were gathered by the thousands. Lide saw one floor 
of the palace, and, leaning on my arm walked through 
the trim gardens of the small park, inspecting the elaborate 
work of the fountains—seeing some of them in full play— 
and along the alleys, and through the exquisite parterres. 
Crossing to the Parterre de Latone, and looking along the 
Tapts vert, crowded with well dressed people, hearing the 
martial airs played by the military band, and seeing the 
broad avenue stretching away before us, with the beautiful 
landscapic effects planned and executed by Le Notre, made 
up a view she admired vastly. 

I did not like the gardens of Versailles, magnificent and 
elaborate as they are, as much as I did those of Zzfle 
Trianon, which are English in style. The French system 
of gardening is highly artificial—trimming trees and plants 
as they coif the female hair, twisting them into strange and 


grotesque shapes, where one seeks in vain for the graceful 
sweep and curves that belong to a natural growth. 

I had seen Versailles and St. Cloud some days _ before, 
and:so I surrendered myself to Lide entirely on the occa- 
sion of that visit. Several times I drove her through the 
Champs Elysées, and all the chief points of the Bors de 
Boulogne, where Paris is best seen—its wealth, its castes, 
its glory, and its shame. And one night, too—one gala 
night—I took her through the M/adille, rather to show her 
the beauty of its walks and shrubbery under the splendor 
of its illumination, than the sensuous dancing which makes 
it so attractive and disreputable. I led her up to the pavil- 
ion to give her an idea of the renowned cancan. J, her 
husband, did this; but to her pure eye it was essentially 
vulgar and vicious, and so she at once withdrew, and we 
returned to the hotel. Although there was nothing there 
on that occasion more disreputable than an ordinary bal- 
let—for it was early in the evening when she made her 
visit—still she had a feeling of shame to be present in 
such company. 

We visited the Louvre together, but she of course saw 
it imperfectly, giving her supreme attention to the paint- 
ings, especially those contained in the Salon Carré—the 
“Conception” of Murillo, the ‘ Belle Jardiniere” of Raph- 
ael, “ Marriage of Cana” by Veronese, and several other 
famous ones—not omitting my and her favorite, Murillo’s 
“Beggar Boy.’ One can well imagine how pleasurably 
those exquisite inspirations of such masters fell upon her 
dear mind, so sensitive to the enchantment of the beauty 
of the old art. 


“And he clasped them closer—-closer-- 
For a message they would seem, 
Coming from the lips now silent, 
Coming from a hand now cold. 
And he felt the same emotion 
They had thrill’d him with of old.” 

On the afternoon of October 14th I went to the bank- 
ing house of Munroe & Co. to deliver a note of introduc- 
tion, and quite by chance I found a cable telegram that 
had been there some days, announcing the death of my 
father, and urging me to return at once. It was sad news, . 
and yet not entirely unexpected. Lide knew that there 
were some business affairs I was expected to transact should 
I survive my father—indeed I had promised him that I 
would relieve my mother from all care in regard of his 
estate. She knew of all these things, and as I could not 
decide what I should do—for I knew how dependent she 
was upon me—lI left the determination of my going or 
remaining, with her. She thought it my duty to go, and 
so advised me. I left Paris for Liverpool in the night 
train the next day, passed through Calais, Dover, and 
London, halting a few hours to see the dear people at the 
“Ferns.” I sailed from Liverpool 11 a.m., October 17th. 
We stopped at Queenstown some few hours, and I em- 
ployed the time in running up to Cork. I reached New 
York at 11:30 a.m., October 29th, after a very rough 
passage, and went on to Booth-hurst that same evening. 


Lide and the Maxwells were in the best hands in the 
world—in Ben’s, who was as faithful and kind as a brother 
could be. When I left, it was determined they would go 
to Rome, the climate of that city having been recom- 
mended to Lide. There she was to wait for me, ‘before 
passing into winter quarters. 

I have found some few of her letters, which I introduce 
without alteration. Two or three addressed to me have 
been mislaid or lost in the confusion of travel. I quote 
them to show the character of her thought and expression; 
although, as they were written at a period of intense suf- 
fering from her disease and the fatigue incident to travel, 
they are by no means fairly representative of her best 
powers and intelligence. I will take them in chronological 
order. ‘The following is addressed to my brother: 

“Paris, October 17th, 1868. 

“My pear Dan: Your letter of September 16th has 
just been received, It was written the day after the receipt 
of the intelligence of your father’s death, and I fully 
appreciate all your sorrow at the loss of so excellent a 
parent. When we left Booth-hurst, on the 17th of August, 
father was apparently much better than he had been for 
some weeks before—was able to drive out, and talked of 
going to Wilmington to purchase a new carriage, A letter 
from Bessie, dated August 30th, described him as quite as 
well, I felt, however, during the last few days of our stay 
at Booth-hurst, that I was enjoying for the last time the 
privilege of being with him. He himself seemed fully con- 
scious of the same fact, and nothing could surpass the sad 
tenderness of his manner towards all of us, but, I thought, 
especially so to me; and about my health he seemed 
particularly solicitous, He was gentle and lovely as a little 
child, and yet with mental power as clear and unclouded 

344 My Wire AND J. 

as in the best years of his manhood. It was a touching 
and beautiful sight to see your dear mother’s devotion to 
him, allowing no one to take her place, even when she 
must necessarily have been fatigued by her exertions. 

“Tt is melancholy to reflect upon her: loneliness now, 
and the grief which must overwhelm her when she finds 
herself without the support which, for sixty-one years, has 
stood between her and the world. 

“We did not receive the telegram announcing the sad 
news until we had been three’ weeks in. Paris. Rob im- 
mediately made arrangements to go to Booth-hurst at once, 
aid without something unseen has occurred, he sailed from 
Liverpool this morning in the steamer ‘China,’ of the 
Petar tire.citne: saat are 

“T can not consent to Rob’s leaving me alone in a 
strange land until I have some rational encouragement to 
believe that I may improve in health. Such encourage- 
ment I have not had up to this time. There is no essen- 
tial improvement in my condition—for although I seem 
stronger just at present, my cough is unabated, with pro- 
fuse expectoration, and pulse at 110. * * * 

“Why don’t you write more about my darling baby, of 
whom I have heard absolutely nothing since I left? Just 
as you close your letters you say, “All are well. Laussat 
is improving.” .What could be more unsatisfactory? Tell 
me of all his dear little ways and cunning tricks—in fact 
anything which concerns him. My heart has always been 
very tender towards him, and I felt the parting from him 
more than any one would have imagined. 

Remember me affectionately to James R. Bolton, to whoee 
I am sincerely attached. At times I am home-sick to the 
last degree, and writing letters home generally makes me 
so. Kiss the darling boy for me, and believe me always 

Affectionately yours, . Eee? 



The next is a short letter to my mother, inclosed to me 
for delivery: 
‘Paris, October 25th, 1868. 

“TJ should have written to you, dearest mother, when 
Rob left; but there was so little time between the receipt 
of the sad telegram and the period of his departure, that 
I was fully occupied by preparations for the latter. 

“What can any one say or do to alleviate the grief which 
must overwhelm you? ‘The separation which occurs after 
sixty-one years of happy married life, must indeed be like 
the rending of body and soul; and we, your children, can 
only weep with you when we recall the many lovely traits 
which distinguished the character of our dear father, and 
remember that we shall no more behold him upon earth. 
Truly he has left to his children “the heritage of a goodly 
name,’ and a memory among men of which they may 
well be proud. 

“T hope that Rob’s presence may afford you some con- 
solation, and that he may be able to assist you in such 
matters as his profession especially fits him for. I miss 
him very much, and still more his affectionate ministrations 
to my comfort and happiness. 

“Lide seems to long very much to be with you, and 
for some reasons I wish that this could be. I do not 
seem to be able to make her happy. However, she may 
become more contented after a while. 

“T am not able to write much after my letter to Rob, 
dear mother, but could delay no longer sending you a few 
lines to express my deep sympathy with you in your sor- 
row. We weep for you and with you, with all our hearts. 

“With love to dear Bessie, believe me always 

- Your affectionate daughter, Lip.” 

The letter to me, in which that to my mother was in- 

346 ' My Wire anv J. 

closed, I can not place my hands on. The note next 
below is to me. In writing, or in speaking to me when 
alone, she always addressed me as ‘Teppie,” and sub- 
scribed herself “ Buntin.” 

‘“MarsEILLES, November 4th, 1868. 

‘“We arrived here yesterday, dearest Teppie, about half- 
past eleven or twelve o'clock. We left Paris at seven in 
the evening, and traveled all night. I found the ‘coupe — 
iit’ very comfortable, and after loosening my clothing I 
could lie with as much ease as upon a wide sofa. I made 
the journey with comparatively little fatigue, and believe it 
was owing to being able to lie down all the way. I took 
lunch in the basket you bought in London, and at various 
stopping places Ben came into the ‘coupge’ and took a plate- 
ful of provender to Ella and Mrs. Maxwell, who were in 
the next compartment. It was very well we were so pro- 
vided, for we had no opportunity to get a mouthful to eat 
during the whole journey of seventeen hours. As Ben 
remarked, he thought the lunch basket had paid for itself. 
As a matter of course, I felt very tired yesterday, but I 
had a good night’s rest, and to-day feel quite right. 

‘The climate is as warm as one could wish, and already 
I feel the greatest difference in the ease with which I 
breathe compared with the way I did in Paris. It is so 
delightful to be in the bright sunshine. 

“The first thing I saw yesterday, upon entering the 
court-yard of the hotel, was a Chinese woman in her 
native costume; also a man, but he was dressed as a 
European. It reminded me so much of home, and seemed 
such a familiar sight. We are at the Grand Hotel du Lou- 
vre et de la Paix, and are quite comfortable. We re- 
mained here to-day, in order that I might rest, and will 
continue our journey to Nice to-morrow. 


“This morning, after breakfast, we drove all over the 
city, and along the ‘Prado,’ which is a beautiful drive by 
the sea. It was our first sight of the Mediterranean; and 
in the warm, soft air, and bright sunshine, with the mur- 
muring of,the sea “at my feet, I enjoyed it very much. 
We then drove to the top of a high hill, where there is a 
church called ‘Notre Dame de la Garde. The latter is 
reached by ascending very high steps, so I remained in the 
carriage while the rest of the party explored the heights. 
The point where I was commanded a fine view of the 
city and harbor, and I sat for some twenty minutes look- 
ing out over the sea and thinking of you. It is so diffi- 
cult to realize that I am actually in the midst of scenes 
that I have longed so much to behold. 

“This evening Mrs. Maxwell and Ella have gone to the 
opera with Ben and the Rev.. Mr. Rogers. We picked 
the latter up in Paris, and he is to accompany us as far as 
Nice. Lide seemed much disappointed at not going, but 
I thought it best we should both decline. 

“And now, my darling, good night. I am tired, and am 
going to bed. , Be sure to keep your promise not to fret 
over me—you see how well I am getting along. Love to 
your mother and all—a dozen kisses from 

ee. * “Your own Buntin.”” 

By way of explanation of the asterisks on the previous 
line, I will say that in writing to each other we always 
sent kisses—kissing the paper, and then marking it by a 
cross or star, each one indicating a kiss. 

The letter that succeeds is also addressed to me: 

‘““Nicz, November 8th, 1868. 
“J wrote you from Marseilles last Thursday, my darling, 
telling you how well I had got along to that place. On 

348 | My Wire ano f. 

the afternoon of the next day we came to this place, and 
I felt much more fatigued with the journey of six and a 
half hours. than I did by the night trip from Paris. We 
found comfortable rooms awaiting us, thanks to James’ 
(the courier) forethought, and after a good dinner we re- 
tired to rest early. What was my disgust on rising Friday 
morning, to find a heavy, threatening sky, and every pros- 
pect of rain. Yesterday it rained without cessation from 
morning till night, and to-day, altho’ the sun is struggling 
to show himself, it is too damp for me to go out. Is it not 
discouraging? It would seem as though I were pursued 
by an adverse fate. 

‘“‘T have had an excellent appetite since I arrived here, 
and that is a good sign. ‘They give us for breakfast fresh 
figs and cream, and I do them justice. 

“T am beginning already to anticipate your return. It 
is not likely we will get to Rome by the time you reach 
Paris; but, of course, when I know you are coming, I 
will send a letter to care of your bankers, to meet you. * * 

“While I have been writing the clouds have broken 
away, and the sun is shining brightly. Ben, who has been 
reading by the fire, proposes that we send for a carriage 
and take a drive—the rest of the party having gone out in 
waterproofs to take a walk. 

“T have just come back, my darling, after a lively drive 
on the Promenade des Anglais, which is a broad road made 
on the very edge of the sea. It was great enjoyment to 
me—the warm sunshine and soft air. On one side were 
gardens filled with orange trees and palms, as well as with 
roses and other flowers in full bloom; and on the other, 
the Mediterranean breaking at my feet. ‘These made up 
an aggregate which one would be very insensible not to 
enjoy. ‘The air and sunshine are life to me, and I trust 
[ shall be able to go out every day. . 

i —— 


‘While I think of it, I will say here that all the party, 
at intervals, send remembrances to you, and so take them 
all in a lump. 

“Lide is well, but is as silent as usual. I hope to hear 
from you in a few days, and to know when to expect 
your return. Good-bye, my darling, with love to all. 


od ee “T am always your own BunrIN. 

There is another of same date to Mrs. Saunders—the 
mother of Mrs. Wheeler—whom Lide had met in Paris. 
I shall insert it also, although it is, in some respects, a 
repetition of the preceding one: 

“ Nicr, November 8th, 1868. 

“My pEAR FrrenD: I know you will feel anxious to hear 
how I stood the journey to this place, and therefore I 
hasten to write to you as soon as I am a little settled. 

“The journey to Marseilles, though made at night, was 
much less fatiguing than that from Marseilles to this place. 
The latter only occupied about six hours, but I was tired 
out by the time I reached Nice. 

“Yesterday and the day before it rained incessantly, and 
I was almost in despair—shut up in the house with a fire, 
which the dampness of the atmosphere rendered necessary. 
To-day, however, the sun came out about 2 o’clock, and 
I went out to drive, and came home feeling quite like a 
different creature. 

“Nice seems like an immense watering-place. The town 
itself is ugly and uninteresting, (at least it seemed so to 
me to-day) but along the sea shore is a broad esplanade 
called the Promenade des Anglais. On one side is a long 
row of hotels, all surrounded with beautiful gardens, in 
which are orange and lemon trees laden with fruit; flow- 
ers, palm trees too, with their graceful fronds—while among 

350 My Wire AND ]. 

them are rose hedges and the numerous flowers of the 
temperate zone. On the other hand the blue Mediterra- 
nean breaks in foamy waves almost at one’s feet. The 
whole formed an enchanting picture, and, together with 
the soft air and bright sunshine, put new life into my 
languid frame. My appetite is much better than it was 
in Paris, and the amount of fresh figs and cream which I 
consume would astonish you, if you could see it. So you 
see, dear friend, that I have every reason to be encour- 
aged to hope that I will continue to improve. I look for- 
ward to the time when I can return to my beloved home 
as one of the things which is not too far in the distance. 

“The little episode of your visit to Paris, and our meet- 
ing there was so refreshing to me. You know I love 
you dearly for your own dear sake apart from all other 
considerations’; and besides this you are so associated and 
intimately connected with so many delightful hours in the 
far past, that it adds a certain intensity to my affection for 
you. ‘Then, too, as I told you, it was the next thing to 
seeing my darling Sara. She is the friend in whom my 
soul reposes, for I know she loves me with an affection 
that is unalterable. Dear child, if our wishes could only 
transport her to these beautiful scenes ! 

“T am afraid my letter will not be very satisfactory to 
you, for it has been written in the parlor among half a 
dozen chattering people, who are addressing remarks to 
me every five minutes, making it quite impossible to pur- 
sue any idea connectedly. 

“Remember me kindly to Mrs. Ralston, and with love 
for yourself, believe me always 

Affectionately yours, L. H, .Rocers.” 

These letters, I repeat, written under the most embar- 
rassing circumstances, by one whose strength was at best 


scarcely beyond that of a little child, are hardly worthy of 
my wife. I have no others, as already stated. Those of 
hers destroyed before we went to Europe were brilliant 
enough for any pen. These I introduce now are the only 
direct utterances from her in the world, except a fugitive 
note or two which are quite beyond my reach—if, indeed, 
there are any within my knowledge. ‘They will, imperfect 
as they are, subserve at least the design I started with. 
The letter that follows is addressed to her mother: 

“Nice, November 15th, 1868. 

“My pear Moruer: Your letter of October 2d has just 
reached me, and glad enough I am to hear from home. * * 

“T have come to the conclusion that I have yet to re- 
turn to California to find the much-talked-of climate which 
I require. I have been traveling for five months to avoid 
rain, and in all that period have not been for seven con- 
secutive days without it—the greater part of the time the 
water pouring from the clouds as though there was to be 
a second deluge. 

“This place, which is so celebrated as to climate, is 
very similar to San Francisco. We have been here nearly 
two weeks. The first five days the rain poured in tor- 
renis; the rest of the time it has alternated with clouds, 
sunshine, and cold winds. ‘The gardens are full of orange 
trees, it is true, and perhaps a person in health would call 
the weather pleasant, but it does not suit me. I am chilly 
all the time, and my cough is worse than it was in Paris. 
I am better in every way than when | last wrote you from 
London, but the improvement is not sufficiently sus 
for me to feel much encouragement. 

“The drives in the vicinity of Nice are beautiful. Im- 
agine high hills terraced almost to the top, and planted 
with olive, fig, and oranges, and among them numerous 

ese My WIFE AND I 

villas, many of which are painted in bright colors—for 
instance, light blue, or green, or pink. At first I did not 
like it; but after the eye becomes accustomed to it, it seems 
to harmonize with the dark tints of the trees. * * * 

“I was very much amused by your stories about Bolton. 
He is the funniest monkey I ever knew. Dear little fel- 
low, how much I should like to see him! ‘Tell him from 
me that the boys here all wear the Knickerbocker pants 
till they are much older than he is. I can’t bear the idea 
of his putting on the airs of a ‘big boy,’ and would like, 
if possible, to go back to the days when he wore Gari- 
baldi dresses. 

‘“T made quite a collection of stamps for Eustace, and 
now I have mislaid them and can not find them. 

“The subject of my return to California is a sad one to 
me, although I am so anxious to go. All of my ideas of 
home are associated with San Francisco—with my dear 
little cottage on Brannan Street—and if I go back it will | 
be impossible for me to live there. : 

‘And now, dear mother, I must bring this long’ letter 
to a close. Write often, and with love to all the family, 
believe, meé,); as tever, 

Your affectionate daughter, Live.” 

The succeeding letter to Dr. R. T. Maxwell is the longest 
one I have, and the best. It is written with more of her 
old vigor and beauty than are any of the others: 

‘“Grenoa, November 22d, 1868. 

“It is Sunday afternoon, dear Doctor, and the rest of 
the party has gone sight-seeing, as usual, leaving me at 
home, because it is too cold and damp for me to go out. 
I have not been unmindful of my promise to write to 
you, but have delayed it from time to time, hoping that I 


could send you better accounts of myself, and because, too, 
I have been in such wretched spirits that I had no heart 
to write to any one. 

“YJ am not materially better in health than when I left 
San Francisco. ‘The five weeks we were in Paris I seemed 
to gain in strength and appetite, but since we left there I 
have lost again, and have been obliged to give up the cod 
liver oil on account of a disordered stomach. Of course I 
shall resume it again as soon as possible. 

“Dr. Beylard, in Paris, prescribed for me the hypophos- 
phite of lime, which he told me was thought to exercise 
a specific influence over tuberculous diseases. I have been 
taking larger doses of morphia and codeine than I ever 
could bear before, and at present have wretched nights, 
owing to the demoralization consequent upon the use of 
anodynes. I have traveled in vain to find that blessed 
climate where I can be out of doors every day, and I 
fear that my quest will be hopeless. 

“Tt is five months since the sad day on which I sailed 
from San Francisco, and during all that period I don’t 
think we have had ten consecutive days of sunshine, and 
the greater part of the time pouring rain. ‘Talk about 
Italian climate! why, it is not to be compared to that of 
California. Nice is very similar to San Francisco in tem- 
perature, and every afternoon there arises a cold wind 
which raises clouds of fine, white dust, extremely irritating 
to the lungs. ‘The drives in the vicinity are beautiful, and 
the country very picturesque, with its groves of orange 
trees, while in the gardens of the villas are palm and pep- 
per trees, and numerous species of acacias. There is 
nothing there to interest the traveler. It is, in fact, only 
a gay winter resort for those who can afford to leave the 
inhospitable North of Europe for what seems to them, by 

contrast, a very garden of Eden. 

354 My WiFE AND J, 

“Genoa, where we are resting a few days, is, indeed, a 
city of palaces. The hotel where we are stopping was evi- 
dently at one time a noble residence. The ceilings are 
all arched and beautifully frescoed, and the floors and door 
frames of marble. The weather being bitter cold, much 
colder than I ever felt it at San Franciseo, 1 have been 
obliged to remain in doors. In Paris I was able to do 
quite an amount of sight-seeing, and enjoyed it extremely. 
Everything there is so suggestive of history that comes’ 
down almost to our own times, that one can not fail to 
feel the spirit of the revolution hovering in the air. I saw 
at the Luxembourg a picture that impressed me more 
than anything I have ever seen while abroad. It is called 
‘The Call of the Last Victims of the Reign of Terror,’ I 
stood before it a long time, and it affected me even to 
tears. ‘Two groups, each representing the same sad scene— 
a father tearing himself away from his daughter and wife— 
were equally touching. In one the man’s face is rigid 
with that stern resolution which ‘consents to death, yet 
conquers agony ’—in the other group, a lovely young girl 
clings around her father’s neck, while his face is raised to 
Heaven with an expression of despair and mortal agony 
which no pen can describe. It is a most affecting pic- 
ture, and there, almost within sight of the spot where the 
guillotine claims its victims, it has a dramatic power that 
makes it seem like reality. 

“Paris is all glitter and show, and corresponds with the 
idea which I have conceived of the French character. 
Their much vaunted politeness is all conventional and 
superficial. I have been as rudely jostled by a French — 
crowd as I ever was by the most democratic concourse at 
home. As to the innate deference to a woman because 
she is weak and requires protection—a deference which 
springs from the strength of true manhood—lI don’t think 


a Frenchman has the smallest conception of it. The con- 
sequence is that a woman is unsexed. She works in the 
fields, or she buckles on her armor, and puts on her 
seven-leagued boots, and goes out into the world to enter 
into competition with man, and fights him with his own 
weapons. I much prefer the rough-hewn politeness of the 
men of my own country to the artificial courtesy of foreign- 
ers. The truth is, that until I came abroad I never appre- 
ciated the grandeur of our institutions, and, above all, the 
greatness of our common school system of education. I 
thank God every day that I was born under the American 
face ee * When Mr. Rogers returns from Dela- 
ware, we will proceed at once to Catania, on the south 
side of the Island of Sicily. ‘There, if anywhere in Europe, 
I hope to find warm weather. Sometimes I seriously think 
of returning to California in April or May, when Mr. 
Rogers goes back. This I have not mentioned, having 
expressed all along a determination to remain in Europe 
until the autumn, when, if I am living, I will set sail with 
a glad heart for my far Western home. 

“Tt seems to me I could go to Napa Valley for the 
summer, and be as well off as here. What do you think? 
I expect you to write me a nice- long letter in answer to 
this. If you do, I will write you again from Sicily. I 
don’t know whether this last will be an inducement or not, 
or whether I and my affairs have so far passed from your 
interest that reading this long letter will prove a bore. I 
hope this is not so, and I am vain enough to think it is 
not. At all events I expect a letter, and I don’t care in 
the least for San Francisco gossip, but I want to hear 
something about yourself. I feel as if I had heard abso- 
lutely nothing since I left there except that you were well, 
and never were known to be in such good spirits. 

“Tell me about the ranch—whether you are going to 

356 My WIFE AND J. 

keep it; whether you have planted hop and grape vines, 
and whether you still have, to use your own expression, 
the ‘116 pigs, plus one,’ when-you are up there. I 
thought of you when we were passing through Kent-—the 
great hop country of England; and again in France, where 
the railroad runs for miles through that peculiar red soil 
that is supposed to be adapted to grape culture. ‘The hills 
there are terraced to their very summits, and planted with 
vineyards and olive trees. It is just those terraces that we 
require in California to make our brown hills as productive 
as our valleys. I am not certain as to the orthography of 
that last word. Consider that we have had a battle over 
it, with ‘Worcester’ between us, and you may place the 
- victory where it belongs. 

‘And now that I feel it is time to bring this long letter 
to a close, all the sad feelings that have been somewhat 
dispelled while writing it, have returned in full force. At 
times I have such a terrible longing for home that I feel 
as if I must go, no matter what may be the cost. I 
reason in vain. I only know that I am sick and miser- 
able, and gaining nothing, and I pine for ‘the old familiar 
faces.’ Those words of Lamb seem to be constantly before 
me; I never felt their significance before. ‘Then, too, when 
I remember that when I go back—if I am ever permitted 
such happiness—I can not live in San Francisco, where 
all my associations are, the future is very dark to me, I 
still hope against hope, that when I get to Sicily I may 
be better; but how I shall contend against this terrible 
home-sickness I don’t know. 

“T have said, from time to time, that I would not write 
to you while I was in such bad spirits, lest I should in- 
dite a dismal letter. I think, however, it would be diffi- 
cult to write one of a bluer tint than this. I commenced 
it two days ago, on Sunday, expecting to leave for Leg- 


horn the next day. It is now Tuesday evening, and we 
are still in Genoa, detained by a pouring rain which has 
never ceased for an instant since daylight this morning. * * 

“And now, dear doctor, good night, and good-by. Be 
sure you write me—in fact you promised me to do so, 
If my letter is tiresome to you, don’t read it—but believe 
me Affectionately yours, 

L. H. Rocers,” 

There is one more letter to be introduced here, written 
by my wife to her nearest friend, Mrs. Wheeler, for whom 
she had an unreserved and faithful love rarely seen—be- 
tween women, at least. Mrs. Wheeler’s affection for and 
devotion to my darling were so pure and unselfish as to 
give us higher ideas of people, and lend to life a lesson 
that adds strength to our belief in something better and 
nobler after this existence. 

“Genoa, Nov. 25th, 1868. 

“YT wrote you a few weeks ago from Paris, dearest Sara, 
but I have the vanity to think that you will be glad to 
hear from me again. We arrived here last Thursday even- 
ing, expecting to remain one day, and then to continue 
our journey to Rome. It has stormed fearfully ever since 
Friday night, and here we are, Wednesday, with a poor 
prospect of getting off even this evening. 

“We. have found the far-famed Italian climate a snare 
and a delusion. Since we have been in Genoa, we have 
actually suffered from cold. The temperature is much 
lower than at the same season in the Eastern States. As 
for myself I am thoroughly disheartened, and regret: that 
I ever left my beloved home to wander amid the discom- 
forts of a strange country. The few weeks I was in Paris 
I gained a little temporary strength, but since I left there 

358 My Wire anv J. 

I have lost, every day. We had at Nice a few clear days 
when I was able to go out in the sunshine, but since then 
it has been rain, rain incessantly, It is a dismal letter I 
am writing you-—full of my selfish complaints—but it is 
some comfort to me to pour out my woes into your faith- 
ful heart, my darling, and so have patience with me. I 
am sick, and miserable, and pining for home and home- 
faces. If I am not materially better in the spring when 
Rob expects to return to California, I shall go with him. 
It was some comfort to me to see your mother in Paris. 
As I told her, it was the next best thing to seeing you. 
She looks so young and so well, and seemed in such ex- 
cellent spirits, that it was delightful to see her. I am so 
glad that she will have the opportunity to see Paris and 
Rome——for of all people, she is the one to thoroughly ap- 
preciate and enjoy both cities. 

“When Rob returns from Delaware we will proceed at 
once to Catania—a town on the south side of Sicily. ‘There, — 
they tell me, it is ‘always warm in winter, and I hope 
almost against hope that I will begin to mend. Doubt- 
less you will be surprised that I write so despondingly, but 
just remember what a perfect failure this trip has been in 
all the benefit that I expected to derive from it. When 
I recall the distress of those last few days at home, I feel 
that I have made a terrible sacrifice for naught. 

“TIT was glad to receive the other day a letter from 
mother, full of the sayings and doings of my dear boys. 
Poor little fellows! my heart clings to them now. * * * 

“And now, my darling, I must stop, because this little 
writing has tired me so. I hope we will get away from 
here to-night. Give my love to all; and for yourself, my 
heart’s best love. Your own LipE.” 

I attended to the business I had in charge at Booth- 


hurst, but I lingered there to console my mother in her 
grief, to sustain and bear her through that first agony of 
looking for the face that comes not—listening to hear the 
old endearing tones that never come to us except when in 
the stillness of night the wind bears them back again to us, 

The quiet of my life there was not disturbed except in 
thinking of a possible happening to my darling wife. <A 
note came from her which said: ‘‘Do not fret over me; 
you see how well I am getting along’—and so I yielded 
to my mother, who begged me “not to go yet.” 

On the seventeenth of November, Bessie—my sister’s 
only child—was married at New Castle to Thomas Hol- 
comb, Esq., a most worthy person, and who had all the 
promise to make her happy. The same, or the preceding 
day, I had a letter from Ben from Nice, in which he said 
that since my departure my wife was not so well; that my 
absence seemed to affect her most seriously, and that while 
there was no cause for immediate alarm, he and Mrs. 
Maxwell thought I should be written to. I hesitated not 
a moment; telegraphed to New York for a passage on 
board the first European steamer to sail. The “City of 
London,’ Inman Line, was the first to leave, and on the 
twenty-first of November we sailed for England. : 

We reached Liverpool on the evening of December rst, 
but as it stormed furiously, and there was no chance to 
get my luggage through the Customs, I was compelled to 
remain on board all night. Next day, however, I got off 
in the midday train and reached London at half past five 
that evening, stopping at Charing Cross Hotel. I sent 
Lide a telegram announcing my arrival, and remained in 
London that day to make some few needful purchases. I 
was sorry I could not stop at “The Ferns” to see our kind 
relatives there. Later I was mortified to hear that they 
were in London at that time. 

360 My Wire anv J. 

I had a French companion who was a passenger with 
me on the steamer from New York, and who had en- 
gaged to accompany me as far as Paris. We had no 
route Open to us that night except wi New Haven and 
Dieppe, and I took my passage notwithstanding a storm 
raged and the rain fell in torrents. My Parisian friend 
had been absent several years from La Belle France, but 
he, to use an expressive term of backsliding, ‘ backed 
right square out” and would not go. I must confess that 
under any other circumstances I would have shown some 
sign of defection; but storm, nothing superable could have 
detained me in the absence of intelligence as to my dar- 
ling’s condition—for Ben’s letter, in spite of myself, alarmed 
me. Years had passed since I smoked, but that evening 
when I forecasted the long, lonely and dark ride before 
me, I could not resist the solace the weed promised, and 
I invested a few odd shillings in cigars. How desolate 
looked the streets that night when I set out! The gaslights 
flared, and rocked like a drunken man, as the wind swept — 
by them in passionate bursts. The rain drifted and _ beat 
with impatient, angry raps against the carriage windows, 
and fell in sheets from the projecting eaves of the houses, 
past which we slowly went. The lights in the buildings 
were dimly seen through long lines of rain, and in the 
heavy respiration of the tempest the screech of the loco- 
motive whistle was weird and haunting. And now and 
then the rough blasts seized the car and shook it with a 
spiteful laugh—with the derision and frenzy of a madman. 
I sat alone in the obscurity, for the compartment, strange 
to say, was lightless. But I smoked through all the pass- 
age. I made transient twilight about me when I puffed, 
and when the cigar was laid aside, between respirations, 
the darkness was painfully profound. 

We reached New Haven about bedtime, and I ran along 


the jetty and aboard the packet, which heaved and groaned 
upon the swell that stirred in the dock. ‘There was but 
one other cabin passenger, and in the recesses of the cabin 
I heard him drop objurgatory regrets that he had started, 
and I knew by the poise of each phrase and the clipped 
word coinage from the furnace of his temper, that he and 
I were countrymen. 

The skipper would not venture out on the channel that 
night, but at daylight he attempted it, and the passage was 
rough enough. We were nine hours reaching Dieppe, and 
I arrived too late for the usual train. My fellow passen- 
ger and I, and an Englishman whom we picked up, wan- 
dered over the place; mounted the bluff at the west end 
of the town where the castle is; stared at the effigies and 
painted saints in the chapels of the Church of St. Jacques; 
roamed through the streets, from shop window to shop 
window, looking at the ivory work for which the place is 
famous; then down to the quays among the fishermen; 
then mixed in with the town people who held a fair in 
one of the little squares, laughed at a conjuror with his 
tricks, and paid a few sous to see a stuffed bear and a 
live lion. 

I left Dieppe about 6 p.m., and before midnight reached 
Paris. Sending my luggage to the hotel, I went to the 
telegraph station and sent a message to Lide. Ere I 
touched my pillow I wrote to her, too, a long letter. 

I halted at Paris for my letters. ‘There was one of No- 
vember 28th from my darling, who wrote in bad spirits, 
in some such strain as in the note to Mrs. Wheeler, yet 
not quite so dejectedly. She always tempered to me her 
condition, at least by letter; but later, when alone, she 
would place soft loving hands upon me, press my head 
against her bosom, and most frequently in tears, but always 


362 My Wire anp ], 

pointing upwards, trained and nurtured me against the sad 
days to come when I must be alone with our children. 

On the evening of December. 6th I left Paris in”a 
drenching rain, and reached Marseilles at 12 mM. next day. 
I went at once to the Grand Hotel du Louvre et de la 
Paix, and searched the register for her name. I found it 
in Ben’s handwriting, and even that afforded me pleasure. 
She had been there, and that was some satisfaction. 

I could not get away that night, and the regular packet 
would not start for two days. I have a short letter under 
‘my eyes now, addressed to my mother from Marseilles, and 
it is full of impatient, sad wails as to Lide, and fretting at 
my detention. I found, however, a small freight packet 
to sail next day at 8 a.m., for Leghorn vza Genoa. We 
got off at g o'clock and reached Genoa in safety, where I 
passed one day as a matter of necessity, for I could not 
get awav. However, | made good use of that day—run- 
ning through the palaces, the Church of the Amnunzzaza, 
and the Villa Pallavicini with its trimmed grounds, and grot- 
toes and gardens; but, better than all, its magnificent views. 

I reached Leghorn on the morning of the 11th, and at 
midday, by rail, I was nearing the dearest welcome in the 
world. The ride most of the time was in sight of the 
Mediterranean, and on occasions I caught sight of castel- 
lated buildings or Martello towers crowning eminences over- 
looking the sea. 

I arrived at Rome at 10 p.M., and it seemed odd enough 
to me to be crossing the* Tiber by rail, while the lofty 
arches of the Claudian aqueduct could be distinctly seen 
in the starlight. Ben met me and told me that an impa- 
tient heart and lip waited me at the hotel, and surrender- 
ing checks and keys to his courier, we took carriage 
through Rome, | 

““Our feet upon some rev’rend history.” 


The darling met me at the door of the parlor, wearing 
a dress I had given her, and then, lying in her “little 
home,’ she gave my cheeks the wonted patting. That 
dress hangs now over her chair in her room near me, 
but it is empty—the beautiful life that filled it, whither, 
whither has it gone? 


“*Here, where a hero fell, a column falls ! 
Here, where the mimic eagle glar’d in gold, 
A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat ! 
Here, where the dames of Rome their gilded hair 
Wav’d to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle ! 
Here, where on golden throne the Cesar sate, , 
On bed of moss lies gloating the foul adder.” 

The darling and I sat up late that evening. We had 
been separated long enough to accumulate stores of mate- 
rial for talk—and there were a hundred questions to be 
asked and answered. She rarely slept until after midnight. 
Insomnia was one of the most distressing developments of 
her disease, and her cough made it still more painful and 
wearisome. But that night she had the old loving hand 
near her, heard the wonted soothing voice, and was caressed 
by the affection that had given to her life the highest en- 
joyment it possessed. One can easily imagine how dear 
al] that tenderness to one who felt in her heart, that ere a 

great while, she would pass away to a land where kiss and ~ 

caress could not reach. I am not prepared to say, though, 
that those we call ‘‘dead” can not, at times at least, hear 
and see us. 
I found her looking quite like her old self that same 
evening. She had a flush given her by the excitement of 
my coming, and she really seemed diseaseless. She says of 
herself in a letter to her mother: “It is wonderful to me 
how soon I change either for better or worse. In three 



or four days’ time I will become weak and sick after 
seeming quite strong, and in the same way I rally after 
being weak and miserable,” 

She and the Maxwells and Ben had charming quarters 
at the Afotel de Russie, near the Prasza del Popolo, and 
almost under Afonfe Pincio—the celebrated promenade— 
the Bors de Boulogne of Rome. We had a suit of seven 
rooms, which included a very large parlor, and the table 
was well appointed in all respects. During the first visit 
we made to Rome, which extended until February 27th, 
Lide always went to the /adle d@’hofe to dinner, and to save 
her all fatigue I employed two porters to carry her to her 
room—not merely after that meal, but at all times. when 
she descended to the rez-de-chaussée. 

Rome has, as our adopted State, its quotidian supply of 
flowers during all the year, and indeed there are many 
points of similitude between the Pontifical States and Cal- 
ifornia—in climate and their physical aspects. The mean 
annual temperature of Rome and San Francisco is about 
the same, but we have no /“ramontana, or north wind, as 
harsh as that of Rome, nor the sirocco. All the days the 
parlor was filled with the sweet breath of flowers—tender 
contributions of friends—always the most exquisite enrich- 
ment a drawing-room can have. Ben’s floral gifts were 
constant and delicate—usually violets and japonicas, beauti- 
ful in themselves, but reminding Lide of her own home 
and one anonymous offering. On Christmas, for many 
years, there always came to Lide a single bouquet—a white 
camelia, of the life lying between bud and blossom, framed 
with violets. I know not who sent it, although I suspect 
a good friend of ours who loved her dearly. On the last 
Christmas day she spent in this world, I brought to her 
that annual offering. 

Lide loved Rome. In one of her letters she says: “I 

366 My Wire anp J]. 

am able to go out now every day, and enjoy everything | 
see. When I stood under the magnificent dome of St. 
Peter’s, I felt repaid for all it had cost me to reach here, 
and for the first time was glad that I came abroad. Il 
think that the pleasure and mental diversion I have derived 
from the pictures and. statuary, and other works of art in 
Rome, have contributed much to rouse me from the state 
of miserable weakness and depression I was in when we 
arrived here three weeks ago.” 

During the first few weeks of her visit the weather was 
pleasant, and she and I were constantly out together during 
the midday hours. She never rose until late, and it was 
quite eleven or twelve o'clock ere she was ready to start. 
I was up betimes, and, taking an early breakfast, was thus 
enabled to accomplish a great deal of sight-seeing before 
I reported myself to her at the hour named. She returned 
to the hotel between two and three o’clock, and then I 
usually went out again to a ruin or gallery. She would 
not permit me to remain with her during the days when 
she was confined by weather or the exacerbation of her 
disease. She literally drove me out. I kept her well 
supplied with books from Piale’s really large Circulating 
Library, and these, with visitors, kept her constantly occu- 
pied. I never left her ‘except at her earnest entreaty, and 
when she did start me out sight-seeing without her, I 
usually looked in upon her every two or three hours. 

But she and I saw together all the principal objects of 
interest at Rome; indeed she preferred to go out with me 
alone. Usually Ben, Lala and the Maxwells made up one 
party, and Lide and I another. It was under her guide- 
ship I first saw the Coliseum. We dashed first up to the 
Egyptian obelisk on the Pzazza del Popolo, which had been 
removed from the Temple of the Sun, at Heliopolis, by 
Augustus, and we mused a little while over the strange 


mutations society has undergone since the cutting of the 
hieroglyphics which cover its facets. We then passed along 
the Corso to Trajan’s Forum, and halted near the column 
which bears his name. Its das reliefs are still distinct, and 
they tell by figure and symbol all the incidents of the 
Emperor’s conquests. Lying near and within a few yards 
of the base of the column, are gray marble pillars, shat- 
tered capitals, sharply cut friezes, and the remains of an 
ancient pavement. From there she drove me by a narrow 
street to the Mamertine Prison, where the Church. tradi- 
tions teach that St. Peter was confined and baptized his 
jailers, and where profane chronicles say that Jugurtha was 
starved to death and Cataline’s accomplices strangled. 

But now we were indeed upon consecrated ground. Be- 
fore me were the Capitoline and Palatine hills, and within 
the hollow between, were the rich and splendid memorials 
that Rome has left in testimony of her greatness. ‘There, 
on the right, was the arch of Severus, and the engraven 
emblems of his Parthian and Persian victories. Under its 
span you see the pavement as it existed sixteen centuries 
ago, leading up to the three exquisite Corinthian columns 
of the Temple of Vespasian. 

Keeping along the Via Sacra, on either hand you see 
the remains of temples and palaces, and when you reach 
the arch of Titus, before you are that of Constantine, and 
grandest and most attractive of all, the Coliseum. I got 
out of the carriage and walked around it. Subdued to 
quiet, I gazed along its face—the broken arches, the frac- 
tured columns; saw the long grass clinging to the crevices, 
the stains and decay put upon it by the breath and mould- 
ering fingers of eighteen hundred years—and as I gazed, 
History whispered to me in mournful accents the revolu- 
tions that had been since that building was erected. 

I entered and saw with greater wonder and susceptibility 

368 My Wire anv J. 

the ambulacra and galleries overgrown with shrubs and 
mosses—for the /7ora of the Coliseum has four hundred 
and twenty species clinging to the walls; the crumbling 
seats for eighty thousand spectators; the ponderous arch- 
ways; and around the arena are strewn torsos, capitals, 
marble slabs, and metopes. For two hundred years during 
the middle ages did the coliseum furnish material for the 
Roman palaces. It is difficult to say who was the greatest 
scamp—Barberini or Farnese. Of the latter, Gibbon said : 
“Every traveler may curse the sacrilege and luxury of 
these upstart princes.” 

That same day I was so fascinated that I went back 
there, and sitting upon the fragment of a frieze mused 
long on the scene before me. I reclined where Christian 
martyrs’ blood had flown, and where many a gladiator 
had been 

**Butcher’d to make a Roman holiday.” 

And all the while the wind moaning among the arches, 
sounded to me as if it were the accents and anguish of 
human griefs, borne to me along the dusty lapse of ages, 
since Titus held his cruel shows there. While I sat, the 
sun went down and the shadows of the coming night fell 
upon the ruins, imparting to them a most sombre aspect. 
A flock of birds flew through the broken arches and sought 
their nests in the mouldering cavities of the walls, or in 
the coverts of the shrubs. And then came up the silver 
smiling stars, which threw through the arched openings and 
over the moss-covered ruins the tenderest gleam conceiy- 
able. It adds, too, to the charm and superstitious influence 
of the place to see the broken sky through the openings, 
and the heavy shadows lying against the walls and over 
the benches, and growing deeper as they tread near the 
cells where the wild animals were confined. And as the 


twilight fades, and the darkness imparts to every object the 
grotesque outlines of human forms, the long lapse of ages 
fades away, and the imagination fills all the space with 
phantasms; and the ‘‘owl’s long cry,” breaking upon the 
stillness, vivifies our fancies and adds to the solemnity of 
our feelings. 

But when the moon comes up and throws long lines of 
mellow light through the arches, and the leaves of the 
plants catch the beams, and all the place reposes under 
the enchantment and languor of the soft radiance, then 
the Coliseum has an attraction you seek for in vain at any 
Other time. It is then we can dream of the past without 
seeing spectral shapes creeping in the obscurity, or hearing 
mournful echoes along the galleries. If, too, you are for- 
tunate enough to have your musing touched by the tender 
serenade of the nightingale, that frequently is to be heard 
from the promenade of San Gregorio near—the song, and 
the Christian cross that stands in the centre hallow your 
feelings, until indeed 

‘“*The place 
Becomes religion, and the heart runs o’er 
With silent worship.” 

One can imagine the interest Lide and I had in Rome, 
which is the most fascinating place I ever visited, and 
where I never suffered ennuz for one moment. The enjoy- 
ments there are intellectual, and the time never hangs 
heavy upon you as it does in Paris. In one point of view 
I regret the occupation of that city by the Italians, and | 
from year to year I fancy it will lose in interest. The 
present attitude of the Papal Government, and the appar- 
ently unconquerable antagonism of Pio Nino and Emmanuel, 
will, if unhealed, destroy Rome as the pleasantest winter 

quarters in Europe. 

370 My Wire AND |. 

I spent a sad Christmas season. lLide was quite sick, 
the weather unusually severe, and her cough and exhaus- 
tion increased. I carried to her the usual gifts on that 
day and on the anniversary of her birthday—they were 
never pretermitted; but in those offerings there was a 
touch of pain in asking myself whether, on the return of 
those days, her beautiful life would still be clinging to me. 

I had then given up all hope of her recovery, but 1 
believed I could sustain her, with God’s blessing, for, per- 
haps, several years. Under that conviction I had thought 
of going to California in the spring, and returning in the 
autumn. I called in Doctor Valery, an Italian physician 
of reputation, and placed her under his care. Every atten- 
tion, and luxury, and nursing had she—for all the world 
would have been given, could I have commanded it, to 
afford her relief or pleasure. She once said to me: “Tep- 
pie darling, it is hardly worth while to attempt to save me. 
I am so weak and so helpless as to be a burden to you. 
I am_ better away than in this miserable condition,” and 
all the while her lips quivered, and when she had finished 
she leaned her head against my bosom and sobbed _heart- 
brokenly. Putting my arms around her I soothed her 
with comforting words, told her how unjust she was to 
me; and that she must not say such naughty things. ‘‘ My 
child! my child! God is my witness that if He will only 
leave me this dear, dear life—broken, and weak, and help- 
less as it may be—I will ask of Him no greater blessing.” 
It seemed as if a weight had been lifted from her heart— 
a grief driven from it she had nursed apart and in quiet— 
for, as I finished, she clung the closer to me, and wept 
happy tears; and let her dear, pretty weak hand wander 
over all my face, and buried her head as deep into my 
bosom as she could get, and through her sobs she said: 
“Oh, darling, bless you! thank you! It is for you I want 


to live; for what can you do without your poor little 
wife—your dear little baby wife—who loves you so ten- 
derly and truly, and who will love you until—until—the 
last 2” There, there, let me stop. These are sacred things 
for the sad, quiet nights of now and always, and are to be 
enjoyed apart with tears. All her latter days were dia- 
demed with just such “living pearls.” 

I found great solace in the music with which Rome, at 
the Advent and Easter seasons,.fills all her churches. It 
is at night time that a person of my temperament and 
misfortune loves to be touched by the mysterious voice of 
melody. Every Sunday I generally went to -St. Peters to 
vespers; loved to lean against a column just outside the 
choir chapel, where I was well in the reach of the music 
and the solemn chaunting of the cardinals; while the set- 
ting sun played among the medallioned spandrils of the 
arches: and through the nave, and in the recesses of the 
chapels, and shrouding the monumental effigies the solemn 
shadows crept and saddened. 

And at night, too, the effect is still greater and more 
touching, for there is in such a place as St. Peter’s a finer 
field for the play of the superstitions within us. On Christ- 
mas eve I heard the Paséorella sung there, an hour or two 
before dawn. I wandered off towards the tomb, before 
which the solemn funeral lamps burnt dimly, and as I 
heard the music softened by the distance; saw the white 
statuary about which the darkness swayed—at moments 
chased away by the glare of a passing torch, and then 
back again with a deeper shade than before—as I saw and 
felt these things I wondered no more that the Romish 
church exercises such a powerful influence over those at 
least who are susceptible and imaginative. 

On Christmas day I was in full dress at St. Peter’s, and 
had a good standpoint to see the procession, and the 

272 My WIFE AND J. 

celebration of High Mass by the Pope. The sight is a 
grand one, whether as a pageant, or merely as a religious 
sacrament—to be seen nowhere else in the world, and on 
no days like Christmas and Easter Sundays. It is not to 
speak of all the Papal grandeur and display that I allude 
to this, but of the peculiar effect of one coup heureux in 
the Mass, that, heard once, is never to be forgotten. The 
altar stands almost under the center of the marvellous 
dome—a vault so vast as to seem a very piece of the 
heavens. ‘The whole nave and transepts were crowded, 
here and there the bright uniforms and the gay dresses of 
the contadini adding very pretty effects to the scene. Per- 
haps it would not be far from the mark to say that, on 
that occasion, there were thirty thousand people in the 
church. The Pope stands at the high altar, from which 
he can be seen by all there, and a profound stillness per- 
vades the auditory. As he elevates the ost the mighty 
mass drops to its knee, and breaking from out the dome 
upon the hushed air, fall the clear notes of the silver 
trumpets—now. dropping in showers of silver sound, then 
borne through the nave, reverberating through the chapels, 
and floating in soft cadence around you. You can see no 
trumpeter; you can not trace the melody to any’ spot; 
but it floats about you—it hushes you; it seems to the 
imagination the choral waves of sound exultant angels throw 
from them as they glide along; and so mysterious and 
inconceivably pathetic is it, that as you kneel and hear 
your soul throbs and responds only by tears. One who 
has heard it never can cease to thrill under the memory 
of its. effects. . 

The coming of a dear friend to Rome had a good effect 
on Lide—Mrs. Sanders, the mother of Mrs. Wheeler. She 
was in company with Mrs. William C. Ralston, whom we 
had known at San Francisco, but not with the same de- 


gree of intimacy as Mrs. Sanders. Later, though, I espec- 
ially knew her well, and found that she had, as the best 
people have, a character for the world, and another for 
her friends—the latter made up of strong, marked and 
endearing qualities. When the blow dd fall, she sent me 
from Paris a letter replete with exquisite womanly tender- 
ness and feeling. 

And synchronal with these came two gentlemen—Doctor 
Winslow, who has been mentioned as our first physician in 
California, and General R. O. Tyler, of the army. The 
latter dropped into an intimacy with Lide and me at once, 
simply because he has an honest, gentle nature, is intel- 
ligent, companionable, and has delicate, taking instincts. 
There were many others—all good-hearted— many who 
said they could not turn away from the sweet, pure, and 
beautiful face of my wife; who paid her the devotion of 
visits, Offers of all service, and filled her parlor with the 
gentle, fitting tribute of flowers. 

Lide touched all who saw her. She won, she moved, 
she dwelt always in the memory of those who knew her 
then as something exquisite—as a saint. There was some- 
thing so pure in her pallid face; it held such an expres- 
sion of coming angelicalness; her manners were so soft 
and winning, her voice so gentle and pensive, and there 
was such an aspect of suffering, accepted resignedly and 
subdued with such a quiet heroism, that all who ap- 
proached her loved and pitied her. In the very streets, 
and the public places where she halted she won the same 
sympathy, and many a time have I half choked in pushing 
my heart back when I have heard touching expressions of 
pity. | 
1 spent a happy day with Mrs. Ralston, Mrs. Sanders, 
and Inman the artist, in an excursion to Albano. It was 
a short day, but we managed to press into it a great deal 

374 My Wire anpo 

of pleasure—seeing many attractive places in that vicinage— 
the tomb of Aruns, the villa Cesarini, whose terraces, along 
which the camilia grows in profusion, overlooks 

*“Nemi, nayell’d in the woody hills.” 

Near there is the fountain of Egeria, and the grove of 
Diana, which stretches away over the hill-tops and incloses 
the village of Nemi, with its feudal castle. 

Some weeks before, General Tyler, Ben, and I had a 
tramp all over that country, starting from Tivoli, and vis- 
iting every place of interest on the Albano range. We had 
a glorious ride from Frascati to Monte Cavo wea Tusculum, 
and thence back, halting at Grotto Ferrata to* see the 
celebrated frescoes by Domenichino. ‘The meeting of St. 
Nilus with Otho is by far the finest, for it contains not 
only the trumpeters, justly regarded as most wonderful in 
expression, but likenesses of Guido, Guercino, and the 
artist himself. The view from Monte Cayo is, perhaps, 
unequalled in that region. 

Returning from Albano with JZesdames Ralston and San- 
ders, January 30th, in jumping from the cars at Rome, | 
sprained my ankle, and was confined to my room ten 
days. I regretted it the more because it prevented me 
from meeting Mr. Longfellow at dinner. However, he and 
I did meet both at Rome and Naples, and a good many 
times, and I had from him many pleasant narrations as to 
his literary career. I have a copy of his works in which 
he wrote: “In memory of pleasant intercourse in Italy 
in the winter of 1869. Henry W. Longfellow. Naples, 
March 11, 1869.” 

Buchanan Read I met also; we were members of the 
same club, but at that time his habits were so intemperate 
that many of his friends fell from him. He was engaged 
then in painting ‘“Sheridan’s Ride’’—an accompaniment to 


his poem with that title. The painting in question lacks 
force, and there are not sufficient and striking enough 
accessories to impart to it-the energy the story requires. 
In one word the composition is weak and faulty. The 
fact is the whole incident is pure invention, so far at least 
as it is told in the poem. 

It was one of my chief pleasures in Rome to wander in 
the studios, and among the statuary of the sculptors. The 
artists were always glad to see me, and it is a temptation 
to give here my experiences with them, together with some 
references to their works, but I shall not, 

At this period it was a source of much concern to 
Lide—the tendencies of our daughter to Romanism. I 
had watched her closely at Rome, and I could discover no 
religious predominance. It was a subject of earnest con- 
versation between Lide and me on the evening of January 
8th, and the issue of it was, that the next day I started 
for London with the child to place her at some Protestant 
school. I felt that this course was the best, not only for 
the child, but to remove a source of irritation to the 

We reached London on the 12th, and I arranged to 
place Lala at Cheltenham, under the tuition of -a lady 
Aunt Sarah had known many years. 

I left London on the evening of the 17th, and reached 
Paris the next morning, The same day I started for Rome 
by the Mount Cenis route, passed through Turin and 
Florence, and at breakfast time the 21st was in reach of 
the dear arms. 

The weather I found at Rome would have done Boston 
credit in the same season. Ice formed several inches 
thick, and so intense was the cold that two sentinels froze 
to death at their posts. It shut Lide up in the house, and 
caused her much pain in the breast and difficulty of 

376 My WIFE AND J. 

respiration. I determined then to get her away as soon as 
fair weather-should come. It seemed as if everything con- 
spired to crush her. 

One night at the “Club” I found several numbers of 
the ‘Atlantic Monthly,’ which contained articles on con- 
sumption, by Doctor Bigelow or Bowditch, I have forgotten 
which, of Boston. I remembered they stated that, if pos- 
sible, no one should sleep with the patient because there 
were well authenticated instances of healthy persons respir- 
ing the disease. I was surprised a day or two afterwards 
when Lide asked me to occupy the room adjoining hers, 
making some excuse I thought very unsatisfactory. I 
obeyed, and yet it made me unhappy, but I said nothing. 
One day, however, after having brooded over my dis- 
missal with much discontent, and perhaps a little—just a 
little—anger, I accused her, half in jealous earnest and 
half in confiding jest of not caring for me, and not need- 
ing me in her sickness as in health. Then I discovered 
the truth, and that I had another instance of her sublime 
heroism and self-denial. I found, that in her anxiety for 
my health she was really losing her own, for the contest be- 
tween duty and her desire to have me with her, especially 
at night, made her absolutely sick. I doubt if any person 
ever lived of higher principle and courage. | 

The Carnival came with its fun and freedom. We took 
a balcony on the Corso just opposite that of the dethroned 
King of Naples, and we laid ina liberal stock of don-dons, 
flowers, and confetti, The frolicking was among the for- 
eigners, the dourgeoisie, and confadini, and they rained pel- 
lets all the day. ‘The Roman nobles, as a class, came not, 
and old stagers declared that the whole thing was a fasco. 
I think it was; and the races, which each day preceded 
the Ave Maria and terminated the diurnal sport, were very 
tame. The closing night—the eve of Ash Wednesday— 


the people bearing moccoleft, or lighted tapers; the crowded 
Corso; the maskers, and Punchinello, was the most pleas- 
ant of all. Lide came, too. A guard of honor, consisting 
of General Tyler, Ben, I, and our courier bore her through 
the crowd, going and returning. One half day she spent 
there satisfied all her appetite for the Carnival. Eight days 
of such riot were rather too much for me even, and | got 
tired of it. 

The weather a little later was so unpleasant as to com- 
pletely lock Lide within doors, and she was more ill than 
she had been since she came abroad. Indeed I became 
alarmed and feared she would never reach home again. 
I resolved, under Dr. Valery’s advice, to go to Naples. 
The month of March in Rome brings the “-amontana-—a 
wind a consumptive patient can not endure—and it ex- 
cluded Lide from her usual drives on the Campagna. She 
had seen the marbles of the Vatican, the s/anze of Raphael, 
the tapestries; and I carried her, with the aid of a soldier, 
to the Pimacotheca, or gallery of pictures. ‘There are but 
forty or fifty paintings there, but they constitute the art 
treasures of the world far excellence. ‘There are the ‘“'Trans- 
figuration,” ‘Madonna da Foligno,” the ‘‘Communion of 
St. Jerome,” the ‘Prodigal Son,” and ‘Marriage of St. 
Catherine,’ by Murillo; Guido’s “Crucifixion of St. Peter,” 
and Titian’s “Virgin and Child.” These paintings com- 
prehend almost all that is possible in art, and one can 
not describe them. A description of the ‘“ Transfigura- 
tion” alone—the last work of Raphael, and admitted to 
be the “first oil painting in the world’”—I would scarcely 
attempt, here, at least. I mention these works only be- 
cause Lide saw them, and to say that her fine taste and 

intuitive love of beauty enabled her to feel and appreciate 

Buti the “ Laocoon,” | 
“Antinous,” and the head of the young “Angin! 
favorites in the Vatican. 



“Thy injuries would teach patience to blaspheme, 
Yet still thou art a dove.” 

On the twenty-sixth of February I passed the whole day 
in bidding adieu to St. Peter’s and to the treasures of the 
Vatican. I could not then count one day ahead-—for I 
was Lide’s; hers absolutely, to go where she said; to find 
for her the warm sunshine—some place-—any place where 
she could have even the promise of a little shelter from 
the cold and cruel winds. 

Ben and General Tyler made up an excursion through 
Spain, and we all arranged to meet in Paris. They started 
on their trip, and the twenty-seventh of February my party , 
including Mrs. Maxwell and Ella, left by rail for Naples. 
Through the kindness of Mr. Furze, an English banker at 
Rome, we had every comfort possible on that journey— 
he accompanying us. 

It was an exquisite day, when great coats were unneces- 
sary, not unlike the softest of the winter days of California. 
Our kind friend procured us a compartment to ourselves 
into which no way passenger was permitted to obtrude—a 
convenience a habitual traveler will appreciate. To this 
time do I remember the rugged heights of the Volscian 
Hills; the snowy crests of the Appenines; the villages lying 
along the spurs of the mountains; the medieval towers and 


380 My Wire anpD J. 

fortresses, and the sparkling meadows of the Campania 
Felice. Our whole route touched spots of which we knew 
by the dim light of Fable; that were populous ere His- 
tory came with her stylus and wax. We reached Naples 
after dark, and as we passed from the depot and pursued 
the street bordering the Bay, I saw Vesuvius, and the moon 
hanging above—all the mountain embraced by a silver 
mist which imparted to it an enchantment, as alluring as 
strange. And when we reached the hotel, from the window 
of our room I could see, with a feeling of pleasure, the 
quivering path of the moon lying along the waters of the 
Bay, and seaward, the purple piles of Ischia and Capri. 
The next day it rained and stormed without intermis- 
sion, and all of us were prisoners. We had a fire to 
banish the humidity from our room for poor dear Lide’s 
sake, who drooped and saddened under the sombre aspect 
of the sky. ‘The second day, too, the rain went on, and 
as all the party were ferxforce compelled to remain within 
doors, I started alone for the Museum. I passed with 
heeding eye all the treasures of the antique mosaic epitaphs 
and frescoes—some of the last being as fresh as if they 
had just received the last touches of the pencil of the 
artist; and in which there is an indescribable combination 
of the worst and best elements of beauty and sensuality. 
Some of the sculpture is exquisite, and all historically val- 
uable, both as denoting the eras of art, and its incidental 
insight into the taste and esthetic genius of Greek and 
Roman; and giving to us an approximate resemblance of 
the men of the old times. That collection embraces the 

. whole range of Roman archeology. It is, in marble, in- 

ferior to that in the Vatican; but as representing the every 
lay and household life of the period when our Saviour 
appeared, there is nothing like it in the world. 

Of course I can not name the wonderful classical remains 


to be found in the Museum—they alone would fill a vol- 
ume. But I can say that in both marble and distemper 
work, in their grace and mythology one recognizes the 
Greek model and execution. It is astonishing how clearly 
are seen in the Roman art the delicate feeling and refine- 
ment of the Athenian genius and chisel, which adorned 
Rome after the destruction of Grecian liberty. Wherever 
are seen ideal beauty and exquisite manipulation on the 
Latin soil, be sure they came from the genius and _ skill 
which have made the Greek design the most beautiful and 
poetic in the whole range of art. Even in the exquisite 
bronzes at the Museum; the lamps, wine pitchers, and 
rhyira, or drinking cups, the matchless beauty of the 
Athenian taste expresses itself with a grace that our modern 
art endeavors in vain to imitate. In the Fictile arts, as 
shown by the vases at the Museum, there is the same 
wonderful superiority. 

During all the first days of our stay at Naples it rained 
almost constantly, and when it didn’t rain, we had the 
mistral, cold and raw. It seemed as if, as Lide said, she 
was pursued by an adverse fate that was bent on her 
destruction. She left the hotel but thrice while she was 
there. Ben had promised to advise me of the temperature 
of Florence, and when he did so, I was compelled to aban- 
don the idea of our going there. I sought intelligence 
from Sicily, and unremitting rains were reported over the 
whole island. I determined to wait at Naples, daily in the 
hope of having the fair and sunny weather promised by 
our Neapolitan friends. Mrs. Maxwell, Ella, Mr. Furze 
and I went to Vesuvius. Mrs. Maxwell remained at the 
Hermitage, while we three and some others attempted th 3 
ascent to the crater. I alone reached it, and as we turne 
to go back we were drenched to the skin by a rain that 
did not pause for a moment up to the hour of reaching — 

382 My Wire anv J], 

Naples—well into the night. I found Lide in a terrible 
condition of excitement, caused by our non-appearance up 
to a late hour—fearing that something had happened to me. 

On the eighth of March I started with Lide and the 
Maxwells for Pompeii. We were to meet Longfellow at 
the railroad station, with whom we were going, and in 
whose honor some new excavations were promised. The 
morning was so raw and cold that I had to bring Lide 
back, most reluctantly. I had been there on the fourth of 
that month—had gone there by rail. How strange that 
mode of transit to the “dead City!” When I entered 
Rome, as I have already said, by the same mode of travel, 
and in the clear starlight saw the arches of the old aque- 
ducts, I could not divest myself of a feeling of pain that I 
should approach the mistress city of the Roman world in 
a way so opposite to the spirit and history of her civiliza- 
tion. The same feelings and thoughts came to me as | 

entered the station near the water-gate of Pompei. 

It was a sharp cold day as I walked through the “Street 
of the Tombs,” and I wondered under what spell was the 
* fair Parthenope who hung her ears with icicles instead of 
the crimson tubes of the fuschia blossom. 1 wandered 
through the whole city and listened to all the czcerone told 
us, and was subdued to quiet as I regarded the strange 
evidences of the daily life and habits, so multiplied and 
abundant, of a people, dead, as they say, except in history 
and art. You see skeletons so filled with calcareous de- 
posits as really to seem sculpture. I have seen statues that 
had a ghastlier look than these poor bones of eighteen 
centuries ago, Those I saw were females—with hands and 
feet of rare size and symmetry. Those poor remains of a 
period long gone, which had been endowed with life, emo- 
tion, and thought; which, too, came down from an epoch 
rich in heroism and intelligence; and which, when ani- 


mated, succumbed to a catastrophe so stupendous as to fill 
us with wonder as we think of it—those sad receptacles of 
a once earth-dwelling spiritual principle filled me with a 
graver interest than anything I saw at Pompeii. 

In a few hours I walked over the grave of a whole city, 
and swept by and through places where life was active and 
passionate long before our faith was born. In many of the 
houses you see frescoes; the most beautiful is that which 
portrays the fate of Acteon, in the house of Sallust—having 
the distinctions of good distemper, richness of coloring, 
perspective, good drawing and grouping. In the ‘“ House 
of the Mosaics’ was found the battle of Granicus, the 
finest specimen of that art in the world. 

How can one compass in these few lines the description 
of the aggregate life and things of a whole city! I wan- 
dered in the Forum, the temples, theatres, dwelling-houses 
and shops, with feelings of surprise and sadness. I traced 
the footsteps of a race gone from the earth, and I saw a 
city abandoned while in full activity, and the skeletons of 
some of its inhabitants, overwhelmed while attempting to 
escape from a calamity, terrible in its suddenness ands 
fatality. I saw the innermost life of a luxurious but de- 
praved people. ‘These things I saw with astonishment. and 
interest, and nothing in my experience left with me such 
lessons, and touched and humanized me as did the dead 
city of Pompeii. ‘ 

I passed from the place by the “Street of the Tombs,” 
Between the villa of Diomedes and the City Gate, are 
many monuments and columbaria—some of which must 
have been rich in decoration and marbles. ‘They contain 
epitaphs written hundreds of years ago—the old history of 
pride, and, so far as I could translate them, expressing 
nothing of hope. Perhaps the birds and flowers one some- 
times sees painted* in these tombs may have been intended 

384 My WIFE AND J]. 

to typify the doctrine of immortality. It is sad to think 
that there is any person who shuts his heart against a con- 
solation so blessed—especially when borne down by sorrow 
or misfortune. I saw one tomb which, among other re/ze/s, 
bore an allegory of Life and Death in representing a ship 
entering port. ‘There were boys on the yard, furling the 
sail; while a man sits at the helm, guiding the vessel into 
harbor. The design and execution are in good taste, and | 
for the sake of my kind I will believe that Munatius 
Faustus, who was interred there, had an aspiration for, and 
a faith in, a happier and better world than this. 

I made a trip also to Baiz, and all the interesting places 
lving between there and Naples—the Grotto, Virgil’s tomb, 
Pozzuoli, Avernus, the Amphitheatre, indeed every spot as 
far as Misenum. 

Mrs. Maxwell and Ella left us and went to Rome— 
leaving early, for the purpose of securing rooms before 
the influx of visitors at the Easter season. Lide and I 
still hoped to see, on the coming of each day, bright 
weather. We had been there more than two weeks and 
‘had not seen the sunshine but once. She had left the 
house but three times-—once for a short drive on the 
Chiaia, which included a visit to Labriola’s to purchase 
some tortoise-shell work, and to a coral seller; when she 
turned back from the Pompeii trip, and one night to San 
Carlo. The cold and raw weather was more prolonged 
and disagreeable than I had ever seen it in my life, and its 
effect on Lide was alarming. I had never seen her so 
prostrated, and, in a certain way, so unhappy and hope- 
less. I rarely left her a half hour at any one time after 
the departure of Mrs. Maxwell. She was so weak as 
scarcely to be able to walk from her chamber to her 
parlor adjoining; and to add to her discomfort, the west - 
wind was so violent as to sometimes prevent me from 



having a fire made. I was embarrassed what to do, and 
she saw how unhappy and. distracted I was. She would 
then sit at my side; hold my hand in the old tender way, 
stroke and pat my face; would lean her pale cheek 
against my breast, and persuade and strengthen me for 
what was to come, with a love and compassionate gentle- 
-ness indescribably affecting. 

And almost every evening, as the sky grayed and the 
twilight came up from the distant depths of the sea, she 
and I would sit at the window, looking along the western 
sky for the little cottage buried in leaves and_ blossoms, 
far, far away, neither speaking a word, hands clasped and 
gaze fixed on the mists that gathered ovur the spot where 
our home should be. And then, as the twilight stole into 
our room, and the sea slipped into the darkness, and all 
the exterior world was shut out from us, she would creep 
near me, and nearer, until her cheek touched my own, and 
then she would sob as only a great heart can sob in 
thinking of dying so far from home. She then thought 
she never would see San Francisco again, as she subse- 
quently told me, and I must confess, at times, I thought 
she would not live to reach Rome even, where I had 
determined to go. 

I telegraphed and wrote to my old hotel for rooms— 
there were none to be had. The Grande Duchesse of 
Russia had those I formerly occupied, and nowhere in 
Rome could I get sunny and convenient ones. I ad- 
dressed a strong appeal to the proprietor of /Zotel de Russie, 
per post, and on the seventeenth of March we started. 1 
carried her in my arms, as I always did, to the car, the 
rain pouring in torrents—Matthews, the American Consul, 
who had been very kind, aiding me ina dozen little mat- 
ters. Lide was so ill and nervous and weak, that really I 
thought she would die in my arms, There happened to 


386 My Wire aNnp ], 

be two others in our compartment—an American and _ his 
wife—and they were very kind. That whole scene—my 
darling’s pale—deathly pale face; my difficulty in getting a 
compartment—carrying her from one end of the train to 
the other—would have, at home, touched everybody and 
opened every door to me; but in Naples, not a single soul 
proffered the slightest aid, not a single seat was offered. 
When I reached Rome I found the porter of the Hotel de 
Russie waiting for me with a delightful easy-cushioned car- 
riage, and when we arrived at the hotel, Lide’s room had 
a cheerful fire burning in the grate, and the table held 
the sweet fresh flowers she loved so much. 

When I awoke the next day I saw the sun quivering 
along the Pincian heights, and the blue sky, that every one 
recollects who has seen it, and which we all wish we could 
carry everywhere with us. When my wife’s maid came 
and told me she was awake, I ran to her with the glad 
news, and to get the usual morning kiss. During all my 
married life I never left or came to her, without that little 

She begun to mend at once, and little by little we re- 
sumed our rides in the environs of Rome. I hired a car- 
riage by the month, and every day she and I rode from 
about 11 o’clock until 3 p.m. But the weather was far 
from being pleasant; it was cold and harsh, and snow coy- 
ered all the Sabine hills; and when we went out of doors 
the raw touch of the air brought her much suffering, 
Almost every week, over her left lung, was placed a blister; 
and rarely was she free from the cruel devices of therapy. 
Independent of that external torture and the unrest it 
brought, her cough robbed her of sleep through all the 
night until the dawn, when she slept from sheer exhaus- 
tion. But never have I heard her utter any complaint; 
she bore all with fortitude, always kept her sweet smile 


and tranquil equanimity of temper. Nothing of pain and 
suffering brought tears to her cheeks; they came some- 
times—alas, with what frequency!—when she looked at 
me, and then—for I knew so well all the changes on 
her face, the drifts and overflow of her big heart—-I would 
lay my head on her lap, and, as was her wont, her soft 
fingers wandered over all my cheeks in caressing, pitying 
touches. Yes, there was one other sight which bowed her 
head low and sent it in tears to my bosom—the westering 
‘sun falling below the hills, and, to her fancy, lying in 
golden splendor along the paths and upon the roof of her 
dear home, far, far away. 

She had from that day forward but one hope -and 
thought and prayer—to go back to that home and to her 
children; to go back, and, since God willed it, there to die. 

No one can express the moral beauty of her life— 
especially of that portion of it from the period of her de- 
parture from San Francisco to her return there. Her mind 
and heart were unassailable by disease—indeed it but 
developed their strength, and, I must say, their supernatural 
excellence. And through all her sickness and its attendant 
suffering, she preserved a more calm and equable disposi- 
tion than at any other period of her life. Dr. Vallery told 
me he had never seen her equal; and he expressed sur- 
prise to find her so versed in the science and practice of 
his profession. ‘‘She has described her case to me,” he 
said, “with the accuracy and learning of a physician; and 
from her statement and diagnosis I could prescribe for her 
in my office without seeing her.” He became much at- 
tached to her; said he had rarely seen any one whom he 
admired more. : 

The Easter season came, when Rome is most attractive. 
The religious ceremonies touch all, especially as their chief 
element is music. On the eve of Holy Thursday I heard 

388 My WirE AND re 

the denebre or nocturns at the Sixtine Chapel—the Pope 
being present. Many persons had gone as early as II 
A.M. that day to secure seats, although the ceremony did 
not commence until 6 p.m. We had tickets for the pri- 
vate entrance, and were attended by one of the Garde 
Nobile. Yrom my standpoint I could see and hear all. 

On the altar wall’ is painted in fresco the celebrated 
“Last Judgment” of Michael Angelo—a wonderful per- 
formance, and seen under all the influences of the singing 
of the Adserere, it had a singularly impressive effect on 
me. ‘The scenic effects add novelty to the solemnity of 
the occasion. The candles are one by one extinguished at 
certain stages of the singing, and one can easily imagine 
the impression produced by the plaintive Lamentation in 
piano, as the twilight deepens and strange shadows wander 
and creep over the startling figures of the condemned in 
the fresco alluded to. As the last words of the denedicfus 
were sung the single remaining light was removed—sym- 
bolical of the darkness that covered the world when our 
Saviour expired. At that moment the hush and silence 
fell upon the heart and sense with a feeling of pain almost, 
and from out the profound stillness came the wailing voice 
of the JZserere, now expressive of repentance and humility 
and devotion, and then swelling up to the pictured roof 
in joyous strains of hope. Perhaps one never felt the full 
power of sacred music except under the circumstances here 
outlined. Its varied tones, so expressive of the sentiment 
that possesses a Christian at that season, blending with 
the sad and mystic twilight, seem to the excited imagina- 
tion as wafted to you from another world. The JZserere 
as I heard it on that occasion, and on Good Friday at 
vespers, was so affecting as to remain vivid in my recol- 
lection to-day. 

But Easter Sunday in St. Peter’s is the grandest of all 


in music, for then its burden is praise; it celebrates the 
resurrection—it is an anthem breaking out in joy at the 
redemption, and in a temple that ‘“standest alone,’ with 
nothing like it in the world. And when after the motet 
of Christus Resurgens, and Simonelli’s exquisite music of 
the Seguence, and the Sancf/us are sung, elevating the mind 
and impressing it to a degree inexpressibly solemn, there 
ensues a silence—a repose and preparation, as it were— 
and then bursts upon you from the dome the blare of 
silver trumpets softened by the distance, that, in spite of 
yourself, sends you to your knees in awe and emotion. 

And after that service the Pope appears on. the balcony 
of St. Peter’s, and stretching his hands over the multitude 
that fills all the square, pronounces the celebrated triple 
blessing—his voice clear and far-reaching throughout, and 
as his hands descend and are folded over his breast the 
military bands burst out in merry strains, the bells. ring 
glad peals, and a salvo of artillery picks up the glad chorus 
and scatters it abroad over the wide Campagna. The 
amen was scarcely chanted the fourth time ere heavy 
clouds sailed in sullen majesty over the scene, and _ blessed 
the earth with needed showers. ‘The illumination of St. 
Peter’s, which always comes off on Easter night when the 
weather permits, was postponed to April roth. 

Holy Week was full of touching grandeur, but it had 
its grotesque aspects that rather pained me than amused. 
I saw all, and under most favorable conditions; for Mr. 
Furze’s influence admitted us everywhere. [rom the bless- 
ing of the Palms to the Benediction, I was present; indeed 
at every place and ceremony during all that interesting 
season. I have forgotten whether it was on Easter Sunday 
at vespers, or at some previous period, that Lide and all 
of us went to St. John of Lateran to hear an antiphonal 
setvice. I do remember though the Pope was present, that 

390 My WIFE AND ]. 

the occasion was a marked one, the church crowded, and 
the music grand. It was heard during the twilight, when 
the touching mystery of darkness crept among the arches, 
adding a profounder effect to the outstretched, agonized 
figure of Christ, and the massive statuary of the Apostles 
in the nave. Lide and I sat apart, between the columns 
bordering the further aisle, where the music came to us 
sifted and subdued by the distance. She enjoyed it; and 
her eminent taste and knowledge of music enabled her to 
find harmonies that do not often reach the uneducated ear. 

But now came the season of bright long days that held 
no acerbity and sharpness to wound the dear life I bore 
in long rides over the Campagna. And those rambles 
along the Tiber; out on the Appian Way, past broken 
tombs-to the Baths of Caracalla; or crossing over near the 
grand aqueducts that lend to the scene such picturesque 
and vivid effects; beyond, the broken mountains chequered 
with green and golden patches lying along the purple 
slopes, and cityward, domes and steeples and pillars stand- 
ing clear against the opaline sky—those sights and excur- 
sions can never be forgotten. Every day or two we tray- 
ersed all the carriage-ways of the Borghese Villa; but 
generally they were too crowded for us—for there, and in 
the gardens of the Pincian Hill, all the world collects on 
the bright spring days, and we preferred the quiet, secluded 
roads, where nothing came between us and the striking 
features of the landscape. Her favorite ride on Mondays 
and Fridays, when the days were fair, was to the Villa Pam- 
phili-Doria, the grounds of which are some four miles in 
circuit. There she saw exquisite prospects; and as you go 
to the lake, on the right, is a broad field full of umbel- 
lated pines—the finest I saw in Europe—and_ beneath 
them, in the broad spaces between, during all that month, 
were wild flowers—the same species she had gathered so 


often about her little home at Menlo Park. She would 
halt the carriage, I would help her out of it and steady 
her step until she reached the richest clusters, and then 
she sunk beside them—too often gathering them in tears. 

And those rides among the stained ruins, by the broken 
marbles of tombs and in sight of the wide prairie land of 
the Campagna, broken by the long lines of aqueducts— 
they were saddened and spiritualized by the teaching of a 

** All dipt 
In angel instincts, breathing Paradise;” 

who prepared the husband of her heart for the grief and 
loneliness of the night of absence about to fall upon him. 
She knew that there never would be any new tie for him, 
and that in her home, before her picture, for all the future 
days, his love would carry and keep fresh the precious 
momorial of flowers. And then, and always, he saw, and 
he sees clearer to-day, that dear finger pointing upwards, 
and in her faith and love he “beholds a ladder set up on 
the earth, and the top of it reaches to heaven, and he 
beholds the angels ascending and descending on it.” 

I can not of course even name all the places and objects 
that attracted her. She had a rare eye and a keen judg- 
ment for all that was beautiful in nature and art; and so 
one can imagine how interested she was in the pictures 
contained in the churches and galleries. It is hard to say 
what works of art made the deepest impression on her at 
Rome; but perhaps Shelley’s ‘“‘Cenci,” and all the horror 
and sadness connected with her, made the “Beatrice” of 
Guido one of the most attractive and fascinating. ‘The 
story says that it was taken the night before her execution, 
and that plausible fact invests it with an extraordinary 
interest. The portraiture is so refined, there is such deli- 

392 My WIFE AND J. 

cacy running through all the features—such a pathetic ex- 
pression of tenderness and innocence, such testimony of the ~ 
grief that comes in thinking that she is 

‘*To see no more sweet sunshine; hear no more 

Blithe voice of living thing; muse not again 
Upon familiar thoughts:” 

These and the qualities of power and gentleness that 
struggle through her melancholy face, unite in making it 
a notable painting, and one never to be forgotten. Side 
by side with that, developing much of the same ideal 
mournfulness of subject and €xecution, I will name the 
“Dying Gladiator’ as her next favorite. I may be wrong 
in calling these two her chief favorites; but I am’not so 
when I say, that they touched her more than anything she 
saw after she turned from Muller’s ‘Call of the Con- 
_ If these pages had not gone beyond the number I had 
originally fixed as my limit, I would gladly take my chil- 
dren by the hand and lead them through all the galleries 
she and I visited together. It was a profoundly affecting 
sight to see her among the paintings and statuary—the 
rich and glowing forms that the artist’s mind had con- 
ceived and modelled in wondrous grace. And she, fair as 
any, though pallid and weak, groping from one master- 
piece to another—at one moment her face flushed with 
the passing excitement of pleasure, and then again touched 
with that expression of sadness, resignation, goodness, and 
beauty we all remember with sueh pensive gratification,— 
all crowned with a nameless intellectual beauty—she, I 
say, attracted many a glance of admiring sympathy, and 
called many a look from the mimic life of the artist to 
the sweet chrysalis of herself, from which God was so 
gently unfolding an angel. 

In our rides by the Tiber, as we passed into the ripa- 


rian road leading to the J/armorata, she always stopped 
to see the spot of the Pons Sudlicius, the oldest of all the 
Roman bridges. At low water can be seen the founda- 
tions placed there one hundred and fourteen years after 
the building of the city. There, tradition—history says, 
that Horatius Cocles beat back the hosts of Porsena until 
the Romans had destroyed the bridge behind him.  Lide 
knew the story from Macaulay especially. She could half 
repeat the lay, and in dragging up a verse here and there 
her eyes would flash with emotion, and her lips tremble 
with admiring speech. Strange, strange, how the record 
of that gallant deed has lived through all the ages; and 
that it should have survived, in such freshness as, two 
thousand years later, to live in heroic life on the lips of 
a sick girl, from a land then unknown. Now, as of erst, 

‘With weeping. and with laughter 
Still is the story told, 

How well Horatius kept the bridge 
In the brave days of old.” 

I shall tell but littke more of that, with all its draw- 
backs and disappointments, half happy life at Rome. At 
the time of which I write, the throngs of pleasure-seekers 
had gone; the streets were comparatively bare of yellow 
umbrellas and cuwrzo hunters, and ample range the loiterer 
found in va and hotel. Lothair lingered—who could be 
seen, almost any day, caressed by cardinal and monseig- 
neur; and we lagged still in the now glorious sunshine, 
having half Rome to ourselves—galleries, Coliseum and 
all. From the steps leading up to La Trinita de Monte, 
the models from Albano, in their picturesque costumes, 
had gone; and the artists were preparing sketch books, 
pencils and pigments for the summer tramps among the 
hills. Lide and I were out every day, for the air was full 


394 My WIFE AND J], 

of the soft whispers of spring, and the calyces of flowers 
were as thuribles, giving out sweet incense when swung 
by the soft touch of the evening breeze. 

On the 1oth of April the air was warm, and at sunset 
all of us—the dear wife, too—started for the Piazza of St. 
Peter's, to see the annual illumination. One, to appreciate 
that sight, must be able to comprehend /agade and dome. 
The former is three hundred and seventy-nine feet long, 
and one hundred and forty-nine high. The cross on 
latter is four hundred and_ forty-eight feet above the 
pavement. Running up all the columns, hanging to the 
cornices and friezes, clinging to the giddy bands of the 
dome, and mounting to the very head of the cross, were 
thousands of lamps. At dusk the lighting commences, 
and ere the darknees fails over the city the entire fabric 
is one glowing mass of silver light. As the clock of St. 
Peter’s begins to sound eight, the silver brightness gives 
way to gold, and ere the clock has finished, the change 
is completed, and Herostratus has fired the temple. In 
eight seconds, 6,800 lamps have been lit, and over all the 
Campagna St. Peter’s sways and quivers—a mountain of 
fire. | 

We drove to the Pincian heights, a mile away, to see 

the exquisite effects conferred by distance. ‘The sparkling 
coruscations touched the clouds, and the fiery curves of 
the transfigured dome seemed like the swaying of an im- 
mense balloon ready for a flight among the siars. 
. After I had taken Lide to the hotel, put her to bed, 
tucked her in, I went back to the hills, bearing her good 
night kiss; and, sitting upon the parapet wall, remained to 
look until all the lights had dropped off, one by one, and 
St. Peter’s was swallowed up in the darkness. 

The succeeding evening, we had the gvrandola, or fire- 
works, over against the Janiculum. Our friend, Mr. Furze, 


secured for Lide and me most excellent seats in the box 
assigned to the Senators. It was in a barrack, and we 
were well up, and I carried her always, gladly carried 
her, and was jealous of the paid porters I employed when 
she thought I was tired, or the burden too much for me, 

The gzrandola excelled any such exhibition I ever saw, 
and far exceeded my anticipation. If you could have 
taken St. Peter's the night before, disintegrated the burn- 
ing mass, projected it on high, letting it fall back in 
showers, running streams and golden cascades—in a word, 
if you could have blown up the whole burning fabric and 
fashioned the fragments to strange device, mottoes, shapes 
and forms of tree and plant and heraldic conceits, you 
would then have the Papal fire-works of April rith, 1869. 

The next night all Rome was illuminaied, and Lide 
stood the fatigue of driving from street to street to see it, 
for four hours. | 

The days until the 15th were sad, painful days of leave- 
taking;— wandering over all the promenades ; ovt on the 
Campagna; under the arches of the aqueducts; along the 
Appian Way and the broken tombs; pulling clover blcs- 
soms from the graves of Shelley and Keats, and gathering 
buds and petals from the crevices of the Coliseum. On 
that last day, Lide and I alone went to St. Peter’s, and I 
bore her through the chapels, the transept, the tribune, 
and around to the tomb of the Stuarts, where she always 
went when she visited that temple. It is a mausoleum, 
and at the entrance are two gen by Canova—in marble ; 
full length figures, holding inverted torches, and heads 
drooped in sadness. They always touched her—for they 
too truly typified the consummation of her fatal disease, 
and the image of one who must, through all his years, 
lean upon the extinguished torch and with face falling over 
his empty bosom. 

396 My WIFE AND J. 

And that night, too, obeying the pretty superstition that 
if, on the eve of a departure, you drink of the waters of 
Trevi you will be sure to come back, we went there, 
touched the stream with our lips, and wished our return. 
Alas, alas, who would have supposed, that ere a year would 
circle, two of the party would have left empty chairs at the 
hearth! My wife and Ella, before the month came again, 
had gone to 

‘**The life where death is not.” 


*“ These are a series of faint reflections—mere shadows in the water—of 
places to which the imagination of most people are attracted in a greater or 
less degree, and which have some interest for all.” 

At 8 p. m., April 15th, the Maxwells, Lide, her maid 
and I, left Rome for Florence, at which place we arrived 
at 9 A.M. the next day, in the midst of a heavy rain, 
The place was very crowded, and we were compelled to 
take to a Pension, which had very comforiable rooms. I 
always took the precaution to engage quariers per tele- 

We had no clear weather of more than a few hours 
continuance until four days after we had been there. Lide 
seemed to carry with her a cold and rainy temperature. 
She and Ella were both too unwell to move about during 
the first few days of our stay. I passed a portion of each 
day, during that wet time, in rambling about the city. 
The whole of the 17th I spent in the streets, wandering 
along the Lung’ Arno, watching the river breaking over 
the bars of golden sand—through the Cascime, and under 
the arborous trees, dripping with the recent rains—cheered 
and delighted by the beauty of the surrounding land- 

I spent four days in the galleries of the Uffizi and the 
Pitti Palace, and one in the Accademia delle Belle Art. 
Lide had her days, too, at the two first, and they were of 


398 My WIFE AND f, 

intense fatigue and yet pleasure. We went first to the 
Pitti collection, and she roamed through all the halls, 
pausing long before the celebrated ‘“‘ Madonna della Seg- 
gia” of Raphael, the softest and most beautiful of all his 
Madonnas, and in the expression of pure womanliness the 
first painting in the world. ‘There was another, the “Three 
Fates,” of Michael Angelo, that strangely fascinated her, and 
it is, in Composition and expression, one of the most won- 
derful paintings I ever saw. It merely represents Clotho 
with the distaff, Lachesis spanning each portion of the 
thread of existence, and Atropos cutting it off. The faces 
are full of all the sorcery and repulsiveness we associate 
with these daughters of Necessity, as Plato calls them; and — 
amid all the treasures of that gallery I cannot recall a sin- 
gle picture that attracts you as that does. 

She was also touched by the delicious tenderness of seve- 
ral altar-pieces by Fra. Angelico da Fiesole. The ground 
of gold he generally used, seems to set off and impart an 
inexpressible refinement to the figures of the Madonna and 
angels. ‘There are about five hundred paintings in the 
Pitti collection, many of them wonders. She paused before 
them all, and then I bore her through the long corridors, 
filled with tapestry, cinerary urns and Etruscan remains, to 
the Uffizi gallery. It was a long tramp, more than seven 
hundred yards, and far beyond her strength. She thought 
she was equal to it, and I was heedless enough to encour- 
age her to the essay. It was done tentatively; rather to 
measure her strength than even to see the collections lying 
along the route. It made her quite sick, and the difficulty 
of respiration it brought on alarmed me. 

She came another day to the Uffizi, and I got her ad-’ 
mission to the Gem Room, where are seen some exquisite 
intaglios and antique gems. Of these latter there are some 

four thousand. 


The Hall of Portraits of Painters, most of them auto- 
graphs, charmed her greatly, perhaps more than anything 
in the collection. ‘That of Raphael, at the age of twenty- 
three—remarkable for the beauty of the head—gave her 
much pleasure. But the crowning glories of the collection 
are contained in the Tribune-—several Raphael’s, an easel 
picture of the Virgin by Angelo, and Titian’s Venus—the 
latter in flesh coloring, is simply perfect. There, too, she 
sat long, looking at the exquisite proportions of the cele- 
brated Venus de Mediwi—regarded as “an example of per- 
fect art’; the Venus Azadcyomena and the L’Arretino—or 
slave wheiting his knife—a statue of a high order of merit. 

Michael Angelo was Lide’s favorite—perhaps because of 
his extraordinary versatility of talent—for he was a poet, 
musician, engineer and architect, as well as painter and 
sculptor. Raphael thanked God that he was born in the 
time of Angelo, and perhaps there never lived a man fur- 
ther removed from debasing passions, a man of greater 
“grandeur of spirit,” than that Tuscan artist. When I was 
in Rome, a native painter of some distinction died, and he 
was buried with great pomp. Buchanan Read told me 
that while he stood waiting for the funeral cortege to pass, 
an Italian came near him and asked anoiher what pageant 

itewas';, what great man was dead. “Is he a Prince?”’ 
asked he. ‘No, no,” replied the other; “it is greater than 
a Prince—it is a Pormsr.”’ In recalling that incident, and 

reviewing the chief everts and triumphs of Michael Ange- 
lo’s life, I must confess, that in the rank of Princes I can- 
not recall one to be compared to him in genuine greatness 
of manhood. His monument is in St. Peter’s, and it will 
bear his name in renown and honor after Princedom is 
dead and forgotten. 
Filled with all this homage to the really greatest artist 
of the world, she asked me to take her to the Palaggo, 

400 My WIFE AND |], 

Buonarotti, where Michael Angelo lived. Palazzo it is in- 
deed, for our artist was of the family of the Counts of 

The house is in greater part arranged to-day as when 
the great artist lived there, and much of the furniture was 
used by him. Many of the adornments, too, some remains 
of antique sculpture, and cinerary urns, were his, conse- 
crated by his touch and taste. There are preserved, too, 
some of his original drawings, end in a small cabinec are 
seen his sword, walking sticks, his writing materials and his 
slippers. All of these memorials of his home-life and his 
professional thoughts and invention, were of exceeding in- 
terest to a person of Lide’s intelligence and taste. 

And that same day she and I made another visit to the 
Uffizi gallery, I carrying her up the painfully high stair- 
way which leads to it, She was comparatively fresh that 
afternoon, and having her chair and me, and moving from — 
point to point at her leisure, the visit was entertaining and 
satisfactory. She also visited Santa Croce, where 

** Repose 
Angelo’s, Alfieri’s bones, aid his 
The starry Galileo, with his woes.” 

The church is full of interest in its monuments, its orna- 
ments, and its paintings and frescoes. This is the first 
church which received the initials I. H.S. It was in 1437, 
and they were placed there by St. Bernardino. Strange to 
say these initials first appeared on playing cards. 

The celebrated Duomo we contented ourselves with see- 
ing from the streets near. It is larger than that of St. 
Peter’s, of which it was the model; but in grandeur and 
apparent proportions inferior to its great son at Rome. 
In the history of architecture the Duomo is of great interest, 
for it was commenced when the awakening of art brought 


about a greater reverence and love for the pure classic— 
although the building in question lies just between the 
ancient and pointed. Brunelleschi, who raised the dome 
in question, had studied at Rome and was imbued with 
a taste for the exquisite remains of the Greek school 
Too much importance cannot be given to architectural 
forms and expression, for in the structures of all ages the 
spirit and civilization of the time are unerringly displayed. 
Architecture is the great standard by which progress and 
refinement are measured, and if is the unerring symbol of 
the moral and intellectual life of a people. In Europe 
there are no representative things so interesting to our in- 
telligent traveler as private and public buildings, and both 
to Lide and me there was in them a higher and more 
instructive charm than in anything else. He who called 

architecture frozen music, was not far wrong in a poetic 
appreciation of that sublime art. In the churches of 
Europe, both design and decoration are the symbols of 
the mysteries and principles of religious faith. ‘They are 
the medals struck by each age—telling the glory of 
Christian inspiration and triumph. 

The remainder of our visit was spent in the open air— 
excursions to Galileo’s observatory, where the poor per- 
secuted astronomer searched the heavens and found the 
truth that Papal superstition denied. Milton visited him 
there when he was engaged in his Lunar observations— 
to whom he alludes in that splendid figure that refers to 
Satan’s shield: 

‘Hung o’er his shoulders like the moon, whose orb, 
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views 
At evening from the top of Fiesole.” 

Lide and I, too, on an exquisite day, when the shadows 

lay deep in the fissures and among the olive orchards of 

402 MY Wa AR 

the Appenines; and the villas rested softly on the sunny 
bosom of the vale of Arno—not unlike the figures that 
Cimabue painted upon a gold ground, such as one can see 
in Santa Maria Novella—passed through the Porta Romana 
and up the winding, road that led to the hill of Bedlos- 
guwardo, from whose crown one can see the valley, and all its 
glorious gradations of beauty. She and I left the carriage 
to wait for us, a few steps from the top, and I helped her 
weakness—gathered her in my arms, and seated her upon 
a parapet wall, where we passed a full hour in a conscious 
doze over the lovely scene. Vines, flecked with  star- 
shaped blossoms reached up to where we sat ; away down 
the hill-slope the young leaves of the grape crawled along 
the furrowed ground; then came the bosky vale, and the 
shining path of the Arno, looking like a silver warp run- 
ning through the embroidery of golden meadows and 
emerald lawns. 

The succeeding day was full of brightness, at least in 

the morning, and the Maxwells, Lide and I, went to Fiesole. 
The way winds up the hill, and reaching the road-sides 
are gardens full of trees and vines and flowering plants, 
and above the walls you see the neat imbricated roofs— 
while far away stretches the vale, running out of sight 
among the hills. From the carriage you see villas of ex- 
ceeding beauty, than which there is none more historical 
and picturesque than the villa Mozzi—where Catiline fled, 
and where Lorenzo di Medici lived. The intelligent 
reader can find an exquisite description of the view from 
this villa by turning to page 107, of vol. 1, of Hallam’s 
“Literature of Europe,” where he speaks of Lorenzo di 
Medici’s influence over the literature of that period. 
Fiesole lies a thousand feet above Florence, and one can 
well imagine the grandeur of the view from it. If I had 
not been so generous as to refer to Hallam’s fine portrayal 


of the scene from those heights, |. would now give my 
own impressions, and my recollections of one of the most 
notable landscapes in Europe. It was Sunday when we 
were there, and the peasantry, in their holiday suits, filled 
the roads and streets, and really I do not know which 
stared the hardest—we or they. Ella, her mother, and I, 
left Lide among the gapers, and we wandered to the op- 
posite hill-slope to see the Etruscan remains, and the 
dripping concave of a Roman arch. 

Our ride back to Florence was just under the fringe of 
a heavy rain-cloud, and at times a flurry sent a dash of 
rain at us—but its spite did not reach the trembling 
weakling—for we walled her in with ourselves and shawls. 

I must leave much of my visitings in and about the 
environs of Florence unsaid. I desire to speak now of 
places Lide visited—omitting all reference to my own ex- 
cursions as unimportant. She and I spent a half day at 
the church of Miniato—the drive to which was exquisite, 
and the church itself is notable, not only in its construc- 
tion acording to classic simplicity, but for its mosaics. It 
is now a cemetery, and the absence of care and precaution 
makes it at times a most revolting place to go to. 

We finished Florence by a visit to Power's studio, to 
whom we bore kind letters from Mr. Latham—whose 
provision of a friend’s needs is so charming a trait in his 
character. Powers had just then finished an Eve—if I 
remember rightly, resisting and conquering the tempt- 
ation—representing the majesty of a moral victory. If our 
first mother could be portrayed in a condition of resipi- 
scence fit would be a good subject, and yet there is no 
record of her repenting. 

Monday, April 26th, we left Venice by rail, and that 
afternoon and night remained at Bologna. I drove Lide 
over the old and new city, but it was cold and she didn’t 

404 My WIFE AND ],. 

enjoy it. Later I roamed over it by myself, visited the 
Cathedral, but rather turned a cold shoulder on everything, 
that I might give the greater part of my time to its famous 
gallery. J have been persuaded frequently, during this 
writing, to turn aside from mere narration and at least 
give my impressions of Schools of painting, selecting one 
delegate from each, to my Art Congress, but perhaps I have 
wisely resisted the temptation. But I must at least mention 
one painter, who, at least such is my judgment, was among 
the first of the world-——-I mean Domenichino. He suc- 
ceeded the two great contemporaries, Raphael and Michael 
Angelo; and he has been accused of being precisely what 
the former said of the latter—an adapter, copyist, and pos- 
sessing no genius. He and Guido were great rivals, and 
those who have visited the church of San Gregorio at 
Rome, remember the celebrated frescoes painted as com- 
petitive works by these two—of which Annibal Caracci 
said: ‘‘Guido’s is the work of a master, that of Domeni- 
chino is the painting of the scholar who knew more than 
the master.” 

Domenichino never was exceeded in expression by any 
artist except the painter of the “Transfiguration;” and in 
purity and grandeur, in the highest merits of composition 
he has never been excelled. His drawing is unusually 
correct, his men and women superb in grace and form, 
and their heads especially, beautiful. ‘Three of his paint- 
ings at Bologna are without superiors anywhere, and in 
some respects even of greater merit than his St. Jerome 
in the Vatican. These are the “Martyrdom of St. Peter,” 
“Martyrdom of St. Agnes,” and ‘La Madonna del Rosa- 
rio col Bambino.” ‘The first is a wonder. To see him 
and Guido both, it is necessary to go to Bologna. I must 
not omit to add, that in the same gallery is Raphael’s 
celebrated “Santa Cecilia,” which is replete with the well 


known exquisite tenderness and grace of that inspired 

On the twenty-seventh of April we left Bologna for 
Venice, stopping a couple of hours at Padua. As we ap- 
proached Venice and touched the long bridge, a full moon 
hung over the city, under which the Adriatic sparkled and 
gleamed, and the domes and Campaniles stood out clear 
and beautiful against the golden sky. When we reached 
the terminus, and the hotel servant led us to a gondola, 
and we pushed out on the Grand Canal, which was flooded 
with the dancing moonrays: on either side the palaces, 
touched by the splendor of the soft light, and as we went 
“gliding up her streets as in a dream,” Lide was enrap- 
tured with the romance of the whole scene, and she broke 
out in delight. It was an enjoyment and surprise as poetic 
as beautiful. 

We found rooms engaged for us at a hotel just opened, 
ealled Hotel de Rome,”’: near St. Mark’s Square. I 
bought a colored lithograph of the place as a souvenir, and 
it is before me now. Venice is one of the few cities in 
Europe where one finds the reality outstripping the anti- 
cipation. Its novelty—stepping from your hotel into a 
gondola—borne along palaces full of interest, not merely 
from their intrinsic beauty but historical association, con- 
stitute a pleasure, that especially fills young hearts with an 
irrepressible enthusiasm. Ella Maxwell was fascinated to 
such an extent that really she wanted to pass all her time 
in a gondola. During the midday hours Lide and I 
traversed the Grand Canal— letting the gondolier go at 
his own speed. I had a small chart which described the 
principal palaces so plainly as to be easily recognized, and 
all these sights, with her fresh recollection of Byron’s canto 
referring to Venice, made her enjoyment pure and full, 
She and I passed the whole of the twenty-second in see- 

406 My Wire anp J. 

ing the city along its various canals—and, strange to say, 
the dampness did not affect her—I mean that she breathed 
as free there as upon #rra firma. After dinner Ella and 
I went out, and floating quietly with the tide, the younger 
of the gondoliers sung several arzas, and then both broke 
into duets that, under all the circumstances, made their 
enjoyment sweet and memorable. 

Before Lide was up and dressed the next day, I had 
visited, after a lapse of many years, the great square of 
San Marco, walked all through the collonades, ascended 
the Campanile and inspected the church. At least a 
thousand years are comprehended in the strange archi- 
tecture of that spot. St. Marks’ is full of gorgeous adorn- 
ment; it is a barbarian prince hung with jewels arbi- 
trarily placed; but arrangement, taste and adaptibility do 
not appear. Itis nothing by the rules of Order;—it is a 
strange and capricious melange contributed by Saracen, 
Turk and Lombard. Nothing about its /a¢ade attracted 
me as did the celebrated bronze horses of Lysippus, that 
have been. stolen and restolen, bandied from Corinth to 
Paris, from Nero to. Napoleon. I visited the | Ducal 
Palace—the prisons—saw all—even to the black’ curtain‘ 
that breaks the line of the Doges likenesses, where one 
reads: “‘hic locus est Marini Kaletri decapitah pro criminibus.” 

At night, after Lide had gone to bed, I passed the time 
until near midnight, sitting in the square—smoking, sipping 
coffee, and listening to the itinerant minstrels that play not 
inharmoniously before the Cafés. These little things make 
up to me the enchantment of travel, and, in a certain way, 
they are more attractive than many of the Lions. I could 
not take Lide there at night, but she made two visits to 
it by day: one to purchase some pearl-bead ornaments and 
fans, and again, to see the feeding of the pigeons as the cele- 
brated figures of the Orologio strike two. In the old days 


these birds were set at liberty from the churches, and they 
roosted about the roof of the Doge’s palace. They were 
ordered fed by the Senate every day at 2 p.m.; and later, 
by the bequest of an eccentric old lady, they are bounti- 
fully supplied. At the hour named they fly in from all 
sides to get their daily rations. 

I spent a day at the Academy and at Santa Maria dei 
Frari—the latter celebrated for its monuments. I did not 
pretend to examine all the paintings; I selected a few, and 
gave them my attention. The gem of the collection is the 
“Assumption of the Virgin’ by Titian, and there is his 
last work—the “Sepulture of Christ.” In colors, in all the 
delicate and rarest tints, in depth and grace and combina- 
tion, he never had his equal. He was especially remark- 
able for the beauty of his female figures—sensuous as many 
of them are, but exquisitely drawn. There are some notable 
Tintorettos there, as well as many of the best paintings of 
Paolo Veronese. There are seven hundred paintings in 
the gallery—to see which, critically, would require many 

The second evening, I think it was, soon after dinner, 
all of us, Lide well protected with shawls, took our gon- 
dola and went to the grand canal. One can scarcely say 
enough of the fascinating spell Venice throws around you; 
but when you get on the Canalazzo, gliding along under 
the stars; the lights dancing over the water, and long rows 
of old palaces, with grim faces in the deepening twilight 
lining either side—under these aspects Venice enchants one 
as no other place can do. ‘That night we saw it under 
circumstances most attractive. We were over against the 
island of San Giorgio Maggiore, drifting with the current 
and watching the beautiful effects of the lights from the 
Piazzetta of San Marco, when, from a side canal, a proces- 
sion of gondolas glided out into the stream—all bearing 

408 My Wire anp J. 

tasteful transparent lanterns. In a very large boat were a 
band of music and a dozen singers, and as it moved up 
the Grand Canal the music echoed among the palaces, and 
the broad stream was covered with gondolas, bearing well 
dressed people of both sexes. As we proceeded, the over- 
hanging balconies of the buildings filled with spectators, and 
from one gondola Roman candles were burnt—emitting 
party-colored lights, which, in addition to the exquisite 
effects given to the palaces and boats, made the water one 
mass of burnished gold. And so we went on until the 
Rialto was reached, and under its broad span we halted. 
There we had glees, sung with a peculiar catch, so that the 
echo, for which that spot is, among so many other -things 
famous, might be heard. I cannot satisfactorily to myself, 
after so long a lapse of time, give a fair description of that 
memorable night. To fully appreciate it one must have 
been in a gondola in Venice, and even then the imagina- 
tion cannot suggest any idea of the scene in all its grandeur 
as a whole, much less the thousand minor beauties an ob- 
servant eye would discover. And when one lingers over 
such an impressive pageant in such a place with the added 
effect of music filling the air, be assured its memory will 
ever live within us and be “a joy forever.” The tendency 
of the age is to realism, and the hard material genius of 
railroads and manufactures is changing the aspect of the 
world. Already, sounding over all that city and as far as 
“the spouseless Adriatic,” can be heard the shrill screech - 
of the locomotive; and from the Bridge of Sighs can be 
seen the long trains of smoke of arriving and departing 
steamers. In a few years some use will be found for palace 
and canal, and near the Campanile and the two columns, 
in the coming time will be heard the hum of reels and 
the quick throb of steam echoing among the corridors. 


“He reached out, gathered her feeble form to his bosom, and passed across 
the weary moor, bearing it homeward.” 

May ist we resumed our march and took rail for Milan. 
The day was pleasant, and the views, in crossing the Ap- 
penines, were beautiful. We passed through Padua again, 
and ‘fair Verona,” where I looked for Romeo, and the 
figure of “true and faithful Juliet.” Leaving Verona and 
crossing the Adige we entered upon a beautiful country, 
and into the famous Quadrilateral. From there we went 
to Pescheira, and sweeping through soft landscapes we 
touched Lago di Garda, the largest of all the Italian lakes. 
The scenery was exquisite—full of variety;. hills lying against 
the sky; a broad breadth of water heaving against their 
slopes; islands shadowy with olive groves, and wide stretches 
of meadows. Just a decade before, through all that fair 
scene, war reached out and withered the grain fields, and 
under the march of armies the wild flowers were crushed. 
At Solferino yonder Kings pitted Commons against Com- 
mons, to adjust boundary lines, which they called maintain- 
ing the “Balance of Power.” In time of peace Blouse 
thrusts a knife at Blouse, and what is called Law condemns 
the culprit to the scaffold or tread-mill. But Purple sends 
forth a hundred thousand Blouses to slaughter Blouses, and 
lo! the laurel crowns the victor, and that which is dishonor 

in the subject is glory in the sovereign. 

410 My Wire AND J]. 

From Bergamo to Milan the route lies within view of 
the Swiss Mountains and along meadows framed in little 
canals; and on the rising ground next against the hills, I 
could see long lines of mulberry trees. We reached Milan 
that afternoon, and found a private carriage waiting for us 
from the Hotel Cavour. The ride from the mountains, 
along a fretting, singing stream, down through the Plains 
of Lombardy; the high range overlooking Lake Como on 
one side, and, near the journey’s end, the marble pinnacles 
and spires of the Cathedral of Milan on the other, was the 
most enjoyable we had in Europe. 

We had very pleasant quarters at the Hotel Cavour— 
chambers and parlor ez suze, all opening upon a balcony 
that overlooks the New Public Garden, and the bronze 
statue of Count Cavour. Lide needed rest, and so I de- 
termined to remain at Milan. for two or three days ere I 
started for Paris. We were now homeward bound in truth, 
traveling as her strength and the weather permitted. The 
softening of the tubercles of the right lung was rapid, and 
her sole reliance was on the left. I called in an English 
physician of Milan to get an intelligent judgment as to the 
safety of a trip over the Alps, then covered with snow. He 
thought the course imprudent, and that there was even dan- 
ger in it. I abandoned it, and resolved to go to Genoa, 
thence to Marseilles by sea, and from there to Paris. The 
next day after our arrival there was no sunshine to be seen, 
and as Lide could not go out, she persuaded me to take 
Mrs. Maxwell and Ella to Lake Como. We started quite 
early by rail, and pushed through a pleasant country, along . 
the banks of the Lambro, within view of villas in the midst 
of gardens; here and there villages and belfries, and beyond, 
the ever cheerful and suggestive hills. When we reached 
‘he terminus it commenced to rain’ quite copiously, and 


such was the press for inside seats in the omnibuses, that 
I gave way to a woman and rodeon top. However, Como 
was only a mile away, where we soon came. ‘The town is 
built to the very lake; it is quite large, and for an Italian 
city the population seemed quite busy. We had no leisure 
or inclination to see whatever points of interest it may 
have, and as we were’to go back to Milan that evening. 
we had no time to lose. We engaged a boat and two men 
and at once pulled away. ‘The first view was by no means 
striking; but when we rounded the bluff a reach some ten 
miles in length opened up to us, the width of which may 
have averaged a mile. It seemed an estuary or frith, 
and had none of that breadth or bowl-like shape that I 
cannot separate from a lake. According to the geographi- 
cal definition, it isa lake. I merely say it had none of its 
seeming to me. Spitefully I ran over my memory and 
repeated to Ella the description of the home, that, could 
Claude’s love fulfill its prayers, his hand would lead Pauline. 
I was disappointed. ‘The scenery was bare; there were no 
footsteps of Spring to be seen on the hill-slopes; and while 
here and there the chestnut and olive lay in groves near 
the borders of the lake beyond, as I run the steep hills 
along there was no verdure to break the ugly uniformity 
of the chalky crags and cliffs. The rain held up, and the 
sunshine fell over the lakes and hills, but it redeemed 
nothing of my disappointment. With the exception of Villa 
d Este, long the residence of Caroline, wife of George IV, 
really I saw no fine residences. As already remarked, the 
scenery was by no means pleasant, although there was a 
certain sort of grandeur in the bold sweep of the mount- 
ain outline. None of us were particularly pleased, and 
then Venice with her long canals, the embellished /a¢ades 
of her palaces; the water, quivering in the golden showers 

412 My WIFE AND ]. 

dropped by the moon, and the song of our gondoliers com- 
ing back to us in softened echoes—all of these rose up 
before us, and we left Lago di Como with our Venetian 
memories purer and more enchanting than ever. 

The next day I rose early and went at once to the Ca- 
thedral, and was impressed with its extraordinary beauty - 
and grandeur, to a degree St. Peter’s did not reach with 
me. I suppose that there is not in the world any church- 
edifice, in its exterior effects, comparable to it. It may be 
‘“‘an inventionless folly,” as Goethe said, and yet its pure 
aspect—being built entirely of white marble; its one hund- 
red and six pinnacles, its four thousand and five hundred 
statues; its exquisite beauty and wealth of decoration—they 
almost bewilder one. ‘To see it properly, it is necessary to 
ascend to the roof, and from that stand-point you are able 
to get a clear idea of its amazing beauty. ‘The very roof 
is of marble, and you walk amid a forest of spires, that 
bear every conceivable ornament belonging to the Gothic 
order. I ascended to the very last point where the traveler 
is permitted to go, and was well rewarded with the view 
of the valley and hills it comprehends. 

The interior is open—nothing breaking the nave but the 
heavy columns. The three immense stained windows in 
the apsis are a remarkable feature, and add much to the 
general effect. ‘The altar is under a lantern, and the brill- 
iant light which falls upon it lends to the celebration of the 
sacrament, and to the church ceremonies, an almost super- 
natural expression of glory.. Beneath is a rich chapel, octa- 
gonal in shape, its ceiling decorated with silver tablets that 
represent in relief the events of the life of St. Borromeo, 
who is buried there. pov 

When I returned to the hotel I found Lide had break- 
fasted, and so I ordered the carriage and went back to the 



Cathedral, where I had engaged a hand-barrow, and two 
men, to carry her to the roof. JI accompanied her, of 
course, and was well rewarded by seeing her pleasure and 
hearing her expressions of delight. 

I drove her to the church of Santa Maria della Grazie, 
in the refectory attached to which, is ““The Last Supper”’ 
of Leonardo da Vinci. Although much injured by damp- 
ness, and by the French, who used, the room in question 
as a stable, there is enough left to declare the extraordi- 
nary merit of the picture—which is, perhaps, one of the 
grandest paintings in the world. Da Vinci’s study of Judas’ 
face was the occupation of a whole year; and it is said, 
that being unable to give expression to his ideal beauty of 
the Saviour—to give to his countenance a distinction supe- 
rior to that of the apostle James, he left it unfinished, 
although, as Vasari says, “‘it was exquisitely complete.” 

As Mrs. Maxwell and Ella desired to proceed to Paris 
direct, they left us on the 4th of May by the Mount Cenis 
route. ‘The same day Lide and I took rail for Genoa, 
where we arrived about sunset. I remained there but one 
day, and was glad enough to find in port one of the large 
steamers belonging to the line to India, en route to Mar- 
seilles. Lide was so much exhausted the next morning as 
scarcely to be able to stand, and I tried to persuade her 
to delay the trip, but she would not. I carried her down 
stairs to the carriage, to the boat, and over the steamer’s 
side. When I got her to her cabin and undressed her, 
she revived, and the next afternoon, on our arrival at Mar- 
seilles, she felt stronger. The next day I took a coupé lit, 
enabling Lide to lie down, and she endured the nineteen 
hours’ journey to Paris very well. I telegraphed for rooms 
from Marseilles, and so, when I reached the station, I 
found carriage and courier waiting for me from the Ho/e 
de T Athénée. 

414 My WIFE AND ]. 

I found the weather harsh and disagreeable, wearing a 
wintry aspect. I did hope to find sunshine at Paris—the 
soft spring weather that comes in with May—but instead 
there were occasional rains, and the air was full of rough- 
ness and intensely disagreeable. Lide was kept pretty close 
to her room, and fire was an indispensable comfort to her. 
Some days I took her out in a close carriage by way of 
exercise, and to shop, She was very weak, walked with 
great difficulty, usually needing my aid. I rarely left her 
after she was dressed. When she had retired, I wandered 
along the Boulevards, or went to hear Schneider—spending 
all my days and nights in an unquiet and restless way. 
My friends Ben and General Tyler were absent in Ger- 
many, and I had few or no near friends with whom I 
could pass the. days. 

Dr. Beylard resumed his professional visits and made an 
auscultatory examination of my wife’s lungs. A day or two 
afterwards I had occasion to call on him to make an in- 
quiry as to some matter connected with my wife. He then 
told me that the condition of her health was most precari- 
ous; that he feared she would not live to reach New York, 
and he advised me to sail at once. He further said that 
I had better go prepared with means to embalm her, in 
case of death. He excused himself for making such sug- 
gestions, saying that he regarded it his duty. He cautioned 
me against showing any grief or solicitude, which would 
lead my wife to suspect the nature of our conversation. | 
had already taken my passage for the 3rd of June, as Lide 
had expressed the wish to remain at Paris until the season 
of Atlantic calms. 

One cannot comprehend the shock that intelligence gave 
me. I had been disciplining myself under her loving 
teaching for the blow which I felt would fall before a 


great while; but the prospect of such a disaster while 7 
transwdu, with all the cruelly practical and yet compelled 
precautions suggested by. Dr. Beylard, literally stunned me, 
and I did not know what to do. I, however, at once went 
to the office and took our passage for New York in the “ Ville 
de Paris,” to sail May 2oth, I also telegraphed Lala to 
come to Paris without delay. 

I feared to go to the hotel when 

‘* Every nerve was quivering with the stress 
Of uncontrolled emotion.” 

I did not know what excuse to make for so abrupt a 
change of all my plans, especially as she so earnestly re- 
quested me not to make the passage across the Atlantic 
until June. I walked all my excitement down as I had sup- 
posed, and then went to her. I found her alone. When 
I sat down at her side she said: “Something worries you, 
Teppie. Has anything happened?” I answered that I was 
tired only; that I would soon be rested. She remained 
quiet a little while, when she looked up in my face again, 
and said: “You cannot deceive me. I know something 
has happened. Where have. you been?” I mentioned a 
half. dozen places, but it did not satisfy her, Another 
pause. Again she raised her head, and looking at me with 
a steadfast gaze, said: ‘‘Teppie, you have seen Dr. Bey- 
lard, and he has said something about me that has made 
you unhappy, and frightened you. What is it?” I re- 
mained silent. ‘‘Now I sow you have seen him and he 
has told you I am very ill. Tell me all about it, Teppie”’ 
—and her cheek was bare of all excitement, and her pulse 
calm as usual. I did tell her all—omitting not even 
the suggestions as to means to embalm her—for I knew 
her firmness and heroism. She at once replied: “Teppie, 

A16 My Wire AND ], 

I have often desired to give you precisely the same cau- 
tion the Doctor has done. Do as he tells you, and now 
let us get ready at once,” and she passed to her prepara- 
tions with the most extraordinary composure I ever saw in 
my life. Later, she questioned me. particularly as to the 
preparations for embalment I proposed to make, and what 
Dr. Beylard had suggested. She expressed the hope I 
would pursue the directions I had received, for, independ- 
ent of her own dread of being buried at sea, she said that 
I never would get over it. I refused then to take any 
steps in the matter—for, as I told her, I had an assurance 
from something that she would reach California alive. At 
New York, on the eve of our sailing, she renewed the sub- 
ject, but I still refused under the inspiration of that some- 

Mrs. Maxwell was very kind and aided Lide by all the 
ways she could, in her preparations for the voyage. Lala 
came, too, in company with Joe Holliday, looking ruddy 
and plump as a milkmaid-—a picture of health. 

On the afternoon of May 19th it rained profusely. 
George H. Howard, an old friend from San Francisco, with 
a delicacy and kind consideration natural to him, sent his 
carriage to take us to the depot, and his good wife called | 
and offered her services. ‘Ella and Mrs. Maxwell were | 
parted from, and each felt that it was forever in this world, 
so far at least as ‘my darling was concerned, and with Lala 
and Joe we went to the station. 

After we got off and were well on the way to Havre, 
Lide became cheerful, talked in contented phrase, and ate 
quite heartily of the luncheon I had prepared. That eve- 
ning she made a pretty good dinner, and slept tolerably 
well that night. 

The next morning Lala, Joe and I, before Lide had 


risen, took a stroll over the town, and at Ir a.m. we went 
on board the steamer. Lide and Lala sat together in the 
saloon—Joe and I purposely leaving them there while we 
saw to the luggage. ‘The order was given to clear the ship. 
The poor sick mother—pale with grief and subdued excite- 
ment knew that now she and her child must part, and that 
when that child should go back to her home her own life 
would be hushed and her name become a memory only— 
that daughter whose young years had been passed away 
from the maternal bosom, and who was to be given to the 
world without the shield that comes from early and long 
education, and common association at the home-hearth. 
Oh, it was sad, inexpressibly touching, and I wonder that 
the dear heart did not snap under that shock. A long 
silent folding of the child upon her bosom—the raised eyes 
full of prayers and blessings wafited from the poor—poor, 
dear, half-broken heart to God, and mother and child had 
parted, until—until—Oh! God, there mus¢ de another and 
purer life in compensation for the bitter griefs and pro- 
found distresses we suffer here. ) 

I carried Lide below; but when she reached her cabin, 
the closeness of the air, the smell of fresh paint, and the 
recent excitement, produced asphyxia; and I was terribly 
frightened as I bore her insensible form to the open air. 
Later I succeeded in getting the port open, and at Brest 
I purchased a small wrench which enabled me to have as 
much fresh air as we wished. When we got to sea I pro- 
cured for her another cabin which was well ventilated, and 
there she and I slept every night during the passage. 

We stopped at Brest a day, and I had a run on shore. 
Lide remained on board of course, in the society of Mrs. 
Willoughby, of New York, who is an aunt of my cousin 
Estella Geyelin, of Philadelphia. This cousin was always a 


418 My WIFE AND J. 

great favorite of Lide and mine, who had the charge of Lala 
when she was at school at the ‘‘Sacred Heart,” and with 
whom we passed some few days, both in 1859 and just 
before we sailed for Europe. She is a rare woman—full of 
noble instincts, a true and faithful friend, and with a heart 
as big and beautiful as one ever sees. She knew Lide, 
too, and loved her, with a love that blossomed in true and 
constant kindnesses. 

It was pleasant, then, to meet Aunt Estella, as I called 
her, who is a thorough lady. And we had, also, Robert 
M. McLane and his family, formerly United States Minis- 
ter to China and Mexico, and an old friend of mine; and 
Paul Forbes of Boston, who was an old associate of Lide’s 
father, all of whom were very kind to her. 

The trip was cold and unpleasant, and Lide was confined 
to the saloon most of the time. Several times she sat on 
the guard for a half hour, and she attended dinner-table 
almost every day. She bore the voyage with great courage 
and patience. By mid-day, June ist, we were pleasantly 
quartered at the ‘‘Brevoort House,’’ New York. 

Lide determined to remain quiet at New York and re- 
cruit for the sea-voyage to San Francisco. The Trans- 
continental Road was just then opened, and after discuss- 
ing the two routes, we determined to sail in the steamer 
“Alaska,” on the 11th of June. Alfred G. Gray, her cap- 
tain, had been, during Lide’s previous passages to New 
York, very attentive to her, and so she selected his ship 
rather than the railroad. 7 

I went to Delaware to see my mother, leaving Lide in 
the hands of Aunt Mary Morris and Estelle Carnochan. 
I remained there a few days—my mother going back with 
me to see Lide. Others came, too—her Aunt Gemmill, 
Estella Geyelin and Lamar W. Fisher. On the morning of 


the 11th we bade them all good-by, and as Lide stood on 
the guards waving her kerchief—her face full of the pleas- 
ure of going, as she said, to her ‘‘own dear little home,” 
she looked as well as when she landed on that same pier 
a year before. 

Before we left New York, per post and telegraph, it was 
arranged that as my own house was rented we would go 
to Mrs. Ritchie’s; remain there three days, and then to San 
Rafael for the summer. Could I have supposed that she 
would never be able to leave San Francisco, I should have 
at all costs taken her to her own home, from which she 
would have preferred, above all spots on earth, to have 
passed from this life to the happier life beyond. When 
we were at New York, and the day we left, I had every 
reason to believe, and I did believe, her life would be pro- 
longed a year, if not more. As it is, knowing that it was . 
the only wish of her heart ever left ungratified by me, it has 
caused me, and will cause me, deep distress to the last day 
of my life. 

I have at my side a letter from her Aunt Mary, written 
me some months ago, parts of which I can appropriately 
introduce here: 

“ Lide was to me the embodiment of intelligence of the 
highest order; richly cultivated, a firmness and judgment 
rarely ever met with in a woman of her years, softened by 
the sweetest feminine characteristics, and crowned by a 
purity of heart and life that made her the blessing and 
beloved she was to us all. Yes, there is one thing I do 
remember—not an incident, but a trait, that formed the 
basis of her almost perfect character—her reverence for 
truth. From the first moment she could lisp her mother’s 
name until the last, I never knew her to deviate from it— 
never to utter a falsehood—never to live one. Tell this 

420 My WIFE AND ], 

to her boys, and that they may follow in her dear foot- 
prints, not only in that, but in all things, until they reach 
‘those golden shores where her life now is,’ I earnestly 
pray. . 

“And I would add another line, if my hand was penning 
her history, to tell of her deep devotion, of her tender 
love for you. Speaking of you in the last hours of our 
intercourse in New York, and of the sure termination of 
her dreadful malady, she said: ‘Oh, Aunt Mary, leaving 
poor Rob is the hardest of all. Who will comfort him? 
Poor Rob!’ It was to her the s#mg of death, and the 
tears, dropping through the hands clasped over her beauti- 
ful face, showed how deep even then the anguish was. 
And to all these I would add the record, (that your boys 
might ever bear it in grateful remembrance) of the passion- 
ate efforts—breaking down your own health, in your cease- 
less attempts to prolong that precious life. You left 
nothing undone that man could do—that the most devoted 
love could devise; and lovingly and gratefully did she 
dwell on it to me. 

“Never shall I cease to remember and prize those blessed 
quiet evenings when, alone together, we. lived over the 
past, and talked, too, of the great future, and interchanged 
views deeply in unison, and full of comfort to me as I 
dwell on them now.” 

Lide had several littke books of a devotional character, 
the gifts of her Aunts Mary and Gemmill and her Cousin 
Estelle Carnochan, which she took to Europe with her in 
addition to her prayer-book. One called “Spiritual Songs” 
was especially her favorite. These she read, and pondered 
their suggestions constantly. She thought and reasoned 
with more constancy and frequency than any—I came. 
person I. ever saw—certainly any woman. 

near to say 


She was reserved in manners and mind, and only with 
very intimate friends did she disclose the exceeding wealth 
of her heart and head. 3 

I have already referred to her religious views, and I 
need add nothing more to them. She and I, during the 
passage out, would sit within her cabin, especially at the 
time lying between the setting of the sun and the coming 
of the stars—I at her side, her hand clasped in mine, and 
usually her head lying against my bosom. She would go 
over all the past—she, so perfect as a wife and woman, 
would find fault with her imperfections, and wish she had 
been a better wife and mother. And when I would say 
that I had been so happy, that she had satisfied all my 
aspirations, that I would not have had her different in any 
respect, and when I told her that no other head would 
ever lie there within Aer “little home’—that I should live 
on, true to her and pure to the last—she would kiss my 
hand repeatedly and passionately, and bless me through 
her grateful sobs. And when I have buried my face in 
her lap, conscious of having many a time given her dis- 
tress through my impulsive, thoughtless ways, and have 
implored her pardon and forgiveness, she always said that 
I must not accuse myself of anything disloyal or unloving; 
that I had been true and devoted above all men. And 
all the days of that passage were consecrated by such 
ways and thoughts, and they consecrate all my life. 

Captain Gray was as a father to her, and had he held 
that relation he could not have been more kind. ‘The 
steward and stewardess had orders from him to furnish her 
with everything she might require, day or night. When 
she reached Aspinwall he had the train brought near the 
dock, and took her in a carriage from the plank to the 
car. She had, too, a compartment where she could sit in 


422 My WIFE (AND 

her large steamer chair; and, in addition to all these, 
Captain Gray sent his own servant to wait on her—who 
was provided with a fine luncheon and plenty of ice for 
her use. | 

We reached Panama after dark, and we were detained 
several hours on the wharf. Lide endured all the weari- 
ness of that waiting with her usual composure and patience, 
and when at last she reached the Pacific steamer, she was 
happy to tears. Her yearning for her home, and her hope 
to reach it alive, strengthened and sustained her; and so 
when she found herself on the sea that reached almost to 
the door-step of that home, she felt God would, perhaps, 
permit her to die on that spot where the happiest years 
of her life had been passed, surrounded by her husband, 
her children and her mother. 

She got along very well. until we reached Acapulco. 
From Panama to that port she sat out on deck in her 
chair until sunset, and then she and I sat within her cabin, 
looking out upon the sea and stars, until her bedtime. At 
Acapulco she was taken suddenly ill, with difficulty of 
respiration and congestion of the lung. A bed was pre- 
pared for her on deck by order of Dr. Cushman, the 
ships surgeon, and he gave her his constant skilful 
attention. She was very ill for several hours, so much so 
that he called me aside and told me it was his duty to 
prepare me for the worst—that it was a chance whether 
she would reach her journey’s end alive. Notwithstanding 
all he said, I felt the inspiration of the something that 
whispered that God would bear her up and sustain her to 
teach us all the richest lessons to be found on earth—those 
that come from the death-bed of a true Christian woman. 

When we got out of the harbor, Lide revived, and was 
so much better that the doctor removed her to her cabin, 


and she passed a comparatively easy night. I will add 
that she saw Dr. Cushman call me aside, as related above, 
and when I returned to her she asked me what he had 
said, I evaded the question, and stammered of course; 
but there was no deceiving her, for without my saying a 
word she told me all he had said, with identicalness of 
phrase almost. She was as composed under it as if it had 
been an ordinary affair, for never was any woman more 
completely master of herself than she. 

When we sighted the Coast Range of California, more 
especially when we drew near to land, she was overwhelm- 
ingly happy, I remember that one morning, before she 
had risen, I opened the door of her cabin to permit her 
to see the shore lying close aboard. She, the poor dear 
weakling, raised up in her bed to see all that could be 
seen, and then she put her arms around my neck and 
thanked God that He had heard her prayer and blessed 
her. That same evening she felt so much better that she 
and I sat long in the twilight drawing little plans of a 
house we would get at San Rafael, ‘and then,” she added, 
“‘Teppie, we will go back to our own little home, and, 
perhaps, God will permit me to live a few months longer.” 

Often she would turn from herself and dwell with plea- 
sure on the peculiar features of the Coast Range, just then 
losing its verdure and donning its yellow and russet. The 
mountains themselves were a source of never cloying 
delight—presenting as they did, and invariably do, so many 
varied suggestions and infinite phases of beauty. One 
sweep of the eye would gather a thousand beauties. At 
one moment the outline would be evenly drawn, then un- 
dulating, or here and there shooting up into cones. ‘Then 
again it would break short off where a ravine had riven 
the chain, through which we could see deep shadows, and 

A24 My Wire aAnp 7: 

a single line of sunlight poured through—a golden rivulet, 
as it were, flowing down to the sea. Her quick eye caught 
all these changes, and they gave her mind constant pleas- 
ure and occupation. . 

Happily we run all the coast along from the Santa Bar- 
bara channel, and as the weather was pleasant, she passed 
all the days out on deck. We reached here Saturday fore- 
noon, July 3rd. Her mother, Dan., the children and Major 
Elliot came to the wharf. The meeting was touching, and 
no one could see it without half choking. She was long 
clasped in her mother’s arms, sobbing with joy. “Oh, 
mother, God is good to me. He has allowed me to live 
to see you all once more. Now I am ready to go when 
it shall please Him.” A carriage was waiting for us. Il 
carried her to it. As we drove up Second Street she 
leaned out the window and saw the garden and chimnies 
of her dear, dear home—saw them for the last time on 
earth. I gently blinded her eyes with my hand, and in a’ 
moment we had arrived at Mrs. Ritchie’s door, where Dr. 
Maxwell waited us. The poor patient wife, as she thus 
reached the end of her long weary journey, leaned against 
my breast, blessing God for His goodness, and she wept 
happy tears. He had, indeed, been very good to her— 
He had answered her prayers; and although the life He 
laid on her mother’s bosom was as feeble as when he first 
placed it there; yet it was compassionate and pitiful to re- 
turn her to the faces and scenes she loved so well ere He 
imparadised her gentle soul forever. 

I carried her up stairs and placed her on a lounge I 
had given her years before, and which was her favorite 
resting spot in her ‘dear little cottage on Brannan Street:’ 


“«“The story is told, 
The windows are darkened, 
The hearth-stone is cold.” 

That day the excitement of arrival and seeing friends 
kept her up bravely. Every little while her eyes would 
sparkle, and she would exclaim : ‘‘I am so happy to be back 
again—so very happy.” She had some little gifts for each 
one of the family, and that evening I opened her trunks, 
‘and gave them to her for distribution. 

The next day was Sunday, and Dr. Maxwell, by ap- 
pointment, came and made an auscultation of her chest. I 
was out of the room at the time, but returned as he fin- 
ished. As I entered, she said: ‘Oh, Rob, you will be 
glad to hear that the Doctor finds more _ breathing 
space in my left lung than he anticipated. Aren’t you 
glad, Teppie?” It was not for herself she spoke, or of 
herself she thought; it was only of poor me, for whose 
sake she most desired to live. She dressed herself that 
day and received some of her friends, and was compara- 
tively cheerful. Her nearest. and dearest friend, Sara G. 
Wheeler, came among the first, and she remained through 
all, even to the last. Her coming and presence were a 
great comfort to Lide. She brought, too, to that sick 
chamber gentle and patient nursing, for she loved my 
wife with an affection so rarely constant and beautiful. 

That love was reciprocated in its fullest extent and fidelity. 

426 My Wire anp ], 

Monday morning I commenced to make arrangements 
for renting a house at San Rafael; sent Dan to make 
some inquiries, and confidently hoped to be able to re- 
move Lide during the week. She was dressed again that 
day, and occupied the favorite lounge—-Sara Wheeler 
seated on the floor at her side, and she was very happy, 
very bright; talked a great deal, for her—and, running 
all through the music of her gladness, was the sweet re- 
frain—‘‘ Oh, I am so happy to be back again!” 

The following day she laid upon her lounge, which 
was brought from the adjoining room, and she was not so 
well—more prostrated and weak than she had been. A 
revulsion was now beginning to develop itself; the arbi- 
trary strength of the past three days was yielding to the 
rapid progress of her disease; and her strong will, 
which had aided so much in bearing her up through all 
the trying demands of travel, had served its purpose, and 
was powerless to help her more. 

That evening I received a telegram from Ben, who was 
en route from New York by rail, and I went up town to 
attend to its requisitions. I was absent an hour only, 
but when I entered Lide’s room I found her in bed, 
very much exhausted. She said: “‘Teppie, I am so help- 
less and weak, so much worse that I was going to 
send for you. Don't leave me any more, Teppie.” 
After that; when I left the room, only for a moment, she 
was uneasy and restless until I returned. I did not ab- 
sent myself from her again—not going to the dining- 
room even for my meals. I remained all the time at 
her side, holding her hand, which, at intervals, she gently 
pressed, at the same time opening her eyes and looking 
at me with unutterable love and pity. She was happier 
than I. I told her God was kinder to her than he was 
to me, in taking her and leaving me behind alone. She 



said to me then—the dear, white, thin hand wandering 
over my face in the old, loving way: “ Darling, darling, 
do not fret when I am gone; it won’t be long—a little 
while and you'll be with me. ‘The years will soon pass 
away, and then, no more death, no more separation. 
For your poor Buntin’s sake, do not be unhappy 
when I am gone. Think of me always as one you 
will meet again.” 

She spoke of Captain Gray, and his great kindness to 
her, and said she would like to send him some little remem- 
brance. I had several silver pitchers brought from 
Shreve’s for her to look at, and she selected one, dic- 
tated the inscription to be put on it, and requested it 
should be given him, with her love. While she was thus dic- 
tating the inscription, I suggested the words, ‘ best re- 
gards,” but she interrupted me, saying: “‘No, no, Tep- 
pie, put it as I have said, for I am attached to Captain 
Gray.” It was all done as she wished; and _ his letter, 
acknowledging the receipt of the gift, and which speaks 
so kindly of my darling, lies under my hand as I pen 
these lines. 

Nellie Elliot, to whom Lide was always most tenderly 
attached, and who was her favorite of all her brothers 
and sisters, had a little baby, till then unbaptized. She 
said to me that if I did not object, she would like to 
name her child after my wife—that she would not do so 
without consulting me, who she knew held the name of 
Lide so sacredly. I repeated to my darling what Nellie 
had said. She replied that she would be pleased to have 
the baby called after her, and that she had thought of 
requesting it. I then asked her whether I should call it 
Lide Rogers or Lide Hamilton. ‘No, Rob, call her sim- 
ply ‘Lide.’” I told Nellie, and she brought the little 
thing to her to be kissed. My wife took the little child 

428 My Wire anp J. 

in her arms, fondled her, kissed her, called her Lide, and 
hoped she would grow up to be a better woman than 
herself. And yet God knows, that she was as guileless 
and pure as that little child. Later I. stood godfather 
to it, when the church called her Lide and consecrated 
her to a sinless life. 

Wednesday my wife desired to get up a little while, to 
have her bed smoothed. I lifted her into a chair, and 
then she became sensibly conscious of her weakness. 
She said to me: ‘‘Rob, if ‘you do “met germ merteeam 
Rafael soon, my death-warrant will be signed.” Dr. 
Maxwell came a little while afterwards, and I took him 
to the adjoining room, and asked him if there was any 
hope of her being strong enough for her removal there. 
He replied that it was impossible, that I must look for 
her death from hour to hour, and that he was surprised 
to see her last so long. I felt it all the while. I had to 
sit and see her gradually going away—slipping, slipping 
from me; the swift tide bearing her off in the darkness, 
and no hand to help me snatch her from the remorseless 
waters gathering around her. If there is on earth any 
agony, any torture like that, I do not know it. 

She was constantly worried about my not taking rest— 
would, when she was fixed for the night, beg me, for her 
sake, to lie down, while her mother or Sara watched. 
And for her mother and Mrs. Wheeler, too, she had the 
same solicitude—always thinking of the comfort of others, 
and not of herself. Mrs. Ritchie is the best nurse I ever 
saw, the most competent woman in a_ sick chamber. 
Her care was sleepless and untiring; she omitted nothing; 
just the thing that was wanted, she had, and no hand on 
earth is more gentle and ready than hers. Through all 
those sad days her love and watchfulness never halted; 
she helped in such a tender way to smooth Lides descent 


to the stream, over which the Heavenly angels reached 
out invisible hands to bear her sweeet life to the happy 
land beyond. : 

And let me say here that all, all of the honsehold were 
as kind and considerate as it was possible to be. Mr. 
Latham, too, had a policeman detailed to close the 
streets before the house, so that no sound of passing 
vehicles should disturb the darling one who was so rapidly 
hurrying away. I have nothing to say—I can only hope 
that each and all may have as gentle care when they lie 
down to their last sleep. ) 

Dan, too, stood at her bedside, fanning her, with no 
interruption for three days, except when she slept. His 
stamina and endurance were a marvel to me, and to all. 
She suffered so much from impeded respiration, that doors 
and windows were: kept open, and the fanning was never 
intermitted, except when she slumbered. 

Ben returned, and at once came to see us. One who 
had stood by us with sO much constancy and fidelity for so 
many years; who loved us, and who regarded Lide his 
‘ideal woman—he was admitted to her bedside. A few 
and he never saw 

words—for much talking pained her 
her again alive. 

On Thursday she spoke of religious matters; regretted 
that Mr. Wyatt, her old rector, was not here, with whom 
she might talk. ‘‘I feel,” said she, ‘‘such confidence in 
Mr, Wyatt. I know him so well, and believe him to be 
so good a Christian, that I am sorry he is not here to 
talk with me. .I cannot unbosom myself to a stranger. 
I have much difficulty in feeling and obtaining that spirit- 
ual communion of which we read and are told. I have 
a little book Aunt Lizzie (Gemmill) gave me, ‘which 
contains some hymns that have been, for some months 
past, of great consolation to me. Rob, you will find it in 

4.30 My WIFE AND J. 

my trunk. Get it, please. Tell her, mother, this; and 
that I have so often thought of her while I was gone. 
Tell her, too, how much I love her.” 

I looked for the book—it is called ‘Spiritual Songs” — 
and could not find it. 

‘““Never mind, Rob, never mind. There is one hymn 
in that little book that I did thoroughly feel and appre- 
ciate, and which was of great comfort to me. It is called, 
‘Just as 1 am.’ It is beautiful, and full of consolation.” 

Her sister Hettie said that she had a copy in her 
Hymn Book, and asked if she should read it. “ Yes, 
Het, get it and read it.” Hfettie got the book and read 
it, Lide repeating every word after her. 

“Just as I am, without one plea, 
But that thy blood was shed for me, 
And that thou bid’st me come to thee, 
O, Jiaamb of God, I come! 

** Just as I am, and waiting not 
To rid my soul of one dark blot, 
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, 
O, Lamb of God, I come! 

** Just as I am, though tossed about 
With many a conflict, many a doubt, 
With fears within and wars without, 

O, Lamb of God, I come! 

“Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind, 
Light, riches, healing of the mind: 
Yea,,all I need, in Thee to find, 

0, Lamb of God! 

*‘ Just as I am—Thou wilt receive, 

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve, 
Because thy promise I believe— 
O, Lamb of God, I come. 

** Just as I am—Thy love, unknown, 
Has broken every barrier down ; 
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone— 

O, Lamb of God, I come! 


She did not miss a word; she pronounced all as dis- 
tinctly as could be, and gave to the whole an impressiveness 
and an emphasis that astonished and thrilled me. Will I 
be understood when I say that, independent of my love 
and even idolatry of my wife, I was prouder of her then 
than I ever had been in my life before? Such heroism, 
such an exaltation of the spiritual life, such moral sub- 
limity, made me so proud, and yet so grateful, that I could 
have cast myself at her feet and worshipped her. 

She asked Hettie to read her also “ Rock of Ages, cleft 
for me.’ Hettie commenced to do so from the same 
book. She got as far as the second stanza, which reads: 

**Not the labors of my hands 
Can fulfill thy love’s demands.” 

When Lide said, interrupting her: ‘No, no, Het., I don’t 
know that version—that has not the grandeur of the one 
in the “Prayer Book.” Get the other and read it to me.” 
It was done, and, as before, she followed after, word for 
word. When she reached these lines: 

** When I rise to worlds unknown; 
And behold thee on thy throne,” 

her face was transfigured—Heaven opened and let down 
upon her a ray of its celestial light. 

She talked on for some minutes—all her words touched 
with the splendor of Immortality. She said: ‘No one 
has more to live for than I; I have everything to make 
me happy; but I am perfectly resigned to die. I know 
that it is God’s will, and it is for some good purpose.” 

Her lips were a little blistered, and she asked for some 
camphor ice. Her mother brought it, and was about to 
apply it, when she gently and so kindly said: “Thank 
you, dear mother, but please let Rob put it on.” I held 

432 My Wire anv J. 

her hand during all those days, as already stated; but 
once some one came up to her—she had her eyes closed— 
and took it from me. The moment she felt another clasp 
she gently disengaged her sweet little hand and felt for 
mine, and was not satisfied until she found it. 

She talked to Mrs. Wheeler that same day as to her 
burial. “I cannot talk to poor Rob on this subject—it 
distresses him so much. I have tried to do it, but can- 
not. But, dear Sara,. when I. am gone tell /himethatel 
prefer to lie in California, which is my home, and where 
I’ve been so happy. I would like father to be in the 
same lot; but that is not possible—for Rob and I must lie 
together. ‘Tell him to get a lot in ‘Laurel Hill,’ of some 
place from where there is no prospect of our being re- 
moved, and let us be buried together.” 

Her wish has been gratified—her father is near her, and 
my own resting place has been prepared—she to be on 
the side next my heart, as she laid during all our mar- 
ried life. 

Early on Friday Mrs. Ritchie supposed, from symptoms 
she noted, that Lide’s end was near; and she had, all the 
family called. I was surprised to see them assembling, . 
and could not account for it. Lide awoke and saw them. 
Her quick eye noticed all. Her mother was seated near 
her pillow. She looked up with her beautiful smile and 
said:. “Qh,?,atds. so= nice to’ bei: back againgsya 
happy to be with you all once more. But, mother, when 
did this change take place in me?’ “This morning,” 
was the reply. She then turned her dear face towards her 
mother, reached out and gently patted her cheek and 
kissed her. ‘‘ You must not be so unhappy, mother. It 
will not be long before you follow me.” ‘The tones of 
her voice were so plaintive, there was such a touching ten- 
derness, resignation, and beauty in her face;—such visible 


effusion and expansion of the divine spirit within her, that 
all who surrounded her were weeping bitterly. She looked 
at each one in turn, as if to see if all were there. ‘ Why 
do you all weep? why should you weep? You see I do 
not. JI am resigned and willing to go.” 

She then called Eustace to her, put her arms around 
him and kissed him. “Eustace, my child, be a good boy 
when I am gone, and so make poor papa happy. Promise 
me you will be.” Then Bolton came, and she drew him 

passionately to her breast. “Bolton, my dear child, you 
must try to be very good for mamma’s sake, and make 
papa happy.” All were called in turn—each of her sisters, 

Mrs. Wheeler, Dan., General Simpson, and Major Elliot, 
and to each she addressed appropriate kind words, and 
kissed them all. 

Mrs. Ritchie has a servant who has lived with her more 
than sixteen years, to whom Lide was attached. Lide 
asked for Mary Lagan. ‘Mary, you have been so long, 
associated with the family, and knowing what a faithful 
friend you have always’ been, I must take leave of you, 
too,” and she bade her good-by with the same sweet smile 
and gentle voice. Turning to all, she said: ‘ You—all 
of you must love dear Rob, and be kind to him and 
comfort him for my sake, for he has been true and faith- 
ful to me.” 

Saeramen called Dan. to her. ‘Dear: Dan.,. say the 
Lord’s Prayer for me.” My brother knelt at her side 
and, in tearful, broken, sobbing tones, repeated that prayer— 
she accompanying him, her voice rising clear above his, 
almost equally sustained throughout, and without a quaver. 
After that she repeated the hymn just quoted—“ Just as I 
am,”—and no one present on that occasion will ever for- 


434 My WiFE AND ie hs 

get the dear impressive ascending tones with which she 
closed each verse. 

“Oh, Lamb of God, I come!’’ 

She turned to me and asked me to send for Dr. Max- 
well. He came almost immediately, and approached her 

“Doctor, I have sent to you to say good-by to you.” 

“But, Mrs. Rogers, you are not dying yet.” 

“No, Doctor, I may not be dying just now, but it is 
only a question of a few hours. I wish to say good-by to 
you now.” She drew him towards her, laid her hand over 
his neck, thanked him for all his kindness and care, and 
then kissed him. The Doctor broke completely down. 

After that terrible and yet sublime scene had passed, I 
laid alongside of her, holding her hand all the while. 
When the room was cleared, and we were alone, she said: 
“My darling, I will not say good-by to you. I won't look 
on it as parting from you. I will always be with you. 
The time will soon pass, and then you will come to me. 
Poor, dear, dear Teppie, precious husband.” Her lips 
compressed and her face grew pale. ‘‘ No, no, I must not 
break down. Dear, dear Rob, kiss your little wife.” 

I laid my head upon the pillow, and talked to her— 
low talk, such as I talked in the old trysting days—telling 
her how she had beautified my life, how happy she had 
made me, and that she had been a perfect true wife to 
me. I told her, too, that never should any other head 
rest in her ‘‘little home;”’ that I would walk through the 
coming years alone with her memory, and go pure to her, 
with the old love stainless and faithful. Happy words they 
were to her!—dear, blessed promises for one who was 
entering upon the life that is endless, and for one who 


believed she would carry with her and preserve for me 
the love that had made her career here so happy. 

She spoke of her children—her “poor motherless child- 
ren,’ and what would become of them. I told her, that 
so far as I could, I would be a mother to them—would 
instruct them with all my capacity according to her plans 
and ideas; would dedicate and yield up my life to them; 
would especially try to impart to them a religious edu- 
cation—lead them to church, and, so far as I could do, 
give them the example of a Christian life. She could not 
reply, but crept closer, closer, and laid her dear lips in 
grateful love against my own. ‘And, Precious, promise 
me that you will not wander aimless and homeless. Have 
a home; gather our children into it, and let them feel 
they have such a refuge in the world. Promise me this.” 
I did so, and she went on: “ Darling, if you will, I would 
like Lide to have all my things. I would like to send 
her something special from this bed. If you have no ob- 
jection, give her the turquoise set you brought me from 
Paris. Send them to her in my name, with my blessing 
and love. ‘Tell her, dear Rob, she will never know how 
much her poor mamma loved her. God grant that she 
may grow up to be all you desire and a comfort to you.” 

Later I had a few more words with her. She told me 
to give her love to Mrs. Maxwell and to Ella, and not to 
forget, too, to give her love to Mr. Latham, and her re- 
grets she did not see him when he called. 

That Friday was a day of tremendous strain on all 
of us. I had not had my clothes off but once since our 
arrival—at night lying down on the floor. She called me 
to her about 10 o'clock p.m., and begged of me as a 
favor to get some rest. 

“Please, Teppie, lie down on the lounge—-on my lounge. 

436 My Wire AND ]. 

You'll love that lounge, Teppie. You will sleep well 
there. Kiss me good night.” 

That day, after she had said good-by to all the family, 
she spoke to no one except to me. Her mother, during 
the afternoon, laid down a little while, and Mrs. Wheeler 
went to her own home for an hour, and I had my wife 
all to myself. She then spoke to me as I have related. 

Saturday she suffered intensely from oppression, and I 
had Dr. Maxwell there most of the day. Towards even- 
ing, after a short conversation with her as to her difficulty 
in taking morphia, he determined to try it in a concen- 
trated form-—to be given her at intervals of two hours. 
Before taking the dose at 10 o’clock she called me and 
begged me to lie down, that she was about to take her 
morphia, and that she desired to be perfectly quiet. She 
put her arms around my neck and kissed me good night. 
At one o'clock she asked for a drink of water, which 
Mrs. Wheeler gave her. 

I threw myself on the floor, and at ten minutss past 
two Mrs. Ritchie called me. There was alarm in her 
voice, and I rose instantly and rushed to Lide’s side. She 
was slipping down from the pillow, her bosom gently 
heaving. I gathered her up in my arms, and pressed her 
head to my breast. She drew one long sigh, and all was 
over. On the day, hour and minute of her birth did she 
pass to 

«The light that hath no evening, 
The health that hath no sore, 
The life that hath no ending, 
But lasteth evermore.”’ 

After the dawn had come they called me, and told me 
I could enter her chamber. All the confusion of the 
night before had given place to order and neatness, and 
the sweet, cool breath of the early day filled the room; 


while through the open window the just risen sun threw 
his golden beams, that were at once a mockery and a 

My darling lay upon the bed—she had been attired as 
she requested, in a neat night-dress—her beautiful white 
hands, through whose transparent skin the web of blue 
veins was distinctly traced, were crossed upon her hushed 
bosom, and her sweet face held yet a delicate flush of 
life. But oh, God, what profound terror and inexpressible 
mystery are in the silence that death leaves behind! how 
awful the figure and lineaments from which Life has with- 
drawn its grace, its emotion, and its beauty! But Love, 
from which we first get the inspiration of Immortality 
that instinct and religion confirm, drove all that was for- 
bidding from me, and I saw but the shrine where the 
angel had been; I saw then my zz/e—her precious form 
only—for she had been led away by the angels, and per- 
haps even then she paused, and reached out loving hands 
to me. And then, how all my old, poor, rebellious self 
fell from me as I knelt at her side, and called—oh, so 
vainly called to her, to open her closed lids and look at 
me; to say once more, “darling Teppie;” again to forgive 
me all. the wayward faults I may have committed, that 
seemed so great then; to lift her sweet, pure hands and 
pat my cheeks, and to kiss me with the old, warm lips! 

As I looked at her, the calm and peace she had felt, 
and which death could not disturb, fell upon me, and 
seemed to carry me nearer her. And yet, how plaintively 
and sweetly our dear past life came back to me—the 
chaste cheek, and the half-blown rose gemming her rich 
brown hair, bathed in the splendor of the moonlight 
when I first met her; the soft, bright day she and I stole 
away to the Priest, when I clasped her finger with the 
golden band that she wore then, and in which, as it 

438 My Wire aND J. 

gleamed under my eye, I fancied I saw her dear face as 
of old; the tender, happy love-life in the attic under the — 
stars; her coming across the sea to me; the happy years 
“in the dear little cottage on Brannan street; the Sum- 
mer sojourns at Menlo Park; the rides through the purple 
shadows of the hill-lands away over to the seaside; the 
first alarming hectic signals her disease held out from her 
cheeks; the weary wanderings to find sunshine and_ bright 
lands; her return; then the lessons taught by her sweet 
peace and Christian hope, and the golden pathway she 
left as she rose to the skies. As all these pictures started — 
up before me, and I saw rising over my future long, 
lonesome, unquiet years, I felt then, and I have felt since, 
that it was wise in her to have taught me to look upward; 
it was well her kisses warmed my lips still, and that the 
echoes of her plaintive voice came back to me from the 

They covered her with the soft life of flowers—the 
flowers she loved so much, and which, of all Nature’s 
beauties, were most like herself. Her placid smile grew 
more and more beautiful from hour to hour, and when 
they bore her away, her face was the pure, lovely face of 
the gone years of tryst and first kisses. 

They bore her to the church, where she had knelt and 
learned the lessons she had taught to us during those last 
happy—yes, happy, and yet sorrowful days. They sung 
the hymns she had loved, and ,had repeated while God 
was leading her away to the bright skies and to the per- 
petual sunshine she sought here in vain; and across the 
bars of golden light that streamed through the windows 
and quivered along the wall, came the grand anthem she 
loved so well: 

*‘IT know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter 
day upon the earth.” 


They carried her then to the Mount, away over 
towards and overlooking, the sea; and there laid her 
down, and there she rests still, while above her come and 
go, through all the days, the typical, fragile life of flowers. 
Her sweet, gentle spirit went to the skies; but, as I 
solemnly believe, it sometimes comes back again, helps my 
weariness, and as touched my heart and thought during. 
all the sad, quiet nights at her ‘dear. little home” where 
I trace these memorial lines: 

The little labor of putting these pages together has 
afforded me a mournful pleasure and pastime, that some 
persons, at least, will appreciate and understand. The con- 
trolling principle that has urged me to write these 
mementos has been, as already stated, to shape, in some 
degree, the moral life of our children by a recital of the 
instinctive goodness and inexpressibly exquisite purity of 
their mother. Upon me, too, the effect has been some- 
thing more than bringing myself, as it were, face to face 
with my darling. It has given me a clearer apprehension . 
of my duties, and has aided in strengthening my faith in 
a controlling Supreme Personal Intelligence who moves the 
world, inscrutable and impenetrable as His ways may be. 
More than all, it has enabled me to reconcile myself to 
my condition—repressing dark and besetting temptations, 
and teaching me patience and hope. God grant, too, 
that, in the coming years, this feeble record of their 
mother may touch our children with something of her 
moral goodness and beauty. 

And now, as I reach the end, I. grow sad and restless, 
and I desire to turn back and walk again all. through our 
past life, half hoping I may find the pure, sweet bosom 
where, for so many years, I rested my head in. perfect 
peace. There the din and deceit of the world could 
not reach me;.or, if they came near, I was the happier 

440 My Wire and J. 

in feeling and knowing that, in that shelter, they were 
powerless to harm me. . 

It is not merely home broken up, and companion— 
friend, who is gone; but I have lost the keen perception, 
the calm, clear judgment that made my wife the most 
admirable and sagacious counselor I ever saw. As I sit 
here, within her old home on this Sabbath night, think- 
ing of all these things, and lingering—lingering—with 
scarce resolution to close this page—no sound breaking 
the stillness except the mournful midnight bell borne to 
me across the gloom of the darkness—feeling and know- 
ing so keenly that I shall never see my darling again in 
this world—as all these thoughts press upon my heart and 
mind, I bow my head and close my book in_ bitter, 
unavailing tears. 

i al nh Ca : ioe , Pais |) eo 

=. 2 ee 
ce le 


——— . a 

On receipt of this book, please make, in your own hand- 

writing, the corrections as follows, viz: 


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