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Miss Leaf opened it; but for the first time in her life she had no welcome for her child.
"Is it Ascott? I thought it was Ascott," she cried, peering eagerly up and down the street.
"He is gone out, then? When did he go ?" asked Hilary, feeling her heart turn stone-cold.
"Just after Selina came in. She—she vexed him. But he cannot be long! Is not that man he?"
And just as she was, without shawl or bonnet, Johanna stepped out into the cold damp night, and strained her eyes into the darkness ; but in vain.
"I'll walk round the Crescent once, and maybe I shall find him. Only go in, Johanna."
And Hilary was away again into the dark, walking rapidly, less with the hope of finding Ascott than to get time to calm herself, so as to meet, and help her sisters to meet, this worst depth of their calamity. For something warned her that this last desperation of a weak nature is more to be dreaded than any overt obstinacy of a strong one. She had a conviction that Ascott never would come home.
After awhile they gave up waiting and watching at the front-door, and shut them
selves up in the parlor. The first explanation past, even Sclina ceased talking; ^tnd they sat together, the three women, doing nothing, attempting to do nothing, only listening; thinking every sound was a step on the pavement or a knock at the door. Alas! what would they not have given for the fiercest knock, the most impatient, angry footstep, if only it had been their boy's?
About one o'clock, Selina had to be pat to bed in strong hysterics. She had lashed her nephew with her bitter tongue till he had rushed out of the house, declaring that none of them should ever see his face again. Now she reproached herself as being the cause of all, and fell into an agony of remorse, which engrossed her sisters' whole care; until, her violent emotion having worn itself out, she went to sleep, the only one who did sleep in that miserable family.
For Elizabeth also, having been sent to bed hours before, was found by Miss Hilary sitting on the kitchen stairs, about four in the morning. Her mistress made no attempt at reproach, but brought her into the parlor to share the silent watch, never broken except to make up the fire or light a fresh candle; till candles burnt up, and shutters were opened, and upon their great calamity stared the broad, unwelcome day.
Sensation Paragraphs.—The roar of the lion in the forest in the dead stillness of the night inspires terror—the lightning that strikes tlic mast in a storm at sea, produces feelings of the liveliest alarm—the explosion of a bombshell, scattering destruction around, will make the stoutest heart quake with fear—but perhaps no sight in the world is half so terrible as that of a hungry man who has been kept waiting more than five minutes for his dinner!
The Maelstrom may be fathomed—Big Ben even mny ultimately be sounded,—but woman's heart never!
It requires courage to lead a forlorn hopeno little firmness is requisite to break some fatal news to a suffering friend—and a deal of moral heroism is wanted to forgive an injury in one who has been dearly loved,—but what are these compared to the superhuman effort that Is needed at some fancied sound of alarm, to descend alone at three o'clock in the morning into a kitchen that we know to be swarming with blackbcetlcs 1
Some like sparkling champagne beat, whilst
others give the preference to still; but happy, oh! twice happy, is he whoso conscience combines both qualities—one that is, at the sume time, both sparkling and still!—Punch.
THE TOUCH OP NATURE.
Slight withal may be the things which bring
Draw the clear October out;
Another, and another bout,
Then back to labor with a shout 1 The banded sheaves stand orderly
Against the purple Autumn sky,
Like armies of Prosperity.
From The Spectator. , "HORITURI TE SALUTANT."
Pbobably every one who has visited the Exhibition has paused to admire M. Gerard's picture of the gladiators saluting Tiberius as they pass on to the arena. The wild gestures of the men doomed, yet resolute, and the cheerful cruelty of the imperial smile, tell their own history. It may seem a fault in art that the group is so email and the amphitheatre so vast. We almost lose sight of the individual fate as the eye wanders over the countless tiers of seats and the throng of curious human faces that rise heavenward. What are a few Dacians to the great lords of the world making holiday? Yet it is precisely in this contrast of the mighty Roman people and their insignificant victims that the truth and moral purport of M. Gerard's picture lie. Tiberius is no anomalous tyrant, but the natural growth of his country and his times. The eagles before him are not more certainly the symbol of Roman energy that has sought its prey over land and sea than are the gladiators a type of Roman recklessness of life and scorn for the conquered. Cobblers and bravoes—-fast Romuli—are replacing the old legionaries, but the savage intolerance of rivalry that passed the plow over Carthage and proscribed Jugurtha, is still the one political feeling that quickens the pulses of parasites and loungers at the hath. The peaceful generations are even harder and bitterer in their scorn than their fathers, who fought and conquered, were in their hate. But Ate is closing upon the guilty royal race. In the great amphitheatre of the world it is presently the Roman who will go out to die or be cast to the wild beasts of his own hills, and the Goth who will sit in the curule chair under the eagles. The future generations of Latin citizens—patrician and nameless man—may be seen in thought taking place after to-day's gladiators. You are speaking the death sentence of your sons' sons in your quiet signal for to-day's sport. O Tiberius! Morituri te salutant.
The story is one of all time. Let Rome of the nineteenth century he the Coliseum, and a venerable old man muttering prayers preside half-unconsciously over the new games. That no touch of human weakness trouble his repose, let Sejanus, ex-seminarist and apostate Liberal, be at his side. Let
the cross glimmer and the fragrant incenseclouds wreathe over the altars, and bid the whole Christian world attend the august spectacle. It is an old tradition of the faith expounded by Caiaphas, that one man should die for the people.'and why not one people for the Church and for the world? Alas! there is no need of victims here. They pass on before the ivory throne—the whole population of the imperial city,—men with the light of thought quenched in their eyes— women parted from their children, who have fallen everywhere between Po and Tiber, or who rot namelessly in gaol—the young growing up without hope, or faith, or liberty. The dying salute thee, Father! Let them pass on. A few thin stragglers follow —the soldier consorting with felons in a dishonored cause, the monk struggling to believe—Borges, Tosti, and the like—whom a filial reverence forbids to plead for mercy. None the less is the shadow of death upon them as they pass by the chair. Behind are more august victims. The two sons of the poetess, whom their mother gave to her country, and whom she survives; the thousand obscure sons of unknown women, who sent their children to die for Rome because Rome was Italian ; the statesman who found his country a province and left it a nation, but whose brain sank under the weight of one city not to be liberated; the childlike heroic man who passed suddenly like the breath of God over a kingdom, and shook down its bloody throne; thy sons implore thy blessing. Father of the Church! morituri te salutant, sovereign of Rome! Thou givest the signal, and the world looks on; and Sejanus and Lygdus smile as the victims fall. Was the death-struggle with the lions more terrible?
But the men of one generation cannot stand or sink alone. The Church that slays its sons is renouncing its history and its dead. One by one the invisible communion of Saints gives up its own, whom the fiat of Rome condemns. The apostles of spiritual freedom—Athanasius, Anselm, Pascal,—the men who moved the world because they loved much—St. Francis and St. Vincent de Paul,—what have these in common with the Curia condemning Passnglia, and De Merode planning murder? Let them pass away to the lions or the stake. Innocent, in whom Popedom culminated, who made the world vassal, but under whom Rome was free, must follow the long line of the miserable. The great purpose of their lives is undone; their prayers only waken bitter memories; their blood can but witness against the Church. If only they could go forth alone; but their works and their faith follow them. The liturgies that implore mercy; the creeds that witness to a common brotherhood in Christ; the Cross, to which all cling, must pass as it were in procession before the throne, and bear the common sentence and the pitiless doom. Truly, not a few are the dying who salute thee, Father of the Church! Yet something shall remain when the last fire is quenched, and the last sand smoothed over the victims' blood. The arches of the amphitheatre, the eagles, the throne, and the courtiers, will still stand like a sculptured effigy over the grave of a buried faith. The great pageant will seem to have outlasted the eternal reality. But a few years or a few centuries and life shall assert its old dominion over the works of time. The temple which the angels have left will crash in shapeless ruin over the desecrated altars. The men who cried for pity in the amphitheatre shall find it at the judgment-seat of God. Is it not a sense of the love that transcends humanity, whose name is justice here and mercy in heaven,, that sustains them in this hour as they salute and step forward to death!
From The Spectator, 20 Sept. THE FUTURE OF THE SOUTH. THERE is a slight reaction perceptible in the European enthusiasm for the South. Among the many causes which have prodnced that strange aberration of feeling, the principal has been an unavowed, half-conscious sense of relief. The American Republic, always prosperous and always exacting, with resources as boundless as its vanity, and courage almost equal to its irritability, had begun to dismay politicians. Statesmen felt as if a power were growing up with which tingle nations would be incompetent to deal, and the popular annoyance at repeated concussions was deepened into bate by a feeling that such concessions were not altogether without need. The division of the States was therefore hailed as an event of good
omen for the world, a catastrophe which, however dreadful in its circumstances, still, like the French Revolution or the Irish famine, had its own compensations. To make the sense of relief complete, however, it was essential that the fragments of the great empire should be politically manageable, should be reduced to the point at which they could no longer safely menace, and it begins to be doubtful whether this requisite has been altogether secured. The South is developing rapidly into a first-class fighting power, and its admirers confess that, its independence secured, they could see the tide of victory roll back without very keen repugnance.
Were peace declared next week, the South would remain immeasurably the strongest power on the American Continent. All the causes which led observers to believe in its military weakness, have one .by one disappeared, and for the fiftieth time it has been demonstrated that aristocracy, whatever its other demerits, is the most effective of ruling powers. From the very beginning of the contest, the action of the South lias been direct, coherent, and singularly able. From among three hundred thousand slave-owners, all accustomed to govern, and all, from the permanent danger in which they live, imbued with the military spirit, it was inevitable that really governing men should immediately step out. Accident placed at their head an organizing mind which there is reason to believe one of consummate power, and in a few weeks a Government, strong to the point of despotism, bad been brought into working order. Supported by popular opinion, and the fear of losing their property —a fear strong enough to make Frenchmen, for example, submit to despotism—the governing class were enabled to perform a feat almost without a parallel. They drove the whole of the non-propertied class into the ranks of the army, officered it from their own numbers, and in a year of combat drilled and disciplined a semi-civilized race into effective soldiers. General Jackson has an army which is able to march, which he can carry away from his base of operations, and which can act with the secresy and suddenness belonging only to regular troops. Compare McClellan's march down the Peninsula with the Southern invasion of Maryland, effected at the rate of twenty miles a day. There is nothing in their own organization to prevent the Southerners reaching Canada. Almost without supplies, dependent on the North for powder and guns, cloth and food, the energy of the leaders, and the inventiveness always developed in the Anglo-Saxon race under the stimulus'of danger, supplied all deficiencies. Possessed as they were of all property, the aristocracy being really in earnest, could not be checked for want of means. They fought like Frederick the Great or the Committee of Public Safety, devoted all property to the war, taxed themselves practically in their whole incomes, and gradually welded the whole population into one fighting mass. This was the easier, because to the mass of that population war was a direct relief. The mean white, badly fed, and incapable of labor, accustomed to hardship and consumed by ennui, felt a soldier's life, with its regular duties and rations and plentiful excitement, a relief from his former existence. The exceptional character of society greatly favored his conversion into a soldier. Accustomed to look up to the planters as the sole property holders, he readily obeyed them as officers; and fanatic for slavery, marched against " abolitionists" with an almost religious zeal. Unused to labor, his disappearance left the locality no poorer; the slaves, who had always worked, working on still like machines. The labormarket could not be disturbed, for the laborer was the one class from which recruits could never be drawn. A systematic despotism, probably at once lightened by the absence of overseers and intensified by the free use of the punishment of death, previously avoided because the slave was valuable, crushed them into rank and order, and society, as a mass, had organized itself for war.
Strong men cropped up everywhere. Aristocracy, incapable of some forms of genius —a great aristocratic poet is still to seek— always, until worn down with intermarriage, produces governing men; and Jefferson Davis had able assistants. At least three able generals—Beauregard, Lee, and Jackson—rose successively to the top. A Finance Minister was appointed who, whatever his system, succeeded in finding without revenue all the required supplies. A Minister of Marine was found who, as no navy existed capable of contending with the foe, called on science, used railway iron to
make ships, and by his first essay created profound alarm in every government in Europe. The Merrimac was destroyed, but not till she had modified all men's thoughts on the subject of naval warfare, and after her destruction, the Secretary still regained by a similar device the temporary control of the Mississippi, and is even now alarming the Northern coast. New ships were purchased in Europe. At least two captains were discovered of the very first class for energy and rapidity of movement; and the South, in the teeth of every natural obstacle, was enabled to claim an effective though still insufficient navy. For the rest, the Government, in whose territory the enemy, with secret allies in the population, can obtain no information, and no unbought supplies, must be ably and zealously served. The South, to all outside appearances, acts as one man, a working military despotism as efficient as that of France, and far more terribly in earnest.
And now it would seem that the State, thus organized and changed in its character, is about to secure independence, and the communication with the external world, which is all it needs to perfect its military arrangements. Can any one seriously doubt that it will be one of the most formidable States of earth? The Southern leaders have always had a floating idea that Slave States should, as Calhoun advised, be organized on a military basis, and the planters are not likely to lose the lesson they have acquired. The army, which gives them importance abroad, will impart to them also a new feeling of security at home. A strong and most able despotism will direct a regular army of two hundred thousand men, filled with unfailing rapidity by the conscription, composed of soldiers who have reached just that point of civilization at which men, without losing their instinctive ferocity, become capable of action in coherent masses, and governed by officers educated in command and trained in a terrible series of campaigns. The South has no wooden fleet to abandon, and, with the sale of one cotton crop, it can place a hundred Merrimacs, manned and armed, on the water. The property of the country is at its governors' disposal, and must, therefore, be adequate to the support of the army, while the expense of the year has accustomed the goverm'ng class to severe and effective taxation. The slaves, so far from a source of weakness, have proved an element of strength, enabling the South alone among the nations of the world to make war without in the smallest degree impeding the work of production. Add to all this a geographical situation eminently favorable to expansion, and how is Europe to restrain such a power if it chooses to devote its energies to the foundation of an empire?
By invasion? A million of Anglo-Saxons have made the attempt in vain. By blockades? No blockade could equal in severity or duration that which the South has survived. By naval warfare? The South can conquer Mexico without sending a ship to sea, and move troops by the hundred thousand in regions whither France could transport only tens. Without mentioning the revival of the slave-trade, which Virginia may be able to stop, the South will certainly covet Cuba, which Spain cannot, against such a power, defend. It will hanker for Hayti, which Europe, not owning the island, will scarcely care to protect. It will long for the West Indies, whose free blacks are a permanent menace to the first principle of its existence, and England may at any moment be exposed to an enemy who can produce a cotton crisis, and who is, at least, as formidable as the United States ever were. The command of the isthmus, the most important point on the American continent, and almost indispensable to our vest possessions on the Pacific, must belong to the power which, seated at once on the Atlantic, the Gulf, and the Pacific, can at any moment transport fifty thousand trained soldiers to Nicaragua, and which, in Walker's expedition, indicated clearly the groove its ambition would select. To all human appearance, if the South succeeds, a grand military aristocracy—brave, tenacious, and merciless, may enthrone itself on the continent from the Potomac to Panama, everywhere ruling a subject race, reduced from a state of more or less complete freedom to permanent and degrading bondage. It may be, moreover, for a time, one of the strongest of external powers, contesting our liberty in the Gulf, and obliterating our influence in the Pacific, with a mighty alliance to offer to any European enemy, and an organization which no State based on freedom
TLLLULi SERIES. L1YI.M, AGE. 939.
can permanently hope to conciliate. That is the prospect before us, and it is one which may make the most ardent sympathizer with the South hesitate in his effusion of friendship. He relied on two secret heliefs,—that the South must be exhausted, and that a slave power must always be weak,—and both are proving fallacious. The South has lost many men, but while it has enough for its army, its chiefs, who want no mean whites to grow corn, will not feel their power diminished. It has incurred a great debt, but the governing class has lent the money to itself, and is quite capable, if need be, of making a holocaust of its bonds. It has two crops to sell, the value of which will soon recoup all losses, and its slaves will be worth at once more than their highest value. As to slavery, while the slaves obey, they are a source of military strength, and the planters have learnt the secret of making them obey. Rome armed her slaves with impunity, and the men who fell at Thermopylo; induced helots to share their fate— and be forgotten. The slaves release the white men for war, and the South is, in fact, a military despotism in which two millions of males, governed by astute and determined chiefs, stand ever prepared for battle. Is that the result which those who accuse us of fanaticism, because we support civil government and remain true to the principle of human freedom, so anxiously desire?
Part of an Article in Tho Spectator, 20 Sept.
What is it that gives the low and mongrel character to the present effusion of quasi-revolutionary energy in the Northern States? That the people are making enormous sacrifices of both blood and treasure for the success of their armies is beyond all doubt, and yet there is nothing more difficult for us in England than to believe that the people are passionately, fatally in earnest in the cause for which they fight. In a great measure this is no doubt due to the demeanor of their so-called statesmen; but then this is precisely the difficulty to be accounted for, since nothing is more perplexing than to reconcile that demeanor with the hypothesis that these statesmen are conscious of any such passionate popular pur