Page images

warm light of the room. He stood still a moment, hidden in the shadow of the street, thinking his own thoughts.

The publican in the old story harlly entered the beautiful temple with more reverent steps than he his home that night.



As we cover the graves of the heroic dead with flowers, the past rises before us like a dream. Again we are in the great struggle. We hear the sounds of preparation—the music of the boisterous drums—the silver voices of the heroic bugles. We hear the appeals of orators; we see the pale cheeks of women, and the flushed faces of men ; we see all the dead whose dust we have covered with flowers. We lose sight of them no more. We are with them when they enlist in the great army of freedom. We see them part from those they love. Some are walking for the last time in the quiet woody places with the maidens they adore. We hear the whispers, and the sweet vows of eternal love, as they lingeringly part forever. Others are bending over cradles, kissing babies that are asleep. Some are receiving the blessings of old men. Some are parting who hold them and press them to their hearts again and again, and say nothing; and some are talking with wives, and trying, with brave words spoken in the old tones, to drive from their hearts the awful fear. We see them part. We see the wife standing in the door with the babe in her arms—standing in the sunlight, sobbing. At the turn of the road a hand waves: she answers by holding high in her loving arms the child. He is gone, and forever.

We see them all as they march proudly away, under the flaunting flags, keeping time to the wild music of war-marching down the streets of the great cities, through the towns, and across the prairies, to do and to die for the eternal right. We go with them, one and all. We are by their side on all the gory fields, in all the hospitals of pain, on all the weary marches. We stand guard with them in the wild storm and under the quiet stars. We are with them in ravines with blood, in the furrows of old fields. with them between contending hosts, unable to move, wild with

We are

thirst, the life ebbing slowly away among the withered leaves. We see them pierced with balls and torn by shells in the trenches by the forts, and in the whirlwind of the charge, where men become iron with nerves of steel. We are at home when the news reaches us that they are dead. We see the maiden in the shadow of her first sorrow.

We see the silvered head of the old man bowed with the last grief. Those heroes are dead. They sleep under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of the sunshine and the storm, each in the windowless place of rest.

Earth may run red with other wars—they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of the conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for the soldiers living and deadcheers for the living, tears for the dead.



The Englishman's waked by the lark,
A-singing far up in the sky;
But a damsel with wheel-baritone,
Pitched fearfully high,
Like a lark in the sky,
Wakes me with a screech
Of “Horse red-dee-ee-eech!”

The milkman, he crows in the morn,
And then the street cackle begins :
Junk-man with cow-bells, and fish-man with horn,
And venders of brushes and pins,
And menders of tubs and of tips.
66 Wash-tubs to mend !” “ Tin-ware to mend !”
Oh! who will deliverance send ?
Hark! That girl is beginning her screech,—
66 Horse-

tubs” “ Ripe peach

Then there's “ O-ranges,” “Glass toputin,"
And bagpipes, and peddlers, and shams;
The hand-organizer is mixing his din
With “ Strawber _” “Nice sof' clams !”
“Wash-tubs to mend,” « Tin-ware to mend!"
Oh, Heaven deliverance send !
I'd swear, if it was n't a sin,
any woo-ood ? "

“Glass toputin!”

By "

6 Ice-cream! I'm sure that


And madly the whole town is screaming,
“ “Pie-apples!” “Shedders !” “Oysters !” and “Blue-
Berries !” with “Hot corn all steaming !”
“ Umbrell's to mend!”—My head to mend !
How swiftly I'd like to send
To-somewhere-this rackety crew,
That keep such a cry and a hue
Of “ Hot _” Wash-tubs ! ” and “Pop-
Corn-balls !”-Oh! corn-bawler, stop!

From morning till night the street's full of hawkers
Of “ North River shad! and “ Ba-nan-i-yoes !”
Of men and women and little girl squawkers-
“Ole hats and boots! Ole clo'es!”
“ Times, Tribune, and Worruld !”
“ 'Ere's yer mornin' 'Erald ! ”
What a confounded din
Of “Horse red”.

Ripe -” “Oysters,” and “Potatoes

-“ to mend” Till the watchman's late whistle comes in at the end.

-Edward Eggleston.


If I were to tell you the story of Napoleon, I should take it from the lips of Frenchmen, who find no language rich enough to paint the great captain of the nineteenth century. Were I to tell


the story of Washington, I should take it from your hearts-you who



think no marble white enough on which to carve the name of the Father of his Country. But I am to tell you the story of a negro, Toussaint L'Ouverture, who left hardly one written line. I am to glean it from the reluctant testimony of his enemies, men who despised him because he was a negro and a slave, hated him because he had beaten them in battle. Cromwell manufactured his own army. Napoleon at the age of twenty-seven was placed at the head of the best troops Europe ever saw.

Cromwell never saw an army till he was forty. This man

a soldier till he was fifty. Cromwell manufactured his army-out of what? Englishmen—the best blood in Europe; and with it he conquered—what? Englishmen—their equals. This man manufactured his army

out of—what? Out of what you call the despicable race of negroes, debased by two hundred years of slavery, unable to speak a dialect intelligible to each other. Yet out of this mixed and, as you say, despicable mass, he forged a thunderbolt and hurled it atwhat? At the proudest blood in Europe, the Spaniard, and sent him home conquered; at the most warlike blood in Europe, the French, and put them under his feet; at the pluckiest blood in Europe, the English, and they skulked home to Jamaica. Now if Cromwell was a general, at least this man was a soldier.

Now, blue-eyed Saxon, proud of your race, go back with me to the commencement of the century, and select what statesman you please. Let him be either American or European ; let him have a brain the result of six generations of culture; let him have the ripest training of university routine ; let him add to it the better education of practical life; crown his temples with the silver locks of seventy years,—and show me the man of Saxon lineage for whom his most sanguine admirer will wreathe a laurel rich as embittered foes have placed on the brow of this negro-rare military skill, profound knowledge of human nature, content to blot out all party distinctions, and trust a state to the blood of its sons--anticipating Sir Robert Peel fifty years, and taking his station by the side of Roger Williams before any Englishman or American had won the right ;and yet this is the record which the history of rival states makes up for this inspired black of St. Domingo.

Some doubt the courage of the negro. Go to Hayti, and stand on those fifty thousand graves of the best soldiers France ever had, and ask them what they think of the negro's sword.

I would call him Napoleon ; but Napoleon made his way to empire over broken oaths and through a sea of blood. This man never broke his word. I would call him Cromwell; but Cromwell was only a soldier, and the state he founded went down with him into his grave. I would call him Washington; but the great Virginian held slaves. This man risked his empire rather than permit the slave-trade in the humblest village of his dominions.

You think me a fanatic, for you read history, not with your eyes, but with your prejudices. But fifty years hence, when Truth gets a hearing, the Muse of history will put Phocion for the Greek, Brutus for the Roman, Hampden for England, Fayette for France, choose Washington as the bright consummate flower of our earlier civilization, then, dipping her pen in the sunlight, will write in the clear blue, above them all, the name of the soldier, the statesman, the martyr, Toussaint L'Ouverture.

- Wendell Phillips.



I never realized what the country was and is as on the day when I first saw some of these gentlemen of the army


It was when, at the close of the war, our armies came back, and marched in review before the president's stand at Washington. I do not care whether a man was a Republican or a Democrat, a Northern man or a Southern man, if he had any emotion of nature he could not look it without weeping. God knew that the day was stupendous, and he cleared the heaven of cloud and mist and chill, and sprung the blue sky as a triumphal arch for the returning warriors to pass under. From Arlington Heights the spring foliage shook out its welcome as the hosts came over the hills, and the sparkling waters of the Potomac tossed their gold to the feet of the battalions as they came to the Long bridge and in almost interminable line passed over. The capitol never seemed so majestic as that morning, snowy white, looking down upon the tides of men that came surging down, billow after billow. Passing in silence, yet I heard in every step the thunder of conflicts through which they had waded, and seemed to see dripping from their smoke-blackened flags the blood of our country's martyrs. For the best part of two days we

« PreviousContinue »