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something still more sublime in the faith which led publishers to fall into the nets he so industriously wove for them.
The result of the lawsuit being made known to the newcomers, Melissa, hiding her face, at once left the room, and was followed by her sisters and step-mother.
Purling keenly felt the embarrassment of his position. Pompilard came to his relief. “We have concluded, my dear fellow,” said he, “not to put off the wedding. Don't concern yourself about money-matters. You can come and occupy Melissa's room with her till I get on my legs once more. I shall go to work in earnest now this lawsuit is off my hands."
“My dear sir,” said Purling, “ you are very generous, very indulgent. The moment my books begin to pay, what is mine shall be yours; and if you can conveniently accommodate me for a few months, till the work I'm now writing is.—”
“ Accommodate you? Of course we can! The more the merrier," interrupted Pompilard. “ So it's settled. The wedding comes off next Wednesday."
And the wedding came off according to the programme. It took place in church. Pompilard was in his glory. Cards had been issued to all his friends of former days. Many had conveniently forgotten that such a person existed; but there were some noble exceptions, as there generally are in such cases. Presents of silver, of dresses, books, furniture, and pictures were sent in from friends both of the bride and bridegroom ; so that the trousseau presented a very respectable appearance; but the prettiest gift of the occasion was a little porte-monnaie, containing a check for two thousand dollars signed by Pat Maloney.
As for Charlton, young in years, if not in heart, good-looking, a widower unencumbered with a child, what was there he might not aspire to with his twelve hundred thousand dollars ?
He was taken in charge by the JS, and the M- -8, and the P-s, and introduced into “ society." Yes, that is the proper name for “ our set.” A competition, outwardly calm, but internally bitter and intense, was entered upon by fashionable mothers having daughters to provide for. Charlton became the sensation man of the season. “Will he marry?” That was now the agitating question that convulsed all the maternal councils within a mile's radius of the new Fifth Avenue Hotel.
THE UNITIES DISREGARDED.
“ Blessed are they who see, and yet believe not !
Yea, blest are they who look on graves, and still
\HE admirers of Aristotle must bear with us while we
take a little liberty: that, namely, of violating all the unities.
Fourteen years had slipped by since the great steamboat accident ; fourteen years, pregnant with forces, and prolific of events, to the far-reaching influence of which no limit can be set.
In those years a mechanic named Marshall, while building a saw-mill for Captain Sutter in California, had noticed a glistening substance at the bottom of the sluice. Thence the beginning of the great exodus from the old States, which soon peopled the auriferous region, and in five years made San Francisco one of the world's great cities.
In those years the phenomena, by some called spiritual, of which our friend Peek had got an inkling, excited the attention of many thousand thinkers both in America and Europe. In France these manifestations attracted the investigation of the Emperor himself, and won many influential believers, among them Delamarre, editor of La Patrie. In England they found advocates among a small but educated class; while the Queen's consort, the good and great Prince Albert, was too far advanced on the same road to find even novelty in what Swedenborg and Wesley had long before prepared him to regard as among the irregular developments of spirit power.
Humbug and idiocy !” cried the doctors. "A cracking of the toe-joints !” said Conjurer Anderson. “ A scientific trick !” insisted Professor Faraday.
• Spirits are the last thing I 'll give into,” said Sir David Brewster.
“Oye miserable mystics !” cried the eloquent Ferrier, “ have ye bethought yourselves of the backward and downward course which ye are running into the pit of the bestial and the abhorred?”
“ How very undignified for a spirit to rap on tables and talk commonplace!" objected the transcendentalists, who looked for Orphic sayings and Delphian profundities.
To all which the investigators replied: We merely take facts as we find them. The conjurers and the professors fail to account for what we see and hear. Sir David may give or refuse what name he pleases: the phenomena remain. Professor Ferrier may wax indignant; but his indignation does not explain why tables, guitars, and tumblers of water are lifted and carried about by invisible and impenetrable intelli
We are sorry the manifestations do not please our transcendental friends. Could we have our own way, these spirits, forces, intelligences — call them what
will should talk like Carlyle and deport themselves like Grandison. Could we have our own way, there should be no rattlesnakes, no copperheads, no mad dogs. 'Tis a great puzzle to us why Infinite Power allows such things. We do not see the use of them, the cui bono? Still we accept the fact of their existence. And so we do of what, in the lack of a name less vague, we call spirits. There are many drunkards, imbeciles, thieves, hypocrites, and traitors, who quit this life. According to the transcendental theory, these ought to be converted at once, by some magical presto-change ! into saints and sages, their identity wholly merged or obliterated. If the All-Wise One does not see it in that light, we cannot help it. If He can afford to wait, we shall not impatiently rave. It would seem that the Eternal chariot-wheels must continue to roll and flash on, however professors, conjurers, and quarterly reviewers may burn their poor little hands by trying to catch at the spokes.
“I did not bargain for this,” grumbles the habitual novelreader, resentfully throwing down our book.
Bear with us yet a moment longer, injured friend.
the Slave Power of the South having, through the annexation of Texas, plunged the country into a war with Mexico for the extension of the area of slavery, met its first great rebuff in the establishment of California as a Free State of the Union.
The Fugitive-Slave Bill was given in 1850 to appease the slaveholding caste. Soon afterwards followed the repeal of that Missouri Compromise which had prohibited slavery north of a certain line. It was hoped that these two concessions would prove such a tub thrown to the whale as would divert him from mischief.
Then came the deadly struggle for supremacy. in Kansas ; pro-slavery ruffianism, on the one side, striving to dedicate the virgin soil to the uses of slavery; and the spirit of freedom, on the other side, resisting the profanation. The contest was long, doubtful, and bloody ; but freedom, thank God! prevailed in the end. Slavery thus came to grief a second time; for the lords of the lash well knew that to circumscribe their system was to doom it, and that without ever new fields for extension it could not live and
prosper. One John Brown, of Ossawatomie in Kansas, during these years having learnt what it was to come under the ban of the Slave Power, — having been hunted, hounded, shot at, and had a son brutally murdered by the devilish hate, born of slavery, and engendering such dastardly butchers as Quantrell, resolved to do what little service he could to God and man, by trying to wipe out an injustice that had long enough outraged heaven and earth. With less than fifty picked men he rashly seized on Harper's Ferry, held it for some days, and threw old Virginia into fits. He was seized and hung; and many good men approved the hanging ; but in little more than a year afterwards, John Brown's soul was “marching on” in the song of the Northern soldiery going South to battle against rebellion, until the very Charlestown where his gallows was set up was made to ring with the terrible refrain in his honor, the echoes of which are now audible in every State, from Maine to Louisiana.
Slavery first showed its ungloved hand at the Democratic Convention at Charleston in 1860 for the nomination of President. Here it was that Stephen A. Douglas, the very man who had given to the South as a boon the repeal of the Mis
souri Compromise, was rejected by the Southern conspirators against the Union, and John C. Breckenridge, the potential and soon actual traitor, was put in nomination as the extreme proslavery candidate against Douglas. And thus the election of Abraham Lincoln, the candidate pledged against slavery extension, was secured.
This election “is not the cause of secession, but the opportunity,” said Mr. Robert Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina.
Slavery shall be the corner-stone of our new Confederacy,” said Mr. A. H. Stephens, Confederate Vice-President, who a few weeks before, namely, in January, 1861, had said in the Georgia Convention : “ For you to attempt to overthrow such a government as this, under which we have lived for more than three quarters of a century, with unbounded prosperity and rights unassailed, is the height of madness, folly, and wickedness, to which I can neither lend my sanction nor my vote.”
After raising armies for seizing Washington and for securing the Border States to slavery, Mr. Jefferson Davis, President of the improvised Confederacy, proclaimed to an amused and admiring world, “ All we want is to be let alone.”
Peaceful reader of the year 1875 (pardon the presumption that bids us hope such a reader will exist), bear with us for these digressions. In your better day let us hope all these terrible asperities will have passed away. But, while we write, our country's fate hangs poised. It is her great historic hour. Daily do our tears fall for the wounded or the slain. Daily do we regret that we, too, cannot give something better than words, thicker than tear-drops, to our country. But thus, through blood and anguish and purifying sufferings, is God leading us to that better future which you shall enjoy.