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ness. Their falsehood is their resistance, in the only form that weakness can use, evasion instead of force. Their theft is the taking of what is instinctively felt to be due; their gratification of an instinct after justice; done secretly because they have not the strength to demand openly. Such things are unnecessary in America, no doubt. But habits survive emigration. They are to be deplored, charitably and hopefully and tenderly cured as diseases, not attacked and furiously struck and thrust at as wild beasts. Thus it might be with Bridget, notwithstanding her great, clear, innocent eyes, and open, honest ways. If she had grown up to think such doings harmless, she would have no conscience about it. Conscience is very pliant to education. It troubles no man for what he is trained to do.

So I felt these stories. I could not find it in my heart to talk to poor Bridget about it. I could not tell her large-hearted old mother. This reluctance was entirely involuntary, an instinct. I wish I had felt it more clearly and obeyed it altogether! There is some fatal cloud of human circumstance that covers up from our sight our just instinctive perceptions, -makes us drive them out before the mechanical conclusions of mere reason; and when our reason, our special human pride, has failed us, we say in our sorrow, I see now; if I had only trusted my first impulse! What is this cloud? Is it original sin? I asked my husband. He was writing his sermon. He stopped and told me with serious interest,-"This cloud is that original or inbred sin which we receive from Adam; obscuring and vitiating the free exercise of the originally perfect faculties; wilting them down, as it were, from a high native assimilation to the operative methods of the Divine Mind, to the painful, creeping, mechanical procedures of the comparing and judging


And this lost power is to be restored, we may expect, by the regenerating force of conversion."

I know I've got this right; because, after Henry had thanked me for my question, he said I was a good preaching

stock, that the inquiry "joggled up" his mind, and suggested just what fayed in with his sermon; and afterwards I heard him preach it; and now I have copied it out of his manuscript, and have it all correct and satisfactory. What will he do to me, if he should see this in print? But I can't help it. And what is more, I don't believe his theological stuff. If it were true, there would not so many good people be such geese.

But whatever this cloud is, it now blinded and misguided me. I quietly, very quietly, put away some little moneys that lay about,-locked up nearly all my small stock of silver and my scanty jewelry,— locked my bureau-drawers, — counted unobtrusively the weekly proceeds of the washing, - and was extremely watchful against the least alteration of my manner towards my poor pretty maid.

It might have been a week after this, when my husband said one morning that Bridget's eyes were heavy, and she had moved with a start several times, as though she were half-asleep. Now that he spoke, I saw it, and wondered that I had not seen it before; but I think some men notice things more quickly than women. I asked the child if she were well.

"Yes, Ma'am," she said, spiritlessly, "but my head aches."

⚫ I observed her; and she dragged herself about with difficulty, and was painfully slow about her dishes. At teatime I made her lie down in my little back parlor and got the meal myself, and made her a nice cup of tea. She slept a little, but grew flushed. Next morning she was not fit to get up, but insisted that she was, and would not remain in bed. But she ate nothing, indeed, for a day or two she had not eaten, — and after breakfast she grew faint, and then more flushed than ever; seemed likely to have a hard run of fever; and I sent for my doctor, a ho mœopath.

He came, saw, queried, and prescribed. Doctor-like, he evaded my inquiry what was the matter, so that I saw it was

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"I'll tell you what, Madam. She may be better by night. If not, you'd better send for Bagford. He might do better for her than I."

I was extremely surprised, for Bagford is a vigorous allopath of the old school, drastic, bloody, and an uncompromising enemy of "that quack,” as he called my grave young friend. I said as much. Doctor Nash smiled.

"Oh, I don't mind it, so long as the patients come to me. I can very well afford to send him one now and then. The fact is, the Irish must feel their medicine. It's quite often that a raking dose will cure 'em, not because it's the right thing, but because it takes their imagination with it. The Irish imagination goes with Bagford and against me; and the wrong medicine with the imagination is better than the right one against it. I care more about curing this child than I do about him. Besides," and he grew grave, "it may be no great favor to him."

I obliged him to tell me that he feared the attack would develop into brain-fever; and he said something was on the girl's mind. As soon as he was gone, I ran up to poor Bridget, whose sweet face and great brown eyes were kindled, in her increasing fever, into a hot, fearful beauty; and now I could see a steady, mournful, pained look contracting her mouth and lifting the delicate lines of her eyebrows. Poor little girl! I felt the same deep yearning sorrow which we have at the sufferings of a little child, who seems to look in scared wonder at us, as if to ask, What is this? and Why do you not help? When a child suffers, we feel a sense of injustice done. Bridget's lips were dry. Her skin was so hot, her whole frame so restless! And the silent misery of her eyes ate into my very heart. I smoothed her pillow and bathed her head, and would fain have comforted her, as if she had been my own little sister. But I could plainly see that my help was not welcome. When, how

ever, I had done all that I could for her, I quietly told her that she was sick, and that I wanted to have her get well,—that I saw something was troubling her, and she must tell me what it was. I don't think the silent, enduring thing would have spoken even then, if she had not seen that I was crying. Her own tears came, too; and she briefly said,

"You all think I 'm a thief."

I assured her most earnestly to the contrary.

She turned her restless head over towards me again, and her great eyes, all glittering with fever and pain, searched solemnly into mine; and she replied,

"You all think I'm a thief. Yis, I saw you had locked up the money and the silver. I saw you count the clane clothes that was washed in the house. Would n't I be after seein' it? And they says so in the town."

It went to my heart to have done those things. All that I could say was utterly in vain. She evidently felt nothing of it to be true. She had received a deep and cruel hurt; and the poor, wild, halfcivilized, shy, silent soul had not wherewith to reason on it. She only endured, and held her peace, and let the fire burn; and her sensitive nerves had allowed pain of mind to become severe physical disease. My words she scarcely heard; my tears were to her only sympathy. She knew what she had seen. Besides, her disease increased upon her. Almost from minute to minute she grew more restless, and her increasing inattention to what I said frightened as well as hurt me. The medicines of Dr. Nash were useless. Before noon I sent for Dr. Bagford, who said it was decidedly brain-fever, that she must be leeched, and have ice at her head, and so forth.

Ah, it was useless. She grew worse and worse; passed through one or two long terrible days of frantic misery, crying and protesting against false accusations with a lamenting voice that made us all cry, too; then lay long in a stupid state, until the doctor said that now it would be better for her to die, because,

after such an attack, a brain so sensitive would be disorganized,—she would be an idiot.

Her poor mother came and helped us wait on her. But neither care nor medicine availed. Bridget died; and the funeral was from our house. I was surprised by the lofty demeanor of Father MacMullen, the Irish priest, the first I had ever met: a tall, gaunt, bony, blackhaired, hollow-eyed man, of inscrutable and guarded demeanor, who received with absolute haughtiness the courtesies of my husband and the reverences of his own flock. A few of his expressions might indicate a consciousness that we had endeavored to deal kindly with poor little Bridget. But he did not think so; or at least we know that he has so handled the matter that we meet ill feeling on account of it.

The griefs for any such misfortune were, however, obscure and shallow in comparison with my sorrow for the untimely quenching of Bridget's young life, and my sympathy with her poor old mother. When I reasoned about the affair, I could see that I had done nothing which would not be commended by careful housekeepers. I could see it, but, in spite of me, I could not feel it. I was tormented by vain wishes that I had done otherwise. I could not help feeling as if her people charged me with her blood, as if I had been in some sense aiding in her death. Nor do I even now escape obscure returns of the same inexpressibly sad pain.

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The garnishing of sepulchres is an employment which by no means went out with the Scribes and Pharisees. Under the circumstances, the death of my pretty young maid, although she was only an Irish girl, produced a deep impression in the village. Very soon, now that it

could do no good, it was generally agreed that the imputations against her were wholly unfounded. It was pretty distinctly whispered that they had arisen out of things said by Mrs. Deacon Adams, in her wrath, because Bridget had left her service to enter mine; and I now ascertained that this Mrs. Adams was a woman of bitter tongue, and enduring, hot, and unscrupulous in anger and in revengefulness. I have inquired sufficiently; I know it is true. The vulgar malice of a hard woman has murdered a fair and good maiden with the invisible arrows of her wicked words.

But she begins already to be punished, coarse cast-iron as she is. People do not exactly like to talk with her. She is growing thin. She has been ill,—a thing, I am told, never dreamed of before. Of course she reported to her husband the reproaches with which I had surprised her on the very day of Bridget's death. She had called in by chance, and had not even heard of her illness; had herself begun to retail to me the kind of talk with which she had poisoned the village, not knowing that her evil work was finished; and it was the scornful carelessness of her reply to my first reproof that stung me to answer her so bitterly. It was two weeks before good, whitehaired, old Deacon Adams came to the house of his pastor. His face looked careworn enough. He stayed long in the study with my husband, and went away sadly. I happened to pass through our little hall just as the Deacon opened the study-door to depart; and I caught his last words, very sorrowful in tone,

"She might git well, ef she could stop dreamin' on 't, and git the weight off 'm her mind. But words that 's once spoken can't be called back as you call the cows home at night."


IN that period of remote antiquity when all birds of the air and beasts of the field were able to talk, it befell that a certain shepherd suffered many losses through the constant depredations of a wolf. Fearing at length that his means of subsistence would be quite taken away, he devised a powerful trap for the creat ure, and set it with wonderful cunning. He could hardly sleep that night for thinking of the matter, and early next morning took a stout club in his hand, and set forth to learn of his success; when, lo! on drawing near the spot, there he saw the wolf, sure enough, a huge savage, fast held in the trap.

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"Is it you, then? Can it be one wearing the form of a man, who has laid this wicked plot against the peace, nay, as I infer from that club, against the very life, of an innocent creature? Behold what I suffer, and how unjustly! — I, of all animals, whose life, the sad state I am now in constrains me against modesty to say it, whose life is notoriously a pattern of all the virtues;-I, too, ungrateful biped, who have watched your flock through so many sleepless nights, lest some ill-disposed dog might do harm to the helpless sheep and lambs!"

The shepherd, one of the simplest souls that ever lived, was utterly confounded by this reproof, and hung his head with shame, unable, for a season, to utter a word in his own defence. At length he managed to stammer,

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"I pray your pardon, brother, but but in truth I have lost a great many lambs lately, and began to think my little ones at home would starve."

"How harder than stone is the heart

of man!" murmured the wolf, as if to


Then, raising his voice, he went on to


"I despair of reaching your conscience; nevertheless I will speak as if I had hope. You never paid me anything for protecting your flock; it was on my part a pure labor of love; and yet, because I cannot quite succeed in guarding it against all the bad dogs that are about, you would take my life!"

And the creature put on such a look of meek suffering innocence that the shepherd was touched to the very heart, and felt more guilty and abashed than He therefore said at once,"Brother, I fear that I have done you wrong; and if you will swear to mind your own affairs, and not prey upon my flock, I will at once set you free."



"My character ought to be a sufficient guaranty," answered the quadruped, with much dignity; "but I submit, since I must, to your unjust suspicions, and promise as you require.”

So, lifting up his paw, he swore solemnly, by all the gods that wolves worship, to keep his pledge. Thereupon the other set him free, with many apologies and professions of confidence and friendship. Only a few days, however, had passed before the shepherd, happening to mount a knoll, saw at a little distance the self-same wolf eagerly devouring the warm remains of a lamb.

"Villain! villain!" he shouted, in great wrath, "is this the way you keep your oath? Did not you swear to mind your own business? "

"I am minding it," said the wolf, with a grin; "it is my business to eat lambs; it should be yours not to believe in wolves' promises."

So saying, he seized upon the last fragment of the lamb, and ran away as fast as his legs would carry him.

Moral. Shepherds who make com

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promises with wolves sell their mutton at an exceedingly cheap market.


Now just such short-witted shepherds are we, the people of these free American States, invited by numbers of citizens to become. Just such, do I say A thousand times more silly than such. Our national wolf meets us with jaws that drip blood and eyes that glare hunger for more. Instead of professing sanctity and innocence, it only howls immitigable hate and steadfast resolution to de"Give me," it howls, "half the pasture and flock for my own, with, of course, a supervision over the rest, and a child or two when I am dainty; and I will be content, until I want more!"


In speaking of our "national wolf," we are using no mere rhetoric, but are, in truth, getting at the very heart of the matter. This war, in its final relations to human history, is an encounter between opposing tendencies in man,—between the beast-of-prey that is in him and is always seeking brute domination, on the one hand, and the rational and moral elements of manhood, which ever urge toward the lawful supremacy, on the other. This is a conflict as old as the world, and perhaps one that, in some shape, will continue while the world lasts; and I have tried in vain to think of a single recorded instance wherein the issue was more simple, or the collision more direct, than in our own country to-day.

That principle in nature which makes the tiger tiger passes obviously into man in virtue of the fact that he is on one side, on the side of body and temperament, cousin to the tiger, as comparative anatomy shows. This presence in man of a tiger-principle does not occur by a mistake, for it is an admirable fuel or fire, an admirable generator of force, which the higher powers may first master and then use. But at first it assumes place in man wholly untamed and seemingly tameless, indisposed for aught but sovereignty. Of course, having place in man, it passes, and in the same crude state, into society. And thus it happens, that, when the unconquerable affinities

of men bring them together, this principle arises in its brutal might, and strives to make itself central and supreme.

But what is highest in man has its own inevitable urgency, as well as what is lowest. It can never be left out of the account. Gravitation is powerful and perpetual; but the pine pushes up in opposition to it nevertheless. The forces of the inorganic realm strive with might to keep their own; but organic life will exist on the planet in their despite, and will conquer from the earth what material it needs. And, in like manner, no sooner do men aggregate than there begin to play back and forth between them ideal or ascending forces, mediations of reason, conscience, soul; and the ever growing interpretations of these appear as courtesies, laws, moralities, worships,

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as all the noble communities which constitute a high social state. In fine, there is that in man which seeks perpetually, for it seeks necessarily, to give the position of centrality in society to the ideal principle of justice and to the great charities of the human soul.

Hence a contest. Two antagonistic principles leap forth from the bosom of man, so soon as men come together, seeking severally to establish the law of social relationship. One of these is predaceous, brutal; the other ideal, humane. One says, "Might makes Right"; the other,


'Might should serve Right." One looks upon mankind at large as a harvest to be gathered for the behoof of a few, who are confederate only for that purpose, even as wolves hunt in packs; the other regards humanity as a growth to be fostered for its own sake and worth, and affirms that superiority of strength is given for service, not for spoil. One makes the ego supreme; the other makes rational right supreme. One seeks private gratification at any expense to higher values, even as the tiger would, were it possible, draw and drink the blood of the universe as soon as the blood of a cow; the other establishes an ideal estimate of values, and places private gratification low on the scale. But the deepest difference

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