Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

wiolin into the cradle, my father had presented me with a cradle that he had made out of some boards that had been used once and rejected on account of knots, but just as good, you know, and then he flounced into bed, and he never walked into his sleep that night!"

"You cunnin' little thing!" cries John, overcome with her smartness, and hugging her close. "Who but you would ever 'a' thought on 't? Such a sleek deception!"

"Well, a-Wednesday night he would n't touch his wiolin, and that night, or rather along towards morning, he walked into his sleep, and a-Thursday night he would n't play a stroke agin; in wain I put the wiolin into his sight; and that night he just dewoted himself to walking, — making himself wisible to the neighbors, even. So thinks says I, this won't do ; and a-Friday night, says I, I says to him, says I, 'I hate the old wiolin,' says I; 'and I've a good notion to burn it up!'

"You just wenter!' says he, and he takes it up and slants it agin his shoulder, and turns his head kind a sideways, all the time a-keeping his eye onto me, and he seesaws and seesaws till I falls asleep into my chair, and then he seesaws and seesaws till I wakes and rubs my eyes, and still his head is kind a sideways, and his wiolin agin his shoulder, aslant like, just as if he had n't moved; and then I pertends to sleep, and I pertends and pertends and pertends, and at last pertence is clear wore out, and I wakes up like, and I says, says I, 'Dan'l, it must be a'most ten o'clock, ain't it?' I knew it was daylight. And all at once his wisage changed, and the wiolin fairly dropt from his shoulder, and he hild up his head that had been kind a sideways all that while, and went to bed peaceable as a lamb, he did, and for the rest of the night he did n't walk into his sleep at all!"

"there's something a-coming that 'll make you open your eyes. A-Saturday night says I, 'I feel like dancing,' says I; 'so, Dan'l, give us one of your liveliest tunes!' and with that I began to hop about like a lark. Of course he was took in, and the wiolin was n't touched; but O how he did walk into his sleep! Wisible to everybody! In wain I argued that walking into sleep was wulgar, in wain I coaxed, and in wain I cried, — though tears will sometimes prewail when nothing else will, that is, if they ain't too woluntary. Some women seems to shed 'em woluntary, and then they are not so prewailing, which it was never my case, Captain, never! I cried for sheer spite and for nothing .else; it was always the way with me, especially after I was dethroned; and when tears did n't prewail, thinks says I, I must take adwice, which I took it, adwice here and adwice there, — and one adwised one thing and one another; but the adwice I took was adwice that it liked to have landed me where I never should have seen the light of this blessed day, nor seen, nor seen, nor seen - you!"

John put both arms round her instead of one, and held her fast, lest she might vanish like a phantom.

"You seem so like a sweet wision of the night!" he said. And then he asked her what was the wicious adwice.

"I do feel as if I'd wanish, sure enough," says the widow, "if it wasn't for your wine-like arms a-holding me up so nice, for I never can repeat this part of my sufferings without being quite wanquished, — just a leetle closer, if you please; now your shoulder, so that it will catch my head if it should happen to fall. You have wisely called the adwice which I was adwised to wicious," says she; "but what will you say when you hear the adwice which I was adwised? Nerve yourself up, Captain, but don't let go of me, not the least bit, I am so liable

"You angel!" says John," to get to be wanquished by my feelings. round him so." There, that'll do, the dear knows "Just wait," says the widow; it's all because of my fear. Well, the

adwice I was adwised was, as you' wisely said, wicious, indeed it was wery wicious, and yet the woman that she adwised the adwice was a woman of wast experience, the wife of a wiolent drinker, and the mother of fourteen children. More than this, her father had been constable once, and she wore French thread-lace altogether! Would you suppose, Captain, considering her adwantages, especially as regards her father and her laces, that she could have adwised me with adwice that it was unadwisable?"

"No, I should n't a-dreampt on 't," says the Captain; "but what was the adwice that she adwised you that warn't adwisable?"

"I really can't get my consent to tell," says the widow, "now that I've

[ocr errors]

sot out, for I never expected to reweal it to anybody, unless it was towell, to some one that either was, or was like to be, my husband. Dear me,

I've undertook too much!"

"There," says the enraptured lover; now can't you go on?”

"I don't know," says the widow, blushing, but not withdrawing her cheek.

"Try, for my sake!" says the Captain, "it's so interestin'. You've undertook a good deal, but whatever consarns you consarns me."

"Well, I won't wacillate no more, not if it plagues you!" And the widow looked fondly in his face, and then, quite supporting herself upon his arm, she drooped her eyelids modestly and resumed.

THE

INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT.

'HERE is an American lady living at Hartford, in Connecticut, whom the United States has permitted to be robbed by foreigners of $200,000. Her name is Harriet Beecher Stowe. By no disloyal act has she or her family forfeited their right to the protection of the government of the United States. She pays her taxes, keeps the peace, and earns her livelihood by honest industry; she has reared children for the service of the Commonwealth; she was warm and active for her country when many around her were cold or hostile ; - in a word, she is a good cit

izen.

More than that: she is an illustrious citizen. The United States stands higher to-day in the regard of every civilized being in Christendom because she lives in the United States. She is the only woman yet produced on the continent of America to whom the world assigns equal rank in literature with the great authoresses of Europe. If, in addition to the admi

rable talents with which she is endowed, she had chanced to possess one more, namely, the excellent gift of plodding, she had been a consummate artist, and had produced immortal works. All else she has, the seeing eye, the discriminating intelligence, the sympathetic mind, the fluent word, the sure and happy touch; and these gifts enabled her to render her country the precise service which it needed most. Others talked about slavery: she made us see it. She showed it to us in its fairest and in its foulest aspect; she revealed its average and ordinary working. There never was a fairer nor a kinder book than "Uncle Tom's Cabin"; for the entire odium of the revelation fell upon the Thing, not upon the unhappy mortals who were born and reared under its shadow. The reader felt that Legree was not less, but far more, the victim of slavery than Uncle Tom, and the effect of the book was to concentrate wrath upon the system which

[ocr errors]

tortured the slave's body and damned mitted the emancipation of the slaves the master's soul. Wonderful magic was of longer growth, and was the of genius! The hovels and cotton- result of a thousand influences. But fields which this authoress scarcely when we consider that the United saw she made all the world see, and States only just escaped dismembersee more vividly and more truly than ment and dissolution in the late war, the busy world can ever see remote and that two great powers of Europe objects with its own unassisted eyes. were only prevented from active interWe are very dull and stupid in what ference on behalf of the Rebellion by does not immediately concern us, un

that public opinion which “ Uncle Tom's til we are roused and enlightened by Cabin” had recently revived and intensuch as she. Those whom we callsified, we may at least believe, that, if " the intelligent,” or “the educated," the whole influence of that work could are merely the one in ten of the hu- have been annihilated, the final triumph man family who by some chance of the United States might have been learned to read, and thus came under deferred, and come only after a series the influence of the class whom Mrs. of wars. That book, we may almost Stowe represents.

say, went into every household in the It is not possible to state the amount civilized world which contained one of good which this book has done, is person capable of reading it. And it doing, and is to do. Mr. Eugene was not an essay; it was a vivid exhi. Schuyler, in the preface to the Rus- bition ;- it was not read from a sense sian novel which he has recently done of duty, nor from a desire to get knowlthe public the service to translate, in- edge; it was read with passion ; it was forms us that the publication of a little devoured ; people sat up all night readbook in Russia contributed powerfullying it; those who could read read it to to the emancipation of the Russian those who could not; and hundreds of serfs. The book was merely a col- thousands who would never have read lection of sketches, entitled “ The it saw it played upon the stage. Who Memoirs of a Sportsman”; but it shall presume to say how many sol, revealed serfdom to the men who had diers that book added to the Union lived in the midst of it all their lives army? Who shall estimate its influ. without ever seeing it. Nothing is ence in hastening emancipation in Braever seen in this world, till the search cil, and in preparing the amiable Cu. ing eye of a sympathetic genius falls bans for a similar measure ? Both in upon it. This Russian nobleman, Tur- Cuba and Brazil the work has been genef, noble in every sense, saw serf- read with the most passionate interest dom, and showed it to his countrymen. If it is impossible to measure the His volume was read by the present political effect of this work, we may Emperor, and he saw serfdom ; and he at least assert that it gave a thrilling has since declared that the reading of pleasure to ten millions of human be that little book was “one of the first ings, an innocent pleasure, too, and incitements to the decree which gave one of many hours' duration. We may freedom to thirty millions of serfs.” also say, that, while enjoying that long All the reading public of Russia read delight, each of those ten millions it, and they saw serfdom ; and thus was made to see, with more or less a public opinion was created, without clearness, the great truth that man the support of which not even the ab- is not fit to be trusted with arbitrary solute Czar of all the Russias would power over his fellow.

The person have dared to issue a decree so sweep who afforded this great pleasure, and ing and radical.

who brought home this fundamental We cannot say as much for “Un- truth to so many minds, was Harriet cle Tom's Cabin,” because the public Beecher Stowe, of Hartford, in the opinion of the United States which per- State of Connecticut, where she keeps house, educates her children, has a ily to the public. We can all see for book at the grocery, and invites her ourselves how slowly and painfully this friends to tea. To that American wo- beautiful genius was nourished, — what man every person on earth who read

a narrow escape it had from being “Uncle Tom's Cabin" incurred a per- crushed and extinguished amid the sonal obligation. Every individual horrors of theology and the poverty who became possessed of a copy of of a Connecticut parsonage, - how it the book, and every one who saw the was saved, and even nurtured, by that story played in a theatre, was bound, extraordinary old father, that most in natural justice, to pay money to her strange and interesting character of New for service rendered, unless she ex- England, who could come home, after pressly and formally relinquished her preaching a sermon that appalled the right, — which she has never done. galleries, and play the fiddle and riot What can be clearer than this ? Mrs. with his children till bedtime. A piano Stowe, in the exercise of her vocation, found its way into the house, and the the vocation by which she lives, per- old man, whose geniality was of such forms a professional service to ten abounding force that forty years of themillions of people. The service is ology could not lessen it, let his children great and lasting. The work done is read Ivanhoe and the other novels of satisfactory to the customer. What Sir Walter Scott. Partly by chance, can annul the obligation resting upon partly by stealth, chiefly by the force of each to render his portion of an equiv- her own cravings, this daughter of the alent, except the consent of the au- Puritans obtained the scanty nutriment thoress "first had and obtained ”? If which kept her genius from starving. Mrs. Stowe, instead of creating for By and by, on the banks of the Ohio, our light and instruction a glorious within sight of a slave State, the Subwork of fiction, had contracted her fine ject and the Artist met, and there, powers to the point of inventing a nut- from the lips of sore and panting fucracker or a match-safe, a rolling-pin gitives, she gained, in the course of or a needle-threader, every individual years, the knowledge which she repurchaser could have been compelled vealed to mankind in “Uncle Tom's to pay money for the use of her in- Cabin." genuity, and everybody would have When she had done the work, the thought it the most natural and prop- United States stood by and saw her er thing in the world so to do. There deprived of three fourths of her just are fifty American inventions now in and legitimate wages, without stirring use in Europe from which the invent- a finger for her protection. The book ors derive revenue. Revenue ! - not sold to the extent of two millions of a sum of money which, once spent, is copies, and the story was played in gone forever, but that most solid and most of the theatres in which the respectable of material blessings, a English language is spoken, and in sum per annum ! Thus we reward many French and German theatres. those who light our matches. It is In one theatre in New York it was otherwise that we compensate those played eight times a week for twelve who kindle our souls.

months. Considerable fortunes have “ Uncle Tom's Cabin,” like every been gained by its performance, and other novelty in literature, was the late- it is still a source of revenue to actmaturing fruit of generations. Two ors and managers. We believe that centuries of wrong had to pass, before there are at least three persons in the the Subject was complete for the Art- United States, connected with theaist's hand, and the Artist herself was a tres, who have gained more money flower of an ancient and gifted family. from “Uncle Tom's Cabin " than Mrs. The Autobiography of Lyman Beecher Stowe. Of all the immense sums has made known this remarkable fam- which the exhibition of this story

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

upon the stage has produced, the au- thousand dollars, honestly hers, is a thoress has received nothing. When most moderate and safe statement. Dumas or Victor Hugo publishes a nov- This money was due to her as entireel, the sale of the right to perform it as ly as the sum named upon a bill of a play yields him from eighty thousand exchange is due to the rightful ownto one hundred and twenty thousand er of the same. It was for“ value francs. These authors receive a share received." A permanently attractive of the receipts of the theatre, - the book, moreover, would naturally be only fair arrangement, — and this share, more than a sum of inoney ; it would we believe, is usually one tenth ; which be an estate ; it would be an income. is also the usual percentage paid to This wrong, therefore, continues to the authors upon the sale of their books. present moment, and will go on longer If a French author had written “ Uncle than the life of the authoress. While Tom's Cabin," he would have enjoyed, we are writing this sentence, probably, - 1. A part of the price of every copy some German, French, Spanish, Italsold in France ; 2. A share of the re- ian, Russian, or English bookseller is ceipts of every theatre in France in dropping into his “till” the price of which he permitted it to be played; a copy of “ Uncle Tom's Cabin,” the 3. A sum of money for the right of whole of which he will keep, instead translation into English ; 4. A sum of of sending ten per cent of it to Hartmoney for the right of translation into ford on the ist of January next. German. We believe we are far with- We have had another literary sucin the truth when we say, that a literary cess in these years, — Mr. Motley's Hissuccess achieved by a French author tories of the Dutch Republic and of equal to that of “Uncle Tom's Cabin” the United Netherlands. As there are would have yielded that author half a fifteen persons in the world who can million dollars in gold ; and that, too, enjoy fiction to one that will read in spite of the lamentable fact, that much of any other kind of literary America would have stolen the product production, the writers of fiction usuof his genius, instead of buying it. ally receive some compensation for

Mrs. Stowe received for “Uncle their labors. Not a fair nor an adeTom's Cabin” the usual percentage up- quate compensation, but some. This on the sale of the American edition; compensation will never be fair nor which may have consisted of some three adequate until every man or woman in hundred thousand copies.

the whole world who buys a copy of centage, with some other trifling sums, a novel, or sees it played, shall, in so may have amounted to forty thousand doing, contribute a certain stipulated dollars. From the theatre she has sum to the author. Nevertheless, the received nothing; from foreign coun- writers of fiction do get a little montries nothing, or next to nothing. ey, and a few of them are able to live This poor forty thousand dollars — almost as well as a retired grocer. about enough to build a comfortable Now and then we hear of an author house in the country, and lay out an who gets almost as much money for acre or two of grounds — was the pro- a novel that enthralls and enchants duct of the supreme literary success of two or three nations for many months, all times ! A corresponding success in as a beardless operator in stocks somesugar, in stocks, in tobacco, in cotton, times wins between one and two P. M. in invention, in real estate, would have It is not so with the heroes of research, yielded millions upon millions to the like Motley, Buckle, Bancroft, and Carlucky operator. To say that Mrs. lyle. Upon this point we are ready to Stowe, through our cruel and shame make a sweeping assertion, and it is ful indifference with regard to the this. No well-executed work, involv. rights of authors, native and foreign, ing original research, can pay exhas been kept out of two hundred penses, unless the author is protected VOL. XX. —NO. 120.

28

This per

« AnkstesnisTęsti »