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have certainly increased, both banks being covered with enormous tracks, while the woods seem to be alive with monkeys. One variety, a large, ugly, black monkey, seems to be very abundant. They are considered a great delicacy, and are much sought after by our Indians as an article of food. They usually kill them during the interval between our stopping for the night and dark. The crew of my canoe were particularly good huntsmen; and after they had feasted all night on monkey, there were generally three or four of our ancestors with singed skins, and agonized and distorted countenances, scattered about in the bottom of the canoe for lunch next day. They had, moreover, been cooked woodcockfashion. The water is so clear that we can see the fish three or four feet below the surface, and our Indians are constantly punching and hitting at them with their poles and paddles. One fish, called the vaza, we find very common in shallow water close to sandbanks and islands. It furnishes a good target for a fishing - spear, and, when landed into a canoe, creates quite a commotion until its tail is chopped off. The Indians report the sting of this fish to be extremely painful. In appearance it is something like a beef's liver when spread out. It belongs to the species known as ray.
At about four o'clock P. M. we stopped E for the evening on a smooth, hard sand-spit, running out into the water from the vertical forest-wall, and commenced the erection of our shelters for the night. For, from the frequency of showers, now that we had reached E the hills, and as a protection against the dew also, we found these to be indispensable. I don't think any of our party experienced that glorious sensation said to be produced by standing where the foot of white man has never trod; and, after posting our guard, with rather more careful instructions than nsual, we were soon wrapped in slumber. About midnight I was awakened by hearing some one run rapidly by my head, and was immediately brought to consciousness by hearing the sergeant report that a canoe and Indians were absent. We were soon all fully aroused, and, upon the rolls being called, found that eight of our Indians had deserted. But what we were most concerned bout was to ascertain what quantity of our mall stock of provisions they had taken vith them. Upon examination, we found hat they had taken the smallest canoe, tocked it with supplies necessary to take hem down to the mouth of the Pachitea River, and had carried off some knives and xes. In many respects this was a most unortunate occurrence for us, from the fact that
took away not only our lightest-draught anoe, but that we lost some of our oldest nd most experienced boatmen also; and its emoralizing effect upon the other Indians Was very great. They deserted through fear f the Campa Indians, who, report said, inabited the shore of this river. This deertion necessitated our leaving still anothrcanoe, in order to have crews sufficient or those we carried; for the increasing wiftness of the current compels us to trengthen each boat's crew. After this ome of our party remained awake until
morning. Then we held a council of war, and determined to rely no more upon our Indians and soldiers, except for propelling the canoes and for building shelters. Even these duties we expected to force from them only by keeping constantly before them the fear of being thrashed or shot. At present our situation is this: six gentlemen are penetrating a country of which nothing is known, except that it is inhabited by the most powerful and warlike tribe in Peru, which, for the last seventy years, has killed all persons who have attempted to come among them; that our only mode of entrance or retreat is in canoes, these canoes being manned by halfbreeds and Indians, who are seeking an opportunity to run away with them and our provisions; thus leaving us two hundred miles within the territory of a cannibal tribe, and with no supplies. In other words, we have a foe within the camp as well as one without. So, from this time forth, until we return, there will be a regular watch kept by the younger members of the commission.
June 10th. The river is holding its own splendidly. It is a deep, clear stream, and the banks are becoming higher and better defined. There are numerous playas of white pebbles and quantities of fish. The scenery is beautiful, numerous blue and dark-green mountain spurs and ranges being visible in the distance. There is not much change in the vegetation. The forest-trees are possibly a little taller and of harder fibre than those lower down the river. The woods are filled with turkeys and ronsocos. The turkeys are not timid, and we kill quite a number of them some days without its interfering with our progress.
The ronsocos are sleepy-looking beasts, and we often catch them napping close to the water's edge. Even when you can approach within a few feet, it is almost impossible to kill them, so great is the amount of vitality that they possess. I have often seen them, with several large army-bullets in their bodies, jump into the river, dive out of sight, and swim a long distance, and, when attempting to crawl up the opposite bank, fall back dead.
To-day, when we stopped for dinner, there was a herd of eight feeding on a playa, the largest weighing some two hundred pounds. They had never seen the face of a white man, or had heard the report of a gun; but instinct seemed to warn them of danger, and they all ran away before we could get within range.
On account of the serious illness of one of our party, we had to lie over to-day; and to-night experienced the furies of a tropical thunder-storm, accompanied with some wind. For a considerable time we were kept in a state of uneasiness from fear of the falling of some immense trees standing around us, for along the river's course, both above and below, there was constantly borne to us the resounding crash of some huge forest-king as he fell and was buried in the soft alluvium. After the storm had passed, and quietness reigned in the camp, we were visited by a huge ronsoco that, in snuffing around, put his cold snout into a man's face, and immediately the whole camp was aroused by two
shots from a double-barreled gun. The ani. mal took to the water, but, that being very shallow at this point, we succeeded in capturing it.
To-day we found the first traces of man on this river-a log, evidently cut with some sharp instrument.
June 11th.-At an early hour we got under way. We saw a great deal of game to-day, and tested most satisfactorily the superiority of breech-loading arms and fowlingpieces. Passed a hut and several signs of Campa Indians, and stopped for the night on a gravel island with a few stunted bushes in the centre. This, at first, appeared to be a mal paso; but, upon examination, we found a sufficiency of water on one side of it. Here we found a small red-deer, but he swam the river, and disappeared into the forest before we could get a shot.
We found some handsome specimens of agate and jasper, and the Indians said that there was gold in the sand; but we saw none. Although the current has increased, we find that we make the same number of miles each day, owing to the fact that the men in each crew are becoming more accustomed to working together. Ten miles is about an average day's traveling up-stream. The men are becoming more and more frightened every day; and we know that at the fall of the first arrows among them they will all attempt to go overboard.
June 13th.-The current has increased considerably, and the banks in some places are quite rocky. We are now among the hills, and the mountains appear not far distant. One at first sight would not be struck with any very great difference in the vegetation of the mountains and lowlands.
To-day we saw two large snakes, one of which we killed. Early in the day we seemed to get into a thickly-inhabited region, passing several Campa huts, one chacra, and five balsas. The balsas are nicely made, and apparently with knives or axes. Along the banks are very fresh footprints of Indians and the remains of fires but recently abandoned.
About three P. M. we heard the Campas in the woods, beating on their tambours; and their huts and balsas increased in number as we advanced. Our Indians were here seized with more than an ordinary panic, and things generally had a squally look. At six P. M. we stopped for the night at some deserted huts on a small playa. A large tributary empties into the Pichis here; and, as we expected, we found that we were near the head of canoe-navigation. We named this tributary Herrera-yacu, in honor of a Peruvian major who accompanied the expedition, and we determined its mouth, which was six miles above the head of steam-navigation on the Pichis, to be in latitude 10° 20′ 3′′ south; longitude 74° 54' west of Greenwich; distance from the Brazilian frontier, thirteen hundred and thirty miles.
The place where we heard the tambour is only two miles distant. It seems to be a kind of outpost or headquarters for their fishing-parties when they come down from the hills, as there are signs of a path and a kind of yard for building balsas. These bal
sas are each built of the same number of logs, and are of a uniform size. They are each composed of five logs, about twelve or fifteen feet long, neatly skinned, and with the ends pointed. These are then laid side by side, and kept in position by cross-pieces fastened to them by pins made of chonta-wood almost as hard as iron. Our canoes are drawn up and all ready for any emergency, and we will sleep on our arms to-night.
June 14th.-At six A. M. we started up the Herrera-yacu, leaving in the huts we had occupied some little presents for any Campas that might visit them in our absence. After ascending the river for a few miles, it became unnavigable for canoes, and we returned to its mouth, and started up the left branch, or main river. At six P. M. we stopped for the night on a sand playa. Last night our camp was admirably situated for our being surprised by Indians, the bushes and cane growing right up close to our heads as we lay asleep, and we accordingly kept a good look out. About midnight, being on watch, and while talking to the major, who could not sleep, we heard three distinct whistles, and a second or two afterward three others in reply, a little farther within the jungle. He jumped up, and we both made the rounds with cocked revolvers, but, after creeping and listening for half an hour, could discover nothing. We then called up some of our Indians, who also had heard the noise; and one old man expressed the opinion that it might be a bird called the "papa-mamma," by the Indians, and alma perdida by the Peruvians. We were neither of us inclined to sleep, so, after my watch was over, the major brought out some cigarettes and cachaça, and we took seats on the edge of a canoe, and sat for a long time talking. He told me the story of this bird, and moreover much concerning the Campas. This is the legend about the bird: "According to an Indian tradition, there was once an Indian whose family consisted of a wife and one beautiful little child, about three years old. On one occasion, the father having gone hunting, and not returning at the accustomed time, the wife became uneasy, and went in search of him. After seeking him for a long time, she, at last, found him, he having lost his way, and rejoicing they returned together. But, when they reached home, and found their child missing, their joy was turned into grief. For days and nights they hunted and hunted, and called and called, being enticed farther and farther into the forest by the wailing cry of 'Papa - mamma! papa-mamma!' However, after vainly searching for a long time, they finally gave up in despair. But, every night after this, they were visited by a bird, that sat near the hut and uttered this low, clear cry, 'Papa-mamma! Papamamma! and which they supposed to be the soul of their lost child, or, as the Peruvians have it, alma perdida-'lost soul.'" The bird certainly has the talent of imitating more than one sound, or else we heard the lost soul of some old Campa Indian. It is a strange fact that the children of these sav ages, born and reared amid the wild animals of this immense jungle, should address their parents as papa-mamma," and this, too, in
a tone as tender and with the same accent as that of any pampered little brat of enlightened and refined parents. We account for it by the fact that it is, of all other sounds, the simplest and the most easily uttered by the human lips.
The Campa Indians inhabit the hills and spurs of the eastern Cordilleras, among which the tributaries of the Ucayali and Pachitea take their rise. As a general rule, these Indians never come down to the river except when on the war-path, or during the lowwater season, when they make expeditions for turtle and fish. Like all other nations that inhabit a mountainous country, they are fiercer, hardier, and more powerful, than their neighbors of the lowlands, who hold them in the greatest dread. In the year 1712, a priest of the order of St. Francis established a college at the village of Ocopa, in the Andes Mountains, and a short distance from Jauxa. From this station, and through a great part of this Campa country, there went forth priests and the teachings of the Catholic Church, so that, in 1742, there had been established, near the Cero de la Sal, and in the Pajonal, ten towns; and it is said that there were ten thousand converts. But, in this year, an Indian, who had been converted and baptized as Juan Santos, and who had been educated as a priest, arrived among his people, and told them that he was a prophet, and that the other priests were deceiving them. The result was, the immediate death of all priests and white persons in their territory; and, from that time to this, no whites have been able either to establish themselves in that country, or to hold safe communication with them. Many times since, priests, with strong bodies of Christianized Indians, and in some instances escorts of regular soldiers, have endeavored to penetrate into their country, but in every case they have been attacked, and very few have escaped to tell the tale. The government of Peru is set at defiance by this powerful tribe; and at the fort of San Ramon, a frontier fort on the river Chanchamayo, where there is a large garrison of Peruvian soldiers, these soldiers are allowed to bathe or not, just as it suits the fancy of the Indians who hold the opposite bank of the little stream on which the fort is situ ated. Only a short time ago, a priest, who was on a visit to this fort, was invited to baptize some children, but he had no sooner gotten out into the shallow water, with the child in his arms, than he was fired upon by the Indians; and, although he was badly wounded, and dragged himself back under cover, the troops were afraid to retaliate. Although the sworn enemy of the white man, they communicate with him sufficiently through other tribes, and in indirect ways, to enable them to procure knives and axes-1 -the only things, indeed, that the Indians of this country really care for.
nothing if not captious. He is like the redpepper, utterly useless if not intensely biting. So, as I felt it to be the duty of every guest to try and enliven the circle, I determined to say something to rouse his ire.
"I have been reading a French noveldelightful French novel-lately."
This was my first gun. I knew it would wake the echoes, if nothing more.
"Yes, I dare say you have," answered the enemy, "fifteen of them at least, and each one worse than the last."
"I admit the number, but hesitate at the classification: the last one was a great deal better than any of the rest of them."
"And that was not saying much, I will be bound. False sentiment, false morality, and ingenious excuses for breaking one's marriage-vows, finding anybody else's husband or wife more agreeable than your own-I despise the whole set of them."
"But they will do you no harm, for you have no marriage-vows to break."
"I do not intend to read works on the profession of burglary, simply because I do not intend to be a burglar-that negative reason would not make the literature of the 'jimmy' or the picklock interesting to menor do I as at present advised wish to read the false sentiment of the French school. It does not amuse me."
"Don't you enjoy the wit, vivacity, ab sorbing interest, and intense knowledge of human nature, which the French story-tellers show?"
“Oh, yes; I like the ingenuity of the French mind, but their 'intense knowledge of human nature,' as you say, I hate. It means diving with the dissecting knife into the morbid and diseased portions of the poor, imperfect thing we call human nature, and rouses in us at the best a regret that we have such a corrupt side to us; or it does worseit rouses in us a tendency to indulge in the passions, and particularly the passion of talking about our own emotions. The French novel is full of that temptation."
"What do you mean by temptation? Of all the vocabulary of the undeterminate emotions, I consider the word' temptation' as the least explained."
"Oh, you must go to the doctors of the law and language for your definitions. I am not going to be balked of my attack on French novels. I think they have done great harm to the world, particularly the American world. I think they have brought about this imbecile notion of the femme incomprise. Our grandmothers had no such notions. They were glad to have a roof over their heads, and to be allowed to help build up the family honor, and to regard home as sacred, and to rear their families in decency and purity. They had no time to be 'incomprises.'
"Poor grandmothers! I always think of that excellent witticism, that the Puritan mothers had to endure all that the Puritan fathers did and the Puritan fathers, too!' Don't you think the Puritan fathers must have been a trifle dull sometimes ? "
"No; excellent, good, truthful, squaretoed gentlemen."
"I suppose you think they went out and
squeezed poor old Giles Cory to death between two stones, or hung a witch or two, and came in to their dinners in a very amiable frame of mind, don't you, Orestes?"
"Yes. No doubt these amusements quieted the natural man. They worked off original sin in that way, and came home in a frame of mind the most amiable and loving." "Well, you see husbands nowadays have none of these resources. Instead of squeezing old Giles Cory to death, they are pressed to death in Wall Street or elsewhere themselves, and they are obliged to bring home rather incomplete tempers. I have read of two suicides, in to-day's paper, of unhappy wives, and two cases of women who have been kicked to death."
"Yes," said Orestes, as the Western humorist remarked, 'the season for sitting on circular saws has opened,' referring to the periodicity with which that unique, or seemingly unique, excitement passes over the American mind-so the season has now arrived for wife-murder and suicide. The childstealing mania has been nipped in the bud by the publicity of the poor Charley Ross case; but if Charley Ross had been found, we should have had all the dear little fouryear-olds captured by prowling monsters. However, to return to the French novels, I think they have led to the frequency of divorce. The French cannot be divorced because of their church. We can, and are, instead of compromising the thing."
"I do not agree with you that divorces are frequent, or the domestic morality of our society light. We hear very much of divorce, which proves that it is a rare thing and a terrible thing. I claim that there are more happy homes, more congenial marriages, in our country than any other, except perhaps England, from which we derive our ideas. Human nature is imperfect, and tempers do not always agree, so that people must sometimes separate. But it is wonderful to me to see how many live together hap
"Yes," said Orestes, "when you consider what very uninteresting, fractious, extravagant, proud, discontented creatures American women are! For my part, I want to go back and marry Madame du Deffand. Since you are so fond of French heroines, won't you condescend to read me Horace Walpole's description of her—or perhaps you do not read English?"
"Orestes," said I, "you are insufferable ! However, since you have never succeeded in naking one of those uninteresting, fractious, extravagant, proud, discontented creatures onsent to the horrible tyranny of the mar tiage relation with you, I will consent to read ou the description."
"Well, read it slowly and distinctly; so ew of you women can read aloud decentlyn accomplishment worth far more than your iano-playing or your very poor singingworth more than your water-colors or your ttempts at oils." Thus Orestes!
times superficial; she had a wit, playful,
Oh, the charming, brilliant, feminine creature!" interrupted Orestes; no bluestocking, with theories, you see, but receptive, taking all that was good out of every mind she came near, by force of sympathy, and rejecting all that was crass, coarse, and poor; not learned, and yet to have known her was a liberal education."
"Now you are praising her for her opportunities, not her natural qualities. She had the advantage of 'knowing all the brightest geniuses of her age;' we of the present age haven't any Horace Walpoles to know. That is just like your unfairness."
"Don't you think you had better return to Horace Walpole?
I knew Orestes would think so if I attempted to say any thing, so I resumed reading:
"Thus trained, her faculties acquired a pliability of movement, which gave to all their exertions a bewitching air of freedom and negligence, and made even their least efforts seem only the exuberance or flowerings of a mind capable of higher excellence, but unambitious to attain them.'"
Ah, that is sweet!" said Orestes. "I like that land of promise, it flows with milk and honey. However, read on."
"On whatever topic she touched, trivial or severe, it was alike en badinant, but in the midst of this sportiveness her genius poured itself forth in a thousand delightful fancies, and scattered new graces and ornaments on every object within its sphere. In its wanderings from the trifles of the day to grave questions of morals or philosophy, it carelessly struck out, and as carelessly abandoned the most profound truths, and, while it aimed only to amuse, suddenly astonished and electrified by rapid traits of illumination, which opened the depths of difficult subjects, and roused the researches of more systematic reasoners.""
"Capital! said Orestes; "there is a description of a woman of genius by a man of genius! How a woman's bright mind does or should open the depths of difficult subjects! If you will find me such a woman, I will marry her to-morrow."
dreadful comparison of your inferiority to Madame du Deffund."
Well, as Horace finally got to call her 'that blind old debauchee of wit,' I will." · So I resumed my reading: 'To these qualifications were added an independence in forming opinions, and a boldness in avowing them, which wore at least the semblance of honesty, a perfect knowledge of the world, and that facility of manners which, in the com merce of society, supplies the place of benevolence."
'Yes, a little of Horace Walpole's cynical unbelief at the end," said Orestes. "He never could wholly praise anybody. 'A semblance of honesty?' why, Madame du Deffand was the perfection of honesty. She acknowledged that she was an infidel, and yet she was dreadfully afraid to die."
"Those imperfections and inconsistencies make her very real, very human, and very lovable, I think. I do not blame Horace Walpole for emphasizing them. The portrait becomes so much more perfect-like Cromwell's insisting on his moles being painted in. The thing is characteristic and intense."
"Madame du Deffand," said Orestes, solemnly, "had one quality which you women are very deficient in generally. She bad humor. Do you notice how lightly and prettily Horace records that? 'On whatever topic she touched, trivial or severe, it was alike en badinant.' Now, I think American women are very deficient in that quality; they want graceful lightness of wit and humor. All women want it. They are either very silly, and laugh loudly and without meaning at nothing, or they are ponderous and pretentious, or, worse still, complaining and ill-tempered. They have not that faculty which Lord Houghton describes in his 'Monographs, Personal and Social,' in speaking of Lady Ashburton, of making high comedy out of daily life.' Do you remember the description?"
"Yes," ," said I, taking the book from the table and turning to it, "here it is, too good to be half quoted: 'I do not know how I can better describe this faculty than as the fullest and freest exercise of an intellectual gayety, that presented the most agreeable and amusing pictures in few and varied words, making high comedy out of daily life, and relieving sound sense and serious observation with imaginative contrasts and delicate surprises.'"
Do you know any woman of whom that can be said?" asked Orestes.
"Yes, I do. I have a great admiration for my own countrywomen. I think them the most sparkling women in the world. They labor under immense disadvantages, which Englishwomen do not, particularly those in the position of Harriet Lady Ashburton, for whom life and its accidents had been conquered for a thousand years. A woman born in a garden, and invited to walk into the most beautiful of houses, and to use a large fortune, and to adorn a distinguished ancestry, and to fill gracefully a position of extreme luxury and distinction, is in rather a different position from one who is born on Plymouth Rock, grows up in a climate which "Ah! go on; don't force upon me the always makes her ill and nervous, bas to fight
"And you think she would marry you? That would' rouse the researches of more systematic reasoners,' I think," said I, infuriated.
with narrow circumstances, or, what perhaps is worse, a new and rapidly - accumulated prosperity, and who is politely requested by society to be always very agreeable, and to make the wilderness blossom like the rose. Such has been the position of American women, only I have not sketched half the hardships or half the requirements. Nothing but the intense chivalry of the American man has enabled the weaker vessel to swim at all. She ought, in nine cases out of ten, to have sunk beneath the wave, to have been wrecked entirely. That she has made the voyage, or, to quit the awkward metaphor, that she has succeeded in doing as well as she has, is wonderful. That she may have failed of possessing the wit of Madame du Deffand, or the 'rapidity of movement and dexterity of fence' of Lady Ashburton, is not surprising; but I do not agree with you that she always has."
"It strikes me, as I look about our large cities, that this daughter of the Puritans, this hard-worked and abused creature whom you describe, has conquered her lot, and looks very blooming; she certainly wears very good clothes, and I should call her any thing but oppressed."
who gives me all the fascination of her attractive and interesting character, and changes so often that I am reminded of the old song
'Phillis is my only joy, Changeful as the winds of morning, Sometimes willing, sometimes coy '
you know the rest."
"And you would chain such a creature to the grocer's book; expect her to keep house;' submit to all your humors, and to the horrors of the intelligence-office; have the neuralgia in her face, try to keep up with the advanced spirit of the times (that is the phrase, isn't it?), be beautifully dressed on nothing at all; read, write, and cipher; play the piano, dance exquisitely, look prettily, and still have a sense of humor,' and make 'high comedy or high tragedy of life!' Why, Orestes, you make me faint!"
"Yes, I want her to manage the grocer's book, but never to let it appear. Let her keep all her annoyances sub rosa, show the world that a woman can keep a secret (she can do it well enough when she wishes to). I wish her to consume her own smoke like the new railway-engines. I do not wish any pandering to lethargic ease, any mornings spent reading French novels on sofas (I never do that). I do not wish her to sit communing with herself, and imagining herself abused. That is very poor business; she had better be attend
Well, Orestes, I do not call her oppressed, and I agree with you that she is blooming, nay, more, she is beautiful, and she does wear very good clothes. I am talking of the different conditions under which this fairing to the chimneys, and see that they are flower has been reared, and how improbable it is that in one or two generations she should, as a production, we will say, of Nature and art, reach the two developments we have been considering; yet I am always struck, and I think foreigners are as a rule, with the cleverness and the culture of American women."
"Yes, I think I have heard them called 'smart' that delightful word!—but I do not think they do half enough to oil the wheels of life, that lubricating of the machinery of life which a sense of humor brings about; I think they are fretful often, and talk too much about their health, and their servants, and their annoyances. I don't want to hear about any of those things. I want to hear about books and pictures, and the last play, and the new opera, and fashion, and some good-natured gossip."
Yes, that would be desirable. I hope all your female friends will have the strength to do it for you! But you must remember that some women are born Lady Macbeths, and can only make 'high tragedy' out of life."
"So it is high enough, very well. I love a Rachel-a bigh-stepping, dark-eyed, tragic creature, with a passionate temper, an emotional nature, her tears very near her smiles, who adores me one minute and hates me the next, but always winds up by adoring me, and whose tears never make her nose red, but
"This is the tragic one, or the comic one. Who is to see to the chimneys?"
"We will put the comic one at that; I think there is a sense of humor connected with the old idea of the chimney-sweep, don't you think so? And I fear my tragic beauty would pout, and—”
"And put you up the chimney? Yes, I hope she would. It is very easy to be virtuous for other people, and very easy not to commit other people's sins. What do you intend to do in the mean time, while Mrs. Orestes is doing all these things so well?"
"As Woodcock says in his 'little game,' I think I should smoke a cigar!"
"Yes, you and the chimneys would need sweeping out together, no doubt. You remind me of an epigrammatic line in a recent lect
ure, 'All the mortal sins of a man are venial, all the venial sins of a woman are mortal.'"
"We pay you a great compliment; we know you can be better than we are, and we demand that you should live up to your highest ideal."
"And yet you began this conversation by abusing us, and saying that French novels had injured us; and I think I heard something about uninteresting, fractious, extravagant, proud, discontented creatures,' without a 'sense of humor."
"Those are the exceptions which prove the rule," replied Orestes. Logical and truthful man!
"Don't you think you have been to see the play of 'Led Astray' lately? That always amuses me, as such a condensed essence of the just way in which the sins of man and of woman are judged by the world. The woman writes a verse of poetry on a book, and rather imagines that she would
She sits there, ut
like to know the author. terly neglected by her husband, who is having a great flirtation with her intimate friend, and who makes her parlor the ground on which he carries it on, and she has a little sentimental dream of love, of what a reciprocated friendship might be. For that she is disgraced, scolded, and has to submit to my lord's displeasure. He meantime carries on his little affair with Miss Susan O'Hara, and no one minds it in the least. He is the only one who does any thing wrong in the play, and he reaps the reward of virtue, and looks down on her verse of poetry with lofty disdain."
"The play has great merit; it is true to life," said Orestes. "Ladies mustn't dream." "Did it ever occur to you that you might improve?
'Never," said Orestes-" never; our vices are only our virtues carried to an extreme. Men never do any thing wrong; they cannot."
"I know it is always so refreshing when you hear of the weakness, the folly, the wick. edness of woman, to reflect that men are so good."
"Yes, it gives you hope for the future, a belief in the possibility of the perfection of the race," said Orestes.
"And it is very pleasant to have something to look forward to that has not yet arrived."
"Certainly; you cannot look forward to any thing that has arrived."
"Then we may look forward to the perfection of the masculine character? Ilow kind of you!"
"Oh, yes, I am as kind as I can be."
"You always remind me, Orestes, of one of Arsène Houssaye's speeches. Do you remember the marchioness who hung her head with all the 'ingenuousness of fourscore?'
"Yes, perhaps I am ingenuous, among my other virtues. Was she the same marchioness (one of your good French ones) who said: 'I entered the world through marriage -a bad enough entrance, is it not? At the end of two years and a half the marquis, my husband, died; I clung to this new misfor tune for fear of a worse. My regrets were not very lively, for the marquis had taken the trouble to come into the world and to go out of it again-that was all! I moistened his will with my tears, and veiled my face with solemn-looking crape, which yet did not hide the cheerful horizon of widowhood?'"
"Yes, the same dear, witty marchioness. You see there is some danger in having women too witty. Who knows but that if Mrs. Orestes, now, should happen to be witty, she might smile when she heard or thought of the cheerful horizon of widowhood?'n
"Ah! no, I told you-or at least I wished to confide to you-that I preferred the tragic one."
toward herself, excessively lenient toward others. I wish her to have a joyous temperament, a festive disposition, and yet to feel quite capable of tears when I consider them proper. There are moments when I love a a pensive beauty. Thalia is all very well, but I like a little of Melpomene occasionally -in fact, she must be the shadow of my mood. She must have that 'fine tone' which Horace Walpole describes; her key - note must be high. Then I wish her to be stamped with a special distinction-nothing common, nothing like anybody else. She must have the noblest and truest purpose in every thing she does, and yet be so entirely without conceit that she does not suspect herself of having any excellence whatever. I shall be careful never to tell her that she has any for fear. that she might grow conceited. Then she must be witty without propensity to satire; full of agreeable talk, without saying aught that is disagreeable of any one. She must be religious without bigotry or narrowness; she must be very prudent, but not the least prudish. She must never be grotesque; she must remember that fine saying that she 'belongs to a sex who cannot afford to be grotesque,' therefore she must avoid even the exercise of the talent for imitation, if that should lead her to be grotesque. She must be very sensible of my merits, and very indif. ferent to her own. She may be as learned as she pleases, if she will only conceal it; and, above all, she must make high comedy of life!"
"When you find her, will you be so good as to invite me to the wedding?" 'Certainly; you shall have cards."
We now enter upon the most stirring and important of all the acts of this great drama.
At one time it was thought that the capability of an actor in this part was shown by his reading of the famous soliloquy, beginning "To be or not to be "--probably the best-known passage in Shakespeare, which every one with a taste for elocution is fond of repeating, and every one with a philosophical bent is prone to study. Mr. Booth begins this soliloquy with a great deal of feeling. He enters upon the stage in a mood profoundly meditative. His bearing, the expression of his countenance, and his whole manner, indicate the dreamy abstraction of one who is speculating upon a profound problem. But these outward forms soon disappear. As he talks, the meditative mood esapes from him, and presently there is little more than rapid and characterless declanation. We have already pointed out Mr. Booth's deficiency in the use of pause. this soliloquy it is imperatively needed; but here, after the first few lines, Mr. Booth's tendency to hasty, half-considered utterance asserts itself. The dreamer who meditates
in the manner of this soliloquy thinks, hesitates, halts, mentally questions, broods, shows flashes of feeling, falls away into dreamy speculation; but Mr. Booth, as soon as he is fairly under way, dashes along as if the whole business were to deliver a certain number of words within a given time. The lines"For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
are all flung off at a beat, as if learned by rote, not as if coming meditatively thought on thought. Nor are they expressed with all their shades of meaning, with those touches that give life and color to language. Every person who has really studied this famous soliloquy knows that half the time Mr. Booth is quite at sea as to its artistic sense. We say artistic sense advisedly. Everybody knows the drift of the argument, but only the student is aware of all the suggestions and the halfhidden thoughts which the passage contains, and which it is the province of the reader to shape and body forth. We have heard actors who have thrown many lights over Shakespearean passages, who have brought out hidden meanings, who have revealed thought-of ideas; but we assert with confidence that Mr. Booth far oftener covers up and obscures meaning than he reveals it.
After the soliloquy comes the perplexing scene with Ophelia, and here, more forcibly than elsewhere, arises the question of Hamlet's sanity. The literature evolved in the dispute of this issue is compendious, profound, and searching; nevertheless, we cannot do full justice to Mr. Booth's personation without giving the question a brief consideration.
It is an error to draw a sharp line of demarkation between the sane and the insane, inasmuch as the two classes fade into each other. Between the extremes the gulf is great, but the intermediate gradations are infinite. Many astute physicians have declared that no person is wholly sane on every point. A man may be of sound judgment on nine questions, but exhibit marked disorder on the tenth; it is, indeed, certain that he will not be equally sane, balanced, and judicial, on every subject. All imaginative persons seem a little crazed to those of cool blood; the poetical temperament, ever since poets have flourished, has been suspected of being at least remotely allied to madness. There may be ebullitions and disorders in minds that commonly are peculiarly clear and regulated; and hence, in view of these facts, it is unphilosophical to make a sharp issue as to whether Hamlet is sane or insane. Hamlet is sane in many things; but to say that he is sane in all is to misunderstand the meaning of the word. A sensitive, introspective nature, so burdened with sorrow and tossed between conflicting duties and fears, would be sure to do unaccountable things, and exhibit strange perturbations of spirit. That Hamlet should fall away into dreams, explode in self-upbraidings, break into feverish mirth, show wild and unsettled conduct,
is only natural under all the circumstances -a great sorrow, an appalling secret, distracting fears, a lost love, and a revelation from the grave! It is true that he tells us of his intention to put on an "antic disposition," but we can only suspect that this assumption is largely prompted by the "fever at the core; " he gives us to understand that he is to enact madness for a purpose, but we apprehend that this very purpose is as wild and turbulent as the strange disposition which is supposed to cover it up. Let us look at a few of the facts.
Hamlet assumes madness under cover of which to mature his purposes in relation to the usurping king, and to conceal "the heart of his mystery." But by so doing he does not in the least further his designs, and only excites the apprehensions of the whole court that something must be wrong. 'Prompted to his revenge by heaven and hell," he plans nothing, projects nothing, apparently intends nothing except at some good time or other to fulfill the commands of his father's spirit; and in all this the assumption of madness seems to be quite as motiveless as the rest of his conduct. Throughout he seems to lack the balance, directness, and reason of perfect saneness.
In the midst of bis halting uncertainty he seizes upon the chances of the presence of company of players to produce a play before the court, the story of which so much resembles the taking off of his own father that he hopes, by watching its effect upon the king, to confirm the story of the ghost. The play does confirm these suspicions; in truth, it renders the guilt of the king beyond question; and yet, no sooner has Hamlet established this fact than he at once surrenders all his designs, foregoes the advantage of this com plete verification of the ghost's story, and goes off to England at the command of the king. Assuredly a purpose so infirm and easily diverted as this is very far from being
a sane one.
Hamlet's whole conduct toward Polonius betokens uncertain temper and an aimless caprice that has no logical defense. The violent death, by his own hand, of the father of the woman he loves, causes no remorse or grief-never once awakens in him sorrow even on Ophelia's behalf; it was caused in an explosion of frenzy, and so distraught is the unhappy creature's mind that never once does he apprehend the significance of the act, or understand the blow he has struck at Ophelia's peace.
Perfect sanity moves steadily forward to its purposes; it is calm; it foresees; it is not disturbed by every idle whiff; it is serene amid conflict, opposition, and danger. That is not sanity which drifts hither and thither; which would, and yet would not; which permits the imagination to run away with the reason; that obeys the bebest of every impulse; which knows no helm or guidance for its turbulent disorders.
It is only by understanding this duplex nature of Hamlet's condition that we can at all comprehend his conduct toward Ophelia. We must enter into the soul of that sensitive, high-strung, overwrought nature, and realize how the touch of certain chords awakens all