Various.

The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863 online

. (page 19 of 20)
Online LibraryVariousThe Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863 → online text (page 19 of 20)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


indeed, were the bills which, in Mr. Letcher's day, could stand this
ordeal. On these days he was in his glory; it was then that by the use
of the magic words, 'I object,' he obtained his greatest triumphs.

On one of these occasions, a plain old lady from a distant part of the
country, was in the gallery looking down on the proceedings with intense
anxiety. She was the unfortunate subject of a revolutionary claim, which
had long been pending without result, and by the advice of her friends
she had come all the way to Washington to give her personal exertions to
its prosecution. By dint of untiring energy she had succeeded in having
it passed through the Senate and sent down to the House. It had
successfully run the gauntlet of the House committee, and as the
calendar was now to be called, the simple-hearted old lady thought she
was at the end of her troubles. She watched the proceedings with great
interest, but soon began to show signs of apprehension and alarm at the
movements of Mr. Letcher. The clerk had been engaged for some time in
reading the bills in their order, but not one of them had reached the
conclusion of its reading before the fatal words, 'I object,' were heard
to issue from the seat occupied by Mr. Letcher. Turning uneasily and
hastily to a stranger sitting near, the good old lady with some
petulance inquired, 'who is that bald-headed man that objects to all
these bills?' 'Bald, madam!' replied the gentleman, 'you're quite
mistaken. He's not bald, but his hair hasn't grown any for a great many
years.' 'But who is he,' continued the old lady, 'and what makes him
object to everybody's bill.' With most provoking deliberation, the
gentleman replied to the old lady's impatient queries: 'Madam, that is
John Letcher; he is a Virginia gentleman, of one of the very first
families.' 'But what makes him object, I want to know that.' 'Madam,'
replied the gentleman, 'the peculiarity you mention is connected with a
most extraordinary fact in his history; you would indeed be surprised to
learn it.' 'Do pray tell me what it is, now won't you, sir?' 'He can't
help it, madam; he's obliged to object. It is a necessity imposed upon
him from his birth.' 'La, mister, do pray tell me what it is. I'm dying
to know.' 'Well, madam, you see now, this is objection day; Mr. Letcher
was born on objection day; he objected to being born on that day; but
this objection was unanimously overruled, and he became so enraged, that
he has objected to everything from that day to this.' Just at this
moment, the clerk read in a loud, clear voice: 'Number - - , a bill for
the relief of - - .' The old lady turned away from the stranger as she
heard her own name called, just in time to see Mr. Letcher rise and
utter the inevitable words 'Mr. Chairman, I object.'

The old lady sank back in her seat and covered her face with a red
handkerchief. The stranger gentleman leaned over sympathizingly, and
said in a low voice, 'Madam, the first time his mother attempted to comb
his hair, he objected to having any hair; and now you see the
consequence.'

But the old lady was not to be defeated. She called on Mr. Letcher every
day, from that time till the next objection day; and when her bill was
about to be called, Mr. Letcher took his hat and walked out of the
House. The same gentleman happened to be present; he stepped up to the
old lady and said: 'Madam, Mr. Letcher is now about to take the only
thing he never objected to - he's gone to take a drink.'

The truth is Mr. Letcher objected to seeing the old lady again. She had
promised to visit him daily until her bill passed; and the force of this
objection overcame the other; and so the bill which had been defeated by
an objection, was now passed on account of one.


THE PINE.

The Pine - the Pine - the mighty Pine -
The everliving - evergreen;
That boldly cleaves the broad sunshine,
Towering high with scornful mien;
And smileth not in summer's gladness,
And sigheth not 'mid winter's sadness;
Shedding no tear
O'er the dying year,
But groweth still bright,
And touched by no sorrow,
For he feareth no night,
And hopeth no morrow.

The proud - the cold - the mountain Pine,
The tempest driven - tempest torn -
That grandly o'er the wildwood line
The forest banner long has borne;
And he waileth never the waning flower,
For he knows no death but the storm-cloud's power.
Could he have grief
For a passing leaf?
So strong in his might,
Touched by no sorrow,
Fearing no night
And hoping no morrow.

_By the Rappahannock_,
August 7, 1868.


A DAY AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.

It was one of those hot days in summer, when life is rather emotional
than operative, and will lies locked in the ecstasy of sense. For a week
the heat had been incessant, and now at early morning the thermometer
stood at 96 in the shade. We were a party of loungers thrown together by
chance, in a small town of western Maryland, united in nothing but a
desire to escape the heat. The town lay in a little basin scooped out
among circling mountains, which were veiled in almost perpetual
vapors; - but this morning the vapors had parted, wreathing the mountains
in light, delicately tinted circles, and disclosing a clear, glowing
sky. To the east rose Table Rock, a black, frowning bowlder, resting, a
mile and a half up the mountain, on a base so narrow, it seemed a breeze
would rock it into perilous motion; while to the southwest, lay
Fairmount, serene, stately, sloping upward with a symmetry which
architecture might vainly emulate. We determined upon an excursion to
the latter, and mounted our horses for the six-and-a-half miles ride.
The road was macadamized, and worn so firm and level, it reminded me,
constantly, of the stone walks in a granite quarry. Among our party was
a young man just returned from Europe surfeited with scenery and
sight-seeing, but for the rest, we were commonplace Americans, eager to
see everything, and ready to go into ecstasies over everything which we
saw. It was in early July, and the foliage had not yet wilted from its
moist, bright greenness; the atmosphere was a wave of light, and the
earth seemed no longer dust, dross, and atoms of decay, but surcharged
and palpitating with sunshine. A dead calm pervaded the air, not a leaf
fluttered, not a blade bent; nature was in a trance of heat and light.
As we ascended the mountains, we were sensible of a slight motion in the
vapors, and a cool murmur in the trees; it was the first breath of the
mountain air, swelling as we advanced to a spicy, exhilarating breeze.
The sea air is certainly more bracing, but I never experienced anything
so soothing, as that wind wafted from cool mountain recesses. We left
our horses at the inn, and proceeded on foot to the summit. We were on
one of the peaks of the Alleghanies, looking down into a valley, which,
below, had appeared enclosed by mountains, but now disclosed a broad
opening to the south, while eastward ran the Blue Ridge, so wrapped and
sublimated by azure mists, that it seemed a line of cloud mountains
projected against the dazzling sky. As far as the eye could reach, the
valley was a Paradise, so soft and delicate in its exuberant verdure,
that the eye pained by the splendor of sky and air, was soothed without
any cessation of delight; through its midst ran the Potomac, always
limpid, but under this burning sun of a silvery brightness, shaded and
mellowed by the foliage around. The wind, which we found so grateful,
had increased steadily till it blew in strong gusts - a dense cloud
spread over the west - while in the east, the sky faded to a chalky
whiteness, low thunders muttered in the mountains, and faint shudders
crept through the leaves; a line of fire curled up over the cloud, and
in an instant, so vivid and swift were the electric bursts, the air
seemed sheeted in flames. In a long residence on both lake and sea shore
I remember no transition so startling, as this from a loveliness which
was beatific to a tempest which was appalling. But the storm was as
brief as its coming had been sudden, and, as the sun shone out over the
dripping foliage, each leaf and blade reflected bright colors through
its prismatic drops, the distant trees gleaming like sea spray in the
light. As we looked through purple vapors, floating from the purple
heights of shadowy mountains, the window seemed mirroring the sensuous
splendors of an Italian landscape. In descending to the valley, we took
a winding road which led farther up toward the heart of the range. Here
were gorges opening up through the mountains, which baffle all
description, and before which Art must despair. Such grouping! such
luxury! so blended and irradiated with gossamer mists, it seemed easy to
fancy, that in their depths lay hidden the happy fields of Pan. It is in
these mists which harmonize contrasts, in these tremulous motions which
conceal angles and abruptness, that nature defies art; the subtlest art
may suggest, but cannot reproduce them. As we stopped, for a moment, at
the foot of the mountain, and looked up through the fragrant air to the
sunset sky, and forward into the valley, mantling with slumbrous shade,
our young friend from Europe exclaimed, 'I have seen to-day, what I had
never expected to see in America, - mountains as picturesque as those of
Wales, and a sky mellow and brilliant as that of Italy.' For me, I could
not help but feel that in American scenery lies the hope of American
artists, and that the artist to whom Rome is denied, may receive even
fuller inspiration from the sea and skies and heights of his native
land! This was in 1859. There was then no token or presage of that other
July day, when, under the very shadow of these mountains, an army
thrilled with heroic impulse; when men, whose whole lives had been
ignoble, redeemed them by the most sublime daring; and those whose lives
held every promise yielded them with the most patriotic devotion; and
through long sultry hours, men cheerfully endured the tortures of
thirst, of wounds, and of lonely death agonies, sustained by a
prescience of victory. Thus was the scene, which nature had made
enchanting, rendered historic and immortal.

A. J. S.


ARE YOU FOR THE COUNTRY?

Then draw and strike
In nature's right,
And Freedom's might,
To break the night
Of Slavery's blight,
And make our country free!

Strike home the blow,
And bravely show
The traitor foe
His blood shall flow
Beneath the glow
Of _Freedom's_ victory.

Let traitors feel
The Northern steel;
Nor backward wheel
Till they shall kneel,
And _Yankee_ heel
Shall rest on Tyranny.

Then on, ye brave!
Your banner wave
O'er head of slave,
And ope the grave
For rebel knave; -
_Bring Peace and Unity_.


* * * * *


THE
Continental Monthly.


The readers of the CONTINENTAL are aware of the important position it
has assumed, of the influence which it exerts, and of the brilliant
array of political and literary talent of the highest order which
supports it. No publication of the kind has, in this country, so
successfully combined the energy and freedom of the daily newspaper with
the higher literary tone of the first-class monthly; and it is very
certain that no magazine has given wider range to its contributors, or
preserved itself so completely from the narrow influences of party or of
faction. In times like the present, such a journal is either a power in
the land or it is nothing. That the CONTINENTAL is not the latter is
abundantly evidenced _by what it has done_ - by the reflection of its
counsels in many important public events, and in the character and power
of those who are its staunchest supporters.

Though but little more than a year has elapsed since the CONTINENTAL was
first established, it has during that time acquired a strength and a
political significance elevating it to a position far above that
previously occupied by any publication of the kind in America. In proof
of which, assertion we call attention to the following facts:

1. Of its POLITICAL articles republished in pamphlet form, a single one
has had, thus far, a circulation of _one hundred and six thousand_
copies.

2. From its LITERARY department, a single serial novel, "Among the
Pines," has, within a very few months, sold nearly _thirty-five
thousand_ copies. Two other series of its literary articles have also
been republished in book form, while the first portion of a third is
already in press.

No more conclusive facts need be alleged to prove the excellence of the
contributions to the CONTINENTAL, or their _extraordinary popularity_;
and its conductors are determined that it shall not fall behind.
Preserving all "the boldness, vigor, and ability" which a thousand
journals have attributed to it, it will greatly enlarge its circle of
action, and discuss, fearlessly and frankly, every principle involved in
the great questions of the day. The first minds of the country,
embracing the men most familiar with its diplomacy and most
distinguished for ability, are among its contributors; and it is no mere
"flattering promise of a prospectus" to say that this "magazine for the
times" will employ the first intellect in America, under auspices which
no publication ever enjoyed before in this country.

While the CONTINENTAL will express decided opinions on the great
questions of the day, it will not be a mere political journal: much the
larger portion of its columns will be enlivened, as heretofore, by
tales, poetry, and humor. In a word, the CONTINENTAL will be found,
under its new staff of Editors, occupying a position and presenting
attractions never before found in a magazine.


TERMS TO CLUBS.

Two copies for one year, Five dollars.
Three copies for one year, Six dollars.
Six copies for one year, Eleven dollars.
Eleven copies for one year, Twenty dollars.
Twenty copies for one year, Thirty-six dollars.

PAID IN ADVANCE.

_Postage, Thirty-six cents a year_, TO BE PAID BY THE SUBSCRIBER.

SINGLE COPIES.

Three dollars a year, IN ADVANCE. _Postage paid by the Publisher._

JOHN F. TROW, 50 Greene St., N.Y.,
PUBLISHER FOR THE PROPRIETORS.

[Illustration: pointing finger] As an inducement to new subscribers, the
Publisher offers the following liberal premiums:

[Illustration: pointing finger] Any person remitting $3, in advance,
will receive the magazine from July, 1862, to January, 1864, thus
securing the whole of Mr. KIMBALL'S and Mr. KIRKE'S new serials, which
are alone worth the price of subscription. Or, if preferred, a
subscriber can take the magazine for 1863 and a copy of "Among the
Pines," or of "Undercurrents of Wall Street," by R. B. KIMBALL, bound in
cloth, or of "Sunshine in Thought," by CHARLES GODFREY LELAND (retail
price, $1 25.) The book to be sent postage paid.

[Illustration: pointing finger] Any person remitting $4 50, will receive
the magazine from its commencement, January, 1862, to January, 1864,
thus securing Mr. KIMBALL'S "Was He Successful?" and Mr. KIRKE'S "Among
the Pines," and "Merchant's Story," and nearly 8,000 octave pages of the
best literature in the world. Premium subscribers to pay their own
postage.


* * * * *


[Illustration: THE FINEST FARMING LANDS

WHEAT CORN COTTON FRUITS & VEGETABLES]


EQUAL TO ANY IN THE WORLD!!! MAY BE PROCURED At FROM $8 to $12 PER
ACRE, Near Markets, Schools, Railroads, Churches, and all the
blessings of Civilization.

1,200,000 Acres, in Farms of 40, 80, 120, 160 Acres and upwards, in
ILLINOIS, the Garden State of America.

The Illinois Central Railroad Company offer, ON LONG CREDIT, the
beautiful and fertile PRAIRIE LANDS lying along the whole line of
their Railroad, 700 MILES IN LENGTH, upon the most Favorable Terms
for enabling Farmers, Manufacturers, Mechanics and Workingmen to
make for themselves and their families a competency, and a HOME they
can call THEIR OWN, as will appear from the following statements:


ILLINOIS.

Is about equal in extent to England, with a population of 1,722,666, and
a soil capable of supporting 20,000,000. No State in the Valley of the
Mississippi offers so great an inducement to the settler as the State of
Illinois. There is no part of the world where all the conditions of
climate and soil so admirably combine to produce those two great
staples, CORN and WHEAT.


CLIMATE.

Nowhere can the industrious farmer secure such immediate results from
his labor as on these deep, rich, loamy soils, cultivated with so much
ease. The climate from the extreme southern part of the State to the
Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad, a distance of nearly 200
miles, is well adapted to Winter.


WHEAT, CORN, COTTON, TOBACCO.

Peaches, Pears, Tomatoes, and every variety of fruit and vegetables is
grown in great abundance, from which Chicago and other Northern markets
are furnished from four to six weeks earlier than their immediate
vicinity. Between the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railway and the
Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, (a distance of 115 miles on the Branch,
and 136 miles on the Main Trunk,) lies the great Corn and Stock raising
portion of the State.


THE ORDINARY YIELD

of Corn is from 50 to 80 bushels per acre. Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep
and Hogs are raised here at a small cost, and yield large profits. It is
believed that no section of country presents greater inducements for
Dairy Farming than the Prairies of Illinois, a branch of farming to
which but little attention has been paid, and which must yield sure
profitable results. Between the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, and
Chicago and Dunleith (a distance of 56 miles on the Branch and 147 miles
by the Main Trunk,) Timothy Hay, Spring Wheat, Corn, &c., are produced
in great abundance.


AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS.

The Agricultural products of Illinois are greater than those of any
other State. The Wheat crop of 1861 was estimated at 35,000,000 bushels,
while the Corn crop yields not less than 140,000,000 bushels besides the
crop of Oats, Barley, Rye, Buckwheat, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes,
Pumpkins, Squashes, Flax, Hemp, Peas, Clover, Cabbage, Beets, Tobacco,
Sorgheim, Grapes, Peaches, Apples, &c., which go to swell the vast
aggregate of production in this fertile region. Over Four Million tons
of produce were sent out the State of Illinois during the past year.


STOCK RAISING.

In Central and Southern Illinois uncommon advantages are presented for
the extension of Stock raising. All kinds of Cattle, Horses, Mules,
Sheep, Hogs, &c., of the best breeds, yield handsome profits; large
fortunes have already been made, and the field is open for others to
enter with the fairest prospects of like results. DAIRY FARMING also
presents its inducements to many.


CULTIVATION OF COTTON.

_The experiments in Cotton culture are of very great promise. Commencing
in latitude 39 deg. 30 min. (see Mattoon on the Branch, and Assumption
on the Main Line), the Company owns thousands of acres well adapted to
the perfection of this fibre. A settler having a family of young
children, can turn their youthful labor to a most profitable account in
the growth and perfection of this plant._


THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD.

Traverses the whole length of the State, from the banks of the
Mississippi and Lake Michigan to the Ohio. As its name imports, the
Railroad runs through the centre of the State, and on either side of the
road along its whole length lie the lands offered for sale.


CITIES, TOWNS, MARKETS, DEPOTS.

There are Ninety-eight Depots on the Company's Railway, giving about one
every seven miles. Cities, Towns and Villages are situated at convenient
distances throughout the whole route, where every desirable commodity
may be found as readily as in the oldest cities of the Union, and where
buyers are to be met for all kinds of farm produce.


EDUCATION.

Mechanics and working-men will find the free school system encouraged by
the State, and endowed with a large revenue for the support of the
schools. Children can live in sight of the school, the college, the
church, and grow up with the prosperity of the leading State in the
Great Western Empire.


PRICES AND TERMS OF PAYMENT - ON LONG CREDIT.

80 acres at $10 per acre. with interest at 5 per ct. annually on the
following terms:

Cash Payment $48 00
Payment in one year 48 00
" in two years 48 00
" in three years 48 00
" in four years 236 00
" in five years 224 00
" in six years 212 00
" in seven years 200 00

40 acres at $10 00 per acre;
Cash payment $24 00
Payment in one year 24 00
" in two years 24 00
" in three years 24 00
" in four years 118 00
" in five years 112 00
" in six years 106 00
" in seven years 100 00


* * * * *


Number 24. 25 Cents.

THE

CONTINENTAL

MONTHLY.

DEVOTED TO

Literature and National Policy.

DECEMBER, 1863.

NEW YORK:
JOHN F. TROW 50 GREENE STREET
(FOR THE PROPRIETORS).
HENRY DEXTER AND SINCLAIR-TOUSEY.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: FRANCK TAYLOR.




CONTENTS. - No. XXIV.


The Nation. By Hugh Miller Thompson, 601

Buckle, Draper, and a Science of History. By E. B. Freeland, 610

Diary of Frances Krasinska, 624

The Sleeping Soldier. By Edward N. Pomeroy, 632

My Mission. By Ella Rodman, 633

Letter Writing. By Park Benjamin, 648

The Year. By W. H. Henderson, 657

The Great American Crisis. By Stephen Pearl Andrews, 658

Was He Successful? By Richard B. Kimball, 670

Dead. By Anna Gray, 683

Reconstruction. By Henry Everett Russell, 684

Virginia. By H. T. Tuckerman, 690

She Defines her Position. By Eliza S. Randolph, 702

Whiffs from my Meerschaum. By Lieut. R. A. Wolcott, 704

Literary Notices, 706

Editor's Table, 711


TERMS TO CLUBS FOR 1864.

Two copies for one year, Five dollars.
Three copies for one year, Six dollars.
Six copies for one year, Eleven dollars.
Eleven copies for one year, Twenty dollars.
Twenty copies for one year, Thirty-six dollars.

PAID IN ADVANCE.

_Postage, Thirty-six cents a year_, TO BE PAID BY THE SUBSCRIBER.

SINGLE COPIES, Three dollars a year, IN ADVANCE. _Postage paid by the
Publisher._


[Illustration: pointing finger] As an inducement to new subscribers,
the Publisher offers the following liberal premiums:

[Illustration: pointing finger] Any person remitting $3, in advance,
will receive the magazine from July, 1862, to January, 1864, thus
securing the whole of MR. KIMBALL'S and MR. KIRKE'S new serials, which
are alone worth the price of subscription. Or, if preferred, a
subscriber can take the magazine for 1863 and a copy of "Among the
Pines," or of "Undercurrents of Wall Street," by R. B. KIMBALL, bound in
cloth, or of "Sunshine in Thought," by CHARLES GODFREY LELAND (retail
price, $1 25), the book to be sent postage paid.

[Illustration: pointing finger] Any person remitting $4 50, will
receive the magazine from its commencement, January, 1862, to January,
1864, thus securing MR. KIMBALL'S "Was He Successful?" and MR. KIRKE'S
"Among the Pines," and "Merchant's Story," and nearly 3,000 octave pages
of the best literature in the world. Premium subscribers to pay their
own postage.

[Illustration: pointing finger] All Communications, whether
concerning MSS, or on business, should be addressed to

JOHN F. TROW, Publisher

50 GREENE STREET, NEW YORK.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19

Online LibraryVariousThe Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863 → online text (page 19 of 20)