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that we are fools enough to care about, and the balance in the ledger is not so entirely satisfactory to them as a standard of morality as to some more advanced nations. They employ inferior races (as the Romans did) to do their intellectual drudgery for them, their political economy, scholarship, history, and the like. But they are advancing even on these lines, and one of these days-but I won't prophesy. Suffice it that they have plenty of brains, if ever they should condescend so far from their hidalguia as to turn them to advantage. They get a good deal out of life at a cheap rate, and are not far from wisdom, if the old Greek philosophers who used to be held up to us as an example knew anything about the matter."
It must have been a joy to Mr. Evarts, in the Department of State at home, to read Lowell's dispatches when they came. reserved for those who have the inner keys to the inner bureau of the Department to read them all; but here are some passages which have been printed in the Government reporis because harmless-which make one understand why he was sent to England when there was a vacancy there:
(February 6, 1878.) "In these days of newspaper enterprise, when everything that happens, ought to happen, or might have happened is reported by telegraph to all quarters of the world, the slow-going dispatch-bag can hardly be expected to bring anything very fresh or interesting in regard to a public ceremonial which, though intended for political effect, had little political significance. The next morning, frames of fireworks are not inspiring, unless to the moralist; and Madrid is already quarreling over the cost and mismanagement of a show for the tickets to which it was quarreling a week ago."
"Whoever has seen the breasts of the peasantry fringed with charms older than Carthage and relics as old as Rome, and those of the upper classes plastered with decorations, will not expect Spain to become conscious of the nineteenth century and ready to welcome it in a day."
A nation which has had too much glory and too little good housekeeping."
Here is the pathetic account of the young Queen's death. She was the first wife of Alfonso XII. The present Queen Regent (the Austrian) is the second:
(July 3, 1878.) "Groups gathered and talked in undertone. About the palace there
was a silent crowd day and night, and there could be no question that the sorrow was universal and profound. On the last day I was at the palace just when the poor girl was dying. As I crossed the great interior courtyard, which was perfectly empty, I was startled by dull roar not unlike that of vehicles in a great city. It was reverberated and multiplied by the huge cavern of the palace court. At first I could see nothing that accounted for it, but presently found that the arched corridors all around the square were filled, both on the ground floor and the first story, with an anxious crowd, whose eager questions and answers, though subdued to the utmost, produced the strange thunder I had heard. It almost seemed for a moment as if the palace itself had become vocal.
"The match was certainly not popular, nor did the bride call forth any marks of public sympathy. The position of the young Queen was difficult and delicate, demanding more than common tact and discretion to make it even tenable, much more influential. On the day of her death the difference was immense. Sorrow and sympathy were in every heart and on every face. By her good temper, good sense, and womanly virtues, the girl of seventeen had not only endeared herself to those immediately about her, but had become an important factor in the destiny of Spain. I know very well what divinity doth hedge royal personages, and how truly legendary they become even during their lives, but it is no exaggeration to say that she bad made herself an element of the public welfare, and that her death is a national calamity. Had she lived she would have given stability to the throne of her husband, over whom her influence was wholly for good. She was not beautiful, but the cordial simplicity of her manner, the grace of her bearing, her fine eyes, and the youth and purity of her face, gave her a charm that mere beauty never attains."
We may call this dispatch the first version of his sonnet:
DEATH OF QUEEN MERCEDES
Hers all that Earth could promise or bestow, Youth, Beauty, Love, a crown, the beckoning
Lids never wet, unless with joyous tears,
The guns were shouting Io Hymen then
To-day as proudly drag her to the tomb.
Early in 1880 Lowell received unexpectedly a request, from the Department of State, that he would represent the Nation in England. He writes to his daughter the following interesting account of his transfer:
Day before yesterday I was startled with a cipher telegram. My first thought was, "Row in Cuba! I shall have no end of bother!" It turned out to be this: "President has nominated you to England [this President was Hayes]. He regards it as essential to the public service that you should accept and make your personal arrangements to repair to London as early as may be. Your friends whom I have conferred with concur in this view."
their mistress, but rather an advantage.
In this sketch of Mr. Lowell's life in
de Gayangos, whose recent death has been so widely regretted, that I ought not to close this chapter without referring to him.
Then Mr. Lowell says that he was afraid of its effect on Mrs. Lowell, who was recovering from a long and desperate illness; but she was pleased, and began to contrive how he might accept. He goes on," I answered, 'Feel highly honored by President's confidence. Could acMERCEDES, QUEEN OF SPAIN cept if allowed two montns' delay. Impossible to move or leave my wife sooner.'"
When I was in Madrid they told this story, which I think was true. The two months' delay did not prove necessary. Just at this juncture poor Mrs. Lowell was confined to her bed, and had been for some time. It happened that a candle set fire to the curtains. The attendants fell on their knees to implore the assistance of the Holy Mother, but Mrs. Lowell sprang up and herself took the direction of the best methods for extinguishing the flames. So soon as nurses and others could be brought into shape, it proved that the adventure had not been an injury to
This gentleman is another of the distinguished men born in 1809. In early life he studied in France. He visited England and married
an English lady. When he was but twentytwo years of age he held a subordinate place in the administration at Madrid. He returned to England while yet a young man, and resided there. Articles of his will be found in the " Edinburgh Review" at that time. After the Oriental Society published a translation by him of " Almakkari's History," he was appointed Professor of Arabic in Madrid. He had studied Arabic under De Sacy. Every American student in Spain for the last half-century has been indebted to his courtesy, and, I may say, to his authority in Spain.
[To be continued in the November Magazine Number.]
Life at Willett's Point
By Albert Scott Cox
Company G, Twenty-second Regiment, U. S. V.
HE blue cloud-lid of morning slowly rises, and the yellow-eyed day peeps over the horizon. What does it see? Nothing alive but the tired-footed sentinel. Barracks are sleeping, tents are sleeping sleeping laboriously, grunting, roaring, wheezing like tired brutes. Suddenly the buglecall breaks the snoring chorus, and twenty mouths in every conical tent swear at the interruption. Four hundred toes that all right long have been trying to occupy the same place at the same time squirm reluctantly around the center tent-pole, and at last, with a sudden rush, carry their disgruntled owners into line, with shoe-strings trailing, while the bugle seems to repeat those tormenting words: "Can't get 'em up, can't get 'em up, can't get 'em up in the morning." Morning is out of time, the soldiers declare, as they dress while running to answer Here;" but the limping sentinel thought that night had settled forever.
The bugle-call at Willett's Point brings artillerymen and engineers of the regulars and the separated companies of the New York Twenty-second into line, and over the water comes the call that arouses those of the Twenty-second at Forts Slocum and Schuyler.
The tents have replaced the water-soaked straw of Camp Black with wooden floors, which furnish an unenviable bed. With the men in the barracks, Company G, commanded by Captain Dayton, and those detailed for service with the engineers, it is different. They are fairly reveling in comforts, and rise from their little cots and mattresses, and from between sheets, with a cheerful yawn, and go to their bath-tubs for hot or cold water, and sit in their new mess-hall with all its modern conveniences, and nod and wink at their neighbor, and say, "Hey, Bill, ain't it a snap ?"
It is in this hall that the magic pitcher pours forth its varied drinks. In civil life the waiter is known as Mr. T. Wetherby Brummell, but this week, detailed for the kitchen, in his working trousers and undershirt, he is only Bill. He is extremely gracious and servile, when he doesn't forget himself and scale a plate of beans the length of the
table. He comes and goes, doubling like a jackknife. The mellow tone of his voice suggests how greatly concerned he is for the comfort of all, but those gray and greasy cups tell us that Bill is a monstrous hypocrite. He lavishly offers to pour from the magic pitcher chocolate, tea, or coffee, ice-cool lemonade or claret punch; and so the thirsty soldier orders what he likes to please his fancy, but drinks the same old "boot-leg."
When the malicious Bill has finished rubbing his palms and talking of salmon and green peas, roast lamb and mint sauce, turkey capon, and fricasseed humming-birds' wings, he adds bacon to the list, and the discreet soldier faces a piece of oozing fat with greater effort than he would a Spaniard.
The great horror of the soldier here is police and special detail. The man who came from sedentary life, burning with martial ardor, finds himself cooling when detailed to drive the ice-cart from door to door, washing and delivering his load to soldiers' cottages, officers' homes, to camps and kitchen barracks. It may be he whiles away the time scrubbing floors or greasy pans, or assists the post carpenter, or does chores for the baker, or sweeps the streets, or mows the lawn, or guards prisoners at work with fixed bayonet and gun loaded. Before a private has recovered from his surprise at finding himself a stevedore, he is in the coal business, driving his little cart over the post at a rate that permits of meditation.
There are the pontoon boats to be loaded on carts for service in distant lands, and old army wagons, with honorable bullet-wounds of the Civil War, to be again moved out for the service of their country. Now and then one finds a lad who thinks his fate worse than that of any special detail. He could not stand steadily in the ranks, and again he marches in the awkward squad of recruits, until he would not turn his head to see "the greatest show on earth." There's Jack, who drilled an hour by himself and did not like it. He pulled the trigger at the command Recover," disgraced the volley-firing, and paid the penalty.
The occasional return of troops from the
SOME FIELD WORK
South or from the front, withered veterans, some with a ghastly yellow pallor on their sunken cheeks, brings vividly to mind the frightful ravages of war. The spirit of the drum-major is irresistible; he is filled with delight as he leads these wasted, tottering men as heroes through the gate. The wellgroomed guard drawn up in line come to present arms, and the rifles of the dusty, tired travelers fall to a port as they salute. From all spectators a shrill cry greets the returning company seemingly a small reward for battered frames and ruined health. Some have another reward. It is a ride from the station; but they take it in an ambulance.
A sick man is cured for a moment when passing the guard-house. He recognizes an old friend, and up comes his weather-beaten, fever-stricken face. A proud smile, that the neglected beard cannot hide, replaces the dull look of exhaustion. Half gayly, he exclaims, "What do you think of her, Bob? How does she strike your eye?" The "she" referred to is led a captive in the She was born in Spain, but now follows the column meekly enough into Willett's Point. "She" is silent and sullen now, but she spoke in anger near Santiago, and threw nails and broken shells at the Cuban invaders. Her fit of temper caused the loss of five men of the Thirty-third Michigan Regiment and the wounds of many others. Veterans and recruits gather eagerly around her and look down her bronze throat that will probably never roar again. What a toy she is, though,
compared with the monstrous modern cannon that look out to sea over these parapets!
The greatest pleasure offered on an army post is the privilege of absence. The proximity of the city permits of a brief relief now and then from the monot
ony of the life. It is an unwritten law that the man who returns from these visits shall not mention in the
dormitory or tent the delicious dishes he has eaten; for a violation of this law he will be beaten silent with pil. lows or stormed with shoes. One who wears a uniform on leave of absence knows that the American people are fond of their soldiers. He feels the keen interest all have in them when he for the first time walks through the street with his uniform. Nearly every one reads the device upon his hat and surveys him from head to foot as though eager to know to what branch of the service he belongs. In America a soldier is a novelty. For more than a generation he has been an unfamiliar object. The public are curious to know the details of his life, and shower questions upon him. Children beg for a button from his coat, grandmother inquires tenderly for the welfare of her grandson whom she says has gone to war; yet it may be these soldiers