Nathaniel Peabody Rogers

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Old Portraits and Modern Sketches

"And Lamb, the frolic and the gentle,
Has vanished from his kindly hearth."

So, in one of the sweetest and most pathetic of his poems touching the loss of his literary friends, sang Wordsworth. We well remember with what freshness and vividness these simple lines came before us, on hearing, last autumn, of the death of the warm-hearted and gifted friend whose name heads this article; for there was much in his character and genius to remind us of the gentle author of Elia. He had the latter's genial humor and quaintness; his nice and delicate perception of the beautiful and poetic; his happy, easy diction, not the result, as in the case of that of the English essayist, of slow and careful elaboration, but the natural, spontaneous language in which his conceptions at once embodied themselves, apparently without any consciousness of effort. As Mark Antony talked, he wrote, "right on," telling his readers often what "they themselves did know," yet imparting to the simplest commonplaces of life interest and significance, and throwing a golden haze of poetry over the rough and thorny pathways of every-day duty. Like Lamb, he loved his friends without stint or limit. The "old familiar faces" haunted him. Lamb loved the streets and lanes of London—the places where he oftenest came in contact with the warm, genial heart of humanity—better than the country. Rogers loved the wild and lonely hills and valleys of New Hampshire none the less that he was fully alive to the enjoyments of society, and could enter with the heartiest sympathy into all the joys and sorrows of his friends and neighbors.

In another point of view, he was not unlike Elia. He had the same love of home, and home friends, and familiar objects; the same fondness for common sights and sounds; the same dread of change; the same shrinking from the unknown and the dark. Like him, he clung with a child's love to the living present, and recoiled from a contemplation of the great change which awaits us. Like him, he was content with the goodly green earth and human countenances, and would fain set up his tabernacle here. He had less of what might be termed self-indulgence in this feeling than Lamb. He had higher views; he loved this world not only for its own sake, but for the opportunities it afforded of doing good. Like the Persian seer, he beheld the legions of Ormuzd and Ahriman, of Light and Darkness, contending for mastery over the earth, as the sunshine and shadow of a gusty, half-cloudy day struggled on the green slopes of his native mountains; and, mingled with the bright host, he would fain have fought on until its banners waved in eternal sunshine over the last hiding-place of darkness. He entered into the work of reform with the enthusiasm and chivalry of a knight of the crusades. He had faith in human progress,—in the ultimate triumph of the good; millennial lights beaconed up all along his horizon. In the philanthropic movements of the day; in the efforts to remove the evils of slavery, war, intemperance, and sanguinary laws; in the humane and generous spirit of much of our modern poetry and literature; in the growing demand of the religious community, of all sects, for the preaching of the gospel of love and humanity, he heard the low and tremulous prelude of the great anthem of universal harmony. "The world," said he, in a notice of the music of the Hutchinson family, "is out of tune now. But it will be tuned again, and all will become harmony." In this faith he lived and acted; working, not always, as it seemed to some of his friends, wisely, but bravely, truthfully, earnestly, cheering on his fellow-laborers, and imparting to the dullest and most earthward looking of them something of his own zeal and loftiness of purpose.

"Who was he?" does the reader ask? Naturally enough, too, for his name has never found its way into fashionable reviews; it has never been associated with tale, or essay, or poem, to our knowledge. Our friend Griswold, who, like another Noah, has launched some hundreds of American poets and prose writers on the tide of immortality in his two huge arks of rhyme and reason, has either overlooked his name, or deemed it unworthy of preservation. Then, too, he was known mainly as the editor of a proscribed and everywhere-spoken-against anti-slavery paper. It had few readers of literary taste and discrimination; plain, earnest men and women, intent only upon the thought itself, and caring little for the clothing of it, loved the Herald of Freedom for its honestness and earnestness, and its bold rebukes of the wrong, its all-surrendering homage to what its editor believed to be right. But the literary world of authors and critics saw and heard little or nothing of him or his writings. "I once had a bit of scholar-craft," he says of himself on one occasion, "and had I attempted it in some pitiful sectarian or party or literary sheet, I should have stood a chance to get quoted into the periodicals. Now, who dares quote from the Herald of Freedom?" He wrote for humanity, as his biographer justly says, not for fame. "He wrote because he had something to say, and true to nature, for to him nature was truth; he spoke right on, with the artlessness and simplicity of a child."

He was born in Plymouth, New Hampshire, in the sixth month of 1794,— a lineal descendant from John Rogers, of martyr-memory. Educated at Dartmouth College, he studied law with Hon. Richard Fletcher, of Salisbury, New Hampshire, now of Boston, and commenced the practice of it in 1819, in his native village. He was diligent and successful in his profession, although seldom known as a pleader. About the year 1833, he became interested in the anti-slavery movement. His was one of the few voices of encouragement and sympathy which greeted the author of this sketch on the publication of a pamphlet in favor of immediate emancipation. He gave us a kind word of approval, and invited us to his mountain home, on the banks of the Pemigewasset,—an invitation which, two years afterwards, we accepted. In the early autumn, in company with George Thompson, (the eloquent reformer, who has since been elected a member of the British Parliament from the Tower Hamlets,) we drove up the beautiful valley of the White Mountain tributary of the Merrimac, and, just as a glorious sunset was steeping river, valley, and mountain in its hues of heaven, were welcomed to the pleasant home and family circle of our friend Rogers. We spent two delightful evenings with him. His cordiality, his warm-hearted sympathy in our object, his keen wit, inimitable humor, and childlike and simple mirthfulness, his full appreciation of the beautiful in art and nature, impressed us with the conviction that we were the guests of no ordinary man; that we were communing with unmistakable genius, such an one as might have added to the wit and eloquence of Ben Jonson's famous club at the Mermaid, or that which Lamb and Coleridge and Southey frequented at the Salutation and Cat, of Smithfield. "The most brilliant man I have met in America!" said George Thompson, as we left the hospitable door of our friend.

In 1838, he gave up his law practice, left his fine outlook at Plymouth upon the mountains of the North, Moosehillock and the Haystacks, and took up his residence at Concord, for the purpose of editing the Herald of Freedom, an anti-slavery paper which had been started some three or four years before. John Pierpont, than whom there could not be a more competent witness, in his brief and beautiful sketch of the life and writings of Rogers, does not overestimate the ability with which the Herald was conducted, when he says of its editor: "As a newspaper writer, we think him unequalled by any living man; and in the general strength, clearness, and quickness of his intellect, we think all who knew him well will agree with us that he was not excelled by any editor in the country." He was not a profound reasoner: his imagination and brilliant fancy played the wildest tricks with his logic; yet, considering the way by which he reached them, it is remarkable that his conclusions were so often correct. The tendency of his mind was to extremes. A zealous Calvinistic church-member, he became an equally zealous opponent of churches and priests; a warm politician, he became an ultra non-resistant and no-government man. In all this, his sincerity was manifest. If, in the indulgence of his remarkable powers of sarcasm, in the free antics of a humorous fancy, upon whose graceful neck he had flung loose the reins, he sometimes did injustice to individuals, and touched, in irreverent sport, the hem of sacred garments, it had the excuse, at least, of a generous and honest motive. If he sometimes exaggerated, those who best, knew him can testify that he "set down naught in malice."

We have before us a printed collection of his writings,—hasty editorials, flung off without care or revision, the offspring of sudden impulse frequently; always free, artless, unstudied; the language transparent as air, exactly expressing the thought. He loved the common, simple dialect of the people,—the "beautiful strong old Saxon,—the talk words." He had an especial dislike of learned and "dictionary words." He used to recommend Cobbett's Works to "every young man and woman who has been hurt in his or her talk and writing by going to school."

Our limits will not admit of such extracts from the Collection of his writings as would convey to our readers an adequate idea of his thought and manner. His descriptions of natural scenery glow with life. One can almost see the sunset light flooding the Franconia Notch, and glorifying the peaks of Moosehillock, and hear the murmur of the west wind in the pines, and the light, liquid voice of Pemigewasset sounding up from its rocky channel, through its green hem of maples, while reading them. We give a brief extract from an editorial account of an autumnal trip to Vermont:

"We have recently journeyed through a portion of this, free State; and it is not all imagination in us that sees, in its bold scenery, its uninfected inland position, its mountainous but fertile and verdant surface, the secret of the noble predisposition of its people. They are located for freedom. Liberty's home is on their Green Mountains. Their farmer republic nowhere touches the ocean, the highway of the world's crimes, as well as its nations. It has no seaport for the importation of slavery, or the exportation of its own highland republicanism. Should slavery ever prevail over this nation, to its utter subjugation, the last lingering footsteps of retiring Liberty will be seen, not, as Daniel Webster said, in the proud old Commonwealth of Massachusetts, about Bunker Hill and Faneuil Hall; but she will be found wailing, like Jephthah's daughter, among the 'hollows' and along the sides of the Green Mountains.

"Vermont shows gloriously at this autumn season. Frost has gently laid hands on her exuberant vegetation, tinging her rock-maple woods without abating the deep verdure of her herbage. Everywhere along her peopled hollows and her bold hillslopes and summits the earth is alive with green, while her endless hard-wood forests are uniformed with all the hues of early fall, richer than the regimentals of the kings that glittered in the train of Napoleon on the confines of Poland, when he lingered there, on the last outposts of summer, before plunging into the snow-drifts of the North; more gorgeous than the array of Saladin's life- guard in the wars of the Crusaders, or of 'Solomon in all his glory,' decked in, all colors and hues, but still the hues of life. Vegetation touched, but not dead, or, if killed, not bereft yet of 'signs of life.' 'Decay's effacing fingers' had not yet 'swept the hills' 'where beauty lingers.' All looked fresh as growing foliage. Vermont frosts don't seem to be 'killing frosts.' They only change aspects of beauty. The mountain pastures, verdant to the peaks, and over the peaks of the high, steep hills, were covered with the amplest feed, and clothed with countless sheep; the hay-fields heavy with second crop, in some partly cut and abandoned, as if in very weariness and satiety, blooming with honeysuckle, contrasting strangely with the colors on the woods; the fat cattle and the long-tailed colts and close-built Morgans wallowing in it up to the eyes, or the cattle down to rest, with full bellies, by ten in the morning. Fine but narrow roads wound along among the hills, free almost entirely of stone, and so smooth as to be safe for the most rapid driving, made of their rich, dark, powder-looking soil. Beautiful villages or scattered settlements breaking upon the delighted view, on the meandering way, making the ride a continued scene of excitement and admiration. The air fresh, free, and wholesome; the road almost dead level for miles and miles, among mountains that lay over the land like the great swells of the sea, and looking in the prospect as though there could be no passage."

To this autumnal limning, the following spring picture may be a fitting accompaniment:—

"At last Spring is here in full flush. Winter held on tenaciously and mercilessly, but it has let go. The great sun is high on his northern journey, and the vegetation, and the bird-singing, and the loud frog- chorus, the tree budding and blowing, are all upon us; and the glorious grass—super-best of earth's garniture—with its ever-satisfying green. The king-birds have come, and the corn-planter, the scolding bob-o-link. 'Plant your corn, plant your corn,' says he, as he scurries athwart the ploughed ground, hardly lifting his crank wings to a level with his back, so self-important is he in his admonitions. The earlier birds have gone to housekeeping, and have disappeared from the spray. There has been brief period for them, this spring, for scarcely has the deep snow gone, but the dark-green grass has come, and first we shall know, the ground will be yellow with dandelions.

"I incline to thank Heaven this glorious morning of May 16th for the pleasant home from which we can greet the Spring. Hitherto we have had to await it amid a thicket of village houses, low down, close together, and awfully white. For a prospect, we had the hinder part of an ugly meeting-house, which an enterprising neighbor relieved us of by planting a dwelling-house, right before our eyes, (on his own land, and he had a right to,) which relieved us also of all prospect whatever. And the revival spirit of habitation which has come over Concord is clapping up a house between every two in the already crowded town; and the prospect is, it will be soon all buildings. They are constructing, in quite good taste though, small, trim, cottage-like. But I had rather be where I can breathe air, and see beyond my own features, than be smothered among the prettiest houses ever built. We are on the slope of a hill; it is all sand, be sure, on all four sides of us, but the air is free, (and the sand, too, at times,) and our water, there is danger of hard drinking to live by it. Air and water, the two necessaries of life, and high, free play-ground for the small ones. There is a sand precipice hard by, high enough, were it only rock and overlooked the ocean, to be as sublime as any of the Nahant cliffs. As it is, it is altogether a safer haunt for daring childhood, which could hardly break its neck by a descent of some hundreds of feet.

"A low flat lies between us and the town, with its State-house, and body- guard of well-proportioned steeples standing round. It was marshy and wet, but is almost all redeemed by the translation into it of the high hills of sand. It must have been a terrible place for frogs, judging from what remains of it. Bits of water from the springs hard by lay here and there about the low ground, which are peopled as full of singers as ever the gallery of the old North Meeting-house was, and quite as melodious ones. Such performers I never heard, in marsh or pool. They are not the great, stagnant, bull-paddocks, fat and coarse-noted like Parson, but clear-water frogs, green, lively, and sweet-voiced. I passed their orchestra going home the other evening, with a small lad, and they were at it, all parts, ten thousand peeps, shrill, ear-piercing, and incessant, coining up from every quarter, accompanied by a second, from some larger swimmer with his trombone, and broken in upon, every now and then, but not discordantly, with the loud, quick hallo, that resembles the cry of the tree-toad. 'There are the Hutchinsons,' cried the lad. 'The Rainers,' responded I, glad to remember enough of my ancient Latin to know that Rana, or some such sounding word, stood for frog. But it was a 'band of music,' as the Miller friends say. Like other singers, (all but the Hutchinsons,) these are apt to sing too much, all the time they are awake, constituting really too much of a good thing. I have wondered if the little reptiles were singing in concert, or whether every one peeped on his own hook, their neighbor hood only making it a chorus. I incline to the opinion that they are performing together, that they know the tune, and each carries his part, self- selected, in free meeting, and therefore never discordant. The hour rule of Congress might be useful, though far less needed among the frogs than among the profane croakers of the fens at Washington."

Here is a sketch of the mountain scenery of New Hampshire, as seen from the Holderness Mountain, or North Hill, during a visit which he made to his native valley in the autumn of 1841:—

"The earth sphered up all around us, in every quarter of the horizon, like the crater of a vast volcano, and the great hollow within the mountain circle was as smoky as Vesuvius or Etna in their recess of eruption. The little village of Plymouth lay right at our feet, with its beautiful expanse of intervale opening on the eye like a lake among the woods and hills, and the Pemigewasset, bordered along its crooked way with rows of maples, meandering from upland to upland through the meadows. Our young footsteps had wandered over these localities. Time had cast it all far back that Pemigewasset, with its meadows and border trees; that little village whitening in the margin of its inter vale; and that one house which we could distinguish, where the mother that watched over and endured our wayward childhood totters at fourscore!

"To the south stretched a broken, swelling upland country, but champaign from the top of North Hill, patched all over with grain-fields and green wood-lots, the roofs of the farm-houses shining in the sun. Southwest, the Cardigan Mountain showed its bald forehead among the smokes of a thousand fires, kindled in the woods in the long drought. Westward, Moosehillock heaved up its long back, black as a whale; and turning the eye on northward, glancing down the while on the Baker's River valley, dotted over with human dwellings like shingle-bunches for size, you behold the great Franconia Range, its Notch and its Haystacks, the Elephant Mountain on the left, and Lafayette (Great Haystack) on the right, shooting its peak in solemn loneliness high up into the desert sky, and overtopping all the neighboring Alps but Mount Washington itself. The prospect of these is most impressive and satisfactory. We don't believe the earth presents a finer mountain display. The Haystacks stand there like the Pyramids on the wall of mountains. One of them eminently has this Egyptian shape. It is as accurate a pyramid to the eye as any in the old valley of the Nile, and a good deal bigger than any of those hoary monuments of human presumption, of the impious tyranny of monarchs and priests, and of the appalling servility of the erecting multitude. Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh does not more finely resemble a sleeping lion than the huge mountain on the left of the Notch does an elephant, with his great, overgrown rump turned uncivilly toward the gap where the people have to pass. Following round the panorama, you come to the Ossipees and the Sandwich Mountains, peaks innumerable and nameless, and of every variety of fantastic shape. Down their vast sides are displayed the melancholy-looking slides, contrasting with the fathomless woods.

"But the lakes,—you see lakes, as well as woods and mountains, from the top of North Hill. Newfound Lake in Hebron, only eight miles distant, you can't see; it lies too deep among the hills. Ponds show their small blue mirrors from various quarters of the great picture. Worthen's Mill- Pond and the Hardhack, where we used to fish for trout in truant, barefooted days, Blair's Mill-Pond, White Oak Pond, and Long Pond, and the Little Squam, a beautiful dark sheet of deep, blue water, about two miles long, stretched an id the green hills and woods, with a charming little beach at its eastern end, and without an island. And then the Great Squam, connected with it on the east by a short, narrow stream, the very queen of ponds, with its fleet of islands, surpassing in beauty all the foreign waters we have seen, in Scotland or elsewhere,—the islands covered with evergreens, which impart their hue to the mass of the lake, as it stretches seven miles on east from its smaller sister, towards the peerless Winnipesaukee. Great Squam is as beautiful as water and island can be. But Winnipesaukee, it is the very 'Smile of the Great Spirit.' It looks as if it had a thousand islands; some of them large enough for little towns, and others not bigger than a swan or a wild duck swimming on its surface of glass."

His wit and sarcasm were generally too good-natured to provoke even their unfortunate objects, playing all over his editorials like the thunderless lightnings which quiver along the horizon of a night of summer calmness; but at times his indignation launched them like bolts from heaven. Take the following as a specimen. He is speaking of the gag rule of Congress, and commending Southern representatives for their skilful selection of a proper person to do their work:—

"They have a quick eye at the South to the character, or, as they would say, the points of a slave. They look into him shrewdly, as an old jockey does into a horse. They will pick him out, at rifle-shot distance, among a thousand freemen. They have a nice eye to detect shades of vassalage. They saw in the aristocratic popinjay strut of a counterfeit Democrat an itching aspiration to play the slaveholder. They beheld it in 'the cut of his jib,' and his extreme Northern position made him the very tool for their purpose. The little creature has struck at the right of petition. A paltrier hand never struck at a noble right. The Eagle Right of Petition, so loftily sacred in the eyes of the Constitution that Congress can't begin to 'abridge' it, in its pride of place, is hawked at by this crested jay-bird. A 'mousing owl' would have seen better at midnoon than to have done it. It is an idiot blue-jay, such as you see fooling about among the shrub oaks and dwarf pitch pines in the winter. What an ignominious death to the lofty right, were it to die by such a hand; but it does not die. It is impalpable to the 'malicious mockery' of such vain blows.' We are glad it is done—done by the South—done proudly, and in slaveholding style, by the hand of a vassal. What a man does by another he does by himself, says the maxim. But they will disown the honor of it, and cast it on the despised 'free nigger' North."

Or this description—not very flattering to the "Old Commonwealth"—of the treatment of the agent of Massachusetts in South Carolina:—

"Slavery may perpetrate anything, and New England can't see it. It can horsewhip the old Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and spit in her governmental face, and she will not recognize it as an offence. She sent her agent to Charleston on a State embassy. Slavery caught him, and sent him ignominiously home. The solemn great man came back in a hurry. He returned in a most undignified trot. He ran; he scampered,—the stately official. The Old Bay State actually pulled foot, cleared, dug, as they say, like any scamp with a hue and cry after him. Her grave old Senator, who no more thought of having to break his stately walk than he had of being flogged at school for stealing apples, came back from Carolina upon the full run, out of breath and out of dignity. Well, what's the result? Why, nothing. She no more thinks of showing resentment about it than she would if lightning had struck him. He was sent back 'by the visitation of God;' and if they had lynched him to death, and stained the streets of Charleston with his blood, a Boston jury, if they could have held inquest over him, would have found that he 'died by the visitation of God.' And it would have been crowner's quest law, Slavery's crowners."

Here is a specimen of his graceful blending of irony and humor. He is expostulating with his neighbor of the New Hampshire Patriot, assuring him that he cannot endure the ponderous weight of his arguments, begging for a little respite, and, as a means of obtaining it, urging the editor to travel. He advises him to go South, to the White Sulphur Springs, and thinks that, despite of his dark complexion, he would be safe there from being sold for jail fees, as his pro-slavery merits would more than counterbalance his colored liabilities, which, after all, were only prima facie evidence against him. He suggests Texas, also, as a place where "patriots" of a certain class "most do congregate," and continues as follows:—

"There is Arkansas, too, all glorious in new-born liberty, fresh and unsullied, like Venus out of the ocean,—that newly discovered star, in the firmament banner of this Republic. Sister Arkansas, with her bowie- knife graceful at her side, like the huntress Diana with her silver bow, —oh it would be refreshing and recruiting to an exhausted patriot to go and replenish his soul at her fountains. The newly evacuated lands of the Cherokee, too, a sweet place now for a lover of his country to visit, to renew his self-complacency by wandering among the quenched hearths of the expatriated Indians; a land all smoking with the red man's departing curse,—a malediction that went to the centre. Yes, and Florida,— blossoming and leafy Florida, yet warm with the life-blood of Osceola and his warriors, shed gloriously under flag of truce. Why should a patriot of such a fancy for nature immure himself in the cells of the city, and forego such an inviting and so broad a landscape? Ite viator. Go forth, traveller, and leave this mouldy editing to less elastic fancies. We would respectfully invite our Colonel to travel. What signifies? Journey—wander—go forth—itinerate—exercise—perambulate—roam."

He gives the following ludicrous definition of Congress:—

"But what is Congress? It is the echo of the country at home,—the weathercock, that denotes and answers the shifting wind,—a thing of tail, nearly all tail, moved by the tail and by the wind, with small heading, and that corresponding implicitly in movement with the broad sail-like stern, which widens out behind to catch the rum-fraught breath of 'the Brotherhood.' As that turns, it turns; when that stops, it stops; and in calmish weather looks as steadfast and firm as though it was riveted to the centre. The wind blows, and the little popularity-hunting head dodges this way and that, in endless fluctuation. Such is Congress, or a great portion of it. It will point to the northwest heavens of Liberty, whenever the breezes bear down irresistibly upon it, from the regions of political fair weather. It will abolish slavery at the Capitol, when it has already been doomed to abolition and death everywhere else in the country. 'It will be in at the death.'"

Replying to the charge that the Abolitionists of the North were "secret" in their movements and designs, he says:—

"'In secret!' Why, our movements have been as prominent and open as the house-tops from the beginning. We have striven from the outset to write the whole matter cloud-high in the heavens, that the utmost South might read it. We have cast an arc upon the horizon, like the semicircle of the polar lights, and upon it have bent our motto, 'Immediate Emancipation,' glorious as the rainbow. We have engraven it there, on the blue table of the cold vault, in letters tall enough for the reading of the nations. And why has the far South not read and believed before this? Because a steam has gone up—a fog—from New England's pulpit and her degenerate press, and hidden the beaming revelation from its vision. The Northern hierarchy and aristocracy have cheated the South."

He spoke at times with severity of slaveholders, but far oftener of those who, without the excuse of education and habit, and prompted only by a selfish consideration of political or sectarian advantage, apologized for the wrong, and discountenanced the anti-slavery movement. "We have nothing to say," said he, "to the slave. He is no party to his own enslavement,—he is none to his disenthralment. We have nothing to say to the South. The real holder of slaves is not there. He is in the North, the free North. The South alone has not the power to hold the slave. It is the character of the nation that binds and holds him. It is the Republic that does it, the efficient force of which is north of Mason and Dixon's line. By virtue of the majority of Northern hearts and voices, slavery lives in the South!"

In 1840, he spent a few weeks in England, Ireland, and Scotland. He has left behind a few beautiful memorials of his tour. His Ride over the Border, Ride into Edinburgh, Wincobank hall, Ailsa Craig, gave his paper an interest in the eyes of many who had no sympathy with his political and religious views.

Scattered all over his editorials, like gems, are to be found beautiful images, sweet touches of heartfelt pathos,—thoughts which the reader pauses over with surprise and delight. We subjoin a few specimens, taken almost at random from the book before us:—

"A thunder-storm,—what can match it for eloquence and poetry? That rush from heaven of the big drops, in what multitude and succession, and how they sound as they strike! How they play on the old home roof and the thick tree-tops! What music to go to sleep by, to the tired boy, as he lies under the naked roof! And the great, low bass thunder, as it rolls off over the hills, and settles down behind them to the very centre, and you can feel the old earth jar under your feet!"

"There was no oratory in the speech of the Learned Blacksmith, in the ordinary sense of that word, no grace of elocution, but mighty thoughts radiating off from his heated mind, like sparks from the glowing steel of his own anvil."

"The hard hands of Irish labor, with nothing in them,—they ring like slabs of marble together, in response to the wild appeals of O'Connell, and the British stand conquered before them, with shouldered arms. Ireland is on her feet, with nothing in her hands, impregnable, unassailable, in utter defencelessness,—the first time that ever a nation sprung to its feet unarmed. The veterans of England behold them, and forbear to fire. They see no mark. It will not do to fire upon men; it will do only to fire upon soldiers. They are the proper mark of the murderous gun, but men cannot be shot."

"It is coming to that [abolition of war] the world over; and when it does come to it, oh what a long breath of relief the tired world will draw, as it stretches itself for the first time out upon earth's greensward, and learns the meaning of repose and peaceful sleep!"

"He who vests his labor in the faithful ground is dealing directly with God; human fraud or weakness do not intervene between him and his requital. No mechanic has a set of customers so trustworthy as God and the elements. No savings bank is so sure as the old earth."

"Literature is the luxury of words. It originates nothing, it does nothing. It talks hard words about the labor of others, and is reckoned more meritorious for it than genius and labor for doing what learning can only descant upon. It trades on the capital of unlettered minds. It struts in stolen plumage, and it is mere plumage. A learned man resembles an owl in more respects than the matter of wisdom. Like that solemn bird, he is about all feathers."

"Our Second Advent friends contemplate a grand conflagration about the first of April next. I should be willing there should be one, if it could be confined to the productions of the press, with which the earth is absolutely smothered. Humanity wants precious few books to read, but the great living, breathing, immortal volume of Providence. Life,—real life,—how to live, how to treat one another, and how to trust God in matters beyond our ken and occasion,—these are the lessons to learn, and you find little of them in libraries."

"That accursed drum and fife! How they have maddened mankind! And the deep bass boom of the cannon, chiming in in the chorus of battle, that trumpet and wild charging bugle,—how they set the military devil in a man, and make him into a soldier! Think of the human family falling upon one another at the inspiration of music! How must God feel at it, to see those harp-strings he meant should be waked to a love bordering on divine, strung and swept to mortal hate and butchery!"

"Leave off being Jews," (he is addressing Major Noah with regard to his appeal to his brethren to return to Judaea,) "and turn mankind. The rocks and sands of Palestine have been worshipped long enough. Connecticut River or the Merrimac are as good rivers as any Jordan that ever run into a dead or live sea, and as holy, for that matter. In Humanity, as in Christ Jesus, as Paul says, 'there is neither Jew nor Greek.' And there ought to be none. Let Humanity be reverenced with the tenderest devotion; suffering, discouraged, down-trodden, hard-handed, haggard-eyed, care-worn mankind! Let these be regarded a little. Would to God I could alleviate all their sorrows, and leave them a chance to laugh! They are, miserable now. They might be as happy as the blackbird on the spray, and as full of melody."

"I am sick as death at this miserable struggle among mankind for a living. Poor devils! were they born to run such a gauntlet after the means of life? Look about you, and see your squirming neighbors, writhing and twisting like so many angleworms in a fisher's bait-box, or the wriggling animalculae seen in the vinegar drop held to the sun. How they look, how they feel, how base it makes them all!"

"Every human being is entitled to the means of life, as the trout is to his brook or the lark to the blue sky. Is it well to put a human 'young one' here to die of hunger, thirst, and nakedness, or else be preserved as a pauper? Is this fair earth but a poor-house by creation and intent? Was it made for that?—and these other round things we see dancing in the firmament to the music of the spheres, are they all great shining poor-houses?"

"The divines always admit things after the age has adopted them. They are as careful of the age as the weathercock is of the wind. You might as well catch an old experienced weathercock, on some ancient Orthodox steeple, standing all day with its tail east in a strong out wind, as the divines at odds with the age."

But we must cease quoting. The admirers of Jean Paul Richter might find much of the charm and variety of the "Flower, Fruit, and Thorn Pieces" in this newspaper collection. They may see, perhaps, as we do, some things which they cannot approve of, the tendency of which, however intended, is very questionable. But, with us, they will pardon something to the spirit of liberty, much to that of love and humanity which breathes through all.

Disgusted and heart-sick at the general indifference of Church and clergy to the temporal condition of the people,—at their apologies for and defences of slavery, war, and capital punishment,—Rogers turned Protestant, in the full sense of the term. He spoke of priests and "pulpit wizards" as freely as John Milton did two centuries ago, although with far less bitterness and rasping satire. He could not endure to see Christianity and Humanity divorced. He longed to see the beautiful life of Jesus—his sweet humanities, his brotherly love, his abounding sympathies—made the example of all men. Thoroughly democratic, in his view all men were equal. Priests, stripped of their sacerdotal tailoring, were in his view but men, after all. He pitied them, he said, for they were in a wrong position,—above life's comforts and sympathies,—"up in the unnatural cold, they had better come down among men, and endure and enjoy with them." "Mankind," said he, "want the healing influences of humanity. They must love one another more. Disinterested good will make the world as it should be."

His last visit to his native valley was in the autumn of 1845. In a familiar letter to a friend, he thus describes his farewell view of the mountain glories of his childhood's home:—

"I went a jaunt, Thursday last, about twenty miles north of this valley, into the mountain region, where what I beheld, if I could tell it as I saw it, would make your outlawed sheet sought after wherever our Anglo- Saxon tongue is spoken in the wide world. I have been many a time among those Alps, and never without a kindling of wildest enthusiasm in my woodland blood. But I never saw them till last Thursday. They never loomed distinctly to my eye before, and the sun never shone on them from heaven till then. They were so near me, I could seem to hear the voice of their cataracts, as I could count their great slides, streaming adown their lone and desolate sides,—old slides, some of them overgrown with young woods, like half-healed scars on the breast of a giant. The great rains had clothed the valleys of the upper Pemigewasset in the darkest and deepest green. The meadows were richer and more glorious in their thick 'fall feed' than Queen Anne's Garden, as I saw it from the windows of Windsor Castle. And the dark hemlock and hackmatack woods were yet darker after the wet season, as they lay, in a hundred wildernesses, in the mighty recesses of the mountains. But the peaks,—the eternal, the solitary, the beautiful, the glorious and dear mountain peaks, my own Moosehillock and my native Haystacks,—these were the things on which eye and heart gazed and lingered, and I seemed to see them for the last time. It was on my way back that I halted and turned to look at them from a high point on the Thornton road. It was about four in the afternoon. It had rained among the hills about the Notch, and cleared off. The sun, there sombred at that early hour, as towards his setting, was pouring his most glorious light upon the naked peaks, and they casting their mighty shadows far down among the inaccessible woods that darken the hollows that stretch between their bases. A cloud was creeping up to perch and rest awhile on the highest top of Great Haystack. Vulgar folks have called it Mount Lafayette, since the visit of that brave old Frenchman in 1825 or 1826. If they had asked his opinion, he would have told them the names of mountains couldn't be altered, and especially names like that, so appropriate, so descriptive, and so picturesque. A little hard white cloud, that looked like a hundred fleeces of wool rolled into one, was climbing rapidly along up the northwestern ridge, that ascended to the lonely top of Great Haystack. All the others were bare. Four or five of them,—as distinct and shapely as so many pyramids; some topped out with naked cliff, on which the sun lay in melancholy glory; others clothed thick all the way up with the old New Hampshire hemlock or the daring hackmatack,—Pierpont's hackmatack. You could see their shadows stretching many and many a mile, over Grant and Location, away beyond the invading foot of Incorporation,—where the timber-hunter has scarcely explored, and where the moose browses now, I suppose, as undisturbed as he did before the settlement of the State. I wish our young friend and genius, Harrison Eastman, had been with me, to see the sunlight as it glared on the tops of those woods, and to see the purple of the mountains. I looked at it myself almost with the eye of a painter. If a painter looked with mine, though, he never could look off upon his canvas long enough to make a picture; he would gaze forever at the original.

"But I had to leave it, and to say in my heart, Farewell! And as I travelled on down, and the sun sunk lower and lower towards the summit of the western ridge, the clouds came up and formed an Alpine range in the evening heavens above it,—like other Haystacks and Moosehillocks,—so dark and dense that fancy could easily mistake them for a higher Alps. There were the peaks and the great passes; the Franconia Notches among the cloudy cliffs, and the great White Mountain Gap."

His health, never robust, had been gradually failing for some time previous to his death. He needed more repose and quiet than his duties as an editor left him; and to this end he purchased a small and pleasant farm in his loved Pennigewasset valley, in the hope that he might there recruit his wasted energies. In the sixth month of the year of his death, in a letter to us, he spoke of his prospects in language which even then brought moisture to our eyes:—

"I am striving to get me an asylum of a farm. I have a wife and seven children, every one of them with a whole spirit. I don't want to be separated from any of them, only with a view to come together again. I have a beautiful little retreat in prospect, forty odd miles north, where I imagine I can get potatoes and repose,—a sort of haven or port. I am among the breakers, and 'mad for land.' If I get this home,—it is a mile or two in among the hills from the pretty domicil once visited by yourself and glorious Thompson,—I am this moment indulging the fancy that I may see you at it before we die. Why can't I have you come and see me? You see, dear W., I don't want to send you anything short of a full epistle. Let me end as I begun, with the proffer of my hand in grasp of yours extended. My heart I do not proffer,—it was yours before,—it shall be yours while I am N. P. ROGERS."

Alas! the haven of a deeper repose than he had dreamed of was close at hand. He lingered until the middle of the tenth month, suffering much, yet calm and sensible to the last. Just before his death, he desired his children to sing at his bedside that touching song of Lover's, The Angel's Whisper. Turning his eyes towards the open window, through which the leafy glory of the season he most loved was visible, he listened to the sweet melody. In the words of his friend Pierpont,—

     "The angel's whisper stole in song upon his closing ear;
     From his own daughter's lips it came, so musical and clear,
     That scarcely knew the dying man what melody was there—
     The last of earth's or first of heaven's pervading all the air."

He sleeps in the Concord burial-ground, under the shadow of oaks; the very spot he would have chosen, for he looked upon trees with something akin to human affection. "They are," he said, "the beautiful handiwork and architecture of God, on which the eye never tires. Every one is a feather in the earth's cap, a plume in her bonnet, a tress on her forehead,—a comfort, a refreshing, and an ornament to her." Spring has hung over him her buds, and opened beside him her violets. Summer has laid her green oaken garland on his grave, and now the frost-blooms of autumn drop upon it. Shall man cast a nettle on that mound? He loved humanity,—shall it be less kind to him than Nature? Shall the bigotry of sect, and creed, and profession, drive its condemnatory stake into his grave? God forbid. The doubts which he sometimes unguardedly expressed had relation, we are constrained to believe, to the glosses of commentators and creed-makers and the inconsistency of professors, rather than to those facts and precepts of Christianity to which he gave the constant assent of his practice. He sought not his own. His heart yearned with pity and brotherly affection for all the poor and suffering in the universe. Of him, the angel of Leigh Hunt's beautiful allegory might have written, in the golden book of remembrance, as he did of the good Abou Ben Adhem, "He loved his fellow-men."