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greetings and casual discussions; a Parisian café is the reverse of a London club in respect of talk, and the high-pitched tones of street colloquies in Naples form a wonderful contrast to the silence inside a British railroadcar: indices these of national character wherein redundant expression and its opposite evidence an essential diversity in the normal traits both as to principle and practice. When the poet of Eden describes the coming on of "twilight gray," her "sober livery" is rendered doubly impressive because "silence accompanied"; and one of our own bards has indicated as a chief attraction of night that, she

"Lays her finger on the lips of care. And they complain no more."

What a beautiful hint of visual ex• pression is that in Tennyson when he says, "her eyes are homes of silent prayer"; and of sorrow in Goldsmith where he speaks of "the silent manliness of grief"; and of the wonder of discovery in Keats, where he tells how the followers of Cortez

"Looked at each other with a wild surmise, Silent, upon a peak of Darien !"

The effect of silence in art has scarcely been appreciated even by æsthetic analysts. The appeal to the eye alone gives to architecture and painting an impressiveness which is enhanced by the quietude that so often reigns in gallery and temple. In contemplating these, when no audible interruption mars the spell, a serene eloquence so fills the mind that we sometimes feel conscious of a living presence. Dante has a bold image of darkness when he alludes to the sphere dove il sol tace; and there seems to the fancy such a thing as speaking forms and hues where no vital animation exists. How much is the appeal of sculpture to the imagination deepened by its absolute calm, and what a sense of awe is inspired by lofty arch, vast dome, massive pillar, and spacious aisle, by the dream-like lull of earth's myriad voices that seem to have died away on the threshold. The scene in the Winter's Tale, when the living statue of VOL. XXVI. —NO. 158. 45

Hermione is apostrophized, hints the mute eloquence that haunts us in the Vatican by torchlight; and the figure of the brooding Lorenzo in the Medici Chapel not merely looks but seems to breathe unutterable pathos. . In the deserted cathedral there is a mysterious hush, in the masterly portrait a latent language; and every genuine work of plastic or pictorial art, when gazed upon by meditative and sympathetic eyes, fills the void of silence with ethereal tones born of beautiful tranquillity or frozen passion; it is as if the music of love, fame, or wisdom had become suddenly transfixed in eternal grace.

There is a great secret of literary art in silence; the emphatic pause in description, the sudden collapse of utterance implying more than details can reveal, and a depth of feeling or a range of imagination too deep and vast for words, is often the most rare and memorable inspiration of the poet. Alfieri renewed the intensity of his beautiful native tongue by this terse expression, this concentrated speech, leaving to the heart and imagination to complete what is so eloquently hinted; from the infinitely suggestive line with which the grim Tuscan abruptly closes Francesca's story, "that day we read no more," an English poet has elaborated a long, sweet, sad tale of love and despair. Terseness of statement is the best eloquence of judicial minds.

It is highly probable that, with the advance of physiological science, what may be called the hygiene of silence will reveal unimagined laws. The connection between the integrity of the nervous system and the use and abuse of speech, and the relation of the latter to character and culture, are as yet but vaguely defined. Dr. Trousseau of Paris has lectured on a disease called Aphasia, which indicates how much is to be learned before the philosophy of speech and silence is understood. We are told that "in this malady there remains an integrity of the understanding and a normal condition of the vocal chords. Thus, while preserving all his

mental aptitudes and all his intellectual wants, a man may be sequestered for weeks from his fellow-creatures, although living in the midst of them, and remaining in everything their equal, with the exception of the use of his tongue. Dr. Lordat, Professor at Montpellier, describes his own case. After a period of mental agitation and of strange nervous symptoms, accompanied by an access of tonsilitis (to which he was subject), he suddenly, although convalescing from his indisposition, found himself deprived of the power of speech. During the first weeks of the malady the patient had only lost the external part of the function of speech; the internal part, the thought and understanding, remained intact. He was capable of performing the same amount of mental labor as before his illness; in fact, the mental and physical condition was completely restored, only he could not talk. But gradually in losing the recollection of the signification of words pronounced, he lost also the recollection of their visible signs. Finally, syntax disappeared from the words; the alphabet remained, but the junction of letters for the formation of words had to be restudied. He was in despair at not being able to read the titles of his most familiar books, without spelling them out. His despair, however, did not prevent him from smiling over the absurdity of French orthography. After a few weeks of profound melancholy he perceived one day, to his great joy, that he could read at a distance the titles of the books in his library. From this time forward memory and speech returned, but only fast enough to enable him to notice a change every fortnight. As in other cases, when he first commenced to speak he confounded words, and for a while said invariably 'handkerchief' for 'book.'"

It is noteworthy that those who have the greatest sensibility to the delicate and forcible in language as an instrument of thought, who are eminent for the gift of verbal expression, are the most earnest in their protest

against its excess, shrink the most from the senseless overflow of speech, and plead most emphatically for the conservation of silence. Foremost among English popular writers in this crusade is Thomas Carlyle, who, despite his extravagance in opinion and his paradox in speculation, has, in attacking shams and advocating character, will, and individuality, impressed the readers of our vernacular with salubrious powers. "The finest nations in the world, the English and American," he declares, “are going all away into wind and tongue." "Silence," he pronounces, "the eternal duty of man. He won't get any real understanding of what is complex and what is more than any other pertinent to his interests, without maintaining silence." And elsewhere: "All virtue and belief and courage seem to have run to tongue, and he is the most man and the most valiant who is the greatest talker." He seems to think a difficulty in expressing one's self a positive intellectual or moral excellence, as in Cromwell; he praises Johnson for his silence about himself, as contrasted with the egotistical utterance of Byron and Lamartine; "the silence," he observes, “which is said to be golden is not the silence of stupidity, but of self-restraint"; and it is his conviction that "the noble, silent men, scattered here and there, silently thinking, silently working, whom no morning newspaper makes mention of, are the salt of the earth." After more than fifty years had elapsed since he was a student at the University of Edinburgh, he told the young men in his inaugural speech as rector there, that he would give them the benefit of his experience. "The great qualities they should all aspire to," he said, "were strict obedience, humility, and moral conduct, but more especially, as above all, silence. What has been done," he asked, "by rushing after fine speech? There is a very great necessity, indeed, of getting a little more silent than we are; rarely should men speak at all, unless it is to say that thing that is to be done, and let him go and do his part

in it and say no more about it." Probably Elia's impediment of speech refined and concentrated his style, made him unconsciously more of an artist in written expression. Procter says: "Lamb knew the worth of silence; he knew that even truth may be damaged by too many words. When he did speak, his words had a flavor in them beyond any that I have heard elsewhere." And who, in our day, has more vitalized that form of speech which has become almost identified with dulness? who has made the sermon so fresh with new significance, an interest transcending sectarian limits, and glowing with reflective humanity, as Frederick Robertson? And yet he says, in one of his letters, "If you knew how sick at heart I am with the whole work of Parliament, 'talkee,' 'palaver' or whatever it is called; how lightly I hold the gift of gab,' how grand and divine the realm of silence appears to me in comparison !

As the earth is enriched by lying fallow, as the clouds gather electricity through the calm summer day, as the dew is distilled in the hush of night, so is the soul fed and strengthened by voiceless aspiration and invisible worship. Upon the clearest perceptions and the freshest sensibility there is a pitiless pressure of words, invading the hours of his renewed consciousness with that "map of busy


life," the morning journal, encroaching upon his mental self-possession with the perpetual proclamation of news from everywhere and about everything, claiming his attention now in the report of an African traveller and now in the details of a scientific discovery, here in a new novel and there in a political speech, to-morrow in the tragic rehearsals of a catastrophe, and to-day in the record of a revolution or the platitudes of a charlatan. To announce, describe, discuss, and criticise every event in politics, science, literature, art, and society has become the business of so many tongues and pens, that wise men are fain to seek the woods and the desert, in order to collect their thoughts, to recover their equanimity, and to escape the din of eternal communication. All kinds of rights are advocated but that of silence, all kinds of wrong assailed but that of gabble. Utterance is the ideal of the day; to express a thought is considered the only way to possess it; to disintegrate private intelligence by fusing it in public assimilation, to emasculate convictions by diffusive reiteration, to pervert sentiment by rhetoric, and sense by garrulity, may fill up the vacant hours of those destitute of intellectual resources, or gratify the vanity of shallow minds, but the virile in thought and the profound in feeling are sacrificed in the process. H. T. Tuckerman.


To keep cool is the principal con

cern of life at Fort Yuma. Just across the river, in the streets of that huddle of forlorn, bleak, flat-topped mud-houses known as Arizona City, you see certain ghostly umbrellas moving about, with a faint suspicion of whey beneath them. The principal articles of apparel worn in that delectable city are umbrellas and very hightopped boots. At sunset, so the story

runs, they fold their umbrellas, like the Arabs, and as silently steal away to a series of moulds, shaped as if for taking plaster-casts, in the cool sand along the bank of the Colorado, into which they pour themselves out of their boots, and emerge in the morning solidified into the human form again.

The Yuma Indians have a method peculiar to themselves. They smear their heads with a layer of marl or clay

an inch thick, working it well into their long hair, which serves a double usefulness: first, suppressing the parasites there resident; second, screening their heads against the too ardent rays of the sun. Then they go far up the river, procure sticks or logs of driftwood, by which they buoy themselves up, and float tranquilly down the stream, leaving no part of themselves exposed to the action of the sun, except these smooth, shiny globes of mud.

The exceedingly flat banks of the Colorado, together with the low growth of cottonwoods and willows, low, because so often beaten and broken by the floods, remind one of the Lower Mississippi. And it is worth more than a draught of the river's thick porridge to venture out across them, for they are perfect man-traps. There is something dismal in the very presence of this great desert river; the treacherous swirl of its current sometimes appalls and drags down the strongest swimmer; and the very beasts, if they have lived their wretched lives awhile on its banks, dread the sight of it, and snort, when one attempts to drive them near it, with undisguised terror. Across the desert through which it flows there stretches a stout rocky rib, which the river plunges through in a perpendicular cañon. Thus the frail mud-walls of Arizona City are protected by a nåtural bulwark, and on the other side Fort Yuma lifts its walls pretentiously up on the bulwark itself.


dismal, and haggard sallowness of the sun, as if it were the birthplace of Time, where the very radiance of heaven, grown old with the earth, had worn down to a mere sickly drizzle of light. The air itself seems to be curdled and dimmish, like the eye of a nonagenarian.

Standing on the walls of the fort, I looked out over the haggard and sullen desert, and my soul exulted in the very greatness and the savageness of the desolation. Ah! it will be worth a century of babbling in green fields and fiddling among flowers to grapple once more, hand to hand, with Old Hideous! Words cannot express the utterly wornout, sad, and lustreless light in which I first looked out upon Colorado Desert. It was like a kind of whitish, damplooking haze, a condensed and visible essence of heat, as it were oozing from the very home of the heat. Nowhere else have I ever beheld such a wan,

Who that has seen can ever forget Cole's "Voyage of Life"? His symbolic voyager, after he traverses in his flowery shallop the still waters of childhood, amid an extraordinary brilliance of floral shores, stretches out his arms in delirious eagerness after the splendid phantoms of youth; then rushes down the frightful and storm-blackened rapids of manhood; is seen at last, an old man, with his boat just entering upon the verge of ocean, over which and all around him lower the heavy mists of death, while his face, though touchingly saddened and furrowed by the long conflict of life, is radiant now with peace, an unspeakable peace,

as he gazes tranquilly up toward the dim and shadowy walls of Paradise. The counterpart of those walls seemed to lie before me, as I looked upon the mountains of the Colorado, ninety miles away, heaped up ridge on ridge, with their turrets and domes and minarets. Nature is catholic in her architecture. The mandarin shall find yonder his pagoda; the Roman, his basilica; the Norman, his massive cathedral; the Protestant, his slender spire.

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Then I went on down the Colorado flat toward Pilot Knob. By the roadside there was a Texan emigrant-wagon, which had turned aside into the almost impenetrable mesquite brakes, where a very auspicious event had occurred. There were some lank and haggard squaws squatting about, with sundry watermelons hardly as large as their heads. One of them, who appeared to have no children of her own, was exceedingly interested in the occurrence, and seemed, in fact, to have been playing the part of Mrs. Gamp acceptably. There was an older child, with which the father was employ

ing his time, and this the squaw now wanted to take into her hands. By every mute and pleading gesture known to tender mothers, by every faithful promise by which she could bind herself, she seemed to urge him, and at last he gave it to her for a moment. Her childless soul was overjoyed; she chucked it and chucked it under the chin; she coddled it on her knees; she babbled, and clucked, and chirruped, and tossed it up and down, over and over and over again, as civilized women love to do: Doubtless she would gladly have given all the melons of her tribe, and one over er and above, for the privilege of carrying it away to her wigwam.

A mile or two below Pilot Knob I left the flat and ascended a few feet upon the plateau of the desert. I had nearly crossed a continent to see a real desert, and I was a little disappointed. I expected sand, but here was reddish loam. I expected a sea-level, but here were thousands of little mounds. I expected nothing else, but here was mesquite and cheriondia on the mounds. Dead stems lying everywhere, dead stems leaning everywhere, dead stems standing everywhere, with their wormeaten and loosened sheathing of bark flapping and ticking in every breeze, or dragging half-way down in cobwebs and powder of wood. The whole appearance of the desert was odiously ragged, blighted, blasted, gaunt, dusty. I had hoped to see something as sublime as the ocean, for the great and solemn remorselessness of the gloom; but this was a thing pecked at by Death, shredded, gnawed, shrivelled, hateful.

But I travelled thirty or forty miles beside the edge of a higher plateau of sand, soft and yellow to see, and most exquisitely ripple-marked in little hillocks, which the fierce simooms that at times sweep over them are continually shifting. How that great ocean of sand wimples and flickers beneath the naked, unwinking eye of the sun! It seems to shiver with a burning impatience to rush upon the luckless traveller, and whelm him fathoms deep in the scorch

ing drifts. The whole vast field quivers with the fiery heat, and all the tops of the hillocks are dancing in the air.

Now the road drags heavily on through deep sand. O, this abhorred winter, with its waste of dead limbs, and its perennial Arctic snows! Wearily, wearily I tramp in their drifts, thrust into this arid middle and heat of autumn, with its gaunt and hungry air, its pallor, its blinding white-hot shimmer, and its stifling winds! Sometimes I hear the faint chirrup of the cicala, and think with Antipater that it is sweeter than the swan. Sometimes a gadfly hurries past me in its wide and lonesome flight. Even the crow, which labors heavily along with a strangely sharp, metallic winnowing of the air, holds a moody and solemn stillness, as if it were the last crow of time flapping over the charnel-house of all the centuries.

But the most ghastly of all ghastly things on this hideous wild was the half-eaten and blackened body of a deserter, who, avoiding the stations for fear of detection, had perished miserably on the sand and been slightly covered up, but had been dragged forth by the foul coyotes. Ah! who can picture a more fearful thing than such a death upon the desert! Fallen at last, faint with the raging thirst, he beholds the yelling beasts already gathering about him. His wild and haggard eyes strain out into the lurid glare of the desert. The burning wind sweeps in a little rounded hollow past his head, and with its hot breath sucks away his own. The hissing sand eddies thick upon him, creeping insidiously up, inch by inch, till it rests upon his glazing eye.

One forenoon, amid a fiery heat, I heard at a distance singular sounds, and stopped to listen. At first it was a discordant and rasping sound, something like that of the saw-filer; then it quickly changed to a sharp tinkling jangle, like the chime of little tea-bells, except that there was that strange halfclang which may be made by striking bells under water. I rejoiced much thereat, thinking this was a genuine

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