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If it be further objected that the national life of America is not reflected in his verse, the same objection may be raised against the verses of other bards. But it ought not to be forgotten that, for all the purposes of venerable history, America is but of yesterday. Skirmishes with Indians, and

The glitter of their rifles,

The scampering of their steeds, or even the war for Independency are scarcely the historical events wherewith to fire the genius of a poet. It must, indeed, be admitted that Brandywine, Bunker's Hill, and Lexington are suggestive of lines upon which a poet might have advanced; but the grand natural scenery of the Western world does not awaken such a train of reflections as some of the names of towns, mountains, rivers, and lakes in the Old World. The noble rivers to which the longest European rivers are but rivulets, the lofty mountains in comparison with which some of the European ranges or peaks are but as pigmies, tell of no grand historic past; no towns of historic fame, no castles, or towers, or temples, or palaces adorn her plains, telling such tales as Stonehenge, and of Saxon or Norman works of art.

In fact, Longfellow is more truly indebted to other countries than America for the straw with waich to make his bricks. If Bryant had chosen to follow in this course, he, too, might have become more famous; but he has preferred to remain at home rather than go in search for material in East or West, as Longfellow, Taylor, and Whittier have done. We have said his 'Ages' introduces him to us as a patriot; we might say he was more than a patriot—he was a prophet. His earliest verses foretold, in part at least, the progress which awaited his country in the near future.

Bryant was a lover of liberty. If national liberty found in him a true and trusty friend, so also did the liberty of the individual. Living in the midst of those who were concerned in the question of slavery, Bryant could not keep silence. He did not write such spirited and scathing stanzas as those of the Quaker-poet, Whittier, but he was no less zealous. His Massacre at Scio,' written in 1824, and referring to another subject than American slavery, contains sentiments which, for more than a quarter-of-a-century, he incidentally and opportunely adverted to as being the sentiments of Anti-Slavists in the States. The poem is worthy of quotation :

Weep not for Scio's children slain ;

Their blood, by Turkish falchions shed,
Sends not its cry to heaven in vain

For vengeance on the murderer's head.

Though high the warm red torrent ran

Between the flames that lit the sky,
Yet, for each drop, an armed man

Shall rise, to free the land, or die.
And for each corpse that in the sea

Was thrown, to feast the scaly herds,
A hundred of the foe shall be

A banquet for the mountain birds.
Stern rites and sad shall Greece ordain

To keep that day along her shore,
Till the last link of slavery's chain

Is shivered, to be worn no more. Bryant's 'Antiquity of Freedom, published, we believe, years before the outbreak of the war which sealed the doom of slavery, contains a few very suggestive lines, marked by a style of expression which is a correct copy of his own definite thought :

O Freedom ! thou art not as poets dream-
A fair young girl, with light and delicate limbs,
And wavy tresses gushing from the cap
With which the Roman master crowned his slave
When he took off the gyves. A bearded man,
Armed to the teeth, art thou; one mailed hand
Grasps the broad shield, and one the sword; thy brow,
Glorious in beauty though it be, is scarred
With tokens of old wars; thy massive limbs

Are strong with struggling. In other stanzas of this poem he anticipates battle and victory. He was not mistaken in his calculation.

Since his death others have fallen, and amongst the number the gifted Bayard Taylor. Longfellow, Dana, Emerson, and Holmes, not to mention others, have passed the line of three score years and ten, and, according to the course of Nature, will, ere long, go to the bouse appointed for all living; but whosoever may be mourned and remembered by the Americans, William Cullen Bryant's name will be remembered, and his grave kept green.

There were few persons so well known in New York as he. Tall, erect, slightly built, with white flowing beard, and eyes which told of a heart and mind at once tender and true, he was an idol of the nation, a friend of the friendless, a counsellor of the wise, and a guide of the young.



In the year 1847 the village of Hydesville, New York State, received a slight addition to its population by the arrival of a family named Fox, consisting of father, mother, and two daughters; and, in a short time, the new-comers won the esteem and confidence of their neighbours, by whom they were regarded as honest and upright people. Soon after their arrival, however, they were annoyed by repeated and inexplicable knockings, now in the furniture, and again in the walls or ceiling of their cottage. They searched every nook and corner of the house, but found no clue to the mysterious noises which gradually becoming louder and more frequent. On March 31, 1848, wearied out by a succession of sleepless nights and fruitless attempts to solve the mystery, the family was retiring to rest earlier than usual, but scarcely had the mother seen her children safely in bed before the knockings commenced again. “Here they are again, cried the children. The mother chid them and bade them be silent, upon which the noises became louder and more startling. Mrs. Fox called her husband, who, thinking that the noises may have been occasioned by the rattling of the window-sashes, began to examine them to see if they were loose. On shaking one of them, it was noticed that the noises appeared to respond. Do as I do,' said little Kate, snapping her fingers as she spoke. The sounds immediately replied. Count ten,' she continued, and ten raps were at once given. "How old is Margaret ?' asked the mother. Twelve raps followed. “And how old is Kate ?' Nine raps were given, the reply in each case being quite correct.

Of course, the knowledge of these things could not be kept secret, and soon the utmost excitement prevailed. Neighbours were continually flocking in, the house was besieged by curious and eager visitors from afar, and the mysterious rappings continued. As it was found that the noises were most marked in the presence of little Kate, she was sent on a visit to a relative at Rochester. But the knockings followed there, while they also continued at Hydesville.

On one occasion a visitor suggested that the alphabet should be called over, letter by letter, to see if the sounds would respond in such a manner as would spell out a message. Immediately a shower of raps were given, as if to say, “Yes, that is what we want.' Little by little words were spelt out, and a system of communication elaborated. Mediums'-as they were afterwards called-sprang up in different parts of the country, and thus arose the movement known as Modern Spiritualism.

Some years ago the French Government, finding that its authority in Algiers was somewhat endangered by the Mohammedan priests, who professed to receive spirit communications similar to those which are said to occur among spiritualists, sent out a Mr. Robert Houdin to repeat publicly the alleged spirit-miracles of the priests, to add others which the priests could not copy, and then to explain the mode by which the people had been deceived. Mr. Houdin, being one of the most distinguished legerdemain workers in France, had but little difficulty in accomplishing his formidable task. The power of the priests was overthrown, and Mr. Houdin now repeats before admiring Parisians those wonders of his craft which had been so successful in Northern Africa. In London, too, at the Egyptian Hall, Maskelyne and Cook are continually performing cleverly, and avowedly without the aid of spirits, what the so-called spiritualists do at best but clumsily, although they are professedly aided by supernatural visitants.

Because of these and similar exposures, many people suppose that modern spiritualism is nothing but trickery, performed by the media who profess to be controlled by spirits. That there has been and still is much gross imposture mixed up with the movement, there can be no reasonable doubt. The Davenport Brothers, for example, were able to furnish the usual evidence of the presence of spirits at their dark séances. Tambourines were made to float in the air, bells were rung, and individuals among the audience were occasionally touched by spirit hands. But one night the person who should have extinguished the lights left one of them burning so slightly that it was not perceived. Afterwards, in the deep darkness, when the performance was at its height, this light was suddenly turned on, and there stood the whole Davenport family detected in their wicked imposition ! This occurred in the city of New York.

Katie King, too, was a nine days' wonder in England and the United States of America. Purporting to be a celestial spirit, she deigned to visit, for a time—under the guardianship of a medium, of course—the loyal citizens of Philadelphia. “Katie King,' said Robert Dale Owen, ‘ is a veritable spirit from the undiscovered country, or human beings can freely pass through brick walls of the thickness of two or three feet.' After such a testimony, would not the most sceptical be convinced ? Katie was thus described by a reporter : “Although said to belong to another world, she appeared to be as real as any beings in the room, but with more of an ethereal look. Her complexion was almost transparent, and her head appeared to be folded in some kind of a veil. A white robe hung gracefully about her, and on her breast a beautiful cross, which glistened in the light. Her arms were bare, her feet were covered by the folds of her dress, her figure was finely moulded.'

The excitement was immense. In her honour songs were composed and sung--the following among others :

Oh, gather round and let us sing
The praises of sweet Katie King,
Who, from her bright and happy sphere,
Comes smiling to us mortals here.

Then with sweet voices let us sing

The praises of sweet Katie King. In their admiration, or adoration, of this heavenly visitant, ladies took off their jewellery and gave it to the ghost, who considerately kept it in kindly remembrance of the generous donors. One evening, however, a gentleman who had the honour of shaking hands with Katie discovered that she had foul breath-a fact which, to his mind, afforded presumptive evidence of her mundane origin. Hence he resolved to be on the alert. Not long after he saw in the city a lady who appeared to be “the image and likeness' of celestial Katie. After watching her movements for some time, he found that she always visited Mr. and Mrs. Holmes (the medium and his wife) prior to their dark séances, although she never appeared on the platform or among the audience. Feeling sure that he was on the right track, he carefully marked a gold trinket, and then presented it to the ghostly Katie, after which he sought an interview with her facsimile, whom he had seen in the city. Nor did he seek in vain, for in a short time he found that she was a young widow, named Frances, and soon he became on visiting terms. One day Mrs. Frances entertained her new acquaintance by exhibiting her jewellery, as the result of which the gentleman found the identical article which he had given to celestial Katie! He at once confronted Mrs. Frances with the charge that she was the veritable Katie King. The charge was indignantly denied, but when the crushing proof was given, Mrs. Frances made a full confession, restored the jewellery, and made a sworn declaration, in which she explained the manner in which her deceptions had been practiced. But how about the strong-minded Mr. Owen ? A few days before this tremendous exposure he had sent to the Atlantic Monthly an article demonstrating the ghostship of Katie; but, now that the whole truth was known, he

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