قراءة كتاب The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 1864 Devoted To Literature And National Policy

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‏اللغة: English
The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 1864
Devoted To Literature And National Policy

The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 1864 Devoted To Literature And National Policy

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 5

to the adornment of these. Many regimental camps are decorated with evergreens in an exceedingly tasteful manner—particularly during warm weather—chapels, arches, colonnades, etc., being constructed of rude frameworks, so interwoven with pine boughs that they present a very elegant appearance.

The daily life of a camp is as follows: At an hour appointed by orders, varying according to the season of the year, the camp is roused by the reveille. The old notion that soldiers should be waked before daybreak in all seasons and all weathers has fortunately been exploded, and the reveille is not generally sounded in winter till six o'clock. In pleasant weather the men are formed upon the color line, where they stack their arms. Breakfast is the next matter in order: after that the mounting of the guard for the day and the detail of detachments for picket and other duties. The prisoners are put to work in cleaning up the camp, and squad drills occupy the morning. About noon the dinner call is sounded; then come more drills and in the latter part of the afternoon the dress parade of the regiment. This closes the military labors of the day. In the evening there are schools for instructions in tactics, and the time is passed in any amusements that may offer themselves. About half past eight the tattoo is beaten, when every one, not absent on duty, must be in camp ready to answer to his name; and shortly after, the beat of taps proclaims that the military day is ended, and lights must be extinguished—a regulation not very strictly enforced. Thus pass the days of camp life.

Very different are those assemblages of huts down among the pine forests of Virginia from the pleasant villages, the thriving towns, and the prosperous cities of the North—very different the life of the soldier from that which he enjoyed before rebellion sought to sever the country which from his cradle he had been taught to consider 'one and inseparable.'


A Query for the Thoughtful.—May we not justly say that spirit, everywhere, in its various degrees, rules over matter, setting its forces at defiance for the time, and yet never interfering with their continued operations?

This seems a great law of the universe. The power of life, wherever guided by will, whether in beast or man, or even where we can only venture to speak of instinct, thus asserts its superiority. Within its appointed range, the laws of the material world are evidently subject to its control. Iron may be firmly held together by the attraction of cohesion: but man wills its severance, and it is effected.

Nor does it contravene the general assertion here made, that we act by opposing one natural force to another. The rising of the sledge hammer, to fall with a force more than its own, is just as much against the laws of matter as the breaking of the iron beneath its blows.

All power, so far as we can judge, is spiritual—i.e., originates in spirit, and is exerted in obedience to will, or to something equivalent.

Nor, again, will it avail an objector to say that spirit is also under law as well as matter. The laws of the one sphere, at all events, are not those of the other. They may have their relations, but they are not those of equality. Spirit is sovereign—matter subject; or, if in any case it should be otherwise, it is from some weak refusal of the spirit to assert its own power.




Gliding softly beneath the shrubbery, and beneath one of the side colonnades, Leta gained the house unperceived, passing Sergius, who loitered where she had been sitting, upon the coping of the fountain basin. His friends had departed, bearing away with them his gold and much else that was of value; and he, with the consciousness of evil besetting him on every side, had morbidly wandered out to try if in the cool air he could compose his thoughts to sobriety. As he sat rocking to and fro, and humming to himself broken snatches of song, Leta stood under one of the arches of the court, glowering at him, and half hoping that he would lose his balance and fall into the water behind. It was not deep enough to drown him, but if it had been, she felt in no mood to rescue him. In a few moments, however, the fresh breeze, partially dissipating the fumes of the wine which he had drunk, somewhat revived him; making him more clearly conscious of his misfortunes, indeed, but engendering in him, for the instant, a new and calmer state of feeling, which was not sobriety, but which differed from either his former careless recklessness or maddening ferocity. And in this new phase of mind, he sat and revolved and re-revolved, in ever-recurring sequence, the things that had befallen him, and his changed position in the world.

Alone now, for she, Ænone, had left him. Left him for a stripling of a slave—a mere creature from the public market. What was the loss of gold and jewels and quarries to this! And how could he ever hold up his head again, with this heavy shame upon it! For there could be no doubt;—alas! no. Had he not seen her press a kiss upon the slave's forehead? Had she not tenderly raised the menial's head upon her knee with caressing pity? And, throughout all, had she attempted one word of justification? Yes, alone in the world now, with no one to love or care for him! For she must be put away from him forever; she must never call him husband more. That was a certain thing. But yet—and a kindly gleam came into his face for the moment—even though guilty, she might not be thoroughly and utterly corrupt. If he could, at least, believe that she had been sorely tempted—if he could only, for the sake of past memories, learn to pity her, rather than to hate! And this became now the tenor of his thoughts. In his deep reflection of a few hours before, he had tried to believe that she was innocent. Now, circumstances of suspicion had so overwhelmed her, that he could not think her innocent; but he could have wished to believe her less guilty, and thereby have cherished a kindly feeling toward her.

Rising up, and now for the first time seeing Leta, as she still stood under the archway and watched him, he tottered toward her; and, incited by this new impulse of generous feeling, he pleaded to her—humbling his pride, indeed, but in all else, whether in word or action, clothing himself with the graceful dignity of true and earnest manliness.

'Tell me,' he said, 'whether you know aught about her which can calm my soul and give me the right to think better of her. You cannot make me believe that she is innocent—I do not ask it of you. That hope is past forever. But it may be that you can reveal more than you have yet mentioned to me. You have watched her, I know. Perhaps, therefore, you can tell me that she struggled long with herself before she abandoned me. Even that assurance will help me to think more pityingly of her. Remember that there was a time when I loved her; and, for the sake of that time, help me to feel and act generously toward her.'

As Leta gazed upon him, and saw how his late imperiousness had given place to earnest, sorrowful entreaty, she hesitated for the moment how to answer him. There is, perhaps, a latent sympathy in the hardest heart; and despite her resolve to become at once lost and unpitying, some sparks of tender feeling, kindled into life by her parting with Cleotos, yet glimmered in her breast. Cleotos having gone away, she felt strangely lonesome. Little as she had regarded him when present, it now seemed as though, in separating from him, she had lost a portion of her own being. Certainly with him had departed the last link that