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gentleman, attending all the services of his church, and being devout and strict in the performance of the most minute ceremonial; at another he practised as a doctor; and yet all the time he was murdering lonely travellers and horsestealing and slave-stealing in the other manifestation of his dual personality. He never robbed without killing. He thought a man who did so a fool. He organized a loosely knit band of robbers some two thousand strong, and the most trusted and skilful of them Were known as the Grand Council of the Mystic Clan. It has been said that men of good position belonged to the Clan, and passed their whole lives without being suspected. The last generation used to be startled occasionally by rumors that some respectable pillar of the Republic had confessed on his deathbed that he used to be a member of Murrell's gang. We share the reserve with which Mr. Hough writes of these stories, but the fact that they existed at all shows the widespread character of Murrell's organization. Murrell's chief Scheme was for a rising of the whole black population on Christmas night, 1835. All the whites were to be killed, and the blacks (so they were told), headed by the Grand Council of the Mystic Clan, were to enter into free enjoyment of the riches of the land. The plot was divulged by the spy Virgil A. Stewart, whom Murrell had trusted and admitted to the Grand Council. In a lesser degree there is a repetition in the United States to-day of the difficulty of dealing with scoundrels. The agents of the law are unequal to their task chiefly because they are unwilling. It was the determination to have more protection than the law provided which caused the formation of the “Vigilantes” of California. The men Who refused to suffer from the anarchy of the gold-rush banded themselves together and took over the responsibility LIVING AGE. vol. xxxv. 1868
of administering the law. They were thus in the peculiar position of standing for the law against the law. They had their own miniature army, and the law, having failed to upset their irregular but fairly wholesome administration, left them alone. When the need for exceptional measures was past the Vigilantes laid down their office and the law resumed its sway. The interesting point about this singular affair is that it may be taken as the precedent and sanction for Lynch-law. We think the services of the Vigilantes were probably necessary at their time and place; but when Mr. Hough uses them as an exact analogy for Lynch-law, which he extols, we can only say that he writes nonsense. Lynch-law, as at present understood, is an instrument almost entirely directed against the negroes; it is a negation of law, because it dispenses with proper trial; and even if it did not, it would still be infamous, because it makes one law for the White and another for the black. Mr. Hough's philosophizing is the weak part of his book. We have not space to write of PlumImer, who was at the same time a Sheriff, a cultivated man, and a murdering brigand,-another extraordinary example of dual personality. The most valuable chapter in the book is that on the Lincoln County War, to the history of which Mr. Hough adds many new facts. It was a war of families about their cattle rights. No Border feud ever had a higher percentage of casualties. It may be said that vendettas have had much higher percentages; but vendettas are private, and this astonishing affair involved troops and the Governor of the State, General Lew Wallace, and even the President of the United States. It seems almost too perverse to be true that a wellmeaning Englishman, Tunstall, and a delicate, dreamy, mild-mannered American lawyer, McSween, who happened to put their money into cattle, should have found themselves most unwillingly among the nominal leaders of this bloody war in which the pace was forced by bad men! Both were killed,— rather, we should say, murdered. When bad men were at last cornered and faced the “drop,” they did not always display the same fortitude as in their careers. One begins to see that the brigand is served by his audacity for some purposes and not for others. It is something of an accident, and that, perhaps, is the kindest explanaThe Spectator.
tion of an abnormal phenomenonSome, however, were fearless all through, and jumped from the box with as much bravado as ever a criminal from the cart at Tyburn. “Gentlemen.” said Georeg Shears to his executioners. who had put him on a ladder instead of the usual box, “I am not used to this business, never having been hung before. Shall I jump off or slide off?” “Jump, of course,” they said. “All right.” said he. “Good-bye!" and he sprang off with unconcern.
THE NAVIGATION OF THE AIR.
In these days when the talk if not the actuality of human flight is in the air, it is interesting to look back at some of the earlier attempts of man to emulate the bird. The classic myth of Daedalus and his son Icarus shows that the problem occupied the minds of the ancients. We ask, in fact, is the story merely a myth? May it by any possibility be a reflection of the fact that man in early times really acquired the art of flying? There is no shadow without a substance, and the myth is often the shadow of a fact. The myth of Daedalus indeed must be the shadow of some fact; there is the possibility that it may be the projection on a later age of the earlier triumph of man over the air. Yet no Egyptian papyrus or Assyrian brick cylinder records it; it is not figured in the picture writings of the ancient Mexicans, In Or Scratched on bone or horn by the cave-dwellers; no Chinese claimant has yet come forward to prove that his countrymen had invented flying machines while yet the now civil1zed nations of Europe had not emerged from barbarism; all history, in fact, when interrogated on this point preserves a stony and sphinx-like silence.
“With me your leader,” says the
mythic pioneer of artificial flight to his son Icarus, “take your way”—lse duce, carpe viam. And so he calls down the ages to the would-be birds of the present day, offering to show them how to accomplish their wish. Is there, then. anything to be learned by present-day navigators of the air from the work of Daedalus of old? According to the story, Daedalus made for himself wings like those of a bird, and there are many in inodern times who have thought that the solution of the problem lay in imitating as closely as possible the fowls of the air. Yet, on the whole, the present state of the theory and practice of aerial navigation seems to indicate that the pathway to success lies rather in the attainment of lighter and more powerful motors. At the beginning of the sixteenth century an Italian alchemist who had come to Scotland and been made Abbot of Tungland in Galloway made himself wings of the feathers of various birds. He started from the walls of Stirling Castle to fly to France. The wings failed him, however, and he fell, breaking his thigh bone. The enterprising Abbot explained his failure as due to a wrong choice of feathers. In
his wings were some feathers of the common fowl, and their affinity for their native dunghill dragged him down; had they been entirely of eagles' feathers these would have kept him aloft. We do not learn, however, that another attempt was made with wings of eagle-feathers alone. And while Daedalus safely soared over the ocean himself, his son fell into the Sea, to which he gave his name, and was drowned. The prospect of man ever being able to fly with wings like those of a bird is not very bright. About the year 1784 the subject of aerial navigation was occupying a prominent place in the public mind, and Horace Walpole discourses about the ways and doings of the “airgonauts,” as he calls them, in a pleasant and gossipy way. One of the pioneers of the art, the Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, had just made his first ascent from Paris in a balloon. Blanchard seems also to have intended to attempt actual flying, for he took up with him wings and a rudder. These, however, he found useless. Later he crossed the Channel to England in his ... aerial vessel. “You see,” writes Walpole, in allusion to these events, “the airgonauts have passed the Rubicon. By their own accounts they were exactly birds; they flew through the air, perched on the top of a tree; some passengers climbed up and took them in their nest.” He opines, as indeed some have opined lately, that difficulties will arise for the Customs House officials when we all become birds: “The Smugglers I suppose, will be the first to improve upon the plan.” The idea of an aerial voyage to Paris appeals to Walpole's fancy: “If there is no air-sickness, and I were to go to Paris again, I would prefer a balloon to the packet-boat, and had as lief roost in an oak as sleep in a French inn, though I were to caw for my breakfast like the young ravens.” After watch
ing the descent of a balloon, he amuses laimself by meditating on the future of “airgonation.” He sees it gradually perfected, displacing navigation and banishing ships to the limbo of things forgotten. Flourishing seaports become “deserted villages” as flying becomes more and more common. Salisbury Plain, Newmarket Heath, and all the Downs, except the Downs where ships had been wont to anchor, become dockyards for aerial vessels. He further imagines a new Shipping Gazette in which the news would be of the following nature: “The good balloon, Daedalus, Captain Wingate, will fly in a few days for China; he will stop at the Monument to take in passengers.” “Foundered in a hurricane, the Bird of Paradise, from Mount Ararat.” Again in his “mind's eye” Walpole sees the rival airgonauts, Blanchard and Lunardi, engaged in an air-fight in the clouds like a stork and a kite. The breaking up of roads as now useless, and a consequent great increase in the land available for tillage, follows the further development of flying. A hundred years earlier Bishop Wilkins had written on the art of flying in his Mathematical Magic, and he was also the advocate of a “universal language.” And this latter Walpole opined was calculated to prevent the want of an interpreter when the development of the art of flying had carried him to the moon! At the present day the labors of M. Santos Dumont and the Wright brothers, combined with the development of Esperanto, may serve a like useful end. The need of a universal language, indeed, will be more and more emphasized as the practice of flying increases. In the near future it may be possible to pay flying visits to all the countries in Europe in the course of a summer holiday! In the above Mathematical Magic Bishop Wilkins relates several cases, none of them perhaps very well authenticated, of suc
cessful fight. A monk named Eremus, for example, in Edward the Confessor's time is said to have flown by means of wings from the top of a tower for a dis. tance of over a furlong. Another bold
spirit is recorded to have fown from
THE EDITION DE LUXE.
"We shan't have room for it,” I said. a genius will visit us, and at the end of
"But it will look very well,” said my that time he'll stay with us for ever." wife. "Thirty-six volumes in that “But you'll get tired of him. When handsome red binding would set off any the three years are over you'll store library."
him away in an attic. You'll never "There isn't a spare foot of room look at him. He'll get covered with now," I insisted.
dust. I don't like geniuses when "But we always meant to clear away they're covered with dust. I'm not some of the rubbishy books."
sure I like tbem when they're quite "There are no rubbishy books. tidy." That's why we've never cleared any. "That,” said my wife, “is absurd. I thing away. Besides, I'm not sure I shall fill up the form." care for every little word the great “Thirty-six pounds," I pleaded. man has written."
"I've filled it up with your name," she "Every little word,” said my wife se said. verely-"every little word written by a "Forgery," I hinted. man of genlus ought to be preserved." "You should have thought of that."
"So it will be," I said, "by those who she retorted, "when you married me. print this edition and those who buy "With all my worldly goods I thee enit; but that's no reason for my buying dow'--you can't deny it."
"But I didn't mean it. It was duresse. "That's flippant," said my wife, "and Besides, there's another bit about obeysilly."
"Of course, if you begin to be abu "Fiddlesticks," said she. “I've put a sive "
stamp on it, and I'm going to post it at "How like a man!" said my wife. once." "When he's beaten in argument”-she And she did. pronounced these words very impres- All this happened two years and a sively-"he always says he's being half ago. Summer is now approaching abused."
for the third time, and through all the "Thirty-six fat volumes," said l. changing seasons, month by month, "But only a pound apiece."
with the impressiveness and regularity "That's thirty-six pounds," I said, of one of nature's immutable ordi"and for thirty-six pounds we could nances, the stout red volumnes have go to the seaside."
made their formidable appearances. "But we shall get one volume a Thirty of them stand in a thick red month, and that spreads it over three line on the loaded shelves. On a rough years. Once a month for three years calculation there are more than seven
feet of them-and there are six more stroyer of happiness. While the parvolumes to come.
cel lies thus my wife avoids my eye. I Now, to buy a book casually, to buy believe she goes down in the dead hours thirty books at odd times and without of the night to open it and stow it away. previous arrangement, these are easy She has even gone so far as to assert and light-hearted things that any man that she had told me how it would be, may do without impairing the springs adding that she had long since realized of his strength or adding a single gray how useless it was to dissuade a wilful hair to his head. But to be under a man from any purpose he had set his permanent irrevocable contract to pur mind on. The thirty-six-volumed genchase a certain sort of book once in ius who was to have been a joy to us every month, to take delivery of it and has brought us a curse. We have never to pay for it, saps the vitality of the dared to read him in his new edition. most vigorous being that ever trodil Last night I caught my wife with a country road. To know that at some thin and handy volume in her hand, time within the first week of every It belonged to an earlier edition of our month a heavy postal parcel will be destroying genius. When she saw that dumped down as if by magic on the I had observed her she had the grace ball table and will lie there pleading to to look uncomfortable and to lay the have its string cut and its brown-paper book down under the concealment of an unfolded-there's nothing in the whole illustrated paper. And there are six range of experience to compete with more volumes still to come. that as a shatterer of nerves and a de
NATURE AND THE SENTIMENTALISTS.
Of the making of nature-books of the In the days before Richard Jefferies feebly sentimental kind there appears set the familiar things of the countryto be no end, but if the study thereof side to his own inimitable music, the result in much weariness to the public year's output of natural-history books mind, the public has only itself to could safely be placed in one category, blame. The remedy, or rather the pre- It was the era of the scientific botanist, vention, lies in its own hand. Though when a hedgerow blossom, however a short-sighted legislature has failed to beautiful, was merely an umbelliferum set any limit to the publication of these or dicotyledon, or some equally outgreen-boarded volumes of ill-digested rageous, dispiriting thing; and the love. odds and ends, there is happily no law liness of a kingfisher, as he glittered to compel their persual by the man in down stream like a flying fragment of the street. Only upon the unlucky re- rainbow, was of less importance than viewer has this irritating necessity the strict ascertainment of his scientific been laid; and it is small wonder if, name. But, for good or for evil, Jetat the end of a long period of such low feries changed all that. Now the nadiet, his old faith in the saving grace ture-writer has thrown away his blue of green leaves vanishes, and he finds spectacles and taken unto himself Parhimself actually revelling in his work-a. nassian wings. And whereas formerly day smoke and paving-stones, and the it was impossible to write of field or reek and roar of London's busy streets, woodland life unequipped by at least a