August 2

Have remained in camp; rest much appreciated; have written Dr. Almon Clark. It's reported to-night that Grant fell back again to-day to his old position; also reported that forty families here in Frederick who sympathize with the rebels are to leave for the South in the morning; don't believe it; can hear all sorts of improbable things when so much excitement prevails.

August Second

But in addition to the Southampton Massacre, and the failure of the Legislature to enact any effective legislation, the contemporary rise of the Abolitionists in the North came as an even more powerful factor to embarrass the efforts of the Virginia emancipators. Unlike the anti-slavery men of former years, this new school not only attacked the institution of slavery, but the morality of the slaveholders and their sympathizers. In their fierce arraignment, not only were the humane and considerate linked in infamy with the cruel and intolerant, but the whole population of the slave-holding States, their civilization and their morals were the object of unrelenting and incessant assaults.

Beverly B. Munford

 

 

August 2, 1863

Sunday. My twenty-fourth birthday. We left Donaldsonville about nine last night and marched up the river until midnight. We slept in the road until four this morning, when we started and marched at quick time till 9 o'clock, when the men began to fall out with the heat, and we halted for the stragglers to come up. It is a very warm day, even for this country. The doctor is patching up those who gave out, and I see no signs of going any farther to-day.

P. M. We have pitched what few tents we have with us, which means a stay of some length. There is a large plantation here, said to be owned by a man who has remained loyal to Uncle Sam, and from what I can learn we are to protect him from his rebellious neighbor. Big thing that, for the crack regiment of Sherman's division. I have been thinking of my last birthday, and remember that John Loucks and I went fishing on Long Pond, above Sharon.

August 2, 1914.


Well, dear, what looked impossible is evidently coming to pass.

Early yesterday morning the garde champetre—who is the only thing in the way of a policeman that we have—marched up the road beating his drum. At every crossroad he stopped and read an order. I heard him at the foot of the hill, but I waited for him to pass. At the top of the hill he stopped to paste a bill on the door of the carriage-house on Pere Abelard's farm. You can imagine me,—in my long studio apron, with my head tied up in a muslin cap,—running up the hill to join the group of poor women of the hamlet, to read the proclamation to the armies of land and sea—the order for the mobilization of the French military and naval forces—headed by its crossed French flags. It was the first experience in my life of a thing like that. I had a cold chill down my spine as I realized that it was not so easy as I had thought to separate myself from Life. We stood there together—a little group of women—and silently read it through—this command for the rising up of a Nation. No need for the men to read it. Each with his military papers in his pocket knew the moment he heard the drum what it meant, and knew equally well his place. I was a foreigner among them, but I forgot that, and if any of them remembered they made no sign. We did not say a word to one another. I silently returned to my garden and sat down. War again! This time war close by—not war about which one can read, as one reads it in the newspapers, as you will read it in the States, far away from it, but war right here—if the Germans can cross the frontier.

It came as a sort of shock, though I might have realized it yesterday when several of the men of the commune came to say au revoir, with the information that they were joining their regiments, but I felt as if some way other than cannon might be found out of the situation. War had not been declared—has not to-day. Still, things rarely go to this length and stop there. Judging by this morning's papers Germany really wants it. She could have, had she wished, held stupid Austria back from the throat of poor Servia, not yet recovered from her two Balkan wars.

I imagine this letter will turn into a sort of diary, as it is difficult to say when I shall be able to get any mail matter off. All our communications with the outside world—except by road—were cut this morning by order of the War Bureau. Our railroad is the road to all the eastern frontiers—the trains to Belgium as well as to Metz and Strasbourg pass within sight of my garden. If you don't know what that means—just look on a map and you will realize that the army that advances, whether by road or by train, will pass by me.

During the mobilization, which will take weeks,—not only is France not ready, all the world knows that her fortified towns are mostly only fortified on the map,—civilians, the mails, and such things must make way for soldiers and war materials. I shall continue to write. It will make me feel in touch still; it will be something to do: besides, any time some one may go up to town by road and I thus have a chance to send it.




With the Viceroy

[August 2, 1879.]

It is certainly a little intoxicating to spend a day with the Great Ornamental. You do not see much of him perhaps; but he is a Presence to be felt, something floating loosely about in wide epicene pantaloons and flying skirts, diffusing as he passes the fragrance of smile and pleasantry and cigarette. The air around him is laden with honeyed murmurs; gracious whispers play about the twitching bewitching corners of his delicious mouth. He calls everything by "soft names in many a mused rhyme." Deficits, Public Works, and Cotton Duties are transmuted by the alchemy of his gaiety into sunshine and songs. An office-box on his writing-table an office-box is to him, and it is something more: it holds cigarettes. No one knows what sweet thoughts are his as Chloe flutters through the room, blushful and startled, or as a fresh beaker full of the warm South glows between his amorous eye and the sun.

      "I have never known
      Praise of love or wine
      That panted forth a flood of twaddle so divine."

I never tire of looking at a Viceroy. He is a being so heterogeneous from us! He is the centre of a world with which he has no affinity. He is a veiled prophet. [He wears many veils indeed.] He who is the axis of India, the centre round which the Empire rotates, is absolutely and necessarily withdrawn from all knowledge of India. He lisps no syllable of any Indian tongue; no race or caste, or mode of Indian life is known to him; all our delightful provinces of the sun that lie off the railway are to him an undiscovered country; Ghebers, Moslems, Hindoos blend together in one indistinguishable dark mass before his eye, [in which the cataract of English indifference has not been couched; most delightful of all—he knows not the traditions of Anglo-India, and he does not belong to the Bandicoot Club, St. James's Square!]

A Nawab, whom the Foreign Office once farmed out to me, often used to ask what the use of a Viceroy was. I do not believe that he meant to be profane. The question would again and again recur to his mind, and find itself on his lips. I always replied with the counter question, "What is the use of India?" He never would see—the Oriental mind does not see these things—that the chief end and object of India was the Viceroy; that, in fact, India was the plant and the Viceroy the flower.

I have often thought of writing a hymn on the Beauty of Viceroys; and have repeatedly attuned my mind to the subject; but my inability to express myself in figurative language, and my total ignorance of everything pertaining to metre, rhythm, and rhyme, make me rather hesitate to employ verse. Certainly, the subject is inviting, and I am surprised that no singer has arisen. How can any one view the Viceroyal halo of scarlet domestics, with all the bravery of coronets, supporters, and shields in golden embroidery and lace, without emotion! How can the tons of gold and silver plate that once belonged to John Company, Bahadur, and that now repose on the groaning board of the Great Ornamental, amid a glory of Himalayan flowers, or blossoms from Eden's fields of asphodel, be reflected upon the eye's retina without producing positive thrills and vibrations of joy (that cannot be measured in terms of ohm  or farad ) shooting up and down the spinal cord and into the most hidden seats of pleasure! I certainly can never see the luxurious bloom of the silver sticks arranged in careless groups about the vast portals without a feeling approaching to awe and worship, and a tendency to fling small coin about with a fine mediæval profusion. I certainly can never drain those profound golden cauldrons seething with champagne without a tendency to break into loud expressions of the inward music and conviviality that simmer in my soul. Salutes of cannon, galloping escorts, processions of landaus, beautiful teams of English horses, trains of private saloon carriages (cooled with water trickling over sweet jungle grasses) streaming through the sunny land, expectant crowds of beauty with hungry eyes making a delirious welcome at every stage, the whole country blooming into dance and banquet and fresh girls at every step taken—these form the fair guerdon that stirs my breast at certain moments and makes me often resolve, after dinner, "to scorn delights and live laborious days," and sell my beautiful soul, illuminated with art and poetry, to the devil of Industry, with reversion to Sir John Strachey.

How mysterious and delicious are the cool penetralia of the Viceregal Office! It is the censorium of the Empire; it is the seat of thought; it is the abode of moral responsibility! What battles, what famines, what excursions of pleasure, what banquets and pageants, what concepts of change have sprung into life here! Every pigeon-hole contains a potential revolution; every office-box cradles the embryo of a war or dearth. What shocks and vibrations, what deadly thrills does this little thunder-cloud office transmit to far-away provinces lying beyond rising and setting suns! Ah! Vanity, these are pleasant lodgings for five years, let who may turn the kaleidoscope after us.

A little errant knight of the press who has just arrived on the Delectable Mountains, comes rushing in, looks over my shoulder, and says, "A deuced expensive thing a Viceroy." This little errant knight would take the thunder at a quarter of the price, and keep the Empire paralytic with change and fear of change as if the great Thirty-thousand-pounder himself were on Olympus.—ALI BABA.