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“Do you forget, sir, that he said, “When one is a wanderer, one feels that one fulfils the true condition of humanity?' and that among his last words are these, “The stream of travel is full of delight. Oh! who will set me adrift on this Nile?'"

“Pardon me if I remind you, par parenthèse, of the preliminary and courteous En garde! which should be pronounced before a thrust. De Guérin felt starved in Languedoc, and no wonder! But had he penetrated every nook and cranny of the habitable globe, and traversed the vast zaarahs which science accords the universe, he would have died at last as hungry as Ugolino. I speak advisedly; for the true lo gad-fly, ennui, has stung me from hemisphere to hemisphere, across tempestuous oceans, scorching deserts, and icy mountain ranges. I have faced alike the bourrans of the steppes, and the Samieli of Shamo, and the result of my vandal life is best epitomized in those grand but grim words of Bossuet : 'On trouve au fond du tout le vide et le néant!' Nineteen years ago, to satisfy my hunger, I set out to hunt the daintiest food this world could furnish, and, like other fools, have learned finally, that life is but a huge mellow golden Ösher, that mockingly sifts its bitter dust upon our eager lips. Ah! truly, on trouve au fond du tout le vide et le néant !

“Mr. Murray, if you insist upon your bitter Ösher simile, why shut your eyes to the palpable analogy suggested? Naturalists assert that the Solanum, or apple of Sodom, contains in its normal state neither dust nor ashes ; unless it is punctured by an insect, (the Tenthredo), which converts the whole of the inside into dust, leaving nothing but the rind entire, without any loss of color. Human life is as fair and tempting as the fruit of 'Ain Jidy,' till stung and poisoned by the Tenthredo of sin."

All conceivable suaviter in modo characterized his mocking countenance and tone, as he inclined his haughty head and asked :

“Will you favor me by lifting on the point of your dissecting knife this stinging sin of mine to which you refer? The noxious brood swarm so teasingly about my ears that they deprive me of your cool, clear, philosophic discrimination. Which particular Tenthredo of the buzzing swarm around my spoiled apple of life would you advise me to select for

my anathema maranatha?“ Of your history, sir, I am entirely ignorant; and even if I were not, I should not presume to levy a tax upon it in discussions with you; for, however vulnerable you may possibly be, I regard an argumentum ad hominem as the weakest weapon in the armory of dialectics—a weapon too often dipped in the venom of personal malevolence. I merely gave expression to my belief that miserable useless lives are sinful lives.”



DANIEL BEDINGER LUCAS is a native of Charlestown, West Virginia, and has reputation as a lawyer, orator, and judge. He was a soldier in the Confederate Army and wrote his fine and best known poem, “ The Land Where We Were Dreaming,” in 1865. He has served in the State Legislature. His sister was a iso a poet and her verses are included in the “ Wreath of Eglantine.”


Memoir of John Yates Bell.
Maid of Northumberland.

Ballads and Madrigals.
Wreath of Eglantine, and other Poems,


(From The Land We Love.)*

Fair were our nation's visions, and as grand
As ever floated out of fancy-land;

Children were we in simple faith,

But god-like children, whom nor death
Nor threat of danger drove from honor's path-

In the land where we were dreaming.

Proud were our men as pride of birth could render, As violets our women pure and tender;

And when they spoke, their voices' thrill

At evening hushed the whip-poor-will,
At morn the mocking-bird was mute and still,

In the land where we were dreaming.

And we had gr&ves that covered more of glory
Than ever taxed the lips of ancient story;

And in our dream we wove the thread

Of principles for which had bled
And suffered long our own immortal dead,

In the land where we were dreaming.

Our sleep grew troubled, and our dreams grew wild; Red meteors flashed across our heaven's field,

Crimson the moon, between the Twins

Barbed arrows flew in circling lanes
Of light, red comets tossed their fiery manes

O’er the land where we were dreaming.

A figure came among us as we slept-
At first he knelt, then slowly rose and wept;

Then gathering up a thousand spears,

He swept across the field of Mars,
Then bowed farewell, and walked among the stars,

From the land where we were dreaming.

* By permission of the author.

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