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THOSE who were students in the army, all knew that there was a power Seminary at Andover in the years in him which would insure success. 1851 and 1852, need no reminder of The two volumes of letters before Samuel Fiske. Little more than a boy us, recall most vividly his peculiar in appearance, and as ingenuous as a characteristics. Inevitably clothing child; rapid in thought, and wonder- his descriptions of scenery and incident fully ready and easy in expression; in foreign lands, or of army life in Virendowed with remarkable conversation- ginia, with a wit and humor which has al powers; warm-hearted, and always few, if any equals, yet there is often overflowing with genuine humor, which as graphic description and just esticould draw something mirthful out of mate of places or events as any writer the dryest themes, and yet was never can furnish. His letters from the army, rude, indelicate, or unkind. That was especially, while never aiming at conthe first impression upon a classmate. nected recital, are fascinating pictures But it took no long time to see the of scenes, and truthful illustrations of brilliant qualities of his mind, or his feelings, which no correspondent has rare scholarship; nor to discern that surpassed. They are, too, the exact genuine Christian experience, as sim- portraiture of the man, — a genuine ple as a child's, controlled his entire man, of wonderful fancy, cultured character, and that all his efforts for mind, true Christian experience, and good seemed spontaneous.
faithful unto death. Nominally connected with the class From the second of the works menwhich entered in 1849, he was absent tioned,—his army letters carefully gaththat year, and actually became a mem- ered and now handsomely reproduced, ber of the next succeeding, with which we propose to make some extracts, he remained two years, a universal fa- drawing also from the beautiful and vorite. We wondered, when he left to appreciative sketch by Professor W. S. become a tutor in college, how his irrepressible humor would suit the teach- 1 Mr. Dunn Browne's Experiences in Foreign er's chair; and when he was ordained a
Parts. Enlarged from the Springfield Republipastor, whether a staid people would
can. · Boston: Published by John P. Jewett
& Company. Cleveland, Ohio: H. B. P. appreciate the solid qualities underly
Jewett. ing his mirthful and inexhaustible ver- Mr. Dunn Browne's Experiences in the satility. But when he entered the Army. Boston: Nichols & Noyes. 1866.
Tyler, of Amherst College, the facts of be in heaven. He graduated in 1848, with the his life.
second appointment, — he would doubtless
have had the first but for the necessity of Samuel Fiske was born in Shelburne, Mass., July 23, 1828; son of David and working so much with his own hands, – and
at Commencement he delivered a salutatory Laura Severence Fiske, - the father a oration, as full of fun as the grave and stately deacon in the church, — both of whom 'Lingua Latina 'could carry. are still living. “ Their intelligence “ It was during the winter term of his sophoand moral worth,” says Professor Ty- more year that he became personally interested ler, “ their exemplary piety, their mod- in the salvation by Christ and began his relig
ious life; and in the summer term of the samo erate circumstances, their efforts and
year, on one of those sacred festivals, - Pentesacrifices to educate their children, are costs they have sometimes seemed, — so many known.” Of Samuel's childhood, - which have gladdened the eyes and hearts
of the officers and students of Amherst college, “I can readily believe that he was then the
he stood up with a large number of the leading same bright, lively, restless, funny, loving, and
scholars of his own and other classes, and in beloved little sprite as in after years, – the
the presence of a great congregation of young light of the homestead, the life of the school,
men, consecrated himself to the supreme love the head of all his classes, and the leader in
and service of the Triune God, — the Father, every enterprise."
the Son, and the Holy Ghost, whose name Entering Amherst College in the autumn of
and seal had been placed upon him in early in1844, as, I believe, the youngest, and, as I know, the smallest, and, as his classmates will fancy in the ordinance of baptism.” all agree, the brightest and smartest of his After graduation he was engaged for class, he took at once high rank as a scholar. two years in teaching at South Hadley, Perhaps his forte was in mathematics; but he Mass., in New Jersey, and at Shelburne excelled also in the classics and all the depart. Falls, and in 1850 he entered the semments. Easy to learn, he required less time than perhaps any of his classmates to master inary at Andover, where he remained his lessons. Indeed, quick as a lightning-flash, two years. he seemed to see things by intuition. Never- Many of his sallies are remembered, theless, he was a model of industry and econo- as well as his drawing food for mirth my both in time and money. And well he
even from the Hebrew grammar. One might be; for his time was worth saving, and
recollection must suffice. At an examhis money was all transmuted into durable riches, while many students, without half of ination of the class by the professor in his wit or any of his wisdom, rely on their theology, being questioned upon some mother wit as superseding the necessity of ex- topic, he omitted one point, to which ertion, and many a man, without a tithe of his the professor called his attention. He genius, pleads his genius as an excuse for ex
remembered, he said, that was treated, travagance, and all the vices of which extrava
but had forgotten how. “ Well, sir," gance is the fruitful mother. Dependent chiefly on his own earnings for his education, he said the professor, in his peculiar and worked in a bindery by day, and studied by genial way, suppose you were on a night. ..... I remember just where he sat western steamboat, and somebody and just how he looked when he was a Junior should ask you about that point, how under my own instruction. In my mind's eye would it do for you to answer,
that I see him now, curled up in the corner of his
Professor said something about seat, scarcely occupying more room than a kitten, playful as a kitten too, still the boy, and it, but you did not really know yet in promise the coming man of the class, his what? ” Ah,” replied he, “ nobody eye flashing with interest, his face beaming will ever catch me on a western steamwith intellectual life and joy, and his whole boat without notes of Professor - 's body vibrating and throbbing in spontaneous lectures under my arm!” The imagsympathy with his active mind, - the living impersonation of Dr. Bushnell's doctrine of inary scene was altogether too much • Play;' for with him work was play, study a
for the gravity of the professor and the pleasure, duty his delight, as it doubtless will class.
In 1852, he returned to Amherst, and wittiest of correspondents. The where he spent the next three years as
name he adopted, “ Dunn tutor.
Browne," hints at his humor. In “Still a mere freshman in apparent age and
the last letter of that book he explains size, and mistaken for such when he first came
to the honest reader as follows: upon the college-grounds, some of the fathers of
" It may be well to remark, in explanation the freshman-class were disposed to patronize that Browne is not the real family name of the the young man, and more fatherly sophomores author. He was originally Greene, and in his undertook to give him good advice touching his early years was remarkable for a certain induty to his superiors. He enjoyed the mistake genuousness and simplicity of character, which too well to correct it; and his amusement was was perhaps the occasion of his being subjected only equalled by their surprise when they dis
to so much of that peculiar experience, which covered their error by finding him in the tutor's teaches the subject of it some rather rough, chair, and themselves sitting under his instruc- but possibly salutary, lessons, scorches as it tion. About the same time a clergyman, labor
were his verdancy into a sober russet hue, in ing under the same mistake, asked him if he consequence of which experience the writer proposed to enter college. He replied that he has, in the lapse of years (without once applyhad about made up his mind to take a shorter ing to the legislature for a change), gradually course into the ministry. The clergyman pro- come to be called Browne. In short, if he had ceeded to argue the point, insisting on the su
not been born Greene, very likely he would perior value of a college education, when the
never have been Dunn Browne." tutor enlightened him by saying, “ Perhaps you do not understand my reasons for not entering
Although particularly interested in college; it is because I have already been the Experiences in the Army, we are through, and know all about it by experi- tempted to make some extracts from ence.'
the first volume. He describes his " It was during his tutorship in Amherst Col- sensations upon landing in England, lege that he was licensed by the Franklin As
thus: sociation, and began to preach the gospel. His sermons were full of thought, full of illustra- “An English inn of the good, old-fashioned. tion, suggestive and impulsive to a rare degree. sort, is just the most comfortable place in the They were also inwardly charged, nigh unto world next to your own home. Small, quiet, bursting, with wit and humor. He could not clean, with good beds, the most admirable always keep his wit and genius out of his cookery, and best of servants, giving you just prayers. His prayers were not like any other what you ask for and at any hour of day man's prayers; his sermons were not like any or night; a man who would grumble under other person's sermons. He was a manisest such circumstances ought to attend his own and marked original. At the same time it was funeral as soon as possible, and leave this beauhis sincere desire and constant study to be use- tiful world to more reasonable people. Early ful in the pulpit. He was more than an enter- Monday morning, after enjoying a nice 'muttaining, he was an instructive and impressive, ton chop,' (I never understood the full meanpreacher. Preaching as he did in very many ing of that tender, juicy, delicious word till of the pulpits of this section, and still retaining our bright, tidy, black-eyed, and rosy-cheeked his youthful appearance and small stature, he Susan, with her coquettish muslin cap and her became widely known as the boy-minister of merry laugh, having spread the table for four Hampshire and Franklin counties.”
in our own little parlor, brought them in all Wanting to see more of the world, I sallied out for a stroll, taking an umbrella, for
smoking hot, with the proper accompaniments), he set sail, in 1855, for Europe and the though the morning was bright and fair, yet I East, and spent a year, partly in study- knew by the accounts of travelers that it ing the French and German languages, always rains in England before night, and was but chiefly in traveling over the coun
determined to show the weather that I wasn't tries on and near the Mediterranean.
to be taken in by appearances.
“Everything about an English town is strange It was in chronicling the incidents of
to a Yankee; the buildings all of solid stone, this tour that he furnished the letters and gable end to the street; the tiled and to the “Springfield Republican,” which thatched roofs ; the immense walls about the made him known as one of the raciest gentlemen's residences (so that you might call
an Englishman's house not only "his castle,' a pinch, even his snuff-box serves to round a but almost his prison); the narrow and crooked period. You ought to have seen the eloquence streets; and above all the infinite variety of of one old lady's petticoat, the other day, as vehicles you see therein, of the most fantastic she was enlarging upon the advantages of an shapes, and generally four times as strong apartment, for the rent of which your humble and heavy as they need be. Then there are servant was' negotiating.
Whatever the multitudes of donkeys, in carts and in car- remarks I have had occasion to make, howriages, with huge panniers and pack-saddles, ever, have been readily understood, while driven by little ragged urchins, ridden by big of the gibberish addressed to me in return, men and women, and unmercifully beaten with I could hardly make out two words in a sticks.
sentence ; which shows very plainly who “But I was too much intoxicated with the speaks the best French. Indeed, it must freedom of the land, after being shut up so long be acknowledged by the greatest admirer of in a ship, to confine myself to the streets or Paris, that very few indeed of her inhabitants roads even, but quickly branched off into the speak French with that purity and correctness fields, wandering over hill and dale without of pronunciation which are imparted in most any regard to direction or distance, unmindful of our American schools and colleges. I find, of hedges, walls, gates, and boards full of warn- however, that they are improving every day, as ings to trespassers; picked the cunning little I can understand them much better now than flowers under my feet, patted all the donkeys a week since, when I first arrived." (four-legged ones) I met; one of whom un
At the Exhibition in Paris his feelgratefully kicked me in return (I patted him considerably harder next time); chased the ings are “ too much for him," and he sheep (who were so fat and tame they wouldn't
talks thus:make much sport); plunged by and by into a
“I didn't mind seeing a very lightly clothed village school among a hundred of the noisiest Delilah caressing a great, silly, naked Sampson little rogues I ever saw; scrambled a hundred to sleep on her lap, because the probabilities do yards down some steep cliffs and took a sea not greatly oppose such a view of the case, nor bath; took a bath of another sort before I got disturb myself very greatly at seeing a polite, up again; straying a while longer, found a
naked old gentleman of a dark brown color little one-story village, and went into a funny, (the servant of Abraham) offering necklaces black, smoky ale-house, made of stones, brick, and bracelets to a half-naked damsel of a few and mud, with thatched roof sixty years old
shades lighter complexion, whom I took to be they told me (the house may have been, for Rebecca, for it was a warm day and they were ought I know, six hundred); purchased of a
under the shade of some trees, and the artists smiling woman, as little, old, and queer as the
must have some license. But when the very house itself, four-pen'orth of bread and cheese next picture that met my eye was poor Ruth and a mug of ale; found that I was five miles out in the hot sun, gleaning among the rough from Torquay, that one of my feet was blis. wheat-sheaves, with nothing on but the abovetered, and that, after all, an ocean voyage isn't mentioned nondescript garment, and insanely the best preparative for a long walk in the hugging an armful of bearded grain against her country, so far as legs are concerned."
tender breast, it really seemed to me that as Dunn Browne's observations on
the case is now out of Boaz' reach, somebody “French talking and talking French” ought to interfere, and I have accordingly
spoken out. Mr. Artist, I appeal to you, would are well worth copying:
it not have been better, by a few strokes of “ Most people have a particular set of organs your brush, to have extended that garment up to be used in talking, called vocal organs; but to her shoulders, or at the very least, to have a Frenchman's organs are all vocal. He talks covered the poor creature's head with a with every member and muscle of his body broad-brimmed palm-leaf hat, as a matter of and every article of dress he wears. I don't mere humanity, to avoid harrowing people's think a parcel of Parisians in strait waist- feelings with the sight of so much apparent coats could understand each other. A shrug of suffering?" his shoulders is a whole sentence. A wave of “ I have seen (at Dresden) Raphael's famous the hand dispenses flowers of rhetoric. He “Madonna di San Sisto,' and, unlike most faemphasizes with his elbows and punctuates
mous and celebrated things, it surpasses all with his fingers. A flourish of his coat-tail is one's expectations. The face of the Virgin is a figure of speech. He shakes metaphors the most lovely, pure, and holy countenance I from the foldsof a pocket hand kerchief, and, at ever gazed upon, or ever dreamed of, or ever
pictured to my fancy. It is a perfect ideal of sermon I ever heard in a New England pulpit female beauty and heavenly virtue. And it is than in the best I heard (with two exceptions praise enough to say of the other figures of the in London) during a constant attendance of picture, that they are worthy of a place beside three months in England. An Englishman that loveliest creation of earthly artist. The doesn't like to be startled into any thought sweetness and innocence of the Divine Child, while sitting on the soft pew-cushions of his and in the lower part of the painting the noble old parish church." features of the pious old man (San Sisto), in
On the 3d of June, 1857, Mr. Fiske contrast with the youthful countenance of Santa
was ordained pastor of the CongregaBarbara, both upturned in rapt adoration, as also the two lovely cherubs who look admir- tional Church in Madison, Ct. ingly up from beneath, are all in harmony, and
In the course of his examination for form one simple, united whole, which produces ordination occurred an incident charan effect all gentle and soothing, elevating, de- acteristic of the man. Says Professor votional.”
Tyler :Of his experiences in Palestine and
“ An incident occurred at his examination the Crimea, especially a description for ordination, which is so characteristic that it of Sebastopol, after the siege, we re- may well be preserved as a kind of miniatureluctantly forbear extracts.
likeness of the man and the minister. One of The clearness of his conceptions is those minute' theologians, sticklers for the well illustrated in his description of straitest school of Orthodoxy, who are to be
found in every ecclesiastical council, insisted, the English University towns, in which with not a little vehemence, on a definite an
swer to the test-question, whether, in the case
of the man who had the withered hand, it was " The dinner is the great center about which
the man that healed himself, or whether it was an Englishman's thoughts and plans all re- the Lord that healed him. “Well,' replied the volve, and when he founds a college, the first candidate, “I always supposed that the man thing to be attended to, is to provide a magnifi- had a hand in it.'" cent dining saloon for its inmates; the next, a beautiful chapel, and if there happen to be any
Of his pastoral work: — funds left, why, the libraries and professor
“ The same tact and versatility are said ships, and such minor matters may come in for to have marked all his intercourse with his the crumbs, so to speak, that fall from the din- people. He was a match for any of them ner-table."
anywhere; he was at home with all of them And thus:
everywhere. He could hold a plough or
drive a team, if need be, equal to any farmer “ These Scotch are a very nice people, both in the parish. He knew how work ought to be sensible and good-natured, who make you feel done, and how business ought to be transacted, at home among them, just as the English, un
as well as any mechanic or merchant or banker; less you have a hatful of introductions, make and he made all this knowledge available in you feel that you are not at home, and several the most unpretending way in his preaching other nations I could name make you wish you and pastoral visits. If necessary, he could be were at home."
about on his own grounds and among his peoAnd thus:
ple nearly all the week, and when the Sabbath
came, like Dr. Lyman Beecher, astonish every“ Our return was by steamer to Holyhead, body with the power and richness of his serthence by rail across the wonderful tubular mons, made rich and powerful, in part, by this bridge to Bangor, then an excursion to Caenav- very means. But, when the providence or ron Castle and Snowdon, then a Sabbath the Spirit of God seemed to call for special and spent in sleepy old Chester, hearing a sleepy earnest labors, he would plead with his people old bishop preach in the sleepy old cathedral. in the pulpit and from house to house, day and It is astonishing what an amount of dull preach- night, with the eloquence of an angel from ing one hears in England. Ideas are as care- heaven; nay, as an ambassador of Christ, in fully excluded from the pulpit as if they were Christ's stead, and with the sympathizing and bomb-shells with the fuse lighted and liable to beseeching tenderness of Christ, he would pray explode at once. There is more life and energy them to be reconciled to God. And not a few, and thought and nourishment in the poorest won by these entreaties and by the winning