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Title: A Jayhawker in Europe

Author: W. Y. Morgan

Illustrator: Albert Turner Reid

Release date: July 2, 2021 [eBook #65744]

Language: English


E-text prepared by Fay Dunn, Fiona Holmes,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
from page images generously made available by
Internet Archive



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Transcriber’s Note.

Changes made are noted at the end of the book.





A Jayhawker in Europe

Jayhawker in Europe



Author of “A Journey of a Jayhawker”





Copyright 1911,

By Crane & Company


These letters were printed in the Hutchinson Daily News during the summer of 1911. There was no ulterior motive, no lofty purpose, just the reporter’s idea of telling what he saw.

They are now put in book form without revision or editing, because the writer would probably make them worse if he tried to make them better.


Hutchinson, Kansas, November 1, 1911.

To the Jayhawkers
who stay at home and take their European trips
in their minds and in the books, this
volume is respectfully dedicated
by one of the

Table of Contents

New York in the Hot Time, 1
Breaking Away, 7
On the Potsdam, 12
The Lions of the Ship, 18
Ocean Currents, 25
The Dutch Folks, 30
In Old Dordrecht, 37
The Dutchesses, 44
The Pilgrims’ Start, 50
Amsterdam, and Others, 56
Cheeses and Bulbses, 63
Historic Leyden, 72
The Dutch Capital, 80
The Dutch Company,” 88
The Great River, 96
Along the Rhine, 104
In German Towns, 112
Arriving in Paris, 120
The French Character, 127
The Latin Quarter, 135
The Boulevards of Paris, 144
Some French Ways, 154
In Dover Town, 162
Old Canterbury Today, 169
The English Strike, 178
Englishman the Great, 187
The North of Ireland, 198
Scotland and the Scotch, 211
The Land of Burns, 220
The Journey’s End. 228


The scrubbing-brush the national emblem of Holland 41
No place for a man from Kansas 74
The poet Byron building castles 100
The handsome knight she met in Elmdale Park 111
The plain Quadrille at the Moulin Rouge 148
Seeing London from the old English bus 188
Introducing a joke to our British cousins 234


A Jayhawker in Europe

New York in the Hot Time

New York, July 10, 1911.

The last day on American soil before starting on a trip to other lands should be marked with a proper spirit of seriousness, and I would certainly live up to the propriety of the occasion if it were not for two things,—the baggage and the weather. But how can a man heave a sigh of regret at departing from home, when he is chasing over Jersey City and Hoboken after a stray trunk, and the thermometer is breaking records for highness and the barometer for humidity? I have known some tolerably warm zephyrs from the south which were excitedly called “hot winds,” but they were balmy and pleasant to the touch in comparison with the New York hot wave which wilts collar, shirt and backbone into one mass. The prospect of tomorrow being [2]out on the big water with a sea breeze and a northeast course does not seem bad, even if you are leaving the Stars and Stripes and home and friends. There is nothing like hot, humid weather to destroy patriotism, love, affection, and common civility. I speak in mild terms, but I have returned from Hoboken, the station just the other side of the place whose existence is denied by the Universalists. This is the place the ship starts from, and not from New York, as it is advertised to do.

Speaking of weather reminds me that the West is far ahead of New York in the emancipation of men. The custom here is for men to wear coats regardless of the temperature, whereas in the more intelligent West a man is considered dressed up in the evening if he takes off his gallusses along with his coat. Last night we went to a “roof garden” and expected that it would be a jolly Bohemian affair, but every man sat with his coat on and perspired until he couldn’t tell whether the young ladies of the stage were kicking high or not, and worse than that, he did not care.


I have been again impressed with the fact that there are no flies in New York City. There are no screens on the windows, not even of the dining-rooms, and yet I have not seen a fly. I wish Dr. Crumbine would tell us why it is that flies swarm out in Kansas and leave without a friendly visit such a rich pasture-ground as they would find on the millions of humans on Manhattan island. If I were a fly I would leave the swatters and the hostile board of health of Kansas, and take the limited train for New York and one perpetual picnic for myself and family.

This afternoon I went to the ball game, of course. Some people would have gone to the art exhibit or the beautiful public library. But New York and Chicago were to play and Matthewson was to pitch, and the call of duty prevailed over the artistic yearnings which would have taken me elsewhere. Coming home from the game I had an idea—which is a dangerous thing to do in hot weather. There has been a good deal of talk in the newspapers about the Republicans not agreeing on a candidate, and the question as to whether Taft [4]can be reëlected or not is being vigorously debated. Put ’em all out and nominate Christy Matthewson. This would insure the electoral vote of New York, for if the Republicans put “Matty” on the ticket the election returns would be so many millions for Matthewson and perhaps a few scattering.

There were about as many errors and boneheads in the game between Chicago and New York as there would be in a Kansas State League game, and more than would come to pass in the match between the barbers and the laundrymen of Hutchinson. The players did not indulge in that brilliant repartee with the umpire which is a feature of the Kansas circuit, and the audience, while expressing its opinion of the judgments, had no such wealth of phrases as pours over the boxes from the grandstand at home. The language used could have come from the ministerial alliance, and sometimes the game seemed more like a moving-picture show than a real live game of baseball. Chicago won, 3 to 2 in ten innings, and I feel that my European trip is a decided success so far.


This morning I took a little walk down Wall street and saw the place in which the Great Red Dragon lives. These New York bankers and brokers are not so dangerous as I have been led to believe by reading some of the speeches in Congress. There was no blood around the Standard Oil building, and the office of J. Pierpont was filled with men who looked as uncomfortable and unhappy as I felt with the heat. Sometimes I think the men of Wall street, New York, are just like the men at home,—getting all they can under the rules of the game and only missing the bases when the umpire looks the other way. The few with whom I talked were really concerned about the crops and the welfare of the people of Kansas, perhaps because they have some of their money invested in our State, and I got the idea that Wall street and all it represents is interested in the prosperity of the country and knows that hard times anywhere mean corresponding trouble for some of them in New York.

New York is a growing city. In many respects it is like Hutchinson. The street pav[6]ing is full of holes and new buildings are going up in every direction. Every few months “the highest skyscraper” is erected, and now one is being constructed that will have fifty or sixty stories—it doesn’t matter which. The buildings are faced with brick or stone, but really built of iron. I saw one today on which the bricklaying had been begun at the seventh story and was proceeding in both directions. That was the interesting feature of the building to me. That and the absence of flies and the baseball game are the general results of my efforts today to see something of the greatest city in America.

We sail tomorrow morning. Then it will be ten days on the ship for us. One thing about an ocean voyage is reasonably sure: If you don’t like it you can’t get off and walk. A really attractive feature is that there is no dust and you don’t watch the clouds and wish it would rain so you will not have to water the lawn.


Breaking Away

Steamship Potsdam, July 11.

The sailing of an ocean steamer is always a scene of delightful confusion and excitement. Thousands of people throng the pier and the ship, saying goodbyes to the hundreds who are about to leave. The journey across the ocean, though no longer a matter of danger or hardship, is yet enough of an event to start the emotions and make the emoters forget everything but the watery way and the long absence.

The crowd is anxious, expectant, sad, and unrestrained. Men who rarely show personal feeling look with glistening eyes on the friends to be left behind. Women, who are always seeing disaster to their loved ones, strive with pats, caresses and fond phrases to say the consoling words or to express the terror in their hearts. The timid girl, off for a year’s study, wishes she had not been so venturesome. The father rubs his eyes and talks loudly about the baggage. The mother clings [8]to her son’s arm and whispers to him how she will pray for him every night, and hopes he will change his underclothes when the days are cool. Young folks hold hands and tell each other of the constant remembrance that they will have. Big bouquets of flowers are brought on by stewards, the trunks go sliding up the plank and into the ship, the officers strut up and down, conscious of the admiring glances of the curious, orders are shouted, sailors go about tying and untying ropes, the rich family parades on with servants and boxes, the whistle blows for the visitors to leave, and the final goodbyes and “write me” and “lock the back door” and “tell Aunt Mary” and such phrases fill the air while handkerchiefs alternately wipe and wave.

Slowly the big boat backs into the stream amid a fog of cheers and sobs, then goes ahead down the harbor, past the pier still alive with fluttering handkerchiefs, the voices no longer to be heard, and the passengers feel that sinking of the heart that comes from the knowledge of the separation by time and distance coming to them for weeks and months, perhaps forever. Sorrowfully they strain for [9]a last look at the crowd, now too far away to distinguish the wanted face, and then they turn around, look at their watches, and wonder how long it will be before lunch. Of course the Dutch band played the Star-Spangled Banner as the boat trembled and started; of course the last passenger arrived just a minute late and was prevented from making an effort to jump the twenty feet of water which then separated the ship from the pier. Of course the boys sold American flags and souvenir post cards. Of course the tourists wondered if they would be seasick and their friends rather hoped they would be, though they did not say so. The steamboats whistled salutes, and the band changed its tune to a Dutch version of “The Girl I Left Behind Me,” and with flags flying the Potsdam moved past the big skyscrapers, past the Battery, alongside the Statue of Liberty, and out toward the Atlantic like a swan in Riverside Park. The voyage has begun. The traveler has to look after his baggage, which is miraculously on board, find his deck chairs and his dining-room seats, and between times rush out occasionally to get one more glimpse [10]of the New Jersey coast, which is never very pretty except when you are homeward bound, when even Oklahoma would look good.

This boat, the Potsdam, of the Holland-American line, is not one of the big and magnificent floating hotels which take travelers across the Atlantic so rapidly that they do not get acquainted with each other and in such style that they think they are at a summer resort. But it is a good-sized, easy-sailing, slow-going ship that will take about ten days across and has every comfort which the Dutch can think of, and they are long on having things comfortable. It has a reputation for steadiness and good meals which makes it popular with people who have traveled the Atlantic and who enjoy the ocean voyage as the best part of a trip abroad. It lands at Rotterdam, one of the best ports of Europe and right in the center of the most interesting part of the Old World.

The pilot left us at Sandy Hook, and now the Potsdam is sailing right out into the big [11]water. A cool breeze has taken the place of the hot air of New York. The ocean is smooth; there is neither roll nor heave to the ship. Everybody is congratulating himself that this is to be a smooth voyage. A substantial luncheon is still staying where it belongs, and we are looking over the other passengers and being looked over by them. There is no chance to get off and go back if we wanted to do so. And we don’t want to—not yet.


On the Potsdam

Steamship Potsdam, July 14.

The daily life on shipboard might be considered monotonous if one were being paid for it, but under the present circumstances and surroundings the time goes rapidly. Everybody has noticed that the things he is obliged to do are dull and uninteresting. Any ordinary American would demand about $10 a day for fastening himself in a boat and remaining there for ten days. He would get tired of the society, sick of the meals and sore on his job. But call it “fun” and he pays $10 a day for the pleasure of the ride. The Potsdam is 560 feet long, sixty-two feet wide, and seven stories high,—four above the water-line and three below. On this trip its first-class accommodations are filled, about 260 people; but the second class is not crowded, and less than a hundred steerage passengers occupy that part of the ship which often carries 2,100 people. The steerage is crowded on the trip to America, filled with men and women who [13]are leaving home and fatherland in order to do better for themselves and their children. They go back in later years, for a visit, but they do not travel in the steerage. They carry little American flags and scatter thoughts of freedom and free men in the older lands.

This is a Dutch ship and the language of the officers and crew is Dutch. While a few of them speak some English and most of them know a little, the general effect is that of getting into an entirely foreign environment. The Dutch language is a peculiar blend. It seems to be partly derived from the German, partly from the English, and partly from the Choctaw. The pronunciation is difficult because it is unlike the German, the English or the Latin tongues. An ordinary word spelled out looks like a freight train of box cars with several cabooses. As one of my Dutch fellow-passengers said when he was instructing me how to pronounce the name of the capital of Holland, “Don’t try to say it; sneeze it.” A great deal of interest is added to the smallest bits of conversation by the doubt as to whether the Dutch speaker is telling you [14]that it is dinner-time or whether he has swallowed his store teeth.

Which reminds me of a little story Ben Nusbaum told me of the Dutchman who came into the Oxford café, sat up to the counter and in proper Dutch etiquette greeted the waiter with the salutation, “Wie gehts?” Turning toward the kitchen the waiter sang out, “wheat cakes!” “Nein! nein!” shouted the Dutchman. “Nine,” said the waiter, scornfully; “you’ll be dam lucky if you get three!”

The principal occupation on board a Dutch ship is eating, and the next most important is drinking. The eats begin with a hearty breakfast from 8 to 10 o’clock. At 11 o’clock, beef soup, sandwiches and crackers. At 12:30, an elaborate luncheon. At 4 o’clock, afternoon tea, with sandwiches and fancy cakes. At 7 o’clock, a great dinner. At 9 o’clock, coffee, sandwiches, etc. Any time between these meals you can get something to eat, anything from beef to buns, and the table in the smoking-room is always loaded with cheese, sausage, ham, cakes and all the little knick-knacks [15]that tempt you to take one as you go by. And yet there is surprise that some people are seasick.

You can get anything you want to drink except water, which is scarce, and apparently only used for scrubbing and bathing. Of course the steward will find you a little water, if you are from Kansas, but he thinks you are sick, wants to add a hot-water bag, and suggests that the ship doctor might help you some.

I have spoken before of the Dutch band. It is a good one, and loves to play. The first concert is at 10 in the morning. There is orchestra music during luncheon and dinner, and band concerts afternoon and evening. I like a German band, or a Dutch band, so long as it sticks to its proper répertoire. But there never was a German band that could play “My Old Kentucky Home” and “Swanee River,” and every German band persists in doing so in honor of the Americans. I suppose this desire to do something you can’t do is not confined to Dutch musicians. I know a man who can whistle like a bird, but he in[16]sists that he is a violinist, and plays second fiddle. I know a singer with a really great voice who persists in the theory that he can recite, which he can’t. Therefore he is a great bore, and nobody thinks he can even sing. Nearly all of us are afflicted some along this line, and the Dutch band on the Potsdam is merely accenting the characteristic in brass.

Today I saw a whale. Every time I am on the ocean I see a whale. At first nobody else could see it, but soon a large number could. There was a good deal of excitement, and the passengers divided into two factions, those who saw the whale and those who didn’t and who evidently thought we didn’t. The argument lasted nearly all the morning, and would be going on yet if a ship had not appeared in the distance, and our passengers divided promptly as to whether it was a Cunarder, a French liner, or a Norwegian tramp freighter. This discussion will take our valuable time all the afternoon. Friends will become enemies, and some of those who rallied around the whale story are almost glaring at each other over the nationality of that distant vessel. I am [17]trying to keep out of this debate, as I am something of a Hero because I saw the whale. I have already told of my nautical experience on Cow creek, so while I feel I would be considered an authority, it is better to let some of the other ambitious travelers get a reputation.


The Lions of the Ship

Steamship Potsdam, July 19.

There are always "lions" on a ship, not the kind that roar and shake their manes, but those the other passengers point at and afterward recall with pride. I often speak carelessly of the time I crossed with Willie Vandergould, although he never left his room during the voyage and was probably sleeping off the effects of a long spree. Once I was a fellow-passenger with Julia Marlowe, a fact Julia never seemed to recognize. There are always a few counts and capitalists on an ocean steamer, and a ship without a lion is unfortunate. Our largest and finest specimen is Booth Tarkington, the head of the Indiana school of fiction, an author whose books have brought him fame and money, and a playwright whose dramatizations have won success. He is the tamest lion I ever crossed with. He is delightfully democratic, not a bit chesty, but rather modest, and as friendly to a traveling Jayhawker as he is to the distinguished [19]members of the company. In fact, he understands and speaks the Kansas language like a native. His ideal of life is to have a home on an island in the track of the ocean steamers so he can sit on the porch and watch the ships come and go. Not for me. It is too much like living in a Kansas town where No. 3 and No. 4 do not stop, and every day the locomotives snort and go by without even hesitating.

Tarkington is an honest man, so he says, and he tells good sea stories. His favorite true story is of Toboga Bill, a big shark which followed ships up and down the South-American coast, foraging off the scraps the cooks threw overboard. Tarkington’s friend, Captain Harvey, got to noticing that on every trip his boat was escorted by Toboga Bill, whose bald spot on top and a wart on the nose made him easily recognizable. Harvey got to feeding him regularly with the spoiled meat and vegetables, and Toboga Bill would come to the surface, flop his fin at the captain and thank him as plainly as a shark could do. After several years of this mutual acquaintance the [20]captain happened to be in a small-boat going out to his ship at a Central-American port. The boat upset, and the captain and sailors were immediately surrounded by a herd of man-eating sharks. The shore was a mile away and the captain swam that distance, the only one who escaped; and all the way he could see Toboga Bill with his fin standing up straight, keeping the other sharks from his old friend. Occasionally Toboga would give the captain a gentle shove, and finally pushed him onto the beach.

This story Tarkington admitted sounded like a fish story, but he has a motor-boat named Toboga Bill, which verifies the tale.

That reminded me of a Kansas fish story which I introduced to the audience. Everybody in Kansas knows of the herd of hornless catfish which has been bred near the Bowersock dam at Lawrence. Some years ago Mr. Bowersock, who owns the dam that furnishes power for the mill and other factories, conceived the idea that big Kaw river catfish going through the mill-race and onto the water-wheel added much to the power generated. [21]Then he read that fish are very sensitive to music. So he hired a man with an accordion to stand over the mill-race and play. The catfish came from up and down stream to hear the music, and almost inevitably drifted through the race, onto the wheel, and increased the power. The fishes’ horns used to get entangled in the wheel and injure the fish; so Mr. Bowersock, who is a kind-hearted man and very persistent, had a lot of the fish caught and dehorned, and in a year or two he had a large herd of hornless catfish. These fish not only turn out to hear the music, but they have learned to enjoy the trip through the mill-race and over the wheel, so that every Sunday or oftener whole families of catfish—and they have large families—come to Bowersock’s dam to shoot the chutes something as people go out to ride on the scenic railway. Whenever the water in the river gets low Mr. Bowersock has the band play: the catfish gather and go round and round over the wheel, furnishing power for the Bowersock mill when every other wheel on the river is idle from lack of water.

There were some skeptical folks who heard [22]my simple story and affected to disbelieve. But I assured them that it could be easily proven, and if they would go to Lawrence I would show them the Bowersock dam and the catfish. It is always a good idea to have the proofs for a fish story.

The next “lion” on board is Gov. Fook, returning from the Dutch West Indies, where he has been governing the islands and Dutch Guiana. The governor is a well-informed gentleman, and a splendid player of pinochle. The Dutch have the thrifty habit of making their colonies pay. They are not a “world power” and do not have to be experimenting with efforts to lift the white man’s burden. Their idea is that the West-Indian and the East-Indian who live under the Dutch flag shall work. The American idea is to educate and convert the heathen and pension them from labor. Our theory sounds all right, but it results in unhappy Filipinos and increased expense for Americans. The Dutch colonials pay their way whether they get an education or not.


One unfamiliar with modern steamship travel would think that the captain and his first and second officers were the important officials on board. They are not. The officers rank about as follows: 1st, the cook; 2nd, the engineer; 3rd, the barber, and after that the rest. The cook on an ocean steamer gets more pay than the captain, and is now ranked as an officer. The managing director of a big German company was accustomed on visiting any ship of their line, to first shake hands with the cook and then with the captain. When one of the officers suggested that he was not following etiquette he answered that there was no trouble getting captains and lieutenants but it was a darned hard job to find a cook. The cook has to buy, plan meals, supervise the kitchen and run it economically for the company and satisfactorily for the passengers, for over 2,000 people.

The barber is the man on the ship who knows everything for sure. Ask the captain when we will get to Rotterdam and he will qualify and trim his answer by referring to possible winds and tides, and he won’t say exactly. Ask the barber and he will tell you [24]we will get there at 10 o’clock on Friday night. He knows everything going on in the boat, from the kind of freight carried in the hold to the meaning of the colors painted on the smokestack. During this voyage I have had more numerous and interesting facts than anybody, because I have not fooled with talking to the captain or the purser or the steward, but gotten my information straight from the fountain of knowledge, the barber shop. However, this is not peculiar to ships. The same principle applies at Hutchinson and every other town.


Ocean Currents

Steamship Potsdam, July 21.

This is the eleventh day of the voyage from New York, and if the Potsdam does not have a puncture or bust a singletree she will arrive at Rotterdam late tonight. The Potsdam is a most comfortable boat, but it is in no hurry. It keeps below the Hutchinson speed limit of fifteen miles an hour. But a steamship never stops for water or oil, or to sidetrack or to wait for connections. This steady pounding of fourteen miles an hour makes an easy speed for the passenger, and the verdict of this ship’s company is that the Potsdam is a bully ship and the captain and the cook are all right.

Nearly all the way across the Atlantic we have been in the Gulf stream. I have read of this phenomenal current which originates in the Gulf of Mexico and comes up the eastern coast of the United States so warm that it affects the climate wherever it touches. [26]Then nearly opposite New England it turns and crosses the Atlantic, a river of warm water many miles wide, flowing through the ocean, which is comparatively cold. This stream is a help to the boats going in its direction, although it has the bad feature of frequent fogs caused by the condensation which comes when the warm and cold air currents meet. The Gulf stream is believed to be responsible for the green of Ireland and for the winter resorts of southern England. It goes all the way across the Atlantic and into the English Channel, with a branch off to Ireland. What causes the Gulf stream? I forget the scientific terms, but this is the way it is, according to my friend Mr. Vischer, formerly of the German navy. The water in the Gulf of Mexico is naturally warm. The motion of the earth, from west to east, and other currents coming into the gulf, crowd the warm water out and send the big wide stream into the Atlantic with a whirl which starts it in a northerly and easterly direction. The same Providence that makes the grass grow makes the course of the current, and it flows for thousands of miles, [27]gradually dissipating at the edges, but still a warm-water river until it breaks on the coast of the British Isles and into the North Sea. Perhaps Mr. Vischer would not recognize this explanation, but I have translated it into a vernacular which I can understand.

The Gulf stream reminds me of the Mediterranean. Not having much else to worry about, I have gone to worrying over the Mediterranean Sea. The ocean always flows into the sea. The current through the strait of Gibraltar is always inward. Many great rivers contribute to the blue waters of the great sea. There is no known outlet. Why does not the Mediterranean run over and fill the Sahara desert, which is considerably below the sea-level? Scientists have tried to figure this out, and the only tangible theory is that the bottom of the Mediterranean leaks badly in some places, and that the water finds its way by subterranean channels back to the ocean. What would happen if an eruption of Vesuvius should stop up the drain-pipe? Now worry.


Tonight we saw another phenomenon, the aurora borealis. It looked to me like a beautiful sunset in the north. We are sailing in the North Sea along the coast of Belgium, and the water reaches northward to the pole. The aurora borealis is another phenomenon not easily explained, but Mr. Vischer says it is probably the reflection of the sun from the ice mirror of the Arctic. And it does make you feel peculiar to see what is apparently the light of the sunset flare up toward the “Dipper” and the North Star.

Some of our passengers disembarked today at Boulogne. This was the first time the Potsdam had paused since she left New York a week ago last Tuesday. This was the stop for the passengers who go direct to Paris. The Dutch who are homeward bound and those of us who think it best to fool around a little before encountering the dangers of Paris, continue to Rotterdam. We should be spending the evening with maps and guide books preparing ourselves for the art galleries, cathedrals, canals and windmills. As a matter of fact, we are wondering what is going[29] on at home. There is a balance-wheel in the human heart that makes the ordinary citizen who is far afield or afloat turn to the thoughts of the home which he left, seeking a change.

A smoking-room story: An American in a European art gallery was heading an aggregation of family and friends for a study of art. His assurance was more pronounced than his knowledge. “See this beautiful Titian,” he said. [30]“What glorious color, and mark the beauty of the small lines. Isn’t it a jim dandy? And next to it is a Rubens by the same artist!”

The Dutch Folks

Rotterdam, Holland, July 23.

It seemed to me unnecessary, but I had to explain to some friends why I was going especially to Holland. It is the biggest little country in the world. In art it rivals Italy, in business it competes with England, historically it has had more thrills to the mile than France, and in appearance it is the oddest, queerest, and most different from our own country, of all the nations of central Europe. Holland gives you more for your money and your time than any other, and that’s why I am back here to renew the hurried acquaintance with the Dutch made a few years ago.

Landing in Rotterdam was an experiment. The guide books and the tourist authorities pass Rotterdam over with brief mention. Baedeker, the tripper’s friend, suggests that you can see Rotterdam in a half-day. That is because Rotterdam is short on picture galleries and cathedrals. It is a great, busy[31] city of a half-million people, and one of the most active commercially in the world. It is the port where the boats from the Rhine meet the ships of the sea. It is the greatest freight shipping and receiving port of northern Europe. It is the coming city of the north, because of its natural advantages in cheap freight rates. After looking it over hurriedly it seems to me to be one of the most interesting of cities. I am not going to run away from cathedrals and galleries. I am not intending to dodge when I see a beautiful landscape coming. But I have done my duty in the past and have seen the great cathedrals and the exhibitions of art. No one can come to Europe and not see these things once, for if he did he would not be able to lift up his head in the presence of other travelers. But he does not have to do them a second time. If I want to see pictures of Dutch ladies labeled “Madonna,” I will see them. If I don’t want to, I do not have to. In other words, if I go to the “tourist delights” it will be my own fault.

I would rather see the people themselves than the pictures of them. I want to observe[32] how they work, what they work for, what their prospects are, and wherein they differ from the great Americans.

Man made most of Holland. Nearly all of the country is below the level of the sea, much of it many feet below. All that keeps the tide of the North Sea from flooding the country with from ten to a hundred feet of water every day are the dikes which man has built. Behind these huge embankments lies a country as flat as the flattest prairie in Kansas. A few sandhills and an occasional little rise of ground might stick out of the water if the dikes broke, but I doubt it. This “made” land has been fertilized and built up by the silt of the rivers, added to by the labor and science of man, until it is a vast market garden. The water of the rivers is diverted in every direction into canals. There is no current to the rivers; the surface is too flat, and the fresh water is backed up twice a day by the ocean tides at the mouths. There are practically no locks and the movement of the water is hardly perceptible, except near the coast, where it responds to the[33] advance and retreat of the sea. These canals are an absolute necessity for drainage, otherwise the country would be a swamp. Then they are used as roads, and practically all the freight is carried to market cheaply in canal-boats. The canals also serve as fences. The drainage water is pumped by windmills, which are then used to furnish power for every imaginable manufacturing purpose, from sawing lumber to grinding wheat. The cheap wind-power enabled the people to clear the land of water. So you see why there are dikes, canals and windmills in Holland: because they were the only available instruments in the hand of man to beat back the sea and build a productive soil. They were not inserted in the Holland landscape for beauty or for art’s sake, but because they were necessities; and yet great artists come to Holland to paint pictures of these practical things, and when they want to add more beauty they insert Dutch cattle and wooden shoes. All of which shows that the plain everyday things around us are really picturesque; and they are, whether you look at[34] the sandhills along the Arkansas or the dunes along the North Sea.

In this little country, containing 12,500 square miles of land and water, smaller than the seventh congressional district of Kansas, live almost 6,000,000 of the busiest people on earth. Their character may be drawn from their history. They first beat the ocean out of the arena and then made the soil. They met and overcame more obstacles than any other people in getting their land. And then for several centuries they had to fight all the rest of Europe to keep from being absorbed by one or the other of the great powers. They drove out the Spaniards at a time when Spain was considered invincible. They licked England on the sea, and the Dutch Admiral Tromp sailed up and down the Channel with a broom at the mast of his ship. They drove Napoleon’s soldiers and his king out of the country. They never willingly knuckled down to anybody, and they never stayed down long when they were hit.

The Dutch have for centuries been considered the best traders in Europe. They[35] have the ports for commerce and they have the money. They own 706,000 square miles of colonies, with a population six times as large as their own. From the beginning they have been ruled by merchants and business men, rather than by kings and princes, by men who knew how to buy and sell and fight. They have been saving and thrifty, and can dig up more cash than any other bunch of inhabitants on the globe. They have sunk some money in American railroads, but they have made it back, and they always take interest. Market-gardening and manufacturing and trade have been their resources, and nothing can beat that three of a kind for piling up profits and providing a way to keep the money working.

Of course these characteristics and this environment have made the Dutch peculiar in some ways, and they are generally counted a little close or “near.” They habitually use their small coin, the value of two-fifths of an American cent, and they want and give all that is coming. They have good horses, fat stomachs, and lots of children. They are pleasant but not effusive, and they are as[36] proud of their country as are the inhabitants of any place on earth. They believe in everybody working, including the women and the dogs. Their struggle with the sea never ends, and they follow the same persistent course in every line of development. They are so clean it is a wonder they are comfortable, and they believe in eating and drinking and having a good time, just so it doesn’t cost too much. They are a great people, and here’s looking at them.


In Old Dordrecht

Dordrecht, July 23.

This is the oldest town in Holland, and once upon a time was the great commercial city. It is about fifteen miles from Rotterdam, and remember that fifteen miles is a long distance in this country. It is built upon an island; two rivers and any number of canals run around it and through it whenever the tide ebbs or flows. Good-sized ocean steamers come to its wharves, and until other cities developed deeper harbors Dordrecht was the Hutchinson of southwest Holland. And now let me explain that the people of this country do not call it Holland, but The Netherland. Originally Holland was the western part of the present Netherland. Dordrecht is in old South Holland. About nine hundred years ago the Count of Holland, who then ruled in this precinct, decided to levy a tax or a tariff on all goods shipped on this route, the main traveled road from England to the Orient. The other counts and kings and bishops[38] kicked, but after a fight the right of the Count of Holland was vindicated, and he built the city of Dordrecht as a sort of customs house. This was in 1008. For several hundred years Dordrecht prospered and was known as a great commercial city. Then Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam came forward with better harbors, and Dordrecht took a back seat. But it has always been one of the important places in The Netherland. When William of Orange took hold of the revolution against Spain, the first conference of the representatives of the Dutch states was held in Dordrecht, and it was always loyal to the cause of Dutch freedom. The best hotel and restaurant in the city today is The Orange, named for the royal house which has so long been at the head of the Dutch government. My idea of a really important statesman is one for whom hotels and cigars are named centuries after he has passed away.

This is Sunday, and I am forced to believe that the Dutch are not good churchgoers. We went to the evening service in the great cathedral. In fact, we went to the cathedral and[39] suddenly the service began without our having time to retire gracefully. So we decided to stay, and in a prominent place was a list of the prices of seats. Some cost ten cents, some five cents, and some were marked free. I handed ten cents to the lady in charge, and we took two seats in the rear, which I afterward discovered were free. The women seem to run the church much as they do at home. The Dutch hymns were not so bad, but the Dutch sermon was not interesting to me. During the closing song, we thought we would slip out quietly, but when we reached the door we found it locked. The custom is to lock the door and allow no one to enter or leave during the service, but as a special favor to Americans, who evidently did not know what they were doing, the guardian of the door unlocked it, and out we went amid general interest of the congregation.

We came from Rotterdam on a little steam-boat, which scooted along the rivers and canals like a street car. Very often the canal was built higher than the adjoining land, and it gave the peculiar feeling of boating in the air.[40] There is no waste ground. Every foot of it not occupied by a house or a chicken-yard, is pasture or under cultivation. Every farmer has a herd of those black-and-white cattle. Some of the herds are as many as six or seven cows. But every cow acted as if she were doing her full duty toward making Holland the wealthiest of nations.

The streets of Dordrecht are generally narrow, like those of all old towns. Many of the buildings are very old, and a favorite style of architecture is to have the front project several feet forward over the street. The tops of opposite buildings often almost meet. I don’t see why they do not meet and come down kerwhack, but they don’t. Imagine these quaint streets with old Dutch houses, white and blue, with red tiled roofs, and green and yellow thrown in to give them color, with angles and dormers and curious corners, the tops projecting toward one another, and you can see how interesting a Dutch street can be if it tries, as it does in Dordrecht. Of course in the outer and newer parts of the town are larger streets and more modern houses, with [41]beautiful gardens and flower beds that would baffle a painter for color, but old Dordrecht is the most interesting. Add to the street picture a canal down the middle, and you get a frequent variation. Put odd Dutch boats in the water, fill them with freight and children, and you have another. If this were not picturesque it would be grotesque to American eyes, but it is the actual development of Dutch civilization, and it is the thing you pay money for when some artist catches the inspiration which he can get here if anywhere.


Of course the streets are paved, and they are as clean as the floor of an ordinary American dwelling. Everyone knows that the Dutch are clean and that their national emblem ought to be a scrubbing-brush. They are so clean that it almost hurts. Very often there are no sidewalks, and when there are they are not level, and are generally fenced in. They belong to the abutting property, and are not to be walked on by the public. The people walk in the street, and that custom is a little hard to get used to. Before the front window of nearly every house is a mirror, so[42] fastened that those within the house can see up and down the street, observe who is coming and who is going, and where. This custom, if introduced at home, would save a good deal of neck-stretching. But at first one is overly conscious of the many eyes which are observing his walk and the many minds which are undoubtedly trying to guess just where and why and who. But this mirror custom does not bother the Dutch young folks, not much. It is also the custom for the young man and his sweetheart to parade along the street hand in hand, arm in arm, or catch-as-catch-can, if they want to,—and they want to a great deal. At first this looked like a rude demonstration of affection, but after you have observed it some, say for an hour or so, it doesn’t seem half bad,—if you were only Dutch.

Dordrecht has about 40,000 people, and all of them are on the street or at the window on Sunday. The saloons are open, but nothing is sold stronger than gin. The Dutch in a quiet, gentlemanly and ladylike way, are evidently trying to consume all the beer that can[43] be made in Holland or imported. Of course they can’t succeed, but, as the story goes, they can probably make the breweries work nights. There is really a need for a temperance organization in this country, and I should say it would have work enough to last it several thousand years.


The Dutchesses

Rotterdam, July 24.

The secret of the success of the Dutch is no secret at all. Everybody works, not excepting father, grandfather and grandmother. I suppose this habit began with the unceasing fight against the sea, the building of the dikes, the pumping out of the water, and the construction of a soil. It has continued until there is no other people more persistently industrious. They rise early and get busy. The women cook and scrub and work on the canal-boats, in the shops and in the fields. The children go to school eleven months in the year. The men are stout, quick, and work from early to late. Even the dogs work in Holland. At first it seemed rather hard to see the dogs hitched to the little carts and pulling heavy loads, sometimes a man riding on the cart. This is a serious country for the canine, and must be the place where the phrase “worked like a dog” got its start. In most places the dog is the companion and pet[45] of man, but in Holland he has to do his part in making a living, and he soon learns to draw the load, pulling hard and conscientiously on the traces. He has little time to fight and frolic, but he has the great pleasure of the rest that comes from hard labor. However, if I were a dog and were picking out a country for a location, I would stay far away from Holland. It is no uncommon sight to see a woman with a strap over her shoulders dragging a canal-boat or pulling a little wagon. In fact, the women of The Netherland have rights which they are not even asking in the United States, and no one disputes their prerogative of hard work. There are no “Suffragettes” in Holland, but a woman can do nearly anything she wants to unless it is vote, which she apparently does not care for. There are many rich Hollanders; in fact, there are few that are poor. But they do not constitute a leisure class. The wealthy Dutch gent merely works the harder and the wealthy Dutch “vrouw” scrubs and manages the household or runs the store just as she did in the earlier years of struggle.


Speaking of the Dutch women, I think they are good-looking. They are almost invariably strong and well in appearance, with good complexions, clever eyes and capable expression. They may weigh a little strong for some, but that is a matter of taste. The old Dutch peasant costumes are still worn in places, but as a rule their clothes come from the same models as those for the American women. The Dutchess has been reared to work, to manage, and to advise with her man. She is intelligent in appearance and quick in action. She is educated and companionable. What if her waist line disappears? What if she has no ankles, only feet and legs? Perhaps it will be thought that I am going too far in my investigation, but the Dutch ladies ride bicycles so generally that even a man from America can see a few things, no matter how hard he tries to look the other way and comes near getting run over.

The Queen of Holland is a woman. This is not a startling statement, for so far as I know a man has never been a queen in any country. But there is no king. Queen Wilhelmina’s[47] husband, Prince Henry, is not a king. If there is any ruling to do in Holland it is done by Wilhelmina. Henry can’t even appoint a notary public. No one pays any attention to him, and I understand Wilhelmina has given it out that what Henry says does not go with her. I am trying to investigate the status of affairs in the royal family, because I had entertained the idea that Wilhelmina was an unfortunate young queen with a bad husband. That may have been so a few years ago, but now I understand she bats poor Henry around scandalously, pays no heed to his wishes, and pointedly calls his attention about three times a day to the fact that he is nothing but a one-horse prince while she is the boss of the family and the kingdom. This pleases the Dutch immensely, for Henry is a German and the Dutch don’t like the Germans. They think the Germans are conceited and arrogant, and that Emperor William is planning to eventually annex The Netherland to Germany. So every time Wilhelmina turns down the German prince all the Dutch people think it is fine, and her popularity is immense. Henry gets a good salary, but his job would be a hard[48] one for a self-respecting American. I understand he is much dissatisfied, but he was not raised to a trade, and if Wilhelmina should stop his pay he would go hungry and thirsty, two conditions which would make life intolerable for a German prince.

Wilhelmina has a daughter, two years old, named Juliana. I suppose Henry is related to Juliana, but he gets no credit for it. Everywhere you go you see pictures of Wilhelmina and Juliana, but not of Henry. A princess is really what the Dutch want, for their monarch has actually no power, and the government is entirely managed by the representatives of the people. But a prince would likely be wild, and might want to mix into public affairs. A princess makes a better figurehead of the state. She will be satisfied with a new dress and a hand-decorated crown, and not be wanting an army and battleships as a prince might do. Wilhelmina represents to the Dutch people the ruling family of Orange, which brought them through many crises, and Juliana is another Orange. Henry is only a lemon which the Germans handed to them.


The royal family are off on a visit to Brussels, and I have not met any of them. This information I have gleaned from the hotel porters, the boat captains, the chambermaids, and the clerks who speak English. I imagine I have come nearer getting the facts than if I had sent in my card at the royal palace.


The Pilgrims’ Start

Delftshaven, July 25.

This is the town from which the Pilgrims sailed on the trip which was to make Plymouth Rock famous. Nearly a hundred of the congregation of Rev. John Robinson at Leyden came to this little suburb of Rotterdam, and embarked on the Speedwell. The night before the start was spent by the congregation in exhortation and prayer in a little church which still stands, and has the fact recorded on a big tablet. The Pilgrims went to Southampton, discovered the Speedwell was not seaworthy, and transferred to the Mayflower.

Those English Puritans who had emigrated from their own country to Holland were considered “religious cranks” even in those days when fighting and killing for religion was regarded the proper occupation of a Christian. The Puritans in England were strong in numbers, and while Queen Elizabeth had frowned[51] upon them as dissenters from the church of which she was the head, she was politician enough to restrain the persecution of them, for they were useful citizens and loved to die fighting Spaniards. But a few extremists who persisted in preaching in public places were sentenced to jail, and some of these skipped to Holland. Queen Elizabeth died and James became the King of England, and he was a pinhead. He hated non-conformists as much as Catholics. So, more of the Puritans who could not pretend to conform went to Holland, and in Leyden and Amsterdam they founded little settlements. Holland was a land of liberty, and the Puritans wanted the right to disagree, non-conform, argue and debate over disputed questions. There were several congregations of them, and they did not agree on important doctrines, such as whether John the Baptist’s hair was parted on the side or in the middle. Public debates were held and great enjoyment therefrom resulted, although there is no record of anyone having his opinion changed by the arguments, and the side whose story you are reading always overcame the other.


The Puritans did not mix much with the Dutch, and naturally grew lonesome in their exile. They conceived the plan of emigrating to the New World and there establishing the right to worship God in accord with their own conscience. Influential Puritans in England who had not been so cranky as to leave home, helped with the king, and finally they secured permission from James to settle in America and to own the land they should develop. James remarked at the time he would prefer that they go to Hell, where they belonged, but he was needing a loan from the English Puritans, so he gave the permit. The Puritans in old England also provided a good part of the money with which to fit out the expedition. At the time there was a general movement among the Puritans in England for a big migration to the New World. This was to be a sort of experiment station. At the time, James was king, and Charles, a dissolute prince, was to follow. The Puritans were sick at heart and ready to leave their native land. But soon after the Pilgrims had made their settlement in New England, the Puritans at home developed leaders who put them into[53] the fight for Old England. Then along came Cromwell, and for many years English Puritans were running the government, and the necessity for a safe place across the sea and an asylum for religious liberty disappeared so far as they were concerned, though their interest in the Colonists was maintained. The sons of these Puritans who crossed the ocean rather than go to the established church, refused to pay a tax on tea, about 150 years later, and formed a new country with a new flag. That was part of the result of the sailing of the little company from Rev. Mr. Robinson’s flock after a night spent in prayer in this town of Delftshaven, just about this time of the year in 1620.

The stay of the Puritans in Holland had no effect on the Dutch. They let the Puritans shoot their mouths any way they pleased, and the Puritan only prospers and proselytes on opposition. But the Dutch of the present day are getting good returns for that investment of long ago. There are a dozen places in Holland, here and at Amsterdam and Leyden, visited by Americans every year because they are historic spots in connection with the[54] Pilgrims. At each and every place the contribution-box is in sight, and the Dutch church or town which owns the property gets a handsome revenue. New England churches give liberally to the fixing up of the Dutch churches which can show a record of having been just once the place where some Puritan preached.

Wooden shoes have not gone out of style in Holland. They are still worn generally in the country, and by the poorer children and men in the cities. They are cheap, which is a big recommendation to the Dutch. They are warm, said to be much warmer than leather. It does not hurt them to be wet, a very desirable feature in this water-soaked country. These are all good reasons, and as soon as you get used to the clatter and the apparent awkwardness you appreciate the fact that the “klompen,” as the Dutch call them, are a reasonable style for Holland. They are not worn in the house but dropped in the entryway, and house shoes or stocking feet go within. The Dutch farmer is proud of his clogs, paints them, carves them, and scrubs them. A man with idle time, like a fisherman, will often spend months decorating a pair of[55] wooden shoes. They are considered a proper present from a young husband to his bride, and she will use them when scrubbing, which is a good part of the time. The shoes are generally made of poplar, and to the size of the foot. When the foot grows you can hollow out a little more shoe. Wooden shoes are as common here as overalls in America, and they will not grow less popular unless Holland goes dry—of which I see no indication.

The farm-houses are usually built in connection with the barns, the family living in front and the stock and feed occupying the rear. This is rather customary in cold climates, and you must remember that Holland is farther north than Quebec. The winters get very cold and the canals and rivers freeze over. Skating is the great national sport. There does not seem to be much summer sport except scrubbing. All through the summer the people dig and weed and fertilize and prepare for market. The dikes and canals must be maintained and the best made of a short season. In the winter they can live with the pretty black-and-white cattle, the sheep and the horses, and have a good time.


Amsterdam, and Others

Amsterdam, July 27

This is the largest and most important city of Holland. It has about as much commerce as Rotterdam, and is longer on history, manufactures, art, and society. It was the first large city built up on a canal system, and its 600,000 population is a proof that something can be built out of nothing. Along about 1300 and 1400 it was a small town in a swamp. When the war for independence from Spain began, in 1656, Amsterdam profited by its location on the Zuyder Zee. The Spaniards ruined most of the rival towns and put an end to the commerce of Antwerp for a while, and Amsterdam received the mechanics and merchants fleeing from the soldiers of Alva. The name means a “dam,” or dike, on the Amstel river. The swamp was reclaimed from the water by dikes and drainage canals, but even now every house in the city must have its foundation on piles. The word dam, or its inclusion in a name, means just about what[57] it does in English, provided you refer to the proper dam, not the improper damn. As nearly all of the Dutch towns are built on dam sites a great many of them are some-kind-of-a-dam. Amsterdam is built below the level of the sea, which is just beside it, and the water in the canals is pumped out by big engines and forced over the dike into the sea. If this were not done the water would come over the town site and Amsterdam would go back to swamp and not be worth a dam site.

Amsterdam is the chief money market of Holland, and one of the financial capitals of the world. It is the place an American promoter makes for when he is out after the stuff with which to make the female horse travel. A large part of its business men are Jews, and their ability and wealth have maintained the credit of Dutch interests in all parts of the globe. At a time when the Jews were being persecuted nearly everywhere they were given liberty in Holland, and much of the country’s progress is due to that fact and to the religious toleration of all kinds of sects.

The canals run along nearly all the streets,[58] and are filled with freight-boats from the country and from other cities. Thousands of these canal boats lie in the canals of Amsterdam and are the homes of the boatmen, who are the commerce carriers of Holland. Under our window is tied up a canal-boat which could carry as much freight as a dozen American box cars. The power is a sail or a pole or a man or a woman, whichever is most convenient. The boatman and his wife and ten or fifteen children, with a dog and a cat, live comfortably in one end, and we can watch them at their work and play. A dozen more such boats are lying in this block, some with steam engines and some with gasoline engines. The Standard Oil Company does a great business in Holland, and as usual is a great help to the people. It is introducing cheap power for canal-boats by means of proper engines, and in a short time will probably free the boatman and his wife from the pull-and-push system received from the good old days.

The canals are lined with big buildings, business and residence, mostly from four to six stories high, with the narrow, peaked and picturesque architecture made familiar to us[59] by the pictures. All kinds of color are used and ornamented fronts are common. Imagine a street such as I describe and you have this one that is under our hotel window and which is the universal street scene of Amsterdam. Some one called this the Venice of the North, but to my mind it is prettier than Venice, although it lacks some of the oriental architecture and smell.

Last night we went to the Rembrandt theatre to see “The Mikado,” in Dutch. Of course we could follow the music of the old-time friend, and the language made the play funnier than ever. The Dutch are not near so strong on music as are their German or French neighbors. They utilize compositions of other nations, and American airs are very common. The window of a large fine music store is playing up “Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?” A few Americans were at the big garden Krasnapolsky, listening to a really fine orchestra with an Austrian leader. We sent up a request for the American national air and it came promptly: “Whistling Rufus.” The Europeans think the cake-walk is something[60] like a national dance in our country, and whenever they try to please us they turn loose one of our rag-time melodies. They do not mind chucking the “Georgia Campmeeting” or “Rings on My Fingers and Bells on My Toes,” into a program of Wagner and Tschudi and other composers whom we are taught at home to consider sacred.

The most entertaining feature of the Amsterdam landscape that I have seen is a Dutch lady in a hobble skirt. The fashion is here all right, and it would make an American hobble appear tame and common. In the first place, the Dutch lady is not of the proper architecture, and in the second place, she still wears a lot more underskirts, or whatever they are, than are considered necessary in Paris or Hutchinson. But she does not expand the hobble. The shopping street of Amsterdam is filled with fashionably dressed Dutch ladies who look like tops, and who are worth coming a long ways to see. Far be it from me to criticize the freaks of female fashion. I never know what they are until after they are past due. But if the Dutch[61] hobble ever reaches the American side of the Atlantic it will be time for the mere men to organize.

The greatest art gallery in Europe is here, The Rijks Museum. I went to see it—once. I do not get the proper thrills from seeing a thousand pictures in thirty minutes. They make me tired. But Rembrandt’s Night Watch, or nearly anything a good Dutch artist has painted, is a real pleasure. The Dutch are recognizing their own modern art, and in that way they are going to distance the Italians. The Dutch artists are good at portraying people and common things, such as cats and dogs and ships. They are not strong in allegory or imaginative work, and you do not have to be educated up to enjoy them. And they run a little fun into their work occasionally, which would shock a Dago artist out of his temperament.

Wages are higher in Holland than elsewhere in Europe. A street car conductor gets a dollar a day. Ordinary labor is paid sixty to eighty cents a day. Farm laborer about $15[62] per month, but boards himself. A good all-around hired girl is a dollar a week. Mechanics receive from one dollar to two dollars a day. The necessaries of life are not so high as with us. Vegetables are cheaper. Tobacco is much less. Meats are about as high. Clothing is cheaper, but our people wouldn’t wear it. Beer is two cents a glass and lemonade is five cents. The ordinary workingman lives on soup, vegetables, and very little meat; gets a new suit of clothes about once in five years, and takes his family to a garden for amusement, where they get all they want for ten cents. The Dutch citizen on foot is plain, honest, a little rude, but of good heart and very accommodating. I have not met the citizens in carriages and on horseback, who make up a very small part of the procession in Holland.


Cheeses and Bulbses

Alkmaar, July 28.

Of course Holland is the greatest cheese country on earth, and Alkmaar is the biggest cheese market in Holland. Every Friday the cheesemakers of the district bring their product to the public market, and buyers, local and foreign, bargain for and purchase the cheeses. That is why we came to Alkmaar on Friday. The cheese market is certainly an interesting and novel sight. All over the big public square are piled little mounds of cheeses, shaped like large grape-fruit and colored in various shades of red and yellow. Each wholesaler has his carriers in uniform of white, and a straw hat and ribbons colored as a livery. When a sale is made, two carriers take a barrow which they carry suspended from their shoulders and with a sort of two-step and many cries to get out of the way they bring their load to the public weigh-house, where it is officially weighed. Then off the cheeses go to the store-rooms or to[64] the canal-boats which line one side of the square, waiting to take their freight to the cities or to the sea. The farmers look over each other’s cheeses as they do hogs at the Kansas State Fair, with comments of praise or criticism. There is much chaffing and chaffering between them and the buyers. In about two hours the cheeses are gone, the square is empty and the beer-houses are full. The women-folks do not take an active part in the market, but they are present and looking things over, and I suspect they had been permitted to milk the cows and make the cheese.

About $3,000,000 worth of cheese is sold annually in the Alkmaar market. The country round about, North Holland, is all small farms, with gardens and pastures and little herds of the black-and-white cattle. The cheese wholesales at about 60 cents a cheese, and in America we pay about twice that much for the same, or for the Edam, which is like it. The farmers look prosperous, drive good horses and very substantial gaily painted wagons.


Alkmaar has 18,000 population, and is therefore about the size of Hutchinson. But it is a good deal older. Back in 1573 it successfully defended itself against the Spaniards. The name means “all sea,” because the country was originally covered with water. The land is kept above the water now by pumping and pouring into canals which are higher than the farms through which they flow. This is done very systematically and by windmills. A district thus maintained is called a “polder,” something like our irrigation district, and on one of them near Alkmaar, about the size of a Kansas township, six miles square, there are 51 windmills working all the time, pumping the water. These are not little windmills like those in a Kansas pasture, but great fellows with big arms fifty feet long, and they stand out over the polder like so many giants. The picture of these mills in a most fertile garden-spot, with canal streaks here and there and boats on the canals looming up above the land, is certainly a striking one. And it shows clearly what energy can do when properly applied.


The soil is as sandy as in South Hutchinson. But dirt and fertilizer are brought from the back country and the soil is kept constantly renewed. It seems to me that with comparatively little work the sandy soil of the Arkansas valley can be made into a market garden, producing many times its present value, whenever our people take it into their heads to manufacture their own soil and apply water when needed and not just when it rains. That time will come, but probably not until a dense population forces a great increase in production.

I have another idea. Along the coast of Holland are the “sand dunes,” which are exactly like our sand hills. What we should do is to change the name from sand hills to “dunes,” brag about them and charge people for visiting them. The city of Amsterdam gets its supply of drinking-water from the dunes. This was important news to me, for it confirmed my theory as to the similarity of the dunes and the sand hills, and also suggested that somebody in Amsterdam[67] used water for drinking purposes, a fact I had not noticed while there.

We spent part of a day in Haarlem, where the tulips come from. The soil conditions are like those at Alkmaar, but the country is a mass of nurseries, flower gardens, and beautiful growing plants. We are out of season for tulips, but this is the time when the bulbs are being collected and dried to be shipped in all directions. Not only tulips but crocuses, hyacinths, lilies, anemones, etc., are raised for the market,—cut flowers to the cities, bulbs to all parts of the world. Just now the gardens are filled with phlox, dahlias, larkspurs, nasturtiums,—by the acre. The flowers are about the same as at home. Out of this thin, scraggly, sandy soil the gardeners of North Holland are taking money for flowers and bulbs faster than miners in gold-fields. With flowers and cheeses these Dutch catch about all kinds of people.

Haarlem is the capital of the province of North Holland, and is full of quaint houses[68] of ancient architecture. It was one of the hot towns for independence when the war with Spain began. The Spaniards besieged it, and after a seven months gallant defense, in which even the women fought as soldiers, the town surrendered under promise of clemency. The Spaniards broke their promise and put to death the entire garrison and nearly all the townspeople. This outrage so incensed the Dutch in other places that the war was fought more bitterly than before, and the crime—for such it was—really aided in the final expulsion of the Spaniards.

Along in the seventeenth century was the big boom in Haarlem. The tulip mania developed and bulbs sold for thousands of dollars. Capitalists engaged in the speculation and the trade went into big figures. Millions of dollars were spent for the bulbs, and so long as the demand and the market continued every tulip-raiser was rich. Finally the reaction came, as it always does to a boom, and everybody went broke. A bulb which sold for $5,000 one year was not worth 50 cents the next. The government added to the con[69]fusion by decreeing that all contracts for future deliveries were illegal. The usual phenomenon of a panic followed, everybody losing and nobody gaining. A hundred years later there was about the same kind of a boom in hyacinths, and the same result. It will be observed that the Dutch are not so much unlike Americans when it comes to booms, only it takes longer for them to forget and calls for more experience.

Frans Hals, a great Dutch painter, almost next to Rembrandt, was born in Haarlem, and a number of his pictures are in the city building. It was customary in those days for the mayor and city council to have a group picture painted and hung in the town hall. This was the way most of the Dutch artists got their start, for the officials were always wealthy citizens who were willing to pay more for their own pictures than for studies of nature or allegory. I wonder if the officials paid their own money or did they voucher it through the city treasury and charge it to sprinkling or street work?


Both Alkmaar and Haarlem are interesting because they are intensely Dutch. Their principal occupations, cheesemaking and flower-raising, have been their principal occupations for centuries. They had nothing to start with and had to fight for that. Now they are loaning money to the world. If the people of Kansas worked as hard as do the Dutch and were as economical and saving, in one generation they would have all the money in the world. But they wouldn’t have much fun.

The American way of economizing may be illustrated by a story. Once upon a time in a certain town—which I want to say was not in Kansas, for I have no desire to be summoned before the attorney-general to tell all about it—a man and his wife were in the habit of sending out every night and getting a quart of beer for 10 cents. They drank this before retiring, and were reasonably comfortable. Prosperity came to them, and the man bought a keg of beer. That night he drew off a quart, and as he sat in his stocking-feet he philosophized to his wife and said: “See how we are saving money. By buying a keg of[71] beer at a time this quart we are drinking costs only 6 cents. So we are saving 4 cents.” She looked at him with admiration, and replied: [72]“How fine! Let’s have another quart and save 4 cents more.”

Historic Leyden

Leyden, July 31.

We came to Leyden to spend the night, and have stayed three days. This was partly because it is necessary to sometimes rest your neck and feet, and partly because the Hotel Levedag is one of those delightful places where the beds are soft, the eats good and the help around the hotel does its best to make you comfortable. Leyden itself is worth while, but ordinarily it would be disposed of in two walks and a carriage-ride. It is a college town, and this is vacation; so everybody in the place has had the time to wait on wandering Americans and make the process of extracting their money as sweet and as long drawn out as possible.

Leyden is a good deal like Lawrence, Kansas. It is full of historic spots, and is very quiet in the summer-time. In Leyden they refer to the siege by the Spaniards in 1573 just as the Lawrence people speak of the[73] Quantrill raid. The Dutch were in their war for independence, and the Duke of Alva’s army besieged Leyden. They began in October, and as the town was well fortified it resisted bravely. Early in the year the neighboring town of Haarlem had surrendered and the Spaniards had tied the citizens back to back and chucked them into the river. The Leydenites preferred to die fighting rather than surrender and die. They had just about come to starvation in March of the next year, when they decided to break down the dikes and let the sea take the country. The sea brought in a relief fleet sent by William the Silent, Prince of Orange, and the Spaniards retreated before the water. Then the wind changed, drove back the waves, and William fixed the dikes. This siege of Leyden was really one of the great events in history, and the story goes that out of gratitude to the people of the town William offered to exempt them from taxes for a term of years or to establish a University in their city. Leyden took the University, which is hard to believe of the Dutch, unless they were farseeing enough to know that the students would be[74] a never-ending source of income and that the taxes would come back. The university thus established by William of Orange in 1575 has been one of the best of the educational institutions in Europe, and has produced many great scholars. It now has 1700 students and a strong faculty. Some of the boys must be making up flunks by attending summer school, for last night at an hour when all good Dutchmen should be in bed, the sweet strains came through the odor of the canal, same old tune but Dutch words: “I don’t care what becomes of me, while I am singing this sweet melody, yip de yaddy aye yea, aye yea, yip-de yaddy, aye yea.”


The river Rhine filters through Leyden and to the sea. It never would get there, for Leyden is several feet below the sea-level, but by the use of big locks the Dutch raise the river to the proper height and pour it in. These are the dikes the Dutch opened to drive out the Spaniards. It is so easy I wonder they did not do it earlier. At any rate, the Spaniards never got much of a hold in this part of Holland again. The sand[75]hills along the beach make an ideal bathing-place. I took a canal-boat and in three hours time covered the six miles from Leyden to Katryk. The Dutch ladies and gentlemen were playing in the water and on the sand, and it was no place for a man from Kansas. I have no criticism of these big bathing-beaches and we have some in our own fair land where the scenery is just as startling. But the Dutch ladies consider a skirt which does not touch the ground the same as immodest. And no Dutch gentleman will appear in public without his vest as well as his coat. On the beach the reaction is great, so great that I don’t blame the Spaniards for running away.

It was in Leyden that the congregation of Puritans resided which sent the delegation of Pilgrim Fathers across the Atlantic in 1620. In St. Peter’s church John Robinson, the pastor, lies buried, and there he is said to have preached. A tablet tells of the house across the way which occupies the site of the little church in which Robinson held forth for years. The present house was not built un[76]til 1683, but that is close enough to make it interesting. The Puritans had several congregations in Leyden, but the Robinson church is the only one that made history. When the civil war broke out in England and Cromwell was leading the cause of liberty, all of the Puritans in Leyden who had not gone to America and who could raise the fare, returned to England and disappeared from the Dutch records. They were fine people in many ways, but the Dutch did not try to get them to stay. They dearly loved to argue, and when it was necessary to promote religious freedom by punching the heads of those who did not believe as they did, the Puritans were there with the punch.

Rembrandt, the great Dutch painter, was born in Leyden, in 1606. A stable now marks the spot where he first saw the light. It is a little difficult to get up a thrill in a livery stable, but we did our best. Rembrandt’s father was a miller, and operated one of these big Dutch windmills. When Rembrandt was about 25 years old he married and moved to Amsterdam, but he did not settle down.[77] While he became popular and made a good deal of money, he was no manager and he spent like a true sport. When his wife died he went broke, and lived the last years of his life in a modest way. About 550 paintings are now known and attributed to him, together with about 250 etchings and more than a thousand drawings. His portrayals of expression and of lights and shadows are the great points of excellence in his work, but he was a master of every detail of the art. His pictures command more money than those of any other artist, and to my notion he is the greatest of all the great painters. Most of the other old fellows have left but few masterpieces, while Rembrandt never did anything but great work. The Dutch worship God, Rembrandt and William of Orange, and I never can tell which comes first with them.

There is a hill in Leyden, eighty feet high and several hundred yards around the base. It is well covered with trees, and was topped with a fort in the good old days. Unfortunately, the buildings around it—for it is in the middle of town—keep it from being seen[78] at a distance. People come from far and near to see the hill. It is as much of a novelty in this part of Holland as a Niagara would be in Kansas.

The public market is a feature in every Dutch town, as it is in most European countries. A large square is devoted to the purpose, and here the fish, the vegetables and everything from livestock to second-hand books is offered for sale. The square and the sidewalks are covered with the market displays, the farmers, the fishermen, the buyers, and the curious. There is only one small newspaper in this city of 60,000 inhabitants, but I suppose everybody hears the news at the market. It is better than a show, or an art gallery, or a cathedral, to see the dickering, hear the talk and watch the people. The housewives or their representatives are there with baskets and comments, and the men of the town have some excuse to be around. Peasant costumes, peculiar headdresses, large fat ladies, wooden shoes, and all the odd and picturesque things that you can put into a landscape surrounded by quaint[79] buildings and a canal, are mixed in confusion and yet in order. The colors which the painters put into their Holland pictures are present, and the sturdy, thrifty, trafficking Dutch people are there with the petticoats or the tobacco-smoke, which their sex calls for under such circumstances. Here in Leyden, where a house less than a hundred years old is a curiosity and where Dutch traditions are held as sacred, we have enjoyed the wonderful nature-picture of this moving market. And I might add that we have contributed greatly to the hilarity of the occasion by our own peculiar appearance and ways—peculiar from the view-point of the other fellow.


The Dutch Capital

The Hague, Aug. 2.

This is the capital of Holland and soon will be, in a way, of the civilized world. The first international peace conference was held here, followed by the establishment of an international tribunal to decide disputes between nations, and now, thanks to President Taft’s statesmanship, the nations are agreeing to arbitrate all differences, and this Hague tribunal will doubtless be the court of last resort for the world. The propriety of the selection of The Hague is not questioned. Holland is a small nation, with practically no forts or standing army or navy. It is not a factor in international politics, and its own independence and integrity are guaranteed by the various treaties between the nations. Its importance is commercial and not political, it has no alliances, and occupies a unique position among the countries of Europe. Paris or London or Berlin would not do for the location of an international tribunal, because[81] each would be subject to local influence and force, but all nations can come to The Hague, the capital of the country whose territory they have promised to protect. As the arbitration treaties increase in number the practice of referring disputes to The Hague will become almost universal, and it seems to me that this will make the beautiful Dutch city the capital of the world. Other cities will strive for commercial supremacy, but The Hague will be the center for statesmanship and government.

The Dutch have abbreviated the old name S’Gravenhage to Den Haag, and they pronounce the name of the capital just as we do the word hog. The old word meant “The Count’s Hedge” or wood, because there was a small forest here belonging to the Counts of Holland. The forest is still here, a beautiful piece of natural woods about a mile and a half long and half as wide. At the farther end of this forest is “The House in the Wood,” which is in fact a beautiful little palace built in 1645 by Princess Amalia, the widow of Prince Frederick Henry of Orange. Amalia[82] had a new idea in memorials, for the principal room of the palace, the orange room, is decorated by pictures from the brushes of pupils of Rubens, and while they portray scenes in the life of the Prince they are full of fat cherubs, scantily dressed ladies and very racy suggestion. I am told Amalia was that way, but I have no personal knowledge. All this happened nearly 300 years ago, and in any event she had a most charming palace. Several rooms are filled with gifts from the Emperors of China and Japan to Wilhelmina, and they add to the general hilarity of the memorial.

Although The Hague was the center of the Dutch government practically all the time from 1584, when the representatives of the Dutch provinces met here to form a League against Spain, it had no representation in the government until the last century. The original cities in the federation refused to admit The Hague, and it was a sort of District of Columbia until Napoleon took possession of Holland on the theory that it was formed from the deposits of dirt made by French rivers. Napoleon gave The Hague a local government,[83] which it has since retained. It has grown much in late years, and is a beautiful city with good architecture, many wide streets, fine public buildings, handsome private homes, pretty canals, and shaded avenues. It is a custom in Holland and the Dutch colonies for men of wealth to come to The Hague, put up fine houses and spend some of their money, just as the “town farmers” do in Hutchinson.

We went to see the Gevangenpoort, an ancient tower in which prisoners were confined, tortured and executed. They still keep some of the interesting machines with which justice was dealt out in the good old days. A prisoner whom the authorities desired to convict would be allowed to prove his innocence by the ordeal of fire. He was permitted to walk with bare feet on a red hot gridiron. If he was innocent the heat would not affect his naked soles, if guilty it would. But that is nothing. Our own dear old Pilgrim fathers used to take a woman charged with witchcraft and toss her into a pond. If she were a witch, the evil spirit would keep her from drowning and the Puritans would put her to death. If[84] she drowned, her innocence of the charge was proven—and they buried her in the churchyard.

The Dutch got their early ideas of prison reform from the Spaniards. There is a machine in the Gevangenpoort which dropped water onto a man’s head for hours. If he lived he was crazy. Then they had a 1611 model of a rack which would break the bones in the arms and legs and not kill the prisoner, and he could be tortured later. Pincers to pull out finger-nails, branding-irons, and stocks that kept a man or a woman standing on the toes for hours, were light punishments for petty thievery. A very popular form of punishment was to hang the prisoner by his feet, head down, and let the populace come in and enjoy the sight. Of course these old instruments are mere relics now, but just remember they were the real thing only 300 years ago, and 300 years is not long in the history of the world. We never think that it was just as long between 1311 and 1611 as it has been from 1611 to now. We confusedly jumble all the events of about 500 years into “Middle Ages,” and can’t remember which was in[85] which century. The last 300 years seem long and full of events, while the three centuries before are remembered as all of one time. I wonder if the people on earth in 2211 will look over some Gevangenpoort of ours and shudder at the savagery of 1911?

Incidentally I want to report that the people of Europe are looking on President Taft as the great man of the age—I mean the great common people are. His successful advocacy of international arbitration is hailed as the coming of an era of peace. You don’t know what that means to Europe, where nearly every man has to give years of his life to army service, where heavy taxes for forts and ships bear down on the people, and where there is always a possibility of war with a neighboring nation, which would mean great loss of life. Nearly all of this war sacrifice falls upon the people, and while they patriotically sustain their governments they hail Taft’s policy of peace as the greatest help that has come to them in countless years, the advance step that will relieve the burden that bends the back of what Mr. Bryan calls “the plain common[86] people.” No wonder these people are for Taft but of course they can’t vote for him in 1912.

The government of Holland is a sort of aristocratic republic with a monarch for ornament. There is a lower house of congress elected by popular vote, with some restrictions as to property on the right of suffrage. There is an upper house selected with still more restrictions. The upper house only can introduce bills. The lower house only can enact them into laws. The queen signs when the Dutch congress, or states-general, tells her to sign. She gets a salary of about $400,000 a year and is rich in her own right. The business men complain that she is stingy and the women say she is slouchy. Taxes are high, and in all the forms imaginable. They tax theatre tickets, bank checks, receipts, all documents, incomes and lands, and in some places the number of windows in a house. Taxes are “high” everywhere I go. I thought perhaps when I got where I could not understand the language I would no longer be bored by the man who complains about taxes. But I[87] have not yet found that place. I suppose when I quit traveling on this earthly sphere the first thing I will hear will be a kick on the cost of paving the golden streets, or a complaint that the tax on sulphur is going to kill the prosperity of the country.


“The Dutch Company.”

Arnhem, August 5th.

This is the “last chance” station in Holland. About ten miles more and we cross the line into Germany. This is also the only hilly part of Holland, and it really is a surprise to find that somewhere in this little country there are neither canals nor dikes. The river Rhine flows here with some current, and the official documents say that at Arnhem it is 35 feet above the level of the sea. Right sharp little hills, as big as those about Strong City, rise from the river bank, and are covered with woods and handsome homes. Queen Wilhelmina has her summer residence near here, and Dutch colonials, who have made their fortunes and returned to the native land, are fond of this small and elevated piece of Netherland. The Dutch make a great deal of money out of their East India colonies, one of which is Java. They are not so much interested in preparing the Javanese or the Mochans for the work of self-government as our folks are[89] the Filipinos. The Dutch theory is to treat the natives kindly but make them work as the dogs do in Holland. And the Javanese or the Javans, or whatever you call them, are too busy to get dissatisfied and plan revolutions. This question of what to do with the white man’s burden is a hard one to settle offhand. The brown people do not understand the American motives, and the Americans are probably the most detested people in the Orient. And yet the Americans are the only conquering nation which does not regard colonies as personal property and which tries to elevate the citizenship it finds. The English hold India by fear, but some day the English are going to be chased out of that part of Asia by the Indians they try to keep down. The other European nations make no bones of the fact that they own and operate their foreign possessions for what they can get out of them.

A Hollander makes a very strong American when he is caught young. On shipboard I made the acquaintance of a young man about 25 years old who had been in America nine years, and was now going to his birthplace,[90] The Hague, on business for the Chicago firm with which he is connected. I met him in The Hague this week. He wore a western cowboy hat, had a small American flag in his button-hole, and wore no vest. The stories he was telling about the United States to his Dutch friends showed that he would have made a success as a real-estate man if he had settled in western Kansas. And the manner in which he did not take off his hat when he met a doctor or a lawyer or a duke or a notary public was shocking to his family, but was sweet American patriotism to him. He was still loyal to Holland, but he would not trade his new home with its opportunities for all the comforts of canals and clean streets. “You see,” he said, “in Holland every man has to take off his hat to those above him—and there are always those above him.” Of course we have classes, in a way, in our country, but a man never has to take off his hat or pay homage to another man, and the real American, home-grown or imported, can’t get that feeling of equality out of his system. I think the Europeans must grow very tired of us Americans, our blustering ways and bragging[91] talk, but they are kind enough not to mention it so long as our money holds out.

Passenger fares on trains are cheaper in Holland than with us. But of course their railroad business is really like an interurban street-car system. Freight rates are higher than with us. The wages paid railway employés run from 60 cents a day to section hands up to $2 a day for an engineer—just about one-third to one-half our schedule. The service is good, the stations and tracks are better, every little country road-crossing is protected by a flagman or a flagwoman. Of course the canals and rivers do so much of the carrying business, and distances are so small, that comparisons are hard to make. There is no such thing in Holland as a sandwich or a piece of pie, and yet there are very successful and excellent lunch-rooms in every station. The first-and second-class passengers usually have a lunch-room with upholstered furniture, while the third-class travelers are compelled to use wooden benches or stand up, a la Americaner. The first-class railroad cars are fitted out with plush, and there are sometimes toilet[92] accommodations on the cars. The second-class cars are comfortably upholstered; the third-class have plain seats like our street cars. But remember you can go clear across Holland in a couple of hours, and do not need some of the comforts which are considered necessities in America.

The Dutch are great on fixing things comfortably and neatly. If the beautiful Cow Creek which winds its way through Hutchinson were transferred to a Dutch town it would be diked, the banks graded and covered with grass and flowers and trees. The government would do this, and would put seats along the little park, and a band-stand from which music would be heard, and swings for the children, and almost every block there would be a “garden” with tables and all the beer you could drink—if you were Dutch—for two cents. And the Government would make a nice profit out of the restaurant business and go ahead and dike another stream.

The Dutchman is a great business man. He works and saves and then he is not afraid[93] to spend—if he has a sure thing. I have seen a business man smoking a cigarette, take out of his vest pocket a pair of scissors, snip off the burning end and put the unconsumed half of a cigarette back in his case. No Dutchman is afraid to demand cheap prices while traveling at home. The average American who goes through Europe with the theory of spending his money like a sport must fill the Dutchman with disgust. You don’t impress the Hollanders that way. On the other hand, these Dutchmen will investigate and spend barrels of money on dikes, drains, railroads, buildings and large investments in all parts of the world. I suppose the almost penurious saving comes from the fight with the sea, in which everything had to be watched and worked for, while the ability to handle big affairs results from the consciousness of having wrested a lot of land from the ocean and having made good with it.

The Dutch are proverbially honest. Of course I have been over-charged some, but I have never been anywhere on either side of the Atlantic where the rule was not observed,[94] “he was a stranger and I took him in.” They hold a visitor up much more in Kansas City than in Amsterdam, and a man from Kansas who goes to New York is not even given the protection of the game laws. In fact, a stranger who does not know the language is treated much better in Europe than in America. I have often had a man walk half a block to show me the way when I could not understand his words. I say “walk a block,” but there is no such phrase in Dutch. There are no regular sized blocks, so a direction is given as “five minutes” or “two minutes, then to the right three minutes.” That is supposed to mean an average walk; but as legs differ in size and rapidity it is often confusing. I am told in the rural districts a distance is given as so many smokes, meaning the number of pipefuls of tobacco that a Dutchman would consume in going that far. But I have discovered that in Holland a pipe is a rarity. The men smoke cigars and smoke them incessantly. They are cheap. I get a good cigar, equivalent to a Tom Moore, for two cents American money. When I buy cigars I want to stay in Holland. But practically everything ex[95]cept cigars, beer and wooden shoes costs as much here as in the United States. Yes, there is one thing that costs less, and that is labor. Therefore hand-carved wood, hand-crocheted lace, hand-made shoes, tailored clothes, and houses are less expensive than with us. The more I see of a country where everything labor produces is cheap, the more I am in favor of high prices and good wages. Holland is probably the best country in Europe for a laboring man, but I don’t see how one can get ahead, unless he does without meat and wears the same suit for years, and his family economize the same way. Here in the land of cheese and butter, both articles are out of reach and the workingman uses “margarine.”

But now it is goodby to the land of the dikes, the canals, the windmills and the wooden shoes. They are all here as advertised, and they color the lives of the people as they do the landscape of the country. To the eye they are artistic and beautiful, but in practice they are common, plain necessities, and in these signs the Dutch have conquered.


The Great River

Koenigswinter, Germany, August 7.

The river Rhine is in many respects the greatest river in the world. It is greatest in commercial importance, historical interest and artistic development. It has been the line of battle in Europe for centuries, since Cæsar first crossed the stream and met the original Germans. After that time it was the frontier of the Roman empire until Rome fell, and then it became the object for which Europe fought. The Germans and the French met on the Rhine, the other “civilized countries” got in the game, and the valley was filled with feudal counts and princes who sometimes took one side and sometimes the other, whichever seemed to offer them the best pickings. The broad and deep stream was a highway of commerce, and the old champions of chivalry, with whom robbery and murder were the principal business, built castles on the hills, and whenever they saw a merchant with a rich caravan of goods, down they would swoop on[97] him, grab his valuables and kill the defenders. These adventures and wars were what the world called history, and during the Middle Ages the place where hell was continually breaking out was along this beautiful valley. The use of gunpowder finally put an end to knights in armor, and the Germans and the French struggled for the Rhine. Napoleon conquered the valley, organized it into a republic, and finally annexed it to France. The Allies conquered Napoleon and restored the Prussian king and the petty princes to their possessions. The war of 1870 between Germany and France pushed the boundary a considerable distance west, and made the Rhine valley all German, under the newly organized empire.

Most rivers begin in a small way, from springs, creeks and little streams. The Rhine is the outlet of Lake Constance, and rushes out of that inland sea a great river ready-made, and begins with a magnificent waterfall second only to Niagara. It is a wide, deep river, and as soon as it emerges from the Swiss mountains becomes the great highway through[98] Germany and Holland to the ocean. Along its banks are timber, coal and iron, great cities with factories, and fertile lands tilled to the utmost point. The freight rate is the lowest possible, and the productive value of the country is increased by the ease and cheapness with which the markets of the world are reached. Steamboats and barges go up and down in much greater numbers than do the freight trains of America’s greatest railroad. For much of its length the banks are walled, and the cities, towns and villages are almost continuous. In width the river is from 500 to 1500 feet, and it is about 550 miles long. The last 360 miles, from Manheim to the German ocean, has a channel of not less than thirty feet in depth, and in that 360 miles the fall is only 280 feet, the last hundred miles only 33 feet.

So much for the Rhine from a business viewpoint. This little town of Koenigswinter is on “the picturesque Rhine,” at the foot of the Drachenfels, the last of the big hills or mountains by which the Rhine flows in its course from Manheim to Cologne. We stopped[99] at the little city of Bonn, seat of a good university, and an old town. Beethoven was born in Bonn, and we visited the little house he selected for that event in his life. It was most interesting to see the things used by the great composer, among them the original drafts of many of his great works. Beethoven’s folks were poor, and when only a boy he played the pipe organ at the church and was in the Bonn string band. When 22 years of age he went to Vienna, where he was taken care of financially by the Austrian emperor. He never married. He and a countess fell in love with each other, but her folks did not approve of her marrying a musician. Beethoven’s father sang tenor and his grandfather had led the Bonn brass band, and Beethoven himself was giving lessons. So they could not marry, though I don’t see why the countess did not arrange it later when Beethoven became famous. But he was very deaf and probably very cranky, for he was a great musician, and perhaps the Lady Amelia backed out herself.

This is what is called the picturesque Rhine, for here the river runs through some German[100] mountains, which rise almost abruptly from the banks. The mountain-sides are cultivated as we do first-bottom land. The principal product is the grape, which gets just the proper sunlight on these mountain-sides to make its juice command more money than the wine from the back country. There are also many truck farms, small pastures, patches of alfalfa and wheat, all tilted up from the river at an angle of 45 to 90 degrees. The roads are good and white, the fields just now are green, the sky is a blue like the sky in Italy and Kansas. The little towns with their white-washed houses and red-tiled roofs cluster every mile or so along the river, and the view from the mountains or from the river is one that makes the tickle come around the heart. In this beautiful spot where nature and man have both been busy for so many hundred years we are spending a few days for rest.


Of course I climbed the Drachenfels, the mountain which looms up like a sentinel and has on its top a ruined castle with a view and a legend. Byron told of the great view, and every tourist who stops has to climb the [101]mountain. So we climbed. Mr. Byron was right this time, for the view is grand. Ordinarily I take little stock in Byron’s fits over scenery. He traveled through Europe and had thrills over some very ordinary things. Byron could take a few drinks and then reel off some verses which gave an old ruin or a tumble-down castle a reputation which it will use forever as a bait for tourists. But this time Byron was right, for the panorama of the Rhine valley, made up of the river, the hills, the sky, the shades of growing green, the white-and-red towns, and the boats as noiseless as birds, is one worth more than the twenty-five American cents it takes to make the climb on a cog-wheel railroad.

The ruined castle, which stands about 1,000 feet above the Rhine and yet so near it seems that one could throw a stone from the parapet into the river, was occupied by a line of the fiercest gentlemen that ever robbed an innocent traveler. For several hundred years no one was safe to go this way unless he paid the robber barons, who had a sort of confederacy or union, in which the Count of[102] Drachenfels was one of the main guys. The name means the dragon’s rock, and comes from the fact that a Dragon once resided in a cave near the top. The legend says that it was customary among the old heathen to feed prisoners to the Dragon, so he would look pleasant and not roar at night. Returning from a trip into the west they brought a number of captives, among them a beautiful Christian maiden. The heathen young men all wanted the girl, so the wise chief decided that she should be given to the Dragon, thus preventing a scrap among the brethren and paying special tribute to the Drag. They formed a procession and marched to the big rock where they were accustomed to lay out provisions for his nibs. The beautiful girl was bound hand and foot, covered with flowers, and then the crowd got back to see the Dragon do the rest. The Dragon came out roaring like a stuck pig, but when the girl held out a crucifix toward him he bolted, ran and jumped from the rock into the river. The best-looking young man among the heathen then rushed forward and released the lady, married her, and they lived happily ever afterward,—so[103] the legend says. And there is no reason to doubt the legend, for there is the rock, there is the river into which the Dragon leaped, and he never did come back.


Along the Rhine

Koenigswinter, August 8.

Next to riding on a Dutch canal comes a trip on the Rhine. The passenger steamers and motor-boats go up and down this part of the Rhine like street cars. Every boat is comfortably equipped with refreshment parlors and restaurants, and the waiters keep trying to please the thirsty traveler by offering him wine and beer. It is hard on a Kansan. What these Germans need is a governor and an attorney-general and a row over the joint question. Poor Germans! they do not know it, and they keep right on drinking beer and growing fat and looking happy. Aside from this unfortunate habit, which does not seem to hurt them as it ought to, the Germans are a fine lot of folks. They are immensely proud of their country, which is a trifle hard on us modest Americans. They really believe Germany can lick the world, and they have a notion that there is no nation so progressive as theirs. In some respects they are right,[105] and in many phases of business and scientific advancement the Germans lead the world.

I am inclined to attribute this to their public-school system, which is superior to ours in some respects. Without going into an extended argument on the subject, I will explain my reason for this opinion. The German system of education is very rigid for the boys and girls. The discipline in the common schools is military. The children go to school more months in the year and they are compelled to learn. There is no foolishness, no excuses from fond parents, no late parties, no indifference, no any-thing-to-get-through. The German teachers are not content with getting the children to pass, but they insist they shall know their studies. This severe training is kept up until the boy or girl goes to the university, and then discipline is relaxed and he or she can do about as they please so far as personal conduct is concerned. In America the parents and the government let the little folks do as they please outside of short school hours, and then tighten up the in high school and university. Our scheme doesn’t work well. Our grade schools[106] turn out indifferent scholars and boys and girls who have not been trained to study. Our course of study is fixed to make it easy, when every one knows that hard work is needed to develop character. If the Germans go ahead of the Americans in the next generation it will be because their school system is better than ours, because it trains the children better for the work to come. The Germans think just as much of their children as do the Americans of theirs, but they do not spoil them,—which is a great American fault and which counts against the children ever afterward.

We rode on the boat to Godesberg, and Rolandseck and Heisterbach, and Johannisberg, and Niersteiner, and all the other places which are recorded on the wine-card at a Kansas City hotel. The very names are enough to make a Kansas man file an information with the county attorney. Each town has its brand of wine, its old castles, its flourishing business, its comfortable hotels, and its legends of olden times. Most of the legends tell of the[107] triumph of True Love, but here is an exception:

An old knight whose castle at Schoenberg was an important place in the feudal system of tax collection, had seven beautiful daughters. He died; these seven girls ruled in the castle, and all they cared for was a good time. They went hunting, gave late supper parties, and were much talked about; but their beauty and the castle of their inheritance kept them popular with the men. Many knights asked them to marry, but each and every suitor was given the merry ha-ha by the maiden he sought. Knights even fought and killed each other, disputing as to the merits of the sisters, and the ladies made such funerals the scenes of great enjoyment. Finally the knights had a mass meeting, and resolved that the seven sisters be required to select husbands. When this news was conveyed to the sisters they said this was just what they wanted. They proposed that they would give a picnic, to which all the would-be husbands should be invited, and after lunch they would announce[108] the knights of their choice. The picnic day came, and it rained in the morning as it always does on picnic days. The knights came with their swords and their lunch-baskets and stood around throwing balls for the cigars and shaking for the lemonade, until the skies cleared and it was announced that the seven sisters would be in at once or as soon as they had finished dressing. Then came another hour’s wait. Suddenly a boat appeared around the bend, and in it were the Seven, all decked out with big hats and rhinestone buckles. The eldest sister stood up in the boat, screaming as it rocked, and said: “We don’t care to marry any of you country jakes. We are going to Cologne to visit a cousin, and there we propose to have a good time without being obliged to throw down some knight who wants a bride and a meal ticket every so often.” The other sisters joined in singing the old-time version of “Goodby, my lover, goodby,” and the boat sailed for Cologne. The knights cussed, and laid the blame onto each other; but suddenly a storm arose, and the boat began to bob around in the waves. The seven sisters screamed, but it did them no good.[109] The boat upset, and all on board were drowned.

This legend teaches flirtatious young ladies not to trifle with the home boys.

On the spot where the boat went under, seven pointed rocks appear above the surface of the water even up to today. I saw them, and I guess that proves the legend.

I have always believed that Kansas people make a mistake in neglecting the legend crop. For example, a good legend about Elmdale Park in Hutchinson would cause thousands of people to visit it and pay 10 cents apiece, besides buying post-cards and printed copies of the beautiful story, which might go something like this:

Once upon a time there lived in the First Ward a man and his wife who had an only daughter. They were the only father and mother she had, so honors were about even on that point. They loved this Daughter so much that when she grew up she was not taught to sew or to cook, but to play the piano and to sing “Love Me and the World is Mine.” She was very beautiful as she sat on the front[110] porch reading the latest novel, “The Soul of My Soul,” while her mother fried the beefsteak for supper. Suitors came from far and near, one of them a brakeman on the Missouri Pacific, and another an assistant chief clerk in a hash foundry. But her choice fell upon a handsome young knight she met at Elmdale Park, who wore an open-faced vest and a Brazilian diamond on his shirt front, but who had quit school in order to go to work and then forgot about it. He saw the clean home and he smelled the fried steak and thought the young lady did it all, when in fact the young lady could not boil an egg. They were married, and he at once came to live with his wife’s folks. The old Father developed an unexpected trait, and insisted that the Bridegroom should pay board, which he proudly refused to do, took his bride and went to Wichita. There he was offered a position as chamber-maid in a livery stable and the Girl found it necessary at odd times to do the laundry work for a small boarding-house. Thus they lived for nearly two years, when she borrowed a postage stamp and wrote home: “I have a Divorce and two children.” The father and [111]mother promptly sent her enough money to pay her fare, and she returned to the castle of her childhood. But she had learned a lesson. The next time she got married she did not pick up a friend in Elmdale Park, but made him show her his bank book and his receipt for dues in the Modern Woodmen. At the place in Elmdale Park where she met her first soul-mate she planted a cottonwood tree, which is there yet, and under its shade lovers now meet, remember this legend and buy post-cards which tell the story.



In German Towns

Cologne, Germany, August 9.

This is the big town of the lower Rhine country in Germany, though it has rivals which may sometime take the title away. It is also the old town, and there have been many hot times in its history. It was started in the first century of the Christian era as a colony by Aggripina, the mother of Nero, and a lot of Roman soldiers were given extra rights for settling in the new town. A couple of hundred years later a bridge was built across the Rhine, and Cologne became of commercial importance. When Christianity was extended to this section it was made the seat of a bishop and then of an archbishop. It grew rapidly and was independent in its tendencies, so when the break-up came of the old Roman empire it became a free city, and with some bossing by the archbishop the people ruled, that is, the wealthier and more important, a sort of aristocracy. Napoleon annexed Cologne to France, but when he was overthrown[113] the city was handed over to the king of Prussia, and it has been Prussian ever since. In the last hundred years Cologne has developed as the great jobbing and commercial city of this section. It is full of quaint old houses, narrow streets, medieval architecture, and has the best cathedral in Europe. Dutch and German cathedrals are generally Protestant, but the Cologne cathedral is Catholic. When the Reformation came the Lutherans especially enjoyed capturing a cathedral, tearing down the images and statues, destroying all the artistic beauty they could, and making the house of God as plain and uncomfortable as possible. On the other hand, the Catholics believed in beautifying and adorning their churches. The present-day Protestants doubtless wish their predecessors had been less zealous and that the beautiful decorations and paintings had not been defaced by whitewash. The Cologne cathedral is the finest specimen of Gothic architecture in the world. Of course it is in the shape of a cross, and is 157 yards long, 94 yards wide, 201 feet to the roof, 357 feet to the tower over the center, and the towers are 515 feet high. These figures give[114] no idea of the impressive and imposing interior; and the exterior, which is a profusion of turrets, gargoyles, cornices, galleries and other decorations, makes the visitor catch his breath as he looks at this great structure. The foundation of this cathedral was laid in 1248 and the work was completed thirty years ago; so there was no rush about the job.

Twenty-five miles below Cologne is Düsseldorf, also on the Rhine, and the place where the iron and coal development of Germany seeks its market. You know what iron and coal did for Pittsburg, and it is the same with Düsseldorf. It is the growing city of the section, and threatens to pass Cologne. As Düsseldorf is largely modern, having developed since the days of railroads and steel bridges, it has wide streets, beautiful buildings, and its architecture is of the present generation. Düsseldorf is noted for its municipal ownership, and is often called a model city. The town owns the street cars, the light system, the docks on the river, the water plant, a pawn-shop and a lot of other things, including a couple of breweries. Municipal[115] ownership comes easier in the Old World than in the New. It was formerly the custom of the government to own everything, and to lay out parks and provide utilities for the people, who were then too poor to do much themselves. So the modern European government, which is largely popular, succeeds to the power of the ancient monarchical rule, and provides the big things for the people. A strong-handed ruler who can condemn private property, and wisely put the good of the entire community above the property and welfare of individuals, does these public works much better than our own municipal governments, which have restricted powers and which have to do what the people want rather than tell the people what they ought to do. Generally speaking the public ownership of utilities is a good thing, provided the government has the power and the integrity to do the business right. Düsseldorf has a mayor and twelve salaried aldermen, a common council of 56 members, and over 5,000 city employés.

One great difference between Germans and Americans is the regard in which they hold the[116] law. Unfortunately, our new civilization has brought about a general feeling that the law is meant for the other fellows and we obey it if we have to. For that reason it is easier for a German municipality to manage business than it is for an American—and especially for a Kansan. Imagine what would happen in Hutchinson if the city owned a couple of breweries like the city of Düsseldorf. The next spring election the candidates would be running on the beer issue, and there would be all kinds of opinions. In Düsseldorf they hire expert brewers, sell the product, and the city takes a good profit. In Hutchinson the First Ward would be kicking because they didn’t like the head brewer, the Sixth Ward would demand a reduction in the price of beer, and the Third Ward would make the candidates pledge themselves to another beer garden in the south part of town, where it would be poor business. The final result would be that Mayor Vincent and Dr. Winans and the rest of the commission would be charged with favoritism and defeated for reëlection, and their successors would make beer at a loss and nobody would be satisfied. The curse of[117] American municipal affairs is this playing of politics with every petty question. The Germans take the wiser method of cutting out politics, selecting their best men for public office, giving great respect to them personally, and accepting the laws they enact. When the mayor of Düsseldorf comes out for a walk everybody he meets takes off his hat and salutes. In our country everybody the mayor meets has a kick about something, and as for taking off his hat to the mayor—the American citizen would see him in Halifax first.

A Kansas man, Clarence Price, of Pittsburg, stirred up all kinds of trouble in the German empire recently. Price has a moving-picture show, travel scenes and such, and is in Europe to get some of the best and see the local color. He thought it would be a fine thing to compliment the German army with a picture; so he had his machine at one of the forts of Berlin taking views of the drill of an artillery squad. The police saw him, and he nearly spent the night in the Hotel de Jail. It was all the American Consul and the Associated Press could do to save him, for the[118] police believed he was a French spy, and as they could not understand the Pittsburg language and Price could not talk their German, it was only with difficulty that he got word to his friends and was finally released. A German jail is not fitted up for pleasure and comfort, but to make people sorry they get there, and as the picture machine had been confiscated there was not even the consolation for the Kansas showman of being able to present to the American public the sight of German justice administered on the spot.

Everywhere in Germany the load the people are carrying is militarism. The young men of the country lose several of the best years of their life in their army service, and heavy taxes burden business and industry. The people are patriotic, and this army is necessary, for there is always the prospect of a war, and of course they want to lick the other fellow. But the newspapers are praising Taft and urging that arbitration and disarmament are practicable if the course marked out by the United States is followed. It makes an American really proud of his country and his[119] President when he hears the praise that is everywhere bestowed on both for taking the lead in the most important movement of the times. There has been a marked change in sentiment toward Americans among the educated and upper classes the last few years. The poor people always were strong for us. But the business men and the newspapers, as well as the brass collars, sneered at Americans as mere money-makers. McKinley brought the change when the United States jumped into a war with Spain to help Cuba. Dewey at Manila pounded it into their heads with language the Europeans could understand. Roosevelt’s dashing policies and his stand for peace between Japan and Russia impressed them wonderfully. And now Taft’s policy of arbitration instead of war is receiving the commendation of uppers and lowers, and they recognize the statesmanship in the treaties. To use one of Roosevelt’s favorite words, it is bully to be an American and travel in Europe, just to see how much better it is at home and to feel the respect paid to our great nation and its leaders.


Arriving in Paris

Paris, August 11.

Paris is a good deal like a circus, a three-ringed one which strains the rubber in your neck trying to see all you can before the acts change. Even the arrival is theatrical. As the train pulled into the Gare du Nord, after making the last forty-five miles in fifty-five minutes, I passed our hand baggage out through the open car window to a porter, and, going out the door myself, told him in a confident tone “voiture,” which is the foolish French word for cab. He understood, piloted us through the big station and called a little victoria with a seat for two. The driver wears a white celluloid plug hat and a red face. He drives a horse which probably fought with Napoleon. He nods assent to the name of the hotel as I mispronounce it, takes our three grips on his seat, and away we go down the street, the Lord and the cabby only knowing where. On the sidewalks are busy people talking French, walking French, and gesturing[121] French. The stores and shops are attractive, for the French shopkeeper puts his best stuff in the front window, whether he is selling hats or sausages. Big busses, with people on top as well as inside, motor cars and motor busses with horns and honks, loaded wagons drawn by heavy Norman horses, street sweepers with brooms, policemen in red-and-blue uniforms, maids in cap and gown, porters with their work shirts outside their trousers, restaurants and little cafés with tables and chairs on the sidewalk and French men sipping absinthe or cold coffee, buildings almost uniformly six stories high, built with courts in the center which are often seen through open doors, and everybody talking, gesticulating and screaming in a language you cannot understand,—that is the confusion through which we drive for two miles and for which journey the cabman takes off his hat when I pay him 35 cents, which includes a 4-cent tip for himself. The hotel porter, or chief clerk, the head waiter, the pages, the manager and several assistants meet us at the hotel door, and in response to inquiries assure us that there is a bath-room in the hotel and that they have a[122] “very nice” room. As an additional and decisive argument why we should stop there the chief clerk asserts that they have ice-water, and the entire company falls back in an ecstatic gesture which evidently means “What do you think of that?” We examine the room, agree upon a price, and then and not till then do we dismiss the cabman and proceed to get settled. We are in Paris, the dirtiest and prettiest city in the world.

Of course the first thing to do is to get out and see the sights, but of course it is not. The first thing is to get the mail and the next is to clean up. After traveling eight hours on a fast train through a country which has had no rain for two months, one really does not care for the wonderful things which the world talks about. Then comes the French dinner, which is something of an affair. A dinner in France goes like this: Soup, fish or eggs, veal, beef or mutton, and a vegetable and salad, cakes or tarts, fruit or ice. No coffee is served with the meal, but it is usually taken later and is an additional charge. Any attempt to vary this bill of fare is regarded as insane. I tried my[123] best to get string beans served with my veal course, but I couldn’t. The waiter said “Oui,” then went and called the other waiters, and I could see them looking at the crazy American. That made me persistent, and I sent for the head waiter and told him I wanted beans—and I knew they had them ready. The head waiter said “Oui” and disappeared, and soon the clerks from the office strolled by and looked in. By this time the veal was cold, and I realized that any further attempt might result in calling the police, so I gave it up. No one refused to get my beans, but each time I was told “oui,” which means “yes” and is pronounced “we,” and each time nothing further happened except the sympathizing and curious mob. Once I traveled in Europe with a friend named McGregor, who wanted his coffee served with his meal, as it is in Illinois. He was willing to pay any price and he would put in his order hours ahead of mealtime. Did he get it? Certainly not. Coffee is not served with the dinner in France, and that is all there is to it.

American travelers have won on one point—ice. Every hotel and restaurant which caters[124] to American trade advertises ice-water. No Frenchman will drink it, but in some way the managers found that ice could be procured in the summer-time, and as a special favor to Americans, at a small increase in rates, the hotels give us ice-water.

No real French hotel has a bath-room, to say nothing of a room with bath. I suppose the French, who look clean, either go to the creek or swim in the washbowl. Again the American influence is felt. First-class hotels now have bath-rooms, or a bath-room, and when it is used the charge appears on the bill, so much for a “grand bath.”

After dinner we went for a walk on the boulevards, just as every Frenchman who can, does every evening. The boulevards are the wide streets which run through the city in different directions, and were constructed at first for military purposes. In the little narrow streets of old Paris it was easy to start a revolution by merely throwing a barricade across a “rue,” prying up cobblestones for weapons and stationing a few old women on the housetops with pots of scalding water,[125] which are harder on soldiers than leaden bullets. The revolution habit got so strong in Paris that the boulevards were constructed so the soldiers could march through the city without being stopped by barricades and mobs. They are likely to be used for that purpose again sometime, but just now the boulevards are largely for parades in which French millinery and hosiery are placed on exhibition every afternoon and evening. The sidewalks are occupied by cafés, miles of them it seems to me, and for the price of a drink, from one cent up, and in substance from coffee down, a Frenchman can occupy a comfortable seat and observe the wonders of art and glimpses of nature which pass by. An American can do the same, only a real American can never put in a whole evening consuming one small cup of coffee or whatever other beverage he can call for in the French language.

So when I say we “went for a stroll,” we did so in the Parisian sense. We went for a sit, and let the promenaders do the strolling. Here and there an orchestra was playing some frivolous air, the street lights flashed from the lamp-posts, old ladies sold newspapers and[126] post-cards, and the chattering but musical French language filled the air with a suggestive touch of the bohemian accent. The later the hour the larger the crowd, until midnight came, and then the Parisians went to the dances and parties and the American visitors to the hotels.


The French Character

Paris, August 13.

It is a little hard to take Paris seriously, because Paris refuses to take herself that way. There is a cheerfulness and a playfulness about the French folks that is hard to appreciate from the calm viewpoint of an Englishman or American. Our standards are different along so many lines that comparisons are unfair without explanations; and who cares for long-winded explanations? According to all the rules that are laid down in the books of American etiquette, the people of this city should be behind the rest of the world in all the serious and necessary works of life. And yet French generals have fought and defeated larger armies with their French soldiers, French engineers have performed marvelous feats, French scientists are authority, French musicians command the highest prices, French business men do great things, the French people are wealthy, and when it comes to literature and art we in America are[128] really small potatoes. The fact seems to be that the Frenchman who promenades the boulevard and the French lady who startles the Puritan in us, are accomplishing just as much with somewhat limited resources, as we do, and we are the greatest people on earth as we admit ourselves.

The show place in Paris is the parallelogram along the Seine, consisting of the Champs-Élysées, the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries gardens, and the Louvre art gallery. This district is about three miles long and averages a quarter of a mile wide. It contains the Champs with beautiful gardens and woods intersected by wide avenues, then the Place de la Concorde, one of the most beautiful squares in the world, the Tuileries’ commodious public playgrounds, with ponds and fountains; palaces with pictures, statues and monuments historical and allegorical; and the end is in the Louvre, which is said to be the greatest collection of art in existence. There is not a chord in the human mind and heart which is not touched beautifully and effectively by some part of[129] this magnificent public place, which belongs to the people and is used by them. The more one thinks over this feature, the more he must realize that although the French do not conform to our methods they are certainly able to reach many of our best ideals, and whether they go around or cross-lots to get there depends upon the viewpoint of the critic.

The old Bourbon kings of France understood their people. While they made it hard for the common people to get a living they made it easy for them to have a good time. Whenever the public kicked on taxes, the king laid out a new park and gave a fête with free drinks and fireworks. The Bourbons would probably be reigning yet if Louis the Sixteenth and his wife, Marie Antoinette, had had any sense. Antoinette was German and did not understand the French ways, Louis was a poor politician, and when a storm came they lost their heads figuratively and then lost them actually. The republic lasted a few years and then Napoleon, who was as great a player to the grandstand as he was a general, became emperor, and only his foolish desire[130] to conquer everybody lost him his job. The Bourbons came back as kings, but they had no sense. The French people want to be fooled, and these kings couldn’t fool anybody. So there was another republic, and then Napoleon the Third came to the front on the reputation of his uncle, the great Napoleon. He worked the French people to a finish, built palaces, boulevards and playgrounds until he had everybody for him, and then got captured by the Germans, lost his reputation and throne, and France became a republic for the third time. This was in 1871, and the republic has lasted forty years, much longer than expected, but in fact the government has been wisely conducted and has understood the French character well. There is another Napoleon, by the name of Victor, who is likely to come back, and sometime when the government does an imprudent thing the people will remember the good old times of Napoleon and return to a monarchy. Victor married the daughter of the old Emperor of Belgium, and has a big campaign fund.

Of course everybody knows these facts, and I have recited them to illustrate the[131] French national character. The French are not false, but they are fickle. They like a change, a novelty, an excitement. A revolution, or a new government, appeals to their sense of enjoyment just as does a new picture, a new hat, or a new coiffure. In spite of this trait they have done great things in all the great lines of advancement and progress. Theoretically they should be failures, but in fact they are successful. They consider Paris the greatest city of the world, and the way the people of other countries come here and add to the circulating medium seems to prove they are right. They practically refuse to learn any other language, but all other countries study French. Thousands of English and American Puritans come to Paris every year, but the Frenchman who travels for pleasure is unknown. Why is it? I give it up, unless we have some French tastes along with our English standards.

The French people are the most temperate, most economical and most saving of any of the peoples of Europe—or America. With all their fun they love money, and never for[132]get the necessity of having some in their old age. Get off the Parisian boulevards, which are spoiled by visitors, and you see the French, pure and simple, though not so very pure and not at all simple. They will bargain and figure down to the “sou,” the popular coin, worth two American cents. Every French family figures on spending less than it makes, and does it. There are practically no savings banks and no one much has a bank account, but as soon as a little money is saved it is invested in government bonds or municipal or railroad bonds, which bear four per cent interest. Every family has government bonds, and this habit of investing in securities is the reason which makes France so great and strong financially. The people pile their savings into the government treasury, the only bank they know. The family, which is always small in France, must save for the daughter’s dot, or she will never be married, and for the last years of the parents’ lives. There are practically no abjectly poor people in France. It is not fashionable to be poor, and French men and French women must be fashionable.


The Place de la Concorde is a wonderful square, larger than a couple of our city blocks. In the center is an obelisk, presented by Mohammed Ali when he was viceroy of Egypt and before the bargain sale of obelisks took place. It is a block of red granite, 75 feet high and covered with hieroglyphics which tell the deeds of an Egyptian gentleman named Rameses. The obelisk is surrounded by large fountains with mermaids and Tritons and dolphins spouting water into lower basins. Around the square are statues representing the eight principal cities of France. Since the monuments were erected one of these cities, Strassburg, has been taken by the Germans. This was forty years ago, but the monument still stands, and it is draped in mourning. In any other country the statue would have been quietly removed, but the French are not built that way. They hang their wreaths around Strassburg, swear vengeance on the Germans, and have a good time.

This mourning habit is very popular in Paris. The ladies who are called upon to[134] mourn do so with proper regard for appearances. As near as I can figure it out the death of a second cousin puts all the female members of a family into deep black. A mourning-gown with a very hobble skirt, with the hoisery and millinery to match and with plumes and décolleté neck to strengthen the effect,—well, it does not detract from the human interest one naturally takes at such a time.


The Latin Quarter

Paris, August 15.

As everyone knows, the city of Paris is cut into two parts by the river Seine, which runs through it from east to west and with its curves is about seven miles in length within the town. The river is crossed by many bridges, all stone and substantial, many ornamented by statues. Little steamboats run up and down like street cars, and the banks are covered with massive stone walls. About half-way through the city are two islands, one called the Cité and the other the Isle of St. Louis. The Cité is the most ancient part of Paris, and was a town in the time of Cæsar. The coming of Christianity was marked by the erection of a church, and about the 12th century by the present cathedral Notre-Dame, one of the famous buildings in Europe, but not one of the finest cathedrals. By this time the city had spread out on the banks, and the organization of France into a kingdom with Paris as the capital was followed by[136] a removal of the royal residence and of most of the activities to the sides of the stream. On the south side developed the university, the artists’ studios, and eventually the military establishments. Big business, the large residences and industrial enterprises went to the north bank. The Latin Quarter, as the educational and artistic section is known, on the south, while equipped with large stores, palaces and public buildings, is a most interesting and quaint place, and though still Bohemian is very respectable, from a Parisian viewpoint.

The University of Paris, the original part of which was the Sorbonne, now an immense structure, has about 15,000 students. It differs from American universities in many respects. There are no recitations. The instruction is given by lectures, and a famous authority on law, or philosophy or science, can lecture to hundreds as easily as to a small class. There are no dormitories, no fraternities, no football clubs, no spring parties, no classes, no sports, no colors, no badges, none of the essential parts of American higher[137] education. Students of any age or previous training may enroll and become members of the University, go to the lectures they desire, or not go at all if they prefer. The public can attend the lectures and the University is open to women, though the proportion of women students is not large. The most efficient instruction and the greatest sources of information are open to the students—if they desire. The Sorbonne was erected in 1629 by Cardinal Richelieu, and named for Robert de Sorbonne, who started a school for the education of poor boys in theology about 1250. It has been rebuilt and enlarged until it is a vast pile 800 feet long and 300 feet wide. This building houses the schools in literature and science, the schools of law and medicine occupying buildings near by.

Although the students at the University of Paris do not have the fun in athletics and society that the students do in the University of Kansas, they have a good time in the French way. The quarter is filled with cafés, large and small, where students and artists congregate and eat, drink and make merry.[138] The back room of the café is something of a club, and discussions on art and science mingle with the perfume of tobacco and fermented grape-juice. While there is a lack of co-eds there is no scarcity of ladies, who constitute a part of the course taken by many of the students, not leading to a degree, not even to matrimony. All of this, which would be regarded with horror in Lawrence, is quite the thing in Paris and seems to work out most satisfactorily to the University authorities, for even the professors do not hesitate to mingle with their students at the evening sessions in the joints of the Latin Quarter. The men take examinations and degrees and go their way to promote the advancement of learning, while the ladies stay and aid in the instruction of the next generation of students. The original of the old college story took place in the Sorbonne. A father who had graduated many years before came for a visit with his son, who had matriculated as a student. The son had gone to the same lodging-place which his father had occupied in the years gone by. The old man was recalling his student days, looking over the familiar[139] place, noticing the changes and the old scenes. “The same old beamed ceiling, where I carved my name, and here it is,” he exclaimed with delight. “The same old view from the window. The same old furniture—” and just then the back door opened and a dashing lady appeared. “Same old girl,” he cried with rapture. The boy tried to explain that she was a friend of a friend. “Same old story,” was the happy comment, “Same old game.”

Near the Sorbonne is the Pantheon, originally built for a church, in the shape of a Greek cross, located on a hill which is the highest place on the south side of the river, and with a noble dome that can be seen for many miles. This is a new building, having been constructed in the eighteenth century. It was dedicated to Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. The revolution converted it into a memorial temple and named it the Pantheon. It has been a church a couple of times since then, but is now not used for religious purposes. It is the burying-place of great Frenchmen. Here are[140] buried Victor Hugo, Mirabeau, Rousseau, Carnot, and others distinguished in literature and statecraft. You can see the last resting-place of these great men by securing an order from the Government or by tipping the custodian: the latter way I always find the easiest and best. The Pantheon is beautifully decorated, and the interior with Corinthian columns and mural paintings is most effective. If it makes any difference to these men where they are buried they should be glad, for it is the finest memorial building in Europe.

That leads me to a rather grave subject. As a matter of fact, funerals are very important events in France. Three or four directors in black clothes and three-cornered hats march ahead, and the hearse is heavily draped. If the departed was a man of prominence there are a number of orations delivered, the crowd goes away excited over the condition of the republic, and is likely to break windows and show its feeling toward the political opponents of the deceased. When Zola was buried a hundred thousand people[141] marched in the procession, and there were a number of street fights and duels as a climax.

But the biggest thing in the Latin Quarter so far as American tourists are concerned is the Bon Marché, I suppose the largest retail general store in the world. In most ways it is like our department stores, and announces that it has made its success by reason of faithful dealings with the public and by advertising. It has been running about fifty years; the original proprietor is dead, but the business moves on smoothly. The corporation has a method of division of profits among employés who have been with the store more than ten years. It also pensions its old employés, provides lectures and amusements for its workers, and has a paternal and cöoperative side that is interesting, although the corporation is in fact controlled by a few heavy stockholders.

Somehow I had the idea that our own country was the leader in the big department store business. But the Bon Marché and others in Paris took the idea out of me. It has many clerks who speak foreign languages, and it[142] is said that a native of Timbuctoo or Arkansas could slip into the store and find some one who could speak his language.

The clerks in the Bon Marché get from $3 to $6 a week, with the exception of a few who have special qualifications. So I guess the old-age pension business is necessary. That is the ordinary wage paid store clerks in Paris.

It was at the Bon Marché that the ancient joke happened to me. I was looking at a price-mark, and, not understanding the figure, inquired in my pigeon French, “Est sees [6] auter set? [7].” The clerk answered “It is six.”

My French is a joke. From necessity I have learned enough French words to order a meal, buy a ticket and ask how much. I have found that a good bluff, plenty of signs and the throwing in of French and German words on the subject generally get about what I want. But often I fall down. The word for potatoes in French is “pommes.” I told a waiter I wanted “fried pommes,” and as the word for cold is “froid,” I got cold potatoes.


I went for a ride in the underground tube. Bought my tickets and got onto a train I knew was in the right direction. It stopped, everybody got out, and the porter insisted that I go too. I knew something was wrong, and I tackled the platform boss with good English. He couldn’t understand a word, so he waved his hands and clawed the air and talked French for a couple of minutes. Then he tried to walk off, but I hung on. I was away down below the surface of the ground and didn’t even know straight up. “Correspond” he kept saying, and I assured him I would be glad to do so if he would give me his address, but first I wanted to know where I was “at.” I knew he was swearing, but it was French swear and I didn’t mind. Finally he took me by the arm and walked me through a couple of passages and pointed to another platform. A light broke in on me, and I took the train which soon came. I learned afterward that “correspond” is French for [144]“transfer.”

The Boulevards of Paris

Paris, August 18.

The boulevards of Paris are one of the wonders of the world. Strictly speaking there are a number of broad avenues which are called boulevards, but usually “the boulevards” is a phrase which means the one long wide boulevard extending for several miles, from near the Place de la Concorde to the Place de la Bastille, built in a semi-circle on the north of the old city and on the fortifications which defended the city in the Middle Ages. Of course later walls and fortifications were built farther out, and the “grand boulevards” are through the heart of the present Paris. The boulevard—for it is one continuous highway—changes its name every few blocks, a fact that is characteristically French and somewhat confusing to the stranger. The beginning is a short distance from the Place de la Concorde at the church of the Madeleine, the fashionable church of Paris. The building is in the style of a Roman temple, and has an[145] imposing colonnade of Corinthian columns. The interior decorations are very good, and include a large fresco above the altar in which Christ, Napoleon and Pope Pius the Seventh are classified more or less together. The boulevard is called The Madeleine for about 200 yards, when the name changes to the Capucines and sticks for a couple of blocks until the grand opera house is reached. Along this short stretch are some of the wildest music halls and the greatest cafés of the world. The greatest is the Café de la Paix, where everybody who visits Paris goes for at least one drink of ginger ale or cold coffee.

The Opera is the largest theatre in the world, covering about three acres. The site alone cost $2,000,000 and the building over $7,000,000. The materials are marble and costly stone, and there are statues of Poetry, Music, Drama, Dance, with other figures, medallions and allegorical statuary until your head swims. The front of the roof is sculptured with gilded masks and with collossal groups representing Music and Poetry attended by the Muses and Goddesses of Fame. Apollo with a golden lyre and two Pegasuses[146] occupy the dome. The interior has a grand staircase of marble with a rail of onyx, and the rest of the interior is be-columned and be-frescoed to match. It is the most beautiful building in Paris, and could hardly be surpassed if the attempt were made regardless of expense. I would not try a detailed description, for it would not convey the real effect, best described by the word gorgeous.

From the Opera a street runs southerly called the Avenue de l’Opera, the great shopping street of Paris, and at another angle goes the Street de la Paix, where the most expensive jewelry stores and millinery establishments are located. The name of this street is properly pronounced de la Pay.

But the Boulevard continues, no longer the Capucines, but the Italiens. Some years ago this was the great shopping-place, and it is not bad now. As the ladies promenade past the Opera and into the Italiens, the skirts unconsciously go a little higher. The boulevard proceeds, the next section being called the Montmartre. This part interested me a great deal. On the rue Montmartre, a side street to the right, is the Y. M. C. A., and on[147] Mt. Montmartre, a little to the left, is the Moulin Rouge.

The Y. M. C. A. in Paris is one of the best things in the city, but it does not get much newspaper notoriety. It is an English-speaking organization, with convenient quarters, parlor, reception, billiard, smoking-and dining-rooms. It is one place in Paris where there is no café or bar, and it is a great help to young men from America who are in this city by reason of their business or to study or to visit the historic places. A great many use the Y. M. C. A. facilities, and a membership card from Hutchinson or any other association in the world is good for these privileges in the heart of Paris. I would recommend to every American that when he goes to Paris he make his headquarters at the Y. M. C. A., but I am not going to count on many of them doing it. The Paris atmosphere has the same effect on a Y. M. C. A. that a nice, warm August sun has on a cake of ice left on the sidewalk in Hutchinson. I am not telling what I would like to, but I setting down the facts as they appear to me. The man who goes to Paris and sticks to the Y. M. C. A. as his[148] loafing-place should have his halo ordered at once. He has a cinch.

In the other direction, on Mt. Montmartre, is the Moulin Rouge. I do not recommend it to nervous men, but it is one of the sights of this city. When I was a boy I read somewhere about a “gilded palace of sin,” and now I know what that means. The cowboys out west used to have what they called “free-and-easies,” but the Moulin Rouge is not free. I shut my eyes as the dancers loped by until a friend said the next dance would be a quadrille. I once danced quadrilles myself, and I thought there would be a breathing-place. The young people arranged themselves as if they were going to dance a Virginia Reel, and I could feel consciousness returning. The music struck up and the quadrille began. At first it went as smooth as if it were at the Country Club. Then each young lady passed the toe of her right foot over the head of her partner. Then she turned and pointed the toe of her left foot at the chandelier which hung from the ceiling. And then came the most wonderful display of things that are put in the store [149]windows at home and marked “white goods sale,” or “lingerie.”


It was dreadfully embarrassing to me, as it must have been to any other Kansas man present, but I braced myself, for I knew the worst was yet to come. I felt like getting right up on my chair and saying, “Ladies, there are gentlemen present.” But I didn’t, and I have been glad ever since, for they might not have understood English and thought I wanted a partner for the next quadrille.

Afterwards the proceedings became almost immodest.

So I do not recommend the Moulin Rouge, though I fear that this failure on my part will not detract from the rush of strangers who are visiting in Paris and who might go to the Y. M. C. A. But I will say in passing that it is no place for a man unless his wife is with him, and it is somewhat distracting even then.

Returning to the boulevard. It changes its name to the Poissoniere, and on this part is the office of the Matin, the great newspaper, which has 750,000 circulation, prints only six[150] pages, and pretends not to care for advertising. The Matin differs from most Parisian newspapers in really printing news. The general run of papers here are purely political, and put their editorials on the front page. They are very abusive, and the editor has to fight frequent duels. The fighting is done with pistols at a safe distance, and after an exchange of shots with nobody hurt, the principals rush together and clinch, but it is to kiss each other on both cheeks and rejoice that Honor has been Satisfied. I wouldn’t mind the dueling, but I positively would not kiss these Frenchmen, and so far as I can learn the society editresses do not duel.

The Matin is the paper that cleared Dreyfus after his trial and conviction a few years ago. The story is interesting. Dreyfus was made the victim of a conspiracy, and a document showing details of the French army was attributed to him as a German spy. Everybody remembers the trial and the fuss at the time. It became a contest between the Honor of the French Army and Dreyfus. The Matin took little part, but, like most of the French, sided[151] with the army. One evening at a dinner an officer of the court exhibited the original of the document which Dreyfus had been convicted of writing. Mr. Bueno-Varilla, editor of the Matin, was present, and as the paper was passed around he looked at it carelessly. That night when he reached home he remembered that a few years before this same Dreyfus had written him a letter about some engineering, and he dug up the letter. The handwriting was not at all what he had seen that evening. He rushed to the telephone and got the official who had shown the document, who promised to bring it to him in the morning. They compared the spy information and the Dreyfus letter which Bueno-Varilla had, and they were utterly unlike. Next day the Matin printed a photograph copy of the document, and appealed to anyone who knew the handwriting to advise the Matin. In a day or two a gentleman wrote and said it was the writing of a drunken bankrupt army officer, named Esterhazey, inclosing letters from the latter which proved it. Dreyfus was brought back from prison and pardoned, Esterhazey skipped the country, and the honor of the[152] French army was flyspecked. All of this because Bueno-Varilla happened to keep an old letter, and because he owned the Matin.

The boulevard next becomes the Bonne-Nouvelle, and then St. Denis and then St. Martin, and has several other names before it reaches its end in the Place de la Bastille.

This place is even more important in French history than Independence Hall in ours. The 14th of July is celebrated every year, just as we do the 4th of July as Independence Day, because on that date in 1789 the Bastille prison was destroyed by an uprising of the people which became the French Revolution. The Bastille was especially odious because political prisoners were confined there, and it only took an order from the police to send a man or woman to its dungeons. Its use for this purpose was so flagrant and so despotic that the first fury of the revolution was directed against its walls, and it was entirely destroyed, and the jailers and soldiers defending it were killed. The place is now a large square surrounded by business houses and ornamented by a statue of Liberty on a column 150 feet high. From the beginning to[153] the end of this great boulevard with the many names, are places made historic by great men and hard fights. Now it is a peaceful, broad avenue, with shops and cafés and handsome buildings, the promenade-ground for the Parisian and of tourists from all countries.


Some French Ways

Paris, August 20.

There are practically no athletic sports in France, none at all in and around Paris. In America the men put in a lot of time talking baseball, football, boating and such-like. In France the men talk only politics or gossip. There are no lodges and no clubs in France. This ought to be applauded by the women, but as a matter of fact they probably wish the men would do a little something in that line. There is a secret order or two, but they are not strong and not recognized by the orders in other countries. Frenchmen do not seem to care for athletics of any kind. The nearest approach to it is fencing, and the young Frenchman learns to use the sword so he can fight duels. The popular Hero is not a ball-player nor a prize-fighter, but a man who has invented something new or who has run off with the wife of a friend. They are venturesome and personally brave, but they can’t stand for team work. The attempt has been made to[155] introduce a mild form of football, but every man on the team wanted to be the star. I suppose if the French should organize a baseball club every one of them would insist on being pitcher. They will go up in balloons or airships with dashing recklessness and are brave enough, if that trait is not merely the absence of caution and calculation. French aviators are numerous and successful, though the fatalities are still many. They have shown themselves good fighters but not good losers. They will quarrel over a trifle and then forgive and kiss each other in a manner that makes an American seasick. They are polite in a veneer, for they will lift their hats and make goo-goo eyes at every pretty woman, and they will let an old woman stand up in a street car. They are industrious, thrifty, temperate, and cheerful. Just because they look at some things from a different viewpoint is no reason why we should criticize them, and yet they are so different from the neighbors that I can’t help mentioning a few things that are very noticeable.

The French Government has a president, whose name few people know, and a senate[156] which has little power, and therefore the main factor is the lower house. This kind of government is a mistake, for the large legislative body rushes from one extreme to another; whenever its majority changes, the cabinet resigns, and the result is inconstancy and instability. Public sentiment is the controlling factor, and it takes an acrobat to be a statesman in France. Sometimes the flippety-flop is popular in America, but on the long run he loses. In France he is succeeded by another just as good.

The French are great lovers of art, and in the Louvre they claim the largest collection of pictures in the world. They looted Italy to get them, but they have them. No living artist has a picture in the Louvre. The fellows now on earth have to hang their pictures in the Salon or the Luxembourg or some other gallery, a sort of artistic tryout, with the judging done after they are no longer able to exert any personal influence. I think modern art is as good as ancient art, or better, except that every modern picture is not art. And I may add that in the Paris Salon the pictures[157] painted by the artists of today have just as good color, better drawing and just as few clothes as the works of the old masters in the Louvre. I get along right well with the old masters until they paint Mary de Medici and Mary the mother of Christ sitting and talking together, and then I want to go outside and say a few things.

But while Paris is important in the world, politically, historically, and artistically, its great distinction nowadays is in millinery and dressmaking. The women go to Paris to shop, and the men go on account of the women. The men of Paris are about the worst dressers in the world. The women are the best. The Parisienne has the natural ability to take a hat and stick a feather in it so the effect is brilliant. She can wear a dress that costs much less than the gown of an English woman or an American woman, and she can look stylish when the other women have hard work to look decent. The American woman is second, and in a few respects, like shoes and gloves, she can beat the French; but take it all around, and the world removes its hat to[158] the French milliner. Of course the milliner is often a man, but he has to have his Parisian model or he would fail. Let M. Worth or any of the other Monsieurs who dictate styles in feminine attire go to London and he would be a second-rater at once. This is true, whether you want to believe it or not, and the doubter need only spend a few days on the Paris boulevards to be convinced.

There may be some who think that the latest development in costumes, the hobble skirt, has reached America. They are mistaken. No real French hobble skirt could go down the street of an American city without starting a riot. When one does get to the territory of the Stars and Stripes the railroads will run excursion trains. The first day or two in Paris I was nervous about this style of gown. When I saw a saucy French lady in a dress which looked as if it was put on by a glove-fitter, I felt that I ought to blush and look at the statuary. I was told by the best feminine authority with me that in order to wear one of those skirts it was necessary to discard any wearing apparel which is usually[159] beneath the female skirt. The poor, pretty things would go along the street like boys in a sack-race trying to walk, and by a slit up one side which was not buttoned for several feet from the bottom, a little motion was secured. But when the lady crossed the street, or when she climbed to the top of a bus or even stepped into a cab, it was necessary in order that she maintain appearances that there be not even a hole in her stocking above the knee. Of course I do not speak from personal observation. Far be it from me to watch a lady cross the street or climb into a vehicle. But I knew how it must be from a careless study of the environment, and my theory was confirmed by the evidence of all those who did not hide their eyes or observe the scenery. And I will add that it is extremely difficult to keep the blinders on while seeing the sights.

I only speak of these matters because they are much more in evidence in Paris than are the Statue of Liberty, or the Column of Vendôme, or any of the great places that the guide-books tell about.

The French are delightfully “natural” about many things. It is quite the proper[160] thing for a man and woman to hug and kiss each other in public. At first this startled me and I felt that perhaps they were excited. But no, it is just the proper way to manifest their feelings at the time. Just imagine how it would be if the Frenchman across the table from you put his arm around the lady next to him and she snuggled up to him and patted his cheek with her unengaged hand. I felt like getting right up and saying, “Excuse me. Am I intruding?” But I soon learned that they didn’t mind us at all. Their idea of love is to let go all holds and l-o-v-e. Their theory of matrimony is that it is an arrangement based on family position, business and prospects. No young woman can get a husband unless she has a dot, so much capital. The parents arrange the matches, and usually do so carefully and thoughtfully. The girl, who has not even been allowed to go to school with the boys, has no idea of any other arrangement; and the man, who has never thought of matrimony in another way, considers it a part of his “career.”

A man in France cannot marry without the consent of his parents until he is 25 and a[161] woman not till she is 21. This law is strictly obeyed, and there is no running off to some other state where the rule is different. I suppose French marriages arranged in this apparently cold-blooded manner by the parents turn out on the average as well as they would if they let the young people rush in and “marry for love.” But it doesn’t seem right to us, any more than our ways seem good to them. Of course a Frenchman does not insist that his “sweetheart” shall have a “dot,” so that kind of an arrangement is made by the parties themselves. All of which seems very wrong to English and Americans; and yet the French prove it is the best way by using the divorce figures, for divorce is practically unknown in France. The French woman is the business partner of her husband, and necessity makes them pull together just as they were taught to do from their youth up. She doesn’t belong to clubs any more than her husband does. She has a great deal of liberty, and in fact is often the head of the firm.


In Dover Town

Dover, England, August 22.

One of the strange things in this old world is a boundary line. You are on a railway in Germany, hearing no language but German. The train crosses the imaginary line and you hear an entirely different language, and if you try to use the words which were understood ten minutes before, the people do not understand you. They are French, and they not only speak a different language but they differ in custom, tastes and looks. It would be just like a traveler from Hutchinson to Kansas City being able to speak and understand what people said at Argentine, but on arrival at the union depot in Kansas City finding a different looking and different talking lot, who could not understand a word he said. And arriving in the Kansas City depot neither understanding nor being understood, would be something of an ordeal, especially if you were trying to change trains and make a sharp connection. It is no wonder that an ordinary[163] Kansan traveling in this European land puts in much of his time figuring out his route and a lot more doing it.

Of course it is a joy to arrive in England and be able to talk and to understand everything that is said. Two hours after we left the fish-smelly Boulogne I was quarreling in right fair English with a railroad official because a train was late. In France we would have had to stand around and look pleasant, for the official would not have known whether we were cross about the train or the reciprocity treaty. It often relieves your mind to tell a Frenchman or a German what you think of him or his country in English, but it doesn’t cause him any discomfort.

Dover is a most interesting town, with a castle, a harbor, a garrison, and a history. It is the closest English port to France, and on a clear day with good eyes and a vivid imagination you can see Calais in France, 21 miles away. Ever since William the Conqueror came over and did his conquering, the English have kept Dover fortified in such a[164] way that it would be difficult for another conqueror to follow his example. The town lies along the shore and back into a small river valley. The hills, about 300 feet high, begin at the water’s edge and go up very rapidly. The biggest hill is on the east, and rises straight up from the sea 375 feet. The face of the cliff is white, for the rock formation is chalk, and, topped with green trees and a big stone castle, makes a fine appearance from the water or from the beach. There is not only this old castle, which is a fort with a regiment of soldiers, but the cliff is mined and tunneled, and big cannon are at the opening in the earth, ready to shoot the stuffing out of any hostile fleet or army which comes this way. The only time the castle was ever captured was when Cromwell worked some strategem and got it away from the Royalists. After looking it all over I don’t see how any army could possibly capture Dover castle so long as the defenders stayed awake.

The Romans first built a fort here, and the remains of the old Roman walls are still a small part of the present fortifications. The Saxons built some, then the Normans, and after that various generations of English,—[165]so that the castle contains specimens of a lot of different styles of architecture. On the whole it is one of the most imposing castles in Europe, both by location and by construction.

This castle business is peculiar. Sometimes a little runt of a building with a tower and a high fence is famous in history and story because of a great fight, or a brilliant robber who lived there. To the tourist it is a disappointment. I suppose every one gets his idea of what a castle looks like from the reading done in his youth. When I was a boy I thought a castle must be a good deal like the court-house at Cottonwood Falls, which is 80 feet high, with a mansard roof and a jail with barred windows in the rear. Then I got a larger idea, something like the Reformatory at Hutchinson. And when I came to personally see these ancient castles I have frequently had to back up to my early theories. Now I am an expert in castles, and can talk of them without admitting to myself it is all guess-work. When we started up the Rhine from Bonn I occupied an unquestioned place as an authority, for I had been in the great castle country before. But this time my trip was reversed. To an admiring company of[166] boat acquaintances I pointed out in the distance a magnificent castle we were approaching. I started to tell the legend of the castle, when it became apparent that the structure was a cement plant. Then I was more careful, but soon located another, a really splendid castle standing off a little from the river. I would have gotten through all right if some smart aleck had not butted in with the uncalled for information that the building was a brewery. But that is what a real castle looks like, the Hutchinson Reformatory, a cement plant, or a brewery, whichever comparison comes easiest for you to understand.

Dover was one of the “Cinque Ports.” Five little towns along the coast of the channel had a sort of organization which was given recognition by the government under the early Norman kings. The towns were granted privileges and relieved from burdens of taxation in consideration of furnishing ships in time of war. The principal work of a navy at that time was to capture merchant vessels, slug the crews and keep the cargoes; so the towns prospered under the arrangement. It[167] has been only a couple of hundred years since there was a standing army or a royal navy. When the king declared war he issued a call and the lords and knights responded with their men, and the army was formed for the campaign. If any of the nobles got sore on the king, they took their troops and went home. A navy was raised in the same way, only by the towns along the coast instead of by individuals. Such an army and navy was not satisfactory, but the English parliament refused to furnish money for a standing army until after the days of good Queen Anne, about 200 years ago. Now the English army is not near as large as the armies on the continent, but the English navy is kept twice the size of any other navy in the world. Germany is the country that England suspects as a possible enemy. Germany and France are crossways right now over which shall get the most of Morocco, and England is bound to stand by France in case of trouble. Morocco isn’t worth anything to anybody, but it may cause a terrible war between the most highly civilized nations of Europe. And yet some people are opposed to arbitration because of “na[168]tional honor.” The opponents of arbitration ought to come over to these poor countries laboring under the weight of big armies and navies, and see how people are suffering because of the foolish feudal notion that the way to decide which is right is to fight it out.

We ate our lunch today in a restaurant which proudly boasts that its steps were the place where David Copperfield rested during his search for his aunt, Betsey Trotwood. Little Dorrit lived at Dover, and the men and women of Dickens land often visited or made their homes in this quaint old seaport or in its vicinity. Shut your eyes to the big cliff and its imposing fortress, forget the harbor with its ships and men of war, quit observing the narrow streets and crooked lanes which run up and down the side of the hill, and live with the people that Dickens made so real that to most of us they surely existed. That is Dover, a different Dover from the red-coated, fish-smelling, quaintly architectured place in which people are buying and selling, and a Dover which will live as long as the English language is read.


Old Canterbury Today

Canterbury, England, August 24.

This little city of 25,000 inhabitants is the ecclesiastical capital of England, and has been for over a thousand years. Some time before the year 600 Queen Bertha, wife of the Saxon king, became a Christian and built a small church in Canterbury. Then when St. Augustine came in 597 and took the king and all his army into the church at one big baptizing, the king gave him the palace and the heathen church, and they were converted into a cathedral and monastery. St. Augustine and succeeding archbishops were the heads of the church in England, and when the Normans came in 1066 they continued the rule. The first Norman archbishop began the construction of the present cathedral, and as money was plenty and labor cheap, it was built magnificently. The Archbishop of Canterbury received the title of Primate of All England, and he wears it to this day. The English Church is a government institution,[170] the archbishop is a member of the House of Lords, and the position is easily the greatest in the Protestant world.

The murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket, in 1170, was the greatest thing that ever happened for Canterbury. He was in a controversy with King Henry, and made life so uncomfortable for the king that Henry remarked to some of his followers that if he had a few real friends there would be no Thomas Becket to worry him. Henry was probably drunk when he made this talk, although it doubtless was an expression of his real feelings. Four of his knights took him at his word, hiked to Canterbury, and killed the archbishop right in the cathedral. The murder was a shock to Christendom. The dead archbishop was canonized as a saint, and the people generally refused to believe Henry’s statement that he didn’t mean what he said. Everything went wrong with Henry, and the sacrilegious act was held responsible. Two years later the king went to Canterbury and took a whipping on his bare back as a penance for his remarks, and for years pilgrims came to Canterbury, miracles were re[171]ported wrought by the relics, and the cathedral and Canterbury got rich from the pilgrim business and the valuable gifts showered upon the shrine of St. Thomas.

It is customary to consider Thomas Becket a martyr to the cause of liberty and to indulge in great eulogy of him as a saint. But he was really a plain man like the rest of us. His trouble with the king came because Henry wanted to recognize some other bishops, and Thomas, who was proud and stubborn, claimed that he alone had the power. It was really a conflict of authority between the church and the state, and a good deal to be said on both sides. Thomas abused the king viciously and had several bishops excommunicated because they agreed with Henry. He also threatened the king, and the disagreement was all over jobs and money. Those were tough times, and the usual way to get rid of an enemy was to kill him if you could. Unfortunately for Henry, his self-appointed friends did a bungling job, Thomas became a saint, and the king had to concede to the church all the privileges that had been[172] claimed. Three hundred years later King Henry the Eighth, in order to secure a divorce and a new queen, overthrew the authority of the church, made himself the head of it, and incidentally sent to Canterbury, took all the valuables that had been placed on the shrine of St. Thomas, and put them in the national treasury, that is, his own pocket.

But during that 300 years the supremacy of Canterbury as the religious head of the nation became fixed. The archbishops generally had to go into politics, many of them achieved greatness, and some were executed publicly. The cathedral was added to, “restored,” improved, and is now one of the very finest cathedrals in Europe. To an Englishman or an American it is more interesting than any other church in England, except perhaps Westminster Abbey. It has specimens of all kinds of architecture in its different parts, but they have been so harmoniously put together that the edifice is imposing on the outside and most impressive on the inside.


Canterbury itself is a sleepy old town, very full of quaint houses and with plenty of tradition to make things interesting. Chaucer, Dickens, Thackeray and other English writers have woven Canterbury into their stories, and on every side you are shown the places where heroes and heroines of fiction made their homes. But this week Canterbury is busy. The last game of the cricket season is being played, and Canterbury is as crazy over cricket as Hutchinson was over baseball when in the Western Association. The cricket association of England is made up of the counties, and I had the opportunity of seeing the game between Kent and Yorkshire. Fully ten thousand people attended, and I suppose they enjoyed the game, though English cricket is as tame to an American as the moo of a cow would seem to a roaring lion, or as spring-water lemonade would taste to a colonel from Kentucky. The game began at 10 o’clock in the morning, with Yorkshire, the visiting team, at the bat. At one o’clock the Yorks were put out after making 75 runs. Then there was lunch, and the crowd stayed on the field and under the trees for what[174] looked to me like a harvest home picnic in Kansas. At 2 o’clock play was resumed, and continued till 4 o’clock, when the game stopped for the players and spectators to have tea. Yes, tea! Imagine an American ball game suspended for a half-hour while the ball-players enjoyed tea and sandwiches! It was too much for me. I saw the last half of the first inning would not be ended in one day, so I quit the cricketers and their tea and went off to look at an old church, which was more exciting.

There are some peculiarities about cricket when viewed from an American standpoint. The association or league corresponds very well to our National or American League. A club of eleven men may be all professionals, or, as is usually the case, some may be amateurs. A professional is a player who is paid, and on the score his name appears without prefix, just “Brown.” But if he is an amateur and plays without pay, his name is on the score card “J. M. Brown, Esq.” He is then called a “gentleman player.” The game usually lasts two days. The side that is in[175] stays in until ten men are put out. The pitcher or bowler tries to hit the wicket, three little posts that stand like our baseball home plate, and if he does, the batter is out. The batter, or in English the batsman, defends the “wicket,” and when he hits the ball far enough runs to the other wicket, which is located at the pitcher’s box. If he knocks a fly and it is caught he is out, or if a fielder gets the ball and hits the wicket while he is running, he is out. Two batsmen are up at a time, and a man may make a lot of runs. I saw Woolley, the pride of Kent, score 56 runs, and players often exceed the hundred mark. If the game is not finished in three days it is declared off.

The crowd was quiet and ladylike. Occasionally they would applaud and say “Well bowled, sir,” but they did not tell the umpire he was rotten and they never urged the visiting club to warm up another pitcher. Not a word was said by the players, not a pop-bottle was thrown, nobody was benched and there was never a thought of such a thing. The English are better sportsmen than we[176] are, and they applaud a good play by a visitor. A man who tried to rattle the bowler by screaming that his arm was glass, would be arrested and probably hung.

Besides the cathedral, the quaint buildings and the cricket, Canterbury also offered an opportunity to see the moving pictures of the Jeffries-Johnson prize fight in a theater next to the church. Of course I did not go. I told several Englishmen that in America we considered these pictures degrading, and as between the fight pictures and the cathedral I preferred the cathedral. Besides, I had seen the fight pictures before.

Another very interesting church in Canterbury is St. Martin’s, a little one, but considered the mother church of England. It is said to be the one erected for Queen Bertha before her Saxon husband, Ethelbert, was converted. This was prior to 600. It is on a foundation which was used for a Roman temple. Within the church is a big stone font said to have been used for the baptizing of Ethelbert. There is little doubt but that[177] the history of St. Martin’s is clear and it is the oldest Christian church in all England.

Associating with old cathedrals and Saxon churches makes one feel a few thrills. Even the inn where Chaucer put up his pilgrims seems modern. But cricket and the prize-fight pictures make up a sort of balance, and second-hand shops with wonderful salesmen bring one back to the 20th century. Canterbury has a famous brewery which is better patronized locally than is the cathedral, and farmers are in town trying to get hop-pickers just like Kansas farmers after hands in harvest-time. If St. Thomas could come back and see the automobiles running around his old monastery, notice the electric lights in the cathedral crypt, observe the American tourists with their guide-books and their gall, he would probably have some thrills himself.


The English Strike

London, August 28.

There was a great strike of railway men in England last week, the news of which was sent over the world. As a subject of conversation and discussion it has taken the place of ordinary sights and tourist stunts. A very large per cent of the railway employés went out, there was rioting in several places, the soldiers were called upon, there was almost war in spots, and several people, innocent by-standers usually, were killed. The government secured a cessation of the strike by getting men and managers to agree to submit the differences to a national commission and be bound by it—an agreement both sides will break if it does not suit them. A railroad strike is a most serious thing in England, for in London and the manufacturing centers the people depend on the railroads to bring in their provisions, and as ice is almost unknown very few shops have more than a day’s supply of meats, fish and fresh eatables on[179] hand. So the strike was pinching millions of people who had no personal interest in its result.

If I were a railroad employé in England I would strike, or at least I’d strike out for America or some other land where a man has a show. Railroad men are not well paid in England, rather worse than other working-men. Engineers, or drivers as they are called, rarely get to exceed 30 to 35 shillings a week (seven to nine dollars). Firemen, switch-men, baggagemen, station-men, operators, conductors and brakemen get from 20 shillings to 35 shillings a week (five to nine dollars). And yet both passenger fares and freight charges are higher in England than in Kansas. In discussing the subject with an educated Englishman I complained that a man with a family could not live on these wages. “Yes, but they do,” he said; “but the family doesn’t get meat every day—and the family doesn’t need meat every day.” I argued on, that a man can’t buy a home, or save anything for trouble or old age. “That’s true,” he said, “and it is unfortunate. But his children won’t let him starve, and there[180] is some light job he can do to help out. The government is now preparing a plan for the pensioning of old people. When that law is working, a man won’t have to worry about the future.”

Which is a rotten theory. It merely means that with the prospect of a pension of less than two dollars a week an English laborer can be kept working at the present low standard. I am for the old-age pension, but I am for the proper payment of a workingman while he is at the age to enjoy life. This beautiful England with its castles and palaces and picture galleries and great history is far behind every other nation in its treatment of the workingman, and consequently England is now sitting on a keg of dynamite which is likely to explode. Once get it out of the heads of the English workmen that they have to submit to these things and these wages because their fathers did, and that it is a great blessing to have a king and lords, and the English working-men will raise Hades with the present political and social conditions in merry England. It seems to me that the time is not far distant when the explosion[181] will take place. Only very skillful management on the part of the English statesmen and the very conservative habits of thought of the English people prevented most serious trouble last week.

An English workman usually has a large family, and the only way they can keep from going hungry or to the poorhouse is for the whole family to work and mother and children earn money to put into the common treasury. Meat, vegetables, fruit, everything to eat, costs more in England than it does in Kansas. Rent is less, but our workmen wouldn’t live as these have to. Clothing is cheaper in some respects and dearer in others. But the item is small with an English workman. You can see that after he pays rent and buys food he has very little left for wearing apparel, so father wears his suit until it is worn out, mother gets along on second-hand clothing, which is generally used, and the children have a cheaper grade and little of it.

I am not knocking on the English. This condition which seems so distressing to me is a product of their conditions and is not the[182] deliberate purpose of the people. I think it comes from the conservatism of the English character, and also from the fact that the English workman competes against the world. English manufactures and commerce have been built up because in England labor is intelligent, high-class, and cheap. I can have a tailor-made suit of clothes for twelve dollars in London. That’s fine for me, but how is it for the tailor? And it doesn’t help the other English workingman, for he does not have the twelve. On the other hand, the ability of the American workman to buy has brought it to pass that he can get just as good a suit, better fitted and better looking, at a Hutchinson clothing store for twelve to fifteen dollars,—and he has the money and buys! There is going to be some discussion of clothing and the woolen schedule in the United States, and I want to put in this testimony. Before I left home I bought a suit in Hutchinson for fifteen dollars. No English tailor-made suit for that price looks near so well, and the way it fits and hangs is complimented by the English. The only kind of stuff that is cheaper in England than with us is that[183] in which hand labor is employed. Women buy laces because they are made by intelligent working-women who are paid 25 to 50 cents a day. Silk hats are cheaper, but the same quality hat I buy at home cost me just as much in London, and shirts, underwear, sox, etc., are as expensive here as in Hutchinson. I am told the same rule applies to women’s clothes. Americans who come to England and continue to live on the same standard they do in America say that living is more expensive here. Of course they can have three or four servants for the same price they paid the one hired girl at home, and can pose as being “upper class.”

I went to a barber shop, a first-class one. I was shaved for a “tuppence” (four American cents) and had my hair cut for a “trippence” (six American cents). I gave the barber a tip of a penny, for which he was very thankful, and then I went out of the shop growling at a country where I could get shaved so cheaply and where a tailor-made suit cost only $12. In this world of ours we are so dependent on one another that you can’t[184] cheapen one man without cheapening all the rest. I asked the street-car conductor and he told me he was paid five dollars a week—and he has a family of six. The chamber-maid at the hotel works for a dollar a week and board. A good coachman or a house-man gets one to two dollars a week and board. A clerk in a store does well to beat five dollars a week. How do they live? I don’t know, but they do; but they have all heard of America and Canada and Australia, and would go there if they could raise the fare, or if it were not for leaving family and home.

I am getting away from the strike subject. I make myself unpopular with some of the English, the wealthier people and their foot-men, by insisting that the railroad men ought to strike and ought to have their wages doubled, when I have to pay more than two cents a mile for a second-class fare, and about twice as much for shipping freight as I would in Kansas. And I always compare with Kansas, a place most of them never heard of, and I suppose they think I am describing a[185] fictitious land where the millennium has already arrived.

We spent an afternoon at Richmond, where high hills rise from the valley of the Thames and the view of English farm and village, river and forest, is one of the finest in the world. Far away in the distance is Windsor Castle, the favorite royal dwelling-place, the Thames like a silver streak dotted with boats and wooded islands, quaint towns with old churches, and winding roads white with the macadam of chalky stone, occasional tram-ways, busses with the passengers on top, gardens and orchards, little strips of pasture with sheep and cows, fences of hedges and ivy-covered walls,—all of these things are a panorama which make the breath come fast, the heart beat more rapidly. The ground is historic, for it has been the living-place and fighting-place of great men from the time of the Saxons, and every town and hill is like a page of English history. Beautiful homes adorn the hillside and comfortable inns offer entertainment to the traveler and the visitor. It is a great picture, and artists[186] have copied it onto their canvases. Turner and Gainsborough lived here, and their pictures of English scenery are more beautiful than their conceptions of saints and their portraits of sinners. Here is where good King Edward, the most popular monarch England has had in many years, came for a view and a night out. In the road-house on the height is the place where Lilly Langtry achieved fame by slipping a chunk of ice down the back of Edward’s princely neck.

We had lunch at The Boar’s Head and took tea at The Red Dog, two of the many taverns which show the English taste in names is just the same now as it was when Pickwick traveled and motor cars were unknown.


Englishman the Great

London, August 31.

London is easily the capital of the world. As much as every other large nation might argue the question, there is general acceptance of the fact that Great Britain is the greatest force politically. The English navy, superior in size and quality to any other two navies, the English commerce which goes under the English flag to the furthermost parts, the great English colonies (almost independent states) Canada and Australia, the rich English possessions like India and South Africa, the English “spheres of influence” like Egypt and Persia, and the supremacy of English capital and banking methods,—all of these and the capable, self-possessed, educated English manhood and womanhood have made the power of Great Britain foremost among the nations. And London is not only the political capital of England and its dependencies, but it is the capital in business, books, art, fashion, science, and money. The[188] wealth and the literature and the commerce of the world depend on the judgment of London. The very thought of the power thus included is impressive. I walked down Threadneedle street and Lombard street, each about as large as an alley in Hutchinson, and thought of the millions and millions of money and capital which those plain buildings contained, and of the power which the men within them possessed. Then I thought of the eight million people of London, moving around like ants in a hill, and the size, the activity, and the never-ending motion, brought most forcibly to mind how insignificant is one man, especially if he is from Kansas and doesn’t know a soul in all that aggregation.


But there is one part of London in which all English-speaking people have a part—the London of history, of Dickens, Thackeray, Johnson, Shakespeare and those men whose names are living long after the money-lender and the broker are forgotten. A little way from the Bank and the bankers is the old Curiosity Shop, the Cheshire Cheese, the Cock, the Temple Courts, and hundreds of [189]names familiar to every reader of English literature, and instead of being lonesome and oppressed by the weight of the millions of people and money, I felt that I had met old friends, and that Little Dorrit, or David Copperfield, or Samuel Johnson, or Pendennis, or Oliver Twist or some other acquaintance whom I knew very well was expected every minute. That is the great beauty of being an American in London, for all of the history and literature that have centered here is ours as well as our English cousins’.

The hansom cab and the old omnibus are disappearing before the taxi and the motor-bus. It is a shame, but the world will move on. Every Englishman or traveler remembers the London cab, with its two wheels and hood-shaped carriage, and the driver up behind. There are still a few, but the taxis are faster, and the London cab horse will soon be freed. So it is with the old bus, drawn by two good horses and driven by an expert driver who knew all of the history and romance of the buildings along the route, and who would impart said information with dec[190]orations and embellishments to the traveler with a sixpence. All of this so-called progress, the motor cars and the wider streets, are doubtless more efficient and more sanitary, but they are not near so picturesque or interesting. The taxicabs go through the London crowds, the jam of vehicles and the congestion of traffic at a speed that would not be tolerated in a small town in Kansas. The policeman stands on the corner and regulates the moving mass, but apparently there is no speed limit, only punishment for bad driving. The motor-driver who runs over a man is severely punished, and that makes him careful. The rule works well, but not quite so well as the one in Paris, which punishes the pedestrian who gets in the way of the motor car.

Next to the wages problem is the land problem in England. Three or four men own half the real estate in London. Their ancestors got it in a fairly legitimate way when it was outlying country, and now it is the heart of a great city. The English law of heredity keeps the estate together. The English land[191] conditions are the worst I know of in any nation in the world. The rich old dukes who own so much of London cannot be pried loose from their holdings, and the actual residents cannot buy their homes or their business houses. The proprietor usually leases for 99 years, but every improvement goes to him eventually; he will do nothing himself, and the renter pays the taxes. On Piccadilly street, in the center of the fashionable residence and shop district, the Marquis of Landsup, or some such title, has a park of twenty acres which is surrounded by a high stone wall. It is a pretty park, but the owner’s family is there only a couple of months in the year when the weather is cold and the park is not usable. The rest of the time no one but servants and caretakers occupy that beautiful tract, with the city all around it. And thousands and tens of thousands of people are walking the streets or living in miserable tenements. I suspect I’d be a Socialist if I stayed long in London and thought much about such things as this. With all their brain and intellect the English statesmen have not solved the land problem in[192] England, and they never will solve it until they upset the table.

It is a great thing to be able to speak the language and not have to rely so much on holding up your fingers and making faces. We have been for so many weeks among the Dutch and the French that it is a positive pleasure to just listen to the conversation around us and know that we can understand. A little knowledge of a foreign tongue leads to many mistakes. I heard a Frenchman in a London hotel giving an account of his day’s experience to an English lady. Among other things he said he went to a linen store and left an order for table linen, and added, “and I will have my entrails on it.” Of course he meant his initials, but he had been careless with his dictionary. And yet it is very hard for us to understand the ordinary London cab-driver or workman. His accent is so different that it is almost like another language. And even an educated Englishman will give you a direction like this: [193]“Go to the next turning on the left, bear a bit to the right until you get to the top of the street.” Which means in American go to the next corner, turn to the left, then a little to the right to the end of the street. I never can understand why the English people generally murder their language as they do. But perhaps I am like the little American girl I met in Germany. She had learned German at home, and I asked her how she got along in Berlin. “Not very well,” she said, “they talk such bad German.”

The transportation in the center of London is confined entirely to busses and cabs. There is too much traffic and the streets are too narrow for street railways. In the outer parts of the city a number of street cars, or “trams” as they are called, are operated. Every bus and every tram has seats on the roof, and they are the choice seats on the vehicle. From one of these top seats is the place to see London, and the traveler has the advantage of not only being able to note the sights on the pavement and the walks, but he can look in the second-story windows and see how people live. There are no great skyscrapers in London, the business houses usually being six stories or[194] less in height. The residences are nearly always three or four stories, and either built flush to the street, with a garden or court in the rear, or back from the street and the yard inclosed by a high stone wall. The Englishman goes on the old principle that an Englishman’s house is his castle, and puts up high walls between himself and his neighbors. A front porch, or an open lawn in front of a private house, would be regarded as freakish or an evidence of insanity. On the other hand, there are many public parks and pretty green squares in London which are breathing-spots for the congestion of humanity within this great city.

The “City of London” which has a Lord Mayor is the little old city which is the hub of the whole business. It is the section of the banks and the great institutions of finance, and is about the size of Hutchinson, but a solid mass of stone structures and narrow streets. Only about 30,000 people reside there. The London of the present is London County, covers about 900 square miles and is therefore about the size of Reno county. That is the area in which 8,000,000 people[195] live. It is governed by a County Council, elected by the taxpayers, which is a very active body and is doing much to improve the conditions. London has fine water and visitors are even urged to drink it—something new in Europe. Taxes, or “rates” as they are called, are high, and include everything from real estate and personal to income tax and a stamp tax on receipts and drafts. The great problem of improving a city is to get the money without distressing the people. It requires large sums to make and care for parks, streets, schools, paving, water-works, light, and the other things that the city must have in order to be modern, healthful, and comfortable. The citizens everywhere groan under the weight of taxation, and yet they should not if the money is properly spent. These streets, police, schools, fire departments and such are as necessary as the walls of our homes, which also require money to build and maintain. The certainty of death and taxes is proverbial. There is no way to avoid the former and the only way to dodge taxes is to go to an uninhabited island and live by yourself. And then if some other indi[196]vidual comes along, the first thing the original tax-dodger will do is to tax the other fellow.

The ordinary English home has the front room of the house for the dining-room. The “drawing-room” is at the rear and the kitchen quite a distance from the dining-room. The drawing-room is used only on special occasions and the dining-room is the family living-room. The English are great home-makers, and their houses are always well furnished and look as if folks lived there. On the continent the fashion is to go out for the evening meal to restaurant or café, but the Englishman comes home and stays there. The table is spread with the family and intimate friends around, and supper is served at 8 o’clock or later. You see the Englishman has already had three meals—breakfast, luncheon, and tea; so the evening meal is late. To me the most attractive part of English life is that in the home. The Englishman gathers his family about him, pulls down the blinds, reads his newspaper and is in his castle, which no lord or duke can enter without his consent.[197] This simple virtue of home-living is rare in Europe, and in the family circle which gathers at the table and at the altar the young Englishman gets the habit of thought and manner which marks him wherever he goes, and which has made his country the greatest of all the nations.


The North of Ireland

Londonderry, Ireland, September 8.

Crossing the Irish Sea from Fishguard in southern Wales to Rosslare in southern Ireland, I met a jolly Irishman from Cork. When I told him I was going to the North of Ireland he remonstrated. “Don’t do it, mon. Every Irishman up there is a Scotchman!” But I had seen the beautiful South of Ireland and we had to come to Londonderry to take the ship for home, so the warning of the Corker was in vain. I found that he was right. Soon after we left Dublin we came upon linen factories and distilleries and Presbyterian churches, people too busy to jolly a stranger, and cannily seeking the surest way to a sixpence. In the South of Ireland no one is too busy to talk with the stranger and to tell him all the legendary lore of the country, while in the North one shrinks from stopping the busy worker, even to ask him which way is straight up. The people of both ends of Ireland are pleasant and the American dollar is[199] greatly admired, but the process of extracting it is painless, even pleasant, in Cork, while it hurts enough to notice in Belfast. The South is almost entirely agricultural and is social, while the North is filled with factories and notices not to allow your heads to stick out of the windows. The people of the South are poorer but happier; the people of the North are busier and more worried in their looks. The Irishman in the South smiles pleasantly without an apparent thought of the money he is going to make, the Irishman in the North smiles after he gets the money.

All of this Emerald isle is green, and picturesque scenery with lakes and falls, glens and fields, rugged coasts and beautiful beaches is to be found from Queenstown to Portrush.

We stopped a day in Dublin, which is an Irish city with a large tinge of English. It was the capital of Ireland prior to the consolidation of the Irish Parliament with that of Great Britain, and may still be called so because the Lord-Lieutenant Governor lives here and has a sort of a court. There are about[200] 400,000 people, packed in too tightly and with not enough work to keep many of them in decent living and style. That is the trouble in Ireland—one of their troubles, the lack of opportunity for work. There is not much for the energetic young Irishman to do but to emigrate, and he goes to America or Canada or Australia, or even to England, to get a job and a chance. The land is nearly all owned by men who do not live in Ireland, and is rented to farmers who find that when they improve their places it means a raise in rent. The new land law which gives a man a sort of title to his leased land, and makes a court of arbitration as to rent and purchase, is improving conditions in Ireland and they are better off now in respect to land than they are in England, except for the blight of absentee landlordism, the system which takes the rent-money and spends it in London or in Paris.

Dublin is perking up some on the prospect of home rule, which would bring an Irish legislature to Dublin and make the city a real capital. But the prospect for home rule is dubious. The Irish party holds the balance[201] of power in the English Parliament and has been allied with the Liberals in their reforms and the dehorning of the House of Lords. The Liberals have promised the Irish home rule, and the leaders will try to fulfill the promise, but they may find it hard work to line up their followers, and let it go until another general election. There are so many other questions involved in English politics that home rule may be lost in the shuffle, but as the Irish are the best politicians in the world they are looking forward to success after a lovely fight.

The city of Belfast, a hundred miles north of Dublin, is the center of the linen trade. The English Parliament a couple of hundred years ago prohibited the manufacture of wool in Ireland because it competed with English trade, but promoted the spinning of linen. The climate is just right, labor is cheap, and Irish linen is the best in the world. We visited a linen mill, and also a cottage where the hand looms were at work. The wages paid to good hands are 50 to 75 cents a day. This would be fair wages in Europe, but the work is not[202] always steady and many days are lost in setting the patterns and fixing the looms. The manager of the factory said that most of his best men went to America—he himself had two sons in New York. The wages here will keep soul and body together if the body is willing to get along on fish and potatoes. But there is no outcome, no prospect of a future which shall include a beefsteak once a week. The manager had been in America and he knew the difference. “Our workmen are all right because they don’t know the luxuries the American workman has, except by hearsay. Of course if they once get the appetite for meat and a new suit of clothes every year they have to leave us. But a two-eyed beefsteak makes a good meal.” A two-eyed beefsteak is an Irish name for a herring.

Belfast has great ship-building yards, next to Glasgow the greatest in the world. It also has large distilleries which supply England and America. I am told that the consumption of liquor is on the decrease in Ireland. I hope so. But the distilleries keep building additions and enlarging their plants.


Which recalls the old story of the Illinois statesman who was a great drinker and was ruining the prospect of a useful life. His family and friends tried to stop him, but the habit or disease could not be overcome. One night a friend had him out for a walk, trying to sober him up for important business the next day. They passed a distillery and the friend said: “John, what a fool you are to try to drink all the whisky that is made. You can’t do it. See that busy distillery with its bright lights and throbbing engines. You can’t beat it.” John looked, and then with drunken dignity replied: “Perhaps you’re right. But don you shee I’m making ’em work nights?”

The drink problem is the hardest to solve in Great Britain, England, Ireland and Scotland. It is worse than the wage problem or the land problem. In no other countries that I have visited are the evils of booze so plainly in evidence as in the British Isles. In Germany the sight of the family in the beer garden with their mugs of creamy liquid, their[204] good-nature and their temperance, does not make an unpleasant impression. In France and the southern countries, where wine is the common beverage, one does not worry about this custom. But in England, Ireland and Scotland, where you see men and women drunk in the streets and in the gutters, where you see children ragged and barefooted, homes cheerless and pauperism prevalent, all plainly because of the drink, the sensibility of even the most seasoned is shocked. Public-houses with women behind the bars, open seven days in the week and handing out the whisky which temporarily exhilarates and then stupefies and degrades, are one of the companion pictures to the great buildings, wonderful achievements and artistic developments which one sees in every British town. The temperance societies work hard, the government would help if it dared, but the drinking, the suffering and the pauperizing process goes on. The distilleries are enlarging, and working nights.

I talked this matter over with an intelligent Irishman, and he agreed with me that if[205] the drinking of liquor could be abolished it would do away with nine-tenths of the poverty. “But see these poor fellows and how they work,” he said. “Saturday night comes, and who can blame them for having a few pleasant hours even if it is all imagination, and even if they do go to work on blue Monday with aching heads and a little tremble.”

Which is very poor argument, for it does not take in the dependent wives and children. And the Saturday night drunk makes a poor workman on Monday.

On the northern coast of Ireland, near Portrush and a number of beautiful summer resorts, is the Giant’s Causeway. The origin of this really wonderful freak of nature is said by archæologists to be volcanic, and that the Causeway, the adjoining cliffs and several islands are products that came from a volcano in the shape of burning lava, and were then thrown into shape by later explosions as the molten mass was cooling. The Causeway is a formation like a pier extending into the ocean and made up of 40,000 pillars (by Irish count), each a separate column and[206] usually five-or six-sided. They are about twenty feet long, twenty inches in diameter and jointed like mason-work, or more like a bamboo rod. The theory is that as the lava cooled it cracked and shrunk. Perhaps so. Nobody saw it.

I prefer the Irish version, which is simpler and easy to understand.

Fin MacCoul, the giant, was the champion of Ireland. He had knocked out all rivals and no one could stand in front of him for a second round. He was as great a man in Ireland as John L. Sullivan used to be in Boston. Over in Scotland a certain Caledonia giant boasted that he could lick any man on earth, Irish preferred. He gave out an interview to the newspapers, saying that if it were not for the wetting he would cross over and take the Irish championship from Fin. After much of the usual mouth-work between the champions, Fin got permission from the king, constructed the Causeway from Ireland to Scotland, and dared the Caledonian to come across. The Scot was game, and the match was pulled off without police[207] interference, resulting in a victory for Fin, who kindly allowed his beaten rival to settle in Ireland and open a saloon. Ireland was then, as it is now, the finest country in the world, so the Scotchman lived happily ever afterward. The Causeway gradually sank into the sea, and all that is now in sight is the Irish end and a few islands between it and the Scottish coast.

The formation of the coast for several miles each side of the Causeway is the same volcanic rock, and it rises abruptly hundreds of feet high from the sea. Caves and caverns with arches and vaults and echoes, and natural amphitheatres with the pipe organ Fin used to play and the bathtub which he used, are visited by the visitors who go out upon the Atlantic in a row-boat. I have seen Niagara and the Falls of the Rhine, and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado, and a few hundred more wonderful works of Nature or of giants, and the Causeway is not second to any of them.

Our last stop in Ireland is this town of Londonderry, known in Ireland as [208]“Derry.” The London end of the name was put on by King James the First, who was so devoted to his religion that he killed or exiled the Catholic Irish in Ulster and Derry and gave their lands to Protestant emigrants from England. A few years later Cromwell finished the job and got the name of “Thorough,” because of his theory that the only good Irishman was a dead Irishman. There were terrible religious wars in Ireland for years, each side getting even for outrages committed by the other. One great event in the series was the siege of Londonderry by an Irish army under James the Second, who had been run out of England by William of Orange. James was about to enter the city with the consent of the governor, when thirteen apprentice boys banged down the portcullis, closing the entrance. That started the fight, and the people of Londonderry decided to stand the siege. They repulsed the soldiers and James tried to starve ’em out. The siege, which began with no preparation for defense, lasted seven months, and half the population died of starvation. The people ate dogs and cats and rats, a rat selling for three shillings.[209] At last an English fleet broke through the obstruction in the river, and the remnant of the people of Londonderry was saved.

Those were “good old times.” The Protestants of Londonderry knew if they surrendered they would meet the same fate that they had accorded to the Catholics on the capture of Irish towns, and there is hardly a town in Ireland which cannot duplicate the story of the siege of Londonderry. Those days are gone, Irish and English have laid aside their weapons, and except for St. Patrick’s Day or the 12th of July, which is the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne in which William defeated James, there is hardly a broken head in the country from religious causes.

The walls still stand in Londonderry, and some of the cannon of 1689 are mounted at the old stand. But the walls are now a promenade and the cannon are only relics. A Protestant cathedral and a Catholic cathedral, a Presbyterian college and a Catholic college, are doing business side by side, and all are doing good. Two steamship lines have made Derry a regular stop on their way from[210] Glasgow to America. The principal business of the town is the manufacture of linen and whisky, most of which is exported to the United States. And Irishmen from the North of the isle, who want an opportunity and a chance, come to Derry on their way to the best land of all, discovered by the Spanish, developed by the English, and ruled generally by the Irish, known and loved as home now by more Irish than are in Ireland, the U. S. A.


Scotland and the Scotch

Glasgow, Scotland, September 7.

Scotland is one of the oldest countries of the civilized world. Although it is now united with England and is a part of Great Britain, up to two hundred years ago it had nothing to do with the English except to fight them. The original inhabitants were Celts, and came into history as Picts and Scots, who held possession of the northern part of the country when the Romans conquered England. After the Romans went away the Saxons arrived and practically wiped out all the old Britons in England, but made no headway against the Caledonians or “people of the hills,” as they called the residents of the north. About the ninth century the various tribes were gotten together under one chief or king, and from that time until the union of England and Scotland in 1706 the chief occupation of the Scotch was to fight the English, who were always trying to conquer Scotland, but never succeeding. The Scotch and[212] the English were of different race, language, customs and habits. Much of Scotland, the Highlands, has little room for agriculture, and the people lived a roving life, raising a few sheep and oats, and, whenever they felt like it, making a raid into the Lowlands and into England and bringing back cattle and supplies to last them until the next raid. They were converted to Christianity, but their idea of morality never included an injunction against killing the Lowlander and running off his herd. War was the name under which nations concealed their crimes of robbery, and the Highlanders of Scotland had war all the time; so they were officially justified. When you analyze their romantic history and the great deeds of their heroes you will always find that no matter how strict their character and honor among themselves, they never considered it anything but a praiseworthy action to kill and rob an Englishman. The reformation by John Knox and his contemporaries filled the Scottish heads with religious enthusiasm and devotion, but it did not interfere with the Scottish theory that the English were the natural enemy who must always be[213] fought. And the English, on their side, reciprocated the regard in which they were held by the Scotch, and every king of England who had a chance put in his time trying to conquer the clansmen. Often the English would defeat the Scotch armies and capture their chiefs, but they couldn’t any more hold the Scotch territory than they could hold the red-hot end of a poker.

When Elizabeth, Queen of England, died, the next heir to the English throne was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, then reigning as James the Sixth, King of Scotland. He was not only the heir, but he was a Protestant, and was, therefore, acceptable, and he was duly crowned as James the First of England. Of course, he went to London to reside, and from that time to the present England and Scotland have had the same king, although it was 100 years later before there was any union of the two governments. In 1706 the Scottish Parliament adopted the act of union, the majority being secured by shameful and open bribery and against the protests of the Scottish people, who did not want to be the tail[214] of the English kite. But the union resulted very beneficially to Scotland, as it changed the occupation from war to commerce and from raising hell to raising sheep. The natural shrewdness of the Celt was stimulated by the industry required in a country where hard work is necessary, and all over the world Scotchmen are known for their ability, their keenness in argument, their thrift and their success. Scotland is as far north as Labrador and Hudson Bay. It has a short growing season and very little fertile soil. I am wearing an overcoat and shivering with cold. That kind of a country raises sturdy and energetic people.

It has rained every day and nearly all the time since we arrived. The Scotch do not seem to mind the wet, but go about their business, clad in rough, warm clothing. I had quite a talk with a bright old Scotchman, and, after I had admitted—just as well give in to a Scotchman without argument—that Scotland was the most beautiful country on earth, I started a diversion by asking him if it rained all the time in Scotland. In very broad dia[215]lect he said he would tell us a story that would answer the question. A ship arrived off the Scotch coast, and, as it was raining, the captain decided to delay landing until the storm was over. He waited three weeks before the rain stopped, but finally the sun came out and he put for the shore. Just as he climbed onto the land the sky darkened and the rain began to fall again. Of a Scotch lad standing by, the captain asked: “Does it rain all the time in Scotland?”

“Naw,” said the lad; “sometimes it snaws.”

The agricultural products of Scotland are oats, grass, barley, and a little wheat. The farms are generally small and the soil poor, and the great industry is the raising of sheep. In the manufacturing towns the wool is made into cloth. The chief industry, aside from this, is the distillery, and a great deal of the product is consumed at home. The people are poor, and there is little chance for them to improve their condition and stay in Scotland. The land is owned by big landlords, and hundreds of square miles are kept for hunting by[216] the proprietors of the estates. Work as hard as he may, the Scotch tenant farmer has very little ahead of him except poverty and heaven. The tourists bring a good deal of money to the country, and are separated from it in every way the canny Scot can devise. But in spite of poverty and notwithstanding the evil of intemperance, there is no doubt of the natural brightness of the Scotch.

I had heard all my life of the Scotch heather, and it is one thing in which I was not disappointed. The Scotch moor, which is something between a barren field and a swamp, will raise nothing else, and most of Scotland is moor. Heather is like a weed cedar, if there could be such a thing, and at this season, when it is in bloom, covers the ground with a mat of blue. There is also a white heather, which is rare and to find which is good luck. I was very fortunate, for I picked a bunch of white heather the first attempt. I picked it from a lad for a penny, and I recommend that way of hunting for the white kind. But the blue heather is everywhere, as buffalo-grass used to be on western prairies. Heather is good[217] for nothing, except as a flower, and it will not grow anywhere but in Scotland. It is like the hills and woods and lakes of this country-fair to look upon but not convertible into cash. It is worn by the people, and a man is hardly dressed up unless he has a bunch in his cap or his button-hole. The shamrock will not grow except in Ireland and the heather only in Scotland, and each is held in loving affection by the people of the country because of its constancy and patriotism.

The Scotch have a way of making oatmeal porridge that justifies its reputation. But I tried the “haggis,” and once was enough. I do not know what the component elements of Scotch “haggis” may be, but I suspect that they are the remnants of the last meal minced together, with oatmeal and sheep-blood added to make them palatable. The Scotch people are not high livers. Whatever cannot be made out of oats and mutton is too high-priced for the ordinary citizen. The farm-house is generally divided by a solid wall, the family on one side and the cows and sheep on the other. The people of Scotland always[218] have been poor, and they are not ashamed of it; but they consider it disgraceful to be ignorant or irreligious, so they have as good schools and churches as can be found anywhere outside of America. The men no longer go around with guns and plaids, calling themselves by the names of their clans, but there is much family pride, and the traditions of the good old times of murder and robbery are kept in mind. The English language has taken the place of the old Gaelic for general use, but the English as spoken in Scotland is only about second cousin to the English language as known in Kansas.

Walter Scott wrote the history of Scotland for the world, and it is very fortunate for the clansmen that he did. Scott had a picturesque way of dressing up the costume and character of a dirty highwayman so that he would appear to be the soul of honor and the pride of chivalry. He has given some of the kings and dukes, who committed every crime from arson to murder, the reputation and standing of good and respectable citizens. His historical novels, in so far as their description of royal character is concerned, have the merit[219] of beauty and interest, but not of truth. The Scots were fierce fighters, and in the days when war meant conquest and conquest meant pillage the Scots were unexcelled in all lines. Now that the world is putting up a different standard for success we find the Scotchmen adapting themselves to modern ideas; and in science, invention, law and commerce they can show down with any lot of people twice their size on earth. They are proud of their country, and can recite its legends and its poems of Burns even if they are so poor that they don’t have a square meal a day. They love to argue, state their views positively, contradict flatly, and do not object to taking as good as they send. They are not polite like the Germans, insinuating like the French, or reserved like the English. They are abrupt and inconsiderate, though kind-hearted and helpful, proud and poor, quick-witted and industrious. If they had any other country’s natural advantages they would own the earth.


The Land of Burns

Ayr, Scotland, September 9.

Today we have spent in Ayr, the village which bases a claim on fame because in a humble little cottage, just outside its limits, Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet, was born. I call Burns “the great Scottish poet” because it is right that his beloved country should be linked with his name, but, as a matter of fact, Burns is the poet of humanity in every land and every clime. His writings jingle like a familiar song, his thoughts are the thoughts we all think but cannot express, and his music touches the heartstrings like recollections of childhood, a letter from home, or the memory of those who are dear and away. Burns wrote in rhyme the thoughts that came themselves and not thoughts he had worked up for the occasion. A child of poverty himself, he was neither blinded to its troubles nor overcome by its restrictions, and he tells us of the joys and pleasures, the griefs and sorrows of the people. He puts epigrams[221] into verse and he tells of things as they are, looking through the shams and deceits and making good-natured fun of weakness and folly. He never gets away from the human interest and he never fails in knowledge of human nature.

Burns’s father was a farmer, and not a very successful one. He spelled his name Burness, but for some unknown reason the poet shortened it. The father was an honest and religious man who was highly respected, but never made good in a business way. His mother was brighter, and used to sing Scotch songs and ballads, and if there is anything in heredity Robert got his poetic instincts from that side of the house. They were trying to make a nursery pay when Robert was born, and I visited the cottage where that event took place. One end of the shanty with three rooms was for the family and the other with two rooms was for the cattle. The Burnses failed in the nursery business, and rented a small farm near by, on which Robert spent his boyhood days, not far from the taverns in Ayr and Irvine, where he learned how to be[222] a “good fellow” and thus shortened his life. He was 15 years old when he wrote his first verses, and was helping on the farm and going to school. After the father died Robert and his brother tried to run the farm, but the poet got discouraged, and decided to emigrate to Jamaica. A publisher printed his poems, and he intended to take the money he received for them to pay his passage. But the book made a hit from the start, a second edition was called for, and Burns at once attained great popularity. He gave up the idea of leaving Scotland, and put in most of the remainder of his days writing, besides holding a small job which his friends got for him, in the revenue service. He bought a farm near Dumfries, and lived there and in the town the rest of his short life, for he died in 1796, when he was only 37 years of age.

Burns not only enjoyed popularity in his own generation, but in the more than a century since he wrote his fame has grown steadily and his genius and talent are appreciated in every part of the world. There are statues and monuments to Burns all over Scotland, but the greatest memorial is in the[223] hearts of the people of his own country and of all others into which his songs have gone. Wherever there is a son or daughter of Scotland there is a lover of “Bobby Burns.”

It was a little thrilling to be shown the inn where “Tam O’Shanter” loitered that stormy night in Ayr—

“Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonnie lasses.”

It will be remembered that Tam and his crony, Souter Johnny, (both honored by statues now,) had spent the evening most merrily, and it came time for Tam to go home to his wife, who had frequently told Tam what would happen to him after one of those sprees. And the poet philosophizes:

“Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet
To think how mony counsels sweet,
How mony lengthen’d sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises!”

Tam started for home on his good gray mare, Meg, but when he reached old Alloway Church he saw lights, and, made brave by the Scotch whisky, he boldly looked in. He saw the witches dancing, the devil playing the fifes, and a young woman he knew was in the[224] carousal. Tam foolishly called, the lights went out, and it was up to Meg to get away from the swarm of witches who came in hot pursuit. The leading lady of the gang was right upon poor Tam when he came to the bridge, his hope of escape, for witches cannot cross running water. With one great jump Meg saved her master.

“Ane spring brought off her master, hale,
But left behind her ain grey tail;
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.”

I have seen the tavern, the church, the bridge, the statue of Tam, but a grateful public has forgotten to properly commemorate the services of Meg and the sacrifice of the tail.

Across the river Ayr are “the auld brig” and “the new brig” which held a joint debate as reported by Burns’s muse. The city council was recently about to take down the auld brig because it was unsafe, but a general howl went up, and the bridge is to be preserved. All of the relics of Burns are being taken care of, and so far as possible the old cottage and other places connected with his life are restored to the condition they were in when Burns was plowing and quit work to[225] write poetry to a mouse he had stirred out of its nest. I can readily understand why Burns did not make a success as a farmer, for like other poets he did not like to work. However, the dislike for work is not confined to poets, who have more of an excuse for this fault than the rest of us.

I have not yet found a Scotchman who cannot quote Burns’s poetry by the yard. It is all I can do to read most of Burns’s lines, and the words I skip often look rough and jagged. But when a Scotchman recites Burns, the dialect and the broad accent make the rhymes sound like music. The strange syllables fit together in harmony so that one can understand that Burns knew what he was about when he used the local phrases and words in so much of his writing. Burns was a good scholar, and could and did write the purest of English, but he took the homely phrases of the Scottish life to make the common things he writes about ring clear and right.

Ayr is about forty miles from Glasgow. As soon as you leave the Burns neighborhood you[226] get into a country of coal mines, factories, and golf links. There are miles of golf grounds on the moors along the road. Most of the land is only fit to raise heather and lose golf balls. No wonder Burns’s father failed and Robert was going to emigrate. The more I see of Scottish soil the more I take off my hat to the Scotch farmers, who must be the bravest men in the world.

About fifty years ago Andrew Carnegie, then a lad of a half-dozen years, took his father by the hand and led him onto the ship at Glasgow which brought them to America. In all the Scotch towns there are Carnegie libraries and other benefactions from the Scotch boy. His shrewdness and industry are the result of Scotch character when given full play in an open field. On the other hand, Burns with his talent and his weakness exhibits another result of the sentimental yet canny Scot who sees through humanity and analyzes it.

To read the poetry of Robert Burns is to be wiser, better and happier. The day spent in this little nook in which he began his life[227] has brought much of Burns’s surroundings vividly to my mind. The little hovel in which he was born contrasts with the great monument reared by a grateful country, and proves his words if they needed proof:

“A king can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a’ that,
But an honest man’s aboon his might,
Guid faith, he mauna fa’ that.
For a’ that and a’ that,
Their dignities and a’ that,
The pith of sense and pride o’ worth,
Are higher rank, than a’ that.”


The Journey’s End

Steamship Cameronia, September 21.

For some unexplainable reason the ship homeward-bound is always slow. When one leaves his own country on a journey to other lands he is in no hurry. The new pictures that constantly present themselves, the new objects and the talk that suggests new ideas, hopes and plans, make the days go swiftly by and the voyage is never too long or tiresome. But when months of travel have exhausted the appetite for sights, and the occurrence of the strange no longer starts a thrill, the thoughts of the traveler far exceed the speed of the ship and the fastest boat that crosses the Atlantic is too slow. This is the only excuse I can find for the Cameronia, which sailed four days later than scheduled, and has developed no traits which will be affectionately remembered by the present passengers. She is a new ship, and not finished. I suppose the Anchor line needed the money or it would not have started a vessel across[229] the ocean with so many things not completed and untried. And then the Cameronia has shown great ability as a pitcher, also as a roller, and if a contest is begun as to what ship can pitch and roll, kick and buck and snort the best, I will back the Cameronia against the field.

The ocean along the northern coast of Ireland has a habit of being busy. The currents from the south and the Arctic meet the turbulent waves from the Irish Sea, and a watery Donnybrook fair is the result. The Cameronia enjoyed the opportunity, and although the passengers generally took their evening meal a majority of them went dinnerless to bed, and they went early and with much haste. There is no known remedy for seasickness. The Rockefeller foundation which is discovering wonderful germs, on which every other ill can be laid, has not found the bacillus which started the trouble on the Cameronia. The ship’s doctor calmly advises you to put your finger down your throat and aid nature in her work. He assures you that the disease is not fatal, although you may wish it were,[230] and he encourages you in the faith that every minute will be your next. The seasick ones lose temporarily any other trouble or ailments, and often forget their own names, imagining probably that these have gone with the rest. The story is told of a time like the one in question, that a sympathizing officer came to a man and woman who were leaning against each other with a common misery. “Is your husband very sick?” he inquired of the evidently cultured and modest lady. “He’s not my husband,” she faintly answered, as she leaned on her companion once again. “Your brother?” continued the butter-in. “I never saw him before,” she murmured, clasping again at the wobbly supporter under discussion.

This is a Scotch boat, and she has some Scotch traits. The Scotch people are wonderful. In a land which is nearly all poor pasture and good golf links, they have developed a citizenship which intellectually leads the world. But they are not given to covering up unpleasant spots and they do not go too strong for things of mere beauty or com[231]fort. There is no blarney-stone in the Highlands. The Scotch are probably the poorest hotel managers in the world. The graces and the pleasantry of the continent are despised, and everything coming to a Scotchman is expected on the day it is due. This habit of thrift is necessary in a land where it has always been a fight for man to get a result in the way of bread or meat or porridge. There is little humor in the Scotch nature, and every action is based on serious thought. The Cameronia is getting us across just as was promised, but with no frills or furbelows in the way of personal attention or entertainment.

Of course there is a great deal in their viewpoint, and what seems right and proper in one country is often looked upon with horror in another. Sunday on the Cameronia was Sunday as it is in Glasgow. The Anchor line would no more sail a ship without divine service than it would without a rudder. It would no more permit the pianist to play secular music like “America” or “Swanee River” on Sunday than it would allow a pas[232]senger to take the captain’s place. But all the Sabbath Day the Anchor line sells booze openly and without a compunction of conscience. A compulsorily closed piano and an open bar look strange from the viewpoint of a traveler from Kansas.

I do not want to seem to be faultfinding, so I will only say that the grand concert on the Cameronia was not much worse than is usual on shipboard. Everybody knows that during a voyage some night is designated as concert night, a program is given by the passengers, and a collection taken for the benefit of the Sailors’ Home or some such charitable object. But only those who have actually made the trip and attended a concert realize the painful nature of the operation. A notice is posted on the bulletin board asking for volunteers for the program, and aspiring genius directly or through friends offers itself for the entertainment. A dignified gentleman who can’t tell a funny story but thinks he can is selected for chairman. Sometimes a really good musician or entertainer is inadvertently included in the program, but this[233] is not often. No mistake is made in the choice of pretty girls who take up the collection. Our concert was opened by a bass solo, the guilty party being a man with his name parted in the middle and old enough to know better. He rendered (that’s the proper word) the old Roman favorite, “Only a Pansy Blossom.” When he came to the chorus about a faded flower he waved a yellow chrysanthemum in the air to a tremulo accompaniment. This was not a comic song, but a serious, sentimental selection, and the singer was an Englishman. The Scotch and English in the room heaved sighs and said to each other, “How beautiful!” The Americans poked each other in the ribs and almost wept in the effort to restrain their laughter. Of course he was encored, and he rendered again. This time it was a ballad about the golden tress of my darling, and in the touchiest of the touching lines he drew forth from his vest a piece of female switch, peroxide in color and horsetailish in effect. It was a great effort, and the serious fellow-country-men heaved more sighs of appreciation, while an American girl at my right whispered out[234] of her handerchief, “I know I’m going to scream!” Then a Scotchman sang an Irish song. Now a Scotchman can’t get the Irish brogue any more than he can understand an American joke. He was enthusiastically encored, and responded with a French dialect story, in broad Scotch. It was funnier than he knew. An amateur violinist contributed an execution of a sonata or a nocturne or a cordial of some kind. A famous story-teller recited a few choice bits from the column of some London magazine, on which the American copyright expired many years ago. The chairman in a few touching words then explained the object of the charity for which the fund was to be collected, and the touching was completed by the young ladies with pleasant smiles.

Such is a ship’s concert, and with slight variations it is one of the features of every ocean voyage.


I have alluded to the lack of humor in Great Britain, from the American viewpoint. I heard a good joke on the Scotch, and told it to a small crowd in the smoking-room. The story was of the boy who asked his father [235]why there was such a coin as a farthing, the fourth part of a penny. The father replied that it was to enable the Scotch to be charitable. Nobody laughed, and I resumed a discussion of the weather. About five minutes afterward an Englishman roared with mirth, and shouted to me, “I follow you! I follow you!” I didn’t understand why he was following me until he began my story, which he repeated with explanations and reminders of the proverbial Scotch thrift. Then he told it again and laughed loudly. The others smiled courteously and then face after face broadened, they all “followed,” and nobody appreciated the joke more than the Scotchmen. They told the story to each other and laughed, then hunted up friends and told it until the friends “followed,” and I was pointed out as a humorist. But it was a long and painful operation, and I did not have the courage to try it again. These British cousins are not devoid of humor but their speed limit is far below ours.

The harbor of New York is in sight and the pilot just came aboard. I witnessed an affect[236]ing scene. A fellow-passenger shouted vigorously to get the attention of a man who was sitting in the pilot boat. The man looked up, and I could tell the passenger was nervously preparing to ask for important news, perhaps of the strike, or the English elections. He called, “Who’s ahead in the National League?”

No coast looks as beautiful as the shore of home. Even New Jersey looms magnificently at such a time. The passengers are all on deck except those who are hiding articles from the customs officer. The returning Americans are full of enthusiasm. They have seen enough of other lands to know that there is none to compare with the United States, none which comes nearer to giving a man a chance. The foreigners in the first cabin watch the approaching scene with quiet interest. Over in the steerage hundreds of would-be Americans gaze eagerly at the land of hope and promise. Soon they will be welcomed by the Statue of Liberty which holds out the torch of citizenship to every alien with ten dollars in cash and a certificate of health.[237] The American flag appears on passing boats, and it is the most beautiful as it is the most meaning of all the ensigns of all the nations. A man with a German accent tells me how forty years ago, when a mere boy, he came from the fatherland to try his fortune in the New World. This year he went back for a visit, but he had a stateroom and was not in the steerage. He saw the struggle and the lack of opportunity in the country of his birth. Now he is homeward-bound, satisfied that in spite of trusts and politics and coon songs, this is really the land of the free, the nation of opportunity; and as the pilot took charge and the American flag went to the top of the Cameronia’s mast, a tear trickled down his cheek, telling of the joy in his heart.




Transcriber’s Note

Hyphenation has been standardised.

A Table of Illustrations has been created by the Transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

Because some of the illustration borders are not square they do not show as even.

Page 61— protraying changed to portraying.

Page 113— commerical changed to commercial.

Page 121— slipping changed to sipping.

Page 141— langauges changed to languages.

Page 163— Boulougne changed to Boulogne.

Page 169— 1060 changed to 1066.