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Title: Glances at Europe
       In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy,
              Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851.

Author: Horace Greeley

Release Date: March 28, 2008 [EBook #24930]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Series of Letters











Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

R. Craighead, Printer and Stereotyper,
112 Fulton Street.

[Pg iii]


If there be any reader impelled to dip into notes of foreign travel mainly by a solicitude to perfect his knowledge of the manners and habits of good society, to which end he is anxious to learn how my Lord Shuffleton waltzes, what wine Baron Hob-and-nob patronizes, which tints predominate in Lady Highflyer's dress, and what is the probable color of the Duchess of Doublehose's garters, he will only waste his time by looking through this volume. Even if the species of literature he admires had not already been overdone, I have neither taste nor capacity for increasing it. It was my fortune sometimes while in Europe to "sit at good men's feasts," but I brought nothing away from them for the public, not even the names of my entertainers and their notable guests. If I had felt at liberty to sketch what struck me as the personal characteristics of some gentlemen of note or rank whom I met, especially in England, I do not doubt that the popular interest in those letters would have been materially heightened. I did not, however, deem myself authorized to do this. In a few instances, where individuals challenged observation and criticism by consenting to address public gatherings, I have spoken of the matter and manner of their speeches and indicated the impressions they made on me. Beyond this I did not feel authorized to go, even in the case of public men speaking to the public through reports for the daily press; while those whom I only met privately or in the discharge of kindred duties, as Jurors at the Exhibition, I have not felt at liberty to bring before the public at all. Having thus explained what will seem to many a lack of piquancy, in the following pages, implying a privation of social opportunities, I drop the subject.

No one can realize more fully than the writer the utter absence of literary merit in these Letters. He does not deprecate nor seek to disarm criticism; he only asks that his sketches be taken for what they[Pg iv] profess and strive to be, and for nothing else. That they are superficial, their title proclaims; that they were hurriedly written, with no thought of style nor of enduring interest, all whom they are likely to interest or to reach must already know. A journalist traveling in foreign lands, especially those which have been once the homes of his habitual readers or at least of their ancestors, cannot well refrain from writing of what he sees and hears; his observations have a value in the eyes of those readers which will be utterly unrecognized by the colder public outside of the sympathizing circle. For the habitual readers of The Tribune especially were these Letters written, and their original purpose has already been accomplished. Here they would have rested, but for the unsolicited offer of the publishers to reproduce them in a book at their own cost and risk, and on terms ensuring a fair share of any proceeds of their sale to the writer. Such offers from publishers to authors who have no established reputation as book-makers are rarely made and even more rarely refused. Therefore, Sir Critic! whose dog-eared manuscript has circulated from one publisher's drawer to another until its initial pages are scarcely readable, while the ample residue retain all their pristine freshness of hue, you are welcome to your revenge! Your novel may be tedious beyond endurance; your epic a preposterous waste of once valuable foolscap; but your slashing review is sure to be widely read and enjoyed.

My aim in writing these Letters was to give a clear and vivid daguerreotype of the districts I traversed and the incidents which came under my observation. To this end I endeavored to sec, so far as practicable, through my own eyes rather than those of others. To this end, I generally shunned guide-books, even those of the "indispensable" Murray, and relied mainly for routes and distances on the shilling hand-book of Bradshaw. That I have been misled into many inaccuracies and some gross blunders as to noted edifices, works of art, &c., is quite probable; but that I have truthfully though hastily indicated the topography, rural aspects, agricultural adaptations and more obvious social characteristics of the countries I traversed, I am nevertheless confident. I made a point of penning my impressions of each day's journey within the succeeding twenty-four hours if practicable, for I found that even a day's postponement impaired the distinctness of my recollections of the ever-varying panorama of hill and dale, moor and mountain, with long, level or undulating stretches of intermingled woods, grain, grass, &c., &c. I trust the picture I have attempted to give of out-door life in Western Europe, the workers in its fields and the clusters in its streets, will be recognized by competent judges as substantially correct.

[Pg v]The opinions expressed with respect to national characteristics or aptitude will of course appear crude and rash to those who regard them as based exclusively on the few days' personal observation in which they may seem to have originated. To those who regard them as grounded in some knowledge of history and of the present political and social condition of those nations, corrected and modified indeed by the personal observation aforesaid, their crudity and audacity will be somewhat less astounding. No one will doubt that other travelers in Europe have been far better qualified to observe and to judge than I was, yet I see and think, and am not forbidden to speak. We know already how Europe appears in the eyes of the learned and wise; but if some Nepaulese Embassador or vagrant Camanche were to publish his "first impressions" of Great Britain or Italy, should we utterly refuse to open it because Baird or Thackeray could give us more accurate information on that identical theme? Would not the Camanche's criticisms possess some value as his, quite apart from their intrinsic worth or worthlessness? Might they not afford some insight into Indian modes of thought, if none into European modes of life?

I deeply regret that the general impression made on me by the Italians was such that my estimate of their character and capabilities gave offence to their brethren now settled in this country. Their feeling is a natural, creditable one; I will not reply to their strictures, yet I must let what I wrote in Italy of the Italians stand unmodified. I shall be most happy indeed to confess my mistake whenever it shall have been proved such, but I cannot as yet perceive it. And to those who, not unreasonably, dilate on the rashness of such judgment on the part of one who was only some few weeks in Italy, and did not even understand its people's language, I beg leave to commend a perusal of "Casa Guidi Windows," by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I had not seen it when I wrote, and the coincidence of its estimate of the Italians with mine is of course utterly unpremeditated. Mrs. Browning speaks Italian and knows the Italians; she lived among them throughout the late eventful years; she sympathizes with their sufferings and prays for their deliverance, but without shutting her eyes to the faults and grave defects of character which impede that deliverance if they do not render it doubtful. To those who will read her brief but noble poem, I need say no more; on those who refuse to read it, words from me would be wasted. Believing that among the most imminent perils of the Republican cause in Europe is the danger of a premature, sanguinary, fruitless insurrection in Italy, I have done what I could to prevent any such catastrophe. When Liberty shall have been re-vindicated in France and shall thereupon have triumphed in Germany, the reign of despotism will [Pg vi]speedily terminate in Italy; until that time, I do not see how it can wisely be even resisted.

A word of explanation as to the "World's Fair" must close this too long introduction. The letters in this volume which refer to the great Exhibition of Industry were mainly written when the persistent and unsparing disparagement of the British Press had created a general impression that the American Exposition was a mortifying failure, and when even some of the Americans in Europe, taking their cue from that Press, were declaring themselves "ashamed of their country" because of such failure. Of course, these letters were written to correct the then prevalent errors. More recently, the tide has completely turned, until the danger now imminent is that of extravagant if not groundless exultation, so that this Fair would be treated somewhat differently if I were now to write about it. The truth lies midway between the extremes already indicated. Our share in the Exhibition was creditable to us as a nation not yet a century old, situated three to five thousand miles from London; it embraced many articles of great practical value though uncouth in form and utterly unattractive to the mere sight-seer; other nations will profit by it and we shall lose no credit; but it fell far short of what it might have been, and did not fairly exhibit the progress and present condition of the Useful Arts in this country. We can and must do better next time, and that without calling on the Federal Treasury to pay a dollar of the expense.

Friends in Europe! I may never again meet the greater number of you on earth; allow me thus informally to tender you my hearty thanks for many well remembered acts of unsought kindness and unexpected hospitality. That your future years may be many and prosperous, and your embarkation on the Great Voyage which succeeds the journey of life may be serene and hopeful, is the fervent prayer of

Yours, sincerely,

H. G.

New-York, October 1st, 1851.

[Pg vii]


I. Crossing the Atlantic, 9
II. Opening of the Fair, 19
III. The Great Exhibition, 29
IV. England—Hampton Court, 38
V. The Future of Labor—DayBreak, 47
VI. British Progress, 53
VII. London—New-York, 62
VIII. The Exhibition, 69
IX. Sights in London, 77
X. Political Economy, as Studied at the World's Exhibition, 87
XI. Royal Sunshine, 96
XII. The Flax-Cotton Revolution, 107
XIII. Leaving the Exhibition, 113
XIV. London to Paris, 120
XV. The Future of France, 127
XVI. Paris, Social and Moral, 134
XVII. Paris, Political and Social, 141
XVIII. The Palaces of France, 149
XIX. France, Central and Eastern, 157
XX. Lyons to Turin, 164
XXI. Sardinia—Italy—Freedom, 174
XXII. Pisa—The Leaning Tower (Letter Missing), 184
XXIII. First Day in the Papal States, 186[Pg viii]
XXIV. The Eternal City, 191
XXV. St. Peter's, 201
XXVI. The Romans of To-day, 208
XXVII. Central Italy—Florence, 214
XXVIII. Eastern Italy—The Po, 222
XXIX. Venice, 231
XXX. Lombardy, 238
XXXI. Switzerland, 248
XXXII. Lucerne to Basle, 256
XXXIII. Germany, 261
XXXIV. Belgium, 268
XXXV. Paris to London, 273
XXXVI. Universal Peace Congress, 279
XXXVII. America at the World's Fair, 286
XXXVIII. England, Central and Northern, 293
XXXIX. Scotland, 303
XL. Ireland—Ulster, 308
XLI. West of Ireland—Atlantic Mails, 312
XLII. Ireland—South, 320
XLIII. Prospects of Ireland, 328
XLIV. The English, 340

[Pg 9]




Liverpool (Eng.), April 28th, 1851.

The leaden skies, the chilly rain, the general out-door aspect and prospect of discomfort prevailing in New York when our good steamship Baltic cast loose from her dock at noon on the 16th inst., were not particularly calculated to inspire and exhilarate the goodly number who were then bidding adieu, for months at least, to home, country, and friends. The most sanguine of the inexperienced, however, appealed for solace to the wind, which they, so long as the City completely sheltered us on the east, insisted was blowing from "a point West of North"—whence they very logically deduced that the north-east storm, now some thirty-six to forty-eight hours old, had spent its force, and would soon give place to a serene and lucid atmosphere. I believe the Barometer at no time countenanced this augury, which a brief experience sufficed most signally to confute. Before we had passed Coney Island, it was abundantly certain that our freshening breeze hailed directly from Labrador and the icebergs beyond, and had no idea of changing its quarters. By the time we were fairly outside of Sandy Hook, we were struggling with as uncomfortable [Pg 10]and damaging a cross-sea as had ever enlarged my slender nautical experience; and in the course of the next hour the high resolves, the valorous defiances, of the scores who had embarked in the settled determination that they would not be sea-sick, had been exchanged for pallid faces and heaving bosoms. Of our two hundred passengers, possibly one-half were able to face the dinner-table at 4 P. M.; less than one-fourth mustered to supper at 7; while a stern but scanty remnant—perhaps twenty in all—answered the summons to breakfast next morning.

I was not in any one of these categories. So long as I was able, I walked the deck, and sought to occupy my eyes, my limbs, my brain, with something else than the sea and its perturbations. The attempt, however, proved a signal failure. By the time we were five miles off the Hook, I was a decided case; another hour laid me prostrate, though I refused to leave the deck; at six o'clock a friend, finding me recumbent and hopeless in the smokers' room, persuaded and helped me to go below. There I unbooted and swayed into my berth, which endured me, perforce, for the next twenty-four hours. I then summoned strength to crawl on deck, because, while I remained below, my sufferings were barely less than while walking above, and my recovery hopeless.

I shall not harrow up the souls nor the stomachs of landsmen, as yet reveling in blissful ignorance of its tortures, with any description of sea-sickness. They will know all in ample season; or if not, so much the better. But naked honesty requires a correction of the prevalent error that this malady is necessarily transient and easily overcome. Thousands who imagine they have been sea-sick on some River or Lake steamboat, or even during a brief sleigh-ride, are annually putting to sea with as little necessity or urgency as suffices to send them on a jaunt to Niagara or the White Mountains. They suppose they may very probably be "qualmish" for a few hours, but that [Pg 11](they fancy) will but highten the general enjoyment of the voyage. Now it is quite true that any green sea-goer may be sick for a few hours only; he may even not be sick at all. But the probability is very far from this, especially when the voyage is undertaken in any other than one of the four sunniest, blandest months in the year. Of every hundred who cross the Atlantic for the first time, I am confident that two-thirds endure more than they had done in all the five years preceding—more than they would do during two months' hard labor as convicts in a State Prison. Of our two hundred, I think fifty did not see a healthy or really happy hour during the passage; while as many more were sufferers for at least half the time. The other hundred were mainly Ocean's old acquaintances, and on that account treated more kindly; but many of these had some trying hours.

Utter indifference to life and all its belongings is one of the characteristics of a genuine case of sea-sickness No. 1. I enjoyed some opportunities of observing this during our voyage. For instance: One evening I was standing by a sick gentleman who had dragged himself or been carried on deck and laid down on a water-proof mattress which raised him two or three inches from the floor. Suddenly a great wave broke square over the bow of the ship and rushed aft in a river through either gangway—the two streams reuniting beyond the purser's and doctor's offices, just where the sick man lay. Any live man would have jumped to his feet as suddenly as if a rattlesnake were whizzing in his blanket; but the sufferer never moved, and the languid coolness of eye wherewith he regarded the rushing flood which made an island of him was most expressive. Happily, the wave had nearly spent its force and was now so rapidly diffused that his refuge was not quite overflowed.

Of course, those who have voyaged and not suffered will pronounce my general picture grossly exaggerated; wherein [Pg 12]they will be faithful to their own experience, as I am to mine. I write for the benefit of the uninitiated, to warn them, not against braving the ocean when they must or ought, but against resorting to it for pastime. Voyaging cannot be enjoyment to most of them; it must be suffering. The sonorous rhymesters in praise of "A Life on the Ocean Wave," "The Sea! the Sea! the Open Sea!" &c. were probably never out of sight of land in a gale in their lives. If they were ever "half seas over," the liquid which buoyed them up was not brine, but wine, which is quite another affair. And, as they are continually luring people out of soundings who might far better have remained on terra firma, I lift up my voice in warning against them. "A home on the raging deep," is not a scene of enjoyment, even to the sailor, who suffers only from hardship and exposure; no other laborer's wages are so dearly earned as his, and his season of enjoyment is not the voyage but the stay in port. He is compelled to work hardest just when other out-door laborers deem working at all out of the question. To him Night and Day are alike in their duties as in their exemptions; while the more furious and blinding the tempest, the greater must be his exertions, perils and privations. In fair weather his hours of rest are equal to his hours of labor; in bad weather he may have no hours of rest whatever. Should he find such, he flings himself into his bunk for a few hours in his wet clothes, and turns out smoking like a coal-pit at the next summons to duty, to be drenched afresh in the cold affusions of sea and sky—and so on. An old sea-captain assured me that his crew were sometimes in wet clothing throughout an Atlantic voyage.

Our weather was certainly bad, though not the worst. We started on our course, after leaving Sandy-Hook, in the teeth of a North-Easter, and it clung to us like a brother. It varied to East North-East, East South-East, South East, and occasionally condescended to blow a little from nearly North or nearly South, but we had not six hours of [Pg 13]Westerly or semi-Westerly wind throughout the passage. There may have been two days in all, though I think not, in which some of the principal sails could be made to draw; but they were necessarily set so sharply at angles with the ship as to do little good. Usually, one or two trysails were all the canvass displayed, and they rather served to steady the ship than to aid her progress; while for days together, stripped to her naked spars, she was compelled to push her bowsprit into the wind's very eye by the force of her engines alone. And that wind, though no hurricane, had a will of its own; while the waves, rolled perpetually against her bow by so long a succession of easterly winds, were a decided impediment to our progress. I doubt whether there is another steamship which could have made the passage safely and without extra effort in less time than the Baltic did.

Our weather was not all bad, though we had no thoroughly fair day—no day entirely free from rain—none in which the decks were dry throughout. In fact, the spray often kept them thoroughly drenched, especially aft, when there was no rain at all. During four or five of the twelve days we had some hour or more of semi-sunshine either at morning, midday or toward night. The only gales of much account were those of our first night off Long Island and our last before seeing land (Saturday), when on coming into soundings off the coast of Ireland, we had a very decided blow and (the ship having become very light by the consumption of most of her coal) the worst kind of a sea. It gave me my sickest hour, though not my worst day.

Our dreariest days were Wednesday and Thursday, 23d and 24th, when we were a little more than half way across. With the wind precisely ahead and very strong, the skies black and lowering, a pretty constant rain, and a driving, blinding spray which drenched every thing above the decks, themselves ankle-deep in water, I cannot well imagine how two hundred fellow-passengers, driven down and kept down [Pg 14]in the cabins and state-rooms of a steamship, could well be treated to a more dismal prospect. I thought the philosophy even of the card-players (who were by far the most industrious and least miserable class among us) was tried by it.

Spacious as the Baltic is, two hundred passengers with fifty or sixty attendants, confined for days together to her cabins, fill her quite full enough. For those who are thoroughly well, there are society, reading, eating, play and other pastimes; but for the sick and helpless, who can neither read nor play, whom even conversation fatigues, and to whom the under-deck smell, especially in connection with food, is intensely revolting, I can imagine no heavier hours short of absolute torture. Having endured these, I had nothing beyond them to dread, and it was rather a satisfaction, on reaching the Irish coast, to be greeted with a succession of hail-squalls—to work up the Channel against a wet North-Easter, and be landed in Liverpool (after a tedious detention for lack of water on the bar at the mouth of the Mersey) under sullen skies and in a dripping rain. I wanted to see the thing out, and would have taken amiss any deceitful smiles of Fortune after I had learned to dispense with her favors.

There yet remains the grateful duty of speaking of the mitigations of our trials. And in the first place, the Baltic herself is unquestionably one of the safest and most commodious sea-boats in the world. She is probably not the fastest, especially with a strong head wind and sea, because of her great bulk and the area of resistance she presents both above and below the water-line; but for strength and excellence of construction, steadiness of movement, and perfection of accommodations, she can have no superior. Her wheels never missed a revolution from the time she discharged her New-York pilot till the time she stopped them to take on board his Liverpool counterpart, off Holyhead: and her sailing qualities, tested under the most unfavorable auspices, are also admirable. She needs [Pg 15]but good weather to make the run in ten days from dock to dock; she would have done it this time had the winds been the reverse of what they were or as the Asia had them before her. The luck cannot always be against her.

Praise of commanders and officers of steamships has become so common that it has lost all emphasis, all force. I presume this is for the most part deserved; for it is not likely that the great responsibility of sailing these ships would be entrusted to any other than the very fittest hands; and this is a matter wherein mistakes may by care be avoided. The qualities of a seaman, a commander, do not lie dormant; the ocean tries and proves its men; while in this service the whole traveling public are the observers and judges. But such a voyage as we have just made tries the temper as well as the capacity, it calls into exercise every faculty, and lays bare defects if such there be. To sweep gaily on before a fresh, fair breeze, is comparatively easy, but few landsmen can realize the patient assiduity and nautical skill required to extract propelling power from winds determined to be dead ahead. How nicely the sails must be set at the sharpest angle with the course of the vessel, and sometimes that course itself varied a point or two to make them draw at all; how often they must be shifted, or reefed, or furled; how much labor and skill must be put in requisition to secure a very slight addition to the speed of the ship—all this I am not seaman enough to describe, though I can admire. And during the entire voyage, with its many vicissitudes, I did not hear one harsh or profane word from an officer, one sulky or uncivil response from a subordinate. And the perfection of Capt. Comstock's commandership in my eyes was that, though always on the alert and giving direction to every movement, he did not need to command half so much nor to make himself anything like so conspicuous as an ordinary man would. I willingly believe that some share of the merit of this is due to the admirable qualities of his [Pg 16]assistants, especially Lieuts. Duncan and Hunter, of the U. S. Navy.

In the way of food and attendance, nothing desirable was wanting but Health and Appetite. Four meals per day were regularly provided—at 8, 12, 4 and 7 o'clock respectively—which would favorably compare with those proffered at any but the very best Hotels; and some of the dinners—that of the last Sunday especially—would have done credit to the Astor or Irving. Of course I state this with the reservation that the best water and the best milk that can be had at sea are to me unpalatable, and that, even when I can eat under a deck, it is a penance to do so. But these drawbacks are Ocean's fault, or mine; not the Baltic's. Many of the passengers ate their four meals regularly, after the first day out, with abundant relish; and one young New-Yorker added a fifth, by taking a supper at ten each night with a capital appetite, after doing full justice to the four regular meals. If he could only patent his digestion and warrant it, he might turn his back on merchandise evermore.

The attendance on the sick was the best feature of all. Aside from the constant and kind assiduities of Dr. Crary, the ship's physician, the patience and watchfulness with which the sick were nursed and tended, their wants sought out, their wishes anticipated, were remarkable. Many had three meals per day served to them separately in their berths or on deck, and even at unseasonable hours, and often had special delicacies provided for them, without a demur or sulky look. As there was no extra charge for this, it certainly surpassed any preconception on my part of steamship amenity. I trust the ever-moving attendants received something more than their wages for their arduous labors: they certainly deserved it.

The notable incidents of our passage were very few. An iceberg was seen to the northward one morning about sunrise, by those who were on deck at that hour; but it [Pg 17]kept at a respectful distance, and we thought the example worthy of our imitation. I understand that the rising sun's rays on its surface produced a fine effect. A single school of whales exhibited their flukes for our edification—so I heard. Several vessels were seen the first morning out, while we were in the Gulf Stream: one or two from day to day, and of course a number as we neared the entrance of the Channel on this side; but there were days wherein we saw no sail but our own; and I think we traversed nearly a thousand miles at one time on this great highway of nations, without seeing one. Such facts give some idea of the ocean's immensity, but I think few can realize, save by experiment, the weary length of way from New-York to Liverpool, nor the quantity of blue water which separates the two points. Friends who went to California by Cape-Horn and were sea-sick, I proffer you my heart felt sympathies!—It was some consolation to me, even when most ill and impatient, to reflect that the gales, so adverse to us, were most propitious to the many emigrant-freighted packets which at this season are conveying thousands to our country's shores, and whose clouds of canvas occasionally loomed upon us in the distance. What were our "light afflictions" compared with those of the multitudes crowded into their stifling steerages, so devoid of conveniences and comforts! Speed on, O favored coursers of the deep, bearing swiftly those suffering exiles to the land of Hope and Freedom!

We had a law trial by way of variety last Saturday—Capt. Comstock having been duly indicted and arraigned for Humbug, in permitting us to be so long beset by all manner of easterly winds with never a puff from the westward. Hon. Ashbel Smith, from Texas, officiated as Chief Justice; a Jury of six ladies and six gentlemen were empaneled; James T. Brady conducted the prosecution with much wit and spirit; while Æolus, Neptune, Capt. Cuttle, Jack Bunsby, &c. testified for the prosecution, and [Pg 18]Fairweather, Westwind, Brother Jonathan and Mr. Steady gave evidence for the defence. The fun was rather heavy, but the audience was very good natured, and whatever the witnesses lacked in wit, they made up in extravagance of costume, so that two hours were whiled away quite endurably. The Jury not only acquitted the Captain without leaving their seats, but subjected the prosecutors to heavy damages (in wine) as malicious defamers. The verdict was received with unanimous and hearty approval.

But I must stop and begin again. Suffice it, that, though we ought to have landed here inside of twelve days from New York, the difference in time (Liverpool using that of Greenwich for Railroad convenience) being all but five hours—yet the long prevalence of Easterly winds had so lowered the waters of the Mersey by driving those of the Channel westerly into the Atlantic, that the pilot declined the responsibility of taking our ship over the Bar till high water, which was nearly seven o'clock. We then ran up opposite the City, but there was no dock-room for the Baltic, and passengers and light baggage were ferried ashore in a "steam-tug" which we in New York should deem unworthy to convey market garbage. At last, after infinite delay and vexation, caused in good part by the necessity of a custom-house scrutiny even of carpet-bags, because men will smuggle cigars ashore here, even in their pockets, we were landed about 9 o'clock, and to-morrow I set my watch by an English sun. There is promise of brighter skies. I shall hasten up to London to witness the opening of the World's Fair; and so, "My Native Land, Good Night!"

[Pg 19]



London, Thursday, May 1, 1851.

Our Human Life is either comic or tragic, according to the point of view from which we regard it. The observer will be impelled to laugh or to weep over it, as he shall fix his attention on men's follies or their sufferings. So of the Great Exhibition, and more especially its Royal Inauguration, which I have just returned from witnessing. There can be no serious doubt that the Fair has good points; I think it is a good thing for London first, for England next, and will ultimately benefit mankind. And yet, it would not be difficult so to depict it (and truly), that its contrivers and managers would never think of deeming the picture complimentary.

But let us have the better side first by all means. The show is certainly a great one, greater in extent, in variety, and in the excellence of a large share of its contents, than the world has hitherto seen. The Crystal Palace, which covers and protects all, is better than any one thing it contains, it is really a fairy wonder, and is a work of inestimable value as a suggestion for future architecture. It is not merely better adapted to its purpose than any other edifice ever yet built could be, but it combines remarkable cheapness with vast and varied utility. Depend on it, stone and timber will have to stand back for iron and glass hereafter, to an extent not yet conceivable. The triumph of Paxton is perfect, and heralds a revolution.

[Pg 20]The day has been very favorable—fair, bland and dry. It is now 4 P. M. and there has been no rain since daylight, but a mere sprinkle at noon unregarded by us insiders—the longest exemption from "falling weather" I have known since I left New York, and I believe the daily showers or squalls in this city reach still further back. True, even this day would be deemed a dull one in New York, but there was a very fair imitation of sunshine this morning, and we enjoy rather more than American moonlight still, though the sky is partially clouded. [How can they have had the conscience to tax such light as they get up in this country?] Of course the turn out has been immense; I estimate the number inside of the building at thirty thousand, and I presume ten times as many went out of their way to gaze at the Procession, though that was not much. Our New York Fire Department could beat it; so could our Odd-Fellows.—Then the most perfect order was preserved throughout; everything was done in season and without botching; no accident occurred to mar the festivity, and the general feeling was one of hearty satisfaction. If it were a new thing to see a Queen, Court and aristocracy engaged in doing marked honor to Industry, they certainly performed gracefully the parts allotted them, and with none of the awkwardness or blundering which novel situations are expected to excuse. But was the play well cast?

The Sovereign in a monarchy is of course always in order: to be honored for doing his whole duty; to be honored more signally if he does more than his duty. Prince Albert's sphere as the Sovereign's consort is very limited, and he shows rare sense and prudence in never evincing a desire to overstep it. I think few men live who could hold his neutral and hampered position and retain so entirely the sincere respect and esteem of the British Nation. His labors in promoting this Exhibition began early and have been arduous, persistent and effective. [Pg 21]Any Inauguration of the Fair in which he did not prominently figure would have done him injustice. The Queen appears to be personally popular in a more direct and positive sense. I cannot remember that any one act of her public life has ever been condemned by the public sentiment of the Country. Almost every body here appears to esteem it a condescension for her to open the Exhibition as though it were a Parliament, and with far more of personal exertion and heartiness on her part. And while I must regard her vocation as one rather behind the intelligence of this age and likely to go out of fashion at no distant day, yet I am sure that change will not come through her fault. I was glad to see her in the pageant to-day, and hope she enjoyed it while ministering to the enjoyment of others.

But let us reverse the glass for a moment. The ludicrous, the dissonant, the incongruous, are not excluded from the Exhibition: they cannot be excluded from any complete picture of its Opening. The Queen, we will say, was here by Right Divine, by right of Womanhood, by Universal Suffrage—any how you please. The ceremonial could not have spared her. But in inaugurating the first grand cosmopolitan Olympiad of Industry, ought not Industry to have had some representation, some vital recognition, in her share of the pageant? If the Queen had come in state to the Horse-Guards to review the élite of her military forces, no one would doubt that "the Duke" should figure in the foreground, with a brilliant staff of Generals and Colonels surrounding him. So, if she were proceeding to open Parliament her fitting attendants would be Ministers and Councillors of State. But what have her "Gentleman Usher of Sword and State," "Lords in Waiting," "Master of the Horse," "Earl Marshal," "Groom of the Stole," "Master of the Buckhounds," and such uncouth fossils, to do with a grand Exhibition of the fruits of Industry? What, in their official capacity, have these and theirs ever [Pg 22]had to do with Industry unless to burden it, or with its Products but to consume or destroy them? The "Mistress of the Robes" would be in place if she ever fashioned any robes, even for the Queen; so would the "Ladies of the Bedchamber" if they did anything with beds except to sleep in them. As the fact is, their presence only served to strengthen the presumption that not merely their offices but that of Royalty itself is an anachronism, and all should have deceased with the era to which they properly belonged. It was well indeed that Paxton should have a proud place in the procession; but he held it in no representative capacity; he was there not in behalf of Architecture but of the Crystal Palace. To have rendered the pageant expressive, congruous, and really a tribute to Industry, the posts of honor next the Queen's person should have been confided on this occasion to the children of Watt, of Arkwright and their compeers (Napoleon's real conquerors;) while instead of Grandees and Foreign Embassadors, the heirs of Fitch, of Fulton, of Jacquard, of Whitney, of Daguerre, &c., with the discoverers, inventors, architects and engineers to whom the world is primarily indebted for Canals, Railroads, Steamships, Electric Telegraphs, &c., &c., should have been specially invited to swell the Royal cortege. To pass over all these, and summon instead the descendants of some dozen lucky Norman robbers, none of whom ever contemplated the personal doing of any real work as even a remote possibility, and any of whom would feel insulted by a report that his father or grandfather invented the Steam Engine or Spinning Jenny, is not the fittest way to honor Industry. The Queen's Horticulturists, Gardeners, Carpenters, Upholsterers, Milliners, &c., would have been far more in place in the procession than her "gold stick," "silver stick," and kindred absurdities.

And yet, empty and blundering as the conception of this pageant may seem and is, there is nevertheless marrow [Pg 23]and hope in it. "The world does move," O Galileo! carrying onward even those who forced you to deny the truth you had demonstrated! We may well say that these gentlemen in ribbons and stars cannot truly honor Labor while they would deem its performance by their own sons a degradation; but the grandfathers of these Dukes and Barons would have deemed themselves as much dishonored by uniting in this Royal ovation to gingham weavers and boiler-makers as these men would by being compelled to weave the cloth and forge the iron themselves. Patience, impetuous souls! the better day dawns, though the morning air is chilly. We shall be able to elect something else than Generals to the Presidency before this century is out, and the Right of every man to live by Labor—consequently, to a place where he may live, on the sole condition that he is willing to labor—stands high on the general orders, and must soon be up for National and universal discussion. The Earls and Dukes of a not distant day will train their sons in schools of Agriculture, Architecture, Chemistry, Mineralogy, &c., inspiring each to win fame and rank for himself by signal and brilliant usefulness, instead of resting upon and wearing out the fame won by some ancestor on the battle-field of the old barbarian time. Even To-Day's hollow pageant is an augury of this. It is Browning, I think, who says,

"All men become good creatures, but so slow."

Let us, taking heart from the reflection that we live in the age of the Locomotive and the Telegraph, cheerfully press onward!

We will consider the Fair opened.

I shall venture no especial criticisms as yet—first because the Exhibition is not ready for it; next because I am in the same predicament. A few general observations must close this letter.

Immense as the quantity of goods offered for exhibition is, [Pg 24]it is not equal to the enormous capacity of the building, to which Castle Garden is but a dog-kennel. [I do hope we may have a Crystal Palace of like proportions in New-York within two years; it would be of inestimable worth as a study to our young architects, builders and artisans. If such an edifice were constructed in some fit locality to be leased out in portions, under proper regulations, for stores, I believe it would pay handsomely. Each store might be separated from those next it by partitions of iron and glass; the fronts might be made of movable plates of glass or left entirely open; the entire building being opened at eight in the morning, closed at eight at night, and carefully watched at all times.] True, many things are yet to be received, and some already in the building remain in the boxes; still, I think there will be some nakedness, even a week hence. The opportunity for seeing every thing, judging every thing, is all the better for this, and indeed is unexampled.

The display from different countries is very unequal, even in proportion: Old England is of course here in her might; France has a vast collection, especially of articles appealing to taste or fancy; but Germany and the rest of the Continent have less than I expected to see; and the show from the United States disappoints many by its alleged meagerness. I do not view it in the same light, nor regret, with a New-York merchant whom I met in the Fair to-day, that Congress did not appropriate $100,000 to secure a full and commanding exhibition of American products at this Fair. I do not see how any tangible and adequate benefit to the Nation would have resulted from such a dubious disposition of National funds. In the first place, our great Agricultural staples—at least, all such as find markets abroad—are already accessible and well known here. Bales of Cotton, casks of Hams or other Meats, barrels of Flour or Resin, hogsheads of Tobacco, &c., might have been heaped up here as high as St. Paul's [Pg 25]steeple—to what end? Europeans already know that we produce these staples in abundance and perfection, and when they want them they buy of us. I doubt whether cumbering the Fair with them would have either promoted the National interest or exalted the National reputation. It would have served rather to deepen the impression, already too general both at home and abroad, that we are a rude, clumsy people, inhabiting a broad, fertile domain, affording great incitements to the most slovenly description of Agriculture, and that it is our policy to stick to that, and let alone the nicer processes of Art, which require dexterity and delicacy of workmanship. We must outgrow this error.

Our Manufacturers are in many departments grossly deficient, in others inferior to the best rival productions of Europe. In Silks and Linens, we have nothing now to show; I trust the case will be bravely altered within a few years. In broad cloths, we are behind and going behind, but in Satinets, Flannels, (woolen) Shawls, De Laines, Ginghams, Drills and most plain Cottons, we are producing as effectively as our rivals, and in many departments gaining upon them. But few of these are goods which make much show in a Fair; three cases of Parisian gewgaws will outshine in an exhibition a million dollars' worth of admirable and cheap Muslins, Drills, Flannels, &c. And beside, our Manufacturers, who find themselves met at every turn, and often supplanted at their own doors by showy fabrics from abroad, are shy of calling attention in Europe to the few articles which, by the help of valuable American inventions, they are able to make and sell at a profit. I know this consideration has kept some goods and more machinery at home which would otherwise have been here. The manufacturers are here or are coming, to see what knowledge or skill they can pick up, but they are not so ready to tell all they know. They think the odds in favor of those who work against them backed by the cheap [Pg 26]Labor and abundant Capital of Europe, are quite sufficient already.

Still, there are some Yankee Notions that I wish had been sent over. I think our Cut Nails, our Pins, our Wood Screws, &c. should have been represented. India Rubber is abundant here, but I have seen no Gutta Percha, and our New-York Company (Hudson Manufacturing) might have put a new wrinkle on John Bull's forehead by sending over an assorted case of their fabrics. The Brass and kindred fabrics of Waterbury (Conn.) ought not to have come up missing, and a set of samples of the "Flint Enameled Ware" of Vermont, I should have been proud of for Vermont's sake. A light Jersey wagon, a Yankee ox-cart, and two or three sets of American Farming Implements, would have been exactly in play here. Our Scythes, Cradles, Hoes, Rakes, Axes, Sowing, Reaping, Threshing and Winnowing machines, &c., &c., are a long distance ahead of the British—so the best judges say; and where their machines are good they cost too much ever to come into general use. There is a pretty good set of Yankee Ploughs here, and they are likely to do good. I believe Connecticut Clocks and Maine (North Wayne) Axes are also well represented. But either Rochester, Syracuse, or Albany could have beaten the whole show in Farming Tools generally.

Yet there are many good things in the American department. In Daguerreotypes, it seems to be conceded that we beat the world, when excellence and cheapness are both considered—at all events, England is no where in comparison—and our Daguerreotypists make a great show here.—New Jersey Zinc, Lake Superior Copper, Adirondack Iron and Steel, are well represented either by ores or fabrics, and I believe California Gold is to be.—But I am speaking on the strength of a very hasty examination. I shall continue in attendance from day to day and hope to glean from the show some ideas that may be found or made useful.

[Pg 27]P. S.—The Official Catalogue of the Fair is just issued. It has been got up in great haste, and must necessarily be imperfect, but it extends to 320 double-column octavo pages on brevier type (not counting advertisements) and is sold for a shilling—(24 cents). Some conception of the extent of the Fair may be obtained from the following hasty summary of a portion of the contents, showing the number of Exhibitors in certain departments, as classified in the Official Catalogue, viz:

Coal, Slate, Grindstone, Limestone, Granite, &c. (outside the building), 44
Mining and Mineral Products (inside), 366
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Products, 103
Substances used as Food, 133
Vegetable and Animal Substances used in Manufactures, 94
Machines for Direct Use, including Carriages, Railway and Marine Mechanism, 339
Manufacturing Machines and Tools, 225
Civil Engineering and Building Contrivances, 177
Naval Architecture, Guns, Weapons, &c. 260
Agricultural and Horticultural Machines and Implements, 287
Philosophical, Musical, Horological and Surgical Instruments, 535
Total, so far, 2563

The foregoing occupy but 55 of the 300 pages devoted expressly to the Catalogue, so that the whole number of Exhibitors cannot be less than Ten Thousand, and is probably nearer Fifteen Thousand; and as two articles from each would be a low estimate, I think the number of distinct articles already on exhibition cannot fall below Thirty Thousand, counting all of any class which may be entered by a single exhibitor as one article. Great Britain fills 136 pages of the Catalogue; her Colonies and Foreign possessions 48 more; Austria 16; Belgium 8, China 2, Denmark 1, Egypt 2½, France and Algiers 35, Prussia and the Zoll Verein States 19; Bavaria 2, Saxony 5, Wirtemburg 2, Hesse, Nassau and Luxemburg 3, Greece 1, Hamburgh 1, Holland 2, Portugal 3½; Madeira 1[Pg 28], Papal State ½, Russia 5, Sardinia 1½, Spain 5, Sweden and Norway 1, Switzerland 5, Tunis 2½, Tuscany 2, United States 8½. So the United States stands fifth on the list of contributing Countries, ranking next after Great Britain herself, France, Austria, and Prussian Germany, and far ahead of Holland and Switzerland, which have long been held up as triumphant examples of Industrial progress and thrift under Free Trade; and these, with all the countries which show more than we do, are close at hand, while our country is on the average more than 4,000 miles off.—I am confirmed in my view that the cavils at the meagerness of our contribution are not well grounded.

[Pg 29]



London, Thursday, May 6th, 1851.

"The World's Fair," as we Americans have been accustomed to call it, has now been open five days, but is not yet in complete order, nor anything like it. The sound of the saw and the hammer salutes the visiter from every side, and I think not less than five hundred carpenters and other artisans are busy in the building to-day. The week will probably close before the fixtures will have all been put up and the articles duly arranged for exhibition. As yet, a great many remain in their transportation boxes, while others are covered with canvas, though many more have been put in order within the last two days. Through the great center aisle very little remains unaccomplished; but on the sides, in the galleries, and in the department of British Machinery, there is yet work to do which another week will hardly see concluded. Meantime, the throng of visiters is immense, though the unexampled extent of the People's Palace prevents any crush or inconvenience. I think there cannot have been less than Ten Thousand visiters in the building to-day.

Of course, any attempt to specify, or to set forth the merits or defects of particular articles, must here be futile. Such a universe of materials, inventions and fabrics defies that mode of treatment. But I will endeavor to give some general idea of the Exhibition.

If you enter the building at the East, you are in the [Pg 30]midst of the American contributions, to which a great space has been allotted, which they meagerly fill. Passing westward down the aisle, our next neighbor is Russia, who had not an eighth of our space allotted to her, and has filled that little far less thoroughly and creditably than we have. It is said that the greater part of the Russian articles intended for the Fair are yet ice-bound in the Baltic. France, Austria, Switzerland, Prussia and other German States succeed her; the French contributions being equal (I think) in value, if not in extent and variety, to those of all the rest of the Continent. Bohemia has sent some admirable Glassware; Austria a suit of apartments thoroughly and sumptuously furnished, which wins much regard and some admiration. There is of course a great array of tasteful design and exquisite workmanship from France, though I do not just now call to mind any article of transcendent merit.

The main aisle is very wide, forming a broad promenade on each side with a collection of Sculpture, Statuary, Casts, &c. &c. between them. Foremost among these is Powers's Greek Slave, never seen to better advantage; and I should say there are from fifty to a hundred other works of Art—mainly in Marble or Bronze.—Some of them have great merit. Having passed down this avenue several hundred Feet, you reach the Transept, where the great diamond "Koh-i-Noor" (Mountain of Light) with other royal contributions, have place. Here, in the exact center of the Exhibition, is a beautiful Fountain (nearly all glass but the water,) which has rarely been excelled in design or effect. The fluid is projected to a height of some thirty feet, falling thence into a succession of regularly enlarging glass basins, and finally reaching in streams and spray the reservoir below. A hundred feet or more on either side stand two stately, graceful trees, entirely included in the building, whose roof of glass rises clear above them, seeming a nearer [Pg 31]sky. These trees (elms, I believe) are fuller and fresher in leaf than those outside, having been shielded from the chilling air and warmed by the genial roof. Nature's contribution to the Great Exhibition is certainly a very admirable one, and fairly entitles her to a first-class Medal.

The other half of the main aisle is externally a duplicate of that already described, but is somewhat differently filled. This is the British end of the Exhibition, containing far more in quantity than all the rest put together. The finest and costliest fabrics are ranged on either side of this end of the grand aisle.

The show of Colonial products is not vast but comprehensive, giving a vivid idea of the wide extent and various climates of Britain's dependencies. Corn, Wheat, &c., from the Canadas; Sugar and Coffee from the West Indies; fine Wood from Australia; Rice, Cotton, &c., from India; with the diversified products of Asia, Africa and America, fill this department. Manufactured textile fabrics from Sydney, from India, and from Upper Canada, are here very near each other; while Minerals, Woods, &c., from every land and every clime are nearly in contact. I apprehend John Bull, whatever else he may learn, will not be taught meekness by this Exhibition.

The Mineral department of the British display is situated on the south side. I think it can hardly be less than five hundred feet long by over one hundred wide, and it is doubtless the most complete ever thus set before the public. Here are shown every variety and condition of Coal, and of Iron, Copper, Lead, Tin, &c. Of Gold there is little, and of Silver, Zinc, Quicksilver, &c., not a great deal. But not only are the Ores of the metals first named varied and abundant, with Native Copper, Silver, &c., but the metals are also shown in every stage of their progress, from the rude elements just wrenched from the earth to the most refined and perfect bars or ingots. This [Pg 32]department will richly reward the study of the mineralogists, present and future.

Directly opposite, on the North side of the British half of the main avenue, is the British exhibition of Machinery, occupying even more space than the Minerals. I never saw one-fourth as much Machinery together before; I do not expect ever to see so much again. Almost every thing that a Briton has ever invented, improved or patented in the way of Machinery is here brought together. The great Cylinder Press on which The Times is printed (not the individual, but the kind) may here be seen in operation; the cylinders revolve horizontally as ours do vertically; and though something is gained in security by the British press, more must be lost in speed. Hoe's last has not yet been equaled on this island. But in Spinning, Weaving, and the subsidiary arts there are some things here, to me novelties, which our manufacturers must borrow or surpass; though I doubt whether spinning, on the whole, is effected with less labor in Great Britain than in the United States. There are many recent improvements here, but I observe none of absorbing interest. However, I have much yet to see and more to comprehend in this department. I saw one loom weaving Lace of a width which seemed at least three yards; a Pump that would throw very nearly water enough to run a grist-mill, &c. &c. I think the American genius is quicker, more wide-awake, more fertile than the British; I think that if our manufactures were as extensive and firmly established as the British, we should invent and improve machinery much faster than they do; but I do not wish to deny that this is quite a considerable country.

Wednesday, May 7—4 P. M.

I have just returned from another and my seventh daily visit to the Great Exhibition. I believe I have thus far been among the most industrious visitors, and yet I have [Pg 33]not yet even glanced at one-half the articles exhibited, while I have only glanced at most of those I have seen. Of course, I am in no condition to pronounce judgments, and any opinion I may express must be taken subject to future revisal and modification.

I know well that so large and diversified a show of Machinery could not be made up in the United States as is here presented in behalf of British Invention; yet I think a strictly American Fair might be got up which would evince more originality of creation or design. If I am wrong in this, I shall cheerfully say so when convinced of it. Many of these machines are very good of their kind without involving any novel principle or important adaptation. With regard to Flax-Dressing, for example, I find less here than I had hoped to see; and though what I have seen appears to do its work well and with commendable economy of material, I think there are more efficient and rapid Flax-Dressers in the United States than are contained in this Exhibition. I have not yet examined the machinery for Spinning and Weaving the dressed Flax fiber, but am glad to see that it is in operation. The report that the experiments in Flax-Cotton have "failed" does not in the least discourage me. Who ever heard of a great economical discovery or invention that had not been repeatedly pronounced a failure before it ultimately and indubitably succeeded?

I found one promising invention in the British department to-day, viz: Henley's Magnetic Telegraph, or rather, the generator of its power. The magnet, I was assured, did not require nor consume any substance whatever, but generated its electricity spontaneously, and in equal measure in all varieties of weather, so that the wildest storm of lightning, hail, snow or rain makes no difference in the working of the Telegraph. If such be the fact, the invention is one of great merit and value, and must be speedily adopted in our country, where the liability of Telegraphs [Pg 34]to be interrupted by storms is a crying evil. I trust it is now near its end.

Switzerland has a very fine show of Fabrics in the Fair—I think more in proportion to her numbers than any other Foreign Nation. Of Silks she displays a great amount, and they are mainly of excellent quality. She shows Shawls, Ginghams, Woolens, &c., beside, as well as Watches and Jewelry; but her Silk is her best point. The Chinese, Australian, Egyptian and Mexican contributions are quite interesting, but they suggest little or nothing, unless it be the stolidity of their contrivers.

I see that Punch this week reiterates The Times's slurs at the meagerness and poverty of the American contribution. This is meanly invidious and undeserved. The inventors, artisans and other producers of our Country who did not see fit to incur the heavy expense of sending their most valuable products to a fair held three to five thousand miles away are unaffected by this studied disparagement, and those who have sent certainly do not deserve it. They are in no manner responsible for the setting apart for American contributions of more space than they fill; they have rather deserved consideration and kind treatment on the part of the London Press. Beside, the value of their contributions is not at all gauged by the space they fill nor by the impression they make on the wondering gaze; articles of great merit and utility often making no figure at all compared with a case of figured silks or mantel ornaments which answer no purpose here but the owner's. And when it is considered that the manufacturers of France, Germany and Switzerland, as well as England, are here displaying their wares and fabrics before the eyes of thousands and tens of thousands of their customers—that their cases in the Crystal Palace are in fact so many gigantic advertisements, read and admired by myriads of merchants and other buyers from all parts of the world, the unfairness of the comparison instituted by the London [Pg 35]Press becomes apparent. Our exhibitors can derive no such advantage from the Fair—certainly not to any such extent. The "Bay State Mills," for example, has a good display of Shawls here, hardly surpassed, considering quality and price, by any other; yet nobody but Americans will thereby be tempted to give them orders; while a British, Scotch, French or Swiss shawl-manufacturer exhibiting just such a case, is morally certain of gaining customers thereby in all parts of the world. But enough on this head.

I may add that many Americans have been deterred from sending by an impression that nothing would be admitted that was not sent out in the St. Lawrence, or at all events unless received early in April. But articles are still acceptable, at least in our department; and I venture to say that any invention, model, machine or fabric of decided merit which may reach our Commissioner free of charge before the end of June will have a place assigned it, although it will probably be too late to have a chance for the prizes.

These are to be mainly Medals of the finest Bronze, to cost $25, $12 and $5 respectively. Probably about one thousand of the first class, two thousand of the second and five thousand of the third will be distributed. But they are not to be given for different grades of excellence in the same field of exertion, but for radically diverse merits. The first class will be mainly if not wholly given for Inventions, Discoveries or Original Designs of rare excellence; the second class for novel applications or combinations of principles already known so as to produce articles of signal utility, cheapness or beauty; the third class will be given for decided excellence of quality or workmanship without regard to originality. By this course, it is hoped that personal heart-burnings and invidious rivalries among exhibitors may to a great extent be avoided.

I cannot close without a word of acknowledgment to [Pg 36]our Embassador, Hon. Abbott Lawrence, for the interest he has taken and the labor he has cheerfully performed in order that our Country should be creditably represented in this Exhibition. For many months, the entire burthen of correspondence, &c., fell on his shoulders; and I doubt whether the Fair will have cost him less than five thousand dollars when it closes. That he has exerted himself in every way in behalf of his countrymen attending the Exhibition is no more than all who knew him anticipated; and his convenient location, his wide acquaintance and marked popularity here have enabled him to do a great deal. Every American voice is loud in his praise.

I walked through a good part of the galleries of the Crystal Palace this morning, with attention divided between the costly and dazzling wares and fabrics around me and the grand panorama below. Ten thousand men and women were moving from case to case, from one theme of admiration to another, in that magnificent temple of Art, so vast in its proportions that these thousands no where crowded or jostled each other; and as many more might have gazed and enjoyed in like manner without incommoding these in the least. And these added thousands will come, when the Palace, which is still a laboratory or workshop, shall have become what it aims to be, and when the charge for daily admission shall have been still farther reduced from five shillings (sterling) to one. Then will the artisans, the cultivators, the laborers, not of London only, but to a considerable extent of Great Britain, flock hither by tens of thousands to gaze on this marvellous achievement of Human Genius, Skill, Taste, and Industry, and be strengthened in heart and hope by its contemplation. And as they observe and rejoice over these trophies of Labor's might and beneficence, shall they not also perceive foreshadowed here that fairer, grander, gladder Future for them and theirs, whereof this show is a [Pg 37]prelude and a prediction—wherein Labor shall build, replenish and adorn mansions as stately, as graceful, as commodious as this, not for others' delight and wonder, but for its own use and enjoyment—for the life-long homes of the builders, their wives and their children, who shall find within its walls not Subsistence merely, but Education, Refinement, Mental Culture, Employment and seasonable Pastime as well? Such is the vista which this edifice with its contents opens and brightens before me. Heaven hasten the day when it shall be no longer a prospect but a benignant and sure realization!

[Pg 38]



London, Tuesday, May 6, 1851.

I have seen little yet of England, and do not choose to deal in generalities with regard to it until my ignorance has lost something of its density. Liverpool impressed me unfavorably, but I scarcely saw it. The working class seemed exceedingly ill dressed, stolid, abject and hopeless. Extortion and beggary appeared very prevalent. I must look over that city again if I have time.

We came up to London by the "Trent Valley Railroad," through Crewe, Rugby, Tamworth, &c., avoiding all the great towns and traversing (I am told) one of the finest Agricultural districts of England. The distance is two hundred miles. The Railroads we traveled in no place cross a road or street on its own level, but are invariably carried under or over each highway, no matter at what cost; the face of the country is generally level; hills are visible at intervals, but nothing fairly entitled to the designation of mountain. I was assured that very little of the land I saw could be bought for $300, while much of it is held at $500 or more per acre. Of course it is good land, well cultivated, and very productive. Vegetation was probably more advanced here than in Westchester Co. N. Y., or Morris Co. N. J., though not in every respect. I estimated that two-thirds of the land I saw was in Grass, one-sixth in Wheat, and the residue devoted to Gardens, Trees, Oats or Barley, &c. There are few or no forests, [Pg 39]properly so called, but many copses, fringes and clumps of wood and shrubbery, which agreeably diversify the prospect as we are whirled rapidly along. Still, nearly all the wooded grounds I saw looked meager and scanty, as though trees grew less luxuriantly here than with us, or (more probably) the best are cut out and sold as fast as they arrive at maturity. Friends at home! I charge you to spare, preserve and cherish some portion of your primitive forests; for when these are cut away I apprehend they will not easily be replaced. A second growth of trees is better than none; but it cannot rival the unconscious magnificence and stately grace of the Red Man's lost hunting grounds, at least for many generations. Traversing this comparatively treeless region carried my thoughts back to the glorious magnificence and beauty of the still unscathed forests of Western New-York, Ohio, and a good part of Michigan, which I had long ago rejoiced in, but which I never before prized so highly. Some portions of these fast falling monuments of other days ought to be rescued by public forecast from the pioneer's, the woodman's merciless axe, and preserved for the admiration and enjoyment of future ages. Rochester, Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Toledo, Detroit, &c., should each purchase for preservation a tract of one to five hundred acres of the best forest land still accessible (say within ten miles of their respective centers), and gradually convert it into walks, drives, arbors, &c., for the recreation and solace of their citizens through all succeeding time. Should a portion be needed for cemetery or other utilitarian purposes, it may be set off when wanted; and ultimately a railroad will afford the poor the means of going thither and returning at a small expense. If something of this sort is ever to be done, it cannot be done too soon; for the forests are annually disappearing and the price of wood near our cities and business towns rapidly rising.

I meant to have remarked ere this the scarcity of Fruit [Pg 40]throughout this region. I think there are fewer fruit-trees in sight on the two hundred miles of railway between Liverpool and London, than on the forty miles of Harlem Railroad directly north of White Plains. I presume from various indications that the Apple and Peach do not thrive here; and I judge that the English make less account of Fruit than we do, though we use it too sparingly and fitfully. If their climate is unfavorable to its abundant and perfect production, they have more excuse than we for their neglect of one of Heaven's choicest bounties.

The approach to London from the West by the Trent Valley Railroad is unlike anything else in my experience. Usually, your proximity to a great city is indicated by a succession of villages and hamlets which may be designated as more or less shabby miniatures of the metropolis they surround. The City maybe radiant with palaces, but its satellites are sure to be made up in good part of rookeries and hovels. But we were still passing through a highly cultivated and not over-peopled rural district, when lo! there gleamed on our sight an array of stately, graceful mansions, the seeming abodes of Art, Taste and Abundance; we doubted that this could be London; but in the course of a few moments some two or three miles of it rose upon the vision, and we could doubt no longer. Soon our road, which had avoided the costly contact as long as possible, took a shear to the right, and charged boldly upon this grand array of masonry, and in an instant we were passing under some blocks of stately edifices and between others like them. Some mile or two of this brought us to the "Euston-square Station," where our Railroad terminates, and we were in London. Of course, this is not "the City," specially so called, or ancient London, but a modern and well-built addition, distinguished as Camden-town. We were about three miles from the Bank, Post-Office, St. Paul's Church, &c., situated in the heart of the City proper, though nearer the East end of it.

[Pg 41]I shall not attempt to speak directly of London. The subject is too vast, and my knowledge of it too raw and scanty. I choose rather to give some account of an excursion I have made to the royal palace at Hampton Court, situated fifteen miles West of the City, where the Thames, which runs through the grounds adjacent, has shrunk to the size of the Mohawk at Schenectady, and I think even less. A very small steamboat sometimes runs up as high as this point, but not regularly, and for all practical purposes the navigation terminates at Richmond, four or five miles below.

Leaving the City by Temple Bar, you pass through the Strand, Charing Cross, the Haymarket, Pall Mall and part of Regent-street into Piccadilly, where you take an omnibus at "the White Horse Cellar" (I give these names because they will be familiar to many if not most American readers), and proceed down Piccadilly, passing St. James's Park on the left, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens on the right, and so by Kensington Road to a fine suspension bridge over the Thames; you cross, and have passed westerly out of London. You traverse some two miles of very rich gardens, meadows, &c., and thence through the village of Barnes, composed mainly of some two or three hundred of the oldest, shabbiest tumble-down apologies for human habitations that I ever saw so close together. Thence you proceed through a rich, thoroughly cultivated garden district, containing several fine country seats, to Richmond, a smart, showy village ten miles above London, and a popular resort for holiday pleasure-seekers from the great city, whether by steamboat, railway, omnibus or private conveyance. Here is a fleet of rowboats kept for hire, while "the Star and Garter" inn has a wide reputation for dinners, and the scene from its second-story bow window is pronounced one of the finest in the kingdom. It certainly does not compare with that from the Catskill Mountain House and many others in our [Pg 42]State, but it is a good thing in another way—a lovely blending of wood, water and sky, with gardens, edifices and other pleasing evidences of man's handiwork. Pope's residence at Twickenham, and Walpole's Strawberry Hill are near Richmond.

Proceeding, we drove through a portion of Bushy Park, the royal residence of the late Queen Dowager Adelaide, widow of William IV., who here manages, having house, grounds, &c. thrown in, to support existence on an allowance of only $500,000 a year. The Park is a noble one, about half covered with ancient, stately trees, among which large herds of tame, portly deer are seen quietly feeding. A mile or two further brought us to the grounds and palace of Hampton Court, the end and aim of our journey.

This palace was built by the famous Cardinal Wolsey, so long the proud, powerful, avaricious and corrupt favorite of Henry VIII. Wolsey commenced it in 1515. Being larger and more splendid than any royal palace then in being, its erection was played upon by rival courtiers to excite the King to envy and jealousy of his Premier—whereupon Wolsey gave it outright to the monarch, who gave him the manor of Richmond in requital. Wolsey's disgrace, downfall and death soon followed; but I leave their portrayal to Hume and Shakspeare. This palace became a favorite residence of Henry VIII. Edward VI. was born here; Queen Mary spent her honeymoon here, after her marriage with Philip of Spain; Queen Elizabeth held many great festivals here; James I. lived and Queen Anne his wife died here; Charles I. retired here first from the Plague, and afterwards to escape the just resentment of London in the time of the Great Rebellion. After his capture, he was imprisoned here. Cromwell saw one daughter married and another die during his residence in this palace. William III., Queen Anne, George I. and George II. occasionally resided here; [Pg 43]but it has not been a regal residence since the death of the latter. Yet the grounds are still admirably kept; the shrubbery, park, fish-pond, &c. are quite attractive; while a famous grape-vine, 83 years old, bears some 1,100 pounds per annum of the choicest "Black Hamburghs," which are reserved for the royal table, and (being under glass) are said to keep fresh and sweet on the vine till February. A fine avenue of trees leads down to the Thames, and the grounds are gay with the flowers of the season. The Park is very large, and the location one of the healthiest in the kingdom.

Hampton Court Palace, though surrounded by guards and other appurtenances of Royalty, is only inhabited by decayed servants of the Court, impoverished and broken-down scions of the Aristocracy, &c. to whom the royal generosity proffers a subsistence within its walls. I suppose about two-thirds of it are thus occupied, while the residue is thrown open at certain hours to the public. I spent two hours in wandering through this portion, consisting of thirty-four rooms, mainly attractive by reason of the Paintings and other works of Art displayed on their walls. As a whole, the collection is by no means good, the best having been gradually abstracted to adorn those Palaces which Royalty still condescends to inhabit, while worse and worst are removed from those and deposited here; yet it was interesting to me to gaze at undoubted originals by Raphael, Titian, Poussin, Rembrandt, Teniers, Albert Durer, Leonardo da Vinci, Tintoretto, Kneller, Lely, &c., though not their master-pieces. The whole number of pictures, &c. here exhibited is something over One Thousand, probably five-sixths Portraits. Some of these have a strong Historical interest apart from their artistic merit. Loyola, Queen Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn, Admiral Benbow, William III., Mary Queen of Scots, Mary de Medicis, Louis XIV., are a few among scores of this character. The Cartoons of Raphael and [Pg 44]some beautifully, richly stained glass windows are also to be seen. The bed-rooms of William III., Queen Anne, and I think other sovereigns, retain the beds as they were left; but little other furniture remains, the mirrors excepted. I think Americans who have a day to spare in London may spend it agreeably in visiting this Palace, especially as British Royal Residences and galleries are reputed not very accessible to common people. At this one, every reasonable facility is afforded, and no gratuities are solicited or expected by those in attendance. I should prefer a day for such a jaunt on which there are fewer squalls of hail, snow and rain than we encountered—which in May can hardly be deemed unreasonable—but if no better can be found, take such as may come and make the best of it. This Palace is a good deal larger on the ground than our Capitol—larger than the Astor House, but, being less lofty, contains (I should judge) fewer rooms than that capacious structure. It is built mainly of brick, and if it has great Architectural merits I fail to discern them.

Counsel to the Sea-going.

London, Tuesday, May 6th, 1851.

I desire to address a few words of advice to persons about to cross the Atlantic or any other ocean for the first time. I think those who follow my counsel will have reason to thank me.

I. Begin by providing yourself with a pair of stout, well-made thick boots—the coarser and firmer the better. Have them large enough to admit two pair of thick, warm stockings, yet sit easily on the feet. Put them on before you leave home, and never take them off during the voyage except when you turn in to sleep.

II. Take a good supply of flannels and old woolen clothes, [Pg 45]and especially an overcoat that has seen service and is not afraid of seeing more. Should you come on board as if just out of a band-box, you will forget all your dandyism before your first turn of sea-sickness is over, and will go ashore with your clothes spoiled by the salt spray and your own careless lounging in all manner of places and positions. Put on nothing during the voyage that would sell for five dollars.

III. Endure your first day of sea-sickness in your berth; after that, if you cannot go on deck whenever the day is fair, get yourself carried there. You may be sick still—the chance is two to one that you will be; but if you are to recover at all while on the heaving surge this is the way.

IV. Move about as much as possible; think as little as you can of your sickness; but interest yourself in whatever (except vomiting) may be going forward—the run of the ship, the management of her sails, &c. &c. Keep clear of all sedentary games, as a general rule; they may help you to kill a few hours, but will increase your headache afterwards. Talk more than you read; and determine to walk smartly at least two hours every fair day, and one hour any how.

V. As to eating, you are safe against excess so long as you are sick; and if you have bad weather and a rough sea, that will be pretty nearly all the way. I couldn't advise you, though ever so well, to eat the regular four times per day; though my young friend who constantly took five hearty meals seemed to thrive on that regimen. In the matter of drink, if you can stick to water, do so; I could not, nor could I find any palatable substitute. Try Congress Water, Seidlitz, any thing to keep clear of Wines and Spirits. If there were some portable, healthful and palatable acid beverage devoid of Alcohol, it would be a blessed thing at sea.

VI. Finally, rise early if you can; be cheerful, obliging, and determined to see the sunny side of everything [Pg 46]whereof a sunny side can be discovered or imagined; and bear ever in mind that each day is wearing off a good portion of the distance which withholds you from your destination. The best point of a voyage by steam is its brevity; wherefore, I pray you, Mr. Darius Davidson, to hurry up that new steamer or screamer that is to cross the Atlantic in a week. I shall want to be getting home next August or September.

VII. Don't bother yourself to procure British money at any such rate as $4.90 for sovereigns, which was ruling when I came away. Bring American coin rather than pay over $4.86. You can easily obtain British gold here in exchange for American, and I have heard of no higher rate than $4.87.

VIII. Whatever may be wise at other seasons, never think of stopping at a London hotel this summer unless you happen to own the Bank of England. If you know any one here who takes boarders or lets rooms at reasonable rates, go directly to him; if not, drive at once to the house of Mr. John Chapman, American Bookseller, 142 Strand, and he will either find you rooms or direct you to some one else who will.

IX. If the day of your embarkation be fair, take a long, earnest gaze at the sun, so that you will know him again when you return. They have something they call the sun over here which they show occasionally, but it looks more like a boiled turnip than it does like its American namesake. Yet they cheer us with the assurance that there will be real sunshine here by-and-by. So mote it be!

[Pg 47]



London, Friday, May 9, 1851.

I have spent the forenoon of to-day in examining a portion of the Model Lodging-Houses, Bathing and Washing establishments and Cooperative Labor Associations already in operation in this Great Metropolis. My companions were Mr. Vansittart Neale, a gentleman who has usefully devoted much time and effort to the Elevation of Labor, and M. Cordonnaye, the actuary or chosen director of an Association of Cabinet-Makers in Paris, who are exhibitors of their own products in the Great Exposition, which explains their chief's presence in London. We were in no case expected, and enjoyed the fairest opportunity to see everything as it really is. The beds were in some of the lodging-houses unmade, but we were everywhere cheerfully and promptly shown through the rooms, and our inquiries frankly and clearly responded to. I propose to give a brief and candid account of what we saw and heard.

Our first visit was paid to the original or primitive Model Lodging-House, situated in Charles-st. in the heart of St. Giles's. The neighborhood is not inviting, but has been worse than it is; the building (having been fitted up when no man with a dollar to spare had any faith in the project) is an old-fashioned dwelling-house, not very considerably modified. This attempt to put the new wine into old bottles has had the usual result. True, the [Pg 48]sleeping-rooms are somewhat ventilated, but not sufficiently so; the beds are quite too abundant, and no screen divides those in the same room from each other. Yet these lodgings are a decided improvement on those provided for the same class for the same price in private lodging-houses. The charge is 4d. (eight cents) per night, and I believe 2s. (50 cents) per week, for which is given water, towels, room and fire for washing and cooking, and a small cupboard or safe wherein to keep provisions. Eighty-two beds are made up in this house, and the keeper assured us that she seldom had a spare one through the night. I could not in conscience praise her beds for cleanliness, but it is now near the close of the week and her lodgers do not come to her out of band-boxes.—Only men are lodged here. The concern pays handsomely.

We next visited a Working Association of Piano Forte Makers, not far from Drury Lane. These men were not long since working for an employer on the old plan, when he failed, threw them all out of employment, and deprived a portion of them of the savings of past years of frugal industry, which they had permitted to lie in his hands. Thus left destitute, they formed a Working Association, designated their own chiefs, settled their rules of partnership; and here stepped in several able "Promoters" of the cause of Industrial Organization of Labor, and lent them at five per cent. the amount of capital required to buy out the old concern—viz: $3,500. They have since (about six weeks) been hard at work, having an arrangement for the sale at a low rate of all the Pianos they can make. The associates are fifteen in number, all working "by the piece," except the foreman and business man, who receive $12 each per week; the others earn from $8 to $11 each weekly. I see nothing likely to defeat and destroy this enterprise, unless it should lose the market for its products.

We went thence to a second Model Lodging House, [Pg 49]situated near Tottenham Court Road. This was founded subsequently to that already described, its building was constructed expressly for it, and each lodger has a separate apartment, though its division walls do not reach the ceiling overhead. Half the lodgers have each a separate window, which they can open and close at pleasure, in addition to the general provision for ventilation. In addition to the wash-room, kitchen, dining-tables, &c., provided in the older concern, there is a small but good library, a large conversation room, and warm baths on demand for a penny each. The charge is 2s. 4d. (58 cents) per week; the number of beds is 104, and they are always full, with numerous applications ahead at all times for the first vacant bed. Not a single case of Cholera occurred here in 1849, though dead bodies were taken out of the neighboring alley (Church-lane) six or eight in a day. So much for the blasphemy of terming the Cholera, with like scourges, the work of an "inscrutable Providence." The like exemption from Cholera was enjoyed by the two or three other Model Lodging-Houses then in London. Their comparative cleanliness, and the coolness in summer caused by the great thickness of their walls, conduce greatly to this freedom from contagion.

The third and last of the Model Lodging-Houses we visited was even more interesting, in that it was designed and constructed expressly to be occupied by Families, of which it accommodates forty-eight, and has never a vacant room. The building is of course a large one, very substantially constructed on three sides of an open court paved with asphaltum and used for drying clothes and as a children's play-ground. All the suits of apartments on each floor are connected by a corridor running around the inside (or back) of the building, and the several suits consist of two rooms or three with entry, closets, &c., according to the needs of the applicant. That which we more particularly examined consisted of three apartments (two of them bed-rooms) with the appendages already indicated. Here lived a workman with his wife and six young children from two to [Pg 50]twelve years of age. Their rent is 6s. ($1.50 per week, or $78 per annum); and I am confident that equal accommodations in the old way cannot be obtained in an equally central and commodious portion of London or New York for double the money. Suits of two rooms only, for smaller families, cost but $1 to $1.25 per week, according to size and eligibility. The concern is provided with a Bath-Room, Wash-Room, Oven, &c., for the use of which no extra charge is made. The building is very substantial and well constructed, is fire-proof, and cost about $40,000. The ground for it was leased of the Duke of Bedford for 99 years at $250 per annum. The money to construct it was mostly raised by subscription—the Queen leading off with $1,500; which the Queen Dowager and two Royal Duchesses doubled; then came sundry Dukes, Earls, and other notables with $500 each, followed by a long list of smaller and smaller subscriptions. But this money was given to the "Society for Bettering the Condition of the Laboring Classes," to enable them to try an experiment; and that experiment has triumphantly succeeded. All those I have described, as well as one for single women only near Hatton Garden, and one for families and for aged women near Bagnigge Wells, which I have not yet found time to visit, are constantly and thoroughly filled, and hundreds are eager for admittance who cannot be accommodated; the inmates are comparatively cleanly, healthy and comfortable; and the plan pays. This is the great point. It is very easy to build edifices by subscription in which as many as they will accommodate may have very satisfactory lodgings; but even in England, where Public Charity is most munificent, it is impossible to build such dwellings for all from the contributions of Philanthropy; and to provide for a hundredth part, while the residue are left as [Pg 51]they were, is of very dubious utility. The comfort of the few will increase the discontent and wretchedness of the many. But only demonstrate that building capacious, commodious and every way eligible dwellings for the Poor is a safe and fair investment, and that their rents may be essentially reduced thereby while their comfort is promoted, and a very great step has been made in the world's progress—one which will not be receded from.

I saw in the house last described a newly invented Brick (new at least to me) which struck me favorably. It is so molded as to be hollow in the centre, whereby the transmission of moisture through a wall composed of this brick is prevented, and the dampness often complained of in brick houses precluded. The brick is larger than those usually made, and one side is wedge-shaped.

We went from the house above described to the first constructed Bathing and Washing establishment, George-st. Euston-square. In the Washing department there are tubs, &c., for one hundred and twenty washers, and they are never out of use while the concern is open—that is from 9 A. M. to 7 P. M. There is in a separate Drying Room an apparatus for freeing the washed clothes from water (instead of Wringing) by whirling them very rapidly in a machine, whereby the water is thrown out of them by centrifugal force or attraction. Thence the clothes, somewhat damp, are placed in hot-air closets and speedily dried; after which they pass into the Ironing-room and are finished. The charge here is 4 cents for two hours in the Washing-room and 2 cents for two hours in the Ironing-room, which is calculated to be time enough for doing the washing of an average family. Everything but soap is supplied. The building is not capacious enough for the number seeking to use it, and is to be speedily enlarged. I believe that the charges are too small, as I understand that the concern merely supports itself without paying any interest on the capital which created it.

[Pg 52]The Female part of the Bathing establishment is in this part of the building, but that for men is entered from another street. Each has Hot and Vapor Baths of the first class for 12 cents; second class of these or first-class cold baths for 8 cents; and so down to cold water baths for 2 cents or hot ditto for 4 cents each. I think these, notwithstanding their cheapness, are not very extensively—at least not regularly—patronized. The first class are well fitted up and contain everything that need be desired; the others are more naked, but well worth their cost. Cold and tepid Plunge Baths are proffered at 6 and 12 cents respectively.

I must break off here abruptly, for the mail threatens to close.

[Pg 53]



London, Thursday, May 15, 1851.

Apart from the Great Exhibition, this is a season of intellectual activity in London. Parliament is (languidly) in session; the Aristocracy are in town; the Queen is lavishly dispensing the magnificent hospitalities of Royalty to those of the privileged caste who are invited to share them; and the several Religious and Philanthropic Societies, whether of the City or the Kingdom, are generally holding their Anniversaries, keeping Exeter Hall in blast almost night and day. I propose to give a first hasty glance at intellectual and general progress in Great Britain, leaving the subject to be more fully and thoroughly treated after I shall have made myself more conversant with the facts in the case.

A spirit of active and generous philanthropy is widely prevalent in this country. While the British pay more in taxes for the support of Priests and Paupers than any other people on earth, they at the same time give more for Religious and Philanthropic purposes. Their munificence is not always well guided; but on the whole very much is accomplished by it in the way of diffusing Christianity and diminishing Human Misery. But I will speak more specifically.

The Religious Anniversaries have mainly been held, but few or none of them are reported—indeed, they are scarcely alluded to—in the Daily press, whose vaunted [Pg 54]superiority over American journals in the matter of Reporting amounts practically to this—that the debates in Parliament are here reported verbatim, and again presented in a condensed form under the Editorial head of each paper, while scarcely anything else (beside Court doings) is reported at all. I am sure this is consistent neither with reason nor with the public taste—that if the Parliamentary debates were condensed one-half, and the space so saved devoted to reports of the most interesting Public Meetings, Lectures, &c., after the New-York fashion, the popular interest in the daily papers would become wider and deeper, and their usefulness as aids to General Education would be largely increased. To a great majority of the reading class, even here, political discussions—and especially of questions so trite and so unimportant as those which mainly engross the attention of Parliament—are of quite subordinate interest; and I think less than one reader in four ever peruses any more of these debates than is given in the Editorial synopsis, leaving the verbatim report a sheer waste of costly print and paper.—I believe, however, that in the aggregate, the collections of the last year for Religious purposes have just about equaled the average of the preceding two or three years; some Societies having received less, others more. I think the public interest in comprehensive Religious and Philanthropic efforts does not diminish.

For Popular Education, there is much doing in this Country, but in a disjointed, expensive, inefficient manner. Instead of one all-pervading, straight-forward, State-directed system, there are three or four in operation, necessarily conflicting with and damaging each other. And yet a vast majority really desire the Education of All, and are willing to pay for it. John Bull is good at paying taxes, wherein he has had large experience; and if he grumbles a little now and then at their amount as oppressive, it is only because he takes pleasure in grumbling, and this [Pg 55]seems to afford him a good excuse for it. He would not be deprived of it if he could: witness the discussions of the Income Tax, which every body denounces while no one justifies it abstractly; and yet it is always upheld, and I presume always will be. If the question could now be put to a direct vote, even of the tax-payers alone—"Shall or shall not a system of Common School Education for the United Kingdoms be maintained by a National Tax?"—I believe Free Schools would be triumphant. Even if such a system were matured, put in operation, and to be sustained by Voluntary Contributions alone or left to perish, I should not despair of the result.

But there is a lion in the path, in the shape of the Priesthood of the Established Church, who insist that the children shall be indoctrinated in the dogmas of their creed, or there shall be no State system of Common Schools; and, behind these, stand the Roman Catholic Clergy, who virtually make a similar demand with regard to the children of Catholics. The unreasonableness, as well as the ruinous effects of these demands, is already palpable on our side of the Atlantic. If, when our City was meditating the Croton Water Works, the Episcopal and Catholic Priesthood had each insisted that those works should be consecrated by their own Hierarchy and by none other, or, in default of this, we should have no water-works at all, the case would be substantially parallel to this. Or if there were in some city a hundred children, whose parents were of diverse creeds, all blind with cataract, whom it was practicable to cure altogether, but not separately, and these rival Priesthoods were respectively to insist—"They shall be taught our Creed and Catechism, and no other, while the operation is going on, or there shall be no operation and no cure," that case would not be materially diverse from this. In vain does the advocate of Light say to them, "Pray, let us give the children the inestimable blessing of sight, and then you may teach your creed and [Pg 56]catechism to all whom you can persuade to learn them," they will have the closed eyes opened according to Loyola or to Laud, or not opened at all! Do they not provoke us to say that their insisting on an impossible, a suicidal condition, is but a cloak, a blind, a fetch, and that their real object is to keep the multitude in darkness? I am thankful that we have few clergymen in America who manifest a spirit akin to that which to this day deprives half the children of these Kingdoms of any considerable school education whatever.

I think nothing unsusceptible of mathematical demonstration, can be clearer than the imperative necessity of Universal Education, as a matter simply of Public Economy. In these densely peopled islands, where service is cheap, and where many persons qualified to teach are maintaining a precarious struggle for subsistence, a system of General Education need not cost half so much as in the United States, while wealth is so concentrated that taxes bear less hardly here, in proportion to their amount, than with us. Every dollar judiciously spent on the education of poor children, would be more than saved in the diminution of the annual cost of pauperism and crime, while the intellectual and industrial capacity of the people would be vastly increased by it. I do not see how even Clerical bigotry, formidable as it deplorably is, can long resist this consideration among a people so thrifty and saving, as are in the main the wielders of political power in this country.

Political Reforms move slowly here. Mr. Hume's motion for Household Suffrage, Vote by Ballot, Triennial Parliaments, &c. was denied a consideration, night before last, by the concerted absence from the House of nearly all the members—only twenty-one appearing when forty (out of over six hundred) are required to constitute a quorum. So the subject lost its place as a set motion, and probably will not come up again this Session. The Ministry opposed its consideration now, promising themselves to [Pg 57]bring forward a measure for the Extension of the Franchise next Session, when it is very unlikely that they will be in a position to bring forward anything. It seems to me that the current sets strongly against their continuance in office, and that, between the hearty Reformers on one side and the out-spoken Conservatives on the other, they must soon surrender their semblance of power. Still, they are skillful in playing off one extreme against another, and may thus endure or be endured a year longer; but the probability is against this. To my mind, it seems clear that their retirement is essential to the prosecution of Liberal Reforms. So long as they remain in power, they will do, in the way of the People's Enfranchisement, as near nought as possible.

(——"Nothing could live
Twixt that and silence.")

Their successors, the avowed Conservatives, will of course do nothing; but they cannot hold power long in the Britain of to-day; and whoever shall succeed them must come in on a popular tide and on the strength of pledges to specific and comprehensive Reforms which cannot well be evaded. Slow work, say you? Well, there is no quicker practicable. When the Tories shall have been in once more and gone out again, there will be another great forward movement like the Reform Bill, and I think not till then, unless the Continent shall meantime be convulsed by the throes of a general Revolution.

I should like to see a chance for the defeat of that most absurd of all Political stupidities, the Ecclesiastical Titles Assumption Bill, but I do not. Persecution for Faith's sake is most abhorrent, yet sincerity and zeal may render it respectable; but this bill has not one redeeming feature. While it insults the Catholics, it is perfectly certain to increase their numbers and power; and it will do this without inflicting on them the least substantial injury. [Pg 58]Cardinal Wiseman will be the local head of the Catholic Church in England, whether he is legally forbidden to be styled "Archbishop of Westminster" or not, and so of the Irish Catholic prelates. The obstacles which the ministerial bill attempts to throw in the way of bequests to the Catholic Bishops as such, will be easily evaded; these Bishops will exercise every function of the Episcopate whether this Bill shall pass or fail: and their moral power will be greatly increased by its passage. But the Ministry, which has found the general support of the Catholics, and especially of the Irish Catholic Members, very opportune at certain critical junctures, will henceforth miss that support—in fact, it has already been transformed into a most virulent and deadly hostility. Rural England was hostile to the ministry before, on account of the depressing effect of Free Trade on the agricultural interest; and now Ireland is turned against them by their own act—an act which belies the professions of Toleration in matters of Faith which have given them a great hold of the sympathies of the best men in the country throughout the last half century. I do not see how they can ride out the storm which they by this bill have aroused.

The cause of Temperance—of Total Abstinence from all that can intoxicate—is here about twenty years behind its present position in the United States. I think there are not more absolute drunkards here than in our American cities, but the habit of drinking for drink's sake is all but universal. The Aristocracy drink almost to a man; so do the Middle Class; so do the Clergy; so alas! do the Women! There is less of Ardent Spirits imbibed than with us; but Wines are much cheaper and in very general use among the well-off; while the consumption of Ale, Beer, Porter, &c. (mainly by the Poor) is enormous. Only think of £5,000,000 or Twenty-Five Millions of Dollars, paid into the Treasury in a single year by the People of these Islands as Malt-Tax alone, while the other ingredients used in the manufacture of Malt Liquors probably [Pg 59]swell the aggregate to Thirty Millions of Dollars. If we suppose this to be a little more than one-third of the ultimate cost of these Liquors to the consumers, that cost cannot be less than One Hundred Millions of Dollars per annum!—a sum amply sufficient, if rightly expended, to banish Pauperism and Destitution for ever from the British Isles. And yet the poor trudge wearily on, loaded to the earth with exactions and burdens of every kind, yet stupifying their brains, emptying their pockets and ruining their constitutions with these poisonous, brutalizing liquors! I see no hope for them short of a System of Popular Education which shall raise them mentally above their present low condition, followed by a few years of systematic, energetic, omnipresent Temperance Agitation. A slow work this, but is there any quicker that will be effective? The Repeal of the Taxes on Knowledge would greatly contribute to the Education of the Poor, but that Reform has yet to be struggled for.

Of Social Reform in England, the most satisfactory agency at present is the Society for improving the Dwellings of the Poor. This Society has the patronage of the Queen, is presided over (I believe) by her husband, and is liberally patronized by the better portion of the Aristocracy and the higher order of the Clergy. These, aided by wealthy or philanthropic citizens, have contributed generously, and have done a good work, even though they should stop where they are. The work would not, could not stop with them. They have already proved that good, substantial, cleanly, wholesome, tight-roofed, well ventilated dwellings for the Poor are absolutely cheaper than any other, so that Shylock himself might invest his fortune in the construction of such with the moral certainty of receiving a large income therefrom, while at the same time rescuing the needy from wretchedness, disease, brutalization and vice. Shall not New-York, and all her sister cities, profit by the lesson?

[Pg 60]Of the correlative doings of the organized Promoters of Working Men's Associations, Coöperative Stores, &c., I would not be justified in speaking so confidently, at least until I shall have observed more closely. My present impression is that they are both far less mature in their operations, and that, as they demand of the Laboring Class more confidence in themselves and each other, than, unhappily, prevails as yet, they are destined to years of struggle and chequered fortunes before they will have achieved even the measure of success which the Model Lodging and the Bathing and Washing Houses have already achieved. Still, I have not yet visited the strongest and most hopeful of the Working Men's Associations.

I spent last evening with the friends of Robert Owen, who celebrated his 80th birthday by a dinner at the Cranbourne Hotel. Among those present were Thornton Hunt, son of Leigh Hunt, and one of the Editors of "The Leader;" Gen. Houg, an exile from Germany from Freedom's sake; Mr. Fleming, Editor of the Chartist "Northern Star;" Mons. D'Arusmont and his daughter, who is the daughter also of Frances Wright. Mr. Owen was of course present, and spoke quite at length in reiteration and enforcement of the leading ideas wherewith he has so long endeavored to impress the world respecting the absolute omnipotence of circumstances in shaping the Human Character, the impossibility of believing or disbelieving save as one must, &c. &c. Mr. Owen has scarcely looked younger or heartier at any time these ten years; he did not seem a shade older than when I last before met him, at least three years ago. And not many young men are more buoyant in spirit, more sanguine as to the immediate future, more genial in temper, more unconquerable in resolution, than he is. I cannot see many things as he does; it seems to me that he is stone blind on the side of Faith in the Invisible, and exaggerates the truths he perceives until they almost become falsehoods; but I love his [Pg 61]sunny, benevolent nature, I admire his unwearied exertions for what he deems the good of Humanity; and, believing with the great Apostle to the Gentiles, that "Now abide Faith, Hope, Charity: these three; but the greatest of these is Charity," I consider him practically a better Christian than half those who, professing to be such, believe more and do less. I trust his life may be long spared, and his sun beam cloudless and rosy to the last.

[Pg 62]



London, Monday, May 15, 1851.

I have now been fifteen days in this magnificent Babel, but so much engrossed with the Exhibition that I have seen far less of the town than I otherwise should. Of the City proper (in the center) I know a little; and I have made my way thence out into the open country on the North and on the West respectively, but toward the South lies a wilderness of buildings which I have not yet explored; while Eastward the metropolitan districts stretch further than I have ever been. The south side of Hyde Park and the main line of communication thence with the City proper is the only part of London with which I can claim any real acquaintance. Yet, on the strength of what little I do know, I propose to say something of London as it strikes a stranger; and in so doing I shall generally refer to New-York as a standard of comparison, so as to render my remarks more lucid to a great portion of their readers.

The Buildings here are generally superior to those of our City—more substantial, of better materials, and more tasteful. There are, I think, as miserable rookeries here as anywhere; but they are exceptions; while most of the houses are built solidly, faithfully, and with a thickness of walls which would be considered sheer waste in our City. Among the materials most extensively used is a fine white [Pg 63]marble[A] of a peculiarly soft, creamy appearance, which looks admirably until blackened by smoke and time. Regent-street and several of the aristocratic quarters west of it are in good part built of this marble; but one of the finest, freshest specimens of it is St. George's Hospital, Piccadilly, which to my eye is among the most tasteful edifices in London. If (as I apprehend) St. Paul's Church, Somerset House, and the similarly smoke-stained dwellings around Finsbury Oval were built of this same marble, then the murky skies of London have much to answer for.

Throughout the Western and Northern sections of the Metropolis, the dwellings are far less crowded than is usual in the corresponding or up-town portion of New-York, are more diverse in plan, color and finish, and better provided with court-yards, shrubbery, &c. In the matter of Building generally, I think our City would profit by a study of London, especially if our lot-owners, builders, &c., would be satisfied with London rates of interest on their respective investments. I think four per cent. is considered a tolerable and five a satisfactory interest on money securely invested in houses in London.

By the way: the apostles of Sanitary Reform here are anticipating very great benefits from the use of the Hollow Brick just coming into fashion. I am assured by a leading member of the Sanitary Commission that the hollow brick cost much less than the solid ones, and are a perfect protection against the dampness so generally experienced in brick houses, and often so prejudicial to health. That there is a great saving in the cost of their transportation is easily seen; and, as they are usually made much larger than the solid brick, they can be laid up much faster. I think Dr. Southwood Smith assured me that the saving in the first cost of the brickwork of a house is [Pg 64]one-third; if that is a mistake, the error is one of misapprehension on my part. The hollow brick is a far less perfect conductor of heat and cold than the solid one; consequently, a house built of the former is much cooler in Summer and warmer in Winter. It is confidently and reasonably hoped here that very signal improvements, in the dwellings especially of the Poor, are to be secured by means of this invention. Prince Albert has caused two Model Cottages of this material to be erected at his cost in Hyde Park near the Great Exhibition in order to attract general attention to the subject.

The Streets of London are generally better paved, cleaner and better lighted than those of New-York. Instead of our round or cobble stone, the material mainly used for paving here is a hard flint rock, split and dressed into uniform pieces about the size of two bricks united by their edges, so as to form a surface of some eight inches square with a thickness of two inches. This of course wears much more evenly and lasts longer than cobble-stone pavements. I do not know that we could easily procure an equally serviceable material, even if we were willing to pay for it. One reason of the greater cleanness of the streets here is the more universal prevalence of sewerage; another is the positive value of street-offal here for fertilizing purposes. And as Gas is supplied here to citizens at 4s. 6d. ($1.10) per thousand feet, while the good people of New-York must bend to the necessity of paying $3.50, or more than thrice as much for the like quantity, certainly of no better quality, it is but reasonable to infer that the Londoners can afford to light their streets better than the New-Yorkers.

But there are other aspects in which our streets have a decided superiority. There are half a dozen streets and places here having the same name, and only distinguished by appending the name of a neighboring street, as "St. James-place, St. James-st.," to distinguish it from several [Pg 65]other St. James-places, and so on. This subjects strangers to great loss of time and vexation of spirit. I have not yet delivered half the letters of introduction which were given me at home to friends of the writers in this city, and can't guess when I shall do it. Then the numbering of the streets is absurdly vicious—generally 1, 2, 3, 4, &c., up one side and down the other side, so that 320 will be opposite 140, and 412 opposite 1, and so throughout. Of course, if any street so numbered is extended beyond its original limit, the result is inextricable confusion. But the Londoners seem not to have caught the idea of numbering by lots at all, but to have numbered only the houses that actually existed when the numbering was undertaken; so that, if a street happened to be numbered when only half built up, every house erected afterward serves to render confusion worse confounded. On this account I spent an hour and a half a few evenings since in fruitless endeavors to find William and Mary Howitt, though I knew they lived at No. 28 Upper Avenue Road, which is less than half a mile long. I found Nos. 27, 29, 30, and 31, and finally found 28 also, but in another part of the street, with a No. 5 near it on one side and No. 16 ditto on the other—and this in a street quite recently opened. I think New-York has nothing equal to this in perplexing absurdity.

The Police here is more omnipresent and seems more efficient than ours. I think the use of a common and conspicuous uniform has a good effect. No one can here pretend that he defied or resisted a policeman in ignorance of his official character. The London police appears to be quite numerous, is admirably organized, and seems to be perfectly docile to its superiors. Always to obey and never to ask the reason of a command, is the rule here; it certainly has its advantages, but is not well suited to the genius of our people.

The Hotels of London are decidedly inferior to those of New-York. I do not mean by this that every comfort [Pg 66]and reasonable luxury may not be obtained in the London inns for money enough, but simply that the same style of living costs more in this city than in ours. I think $5 per day would be a fair estimate for the cost of living (servants' fees included) as well in a London hotel as you may live in a first-class New-York hotel for half that sum. One main cause of this disparity is the smallness of the inns here. A majority of them cannot accommodate more than twenty to forty guests comfortably; I think there are not four in the entire Metropolis that could find room for one hundred each. Of course, the expense of management, supervision, attendance, &c., in small establishments is proportionably much greater than in large ones, and the English habit of eating fitfully solus instead of at a common hour and table increases the inevitable cost. Considering the National habits, it might be hazardous to erect and open such a hotel as the Astor, Irving or New-York in this city; but if it were once well done, and the experiment fairly maintained for three years, it could not fail to work a revolution. Wines (I understand) cost not more than half as much here, in the average, as they do in New-York.

In Cabs and other Carriages for Hire, London is ahead of New-York. The number here is immense; they are of many varieties, some of them better calculated for fine weather than any of ours; while the legal rates of fare are more moderate and not so outrageously exceeded. While the average New-York demand is fully double the legal fare, the London cabman seldom asks more than fifty per cent. above what the law allows him; and this (by Americans, at least) is considered quite reasonable and cheerfully paid. If our New-York Jehus could only be made to realize that they keep their carriages empty by their exorbitant charges, and really double-lock their pockets against the quarters that citizens would gladly pour into them, I think a reform might be hoped for.

[Pg 67]The Omnibuses of London are very numerous and well governed, but I prefer those of New-York. The charges are higher here, though still reasonable; but the genius of this people is not so well adapted to the Omnibus system as ours is. For example: an Omnibus (the last for the night) was coming down from the North toward Charing Cross the other evening, when a lady asked to be taken up. The stage was full; the law forbids the taking of more than twelve passengers inside; a remonstrance was instantly raised by one or more of the passengers against taking her; and she was left to plod her weary way as she could. I think that could not have happened in New-York. In another instance, a stage-full of passengers started eastward from Hyde Park, one of the women having a basket of unwashed clothes on her knee. It was certainly inconvenient, and not absolutely inoffensive; but the hints, the complaints, the slurs, the sneers, with which the poor woman was annoyed and tortured throughout—from persons certainly well-dressed and whom I should otherwise have considered well-bred—were a complete surprise to me. In vain did the poor woman explain that she was not permitted to deposit her basket on the roof of the stage, as it was raining; the growls and witticisms at her expense continued, and women were foremost in this rudeness. I doubt that a woman was ever exposed to the like in New-York, unless she was suspected of having Ethiopian blood in her veins.

The Parks, Squares and Public Gardens of London beat us clean out of sight. The Battery is very good, but it is not Hyde Park; Hoboken was delightful; Kensington Gardens are and ever will remain so. Our City ought to have made provision, twenty years ago, for a series of Parks and Gardens extending quite across the island somewhere between Thirtieth and Fiftieth streets. It is now too late for that; but all that can be should be done immediately to secure breathing-space and grounds for [Pg 68]healthful recreation to the Millions who will ultimately inhabit New-York. True, the Bay, the North and East Rivers, will always serve as lungs to our City, but these of themselves will not suffice. Where is or where is to be the Public Garden of New York? where the attractive walks, and pleasure-grounds of the crowded denizens of the Eastern Wards? These must be provided, and the work cannot be commenced too soon.


[A] It seems that this plain marble is but an imitation—a stone or brick wall covered with a composition, which gives it a smooth and creamy appearance.

[Pg 69]



London, Wednesday, May 21, 1851.

"All the world"—that is to say, some scores of thousands who would otherwise be in London—are off to-day to the Epsom Races, this being the "Derby Day," a great holiday here. Our Juries at the Fair generally respect it, and I suppose I ought to have gone, since the opportunity afforded for seeing out-door "life" in England may not occur to me again. As, however, I have very much to do at home, and do not care one button which of twenty or thirty colts can run fastest, I stay away; and the murky, leaden English skies conspire to justify my choice. I understand the regulations at these races are superior and ensure perfect order; but Gambling, Intoxication and Licentiousness—to say nothing of Swindling and Robbery—always did regard a horse-race with signal favor and delight, and probably always will. Other things being equal, I prefer that their delight and mine should not exactly coincide.

I am away from the Exhibition to-day for the second time since it opened; yet I understand that, in spite of the immense number gone to Epsom (perhaps in consequence of the general presumption that few would be left to attend), the throng is as great as ever. Yesterday there were so many in the edifice that the Juries which kept together often found themselves impeded by the eddying tide of Humanity; and yet there have been no [Pg 70]admissions paid for with so little as one dollar each. Next Monday the charge comes down to one shilling (24 cents), and it is already evident that extraordinary measures must be taken to preserve the Exhibition from choking up. I presume it will be decreed that no more than Forty, Fifty or at most Sixty Thousand single admissions shall be sold in one day, and that each apartment, lane or avenue in the building shall be entered from one prescribed end only and vacated from the other. The necessity for some such regulation is obviously imperative.

The immense pecuniary success of the Exhibition is of course assured. I presume the Commissioners will be able to pay all fair charges upon them, and very nearly, if not quite, clear the Crystal Palace from the proceeds, over $15,000 having been taken yesterday, and an average of more than $10,000 per day since the commencement. If we estimate the receipts of May inclusive at $400,000 only, and those of June and July, at $150,000 each, the total proceeds will, on the 1st of August, have reached $700,000—a larger sum than was ever before realized in a like period by any Exhibition whatever. But then no other was ever comparable to this in extent, variety or magnificence. For example: a single London house has One Million Dollars' worth of the most superb Plate and Jewelry in the Exhibition, in a by no means unfavorable position; yet I had spent the better portion of five days there, roaming and gazing at will, before I saw this lot. There are three Diamonds exhibited which are worth, according to the standard method of computing the value of Diamonds, at least Thirty millions of Dollars, and probably could be sold in a week for Twenty Millions; I have seen but one of them as yet, and that stands so conspicuously in the center of the Exhibition that few who enter can help seeing it. And there are several miles of cases and lots of costly wares and fabrics exposed here, a good share of which are quite as attractive as the great [Pg 71]Diamonds, and intrinsically far more valuable. Is there cause for wonder, then, that the Exhibition is daily thronged by tens of thousands, even at the present high prices?

Yet very much of this immediate and indisputable success is due to the personal influence and example of the Queen. Had she not seen fit to open the display in person, and with unusual and imposing formalities, there would have been no considerable attendance on that occasion; and nothing less than her repeated and almost daily visits since, reaching the building a little past nine in the morning (sometimes after being engrossed with one of her State Balls or other festivities till long after midnight), could have secured so general and constant an attendance of the Aristocratic and Fashionable classes. No American who has not been in Europe can conceive the extent of Royal influence in this direction. What the Queen does every one who aspires to Social consideration makes haste to imitate if possible. This personal deference is often carried to an extent quite inconsistent with her comfort and freedom, as I have observed in the Crystal Palace; where, though I have never crowded near enough to recognize her, I have often seen a throng blockading the approaches to the apartment or avenue in which she and her cortege were examining the articles exhibited, and there (being kept back from a nearer approach by the Police) they have stood gaping and staring till she left, often for half an hour. This may be intense loyalty, but it is dubious civility. Even on Saturday mornings, when none but the Royal visiters are admitted till noon, and only Jurors, Police and those Exhibitors whose wares or fabrics she purposes that day to inspect are allowed to be present, I have noted similar though smaller crowds facing the Police at the points of nearest approach to her. At such times, her desire to be left to herself is clearly proclaimed, and this gazing by the half hour amounts to positive rudeness.

[Pg 72]I remarked the other evening to Charles Lane that, while I did not doubt the sincerity of the Queen's interest in the articles exhibited, I thought there was some purpose in these continual and protracted visits—that, for England's sake and that of her husband, whose personal stake in the undertaking was so great, she had resolved that it should not fail if she could help it—and she knew how to help it. Lane assentingly but more happily observed: "Yes: though she seems to be standing on this side of the counter, she is perhaps really standing on the other."—As I regard such Exhibitions as among the very best pursuits to which Royalty can addict itself, I should not give utterance to this presumption if I did not esteem it creditable to Victoria both as a Briton and a Queen. And it is very plain that her conduct in the premises is daily, among her subjects, diffusing and deepening her popularity.


The London Commissioners gave a great Dinner at Richmond, yesterday, to the foreign Commissioners in attendance on the Exhibition: Lord Ashburton presiding, flanked by Foreign Ministers and Nobles. The feast was of course superb; the speaking generally fair; the Music abundant and faultless. Good songs were capitally given by eminent vocalists, well sustained by instruments, between the several toasts with their responses—a fashion which I suggest for adoption in our own country, especially with the condition that the Speeches be shortened to give time for the Songs. At this dinner, no Speech exceeded fifteen minutes in duration but that of Baron Dupin, which may have consumed half an hour, but in every other respect was admirable. The Englishmen who spoke were Lords Ashburton and Granville, Messrs. Crace and Paxton; of the Foreigners, Messrs. Dupin (France), Van de Weyer [Pg 73](Belgian Chargé), Von Viebhan (Prussian), and myself. Lord Ashburton spoke with great good sense and good feeling, but without fluency. Lord Granville's remarks were admirable in matter but also defective in manner. Barons Van de Weyer and Dupin were very happy. The contrast in felicity of expression between the British and the Continental speakers was very striking, though the latter had no advantage in other respects.

I went there at the pressing request of Lord Ashburton, who had desired that an American should propose the health of Mr. Paxton, the designer of the Crystal Palace, and Mr. Riddle, our Commissioner, had designated me for the service; so I spoke about five minutes, and my remarks were most kindly received by the entire company; yet The Times of to-day, in its report of the festival, suppresses not merely what I said, but the sentiment I offered and even my name, merely stating that "Mr. Paxton was then toasted and replied as follows." The Daily News does likewise, only it says Mr. Paxton's health was proposed by a Mr. Wedding (a Prussian who sat near me). I state these facts to expose the falsehood of the boast lately made by The Times in its championship of dear newspapers like the British against cheap ones like the American that "In this country fidelity in newspaper reporting is a religion, and its dictates are never disregarded," &c. The pains taken to suppress not merely what I said but its substance, and even my name, while inserting Mr. Paxton's response, refutes the Pharisaic assumption of The Times so happily that I could not let it pass.—Nay, I am willing to brave the imputation of egotism by appending a faithful transcript of what I did say on that occasion, that the reader may guess why The Times deemed its suppression advisable:

After Baron Dupin had concluded,

Horace Greeley, being next called upon by the chair, arose and said:

"In my own land, my lords and gentlemen, where Nature is still[Pg 74] so rugged and unconquered, where Population is yet so scanty and the demands for human exertion are so various and urgent, it is but natural that we should render marked honor to Labor, and especially to those who by invention or discovery contribute to shorten the processes and increase the efficiency of Industry. It is but natural, therefore, that this grand conception of a comparison of the state of Industry in all Nations, by means of a World's Exhibition, should there have been received and canvassed with a lively and general interest—an interest which is not measured by the extent of our contributions. Ours is still one of the youngest of Nations, with few large accumulations of the fruits of manufacturing activity or artistic skill, and these so generally needed for use that we were not likely to send them three thousand miles away, merely for show. It is none the less certain that the progress of this great Exhibition from its original conception to that perfect realization which we here commemorate, has been watched and discussed not more earnestly throughout the saloons of Europe, than by the smith's forge and the mechanic's bench in America. Especially the hopes and fears alternately predominant on this side with respect to the edifice required for this Exhibition—the doubts as to the practicability of erecting one sufficiently capacious and commodious to contain and display the contributions of the whole world—the apprehension that it could not be rendered impervious to water—the confident assertions that it could not be completed in season for opening the Exhibition on the first of May as promised—all found an echo on our shores; and now the tidings that all these doubts have been dispelled, these difficulties removed, will have been hailed there with unmingled satisfaction.

"I trust, gentlemen, that among the ultimate fruits of this Exhibition we are to reckon a wider and deeper appreciation of the worth of Labor, and especially of those 'Captains of Industry' by whose conceptions and achievements our Race is so rapidly borne onward in its progress to a loftier and more benignant destiny. We shall not be likely to appreciate less fully the merits of the wise Statesman, by whose measures a People's thrift and happiness are promoted—of the brave Soldier who joyfully pours out his blood in defense of the rights or in vindication of the honor of his Country—of the Sacred Teacher by whose precepts and example our steps are guided in the pathway to heaven—if we render fit honor also to those 'Captains of Industry' whose tearless victories redden no river and whose conquering march is unmarked by the tears of the widow and the cries of the orphan. I give you, therefore,

"The Health of Joseph Paxton, Esq., Designer of the Crystal Palace—Honor to him whose genius does honor to Industry and to Man!"

If the reader shall discern in the above (which is as nearly literal as may be—I having only recollection to depend on) the reason why The Times saw fit to suppress not merely the remarks, but the words of the toast and the name of the proposer, I shall be satisfied; though I think the exposure of that journal's argument for dear newspapers as preferable to cheap ones, on the ground that the former always gave fair and accurate reports of [Pg 75]public meetings while the latter never did, is worth the space I have given to this matter. I am very sure that if my remarks had been deemed discreditable to myself or my country, they would have been fully reported in The Times.


The Queen and Prince Albert spent an hour in the American department a few mornings since, and appeared to regard the articles there displayed with deep interest. Prince Albert (who is esteemed here not merely a man of sterling good sense, but thoroughly versed in mechanics and manufactures) expressed much surprise at the variety of our contributions and the utility and excellence of many of them. I mention this because there are some Americans here who declare themselves ashamed of their country because of the meagerness of its share in the Exhibition. I do not suppose their country will deem it worth while to return the compliment; but I should have been far more ashamed of the prodigality and want of sense evinced in sending an indiscriminate profusion of American products here than I am of the actual state of the case. It is true, as I have already stated, that we are deficient in some things which might have been sent here with advantage to the contributors and with credit to the country; but for Americans to send here articles of luxury and fashion to be exhibited in competition with all the choicest wares and fabrics of Europe, which must have beaten them if only by the force of mere quantity alone, would have evinced a want of sense and consideration which I trust is not our National characteristic. If I ever do feel ashamed in the American department, it is on observing a pair of very well shaped and exquisitely finished oars, labeled, "A Present for the Prince of Wales," or something of the sort. Spare me the necessity of blushing for what we have there, and I am safe enough from shame on account of our deficiencies.

[Pg 76]Mr. A. C. Hobbs, of the lock-making concern of Day & Newell, has improved his leisure here in picking a six-tumbler Bank Lock of Mr. Chubb, the great English locksmith, and he now gives notice that he can pick any of Chubb's locks, or any other based on similar principles, as he is willing to demonstrate in any fair trial. I trust he will have a chance.

The Queen quits the Exhibition for a time this week, and retires to her house on the Isle of Wight, where she will spend some days in private with her family. I presume the Aristocracy will generally follow her example, so far as the Exhibition is concerned, leaving it to the poorer class, to whom five shillings is a consideration. Absurd speculations are rife as to what "the mob" will do in such a building—whether they will evacuate it quietly and promptly at night—whether there will not be a rush made at the diamonds and other precious stones by bands of thieves secretly confederated for plunder, &c. &c. I do not remember that like apprehensions were ever entertained in our country; but faith in Man abstractly is weak here, while faith in the Police, the Horse-Guards and the Gallows, is strong.—There are always two hundred soldiers and three hundred policemen in the building while it is open to the public; and in case of any attempt at robbery, every outlet would (by means of the Telegraph) be closed and guarded within a few seconds, while hundreds if not thousands of soldiers are at all times within call. But they will not be needed.

[Pg 77]



London, Friday, May 23, 1851.

I have been much occupied, through the last fortnight, and shall be for some ten days more, with the Great Exhibition, in fulfillment of the duties of a Juror therein. The number of Americans here (not exhibitors) who can and will devote the time required for this service is so small that none can well be excused; and the fairness evinced by the Royal Commissioners in offering to place as many foreigners (named by the Commissioners of their respective countries) as Britons on the several Juries well deserves to be met in a corresponding spirit. I did not, therefore, feel at liberty to decline the post of Juror, to which I had been assigned before my arrival, though it involves much labor and care, and will keep me here somewhat longer than I had intended to stay. On the other hand, it has opened to me sources of information and facilities for observation which I could not, in a brief visit to a land of strangers, have otherwise hoped to enjoy. I spend each secular day at the Exhibition—generally from 10 to 3 o'clock—and have my evenings for other pursuits and thoughts. I propose here to jot down a few of the notes on London I have made since the sailing of the last steamship.


I attended Divine worship in this celebrated edifice last Sunday morning. Situated near the Houses of [Pg 78]Parliament, the Royal Palaces of Buckingham and St. James, and in the most aristocratic quarter of the city, its external appearance is less imposing than I had expected, and what I saw of its interior did not particularly impress me. Lofty ceilings, stained windows, and a barbaric profusion of carving, groining and all manner of costly contrivances for absorbing money and labor, made on me the impression of waste rather than taste, seeming to give form and substance to the orator's simile of "the contortions of the sibyl without her inspiration." A better acquaintance with the edifice, or with the principles of architecture, might serve to correct this hasty judgment; but surely Westminster Abbey ought to afford a place of worship equal in capacity, fitness and convenience to a modern church edifice costing $50,000, and surely it does not. I think there is no one of the ten best churches in New York which is not superior to the Abbey for this purpose.

I supposed myself acquainted with all the approved renderings of the Episcopal morning service, but when the clergyman who officiated at the Abbey began to twang out "Dearly beloved brethren," &c., in a nasal, drawling semi-chant, I was taken completely aback. It sounded as though some graceless Friar Tuck had wormed himself into the desk and was endeavoring, under the pretense of reading the service, to caricature as broadly as possible the alleged peculiarity of Methodistic pulpit enunciation superimposed upon the regular Yankee drawl. As the service proceeded, I became more accustomed and more reconciled to this mode of utterance, but never enough so to like it, nor even the responses, which were given in the same way, but much better. After I came away, I was informed that this semi-chant is termed intoning, and is said to be a revival of an ancient method of rendering the church service. If such be the fact, I can only say that in my poor judgment that revival was an unwise and unfortunate one.

[Pg 79]The Service was very long—more than two hours—the Music excellent—the congregation large—the Sermon, so far as I could judge, had nothing bad in it. Yet there was an Eleventh-Century air about the whole which strengthened my conviction that the Anglican Church will very soon be potentially summoned to take her stand distinctly on the side either of Romanism or of Protestantism, and that the summons will shake not the Church only but the Realm to its centre.


In the evening I attended the Ragged School situated in Carter's-field Lane, near the Cattle-Market in Smithfield [where John Rogers was burned at the stake by Catholics, as Catholics had been burned by Protestants before him. The honest, candid history of Persecution for Faith's sake, has never yet been written; whenever it shall be, it must cause many ears to tingle].

It was something past 7 o'clock when we reached the rough old building, in a filthy, poverty-stricken quarter, which has been rudely fitted up for the Ragged School—one of the first, I believe, that was attempted. I should say there were about four hundred pupils on its benches, with about forty teachers; the pupils were at least two-thirds males from five to twenty years old, with a dozen or more adults. The girls were a hundred or so, mainly from three to ten years of age; but in a separate and upper apartment ascending out of the main room, there were some forty adult women, with teachers exclusively of their own sex. The teachers were of various grades of capacity; but, as all teach without pay and under circumstances which forbid the idea of any other than philanthropic or religious attractiveness in the duty, they are all deserving of praise. The teaching is confined, I believe, to rudimental instruction in reading and spelling, and to historic, [Pg 80]theologic and moral lessons from the Bible. As the doors are open, and every one who sees fit comes in, stays so long as he or she pleases, and then goes out, there is much confusion and bustle at times, but on the whole a satisfactory degree of order is preserved, and considerable, though very unequal, progress made by the pupils.

But such faces! such garments! such daguerreotypes of the superlative of human wretchedness and degradation! These pupils were gathered from among the outcasts of London—those who have no family ties, no homes, no education, no religious training, but were born to wander about the docks, picking up a chance job now and then, but acquiring no skill, no settled vocation, often compelled to steal or starve, and finally trained to regard the sheltered, well fed, and respected majority as their natural oppressors and their natural prey. Of this large class of vagrants, amounting in this city to thousands, Theft and (for the females) Harlotry, whenever the cost of a loaf of bread or a night's lodging could be procured by either, were as matter-of-course resorts for a livelihood as privateering, campaigning, distilling or (till recently) slave-trading was to many respected and well-to-do champions of order and Conservatism throughout Christendom. And the outcasts have ten times the excuse for their moral blindness and their social misdeeds that their well-fed competitors in iniquity ever had. They have simply regarded the world as their oyster and tried to open its hard shells as they best could, not indicating thereby a special love of oysters but a craving appetite for food of some kind. It was oyster or nothing with them. And in the course of life thus forced upon them, the males who survived the period of infancy may have averaged twenty-five years of wretched, debased, brutal existence, while the females, of more delicate frame and subjected to additional evils, have usually died much younger. But the gallows, the charity hospitals, the prisons, the work-houses (refuges denied to the healthy and the [Pg 81]unconvicted), with the unfenced kennels and hiding-places of the destitute during inclement weather, generally saw the earthly end of them all by the time that men in better circumstances have usually attained their prime. And all this has been going on unresisted and almost unnoticed for countless generations, in the very shadows of hundreds of church steeples, and in a city which pays millions of dollars annually for the support of Gospel ministrations.

The chief impression made on me by the spectacle here presented was one of intense sadness and self-reproach. I deeply realised that I had hitherto said too little, done too little, dared too little, sacrificed too little, to awaken attention to the infernal wrongs and abuses which are inherent in the very structure and constitution, the nature and essence, of civilised Society as it now exists throughout Christendom. Of what avail are alms-giving, and individual benevolence, and even the offices of Religion, in the presence of evil so gigantic and so inwoven with the very framework of Society? There have been here in all recent times charitable men, good men, enough to have saved Sodom, but not enough to save Society from the condemnation of driving this outcast race before it like sheep to the slaughter, as its members pressed on in pursuit of their several schemes of pleasure, riches or ambition, looking up to God for His approbation on their benevolence as they tossed a penny to some miserable beggar after they had stolen the earth from under his feet. How long shall this endure?

The School was dismissed, and every one requested to leave who did not choose to attend the prayer-meeting. No effort was made to induce any to stay—the contrary rather. I was surprised to see that three-fourths (I think) staid; though this was partly explained afterwards by the fact that by staying they had hopes of a night's lodging here and none elsewhere. That prayer-meeting was the most impressive and salutary religious service I have attended for many years. Four or five prayers were made by [Pg 82]different teachers in succession—all chaste, appropriate, excellent, fervent, affecting. A Hymn was sung before and after each by the congregation—and well sung. Brief and cogent addresses were made by the superintendent and (I believe) an American visitor. Then the School was dismissed, and the pupils who had tickets permitting them to sleep in the dormitory below filed off in regular order to their several berths. The residue left the premises. We visiters were next permitted to go down and see those who staid—of course only the ladies being allowed to look into the apartment of the women. O the sadness of that sight! There in the men's room were perhaps a hundred men and boys, sitting up in their rags in little compartments of naked boards, each about half-way between a bread-tray and a hog-trough, which, planted close to each other, were to be their resting-places for the night, as they had been for several previous nights. And this is a very recent and very blessed addition to the School, made by the munificence of some noble woman, who gave $500 expressly to fit up some kind of a sleeping-room, so that those who had attended the School should not all be turned out (as a part still necessarily are) to wander or lie all night in the always cold, damp streets. There are not many hogs in America who are not better lodged than these poor human brethren and sisters, who now united, at the suggestion of the superintendent, in a hymn of praise to God for all His mercies. Doubtless, many did so with an eye to the shelter and hope of food (for each one who is permitted to stay here has a bath and six ounces of bread allowed him in the morning); yet when I contrasted this with the more formal and stately worship I had attended at Westminster Abbey in the morning, the preponderance was decidedly not in favor of the latter.

It seemed to me a profanation—an insult heaped on injury—an unjustifiable prying into the saddest secrets [Pg 83]of the great prison-house of human woe—for us visiters to be standing here; and, though I apologised for it with a sovereign, which grain of sand will, I am sure, be wisely applied to the mitigation of this mountain of misery, I was yet in haste to be gone. Yet I leaned over the rail and made some inquiry of a ragged and forlorn youth of nineteen or twenty who sat next us in his trough, waiting for our departure before he lay down to such rest as that place could afford him. He replied that he had no parents nor friends who could help him—had never been taught any trade—always did any work he could get—sometimes earned six-pence to a shilling per day by odd jobs, but could get no work lately—had no money, of course—and had eaten nothing that day but the six ounces of bread given him on rising here in the morning—and had only the like six ounces in prospect between him and starvation. That hundreds so situated should unite with seeming fervor in praise to God shames the more polished devotion of the favored and comfortable; and if these famishing, hopeless outcasts were to pilfer every day of their lives (as most of them did, and perhaps some of them still do), I should pity even more than I blamed them.

The next night gave me a clearer idea of


The Annual meeting of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society was held on Monday evening, in Freemasons' Hall—a very fine one. There were about One Thousand persons present—perhaps less, certainly not more. I think Joseph Sturge, Esq., was Chairman, but I did not arrive till after the organization, and did not learn the officers' names. At all events, Mr. Sturge had presented the great practical question to the Meeting—"What can we Britons do to hasten the overthrow of [Pg 84]Slavery?"—and Rev. H. H. Garnett (colored) of our State was speaking upon it when I entered. He named me commendingly to the audience, and the Chairman thereupon invited me to exchange my back seat for one on the platform, which I took. Mr. Garnett proceeded to commend the course of British action against Slavery which is popular here, and had already been shadowed forth in the set resolves afterward read to the meeting. The British were told that they could most effectually war against Slavery by refusing the courtesies of social intercourse to slaveholders—by refusing to hear or recognise pro-slavery clergymen—by refusing to consume the products of Slave Labor, &c. Another colored American—a Rev. Mr. Crummill, if I have his name right,—followed in the same vein, but urged more especially the duty of aiding the Free Colored population of the United-States to educate and intellectually develop their children. Mr. S. M. Peto, M. P. followed in confirmation of the views already expressed by Mr. Garnett, insisting that he could not as a Christian treat the slaveholder otherwise than as a tyrant and robber. And then a very witty negro from Boston (Rev. Mr. Heuston, I understood his name), spoke quite at length in unmeasured glorification of Great Britain, as the land of true freedom and equality, where simple Manhood is respected without regard to Color, and where alone he had ever been treated by all as a man and a brother.

By this time I was very ready to accept the Chairman's invitation to say a few words. For, while all that the speakers had uttered with regard to Slavery was true enough, it was most manifest that, whatever effect the course of action they urged might have in America, it could have no other than a baneful influence on the cause of Political Reform in this country. True, it did not always say in so many words that the Social and Political institutions of Great Britain are perfect, but it never [Pg 85]intimated the contrary, while it generally implied and often distinctly affirmed this. The effect, therefore, of such inculcations, is not only to stimulate and aggravate the Phariseeism to which all men are naturally addicted, but actually to impede and arrest the progress of Reform in this Country by implying that nothing here needs reforming. And as this doctrine of "Stand by thyself for I am holier than thou," was of course received with general applause by a British audience, the vices of speaker and hearer reäcted on each other; and, judging from the specimens I had that evening, I must regard American, and especially Afric-American lecturers against Slavery in this country as among the most effective upholders of all the enormous Political abuses and wrongs which are here so prevalent.

When the stand was accorded me, therefore, I proceeded, not by any means to apologize for American Slavery, not to suggest the natural obstacles to its extinction, but to point out, as freely as the audience would bear, some modes of effective hostility to it in addition to those already commended. Premising the fact that Slavery in America now justifies itself mainly on the grounds that the class who live by rude manual toil always are and must be degraded and ill-requited—that there is more debasement and wretchedness on their part in the Free States and in Great Britain itself than there is in the Slave States—and that, moreover, Free laborers will not work in tropical climates, so that these must be cultivated by slaves or not at all—I suggested and briefly urged on British Abolitionists the following course of action:

1. Energetic and systematic exertions to increase the reward of Labor and the comfort and consideration of the depressed Laboring Class here at home; and to diffuse and cherish respect for Man as Man, without regard to class, color or vocation.

2. Determined efforts for the eradication of those Social evils and miseries here which are appealed to and relied [Pg 86]on by slaveholders and their champions everywhere as justifying the continuance of Slavery; And

3. The colonization of our Slave States by thousands of intelligent, moral, industrious Free Laborers, who will silently and practically dispel the wide-spread delusion which affirms that the Southern States must be cultivated and their great staples produced by Slave Labor or not at all.

I think I did not speak more than fifteen minutes, and I was heard patiently to the end, but my remarks were received with no such "thunders of applause" as had been accorded to the more politic efforts of the colored gentlemen. There was in fact repeatedly evinced a prevalent apprehension that I would say something which it would be incumbent on the audience to resent; but I did not. And I have a faint hope that some of the remarks thus called forth will be remembered and reflected on. I am sure there is great need of it, and that denunciations of Slavery addressed by London to Charleston and Mobile will be far more effective after the extreme of destitution and misery uncovered by the Ragged Schools shall have been banished forever from this island—nay, after the great body of those who here denounce Slavery so unsparingly shall have earnestly, unselfishly, thoroughly tried so to banish it.

[Pg 87]



London, Tuesday, May 27, 1851.

To say, as some do, that the English hate the Americans, is to do the former injustice. Even if we leave out of the account the British millions who subsist by rude manual toil, and who certainly regard our country, so far as they think of it at all, with an emotion very different from hatred, there is evinced by the more fortunate classes a very general though not unqualified admiration of the rapidity of our progress, the vastness of our resources, and the extraordinary physical energy developed in our brief, impetuous career. Dense as is the ignorance which widely prevails in Europe with regard to American history and geography, it is still very generally understood that we were, only seventy years since, but Three Millions of widely scattered Colonists, doubtfully contending, on a narrow belt of partially cleared sea-coast, with the mother country on one side and the savages on the other, for a Political existence; and that now we are a nation of Twenty-three Millions, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the cane-producing Tropic to the shores of Lake Superior where snow lies half the year—from Nantucket and the Chesapeake to the affluents of Hudson's Bay and the spacious harbors and sheltered roadsteads of Nootka Sound. And this vast extent of country, the Briton remarks with pride, we have not merely overrun, as the [Pg 88]Spanish so rapidly traversed South America, but have really appropriated and in good degree assimilated, so that the far shores of the Pacific, which have but for three or four years felt the tread of the Anglo-American, are now dotted with energetic and thriving marts of Commerce, into whose lap gold mines are pouring their lavish treasures, while a profusion of steamers, ships and smaller watercraft link them closely with each other, with the Atlantic States and the Old World, while their numerous daily journals are aiding to diffuse the English language through the isles of the immense Pacific, and their "merchant princes" are coolly discussing the advantages of establishing a direct communication by lines of steamships with China and opening the wealth of Japan to the commerce of the civilized world. All this is marked with something of wonder but more of pride by the ruling classes in Great Britain—the pride of a father whose son has beaten him and run away, but who nevertheless hears with interest and gratification that the unfilial reprobate is conquering fame and fortune, and who with beaming eye observes to a neighbor, "A wild boy that of mine, sir, but blood will tell!" If the United States were attacked by any power or alliance strong enough to threaten their subjugation, the sympathy felt for them in these islands would be intense and all but universal.

And yet there is another side of the picture, which in fairness must also be presented. The favored classes in Great Britain, while they heartily admire the American energy and its fruits, do and must nevertheless dread the contagion of our example; and this dread must increase and be diffused as the rapidly increasing power, population and wealth of our country commend it more and more to the attention of the world. While we were some sixty days distant, and heard of mainly in connection with Indian fights or massacres, fatal steamboat explosions or insolvent banks, this contagion was not imminent and did [Pg 89]not seriously alarm; but, now that New-York is but ten days from London, and New-Orleans (by Telegraph) scarcely more, the case is bravely altered, and it becomes daily more and more palpable that the United States and Great Britain cannot both remain as they are. If we in America can have a succession of capable and reputable Chief Magistrates for £5,000 a year, of Chief Justices for £1,000, and of Cabinets at a gross cost of less than £10,000, it is manifest that John Bull, who, loyal as he is, has a strong instinct of thrift and a pride in getting the worth of his money, will not long be content to pay a hundred times as much for his Chief Executive and ten times as much for his Judiciary and Ministry as we do. It is a question, therefore, of the deepest practical interest to the British Nation whether the Americans do really enjoy the advantages of peace, order and security for the rights of person and property through instrumentalities so cheap, and so dependent on moral force only, as those devised and established by Washington and his compatriots. If we have these with a Civil List of less than £1,000,000 sterling, an Army of less than Ten Thousand men, and a Navy (why won't it die and get decently buried?) of a dozen or two active vessels, why should John tax and sweat himself as he does to maintain a Political establishment which costs him over $150,000,000 a year beside the interest on his enormous National Debt? If we, without any Church endowed by law, have as ample and widely diffused provision for Divine worship and Religious instruction as he has, why should he pay tithes to endow Lord Bishops with incomes of £10,000 to £80,000 per annum?—These and similar questions are beginning to be widely pondered here: they refuse to be longer drowned by the blare of trumpets and the resonant melody of "God save the Queen!" I know nobody who objects to that last quoted sentiment, but there are many here, and the number is increasing, who think there is an urgent and [Pg 90]practical need of salvation also for the People—salvation from heavy exactions, unjust burthens and galling distinctions. And, as the interest of the Many in the reform of abuses and the removal of impositions becomes daily more obvious and palpable, so does the instinctive grasp of the Few to keep what they have and get what they can become likewise more muscular and positive. And this instinct absolutely demands a perversion or suppression of the truth with regard to America—with regard especially to the prevalence of order, justice and tranquillity within her borders. And not this only: it is important to this class that it be made to appear that, while Republican institutions may possibly answer for a time in a rude and semi-barbarous community of scattered grain-growers and herdsmen, they are utterly incompatible with a dense population, with general refinement, the upbuilding of Manufactures and the prevalence of the arts of civilized life.

Here, then, is the cue to the cry so early and generally raised, so often and invidiously renewed by the London daily press, of surprise at the meagerness of our country's share in the Great Exhibition. Had any other young nation of Twenty Millions, located three to five thousand miles off, sent a collection so large and so creditable to its industrial proficiency and inventive power, it would have been warmly commended by these same journals; but it is deemed desirable to make an impression on the public mind of Europe adverse to American skill and attainment in the Arts, and hence these representations and sneers.

Yet, gentlemen! what would you have? For years you have been devoting your energies to the task of convincing our people that they should be content to grow Food and Cotton and send them hither in exchange for Wares and Fabrics, especially those of the finer and costlier varieties. You have written reams of essays intended to prove that this course of Industry and Trade is dictated by Nature, [Pg 91]by Providence, by Public good; and that only narrow and short-sighted selfishness would seek to overrule it. Well: here are American samples of all the staples you say our Country ought to produce and be content with, in undeniable abundance and excellence—Cotton, Wool, Wheat, Flour, Indian Corn, Hams, Beef, &c., &c., yet these you run over with a glance of cool contempt, and say we have nothing in the Exhibition! Is this kind or politic treatment of the supporters of your policy in the States? If a seeming approximation to your Utopia should subject them to such compliments, what may they expect from its perfect consummation? Let all our States become as purely Agricultural as the Carolinas or the lower valley of the Mississippi, and what would then be your estimation of us? If a half-way obedience to your counsels exposes us to such disparagement, what might we fairly expect from a thorough submission?

The vital truth, everywhere demonstrable, is nowhere so palpable as here—that a diversification of Industrial pursuits is essential not only to the prosperity and thrift, but also to the education and intellectual activity of a People. A community which witnesses from year to year the processes of Agricultural labor only, lacks a stimulus to mental cultivation of inestimable value. If Europe were to say to America, "Sit still, and we will send you from year to year all the Wares and Fabrics you need for nothing, on the simple condition that you will not attempt to produce any yourselves," it would be most unwise and suicidal to accept the offer. For we need not more the Wares and Fabrics than the skill which fashions and the taste which beautifies them. We need that multiform capacity and facility of hand and brain which only experience in the Arts can bestow and diffuse. The National Industry is the People's University; to confine it to a few and those the ruder branches is to stunt and stagnate the popular mind—is to arrest the march of [Pg 92]improvement in Agriculture itself. Hence, nearly or quite all the modern improvements in Cultivation have been made in immediate proximity to a dense Manufacturing population; hence Belgium is now a garden, while Ireland (except the manufacturing North) is to a great extent stagnant and decaying. Other causes doubtless conspire, as in England contrasted with Italy and Spain, to produce these results, but they do not unsettle the general truth that Industry advances through a symmetric and many-sided development or does not advance at all.

We have yet much to learn in the Arts, but the first lesson of all is a well-founded confidence in our own artisans, our own capacities, with a patriotic resolution to encourage the former and develop the latter. And this confidence is abundantly justified even by what is exhibited here. While our show of products is much less than it might and less even than it should have been, those who have really studied it draw thence hope and courage. No other nation exhibits within a similar compass so great a diversity of excellence—no other exhibits so large a proportion of inventions and valuable improvements. Even in the vast apartment devoted to British Machinery, the number and importance of the American inventions exhibited (some of them adapted to new uses or improved upon in this country; others merely incorporated with British improvements), is very striking. I doubt whether England during the last half century has borrowed so many inventions from all the world beside—I am sure she has not from all except France—as she has from the United States. And yet we are blessed with the presence of sundry Americans here who, without having examined our contributions, without knowing anything more about them than they have gleaned from The Times and Punch, aided by a hurried walk through the department, are busily proclaiming that this show makes them ashamed of their country!

[Pg 93]Here is the great source of our weakness—a want of proper pride in and devotion to our own Industrial interests. Every sort of patriotism is abundant in America but that which is most essential—that which aids to develop and strengthen the Nation's productive energies. No other people buy Foreign fabrics extensively in preference to the equally cheap and more substantial products of their own looms, yet ours do it habitually. I had testimony after testimony from American merchants on the voyage over, as well as before and since, that foreign fabrics habitually sell in our markets for ten to twenty per cent. more than is asked for equally good American products, while thousands of pieces of the latter are readily sold on the strength of fabricated Foreign marks at prices which they would not command to customers who would not buy them, if their origin were known. This is certainly disgraceful to the seller—what is it to the buyer? The mercantile interest naturally leans toward the more distant production—the margin for profit is larger where an article is brought across an ocean, while the cost of a home made article is so notorious that there is little chance of putting on a large profit. Give American producers the prices now readily paid throughout our country for Foreign fabrics and they will grow rich by manufacturing articles in no respect inferior to the former. But with only a share of the American market, and this mainly for the coarsest and cheapest goods, while the purchasers of the more costly and fanciful, on which the larger profits are made, must have "Fabrique de Paris" or some such label affixed to render them current, our manufacturers have no fair chance. While fools could be found to buy "Cashmere Shawls," costing fifty to a hundred dollars, for five hundred to a thousand, under the absurd delusion that they came from Eastern Asia, the fabrication and the profits were European; let an American begin to make just such Shawls and the secret is out, so the price sinks at once to the [Pg 94]neighborhood of the cost of production. So with De Laines, Counterpanes, Brussels Carpetings and fabrics generally; and yet Americans will talk as though the encouragement given by protective Duties to home Manufacturers were given at the expense of our consumers. Vainly are they challenged from day to day to name one single article whereof the production has been transplanted from Europe to America through Protection, which has not thereby been materially cheapened to the American consumer; it suits them better to assume that the duty is a tax on the consumer than to examine the case and admit the truth. But delusion cannot be eternal.

That our Country would at some future day work its way gradually out of its present semi-Colonial dependence on European tastes, European fashions, European fabrication, even though all Legislative encouragement were withheld, I firmly believe. The genius, the activity, the energy, the enterprise of our people conspire to assure it. So the thief, the burglar, the forger, are certain to suffer for their misdeeds though all the penalties of human laws were repealed, and yet I consider state prisons and houses of correction salutary if not indispensable. It is difficult for even an ingenious and inventive race to make improvements in an art or process which has no existence among them. Whitney's Cotton-Gin presupposed the growth of Cotton; Fulton's steamboat the existence of internal commerce and navigation; without Lowell, Bigelow might have invented a new trap for muskrats but not looms for weaving Carpets, Ginghams, Coach-Lace, &c. I deeply feel that our Country owes to mankind the duty of so sustaining her Manufacturing Industry that further and more signal triumphs of her inventive genius may yet be evolved and realised, not merely in the domain of Fabrics but in that of Wares and Metals also, and especially in that of the chief metal, Iron. Had Iron enjoyed for twenty years such a measure of Protection among us as Plain Cottons obtained from 1816 through [Pg 95]Mr. Calhoun's minimum of six cents per square yard, we should, in all probability, have been producing Iron by this time as cheaply as drills and sheetings—that is, as cheaply (quality considered) as any nation on the globe—as cheaply as we produce School-Books, Newspapers, and nearly every article whereof the American maker is shielded by circumstances from Foreign competition. Had the Tariff of 1842 but stood unaltered till this time, who believes that even the greenest and silliest American could have fancied himself blushing for the meagerness of his country's share in the Great Exhibition?

[Pg 96]



London, Thursday, May 29, 1851.

I have now been four weeks in this metropolis, and, though confined throughout nearly every day to the Crystal Palace, I have enjoyed large and various opportunities for studying the English People. I have made acquaintances in all ranks, from dukes to beggars—all ranks, I should say, but that which is esteemed the highest. I have of course seen the Royal family repeatedly at the Exhibition, which is open at all hours to Jurors, and the Queen times her visits so as to be there mainly while it is closed to the public. But I have barely seen her party, as I passed it with a double row of gazers interposed, all eager to catch the sunlight of Majesty, appearing to care little how much she might be annoyed or they abased by their unseemly gaping. I hope no Americans contributed to swell these groups, but after what I have seen here I am by no means sure of it.

A young countrywoman who has not yet been long enough in Europe to forget what it cost our forefathers to be rid of all this, but who had in her own case adequate reasons for desiring a presentation at Court, gave me some days since a graphic account of the ceremonial, which I wish I had committed to paper while it was freshly remembered. It is of course understood that every one presented to her Majesty must appear in full dress—that of gentlemen (not Military) being a Court suit alike costly, [Pg 97]fantastic and utterly useless elsewhere, while ladies are expected to appear in rich arrow British silk (Free Trade notwithstanding) with a train three yards long (perhaps it is only three feet), with plumes, &c. Thus equipped, they proceed to the Palace, where at the appointed hour the Queen makes her appearance, with her family by her side and backed by a double row of maids of honor, attendants, &c. Each palpitating aspirant to the honor of presentation awaits his or her turn standing, and may thus wait two hours. The Foreign Embassadors have precedence in presenting; others follow; in due season your name is called out; you pass before the Royal presence, make your bow or courtesy, receive the faint suggestion of a response, and pass along and away to make room for the next customer. Unless you belong essentially to the Diplomatic circle (being presented by an Embassador will not answer), you are not allowed to remain and see those behind you take the plunge, but must hasten forthwith from the presence. And, as ordinary Humanity has but one aspect in which it is fit to be gazed on by Royal eyes, you must contrive to quit the presence with your face constantly turned toward it. Now this need not be difficult for those in masculine attire, but to the wearers of the rich Spitalfields silks and trains aforesaid, even though the trains be but three feet long instead of three yards, the evolution must require no moderate share of feminine tact and dexterity. It is consoling to hear that all manage to accomplish it, by dint of severe training through the week preceding the event; though some are so frightened when the awful moment arrives that their ghastly visages and tottering frames evince how narrowly they escape swooning. The fact that it is over in a moment serves materially to mitigate the torture!

"What ridiculous formalities!—What absurd requirements!" exclaims Brother Jonathan. No, sir! You are judging without knowledge or without consideration. [Pg 98]These and kindred formalities, considered apart, may be ludicrous, but, regarded as portions of a system, they are essential. In a country where everything gravitates so intensely toward the Throne, there must be impediments to presentation at Court, if the Sovereign is to enjoy any leisure, peace, comfort, or even time for the most pressing public duties. There is and should be no absolute barrier to the presentation of any well-bred, well-behaved person, whether subject or foreigner; and, if it were as easy as visiting the Exhibition, the Queen would be required to hold a drawing-room every day, and devote the whole of it to unmeaning and useless introductions. As the matter is actually managed, those who have any good reason for it undergo the ceremony, with many who have none; while the great majority are content with the knowledge that they might be admitted to the august presence if they chose to incur the bother and expense. Those who cherish a moth-like reverence for Royalty indulge it at their own cost and to the advantage of Trade; weavers, costumers and shop-keepers are very glad to pocket the money which the presentee must disburse; and even those ladies who have the entrée, and so attend half a dozen drawing-rooms per annum, are expected to appear at each in a new dress—thus the interests of the shop are never lost sight of. These Court formalities, Brother J., are not absurd—very far from it. They are rational, politic, beneficent, indispensable. Whether it is wise or unwise for your young folks to subject themselves to the inevitable expense and vexation for the sake of standing a few feet nearer a Queen, is another affair altogether. When I contrast these presentations with the freedom and ease (except when there is a jam) of our Presidential receptions—when I remember that any whole dress is good enough for the White House, and any honest man or woman (with some not so honest) may go up on a levee night and be introduced to the President and his lady, saunter through the rooms, [Pg 99]converse with friends and pass in review half the notables of the Nation—I deeply realize the superiority of Republicanism to Royalty, but without seeking to put the new wine into old bottles. The forms appropriate to our simpler institutions would be utterly unsuitable here—nay, they would be found impossible.

The Queen left London last week for her private residence on the Isle of Wight, I supposed for weeks; but she was back in the Exhibition early on Tuesday morning, and has since been holding a Drawing-Room, giving Dinners, a Concert, &c. with her accustomed activity. She seems resolved to make the Exhibition Summer an agreeable one for the Foreigners in attendance, many of whom are included in her invitations. As the "shilling days" opened meagerly on Monday, to the disappointment (perhaps because) of the general apprehension of a crush, and as the numbers thronging thither have rapidly increased ever since, the Queen's renewed countenance receives a good share of the credit, and her condescension in coming on a "shilling day" is duly commended. It is already plain enough that the attendance consequent on the cheap admission is destined to be enormous. To-day over Fifty Thousand paid their shilling each, over six thousand per hour—to say nothing of the thousands who came in on season tickets, or as exhibitors, jurors, &c. The money taken at the doors to-day must have exceeded $12,000, though no "excursion trains" have yet come in from the Country. These will begin to pour in next week, by which time it is to be hoped that the Juries will have completed their examinations if not their awards; for they will have scanty elbow-room afterward except at early hours in the morning. I presume there will be Fifty Thousand admissions paid for during each of the four "shilling days," of next week. Fridays henceforth the admission is to be 2s. 6d. (60 cents), and Saturdays 5s. ($1.20), and many believe the Palace will be as crowded on these as on other days. I doubt.

[Pg 100]


"The Guild of Literature and Art" will have already been heard of in America. It is an undertaking of several fortunate authors and their friends to make some provision for their unsuccessful brethren—for those who had the bad luck to be born before their time, as well as those who would apparently have done better by declining to be born at all. The world overflows with writers who would fain transmute their thoughts into bread, and lacking the opportunity, have a slim chance for any bread at all, even the coarsest. No other class has less worldly wisdom, less practical thrift; no other suffers more keenly from "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," than unlucky authors. If anything can be done to mitigate the severity of their fate, and especially if their more favored brethren can do it, there ought to be but one opinion as to its propriety.

And yet I fear the issue of this project. The world is scourged by legions of drones and adventurers who have taken to Literature as in another age they would have taken to the highway—to procure an easy livelihood. They write because they are too lazy to work, or because they would scorn to live on the meager product of manual toil. Of Genius, they have mainly the eccentricities—that is to say, a strong addiction to late hours, hot suppers and a profusion of gin and water, though they are not particular about the water. What Authorship needs above all things is purification from this Falstaff's regiment, who should be taught some branch of honest industry and obliged to earn their living by it. So far, therefore, am I from regretting that every one who wishes cannot rush into print, and joining in the general execration of publishers for their insensibility to unacknowledged merit, that I wish no man could have his book printed until he had [Pg 101]earned the cost thereof by bona fide labor, and that no one could live by Authorship until after he had practically demonstrated both his ability and willingness to earn his living in a different way. I greatly fear the proposed "Guild," even under the wisest regulations, will do as much harm as good, by aggravating the prevalent tendency toward Authorship among thousands who never asked whether the world is likely to profit by their lucubrations, but only whether they may hope to profit by them. If the "Guild" should tend to increase the number of aspirants to the honors and rewards of Authorship, it will incite more misery than it is likely to overcome.

However, this is an attempt to mend the fortunes of unlucky British Authors; and as we Americans habitually steal the productions of British Authorship, and deliberately refuse them that protection to which all producers are justly entitled, I feel myself fairly indebted to the class, by the amount of my reading of their works to which Copyright in America is denied. I meant to have attended the first dramatic entertainment given at Devonshire House in aid of this enterprise, but I did not apply for a ticket (price £5) till too late; so I took care to be in season for next time—that is, Tuesday evening of this week.

The play (as before) was "Not so Bad as We Seem, or Many Sides to a Character," written expressly in aid of the "Guild" by Bulwer, and performed at the town mansion of the Duke of Devonshire, one of the most wealthy and popular of the British nobility. On the former evening the Queen and Royal Family attended, with some scores of the Nobility; this time there was a sprinkling of Duchesses, &c., but Commoners largely preponderated, and the hour of commencing was changed from 9 to 7½ P. M. The apartment devoted to the performance is a very fine one, and the whole mansion, though common-place enough in its exterior, is fitted up with a wealth of [Pg 102]carving, gilding, sculpture, &c., which can hardly be imagined. The scenes were painted expressly in aid of the "Guild," and admirably done. The Duke's private band played before and between the acts, and nothing had been spared on his part to render the entertainment a pleasant one. Every seat was filled, and, at $10 each and no expenses out, a handsome sum must have been realized in aid of the benevolent enterprise.

The male performers, as is well understood, are all Literary amateurs; the ladies alone being actresses by profession. Charles Dickens had the principal character—that of a profligate though sound-hearted young Lord—and he played it very fairly. But stateliness sits ill upon him, and incomparably his best scene was one wherein he appears in disguise as a bookseller tempting the virtue of a poverty-stricken author. Douglas Jerrold was for the nonce a young Mr. Softhead, and seemed quite at home in the character. It was better played than Dickens's. The residue were indifferently good—or rather, indifferently bad—and on the whole the performance was indebted for its main interest to the personal character of the performers. I was not sorry when it was concluded.

After a brief interval for refreshments, liberally proffered, a comic afterpiece, "Mr. Nightingale's Diary," was given with far greater spirit. Dickens personated the principal character—or rather, the four or five principal characters—for the life of the piece is sustained by his appearance successively as a lawyer, a servant, a vigorous and active gentleman relieved of his distempers by water-cure, a feeble invalid, &c., &c. It is long since I saw much acting of any account, but this seemed to me perfect; and I am sure the raw material of a capital comedian was put to a better use when Charles Dickens took to authorship. The other characters were fairly presented, and the play heartily enjoyed throughout.

The curtain fell about half an hour past midnight amidst [Pg 103]tumultuous and protracted applause. The company then mainly repaired to the supper room, where a tempting display of luxuries and dainties was provided for them by the munificence of their noble host. I did not venture to partake at that hour, but those who did would be quite unlikely to repent of it—till morning. Thence they were gradually moving off to another superb apartment, where the violins were beginning to give note of coming melody, to which flying feet were eager to respond; but I thought one o'clock in the morning quite late enough for retiring, and so came away before the first set was made up. I do not doubt the dancing was maintained with spirit till broad daylight.


A sumptuous entertainment was given on Wednesday (last) evening by the "Ancient and Honorable Company of Fishmongers"—this being their regular annual festival. The Fishmongers' is among the oldest and wealthiest of the Guilds of London, having acquired, by bequest or otherwise, real estate which has been largely enhanced in value by the city's extension. Originally an association of actual fishmongers for mutual service as well as the cultivation of good fellowship, it has been gradually transformed by Time's changes until now no single dealer in fish (I understood) stands enrolled among its living members, and no fish is seen within the precincts of its stately Hall save on feast-days like this. Still, as its rents are ample, its privileges valuable, its charities bounteous, its dinners superlative, its cellars stored with ancient wines, and its leaning decided toward modern ideas, its roll of members is well filled. Most of them are city men extensively engaged in business, two or three of the City's Members of Parliament being among them. There were perhaps a dozen Members present, including Lord Palmerston, Foreign Secretary of [Pg 104]State, and Joseph Hume, the world-known Economist. The chair was filled by "Sir John Easthope, Prime Warden." The chairmen of the several Juries at the Exhibition were among the guests.

Having recently described the Dinner to the Foreign Commissioners at Richmond, I can dispatch this more summarily, only noting what struck me as novel. Suffice it that the company, three hundred strong, was duly seated, grace said, the dinner served, and more than two hours devoted to its consumption. It was now ten o'clock, and Lord Palmerston, who was expected to speak and reputed to be rarely gifted with fluency, was obliged to leave for the Queen's Concert. Up to this time, no man had been plied with more than a dozen kinds of wine, each (I presume) very good, but altogether (I should suppose) calculated to remind the drinker of his head on rising in the morning. The cloth was now removed and after-grace sung by a choir, for even with two prayers this sort of omnivorous feasting at night is not quite healthy. I trust there is no presumption involved in the invocation of a blessing on such indulgences, yet I could imagine that an omission of one of the prayers might be excused if half the dinner were omitted also.

But the eatables were removed, silence restored, and three enormous flagons, apparently of pure gold, placed on the table near its head. The herald or toast-master now loudly made proclamation: "My Lord Viscount Ebrington, my Lord de Mauley, Baron Charles Dupin (&c. &c., reciting the names and titles of all the guests), the honorable Prime Warden, the junior Wardens and members of the ancient and honorable Company of Fishmongers bid you welcome to their hospitable board, and in token thereof beg leave to drink your healths"—whereupon the Prime-Warden rose, bowing courteously to his right-hand neighbor (who rose also), and proceeded to drink his health, wiping with his napkin the rim of the flagon, and passing [Pg 105]it to the neighbor aforesaid, who in turn bowed and drank to his next neighbor and passed the wine in like manner, and so the flagons made the circuit of the tables. Then the festive board was re-covered with decanters, and the intellectual enjoyments of the evening commenced, the vinous not being intermitted.

The toasts were, "The Queen," "Prince Albert and the Royal Family," "The Foreign Commissioners to the World's Exhibition," "The Royal Commissioners," "The Army and Navy," "The House of Lords," "The House of Commons," "The Health of the Prime Warden," "Civil and Religious Liberty," "The Ministry," "The Bank of England," &c. The responsive speeches were made by Baron Dupin for the Foreign Commissioners, Earl Granville for the Royal ditto, Lord de Mauley for the Peers, Viscount Ebrington for the Commons, Gen. Sir Hugh de Lacy Evans for the Army, Solicitor General Wood (in the absence of Lord Palmerston) for the Ministry, the Deputy-Governor in behalf of the Governor of the Bank of England, Dr. Lushington in response to Civil and Religious Liberty, and so on. When Baron Dupin rose to respond for the Foreign Commissioners, they all rose and stood while he spoke, and so in turn with the Royal Commissioners, Members of the House of Commons, &c. Earl Granville's was the most amusing, Dr. Lushington's the most valuable speech of the evening. It briefly glanced at past struggles in modern times for the extension of Freedom in England, and hinted at similar struggles to come, pointing especially to Law Reform. Dr. L. is a very earnest speaker, and has won a high rank at the Bar and in public confidence.

I was more interested, however, in the remarks of Mr. Sergeant Talfourd, author of "Ion," and of Sir James Brooke, "Rajah of Sarawak" (Borneo, E. I.), who spoke at a late hour in reply to a personal allusion. I do not mean that Mr. Talfourd's remarks especially impressed [Pg 106]me, for they did not, but I was glad of this opportunity of hearing him. The Rajah is a younger and more vivacious man than I had fancied him, rather ornate in manner, and spoke (unlike an Englishman) with more fluency than force, in self-vindication against the current charge of needless cruelty in the destruction of a nest of pirates in the vicinity of his Oriental dominions. From reading, I had formed the opinion that he is doing a good work for Civilization and Humanity in Borneo, but this speech did not strengthen my conviction.

Farther details would only be tedious. Enough that the Fishmongers' Dinner ended at midnight, when all quietly and steadily departed. In "the good old days," I presume a considerable proportion both of hosts and guests would by this time have been under the table. Let us rejoice over whatever improvement has been made in social habits and manners, and labor to extend it.

[Pg 107]



London, Wednesday, June 4, 1851.

Although I have not yet found time for a careful and thorough examination of the machinery and processes recently invented or adopted in Europe for the manufacture of cheap fabrics from Flax, I have seen enough to assure me of their value and importance. I have been disappointed only with regard to machinery for Flax-Dressing, which seems, on a casual inspection, to be far less efficient than the best on our side of the Atlantic, especially that patented of late in Missouri and Kentucky. That in operation in the British Machinery department of the Exhibition does its work faultlessly, except that it turns out the product too slowly. I roughly estimate that our Western machines are at least twice as efficient.

M. Claussen is here, and has kindly explained to me his processes and shown me their products. He is no inventor of Flax-dressing Machinery at all, and claims nothing in that line. In dressing, he adopts and uses the best machines he can find, and I think is destined to receive important aid from American inventions. What he claims is mainly the discovery of a cheap chemical solvent of the Flax fiber, whereby its coarseness and harshness are removed and the fineness and softness of Cotton induced in their stead. This he has accomplished. Some of his Flax-Cotton is scarcely distinguishable from the Sea Island staple, while to other samples he has given the character of Wool very nearly. I can imagine no reason [Pg 108]why this Cotton should not be spun and woven as easily as any other. The staple may be rendered of any desired length, though the usual average is about two inches. It is as white as any Cotton, being made so by an easy and cheap bleaching process. M. Claussen's process in lieu of Rotting requires but three hours for its completion. It takes the Flax as it came from the field, only somewhat dryer and with the seed beaten off, and renders it thoroughly fit for breaking. The plant is allowed to ripen before it is harvested, so that the seed is all saved, while the tediousness and injury to the fiber, not to speak of the unwholesomeness, of the old-fashioned Rotting processes are entirely obviated. Where warmth is desirable in the fabrics contemplated, the staple is made to resemble Wool quite closely. Specimens dyed red, blue, yellow, &c., are exhibited, to show how readily and satisfactorily the Flax-Cotton takes any color that may be desired. Beside these lie rolls of Flannels, Feltings, and almost every variety of plain textures, fabricated wholly or in good part from Flax as prepared for Spinning under M. Claussen's patent, proving the adaptation of this fiber to almost every use now subserved by either Cotton or Wool. The mixtures of Cotton and Flax, Flax-Cotton and Wool, are excellent and serviceable fabrics.

The main question still remains to be considered—will it pay? Flax may be grown almost anywhere—two or three crops a year of it in some climates—a crop of it equal to three times the present annual product of Cotton, Flax and Wool all combined could easily be produced even next year. But unless cheaper fabrics, all things considered, can be produced from Flax-Cotton than from the Mississippi staple, this fact is of little worth. On this vital point I must of course rely on testimony, and M. Claussen's is as follows:

He says the Flax-straw, or the ripe, dry plant as it comes from the field, with the seed taken off, may be grown even [Pg 109]here for $10 per tun, but he will concede its cost for the present to be $15 per tun, delivered, as it is necessary that liberal inducements shall be given for its extensive cultivation. Six tuns of the straw or flax in the bundle will yield one tun of dressed and clean fiber, the cost of dressing which by his methods, so as to make it Flax Cotton, is $35 per tun. (Our superior Western machinery ought considerably to reduce this.) The total cost of the Flax-Cotton, therefore, will be $125 per tun or six cents per pound, while Flax-straw as it comes from the field is worth $15 per tun; should this come down to $10 per tun, the cost of the fiber will be reduced to $95 per tun, or less than five cents per pound. At that rate, good "field-hands" must be rather slow of sale for Cotton-planting at $1,000 each, or even $700.

Is there any doubt that Flax-straw may be profitably grown in the United States for $15 or even $10 per tun? Consider that Flax has been extensively grown for years, even in our own State, for the seed only, the straw being thrown out to rot and being a positive nuisance to the grower. Now the seed is morally certain to command, for two or three years at least, a higher price than hitherto, because of the increased growth and extended use of the fiber. Let no farmer who has Flax growing be tempted to sell the seed by contract or otherwise for the present; let none be given over to the tender mercies of oil-mills. We shall need all that is grown this year for sowing next Spring, and it is morally certain to bear a high price even this Fall. The sagacious should caution their less watchful neighbors on this point. I shall be disappointed if a bushel of Flax-seed be not worth two bushels of Wheat in most parts of our Country next May.

Our ensuing Agricultural Fairs, State and local, should be improved for the diffusion of knowledge and the attainment of concert and mutual understanding with regard to the Flax-Culture. For the present, at any rate, few [Pg 110]farmers can afford or will choose to incur the expense of the heavy machinery required to break and roughly dress their flax, so as to divest it of four-fifths of its bulk and leave the fiber in a state for easy transportation to the central points at which Flax-Cotton machinery may be put in operation. If the Flax-straw has to be hauled fifty or sixty miles over country roads to find a purchaser or breaking-machine, the cost of such transportation will nearly eat up the proceeds. If the farmers of any township can be assured beforehand that suitable machinery will next Summer be put up within a few miles of them, and a market there created for their Flax, its growth will be greatly extended. And if intelligent, energetic, responsible men will now turn their thoughts toward the procuring and setting up of the best Flax-breaking machinery (not for fully dressing but merely for separating the fibre from the bulk of the woody substance it incloses) they may proceed to make contracts with their neighboring farmers for Flax-straw to be delivered in the Autumn of next year on terms highly advantageous to both parties. The Flax thus roughly dressed may be transported even a hundred miles to market at a moderate cost, and there can be no reasonable doubt of its commanding a good price. M. Claussen assures me that he could now buy and profitably use almost any quantity of such Flax if it were to be had. The only reason (he says) why there are not now any number of spindles and looms running on Flax-Cotton is the want of the raw material. (His patent is hardly yet three mouths old.) Taking dressed and hetcheled Flax, worth seven to nine cents per pound, and transforming it into Flax-Cotton while Cotton is no higher than at present, would not pay.

Of course, there will be disappointments, mistakes, unforeseen difficulties, disasters, in Flax-growing and the consequent fabrications hereafter as heretofore. I do not presume that every man who now rushes into Flax will [Pg 111]make his fortune; I presume many will incur losses. I counsel and urge the fullest inquiry, the most careful calculations, preliminary to any decisive action. But that such inquiry will lead to very extensive Flax-sowing next year,—to the erection of Flax-breaking machinery at a thousand points where none such have ever yet existed—and ultimately to the firm establishment of new and most important branches of industry, I cannot doubt. Our own country is better situated than any other to take the lead in the Flax-business; her abundance of cheap, fertile soil and of cheap seed, the intelligence of her producers, the general diffusion of water or steam power, and our present superiority in Flax-breaking machinery, all point to this result. It will be unfortunate alike for our credit and our prosperity if we indolently or heedlessly suffer other nations to take the lead in it.

P. S.—M. Claussen has also a Circular Loom in the Exhibition, wherein Bagging, Hosiery, &c., may be woven without a seam or anything like one. This loom may be operated by a very light hand-power (of course, steam or water is cheaper), and it does its work rapidly and faultlessly. I mention this only as proof of his inventive genius, and to corroborate the favorable impression he made on me. I have seen nothing more ingenious in the immense department devoted to British Machinery than this loom.

I understand that overtures have been made to M. Claussen for the purchase of his American patent, but as yet without definite result. This, however, is not material. Whether the patent is sold or held, there will next year be parties ready to buy roughly dressed Flax to work up under it, and it is preparation to grow such Flax that I am urging. I believe nothing more important or more auspicious to our Farming Interest has occurred for years than this discovery by M. Claussen. He made it in Brazil, while engaged in the growth of Cotton. It will not [Pg 112]supersede Cotton, but it will render it no longer indispensable by providing a substitute equally cheap, equally serviceable, and which may be grown almost everywhere. This cannot be realized too soon.

[Pg 113]



London, Friday, June 6, 1851.

The great "Exposition" (as the French more accurately term it) has now been more than five weeks open, and is nearly complete. You may wander for miles through its richly fringed avenues without hearing the sound of saw or hammer, except in the space allotted to Russia, which is now boarded up on all sides, and in which some twenty or thirty men are at work erecting stands, unpacking and arranging fabrics, &c. I visited it yesterday, and inferred that the work is pushed night and day, since a part of the workmen were asleep (under canvas) at 2 o'clock. This apartment promises to be most attractive when opened to the public. Its contents will not be numerous, but among them are very large and showy manufactures of Porcelain, Bronze, &c., and tables of the finest Malachite, a single piece weighing (I think) nearly or quite half a ton. Not half the wares are yet displayed, but "Russia" will be the center of attraction for some days after it is thrown open.

The Exhibition has become a steady, business-like concern. The four "shilling days" of each week are improved and enjoyed by the common people, who quietly put to shame the speculation of the Aristocratic oracles as to their probable behavior in such a magazine of wealth and splendor—whether they might not make a general rush on the precious stones, plate and other valuables here [Pg 114]staring them in the face, with often but a single policeman in sight—whether they might not refuse to leave at the hour of closing, &c., &c. The gates are surrounded a little before ten in the morning by a gathering, deepening crowd, but all friendly and peaceable; and when they open at the stroke of the clock, a dense column pours in through each aperture, each paying his shilling as he passes (no tickets being used and no change given—the holders of season, jurors' and exhibitors' tickets have separate entrances), and all proceeding as smoothly as swiftly. Within half an hour, ten thousand shillings will have thus been taken: within the next hour, ten thousand more; thence the admissions fall off; but the number ranges pretty regularly from Forty to Fifty Thousand per day, making the daily receipts from $10,000 to $12,000. Yesterday was a great Race Day at Ascot, attended by the Queen and Royal Family, as also by most of the habitual idlers, with a multitude beside (and a miserably raw, rainy, chilly day they had of it, with very poor racing), yet I should say that the attendance at the Exhibition was greater than ever before. Certainly not less than fifty thousand shillings, or $12,000, can have been taken. For hours, the Grand Avenue, which is nearly or quite half a mile long and at least thirty feet wide, was so filled with the moving mass that no vacant spaces could be seen from any position commanding an extensive prospect, though small ones were occasionally discoverable while threading the mazes of the throng. The visiters were constantly turning off into one or another department according to their several tastes; but their places were as constantly supplied either by new-comers or by those who, having completed their examinations in one department, were hastening to another, or looking for one especially attractive. Turn into whatever corner you might, there were clusters of deeply interested gazers, intent on making the most of their day and their shilling, while in the [Pg 115]quieter nooks from 1 to 3 o'clock might be seen families or parties eating the lunch which, with a prophetic foresight of the miserable quality and exorbitant price of the viands served to you in the spacious Refreshment Saloons, they had wisely brought from home. But these saloons were also crowded from an early to a late hour, as they are almost every day, and I presume the concern which paid a high price for the exclusive privilege of ministering to the physical appetites within the Crystal Palace will make a fortune by it, though the interdiction of Wines and Liquors must prove a serious drawback. It must try the patience of some of the visiters to do without their beer or ale from morning to night; and if you leave the building on any pretext, your shilling is gone. Every actual need of the day is provided for inside, even to the washing of face and hands (price 2d.). But Night falls, and the gigantic hive is deserted and closed, leaving its fairy halls, its infinite wealth, its wondrous achievements, whether of Nature or of Art, to darkness and silence. Of course, a watch is kept, and, under pressing and peculiar circumstances, work has been permitted; but the treasures here collected must be guarded with scrupulous vigilance. If a fire should consume the Crystal Palace, the inevitable loss must exceed One Hundred Millions of Dollars, even supposing that a few of the most precious articles should be snatched from the swift destruction. Ten minutes without wind, or five with it, would suffice to wrap the whole immense magazine in flames, and not a hundredth part of the value of building and contents would remain at the close of another hour.


The Exhibition is destined to contribute immensely to the Industrial and Practical Education of the British People. The cheap Excursion Trains from the Country have [Pg 116]hardly commenced running yet; but it is certain that a large proportion of the mechanics, artisans and apprentices of the manufacturing towns and districts will spend one or two days each in the Palace before it closes. Superficial as such a view of its contents must be, it will have important results. Each artisan will naturally be led to compare the products of his own trade with those in the same line from other Nations, especially the most successful, and will be stimulated to discern and master the point wherein his own and his neighbor's efforts have hitherto comparatively failed. Of a million who come to gaze, only an hundred thousand may come with any clear idea of profiting by the show, and but half of those succeed in carrying back more wisdom than they brought here; yet even those are quite an army; and fifty thousand skilled artisans or sharp-eyed apprentices viewing such an Exposition aright and going home to ponder and dream upon it, cannot fail of working out great triumphs. The British mind is more fertile in improvement than in absolute invention, as is here demonstrated, especially in the department of Machinery; and the simple adaptation of the forces now attained, the principles established, the machines already invented, to all the beneficent uses of which they are capable, would speedily transform the Industrial and Social condition of mankind. I am perfectly satisfied, for example, that Boots and Shoes may be cut out and made up by machinery with less than one-fourth the labor now required—that this would require no absolutely new inventions, but only an adaptation of those already well known. So in other departments of Industry. There is no reason for continuing to sew plain seams on thick cloth by hand, when machinery can do the work even better and twenty times as fast. I shall be disappointed if this Exhibition be not speedily followed by immense advances in Labor-Saving Machinery, especially in this country.

[Pg 117]But out of the domain of Industry, British Progress in Popular Education is halting and partial. And the chief obstacle is not a want of means, nor even niggardliness; for the Nation is wealthy, sagacious and public-spirited. I think the influential classes generally, or at least very extensively, realize that a well managed system of Common Schools, supported by taxation on Property, would save more in diminishing the burthen of Pauperism than it would cost. I believe the Ministry feel this. And yet Mr. Fox's motion looking to such a system was voted down in the House of Commons by some three to one, the Ministry and their reliable supporters vieing with the Tories in opposing it! So the Nation is thrown back on the wretched shift of Voluntaryism, or Instruction for the poor and ignorant children to be provided, directed and paid for by their poor, ignorant and often vicious parents, with such help and guidance as self-constituted casual associations may see fit to give them. The result is and will be what it ever has been and must be—the virtual denial of Education to a great share of the rising generation.

For this suicidal crime, I hold the Episcopal and Roman Catholic Priesthoods mainly responsible, but especially the former. If they would only stand out of the way, a system of efficient Common Schools for the whole Nation might be speedily established. But they will not permit it. By insisting that no Nationally directed and supported system shall be put in operation which does not recognize and affirm the tenets of their respective creeds, they render the adoption of any such system impossible. They see this; they know it; they mean it. And nothing moves me to indignation quicker than their stereotyped cant of "Godless education," "teaching infidelity," "knowledge worthless or dangerous without Religion," &c. &c. Why, Sirs, it is very true that the People need Religious as well as purely Intellectual culture, but the former has been [Pg 118]already provided for. You clergymen of the Established Church have been richly endowed and beneficed expressly for this work—why don't you do it? Why do you stand here darkening and stopping the gateway of secular instruction with a self-condemning assumption that your own duties have been and are criminally neglected, and that therefore others shall likewise remain unperformed? Teach the children as much Religion as you can; very few of you ever lack pupils when you give your hearts to the work; and if they prove less apt or less capable learners because they have been taught reading, writing, grammar, geography and arithmetic in secular schools, it argues some defect in your theology or its teachers. If you really wanted the children taught Religious truth, you would be right glad to have them taught letters and other rudimental lessons elsewhere, so as to be fitted to apprehend and retain your inculcations. It should suffice for the condemnation of all Established Churches ever more, that the State-paid Priesthood of Great Britain is to-day the chief impediment to a system of Common Schools throughout the British Isles.

The Catholic Clergy have more excuse. They, too unite in the impracticable requirement that the dogmas of their Church shall be taught in the schools attended by Catholic children, when they ought to teach them these dogmas out of School-hours, and be content that no antagonist dogmas are taught in the secular Schools. But they receive nothing from the State, and have good reason to regard it as hostile to their faith, therefore to suspect its purposes and watch narrowly its movements. If they would only take care to have a good system of Common School Education established and efficiently sustained in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, and other Countries wherein they are the conscience-keepers of the great majority and practically omnipotent in the sphere of moral and social effort, I could better excuse their unfortunate [Pg 119]attitude here. As it is, the difference between them and their State-paid rivals here seems one of position rather than of principle. And, in spite of either or both, this generation will yet see Common Schools free and universal throughout this realm. But even a year seems long to wait for it.


Preparations are on foot for a grand banquet at Birmingham to the Royal Commissioners, the Foreign Commissioners and the Jurors at the Exhibition, to take place on or about the 16th. This is to be followed by one still more magnificent given by the Mayor and Council of London, which the Queen is expected to attend. The East India Company give one to-morrow evening, but I hope then to be in France, as I intend to leave for Paris to-morrow. The advertisements promise to put us "through in eleven hours" by the quickest and dearest route. Others take twice as many.

Miss Catharine Hayes, a Vocalist of European reputation, who sang the last winter mainly in Rome, means to visit America in September. She is here ranked very high in her profession, and profoundly esteemed and respected in private life. I have heard her but once, having had but two evenings' leisure for public entertainments since I came here. There is but one Jenny Lind, but Miss Hayes need not shrink from a comparison with any other singer. She is very highly commended by the best Musical critics of London. I cannot doubt that America will ratify their judgment.

We have had tolerably fair, pleasant weather for some time until the last two days, when clouds, chilly winds and occasional rain have returned. The "oldest inhabitant" don't remember just such weather at this season—as he probably observed last June. I shall gladly leave it for dryer air and brighter skies.

[Pg 120]



Paris, Monday, June 9, 1851.

I left London Bridge at 11½ on Saturday for this City, via South-Eastern Railway to Dover, Steamboat to Calais and Railroad again to Paris. This is the dearest and quickest route between the two capitals, and its advertisements promised for $13½ to take us "Through in Eleven Hours," which was a lie, as is quite usual with such promises. We came on quite rapidly to Dover—a very mean, old town—but there lost about an hour in the transfer of our baggage to the steamboat, which was one of those long, black, narrow scow contrivances, about equal to a buttonwood "dug-out," which England appears to delight in. They would not be tolerated as ferry-boats on any of our Western rivers, yet they are made to answer for the conveyance of Mails and Passengers across an arm of the sea on the most important route in Europe. In this wretched concern, which was too insignificant to be slow, we went cobbling and wriggling across the Channel (27 miles) in something less than two hours, often one gunwale nearly under water and the other ten or twelve feet above it, with no room under deck for half our passengers, and the spray frequently dashing over those above it, three fourths of the whole number deadly sick (this individual of course included), when with a decent boat the passage might be regularly made, in spite of such a smartish breeze as we encountered, in comparative [Pg 121]comfort. Perhaps we felt glad enough on reaching the shore to pay for this needless misery, and I readily believe that an hour or two of sea-sickness may be harshly wholesome, yet I do think that a good boat on such a route might well be afforded and cannot reputably be withheld. That part of England through which we passed on this route is much like that I have already described on the other side of London. The face of the country is very moderately undulating; there is a fair proportion of trees and shrubbery, though no considerable forest that I noticed; perhaps an eighth of the land may be sowed with Wheat, but Grass is the general staple. I should say three fourths of all the land in sight from this railway is covered with it, while very little is planted or devoted to gardening after the few miles next to London. Hops engross considerable attention, and I presume pay well, being demanded by the national addiction to beer drinking. Still, Grass, Cattle and Sheep are the Staples; and these require so much less human labor per acre than Grain and Vegetables that I cannot see how the rural, laboring population can find adequate employment or subsistence. It looks as though the gradual substitution of Grass for Grain since the repeal of the Corn-laws must deprive a large portion of the best British peasantry of work, compelling them to emigrate to America or Australia for a subsistence. Such emigration is already very active, and must increase if the present low prices of Breadstuffs prove permanent.

I was again disappointed in seeing so little attention to Fruit Culture. I know this is not the Fruit region of England, but the destitution of fruit trees is quite universal. Since it is plain that an acre of choice Apple trees will yield at least a hundred bushels of palatable food, with little labor, and grass enough beside to pay for all the care it requires, I cannot see why Fruit is so neglected. The peach, I hear, does poorly throughout the kingdoms, requiring extra shelter and sunshine, yet yielding indifferent [Pg 122]fruit in return, which is reason enough for neglecting it; but the Apple is hardier, and does well in other localities no more genial than this. I think it has been unwisely slighted.

An important and profitable business, I think, might be built up in our country in the production of Dried Fruits, especially peaches, and their exportation to Europe, or at any rate to England. I was among those who "sat at good men's feasts," both rich and poor (the men, not the feasts), during the six weeks I was in England, yet I cannot remember that Dried Apples or Peaches were ever an element of the repast, though Gooseberries, Rhubarb, Raisins, Currants, &c., are abundantly resorted to. If some American of adequate capital and capacity would embark in the growth and curing of Apples, Peaches, &c., expressly for the English market, drying them perfectly, preparing them with scrupulous neatness, and putting them up in clean wooden boxes of twenty-five, fifty and one hundred pounds, I think he might do well by it. For such a purpose, cheap lands and cheap labor (that of aged persons and young children) might be made available, while in years of bountiful Peach harvests, like the last, even New-Jersey and Delaware could be drawn upon for an extra supply. The miscellaneous exportation of any Dried Fruits that might happen to be on the market would probably involve loss, because time and expenditure are required to make these products known to the great majority of British consumers, and assure them that the article offered them has been prepared with scrupulous cleanliness. With proper exertion and outlay, I believe an advantageous market might thus be opened for several Millions' worth of American products of which little or nothing is now known in Europe.

We were detained a long hour in Calais—a queer old town, with little trade and only a historical importance—although our baggage was not examined there, but sealed up for custom-house scrutiny at Paris. They made a few [Pg 123]dollars out of us by charging for extra baggage, one of them out of me, though my trunk contained only clothing and three or four books. Small business this for a Railroad, though it will do in stage transportation. Our passports were scrutinized—mine not very thoroughly—we (the green ones) obtained an execrable dinner for 37½ cents, and changed some sovereigns for French silver at a shave which was not atrocious. Finally, we were all let go.

The face of the country inland from Calais is flat and marshy—more like Holland, as we conceive it, than like England or France. Of course, the railroad avoids the higher ground, but I did not see a cliff nor steep acclivity until darkness closed us in, though some moderate hills were visible from time to time, mainly on the right. Here, too, as across the Channel, Grass largely predominated, but I think there was a greater breadth of Wheat. I saw very few Fruit-trees, though much more growing Timber than I had expected, from the representations I had read of the treeless nakedness of the French soil. I think trees are as abundant for fifty miles southward from Calais as in any part of England, but they are mainly Elms and Willows, scarcely an orchard anywhere, and of course no vineyards, for the Grape loves a more Southern sun. The cultivation is scarcely equal to the English, though not strikingly inferior, and the evidences of a minute subdivision of the soil are often palpable. Fences are very rare, save along the sides of the railway; ditches serve their purpose near Calais, and nothing at all answers afterward. I presume wood becomes much scarcer as we approach Paris, but darkness forbade observation.

By the terms of the enticing advertisement, we should have been here at 10½ P. M., but, though we met with none other than the ordinary detentions, it was half-past two on Sunday morning when we actually reached the station at the barrier of the city. Here commenced the [Pg 124]custom-house search, and I must say it was conducted with perfect propriety and commendable energy, though with determined rigor. Our trunks and valises were all arranged on a long table according to the numbers affixed to them respectively at Calais, and each, being opened by its owner, was searched in its turn, and immediately surrendered, if found "all right." I had been required to pay smartly on my books at Liverpool, though nobody could have suspected that they were for any other than my own use; so I left most of them at London and had no difficulty here. [One unlucky wight, who had pieces of linen in his trunk, had to see them taken out and put safely away for farther consideration.] I did not at first comprehend that the number on my trunk, standing out fair before me in honest, unequivocal Arabic figures, could possibly mean anything but "fifty-two," but a friend cautioned me in season that those figures spelled "cinquante-deux," or phonetically "sank-on-du" to the officer, and I made my first attempt at mouthing French accordingly, and succeeded in making myself intelligible.

It was fair daylight when we left the railway station for our various destinations. Mine was the "Hotel Choiseul," Rue St. Honoré, which had been warmly commended to me, and where I managed to stop pro tem. though there was not an unoccupied bed in the house. Paris, by the way, is quite full—scarcely a room to be had in any popular hotel, and, where any is to be found, the price is very high or the accommodations quite humble. London, on the contrary, where the keepers of hotels and lodging-houses had been induced to expect a grand crush, and had aggravated their prices accordingly, is comparatively empty. Thousands after thousands go there, but few remain for any time; consequently the hotels make what money is spent, while the boarding and lodging-houses are often tenantless. Many sharp landladies have driven away their old lodgers to the Country or the Continent by exorbitant [Pg 125]charges, in the hope of extorting many times as much from visiters to the Exhibition; and have thus far been bitterly disappointed. I presume it will be so to the end. Sixty thousand people are as many as the Crystal Palace will comfortably hold, in addition to its wares and their attendants, and these make no impression on the vast capacity of London, while they go away as soon as they have satisfied their curiosity and ceased to attend the Fair, giving place to others, who require no more room than they did. I suspect theirs are not the only calculations which will be disappointed by the ultimate issues of the World's Exhibition.


My first day in Paris was Sunday, so, after breakfast, I repaired to the famous modern Church of the Madeleine, reputed one of the finest in Europe. This was the day of Pentecost, and fitly commemorated by the Church. The spacious edifice was filled in every part, though at least a thousand went out at the close of the earlier service, before the attendance was fullest.

I think I was never in a place of worship so gorgeous as this. Over the main altar there is a magnificent picture on the largest scale, purporting to represent the Progress of Civilization from Christ's day to Bonaparte's, Napoleon being the central figure in the foreground, while the Saviour and the Virgin Mary occupy a similar position in the rear. In every part, the Church is very richly and I presume tastefully ornamented.

I did not comprehend the service, and cannot intelligibly describe it. The bowings and genuflexions, the swinging of censers and ringing of bells, the frequent appearance and disappearance of a band of gorgeously dressed priests or assistants bearing what looked like spears, were "inexplicable dumb show" to me, and most of them unlike [Pg 126]anything I remember to have seen in American Catholic Churches. The music was generally fine, especially that of a chorus of young boys, and the general bearing of the people in attendance, that of reverence and interest.

"Peace be with all, whate'er their varying creeds,
With all who send up holy thoughts on high."

But I could not bring myself to like the continual circulation of several officials throughout almost the entire service, collecting rents for seats (they were let very cheap), and begging money for "the Poor of the Church;" as a stout, gross, absurdly overdressed herald who preceded the collectors loudly proclaimed. I think this collection should have been taken before or after the Mass. There was no sermon up to one o'clock, when I left, with nearly all the audience, though there may have been one afterward.

[Pg 127]



Paris, Wednesday, June 11, 1851.

"Will the French Republic withstand the assaults of its enemies?" is a question of primary importance with regard to the Political Future, not of France only but of Europe, and more remotely of the world. Even fettered and stifled as the Republic now is—a shorn and blind Samson in the toils of the Philistines—it is still a potent fact, and its very name is a "word of fear" to the grand conspiracy of despots and owls who are intent on pushing Europe back at the point of the bayonet into the debasement and thick darkness of the Feudal Ages. It is the French Republic which disturbs with nightmare visions the slumbers of the Russian Autocrat, and urges him to summon convocations of his vassal-Kings at Olmutz and at Warsaw,—it is the overthrow of the French Republic, whether by open assault or by sinister stratagem, which engrosses the attention of those and kindred convocations throughout Europe. "Put out the light, and then put out the light," is the general aspiration; and the fact that the actual Republic is reasonably moderate, peaceful, unaggressive, so far from disarming their hostility, only inflames it. Haman can never feel safe in his exaltation so long as Mordecai the Jew is seen sitting at the king's gate; and if France is to be a Republic, the Royalties and Aristocracies of Europe would far sooner see her bloody, [Pg 128]turbulent, desolating and intent on conquest than tranquil and inoffensive. A Republic absolutely ruled by Danton, Marat and Robespierre would be far less appalling in the eyes of the Privileged, Luxurious and Idle Classes of Europe than one peacefully pursuing its career under the guidance of Cavaignac, De Tocqueville or Lamartine.

While in England, I could not but smile at the delusions propagated by the Press and readily credited as well as diffused by the fortunate classes with regard to the deplorable condition of France and the absolute necessity existing for some radical change in her Government. "O yes, you get along very well with a Republic in the United States, where you had cheap lands, a vast and fertile wilderness, common schools and a general reverence for Religion and Order to begin with; but just look at France!"—such was and is a very general line of argument. If the French had been equally divisible into felons, bankrupts, paupers and lunatics, their hopeless state could hardly have been referred to more compassionately. All this time France was substantially as tranquil as England herself, and decidedly more prosperous, though annoyed and impeded by the incessant plottings of traitors in her councils and other exalted stations to resubject her to kingly sway. A thrifty, provident, frugal artisan may often seem less wealthy and prosperous than his dashing, squandering, lavish neighbor. France may not display so much plate on the sideboards of her landlords and bankers as England does; but every day adds to her ability to display it. While Great Britain and the United States have undertaken to vie with each other in Free Trade, France holds fast to the principle of Protection, with scarcely a division in her Councils on the subject; and she is consequently amassing in silence the wealth created by other Nations. The Californian digs gold, which mainly comes to New-York in payment for goods; but on that gold England has a mortgage running fast to maturity, for the goods were in [Pg 129]part bought of her and we owe her for Millions' worth beside. But France has a similar mortgage on it for the Grain supplied to England to feed the fabricators of the goods, and it has hardly reached the Bank of England before it is on its way to Paris. A great share of the golden harvests of the tributaries of the Sacramento and San Joaquin now find their resting-place here.

"But what," asks a Say-Bastiat economist, "if they do? Isn't all Commerce an exchange of equivalents? Must we not buy in order to sell? Isn't Gold a commodity like any other? If our Imports exceed our Exports, doesn't that prove that we are obtaining more for our Exports than their estimated value?" &c. &c. &c.

No, Sir! commerce is not always an exchange of genuine equivalents. The savage tribe which sells its hunting grounds and its ancestors' graves for a few barrels of firewater, whereby its members are debauched, diseased, rendered insanely furious, and set to cutting each other's throats, receives no real equivalent for what it parts with. Nor is it well for ever so civilized a people to be selling its Specie and mortgaging its Lands and Houses for Silks, Liquors, Laces, Wines, Spices, &c.—trading off the essential and imperishable for the factitious and transitory—and so eating itself out of house and home. The farmer who drinks up his farm at the cross-roads tavern may have obtained "more for his exports" (of produce from his farm), than they were worth in the market—at least, it would seem so from the fact that he has run over head and ears in debt—but he has certainly done a pernicious, a losing business. So does any Nation which buys more wares and fabrics than its exports will pay for, and finds itself in debt at the year's end for imports that it has eaten, drunk or worn out. The thrifty household is the true model of the Nation. And, thus tested, France, in spite of her enormous, locust-like Army and other relics of past follies which the National mind is outgrowing though [Pg 130]the Nation's rulers still cling to them, is this day one of the most prosperous countries on earth.

But when I hear the aristocratic plotters talk of the necessity of a Revision of the Constitution in order to restore to France tranquillity and prosperity, I am moved not to mirth but to indignation. For these plotters and their schemes are themselves the causes of the mischiefs they affect to deplore and the dangers they pretend to be bent on averting. Whatever is now feverish and ominous in French Politics grows directly out of two great wrongs—the first positive and accomplished—the law of the 31st May, whereby Three Millions of Electors were disfranchised—the other contingent and meditated—the overthrow of the Republic. All the agitation, the apprehension, the uncertainty, and the consequent derangement of Industry, through the last year, have grown out of these misdeeds, done and purposed, of the Aristocratic party. In the sacred name of Order, they have fomented discord and anarchy; invoking Peace, they have stirred up hatred and bitterness. Whatever the Social Democracy might have done, had they been in the ascendant or under other supposable circumstances, the fact is that theirs has been actually the cause of Order, of Conservatism, of Tranquillity and the Constitution. Had they proved recreant to their faith and trust, France would ere this have been plunged into convulsions through the mutual jealousies and hostilities of the factions who vaunt themselves collectively the party of Order; they have been withheld from cutting each other's throats by the calm, determined, watchful, intrepid attitude of the calumniated Democracy.

The law of the 31st May still stands on the statute-book, and I apprehend is destined to remain (though many who are better informed are sanguine that it will be repealed before the next Presidential Election), but the Republic will endure and its Constitution cannot be overthrown. All the Bourbonists, Orleanists, and Bonapartists in the [Pg 131]Assembly combined are insufficient to change the Constitution legally; and if a bare majority sufficed for that purpose (instead of three-fourths), they could not to-day command a working majority for any practical measure of Revision. It is easy to club their votes and vaguely declare some change necessary—but what change? A Bourbon Restoration? An Orleans Middle-Class Royalty? A Napoleonic Empire? For no one of these can a majority even of this Reäctionist Assembly be obtained. What, then, is their chance with the People?

As to the signing of Petitions for Revision, that is easily understood. The Prefect, the Mayor, &c., of a locality readily procure the signatures of all the Government employés and hangers-on, who constitute an immense army in France; the great manufacturers circulate the petitions among their workmen, and most of them sign, not choosing to risk their masters' displeasure for a mere name more or less to an unmeaning paper. But the plotters know perfectly well that the People are not for Revision in their sense of the word; if they did not fear this, they would restore Universal Suffrage. By clinging with desperate tenacity to the Restrictive law of May 31st, they virtually confess that their hopes of success involve the continued exclusion of Three Millions of adult Frenchmen from the Registry of Voters. When they prate, therefore, of the people's desire for Revision, the Republican retort is ready and conclusive—"Repeal the law of May 31st, and we can then tell what the people really desire. But so long as you maintain that law, you confess that you dare not abide the verdict of the whole People. You appeal to a Jury which you have packed—one whose right to try this question we utterly deny. Restore Universal Suffrage, and we can then tell what the People really do wish and demand; but until you do this, we shall resist every attempt to change the Constitution even by as much as a hair." Who can doubt that this is right?

[Pg 132]"Therefore, Representatives of the People, deliberate in peace," pithily says Changarnier, after proving to his own satisfaction that the army will not level their arms against the Assembly in support of a Napoleonic usurpation. So the friends of Republican France throughout the world may give thanks and take courage. The darkness is dispersing; the skies of the future are red with the coming day. Time is on the popular side, and every hour's endurance adds strength to the Republic. It cannot be legally subverted; and should Force and Usurpation be attempted, its champions will not shrink from the encounter nor dread the issue. For well they know that the mind and heart of the People are on their side—that the French who earn their bread and are not ashamed to be seen shouldering a musket, so far as they have any opinion at all, are all for the Republic—that France comprises a Bonapartist clique, an Orleanist class, a Royalist party, and a Republican Nation. The clique is composed of the personal intimates of Louis Napoleon and certain Military officers, mainly relics of the Empire; the class includes a good part of the lucky Parisian shop-keepers and Government employés during the reign of Louis Philippe; the party embraces the remnants of the anti-Revolutionary Aristocracy, most of the influential Priesthood, and a small section of the rural Peasantry; all these combined may number Four Millions, leaving Thirty Millions for the Nation. Such is France in 1851; and, being such, the subversion of the Republic, whether by foreign assault or domestic treason, is hardly possible. An open attack by the Autocrat and his minions would certainly consolidate it; a prolongation of Louis Napoleon's power (no longer probable) would have the same effect. Four years more of tranquil though nominal Republicanism would only render a return to Monarchy more difficult; wherefore the Royalist party will never assent to it, and without their aid the project has no chance. To obtain that aid, "the Prince" must [Pg 133]secretly swear that after four years more he will turn France over to Henry V.; this promise only the last extreme of desperation could extort from him, and then to no purpose, since he could not fulfill it and the Legitimists could not trust him. And thus, alike by its own strength and by its enemies' divisions, the safety of the Republic is assured.

[Pg 134]



Paris, Thursday, June 12, 1851.

A great Capital like this is not seen in a few days; I have not yet seen a quarter of it. The general magnitude of the houses (usually built around a small quadrangular court near the street, whence the court is entered by a gate or arched passage) is readily remarked; also the minute subdivisions of Shop-keeping, many if not most sellers confining their attention to a single fabric, so that their "stores" and stocks of goods are small; also, the general gregariousness or social aptitudes of the people. I lodge in a house once famous as "Frascati's," the most celebrated gaming-house in Europe; it stands on the corner of the Rue Richelieu with the Boulevards ("Italian" in one direction and "Montmartre" in the other). My windows overlook the Boulevards for a considerable distance; and there are many of the most fashionable shops, "restaurants," "cafés," &c. in the city. No one in New-York would think of ordering his bottle of wine or his ices at a fashionable resort in Broadway and sitting down at a table placed on the sidewalk to discuss his refection leisurely, just out of the ever-passing throng; yet here it is so common as to seem the rule rather than the exception. Hundreds sit thus within sight of my windows every evening; dozens do likewise during the day. The Frenchman's pleasures are all social: to eat, drink or spend the evening alone would be a weariness to [Pg 135]him: he reads his newspaper in the thoroughfare or the public gardens: he talks more in one day than an Englishman in three: the theaters, balls, concerts, &c. which to the islander afford occasional recreation are to him a nightly necessity: he would be lonely and miserable without them. Nowhere is Amusement more systematically, sedulously sought than in Paris; nowhere is it more abundant or accessible. For boys just escaped from school or paternal restraint, intent on enjoyment and untroubled by conscience or forecast, this must be a rare city. Its people, as a community, have signal good qualities and grave defects: they are intelligent, vivacious, courteous, obliging, generous and humane; eager to enjoy, but willing that all the world should enjoy with them; while at the same time they are impulsive, fickle, sensual and irreverent. Paris is the Paradise of the Senses; a focus of Enjoyment, not of Happiness. Nowhere are Youth and its capacities more prodigally lavished; nowhere is Old Age less happy or less respected. Paris has tens of thousands who would eagerly pour out their hearts' blood for Liberty and Human Progress, but no class or clan who ever thought of denying themselves Wine and kindred stimulants in order that the Masses should be rendered worthier of Liberty and thus better fitted to preserve and enjoy it. Such notions as Total Abstinence from All that can Intoxicate are absolutely unheard of by the majority of Parisians, and incomprehensible or ridiculous to those who have heard of them. The barest necessaries of life are very cheap here; many support existence quite endurably on a franc (18¾ cents) a day; but of the rude Laboring Class few can really afford the comforts and proprieties of an orderly family life, and the privation is very lightly regretted. The testimony is uniform that Marriage is scarcely regarded as even a remote possibility by any one of the poor girls of Paris who live by work: to be for a season the mistress of a man of wealth, or one who can support [Pg 136]her in luxury and idleness, is the summit of her ambition. The very terms "grisette" and "lorette" by which young women unblest with wealth or social rank are commonly designated, involve the idea of demoralization—no man would apply them to one whom he respected and of whose good opinion he was solicitous. In no other nominally Christian city is the proportion of the unmarried so great as here: nowhere else do families so quickly decay; nowhere else is the proportion of births out of wedlock so appalling. The Poor of London are less comfortable as a class than those of Paris—that is, they suffer more from lack of employment, and their wages are lower in view of the relative cost of living; but Philanthropy is far more active there than here, and far more is done to assuage the tide of human woe. Ten public meetings in furtherance of Educational, Philanthropic and Religious enterprises are held in the British Metropolis to one in this, and the number interested in such undertakings there, as contrasted with that in this city, has an equal preponderance. I shall not attempt to strike a balance between the good and evil prevailing respectively in the two Capitals of Western Europe: the reader may do that for himself.


The first object of interest I saw in Paris was the Column of Napoleon in the Place Vendome, as I rattled by it in the gray dawn of the morning of my arrival. This gigantic Column, as is well known, was formed of cannon taken by the Great Captain in the several victories which irradiated his earlier career, and was constructed while he was Emperor of France and virtually of the Continent. His Statue crowns the pyramid; it was pulled down while the Allied Armies occupied Paris, and a resolute attempt was made to prostrate the Column also, but it was too firmly rooted. The Statue was not replaced till [Pg 137]after the Revolution of 1830. The Place Vendome is small, surrounded by high houses, and the stately Column seems dwarfed by them. But for its historic interest, and especially that of the material employed in its construction, I should not regard it very highly.

Far better placed, as well as more majestic and every way interesting, is the Obelisk of Luxor, which for thousands of years had overshadowed the banks of the Nile until presented to France by the late Pacha of Egypt, and transported thence to the Place de la Concorde, near the Garden of the Tuileries. I have seen nothing in Europe which impressed me like this magnificent shaft, covered as it is with mysterious inscriptions which have braved the winds and rains of four thousand years, yet seem as fresh and clear as though chiseled but yesterday. The removal entire of this bulk of many thousand tuns from Egypt to Paris is one of the most marvelous achievements of human genius, and Paris has for me no single attraction to match the Obelisk of Luxor.

The Tuileries strikes me as an irregular mass of buildings with little pretensions to Architectural beauty or effect. It has great capacity, and nothing more. The Louvre is much finer, yet still not remarkable, but its wealth of Paintings by the Great Masters of all time surprised as well as delighted me. I never saw anything at all comparable to it. But of this another time.


Paris, Monday, June 9, 1851.

Having the evening on my hands, I have spent a good share of it at the Opera, of which France is proud, and to the support of which her Government directly and liberally contributes. It is not only a National institution, but a National trait, and as such I visited it.

The house is very spacious, admirably planned, superbly [Pg 138]fitted up, and every way adapted to its purpose; the charges moderate; the audience large and well dressed; the officers and attendants up to their business, and everything orderly and quiet. The play was Scribe's "L'Enfant Prodigue" (The Prodigal Son), which in England they soften into "Azael the Prodigal," but here no such euphemism is requisite, and indeed I doubt that half who witness it suspect that the idea is taken from the Scriptures. The idea, however, is all that is so borrowed. There were no great singers included in the cast for this evening, not even Alboni who remains here, while most of her compeers are in London. I am a poor judge, but I should say the music is not remarkable.

This is a drama of Action and of Spectacle, however, to which the Music is subordinate. Such a medley of drinking and praying, dancing and devotion, idol-worship and Delilah-craft, I had not before encountered. At least three hundred performers were at once on the stage. The dancing-girls engaged were not less than one hundred in number, apparently all between fourteen and eighteen years of age, generally good-looking, and with that aspect of innocence and freshness to which the Stage is so fatal. The most agile and eminent among them was a Miss Plunkett, said to be an American, with a face of considerable beauty and a winning, joyous manner. I should say that half the action of the piece, nearly half the time, and more than half the attention of the audience, were engrossed by these dancing demoiselles.

France is the cradle and home of the Ballet. In other lands it is an exotic, here a natural outgrowth and expression of the National mind. Of the spirit which conceived it, here is the abode and the Opera Français the temple; and here it has exerted its natural and unobstructed influence on the manners and morals of a People. If you would comprehend the Englishman, follow him to his fireside; if a Frenchman, join him at the Opera and contemplate him during the performance of the Ballet.

[Pg 139]I am, though no practitioner, a lover of the Dance. Restricted to proper hours and fit associates, I wish it were far more general than it is. Health, grace, muscular energy, even beauty, might be promoted by it. Why the dancing of the Theater should be rendered disgusting, I can not yet comprehend. The "poetry of motion," of harmonious evolutions and the graceful movement of "twinkling feet," I think I appreciate. All these are natural expressions of innocent gaiety and youthful elasticity of spirits, whereof this world sees far too little. I wish there were more of them.

But what grace, what sense, what witchery, there can be, for instance, in a young girl's standing on one great toe and raising the other foot to the altitude of her head, I cannot imagine. As an exhibition of muscular power, it is disagreeable to me, because I know that the capacity for it was acquired by severe and protracted efforts and at the cost of much suffering. Why is it kept on the stage? Admit that it is not lascivious; who will pretend that it is essentially graceful? I was glad to see that the more extravagant distortions were not specially popular with the audience—that nearly all the applause bestowed on those ballet-feats which seem devised only to favor a liberal display of the person came from the little knot of hired "claqueurs" in the center of the pit. If there were many who loved to witness, there were few so shameless as to applaud.

If the Opera is ever to become an element of Social life and enjoyment in New-York, I do trust that it may be such a one as thoughtful men may take their daughters to witness without apprehension or remorse. I do not know whether the Opera we now have is or is not such a one; I know this is not. Its entire, palpable, urgent tendency, is "earthly, sensual, devilish." In none was the instinct of Purity ever strengthened by beholding it; in many, it must, in the nature of things, be weakened with each [Pg 140]repetition of the spectacle. It is no marvel that the French are reputed exceedingly reckless of the sanctions and obligations of Marriage, if this is a part of their State-supported education.

I came away at the close of the third act, leaving two more to be performed. The play is transcendent in spectacle, and has had a very great success here.

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Paris, Sunday, June 15, 1851.

I marvel at the obliquity of vision whereby any one is enabled, standing in this metropolis, to anticipate the subversion of the Republic and the restoration of Monarchy. Such prophets must belong essentially to that school which teaches the omnipotence of paper Constitutions and dilates with bristling hair on the appalling possibility that Washington, or Hamilton, or Franklin, might not have been chosen to the Convention which framed our Federal Constitution, and that Constitution consequently have remained unperfected or unadopted. The true view I understand to be that if the Constitution had thus failed to be constructed in '87 or adopted in '88, the necessity for it would still have existed, growing daily more urgent and palpable, so that Convention after Convention would from time to time have been called, and sooner or later a Constitution would have been elaborated and adopted; and the longer this consummation was delayed the stronger and more controlling the Constitution ultimately formed would have been. So with the French Republic. It is simply an expression of the intellectual convictions and social instincts of the French People. You meet it on the Boulevards and in the cafés where the wealthy and luxurious most do congregate; your cabman and boot-black, though perfectly civil and attentive, let you understand, if you have eyes, that they are Republicans; while in the quarters tenanted [Pg 142]or frequented only by the Artisan and the Laborer you meet none but devotees of "the Republic Democratic and Social." The contrast between the abject servility of the Poor in London and their manner here cannot be realized without actual observation. A hundred Princes or illustrious Dukes in Paris would not attract as much attention as any one of them would in London. Democracy triumphed in the drawing-rooms of Paris before it had erected its first barricade in the streets; and all subsequent efforts in behalf of Monarchy here have produced and can produce only a fitful, spasmodic, unnatural life. If three Revolutions within a life-time, all in the same direction, have not impressed this truth conclusively, another and another lesson will be added. The French have great faults of character which imperil the immediate fortunes of the Republic but cannot affect its ultimate ascendency. Impulsive and egotistic, they may seem willing to exchange Liberty for Tranquillity or Security, but this will be a momentary caprice, soon past and forgotten. The Nation can never more be other than Republican, though the possessors of power, controlling the Press, the Bureaux, the Assembly and the Army, may fancy that their personal interests would be promoted by a less popular system, and so be seen for a season following strange gods. This delusion and apostacy will speedily pass, leaving only their shame behind.

The immediate peril of the Republic is the Election of May, '52, in view of the arbitrary disfranchisement of nearly one-half the Democratic voters, the manacled condition of the Press, the denial to the People of the Right of Meeting for deliberation and concert, and the betrayal of all the enormous power and patronage of the State into the hands of the Aristocratic party. If the Republicans were to attempt holding a Convention to select a candidate for President, their meetings would be promptly suppressed by the Police and the Bayonet. This may distract [Pg 143]and scatter them, though I trust it will not. Their Presidential candidate will doubtless be designated by a Legislative Caucus or meeting of Representatives in the Assembly, simply because no fairer and fuller expression of the party's preference would be tolerated. And if, passing over the mob of Generals and of Politicians by trade, the choice should fall on some modest and unambitious citizen, who has earned a character by quiet probity and his bread by honest labor, I shall hope to see his name at the head of the poll in spite of the unconstitutional overthrow of Universal Suffrage. After this, though the plurality should fall short of a majority and the Assembly proceed to elect Louis Napoleon or Changarnier, there need be no further apprehension.

I hear, as from an official source, that there are now Three Thousand Americans in Paris, most of them residing here for months, if not for years. It gives me pleasure to state that, contrary to what I have often heard of the bearing of our countrymen in Europe, a large majority of these, so far as I may judge from meeting a good many and learning the sentiments of more, are warmly and openly on the side of the Republic and opposed to the machinations of the motley host who seek its overthrow.

The conviction of Charles Hugo, and his sentence to six months' imprisonment, for simply writing a strong Editorial in the Evénement in condemnation of Legal Killing, is making a profound sensation here. I think it will hasten the downfall both of the Guillotine and the "party of Order" which thus assumes the championship of that venerated institution. The Times' Paris correspondent, I perceive, takes up the tale of Hugo's article having been calculated to expose the ministers of the law to popular odium, and naively protests against a line of argument by which "those who execute the law are stigmatized as executioners." I suppose we must call them executors [Pg 144]hereafter to obviate the hardship complained of. How singular that those who glory in the deed should shrink indignantly from the name?

American attention will naturally be drawn to the recent debate in the Assembly involving the principle of the Higher Law. The subject was a bill reorganizing the National Guard, with the intent of sifting it as clean as possible of the popular element, and thus rendering it either a nullity, or an accomplice in the execution of the Monarchical conspiracies now brewing. It is but a few days since Gen. Changarnier solemnly informed the Assembly, in reply to President Bonaparte's covert menaces at Dijon, that the army could not be made to level its muskets and point its cannon at the Assembly: "Wherefore, Representatives of France, deliberate in Peace." Following logically in the same train, a "Red" saw fit to affirm that the Army could not be brought to use its bayonets against the People who should take up arms, in defense of the Republic. No stick thrown into a hornets' nest ever excited such commotion as this remark did in the camp of "Order." In the course of a violent and tumultuous debate, it came out that Gen. Baraguay d'Hilliers, a leader on the side of "Order," refused in 1848 to take the proffered command of the troops fighting on the side of Order in the deplorable street combats of June. This was excused on the ground of his being a Representative as well as a General! The Champions of "Order," having said all they wished and allowed their opponents to say very little, hastily shut down the gate, and refused to permit further discussion. No matter: the truth has been formally proclaimed from the tribune that No one has a moral right to do as a soldier that which it would be wrong for him to do as a man—that, no matter what human rulers may decree, every man owes a paramount obedience to the law of God, and cannot excuse his violation of that law by producing an order to do so from any functionary or potentate [Pg 145]whatever. The idea is a fruitful one, and France is now pondering it.

I attended divine worship to-day at Notre Dame, which seems to me not only the finest Church but the most imposing edifice in Paris. The Pantheon may vie with it, perhaps, but it has to my eye a naked and got-up look; it lacks adequate furnishing. Beside these two, nearly all the public buildings of Paris strike me as lacking height in proportion to their superficial dimensions. The Hotel de Ville (City Hall) has a fine front, but seems no taller while more extensive than our New-York City Hall, which notoriously lacks another story. Even the Louvre, with ample space and a rare position, which most of the Paris edifices want, seems deficient in height. But Notre Dame, on the contrary, towers proudly and gracefully, and I have not seen its general effect surpassed. It reminded me of Westminster Abbey, though it is less extensive. As a place of worship it is infinitely superior to the Abbey, which has the damp air and gloom of a dungeon, in each most unlike Notre Dame. I trust no American visits Paris without seeing this noble church, and on the Sabbath if possible.


Since I left London, The Times has contained two Editorials on American contributions to the Great Exhibition, which seem to require comment. These articles are deprecatory and apologetic in their general tenor, evincing a consciousness that the previous strictures of the London Press on American Art had pushed disparagement beyond the bounds of policy, and might serve to arouse a spirit in the breasts of the people so invidiously and persistently assailed. So our countryman are now told, in substance, that they are rather clever fellows on the whole, who have only made themselves ridiculous by [Pg 146]attempting to do and to be what Nature had forbidden. Nothing but our absurd pretensions could thus have exposed us to the world's laughter. America might be America with credit; she has broken down by undertaking to be Europe also, &c., &c.

"It is the attempt, and not the deed, confounds me."

But what are the nature and extent of this American audacity? Our countrymen have undertaken to minister to their own wants by the production of certain Wares and Fabrics which they had formerly been content either to do without or to buy from Europe. Being urgently invited to do so, they have sent over some few of these results of their art and skill to a grand exposition of the World's Industry. Even if they were as bad as they are represented, these products should be here; since the object of the Exhibition is not merely to set forth what is best but to compare it with the inferior, and so indicate the readiest mode of improving the latter. Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Barbary, Persia, have sent hither their wares and fabrics, which hundreds of thousands have examined with eager and gratified interest—an interest as real as that excited by the more perfect rival productions of Western Europe, though of a different kind from that. No one has thought of ridiculing these products of a more primitive industry; all have welcomed and been instructed by them. And so ours would have been treated had they been in fact the wretched affairs which the London Commercial press has represented them. It is precisely because they are quite otherwise that it has been deemed advisable systematically to disparage them—to declare our Pianos "gouty" structures—"mere wood and iron;" our Calicoes beneath the acceptance of a British servant-girl; our Farming Tools half a century behind their British rivals; our Hats "shocking bad," &c., &c.,—all this, in the first [Pg 147]months of the Exhibition, while the Jurors appointed to judge and report upon the merits of rival fabrics were making the requisite investigations. Their verdict is thus substantially forestalled, and the millions who visit the Exhibition are invited to look at the American department merely to note the bad taste and incapacity therein displayed, and learn to avoid them.

But the self-constituted arbiters who thus tell the American people that Art is not their province—that they should be content to grow Corn and Cotton, looking to Europe for the satisfaction of their less urgent necessities, their secondary wants—are they impartial advisers? Are they not palpably speaking in the interest of the rival producers of Europe, alarmed by the rapid growth and extension of American Art? Would they have taken so much trouble with us if American taste and skill were really the miserable abortions they represent them?

These indications of paternal care for American Industry, in danger of being warped and misdirected, are not quite novel. An English friend lately invited me to visit him at his house in the neighborhood of Birmingham, holding out as an inducement the opportunity of inspecting the great Iron and Hardware manufactories in that neighborhood. A moment afterward he recollected himself and said, "I am not quite sure that I could procure you admittance to them, because the rule has been that Americans were not to be admitted. Gentlemen taking their friends to visit these works were asked, at the door, 'Is your friend an American?' and if the answer was affirmative, he was not allowed to enter—but I think this restriction has been generally abrogated." Here you see, was a compassionate regard for American Industry, in danger of being misled and deluded into unprofitable employments, which neither The Times nor any of its co-laborers has been able to more than humbly imitate.

To my mind, nothing can be more unjust than the [Pg 148]intimation that, in attempting to supply her own wants (or some of them) in the domain of Art and Manufacture, America has rushed madly from her sphere and sought to be Europe. She has already taught Europe many things in the sphere of Invention, and is destined to teach her many more; and the fact that her Carriages are condemned as too light and her Pianos as too heavy, her Reaping Machines as "a cross between a treadmill and a flying chariot," &c., &c., by critics very superficially acquainted with their uses, and who have barely glanced at them in passing, proves nothing but the rashness and hostility of their contemners. From such unworthy disparagement I appeal with confidence to the awards of the various Juries appointed by the Royal Commissioners. They are competent; they have made the requisite examinations; they (though nearly all European and a majority of them British) are honorable men, and will render an impartial judgment. That judgment, I firmly believe, will demonstrate that, in proportion to the extent of its contributions, no other country has sent more articles to the Exhibition by which the whole world may be instructed and benefited than our own.

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Paris, Monday, June 16, 1851.

France, now the most Democratic, was long the most absolutely governed and the most loyally infatuated among the great Nations of Europe. Her cure of the dust-licking distemper was Homœopathic and somewhat slow, but it seems to be thorough and abiding. Those who talk of the National passion for that bloody phantom Glory—for Battle and Conquest—speak of what was, rather than of what is, and which, even in its palmiest days, was rather a penchant of the Aristocratic caste than a characteristic of the Nation. The Nobles of course loved War, for it was their high road to Royal favor, to station and renown; all the spoils of victory enured to them, while nine-tenths of its calamities fell on the heads of the Peasantry. But, though all France rushed to arms in 1793 to defend the National liberties and soil, yet Napoleon, in the zenith of his power and glory, could only fill the ranks of his legions by the abhorred Conscription. The great body of the People were even then averse to the din of the camp and the clangor of battle: the years of unmixed disaster and bitter humiliation which closed his Military career, served to confirm and deepen their aversion to garments rolled in blood; and I am confident that there is at this moment no Nation in Europe more essentially peaceful than France. Her Millions profoundly sympathise with their brethren of Germany, Italy and Hungary, groaning [Pg 150]beneath the heavy yoke of the Autocrat and his vassals; but they realize that the deliverance of Nations must mainly be wrought out from within, and they would much rather aid the subject Nations to recover their rights by the influence of example and of a Free Press than by casting the sword of Brennus into the scale where their liberties and happiness hang balanced and weighed down by the ambition and pride of their despots. The establishment of the Democratic and Social Republic is the appointed end of war in Europe. It will not erase the boundaries of Nations, but these boundaries will no longer be overshadowed by confronted legions, and they will be freed from the monster nuisance of Passports. Then German, Frank, Briton, Italian, will vie with each other, as now, in Letters, Arts and Products, but no longer in the hideous work of defacing and desecrating the image of God; for Liberty will have enlightened and Fraternity united them, and a permanent Congress of Nations will adjust and dispose of all causes of difference which may from time to time arise.—Freedom, Intelligence and Peace are natural kindred: the ancient Republics were Military and aggressive only because they tolerated and cherished Human Slavery; and it is this which recently fomented hostilities between the two Republics of North America, and now impotently threatens the internal peace of our own. Liberty, if thorough and consistent, always did and must incline to Peace; while Despotism, being founded in and only maintainable by Force, inevitably fosters a martial spirit, organizes Standing Armies, and finds delight and security in War.

These reflections have been recalled by my walks through several of the late Royal (now National) Palaces of France, the most striking monuments which endure of long ages of absolute kingly sway. How many there are of these Palaces I have forgotten or never knew; but I recall the names of the Luxembourg, the Tuileries, the [Pg 151]Elisée Bourbon, St. Germain, St. Cloud, Versailles, Meudon, and Rambouillet. These do not include the Palais Royal, which was built by the Orleans branch of the Bourbon family, nor any of the spacious edifices erected for the several Ministers of State and for the transaction of public business. The Palaces I have named were all constructed from time to time to serve as residences for the ten to thirty persons recognized as of the blood Royal, who removed from one to the other as convenience or whim may have suggested. They are generally very spacious, probably averaging one to two hundred apartments each, all constructed of the best materials and furnished and adorned with the most lavish disregard of cost. I roughly estimate the cost of these Palaces, if they were now to be built and furnished in this style, at One Hundred Millions of Dollars; but the actual cost, in the ruder infancy of the arts when most of them were erected, was probably much more. Versailles alone cost some Thirty Millions of Dollars at first, while enormous sums have since been expended in perfecting and furnishing it. It would be within the truth to say that France, from the infancy of Louis XIV. to the expulsion of Louis Philippe, has paid more as simple interest on the residences of her monarchs and their families than the United States, with a larger population and with far greater wealth than France has averaged through that period, now pays for the entire cost of the Legislative, Executive and Judicial departments of her Government. All that we have paid our Presidents from Washington inclusive, adding the cost of the Presidential Mansion and all the furniture that has from time to time been put into it, would not build and furnish one wing of a single Royal Palace of France—that of Versailles.

But the point to which I would more especially call attention is that of the unwearied exertions of Royalty to foster and inflame the passion for Military glory. I [Pg 152]wandered for hours through the spacious and innumerable halls of Versailles, in which Art and Nature seem to have been taxed to the utmost to heap up prodigies of splendor. At least one hundred of these rooms would each of itself be deemed a marvel of sumptuous display anywhere else; yet here we passed over floors of the richest Mosaic and through galleries of the finest and most elaborately wrought Marble as if they had been but the roughest pavement or the rudest plaster. The eye is fatigued, the mind bewildered, by an almost endless succession of sumptuous carving, gilding, painting, &c., until the intervention of a naked ante-room or stair-case becomes a positive relief to both. And the ideas everywhere predominant are War and its misnamed Glory. Here are vast, expensive paintings purporting to represent innumerable Sieges and Battles in which the French arms were engaged, many of them so insignificant that the world has wisely forgotten them, yet here preserved to inflame and poison the minds of hot-blooded, unreflecting youth, impelling them to rush into the manufacture of cripples and corpses under the horrible delusion that needless, aimless Slaughter, if perpetrated by wholesale, can really be honorable and glorious. These paintings, as a whole, are of moderate value as works of Art, while their tendency is horrible and their details to me revolting. Carriages shattered and overturned, animals transfixed by spear-thrusts and writhing in speechless agony, men riddled by cannon-shot or pierced by musket-balls and ghastly with coming death, such are the spectacles which the more favored and fortunate of the Gallic youth have been called for generations to admire and enjoy. These battle-pieces have scarcely more Historic than Artistic value, since the names of at least half of them might be transposed and the change be undetected by ninety-nine out of every hundred who see them. If all the French battles were thus displayed, it might be urged with plausibility that these galleries were historical [Pg 153]in their character; but a full half of the story, that which tells of French disaster and discomfiture—is utterly suppressed. The Battles of Ptolemais, of Ivry, of Fontenoy, of Rivoli, of Austerlitz, &c., are here as imposing as paint can make them, but never a whisper of Agincourt, Crecy, Poictiers, Blenheim, or Ramillies, nor yet of Salamanca, of Vittoria, of Leipsic, or Waterloo. Even the wretched succession of forays which the French have for the last twenty years been prosecuting in Algerine Africa here shines resplendent, for Vernet has painted, by Louis Philippe's order and at France's cost, a succession of battle-pieces wherein French numbers and science are seen prevailing over Arab barbarism and irregular valor in combats whereof the very names have been wisely forgotten by mankind, though they occurred but yesterday. One of these is much the largest painting I ever saw, and is probably the largest in the world, and it seems to have been got up merely to exhibit one of Louis Philippe's sons in the thickest of the fray. Last of all, we have the "Capture of Abd-el-Kader," as imposing as Vernet could make it, but no whisper of the persistent perfidy wherewith he has been retained for several years in bondage, in violation of the express agreement of his captors. The whole collection is, in its general effect, delusive and mischievous, the purpose being to exhibit War as always glorious and France as uniformly triumphant. It is by means like these that the business of shattering knee-joints and multiplying orphans is kept in countenance.

Versailles is a striking monument of the selfish profligacy of King-craft and the long-suffering patience of Nations. Hundreds of thousands of laborers' children must have gone hungry to their straw pallets in order that their needy parents might pay the inexorable taxes levied to build this Palace. Yet after all it has stood mainly uninhabited! Its immense extent and unequalled splendor require an immeasurable profusion in its occupant, and the [Pg 154]incomes even of kings are not absolutely without limit. So Versailles, with six or eight other Royal Palaces in and around Paris, has generally stood empty, entailing on the country an enormous annual expense for its simple preservation. And now, though France has outgrown Royalty, it knows not what to do with its costly, spacious, glittering shells. A single Palace (Rambouillet) standing furthest from Paris, was converted (under Louis Philippe) into a gigantic storehouse for Wool, while its spacious Parks and Gardens were wisely devoted to the breeding and sustenance of the choicest Merino Sheep. The others mainly stand empty, and how to dispose of them is a National perplexity. Some of them may be converted into Hospitals, Insane Retreats, &c., others into Libraries or Galleries of Art and Science; but Versailles is too far from Paris for aught but a Retreat as aforesaid, and has cost so immense a sum that any use which may be made of it will seem wasteful. I presume it could not be sold as it stands for a tenth of its actual cost. Perhaps it will be best, therefore, to convert all the others into direct uses and preserve this for public inspection as a perpetual memorial of the reckless prodigality and all-devouring pomp of Kings, and as a warning to Nations never again to entrust their destinies to men who, from their very education and the influences surrounding them through life, must be led to consider the Toiling Millions as mainly created to pamper their appetites, to gratify their pride, and to pave with their corpses their road to extended dominion.

St. Cloud is a much smaller but more pleasantly situated, more tastefully furnished and decorated Palace, some miles nearer than Versailles to Paris, and commanding an admirable view of the city. The Luxembourg, situated in the southern section of the city, is externally a chaste and well-proportioned edifice, containing some fine pictures by living artists, and surrounded by spacious and delightful woods, shrubbery, &c., termed "the Gardens of the [Pg 155]Luxembourg." The Tuileries, in the heart of the city, near the Seine, I have not seen internally, and the exterior seems low, straggling, and every way unimposing. Its extent is almost incredible by those who have not seen it—scarcely less than that of Versailles. The Louvre is the finest structure of all, and most worthily devoted. Its lower story is filled with Sculptures of no considerable merit, but its galleries contain more strikingly good Paintings than I shall ever again see under one roof. I have spent a good part of two days there, and mean to revisit it on my return.


If each American could spend three days on this continent, his love of Country and of Liberty could not fail to be quickened and intensified, if only by an experience of the enormity of the Passport nuisance. It has cost me precious hours already, not to speak of dollars, and is certain to cost many more of each. I have nearly concluded to given up Germany on account of it, while Italy fairly swarms with petty sovereignties and with Yankee Consuls, the former afraid of their own black shadows, the latter intent on their beloved two dollars each from every American traveler. Such is the report I have of them, and I presume the reality is equal to the foreshadowing. It is a shame that Republican France stands far behind Aristocratic Britain in this respect, but I trust the contrast will not endure many more years.

Two Americans who arrived here last week caused some perplexity to their landlord. Every man who lodges a stranger here must see forthwith that he has a Passport in good condition, in default of which said host is liable to a penalty. Now, these Americans, when applied to, produced Passports in due form, but the professions set forth therein were not transparent to the landlord's apprehension. One of them was duly designated in his Passport as [Pg 156]a "Loafer" the other as a "Rowdy" and they informed him, on application, that, though these professions were highly popular in America and extensively followed, they knew no French synonyms into which they could be translated. The landlord, not content with the sign manual of Daniel Webster, affirming that all was right, applied to an American friend for a translation of the inexplicable professions, but I am not sure that he has even yet been fully enlightened with regard to them.

I am off to-day (I hope) for Lyons and Italy.

[Pg 157]



Lyons, Tuesday, June 17, 1851.

I came out of Paris through the spacious Boulevards,[B] which, under various second appellations, stretch eastward from the Madeleine Church nearly to the barrier, and then bend southward, near the beautiful column which marks the site and commemorates the fall of the Bastile, so long the chief dungeon wherein Despotism stifled Remonstrance and tamed the spirit of Freedom. Liberty in France is doomed yet to undergo many trials—nay, is now enduring some of them—but it is not within the compass of probability that another Bastile should ever rear its head there, nor that the absolute power and abject servitude which it fitly symbolized should ever be known there hereafter. Very near it on the south lies the famous Faubourg St. Antoine, inhabited mainly by bold, free-souled working-men, who have repeatedly evinced their choice to die free rather than live slaves, and in whom the same spirit lives and rules to-day. I trust that dire alternative will never again be forced upon them, but if it should be there is no Bastile so impregnable, no despotism so fortified by prescription, and glorious recollections, and the blind devotion of loyalty, as those they have already leveled to the earth.

[Pg 158]The Paris Station of the Lyons Railway is at the eastern barrier of the City. I received here another lesson in French Railroad management. I first bought at the office my ticket for Chalons on the Saone, which is the point to which the road is now completed. The distance is 243 miles; the fare (first-class) $7.50. But the display of my ticket did not entitle me to enter the passengers' sitting-room, much less to approach the cars. Though I had cut down my baggage, by two radical retrenchments, to two light carpet-bags, I could not take these with me, nor would they pass without weighing. When weighed, I was required to pay three or four sous (cents) for extra baggage, though there is no stage-route in America on which those bags would not have passed unchallenged and been accounted a very moderate allowance. Now I was permitted to enter the sacred precincts, but my friend, who had spent the morning with me and come to see me off, was inexorably shut out, and I had no choice but to bid him a hasty adieu. Passing the entrance, I was shown into the apartment for first-class passengers, while the second-class were driven into a separate fold and the third-class into another. Thus we waited fifteen minutes, during which I satisfied myself that no other American was going by this train, and but three or four English, and of these the two with whom I scraped an acquaintance were going only to Fontainbleau, a few miles from Paris. They were required to take their places in a portion of the train which was to stop at Fontainbleau, and so we moved off.

The European Railway carriages, so far as I have yet seen them, are more expensive and less convenient than ours. Each is absolutely divided into apartments about the size of a mail-coach, and calculated to hold eight persons. The result is thirty-two seats where an American car of equal length and weight would hold at least fifty, and of the thirty-two passengers, one-half must inevitably [Pg 159]ride backward. I believe the second-class cars are more sociable, and mean to make their acquaintance. I should have done it this time, but for my desire to meet some one with whom I could converse, and Americans and Englishmen are apt to cling to the first-class places. My aim was disappointed. My companions were all Frenchmen, and, what was worse, all inveterate smokers. They kept puff-puffing, through the day; first all of them, then three, two, and at all events one, till they all got out at Dijon near nightfall; when, before I had time to congratulate myself on the atmospheric improvement, another Frenchman got in, lit his cigar, and went at it. All this was in direct and flagrant violation of the rules posted up in the car; but when did a smoker ever care for law or decency? I will endeavor next time to find a seat in a car where women are fellow-passengers, and see whether their presence is respected by the devotees of the noxious weed. I have but a faint hope of it.

The Railroad from Paris to Chalons passes through a generally level region, watered by tributaries of the Seine and of the Saone, with a range of gentle hills skirting the valleys, generally on the right and sometimes on either hand. As in England, the track is never allowed to cross a carriage-road on its own level, but is carried either under or over each. The soil is usually fertile and well cultivated, though not so skillfully and thoroughly as that of England. There are places, however, in which the cultivation could not easily be surpassed, but I should say that the average product would not be more than two-thirds that of England, acre for acre. There are very few fences of any kind, save a slight one inclosing the Railway, beyond which the country stretches away as far as the eye can reach without a visible landmark, the crops of different cultivators fairly touching each other and growing square up to the narrow roads that traverse them. You will see, for instance, first a strip of Grass, perhaps ten rods [Pg 160]wide, and running back sixty or eighty rods from the Railroad; then a narrower strip of Wheat; then one of Grape-Vines; then one of Beans; then one of Clover; then Wheat again, then Grass or Oats, and so on. I saw very little Rye; and if there were Potatoes or Indian Corn, they were not up sufficiently high to be distinguished as we sped by them. The work going forward was the later Weeding with the earlier Hay-making, and I saw nearly as many women as men working in the fields. The growing crops were generally kept pretty clear of weeds, and the grass was most faithfully but very slowly cut. I think one Yankee would mow over more ground in a day than two Frenchmen, but he would cut less hay to the acre. Of course, in a country devoid of fences and half covered with small patches of grain, there could not be many cattle: I saw no oxen, very few cows, and not many horses. The hay-carts were generally drawn by asses, or by horses so small as not to be easily distinguished from asses as we whirled rapidly by. The wagons on the roads were generally drawn by small horses. I judge that the people are generally industrious but not remarkably efficient, and that the women do the larger half of the work, house-work included. The hay-carts were wretchedly small, and the implements used looked generally rude and primitive. The dwellings are low, small, steep-roofed cottages, for which a hundred dollars each would be a liberal offer. Of course, I speak of the rural habitations; those in the villages are better, though still mainly small, steep-roofed, poor, and huddled together in the most chaotic confusion. The stalls and pastures for cattle were in the main only visible to the eye of faith; though cattle there must be and are to do the ploughing and hauling. I suspect they are seldom turned loose in summer, and that there is not a cow to every third cottage. I think I did not see a yoke of oxen throughout the day's ride of 243 miles.

I was again agreeably disappointed in the abundance of [Pg 161]Trees. Wood seems to be the peasants' sole reliance for fuel, and trees are planted beside the roads, the streams, the ditches, and often in rows or patches on some arable portion of the peasants' narrow domain. This planting is mainly confined to two varieties—the Lombardy Poplar and what I took to be the Pollard, a species of Willow which displays very little foliage, and is usually trimmed up so as to have but a mere armful of leaves and branches at the top of a trunk thirty to fifty feet high, and six to twelve inches through. The Lombardy Poplar is in like manner preferred, as giving a large amount of trunk to little shade, the limbs rarely extending three feet from the trunk, while the growth is rapid. Such are the means employed to procure fuel and timber with the least possible abstraction of soil from the uses of cultivation. There are some side-hills so rocky and sterile as to defy human industry, and these are given up to brush-wood, which I presume is cut occasionally and bound into faggots for fuel. Some of it may straggle up, if permitted, into trees, but I saw little that would fairly justify the designation of Forest. Of Fruit-trees, save in the villages, there is a deplorable scarcity throughout.

We passed through few villages and no town of note but Dijon, the capital of ancient Burgundy, where its Parliament was held and where its Dukes reigned and were buried. Their palace still stands, though they have passed away. Dijon is 200 miles from Paris, and has 25,000 inhabitants, with manufactures of Cotton, Woolen and Silk. Here and henceforth the Vine is more extensively cultivated than further Northward.

We reached Chalons on the Saone (there is another Chalons on the Marne) before 9 P. M. or in about ten hours from Paris. Here a steamboat was ready to take us forthwith to Lyons, but French management was too much for us. Our baggage was all taken from the car outside and carried piece by piece into the dépôt, where it was [Pg 162]very carefully arranged in order according to the numbers affixed to the several trunks, &c., in Paris. This consumed the better part of half an hour, though half as many Yankees as were fussing over it would have had it all distributed to the owners inside of ten minutes. Then the holders of the first three or four numbers were let into the baggage-room, and when they were disposed of as many more were let in, and so on. Each, as soon as he had secured his baggage, was hustled into an omnibus destined for the boat. I was among the first to get seated, but ours was the last omnibus to start, and when the attempt was made, the carriage was overloaded and wouldn't start! At last it was set in motion, but stopped twice or thrice to let off passengers and baggage at hotels, then to collect fare, and at last, when we had got within a few rods of the landing, we were cheered with the information that "Le bateau est parti!" The French may have been better than this, but its purport was unmistakable—the boat was gone, and we were done. I had of course seen this trick played before, but never so clumsily. There was no help for us, however, and the amount of useless execration emitted was rather moderate than otherwise. Our charioteers had taken good care to obtain their pay for carrying us some time before, and we suffered ourselves to be taken to our predestined hotel in a frame of mind approaching Christian resignation. In fact, when I had been shown up to a nice bed-room, with clean sheets and (for France) a fair supply of water, and had taken time to reflect that there is no accommodation for sleeping on any of these European river-boats, I was rather glad we had been swindled than otherwise. So I am still. But you may travel the same route in a hurry; so look out!

We rose at 4 and made for the boat, determined not to be caught twice in the same town. At five we bade good-bye to Chalons-sur-Saone (a pleasant town of 13,000 people), under a lowering sky which soon blessed the earth [Pg 163]with rain—a dubious blessing to a hundred people on a steamboat with no deck above the guards and scarcely room enough below for the female passengers. However, the rain soon ceased and the sky gradually cleared, so that since 9 o'clock the day has been sunny and delightful.

The distance from Chalons to Lyons by the Saone is some 90 miles. The river is about the size of the Connecticut from Greenfield to Hartford, but is sluggish throughout, with very low banks until the last ten or fifteen miles. After an intervale of half a mile to two miles, the land rises gently on the right to an altitude of some two to five hundred feet, the slope covered and checkered the whole distance with vineyards, meadows, woods, &c. The Poplar and the Pollard are still planted, but the scale of cultivation is larger and the houses much better than between Paris and Dijon. The intervale (mainly in meadow) is much wider on the left bank, the swell beyond it being in some places scarcely visible. The scenery is greatly admired here, and as a whole may be termed pretty, but cannot compare with that of the Hudson or Connecticut in boldness or grandeur. There are some craggy hill-sides in the distance, but I have not yet seen an indisputable mountain in France, though I have passed nearly through it in a mainly southerly course for over five hundred miles.

As we approach Lyons, the hills on either side come nearer and finally shut in the river between two steep acclivities, from which much building-stone has been quarried. Elsewhere, these hill-sides are covered with tasteful country residences of the retired or wealthy Lyonnais, surrounded by gardens, arbors, shrubbery, &c. The general effect is good. At last, houses and quays begin to line and bridges to span the river, and we halt beside one of the quays and are in Lyons.


[B] Boulevard means, I presume, rampart or fortified works (hence our English bulwark). The rampart was long ago removed, as the city outgrew it, but the name is retained by the ample street which took its place. Our Battery at New-York illustrates this origin of a name.

[Pg 164]



Turin (Italy), June 20, 1851.

Lyons, though a French city, and the second in the Republic, wears a sad, disheartened aspect. In '91 a stronghold of decaying Loyalty, it is to-day the very focus of Democratic Socialism, being decidedly more "Red" than Paris.—Here is concentrated the Sixth Military Division of the French Army, under chiefs not chary of using the sabre and bayonet, and with instructions to apply efficient poultices of grape and canister on the first palpable appearance of local inflammation. Should Louis Napoleon be enabled to override the Constitution and prolong his sway, it is possible that, by the aid of the act of May 31st, 1850, whereby more than half the Artisans of France are disfranchised, the spirit of Lyons may in time be subdued, and partisans of "Order" substituted for her present Socialist Representatives in the Assembly; but, should the popular cause triumph in the ensuing Elections, I shall be agreeably disappointed if that triumph is as temperately and forbearingly enjoyed here as was that of February, 1848.

Lyons is now undergoing one of those periodical revulsions or depressions which are the necessary incidents of the false system of Industry and Trade which the leaders of Commercial opinion are bent on fortifying and extending.—Here, at the confluence of the Rhone and the Saone, is concentrated a population of nearly 200,000 souls, half of whom attempt to live by spinning, weaving and dyeing [Pg 165]Silks, while the residue in good part busy themselves in collecting and buying the raw material or in exporting and selling the product. But it is not best for themselves nor for mankind that 100,000 Silk-workers should be clustered on any square mile or two of earth; if they were distributed over the world's surface, in communities of five to fifty thousand souls—if the raw Silk were grown in the various countries wherein the fabrics are required, where the climate and soil do not forbid, and taken there to be manufactured where they do—the workers would have space, air, activity, liberty, development, which are unattainable while they are cooped within the walls of a single city. If those Silk-weavers, for instance, whose fabrics are consumed in the United States, were now located in Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, &c. instead of being mainly crowded into Lyons, they would there obtain many of the necessaries of life at half the prices they now give for them, while the consumers of their fabrics would pay for them in good part with Fruits, Vegetables, Fuel, &c. which, because of their bulk or their perishable nature, they cannot now sell at all, or can only sell at prices below the cost of production. No matter if the Silks were held in money a fifth, a fourth, or even a third higher than now, the great body of our consumers would obtain them much cheaper, estimating the cost not in dollars but in days' labor. The workers on both sides would be benefited, because they would share between them at least three-fourths of the enormous tax which Commerce now levies upon their Industry through the sale and resale of its products, to distribute among its importers, shippers, jobbers, retailers and lackeys of infinite variety. The bringing together of Producer and Consumer, where Nature has interposed no barrier, so that their diverse needs may be supplied by direct interchange, or with the fewest possible intermediates, is the simple and only remedy for one of the chief scourges under which Industry now suffers throughout the world.

[Pg 166]"Very true," says Vapid, "but this will regulate itself."—Will it, indeed? Be good enough to tell me how! All the potent individual agencies now affecting it are attached by self-interest to the wrong side. The Capitalists, the Employers, the Exporters, engaged in the Silk trade, all own property in Lyons, and are naturally anxious that the manufacture shall be more and more concentrated there. The Shipper, the Importer, the Jobber of our own country, has a like interest in keeping the point of production as distant from their customers as possible. Very often have I been told by wholesale merchants, "We prefer to sell Foreign rather than Home-made fabrics, because the profit on the former is usually much greater." This consideration is active and omnipresent in Trade generally. The sole interest subserved by Direct and Simple Exchanges is that of Labor; and this, though greatest of all, is unorganized, inert, and individually impotent. These Silk-Weavers of Lyons are no more capable of removing to Virginia or Missouri and establishing their business there than the Alps are of making an American tour. Our consumers of Silks, acting as individuals, cannot bring them over and establish them among us. But the great body of consumers, animated by Philanthropy and an enlightened Self-Interest, acting through their single efficient organism, the State, can make it the interest of Capital and Capacity to bring them over and plant them in the most eligible localities among us, and ought immediately and persistently to do so. The inconveniences of such a policy are partial and transitory, while its blessings are permanent and universal.


Railroads are excellent contrivances for dispatch and economy; Steamboats ditto, and better still for ease and observation or reading; Steamships are to be endured when Necessity compels; but an old-fashioned [Pg 167]Coach-and-Four is by no means to be despised, even in this age of Progress and Enlightenment. While I stay in Europe, I wish to see as much land and to waste as little time on blue water as possible. So I turned aside at Lyons from the general stream of Italy-bound travellers—which flows down the Rhone to Avignon and Marseilles, thence embarking for Genoa and Leghorn,—and booked myself for a ride across the Lower Alps by diligence to Turin. And glad am I that my early resolve to do so was not shaken.

The European, but more especially French, diligence has often been described. Ours consisted of a long carriage divided into the coupé or foremost apartment, directly under the driver, and with an outlook on each side and in front over the backs of the horses; the middle apartment, which is much like the interior of our ordinary stage-coach; and the rumble or rear apartment, calculated for servants or other cheap travelers. Two-thirds of the roof was covered with a tun or two of baggage and merchandise; and in front of this, behind and above the driver's seat, is the banquette, a single seat across the top, calculated to hold four persons, with a chaise top to be thrown back in fine weather and a glass front to be let down by night or in case of rain. I chose my seat here, as affording the best possible view of the country. At 8 P. M. precisely, the driver cracked his whip, and four good horses started our lumbering vehicle at a lively pace on the road to Turin, some two hundred miles away in the south-east.

The road from Lyons to the frontier is one of the best in the world, and traverses a level, fertile, productive country. I should say that Grass, Wheat and the Vine are the chief staples. A row of trees adorns either side of the road most of the way, not the trim, gaunt, limbless skeletons which are preferred throughout Central France, but wide-spreading, thrifty shade-trees, which I judged in the [Pg 168]darkness to be mainly Black Walnut, with perhaps a sprinkling of Chestnut, &c. Through this noble avenue, we rattled on at a glorious pace, a row of small bells jingling from each horse, and no change of teams consuming more than two minutes, until we reached the little village on the French side of the boundary between France and Savoy, some fifty miles from Lyons. Here our Passports were taken away for scrutiny and visé, and we were compelled to wait from 2½ till 5 o'clock, as the Sardinian officers of customs would not begin to examine our baggage till the latter hour. At 5 we crossed the little, rapid river (a tributary of the Rhone) which here divides the two countries, a French and a Sardinian sentinel standing at either end of the bridge. We drove into the court of the custom-house, dismounted, had our baggage taken off and into the rude building, where half a dozen officers and attendants soon appeared and went at it. They searched rigidly, but promptly, carefully and like gentlemen. In half an hour we were pronounced all right; our diligence was reloaded, and, our passports having been returned, we rattled out of the village and on our way, in the sunshine of as bright a June morning as I ever hope to enjoy.

France is a land of plains, and glades, and gentle acclivities; Savoy is a country of mountains. They rose before and around us from the moment of our crossing the boundary—grim, rugged and precipitous, they formed a striking contrast to all of Europe I had hitherto seen. Throughout the day and night following, we were rarely or never out of sight of snow-covered peaks; nay, I have not yet lost sight of them, since they are distinctly visible in the clear Italian atmosphere from the streets of this sunny metropolis, at a distance of some thirty miles north. Our route lay through Savoy for about a hundred miles, and not one acre in thirty within sight of it can ever be plowed. Yet the mountains are in good part composed of limestone, so that the narrow, sheltered valleys are [Pg 169]decidedly fertile; and the Vine is often made to thrive on the steep, rocky hill sides, where the plow could not be forced below the surface, and where an ox could not keep his footing. Every inch of ground that can be, is cultivated; little patches of Wheat, or Grass, or Vines are got in wherever there is a speck of soil, though no larger than a cart-body; and far up the sides of steep mountains, wherever a spot is found so moderately inclined that soil will lie on it, there Grass at least is grown.

Human Labor, in such a region, fully peopled, is very cheap and not very efficient. The grape is the chief staple and Wine must be the principal and probably is the only export, at least one third of the arable soil being devoted to the Vine. Wheat is pretty extensively sown and is now heading very thriftily, but I suspect the average size of the patches is not above a quarter of an acre each. The Grass is good; and not much of it cut yet. Indian Corn and Potatoes are generally cultivated, but in deplorable ignorance of their nature. At least four times the proper quantity of seed is put in the ground, neither Corn nor Potatoes being allowed more than eighteen inches between the rows, making the labor of cultivation very great and the chance of a good yield none at all.

I think I saw quite as many women as men at work in the fields throughout Savoy. A girl of fourteen driving a yoke of oxen attached to a cart, walking barefoot beside the team and plying the goadstick, while a boy of her own age lay idly at length in the cart, is one of my liveliest recollections of Savoyard ways. Nut-brown, unbonneted women, hoeing corn with an implement between an adze and a pick-axe (and not a bad implement, either, for so rugged an unplowed soil), women driving hogs, cows, &c., to or from market, we encountered at every turn. So much hard, rough work and exposure are fatal to every trace of beauty, and I do not remember to have seen a [Pg 170]woman in Savoy even moderately good-looking, while many were absolutely revolting. That this is not Nature's fault is proved by the general aspect of the children, who, though swarthy, have often good forms and features.

We drove down into Chambery, the capital of ancient Savoy, about 9 A. M. This is a town of some fifteen thousand inhabitants, pleasantly situated in the valley of a much larger tributary of the Rhone than that we crossed at the boundary, and with a breadth of arable soil of perhaps two miles between the mountains. No where else in Savoy did we traverse a valley even half a mile wide for any distance. Here is an old ducal palace, with fine spacious grounds, shrubbery, &c. The road from Geneva and the Baths of Aix to Turin comes down this valley and here intersects that from Lyons. We were allowed twenty-five minutes for breakfast, which would have been very well but that the time required for cooking most of the breakfast had to come out of it.

There was enough and good enough to eat, and (as usual throughout all this region) Wine in abundance without charge, but Tea, Coffee or Chocolate must be ordered and paid for extra. Even so, I was unable to obtain a cup of Chocolate, the excuse being that there was not time to make it. I did not understand, therefore, why I was charged more than others for breakfast; but to talk English against French or Italian is to get a mile behind in no time, so I pocketed the change offered me and came away. On the coach, however, with an Englishman near me who had traveled this way before and spoke French and Italian, I ventured to expose my ignorance as follows:

"Neighbor, why was I charged three francs for breakfast, and the rest of you but two and a half?"

"Don't know—perhaps you had Tea or Coffee."

"No, Sir—don't drink either."

"Then perhaps you washed your face and hands."

"Well, it would be just like me."

[Pg 171]"O, then, that's it! The half franc was for the basin and towel."

"Ah, oui, oui." So the milk in that cocoa-nut was accounted for.

Our road, though winding constantly among mountains, was by no means a rugged one. On the contrary, I was surprised to find it so nearly level. Three or four times during the day we came to a hard hill, and usually a yoke of oxen, an extra horse or span, stood at the foot, ready to hitch on and help us up. Of course, we were steadily rising throughout, but so gradually and on so capital a road as to offer little impediment to our progress. A better road made of earth I never expect to see. Every mile of it is plainly under constant supervision, and any defect is instantly repaired. The only exception to its excellence is caused by the villages, which occur at an average of ten miles apart, and consist each of fifty to two hundred poor dwellings, mainly of stone, huddled chaotically together along the two sides of the road, which is twisted and turned by them in every direction, and often crowded into a width of not more than eight or ten feet. It is absolutely impossible that two carriages should pass each other in these narrow, crooked lanes, and dangerous for even a pedestrian to stand outside of a house while the diligence is threading one of these gorges.

There is no town except Chambery on the whole route from Lyons to Turin; but we passed about noon through a village in which a Fair was proceeding. I did not suspect that two thousand people could live within ten miles of the spot; yet I think fully two thousand were here collected, with half as many cows, asses, hogs, &c., which had been brought hither for sale, and about which they were jabbering and gesticulating. Dealers in coarse chip hats and a few kindred fabrics were also present; but it looked as if sellers were more abundant and eager than buyers. It was only by great effort and by the most [Pg 172]exemplary patience that our driver and guard were enabled to clear the road so that we passed through without inflicting any injury.

Wilder and narrower was the gorge, nearer and bleaker rose the mountains, steeper and more palpable became the ascent, keener and crisper grew the air, as the evening fell upon us pursuing our devious way. The valleys were not only insignificant but widely separated by tracts through which the road had with difficulty and at much expense been cut out of the mountain side without infringing on the impetuous torrent that tumbled and foamed by our side; and even where little valleys or glens still existed it was clear that Nature no longer responded with alacrity and abundance to the summons of human industry. The Vine no longer clung to the steep acclivities; the summer foliage of the lower valleys had given place to dark evergreens where shrubbery could still find foot-hold and sustenance. The snow no longer skulked timorously behind the peaks of distant mountains, showing itself only on their northern declivities, but stood out boldly, unblenchingly on all sides, and seemed within a musket-shot of our path. From slight depressions in the brows of the overhanging cliffs, streamlets leaped hundreds of feet in silvery recklessness, falling in feathery foam by our side. I think I saw half a dozen of these cascades within a distance of three miles.

At length, near ten o'clock, we reached the foot of Mount Cenis, where sinuosity of course could avail us no further. We must now face the music. Our five tired horses were exchanged for eight fresh ones, and we commenced the slow, laborious ascent of some six or eight miles. Human habitations had already become scattered and infrequent; but we passed three or four in ascending the mountain. Their inmates of course live upon the travel, in one way or another, for Sterility is here the inexorable law. Yet our ascent was not so steep as might [Pg 173]be expected, being modified, when necessary, by zig-zags from one direction or one side of the chasm we followed to the other. The horses were stopped to breathe but once only; elsewhere for three hours or more they pursued their firm, deliberate, decided, though slow advance. The shrubbery dwindled as we ascended and at length disappeared, save in the sheltered gorges; the snow came nearer and spread over still larger spaces; at length, it lay in heavy beds or masses, half melted into ice, just by the side of the road and on its edge, though I think there was none actually under the wheels. Finally, a little before one o'clock, we reached the summit, and the moon from behind the neighboring cliff burst upon us fully two hours high. Two or three houses stood here for the use of travelers; around them nothing but snow and the naked planet. Before us lay the valley of the Po, the great plain of Upper Italy.

Six of our horses were here detached and sent back to the Savoy base of the mountain, while with the two remaining we commenced our rapid and dashing descent. Mount Cenis is decidedly steeper on this side than on the other; it is only surmounted by a succession of zig-zags so near each other that I think we traveled three miles in making a direct progress of one, during which we must have descended some 1,500 feet. Daylight found us at the foot with the level plain before us, and at 8 o'clock, A. M. we were in Turin.

[Pg 174]



Genoa (Italy), June 22, 1851.

The Kingdom of Sardinia was formed, after the overthrow of Napoleon, by the union of Genoa and its dependencies, with the former Kingdom of Piedmont and Savoy including the island of Sardinia, to whose long exiled Royal house was restored a dominion thus extended. That dominion has since stood unchanged, and may be roughly said to embrace the North-Western fourth of Italy, including Savoy, which belongs geographically to Switzerland, but which forms a very strong barrier against invasion from the side of France. Savoy is almost entirely watered by tributaries of the Rhone, and so might be said to belong naturally to France rather than to Italy, regarding the crests of the Alps as the proper line of demarcation between them. Its trade, small at any rate, is of necessity mainly with France; very slightly, save on the immediate sea-coast, with Genoa or Piedmont. Its language is French. Though peopled nearly to the limit of its capacity, the whole number of its inhabitants can hardly exceed Half a Million, nine-tenths of its entire surface being covered with sterile, intractable mountains. Savoy must always be a poor country, with inconsiderable commerce or manufactures (for though its water-power is inexhaustible, its means of communication must ever be among the worst), and seems to have been created mainly as a barrier against that guilty ambition which impels rulers and chieftains to [Pg 175]covet and invade territories which reject and resist their sway. Alas that the Providential design, though so palpable, should be so often disregarded! Doubtless, the lives lost from age to age by mere hardship, privation and exposure, during the passage of invading armies through Savoy, would outnumber the whole present population of the country.

Descending the Alps to the east or south into Piedmont, a new world lies around and before you. You have passed in two hours from the Arctic circle to the Tropics—from Lapland to Cuba. The snow-crested mountains are still in sight, and seem in the clear atmosphere to be very near you even when forty or fifty miles distant, but you are traversing a spacious plain which slopes imperceptibly to the Po, and is matched by one nearly as level on the other side. This great plain of upper Italy, with the Po in its center, commences at the foot of the lower Alps very near the Mediterranean, far west of Turin and of Genoa, and stretches across the widest portion of the peninsula till it is lost in the Adriatic. The western half of this great valley is Piedmont; the eastern is Lombardy. Its fertility and facility of cultivation are such that even Italian unthrift and ignorance of Agriculture are unable to destroy the former or nullify the latter. I never saw better Wheat, Grass, and Barley, than in my journey of a hundred miles across this noble valley of the Po, or Piedmont, and the Indian Corn, Potatoes, &c., are less promising only because of the amazing ignorance of their requirements evinced by nine-tenths of the cultivators. In the first place, the land is not plowed half deep enough; next, most of it is seldom or never manured; thirdly, it is planted too late; and fourthly, three or four times as much seed is planted as should be. I should judge that twenty seed potatoes, or kernels of corn, to each square yard is about the average, while five of either is quite enough. Then both, but especially Corn, are hilled up, sugar-loaf [Pg 176]fashion, until the height of each hill is about equal to its breadth at the base, so that two days' hot sun dries the hill completely through, while there is no soil a foot from each stalk for its roots to run in. From such perverse cultivation, a good yield is impossible. There has been no rain of consequence here for some weeks, whence Wheat and Barley are ripening too rapidly, while Corn, Potatoes and Vegetables suffer severely from drouth, when with deeper plowing and rational culture everything would have been verdant and flourishing. Yet this great plain in some parts is and in most might be easily and bountifully irrigated from the innumerable mountain streams which traverse it on their way to the Po. I never saw another region wherein a few Sub-soil Plows, with men qualified to use them and to set forth the nature and advantages of skillful cultivation generally, are so much wanted as in Piedmont.

The Vine is of course extensively cultivated in Piedmont, as everywhere in Italy, but not so universally as in the hilly, rocky region extending from the great valley to this city (some thirty or forty miles). This has a warm though a thin soil, which must be highly favorable to the Vine to induce so exclusive a devotion to it. I think half of the arable soil I saw between this and Arquata, where the plain and (for the present) the Railroad stop, and the hills and the diligence begin, was devoted to the Grape; while from the steeple of the Carignani Church, which I ascended last evening, the semi-circle of towering, receding hill-sides which invests Genoa landward, seems covered with the Vine, and even the Gardens within the town are nearly given up to it. The Fig, the Orange, the Almond, are also native here or in the vicinity.

This kingdom is to-day, after France, the chief point of interest in continental Europe for lovers of Human Liberty. Three years ago, under the impulse of the [Pg 177]general uprising of the Nations, its rulers entered upon a course of policy in accordance with the wants and demands of the age, and that policy is still adhered to, though meantime the general aspect of affairs is sadly changed, and Sardinia herself has experienced the sorest reverses. The weak, unstable King whose ambition first conspired to throw her into the current of the movement for the liberation of Italy, has died defeated and broken-hearted, but his wiser son and heir has taken his stand deliberately and firmly on the liberal side, and cannot be driven from his course. His policy, as proclaimed in his memorable Speech from the Throne on the assembling of the present Chambers, is "to rear Free Institutions in the midst of surrounding ruins." A popular Assembly, in which the Ministry have seats, directs and supervises the National Policy, which is avowedly and efficiently directed toward the vigorous prosecution of Reforms in every department. Absolute Freedom in matters of Religion has already been established, and the long crushed and persecuted Vaudois or Waldenses rejoice in the brighter day now opening before them. Their simple worship is not only authorized and protected in their narrow, secluded Alpine valleys, but it is openly and regularly conducted also in Turin, the metropolis, where they are now endeavoring to erect a temple which shall fitly set forth the changed position of Protestantism in Northern Italy. They are still few and poor, and will apply to their brethren in America for pecuniary aid, which I trust will be granted expressly on condition that the church thus erected shall be open, when not otherwise required, to any Protestant clergyman who produces ample testimonials of his good standing with his own denomination at home. Such a church in Turin would be of incalculable service to the cause of Human Emancipation from the shackles of Force, Prescription and Tradition throughout Italy and the Eastern World.

The Freedom of the Press is established in this kingdom, [Pg 178]yet no single journal of the Reäctionist type is issued, because there is no demand for one. The only division of political sentiment is that which separates the more impetuous Progressives, or avowed Democrats, from the larger number (apparently) who believe it wiser and safer to hold fast by King and Constitution, especially since the Monarch is among the most zealous and active in the cause of Progress and Reform. I think these are right, though their opponents have ample justification in History, even the most recent, for their distrust of the liberal professions and seemings of Royalty. But were the King and all his House to abdicate and leave the country to-morrow, I believe that would be a disastrous step for Sardinia and for Human Liberty. For this kingdom is almost walled in by enemies—Austria, Tuscany, Rome (alas!) and Naples—all intensely hating it and seeking its downfall because of the Light and Hope which its policy and its example are diffusing among the nations. With the Pope it is directly at variance, on questions of contested jurisdiction deemed vital alike by the Spiritual and the Temporal power; and repeated efforts at adjustment have only resulted in repeated failures. This feud is of itself a source of weakness, since ninety-nine in every hundred of the population are at least nominally Roman Catholic, and the great mass of the Peasantry intensely so, while the Priesthood naturally side with the Ecclesiastical as against the Political contestant. And behind Austria, notoriously hostile to the present policy of Sardinia, stands the black, colossal shadow of the Autocrat, with no power east of the Rhine and the Adriatic able or willing to resist him, and only waiting for an excuse to pour his legions over the sunny plains of Southern Europe. A Democratic Revolution in Sardinia, no matter how peacefully effected, would inevitably, while France is crippled as at present, be the signal (as with Naples and Spain successively some twenty-five to thirty years ago) for overwhelming invasion [Pg 179]in the interest and by the forces of utter Despotism. Well-informed men believe that if the present King were to abdicate to-morrow, he would immediately be chosen President by an immense majority of the People.

Yet there is an earnest, outspoken Democratic party in Sardinia, and this city is its focus. Genoa, in fact, has never been reconciled to the decree which arbitrarily merged her political existence in that of the present Kingdom. She fondly cherishes the recollection of her ancient opulence, power and glory, and remembers that in her day of greatness she was the center and soul of a Republic. Hence her Revolutionary struggle in 1848; hence the activity and boldness of her Republican propaganda now. To see Italy a Federal Republic, whereof Piedmont, Savoy, Genoa and Sardinia should be separate and sovereign States, along with Venice, Lombardy, Tuscany, Rome, Naples, &c., would best satisfy her essential aspirations.

Yet Genoa is clearly benefited by her present political connection. From her lovely bay, she looks out over the Mediterranean, Corsica, Sardinia, Africa and the Levant, but has scarcely a glimpse of the continent of Italy. No river bears its products to her expectant wharves; only the most insignificant mill-streams brawl idly down to her harbor and the adjacent shore; steep, naked mountains rise abruptly behind her, scarcely allowing room for her lofty edifices and narrow streets; while from only a few miles back the waters are hurrying to join the Po and be borne away by that rapid, unnavigable stream to the furthest limit of Italy. No commercial City was ever more hardly dealt with by Nature on the land side than Genoa; no one ever stood more in need of intimate political connections suggestive of and cemented by works of Internal improvement. These she is now on the point of securing. A very tolerable Railroad has already been constructed from Turin to Arquata, some seventy miles on the way to Genoa, and the remaining thirty odd miles [Pg 180]are now under contract, to be completed in 1852. The portion constructed was easy, while the residue is exceedingly difficult, following the valleys of impetuous mountain torrents, which to-day discharge each minute five gallons and to-morrow five thousand hogsheads. These valleys (or rather clefts) are quite commonly so narrow and their sides so steep and rock-bound that the Railroad track has to be raised several feet on solid masonry to preserve it from being washed away by the floods which follow every violent or protracted rain. Expensive arches to admit the passage of the streams whenever crossed, and of the roads, are also numerous, so that these thirty miles, in spite of the abundance and cheapness of Labor here, will cost at least Three Millions of Dollars. Yet the road will pay when in full operation, and will prove a new day-spring of prosperity to Genoa. From Turin, branches or feeders will run to the Alps in various directions, benefiting that city considerably, but Genoa infinitely more, since nine-tenths of the produce even of Piedmont will run past Turin, without unloading, to find purchasers and exporters here. A coal-mine of promise has just been discovered at Aosta, at the foot of the Alps, to which one of these branches is to be constructed. Genoa is now jealous of Turin's political ascendency, which is just as sensible as would be jealousy of Albany on the part of New-York. Even already, though it has not come near her, the Railroad is sensibly improving her trade and industry; and whenever it shall have reached her wharves every mile added to its extent or to that of any of its branches will add directly and largely to the commerce and wealth of this city. In time this Road will connect with those of France and Germany, by a tunnel through some one of the Alps (Mount Cenis is now under consideration), but, even without that, whenever it shall have reached the immediate base of the Alps on this side and been responded to by similar extensions of the French and Rhine-valley [Pg 181]Railroads on the other, Genoa will supplant Marseilles while continuing preferable to Trieste as the point of embarkation for Cairo and Suez on the direct route from England and Paris for India, China and Southern Asia generally, and can only be superseded in that preëminence by a railroad running hence or from Lake Maggiore and Milan direct to Naples or Salerno—a work of whose construction through so many petty and benighted principalities there is no present probability.

Still, Sardinia has very much before her unaccomplished. She needs first of all things an efficient and comprehensive system of Popular Education. With the enormous superabundance of Sixty Thousand Priests and other Ecclesiastics to a generally poor population of Four Millions, she has not to-day five thousand teachers, good, bad and indifferent, of elementary and secular knowledge. These black-coated gentry fairly overshadow the land with their shovel hats, so that Corn has no fair chance of sunshine. The Churches of this City alone must have cost Ten Millions of Dollars—for you cannot walk a hundred steps without passing one; and the wealth lavished in their construction and adornment exceeds all belief—while all the common school-houses in Genoa would not bring fifty thousand dollars. The best minds of the country are now pondering the urgent necessity of speedily establishing a system of efficient Popular Education.

But the Nation is deeply in debt, and laboring under heavy burdens. Its Industry is inefficient, its Commerce meager, its Revenues slender, while the imminent peril of Austrian invasion compels the keeping up of an Army of Fifty Thousand effective men ready to take the field at a moment's warming. But for the notorious and active hostility of three-fourths of Continental Europe to the liberal policy of its rulers, Sardinia might dispense with three-fourths of this force and save its heavy cost for Education and Internal Improvement. As things are, [Pg 182]women must toil in the fields while Physical and Mental Improvement must wait in order that the Nation may sustain in virtual idleness Fifty Thousand Soldiers and Sixty Thousand Priests.

Yet mighty are the blessings of Freedom, even under the greatest disadvantages. Turin is now increasing in Industry and Population with a rapidity unknown to its former history. Looking only at the new buildings just erected or now in progress, you might mistake it for an American city. Unless checked by future wars, Turin will double its population between 1850 and 1860. Genoa has but recently and partially felt the new impulse, yet even here the march of improvement is visible. Three years more of peace will witness the substitution for its long period of stagnation and decay of an activity surpassed by that of no city in Europe.

Turin is eligibly located and well built, most of the houses being large, tall, and the walls of decided strength and thickness; but Genoa is even superior in most respects if not in all. I never saw so many churches so admirably constructed and so gorgeously, laboriously ornamented as the half dozen I visited yesterday and this morning. My guide says there are sixty churches in Genoa (a city about the size of Boston, though with fewer houses and a much smaller area than Brooklyn), and that they are nearly all built and adorned with similar if not equal disregard of cost. A modest, graceful monument to Christopher Columbus, the Genoese discoverer of America, was one of the first structures that met my eye on entering the city, and an eating-house in the square of the chief theater is styled "Café Restaurant à l'Immortel Chr. Columbo," or something very near that. I never before saw so many admirable specimens of costly and graceful architecture as have arrested my attention in wandering through the streets of Genoa. At least half the houses were constructed for the private residences of "merchant princes" in [Pg 183]the palmy days of "Genoa the Superb," and their wealth would seem to have been practically boundless. The "Hotel de Londres," in which I write, was originally a convent, and no house in New-York can vie with it in the massiveness of its walls, the hight of its ceilings, &c. My bed-room, appropriately furnished, would shame almost any American parlor or drawing-room. All around me testifies of the greatness that has been; who shall say that it is not soon to return? The narrow streets (very few of them passable by carriages) and uneven ground-plot are the chief drawbacks on this magnificence; but the city rises so regularly and gracefully from the harbor as to seem like a glorious amphitheater, and the inequality, so wearisome to the legs, is a beauty and a pleasure to the eye. It gives, besides, opportunity for the finest Architectural triumphs. The Carignani Church is approached by a massive bridge thrown across a ravine, from which you look down on the tops of seven-story houses, and I walked this morning in a public garden which looks down into a private one some sixty feet below it. The perpendicular stone wall which separates these gardens is at least five feet thick at the top, and must have cost an immense sum; but in fact the whole city has been three times completely walled in, and the latest and most extensive of these walls is still in good condition, and was successfully defended by Massena in the siege of 1800, until Famine compelled him to surrender. May that stand recorded to the end of human history as the last siege of Genoa!

[Pg 184]


[This letter, written and mailed at Leghorn on the 24th, has never come to hand, having been entrusted to the tender mercies of the French mail which was to leave Leghorn next day by steamer for Marseilles, and thence be taken, via Paris, to Havre, and by steamship to this city. The wretched old apology for a steamship whereon I had reached Leghorn (80 miles) in eighteen hours from Genoa may not yet have completed her return passage between those ports, though I think she has; but whether her officers know enough to receive and deliver a Mail-bag is exceedingly doubtful. If they did, I see not how my letter can have been stopped this side of Marseilles. I remember that it did particular justice to French Government steamships in the Mediterranean and to American Consuls in Italy, showing how our traveling countrymen are crucified between the worthlessness of the former and the rapacity of the latter. Our Consuls may well rejoice that said Letter XXII. comes up missing, and perhaps the Tuscan Police has cause to join in their exultation.

This letter also gave some account of Leghorn, a well-built modern city, the only port of Tuscany, situated on a flat or marsh scarcely raised above the surface of the Mediterranean, and containing some 80,000 inhabitants. It has few or no antiquities, and not much to attract a traveler's attention.

Some thirty miles inland in a north-easterly direction, is Pisa, once a very wealthy and powerful emporium of commerce, now a decaying inland town of no political [Pg 185]importance, with perhaps 30,000 inhabitants. It lies on both sides of the Arno, several miles from the sea, and I presume the river-bed has been considerably filled or choked up by sediment and rains since the days of Pisa's glory and power. Her wonderful Leaning Tower is worthy of all the fame it has acquired. It is a beautiful structure, though owing its dignity, doubtless, to some defect in its foundation or construction. The Cathedral of Pisa is a beautiful edifice, most gorgeous in its adornments, and with by far the finest galleries I ever saw. Near these two structures is an extensive burial-place full of sculptures and inscriptions in memory of the dead, some of them 2500 years old, and thence reaching down to the present day. Had I not extended my trip to Rome, I should have brought home far more vivid and lasting impressions of Pisa, which has nevertheless an abiding niche in my memory.

The day before my visit was the anniversary of the Patron Saint of Pisa, which is celebrated every fourth year with extraordinary pomp and festivity. This time, I was informed, the fire-works exploded at the public charge, in honor of this festival, cost over $100,000, though Pisa cannot afford to sustain Free Common Schools, or make any provision for the Education of her Children. Of course, she can afford to die, or is certain to do it, whether she can afford it or not. Pisa is located on a beautiful and fertile plain, and is surrounded by gardens, with fruit and ornamental trees; but much of the soil between it and Leghorn is the property of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who keeps it entirely in grass, affording subsistence to extensive and beautiful herds of Cattle, whence he derives a large income, being the chief milk-seller in his own dominions. So, at least, I was informed.]

[Pg 186]



Rome, Thursday, June 26, 1851.

I left Leghorn night before last in the French steamer Languedoc, which could not obtain passengers in America, but is accounted one of the best boats on the Mediterranean. The fare to Civita Vecchia (125 miles) was 40 francs, but 4 added for dinner (without saying "By your leave") made it $825. There were perhaps twenty-five passengers, mainly for Naples, but eight or ten for Civita Vecchia and Rome, although it is everywhere said that "Nobody goes to Rome at this season," meaning nobody that is anybody—none who can afford to go when they would choose. The night was fair; the sea calm; we left Leghorn at 6 (nominally 5) and reached Civita Vecchia about 5 next morning; but were kept on board waiting the pleasure of the Police until about 7, when we were graciously permitted to land, our Passports having been previously sent on shore for inspection. No steamboat in these waters is allowed to come alongside of the wharf; so we paid a franc each for being rowed ashore; then as much more to the porters who carried our baggage on their backs to the custom-house, where a weary hour was spent in overhauling and sealing it, so that it need not be overhauled again on entering the gate of Rome. For this service a trifle only was exacted from each. Meantime a "commissionaire" had gone after our Passports, for which we paid first the charge of the Papal Police, which I think was about three francs; [Pg 187]then for the visé of our several Consuls, we Americans a dollar each, which (though but half what is charged by our Consuls at other Italian ports) is more than is charged by those of any other nation. Then came the charge of our "commissionaire" for his services. We took breakfast; but that, though a severe, was not a protracted infliction; hired places in the Diligence (13 francs in the coupé, 10 in the body of the stage), and at half-past 10 were to have been on our way to Rome. But the start was rather late, and on reaching the gates of that wretched village, which seems to subsist mainly on such petty swindles as I have hastily described, our Passports, which had been thrice scrutinized that morning within sixty rods, had to run the gauntlet again. I do not remember paying for this, but while detained by it the ostlers from the stables of our Diligence were all upon us, clamoring for money. I think they got little. But we changed horses thrice on the way to Rome, and each postillion was down upon us for money, and out of all patience with those passengers who attempted to put him off with copper.

Aside from those engaged in fleecing us as aforesaid, I saw but three sorts of men in Civita Vecchia—or rather, men pursuing three several avocations—those of Priests, Soldiers and Beggars. Some united two of these callings. A number of brown, bare-headed, wretched-looking women were washing clothes in the hot sun of the sea-side, but I saw no trace of masculine industry other than what I have described. The place is said to contain 7,000 inhabitants, but I think there is scarcely a garden outside its walls.

Half the way thence to Rome, the road runs along the shore of the Mediterranean, through a naturally fertile and beautiful champaign country, once densely peopled and covered with elegant structures, the homes of intelligence, refinement and luxury. Now there is not a garden, scarcely a tree, and not above ten barns and thirty human habitations in sight throughout the whole twenty-five miles. [Pg 188]Such utter desolation and waste, in a region so eligibly situated, can with difficulty be realized without seeing it. I should say it can hardly here be unhealthy, with the pure Mediterranean directly on one side, the rugged hills but two to five miles distant on the other, and the plain between very much less marshy than the corresponding district of New-Jersey stretching along the coast from New-York to Perth Amboy. A few large herds of neat cattle are fed on these plains, considerable grass is cut, and some summer grain; but stables for post-horses at intervals of five or six miles, with perhaps as many dilapidated stone dwellings and a few wretched herdsmen's huts of straw or rubbish, are all the structures in sight, save the bridges of the noble "Via Aurelia" which we traversed, the ruins of some of the stately edifices once so abundant here, and the mile-stones. There is not even one tavern of the half dozen pretenders to the name between Civita Vecchia and Rome which would be considered tolerable in the least civilized portion of Arkansas or Texas.

Half way to Rome, the road strikes off from the sea, and there is henceforth more cultivation, more grain, better crops (though all this land produces excellently both of Wheat and Barley, and of Indian Corn also where the cultivation is not utterly suicidal), but still there are very few houses and those generally poor, the wretchedest caricatures of taverns on one of the great highways of the world, no gardens nor other evidences of aspiration for comfort and natural beauty, few and ragged trees, and the very few inhabitants are so squalid, so abject, so beggarly, that it seems a pity they were not fewer. And this state continues, except that the grain-crops grow larger and better, up to within a mile or two of the gates of Rome, which thus seems another Palmyra in the Desert, only that this is a desert of man's making. I presume the twenty-five or thirty miles at this end is unhealthy, even for natives, but it surely need not be so. All this Campagna, [Pg 189]with the more pestilent Pontine Marshes on the south, which are now scourging Rome with their deadly malaria and threaten to render it ultimately uninhabitable, were once salubrious and delightful, and might readily be made so again. If they were in England, Old or New, near a city of the size of this, they would be trenched, dyked, drained, and reconverted into gardens, orchards and model-farms within two years, and covered with dwellings, mansions, country-seats, and a busy, energetic, thrifty population before 1860. A tenth part of the energy and devotedness displayed in the attempts to wrest Jerusalem from the Infidels would rescue Rome from a fate not less appalling.

We ought by contract to have arrived here at half past six last evening; we actually reached the gates at half past eight or a little later. There our Passports were taken from us, and carried into the proper office; but word came back that all was not right; we must go in personally. We did so, and found that what was wanted to make all right was money. There was not the smallest pretext for this—no Barbary pirate ever had less—as we were not to get our Passports, but must wait their approval by a higher authority and then go and pay for it. We submitted to the swindle, however, for we were tired, the hour late, we had lodgings yet to seek, and the night-air here is said to be very unwholesome for strangers. This difficulty obviated, another presented itself. The Custom-House stood on the other side of the street, and word came that we were wanted there also, though our slender carpet-bags had been regularly searched and sealed by the Roman functionaries at Civita Vecchia expressly to obviate any pretext for scrutiny or delay here. No use—money. By this time, change and patience were getting scarce in our company. We tried to get off cheap; but it wouldn't do. Finally, rather than stay out till midnight in the malaria, I put down a five-franc-piece, which was accepted and we were let go. Still for form's sake, our [Pg 190]baggage was fumbled over, but not opened, and one or two more heads looked in at the window for "qualche cosa," but we gave nothing, and soon got away.

We had paid thirteen francs each for a ride of fifty miles over a capital road, where horses and feed are abundant, and must be cheap; but now our postillion came down upon us for more money for taking us to a hotel; and as we could do no better, we agreed to give him four francs to set down four of us (all the Americans and English he had) at one hotel. He drove by the Diligence Office, however, and there three or four rough customers jumped unbidden on the vehicle, and, when we reached our hotel, made themselves busy with our little luggage, which we would have thanked them to let alone. Having obtained it, we settled with the postillion, who grumbled and scolded though we paid him more than his four francs. Then came the leader of our volunteer aids, to be paid for taking down the luggage. I had not a penny of change left, but others of our company scraped their pockets of a handful of coppers, which the "facchini" rejected with scorn, throwing them after us up stairs (I hope they did not pick them up afterwards), and I heard their imprecations until I had reached my room, but a blessed ignorance of Italian shielded me from any insult in the premises. Soon my two light carpet-bags, which I was not allowed to carry, came up with a fresh demand for porterage. "Don't you belong to the hotel?" "Yes." "Then vanish instantly!" I shut the door in his face, and let him growl to his heart's content; and thus closed my first day in the more especial dominions of His Holiness Pius IX.

[Pg 191]



Rome, Friday, June 27, 1851.

Rome is mighty even in her desolation. I knew the world had nothing like her, and yet the impression she has made on me, at the first view, is unexpectedly great. I do not yet feel able to go wandering from one church, museum, picture or sculpture gallery to another, from morning till night, as others do: I need to pause and think. Of course, I shall leave without seeing even a tenth part of the objects of decided interest; but if I should thus be enabled to carry away any clear and abiding impression of a small part, I shall prefer this to a confused and foggy perception of a greater multiplicity of details.

That single view of the Eternal City, from the tower of the Capitol, is one that I almost wish I had given up the first day to. The entire of Rome and its inhabited suburbs lies so fully and fairly before the eye, with the Seven Hills, the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Obelisks, the Pillars, the Vatican, the Castle of St. Angelo, the various Triumphal Arches, the Churches, &c., &c., around you, that it seems the best use that could be made of one day to simply move from look-out to look-out in that old tower, using the glass for a few moments and then pausing for reflection. I have half a mind thus to spend one of my three remaining days. True, the Coliseum will seem vaster close at hand, but from no point can it be seen so completely and clearly, in its immensity and its [Pg 192]dilapidation combined, as from that. The Tarpeian Rock seems an absurd fable—its fatal leap the daily sport of infants—but in all ancient cities the same glaring discrepancy between ancient and modern altitudes is presented, and especially, we hear, at Jerusalem. The Seven Hills whereon Rome was built are all distinguishable, visible to-day; but they are undoubtedly much lower than at first, while all the intervening valleys have been filling up through centuries. Monkish traditions say that what is now the basement of the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul (not the modern St. Peter's) was originally on the level of the street, and this is quite probable: though I did not so readily lubricate the stories I was told in that basement to-day of St. Peter, Paul and Luke having tenanted this basement, Paul having lived and preached here for the first two years of his residence in Rome; and when they showed me the altar at which St. Paul was wont to minister, I stopped short and didn't try to believe any more. But this soil is thickly sown with marvels and very productive.

St. Peter's, or at least its Dome, was in sight through the greater part of the last eleven or twelve miles of our journey to the city; from most other directions it is doubtless visible at a much greater distance. I have of course seen the immense structure afar off, as well as glanced at it in passing by night; but I am not yet prepared to comprehend its vast proportions. I mean to visit it last before leaving Rome, so as to carry away as unclouded an impression of it as possible.

Of the three hundred and sixty-five Churches of Rome, I have as yet visited but four, and may find time to see as many more of the most noteworthy. They seem richer in Sculpture, Porphyry, Mosaic, Carving, Tapestry, &c. than anything elsewhere well can be; but not equal in Architecture to the finest Churches in Genoa, the Cathedral at Pisa, and I think not externally to Notre [Pg 193]Dame at Paris. Indeed, though large portions of the present Rome are very far from ruinous, and some of them quite modern and fresh-looking, yet the general Architecture of the city is decidedly inferior to that of Genoa, and I should say even to that of Leghorn. In making this comparison, I of course leave out of the account St. Peter's and the Churches of both cities, and refer mainly to private architecture, in which Rome is not transcendent—certainly not in Italy. The streets here are rather wide for an Italian city but would be deemed intolerably narrow in America.

As to Sculpture and Painting, I am tempted to say that if mankind were compelled to choose between the destruction of what is in Rome or that of all the rest in the world, the former should be saved at the expense of the latter. Adequate conception of the extent, the variety, the excellence of the works of Art here heaped together is impossible. If every house on Broadway were a gallery, the whole six miles of them (counting both sides of the street) might be filled from Rome with Pictures, Statues, &c. of decided merit.

What little I have seen does not impress me with the superiority of Ancient over Modern Art. Of course, if you compare the dozen best things produced in twenty centuries against a like number chosen from the productions of the last single century, you will show a superiority on the part of the former; but that decides nothing. The Capitoline Venus is a paragon, but there is no collection of ancient sculpture which will compare with the extensive gallery of heads by Canova alone. When benignant Time shall have done his appointed work of covering with the pall of oblivion the worse nineteen twentieths of the productions of the modern chisel, the genuine successes of the Nineteenth Century will shine out clearer and brighter than they now do. So, I trust, with Painting, though I do not know what painter of our age to place on a perilous [Pg 194]eminence with Canova as the champion or representative of Modern as compared with Ancient Art.

It is well that there should be somewhere an Emporium of the Fine Arts, yet not well that the heart should absorb all the blood and leave the limbs destitute. I think Rome has been grasping with regard to works of Art, and in some instances unwisely so. For instance, in a single private gallery I visited to-day, there were not less than twenty decidedly good pictures by Anibal Caracci—probably twice as many as there are in all the world out of Italy. That gallery would scarcely miss half of these, which might be fully replaced by as many modern works of equal merit, whereby the gallery and Rome would lose nothing, while the world outside would decidedly gain. If Rome would but consider herself under a sort of moral responsibility to impart as well as receive, and would liberally dispose of so many of her master-pieces as would not at all impoverish her, buying in return such as could be spared her from abroad, and would thus enrich her collections by diversifying them, she would render the cause of Art a signal service and earn the gratitude of mankind, without the least prejudice to her own permanent well-being. It is in her power to constitute herself the center of an International Art-Union really worthy of the name—to establish a World's Exhibition of Fine Arts unequaled in character and beneficence. Is it too much to hope that she will realize or surpass this conception?

These suggestions, impelled by what I have seen to-day, are at all events much shorter than I could have made any detailed account of my observations. I have no qualifications for a critic in Art, and make no pretensions to the character, even had my observations been less hurried than they necessarily were. I write only for the great multitude, as ill-instructed in this sphere as I cheerfully admit myself, and who yet are not unwilling to learn what impression is made by the treasures of Rome on one like themselves.

[Pg 195]



I spent the forenoon wandering through the endless halls of the Vatican, so far as they were accessible to the public, the more important galleries being only open on Monday, and two or three of the very finest not at all. I fear this restriction will deprive me of a sight of the Apollo Belvedere, the Sistine Chapel, and one or two others of the world's marvels. I know how ungracious it is to "look a gift horse in the mouth," and yet, since these works exist mainly to be seen, and as Rome derives so large a share of her income from the strangers whom these works attract to her, I must think it unwise to send any away regretting that they were denied a sight of the Apollo or of some of Raphael's master-pieces contained in the Vatican. I know at what vast expense these works have been produced or purchased, and, though all who visit Rome are made to pay a great deal indirectly for the privileges they enjoy here, yet I wish the Papal Government would frankly exact, as I for one should most cheerfully pay, a fair price for admission to the most admirable and unrivaled collections which are its property. If, for instance, it would abolish all Passport vexations, encourage the opening of Railroads, and stimulate the establishment of better lines of Diligences, &c., so that traveling in the Papal States would cease to be twice as dear and infinitely slower than elsewhere in Italy, in France or Germany, and would then charge each stranger visiting Rome on errands other than religious something like five dollars for all that is to be seen here, taking care to let him see it, and to cut off all private importunities for services rendered in showing them, the system would be a great improvement on the present, and the number of strangers in Rome would be rapidly doubled and quadrupled. There might be some [Pg 196]calumny and misrepresentation, but these would very soon be dispelled, and the world would understand that the Papacy did not seek to make money out of its priceless treasures, but simply to provide equitably and properly for their preservation and due increase. Here, as we all see, have immense sums been already spent by this Government in excavating, preserving, and in some cases partially restoring such decayed but inimitable structures as the Coliseum, the Capitol, the various Triumphal Arches, the Baths of Titus, Caracalla, &c., all of which labors and expenditures we who visit Rome share the benefit, and it is but the simplest justice that we should contribute to defray the cost, especially when we know that every dollar so paid would be expended in continuing these excavations, &c., and in completing the galleries and other modern structures which are already so peerless. Rome is too commonly regarded as only a ruin, or, more strictly, as deriving all its eminence from the Past, while in fact it has more inestimable treasures, the product of our own century, our own day, than any other city, and I suspect nearly as many as all the rest of the world. Even the Vatican is still unfinished; workmen were busy in it to-day, laying additional floors of variegated marble, putting up new book-cases, &c., none of them restorations, but all extensions of the Library, which, apart from the value of its books and manuscripts, is a unique and masterly exposition of ancient and modern Art. Here are single Vases, Tables, Frescoes, &c., which would be the pride of any other city: one large vase of Malachite, a present to Pius IX. from the Russian Autocrat, and unequaled out of Russia, if in the world. I should judge that three-fourths of the Frescoes which nearly cover the walls and ceiling of the fifteen or twenty large halls devoted to the Library are less than two centuries old. This part of the Vatican is approached through a magnificent corridor, probably five hundred feet long, with an arched ceiling entirely [Pg 197]inlaid with beautiful Mosaic, and the same is continued through another gallery some two hundred feet long, which leads at right angles from this to another wing of the edifice; but the corridor leading down this wing, and facing that first named, has a naked, barren-looking ceiling, evidently waiting to be similarly inlaid when time and means shall permit. This is but a specimen of what is purposed throughout; and if the money which visitors leave in Rome could, in some small part at least, be devoted to these works, instead of being frittered away vexatiously and uselessly on petty extortioners, official and unofficial, the change would be a very great improvement. It does seem a shame that, where so much is necessarily expended, so little of it should be devoted to those still progressing works, from which are derived all this instruction and intellectual enjoyment.

Here let me say one word in justice to the princely families of Rome, whose palaces and immense collections of Paintings and Sculptures are almost daily open to strangers without charge, save the trifle that you choose to give the attendant who shows you through them. I looked for hours to-day through the ten spacious apartments of the Palace of the Orsini family devoted to the Fine Arts, as I had already done through that of the Doria family, and shall to-morrow do through others, and doubtless might do through hundreds of others—all hospitably open to every stranger on the simple condition that he shall deport himself civilly and refrain from doing any injury to the priceless treasures which are thus made his own without the trouble even of taking care of them. I know there are instances of like liberality elsewhere; but is it anywhere else the rule? and is it in our country even the exception? What American ever thought of spending half an immense fortune in the collection of magnificent galleries of Pictures, Statues, &c., and then quietly opening the whole to the public without expecting a word of [Pg 198]compliment or acknowledgment in return?—without being even personally known to those whom he thus benefited? We have something to learn of Rome in this respect. Some of the English nobility whom the Press has shamed into following this munificent example have done it so grudgingly as to deprive the concession of all practical value. By requiring all who wish to visit their galleries to make a formal written application for the privilege, and await a written answer, they virtually restrict the favor to persons of leisure, position and education. But in Rome not even a card nor a name is required; and you walk into a strange private palace as if you belonged there, lay down your stick or umbrella, and are shown from hall to hall by an intelligent, courteous attendant, study at will some of the best productions of Claude, Raphael, Salvator Rosa, Poussin, Murillo, &c., pay two shillings if you see fit, to the attendant, and are thanked for it as if you were a patron; going thence to another such collection, and so for weeks, if you have time. If wealth were always thus employed, it were a pity that great fortunes are not more numerous.

But I purpose to speak of the Coliseum. I will assume that most of my readers know that this was an immense amphitheater, constructed in the days of Rome's imperial greatness, used for gladiatorial combats of men with ferocious beasts and with each other, and calculated to afford a view of the spectacle to about one hundred thousand persons at once. The circuit of the building is over sixteen hundred feet; the arena in its center is about three hundred and eighty by two hundred and eighty feet. Most of the walls have fallen for perhaps half their height, though some part of them still retain very nearly their original altitude. In the darker ages, after this vast edifice had fallen into ruin, its materials were carried away by thousands and tens of thousands of tuns to build palaces and churches, and one side of the exterior wall was actually [Pg 199]for ages drawn upon as if it were a quarry. But in later years the Papal Government has disbursed thousands upon thousands in the uncovering and preservation of this stupendous ruin, and with the amplest success. The fall of its roof and a great portion of its walls had filled and buried it with rubbish to a depth of some twenty to forty feet, all of which has been taken away, so that the floor of the interior is now the veritable sand whereon the combatants fought and bled and rendered up their lives, while the forty or fifty entrances for emperors, senators and people, and even the underground passage for the introduction of the wild beasts, with a part of their cages, are now palpable. In some places, restorations have been made where they were necessary to avert the danger of further dilapidation, but as sparingly as possible; and, though others think differently, the Coliseum seems to me as majestic and impressive in its utter desolation as it ever could have been in its grandeur and glory.

We were fortunate in the hour of our visit. As we slowly made the circuit of the edifice, a body of French cavalry were exercising their horses along the eastern side of it, while at a little distance, in the grove or garden at the south, the quick rattle of the drum told of the evolutions of infantry. At length the horsemen rode slowly away to the southward, and our attention was drawn to certain groups of Italians in the interior, who were slowly marching and chanting. We entered, and were witnesses of a strange, impressive ceremony. It is among the traditions of Rome that a great number of the early Christians were compelled by their heathen persecutors to fight and die here as gladiators as a punishment for their contumacious, treasonable resistance to the "lower law" then in the ascendant, which the high priests and circuit judges of that day were wont in their sermons and charges to demonstrate that every one was bound as a law-abiding citizen to obey, no matter what might be his private, [Pg 200]personal convictions with regard to it. Since the Coliseum has been cleared of rubbish, fourteen little oratories or places of prayer have been cheaply constructed around its inner circumference, and here at certain seasons prayers are offered for the eternal bliss of the martyred Christians of the Coliseum. These prayers were being offered on this occasion. Some twenty or thirty men (priests or monks I inferred), partly bare-headed, but as many with their heads completely covered by hooded cloaks which left only two small holes for the eyes, accompanied by a larger number of women, marched slowly and sadly to one oratory, chanting a prayer by the way, setting up their lighted tapers by its semblance of an altar, kneeling and praying for some minutes, then rising and proceeding to the next oratory, and so on until they had repeated the service before every one. They all seemed to be of the poorer class, and I presume the ceremony is often repeated or the participators would have been much more numerous. The praying was fervent and I trust excellent,—as the music decidedly was not; but the whole scene with the setting sun shining redly through the shattered arches and upon the ruined wall, with a few French soldiers standing heedlessly by, was strangely picturesque and to me affecting. I came away before it concluded, to avoid the damp night-air; but many chequered years and scenes of stirring interest must intervene to efface from my memory that sunset and those strange prayers in the Coliseum.

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Rome, Saturday, June 29, 1851.

St. Peter's is the Niagara of edifices, having the same relation to other master-pieces of human effort that the great cataract bears to other terrestrial effects of Divine power. In either case, the first view disappoints, because the perfection of symmetry dims the consciousness of magnitude, and the total absence of exaggeration in the details forbids the conception of vastness in the aggregate. In viewing London's St. Paul's, you have a realization of bulk which St. Peter's does not give, yet St. Paul's is but a wart beside St. Peter's. I do not know that the resemblance has been noticed by others, but the semi-circle of gigantic yet admirably proportioned pillars which encloses the grand square in front of St. Peter's reminds me vividly of the general conformation of our great water-fall, while the column or obelisk in the center of the square (which column is a mistake, in my humble judgment, and should be removed) has its parallel in the unsightly tower overlooking the main cataract from the extreme point of Goat Island. Eternal endurance and repose may be fitly typified by the oceans and snow-crested mountains, but power and energy find their best expressions in the cataract and the dome. Time and Genius may produce other structures as admirable in their own way and regarded in connection with their uses; but, viewed as a temple, St. Peter's will ever stand unmatched and unapproachable.

[Pg 202]I chose the early morning for my first visit. The sky was cloudless, as it mainly is here save in winter, but the day was not yet warm, for the summer nights are cooler here than in New-York, and the current English talk of the excessive heat which prevails in Rome at this season is calculated to deceive Americans. No one fails to realize from the first the great beauty and admirable accessories of this edifice, with the far-stretching but quite other than lofty pile of the Vatican on its right and its own magnificent colonnade in front, but you do not feel that it is lofty, nor spacious, nor anything but perfect. You ascend the steps, and thus gain some idea of the immense proportions prevailing throughout; for the church seems scarcely at all elevated above the square, and yet many are the steps leading up to the doors. Crossing a grand porch with an arched roof of glorious mosaic, you find yourself in the body of the edifice, which now seems large and lofty indeed, but by no means unparalleled. But you walk on and on, between opposing pillars the grandest the world ever saw, the space at either side between any two pillars constituting a separate chapel with its gorgeous altar, its grand pictures in mosaic, its sculptured saints and angels, each of these chapels having a larger area than any church I ever entered in America; and by the time you have walked slowly and observingly to the front of the main altar you realize profoundly that Earth has nothing else to match with St. Peter's. No matter though another church were twice as large, and erected at a cost of twice the Thirty Millions of dollars and fifty years expended upon this, St. Peter's would still stand unrivaled. For every detail is so marvellously symmetrical that no one is dwarfed, no one challenges special attention. Of one hundred distinct parts, any one by itself would command your profoundest admiration, but everything around and beyond it is no less excellent, and you soon cease to wonder and remain to appreciate and enjoy.

[Pg 203]I devoted most of the day to St. Peter's, seeing it under many different aspects, but no other view of the interior is equal to that presented in the stillness and comparative solitude of the early morning. The presence of multitudes does not cloud your consciousness of its immensity, for ten thousand persons occupy no considerable portion of its area and might very easily be present yet wholly invisible to one who stood just inside the entrance and looked searchingly through the body of the edifice to find them; but there are usually very few seats, and those for the privileged, so that hundreds are constantly moving from place to place through the day, which distracts attention and mars the feeling of repose and delighted awe which the naked structure is calculated to inspire. Go very early some bright summer morning, if you would see St. Peter's in its calm and stately grandeur.

I ascended to the roof, and thence to the summit of the dome, but, apart from a profounder consciousness of the vastness and admirable proportions of the edifice, this is of little worth. True, the entire city and its suburbs lie clearly and fully beneath and around you; but so they do from the tower of the Capitol. Views from commanding heights are obtained in almost every city. The ascent, however, as far as the roof, is easier than any other I ever found within a building. Instead of stairs, here is a circular road, more like the ascent of a mountain than a Church. One single view is obtained, however, which richly compensates for the fatigue of the ascent. It is that from the interior of the dome down into the body of the Church below. The Alps may present grander, but I never expect to have another like this.

Here I had personal evidence of the mean, reckless selfishness wherewith public edifices are regarded by too many, and the absolute necessity of constant, omnipresent watchfulness to preserve them from wanton dilapidation. Five or six French soldiers had been permitted to ascend [Pg 204]the dome just before I did, and came down nearly at the same time with me. As I stood gazing down from this point into the church below, two of these soldiers came in on their way down, and one of them, looking around to see that no one was present but a stranger, whipped the bayonet he wore out of its sheath, forced the point into the mosaic close behind as well as above us, pried out one of the square pieces of agate or some such stone of which that mosaic is composed, put it in his pocket and made off. I had no idea that he would deface the edifice until the moment he did it, and then hastily remonstrated, but of course without avail. I looked at the wall on which he operated, and found that two or three had preceded him in the same work of paltry but most outrageous robbery. Of course, each will boast of his exploit to his comrades of kindred spirit, and they will be tempted to imitate it, until the mischief done becomes sufficiently serious to attract attention, and then Nobody will have a serious reckoning to encounter. A few acts of unobserved rapine as trifling as these may easily occasion some signal disaster. In an edifice like this, there should be no point accessible to visiters unwatched by a faithful guardian even for one hour.

In the afternoon, I attended the Celebration of High Mass, this being observed by the Catholic world as St. Peter's Day, and the Pope himself officiating in the great Cathedral. Not understanding the service, I could not profit by it, and the spectacle impressed me unfavorably. Such a multiplicity of spears and bayonets seem to me strangely out of keeping in a place of worship; if they belong here, why not bring in a regiment of horse and a park of artillery as well? There is ample room for them in St. Peter's, and the cavalry might charge and the cannoniers fire a few volleys with little harm to the building, and with great increase both to the numbers and interest of the audience. I am not pretending to judge this for others, [Pg 205]but simply to state how it naturally strikes one educated in the simple, sober observances of Puritan New-England. I have heard of Protestants being converted in Rome, but it seems to me the very last place where the great body of those educated in really Protestant ways would be likely to undergo conversion. I have seen very much here to admire, and there is doubtless many times more such that I have not seen, but the radical antagonism of Catholic and Protestant ideas, observances and tendencies never before stood out in a light so clear and strong as that shed upon it by a few days in Rome. I obtained admission yesterday to the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican, and saw there, among the paintings in fresco, a representation of the death of Admiral Coligny at the Massacre of St. Bartholomew; and if this were not intended to express approval of that horrible massacre, I would like to know what was meant by having it painted and placed there.

But to return to St. Peter's. The entrance of the grand procession from the Vatican was a very slow process. In its ranks were the Noble Guard, the Swiss Guard, the Cardinals, and many other divisions, each in its own imposing and picturesque costume. At length came the Pope, seated in a magnificent chair on a raised platform or palanquin, the whole borne on the shoulders of some ten or twelve servitors. This was a capital arrangement for us strangers, who wished a good view of His Holiness; but I am sure it was very disagreeable to him, and that he would much rather have walked like the rest. He passed into the church out of my sight, dismounted, and I (having also entered) next saw him approach one of the altars on the right, where he knelt and silently prayed for some minutes. He was then borne onward to his throne at the further end, and the service commenced.

The singing of the Mass was very good. The Pope's reading I did not hear, nor was I near enough even to see him, except fitfully. I think there were more than five [Pg 206]thousand persons present, including a thousand priests and a thousand soldiers. There would doubtless have been many more, but for the fact that a smart shower occurred just before and at the hour (5 o'clock), while no public notice had been given that the Pope would officiate.

In the evening, St. Peter's and its accessories were illuminated—by far the most brilliant spectacle I ever saw. All was dark and silent till, at the first stroke of the bell, light flashed from a hundred thousand burners, and the entire front of the Church and Dome, up to the very summit of the spire, was one magnificent galaxy, while the double row of gigantic pillars or columns surrounding the square was in like manner radiant with jets of flame. I thought the architecture of St. Peter's Rome's greatest glory when I had only seen it by daylight, yet it now seemed more wondrous still. The bells rang sweetly and stirringly throughout the evening, and there was a like illumination on the summit of the Pincian Hill, while most of the shops and dwellings displayed at least one row of burning candles, and bonfires blazed brightly in the streets, which were alive with moving, animated groups, while the square of St. Peter's and the nearest bridges over the Tiber were black with excited thousands. To-night we have fire-works from the Pincian in honor of St. Peter, which would be thought in New England an odd way of honoring an Apostle, especially on Sunday evening; but whether Rome or Boston is right on this point is a question to be pondered.

P. S. Monday.—I did not see the Fire-Works last evening, but almost every one else in Rome did, and the unanimous verdict pronounces them admirable—extraordinary. Great preparations had been made, and the success must have been perfect to win so general and hearty a commendation. The display was ushered in by a rousing salute of artillery; but this was not needed to assemble in and around the Piazza del Popolo all the population of [Pg 207]Rome that could be spared from their homes. The Piazza is the great square of Rome, in front of the Pincian Hill, whence the rockets, wheels, stars, serpents, &c., were let off. The display was not concluded till after 10 o'clock.

This day I have devoted to famous private galleries of Paintings and Sculpture, having been again disappointed in attempting to gain a sight of the Apollo Belvedere and Picture Gallery of the Vatican. The time for opening these treasures to the public has lately been changed from 10 A. M. to noon, and they are only open regularly on Mondays; so that I was there a little before noon to be ready; but after waiting (with many others) a full hour, in front of an inexorable gate, without being able to learn why we were shut out or when the embargo would cease, I grew weary of the uncertainty and waste of time, and left. A little past 1 (I now understand), the gate was opened, but too late for me, as I did not return, and leave Rome for Florence to-morrow. Had the simplest notice been given that such a delay would take place, or had the officers at the gates been able to give any information, I should have had different luck. "They manage these things better in France."

[Pg 208]



Rome, Monday, June 30, 1851.

The common people of Rome generally seem to me an intelligent, vivacious race, and I can readily credit the assurance of well-informed friends that they are mentally superior to most other Italians. It may be deemed strange that any other result should be thought possible, since the very earth around them, with all it bears, is so vivified with the spirit of Heroism, of Genius, and of whatever is most memorable in History. But the legitimate influences of Nature, of Art, and of Ancestry, are often overborne by those of Institutions and Laws, as is now witnessed on all the eastern and southern coasts of the Mediterranean, and I was rather disappointed in finding the present Romans a race of fully average capacities, intellectual and physical. A face indicating mental imbecility, or even low mediocrity, is very rarely met in those streets where the greater portion of the Romans seem to work and live. The women are brown, plain, bare-headed, and rather careless of personal appearance, but ready at repartee, self-possessed, energetic, with flashing eyes and countenances often indicating a depth of emotion and character. I do not think such pictures as abound in Rome could have been painted where the women were common-place and unideal.

But all with whom I can converse, and who are qualified to speak by residence in the country, give unfavorable accounts of the moral qualities of the Romans especially, [Pg 209]and in these qualities I include Patriotism and all the civic virtues. That Italians, and those of Rome especially, are quite commonly sensual, selfish, indolent, fickle, dishonest, vicious, is the general report of the foreigners residing among them. Zealous Protestants will readily account for it by their Catholicism. My own prepossessions naturally lead me to the conclusion that much of the religious machinery in operation here is unfavorable to the development of high moral character. Whatever the enlightened and good may mean by these observances, it does seem to me that the ignorant and vulgar understand that the evil consequences of pleasant sins may be cheaply avoided by a liberal use of holy water, by bowings before the altar and reverent conformity to rituals and ceremonies.—This is certainly the great danger (in my sight) of the Catholic system, that it may lead its votaries to esteem conformity to outward and ceremonial requirements as essentially meritorious, and in some sense an offset for violations of the moral law. Not that this error is by any means confined to Catholics, for Christendom is full of Protestants who, though ready enough to proclaim that kissing the toe of St. Peter's statue is a poor atonement for violating the Commandments, and Adoration of the Virgin a very bad substitute for Chastity, do yet themselves prefer bad Christians to good Infidels, and would hail with joy the conversion of India or China to their creed, though it should involve no improvement of character or life. I know every one believes that such conversion would inevitably result in amendment of heart and morals, but how many desire it mainly for that reason? How large a proportion of Protestants esteem it the great end of Religion to make its votaries better husbands, brothers, children, neighbors, kindred, citizens? To my Protestant eyes, it seems that the general error on this point is more prevalent and more vital at Rome than elsewhere; and I have been trying to recollect, among all the immensity of Paintings, Mosaic and Statuary I have seen [Pg 210]here, representing St. Peter in Prison, St. Peter on the Sea of Galilee, St. Peter healing the Cripple, St. Peter raising the Dead, St. Peter receiving the Keys, St. Peter suffering Martyrdom, &c. &c. (some of them many times over), I have any where met with a representation of that most remarkable and beneficent vision whereby the Apostle was instructed from Heaven that "Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him." I presume such a representation must exist in a city where there are so many hundreds if not thousands of pictures of St. Peter doing, receiving or suffering; but this certainly is not a favorite subject here, or I should have seen it many times depicted. Who knows a Protestant city in which the aforesaid lesson given to Peter has been adequately dwelt on and heeded?

That the prevalence of Catholicism is not inconsistent with general uprightness and purity of morals is demonstrated in Ireland, in Switzerland, in Belgium, in the Tyrol, and elsewhere. The testimony of the great body of travelers and other observers with regard to the countries just named, affirms the general prevalence therein of those virtues which are the basis of the Family and the Church. And yet, the acknowledged state of things here is a grave fact which challenges inquiry and demands explanation. In the very metropolis of Catholic Christendom, where nearly all believe, and a great majority are at least ceremonially devout—where many of the best intellects in the Catholic communion have flourished and borne sway for more than fifteen centuries, and with scarcely a divided empire for the last thousand years—where Churches and Priests have long been more abundant than on any other spot of earth, and where Divine worship and Christian ordinances are scarcely intermitted for an hour, but are free and welcome to all, and are very generally attended—what is the reason that corruption and degeneracy should [Pg 211]be so fearfully prevalent? If only the enemies of Rome's faith affirmed this degeneracy, we might fairly suppose it invented or exaggerated; but even the immediate Priesthood of this people, who may be presumed most unwilling and unlikely to deny their virtues or magnify their vices, declare them unfit to be trusted with power over their own political destinies, and indeed incapable of self-government. Such is the fundamental basis and essential justification of the rule now maintained in Rome, under the protection of foreign bayonets. This is a conquered city, virtually if not nominally in a state of siege, without assignable period. The Pope's guards are partly Swiss and partly native, that is, chosen from the families of the Nobility; but the "power behind the throne" is maintained by the thousands of French soldiers who garrison the city, and the tens of thousands of Austrian, Spanish and Neapolitan soldiers who would be pushed here upon the first serious attempt of the Romans to assert their right of self-government. Thus, "Order reigns in Warsaw," while Democracy bites its lip and bides its time.

Has Human Nature degenerated under Christian ministrations? There surely was a Roman people, some twenty-odd centuries ago, who were capable of self-government, and who maintained it long and creditably. Why should it be otherwise with the Romans of to-day? I do not believe it is. They have great vices I admit, for all testimony affirms it; that they might somewhat abuse Freedom I fear, for the blessed sunshine is painful and perilous to eyes long used to the gloom of the dungeon. But the experience of Freedom must tend to dispel the ignorance and correct the errors of its votaries, while Slavery only leads from bad to worse. If ten centuries of such rule as now prevails here have nowise qualified this people for Self-Government, what rational hope is there that ten more such would do it? If a reform is ever to be effected, it cannot be commenced too soon.

[Pg 212]As to the actual government of Rome and her dependencies, it could not well be worse. The rulers fully understand that they are under no obligation to the people for the power they exercise, nor for the submission which it commands. The despotism which prevails is unmodified even by the hereditary despot's natural desire to secure the throne to his descendants by cultivating the good will of his people. The Pope is nominally sovereign, and all regard him as personally a pure and good man; but he exerts no actual power in the State, his time and thoughts being wholly devoted to the various and complicated cares of his vast Spiritual empire. Meantime, the Reäctionist influences so omnipotent with his predecessor, but which were repressed for a time after the present Pontiff's accession, have unchecked sway in the political administration. The way the present rulers of Rome read History is this—"Pius IX. came into power a Liberal and a Reformer, and did all he could for the promotion of Republican and Progressive ideas; for all which his recompense was the assassination of his Prime Minister, and his own personal expulsion from his throne and territories—which is quite enough of Liberalism for one generation; we, at least, will have no more of it." And they certainly live up to their resolution. It is currently reported that there are now Seventeen Thousand political prisoners confined here, but nobody who would tell can know how many there are, and I presume this statement is a gross exaggeration, significant only as an index of the popular feeling. The essential fact is that there might be Seventeen or Seventy Thousand thus imprisoned without publicity, known accusation or trial, save at the convenience of those ordering their arrest; and with no recognized right of the arrested to Habeas Corpus or any kindred process. Many of the best Romans of the age are in exile for Liberty's sake. I was reliably informed at Turin that there are at this time Three Hundred Thousand Political [Pg 213]Refugees in the Kingdom of Sardinia, nearly all, of course, from the despotism of Lower Italy. Thus Europe is kept tranquil by a system of terror, which is efficient while the spell holds; but let it break at any point, and all will go together.

The Cardinals are the actual directors of State affairs here, and are popularly held responsible for all that is disliked in the Government. They would be likely to fare roughly in case of another revolution. They are privately accused of flagrant immoralities, as men so powerful and so unpopular would naturally be, whether with or without cause. I know no facts that sustain the accusation.

A single newspaper is now published in Rome, but I have heard it inquired for or mentioned but once since I came here, and then by a Scotchman studying Italian. It is ultra-despotic in its spirit, and would not be tolerated if it were not. It is a small, coarsely printed sheet, in good part devoted to Church news, giving great prominence to the progress of conversion from the English to the Romish communion. There are very few foreign journals taken or read in the Roman States. Lynn or Poughkeepsie probably, Newark or New-Haven certainly, buys and reads more newspapers than the entire Three Millions of People who inhabit the Papal States. I could not learn to relish such a state of things. I have just paid $3.70 (more than half of it to our American Consul) for the privilege of leaving the dominions of His Holiness, and shall speedily profit by the gracious permission.

[Pg 214]



Bologna, July 6, 1851.

"See Naples and die!" says the proverb: but I am in no hurry to "shuffle off this mortal coil," and rather weary of seeing. I think I should have found a few choice friends in Naples, but my time is limited, and the traveling through Southern Italy neither pleasant nor expeditious. Of Vesuvius in its milder moods I never had a high opinion; and, though I should have liked to tread the unburied streets of Pompeii, yet Rome has nearly surfeited me with ruins. So I shortened my tour in Italy by cutting off the farther end of it, and turned my face obliquely homeward from the Eternal City. What has the world to show of by-gone glory and grandeur which she cannot at least equal?

Let no one be sanguine as to his good resolutions. I as firmly resolved, when I first shook from my feet the dust of Civita Vecchia, that I never again would enter its gates, as I ever did to do or forbear any act whatever. But, after a tedious and ineffectual attempt to make up a party of Americans to come through from Rome to Florence direct, I was at last obliged to knock under. All the seats by Diligence or Mail on that route were taken ahead for a longer time than I could afford to wait; and offers to fill an extra coach if the proprietors would send one were utterly unavailing. Such a thing as Enterprise is utterly unknown south of Genoa, and the idea of any [Pg 215]obligation on the part of proprietors of stage-lines to make extra efforts to accommodate an extra number of passengers is so queer that I doubt whether Italian could be found to express it. So some dozen or more who would gladly have gone through by land to Florence were driven back upon Civita Vecchia and Leghorn—I among the number.

Three of us left Rome in a private carriage at noon on Tuesday the 1st, and reached Civita Vecchia at 10 minutes past 9 P. M.—the inner gate having been closed at 9. One of my companions was known and responsibly connected at the port, and so was enabled to negotiate our admission, though the process was a tedious one, and our carriage had to be left in the outer court, or between the two walls. Here I left it at 10; it may have been got in afterward. We found all the rooms taken at the best Hotel (Orlandi), and were driven to accept such as there were left. The boat (Languedoc) was advertised to start for Leghorn at 7 next morning, by which time I succeeded in getting my Passport cleared (for no steamboat in these waters will give you a permit to embark until you have handed in your Passport, duly cleared, at its office, as well as paid for your passage); but the boat was coolly taking in water long after its advertised hour, and did not start until half past eight.

We had an unusually large number of passengers, about one hundred and fifty, representing nearly every European nation, with a goodly number of Americans; the day was cloudy and cool; the wind light and propitious; the sea calm and smooth; so that I doubt if there was ever a more favorable passage. I was sick myself, a result of the night-air of the Campagna, bad lodging and inability to obtain a salt-water bath in the morning, by reason of the Passport nuisance, but for which I should have been well and hearty. We made Leghorn (120 miles) in about eleven hours, which is very good time for the Mediterranean. [Pg 216]But reaching the harbor of Leghorn was one thing, getting ashore quite another; an hour or more elapsed before any of us had permission to land. I was one of the two first who got off, through the preconcerted interposition of a powerful Leghorn friend who had procured a special permit from the Police, and at whose hospitable mansion we passed the night. I was unwell throughout; but an early bath in the Mediterranean was the medicine I required, and from the moment of taking it I began to recover. By seasonable effort, I recovered my Passport from the Police office, duly viséd, at 10 A. M. and left by Railroad for Florence at 10½, reaching the capital of Tuscany (60 miles) about 1 o'clock, P. M.

Florence (Italian Firenzè) is pleasantly situated on both sides of the Arno, some forty miles in a direct line from its mouth. The river is here about the size of the Hudson at Sandy Hill or the Mohawk at Canajoharie, but subject to rapid swellings from rains in the Apennines above. One such occurred the night I was there, though very little rain fell at Florence. I was awakened in the night by the rushing and roaring of its waters, my window having only a street between it and the river, which subsided the next day, without having done any material damage.

That day was the 4th of July, and I spent most of it, under the guidance of friends resident at Florence, in looking through the galleries devoted to Paintings and Statuary in the two famous palaces of the reigning family and in the Academy. Although the collections embrace the Venus de Medicis and many admirable Paintings, I cannot say that my expectations were fully realized. Ill health may in part account for this; my recent acquaintance with the immense and multiform treasures of Art at Rome may also help explain my obtuseness at Florence. And yet I saw nothing in Rome with greater pleasure or profit than I derived from the hour I spent in the studio of our countryman Powers, whose fame is already world-wide, [Pg 217]and who I trust is now rapidly acquiring that generous competence which will enable him to spend the evening of his days in ease and comfort in his native land. The abundance of orders constantly pouring in upon him at his own prices does not induce him to abandon nor postpone his efforts in the ideal and more exalted sphere of his art, but rather to redouble those efforts; and it will yet be felt that his "Greek Slave" and "Fisher Boy," so widely admired, are not his loftiest achievements. I defy Antiquity to surpass—I doubt its ability to rival—his "Proserpine" and his "Psyche" with any models of the female head that have come down to us; and while I do not see how they could be excelled in their own sphere, I feel that Powers, unlike Alexander, has still realms to conquer, and will fulfill his destiny. If for those who talk of America quitting her proper sphere and seeking to be Europe when she wanders into the domain of Art, we had no other answer than Powers, that name would be conclusive.

Greenough is now absent from Florence. I met him at Turin, on his way to America, on account (I casually heard) of sickness in his family. But I obtained admission to his studio in Florence, and saw there the unfinished group on which he is employed by order of Congress, to adorn one of the yet empty niches in the Capitol. His execution is not yet sufficiently advanced to be judged, but the design is happy and most expressive.

I saw something of three younger American Sculptors now studying and working at Florence—Hart of Kentucky, Galt of Virginia, and Rogers of New-York. (Ives is absent—at Rome, I believe, though I did not meet him there.) I believe all are preparing to do credit to their country. Hart has been hindered by a loss of models at sea from proceeding with the Statue of Henry Clay which he is commissioned by the Ladies of Virginia to fashion and construct; but he is wisely devoting much of his time to careful study and to the modeling of the Ideal [Pg 218]before proceeding to commit himself irrevocably by the great work which must fix his position among Sculptors and make or mar his destiny. I have great confidence that what he has already carefully and excellently done is but a foretaste of what he is yet to achieve, and that his seeming hesitation will prove the surest and truest efficiency.

I think there are but few American painters in Florence. I met none but Page, who is fully employed and expects to spend some time in Italy. His health is better than during his last year in New-York.

The strong necessity of moving on compelled me to tear myself away from a pleasant party of Americans assembled at dinner in Florence last evening to celebrate the 76th Anniversary of American Independence, and take the Diligence at 8 o'clock for this place on the road to Venice, though no other American nor even an Englishman came along. I have found by experience that I cannot await the motions of others, nor can I find a party ready to take post-horses and so travel at rational hours. The Diligence or stage-coach traveling in Italy appears to be organized on purpose to afford the least possible accommodation at the most exorbitant cost. This city, for example, is 63 miles from Florence on the way to Padua and Venice, and the Diligence leaves Florence for Bologna at no other hour than 8 P. M. arriving here at 1½ o'clock next day; fare 40 to 45 Tuscan pauls or $4.45 to $5. But when you reach Bologna at midday, after an all-night ride, you find no conveyance for any point beyond this until ten o'clock next morning, so that you must wait here twenty-one hours; and the Diligence might far better, so far as the travelers' convenience and comfort is concerned, have remained in Florence till an early hour in the morning, making the passage over the Apennines by day and saving their nights' rest. Three or four travelers may break over [Pg 219]this absurd tyranny by taking post-horses; a single one has no choice but to submit. And, having reached Bologna, I tried to gain time, or at least avoid another night-ride, by taking a private carriage (vetturino) this afternoon for Ferrara, thirty miles further on, sleep there to-night, and catch a Diligence or Mail-Coach to-morrow morning, so as to reach Padua in the evening: but no—there is no coach out of Padua Venice-ward till 4 to-morrow afternoon, and I should gain nothing but extra fatigue and expense by taking a carriage to Ferrara, so I give it up. I must make most of the journey from Ferrara to Padua by night, and yet take as much time as though I traveled only by day,—for I am in Italy.

The valley of the Arno, especially for some miles on either side of Florence, is among the most fertile portions of this prolific land, and is laboriously though not efficiently cultivated. All the Grains grow luxuriantly throughout Italy, though Indian Corn is so thickly planted and so viciously cultivated that it has no chance to ear or fill well. There is enough labor performed on the average to insure sixty bushels of shelled grain to the acre, but the actual yield will hardly exceed twenty-five. And I have not had the first morsel of food prepared from this grain offered me since I reached the shores of Europe. Wheat is the favorite grain here, and, requiring less depth of soil than Indian corn, and having been much longer cultivated here, yields very fairly. Barley and Oats are grown, but to a limited extent; of Rye, still less. The Potato is planted very sparingly south of Piedmont, and not so commonly there as in Savoy. The Vine is a universal favorite, and rarely out of view; while it often seems to cover half the ground in sight. But it is not grown here in close hills as in France and around Cincinnati, but usually in rows some twenty or thirty feet apart, and trained on trees kept down to a hight of eight to twelve feet. Around Rome, a species of Cane is grown wherewith to support [Pg 220]the vines after the manner of bean-poles, which, after serving a year or two in this capacity, is used for fuel, and new stalks of cane replace those which have been enfeebled by exposure and decay. The plan of training the vines on dwarfed trees (which seems to me by far the most natural) prevails here as well as on the other side of the Apennines; so that the vine-stalks are large and may be hundreds of years old, instead of being (apparently) fresh from the ground every year or two. The space between the vine-rows is usually sown with Wheat, but sometimes planted with Corn or laid down to Grass, and a moderate crop realized.

Crossing the Apennines mainly in the night, they seemed a little higher than the Green Mountains of Vermont, but lacking the thrifty forests of which I apprehend the proximity of Railroads is about to despoil that noble range. But the Apennines, though cultivated wherever they can be, are far more precipitous and sterile than their American counterpart, and seem to be in good degree composed of a whitish clay or marl which every rain is washing away, rendering the Arno after a storm one of the muddiest streams I ever saw. I presume, therefore, that the Apennines are, as a whole, less lofty and difficult now than they were in the days of Romulus, of Hannibal, or even of Constantine.

We crossed the summit about daylight, and began rapidly to descend, following down the course of one of the streams which find the Adriatic together near the mouth of the Po. At 5 A. M. we passed the boundary of Tuscany and entered the Papal territory, so that our baggage had to be all taken down and searched, and our Passports re-scrutinized—two processes to which I am becoming more accustomed than any live eel ever was to being skinned. The time consumed was but an hour and the pecuniary swindle trifling. But though the hour was early and there were few habitations in sight, there soon [Pg 221]gathered around us a swarm of most importunate beggars—brown, withered old women spinning on distaffs held in the hand (a process I fancied the world had outgrown), and stopping every moment to hold out a dirty claw, with a most disgusting grimace and whine—"For the love of God, Signor"—with ditto old men, and children of various sizes, the youngest who could walk seeming as apt at beggary as their grandames who have followed it, "off and on," for seventy or eighty years. If the ancient Romans had equaled their living progeny in begging, they need not have dared and suffered so much to achieve the mastery of the world—they might have begged it, and saved an infinity of needless slaughter. These people have no proper pride, no manly shame, because they have no hope. Untaught, unskilled in industry, owning nothing, their government an absolute despotism, their labor only required at certain seasons, and deemed amply rewarded with a York shilling or eighteen pence per day, and themselves the virtual serfs of great landholders who live in Rome or Bologna and whom they rarely or never see—is it a wonder that they stoop to plead and whine for coppers around every carriage that traverses their country? That they fare miserably, their scanty rags and pinched faces sufficiently attest; that they are indolent and improvident I can very well believe: for when were uneducated, unskilled, hopeless vassals anything else? Italy, beautiful, bounteous land! is everywhere haggard with want and wretchedness, but these seem nowhere so general and chronic as in the Papal territories. Every political division of Italy but this has at least some section of Railroad in operation; Rome, though in the heart of all and the great focus of attraction for travelers, has not the first mile and no prospect of any, though it would seem a good speculation to build one if it were to be used only in transporting hither the Foreign troops absolutely essential here to keep the people quiet in their chains. "And this, too, shall pass away!"

[Pg 222]



Venice, Tuesday, July 8.

I never saw and cannot hope to see hereafter a region more blessed by Nature than the great plain of Upper Italy, whereof the Po is the life-blood. It is very fertile and beautiful where I first traversed it near its head, from the foot of Mount Cenis by Turin to Alessandria and Novi, on my way down to Genoa; yet it is richer and lovelier still where I have just recrossed it from the foot of the Apennines by Bologna, Ferrara, Rovigo and Padua on my way from Florence to Venice. Irrigation, which might easily be almost universal in Piedmont, seems there but an occasional expedient, while here it is the breath of life. From Bologna to Rovigo (and I presume on to Padua, though there night and drowsiness prevented my observing clearly), the whole country seems completely intersected by Canals constructed in the palmier days of Italy on purpose to distribute the fertilizing waters of the Po and the Adige over the entire face of the country and dispense them to every field and meadow. The great highway generally runs along the bank of one of these Canals, which are filled from the rivers when they have just been raised by rains and are thus surcharged with fertilizing matter, and drawn off from day to day thereafter to refresh and enrich the remarkably level plain they traverse. Thus not only the plain and the glades lying nearer the sources of the rivers, but the sterile, rugged crests of the [Pg 223]Alps and Apennines which enclose this great basin are made to contribute evermore to the fruitfulness of its soil, so that Despotism, Ignorance, Stolidity, Indolence and Unthrift of all kinds vainly strive to render it other than the Garden of Europe. The banks of the Canals and the sides of the highways are generally lined with trees, rows of which also traverse many if not most of the fields, so that from certain points the whole country seems one vast, low forest or "timbered opening" of Poplar, Willow, Mulberry, Locust, &c. There are a few Oaks, more Elms, and some species I did not recognize, and the Vine through all this region is trained on dwarfed or shortened trees, sometimes along the roadside, but oftener in rows through one-fourth of the fields, while in a few instances it is allowed thus to obtain an altitude of thirty or forty feet. Of Fruit, I have seen only the Apricot and the Cherry in abundance, but there are some Pears, while the Orange and Lemon are very plentiful in the towns, though I think they are generally brought from Naples and the Mediterranean coast. But finer crops of Wheat, Grass, Hemp, &c., can grow nowhere than throughout this country, while the Indian Corn which is abundantly planted, would yield as amply if the people knew how to cultivate it. Ohio has no better soil nor climate for this grain. Of Potatoes or other edible roots I have seen very little. Hemp is extensively cultivated, and grows most luxuriantly. Man is the only product of this prolific land which seems stunted and shriveled. Were Italy once more a Nation, under one wise and liberal government, with a single tariff, coinage, mail-post, &c., a thorough system of common school education, a small navy, but no passports, and a public policy which looked to the fostering and diversifying of her industry, she might easily sustain and enrich a population of sixty millions. As it is, one-half of her twenty-five millions are in rags, and are pinched by hunger, while inhabiting the best wheat country in Europe, from which [Pg 224]food is constantly and largely exported. There are at least one hundred millions of dollars locked up in useless decorations of churches, and not one common school-house from Savoy to Sicily. A little education, after a fashion, is fitfully dispensed by certain religious and charitable foundations, so that the child lucky enough to be an orphan or illegitimate has a chance to be taught to read and write; but any such thing as a practical recognition of the right to education, or as a public and general provision for imparting it, is utterly unknown here. Grand and beautiful structures are crowded in every city, and are crumbling to dust on every side; a single township dotted at proper intervals with eight or ten school-houses would be worth them all. With infinite water power, cheaper labor, and cheaper food than almost any other country in the civilized world, and millions of children at once naked and idle because no one will employ them at even six-pence a day, she has not one cotton or woolen factory that I have yet seen, and can hardly have one at all, though her mountains afford vast and excellent sheep-walks, and Naples can grow cotton if she will. England and Germany manufacture nearly all the few fabrics of cotton or wool worn here, because those who should lead, instruct, and employ this people, are blind to their duty or recreant to its obligations. Italy, once the light of the world, is dying of aristocratic torpor and popular ignorance, whence come indolence, superstition, and wide-spread demoralization and misery.

Bologna is a walled city of Seventy Thousand inhabitants, with about as much trade and business of all kinds as an American village of ten to twenty thousand people. I doubt that thirty persons per day are carried into or brought out of it by all public conveyances whatever. It is well built on narrow streets, like nearly all Italian cities, and manifests considerable activity in the way of watching gates and viséing Passports. Though in the Papal [Pg 225]territory, it is under Austrian guardianship; an Austrian sentinel constantly paced the court-yard of the "Hotel Brun" where I stopped. Though the second town in the Pope's temporal dominions, strongly walled, it has no Military strength, being commanded by a hill a short mile south of it—the last hill I remember having seen till I reached Venice and looked across over the lagoons to the Euganian hills on the main land to south-west. The most notable thing I saw in Bologna was an awning of sheeting or calico spread over the centre of the main street on a level with the roofs of the houses for a distance of half a mile or so. I should distrust its standing a strong gust, but if it would, the idea is worth borrowing.

After a night-ride over the Apennines from Florence, and a detention of twenty-one hours at Bologna, I did hope that our next start would be "for good"—that there would be no more halt till we reached Padua. But I did not yet adequately appreciate Italian management. A Yankee stage-coach running but once a day between two such cities as Bologna and Ferrara would start at daylight and so connect at the latter place as to set down its passengers beside the Railroad in Padua (86 to 90 miles of the best possible staging from Bologna) in the evening of the same day. We left Bologna at 10 A. M., drove to Ferrara, arrived there a little past 2; and then came a halt of four hours—till six P. M. when the stage started for a night-trip to Padua—none running during the day. But a Yankee stage would have one man for manager, driver, &c., who would very likely be the owner also of the horses and a partner in the line; we started from a grand office with two book-keepers and a platoon of lackeys and baggage-smashers, with a "guard" on the box, and two "postillions" riding respectively the nigh horses of the two teams, there being always three horses at the pole and sometimes three on the lead also, at others only two. We had half a dozen passengers to Ferrara; for the rest of the way, I [Pg 226]had this extensive traveling establishment to myself. I do not think the average number of passengers on a corresponding route in our country could be so few as twenty. Such are some of the points of difference between America and Italy.

We crossed the Po an hour after leaving Ferrara, and here passed out of the Papal into the unequivocally Austrian territory—the Kingdom of Venice and Lombardy. There were of course soldiers on each side (though all of a piece), police officers, a Passport scrutiny and a fresh look into my carpet-bags, mainly (I understand) for Tobacco! When any tide-waiter finds more of that about me than the chronic ill breeding of traveling smokers compels me to carry in my clothes, he is welcome to confiscate all I possess. But they found nothing here to cavil at, and I passed on.

There is no town where we crossed the Po, only a small village on either side, and we followed down the left bank in a north-easterly direction for several miles without seeing any considerable place. The river has here, as through nearly its whole course, a strong, rapid current, and was swollen and rendered turbid by recent rains. I judge that its surface was decidedly above the level of the adjacent country, which is protected from inundation (like the region of the Lower Mississippi) by strong embankments or levees, at first natural doubtless—the product of the successive overflows of centuries but subsequently strengthened and perfected by human labor. The force of the current being strongest in the center of the river, there is either stillness or an eddy near the banks, so that the sediment with which the current is charged tends constantly to deposition on or against the banks. When the river rises so as to overflow those banks, the downward current is entirely unfelt there and the deposition becomes still more rapid, the proportion of earthy matter to that of water being much greater then than at other times. Thus [Pg 227]great, rapid rivers running through vast plains like these gradually form levees in the course of many centuries, their channels being defined and narrowed by their own deposits until the surface of their waters, at least in times of flood, is raised above the level of the surrounding country, often several feet. When the great swamps of Louisiana shall have been drained and cultivated for ages, they too will doubtless be fertilized and irrigated by canals, as the great plain traversed by the Po now is. And here too, though the acres are generally well cared for, I saw tracts of considerable extent which, from original defect or unskillful management, stand below the water level of the country, and so are given over to flags, bogs and miasma, when only a foot or two of elevation is needed to render them salubrious and most productive.

There are many more good dwellings on this plain than in the rural portion of Lower Italy. These are generally built of brick, covered with stucco or cement and white-washed, and, being nearly square in form, two stories high, and without the long, sloping roofs common with us, are rather symmetrical and graceful, in appearance. Their roofs are tiled with a long, cylindrical brick, of which a first course is laid with the hollow upward, and another over the joints of this with the hollow down, conducting the water into the troughs made by the former and so off the house. The peasants' cottages are thatched with flags or straw, and often built of the latter material. Of barns there are relatively few, most of the wheat being stacked when harvested, and trodden out by oxen on floors under the open sky. I have not seen a good harness nor a respectable ox-yoke in Italy, most of the oxen having yokes which a Berkshire hog of any pretensions to good breeding would disdain to look through. These yokes merely hold the meek animals together, having no adaptation to draft, which is obtained by a cobbling filigree of ropes around the head, bringing the heaviest of the work upon [Pg 228]the horns! The gear is a little better than this—as little as you please—while for Carts and Waggons there are few school-boys of twelve to fifteen in America who would not beat the average of all I have seen in Italy. Their clumsiness and stupidity are so atrocious that the owners do well in employing asses to draw them: no man of feeling or spirit could endure the horse-laughs they must extort from any animal of tolerable sagacity. To see a stout, two-handed man coming home with his donkey-load of fuel from a distant shrubbery, half a day of the two having been spent in getting as much as would make one good kitchen-fire, is enough to try the patience of Job.

Although the Po must be navigable and has been navigated by steamboats for many miles above this point, until obstructed by rapids, yet nothing like a steamboat was visible. The only craft I saw attempting to stem its current was a rude sort of ark, like a wider canal-boat, drawn by three horses traveling on a wide, irregular tow-path along the levee or bank. I presume this path does not extend many miles without meeting impediments. Quite a number of ruinous old rookeries were anchored in the river at intervals, usually three to six abreast, which I found to be grist-mills, propelled by the strong current, and receiving their grain from the shore and returning the flour by means of small boats. Our ferry-boat was impelled by what is termed (I think) a "rope ferry"—a series of ropes and boats made fast to some anchorage in the stream above, and moving it vigorously and expeditiously from one bank to the other by the mere force of the current. It is quite evident that modern Italy did not originate this contrivance, nor even the idea that a rapid river could be induced to move a large boat obliquely up its stream as well as down it. I should say the Po is here rather more than half a mile wide.

Three hours later, we crossed in like manner at Rovigo the Adige, a much smaller but still a large river, about the size of the Connecticut at Hartford. It has its source [Pg 229]exclusively in the Tyrolean Alps, but for the last hundred miles of its course runs parallel with the Po, through the same plain, at a medium distance of about twenty miles, and has the same general characteristics. It was quite high and muddy when we crossed it.

As midnight drew on, I grew weary of gazing at the same endless diversity of grain-fields, vineyards, rows of trees, &c., though the bright moon was now shining, and, shutting out the chill night-air, I disposed myself on my old great-coat and softest carpet-bag for a drowse, having ample room at my command if I could but have brought it into a straight line. But the road was hard, the coach a little the uneasiest I ever hardened my bones upon, and my slumber was of a disturbed and dubious character, a dim sense of physical discomfort shaping and coloring my incoherent and fitful visions. For a time I fancied myself held down on my back while some malevolent wretch drenched the floor (and me) with filthy water: then I was in a rude scuffle and came out third or fourth best, with my clothes badly torn; anon I had lost my hat in a strange place and could not begin to find it; and at last my clothes were full of grasshoppers and spiders who were beguiling their leisure by biting and stinging me. The misery at last became unbearable and I awoke.—But where? I was plainly in a tight, dark box, that needed more air: I soon recollected that it was a stage-coach, wherein I had been making my way from Ferrara to Padua. I threw open the door and looked out. Horses, postillions and guard were all gone: the moon, the fields, the road were gone: I was in a close court-yard, alone with Night and Silence: but where? A church clock struck three; but it was only promised that we should reach Padua by four, and I, making the usual discount on such promises, had set down five as the probable hour of our arrival. I got out to take a more deliberate survey, and the tall form and bright bayonet of an Austrian sentinel, standing guard over the egress of [Pg 230]the court-yard, were before me. To talk German was beyond the sweep of my dizziest ambition, but an Italian runner or porter instantly presented himself. From him I made out that I was in Padua of ancient and learned renown (Italian Padova), and that the first train for Venice would not start for three hours yet. I followed him into a convenient Café, which was all open and well lighted, where I ordered a cup of chocolate and proceeded leisurely to discuss it. When I had finished, the other guests had all gone out, but daylight was coming in, and I began to feel more at home. The Café tender was asleep in his chair; the porter had gone off; the sentinel alone kept awake on his post. Soon the welcome face of the coach-guard, whom I had borne company from Bologna, appeared; I hailed him, obtained my baggage, hired a porter, and, having nothing more to wait for, started at a little past four for the Railroad station, nearly a mile distant; taking observations as I went. Arrived at the dépôt, I discharged my porter, sat down and waited for the place to open, with ample leisure for reflection. At six o'clock I felt once more the welcome motion of a Railroad car, and at eight was in Venice.

[Pg 231]



Milan, Wednesday, July 9, 1851.

Venice! Queen of the Adriatic! "City of the Heart!" how can I ever forget thee? Brief, too brief was my halt amid thy glorious structures, but such eras are measured not by hours, but by sensations, and my first day in Venice must ever hold its place among the most cherished recollections of my life.

Venice lies so absolutely and wholly on the water's bosom that the landward approach to her is not imposing and scarcely impressive. The view from the sea-side may be somewhat better, but not much—not comparable to that of Genoa from the Mediterranean. No part of the islets upon and around which Venice was built having been ever ten feet above the surface of the Adriatic, while the adjacent mainland for miles is also just above the water level, you do not see the city from any point of observation outside of it—only the distant outline of a low mass of buildings perhaps two miles long, but which may not be three blocks wide, for aught you can see. Formerly two miles of shallow lagoon separated the city from the land; but this has been overcome by the heavy piling and filling required for the Railroad which now connects Venice with Verona, via Vicenza, and is to reach this city via Brescia whenever the Austrian Government shall be able to complete it. At present a noble enterprise, through one of the richest, most populous and most [Pg 232]productive Agricultural regions of the earth, and connecting the Political with the Commercial metropolis of Austrian Italy, is arrested when half-finished, entailing a heavy annual charge on the Treasury for the interest of the sum already expended, yet yielding little or no net revenue in return, because of its imperfect condition. The wisdom of this would be just equal to that of our ten years' halt with the Erie Canal Enlargement, except for the fact that the Austrians would borrow and complete if they could, while New York has had no such excuse for her slothful blunder.

The approach to Venice across the Lagoon is like that of Boston across the Charles River marshes from the West, though of course on a much grander scale. The embankment or road-bed was commenced by gigantic piling, and is very broad and substantial. You reach the station just in the edge of the city, run the Passport gauntlet, and are let out on the brink of a wide canal, where dozens of gondoliers are soliciting your custom. I engaged one, and directed him (at a venture) to row me to the Hotel l'Europe. This proved (like nearly or quite all the other great Hotels) to be located on the same line or water-front with the Ducal Palace, Church of St. Mark, and most of the notabilities of modern Venice, with the inner harbor and shipping just on the left and the Adriatic in plain sight before us, only two or three little islets covered with buildings partially intervening. Of course, my first row was a long one, quite through the city from west to east, including innumerable turnings and windings. After this, whomsoever may assert that the streets of Venice are dusty or not well watered, I shall be able to contradict from personal observation.

After outward renovation and breakfast, I hired a boat for the day, and went in search of American friends—a pursuit in which I was ultimately successful. With these I visited the various council-rooms and galleries in the [Pg 233]Ducal Palace, saw the "Lion's Mouth," descended into the ancient dungeons, now tenantless, and crossed the "Bridge of Sighs." These last are not open to the public, but a silver key gives access to them. Thence we visited the famous picture-gallery of the Manfrini Palace, and after that the Academy, thus consuming the better part of the day.

The works of Art in the Grand Palace did not, as a whole, impress me strongly. Most of the larger ones are historical illustrations of the glories of Venice; the battle of Lepanto; the taking of Zara; the Pope and Venice uniting against or triumphing over the Emperor, &c., &c. Some of the most honorable achievements of Venice, including her long and memorable defense of Candia (or Crete) against the desperate and finally successful attacks of the Turks, are not even hinted at. But these galleries are palpably in a state of dilapidation and decay, which implies that the Austrian masters of Venice, though they cannot stoop to the meanness of demolishing or mutilating the memorials of her ancient glories, will be glad to see them silently and gradually perish. The whole Palace has a dreary and by-gone aspect, seeming conscious that either itself or the Austrian soldiers drilling in front of it must be an anachronism—that both cannot belong to the same place and time.

"The traitor clock forsakes the hours,
And points to times, O far away!"

The paintings in the Manfrini Palace seem to me by no means equal to those in the Orsini, Doria, and some other private collections of Rome; even of those extravagantly praised by Lord Byron, I failed to perceive the admirable qualities apparent to his more cultivated taste. The collection in the Academy I thought much better, but still far enough behind similar galleries in Rome. The fact is, modern Italy is poverty-stricken in Art and Genius [Pg 234]as well as in Industry, and lives upon the trophies and the memory of her past greatness. I have not heard in all this land the name of one living Italian mentioned as likely to attain eminence in Painting, nor even in Sculpture.

Toward evening, my friend and I ascended the Campanile or Bell-Tower of St. Mark's, some 330 feet high, and had thence a glorious view of the city and its neighborhood. From this tower, the houses might almost be counted, though of the Canals which separate them only a few of the largest are discerned. But the port, the shipping outside, the gardens (naturally few and contracted), the adjacent main-land, the Railroad embankment across the Lagoon, the blue Euganian hills in the distance, &c., &c., are all as palpable as Boston Harbor from Bunker Hill Monument. Immediately beneath is the Place of St. Mark, the Wall-street of Venice; just beside you is the old Palace and the famous Cathedral Church of St. Mark; to the north is the Armory, one of the largest and most interesting in Europe; while the dome of every Church in Venice and all the windings of the Grand Canal are distinctly visible. An Austrian steamship in the harbor and an Austrian regiment marching from the north end of the city into the grand square to take post there, completed the panorama. The sun setting in mild radiance after a most lovely summer day, and the full moon shining forth in all her luster, gave it a wondrous richness and beauty of light and shadow. I was loth indeed to tear myself away from its contemplation and commence the tedious descent of the now darkened circular way up and down the inside of the tower.

In the evening, we improved our gondoliers' time in rowing leisurely from one point of interest to another. Together we stood on the true Rialto—a magnificent (and the only) bridge over the Grand Canal, in good part covered with shops of one kind or another. Here a boy was industriously and vociferously trying to sell a lot of [Pg 235]cucumbers, which he had arranged in piles of three or four each, and was crying "any pile for" some piece of money, which I was informed was about half a Yankee cent. Vegetables, and indeed provisions of all kinds, are very cheap in Venice. I said this bridge is a grand one, as it is; but Venice is full of bridges across its innumerable canals, and nearly all are of the best construction. Arches more graceful in form, or better fitted to defy the assaults of time, I have never seen.

We passed from the true to Shakspeare's Rialto—the ancient Exchange of Venice, where its large Commercial and Moneyed transactions took place prior to the last three centuries. Here is seen the ancient Bank of Venice—the first, I believe, established in the world; here also the "stone of shame"—an elevated post which each bankrupt was compelled to take and hold for a certain time, exposed to the derision of the confronting thousands. (Now-a-days it is the bankrupt who flouts, and his too confiding creditors who are jeered and laughed at.) This ancient focus of the world's commerce is now abandoned to the sellers of market vegetables, who were busily arranging their cabbages, &c., for the next morning's trade when we visited it.

Venice is full of deserted Palaces, which, though of spacious dimensions and of the finest marble, may be bought for less than the cost of an average brick house in the upper part of New-York. The Duchess de Berri, mother of the Bourbon Pretender to the throne of France, has bought one of these and generally inhabits it; the Rothschilds own another; the dancer Taglioni, it is said, owns four, and so on. Cheap as they are, they are a poorer speculation than even corner lots in a lithographic city of Nebraska or Oregon.

That evening in the gondola, with one old and two newer friends, is marked with a white stone in my recollection. To bones aching with rough riding in Diligences [Pg 236]by night as well as day, the soft cushions and gliding motion of the boat were soothing and grateful as "spicy gales from Araby the blest." The breeze from the Adriatic was strong and refreshing after the fervid but not excessive heat of the day, and the clear, mild moon seemed to invest the mossy and crumbling palaces with a softened radiance and spiritual beauty. Boats were passing on every side, some with gay parties of three to six, others with but two passengers, who did not seem to need the presence of more, nor indeed to be conscious that any others existed. The hum of earnest or glad voices here contrasted strongly with silence and meditation there. Venice is a City of the Past, and wears her faded yet queenly robes more gracefully by night than by day.

Yes, the Venice of to-day is only a reminiscence of glories that were, but shall be never again. Wealth, Luxury, Aristocracy ate out her soul; then Bonaparte, perfidious despot that he ever was, robbed her of her independence; finally the Holy Alliance of conquerors of Bonaparte made his wrong the pretext for another, and wholly gave her to her ancient enemy Austria, who greedily snatched at the prey, though it was her assistance rendered or proffered to Austria in 1798-9 which gave Napoleon his pretext for crushing her. Her recent struggle for independence, though fruitless, was respectable, and protracted beyond the verge of Hope; and not even Royalist mendacity has yet pretended that her revolt from Austria, or her prolonged defence under bombardment and severe privation was the work of foreigners. But the Croat again lords it in her halls; Trieste is stealing away her remnant of trade; and the Railroads which should regain or replace it are postponed from year to year, and may never be completed, or at least not until it is utterly too late. Weeds gather around the marble steps of her palaces; her towers are all swerving from their original uprightness, and there is neither energy nor means to arrest their fall. Nobody [Pg 237]builds a new edifice within her precincts, and the old ones, though of the most enduring materials and construction, cannot eternally resist the relentless tooth of Time. Full of interest as is everything in Venice, I do not remember to have detected there the effectual working of a single idea of the last century, save in the Railroad, which barely touches without enlivening her, the solitary steamboat belonging to Trieste, and two or three larger gondolas marked "Omnibus" this or that, which appeared to be conveying good loads of passengers from one end of the city to the other for one-sixth or eighth of the price which the same journey solus cost me. The Omnibus typifies Association—the simple but grandly fruitful idea which is destined to renovate the world of Industry and Production, substituting Abundance and Comfort for Penury and Misery. For Man, I trust, this quickening word is yet seasonable; for Venice it is too late. It is far easier to found two new cities than to restore one dead one. Fallen Queen of the Adriatic! a long and mournful Adieu!

[Pg 238]



Milan, Thursday, July 10, 1851.

Lombardy is of course the richest and most productive portion of Italy. Piedmont alone vies with her, and is improving far more rapidly, but Lombardy has great natural capacities peculiarly her own. Her soil, fertile and easily tilled from the first, was long ago improved by a system of irrigation which, probably from small and casual beginnings, gradually overspread the whole table land, embracing, beside that of the Adige, the broad valley of the Po and the narrower intervals of its many tributaries, which, rushing down from the gorges of the Alps on the west and the north, are skillfully conducted so as to refresh and fertilize the whole plain, and, finding their way ultimately to the Po, are thence drawn again by new canals to render like beneficence to the lower, flatter intervals of Venezia and the Northern Papal States. Nowhere can be found a region capable of supporting a larger population to the square mile than Lombardy.

American Agriculture has just two arts to learn from Lombardy—Irrigation and Tree-Planting. Nearly all our great intervales might be irrigated immensely to the profit of their cultivators. Even where the vicinity of mountains or other high grounds did not afford the facility here taken advantage of, I am confident that many plains as well as valleys might be profitably irrigated by lifting water to the requisite height and thence distributing it [Pg 239]through little canals or ditches as here. Where a head of water may be obtained to supply the requisite power, the cost need not be considerable after the first outlay; but, even though steam-power should be requisite, in connection with the admirable Pumping machinery of our day, Irrigation would pay liberally in thousands of cases. Such easily parched levels as those of New-Jersey and Long Island would yield at least double their present product if thoroughly irrigated from the turbid streams and marshy ponds in their vicinity. Water itself is of course essential to the growth of every plant, but the benefits of Irrigation reach far beyond this. Of the fertilizing substances so laboriously and necessarily applied to cultivating lands, at least three times as great a proportion is carried off in running water as is absorbed and exhausted by the crops grown by their aid; so that if Irrigation simply returned to the land as much fertility as the rains carry off, it would, with decent husbandry, increase in productiveness from year to year. The valley of the Nile is one example among many of what Irrigation, especially from rivers at their highest stage, will do for the soil, in defiance of the most ignorant, improvident and unskillful cultivation. Such streams as the Raritan, the Passaic and most of the New Jersey rivers, annually squander upon the ocean an amount of fertilizing matter adequate to the comfortable subsistence of thousands. By calculation, association, science, labor, most of this may be saved. One hundred thousand of the poor immigrants annually arriving on our shores ought to be employed for years, in New-Jersey alone, in the construction of dams, canals, &c., adequate to the complete irrigation of all the level or moderately sloping lands in that State. Farms are cheaper there to-day than in Iowa for purchasers who can pay for and know how to use them. Long Island can be rendered eminently fertile and productive by systematic and thorough Irrigation; otherwise I doubt that it ever will be.

[Pg 240]Much of Lombardy slopes very considerably toward the Po, so that the water in the larger or distributing canals is often used to run mills and supply other mechanical power. It might be used also for Manufacturing if Manufactures existed here, and nearly every farmer might have a horse-power or so at command for domestic uses if he chose. We passed yesterday the completely dry beds of what seemed to be small rivers, their water having been entirely drawn away into the irrigating canals on either side, while on either hand there were grist-mills busily at work, and had been for hundreds of years, grinding by water-power where no stream naturally existed. If I mistake not, there are many such in this city, and in nearly all the cities and villages of Lombardy. If our farmers would only investigate this matter of Irrigation as thoroughly as its importance deserves, they would find that they have neglected mines of wealth all around them more extensive and far more reliable than those of California. One man alone may not always be able to irrigate his farm except at too great a cost; but let the subject be commended to general attention, and the expense would be vastly diminished. Ten thousand farms together, embracing a whole valley, may often be irrigated for less than the cost of supplying a hundred of them separately. I trust our Agricultural papers will agitate this improvement.

As to Tree-Planting, there can be no excuse for neglecting it, for no man needs his neighbor's coöperation to render it economical or effective. We in America have been recklessly destroying trees quite long enough; it is high time that we began systematically to reproduce them. There is scarcely a farm of fifty acres or over in any but the very newest States that might not be increased in value $1,000 by $100 judiciously expended in Tree-Planting, and a little care to protect the young trees from premature destruction. All road-sides, steep hill-sides, ravines and rocky places should be planted with Oak, [Pg 241]Hickory, Chestnut, Pine, Locust, &c., at once, and many a farm would, after a few years, yield $100 worth of Timber annually, without subtracting $10 from the crops otherwise depended on. By planting Locust, or some other fast-growing tree, alternately with Oak, Hickory, &c., the former would be ready for use or sale by the time the latter needed the whole ground. Utility, beauty, comfort, profit, all combine to urge immediate and extensive Tree-Planting; shall it not be commenced?

Here in Lombardy there is absolutely no farm, however small, without its rows of Mulberry, Poplar, Walnut, Cherry, &c., overshadowing its canals, brooks, roads, &c., and traversing its fields in all directions. The Vine is very generally trained on a low tree, like one of our Plum or small Cherry trees, so that, viewed at a distance or a point near the ground, the country would seem one vast forest, with an undergrowth mainly of Wheat and Indian Corn. Potatoes, Barley, Rye, &c., are grown, but none of them extensively, nor is much of the soil devoted to Grass. There are no forests, properly so called, but a few rocky hill-sides, which occur at intervals, mainly about half way from Venice to Milan, are covered with shrubbery which would probably grow to trees if permitted. Wheat and all Summer Grains are very good; so is the Grass; so the Indian Corn will be where it is not prevented by the vicious crowding of the plants and sugar-loaf hoeing of which I have frequently spoken. I judge that Italy altogether, with an enormous area planted, will realize less than half the yield she would have from the same acres with judicious cultivation. With Potatoes, nearly the same mistake is made, but the area planted with these is not one-tenth that of Corn and the blunder far less vital.

This ought to be the richest country in the world, yet its people and their dwellings do not look as if it were so. I have seen a greater number of Soldiers and Beggars in passing through it than of men at work; and nearly all [Pg 242]work out-doors here who work at all. The dwellings are generally shabby, while Barns are scarce, and Cattle are treading out the newly harvested wheat under the blue sky. New houses and other signs of improvement are rare, and the people dispirited. And this is the garden of sunny, delicious Italy!


I leave Italy with a less sanguine hope of her speedy liberation than I brought into it. The day of her regeneration must come, but the obstacles are many and formidable. Most palpable among these is an insane spirit of local jealousy and rivalry only paralleled by the "Corkonian" and "Far-down" feud among the Irish. Genoa is jealous of Turin; Turin of Milan; Florence of Leghorn; and so on. If Italy were a Free Republic to-day, there would be a fierce quarrel, and I fear a division, on the question of locating its metropolis. Rome would consider herself the natural and prescriptive capital; Naples would urge her accessible position, unrivaled beauty and ascendency in population; Florence her central and healthful location; Genoa her extensive commerce and unshaken devotion to Republican Freedom, &c., &c. And I should hardly be surprised to see some of these, chagrined by an adverse decision, leaguing with foreign despots to restore the sway of the stronger by way of avenging their fancied wrongs!

And it is too true that ages of subjugation have demoralized, to a fearful extent, the Italian People. Those who would rather beg, or extort, or pander to others' vices, than honestly work for a living, will never do anything for Freedom; and such are deplorably abundant in Italy. Then, like most nations debased by ages of Slavery, these people have little faith in each other. The proverb that "No Italian has two friends" is of Italian origin. Every one fears that his confederate may prove a traitor, and if [Pg 243]one is heard openly cursing the Government as oppressive and intolerable in a café or other public resort, though the sentiment is heartily responded to, the utterer is suspected and avoided as a Police stool-pigeon and spy. Such mutual distrust necessarily creates or accompanies a lack of moral courage. There are brave and noble Italians, but the majority are neither brave nor noble. There were gallant spirits who joyfully poured out their blood for Freedom in 1848-9, but nine-tenths of those who wished well to the Liberal cause took precious good care to keep their carcases out of the reach of Austrian or French bullets. Even in Rome, where, next to Venice, the most creditable resistance was made to Despotism, the greater part of the actual fighting was done by Italians indeed, but refugees from Lombardy, Tuscany and other parts of Italy. Had the Romans who heartily desired the maintenance of the Republic shown their faith by their works, Naples would have been promptly revolutionized and the French driven back to their ships. On this point, I have the testimony of eye-witnesses of diverse sentiments and of unimpeachable character. Rome is heartily Republican to-day; but I doubt whether three effective regiments could be raised from her large native population to fight a single fair battle which was to decide the fate of Italy. So with the whole country except Piedmont, and perhaps Genoa and Venice. I wish the fact were otherwise; but there can be no use in disguising or mis-stating it. Italy is not merely enslaved but debased, and not till after years of Freedom will the mass of her people evince consistently the spirit or the bearing of Freemen. She must be freed through the progress of Liberal ideas in France and Germany—not by her own inherent energies. Not till her masses have learned to look more coolly down the throats of loaded and hostile cannon in fair daylight and be a little less handy with their knives in the dark, can they be relied on to do anything for the general cause of Freedom.

[Pg 244]


I have not been able to dislike the Austrians personally. Their simple presence in Italy is a grievous wrong and mischief, since, so long as they hold the Italians in subjection, the latter can hardly begin the education which is to fit them for Freedom. Yet it is none the less true that the portion of Italy unequivocally Austrian is better governed and enjoys, not more Liberty, for there is none in either, but a milder form of Slavery, than that which prevails in Naples, Rome, Tuscany, and the paltrier native despotisms. I can now understand, though I by no means concur in, the wish of a quasi Liberal friend who prays that Austria may just take possession of the whole Peninsula, and abolish the dozen diverse Tariffs, Coinages, Mails, Armies, Courts, &c. &c., which now scourge this natural Paradise. He thinks that such an absorption only can prepare Italy for Liberty and true Unity; I, on the contrary, fear that it would fix her in a more hopeless Slavery. Yet it certainly would render the country more agreeable to strangers, whether sojourners or mere travelers.

The Austrian soldiers, regarded as mere fighting machines, are certainly well got up. They are palpably the superiors, moral and physical, of the French who garrison Rome, and they are less heartily detested by the People whom they are here to hold in subjection. Their discipline is admirable, but their natural disposition is likewise quiet and inoffensive. I have not heard of a case of any one being personally insulted by an Austrian since I have been in Italy.—Knowing themselves to be intensely disliked in Italy and yet its uncontrolled masters, it would seem but natural that they should evince something of bravado and haughtiness, but I have observed or heard of nothing of the kind. In fact, the bearing of the Austrians, whether officers or soldiers, has seemed to evince a quiet [Pg 245]consciousness of strength, and to say, in the least offensive manner possible—"We are masters here by virtue of our good swords—if you dispute the right, look well that you have a sharper weapon and a vigorous arm to wield it!" To a rule which thus answers all remonstrances against its existence by a quiet telling off of its ranks and a faultless marching of its determined columns, what further argument can be opposed but that of bayonet to bayonet? I really cannot see how the despot-governed, Press-shackled, uneducated Nations are ever to be liberated under the guidance of Peace Societies and their World's Conventions; and, horrible as all War is and ever must be, I deem a few battles a lesser evil than the perpetuity of such mental and physical bondage as is now endured by Twenty Millions of Italians. When the Peace Society shall have persuaded the Emperor Nicholas or Francis-Joseph to disband his armies and rely for the support of his government on its intrinsic justice and inherent moral force, I shall be ready to enter its ranks; but while Despotism, Fraud and Wrong are triumphantly upheld by Force, I do not see how Freedom, Justice and Progress can safely disclaim and repudiate the only weapons that tyrants fear—the only arguments they regard.


I have not been long in Italy, yet I have gone over a good share of its surface, and seen nearly all that I much desired to see, except Naples and its vicinity, with the Papal territory on the Perugia route from Rome to Florence. I should have liked more time in Genoa, Rome, Florence and Venice; but sight-seeing was never a passion with me, and I soon tire of wandering from ruin to ruin, church to church, and gallery to gallery. Yet when I stop gazing the next impulse is to move on; for if I have time to rest anywhere, why not at home? Hotel life [Pg 246]among total strangers was never agreeable to me—(was it to any one?)—and I do not like that of Italy so well as I at first thought I should. The attendance is well enough, and as to food, I make a point of never quarreling with that I have; though meals far simpler than those served at the regular hotel dinners here would suit me much better. The charges in general are quite reasonable, though I have paid one or two absurd bills. It was at first right pleasant to lodge in what was once a palace, and I still deem a large, high, airy sleeping-room, such as we seldom have in American hotels, but are common here, a genuine luxury. But when with such rooms you have doors that don't shut so as to stay, windows that won't open, locks that won't hold, bolts that won't slide and fleas that won't—ah! won't they bite!—the case is somewhat altered. I should not like to end my days in Italy.

As to the People, if I shall seem to have spoken of them disparagingly, it has not been unkindly. I cherish an earnest desire for their well-being. They do not need flattery, and do not, as a body, deserve praise. Of what are sometimes called the "better classes" (though I believe they are here no better), I have seen little, and have not spoken specially. Of the great majority who, here, as everywhere, must exert themselves to live, whether by working, or begging, or petty swindling, I have seen something, and of these certain leading characteristics are quite unmistakable. An Italian Picture-Gallery seems to me a pretty fair type of the Italian mind and character. The habitual commingling of the awful with the paltry—the sacred and the sensual—Madonna and Circé—Christ on the Cross and Venus in the Bath—which is exhibited in all the Italian galleries, seems an expression of the National genius. Am I wrong in the feeling that the perpetual (and often execrable) representation of such awful scenes as the Crucifixion is calculated first to shock but ultimately to weaken the religious sentiment? Of the hundreds of [Pg 247]pictures of the infant Jesus I have seen in Italy, there are not five which did not strike me as utterly unworthy of the subject, allowing that it ought to be represented at all. "Men of Athens!" said the straight-forward Paul, "I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious." I think the Italians, quite apart from what is essential to their creed, have this very failing, and that it exerts a debilitating influence on their National character. They need to be cured of it, as well as of the vices I have already indicated, in order that their magnificent country may resume its proper place among great and powerful Nations. I trust I am not warring on the faith of their Church, when I urge that "To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice"—that no man can be truly devout who is not strictly upright and manly—and that one living purpose of diffusive, practical well-doing, is more precious in the sight of Heaven, than the bones of all the dead Saints in Christendom.

Farewell, trampled, soul-crushed Italy!

[Pg 248]



Lucerne, July 12, 1851.

I left Milan at 5 o'clock, on the morning of the 10th, via Railroad to Como, at the foot of the Lake of like name, which we reached in an hour and a half, thence taking the Swiss Government Diligence for this place, via the pass of St. Gothard. Even before reaching Como (only some twenty miles from Milan), the spurs of the Alps had begun to gather around us, and the little Lake itself is completely embosomed by them. Barely skirting its southern border, we crossed the Swiss frontier and bade adieu to the Passport swindle for a season, crossed a ridge into the valley of Lake Lugano, which we skirted for two-thirds its length, crossing it by a fine stone bridge near its center. (All the Swiss lakes I have seen are very narrow for a good part of their length, of a greenish blue color, derived from the mountain snows, very irregular in their form, being shut in, narrowed and distorted by the bold cliffs which crowd them on one side or on both, often reducing them to a crooked strait, resembling the passage of the Highlands by the Hudson.) Threading the narrow streets of the pleasant village of Lugano, we struck boldly up the hill to the east, and over it into the valley of the little river Ticino, which we reached at Bellinzona, a smart town of some five to ten thousand inhabitants, and followed the river thence to its source in the eternal snows of Mount St. Gothard. All this is, I believe, in the Canton of Ticino, in [Pg 249]which Italian is the common language, and of which Bellinzona is the chief town.

Although in Switzerland, shut in by steep mountains, often snow-crowned, which leave it an average width of less than half a mile, this valley is Italian in many of its natural characteristics. For two-thirds of its length, Wheat, Indian Corn and the Vine are the chief objects of attention, and every little patch of level ground, save the rocky bed of the impetuous mountain torrent, is laboriously, carefully cultivated. Such mere scraps of earth do not admit of efficient husbandry, but are made to produce liberally by dint of patient effort. I should judge that a peck of corn is about the average product of a day's work through all this region. There is some pasturage, mainly on the less abrupt declivities far up the mountains, but not one acre in fifty of the Canton yields aught but it may be a little fuel for the sustenance of man. Nature is here a rugged mother, exacting incessant toil of her children as the price of the most frugal subsistence; but under such skies, in the presence of so much magnificence, and in a land of equality and freedom, mere life is worth working for, and the condition is accepted with a hearty alacrity. Men and women work together, and almost equally, in the fields; and here, where the necessity is so palpably of Nature's creation, not Man's, the spectacle is far less revolting than on the fertile plains of Piedmont or Lombardy. The little patch of Wheat is so carefully reaped that scarcely a grain is left, and children bear the sheaves on their backs to the allotted shelter, while mothers and maidens are digging up the soil with the spade, and often pulling up the stubble with their hands, preparatory to another crop. Switzerland could not afford to be a Kingdom,—the expense of a Court and Royal Family would famish half her people. Yet everywhere are the signs of frugal thrift and homely content. I met only two beggars in that long day's ride through sterile Switzerland, while [Pg 250]in a similar ride through the fertile plains of Italy I should have encountered hundreds, though there each day's labor produces as much as three days' do here. If the Swiss only could live at home, by the utmost industry and economy, I think they would very seldom be found elsewhere; but in truth the land has long been peopled to the extent of its capacity for subsisting, and the steady increase which their pure morals and simple habits ensure must drive off thousands in search of the bread of honest toil. Hence their presence elsewhere, in spite of their passionate attachment to their free native hills.

Most of the dwellings through all this region are built of stone—those of the poor very rudely, of the roughest boulders, commonly laid up with little or no mortar. The roofs are often of split stone. The houses of the more fortunate class are generally of hewn or at least tolerably square-edged stone, laid up in mortar, often plastered and whitened on the outside, so as to present a very neat appearance. Barns are few, and generally of stone also. The Vine is quite extensively cultivated, and often trained on a rude frame-work of stakes and poles, so as completely to cover the ground and forbid all other cultivation. Elsewhere it is trained to stakes—rarely to dwarf trees as in Italy. The Mulberry holds its ground for two-thirds of the way up the valley, giving out a little after the Vine and before Indian Corn does so. Wheat gives place to Rye about the same time, and the Potato, at first comparatively rare, becomes universal. As the Mulberry gives out the Chestnut comes in, and flourishes nobly for some ten or twenty miles about midway from Bellinzona to Airolo. I suspect, from the evident care taken of it, that its product is considerably relied on for food. Finally, as we gradually ascend, this also disappears, leaving Rye and the Potato to struggle a while longer, until at Airolo, at the foot of St. Gothard, where we stopped at 10 o'clock for the night, though the valley forks and is consequently [Pg 251]of some width, there remain only a few slender potato-stalks, in shivering expectation of untimely frost, a patch or two of headless oats, with grass on the slopes, still tender and green from the lately sheltering snows, and a dwarfish hemlock clinging to the steep acclivities and hiding from the fierce winds in the deep ravines which run up the mountains. Snow is in sight on every side, and seems but a mile or so distant. Yet here are two petty villages and thirty or forty scattered dwellings, whose inhabitants keep as many small cows and goats as they can find grass for, and for the rest must live mainly by serving in the hotels, or as postillions, road-makers, &c. Yet no hand was held out to me in beggary at or around Airolo.


We did not start till after 9 next morning, and meantime some more Diligences had come up, so that we formed a procession of one large and heavy, followed by three smaller and more fit carriages, when we moved out of the little village, and, leaving the larger branch of our creek, now a scanty mill-stream at best, to bend away to the left, we followed the smaller and charged boldly up the mountain. The ascent is of course made by zig-zags, no other mode being practicable for carriages, so that, when we had traveled three toilsome miles, Airolo still lay in sight, hardly a mile below us. I judge the whole ascent, which with a light carriage and three hard-driven horses occupied two hours and a half, was about eight miles, though a straight line might have taken us to the summit in three miles. The rise in this distance must have been near five thousand feet.

For a time, the Hemlocks held on, but at length they gave up, before we reached any snow, and only a little weak young Grass,—nourished rather by the perpetual [Pg 252]mists or rains than by the cold, sour earth which clung to the less precipitous rocks,—remained to keep us company. Soon the snow began to appear beside us, at first timidly, on the north side of cliffs, and in deep chasms, where it was doubtless drifted to the depth of thirty feet during the Winter, and has been gradually thawing out since May. At length it stood forth unabashed beside our road, often a solid mass six or seven feet thick, on either side of the narrow pass which had been cut and worn through it for and by the passage of travelers. Meantime, the drizzling rain, which had commenced soon after we started, had changed to a spitting, watery sleet, and at length to snow, a little before we reached the summit of the pass, where we found a young Nova Zembla. An extensive cloud-manufactory was in full blast all around us, shutting out from view even the nearest cliffs, while the snow and wind—I being on the outside and somewhat wet already—made our short halt there anything but comfortable. The ground was covered with snow to an average depth of two or three feet; the brooks ran over beds of ice and under large heaps of drifted and frozen snow, and all was sullen and cheerless. Here were the sources (in part) of the Po and of the Rhine, but I was rather in haste to bid the former good-bye.

We reduced our three-horse establishment to two, and began to descend the Rhineward zig-zags at a rattling pace, our driver (and all the drivers) hurrying all the way. We reached the first village (where there was considerable Grass again, and some Hemlock, but scarcely any attempts at cultivation), in fifty minutes, and I think the distance was nearly five miles. "Jehu, the son of Nimshi," could not have done the distance in five minutes less.

We changed horses and drivers at this village, but proceeded at a similar pace down through the most hideous chasm for the next two or three miles that I ever saw. I doubt whether a night-mare ever beat it. The descent of [Pg 253]the stream must have been fully 1,500 feet to the mile for a good part of this distance, while the mountains rose naked and almost perpendicular on each side from its very bed to hights of one to two thousand feet, without a shrub, and hardly a resting-place even for snow. Down this chasm our road wound, first on one side of the rivulet, then on the other, crossing by narrow stone bridges, often at the sharpest angle with the road, making zig-zags wherever space could be found or made for them, now passing through a tunnel cut through the solid rock, and then under a long archway built over it to protect it from avalanches at the crossing of a raving cataract down the mountain side. And still the staving pace at which we started was kept up by those on the lead, and imitated by the boy driving our carriage, which was hindmost of all. I was just thinking that, though every one should know his own business best, yet if I were to drive down a steep mountain in that way I should expect to break my neck, and suspect I deserved it, when, as we turned a sharp zig-zag on a steep grade at a stiff trot, our carriage tilted, and over she went in a twinkling.

Our horses behaved admirably, which in an upset is always half the battle. Had they started, the Diligence managers could only have rendered a Flemish account of that load. As it was, they stopped, and the driver, barely scratched, had them in hand in a minute.

I was on the box-seat with him, and fell under him, catching a bad sprain of the left wrist, on which I came down, which disables that hand for a few days—nothing broken and no great harm done—only a few liberal rents and trifling bruises. But I should judge that our heads lay about three feet from the side of the road, which was a precipice of not more than twenty feet, but the rocks below looked particularly jagged and uninviting.

Our four inside passengers had been a good deal mixed up, in the concussion, but soon began to emerge seriatim [Pg 254]from the side door which in the fall came uppermost—only one of them much hurt, and he by a bruise or gash on the head nowise dangerous. Each, as his or her head protruded through the aperture, began to "let in" on the driver, whose real fault was that of following bad examples. I was a little riled at first myself, but the second and last lady who came out put me in excellent humor. She was not hurt, but had her new silk umbrella broken square in two, and she flashed the pieces before the delinquent's eyes and reeled off the High Dutch to him with vehement volubility. I wished I could have understood her more precisely. Though not more than eighteen, she developed a tongue that would have done credit to forty.

The drivers ahead stopped and came back, helped right the stage, and each took a shy at the unlucky charioteer, though in fact they were as much in fault as he, only more fortunate. I suspected before that this trotting down zig-zags was not the thing, and now I know it, and shall remember it, at least for one week. And I have given this tedious detail to urge and embolden others to remonstrate against it. The vice is universal—at least it was just as bad at Mount Cenis as here, and here were four carriages all going at the same reckless pace. The truth is, it is not safe to trot down such mountains and hardly to ride down them at all. We passed scores of places where any such unavoidable accident as the breaking of a reach or a hold-back must have sent the whole concern over a precipice where all that reached the bottom would hardly be worth picking up. Who has a right to risk his life in this fool-hardy manner?

The next time I cross the Alps, I will take my seat for the stopping-place at the nearer foot, and thence walk leisurely over, with a long staff and a water-proof coat, sending on my baggage by the coach to the hotel on the other side. If I can get an hour's start, I can (by straightening the zig-zags) nearly double it going up; if not, I will [Pg 255]wait on the other side for the next stage. If it were not for the cowardly fear of being thought timid, there would be more care used in such matters. Hitherto, I have not given the subject much consideration, but I turn over a new leaf from the date of this adventure.

We came down the rest of the mountain more carefully, though still a great deal too fast. A girl of twelve or thirteen breaking stone by the road-side in a lonely place was among the note-worthy features of the wilder upper region. Trees, Potato-patches, Grain-fields were welcome sights as we neared them successively, though the Vine and the Chestnut did not and Indian Corn barely did reäppear on this side, which is much colder than the other and grows little but Grass. At the foot of the pass, the valley widened a little, though still with steep, snow-capped cliffs crowding it on either side. Five hours from the summit and less than two from the base, we reached the pretty town of Altorf, having perhaps five thousand inhabitants, with a mile width of valley and grassy slopes on the surrounding mountains. A few minutes more brought us to the petty port of Fluellen on Lake Lucerne, where a little steamboat was waiting to bring us to this city. I would not just then have traded off that steamboat for several square miles of snow-capped sublimity.

Lake Lucerne is a mere cleft in the mountains, narrow and most irregular in form, with square cliffs like our Palisades, only many times higher, rising sheer out of its depths and hardly a stone's throw apart. Mount Pilatte and The Rhigi are the most celebrated of those seen from its breast. After making two or three short turns among the hights, it finally opens to a width of some miles on a softer scene, with green pastures and pleasant woods sweeping down the hills nearly or quite to its verge. Lucerne City lies at or near its outlet, and seems a pleasant place, though I have had no time to spend upon it, as I arrived at 8½ P. M. too weary even to write if I had been able to sleep. I leave for Basle by Diligence at eight this morning.

[Pg 256]



Basle, July 13, 1851.

Very striking is the contrast between all of Switzerland I had traversed, before reaching Lucerne, and the route thence to this place. From Como to the middle of Lake Lucerne is something over a hundred miles, and in all that distance there was never so much as one-tenth of the land in sight that could, by any possibility, be cultivated. The narrow valleys, when not too narrow, were arable and generally fertile; but they were shut in on every side by dizzy precipices, by lofty mountains, often snow-crowned, and either wholly barren or with only a few shrubs and stunted trees clinging to their clefts and inequalities, because nothing else could cling there. A fortieth part of these mountain sides may have been so moderately steep that soil could gather and lie on them, in which case they yielded fair pasturage for cattle, or at least for goats: but nine-tenths of their superficies were utterly unproductive and inhospitable. On the mountain-tops, indeed, there is sometimes a level space, but the snow generally monopolizes that. Such is Switzerland from the Italian frontier, where I crossed it, to the immediate vicinity of Lucerne.

Here all is changed. A small but beautiful river debouches from the lake at its west end, and the town is grouped around this outlet. But mountains here there are none—nothing but rich glades and gently swelling hills, covered with the most bounteous harvest, through which [Pg 257]the high road runs north-easterly some sixty miles to Basle on the Rhine in the north-east corner of Switzerland, with Germany (Baden) on the east and France on the north. A single ridge, indeed, on this route presents a ragged cliff or two and some heights dignified with the title of mountains, which seem a joke to one who has just spent two days among the Alps.

Grass is the chief staple of this fertile region, but Wheat is abundantly grown and is just beginning to ripen, promising a noble yield. Potatoes also are extensively planted, and I never saw a more vigorous growth. Rye, Oats and Barley do well, but are little cultivated. Of Indian Corn there is none, and the Vine, which had given out on the Italian side some twenty miles below the foot of St. Gothard, does not come in again till we are close to the Rhine. But in its stead they have the Apple in profusion—I think more Apple trees between Lucerne and the Rhine, than I had seen in all Europe before—and they seem very thrifty, though this year's yield of fruit will be light. There are some other trees planted, and many small, thrifty forests, such as I had hardly seen before on the Continent. These increase as we approach the Rhine. There is hardly a fence throughout, and generous crops of Wheat, Potatoes, Rye, Grass, Oats, &c., are growing close up to the beaten road on either side. I don't exactly see how Cattle are driven through such a country, having passed no drove since crossing Mount St. Gothard.

The dwellings are generally large, low structures, with sloping, overhanging roofs, indicating thrift and comfort. Sometimes the first story, or at least the basement, is of hewn-stone, but the greater part of the structure is nearly always of wood. The barns are spacious, and built much like the houses. I have passed through no other part of Europe evincing such general thrift and comfort as this quarter of Switzerland, and Basle, already a well built city, is rapidly improving. When the Railroad line from [Pg 258]Paris to Strasburg is completed, the French capital will be but little more than twenty-four hours from Basle, while the Baden line, down the German side of the Rhine, already connects this city easily with all Germany, and is certain of rapid and indefinite extension. Basle, though quite a town in Cæsar's day, is renewing her youth.


I am leaving Switzerland, after four days only of observation therein; but during those days I have traversed the country from its southern to its north-eastern extremity, passing through six of the Cantons and along the skirts of another, resting respectively at Airolo, Lucerne, and Basle, and meeting many hundreds of the people on the way, beside seeing thousands in the towns and at work in their fields. This is naturally a very poor country, with for the most part a sterile soil—or rather, naked, precipitous rocks, irreclaimably devoid of soil—where, if anywhere, the poor peasantry would be justified in asking charity of the strangers who come to gaze at and enjoy their stupendous but most inhospitable mountains—and yet I have not seen one beggar to a hundred hearty workers, while in fertile, bounteous, sunny Italy, the preponderance was clearly the other way. And, though very palpably a stranger, and specially exposed by my ignorance of the languages spoken here to imposition, no one has attempted to cheat me from the moment of my entering the Republic till this, while in Italy every day and almost every hour was marked by its peculiar extortions. Every where I have found kindness and truth written on the faces and evinced in the acts of this people, while in Italy rapacity and knavery are the order of the day. How does a monarchist explain this broad discrepancy? Mountains alone will not do, for the Italians of the Apennines and the Abruzzi are notoriously very much like those of the Campagna and of the Val [Pg 259]d'Arno; nor will the zealot's ready suggestion of diverse Faiths suffice, for my route has lain almost exclusively through the Catholic portion of this country. Ticino, Uri, Lucerne, etc., are intensely, unanimously Catholic; the very roadsides are dotted with little shrines, enriched with the rudest possible pictures of the Virgin and Child, the Crucifixion, &c., and I think I did not pass a Protestant church or village till I was within thirty miles of this place. Nearly all the Swiss I have seen are Catholics, and a more upright, kindly, truly religious people I have rarely or never met. What, then, can have rendered them so palpably and greatly superior to their Italian neighbors, whose ancestors were the masters of theirs, but the prevalence here of Republican Freedom and there of Imperial Despotism?

Switzerland, shut out from equal competition with other nations by her inland, elevated, scarcely accessible position, has naturalized Manufactures on her soil, and they are steadily extending. She sends Millions' worth of Watches, Silks, &c., annually even to distant America; while Italy, with nearly all her population within a day's ride of the Adriatic or the Mediterranean, with the rich, barbaric East at her doors for a market, does not fabricate even the rags which partially cover her beggars, but depends on England and France for most of the little clothing she has. Italy is naturally a land of abundance and luxury, with a soil and climate scarcely equalled on earth; yet a large share of her population actually lack the necessaries, not to speak of the comforts, of life, and those who sow and reap her bountiful harvests are often without bread: Switzerland has, for the most part, an Arctic climate and scarcely any soil at all; and yet her people are all decently clad and adequately though frugally fed, and I have not seen one person who seemed to have been demoralized by want or to suffer from hunger since I crossed her border. Her hotels are far superior to their more frequented namesakes [Pg 260]of Italy; even at the isolated hamlet of Airolo, where no grain will grow, I found everything essential to cleanliness and comfort, while the "Switzer Hoff" at Lucerne and "Les Trois Rois" at Basle are two of the very best houses I have found in Europe. What Royalist can satisfactorily explain these contrasts?

Switzerland, though a small country, and not half of this habitable, speaks three different languages. I found at Airolo regular files of Swiss journals printed respectively in French, Italian, and German: the last entirely baffled me; the two former I read after a fashion, making out some of their contents' purport and drift. Those in French, printed at Geneva, Lausanne, &c., were executed far more neatly than the others. All were of small size, and in good part devoted to spirited political discussion. Switzerland, though profoundly Republican, is almost equally divided into parties known respectively as "Radical" and "Conservative:" the Protestant Cantons being preponderantly Radical, the Catholic generally Conservative. Of the precise questions in dispute I know little and shall say nothing; but I do trust that the controversy will not enfeeble nor paralyze the Republic, now seriously menaced by the Allied Despots, who seem to have almost forgotten that there ever was such a man as William Tell. Let us drink, in the crystal current leaping brightly down from the eternal glaciers, to his glorious, inspiring memory, and to Switzerland a loving and hopeful Adieu!

[Pg 261]



Cologne, Tuesday, July 15, 1851.

After spending Sunday very agreeably at Basle (where American Protestants traveling may like to know that Divine worship is regularly conducted each Sabbath by an English clergyman, at the excellent Hotel of the Three Kings), I set my face again northward at 7½ A. M. on Monday, crossing the Rhine (which is here about the size of the Hudson at Albany) directly into Baden, and so leaving the soil of glorious Switzerland, the mountain home of Liberty amid surrounding despotisms. The nine first miles from Basle (to Efringen) are traversed by Omnibus, and thence a very good Railroad runs nearly parallel with the Rhine by Freiburg, Kehl (opposite Strasburg), Baden (at some distance), Rastatt, Carlsruhe, and Heidelberg, to Mannheim, distant from Basle 167½ miles by Railroad, and I presume considerably further by River, as the Rhine (unlike the Railroad as far as Heidelberg) is not very direct in its course. There is a French Railroad completed on the other (west) side of the river from Basle to Strasburg, and nearly completed from Strasburg to Paris, which affords a far more direct and expeditious route than that I have chosen, as I wished to see something of Germany. It is also cheaper, I believe, to take the French Railroad to Strasburg, and the river thence by steamboats which ply regularly as high as Strasburg, and might keep on to Basle, I presume, if not impeded by bridges, as the river is amply large enough.

[Pg 262]The Baden Railroad runs through a country descending, indeed, toward the Rhine and with the Rhine, but as nearly level as a country well can be, and affording the fewest possible obstacles to its construction. It is faithfully built, but instead of the numerous common roads which cross it being carried over or under its track, as the English Railroads are, they are closed on each side by a swing-bar, at which a guard is stationed—a plan which saves expense at the outset, but involves a heavy permanent charge. I should deem the English plan preferable to this, though men are had much cheaper for such service in Germany than in America, or even Great Britain. The pace is slower than with us. We were about nine hours of fair daylight traversing 160 miles of level or descending grade, with a light passenger train. The management, however, was careful and unexceptionable.

This Railroad runs for most of the distance much nearer to the range of gentle hills which bound the broad and fertile Rhine valley on the east than to the river itself. The valley is nearly bare of trees for the most part, and has scarcely any fences save the very slight board fence on either side of the Railroad. In some places, natural woods of considerable extent are permitted, but not many fruit nor shade-trees, whether in rows or scattered. The hills in sight, however, are very considerably wooded, and wood is apparently the common fuel. The valley is generally but not entirely irrigated, though all of it easily might be, the arrangements for irrigation appearing much more modern and unsystematic here than in Lombardy. The land is cultivated in strips as in France—first Wheat (the great staple), then Rye, then Potatoes, then Clover, then Beets, or Hemp, or Flax, and so on. For a small part of the way, Grass seems to preponderate, but generally Wheat and Rye cover more than half the ground, while Potatoes have a very large breadth of it. Rye is now being harvested, and is quite heavy: in fact, all the crops promise [Pg 263]abundant harvests. The Vine appears at intervals, but is not general through this region: Indian Corn is also rare, and appears in small patches. In some places many acres of Wheat are seen in one piece, but usually a breadth of four to twenty rods is given to one crop, and then another succeeds and so on. I presume this implies a diversity of owners, or at least of tenants.

The cultivation, though not always judicious, is generally thorough, there being no lack of hands nor of good will. The day being fine and the season a hurrying one, the vast plain was everywhere dotted with laborers, of whom fully half were Women, reaping Rye, binding it, raking and pitching Hay, hoeing Potatoes, transplanting Cabbages, Beets, &c. They seemed to work quite as heartily and efficiently as the men. But the most characteristically European spectacle I saw was a woman unloading a great hay-wagon of huge cordwood at a Railroad station, and pitching over the heavy sticks with decided resolution and efficiency. It may interest the American pioneers in the Great Pantalette (or is it Pantaloon?) Movement to know that she was attired in appropriate costume—short frock, biped continuations and a mannish oil-skin hat.—And this reminds me that, coming away from Rome, I met, at the half-way house to Civita Vecchia, a French marching regiment on its way from Corsica to the Eternal City, to which regiment two women were attached as sutlers, &c., who also wore the same costume, except that their hats were of wool instead of oil-skin. Thus attired, they had marched twenty-five miles that hot day, and were to march as many the next, as they had doubtless done on many former days. It certainly cannot be pretended that these women adopted that dress from a love of novelty, or a desire to lead a new fashion, or from any other reason than a sense of its convenience, founded on experience. I trust, therefore, that their unconscious testimony in behalf of the Great Movement may not be deemed irrelevant [Pg 264]nor unentitled to consideration. Their social rank is certainly not the highest, but I consider them more likely to render a correct judgment on the merit of the Bloomer controversy than the Lady Patronesses of Almack's.


After spending the night at Mannheim, I took a steamboat at 5½ this morning for this place, 165 miles down the Rhine, embracing all the navigable part of the river of which the scenery is esteemed attractive. As far down as Mayence or Mentz (55 miles), the low banks and broad intervale continue, and there is little worthy of notice. From Mentz to Coblentz (54 miles), there is some magnificent scenery, though I think its natural beauties do not surpass those of the Hudson from New-York to Newburgh. Certainly there are no five miles equal in rugged grandeur to those beginning just below and ending above West Point. But the Rhine is here somewhat larger than the Hudson; the hills on either side, though seldom absolutely precipitous, are from one to five hundred feet high, and are often crowned with the ruins of ancient castles, which have a very picturesque appearance; while the little villages at their foot and the cultivation (mainly of the Vine) which is laboriously prosecuted up their rocky and almost naked sides, contribute to heighten the general effect. These sterile rocks impart a warmth to the soil and a sweetness to the grape which are otherwise found only under a more southerly sun, and, combined with the cheapness of labor, appear to justify the toilsome process of terracing up the steep hill-sides, and even carrying up earth in baskets to little southward-looking nooks and crevices where it may be retained and planted on. Yet I liked better than the vine-clad heights those less abrupt declivities where a more varied culture is attempted, and where the Vine is intermingled with strips of now ripened [Pg 265]Rye, ripening Wheat, blossoming Potatoes, &c., &c., together imparting a variegated richness and beauty to the landscape which are rarely equaled. But the Rhine has been nearly written out, and I will pass it lightly over. Its towers are not very imposing in appearance, though Coblentz makes a fair show. Opposite is Ehrenbreitstein, no longer the ruin described (if I rightly remember) in Childe Harold, but a magnificent fortress, apparently in the best condition, and said to have cost Five Millions of dollars. The "blue Moselle" enters the Rhine from the west just below Coblentz. This city (Cologne) is the largest, I believe, in Rhenish Prussia, and, next to Rotterdam at its mouth, the largest on the Rhine, having a flourishing trade and 90,000 inhabitants. (Coblentz has 26,000, Mayence 36,000, Mannheim 23,000 and Strasburg 60,000.)

There are some bold hights dignified as mountains below Coblentz, but the finest of the scenery is above. The hills disappear some miles above this city, and henceforward to the sea all is flat and tame as a marsh. On the whole, the Rhine has hardly fulfilled my expectations. Had I visited it on my way to the Alps, instead of just from them, it would doubtless have impressed me more profoundly; but I am sure the St. Mary's of Lake Superior is better worth seeing; so I think, is the Delaware section of the Erie Railroad. It is possible the weather may have unfitted me for appreciating this famous river, for a more cloudy, misty, chilly, rainy, execrable, English day I have seldom encountered. To travelers blessed with golden sunshine, the Rhine may wear a grander, nobler aspect, and to such I leave it.


I have been but two days wholly among the Germans, but I had previously met many of them in England, Italy [Pg 266]and Switzerland. They are seen to the best advantage at home. Their uniform courtesy (save in the detestable habit of smoking where others cannot help being annoyed by their fumes), indicates not merely good nature but genuine kindness of heart. I have not seen a German quarreling or scolding anywhere in Europe. The deference of members of the same family to each other's happiness in cars, hotels and steamboats has that quiet, unconscious manner which distinguishes a habit from a holiday ornament. The entire absence of pretense, of stateliness, of a desire to be thought a personage and not a mere person, is scarcely more universal in Switzerland than here. But in fact I have found Aristocracy a chronic disease nowhere but in Great Britain. In France, there is absolutely nothing of it; there are monarchists in that country—monarchists from tradition, from conviction, from policy, or from class interest—but of Aristocracy scarcely a trace is left. Your Paris boot-black will make you a low bow in acknowledgment of a franc, but he has not a trace of the abjectness of a London waiter, and would evidently decline the honor of being kicked by a Duke. In Italy, there is little manhood but no class-worship; her millions of beggars will not abase themselves one whit lower before a Prince than before anyone else from whom they hope to worm a copper. The Swiss are freemen, and wear the fact unconsciously but palpably on their brows and beaming from their eyes. The Germans submit passively to arbitrary power which they see not how successfully to resist, but they render to rank or dignity no more homage than is necessary—their souls are still free, and their manners evince a simplicity and frankness which might shame or at least instruct America. On the Rhine, the steamboats are so small and shabby, without state-rooms, berth-rooms, or even an upper deck—that the passengers are necessarily at all times under each other's observation, and, as the fare is high, and twice as much in [Pg 267]the main as in the forward cabin, it may be fairly presumed that among those who pay the higher charge are none of the poorest class—no mere laborers for wages. Yet in this main cabin well-dressed young ladies would take out their home-prepared dinner and eat it at their own good time without seeking the company and countenance of others, or troubling themselves to see who was observing. A Lowell factory-girl would consider this entirely out of character, and a New-York milliner would be shocked at the idea of it.

The Germans are a patient, long-suffering race. Of their Forty Millions outside of Austria, probably less than an eighth at all approve or even acquiesce in the despotic policy in which their rulers are leagued, and which has rendered Germany for the present a mere outpost of Russia—an unfinished Poland. These people are intelligent as well as brave—they see and feel, yet endure and forbear. Perhaps their course is wiser than that which hot impatience would prompt—nay, I believe it is. If they can patiently suffer on without losing heart until France shall have extricated herself from the toils of her treacherous misrulers, they may then resume their rights almost without a blow. And whenever a new 1848 shall dawn upon them, they will have learned to improve its opportunities and avoid its weaknesses and blunders. Heaven speed its auspicious coming!

[Pg 268]



Paris, Saturday, July 19, 1851.

From Cologne westward by Railroad to the Western frontier (near Verviers) of Rhenish Prussia, and thus of Germany, is 65 miles. For most of the way the country is flat and fertile, and in good part devoted to Grazing, though considerable Wheat is grown. The farming is not remarkably good, and the general aspect befits a region which for two thousand years has been too often the arena of fierce and bloody conflict between the armies of great nations. Cologne itself, though a place of no natural strength, has been fortified to an extent and at an evident cost beyond all American conception. All over this part of Europe, and to a less degree throughout Italy, the amount of expenditure on walls and forts, bastions, ditches, batteries, &c. is incalculably great. I cannot doubt that any nation, by wisely expending half so much in systematic efforts to educate, employ steadily and reward amply its poorer classes, would have been strengthened and ensured against invasion far more than it could be by walls like precipices and a belt of fortresses as impregnable as Gibraltar. But this wisdom is slowly learned by rulers, and is not yet very widely appreciated. Whenever it shall be, "Othello's occupation" will be gone, not for Othello only, but for all who would live by the sword.

For some miles before it reaches the frontier, and for a much larger distance after entering Belgium, the Railroad [Pg 269]passes through a decidedly broken, hilly, up-and-down country, most unlike the popular conception of Flanders or Belgium. Precipices of naked rock are not unfrequent and the region is wisely given up mainly to Wood and Grass, the former engrossing most of the hill-sides and the latter flourishing in the valleys. This Railroad has more tunnels in the course of fifty miles than I ever before met with—I think not less than a dozen—while the grading and bridging must have been very expensive. Such a country is of course prolific in running streams, on which many small and some larger manufacturing towns and villages are located. At length, it ascends a considerable inclined plane at Liege, once a very popular, powerful and still a handsome and important manufacturing town with 60,000 inhabitants; and here the beautiful and magnificently fertile table lands of Belgium spread out like a vast prairie before the traveler. In fact, the peasant cultivators are so commonly located in villages, leaving long stretches of the rarely fenced though well cultivated plain without a habitation, that the resemblance to level prairies which have been planted and sown is more striking than would be imagined. But the growing crops are too cleanly and carefully weeded and too uniformly good to protract the illusion. Sometimes hundreds of acres are unbrokenly covered with Wheat, which has the largest area of any one staple; but more commonly a breadth of this is succeeded by one of Rye, that by one of Potatoes, then Wheat again, then Clover, then Rye, then Wheat, then Potatoes, then Clover or other grass, and so on. I never before saw so extensive and uniformly thrifty a growth of Potatoes, while acres upon acres of Beets, also in regular rows and kept carefully free from weeds, present at this season a beautiful appearance. I apprehend that not half so much attention has been given in our country to the growth of this and the kindred roots as would have been richly rewarded. Of course, it is idle to sow Beets on any but [Pg 270]rich land, with a generous depth of soil and the most thorough cultivation, but with such cultivation the red lands of New-Jersey and the intervales of our rivers might be profitably and extensively devoted to the Beet culture and to that of the larger Turnips. I have seen nothing in Europe that made a better appearance or promised a more bountiful return than the large tracts of Belgium and the neighboring district of France sown to Beets.

Indian Corn and the Vine are scarcely, or not at all seen in Belgium. Beggars are not abundant; but women are required to labor quite extensively in the fields. The habitations of the poor are less wretched than those of Italy, but not equal to those of the fertile portion of Switzerland. Irrigation is quite extensively practised, but is far from universal. The few cattle kept in the wholly arable and thoroughly cultivated portion of the country are seldom allowed to range, because of the lack of fences, but are kept up and fed throughout the year. Women cutting grass in all by-places, and carrying it home by back-loads to feed their stock, is a common spectacle throughout central Europe. Trees sometimes line the roads and streams, or irrigating canals, and sometimes have a piece of ground allotted them whereon to grow at random, but are rather scarce throughout this region, and I think I saw square miles entirely devoid of them. Fruit-trees are clearly too scarce, though Cherries in abundance were offered for sale as we passed. On the whole, Belgium is not only a fertile but a prosperous country.

At Liege, the Railroad we traversed leaves its westerly for a north-west course, running past Tirlemont to Malines (Mechlin) and thence to Antwerp; but we took a sharp turn to the south-west of Malines in order to reach Brussels, which, though the capital and the largest city of Belgium, is barely a point or stopping-place on a right line, while Liege, Namur, Ghent and Bruges are each the point of junction of two or more completed roads. Brussels [Pg 271]has slept while this network has been woven over the country, and will awake to discover herself shorn of her trade and sinking into insignificance if she does not immediately bestir herself. Her location is a fine one, on a ground which rises very gradually from the great plain to a modest hill southward, and she is among the best built of modern cities. But already she is off the direct line from either London or Paris to Germany; I would have saved many miles by avoiding her and taking the road due west from Liege to Namur, Charleroi and Mons, where it intersects the Brussels line; and soon the great bulk of the travel will do so if it does not already. Railroads are reckless Radicals and are destined by turns to make and to mar the fortunes of many great emporiums.


Tournay in the coal region, fifty miles from Brussels, is the last town of Belgium; eight miles further is Valenciennes, one of the strong frontier fortresses of France, with over 20,000 inhabitants, an active trade and the worth of a dukedom wasted on its fortifications. Here our baggage underwent a new custom-house scrutiny, which was expeditiously and rationally made, and I kept on twenty-three miles farther to Douai, where our Railroad falls into one from Calais, which had already absorbed those from Dunkirk and Ghent, and where, it being after 10 o'clock, I halted for the night, so as to take a Calais morning train at 4½ and see by fair daylight the country thence to Paris, which I had already traversed in the dark.

This country presents no novel features. It is not quite so level nor so perfectly cultivated as central Belgium, but is generally fertile and promises fairly. The Rye harvest is in progress through all this country, and is very good, but the breadth of Wheat is much greater, and it also promises well, though not yet ripened. Westward from [Pg 272]Brussels in Belgium is an extensive Grazing region, bountifully irrigated, and covered with large herds of fine cattle. Something of this is seen after crossing into France, but Wheat regains its predominance, while large tracts are devoted to the Beet, probably for the manufacture of Sugar. There are few American gardens that can show the Beet in greater perfection than it exhibits here, in areas of twenty to forty acres. Wood also becomes far more abundant in the Grazing region, and continues so nearly up to the walls of Paris, Poplars and other trees of slender foliage being planted in rows across the fields as well as by the streams and road-sides. The Vine, which had vanished with the bolder scenery of the Rhine, reappears only within sight of Paris, where many of the cultivated fields attest a faultiness or meagerness of cultivation unworthy of the neighborhood of a great metropolis. I presume there will be more middling and half middling yields within twenty miles of Paris than in all Belgium.

I find Paris, and measurably France, in a state of salutary ferment, connected with the debate in the Assembly on the proposed Revision of the Constitution. The best speeches are yet to be made, but already the attention of the People is fixed on the discussion, and it will be followed to the end with daily increased interest. That end, as is well known, will be a defeat of the proposed Revision, and of all schemes looking to the legal and peaceful reëstablishment of Monarchy, or the reëlection of Louis Napoleon. And this discussion, this result, will have immensely strengthened the Republic in the hearts of the French Millions, as well as in the general conviction of its stability. And if, with the Suffrage crippled as it is, and probably must continue to be, a heartily Republican President can be elected here next May, an impulse will be given to the movement throughout Europe which can scarcely be withstood. Live the Republic!

[Pg 273]



London, Tuesday, July 22, 1851.

The quickest and most usual route from Paris to London is that by way of Calais and Dover; but as I had traversed that once, and part of it twice, I resolved to try another for my return, and chose the cheapest and most direct of all—that by way of Rouen, Dieppe, New-Haven and the Brighton Railroad—which is 32 miles shorter than the Calais route, but involves four times as long a water passage, and so is spun out to more than twice the length of the other. We left Paris at 8 yesterday morning; halted at the fine old town of Rouen before noon; were in Dieppe at 2½ P. M.; but there we waited for a boat till after 6; then were eight hours crossing the Channel; had to wait at New-Haven till after 6 this morning before the Custom-House scrutiny of our baggage was begun; so that only a few were enabled to take the first train thence for London at a quarter to 7. I was not among the lucky ones, but had to hold on for the second train at a quarter past 8, and so did not reach this city till after 10, or twenty-six hours from Paris, though, with a little enterprise and a decent boat on the Channel, the trip could easily be made in 14 hours—four for the French side, six for the Channel, two for the English side and two for Custom-House delay and leeway of all kinds. If Commodore Vanderbilt or Mr. Newton would only take compassion on the ignorance and barbarism prevailing throughout [Pg 274]Europe in the matter of steamboat-building, and establish a branch of his business on this side of the Atlantic, he would do the cause of Human Progress a service, and signally contribute to the diminution of the sum of mortal misery.

The night was mild and fair; the wind light; the sea consequently smooth; and I suffered less, and repented my choice of a route less, than I had expected to; but consider the facts: Here was the most direct route by Railroad and Steamboat between the two great Capitals of Europe—a route constantly traveled by multitudes from all parts of world—yet the only boats provided for the liquid portion of the way are two little black, cobbling concerns, each perhaps seventy feet long by fifteen wide, with no deck above the water line, and not a single berth for even a lady passenger, though making one passage each night. Who could suppose that two tolerably civilized nations would endure this in the middle of 1851?

We were nearly two hundred passengers, and the boat just about decently held us, but had not sitting-room for all, above and under the deck. But as about half, being "second class," had no right to enter the main cabin, those who had that right were enabled to sit and yawn, and try to cheat themselves into the notion that they would coax sleep to their aid after a while. Occasionally, one or two having left for a turn on deck, some drowsy mortal would stretch himself on a setter at full length, but the remonstrances of others needing seats would soon compel him to resume a half-upright posture. And so the passage wore away, and between 2 and 3 this morning we reached New-Haven (a petty sea-port at the mouth of the little river Ouse), where we were permitted promptly to land, minus our baggage, and repair to a convenient inn. Here I, with several others, invested two British shillings in a chance to sleep, but the venture (at least in my case) proved a losing one. It was daylight when we went to [Pg 275]bed, and the incessant tramping, ringing of bells, &c., kept us for the most part awake and called us up at a very early hour, to fidget uselessly for the recovery of our baggage, and lose the early train at last.

The country stretching north-westward from Paris to Dieppe (125 miles) is less thoroughly cultivated than any other I have seen in Europe out of Italy. I saw more weedy and thin Rye and ragged Wheat than I had noted elsewhere. Grass is the chief staple, after leaving the garden-covered vicinity of Paris, though Wheat, Rye and Oats are extensively cultivated. The Root crops promise poorly. Indian Corn is hardly seen, though the Vine is considerably grown. This region is generally well wooded, but in a straggling, accidental way, which has the effect neither of Lombard nicety of plantation, nor of the natural luxuriance of genuine forests. Fruit is not abundant. Irrigation is considerably practiced. The dwellings of the majority have an antiquated, ruinous, tumble-down aspect, such as I have observed nowhere else this side of Lower Italy. On the whole, I doubt whether this portion of France has improved much within the last fifty years.

Rouen, the capital of ancient Normandy, is the fifth city of France, only Paris, Lyons, Marseilles and Bordeaux having more inhabitants. Here the Railroad for Havre diverges from that to Dieppe, which we adhered to. Rouen is interesting for its antiquities, including several venerable and richly adorned Churches which I had no time to visit. Dieppe, on the Channel, has a small harbor, completely landlocked, and 17,000 inhabitants. It is considerably resorted to for sea-bathing, but seems to have very little trade. I judge that the Railroads now being extended through France, are likely to arrest the growth or hasten the decline of most of the smaller cities and towns by facilitating and cheapening access to the capital, where nearly every Frenchman would live if he could, and where the genius of people and government (no matter under [Pg 276]what constitution) conspires to concentrate all the intellectual and artistic life of the Nation.

The Railroad from New-Haven to London passes through no considerable town, though not far from Brighton and Tunbridge. The country is undulating and beautiful, mainly devoted to Grass, Wheat and Wood, and in the very highest condition. It is now toward the end of Haying, and the Wheat is just beginning to ripen, though that of Central Italy was mainly harvested a full month ago. But the English Wheat covers the ground thickly and evenly, and promises a large average crop, especially if the present fine weather should continue through the next two weeks.

Noble herds of Cattle and flocks of Sheep overspread the spacious grounds devoted to Pasturage, especially near the Channel, where most of the land is in Grass. English Agriculture has a thorough and cleanly aspect which I have rarely observed elsewhere. Belgium is as careful and as productive, but its alternations of tillage or grass with woodland are by no means so frequent nor so picturesque as I see here. The sturdy, hospitable trees of an English park or lawn are not rivaled, so far as I have seen, on the Continent. I have rarely seen a reach of country better disposed for effect than that from a point ten miles this side of New-Haven to within some ten miles of this city, where Market Gardening supplants regular Farming. Women work in the fields at this season in England, but not more than one woman to five men were visible in the hay-fields we passed this morning—it may have been otherwise in the afternoon. As to beggars, none were visible, begging being disallowed.

Crossing the Channel shifts the boot very decidedly with respect to language. Those who were groping in the dark a few hours ago are now in the brightest sunshine, while the oracles of yesterday are the meekest disciples to-day. I rode from New-Haven to London in the same [Pg 277]car with three Frenchmen and two Frenchwomen, coming up to the Exhibition, with a scant half-allowance of English among them; and their efforts to understand the signs, &c., were interesting. "London Stout," displayed in three-foot letters across the front of a drinking-house, arrested their attention: "Stoot? Stoot?" queried one of them; but the rest were as much in the dark as he, and I was as deficient in French as they in English. The befogged one pulled out his dictionary and read over and over all the French synonyms of "Stout," but this only increased his perplexity. "Stout" signified "robust," "hearty," "vigorous," "resolute," &c., but what then could "London Stout" be? He closed his book at length in despair and resumed his observations.


London is given to late hours. At 6 A. M. though the sun has long been up, there are few stirring in the principal streets; occasionally you meet a cab hurrying with some passenger to take an early train; but few shutters are down at 7, and scarcely an omnibus is to be seen till after 8. The aristocratic dinner hour is 8 P. M. though I trust few are so unmerciful to themselves as to postpone their chief meal to that late hour when they have no company. The morning to sleep, the afternoon to business and the evening to enjoyment, seems the usual routine with the favored classes.

Walking home from a soirée at the West-end through Regent-street, Haymarket and the Strand once at midnight, I was struck, though accustomed to all manner of late hours in New-York, with the relative activity and wide-awake aspect of London at that hour. It seemed the High Change of revelry and pleasure-seeking. The taverns, the clubs and drinking-shops betrayed no symptoms of drowsiness; the theatres were barely beginning to emit [Pg 278]their jaded multitudes; the cabs and private carriages were more plentiful than by day, and were briskly wheeling hundreds from party to party; even the omnibuses rattled down the wide streets as freshly and almost as numerously as at midday. The policemen were alert on nearly every corner; sharpers and suspicious characters stepped nimbly about the cross-streets in quest of prey, and innumerable wrecks of Womanhood, God pity them! shed a deeper darkness over the shaded and dusky lanes and byways whence they momently emerged to salute the passer-by. Beneath the shelter of night, Misery stole forth from its squalid lair, no longer awed by the Police, to beseech the compassion of the stranger and pour its tale of woe and suffering into the rarely willing ear. Serene and silvery in the clear night-air rose the nearly full moon over Southwark, shedding a soft and mellow light on pillar and edifice, column and spire, and enduing the placid bosom of the Thames with a tranquil and spiritual beauty. Such was one glimpse of London at midnight; I have not seen it so impressive by day.

[Pg 279]



London, July 25, 1851.

The fourth Annual Congress of the friends and champions of Peace, universal and perpetual, was closed last evening, after a harmonious and enthusiastic session of three full days. The number of Delegates in attendance was between eight and nine hundred, while the spacious area of Exeter Hall, which is said to hold comfortably thirty-five hundred persons, was well filled throughout, and densely crowded for hours together. Having been held at a most favorable time and at the point most accessible to the great body of the active friends of Peace, I presume the attendance was larger than ever before.

Two thoughts were suggested to me by the character and proceedings of this assemblage—first, that of the eminently popular and plebeian origin and impulse of all the great Reform Movements of our age. Every great public assemblage in Europe for any other purpose will be sure to number Lords, Dukes, Generals, Princes, among its dignitaries; but none such came near the Peace Congress; very few of them take part in any movement of the kind. In the list of Delegates to this Congress, under the head of "Profession or Trade," you find "Merchant," "Miller," "Teacher," "Tanner," "Editor," "Author," "Bookseller," "Jeweller," &c., very rarely "Gentleman," or "Baronet," and never a higher title, I rejoice to say that "Minister" or "Clergyman" appears pretty often, but never such a [Pg 280]word as "Bishop" or "Archbishop," though the most liberal of the Established Hierarchy, Archbishop Whateley of Dublin, sent a brief note expressing sympathy with the objects of the meeting. And I think among the clergymen present there was hardly one belonging to either of the two Churches which in these realms claim a special and exclusive patent from Heaven for the dispensation of Religious Truth.

The other thought suggested by this mighty gathering concerns the character and efficacy of the organizations and sects in which Christianity is presumed to be embodied. Let a Convention be called of the Friends of Peace, of Temperance, of Personal Liberty, of the Sacredness of Human Life, or any other tangible and positive idea, and many hundreds will come together from distant nations, speaking diverse languages, and holding antagonist opinions on other important subjects, and will for days discuss and deliberate in perfect harmony, unite in appropriate and forcible declarations of their common sentiments and in the adoption of measures calculated to ensure their triumph. But let a general Convention of the followers of Jesus Christ be called, with a view to the speedy Christianization of the world, and either three-fourths would keep away or the whole time of the meeting be wasted in an acrimonious quarrel as to the meaning of Christianity or the wording of the Shibboleth whereby those who were should be distinguished from those who were not entitled to bear the Christian name.

This contrast implies a great wrong somewhere, and for which somebody must be responsible. I merely suggest it for general consideration, and pass on.

Not fully sympathising with the Peace Movement in the actual condition of Europe, I was not a Delegate, and did not attend the first two days' deliberations. I see not how any one who does not hope to live and thrive by injustice, oppression and murder, can be otherwise than ardently [Pg 281]favorable to Universal Peace. But, suppose there is a portion of the human family who won't have Peace, nor let others have it, what then? If you say, "Let us have it as soon as we can," I respond with all my heart. I would tolerate War, even against pirates or murderers, no longer than is absolutely necessary to inspire them with a love of Peace, or put them where they can no longer invade the peace of others. But so long as Tyrannies and Aristocracies shall say—as they now practically do say all over Europe, "Yes, we too are for Peace, but it must be Peace with absolute submission to our good pleasure—Peace with two-thirds of the fruits of Human Labor devoted to the pampering of our luxurious appetites, the maintenance of our pomp, the indulgence of our unbounded desires—it must be a Peace which leaves the Millions in darkness, in hopeless degradation, the slaves of superstition and the helpless victims of our lusts." I answer, "No, Sirs! on your conditions no Peace is possible, but everlasting War rather, until your unjust pretensions are abandoned or until your power of enforcing them is destroyed." I have felt a painful apprehension that the prevalence of the Peace Movement, confined as it is to the Liberal party, and acting on a state of things which secures almost unbounded power to the Despots, is calculated to break the spirit of down-trodden nations, and, by thus postponing the inevitable struggle, protract to an indefinite period the advent of that Reign of Universal Justice which alone can usher in the glorious era of Universal Peace. And, had I been a Delegate to this Universal Peace Congress, I should perhaps have marred its harmony and its happiness by asking it to consider and vote upon some such proposition as this:

"Resolved, That in commending to all men everywhere the duty of seeking and preserving Peace, we bear in mind the Apostle's injunction, 'First pure, then peaceable,' and do not deny but affirm the right of a Nation wantonly invaded by a foreign army, or intolerably oppressed by its own rulers, to resist force by force."

[Pg 282]I rejoice in being able to say that the general tendency of the speeches was towards universal Emancipation, mental and physical. I doubt whether an English audience composed in so large proportion of the conventionally "respectable classes" ever listened to so much downright Democracy before. The French speakers, the French writers, were full of it, and the great event, at least of the last day's session, was the entrance of a body of fifteen French workmen, delegates to the World's Exhibition of the "Working Associations" of Paris, who came in a body to pledge their hearts and hands to the cause of Universal Peace, and to assure the Congress that the Laborers, the Republicans, of France, were eminently pacific in their ideas and purposes, and that the preservation of the Republic, which is the immediate object of their exertions, is valued not more in its relation to their personal rights and aspirations than as a step toward the formation of a European confederacy of emancipated Nations, and thus as the corner-stone of the temple of Universal Peace. The Speeches of these Workmen just from their benches in the work-shops of Paris were every way admirable, and were received with the heartiest enthusiasm. They breathed the true spirit not of Peace only but of hearty coöperation in every work calculated to promote the moral and social well-being of mankind. The wretched cant which implies natural enmity between France and England, or any other two nations, was emphatically repudiated by them, and every variety of forcible expression given to the earnest desire of the Laboring Classes of France that Peace, Freedom and Brotherhood shall prevail, not in their own country merely, but throughout the world.

Mr. Cobden had made his great speech on the preceding day, wherein the grievous expensiveness and hideous immorality of Standing Armies were vividly portrayed. He did not hesitate to speak straight out on the subject of the demoralizing influence of Armies on the People among [Pg 283]whom they were quartered or posted, and the broad track of moral desolation which an armed force everywhere leaves behind it. If the facts in this connection were but generally known, I think there would soon be a loud call from Christians, Moralists and Philanthropists for the entire disbandment and dispersion of every Standing Army.—Emile Girardin, Editor of "La Presse," spoke more especially of the enormous expense of Armies and the ruinous taxation they render necessary.—Mr. Cobden spoke again yesterday, in more immediate denunciation of the enormous Standing Army maintained by Austria, not merely throughout its own but in other countries also, the Loans which its Government is constantly contracting, and the gulf of bankruptcy to which it is rapidly hurrying. He said there were intimations that another Austrian Loan would be attempted in London, and if it should be he should urge the call of a public meeting to expose the past knaveries of Austria in dealing with her creditors, and to hold up to public reprobation whoever should touch the Loan.—Mr. Samuel Gurney, the Quaker banker, also spoke in reprehension of Loans for War purposes and all who subscribe to or encourage them.—Edward Miall (Editor of The Non-Conformist), also spoke forcibly against War Loans.

M. Cormenin, an eminent French Statesman and writer, read a witty, piquant essay in reprehension of War and all other contrivances for shortening human life, which, being given first in French and then substantially in English, elicited very hearty plaudits.

There were many more speakers, including Mr. Hindley, British M. P., M. Bouret, French Chamber of Deputies, Elihu Burritt, M. Avignon, an Italian banker, J. S. Buckingham, Dr. Schertzer of Vienna, and Joseph Sturge, who moved that a similar convention be held next year, at a time and place to be afterward agreed on, which was unanimously carried. It was announced that Mr. Geo. Hatfield of Manchester had suggested and agreed to bear [Pg 284]the expense of fifteen Silver Medals to be presented, in behalf of the Congress, to the representatives of the French Workmen's Association for their attendance and sympathy.—Sir David Brewster, being warmly thanked for his services as Chairman, responded in a few excellent remarks, urging each person present to instill the principles of Peace into the hearts of the children who are or may be committed to his or her guidance. He remarked that he had not once been called upon to exercise authority or repress commotion during the whole period of the Congress,—a fact proving that the principles of Peace had already taken root in the breasts of the Members; and there was not, I believe, a single proposition submitted to the Congress on which its vote was not substantially unanimous. The following are the Resolutions adopted:

The Congress of the friends of Universal Peace, assembled in London July 22, 23 and 24, 1851, considering that recourse to arms for the settlement of international disputes, is a custom condemned alike by Religion, Morality, Reason, and Humanity, and believing that it is useful and necessary frequently to direct the attention both of Governments and Peoples to the evils of the War system, and the desirableness and practicability of maintaining Permanent International Peace, resolves:

1. That it is the special and solemn duty of all Ministers of Religion, Instructors of Youth, and Conductors of the Public Press, to employ their great influence in the diffusion of pacific principles and sentiments, and in eradicating from the minds of men those hereditary animosities, and political and commercial jealousies, which have been so often the cause of disastrous Wars.

2. That as an appeal to the sword can settle no question, on any principle of equity and right, it is the duty of Governments to refer to the decision of competent and impartial Arbitrators such differences arising between them as cannot be otherwise amicably adjusted.

3. That the Standing Armaments, with which the Governments of Europe menace each other, amid professions of mutual friendship and confidence, being a prolific source of social immorality, financial embarrassment, and national suffering, while they excite constant disquietude and irritation among the nations, this Congress would earnestly urge upon the Governments the imperative necessity of entering upon a system of International Disarmament.

4. This Congress, regarding the system of negotiating Loans for the prosecution of War, or the maintenance of warlike armaments, as immoral in principle and disastrous in operation, renews its emphatic condemnation of all such Loans.

[Pg 285]5. This Congress, believing that the intervention, by threatened or actual violence, of one country in the international politics of another, is a frequent cause of bitter and desolating wars, maintains that the right of every State to regulate its own affairs should be held absolute and inviolate.

6. This Congress recommends all the friends of Peace to prepare public opinion, in their respective countries, with a view to the formation of an authoritative Code of International Law.

7. This Congress expresses its strong abhorrence of the system of aggression and violence practiced by so-called civilized nations upon aboriginal and feeble tribes, as leading to incessant and exterminating wars, eminently unfavorable to the true progress of religion, civilization and commerce.

8. This Congress, convinced that whatever brings the nations of the earth together in intimate and friendly intercourse must tend to the establishment of Peace, by removing misapprehensions and prejudices, and inspiring mutual respect, hails, with unqualified satisfaction, the Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations, as eminently calculated to promote that end.

9. That the members of Peace Societies, in all Constitutional Countries, be recommended to use their influence to return to their respective Parliaments, representatives who are friends of Peace, and who will be prepared to support, by their votes, measures for the diminution of the number of men employed in, and the amount of money expended for, War purposes.

American Members of the Congress.—Nathaniel Adams, Cornwall, Conn., Rev. Robert Baird, New-York; Geo. M. Borrows, Friburg, Maine; M. B. Bateman, Columbus, Ohio; Rev. George Beckwith, Boston, Mass.; W. Wells Brown, do; Elihu Burritt, Worcester, Mass.; William A. Burt, Washington, D. C.; Dr. Thomas Chadbourne, Portsmouth, N. H.; Rev. J. W. Chickering, Portland, Me.; Wm. Darlington, Westchester, Pa.; Rev. P. B. Day, New-Haven; Rev. Amos Dresser, Oberlin, Ohio; Rev. D. C. Eddy, Lowell, Mass.; Rev. Romeo Elton, Providence, R. I.; A. R. Forsyth, Indiana; Rev. Aaron Foster, Massachusetts; William B. Fox, do; Rev. H. H. Garnett, Geneva, N. Y.; David Gould, Sharon, Conn.; Rev. Josiah Henson, Canada West; E. Jackson, Jr., Boston, Mass.; Wm. Jackson, Newton, do; Rev. P. M. McDowell, New-Brunswick; Rev. Geo. Maxwell, Ohio; Rev. H. A. Mills, Lowell, Mass.; Rev. A. A. Miner, Boston, Mass.; Dr. Henry S. Patterson, Frank B. Palmer, Dr. William Pettit, Philadelphia, Pa.; Thomas Pierce, Illinois; Moses Pond, Boston, Mass.; J. T. Sheoffe, Whitesboro', N. Y.; Isaac Skervan, Buffalo, N. Y.; Rev. Zadock Thompson, Burlington, Vt.; Rev. John E. Tyler, Windham, Conn.; Ichabod Washbourne, Worcester, Mass.; Rev. James C. White, Ohio; Chas. H. De Wolfe, Oldtown, Me.

[Pg 286]



London, Tuesday, July 26, 1851.

If I return this once more and for the last time to the subject of American contributions to the great Exposition, it shall not be said with truth that my impulse is a feeling of soreness and chagrin. Within the last few days, a very decided and gratifying change has taken place in the current of opinion here with regard to American invention and its results. One cause of this was the late formal trial of American (with other foreign) Plows, in the presence of the Agricultural Jury; which trial, though partial and hurried, was followed by immediate orders for an American Plow then tested (Starbuck's) from Englishmen, Belgians and Frenchmen, including several Agricultural Societies. If a hundred of those Plows were here, they might be sold at once; in their absence, the full price has been paid down for some twenty or thirty, to be shipped at New-York, and be thenceforth at the risk and cost of the buyers. And these orders have just commenced. The London journals which had reporters present (some of which journals ridiculed our Farming Implements expressly a few weeks ago), now grudgingly admit that the American Plows did their work with less draft than was required by their European rivals, but add that they did not do it so well. Such was not the judgment of other witnesses of the trial, as the purchases, among other things, attest.

A still more signal triumph to American ingenuity was [Pg 287]accorded on Thursday. Mr. Mechi, formerly a London merchant, having acquired a competence by trade, retired some years since to a farm in Essex, about forty miles off, where he is vigorously prosecuting a system of High Farming, employing the most effective implements and agencies of all kinds. He annually has a gathering of distinguished farmers and others to inspect his estate and see how his "book farming" gets on. This festival occurred day before yesterday—a sour, dark, drenching day—notwithstanding which, nearly two hundred persons were present. Among others, several machines for cutting Grain were exhibited and tested, including two (Hussey's and McCormick's) from America, and an English one which was declared on all hands a mere imitation of Hussey's. Neither the original nor the copy, however, appear to have operated to the satisfaction of the assembly, perhaps owing to the badness of the weather and its effects on the draggled, unripe grain. With McCormick's a very different result was obtained. This machine is so well known in our Wheat-growing districts that I need only remark that it is the same lately ridiculed by one of the great London journals as "a cross between an Astley's chariot, a treadmill and a flying machine," and its uncouth appearance has been a standing butt for the London reporters at the Exhibition. It was the ready exemplar of American distortion and absurdity in the domain of Art. It came into the field at Mechi's, therefore, to confront a tribunal (not the official but the popular) already prepared for its condemnation. Before it stood John Bull, burly, dogged and determined not to be humbugged—his judgment made up and his sentence ready to be recorded. Nothing disconcerted, the brown, rough, homespun Yankee in charge jumped on the box, starting the team at a smart walk, setting the blades of the machine in lively operation, and commenced raking off the grain in sheaf-piles ready for binding,—cutting a breadth of nine or ten feet cleanly [Pg 288]and carefully as fast as a span of horses could comfortably step. There was a moment, and but a moment of suspense; human prejudice could hold out no longer; and burst after burst of involuntary cheers from the whole crowd proclaimed the triumph of the Yankee "treadmill." That triumph has since been the leading topic in all agricultural circles. The Times' report speaks of it as beyond doubt, as placing the harvest absolutely under the farmer's control, and as ensuring a complete and most auspicious revolution in the harvesting operations of this country. I would gladly give the whole account, which, grudgingly towards the inventor, but unqualifiedly as to the machine, speaks of the latter as "securing to English farming protection against climate and an economy of labor which must prove of incalculable advantage." Pretty well for "a cross between an Astley's chariot, a flying machine and a treadmill."

Mr. McCormick, I hear, is probably now on his way hither from the United States, and will be rather astonished on landing to find himself a lion. Half a dozen makers and sellers of Agricultural implements, are already on the watch for him, and if he makes his bargain wisely, he is morally sure of a fortune from England alone. His machine and its operator were the center of an eager circle to-day, and if five hundred of the former were to be had here, they would all be bought within a month. There is to be another public trial, merely to place beyond doubt its capacity to cut dry and ripe grain as well as green and wet; but those who have seen it work in the States will not care much for that.[C]

Mr. Hobbs, of the American Bank Lock Company, has had a recent trial of the Chubb Lock, so long deemed invincible here, and consumed twenty-four minutes and a [Pg 289]half in picking it, under the supervision of judges of unquestionable ability and impartiality. He then re-locked it without disturbing the "Detector," and left it as when it was set before him. He has now to try his skill on the "Bramah" lock under the challenge for £200; and, should he be able to open it, he says he shall there rest the case.[D] He has been sent for by the Governor of the Bank of England, and will respond to the invitation. His operations have of course excited some feeling among those whose interests were affected by them; yet it is manifestly proper and important, if the locks relied on by banks and other depositories of treasure here are not secure against burglary, that the fact should be known. Unless I err as to his success at the forthcoming trial with the Bramah lock, British locksmiths must commence at once to learn their business over again under Yankee tuition.

I might give other facts in support of my judgment that our Country has not been and will not be disgraced by her share in this Exhibition, but I forbear. Had we declined altogether the invitation to participate in this show, we certainly would have been discredited in the world's opinion, however unjustly; had we attempted to rival the costly tissues, dainty carvings, rich mosaics, and innumerable gewgaws of Europe, we should have shown equal bad taste and unsound judgment, and would have deservedly been laughed at. Our real error consists, not in neglecting to send articles to rival the rich fabrics and wares of this Continent, but in sending too few of those homely but most important products in which we unquestionably lead the world. We have a good many such here now, but we should have had many more. One such plain, odd-looking concern as McCormick's Reaper, though it makes no figure in the eyes of mere sight-seers in comparison with an inlaid Table or a case of Paris Bonnets, is of more practical account than a Crystal Palace full of those, and so will [Pg 290]ultimately be regarded. Looking to-day at Mitchell's admirable new Map of the United States and their Territories, as now existing, which worthily fills an honorable place in the Exhibition, with several but too few others of the same class, I could not but regret that a set of Harpers' Common School Libraries, with a brief account of the origin and progress of our School Library system, had not been contributed; and I wish I had myself spent fifty dollars if necessary to place in the Exhibition a good collection of American School Books. If there shall ever be another World's Exhibition, I bespeak a conspicuous place in it for a model American country School-House, with its Library, Globes, Maps, Black-Board, Class Books, &c., and a succinct account of our Common School system, printed in the five or six principal languages of Europe for gratuitous distribution to all who may apply for it. With this got up as it should be, I would not mind admitting that in Porcelain and Laces, Ormolu and Trinkets, Europe is yet several years ahead of us.

Mr. J. S. Gwynne of our State, whose "Balanced Centrifugal Pump" made a sensation and obtained a Gold Medal at our Institute Fair last October, is here with it, and proposes a public trial of its qualities in competition with the rival English pumps of Appold and Bessimer for $1,000, to be paid by the loser to the Mechanics' Society. Mr. Gwynne claims that these English Pumps (which have been among the chief attractions of the department of British Machinery) are palpable plagiarisms from his invention, and not well done at that. He, of course, does not claim the idea of a Centrifugal Pump as his own, for it is much older than any of them, but he does claim that adaptation of the idea which has rendered it effective and valuable. I am reliably informed that he has just sold his Scotch patent only for the comfortable sum of £10,000 sterling, or nearly $50,000; and this is but one of several inventions for which he has found a ready market here [Pg 291]at liberal prices. I cite his case (for he is one of several Americans who have recently sold their European patents here at high figures) as a final answer to those who croak that our country is disgraced, and regret that any American ever came near the Exhibition. Had these discerning and patriotic gentlemen been interested in these patents, they might have taken a different view of the matter. Even my New-York friend, whose toadyism in exhibiting a capital pair of Oars inscribed "A present for the Prince of Wales," I have already characterized as it deserves, yesterday informed me that he had sold $15,000 worth of Oars here since the Fair opened. I am sure I rejoice in his good fortune, and hope it may insure the improvement of his taste also.

There are many articles in the American department of which I would gladly speak, that have attracted no public notice. Since I left for the Continent, Mrs. A. Nicholson, formerly of our city, has sent in a Table-Cover worked in Berlin Wool from the centre outward so as to form a perfect circle, or succession of circles, from centre to circumference, with a great variety of brilliant colors imperceptibly shading into each other. This having been made entirely by hand, with no implement but a common cut nail, the process is of course too slow to be valuable; but the result attained may very probably afford useful hints and suggestions to inventors of weaving machinery.—I think the display of Flint Glass by the Brooklyn Company is equal in purity and fineness to any other plain Glass in the Exhibition, and only regret that the quantity sent had not been larger. I regret far more that the "Hillotype," for giving sun-pictures with the colors of life, has not yet made its appearance here, while the "Caloric Engine" (using compressed and heated air instead of water for the generation of power), was not ready in season to justify a decision on its merits by the Jury of its Class; and so with other recent American inventions of which [Pg 292]high hopes are entertained. We ought to have had here a show merely of Inventions, Machines and Implements exceeding the entire contents of the American Department—ought to have had, apart from any question of National credit, if only because the inventors' interests would have been subserved thereby—and we should have had much more than we actually have, had the state of the British Patent-Laws been less outrageous than it is. A patent here costs ten times as much as in the United States, and is worth little when you have it—that is, it is not even an opinion that the patentee has really invented anything, but merely an evidence that he claimed to have done so at such a date, and a permission to prove that he actually did, if he can. In other words; a patent gives a permission and an opportunity to contend legally for your rights; and if the holder is known to have money enough, it generally suffices; if not, he can and will be not only plundered with impunity, but defied and laughed at. A bill radically revising the British Patent-Laws is now on its way through Parliament, but in its absence many American inventors refused to expose themselves to a loss of their inventions by exhibiting them at the Fair; and who can blame them?

The succession of fêtes to be given by the Municipality of Paris to the Royal Commissioners, Jurors, &c., in honor of the World's Exhibition, opens this week, and will be brilliant and gratifying as no other city but Paris could make it. The number invited is over One Thousand, and all are taken from the British shore in French National Vessels, and thenceforth will be the guests of their inviters until they shall again be landed at an English port, paying nothing themselves for travel, entertainment, balls, &c., &c. This is certainly handsome, and I acknowledge the courtesy, though I shall not accept the invitation. I leave for Scotland and Ireland on Monday.


[C] This trial took place at Mechi's some three weeks later, and resulted in a complete triumph for the reaper, which thereupon received an award (already accorded it by the Council of Chairmen, subject to revision upon the result of this trial), of a first-class or Great-Medal.

[D] He has since done so, to the perfect satisfaction of the judges.

[Pg 293]



Newcastle, Eng., Tuesday, July 29, 1851.

I came up through the heart of England by railroad yesterday from London by Rugby, Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield, near Sheffield and Leeds, through York, near Durham, to this place, where Coal is found in proverbial abundance, as its black canopy of smoke might testify. Newcastle lies at the head of navigation on the Tyne, about thirty miles inland from the E. N. E. coast of England, three hundred miles from London, and is an ancient town, mainly built of brick, exhibiting considerable manufacturing and commercial activity.

The British Railroads are better built, more substantial and costly than ours, but their management does not equal my anticipations. They make no such time as is currently reported on our side, and are by no means reliable for punctuality. The single Express Train daily from London to Edinburgh professes to make the distance (428 miles) in about twelve hours, which is less than 36 miles per hour, with the best of double tracks, through a remarkably level country, everything put out of its way, and no more stops than its own necessities of wood and water require. We should easily beat this in America with anything like equal facilities, and without charging the British price—£4 7s. (or over $21) for a distance not equal to the length of the Erie Railroad, almost wholly through a populous and busy region, where Coal is most abundant and very cheap.

[Pg 294]Our train (the Mail) started from London at 10½ A. M. and should have been here at 11 P. M. or in a little less than 25 miles per hour. But the running throughout the country is now bewitched with Excursion Trains and throngs of passengers flocking on low-priced Excursion return tickets to see the Great Exhibition, which is quite as it should be, but the consequent delay and derangement of the regular trains is as it should not be. The Companies have no moral right to fish up a quantity of irregular and temporary business to the violation of their promises and the serious disappointment of their regular customers. As things are managed, we left London with a train of twenty-five cars, half of them filled with Excursion passengers for whom a separate engine should have been, but was not, provided; so that we were behind time from the first and arrived here at 1 this morning instead of 11 last night.

The spirit of accommodation is not strikingly evinced on British Railroads. The train halts at a place to which you are a stranger, and you perhaps hear its name called out for the benefit of the passengers who are to stop there; but whether the halt is to last half a minute, five minutes, or ten, you must find out as you can. The French Railroads are better in this respect, and the American cannot be worse, though the fault is not unknown there. A penny programme for each train, to be sold at the chief stations on each important route, stating not merely at what place but exactly how long each halt of that particular train would be made, is one of the yet unsatisfied wants of Railroad travelers. Our "Path-finders" and "Railway Guides" undertake to tell so much that plain people are confused and often misled by them, and are unable to pick out the little information they actually need from the wilderness of figures and facts set before them. Let us have Guides so simple that no guide is needed to explain them.

There is much sameness in English rural scenery. I have now traveled nearly a thousand miles in this country [Pg 295]without seeing anything like a mountain and hardly a precipice except the chalky cliffs of the sea shore. Nearly every acre I have seen is susceptible of cultivation, and of course either cultivated, built upon, or devoted to wood. A few steep banks of streams or ravines, almost uniformly wooded, and some small marshes, mainly on the sea-coast, are all the exceptions I remember to the general capacity for cultivation. Usually, the aspect of the country is pleasant—beautiful, if you choose—but nowise calculated to excite wonder or evoke enthusiasm. The abundance of evergreen hedges is its most striking characteristic. I judge that two-thirds of England is in Grass (meadow or pasture), very green and thrifty, and dotted with noble herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. They are anxious to finish Hay-making throughout the region we traversed yesterday; but as there has been scarcely an hour of very bashful sunshine during the last six days, more than half of which have been rainy, the operation is one rather trying to human patience. Some of the cut grass looks as if it were Flax spread out to rot, and all of it evinces a want of shelter. This morning is almost fair, though hazy, so that the necessity of taking in and drying the hay by a fire may be obviated, but a great deal of it must be seriously damaged. (P. S. 10 o'clock.—It is cloudy and raining again.)

Wheat covers perhaps an eighth of all Central England, is now ripening and generally heavy, but much of it is beaten down by the wind and rain, and looks as if a herd of buffaloes had been chased through it by a tribe of mounted Indians. If the weather should be mainly fair henceforth, the crop may be saved, but it must already have received material damage, and the process of harvesting it must be tedious. Barley is considerably grown, and has also been a good deal prostrated. Oats have suffered less, being more backward.—Potatoes look vigorous, though not yet out of danger from blight or rot. Not a patch of Indian Corn is to be seen throughout. Considerable [Pg 296]grass-land has been plowed up for Wheat next season, and some Turnips are just visible; but it is evident that Grass and Stock, under the influence of the low prices of Grain produced by the repeal of the Corn-laws, are steadily gaining upon Tillage, of course throwing tens of thousands of Agricultural laborers out of employment, and driving them to emigration, to manufactures, or the poor-house. Thus the rural population of England is steadily and constantly decreasing.

The best feature of English landscape is formed by its Trees. Though rarely relied on for fuel, there is scarcely an area of forty acres without them, while single trees, copses, more rarely rows, and often petty forests, are visible in all quarters. The trees are not the straight, tall, trim, short-limbed, shadeless Poplars, &c., of France and Italy, but wide-spreading, hospitable Oaks, Yews and other sturdy battlers with wind and storm, which have a far more genial and satisfactory appearance. And the trees of England have a commercial as well as a less measurable value; for timber of all sorts is in demand in the collieries, manufactories and mines, and bears a high price, the consumption far exceeding the domestic supply. But for the trees, these sullen skies and level grounds would render England dreary enough.

Newcastle is the location of one of those immense structures which illustrate the Industrial greatness and pecuniary strength of Britain, and illustrate also the meagerness of her Railroad dividends. The Tyne is here a furlong wide or more, running through a narrow valley or wide ravine perhaps 150 feet below the average level of the great plain which encloses it, and hardly more than half a mile wide at the top. Across this river and gorge is thrown a bridge of iron, with abutments and piers of hewn stone, the arches of said bridge having a total length of 1,375 feet, with 512 feet water-way, while the railway is 112½ feet above high-water mark, with a fine carriage and [Pg 297]footway underneath it at a hight of 86 feet, and a total hight from river-bed to parapet of 132½ feet. The gigantic arches have a span of over 124 feet each, and the total cost of the work was £304,500, or about $1,500,000. Near this is a Central Railway Station (there are two others in the place), built entirely, including the roof, of cut stone, save a splendid row of glass windows on either side—said dépôt being over 592 feet long, the passengers' department being 537 by 183 feet, and the whole costing over $500,000. Here, then, are about $2,000,000 expended on a single mile of railroad, in a city of by no means primary importance. If any one can see how fair dividends could be paid on railroads constructed at such expense, the British shareholders generally would be glad to avail themselves of his sagacity. And it is stated that the Law Expenses of several of the British roads, including procurement of charter and right of way, have exceeded $2,500,000. Add to this rival lines running near each other, and often three where one should suffice, and you have the explanation of a vast, enormous and ruinous waste of property. Let the moral be heeded.


Edinburgh, July 29—Evening.

From Newcastle to the Tweed (70 miles) the country continues level and mainly fertile, but the Grain is far more backward than in the vicinity of London, and very little of it has been blown down. More Wheat and far less Grass are grown here than below York, while Barley, Oats and Potatoes cover a good share of the ground, and the Turnip is often seen. All look well, but the Potato, though late, is especially hearty and thrifty. Shade-trees in the cultivated fields are rare; in fact, wood is altogether rarer than at the south, though small forests are generally within sight. I should judge from what I see and feel that [Pg 298]shade is seldom wanting here, except as a shield from the rain. Desperate attempts at Hay-making engross the thoughts and efforts of a good many men and women, though the skies are black, rain falls at intervals, and a chill, heavy mist makes itself disagreeably familiar, while a thin, drifting fog limits the vision to a square mile or so. Some of the half-made hay in the meadows looks as though it had been standing out to bleach for the last fortnight. Even the Grass-land is often ridged so as to shed the water quickly, while deep ditches or drains do duty for fences. Fruit-trees are rarely seen; they were scarce from London to York, but now have disappeared. Our road runs nearer and nearer the North Sea, which at length is close beside us on the right, but no town of any importance is visible until we cross the Tweed on a long, high, costly stone bridge just above Berwick of historic fame, and are in


Here the growing crops are much the same as throughout the North of England—Wheat, Potatoes, Barley, Oats, and Grass—save that the Turnip has become an article of primary importance. From some points, hundreds of acres of the Swedish and French may be seen, and they are rarely or never out of view. They are sown in rows or drills, some eighteen inches or two feet apart, so as to admit of cultivation by the plow, which is now in progress. The most forward of the plants now display a small yellow blossom. All are healthy and promising, and are kept thoroughly clear of weeds. I infer that they are mainly grown for feeding cattle, and this seems a good idea, since they can be harvested in defiance of rain and mist, which is rather more difficult with Hay. They become more and more abundant as we approach this city, and are grown up to its very doors. Heavy stone walls laid in mortar and copses or little forests of Oak are among the characteristics [Pg 299]of the rural district around Edinburgh, whereof the culture is widely famed for its excellence. The only Scottish town of any note we pass is Dunbar, by the sea-side, though Dunse, Haddington and Dalkeith lie but a few miles inland from our road, with which they are connected by branches. We reached this city about 3 P. M. or in five hours from Newcastle, 130 miles.


I knew this was a city of noble and beautiful structures, but the reality surpasses my expectation. The old town was mainly built in a deep valley running northward into the Firth of Forth, with the Royal Palace of Holyrood in its midst, the port of Leith on the Firth a few miles northward, and the Castle on a commanding crag overlooking the old town from the west. The Canongate and High-street lead up to the esplanade of the Castle from the east, but its other sides are precipitous and inaccessible, a deep valley skirting it on the north, while the south end of the old town fills the other side. The former or more northern valley has for the most part been kept clear of buildings, the spacious Prince's-street Gardens and the grounds of several charitable institutions having had possession of it, until they were recently required to surrender a part for the Railroads running south to Berwick, &c., and west to Glasgow for a General Depot. Across this deep valley or chasm, northward, rises the eminence on which the new town of Edinburgh is constructed, with the deep chasm in which runs the rapid mill-stream known as the "Water of Leith," separating it from a like, though lower, hill still further north and west, on which a few fine buildings and very pleasant gardens are located. The new town is thus perhaps 150 feet above the old town, a mile and a half long by half a mile wide, commanding magnificent views of the old town, the port of Leith, the broad, ocean-like Firth of [Pg 300]Forth, and the finely cultivated country stretching southward; and, as if these were not enough to secure its salubrity, it has more gardens and public squares than any other city of its size in the world. Its streets are broad and handsome; its houses built almost wholly of stone, and I never saw so many good ones with so few indifferent. If I were to choose from all the world a city wherein to make an effort for longevity, I would select the new town of Edinburgh; but I should prefer to live fewer years where there is more sunshine.

Public Monuments would seem to be the grand passion of the Edinburghers. The most conspicuous are those of Lord Nelson on Calton Hill (next to the Castle, if not before it, the most commanding location in the city) and of Walter Scott on Prince's-street, nearly opposite the Castle, across the glen, in full sight of all who arrive in Edinburgh by Railroad, as also from the Castle and its vicinity, as well as from the broad and thronged street beside which it is located. But there are Monuments also to Pitt, to Lord Melville, and some twenty or thirty other deceased notables. These are generally located in the higher squares or gardens which wisely occupy a large portion of the ground-plot of the new town. Public Hospitals and Infirmaries are also a prominent feature of the Scottish capital, there being several spacious and fine edifices devoted to the healing of the sick, most if not all of them founded and endowed by private munificence. There are several Bridges across the two principal and more on the secondary or cross valleys, ravines or gorges which may well attract attention. These Bridges are often several hundred feet long, and from thirty to eighty feet high, and you look down from their roadway upon the red-tiled roofs of large eight or nine-story houses beside and below them. Nearly or quite every house in Edinburgh is built of stone, which is rather abundant in Scotland, and often of a fair, free, easily worked quality. Many even of the larger houses, especially in the old town, [Pg 301]are built of coarse, rough, undressed stone, often of round, irregular boulders, made to retain the places assigned them by dint of abundant and excellent mortar. In the better buildings, however, the stone is of a finer quality, and handsomely cut, though almost entirely of a brown or dark gray color. The winding drive to the summit of Calton Hill, looking down upon large, tall, castle-like houses of varied material and workmanship, with the prospect from the summit, are among the most impressive I have seen in Europe.

I was interested this afternoon in looking around from one to another of the edifices with which History or the pen of the Wizard of the North has rendered us all familiar—the Tolbooth, the Parliament House, the Castle, the house of John Knox, the principal Churches, &c., &c. I spent most time of all in the Palace of Holyrood, which, though unwisely located, never gorgeously furnished, and long since abandoned of Royalty to dilapidation and decay, still wears the stamp of majesty and will be regal even when crumbled into ruins. Its tapestries are faded and rotten; its paintings, never brilliant specimens of the art, have also felt the tooth of Time; its furniture, never sumptuous, would but poorly answer at this day the needs of an ordinary family; its ball-room is now a lumber-room; its royal beds excite premonitions of rheumatism: its boudoir says nought of Beauty but that it passeth away. Yet the carefully preserved ivory miniature of the hapless Queen of Scots is still radiant with that superlative loveliness which seems unearthly and prophetic of coming sorrows; and it were difficult to view without emotion the tapestry she worked, the furniture she brought over from France, some mementoes of her unwise marriage, the little room in which she sat at supper with Rizzio and three or four friends when the assassins rushed in through a secret door, stabbed her ill-starred favorite, and dragged him bleeding through her bed-room into an outer audience chamber, and [Pg 302]there left him to die, his life-blood oozing out from fifty-six wounds. The partition still stands which the Queen caused to be erected to shut off the scene of this horrible tragedy from that larger portion of the reception-room which she was obliged still to occupy, therein to greet daily those whom public cares and duties constrained her to confer with and listen to, though Murder had stained ineffaceably the floor of that regal hall. Alas! unhappy Queen!—and yet not all unhappy. Other sovereigns have their little day of pomp and adulation, then shrivel to dust and are forgotten; but she still lives and reigns wherever Beauty finds admirers or Suffering commands sympathy. Other Queens innumerable have lived and died, and their scepters crumbled to dust even sooner than their clay; but Mary is still Queen of Scots, and so will remain forever.

[Pg 303]



The Clyde, Wednesday, July 30, 1851.

I am leaving Scotland without having seen half enough of it. My chief reasons are a determination to run over a good part of Ireland and an engagement to leave Europe in my favorite ship Baltic next week; but, besides these, this continual prevalence of fog, mist, cloud, drizzle and rain diminish my regret that I am unable to visit the Highlands. My friends who, having a day's start of me, went up the Forth from Edinburgh to Stirling, thence visiting Lochs Lomond and Katrine, thence proceeding by boat to Glasgow, were unable to see aught of the mountains but their bases, their heads being shrouded in vapor; and, being landed from a steamboat at the head of Lake navigation on Loch Lomond, found five miles of land-carriage between them and a comfortable shelter, and only vehicles enough to take the women and part of the men; the rest being obliged to make the distance on foot in a drenching rain, with night just at hand. Such adventures as this,—and they are common in this region,—console me for my disappointment in not having been able to see the Heather in its mountain home. The Gorse, the Broom, the Whins, not to speak of the Scottish Thistle, have been often visible by the roadside, and the prevalence of evergreens attests the influence of a colder clime than that of England; indeed, the backwardness of all the crops argues a difference of at least a fortnight in climate between [Pg 304]Edinburgh and London. Wheat has hardly filled yet in the Scottish Lowlands; Oats are barely headed; and the Grass is little more than half cut and not half dried into Hay; on the contrary, it now looks as if it must winter on the ground or be taken in thoroughly water-soaked. Being so much later, the crops are far less blown down here than they are in England; but neither Grass nor Grain is generally heavy, while Potatoes and Turnips, though backward, looked remarkably vigorous and promising. Beautifully farmed is all this Lowland country, well fenced, clear of weeds, and evidently in the hands of intelligent, industrious, scientific cultivators. Wood is quite plentiful, Oak especially, though shade-trees are not so frequent in cultivated fields as in England; but rough, rocky, precipitous spots are quite common here, though in the Lowlands, and these are wisely devoted to growing timber. Belgium is more genial and more fertile, but I have rarely seen a tract of country better farmed than that stretching westward from Edinburgh to Glasgow (48 miles) and thence down the Clyde to Greenock, some 22 miles further. The farmers in our Mohawk Valley ought to pass through this gloomy, chilly, misty country, and be shamed into a better improvement of their rare but misused advantages.

Traveling is useful in that it gives us a more vivid idea of the immense amount of knowledge we yet lack. I supposed till to-day that, by virtue of a Scotch-Irish ancestry (in part) and a fair acquaintance with the works of Walter Scott, Burns, Hogg, &c., I knew the Lowland Scotch dialect pretty thoroughly; and yet a notice plainly posted up, "This Lot To Feu," completely bothered me. On inquiry, I learned that to feu a lot means to let or lease it for building purposes—in other words, to be built upon on a ground-rent. I suppose I learned this years ago, but had entirely forgotten it.

The Clyde, though a fair stream at Glasgow, is quite [Pg 305]narrow for twelve to fifteen miles below that city, seeming hardly equal to the Connecticut at Hartford, or the Hudson at Waterford; but then it has a good tide, which helps the matter materially, and has at great expense been dredged out so as to be navigable for vessels of several hundred tuns. We passed a fine American packet-ship with a very wholesome looking body of Scotch emigrants, hard aground some ten miles below Glasgow, and I was informed that a large vessel, even though towed by a steamboat, is seldom able to get down into deep water upon a single tide, but is stopped half way to wait for another. This river fairly swarms with small steamboats, of which there are regular lines connecting Glasgow with Londonderry, Belfast, Dublin, Fleetwood (north-west of England), Liverpool, London, &c. We met four or five boats returning from Excursion parties crowded with the better paid artisans and laborers of Glasgow, their wives and children.

The banks of the Clyde for some miles below Glasgow are low and marshy, much of the intervale being devoted to pasturage, while a rude embankment has been interposed on either side, consisting of stones of five to fifty pounds each, intended to prevent the washing away of the banks by the ripple raised by the often-passing steamboats. The end is fairly though not cheaply subserved. As we descend, the shores become bolder; the rugged hills, at first barely visible on the right, come near and nearer the water: low rocks begin to lift their heads above the surface of the stream, while others have their innate modesty overpowered by wooden fixtures lifting their heads above the highest tides to warn the mariner of his danger. At length a gigantic cone of rock rises out of the water on the right of the channel to a height of fifty or sixty feet, resembling some vast old cathedral: this is Dumbarton Castle, with the anciently famous but now decaying town of Dumbarton lying at the head of a small bay behind it. A little lower on the left is Port Glasgow, [Pg 306]the head of navigation for very large vessels; and three miles lower still is Greenock, quite a stirring seaport, somewhat addicted to ship-building. Here our boat, which had left Glasgow (22 miles above) at 4 P. M. held on till 8 for the train which left the same port at 7 with the mail and additional passengers; and then laid her course directly across the channel to Belfast, 138 miles from Glasgow, where she is due at 5 to-morrow morning.


Looks more American than any other city I have seen in Europe. Half of Pittsburgh spliced on to half of Philadelphia would make a city very like Glasgow. Iron is said to be made cheaper here than elsewhere in the world, the ore being alloyed with a carbonaceous substance which facilitates the process and reduces the cost of melting. Tall chimneys and black columns of smoke are abundant in the vicinity. The city is about twice the size of Edinburgh, with more than double the trade of that capital, and has risen rapidly from relative insignificance. New rows of stately houses have recently been built, and the "court end" of the city is extending rapidly toward the West. A brown or dark gray stone, as in Edinburgh, is the principal material used, and gives the city a very substantial appearance. Most of the town, being new, has wide and straight streets; in the older part, they are perverse and irrational, as old concerns are apt obstinately to be. They have an old Cathedral here (now Presbyterian) of which the citizens seem quite proud, I can't perceive why. Architecturally, it seems to me a sad waste of stone and labor. The other churches are also mainly Presbyterian, and, while making less pretensions, are far more creditable to the taste of their designers. The town is built on both sides of the Clyde, which is crossed by fine stone bridges, but seven-eighths of it lie on the north. Ancient Glasgow, [Pg 307]embracing the narrow and crooked streets, lies nearly in the center, and is crowded with a squalid and miserable population, at least half the women and children, including mothers with children in their arms, and grandmothers, or those who might well be such, being without shoes or stockings in the cold and muddy streets. Intemperance has many votaries here, as indeed, throughout Scotland; "Dealers in Spirits," or words to that effect, being a fearfully common sign. I am afraid the good cause of Total Abstinence is making no headway here—Glasgow has a daily paper (the first in Scotland) and many weeklies, one of the best of them being a new one, "The Sentinel," which has a way of going straight to the core of public questions, and standing always on the side of thorough Reform. Success to it, and a warm good-bye to the rugged land of Song and Story—the loved home of Scott and Burns.

[Pg 308]



Dublin, Thursday, July 31, 1851.

Though the night was thick, the wind was light, and we had a very good passage across the North Channel, though our boat was very middling, and I was nearly poisoned by some of my fellow-sleepers in the gentlemen's cabin insisting that every window should be closed. O to be Pope for one little week, just long enough to set half a million pulpits throughout the world to ringing the changes on the importance, the vital necessity, of pure, fresh air! The darkness, or rather the general misapprehension, which prevails on this subject, is a frightful source of disease and misery. Nine-tenths of mankind have such a dread of "a draught" or current of air that they will shut themselves up, forty together, in a close room, car or cabin, and there poison each other with the exhalations of their mutual lungs, until disease and often death are the consequences. Why won't they study and learn that a "draught" of pure air will injure only those who by draughts of Alcoholic poison or some other evil habit or glaring violation of the laws of life, have rendered themselves morbidly susceptible, and that even a cold is better than the noxiousness of air, already exhausted of its oxygen by inhalation? Nothing physical is so sorely needed by the great majority as a realizing sense of the blessedness, the indispensable necessity of pure, fresh air.

We landed at Belfast at 5 this morning under a pouring rain, which slacked off two hours later, but the skies are [Pg 309]still clouded, as they have been since Tuesday of last week, and there has been some sprinkling through the day.

Of course the Crops are suffering badly. Flax is a great staple of the North of Ireland, and three fourths of it is beaten flat to the earth. Wheat is injured and poor, though not so generally prostrate; Oats look feeble, and as if half drowned; some of these are, and considerable Barley is thrown down; Grass is light, much of it uncut, and much that is cut has lain under the stormy or cloudy skies through the last week and looks badly; only the Potatoes look strong and thrifty, and promise an ample yield. I shall be agreeably disappointed if Ireland realizes a fair average harvest this year.

Belfast is a busy, growing town, the emporium of the Linen Manufacture, and the capital of the Province of Ulster, the Northern quarter of Ireland. It seems prosperous, though no wise remarkably so; and I have been painfully disappointed in the apparent condition of the rural peasantry on the line of travel from Belfast to Dublin, which I had understood formed an exception to the general misery of Ireland. Out of the towns not one habitation in ten is fit for human beings to live in, but mere low, cramped hovels of rock, mud and straw; not one-half the families on the way seem to have so much as an acre of land to each household; not half the men to be seen have coats to their backs; and not one in four of the women and children have each a pair of shoes or stockings. And those feet!—if the owners would only wash them once a week, the general aspect of affairs in this section would be materially brightened. Wretchedness, rags and despair salute me on every side; and if this be the best part of Ireland, what must the state of the worst be?

From Belfast we had railroad to Armagh, 35 miles; then 13 miles by omnibus to Castle Blayney. We came over this latter route with ten or twelve passengers, and a tun or so of luggage on the outside of the Railroad Company's [Pg 310]omnibus, with thirteen of us stowed inside, beside a youngster in arms, who illustrated the doctrine of Innate Depravity by a perpetual fight with his mother. Yet, thus overloaded we were driven the thirteen miles of muddy road in about two hours, taking at Castle Blayney another railroad train, which brought us almost to Drogheda, some 25 miles, where we had to take another omnibus for a mile or two, for want of a railroad bridge over the Boyne, thus reaching another train which brought us into Dublin, 32 miles. The North of Ireland is yet destitute of any other railroads than such patches and fragments as these, whereby I am precluded from seeing Londonderry, and its vicinity, which I much desired. At length we were brought into Dublin at half-past three o'clock, or in eight hours from Belfast, about one hundred and thirty miles.

The face of the country through this part of Ireland is moderately rolling, though some fair hills appear in the distance. The land is generally good, though there are considerable tracts of hard, thin soil. Small bogs are frequently seen, but no one exceeding a dozen acres; the large ones lying farther inland. Taking so little room and supplying the poor with a handy and cheap fuel, I doubt that these little bogs are any detriment to the country. Some of them have been made to take on a soil (by draining, cutting, drying and burning the upper strata of peat, and spreading the ashes over the entire surface), and are now quite productive.—Drainage and ridging are almost universally resorted to, showing the extraordinary humidity of the atmosphere. The Potato is now generally in blossom, and, having a large breadth of the land, and being in fine condition, gives an appearance of thrift and beauty to the landscape. But, in spite of this, the general yield of Ireland in 1851 is destined to be meager. There is more misery in store for this unhappy people.

We cross two small lakes some ten to fifteen miles north [Pg 311]of this city, and run for some distance close to the shore of the Channel. At length, a vision of dwellings, edifices and spires bounds the horizon of the level plain to the south-west, and in a few minutes we are in Dublin.

[Pg 312]



Galway, Ireland, Aug. 2, 1851.

I came down here yesterday from Dublin (126½ miles) by the first Railroad train ever run through for the traveling public, hoping not only to acquire some personal knowledge of the West of Ireland, but also to gain some idea of the advantages and difficulties attending the proposed establishment of a direct communication by Mail Steamers between this port and our own country. And although my trip is necessarily a hurried one, yet, having been rowed down and nearly across the Bay, so as to gain some knowledge of its conformation and its entrance, and having traversed the town in every direction, and made the acquaintance of some of its most intelligent citizens, I shall at all events return with a clearer idea of the whole subject than ever so much distant study of maps, charts and books could have given me.

The Midland Railroad from Dublin passes by Maynooth, Mullingar, Athlone (where it crosses the Shannon by a noble iron bridge), and Ballinasloe to this place, at the head of Galway Bay, some twenty-five miles inland from the broad Atlantic. The country is remarkably level throughout, and very little rock-cutting and but a moderate amount of excavation have been required in making the Railroad, of which a part (from Dublin to Mullingar) has been for some time in operation, while the residue has just been opened. (The old stage-road from Dublin to Galway [Pg 313]measures 133 miles, or nearly seven more than the Railroad.) I presume there is nowhere an elevation of forty feet to the mile, and with a good double track (now nearly completed), there can be no difficulty in running express trains through in three hours. From Dublin to Holyhead will require four hours, and from Holyhead to London six more, making fifteen hours in all (including two for coming into Galway) for the transportation of the Mails from the broad Atlantic off this port to London. Allow three more for leeway, and still the entire Mails may be distributed in London about the time that the steamship can now be telegraphed as off Holyhead, and at least twelve (I hope fifteen) hours earlier than the Mails can now be received in London, to say nothing of the saving of thirty or forty hours on the Mails to and from Ireland, and twenty or so for those of Scotland. Is there any good reason why those hours should not be saved? I can perceive none, even though the steamships should still proceed to Liverpool as heretofore.

Galway Bay is abundantly large enough and safe enough for steamships, even as it is, though its security is susceptible of easy improvement. It has abundant depth inside, but hardly twenty feet at low water on a bar in the harbor, so that large steamships coming in would be obliged to anchor a mile or so from the dock for high water if they did not arrive so as to hit it, as they must now wait off the bar at Liverpool, only much further from the dock. But what I contemplate as a beginning is not the bringing in of the Steamships but of their Mails. Let a small steamboat be waiting outside when a Mail Steamer is expected (as now off the bar at Liverpool), and let the Mails and such passengers as would like to feel the firm earth under their feet once more, be swiftly transferred to the little boat, run up to Galway, put on an express train, started for Dublin, and thence sent over to Holyhead, and dispatched to London and Liverpool forthwith. Let Irish Mails for Galway, Dublin, &c., and Scotch Mails for Glasgow be made up on [Pg 314]our side, and let us see, by three or four fair trials, what saving of time could be effected by landing the Mails at Galway, and then we shall be in a position to determine the extent and character of the permanent changes which are required. That a saving of fully twelve hours for England and thirty for Ireland may be secured by making Galway the European terminus of the Atlantic Mail Route, I am very confident, while in the calculations of those who feel a local and personal interest in the change the saving is far greater. But this is quite enough to justify the inconsiderable expense which the experiment I urge would involve.

Galway was formerly a place of far greater commerce and consequence than it now is. It long enjoyed an extensive and profitable direct trade with Spain, which, since the Union of Ireland with England, is entirely transferred to London, so that not a shadow of it remains. At a later day, it exported considerable Grain, Bacon, &c., to England, but the general decline of Irish Industry, and the low prices of food since Free Trade, have nearly destroyed this trade also, and there are now, except fishing-boats, scarcely half a dozen vessels in the harbor, and of these the two principal are a Russian from the Black Sea selling Corn, to a district whose resources are Agricultural or nothing, and a smart-looking Yankee clipper taking in a load of emigrants and luggage for New-York—the export of her population being about the only branch of Ireland's commerce which yet survives the general ruin. Galway had once 60,000 inhabitants; she may now have at most 30,000; but there is no American seaport with 5,000 which does not far surpass her annual aggregate of trade and industry. What should we think in America of a seaport of at least 35,000 inhabitants, the capital of a large, populous county, located at the head of a noble, spacious bay, looking off on the broad Atlantic some twenty miles distant, with cities of twenty, fifty, and a hundred thousand inhabitants within a few hours' reach on either side of her, [Pg 315]yet not owning a single steamboat of any shape or nature, and not even visited by one daily, weekly, monthly, or at any stated period? Truly, the desolation of Ireland must be witnessed or it cannot be realized.

I judge that of nearly thirty thousand people who live here not ten thousand have any regular employment or means of livelihood. The majority pick up a job when they can, but are inevitably idle and suffering two-thirds of the time. Of course, the Million learn nothing, have nothing, and come to nothing. They are scarcely in fault, but those who ought to teach them, counsel them, employ them, until they shall be qualified to employ themselves, are deplorably culpable. Here are gentlemen and ladies of education and wealth (dozens where there were formerly hundreds) who year after year and generation after generation have lived in luxury on the income wrung from these poor creatures in the shape of Rent, without ever giving them a helping hand or a kind word in return—without even suspecting that they were under moral obligation to do so. Here is a Priesthood, the conscience-keepers and religious instructors of this fortunate class, who also have fared sumptuously and amassed wealth out of the tithes wrenched by law-sanctioned robbery from the products of this same wretched peasantry, yet never proffered them anything in return but conversion to the faith of their plunderers—certainly not a tempting proffer under the circumstances. And here also is a Priesthood beloved, reverenced, confided in by this peasantry, and loving them in return, who I think have done far less than they might and should have done to raise them out of the slough in which generation after generation are sinking deeper and deeper. I speak plainly on this point, for I feel strongly. The Catholic Priesthood of Ireland resist the education of the Peasantry under Protestant auspices and influences, for which we will presume they have good reason; but, in thus cutting them [Pg 316]off from one chance of improving their social and intellectual condition, they double their own moral responsibility to secure the Education of the Poor in some manner not inconsistent with the preservation of their faith. And, seeing what I have seen and do see of the unequaled power of this Priesthood—a power immensely greater in Ireland than in Italy, for there the Priests are generally regarded as the allies of the tyrant and plundering class, while here they are doubly beloved as its enemies and its victims—I feel an undoubting conviction that simply an earnest determination of the Catholic Hierarchy of Ireland that every Catholic child in the country shall receive a good education would secure its own fulfilment within five years, and thenceforth for ever. Let but one generation be well educated, and there can be no rational apprehension that their children or grandchildren will be allowed to grow up in ignorance and helplessness. Knowledge is self-perpetuating, self-extending. And, dreadfully destitute as this country is, the Priesthood of the People can command the means of educating that People, which nobody without their coöperation can accomplish. Let the Catholic Bishops unite in an earnest and potential call for teachers, and they can summon thousands and tens of thousands of capable and qualified persons from convents, from seminaries, from cloisters, from drawing-rooms, even from foreign lands if need be, to devote their time and efforts to the work without earthly recompense or any stipulation save for a bare subsistence, which the less needy Catholics, or even the more liberal Protestants, in every parish would gladly proffer them. There is really no serious obstacle in the way of this first great step toward Ireland's regeneration if the Priesthood will zealously attempt it.

But closely allied to this subject, and not inferior to it in importance, stands that of Industrial Training. The Irish Peasantry are idle, the English say truly enough; but who [Pg 317]inquires whether there is any work within their reach? Suppose there was always something to do, what avails that to millions who know not how to do that precise something? Walking with a friend through one of the back streets of Galway beside the outlet of the Lakes, I came where a girl of ten years old was breaking up hard brook pebbles into suitable fragments to mend roads with. We halted, and M. asked her how much she received for that labor. She answered, "Six-pence a car-load." "How long will it take you to break a car-load?" "About a fortnight." Further questions respecting her family, &c., were answered with equal directness and propriety, and with manifest truth. Here was a mere child, who should have been sent to school, delving from morning till night at an employment utterly unsuited to her sex and her strength, and which I should consider dangerous to her eyesight, to earn for her poor parents a half-penny per day. Think of this, ye who talk, not always without reason, of "factory slaves" and the meagre rewards of labor in America. In any community where labor is even decently rewarded, that child should have been enabled to earn every day at least as much as her fortnight's work on the stone-heap would command. And even in Galway, a concerted and systematic Industrial Education for the Poor would enable her to earn at some light and suitable employment six times what she now does.

In every street of the town you constantly meet girls of fourteen to twenty, as well as old women and children, utterly barefoot and in ragged clothing. I should judge from the streets that not more than one-fourth of the females of Galway belong to the shoe-wearing aristocracy. Now no one acquainted with Human Nature will pretend that girls of fourteen to twenty will walk the streets barefoot if the means of buying shoes and stockings by honest labor are fairly within their reach. But here there are none such for thousands. Born in wretched huts of rough [Pg 318]stone and rotten straw, compared with which the poorest log-cabin is a palace, with a turf fire, no window, and a mass of filth heaped up before the door, untaught even to read, and growing up in a region where no manufactures nor arts are prosecuted, the Irish peasant-girl arrives at womanhood less qualified by experience, observation or training for industrial efficiency and usefulness than the daughter of any Choctaw or Sioux Indian. Of course, not all the Irish, even of the wretchedly poor, are thus unskilled and helpless, but a deplorably large class is; and it is this class whose awkwardness and utter ignorance are too often made the theme of unthinking levity and ridicule when the poor exile from home and kindled lands in New York and undertakes housework or anything else for a living. The "awkwardness," which means only inability to do what one has never even seen done, is not confined to any class or nation, and should be regarded with every allowance.

An Industrial School, especially for girls, in every town, village and parish of Ireland, is one of the crying needs of the time. I am confident there are in Galway alone five thousand women and girls who would hail with gratitude and thoroughly improve an opportunity to earn six-pence per day. If they could be taught needle-work, plain dressmaking, straw-braiding, and a few of the simplest branches of manufactures, such as are carried on in households, they might and would at once emerge from the destitution and social degradation which now enshroud them into independence, comfort and consideration. Knowing how to work and to earn a decent subsistence, they would very soon seek and acquire a knowledge of letters if previously ignorant of them. In short, the Industrial Education of the Irish Peasantry is the noblest and the most hopeful idea yet broached for their intellectual and social elevation, and I have great hope of its speedy triumph. It is now being agitated in Dublin and many other localities, a [Pg 319]central and many auxiliary schools having already been established. But I will speak further on this point in another letter.

Galway has an immense and steady water-power within half a mile of its harbor, on the outlet of Lakes Corrib and Mash, by means of which it enjoys an admirable internal navigation extending some sixty miles northward. Here Manufactures might be established with a certainty of commanding the cheapest power, cheapest labor and cheapest fuel to be had in the world. I never saw a spot where so much water power yet unused could be obtained at so trifling a cost as here directly on the west line of the town and within half a mile of its center. A beautiful Marble is found on the line of the Railroad only a few miles from the town, and all along the line to Dublin the abundance and excellence of the building-stone are remarkable. Timber and Brick come down the Lake outlet as fast as they are wanted, while Provisions are here cheap as in any part of the British Isles. Nature has plainly designed Galway for a great and prosperous city, the site of extensive manufactures, the emporium of an important trade, and the gateway of Europe toward America; but whether all this is or is not to be dashed by the fatality which has hitherto attended Irish prospects, remains to be seen. I trust that it is not, but that a new Liverpool is destined soon to arise here; and that, should I ever again visit Europe, I shall first land on the quay of Galway.

[Pg 320]



Dublin, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 1851.

I had hoped to see all of Ireland that is accessible by Railroad from this city, but Time will not permit. Having remained here over Sunday, I had only Monday left for a trip Southward, and that would just suffice for reaching Limerick and returning without attempting Cork. So at 7 yesterday morning I took the "Great Southern and Western Railroad," and was set down in Limerick (130 miles) at a quarter before 1, passing Kildare, with its "Curragh" or spacious race-ground, Maryborough and Thurles on the way. Portarlington, Mount Melick, Mountrath and Templemore—all considerable towns—lie a few miles from the Railroad, on the right or west, as Naas, Cashel and Tipperary are not far from it on the left; while another Railroad, the "Irish South-Eastern," diverges at Kildare to Carlow, Bagnalstown and Kilkenny (146 miles from Dublin) on the South; while from Kilkenny the "Kilkenny and Waterford" has already been constructed to Thomastown (some 20 miles), and is to reach Waterford, at the head of ship navigation on the common estuary at the mouth of the Suir and Barrow, when completed.

I left the Great Southern and Western at Limerick Junction, 107 miles S. S. W. of Dublin, and took the crossroad from Tipperary to Limerick (30 miles), but the main road proceeds south-westerly to Charleville, 22½ miles further, and thence leads due south to Mallow, on the [Pg 321]Blackwater, and then south by east to Cork, 164½ miles from Dublin, while another railroad has just been opened from Cork to Bandon, 18¾ miles still further south-west, making a completed line from Dublin to Bandon, 183½ miles, with branches to Limerick, Tipperary and Kilkenny, the latter to be continued to Waterford. In a country so easily traversed by Railroads, and so swarming with population as Ireland, these roads should be not only most useful but most productive to their stockholders, but they are very far from it. Few of the peasantry can afford to travel by them, except when leaving the country for ever, and their scanty patches of ground produce little surplus food for exportation, while they can afford to buy little that the Railroads bring in. Were the population of Ireland as well fed and as enterprising as that of New-England, with an industry as well diversified, her Railroads would pay ten per cent, on their cost; as things now are, they do not pay two per cent. Thus the rapacity of Capital defeats itself, and actually impoverishes its owners when it deprives Labor of a fair reward. If all the property-holders of Ireland would to-day combine in a firm resolve to pay at least half a dollar per day for men's labor, and to employ all that should present themselves, introducing new arts and manufactures and improving their estates in order to furnish such employment, they would not only speedily banish destitution and ignorance from the land but they would double the value of their own possessions. This is one of the truths which sloth, rapacity and extravagance are slow to learn, yet which they cannot safely ignore. The decay and ruin of nearly all the "old families" in Ireland are among the penalties of disregarding it.

To talk of an excess of labor, or an inability to employ it, in such a country as Ireland, is to insult the general understanding. In the first place, there is an immediate and urgent demand for at least Half a Million comfortable rain-proof dwellings. The inconceivable wretched hovels [Pg 322]in which nine-tenths of the peasantry endure existence inevitably engender indolence, filthiness and disease. Generation after generation grows up ignorant and squalid from never having had a fireside by which they could sit down to read or study, nor an example of home comfort and cleanliness in their own class to profit by. In those narrow, unlighted, earth-floored, straw-thatched cabins, there is no room for the father and his sons to sit down and enjoy an evening, so they straggle off to the nearest groggery or other den in search of the comfort their home denies them. Of course, men who have grown up in this way have no idea of anything better and are slow to mend; but the personal influence of their superiors in wealth and station is very great, and might be ten times greater if the more fortunate class would make themselves familiar with the wants and woes, the feelings and aspirations of the poor, and act toward them as friends and wiser brethren, instead of seeming to regard them only as strange dogs to be repelled or as sheep to be sheared. But the first practical point to be struggled for is that of steady employment and just reward for labor. So long as men's wages (without board) range from fourpence to one and six-pence per day, and women's from a penny to six-pence (which, so far as I can learn, are the current rates at present, and nothing to do for half the year at any price), no radical improvement can be hoped for. A family with nothing to do, very little to eat and only a hog-pen to live in, will neither acquire mental expansion, moral integrity, nor habits of neatness and industry. On the contrary, however deficient they may originally be in these respects, they are morally certain to grow worse so long as their circumstances remain unchanged. But draw them out of their wretched hovel into a neat, dry, glass-lighted, comfortable dwelling, offer them work at all seasons, and a fair recompense for doing it, and you will have at least rendered improvement possible. The feasibility of cleanliness will instill the love [Pg 323]of it, at least in the younger members; the opportunity of earning will awaken the instinct of saving as well as the desire to maintain a comely appearance in the eyes of friends and neighbors. The laborer, well paid, will naturally be adequately fed, and both able and willing to perform thrice the work per day he now does or can; seeing the more efficient often step above them to posts better paid and more respected, the dullest workers will aspire to greater knowledge and skill in order that they too may attain more eligible positions. "It is the first step that costs"—the others follow almost of course. If the Aristocracy of Ireland would unitedly resolve that every individual in the land should henceforth have constant work and just recompense, the outlay involved need not be great and the return would be abundant and certain. They have ample water-power for a thousand factories, machine-shops, foundries, &c., which has run to waste since creation, and can never bring them a dollar while Irish Industry remains as rude, ill-paid and inefficient as it now is. Every dollar wisely spent in improving this power will add two to the value of their estates. So they have stone-quarries of immense value all over the island which never produced anything and never will while the millions live in hovels and confine their attention to growing oats and potatoes for a subsistence. Agriculture alone and especially such Agriculture, can never adequately employ the people; when the Oats and Potatoes have been harvested, the peasant has very little to do but eat them until the season for planting them returns. But introduce a hundred new arts and processes—let each village have its mechanics, each county its manufacturers of the various wares and fabrics really needed in the country, and the excess of work done over the present aggregate would speedily transform general poverty into general competence. The Six Millions of People in Ireland are doing far less work this year than the Three Millions [Pg 324]of New-England, although the Irish in New-England are at least as industrious and efficient as the natives. They work well everywhere but at home, because they everywhere else find the more powerful class ready to employ them, instruct them, pay them. In Ireland alone are they required to work for six pence to eighteen pence per day, and even at these rates stand idle half the year for want of anything to do; so that the rent which they would readily double (for better tenements) if they were fully employed and fairly paid, now benumbs and crushes them, and their little patches of land, which ought to be in the highest degree productive, are often the worst cultivated of any this side of the Alps. Ignorance, want, and hopelessness have paralysed their energies, and the consequent decay of the Peasantry has involved most of the Aristocracy in the general ruin. The Encumbered Estates Commission is now rapidly passing the soil of Ireland out of the hands of its bankrupt landlords into those of a new generation. May these be wise enough to profit by the warning before them, and by uniting to elevate the condition of the Laboring Millions place their own prosperity on a solid and lasting foundation!


The South of Ireland is decidedly more fertile and inviting than the North or West. There is a deeper, richer soil, with far less stone on the level low lands. The railroad from Dublin to Limerick runs throughout over a level plain, and though it passes from the valley of the Liffey across those of the Barrow, the Durrow and the Suir to that of the Shannon, no perceptible ridge is crossed, no tunnel traversed, and very little rock-cutting or embankment required. Although the highways are often carried over the track at an absurd expense, while the principal dépôts are made to cost thrice what they [Pg 325]should, I still cannot account for the great outlay on Irish railroads. They would have been built at one-half the cost in the States, where the wages of labor are thrice as much as here: who pockets the difference? Of course, there is stealing in the assessment of land damages; but so there is everywhere. When I was in Galway, a case was tried in which a proprietor, whose bog was crossed by the Midland Railroad, sued the company for more than the Appraisers had awarded him, and it was proved on the trial that his bog, utterly worthless before, had been partially drained and considerably increased in value by the railroad. There seems to be no conscience in exacting damages of those who invest their money, often most reluctantly, in railroads, of which the main benefits are universal. In Ireland they have palpably and greatly benefited every class but the stockholders, and these they have well nigh ruined.

There are fewer remains of dwellings recently "cleared" and thrown down in the South than in the West of Ireland; though they are not unknown here; but I saw no new ones going up, save in immediate connection with the Railroads, in either section. If Government, Society and Ideas are to remain as they have been, the country may be considered absolutely finished, with nothing more to do but decay. I trust, however, that a new leaf is about to be turned over; still, it is mournful to pass through so fine a country and see how the hand of death has transfixed it. Even Limerick, at the head of ship navigation on the glorious estuary of the Shannon, with steamboat navigation through the heart of this populous kingdom for sixty or eighty miles above it, shows scarcely a recent building except the Railroad Dépôt and the Union Poor-House, while its general aspect is that of stagnation, decline and decay. The smaller towns between it and Dublin have a like gloomy appearance—Kildare, with with its deserted "Curragh" and its towering ruins, looking most dreary of [Pg 326]all. Happy is the Irishman who, in a new land and amid the activities and hopes which it inspires, is spared the daily contemplation of his country's ruin.

And yet there are brighter shades to the picture. Nature, ever buoyant and imperative, does her best to remedy the ills created by "Man's inhumanity to Man." The South of Ireland seems far better wooded than either the North or West, and thrifty young forests and tree plantations soften the gloom which unroofed and ruinous cabins would naturally suggest. Though the Railroad runs wholly through a tame, dull level sweeping ranges of hills appear at intervals on either side, exhibiting a lovely alternation of cultivation, grass and forest, to the delighted traveler. The Hay crop is badly saved so far, and some that has been cut several days is still under the weather, while a good deal, though long ripe, remains uncut; the Wheat looks to me thin and uneven; Oats (the principal grain here) are short and generally poor; but I never saw the Potato more luxuriant or promising, and the area covered with this noble root is most extensive. The poor have a fashion of planting in beds three to six feet wide, with narrow alleys between; which, though involving extra labor, must insure a large yield, and presents a most luxuriant appearance. Little Rye was sown, but that little is very good; Barley is suffering from the stormy weather, but is quite thrifty. Yet there is much arable land either wholly neglected or only yielding a little grass, while I perceive even less bog undergoing reclamation than in the West. I did not anticipate a tour of pleasure through Ireland, but the reality is more painful than I anticipated. Of all I have seen at work in the fields to-day, cutting and carrying turf, hoeing potatoes, shaking out Hay, &c., at least one-third were women. If I could believe that their fathers and husbands were in America, clearing lands and erecting cabins for their future homes, I should not regret this. But the probability is that only [Pg 327]a few of them are there or hopefully employed anywhere, while hundreds of neglected, weedy, unpromising patches of cultivation show that, narrow as the holdings mainly are, they are yet often unskillfully cultivated. The end of this is of course ejectment, whence the next stage is the Union Work-House. Alas! unhappy Ireland!

[Pg 328]



Dublin, Tuesday, August 5, 1851.

Of Irish stagnation, Irish unthrift, Irish destitution, Irish misery, the world has heard enough. I could not wholly avoid them without giving an essentially false and deceptive account of what must be painfully obvious to every traveler in Ireland; yet I have chosen to pass them over lightly and hurriedly, and shall not recur to them. They are in the main sufficiently well known to the civilized world, and, apart from suggestions of amendment, their contemplation can neither be pleasant nor profitable. I will only add here that though, in spite of Poor Laws and Union Poor-Houses, there are still much actual want, suffering and beggary in Ireland, yet the beggars here are by no means so numerous nor so importunate as in Italy, though the excuses for mendicity are far greater. What I propose now to bring under hasty review are the principal plans for the removal of Ireland's woes and the conversion of her myriads of paupers into independent and comfortable laborers. I shall speak of these in succession, beginning with the oldest and closing with the newest that has come under my observation. And first, then, of


The hope of obtaining from the British Crown and Parliament the concession of a separate Legislature of [Pg 329]their own seems nearly to have died out of the hearts of the Irish millions. The death of O'Connell deprived the measure of its mightiest advocate; Famine and other disasters followed; and fresher projects of amelioration have since to a great extent supplanted it in the popular mind. Yet it is to-day most palpable that such a Legislature is of the highest moment to the National well-being, and that its concession would work the greatest good to Ireland without injury to England. Nay; I see fresh reasons for my hope that such concession is far nearer than is generally imagined.

On all hands it is perceived and conceded that the amount of legislation required by the vast, widely scattered and diversely constituted portions of the British Empire is too great to be properly affected by any deliberative body. Parliament is just closing a long session, yet leaving very much of its proper business untouched for want of time, and that pertaining to Ireland is especially neglected. Then it has just passed a most unwise and irritating act with regard to the titles of the Catholic Prelates, which, because every act of Parliament must extend to Ireland unless that country is expressly excluded, is allowed to operate there, though the bad reasons given for its enactment at all have no application to that country, while the mischiefs it will do there are ten times greater than all it can effect in Great Britain. Had Ireland a separate Parliament, no British Minister would have been mad enough to propose the extension of this act over that country, where it is certain to excite disaffection and disloyalty, arouse slumbering hatreds, and impede the march of National and Social improvement. An Irish Parliament, with specified powers and duties akin to those of an American State Legislature, would be a great relief to a British Parliament and Ministry, a great support to Irish loyalty and Irish improvement, and no harm to anybody. These truths seem to me so palpable that I think [Pg 330]they cannot long be disregarded, but that some one of the Political changes frequently occurring in Great Britain will secure to Ireland a restoration of her domestic Legislature. Neither Canada, Jamaica nor any other British colony can show half so good reasons for a domestic Legislature.


The agitation for Tenant-Right in Ireland is destined to fail—in fact, has virtually failed already. The Imperial Parliament will never concede that right, nor will any Legislature similarly constituted. And yet the demand has the clearest and strongest basis of natural and eternal justice, as any fair mind must confess. What is that demand? Simply that the creator of a new value shall be legally entitled to that value, or, in case he is required to surrender it to another, shall be paid a fair and just equivalent therefor. Here is a farm, for instance, whereof one man is recognised by law as the owner, and he lets it for three lives or a specific term of years to a tenant-cultivator for ten, fifteen or twenty shillings per acre. The tenant occupies it, cultivates it, pays the rent and improves it. At the close of his term, he is found to have built a good house on it instead of the old rookery he found there, while by fencing, draining, manuring and subsoiling he has doubled its productive capacity, and consequently its annual value. He wishes to cultivate it still, and offers to renew the lease for any number of years, and pay the rent punctually. "But no," says the landlord, "you must pay twice as much rent as hitherto." "Why so?" "Because the land is more valuable than it was when you took it." "Certainly it is; but that value is wholly the fruit of my labor—it has cost you nothing." "Can't help that, Sir; you improved for your own benefit, and with a full knowledge that the additional value would revert to [Pg 331]me on the expiration of your lease; so pay my price or clear out!"—Is this right? The law says Yes; but Justice says No; Public Good says even more imperatively No. The laws of the land should encourage every occupier to improve the land he holds, to expend capital and employ labor upon it, so as to increase its value and productive capacity from year to year; but the law of the British Empire discourages improvement and impedes the employment of labor by taking the product from the producer and giving it arbitrarily to the landlord. Yet the landlord influence in Parliament is so predominant, so overwhelming, that no repeal, no mitigation even, of this great wrong is probable; and every demand for it is overborne by a senseless outcry against Agrarianism. Still, the agitation for Tenant-Right does good by imbuing the popular mind with some idea of the monster evil and wrong of the Monopoly of Land—an idea which will not always remain unfruitful.


Emigration is now proceeding with gigantic strides, and is destined for some time to continue. I think a full third of the present population of Ireland are anxious to leave their native land, and will do so if they shall ever have the means before better prospects are opened to them. Packet-ships are constantly loading with emigrants at all the principal ports, while thousands are flocking monthly to Liverpool to find ready and cheap conveyance to America. But this emigration, however advisable for the departing, does little for those left behind, and is in the main detrimental to the country. The energetic, the daring, the high-spirited go, leaving the residue more abject and nerveless than ever. If Two Millions more were to leave the country next year, the condition of the remainder would not be essentially improved. Over population is not a leading cause of Ireland's present miseries.

[Pg 332]


Rudimental knowledge is being slowly diffused in Ireland, in spite of the serious impediments interposed by Religious jealousy and bigotry. But this remedy, as now applied, does not reach the seat of the disease. They are mainly the better class of poor children who are educated in the National and other elementary schools; the most depraved, benighted, degraded, are still below their reach. The destitute, hungry, unemployed, unclad, despairing, cannot or do not send their children to school; the wife and mother who must work daily in the turf-bog or potato-field for a few pence per day must keep her older child at home to mind the younger ones in her absence. Education, in its larger, truer meaning, is the great remedy for Ireland's woes; but until the parents have steadier employment and a juster recompense the general education of the children is impracticable.


The act authorizing and requiring the sale of irredeemably Encumbered Estates in Ireland is one of the best which a British Parliament has passed in many years. Under its operation, a large portion of the soil is rapidly passing from the nominal ownership of bankrupts wholly unable and unqualified to improve it into those of new proprietors who, it may fairly be hoped, will generally be able to improve it, giving employment to more labor and increasing the annual product. The benefits of this change, however, can be but slowly realized, and are for the present hardly perceptible.


Within the past few months, a very decided interest has been awakened in the minds of enlightened and [Pg 333]patriotic Irishmen in Dublin and other places, with regard to the importance and possibility of establishing various branches of Household Manufactures throughout the country. It is manifest that the general cheapness of Labor and Food, the facilities now enjoyed for communication, not only with Great Britain, but with all Europe and America also, and the extraordinary amount of unemployed and undeveloped capacity in Ireland, render the introduction of Manufactures at once eminently desirable and palpably feasible. Even though nothing could be immediately earned thereby, the simple diffusion of industrial skill and efficiency which must ensue from such introduction would be an inestimable gain to the peasantry of Ireland. But allow that all the idle poor of this island could in six months be taught how to earn six pence each per day, the aggregate benefit to the Irish and to mankind would be greater than that of all the gold mines yet discovered. The Poorhouse Unions could be nearly emptied in a year, and this whole population comfortably fed, clad and housed within the next three years. A beginning must be made with the simplest or household manufactures, for want of means to establish the more complex, costly and efficient branches, which require extensive Machinery and aggregation of Laborers; but if the first step be successfully taken, others are certain to follow. With abundant water-power and inexhaustible beds of fuel yet untouched, it is demonstrable that Manufactures of Cotton and Woolen, as well as Linen, might be prosecuted in Ireland even cheaper than in England, though the average recompense of Labor should thereby be doubled.

The first impulse to the Manufacture movement appears to have been given by Mr. Thomas Mooney, a gentleman well known to his countrymen throughout the United States, whence he returned some eighteen months ago. Primarily at his suggestion, a "Parent Board of Irish [Pg 334]Manufacture" was organized in Dublin several months since, funds collected by voluntary subscription, an office opened, and a central school established, with a view to the qualification of teachers for the superintendence of auxiliary schools throughout the country. The enterprise was proceeding vigorously and with daily increasing momentum when Dissension, the evil genius of Ireland, broke out among its leading supporters, which has resulted in the division of the original Society into two, one of them sustaining Mr. Mooney and the other claiming to have taken the movement entirely out of his hands. Thus the case stands at present, but thus I trust it will not long remain. The enterprise is one of the most feasible and hopeful of the many that have been undertaken for the benefit of Ireland, and affords ample scope and occupation for all who may see fit to labor for its success. I trust that all differences will speedily be harmonized, and that the friends of the movement, once more united, may urge it forward to a most complete and beneficent triumph.


The Peat Bogs of Ireland cover some Three Millions of Acres of its surface, mainly in the heart of the country, though extending into every part of it. Perhaps One Hundred Thousand Acres, chiefly in the north-east, have been brought into cultivation; of the residue, some yields a little sour pasturage, but the greater portion is of no use whatever, save as it supplies a very poor but cheap fuel to the peasantry. These bogs are of all depths from a few inches to thirty or forty feet, though the very shallow have generally been reclaimed. This is effected in some cases by removing the Peat or Turf altogether; but sometimes, where it is quite deep, by ditching and draining it, and then cutting and heaping up some six to twelve inches at the top, so that it can be thoroughly burned, and the [Pg 335]ashes spread over the entire surface for a soil. This is not so deep as could be desired, but the climate is so uniformly moist and the skies so rarely unclouded that it suffices to insure very tolerable crops thereafter.

I do not know how the origin of these Bogs is accounted for by the learned, but I presume the land they cover was originally a dense forest, and that the Peat commenced growing as a sort of moss or fungus, carpeting the ground and preventing the germination of any more trees. In the course of ten or fifteen centuries, the forest trees (mainly of Oak or Fir) decayed and fell into the Peat, which, dying at the top, continued to grow at the bottom, while the perpetual moisture of the climate prevented its destruction by fire. Thus the forest gradually disappeared, and the Peat alone remained, gaining a foot in depth in the course of two or three centuries until it slowly reached its present condition.

Many efforts have been made to render this Peat available as a basis of Manufacture and Commerce, but hitherto with little success. The magnificent chemical discoveries heralded some two years ago, whereby each bog was to be transformed into a mimic California, have not endured the rough test of practical experience. There is no doubt that Peat contains all the valuable elements therein set forth—Carbon, Ammonia, Stearine, Tar, &c., but unfortunately it has hitherto cost more to extract them than they will sell for in market; so the high-raised expectations of 1849 have been temporarily blasted, like a great many predecessors.

But further chemical investigations have resulted in new discoveries, which, it is confidently asserted, render the future success of the Peat Charcoal manufacture a matter of demonstrable certainty. A company has just been organized in London, under commanding auspices, which proposes to embark £500,000 directly and £1,000,000 ultimately in Peat-Works, having secured the exclusive [Pg 336]right of using the newly patented processes of Messrs. J. S. Gwynne and J. J. Hays, which are pronounced exceedingly important and valuable. By a combination of these patented processes, it is calculated that the company will be able to manufacture from the inexhaustible Bogs of Ireland, 1. Peat Coal, or solidified Peat, of intense calorific power, exceedingly cheap, almost as dense as Bituminous Coal, while absolutely free from Gases injurious to metals as well as from "clinker," and therefore especially valuable for Locomotives and for innumerable applications in the arts; 2. Peat Charcoal, thoroughly carbonized, of compact and heavy substance, free from sulphur, and for which there is an unlimited demand not only for fuel but for fertilization; 3. Peat Tar, of extraordinary value simply as Tar, an admirable preservative of Timber, and readily convertible into Illuminating Gas of exceeding brilliancy and power; 4. Acetate of Lime; and 5. a crude Sulphate of Ammonia, well known as a fertilizer of abundant energy. The company is already at work, and expect soon to have six working stations in different parts of the country, professing its ability to manufacture for 14s. per tun, Peat Charcoal readily selling in London for 45s., while they expect to realize 5s. worth of Tar, Ammonia, &c., with every tun of Charcoal, while on Solidified Peat they anticipate still larger profits. These may be very greatly reduced by practical experience without affecting the vital point, that sagacious and scrutinizing capitalists have been found willing to invest their money in an enterprise which, if it succeeds at all, must secure illimitable employment to Labor in Ireland and strongly tend to increase its average reward.


A similar Company, with a like capital, has also been formed to prosecute extensively in Ireland the manufacture [Pg 337]of Beet Sugar, and this can hardly be deemed an experiment. That the Sugar Beet grows luxuriously here I can personally bear witness; indeed, I doubt whether there is a soil or climate better adapted to it in the world. That the Beet grown in Ireland yields a very large proportion of Sugar is attested by able chemists; that the manufacture of Beet Sugar is profitable, its firm establishment and rapid extension in France, Belgium, &c., abundantly prove. The Irish Company have secured the exclusive use of two recently patented inventions, whereby they claim to be able to produce a third more sugar than has hitherto been obtained, and of a quality absolutely undistinguishable from the best Cane Sugar. They say they can make it at a profit of fully twenty-five per cent. after paying an excise of £10 per tun to the Government, working their mills all the year (drying their roots for use in months when they cannot otherwise be fit for manufacture). Mr. Wm. K. Sullivan, Chemist to the Museum of Irish Industry, states that the Beet Sugar manufactured in France has increased from 51,000 tuns in 1840 to more than 100,000 tuns in 1850, in defiance of a large increase in the excise levied thereon—that the average production of Sugar Beet is in Ireland 15 tuns per acre, against less than 11 tuns in France and Germany—that each acre of Beets will yield 4½ tuns (green) of tops or leaves, worth 7s. 6d. per tun for feeding cattle, making the clear profit on the cultivation of the Beet, at 15s. per tun, over £5 per acre—that there is no shadow of difference between the Sugar of the Beet and that of the Cane, all the difference popularly supposed to exist being caused by the existence of foreign substances in one or both—that Irish roots generally, and Beet roots especially, contain considerably more Sugar than those grown on the Continent—and that Beet Sugar may be made in Ireland (without reference to the newly patented processes from which the Company expect such great advantages) at a very handsome profit. As the soil and [Pg 338]climate of Ireland are at least equal to, and the Labor decidedly cheaper than, that employed in the same pursuit on the Continent, while Ireland herself, wretched as she is, consumes over two thousand tuns of Sugar per annum, and Great Britain, some twenty-five thousand tuns—every pound of it imported—I can perceive no reasonable basis for a doubt that the Beet Culture and Sugar Manufacture will speedily be naturalized in Ireland, and that they will give employment and better wages at all seasons to many thousands of her sons.

Such are some of the grounds of my hope that the deepest wretchedness of this unhappy country has been endured—that her depopulation will speedily be arrested, and that better days are in store for her long-suffering people. Yet Conquest, Subjugation, Oppression and Misgovernment have worn deep furrows in the National character, and ages of patient, enlightened and unselfish effort will be necessary to eradicate them. Ignorance, Indolence, Inefficiency, Superstition and Hatred are still fearfully prevalent; I only hope that causes are beginning to operate which will ultimately efface them. If I have said less than would seem just of the Political causes, of Ireland's calamities, it is because I would rather draw attention to practical though slow remedies than invoke fruitless indignation against the wrongs which have rendered them necessary. Peace and Concord are the great primary needs of Ireland—Peace between her warring Churches—Concord between her rulers and landlords on one side and her destitute and desperate Millions on the other. I wish the latter had sufficient courage and self-trust to demand and enforce emancipation from the Political and Social vassalage in which they are held; to demand not merely Tenant-Right but a restitution of the broad lands wrested from their ancestors by fire and sword—not merely equal rights with Englishmen in Church and State, but equal right also to judge whether [Pg 339]the existing Union of the two islands is advantageous to themselves, and if not, to insist that it be made so or cease altogether. But Ireland has suffered too long and too deeply for this; her emancipation is now possible only through the education and social elevation of her People. This is a slow process, but earnest hearts and united minds will render it a sure one. If the Irish but will and work for it, the close of this century will find them a Nation of Ten Millions, with their Industry as diversified, their Labor, as efficient, its Recompense as liberal, and their general condition as thrifty and comfortable as those of any other Nation. Thus circumstanced, they could no longer be treated as the appendage of an Empire, the heritage of a Crown, the conquest of a selfish and domineering Race, but must be accounted equals with the inhabitants of the Sister Isle in Civil and Religious Rights or break the connection without internal discord and almost without a struggle. There shall yet be an Ireland to which her sons in distant lands may turn their eyes with a pride unmingled with sadness; but alas! who can say how soon!

[Pg 340]



Liverpool, Wednesday, August 6, 1851.

I do not wholly like these cold and stately English, yet I think I am not blind to their many sterling qualities. The greatness of England, it is quite confidently asserted, is based upon her conquests and plunderings—on her immense Commerce and unlimited Foreign Possessions. I think otherwise. The English have qualities which would have rendered them wealthy and powerful though they had been located in the center of Asia instead of on the western coast of Europe. I do not say that these qualities could have been developed in Central Asia, but if they had been, they would have insured to their possessors a commanding position. Personally, the English do not attract nor shine; but collectively they are a race to make their mark on the destinies of mankind.

In the first place, they are eminently industrious. I have seen no country in which the proportion of idlers is smaller. I think American labor is more efficient, day to day or hour to hour, than British; but we have the larger proportion of non-producers—petty clerks in the small towns, men who live by their wits, loungers about barrooms, &c. There is here a small class of wealthy idlers (not embracing nearly all the wealthy, nor of the Aristocracy, by any means), and a more numerous class of idle paupers or criminals; but Work is the general rule, and the idlers constitute but a small proportion of the whole [Pg 341]population. Great Britain is full of wealth, not entirely but mainly because her people are constantly producing. All that she has plundered in a century does not equal the new wealth produced by her people every year.

The English are eminently devotees of Method and Economy. I never saw the rule, "A place for everything, and everything in its place," so well observed as here. The reckless and the prodigal are found here as every where else, but they are marked exceptions. Nine-tenths of those who have a competence know what income they have, and are careful not to spend more. A Duchess will say to a mere acquaintance, "I cannot afford" a proposed outlay—an avowal rarely and reluctantly made by an American, even in moderate circumstances. She means simply that other demands upon her income are such as to forbid the contemplated expenditure, though she could of course afford this if she did not deem those of prior consequence. No Englishman is ashamed to be economical, nor to have it known that he is so. Whether his annual expenditure be fifty pounds or fifty thousand, he tries to get his money's worth. I have been admonished and instructed by the systematic economy which is practiced even in great houses. You never see a lighted candle set down carelessly and left to burn an hour or two to no purpose, as is so common with us; if you leave one burning, some one speedily comes and quietly extinguishes the flame. Said a friend: "You never see any paper in the streets here as you do in New-York [swept out of the stores, &c.] the English throw nothing away." We speak of the vast parks and lawns of the Aristocracy as so much land taken out of use and devoted to mere ostentation; but all that land is growing timber or furnishing pasturage—often both. The owner gratifies his taste or his pride by reserving it from cultivation, but he does not forget the main chance. So of his Fisheries and even Game-Preserves. Of course, there are noblemen who [Pg 342]would scorn to sell their Venison or Partridges; but Game is abundant in the hotels and refectories—too much so for half of it to have been obtained by poaching. Few whose estates might yield them ten thousand a year are content with nine thousand.

The English are eminently a practical people. They have a living faith in the potency of the Horse-Guards, and in the maxim that "Safe bind is sure find." They have a sincere affection for roast beef. They are quite sure "the mob" will do no harm if it is vigilantly watched and thoroughly overawed. Their obstreperous loyalty might seem inconsistent with this unideal character, but it is only seeming. When the portly and well-to-do Briton vociferates "God save the Queen!" with intense enthusiasm, he means "God save my estates, my rents, my shares, my consols, my expectations." The fervor of an Englishman's loyalty is usually in a direct ratio with the extent of his material possessions. The poor like the Queen personally, and like to gaze at royal pageantry; but they are not fanatically loyal. One who has seen Gen. Jackson or Harry Clay publicly enter New-York or any other city finds it hard to realize that the acclamations accorded on like occasions to Queen Victoria can really be deemed enthusiastic.

Gravity is a prominent feature of the English character. A hundred Englishmen of any class, forgathered for any purpose of conference or recreation, will have less merriment in the course of their sitting than a score of Frenchmen or Americans would have in a similar time. Hence it is generally remarked that the English of almost any class show to least advantage when attempting to enjoy themselves. They are as awkward at a frolic as a bear at a dance. Their manner of expressing themselves is literal and prosaic; the American tendency to hyperbole and exaggeration grates harshly on their ears. They can only account for it by a presumption of ill breeding on the part [Pg 343]of the utterer. Forward lads and "fast" people are scarce and uncurrent here. A Western "screamer," eager to fight or drink, to run horses or shoot for a wager, and boasting that he had "the prettiest sister, the likeliest wife and the ugliest dog in all Kentuck," would be no where else so out of place and incomprehensible as in this country, no matter in what circle of society.

The Women of England, of whatever rank, studiously avoid peculiarities of dress or manner and repress idiosyncrasies of character. No where else that I have ever been could so keen an observer as Pope have written:

"Nothing so true as what you once let fall;
Most women have no character at all."

Each essays to think, appear and speak as nearly according to the orthodox standard of Womanhood as possible. Hardly one who has any reputation to save could tolerate the idea of attending a Woman's Rights Convention or appearing in a Bloomer any more than that of standing on her head in the Haymarket or walking a tight-rope across the pit of Drury Lane. So far as I can judge, the ideas which underlie the Woman's Rights movement are not merely repugnant but utterly inconceivable to the great mass of English women, the last Westminster Review to the contrary notwithstanding.

I do not judge whether they are better or worse for this. Their conversation is certainly tamer and less piquant than that of the American or the French ladies. I think it evinces a less profound and varied culture than that of their German sisters; but none will deny them the possession of sterling and amiable qualities. Their physical development is unsurpassed, and for good reasons—their climate is mild and they take more exercise than our women do. Their fullness of bust is a topic of general admiration among the foreigners now so plentiful in England, and their complexions are marvelously fair and [Pg 344]delicate. Except by a very few in Ireland, I have not seen them equaled. And, on the whole, I do not know that there are better mothers than the English, especially of the middle classes.

I did not find the Aristocracy so remarkable for physical perfection and beauty as I had been taught to expect. Some of them are large, well formed and vigorous; but I think the caste is not noticeably so. Among the ladies of "gentle blood," however, there is more of the asserted aristocratic symmetry and beauty than among the men.

The general stiffness of English manners has often been noted. Not that a gentleman is aught but a gentleman anywhere, but courtesy is certainly not the Englishman's best point. No where else will a perplexed stranger inquiring his way receive more surly answers or oftener be refused any answer at all than in London. Even the policeman who is paid to direct you, replies to your inquiry with the shortest and gruffest monosyllable that will do.

Awkwardness of manner pervades all classes; the most thoroughly natural, modest and easy mannered man I met was a Duke, whose ancestors had been dukes for many generations; but some of the most elaborately ill bred men I met also inherited titles of nobility. And, while I have been thrown into the company of Englishmen of all ranks who were cordial, kind, and every way models of good breeding, I have also met here more constitutionally arrogant and, unbearable persons than had crossed my path in all my previous experience. These, too, are found in all ranks; I think the Military service exhibits some of the worst specimens. But Bull in authority anywhere is apt to exhibit his horns to those whom he suspects of being nobodies. Elevation is unpropitious to the display of his more amiable qualities.

I have elsewhere spoken of the indifferent figure made by most Englishmen at public speaking. Many of them [Pg 345]say good things; hardly one delivers them aptly or gracefully. Any Frenchman having Lord Granville's brains would make a great deal more out of them in a speech. I attribute this National defect to two causes; first, the habitually prosaic level of British thought and conversation; next, the intense pride which is also a National characteristic. John is called out at a festive gathering, and springs to his feet really intending to be clever. But the next moment the thought strikes him—"This is beneath my dignity, after all. Why should I subject myself to miscellaneous criticism? Why put myself on the verdict of this crowd? Does it become a gentleman of my standing to fish for their plaudits? What will success amount to, if attained?" Or else he criticises his own thoughts and meditated forms of expression, pronounces them tame, trite or feeble, and recoils from their enunciation as unworthy of his abilities, position and reputation. The result is the same in either case—he hesitates, blunders, chokes, and finally stammers out a few sentences and subsides into his seat, sweating at every pore, red-faced with chagrin, vexed with himself and every body else on account of his failure, which might not have occurred, and certainly would not have been so palpable, had his self-consciousness been less diseased and extravagant.

I have said that the British are not in manner a winning people. Their self-conceit is the principal reason. They have solid and excellent qualities, but their self-complacency is exorbitant and unparalleled. The majority are not content with esteeming Marlborough and Wellington the greatest Generals and Nelson the first Admiral the world ever saw, but claim alike supremacy for their countrymen in every field of human effort. They deem Machinery and Manufactures, Railroads and Steamboats, essentially British products. They regard Morality and Philanthropy as in effect peculiar to "the fast anchored isle," and Liberty as [Pg 346]an idea uncomprehended, certainly unrealized, any where else. They are horror-stricken at the toleration of Slavery in the United States, in seeming ignorance that our Congress has no power to abolish it and that their Parliament, which had ample power, refused to exercise it through generations down to the last quarter of a century. They cannot even consent to go to Heaven on a road common to other nations, but must seek admission through a private gate of their own, stoutly maintaining that their local Church is the very one founded by the Apostles, and that all others are more or less apostate and schismatic. Other Nations have their weak points—the French, Glory; the Spaniards, Orthodoxy; the Yankees, Rapacity; but Bull plunders India and murders Ireland, yet deems himself the mirror of Beneficence and feeds his self-righteousness by resolving not to fellowship slaveholders of a different fashion from himself; he is perpetually fighting and extending his possessions all over the globe, yet wondering that French and Russian ambition will keep the world always in hot water. Our Yankee self-conceit and self-laudation are immoderate; but nobody else is so perfect on all points—himself being the judge—as Bull.

There is one other aspect of the British character which impressed me unfavorably. Everything is conducted here with a sharp eye to business. For example, the manufacturing and trafficking classes are just now enamored of Free Trade—that is, freedom to buy raw staples and sell their fabrics all over the world—from which they expect all manner of National and individual benefits. In consequence, these classes seize every opportunity, however unsuitable, to commend that policy to the strangers now among them as dictated by wisdom, philanthropy and beneficence, and to stigmatize its opposite as impelled by narrow-minded selfishness and only upheld by prejudice and ignorance. The French widow who appended to the [Pg 347]high-wrought eulogium engraved on her husband's tombstone that "His disconsolate widow still keeps the shop No 16 Rue St. Denis," had not a keener eye to business than these apostles of the Economic faith. No consideration of time or place is regarded; in festive meetings, peace conventions, or gatherings of any kind, where men of various lands and views are notoriously congregated, and where no reply could be made without disturbing the harmony and distracting the attention of the assemblage, the disciples of Cobden are sure to interlard their harangues with advice to foreigners substantially thus—"N. B. Protection is a great humbug and great waste. Better abolish your tariffs, stop your factories and buy at our shops. We're the boys to give you thirteen pence for every shilling." I cannot say how this affected others, but to me it seemed hardly more ill-mannered than impolitic.

Yet the better qualities in the English character decidedly preponderate. Naturally, this people love justice, manly dealing, fair play; and though I think the shop-keeping attitude is unfavorable to this tendency, it has not effaced it. The English have too much pride to be tricky or shabby, even in the essentially corrupting relation of buyer and seller. And the Englishman who may be repulsive in his out-of-door intercourse or spirally inclined in his dealings, is generally tender and truthful in his home. There only is he seen to the best advantage. When the day's work is over and the welcome shelter of his domestic roof is attained, he husks off his formality with his great-coat and appears to his family and his friends in a character unknown to the outer world. The quiet comfort and heartfelt warmth of an English fireside must be felt to be appreciated. These Britons, like our own people, are by nature not demonstrative; they do not greet their wives before strangers with a kiss, on returning from the day's business, as a Frenchman may do; and if [Pg 348]very glad to see you on meeting, they are not likely to say so in words; but they cherish warm emotions under a hard crust of reserve and shyness, and lavish all their wealth of affection on the little band collected within the magic circle of Home. Said an American who had spent two years as a public lecturer throughout Great Britain: "Circumstances have introduced me favorably to the intimacy and regard of many English families, and I can scarcely recollect one which was not in its own sphere, a model household." My own opportunities have been very limited, yet so far as they go they tend to maintain the justice of this remark. There are of course exceptions, but they would be more abundant elsewhere. And I regard the almost insuperable obstacles here interposed to the granting of Divorces, no matter on what grounds, as one cause of the general harmony and happiness of English homes.

But I must not linger. The order to embark is given; our good ship Baltic is ready; another hour and I shall have left England and this Continent, probably for ever. With a fervent good-bye to the friends I leave on this side of the Atlantic, I turn my steps gladly and proudly toward my own loved Western home—toward the land wherein Man enjoys larger opportunities than elsewhere to develop the better and the worse aspects of his nature, and where Evil and Good have a freer course, a wider arena for their inevitable struggles, than is allowed them among the heavy fetters and cast-iron forms of this rigid and wrinkled Old World. Doubtless, those struggles will long be arduous and trying: doubtless, the dictates of Duty will there often bear sternly away from the halcyon bowers of Popularity; doubtless, he who would be singly and wholly right must there encounter ordeals as severe as those which here try the souls of the would-be champions of Progress and Liberty. But Political Freedom, such as white men enjoy [Pg 349]in the United States, and the mass do not enjoy in Europe, not even in Britain, is a basis for confident and well-grounded hope; the running stream, though turbid, tends ever to self-purification; the obstructed, stagnant pool grows daily more dank and loathsome. Believing most firmly in the ultimate and perfect triumph of Good over Evil, I rejoice in the existence and diffusion of that Liberty which, while it intensifies the contest, accelerates the consummation. Neither blind to her errors nor a pander to her vices, I rejoice to feel that every hour henceforth till I see her shores must lessen the distance which divides me from my country, whose advantages and blessings this four months' absence has taught me to appreciate more clearly and to prize more deeply than before. With a glow of unwonted rapture I see our stately vessel's prow turned toward the setting sun, and strive to realize that only some ten days separate me from those I know and love best on earth. Hark! the last gun announces that the mail-boat has left us, and that we are fairly afloat on our ocean journey: the shores of Europe recede from our vision; the watery waste is all around us; and now, with God above and Death below, our gallant bark and her clustered company together brave the dangers of the mighty deep. May Infinite Mercy watch over our onward path and bring us safely to our several homes; for to die away from home and kindred seems one of the saddest calamities that could befall me. This mortal tenement would rest uneasily in an ocean shroud; this spirit reluctantly resign that tenement to the chill and pitiless brine; these eyes close regretfully on the stranger skies and bleak inhospitality of the sullen and stormy main. No! let me see once more the scenes so well remembered and beloved; let me grasp, if but once again, the hand of Friendship and hear the thrilling accents of proved Affection, and when sooner or later the hour of mortal agony [Pg 350]shall come, let my last gaze be fixed on eyes that will not forget me when I am gone, and let my ashes repose in that congenial soil which, however I may there be esteemed or hated, is still

"My own green land forever!"


Transcriber's Note

Inconsistent hyphenation, punctuation and spelling in the original document have been preserved.

Periods have been added to dollar amounts.

Typographical errors corrected in the text:

Page   16 merchandize changed to merchandise
Page   26 Sythes changed to Scythes
Page   31 Ignots changed to ingots
Page   57 skilful changed to skillful
Page   60 Cöoperative changed to Coöperative
Page   63 then changed to than
Page 151 Germains changed to Germain
Page 161 armfull changed to armful
Page 166 extraneous double quote removed
Page 181 warming changed to warning
Page 195 Belvidere changed to Belvedere
Page 207 Belvidere changed to Belvedere
Page 212 Reactionist changed to Reäctionist
Page 213 Hew-Haven changed to New-Haven
Page 277 bofogged changed to befogged
Page 310 detrimen changed to detriment
Page 349 Believng changed to Believing

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Glances at Europe, by Horace Greeley


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