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Title: Over the Ocean
       or, Sights and Scenes in Foreign Lands

Author: Curtis Guild

Release Date: October 30, 2012 [EBook #41233]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Cambridge: Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co.
Stereotyped at the Boston Stereotype Foundry,
No. 10 Spring Lane.



The following pages are the record of the fruition of years of desire and anticipation; probably the same that fills the hearts of many who will read them—a tour in Europe.

The habits of observation, acquired by many years' constant occupation as a journalist, were found by the author to have become almost second nature, even when the duties of that profession were thrown aside for simple gratification and enjoyment; consequently, during a journey of nearly seven months, which was enjoyed with all the zest of a first tour, the matter which composes this volume was prepared.

Its original form was in a series of sketches in the columns of the Boston Commercial Bulletin. In these the writer attempted to give as vivid and exact an idea of the sights and scenes which he witnessed as could be conveyed to those who had never visited Europe.

Whether describing Westminster Abbey, or York Minster, Stratford-on-Avon, or the streets of London; the wonders of the Louvre, or the gayeties and glitter of Paris; the grandeur of the Alpine passes; the quaintness of old continental cities; experiences of post travelling; the romantic beauties[ii] of the Italian lakes; the underground wonders of Adelsberg, or the aqueous highways of Venice,—the author aimed to give many minute particulars, which foreign letter-writers deem of too little importance to mention, but which, nevertheless, are of great interest to the reader.

That the effort was, in some measure, successful, has been evinced by a demand for the sketches in permanent form, sufficient to warrant the publication of this volume.

In so presenting them, it is with the belief that it may be pleasant to those who have visited the same scenes to revisit them in fancy with the writer, and with a hope that the volume may, in some degree, serve as a guide to those who intend to go "over the ocean," as well as an agreeable entertainment to the stay-at-homes.

C. G.



Going Abroad.—What it costs.—Hints to Tourists.—Life on board Ship.—Land Ho!—Examining Luggage.—The Emerald Isle.—Blarney Castle.—Dublin.—Dublin Castle.—St. Patrick's Cathedral.—Cheap John's Paradise.—Phœnix Park.—Across the Irish Sea.—Railroad travelling in England.—Guard vs. Conductor.—Word to the Wise.—Railroad Stations.—An Old English City.—Chester Cathedral.—The City Walls. 1-28
Chester to Liverpool.—An English Breakfast.—A Trial of Patience.—Liverpool Docks.—St. George's Hall.—Poverty and Suffering.—The Lake District.—Home of the Poets.—Keswick.—An English Church.—The Druids' Temple.—Brougham Hall.—A Roadside Inn. 28-46
Edinburgh.—Historic Streets.—Edinburgh Castle.—Bonnie Dundee.—Rooms of Historic Story.—The Scottish Regalia.—Curiosities of the Old City.—Holyrood Palace.—Relics of the Past.—Holyrood Abbey.—Antiquarian Museum.—Scott and Scotland.—Hawthornden.—Roslin Chapel.—Melrose Abbey.—The Abbey Hotel.—Abbotsford.—Stirling Castle.—The Tournament Field.—Field of Bannockburn.—Lady of the Lake Scenes.—Scotch Lakes and Hills. 47-79
Glasgow Cathedral.—Vestiges of Vandalism.—Bible Stories in Colored Glass.—The Actor's Epitaph.—Tam O'Shanter's Ride.—Burns's Cottage.—Kirk[iv] Alloway.—A Reminder from the Witches.—Bonnie Doon.—Newcastle-on-Tyne.—York.—Beauties of York Minster.—Old Saxon Relics.—Sheffield.—The Cutlery Works.—English Mechanics.—English Ale.—Chatsworth.—Interior of the Palace.—Sculpture Gallery.—Landscape Effects.—Grand Conservatory.—Haddon Hall. 80-115
Kenilworth.—Stratford on Avon.—Interesting Mementos.—Stratford Church.—Shakespeare's Safeguard.—Warwick Castle.—Dungeon and Hall.—Warder's Horn and Warwick Vase.—Leicester's Hospital.—Beauchamp Chapel.—Mugby Junction.—Oxford.—The Mitre Tavern.—Bodleian Library.—Literary Treasures.—Curiosities and Rarities.—Story of an Old Portrait.—Queen Bess on Matrimony.—Addison's Walk.—Boating on the Isis.—Martyr's Memorial. 116-151
London.—Feeing Servants.—Railway Porters.—London Hotels.—Sights in London Streets.—Cabs and Cab-drivers.—London Shops.—Hints to Buyers.—A London Banking-house.—Routine vs. Courtesy.—Westminster Abbey.—Tombs of Kings and Warriors.—Poets' Corner.—Tributes to Genius.—Penny Steamboat Trip.—Kew Gardens.—The Star and Garter. 152-185
The Original Wax Works.—London Theatres.—Full Dress at the Opera.—Play Bills.—A Palace for the People.—Parks of London.—Zoölogical Gardens.—The Tower of London.—The Silver Key.—Site of the Scaffold.—Knights in Armor.—Regalia of England.—St. Paul's.—The Whispering Gallery.—Up into the Ball.—Down into the Crypt.—Gog and Magog.—Bank of England.—Hampton Court Palace.—The Gardens and People.—Windsor Castle.—Windsor Parks.—London Newspapers.—The Times.—The British Museum.—Bibliographical Curiosities.—Egyptian Galleries.—A Wealth of Antiquities.—Original Magna Charta.—Priceless Manuscripts. 185-246
From London to Paris.—Grand Hotels.—The Arch of Triumph.—Paris by Gaslight.—Site of the Guillotine.—Improvements in Paris.—The Bastille.—The Old Guard.—The Louvre.—Gallery of Masterpieces.—Relics of Napoleon I.—Palais Royal.—Jewelry.—French Funeral.—Père La Chaise.—Millions[v] in Marble.—Tomb of Bonaparte.—Versailles.—Halls of the Crusades.—Gallery of the Empire.—Gallery of Battles.—Theatre in the Palace.—Fountains at Versailles.—Notre Dame.—Sainte Chapelle.—The Madeleine.—The Pantheon.—Les Champs Elysées.—Cafés Chantants.—The Jardin Mabille.—The Luxembourg.—Palace of St. Cloud.—Shops in Paris.—Bargains. 246-309
Good by to Paris.—Church of St. Gudule.—Field of Waterloo.—Brussels dash;Antwerp.—The Cathedral Spire.—Dusseldorf.—Cologne Cathedral.—Riches of the Church.—Up the Rhine.—Bridge of Boats.—Coblentz and Ehrenbreitstein.—Stolzenfels.—Legendary Castles.—Bingen on the Rhine.—Roman Remains.—Mayence.—Wiesbaden.—Gambling Halls.—Frankfort-on-the-Main.—Heidelberg Castle.—The Great Tun.—The King's Seat.—Baden-Baden.—Sabbath Amusement.—Satan's Snare baited.—Among the Gamblers.—Scene at the Table.—Strasburg Cathedral.—Strasburg Clock.—Clock at Basle.—Swiss Railways.—Travelling in Switzerland.—Zurich and its Scenery. 309-375 309-375
The Righi.—Guides and Alpenstocks.—Climbing the Alps.—Night on the Mountain Top.—The Yodlyn.—Lucerne.—Wonderful Organ Playing.—A Sail on Lake Lucerne.—Scene of Tell's Archery.—The St. Gothard Pass.—The Devil's Bridge.—The Brunig Pass.—A Valley of Beauty.—Interlaken.—Staubbach Waterfall.—Glaciers and Avalanches.—An Illuminated Waterfall.—Berne.—The Freiburg Organ.—Lake Leman.—The Prison of Chillon.—Geneva.—Swiss Washerwomen.—Glaciers by Moonlight.—Sunrise on Mont Blanc.—Valley of Chamouny.—View from Flegère.—Climbing again.—Crossing the Sea of Ice.—The Mauvais Pass.—Under a Glacier.—The Tête Noir Pass.—Italian Post Drivers.—The Rhone Valley.—Simplon Pass.—Gorge of Gondo.—Fressinone Waterfall.—Domo d'Ossola.—An Italian Inn.—Lake Maggiore.—Milan Cathedral.—A Wonderful Statue.—Death and Dross.—The La Scala Theatre.—Lake Como.—Italian Monks.—Madesimo Waterfall. 376-450
The Splügen Pass.—The Via Main.—Tamina Gorge.—Falls of Schaffhausen.—Munich.—Galleries of Paintings.—Grecian Sculpture restored.—A Bronze Giant.—Hall of the Colossi.—The Palace.—Basilica of St. Boniface.—Salzburg.—Aquarial Wonders.—Visiting Lilliput.—Vienna.—Judging by Appearances.—Royal Regalia.—Cabinet of Minerals.—The Ambras Museum. 450-475[vi]
Superb Mausoleum.—The Strauss Band.—Summer Palace.—Imperial Gallery.—Vienna Leather Work.—Shops and Prices.—The Cave of Adelsberg.—Underground Wonders.—Nature's Imitation of Art. 476-487
Venice.—Gondolas and Gondoliers.—Shylock.—The Rialto.—The Giant's Staircase.—The Lion's Mouth.—Terrible Dungeons.—Square of St. Mark.—The Bronze Horses.—Church of St. Mark.—Titian's Monument.—Canova's Monument.—Cathedrals and Pictures.—Florence.—Art in the Streets.—The Uffizi Gallery.—Old Masters in Battalions.—Hall of Niobe.—Cabinet of Gems.—Michael Angelo's House.—The Duomo.—The Campanile.—Church of Santa Croce.—Michael Angelo's Statuary.—Florentine Mosaics.—Medicean Chapel.—Pitti Palace.—Halls of the Gods.—The Cascine.—Powers, the Sculptor. 487-530
Tower of Pisa.—The Duomo.—Galileo's Lamp.—The Baptistery.—Campo Santo.—Over the Apennines.—Genoa.—Streets of Genoa.—Pallavicini Gardens.—Water Jokes.—Turin to Susa.—Mt. Cenis Pass.—Paris again.—Down in the Sewers. 531-548
Sic transit.—English Rudeness.—Wonders of London.—Looking towards Home.—Last Purchases.—English Conservatism.—Reunion of Tourists.—All aboard.—Home again. 549-558




Do you remember, dear reader, when you were a youngster, and studied a geography with pictures in it, or a "First" or "Second" Book of History, and wondered, as you looked upon the wood-cuts in them, if you should ever see St. Paul's Cathedral, or Westminster Abbey, or London Bridge, or go to the Tower of London, and into the very room in which the poor little princes were smothered by the order of their cruel uncle Richard, by the two rude fellows in a sort of undress armor suit, as depicted in the Child's History of England, or should ever see the Paris you had heard your elders talk so much of, or those curious old Rhine castles, of which we read so many startling legends of robber knights, and fair ladies, and tournaments, and gnomes, and enchanters? What a realm of enchantment to us, story-book readers, was beyond the great blue ocean! and how we resolved, when we grew to be a man, we would travel all over the world, and see every thing, and buy ever so many curious things in the countries where they grew or were made. Even that compound which produced "the finest jet black ever beheld," was to us invested with a sort of poetic interest in boyhood's day, for the very stone jug that we held in our hand had come from London,—"97 High Holborn,"—and there was the picture of the palatial-looking factory on the pink label.

[2] LONDON! There was something sonorous in the sound, and something solid in the very appearance of the word when written. When we were a man, didn't we mean to go to London!

Years added to youth dissipated many of these air-built castles, and other barriers besides the watery plain intervene between the goal of one's wishes, and Europe looks further away than ever. "Going to Europe! Everybody goes to Europe nowadays," says a friend. True, and in these days of steam it is not so much of an event as formerly; indeed, one would judge so from many of his countrymen that he meets abroad, who make him blush to think how they misrepresent Americans.

The Great Expositions at London and Paris drew from our shores every American who could by any manner of means or excuse leave business, and obtain funds sufficient to get over and back, if only for a six weeks' visit. The Exposition brought out to Paris and to Europe, among the swarm of Americans who went over, many such, and some who had scarcely visited beyond the confines of their native cities before crossing the Atlantic. These people, by their utter inexperience as travellers, and by their application of the precept inculcated in their minds that money would answer for brains, was a substitute for experience, and the only passport that would be required anywhere and for anything, became a source of mortification to their countrymen, easy game for swindling landlords and sharp shop-keepers, and rendered all the great routes of travel more beset with extortions and annoyances than ever before.

But about "going to Europe." When one decides to start on a pleasure trip to that country for the first time, how many very simple things he wishes to know, that correspondents and people who write for the papers have never said anything about. After having once or twice gone over in a steamship, it never seems to occur to these writers that anybody else will want to become acquainted with the little minutiæ of information respecting life on board ship during the trip, and which[3] most people do not like to say they know nothing about; and novices, therefore, have to clumsily learn by experience, and sometimes at four times the usual cost.

Speaking of cost, let me say that this is a matter upon which hardly any two tourists will agree. How much does it cost to go to Europe? Of course the cost is varied by the style of living and the thoroughness with which one sees sights; by thoroughness I mean, besides expenditure of time, the use of extra shillings "pour boires," and the skilful dispensation of extra funds, which will gain admission to many a forbidden shrine, insure many an unexpected comfort, and shorten many a weary journey.

There is one popular error which one quickly becomes disabused of, and that is, that everything abroad is dirt cheap, and it costs a mere song to live. Good articles always bring good prices. Many may be cheaper than at home, it is true, but they are by no means thrown away, and good living in Paris cannot be had, as some suppose, for three francs a day.

If one is going abroad for pleasure, and has a taste for travelling, let him first decide what countries he wishes to visit, the routes and time he will take, and then from experienced tourists ascertain about what it would cost; after having learned this, add twenty per cent. to that amount, and he will be safe.

Safe in the knowledge that you have enough; safe in being able to make many little purchases that you will never dream of till you reach Regent Street, the Boulevards, the "Piazza San Marco," the Florence mosaic stores, or the Naples coral shops. Safe in making little side excursions to noted places that you will find on your route, and safe from the annoying reflection that you might have done so much better, and seen so much more, if you had not limited the expenditure to that very amount which your friend said would take you through.

These remarks of course apply only to those who feel that they can afford but a fixed sum for the journey, and who ought always to wait till they can allow a little margin to the fixed sum, the more completely to enjoy the trip.

[4] I have seen Americans in French restaurants actually calculating up the price of a dinner, and figuring out the price of exchange, to see if they should order a franc's worth more or less. We may judge how much such men's enjoyment is abridged.

On the other hand, the class that I refer to, who imagine that money will pass for everything, increase the cost of travel to all, by their paying without abatement the demands of landlords and shopkeepers. The latter class, on the continent, are so accustomed, as a matter of course, to being "beaten down" in the price, that it has now come to be a saying among them, that he who pays what is at first demanded must be a fool or an American. In Paris, during the Exposition, green Englishmen and freshly-arrived Americans were swindled without mercy. The jewelry shops of the Rue de la Paix, the Grand Hotel, the shops of the Palais Royal, and the very Boulevard cafés fleeced men unmercifully. The entrance of an American into a French store was always the occasion of adding from twenty to twenty-five per cent. to the regular price of the goods. It was a rich harvest to the cringing crew, who, with smirks, shrugs, bows, and pardonnez moi's in the oiliest tones, swindled and cheated without mercy, and then, over their half franc's worth of black coffee at the restaurant, or glass of absinthe, compared notes with each other, and boasted, not how much trade they had secured or business they had done, but how much beyond the legitimate price they had got from the foreign purchaser, whom they laughed at.

All the guide-books and many tourists exclaim against baggage, and urge the travelling with a single small trunk, or, as they call it in England, portmanteau. This is very well for a bachelor, travelling entirely alone, and who expects to go into no company, and will save much time and expense at railway stations; but there is some comfort in having wardrobe enough and some space for small purchases, even if a little extra has to be paid. It is the price of convenience in one respect, although the continual weighing of and charging[5] for baggage is annoying to an American, who is unused to that sort of thing; and one very curious circumstance is discovered in this weighing, no two scales on the continent give the same weight of the same luggage.

Passage tickets from America to Europe it is, of course, always best to secure some time in advance, and a previous visit to the steamer may aid the fresh tourist in getting a state-room near the centre of the ship, near the cabin stairs, and one having a dead-light, all of which are desirable things.

Have some old clothes to wear on the voyage; remember it is cold at sea even in summer; and carry, besides your overcoat and warm under-clothing, some shawls and railway rugs, the latter to lie round on deck with when you are seasick.

There is no cure for seasickness; keep on deck, and take as much exercise as possible; hot drinks, and a hot water bottle at the feet are reliefs.

People's appetites come to them, after seasickness, for the most unaccountable things, and as soon as the patient 'hankers' for anything, by all means let him get it, if it is to be had on board; for it is a sure sign of returning vigor, and in nine cases out of ten, is the very thing that will bring the sufferer relief. I have known a delicate young lady, who had been unable to eat anything but gruel for three days, suddenly have an intense longing for corned beef and cabbage, and, after eating heartily of it, attend her meals regularly the remainder of the voyage. Some make no effort to get well from port to port, and live in their state-rooms on the various little messes they imagine may relieve them, and which are promptly brought either by the stewardess or bedroom steward of the section of state-rooms they occupy.

The tickets on the Cunard line express, or did express, that the amount received includes "stewards' fees;" but any one who wants to be well served on the trip will find that a sovereign to the table steward, and one to the bedroom steward,—the first paid the last day before reaching port, and the second by instalments of half to commence with, and half just[6] before leaving,—will have a marvellously good effect, and that it is, in fact, an expected fee. If it is your first voyage, and you expect to be sick, speak to the state-room steward, who has charge of the room you occupy, or the stewardess, if you have a lady with you; tell him you shall probably need his attention, and he must look out for you; hand him half a sovereign and your card, with the number of your room, and you will have occasion to experience most satisfactorily the value of British gold before the voyage is over. If a desirable seat at the table is required in the dining-saloon—that is, an outside or end seat, where one can get out and in easily,—or at the table at which the captain sometimes presides, a similar interview with the saloon steward, a day or two before sailing, may accomplish it.

Besides these stewards, there are others, who are known as deck stewards, who wait upon seasick passengers, who lie about the decks in various nooks, in pleasant weather, and who have their meals brought to them by these attentive fellows from the cabin table. It is one phase of seasickness that some of the sufferers get well enough to lie languidly about in the fresh, bracing air, and can eat certain viands they may fancy for the nonce, but upon entering the enclosed saloon, are at once, from the confined air or the more perceptible motion of the ship, afflicted with a most irrepressible and disagreeable nausea.

Well, the ticket for Liverpool is bought, your letter of credit prepared, and you are all ready for your first trip across the water. People that you know, who have been often, ask, in a nonchalant style, what "boat" you are going "over" in; you thought it was a steamer, and the easy style with which they talk of running over for a few weeks, or should have gone this month, if they hadn't been so busy, or they shall probably see you in Vienna, or Rome, or St. Petersburg, causes you to think that this, to you, tremendous undertaking of a first voyage over the Atlantic is to be but an insignificant excursion, after all, and that the entire romance of the affair and the realizing of your imagination is to be dissolved like[7] one of youth's castles in the air. So it seems as you ride down to the steamer, get on board, pushing amid the crowds of passengers and leave-taking friends; and not until a last, and perhaps, tearful leave-taking, and when the vessel fairly swings out into the stream, and you respond to the fluttering signal of dear ones on shore, till rapid receding renders face and form indistinguishable, do you realize that you are fairly launched on the great ocean, and friends and home are left behind, as they never have been before.

One's first experience upon the great, awful Ocean is never to be forgotten. My esteem for that great navigator, Christopher Columbus, has risen one hundred per cent. since I have crossed it, to think of the amount of courage, strength of mind, and faith it must have required to sustain him in his venturesome voyage in the frail and imperfect crafts which those of his day must have been.

Two days out, and the great broad sweep of the Atlantic makes its influence felt upon all who are in any degree susceptible. To the landsman, the steamship seems to have a regular gigantic see-saw motion, very much like that of the toy ships that used to rise and fall on mimic waves, moved by clock-work, on clocks that used to be displayed in the store windows of jewellers and fancy dealers. Now the bows rise with a grand sweep,—now they sink again as the vessel plunges into an advancing wave,—up and down, up and down, and forging ahead to the never-ceasing, tremulous jar of the machinery. In the calmest weather there is always one vast swell, and when wind or storm prevails, it is both grand and terrible.

The great, vast ocean is something so much beyond anything I ever imagined,—the same vast expanse of dark-blue rolling waves as far as the eye can reach,—day after day, day after day,—the great ship a mere speck, an atom in the vast circle of water,—water everywhere. The very wind sounds differently than on land; a cheerful breeze is like the breath of a giant, and a playful wave will send a dozen hogsheads of water over the lofty bulwarks.

[8] But in a stiff breeze, when a great wave strikes like an iron avalanche against the ship, she seems to pause and shudder, as it were, beneath the blow; then, gathering strength from the unceasing throb of the mighty power within, urges her way bravely on, while far as the eye can reach, as the ship sinks in the watery valleys, you see the great black tossing waves, all crested with spray and foam, like a huge squadron of white-plumed giant cavalry. The spray sometimes flies high over the smoke-stack, and a dash of saline drops, coming fiercely into the face, feels like a handful of pebbles. A look around on the vast expanse, and the ship which at the pier seemed so huge, so strong, so unyielding, becomes an atom in comparison,—is tossed, like a mere feather, upon old Ocean's bosom; and one realizes how little is between him and eternity. There seem to be no places that to my mind bring man so sensibly into the presence of Almighty God as in the midst of the ocean during a storm, or amid the grand and lofty peaks of the Alps; all other feelings are swallowed up in the mute acknowledgment of God's majesty and man's insignificance.

If ever twelve days seem long to a man, it is during his first voyage across the Atlantic; and the real beauty of green grass is best appreciated by seeing it on the shores of Queenstown as the steamer sails into Cork harbor.

Land again! How well we all are! A sea voyage,—it is nothing. Every one who is going ashore here is in the bustle of preparation.

We agree to meet A and party in London; we will call on B in Paris,—yes, we shall come across C in Switzerland. How glib we are talking of the old country! for here it is,—no three thousand miles of ocean to cross now. A clear, bright Sunday morning, and we are going ashore in the little tug which we can see fuming down the harbor to meet us.

We part with companions with a feeling of regret. Seated on the deck of the little tug, the steamer again looms up, huge and gigantic, and we wonder that the ocean could have so tossed her about. But the bell rings, the ropes are cast off, the tug steams away, our late companions give us three[9] parting cheers, and we respond as the distance rapidly widens between us.

Custom-house officials examine your luggage on the tug. American tourists have but very little trouble, and the investigation is slight; cigars and fire-arms not forming a prominent feature in your luggage, but little, if any, inconvenience may be anticipated.

This ordeal of the custom-house constitutes one of the most terrible bugbears of the inexperienced traveller. It is the common opinion that an inspection of your baggage means a general and reckless overhauling of the personal property in your trunks—a disclosure of the secrets of the toilet, perhaps of the meagreness of your wardrobe, and a laying of profane hands on things held especially sacred. Ladies naturally dread this experience, and gentlemen, too, who have been foolish enough to stow away some little articles that custom-house regulations have placed under the ban. But the examination is really a very trifling affair; it is conducted courteously and rapidly, and the traveller laughs to himself about his unfounded apprehensions.

The tug is at the wharf; the very earth has a pleasant smell; let us get on terra firma. Now, then, a landsman finds out, after his first voyage, what "sea legs" on and sea legs off, that he has read of so much in books, mean.

He cannot get used to the steadiness of the ground, or rather, get at once rid of the unsteadiness of the ship. I found myself reeling from side to side on the sidewalk, and on entering the Queen's Hotel, holding on to a desk with one hand, to steady myself, while I wrote with the other. The rolling motion of the ship, to which you have become accustomed, is once more perceptible; and I knew one friend, who did not have a sick day on board ship, who was taken landsick two hours after stepping on shore, and had as thorough a casting up of accounts for an hour as any of us experienced on the steamer at sea. The Cunard steamers generally arrive at, or used to arrive at, Queenstown on Sunday mornings, and all who land are eager to get breakfast ashore. We tried the[10] Queen's Hotel, where we got a very fair breakfast, and were charged six or eight shillings for the privilege of the ladies sitting in a room till the meal was ready for us—the first, and I think the only, positive swindle I experienced in Ireland. After breakfast the first ride on an English (or rather Irish) railway train took us to Cork. The road was through a lovely country, and, although it was the first of May, green with verdure as with us in June—no harsh New England east winds; and one can easily see in this country how May-day came to be celebrated with May-queens, dances, and May-poles.

To us, just landed from the close steamer, how grateful was the fragrance of the fresh earth, the newly-blossomed trees, and the hedges all alive with twittering sparrows! The country roads were smooth, hard, and clear as a ball-room floor; the greensward, fresh and bright, rolled up in luxuriant waves to the very foot of the great brown-trunked trees; chapel bells were tolling, and we saw the Irish peasantry trudging along to church, for all the world as though they had just stepped out of the pictures in the story-books. There were the women with blue-gray cloaks, with hoods at the back, and broad white caps, men in short corduroys, brogues, bobtail coats, caubeens and shillalah; then there was an occasional little tip-cart of the costermonger and his wife, drawn by a donkey; the jaunting-car, with half a dozen merry occupants, all forming the moving figures in the rich landscape of living green in herbage, and the soft brown of the half moss-covered stone walls, or the corrugated stems of the great trees.

We were on shore again; once more upon a footing that did not slide from beneath the very step, and the never-ending broad expanse of heaving blue was exchanged for the more grateful scene of pleasant fields and waving trees; the sufferings of a first voyage had already begun to live in remembrance only as a hideous nightmare.

A good hotel at Cork is the Imperial Hotel; the attendance prompt, the chamber linen fresh and clean, the viands well prepared.

[11] The scenery around Cork is very beautiful, especially on the eastern side, on what is known as the upper and lower Glanmere roads, which command fine views. The principal promenade is a fine raised avenue, or walk, over a mile in length, extending through the meadows midway between two branches of the River Lee, and shaded by a double row of lofty and flourishing elms.

Our first walk in Ireland was from the Imperial Hotel to the Mardyke. Fifteen minutes brought us to the River Lee; and now, with the city proper behind us, did we enjoy the lovely scene spread out to view.

In the month of May one realizes why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle—such lovely green turf, thick, luxurious, and velvety to the tread, and so lively a green; fancy New England grass varnished and polished, and you have it. The shade trees were all in full leaf, the fruit trees in full flower; sheep and lambs gamboling upon the greensward, birds piping in the hedges, and such hedges, and laburnums, and clambering ivy, and hawthorn, the air perfumed with blossoms, the blue sky in the background pierced by the turrets of an old edifice surrounded by tall trees, round which wheeled circles of cawing rooks; the little cottages we passed, half shrouded in beautiful clambering Irish ivy, that was peopled by the nests of the brisk little sparrows, filling the air with their twitterings; the soft spring breeze, and the beautiful reach of landscape—all seemed a realization of some of those scenes that poets write of, and which we sometimes fancy owe their existence to the luxuriance of imagination.

Returning, we passed through another portion of the city, which gave us a somewhat different view; it was nearly a mile of Irish cabins. Of course one prominent feature was dirt, and we witnessed Pat in all his national glory. A newly-arrived American cannot help noticing the deference paid to caste and position; we, who treat Irish servants and laborers so well as we do, are surprised to see how much better they treat their employers in Ireland, and how little kind treatment the working class receive from those immediately above them.

[12] The civil and deferential Pat who steps aside for a well-dressed couple to pass, and touches his hat, in Cork, is vastly different from the independent, voting Pat that elbows you off the sidewalk, or puffs his fragrant pipe into your very face in America. In Ireland he accepts a shilling with gratitude, and invocation of blessings on the donor; in America he condescends to receive two dollars a day! A fellow-passenger remarked that in the old country they were a race of Touch-hats, in the new one of Go to ——. I found them here obliging and civil, ready to earn an honest penny, and grateful for it, and much more inclined to "blarney" a little extra from the traveller than to swindle it out of him.

I made an arrangement with a lively driver to take us to the celebrated Blarney Castle in a jaunting-car—a delightful vehicle to ride in of a pleasant spring day, as it was on that of our excursion. The cars for these rides are hung on springs, are nicely cushioned, and the four passengers sit back to back, facing to the side; and there being no cover or top to the vehicle, there is every opportunity of seeing the passing landscape.

No American who has been interested in the beautiful descriptions of English and Irish scenery by the British poets can realize their truthfulness until he looks upon it, the characteristics of the scenery, and the very climate, are so different from our own. The ride to Blarney Castle is a delightfully romantic one, of about six miles; the road, which is smooth, hard, and kept in excellent order, winds upon a side hill of the River Lee, which you see continually flashing in and out in its course through the valley below; every inch of ground appears to be beautifully cultivated. The road is lined with old brown stone walls, clad with ivy of every variety—dark-green, polished leaf, Irish ivy, small leaf, heart leaf, broad leaf, and lance leaf, such as we see cultivated in pots and green-houses at home, was here flourishing in wild luxuriance.

The climate here is so moist that every rock and stone fence is clad with some kind of verdure; the whole seems to[13] satisfy the eye. The old trees are circled round and round in the ivy clasp; the hedges are in their light-green livery of spring; there are long reaches of pretty rustic lanes, with fresh green turf underneath grand old trees, and there are whole banks of violets and primroses—yes, whole banks of such pretty, yellow primroses as we preserve singly in pots at home.

There are grand entrances to avenues leading up to stately estates, pretty ivy-clad cottages, peasants' miserable, thatched cabins, great sweeps of green meadow, and the fields and woods are perfectly musical with singing birds, so unlike America: there are linnets, that pipe beautifully; finches, thrushes, and others, that fill the air with their warblings; skylarks, that rise in regular circles high into the air, singing beautifully, till lost to vision; rooks, that caw solemnly, and gather in conclaves on trees and roofs. Nature seems trying to cover the poverty and squalor that disfigures the land with a mantle of her own luxuriance and beauty.

Blarney Castle is a good specimen of an old ruin of that description for the newly-arrived tourist to visit, as it will come up to his expectation in many respects, in appearance, as to what he imagined a ruined castle to be, from books and pictures. It is a fine old building, clad inside and out with ivy, situated near a river of the same name, and on a high limestone rock; it was built in the year 1300. In the reign of Elizabeth it was the strongest fortress in Munster, and at different periods has withstood regular sieges; it was demolished, all but the central tower, in the year 1646.

The celebrated Blarney Stone is about two feet below the summit of the tower, and held in its place by iron stanchions; and as one is obliged to lie at full length, and stretch over the verge of the parapet, having a friend to hold upon your lower limbs, for fear an accidental slip or giddiness may send you a hundred feet below, it may be imagined that the act of kissing the Blarney Stone is not without its perils. However, that duty performed, and a charming view enjoyed of the rich undulating country from the summit, and inspec[14]tion made of some of the odd little turret chambers of the tower, and loopholes for archery, we descended, gratified the old woman who acts as key-bearer by crossing her palm with silver, strolled amid the beautiful groves of Blarney for a brief period, and finally rattled off again in our jaunting-cars over the romantic road.

The Shelborne House, Dublin, is a hotel after the American style, a good Fifth Avenue sort of affair, clean, and well kept, and opposite a beautiful park (Stephens Green). Americans will find this to be a house that will suit their tastes and desires as well, if not better, than any other in Dublin. Sackville Street, in Dublin, is said to be one of the finest streets in Europe. I cannot agree with the guide-books in this opinion, although, standing on Carlisle Bridge, and looking down this broad avenue, with the Nelson Monument, one hundred and ten feet in height, in the centre, and its stately stores on each side, it certainly has a very fine appearance. Here I first visited shops on the other side of the water, and the very first thing that strikes an American is the promptness with which he is served, the civility with which he is treated, the immense assortment and variety of goods, and the effort of the salesmen to do everything to accommodate the purchaser. They seem to say, by their actions, "We are put here to attend to buyers' wants; to serve them, to wait upon them, to make the goods and the establishment attractive; to sell goods, and we want to sell goods." On the other hand, in our own country the style and manner of the clerks is too often that of "I'm just as good, and a little better, than you—buy, if you want, or leave—we don't care whether we sell or not—it's a condescension to inform you of our prices; don't expect any attention."

The variety of goods in the foreign shops is marvellous to an American; one pattern or color not suiting, dozens of others are shown, or anything will be made at a few hours' notice.

Here in Dublin are the great Irish poplin manufactures; and in these days of high prices, hardly any American lady leaves Dublin without a dress pattern, at least, of this elegant[15] material, which can be obtained in the original packages of the "Original Jacobs" of the trade, Richard Atkinson, in College Green, whose front store is a gallery of medals and appointments, as poplin manufacturer to members of royal families for years and years. The ladies of my party were crazy with delight over the exquisite hues, the splendid quality, the low prices—forgetting, dear creatures, the difference of exchange, and the then existing premium on gold, and sixty per cent. duty that had to be added to the rate before the goods were paid for in America. Notwithstanding the stock, the hue to match the pattern a lady had in her pocket was not to be had.

"We can make you a dress, if you can wait, madam," said the polite shopman, "of exactly the same color as your sample."

"How long will it take to make it?"

"We can deliver it to you in eight or ten days."

"O, I shall be in London then," said the lady.

"That makes no difference, madam. We will deliver it to you anywhere in London, carriage free."

And so, indeed, it was delivered. The order was left, sent to the factory by the shopman, and at the appointed time delivered in London, the lady paying on delivery the same rate as charged for similar quality of goods at the store in Dublin, and having the enviable satisfaction of showing the double poplin that was "made expressly to her order"—one dress pattern—"in Dublin."

I mention this transaction to show what pains are taken to suit the purchaser, and how any one can get what he wants abroad, if he has the means to pay.

This is owing chiefly to the different way of doing business, and also to the sharper competition in the old countries. For instance, the Pacific Mills, of Lawrence, Mass., would never think of opening a retail store for the sale of their goods on Washington Street, Boston; and if an English lady failed to find a piece of goods of the color that suited her, of manufacturing sixteen or eighteen yards to her order, and then sending it, free of express charge, to New York.

[16] The quantity and variety of goods on hand are overwhelming; the prices, in comparison with ours, so very low that I wanted to buy a ship-load. Whole stores are devoted to specialities—the beautiful Irish linen in every variety, Irish bog-wood carving in every conceivable form, bracelets, rings, figures, necklaces, breast-pins, &c. I visited one large establishment, where every species of dry goods, fancy goods, haberdashery, and, I think, everything except eatables, were sold. Three hundred and fifty salesmen were employed, the proprietors boarding and lodging a large number of them on the premises.

The shops in Dublin are very fine, the prices lower than in London, and the attendance excellent.

"But Dublin—are you going to describe Dublin?"

Not much, dear reader. Describing cities would only be copying the guide-book, or doing what every newspaper correspondent thinks it necessary to do. Now, if I can think of a few unconsidered trifles, which correspondents do not write about, but which tourists, on their first visit, always wish information about, I shall think it doing a service to present them in these sketches.

The Nelson Monument, a Doric column of one hundred and ten feet high, upon which is a statue eleven feet high of the hero of the Nile, always attracts the attention of visitors. The great bridges over the Liffey, and the quays, are splendid pieces of workmanship, and worth inspection, and of course you will go to see Dublin Castle.

This castle was originally built by order of King John, about the year 1215. But little of it remains now, however, except what is known as the Wardrobe Tower, all the present structure having been built since the seventeenth century. Passing in through the great castle court-yard, a ring at a side door brought a courteous English housekeeper, who showed us through the state apartments. Among the most noteworthy of these was the presence-chamber, in which is a richly-carved and ornamental throne, frescoed ceilings, richly-upholstered furniture, &c., the whole most strikingly reminding one[17] of those scenes at the theatre, where the "duke and attendants," or the "king and courtiers," come on. It is here the lord lieutenant holds his receptions, and where individuals are "presented" to him as the representative of royalty. The great ball-room is magnificent. It is eighty-two feet long, and forty-one wide, and thirty-eight in height, the ceiling being decorated with beautiful paintings. One represents George III., supported by Liberty and Justice, another the Conversion of the Irish by St. Patrick, and the third, a very spirited one, Henry II. receiving the Submission of the Native Irish Chiefs. Henry II. held his first court in Dublin in 1172.

The Chapel Royal, immediately adjoining, is a fine Gothic edifice, with a most beautiful interior, the ceiling elegantly carved, and a beautiful stained-glass window, with a representation of Christ before Pilate, figures of the Evangelists, &c. Here, carved and displayed, are the coats-of-arms of the different lord lieutenants from the year 1172 to the present time. The throne of the lord lieutenant in one gallery, and that for the archbishop opposite, are conspicuous. This edifice was completed in 1814, and cost forty-two thousand pounds. It was the first Church of England interior I had seen over the ocean, and its richness and beauty were impressive at the time, but were almost bleached from memory by the grander temples visited a few weeks after. The polite housekeeper, whom, in my inexperience, I felt almost ashamed to hand a shilling to, took it, nevertheless, very gratefully, and in a manner that proved that her pride was not at all wounded by the action.

In obedience to the advice of an Emeralder, that we must not "lave Dublin widout seein' St. Patrick's Church," we walked down to that celebrated cathedral. The square which surrounds it is as much a curiosity in its way as the cathedral itself. The whole neighborhood seemed to consist of the dirtiest, quaintest tumble-down old houses in Dublin, and swarmed with women and children.

Hundreds of these houses seemed to be devoted to the sale[18] of old junk, sixth-hand clothing, and fourth-hand articles of every description one could name or think of—old tin pots and kettles, old rope, blacking-jugs, old bottles, old boots, shoes, and clothing in every style of dilapidation—till you could scarcely say where the article ended being sold as a coat, and became rags—iron hoops, old furniture, nails, old hats, bonnets, cracked and half-broken crockery. It verily seemed as if this place was the rag fair and ash-heap of the whole civilized world. The contents of six American ash-barrels would have given any one of these Cheap John stores a stock that would have dazzled the neighborhood with its magnificence.

You could go shopping here with two-pence. Costermongers' carts, with their donkeys attached, stood at the curbstones, ragged and half-starved children played in the gutters, great coarse women stood lazily talking with each other, or were crouched over a heap of merchandise, smoking short pipes, and waiting or chaffering with purchasers. Little filthy shops on every hand dealt out Ireland's curse at two-pence a dram, and "Gin," "Choice Spirits Sold Here," "Whiskey," "Spirits," were signs that greeted the eye on their doorposts. The spring breeze was tainted with foul odors, and there was a busy clatter of tongues from the seething and crowded mass of humanity that surged round in every direction.

Upon the farther corner of the third side of the square, where the neighborhood was somewhat better, we discovered the residence of the sexton who had charge of the church—a strong Orangeman, bitterly opposed to the Romish church, and with a strong liking for America, increased by the fact of having a brother in the American Union army, who rose from sergeant to colonel in one of the western regiments.

"Think o' that, sir! Ye might be as brave as Julyus Sayzer in the English army, and sorra a rise would ye get, except ye'd be sated on a powdher magazine whin it exploded."

The legend is, that this church was originally built by St.[19] Patrick, and the sexton took me into a little old crypt at the end of one of the aisles of the nave—all that remains of that portion of the church, which it is averred was built A. D. 540. This crypt was floored with curious old tiles, over a thousand years old, put down and the fragments matched together with great labor and expense, and the flooring worth more money than a covering of an "aven layer o' guineas" upon it.

The old stone font, A. D. 1190, the old carved chest for vestments, and the curious stone coffins, relics of the old church, were interesting. Among the monuments in the church, Archbishop Whately's magnificently-carved marble sarcophagus, surmounted by his full-length effigy, was particularly noticeable; Swift's monument, Stella's tablet, and the economical tablet put up in memory of Duke Schomberg by Swift.

Here in St. Patrick's Cathedral are displayed the stalls, arms, and banners of the Knights of St. Patrick, the army "memorials" of the India and China British regiments, with the flags they carried from 1852 to 1857 in their campaigns. Upon the wall was suspended the cannon shot that killed Schomberg at the memorable battle of the Boyne in 1690, and the spurs that he wore at the time. Schomberg's remains are interred at Westminster Abbey.

My first ride in an old country park was in the Phœnix Park, Dublin a—beautiful pleasure-ground of over eighteen hundred acres in extent. I imagined how laughable it must have seemed to the Prince of Wales, when, at the review he attended on Boston Common, he politely assented to the remark of a militia officer, that "this great area" (the Common parade ground) "was well adapted for displays of large bodies of troops," as I sat looking at the parade ground of this park, a clear, unbroken greensward of six times the size.

Think of riding over drives or malls fifty feet wide, and from three to five miles in length, lined with gas-lights to illuminate it at night, herds of hundreds of deer sporting on the open sward, or under the great, sturdy trees, which are grouped in twos, threes, or clusters, for landscape effect, and[20] the turf beneath them thick, green, and luxuriant; and then, again, there are rustic, country-like roads, shady dells, and rustic paths in the beautiful park; a great monument erected to Wellington by his countrymen at a cost of one hundred thousand pounds, will attract attention, and so will the numerous fashionable turnouts that roll over the well-kept roads every pleasant spring afternoon.

From Dublin to Kingston is a pleasant little ride by rail. Kingston is on St. George's Channel, or the lower part of the Irish Sea, and directly opposite Holyhead, Wales. At Kingston we took steamer for the passage across. The steamers of this line carry the royal mail, are built for strength and speed, and are splendid boats, of immense power, said to be the strongest and swiftest in Great Britain, and run at the rate of sixteen miles an hour. Fortunately, the passage was comparatively a smooth one, and we disembarked in good condition upon the opposite shore, where we took train for Chester. An English railway carriage—its form is familiar to all from frequent description; but think of the annoyance of having to look after your luggage, to see it safely bestowed on the top of the car, or in a luggage van, and to be obliged to look out that it is not removed by mistake at any of the great stations you do not stop at, or that it is removed when you do stop.

A few words on railway travelling in England: it differs from ours essentially. First, the cars on English roads are not so convenient, comfortable, or even so private as the American car. In the English first-class carriage, four persons must sit facing four persons; consequently four must perforce ride backwards, and the four are placed so as to stare directly at their opposite neighbors,—sometimes unpleasant, if all are not acquainted, especially at lunch time, &c. Then, in the English carriage, four persons only of the eight can get a fair view of the scenery, and two of these are riding backwards. These four "govern" the windows, and lower or close at their pleasure. I have been nearly smothered, as well as thoroughly chilled, by happening to have[21] people of adverse temperaments get the window seats, till I learned how to travel by rail in England, of which, hints anon.

There are no means of heating the English railway carriage, and they are not tightly joined, especially the second-class ones. Hence the "railway rugs," &c., one hears so much about. But then, it must be confessed, the danger of the American stove renders it a rather unpopular affair. The second-class car is a plain, substantial carriage, and the larger portion of the passengers travel in it. The first-class car is more luxurious, upholstered more plentifully, supplied with racks for light baggage, and curtains at the windows. The English have not even reached the improvement of the sliding blind, which we have in America, so useful in excluding the sun's rays and admitting the air, the substitute being a flapping silk curtain. The second-class car has no curtain or shade to the window whatever. The absence of the signal rope is noticeable, and no man nowadays will remain in an English railway carriage, if one or two other men come in that he does not know. Is it not singular that so simple an arrangement as the signal rope to the engine driver should not have been applied, after all the murders, and assaults, and casualties, that have occurred on English railway trains, and proved its necessity?

Not at all. It is an American invention—a novelty. An Englishman does not believe in novelties, in innovations, or in American inventions. After he has tried every other thing he can think of as a substitute, and finds he can get nothing so simple and effectual, he will adopt it; and then it will be claimed as an English invention—invented by an Englishman; just as they claim the invention of the revolver, steamboat, and I don't know but the sewing-machine.

The English locomotives have no protection upon them for the engine-driver and fireman. These men are exposed, without shelter, and must have a rough time of it in bad weather. The "guard," who occupies the place of the American conductor, but by no means fills it, is always recognizable by his uniform; and at the stations, the numerous porters[22] which it is necessary for the company to employ to handle baggage, owing to the absence of the check system, are also in uniform. These men are invariably civil, ready to serve, and understand their position and duties thoroughly.

On some of the English railroads that I travelled over, it seemed as though the only duty the company thought they had to perform, was to simply carry you over their road; and the ignorance of some of the under employés was positively amazing. Seated in the carriage, you might ride twenty miles past the station at which you wished to stop without knowing it, if you chanced to be on the off side.

There was no conductor to pass and repass through the train, to look out that you debarked at the proper station; no list of towns on the back of your railroad check; no shout of "Passengers for Chester! Chester!" when the train stopped; and the guard knew nothing of any other train except his own, or any other distance over the road, or of how to connect with any other train.

The passenger is left to himself, and is never told by the guard to "change cars here for ——." That, you have to know yourself, and look out and have the railway porter get your luggage (not baggage) off, or it will carried on, as they have no check system—another American affair, which it won't do to adopt too readily.

Luggage is weighed, and, beyond a certain amount, charged for; but any portmanteau one can get under the seat is free; and it is astonishing what big valises some men carry. And in the absence of the check system, this is, of course, the safest way.

Comparatively little luggage is lost or stolen. One reason why it is not stolen is, that there is a law here which punishes thieves, and does not allow them liberty for a stipulated sum, known as bail in America.

The price in the first-class carriage, on the fast or express trains, is about a third higher than the second. A third class is still cheaper. The parliamentary or slow trains have cheaper rates than the express.

The division of "classes" is, in many respects, an excellent[23] arrangement. It affords to him who desires better accommodations, and has the means to pay for them, the opportunity of enjoying them; and it does not force the poor man, the laborer or emigrant, to ride in a richly upholstered carriage, where he feels he is out of place, when he would prefer to save his money, and have less gilding and upholstery.

One very soon finds, in England, the deference paid to class and to wealth, and nowhere sooner than on the railway train. It is presumed, on the expensive routes, that those riding in first-class carriages are "first-class" people, and the guard's manner to the passengers in the different carriages is an index of English education in this matter. As he appears at the window of the first-class carriage, he politely touches his hat:—

"All are for London in this compartment? Thank you."

To the second-class: "Tickets, please."

To the third-class: "Now, then, tickets. Look alive here, will you?"

The first-class passenger finds that his wants are better attended to, his questions answered deferentially; he is allowed to take almost any amount of small luggage into the car with him, much of which would be excluded from the second-class, if an attempt were made to carry it in. And O, the potency of the English shilling!

Each car seats eight; but we will suppose that there are a party of four travelling together, and desire no more passengers in the compartments. Call the guard to the window, put your hand in your pocket, looking him in the eye significantly. He will carelessly drop his own hand within the window opening inside the car. You drop a shilling in the hand. "This car is occupied."

"Quite so, sir."

Touching his hat, he locks the car door, and when other people come trying the door, he is conveniently out of the way, or informs the applicant, "Third carriage forward for London, sir," and by a dozen ingenious subterfuges keeps you free from strangers, so much that you betray yourself to[24] him as an American by giving him another shilling at your journey's end; and, although smoking "is strictly forbidden in first-class carriages," a party of three or four smokers, by the judicious use of a couple of shillings, may have one all to themselves for that purpose.

The railway stations in England are very fine, and much superior to those in America, although we are improving ours, especially in the great cities. In the great English cities and towns, the stations are vast iron, glass-roofed structures, kept in excellent order. The waiting-rooms are divided into first, second, and third class, and the door opening upon the platform is not opened until a certain time before the train starts. Porters in uniform take the luggage to the train, and the "guard" who acts as conductor knows nothing about any railway train connections or line beyond his own. The passenger is supposed to know all that sort of thing, and he who "wants to know, you know," is at once recognized as an American.

The country stations are beautiful little rustic affairs, with gardens of roses and sweetbrier, honeysuckles and flowering shrubs about them. Some have the name of the station sown in dwarf flowers upon the bank outside, presenting a very pretty appearance in spring and summer, and contrasting very agreeably with the rude shanties we find in America, with their tobacco-stained floors within, and bare expanse of yellow sand outside.

We rattled through Wales in an express train, a romantic view of wild Welsh mountains on one side, and the beating and heaving ocean dashing up on the other, sometimes almost to the very railway track. We ran through great tunnels, miles in length, whirled at the rate of fifty miles an hour through the great slate-quarrying district and Bangor, past the magnificent suspension bridge over Menai Straits, by the romantic old castle of Conway, with its shattered battlements and turrets looking down at the sea, which dashes up its foam-crested waves ceaselessly at its rocky base, the old red sandstone walls worn and corroded with time; on,[25] past thatched huts, rustic cottages, and green landscape, till the panting train halted at the great modern railway station in that oldest of English cities, Chester.

This station is one of the longest in England, being ten hundred and fifty feet long, and having wings, a kind of projecting arcades, with iron roofs, to shelter vehicles waiting for trains. From this magnificent modern-built station a cab carried us, in a few minutes, on our route to the hotel (Grosvenor House), into an old street that looked as though we had got into a set scene at the theatre, representing a street in Windsor for Falstaff and the Merry Wives to appear in; houses built in 1500, or years before, the street or sidewalks passing right under some of them; quaint old oddities of architecture, with curious inscriptions in abbreviated old English on their carved cross-beams, and their gables sticking out in every direction; curious little windows with diamond-shaped panes set in lead; and houses looking as though the hand of time had squeezed them together, or extracted the juice from them like sucked oranges, and left only the dried rind, half shrunken from its original shape, remaining.

The great curiosity, however, in Chester, is the Chester Cathedral, and the old walls that encompass the city. I never realized the force of the expression "the corroding tooth of time" till I saw this magnificent old cathedral: portions of it which were once sharply sculptured in various designs are now worn almost smooth by age, the old red sandstone looking as though time had sand-papered it with gritty hail and honeycombed its stones with melting rains; but the whole was surrounded with a mellow, softened beauty of groined arches, beautiful curves, dreamy old cloisters, and quaint carving, that invested even the ruined portion with a hallowed beauty. The stained-glass windows, both old and modern, are glorious colored wonders; the chapel where the services are now held is the same where, a thousand years ago, dreamy old monks told their beads; and there are their stalls or seats, so contrived as to afford but partial rest, so that if the sitter slumbered they fell forward with his weight, and threw him to the floor.

[26] The antique wood carving upon the seats and pews here, now blackened and hardened almost to ebony in appearance, is very fine, excellently executed, and well preserved. High above ran around the nuns' walk, with occasional openings, whence the meek-eyed sisterhood could hear service below without being seen themselves as they came from their quiet cloisters near at hand, a quadrangle of one hundred and ten feet square, in which were four covered walks looking upon the enclosed garden, now a neglected greensward, where several forgotten old abbots slumber peacefully beneath great stone slabs with obliterated inscriptions.

The curious grope into some of the old cells, and most of us go down under the building in the crypt, where the massive Gothic pillars, that support the pile, still in perfect preservation, bring vividly to mind those canvas representations of prison scenes one sees upon the stage.

Inside the cathedral were numerous very old monuments and mementos of the past; among others an immense tapestry wrought by nuns hundreds of years ago, and representing Elymas struck with blindness. The enormous size of these cathedrals strikes the "fresh" American tourist with wonder. Fancy churches five times as large as ours, and the height inside from sixty to one hundred feet from the stone floor to the arched ceiling, lighted with glorious great windows of stained glass, upon which the stories of the Bible are told in colored pictures, and south, east, west, transepts, nave, and choir, crowded with relics of the past, that you have read of in the story-books of youth, and again upon the pages of history in maturer years; artistic sculptures, old monuments, statues, carvings, and curious remains.

In the chapter-house connected with the cathedral, we were shown the colors carried by the Cheshire regiment on the field of Waterloo; and it was interesting for me to grasp with my sacrilegious American hand one of the colors borne by a British regiment in America during the war of the Revolution.

We also visited the ecclesiastical court-room in which the[27] Bishop of Chester, in 1554, tried a Protestant minister, George Marsh, and sentenced him to be burned for heresy. The seats of the judges and chair of the accused are still preserved and shown to the visitor, who generally desires to sit in the martyr's seat, and finds it, even for a few minutes, an uncomfortable one.

The Chester Cathedral is said to have been founded in the year 200, and was used as a place of safety against the Danes in 800. It was well kept, and ruled by abbots, and its history well preserved from the time of King William Rufus, who was killed in New Forest, 1093, down to 1541.

The old walls of Chester are the great attraction of the city; in fact, Chester is the only city in Great Britain that has preserved its old walls entire: they enclose the city proper, and are about two miles in circumference, affording a delightful promenade and prospect of the surrounding country. The walls are squarely built of a soft red freestone, something like that used for our "brown stone front" houses, though apparently not so hard a material, and vary from twelve to forty feet in height. A fresh tourist from a new country like our own begins to feel he is communing with the past, as he walks over these old walls, erected A. D. 61, and finds their chronology to read thus:—

A. D.
61— Walls built by Romans.
73— Marius, King of the Britons, extended the walls.
607— The Britons defeated under the walls.
907— The walls rebuilt by daughter of Alfred the Great.
1224— An assessment for repairing the walls.
1399— Henry of Lancaster mustered his troops under these walls.
1645— The Parliamentary forces made a breach in these walls.

So that it will be seen they have looked down upon some of the most eventful scenes of history; and as we strolled along, thinking what a feeble obstacle they would prove against the formidable engines of modern warfare, we came to a tower called the Phœnix Tower; and an inscription upon[28] it informs the visitor that upon this tower King Charles I. stood in 1645, and witnessed the defeat of his army on Rowton Moor, four miles off, then a barren field, but now a smiling plain of fields and cottages, looking very unlike a barren moor, or the scene of a sanguinary combat. In this old tower a curious, antiquary sort of old fellow keeps a motley collection of curiosities, among which were Havelock's spurs, buckles of Queen Mary's time, bean from tree planted by Washington (!), and a great, staring, size-of-life wood-cut of Abraham Lincoln, besides coins, relics, &c., that were labelled to interest, but whose genuineness might not stand the test of too close an investigation.


It is a comparatively short ride from Chester to Liverpool, and of course we went to the Adelphi Hotel, so frequently heard mentioned our side of the water; and if ever an American desires a specimen of the tenacity with which the English cling to old fashions, their lack of what we style enterprise, let him examine this comfortable, curious, well kept, inconvenient old house, or rather collection of old residences rolled into a hotel, and reminding him of some of the old-fashioned hotels of thirty years ago at the lower part of the city of New York.

Upon the first day of my arrival I was inexperienced enough to come down with my wife to the "ladies' coffee-room" as it is called, before ordering breakfast. Let it be kept in mind that English hotels generally have no public dining and tea rooms, as in America, where a gentleman with ladies can take their meals; that solemn performance is done by Englishmen in the strictest privacy, except they are travelling alone, when they take their solitary table in "the coffee-[29]room," and look glum and repellent upon the scene around at intervals of the different courses of their well-served solitary dinner. Public dining-rooms, however, are gradually coming into vogue at English hotels, and at the Star and Garter, Richmond, I dined in one nearly as large as that of the St. Nicholas, Fifth Avenue, or Parker House, crammed with chattering guests and busy waiters; but that was of a pleasant Sunday, in the height of the season, and the price I found, on settling the bill, fully up to the American standard.

But at the Adelphi I came down in the innocence of my heart, expecting to order a breakfast, and have it served with the American promptitude.

Alas! I had something to learn of the English manner of doing things. Here was the Adelphi always full to overflowing with new arrivals from America and new arrivals for America, and here was its ladies' coffee-room, a small square parlor with five small tables, capable of accommodating, with close packing, fifteen people, and the whole room served by one waiter. The room was full on my arrival; but fortunately, while I was hesitating what course to pursue, a lady and gentleman who had just finished breakfast arose, and we sat down at the table they had vacated.

In the course of ten minutes the waiter cleared the table and spread a fresh cloth. "'Ave you hordered breakfast, sir?"

"No! Bring me mutton chops, coffee, and boiled eggs, and hot biscuit, for two."

"Beg pardon, sir; chops, heggs, coffee—a—biscuits, aren't any biscuits, sir; send out and get some, sir."

Biscuits. I reflected; these benighted Britons don't understand what an American hot biscuit is. "No biscuits! Well, muffins, then."

"Muffins, sir; yes, sir;" and he hastened away.

We waited five, ten, fifteen minutes; no breakfast. One party at another table, who were waiting when we came in, were served with their breakfast; in five minutes more a fresh plate of muffins to another party; five more, and the waiter came to our table, put on two silver forks, a salt-cellar,[30] and castor, and smoothed out some invisible wrinkles in the table linen, and went away; five minutes more, and he was hustling among some knives at a sideboard.


"Yes, sir."

"Are you going to bring my breakfast?"

"Yes, sir; d'reckly, sir; chops most ready, sir."

Chops, always call 'em chops; never call for a mutton chop in England; the word is superfluous, and stamps you as an untravelled, inexperienced Yankee at once.

Five minutes more, and he appeared, bearing a tray with the breakfast, just thirty-five minutes after the order had been given for it. How long would a hotel in America be patronized that made its guest wait one half that time for four times as elaborate a repast?

I soon learned how to manage this matter better, especially as there are no printed bills of fare, and the list comprises a very few standard dishes. My plan was, on first rising in the morning, to write my order for breakfast on a scrap of paper, ring for the chambermaid, hand it to her with instructions to have that breakfast ready in the ladies' coffee-room directly.

The English "directly" signifies the "right away" of America, or, more correctly, immediately.

In half an hour afterwards, when we descended, the waiter, whose memory had been strengthened by the judicious investment of a shilling, had the cloth laid, and met us with, "Breakfast d'reckly, sir; Number 19; yes, sir."

The breakfast, when it did come, was perfect; the coffee or tea excellent, pure and unadulterated; the chops,—not those American affairs with one bite of meat the size of half a dollar, tough and ill cooked, but large as the palm of one's hand,—cooked as they can only be cooked in England; the muffins hot and smoking; the eggs fresh and excellent; so that the old-fashioned framed engravings, mahogany furniture, cramped quarters, and style of the past were forgotten in the appeal to that god of the Englishman, the stomach.

[31] All the viands at the Adelphi were of the best description, and admirably cooked, but the bill of fare was limited to very few articles. A sight of one of the printed bills of our great American hotels would have driven the waiter crazy, while the utter disregard of time, or rather of the value of time, in an English hotel, is the first thing that strikes a newly-arrived American and stirs up his irritability.

Eating, with a Briton, is a very serious and solemn thing, and the dinner one of the most important social ceremonies in the kingdom. You cannot, if you will, in England, precipitate yourself into dyspepsia with the ease that it is possible to do it in America. First, because people will not be hurried into eating at railroad speed, and next, because there is better cooking of standard dishes and fewer knickknacks at the hotel tables than in America.

That inevitable pork fat that flavors everything after one gets west of Buffalo, and a little off the line of travel that leads you through the great hotels in the great cities in America,—that saleratus bread, hayey tea, clammy pie-crust, and great whity-gray, soury baker's bread,—that we, who have travelled at home, are so familiar with, give place in England to articles prepared in a very different style. I have often thought, when travelling at the West, that it was a sin for people in the midst of such luxurious plenty to abuse it so abominably in preparing it for the table.

With all the prejudices of a raw tourist upon his first visit, I must acknowledge that during two months' constant travel in England and Scotland, I never sat down to a single ill-cooked or badly-served meal; and I have tested humble roadside inns in the country, as well as the more pretentious hotels of the great cities. The bread of all kinds is close-grained, sweet, well baked, and toothsome; the chops served sometimes on napkins in hot dishes; muffins hot, with fresh, sweet butter; butter served in thin pats, ornamented with parsley; broiled chicken garnished with thin slices of delicately broiled ham, so thin and free from grease as not to make a spot upon the pure damask table linen; the dropped eggs upon crisp toast,[32] are a triumph of gastronomic art, and I need say no word in praise of English roast beef.

But there is one dish which can be had in perfection only in America, and that is an American beefsteak. It is almost impossible to get a decent beefsteak in England, out of the city of London, and there only at a few well-known restaurants celebrated for that specialty. They would think it almost sacrilege to cut beef into what is known in America as sirloin or tenderloin steaks; and, with the few exceptions above named, the art of broiling a steak in the American style, and serving it with the thin, dry-fried potatoes, is unknown. But a truce to the department of cuisine.

The one thing we all have most heard of in Liverpool is its great docks, which are the grand and characteristic feature, indicating forcibly its great commercial activity and enterprise by their magnitude, solidity, and extent. These immense receptacles of merchandise extend for six miles along the river, and have an enclosure of two hundred and fifty-four acres, a quay space of over eighteen miles; then upon the other side of the river are the Birkenhead docks, enclosing one hundred and sixty-seven acres, and having a quay space of over nine miles,—thus giving to Liverpool four hundred and twenty-one acres of enclosed docks, and twenty-seven miles of quay space.

The enormous heaps of every species of merchandise seen at these places, great ships from every part of the world, the perfect forest of masts, immense storehouses, cargoes that in the general mass seem but mounds of tea-chests, hillocks of coffee-bags, heaps of grain, piles of lumber, or fragments of machinery in these great areas, but which in reality would provision an army, build a navy, and outfit a manufacturing city, give one the impression that Liverpool is the entrepôt of the world, and some idea of the enormous commerce of Great Britain.

Each dock has a chief, or master, who directs the position of all ships, and superintends the flood-gates at the docking and undocking of vessels; and strict regulations are enforced[33] for the prevention of fire and the preservation of property. The sea walls in front of some of these docks are magnificent specimens of masonry, and each dock is designated by a name; our American ships, I believe, favor that known as Waterloo Dock. All the docks are surrounded by huge bonding warehouses and merchandise sheds.

The Free Museum, which we visited in Liverpool, contains the largest and finest collection of ornithological specimens in the world. It was indeed superb, and I never saw such splendid taxidermical skill as was displayed in the mounting and arranging of this vast collection of thousands and thousands of birds, of every species (it seemed), from every country in the known world.

For instance, there was every species of eagle known to exist,—gray, white, bald, harpy, &c.,—poised, at rest, in flight, and in various positions, as in life; every species of owl,—the gigantic, judge-like fellow, horned, snowy, gray, black, white, and dwarf; every falcon,—a magnificent set of specimens of this kind, as there was also of the crow family, which were represented not only by elegant black specimens, but by light-blue, and even white ones; every species of sea bird, from the gigantic albatross to the Mother Cary's chicken; rare and curious birds; great cassowaries; the biggest ostrich I ever saw,—he could have carried a full-grown African upon his back with ease; great emus; a skeleton of the now extinct dodo; a collection of every species of pheasant, including specimens of the Himmalayan pheasant, the most gorgeous bird in the whole collection, whose plumage actually glistened and sparkled with glorious tints, like tinsel or precious stones—a gorgeous combination of colors. Over one hundred different varieties of humming-birds were displayed, and the same of parrots, who were in green, blue, yellow, white, pink, and every uniform of feather that could be imagined; magnificent lyre-birds, with tall, erected tail, in exact form of Apollo's fabled lyre.

Great condors from South America; a brilliant array of every species of birds of paradise; a whole army of toucans;[34] a brilliant array of flamingoes and all the vulture tribe; in fact, every kind of a bird you had ever heard, seen pictures or read of, and very many you never had heard of, were presented in this most wonderful collection; and one pleasing feature besides the astonishing life-like positions they were placed in, was the admirable neatness and order of the whole; not a stain marred the clear plate glass of the great cases, not a speck of dust could be seen in or about them; and upon the pedestal of each specimen was pasted a label, in good plain English characters, giving the English name of it, the country it came from, and, in many instances, its habits, &c., so much better than the presumption acted upon in some museums, that all the visitors are scientific Latin scholars.

Besides this collection in the Museum, was one of minerals and corals, and another of preserved specimens of natural history. In this last we saw the entire skeleton of a large humpback whale, an entire skeleton of the gigantic Irish elk (species extinct) discovered in an Irish bog, a two-horned rhinoceros's head as big as a common hogshead, an enormous and splendidly-mounted specimen of the gorilla, larger than any, I think, that Du Chaillu exhibited in America, and a vast number of other interesting curiosities I have not space to enumerate, the whole of which was open free to the public, for pleasure or scientific study.

St. George's Hall, Liverpool, occupies a commanding position, and presents a fine architectural appearance; the eastern side of it is four hundred and twenty feet long, and has fifteen elegant Corinthian columns, each forty-five feet in height. Within the portico are some fine specimens of sculpture; the great saloon is one hundred and sixty-seven feet long by seventy-seven feet high, and, it may be interesting to Bostonians to know, contains the great organ of Liverpool, which is not so fine a one as the Boston one. The hall is used for public meetings, musical festivals, &c.,—very much for the same purposes as Boston Music Hall. In the immediate vicinity of St. George's Hall are the famous Liverpool lions, colossal stone monsters, the equestrian statue of Prince Albert, and other objects of interest.

[35] It was in Liverpool that I first saw that evidence of real, terribly suffering poverty that we read so much of as prevailing in the streets of some of the great cities of England. I don't know but as squalid misery might be found in New York city; but there need be but very little of suffering by any one in America who has health and strength sufficient to do a day's work. In Liverpool I saw groups of poor creatures in the street, with starvation written in their countenances; and one evening, having occasion to go to the telegraph office from the hotel, I found that the streets absolutely swarmed with women, who were actually annoying to the stranger by their persistent importunities. Upon one occasion, being awakened by the sound of voices at one o'clock at night, I looked across the square from my window, and there, opposite an illuminated gin-shop, stood a group of three poor children, droning through a song, in hopes of extracting a penny or two from those in or about it; the oldest of the three could not have been a dozen years old, and the youngest a little ragged girl of six.

There are people that one meets here whose appearance is an anguish to the aching heart. We saw a poor woman, in a sleazy calico dress, with a colorless, wan face, walking wearily up an ascent in one of the streets, one afternoon, looking as if hope were dead within her heart; and thinking it a case of need, my friend thrust a half crown into her hand, saying, "Here! I think you need that." The poor creature looked at him for a moment, and, without saying a word, burst into a flood of tears. My experience with a little youngster of six, whose whole clothing was a sort of tow shirt, and who persistently begged for a penny, which I at last gave him, was somewhat different, for he dashed off with a shout, and, as I paused on the corner of the street, an army of young ragamuffins seemed to start out from every nook and cranny, with outstretched arms and rags fluttering in the breeze, and shrill cries of "Gi' me one, gi' me a penny," so that I was glad to take refuge in the cab I had signalled.

From Liverpool, instead of starting directly for London, I[36] concluded to go to Scotland, passing through the Lake district en route. If the reader will look at a good map of England and Scotland, and find Solway Firth, which is on the west coast, and then look at the country immediately south of it, occupying a portion of the counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancaster, he will see that it is full of lakes and mountains, and will find, on visiting it, that its picturesque attractions are unequalled in any other part of England. Additional interest is imparted to the Lake district from its being the haunt and home of many of England's most celebrated modern poets; and inspired, doubtless, by its lovely views and quiet beauty of landscape, from here have emanated some of their best compositions.

We left the main road in our journey westward at a place called Oxenholme, and there took a 'bus, which carried us down to Lake Windermere. This lake is a beautiful, irregular sheet of water, eleven miles in length and about a mile wide, and numerous little islands add to its picturesque appearance, the scenery being soft and graceful; the gentle slopes and eminences that surround it, and the numerous country-seats and cottages peeping from the wooded slopes, combining to render it one of those pictures of quiet beauty that English poets delight to sing of. The hotel that we rested at was perched upon a commanding eminence, from which a delightful view of the lake and surrounding scenery was obtained.

The pretty village of Bowness, near by, attracted my attention, this being my first experience in an English country village; and its appearance was in many respects novel, and unlike what I had expected. First, I was struck at the entire absence of wooden houses; wood is scarce here; the houses are all built of stone, about the color of our stone walls in the country towns of New England, the stones about two feet square, and irregular in shape. A little rustic porch of wood, with the bark on, is sometimes built before the door, and this is overrun with ivy, or some climbing and flowering plant. Some of the more pretentious houses had stone porches; but[37] all round and about them was twined the beautiful ivy, honeysuckle, or other plants, from in and out of which hopped and twittered the sparrows.

The village streets were quite narrow, and some as crooked as the letter S, but all scrupulously clean. There were no great brush heaps, chips, dirt-piles, or worn-out tin ware about any of these charming little cottages or their vicinity; the appearance is as if the place had just been thoroughly swept up and put in holiday trim. One reason for this is, I suppose, that everything here is utilized that a penny can be realized upon, and what we make a litter with about an American house of the kind, is here either sold, or turned to account in some other way; but certainly this air of extreme neatness, which I noticed in many English villages, must, in a degree, account for some of their tourists' disgust in America. I have not seen a man spit on the floor here since I set foot in England, and the floors even of the village ale-houses are a striking contrast to those of our New England country taverns: spitting appears to be an American national habit.

After a quiet rest at this charming spot, we chartered a "dog cart," and started on a ride of twenty-three miles, for Keswick; and of the charming drives I have had, this surpasses all. The road ran along Lake Windermere to Ambleside, Grassmere to Rydal Lake and Rydal Mount, Nab-Scar up Dunmail Rise, in sight of Helvellyn, and past Thirlemere.

The views were beautiful—high hills, with little green-shored lakes set in among them, like flashing brilliants; pretty little English villages, like those already described; country-seats; little rustic arched stone bridges, with dark, cool trout-streams running beneath them; grand country-seats, with their imposing entrances and porters' lodges; old ivy-clad churches, and here and there a tall grove of trees, with the rooks cawing in their branches. The bridges, walls, cottages, and churches, with their dark stone-work relieved by clustering ivy, had a softened and pleasing appearance to the eye, while the fields and meadows were a vivid green, and swarming with sheep and young lambs frisking about them, or on the lawns and hill-sides.

[38] The road continually gave us long reaches of these views, such as I had never seen before, except in paintings, or in the better class of English illustrated books. We passed Dove's Nest, where Mrs. Hemans lived for a year; saw Miss Martineau's pleasant and picturesque residence, Wordsworth's house at Rydal Mount, and went to the little cottage on the borders of Grassmere Lake, where he dwelt when young, and wrote much of his best poetry; then to the humble cottage, not far from the lake shore, where De Quincey lived.

We drove to the churchyard in the little village of Grassmere, to visit Wordsworth's grave,—a charming spot,—the little church situated near a swift little stream, spanned by arched stone bridges, and surrounded by scenery of rustic beauty. The grave of the poet is marked by a plain stone, upon which are inscribed his own and his wife's name; and not far from it is the grave of Hartley Coleridge. The secluded and beautiful spot seemed a fitting resting-place for the poet; the gentle babble of the little stream, the peaceful rustle of the grass in the churchyard, and the modest little daisies that bloomed upon the graves, all seemed to lend a tranquil and dreamy calm to the place, that made it appear as if hallowed to the poet's repose.

Keswick, our next halting-place, is situated in a delightful vale, between Derwentwater, or Keswick Lake, and Bassenthailewater, and surrounded by an amphitheatre of hills. The elegant Keswick Hotel is situated in a charming position, just out of the town, and in the centre of the great circle of hills—one of the finest and best-kept houses of the kind in all England. From its great coffee-room, or, as we should call it, dining-room, which runs nearly half the length of one side of the house, and the promenade, or balustrade, which extends the whole length, is a most charming view, and the grounds of the house, which are quite extensive, are laid out quite handsomely. First came an elegant, close-shaven lawn, running one hundred feet from the hotel walk; then a green terrace, descended by ornamental stone[39] steps; then a broad gravel walk, or mall, running round the estate; and from this another broad, green lawn, sloping gently down to the little Greta River, a stream of about twenty feet in width at this point, spanned, here and there, with arched stone bridges, and dashing off into several noisy little waterfalls.

From this little park of the hotel there is a pretty view of the village of Keswick, with its dark stone-work houses, and English church tower, rising above. Beyond, on every side in the huge circle, rise the lofty hill-tops, and here and there elegant country-seats and villas sit enthroned, midway as it were in the mountain's lap, and some high up towards the breezy peaks. The verdant sides of the hill are pencilled off, as it were, with hedges, marking the division lines of property, and a winding road occasionally throws its brown tracks out amid the green.

The Keswick Hotel is built of lighter colored stone than is generally used for houses there, and is finished off in such an expensive and ornamental style as to look quite like an English hall or country-seat. It is owned, I think, by the railroad company whose road passes here. The station is directly adjoining the house, and is reached by a glass-roofed walk, thirty or forty feet long. And here let me remark, that the excellent system, good management, and entire absence of noise, shrieking, puffing, blowing, whistling, and all sorts of disturbance that render a location near a railroad station in America so objectionable, were most striking. I never should have taken note of any arrival or departure of trains from any noise of them; for, save the distant whistle as they approached, there was nothing to indicate their presence.

The house is kept admirably. Such neatness, such thoroughness, and such courteous attention, and such an incomparable cuisine are, after one gets accustomed to English deliberation, most gratifying to the tourist. There can be but few better places for the American traveller to see and enjoy English country life, and beautiful English scenery, than Keswick, and at this beautiful house, in the month of May.

[40] We rambled round through the quaint village of Keswick, and of a Sunday morning took our way over two little stone bridges, on through a deep, shady English lane, with the trees arching overhead, and the hedges green at its side, to Crossthwaite Church, built several hundred years ago, and with its rustic churchyard, beautiful and green, containing the graves of the poet Southey and his wife. I sat upon an old slab in the churchyard, and watched the pretty, rustic picture, as the bells sweetly chimed, and the villagers came to church; some up the green lane by twos and threes, others across the fields and over stiles, threading their way among the churchyard mounds to the rural church.

Wordsworth describes in one of his poems the English rural church so perfectly that I cannot forbear making the extract, it was so appropriate to this, which stood amid

"The vales and hills whose beauties hither drew
The poet's steps."

In fact, Wordsworth's description might well be taken as a correct one of almost any one of the picturesque English country churches that the tourist sees here in the rural districts.

"Not framed to nice proportions was the pile,
But large and massy, for duration built;
With pillars crowded, and the roof upheld
By naked rafters, intricately crossed,
Like leafless underboughs in some thick grove,
All withered by the depth of shade above.
Admonitory texts inscribed the walls,
Each in its ornamental scroll enclosed;
Each also crowned with winged heads—a pair
Of rudely painted cherubim. The floor
Of nave and aisle, in unpretending guise,
Was occupied by oaken benches ranged
In seemly rows; the chancel only showed
Some inoffensive marks of earthly state
And vain distinction. A capacious pew
Of sculptured oak stood here, with drapery lined;
And marble monuments were here displayed
Upon the walls; and on the floor beneath
Sepulchral stones appeared, with emblems graven,
And foot-worn epitaphs, and some with small
And shining effigies of brass inlaid."

The marks of earthly state and vain distinction in the church were two old stone effigies of Lord Derwentwater and his wife, died in 1527, with a very legible inscription in brass setting forth that fact, and a white marble effigy and monument to Southey.

In the churchyard is a plain black slate tombstone over the poet's grave, on which is inscribed, "Here lies the body of Robert Southey, LL. D., Poet Laureate. Born August 12, 1774; died March 21, 1843. For forty years resident in this parish. Also, of Edith, his wife, born May 20, 1774; died November 16, 1837." Returning home, we passed "Greta Hall," the poet's residence, situated in Keswick, a plain mansion, upon a slight elevation just back from the street, commanding a good view of the surrounding scenery, and with a pleasant, grassy slope in front, and beautiful shrubbery round and about its well-kept grounds.

Another pleasant walk was one taken up a winding road on the hill-side, to a spot containing some of the Druidical remains found in different parts of England. This is known here as the Druids' Temple, and consists of a great circle of upright stones, six or eight feet in height, and set up at regular intervals, with two or three placed together at one side of the circle, as if for a gigantic altar. The spot for this temple was admirably chosen by the ancient priests of the oak and mistletoe for their mysterious rites, being upon a sort of natural platform, or hill shaped like a truncated cone, while all round rises a natural circle of lesser hills.

From Keswick to Penrith is a pleasant ride by rail. Near the station in Penrith are the ruins of an old castle, for a long time the residence of the Duke of Gloster, afterwards Richard III. From this spot we started on a pleasant walk for Brougham Hall, the seat of Lord Brougham, about two and a half miles distant, passing on the way a curious formation in a field, denominated King Arthur's Round Table. It[42] very much resembles places in waste land in America, where a travelling circus has left its ring-mark, that becomes overgrown with turf, only the circle was much larger. This field and formation were carefully preserved by the owner, it being, as we were informed, one of those places where the Knights of King Arthur's time used to exercise themselves in the practice of horsemanship and feats of arms. Perhaps it was.

Brougham Hall is situated upon a hill not far from the ruins of Brougham Castle, and is an old and picturesque building, commanding, from its elevated position, extensive views of the surrounding country. The place was invested with a peculiar interest, as being the residence of one of England's greatest orators and statesmen. His voice, since our visit to his beautiful home, however, has been hushed forever, and he has laid him down to sleep with the humblest.

Owing to its situation and prospects, the English guide-books style this castle the "Windsor of the North." The grounds are beautifully laid out—a broad lawn, bounded by a grove of old trees, with the rooks cawing and circling about them; the great paved court-yard of the castle, upon which the stables and servants' rooms looked out; a tower on the stables, with clock and bell. From this, a Gothic arched gateway opened into another square and more pretentious court-yard, upon which the inner windows of his lordship's family looked. On one side of this court-yard, the castle wall was completely covered with a thick, heavy mass of beautiful ivy, the window spaces and turrets all being cut out in shape, giving it a novel and picturesque appearance. In the centre of this court-yard was a pretty grass plat.

The other front of the castle looked out upon the estate, and the view from the windows upon this side was lovely. The fine lawn and trimly laid out grounds, the gradually sloping landscapes stretching down to the little River Eamont, winding on its tortuous way, and spanned, as usual, by the pretty arched bridges, and the hills of Ullswater for a background, made a charming prospect. There were so many novel and interesting things to see in the different apartments[43] of the castle, that description will in some degree appear but tame.

We first went into the armor-room, used on great occasions as a dining-hall. The apartment was not very large, but the walls and niches were filled with rare and curious arms and armor of various periods, and that had been used by historic personages. Here we were shown the skull of one of Lord Brougham's ancestors, carefully preserved under a glass case—a Knight Templar, who fought in the first crusade; this skull was taken, together with a spur, from his coffin a few years ago, when the tomb was opened, where he was found lying with crossed feet, as a good Knight Templar should lie. At one end of this hall was a little raised gallery about five feet from the floor, separated from the room by a high Gothic screen, through which a view of the whole could be obtained. This platform led to an elegant little octagon chamber, a few steps higher up, occupied by Lord Brougham's son as a sort of lounging and writing room. In this apartment were a few choice and beautiful pictures; one of dogs fighting, presented to Lord Brougham by Louis Napoleon, some original Titians, Vandykes, Tintorettos, Hogarth, &c.

We next visited the drawing-room, which was hung all over with beautiful Gobelin tapestry, wrought to represent the four quarters of the globe in productions, fruit, flowers, vegetation, and inhabitants—a royal gift and an elegant sight. Here were also displayed a fine Sevres dessert service, the gift of Louis Philippe, the great purses of state presented to Lord Brougham when he was chancellor, as a sort of badge or insignia of office. These were rigged on fire-frame screens, and were heavily gold-embroidered affairs, twenty-four inches square or more, and worth over three hundred pounds each. Here also was a glass case filled with gifts made to Lord Brougham by different distinguished personages, such as gold snuff-boxes from different cities, watches, a miniature, taken from life, of the great Napoleon, presented by Joseph Bonaparte, &c.

The library, which was well stocked with choice books,[44] was another elegant room, most artistically arranged. Here portraits of great writers, by great artists, occupied conspicuous positions; and among other noteworthy pictures in this room was one of Hogarth, painted by himself, a portrait of Voltaire and others.

The ceilings of these apartments were laid out in squares or diamond indentation, elegantly frescoed, or carved from the solid oak, the color formed to harmonize with the furniture and upholstery. The ceiling of the drawing-room was occupied by the different quarterings of the coat of arms of the Brougham family, in carved work of gold and colors, one to each panel, very elaborately finished.

When we were escorted to the sleeping apartments, new surprises awaited us. Here was one complete suite of rooms,—chambers, dressing-room, closet, &c.,—all built and furnished in the early Norman style; the old, carved, black, Norman bedstead, hundreds of years old; gilt leather tapestry on the walls, decorated with Norman figures of knights, horses and spearmen; huge Norman-looking chairs; great brass-bound oaken chests, black with age and polished by the hand of time; rude tables; chests of drawers; the doors and windows with semicircular arched head-pieces, the former of massive black oak, with huge brass chevron-shaped hinges, quaint door-handles, and bolts of the period represented, and the various ornaments of zigzag, billet, nail-head, &c., of Norman architecture appearing in every direction. Something of the same style is seen in some of our Episcopal churches in America, but it is more modernized. Here the Norman rooms were Norman in all details, the dark, old wood was polished smooth as steel, the brass work upon the doors and old chests gleamed like beaten gold, and the whole picture of quaint, old tracery of arches and narrow windows, tapestry, carving, and massive furniture, conveyed an impression of wealth, solidity, and substantial beauty.

From the Norman rooms we passed into the Norman gallery, a corridor of about fifty feet long and sixty feet wide, upon the sides of which are painted a complete copy of the[45] wonderous Bayeaux tapestry, wrought by Matilda, queen of William I., and representing the conquest of England—the only perfect copy said to have been made. The different sleeping apartments were each furnished in different styles; in one was an elegantly carved bedstead, of antique design, which cost four hundred guineas, and was a present to Lord Brougham.

Lord Brougham's own study, and his favorite resort for reading, writing, and thinking, was one of the plainest, most unpretending rooms in the whole building; the furniture of the commonest kind, the pictures old impressions of Hogarth's, Marriage a la Mode, and the Industrious and Idle Apprentice, in cheap frames, and that familiar to Americans, of Humboldt in his study. Two battered hats, hung upon a wooden hat-tree in the corner,—hats that Punch has made almost historical, and certainly easily recognizable wherever seen,—completed the picture of the simple apartment where one of the greatest statesmen of the present generation was wont to muse upon the affairs of one of the mightiest nations of the world, at whose helm his was the guiding hand.

Returning on our way to the railway station, we lunched in the tap-room of a little wayside inn, "The White Hart," just one of those places that we Americans read of in English novels, and which are so unlike anything we have at home, that we sometimes wonder if the description of them is not also a part of the writer's creation. But here was one just as if it had stepped out of an English story book; the little room for guests had a clean tile floor ornamented with alternate red and white chalk stripes, a fireplace of immense height and width, round which the village gossips probably sipped their ale o' winter nights, the wooden chairs and benches and the wooden table in the centre of the room, spotlessly clean and white from repeated scrubbings; half a dozen long clay tobacco pipes were in a tray on the table for smokers, clustering vines and snowy curtains shaded the windows, and there was an air of quiet comfort and somnolency about the place quite attractive to one who was fatigued with a long and dusty walk.

[46] The landlady entered with snowy apron, broad, clean cap, and of a figure suggestive of the nutritious quality of English ale or good living, and, like the Mrs. Fezziwig of Dickens,—

"One vast, substantial smile."

"What will you please to horder, sir?"

"Can we have some ale and crackers?"

"Hale, sir? Yes, sir. Bread and cheese, sir?" (interrogatively).

"Yes; bread and cheese."

"Two mugs and bread and cheese, Mary," said the landlady, as she bustled out through the passage to a little wicket enclosure, behind which we caught through the opening door the flash of tankards in gleaming rows, and in a moment more "Mary" tripped in with two beer mugs, shining like silver, and the snowy foam rising high and bubbling in creamy luxuriance over their brims upon the little tray that bore them.

Good English home-brewed is said to be better than that served in America; perhaps it may be that we "'aven't got the 'ops" to make as good as they brew in England, or it may be that tasting it while the spring breeze is blowing the perfume from the hedgerows and meadows in at the windows of little road-side inns, which command a pretty rustic view of gentle slope, green valley, and cool shade trees, has something to do with one's judgment of it. The attack upon the ale of old England and the loaf of sweet, close-grained bread and cheese, involved the enormous outlay of ten pence, to which we added two more for Mary, an even shilling, for which she dropped a grateful courtesy, and we strolled on through the antiquated little town of Penrith, visiting the churchyard and seeing the giant's grave, a space of eight feet between a gigantic head and foot stone, each covered with nearly obliterated Runic inscriptions.



From Penrith we were whirled away over the rails to Edinburgh. Edinburgh is certainly a wonder—a wonder of historic interest, a wonder of curious old buildings, and a wonder of magnificent new ones. Here we were in the very place that Walter Scott has made us long and long to see, and were to visit the scenes that were sung in his matchless minstrelsy, and painted in his graphic romances. Here was the city where Knox, the Reformer, preached, and Mary, Queen of Scots, held her brief and stormy reign. Here we were to see Holyrood, Edinburgh Castle, and a hundred scenes identified with Scottish history, the very names of which served to help the melodious flow of the rhythm of Scott's entrancing poems. With what wondrous charms does the poet and novelist invest historic scenes! How memory carried us back to the days when the Tales of a Grandfather held us chained to their pages, as with a spell! How the Waverley Novels' scenes came thronging into imagination's eye, like the half-forgotten scenes of happy youth, when we read of the bold Scottish champions, the fierce Highlanders, and the silken courtiers, the knights, battles, spearmen, castles, hunts, feasts, and pageants, so vividly described by the Wizard of the North!

Here we are at a hotel on Princes Street, right opposite the Scott Monument, a graceful structure of Gothic arches and pinnacles, and enshrining a figure of Sir Walter and his favorite dog. The view, seen from Princes Street, reminds one very much of the pictures of Athens Restored, with its beautiful public buildings of Grecian architecture. Between Princes Street, which is in the new, and the old city is a deep ravine or valley, as it were, now occupied by the tracks of the railroad, and spanned by great stone-arched bridges. An im[48]mense embankment, called the Mound, also connects the old and new city, its slopes descending east and west into beautiful gardens towards the road-bed. Upon the Mound are the Royal Institution, Gallery of Fine Arts, the former a sort of Pantheon-looking building, and both with plenty of space around them, so that they look as if placed there expressly to be seen and admired.

Princes Street, which is one of the finest in Great Britain, runs east and west. It is entirely open upon the south side, and separated only by a railing from the lovely gardens that run down into the hollow I have mentioned, between the old and new town. Looking across the hollow, we see the old city, where the historic steeples of St. Giles and others mingle among the lofty houses in the extended panoramic view, the eastern end of which is completed by the almost impregnable old castle, rich in historic interest, which lifts its battlements from its rocky seat two hundred feet above the surrounding country, and is a grand and picturesque object. The city, both old and new, appears to be built of stone resembling our darkest granite. The old town is built upon a ridge, gradually ascending towards the castle, and is a curious old place, with its lofty eight and ten-story houses, its narrow lanes, called "wynds," or "closes," and swarming population.

The "closes" are curious affairs, being sort of narrow enclosures, running up in between lofty buildings, with only one place of ingress and egress, that could, in old times, be closed by a portcullis, the remains of some of them being still in existence, and were built as defences against incursions of the Highlanders.

Here in the old town are many streets, the names of which will be recognized by all familiar with Scott—the High Street, Grass Market, Cow Gate, and Canon Gate. We went, one afternoon, and stood in the Grass Market, amid a seething mass of humanity that fills it. Lofty old houses rise high about on all sides, every one with a history, and some of them two or three hundred years old—houses the windows of which were oft packed with eager faces to see the criminal[49] executions here. Some of these houses, Scott says in his Heart of Mid-Lothian, were formerly the property of the Knights Templars and Knights of St. John, and still exhibit, on their points and gables, the cross of those orders in iron—houses that looked down on the furious mob that hung Captain Porteous upon the dyer's pole, over the very spot where we stood. Then, walking down towards the other extremity, we entered the Canon Gate, extending down the hill towards Holyrood Palace—Canon Gate, which was the residence of the wealthy canons of the church when Holyrood was an abbey, and after the Reformation the abode of the Scottish aristocracy. At one end of the old city stands Holyrood, at the other the castle rock rears its rugged height.

The new city is beautifully laid out in broad streets and squares, which are adorned with imposing buildings, monuments, and bronze statues of celebrated men; but I am not to give a guide-book description of Edinburgh, although there is so much that interests in its streets and buildings that one is almost tempted to do so.

The very first visit one desires to make is to the lofty old castle that overlooks the city. It is situated on an elevated basaltic rock, and is separated from the town by an esplanade about three hundred feet wide, and three hundred and fifty long. The castle is said to have been founded in the year 617, and contains many curious relics of antiquity, and is fraught with historic interest, having been the scene of so many crimes, romantic adventures, captivities, and sieges, within the past three or four hundred years—scenes that have been the most vivid in the pages of history, and formed an almost inexhaustible theme for the most graphic pictures of the novelist.

Among the most notable captures will be recollected that of the Earl of Randolph, nephew to Robert Bruce. And also, when in the possession of the English King Edward I., thirty brave fellows, guided by a young man called William Frank, who had often climbed up and down the Castle Rock to visit his sweetheart, ventured one night, in their heavy iron armor,[50] with their swords and axes, to scale the most precipitous side overhanging the West Princes Street Gardens, and, succeeding, quickly overcame the garrison. In 1341, when the castle was again held by the English, Sir William Douglas and Sir Simon Fraser took it by stratagem and surprise in broad daylight, having sent in a cart loaded with wine, which was dexterously overturned in the gateway, so that the gate could not be closed when the Scottish soldiers rushed forward to the attack.

The broad esplanade before the castle affords a fine view, and is used as a place for drilling the troops, the castle having accommodations for two thousand men. We passed across this, and by the statue of the Duke of York, son of George III., and uncle of Queen Victoria, and the monumental cross, erected in memory of the officers of the Highland regiment who fell in the years 1857 and 1858, in the Indian Rebellion War. On over the moat and drawbridge, and through the old portcullis gate, over which was the old prison in which the Earl of Argyle, and numerous adherents of the Stuarts, were confined previous to their execution, and after passing beneath this, were fairly within the castle. One point of interest was the old sally-port, up which Dundee climbed to have a conference with the Duke of Gordon, when on his way to raise the Highland clans in favor of King James II., while the convention were assembled in the Parliament House, and were proceeding to settle the crown upon William and Mary.

Dundee, accompanied by only thirty picked men, rode swiftly along a street in the old city, nearly parallel to the present line of Princes Street, while the drums in the town were beating to arms to pursue him; and leaving his men in a by-place, clambered up the steep rock at this point, and urged the duke to accompany him, but without effect. Scott's song of "Bonnie Dundee" tells us,—

"Dundee he is mounted, he rides up the street,
The bells they ring backward, the drums they are beat;
But the provost, deuce man! said, 'Just e'en let him be,
For the town is well rid of that de'il o' Dundee.'"

[51] Dundee rode off towards Stirling, with the threat that,—

"If there's lords in the Southland, there's chiefs in the North;
There are wild dunnie vassals, three thousand times three,
Will cry, 'Hey for the bonnets of Bonnie Dundee!'"

From what is known as the Bomb Battery an excellent view of Edinburgh is obtained. Here is a curious piece of early artillery, of huge size, designated Mons Meg, made at Mons in Brittany, in 1476, of thick iron bars hooped together, and twenty inches diameter at the bore. Near this is the Chapel of Queen Margaret, a little Norman building eight hundred years old, used by Margaret, Queen of Malcolm III., daughter of Edward the Outlaw, and granddaughter of Edmund Ironside, who, it will be remembered, disputed the crown of England for so many years with Canute.

One of the most interesting, as well as one of the oldest rooms, was a little irregular-shaped apartment, known as Queen Mary's Room, being the room in which James VI. was born, in 1566. The original ceiling remains, with the initials J. R. and M. R., surmounted by a crown, and wrought into the panels. From the window of this little room, it is said, the infant king was let down to the street, two hundred and fifty feet below, by means of a rope and basket, and carried off secretly to Stirling Castle, to be baptized in the Roman Catholic faith. When James made his first visit to Scotland, in 1617, after his accession to the English throne, he caused the royal arms to be elaborately painted on the wall, and underneath his mother's prayer, which still remains in quaint old English letters, somewhat difficult to decipher:—

"Lord Jesu Chryst that crownit was with Thornse
Preserve the birth quhais Badyie heir is borne.
And send hir Sonne successive to reigne stille
Lang in this Realme, if that it be Thy will.
Als grant O Lord quhat ever of Hir proseed
Be to Thy Glorie, Honer and Prais sobied."

The view from the windows, here at the east and south[52] sides of the old castle, is varied and romantic. The curious old houses in the Grass Market, far down below; the quaint, blackened old streets of the old city; the magnificent towers of Herriot's Hospital against the blue sky; and stretching beyond the city, the fine landscape, with the familiar Borough moor, where the Scottish hosts were wont to muster by clans and chieftains,—form a scene of picturesque beauty not soon forgotten.

The armory of the castle contains many interesting weapons of ancient warfare. Among the most notable was a coat of mail worn by one of the Douglases in Cromwell's time; Rob Roy's dagger; some beautiful steel pistols, used by some of the Highland followers of Prince Charles Stuart at the battle of Culloden; and cuirasses worn by the French cuirassiers at Waterloo. The crown room contains the regalia of Scotland, and the celebrated crown of Robert Bruce. The regalia of Scotland consist of a crown, sceptre, and sword of state, the latter a most beautiful piece of workmanship, the scabbard elegantly ornamented with chased and wrought work, representing oak leaves and acorns, and which was a present from Pope Julius II. to James IV. Particular interest attaches to these regalia, from the fact of their discovery through Scott's exertions, in 1818, after a disappearance of about one hundred and eleven years. The crown is the diadem that pressed the valiant brow of Robert the Bruce, and the devoted head of Mary, and was placed upon the infant brow of her son. Charles II. was the last monarch who wore this regal emblem, which is connected with so many stirring events in Scottish history.

From Edinburgh Castle, a gradually descending walk, through some of the most interesting portions of the old city, will take the visitor to Holyrood Palace and Abbey,—quite a distance, but which should be walked rather than rode, if the tourist is a pedestrian of moderate powers, as it is thronged with so many points of historic interest, to which I can only make a passing allusion. The High Street, as it is called, is one of the principal through which we pass, and in[53] old times was considered very fine; but its glory departed with the building of the new portion of the city, and the curious old "closes," in the streets diverging from it, are the habitations of the lowest class of the population.

Bow Street, which, if I remember rightly, runs into Grass Market from High Street, was formerly known as West Bow, from an arch or bow in the city wall. We passed down this quaint old street, which used to be the principal avenue by which carriages reached the upper part of the city. It was a curve of lofty houses, filthy kennels, and noisy children, spirit-shops, groceries, and garbage; yet up this street had ridden, in old times, Anne of Denmark, James I., Charles I., Oliver Cromwell, Charles II., and James II. It was down this street that the Earl of Argyle and Marquis of Montrose were dragged, in the hangman's cart, to execution in the Grass Market, which is situated at its foot, and to which I have previously alluded. Porteous was also dragged down through this street to execution, by the rioters who took him from his jailers.

In the old city we visited a court called Dunbar's Close, where, after the victory of Dunbar, some of Cromwell's soldiers were quartered. Here remains a carved inscription, said to bear the oldest date in the city. It reads as follows:

Y faith in Christ.
  Onlie Savit, MDCLII.

St. Giles Church, in High Street, is a notable building, and was, in popish times, the cathedral of the city, named after St. Giles, Edinburgh's patron saint. I will not tire the reader with a visit to its interior; but it was here that took place that incident, which every school-boy recollects, of Jenny Geddes throwing her stool at the head of the officiating clergyman, upon his attempt to read the liturgy as prescribed by Archbishop Laud, and which it was proposed to introduce into Scotland.

The "Solemn League and Covenant" was sworn to and signed in this church, in 1643. Just within the railings sur[54]rounding the old church stands the shaft of the old cross of Edinburgh; and the site of the Tollbooth, which figures in Scott's novels, is marked, near by, by the figure of a heart in the pavement—"The Heart of Mid-Lothian." Numerous other points of historic interest might be enumerated, did space permit. We must, as we pass rapidly on, not forget to take a view of the quaint old rookery-looking mansion of John Knox, the Reformer, with a steep flight of steps, leading up to a door high above the sidewalk, and the inscription upon it, which I could not read, but which I was informed was

Lufe God above all, and
  Your Neighbour as Yourself,

and the massive-looking old Canon Gate Tollbooth, erected in the reign of James VI. On we go through the Canon Gate, till we emerge in the open space in front of that ancient dwelling-place of Scottish royalty, Holyrood Palace.

Holyrood Palace is interesting from the numerous important events in Scottish history that have transpired within its walls. It is a great quadrangular building, with a court-yard ninety-four feet square. Its front is flanked with double castellated towers, the tops peaked, and looking something like the lid of an old-fashioned coffee-pot, or an inverted tin tunnel, with the pipe cut off. The embellishments in front of the entrance to the palace and the beautiful fountain were completed under the direction, and at the expense, of the late Prince Albert. The palace is said to have been founded by James IV., quite early in the year 1500, and it was his chief residence up to the time of his death, at Flodden, in 1513. Some of the events that give it its historic celebrity are those that transpired during the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, who made it her ordinary residence after her return to her native country, in 1561. It was here that Mary was married to Darnley, and we were shown the piece of stone flagging upon which they knelt during the ceremony, and which we profaned with our own knees, with true tourist fervor; here that Rizzio, or, as they spell it in Scotland, Riccio, was[55] murdered in her very presence; here that she married Bothwell, endured those fiery discussions with the Scotch Reformers, and wept at the rude and coarse upbraidings of John Knox; here that James VI. brought his queen, Anne of Denmark, in 1590, and had her crowned in the chapel; here, also, was Charles I. crowned, and here, after the battle of Dunbar, in 1650, did Cromwell quarter a part of his forces.

In modern times, George IV. visited the palace in 1822, granting, after his departure, over twenty thousand pounds for repairs and improvements; and in 1850, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and the royal children made a visit there, and since that time she stops annually on her way to and from her Highland residence at the Castle of Balmoral, for a brief period here at old Holyrood.

To those familiar at all, from reading history or the romances and poems, with those events in which this old pile occupies a prominent position, it of course possesses a great interest.

In the broad, open space before the palace, the elaborate fountain, with its floriated pinnacles, figures, &c., will attract attention, although it ill accords with the old buildings. The most interesting apartments in the palace are those of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Passing in at the entrance gate, and buying tickets at a little office very much like a theatrical ticket office, we visited the more ancient part of the palace, and entered first Lord Darnley's rooms. These were hung with fine specimens of ancient tapestry, upon which Cupids are represented plucking fruit, and throwing it down to others; oak trees and leaves, Cupids plucking grapes, &c. Another scene was a lake and castle, with fruit trees and Cupids; also figures of nude youngsters, turning somersaults and performing different antics. Another room contains two pieces of tapestry, telling the story of the flaming cross that appeared to Constantine the Great, the motto, In hoc signo vinces, embroidered on the corner of the hangings; Darnley's elegant armor, &c. Other fine pieces of tapestry are in Darnley's bed-room and[56] dressing-room. Portraits of Scottish kings also adorn the walls.

We were then shown Queen Mary's private staircase, that by which Darnley admitted the conspirators up from a little turret room to assassinate Rizzio. Mary's audience chamber is a room about twenty feet square, the ceiling divided into panelled compartments, adorned with initials and armorial bearings, and the walls hung with tapestry, upon which were wrought various scenes, now sadly faded by the withering breath of time. These tapestry hangings the curious traveller soon becomes accustomed to, and the more, I think, one sees of them, the more he admires them—the scenes of ancient mythology or allegorical design so beautifully wrought as to rival even oil paintings in beauty of color and design, and exciting a wonder at the skill and labor that were expended in producing with many colored threads these wondrous loom mosaics. In the audience chamber stands the bed of Charles I., and upon this couch Prince Charles, the unfortunate descendant of the former occupant, slept in September, 1745, and the Duke of Cumberland, his conqueror, rested upon the same couch. Cumberland, yes, we recollect him; he figured in Lochiel's Warning, Campbell's beautiful poem—

"Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain."

Some rich old chairs of the same period, and other furniture, are also in this room, which was the scene of Mary's altercation with Knox.

Looking upon the antique bed, one can see how, despite care, the hand of time leaves its indelible impress upon all that is of man's creation. You can scarcely imagine how time affects an old state bed. No matter what be the care or exclusion from sunlight, the breath of time leaves its mark; the canopy and hangings gradually fade and deaden, the very life seems to be extracted, and they look like an old piece of husk or dried toast, light, porous, and moulding; the wood-work, however, grows dark, and apparently as solid as iron; the quaint carving stands out in jetty polish, rich and luxuri[57]ant—a study and a wonder of curious and fantastic art and sculpture in wood.

Queen Mary's room is hung with a beautiful piece of tapestry, representing the fall of Phaeton; half hidden by this tapestry is the door opening upon the secret stair by which Rizzio's murderers entered; upon the wall hang portraits of Mary at the age of eighteen, portraits of Queen Elizabeth and King Henry VIII., presented her by Elizabeth; here also was furniture used by the queen, and the baby linen basket sent her by Elizabeth.

From here we enter that oft-described apartment so celebrated in Scottish history—the queen's supper room, where Rizzio was murdered. Its small size generally excites astonishment. Here, into this little room, which half a dozen persons would fill, rushed the armed conspirators, overturning the table and dragging their shrieking victim from the very feet of the queen, as he clung to her dress for protection, stabbing him as they went beneath her very eyes, forcing him out into the audience chamber, and left him with over fifty ghastly wounds, from which his life ebbed in a crimson torrent, leaving its ineffaceable stain, the indelible mark upon the oaken floor, not more indelible than the blackened stain which rests upon the names of the perpetrators of this brutal murder.

Adown the little staircase which the conspirators passed, we go through a low door into the court-yard. Over the top of this little door, a few years ago, in a crevice of the masonry, an antique dagger-blade was discovered by some workmen; and as the murderers escaped through this door, it was surmised that this was one of the very daggers used in the assassination.

But we leave the place behind, and enter the romantic ruins of the old abbey. How interesting are these picturesque ruined remains of the former glory and power of the church of Rome in England! Their magnificent proportions, beauty of architecture, and exquisite decoration bespeak the wealth of the church and the wondrous taste of those who reared[58] these piles, which, in their very ruin, command our admiration. The abbey is immediately adjoining the palace,—its front a beautiful style of early English architecture, and the noble, high-arched door, with cluster pillars, elaborately sculptured with fret-work figures of angels, flowers, vines, &c.,—one of those specimens of stone carving that excite wonder at the amount of patient work, labor, and skill that must have been required in their production.

The abbey was founded in 1128, and the fragment which remains formed the nave of the ancient building. Here are the graves of David II., James II., Darnley, and that of the ill-starred Rizzio, and other eminent personages, some of whom, judging from the ornaments upon the marble slabs of their graves, were good Freemasons and Knights Templars,—the perfect ashler, setting maul, and square upon the former, and the rude-cut figures of reclining knights, with crossed feet and upraised hands, upon others, indicating the fact.

But the gairish sun shines boldly down into the very centre of what was once the dim-lighted, solemn old abbey, with its cool, quiet cloisters, that scarce echoed to the monk's sandalled footstep, and the gracefully-pointed arches, supported by clusters of stone pillars, throw their quaint shadows on the greensward, now, where was once the chapel's stone pavement; the great arched window through which the light once fell in shattered rainbows to the floor, stands now, slender and weird-like, with its tracery against the heaven, like a skeleton of the past; and the half-obliterated or undecipherable vain-glorious inscriptions upon the slabs, here and there, are all that remain of this monument of man's power and pride—a monument beautiful in its very ruins, and romantic from the halo of associations of the dim past that surround it.

The new city, to which I have referred, is a creation of the last hundred years, the plans of it being published in 1768. The two great streets are George Street and Princes Street, the former filled with fine stores, and adorned with statues of William Pitt, George IV., and many public buildings and beautiful squares.

[59] Here, in Edinburgh, we began to hear the "burr" of the Scotch tongue. Many of the salesmen in the stores where tourists go to buy Scotch linen or Scotch pebble jewelry, the Scotch plaids which were temptingly displayed, or the warm under-clothing which New Englanders appreciate, seemed to have their tongues roughened, as it were, to a sort of pleasant whir-r in speaking the English language.

Up from one end of Princes Street rises Calton Hill, with its unfinished national monument, designed to represent the classical Parthenon at Athens; and in one respect it does, being a sort of ruin, or, I may say, a fragment of ruin, consisting of a dozen splendid Doric columns,—for the monument which was to commemorate the Scotchmen who fell at Waterloo was never finished. Here also is a round monument to Nelson, and a dome, supported by pillars, a monument to Professor Dugald Stewart; while a monument to Burns is seen upon the Regent's Road, close at hand. The view of the long vista of Princes Street from Calton Hill, in which the eye can take in at one sweep the Scott monument, the splendid classical-looking structures of the Royal Institution and National Gallery, the great castle on its rocky perch, and then turning about on the other side and viewing the square, solid old palace of Holyrood, with the fragment of ruined abbey attached, and rising high above them the eminence known as Arthur's Seat, and the winding cliffs of Salisbury Crags, forms a panoramic scene of rare beauty and interest.

Speaking of interest, I cannot leave Edinburgh without referring to the interesting collection of curious relics at the Antiquarian Museum. Think of standing in John Knox's pulpit, and thumping, with your curious, wonder-seeking hand, the same desk that had held his Bible, or been smitten by his indignant palm, as he denounced the church of Rome, nearly three hundred years ago; of looking upon the very stool that Jenny Geddes launched at the head of the Dean of St. Giles, when he undertook to introduce the liturgy into Scotland, in 1565; and seeing one of the very banners of the Covenanters[60] that had been borne amid the smoke and fire of their battles; nay, there, in a glass case, we saw the old Scotch Covenant itself, with the signatures of Montrose, Lothian, and their associates. Here also were Gustavus Adolphus's spurs, Robert Burns's pistols, the very glass that Prince Charlie drank from before the disastrous battle of Culloden; the original draft of inquiry into the massacre of Glencoe, dated 1656, original autographic letters from Charles VI., Prince Charles Edward Stuart, Cromwell, and Mary, Queen of Scots. This was reading Scottish history from the original documents.

Here was the flag of Scotland that flouted the breeze at the battle of Dunbar, in 1650, the pikes of Charles II.'s pikemen, and the old Scottish six-ell spears; nails from the coffin and a portion of the very shroud of Robert Bruce, the blue ribbon of Prince Charlie, worn as Knight of the Garter, in 1745, and the very ring given to him by Flora Macdonald at parting. Among the horrors of the collection is "the Maiden," a rude guillotine of two upright posts, between which a loaded axe blade was hoisted by a cord, and let fall upon the devoted neck beneath. By this very instrument fell the Regent Morton, in 1581, Sir John Gordon, in 1644, the Earl of Argyle, in 1685, and many others—a bloody catalogue.

The collection of ancient implements, coins, seals, medallions, weapons, &c., was interesting as well as valuable and extensive, comprising many that have been exhumed from ancient ruins, and antique relics, more or less connected with the history of the country. The Free National Gallery contains a noble collection of elegant pictures by eminent artists of old and modern times, and a fine statue of Burns.

The ride up Salisbury Crags to the eminence known as Arthur's Seat, which rises behind Holyrood eight hundred feet high, is one of the great attractions to the tourist; the drive to it by the fine carriage road, known as "Queen's Drive," is delightful, and the view of the city and surrounding country from the elevated road very picturesque. There is a romantic little path here, on Salisbury Crags, running by the[61] ruins of St. Anthony's Chapel, that Walter Scott used to walk when working out the plot of some of his novels, and the now broad road was then but a winding path up the crags; the chapel, it will be remembered, figures in the Heart of Mid-Lothian.

The elegant monument, nearly in front of the Royal Hotel, in the Princes Street Gardens, erected in memory of Walter Scott, and known as the Scott Monument, is familiar to most American readers, from engravings. It is a splendid Gothic tower, and said to be "a recollection of the architectural beauties of Melrose Abbey."

I cannot help reflecting here, in the native land of Scott, what the present generation owes to him for preserving the history, traditions, and romance of their country to undying fame; for investing them with new interest to the whole civilized world; for strengthening Scottish national traits, inculcating new pride to preserve the relics of their bravery and noble deeds among all classes, high and low.

Thousands and thousands of the Scotch people are to-day indebted to the labors of this indefatigable, industrious, and wonderful man for their daily bread. I have been through enormous publishing houses here, or, I might more appropriately style them, vast book factories, where editions of his works, in every conceivable style, are issued. Year after year the never-tiring press throws off the same sheets, and yet the public are unsatisfied, and call for more; new readers step yearly into the ranks vacated by those who went before them; and the rattle of the press readily beats to quarters, each season, a fresh army of recruits.

The poems, couplets, pictures, carved relics, guide-books, museums, ruins, &c., which his magic pen has made profitable property, are something marvellous. Fashions of brooches, jewelry, plaids, dress, and ornaments to-day owe their popularity to his pen, and what would be forgotten ruins, nameless huts, or uninviting wastes, it has made the Meccas of travellers from all nations.

As an illustration of the latter fact, I met a man upon the[62] battlements of Edinburgh Castle, from Cape Town, Africa, whose parents were Scotch, but who for years had been an exile, who in far distant countries had read Scott's Waverley novels and Scott's poems till the one wish of his heart was to see old Scotland and those scenes with which the Wizard of the North had inflamed his imagination, and who now, at fifty years of age, looked upon his native land the first time since, when a boy of eight years, he

"ran about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine."

He was now realizing the enjoyment he had so many years longed for,—looking upon the scenes he had heard his father tell and his mother sing of, enjoying the reward of many years of patient toil, made lighter by the anticipation of visiting the home of his fathers; and I was gratified to find that, unlike the experiences of many who are so long in exile, the realization of his hopes was "all his fancy painted" it, and he enjoyed all with a keen relish and enthusiastic fervor.

It is a pleasant seven mile ride from Edinburgh out to Rosslyn Castle, and the way to go is to take Hawthornden, as most tourists do, en route. This place—a delightful, romantic old ivy-covered mansion—is perched upon a high precipice, eighty or one hundred feet above the River Esk ("where ford there was none"), in a most delightfully romantic position, commanding a view of the little stream in its devious windings in the deep, irregular gully below; the gardens and walks, for a mile about and above the river, are charmingly rural and tastefully arranged. One can well imagine that Drummond, the Scottish poet and historian, the friend of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Drayton, drew inspiration from this charming retreat. Jonson is said to have walked all the way from London to make a visit here.

Under the mansion we visited a series of curious caves, hollowed from the solid rock, and connected with each other by dark and narrow passages, very much like those subterranean passages told of in old-fashioned novels, as existing[63] beneath old castles. One of these rocky chambers had a little window cut through its side, half concealed by ivy, but commanding a view of the whole glen. Here, the guide told us, Robert Bruce hid for a long time from his enemies; and I was prepared to hear that this was the scene of the celebrated spider anecdote of the story-books. We got no such information, but were shown a long, two-handed sword, however, said to have belonged to the Scottish king, which I took pleasure in giving a brandish above my head, to the infinite disgust of the guide, who informed me, after I had laid down this formidable weapon, that visitors were not allowed to handle it.

It may be as well to state that the authenticity of this sword, and also the correctness of the story that Bruce ever hid there, are questioned. One of the chambers has regular shelves, like book-shelves, cut in the rock, and this is styled Bruce's Library. Passing out into the grounds of the house, we descended, by a pretty rustic pathway, to the valley, and along by the side of the Esk River, which babbled over its rocky bed at our feet. If this Esk is the same one that Young Lochinvar swam, he did not accomplish anything to boast of; for during a walk of over two miles at its side, I saw no part over twenty feet wide, and no very dangerous depth or current.

Our romantic walk brought us to the ruins of Rosslyn Castle, but little of which remains, except a triple tier of vaults and some masses of masonry, its position being on a sort of peninsular rock, overhanging the picturesque glen of the Esk we had just traversed; and the massive stone bridge which spans the ravine forms the only connection between the opposite bank and the castle.

Rosslyn Chapel, or Roslin,—for they spell it both ways here,—was founded by William, the third earl of Orkney, in 1446, who had conferred on him by James II. the office of Grand Master of the Scottish Freemasons, which continued hereditary in the family of his descendants till 1736, when it was resigned into the hands of the Scottish Lodges. The chapel is one of the most elaborately decorated specimens of architecture[64] in the kingdom, and, besides its celebrity in history, and the interest that Scott has invested it with, is a building of peculiar interest to members of the fraternity of Freemasons. It is impossible to designate the architecture by any familiar term; it is distinguished, however, by its pointed Gothic arches and a profusion of ornament, the interior being a wonder of decoration in stone carving, particularly the pillars, which are pointed out to the visitor as its chief wonders, and some of which bear the mark master mason's "mark."

The interior of the chapel is divided into a centre and two side aisles, and the two rows of clustered pillars which support the roof are only eight feet in height. The capitals of these pillars are decorated with the most beautifully chiselled foliage, running vines, and ornaments, and on the friezes masonic brethren are represented feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, &c.; there are also a number of allegorical figures, representing the seven deadly sins.

But the marvel of the whole is the Apprentices' Pillar, which, according to the familiar legend, was left unfinished by the master mason, while he went to Rome to study designs to enable him to perfect it in a suitable manner. During his absence, an "entered apprentice," fired with ambition, completed it after designs of his own, which so enraged the master on his return, that, in a fit of rage, he killed him with a blow on the head with a setting-maul. The pillar is a clustered column, surrounded by an exquisitely-wrought wreath of flowers, running from base to capital, the very poetry of carving. Above this pillar is the following inscription:—

Forte est vinum, fortior est rex, fortiores sunt mulieres;
  super omnia vincit veritas.

Which is, "Wine is strong, the king is stronger, women are strongest; above all things, truth conquers."

We stood upon the ponderous slab that was the door to the vault beneath, in which slumber the barons of Roslin, all of whom, till the time of James VI., were buried uncoffined,[65] but in complete armor—helm, corselet, and gauntlets. Scott's familiar lines came to mind,—

"Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffined lie,
Each baron, for a sable shroud,
Sheathed in his iron panoply."

It seems, however, that some of the descendants of the "barons" had a more modern covering than their "iron panoply;" for, about two years ago, upon the death of an old earl, it was decided to bury him in this vault; and it was accordingly opened, when two huge coffins were found at the very entrance, completely blocking it up, and which would have broken in pieces in the attempt to move them. The present earl, therefore, ordered the workmen to close the old vault, and his father's remains were interred in a new one in the chancel, built about eighty years ago, where the inscription above his remains tells us that "James Alexander, third Earl, died 16th June, 1866."

Bidding adieu to this exquisite little building, we will take a glance at another, or rather the ruins of another, that owes much of its fame also to the interest with which Walter Scott has invested it—one which he loved to visit, and much of whose beautiful architectural ornamentation he caused to be copied into his own Abbotsford. I refer to Melrose Abbey; and, as no tourist ever thinks of leaving Scotland without seeing it, a sketch of our visit may possibly be but a new version of an oft-told story; but now that I have seen it, I am never tired of thinking and reading of its wondrous beauty.

Melrose is thirty-five miles from Edinburgh by rail; and on arrival at the station, we were at once pounced upon by a number of drivers of vehicles in waiting, who were desirous of securing us, or of having us secure them, for a drive to Melrose Abbey, Abbotsford, or Dryburg Abbey, and if we had not been cautioned, we should have been warned by a card which was thrust into my hand, and which I give for the benefit of other tourists who may go that way, informing[66] them that the "Abbey Hotel," herein mentioned, is less than five minutes' walk from the little railroad station.

"The Abbey Hotel, Abbey Gate, Melrose.

"This hotel is situated upon the abbey grounds, and at the entrance to the 'far-famed ruins.' Parties coming to the hotel, therefore, are cautioned against being imposed upon by cab-drivers at the railroad station and elsewhere, as this is the only house which commands the views of Melrose Abbey.

"An extensive addition having been lately built to this establishment, consisting of suites of sitting and bed-rooms, it is now the largest and most handsome hotel in Melrose.

"One-horse carriage to Abbotsford and back 6s. 6d.
"One-horse carriage to Dryburg and back 7s. 6d.

"These charges include everything."

Upon the reverse we were treated to a pictorial representation of this "most handsome hotel," an unpretending, two-story mansion, which, we were informed, was kept by Archibald Hamilton, who also kept various "horses, gigs, and phaetons for hire; wines and foreign and British spirits for sale." A rush of twenty visitors would have overrun the "establishment," to which "an extensive addition" had been made. The Abbey Hotel was a comfortable English inn, and we found, on arriving at it, that it almost joined on to the very abbey itself; while another little building, the dwelling of the widow and two daughters who showed the ruins, as we found, for a consideration, was close by—too close, it seemed to us, to this glorious old structure, which, even in its ruins, is an object of universal admiration, its magnificence and gracefulness entitling it to be ranked as one of the most perfect works of the best age of this description of ecclesiastical architecture.

Melrose was built in 1146, destroyed by the English in 1322, and rebuilt with two thousand pounds sterling, given by Robert Bruce, in 1326—a sum of money equal to about fifty thousand pounds at the present time. So much for its history. But let us pay the sexton's pretty daughter her shilling, for here she is with the key that unlocks the modern iron-railing gate that excludes strangers who do not pay for the privi[67]lege; and following her a few steps, we are in the midst of the grand and glorious ruins of the old abbey that we are familiar with in song and story, and from the many counterfeit presentments that we have, time and again, gazed upon in luxurious illustrated books, or upon the walls of art galleries at home.

"The darkened roof rose high aloof,
On pillars lofty, light, and small;
The key-stone that locked each ribbed aisle
Was a fleur-de-lis, or a quatre-feuille.
The corbels were carved grotesque and grim,
And the pillars with clustered shafts so trim,
With base and with capital flourished around,
Seemed bundles of lances which garlands had bound."

As we came into the midst of this glorious old structure, we actually stood silent for some time, so filled were we with admiration at its wondrous beauty. To be sure, the blue arch of the heavens is now its only roof, and from the shattered walls rooks or jackdaws fly noisily overhead; but, then, the majestic sweep of the great Gothic arches, that vista of beauty, a great Gothic aisle still standing, fifty feet long, and sixty feet from floor to key-stone, the superb columns, and the innumerable elegant carvings on every side, the graves of monarch, knight, and wizard, marked with their quaint, antique inscriptions at your feet, and

"The cloister galleries small,
Which at mid height thread the chancel wall,"

all form a scene of most charming and beautiful effects.

And we stood there, with the blue sky looking in through the shattered arches, the noisy rooks flying hither and thither on their morning calls, the turf, soft, green, and springy, sprinkled here and there with wild flowers, in the centre of the ruin, while festoons of ivy waved in the breeze, like tapestry hung about the shattered windows and crumbling columns.

Here was the place, and the day was one of those quiet, dreamy spring days, on which tourists could sit

"Them down on a marble stone,"


and read bold Deloraine's visit to the wizard's grave, as described by Scott in the Lay of the Last Minstrel. And here is his grave, an unpoetical-looking place enough now, and perhaps less wonderful since Branksome's knight wrenched it open, and took away the magic volume from Michael Scott's dead clasp. Here is the spot where Robert Bruce's heart was buried; here the grave of the Earl of Douglas, "the dark Knight of Liddesdale," and of Douglass, the hero of Chevy Chase; while quaint and Latin inscriptions on the walls and the time-worn slabs record the resting-place of once proud, but now extinct families and forgotten heroes, all now one common dust.

We must not forget the great windows of the abbey, more especially the east window. I write it in large letters, for it is an architectural poem, and it will live in my memory as a joy forever, it is such a thing of beauty. The lightness of its proportions and beauty of its tracery at once impress the beholder; and all around the sides and above it are quaint and wonderfully-executed sculptures in the stone-work—statues, chain and crown; figures on carved pedestals, beneath canopies of wrought stone, while wreaths and sculptured flowers are artistically wrought in various directions.

The exterior of the abbey presents remarkable symmetry, and a profusion of embellishment in sculptured stone-work, and is built in the usual form of such structures—a Latin cross. The nave, in its present ruined condition, is two hundred and fifty-eight feet long, by seventy-nine in breadth. The transept is one hundred and thirty feet long, and forty-four in breadth, which will give some idea of the size of these splendid old edifices of the Romish church. The ornamental carving, with which the whole edifice is so profusely decorated, would afford study for a month, and consists, besides delicately-chiselled flowers and plants, of grotesque and curious figures of monks, saints, nuns, demons, &c.

Among other sculptures is that of a man seated cross-legged, upholding a pedestal on his shoulders, his features expressing pain at the heavy weight; a group of musicians[69] playing on various instruments and performing different antics; a man with his head in his hand; monks with rosaries, cooks with knife and ladle, grinning heads, and women with faces veiled and busts displayed; effigies of the apostles, rosettes, ribbed work, bouquets of flowers, scallop shells, oak leaves, acorns, lilies and plants; in fact, the faithfulness with which well-known plants have been represented by the sculptor has long been the subject of comment of the historian and antiquarian; and "in this abbey," says an historian, "there are the finest lessons and the greatest variety of Gothic ornaments that the island affords, take all the religious structures together."

What must it have been when nave, and transept, and aisle were perfect, when the great windows were perfect glories of colored glass, the carvings fresh from the sculptor's chisel, and the chant of a hundred monks floated through the lofty arches! In those times when these holy men gave their hearts and hands to the extending and embellishing of those temples erected to the great Architect of the Universe, by that wonderful order of men, the Freemasons, and did it with an enthusiasm and taste which proved that they deemed a love of the beautiful not incompatible with the love of religion! It was then that religious fervor expressed itself in grand creations, and all the arts of the age were controlled and made to contribute to the one great art of the age, Architecture, as evinced in these wondrous works of their hands that they have left behind—models of artistic skill and beauty unexcelled as yet by those who have come after them.

Melrose Abbey is a place that I would have enjoyed spending a week at instead of a single day, which was all too short for proper study and examination of the curious specimens of the sculptors' and builders' arts one encounters in every part of the ruins; but we must up and away.

A carriage to Abbotsford and back was chartered, and we were soon rattling over the pleasant road on our way to the home of Sir Walter Scott, about three miles distant. It is in some respects a curious structure, half country-seat, half[70] castle, "a romance of stone and lime," as its owner used to call it. We did not catch sight of its castellated turrets, till, driving down a slight declivity from the main road, we were at the very gates; entering these, a beautiful walk of a hundred and fifty feet, along one aisle of the court-yard, and commanding a fine view of a portion of the grounds, the garden front, led us to the house itself.

At different points about the grounds and house are various stone antiquities, and curiosities gathered from old buildings, which one must have a guide-book to explain. Melrose Abbey and the old city of Edinburgh appear to have been laid under contribution for these mementos—the door of the old Tollbooth from the latter, and a stone fountain, upon which stood the old cross of Edinburgh, being conspicuous objects. Abbotsford is a lovely place, and seems to be situated in a sort of depression among the hills, and by them, in some degree, sheltered from any sweeping winds. Besides being of interest as the residence of Scott, it is a perfect museum of curiosities and relics identified with Scottish history.

The entrance hall is richly panelled in oak taken from the palace of Dunfermline, and the roof with the same. All along the cornice of the roof of this hall are the coats of arms of the different clans of the Border, painted in colors, on small armorial shields, an inscription stating,—

"These be the coat armoires of the clanns and chief men of
  name, wha keepit the marchys of Scotland in the auld tyme for
  the Kynge. Trewe men were they in their defence. God them

Here are also three or four complete suits of tilting armor, set up and looking as though still occupied by the stern warriors who once owned them: one grasps a huge two-handed sword, captured at the battle of Bosworth Field; another a broad claymore taken from the dead grasp of a Highlander, who fell with

"His back to the field and his feet to the foe,"


on the disastrous field of Culloden; the breastplates and trappings of two of Napoleon's celebrated French cuirassiers, whose resistless charge trampled down whole battalions, but who were swept from their saddles by hundreds, as these two were by the leaden hail of the English infantry squares at Waterloo. Here also were stout old lochaber axes, English steel maces, battle-axes, and other weapons, many with histories, and from the bloody fields whose horrors are a prominent feature on the pages of history.

But the most interesting rooms of all, to me, were the study and library of Sir Walter; and among the most interesting relics were the plain, unpretending suit of clothes last worn by him, his walking-sticks, his shoes, and his pipes; and in his study the writing-table at which he wrote, and the great leather-covered chair in which he sat. The library is quite a large apartment, some fifty or sixty feet in length, handsomely decorated, and with its deep, broad windows looking out upon the River Tweed. It is completely lined with books from floor to ceiling—in all, some twenty thousand.

Here are also many curiosities; among others, the silver urn presented by Lord Byron, which rests on a stand of porphyry; Marie Antoinette's clock; very curious and richly carved ebony arm-chairs, presented by George IV.; a glass case contained Rob Roy McGregor's purse, a piece of Robert Bruce's coffin, a purse wrought by Joanna Baillie, a small case by Miss Martineau, two gold bees, each as big as a hen's egg, taken from Napoleon's carriage, a portfolio that once belonged to Napoleon, miniature portrait of Prince Charlie, ("Wha'll be King but Charlie?"), snuff-box of George IV., the seal of Mary, Queen of Scots, a little box from Miss Edgeworth, and other relics and momentos.

In the armory, among other curiosities, we saw the musket of that redoubtable outlaw Rob Roy, Claverhouse's pistol, a sword that was given to the Marquis of Montrose by Charles I., James VI.'s hunting flask, pair of pistols found in Napoleon's carriage at the battle of Waterloo, the armor of one of the old Scottish kings, General Monk's pistols, keys of the old Tollbooth, &c.

[72] Among the more striking pictures upon the walls of the different rooms were the portrait of the head of Mary, Queen of Scots, upon a charger, said to have been taken a few hours after her execution, the sad, pale features of which haunted my imagination for many an hour afterwards. Then there were the stern, heavily-moulded features of Cromwell, Charles XII., the lion of Sweden, and Claverhouse, Charles II., and a long-bearded old ancestor of Sir Walter's, who allowed his beard to grow after the execution of Charles I.; and a collection of original etchings by Turner and other artists, the designs for the "Provincial Antiquities of Scotland." But from all these we sauntered back reverentially to the little study, with its deep arm-chair, and its table and books of reference, and its subdued light from the single window; for here was the great author's work-room. A garrulous guide and three or four curious friends allow a dreamer, however, no time for thought and reflection while there is sight-seeing to be done; so we were escorted over a portion of the prettily laid-out grounds, and then took our leave, and our carriage, and soon left Abbotsford behind us.

Edinburgh, Melrose, and Abbotsford seen, we must next have a look at Stirling Castle. So, after a ride of thirty-six miles from Edinburgh, we are eating the well-cooked mutton chops that they serve at the Golden Lion, in Stirling, and, after being duly fortified with good cheer, wend our way up through the steep streets to the castle on its rocky perch. This strong old castle, standing directly upon the brow of a precipitous rock, overlooks one of the most extended and beautiful landscapes in the kingdom—the beautiful vale of Menteith, the Highland mountains in the distance, Ben Lomond, Benvenue, Ben Lodi, and several other "Bens;" the River Forth, winding its devious course through the fertile valley, the brown road, far below at our feet, running along to the faintly-marked ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey, and the little villages and arched bridges, form a charming view.

The eye here takes in also, in this magnificent prospect, no less than twelve of Scotland's battle-fields, including one of[73] Wallace's fierce contests, and Bannockburn, where Bruce gained the independence of Scotland in 1314.

James II. and James V. were born in Stirling; and I looked at the little narrow road which goes down behind the castle with some interest, when I was told it furnished King James V. the fictitious name, "Ballangeich," he was in the habit of assuming when he went among his subjects in disguise. Theatre-goers will remember the play of the "Gude Man of Ballangeich," and the "King of the Commons," and that he was the king who was hero in those plays, and also the "James Fitz-James" of Scott's Lady of the Lake. And, speaking of the Lady of the Lake, the beautiful view from the battlements of Stirling Castle, three hundred feet above the valley, recalled Roderic Dhu's reply to James:—

"Saxon, from yonder mountain high,
I marked thee send delighted eye
Far to the south and east, where lay,
Extended in succession gay,
Deep waving fields and pastures green,
With gentle slopes and groves between;
Those fertile fields, that softened vale,
Were once the birthright of the Gael."

The outer gates of the castle are said to have been built by the old Romans, and were strong enough for ancient batteries, but not for modern artillery. The marks of the cannon shot fired by General Monk when he attacked the castle, directing the whole fire of his artillery at one point till he battered down a portion of the wall, and the breach through which William Wallace entered, are points of interest. So was the dark, secure, stone cell into which we peeped, where Rob Roy is said to have been confined. The outer works of the castle were erected in Queen Anne's time, and that known as the Palace, built by James V. The little room known as the Douglass Room, with its adjoining closet, is one of the "lions" of the castle, for it was here that the Earl of Douglass—the "Black Douglass"—met King James II. under promise of safe conduct; and after a fierce[74] discussion, in which the king vainly tried to induce him to abandon a compact he had made with other chiefs, he stabbed the earl, in a fit of passion. The nobles attendant on the king, concealed in the little antechamber, rushed in and completed the murder, throwing the body from the window—which is pointed out to us—into the garden beneath.

Not far from the castle is the "Lady's Rock," a small hill from which the ladies of the Scottish court, and other favored ones, could look down upon the tournament field, a hundred feet below. And as we sat there, and looked upon the form of the lists, still visible upon the turf below, marked by the green ridges, it was easy to imagine what an animated and beautiful scene it must have presented when filled with knights and squires, steeds and men; for it was here that James was forced to award Douglass the prize, as the victor in the feats of strength at the Scottish sports.

"The gray-haired sires, who know the past,
To strangers point the Douglass cast,
And moralize on the decay
Of Scottish strength in modern day."

This beautiful vale has witnessed many a joust and tournament. This vale at our feet, this "Lady's Rock," and the lady's seat, which makes for us a sort of rocky throne, as we sit here and muse on Scotland's history and Scotland's poet, are the very ones he speaks of as

"The vale with loud applauses rang,
The Lady's Rock sent back the clang."

Near the Lady's Rock is a modern cemetery, beautifully laid out, and containing statues of Knox and Henderson, and other handsome monuments. The old churchyard of Grayfriars contains many curious monuments, and here, on an old sun-dial, I found this inscription:—

"I mark time; dost thou?
I am a shadow; so art thou."

[75] It was in Grayfriars that James VI. was crowned, and Knox preached the coronation sermon.

No tourist will think of leaving Stirling without taking a ride to the field of Bannockburn, a short distance. The scene of a battle which occurred more than five hundred and fifty years ago cannot be expected to preserve many features of its former character; the only one which is of particular interest is the "Bore Stone," a fragment of rock with a small cavity, in which the Scottish standard is said to have been raised; it is clamped all over with iron bars, to prevent relic-hunters from carrying what remains of it away.

The story of the battle is one of the most familiar ones in Scottish history to both young and old readers, and your guide will indicate to you points where the Scotch and English forces were disposed, where the concealed pits were placed into which plunged so many of the English cavalry, the point where Bruce stood to watch the battle, nay, the very place where

"The monarch rode along the van,
The foe's approaching force to scan,"

when Sir Henry Boune, thinking, as the Bruce was mounted on a slight palfrey, far in advance of his own line, to ride him down with his heavy war horse, set his lance in rest, and dashed out from the English lines with that intent.

"He spurred his steed, he couched his lance,
And darted on the Bruce at once,"

thinking to distinguish himself and have his name in history. He did so, but not in the manner, probably, he had anticipated; for

"While on the king, like flash of flame,
Spurred to full speed, the war horse came!
But swerving from the knight's career,
Just as they met, Bruce shunned the spear.
High in his stirrups stood the king,
And gave his battle-axe the swing;
Such strength upon the blow was put,
The helmet cracked like hazel-nut;"

and so began the battle of Bannockburn, which ended in the defeat of one hundred thousand English by thirty thousand Scots, raising Bruce from a hunted rebel to the rank of an independent sovereign. It was the most important battle the Scots ever won, and the most severe defeat the English ever experienced in Scotland.

Another pleasant little excursion was a walk to Cambuskenneth Abbey, crossing the River Forth by an old ferry, where we had to hail the ferry-man from the other side. We did not have to say,—

"Boatman, do not tarry!
And I'll give thee a silver pound
To row us o'er the ferry,"—

for the old fellow came over, rowed three of us across, and demanded three half-pence for the service; so we were liberal, and gave him double fare. The only part of the abbey remaining is a Gothic tower, and a few remnants of walls, and the foundation lines of nave and transept, which are visible. A few years ago, when some excavations were being made here, the site of the high altar was found, and beneath it the supposed coffin and skeleton of James III. They were re-interred, and a handsome square sarcophagus marks the spot, bearing an inscription, which tells the visitor that Queen Victoria erected it in 1861, in memory of her ancestors.

While at Stirling we had the opportunity of seeing a real Highland regiment, who were quartered there, in their picturesque, unmilitary dress,—kilt, bare legs, plaid stockings, crown of feathers, &c.,—a most uncomfortable and inconvenient dress for service in the field, I should imagine. I also had an opportunity of hearing native Scotch songs, sung by a Scotch minstrel, as I never heard them sung before. It was a still, quiet moonlight night, in one of the streets, and the wandering minstrel accompanied himself on a violin. I never heard ballad-singing better or more effectively ren[77]dered. The singer's voice was a pure, flexible tenor, and as he sung, "Flow gently, sweet Afton," there was hardly a finger moved in the crowd that stood about him; but when he gave a pathetic Scotch ballad, in which the tear was in his voice, he brought it into the eye of more than one of his auditors; and the hearty manner in which many a poor, ragged fellow crowded up to give him a ha'penny at the close, showed how deeply they were touched, and how grateful they felt towards one who could interpret their national melodies so well.

From Stirling we will make a detour through that charming scenery of Scotland which Scott so frequently mentions in his Lady of the Lake, especially in the ride of Fitz-James after the stag, which at eve had "drunk his fill,"

"Where danced the moon on Monan's rill."

But first an unromantic railroad ride of sixteen miles must be taken; and not unromantic, either, for there are many pleasant spots and points of historic interest on the route,—the Bridge of Allan, a pleasant village, which is a popular watering-place not far from Stirling, being one;—through Donne,

"The bannered towers of Donne,"

and on by the rippling stream of the River Forth.

"They bathe their coursers' sweltering sides,
Dark Forth, within thy sluggish tides."

And we might go on with half the poem in the same manner, such is the charm which Scott's poetry has lent to this part of the country.

At the rugged-looking little stone-built town of Callander we left the train, and climbed into a sort of open wagon stagecoach, similar to those sometimes used at the White Mountains, which held sixteen of us, and had a spanking team driven by an expert English "whip;" and we were whirled away, for a ride of twenty miles or more, through the lake[78] country and "the Trossachs" to Loch Katrine. The word "trossachs," I was told by a communicative Scotchman, signified "bristles," and the name was suggested by the species of coarse furze which abounds in the passes of this rough and hilly country. The wild mountain scenery reminded me often of our own White Mountains; and the reaches of view, though giving pretty landscape scenes, showed a country rather sterile for the husbandman—better to shoot over than plough over.

At last we reached a little sort of hollow in the hills, where Lake Vennachar narrows down to the River Teith, and came to where the stream swept round a little grassy point of land; and here our coach stopped a moment for us to look,—

"For this is Coilantogle Ford,"—

which, it will be recollected, was

"Far past Clan Alpine's outmost guard,"

and the scene of the combat between Fitz-James and Roderic Dhu. "And there," said an old Scotchman, pointing to the little grassy peninsula, is the very place where the fight took place"—a borrowed stretch of the imagination, inasmuch as the poet himself imagined the combat.

But we whirled away past Vennachar, mounted a little eminence, from whence we had a grand panoramic view of hills, lake, road, and river, with Benvenue rising in the background; and as we rattled down the hill the road swept round with a curve near to a little village that I recognized at once from the pictures in illustrated editions of Scott's poems—Duncraggan's huts, one of the points at which the bearer of the fiery cross paused on his journey to raise the clans.

"Speed, Malise, speed! the lake is past,
Duncraggan's huts appear at last."

And passing this, we soon rolled over a little single-arched bridge—the bridge of Turk.

"And when the Brigg of Turk was won,
The headmost horseman rode alone."

[79] On over the Brigg of Turk, past Loch Achray, and we come to the Trossachs Hotel, commanding a good view of the black-looking "loch," and the rocky peak of Ben A'an. Between this point and Loch Katrine, a mile, are the "Trossachs." All the drives and scenery in the immediate vicinity are delightful; and the hotel, which is a fine castellated building, must be a most pleasant place for summer resort.

Embarking upon a little steamer named Rob Roy, on Loch Katrine, we sail close by Ellen's Isle, and sweep out into the middle of the lake—a lovely sheet of water, and reminding the American tourist of Lake George. A delightful sail on this lake carried us to Stronachlachar. There we disembark, and take carriage again through the valley to Loch Lomond, passing on the road the hut in which Helen McGregor, Rob Roy's wife, was born, and also a fort built to check the incursions of the McGregors, and at one time commanded by General Wolfe—the same who afterwards fell at the capture of Quebec. Then, descending to Inversnaid, we came to Loch Lomond, with the dark mountains looking down upon its waters.

That there is some wind among these Scotch hills we had ample opportunity of ascertaining; for so furiously did the gusts pour down upon the lake, that they lashed it into foam-capped waves, and sent the sheets of spray so liberally over the boat as to make us glad to contemplate this pride of the Scottish lakes, its hills, and thirsty islands from the cabin windows. Disembarking once more at Balloch, situated at the southern extremity of the lake, the train was in waiting which took us to Glasgow, passing Dumbarton on our route, and giving us a fine view of Dumbarton Castle, situated upon the two high peaks of Dumbarton Rock, five hundred and sixty feet high, and noted as being the place of confinement of William Wallace. The highest peak of the rock is called Wallace's Seat, from this circumstance.



Glasgow Cathedral, situated on the highest ground in the metropolis of Scotland, looks over the spires, domes, and crowded masonry of a city of half a million inhabitants. A view from its tower, over two hundred feet in height, takes in the valley of the River Clyde, with woods, and hedges, and pleasant meadows, and the river itself rolling on its way towards the ocean. The Renfrewshire Hills, the neighboring town of Paisley, Dumbarton Rock, and the Argyleshire Mountains, and a ruin or two, with the waving ivy, green upon the shattered walls, complete the distant picture; while spread beneath, at our very feet, is the busy city itself, with its factories, its furnaces, and great masses of high-storied houses, and stretching along by the water side the great quay wall of fifteen thousand feet in length, with vessels ranged two or three abreast before it.

This fine old cathedral is an elegant Gothic structure, and was built in 1136. It is remarkable from being one of the few churches in Scotland that have been preserved in a comparatively perfect state, and its annals for the past seven hundred years have been well preserved and authenticated; but with these I must have but little to do, for once immersed in the curious records of these old ecclesiastical edifices, so celebrated in history, and so wondrous in architectural beauty, and we shall get on all too slowly among the sights and scenes in foreign lands.

The grand entrance to the Glasgow Cathedral is at the great doorway at one end of the nave, and we enter a huge church, three hundred and nineteen feet long by about sixty wide, divided by a splendid screen, or rood loft, as it is called, separating the nave from the choir, that most sacred part of the Roman Catholic edifices, where the principal altars were[81] erected, and high mass was performed. The carving and ancient decoration here are in a fine state of preservation, and the majestic columns which support the main arches, with their beautifully-cut foliaged capitals of various designs, are an architectural triumph.

The crypts beneath this cathedral are in an excellent state of preservation, and at one time were used for purposes of worship. In Catholic times these old crypts were used for the purposes of sepulture for prelates and high dignitaries of the church; but nearly all traces of the monuments of these worthies were swept away in the blind fury which characterized the Reformation in its destruction of "monuments of idolatry;" and so zealous, or, we may now say, fanatical, were the Reformers, that they swept to swift destruction some of the finest architectural structures in the land, and monuments erected to men who had been of benefit to their race and generation, in one general ruin. The tourist, as he notes the mutilation of the finest works of architectural skill, and the almost total destruction of exquisite sculpture and historical monuments, which he constantly encounters in these ecclesiastical buildings, finds himself giving utterance to expressions anything but flattering to the perpetrators of this vandalism.

An effigy of a bishop, with head struck off and otherwise mutilated, is now about all of note that remains of the monuments here in the crypt. It is supposed to be the effigy of Jocline, the founder of this part of the cathedral, which is about one hundred and thirty feet in length, and sixty-five wide, with five rows of columns of every possible form, from simple shaft to those of elaborate design, supporting the structure above. The crypts are, it is said, the finest in the kingdom. But the great wonder of Glasgow Cathedral is its stained-glass windows, which are marvels of modern work, for they were commenced in 1859, and completed in 1864, and are some of the finest specimens of painted-glass work that the Royal Establishment of Glass Painting, in Munich, has ever produced.

[82] These windows are over eighty in number; but forty-four of them are great windows, twenty-five or thirty feet high, and each one giving a Bible story in pictures. The subjects begin with the Expulsion from Paradise, and continue on in regular order of Bible chronology. Besides these are coats of arms of the different donors of windows, in a circle of colored glass at the base, as each was given by some noted person or family, and serves as a memento of relatives and friends who are interred in the cathedral or its necropolis. Besides the leading events of biblical history, from the Old Testament portrayed, such as Noah's Sacrifice, Abraham offering Isaac, the Offer of Marriage to Rebekah, the Blessing of Jacob, the Finding of Moses, &c., there are figures of the apostles, the prophets, illustrations of the parables of our Saviour, and other subjects from the Holy Scriptures, all beautifully executed after designs by eminent artists.

But space will not permit further description of this magnificent building. Scott says this is "the only metropolitan church, except the Cathedral Kirkwall, in the Orkneys, that remained uninjured at the Reformation." It owes its preservation from destruction somewhat to the fact that James Rabat, who was Dean of Guild when its demolition was clamored for, was a good Mason, and saved this work of the masters' art by suffering the "idolatrous statues" of saints to be destroyed on condition of safety to the building.

At the rear of the cathedral rises the Necropolis, a bold, semicircular eminence, some three hundred feet in height, and formed in regular terraces, which are divided into walks, and crowded with elegant and costly modern monuments; too crowded, in fact, and reminding one more of a sculpture gallery than a cemetery. Among the most conspicuous of these monuments was a fine Corinthian shaft and statue to John Knox, and on the shaft was inscribed,—

"When laid in the ground, the regent said, 'There lieth he who never feared the face of man, who was often threatened with dag and dagger, yet hath ended his days in peace and honor.'"

[83] A magnificent square sarcophagus, erected to James Sheridan Knowles, bore his name.

"Died November, 1862."

A fine monument to John Dick, Professor of Theology and Minister of Grayfriars Church, Edinburgh; another to William McGarvin, author of the "Protestant." One erected to a favorite Scotch comedian attracted my attention from the appropriateness of its design and epitaph. The designs were elegantly-cut figures of Comedy and Tragedy, in marble, a medallion head in bass-relief, probably a likeness of the deceased, and the mask, bowl, and other well-known emblems of the histrionic art. The epitaph was as follows:—

"Fallen is the curtain; the last scene is o'er,
The favorite actor treads life's stage no more.
Oft lavish plaudits from the crowd he drew,
And laughing eyes confessed his humor true.
Here fond affection rears this sculptured stone,
For virtues not enacted, but his own—
A constancy unshaken unto death,
A truth unswerving, and a Christian's faith.
Who knew him best have cause to mourn him most;
O, weep the man more than the actor lost.
Unnumbered parts he played, yet to the end
His best were those of husband, father, friend."

The deceased's name was John Henry Alexander, who died December 15, 1851.

From Glasgow we took rail to Ayr, on a pilgrimage to Burns's birthplace, and, at five o'clock of a pleasant afternoon, arrived at that little Scotch town, and as we rode through the streets, passed by the very tavern where "Tam O'Shanter" held his revel with "Souter Johnny"—a clean little squat stone house, indicated by a big sign-board, on which is a pictorial representation of Tam and his crony sitting together, and enjoying a "wee drapit" of something from handled mugs, which they are holding out to each other, and, judging from the size of the mugs, not a "wee drapit" either; for the old[84] Scotsmen who frequent these taverns will carry off, without winking, a load beneath their jackets that would floor a stout man of ordinary capacity.

A queer old town is Ayr, and at the hotel above mentioned the curious tourist may not only sit in the chairs of Tam and Johnny, but in that Burns himself has pressed; and if he gets the jolly fat old landlord in good humor,—as he is sure to get when Americans order some of his best "mountain dew,"—and engages him in conversation, he may have an opportunity to drink it from the very wooden cup, now hooped with silver, from which the poet himself indulged in potations, and drained inspiration.

As we ride over the road from the town of Ayr—

"Auld Ayr, whom ne'er a town surpasses
For honest men and bonnie lasses"—

to Burns's birthplace, and Alloway Kirk, we find ourselves upon the same course traversed by Tam O'Shanter on his memorable ride, and passing many of those objects which, for their fearful associations, gave additional terror to the journey, and kept him

"glowering round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares."

A pleasant ride we had of it, recalling the verses, as each point mentioned in the ballad, which is such a combination of the ludicrous and awful, came into view and was pointed out to us.

"The ford
Whare in the snaw the chapman smoored,
And past the birks and meikle stane,
Whare drunken Charlie brake neck-bane;
And thro' the whins, and by the cairn,
Whare hunters fand the murdered bairn;
And near the thorn aboon the well,
Whare Mungo's mither hanged hersel."

But let us stop at the poet's cottage—the little one-story "clay-biggin" it originally was, when, in 1759, Robert Burns was born there, consisting only of a kitchen and sitting-room;[85] these still remain, and in a little recess in the former is a sort of bunk, or bed, where the poet first saw light; that is, what little of it stole in at the deep-set window of this little den; additional rooms have been built on to the cottage, including a large one for society meetings and anniversary dinners; the little squat thatched cot is the Mecca of thousands of travellers from all parts of the world, as the visitors' book reveals.

An old Scotch woman, who was busy with her week's ironing, her work, for a few moments, to show us the rooms and sell a stereoscopic view, and then returned to her flat-irons. An old fellow, named "Miller" Goudie, and his wife, used to occupy the cot. He now rests in Alloway churchyard, and, as his epitaph says,—

"For forty years it was his lot
To show the poet's humble cot;
And, sometimes laughin', sometimes sobbin',
Told his last interview with Robin:
A quiet, civil, blithesome body,
Without a foe, was Miller Goudie."

A framed autograph letter of Burns, and a picture of him at a masonic assembly, adorn the walls of the large room, and are about all of interest in it. A short distance beyond the cottage, and we come to "Alloway's auld haunted Kirk,"—a little bit of a Scotch church, with only the walls standing, and familiar to us from the many pictures we had seen of it.

Here it was that Tam saw the witches dance; and there must have been the very window, just high enough for him to have looked in from horseback: just off from the road is the kirk, and near enough for Tam to hive seen the light through the chinks, and bear the sound of mirth and dancing. Of course I marched straight up to the little window towards the road, and peeped in at the very place where Tam had viewed the wondrous sight; but such narrow and circumscribed limits for a witches' dance! Why, Nannie's leap and fling could not have been much in such a wee bit of a chapel, and I expressed that opinion audibly, with a derisive laugh at Scotch witches, when, as if to punish scepticism, the bit of[86] stone which I had propped up against the wall to give me additional height, slipped from beneath my feet, bringing my chin in sharp contact with the window-sill, and giving me such a shock altogether, that I wondered if the witches were not still keeping guard over the old place, for it looks weird enough, with its gray, roofless walls, the dark ivy about them flapping in the breeze, and the interior choked with weeds and rubbish.

In the little burial-ground of the kirk is the grave of the poet's father, marked by a plain tombstone, and bearing an epitaph written by Burns. Leaving the kirk, a few hundred yards' walk brings us to

"The banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,"

and the "auld brigg" spanning it, over which Tam O'Shanter's mare Maggie, clattered just in time to save him from the witch's vengeance, losing her tail in the struggle on the "keystane." The keystone was pointed out to us by a little Scotch lassie, as we stood on the bridge, admiring the swift stream, as it whirled under the arches, and the old Scotch guide told us "Tam had eight mair miles to gang ere he stopit at his own door-stane."

Near this bridge is the Burns Monument, a sort of circular structure, about sixty feet high, of Grecian architecture. In a circular apartment within the monument is a glass case, containing several relics, the most interesting of which is the Bible given by Burns to his Highland Mary. It is bound in two volumes, and on the fly-leaf of the first is inscribed the following text, in the poet's handwriting: "And ye shall not swear by my name falsely; I am the Lord." (Levit. xix. 12.) And on the leaf of the second, "Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths." (Matt. v. 33.) In both volumes the poet has inscribed his autograph, and in one of them there rests a little tress of Highland Mary's hair.

The grounds—about an acre in extent around the monument—are prettily laid out, and in a little building, at one[87] extremity, are the original, far-famed figures of Tam O'Shanter and Souter Johnny, chiselled out of solid freestone by the self-taught sculptor Thom; and marvellously well-executed figures they are, down to the minutest details of hose and bonnet, as they sit with their mugs of good cheer, jollily pledging each other. This group, and that of Tam riding over the bridge, with the witch just catching at Maggie's tail, are both familiar to almost every American family, and owe their familiarity, in more than one instance, to the representations of them upon the cheap little pitchers of Wedgwood ware, which are so extensively used as syrup pitchers wherever buckwheat cakes are eaten.

The ride back to Ayr, by a different route, carries us past some pleasant country-seats, the low bridge of Doon, and a lovely landscape all about us.

But we visited the classic Doon, with its banks and braes so "fresh and fair," as most of our countrymen do—did it in a day, dreamed and imagined for an hour in the little old churchyard of Kirk Alloway, leaned over the auld brig, and looked down into the running waters, and wondered how often the poet had gazed at it from the same place, or sauntered on that romantic little pathway by its bank, where we plucked daisies, and pressed them between the leaves of a pocket edition of his poems, as mementos of our visit. We did not omit a visit to the "twa brigs" that span the Ayr. The auld brig,—

"Where twa wheel-barrows tremble when they meet,"—

was erected in the fourteenth century, and was formerly steep and narrow, but has been widened and improved within the past fifteen years. The new one, which is about two hundred yards from it, was built in 1788, and from it a good view of the river and the old bridge is obtained.

A ride round the town shows us but little of special interest to write of; a fine statue of William Wallace, cut by Thom, in front of a Gothic building, known as Wallace Tower, being the most striking object that met our view. From Ayr to[88] Carlisle, where we saw the castle which Bruce failed to take in 1312, which surrendered to Prince Charles Stuart in 1745, and which was the scene of such barbarities on the conquered on its being retaken by the Duke of Cumberland. The old castle, or that portion of it that remains, with its lofty, massive tower and wall, makes an imposing appearance, and is something like the pictures of castles in the story-books. In one portion of it are the rooms occupied by Mary, Queen of Scots, on her flight to England, after the battle of Langside.

The old red freestone cathedral, built in the time of the Saxons, where sleeps Dr. Paley, once archdeacon, and where is a monument erected to his memory, claimed a modicum of our time, after which we passed through Newcastle-on-Tyne, celebrated, as all know in these modern days, as a port of shipment for coal, and busy with its glass-houses, potteries, iron and steel factories, and machine shops, and owing its name to the fact that Robert, son of William the Conqueror, built a new castle here after his return from a military expedition. The old donjon keep and tower still stand, massive and blackened, not with the smoke of battle, but of modern industry, which rises, in murky volumes, from many chimneys.

On we speed, leaving Newcastle, its dingy buildings and murky cloud, behind, and whirl over the railroad, till we reach the beautiful vale that holds the "Metropolis of the North of England," as the guide-books style it,—the ancient city of York,—with its Roman walls, and its magnificent minster; a city, which, A. D. 150, was one of the greatest of the Roman stations in England, and had a regular government, an imperial palace, and a tribunal within its walls. York, which carries us back to school-boy days, when we studied of the wars of the Roses, and the houses of York and Lancaster—York, whose modern namesake, more than seventeen hundred years its junior, in the New World, has seventeen times its population.

York—yes, in York one feels that he is in Old England indeed. Here are the old walls, still strong and massy, that[89] have echoed to the tramp of the Roman legions, that looked down on Adrian and Constantine the Great, that have successively been manned by Britons, Picts, Danes, and Saxons, the latter under the command of Hengist, mentioned in the story-legends that tell of the pair of warlike Saxon brothers, Hengist and Horsa, the latter, whose name in my youthful days always seemed to have some mysterious connection with the great white-horse banner of the Saxon warriors, that was wont to float from the masts of their war ships.

It was in York that the first Christmas was ever kept in England. This was done by King Arthur and his nobility when he began to rebuild the churches, in the year 500, that the Saxons had destroyed.

York was once a place where many Jews dwelt. We all remember Isaac of York, in the story of Ivanhoe; and the great massacre of this people there in 1490, when over two thousand fell victims to popular fury.

But I am not going to give a chronological history of this interesting city, for there is scarcely an American reader of English history but will recall a score of noteworthy events that have occurred within its ancient walls.

The great and crowning wonder here to the tourist is, of course, the cathedral, or the minster, as it is called. This magnificent and stupendous pile, which occupied nearly two hundred years in erection, and has stood for three hundred years since its completion, is, without doubt, one of the most magnificent Gothic structures in the world, and excels in beauty and magnificence most ecclesiastical buildings of the middle ages. After a walk through a quaint old quarter of the city, and a stroll on the parapets of the great wall, through some of the gates, with the round, solid watch-towers above them, pierced with arrow-slits for crossbowmen, or having, high above, little turrets for sentinels, I was in the mood for the sight of the grand old cathedral, but not at all prepared for the superb and elegant proportions of the pile which suddenly appeared to view, as I turned a corner of a street.

The length of this majestic pile is five hundred and twenty-[90]four feet, and its breadth two hundred and twenty-two, and the height of its two square and massive towers one hundred and ninety-six feet. I got a west view of the building first, which is what I should suppose was properly its front, consisting of the two tall square towers, with the main entrance between them, surmounted by a great Gothic window, exhibiting a magnificent specimen of the leafy and fairy-like tracery of the fourteenth century. Tall, pointed arches are above it, and the two towers are also adorned with windows, and elaborate ornamentation. To the rear of them, at the end of the nave and between the two transepts, rises the central tower two hundred and thirteen feet. There is a fine open space in front of this glorious west front, and no lover of architecture can come upon it for the first time without standing entranced at the wondrous beauty of the building in proportion, decoration, and design.

Churches occupied the site of York Cathedral centuries before it. One was built here by King Edwin, in 627; another in 767, which stood till 1069; but the present building was founded in 1171, and completed in the year 1400.

The expectations created by an external view of its architectural grandeur and rich embellishments are surpassed upon an examination of the interior, a particular description of which would require almost a volume to give space to. We can only, therefore, take a glance at it.

First, there is the great east window, which, for magnitude and beauty of coloring, is unequalled in the world. Only think of a great arch seventy-five feet high, and over thirty feet broad, a glory of stained glass! The upper part is a piece of admirable tracery, and below it are over a hundred compartments, occupied with scriptural representations—saints, priests, angels, &c. Each pane of glass is a yard square, and the figures two feet three inches in length. Right across this great window runs what I supposed to be a strong iron rod, or wire, but which turned out to be a stone gallery, or piazza, a bridge big enough for a person to cross upon, and from which the view that is had of the whole interior of this[91] great minster—a vista of Gothic arches and clustered columns of more than five hundred feet in length, terminated by the great west window, with its gorgeous display of colored glass—is grand beyond description. The great west window contains pictured representations of the eight earliest archbishops of York, and eight saints, and other figures. It was put up in 1338, and is remarkable for its richness of coloring.

Besides the great east and west windows, there are sixteen in the nave and fifteen in the side aisles. In the south transept, which is the oldest part of the building, high up above the entrance, in the point of the arch, is the great "marigold window," formed of two concentric circles of small arches in the form of a wheel, the lights of which give it the appearance of the flower from which it is named, the diameter of this great stone and glass marigold being over thirty feet. Then, in the north transept, opposite, is another window of exquisite coloring—those warm, deep, mellow hues of the old artisans in colored glass, which the most cunning of their modern successors seek in vain to rival. It appears, as it were, a vast embroidery frame in five sections, each section a different pattern of those elaborate traceries and exquisite hues of needle-work with which noble ladies whiled away their time in castle-bower, while their knights fought the infidel in distant clime. This noble window is known as the "Five Sisters," from the fact that the pattern is said to have been wrought from designs in needle-work of five maiden sisters of York.

The story of these sisters is told by Dickens in the sixth chapter of Nicholas Nickleby. This magnificent window is fifty-seven feet in height, and it was put in in the year 1290. The other windows I cannot spare space to refer to; suffice it to say the windows of this cathedral present a gorgeous display of ancient stained glass not to be met with in any similar building in the world. In fact, the minster exhibits more windows than solid fabric to exterior view, imparting a marvellous degree of lightness to the huge structure, while inside the vastness of the space gives the spectator opportunity to stand at a proper distance, and look up at them as they are[92] stretched before the view like great paintings, framed in exquisite tracery of stone-work, with the best possible effect of light. The glass of these windows, I was informed by the verger who acted as our guide, was taken out and hidden during the iconoclastic excitement of Cromwell's time, and they are now the only ones that have preserved the ancient glass intact in the kingdom. The most valuable are protected by a strong shield of extra plate glass outside.

From the painted glories of the windows the visitor's eye sweeps over the vast expanse of clustered pillars, lofty Gothic arches, and splendid vistas of Gothic columns on every side. In the great western aisle, or nave, a perspective view of full three hundred feet of columns and arches is had; and standing upon the pavement, you look to the grand arched roof, which is clear ninety-nine feet above, and the eye is fairly dazed with the immensity of space. The screen, as it is called, which separates the nave from the choir, rises just high enough to form a support for the organ, without concealing from view the grand arches and columns of the choir, which stretch far away, another vista of two hundred and sixty-four feet, before the bewildered view of the visitor, who finds himself almost awe-struck in the very vastness and sublimity of this grand architectural creation.

The screen is a most elaborate and superb piece of sculpture, and is ornamented with the statues of the English kings, from the time of William the Conqueror to Henry VI., fifteen in number. The great choir, with its exuberant display of carving, richly-ornamented stalls, altar, and side aisles, screened with carved oak, is another wonder. Here I had the pleasure of listening to the choral service, performed by the full choir of men and boys attached to the cathedral; and I stood out among the monuments of old archbishops and warriors of five hundred years agone, and heard that sweet chant float upon the swelling peals of the organ, away up amid the lofty groined arches of the grand old minster, till its dying echoes were lost amid the mysterious tracery above, or the grand, full chorus of powerful voices made the lofty[93] roof to ring again, as it were, with heavenly melody. There was every appeal to the ear, the eye, the imagination; and I may say it seemed the very poetry of religion, and poetry of a sublime order, too.

An attempt even at a description of the different monuments of the now almost forgotten, and many entirely forgotten, dignitaries and benefactors of the church that are found all along the great side aisles, would be a useless task. Some are magnificent structures of marble, with elegantly-sculptured effigies of bishops in their ecclesiastical robes. Others once were magnificent in sculptured stone and brass, but have been defaced by time and vandalism, and, in their shattered ruin, tell the story of man's last vanity, or are a most striking illustration of what a perishable shadow is human greatness.

The Chapter-house attached to York Minster is said to be the most perfect specimen of Gothic architecture in the world, and is certainly one of the most magnificent interiors of the kind I ever gazed upon. The records of the church give no information as to whom this superb edifice was erected by, or at what period, and the subject is one of dispute among the antiquaries, who suppose it must have been built either in the year 1200 or 1300. It is a perfect octagon, of sixty-three feet in diameter, and the height from the centre to the middle knot of the roof sixty-seven feet, without the interruption of a single pillar,—being wholly dependent on a single key-pin, geometrically placed in the centre.

Seven squares of the octagon have each a window of stained glass, with the armorial bearings of benefactors of the church, the eighth octagon being the entrance; below the windows are the seats, or stalls, for the canons and dignitaries of the church, when they assemble here for installations and other purposes. The columns around the side of this room are carved, in the most profuse manner, with the most singular figures, such as an ugly old friar embracing a young girl, to the infinite delight of a group of nuns, grotesque figures of men and animals, monks playing all sorts of pranks, grinning faces, &c. The whole formation of this exquisitely-constructed[94] building shows a thorough geometric knowledge in the builders, and the entrance to it is by a vestibule, in the form of a mason's square.

In the vestries we had an opportunity of seeing many and well-authenticated historical curiosities. The most ancient of these is the famous Horn of Ulphus, the great Saxon drinking horn, from which Ulphus was wont to drink, and by which the church still holds valuable estates near York. With this great ivory horn, filled with wine, the old chieftain knelt before the high altar, and, solemnly quaffing a deep draught, bestowed upon the church by the act all his lands, tenements, &c., giving to the holy fathers the horn as their title deed, which they have preserved ever since; and their successors permit sacrilegious Yankees, like myself, to press their lips to its brim, while examining the old relic.

A more modern drinking-cup is the ancient wooden bowl, which was presented by Archbishop Scrope—who was beheaded in the year 1405—to the Society of Cordwainers in 1398, and by them given to the church in 1808. This more sensible drinking-cup has silver legs and a silver rim, and not only is it well adapted for a jorum of punch, but the good archbishop made it worth while to drink from it, according to the ancient inscription upon it, in Old English characters, which reads,—

Richarde arch beschope Scroope grant unto all tho that
  drinkis of this cope ILti days to pardon.

Besides this, we had the pleasure of grasping the solid silver crosier, given by Queen Catharine, widow of King Charles II. to her confessor, a staff of weight and value, seven feet in length, elegantly wrought in appropriate designs. We were also shown the official rings found in the forgotten tombs of archbishops, in repairing the church pavement, bearing their dates of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The antique chair in which the Saxon kings were crowned is here—a relic older than the cathedral itself; and as "uneasy lies the head that wears a crown," uncomfortable must have[95] been the seat of him that wore it also, if my few minutes' experience between its great arms is worth anything; but, still, it was something to have sat in the very chair in which the bloody Richard III. had been crowned,—for both he and James I. were crowned in this chair,—thinking at the time, while I mentally execrated the crooked tyrant's memory, of the words Shakespeare put into his mouth:—

"Is the chair empty? Is the sword unswayed?
Is the king dead? the empire unpossessed?
What heir of York is there alive but we?
And who is England's king but great York's heir?"

Here we were shown an old Bible, presented by King Charles II., the old communion plate, which is five hundred years old, the old vestment chest, of carved oak, of the time of Edward III., with the legend of St. George and the Dragon represented upon it, a Bible of 1671, presented by James I., and other interesting antiquities.

I concluded my visit to this glorious old minster by ascending the Central or Lantern Tower, as it is called, which rises to a height of two hundred and thirteen feet from the pavement, and from which I had a magnificent view of the city of York and the surrounding country.

Although forbearing an attempt to enter upon any detailed descriptions of numerous beautiful monuments in the cathedral, I cannot omit referring to the many modern memorials of British officers and soldiers who have perished in different parts of the world, fighting the battles of their sovereign. Here is one to six hundred officers and privates of the nineteenth regiment of foot, who fell in Russia, in 1854-5; another to three hundred officers and privates of the fifty-first, who fell at Burmah, in 1852-3; a monument to three hundred and seventy-three of the eighty-fourth, who perished during the mutiny and rebellion in India in 1857, '8 and '9; a memorial slab to six hundred officers and men of the thirty-third West York, or Wellington's Own, who lost their lives in the Russian campaign of 1854-6; a beautiful, elaborate monument[96] to Colonel Moore and those of the Inniskillen Dragoons, who perished with him in a transport vessel at sea, &c.

There is not a church or cathedral, not in ruins, that the tourist visits in Great Britain, but that he reads the bloody catalogue of victims of England's glory recorded on mural tablets or costly monuments, a glory that seems built upon hecatombs of lives, showing that the very empire itself is held together by the cement of human blood,—blood, too, of the dearest and the bravest,—for I have read upon costly monuments, reared by titled parents, of noble young soldiers, of twenty-two and twenty years, and even younger, who have fallen "victims to Chinese treachery," "perished in a typhoon in the Indian Ocean," "been massacred in India," "lost at sea," "killed in the Crimea." They have fallen upon the burning sands of India, amid the snows of Russia, or in the depths of savage forests, or sunk beneath the pitiless wave, in upholding the blood-red banner of that nation. This fearful record that one encounters upon every side is a terrible and bloody reckoning of the cost of the great nation's glory and power.

From the glories of York Minster, from the pleasant and dreamy walks on delightful spring days, upon its old walls, and beneath its antique gateways, its ruined cloisters of St. Leonard's, founded by Athelstane the Saxon, and the stately ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, with the old Norman arch and shattered walls, we will glance at an English city under a cloud, or, I might almost say, under a pall, for the great black banner that hangs over Sheffield is almost dark enough for one, and in that respect reminds us of our own Pittsburg, with the everlasting coal smoke permeating and penetrating everywhere and everything.

The streets of Sheffield have the usual grimy, smoky appearance of a manufacturing place, and, apart from the steel and cutlery works, there is but little of interest here. One cannot help observing, however, the more abject squalor and misery which appear in some of the poorer neighborhoods, than is ever seen in similar towns or cities in America. The spirit shops, with their bold signs of different kinds of liquors,[97] and the gin saloons, with their great painted casks reared on high behind the counter, at which women serve out the blue ruin, are visible explanations of the cause of no small portion of the misery.

I found the cutlery works that I visited conducted far differently than we manage such things in America, where the whole work would be carried on in one great factory, and from year to year improvements made in machinery, interior arrangements, &c.; but here the effort seems to be, on the part of the workmen, to resist every advance or improvement possible.

We visited the great show-rooms of Rogers & Sons, where specimens of every description of knives, razors, scissors, cork-screws, boot-hooks, &c., that they manufacture, were exhibited, a very museum of steel work; and a young salesman was detailed to answer the questions and show the same, including the celebrated many-bladed knife, which has one blade added for every year.

A visit to Joseph Elliot & Son's razor works revealed to us the manner in which many of the manufacturers carry on their business. We found the workmen not all together in one factory, but in different buildings. In one was where the first rough process of forging was performed; from thence, perhaps across a street, the blades received further touches from other workmen, and so on, till, when ready for grinding and polishing, they were carried to the grinding and polishing works, some distance off, and finally returned to a building near the warerooms, to be joined to the handles, after which they were papered and packed, immediately adjoining the warerooms proper, where sales were made and goods delivered.

I was surprised, in visiting the forges where the elastic metal was beat into graceful blades, to find them little dingy nooks and corners in a series of old rookeries of buildings, often badly lighted, cramped and inconvenient, and difficult of access. No American workmen would work in such a place; but in watching the progress of the work, we saw in[98]stances of the skill and thoroughness of British mechanics, who have devoted their life to one particular branch of manufacture—the precision of stroke in forging, the rapidity with which it was done, to say nothing of the reliability, which is one characteristic of English work.

In that country, where the ranks of every department of labor are so crowded, there seems to be an ambition as to who shall do the best work, who shall be he that turns out the most skilfully wrought article; and of course the incentive to this ambition is a permanent situation, and a workman whom the master will be the last to part with in dull times. Then, again, in the battle for life, for absolute bread and butter, people are only too glad to make a sacrifice to learn a trade that will provide it. No boy can set up as a journeyman here after a couple of years' experience, as they do in America. There are no such bunglers in every department of mechanical work as in our country. To do journeyman's work and earn journeyman's pay, a man must have served a regular apprenticeship, and have learned his business; and he has to pay his master for giving him the opportunity, and teaching him a trade, by which he can work and receive a journeyman's pay—which is right and proper. The compensation may be in the advantage the master gets from good work at a low figure in the last years of the apprenticeship, or in some kinds of business in a stipulated sum of money paid to him. Yet in England he gets some return, instead of having his workman, as is generally the case in America, as soon as he ceases to spoil material and becomes of some value, desert him sans cérémonie.

The difficulty, in America, lies in the enormous demand for mechanical labor, so large that many are willing and obliged to receive inferior work or none at all, in the haste that all have to be rich, the boy to have journeyman's wages, the journeyman to be foreman, and foreman to be contractor and manager, and the abundant opportunity for them all to be so with the very smallest qualifications for the positions.

It is the thorough workmanship of many varieties of British[99] goods that makes them so much superior to those of American manufacture; and we may talk in this country as much as we please about its being snobbish to prefer foreign to American manufactured goods, yet just as long as the American article is inferior in quality, durability, and finish to the foreign article, just so long will people of means and education purchase it. I believe in encouraging American manufactures to their fullest extent; but let American manufacturers, when they are encouraged by protection or whatever means, prove by their products that they are deserving it, as it is gratifying to know that many of them have; and in this very article of steel, the great Pittsburg steel workers, such as Park Bros. & Co., Hussey, Wells, & Co., Anderson, Cook, & Co., and others in that city and Philadelphia, whose names do not now occur to me, have actually, in some departments of their business, beaten the British manufacturers in excellence and finish, proving that it can be done in America. When visiting the great iron works, forges, and factories in Pittsburg, I have frequently encountered, in the different departments, skilled workmen from Birmingham, Sheffield, and other English manufacturing towns, who, of course, were doing much better than at home, and whose thorough knowledge of their trade never failed to be the burden of the managers' commendation.

A razor is beaten out into shape, ground, tempered, polished, and finished much more speedily than I imagined; and as an illustration of the cheapness at which one can be produced, very good ones are made by Rogers & Sons for six shillings a dozen, or sixpence each. This can be done because they are made by apprentices, whose wages are comparatively trifling. A very large number of these razors go to the United States. Rogers' knives and razors of the finer descriptions generally command a slight advance over those of other manufacturers, although there are some here even in Sheffield whose work is equally good in every respect.

The Messrs. Elliot's razors are celebrated for their excellence both in England and this country. In visiting their works I was received by one of the partners, a man who owns[100] his elegant country-house, and enjoys a handsome income, but who was in his great wareroom, with his workman's apron on—a badge which he seemed to wear as a matter of course, and in no way affecting his position; and I then remembered one American gentleman, who, after rising to affluence, was never too proud to wear his apron if he thought that part of his dress necessary about his business, and he a man we all remember sans reproche—the late Jonas Chickering, the great piano manufacturer of Boston.

At Needham Brothers' cutlery works we saw table knives beaten out of the rough steel with an astonishing rapidity, passed from man to man, till the black, shapeless lump was placed in my hand a trenchant blade, fit for service at the festive board. Both here and at Elliot & Sons' razor works we saw invoices of handsome cutlery in process of manufacture for the American market.

The grinders and polishers here receive the highest wages, on account of the unhealthy nature of the employment, which has frequently been described, the fine particles of steel affecting the lungs so that the grinders are said to be short-lived men, and their motto "a short life and a merry one," as I was informed; the "merry" part consisting of getting uproariously drunk between Saturday night and Tuesday morning. These grinders are also exceedingly jealous of apprentices, and I shrewdly suspect in some degree magnify the dangers of their calling, in order that their numbers may be kept as few, and wages as high, as possible.

A vast deal of ale is drank in Sheffield, as may well be imagined; and the great arched vaults which form the support to a bridge, or causeway, out from the railway station to the streets of the city, are filled with hundreds on hundreds of barrels of this popular English beverage. And in truth, to enjoy good ale, and get good ale, one must go to England for it; the butler on the stage who said, "They 'ave no good hale in Hamerica, because they ain't got the opps," spoke comparatively, no doubt; but at the little English inns, upon benches beneath the branches of a great tree, or in cleanly[101] sanded little public-house parlors at the windows, looking out upon charming English landscapes, the frothing tankards are especially inviting and comforting to those using them; while, per contra, the foul, stale effluvia from the sloppy dens in this city, which were thronged when the men were off work, the bluff, bloated, and sodden appearance of ardent lovers of the ale of England, were evidence that its use might be abused, as well as that of more potent fluids.

There is comparatively little of historical interest in Sheffield to attract the attention of the tourist. There was an old castle erected there at an early period, and, at a place called Sheffield Manor-house, Mary, Queen of Scots, passed over thirty years of her imprisonment; but the chief interest of the place is, of course, its cutlery manufactories, and its reputation for good knives dates back to the thirteenth century, when it was noted as the place where a kind of knife known as "Whittles" were made. The presence of iron ore, coal, and also the excellent water power near the city, make it a very advantageous place for such work. The great grinding works in the city, where the largest proportion of that work is done, are driven by steam power. Besides cutlery in all its branches, Sheffield turns out plated goods, Britannia ware, brass work, buttons, &c., in large quantities.

Leaving the smoke, hum, clatter, and dingy atmosphere of a great English manufacturing city, we took rail, and sped on till we reached Matlock-Bath. Here debarking, we took an open carriage for Edensor, a little village belonging to the Duke of Devonshire, and situated upon a portion of his magnificent estate, the finest estate of any nobleman in England. And some idea of its extent may be gathered from the fact that its pleasure park contains two thousand acres. Our ride to this estate, known as Chatsworth, was another one of those enjoyable experiences of charming English scenery, over a pleasant drive of ten miles, till we entered upon the duke's estates, and drove across one corner, for a mile or more, to a pretty little road-side inn, where we were welcomed by a white-aproned landlord, landlady, and waiter, just such as are[102] described by the novel writers, and people to whom the hurried, bustling, imperious manner of go-ahead Americans seems most extraordinary and surprising.

The Duke of Devonshire's landed property is just such a one as an American should visit to realize the impressions he has received of a nobleman's estate from English stories, novels, and dramatic representations. Here great reaches of beautiful greensward swept away as far as the eye could reach, with groups of magnificent oaks in the landscape view, and troops of deer bounding off in the distance. Down the slope, here and there, came the ploughman, homeward plodding his weary way, in almost the same costume that Westall has drawn him in his exquisite little vignette, in the Chiswick edition of Gray's poems. There, in "the open," upon the close-cut turf, as we approached the village, was a party of English boys, playing the English game of cricket. Here, in a sheltered nook beneath two tall trees, nestled the cottage—the pretty English cottage of one of the duke's gamekeepers. The garden was gay with many-colored flowers, three chubby children were rolling over each other on the grass, and a little brook wimpled on its course down towards groups of clustering alders, quarter of a mile away. Farther on, we meet the gamekeeper himself, with his double-barrelled gun and game-pouch, and followed by two splendid pointers. There were hill and dale, river and lake, oaks and forest, wooded hills and rough rocks, grand old trees,—

"The brave old oak,
That stands in his pride and majesty
When a hundred years have flown,"

and upon an eminence, overlooking the whole, stands the palace of the duke, the whole front, of twelve or thirteen hundred feet, having a grand Italian flower garden, with its urns, vases, and statues in full view over the dwarf balustrades that protect it; the beautiful Grecian architecture of the building, the statues, fountains, forest, stream, and slope, all so charmingly combined by both nature and art into a lovely landscape picture, as to seem almost like a scene from fairy land.

[103] But here we are at Edensor, the little village owned by the duke, and in which he is finishing a new church for his tenantry, a very handsome edifice, at a cost of nearly fifteen thousand pounds. This Edensor is one of the most beautiful little villages in England. Its houses are all built in Elizabethan, Swiss, and quaint styles of architecture, and looking, for all the world, like a clean little engraving from an illustrated book.

I hardly know where to commence any attempt at description of this magnificent estate; but some idea may be had of its extent from the fact that the park is over nine miles in circumference, that the kitchen gardens and green-houses cover twenty acres, and that there are thirty green-houses, from fifty to seventy-five feet long; that, standing upon a hill-top, commanding a circuit view of twelve miles, I could see nothing but what this man owned, or was his estate. Through the great park, as we walked, magnificent pheasants, secure in their protection by the game laws upon this vast estate, hardly waddled out of our path. The troops of deer galloped within fifty paces of us, sleek cattle grazed upon the verdant slope, and every portion of the land showed evidence of careful attention from skilful hands.

We reached a bridge which spanned the little river,—a fine, massive stone structure, built from a design by Michael Angelo,—and crossing it, wound our way up to the grand entrance, with its great gates of wrought and gilt iron. One of those well-got-up, full-fed, liveried individuals, whom Punch denominates flunkies, carried my card in, for permission to view the premises, which is readily accorded, the steward of the establishment sending a servant to act as guide.

Passing through a broad court-yard, we enter the grand entrance-hall—a noble room some sixty or seventy feet in length, its lofty wall adorned with elegant frescoes, representing scenes from the life of Cæsar, including his celebrated Passing of the Rubicon, and his Death at the Senate House, &c. Passing up a superb, grand staircase, rich with statues of heathen deities and elegantly-wrought columns, we went[104] on to the state apartments of the house. The ceilings of these magnificent rooms are adorned with splendid pictures, among which are the Judgment of Paris, Phaeton in the Chariot of the Sun, Aurora, and other mythological subjects, while the rooms themselves, opening one out of the other, are each rich in works of vertu and art, and form a vista of beauty and wonder. Recollect, all these rooms were different, each furnished in the most perfect taste, each rich in rare and curious productions of art, ancient and modern, for which all countries, even Egypt and Turkey, had been ransacked.

The presents of kings and princes, and the purchases of the richest dukes for three generations, contributed to adorn the apartments of this superb palace. Not among the least wonderful works of art is some of the splendid wood-carving of Gibbon upon the walls—of game, flowers, and fruit, so exquisitely executed that the careless heap of grouse, snipe, or partridges look as though a light breeze would stir their very feathers—flowers that seem as if they would drop from the walls, and a game-bag at which I had to take a close look to see if it were really a creation of the carver's art.

Upon the walls of all the rooms are suspended beautiful pictures by the great artists. Here, in one room, we found our old, familiar friend, Bolton Abbey in the Olden Time, the original painting by Landseer, and a magnificent picture it is. In another room was one of Holbein's portraits of Henry VIII., and we were shown also the rosary of this king, who was married so numerously, an elegant and elaborately-carved piece of work. In another apartment was a huge table of malachite,—a single magnificent slab of about eight feet long by four in width,—a clock of gold and malachite, presented to the duke by the Emperor Nicholas, worth a thousand guineas, a broad table of one single sheet of translucent spar.

In the state bedroom was the bed in which George II. died. Here also were the chairs and foot-stools that were used by George III. and his queen at their coronation; and[105] in another room the two chairs in which William IV. and Queen Adelaide sat when they were crowned, and looking in their elaborate and florid decoration of gold and color precisely like the chairs placed upon the stage at the theatre for the mimic monarchs of dramatic representations. In fact, all the pomp, costume, and paraphernalia of royalty, so strikingly reminds an American of theatric display, that the only difference seems that the one is shown by a manager, and the other by a king.

Then there were numerous magnificent cabinets, ancient and modern, inlaid with elegant mosaic work, and on their shelves rested that rich, curious, and antique old china of every design, for which the wealthy were wont to pay such fabulous prices. Some was of exquisite beauty and elegant design; others, to my unpractised eye, would have suffered in comparison with our present kitchen delf. Elegant tapestries, cabinet paintings, beautifully-modelled furniture, met the eye at every turn; rare bronze busts and statues appropriately placed; the floors one sheet of polished oak, so exactly were they matched; and the grand entrance doors of each one of the long range of beautiful rooms being placed exactly opposite the other, give a vista of five hundred and sixty feet in length.

Then there was the great library, which is a superb room over a hundred feet long, with great columns from floor to ceiling, and a light gallery running around it. Opening out of it are an ante-library and cabinet library—perfect gems of rooms, rich in medallions, pictures by Landseer, &c., and, of course, each room containing a wealth of literature on the book-shelves in the Spanish mahogany alcoves. In fact, the rooms in this edifice realize one's idea of a nobleman's palace, and the visitor sees that they contain all that unbounded wealth can purchase, and taste and art produce. I must not forget, in one of these apartments, a whole set of exquisite little filigree, silver toys, made for one of the duke's daughters, embracing a complete outfit for a baby-house, and including piano, chairs, carriage, &c., all beautifully[106] wrought, elaborate specimens of workmanship, artistically made, but, of course, useless for service.

In one of the great galleries we were shown a magnificent collection of artistic wealth in the form of nearly a thousand original drawings—first rough sketches of the old masters, some of their masterpieces which adorn the great galleries of Europe, and are celebrated all over the world.

Only think of looking upon the original designs, the rough crayon, pencil, or chalk sketches made by Rubens, Salvator Rosa, Claude Lorraine, Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Michael Angelo, Nicolas Poussin, Hogarth, and other great artists, of some of their most celebrated works, and these sketches bearing the autographic signatures of the painters! This grand collection of artistic wealth is all arrayed and classified into Flemish, Venetian, Spanish, French, and Italian schools, &c., and the value in an artistic point of view is almost as inconceivable as the interest to a lover of art is indescribable. The tourist can only feel, as he is compelled to hurry through such treasures of art, that the brief time he has to devote to them is but little better than an aggravation.

An elegant private chapel, rich in sculpture, painting, and carving, affords opportunity for the master of this magnificent estate to worship God in a luxurious manner. Scenes from the life of the Saviour, from the pencils of great artists, adorn the walls—Verrio's Incredulity of Thomas; an altar-piece by Cibber, made of Derbyshire spar and marble, with figures of Faith and Hope, and the wondrous wood carving of Gibbon, are among the treasures of this exquisite temple to the Most High.

Next we visit the Sculpture Gallery, in which are collected the choicest works of art in Chatsworth: the statues, busts, vases, and bronzes that we have passed in niches, upon cabinets, on great marble staircases, and at various other points in the mansion, would in themselves have formed a wondrous collection; but here is the Sculpture Gallery proper, a lofty hall over one hundred feet in length, lighted from the top, and the light is managed so as to display to the best advan[107]tage the treasures of art here collected. I can only mention a few of the most striking which I jotted down in my note-book, and which will indicate the value of the collection: Discobulus, by Kessels; upon the panels of the pedestal, on which this statue is placed, are inlaid slabs of elegant Swedish porphyry, and a fine mosaic taken from Herculaneum; a colossal marble bust of Bonaparte, by Canova; Gott's Venus; two colossal lions (after Canova), cut in Carrara marble, one by Rinaldi and the other by Benaglia—they are beautifully finished, and the weight of the group is eight tons; bust of Edward Everett, by Powers; the Venus Genetrix of Thorwaldsen; five elegantly finished small columns from Constantinople, surmounted by Corinthian capitals cut in Rome, and crowned with vases and balls, all of beautiful workmanship; a statue of Hebe, by Canova; a colossal group of Mars and Cupid, by Gibson; Cupid enclosing in his hands the butterfly; an image of Psyche, the Grecian emblem of the soul, an exquisite piece of sculpture, by Finelli; a bass-relief of three sleeping Cupids, also most life-like in execution; Tadolini's Ganymede and Eagle; Bartolini's Bacchante with Tamborine; a superb vase and pedestal, presented by the Emperor of Russia; Venus wounded by treading on a rose, and Cupid extracting the thorn; Endymion sleeping with his dog watching, by Canova; Achilles wounded; Venus Filatrice, as it is called, a beautiful spinning girl, one of the most beautiful works in the gallery—the pedestal on which this figure stands is a fragment from Trajan's Forum; Petrarch's Laura, by Canova, &c. From the few that I have mentioned, the wealth of this collection may be imagined. In the centre of the room stands the gigantic Mecklenburg Vase, twenty feet in circumference, sculptured out of a single block of granite, resting on a pedestal of the same material, and inside the vase a serpent coiled in form of a figure eight, wrought from black marble.

I have given but a mere glance at the inside of this elegant palace: in passing through the different grand apartments, the visitor, if he will step from time to time into the deep win[108]dows and look upon the scene without, will see how art has managed that the very landscape views shall have additional charm and beauty to the eye. One window commands a close-shaven green lawn over a hundred feet wide and five hundred long, as regular and clean as a sheet of green velvet, its extreme edge rich in a border of many-colored flowers; another shows a slope crossed with walks, and enlivened with vases and sparkling fountains; another, the natural landscape, with river and bridge, and the background of noble oak trees; a fourth shows a series of terraces rising one above the other for hundreds of feet, rich in flowering shrubs and plants, and descending the centre from the very summit, a great flight of stone steps, thirty feet in width, down which dashes a broad, thin sheet of water like a great web of silver in the sunshine, reflecting the marble statues at its margin, till it reaches the very verge of the broad gravel walk of the pleasure-grounds, as if to dash in torrents over it, when it disappears, as by magic, into the very earth, being conveyed away by a subterranean passage to the river.

After walking about the enclosed gardens immediately around the palace, which are laid out in Italian style, with vases, statues, and fountains, reminding one strikingly of views upon theatrical act-drops on an extended scale, we came to several acres of ground, which appeared to have been left in a natural state; huge crags, abrupt cliffs with dripping waterfall falling over the edge into a silent, black tarn at its base, curious caverns, huge boulders thrown together as by some convulsion, and odd plants growing among them.

In and about romantic views, our winding path carried us until we were stopped by a huge boulder of rock that had tumbled down, apparently from a neighboring crag, directly upon the pathway. We were about to turn back to make a détour, as clambering over the obstacle was out of the question, when our guide solved the difficulty by pressing against the intruding mass of rock, which, to our surprise, yielding, swung to one side, leaving passage for us to pass. It was artificially poised upon a pivot for this purpose. Then it was[109] that we learned that the whole of this apparently natural scenery was in reality the work of art; the rocky crags, waterfall and tarn, romantic and tangled shrubbery, rustic nooks, odd caverns, and mossy cliffs, nay, even old uprooted tree, and the one that, with dead foliage, stripped limbs, that stood out in bold relief against the sky, were all artistically placed,—in fact the whole built and arranged for effect; and on knowing this, it seemed to be a series of natural models set for landscape painters to get bits of effect from.

Among the curiosities in this natural artificial region was a wonderful tree, a sort of stiff-looking willow, but which our conductor changed by touching a secret spring into a veritable weeping willow, for fine streams of water started from every leaf, twig, and shoot of its copper branches—a most novel and curious style of fountain.

But we must pass on to the great conservatory, another surprise in this realm of wonders. Only think of a conservatory covering more than an acre of ground, with an arched roof of glass seventy feet high, and a great drive-way large enough for a carriage and four horses to be driven right through from one end to the other, a distance of two hundred and seventy-six feet, as Queen Victoria's was, on her visit to the estate.

Before the erection of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, this conservatory was the most magnificent building of the kind in England, and was designed and built by Paxton, the duke's gardener, afterwards the architect of the Crystal Palace. Here one might well fancy himself, from the surroundings, transferred by Fortunatus's wishing cap into the tropics. Great palm trees lifted their broad, leafy crowns fifty feet above our heads; slender bamboos rose like stacks of lances; immense cactuses, ten feet high, bristled like fragments of a warrior's armor; the air was fragrant with the smell of orange trees; big lemons plumped down on the rank turf from the dark, glossy foliage of the trees that bore them; opening ovoids displayed stringy mace holding aromatic nutmegs; wondrous vegetation, like crooked serpents, wound off on the[110] damp soil; great pitcher-plants, huge broad leaves of curious colors, looking as if cut from different varieties of velvet, and other fantastic wonders of the tropics, greeted us at every turn. Here was the curious sago palm; there rose with its clusters of fruit the date palm; again, great clusters of rich bananas drooped pendent from their support; singular shrubs, curious grasses, wonderful leaves huge in size and singular in shape, and wondrous trees as large as life, rose on every side, so that one might readily imagine himself in an East Indian jungle or a Brazilian forest,—

"And every air was heavy with the sighs
Of orange groves,"—

or the strong, spicy perfume of strange trees and plants unknown in this cold climate.

Over seventy thousand square feet of glass are between the iron ribs of the great roof of this conservatory, and within its ample space the soil and temperature are carefully arranged to suit the nature and characters of the different plants it contains, while neither expense nor pains are spared to obtain and cultivate these vegetable curiosities in their native luxuriance and beauty.

I will not attempt a particular description of the other green-houses. There are thirty in all, and each devoted to different kinds of fruits or flowers—a study for the horticulturist or botanist. One was devoted entirely to medicinal plants, another to rare and curious flowering plants, gay in all the hues of the rainbow, and rich with perfume; a Victoria Regia house, just completed, of octagon form, and erected expressly for the growth of this curious product of South American waters; magnificent graperies, four or five in all, and seven hundred feet long, with the green, white, and purple clusters depending in every direction and in various stages of growth, from blossom to perfection; pineries containing whole regiments of the fruit, ranged in regular ranks, with their martial blades erect above their green and yellow coats of mail. Peach-houses, with the pink blossoms just bursting[111] into beauty, were succeeded by the fruit, first like vegetable grape-shot, and further on in great, luscious, velvet-coated spheroids at maturity, as it drops from the branches into netting spread to catch it.

In the peach-houses is one tree, fifteen feet high, and its branches extending on the walls a distance of over fifty feet, producing, some years, over a thousand peaches. Then there are strawberry-houses, apricot, vegetable, and even a house for mushrooms, besides the extensive kitchen gardens, in which every variety of ordinary vegetable is grown; all of these nurseries, gardens, hot-houses, and conservatories are well cared for, and kept in excellent order.

The great conservatory is said to have cost one hundred thousand pounds; it is heated by steam and hot water, and there are over six miles of piping in the building. The duke's table, whether he be here or at London, is supplied daily with rare fruits and the other products of these hot-beds of luxury.

But the reader will tire of reading, as does the visitor of viewing, the endless evidences of the apparently boundless wealth that almost staggers the conception of the American tourist fresh from home, with his ideas of what constitutes wealth and power in a republican country.

After having visited, as we have, one of the most magnificent modern palaces of one of the most princely of modern England's noblemen, it was a pleasant transition to ride over to one of the most perfect remnants of the habitations of her feudal nobility, Haddon Hall, situated in Derbyshire, a few miles from Chatsworth.

This fine old castellated building is one from which can be formed a correct idea of those old strongholds of the feudal lords of the middle ages; indeed, it is a remnant of one of those very strongholds, a crumbling picture of the past, rich in its fine old coloring of chivalry and romance, conjuring up many poetic fancies, and putting to flight others, by the practical realities that it presents in the shape of what would be now positive discomfort in our domestic life, but which, in those rude days, was magnificence.

[112] Haddon Hall is in fact a very fine example of an old baronial hall in ye times of old, and portions of the interior appear as though it had been preserved in the exact condition it was left by its knightly occupants three hundred years ago.

The embattled turrets of Haddon, rising above the trees, as it stood on its rocky platform, overlooking the little River Wye and the surrounding country, seemed only to be wanting the knightly banner fluttering above them, and we almost expected to see the flash of a spear-head in the sunlight, or the glitter of a steel helmet from the ancient but well-preserved walls. We climbed up the steep ascent to the great arched entrance, surmounted with the arms, in rude sculpture, of the Vernon family, who held the property for three centuries and a half; and beneath that arch, where warlike helmets, haughty brows, and beauteous ladies, the noblest and bravest blood of England have passed, passed we.

No warder's horn summons the man-at-arms to the battlements above; no drawbridge falls, with ringing clang, over the castle moat, or pointed portcullis slowly raises its iron fangs to admit us; but for hundreds of years have hundreds of feet pressed that threshold of stone—the feet of those of our own time, and of those who slumbered in the dust hundreds of years ere we trod the earth; and we mark, as we pass through the little door, cut through one of the broad leaves of the great gates, that in the stony threshold is the deep impression of a human foot, worn by the innumerable steppings that have been made upon the same spot by mailed heels, ladies' slippers, pilgrims' sandals, troopers' boots, or the leather and steel-clad feet of our own time. Passed the portal, and we were in the grand, open court-yard, with its quaint ornaments of stone carving, its stone pavement, and entrances to various parts of the building.

There is a picture, entitled "Coming of Age in the Olden Time," which is familiar to many of my readers, and which is still common in many of our print-stores; an engraving issued by one of the Scotch Art Unions, I believe, which was[113] brought forcibly to my mind, as I stood in this old court-yard of Haddon Hall, there were so many general features that were similar, and it required no great stretch of the imagination for me to place the young nobleman upon the very flight of steps he occupies in the picture, and to group the other figures in the parts of the space before me, which seemed the very one they had formerly occupied; but my dreams and imaginings were interrupted by a request to come and see what remained of the realities of the place.

First, there was the great kitchen, all of stone, its fireplace big enough to roast an ox; a huge rude table or dresser; the great trough, or sink, into which fresh water was conducted: and an adjoining room, with its huge chopping-block still remaining, was evidently the larder, and doubtless many a rich haunch of venison, or juicy baron of beef, has been trimmed into shape here. Another great vaulted room, down a flight of steps, was the beer cellar; and a good supply of stout ale was kept there, as is evinced by the low platform of stone-work all around, and the stone drain to carry off the drippings. Then there is the bake-house, with its moulding-stone and ovens, the store-rooms for corn, malt, &c., all indicating that the men of ye olden times liked good, generous living.

The Great Hall, as it is called, where the lord of the castle feasted with his guests, still remains, with its rough roof and rafters of oak, its minstrel gallery, ornamented with stags' antlers; and there, raised above the stone floor a foot or so, yet remains the dais, upon which rested the table at which sat the nobler guests; and here is the very table itself, three long, blackened oak planks, supported by rude X legs—the table that has borne the boars' heads, the barons of beef, gilded peacocks, haunches of venison, flagons of ale, and stoups of wine. Let us stand at its head, and look down the old baronial hall: it was once noisy with mirth and revelry, music and song: the fires from the huge fireplaces flashed on armor and weapons, faces and forms that have all long since crumbled into dust; and here is only left a cheerless, barn-like old room, thirty-five feet long and twenty-five wide,[114] with time-blackened rafters, and a retainers' room, or servants' hall, looking into it.

Up a massive staircase of huge blocks of stone, and we are in another apartment, a room called the dining-room, used for that purpose by more modern occupants of the Hall; and here we find portraits of Henry VII. and his queen, and also of the king's jester, Will Somers. Over the fireplace are the royal arms, and beneath them, in Old English character, the motto,—

Drede God, and honor the King.

Up stairs, six semicircular steps of solid oak, and we are in the long gallery, or ball-room, one hundred and ten feet long and eighteen wide, with immense bay-windows, commanding beautiful views, the sides of the room wainscoted in oak, and decorated with carvings of the boar's head and peacock, the crests of the Vernon and Manners families; carvings of roses and thistles also adorn the walls of this apartment, which was said to have been built in Queen Elizabeth's time, and there is a curious story told of the oaken floor, which is, that the boards were all cut from one tree that grew in the garden, and that the roots furnished the great semicircular steps that lead up to the room. The compartments of the bay-windows are adorned with armorial bearings of different owners of the place, and from them are obtained some of those ravishing landscape views for which England is so famous—silvery stream, spanned by rustic bridges, as it meandered off towards green meadows; the old park, with splendid group of oaks; the distant village, with its ancient church; and all those picturesque objects that contribute to make the picture perfect.

We now wend our way through other rooms, with the old Gobelin tapestry upon the walls, with the pictured story of Moses still distinct upon its wondrous folds, and into rooms comparatively modern, that have been restored, kept, and used within the past century. Here is one with furniture of green and damask, chairs and state bed, and hung with Gobe[115]lin tapestry, with Esop's fables wrought upon it. Here, again, the rude carving, massive oak-work, and ill-constructed joining, tell the olden time.

But we must not leave Haddon Hall without passing through the ante-room, as it is called, and out into the garden on Dorothy Vernon's Walk. On our way thither the guide lifts up occasionally the arras, or tapestry, and shows us those concealed doors and passages of which we have read so often in the books; and now that I think of it, it was here at Haddon Hall that many of the wild and romantic ideas were obtained by Mrs. Radcliff for that celebrated old-fashioned romance, "The Mysteries of Udolpho."

The "garden of Haddon," writes S. C. Hall, "has been, time out of mind, a treasure store of the English landscape painter, and one of the most favorite 'bits' being 'Dorothy Vernon's Walk,' and the door out of which tradition describes her as escaping to meet her lover, Sir John Manners, with whom she eloped." Haddon, by this marriage, became the property of the noble house of Rutland, who made it their residence till the commencement of the present century, when they removed to the more splendid castle of Belvoir; but to the Duke of Rutland the tourist and those who venerate antiquity, owe much for keeping this fine old place from "improvements," and so much of it in its original and ancient form.

That the landscape painters had made good and frequent use of the garden of Haddon I ascertained the moment I entered it. Dorothy's Walk, a fine terrace, shaded by limes and sycamores, leads to picturesque flights of marble steps, which I recognized as old friends that had figured in many a "flat" of theatrical scenery, upon many an act-drop, or been still more skilfully borrowed from, in effect, by the stage-carpenter and machinist in a set scene. Plucking a little bunch of wild-flowers from Dorothy's Walk, and a sprig of ivy from the steps down which she hurried in the darkness, while her friends were revelling in another part of the hall,[116] we bade farewell to old Haddon, with its quaint halls, its court-yards, and its terraced garden, amid whose venerable trees

"the air
Seems hallowed by the breath of other times."


Kenilworth Castle will in many respects disappoint the visitor, for its chief attraction is the interest with which Walter Scott has invested it in his vivid description of the Earl of Leicester's magnificent pageant on the occasion of the reception of his royal mistress, Queen Elizabeth. And the host of visitors who make the pilgrimage to this place, so hallowed by historical associations, may be classed as pilgrims doing homage to the genius of Scott. I find, on looking up Kenilworth's history, that it was here that "old John of Gaunt, time-honored Lancaster," dwelt; here also his son Bolingbroke, afterwards Henry IV., and Prince Hal, when he was a jovial, roistering sack-drinker; here Henry VI. retired during the Jack Cade rebellion; Richard III. has held high revel in the great hall; Henry VII. and bluff Hal VIII. have feasted there with their nobles; but, after all, the visitor goes to see the scene where, on the 9th of July, 1575, was such a magnificent fête as that described by the novelist.

We walked through the village and on towards the castle, through the charming English scenery I have described so often, the gardens gay with roses and the banks of the roadside rich with wild flowers, a fair blue sky above, and the birds joyous in the hedges and woods. This was the avenue that led towards the Gallery Tower, through which rode Elizabeth with a cavalcade illuminated by two hundred wax torches of Dudley's retainers, the blaze of which flashed upon her sparkling jewels as she rode in stately style upon her[117] milk-white charger—the avenue now a little rustic road, with a wealth of daisies on its banks; proudly rode Leicester at her side, who, Scott says, "glittered, like a golden image, with jewels and cloth of gold."

On we go to where the long bridge extended from the Gallery Tower to Mortimer's Tower, which the story tells us was light as day with the torches. A mass of crumbling ruins is all that remains of the two towers now; and after passing by the end of a great open space, known as the Tilt Yard, we come in sight of the principal ruins of the castle. We go through a little gateway,—Leicester's gateway; R. D. is carved on the porch above it,—and we are in the midst of the picturesque and crumbling walls, half shrouded in their green, graceful mantle of ivy. Here we find Cæsar's Tower, the Great Hall, Leicester's Buildings, the Strong Tower, which is the Mervyn's Tower of the story, the one into which the unfortunate Amy Robsart was conveyed while waiting for a visit from Leicester during the festivities of the royal visit.

The Great Hall was a room of magnificent dimensions, nearly one hundred feet long by fifty broad, and, as one may judge from its ruins, beautiful in design. One oriel of the many arched windows is a beautiful bit of picturesque ruin, and through it a most superb landscape view is commanded. You are shown "The Pleasance," the place in the little garden near the castle which was the scene of Queen Elizabeth's encounter with Amy Robsart, and which still is called by the same name. The part of the castle built by the Earl of Leicester in 1571, known as Leicester's Buildings, are crumbling to decay, and is far less durable than some of the other massive towers.

The outer walls of Kenilworth Castle encompassed an area of seven acres; but walls and tower, great hall and oriel, are now but masses of ruined masonry, half shrouded in a screen of ivy, and giving but a feeble idea of what the castle was in its days of pride, when graced by Queen Elizabeth and her court, and made such a scene of splendor and regal magnificence as to excite even the admiration of the sovereign[118] herself. Time has marked the proud castle with its ineffable signet, and notwithstanding the aid of imagination, Kenilworth seems but a mere ghost of the past.

From Kenilworth Castle we took train for Stratford-on-Avon,—the place which no American would think of leaving England without visiting,—a quiet little English town, but whose inns have yearly visitors from half the nations of the civilized world, pilgrims to this shrine of genius, the birthplace of him who wrote "not for a day, but all time." A quaint, old-fashioned place is Stratford, with here and there a house that might have been in existence during the poet's time; indeed, many were, for I halted opposite the grammar school, which was founded by Henry IV., and in which Will Shakespeare studied and was birched; the boys were out to play in the little square close, or court-yard, and as I entered through the squat, low doorway, which, like many of these old buildings in England, seems compressed or shrunk with age, I was surrounded by the whole troup of successors of Shakespeare, the gates closed, and my deliverance only purchased by payment of sixpence.

That antique relic of the past, the poet's birthplace, which we at once recognize from the numerous pictures we have seen of it, I stood before with a feeling akin to that of veneration—something like that which must fill the mind of a pilgrim who has travelled a weary journey to visit the shrine of some celebrated saint.

It is an odd, and old-fashioned mass of wood and plaster. The very means that have been taken to preserve it seem almost a sacrilege, the fresh paint upon the wood-work outside, that shone in the spring sunlight, the new braces, plaster and repairs here and there, give the old building the air of an old man, an octogenarian, say, who had discarded his old-time rags and tatters for a suit of new cloth cut in old style; but something must, of course, be done to preserve the structure from crumbling into the dust beneath the inexorable hand of time, albeit it was of substantial oak, filled in with plaster, but has undergone many "improvements" since the poet's time.

[119] The first room we visit in the house is the kitchen with its wide chimney, the kitchen in which John Shakespeare and his son Will so often sat, where he watched the blazing logs, and listened to strange legends of village gossips, or stories of old crones, or narratives of field and flood, and fed his young imagination to the full with that food which gave such lusty life to it in after years. Here was a big arm-chair—Shakespeare's chair, of course, as there was in 1820, when our countryman Washington Irving visited the place; but inasmuch as the real chair was purchased by the Princess Czartoryska in 1790, one cannot with a knowledge of this fact feel very enthusiastic over this.

From the kitchen we ascend into the room in which the poet was born—a low, rude apartment, with huge beams and plastered walls, and those walls one mosaic mass of pencilled autographs and inscriptions of visitors to this shrine of genius. One might spend hours in deciphering names, inscriptions, rhymes, aphorisms, &c., that are thickly written upon every square inch of space, in every style of chirography and in every language: even the panes of glass in the windows have not escaped, but are scratched all over with autographs by the diamond rings of visitors; and among these signatures I saw that of Walter Scott. At the side of the fireplace in this room is the well-known actor's pillar, a jamb of the fireplace thickly covered with the autographs of actors who have visited here; among the names I noticed the signatures of Charles Kean, Edmund Kean, and G. V. Brooke. Visitors are not permitted now to write upon any portion of the building, and are always closely accompanied by a guide, in order that no portion of it may be cut and carried away by relic-hunters.

The visitors' book which is kept here is a literary as well as an autographic curiosity; it was a matter of regret to me that I had only time to run over a few of the pages of its different volumes filled with the writing of all classes, from prince to peasant, and in every language and character, even those of Turkish, Hebrew, and Chinese. The following, I think, was from the pen of Prince Lucien:—


"The eye of genius glistens to admire
How memory hails the soul of Shakespeare's lyre.
One tear I'll shed to form a crystal shrine
For all that's grand, immortal, and divine."

And the following were furnished me as productions, the first of Washington Irving, and the second of Hackett, the well-known comedian, and best living representative of Falstaff:—

"Of mighty Shakespeare's birth the room we see;
The where he died in vain to find we try;
Useless the search, for all immortal he,
And those who are immortal never die."
"Shakespeare, thy name revered is no less
By us who often reckon, sometimes guess.
Though England claims the glory of thy birth,
None more appreciate thy page's worth,
None more admire thy scenes well acted o'er,
Than we of states unborn in ancient lore."

The room in which the poet was born remains very nearly in its original state, and, save a table, an ancient chair or two, and a bust of Shakespeare, is without furniture; but another upper room is devoted to the exhibition of a variety of interesting relics and mementos. Not the least interesting of these was the rude school desk, at which Master Will conned his lessons at the grammar school. A sadly-battered affair it was, with the little lid in the middle raised by rude leather hinges, and the whole of it hacked and cut in true school-boy style. Be it Shakespeare's desk or not, we were happy in the belief that it was, and sat down at it, thinking of the time when the young varlet crept "like a snail unwillingly to school," and longed for a release from its imprisonment, to bathe in the cool Avon's rippling waters, or start off on a distant ramble with his schoolmates to Sir Thomas Lucy's oak groves and green meadows.

Next we came to the old sign of "The Falcon," which swung over the hostelrie of that name at Bedford, seven miles from Stratford, where Shakespeare and his associates drank too deeply, as the story goes, which Washington Irving[121] reproduces in his charming sketch of Stratford-on-Avon in the Sketch Book. Here is Shakespeare's jug, from which David Garrick sipped wine at the Shakespeare Jubilee, held in 1758; an ancient chair from the Falcon Inn, called Shakespeare's Chair, and said to have been the one in which he sat when he held his club meetings there; Shakespeare's gold signet-ring, with the initials W. S., enclosed in a true-lover's knot. Among the interesting documents were a letter from Richard Quyney to Shakespeare, asking for a loan of thirty pounds, which is said to be the only letter addressed to Shakespeare known to exist; a "conveyance," dated October 15, 1579, from "John Shackspere and Mary his wyeffe" (Shakespeare's parents) "to Robt. Webbe, of their moitye of 2 messuages or tenements in Snitterfield;" an original grant of four yard lands, in Stratford fields, of William and John Combe to Shakespeare, in 1602; a deed with the autograph of Gilbert Shakespeare, brother of the poet, 1609; a declaration in an action in court of Shakespeare v. Philip Rogers, to recover a bill for malt sold by Shakespeare, 1604.

Then there were numerous engravings and etchings of various old objects of interest in and about Stratford, various portraits of the poet, eighteen sketches, illustrating the songs and ballads of Shakespeare, done by the members of the Etching Club, and presented by them to this collection. Among the portraits is one copied in crayon from the Chandos portrait, said to have been painted when Shakespeare was about forty-three, and one of the best portraits extant—an autographic document, bearing the signature of Sir Thomas Lucy, the original Justice Shallow, owner of the neighboring estate of Charlecote, upon which Shakespeare was arrested for deer-stealing. These, and other curious relics connected with the history of the poet, were to us possessed of so much interest that we quite wore out the patience of the good dame who acted as custodian, and she was relieved by her daughter, who was put in smiling good humor by our purchase of stereoscopic views at a shilling each, which can be had in London at sixpence, and chatted away merrily till we bade farewell to the poet's birth[122]place, and started off adown the pleasant village street for the little church upon the banks of the River Avon, which is his last resting-place.

However sentimental, poetical, or imaginative one may be, there comes a time when the cravings of appetite assert themselves; and vulgar and inappropriate as it was, we found ourselves exceedingly hungry here in Stratford, and we went into a neat bijou of a pastry cook's—we should call it a confectioner's shop in America, save that there was nothing but cakes, pies, bread, and pastry for sale. The little shop was a model of neatness and compactness. Half a dozen persons would have crowded the space outside the counter, which was loaded with fresh, lightly-risen sponge cakes, rice cakes, puffs, delicious flaky pastry, fruit tarts, the preserves in them clear as amber, fresh, white, close-grained English bread, and heaps of those appetizing productions of pure, unadulterated pastry, that the English pastry baker knows so well how to prepare. The bright young English girl, in red cheeks, modest dress, and white apron, who served us, was, to use an English expression, a very nice young person, and, in answer to our queries and praises of her wares, told us that herself and her mother did the fancy baking of pies and cakes, a man baker whom they employed doing the bread and heavy work. The gentry, the country round, were supplied from their shop. How long had they been there?

She and mother had always been there. The shop had been in the family over seventy years.

"Just like the English," said one of the party, aside. "It's not at all astonishing they make such good things, having had seventy years' practice."

And this little incident is an apt illustration of how a business is kept in one family, and in one place, generation after generation, in England; so different from our country, where the sons of the poor cobbler or humble artisan of yesterday may be the proud aristocrat of to-day.

There is nothing remarkable about the pleasant church of Stratford, which contains the poet's grave. It is situated near[123] the banks of the Avon, and the old sexton escorted us through an avenue of trees to its great Gothic door, which he unlocked, and we were soon before the familiar monument, which is in a niche in the chancel. It is the well-known, half-length figure, above which is his coat of arms, surmounted by a skull, and upon either side figures of Cupid, one holding an inverted torch, and the other a skull and a spade. Beneath the cushion, upon which the poet is represented as writing, is this inscription:—

"Jvdicio Pylivm Genio Socratem Arte Maronem Terra Tegit
Popvlvs Mœret Olympvs Habet.

"Stay, passenger; who goest thou by so fast?
Read, if thou canst, whom envious death has plast
Within this monument: Shakespeare, with whome
Qvicke natvre died; whose name doth deck ys tombe
Far more than cost; sith all yt he hath writt
Leaves living art but page to serve his witt.
"Obiit Ano Doi, 1616.
Ætatis 53, Die 23 Ap."

This half-length figure, we are told, was originally painted after nature, the eyes being hazel, and the hair and beard auburn, the dress a scarlet doublet, slashed on the breast, over which was a loose, sleeveless black gown; but in 1793 it was painted all over white.

In front of the altar-rails, upon the second step leading to the altar, are the gravestones (marble slabs) of the Shakespeare family, among them a slab marking the resting-place of his wife, Anne (Anne Hathaway); and the inscription tells us that

"Here lyeth interred the body of Anne,
wife of William Shakspeare, who depted this life the
6th day of Avg: 1623, being of the age of 67 years."

Another slab marks the grave of Thomas Nash, who married the only daughter of the poet's daughter Susanna, one that of her father, Dr. John Hall, and another that of Susanna herself; the slab bearing the poet's celebrated epitaph is, of course, that which most holds the attention of the visitor, and as he[124] reads the inscription which has proved such a safeguard to the remains of its author, he cannot help feeling something of awe the epitaph is so threatening, so almost like a malediction.

"Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare:
Bleste be ye man yt spares thes stones,
And cursed be he yt moves my bones."

And it is doubtless the unwillingness to brave Shakespeare's curse that has prevented the removal of the poet's remains to Westminster Abbey, and the fear of it that will make the little church, in the pleasant little town of Stratford, his last resting-place. I could not help noticing, while standing beside the slab that marked the poet's grave, how that particular slab had been respected by the thousands of feet that had made their pilgrimage to the place; for while the neighboring slabs and pavement were worn from the friction of many feet, this was comparatively fresh and rough as when first laid down, no one caring to trample upon the grave of Shakespeare, especially after having read the poet's invocation,—

"Bleste be ye man yt spares thes stones;"

and so with uncovered head and reverential air he passes around it and not over it, although no rail or guard bars his steps,—that one line of magic power a more effectual bar than human hand could now place there.

The little shops in the quaint little streets of Stratford, all make the most of that which has made their town famous; and busts of Shakespeare, pictures, carvings, guide-books, engravings, and all sorts of mementos to attract the attention of visitors, are displayed in their windows. A china ware store had Shakespeare plates and dishes, with pictorial representations of the poet's birthplace, Stratford church, &c., upon them, so that those inclined could have Shakespeare plates from sixpence to three shillings each, illustrating their visit here.

How often I had read of the old feudal barons of Warwick,[125] and their warlike deeds, which occupy so conspicuous a place in England's history! There were the old Saxon earls, and, most famous of all, the celebrated Guy, that every school-boy has read of, who was a redoubtable warrior in the time of Alfred the Great, and doubtless has in history grown in height as his deeds have in wonder, for he is stated to have been a Saxon giant nine feet high, killed a Saracen giant in single combat, slain a wild boar, a green dragon, and an enormous dun cow, although why killing a cow was any evidence of a warrior's prowess I am unable to state. But we saw at the porter's lodge, at the castle, as all tourists do (and I write it as all tourists do), a big rib of something,—it would answer for a whale or elephant,—which we were told was the rib of the cow aforesaid; also some of the bones of the boar; but when I asked the old dame, who showed the relics, if any of the scales of the dragon, or if any of his teeth, had been preserved, she said,—

"The dragon story mightn't be true; but 'ere we 'ave the cow's ribs and the boar's bones, and there's no disputin' them, you see."

So we didn't dispute them, nor the great tilting-pole, breastplate, and fragments of armor said to have belonged to Guy, or the huge porridge-pot made of bronze or bell-metal, which holds ever so many gallons, and which modern Earls of Warwick sometimes use on great occasions to brew an immense jorum of punch in. Guy's sword, which I took an experimental swing of, required an exercise of some strength, and both hands, to make it describe a circle above my head, and must have been a trenchant blade in the hands of one able to wield it effectively.

Old Guy was by no means the only staunch warrior of the Earls of Warwick. There was one who died in the Holy Land in 1184; another, who stood by King John in all his wars with the barons; another, who was captured in his castle; another, Guy de Beauchamp, who fought for the king bravely in the battle of Falkirk; and another, who, under the Black Prince, led the van of the English army at Cressy, and[126] fought bravely at Poietiers, till his galled hand refused to grasp his battle-axe, and who went over to France and saved a suffering English army at Calais in 1369, and many others, who have left the impress of their deeds upon the pages of history.

The old town of Warwick dates its foundation about A. D. 50, and its castle in 916. Staying at the little old-fashioned English inn, the Warwick Arms, two of us had to dine in solemn state alone in a private room, the modern style of a table d'hote not being introduced in that establishment, which, although well ordered, scrupulously neat and comfortable, nevertheless, in furniture and general appearance, reminded one of the style of thirty years ago.

Of course the lion of Warwick is the castle, and to that old stronghold we wend our way. The entrance is through a large gateway, and we pass up through a roadway or approach to the castle, which is cut through the solid rock for a hundred yards or more, and emerging into the open space, come suddenly in view of the walls and magnificent round cylindrical towers.

First there is Guy's Tower, with its walls ten feet thick, its base thirty feet in diameter, and rising to a height of one hundred and twenty-eight feet; Cæsar's Tower, built in the time of the Norman conquest, eight hundred years old, still strong and in good preservation, and between these two the strong castle walls, of the same description that appear in all pictures of old castles, with the spaces for bowmen and other defenders; towers, arched gateways, portcullis, double walls, and disused moat attest the former strength of this noted fortification.

As the visitor passes through the gate of the great walls, and gets, as it were, into the interior of the enclosure, with the embattled walls, the turrets and towers on every side of him, he sees that the castle is a tremendous one, and its occupant, when it was in its prime, might have exclaimed with better reason than Macbeth, "Our castle's strength will laugh a siege to scorn."

[127] The scene from the interior is at once grand and romantic, the velvet turf and fine old trees in the spacious area of the court-yard harmonize well with the time-browned, ivy-clad towers and battlements, and a ramble upon the broad walk that leads around the latter is fraught with interest. We stood in the little sheltered nooks, from which the cross-bowmen and arquebusiers discharged their weapons; we looked down into the grass-grown moat, climbed to the top of Guy's Tower, and saw the charming landscape; went below Cæsar's Tower into the dismal dungeons where prisoners were confined and restrained by an inner grating from even reaching the small loophole that gave them their scanty supply of light and air; and here we saw where some poor fellow had laboriously cut in the rock, as near the light as he could, the record of his weary confinement of years, with a motto attached, in quaint style of spelling; and finally, after visiting grounds, towers, and walls, went into the great castle proper, now kept in repair, elegantly furnished and rich in pictures, statues, arms, tapestry, and antiquities.

The first apartment we entered was the entrance, or Great Hall, which was hung with elegant armor of all ages, of rare and curious patterns: the walls of this noble hall, which is sixty-two feet by forty, are wainscoted with fine old oak, embrowned with age, and in the Gothic roofing are carved the Bear and Ragged Staff of Robert Dudley's crest; also, the coronet and shields of the successive earls from the year 1220. Among the curiosities here were numerous specimens of old-fashioned fire-arms, and one curious old-fashioned revolving pistol, made two hundred years before Colt's pistols were invented, and which I was assured the American repeatedly visited before he perfected the weapon that bears his name. The same story, however, was afterwards told me about an old revolver in the Tower of London, and I think also in another place in England, and the exhibitors seemed to think Colonel Colt had only copied an old English affair that they had thrown aside: however, this did not ruffle my national pride to any great degree, inasmuch as I ascertained[128] that about all leading American inventions of any importance are regarded by these complacent Britons as having had their origin in their "tight little island." There were the English steel cross-bows, which must have projected their bolts with tremendous forces; splendid Andrea Ferrara rapiers, weapons three hundred years old, and older, of exquisite temper and the most beautiful and intricate workmanship, inlaid with gold and silver, and the hilt and scabbards of elegant steel filigree work. Among the curious relics was Cromwell's helmet, the armor worn by the Marquis Montrose when he led the rebellion, Prince Rupert's armor, a gun from the battle-field of Marston Moor, a quilted armor jacket of King John's soldiers; magnificent antlered stags' heads are also suspended from the walls, while from the centre of the hall one can see at a single glance through the whole of the grand suite of apartments, a straight line of three hundred and thirty feet. From the great Gothic windows you look down below, one hundred and twenty feet distant, to the River Avon, and over an unrivalled picturesque landscape view—another evidence that those old castle-builders had an eye to the beautiful as well as the substantial. Looking from this great hall to the end of a passage, we saw Vandyke's celebrated picture of Charles I. on horseback, with baton in hand, one end resting upon his thigh. I had seen copies of it a score of times, but the life-like appearance of the original made me inclined to believe in the truth of the story that Sir Joshua Reynolds once offered five hundred guineas for it. Vandyke appears to have been a favorite with the earl, as there are many of his pictures in the ravishing collection that adorns the apartments of the castle.

The apartments of the castle are all furnished in exquisite taste, some with rich antique furniture, harmonizing with the rare antiques, vases, cabinets, bronzes, and china that is scattered through them in rich profusion, and to attempt to give a detailed description would require the space of a volume. The paintings, however, cannot fail to attract the attention, although the time allowed to look at them is little[129] short of aggravation. There is a Dutch Burgomaster, by Rembrandt; the Wife of Snyder, by Vandyke, a beautiful painting; Spinola, by Rubens; the Family of Charles I., by Vandyke; Circe, by Guido; A Lady, by Sir Peter Lely; a Girl blowing Bubbles, by Murillo; a magnificently executed full-length picture of Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, originally painted by Rubens for the Jesuits' College of Antwerp, and so striking as to exact exclamations of admiration even from those inexperienced in art. One lovely little room, called the Boudoir, is perfectly studded with rare works of art—Henry VIII. by Hans Holbein, Barbara Villiers by Lely, Boar Hunt by Rubens, A Saint by Andrea del Sarto, Road Scene by Teniers, Landscape by Salvator Rosa. Just see what a feast for the lover of art even these comparatively few works of the great masters afford; and the walls of the rooms were crowded with them, the above being only a few selected at random, as an indication of the priceless value of the collection.

In the Red Drawing-room we saw a grand Venetian mirror in its curious and rich old frame, a rare cabinet of tortoise shell and ivory, buhl tables of great richness, and a beautiful table that once belonged to Marie Antoinette, besides ancient bronzes, Etruscan vases, &c. In the Cedar Drawing-room stood Hiram Powers's bust of Proserpina, and superb tables bearing rare vases and specimens of wonderful enamelled work, and a species of singular china and glass ware, in which raised metal figures appeared upon the surface, made by floating the copper and other metal upon glass—now a lost art. An elegant dish of this description was shown to us, said to be worth over a thousand pounds—a costly piece of plate, indeed.

We now come to the Gilt Drawing-room, so called because the walls and ceiling are divided off into panels, richly gilt. The walls of this room are glorious with the works of great artists—Vandyke, Murillo, Rubens, Sir Peter Lely. Rich furniture, and a wonderful Venetian table, known as the "Grimani Table," of elegant mosaic work, also adorn the[130] apartment. In an old-fashioned square room, known as the State Bedroom, is the bed and furniture of crimson velvet that formerly belonged to Queen Anne. Here are the table that she used, and her huge old travelling trunks, adorned with brass-headed nails, with which her initials are wrought upon the lid, while above the great mantel is a full-length portrait of Anne, in a rich brocade dress, wearing the collar of the Order of the Garter, painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller.

The great dining-hall, besides some fine pictures and ancient Roman busts, contains a remarkable piece of modern workmanship, which is known as the "Kenilworth Buffet," and which we should denominate a large sideboard. It is an elaborate and magnificent specimen of wood-carving, and was manufactured by Cookes & Son, of Warwick, and exhibited in the great exhibition of 1851. The wood from which it was wrought was an oak tree which grew on the Kenilworth estate, and which, from its great age, is supposed to have been standing when Queen Elizabeth made her celebrated visit to the castle. Carvings upon it represent the entry of Queen Elizabeth, surrounded by her train, Elizabeth's meeting with Amy Robsart in the grotto, the interview between the queen and Leicester, and other scenes from Scott's novel of Kenilworth; also carved figures of the great men of the time—Sidney, Raleigh, Shakespeare, and Drake, and the arms of the Leicester family, and the crest, now getting familiar, of the Bear and Ragged Staff, with other details, such as water-flowers, dolphins, &c. This sideboard was presented by the town and county of Warwick to the present earl on his wedding day.

But we must not linger too long in these interesting halls of the old feudal barons, or before their rich treasures of art. Time is not even given one to sit, and study, and drink in, as it were, the wondrous beauty and exquisite finish of the artistic gems on their walls; so we take a parting glance at Tenier's Guard-room, the Duchess of Parma by Paul Veronese, Murillo's Court Jester, a splendidly-executed picture of Leicester by Sir Anthony Moore, the Card-players by Teniers,[131] the Flight into Egypt by Rubens, a magnificent marble bust, by Chantrey, of Edward the Black Prince, in which the nobleness and generosity of that brave warrior were represented so strikingly as to make you almost raise your hat to it in passing. Before leaving we were shown the old "warder's horn," with the bronze chain by which it was in old times suspended at the outer gate of the castle; and as I grasped it, and essayed in vain to extract a note beyond an exhausted sort of groan from its bronze mouth, I remembered the many stories in which a warder's horn figures, in poem, romance, history, and fable. I think even Jack the Giant killer blew one at the castle gate of one of his huge adversaries. An inscription on the Warwick horn gives the date of 1598.

Leaving the apartments of the castle, and passing through a portcullis in one of the walls, and over a bridge thrown across the moat, we proceeded to the green-house, rich in rare flowers and plants, and in the centre of which stands the far-famed Warwick Vase. The shape of this vase is familiar to all from the innumerable copies of it that have been made. It is of pure white marble, executed after pure Grecian design, and is one of the finest specimens of ancient sculpture in existence. While looking upon its exquisite proportions and beautiful design, we can hardly realize that, compared with it in years, old Warwick Castle itself is a modern structure. The description of it states the well-known fact that it was found at the bottom of a lake near Tivoli, by Sir William Hamilton, then ambassador at the court of Naples, from whom it was obtained by the Earl of Warwick. Its shape is circular, and its capacity one hundred and thirty-six gallons. Its two large handles are formed of interwoven vine-branches, from which the tendrils, leaves, and clustering grapes spread around the upper margin. The middle of the body is enfolded by a panther skin, with head and claws elegantly cut and finished. Above are the heads of satyrs, bound with wreaths of ivy, the vine-clad spear of Bacchus, and the well-known crooked staff of the Augurs.

Leaving the depository of the vase, we sauntered out be[132]neath the shade of the great trees, and looked across the velvet lawn to the gentle Avon flowing in the distance, and went on till we gained a charming view of the river front of the castle, with its towers and old mill, the ruined arches of an old bridge, and an English church tower rising in the distance, forming one of those pictures which must be such excellent capital for the landscape painter. On the banks of the Avon, and in the park of the castle, we were shown some of the dark old cedars of Lebanon, brought home, or grown from those brought home, from the Holy Land by the Warwick and his retainers who wielded their swords there against the infidel.

Some of the quiet old streets of Warwick seemed, from their deserted appearance, to be almost uninhabited, were it not for here and there a little shop, and the general tidy, swept-up appearance of everything. A somnolent, quaint, aristocratic old air seemed to hang over them, and I seemed transported to some of those quiet old streets at the North End, in Boston, or Salem of thirty years ago, which were then untouched by the advance of trade, and sacred to old residents, old families, whose stone door-stoops were spotlessly clean, whose brass door-knobs and name-plates shone like polished gold, and whose neat muslin curtains at the little front windows were fresh, airy, and white as the down of a thistle.

I stopped at a little shop in Warwick to make a purchase, and the swing of the door agitated a bell that was attached to it, and brought out, from a little sombre back parlor, the old lady, in a clean white cap, who waited upon occasional customers that straggled in as I did. How staid, and quaint, and curious these stand-still old English towns, clinging to their customs half a century old, seem to us restless, uneasy, and progressive Yankees!

Our next ramble was down one of these quiet old streets to the ancient hospital, founded by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in 1571, for a "master and twelve brethren," the brethren to be either deserving retainers of the earl's family, or those who had been wounded under the conduct of Leicester[133] or his heirs. These "brethren" are now appointed from Warwick and Gloucester, and have an allowance of eighty pounds, besides the privilege of the house. The edifice is a truly interesting building, and is one of the very few that escaped a general conflagration of the town of Warwick in 1694, and is at this time one of the most perfect specimens of the half-timber edifices which exist in the country. Quaint and curious it looks indeed, massive in structure, brown with age, a wealth of useless lumber about it, high-pointed overhanging gables, rough carvings along the first story, a broad, low archway of an entrance, the oak trimmings hardened like iron, and above the porch the crest of the Bear and Ragged Staff, the initials R. L., and the date 1571.

And only to think of the changes that three hundred years have wrought in the style of architecture, as well as comfort and convenience in dwelling-houses, or in structures like this! We were almost inclined to laugh at the variegated carving of the timber-work upon the front of this odd relic of the past, as suggestive of a sign of an American barber's shop, but which, in its day, was doubtless considered elegant and artistic.

It stands a trifle raised above the street, upon a sort of platform, and the sidewalk of the street itself here passes under the remains of an old tower, built in the time of Richard II., and said to have been on the line of walls of defence of the city. The hinges, on which the great gate of this part of the fortification were hung, are still visible, and pointed out to visitors.

Let us enter Leicester's magnificent hospital, an ostentatious charity in 1571; but how squat, odd, and old-fashioned did the low-ceiled little rooms look now! how odd the passages were formed! what quaint, curious old windows! how rich the old wood-work looked, saturated with the breath of time! and here was the great kitchen, with its big fireplace—the kitchen where a mug of beer a day, I think, is served, and where the "brethren" are allowed to smoke their long, clay pipes; a row of their beer tankards (what a national bev[134]erage beer is in England!) glittered on the dresser. Here also hung the uniform which the "brethren" are obliged by statute always to wear when they go out, which consists of a handsome blue broadcloth gown, with a silver badge of a Bear and Ragged Staff suspended on the left sleeve behind. These badges, now in use, are the identical ones that were worn by the first brethren appointed by Lord Leicester, and the names of the original wearers, and the date, 1571, are engraved on the back of each; one only of these badges was ever lost, and that about twenty-five years ago, when it cost five guineas to replace it. In what was once the great hall is a tablet, stating that King James I. was once sumptuously entertained there by Sir Fulke Greville, and no doubt had his inordinate vanity flattered, as his courtiers were wont to do, and his gluttonous appetite satisfied. Sitting in the very chair he occupied when there, I did not feel that it was much honor to occupy the seat of such a learned simpleton as Elizabeth's successor proved to be.

Very interesting relics were the two little ancient pieces of embroidery preserved here, which were wrought by the fair fingers of the ill-fated Amy Robsart, wife of Leicester; one a fragment of satin, with the everlasting Bear and Staff wrought upon it, and the other a sort of sampler, the only authentic relic of anything belonging to this unhappy lady known to exist.

At the rear of the hospital is a fine old kitchen garden, in which the brethren each have a little portion set apart to cultivate themselves, and where they can also enjoy a quiet smoke and a fine view at the same time; and this hospital is the most enduring monument that Leicester has left behind him: his once magnificent abode at Kenilworth is but a heap of ruins, and the proud estate, a property of over twenty miles in circumference, wrested from him by the government of his time, never descended to his family. Mentioning monuments to Leicester, however, reminds us of the pretentious one erected to him in the chapel of St. Mary's Church, which we visited, in Warwick, known as the Beauchamp Chapel, and[135] which all residents of these parts denominate the "Beechum" Chapel—named from the first Earl of Warwick of the Norman line, the founder (Beauchamp).

The chapel is an elegant structure, the interior being fifty-eight feet long, twenty-five wide, and thirty-two high. Over the doorway, on entering, we see the arms of Beauchamp, supported on each side by sculptures of the Bear, Ragged Staff, oak leaves, &c. The fine old time-blackened seats of oak are richly and elaborately carved, and above, in the groined roof, are carved shields, bearing the quarterings of the Earls of Warwick; but the great object of interest is the tomb of the great Earl of Warwick, which this splendid chapel was built to enshrine. It is a large, square, marble structure, situated in the centre of the building, elegantly and elaborately carved with ornamental work, and containing, in niches, fourteen figures of lords and ladies, designed to represent relatives of the deceased, while running around the edge, cut into brass, is the inscription, in Old English characters. Upon the top of this tomb lies a full-length bronze or brass effigy of the great earl, sheathed in full suit of armor,—breastplate, cuishes, greaves, &c.,—complete in all its details, and finished even to the straps and fastenings; the figure is not attached, but laid upon the monument, and its back is finished as perfectly as the front in all its equipments and correctness of detail. The head, which is uncovered, rests upon the helmet, and the feet of the great metal figure upon a bear and a griffin. Above this recumbent figure is a sort of rail-work of curved strips and thick transverse rods of brass, over which, in old times, hung a pall, or curtain, to shield this wondrous effigy from the dust; and a marvel of artistic work it is, one of the finest works of the kind of the middle ages in existence, for the earl died in 1439; and another curious relic must be the original agreement or contract for its construction, which, I was told, is still in existence.

Robert Dudley, Queen Elizabeth's Leicester, has an elaborately-executed monument in the chapel, consisting of a sort of altar-tomb, beneath a canopy supported by Corinthian[136] pillars. Upon the tomb are recumbent effigies of Leicester and his Countess Lettice, while an inscription sets forth the many titles of the deceased, and concludes that, "his most sorrowful wife, Lætitia, through a sense of conjugal love and fidelity, hath put up this monument to the best and dearest of husbands."

I have heard of the expression "lying like a tombstone," before I ever saw Robert Dudley's monument; but it seemed now that I must be before the very one from whence the adage was derived, unless all of that which is received by the present generation as the authentic history of this man and the age in which he lived be thrown aside as a worthless fable. Indeed, there were those of the generation fifty years ago who felt an equal contempt at this endeavor to send a lie down to posterity, for in an odd old, well-thumbed volume of a History of the Town of Warwick, published in 1815, which I found lying in one of the window-seats of the Warwick Arms, where I seated myself to wait for dinner on my return, I found this passage, which is historical truth and justice concentrated into such a small compass, that I transferred it at once into my note-book. Having referred to the Earl of Leicester's (Robert Dudley's) monument, the writer goes on as follows:—

"Under the arch of this grand monument is placed a Latin inscription, which proclaims the honors bestowed with profusion, but without discernment, upon the royal favorite, who owed his future solely to his personal attractions, for of moral worth or intellectual ability he had none. Respecting his two great military employments, here so powerfully set forth, prudence might have recommended silence, since on one occasion he acquired no glory, as he had no opportunity, and on the other the opportunity he had he lost, and returned home covered with deep and deserved disgrace. That he should be celebrated, even on a tomb, for conjugal affection and fidelity, must be thought still more remarkable by those who recollect that, according to every appearance of probability, he poisoned his first wife, disowned his second, dishonored[137] his third before he married her, and, in order to marry her, murdered her former husband. To all this it may be added, that his only surviving son, an infant, was a natural child, by Lady Sheffield. If his widowed countess did really mourn, as she here affects, it is believed that into no other eye but hers, and perhaps that of his infatuated queen, did a single tear stray, when, September 4, 1588, he ended a life, of which the external splendor, and even the affected piety and ostentatious charity, were but vain endeavors to conceal or soften the black enormity of its guilt and shame."

In the chapel are monuments to others of the Warwicks, including one to Leicester's infant son, who is said to have been poisoned by his nurse at three years of age, and who is called, on his tomb, "the noble Impe Robert of Dudley," and another to Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, brother to Leicester, and honorably distinguished, as a man, for his virtues, as the other for his crimes.

We go from Warwick to Oxford by rail; but I must not omit to mention that in one of our excursions not far from Warwick, as the train stopped at Rugby junction, the "Mugby junction" that Dickens has described, we visited the refreshment-room, and got some very good sandwiches, and were very well served by the young ladies at the counter; indeed, Dickens's sketch has been almost as good an advertisement for the "Mugby sandwiches" as Byron's line, "Thine incomparable oil, Macassar," was for Rowland's ruby compound; and the young ladies have come to recognize Americans by their invariably purchasing sandwiches, and their inquiry, "Where is the boy?"

From Warwick, on our way to Oxford, we passed near Edgehill, the scene of the first battle of Charles I. against his Parliament, and halted a brief period at Banbury, where an accommodating English gentleman sought out and sent us one of the venders of the noted "Banbury cakes," and who informed us that the Banbury people actually put up, a few years ago, a cross, that is now standing there, from the fact that so many travellers stopped in the town to[138] see the Banbury Cross mentioned in the rhyme of their childhood,—

"Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
To see an old woman get on a white horse,"—

who, before it was erected, went away disappointed at not seeing what they had set down in their minds was the leading feature of the town, thinking that they had, in some way or other, been imposed upon by not finding any one in the place who knew of it, or cared to show it to them.

But we will leave the old town of Warwick behind us, for a place still more interesting to the American tourist—a city which contains one of the oldest and most celebrated universities in Europe; a city where Alfred the Great once lived; which was stormed by William the Conqueror; where Richard the Lion-hearted was born; and where, in the reign of Bloody Mary, Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer were burned at the stake; through whose streets the victorious parliamentary army marched, with drums beating and colors flying, after the battle of Naseby—Oxford.

Oxford, that Hughes's Tom Brown at Oxford has made the youngsters of the present day long to see; Oxford, that figures in so many of the English novels; Oxford, where Verdant Green, in the novel, had so many funny experiences; Oxford, where the "Great Tom"—a bell spoken of in story-books and nursery rhymes—is; and a thousand other things that have made these celebrated old cities a sort of dreamland to us in America, who have longed to see the curious relics of the past with which they are crammed, and walk amid those scenes, the very descriptions of which fill one's mind with longings or pleasant anticipations as we hang over the printed pages that describe them.

We rode in our cab to the old Mitre Tavern, and a very old-fashioned place it is. Indeed, to the tourist, one of the lions of the place will be the "Mitre." The first thing noticeable upon entering the low-linteled front entrance of this first-class Oxford hotel was a framework of meat-hooks[139] overhead, along one side of the ceiling of the whole entrance corridor; and upon these were suspended mutton, beef, game, poultry, &c.; in fact, a choice display of the larder of the establishment. I suppose this is the English "bill of fare," for they have no way here of letting guests know what they can have served at the table, other than through the servant who waits upon you; and his assortment, one often finds, dwindles down to the everlasting "chops," "'am and heggs," or "roast beef," "mutton," and perhaps "fowls."

The cooking at the Mitre is unexceptionable, as, indeed, it is generally in all inns throughout England. The quality of the meats, the bread, the ale, the wines, in fact everything designed for the palate at this house is of the purest and best quality, and such as any gastronomist will, after testing them, cherish with fond recollections; but the other accommodations are of the most old-fashioned style. The hotel seems to be a collection of old dwellings, with entrances cut through the walls, judging from the quaint, crooked, dark passages, some scarcely wide enough for two persons to pass each other in, and the little low-ceiled rooms, with odd, old-fashioned furniture, such as we used to see in our grandfathers' houses forty years ago—solid mahogany four-post bedsteads, with chintz spreads and curtains; old black mahogany brass-trimmed bureaus; wash-stands, with a big hole cut to receive the huge crockery wash-bowl, which held a gallon; feather beds, and old claw-footed chairs.

This is the solid, old-fashioned comfort (?) an Englishman likes. Furthermore, you have no gas fixtures in your room. Gas in one's sleeping-room is said by hotel-keepers in England to be unhealthy, possibly because it might prevent a regulation in the charge for light which the use of candles affords. Upon my ringing the bell, and asking the chambermaid who responded—waiters and bell-boys never "answer a bell" here—for a lighter and more airy room than the little, square, one-windowed, low-ceiled apartment which was assigned me, I was informed that the said one-windowed box was the same that Lord Sophted "halways 'ad when he was down to Hoxford."

[140] Notwithstanding this astounding information, to the surprise of the servant, I insisted upon a different room, and was assigned another apartment, which varied from the first by having two windows instead of one. The fact that Sir Somebody Something, or Lord Nozoo, has occupied a room, or praised a brand of wine, or the way a mutton chop was cooked, seems to be in England the credit mark that is expected to pass it, without question, upon every untitled individual who shall thereafter presume to call for it; and the look of unmitigated astonishment which the servant will bestow upon an "Hamerican" who dares to assert that any thing of the kind was not so good as he was accustomed to, and he must have better, is positively amusing. Americans are, however, beginning to be understood in this respect by English hotel-keepers, and are generally put in the best apartments—and charged the best prices.

It would be an absurdity, in the limits permissible in a series of sketches like these, to attempt a detailed description of Oxford and its colleges; for there are more than a score of colleges, besides the churches, halls, libraries, divinity schools, museums, and other buildings connected with the university. There are some rusty old fellows, who hang round the hotels, and act as guides to visitors, showing them over a route that takes in all the principal colleges, and the way to the libraries, museums, &c. One of these walking encyclopedists of the city, as he proved to be, became our guide, and we were soon in the midst of those fine old monuments of the reverence for learning of past ages. Only think of visiting a college founded by King Alfred, or another whose curious carvings and architecture are of the twelfth century, or another founded by Edward II. in 1326, or going into the old quadrangle of All Souls College, through the tower gateway built A. D. 1443, or the magnificent pile of buildings founded by Cardinal Wolsey, the design, massive structure, and ornamentation of which were grand for his time, and give one some indication of the ideas of that ambitious prelate.

[141] The college buildings are in various styles of architecture, from the twelfth century down to the present time, most of them being built in form of a hollow square, the centre of the square being a large, pleasant grass plot, or quadrangle, upon which the students' windows opened. Entrance to these interiors or quadrangles is obtained through a Gothic or arched gateway, guarded by a porter in charge. The windows of the students' rooms were gay with many-colored flowers, musical with singing birds hung up in cages, while the interior of some that we glanced into differed but very little from those of Harvard University, each being fitted or decorated to suit the taste of the occupant.

In some of the old colleges, the rooms themselves were quaint and oddly-shaped as friars' cells; others large, luxurious, and airy. Nearly all were entered through a vestibule, and had an outer door of oak, or one painted in imitation of oak; and when this door is closed, the occupant is said to be "sporting his oak" which signifies that he is studying, busily engaged, and not at home to any one. There were certain quarters also more aristocratic than others, where young lordlings—who were distinguished by the gold in their hatbands from the untitled students—most did congregate. The streets and shops of Oxford indicated the composition of its population. You meet collegians in gowns and trencher caps, snuffy old professors, with their silk gowns flying out behind in the wind, young men in couples, young men in stunning outfits, others in natty costumes, others artistically got up, tradesmen's boys carrying bundles of merchandise, and washer or char women, in every direction in the vicinity of the colleges.

Splendid displays are made in the windows of tailors' and furnishing goods stores—boating uniforms, different articles of dress worn as badges, stunning neck-ties, splendidly got up dress boots, hats, gloves, museums of canes, sporting whips, cricket bats, and thousands of attractive novelties to induce students to invest loose cash, or do something more common, "run up a bill;" and if these bills are sometimes not paid[142] till years afterwards, the prices charged for this species of credit are such as prove remunerative to the tradesmen, who lose much less than might be supposed, as men generally make it a matter of principle to pay their college debts.

The largest and most magnificent of the quadrangles is that of Christ Church College. It is two hundred and sixty-four feet by two hundred and sixty-one, and formed part of the original design of Wolsey, who founded this college. This noble quadrangle is entered through a great gate, known as Tom Gate, from the tower above it, which contains the great bell of that name, the Great Tom of Oxford, which weighs seventeen thousand pounds. I ascended the tower to see this big tocsin, which was exhibited to me with much pride by the porter, as being double the weight of the great bell in St. Paul's, in London, and upon our descending, was shown the rope by which it was rung, being assured that, notwithstanding the immense weight of metal, it was so hung that a very moderate pull would sound it. Curiosity tempted me, when the porter's back was turned, to give a smart tug at the rope, which swung invitingly towards my hand; and the pull elicited a great boom of bell metal above that sounded like a musical artillery discharge, and did not tend to render the custodian desirous of prolonging my visit at that part of the college.

The dining-hall of Christ Church College is a notable apartment, and one that all tourists visit; it is a noble hall, one hundred and thirteen feet by forty, and fifty feet in height. The roof is most beautifully carved oak, with armorial bearings, and decorations of Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey, and was executed in 1529. Upon the walls hangs the splendid collection of original portraits, which is one of its most interesting features, many of them being works of great artists, and representations of those eminent in the history of the university. Here hangs Holbein's original portrait of King Henry VIII.,—from which all the representations of the bluff polygamist that we are accustomed to see are taken,—Queen Elizabeth's portrait, that of Cardinal Wolsey,[143] Bishop Fell, Marquis Wellesley, John Locke, and over a hundred others of "old swells, bishops, and lords chiefly, who have endowed the college in some way," as Tom Brown says.

Indeed, many of the most prominent men of English history have studied at Oxford—Sir Walter Raleigh, the Black Prince, Hampden, Butler, Addison, Wycliffe, Archbishop Laud, and statesmen, generals, judges, and authors without number. Long tables and benches are ranged each side of the room; upon a dais at its head, beneath the great bow window, and Harry VIII.'s picture, is a sort of privileged table, at which certain officers and more noble students dine on the fat of the land. Next comes the table of the "gentleman commoners," a trifle less luxuriously supplied, and at the foot of the hall "the commoners," whose pewter mugs and the marked difference in the style of their table furniture indicate the distinctions of title, wealth, and poor gentlemen.

After a peep at the big kitchen of this college, which has been but slightly altered since the building was erected, and which itself was the first one built by Wolsey in his college, we turned our steps to that grand collection of literary wealth—the Bodleian Library.

The literary wealth of this library, in one sense, is almost incalculable. I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of Dr. Hachman, a graduate of the university and one of the librarians, and through his courtesy enabled to see many of the rare treasures of this priceless collection, that would otherwise have escaped our notice.

Here we looked upon the first Latin Bible ever printed, the first book printed in the English language, by Caxton, at Bruges, in 1472, and the first English Bible, printed by Miles Coverdale. Here was the very book that Pope Gregory sent to Augustin when he went to convert the Britons, and which may have been the same little volume that he held in his hand when he pleaded the faith of the Redeemer to the Saxon King Ethelbert, whom he converted from his idolatrous belief twelve hundred years ago. I looked with something like veneration upon a little shelf containing about twenty-five[144] volumes of first editions of books from the presses of Caxton, Guttenberg, and Faust, whose money value is said to be twenty-five thousand pounds; but bibliomaniacs will well understand that no money value can be given to such treasures.

We were shown a curious old Bible,—a "Breeches" Bible, as it is called,—which has a story to it, which is this. About one hundred years ago this copy was purchased for the library at a comparatively low price, because the last ten or fifteen pages were missing. The volume was bound, however, and placed on the shelf; seventy-five years afterwards the purchasing agent of the library bought, in Rome, a quantity of old books, the property of a monk; they were sent to England, and at the bottom of an old box, from among stray pamphlets and rubbish, out dropped a bunch of leaves, which proved, on examination and comparison, to be the very pages missing from the volume. They are placed, not bound in, at the close of the book, so that the visitor sees that they were, beyond a doubt, the actual portion of it that was missing.

Ranged upon another shelf was a set of first editions of the old classics. In one room, in alcoves, all classified, were rich treasures of literature in Sanscrit, Hebrew, Coptic, and even Chinese and Persian, some of the latter brilliant in illumination. Here was Tippoo Saib's Koran, with its curious characters, and the Book of Enoch, brought from Abyssinia by Bruce, the African explorer; and my kind cicerone handed me another volume, whose odd characters I took to be Arabic or Coptic, but which was a book picked up at the capture of Sebastopol, in the Redan, by an English soldier, and which proved, on examination, to be The Pickwick Papers in the Russian language.

Besides these, there were specimens of all the varieties of illuminated books made by the monks between the years 800 and 1000, and magnificent book-makers they were, too. This collection is perfect and elegant, and the specimens of the rarest and most beautiful description, before which, in beauty or execution, the most costly and elaborate illustrated books of our day sink into insignificance. This may seem difficult[145] to believe; but these rare old volumes, with every letter done by hand, their pages of beautifully prepared parchment, as thin as letter paper,—the colors, gold emblazonry, and all the different hues as bright as if laid on but a year—are a monument of artistic skill, labor, and patience, as well as an evidence of the excellence and durability of the material used by the old cloistered churchmen who expended their lives over these elaborate productions. The illuminated Books of Hours, and a Psalter in purple vellum, A. D. 1000, are the richest and most elegant specimens of book-work I ever looked upon. The execution, when the rude mode and great labor with which it was performed are taken into consideration, seems little short of miraculous. These specimens of illuminated books are successively classified, down to those of our own time.

Then there were books that had belonged to kings, queens, and illustrious or noted characters in English history. Here was a book of the Proverbs, done on vellum, for Queen Elizabeth, by hand, the letters but a trifle larger than those of these types, each proverb in a different style of letter, and in a different handwriting. Near by lay a volume presented by Queen Bess to her loving brother, with an inscription to that effect in the "Virgin Queen's" own handwriting. Then we examined the book of Latin exercises, written by Queen Elizabeth at school; and it was curious to examine this neatly-written manuscript of school-girl's Latin, penned so carefully by the same fingers that afterwards signed the death-warrants of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Duke of Norfolk, and her own favorite, Essex. Next came a copy of Bacon's Essays, presented by Bacon himself to the Duke of Buckingham, and elegantly bound in green velvet and gold, with the donor's miniature portrait set on the cover; then a copy of the first book printed in the English language, and a copy of Pliny's Natural History, translated by Landino in 1476, Mary de Medicis' prayer-book, a royal autograph-book of visitors to the university, ending with the signatures of the present Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra.

[146] There was also a wealth of manuscript documents, a host of curious old relics of antiquity I have forgotten, and others that time only allowed a glance at, such as the autographic letters of Pope, Milton, Addison, and Archbishop Laud, Queen Henrietta's love letters to Charles I. before marriage, and Monmouth's declaration, written in the Tower the morning of his execution, July 15, 1685.

Among the bequests left to this splendid library was one of thirty-six thousand pounds, for the purchasing of the most costly illustrated books that could be had; and the collection of these magnificent tomes in their rich binding was of itself a wonder: there were hosts of octavo, royal octavo, elephant folio, imperials, &c.; there were Audubon's Birds, and Boydell's Shakespeare, and hundreds of huge books of that size, many being rare proof copies. Then we came to a large apartment which represented the light literature of the collection. For a space of two hundred years the library had not any collection of what might properly be termed light reading. This gap was filled by a bequest of one of the best, if not the very best, collections of that species of literature in the kingdom, which commences with first editions of Cock Robin and Dame Trott and her Cat, and ends with rare and costly editions of Shakespeare's works.

Weeks and months might be spent in this magnificent library (which numbers about two hundred and fifty thousand volumes, besides its store of curious historical manuscripts) without one's having time to inspect one half its wealth; and this is not the only grand library in Oxford, either. There are the Library of Merton College, the most genuine ancient library in the kingdom; the celebrated Radcliffe Library, founded in 1737 by Dr. Radcliffe, physician to William III., and Mary, and Queen Anne, at an expense of forty thousand pounds, and which is sometimes known as the Physic Library;—in this is a reading-room, where all new publications are received and classified for the use of students; the Library of Wadham College, the Library of Queen's College, that of All Souls College, and that of Exe[147]ter College, in a new and elegant Gothic building, erected in 1856, all affording a mine of wealth, in every department of art, science, and belles-lettres.

A mine of literature, indeed; and the liberality of some of the bequests to that grand university indicates the enormous wealth of the donors, while a visit even to portions of these superb collections will dwarf one's ideas of what they have previously considered as treasures of literature or grand collections in America.

In one of the rooms I felt almost as if looking at an old acquaintance, as I was shown the very lantern which Guy Fawkes had in his hand when seized, which was carefully preserved under a glass case, and was like the one in the picture-books, where that worthy is represented as being seized by the man in the high-peaked hat, who is descending the cellar stairs. Another relic is the pair of gold-embroidered gauntlet gloves worn by Queen Elizabeth when she visited the university, which are also carefully kept in like manner.

In the picture gallery attached to the library are some fine paintings, and among those that attracted my attention were two portraits of Mary Queen of Scots, looking quite unlike. Their history is to the effect that the college had purchased what was supposed to be a fine old original portrait of the ill-fated queen, and as such it hung in its gallery for a number of years, till at length a celebrated painter, after repeated and close examinations, declared to the astonished dons that doubtless the picture was an original, and perhaps one of Mary, but that it had been re-costumed, and the head-dress altered, and various additions made, that detracted from its merit as a portrait. The painter further promised to make a correct copy of the portrait as it was, then to skilfully erase from the original, without injury, the disfiguring additions that had been made, leaving it as when first painted. This was a bold proposition, and a bold undertaking; but the artist was one of eminence, and the college government, after due deliberation, decided to let him make the trial. He[148] did so, and was perfectly successful, as the two pictures prove. The original, divested of the foreign frippery that had been added in the way of costume and head drapery, now presents a sweet, sad, pensive face, far more beautiful, and in features resembling those of the painting of the decapitated head of the queen at Abbotsford.

Here also hung a representation of Sir Philip Sidney, burned in wood with a hot poker, done by an artist many years ago—a style of warm drawing that has since been successfully done by the late Ball Hughes, the celebrated sculptor in Boston, United States. Passing on beneath the gaunt, ascetic countenance of Duns Scotus, which looks down from a frame, beneath which an inscription tells us that he translated the whole Bible without food or drink, and died in 1309, we come to many curious relics in the museum. Among others was a complete set of carved wooden fruit trenchers, or plates, that once belonged to Queen Elizabeth. Each one was differently ornamented, and each bore upon it, in quaint Old English characters, a verse of poetry, and most of these verses had in them, some way or other, a slur at the marriage state. The little plates were said to be quite favorite articles with her single-blessed majesty. So, with some labor and study, I transcribed a few of the verses for American eyes, and here they are:—

"If thou be young, then marry not yet;
If thou be old, thou hast more wit;
For young men's wives will not be taught,
And old men's wives are good for nought."

How many "old men" will believe the last line of this pandering lie to the ruddy-headed queen? But here are others:—

"If that a bachelor thou be,
Keep thee so still; be ruled by me;
Least that repentance, come too late,
Reward thee with a broken pate."
"A wife that marryeth husbands three
Was never wedded thereto by me;
I would my wife would rather die,
Than for my death to weep or cry."
"Thou art the happiest man alive,
For every thing doth make thee thrive;
Yet may thy thrift thy master be;
Therefore take thrift and all for me."
"Thou goest after dead men's shoes,
But barefoot thou art like to go.
Content thyself, and do not muse,
For fortune saith it must be so."

Emerging all unwillingly from the charms of the library, museum, and the interesting interiors of these beautiful old buildings, we stroll out to that delightful place of oaks, and elms, and pleasant streams, Christ Church Meadows, walk beneath the broad, overarching canopy of elms, joining together like the roof of a cathedral, that shades the famous "Broad Walk;" we saunter into "Addison's Walk," a little quiet avenue among the trees, running down towards the River Isis, and leaving Magdalen College,—which was Addison's college,—and its pretty, rural park, we come to the beautiful arched bridge which spans the River Isis, and, crossing it, have a superbly picturesque view of Oxford, with the graceful, antique, and curious spires rising above the city, the swelling dome of the Radcliffe Library, and the great tower of Christ Church.

Here, at this part of the "Meadows," is the place where cricket and other athletic games are played. Throngs and groups of promenaders are in every direction, of a pleasant afternoon, and groups are seated upon the benches, around the trunks of the elms, from which they gaze upon the merry throng, or at the boats on the Isis. This river, which is a racing and practice course of the Oxonians, appears so absurdly narrow and small to an American who has seen Harvard students battling the waves of the boisterous[150] Charles, as nearly to excite ridicule and laughter. We should almost denominate it a large brook in America. For most of its length it was not more than sixteen or eighteen feet in width. The Isis is a branch of the River Cherwell, which is a branch of the Thames, and has this advantage—the rowers can never suffer much from rough weather.

Down near its mouth, where it widens towards the Cherwell, are the barges of the different boat clubs or universities. They are enormous affairs, elegantly ornamented and fitted up, and remind one of the great state barges seen in the pictures of Venice, where the Doge is marrying the Adriatic. Their interiors are elegantly upholstered, and contain cabins or saloons for the reception of friends, for lounging, or for lunch parties. Farther up the river, and we see the various college boats practising their crews for forthcoming trials of skill. These boats are of every variety of size, shape, and fashion—two-oared, six-oared, eight-oared, single wherries shooting here and there; long craft, like a line upon the water, with a crew of eight athletes, their heads bound in handkerchiefs, stripped to the waist, and with round, hardened, muscular arms, bending to their oars with a long, almost noiseless sweep, and the exact regularity of a chronometer balance.

The banks were alive with the friends of the different crews, students and trainers, who ran along, keeping up with them, prompting and instructing them how to pull, and perfecting them in their practice. Every now and then, one of these college boats, with its uniformed crew, would shoot past, and its group of attendant runners upon the dike, with their watchful eyes marking every unskilful movement.

"Easy there, five." "Pull steady, three." "Straighten your back more, two."

"Shoulders back there, four; do you call that pulling? mind your practice. Steady, now—one, two, three; count, and keep time."

"Well done, four; a good pull and a strong pull."

"I'm watching you, six; no gammon. Pull, boys, pull," &c.

[151] The multitude of boats, with their crews, the gayly decorated barges, the merry crowds upon the pleasure-grounds, the arched bridge, and the picturesque background of graceful domes and spires, combined to form a scene which will not soon fade from memory. How many advantages does the Oxford student enjoy, besides the admirable opportunities for study, and for storing the mind, from the treasure-houses that are ready at his hand, with riches that cannot be stolen; the delicious and romantic walks, rural parks, and grounds about here; the opportunities for boating, which may be extended to the River Cherwell, where the greater width affords better opportunities for racing—attrition with the best mettle of the nation; instruction from the best scholars; and a dwelling-place every corner of which is rich in historic memories!

We walk to the place in front of Baliol College, where Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer were burned at the stake. The spot is marked by a small stone cross in the pavement; and a short distance from here, in an open square, stands an elaborately decorated Gothic monument, surmounted by a cross, and bearing beneath its arches the statues of the bishops, erected about twenty years ago, and is denominated the Martyrs' Memorial. But adieu to Oxford; students, libraries, colleges, and historical relics left behind, we are whirling over the railroad on our way up to London. Always say up to London, in England. Going to London is always going up, no matter what point of the compass you start from. No true Englishman ever talks of going to the great city in any way except going "up" to it.

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The train glides into the great glass-roofed station; we are in London. A uniformed porter claps his hand on the door of every first-class carriage, and runs by its side till the train stops.

The railway porters in attendance at each railroad station wear the uniform of the company, and are therefore readily recognized. They assist to load and unload the luggage, and in the absence of the check and other systems which prevail in America, quite a large force is required in the great stations in London to attend to the luggage. The tourist is informed in the stations of some companies, by conspicuous sign-boards that "the servants of this company are strictly forbidden to receive any fees from travellers, and any one of them detected in doing so will be instantly discharged." This, however, does not prevent travellers from slyly thrusting gratuities upon them; and the English system of bribery is so thoroughly ingrained into every department of service, that it is a pretty difficult question to manage. The porters and railway officials are always courteous and efficient; they know their place, their business, and accept their position; there is none of the fallen-monarch style of service such as we receive in America, nor the official making you wait upon him, instead of his waiting upon you.

Men in England who accept the position of servants expect to do the duty of servants; in America the "baggage master" is often a lordly, independent individual, who condescends to hold that position till appointed superintendent. I would by no means condemn the American ambition to gain by meritorious effort the positions that are open to all ranks, and that may be gained by the exercise of talent and ability, even if the possessor have not wealth; but it is always pleasant to[153] have any species of service, that one contracts for, well done, and in England the crowded state of all branches of employment and trade makes it worth workmen's while to bring forward efficiency and thorough knowledge of their trade as a leading recommendation. But the sixpence and the shilling in England are keys that will remove obstacles that the traveller never dreams of. Let the raw American, however, gradually and cautiously learn their use, under the tutelage of an expert if possible; otherwise he will be giving shillings where only sixpences are expected, and sixpences where threepences are abundant compensation.

What American would think of offering twenty-five cents to the sergeant at arms of the Boston State House for showing him the legislative hall, or twelve or fifteen cents to a railroad conductor for obtaining a seat for him? Both individuals would consider themselves insulted; but in England the offering is gratefully received. Indeed, at certain castles and noted show-places in Great Britain, the imposing appearance of an official in uniform, or the gentlemanly full dress of a butler or upper servant, until I became acquainted with the customs of the country, sometimes made me doubt whether it would not be resented if I should offer him half a sovereign, till I saw some Englishmen give him a shilling or half crown, which was very gratefully received. But to our arrival. First class passengers generally want cabs, if they are not Londoners with their own carriages in waiting, and the railway porters know it. First and second class passengers are more likely to disburse shillings and sixpences than third, and so the porter makes haste to whisk open the door of your compartment in the first class, and, as he touches his hat, says, "Luggage, sir?"

"Yes; a black trunk on top, and this portmanteau." Valise is a word they don't understand the meaning of in England.

The cabman whom the porter has signalled in obedience to your demand, has driven up as near the train as he is permitted to come. He is engaged. The wink, or nod, or upraised finger from the porter, whom he knows, has told him[154] that. You jump out, in the throng of hundreds of passengers, into the brilliantly lighted station, stiff with long riding, confused with the rush, bustle, noise, and lights; but the porter, into whose hand, as it rested on the car-door, you slyly slipped a sixpence or shilling, attends to your case instanter. He does not lose sight of you or your luggage, nor suffer you to be hustled a moment; he shoulders your luggage, escorts you to the cab, mayhap assisted by another; pushes people out of the way, hoists the luggage with a jerk to the roof of the cab, sings out, "Langham's, Bill," to the driver, and you are off.

The cab-driver, who has an understanding with the porter, when he returns to the station "divys" with him on the shilling. All this may be wrong, but is one of the customs of the country. To be sure, the London railway porters will be polite, call a cab for you, and pack you into it, without any fee whatever; but you will, if you have not learned how to "tip," wonder how it was that so many persons seem to get off in cabs so much quicker than you, and why, in the miscellaneous mass of baggage that the porters are unloading from the top of the carriage, Jack tells Bob to "pass down the white portmanter" first, when your black one is much handier to get at.

But away we rattle through the streets of London, on, on. How odd it seemed to see such names as Strand, Cheapside, Holborn, Hatton Garden, flash out occasionally upon a corner near a gas-light! What a never-ending stream of vehicles! What singularly London names there were over the shop doors! What English-looking announcements on the dead walls and places where bills were posted! London—well, at night, seen from a cab window, it was not unlike many parts of New York, only it seemed like two or three New Yorks rolled into one. On we went miles through crowded streets, Regent Street, Oxford Street, and at last, at the West End, pulled up at the Langham Hotel, a house that nearly all freshly-arrived Americans, especially during the season of the French Exposition, when so many went over, generally[155] went to first on arrival in London, and generally very soon changed their quarters. It was then but recently built. It is a magnificent edifice in the fashionable part of London, and was understood to be conducted on the American plan, but proved to be like a northern man with southern principles, with few of the good and all of the bad characteristics of both.

America is the paradise of hotels—that is, the large cities of America; but in London, the newly-arrived American will first be vexed at the utter incapability of the people to keep a hotel, and next amused at the persistent clinging to old customs, and the absurd attempts made, by those who carry them on, to do so. The American hotel clerk, who can answer fifty questions in a breath, who can tell you what the bill of performance is at all the theatres, at what hour the trains over the different roads start, what is the best brand of wine, what to do, where to go, how much everything costs, recollects your name, is a gentleman in dress and address, and whom you mutually respect as a man of quick preception, prompt decision, and tenacious memory, is an official unknown in London. You are met in that city by the head porter, who answers questions about trains (by aid of Bradshaw's Guide), will receive parcels for you, call a cab, or see that your luggage is sent up or down; but as for city sights, where to go, what to see, when the opera or theatre begins, how to get to Richmond Hill, or Kew Gardens, or Windsor Castle, he is profoundly ignorant.

In a small enclosure called a bar is a woman who books your name, keeps an account of everything you have, making a charge of each item separately, down to a cigar, necessitating an enormous amount of book-keeping. In this bar are others who draw ale, or extract spirits from casks ranged in the enclosure, as they may be ordered by guests in their own room or the "coffee-room," into carefully-marked measures, so as to be sure that no one gets beyond his sixpence worth of whiskey, or gin, or brandy; but there is one thing certain: the guests, as a general thing, get a far better quality[156] of liquor than we in America, where it is next to an impossibility to get even a good article of that great American, national drink, whiskey, pure and unadulterated.

These bar-maids can give you no information except about the price of rooms, meals, and refreshments. Next comes the head waiter, who, with the porter, appears to "run" the hotel. This worthy must be feed to insure attention. If you are a single man, you can dine well enough in the coffee-room, if you order your dinner at a certain time in advance. However, the great London hotels are slowly becoming Americanized in some departments: one improvement is that of having what is called a "ladies' coffee-room," i. e., a public dining-room, and a table d'hote, and not compelling a gentleman and wife to dine in solemn state in a private room, under the inspection of a waiter. Between stated hours, anything in the magnificent bills of fare, for the three meals, is ready on demand at an American hotel; for instance, the guest may sit down to breakfast at any time between six and eleven; to dinner at one, three, and five; to tea at six to eight, and supper ten to twelve; and anything he orders will be served instanter: the meals at those times are always ready. In London, nothing is ever ready, and everything must be ordered in advance.

It is a matter of positive wonderment to me that the swarms of Englishmen, whom one meets in the well-kept hotels of Berne, Lucerne, Wiesbaden, Baden Baden, &c., can, after enjoying their comforts and conveniences, endure the clumsy manner of hotel-keeping, and the discomforts of the London hotels, or that the landlords of the latter can persist in hanging back so obstinately from adopting the latest improvements.

The new and large hotels, however, are a great improvement on the old style, and the best thing for a fresh American tourist to do, before going to London, is to get some fellow-countryman, who has had experience in the hotels and lodgings of that metropolis, to "post him up" as to which will the best suit his taste and desires.

[157] My first night in London, spent at the Langham, which is at the West End, or fashionable quarter, was anything but a quiet one; the hotel being, as it were, right in the track between various resorts of the aristocracy and their residences, and the time the height of the season. There was one unceasing roar of private carriages and cabs from ten P. M. till three A. M., which banished sleep from my eyelids, and made me long for the quiet of the well-kept little English and Scotch country inns that I had previously been enjoying.

Accommodations were sought and found in a less fashionable, but far more central part of the city, where more comfort, attention, and convenience were obtained at a less rate than at this English hotel on the American plan; and it was not long ere I found that my own experience at Langham's was that of numerous other Americans, and that the pleasantest way to live in London is "in apartments" if one stays there any length of time—that is, furnished lodgings. The English themselves, when visiting London, stay with a friend if possible, always avoiding a hotel; and it is probably the adherence to this old custom, by the better classes, that causes the indifference to the quality of what is furnished for public accommodation in their own capital.

I thought my experiences in New York streets had prepared me for London; but on emerging into the London streets for the first time I found my mistake. I was fairly stunned and bewildered by the tremendous rush of humanity that poured down through Oxford Street, through Holborn, on to the city, or otherwise down towards White Chapel, Lombard Street, the Bank, and the Exchange.

Great omnibuses, drawn by three horses abreast, thundered over the pavement; four-wheel cabs, or "four-wheelers," a sort of compressed American carriages, looking as though resuscitated from the last stages of dissolution, rattled here and there; the Hansom cabs, those most convenient of all carriages, dashed in and out, hither and thither, in the crowd of vehicles; great brewery drays, with horses like elephants, plodded along with their loads; the sidewalks swarmed with[158] a moving mass of humanity, and many were the novelties that met my curious eye.

The stiff, square costume of the British merchant; little boys of ten, with beaver hats like men; Lord Dundrearys with eye-glasses such as I had never seen before, except upon the stage at the theatre; ticket porters with their brass labels about their necks; policemen in their uniform; officers and soldiers in theirs; all sorts of costermongers with everything conceivable to sell, and all sorts of curious vehicles, some with wood enough in them for three of a similar kind in America.

The drivers of the London omnibuses feel the dignity of their position,—they do. It is the conductor who solicits passengers, takes the pay, and regulates the whole business of the establishment. The driver, or rather the "coachman," drives; he wears a neat top-coat, a beaver hat, and a pair of driving gloves; he drives with an air. You can attract his attention from the sidewalk, and he will "pull up," but he does it with a sort of calm condescension; the conductor or cad, on the other hand, is ever on the alert; his eyes are in every direction; he signals a passenger in the crowd invisible to all but him; he continually shouts the destination of his vehicle, but sometimes in a patois unintelligible except to the native Londoner. As for instance, I was once standing in Holborn, waiting for a 'bus for the Bank; one passed, which from its inscription I did not recognize, the conductor ejaculating, as he looked on every side, "Abink-wychiple, Binkwychiple," when suddenly he detected us in the throng, and marked us as strangers looking for a 'bus; in a twinkling he was down from his perch, and upon the sidewalk.


"I want to go to the Bank," said I.

"All right, sir; 'ere you are."

He gave a shrill whistle, which caused the driver who was sixty feet away, to stop, hurried us both into the vehicle, slammed to the door, and, taking off his hat with mock politeness to a rival 'bus that had nearly overtaken his, said, "Can't[159] vait for you, sir: drive on, Bob;" and on we went to our destination.

Another 'bus conductor puzzled me by shouting "Simmery-Ex, Simmery-Ex, Simmery-Ex," until the expression was translated into "St. Mary's Axe," the locality alluded to. These conductors are generally sharp, quick-witted, and adepts at "chaff" and blackguardism, and it is good advice to the uninitiated to beware "chaffing" them, as in nine cases out of ten the cad gets the best of it.

The Hansom cabs are the best and most convenient vehicles that can possibly be used for short excursions about the city. A shilling will carry you a smart fifteen minutes' ride, the legal price being sixpence a mile, but nobody ever expects to give a cabman any less than a shilling for ever so short a ride. Eighteen pence is readily accepted for a three mile trip, and it costs no more for two persons than one. There being nothing between the passenger and the horse but the dasher, as the driver is perched up behind, an unobstructed view is had as you whirl rapidly through the crowded streets; and the cheapness of the conveyance, added to its adaptability for the purpose that it is used, makes an American acknowledge that in this matter the English are far in advance of us, and also to wonder why these convenient vehicles have not displaced the great, cumbersome, two-horse carriages which even a single individual is compelled to take in an American city if he is in a hurry to go to the railway station or to execute a commission, and which cost nearly as much for a trip of a mile as would engage a Hansom in London for half a day.

There has been much said in the London papers about the impositions of the cab-drivers; but I must do them the justice to say I saw little or none of it: making myself acquainted with the legal rate, I found it generally accepted without hesitation. If I was in doubt about the distance, instead of adopting the English plan of keeping the extra sixpence, I gave it, and so cheaply saved disputes.

Coming out from the theatres, you find privileged porters,[160] who have the right of calling cabs for those who want them, besides numerous unprivileged ones; boys, who will dart out to where the cabs are,—they are not allowed to stand in front of the theatre,—and fetch you one in an instant. The driver never leaves his seat, but your messenger opens the cab, and shuts you in, shouts your direction to the driver, and touches his cap, grateful for the penny or two pence that you reward him with.

What a never-ending source of amusement the London streets are to the newly-arrived American—their very names historical. Here we are in Regent Street, where you can buy everything; the four quarters of the world seem to have been laid under contribution to supply it: here are magnificent jewelry stores, all ablaze with rich and artistically-set gems and jewels; here a huge magazine of nothing but India shawls and scarfs—an excellent place to buy a camel's hair shawl. Ladies, save your money till you go to London, for that pride of woman's heart comes into England duty free, and from fifty to four hundred dollars may be saved, according to the grade purchased, on the price charged in America. In this India store one could buy from scarfs at five shillings to shawls at four hundred guineas.

Then there were the splendid dry goods stores, the windows most magnificently dressed; shoe stores, with those peculiarly English "built,"—that is the only word that will express it, so fashioned by rule into structures of leather were they,—English built shoes of all sizes in the window, and shoes that will outwear three pairs of Yankee-made affairs, unless one goes to some of the very choice establishments, or to foreigners at home, who, knowing how rare faithful work and good material are in their business, charge a tremendous premium for both articles. I think for service, ease to the foot, and real economy, there is no boot or shoe like those by the skilled London makers; the price charged is only about twenty-five per cent. less than in America; but an article of solid, substantial, honest British workmanship is furnished, and any one who has ever bought any portion of his ward[161]robe of an English maker, knows the satisfaction experienced in wearing articles made upon honor; the quality, stitches, and workmanship can be depended upon.

But what is in other shops?

O, everything; elegant displays of gentlemen's furnishing goods, of shirts, under-clothing, socks and gloves, of a variety, fineness, and beauty I had never seen before; gloves, fans, fancy goods, China ware; toy shops, shops of English games, cricket furniture, bats, balls, &c.; elegant wine and preserve magazines—where were conserves, preserves, condiments, pickles, cheeses, dried fruits, dried meats, and appetizing delicacies from every part of the globe, enough to drive an epicure crazy. At these great establishments are put up the "hampers" that go to supply parties who go to the races or picnics. You order a five-shilling or five-pound hamper, and are supplied accordingly—meat-pies, cold tongues, fowls, game, wines, ales, pickles. There are English pickles, Dutch saur krout, French pâte de foie gras, Finnian haddock, German sausages, Italian macaroni, American buffalo tongues, and Swiss cheeses, in stacks. That is what astonishes the American—the enormous stock in these retail establishments, and the immense variety of styles of each article; but it should be remembered that this is the market of the world, and the competition here is sharp. Go into a store for a pair of gloves, even, mention the size you desire, and the salesman will show you every variety in kid, French dogskin, cloth, and leather; for soiree, promenade, driving, travelling, and every species of use, and different styles and kinds for each use. The salesmen understand their business, which is to sell goods; they are polite, they suggest wants, they humor your merest whim in hue, pattern, style, or fancy; they make no rude endeavor to force goods upon you, but are determined you shall have just what you want; wait upon you with assiduous politeness, and seem to have been taught their occupation.

One misses that sort of independent nonchalance with which an American retail salesman throws out one article[162] at a time, talking politics or of the weather to you, while you yourself turn over the goods, place them, and adjust them for the effect of light or shade, as he indolently looks on, or persistently battles in argument with you, that what he has shown you is what you ought to have, instead of what you demand and want; also that American style of indifference, or independence, as to whether you purchase or not, and the making of you—as you ascertain after shopping in London—do half the salesman's work. The London shopman understands that deference is the best card in the pack, and plays it skilfully. He attends to you assiduously; he is untiring to suit your taste. If he sells you a ribbon, the chances are that you find, before leaving, you have purchased gloves, fan, and kerchief besides, and it is not until you finally take your departure that he ventures to remark that "it is a very fine day."

Many of the London first-class establishments, such as tailors, furnishing-goods dealers, umbrella stores, shoemakers, cheesemongers, or fancy-grocery stores, have two stores, one in Regent Street, the fashionable quarter, and one in the city, say down towards the Bank, in Threadneedle Street, Poultry, Cheapside, &c. The "city" or down-town store of the same firm, it is well known to Londoners, will sell the same goods and same articles at least five per cent. cheaper than the up-town Regent or Oxford Street one will.

Besides serviceable boots and shoes, gentlemen's wearing apparel, and under-clothing, buy your umbrellas in England. They make this article splendidly, doubtless from its being an article of such prime necessity. The English umbrella is made light, shapely, and strong, of the best materials,—if you get them of a dealer of reputation, Sangster's, for instance,—they will keep their shape until completely worn out.

While in London, purchase whatever trunks, portmanteaus, or valises you may need for your continental tour. London is the paradise of this species of merchandise, and in Paris you will learn too late that trunk-making is not a Frenchman's art, though if you reach Vienna, the headquarters of the ele[163]gant Russia leather work, you will find articles there in the travelling-bag line, at very moderate prices, that will enable you to make the most distinguished carpet-bagger in your own country die of envy.

It is said that London is headquarters for gentlemen's clothing, and Paris for ladies'. London sets the fashion for gentlemen in dress, and Paris that for the gentler sex, although in the article of men's hats, gloves, and dress boots, I believe the Frenchman has "the inside of the track." A French boot is made for grace and beauty, an English one for service and comfort. An English hat, like an English dog-cart, has too much "timber" in it, and a French glove is unapproachable. Many Americans leave their measure, and now order their clothes of Poole & Co., Sackville Street, or Creed & Co., Conduit Street, Bond Street, both crack West End tailors. Others order of some of the city tailors down town, who, doubtless, suit them equally well, and use just as good materials, having the custom of some of the old particular London merchants, who like to step into a solid, old-fashioned, down-in-the-city store, where their predecessors traded,—like Sam Hodgkinson's, in Threadneedle Street, opposite Merchant Tailors' Hall,—and buy at an old established stand, a place that has the aroma of age about it. The older a business stand, the more value it seems to possess in customers' eyes; and there is something in it. For a store that has built up a reputation, and been known as a good boot, tailor's, or hat store, with that stamp of indorsement, "established in 1798," or eighteen hundred and something, more than forty years ago, is about as good an indorsement as "bootmaker to the Duke of Cambridge," or Lord Stuckup, and a reputation which the occupant of said establishment does not trifle with, but labors to preserve and increase, as a part of his capital and stock in trade.

Your English tailor of reputation is rather more careful than the American one. He makes an appointment, and tries the garment on you after it is cut out, comes to your hotel, if you are a stranger and cannot come to him, to do so, and his[164] two workmen who wait upon you, measure, snip, mould, and adapt their work, appear to take as much pride in their occupation as a sculptor or artist. Indeed, they consider themselves "artists" in their line; for Creed & Co's card, which lies before me as I write, announces "H. Creed & Co." to be "Artistes in Draping the Real Figure," and gives the cash-on-delivery purchaser ten per cent. advantage over the credit customer.

Furs are another article that can be bought very cheap in London. But I must not devote too much space to shopping; suffice it to say that the windows of the great magazines of merchandise in Oxford and Regent Streets form in themselves a perfect museum of the products of the world,—and I have spent hours in gazing in at them,—for the art of window-dressing is one which is well understood by their proprietors.

A volume might be written—in fact, volumes have been written—about London streets, and the sights seen in them. It seemed so odd to be standing opposite old Temple Bar, on the Strand, to see really those names we had so often read of, to wonder how long the spirit of American improvement would suffer such a barrier as that Bar to interrupt the tremendous rush of travel that jams, and crowds, and surges through and around it. Here is Prout's tooth-brush store close at hand. Everybody knows that Prout's brushes are celebrated. We step in to price some. "One shilling each, sir." You select twelve, give him a sovereign. He takes out ten shillings. "The price, sir, at wholesale." The reputation of that place would suffer, in the proprietor's opinion, if he had allowed a stranger to have gone, even if satisfied, away, and that stranger had afterwards ascertained that the price per dozen was less, and that any one could purchase less than he. So much for the honor of "old-established" places.

We go up through Chancery Lane,—how often we have read of it, and what lots of barristers' chambers and legal stationers there are,—out into "High Holborn," Holborn Hill, or "Eye Obun," as the Londoners call it. What a rush of 'buses, and drays, and cabs, and Hansoms, and everything![165] But let us go. Where is it one goes first on arrival in London? If he is an American, the first place he goes to is his banker, to get that most necessary to keep him going. So hither let us wend our way.

If there is any one thing needed in England besides hotels on the American plan, it is an American banking-house of capital and reputation in the city of London; a house that understands the wants and feelings of Americans, and that will cater to them; a house that will not hold them off at arm's length, as it were; one that is not of such huge wealth as to treat American customers with surly British routine and red tape; a house that wants American business, and that will do it at the lowest rate of percentage. In fact, some of the partners, at least, should be Americans in heart and feeling, and not Anglicized Americans.

The great banking-house of Baring Brothers & Co., whose correspondents and connections are in every part of the world,—whose superscriptions I used to direct in a big, round hand, upon thin envelopes, when I was a boy in a merchant's counting-room, and whose name is as familiar in business mouths as household words,—it would be supposed would be found occupying a structure for their banking-house like some of the palatial edifices on Broadway, or the solid granite buildings of State Street, where you may imagine that you could find out about everything you wished to know about London; what the sights were to see; which was the best hotel for Americans; what you ought to pay for things; how to get to Windsor Castle, or the Tower, &c. Of course they would have American papers, know the news from America; and you, a young tourist, not knowing Lombard Street from Pall Mall, would, on presentation of your letter of credit, be greeted by some member of the firm, and asked how you did, what sort of a passage you had over, could they do anything for you, all in American style of doing things; but, bless your raw, inexperienced, unsophisticated soul, you have yet to learn the solid, British, square-cut, high shirt-collar style of doing "business."

[166] I have roared with laughter at the discomfiture of many a young American tourist who expected something of the cordial style and the great facilities such as the young American houses of Bowles & Co. or Drexel & Co. afford, of these great London bankers. The latter are civil enough, but, as previously mentioned, they do "business," and on the rigid English plan; they will cash your check less commission, answer a question, or send a ticket-porter to show you the way out into Lombard Street, or, perhaps, if you send your card in to the managing partner's room, he will admit you, and will pause, pen in hand, from his writing, to bid you good morning, and wait to know what you have to say; that is, if you have no other introduction to him or his house than a thousand or two pounds to your credit in their hands, which you intend drawing out on your letter of credit.

Don't imagine such a bagatelle as that thousand or two, my raw tourist, is going to thaw British ice; it is but a drop in their ocean of capital, and they allow you four per cent. interest; and though they may contrive to make six or seven on it, all they have to do with you is to honor your drafts less commission to the amount of your letters.

Messrs. Baring Brothers & Co.'s banking house we finally ascertain is at No. —, Bishop Gate (within). Arrived at No. —, Bishop Gate, you find that within is in through a passage to the rear of the building; and so we go in. There is no evidence of a "palatial" character in the ordinary contracted and commonplace looking counting-room, an area enclosed by desks facing outward, and utterly devoid of all those elegant conveniences one sees in the splendid counting-rooms on Wall and State Streets,—foolish frippery, may be,—but the desks look crowded and inconvenient, the area for customers mean and contracted, for a house of such wealth, and we wondered at first if we had not made some mistake. Here we were, in a plain and very ordinary counting-room, like that of a New England country bank, surrounded on three sides by desks facing towards us, behind high and transparent screens, and six or eight clerks at them, writing in[167] huge ledgers. After standing some minutes in uncertainty we made for the nearest clerk at one of the apertures in the semicircle of desks.

"Is this the Messrs. Barings' counting-house?"

"Yes, sir."

"I wish to draw some money."

"Bill, sir, or letter of credit?"

"Letter of credit."

"Opposite desk;" and he pointed with his quill pen to the other side.

I accordingly crossed over, and commenced a fresh dialogue with another clerk.

"I desire to draw some money on this letter of credit" (handing it).

"Yes, sir" (taking it; looks at the letter, reads it carefully, then looks at me searchingly). "Are you the Mr. ——, mentioned here?"

"I am, sir" (decidedly).

"How much money do you want?"

"Twenty-five pounds."

Clerk goes to a big ledger, turns it over till he finds a certain page, looks at the page, compares it with the letter, turns to another clerk, who is writing with his back to him, hands him letter, says something in a low tone to him. Second clerk takes letter, and goes into an inner apartment, and the first commences waiting on a new comer, and I commence waiting developments.

In about five minutes clerk number two returned with something for me to sign, which I did, and he left again. After waiting, perhaps, five minutes more, I ventured to inquire if my letter of credit was ready. Clerk number one said it would be here "d'rectly;" and so it was, for clerk number two returned with it in its envelope, and in his hand a check, which he handed me, saying, "Eighty Lombard Street."


"80 Lombard Street" (pointing to check).

[168] "O, I am to get the money at 80 Lombard Street—am I?"

"Yes; better hurry. It's near bank closing."

"But where is Lombard Street?"

(Aghast at my ignorance.) "Cross d'rectly you go out, turn first to left, then take —— Street on right, and it's first Street on lef."

It might have been an accommodation to have paid me the money there, instead of sending me over to Lombard Street; but that would probably have been out of routine, and consequently un-English.

I started for the door, but when nearly out, remembered that I had not inquired for letters and papers from home, that I had given instructions should be sent there to await my arrival from Scotland and the north, and accordingly I returned, and inquired of clerk number two,—

"Any letters for me?"

"Ah! I beg yer pardon."

"Any letters for me?"

"You 'av your letter in your 'and, sir."

"No; I mean any letters from home—from America—to my address?"

"The other side sir" (pointing across the area).

I repaired to the "other side," gave my address, and had the satisfaction of receiving several epistles from loved ones at home, which the clerk checked off his memoranda as delivered, and I sallied out my first day in London, to turn to the left and right, and find Lombard Street. Three pence and a ticket porter enabled me to do this speedily, and thus ended our first experience at Baring Brothers & Co.'s.

There may, perhaps, be nothing to complain of in all this as a business transaction, but that it was regularly performed; but after one has experienced the courtesies of bankers on the continent, he begins to ask himself the question, if the Barings ought not, taking into consideration the amount of money they have made and are making out of their American business and the American people, to show a little less parsimony[169] and more liberality and courtesy to them, and provide some convenience and accommodation for that class of customers, and make some effort to put the raw tourist, whose one or two thousand pounds they have condescended to receive, at his ease when he visits their establishment.

All this may have been changed since I was in London (1867); but the style of transactions like this I have described was then a general topic of conversation among Americans, and seemed to have been similar in each one's experience. In Paris how different was the reception! Upon presenting your letter, a member of the American banking-house, a junior partner, probably, steps forward, greets you cordially, makes pleasant inquiries with regard to your passage over, invites you to register your name and address, ushers you into a large room where the leading American journals are on file, and there are conveniences for letter writing, conversation, &c. He invites you to make this your headquarters; can he do anything for you? you want some money—the cashier of the house cashes your draft at once, and you are not sent out into the street to hunt up an unknown banking-house. He can answer you almost any question about Paris or its sights, and procure you cards of permission to such places of note as it is necessary to send to government officials for, tell you where to board or lodge, and execute any commission for you.

The newly-arrived American feels "at home" with such a greeting as this at once, and if his letter draws on Baring's agent in Paris, is prone to withdraw funds, and redeposit with his new-found friends. Of course the houses of this character, that tourists do business with in Paris, were peculiar to that city, and may be classed as banking and commission houses, and the "commission" part of the business has come into existence within a few years, and was of some importance during the year of the Exposition. That part of the business would not be desirable to a great London banking-house, nor is there the field for it, as in Paris; but there is room for an improvement in conveniences, accommodation, cordiality,[170] courtesy, &c., towards American customers, especially tourists, who naturally, on first arrival, turn to their banker for information respecting usages, customs, &c., and for other intelligence which might be afforded with comparatively little trouble.

But to the sights of London. The streets themselves, as I have said, are among the sights to be seen in this great metropolis of the civilized world. There is Pall Mall, or "Pell Mell," as the Londoners call it, with its splendid clubhouses, the "Travellers," "Reform," "Army and Navy," "Athenæum," "Guards," "Oxford," and numerous others I cannot now recall; Regent Street, to which I have referred, with its splendid stores; Oxford Street, a street of miles in length, and containing stores of equal splendor with its more aristocratic rival; Holborn, which is a continuation of Oxford, and carries you down to "the city;" Fleet Street and the Strand, with their newspaper offices, and bustle, and turmoil, houses, churches, great buildings, and small shops. Not far from here are Charing Cross Hotel and the railroad station, a splendid modern building; or you may go over into Whitehall, pass by the Horse Guards' Barracks,—in front of which two mounted troopers sit as sentinels,—and push on, till rising to view stands that one building so fraught with historic interest as to be worth a journey across the ocean to see—the last resting-place of kings, queens, princes, poets, warriors, artists, sculptors, and divines, the great Pantheon of England's glory—Westminster Abbey.

Its time-browned old walls have looked down upon the regal coronation, the earthly glory, of the monarch, and received within their cold embrace his powerless ashes, and bear upon their enduring sides man's last vanity—his epitaph.

"Think how many royal bones
Sleep within these heaps of stones!
Here they lie—had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to lift their hands,
Where, from their pulpit, sealed with dust,
They preach, 'In greatness is no trust.'
Here's an acre, sown, indeed,
With the richest royal seed
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin."

I stood before this magnificent Gothic pile, which was brown with the breath of a many centuries, with that feeling of quiet satisfaction and enjoyment that one experiences in the fruition of the hopes of years. There were the two great square towers, with the huge Gothic window between, and the Gothic door below. How I was carried back to the picture-books, and the wood-cuts, and youth's histories, that, many a time and oft, I had hung over when a boy, and dreamed and fancied how it really looked; and here it was—a more than realization of the air-castle of boyhood.

The dimensions of the abbey are, length, about four hundred feet, breadth at the transept, two hundred and three feet; the length of the nave, one hundred and sixteen feet, breadth, thirty-eight feet; the choir, one hundred and fifty-six feet by thirty-one. To the dimensions of the abbey should be added that of Henry VII.'s Chapel, which is built on to it, of one hundred and fifteen feet long by eighty wide, its nave being one hundred and four feet long and thirty-six wide.

The form of the abbey is the usual long cross, and it has three entrances. Besides the nave, choir, and transepts, there are nine chapels dedicated to different saints, and an area of cloisters. The best external view of the building is obtained in front of the western entrance, where the visitor has full view of the two great square towers, which rise to the height of two hundred and twenty-five feet.

But let us enter. Out from an unusually bright day for London, we stepped in beneath the lofty arches, lighted by great windows of stained glass, glowing far above in colored sermons and religious stories; and from this point—the western entrance—a superb view may be had of the interior. Stretching far before us is the magnificent colonnade of pillars, a perfect arcade of columns, terminating with the Chapel of[172] Edward the Confessor, at the eastern extremity, and the whole interior so admirably lighted that every object is well brought out, and clearly visible.

In whichever direction the footsteps may incline, one is brought before the last mementos of the choicest dust of England. Here they lie—sovereigns, poets, warriors, divines, authors, heroes, and philosophers; wise and pure-minded men, vulgar and sensual tyrants; those who in the fullness of years have calmly passed away, "rich in that hope that triumphs over pain," and those whom the dagger of the assassin, the axe of the executioner, and the bullet of the battle-field cut down in their prime. Sovereign, priest, soldier, and citizen slumber side by side, laid low by the great leveller, Death.

The oldest of the chapels is that of St. Edward the Confessor. It contains, besides the monument to its founder, those of many other monarchs. Here stands the tomb of Henry III., a great altar-like structure of porphyry, upon which lies the king's effigy in brass. He was buried with great pomp by the Knights Templars, of which order his father was a distinguished member. Next comes the plain marble tomb of that bold crusader, Edward I., with the despoiled one of Henry V. Here also is the tomb of Eleanor, queen to Edward I., who, it will be remembered, sucked the poison from her husband's wound in Palestine; and here the black marble tomb of Queen Philippa, wife to Edward III., who quelled the Scottish insurrection during her husband's absence. This tomb was once ornamented with the brass statues of thirty kings and princes, but is now despoiled. Upon the great gray marble tomb of Edward III., who died in 1377, rests his effigy, with the shield and sword carried before him in France—a big, two-handled affair, seven feet long, and weighing eighteen pounds.

The most elegant and extensive chapel in the abbey is that of Henry VII. Its lofty, arched, Gothic ceiling is most exquisitely carved. There are flowers, bosses, roses, pendants, panels, and armorial bearings without number, a bewildering mass of exquisite tracery and ornamentation in stone, above[173] and on every side. In the nave of this chapel the Knights of the Order of the Bath are installed, and here are their stalls, or seats, elegantly carved and shaded with Gothic canopies, while above are their coats of arms, heraldic devices, and banners. But the great object of interest in this magnificent, brass-gated chapel is the elaborate and elegant tomb of its founder, Henry VII., and his queen, Elizabeth, the last of the House of York who wore the English crown. The tomb is elegantly carved and ornamented, and bears the effigies of the royal pair resting upon a slab of black marble. It is surrounded by a most elaborate screen, or fence, of curiously-wrought brass-work. In another part of this chapel is a beautiful tomb, erected to Mary, Queen of Scots, surmounted by an alabaster effigy of the unfortunate queen; and farther on another, also erected by King James I. to Queen Elizabeth, bearing the recumbent effigy of that sovereign, supported by four lions. Queen Mary ("Bloody Mary"), who burned about seventy persons a year at the stake during four years of her reign, rests here in the same vault. Not far from this monument I found the sarcophagus marking the resting-place of the bones discovered in the Tower, supposed to be those of the little princes murdered by Richard III.

The nine chapels of the abbey are crowded with the tombs and monuments of kings and others of royal birth down to the time of George II., when Windsor Castle was made the repository of the royal remains. Besides monuments to those of noble birth, I noticed those of men who have, by great deeds and gifts of great inventions to mankind, achieved names that will outlive many of royal blood, in some of these chapels. In the Chapel of St. Paul there is a colossal figure of James Watt, who so developed the wonderful power of steam; one of Thomas Telford, in the Chapel of St. John, who died in 1834, who, by his extraordinary talents and self-education, raised himself from the position of orphan son of a shepherd to one of the most eminent engineers of his age; also the tablet to Sir Humphrey Davy. In the same chapel is a full-length statue of Mrs. Siddons, the tragic actress.

[174] Besides these, there were in this chapel two wonderfully executed monumental groups, that attracted my attention. One represented a tomb, from the half-opened marble doors of which a figure of Death has just issued, and is in the very act of casting his dart at a lady who is sinking affrighted into the arms of her husband, who is rising startled from his seat upon the top of the tomb. The life-like attitude and expression of affright of these two figures are wonderful, while the figure of Death, with the shroud half falling off, revealing the fleshless ribs, skull, and bones of the full-length skeleton, is something a little short of terrible in its marvellous execution. The other group was a monument to Sir Francis Vere, who was a great soldier in Elizabeth's time, and died in 1608. It is a tablet supported upon the shoulders of four knights, of life size, kneeling. Upon the tablet lie the different parts of a complete suit of armor, and underneath, upon a sort of alabaster quilt, rests the effigy of Sir Francis. The kneeling figures of the knights are represented as dressed in armor suits, which are faithfully and elaborately carved by the sculptor.

While walking among the numerous and pretentious monuments of kings and princes, we were informed by the guide, who with bunch of keys opened the various chapels to our explorations, that many a royal personage, whose name helped to fill out the pages of England's history, slumbered almost beneath our very feet, without a stone to mark their resting-place. Among these was the grave of the merry monarch, Charles II.; and the fact that not one of the vast swarm of sycophantic friends that lived upon him, and basked in the sunshine of his prodigality, had thought enough of him to rear a tribute to his memory, was something of an illustration of the hollowness and heartlessness of that class of favorites and friends.

Although I made two or three visits to the abbey, the time allowed in these chapels by the guides was altogether too short to study the elaborate and splendid works of sculpture, the curious inscriptions, and, in fact, to almost re-read a por[175]tion of England's past history in these monuments, that brought us so completely into the presence, as it were, of those kings and princes whom we are accustomed to look at through the dim distance of the past.

We have only taken a hasty glance at the chapels, and some of the most noteworthy monuments they contain. These are but appendages, as it were, to the great body of the abbey.

There are still the south transept, the nave, north transept, ambulatory, choir, and cloisters to visit, all crowded with elegant groups of sculpture and bass-reliefs, to the memory of those whose names are as familiar to us as household words, and whose deeds are England's history.

Almost the first portion of the abbey inquired for by Americans is the "Poet's Corner," which is situated in the south transept; and here we find the brightest names in English literature recorded, not only those of poets, but of other writers, though, among the former, one looks in vain for some memorial of one of England's greatest poets, Byron, for this tribute was refused to him in Westminster Abbey by his countrymen, and its absence is a bitter evidence of their ingratitude.

Here we stand, surrounded by names that historians delight to chronicle, poets to sing, and sculptors to carve. Here looks out the medallion portrait of Ben Jonson, poet laureate, died 1627, with the well-known inscription beneath,—

"O rare Ben Jonson."

There stands the bust of Butler, author of Hudibras, crowned with laurel, beneath which is an inscription which states that—

"Lest he who (when alive) was destitute of all things should (when
dead) want likewise a monument, John Barber, citizen of
London, hath taken sure by placing this
stone over him. 1712."

[176] All honor to John Barber. He has done what many a king's worldly friends have failed to do for the monarch they flattered and cajoled in the sunshine of his prosperity, and in so doing preserved his own name to posterity.

A tablet marks the resting-place of Spenser, author of "The Faerie Queen," and near at hand is a bust of Milton. The marble figure of a lyric muse holds a medallion of the poet Gray, who died in 1771. The handsome monument of Matthew Prior, the poet and diplomatist, is a bust, resting upon a sarcophagus guarded by two full-length marble statues of Thalia and History, above which is a cornice, surmounted by cherubs, the inscription written by himself, as follows:—

"Nobles and heralds, by your leave,
Here lies what once was Matthew Prior,
The son of Adam and of Eve—
Can Bourbon or Nassau claim higher?"

Not far from this monument I found one of a youth crowning a bust, beneath which were theatrical emblems, the inscription stating it was to Barton Booth, an actor and poet, who died in 1733, and was the original Cato in Addison's tragedy of that name.

The tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer—the father of English poetry, as he is called—is an ancient, altar-like structure, with a carved Gothic canopy above it. The inscription tells us,—

"Of English bards who sung the sweetest strains,
Old Geoffrey Chaucer now this tomb contains;
For his death's date, if, reader, thou shouldst call,
Look but beneath, and it will tell thee all."
"25 October, 1400."

John Dryden's bust, erected by Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, in 1720, bears upon its pedestal the following lines, by Pope:—

"This Sheffield raised; the sacred dust below
Was Dryden once—the rest who does not know?"

[177] Thomas Campbell, the poet, has a fine full-length statue to his memory, representing him, book and pencil in hand, with the lyre at his feet; and near by is the bust of Southey, poet laureate, who died in 1843.

The well-known statue of Shakespeare, representing the immortal bard leaning upon a pile of books resting on a pedestal, and supporting a scroll, upon which are inscribed lines from his play of "The Tempest," will, of course, claim our attention. Upon the base of the pillar on which the statue leans are the sculptured heads of Henry V., Richard II., and Queen Elizabeth.

Thomson, author of the Seasons, has a monument representing him in a sitting position, upon the pedestal of which representations of the seasons are carved. Gay's is a Cupid, unveiling a medallion of the poet, and, one of his couplets:—

"Life is a jest, and all things show it;
I thought so once, but now I know it."

On a pedestal, around which are grouped the Nine Muses, stands the statue of Addison, and a tablet near by bears the familiar profile likeness of Oliver Goldsmith, who died in 1774.

There is a large marble monument to George Frederick Handel, which represents the great musician standing, with an organ behind him, and an angel playing upon a harp above it, while at his feet are grouped musical instruments and drapery. Another very elaborate marble group is that to the memory of David Garrick, which represents a life-size figure of the great actor, standing, and throwing aside with each hand a curtain. At the base of the pedestal upon which the statue rests are seated life-size figures of Tragedy and Comedy. The names of other actors and dramatists also appear upon tablets in the pavement: Beaumont, upon a slab before Dryden's monument, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Cumberland, &c.; and one of the recent additions in the Poet's Corner was a marble bust of Thackeray.

In the nave I viewed with some interest a fine bust of Isaac Watts, D. D., whose hymns are so familiar, and[178] among the earliest impressed upon the infant mind. Here in the nave area host of monuments, tablets, and bass-reliefs to naval and military heroes, scholars, and professors; one, to Dr. Andrew Bell, represents him in his arm-chair (bass-relief), surrounded by his pupils; another, to a president of the Royal Society, represents him surrounded by books and manuscripts, globes, scientific instruments, &c. General George Wade has a great trophy of arms raised upon a sarcophagus, which a figure of Time is represented as advancing to destroy, but whom Fame prevents. In the wall, in bass-relief, we found a group representing the flag of truce conveyed to General Washington, asking the life of Major André. This group is cut upon a sarcophagus, over which Britannia is represented weeping, and is the monument to that young officer, who was executed as a spy in the war of the American Revolution. Another monument, which attracts the attention of Americans, is that erected to a Colonel Roger Townsend, who was killed by a cannon ball while reconnoitring the French lines at Ticonderoga, in 1759; it is a pyramid of red and white marble, against which are the figures of two American Indians in war costume, supporting a sarcophagus, on which is a fine bass-relief, representing the death on the battle-field.

There are other modern monuments of very elaborate and curious designs, which are of immense detail for such work, and must have involved a vast deal of labor and expense; as, for instance, that to General Hargrave, governor of Gibraltar, died in 1750, which is designed to represent the discomfiture of Death by Time, and the resurrection of the Just on the Day of Judgment. The figure of the general is represented as starting, reanimated, from the tomb, and behind him a pyramid is tumbling into ruins, while Time has seized Death, and is hurling him to the earth, after breaking his fatal dart. Another is that to Admiral Richard Tyrrell, in which the rocks are represented as being rent asunder, and the sea giving up its dead; upon one side is the admiral's ship, upon which a figure stands pointing upwards to the admiral, who is seen ascending amid the marble clouds.

[179] In the nave is also a half-length figure of Congreve, the dramatist, with dramatic emblems; and next it is the grave of Mrs. Oldfield, the actress, who, the guide tells us, was "buried in a fine Brussels lace head-dress, a Holland shift with a tucker and double ruffles of the same lace, a pair of new kid gloves, and her body wrapped up in a winding sheet." At one end of the nave is a fine group erected by government, in 1813, at a cost of six thousand three hundred pounds, to William Pitt, died 1806. It represents the great orator, at full length, in the act of addressing the House, while History, represented by a full-length figure seated at the base of the pedestal, is recording his words, and Anarchy, a full-length figure of a naked man, sits bound with chains. A monument erected by government to William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham, who died 1778, stands in a recess, and is much more elaborate. It represents him standing in the act of Speaking; and below, grouped round a sarcophagus, are five life-size figures—Prudence, Fortitude, Neptune, Peace, and Britannia. This great group cost six thousand pounds sterling.

But I find, on consulting the notes made of my visits to these interesting mausoleums of the great, that writing out fully a rehearsal of the memoranda would extend beyond the limits designed in these sketches. There were the monuments to Fox, the statesman, with Peace and the African kneeling at his feet; to Sir Isaac Newton, the great philosopher and mathematician; William Wilberforce, the eminent abolitionist; Warren Hastings; a fine statue of George Canning, erected by his friends and countrymen—one of England's greatest orators, of whom Byron wrote,—

"Who, bred a statesman, still was born a wit,"—

a full-length statue of Sir Robert Peel, erected by government at a cost of five thousand pounds; and others, an idea of which may be gathered from the somewhat cursory description of those already mentioned.

Well, we have seen Westminster Abbey. Where to go[180] next? There is so much to see in London, and time is so short, weeks, months, might be spent here in hunting up the various interesting sights that we have stowed away in the storehouse of memory, for the time that we should need them.

First, there are the scenes of the solid, square, historical facts, which, with care and labor, were taken in like heavy merchandise in school-boy days. The very points, localities, churches, prisons, and buildings where the events of history, that figure in our school-books, took place; where we may look upon the very finger-marks, as it were, that the great, the good, the wicked, and the tyrannical have left behind them. Then there are the scenes that poets and novelists have thrown a halo of romance around, and those whose common every-day expressions are as familiar in America as in England.

What young American, who has longed to visit London, and who, on his first morning there, as he prepares himself with all the luxurious feeling of one about to realize years of anticipation, but that runs over in his mind all that he has, time and again, read of in this great city, in history, story, and in fable, and the memory of the inward wish, or resolve, that he has often made to some day see them all? Now, which way to turn? Here they all are—Westminster Abbey, British Museum, St. Paul's, Old London Bridge, Hyde Park, Bank of England, Zoölogical Gardens, the Tower, the Theatres, Buckingham Palace, River Thames, and he has two or three weeks before going to the continent.

A great many things may be seen in three weeks.

That is very true in the manner that many of our countrymen, who look merely at the face of countries, and bring home their empty words, see them; but the tourist on his first visit abroad, before he has half a dozen weeks of experience, begins to ascertain what a tremendous labor constant sight-seeing is.

In London I have met American friends, who had the keenest desire to visit some of the streets described in Dickens's[181] works, and one who told me that he had just found, after a difficult search, Goswell Street, and had walked down that thoroughfare till he found a house with a placard in the window of "Apartments furnished for a single gentleman. Inquire within!" And feeling pretty sure that Mrs. Bardell lived there, he had the Pickwickian romance all taken out of him by a sort of Sally-Brass-looking personage, who responded to his inquiries, and confessed to the name of Finch, a sort of Chaff-Finch he thought, from the sharp and acrid style of her treating his investigations. I confess, myself, to a brief halt at the Pimlico station, and a glance about to see what the expression, "everything in Pimlico order," meant, and came to the conclusion that it was because there were whole streets of houses there so painfully regular and so exactly like each other, as to excite my wonder how a man ever learned to recognize his own dwelling from his neighbors'.

But it is a Sunday morning in London, and we will make an excursion up the River Thames on a penny steamboat. These little steam omnibuses are a great convenience, and are often so covered with passengers as to look like a floating mass of humanity; the price is about a penny a mile, and a ride up to Kew Gardens, about seven miles from where I took the boat, cost me sixpence. The boats dart about on the river with great skill and speed, and make and leave landings almost as quickly as an omnibus would stop to take up passengers. Americans cannot fail to notice that these boats have not yet adopted the signal bell to the engineer; but that party has orders passed him from the captain, by word of mouth through a boy stationed at the gangway, and the shout of; "Ease-ar"! "Start-ar"! "Back-ar"! "Slow-ar"! "Go on," regulates the boat's movements, gives employment to one more hand, and enables Englishmen to hold on to an old notion.

The sail up the Thames upon one of these little river steamers, of a fine day, is a very pleasant excursion. A good view of the Houses of Parliament and all the great London bridges is had, the little steamer passing directly under the[182] arches of the latter; but at some of them, whose arches were evidently constructed before steam passages of this kind were dreamed of, the arches were so low that the smoke-pipe, constructed with a hinge for that purpose, was lowered backwards flat to the deck, and after passing the arch, at once resumed its upright position. Landing not far from Kew Green, we pursued our way along a road evidently used by the common classes, who came out here for Sunday excursions, for it was past a series of little back gardens of houses, apparently of mechanics, who turned an honest penny by fitting up these little plots into cheap tea gardens, by making arbors of hop vines or cheap running plants, beneath which tables were spread, and signs, in various styles of orthography, informed the pedestrian that hot tea and tea cakes were always ready, or that boiling water could be had by those wishing to make their own tea, and that excursion parties could "take tea in the arbor" at a very moderate sum.

Kew Gardens contain nearly three hundred and fifty acres, and are open to the public every afternoon, Sunday not excepted. Upon the latter day, which was when I visited them, there are—if the weather is pleasant—from ten to twelve thousand people, chiefly of the lower orders, present; but the very best of order prevailed, and all seemed to be enjoying themselves very much. Beside the tea gardens, on the road of approach, just outside the gardens, there were every species of hucksters' refreshments—all kinds of buns, cakes, fruits, &c., in little booths and stands of those who vended them, for the refreshment of little family parties, or individuals who had come from London here to pass the day. Hot waffles were baked and sold at two pence each, as fast as the vender could turn his hand to it; an uncertain sort of coffee at two pence a cup, and tea ditto, were served out by a vender from a portable urn kept hot by a spirit lamp beneath it; and servant girls out for a holiday, workmen with their wives and children, shop-boys and shop-men, and throngs of work people, were streaming on in through the[183] ornamented gates, beyond which boundary no costermonger is allowed to vend his wares, and within the precincts of the gardens no eating and throwing of fragments of fruit or food permitted.

The gardens are beautifully laid out in pleasure-grounds, broad walks, groves, flower gardens, greensward, &c.—a pleasing combination of the natural and artificial; the public may walk where they wish; they may saunter here and there; they may lie down or walk on the greensward, only they must not pluck the flowers or break the trees and plants; the garden is a perfect wealth of floral treasures. Seventy-five of its three hundred and fifty acres are devoted to the Botanic Gardens, with different hot-houses for rare and tropical plants, all open to the public.

Here are the great Palm House, with its palm trees, screw pines, bananas, bamboos, sugar-canes, fig trees, and other vegetable wonders; the Victoria Regia House, with that huge-leafed production spread out upon its waters, with specimens of lotus, lilies, papyrus, and other plants of that nature; the tropical hot-house, full of elegant flowery tropical plants; a Fern House, containing an immense variety of ferns, and a building in which an extensive and curious collection of the cactus family are displayed. These hot-houses and nurseries are all kept in perfect order, heated with steam, and the plants in them properly arranged and classified.

The great parterre of flowers presents a brilliant sight, showing all the rich and gorgeous hues, so skilfully arranged as to look in the distance like a silken robe of many colors spread upon the earth. These winding walks, ornamental buildings, ferneries, azalea, camellia, rhododendron, and heath "houses" afford every opportunity for the botanist to study the habits of plants, the lover of flowers to feast on their beauty, and the poor man and his family an agreeable, pleasant, and rational enjoyment. Then there is a museum of all the different kinds of wood known in the world, and the forms into which it is or can be wrought. Here is rose-wood in the rough and polish; great rough pieces of mahogany in[184] a log, and wrought into a piece of elegant carving; willow, in its long, slender wands, and twisted into elegant baskets; a great chunk of iron-wood in the rough, or shaped with the rude implement and patient industry of the savage into an elaborately-wrought war-club or paddle; tough lance-wood, and its carriage work beside it; maple and its pretty panels; ash; pine of every kind, and then numerous wonderful woods I had never heard of, from distant lands, some brilliant in hue and elegant in grain, others curious in form, of wondrous weight or astonishing lightness; ebony and cork-wood; bamboo, sandal-wood, camphor, cedar and cocoa-wood; stunted sticks from arctic shores, solid timber from the temperate, and the curious fibrous stems of the tropics. It was really astonishing to see what an extensive, curious, and interesting collection this museum of the different woods of the world formed.

A short, brisk ride, of little more than a couple of miles, brought us to the celebrated Star and Garter Hotel,A at Richmond Hill, where one of the most beautiful English landscapes in the vicinity of London can be obtained. The hotel, which was situated upon a high terrace, commanded an extensive view of the Thames far below it, in its devious windings through a wooded country of hill and dale, with Windsor Castle in the distance. This house, so famed in novels and plays, is the resort of the aristocracy; its terraced gardens are elegant, and Richmond Park, in the immediate vicinity, with its two thousand acres, is crowded every afternoon during the season with their equipages—equipages, however, which do not begin to compare in grace and elegance with those of Central Park, New York.

There can be no pleasanter place to sit and dine of an afternoon in May than the dining-room of the Star and Garter, with its broad windows thrown open upon the beautiful gardens, with their terraces and gravelled walks running down towards the river, and rich in flowers, vases, and ornamental balustrades, with gay and fashionable promenaders passing to and fro, enjoying the scene. For more than a hundred feet below flashes the river, meandering on its crooked course,[185] with pleasure-boats, great and small, sporting upon it; and, perched upon hill-sides and in pleasant nooks, here and there, are the beautiful villas of the aristocracy and wealthy people. The dinner was good, and served with true English disregard of time, requiring about two hours or less to accomplish it; but the attendance was excellent, and the price of the entertainment could be only rivalled in America by one person—Delmonico.

But then one must dine at the Star and Garter in order to answer affirmatively the question of every Englishman who learns that you have been to Richmond Hill, and who is as much gratified to hear the cuisine and excellent wines of this hotel extolled by the visitor, as the splendid panoramic view from its windows, or the wild and natural beauties of the magnificent great park in the immediate neighborhood.

ASince the author's visit the "Star and Garter" has been destroyed by fire.


If there is any one exhibition that seems to possess interest to the inhabitants of the rural districts of both America and England, it is "wax works." Mrs. Jarley understood the taste of the English public in this direction, if we are to believe her celebrated chronicler. Artemus Ward commenced his career with his celebrated collection of "wax figgers;" and one of the sights of London, at the present day,—and a sight, let me assure the reader, that is well worth the seeing,—is Madame Tussaud's "exhibition of distinguished characters."

Let not the unsophisticated reader suppose that this is a collection of frightful caricatures, similar to those he has seen at travelling exhibitions or cheap shows, where one sees the same figure that has done duty as Semmes, the pirate, transformed, by change of costume, into the Duke of Wellington, or Jefferson Davis, or that it is one of those sets of figures with expressionless-looking faces, and great, star[186]ing glass eyes, dressed in cast-off theatrical wardrobes, or garments suggestive of an old-clothes shop. Nothing of the sort. Madame Tussaud's exhibition was first opened in the Palais Royal, Paris, in 1772, and in London 1802, and is the oldest exhibition of the kind known; and although the celebrated Madame is dead, her sons still keep up the exhibition, improving upon it each season, and display an imposing list of noble patrons upon their catalogue, among whom figure the names of Prince Albert, Louis XVIII., the late Duke of Wellington, &c.

The price of admission is a shilling; an additional sixpence is charged to visit the Chamber of Horrors; and a catalogue costs the visitor another sixpence, so that it is a two-shilling affair, but richly worth it. The exhibition consists of a series of rooms, in which the figures, three hundred in number, are classified and arranged. The first I sauntered into was designated the Hall of Kings, and contained fifty figures of kings and queens, from William the Conqueror to Victoria; they were all richly clad in appropriate costumes, some armed with mail and weapons, and with faces, limbs, and attitudes so artistically and strikingly natural, as to startle one by their marvellous semblance of reality; then the costumes, ornaments, and arms are exact copies of those worn at the different periods, and the catalogue asserts that the faces are carefully modelled from the best portraits and historical authorities.

Here are William the Conqueror and his Queen Matilda; here is William Rufus, with his red locks and covetous brow; here stands Richard I. (Cœur de Lion), his tall figure enclosed in shirt of chain-mail; and there sits King John, with dark frown and clinched hand, as if cursing the fate that compelled him to yield to the revolting barons, and sign Magna Charta; Edward III. and his Queen, Philippa, the latter wearing a girdle of the order of knighthood; and near at hand, Edward's noble, valiant son, the Black Prince—a magnificent figure, looking every inch a warrior, and noble gentleman. The artist had succeeded in face, costume, and attitude in representing in this work one of the most grand and chivalric-looking figures I ever looked upon, and which caused me,[187] again and again, to turn and gaze at what appeared such an embodiment of nobleness and bravery as one might read of in poetry and romance, but never see in living person. Among others of great merit was the figure of Edward IV. in his coronation robes, who was considered the handsomest man of his time; and Richard III. in a splendid suit of armor of the period, and the face copied from an original portrait owned by the Duke of Norfolk; Henry VII. in the same splendid costume in which he figures on his monument in Westminster Abbey; and then bluff old Henry VIII., habited in a full suit of armor, as worn by him on the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

Queen Mary (Bloody Mary) in her rich costume; then comes Queen Elizabeth, dressed exactly as she is in Holbein's well-known picture at Hampton Court Palace; Charles I. in the splendid suit of chevalier armor of his time; and Oliver Cromwell in his russet boots, leather surcoat, steel gorget and breastplate, broad hat, and coarse, square features; George III. in the robes of the Order of St. Patrick; his majesty George IV. in that stunning costume of silk stockings, breeches, &c., and the robes of the Order of the Garter over it, in which he figures in the picture that we are all so familiar with.

Then we have Victoria and her whole family, a formidable group in point of numbers, very well executed figures, and clad in rich and fashionably-made costumes, some of which are veritable court dresses, which have been purchased after being cast aside by the wearers. Certainly the outfit of these figures must be a heavy expense, as is evident to the most casual observer.

So much for the hall of English sovereigns. The other statues embrace representations of other monarchs and celebrated personages. Nicholas I. of Russia's tall figure looms up in his uniform of Russian Guards; Napoleon III., Marshal St. Arnaud, and General Canrobert in their dresses of French generals; Abdul Medjid in full Turkish costume, and the Empress Eugenie in a splendid court dress.

A very fine figure of Charlemagne in full [188]armor, equipped for battle, which was manufactured for the great exhibition of 1862, is a splendid specimen of figure-work and modern armor manufacture. Then we came to a fine figure of Wolsey in his cardinal's dress. Mrs. Siddons in the character of Queen Katherine, Macready as Coriolanus, and Charles Kean as Macbeth, are evidence that the theatrical profession is remembered, while Knox, Calvin, and Wesley indicate attention to the clergy.

The few American figures were for the most part cheaper affairs than the rest of the collection, and might be suspected, some of them, of being old ones altered to suit the times. For instance, that of General McClellan, President Lincoln and his Assassin, George Wilkes Booth, as the catalogue has it, would hardly pass for likenesses.

There is a very natural, life-like-looking figure of Madame Tussaud herself, a little old lady in a large old-fashioned bonnet, looking at a couch upon which reposes a splendid figure of a Sleeping Beauty, so arranged with clock-work that the bosom rises and falls in regular pulsations, as if breathing and asleep. Madame Tussaud died in 1850, at the age of ninety years.

A very clever deception is that of an old gentleman, seated in the middle of a bench, holding a programme in his hand, and apparently studying a large group of figures. By an ingenious operation of machinery, he is made to occasionally raise his head from the paper he is so carefully perusing, and regard the group in the most natural manner possible, and afterwards resume his study. This figure is repeatedly taken by strangers to be a living person, and questions or observations are frequently addressed to it. One of my own party politely solicited the loan of the old gentleman's programme a moment, and only discovered from the wooden character of the shoulder he laid his hand on, why he was not answered. Ere long he had the satisfaction of witnessing another person ask the quiet old gentleman to "move along a bit," and repeat the request till the smothered laughter of the spectators revealed the deception.

Perhaps the most intere[189]sting part of Madame Tussaud's exhibition was the Napoleon rooms, containing an extensive collection of relics of Napoleon the Great. These relics are unquestionably authentic, and, of course, from their character, of great value. There is the camp bedstead upon which the great warrior rested during seven years of his weary exile at St. Helena, with the very mattresses and pillows upon which he died, and, in a glass case near by, the counterpane used upon the bed, and stained with his blood. This last, a relic, indeed, which the possessors might, as Mark Antony suggested of napkins dipped in dead Cæsar's wounds,

"Dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy,
Unto their issue."

This bed was purchased of Prince Lucien, Napoleon's brother, for four hundred and fifty pounds. Then, as if in mockery of human greatness, there was hung close by this death-bed the coronation robe of Napoleon, sold at the restoration of Louis XVIII., from the Cathedral of Notre Dame; also the robe of the Empress Josephine, sold at the same time. Here, upon the bed, is a wax figure of the great emperor, partially enveloped in a cloak, the identical one he wore at the battle of Marengo, and which served as a pall when he was conveyed to the grave in his rocky prison.

In the room adjoining, the principal object of interest was the military carriage of the emperor, the same one in which he made the campaign of Russia, and which was captured by the Prussians on the evening of the battle of Waterloo. Here also is the carriage used by him during his exile at St. Helena. Near by is the sword worn during the campaign in Egypt, his gold repeating watch, cameo ring, tooth-brushes, coffee-pot, camp knife, fork, and spoon, gold snuff-box, &c.

But the most actual relic, perhaps, is a portion of the real corporeal Napoleon himself, being nothing more nor less than one of his teeth, which was drawn by Dr. O'Meara. These relics are of a description to gratify the taste of the most inveterate relic-hunter. I give a few more that are pencilled in my note-book as attracting my own attention; the atlas that[190] Bonaparte used many years, and on which are the plans of several battles sketched by his own hand,—a most suggestive relic this of the anxious hours spent in poring over it by the great captain, who marked out on this little volume those plans which crumbled kingdoms and dissolved dynasties; simple sketches to look upon, but which were once fraught with the fate of nations,—his dessert services, locks of his hair, camp service, shirts, under-waistcoats, and linen handkerchiefs, pieces of furniture, &c. Besides this large collection of relics of the great emperor, there are a number of other interesting historical relics of undoubted authenticity, such as the ribbon of Lord Nelson, a lock of Wellington's hair, George IV.'s handkerchief, the shirt of Henry IV. of France, the very one worn by him when assassinated by Ravaillac, and stained with the blood which followed the murderous knife, Lord Nelson's coat, the shoe of Pius VI., a ribbon of the Legion of Honor worn by Louis Philippe, coat and waistcoat of the Duke of Wellington, and, in a glass case, the three great state robes of George IV. These are of purple and crimson velvet, lined with ermine, and richly embroidered, the "three together containing five hundred and sixty-seven feet of velvet and embroidery,"—so the catalogue tells you,—"and costing eighteen thousand pounds."

The last department of this exhibition is one the name of which is quite familiar, and often quoted by American readers, viz., the Chamber of Horrors. The collection here is of figures of noted murderers and criminals, said to be portraits of the originals, and various models and relics. Perhaps the most interesting of the latter to the spectator is the original knife of the guillotine, used during the Reign of Terror in Paris. This axe, the catalogue tells us, was bought by Madame Tussaud of Sanson, grandson of the original executioner; and the now harmless-looking iron blade, that the spectator may lay his hands upon, is the terrible instrument that decapitated over twenty thousand human victims. It has reeked with the blood of the good, the great, and the tyrannical—the proudest blood of France and the basest[191]. The visitor may well be excused a shudder as his hand touches the cold steel that has been bathed in the blood of the unfortunate Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette, the tyrant Robespierre, and the thousands of unhappy victims that yielded up their lives beneath its fatal stroke. I confess that this Chamber of Horrors is unpleasantly interesting even to the sight-seer. I felt uncomfortable the brief time I spent there, breathed freer as I emerged from it, and felt as if escaping pursuit from some of its ruffianly inmates as I dashed away through the throng of vehicles in a Hansom cab to my hotel.

Theatre-going in London is an expensive amusement. In the theatres—that is, the good and respectable ones—there is no chance for people of moderate means, except the undesirable places that cannot be filled in any other way than by selling the admission at a rate within their reach. There is no theatre in London in size, appointments, and conveniences equal in all respects to the great ones in some of our large cities, and nothing that can compare with Booth's, of New York, or the Globe, of Boston. It is impossible to get such an entertainment as you may have in America at Booth's, Wallack's, or the Globe at anything like the price.

For instance, at Drury Lane Theatre the prices are, stalls, one dollar and seventy-five cents, gold; dress circle, one dollar and twenty-eight cents; second ditto, one dollar; pit, fifty cents; gallery, twenty-five cents. It should be understood that "stalls" take in the whole of the desirable part of the parquet, and that some half dozen rows of extreme back seats, in the draught of the doors, and almost beyond hearing and sight of the stage, are denominated "the pit;" and in some theatres it is a "pit" indeed. The auditoriums of their theatres are in no way so clean, well kept, or bright looking as those of leading American theatres in New York and Boston. Even at the old dirty Princess's Theatre, where I saw Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra very handsomely put upon the stage, and Miss Glyn as Cleopatra, the orchestra stalls cost one dollar and fifty cents, gold, and the pit, which was way back under the boxes, was vocal between the acts with venders of orange[192]s, nuts, and ginger beer.

The Lyceum Theatre, where I saw Fechter play, was a neat and well-ordered establishment, and stalls, one dollar and sixty cents; upper circle, one dollar; pit, fifty cents. I give the prices in American money, gold, that they may be compared with our own. There is not a theatre in London where a performance, and accommodation to the auditor equal to that at the Boston Museum, can be had for three times the price of admission to that establishment. The prices above given being about the average at the leading theatres, what does the reader expect he will have to pay for the opera? Let us see.

At Her Majesty's Theatre, where I had the pleasure of listening to Nilsson in Traviata and Titiens, in Oberon, Fidelio, &c., my play-bill informs me the prices are, pit stalls, fifteen shillings (about three dollars and forty cents in gold), boxes, two dollars and a half, and gallery, sixty cents. The pit, at this theatre, consists of four or five rows of narrow boards, at the extreme rear of the parquet, purposely made as narrow, uncomfortable, and inconvenient as can be, so that it is almost impossible to sit through a performance on them; yet, during the one act that I occupied a seat there, it was nearly filled with very respectable people, in full dress, no one being admitted who is not so costumed. I presume that the labor expended to render these seats disagreeable, is to force the public into the higher-priced ones, which are easy, comfortable, and even luxurious, and where one may be pretty sure that he is in the best society.

An American lady, who goes to the theatre or opera in London, must remember that she will not be permitted to enter the stalls or boxes with a bonnet on, no matter how infinitesimal, elegant, or expensive it may be. Full dress means, no bonnet for ladies, and dress coats, dark vests and pantaloons for gentlemen. A lady seen passing in with bonnet on is expected to leave it at the cloak-room, to be redeemed by payment of sixpence on coming out; and no amount of argument will admit an independent American[193] voter, who comes in a frock coat and drab pantaloons. I saw an ingenious American once, who overcame the frock coat difficulty by stepping outside, and getting his companion to pin up the skirts of that offending garment at each side, so that it made an extemporaneous "claw hammer" that passed without question.

Bills of the play are not furnished by the theatre to its patrons. You buy a big one for a penny of a boy outside the theatre, as you arrive at the door, that will soil your kid gloves with printer's ink; or a small one, for two or three pence, of the usher inside, who shows you a seat, and "expects something," as everybody does, in England. At the opera your bill will cost you sixpence, for it is expected that "the nobs" who go there never carry anything so base as copper in their pouches. Indeed, I noticed that one of the aforesaid ushers, to whom I handed a shilling, stepped briskly away, and omitted to return me any change. I learned better than to hand ushers shillings, and expect change, after a few nights' experience, and had threepences ready, after the English style.

We need not go through a description of the theatres of London. There are as many varieties, and more, than in New York; and you may go from the grand opera, which is the best of that kind of entertainment, to the Alhambra, a grand variety affair, but most completely got up in all departments, or the cheaper theatres, where the blood-and-thunder drama is produced for a shilling or sixpence a ticket.

The appearance of the dress circle boxes at the opera is magnificent. The ladies fairly blaze with diamonds and jewels, while silks, luxurious laces, splendid fans, scarfs, shawls, and superb costumes, make a brilliant picture that it is interesting to look upon. The extreme décolleté style of dress, however, was most remarkable. I have seen nothing to compare with it, even at the Jardin Mabille, or at the Cafés Chantants, in Paris, where the performers are wont to make so much display of their charms. Upon the stage, such undressing of the neck and bust would excite severe criticism, but[194] in the fashionable boxes of the opera, it passes unchallenged.

The liberal encouragement which the opera receives in England enables the management to produce it in far more complete and perfect style than it is usually seen in America. Indeed, some of the wretched, slipshod performances that have been given under the name of grand opera in America, would be hissed from the stage in London, Paris, or Italy. In operatic performances in America, we have the parts of two or three principals well done, but all else slipshod and imperfect, and the effect of the opera itself too frequently marred by the outrageous cuttings, transpositions, and alterations made by managers to adapt it to their resources.

The production of the opera in London is made with an orchestra of nearly a hundred performers, a well-trained chorus of sixty voices, dresses of great elegance, and correct and appropriate costume and style, even to the humblest performer. The opera, in all its details, is well performed, and the music correctly given; the scenery and scenic effects excellent, the auxiliaries abundant, so that a stage army looks something like an army, and not a corporal's guard; a village festival something like that rustic celebration, and not like the caperings of a few Hibernians, who have plundered a pawnbroker's shop, and are dancing in the stolen clothes.

Apropos of amusements, a very pleasant excursion is it by rail to the Sydenham Crystal Palace, where great cheap concerts are given, and one of those places in England where the people can get so much amusement, entertainment, and recreation for so little money. A ticket, including admission to the palace and grounds, and passage to and from London on the railroad, is sold at a very low sum, the entertainment being generally on Saturdays, which, with many, is a half holiday. Two of the London railways unite in a large, handsome station at Sydenham, from which one may walk under a broad, covered passage directly into the palace, this covered way being a colonnade seven hundred and twenty feet long, seventeen feet wide, and twenty feet high, reaching[195] one of the great wings of the palace.

And this magnificent structure, its splendid grounds and endless museum of novelties, is a monument of English public spirit and liberality; for it was planned, erected, and the whole enterprise carried out by a number of gentlemen, who believed that a permanent edifice, like the one which held the great exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851, would be of great benefit in furthering the education of the people, and affording sensible and innocent recreation at the cheapest possible rate. And right nobly have they performed their work in the production of this magnificent structure, which fairly staggers the American visitor by its beauty, as well as its vastness, and its wondrous grace and lightness. It is a great monument of graceful curves and flashing glass, situated upon the summit of a gradual slope, with superb broad terraces, adorned with statues, grand flights of steps descending to elegantly laid out grounds, with shrubs, flowers, trees, fountains, ponds, rustic arbors, and beautiful walks; and these front terraces and grounds commanding one of those splendid landscape pictures for which England is so celebrated.

There is no better way of giving the reader an idea of the size of this magnificent structure, than by means of a few figures. The palace was completed in 1854 by a joint-stock company of gentlemen. It occupies, with its gardens and grounds, about three hundred acres, and cost, when completed, with its gardens, nearly two million pounds sterling. Think of the public being able to visit this splendid place for one shilling!

The length of the main building of the palace is over sixteen hundred feet; the width throughout the nave, three hundred and twelve feet, which, at the grand centre, is increased to three hundred and eighty-four feet; in addition to which are two great wings, of five hundred and seventy-four feet each; the height, from floor to ceiling, one hundred and ten feet; twenty-five acres of glass, weighing five hundred tons, were used in the building, and nine thousand six hundred and forty-one tons of iron. Graceful galleries run around the[196] sides, and grand mammoth concerts and other entertainments are given in the central transept, the arch of which rises in a graceful span to the height of one hundred and seventy-five feet: the whole of one end of this transept is occupied by seats, rising one above the other, for the accommodation of four thousand performers, who performed at the great Handel Festival. A great organ, built expressly for the place, occupies a position at the rear of these orchestra seats.

I was present at a grand musical performance in this transept, and, from an elevated seat in the orchestra, had a superb view of the whole audience below, which occupied chairs placed in the transept; these chairs which now faced the organ and orchestra, when turned directly about, would face the stage of a theatre, upon which other performances were given. The view of the crowd, from the elevated position I occupied, gave it the appearance of a huge variegated flower-bed, and its size may be realized when the reader is informed that there were eight thousand people present; besides these, there were between three and four thousand more in different parts of the building and grounds. I obtained these figures from the official authorities, who informed me that on greater occasions, when the performance is more attractive, or upon whole holidays, the number is very much larger.

The nave is divided into sections, or courts; such as the Sheffield Court, Manufacturing Court, Glass and China Court, Stationary Court, Egyptian Court, Italian Court, Renaissance Court, &c. These courts are filled with the products of the industry or art of the periods for which they are named. Thus, in the English Mediæval Court are splendid reproductions of mediæval architecture, such as the elegant doorway of Rochester Cathedral, doorway of Worcester Cathedral, the splendid Easter sepulchre from Hawton Church, the monument of Humphrey do Bohun from Hereford Cathedral, with the effigy of the knight in complete armor, and various architectural specimens from the ancient churches and magnificent cathedrals of England, all exact counterfeit presentments, executed in a sort of composition in imitation [197]of the original. The Renaissance Court contains elegant reproductions of celebrated specimens of architecture of that period, elaborate and profuse in decoration. Then we have the Elizabethan, Italian, and Greek Courts, each a complete museum in itself of reproductions of architecture, and celebrated monuments of their periods. The Sheffield, Manufacturers, Glass and China Courts, &c., contain splendid exhibitions of specimens of the leading manufacturers, of those species of goods, of some of the best products of their factories.

Stalls are prepared for the sales of the lighter articles, and attendants are present at the different show-cases, or departments to make explanations, or take orders from visitors who may be inclined. The display of English manufactures was a very good one, and the opportunity afforded them to display and advertise them, well improved by exhibitors. The interior of the palace contains also a great variety of statues, casts, models, artistic groups, and other works of art. The visitor need not leave for refreshments, as large and well-served restaurants for ladies and gentlemen are at either end of the building, beneath its roof.

Leaving the building for the grounds, we first step out upon a great terrace, fifteen hundred and seventy-six feet in length and fifty feet wide. Upon its parapet are twenty-six allegorical marble statues; and from this superb promenade the spectator has a fine view of the charming landscape, backed by blue hills in the distance, and the beautiful grounds, directly beneath the terrace, which are reached by a broad flight of steps, ninety-six feet wide, and are picturesquely laid out. A broad walk, nearly one hundred feet wide, six or eight fountains throwing up their sparkling streams, artificial lakes, beds of gay-colored flowers, curious ornamental temples and structures, tend to make the whole novel and attractive. After a stroll in this garden, visitors may saunter off to the other adjacent grounds at pleasure.

Leaving the gardens directly in front of the palace for the extensive pleasure-grounds connected with it, we passed through a beautiful shaded lane, and came first to the arch[198]ery grounds, where groups were trying their skill in that old English pastime. Not far from here, a broad, level place, with close-cut, hard-rolled turf was kept for the cricketing grounds, where groups of players were scattered here and there, enjoying that game. Near by are rifle and pistol shooting galleries. In another portion of the grounds is an angling and boating lake, a maze, American swings, merry go-arounds, and other amusements for the people, the performances of those engaged in these games affording entertainment to hundreds of lookers-on.

A whole day may be very pleasantly and profitably spent at the Sydenham Palace, the attractions of which we have given but the merest sketch of; and that they are appreciated by the people is evidenced by the fact that the number of visitors are over a million and a half per annum. The railroad companies evidently make a good thing of it, and by means of very cheap excursion tickets, especially on holidays, induce immense numbers to come out from the city.

This Crystal Palace is the same one which stood in Hyde Park; only when it rose again at Sydenham, it was with many alterations and improvements. It was a sad sight to see, when we were there, large portions of the northern end, including that known as the tropical end,—the Assyrian and Byzantine Courts,—in ruins from the effects of the fire a few years ago; yet that destroyed seems small in comparison with the immense area still left.

The parks of London have been described so very often that we must pass them with brief allusion. Their vast extent is what first strikes the American visitor with astonishment, especially those who have moulded their ideas after Boston Common, or even Central Park of New York. Hyde Park, in London, contains three hundred and ninety acres; and we took a lounge in Rotten Row at the fashionable hour, between five and six in the afternoon, when the drive was crowded with stylish equipages; some with coroneted panels and liveried footmen, just such as we see in pictures. Then there were numerous equestrians, among whom were[199] gentlemen mounted upon magnificent blood horses, followed at a respectful distance by their mounted grooms, and gracefully tipping their hats to the fair occupants of the carriages. Mounted policemen, along the whole length of the drive, prevented any carriage from getting out of line or creating confusion; and really the display of splendid equipages, fine horses, and beautiful women, in Hyde Park, of an afternoon, during the season, is one of the sights of London that no stranger should miss.

Every boy in America, who is old enough to read a story-book, has heard of the Zoölogical Gardens at Regent's Park, London; and it is one of the sights that the visitor, no matter how short his visit, classes among those he must see. This collection of natural history specimens was first opened to the public as long ago as 1828; it is one in which the Londoners take great pride, and the Zoölogical Society expend large sums of money in procuring rare and good living specimens. Improvements are also made every year in the grounds, and the exhibition is now a most superb and interesting one, and conducted in the most liberal manner.

Visitors are admitted on Mondays at sixpence each; on other days the price of admission is a shilling. Here one has an opportunity of seeing birds and animals with sufficient space to move about and stretch their limbs in, instead of the cruelly cramped quarters in which we have been accustomed to view them confined in travelling menageries, so cruelly small as to call for action of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to interfere in behalf of the poor brutes, who often have only space to stand up in, and none to move about in, although their nature be one requiring exercise; and they therefore become poor, spiritless specimens, dying by slow torture of close confinement.

Here, however, the visitor finds different specimens of eagles, vultures, and other huge birds, each in great cages twenty feet high, and nearly as many square; owls, hawks, and other birds of prey, with cages big enough to fly about in; ibis, elegant flamingoes, pelicans, and water birds, [200]in large enclosures, with ponds for them to enjoy their favorite pursuits. For some of the smaller birds aviaries were arranged, the size of a large room, part of it out in the open air, with shrubs and trees, and the other half beneath shelter—a necessity for some species of tropical birds. One, therefore, might look upon the flashing plumage and curious shapes of tropical birds flitting among the trees, and see all colors and every variety at the different aviaries. I saw the sea birds in a place which, by artificial means, was made to represent the sea-shore; there were rocks, marine plants, sea shells, sand, and salt water; and ducks, sandpipers, and gulls dove, ran and flew about very much as if they were at home. Passing into a house devoted exclusively to parrots, we were almost deafened by the shrieking, cat-calls, whistling, and screaming of two or three hundred of every hue, size, kind, and variety of these birds; there were gorgeous fellows with crimson coronets, and tails a yard in length,—blue, green, yellow, crimson, variegated, black, white, in fact every known color: the din was terrific, and the shouting of all sorts of parrot expressions very funny.

The collection of birds is very large, from the little wren to great stalking ostriches, vultures, and bald eagles, and only lacked the great condor of South America.

The animals were well cared for. Here were a pair of huge rhinoceroses enjoying themselves in a large, muddy pond in the midst of their enclosure, a stable afforded them dry in-door quarters when they chose to go in, and a passage through these stables enabled visitors always to see the animals when they were in-doors. Two huge hippopotami were also similarly provided for. Next came several elephants, great and small, with outer enclosures, where they received donations of buns and fruit, and stables for private life; also a splendid specimen of the giraffe, &c.

There was a vast collection of different specimens of deer, from the huge antlered elk to the graceful little gazelle, the size of an English terrier.

Then we came to the bear-pi[201]ts. Here sauntered a great polar bear in a large enclosure, in which a tank of water was provided for his bearship to disport himself; a long row of great roomy cages of lions, tigers, leopards, and panthers, with their supple limbs, sleek hides, and wicked eyes; a splendid collection of the wolf, fox, and raccoon tribe; specimens of different varieties of sheep; the alpaca, zebras, camels, elands, and bison; enclosed ponds, with magnificent specimens of water fowl from all parts of the world; then there was the beaver pond, with his wood, and his dam, and hut; the seal tank and otter pond, with their occupants not always in view, but watched for by a curious crowd; and, near by, a house full of specimens of armadillos, and other small and curious animals.

The reptile house, with its collection of different specimens of snakes, from the huge boa constrictor to the small, wicked-looking viper, was not a pleasant sight to look upon; but one of the most popular departments of the whole exhibition was the monkey house, a building with ample space for displaying all the different specimens of this mischievous little caricature of man. In the centre of the room was a very large cage, fitted up with rings, ladders, trapezes, bars, &c., like a gymnasium, and in this the antics of a score of natural acrobats kept the spectators, who are always numerous in this apartment, in a continued roar of laughter.

Not the least amusing performance here was that of a huge old monkey, the chief of the cage by common consent, who, after looking sleepily for some half hour at the performances of his lesser brethren from the door of his hut in a lofty corner, suddenly descended, and, as if to show what he could do, immediately went through the whole performances seriatim. He swung by the rings, leaped from trapeze to trapeze, swung from ladder to bar, leaped from shelf to shelf, sent small monkeys flying and screaming in every direction, and then, amid a general chattering and grinning, retired to his perch, and, drawing a piece of old blanket about his shoulders, looked calmly down upon the scene below, like a rheumatic old man at the antics of a party of boys.

The young visitors at the Zoölogi[202]cal Gardens have opportunity afforded them to ride the elephants and camels, and a band plays in the gardens on Saturdays. Members of the society have access to a library, picture gallery, and enjoy various other advantages in assistance of the study and investigation of natural history.

The Tower of London! How the scenes of England's history rise before the imagination, in which this old fortress, palace and prison by turns, has figured! It is a structure of which every part seems replete with story, and every step the visitor makes brings him to some point that has an interest attached to it from its connection with the history of the past.

The Tower has witnessed some of the proudest pageants of England's glory, and some of the blackest deeds of her tyranny and shame. The names of fair women, brave men, soldiers, sages, monarchs, and nobles,—

"Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,"—

are twined within its chronicles, and its hard, pitiless stones have frozen hope into despair in some of the noblest hearts that ever beat on English soil.

Here Lady Jane Grey fell beneath the headsman's axe; Clarence was drowned in the butt of Malmsey; Anne Boleyn was imprisoned, and later her proud daughter, Princess, afterwards Queen, Elizabeth, passed a prisoner through the water-gate; Buckingham, Stafford, William Wallace, Essex, Elizabeth's favorite, Lord Bacon, Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley heard its gates clang behind them; King Henry VI. and the princes were murdered here by Richard III.'s orders. But why continue the catalogue of names, of deeds, and of scenes that come thronging into one's mind as we approach this ancient pile, that is invested with more historic interest than any other European palace or prison?

Its foundation dates back to the time of Cæsar, and one of the towers is called Cæsar's Tower to this day, though the buildings, as they now stand, were commenced in the time of William the Conqueror.

Shakespeare has made this grim fortress so prominent a picture in his plays, that, with the same fancy that one looks for Shylock to-day upon the crowded Rialto, does the v[203]isitor, on approaching the Tower, shudder as if he were to encounter the crooked form of Gloucester, or hear, in the dark passages, the mournful wail of the spirits of the two innocent princes, torn from their mother's arms, and dying by his cruel mandate.

We sought the Tower on foot, but soon becoming entangled in a maze of crooked, narrow, and dirty streets, which doubtless might be very interesting to the antiquarian, but rather disagreeable to the stranger, we were glad to hail a cab, and be driven down to it. Here we found that the Tower of London was a great fortress, with over thirteen acres enclosed within its outer wall and the principal citadel, or White Tower, as it is called, with its one round and three square steeples, the most prominent one in view on approaching, and in appearance that which many of us are familiar with from engravings.

There are no less than thirteen towers in the enclosure, viz.: the Bloody Tower, the Bell Tower, Beauchamp Tower, Devereux Tower, Flint Tower, Bowyer Tower, Brick Tower, Jewel Tower, Constable Tower, Salt Tower, Record Tower, and Broad Arrow Tower. We come to the entrance gate, where visitors are received, and wait in a little office until twelve are assembled, or a warder will take charge of a party every half hour to go the rounds. The site of this building was where the lions were formerly kept. The warders, in their costume of yeomen of the guard of Henry VIII.'s time, are among the curiosities of the place. Their uniform, consisting of a low-crowned velvet hat, surrounded by a sort of garland, a broad ruff about the neck, and dark-blue frock, or tunic, with the crown, rose, shamrock, and thistle on the breast, and other embroidery upon the skirts, flaps, and belts, with trunks gathered at the knee with a gay-colored rosette, tight silk stockings and rosetted shoes, looked oddly enough, and as if some company of supernumeraries, engaged for a grand theatrical spectacle, had come out in open daylight. These warders are principally old soldiers, who receive the position as a reward for bravery or faithful service.

The Tower is open to visitors from ten to four; the f[204]ee of admission sixpence, and sixpence more is charged for admission to the depository of the crown jewels; conspicuous placards inform the visitor that the warders have no right to demand or receive any further fee from visitors; but who has ever travelled in England, and gone sight-seeing there, but knows this to be, if he is posted, an invitation to try the power of an extra shilling when occasion occurs, and which he generally finds purchases a desirable addition to his comfort and enjoyment?

However, on we go, having purchased tickets and guide-books, following the warder, who repeats the set description, that he has recited so often, in a tedious, monotonous tone, from which he is only driven by the curious questions of eager Yankees, often far out of his depth in the way of knowledge of what certain rooms, towers, gates, and passages are noted for. We hurried on over the moat bridge, and halted to look at Traitor's Gate; and I even descended to stand upon the landing-steps where so many illustrious prisoners had stepped from the barge on their way to the prisons. Sidney, Russell, Cranmer, and More had landed here, and Anne Boleyn's dainty feet, and Elizabeth's high-heeled slippers pressed its damp stones. On we pass by the different towers, the warder desirous of our seeing what appears to him (an old soldier) the lion of the place—the armory of modern weapons, which we are straightway shown. Thousands and thousands of weapons—pistols, swords, cutlasses, and bayonets—are kept here, the small arms being arranged most ingeniously into a number of astonishing figures. Here were the Prince of Wales's triple feather in glittering bayonets, a great sunburst made wholly of ramrods, a huge crown of swords, and stars, and Maltese crosses of pistols and bayonets; the serried rows of muskets, rifles, and small arms in the great hall would have equipped an army of a hundred thousand.

But we at last got into the Beauchamp, or "Beechum" Tower, as our guide called it; and here we began to visit the prisons of the unhappy captives that have fretted their proud spirits in this gloomy fortress. Upon the walls of the guarde[205]d rooms they occupied they have left inscriptions and sculpture wrought with rude instruments and infinite toil, during the tedious hours of their imprisonment. Here is an elaborate carving, by Dudley, Earl of Warwick, brother to the Lord Dudley who married Lady Jane Grey. It is a shield, bearing the Lion, Bear, and Ragged Staff, and surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves, roses, and acorns, all cut in the stone, and underneath an inscription, in Old English letters, stating that his four brothers were imprisoned here. In another room is the word Jane cut, which is said to refer to Lady Jane Grey, and to have been cut by her husband. Marmaduke Neville has cut his name in the pitiless stone, and a cross, bleeding heart, skeleton, and the word Peverel, wrought under it, tell us that one of the Peverels of Devonshire has been confined here: over the fireplace the guide points us to the autograph of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, who was beheaded in 1572 for aspiring to the hand of Mary, Queen of Scots. Arthur Poole, who conspired to place Mary on the English throne, left an inscription "I.H.S. A passage perillus makethe a port pleasant." 1568. A. Poole. Numerous other similar mementos are shown, cut in the walls of the apartments of this tower, the work of the prisoners who formerly occupied them, and the names thus left are often those who figure in English history.

In the White Tower we were shown a room, ten by eight, receiving light only from the entrance, which, it is stated, was one of the rooms occupied by Sir Walter Raleigh, and that in it he wrote his History of the World. Right in front of this, in the centre of the room, stands the beheading block that has been used on Tower Hill, and the executioner's axe beside it, which, in Elizabeth's reign, severed Essex's head from his body. The block bears the marks of service in the shape of more than one dint from the weapon of death. Some idea of the strength of this tower, and its security as a prison, may be had from the walls, which are from twelve to fourteen feet in thickness. In this White Tower is the great Council Chamber of the early English kings, and here, beneath the great, massive-timbered roof, we stand where King Richard II.[206] resigned his crown to Bolingbroke, in 1399. We pass on to the Brick Tower, another prison, where Raleigh was once confined—Raleigh, the friend of Bacon and Shakespeare, who here spent the last ten days of his life, and many a weary year before. But we found there was one tower, among others, that was not visited by the guide with our party; it was the one of all others we wished to see—the Bloody Tower.

We are not hallowed to show that," said our guide, in response to our solicitations.

"Is it not possible?" said I, in a low tone, putting one hand into my pocket, jingling some loose silver, and looking the burly warder in the eye, as I fell back a little from the rest of the party.

"Hi couldn't say really, but (sotto voce, as a shilling dropped into his palm, that was conveniently open behind him) hif you'll lag be'ind the party when they go out, I'll see what can be done."

We took occasion to follow the warder's hint, and after he had conducted the others to the gate, he returned, and took us to the room over the entrance-gate in which the princes were lodged, and where, by their uncle's order, they were smothered. This little room—about twelve feet square—has an inner window, through which, it is said, Tyrell, the crook-back tyrant's instrument, looked, after the murder had been done by his hired ruffians, to be sure that his master's fell purpose was complete. This room, small as it was, had a pleasant outlook, commanding views of the interior of the Tower wards and gardens—in fact, it used to be called Garden Tower—and the Thames River. The stairs leading from this part of the Tower to the gateway were shown us, and the place, not far from their foot, where the supposed remains of these unfortunate princes were afterwards discovered, and removed and interred at Westminster Abbey.

After seeing various dismal vaults and cells, which our guide, desirous of showing his appreciation of our bounty, conducted us to beneath the towers, holding his candle [207]to show the carving made by wretched prisoners by the dim light that struggled in when they were confined there, he took us to one, his description of which rather shook our faith in his veracity. It was a small, arched cell, about ten feet high, and not more than four feet deep, without grating, window, or aperture, except a door.

"This," said he, swinging open the huge iron-strapped and bolted door, "this was Guy Fawkes's dungeon; he was confined here three days, with no more light and h'air than he could get through the key-'ole."

"But," said I, "no man could live in that cell half a day; he would die for lack of air."

"But," said our cicerone, depreciatingly, "your honor doesn't consider the size of the key-'ole."

No, but we did the size of the story, and felt convinced that we were getting a full shilling's worth extra.

But if there were any doubt about the Guy Fawkes cell, there was none about many other points of historical interest, which, after learning the names of a few of the principal ones, could be easily located by those familiar with the history of the Tower, and even by those of us who only carried some of the leading events of England's history in mind. One of these points was a little enclosed square, in front of St. Peter's Chapel, in the open space formed by that edifice on one side, Beauchamp Tower on the other, and the White Tower on the third, in the place known as Tower Green. This little square, of scarce a dozen feet, railed with iron to guard the bright greensward from profane tread, is the spot on which stood the scaffold, where, on the 19th of May, 1536, Anne Boleyn bent her fair head to the block; the fall of which beneath one blow of the executioner's sword, was announced by the discharge of a gun from the Tower ramparts, so that her husband, that savage and brutal British king, who was hunting in Epping Forest, might be apprised that she had yielded up her life; and history tells us that this royal brute of the sixteenth century returned that very evening gayly from the chase, and on the following morning married[208] Jane Seymour.

Here, also, upon the earth enclosed in the little square round which we were standing, poured forth the precious blood of Bloody Mary's victim, Lady Jane Grey; here is where, after saying to the executioner, "I pray you despatch me quickly," she knelt down, groped for the fatal block, bent her innocent neck, and passed, with holy words upon her lips, into that land where opposing creeds shall not harass, nor royal ambition persecute.

Here also was that murder (it could not be called execution) done by order of Henry VIII. on the Countess of Salisbury, a woman, seventy years of age, condemned to death without any form of trial whatever; who, conscious of her innocence, refused to place her head upon the block. "So traitors used to do, and I am no traitor," said the brave old countess, as she struggled fiercely with her murderers, till, weak and bleeding from the soldiers' pikes, she was dragged to the block by her gray hair, held down till the executioner performed his office, and the head of the last of the Plantagenets, the daughter of the murdered Clarence, fell; and another was added to the list of enormities committed by the bloated and sensual despot who wielded the sceptre of England.

The soil within this little enclosure is rich with the blood of the innocent victims of royal tyranny; and it was not astonishing that we lingered here beyond the patience of our guide.

The collection of ancient armor and arms at the Tower is one of great interest, especially that known as the Horse Armory, which contains, besides a large and curious collection of portions of armor and weapons, a great number of equestrian figures, fully armed and equipped in suits of armor of various periods between Edward I., 1272, and the death of James I., 1625. This building is over one hundred and fifty feet long, by about thirty-five wide, and is occupied by a double row of these figures, whose martial and life-like appearance almost startles the visitor as he steps in amid this[209] warlike array of mailed knights, all in the different attitudes of the tilting-ground or battle-field, silent and immovable as if they had suddenly been checked in mid career by a touch from the wand of some powerful enchanter.

Here, in flexible chain-mail hood, shirt, and spurs, stands the effigy of Edward I. (1272), the king in the act of drawing his sword; and clad in this armor were the knights who were borne to the earth on the fields of Dunbar and Bannockburn. Next rides at full tilt, with lance in rest, and horse's head defended by spiked chanfron, and saddle decorated with the king's badges, Edward IV., 1483; then we have the armor worn in the Wars of the Roses, and at Bosworth Field; here a suit worn by a swordsman in Henry VII.'s time, about 1487; next, a powerful charger, upon the full leap, bears the burly figure of Henry VIII., in a splendid suit of tilting armor, inlaid with gold: this suit is one which is known to have belonged to the tyrant; a sword is at the side of the figure, and the right hand grasps an iron mace. A splendid suit of armor is that of a knight of Edward VI.'s time (1552), covered all with beautiful arabesque work, inlaid with gold, and a specimen of workmanship which, it seemed to me, any of our most skilful jewellers of the present day might be proud of.

Then we have the very suit of armor that was worn by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, which is profusely decorated with that oft-mentioned badge of the Dudleys, the Bear and Ragged Staff that they appeared to be so fond of cutting, carving, stamping, and engraving upon everything of theirs, movable and immovable. His initials, R. D., are also engraved on the knee-guards. The mounted figure of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, 1581, in his splendid suit of gilt armor; effigy of Henry, Prince of Wales, riding, rapier in hand, in the armor made for him in the year 1612—a splendid suit, engraved and adorned with representations of battle scenes; the armor made for King Charles I. when a youth; James II., 1685, in his own armor. Besides these were numerous other figures, clad in suits of various per[210]iods. One very curious was a suit wrought in Henry VIII.'s time, which was composed entirely of movable splints, and almost as flexible as an overcoat; a figure clad in splendid plated armor, time of Henry VII., with ancient sword in hand, battle-axe at the saddle-bow, and the horse protected by armor in front—the whole figure a perfect realization of the poet's and artist's idea of a brave knight sheathed in gleaming steel.

The curious old implements of war, from age to age, illustrate the progress that was made in means for destroying human life; and the period of the invention of gunpowder is marked by the change which takes place in the character of the weapons. Here we were shown the English "bill," which the sturdy soldiers used with such effect when they got within striking distance of the enemy; a ball armed with protruding iron spikes, and hitched by a chain to a long pole, and used flail-like, denominated the "morning star," we should think would have created as much damage among friends as foes on the battle-field; then there was a curious contrivance, called the catch-pole—a sort of iron fork, with springs, for pulling a man off his horse by the head; battle-axes, halberds, English pikes, partisans, cross-bows, with their iron bolts, long bows, a series of helmets from 1320 down to 1685—a very curious collection. Then we have the collection of early fire-arms, petronel, match-lock, wheel-lock, and, among others, a veritable revolver pistol of Henry VIII.'s time—an ancient, rude-looking affair, and from which, we were told by the guide, "Colonel Colt, of the American army," borrowed his idea.

"So you see, sir, the Hamerican revolver is nothink new—honly a hold Henglish hidea, harfter hall."

This prodigious broadside of h's was unanswerable. So we said nothing, and shall look for the English model from which the American sewing-machine was invented.

Of course, there is no one who will think of visiting the Tower without seeing the regalia of England, which are kept here in their own especial stronghold, entitled the [211]Jewel Tower. It is astonishing to see the awe and wonder with which some of the common people look upon these glittering emblems of royalty, which they seem to regard with a veneration little short of the sovereign.

The royal crown is a cap of rich purple velvet, enclosed in hoops of silver, and surmounted by a ball and cross of splendid diamonds. The Prince of Wales's crown is a simple pure gold crown, without jewels. The queen's diadem, as it is called, is an elegant affair, rich in huge diamonds and pearls. This crown was made for the consort of James II. St. Edwards crown, shaped like the regular English crown,—with which we are all familiar, from seeing it represented in the arms of England, and upon British coin,—is of gold, and magnificent with diamonds, rubies, pearls, emeralds, and other precious stones. Here we also have sight of the other paraphernalia of royalty, which, to American visitors, looks somewhat theatrical and absurd, and continually suggest the thought of what empty pageants are the parade and mummeries of kings and princes. Here is the royal sceptre, a rod formed of gold, and richly adorned with jewels, surmounted by a cross, which is placed in the right hand of the sovereign at coronations; and the rod of equity, another sceptre, ornamented with diamonds, and surmounted with a dove with outstretched wings, which is placed in the left hand; a queen's sceptre, richly ornamented with jewels; the ivory sceptre of James II.'s queen; and the elegantly-wrought golden one made for Mary, queen of William III.; swords of Justice and Mercy, coronation bracelets, spurs, anointing vessels, baptismal font, spoons, salt-cellars, dishes, and numerous other—coronation tools, I must call them, reminding one, as they lay there spread out to view in their iron cage, of one of those displays of bridal presents at an American wedding, where the guest wonders at the ingenuity of the silversmith in producing so many articles for which, until he sees them, and is told what they are designed for, he could not imagine a used could be found.

From the blaze of diam[212]onds and precious stones, and the yellow glitter of beaten gold, we turned away to once more walk through the historic old fortress, and examine the record that is left behind of the part it has played of palace, fortress, and prison.

The tourist gets but a confused idea of the Tower in one visit, hurried along as he is by the warder, who repeats his monotonous, set descriptions, with additions and emendations of his own, and if he be not "i' the vein," omitting, I fancy, some portion of the regular round, to save himself trouble, especially if an extra douceur has not been dropped into his itching palm. Then there are walks, passages, windows, and apartments, all celebrated in one way or another, which are passed by without notice, from the fact that a full description would occupy far too much time, but which, if you should happen to have an old Londoner, with a liking for antiquity, with you, to point them out, and have read up pretty well the history of the Tower, you find are material enhancing the pleasure of the visit.

I suppose St. Paul's Church, in London, may be called the twin sight to the Tower; and so we will visit that noted old monument of Sir Christopher Wren's architectural skill next. In looking at London en masse, from any point,—that is, as much of it as one can see at once,—the great dome of St. Paul's stands out a most prominent landmark, its huge globe rising to the height of three hundred and sixty feet.

We used to read an imprint, in our young days, stamped upon a toy-book, containing wonderful colored pictures, which communicated the fact that it was sold by Blank & Blank, Stationers, St. Paul's Churchyard, London, and wondered why bookstores were kept in burial-grounds in London. We found, on coming to London, that St. Paul's stood in the midst of a cemetery, and that the street or square around and facing it—probably once a part of the old cemetery—is called St. Paul's Churchyard; a locality, we take occasion to mention, that is noted for its excellent shops for cheap dry goods and haberdashery, or such goods as ladies in America buy at thread stores, and which can generally be bought here a trifle cheaper than at other localities in [213]London. St. Paul's Churchyard is also noted for several excellent lunch or refreshment rooms for ladies and gentlemen, similar, in some respects, to American confectionery shops, except that at these, which are designated "pastry-cooks," cakes, cold meats, tarts, sherry wine, and ale may be had; and I can bear witness, from personal experience, that the quality of the refreshment, and the prices charged at the well-kept pastry-cooks' shops of St. Paul's Churchyard, are such as will satisfy the most exacting taste.

The present St. Paul's, which was completed in 1710, can hardly be called Old St. Paul's. The first one built on this site was that in 610, by Ethelbert, King of Kent, which was burned, as was also its successor, which received large estates from the Conqueror. But the Old St. Paul's we read so much about in novel and story, was the great cathedral immediately preceding this one, which was six hundred and ninety feet long, one hundred and thirty broad, was built in the form of a cross, and sent a spire up five hundred and twenty feet into the air, and a tower two hundred and sixty feet; which contained seventy-six chapels, and maintained two hundred priests; from which the pomp and ceremony of the Romish church vanished before the advance of the Reformation; which was desecrated by the soldiery in civil war, and finally went down into a heap of smouldering ruins in 1666, after an existence of two hundred and twenty years. That was the Old St. Paul's of ancient story, and of W. Harrison Ainsworth's interesting historical novel, which closes with an imaginative description of its final destruction by the great fire of London.

Sir Christopher Wren, the architect, and grand old Free and Accepted Mason, built the present St. Paul's, laying the corner-stone in 1675, and the cap-stone in the lantern in 1710—a thirty-five years' piece of work by one architect, and most ably and faithfully was it done. Appropriate, indeed, therefore, is the epitaph that is inscribed on the plain, broad slab that marks his last resting-place in the crypt on the spot where the high altar of the old cathedral once stood. Beneath[214] this slab, we are told, rests the builder; but "if ye seek his monument, look around you." The corner-stone of St. Paul's was laid with masonic ceremonies, and the trowel and mallet used on the occasion are still reserved by the lodge whose members at that time officiated.

It is impossible to get a complete general view of the whole of St. Paul's at once, it is so hemmed in here in the oldest and most crowded part of London. Here, all around us were Streets whose very names had the ring of old English history. Watling Street, a narrow lane, but old as Anglo-Saxon times; Newgate, where the old walls of London stood, is near at hand, and Cannon Street, which runs into St. Paul's churchyard, contains the old London Stone, once called the central point of the city, from which distances were measured; Ludgate Hill, little narrow Paternoster Row, Cheapside, and Old Bailey are close by, and a few steps will take you into Fleet Street, St. Martins le Grand, or Bow Lane. You feel that here, in whatever direction you turn, you are in old London indeed, near one of the solid, old, historical, and curious parts of it, that figure in the novels and histories, and with which you mentally shake hands as with an old acquaintance whom you have long known by correspondence, but now meet face to face for the first time.

St. Paul's is built of what is called Portland stone; originally, I should suppose, rather light colored, but now grimed with the universal blacking of London smoke. The best view of the exterior is from Ludgate Hill, a street approaching its western front, from which a view of the steps leading to the grand entrance and the statues in front of it is obtained.

One does not realize the huge proportions of this great church till he walks about it. Its entire length, from east to west, is five hundred feet; the breadth at the great western entrance, above referred to, is one hundred and eighty feet, and at the transept two hundred and fifty feet. The entire circumference of the church, as I was told by the loquacious guide who accompanied me, was two thousand two hundred[215] and ninety-five feet, and it covers two acres of ground. These figures will afford the reader opportunity for comparison, and give some idea of its immensity. The height of the cross on the dome is three hundred and sixty feet from the street, and the diameter of the great dome itself is one hundred and eighty feet.

There is ever so much that is curious and interesting to see in St. Paul's, and, like many other celebrated places, the visitor ascertains that it cannot be seen in the one, hurried, tourist visit that is generally given to them, especially if one wishes to give an intelligible description to friends, or convey his idea to those who have not had the opportunity of visiting it. For my own part, it was a second visit to these old churches I used most to enjoy, when, with local guide-book and pencil in hand, after perhaps refreshing memory by a peep the night before into English history, I took a two or three hours' quiet saunter among the aisles, the old crypts, or beneath the lofty, quiet old arches, or among the monuments, when I could have time to read the whole inscription, and pause, and think, and dream over the lives and career of those who slept beneath

"The storied urn and animated bust."

There are over fifty splendid monuments, chiefly to English naval and military heroes, in St. Paul's, many of them most elaborate, elegant, and costly groups of marble statuary; but I left those for the last, and set about seeing other sights within the old pile, and so first started for the Whispering Gallery. This is reached by a flight of two hundred and sixty steps from the transept, and about half way up to it we were shown the library belonging to the church, containing many rare and curious works, among them the first book of Common Prayer ever printed, and a set of old monastic manuscripts, said to have been preserved from the archives of the old St. Paul's, when it was a Roman cathedral. The floor of this library is pointed out as a curiosity, being composed of a mosaic of small pieces of oak wood. Next the visitor i[216]s shown the Geometrical Stairs, a flight of ninety steps, so ingeniously constructed that they all hang together without any visible means of support except the bottom step.

Up we go, upward and onward, stopping to see the big bell,—eleven thousand four hundred and seventy-four pounds,—which is never tolled except for a death in the royal family. The hour indicated by the big clock is struck on it by a hammer moved by clock-work; but the big clapper used in tolling weighs one hundred and eighty pounds. The clock of St. Paul's seems a gigantic timepiece indeed, when you get up to it; its faces are fifty-seven feet in circumference, and the minute-hand a huge bar of steel, weighing seventy-five pounds, and nearly ten feet in length; the hour or little hand is another bar of about six feet long, weighing forty-four pounds. The figures on the dial are two feet three inches long, and the big pendulum, that sets the machinery of this great time-keeper in motion, is sixteen feet long, with a weight of one hundred and eight pounds at the end of it.

The Whispering Gallery is a gallery with a light ornamental iron railing, running entirely round the inside of the base of the cupola, a distance of one hundred and forty yards; and whispered conversation can be carried on with persons seated at the extreme opposite side of the space; the clapping of the hands gives out almost as sharp a report as the discharge of a rifle. This Whispering Gallery is a fine place to get a good view of the great paintings in the compartments of the dome, which represent leading events in the life of St. Paul. It was at the painting of these pictures that the occurrence took place, so familiar as a story, where the artist, gradually retiring a few steps backward to mark the effect of his work, and having unconsciously reached the edge of the scaffolding, would, by another step, have been precipitated to the pavement, hundreds of feet below, when a friend, seeing his peril, with great presence of mind, seized a brush and daubed some fresh paint upon the picture; the artist rushed forward to prevent the act, and saved his life. From this gallery we looked far down below to the tessellated pavemen[217]t of black and white, the centre beneath the dome forming a complete mariner's compass, showing the thirty-two points.

Above this are two more galleries around the dome,—the Stone Gallery and Golden Gallery,—from which a fine view of London, its bridges and the Thames, can be had, if the day be clear. Above we come to the great stone lantern, as it is called, which crowns the cathedral, and bears up its huge ball and cross. Through the floor, in the centre of this lantern, a hole about the size of a large dinner-plate is cut, and as I stood there and looked straight down to the floor, over three hundred feet below, I will confess to a slight feeling of contraction in the soles of the feet, and after a glance or two at the people below, dwarfed by distance, I hastily retired with the suspicion of, what if the plank flooring about that aperture should be weak!

Next comes an ascent into the ball. A series of huge iron bars uphold the ball and cross; the spaces between them are open to the weather, but so narrow, that the climber, who makes his way by aid of steps notched into one of the bars, as he braces his body against the others, could not possibly get more than an arm out; so the ascent of ten feet or so is unattended with danger, and we found ourselves standing within this great globe, which from the streets below appears about the size of a large foot-ball, but which is of sufficient capacity to contain ten men. It was a novel experience to stand in that huge metallic sphere, which was strengthened by great straps of iron almost as big as railroad rails, and hear the wind, which was blowing freshly at the time, sound like a steamship's paddle-wheels above our head. Thirty feet above the globe rises the cross, which is fifteen feet high, and which the guide affirmed he really believed American visitors would climb and sit astride of, if there were any way of getting at it.

Having taken the reader to the highest accessible point, we will now descend to the lowest—the huge crypt, in which rest the last mortal remains of England's greatest naval and greatest military heroes,—Nelson and Welli[218]ngton,—heroes whose pictures you see from one end of the island to the other, in every conceivable style—their portraits, naval and battle scenes in which they figured, busts, monuments, statues, engravings, and bronzes. No picture gallery seems complete without the death scene of Nelson upon his ship in the hour of victory; and one sees it so frequently, that he almost yields to the belief that the subject is as favorite a one with British artists, as certain scriptural ones used to be with the old Italian painters.

The crypt contains the immense pillars, forty feet square, which support the floor above, and in that part of it directly beneath the dome is the splendid black marble sarcophagus of Lord Nelson, surmounted by the cushion and coronet. This sarcophagus was originally prepared by Cardinal Wolsey for his own interment at Windsor, but now covers the remains of the naval hero, and bears upon its side the simple inscription "Horatio, Viscount Nelson." In another portion of the crypt is the large porphyry sarcophagus of the Duke of Wellington, the enclosure about it lighted with gas from granite candelabra, while all about in other parts of the crypt, beneath the feet of the visitor, are memorial slabs, that tell him that the ashes of some of England's most noted painters and architects rest below. Here lies Sir Christopher Wren, who built St. Paul's, and who lived to the good old age of ninety-one. Here sleeps Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and Benjamin West, painters; here Robert Mylne, who built Blackfriars' Bridge, and John Rennie, who built Southwark and Waterloo Bridges, besides many others of more or less note. In another part of the crypt is preserved the great funeral car, with all its trappings and decorations, which was used upon the occasion of the funeral ceremonies of the Duke of Wellington, and which the guide shows with great empressement, expecting an extra sixpence in addition to the three shillings and two pence you have already expended for tickets to different parts of the building.

The expenses of the whole sight are as follows:[219] Whispering and other two galleries, sixpence; to the hall, one shilling and sixpence; library, geometrical staircase, and clock, eight-pence; crypts, sixpence. Total, three shillings and two-pence. And now, having seen all else, we take a saunter through the body of the church, and a glance at the monuments erected to the memory of those who have added to England's glory upon the sea and the field of battle.

One of the first monumental marble groups that the visitor observes on entering is that of Sir William Ponsonby, whose horse fell under him in the battle of Waterloo, leaving him to the lances of the French cuirassiers. It represents Ponsonby as a half-clad figure, slipping from his horse, that has fallen to its knees, and holding up his hand, as he dies, to receive a wreath from a rather stiff-looking marble angel, that has opportunely descended at that moment.

The statue of Dr. Samuel Johnson, represented with a scroll in his hand, and in the attitude of deep thought, stands upon a pedestal bearing a long Latin inscription.

The monument by Flaxman to Lord Nelson is quite an elaborate one. It represents him in his naval full dress, and a cloak falling from his shoulders, standing upon a pedestal, leaning upon an anchor and coil of rope. Upon the side of the pedestal are cut allegorical representations of the North Sea, the German Ocean, the Nile, and the Mediterranean, and the words Copenhagen—Nile—Trafalgar. At one side of the pedestal crouches a huge marble lion. At the other stands Britannia, with two young sailors, pointing out the hero to them for their imitation.

The statue of John Howard, the philanthropist, represents him in Roman costume, trampling upon some fetters, a key in his right hand, and a scroll in his left. A bass-relief on the pedestal represents the benevolent man entering a prison, and bringing food and clothing to prisoners. A very beautiful inscription tells of his many virtues, his modesty and worth; of his having received the thanks of both Houses of British and Irish Parliaments for his services rendered to his country and mankind, and that his modesty alone defeated various efforts which were made during his life to erect this[220] statue.

There is a fine statue of Bishop Heber, who, half a century ago (May 15, 1819), wrote the beautiful missionary hymn, "From Greenland's icy mountains," which has since then been translated into foreign tongues at every missionary station, and sung all over the world. The statue, executed by Chantrey, represents the bishop kneeling, with his hand resting upon the Holy Bible.

There are two monuments that will attract the attention of Americans, from the fact of their being in memory of generals who gained their laurels in military operations in this country. The first is that of General Robert Ross, who, in 1814, "executed an enterprise against Washington, the capital of the United States of America, with complete success." Valor is represented as placing an American flag upon the general's tomb, over which Britannia is weeping,—maybe at the vandalism of the "enterprise." The other monument represents Generals Pakenham and Gibbs, in full uniform, who, as the inscription informs us, "fell gloriously, on the 8th of January, 1815, while leading the troops to an attack of the enemy's works in front of New Orleans."

Lord Collingwood, who was vice-admiral, and commanded the larboard division at the battle of Trafalgar, has a splendid monument, upon which a man-of-war is represented bringing home his remains, attended by Fame and other allegorical figures. That eminent surgeon, Sir Astley Cooper, who died in 1842, has a fine monument, erected by his contemporaries and pupils.

A splendid marble group, representing a war-horse bounding over a fallen soldier, while his rider is falling from the saddle into the arms of a Highlander, is erected to the memory of Sir Ralph Abercromby, who fell in Egypt in 1801. A marble figure of a sphinx reposes each side of the monument. The statue of Sir Joshua Reynolds is by Flaxman, and represents him clad in the robes of a doctor of law, with a volume in one hand, and the other resting upon a medallion of Michael Angelo. The inscription, in Latin, describes him[221] as "prince of the painters of his age."

Numerous other groups of statuary from the monuments of naval and military heroes represent them surrounded by allegorical figures of History, Fame, Valor, &c., and inscriptions set forth their deeds of bravery, and their services to the nation for whom they poured out their blood and yielded up their lives.

Monuments to those whose names are well known in this country will also attract the attention of American visitors, such as that to Henry Hallam, the historian of the Middle Ages; Turner, the celebrated painter; Napier, the historian of the peninular war; Sir Henry Lawrence, who died defending Lucknow, in 1857; and Sir John Moore, who fell at Corunna, and was buried at midnight on the ramparts, as described in the well-known ode commencing,—

"Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corpse to the rampart we hurried."

Thus it is in the sculptured marble you may in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, and the old cathedrals of the country, read England's history again, and seem to approach nearer, and have a more realizing sense of her great men and their deeds, than from the pages of the printed volume.

In the rush of sight-seeing we had nigh forgotten Guildhall, the home of Gog and Magog, and the City Hall of London. And, in truth, it is really not much of a sight to see, in comparison with the many others that claim the visitor's attention; but we drifted down to the end of King Street one day, which carried us straight into the entrance of Guildhall, at the end of the street. The great entrance hall is quite imposing, being about one hundred and fifty feet long, fifty wide, and fifty high, lighted with windows of painted glass, while at one end, in a sort of raised gallery, stand the big wooden figures of the city giants, Gog and Magog. Around this great hall are several monuments and groups; among them, those to the Earl of Chatham, Wellington, and Nelson, and statues of Edward VI., Queen Elizabeth, and[222] Charles I. The hall is used for elections, city meetings, and banquets—those noted feasts at which turtle soup is supposed to be so prominent a feature in the bill of fare.

There are in London quite a number of the buildings or halls of the guilds or trade associations of old times—nearly fifty, I believe. Many of the trades have ceased to exist—their very names almost obsolete. For instance, the association of loriners, united girdlers, and the bowyers. The members of some of these old corporations or guilds are by no means all artisans, and about all they have to do is to manage the charities and trust funds that have descended to them. They meet but once or twice a year, and then in the old hall, furbished up for the occasion. The very best of good eating and drinking is provided, and perhaps, on certain anniversaries, the curious records and annals of the old society are produced, and, perchance, some old anniversary ceremony gone through with.

Some of the societies have rare and curious relics, which are brought out on these occasions. For instance, the fish-mongers have the dagger with which Wat Tyler was stabbed by one of its members; the armorers and braziers some fine old silver work; and the barber surgeons a fine, large picture, by Holbein, representing Henry VIII. presenting the charter to their company. In Goldsmiths' Hall we saw a splendid specimen of the goldsmiths' work, in the shape of a gold chandelier, weighing over one thousand ounces. This hall was rebuilt in 1834, although the goldsmiths owned the site in 1323. By an act of Parliament, all articles of gold or silver must be assayed or stamped by this company before being sold.

In Threadneedle Street, appropriately placed, we saw Merchant Tailors' Hall, built about 1667; and in the old hall of this company James I., and his son Prince Henry, once dined with the company, when verses composed especially for the occasion by Ben Jonson were recited. Here, in Threadneedle Street, is the Bank of England, sometimes called the "Old Lady of Threadneedle Street," whic[223]h is also one of the sights of the metropolis, and covers a quadrangular space of nearly four acres. Armed with a letter of introduction from one of the directors, or, more fortunate, in company with one of them, if you chance to enjoy the acquaintance of any of those worthies, you can make the tour of this wonderful establishment, finishing with the treasure vault, where you have the tantalizing privilege of holding a million or two dollars' worth of English bank notes in your hand, and "hefting" ingots of gold and bricks of silver.

Then there are twenty-four directors to this bank, and about a thousand persons employed in it: clerks commence at the age of seventeen, receiving fifty pounds per annum for their service, and the salary of a chief of department is twelve hundred pounds. Some old, gray-headed men that we saw, who had grown round-shouldered over their ledgers, we were informed had been in the employ of the bank for over forty years. The operation of collecting the specie for a bank note, which I tested, is one requiring considerable red tape and circumlocution. You go from clerk to clerk, registering your address and date of presentation of notes and their number, till finally you reach the individual who is weighing and shovelling out sovereigns, who passes out the specie for the paper. These notes, after being once presented, are never re-issued, but kept on hand, first having the signatures torn off, for seven years, and then burned. We visited the storehouse of these "relics of departed worth," in the bank, where millions of tatterdemalions were heaped up, awaiting their fiery doom.

That royal gift of Cardinal Wolsey to Henry VIII.—Hampton Court Palace—is not only noted for its associations of bluff King Hal and the ambitious cardinal, but as being the residence of several of the most celebrated of the British sovereigns. The estate went into the clutches of Henry in 1526. It is about twelve miles from Hyde Park, in London, and the palace covers about eight acres of ground. It was here that Edward VI. was born, and his mother, Jane Seymour, died a few days after; and it was here that[224] Catharine Howard first appeared as Henry VIII.'s queen, in 1540; and in this palace the licentious brute married his sixth wife, Catherine Parr; here Edward VI. lived a portion of his short reign, Queen Mary spent her honeymoon, and Queen Elizabeth visited. Charles II. was here during the plague in London; and Oliver Cromwell saw one daughter married and another die beneath its roof; Charles II. and James II., William III. and George II., have all lived and held court in this famous old place, which figures so frequently in the pages of English history; and so short a distance is it from London, and so cheap are the excursion trains, that, on a pleasant day a mechanic, his wife, and child may go out, visit the magnificent old palace, all its rooms, see all its paintings, its superb acres of lawn, forests, garden, fountains, court-yards, and walks for two shillings (the railroad fare to go and return for the three). All at Hampton Court is open free to the public; they may even walk, run, and roll over on the grass, if they like, if not rude or misbehaved. Many spend a whole holiday in the palace and its delightful grounds, and on the pleasant Sunday afternoon I visited them, there were, at least, ten thousand persons present; yet, so vast is the estate, that, with the exception of the passage through the different rooms, which are noted as picture galleries, there was no feeling as of a crowd of visitors.

The guides, who went through the different apartments, explaining their history, and pointing out the celebrated and beautiful paintings, asked for no fee or reward, although many a visitor drops a few pence into their not unwilling hands.

Entering the palace, we went by way of the King's Grand Staircase, as it is called, the walls and ceilings covered with elegant allegorical frescoes, and representations of heathen deities—Pan, Ceres, Jupiter, Juno; Time surrounded by the signs of the zodiac, and Cupids with flowers; Fame blowing her trumpet, and Peace bearing the palm branch; Bacchus with his grapes, and Diana seated upon the half moon; Hercules with his lion skin and club, and Ganymede, on [225]the eagle, presenting the cup to Jove. From this grand entrance, with necks aching from the upward gaze, we came to the Guard-room, a spacious hall, some sixty feet in length, with muskets, halberds, spears, and daggers disposed upon the walls, forming various fantastic figures.

From thence the visitor passes into the first of the series of state apartments, which is entitled the King's Presence Chamber, and, after looking up at the old chandelier, made in the reign of Queen Anne, suspended from the ceiling, the guide begins to point out and mention a few of the leading pictures in each room. As there are eighteen or twenty of these rooms, and over a thousand pictures suspended upon the walls, to say nothing of the florid and elaborate decorations of the ceilings by Verio, the number is far too great to be inspected satisfactorily at a single visit; and upon many scarce more than a passing glance can be bestowed as you pass along with the group of sight-seers. I jotted in my note-book several of those before which I halted longest, such as Charles I. by Vandyke, Ignatius Loyola by Titian, and the portraits of beauties of Charles II.'s gay court, which are one of the great attractions of the collection. These portraits were painted by Sir Peter Lely, and some of them very beautifully executed: here are the Princess Mary, as Diana; Anne Hyde, Duchess of York; the Duchess of Richmond, whom Charles wanted to marry, and, if she looked like her portrait, we applaud his taste in female beauty; the sprightly, laughing face of Nell Gwynne; Lady Middleton, another beauty, but a frail one; and the Countess of Ossory, a virtuous one amid the vice and licentiousness of the "merry monarch's" reign.

In the Queen's Gallery, which is about one hundred and seventy-five feet in length, there is a very interesting collection; and here the guide had some indulgence, and allowed us to tarry a little. Great tapestry hangings, with scenes from the life of Alexander the Great, beautifully executed, were suspended on the walls; here hung Raphael's portrait, painted by himself; here Henry VII.'s Children, by Mabeuse; and[226] here old Holbein (to whose brush we owe all the pictorial representations we have of Henry VIII.) especially flourishes; for his portraits of Henry when young, of Erasmus, Will Somers, the king's jester, Francis I. of France, and others that I do not remember, hang here; there is a beautiful St. Catherine, by Correggio; a Jewish Rabbi, by Rembrandt; Boar's Head, by Snyders; Fruit, by Cuyp; a Boy and Fruit, by Murillo; besides scores of others by great artists. What a collection to be allowed thirty-five minutes to look at! It was little less than an aggravation.

Next came the Queen's Drawing-room, which contains many pictures from the pencil of Benjamin West; among them, that with which every one of us, who has studied an American geography or child's book of history, is so familiar—the death of General Wolfe at the storming of Quebec. From out the windows of this room is another of those superb English landscape views of which I have so often spoken, that we get from the castles and palaces of the country. A magnificent avenue of lime trees, nearly a mile in length, stretches out to view, and an artificial river, or canal, of the same length, shines between the greensward of the park, while an old English church tower, at the extreme background, fills out the charming picture of nature.

In the Queen's Audience Chamber we have old Holbein's works again. The curious old pictures from his brush here are, Henry VIII. embarking at Dover; the Battle of Spurs; Meeting of Henry VIII. and the Emperor Maximilian, and Meeting of Henry VIII. and Francis I. on the Field of the Cloth of Gold. This last picture has a story, which is to the effect that in Cromwell's time the Parliament proposed to sell it to the King of France. The Earl of Pembroke, however, determined that such a treasure of art and historical memento should not leave England, and thereupon carefully and secretly cut off the head of Henry the Eighth from the canvas, so that the French king's agent, discovering the mutilation, refused to take the painting. When Charles the Second came to the throne, after the Restoration, Pembroke returned[227] the head, which had been carefully preserved, and it was very skilfully replaced; so skilfully, that it was only by getting a view by a side light that we could discover that it had been disturbed.

In the Private Dining-room, as it is called, are shown three of the great couches of royalty, the state beds of William III. and his Queen Mary, and that of George II., and but few pictures of note; so we go on through other "halls," "writing closets," "audience chambers," &c., till we reach a fine, lofty gallery, built by Sir Christopher Wren; here we have more portraits by Holbein, one by Abert Dürer, one of Queen Elizabeth, in her vast and enormously built up and gaudy costume, Landscape by Rubens, Battle Piece by Wouvermans, Inside a Farm House by Teniers, and some two or three hundred others.

After this pictorial surfeit we passed into the magnificent great Gothic Hall, designed by Wolsey, and finished by Henry VIII., when Anne Boleyn was queen. This hall is pure Gothic, one hundred and six feet long, forty wide, and sixty high, the roof very elaborately carved oak, decorated, with great taste and splendor, with arms and badges of King Henry. It is somewhat singular that at this very place, which was the scene of Wolsey's magnificence and Henry's lordly splendor, there should have been acted, by King George I.'s command, in 1718, Shakespeare's play of "Henry VIII., or the Fall of Wolsey." The walls of this hall are hung with splendid arras tapestry, representing the history of Abraham; around the hall hung portraits of Henry VIII., Wolsey, Jane Seymour, and Queen Elizabeth; and at intervals are deers' heads, carved from wood, above which are banners and trophies. The notable feature of the hall, however, is its stained-glass windows, thirteen in number, besides the great one and the beautiful oriel window, splendid in its proportions, fine Gothic canopy, and rich in beautiful colored glass, bearing armorial devices of the King and Jane Seymour. The Great Window is divided off into fourteen compartments, one of which has a half-length portrait of King Henry, and th[228]e others are filled with armorial crests and devices. Six of the other windows bear the armorial pedigrees of the six wives of the king, and the others various heraldic designs. The architecture and decorations of this noble hall are very well managed, and the subdued and colored light, falling upon the rich carving and Gothic tracery, produces an imposing and strikingly beautiful effect.

After an inside view of the palace and its picture-galleries, the stroll through the great park is none the less delightful. This park, or rather the gardens, as they are called, are elegantly laid out with beds of brilliant-colored flowers, broad gravel walks, beautiful closely-clipped lawns, and groups of splendid oaks and elms; and, although the grounds are almost a dead level, with but little inequality, still they are so beautifully arranged as to present a charming and romantic appearance. Here crowds of people walked beneath the great trees in the broad shaded avenues, sat on the velvety turf at the foot of great oaks, or paused and admired the huge plats of flowers, of brilliant hues and delicious fragrance, arranged by the gardener's skill in beautiful combinations, or strolled into the conservatory to see the orange trees, or into the vinery to see that celebrated grape vine, which is said to be the largest in Europe; and a royal monster it is, indeed, stretching out its arms over one hundred and thirty feet, and having a stem that, at three feet from the ground, measures over thirty inches in circumference. It was planted in 1768. Its fruit is the richest black Hamburg variety, and from two thousand to two thousand five hundred bunches of the luscious spheroids are its annual yield. Not among the least of the attractions of the gardens is a maze, skilfully constructed of hedges about seven feet in height, and the walks to the centre, or from the centre to the outside, so skilfully contrived in labyrinthine passages of puzzling intricacy as to render it a matter of no ordinary difficulty to extricate one's self. A guide, however, stands upon an elevated platform outside, and assists those by his instructions who are unable to do so, and give up the trial. The shouts of laughter of those who were[229] entangled in the deceitful avenues told of their enjoyment of the ingenious puzzle.

Near the maze is one of the large gates of the palace gardens, opening exactly opposite to Bushy Park; and here we passed out into a great avenue, a mile in length, of horse-chestnut trees, the air redolent with their red and white blossoms. In this park the parties who come from London to visit Hampton Court picnic, as no eatables or picknicking is permitted in the gardens of the latter. Hawkers and pedlers of eatables and drinkables, of all kinds and at all prices, were in every direction; groups under the trees were chatting, lunching, and lounging, and enjoying themselves.

The finest residence of English royalty, at the present time, is Windsor Castle; and a pleasant railway ride of twenty miles or so from London brought us in sight of the splendid great Round Tower, which is so notable a feature of the place. It crowns the apex of a hill, and is a conspicuous landmark. Edward III. was born here; Cromwell and Charles II. have lived here; and a statue of the latter is conspicuous in the great quadrangle of the castle, which you enter after mounting the hill. The towers around the walls bear such names as Edward III. Tower, Lancaster Tower, Brunswick Tower, Victoria Tower, &c.; but the noblest of all is the great Keep, or Round Tower, which rises to the height of one hundred and twenty-five feet above the pavement of the quadrangle; and up to the summit of this I toiled, to be repaid by the charming English landscape view spread out on every side. Twelve counties were within the range of vision; the square turrets of old English churches, arched-stone bridges, the beautiful park and grounds beneath, with cricketers at play, and the beautiful sheet of water ("Virginia water"), like a looking-glass beneath the sun, and the Thames winding away in the distance like a silver ribbon on the green landscape, which was dotted with villages, elegant country seats and castle-like dwellings of the aristocracy, formed a picture that it was a luxury to look upon.

Visitors are conducted throug[230]h the state apartments, which contain many fine pictures, some magnificent tapestry, and which, of course, are furnished in regal style. The Gobelin tapestry, and a magnificent malachite vase,—the latter a gift to the queen from Nicholas, Emperor of Russia,—were in the Presence Chamber. The Waterloo Chamber contained many fine portraits of Waterloo heroes by Sir Thomas Lawrence, and the Vandyke Room was hung only with pictures painted by that artist.

It will be recollected that Edward III. instituted the Order of the Garter at Windsor, in 1349, and in St. George's Hall, or the State Dining-room, as it is called, is where the queen confers the order. At the upper end of this hall, which is two hundred feet in length, is the throne upon its raised dais. Upon one side of the apartment are hung the portraits of England's sovereigns, while upon the other are the coats of arms of the original Knights of the Garter, elegantly emblazoned with their names and titles, and those of their successors. The ceiling is also elegantly ornamented. The most attractive apartment is the long gallery, about fifteen feet wide and four hundred and fifty long, which is rich in bronzes, busts, and pictures, although we looked with some interest at a shattered section of the mast of Lord Nelson's flag-ship, the Victory, which bears the mark of the enemy's cannon-shot, and is surmounted by a bust of Nelson, in a room called the Guard Chamber; and in the same room is a shield, inlaid with gold and silver-work, presented by Francis I. to Henry VIII. at their celebrated meeting on the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

Next after the state apartments St. George's Chapel engaged our attention. This chapel was begun by Edward IV. in 1461, and not completed till early in the sixteenth century. The architectural beauty of the interior is indescribable. The richly-ornamented roof and the great east window are most exquisitely done, and it is a wonder that tourists, authors, and the guide-books do not say more than they do about it. Knights of the Garter are installed here. Their banners and escutcheons hang above their carved oaken stalls. A wrought steel screen, by that cunning artificer in iron, Quintin Matsys, stands above the last resting-place of Edward[231] IV. Here, below the marble pavement, rests the gigantic frame of Henry VIII.; here slumber Charles I. and Henry VI, George III., IV., and William IV. The monument to the Princess Charlotte is a magnificent group, representing her upon a couch as if just expired, and a sheet thrown over the body, while her maids by its side, with mantles thrown over their heads, are bowed down with grief. Above, the spirit is represented as an angel soaring towards heaven—a figure exquisitely cut, and so gracefully poised that the spectator half expects to see it rise, float away into the air, and soar out of sight. The effect is much heightened by the admirable manner in which it has been managed to have the light fall upon this beautiful sculpture.

There is a home park to Windsor Castle; and how large, think you, American reader, is this home park for British royalty? Why, only five hundred acres! This is connected with Windsor Great Park by the Long Walk, a splendid avenue lined with elms, which avenue is continued on for three miles. The Great Park has one thousand eight hundred acres within its area. Here was Windsor Forest, Herne's Oak, where Herne the Hunter was said to dash forth upon his steed, and where old Falstaff,—

"A Windsor stag, and the fattest, I think, i' the forest,"—

made his assignation with the merry wives of Windsor. Old Windsor itself is some little distance away, nestled down on the banks of the River Thames; and though we saw some ancient houses and an inn or two, there were none that, in our brief sojourn, we could conjure by imagination into such a one as fat Jack and his friends, Bardolph and Pistol, swilled sack in, nor anything that looked like the Garter Inn, or Mistress Quickly. One inn rejoices in the name of Star and Garter, but the briskness and modern style of it savored not of Jack Falstaff's time.

We closed our visit to Windsor with an inspection of the royal stables, or Queen's Mews, as they call them here. These stables were very well arranged and kept, and cont[232]ain nearly a hundred horses when all are in. Many were away with the family, who were absent at the time of our visit; but there were the horses for park drives, the horses for road drives, &c., while there were also a dozen or more very handsome barouches, pony and basket carriages, and seven handsome carriages for the queen and suite to go to and from railway stations, Clarences, and various other vehicles, among them a large open-sided affair, with a white tent-like roof, a present from Louis Philippe. Considering that this is only one of the Queen's Mews, it seemed as if this part of her "establishment" was regal indeed. After patting the fat old white pony, which her majesty always uses in her morning drives in the park when at Windsor, we presented our cicerone with an English shilling, which, notwithstanding he wore the queen's livery, he did not scorn to receive, and, taking a glance at the interior of the Riding School, which is a handsomely-arranged room about two hundred feet long, where scions of royalty may be taught to

"Witch the world with noble horsemanship,"

we bade adieu to Windsor.

If there is any one thing aggravating to the American tourist, on his first trip to England, it is the supreme indifference of the English press to American affairs. Accustomed to the liberal enterprise of the press of his own country, which, with a prodigality of expenditure, stops at nothing when news is to be had, and which every morning actually gives him news from all parts of the world, in addition to copious extracts from foreign and domestic papers, he is struck with astonishment at the comparative lack of enterprise shown by the London papers.

The London Times, which for the past half century it has been the custom for American papers to gratuitously advertise in paragraphs about its wonderful system and enterprise, can no more compare with the New York Tribune and New York Herald in lateness of news, amount of news by telegraph, and correspondence, than a stage coach with a loc[233]omotive.

Marked features in the Times are the finished style of its editorials and correspondence, and its parliamentary reports, although the latter, I hardly think, are much better made up than the American Congressional reports in our own papers. But where the inferiority of the English, and the superiority of the American papers is most conspicuous, is in the matter of telegraphic despatches, the American papers using the telegraph without stint, and the English very sparingly. The New York Tribune will generally give its readers, every morning, from five to eight times as much by home lines of wire as the London Times. To be sure we have a much larger extent of territory, at home, that the wires go over; but then the American papers generally give more telegraphic news from the continent of Europe even, than the London papers.

The American, on his first visit to England, calls for the Times at his breakfast table, and if he is lucky enough to get one, turns eagerly to the telegraphic column to see what may be the latest news from America. He finds a despatch of from six to twelve lines, in which the quotations of the price of United States stocks, New York Central, Erie, Illinois Central, and some other railroad shares, are given, and, perhaps, a line or two saying that Honorable Thaddeus Stevens, member of Congress, died this morning, or the president has appointed George S. Boutwell secretary of the treasury department. A hundred other matters, which affect British and American commerce, are not reported; intelligence interesting to Americans, or any one who has ever been to America, is not alluded to; extracts from American papers seldom given, and, when given, only such as will give a prejudiced impression. Accounts of the commercial, agricultural, and material progress of the country seem to be carefully and jealously excluded from their columns, and after a month's reading of English newspapers, your wonder that the English people are so ignorant of America will give place to astonishment that they should have any correct impression of[234] it whatever.

Take, for example, the well-known speech of Senator Sumner upon the Alabama claims, which, day after day, the papers of London thundered, roared, and howled over, wrote against and commented on, and not one of them printed in its columns until an American publishing house, in London, in answer to the call for it, issued it in a pamphlet. Every American knows that had a speech of equal importance, relating to this country, been made in England, it would have been telegraphed to and have appeared in our journals, entire, within twenty-four hours after it had been made. Then, again, the enterprise of our own press is shown in its giving extracts, pro and con, of the opinions of the British press, so that the American reader feels that he is "posted," and may judge for himself; whereas, in the English papers, he gets only one side of the question, and a meagre allowance at that.

Murders, railroad accidents, steamboat explosions, riots, and suicides are the favorite extracts from the American press made by the London papers. The progress of great railroads, increase of great cities in size, and the progress of this country in industry, science, art, and manufactures, are only occasionally alluded to.

My national pride being touched at these omissions, I inquired the reason of them of a good-natured Englishman of my acquaintance one day.

"Well, the fact is, yah see, we don't care much about Americar h'yar, yah know—yah know—'cept when there's some deuced row, yah know, and then the Times tells us all about it, yah know."

And it is even so; the national pride is so intense, that the Englishman, as a general thing, seems to care very little for anything that is not English; his estimate of anything as good or bad is based upon its approach to or retreat from the British standard of excellence; his national vanity leads him to care very little about the progress or decline of any other country, so long as it does not immediately affect his own[235] "tight little island." Many have, apparently, pictured in their minds a map of the world like that of the Chinese topographer, which gave their own country four fifths of the space, carefully drawn, leaving the remainder a blank, as occupied by outside barbarians.

"But why," asked I of my good-natured friend, "does the Times give two columns of bets and horse-race matter, and only a dozen lines about the great Pacific Railroad?"

"Yaas, ah! the Darby, yah know,—British national sport—every Englishman knows about the Darby—couldn't make up a book without the Times, yah know. The Darby's right h'yar, and yah Pacific railway's three thousand miles off, yah know."

It is to be acknowledged there was a certain degree of force in this reasoning, but our American newspaper readers, who, from appearances, number as five to one compared with Englishmen, have been educated up to such a point of news-getting, that such an argument would fail to satisfy them. To hear some Englishmen talk, you would think the Times had been their swaddling-clothes in infancy, was their book of laws in manhood, and would be their winding-sheet at death.

And yet the Times, despite its great influence, is far exceeded in circulation by other papers in London—the London Telegraph, for instance, which, to an American, will seem in its general characteristics and enterprise the most like an American paper. It takes more pains to make itself a sheet for popular reading. Its editorials are not so heavy, either in subject or matter, as the Times, but more off-hand and easier digested. It seems to be the paper of the middling classes. In nearly every railroad station I stopped at in England a handsomely-painted sign-board, sometimes three and sometimes six feet square, informed me that the London Telegraph had the largest circulation in the world; and immediately under it we were informed, upon another sign of the same size, but another color, that the Evening Standard was the largest paper in the world. Besides these announcements on signs, we found them on posters of the same size all over London,[236] wherever bills were posted, and also posted in other English cities—a style of advertising rather expensive, but hardly so efficacious as the columns of the newspaper.

One is struck by the difference between the American and English as a newspaper-reading people. In America, newspapers are seen everywhere; boys hawk them at every corner; they are sold at news-stands in the entrance hall of every hotel; newsmen pass through the cars with armfuls, at intervals, on every railroad line; half a dozen are taken in every hair-dresser's shop for the use of customers; and the great hotels have a reading-room with files from all the leading cities, so that a daily newspaper may be had in America, and is at hand at any and all times when the reader may wish it; but here in London I found it comparatively a matter of difficulty always to obtain a daily paper. The hotel where I lodged, which had some thirty or forty guests, "took in" one London Daily Times, a Manchester paper, and one other weekly. Of course the first person who got the Times never resigned it until he had read it through, and exhausted the patience of anybody else who undertook to wait for it. There was no news-stand near, nor in the hotel—"the porter could horder me a Times of the newsman, reg'lar, when he came round, if I wished it, as would be ready at breakfast."

Some of my English friends smiled, almost incredulously, at my assertion that our American business men very generally subscribed for from three to five daily papers, besides weeklies, and wondered "why they wanted to read the news over so many times," and were also astonished to know that American coachmen read newspapers while waiting for a fare, a porter while waiting for a job, or a handcart-man at his cart-stand, that they were always a prime necessity to passengers in cars and omnibuses, and were studied, conned, and perused at almost every interval of business, and occupied no small portion of the leisure hours of all classes of American citizens. The railroad stations in London are provided with good news-stands, where the traveller may always obtain the daily and weekly papers, and also a good supply[237] of excellent light literature. My foreign experience, thus far, however, has strengthened my conviction that America is the land of newspapers.

Trying to give the British Museum a thorough examination is somewhat of a formidable undertaking; for it requires several visits to get even a superficial view of its valuable contents. The space of seven acres of ground is occupied by the buildings, which cost over a million pounds sterling, while the curiosities, relics, antiquities, and library cannot be estimated in a money value. As an indication, however, of the value, I may enumerate some of its purchases of collections, &c.: the Charles Townley collection of Roman sculpture, purchased by government in 1805 for twenty thousand pounds, including Discobolus, noble busts of Homer, Pericles, Sophocles, &c.; the Elgin Marbles, purchased of Lord Elgin for thirty-five thousand pounds; the Phygalian Marbles, which cost nineteen thousand pounds; Portland Vase, eighteen hundred guineas; prints, in the collection of prints and engravings, costing from two hundred to five hundred guineas each. The enormous library has swallowed up vast private collections, besides the valuable ones that have been given to it, among them that of Sir Thomas Grenville, which cost fifty-four thousand pounds; George III.'s library, which was given to the government, and cost one hundred and thirty thousand pounds—an exceedingly rich and rare collection; the valuable collection of manuscripts—the Cottonian Harleian, cost ten thousand pounds; Lansdowne, five thousand pounds; Burney, thirteen thousand pounds, &c. These are only a few of the prices of leading collections that I find set down in the different hand-books of the museum; but, as is well known, there are other articles of antiquity, historical relics, bibliographical curiosities, &c., for which perfectly fabulous prices have been paid, especially for any well-authenticated relics or manuscripts relating to the early history of the country. Sometimes articles of this description find their way into a public auction sale, and there is a struggle between some wealthy virtuoso and the museum agent for its[238] possession. But he must be a bold buyer, with a deep purse, to contend successfully against the British Museum, when it is decided that any article offered for sale ought to be added to its collection. The museum is divided into eleven different departments, viz.: printed books and manuscripts, Oriental antiquities, Greek and Roman antiquities, British mediæval antiquities, coins and medals, botany, prints and drawings, zoölogy, palæontology, and mineralogy.

The library is that portion of the museum most read about by strangers, and the least seen by visitors, as they are only admitted into a very few of the rooms in which this enormous collection is contained. There are now seven hundred thousand volumes, and the number increases at the rate of about twenty thousand a year; and among some of the curiosities and literary treasures in this department, I will mention a few, which will give a faint indication of its incalculable value. There are seventeen hundred different editions of the Bible, some very rare and curious; an Arabic edition of the Koran, written in gold, eight hundred and sixty years ago; a collection of block books, printed from carved blocks of wood on one side of the leaf only, which was a style of bookmaking immediately preceding the art of printing.

We were shown specimens of the earliest productions of the printing press, some of which, for clearness and beauty of execution, are most remarkable. The Mazarine Bible, 1455, is very fine. Then we saw a copy of Cicero, printed by Fust and Schœffer, in 1465. The first edition of the first Latin classic printed, and one of the two books in which Greek type was used;—the press work of this was excellent. A Psalter, in Latin, in 1457, by Fust and Schœffer, on vellum, and the first book printed in colors, the typography clear, and beautifully executed. The first edition of Reynard the Fox, printed 1479. A splendid copy of Livy, printed on vellum, in 1469, for Pope Alexander VI., and the only copy on vellum known to exist;—this volume cost nine hundred pounds in 1815. The first edition of the first book printed in Greek characters, being a Greek Grammar, printed in Milan, in [239]1475. The first book in which catch-words were used. The first book in which the attempt was made to produce cheap books by compressing the matter, and reducing the size of the page, was a little copy of Virgil, issued in Venice in 1501; and the present price would be far from cheap. The first book printed in France, the first in Vienna, &c. "The Game and Playe of Chess," printed by Caxton, in Westminster Abbey, in 1474, and which was the first edition of the first book printed in England. Then there was the first edition of old Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, printed in 1476, by Caxton. Cauntyrburye was the way they spelled it in his time. Æsop's Fables, with curious old wood-cuts, printed by Caxton, in 1484. The first printed document relative to America, Columbus's letter, written eight months after his discovery, and printed in Rome in 1493. The first edition of Paradise Lost, and of Robinson Crusoe. And our eyes were made to ache by trying to read a "microscopic" edition of Horace, printed in the smallest type ever produced, and undecipherable except with a magnifying glass.

Besides these, and hundreds of other old books, enough to drive a bibliomaniac out of his remaining senses, were specimens of fine and sumptuous printing, some of which, in the fifteenth century, on vellum, were a little short of marvellous in execution, and unsurpassed by anything I ever saw in modern printing. An allegorical poem, in German, printed on the occasion of the marriage of Maximilian I., at Nuremberg, in 1517, was a perfect wonder of typographic art and beauty, and challenges the attention of every one, more especially those versed in typography, as a marvel of the art. I have not space for enumeration of any of the wondrous specimens of beautiful illuminated works, printed on vellum and parchment, in colors undimmed by hundreds of years, and which the printer of to-day labors in vain to surpass. The purple and gold, the rich crimson and emerald green, that absolutely flash out on the pages of those exquisite volumes known as Books of Hours, printed in 1488, 1493, and thereabouts, are the most prodigal luxury of the art I ever[240] laid my eyes upon; and the patience, labor, time, and care required to bring out lines, spaces, and letters to such perfection must have been very great, to say nothing of the quality of ink that has held its brilliancy for more than three centuries and a half.

Next we have books tracing the rise and progress of illustration, and then a collection of books with autographs. In these last are some autographs worth having, as, for instance, the autograph of Martin Luther, in the first volume of a copy of the German Bible, which Bible was afterwards in the possession of Melanchthon, who wrote a long note on the fly-leaf of the second volume, signing it with his autograph; an autograph of Charles I. in a volume of almanacs for the year 1624; an autograph of Milton on a copy of Aratus's Phænomena; that of Lord Bacon on a copy of Fulgentius; autograph of Katherine Parr, last wife of Henry VIII., in a French volume; and that of Ben Jonson in a presentation copy of his Volpone.

The library has an extensive collection of newspapers, the oldest being a Venetian Gazette, bearing the date of 1570.

The great reading-room of the library, where free admission to read is granted to any person over eighteen years of age who can procure a recommendation from a person of respectability, is a magnificent apartment. It is a great circular space, containing forty-eight thousand superficial feet, covered by a dome one hundred and forty feet in diameter, and one hundred and six feet high. This room is open from nine A. M. to five or six P. M., and is always well lighted and warmed, and contains thirty-seven reading tables, with two or three exclusively for ladies. The floor is covered with a material which deadens the sound of footsteps, and no loud talking is permitted; so that every opportunity is afforded for quiet study. Quite a number were busily engaged, some with a large heap of volumes about them, evidently looking up authorities; others slowly and patiently transcribing or translating from some ancient black-letter volume before them; and still others quietly and comfortably enjoying the last [241]new novel. There is space afforded for three hundred readers, and in the centre of the room, on shelves, are catalogues of the books and manuscripts contained in the library. Close at hand, running round the apartment, are shelves containing books of reference, or "lifts of the lazy," such as dictionaries, encyclopædias, &c., which readers are allowed to take from the shelves themselves. These form of themselves a library of twenty thousand volumes. For other books the reader fills out a card, and hands it to one of the attendants, who sends for it by others, who fetch it from its near or distant shelf.

The catalogue of the library is not finished, and there is a saying that the man is not living who will see it finished, the regular additions and occasional bequests serving to keep it in a perpetually unfinished condition. The most noted of the bequests are those presented by Right Hon. Thomas Grenville and George III. The former donor, whose gift was twenty thousand two hundred and forty volumes, worth over fifty thousand pounds, bequeathed his library to the nation as an act of justice, saying in his will that the greater part of it had been purchased from the profits of a sinecure office, and he acknowledged the obligation to the public by giving it to the museum for public use. The library of George III. contained eighty thousand volumes, and is kept in a gallery built expressly to hold it.

The Egyptian Galleries contain an endless collection of antiquities from that ancient land. From Memphis there are old monuments, fragments of statues, slabs with innumerable hieroglyphics, while old Thebes, the capital of ancient Egypt, seems to have been ransacked to have furnished slabs, stones, carvings, fragments of monuments, hieroglyphical inscriptions, and sarcophagi. In these galleries we saw the granite statue of Rameses II., the colossal granite head and shoulders from the Memnonium at Thebes; the head of a colossal ram from an avenue of them which leads up to the gateway of one of the great palaces at Karnak; here were two granite lions from Nubia; a colossal head brought from Karnak by Belzoni; and heaps of carved plunder stolen from old Egypt by British[242] travellers and the British government; mummies, articles taken from mummy pits, ornaments, vases, Egyptian papyri, monuments cut by chisels two thousand years before Christ; implements the very use of which can now only be surmised; carvings of scenes in domestic life that are guessed at, and of battles, feasts, sieges, and triumphs, of which no other record exists—a wonder to the curious, and a not yet solved problem to the scholar.

The Assyrian Galleries, with their wealth of antiquities from ancient Nineveh, brought principally by Mr. Layard, are very interesting. Here we may study the bass-relief from Sennacherib's palace, and the hieroglyphics on a monument to Sardanapalus, and bass-reliefs of the battles and sieges of his reign; the best specimens of Assyrian sculpture, glass, ivory, and bronze ornaments, mosaics, seals, obelisks, and statues, the dates of which are from seven to eight hundred years before the Christian era. Think of being shown a fragment of an inscription relating to Nebuchadnezzar, and another of Darius I., a bass-relief of Sardanapalus the Great, the writing implements of the ancient Egyptians, the harps, flutes, and cymbals, and the very dolls with which their children played three thousand years ago!

The lover of Roman and Grecian antiquities may enjoy himself to his heart's content in the Roman and Grecian Galleries, where ancient sculptures by artists whose names have perished, though their works still challenge admiration, will attract the attention. In these galleries the gods and goddesses of mythology are liberally represented—the Townley Venus, Discobolus (quoit-thrower), elegant bust of Apollo, heads and busts of noble Greeks and Romans, and the celebrated marble bust, Clytie; that exquisitely-cut head rising above the bust, which springs from a half-unfolded flower.

The Elgin Marbles are in two rooms, known as the Elgin Rooms. These marble sculptures were obtained by the Earl of Elgin, in 1802, while he was the British ambassador at Constantinople, the sultan granting him a firman to remove from Athens whatever monuments he might wish. He accordin[243]gly stripped from the Parthenon huge slabs of bass-reliefs, marble figures, and ornamental portions of that noble building.

Whatever may be said of this desecration of the Athenian temple, it is altogether probable that these world-renowned sculptures and most splendid specimens of Grecian art are better preserved here, and of more service to the world, than they would have been if suffered to remain in the ruin of the temple. The beauty of these sculptures, notwithstanding the dilapidated and shattered condition of some of them, shows in what perfection the art flourished when they were executed, and the figures are models yet unsurpassed among artists of our own time.

Besides these galleries, there is also a gallery of Anglo-Roman antiquities, found in Britain, another of British antiquities anterior to the Romans, embracing such remains as have been found of the period previous to the Roman conquest, known as the stone and bronze period among the antiquaries; also a collection of Anglo-Saxon antiquities, including Saxon swords, spear-heads, bronze ornaments, coins, &c.; then comes a mediæval collection, a vast array of enamelled work, vases, jewelry, armor, mosaic work, seals, earthen ware, and weapons of the middle ages; two great Vase Rooms, filled with Grecian, Italian, Roman, and other antique vases, found principally in tombs and ancient monuments, from the rudest to the most graceful of forms; the Bronze Room, where we revelled amid ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan bronzes, and found that the Bacchus, Mercury, and Jupiter, and the lions, dolphins, satyrs, and vases of antiquity, are still the most beautiful and graceful works of art extant, and that a large portion of those of our own time are but reproductions of these great originals of a former age.

If the visitor have a zoölogical taste, the four great galleries of zoölogical specimens—beasts, birds, reptiles, and fishes—will engage his attention, in which all sorts and every kind of stuffed specimens are displayed; and in another gallery a splendid collection of fossils may be inspected, where are[244] the remains of the gigantic iguanodon and megalosaurus, skeleton portions of an enormous bird, ten feet high, from New Zealand,—the unpronounceable Latin name of which I forgot to note down,—a splendid entire skeleton of the great Irish deer, fossil fish, imprints of bird tracks found in rocks, of skeletons of antediluvian animals, plants, and shells, and huge skeletons of the megatherium and mastodon, skeletons and fragments of gigantic reindeer, elk, oxen, ibex, turtles, and huge lizards and crocodiles now extinct. There are also halls and departments for botany and mineralogy, coin and medal room, which, besides its splendid numismatical collection, contains the celebrated Portland Vase, and some curious historical relics.

Apropos of historical relics; in a room not far from the entrance hall there are some most interesting historical and literary curiosities, over and about which I loitered with unabated interest, for here I looked upon the original deed of a house in Blackfriars, dated March 11, 1612, and signed William Shakespeare. Here we saw the original Magna Charta, the very piece of parchment that had been thumbed by the rebellious barons, and to which King John affixed his unwilling signature at Runnymede, June 15, 1215. This piece of discolored parchment, with the quaint, regular, clerkly old English handwriting, and the fragment of the tyrant's great seal hanging to it, is the instrument that we have read so much of, as the chief foundation of the constitutional liberties of the people of England, first executed over six centuries and a half ago, and confirmed since then by no less than thirty-eight solemn ratifications. It is certainly one of the most interesting English documents in existence, and we looked upon it with feelings something akin to veneration.

Displayed in glass cases, we read the original draft of the will of Mary, Queen of Scots, in her own handwriting, the original manuscript of Kenilworth in Walter Scott's handwriting, the original manuscript of Pope's translation of the Iliad, a tragedy in the handwriting of Tasso, the original manuscript of Macaulay's England, Sterne's Sentiment[245]al Journey in the author's handwriting, Nelson's own pen sketch of the battle of the Nile, Milton's original agreement for the sale of Paradise Lost, which was completed April 27, 1667, the author being then fifty-eight years of age. The terms of the sale, which was made to Samuel Symons, a bookseller, was five pounds down, with a promise of five pounds more when thirteen hundred copies of the first edition should have been sold, another five pounds more when thirteen hundred copies of the second edition should be sold, and so on for successive editions. It was not, however, till 1674, the year of his death, that the second edition was published; and in December, 1680, Milton's widow sold all her interest in the work for eight pounds, paid by Symons.

We saw here the little prayer book used by Lady Jane Grey on the scaffold, with her name, Jane Dudley, in her own handwriting on the fly-leaf; autographic letters from British sovereigns, including those of Richard III., Henry IV., Prince Hal, Edward the Black Prince, Henry VIII., and Queen Elizabeth, Bloody Mary, Charles II., Mary, Queen of Scots, and Oliver Cromwell. Nor were these all. Here were Hogarth's receipted bills for some of his pictures, the original Bull of Pope Leo X., conferring on Henry VIII. the title of Defender of the Faith (and a precious bull he made of it), autographic letters of Peter the Great, Martin Luther, Erasmus, Calvin, Sir Thomas More, Cardinal Wolsey, Archbishop Cranmer, John Knox, Robert, Earl of Essex, Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Francis Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton; then a batch of literary names, letters from Addison, Dryden, Spenser, Moliere, Corneille; papers signed by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Horatio Nelson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Francis I., Philip II., Gustavus Adolphus, Charles XII. of Sweden, and so many fresh and interesting surprises greeted me that I verily believe that at last I should have copied down in the little note-book, from which I am writing out these memoranda, a despatch from Julius Cæsar, announcing that he yesterday passed the River Rubicon, or his "Veni, Vidi, Vici," with the feeling that it was quite correct that such[246] a document should be there.


From London to Paris. One of the thoughts that comes uppermost in the mind while one is making preparations for the journey is the passage of the Channel, about which so much has been said and written—a passage in which old Neptune, though he may have exempted the traveller on other occasions, hardly ever fails to exact his tribute. He who can pass the Channel in rough weather without a qualm, may henceforth consider himself proof against any attack of the sea god upon his digestion.

A first-class through ticket from London to Paris costs nearly fifteen dollars in gold; but many cheapen the fare by taking first-class boat and second-class railroad tickets. The railroad ride to Dover is about seventy miles, and the close of it carries us through a tunnel that pierces the celebrated Shakespeare's Cliff; and finally we are landed on the pier near the little steamer that is to take us over. After a good long stare at the high, chalky cliffs of old Albion, we disposed ourselves upon deck, comfortable as possible, and by rare good fortune had a smooth passage; for of the entire number of passengers, not a single one suffered from seasickness during the transit; so that the huge piles of wash-bowls were not even brought into requisition, and the stewards and boat boys grumbled at the luck that deprived them of so many sixpences and shillings.

"'Tisn't horfen the Chan'l runs as smooth as this," said an old weather-beaten sort of sea chambermaid, who stood guard over the bowls. "She's flat as Dover Pier to-day; but," added he with a grin, "when yer make hanythink like a smooth parsidge over, yer sure to ketch a horful 'eave [247]comin' back."

And he was right. There is one comfortable anticipation, however; and that is, that the sea trip occupies only an hour and a quarter. Arrived at the great railroad station at Calais, we had our first experience of a French railway buffet, or restaurant, for dinner was ready and the tables spread, the passengers having ample time afforded them before the train started.

The neatness of the table linen, the excellence of the French bread, the bottles of claret, vin ordinaire, set at intervals along the table, the promptness and rapidity of the service, fine flavor of the soup, and good cooking of the viands, were noticeable features. The waiters spoke both French and English; they dashed about with Yankee celerity; and gay, and jolly, and right hearty were the passengers after their comfortable transit. Now, in getting positions in the cars come trials of indifferent as well as outrageously bad attempts at the French language, which the French guards, probably from long experience, contrive in some way to understand, and not laugh at.

Arrived at Paris after a journey of eleven hours from London, we have even time, though fatigued, to admire the admirable system that prevails at the railroad station, by which all confusion is prevented in obtaining luggage or carriages, and we are soon whirling over the asphalte, floor-like pavements to the Hotel de l'Athenée.

Here I had my first experience of the humbug of French politeness; for, on descending from the carriage, after my luggage had been deposited at the very office of the hotel, the servants, whose duty it was to come forward and take it, stood back, and laughed to see the puzzle of a foreigner at the demand for pour boire, which, in his inexperience, he did not understand, and, when the driver was finally sent away with thrice his demand, suffered luggage, lady and gentleman, to find their own way to the little cuddy of a bureau, office of the hotel, and were with difficulty made to understand, by a proficient in their own tongue, that rooms for the party[248] were engaged there.

This house and the Grand Hotel, which, I believe, are "run" by the Credit Mobilier Company, are perfect extortion mills in the matter of charges, especially to Americans, whom the Parisians make a rule always to charge very much more than any one else. During the Exposition year, the Grand Hotel extortions were but little short of barefaced swindles upon American guests; and to this day there is no way one can quicker arouse the ire of certain American citizens than to refer to their experiences in that great caravanserai for the fleecing of foreign visitors.

The cuisine of these great hotels is unexceptionable, the rooms, which are either very grand or very small, well furnished, although comfort is too often sacrificed to display; but the attendance or attention, unless the servants are heavily feed, is nothing to speak of, while the charges during the travelling season are a third beyond those of other equally good, though not "grand" establishments.

The magnificent new opera house, near these hotels, is a huge building, rich on the exterior with splendid statues, marbles, medallions, carving, and gilding, upon an island as it were, with the great, broad avenues on every side of it; and as I sit at table in the salle à manger looking out at it, I am suddenly conscious that the English tongue appears to be predominant about me; and so indeed it is, as a large portion of the guests at these two hotels are Americans or English, which accounts in a measure for the high prices and bad service, the French considering Americans and English who travel to be moving money-bags, from which it is their duty to extract as much as possible by every means in their power.

The court-yard of the Grand Hotel, around which, in the evening, gentlemen sit to sip a cup of coffee and puff a cigar, is such a rendezvous for Americans, that during the Exposition it was proposed by some to post up the inscription, "French Spoken Here," for fear of mistakes.

The modes of living, besides that at hotels[249], have been frequently described, and in taking apartments, one must be very explicit with the landlord; indeed, it will be well to take a written memorandum from him, else, on the presentation of his first bill, one may ascertain the true value of a Frenchman's word, or rather how valueless he considers a verbal agreement.

We had the fortune, however, in hiring apartments, to deal with a Frenchman who understood how to bargain with foreigners, and had learned that there was something to be gained by dealing fairly, and having the reputation of being honest.

This man did a good business by taking new houses immediately after they were finished, hiring furniture, and letting apartments to foreigners. From him we learned that French people never like to live in an entirely new house, one that has been dwelt in by others for a year having the preference; perhaps this pre-occupation is supposed to take the chill off the premises; so our landlord made a good thing of it in taking these houses at a low rent of the owners for one year, and getting a reputation for fair prices, fair dealing, and an accommodating spirit: those who hired of him were so prompt to commend him as an exception among the crowd of grasping, cringing rascals in his business, that his houses in the pleasant quarter, near the Arc d'Etoile were constantly occupied by Americans and English.

In Paris do as the Parisians do; and really it is difficult to do otherwise in the matter of meals. Breakfast here is taken at twelve o'clock, the day being commenced with a cup of coffee and a French roll, so that between twelve and one business appears at its height in the cafés, and almost suspended everywhere else. To gastronomic Yankees, accustomed to begin the day with a good "square" meal, the French déjeûner is hardly sufficient to support the three hours' sight-seeing our countrymen calculate upon doing between that time and the real déjeûner à la fourchette.

The sights and scenes of Paris have been so thoroughly described within the past three years, in every style and every vein, by the army of correspondents who have visited t[250]he gay capital, that beyond personal experiences it seems now as though but little else could possibly be written. I therefore look at my closely-written note-book, the heap of little memoranda, and the well-pencilled fly-leaves of my guide-books, of facts, impressions, and experiences, with some feelings of doubt as to how much of this already, perhaps, too familiar matter shall be inflicted upon the intelligent reader; and yet, before I visited Paris, every letter of the descriptive tourist kind was of interest, and since then they are doubly so. Before visiting Europe, such letters were instruction for what I was to one day experience; and many a bit of useful information, read in the desultory letter of some newspaper correspondent which had been nearly forgotten, has come to mind in some foreign capital, and been of essential service, while, as before remarked in these pages, much of the important minutiæ of travel I have been surprised has not been alluded to. That surprise in a measure vanishes, when any one with a keen love of travel finds how much occupies his attention amid such an avalanche of the enjoyable things that he has read, studied, and dreamed of, as are encountered in the great European capitals.

In Paris my first experience at living was in lodgings in a fine new house on Avenue Friedland, third flight (au troisième). The apartments consisted of a salon, which served as parlor, breakfast and reception room, a sleeping-room, and a dressing-room with water fixtures and pegs for clothing. The grand Arc d'Etoile was in full view, and but a few rods from my lodgings, and consequently the very first sight that I "did."

This magnificent monument of the first Napoleon is almost as conspicuous a landmark in Paris as is the State House in Boston, and seems to form the terminus of many of the broad streets that radiate from it, and upon approaching the city from certain points overtops all else around. The arch is situated in a large, circular street, called the Place d'Etoile, which is filled with elegant houses, with gardens in front, and is one of the most fashionable quarters of Paris: from this[251] Place radiate, as from a great star, or like the sticks of a lady's fan, twelve of the most magnificent avenues of the city, and from the top of the arch itself the spectator can look straight down these broad streets for miles. It is quite recently that several of them have been straightened and widened, under the direction of Baron Haussmann; and one cannot but see what a commanding position a battery of artillery would occupy stationed in this Place d'Etoile, and sweeping down twelve great avenues to the very centre of the city.

The length, breadth, straightness, regularity, and beauty of these avenues strike the American visitor with astonishment. Fancy a street twice as wide as Broadway or Washington Street, with a sidewalk as wide as some of our ordinary streets, and shaded by a double line of trees, the street itself paved or laid in concrete or smooth hard asphalte; the houses tall, elegant, and of uniform style; brilliant, with elegant stores, cafés with their crowds at the tables set in front of them; the gay, merry throngs; little one-horse barouches, the French voitures, as they are called, flying here and there, and the more stylish turn-outs of the aristocracy,—and you have some idea of the great avenues leading up to the Arc d'Etoile. After passing this grand arch, you enter upon the magnificent Avenue de l'Impératrice, three hundred feet wide, which leads to the splendid Bois de Boulogne, an avenue that is crowded with the rush of elegant equipages, among which were to be seen those of foreign ambassadors, rich residents, English and other foreign noblemen, French ballet-dancers, and the demi-monde, every pleasant afternoon.

This great arch of triumph overwhelms one with its grandeur and vastness upon near approach; it lifts its square altar over one hundred and fifty feet from the ground; its width is one hundred and thirty-seven feet, and it is sixty-eight feet in thickness. The grand central arch is a great curve, ninety feet high and forty-five wide, and a transverse arch—that is, one going through it from one end to the other—is fifty-seven feet high and twenty-five wide. The arch fronts the magnificen[252]t Champs Elysées, adown which broad vista the visitor looks till he sees it expand into the grand Place de la Concorde, with its fountains and column of Luxor, beyond which rise the Tuileries. The outside of this arch has superb groups, representing warlike scenes, allegorical figures, &c., by some of the most celebrated French and Italian artists. Some of the great figures of Victory, History, Fame, &c., are from eighteen to twenty feet in height. Inside the arch, upon its walls, are cut in the solid stone the names of nearly a hundred victories, and also the names of French generals whose bravery won so much renown for the French nation, so much glory for their great Corsican captain, and which are names that are identified with his and la grande armée.

This superb monument was commenced, in 1806, by Napoleon, but not completed till 1836; and some idea may be obtained of the work and skill expended upon it from its cost, which was ten million four hundred and thirty-three thousand francs, or over two millions of dollars in gold. Two of the groups of bass-reliefs upon it cost nearly thirty thousand dollars. Ascent to the top is obtained by broad staircases, up a flight of two hundred and seventy-two steps, and the visitor may look down the Avenue de la Grande Armée, Avenue d'Eylau, or over the beautiful Avenue de l'Impératrice, or Champs Elysées, far as his eye can reach, and still farther by the aid of the telescopes and spy-glasses kept by the custodians on the summit.

Descending from the arch, we will take a stroll down the Avenue des Champs Elysées—the broad, beautiful avenue which appears to be the favorite promenade of Parisians. Upon either side of this avenue are open grounds, and groves of trees, in and amid which is every species of cheap amusement for the people—open booths in which are little games of chance for cheap prizes of glass ware and toys, merry-go-rounds, Punch and Judy shows, elegant cafés with their throngs of patrons sitting in front and watching the passers by, or the gay equipages on their way to the Bois de Boulogne. In one of these groves, at the side of the Champs[253] Elysées, is the Circus of the Empress, where feats of horsemanship are performed, and in another a fine military band plays every afternoon; the old Palais de l'Industrie fronts upon this avenue, and the celebrated Jardin Mabille is but a few steps from it; but this should be seen by gas-light; so, indeed, should the whole avenue, which by night, in the summer, presents a most fairy-like scene. Then the groves are illuminated by thousands of colored lights; Cafés Chantants are seen with gayly-dressed singers, sitting in ornamented kiosks, which are illuminated by jets of gas in every conceivable form; here, at a corner, a huge lyre of fire blazes, and beneath it shines, in burning letters, the name of a celebrated café, or theatre; the little booths and penny shows are all gayly illuminated; gas gleams and flashes in all sorts of fantastic forms from before and within the café; and, looking far up the avenue, to where the great arch rears its dark form, you see thousands of colored lights flitting too and fro, hither and thither, in every direction, like a troup of elves on a midnight gambol; these are the lights upon the cabs and voitures, which are obliged by law to have them, and those of different quarters of the city are distinguished the one from the other by different colors.

The cheapness and convenience of these little one-horse open barouches of Paris make us long for the time when they and the English Hansom cab shall displace the great, cumbersome carriage we now use in America. One of these little fiacres, which you can hail at any time, and almost anywhere in the streets of Paris, carries you anywhere you may choose, to go in the city from one point to another, for a franc and a half fare, and a pour boire of about three or four cents to the driver; or, if taken by the hour, you can glide over the asphalte floor-like streets at the rate of two francs an hour. The police regulations respecting fares are very strict and rigidly enforced, as, in fact, are all police regulations, which are most excellent; and the order, system, and regularity which characterize all arrangements at places of public resort and throughout the city, give the stranger a feeli[254]ng of perfect safety and confidence—confidence that he is under the protection and eye of a power and a law, one which is prompt and efficient in its action, and in no way to be trifled with. The fiacre drivers all have their printed carte of the tariff, upon which is their number, which they hand to customers upon entering the vehicle; these can be used in case of imposition or dispute, which, however, very seldom occurs; rewards are given to drivers for honesty in restoring articles left in vehicles, and the property thus restored to owners by the police in the course of a year is very large, sometimes reaching sixty or seventy thousand dollars.

Straight down the broad Champs Elysées, till we came into that magnificent and most beautiful of all squares in Paris, the Place de la Concorde. Here, in this great open square, which the guide-books describe as four hundred paces in length, and the same in width, several other superb views of the grand avenues and splendid public buildings are obtained. Standing in the centre, I looked back, up the broad Champs Elysées, more than a mile in length, the whole course slightly rising in grade, till the view terminated with the Triumphal Arch. Looking upon one side, we saw the old palace of the Bourbons, now the palace of the Corps Législatif. Fronting upon one side of the Place are two magnificent edifices, used as government offices, and up through the Rue Royale that divides them, the vista is terminated by the magnificent front of the Madeleine.

Here, in the centre of the square, we stood opposite the celebrated obelisk of Luxor, that expensive gift of the Pacha of Egypt to Louis Philippe, and which, from the numerous bronze models of it sold in the fancy goods stores in America, is getting to be almost as familiar as Bunker Hill monument. Indeed, a salesman in Tiffany and Company's room of bronzes, in Broadway, New York, once told me that, notwithstanding the hieroglyphics upon the bronze representations of this obelisk that they sell, he had more than once had people, who looked as though they ought to have known better, cry out, "O, here's Bunker Hill Monument; and[255] it looks just like it, too."

The Luxor obelisk was a heavy, as well as an expensive present, for it weighed five hundred thousand pounds, and it cost the French government more than forty thousand dollars to get it in place upon its pedestal; but now that it is here, it makes a fine appearance, and, as far as proportions and looks go, appears to be very appropriately placed in the centre of this magnificent square, its monolith of red granite rising one hundred feet; though, as we lean over the rail that surrounds it, the thought suggests itself, that this old chronicle of the deeds of Sesostris the Great, who reigned more than a thousand years before Paris had an existence, and whose hundred-gated city is now a heap of ruins, was really as out of place here, in the great square of the gayest of modern capitals, as a funeral monument in a crowded street, or an elegy among the pages of a novel. Around the square, at intervals, are eight huge marble statues, seated upon pedestals, which represent eight of the great cities of France, such as Marseilles, Rouen, Lyons, Bordeaux, &c. Each figure is said to face in the direction in which the city or town it is called for lies from Paris.

The great bronze fountains that stand in the centre of the square have round basins, fifty feet in diameter, above which rise others of lesser sizes. Tritons and water nymphs about the lower basin hold dolphins, which spout streams of water into the upper ones, and at the base sit ponderous granite figures, which the Parisians say do well to sit down, for, if they stood up, they would soon be fatigued by their own weight. But the great fountain here in the Place de la Concorde marks an historic spot. It is no more nor less than the site of that horrid instrument, the guillotine, during the French revolution; and it was here, in this great square, now filled with bright and happy crowds, gazing at the flashing waters of the fountains, the statues, and obelisk, or rambling amid the pretty walks, lined with many-hued flowers, in the gardens of the Tuilleries near by,—it was here, round and about, that the fierce crowd surged during some of the[256] bloodiest scenes in French history. Near where rises the bronze fountain, the horrid scaffold once stood; here, where the crystal streams rush and foam, shine and sparkle in the sunbeams, once poured out the richest and basest blood of France, in torrents almost rivalling those that now dash into the great basin that covers the spot they crimsoned; here the head of Louis XVI. fell from his shoulders; here Charlotte Corday met death unterrified; here twenty-two Girondists poured out their life-blood; here poor Marie Antoinette bent her neck to the cruel knife, and the father of Louis Philippe met his death; here the victims of the fell tyrant Robespierre fell by hundreds. At length Danton himself, and his party, were swept before the descending axe; and finally the bloody Robespierre and his fierce associates met a just retribution beneath the sweep of the insatiate blade, sixty or seventy falling beneath it in a day.

Great heavens! would they never tire of blood, or was the clang of the guillotine music to their ears, that for more than two years they kept the horrid machine in motion, till twenty-eight hundred victims fell beneath its stroke! Well said Chateaubriand, in opposing the erection of a fountain upon the very site of the scaffold, that all the water in the world would not be sufficient to efface the bloody stains with which the place was sullied. It thus fell out that it was agreed, that any monument placed in this memorable square should be one which should bear no allusion to political events, and the gift of Mehemet Ali afforded opportunity to place one. So here the laudatory inscription to a warlike Egyptian of three thousand years ago and more is placed, to change the current of men's thoughts, who may stand here and think of the surging crowd of fierce sans-culottes, and still fiercer women, who once thronged this place, and who were treated to their fill of what their brutal natures demanded—blood, blood!

But are these the people that would do such horrid deeds—these men we see around us, with varnished boots, immaculate linen, and irreproachable costume? these ladies, gentle[257] creatures, with faultless costume, ravishing boots, dainty toilets, and the very butterflies of fashion? If you would like something approaching a realization of your imagination, wait till you get into the Latin quarter, or in some of the old parts of Paris, where narrow lanes have not yet been made into broad avenues; where low-browed, blue-bloused workmen are playing dominoes in cheap wine-shops; and coarse women, with big, bare, red arms, and handkerchief-swathed heads, stand in the doorways and bandy obscene jests at the passers by; where foul odors assail the olfactories; where you meet the sergent-de-ville frequently; and where, despite of what you have heard of the great improvements made in Paris, you see just such places as the Tapis Franc, described in Eugene Sue's Mysteries of Paris, and in which, despite the excellence of the Parisian police, you had rather not trust yourself after dark without a guard; and you will meet to-day those whom it would seemingly take but little to transform into the fierce mob of 1792.

The gigantic improvements made in Paris during the reign of Louis Napoleon are apparent even to the newly-arrived tourist, and are unequalled by any city in the world. Broad, elegant avenues have been cut through densely-populated and filthy districts; great squares, monuments, opera-houses, theatres, and public buildings of unexampled splendor have arisen on every side; palaces and monuments have been repaired and restored, the great quadrangle of the Louvre and Tuilleries completed. Turn which way one will, he sees the evidences of this remarkable man's ability—excellent police arrangements, drainage, public works, liberality to foreigners, &c. What little opportunity I had of judging the French people almost leads me to believe that no government could be invented under the sun that would satisfy them for any length of time, and that they would attempt revolutions merely for a new sensation.

From this square it is but a few steps to the garden of the Tuilleries. The portion of the garden that is immediately contiguous to the palace is not open to the public, but sep[258]arated from it by a sort of trench and an iron railing. The public portion of the garden is beautifully laid out with parterres of flowers, fountains, bronze and marble statues, &c. While promenading its walks, our attention was attracted to a man who seemed upon the best of terms with the birds that flew from the trees and bushes, and perched upon his head, hands, and arms, ate bird-seed off his hat and shoulders, and even plucked it from between his lips. He was evidently either some "Master of the Birds to the Emperor," or a favored bird-charmer, as he appeared to be familiarly acquainted with the feathered warblers, and also the police, who sauntered by without interfering with him.

The exciting scenes of French history, that are familiar to every school-boy's memory, render Paris, to say nothing of its other attractions, one of those points fraught with historical associations that the student longs to visit. To stand upon the very spot where the most memorable events of French history took place, beneath the shadow of some of the self-same buildings and monuments that have looked down upon them, and to picture in one's mind how those scenes of the past must have appeared, is pleasant experience to those of an imaginative turn. Here we stand in the Place de la Bastille, the very site of the famous French prison; the horrors of its dungeons and the cruelties of its jailers have chilled the blood of youth and roused the indignation of maturer years; but here it was rent asunder and the inmost secrets exposed by the furious mob, in the great revolution of 1789, and not a vestige of the terrible prison now remains. In the broad, open square rises a tall monument of one hundred and fifty feet, from the summit of which a figure of Liberty, with a torch in one hand and broken chain in another, is poised upon one foot, as if about to take flight. The stones of the cruel dungeons of the Bastille now form the Pont de la Concorde, trampled under foot, as they should be, by the throngs that daily pass and repass that splendid bridge. The last historical and revolutionary act in this square was the burning of Louis Philippe's throne there in 1848.

[259] Passing through the Rue de la Paix, celebrated for its handsome jewelry and gentlemen's furnishing goods stores, and as a street where you may be sure of paying the highest price asked in Paris for any thing you wish to purchase, we came out into the Place Vendôme, in the middle of which stands the historic column we have so often read of, surmounted by the bronze statue of the great Napoleon, who erected this splendid and appropriate trophy of his victories. One hundred and thirty-five feet high, and twelve in diameter, is this well-known column, and the bronze bass-reliefs, which commence at the base and circle round the shaft to its top, are cast from twelve hundred pieces of Russian and Austrian cannon, which the great Corsican captured in his campaign of 1805, which ended with the tremendous battle of Austerlitz. The bass-reliefs on the pedestal are huge groups of weapons, warlike emblems, &c., and four huge bronze eagles, weighing five hundred pounds each, holding wreaths, are perched at the four corners of the pedestal.

The iron railing around this monument is thickly hung with wreaths of immortelles; these are placed here by the surviving soldiers of the grand army of Napoleon I., and are renewed once a year upon some celebrated anniversary, when the spectacle of this handful of trembling veterans of the first empire, showing their devotion to the memory of their great chieftain, is a most touching one, while the deference and honor shown to these shattered relics of France's warlike host, whose deeds have won it an imperishable name in military glory, must be gratifying to their pride. I saw an old shrunken veteran with a wooden leg hobbling along with a stick, who wore an old-fashioned uniform, upon which glittered the medals and decorations of the first empire, to whom sentinels at public stations, as he passed, presented arms with a clang and clatter that seemed to send the faint sparks of dying fire up into his eyes, with a momentary martial gleam beneath his shaggy white eyebrows, as he raised his shrunken hand in acknowledgment to his old fashioned képi, while the military salutes, and even deferential raising of hats, of y[260]oung officers, his superiors in rank, that he passed, were returned with a smile beneath his snowy mustache that bespoke what an incense to his pride as a soldier of the grand army were all such tokens.

But it was a still more interesting sight to see, at the court-yard of the Hotel des Invalides, at about noon, on the occasion of some daily military routine, some thirty or forty of these old soldiers in various uniforms, wearing side arms only, some hobbling upon one leg, others coming feebly but determinedly into line as they ever did on the great battle-fields of the empire, and stand in dress parade while the band played its martial strains, and their own flags surmounted by the French eagles waved before them, and a splendid battalion of French troops (some of their sons and grandsons, perhaps), officers and men, presented arms to them as they saluted the flags they had won renown under half a century before, and then slowly, and with an effort at military precision that was almost comical, filed back to their quarters.

We used to read in Rogers's poem of Ginevra that,

"If ever you should come to Modena,
(Where, among other relics, you may see
Tassoni's bucket; but 'tis not the true one;")

so, also, if ever you should go to Paris, you will be shown at one end of the Louvre a large window, from which you will be told Charles IX. fired upon the flying Huguenots as they ran from the ferocious mob that pursued them with bloody weapons and cries of "Kill, kill!" on the night of St. Bartholomew, 1572; but this window is "not the true one," for it was not built till long after the year of the massacre; but the old church of St. Germain l'Auxerrois, near by, from the belfry of which first issued the fatal signal of that terrible night, is still standing, and the Parisians in that vicinity find it easy to detect strangers and foreigners, from their pausing and looking up at this church with an expression of interest.

The Louvre! Every letter-writer goes into ecstasies [261]over it, is struck with wonder at its vastness, and luxuriates in the inspection of its priceless treasures. The completion of the connection of the Louvre with the Tuilleries, made by Louis Napoleon, gives a grand enclosed space, surrounded on all sides by the magnificent buildings of this great gallery of fine arts and the royal palaces.

At one end, dividing the court-yard of the Louvre from that of the Tuileries, rises the triumphal Arc du Carrousel, erected by Napoleon in 1806, surmounted with its car of victory and bronze horses; and here the memory of the army of the first empire is perpetuated by statues of cuirassiers, infantry and artillerymen, in the uniform of their different corps, and the fashion in vogue at that time, while bass-reliefs represent various battle scenes in which they figured. It was in this open space, now the most magnificent court in Europe, that the guillotine was first set up, before it was removed to the square which is now the Place de la Concorde. An iron fence runs across the court-yard at this point, making a division of the space, as it is from an entrance in the palace, fronting this arch, that the emperor, empress, and imperial family generally make their entrance and exit.

The architectural appearance and ornaments of these elegant buildings combine to form a splendid interior, as it were, of this vast enclosed square; the buildings, fronted with Corinthian columns, elegant and elaborate sculptures, and statues, form a space something like a vast parallelogram, their uniformity being interrupted by magnificent and lofty pavilions, as they are called. When we say the Boston City Hall is somewhat of a poor copy of one of these pavilions, it may give the reader an idea of what they are. Their fronts are adorned with great groups of statuary, wreaths, decorations, and allegorical figures, beautifully cut, and through their vast gateways ingress is had from the street. All along the front of the buildings, upon this interior space, are statues of distinguished men of France. I counted over eighty of them. Among them were those of Colbert, Mazarin, Racine, Voltaire, Vauban, Buffon, Richelieu, Montaigne, &c.

The completion of the connection of the t[262]wo palaces by Louis Napoleon has rendered this court-yard indescribably grand and elegant, while its vastness strikes the beholder with astonishment. The space that is now enclosed and covered by the old and new Louvre and Tuileries is about sixty acres. An idea of the large amount of money that has been lavished upon these elegant piles may be obtained from the fact that the cost of the sculptures on the new part of the building is nearly half a million dollars; but then, perhaps, as an American remarked, it ought to be a handsome place, since they have been over three hundred years building it. Some of the finest portions of the architectural designs of the façade of the Louvre were completed by Napoleon I. from the designs of Perrault, a physician, and the author of fully as enduring monuments of genius—those charming fairy tales of Cinderella, Bluebeard, and the Sleeping Beauty. Perhaps the ornamental columns and beautiful decorations were something of a realization of his ideas of palaces of the fairies and genii, in his charming stories.

The work of improvement upon the buildings and court-yard of the Louvre is still going on, and the present emperor will leave here, as well as in many other parts of Paris, the impress of his power, as used for beautifying the French capital, and raising enduring monuments of the encouragement of improvements, progress, and the arts, during his reign.

We have been in and through the Louvre, not in one visit, but again and again, over acres of flooring, past miles of pictures,—a plethora of luxurious art,—days of wonder, and hours of sight-seeing. How many originals we have gazed upon that we have seen copies of in every style! how many pictures of great artists that we have read of, and how many curious and wonderful historical relics and antiquities! What an opportunity for the student and the artist, what a source of amusement and entertainment, what a privilege, in these old countries, is the free admission to these costly and well-stocked galleries of art—here, where we may see hundreds of celebrated pictures and statues, any two of which would "pay handsomely," placed on exhibition in one of our great American cities; here, where there are sev[263]en miles of pictures, and their catalogue makes a thick book of over seven hundred pages; here, where, if you were to start and walk constantly, without stopping an instant to rest, it would require three hours to pass through the different apartments; here, where, perhaps, the American tourist or newspaper correspondent sharpens his pencil and takes a fresh note-book, with the feeling that it is a prolific field, but is overwhelmed with an ocean of art, and consoles himself with the thought that the Louvre has been so often described, written about, and commented on, that the subject is worn threadbare; and that the public has had enough of rhapsodies and descriptions of it.

And he is more than half right. The Louvre alone is a great exposition, that would suffice to attract thousands of foreigners to Paris. The number of visitors is immense. Galignani says that the produce of the sale of catalogues amounts to forty thousand dollars a year, and more than twenty thousand dollars per annum are taken for depositing canes and umbrellas at the door, the charge for which service is only two or three sous. It is best to avoid, if possible, the taking of canes, parasols, and umbrellas with you, as it may chance that you will desire to make exit at some point distant from that of entrance, and save the trouble of returning for the impedimenta.

I commenced with a determination, like many others, to see the Louvre thoroughly and systematically, and therefore began with the basement story, entering the museum of Assyrian antiquities, thence into Egyptian halls of curiosities, where the visitor gets view of a large and interesting collection from the cities of Nineveh, Thebes, &c., the results of the researches and discoveries of French savants and travellers in the East—vases, mummies, fragments of sculptured stones and figures, manuscripts, besides articles of domestic use among the ancient Egyptians.

Here were the mirrors that Theban dames arranged their dark tresses at, and the combs, needle and toilet cases that they used; musical instruments, games, and weights and[264] measures; articles of ornament, and of the household, that have been exhumed from the monuments of ancient cities—a rare and curious collection; then come the Algerian museum, the Renaissance sculpture gallery, with beautiful groups of bronze and marble statuary, dating from the commencement of the sixteenth century, among which is the celebrated one of Diana with the Stag, the likeness being that of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of Henry II.; then come the five different halls of modern sculptures, where we saw Canova's Cupid and Psyche, Julien's Ganymede and Eagle, Bartolini's colossal bust of Bonaparte, and groups representing Cupid cutting his bow from Hercules' club, Perseus releasing Andromeda, and many others.

Next we reach the museum of antique marbles, a grand gallery, divided off into half partitions, and rich in superb ancient statuary. One of the halls of this gallery is noted as being that in which Henry IV. was married; and here, too, was his body brought after his assassination by Ravaillac; but the visitor's thoughts of historical associations are banished by the beautiful works of art that meet him on every hand. Here is Centaur overcome by Bacchus, the Borghese Vase, the Stooping Venus, Pan, the Three Graces, Hercules and Telephus, Mars, Cupid proving his bow, Dancing Faun, a magnificent figure of Melpomene, twelve feet high, with the drapery falling so naturally about as almost to cheat belief that it was the work of the sculptor's chisel; another magnificent colossal figure of Minerva, about ten feet high, armed with helmet and shield; the Borghese Gladiator, a splendid figure; Wounded Amazon, Satyr and Faun, Diana and the Deer, Wounded Gladiator, Bass-relief of triumphal procession of Bacchus and Ariadne, &c.

I am aware that this enumeration will seem something like a reproduction of a catalogue to some readers, though it is but the pencilled memoranda of a very few of the notable pieces in this magnificent collection, before which I was enabled to halt anything like long enough to examine strictly and admire; for the days seemed all short, our few weeks[265] in Paris too brief, and this grand collection, with other sight-seeing, a formidable undertaking, as we now began to contemplate it, when I found myself still upon this basement floor of the Louvre after nearly a day's time, and the thought that if my resolution to see the whole, systematically and thoroughly, were faithfully carried out, almost a season in Paris would be required, and but little time left for anything else.

I have seen copies, and busts, and engravings of the Venus of Milo a hundred times, but never was attracted by it enough to go into raptures over its beauty, being, perhaps, unable to view it with an artistic eye; but as I chanced to approach the great original here from a very favorable point of view, as it stood upon its pedestal, with the mellow light of the afternoon falling upon the beautiful head and shoulders, the effect upon me was surprising to myself. I thought I never before had gazed upon more exquisitely moulded features. The features seemed really those of a goddess, and admiration divided itself in the beauty of the production and the genius of an artist that could conceive and execute it. I am not ashamed to say, that during the hour I spent in the room in which this beautiful work of art is placed, I came to a better understanding concerning some of the enthusiasm respecting art manifested by certain friends, which I had hitherto regarded as commonplace expressions, or was at loss to understand the real feeling that prompted their fervor.

If the visitor is amazed at the fine collection of sculpture and statuary, what are his feelings at beholding the grand and almost endless halls of paintings as he ascends to the floors above! Here, grand galleries, spacious and well lighted, stretch out seemingly as far as the eye can reach, while halls and ante-rooms, here and there passages, and vestibules, and rooms, are crammed with the very wealth of art; here the chefs d'œuvre of the great artists of Europe, known all over the world by copies and engravings, are collected; and the pleasure of looking upon these great originals is a gratification not easy to be described.

[266] The lover of art, as he passes from point to point, from one great work to another, to each fresh surprise that awaits him, feels like shaking hands mentally with himself in congratulation at the enjoyment experienced in seeing so much of real and genuine art collected together, and under such favorable circumstances.

The paintings in the galleries are all arranged according to different schools of art. Thus the Spanish, Dutch, and German schools are arrayed in one gallery, the Italian in another, the modern French school in another; and these are further arranged in subdivisions, so that the student and art lover may study, inspect, or copy, in any department of art that he may desire.

What a host of masterpieces in the great gallery! And here were artists, male and female, copying them. Some, with little easel and chair, were merely sketching a single head from a group in some grand tableau. Others, with huge framework, and mounted up many feet from the floor, were making full copies of some great painting. Students were sketching in crayon, upon crayon paper, portions of designs from some favorite artist. Ladies were making cabinet copies of paintings, and others copying celebrated heads upon tablets of the size of miniatures; and one artist I observed putting a copy of a group upon a handsome vase that was before him. Nearly every one of the most noted paintings by great masters had two or three artists near it, making copies.

The Grand Gallery, as it is called, is a quarter of a mile long, and over forty feet wide, and with its elegantly ornamented ceilings, its magnificent collection of nearly two thousand splendid paintings, including some of the finest masterpieces in the world, and superb vista, presents a coup d'œil that can hardly fail to excite enthusiasm even from those who are not professed admirers of pictures.

Think of the luxury of seeing the original works of Raphael, Rembrandt, Titian, Rubens, Claude Lorraine, Holbein, Paul Veronese, Guido, Quintin Matsys, Murillo, Teniers, Ostade, Wouverman, Vandyke, David, Andrea del Sarto, Vernet,[267] Leonardo da Vinci, Poussin, Albert Dürer, &c., besides those of other celebrated artists, all in one gallery! And it is not a meagre representation of them either, for the Louvre is rich in works from each of these great artists. There was Paul Veronese's great picture of the Repast in the House of Simon the Pharisee, thirty-one feet long and fifteen high, and his Marriage at Cana, a magnificent tableau, thirty-two feet long and twenty-one high, the figures splendid portraits of celebrated persons; Titian's Entombment of Christ; Raphael's beautiful picture of the Virgin and Child; Murillo's Conception of the Virgin, which cost twenty-four thousand six hundred pounds; Landscape by Claude Lorraine; a whole gallery of Rubens, and another of Joseph Vernet's Seaports; then there is the Museum of Design, of fourteen rooms full of designs, over thirty thousand in number, of the great masters in all schools of art. Here one may look on the original sketches, in pencil and India ink, of Rembrandt, Holbein, Dürer, Poussin, and other great artists.

It would be but a sort of guide-book review to enumerate the different halls and their wonders, such as one that is devoted entirely to antique terra cottas, another to jewelry and ornaments of the mediæval and renaissance period, another to specimens of Venetian glass ware, of exquisite designs and workmanship, another to bronzes, &c. The Museum of Sovereigns was interesting in historical relics; for it was something, remember, to have looked upon the sceptre, sword, and spars of Charlemagne, the arm-chair of King Dagobert, the alcove in the room where Henry IV. ("King Henry of Navarre") used to sleep; Marie Antoinette's shoe, her cabinet and casket; Henry II.'s armor, and the very helmet through which the lance of Montgomeri went that killed him in the tournament in 1559; Charles IX.'s helmet and shield, the coronation robes of Charles X., and a host of other relics that have figured in French history.

One room is devoted to relics of Napoleon I., and is called the Hall of the Emperor. Here you may look upon the very uniform that he wore on the bloody field of Marengo, a[268] locket containing his hair, the flag of the Old Guard, that he kissed when he bade adieu at Fontainebleau, the veritable gray overcoat which he wore, and the historical cocked hat which distinguished him, the cockade worn when he landed from Elba, the great coronation robes worn when he was crowned emperor, his sword, riding whip, and saddle, the pocket-handkerchief used by him on his death-bed, articles of clothing, &c. The cases containing these articles were thronged, and the curious French crowd looked upon them with a sort of veneration, and occasional exclamations of wonderment or sympathy, as some descriptive inscription was read and explained to an unlettered visitor by his more fortunate companion.

But suffice it to say that the Louvre, with its superb collections, and its almost endless "Salles de —" everything, is overwhelming in the impression it gives as a wealth of art. It is impossible to convey a correct idea of it to the lover of art, or even the longing lover of travel who has Europe in prospect. In the words of the modern advertisers, it must be seen to be appreciated, and will require a great many visits to see enough of it to properly appreciate it.

Right opposite the Louvre, across a square, is the Palais Royal, attractive to all Americans and English from the restaurants, and jewelry, and bijouterie shops, which are on the ground floor, and form the continuous arcade or four sides of the square of the garden which they enclose. This garden is about a thousand feet long and four hundred wide, with trees, flowers, and fountain, and a band plays in the afternoon to the entertainment of the crowd of loungers who have dined at the Trois Frères, Vefour, or Rotonde, lounge in chairs, and sip café noir, or absinthe, if Frenchmen, or smoke cigars and drink wine, if Americans. The restaurants here and in the vicinity are excellent; but one wants a thorough experience, or an expert to teach him how to dine at a French restaurant; otherwise he may pay twice as much as he need to have done, and then not get what he desired. Fresh arrivals, English and Americans, are rich game for the restaurants. They[269] know not all the dodges by which the Frenchman gets four or five excellent courses for almost half what it costs the uninitiated, such as ordering a four-franc dinner, with a privilege of ordering so many dishes of meat, so many of vegetables, or one of meat for two of the latter, or the ordering of one "portion" for two persons, &c. And I do not know as my countrymen would always practise them if they did; for being accustomed at home to order more than they want at a restaurant, and to make the restaurant-keeper a free gift of what they do not use, they are rather apt, in Paris, to "darn the expense," and order what suits their palates, without investigating the cost till they call for the garçon with "l'addition."

The jewelry shops in the arcade around the Palais Royal Garden are of two kinds—those for the sale of real jewelry and rich fancy goods, and those selling the imitation. These latter are compelled by law to keep a sign conspicuously displayed, announcing the fact that their wares are imitation, and any one found selling imitation for real is, I understand, severely punished. The imitation jewelry stores are very attractive, and it is really quite remarkable to what perfection the art is carried. Imitation of diamonds, made from polished rock-crystal, which will retain their brilliancy for some months, mock coral, painted sets, imitation gold bracelets, chains, necklaces, sleeve-buttons, and earrings, of every conceivable design, very prettily made.

The designs of this cheap jewelry are fully equal to that of the more costly kind, and it is retailed here in large quantities at a far more reasonable price, in proportion to its cost, than is the Attleboro' jewelry in our own country. The arcade used to be thronged with Americans, who purchased generally from a handful to a half peck each of the attractive and pretty articles which are so liberally displayed here.

The French shopkeepers are quick to detect a stranger or foreigner, and very many of them regulate their prices accordingly; so that one soon ascertains that it is not labor in vain to urge a reduction in price, even in establishments where huge placards of "Prix Fixé" inform you that they have a[270] fixed price for their goods, which may mean, however, that it is "fixed" according to the customer and his anxiety to purchase. I myself had an experience in the purchase of a pair of ornaments. Inquiring the price, I was informed, "Eight francs."

"Ah, indeed! That is more than I care to pay."

"For what price does monsieur expect to obtain such beautiful articles?"

"Six francs."

"C'est impossible!" (shrugging his shoulders and elevating his eyebrows); "ici le prix est fixé;" but monsieur should have them for seven francs, as they had been taken from the show-case.

Monsieur was indifferent; he "remercier'd" the shopkeeper; he did not care to pay but six francs, and walked towards the door; but the salesman followed him, and, as he reached the threshold, presented monsieur the articles in question, neatly enveloped in one of his tissue-paper shop-bills. It was positively too cheap, but "pour obliger monsieur," he would give him this "bon marché" for the six francs.

We paid the six francs accordingly; but our satisfaction respecting the "bon marché" was somewhat dampened at seeing the very self-same description of articles we had just purchased at six francs a pair displayed in a window, scarcely half a dozen stores distant, ticketed, in plain figures, three francs a pair.

Passing along through one of the busiest streets of Paris one day, we observed the entrance or passage from the street to the lower story of one of the houses hung with black and decorated with funeral trappings; in fact, the interior arranged as a sort of little apartment, in the midst of which, exposed to full view to all passers by, stood a coffin, surrounded by candles, with crucifix at its head, and all the usual sombre emblems of mourning; pedestrians, as they passed, respectfully uncovered, and such exposition, we were told, is one of the customs in France when death occurs in a family. Funerals often take place at night, although we have[271] met the funeral train during the day, when all who meet it, or whom it passes, remove their hats—a mark of respect which it is pleasant to observe, and which the newly-arrived tourist makes haste to record as one of the evidences of French breeding and politeness.

When I was a boy, and studied first books of history and geography, there was in one of them a picture in which a Frenchman was represented as taking off his hat and making a ceremonious bow to a lady; underneath, as part of the pleasing fable in which the youth were then, and may be, in many cases, to this day are instructed, was printed that the French were the most polite people in the world. If courtly speech, factitious conventionalities, and certain external forms constitute politeness, then the French are the most polite people; but if politeness embraces in its true definition, as I hold that it does, spontaneous unselfishness, refined generosity, carrying kindliness into common acts, unselfishness into daily life, and a willingness to make some self-sacrifice for others, making itself felt more than seen—then there never was a more monstrous humbug than French "politeness." It is nothing more than a certain set of hypocritical forms, the thin, deceptive varnish which is substituted for the clear, solid crystal of hearty honesty.

The Frenchman will raise his hat at a funeral, will "mille pardons, monsieur," if he accidentally jostles your elbow, bow gracefully to the dame du comptoir as he leaves a restaurant; do these and a thousand graceful and pretty things that tend to exhibit himself, and, that cost nothing; but how seldom does he perform an act that calls for the slightest self-sacrifice! He never surrenders a good place that he holds for an inferior one to a lady, an aged person, or a stranger; but he will, if possible, by some petty trick at an exhibition, a review, or public display, endeavor to obtain it from them for himself. The excess of civility shown by the cringing and bowing shopman, with vertebræ as supple as if oiled or supplied with patent hinges in the middle, he expects to put into the price of the goods when he cheats you in your purchases. Attendance[272] in sickness, and service at your hotel, are measured by the francs' worth, till at last, understanding the hollowness of French politeness, its hypocrisy and artificial nature, you long for less ceremony and more heart, and feel that there is much of the former, and little, if any, of the latter, in the Frenchman's code.

Speaking of funerals naturally inclined us to turn our steps towards the celebrated cemetery of Père Lachaise, which has suggested many of the rural cemeteries in our own country that in natural attractions now so far surpass it; but Père Lachaise cemetery, which was formerly an old Jesuit stronghold, was first laid out in 1804, and now it is the largest burial-ground of Paris. It contains over twenty thousand tombs, besides innumerable graves, and occupies two hundred and twelve acres of undulating ground. Some of the older parts of it present a rusty and ill-kept appearance. Before reaching the entrance gate, we had indications of its proximity from the long street through which we passed being almost entirely filled on both sides with the workshops of marble and stone cutters, and funeral wreath manufacturers. Monuments of every conceivable design, size, and expense were displayed, from the elegant and elaborate group of statuary to the simple slab or the little one-franc plaster Agnus Dei, to mark the grave of the poor man's infant. There were quantities of shops for the sale of wreaths of immortelles, bouquets, and other decorations for graves, and scores of men and girls at work fashioning them into various designs, with mottoes varied for all degrees of grief, and for every relation. These are the touching ones: "To My Dear Mother," "My Dear Father," "My Sweet Infant," "To My Dear Sister;" and the friendly ones, "To My Uncle," "My Aunt," "My Friend;" or the sentimental ones, "Mon Cher Felix," "Ma Chère Marie," "Alphonsine," "Pierre," &c.; besides bouquets of natural flowers, and vases for their reception, of every style, and graduated for every degree of grief and the limit of every purse; and you are beset by children offering pretty little bunches of violets or bouquets and wreaths of natural flowers.[273] Arrived at the gate, we were furnished with a guide, whom it is quite necessary to have, to save time in traversing the cemetery, and direct one to the monuments that one most wants to see of celebrated persons.

Our guide was a retired old soldier, slightly lame, and still preserving a sort of military gait, as he stumped along in front of us; but the combined perfume of the pipe he had learned to smoke while campaigning, and the garlic he loved to eat at home, caused him to be a companion that one would prefer occupying the windward side of.

The older part of the cemetery of Père Lachaise is very much crowded; the tombs or vaults in some avenues stand as close together, comparatively, as the doors of blocks of houses in a city thoroughfare. Many of these vaults, facing the avenues, have open fronts, guarded only by a light, iron latticed gate, through which the visitor may look into a little square chapel, reached by a descent of three or four steps; in this little chapel-vault stands a little altar, or shelf, on which is placed cross, wreaths, and vase or vases of flowers, this being the place of offering or prayer for the relatives, the interment being made below the slab in the floor or side.

These vault chapels are more or less pretentious, according to the wealth of the proprietors, some being fifteen or twenty feet square, with marble sides, flooring, and sculpture, beautiful altar, candles, vases, and handsome prie dieu, while the names cut into the carved panels indicated what members of the family have been placed behind them in the narrow chamber for their last sleep. Garlands, wreaths, and mementos are in every direction—within, about, and upon the graves and tombs; and in one department, where children were buried, upon the little graves, beneath small glass cases, rested some of the little toys—the dolls, and wooden soldiers, and little rattles—that had belonged to them when living. We found, as we advanced, how much a guide was needed, for we should never have been able to have threaded unaided the labyrinths or the winding cypress-shaded paths of this crowded city of the dead.

[274] There were, we were informed, over eighteen thousand different monuments in the cemetery, ranging from the simple cross or slab to the costly mausoleum, such as is raised over the Countess Demidoff,—the most expensive and elaborate monument in the grounds,—which is reached by elegant flights of steps, and consists of a broad platform, supported by ten splendid white marble Doric columns, upon which rests a sarcophagus, bearing a sculptured cushion, with the arms and cornet of the deceased resting thereon. This monument stands upon the brow of a hill, and occupies one of the most conspicuous positions in the cemetery. But let us follow our guide, taking a glance at a few of the notable features of the place; for that is all one can do in a single visit and in the three hours' stroll which we make through the most attractive parts.

You can hardly walk a dozen steps without encountering tombs bearing names familiar and celebrated in military, scientific, religious, or literary history; and the opportunity one has to study the taste in monuments, obelisks, urns, mausoleums, pyramids, and sarcophagi, may be inferred from the fact, that upon these tributes to departed worth, and mementos of loved ones, no less than five millions sterling, or about twenty-five million dollars in gold, have been expended since the cemetery was first opened. The paths and walks of the old portion of Père Lachaise are rough, and in sad contrast with the newer part, and suffer much in comparison with the broad, spacious, well-rolled avenues of our own Mount Auburn and Forest Hills, or the natural and artificial beauties of Greenwood Cemetery.

We first took a glance at the Jewish division of the grounds, which is separated from the rest by a wall, where the monument of Rachel, the celebrated actress, was pointed out to us, and also those bearing the name of Rothschild and Fould. We then walked to that most interesting monument, generally the first one of any note visited by tourists, an actual evidence and memento of the truth of that sad and romantic history which is embalmed in the memory of youth,[275] the monument of Abélard and Héloise. This is a little open Gothic chapel, in which is the sarcophagus of Abélard, and upon it rests his effigy, and by his side that of Héloise.

The monument is built from the ruins of Paraclete Abbey, of which Héloise was abbess, and its sculptured figures and decorations are very beautiful, although suffering from decay and neglect. A bunch or two of fresh violets and forget-me-nots, which we saw lying upon the breast of the recumbent figure, showed that sentimental visitors still paid tribute to this shrine of disappointed love.

As we advanced farther into the grounds, monuments bearing well-known names, distinguished in science, literature, and art, met the eye on every side. Here is that of Arago, the astronomer; Talma, the great actor of Napoleon's time; Bernardin de St. Pierre, the author of Paul and Virginia; David, the celebrated painter; Pradier, the great sculptor; Chopin, the musician; Scribe, the dramatist; Racine, the poet; Laplace, the astronomer; and Lafitte, the banker. Then we come to the names of some of those military chiefs that surrounded the great soldier of the first empire, and helped him to write the name of France in imperishable records upon the pages of history.

Here rests Marshal Kellermann; here rises a granite pyramid to Marshal Davoust, who won his laurels at Eylau, Friedland, and Auerstadt, the great cavalry action of Eckmuhl, and, except Ney, who was the most prominent in the tremendous battle of Borodino, and the disastrous retreat from Russia; here Suchet, who commenced his career with Napoleon at the siege of Toulon, sleeps beneath a white marble sarcophagus; Macdonald and Lefebvre are here; and a pyramid of white marble, bearing a bass-relief portrait, rises to the memory of General Masséna, "a very obstinate man" and "the favorite child of victory"—him whom Napoleon once told, "You yourself are equivalent to six thousand men." Passing monument after monument, bearing names the birthplaces of whose titles were victorious battle-fields, we were guided by our conductor to a little square plat of grou[276]nd enclosed by a light railing; it was gay with many-hued flowers in full bloom, filling the air with their fragrance. The old guide stopped, and reverently taking off his cap, turned to us, saying,—

"Hommage, monsieur, à le plus brave des braves—à Maréchal Ney."

I involuntarily followed his example. "But where," asked I, looking about on every side, "where is his monument?"

"His monument, monsieur," said the old fellow, drawing himself up as erect as possible, and dramatically placing his hand upon his left breast,—"his monument is the memory of his brave deeds, which will live forever in the hearts of the French people."

Such a reply, coming from such a speaker, astonished me; and I almost expected to see the staff change to a musket, the tattered cap into a high grenadier "bearskin," and the old blouse into the faced uniform of the Garde Impériale; there was such a flavor of Napoleon Bonaparteism in the response, that that of the garlic was for the moment forgotten, and we considered the reply increased the value of the speaker's services to the extent of another franc.

I stood, afterwards, opposite the spot where Marshal Ney, "the rear guard of the grand army" in the retreat from Russia, the last man who left Russian territory, "the bravest of the brave," was shot according to decree on the 7th of December, 1815. It is a short distance form the south entrance of the gardens of the Palais du Luxembourg, and is marked by a bronze statue of the great marshal, who is represented in the attitude of leading his troops, sword in hand, as he did at the head of the Old Guard, after four horses had been shot under him, in the last charge on the disastrous field of Waterloo. A marble pedestal is nearly covered with an enumeration of the battles in which he distinguished himself He was indeed the "hero of a hundred battles."

Passing through another path, we came to the monument of Lafontaine, surmounted by a life-size figure of a fox, sculptured from black marble, the sides of the monument showing[277] bronze bass-reliefs of the fable of the fox and stork, and wolf and lamb. Béranger, the poet, sleeps in the same tomb with Manuel, a French orator; and just before leaving the cemetery our guide pointed out to us a little cross over the grave of Judith Frère, who figures in the poet's songs as Lisette.

"But first Lisette should here before me stand,
So blithe, so lovely, in her fresh-trimmed bonnet;
See, at the narrow window, how her hand
Pins up her shawl, in place of curtain on it."

But we might go on with a whole catalogue of noted monuments seen in this city of the dead, during our three hours' tour of it—an excursion which, notwithstanding its interest, was quite fatiguing.

The magnificent tomb of Napoleon I., at the Church of the Invalides, contains the mortal remains of the great Corsican, placed here with much ceremony, carrying out the desire expressed in his will that his ashes might rest upon the banks of the Seine, in the midst of the French people that he had loved so much. Through the great cupola of the church the light is admitted by means of colored glass, and so managed that it shall fall upon the high altar, the crypt, and sarcophagus with striking effect. The high altar is at the top of ten steps of pure white marble, and is of black marble; great twisted columns of black and white marble support a canopy of white and gold, beneath which is a figure of the Saviour on the cross, upon which the sunlight, falling through yellow glass, lights up the golden rays that are represented as springing from the back of the crucifix into a blaze of glory, and flashes and sparkles upon the gilded canopy and decorations, is if glorifying the sacred emblems.

Directly in the centre, and beneath the dome of the church, is a great circular opening thirty-six feet in diameter and twenty feet in depth; this is the crypt, and surrounded by a marble rail. Looking down, you gaze upon the sarcophagus, a huge block of red granite or porphyry, weighing one hundred and thirty-five thousand pounds, most beautifully polishe[278]d, brought from Finland at a cost of thirty thousand dollars, covering another huge block twelve feet long by six in width, which in turn rests upon a splendid block of green granite, the whole forming a monument about fourteen feet high. The pavement of this circular crypt is a huge crown of laurels in green marble in a tessellated floor of white and black marble; within the laurels are inscribed Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, Rivoli, Wagram, and other great victories, the whole pavement being a most exquisite piece of mosaic work; around the circle stand twelve colossal statues, facing the tomb, representing victories. We descended to this crypt by passing to the rear, and beneath the high altar, where we found the entrance guarded by two huge caryatides bearing imperial emblems; passing the sarcophagus, we come to a chapel where is the sword of Austerlitz, groups of flags captured by the French in battle, and other mementos of the emperor.

The elegant finish of the marble-work in the interior of the Church of the Invalides strikes one with astonishment; its joining is so perfect as to be more like cabinet-making than masonry; the light is so managed as to fall into the crypt through a bluish-purple glass, and striking upon the polished marble, as one looks down from above, gives the crypt the appearance of being filled with a delicate violet halo—a novel and indescribable effect. The marble of the monument, the sculpture, and decorations of the crypt, chapel, &c., cost one million eight hundred thousand dollars in gold—a costly mausoleum.

The interior of the Invalides is circular, with arms of a cross extended north, south, east, and west. The great dome is a splendid piece of architecture, the summit of which is over three hundred feet from the pavement; and high up in the cupola we see a splendid picture representing our Saviour surrounded by saints and angels, which must be colossal in size to appear as they do of life-size from below. In chapels, in the angles formed by the cross, are other splendid monuments to distinguished personages. In the Chapel of St. Augustin is the tomb of Napoleon's eldest brother, Joseph,[279] King of Spain, a huge sarcophagus of black marble; and not far from this is that of Vauban, the greatest of military engineers, also a sarcophagus of black marble, upon which rests an effigy of Vauban; surrounded by emblems, with two allegorical statues beside him. The monument of King Jerome is in the chapel dedicated to St. Jerome, and is a huge sort of black marble casket on gilt claw-feet, upon the top of which stands his statue. A monument to Marshal Turenne represents him dying in the arms of some allegorical genius, with an eagle at his feet.

Each of the chapels is dedicated to some saint, and richly decorated by frescoes representing scenes in his life; but chapels, monuments, and all, are, although splendid, of course insignificant compared with that of the emperor, resting beneath the grand dome in the halo of colored light, before the grand altar, and around which the twelve colossi, with grasped swords and victorious wreaths, seem to be keeping solemn watch and ward over the now silent dust of him

"Whose greatness was no guard
To bar Heaven's shaft."

One can easily imagine that Louis XIV. nearly bankrupted the French nation in his magnificent expenditures on the palace and parks of Versailles, everything about them is upon such a prodigal and princely style. The vast halls of paintings, magnificent chapels, theatres, great gardens, statuary, hot-houses, parks, fountains, and artificial basins, the water to supply which was brought about four miles, the little park of twelve miles in extent, and great park of forty. When the visitor looks about him, he is amazed at the prodigal display of wealth on every side. He ceases to wonder that over two hundred millions of dollars have been expended upon this great permanent French exposition and historical museum of the French nation.

Passing through the town, we entered the Place d'Armes, approaching the palace. This is a great open space eight hundred feet broad, from which we enter the grand court[280], or Cour d'Honneur, a space about four hundred feet wide, leading up to the palace buildings, which are various, irregular, and splendid piles, ornamented with pavilions, plain, or decorated with Corinthian columns, and statues. In the centre of the upper part of this great court stands a colossal equestrian statue of Louis XIV., and upon either side, as the visitor walks up, he observes fine marble statues of distinguished Frenchmen, such as Colbert, Jourdan, Masséna, Conde, Richelieu, Bayard, &c. Entering the palace, which appears from this court a confused mass of buildings, one is overwhelmed with its vastness and magnificence. Some idea of the former may be obtained by passing through, and taking a survey of the western, or garden front, which is one continuous pile of building a quarter of a mile in extent, elegantly adorned with richly-cut columns, statues, and porticos, and, when viewed from the park, with the broad, very broad flights of marble steps leading to it, adorned with vases, countless statues, ornamental balustrades, &c., strikingly reminding one of the pictorial representations he has seen of Solomon's Temple, or perhaps more strikingly realizing what he may have pictured in his imagination to have been the real appearance of that wonderful edifice.

The collection of pictures and statuary in the Historical Museum is so overwhelming, and the series of rooms apparently so interminable, that a single visit is inadequate to do more than give the visitor a sort of confused general idea of the whole. Guides, if desired, were furnished, who, at a charge of a franc an hour, will accompany a small party of visitors, and greatly facilitate their progress in making the best use of time, and in seeking out the most celebrated objects of interest. Attendants in livery were stationed at different points through the buildings, to direct visitors and indicate the route.

Here, in the great Historical Museum, are eleven spacious rooms, elegantly decorated, and containing pictures on historical subjects from the time of King Clovis to Louis XVI. Here is Charlemagne dictating his Code of Laws, Henry IV. entering Paris, the Siege of Lille, Coronation of L[281]ouis XIV., and many other immense tableaux filled with figures, and of great detail.

There are the Halls of the Crusades, five magnificent rooms in Gothic style, and forming a gallery of paintings illustrating those periods of history, and, of course, such events as French crusaders were most prominent in. The walls and ceilings are ornamented with armorial bearings and devices of French crusaders; and in the wall of one of the rooms are the Gates of the Hospital of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, given to Prince de Joinville, by Sultan Mahmoud, in 1836. The great pictures of the desperate battles of the mail-clad warriors of the cross and the Saracens are given with graphic fidelity, the figures in the huge tableaux nearly or quite the size of life, and the hand-to-hand encounter of sword, cimeter, battle-axe, and mace, or the desperate struggles in the "imminent deadly breach," the fierce escalade, the terrific charge, or the desperate assault, represented with a force, vigor, and expression that almost make one's blood tingle to look upon them. Here was a magnificent picture representing a Procession of Crusaders round Jerusalem, another, by Delacroix, representing the Taking of Constantinople, Larivière's Raising the Siege of Malta, and Raising the Siege of Rhodes, the Battle of Ascalon, Taking of Jerusalem, Taking of Antioch, Battle of Acre; also the portraits of Jaques Molay, Hugh de Payens, De La Valette, and other grand commanders of the order.

Another series of elegant halls, seven in number, had some magnificent colossal pictures of modern battles, such as the Battle of Alma, Storming of the Mamelon, the Return of the Army to Paris in 1859, and Horace Vernet's celebrated picture of the Surprise of Abdel-Kader's Encampment, a most spirited specimen of figure-painting. Then came a spirited picture of the Storming of the Malakoff, Storming of Sebastopol, Battles of Magenta, &c., and several fine battle-pieces by Horace Vernet. Then there are rooms with scenes in the campaign in Morocco, whole galleries of statues, galleries of French admirals and generals, series after series of six,[282] eight, or ten great apartments, each a gallery of itself.

The "Grand Apartments," as they are called, occupy the whole of the central portion of the palace, facing the gardens, and appear more like the creation of a magician, or of the genii of Aladdin's lamp, than the work of human hands. Each hall is given a name, and distinguished by the superb frescos upon its ceiling, delineating scenes in which the deity for which it is called figures. The great Saloon of Hercules has scenes illustrating the deeds of Hercules, delineated upon its broad expanse of ceiling, sixty feet square; the Hall of Abundance is illustrated with allegorical figures, and the Saloon of Venus is rich with cupids, roses, and the Goddess of Love; then there are Saloons of Mars, of Mercury, of Apollo, of the States General, all richly and most gorgeously decorated; but the grandest of all is the Grand Gallery of Louis XIV., the most magnificent hall in the world, and one which extracts enthusiasm even from the most taciturn.

This superb gallery connects with the Saloon of War and Saloon of Peace, and forms with them one grand continuous apartment. It is sometimes called the Gallery of Mirrors, from the great mirrors that line the wall upon one side. Fancy a superb hall, two hundred and thirty feet long, thirty-five wide, and forty-five high, with huge arched windows on one side, and magnificent mirrors on the other, with Corinthian columns of red marble at the sides, and the great arched ceiling, the whole length elegantly painted with allegorical representations and tableaux of the battles of France; statues, carvings, ornaments, furniture, and decorations appropriate filling out the picture, the perspective view superb, and the whole effect grand and imposing!

It was here that Queen Victoria was received on her visit to Paris in 1855. Here, where, after the London Times and British press had failed to write down the "prisoner of Ham," "the nephew of his uncle," "the ex-policeman," after Punch had ridiculed in every possible pictorial burlesque and slander him whom that print represented as a mere aspirant for the boots and cocked hat of his uncle,—it was here, beneath the[283] blaze of countless candles, to the music of his imperial band, and in presence of the most celebrated personages of the French nation, that England's queen danced with—yes, actually waltzed with—this nephew of his uncle.

Opening out of these grand state apartments are various others, which, although beautiful in decoration, are dwarfed by the splendor of the great salons, though some are noted for historical events, such as Louis XIV.'s private cabinet, in which are his table and arm-chair; the room in which Louis XV. died. We look upon superb vases, wonderful mechanical clocks, staircases that are wonders of architecture, and chefs d'œuvre of execution in carving, graceful curve, and splendid sweep, till finally I find myself, note-book in hand, in a splendid room, gazing upward at a ceiling upon which is a magnificent picture, representing Jupiter, and some other gods and allegorical figures. It is a work of rare art. I refer to my guide, and find we are gazing up at a picture by Paul Veronese, representing Jupiter punishing Crime, brought from the Hall of the Council of Ten, in Venice, by Napoleon I., and that we are standing in the bed-chamber of Louis XIV., and before the very couch, rich in decoration, and railed off from approach of the common herd, upon which he—though he may have been mighty and to be feared, may have reigned as a monarch and lived as a conqueror—yet, at last, died but as a man.

"Dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils
Shrunk to this little measure?"

The great Gallery of the Empire consists of fourteen large rooms, and in these are three hundred huge pictures of the battles and noted events that transpired during the time of Napoleon I., from 1796 to 1810—a complete illustration of the life and times of the great emperor. The views of the battles are very spirited and interesting, and, with those in the Gallery of Battles, will be familiar to many from the copies that have been made of them, and the numerous occasions they have done duty in illustrated books. The Napoleon[284] Gallery a volume of illustrations published by Bohn, of London, gives engravings of nearly all these beautiful tableaux. Here was the Battle of Marengo, Passage of the Alps, Horace Vernet's Battle of Wagram, and Battle of Friedland, and his picture of Napoleon addressing the Guards before the battle of Jena, Gerard's Battle of Austerlitz, Battle of Rivoli,—one vivid pictorial scene succeeding another,—Eckmuhl, Ratisbon, Essling, Rivoli, &c. This Gallery of Battles is also a notable hall, being nearly four hundred feet long, forty-two feet wide, and forty feet in height. The roof is vaulted, and lighted by skylights, which give a good light to the pictures, and the whole effect of the splendid gallery, which is richly decorated, set forth by ornamental columns, with busts of distinguished generals interspersed at intervals, is very fine. In niches near the windows there is a sort of roll of honor—lists of names of generals and admirals who have fallen in battle, inscribed upon tablets of black marble. I must not forget the Hall of the Coronation, which contains David's great painting of the Coronation of Napoleon, for which the artist received the sum of one hundred thousand francs. In this hall is also the Distribution of the Eagles to the Legions, by the same artist, and the Battle of Aboukir.

Behind the Gallery of Battles extends another gallery, entirely devoted to statues and busts of distinguished personages, from the year 1500 to 1800. This gallery is over three hundred feet in length. But even to attempt anything like a description of the numerous galleries, halls, and apartments in this vast structure, would be futile in the space that can be allowed in a tourist's sketches, and those that we omit are nearly as extensive as those already mentioned. There is a gallery of the admirals of France—fourteen rooms full of their portraits; a gallery of the kings of France—seventy-one portraits—down to Louis Philippe; gallery of Louis XIII.; hall of the imperial family, with portraits of the Bonaparte family; gallery of marine paintings; a gallery of water colors, by French staff officers, of scene[285]s in campaigns from 1796 to 1814; Marie Antoinette's private apartments, in which some of the furniture used by her still remains; the cabinets of porcelains; cabinets of medals; saloon of clocks; great library; hall of the king's body guards, &c. The celebrated hall known as Œil de bœuf, from its great oval window at one end, I viewed with some interest, as the hall where so many courtiers had fussed, and fumed, and waited the king's coming—regular French lobbyists of old times; and many a shrewd and deep-laid political scheme was concocted here. It is a superb saloon, and was Louis XVI.'s and Marie Antoinette's public dining-hall.

All these "galleries," it should be borne in mind, are really galleries worthy the name—vast in extent, elegant in decoration, and rich in pictures, busts, and statues. Then the splendid staircases by which some of them are reached are wonders of art. The great Staircase of the Princes is a beautiful piece of work, with pillars, sculptured ceiling, bass-reliefs, &c., and adorned with marble statues of Bonaparte, Louis XIV., and other great men. So also are the Marble Staircase, and the splendid Staircase of the Ambassadors. I only mention these, each in themselves a sight to be seen, to give the reader some idea of the vastness of this palace, and the wealth of art it contains.

Think of the luxuriousness of the monarch who provides himself with a fine opera-house or theatre, which he may visit at pleasure, without leaving his palace! Yet here it is, a handsome theatre, with a stage seventy-five feet deep and sixty wide, a height of fifty feet, with its auditorium, seventy feet from curtain to boxes, and sixty feet wide. It is elegantly decorated with Ionic columns, crimson and gold. There are three rows of boxes, with ornamental balustrades, a profusion of mirrors and chandeliers, and the ceiling elegantly ornamented. The royal box occupies the centre of the middle row of boxes, and is richly decorated. On the occasion of the visit of Queen Victoria to Louis Napoleon, this theatre was used as the supper-room, the pit being boarded over, and four hundred illustrious guests sat down[286] to a splendid banquet.

Not only have the means of amusement been thus provided, but we find in this wonderful palace the royal chapel for royal worship of Him before whom all monarchs are as dust in the balance—a beautiful interior, one hundred and fourteen feet long by sixty wide, with nave, aisles, side galleries, and Corinthian columns, and its elegant ceiling, which is eighty-six feet from the richly-inlaid mosaic pavement, covered with handsome paintings of sacred subjects by great artists. The high altar is magnificent, the organ one of the finest in France, and the side aisles contain seven elegant chapels, dedicated to as many saints, their altars rich in beautiful marbles, sculptures, bass-reliefs, and pictures—among the latter, a Last Supper, by Paul Veronese, the whole forming a superb chapel, glowing with beauty and art. In this chapel Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette were married in 1770.

Verily one gets a surfeit of splendor in passing through this vast historic pile of buildings. The limbs are weary, while the eyes ache from the gazing at pictures, statues, perspectives, and frescos, and it is a relief to go forth into the grand park and gardens, where fresh wonders await the visitor. Descending from the broad and spacious terrace, adorned by statues and vases, by flights of marble steps, the spectator is bewildered by the number and beauty of the fountains, statues, &c., that he encounters on every side; but the very terrace itself is a wonder. Here are great bronze statues of Apollo, Bacchus, and other heathen gods. Two broad squares of water, surrounded by twenty-four splendid groups, in bronze, of nymphs and children, are in the midst of vast grass plots and walks, and among the statues we notice one of Napoleon I. From this broad terrace you descend to the gardens below, and other parts of the ground, by magnificent flights of broad steps. In the orangery or hot-house, orange trees, pomegranates, and a variety of curious plants are kept, many of which are transplanted about the grounds during the summer season. One old veteran of[287] an orange tree, hooped with iron to preserve it, is shown, which is said to be over four hundred and thirty years old. The guide-books say it was planted by the wife of Charles III., King of Navarre, in 1421. Many other old trees of a hundred years of age are in the gardens.

One great feature of the gardens at Versailles is the beautiful fountains. The principal one is that known as the Basin of Neptune, which is a huge basin, surrounded by colossal figures of Neptune, Amphitrite, nymphs, tritons, and sea-monsters, that spout jets-d'eau into it. The Basin of Latona is a beautiful affair, consisting of five circular basins, rising one above another, surmounted by a group of Latona, Apollo, and Diana. All around the basins, upon slabs of marble, are huge frogs and tortoises, representing the metamorphosed peasants of Libya, who are supplying the goddess with water in liberal streams, which they spout in arching jets towards her. Then there is the great Basin of Apollo, with the god driving a chariot, surrounded by sea-gods and monsters, who are all doing spouting duty; the Basin of Spring and Summer; Basin of the Dragon, where a huge lead representation of that monster is solemnly spouting in great streams from his mouth when the water is turned on. The Baths of Apollo is a grotto, in which the god is represented served by nymphs—seven graceful figures; while near him are the horses of the Sun, being watered by Tritons, all superbly executed in marble. Sheets and jets of water issue from every direction in this beautiful grotto, and form a lake at the foot of the rocks. This grotto is a very elaborate piece of work, and is said to have cost a million and a half of francs.

Besides these beautiful and elaborate fountains are many others of lesser note, but still of beautiful design, at different points in the gardens and park. Parterres of beautiful flowers charm the eye, the elegant groves tempt the pedestrian, and greensward, of thick and velvety texture and emerald hue, stretches itself out like an artificial carpet. Here is one that stretches the whole length between two of the great fountains, Latona and Apollo, and called the Green[288] Carpet—one sheet of vivid green, set out with statues and marble vases along the walks that pass beside it; another beautiful one, of circular form, is called the Round Green. Here are beautiful gravel walks, artificial groves with charming alleys, thickets, green banks, and, in fact, a wealth of landscape gardening, in which art is often made to so closely imitate nature, that it is difficult to determine where the one ceases and the other begins.

A visit to the Great and Little Trianon is generally the wind-up of the visit to the parks of Versailles: the former, it will be recollected, was the villa built in the park by Louis XIV. for Madame de Maintenon. It contains many elegant apartments. Among those which most attracted our attention was the Hall of Malachite, and the Palace Gallery, the latter a hall one hundred and sixty feet long, ornamented with portraits, costly mosaic tables, and bronzes. Notwithstanding the eye has been sated with luxury in the palace, the visitor cannot but see that wealth has been poured out with a lavish hand on this villa; its beautiful saloons,—Saloon of Music, Saloon of the Queen, Saloon of Mirrors,—its chapel and gardens, are all those befitting a royal palace; for such indeed it was to Louis XIV., XV., and XVI., and even Napoleon, who, at different times, made it their residence.

The Little Trianon, built by Louis XV. for Madame Du Barry, is a small, two-story villa, with a handsome garden attached, at which I only took a hasty glance, and concluded by omitting to inspect the Museum of State Carriages,—where, I was told, Bonaparte's, Charles X.'s, and others were kept,—the sedan chair of Marie Antoinette, and various curious harnesses. I was assured by another tourist, who learned a few days after that I had not seen it, that it was the finest thing in the whole palace. I have frequently found this to be the judgment of many travellers, of objects or points they have "done," which you have missed or omitted, and so I endured the loss of this sight with resignation.

But we find that an attempt to give anyt[289]hing like a full description of all we saw in Paris,—even those leading "lions" that all tourists describe,—would make us tarry in that gay capital too long for the patience of our readers who have followed us "over the ocean" thus far. The lover of travel, of variety, of architecture, of fashion, frivolity, or excitement may enjoy himself in Paris to the extent of his desire. There is plenty to occupy the attention of all who wish to enjoy themselves, in a rational and profitable manner, in the mere seeing of sights that every one ought to see. There is the grand old cathedral of Notre Dame, famed in history and story, which has experienced rough usage at the hands of the fierce French mobs of different revolutions, who respect not historical relics, works of art, or even the sepulchres of the dead.

The exterior of this magnificent great Gothic structure was familiar to me from the many engravings I had seen of it, with its two great square towers of over two hundred feet in height, with the huge rose window between them of thirty-six feet in diameter, and the three beautiful Gothic doors of entrance, rich in ornamentation, carvings, and statues of saints. The interior has that grand and impressive appearance that attaches to all these superb creations of the old cathedral builders. The vaulted arches, rising one above another, over a hundred feet in height, present a fine appearance, and a vista of Gothic columns stretches along its length, of three hundred and ninety feet; at the transept the width is one hundred and forty-four feet. The three great rose windows, which will not fail to challenge admiration, are wonders in their way, and, with their beautiful stained glass, are coeval with the foundation of the cathedral.

We ascended the tower, and enjoyed the magnificent view of Paris from its summit, and, more particularly, the course of the River Seine and the splendid bridges that span it. Up here we saw the huge bells, and walked round amid them, recalling scenes in Victor Hugo's novel of the Hunchback of Notre Dame; these were the huge tocsins that Quasimodo swung, and far down below was the square in which La Esmeralda spread her little carpet, and summoned the c[290]rowd, with tambourine, to witness her dancing goat; farther away, to the right, was the street that Captain Porteous rode from at the head of his troop; here, upon the roof, sheeted with lead, must have been the place that the mishapen dwarf built the fire that turned the dull metal into a molten stream that poured destruction upon the heads of the mob that were battering the portals below. With what an interest do the poet and novelist clothe these old monuments of the past! Intertwining them with the garlands of their imagination, they contend with history in investing them with attractions to the tourist.

High up here, at the edge of the ramparts, are figures of demons, carved in stone, looking over the edge, which appear quite "little devils" from the pavement, but which are, in reality, of colossal size. The pure air of the heavens, as we walked around here near the clouds, was of a sudden charged with garlic, which nauseous perfume we discovered, on investigation, arose from the hut of a custodian and his wife, who dwelt up here, hundreds of feet above the city, like birds in an eyrie, and defiled the air with their presence.

One of the most gorgeous church interiors of Paris is that of Sainte Chapelle; this building, although not very large, is a perfect gem of Gothic architecture, and most beautifully and perfectly finished in every part; it is one hundred and twenty feet long, forty wide, and has a spire of one hundred and forty feet in height. Every square inch of the interior is exquisitely painted and gilded in diamonds, lozenges, and fleurs-de-lis; and stars spangle the arched roof, which is as blue as the heavens. The windows are filled with exquisite stained glass of the year 1248—glass which escaped the ruin of the revolutions; and the great rose window can only be likened to a magnificent flower of more than earthly beauty, as the light streams through its glorious coloring, where it rests above a beautiful Gothic balustrade.

Leaving the Sainte Chapelle, we passed a few rods distant, after turning a corner, the two old coffee-pot-looking towers of the bloody Conciergerie, where poor Marie Antoinette[291] languished for seventy-six days, before she was led forth to execution; here also was where Ravaillac, Robespierre, and Charlotte Corday were imprisoned; and the very bloody record-book of the names of those who were ordered to be despatched during the revolution, kept by the human butchers who directed affairs, is still preserved, and shown to the visitor.

That magnificent Grecian-looking temple, the Madeleine, is one of the first public buildings the tourist recognizes in Paris. As many Americans are apt to estimate the value of things by the money they cost, it may be of interest to state that this edifice cost two million six hundred thousand dollars. It is really a magnificent structure, with its thirty Corinthian columns, fifteen on each side, and its noble front, with ornamental pediment, its great bronze entrance, doors thirty-two feet high, reached by the broad flight of marble steps extending across the whole length of the end of the building, the dimensions of which are three hundred and twenty-eight feet in length by one hundred and thirty-eight in breadth. The beautiful Corinthian columns, which, counting those at the ends, are fifty-two in number, are each fifty feet in height. The broad, open square about the Madeleine affords an excellent opportunity of viewing the exterior; and one needs to make two or three detours about the building to obtain a correct idea of its magnitude and beauty. The interior is one spacious hall, the floors and walls all solid marble, beautifully decorated, and lighted from the top by domes; all along the sides are chapels, dedicated to different saints, and decorated with elegant statues and paintings; the high altar is rich in elegant sculpture, the principal group representing, in marble, Mary Magdalene borne into Paradise by angels—exquisitely done. The whole effect of this beautiful interior, with its lofty ornamented domes and Corinthian pillars, the beautiful statuary and bass-reliefs, frescoing, and walls incrusted with rich marbles, is grand beyond description.

The Church of St. Genevieve, better known as the Pantheon[292], is another magnificent structure: three hundred and fifty feet long and two hundred and sixty wide is this beautiful building, and three rows of elegant Corinthian columns support its portico. We gazed up at the beautiful pediment, over this portico, which is over one hundred and twenty feet long and twenty-two feet high, and contains a splendid group of statuary in relief, the central figure of which is fifteen feet in height; but above the whole building rises the majestic dome, two hundred and sixty-four feet. Inside we ascended into this grand and superb cupola, and, after making a portion of the ascent, paused in a circular gallery to have a view of the great painting which adorns the dome, representing St. Genevieve receiving homage from King Clovis. After going as far above as possible, we descended with a party to the vaults below, where we were shown the place, in which the bodies of Mirabeau and Marat were deposited, and the tombs of Voltaire and Rousseau, which, however, do not contain the remains of the two philosophers. We were then escorted by the guide, by the dim light of his lantern, to a certain gloomy part of the vaults, where there was a most remarkable echo; a clap of the hand reverberated almost like a peal of thunder, and a laugh sounded so like the exultation of some gigantic demon who had entrapped his victims here in his own terrible caverns, as to make us quite ready to follow the guide through the winding passages back to the upper regions, and welcome the light of day.

An American thinks his visit to Paris scarcely completed unless he has visited the Jardin Mabille. It has the reputation of being a very wicked place, which, in some degree, accounts for tourists, whose dread of appearances at home restrains them from going to naughty places, having an intense desire to visit it; and it is amusing to see some of these very proper persons, who would be shocked at the idea of going inside a theatre at home for fear of contamination, who are enjoying the spectacle presented here like forbidden fruit, quite confused at meeting among the throng their friends from America who are in Paris, as is frequently the case. Sometimes the confusion is mutual, and then explanations[293] of both parties exhibit a degree of equivocation that would rival a Japanese diplomat. Those, however, who expect to see any outrageous display of vice or immodesty will be disappointed: the garden is under the strict surveillance of the police, and there is a far more immodest display by the ladies in the boxes of the opera at the Grand Opera in London, than by the frail sisterhood at the Jardin. During the travelling season one meets plenty of tourists, English and American, at Mabille, and hears the English tongue spoken in the garden on every side of him.

Stroll up the beautiful Champs Elysées of a summer's evening; all along, on either side, the groves, gardens, and grounds are brilliant with gas-jets, colored lights, and Chinese lanterns, brilliant cafés, with chairs and tables in front, where you may sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and a cigar, or a glass of wine, while you view the never-ending succession of passers by. Just off amid the trees are little extemporized theatres, where the never-tiring comedy of Punch and Judy is performed to admiring crowds, at two sous a head; little booths, with a gambling game, which, translated into English, is "the d— among the tailors," afford an opportunity of indulging in a game of chance for a few sous, which game consists in setting a brass top spinning in among a curious arrangement of brass fixed and movable upright pins upon a board; the number of pins knocked over, and little brass arches passed under, by the top, determines the amount of the prize won by the player, which can be selected from the knickknacks in the booth ticketed with prize cards.

A friend of mine, a very proper young gentleman, was so attracted by the gyrations of the brass top spinning on these tables one evening, that he insisted upon stopping and trying his hand at the game: he did so, and so expertly that he bore off a pair of cheap vases, a china dog, and a paper weight; his triumph was somewhat dampened, however, at being reminded by a lady friend, whom he met with his hands filled with his treasures, that he had been gambling on Sunday evening. It is not at all surprising, however, from the sights and scene[294]s, that one should forget the character of the day, there is so little to remind him of it in Paris.

Besides these booths are those for the sale of a variety of fanciful articles, illuminated penny peep shows; and off at side streets you are directed, by letters in gas jets, to the Cafés Chantants—enclosed gardens with an illuminated pavilion at one end of them, its whole side open, exposing a stage, upon which sit the singers, handsomely dressed, who are to appear in the programme. The stage is beautifully illuminated with gas and very handsomely decorated, generally representing the interior of a beautiful drawing room; the audience sit at tables in the garden immediately before the stage, which, from its raised position, affords a good view to all; there is no charge for admission, but each visitor orders something to the value of from half a franc to a franc and a half of the waiters, who are pretty sharp to see that everybody does order something. The trees are hung with colored lights, a good orchestra plays the accompaniment for the singers, besides waltzes, quadrilles, and galops, and the Frenchman sits and sips his claret or coffee, and smokes his cigar beneath the trees, and has an evening, to him, of infinite enjoyment. I saw, among the brilliant group that formed the corps of performers, seated upon the illuminated stage at one of these Cafés Chantants, a plump negro girl, whose low-necked and short-sleeved dress revealed the sable hue of her skin in striking contrast to her white and gold costume. She was evidently a dusky "star."

But we will continue our walk up the beautiful Elysian Fields; the great, broad carriage-way is thronged with voitures, with their different colored lights flitting hither and thither like elves on a revel: as seen in the distance up the illuminated course they sparkled like a spangled pathway, clear away up to the huge dusky Arc d'Etoile, which in the distance rises "like an exhalation." The little bowers, nooks, chairs, and booths are all crowded; music reaches us from the Cafés Chantants, and peals of laughter at the performances in the raree-shows; finally, reaching the Rond Point, a sort of[295] circular opening with six pretty fountains,—and turning a little to the left upon the Avenue Montaigne, the brilliant gas jets of the Jardin Mabille are in view—admission three francs for gentlemen, ladies free.

The garden is prettily laid out with winding paths, flower-beds, fountains, cosy arbors, where refreshments may be ordered, and a tête-à-tête enjoyed, the trees hung with colored lights, artificial perspectives made by bits of painted scenery placed at the end of pretty walks, &c. In the centre is a brilliantly lighted stand, which is occupied by a fine orchestra, and upon the smooth flooring about it, within sound of the music, the dancers. The frequenters of Mabille are of the upper and middle class among the males, the females are generally lorettes, and the spectators largely composed of Americans and English. The leader of the orchestra displays a large card bearing the name of each piece the orchestra will perform, as "Galop," "Valse," "Quadrille," &c., before it commences, and it is the dance which is one of the great features of the place; but this, which, a few years ago, used to be so novel, has been so robbed of its "naughtiness" by the outrageous displays of the ballet, and the indecencies of "White Fawn" and "Black Crook" dramas have left the Jardin Mabille so far in the background that even American ladies now venture there as spectators.

The fact that the women at Mabille are lorettes, and that in dancing they frequently kick their feet to the height of their partners' heads, appears to be the leading attractive feature of the place. The style of dancing is a curiosity, however; a quadrille of these women and their partners is a specimen of the saltatory art worth seeing. There is no slow, measured sliding and dawdling through the figure, as in our cotillons at home; the dancers dance all over—feet, arms, muscles, head, body, and legs; each quadrille, in which there are dancers of noted skill and agility, is surrounded by a circle of admiring spectators. The men, as they forward and back, and chassé, bend and writhe like eels, now stooping nearly to the floor, then rising with a bound into the air [296]like a rubber ball: forward to partners, a fellow leans forward his head, and feigns to kiss the advancing siren, who, with a sudden movement, brings her foot up in the position just occupied by his face, which is skilfully dodged by the fellow leaping backwards, agile as an ape; the men toss their arms, throw out their feet, describe arcs, circles, and sometimes a spry fellow turns a summersault in the dance. The girls gather up their long skirts to the knee with their hand, and are scarcely less active than their partners; they bound forward, now and then kicking their boots, with white lacings, high into the air, sometimes performing the well-known trick of kicking off the hat of a gaping Englishman or American, who may be watching the dance. The waltz, polka, and galop are performed with a frantic fervor that makes even the spectator's head swim, and at its close the dancers repair to the tables to cool off with iced drinks, or a stroll in the garden walks.

The proprietors of the Jardin Mabille, Closerie des Lilas, and similar places, generally have some few female dancers of more than usual gymnastic skill, and with some personal attraction, whom they employ as regular habitues of the gardens as attractions for strangers, more particularly green young Englishmen and Americans. This place, however, is perfectly safe, being under strict surveillance of the police, and there is very rarely the least disturbance or rudeness; the police see that the gardens are cleared, and the gas extinguished, at midnight. Two nights in the week at the Jardin Mabille are fête nights, when a grand display of fireworks is added to the other attractions of the place.

The Closerie des Lilas is a garden not so extensive as Mabille, frequented principally by students and their mistresses—admission one franc, ladies free. Here the dancing is a little more demonstrative, and the dresses are cut rather lower in the neck; yet the costume and display of the person are modest in comparison with that in the spectacular pieces upon the stage. The students go in for a jolly time, and have it, if dancing with all their might, waltzing like whirling dervi[297]shes, and undulating through the Can-Can with abandon indescribable, constitute it.

Of course we did not omit the Palace of the Luxembourg, with its superb gallery of modern paintings, among which we noticed Delacroix' pictures of Dante and Virgil, and Massacre of Scio; Oxen ploughing by Rosa Bonheur, and Hay Harvest by the same artist; Horace Vernet's Meeting of Raphael and Michael Angelo, and Müller's Calling the Roll of Victims to be guillotined, during the Reign of Terror. In this palace is also the Hall of the Senate, semicircular, about one hundred feet in diameter, elegantly decorated with statues, busts, and pictures, and the vaulted ceiling adorned with allegorical frescoes. Here is also the Salle du Trône, or Throne Room, a magnificent saloon, elegantly frescoed, ornamented, and gilded. The throne itself is a large chair, elegantly upholstered, with the Napoleonic N displayed upon it, upon a raised dais, above which was a splendid canopy supported by caryatides. The walls of the saloon were adorned with elegant pictures, representing Napoleon at the Invalides, Napoleon I. elected emperor, and Napoleon I. receiving the flags taken at Austerlitz. Other paintings, representing scenes in the emperor's life, are in a small apartment adjoining, called the Emperor's Cabinet. We then visited here the chamber of Marie de Medicis, which contains the arm-chair used at the coronation of Napoleon I., and paintings by Rubens. The latter were taken down, with some of the beautiful panelling, which is rich in exquisite scroll-work, and concealed during the revolution of 1789, and replaced again in 1817.

The Garden of Plants, at Paris, is another of those very enjoyable places in Europe, in which the visitor luxuriates in gratifying his taste for botany, zoölogy, and mineralogy, and natural science. Here in this beautiful garden are spacious hot-houses and green-houses, with every variety of rare plants, a botanical garden, galleries of botany, zoölogy, and mineralogy, and a great amphitheatre and laboratories for lectures, which are free to all who desire to attend, given by scientific and skilled lecturers, from April to October. The amphi[298]theatre for lectures will hold twelve hundred persons; and among the lectures on the list, which is posted up at its entrance, and also at the entrance of the gardens, were the subjects of chemistry, geology, anatomy, physiology, botany, and zoölogy. Many scientific men of celebrity received their education here, and the different museums are rich in rare specimens of their departments. The Zoölogical Museum has a fine collection of stuffed specimens of natural history, zoöphites, birds, butterflies, large mammiferous animals, &c. The Geological Museum is admirably arranged—curious specimens from all parts of the world—from mountains, waterfalls, volcanoes, mines, coral-reefs, and meteors, i. e., specimens from the earth below and the heavens above. The Botanical Department, besides its botanical specimens, has a museum of woods similar to that at Kew Gardens. A Cabinet of Anatomy contains a collection of skeletons of animals, &c. The Zoölogical Garden is the most interesting and most frequented part of the grounds. The lions, tigers, bears, elephants, hyenas, and other beasts have spacious enclosures, as in the Zoölogical Gardens at London, though not so well arranged, nor is the collection so extensive. The Palais des Singes (palace of monkeys), a circular building provided for these agile acrobats, is a most attractive resort, and always thronged with spectators. Parterres of flowers, handsome shade trees, shrubs, and curious plants adorn the grounds and border the winding walks and paths; and the visitor cannot help being impressed that almost everything connected with natural science is represented here in this grand garden and museum—plants, animals, fossils, minerals, curious collections, and library. A single visit scarcely suffices to view the menagerie, and many days would be required to examine the whole collection in different departments.

St. Cloud! Even those who travel with a valet de place, and cannot understand a word of French, seem to learn the pronunciation of this name, and to air their "song klew" with much satisfaction. Through the splendid apartments of this palace—since our visit, alas! destroyed by the invading Prussians—[299]we strolled of a Sunday afternoon. There was the Saloon of Mars, Saloon of Diana, rich in magnificent frescoing, representing the gods and goddesses of heathen mythology upon the lofty ceilings; the Gallery of Apollo, a vast and magnificently-decorated apartment, ceiling painted by Mignard, with scenes in the life of Apollo, walls beautifully gilt and frescoed, hung with rare paintings, furnished with cabinets of elegant Sèvres porcelain, rich and curious furniture, and costly bronzes. It was here, in this apartment, that Prince Napoleon, son of Jerome, was baptized by Pope Pius VII., in 1805, and here the marriage of Napoleon I. and Maria Louisa was celebrated in 1810. Then we go on through the usual routine of grand apartments—Saloons of Minerva, Mercury, Aurora, Venus, &c.—rich in magnificent paintings, wondrous tapestry, elegant carving, and splendid decorations. Here are a suit of rooms that have been occupied by Marie Antoinette, the Empress Josephine, Marie Louise, Louis Philippe, and also by Louis Napoleon. Historical memories come thickly into the mind on visiting these places, and throw an additional charm about them. St. Cloud often figures in the history of the great Napoleon. That great soldier and his Guard, Cromwell-like, dispersed the Council of Five Hundred that held their sessions here in 1799, and was soon after made first consul. Farther back in history, here the monk assassinated Henry III., and it was here Louis XIV. and Louis XVI. often sojourned.

The Cascade at St. Cloud is the object that figures most frequently in illustrated books and pictures, and the leading attraction inquired for. It is in the grand park, and consists of a series of vast steps, at the top of which are huge fountains, which send the water down in great sheets, forming a succession of waterfalls, the sides of the steps ornamented with innumerable vases and shell-work. The water, after passing these steps, reaches a great semicircular basin, surrounded by jets d'eau, and from thence falls over other grand steps into a grand canal, two hundred and sixty feet long and ninety wide; dolphins spouting into it, fountains running ov[300]er from vases, and spouting upright from the basin itself, and one huge waterspout near by sending up its aqueous shaft one hundred and forty feet into the air, the whole forming a sparkling spectacle in the sunlight of a summer afternoon.

Every alternate Sunday in summer is a fête day here; and on one of these occasions we saw fountains playing, merry-go-round horses, with children upon the horses, ten-pin alleys, in which the prizes were dolls, china ware, and macaroon cakes. Here was a figure of an open-mouthed giant, into which the visitor was invited to pitch three wooden balls for two sous; prizes, three ginger-snaps in case of success. The d—l among the tailors was in brisk operation; a loud-voiced Frenchman invited spectators to throw leathern balls at some grotesque dolls that he had in a row astride of a cord, a sou only for three shots; and prizes for knocking off the dolls, which were dressed to represent obnoxious personages, and duly labelled, were paid in pretty artificial flowers made of paper. Fortune-wheels could be whirled at half a franc a turn, the gifts on which that halted beneath the rod of the figure of the enchanter that stood above them belonged to the whirler. I heard a vigorous crowing, succeeded by a fellow shouting, "Coq de village, un sou! Coq de village, un sou, messieurs!" He had a huge basket filled with little shells, which were so prepared that, when blown upon, they gave a clever imitation of chanticleer. Fandangos carried their laughing groups up into the air and down again; inclined planes, with self-running cars, gave curious rides; and in one part of the grounds were shown booths of the old English fair kind. Before one, on a platform, a clown danced, and invited the public to enter, to the music of bass drum and horn; ponies, monkeys, trained dogs, and other performers were paraded, as an indication of what might be seen within; pictorial representations of giants, fat women, and dwarfs were in front of others; a sword-swallower took a mouthful or two by way of illustrating the appetite he would display for three sous; and a red-hot iron taster, in suit of dirty red and white muslin, and gold spangles, passed a heated bar[301] dangerously near his tongue, intimating that those who desired could, by the investment of a few coppers, have the rare privilege of witnessing his repast of red-hot iron. These, and scores of other cheap amusements, invited the attention of the thousands that thronged the park on that pleasant Sunday afternoon; and among all the throng, which was composed principally of the common people, we saw not a single case of intoxication, and the trim-dressed officers of police, in dress coats, cocked hats, and swords, who sauntered here and there, had little to do, except, when a throng at some point became too dense, to open a passage, or cause some of the loungers to move on a little.

The traveller who visits the splendid retail establishments in the Rue de la Paix or on the Boulevards, unattended, and purchases what suits his fancy, paying the price that the very supple and cringing salesmen choose to charge, or even goes into those magasins in which a conspicuously-displayed sign announces the prix fixé, will, after a little experience, become perfectly amazed at the elasticity of French conscience, not to say the skill and brazen effrontery of French swindling.

In four fifths of these great retail stores, the discovery that the purchaser is an American or an Englishman, and a stranger, is a signal for increasing the regular price of every article he desires to purchase; if he betrays his ignorance of the usual rate, palming off an inferior quality of goods, and obtaining an advantage in every possible way, besides the legitimate profit. It never seems to enter the heads of these smirking, supple-backed swindlers, that a reputation for honesty and fair dealing is worth anything at all to their establishments. Possibly they argue that, as Paris is headquarters for shopping, buyers will come, willy-nilly; or it may be that deception is so much a part of the Frenchman's nature, that it is a moral impossibility for him to get along without a certain amount of it.

The prix fixé, put up to indicate that the establishment has a fixed price, from which there is no abatement, after the style of the "one price" stores in America, very often has[302] but little significance. A friend with whom I was shopping upon one occasion told the shop-keeper, whom he had offered fifteen or twenty per cent. less than his charge, and who pointed, with an expressive shrug, to the placard, that he was perfectly aware the price was fixed, as it generally was "fixed" all over Paris for every new customer. Monsieur was so charmé with his repartee, that he obtained the article at the price he offered.

One frequently sees costly articles, or some that have been very slightly worn, displayed in a shop window, ticketed at a low price, and marked L'Occasion, to signify that it is not a part of the regular stock, but has been left there for sale—is an "opportunity;" or intimating, perhaps, that it is sold by some needy party, who is anxious to raise the ready cash. Some of these opportunities are bargains, but the buyer must be on his guard that the "occasion" is not one that has been specially prepared to entrap the purchaser into taking a damaged article of high cost at a price beyond its real value.

Although the French shop-keeper may use every artifice to make the buyer pay an exorbitant rate for his goods, the law is very stringent in certain branches of trade, and prevents one species of barefaced cheating that is continually practised in New York, and has been for years, with no indications that it will ever be abolished.

In Paris—at least on the Boulevards and great retail marts—there are no mock auction shops, gift enterprise swindlers, bogus ticket agencies, or similar traps for the unwary, which disgrace New York. Government makes quick work of any abuse of this kind, and the police abolish it and the proprietor so completely, that few dare try the experiment. Neither dare dealers in galvanized watches or imitation jewelry sell it for gold. They are compelled to display the word "imitation" conspicuously upon their shop front and window; and really imitation jewelry is such an important article of trade, that as much skill is exhausted upon it as in the real article, and dealers vie with each other in producing splendid imitations, some of which are so good that[303] a purchaser may, while the article is worn in its "newest gloss," make a display for ten francs that in the real article would cost as many hundreds. Neither are dealers allowed to sell berries by the "box," or peaches by the "crate;" nor are there any of the opportunities of America in making the "box" or the "crate" smaller, without deduction of price. Many kinds of fruit are sold by weight, and there appears to be a rigid inspection, that poor and damaged articles shall not be palmed off upon purchasers. When the government steps in to the regulation of trade, it does it so business-like, so thoroughly, promptly, and effectually, and places such an impassable bar to imposture, that an American, even of the most spread-eagle description, cannot help acknowledging that there are some advantages in imperial rule, after all. He certainly feels a decided degree of confidence that the law will be enforced upon a ruffian or a pickpocket, that should be detected in any attempt to interfere with him, which he never can feel in the city of New York, and that the French police are always on hand, know and perform their duty without solicitation; are efficient officers of the law, and not political roughs, rewarded with places, to be paid for with votes.

There are many French articles that have a large sale in America, and which the traveller promises himself he will lay in a supply of, on visiting Paris, which he is quite surprised to find, on inquiry, are hardly ever called for by Parisians. Thus certain brands of kid gloves, and varieties of perfumery, that are very popular in America, can scarcely be found at the shops on the Boulevards. The best gloves, and those most celebrated in Paris, which are really marvels of excellence in workmanship, are of a brand that cannot be found in the American shops, their high price affording too little margin for profit; but scarce an American who visits Paris but supplies himself from the now well-known magasin in Rue Richelieu. A friend, who thought to purchase at headquarters, sought in vain in Paris for the thick, yellow, and handsomely-stitched gloves he had seen in Regent Street, London, known[304] as French dog-skin. Nothing of the kind could be found. They were made exclusively for the English market.

But it really seems as if almost everything ever heard or thought of could be bought in the French capital, and made in any style, prepared in any form, and furnished with marvellous speed. There is one characteristic of the European shopmen, which I have before referred to, which is in agreeable contrast with many American dealers; and that is, their willingness to make or alter an article to the purchaser's taste; to sell you what you want, and not dispute, and try to force an article upon you which they argue you ought to have, instead of the one you call for. If a lady liked the sleeves of one cloak, and the body of another, she is informed that the change of sleeves shall instantly be made from one to the other. Does a gentleman order a pair of boots with twisted toes, the boot-maker only says, "Certainement, monsieur," and takes his measure. The glover will give you any hue, in or out of the fashion, stitched with any colored silk, and gratify any erratic taste, without question, at twenty-four hours' notice. The ribbon-seller will show you an innumerable variety of gradations of the same hue, will match anything, and shows a skill in endeavoring to suit you exactly. In fact, we presume that the foreign shopman accepts the situation, and is striving to be more a shopman than ever, instead of—as is too often the case in our own country—acting as though he merely held the position pro tempore, and was conferring an honor upon the purchaser by serving him.

Purchases may be made down to infinitesimal quantities, especially of articles of daily consumption; and where so many are making a grand display upon a small capital, as in Paris, it is necessary that every convenience should be afforded; and it is. Living in apartments, one may obtain everything from the magasins within a stone's throw. He may order turkey and truffles, and a grand dinner, with entrées, which will be furnished him at his lodgings, at any hour, from the neighboring restaurant, with dishes, tab[305]le furniture, and servant; or he may order the leg of a fowl, one pickle, and two sous' worth of salt and pepper. He can call in a porter, with a back-load of wood for a fire, or buy three or four sous' worth of fagots. But your true Frenchman, of limited means, utilizes everything. He argues, and very correctly, that all he pays for belongs to him. So at the café you will see him carefully wrap the two or three lumps of sugar that remain, of those furnished him for his coffee, in a paper, and carry them away. They save the expense of the article for the morning cup at his lodgings. So if a cake or two, or biscuit, remain, he appropriates them as his right; and I have even seen one who went so far as to pocket two or three little wax matches that were brought to him with a cigar. Much has been said of how cheaply one can live in Paris. This would apply, with equal truthfulness, to many of our own cities, if people would live in the same way, and practise the same economy. This, however, is repugnant to the American, and, in some respects, mistaken idea of liberality.

The absolute, unnecessary waste in an American gentleman's kitchen would support two French families comfortably. In some it already supports three or four Irish ones.

There are three ways of going shopping in Paris. The first is to start out by yourself, and seek out stores which may have the goods that you desire to purchase; the second, to avail yourself of the services of a valet de place, or courier; and the third, to employ the services of one of your banker's clerks, who is an expert, or those of a commission merchant.

We have experimented in all three methods. In the first, you are sure to pay the extreme retail price. In the second, you are very likely to do the same, the only difference being that the courier gets a handsome douceur from the shop-keeper for introducing you, or, in other words, shares with him the extra amount of which you have been plundered. The latter method is by far the best and most satisfactory to strangers unfamiliar with Paris and French customs.

[306] Stereoscopic views of Paris, which we were charged one franc apiece for on the Boulevards, were purchased of the manufacturer in his garret at three francs a dozen. Spectacles which cost five dollars a pair in Boston, and eight francs on the Boulevards, we bought for three francs a pair of the wholesale dealer. Gloves are sold at all sorts of prices, and are of all sorts of qualities, and the makers will make to measure any pattern or style to suit any sort of fancy. Jewelry we were taken to see in the quarter where it was made—up stairs, in back rooms, often in the same building where the artisan lived, where, there being no plate glass, grand store, and heavy expenses to pay, certain small articles of bijouterie could be purchased at a very low figure; rich jewelry, diamonds, and precious stones were sold in quiet, massive rooms, up stairs, in buildings approached through a court-yard.

For diamonds, you may be taken up stairs to a small, carefully guarded inner room, dimly lighted, in which a black-velvet-covered table or counter, and two or three leather-covered chairs, give a decidedly funereal aspect to the place. An old, bent man, whose hooked nose and glittering eyes betoken him a Hebrew, waits upon your conductor, whom he greets as an old acquaintance. He adjusts the window shade so that the light falls directly upon the black counter (which is strikingly suggestive of being prepared to receive a coffin), or else pulls down the window-shade, and turns up the gas-light directly above the black pedestal, and then, from some inner safe or strong box, produces little packages of tissue paper, from which he displays the flashing gems upon the black velvet, shrewdly watching the effect, and the purchaser's skill and judgment, and keeping back the most desirable stones until the last.

Ladies' ready-made clothing may be bought in Paris as readily as gentlemen's can be in New York or Boston—garments of great elegance, and of the most fashionable make and trimming, such as full dress for evening party or ball, dress for promenade, morning dress, and cloaks of t[307]he latest mode. These are made, apparently, with all the care of "custom made" garments, certainly of just as rich silk, satin, and velvet, and a corps of workwomen appears to be always in attendance, to immediately adapt a dress or garment to the purchaser by alteration, to make it a perfect fit. In one of these large establishments for the sale of ladies' clothing were numerous small private drawing-rooms, each of which was occupied by different lady purchasers, who were making their selections of dresses, mantles, or cloaks, which were being exhibited to them in almost endless variety.

The saleswomen were aided by young women, evidently selected for their height and good figures, whose duty it was to continually whip on a dress or mantle, and promenade back and forth before the purchasers. By these shrewd manœuvres, many a fat dowager or dumpy woman of wealth was induced to purchase an elegant garment, which, upon the lithe, undulating figure of a girl of twenty was a thing of grace and beauty, thinking it would have the same effect upon herself. These model artists were adepts in the art of dress, and knew how to manage a dress trail in the most distingué style, wore a mantelet with a grace, and threw a glance over the shoulder of a new velvet cloak or mantle with an archness and naiveté that straightway invested it with a charm that could never have been given to it had it been displayed upon a "dummy." As an illustration of the value of a reliable commissionaire's services at this first-class establishment, it is only necessary to state, that on our second visit, which was in his company, we found that a difference of eighty to a hundred francs was made in our favor, on a six hundred franc costume, upon what was charged when we came as strangers, and alone.

There are some magnificent India shawl stores in Paris, carried on by companies of great wealth, who have their agents and operatives constantly employed in India, and whose splendid warehouses are filled with a wealth of those draperies that all women covet. In a room of one of these great shawl warehouses we saw retail dealers selecting and[308] purchasing their supplies. Salesmen were supplied by assistants with different styles from the shelves, which were displayed before the buyer upon a lay figure; and upon his displeasure or decision, it was immediately cast aside upon the floor, to be refolded and replaced by other assistants; which was so much more labor, however, than unfolding, that the floor was heaped with the rich merchandise. This so excited an American visitor, that she could not help exclaiming, "Only think of it! Must it not be nice to stand knee-deep in Cashmere shawls?"

Many purchasers, who seek low prices and fair dealings, visit the establishment known as the "Bon Marché," rather out of the fashionable quarter of the city, and "the other side of the Seine." The proprietor of this place buys in big lots, and sells on the quick-sales-and-small-profits principle; and his immense warehouse, which is filled with every species of dry goods, haberdashery, ribbons, clothing, gloves, gents' furnishing goods, and almost everything except groceries and medicines, is crammed with purchasers every day, whose voitures line the streets in the immediate vicinity. At this place bargains are often obtained in articles of ladies' dress, which may be a month past the season, and which are closed out at a low figure, to make room for the latest style; and American ladies, who sometimes purchase in this manner, rejoice, on arrival in their own country, with that joy which woman only knows when she finds she has about the first article out of a new fashion, and that, too, bought at a bargain.

It is a good plan for American tourists, who have any amount of purchases to make, to take a carriage by the hour, and the banker's clerk or commission merchant whom they engage to accompany them, and make a day of it. It will be found an economy of time, and to involve far less vexation and fatigue, than to attempt walking, or trusting to luck to find the articles desired. An American, on his first visit to Paris, finds so many things to attract and amuse him, and withal meets so many of his countrymen, all bent upon[309] having a good time there, that he generally overstays the time he has allotted himself in the gay capital. Once there, in its whirl of pleasure and never-ending kaleidoscopic changes of attractions, amusements, and enjoyment, time flits by rapidly; and when the day of departure comes, many a thoughtless tourist feels that he has not half seen Paris.


Good-by to Paris, for we are on the road to Brussels, in a night express train, swiftly passing through Douai and Valenciennes, harassed, bothered, and pestered at Quievran, on the frontier, where our baggage was critically inspected. Through Valenciennes, which is suggestive of lace—so is Brussels—yes, we are getting into the lace country. But don't imagine, my inexperienced traveller, that the names of these cities are pronounced, or even spelled, in our country (as they ought to be) as they are by the natives.

In Bruxelles we recognized Brussels easily enough; but who would ever have understood Malines to be what we denominate Mechlin, or have known when he reached Aix la Chapelle by the German conductor's bellowing out, "Aachen"? And I could well excuse an American friend, some days after, when we reached Antwerp, who, on being told he was at Anvers, said, "Confound your Anvers. This must be the wrong train. I started for Antwerp."

Why should not the names of foreign cities be spelled and pronounced, in English, as near like their real designation as possible? There appears to be no rule. Some are, some are not. Cöln is not a great change from Cologne, but who would recognize München for Munich, or Wien for Vienna?

We rattled through the streets of Brussels at early mor[310]ning, and, passing the great market square, saw a curious sight in the side streets contiguous, in the numerous dog-teams that the country people bring their produce to market with. Old dog Tray is pretty thoroughly utilized here; for while the market square was a Babel of voices, from bare-headed and quaint-headdressed women, and curious jacketed and breeched peasants, arranging their greens, fruit, and vegetables, and clamoring with early purchasers, their teams, which filled the side streets, were taking a rest after their early journey from the country. There were stout mastiffs in little carts, harnessed complete, like horses, except blinders; some rough fellows, of the "big yellow-dog" breed, tandem; poor little curs, two abreast; small dogs, big dogs, smart dogs, and cur dogs, each attached to a miniature cart that would hold from two pecks to three bushels, according to the strength of the team; and they were standing, sitting, and lying in all the varieties of dog attitude—certainly a most comical sight. Some time afterwards, while travelling in the country, I met a fellow riding in one of these little wagons, drawn by two large dogs at quite a tolerable trot (dog trot), although they are generally used only to draw light burdens, to save the peasants' shoulders the load.

From our windows at the Hotel de l'Europe we look out upon the Place Royale, in which stands the handsome equestrian statue, in bronze, of that stout crusader, Godfrey de Bouillon, who, with the banner of the cross in one hand, and falchion aloft in the other, is, as he might have rode at the siege of Jerusalem, or at the battle of Ascalon, a spirited and martial figure, and familiar enough to us, from its reproduction in little, for mantel clocks. We visited the celebrated Hotel de Ville, a magnificent old Gothic edifice, all points and sculptures, and its central tower shooting up three hundred and sixty-four feet in height. In front of it are two finely executed statues of Counts Egmont and Horn, the Duke of Alva's victims, who perished here. A short distance from here is a little statue known as the Manikin, a curious fountain which every one goes to see on account of the natural way it plays, and which on some fête day[311]s sends forth red wine, which the common people flock in crowds to bear away, with much merriment at the source of supply.

Besides a museum of paintings in Brussels, which contained several fine pictures by Rubens, we visited a gallery of somewhat remarkable and original pictures at the residence of an artist (now deceased) named Wiertz. The subjects chosen were singular, and so was the original manner in which they were treated. One represented Napoleon in hell, surrounded by tormenting demons, with flitting visions of the horrors of war and carnage, and its victims upbraiding him; another, a huge picture of a struggle of giants—giving the best idea of giants possible, it seemed to me, outside of the children's story-books. Another picture was so contrived that the spectator peeped through a half-open door, and was startled at beholding what he supposed to be a woman with but a single garment, gathered shrinkingly around her, and gazing at him from an opposite door, which she appeared to have just shrunk behind to avoid his intrusion—a most marvellous cheat. An apparently rough sketch of a huge frog, viewed through an aperture, became the portrait of a French general. The pictures of two beautiful girls opening a rude window, and presenting a flower, were so arranged that, whatever position the spectator took, they were still facing him, and holding out their floral offerings. An aperture, like that of a cosmorama, invited you to look through, when, lo! a group, clothed in arctic costume, and one more grotesque than the rest arrests you; it is like a living face; the eyes wink; it moves! You start back, and find that by some clever arrangement of a looking-glass, you yourself have been supplying the face of the figure.

A little table, standing in the way, bears upon it an easel, some brushes, a red herring, and other incongruous things, which you suppose some careless visitors to have left, till you discover it is another of the artist's wonderful deceptions. I say wonderful, because his forte seems to have been some of the most astonishing practical jokes with brush and color that can possibly be imagined. Some would absolutely cheat[312] the spectator, although prepared for surprises, and excite as much laughter as a well-told story; and others would have an opposite effect, and make his very hair almost stand erect with terror. One of the latter was that which represented a maniac mother, in a half-darkened room, cutting up one of her children with a butcher knife, and putting the remains into a pot boiling upon the fire. The spectator, who is held to this dreadful scene by a sort of terrible fascination, discovers that the wild woman thinks herself secure from observation, from the appearance of the apartment, the windows and even key-hole of which she has carefully covered, and that he himself is getting a view from an unobserved crevice. Although the subject is anything but a pleasant one, yet the rapid beating of the heart, the pallid countenance, and involuntary shudder with which the spectator withdraws from the terrible spectacle, is a tribute to the artist's marvellous skill.

Brussels is divided into two parts, the upper and lower city: the latter is crowded, and inhabited principally by the poorer and laboring classes, and contains many of the quaint old-fashioned Dutch-looking buildings of three centuries ago; the upper part of the city, the abode of the richer classes, contains fine, large, open squares and streets, palace gardens, &c. In one of the latter we attended a very fine instrumental concert, given by the orchestra of the Grand Opera—admission ten cents! and we found that we were now getting towards the country where good music was a drug, and we could get our fill at a very reasonable price, with the most agreeable surroundings.

The most interesting church in Brussels is the splendid Cathedral of St. Gudule, founded in 1010, the principal wonders of which are its magnificently-painted windows,—one an elaborate affair, representing the last judgment, the other various miracles and saints,—and the pulpit, which is a wondrous work of the carver's art. Upon it is a group representing the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden; the pulpit itself is upheld by the tree of knowledge, and high above it stands the Virgin Mary, holding the infant Je[313]sus, who is striking at the serpent's head with the cross. The tracery of the foliage, the carving of the figures, and ornamental work are beautifully chiselled, and very effectively managed.

Having sent a trunk on before me to Brussels, I had an experience of the apparently utter disregard of time among Belgian custom-house officials; and, indeed, of that slow, methodical, won't-be-hurried, handed-down-from-our-ancestors way of transacting business, that drives an American almost to the verge of distraction.

My experience was as follows: First, application was made and description given; next, I was sent to officer number two, who copied it all into a big book, kept me ten minutes, and charged me eight cents; then I was sent to another clerk, who made out a fresh paper, kept the first, and consumed ten or fifteen minutes more; then I was sent back, up stairs, to an official, for his signature—eight cents more—cheap autographs; then to another, who commenced to interrogate me as to name, where I was staying, my nationality, &c.; when, in the very midst of his interrogations, the hour of twelve struck, and he pushed back the paper, with "Après déjeûner, monsieur," shut his window-sash with a bang, and the whole custom-house was closed for one hour, in the very middle of the day, for the officials to go to lunch, or "déjeûner à la fourchette."

Misery loves company. An irate Englishman, whose progress was as suddenly checked as mine had been, paced up and down the corridor, swearing, in good round terms, that a man should have to wait a good hour for a change of linen, so that a parcel of cursed Dutchmen could fill themselves with beer and sausage. But remedy there was none till the lunch hour was passed, when the offices were reopened, and the wheels of business once more began their slow revolutions, and our luggage was, with many formalities, withdrawn from government custody.

"When you are on the continent don't quote Byron," said a friend at parting, who had been 'over the ground;' "that is, if possible to refrain;" and, indeed, as all young [314]ladies and gentlemen at some period of their lives have read the poet's magnificent romaunt of Childe Harold, the qualification which closed the injunction was significant. Can anybody that has any spark of imagination or romance in his composition refrain, as scene after scene, which the poet's glorious numbers have made familiar in his mind, presents itself in reality to his sight? We visit Brussels chiefly to see the field of Waterloo; and as we stand in the great square of Belgium's capital, we remember "the sound of revelry by night," and wonder how the streets looked when "then and there was hurrying to and fro," and we pictured to ourselves, as the moon poured down her silver light as we stood there, and flashed her beams upon the windows in the great Gothic structures, the sudden alarm when "bright the lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men," and how

"the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;"

and it all came back to me how I had sing-songed through extracts from Byron in my school readers when a boy, spouted the words of the Battle of Waterloo at school exhibitions, and sometimes wondered if I should ever visit that field where Bonaparte made his last grand struggle for the empire. Yes, we should feel now the words of the poet as we approached it—"Stop! for thy tread is on an empire's dust." And so I stood musing, and repeating the poet's lines, sotto voce, when an individual approached, and, touching his hat, interrupted my musings.

"Waterloo to-morrow, sir?"


"Would you like to visit Waterloo to-morrow, sir? Coach leaves at nine in the morning—English coach and six—spanking team—six horses."

We looked at this [315]individual with some surprise, which he dissipated as follows:—

"Beg pardon, sir—agent of the English coach company—always wait upon strangers, sir."

We took outside tickets for the field of Waterloo on the English coach.

The next morning dawned brightly, and at the appointed time a splendid English mail coach, with a spanking team of six grays,—just such a one as we have seen in English pictures, with a driver handling the whip and ribbons in the most approved style,—dashed into the Place Royale, and, halting before a hotel at one end, the guard played "The Campbells are Comin'" upon a bugle, with a gusto that brought all the new arrivals to the windows; three or four ladies and gentlemen mounted to the coach-roof; the driver cracked his whip, and whirled his team up to our hotel, while the uniformed guard played "The Bowld Soger Boy" under the very nose of old Godfrey de Bouillon; and we clambered up to the outside seats, of which there were twelve, to the inspiring notes of the bugle, which made the quiet old square echo with its martial strains. Away we rolled, the bugle playing its merriest of strains; but when just clear of the city, our gay performer descended, packed his instrument into a green baize bag, deserted, and trudged back, leaving us only the music of the rattling hoofs and wheels, and the more agreeable strains of laughter of half a dozen lively English and American ladies.

The field of Waterloo is about twelve miles from Brussels; the ride, of a pleasant day, behind a good team, a delightful one: we pass through the wood of Soignies, over a broad, smooth road, in excellent order, shaded by tall trees on either side—this was Byron's Ardennes.

"Ardennes waves above them her green leaves."

We soon reached the field, which has been so often described by historians, novelists, and letter-writers, that we will spare the reader the infliction.

We are met by guides who speak French, German, and English, who have bullets, buttons, and other relics said to have been picked up on the field, but which a wagg[316]ish Englishman informed us were manufactured at a factory near by to supply the demand. The guides, old and young, adapt their sympathies to those of customers; thus, if they be English, it is,—

"Here is where the brave Wellington stood; there is where we beat back the Old Guard."

Or, if they be French or Americans,—

"There is where the great Napoleon directed the battle. The Imperial Guard beat all before them to this point," &c.

The field is an open, undulating plain, intersected by two or three broad roads; monuments rise here and there, and conspicuous on the field, marking the thickest of the fight rises the huge pyramidal earth-mound with the Belgian Lion upon its summit.

We stroll from point to point noted in the terrible struggle. Here is one that every one pauses at longest; it is a long, low ridge, where the guards lay that rose at Wellington's command, and poured their terrible tempest of lead into the bosoms of the Old Guard. We walk over the track of that devoted band of brave men, who marched over it with their whole front ranks melting before the terrific fire of the English artillery like frost-work before the sun, grimly closing up and marching sternly on, receiving the fire of a battery in their bosoms, and then marching right on over gunners, guns, and all, like a prairie fire sweeping all before it—Ney, the bravest of the brave, four horses shot under him, his coat pierced with balls, on foot at their head, waving his sword on high, and encouraging them on, till they reach this spot, where the last terrible tempest beats them back, annihilated. Here, where so many went down in death,—

"Rider and horse, friend, foe, in one red burial blent,"—

now waved the tall yellow grain, and the red poppies that bloomed among it reminded us of the crimson tide that must have reddened the turf when it shook beneath the thunder of that terrible charge.

Let us pause at another [317]noted spot; it is where the English squares stood with such firmness that French artillery, lancers, and even the cuirassiers, who threw themselves forward like an iron avalanche, failed to break them.

We come to the chateau of Hougoumont, which sustained such a succession of desperate attacks. The battle began with the struggle for its possession, which only ended on the utter defeat of the French. The grounds of Hougoumont are partially surrounded by brick walls, which were loopholed for musketry. This place, at the time of the battle, was a gentleman's country-seat, with farm, out-buildings, walled garden, private chapel, &c., and the shattered ruins, which to this day remain, are the most interesting relics of the battle; the wall still presents its loopholes; it is battered as with a tempest of musket balls.

The French charged up to the very muzzles of the guns, and endeavored to wrest them from the hands of those who pushed them forth.

Four companies of English held this place for seven hours against an assaulting army, and bullets were exhausted in vain against its wall-front, before which fifteen hundred men fell in less than an hour.

There are breaches in the wall, cannon-shot fractures in the barn and gate; the little chapel is scarred with bullets, fire, and axes, and a fragment of brick buildings looks like part of a battered fort. Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables" gives a most vivid and truthful description of this little portion of the battle-field, and of the desperate struggle and frightful scenes enacted there, serving the visitor far better than any of the guide-books.

Passing from here, we go out into the orchard—scene of another deadly and dreadful contest. We are shown where various distinguished officers fell; we walk over the spots that Napoleon and Wellington occupied during the battle; we go to the summit of the great mound upon which stands the Belgian Lion, and from it are pointed out the distant wood from which Wellington saw the welcome and fresh columns of Blucher emerge; we pluck a little flower in Hongoumont's garden, and a full and nearly ripened blade of[318] grain from the spot where the Imperial Guard were hurled back by their English adversaries, pay our guide three francs each, and once more are bowling along back to Brussels.

Near the field is a sort of museum of relics kept by a niece of Sergeant Major Cotton, who was in the battle, which contains many interesting and well-attested relics found upon the field years ago. There are rusty swords, that flashed in the June sunset of that terrible day, bayonets, uniform jackets and hats, buttons, cannon shot, and other field spoil, and withal books and photographs, which latter articles the voluble old lady in charge was anxious to dispose of.

Just off the field,—at the village of Waterloo, I think,—we halt at the house in which Wellington wrote his despatch announcing the victory. Here is preserved, under a glass case, the pencil with which he wrote that document. The boot of the Marquis of Anglesea, who suffered amputation of his leg here, is also preserved in like manner; and in the garden is a little monument erected over his grace's limb, which is said to be buried there.

Did we buy lace in Brussels? Yes.

And the great lace establishments there?

Well, there are few, if any, large lace shops for the sale of the article. Those are all in Paris, which is the great market for it. Then, it will be remembered that "Brussels lace" is not a very rare kind, and also that lace is an article of merchandise that is not bulky, and occupies but very little space. In many of the old cities on the continent, shopkeepers do not believe in vast, splendid, and elegantly-decorated stores, as we do in America, especially those who have a reputation in specialties which causes purchasers to seek them out.

Some of the most celebrated lace manufacturers in Brussels occupied buildings looking, for all the world, like a good old-fashioned Philadelphia mansion, with its broad steps and substantial front door, the latter having a large silver plate with the owner's name inscribed thereon. A good specimen of these was that of Julie Everaert and sisters, on the Rue Royale, where, after ringing the front door bell,[319] we were ushered by the servant into a sort of half front parlor, half shop, and two of the sisters, two stout, elderly Flemish ladies, in black silk dresses and lace caps, appeared to serve us. So polite, so quiet, well-dressed and lady-like, so like the mild-voiced, well-bred ladies of the old school, that are now only occasionally met in America, at the soirée and in the drawing-room, and who seem always to be surrounded by a sort of halo of old-time ceremony and politeness, and to command a deference and courtesy by their very presence that we instinctively acknowledge—so like, that we began to fear we had made some mistake, until the elder and stouter of the two, after the usual salutations, inquired in French if "madame and monsieur would do them the honor to look at laces."

Madame and monsieur were agreeable, and chairs were accordingly placed before a table, which was covered by a sort of black velvet comforter, or stuffed table-cloth, and behind which stood a tall fire-proof safe, which, being opened by the servant, displayed numerous drawers and compartments like to that of a jeweller. The lace dealer commenced an exhibition of the treasures of the iron casket, displaying them upon the black velvet with the skill of an expert, her quiet little servant removing such as were least favorable in our eyes, when the table became crowded, and she went on, as each specimen was displayed, something as follows:—

"Vingt francs, monsieur" (a neat little collar).

"Cinquante francs, plus jolie" (I expressed admiration audibly).

"Cent francs, madame," said the frau Julie, abandoning at once the addressing of her conversation to an individual who could be struck with the beauty of a fifty franc strip of lace.

"Cent cinquante francs, madame, très recherché."

"Deux cent francs. Superbe, madame."

"Quatre cent francs. Magnifique."

"Eighty dollars for that mess of spider'[320]s web!" exclaimed Monsieur, in English, to his companion. "Eighty dollars! The price is magnifique."

"He is varee sheep for sush dentelles," says the old lady, in a quiet tone, much to monsieur's confusion at her understanding the English tongue; and the exhibition went on.

How much we sacrificed at that black velvet altar I do not care to mention; but, at any rate, we found on reaching America that the prices paid, compared with those asked at home, were "varee sheep for sush dentelles."

Antwerp! We must make a brief pause at this old commercial city on the Scheldt; and as we ride through its streets, we see the quaint, solid, substantial buildings of olden times, their curious architecture giving a sort of Dutch artistic air to the scene, and reminding one of old paintings and theatrical scenery. One evidence of the commercial importance of Antwerp is seen in its splendid docks; these comprise the two docks built by Bonaparte when he made the port one of his naval arsenals, which are splendid specimens of masonry, the walls being five feet in thickness; then the Belgian government have recently completed three new docks, which, in connection with the old ones, embrace an area of over fifty acres of water. We visited several of the dock-yards here, and were astonished at the vast heaps of merchandise they contained. Still further improvements that are being made seem to completely refute the assertion that all the commercial enterprise of Antwerp has departed. Here, for instance, were two new docks in progress for timber and petroleum exclusively, which enclose seventeen acres of water, and here we saw literally enough of splendid timber for a navy. I was actually staggered by the heaps of every kind of timber, from all parts of the world, that was piled up here, while the American petroleum was heaped up and stored in warehouses the size of a cathedral, suggesting the idea of a tremendous illumination should fire by any means get at it, which, however, is guarded against very strictly by dock-guards and police.

Then th[321]ere are three new and spacious dry docks, one of which is the largest in Europe, being nearly five hundred feet long, and capable of holding two ships at a time of one thousand tons register each. The splendid facilities for ships of every description, and for the landing and storage of merchandise, are such as cannot fail to excite admiration from every American merchant, and make him sigh for the time when we may have similar accommodations in the great seaports in this country. There were huge warehouses, formed by two blocks vis-à-vis, with a glass roof covering the intermediate space, and a double rail track running through it, affording opportunity of loading, unloading, and sorting merchandise in all weathers, while the depth of the "lazy old Scheldt," directly opposite the city, is sufficient for a ship drawing thirty-two feet of water to ride safely at anchor.

The magnificent cathedral spire in Antwerp is familiar to almost everybody who looks into the windows of the print shops; and we climbed far up into it, to its great colony of bells, that make the very tower reel with their chimes. Here, leaving the ladies, our motto was, Excelsior; and we still went onward and upward, till, amid the wrought stone that seems the lace-work of the spire, we appeared to be almost swinging in the air, far above the earth, as in a gigantic net, and, although safely enclosed, yet the apertures and open-work were so frequent that our enthusiasm was not very expressive, however deeply it might have been felt at the splendid view, though our grasp at the balusters and stone-work was of the most tenacious character; and, in truth, the climbing of a spire of about four hundred feet high is an undertaking easier read about than practised.

Inside the cathedral we saw Rubens's fine pictures of the Elevation and the Descent from the Cross, in which the figures are given with such wonderful and faithful accuracy as to make the spectator sigh with pity at the painful spectacle.

The interior of this splendid cathedral is grand and imposing; but I have already, in these pages, employed so many adjectives in admiration of these grand old buildings, that I fear repetition in the attempt to give anything more than the dimensions which indicate its vast extent, which are five hun[322]dred feet long and two hundred and fifty wide. In front of this cathedral is an iron canopy, or specimen of iron railing-work, as we should call it; but it is of wrought iron, and by the hammer and skilful hand of Quentin Matsys.

In the Church of St. Jacques, with its splendid interior, rich in beautiful carved marble and balustrades, we stood at the tomb of Rubens, who is buried here, and saw many more of his pictures among them his Holy Family. The house where he died is in a street named after him, and a statue of the artist graces the Place Verte.

Antwerp rejoices in good musical entertainments. The most prominent and aristocratic of the musical societies is that known as the "Royal Society of Harmony of Antwerp," who own a beautiful garden, or park, at which their out-of-door concerts are given during the summer season. None but members of the society are admitted to these entertainments, except visiting friends from other cities, and then only by approval of the committee of managers.

The garden is quite extensive, and is beautifully laid out with walks beneath shady groves, rustic bridges over ponds and streams, gorgeous plats, and parterres of flowers. In the centre of the grounds rises an ornamental covered stand for the orchestra; and round about, beneath the shade trees, sit such of the visitors who are not strolling about, eating ices, drinking light wine or beer, and indulging in pipes and cigars. A handsome pavilion affords accommodation in case of bad weather, and the expenses are defrayed by assessments upon the members of the society.

After seeing the London Zoölogical Garden, others seem very much like it; and that in Antwerp is nearest the London one, in the excellence of its arrangement and management, of any I have since visited. The collection is quite large, and very interesting.

The cabs and hackney coaches in this old city are the most atrocious old wrecks we have ever seen, the horses apparently on their last legs, and the drivers a seedy-looking set of fellows, most of whom understand neither English, French, nor[323] German, only Flemish; so that when a stranger calls a "vigilante," which is the title of these turnouts, it is well to have the assistance of a native, else the attempted excursion may end in an inextricable snarl of signs, phrases, and gesticulations, "full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing" to either party.

I believe if an individual, who does not understand German or Flemish, can make the journey from Antwerp to Dusseldorf alone, he may be considered competent to travel all over Europe without a courier or interpreter. The conductors or guards of the train appeared to understand nothing but German and Flemish. The changes of cars were numerous and puzzling, and our "Change-t-on de voiture ici?" and "Ou est le convoi pour Dusseldorf?" were aired and exercised on a portion of the route to little purpose. Nevertheless, we did manage to blunder through safely and correctly, by dint of showing tickets, and being directed by signs and motions, and pushed by good-natured, stupid (?) officials from one train to another; for we changed cars at Aerschot, then at Hasselt, then again at Maestricht, where we were compelled to leave the train, and have all small parcels examined by the custom-house officials; then at Aix la Chapelle, or Aachen, as the Dutchmen call it, we had to submit to an examination of trunks, all passing in at one door of a large room and out at another, in an entirely opposite direction, and apparently directly away from the train we had just left, to continue our journey. I never shall forget the jargon of Dutch, French, and English, the confusion of wardrobes of different nationalities that were rudely exposed by the officers, the anathematizing of obstinate straps that would not come unbuckled, the turning out of pockets to search for missing keys, and the hasty cramming back of the contents of trunks,—for the train was a few minutes late,—that imprinted the custom-house station of Aix la Chapelle like a disagreeable nightmare on my memory.

At last we reached Ober Cassel, where we debarked, took seats in a drosky, as they call cabs here, the driver of which hailed us in French, which really sounded almost natura[324]l after the amount of guttural German we had experienced.

Over the pontoon bridge that spans the Rhine, we rode towards Dusseldorf, whose lighted windows were reflected upon the dark, flowing stream; and we were soon within the hospitable and comfortable hotel, denominated the Breidenbacher Hof, where the servants spoke French and English, and we forgot the perplexities of the day in an excellent and well-served supper.

Dusseldorf is one of those quiet, sleepy sort of towns where there is little or no excitement beyond music in the Hofgarten, or the Prussian soldiers who parade the streets; it is the quiet and pleasant home of many accomplished artists, whose paintings and whose school of art are familiar to many in America, and it is often visited by American tourists for the purpose of purchasing pictures from the easels of its artists; indeed, the guide-books dignify it with the title of the "Cradle of Rhenish Art." Americans visiting Dusseldorf find an efficient and able cicerone in Henry Lewis, Esq., the American consul, who, from his long residence there, and being himself a Dusseldorf artist, and withal a member of their associations, and having an intimate acquaintance with artists and artist life, is a gentleman eminently qualified to aid our countrymen in their purchases of pictures, which is done with a disinterestedness and courtesy that have won for him the warmest regards of Americans who have visited the place.

To be sure, some Americans, with very queer ideas of propriety in pictures, visit Dusseldorf, as they do other places in Europe, sometimes mortifying their countrymen by their absurd extravagances of conduct. At one of the artists' exhibitions a fine picture was pointed out to me, representing a cavalier who had just returned from the chase, and was seated in an old mediæval hall. At one side, in the painting, was a representation of a fine, wide, high, old, ornamented chimneypiece. This picture attracted the attention of an American, well-known in his native country as a proprietor of patent medicines. He saw nothing in the rich costume and coloring of the cavalier's dress, the fine interior of the old medi[325]æval mansion; but he noticed that the mantel of the antique fireplace was empty. Lucky circumstance! He proposed to purchase the picture of the artist on condition of an alteration, or rather addition, being made, which was the painting in of a bottle of the purchaser's celebrated syrup, with its label distinctly visible, to be represented occupying one end of the mantel, and boxes of pills and ointment (labels visible) occupying the other end.

To his credit be it known, the artist absolutely refused to commit such an outrage, notwithstanding double price was offered him for "the job;" and the glories of Blank's pills continue to be painted in printer's ink, and not the artist's colors.

Through the kind courtesy of Mr. Lewis, we were enabled to visit the studios of nearly all the leading artists of Dusseldorf. We saw the fine Swiss scenery of Lindler, the life-like, quaint old burghers and Dutch figures of Stammel, the heavy Dutch horses and the quiet, natural, rural, and roadside scenes of Hahn, and the sharp, bold style of figure-painting of Stever, rich in color and striking in expression—an artist whose pictures, in the exhibition, always have a group of spectators about them; and then we saw Lewis's own clever landscapes and Swiss mountain scenes, and finally went off to the Dusseldorf gallery, where we saw a host of original sketches and drawings by the most celebrated artists of all schools.

One thing newly-arrived Americans quickly learn here, as well as in Rome and Florence; and that is, that good pictures command good prices: they may be obtained at a lower figure than at home, yet they are by no means sacrificed for a song. The facilities of travel are now so great, and Americans and English with money to spend do so pervade the continent, that the opportunities of obtaining really meritorious works of art at a very low price in Europe are decreasing every day.

The Prussian soldiery[326] are seen everywhere in Dusseldorf; they are a fine, intellectual-looking set of men, not very tall, but splendidly drilled. A regiment that I have seen pass, with its magnificent military band at its head, was so exact in the perpendicular of the muskets carried by the men, that I verily believe a plank might have been laid upon the points of the upright bayonets, and it would have been found a true level.

The band in the Hofgarten plays the Strauss waltzes deliciously. The shady walks, the flower-beds, the pretty vases and fountains, are enchantingly soothing and romantic on a summer's evening, under the influence of music, Rhine wine or lager. But we must bid adieu to old Dusseldorf, which we learn, with some surprise, as we turn our back upon it for the city of perfumes (Cologne), to be a town of fifty thousand inhabitants—a fact one would never dream of, from its lack of that bustling spirit that characterizes an American town or city of that population.

Now for the "castle-crowned Rhine." We leave Dusseldorf behind, and as the steamboat journey from here is a somewhat dull and uninteresting one, there being no features of natural beauty on the river between the two points, we rattle down by Cologne and Minden Railway in about an hour and a half, and quarter at the fine Hotel du Nord, at Cologne, near the railway bridge, which is all of a bustle on account of the arrival of the King of Sweden and suite; and some of the blue-eyed, golden-haired blondes of that "suite" we had the pleasure of meeting occasionally, as we passed in or out, would have been "all the rage" in America, could they have been transplanted to that country.

Cologne, the oldest town on the Rhine, is built with long, winding, semicircular, narrow streets, along the river. It is now the capital of Rhenish Prussia, and appears to be a strongly fortified place, being surrounded by strong, high walls. A bridge of boats and a stone bridge span the Rhine from Cologne to a little town called Deutz, opposite, and the city seems to have considerable business activity. Before one ever sees the city, his impressions are, that its chief article of commerce and manufacture is cologne water; and[327] that impression is strengthened on arrival, for about every other store, especially those in the square about the cathedral, claims to be "the original Jean Antoine Marie Farina." The competition in this matter is ridiculous, and even laughable; and the Farinas are so numerous, and opinion is so divided respecting the original, that it is said if you purchase of either one you will wish you had bought of another.

The cathedral at Cologne, grand and majestic in its proportions, rich in ornament, and considered among lovers of architecture a masterpiece among existing Gothic buildings, was commenced in 1248, and, though more than six centuries have passed, is still unfinished, and the name of the architect who planned the original designs of the structure unknown to the world.

The sight of this great cathedral, that has been in process of construction for so many centuries, sometimes nearly abandoned to ruin, and then again carried forward by builders with new zeal, till at last the original designs were forgotten, and men proceeded to work on at an apparently endless task,—the style of work here and there marking the age in which it was wrought,—was strikingly suggestive of the vanity of human aspirations. It also brought to mind that almost forgotten old German legend respecting a compact between the original architect of this cathedral, I think, and his Satanic Majesty, in which the former some way outwitted the latter, who, in revenge, caused him to be killed by a fall from the tower bearing the well-known derrick so familiar in all the pictures on the cologne-bottle labels. His Sulphuric Highness, in the story, also vowed that the edifice should never be completed, and that the architect's name should be forgotten by men.

The fiendish promise appears to have been faithfully kept, although, on the other hand, it is averred by some American travellers that the building is kept unfinished to extract contributions from the faithful to complete it, and thereby furnish builders, workmen, and contractors with work; indeed, a New York man was struck with the bright idea that[328] it would be to get the Prussian government to undertake it, and let the job out to contractors, and he knew that the builders of the new City Hall in New York would undertake it, and spend time and money enough over it, and in a manner that would astonish the old church builders of Europe.

The cathedral stands on a slight elevation, some fifty or sixty feet above the Rhine, upon a portion of the old Roman camp-ground, where the soldiers of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, rested after war's alarms, and watched the flow of the winding river at their feet. Countless sums of money have been lavished upon the building, and centuries of labor. Guilty monarchs, and men whose hearts have reeked with sin, have bestowed wealth upon it, in the hope to buy absolution for their crimes with the same dross that had purchased so many of the world's coveted pleasures. In 1816, forty-eight thousand pounds were expended on it, and between 1842 and 1864 over three hundred thousand pounds were laid out. The great southern portal, which is two hundred and twenty feet high, cost alone one hundred and five thousand pounds. Some idea of the vastness of the cathedral may be had from the figures representing its dimensions. The interior is four hundred and thirty feet long and one hundred and forty broad; the transept two hundred and thirty-four feet long, and the choir one hundred and forty feet in height. The part which is appropriated for divine service occupies an area of seventy thousand square feet.

We strolled round this stupendous old building, and after shaking off the guides and valets de place, who proffered their services, the agents of cologne-water houses in the vicinity, and the venders of books, stereoscopic views and pictures of it, and even a monkish old fellow who came out of one of the side doors, and rattled a money-box for subscriptions for the workmen, proceeded to have a look at it in our own way. There stood out the old derrick, or crane, an iron arm fifty feet long, that has projected from one of the towers, which is one hundred and ninety feet high, for four hundred years, probably in waiting to assist in completing the remaining two[329] hundred and eighty-six feet, the projected height being four hundred and seventy-six. The Gothic arches, canopies, buttresses, and tracery, with statues of the apostles and saints, are bewildering in detail and number. In one ornamental arch is a relief containing no less than seventy different figures, and another has fifty-eight small canopies wrought in it. In fact, the building seems to be a monument of stone-cutters' skill, as well as an exemplification of the detail of Gothic architecture; and you may mark that which is crumbling to decay beneath the unsparing tooth of time, and on the same edifice that which, sharp and fresh, but yesterday left the sculptor's chisel; and so the work goes on. The central tower and iron framework of the roof of the body of the church and transept were only completed in 1861, and the interior of the church since 1863, that is, if the interior can be said ever to be completed, with workmen continually finishing it.

To get inside we find that a series of tickets must be purchased of the custodian who guards the entrance at the transept. These paid for, we proceeded, under the pilotage of a good-natured, though not over-clean churchman, to the various points of interest in the vast interior. We had the same beautiful view of Gothic arches and cluster pillars that form so grand a perspective in these cathedrals. We counted fifty-six pillars in all. Those of the nave were one hundred and six feet in height, and of the side aisles forty-five. The seven chapels are rich in pictures, decorated altars, and relics. The most celebrated is that known as the Chapel of the Three Magi, in which was a gorgeous crystal casket, protected by a cover richly ornamented and set with precious stones. When this was reverently removed, we beheld the tops of three human skulls, circled with golden crowns, which our conductor gravely informed us were the skulls of Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthazar, the Three Magi, or Wise Men of the East, who figured at the adoration of our Saviour.

One can hardly repress a smile at such assertions, made in the nineteenth century, by a man who has had the advantages of education, as our priestly guide evidently had; but[330] the serious manner in which he imparted his information, and to our doubting comments pointed to the names set in rubies, and assured us that the relics were presented in the twelfth century by the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, and that he had not time now to question historical facts, disposed of the subject in our case. So, at the Church of St. Ursula here, where the bones of eleven thousand virgins (!), who were murdered in Cologne on their return from a pilgrimage to Rome, are shown. The unbelieving Thomases of the Protestant faith try the patience of the pious custodian sadly by their irreverent questions and disrespectful remarks.

In the great sacristy and treasury of the cathedral we saw a rich collection of magnificent vestments for priests, bishops, and other church officials, costly gold and silver chalices, cruets, fonts, goblets, church vessels, &c. Among these were several splendid "monstrances" or a sort of framework, in which the consecrated wafer, or host, is held up to view before the congregation in Roman Catholic churches. One of these was of silver, weighing eight pounds and a half, adorned with rubies and diamonds, with a superb diamond cross hanging from it, and around it a collar of turquoises, amethysts, and sapphires; there was another of solid silver, much heavier, the gift of Pope Pius IX., and still a third, which far outshone all the rest in magnificence. This last was a foot and a half in height, was of solid gold, and weighed ten pounds and two ounces; it was studded with large jewels, and the gold beautifully enamelled. The cylindrical space for enclosing the host measured four and a half inches in diameter, and is cut out of a piece of mountain crystal. The value of this monstrance is immense, and it is only used on great holidays, and carried in procession but once a year—Corpus Christi, the next Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

The cabinets in this treasury were rich indeed with material wealth of the cathedral; and our priestly guide took a pride in displaying it, furnishing me many facts for my note-book not down in the guide-books, and anxious that we should have a correct idea of the wealth of the Church. Two splendid[331] silver censers, weighing nine pounds each, were shown us; next came a great crucifix of polished ebony and silver, a gold and enamelled flower set with precious stones, an enamelled painting of the Crucifixion surrounded by diamonds, rubies, and pearls, a cross and ring worn by the archbishop at every pontifical service, magnificent ornaments set with diamonds and pearls, and valued at twenty-five hundred pounds sterling; then there were splendid reliquaries, richly set with jewels, some said to contain portions of the true cross; splendid crosiers, one of ivory and crystal, of ancient workmanship; crosses, silver busts, carved ivory figures, and the splendid silver shrine of St. Engelbert, weighing one hundred and forty-nine pounds, and adorned with bass-reliefs and numerous small statuettes—a most valuable piece of plate, and curious work of art, made in the year 1635.

From this rich storehouse of gold, silver, and jewels we passed out once more into the body of the cathedral, where ragged women or poverty-stricken men, with hunger in their cheeks, knelt on the pavement to tell a string of beads, or mutter a prayer or two, and then rise and follow us into the street to beg a few groschen, or, as we passed, to be solicited by an individual, who had charge of a rattling money-box, for a contribution towards the completion of the church.

Nearly two hundred workmen are at work upon the Cologne Cathedral, renewing that which has crumbled from decay and time, and completing that which is still unfinished. A good idea of its magnitude can be obtained by a tour of the galleries. Access is had to these by a flight of steps in one of the great pillars. One hundred and one steps—I counted them as we went up—carry the visitor to a gallery which extends across the transept. Up thirty-six steps more, and you reach another gallery running around the whole building, in a tour of which you may study the details of the architecture, and also have a fine view of the town, and a beautiful one of the Rhine, and the lovely surrounding landscape.

There is a gallery corresponding to this on the interior of[332] the building, which affords the visitor an equally good opportunity to observe the interior decorations and architectural features. You mount ninety-eight steps more, and reach a third gallery, which runs around the entire roof of the cathedral, a distance of sixteen hundred feet. Here the panorama is more extended and beautiful. You see the river winding on its course far in the distance. Below are the semicircular streets, the bridges of stone and of boats, the numerous little water craft dotting the stream, and on every side the lovely landscape, fresh and verdant in the summer sunlight. Above us, on the roof, or ridge-pole, runs an ornamental gilt crest, looking like spikes from below, but really a string of gilt spires, nearly five feet in height, while the great cross above is twenty-seven feet high, and weighs thirteen hundred and eighty-eight pounds. From this gallery we passed in through a little door under the roofing, and above the vaulted arches of the interior, to an opening which was surrounded by a railing. Through this opening the spectator has an opportunity of looking to the interior beneath him, and has a view directly downwards to the pavement, one hundred and fifty feet below.

The middle steeple is yet to be ascended. This is strongly built of iron, and ninety-four steps more carry us up to the highest point of ascent—three hundred and twenty-nine steps in all. The star which surmounts the steeple above us is three hundred and fifty feet from the pavement. A glance below at the cathedral shows the form of its ground plan, and the landscape view extends as far as the eye can reach.

Cologne is not an over-clean city, and we were not sorry to embark on the dampschift, as they call the little Rhine steamboat, for our trip to Mayence. These little steamers, with their awning-shaded decks, upon which you may sit and dine, or enjoy the pure light wines of the country,—which never taste so well anywhere else,—and view the romantic and beautiful scenery upon the banks of this historic river as you glide along, afford a most delightful mode of transit, and one which we most thoroughly enjoyed, the weather being charming, and the boat we were upon an excellent one, and not crowded[333] with passengers.

The great Cathedral of Cologne, a conspicuous landmark, and the high arches of the railroad bridge, gradually disappear as we steam away up the river, looking on either side at the pleasant views, till the steeple and residences of Bonn greet us, after a two hours' sail. Here we make a landing, near the Grand Hotel Royal, a beautiful hotel, and charmingly situated. Facing the river, its two wings extend from the main body of the house, enclosing a spacious garden, which stretches down to the river banks, and is tastefully laid out with winding walks, rustic arbors, and flower-beds. From its garden and windows you may gaze upon the charming panorama of the river, with the peaks of the Seven Mountains rising in the distance, and the Castle of Godesburg on its lofty peak, near the river.

But our little steamer fumes and fusses at its landing-place, eager to depart; so we step on board, and it steams once more out against the curling current between the hills of Rhineland. The scenery now becomes more varied and interesting; pleasant little roads wind off in the distance amid the hills; a chapel is perched here and there, and ever and anon we meet some big, flat-bottomed boat floating idly down the stream, loaded with produce, with a heavy, loose-jacketed, broad-leaf-hatted German lounging in the stern, smoking a painted or ornamented pipe, and you think of the pictures you have so often stared at in the windows of the print shops.

We begin to note the vineyards on the sloping banks, the vines on sticks four or five feet high, and sometimes in what appears to be unpromising looking ground.

We pass various little towns with unpronounceable names, such as Niederdollendorf, for instance. We make occasional landings, and take on board women with queer head-dresses, and coarse, black, short dresses, stout shoes, and worsted stockings, and men with many-buttoned jackets, holiday velvet vests, painted porcelain pipes, and heavy, hob-nailed shoes; children in short, blue, coarse jean, and wooden sh[334]oes, all of whom occupy a position on the lower forward deck, among the light freight—chiefly provisions and household movables—that the steamer carries. The shores begin to show a background of hills; the Seven Mountains are in view, and Drachenfels (Dragon's Rock), with its castle perched eight hundred and fifty-five feet above the river, on its vine-clad height, realizes one's ideas of those ancient castles where the old robber chieftains of the middle ages established themselves, and from these strongholds issued on their freebooting expeditions, or watched the river for passing crafts, from which to exact tribute. The scenery about here is lovely; the little villages on the banks, the vine-clad hills, little Gothic churches, the winding river, and the highlands swelling blue in the distance, all fill out a charming picture.

Still we glide along, and the arched ruin of Rolandseck, on its hill three hundred and forty feet above the river, appears in view. A single arch of the castle alone remains darkly printed against the sky, and, like all Rhine castles, it has its romantic story, which you read from your guide-book as you glide along the river, or hear told by some dreamy tourist, who has the romance in him, which the sight of these crumbling old relics of the past excites. And he tells you how Roland, a brave crusader of Charlemagne's army, left his lady love near this place, when he answered the summons of the monarch to the Holy Land; how the lady, after his prolonged absence, heard that he was dead, and betook herself to a convent on the picturesque little island of Nonnenworth; how the bold crusader, who had not been killed, hastened back on the wings of love, eager to claim his bride after his long absence, and found her in the relentless clutch of a convent; how, in despair, he built this castle, which commanded a view of the cloisters, where he could hear the sound of the convent bell, and occasionally catch a glimpse of a fair form that he knew full well, passing to her devotions; how, at last, she came no more, but the tolling bell and nuns' procession told him that she whom he loved was dead; and how, from that moment, the knight spoke no more, but died heart-broke[335]n, his last gaze turned towards the convent where his love had died; and all that remains of the knightly lover's castle is the solitary wall that lifts its ruined arch distinct against the dark-blue sky.

We pass the little island of Nonnenworth; and the nunnery is still upon it, founded far back in the eleventh century, but rebuilt in the fifteenth, and suppressed by Napoleon in 1802, and now a sort of school under the management of Franciscan nuns. The view about here, looking down the river, is romantic and beautiful. On one side, on the more level country, lie several small villages; then, down along the banks of the river, rise the rugged cliffs, the ruined castles of Rolandseck and Drachenfels crowning two jutting points of the hills, and in the distance, mellowed by the haze, the peaks of the hills known as the Seven Mountains, and Löwenberg peak, crowned with a crumbling ruin, rise to view, which, with the little island and its convent for a foreground, form a charming picture.

We sail along, and make another landing for passengers at Remagen. Opposite Remagen we see a huge cliff, which rises nearly six hundred and fifty feet above the river, and is profitable, as well as picturesque, for it is a stone quarry, the product of which can be placed directly into the river craft at its base. The Rhine now describes a long curve, as we approach Nieder-Breisig. A little village called Duttenberg is wedged in between the hills, on a little river that empties into the Rhine, and, as we pass it, the tall, round, stone towers of Arenfels come in view. Then we reach Nieder-Breisig, and opposite is Rheineck, with its modern-built tower crowning the height. Then we come to the two Hammersteins, with their vineyards and castle, and then the picturesque old town of Andernach heaves in sight, with its tall watch-tower overlooking the river. Then come Kaltenengens and others, which I at last became tired of noting down, and enjoyed the afternoon sunset that was softening the vine-clad slopes, and lighting up the arches and windows of each ruined castle, chapel, or watch-tower that was sure to crown[336] every conspicuous eminence, until, at last, our little steamer rounded in at the pier at Coblentz, with its fine hotels strung along near the river bank, and the Gibraltar of the Rhine, the grim old Castle of Ehrenbreitstein, looking down on us from its rocky eminence on the opposite shore.

Coblentz, the guide-books tell us, is a famous stopping-place for tourists on the Rhine, between Cologne and Mayence, being equi-distant from both. It is certainly a capital half-way resting-place, and, however pleasing the steamboat trip may have been, the traveller can but enjoy the change to one of the clean, well-kept hotels at this beautiful situation.

The hotel agents were at the pier,—spoke English and French fluently,—and we were soon installed into the pleasantest of rooms, commanding a view of the river, whose swiftly-flowing current rolls not fifty paces distant. A bridge of boats spans it, and high above the river bank rises the old castle, upon the battlements of which I can see the glitter of the sentinels' bayonets in the summer sunset.

The bridge of boats, and the passengers who cross it, are a never-ceasing source of entertainment to us; soldiers and elegantly-dressed officers from the castle; country girls, with curious head-dresses; and now and then a holiday-rigged peasant; costermongers' carts and dog-teams—one, consisting of three big dogs abreast, came over at full gallop, the driver, a boy, cracking his whip, and the whole team barking furiously. We saw a whole regiment of Prussian infantry, armed with the Prussian needle-gun, march over from the castle—a fine body of men, and headed by a band of forty pieces, playing in a style that would make the military enthusiasm, if the listener possessed any, tingle to the very soles of his feet. When steamboats or other craft desire to pass this floating bridge, a section is detached,—a sort of floating "draw,"—and suffered to swing out with the stream; the steamer passes the gap; after which the detached section is pulled back to position again.

Right at this charming bend of[337] the river, on one side of the town, flows the Moselle, as we call it, but Mözle, as you learn to pronounce it in Europe—the blue Moselle. "On the banks of the blue Moselle," ran the old song; and as picturesque and poetical a river as can be imagined is the Moselle, with its arched bridge spanning it, and its sparkling stream winding through a lovely landscape; but the portion of Coblentz that borders on its bank is poor and dirty, and in striking contrast with the elegant buildings and bright appearance of the Rhine front of the town: the "blue" of the Moselle refuses to mix with the more turbid glacier-tinted Rhine, and for a long distance down the stream this blue makes itself visible and distinct from the Rhine water, till gradually absorbed by it.

We are now beginning to come to those charming hotels on the great lines of continental travel routes, which in Germany and Switzerland are not the least attractive features of the tour. Here at Coblentz I enjoy excellent accommodations, room fresh and fragrant, with clean linen, spotless curtains, and not a speck of dust visible, my windows commanding the charming Rhine panorama, waiters speaking French, German, and English, a well-served table d'hote, and all for less than half the price charged in America.

The wine-drinkers here, from America, are in ecstasies, for we appear to be at headquarters for the light Rhine wines of the country; two francs buy a bottle costing one dollar and twenty-five cents at home, and five francs such as cannot be got in America for three dollars. The sparkling Moselle and celebrated Johannisberger are to be had here in perfection, and the newly-arrived American is not long in ascertaining what a different thing the same brand of wine is in this country from what it is at home.

"Ah, if we had wine like this at home, how I should like to have it oftener!" have I heard frequently said by travellers. It is too true that it is extremely difficult to get pure (imported) wines and liquors, pay what price one may in America; and perhaps one reason why the light wines of Germany are so agreeable to the tourist's palate, is in the surroundings and the time they are taken, such as on the deck of a[338] Rhine steamer, at the top of a steep crag, in a picturesque old castle, in a German garden, where a capital orchestra makes the very atmosphere luxuriant with Strauss waltzes and Gungl galops, or at the gay table d'hote with pleasure-seeking tourists, who, like himself, are only studying how to enjoy themselves, recounting past pleasure jaunts, or planning new ones.

However, be this as it may, it is, I believe, acknowledged that the only place to get the Rhine wines is in Rhineland; and the difference between them and the compounds furnished in America is obvious to the dullest taste. The purest and most reliable wines now in our own country are the California and other native wines, although they are not so fashionable as the doctored foreign, and imitation of foreign that are palmed off as genuine.

As I looked from my windows over the river and up at the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, seated on its rocky perch three hundred and seventy-seven feet above the river, and the eye caught the occasional glitter of a weapon, or the ear the faint rattle of a drum, or the sound of the bugle call, softened by the distance, I found myself repeating fragments of Byron's Childe Harold.

"Here Ehrenbreitstein with her shattered wall,
Black with the miner's blast upon her height,
Yet shows of what she was when shell and ball
Rebounding lightly on her strength did light."

"A tower of victory" it is indeed, for it has only twice been taken by an enemy during the best part of a thousand years—once by stratagem, and once being reduced by famine.

We crossed the bridge of boats, which is fourteen hundred and ten feet long, got tickets of admission to the fortress in the little town of Ehrenbreitstein the other side, mounted with labor up the steep ascent, and as we came within view of these tremendous works, upon which money and engineering skill seem to have been expended without stint, we did not wonder at their impregnability, or that they excite [339]so much admiration among the military engineers of the world. From the ramparts we enjoyed a magnificent view of the whole river and the country between Andernach and Stolzenfels. Below us was triangular-shaped Coblentz, and its row of handsome buildings facing the River Rhine, the bridge of boats and never-ending moving diorama sort of scene, while at the right of the town glided the blue Moselle, its azure waters moving unmixed as they flowed along with the Rhine, and the railroad bridge spanning the stream with its graceful arches; beyond that the fortifications of Fort Franz, commanding the river and vicinity; and far off to the right of that a fertile plain towards Andernach, the scene of Cæsar's first passage of the Rhine, B. C. 55, and of the sieges of the thirty years war, in 1631 to 1660, and the bloody campaigns of Louis XIV.

Farther to our left, and near the junction of the two rivers, we observed the Church of St. Castor, built in 1208; and it was in a small square near this church, in one of our walks about the town, that we came to a little monument, raised by a French official at the commencement of the campaign against Russia, bearing this inscription:—

"Made memorable by the campaign against the Russians, under the prefecturate of Jules Doazan, 1812."

When the Russian general entered the town, he added these words, which still remain:—

"Seen and approved by the Russian commander of the city of Coblentz, January 1, 1814."

A delightful afternoon ride, in an open carriage, along the river bank for three or four miles, brought us to the foot of the ascent leading to the castle of Stolzenfels, which looks down upon the river from a rocky eminence about four hundred feet above it. Refusing the proffers of donkeys or chaise à porter for the ladies, we determined to make the ascent on foot, and very soon found that the "guides," donkeys, and portable chairs were "a weak invention of the enemy," for[340] the road, although winding, was broad, easy, and delightfully shady and romantic. We passed an old Roman mile-stone on the road, and after crossing a drawbridge, reached the royal castle.

This most beautifully restored relic of the middle ages was, in 1802, a ruin of a castle of five hundred years before; in 1823 it was partially restored, and since then has been completely rebuilt and beautified at a cost of fifty-three thousand pounds sterling. Everything is in good proportion, Stolzenfels being somewhat of a miniature castle, its great banquet hall scarcely double the size of a good-sized drawing-room; but its whole interior and exterior are a model of exquisite taste. It has its little castle court-yard, its beautifully contrived platform overlooking the Rhine, its watch-towers and its turrets, all undersized, but in exact proportions. Through the tower windows, which are wreathed with ivy; from the windows of little boudoirs of rooms, which were cabinets of rare china and exquisite cabinet paintings; from embrasures in galleries and halls which had exquisite statuettes, instead of large size statues; from little Gothic windows in the chapel; and, in fact, from every conceivable and most unexpected point was the visitor encountering different lovely framed views, as it were, of the natural scenery of the country. These outlooks were so skilfully contrived as each to give a different view, and as at this point of the Rhine is the narrowest and most romantic part of the valley, the views are of the most enchanting description.

Looking out of an ivy-wreathed window of Stolzenfels, the spectator would see, framed, as it were, in stone-work and green leaves, a picture of the river, with its boats and bridges: through another, or an embrasure, a square-framed picture of an elevation on the opposite bank, crowned by a pilgrims' chapel, while from the watch-tower you look down upon the lovely valley of the River Lahn, which near this point flows into the Rhine; and from another turret we look back upon the massy walls of Ehrenbreitstein, Coblentz, with the apex of its triangle pointing out into the stream, and behind [341]its base the strong walls of Fort Constantine, marked out like stone lines on the greensward. The apartments in this castle are exquisitely furnished, and the furniture, tapestry, pictures, and statues adapted to harmonize with their size, which is fairy-like in comparison with castles generally.

In one hall were a series of beautiful frescoes of chivalric scenes—Godfrey de Bouillon at the Holy Sepulchre; John of Bohemia at the Battle of Cressy; Rudolph of Hapsburg judging knightly robbers, &c. There was a beautiful little chapel with elegant frescoes. In the armory were specimens of light and curious armor, among which were swords of Napoleon, Blucher, and Murat, specimens of exquisite Toledo blades, arabesque ornamented daggers, exquisitely wrought and flexible chain-mail shirts, and other curiosities of defensive armor. In the different rooms through which we were conducted, among other works of the old masters, were cabinet pictures by Holbein, Titian, Van Dyck, Albert Dürer, Rembrandt, &c. The charming views of the surrounding scenery without, and the exquisite taste displayed on the interior of this royal castle, made us regret to leave its little leaf-clad turrets, fairy-like watch-towers, romantic terraces, and picturesque battlements; and we believed the custodian when he averred that Queen Victoria was charmed with the place when she visited it a few years since, for it was fit to charm even a queen with its beauty.

Once more we are steaming up the river, and Stolzenfels is left behind us, and the towers of Lahneck come in sight, a feudal castle restored by a wealthy Englishman, and which occupies a crag above the River Lahn; we pass little white villages nestled at the foot of the hills, and looking far inland, see the slopes bristling with vineyards; we are in the land of the vine. Next comes another great castle, Marksburg, frowning from its rocky height four hundred and eighty feet above the stream, and we lazily inspect it by the aid of a double field-glass, as we lie at full length on a settee, beneath the steamer's awning, and, on inquiry, find that after being an old feudal castle, and bearing its weight of half a thousand[342] years bravely, it has been degraded into a states prison! The little town near the river, an old watch-tower, a road winding off amid the hills for a foreground, and this old castle high above as the background, forms so charming a picture, that one wishes it might, by some magic process, be transferred to canvas, that he could carry it away, and show it to others as it appeared to him. Farther on we pass the little castle of Liebeneck; then comes Boppard, where, in feudal times, once existed an establishment of the Knights Templars. Next we sweep round a great angle or elbow of the river, and there come in sight of a little village, with a Gothic church of the fifteenth century, behind and high above it, the two castles known as "the Brothers," connected with each other by a narrow natural bridge of rock.

These two castles have a legend, as in fact nearly all the Rhine castles have, and half the charm of one's trip consists in having them told to you at the right time, or recalling the half-forgotten story of boyhood piecemeal with some compagnon de voyage. The story of these castles is familiar, and is of two brothers loving the same lady, of faithlessness, of jealousy; and finally the lady in the case, with the delightfully German romantic name of Hildegarde, retires to the convent at the foot of the hill—that is the way they always do in these Rhine legends; it brings the convent into the story, and, perhaps, excites a desire on the part of the tourist to see the cell occupied by the fair penitent, without suspecting that the exhibition may prove something more of a sell than he bargained for. Well, the lady retired, the two brothers were reconciled, and lived ever after in one castle, instead of two.

More quaint little villages, other ruined castles! Thurnberg, the "Mouse" tower, looms up, with its square, shattered walls, and round tower, rising from their midst against the sky as we sweep by it; and St. Goar, a conspicuous-looking town, comes in view, with the huge ruins of Rheinfels, three hundred and seventy feet above it, the most magnificent ruin on the river, a second Ehrenbreitstein in strength, and[343] which has laughed one siege of fifteen months to scorn in the thirteenth century, and in 1692 was again defended successfully against an army of twenty-four thousand men, but blown up by the French revolutionary army of 1794. It is now simply a picturesque ruin on its rocky eminence, with the railway track creeping around its base; below the track, nearer the river, winds the carriage-road to the town.

The Mouse, or Maus Tower, which we passed before reaching Rheinfels, was so called by the envious counts of Katzenelnbogen (there's a name to write), who named their own castle, near here, the Cat (Katz); but the story goes that the mouse and its stout old warrior were more than a match for the cat; in fact, he was so feared in his day that the proverb was reversed, and when the mouse was away the cat would play.

Now we reach the precipitous rocks known as the "Lurlei" crags, towering four hundred and twenty feet above the river, which flows swiftly down their base; and here was where Lurlei, the siren, sat and chanted her songs, which lured fishermen, knights, and sailors to their destruction in the rapids that whirled beneath her lofty and romantic seat. As we passed we heard no siren's song, but our ears were saluted with the shrill whistle of that practical chanter of the advance of civilization, the locomotive, that rushed through a tunnel, piercing the very base of the magic rock, and whirling out of sight with a shriek that made the hills echo like the scream of a demon, leaving an angry puff of smoke issuing from the rocky orifice, as if the fiend had vanished from the surface to the centre.

Now we pass Oberwesel, with its romantic ravines, picturesque vineyards, and old ruins of Castle Schönburg; farther on, on the opposite bank, the grand old castle of Gutenfels stands guard over the town beneath it; then comes that little hexagonal castle, or stone fortification, on an island, looking as though anchored in mid stream, known as the Pfalz; it was erected in the thirteenth century, as a toll-house for exacting tribute, and has served, if not as a prison, as a place[344] of royal confinement—tradition being that the Countesses Palatine remained here during their accouchements. We wind round a point, and the Castle of Stahleck, once the principal residence of the Counts Palatine, makes its appearance; then come the ruins of Fürstenburg, once the stronghold of an old robber, who was bold enough to fire into the emperor's boat that refused to pay toll as it passed; the stream now narrows perceptibly, and a little slender tower, perched like a sentinel on watch on its walls, at a narrow ravine, attracts attention; it is Sooneck, and was a robbers' stronghold in the eleventh century.

Now we sweep round another bend in the river, and come in sight of the lofty pinnacles, turrets, and towers of the beautiful Castle of Rheinstein, two hundred and fifty feet above the river, completely restored, the banner floating in the breeze from its topmost tower, and a basket suspended upon an iron crane from one of the towers towards the river; the whole shows the tourist just how these old strongholds used to look during the middle ages, and a party of ladies, far up in a little ivy-clad bower, at an angle of the castle terrace, exchanged greetings with us in handkerchief wavings as we passed.

Now we come to Ehrenfels, and the vineyards where the Rüdesheimer grapes are raised; these vineyards are arrayed in terraces, one above the other, and the banks all along on the side of the hill, upheld by arches of masonry, and brick and stone supports, put up apparently to keep the earth in place, and afford more space for the vines from which the celebrated vintage is obtained. At this point, on a rock, in mid stream, stands the well-known Mouse Tower, celebrated in Southey's legend as the retreat of Bishop Hatto, who sought to escape the rats by fleeing to it; but his enemies swam the stream, entered the stronghold, and

"Whetted their teeth against the stones,
And then they picked the bishop's bones."

Bingen[345] would never have attracted so much attention from Americans and Englishmen if the Hon. Mrs. Norton, I think it was, had not written her beautiful poem of the dying soldier, who was a native of the place, and whose last words to the comrade who knelt by his side on the field of battle, were his memories of "Sweet Bingen, dear Bingen on the Rhine," and sent messages home to his friends who lived at

"Bingen on the Rhine."

For no other reason than because they had read this poem and wished to see Bingen, that had been so charmingly written about, did a party of Americans land here; and in truth the little town was prettily situated, with a little river at one side of it, the Nahe, flowing into the Rhine, spanned by an old arched bridge, while its slender spires and white houses look forth upon the swift-flowing river, divided by the little island bearing the Mouse Tower, and upon the steep slopes of vineyards on the other side of the Rhine, backed by the old Castle of Ehrenfels.

After leaving Bingen we come to the square-looking old Castle of Bromserburg, its shattered turrets green with vines and weeds, and farther on, other old ruins, "whose names I noted not," except one little church, that stood out like a white toy, away up on a sharp point of the hills; and then I was sorry I attempted to note it, for the Prussian, who spoke English, was compelled to write the name for me, it being an absolute impossibility for me to do so correctly, according to the pronunciation of the country; so I will leave Rochuscapelle, and the bright-looking little villages that we pass, for the old castle, Johannisberg, which greets our view on its vine-clad eminence, three hundred and forty feet above the river.

The vineyards which circle round and about the great hill surmounted by this castle are said to cover forty acres of ground, and it is here that the celebrated Jo-hannis-bagger—as they pronounce it—wine is made.

This Johannisberg vineyard is situated in the district, about fifteen miles in length, celebrated as producing the finest wines of the Rhine. There are Rudesheim, Hosheim, Hattenheim,[346] the Steinberger, Graffenberg, and many other "heims" and "bergs," whose mellowness and flavor, which is more or less injured by travel, may be enjoyed here by wine-drinkers, in their perfection, at a comparatively moderate cost.

Now we pass two or three islands, with unpronounceable names, more white-walled towns, backed by castle ruins, or handsome country residences and well-kept vineyards, with their serried rows of vines rising terrace above terrace on the hill-sides. Here come the ancient, quaint little village of Niederwalluf, known in record as far back as the year 770, Schierstein embosomed in trees, and Biebrich with its ducal palace, splendid garden, and park; we glide between two islands, and come in sight of the triple line of fortifications and cathedral steeples of Mayence.

Mayence, which claims to be the place where the Emperor Constantine saw his vision of the cross, which is the strongest fortress in the German confederation, which was founded B. C. 14 by the Romans, and where they show you the remains of a Roman acqueduct, a Roman burial-ground, and the site of the Roman camp, and, in the walls of the citadel, a monument erected by two of the Roman legions in honor of their commander-in-chief, Drusus, more than eighteen hundred years ago, an aged-looking, gray, circular tower, forty feet in height,—Mayence, with its bridge of boats, two thousand two hundred and twenty feet in length, and Mayence, which is the end of our journey up the Rhine.

We expected, from travellers' stories, to have been disappointed with the Rhine, and were—favorably disappointed. The succession of natural beauties of its scenery, the historic interest attached to almost every foot of the course between Cologne and Mayence, the novelty to American eyes of the romantic ruins that crown the picturesque heights, the smiling vineyards, quaint little towns, odd churches, prim watch-towers, Gothic cathedrals, white-walled cities, and boat-bridges, of course lend a charm to this beautiful river, and, notwithstanding my national pride, I cannot agree with some of my countrymen, who assert that the Hudson River i[347]s as rich in picturesque scenery as the Rhine, "leaving the castles out." The river scenery in America, that in character most resembles that of the Rhine, is the Upper Mississippi, between Prairie du Chien and St. Paul, and there some of the remarkable natural formations of the limestone bluffs supply the place of the Rhine castles; but where that river widens out into Lake Pepin, the comparison, of course, ceases.

The Rhine is a river of romance. A sail up the Rhine is something to be enjoyed by a student, a tourist who has "read up," a lover of travel who has longed to wander amid the scenes he has pored over on the pages of books, gazed at in pictures and engravings, and wondered if the reality could possibly be equal to the counterfeit presentment; and to such it will be as it was to us,—

"A thing of beauty, and a joy forever."

We rambled around Mayence, visited its filthy market-place, and its old cathedral, founded in the tenth century, which has felt the stern vicissitudes of war quite severely, serving at different periods as a garrison for troops, a hay and provision magazine, &c. In the interior are quite a number of monuments of German electors, with tongue-puzzling names, and a tablet to the memory of one of Charlemagne's wives; and in the Chapter-house is a beautiful sculpture by Schwanthaler, representing a female figure decorating a sarcophagus with a wreath; a monument, erected by the ladies of Mayence in 1842, in memory of a certain holy minstrel, who sang of piety and woman's virtue some time in the early part of the fourteenth century. Not far from the cathedral is Guttenberg Square, where we saw Thorwaldsen's statue of Guttenberg, representing him as an old man, with the long, flowing, philosopher-looking gown, or robe, full beard, and skull-cap, with some of his precious volumes under his arm, and upon the pedestal of the monument were bass-reliefs representing scenes in his life. A bronze statue of Schiller adorns another square here.

After Mayence, we fo[348]und ourselves taking a two hours' ride to Wiesbaden, one of the oldest watering-places in Germany, and for gambling second only to Baden-Baden. Here we found fine rooms at the Hotel Victoria, and the polite landlord, Herr Holzapfel, with a desire to facilitate the enjoyment of the tourist, very graciously presented me with a handsome little local guide-book, bearing the astounding title, "Fremdenfuhrer fur Wiesbaden und seine Umgebung," and its imprint informed me, "Im Auftrage des Verfchönerungsvereins herausgegeven."

Fancy an individual, unacquainted with the German tongue, with this lucid little guide, printed in small German text, to aid him in seeing the sights! However, I thanked the landlord, and pocketed the guide-book as one of the curiosities of the place. Our first walk was to the chief attraction here to all visitors, the great gaming-house known as the Cursaal,—which is suggestive of the more appropriate title Curse-all,—where the spacious and elegant gaming-saloons, that have been described so often, were open for play from eleven A. M. to eleven P. M., and which, during the season, are thronged with players at the roulette and rouge-et-noir tables. The central figure of attraction to strangers, when we were there, was the old Duchess of Homburg, who was each day wheeled in a chair to the table by her servant, and gambled away furiously, not scrupling a malediction when she lost heavily, or caring to conceal the eager gratification that played upon her wrinkled features, or made the gold rattle in her trembling and eager clutch, when she won.

This gaming-hall is furnished with elegant dining, ball, and reading-rooms, and adjoining the building is an extensive and elegantly laid out park and pleasure-ground, where a fine band play during the afternoon, and throngs frequent its delightful alleys, walks, and arbors. All these are free to the visitor; and sometimes, in the evening, the band plays in the ball-room, and gayly-dressed crowds are whirling about in German waltzes and galops, and couples, for a rest now and then, will stroll into the adjacent lofty saloons of play, the silence of which is in striking contrast with the ball-room clatter without. Here the only loud words spoken are those of the managers[349] of the table, which, at regular intervals, rise above the subdued hum and the musical rattle of gold and silver, or its clink against the croupier's rake, as they sweep in the stakes from every part of the table to the insatiate maw of the bank, with the familiar and oft-repeated formula of,—

"Faites votre jeu, messieurs."

"Le jeu, est-il fait?"

"Rien ne va plus."

(Make your game, gentlemen. Is the game made? Nothing more goes). Or, at the roulette table, audible announcement of the numbers, and color which wins, determined by the ball in the revolving wheel.

Leaving Wiesbaden, its gamesters, and its mineral spring, the water of which tasted very much like a warm decoction of salt and water, we sped on to Frankfort-on-the-Main. Here we rode through beautiful streets, upon each side of which were broad double houses, surrounded by elegant gardens. Here is the monument of Guttenberg, consisting of the three figures of Guttenberg, Fust and Schöffer, beneath which, on the ornamental work, are likenesses of celebrated printers, and grouped around the monument are figures of Theology, Poetry, History, and Industry.

Here we saw the house in which Goethe was born, and rode down through the Judengasse, or Jews Street. The quarter inhabited by the Jews is a curious old place, some parts too narrow to permit two vehicles passing each other; the unpainted, high, quaint, and solid old wooden houses, totally black with age, stores in the lower stories for the sale of second-hand clothes, and every species of cheap and second-hand merchandise; on all sides were troops and troops of children, with sparkling black eyes, and the unmistakable Jewish nose. The houses had antique carved wood door-posts to deep, dark entries, in which were deeply-worn stairs, that lead away up to the overhanging stories above; and in the entry of one of the blackest and most aged of these old structures yawned a huge trap-door, occupying more than half the space from the threshold to the stair. Peeping down the[350] aperture, left where the half leaf had been raised by its old-fashioned iron ring, I could see nothing but blackness, and imagine how some wealthy Hebrew might have made this the drawbridge to his citadel, so that the robber, who gained access beyond the bolts and chains that guarded the portal, would, with a step, be precipitated into the depths below. An iron ring, a trap-door, and old house in the Jews' quarter—what an amount of capital or material for a sensational story-writer in a cheap publication!

Here, in the Jews' quarter, we were shown the house in which Rothschild was born,—Rōchid they call the name here,—and just as we were emerging from the narrow, gloomy, and dirty passages of this quarter, my eye caught a familiar object in the little grated window of a sort of shop or office. I looked a second time, and there, the central figure amid a straggling display of bank notes of different nationalities, was a five-hundred dollar United States five-twenty bond, a part of the stock in trade of a Jew exchange and money broker, who, notwithstanding the unpretending appearance of his shop, which looked like a prison cell with the outside shutter down from the grated window, would probably have been able to furnish a purchaser ten times the amount on demand if he required it.

In striking contrast to the Judengasse is the Ziel, the finest street in Frankfort, filled with elegant shops and houses. The Jews in Frankfort were so tyrannically treated, that they founded the Jews Street themselves in 1462, and lived exclusively in that quarter of the city till the year 1806, and in olden times, on Sundays and holidays, the entrances to this quarter were closed with gates and bars, and any Jew who ventured into any other part of the city incurred a heavy penalty. Now, midway between Judengasse and the Ziel rise the business offices of the Rothschilds, that opulent family to whom even the proudest in their hours of need would fain doff their caps for favors; and hard by the progress of toleration is marked by a fine new synagogue, built in the Oriental style in 1855.

[351] We rode to the Hessian Monument, as it is called, near one of the city gates; it consists of huge masses of rock heaped together, upon which stands a pillar bearing a sword, helmet, and ram's head, and on the sides are bronze tablets with the names of the Hessians who fell on that spot in 1792. The Latin inscription informs the reader that the monument was erected by Frederick William, King of Prussia, who was an admiring witness of their bravery.

When we rattled over the pavements of the city of Heidelberg, on our way to the Prince Charles Hotel, I looked on all sides for groups and bands of the celebrated students who figure so prominently in novels and stories, and half expected to meet a string of six, arm in arm, walking in the middle of the streets, smoking big meerschaums, and wearing queer-cut clothes and ornamental caps, or singing uproarious college songs. Or I might encounter several devil-may-care fellows, each bearing a scar upon some part of his face, the result of one of those noted Heidelberg duels the story-writers tell of. But either the story-tellers had romanced most magnificently, or we had arrived at a time of day—which we afterwards found to be the case—when the students were engaged in their favorite pastime of swilling lager beer, in the dense atmosphere of tobacco smoke, from scores of pipes, in their favorite coffee-house; for we only met a snuffy old professor in a black velvet skull-cap and big round spectacles, and an occasional very proper-looking young man, save one whose scarlet embroidered cap gave him the appearance of a member of an American base-ball club.

Some forward Americans had gone before us, and secured the remaining rooms in the Prince Charles, which were next the roof; so we were driven to the Adler (eagle), on the same square, an enclosure known as the Cornmarkt, where we were admirably served. Our apartments looked out upon the curious old square with its fountain in the middle, to and from which women went and came all day long, and bore off water in jars, pails, and tubs, some poising a heavy wash-tub full upon their heads, and walking off with a steady gait[352] under the burden. Overlooking the little square, rose the famous Heidelberg Castle, three hundred feet above us; and we could see a steep foot-path leading to it, known as the Burgweg (castle-way), which commenced on the side of the square opposite our hotel.

Heidelberg is charmingly situated on the River Neckar, is rich in historical associations, and, as all readers are aware, is attractive to the tourist chiefly from its university, and its castle, which is one of the last creations of the old castle-builders, and seems in its style to be something between a stronghold and a chateau, a palace and a fortification. It certainly is a most imposing and magnificent ruin, with its lofty turrets, great round towers, terraces, arched gateways, and still splendid court-yards and grounds; the splendor of the building and beauty of its situation induce one enthusiastic guide-book to style it "the Alhambra of the Germans."

A good, comfortable night's rest at the Eagle Hotel prepared us for the ascent next morning by the steep pathway and steps that led up to it from the Corn Market; up we go, and after an ascent of about fifteen minutes, we pass through a massive arch-way, known as Frederic IV.'s building, and stand in the great court-yard of the castle.

The portion of the buildings fronting on this grand enclosure are elegantly carved and decorated with arcades and life-size sculptures; here is one known as Rudolf's building, the oldest part of the castle, a Gothic structure, then Rupprecht's building, founded in the year 1400, by Rupprecht III., with beautiful Gothic windows, over which are the architect's arms, three small shields upon an escutcheon. This carving is taken by many to be some sort of a masonic mark, but is nothing of the kind, but according to a little local guide, a coat of arms common to all German artists; and an interesting legend as to its origin is told, which is to the effect that one day the Emperor Charles V. visited Holbein, the artist, and found him busy painting at the top of a high scaffolding; the emperor signed to the artist not to disturb himself, and at the same time motioned to one of his suite to[353] steady the tottering ladder; the young noble, however, thinking it beneath his dignity to render such menial service to an artist, pretended not to understand the emperor, who thereupon advanced and steadied it himself, and commanded that from that time the German artists should be reckoned among the nobility of the empire, and their coat of arms should be such as Holbein decided upon. The artist then made choice of three small uniform silver shields on a blue field.

Then we have other beautiful buildings fronting on the great court-yard, and named after their builders, who at different periods made their contributions of architectural ornament to this romantic old pile. One of the most gorgeous is that known as Otto Heinrich's building, finished in 1559, restored twice,—the last time in 1659, and finally destroyed in 1764,—but the splendid front remains standing, and even now, in its partially ruined condition, excites admiration, with its splendid façade, rich to prodigality with statues, carvings, and decorations. Ludwig's building is another, into which we can go and see the great kitchen, with its huge fireplace and great hearth in the middle, where, on festal occasions, whole oxen were roasted.

Near here is the castle well, fifty-four feet deep, with four pillars taken from Charlemagne's palace, to support its canopy, the pillars being those sent to Charlemagne by Rome for his royal edifice. Then comes Frederick's building, founded by Frederick IV. in 1601, rich in statues and sculpture, and under it a chapel, over the portal of which is inscribed, in Latin, the words of the Psalmist,—

"This is the gate of the Lord;
The righteous shall enter into it."

But we are bewildered with the different façades, towers, fronts, and buildings that succeed each other in this, what we now find to be a sort of agglomeration of castles, and so pass out to the great stone terrace or platform that looks down upon the town and the valley below.

These old castle-builders did have [354]an eye for the beautiful; and a grand point for observation is this great terrace. Only fancy a broad stone platform, seventy or eighty feet long by thirty feet wide, midway up the front wall of an elegant castle, rich in architectural beauty, the terrace itself with heavy cut stone rails, vases, seats, and ornamental stone bowers at the corners, while spread out far below and before the spectator lies one of the loveliest landscape views that can be imagined. We can look right into the streets of the town directly below us; beyond is the winding River Neckar, with its beautiful arched bridge, and beyond that a vine-clad height known as the Holy Mountain; on one side is the lovely valley of the Neckar, romantically and luxuriously beautiful as it stretches away in the distance. The town of Heidelberg itself is squeezed in between the castle hill and the River Neckar, which widens out below the town, and finally unites with the Rhine, which we see in the distance, and beyond it blue mountains, binding in the distant horizon, frame in the charming picture.

I cannot, of course, describe, in the limits of a sketch, the massiveness, vast extent, and splendor of this castle, the production of three centuries,—commenced when the crusades were at their height, and not finished till long after cannon were in use; so that we mark the progress and changes of architecture in each century, and cannot but feel that, in some respects, the builders of old times were in advance of those of the present day. One might stay here weeks, and enjoy the romantic scenery of the vicinity and the never-ending new discoveries which he makes in this picturesque old ruin. In 1689 the French captured the place and undertook to blow up the principal round tower; it was so solidly and compactly built, however, that the enormous mass of powder they placed under it, instead of lifting the great cylinder into the air to fall back a heap of ruins, only broke off a third part of it, which toppled over entire in one solid chunk, and it lies as it fell, broken off from the main body as if by the stroke of a gigantic mallet, and exposes the wall of close-knit masonry twenty feet in thickness.

We wander through halls, court-y[355]ards, vaulted passages, deep dungeons, and lofty banquet halls, into round and square towers; cross a regular broad old drawbridge wide enough for a troop of mail-clad knights to ride out from the great arched entrance, which stands in good preservation, with its turrets and posts for warders and guards, and there is the huge, deep castle moat and all, just as we have read about them, or seen them illustrated in poetic fictions.

We pass out upon a sort of long spur or outwork from the castle—a kind of outer battery, which is styled the great terrace, and was built in 1615—a charming promenade, upon which is a mall, shaded by trees, and from which we get another picturesque view of the scene below, and of the castle itself.

But we must not leave Heidelberg Castle without seeing the Great Tun; and so we pay our kreutzers to the little maid who acts as guide, and descend below, to the cellars of the famous wine-bibbers of old. We came to a cellar in which there was a big barrel indeed, as it held two hundred hogsheads of wine; but this not coming up to the expectations of some of the party, there were expressions of dissatisfaction, until our guide informed us that this was only the front cellar, where they used to keep twelve little barrels of this size, and pointed out the raised platforms upon which they used to stand; but the great barrel was in the back cellar. So we followed in, and found a big barrel indeed, large as a two-story house, thirty-two feet long and twenty-six feet high. It holds eight hundred hogsheads of the vinous fluid, and its contents fill two hundred and thirty-six thousand bottles. The diameter of the heads of this big barrel is twenty-two feet, and the circumference of the centre two hundred and thirty-one feet. The bung-hole of this great cask, however, seems more out of proportion than an elephant's eye, for it measured scarcely four inches in diameter. Steps lead around the tun, and up to its top, upon which is laid a platform, on which a cotillon has been danced by enthusiastic visitors. Remember, this is down cellar. If they keep barrels of this kind down cellar, the reader may imagine the size of the house above, and, perhaps, the d[356]rinking capacities of those who used to inhabit it.

A beautiful carriage road, passing the ruined walls, and leaving them below, leads up to a pretty chalet, three hundred feet above the castle; and here, one day, we halted on the rocky platform, and gladdened the heart of the landlord by an order for lunch for the party, which was spread for us in the garden, from which we could look down into the ruins of the old castle, upon the town below, and the winding river. We were not permitted to enjoy our al fresco repast, for a thunder storm came rolling up the valley, and we were hustled in doors, where, however, we found the host was prepared for such emergencies, as our viands were spread out in an apartment with a glass side, looking towards the valley, so that we sat there, and watched the great gusts sweep up the river, and the rain come swirling down in sheets of rattling drops, amid the peals of thunder that echoed and reverberated between the hills, and finally swept past with the shower, angrily muttering in the distance, as though the spirits of the Hartz Mountains and Black Forest were retiring before the fairies of the valley, who went sweeping after them in great clouds of shining mist, overarched by a gorgeous rainbow.

We enjoyed the prospect from this place, which was the site of the ancient castle, traces of which still remain, and then took carriage for the Königsstuhl, or King's Seat, a round tower far above us. A ride of about an hour through the dripping woods, with the vegetation bright and fresh from the recent shower, brought us to this elevation, which is eight hundred and fifty feet higher than the castle, and seventeen hundred and fifty feet above the level of the sea.

Upon the summit of the King's Seat, a round stone tower, ninety feet in height, is erected, which we ascended, and were rewarded with a still more extensive view than any we had previously had of the surrounding country. In one direction is the dark and sombre foliage of the Black Forest; in another, the picturesque mountains and valleys of the Odenwald; in another, we look down upon the old castle and[357] town far beneath, and see the River Rhine winding away off through the landscape, like a crinkled ribbon of steel; there are the Hartz Mountains, of which we have read so many old German legends, in which wehr wolves, and mysterious huntsmen, who wound magic horns, figured. Far in the distance, beyond the dark-green forests, we descry, with our field-glass, the cathedral spire of Strasburg. Turn whichever way we may, the view is superb, and the hill is indeed a kingly seat, for it commands as magnificent a prospect as king could wish to look upon.

Heidelberg is a paradise of pipes—so I thought till I reached Vienna; but meerschaums of splendid carving and quality are sold here at prices so low, in comparison with what they cost in America, that the temptation to smokers to lay in a stock is almost irresistible. Malacca joint canes, with elegantly carved pure ivory handles, are another article that is marvellously cheap here, twenty francs (four dollars, gold) purchasing the best and most elaborate patterns, the grips or handles of which were wrought into figures of fruit, flowers, wreaths, and heads of birds and animals. The shop windows held many pictures of students' clubs,—some clubs famed for the number of glasses of beer their members could guzzle, he being elected president who could hold the most of that liquid—in fact, who made the biggest beer barrel of himself. In other windows were displayed huge horns, with a silver cup, and a tall mug, of huge capacity, said to represent the draught of the presidents of two rival clubs,—supposed to be what they could swill at a single pull.

The beer halls frequented by the students are similar to the great lager beer saloons in this country; and, in the evening, the tables are thronged with students, talking, discussing questions, playing dominoes, smoking, and drinking. There is a tremendous clatter of voices, and the smoke is so thick—well, none but Germans and Spaniards could live in such a dense cloud.

The University of H[358]eidelberg, which is the oldest in Germany, I think was founded in 1386. The university buildings—which are very old, some of them erected in 1693—are plain and unpretending in their appearance. The great library here contains over two hundred thousand volumes, and many curious manuscripts, which we did not inspect, as they are of interest chiefly to scientific scholars, and only accessible between the hours of ten and twelve in the forenoon. There is but little in the town of Heidelberg itself to interest the tourist. The great attraction is the noble old castle, and the romantic highlands about it.

A three hours' ride from Heidelberg, and we are at Baden-Baden, that gayest of the gay watering-places on the continent. We are driven to our hotel, the Hotel de l'Europe, a most charming house, large, clean, and splendidly kept by hosts who thoroughly know their business, and entirely free from any of the extortions, swindles, and sharp practices which disgrace our Saratoga and Newport hotels. Indeed, everything in the hotels in Baden-Baden is so comfortable to the tourist, so pleasant, and even luxurious, and at such comparatively moderate cost, that one is half inclined to think the proprietors of them may be interested in the gambling bank, and have an object in making their houses too agreeable to leave with a short visit. There are three proprietors to this hotel; and always one, and generally two, are in constant attendance in the lower halls and at the table d'hote, to attend personally to their guests, to answer all questions, and, in fact, to serve them in every way possible, which, it is but justice to say, is done in the most unexceptionable manner.

The Hotel de l'Europe is wide, deep, and cool; the broad staircase in the centre is ornamented with pretty flowers in pots, and running and trailing plants twining about the balusters, all the way up to the second story. Directly beneath my window is a beautiful strip of flower-garden, and the fresh air comes in at the casement laden with the odors of roses, carnation pinks, honeysuckles, and a score of other beautiful flowers, which are blooming in profusion. Beyond this little garden, say twenty or thirty feet from the hotel, runs the little River Oos, over a smooth-paved, artificial[359] bed of stone—a swift, clear, sparkling little stream, of scarce three feet deep, and its width of not more than a score, spanned by little rustic bridges, connecting the grounds of the different hotels that are strung along its banks with the opposite shore, which is the broad, high road, along which the numerous gay equipages which frequent watering-places are continually passing.

Beyond the road, beneath shady trees, is the Trink Halle, or, as the English have dubbed the place, the pump-room, probably because there is no pump there, except the natural one of the springs, whose mineral waters are conducted into ornamental fountains, which the drinkers and bathers visit at seven A. M., to the inspiriting and lively music of an excellent band. This pump-room is a long, one-story building, two hundred and seventy feet long and thirty-six wide, the façade resting on sixteen Corinthian pillars. Beneath the façade, and upon large panels of the building behind the colonnade of pillars, are fourteen great frescoes, executed by an artist named Götzenbreger, and representing pictorially some of those wild legends and weird stories of magic and enchantment for which Germany is so noted.

Baden, be it remembered, lies at the entrance of the celebrated Black Forest, popularly inhabited by various powerful enchanters, gnomes, dwarfs, and sprites. These great pictures were all handsomely executed, but the weather, to which they are partially exposed, is rapidly fading away their rich tints. There was one, representing a beautiful, light-haired, blue-eyed German girl, with but a light drapery flowing around her shapely limbs as she walked down to a mountain stream with her arm on the neck of a snow-white stag: an entranced huntsman knelt upon the opposite bank, gazing at this lovely vision; and while he gazed, one busy gnome was twisting a tough bramble about his ankle, another huge-headed fellow was reaching out from beneath a rock, and severing his bow-string, while a third, a sturdy, belted and hooded dwarf, was robbing his quiver of its arrows: all around, the rocks looked out in curious, wild, and grotesque faces; they leere[360]d from the crags, grinned from pebbles in the water, or frowned awfully from the great crags above the hunter, who, dazzled by the enchantress, sees nothing of this frightful scene, which is like the figures of a troubled dream—thoroughly phantasmagoric and German. Another picture shows a brave knight just on the point of espousing a weird lady before an abbot, the satanic glare of whose eyes betrays his infernal origin; cock-crow has evidently prevented these nuptials, as at one side chanticleer is represented vigorously sounding his clarion, and in the foreground lies another figure of the same knight in a deep sleep. Other scenes represent encounters of shepherds with beautiful water-sprites or Undines of the mountain lakes and rivers, knights at enchanted castles, and sprites in ruined churches, each one being the pictorial representation of some well-known legend of the vicinity.

We arrived at Baden on Saturday, after dark, and I was roused Sunday morning to look out upon the scene I have described, by the music of a magnificent band, which commenced with the grand hymn of Old Hundred; then a piece from Handel; next came the grand Wedding March of Mendelssohn; and we looked from our windows to see throngs of people promenading up and down the piazza in front of the Trink Halle, to the inspiriting harmony, or coming in every direction from the different hotels and pensions, or boarding-houses, for their morning drink of spring-water. Gradually the music assumed a livelier character, till it wound up with sprightly quadrilles and a lively polka, played with a spirit that would almost have set an anchorite in a dancing fever.

A fit illustration was this of the regard for the Sabbath in this headquarters of the enemy of man, where, at noon, the great doors of the gambling-house swung open, and the rouge-et-noir and roulette tables were at once thronged with players, without intermission, till midnight.

This great gaming-house, which has been so often described, is styled the Conversation-haus, and is beautifully fitted up with drawing-rooms, lofty and elegant ball-room, with each end opening out into magnificent gardens, that are rich in[361] parterres of flowers, shady alleys, beautiful trees, fountains, and statues. During the afternoon and evening these gardens are thronged, the magnificent band plays the choicest of music, elegantly-dressed people saunter amid the trees and flowers, or sit at little tables and sip light wines, eat ices, and chat; you hear German, French, English, and Italian amid the clatter of voices in any momentary lull of the music; you may order your ice-cream in any of these languages, and a waiter is at hand to understand and serve you; you may spend the whole day in this beautiful spot, enjoy music that you gladly pay a concert price at home to hear, without a penny expense, or even the remotest hint for remuneration from any servant, except it be for the refreshments you order—for the proprietor of the gaming establishment gladly defrays all the expenses, for the privilege he enjoys exclusively, and he pays besides the sum of sixty thousand dollars per annum; so we enjoy it somewhat freely, although we cannot help reflecting, however, that those who really bear the expense are the victims insnared in the glittering and alluring net which they themselves help to weave.

From the flutter of passing butterflies of fashion, the clatter of tongues, the moving throng, and rich strains of music, we pass through the noiselessly swinging doors that admit us to the almost hushed inner court of the votaries of chance. Here, as at Wiesbaden, the only voices above a subdued tone are those of the dealers, with their regular formula of expression, while ever and anon, following the rattle of the roulette wheel, comes the clink of the gold and silver which the presiding high priests of Mammon rake into the clutches of the bank. People of every grade, nation, and profession jostle each other at these tables. Here all meet on a common level, and rank is not recognized. The only rank here is the guinea-stamp, and that, if the possessor conduct himself in an orderly manner, insures prince and peasant an equal chance at the tables. The language used is French.

I have seen beautiful young ladies, scarce [362]turned nineteen, seated here next their young husbands, with whom they were making their bridal tour, jostled by the elegant Parisian member of the demi-monde, whose noble "friend" hands her a thousand francs to enjoy herself with for a while; young students, trembling, eager old men; raw Americans, taking a "flyer;" and sometimes astonishing the group by the magnitude of their bets; old women, Russian counts, who commence by getting several notes changed into a big pile of gold, which steadily diminishes beneath the assaults they make on the bank, with as little effect as raw infantry charging against a fortified breastwork; nay, I even saw the sallow countenance of a Turk, looking on from beneath his fez cap, while its owner fumbled uneasily at his girdle till he had detached his purse, and gratified his curiosity by losing a few gold pieces; professional gamblers, sharpers, women of uncertain character; old, young, and middle-aged, all sacrificing at the same shrine.

"But some win?"

Yes, and the very ones whose success is least expected. Old habitués will study the combination of figures for weeks, and keep a record of the numbers, and the order in which they turn up, and then, having, by mathematical certainty, made sure of lucky numbers, stake—and lose. The croupiers go on regularly, mechanically, and, unmoved by success or loss, or whatever takes place about them, they rake in heavy stakes, and pay out huge losses, without moving a muscle of their countenances, or betraying the least emotion, raking in a huge stake while I was watching the game that made even the old habitués glare at the player, without even so much as a glance at him, and paying out a big loss with only the simple dialogue,—

"Billets du banque?"


And a dozen rouleaux of twenty-franc pieces were pushed over to the winner.

I saw one of these unexpected winners, in the person of a young Heidelberg student, who commenced with a couple of Napoleons (forty francs). He won; doubled his stake, won[363] again; doubled, and won again; then he took up the pile of gold, and placed two double Napoleons (eighty francs) on a single number; it came up, and the bank paid him the amount won, which was fifteen or twenty times the amount of his stake; he put this whole heap on rouge (red), and the ball fell in rouge, and he won, and the amount was doubled; he moved the increased heap to noir (black), and won again! He pulled the heap of loose gold, rouleaux, and notes towards him; players looked up, an obsequious servant brought a chair for him to sit down, and two or three friends gathered at his back; he crammed gold and notes—all but five twenty-franc pieces—promiscuously into his pantaloons pocket, bet those five on the red, won; moved the ten to the black, won again; the twenty to another figure, and won thrice his stake.

By this time other players began to follow him in their bets; he put forty francs on a single number, and half a dozen players crowded their bets on to the same.

It lost.

Nothing daunted, they followed him, and rained down their Napoleons upon the black; this time they were rewarded; black won.

The student pocketed his heap of gold again, all except five pieces, and then with that capital bet again; lost three of the five; tried a single number with one Napoleon, lost, of course; put the other on the black, won again; balanced the two pieces on his fingers for a moment, while half a dozen players were watching him, and then put one on the black again, which in an instant was almost obscured by the thick plating of metal that followed the lead of his stake from other players.

"Rouge, dix-huit."

Down came the croupier's rake, and away rattled the glittering heap towards the banker, while the student smilingly balanced his remaining Napoleon in a sort of uncertain manner on his forefinger, then turned and whispered a word to his friends, rose and tossed the twenty francs magnificent[364]ly to the servant who had handed him a chair, and who was still behind him, and then, with bulging pockets, walked away.

Baden is beautifully situated, and its scenery and surroundings charming. A broad, well-kept, and shady avenue commences opposite our hotel, and affords a splendid drive of over two miles, and, like the drive at Newport, is frequented by gay equipages during the fashionable season. Then there are the old and new castles above the town, reached by winding and romantic roads, and from the summit of the former a fine view of the valley of the Rhine, and the beautiful valley of Baden, with its great hotels, elegant grounds, and pretty villas.

The bazaar, a sort of open-air fair of booths, in a pleasant grove, not far from the grounds of the Conversation-haus, is another novelty, and an attractive one to foreigners; for here is a collection of all those miscellaneous trinkets that tourists load themselves down with, such as carved wood of Switzerland, garnets from Prague, worsted work from Berlin, shaded photographs from Munich, all sorts and kinds of sleeve-buttons, breast-pins, shawl-pins, ivory carvings, ribbons, crystals from the Alps, leather work from Vienna, and a thousand and one curious and pretty articles to tempt the taste of purchasers.

We left the beautiful Hotel de l'Europe, with its pleasant rooms, elegant table d'hote, and prompt attention, with regret, for two reasons: one, that it was so agreeable a place of rest; and the other, that the price, at this most expensive of the hotels, with all its privileges, was less than two dollars per diem.

Up and away, for we must see the grand old Cathedral of Strasburg—a two hours' journey; and here we are, at the magnificent portal of this edifice, founded by old King Clovis, in 510. The carvings above the portal are magnificent. Here are equestrian statues of Clovis, Dagobert, and other old worthies, elegantly wrought, amid a wealth of rich tracery and carving; but as the spectator looks up, up, up, at[365] the magnificent cathedral tower and spire, soaring away into the air till it seems to have a needle-like sharpness, he gets almost dizzy with gazing; and, upon being informed that the ascent of this highest spire in the world is not unattended with danger, of coarse all Americans are seized with an uncontrollable desire to ascend it; and so were we.

So we took a look at the splendid front, with the two great square towers, something after the style of those of York Minster or Westminster Abbey, with a huge rose window between them; the elegant Gothic architecture of arches, pillars, and points; the grand, arched portal, crowded, every inch of it, with carving and statues; and finally, up again at the light steeple, which, from one of the square towers, rose into the air with such grace and boldness.

We enter direct from the street, pay the custodian at the foot of a flight of stairs of easy ascent, and, ladies and all, begin the climb-up. We go till we have trodden over three hundred and thirty stairs, and find ourselves two hundred and thirty feet above the street, upon a place called the platform. Here are several rooms, and a custodian lives up here, who acts as a watchman for fires, has general charge of the place, keeps a visitors' register, and sells stereoscopic views. The panoramic view from here is superb, and this point, which is about two thirds of the way up, is as high as ladies generally ascend; for the remainder of the ascent, which is by circular staircases on four sides of the tower, requires some nerve and steadiness of head, the masonry being of open-work, with the apertures nearly large enough for the body to pass through, while the staircases, which are winding and narrow, are likely to provoke an attack of giddiness. I could compare the ascent to nothing but an ant climbing a corkscrew. Every turn brought us to these great wrought openings, which, from the ground, appeared like delicate lacework, and which seemed to give one the feeling, as he went round and round, as if he were swinging and swaying in the network between heaven and earth; and the wind, which pipes, whistles, rushes, roars, and sighs, in every variet[366]y of tone, and apparently from every point of the compass, owing to the innumerable and different-shaped openings, adds to this illusion.

Breathless, we reach a circular gallery running round outside, and at the top of the square part of the steeple, and pause, clinging to the stone-work of the balustrade to look at the fine view, which takes in Baden, the Black Forest, the Rhine, and the chain of the Jura, in the distance.

Still higher! Here we are at the base of a pyramid of light, ornamental turrets, which gradually converge towards a point, and support the "lantern" above us. The winding staircases in these turrets were also narrow, and through open stone-work, as before, till you reach the lantern, an enclosed observatory. Higher up is the "crown" which, as the steps leading to it are outside, and with no other protection than the wall to which they were fastened, we did not care to attempt. The total height of this lofty spire is four hundred and sixty-eight feet.

The descent through the open-work spire to the platform where the ladies were left was far more trying to the nerves than the ascent. In ascending, one is continually looking up, and the open spaces in the stone-work have the appearance of passages through which you are to pass, but continually avoid by the winding of the staircase; but in descending, the gaze being directed downward, you have the vast height continually before the view; the huge apertures, which appear at your very feet at every turn, seem like yawning crevasses, through which to shoot your body into the blue distance, or on to the Gothic points and pinnacles that are far, far below. I clung to the rope and iron hand-rails convulsively, and am not ashamed to mention that, more than once, as I came to the more elaborate open-work of this stone filigree, which seemed to dangle between heaven and earth, I closed my eyes, and followed the rail, feeling the way downwards. The descent was made almost in silence, and there was a sigh of relief when the platform was reached, and we joined the ladies again.

[367] The open-work that one encounters in the turrets during the ascent of the spire, although scarcely large enough to admit the passage of a man's body, is so frequent, and so directly on the staircases, which are winding and narrow, as to give the semblance of great danger and insecurity, though comparatively very little exists. The only thing to be feared is giddiness, which might render it difficult for the adventurer to go up or down, after reaching a certain point; and it is, therefore, not advisable for those liable to be affected in that manner to attempt the ascent above the gallery, which really adds very little to the view.

Viewed architecturally, Strasburg Cathedral seems to bring together all the styles or orders of architecture of the middle ages, from the simplicity of the Byzantine to the Gothic, with its arches and excess of superfluous ornament. The façade of the church, and especially the portal, is so elaborately ornamented with carved work as to convey the impression of chasing, instead of sculpture. The figures in bass-relief and carving represent scenes in the life of the Saviour, the saints, and the apostles, besides statues of kings and warriors.

A view of the interior is grand and impressive. Fourteen great cluster pillars uphold the lofty Gothic arched roof, over a hundred feet above the pavement. Midway, and above arches that unite the pillars, is a beautiful Gothic gallery on both sides, and many of the great stained-glass windows, representing scriptural subjects, are of wondrous beauty.

In the nave is a beautiful pulpit, built in 1486, and covered with little statues, delicately carved, and not far from it the organ, up midway between the floor and arched ceiling. The perspective view in these old cathedrals is grand, and figures hardly give one an idea of their vastness. This cathedral is five hundred and twenty-five feet long, one hundred and ninety-five feet in width, and is one of the finest of those wonderful monuments of religious art that rose during the middle ages.

The great as[368]tronomical clock here is a curious and wonderful piece of mechanism. Fancy a structure twenty-five or thirty feet in height, and twelve or fifteen broad at the base, having on either side two others nearly of equal height, one being the masonic flight of winding stairs, surmounted by five small emblematical Corinthian pillars, and the other a Gothic pillar, its panellings enriched with figures.

Placed directly in front of the base of the clock is a celestial globe, which, by means of the clock-work, shows the precession of the equinoxes, solar and lunar equations for calculating geocentric ascension and declination of the sun and moon at true times and places. Then in the base itself is an orrery after the Copernican system, by which the mean tropical revolution of each of the planets, visible to the naked eye, is shown. Then comes an ecclesiastical calender, a sort of perpetual almanac, indicating holy, feast, and fast days; above, and about ten feet from the floor, and just beneath the clock-dial, is an opening with a platform in front, upon which come forth figures representing each day of the week, as Apollo on Tuesday, Diana on Monday, &c. Thus a figure in a chariot representing the day appeared at the entrance in the morning, it had reached the centre in full view by noon, and drove gradually out of sight at the close of day. On either side of the clock-dial sat two Cupids, the size of a three-years-old child, one holding a bell and hammer, with which it strikes the hours and quarters, and the other an hour-glass, which it reverses each hour. Above is another dial, with the signs of the zodiac; above that a figure of the moon, showing its different phases, also put in motion by the clock-work; and, still above this, two sets of automaton figures, which appear only at twelve o'clock, at which time there is always a crowd gathered to witness their performance.

We viewed this wondrous piece of mechanism for an hour, and witnessed the following movements: At quarter past eleven the Cupid near the dial struck one; then from one of the upper compartments ran forth the figure of a little child with a wand, and as he passed he struck one on a bell, and ran away (Childhood, the first quarter). Round whirl the wheels of time, and the second quarter chimes; but this ti[369]me it is Youth that passes, and taps the bell with his shepherd's staff twined with flowers. Again, we reach the third quarter, and Manhood strides forth, the mailed warrior, and smites the sonorous bell, ere he leaves the scene, three sounding blows with his trenchant weapon—the third quarter. Once more, the hands tremble on the point of noon; the fourth quarter is here, and Old Age, a feeble, bent figure, hobbles out, pauses wearily at the bell, raises a crutch, and taps four strokes, and totters away out of sight—"last scene of all," when, as a finale, the skeleton figure of Death, before whom all the four have passed, slowly raises his baton, which the spectator now discovers to be a human bone, and solemnly strikes the hour of twelve upon the bell. While he is engaged in this act, a set of figures above him, representing the twelve apostles, pass in procession before the Saviour, who blesses each as they pause before him in turn, and chanticleer, the size of life, perched upon the pinnacle of one of the side structures, lifts up his voice in three rousing crows, with outstretched neck and flapping wings, while the Cupid on one side of the dial reverses the hour-glass for the sand to flow back, and the other also strikes the hour with his bell and hammer.

Not far from this clock, in a sort of niched window, there is a sculptured figure, said to be that of the architect of this cathedral, represented as looking towards the entrance of the transept, and in such position as to attract attention and provoke inquiry—a cunning device for perpetuating one's memory as long as the figure shall last.

Before leaving this fine cathedral we are reminded of the ancient order of Masons by an enclosure opening out of one of the chapels, which is the area of the workhouse of the stone-cutters of the edifice. These Master Masons down to this day form a particular and exclusive society, which originated in the days of the great master mason and architect of this cathedral, Erwin of Steinbach, who rebuilt the nave in 1275, commenced the façade of the church, designed its towers, and superintended the work and the carrying out of the gran[370]d designs in its construction through various vicissitudes till his death in 1318.

The masons of this cathedral were distinct from other operative masons, did not admit all who presented themselves, and had secret signs, known only to each other. From the lodge of this cathedral emanated several others in Germany, and a general meeting of the masters was held at Ratisbon in 1459, at which they were united under one government or jurisdiction, and the Grand Masters chosen on that occasion were the architects of the cathedral at Strasburg, in which city the Grand Lodge was then established.

The Emperor Maximilian I. confirmed the establishment of this body October 3, 1498, and it remained here till the early part of the eighteenth century, when it was removed to Mayence. With this bit of masonic history we will bid adieu to Strasburg Cathedral.

The Church of St. Thomas looks inferior after it, though its magnificent monument to Marshal Saxe is one of the sights of the city. As we ride through the streets we see long-legged storks soaring far overhead, and perched on a tall old chimney-stack, behold the brushwood nest of one of these long-billed residents.

We view the bronze statue of Guttenberg, who made his first experiments in the newly-discovered art preservative of arts in this city in 1436, and four hundred years afterwards he is remembered in this bronze memorial.

I don't know what it was in particular that made me wish to see Basle, except it was, that when a youngster, I read of a curious old clock which the inhabitants on one side of the river put up to mock those on the other, which, the story said, it did by sticking out its tongue and rolling its eyes at every motion of the pendulum; so, when domiciled at the hotel of the Three Kings in that ancient town, I looked out on the swift-flowing Rhine, and as I gazed at the splendid bridge, nearly a thousand feet long, wondered if that was the one over which the wondrous head had ogled and mocked. Fancy my disappointment at being shown at the collection of ant[371]iquities a wooden face scarcely twice the size of life, which is said to be the veritable Lollenkonig, or lolling king, that used to go through this performance in the clock tower on the bank of the river till 1839. Here, in this collection, which is in a hall or vestry attached to the cathedral, we saw many curiosities; among them the arm-chair of Erasmus; for it was here in Basle that Erasmus, it will be recollected, waged bitter war with the Church of Rome; here also was preserved all that remains of the celebrated frescoes, the Dance of Death, painted in the fifteenth century, and ascribed to Holbein. The cathedral, a solid old Gothic structure, has some finely ornamented ancient arched portals, and its two towers are each two hundred feet in height.

Going through some of the quaint, old-fashioned streets of Basle, we were struck with the quiet, antique, theatrical-canvas-look which they had. Here was an old circular stone fountain, at which horses could drink and the people fill their jars; the pavement was irregular, and the houses were of odd architecture, which we in America, who have not been abroad, are more than half inclined to think exist only in the imagination of artists, or are the fancy of scene-painters. I came upon one of these very scenes which I have before referred to, in this old city, and stood alone a quarter of an hour looking at the curious street that lay silent in the sunshine, with scarce a feature of it changed since the days of the Reformation, when Basle held so important a position in the history of Switzerland, and "Erasmus laid the egg that Luther hatched;" and had a group of cavaliers in doublet and hose, or a soldier with iron cap and partisan, sauntered through the street, they would all have been so much in keeping with the scene as to have scarcely excited a second glance at them.

In the evening we attended one of those cheap musical entertainments which are so enjoyable here in the summer season of the year. It was given in a large building, one side of which opened on the river bank; and while thirty pieces of music played grand compositions, sprightly waltzes, or insp[372]iriting marches, we sat at the little tables, with hundreds of other listeners, who sipped light wines or beer, enjoyed the evening air, and looked out upon the dark cathedral towers, the lights of the town reflected in the swift stream of the Rhine, watched the small boats continually passing and re-passing, marked "the light drip of the suspended oar," coming pleasantly to the ear, as they paused to listen to the melody, while now and then the tall, dark form of some great Dutch lugger-looking craft of a Rhine boat moved past, like a huge spectre out of the darkness—a dreamy sort of scene, the realization of old Dutch paintings, half darkened with age, that I have often gazed at when a boy. And all this fine music and pleasant lounge for half a franc (eleven cents).

"Wines extra?"

Yes. We called for a half flask, prime quality; price, a franc and a half more; total, forty-four cents. But then we were luxurious; for beer that was "magnifique" could be had in a "gros pot" for three cents.

We rode from Basle to Zurich in a luxurious, easy, comfortable drawing-room car, which a party of us—six American tourists—had all to ourselves, and whirled through long tunnels, and amid lovely scenery, in striking contrast to our hot, uncomfortable railroad ride from Strasburg to Basle. The Swiss railway carriages are on the American plan, and the line of the road itself kept in exquisite order. The houses of the switchmen were pretty little rustic buildings, covered with running flowering vines, plats of flowers before them, and not a bit of rubbish or a speck of dirt to be seen about them. The little country stations are neatly kept, and have flower gardens around them; and, as we passed one crossing where two roads met, a diamond-shaped plat, about twenty feet space, enclosed by the crossing of three tracks, was brilliant with its array of red, blue, and yellow flowers. At the stations and stopping-places there seemed to be special pains taken to keep the rude, unsightly objects, that are seen at stations in America lying about uncared for, out of sight. Here, and in Germany, we notice the red poppy scattered in[373] and growing among the wheat, which one would suppose must injure the grain; but the people say not, though it imparts, I think, a slightly perceptible bitter taste to the bread.

We seem now to have got thoroughly into a land where they know how to treat travellers, that is, properly appreciate the value of tourist patronage, and treat them accordingly; and well they may, for a large portion of the Swiss people make their living for the year off summer tourists.

Notwithstanding this, and notwithstanding the English grumblers who scold at these better hotels, better railway accommodations, and better attention than they can get anywhere else,—notwithstanding the shoddy Americans, whose absurd parade, lavish expenditure of money, ignorance, and boorish manners make them a source of mortification to educated men, and have served, in France and Italy during the past few years, almost to double certain travelling expenses,—notwithstanding this, the traveller will be more honorably dealt with, and less liable to be cheated, in Switzerland than elsewhere in Europe. Efforts are made to induce travellers to come often, and stay long. Roads, passes, and noted points are made as accessible as possible, and kept in good order during the season. No impositions are allowed by guides, post-drivers, &c., and the hotel-keepers strive in every way to make their houses as attractive as possible in every respect to the guest, who enjoys the real luxury of an elegant hotel, in an attractive or celebrated resort, at a reasonable price, and does not suffer to that extent the same irritation that he experiences in England or America at such places—of knowing he is being deliberately swindled in every possible manner.

Here we are in Zurich,—"by the margin of Zurich's fair waters,"—at the Hotel Baur au Lac, fronting Lake Zurich—a large and beautiful hotel, with an extensive garden, with flowers, shrubs, and pretty walks in front of it. Our windows command a full view of the beautiful lake, with its sides enlivened with chalets, villages, vineyards, and a highly-cultivated country, while in the background rise the snow peaks of the Alps, glittering in the morning sunlight, or r[374]osy in its parting rays. There was the great Reiseltstock, looming up over eighty-six hundred feet, the Kammtistock, very nearly ten thousand feet, between which and the Scheerhorn is imbedded a great glacier, the Bristenstock, and other "stocks" and "horns" that I have not noted down, and therefore forgotten, save that even in the distance they looked magnificently grand, and like great altars with their snowy coverings lifted up to heaven.

The scenery of mountain, lake, and valley, seen from the promenades in Zurich, like grand pictures framed in the rim of the horizon, and presenting charming aspects, varied by the setting sun, give the tourist a foretaste of the picturesque beauty of the country he is now just entering. Lake Zurich, or the Zuricher See, as they call it, looked so pretty and romantic that we determined to embark on one of the little steamboats, and sail up and down it, to know and enjoy it better. So, after enjoying the creature comforts of the fine hotel, and fortified with a good night's rest, we embarked in the morning.

This lake is twenty-five miles long, and, at its broadest part, two and a half miles wide. As we sailed along, we noted the beautiful slopes of the hills, which are finely cultivated at the base, close down to the little villages on the shore. Above are vineyards and orchards, and still farther up, the dark-green forests clothe the hills, which lift their frontlets twenty-five hundred feet above the clear mirror that reflects them on its surface. We passed numerous picturesque little villages, making landings on alternate shores as we proceeded. Here was Thalwyl, charmingly situated, Horgen, with its hotel and charming garden upon the lake front, the picturesque little wooded peninsula of Au, and a pretty little village of Mannedorf, behind which rises a romantic height, called some sort of a "stiel" or "horn." And so we glided along, sometimes stopping at little villages that seemed, as we approached them, children's toys upon a green carpet, this effect heightened by the huge mountains, which rose grand and sublime in the distance; but they had all that novelty so charming to[375] the tourist—their odd-shaped little churches, and curious and quaint houses nestling in romantic nooks, and the occasional odd dress worn by peasants who had come down from the interior, and the customs which to us seemed so old-fashioned.

We found our steamer was a mail-boat, and at one station, instead of the usual official in waiting, the sole occupant of the little pier was a huge Newfoundland dog, who seized the little mail-pouch, holding perhaps a couple of quarts, that was tossed ashore, and galloped off with it at full speed for the village, half a mile distant, to the infinite amusement of the spectators. He was the regular mail-carrier, performing the service twice a day of bringing down the mail-pouch, which he deposited on the pier on the arrival of the boat, and carrying back the one which was left by it.

We went on shore at a town bearing the delightfully-euphonious name of Rapperschwyl—a picturesque old place, with an old castle and church, and wooded heights, which command fine views. At this point a fine bridge, forty-five hundred feet long, and supported by one hundred and eighty oaken pillars, crosses the lake. So we strolled over it, and through the town, which contains about two thousand inhabitants, looked at the old church and castle, and then reëmbarked on the return steamer, once more to admire the beauty of the scenery of the lake shores in this romantic region, and birthplace of Switzerland's freedom.



Now let us tighten our girdles for our first experience in Swiss mountain-climbing, for we start for Righi at nine A. M., on the summit of which we propose to see the sun set, and watch his rising on the morrow. Out of the handsome railway station we ride in an elegant and comfortable car, and in two hours are at the steamboat landing at Lake Zug, one of the most picturesque sheets of water in Switzerland—an azure pond nine miles in length; and, as we float upon its blue bosom, we see the object of our excursion, Righi-Kulm, which towers full forty-two hundred feet above the lake. The "Righi" consists of a group of mountains lying between the three Swiss lakes of Zug, Lucerne, and Lowerz, and "Righi-Kulm" is the Righi summit, or highest peak—fifty-five hundred and forty feet above the level of the sea. We disembark at Arth, get a bad dinner, or lunch, of tough chicken, poor soup, and bad claret, and start away for the foot of the mountain in an open carriage, with our saddle horses, mules, and guides rattling along behind us, for the ascent. Half an hour brings us to Goldau.

Goldau! And as I stood on the high road, and looked over into what was once the little valley where stood the village, and marked the track of the tremendous avalanche of a thousand feet broad and a hundred feet thick, which started three thousand feet above, from the mountain, on its resistless career of destruction, my memory went back to days in the public schools of Boston, where, from that best of compilations as a school reader, John Pierpont's American First Class Book, we used to read the "Lament of a Swiss Minstrel over the Ruins of Goldau," commencing,—

"O Switzerland, my country, 'tis to thee
I strike my harp in agony,—"

and in which the author describes the catastrophe, more [377]graphically than grammatically, perhaps, as follows:—

"An everlasting hill was torn
From its primeval base, and borne,
In gold and crimson vapors dressed,
To where a people are at rest.
Slowly it came in its mountain wrath,
And the forests vanished before its path,
And the rude cliffs bowed, and the waters fled,
And the living were buried, while over their head
They heard the full march of their foe as he sped,
And the valley of life was the tomb of the dead."

But this avalanche occurred over half a century ago, and may be it is too old-fashioned to recall its story, though it will long live in historic record as destroying four villages, and overwhelming five hundred of their inhabitants. The sole trace of it now is the track of the avalanche on the side of the mountain, and some few huge bowlders piled together here and there in the valley, which have not been covered by the hand of time with vegetation.

And here our party descended from the carriage, and mounted their horses preparatory to the ascent. A young physician and the author concluded that their first experience in Alpine travel should be pedestrian; we therefore started up our mules, riderless, after the rest of the party, and, like all fresh tourists, stepped into a house here at the foot of the mountain to purchase our first alpenstocks. These, as everyone knows, are stout staffs, about six feet in length, with an iron spike at one end and a hook of chamois horn at the other—the latter ornament being generally an imitation, made of the head ornament of the common goat, blackened and polished. Nevertheless, the alpenstocks are of great assistance; indeed, the tourist who makes any attempts at pedestrianism among the Alpine passes will find them almost an absolute necessity.

Away went the string of mules and guides with our merry party on their winding way. The Swiss guides are excellent, and in many parts of the country they seem to be formed into associations, and under the best of regulations to prevent [378]any imposition upon travellers, or the employment of unskilled guides.

As an illustration of the excellence of their regulations, we copy a few of those of the Righi guides:—

"The horses must be sound and strong, the gear in good order. The chief of guides, who holds office under the superintendence of the burgomaster, is responsible for the observance of the regulations; and he shall maintain order among the guides, render assistance to travellers, and inform against any infraction of the rules. Guides are forbidden to importune travellers. Civility and sobriety are strictly enjoined, and guides are personally responsible for luggage intrusted to them. Guides are forbidden to ask for gratuities in excess of the regular tariff. The chief of guides has sole right to offer horses to tourists, without, however, dictating their choice," &c.

Having procured our alpenstocks, we follow on over the broad, pleasant road of the first part of the ascent, through the woods, hearing the voices of our fellow-tourists, and now and then catching a glimpse of them, as they zigzag across the hill-side, and beat gradually up its steep height; we begin to come to the little mountain waterfalls, foaming and tumbling over the rocks on their way to feed the lake below; pass through scenery of the character not unlike the commencement of the ascent of Mount Washington, in New Hampshire, until finally we reach a halting-place—"Righi Inn." Bread, cheese—pah! the very smell of it caused all to beat a retreat; and the inevitable Swiss honey, and good French wine, were offered here. Causing a removal of the cheese, we refreshed ourselves with the bread, wine, and honey, and, with renewed vigor, pushed on.

Now the path is more open, we pass little crosses, or praying-places, and can see them at intervals up the mountain; they mark the halting-places of pilgrims to a little chapel above us, known as the chapel of "Our Lady of the Snow;" and their frequency does not argue so much in favor of the endurance of the pilgrims' powers of wind and muscle as it does of their devotion. This little chapel is inhabited by[379] Capuchin monks, was built in 1689, and pilgrimages are generally made to it and Mass celebrated once a year.

After about two hours' climbing we find ourselves at a place called Oberes Dächli, and half way up the ascent; now we leave the woods below, and begin to have a view of huge peaks rising all about us; as we mount still higher, the air grows pure, bracing, and invigorating. Pedestrians think climbing the Alps is pastime, songs are sung with a will, and American songs, especially the choruses, make the guides stare with astonishment.

Hurrah! Here is Righi Staffel, four thousand nine hundred feet above the level of the sea, and a good hour's pull from our last halt; and now our guides lead us out to a sort of bend in the pathway, and we begin to see what we have climbed to enjoy. From this bend, which overhangs, and seems to form, as it were, a sort of proscenium box of the scene, we look down on the grand view below us—Lake Lucerne, Arth, the road we have passed, the mountains swelling blue in the distance.

What beautiful views we have had as we ascended! An attempt at description would be but a series of rhapsodies. Let any one who has seen the view from the Catskill Mountains imagine the scene filled in with eight Swiss lakes shining in the sunlight, dozens of Swiss villages in the valleys, chapels on the mountain-sides, ribbons of rivers sparkling in the distance, the melodious tinkle of cow-bells from the many herds on the mountain-sides below, coming up like the faint notes of a musical box, and the whole framed by a lofty chain of mountain peaks, that seem to rim in the picture in a vast oval. The view changed twenty times in the ascent, and a faint idea may be had of its grandeur and beauty.

"But wait till you reach the Kulm, if you want to see a view," says one, pointing to the tip-top hotel of the mountain, on its great platform above us.

"Will monsieur ride now?"

"Pshaw! No."

[380] The rest of the distance is so short—just up there—that monsieur, though breathless and fatigued, will do no such thing, and so sits down on a broad, flat stone, to look at the view and recover wind for the last brief "spurt," as he thinks; and the guide, with a smile, starts on.

We have learned a lesson of the deceptive appearance of distance in the mountains, for what appeared at most a ten minutes' journey, was a good half hour's vigorous climb before the hotel of Righi-Kulm was gained; and we stood breathless and exhausted in the portico, mentally vowing never to attempt mountain climbing on foot when horses could be had—a vow with which, perhaps, the last portion of the journey over a path made slippery by a shower, making the pedestrian's ascent resemble that of the arithmetical frog in the well, whose retrogression amounted to two thirds of his progression, had something to do—and a vow which, it is unnecessary to say, was not rigidly adhered to.

But Righi-Kulm was gained. Here we were, at a large, well-kept hotel. The rattle of the French, German, Italian, and English tongues tells us that Switzerland has attractions for all nations, and the fame of her natural scenery attracts all to worship at its shrine. A brief rest, after our nearly four hours' journey, and we are called out, one and all, to see the sun set. Forth we went, and mounted on a high, broad platform, a great, flat, table-like cliff, which, when contemplating the scene below, I could liken only to a Titanic sacrificial altar, erected to the Most High, it jutted out so towards heaven, with all the world below it.

But were we to be disappointed in the sunset?

Look! huge clouds are rising; one already veils the sun, its edges crimsoned, and its centre translucent. A moment more and the cloudy veil is torn aside as by the hand of a genie, and as the red rays of the great orb of day blaze into our faces like a huge conflagration, a universal burst of admiration follows at one of the grandest and most magnificent views the eye of man can look upon. The sudden effect of the sunburst revealed a spectacle that was like a vision of the promised land.

[381] We realized now how "distance lends enchantment to the view." That blue atmosphere of distance, that seems to paint everything with its softening finish, is exquisite here. Lake Lucerne was at our very feet, and looked as though we might toss a pebble into it; eight other lakes, calm and still, and looking like polished blue steel plates resting in the landscape, flashed in the sunbeams, the little water-craft like motes upon their surface; silver ribbons of rivers glittered on the bosom of the mountains like necklaces, while villages appeared like pearls scattered on the dark-green carpet below, and we looked right through a great rainbow, "the half of the signet ring of the Almighty," at one, and the landscape about it—a singular and beautiful effect. Villages, lakes, landscapes were seen, as it were, through a river of light in a great panorama of hundreds of miles in extent, forming a view the grandeur and splendor of which it is impossible to describe.

But while we are looking at this wondrous picture, the sun sinks lower, and we raise our gaze to the grand chain of mountains, whose edges are now fringed with fire, or their snow peaks glowing in rose tints, sending back reflections from their blue glaciers, or sparkling in the latent rays.

There rises the great chain of Bernese Alps.

There are mountains—eight, ten, twelve thousand feet into the air. How sharply they are printed against the sky! and how they roll away off towards the horizon in a great billowy swell, till lost in the far distance, the white-topped peak of one tall sentinel just visible, touched by the arrowy beam of the sun that glances from his icy helmet!

Look which way you may, and a new scene of surpassing beauty chains the attention. Here rises rugged old Pilatus, almost from the bosom of Lake Lucerne; beyond Lucerne, the whole canton is spread out to view, with a little river crinkling through it, like a strip of silver bullion thread; away off, at one side, the top of the Cathedral of Zurich catches the eye; down at our very feet, on the lake, is a little speck—Tell's Chapel; right around us rise the Righi group of mountains,[382] green to their summits, and in contrast to the perpetual snow mantles of the distant Bernese. But the sun, which has been like a huge glittering and red, flashing shield, is now only showing a flaming edge of fire behind the apparently tallest peak, making it look like the flame bursting from a volcano; the landscape is deepening in huge shadows, which we can see are cast by the mountains, half obscuring it from view; the blaze is fainter—it is extinguished; a few moments of red, fiery glow where it sank, and anon a great, rushing group of clouds, and the blackness of night closes in, and the fierce rush of the Alpine wind is upon us.

We turned and groped our way back to the house, whose brightly-lighted windows spoke of comfort within; and round the board at the meal, which served alike for dinner and supper, we exhausted the vocabulary of terms of admiration over the grand spectacle we had just witnessed, which seemed worth a journey across the Atlantic to see.

At the supper table, we fraternize with other Americans from different parts of our country; and even the reserved and reticent Englishman finds it pleasant to converse, or address a few words to those he has not been introduced to, it is "so pleasant to talk one's own language, you know." Out in a little sanded sitting-room, where cigars and warming fluids were enjoyed before retiring, the attention of us Americans was attracted to an old and familiar friend, whose unlooked-for presence in this quarter was no less surprising than it was gratifying to our national pride. It was nothing more nor less than a print of Trumbull's well-known picture of the Battle of Bunker Hill, suspended over the mantelpiece. There were General Warren, falling into the arms of the shirt-sleeved soldier, and the British captain, pushing aside the bayonets that were thrust at his prostrate figure. There was Pitcairn, falling backwards from the redoubt, shot dead in the moment of victory by the colored soldier in the foreground. And there was old Putnam, waving his sword over his head at the advancing grenadiers—the very same old picture that every one of us had seen in our histo[383]ries and geographies in school-boy days.

"The thing was neither rich nor rare,
But how the devil it got there,"

away up at the top of one of the Alps, was the wonder.

However, it is not to be wondered at that, after its discovery, the toast of America and Switzerland was drank, with all the honors. Now that the night had come down, we could hear the mountain wind roaring around the house, as if it were clamoring for admittance; but the great dining-hall was full of light and cheerfulness; tourists of different nationalities recounted their adventures in little groups, and the Swiss carved work, which was brought out and spread upon the tables for sale, found many purchasers among those who desired to preserve a memento of their visit to the top of Mount Rhigi.

We were warned to retire early, as all would be roused at four A. M., next morning, to witness a sunrise, which we were assured was infinitely more grand than sunset.

It was easier for me to get to bed than to sleep. The fatigue of the climb, the bracing effect of the atmosphere, the remembrance of the superb panorama, and, besides this, the rush, roar, and whistle of the mountain breeze which rattled at the casement, all served to banish sleep from my eyes till the time arrived when the horn should have sounded for sunrise; but it did not, because of the thick clouds, as I heard from the few restless ones who clattered through the corridors; and so, relieved of the expectancy of the call, I sank into slumber, broken only by morning's light, although thick clouds veiled the god of day from view.

There appeared no prospect of clear weather; and so, after a late breakfast, our horses were ordered, and we began the descent, which, for the first half hour, was damp and cheerless enough, and made the coats and water-proofs we had been thoughtful enough to bring comfortable accessories. But, as we were slowly winding down the mountain, the clouds began to break; the wind had changed; gap after gap was rent in[384] the vapor, which was rolled off at one side in great heaps; the bright blue sky looked through the rifts, and the landscape began to come out in great patches below; away went the clouds; what had seemed a great, dull curtain was broken up into sheets of billowy mist and huge patches of vapor, slowly rolling away in the distance, or heaping up in silvery banks; and below once more came out the blue, quiet lakes, the white villages, and the lovely landscape, while above, even above the clouds themselves, would start great peaks, round which they clung like fleecy garlands.

The rain-drops sparkled on the grass and bushes as I sat on a projecting cliff gazing at the scene, and the train of my companions wound out of sight, their voices growing fainter and fainter, till lost in the distance, and all was silent. There was no song of bird, or chirp of insect—a mountain solitude of stillness unbroken, when just below me came up that peculiar and melodious cry of the Alpine shepherd, "Ye-o-eo-o-leo-leo-leo-ye-ho-le-o," echoing and winding among the mountains, clear and bell-like, as it floated away.

The yodlyn! and this was the first time I had ever heard it in Switzerland.

But listen!

Above where I stand comes a reply, clear and musical, mellowed by distance, the curious falsetto, the "yo-e-ho-o-leo," is returned, and scarcely ceases ere taken up, away across the valley, by an answering voice, so faint in the distance that it quavers like a flute on the ear. And so the herdsmen in these solitudes call and answer one another during their journeyings, or their lonely hours in the mountains.

Now we wind down, through trees, herbage, and wild flowers. Here is an ocean of white and buff garden heliotropes, monkshood, handsome lilac candytuft, and a flower in abundance which very much resembles the Mexican ageratum. Now we come to a broad sort of open field, and a chalet, where we halted, and rested upon rustic seats at the door, while the horses were baited. While we sat here, the officious host branded our Alpine stocks with the names of[385] Goldau and Righi, showing that we had passed those points. At this place, the open field was rich in sweet red-clover, and pretty little flowers, like dwarfed sweet-peas. As we rode on, the air was melodious with the tinkling of the bells of the mountain herds, and the woods and fields rich in wild white roses and numerous other flowers.

At length we reached Kusnacht, on Lake Lucerne; and, embarking on a little steamboat, we glided along past the beautiful slopes of the Righi range, having a fine view of the frowning peak of Pilatus, and some towering snow-clads in the distance. Finally we rounded a point, and there lay Lucerne, in a sort of natural amphitheatre, fronting on the blue lake, and between the Righi and Pilatus on either side. Upon the whole length of the long quay is a broad avenue of shady chestnut trees; then, strung along behind it, are the great hotels; and in the background, running over on the heights above the town, are the walls and watch-towers, the whole forming a most charming and picturesque scene.

The steamer glides up to the stone pier almost opposite to the great hotel, where our rooms had been engaged and luggage forwarded, and in a few minutes more the officious porters have us domiciled in fine apartments in the "Schweizerhoff," where we proceed to remove the stains of travel and mountain climbing, enjoy the luxury of a good bath, and in other ways prepare for the table d'hote.

The Schweizerhoff is a splendid hotel, and, with its dependencies, accommodates some three hundred or more guests. It is admirably kept, the rooms clean, well furnished, and airy, and the front commanding a superb view of the lake, Mount Pilatus, Righi, and a whole range of Alps, green hill-sides, rocky crags, or great snow-clads, running up five, six, seven, and eight thousand feet high. A picture it seemed we could never tire gazing at, as we sat at our windows looking at them, and the blue lake, with its steamboats coming and going, row-boats and pleasure sail-boats gliding hither and thither. In this house is a reading-room for ladie[386]s and gentlemen, with English, French, German, and Italian newspapers, books and magazines, a billiard-room, pretty garden, and great dining-room, with conservatory at one end of it, filled with plants and birds. A fountain in the room spouts and flashes merrily during the dinner hour, and a band of music plays. There are waiters and porters who speak French, German, Italian, and English, and hearing the latter spoken on every side so frequently, seeing so many Americans, and the ladies going through with the usual display of dress and flirtations as at home, it was difficult to imagine that we were not at some Saratoga, or Newport, and that a few hours by rail would not bear us to Boston or New York.

The sights in Lucerne are few and easily seen, the principal attraction being the loveliness of the situation. The River Reuss emerges from the lake at this point, and rushes off at a tremendous rate, and two of the curious old wooden bridges that span it are features of the place; they are roofed over and partially enclosed. In the inner triangular compartments of the roof of the longest are a series of over a hundred pictures, illustrating scenes in the lives of saints and in the history of Switzerland; in the other the Dance of Death is quaintly and rudely depicted; picturesque old places these bridges, cool and shady for a summer afternoon's stroll.

The great attraction in the old cathedral in Lucerne is the fine organ, which all visitors go to hear played; and we strolled in on a quiet summer's evening, after dinner, to listen to it. The slanting beams of the sun gleamed through the stained-glass windows, and lighted up some of the old carved wood reliefs of the stalls in the church, as we took our seats, with some fifty or sixty other tourists, here and there in the body of the house; and soon the music began. First there were two or three hymns, whose pure, simple melody was given with a grace and delicacy that seemed to carry their sacred sentiment to the very heart; from these the performer burst into one of the grandest performances of Mendelssohn's Wedding March I ever listened to. There was the full band,[387] with hautboy, flute, clarinet, and trumpet accompaniment, introducing perfect solo obligatos, and closing with the full, grand sweep of melody, in which, amid the blending of all in one grand harmonious whole, the strains of each were distinguishable, perfect, pure, and faultless. The liquid ripple of the flute, the blare of the trumpet, and the mellow murmur of the clarinet, till the march arose in one grand volume of harmony that made the vaulted arches of the old cathedral ring again, and it seemed as if every nook and corner was filled with exultant melody. It was a glorious performance, and I felt like leaping to my feet, swinging my hat, and shouting, Bravo! when it was finished.

But, if this was glorious, the last piece, which represented a thunder storm amid the Alps, was little short of marvellous, and may be regarded as a masterpiece of organ-playing. It commenced with a beautiful pastoral introduction; this was succeeded by the muttering of distant thunder, the fitful gusts of a gradually rising tempest, the sharp shirr of the wind, and the very rattling and trickling of the rain drops; mountain streams could be heard, rushing, swollen into torrents; the mutter of the tempest increased to a gradual and rising roar of wind; a resistless rush of rain was heard, that made the spectator look anxiously towards church windows, and feel nervous that he had no umbrella. Finally the tremendous tempest of the Alps seemed to shake the great cathedral, the winds howled and shrieked, the rain beat, rushed, and came down in torrents; the roar of the swollen mountain streams was heard between the terrific peals of thunder that reverberated among the mountains, awaking a hundred echoes, and one of those sharp, terrible rattles, that betokens the falling bolt, made more than one lady sit closer to her protector, with an involuntary shudder.

But anon the thunder peals grew less and less frequent, and rolled slowly and grandly off among the mountains, with heavy reverberations, between which the rush of the mountain streams and the rattle of the brooks were heard, till finally the peals of heaven's artillery died away entirely, the[388] streams rushed less fiercely, and the brooks purled over the pebbles. Then, amid the subsiding of the tempest, the notes of a little organ, which had been heard only at intervals during the war of elements, became more clear and distinct: now, as the thunder ceased and the rush of rain was over, you heard it as in some distant convent or chapel among the mountains, and there arose a chant so sweet, so clear, so heavenly as to seem hardly of this earth—a chant of nuns before their altar; anon it increased in volume as tenor, alto, and even the full bass of monkish chant joined, and the whole choir burst into a glorious hymn of praise.

The audience were breathless as they listened to the chant of this invisible choir, whose voices they could distinguish in sweet accord as they arose and blended into a great anthem, and then gradually faded in the distance, as though the meek sisterhood were gliding away amid their cloisters, and the voices of the procession of hooded monks ceased one after the other, as they sought the quiet of their cells. The chant dropped away, voice by voice, into silence; all ceased but the little chapel organ accompaniment, which lingered and quavered, till, like a last trembling seraph breath, it faded away in the still twilight, and—the performance was over.

There was full a moment's spell-bound hush among the listeners after its conclusion, and then followed one universal burst of admiration and applause in half a dozen different languages. Some of the ladies of our party, not dreaming of the wonders of the vox humana stop, desired to see the choir that sang so sweetly; and to gratify them we ascended to the organ gallery, where, to their surprise, we met the sole performer on the wonderful instrument to which they had listened, in the person of an old German, with scattered gray hairs peeping out beneath his velvet skull-cap, wearing black knee-breeches and silk stockings, and shoes with broad buckles—a perfect old virtuoso in appearance, and a genuine musical enthusiast, trembling with pleasure at our praise, and his eyes glistening with tears at our admiration of his marvellous skill.

The lion of Lucerne is, in fact, literally the lion; that is,[389] the celebrated lion sculptured out of the natural rock by the celebrated Danish sculptor Thorwaldsen, in memory of the Swiss guard that were massacred in defence of the Tuileries in 1792. The figure is in a beautiful grotto, a sheet of water, which is fed by springs that trickle out from the stone that it is carved from, separating it from the spectator.

The reclining figure of this dying lion, so familiar to all from pictorial representations, is twenty-eight feet in length, and, as it lies transfixed with the broken lance, and in the agonies of death, sheltering the French shield and fleur de lis with its great paws, forms a most appropriate monument, and one not easily forgotten.

Lake Lucerne, the Lake of the Four Cantons, is the most beautiful in Switzerland, and the grandeur and beauty of the scenery on every side are heightened by the historical associations connected with the country bordering on its waters; for these cantons are the birthplace of Switzerland's freedom, and the scenes of the struggles of William Tell and his brave associates. It was a beautiful summer's morning when we embarked on board one of the little steamers that leave Lucerne four or five times a day, and steamed out from the pier, leaving the long string of hotels, the range of hills above them, with the curious walls and watch-towers, behind us, and grim old Mount Pilatus with his necklace of clouds standing guard over the whole.

We again pass the green slopes of the Righi, and in the distance the great Alpine peaks begin to appear, printed against the sky. Soon we come to Burgenstock, a great forest-clad hill that rises abruptly from the very lake to the height of over three thousand four hundred feet; we pass beautiful slopes rimmed with a background of lofty mountain peaks; here is the picturesque little village of Waggis, from which many make the ascent of the Righi; next we pass a beautiful little crescent-shaped village, and then come in sight two great barren, rocky-looking peaks named Mythen, nearly six thousand feet high; and the boat rounds up to the pier of Brunnen, a lovely situation, where many tourists disembark and others come on board. Shortly after leaving here, we[390] pass a perpendicular rock, nearly a hundred feet high, on which is inscribed, in huge gilt letters, an inscription signifying it is to "Frederick Schiller, the Bard of Tell." Just beyond this a passenger directs our view to a green field, and a few scattered chalets. That is Rutli, what little we can see of it, and where the founders of Swiss liberty met, and bound themselves by oath to free the land from the invader.

The steamer glides close to the shore, and gives us an opportunity of seeing Tell's Chapel, situated upon a rock on the shore, and marking the place where Tell sprang out of Gessler's boat, as is told in the stories of the Swiss hero. Leaving this behind, we soon come in sight of Fluelen, our point of destination, situated in the midst of a surrounding of grand Alpine scenery. Between two great peaks, in full view, we can see a glacier, with its white snow and blue ice, and a great peak, with castle-shaped summit, looms up seventy-five hundred feet, while behind Fluelen rise two other peaks nearly ten thousand feet. We are circled by great Alps, with their snowy crowns and glaciers gleaming in the sunlight.

Landing at Fluelen, we engaged for our party of five a private open carriage, for the journey through St. Gothard Pass, instead of taking the great cumbrous ark of a diligence that was in waiting. By this means we secured a vehicle very much like an open barouche, roomy, comfortable, and specially designed for the journey, with privilege, of course, of stopping when and where we liked, driving fast or slow; in fact, travelling at our own convenience. This is by far the pleasantest way of travelling the mountain passes accessible to carriages, and where a party can be made up of four or five, the expense per head is but a small advance on that charged in the diligence, a dusty, dirty, crowded vehicle, with but few positions commanding the view, which is what the tourist comes to see.

Crack, crack, crack! went the driver's whip, like a succession of pistol-shots, as we rattled out of Fluelen, and, after a pleasant ride of half an hour, rolled into the romantic little village of Altorf, embosomed in a lovely valley, with the[391] huge mountains rising all about it.

Altorf! William Tell! "Men of Altorf!"

Yes; this was the place embalmed in school-boy memories with all that was bold, heroic, brave, and romantic. Here was where William Tell defied Gessler, dashed down his cap from the pole, and appealed to the men of Altorf.

Pleasant little Swiss town. We ride through a narrow street, which widens out into a sort of market-place, at one end of which stands a huge plaster statue of the Swiss liberator, which is said to occupy the very spot that he stood upon when he performed his wondrous feat of archery, and one hundred and fifty paces distant a fountain marks the spot where his son Albert stood awaiting the arrow from his father's bow, though some of the Swiss insist that Albert's position was thirty paces farther, where a tower now stands, upon which some half-obliterated frescoes, representing scenes in Tell's life, are painted.

We descended from our carriage, walked over the space of the arrow flight, and called to each other from the opposite points; pictured to ourselves the crowd of villagers, the fierce soldiery that pressed them back, the anxiety of the father, the twang of the bow, distinctly heard in the awe-struck hush of the assemblage as the arrow sped on its flight, and then the shout that went up as the apple was cleft, and the boy, unhurt, ran to his father's arms.

Away we sped from the town of Altorf, passed a little castle on a height, said to be that of Gessler, and soon emerged on the broad, hard, floor-like road of the St. Gothard Pass; and what pen can describe the grandeur and beauty of this most magnificent of all Alpine passes! One may read descriptions, see engravings, paintings, photographs, or panoramas, and yet get no idea of the grandeur of the spectacle.

There were huge walls of splintered crags, so high that they seemed to be rocky curtains hung down out of the blue heavens. These were mountains, such as I imagined mountains were when a child. We had to look straight up into the sky to see them. Great rocky walls rose almost from the[392] road-side sheer up thousands and thousands of feet. A whole range of peaks is printed against the sky directly before us, half of them glittering with snow and ice. On we rolled over the smooth road, and emerged into a vast oval amphitheatre, as it were, the road passing through the centre, the green slopes the sides, and the huge peaks surrounding the outer barriers that enclosed it. We all stood up in our carriage, with exclamations of admiration at the magnificent scene that suddenly burst upon us.

Just below the broad road we were upon rushed the River Reuss, a foaming torrent. Beyond it, on the opposite side, all the rest of the distance, the whole beautiful valley, and along the green slope of the opposite mountain, for three or four miles, were Swiss chalets, flocks feeding, men and women at work, streams turning water-wheels, romantic waterfalls spattering down in large and small ravines. We could see them starting from their source miles away up among the blue glaciers, where, beneath the sun's beams, they fluttered like little threads of silver, and farther down came into view in great brooks of feathery foam, till they rushed into the river that owed its life to their contributions.

The distance is so enormous, the scenery so grand, that it is beyond description. I was like Gulliver among the Brobdingnagians, and feared I never should get my head down to a level with ordinary mortals again. I discovered, too, how deceptive the distance was among these huge peaks. In attempting to toss a pebble into the stream that flowed apparently thirty or forty feet below the road, and, as I thought, about twenty feet from it, it fell far short. Another and another effort failed to reach it; for it rolled over three hundred feet below, and more than two hundred and fifty from us.

Every variety of mountain peak rose before us against the dark-blue afternoon sky. There were peaks that ran away up into heaven, glittering with snow; old gray crags, splintered, as it were, with thunder-bolts; huge square, throne-like walls, the very throne of Jupiter; mountains that were like great brown castles; and peaks that the blue atmosphere of distance[393] painted with a hundred softened and varied hues.

The reader may fancy himself viewing this scene, if possible, which we saw as we rode over this smooth, well-kept road—at our right a ridge of mountain wall, at our left the great ravine, with the white-foamed torrent rushing over its rocky bed, every mile or so spanned by arched stone bridges. On the other side of the stream were the pretty rural picture of farms, chalets, gardens, herds, and flocks. Every inch of ground that was available was cultivated, and the cultivation runs up the mountain side as far as vegetation can exist. All around the air was filled with the rattle of running water. Rushing torrents leaped from great ravines, little ribbons tumbled down in silver sheets, brooks clattered and flashed as they wound in and out of view on their way to the valley, cascades vaulted over sharp crags, and the sides of this vast amphitheatre were glistening with silvery veins. I counted over twenty waterfalls within one sweep of the eye.

We were surprised into admiration at the state of the road. It is a magnificent specimen of engineering, and, although it is a steady ascent, it is rendered easy and comparatively imperceptible by numerous curves. There are forty-six great curves, or zigzags, in the ascent. The road itself is nearly twenty feet wide, kept in admirable order, free as a floor from the least obstruction, and protected on the side towards the precipice by strong stone posts planted at regular intervals. There are many streets in Boston more difficult of ascent and more dangerous of descent than the road of the St. Gothard Pass.

The magnificent roads in the mountain passes, the fine hotels, the regulations respecting guides, and the care and attention bestowed upon travellers in Switzerland, are all for a purpose; for the Swiss, as I have remarked, live on the travel of foreigners, and are wise enough to know that the more easy and pleasant they make travelling to tourists, the more of them will come, and the more money will be spent. The roads are almost as great a wonder as the scenery. Sometimes, when a spur of the mountain juts out, a tunnel, or ga[394]llery, is cut right through it; and really there is comparatively but very little danger in traversing the Swiss passes, except to those venturesome spirits who persist in attempting to scale almost inaccessible peaks, or ascending Mont Blanc, Mont Rosa, or the dangerous Matterhorn.

As we rode on and on, and up and up, we came to a wild scene that seemed a very chaos—the commencement of creation. We found ourselves in the midst of great black and iron-rust colored crags, five or six thousand feet high, jagged, splintered, and shattered into every variety of shape. The torrent fairly roared hundreds of feet below. I had left the carriage, and was walking some hundreds of yards in advance alone as I entered this tremendous pass. The road hugged the great black rocky wall of the mountain that rose so high as almost to shut out the light. On the opposite side were mountains of solid black rock, not a spear of grass, not a speck of verdure, from base to summit. The great rushing mountain torrent tore, rushed, and leaped madly over the huge boulders that had rolled into its jagged bed, and its fall was all that broke the awful stillness and the gloomy grandeur of the place; for the whole scene, which the eye took in for miles, was lofty masses of everlasting granite, hurled together and cleft asunder as by supernatural means. I could think of nothing like it but Gustave Doré's pictures in Dante's Inferno; and this terrific pass was a good representation of the approach to hell itself. It is astonishing to notice how the scene hushes the visitor into an awe-struck silence; for it seems as if in these wild and awful heights, as on mid-ocean, man stands more immediately in the presence of the Almighty.

The scene culminates at the bridge itself,—appropriately named the Devil's Bridge,—where is a tremendously rapid waterfall pouring down, and where the eye takes in the whole of the black ravine, with the road like a white snake clinging to the precipitous mountain wall. Thirty or forty feet below, also spanning the torrent, are the remains of the old bridge upon which the battle was fought between the French and[395] Austrians—a terrible place, indeed, for a death struggle. The new bridge, over which we crossed, is a splendid structure of granite, and has a single arch of twenty-five feet. Through the mighty ravines we wound upward and onward, on through a great tunnel, fifteen feet high and sixteen feet wide, cut through the solid rock a distance of over two hundred feet, soon after emerging from which we came to a verdant, broad, level pasture, here up among the mountains, a valley surrounded by lofty snow-clads. This is the valley of Uri, and its pleasant verdure, watered by the river which flows through it, is an agreeable contrast to the savage and gloomy grandeur of the scenery we had left behind us. There are only about four months of summer here, and the inhabitants subsist by their herds, and by conveying travellers' baggage and merchandise over to St. Gothard Pass.

We next came to the little village of Andermatt, and just beyond it, at nightfall, reached Hospenthal, fatigued and glad to reach the Meyerhof Hotel, just outside the village. The house, which had accommodations for seventy or eighty guests, was crowded with tourists, among whom was a liberal representation of Americans and Englishmen. In the morning, after discussing a hearty breakfast, we started on our return, having a fine view of the glacier of St. Anna, rising high above the mountain ridges, and glittering in the morning sunshine. We drove back through the same pass, and halted on the Devil's Bridge to watch the waterfall of the Reuss, that leaps and foams down its descent here of a hundred feet, as it passes beneath the bridge, and, looking up, saw the spray of the descending torrent made into beautiful rainbows by the morning sunbeams. There were the terrible masses of rock, the huge, splintered peaks, and tremendous ravines; but the grand effect of ascending in the twilight of afternoon, which is the time chosen, if possible, by tourists, is lost, to a great extent, in the early part of the day.

Once mor[396]e, adieu to Lucerne; and this time we start from the door of the Schweizerhoff in private conveyance for Interlaken, via the Brunig Pass. We rode along for miles over a smooth, level road, on the very banks of the Lake of the Four Cantons, the scenery being a succession of charming pictures of lake and mountain. Our road led us through several Swiss villages, generally closely built, with narrow and irregular streets, and very dirty. The Swiss peasants that we meet are browned and bent with hard toil. Men and women toil alike, in the fields and by the roadside. All are trained to burden-bearing, which is by means of a long basket made to fit the back and shoulders, the top higher than the head. The women over thirty years of age are coarse and masculine, their faces and hands browned, seamed, and wrinkled with toil. They clamber about in the mountain passes, and gather grass for their herds, carrying the burdens in their baskets, or the manure which may be found on the road during the travelling season, or break stones for mending the roads.

The Brunig road was another one of those wonderful specimens of engineering, with not a loose pebble upon its floor-like surface, the scenery romantic and beautiful, but not of so grand a description as the St. Gothard. We wind through the woods, have occasional glimpses of the valley below, until finally, at the summit of the pass, the magnificent scenery of the Meiringen valley bursts upon the view. This is, as it were, a level, beautiful country, deep between two great ranges of mountains, and you stand upon one and look down upon it, and across to the other.

This smiling valley was like a framed picture in the sunshine; the silver River Aare wound through it, white villages were nestled here and there, orchards bloomed, and fields were verdant, sheltered by the high crags from the north wind, and brown roads wound in and out among finely cultivated farms. Directly opposite us, away over the other side of the valley, rose up the sheer, rocky sides of the mountain wall, out of which waterfalls were spurting and cascades dashing in every direction, to feed the stream below. There were the beautiful falls of the Reichenbach, rushi[397]ng over the cliff, and dropping hundreds and hundreds of feet down to the valley. The different waterfalls that we could see at the opposite side of the valley seemed like white, waving wreaths hung upon the mountain-sides. To the rear of these, overtopping all at intervals, lofty snow-clads lifted their white crowns into the sunshine. The view of this lovely valley, with its green pastures, meandering rivers, and picturesque waterfalls; its verdant carpet, dotted with villages, and the whole fringed with a belt of firs and dark green foliage, as we looked down into it from our lofty platform, reminded me of the story of the genius who stamped his foot on the mountain, which was cleft open, and showed in its depths to an astonished peasant the lovely country of the elves and fairies, in contrast with the desolation of the rocky crags and mountains that rose about him.

Down we ride, amid beautiful mountain scenery on every side, and finally through the town of Brienz, where the beautiful wood carving is wrought. We have a good view of the Faulhorn in the distance, pass through two or three little Swiss villages, and finally drive into a beautiful green valley, with quite a New England appearance to the pensions, or boarding-houses, which passed, we come to a string of splendid hotels upon one side of the broad road, the other side being open, and affording an unobstructed view of the Jungfrau and its snowy crown. Fatigued with a ten-hours' ride, and sight-seeing, we drive up to the door of the magnificent Hotel Victoria. Price of the carriage hire, extra horses, driver's fee, horse baiting, and all, for the whole day's journey, fifty francs,—ten dollars, or two dollars apiece,—and a very reasonable price it was considered for private conveyance, première classe, at the height of the travelling season.

The hotels at Interlaken are fine establishments, and well kept. The Victoria, where we were domiciled, has fine grounds in front, and commands a view of the Jungfrau glacier. It contains two hundred and forty rooms, and has reading-rooms, parlors, and music-rooms equal to the hote[398]ls at our fashionable watering-places. Prices high—about two dollars per day, each person. There are numerous other smaller hotels, where the living is equally good, and the prices are less; and still others, known as pensions, where visitors stay for a few weeks or the season, which are very comfortable, and at which prices are half the rate above mentioned.

Interlaken is beautifully and romantically situated, and is a popular resort for tourists in Switzerland, as a place from which many interesting excursions may be made. We chose ours to be up over the Wengernalp to Grindenwald, sending our carriage around from Lauterbrunnen to Grindenwald, to meet us as we came down by the bridle-path to that place. The ride to Lauterbrunnen was the same succession of beautiful Alpine scenery that I have so often described—lofty mountains, cascades, waterfalls, green slopes, distant snow-clads, dark pines, blue distance, Swiss chalets, and picturesque landscape.

Beggars now begin to be a serious nuisance, especially when your carriage stops at different points for you to enjoy the view. Then boys and girls come with milk, plums, apricots, cheap wood carvings, and curious pebbles, to sell, till one gets perfectly nervous at their approach, especially after the halt, the lame, and the blind have besought you; and one fellow capped the climax, as we were enjoying a beautiful view, by gracefully swaying a toy flexible snake into our carriage, to our most intense disgust and indignation. As you progress, women waylay the carriage at the top of a small ascent, which it must approach slowly, and bawl Swiss songs, ending with an outstretched palm, as you reach them. Boys and men, at certain points in the passes, sound Alpine horns,—a wide-mouthed instrument of wood, six feet in length,—which gives out a sonorous but mellow sound, peculiarly musical in the Alpine echoes. The blowers expect that a few sous will be tossed to them, and children chase you with bunches of mountain flowers to sell.

How people manage to exist far up in[399] some of these wild mountain defiles is a wonder; and it seems as though it must be a struggle for some of them to keep soul and body together: they save every bit of herbage, scrape up manure from the roads, cultivate all they can in the short summers, keep goats and cows, and live on travellers.

The Catholic priests have penetrated every pass and defile in the country, and at their little chapels in the Alps and by the roadsides are rude and fearfully rough-looking representations of our Saviour on the cross, and of various saints undergoing all sorts of tortures. Now and then we meet a party of peasants on foot, men and women travelling over the mountain pass from one canton to another, the leader holding a rosary, and all repeating a prayer together, invoking protection from dangers on the road. The priests, with their long black robes and huge hats, you meet all over Europe. We had one—a jolly fellow he was, too—in the same compartment of a railway carriage on one of the Swiss roads, who laughed, joked, had a pleasant chat with the ladies, asking all sorts of questions about America, and at parting, bade us adieu with an air.

As we approached Lauterbrunnen, we rode through the romantic valley of the River Lutschine, which rushes and boils over the rocks at such a rate that the cloudy glacier water has exactly the appearance of soap-suds. Here, on this river's banks, rests the picturesque little village of Lauterbrunnen, which name, we were told, signified springs. The little waterfalls and cascades can be seen flashing out in every direction from the lofty mountains that surround it; but chief among them is the superb and graceful Staubbach, that tumbles down from a lofty cliff nine hundred and twenty-five feet in height. The best view of this beautiful fall is at a point nearly half a mile distant, as the water, which is not of great volume, becomes converted into a shower of mist before reaching the ground, after its lofty leap; but at this point, where we had the best view of it, it was like a wreath of snowy foam, broadening at the base into a million of beautiful scintillations in the sunlight, and the effect of the wind was to sway it hither and thither like a huge strip of snow[400]y lace that had been hung down over the green side of the mountain.

Now we take horses, after leaving the road that runs through Lauterbrunnen. Every half hour reveals to us new wonders of Alpine scenery and beauty; we reach the little village of Wengen, and see great peaks rising all around us; upward and onward, and from our mountain path we can look back and down in the valley of Lauterbrunnen, that we have left far, far below; we see the Staubbach fall dwarfed to a little glittering line, and, above it its other waterfall, of several hundred feet, which was not visible from the valley. But still upward and onward we go, and now come to a long ridge, upon which the bridle-path runs, as it were on the back-bone of the mountain. Here we have a view as grand, as Alpine, as Swiss, as one has ever read about or imagined.

Right across the ravine, which appeared like a deep crevasse, scarcely half a mile wide, was a huge blue wall of ice, seamed with great chasms, rent into great fissures, cold, still, awful, and terrible, with its background of lofty mountains covered with eternal snow. Now we had a view of the Jungfrau in all its majesty, as its snow crest sparkled in the sunshine, twelve thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven feet in height. There were the Silverhorn and the Schneerhorn, springing their lofty peaks out of a vast expanse of snow and ice; a whole chain of gigantic cliffs, so lofty in height that you seem to look up into the very heavens at their peaks of dazzling whiteness; the Shreckhorn, twelve thousand two hundred feet high; the Black Monk, a dark mass of rocks, twelve thousand feet, in striking contrast with the snowy mantles that clothe the other mountains.

Great glaciers, miles in extent, put a chill into the air that makes you shudder. The gap that I thought half a mile wide is a space nearly six times that distance across; we feel dwarfed amid the immensity and stupendous grandeur of the scene, and, as we unconsciously become silent, are struck with the unbroken, awful stillness of the Alps.

We are above the murmur of brooks and the [401]rush of waterfalls; no bird or insect chirrups here; there is not even a bush for the wind to sigh through. Now and then a deep, sonorous murmur, as of the sigh of some laboring gnome in the mountain, or the twang of a gigantic harp-string, breaks the silence for a moment, and then dies away. It is a distant avalanche. We listen. It is gone! and all is still, awful, sublime.

We rode on; the view took in a whole chain of lofty mountains: now we pass great walls of crag, three or four thousand feet high, now looked across the ravine at the great glaciers, commencing with layers of snow and ice, and running out till they became a huge sheet of blue ice, the color deepening till it was blue as vitriol; but we were doomed to pay one of the penalties of sight-seeing in the Alps, for swiftly came a thick cloud, shutting out the whole view, and out of it came a heavy shower, drenching all thoroughly. A quarter of an hour of this, and the cloud had passed on, and we had nearly reached the little Hotel Bellevue, our point of destination, and come in sight of a verdant hill-side, a vast green, sheltered slope, in striking contrast to the ice and snow of the other part of the pass.

Our guides made us first halt, and look at the herd of cattle that were feeding upon it, and then pause, and listen to the tinkle of their bells,—more than three hundred in number,—that sounded like a vast music-box in the Alpine stillness. Then we looked away across the valley, and saw the little village of Mürren, the highest village in Switzerland, five thousand and eighteen feet, on a mountain-side; and finally we reached the hotel on the highest point of the little Scheideck, six thousand two hundred and eighty-four feet (Righi is five thousand five hundred and forty-one feet), and as we approached across the little plat of level ground in front of it, found we had arrived at a "reapers' festival;" and there was quite a gathering of peasants, who assemble here on the first Sunday in August, dressed in the Grindenwald costume, for dancing, wrestling, and other festivities. They had been driven in-doors by the rain; the entry of the little hotel was crowded; and however romantic and picturesque[402] the Swiss mountaineer may look in his national costume in the picture-books, or poetical he and the Swiss maiden may be in songs and ballads, there is an odor of garlic and tobacco about them at close quarters that seriously affects poetic sentimentality.

As the rain had ceased, the peasants once more betook themselves to dancing to the music of a cracked clarinet and a melodeon; and another group got up an extemporaneous fight, two of them tumbling down a dozen or fifteen feet into a gully without injury, while we put the house under contribution for wood for a fire in the best room, and were soon drying our clothes by a blaze of claret-wine boxes. A capital mountain dinner, in which tea, honey, sweet bread, butter, and chamois chops figured, was so much better and cheaper than the soggy doughnuts, indigestible pie, sour bread, and cold beans that used to be set before the traveller at the Tip Top House, Mount Washington, New Hampshire, for the tip top price of one dollar a head, that we could not help drawing the comparison.

A rest and an enjoyment of the grand view of mountain chain, snowy peaks, and vast glaciers that surround us, and we start for the descent to Grindenwald. Grand views we had of the Wetterhorn, the Faulhorn, and the upper and lower glaciers of Grindenwald. We pass where avalanches have torn down the mountain-side, and thrown huge boulders about like pebbles, then over patches of open field, where stunted herbage grows, and Alpine roses redden the ground with their blossoms; then we come to woods, pastures, and peasants, and reach Grindenwald just before nightfall, to find our carriage waiting to take us back to Interlaken, which we reached after an absence of about eleven hours.

Interlaken is a grand depository and mart of the Swiss carved wood work, Alpine crystals, &c.; and grand stores of this merchandise, after the fashion of the "Indian stores" at Niagara Falls, attract the tourist. Some of this carving is very beautifully and artistically done, and some of it is cheap and not worth the trouble of taking away; but it is positiv[403]ely amusing to see how some American travellers will load themselves down with this trash because it is cheap. Some of the smoke crystals and rock crystals, fashioned into sleeve-buttons and watch-seals, were both handsome and low priced.

I strolled into the little shop of an honest old Hebrew from Prague, who had a cheaply-painted little sign, in English, that he sold "Garnets, real Stones," and found that he did not, or had not learned to charge extravagant prices; he spoke English, and was teaching it to his little daughter, from a primer, when we entered, for "English and Americans buy garnet, and must be talk wis." The old fellow's garnets were excellent and cheap, and I soon had sleeve-buttons, and scarf-pin, large pin, and small pin, studs, and the garnet in forms enough to render me ruddy for the next ten years, and was preparing to take my departure, when leaning too heavily upon the little show-case, my elbow went through it with a crash. Here was a chance for damage! To be sure the pane of glass was little larger than a sheet of foolscap; but we must pay what the proprietor charged; and was he not a Jew? Well, this Jew thought two francs would amply reimburse him; but monsieur had been so kind, be could only charge him one.

After being deceived in the Rue de la Paix, cheated on the Boulevards, swindled barefacedly in the Grand Hotel, and humbugged outrageously in the Palais Royal, I rather relished being "Jewed" in this manner; none the less agreeable and satisfactory from its being so un-Christian-like a transaction. Accordingly I hailed two other Americans from the street, men who "bought everything everywhere," one of whom had got one of his trunks so mixed up, and tightly packed with shirts, curiosities, gloves, carved wood-work, stockings, photographs, crystals, boots, guide-books, under clothing, fans, and stereoscopic views, that he denominated it the Chinese puzzle, gave up trying to find his articles of wearing apparel in it, and sent it back to Paris. I hailed these two as they were passing, commended the merchandise and "much kindness in the Jew," and the old fellow, in less [404]than half an hour, felt that he had brought his glittering gems from Prague to some purpose, as many of his best jewels changed places with the gold Napoleons of the Americans.

The little hotel at Giessbach was full when we arrived, although we had telegraphed a day in advance for rooms; and a polite porter met us at the pier, as the boat drew up, with regrets, and commended the "Bear," which was situated in the village of Brienz, opposite, where we could sup, lodge, and breakfast, and row over to see the Giessbach Falls. There was no resource but to go to the Bear, and we went; and after a bad supper, a boat's crew of two men and a woman rowed us back across the lake to Giessbach to see the lime light illumination of the falls. From the landing to the terrace commanding the falls is a good twenty minutes' climb; but in the darkness, preceded by a couple of guides bearing lanterns, there is not much opportunity for a critical examination of the surrounding scenery: however, we determined to revisit it by daylight, and all agreed that the idea of exhibiting a waterfall on a dark night, by means of an illumination, at a franc a head, was an idea worthy a Barnum, or at least the inventive qualities of an American.

We reached the terrace, and there waited in the blackness of night with an expectant group. We could hear the torrent dashing and tumbling down opposite to where we stood, and high above among the cliffs, but our vision failed to penetrate half a dozen yards into the Cimmerian gloom.

Suddenly a little rocket shot out from below us; another, above, with momentary flash revealed a tumbling cascade and the dark green foliage, and then all again was blackness. In a moment or two, however, a bright glare shot out from below, another above it, another and another flashed up, and then from out the blackness, like an illuminated picture, we saw the beautiful fall, a series of seven cascades, leaping and tumbling down amid the verdant foliage, every twig of which stood out in the powerful light, while through the romantic and picturesque ravine poured a mass of foam of molten silver, beneath the colored light, rich, gleaming and dazzl[405]ing. But while we gazed, the hue changed, and purple equal to Tyrian dye for robe of Roman emperor tumbled over purple rocks, and dashed up violet spray into the air. Once more, and the rocks were ingots, the stream was Pactolus itself, the bark on trees at the brink were as if Midas himself had smote them, and the branches bore gold leaf above the yellow current. But it changed again, and a torrent red as ruby gushed over the rocks, the ravine was lighted with a red glare as of a conflagration, and as we gazed on those spurting, tumbling crimson torrents there was something horribly suggestive in the sight.

"Blood, blood! Iago."

But we did not see it long in that light, for the herbage, trees, and foliage were next clothed in an emerald hue, till the ravine looked like a peep into Aladdin's cavern, and the torrent was of that deep green tinge which marks that great bend of the falling water when it pours with such majestic sweep over the crag near Table Rock, at Niagara.

The green faded gradually, the torrent leaped a few moments in paler light, cascade after cascade disappeared; we were again in darkness, and the exhibition was over. Preceded by our lantern-bearers, we gained the boat, and our crew started out into the blackness of the lake for the opposite shore, and for one of the dozen groups of lights that marked the landings.

We were compelled to bear with the "Bear" for one night, but cannot commend it as the "Great Bear" or a planet of much brilliancy; so we bore away from it early in the morning for the opposite shores, again to see the falls by daylight, ere the steamer started on the return trip to Interlaken. The ascent is a series of curves up a delightful, romantic pathway, and when part way up crosses a bridge commanding a view of a portion of the falls; but from the charming terrace near the hotel, the sight of the series of six or seven successive leaps or continuous cascades of the water as it rushes down an impetuous foaming torrent from a height of three to four hundred feet in the mountain wall is magnificent. We sat[406] beneath the trees and enjoyed the sight till the last moment, and saw, by turning towards the lake, that the steamer had left the opposite shore, then reluctantly tore ourselves away from the charming scene, and descended to the pier.

A pleasant sail back to Interlaken, an omnibus ride over to a steamboat landing, and we were once more embarked on another Swiss lake,—Lake Thun,—a beautiful sheet of water ten miles long, a portion of its banks covered with vineyards, and the view of Alps on Alps, in every direction in the distance, most magnificent; there were our old acquaintances, the Jungfrau, Monk, Eiger, and Wetterhorn, also the Faulhorn, and dozens of others, with their pure frosted summits and blue glaciers all around us as we paddled over the little blue lake, till reaching the town of Thun, we stepped into the railway carriage of the Central Swiss Railway, and in an hour were at Berne, at the fine hotel known as the Bernerhoff, which commands a view of the whole line of snow-clad Bernese Alps in one continuous chain in the distance, looking like gigantic ramparts thrown up by Titans. This city is on the River Aare, or, rather, on the high bank above it; for the river is more than a hundred feet below, and that portion of the city towards its bank seems placed, as it were, on a grand terrace for a lookout to the distant mountains.

If the tourist has not previously learned that the Bear is the heraldic emblem of Berne, he will learn that fact before he has been in the city a quarter of an hour. Two granite bears guard the city gates; a shield in the Corn Exchange is upheld by a pair of them, in wood; fountains have their effigy carved upon the top; and in the cathedral square, keeping guard of a large bronze statue of a mounted knight in full armor, Rudolf von Erlach, are four huge fellows, the size of life, in bronze, at the four corners of the pedestal. Then the city government keep a bears' den at the public expense—a huge circular pit, in which three or four living specimens of their tutelar deity solemnly promenade or climb a pole for buns and biscuits from visitors.

Wood-carving can be bought [407]at Berne of very pretty and artistic execution, and the wood-carvers have exhausted their ingenuity in producing groups of bears, engaged in all sorts of occupations. I had no idea what a comical figure this clumsy beast makes when put in such positions. We have stopped at many a shop window and laughed heartily at the comical groups. Here were a party of bears playing at ten-pins: a solemn old Bruin is adding up the score; another, with one foot advanced and the ball poised, is about to make a ten strike, and a bear with body half bent forward watches the effect of the roll. Another group represented a couple at the billiard table, with one, a rakish-looking cub, making a scientific stroke, and his companion, another young "buster," with arm akimbo and cigar in mouth, watching them. There was a group of bear students, all drunk, arm in arm; two old bears meeting and shaking hands on 'Change; whole schools studying, with a master putting the rod upon a refractory bear; and a full orchestra of bears playing on every variety of musical instrument; in fact, bears doing almost everything one had seen men do, and presenting a most irresistibly comic appearance. These figures were all carved from wood, and were from a couple of inches to six inches in height. Scarce any tourist leaves without a bear memento.

The great music-box and carved wood-work stores here are museums in their way. Of course the more elaborate and best wrought specimens of wood-carving command high prices, but nothing like the extortions of the fancy goods stores in America. Berne is a grand place to buy music-boxes in carved wood-work, and cuckoo clocks; some of these contrivances are very ingenious. We visited one great "magasin" near the hotel, where they had photograph albums, with carved wood covers, that played three tunes when you opened them; cigar buffets that performed a polka when you turned out the weed to your guests; work-boxes that went off into quadrilles when you lifted the lid, and tables that performed grand marches when you twisted their drawer-knobs. Every once in a while the cuckoos darted out of one or two of the threescore clocks, of which no two were set alike, bobbed their heads, cuckooed, and went back again with a snap; and[408] there was one clock fashioned like a Swiss chalet, from the door of which at the hour a figure of a little fellow, six inches in height, emerged, and, raising a horn to his mouth, played an air of a minute's duration, and retired. Fatigued, I sank into a chair whose arms were spread invitingly, when I was startled by that well-known air, the Sailor's Hornpipe, going off as if somebody had put a band of music into my coat-tail pocket. Springing to my feet, the music stopped; but as I sat down, away it went again right underneath me. It was a musical chair, and I sat it playing.

We strolled through the curious old streets with the sidewalks under the arcades of the buildings, saw the curious old clock-tower, where, a few minutes before the hour, an automaton cock crows, and then it is struck by a comical figure with a bell and a hammer, while a troop of automaton bears appear, and march around on a wooden platform. An old fellow with an hour-glass turns it over, and the cock concludes the performance by again flapping his wings and crowing.

One of the most delightful places of promenade in the city is the cathedral terrace, a broad, shady walk, three or four hundred feet long and two hundred or more wide. It is one hundred feet above the river, and about ninety above the city street at the base. This terrace commands a fine view of the whole range of distant mountains, and is a favorite resort on summer evenings, where one may enjoy an ice-cream, cigar, cup of coffee, or light wine, and long after the twilight has deepened in the valley, watch the rosy hue that varies its tints upon the shining mountain peaks in the distance.

At the old cathedral we heard a finer and larger organ than that at Lucerne, but an inferior performer, which made even the beautiful harmony that pealed beneath the Gothic arches seem tame in comparison. From Berne by rail, a ride of an hour and a half brought us to Freiburg, where we tarried a few hours to see its great suspension bridges, and hear its great organ. The hotel at which we stopped commanded a fine view of both the bridges, black threads spanning a dee[409]p ravine. Freiburg is upon a steep rocky hill-side, at the base of which winds the river, and extending over the chasm, to the opposite bank, are the graceful and wondrous bridges. The first we crossed was nine hundred and eighty-five feet long, and one hundred and seventy-five feet above the river beneath, and is suspended by four chains of about twelve hundred feet in length. The ends of this great bridge are secured by one hundred and twenty huge anchors, fastened to granite blocks sunk deep into the earth. After crossing, we took a pleasant walk upon the lofty bank opposite, from which we had a good view of the town, with the River Sarine winding close about it. We passed on to some distance above, where the other bridge, known as the Bridge of Gotteron, spanned a romantic rocky ravine; and from the centre of this structure we looked down two hundred and eighty-five feet, into the very streets of a little village directly under us, jammed in between the cliffs. This bridge is seven hundred feet long.

The great organ in Freiburg is said to be one of the finest in Europe, and a little guide-book says it has sixty-seven stops and seven thousand eight hundred pipes, some of them thirty-two feet in length. We heard almost the same programme performed as at Lucerne, and had, therefore, opportunity of comparison. The instrument was not managed with the consummate skill of that at Lucerne, and the vox humana stop was vastly inferior; but in the Storm piece the performer, in addition to the music of the convent organ, faintly heard amid the war of elements, also introduced the pealing of the convent bell, a wonderfully correct imitation; and in the Wedding March the blast of the trumpet was blown with a vigor and naturalness not exceeded even by human lips.

From Freiburg we sped on to Lausanne, and, without stopping in the town, rode down to the little port of the place, Ouchy, on the very bank of the very blue and beautiful Lake Leman, and stopped at the Hotel Beau Rivage. This hotel is another one of those handsome and well-kept hotels, which, from their comfort, elegant surroundings, and many conveni[410]ences, add so much to the tourist's enjoyment. This house is three hundred feet long and five stories high, fronts upon the lake, and has a beautifully laid out garden and park of nearly two acres in front and about it. My fine double room looks out upon the blue lake, with its plying steamboats and its superb background of distant mountains. At the little piers in front of the hotel grounds are row and sail boats for the use of visitors; and some of the former are plying hither and thither, with merry parties of ladies and gentlemen beneath their gay striped awnings. Flowers of every hue bloom in the gardens. A band of eight or ten pieces performs on the promenade balcony in front of the house every evening from six to ten o'clock. There are reading-rooms, parlors, and saloons. The table is excellent, and attention perfect. Prices—for one of the best rooms looking out on the lake, for two persons, eight francs; breakfast, three francs each; dinner, four francs each; service, one franc each; total, for two persons, twenty-one francs, or four dollars and twenty-five cents, gold, per day; and these are the high prices at the height of the season for the best rooms. Reasonable enough here, but which they are fast learning to charge at inferior inns, in other parts of the country, on account of the prodigality of "shoddy" Americans.

The view of Lake Geneva, or Lake Leman, as it is called, is beautiful from Ouchy. The panorama of mountains upon the opposite shore extends as far as the eye can reach, and in the sunset they assume a variety of beautiful hues—red, blue, violet, and rose-color. We have been particularly fortunate in arriving here while the moon is near its full; and the effect of the silver rays on the lake, mountains, and surrounding scenery is beautiful beyond description.

Up in Lausanne we have visited the old cathedral, which is built upon a high terrace, and reached by a dirty, irregular flight of plank steps, about one hundred and seventy-five in number; at any rate, enough to render the climber glad to reach the top of them. From the cathedral terrace we have a view of the tortuous streets of the town, with its pict[411]uresque, irregular piles of buildings, a beautiful view of the blue lake, and the battlements of the distant peaks of Savoy. The cathedral, which is now a Protestant church, is very fine, with its cluster columns supporting the graceful vaulted roof over sixty feet above. It is three hundred and thirty-three feet long and one hundred and forty-three feet in width; and at one end, near where the high altar once stood, we were shown deep marks worn into the stone floor, which the guide averred were worn by the mailed knees of thousands of crusaders, who knelt there, one after the other, as they received the priestly blessing as their army passed through here on its way to do battle with the Saracen, and recover the Holy Sepulchre.

From the Beau Rivage Hotel we took steamer, and sailed along the shore, passing Vevay, with its handsome hotels, the romantic village of Clarens, and finally landing at Villeneuve, rode up to the beautifully situated Hotel Byron. This hotel, although small compared with the others, was admirably kept, and is in one of the most romantic and lovely positions that can be imagined. It is placed upon a broad terrace, a little above the shore, and, being at the very end of the lake, commands an extensive view of both sides, with all lovely and romantic scenery.

There, as we sat beneath the trees, we looked upon the scene, which is just as Byron wrote about it, and as true to the description as if written yesterday. The "clear placid Leman" is as blue as if colored with indigo. There was Jura; there were "the mountains, with their thousand years of snow;" the wide, long lake below; there, at our left, went the swift Rhone, who

"cleaves his way between
Heights which appear as lovers who have parted in hate."

At a little distance we could see

"Clarens, sweet Clarens, birthplace of deep love;"

and[412] there, directly before us, was the "small green isle" that the prisoner of Chillon saw from his dungeon window; and only a quarter of a mile away is the Castle of Chillon itself. Down the dusty road we started to visit this celebrated place, which almost every visitor who has read the poem feels that he is acquainted with.

The castle, which is small, is on a point of land that juts out into the lake, and its whole appearance realizes an imagination of a gloomy old feudal castle, or prison. It was formerly surrounded by the waters of the lake, and is still connected on one side with the land by a drawbridge, and the lake washes up to its very base, seven hundred feet deep, on the other. Something of the romance of the place is taken away by the railway track, within a few rods of the drawbridge, and the shrieking locomotive rushes past the very point where once stood the castle outworks.

The massive, irregular walls of this old castle have five or six towers, with the loopholes and battlements of old times. We crossed the bridge, passed into the old rooms—the Hall of Knights, and the Chamber of Question, where the rack and other instruments of torture were used upon the victims of jealous tyrants. Here we grasped a now useless fragment of old shattered machinery, which had once been bathed with the sweat of agony, as the victim's limbs stretched and cracked beneath the terrible force of the executioner. Here was the huge stone that was fastened to the sufferer's feet when he was hoisted by the wrists to the iron staple above. This was the square chamber in the solid masonry, where the victim's groans were unheard by those without, now transformed into a peaceful storehouse for an old wagon or two, with the sun streaming in at a square opening in the thick wall. But a few steps from here, and we come to the oubliette, the staircase down which the victim made three or four steps, and then went plunging a hundred feet or more into the yawning chasm of blackness upon the jagged rocks, or into the deep waters of the lake below.

But what we all came to see were the dungeons beneath the castle, the scene of Byron's story. These dungeons are several cells, of different sizes, dug out of the roc[413]k upon which the massive arches of the castle seem to rest. The two largest of them are beneath the dining and justice halls. From the latter we were shown a narrow staircase, descending into a little narrow recess, where victims were brought down, and strangled with a rope thrown across an oak beam, which still remains, blackened with age. Near it was another narrow, gloomy cell, said to be that in which the prisoner passed the night previous to execution, and near by the place where thousands of Jews were beheaded in the thirteenth century, on accusation of poisoning the wells, and causing the plague. The gloomy place fairly reeked with horror; its stones seemed cemented with blood, and the very sighing of the summer breeze without was suggestive of the groans of the sufferers who had been tortured and murdered within this terrible prison.

Next we came to the dungeon where

"There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,"

and there are the pillars to which the prisoners were chained, and there is the stone floor, worn by the pacing of the prisoner, as his footsteps, again and again as the weary years went by, described the circuit of his chain. Bonivard's pillar, to which he was chained for six weary years, hearing no sound but the plashing of the waters of the lake without, or the clanking of his own chain, is thickly covered with autographs, carved and cut into it. Conspicuous among them is that of Byron, which looks so fresh and new as to excite suspicion that it has been occasionally deepened, "Old Mortality" like, in order that the record may not be lost.

Here we were, then,

"In Chillon's dungeons, deep and old."

Now every word of Byron's poem, that we had read and heard recited at school, and which made such an impression on our mind when a boy, came back to us.

Which was the pillar the younger brother[414] was chained to?

There was "the crevice in the wall," where the slanting sunbeam came in.

Here was the very iron ring at the base of the huge pillar; there were the barred windows—narrow slits, through which the setting sun streamed, and to which the prisoner climbed to look upon the scene without,—

"to bend
Once more upon the mountains high
The quiet of a loving eye."

I stood, and mused, and dreamed, as my companions passed on, and suddenly started to find myself alone in that terrible place, and, with a shudder, I hurried after the voices, leaving the gloomy dungeon behind me; after which the white-curtained, quiet room of the Hotel Byron seemed a very palace, and the beautiful view of lovely lake and lofty mountain a picture that lent additional charm to liberty and freedom.

Is it to be wondered at that so many people quote Byron at this place? For it is his poetry that has given such a peculiar and nameless charm to it, that if one has a spark of poetic fire in his composition, and sits out amid the flowers and trees, of a pleasant afternoon, looking at the blue lake, the distant, white-walled town, the little isle, with its three trees, that the prisoner saw from his dungeon, and even sees the eagle riding on the blast, up towards the great Jura range,—Jura, that answered,—

"through her misty shroud,
Back to the joyous Alps, that call on her aloud,"—

and follows up his thought by reading part of the third canto of Childe Harold, in which Lake Leman and a thunder storm in the Alps are described, he feels very much like repeating it aloud.

Not having Childe Harold to read, I found relief in quoting those passages that everybody knows, and doing the following bit of inspiration upon the spot:—


Dreams of my youth, my boyhood's castles fair,
That seemed, in later years, but made of air,
Are these the scenes that now my soul entrance,
Scenes hallowed in dim history and romance?
This dark old castle, with its wave-washed wall,
Its ancient drawbridge, and its feudal hall,
Its dreary dungeon, where the sweet sun's ray
Scarce tells the tenant that without 'tis day;
These seven grim pillars of the Gothic mould,
Where weary years the chainéd captive told,
Waited, and wept, and prayed for freedom sweet,
Paced round the dungeon pillar, till his feet
Wore in the floor of rock this time-enduring mark
Of cruelty of men, in ages past and dark.
Glorious Childe Harold! How, in boyhood's age,
Longing I traced that wondrous pilgrimage.
Thine imperishable verse invests these mountains grand
With new glories. Can it be that here I stand
And gaze, as thou, upon the self-same things?
The glassy lake, "the eagle on the blast," who slowly wings
His flight to the gray peaks that lift their crests on high,
In everlasting grandeur to the sky?
There rise the mountain peaks, here shines the lake;
Familiar scenes the beauteous picture make.
The "white-walled, distant town," glassed in the tide,
And on its breast the whiter sails still ride,
As when thine eye swept o'er the lovely view;
Thy glorious fancies and imagination grew
T' immortal verse, and with a nameless charm
Embalmed the scene for ages yet to come.
Others shall, deep in Chillon's dungeon drear,
Muse round th' historic pillars, for 'twas here,
If we accept th' entrancing fable of thy lay,
The brothers pined, and wasted life away.
The guide clanks here the rusted iron ring—
We shudder; "iron is a cankering thing."
Through the rent walls a silver sunbeam flashes;
Faint is the sound of waves that 'gainst them dashes;
There is the window where, with azure wing,
The bright bird perched the prisoner heard sing;
Here, 'neath our very feet, perhaps, the place
The boy, "his mother's image in fair face,"
Was laid. 'Tis but a fable; yet we love to trace
These pictures, hallowed in our youthful dreams,
And think thy lay all truthful as it seems.

We[416] leave Villeneuve, and the pleasant Hotel Byron, with regret, and

"Once more on the deck I stand,
Of my own swift-gliding craft;"

or, in other words, we are again on board one of the pretty little lake steamers, paddling through the blue waters of Lake Geneva. Back we went, past Vevay and Ouchy, with their elegant hotels and gardens; past Clarens, and amid scenes of exquisite and picturesque beauty, for five or six hours, till we reach Geneva, at the other extreme of this lovely sheet of water, about fifty-five miles from Villeneuve. There is nothing very striking in this city to the tourist,—none of those curious old walls, towers, cathedrals, or quaint and antique-looking streets that he finds in so many of the other old European cities. There is a long and splendid row of fine buildings upon the quay on the river bank, elegant jewelry stores and hotels, a few other good streets, and the usual amount of narrow alleys and dirty lanes.

The pleasantest part of the city seen during our brief stay was the fine quays, and the town at that part of the lake where it began to narrow into a river, with the splendid bridge spanning it, and a little island at about the middle of the bridge, or rather just at one side of it, and connecting with it by a pretty suspension bridge. This little island is Rousseau's Island, has his bronze statue, and pleasant shade trees upon it, a charming little promenade and seats, and is an agreeable resort, besides being an admirable point to view the blue lake, the River Rhone emerging from it with arrowy swiftness, and the snowy Mont Blanc chain of mountains in the distance. From the windows of our room in Hotel Ecu de Genève, we look down upon the swiftly-flowing blue tide of the river, upon which, nearly all day, black and white swans float, breasting against the current, and apparently keeping just about in the same place, arching their necks gracefully, and now and then going over to their home on a little isle just above Rousseau's, or coming on shore here and there—popular pets, and well cared for.

The display of jewelry, particularly wat[417]ches and chains, in the splendid shops along the grand quay, is very fine. Geneva is headquarters for watches and chains, and nearly all Americans who mean to buy those articles abroad do so at Geneva, for two reasons; first, because a very good article can be bought there much cheaper than at home; and next, because they are always assured of the quality of the gold. None is sold at any of the shops in Geneva under eighteen carats in fineness. Very handsome enamelled jewelry, of the best workmanship, is also sold in Geneva. Indeed, the quality of the material and the excellence of the workmanship of the Geneva jewelry are obvious even to the uninitiated. In Paris more elaborate designs and a greater variety can be found, but the prices are from fifteen to twenty per cent. higher.

I had always supposed, from a boy, that Geneva was overflowing with musical box manufacturers, from the fact that all I used to see in the stores at home were stamped with the name of that city. Judge of my surprise in finding scarcely any exhibited in the shop windows here. At the hotel a fine large one played in the lower hall, with drum accompaniment, and finding from the dealer's cards beside it that it was intended as a sample of his wares, we went to his factory across the river, where the riddle was explained in the fact that the retail shopkeepers demanded so large a commission for selling, that the music-box makers had refused to send any more to them for sale. This may be a good move for their jobbing trade, but death to the retail trade with foreigners. Berne is the place for music-boxes.

Returning across the long bridge to our hotel, we saw a specimen of Swiss clothes washing, and which in a measure may constitute some of the reasons why some of the inhabitants of this part of the world change their linen so seldom. Beneath a long wooden shed, with its side open to the swift-flowing stream, were a row of stout-armed, red-cheeked women bending over a long wash-board, which extended into the stream before them. Seizing a shirt, they first gave it a swash into the stream; next it was thoroughly daubed with soap, and received other vigorous swashes into the water, and was[418] then drawn forth dripping, moulded into a moist mass, and beaten with a short wooden bludgeon with a will; then come two or three more swashes and a thrashing by the stalwart washerwoman of the garment down upon the hard board before her with a vigor that makes the buttons spatter out into the stream like a charge of bird shot. After witnessing this, I accounted for the recent transformation of a new linen garment by one washing into a mass of rags and button splinters. This style of washing may be avoided to some extent by particular direction, but the gloss or glazing which the American laundries put upon shirt fronts seems to be unknown on the continent.

The sun beat down fiercely as we started out of Geneva,—one of the hottest places in Switzerland I really believe,—and for fifteen miles or so its rays poured down pitilessly upon the unshaded road. Grateful indeed was a verdant little valley, bounded by lofty mountains, and the cliff road shaded with woods, that we next reached, and rattled through a place called Cluses; and going over a bridge spanning the River Arve, we entered a great rocky gorge, and again began to feel the cold breath of the mountains, and come in sight of grand Alpine ranges, snowy peaks, and rushing waterfalls. Finally we reach Sallanches. Here we have a fine view of the white and dazzling peaks of Mont Blanc towering into the blue sky, apparently within two or three miles from where we stand, but which our driver tells us are nearly fifteen miles away.

Again we are in the midst of the magnificent scenery of the great mountain passes, verdant and beautiful slopes, gray splintered peaks, huge mountain walls, wild picturesque crags, waterfalls dashing down the mountain sides far and near, the whole air musical with their rush; and the breath of the Alps was pure, fresh, and invigorating as cordial to the lungs.

We that a few hours ago were limp, wilted, and moist specimens of humanity, were now bright, cheery, and animated; we quoted poetry, laughed, sang, and exhausted our[419] terms of admiration at the great rocky peaks that seemed almost lost in the heavens, or the fir-clad mountain side that jutted its dark fringe sharply against the afternoon sky. Beyond, as ever, rose the pure frosted peaks, and as they glowed and sparkled, and finally grew rose-colored and pink in the sunset, it became almost like a dream of enchantment, that darkness gradually blotted out from view.

We had started from Geneva with coat and vest thrown aside for a linen duster; we descended into the valley of Chamouny with coat and vest replaced, and covered with a substantial surtout. As we came down to the village, the driver pointed out to us what looked like a great blue steel shield, thousands of feet up in the heavens, hanging sharply out from the dome of impenetrable blackness above, and shining in a mysterious light. It was the first beams of the rising moon, as yet invisible, striking upon the clear, blue ice of a great glacier far above us. It gradually came more distinctly into view, flashing out in cold, icy splendor, as the moon began to frost the opposite mountain, from behind which it seemed to climb into the heavens with a fringe of pale silver. We had expressed disappointment at not being able to enter Chamouny by daylight, but found some compensation in the novel scene of moonlight upon these vast fields of ice, with their sharp points rising up like the marshalled spears of an army of Titans, glittering in the moonlight, or stretching away in other directions in great sheets of blue ice, or ghostly snow shrouds in the dark distance. We reached the Hotel Royal at nine and a half P. M., thoroughly tired with our eleven hours' ride.

Fatigued with travel, I certainly felt no inclination to rise early the next morning; and so, when a sonorous cow-bell passed, slowly sounding beneath our window at about four and a half A. M., I mentally anathematized the wearer, and composed myself for a renewal of sleep. Scarce comfortably settled ere another cow-bell, with a more spiteful clang, was heard approaching; clank, clink, clank, clink, like the chain about a walking ghost, it neared the window at the[420] foot of my couch, passed, and faded off into the distance. That's gone; but what is this distant tinkle? Can it be there is sleighing here, and this is a party returning home? Tinkle, jinkle, tinkle, tinkle—there they come!

"Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open"—the curtain, looked out through the sash,—
"When what to my wondering eyes should appear

a procession of goats being driven to pasture by a girl in the gray light of the morning! With an ejaculation more fervid than elegant, the couch was sought again; but it was of no avail; a new campanologian company was heard approaching with differently toned instruments of torture; this was in turn succeeded by another, till it seemed as if every note in the bell-ringing gamut had been sounded, and every contrivance, from a church to a tea bell, had been rung.

After half an hour of this torture, flesh and blood could endure it no longer, and I went once more to the window, to find that beneath it ran the path by which the goats and cattle of the whole district were driven to pasture, and, casting my eyes upwards, saw the gorgeous spectacle of sunrise on Mont Blanc, whose glistening peaks were in full view. Half an hour's admiration of this spectacle was enough for one not clad for the occasion, and having made the discovery that the cows and goats were all driven to pasture before half past six A. M., we took our revenge in two hours of tired nature's sweet restorer after that time, before discussing breakfast and topographically examining Chamouny.

Chamouny appears to be a village of eight or ten hotels, a church or two, and a collection of peasants' huts and poor Swiss houses, surrounded on all sides by the grandest and most sublime scenery ever looked upon. It seems to be a grand central point in Switzerland for the tourists of all nations. The great hotels are full, their table d'hotes are noisy with the clatter of tongues of half a dozen nationalities, and gay with the fashions of Paris. The principal portion of the[421] inhabitants are either employés of the hotels; or guides, and these Chamouny guides are the best, most honest, and most reliable of their craft in Europe. They are formed into a regular association, and bound by very strict rules, such as not being permitted to guide until of a certain age, not to take the lead till after a certain amount of experience; and absolute honesty and temperance being requisite for the service. Indeed, I find that some consider honesty a characteristic of the Swiss in this region; for upon my remonstrating with a fellow-tourist, an old traveller, for leaving his watch and chain exposed upon his dressing-table during his absence from his room at the hotel, he replied there was no danger, as the attendants in the wing of the house he occupied were all Swiss, and no English, French, or Americans ever came there. To be a guide upon the excursions from Chamouny requires a man of very steady habits, and of unquestionable skill and endurance; and all of these men that we saw appeared so. They are very jealous also of their reputation, and never allow it to be injured by incompetency, dishonesty, or any species of imposition upon travellers.

Here we are in the midst of Alps, a whole panorama of them in full view on every side. The River Arve, a dark-colored stream fresh from the glaciers, roars and rushes through the valley into which Chamouny seems sunk. Above us are great mountains with snowy peaks; great mountains with dark-green pines at their base, and splintered, gray, needle-like points; glittering glaciers, like frozen rivers, can be seen coming down through great ravines; waterfalls are on the mountain-sides; and towering up like a gigantic dome, the vastness and awful sublimity of which is indescribable, is Mont Blanc, which the lover of grand mountain scenery will pause and gaze at, again and again, in silent awe and admiration. But whither shall we go? There are dozens of excursions that may be made. Looking across a level pasture of the valley from our window, we see a waterfall leaping down the mountain. An easy path to it is visible, and we make a little excursion, in the forenoon, to the F[422]alls of Blatière, just to get used to climbing; for at two P. M. mules were at the door, with trusty guides at their heads, and away we started for the ascent of the Flegère, a height on the spur of one of the mountains, commanding a fine view of the Mer de Glace and Glacier des Bois, which are directly opposite. The ascent of this occupied some three hours, and the path reminds one very much of the ascent of Mount Washington, New Hampshire, although the distant scenery is of course incomparably more grand. We went through woods, and over rocks, across stony slopes, and up zigzags, until finally we reached the Cross of Flegère, the point of view.

From this perch we looked right over across on to the Mer de Glace, where it gushed out like a great frozen torrent around the Montanvert, and the Glacier des Bois, another silent ice torrent, that flowed out of it. At our right, far down, five thousand feet below, rested Chamouny, with the cloudy Arve running beside it. Away off to the left were a number of needle-like peaks, with vast snow-fields between them; and nearly in front of us, a little to the left, rose the sharp, jagged points about the Aiguille Verte, and a right lofty needle it was, its point piercing the air to the height of twelve thousand five hundred feet; and then there were the Red Needles, and the Middle Needles, and, in fact, a whole chain of peaks of the range—the best view we have had yet, including, of course, the grand old snowy sovereign, Mont Blanc, at the right, overtopping all the rest.

An hour was spent gazing upon this magnificent scene; after which we began the descent, which was made in about an hour and a quarter, bringing us to the hotel door at seven P. M. Our leading guide we discovered to be an experienced one, of many years' service, who had guided Louis Napoleon, on his visit here in 1861, soon after Savoy was annexed to France—a service of which he was quite proud, as the emperor held his hand during his excursion to the centre of the Mer de Glace (always necessary for safety); he was also interested in the American war of the rebellion, and, l[423]ike all the Swiss who know enough to read, was strong on the Union side of the question. Being an old soldier, the song of "Tramp, tramp, the boys are marching," had especial charms for him, and he called for a repetition of the "Glory, glory, hallelujah" chorus, till he had mastered the words himself, from a young Union officer of our party. Of course we were glad to engage our cheerful vieux moustache for our excursion on the morrow to the Montanvert and Mer de Glace. In the evening we were called out to see the lights of a party at the Grand Mulets, where they had halted for the night, preparatory to completing the ascent of Mont Blanc. The sight of the little twinkling flame, away up in the darkness, I confess, awakened no desire in my mind to make the ascent; and I fully agree with one of the guide-books, which says it cannot conceive why people will undergo the trial and fatigue of the ascent, when they can risk their lives in a balloon for one half of the expense.

Next morning we started with guides, and on muleback, for the Montanvert, directly opposite the Flegère, the scene of our ascent the day before, twenty minutes' ride across the meadow, and by the river side; and then we began to ascend the mountain, through romantic pine woods, and by a zigzag pathway upon the brow of the mountain, crossing, occasionally, the deep channel of an avalanche, or an earth-slide, and getting occasional glimpses of the valley below or the mountain opposite, till, after a three hours' climb, we stand upon a rugged crag, overlooking the tremendous and awful sea of ice, and the huge mountains that enclose it.

This great petrified or frozen stream, between its precipitous banks, seemed more like a mass of dirty snow or dingy plaster than ice. Looking far up into the gorge between the mountains, we could see where the ice and snow looked purer and more glistening than that directly beneath us. Indeed, we began to imagine that the terrors of the passage, told by travellers and letter-writers, were pure fables; and, to some extent, they are; and a marked instance of magnifying the dangers is shown in the account of Miss Frederika[424] Bremer's experience, quoted in Harper's Guide-Book, which, to any one of ordinary nerves, who has recently made the passage, appears to be a most ridiculous piece of affectation.

We descended the rocky sides of the cliff, seamed and creased by the ice-flood, and stood upon the great glacier. At first, near the shore, it seemed like a mixture of dirty snow and ice, such as is frozen in a country road after a thaw, and its surface but slightly irregular, and but little trouble to be anticipated in crossing; but as we advanced far into its centre, we began to realize more forcibly the appropriateness of the title given to this great ice-field. On every side of us were frozen billows, sharp, upheaved points, great spires of ice, congealed waves, as if a mighty torrent were tumbling down this great ravine, and had been suddenly arrested by the wand of the ice-king in mid career. We came to crevasses,—broad splits,—revealing the clear, clean, blue ice, as we looked hundreds of feet down into them. We crossed and passed some of them on narrow ice-bridges, not more than two or three feet wide, where notched steps were cut for us by the forward guide's hatchet, and we held the firm grasp of one before and one behind, to guard against a slip, which might have been fatal.

We passed little pools, which were melted into the bosom of this silent field, and now and then a huge piece of rock in the midst of a pellucid pool, which had been borne along upon the surface of this slow-moving stream since it fell from the mountain-side, and gradually sank by its weight, and the action of the sun. Midway, we were bidden to halt and look away up the ravine, and see the frozen stream that was coming tumbling down towards us. There was genuine ice enough now—waves, mounds, peaks, hillocks, great blue sheets, and foaming masses. It sparkled like silver beneath the sunbeams between the dark framework of the two mountains on either side. We stopped talking. Not a sound was heard. The stillness was as profound as the hush preceding a thunder storm; and, as we listened, the crash of a great boulder that had become loosed by the slow-moving[425] torrent, falling into a crevasse from its brink, echoed for a moment in the solitude, and all was still again.

The sure-footed guides, with their iron-spiked shoes, led us on. The ladies were a trifle nervous as we passed one or two of the narrower ice-bridges; but on the route we crossed there were not above three or four such, and the whole passage was made in less than an hour. Arrived at the other side, we clambered up the cliff, and began our descent. I should have remarked, that we sent back the mules from Montanvert, to meet us upon our descent on the other side of the Mer de Glace, on foot, by the way of the Mauvais Pas, a tiresome, but most interesting tramp of three or four miles, over rugged rocks and rough pathways, but such a one as gives real zest to Alpine journeys, from its exciting scenes.

We now entered upon the celebrated Mauvais Pas. I had read so much, from youth upwards, about the dangers of this pass, that I began to wonder if we had done right in bringing ladies, and how we should get around that sharp projection of the cliff; where a traveller is said to be obliged to hold on to the face of the rock, and stretch his leg around the projecting cliff, and feel for a foothold, the guides guarding him from a slip out into empty space, by standing, one on each side of the projection, and forming an outside hand-rail, by holding each end of an alpenstock. Was not this the pass where the Swiss hunter met the chamois, and, finding that neither could turn backward, had lain down and let the herd jump over him?

But how these travellers' tales and sublime exaggerations vanish as one approaches them! The Mauvais Pas may have been très mauvais many years ago; but either its dangers have been greatly exaggerated, or the hand of improvement has rendered it pas mauvais at present. It is a series of steps, hewn for some distance along the rocky side of the mountain. These steps are about three feet in width from the face of the cliff, into which a strong iron rail is fastened, by which the traveller may hold on, the whole distance.[426] The outer edge is unprotected, and, at some points, it must be confessed, it is an ugly look to glance down the tremendous heights to the jagged rocks below, that form the shores of the icy sea; but in some of the more dangerous places, modern improvement has provided an additional safeguard in an outer rail, so that the danger is but trifling to persons of ordinary nerve.

Finally, we reach the end of this narrow pathway, and find ourselves at a small house on a jutting precipice, called the Chapeau; and here we pause and breathe a while, buy beer, Swiss bread and honey, curious Alpine crystals, &c., and enjoy another one of those wondrous Alpine views which, once seen, live in memory forever as a scene of sublime beauty and grandeur.

They call all the mountain peaks needles here. There were the Aiguilles de Charmoz, ten thousand two hundred feet high, and ever so many other "aiguilles," whose names I have not noted. As we looked down here upon the glacier, it seemed to be more broken and upheaved; it rose into huge, sharp, icicle-pointed waves, rent in every direction by large cracks and fissures; the great pointed pinnacles and upheavals assumed as curious appearances as the frost-work upon a window; there were a procession of monks, the pinnacles of a Gothic cathedral, and the ruins of a temple. It is here that the Mer de Glace begins to debouche into the Glacier des Bois, which, in turn, runs down into the Chamouny valley, and from which runs the Arveiron; in fact, the end of this glacier is the river's source.

Down we go through the woods, and finally strike upon a rocky, rugged path, on through a mass of miles of pulverized rock, fragments of boulders, stone chips, and the rocky debris of ages, which has been brought down by the tremendous grinding of the slow-moving glaciers, till we reach a valley covered with the moraine in front of the great ice arches of the Glacier des Bois, out of which rushes the river. Of course here was a wooden hut, with Swiss crystals, carved work, and a fee of a franc, if we would like to go unde[427]r the glacier. There had been a winding cavern hewed into this great ice wall, and planks laid along into it for two hundred feet or more, and, with umbrellas to protect us, the author and two other gentlemen started for this ice grotto, about a hundred rods distant.

Arrived near its mouth, we beheld, on one side, the river, rushing out from under a great natural ice arch, fifty feet in height, the glacier here appearing to be about one hundred feet in height; the stream came out with a force and vigor, gained, doubtless, from running a long distance beneath the ice before it came out into the daylight. The ice grotto, which has been hollowed out for visitors, is eight or ten feet high, and the guide, who goes on before, lights it up with numerous candles, placed at intervals, causing the clear, deep-blue ice to resemble walls of polished steel; but the thought suggested by one visitor when we had reached the farthermost extremity, "What if the arches overhead should give way beneath the pressure?" did not incline us to protract our stay in its chilly recesses; so, returning to the chalet, where our mules were waiting, that had been sent round and down from the Montanvert, we completed the day's laborious excursion by an hour's ride back to the hotel at Chamouny.

Now good by to Chamouny, and away to the Tête Noir Pass, on our way to Martigny. Starting at eight o'clock A. M., a vehicle carried us to Argentière, about two hours' ride, where mules were found in waiting, by the aid of which the rest of the journey, occupying the remainder of the day, was made, though why the road of this pass is not laid out like others, as a carriage road, I am at a loss to comprehend, unless it be that the fees for mules and guides are too profitable a source of income to be easily relinquished. Indeed, a large portion of the pass, in its present condition, could be traversed safely by a one-horse vehicle—some improvement over the tedious muleback ride of a whole day's duration.

The road [428]is romantic, pleasant, and picturesque, with deep gorges, dark pine-clad mountains, crags, and waterfalls. Invigorated by the fresh mountain air, we left our mules to follow in the train with the guides and ladies, and, alpenstock in hand, trudged forward on foot, keeping in advance by short cuts, and having an infinitely better opportunity, under the guidance of a tourist who had been over the route, of enjoying the scenery. We passed two or three waterfalls, walked over a spot noted as being swept by avalanches in the early spring, where was a cross in memory of a young count and two guides who fell beneath one: the guides say, when the avalanche is heard approaching, it is already too late to think of escaping, so swift is its career, and nothing but the hand of Providence will save the traveller from destruction.

Our path carried us through a wild, stony ravine, with great mountains on either side, and the inevitable river in the centre, rushing and foaming over the rocks. Then we went up and over a beautiful mountain path, commanding fine views of the distant mountains, with deep gorges below, then wound round the base of the Tête Noir Mountain and through the woods, and a tunnel, pierced through a rocky spur of the mountain, that jutted out upon the pass. We saw away across, from one point on our journey, the wild-looking road that was the route to the Pass of the Great St. Bernard, and at another, looked far down into the valley, where we could see the River Trient rushing and tumbling on its course. We soon came to a point, before commencing our descent, which commanded a view of the Rhone valley as far as Sion, spread out, seemingly, as flat as a carpet, with the river meandering through its entire length, the white chalets and brown roads looking rather hot in the blaze of the afternoon sunlight. The view of this valley—what little we saw of it—is far better at this distance than when one reaches its tumble-down towns and poor inhabitants.

We went down a pleasant descent, past orchards and farm-houses, till we reached Martigny, where we had supper, and were nearly devoured by mosquitos, so that at nine P. M. we were glad to take the railway train. How odd it seemed to be rattling over a railroad, in a comfortable railway[429] carriage, after our mountain experiences! The train, at quarter past ten o'clock, landed us at Sion, where we took up our quarters at the Hotel de la Poste, an Italian inn, with an obsequious little French landlord, who was continually bowing, and rubbing his hands, as if washing them with invisible soap, and saying, "Oui, monsieur," to every question that was asked him, and withal looking so like the old French teacher of my boyhood's days, that it seemed as though it must be the old fellow, who had stopped growing old, and been transported here by some mysterious means.

The fifteen-mile mountain tramp I had made, and the day's journey, as a whole, caused the not very comfortable beds of the hotel to seem luxurious couches soon after arrival, and we therefore deferred interviews with Italian drivers, a crowd of whom were in attendance from Stressa, via the Simplon Road, and who were anxious to open negotiations, till the next morning, notwithstanding their assertions that they might be engaged and gone when we should come down to breakfast, and that we should, therefore, lose the magnificent opportunities they were offering.

We were fortunate in having the company of a gentleman who had frequently been over this route, and fully understood the modus operandi of making contracts with Italian post drivers, as will be seen. It seems that there are often drivers here at Sion who have driven parties from Stressa (via the Simplon) who desire to get a freight back, and with whom the tourist, if he understands matters, can make a very reasonable contract, as they prefer to take a party back at a low rate, rather than to wait long at an expense, or return with empty vehicles. If there be more than one (as in our case) of these waiting post drivers, there is likely to be a competition among them, which of course results to the tourist's advantage.

Therefore, after breakfast, instead of "having been engaged and gone," we found two or three anxious drivers, who jabbered with all their might about the merits of their respective vehicles and themselves, and were anxious to be engaged. The price mentioned as bon marché at first was fou[430]r hundred francs for our whole party of seven for the three days' journey over the Simplon Pass to Lake Maggiore; and really, I thought it was, and had I been the negotiator for the party, should have closed; but not so he who acted for us—acted in more senses than one; for when this price was named, he gave the true French deprecatory shrug of the shoulders, filled his pipe, and sat down on the hotel portico to smoke. Ere long he was waited upon by driver number two, who represented that three hundred and fifty francs would induce him to take the party, "if monsieur would start to-day." Smoker only elevated his eyebrows, and thought if he "waited a few days there would be more carriages here."

In fifteen minutes the price was down to three hundred francs—no anxiety on the part of monsieur to close.

A smart young driver, whose team had been "eating their heads off" for three days, proposed two hundred and twenty francs, and to pay all expenses, except our own hotel bills; and monsieur concluded to accept him, putting the agreement, to prevent mistakes, in writing, which is necessary with the Italian drivers. The contract was duly signed.

"When would monsieur's party be ready?"

"In fifteen minutes;" and the calm, indifferent smoker, to the driver's surprise, became a lithe, elastic American, driving half a dozen servants nearly crazy by hurrying them down with the luggage, mustering the whole party with explanations of the necessity of starting at once, and helping the landlord's major-domo make out the bills, without giving any opportunity of getting in extras that we didn't have.

He shouted in Italian at the driver, who, with the stable-helpers, was putting in the horses, jabbered in French with the hotel servants, and in half an hour we were seated in the vehicle, with the luggage strapped on behind, and the old landlord and the waiters and porters bowing at the door, as we started, amid a volley of whip smacks, sounding like the firing of a bunch of Chinese crackers.

These post drivers are marvellously sk[431]ilful at whip-snapping. They can almost crack out a tune with their whips, and they make a noise consistent with their ideas of the importance of their freight, or perhaps as a signal to the landlords that especial attention is required, as distinguished foreigners are coming; for, as they approached hotels, or drove into their court-yards, it was always with eight or a dozen pistol-like cracks in succession that brought out a bowing landlord and string of servants, who formed a double line from the carriage to the door, welcoming the tourist in with great deference and politeness. On the road the whip-cracks admonish all peasants, donkey-carts, and market-wagons to sheer off, and allow monsieur's carriage to pass; and, as he enters a little village, the fusillade from his lash brings half the population to the doors and windows.

Our first day's journey, after leaving Sion, was through the Rhone Valley—rather a hot ride, and tame and uninteresting after the grand views we had been enjoying. We passed Sierre on a hill-side, rattled over a bridge across the Rhone, having a view of pleasantly-wooded hills near at hand, and the great mountains in the background; then passed two or three other villages, and finally halted at a place called Tourtemagne for dinner. After this we pushed on, went past Visp, and in the afternoon trotted into Brieg, where, with a view to a good night's rest before the morrow's journey, we stopped for the night. After tea we had a magnificent view of sunset upon the lofty snow-clads above us, which fairly glowed in a halo of rose-pink—a beautiful and indescribable effect. Far away up on one of the mountain sides we were pointed to the road over which we were to journey on the morrow. After an early breakfast we started off with the usual fusillade of whip-cracks, and were soon upon the famous Simplon Road.

This magnificent road is one of the wonders of the old world. Its cost must have been enormous, and the cost of keeping it in such splendid condition very large, owing to the injury it must inevitably sustain from storms and avalanches during the winter season. The cost of the road is said to have averaged over three thousand pounds sterling per mile.[432] The splendid engineering excites admiration from even the inexperienced in those matters. You go sometimes right up the very face of a steep mountain, that would seem to have originally been almost inaccessible, by means of a series of zigzags. Then again the road winds round a huge mountain wall, thousands of feet high on one side, with a yawning ravine thousands of feet deep on the other. Long tunnels pierce through the very heart of mountains. Bridges span dizzy heights and mad torrents. Great galleries, or shelters, protect some parts of the road, which are suspended midway up the mountain, from the avalanches which ever and anon thunder down from above. At one place, where a great a roaring cataract comes down, the road is conducted safely under the sheet, which scatters but a few drops of spray upon it, except the covered portion, as it leaps clear over the passage, and plunges into the deep abyss below, a mass of thundering foam.

This part of the road, we were told, although it was a section not six hundred feet long, was one of the most difficult to construct, and required the labor of a hundred men for over a year and a half before it could be completed, it being necessary in some places to suspend the workmen by ropes from above, until a platform and a footing could be built. And, indeed, standing there with the torrent roaring above, and leaping clear over our heads away down into that rocky gorge, the clean, broad road the only foothold about there, we could only wonder at human skill, perseverance, and ingenuity in overcoming natural obstacles. From the great glaciers far above the Kaltwasser come several other rushing cascades, one of which, as you approach, seems as if it would drop directly upon the road itself, but hits just short of it, and plunges directly under, so that you can stand on the arched bridge, and look right at it, as it comes leaping fiercely to wards you.

Murray gives the bridges, great and small, on this wonderful road between Brieg and Sesto as "six hundred and eleven, in addition to the far more vast and costly constructions, such as terraces of massive masonry, miles in le[433]ngth, ten galleries, either cut out of the living rock or built of solid stone, twenty houses of refuge to shelter travellers, and lodge the laborers constantly employed in taking care of the road. Its breadth is throughout at least twenty-five feet, in some places thirty feet, and the average slope nowhere exceeds six inches in six feet and a half."

After emerging from the Kaltwasser Glacier Gallery, we had a superb view of the Rhone Valley, with Brieg, which we had left in the morning, directly beneath us, while away across the valley, distinctly visible in the clear atmosphere, rose the Bernese Alps, with the Breithorn, and Aletshorn, and the great Aletsch Glacier distinctly visible. At the highest point of the pass is the Hospice, over six thousand two hundred feet above the level of the sea; and here we halted for a lunch, and then trudged on in advance, leaving the carriage and ladies to overtake us—enjoying the wild scenery of distant snow-capped mountains, great glaciers, with cascades pouring from their ruffled edges to the green valleys that were far below.

Soon after passing the little village of Simplon, we came to the never-to-be-forgotten ravine of Gondo, one of the wildest, grandest, and most magnificent gorges in the whole Alps. The ravine, as you proceed, grows narrower and narrower, with its huge, lofty walls of rock rising on either side. The furious River Diveria rushes through it like a regiment of white-plumed cavalry at full gallop, and its thundering roar is not unlike the tremendous rush of their thousand hoof-beats, as it goes up between these massy barriers. The gorge narrows till there is nought but road and river, with the black crags jutting out over the pathway, and we come to a huge black mass that seems a barrier directly across it; but through this the determined engineers have bored a great gallery, and we ride through a tunnel of six hundred and eighty-three feet in length, to emerge upon a new surprise, and a scene which called forth a shout of admiration from every one of us.

As we emerged from this dark, rocky grotto, we beheld th[434]e towering masses of rock on either side, like great walls of granite upholding, the blue masonry of heaven, that seemed bent like a vaulted arch above; and from one side, right at our very path, coming from far above with a roar like thunder, leaped a mass of foam, like a huge cascade of snowy ostrich plumes—the Fressinone Waterfall, which tossed its fine, scintillating spray upon the slender bridge that spanned the gorge, while the roaring cataract itself passed beneath, striking sixty or eighty feet below upon the black rocks. It is a magnificent cascade, and prepared us for the grandeur of the great gorge of Gondo, with its huge walls of rock rising two thousand feet high, which seemed, when we were hemmed in to their prison walls of black granite, as though there was no possible way out, except upwards to the strip of sky that roofed the narrow ravine.

Other cascades and waterfalls we saw, but none like the magnificent Fressinone, with the graceful and apparently slender-arched bridge, that almost trembled beneath its rush as we stood upon it—the huge rocky walls towering to heaven, the black entrance to the tunnel just beyond, looking, in the midst of this wild scene of terrific grandeur, like the cavern of some powerful enchanter—the wild, deep gorge, with the foaming waters swiftly gliding away in masses of tumbling foam far below, and all the surroundings so grand and picturesque as to make it no wonder that it is a favorite study for artists, as one of the most spirited of Alpine pictures.

We passed the granite pillar that marked the boundary line, and were in Italy; and soon after at the mountain custom-house and inn, where we were to dine. The officials are very polite, make scarce any examination whatever of the luggage of tourists; and our trunks remained undisturbed on the travelling carriage while we dined.

Now we begin to ride towards the valley, and soon begin to have Italian views of sunny landscape and trellised vines. We reach the town of Domo d' Ossola, and our driver proclaims his coming by a feu de joie with the whip. The town looks like a collection of worn-out scenery thrown toge[435]ther promiscuously from an old theatre. Old shattered arches cross the street; half-ruined houses of solid masonry have the graceful pillars of their lower stories broken and cracked, and ornamented with strings of onions and bunches of garlic, sold in the shops within; old churches, with a Gothic arch here and there, are turned into a warehouse or a stable; tough old mahogany-colored women are seen squatting before baskets of peaches, grapes, and figs in the streets; dark-skinned, black-eyed girls, with the flat Italian head-dresses seen in pictures; men, dirty and lazy-looking, with huge black whiskers, dark, greasy complexions, in red and blue flannel shirts, and their coats thrown over their shoulders without putting their arms in the sleeves, the coats looking as though they had done many years duty in cleaning oiled machinery; curious houses with overhanging upper stories; striped awnings project outside of upper windows; a garlicky, greasy, Italian smell pervades the narrower streets, from which we were glad to emerge into the more open square, upon which our hotel—quite a spacious affair—was located.

Our carriage rattled beneath the arched entrance, and into the paved court-yard, where were three or four other similar equipages, and two great lumbering diligences, while the rattling peal of whip-crack detonations must have made the landlord think that a grand duke and suite, at least, were arriving; for he tumbled out, with half a dozen waiters, porters, and helpers, in a twinkling, and we were soon bestowed in cool and lofty rooms, with many bows and flourishes. This old hotel was a curiosity, many of its rooms opening upon the wooden gallery that ran all around and above the large paved court-yard, into which diligences arrived, stopped for the night, or took up their loads and departed, and post carriages came with their freights to and from the Simplon. It always had a group or two of drivers harnessing up, or wrangling over something or other, or travellers, stowing themselves away in the diligence; horses stamping, and jingling their bells and harnesses; tourists, hunting up luggage; or couriers, arranging matters for the travelling part[436]ies they were cheating.

The fatigue of a day's mountain ride, and continued sight-seeing, however, made us sleep soundly, despite any of these noises. Of all fatigues, the tourist ere long discovers the fatigue of a constant succession of sight-seeing to be the most exhausting; so that he soon comes to regard a tolerably good bed and clean room as among the most agreeable experiences of his journey. In the morning we were escorted to the carriage with many bows by the young Italian landlord, and his wife, who, with one of those splendid oval faces, beautiful hair descending in graceful curve to and away from her rich, pure brunette complexion, her wonderful great lustrous eyes, a head such as one seldom sees, except in a painting or upon a cameo, made every Englishman or American, when he first saw her, start with surprise, utter something to his neighbor, and always look at her a second time, evidently to the landlord's gratification, for he did not seem to have a particle of the traditional Italian jealousy about him—perhaps he had been married too long.

The landlord and his wife said something very pretty by way of a farewell, no doubt, for there were "grazias," "buonos," "addios," and some other words, which I remember having heard sung by singers at the opera, in his speech, to which our driver responded with a royal salute of whip-cracks, and we dashed out of the court-yard once more on our journey.

Our road now lay through the Italian valley, and we pass Vogogna, Ornavasso, and other towns, and things begin to wear a decidedly Italian aspect—the grape trellises, with their clustering fruit; half-ruined dwellings, with stucco work peeling off them; the general greasy, lazy, half-brigandish look of the men; and the partiality for high colors in dress on the part of the peasant women. Fresh from the invigorating air of the Alpine passes, we felt the full force of the Italian sun. Although late in August, the weather is not hotter, apparently, than in Boston; but when the sun gets fairly at you in Italy, it seems to shine clear through,[437] and come out on the other side. Fifteen minutes in its blaze, without the protection of one of the yellow, green-lined umbrellas, will almost wilt the vigor out of anybody but a native. It goes through the frame like a Boston east wind.

With this sun shining from a blue, cloudless, Italian sky, it may well be imagined how grateful was a beautiful portion of the country, where there were shady olive groves, chestnut and fig trees, and how luscious were our first grapes and fruit purchased of the peasant women at the roadside. We passed, as we approached Lake Maggiore, a fine granite quarry, which seemed to have been laid under contribution to furnish posts for the telegraphic line. Think of that luxury, granite telegraph posts, fifteen feet high, of clear, handsome stone. We rode past them for miles and miles, and soon came in sight of the far-famed Maggiore. It was beautiful as a picture; and as our carriage drove along its shore, the cool afternoon breeze came fresh and grateful to us, after our heated experiences. Across one corner of the lake in a ferry-boat, a short drive farther by the lake shore, and we whirled up to the splendid Hotel des Iles Borromées directly fronting the lake, with its beautiful flower-garden, with walks and fountains. We found the interior of this hotel delightfully cool and clean, the staircases and floors of stone, and the bedsteads of iron—advantages of construction in Italy the utility of which the traveller soon learns to appreciate.

The lake is as charming as poets have sung and travellers told, with its beautiful island and lovely blue waters. The Isola Bella, directly opposite my windows, with its splendid terraces, one above the other, rising a hundred feet above the lake, and rich with its graceful cypresses, lemon trees, magnolias, orange trees, with golden fruit, and sparkling fountains, statues, and pillars, peeping through the luxurious foliage, is charming to look upon. But when—my siesta over, and as the sun was low in the west, with a cool air coming from the water, and the little pleasure-boats, with their striped awnings, were gliding hither and thither—I[438] saw come down the road for his evening walk a brown-robed, barefooted, rope-girdled, shaven friar, and, from the opposite direction, a little dark-skinned Italian lad, with pointed hat, decorated with gay ribbons, rough leggings bound to his knee, and a mandolin in his hand, it seemed, in the soft, dreamy, hazy atmosphere, that I was looking upon an old oil painting. The effect was heightened when the boy struck his instrument, and began to sing—and beautifully he did sing, too. I have heard worse singing by some whose names were in large letters on the opera bills. The friar halted, and leaned on a gray rock at the road-side to listen, while he toyed absently with his rosary. Two or three peasant girls, in their bright costumes, and one with an earthen jar on her head, paused in a group, and a barelegged boatman, in a red cap, rested two tall oars upon the ground, the whole forming so picturesque a group as to look as if posed for a picture.

How pleasant is an evening sail on this lovely lake! how romantic are Isola Bella and its sister islands! how like a soft, dreamy picture is the whole scene! and how all the surroundings seemed exactly fitted to harmonize with it!—a purely Italian scene, the picturesque beauty of which will long linger in the memory.

We had a delightful sail from Stressa, along the shores of Maggiore to Sesto Calende, heard the sweet sound of convent bells come musically across its glassy tide, passed Arona, behind which we could see the colossal bronze statue of San Carlo Borromeo, sixty-six feet high, placed upon a pedestal forty feet in height, looking like an immense giant, with its hand stretched out towards the lake from the hill on which it stands. From Sesto Calende the railway train conveyed us to Milan, where we were landed in a magnificent railway station, the waiting rooms large and lofty, the ceilings elegantly frescoed, and the walls painted with beautifully executed allegorical pictures and Italian landscapes, giving one the idea that he had arrived in a country where artistic painting was a drug in the market, so lavishly was it used in this manner in the railway stations.

[439] Our rooms at the Hotel Cavour look out on a handsome square and the public gardens. In the square stands a statue of Cavour, upon a pedestal placed at the top of a set of granite steps. Upon these steps, seated in the most natural position, is a bronze figure of the genius of fame or history (a female figure) represented in the act of inscribing Cavour's name with her pen upon the bronze pedestal. And so natural is this representation, that strangers who see the group in the evening for the first time, often fancy that some unauthorized person has got into the enclosure, and is defacing the statue.

The first sight to be seen in Milan is the cathedral; and before this magnificent architectural wonder, all cathedrals I have yet looked upon seem to sink into insignificance.

A forest of white marble pinnacles, a wilderness of elegant statues, an interminable maze, and never-ending mass of bewildering tracery, greets the beholder, who finds himself gaping at it in astonishment, and wondering where he will begin to look it over, or if it will be possible for him to see it all. The innumerable graceful pinnacles, surmounted by statues, the immense amount of luxurious carving prodigally displayed on every part of the exterior, strike the visitor with amazement. Its architecture is Gothic, and the form that of a Latin cross; and to give an idea of its size, I copy the following authentic figures of its dimensions: "The extreme length is four hundred and eighty-six feet, and the breadth two hundred and fifty-two feet; the length of the transept two hundred and eighty-eight feet, and the height inside, from pavement to roof, one hundred and fifty-three feet; height from pavement to top of the spire, three hundred and fifty-five feet."

After taking a walk around the exterior of this wonderful structure, and gazing upon the architectural beauties of the great white marble mountain, we prepared to ascend to the roof before visiting the interior.

This ascent is made by a broad whi[440]te marble staircase of one hundred and fifty-eight steps, the end of which being reached, the visitor finds himself amid an endless variety of beautiful pinnacles, flying buttresses, statues, carvings, and tracery. Here are regular walks laid out, terminating in or passing handsome squares, in the centre of which are life-size statues by Canova, Michael Angelo, and other great sculptors. You come to points commanding extensive views of the elegant flying buttresses, which are beautifully wrought, and present a vista of hundreds of feet of white marble tracery as elegant, elaborate, and bewildering as the tree frost-work of a New England winter.

Here is a place called the "Garden," where you are surrounded by pinnacles, richly ornamented Gothic arches, flying buttresses, with representations of leaves, flowers, pomegranate heads, tracery, statuary, and ornaments in such prodigality as to fairly excite exclamation at the profuseness displayed. In every angle of the building the eye meets new and surprising beauties, magnificent galleries, graceful arcs, and carved parapets, pointed, needle-like pinnacles, Gothic arches, and clustered pillars.

We come to where the carvers and stone-cutters are at work. They have a regular stone-cutters' yard up here on the roof, with sheds for the workmen and stone-carvers, and their progress is marked on the building by the fresher hue of the work. These old cathedrals are never finished; their original plans are lost, and there always seems to be some great portion of the work that is yet to be carried out. We should have got lost in the maze of streets, squares, and passages upon the roof, without a guide.

A total ascent of five hundred and twelve steps carries the visitor to the platform of the great cupola, from which a fine view of the city is obtained, the plains surrounding it bounded by the girdle of distant, snow-capped mountains. Directly beneath can be seen the cruciform shape of the great cathedral; and looking down, we find that one hundred and thirty-six spires and pinnacles rise from the roof, and that clustered on and about them is a population of over thirty-five hundred statues. Nearly a hundred are said to be added each year[441] by the workmen. Amid this bewildering scene of architectural wonders, it is not surprising that two hours passed ere we thought of descending; and even then we left no small portion of this aerial garden, this marble forest of enchantment, with but the briefest glance.

But if the roof was so beautiful, what must be the appearance of the interior of this great temple?

It was grand beyond description; the great nave over four hundred feet in length, the four aisles with their vistas of nearly the same length of clustered pillars—four complete ranges of them, fifty-two in all—supporting the magnificent vaulted arch one hundred and fifty feet above our heads. The vastness of the space as you stand in it beside one of the great Gothic pillars, the base of which, even, towers up nearly as high as your head—the very vastness of the interior causes you to feel like a fly under the dome of St. Paul's. An idea of the size of this cathedral may be had from the fact, that while workmen with ladder, hammer, and tools were putting up a painting upon the walls at one end of the church, the priests were conducting a service with sixty or seventy worshippers at the other, undisturbed by the noise of hammer or metal tool, the blows of which, even if listened for, could scarce be heard beyond a faint click.

A good opera-glass is a necessity in these great cathedrals, a good guide-book is another; and I find the glass swung by its strap beneath one arm, and the tourist's satchel beneath the other, positive conveniences abroad, however snobbish they may appear at home.

There are five great doorways to the church, and the visitor's attention is always called by the guide to the two gigantic pillars near the largest door. These are single columns of polished red granite, thirty-five feet high and four feet in diameter at the base; they support a sort of balcony, upon which stand the colossal figures of two saints. All along the sides of the cathedral are chapels, elegant marble altars and altar tombs, interspersed with statues and pictures. The capitals of many of the great columns have finely[442] carved statues grouped about them; some have eight, and others more. The ceiling of the vaulted roof, which, from the pavement, appears to be sculptured stone-work, is only a clever imitation in painting; but the floor of the cathedral is laid out in mosaic of different colored marbles.

With what delight we wandered about this glorious interior! There was the great window, with its colored glass, representing the Virgin Mary's assumption, executed by Bertini. Here were the monument raised by Pius IV. to his brothers, cut from fine Carrara marble, except the statues, after Michael Angelo's designs; the pulpits, that are partly of bronze work, and elegantly ornamented with bass-reliefs which encircle two of the great pillars, and are themselves held up by huge caryatides; numerous monuments, among them the bright-red marble tomb of Ottone Visconti, who left his property to the Knights of St. John, who erected this monument; the beautiful carved stalls of the choir, the high altar and magnificent Gothic windows behind it.

In the south transept is the celebrated statue of St. Bartholomew, who was flayed alive, and who is represented as having undergone that operation and taking a walk, with his own skin thrown carelessly over one arm, after the manner of an overcoat which the weather has rendered oppressive to the wearer. But this statue can hardly fail to chain the spectator some moments to the spot, on account of the hideous accuracy with which every artery, muscle, and tendon appear to be represented. I had never thought before how a man might look when stripped of that excellent fitting garment, the cutis vera; but this statue gave me as correct an idea of it as I ever wish to obtain. It is said to have been executed by the great sculptor Phidias, and to be wonderfully correct in anatomical detail. The latter fact can hardly be doubted by any who look upon the marvellous skill which appears to have been exhausted upon every part of it. Shocking as it appeared, I found myself drawn, again and again, to look upon it; such is its effect as a wondrous work of art.

Now the guide leads to a crypt below the pavement. We[443] are to visit the chapel where rests the good St. Charles Borromeo, who died nearly three centuries ago. We go down nine or ten steps, pass through a passage lined with the richest marbles, a portal adorned with splendid columns, with their capitals and bases richly gilt, and stand in the sepulchral chapel of the saint. It is a small octagonal apartment, lighted by an opening from above, which is surrounded by a rail, so that the faithful may look down upon the sarcophagus below. The walls of this apartment are formed of eight massive silver bass-reliefs, representing remarkable events in the saint's life. Then in the angles are eight caryatides of massive silver, representing his virtues. The sarcophagus, which rests upon the altar, is a large bronze box mounted with silver. A douceur of five francs to the attendant priest, and he reverently crosses himself, and, bending at a crank, causes the bronze covers of the shrine to fold away, revealing to our view the dead body of the saint, in a splendid transparent coffin of pure rock crystal, bound with silver, and ornamented also with small silver statues, bearing the cipher of the royal donor, Philip IV. of Spain.

There lay the good bishop, who had preached humility all his life, arrayed in his episcopal garb, which was one blaze of precious stones. Diamonds of the purest water flashed back their colored light to the glare of the altar candles; rubies, like drops of blood, glowed in fiery splendor, and emeralds shone green as sea-waves in the sunlight. The saint held in his left hand a golden pastoral staff, fairly crusted with precious stones. A splendid cross of emeralds and diamonds is suspended above him within the shrine; it is the gift of Maria Theresa, and about the head is a magnificent golden crown, rich with the workmanship of that wonderful artificer, Benvenuto Cellini, the gift of the Elector of Bavaria. But there, amid all these flashing jewels, that which the rich habiliments failed to conceal, was the grinning skull, covered with the shrivelled skin black with age, the sunken eye-sockets, and all bearing the dread signet-stamp of Death; making it seem a hideous mockery to trick out these crumbling remains with senseless trappings, now so useless to the once morta[444]l habitation of an immortal soul. We leave the saint to sleep in his costly mausoleum, his narrow, eight-sided chamber, and its riches, representing one hundred and sixty thousand pounds sterling, and follow our guide to view more of the wealth of the church.

Here we are in the sacristy, and the custodian shows us two huge statues of St. Charles and St. Ambrose of solid silver, and their sacerdotal robes thickly studded with jewels; magnificent silver busts, life-size, of other bishops; elegant gold candelabra; goblets and altar furniture of rare and exquisite workmanship; silver lamps, censers, chalices, &c., of those rare, delicate, and beautiful old patterns that were a charm to look upon; missals studded with precious stones; rich embroideries, rare altar-pieces, and one solid ornamental piece of silver-work, weighing over one hundred pounds. All these riches locked up, useless here, save as a sight to the wonder-seeking tourist; while poor, ragged worshippers of the church of Rome are prostrating themselves without, before the great altar, from which they rise and waylay him as he passes out, to beseech him—the heretic—for a few coppers, for the love of God, to keep them from starvation. I can well imagine what rich plunder old Cromwell's bluff Round-heads must have found in the Roman Catholic cathedrals of England, although I have more than once mentally anathematized their vandalism, which was shown in defacing and destroying some of the most beautiful specimens of art of the middle ages.

The old Church of St. Ambrosio is an interesting edifice to visit, with its curious relics, tombs, altars, and inscriptions. The principal altar here is remarkable for its richness; its sides are completely enclosed in a strong iron-bound and padlocked sheathing, which, however, the silver key unlocked, and we found the front to be sheathed in solid gold, elegantly enamelled and ornamented, the back and sides being of solid silver; all about the border, corners, and edges were set every species of precious stones, cameos, and rich jewels. The rubies, amethysts, topazes, &c., were in the rough, uncut; but[445] the goldsmith's work, carving and chasing, was elaborate, and the dirty friar who exhibited the sight, with small candles, about the size of pen-holders, stuck between his fingers, took much pride in pointing out the beauties of the work, and holding his little candles so that their light might be the more effectual to display them. The back was all covered with representations of the principal events in the life of St. Ambrose, separated from each other by enamelled borders.

We next went to the refectory of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and saw Leonardo da Vinci's celebrated painting of the Last Supper, the picture that we are all familiar with from childhood, from having seen it in Bibles, story-books, and engravings. In fact, it is the picture of the Last Supper always referred to when the representation is spoken of. I could not go into raptures over this half-defaced fresco, which has had a door cut through one portion of it, has sustained the damage incidental to the refectory, being used as a cavalry stable, and has twice been nearly all painted over by bad artists since the great painter left it; and he, in his preparation of the wall for the painting, used a process which proved a failure, causing it to fade and flake off. Although this is the great original, from which so many copies are taken,—and it is something to have seen the original,—we think we have seen more than one copy far more striking, and more beautiful in its finish.

A ramble through Victor Emmanuel's palace gave us an opportunity of seeing some fine pictures, the great state ball-room, elegantly-frescoed ceilings, and the rich furniture and tapestry, that one ere long begins to find are in some degree, when no historical association is connected with them, so much alike in all palaces. The celebrated La Scala Theatre was closed for the season during our visit to Milan; but the custodians have an eye to business. They keep the lower row of gas-lights burning, turned low, and for a consideration turn on the gas, and light up the vast interior sufficiently for visitors to get something of an idea of it.

Notwithstanding its vast size, the excellen[446]ce of its internal arrangements for seeing and hearing is remarkable. Standing upon the stage, we delivered a Shakespearian extract to an extremely select but discriminating audience, whose applause was liberally, and, need we add, deservedly bestowed. I know not how it may be when the house is filled with an audience, but it appeared to us that its acoustic properties were remarkable, for a "stage whisper" could be distinctly heard at the extreme rear of the centre of the first row of boxes, while the echo of the voice seemed to return to the speaker on the stage, as from a sounding-board above his head, with marvellous distinctness. This house will hold an audience of thirty-six hundred persons. The distance from the centre box to the curtain is ninety-six feet; width of the stage, fifty-four feet; and depth of the stage behind the curtain, one hundred and fifty feet—room enough for the most ambitious scenic display. The form of the house is the usual semicircle, there being forty-one boxes in each row. Many of those in the first row have small withdrawing-rooms. One—the Duke Somebody's—has a supper room, in which his highness and friends partake of a petit souper between the acts, there being cooking conveniences for the preparation of the same below.

The brevity of our visit to Milan causes the day that was devoted to the wonderful library, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, with its grand halls, its one hundred and fifty thousand volumes, and eight thousand manuscripts, rare autographic and literary treasures, and the great halls of paintings, where the works of Guido, Paul Veronese, Raphael, Da Vinci, and Rubens adorn the walls, to seem like a wondrous dream; and our general rule being to see thoroughly what we saw, we regretted that we had even attempted these two interesting galleries—places which, to any one having any taste whatever for art or literature, it is little less than an aggravation to be hurried through.

By rail from Milan we came to a place about a mile from Como, where omnibuses conveyed us through that hot, vilesmelling, filthy Italian town to the pier on the lake, where the steamer was waiting our arrival, and which we were right[447] glad to have paddle out into the lake from the vile odors that surrounded us. But once out upon the blue waters, and free from the offence to our nostrils, how charming was the scene! The dirty city that we had left was picturesque on the undulating shore, with its old tower, spires, and quaint houses. As we sailed along, beautiful villas were seen on the shore, their fronts with marble pillars, their gardens with terraces rich in beautiful flowers, and adorned with statues, vases, and fountains; marble steps, with huge carved balusters, ran down to the very water's edge, where awning-covered pleasure-boats were in waiting—just such scenes as you see on the act-drop at the theatre, and believe to be mere flights of artistic fancy, but which now are found to exist in reality.

At a point where Lake Como divides into two arms, one extending to Como and the other to Lecco, we passed Bellaggio, one of the most beautiful spots ever seen. It is on a high promontory at this point, commanding extensive views of the lake and surrounding country. The promontory is covered with the elegant villas of wealthy people.

There is something luxurious and charming in a sail upon this lovely lake, with the beautiful villas upon its shores, the vine-clad hills, with the broad-hatted peasant women seen among the grape-vines, white turreted churches, brown, distant convents, from which the faint music of the bell came softened over the water, the long reaches of beautiful landscape view between the hills, the soft, blue sky, and the delicious, dreamy atmosphere. A charming lake is Como, but with many objects, "'tis distance lends enchantment to the view."

A boat put off from a romantic little cove for the steamer, which paused for its arrival. Its occupants were a stalwart rower, in blue shirt, red cap, and black slashed breeches, a sort of Massaniello-looking fellow, who bent to the oars with a will, and a friar, with shaven crown and brown cowl, with cross and rosary at his waist. Soon after we saw the holy man on board; and certainly he did not believe cleanliness was next to godliness, for all that was visible of his pe[448]rson was filthy, and evidently not on frequent visiting acquaintance with soap and water, while the vile odor of garlic formed a halo of nearly three feet in circumference about his person—an odor of sanctity requiring the possession of a stomach not easily disturbed to enable one to endure it. I once saw one of these friars at a railway station, whose curious blending of the mediæval and modern together in his costume and occupation struck me as so irresistibly comical that I could not resist a laugh, much to his amazement. But fancy seeing a friar, or monk, in the sandals, brown robe, and corded waist, just such as you have seen in engravings, and whom you naturally associate with Gothic cathedrals, cloistered convents, as bearing a crosier, or engaged in some ecclesiastical occupation—fancy seeing a monk in this well-known costume, near a railway station, his head surmounted with a modern straw hat, a sort of market-basket in his hand, and smoking a cigarette with great nonchalance as he watched the train!

We landed at Colico, at the end of the lake—a filthy place, where dirt was trumps, and garlic and grease were triumphant. We attempted a meal at the hotel while the diligence was getting ready; but on coming to the board, notwithstanding it was with sharpened appetites, the dirt and odor were too much for us, and we retreated in good order, at the expense of five francs for the landlord's trouble and unsuccessful attempt. A diligence ride of eighteen miles brought us to Chiavenna at eight o'clock P.M. Here the hotel was tolerable, the landlord and head waiter spoke English, and, late as it was, we ordered dinner, for we were famished; and a very delectable one we had, and comfortable rooms for the night. Chiavenna is a dull old place, with the ruins of the former residences and strongholds of the old dukes of Milan scattered about it. One old shattered castle was directly opposite our hotel.

We now prepared for a journey from here over another Alpine pass, the Splügen. This pass was constructed by the Austrians, in 1821, in order to preserve for themselves a good passage over to Lombardy. We engaged our post carriage as[449] usual, with a fair written contract with the driver,—necessary when agreeing with an Italian, to prevent mistakes,—and preliminaries being settled, started off with the usual rattle of whip-cracks, rode through pleasant scenery of vineyards, mountain slopes, and chestnut trees, and soon began to wind on our way upwards. Passing the custom-house in the little village of Campo Dolcino, thirty-three hundred feet above the level of the sea, we are again upon the beautifully engineered road of an Alpine pass, and at one point the zigzags were so sharp and frequent that the granite posts protecting the edge of the road presented the appearance of a straight row directly in front of us, rising at an angle of forty-five degrees, although the real ascent by the numerous windings is comparatively easy and apparently slight.

As we went winding up, back and forth, we came in sight of the beautiful Madesimo Waterfall, seen from various angles of the road pouring down from far above us to the valley below. Each turn gave us a different view. It was a succession of pictures of valley and cascade, until we finally passed through a covered gallery, and our road led us past the cliff over which the level stream took its leap for its downward career.

Leaving the carriage, we walked to a small projecting table rock directly overhanging the ravine,—a portion of the rock over which the stream falls,—where, leaning over the iron railing,—grasped, we confess, with a firm clutch,—we looked down to the frothy foam of the waterfall, seven hundred feet below. It was a fine point of view—an exciting position to feel one's self so near a terribly dangerous place, and yet be safe, to defy danger, enjoy the beauty of the cascade, and measure with the eye the great distance of its leap.

After leaving here, we begin to enter a wild, and in winter a dangerous, portion of the pass. This is the Cardinell Gorge. Not only are the zigzags sharp and frequent, but we come to great covered galleries, made of solid masonry, with sloping roofs, to cause avalanches, that are constantly precipitated from above, to slide off, and thus protect travellers and th[450]e road itself. The galleries are wonderful pieces of workmanship. One of them is six hundred and fifty, another seven hundred, and a third fifteen hundred and thirty feet in length. They are lighted by openings at the sides. We have fine views of the lofty mountains all around, and the deep gorges torn by countless avalanches; and now we reach one of the houses of refuge. We stand fifty-eight hundred and sixty feet above the level of the sea. The air is cold, and overcoats are comfortable. On we go, and at length shiver in the glacier's breath at the boundary line between Switzerland and Italy—the summit of the pass six thousand eight hundred and eighty feet above the sea.


Once more we are in sight of the familiar snow-clads and ice-fields; the glaciers are in sight in every direction; there are the mountain peaks, the names all terminating with "horn." Our old friend, the Schneehorn, shoots his peak ten thousand feet into the air, and the Surettahorn lifts its mass of ice nine thousand three hundred feet high into the clear sunlight, and we are again amid the grand Alpine scenery I have so often described. Now we begin our descent, zigzag, as usual, through wild mountain scenery, till at last we whirl through a long gallery, and, with a salute of whip-snappings, enter the village of Splügen; through this, and out again into another grand Alpine landscape, taking in a view of the peaks of the Zapporthorn and Einshorn, each over nine thousand feet high, and away off in the distance, the chalets of a Swiss village, perched in among the mountains. Down we go, at full trot, through the beautiful Roffla Ravine, picturesque in the twilight, with its rocky walls, and its rattling cascades of the River Rhine dashing over the rocky bed. There is one place where there is barely room[451] for the Rhine and the road to pass through the rocky gateway of the pass. The scenery is wild, but at the same time there were trees, with luxuriant foliage, that were pleasant to the eye; beautiful larches, black spruces, and other trees of that kind, softened the rough aspect of the mountains.

We were not sorry to draw rein at dusk at the village of Andeer, where we had only a tolerable lodging, and a very bad breakfast; after which we were once more on the road, and soon reached the valley of six streams, which glide down the mountains, on either side, to the green valley below, with its pretty farm-houses and green pastures. Soon after leaving this, we enter upon the celebrated Via Mala.

This narrow pass seems like a great cleft, cut by a giant's knife, into a huge loaf; the pathway through it, until 1822, was only four feet wide. The carriage-road and the river now seem as if squeezed into the gap, that might at any moment snap together and crush them. Huge perpendicular rocky walls rise to the height of fifteen hundred feet on either side; the River Rhine runs through the gorge three hundred feet below the road, which crosses and recrosses it three or four times by means of bridges; the great walls of rock, in some places, seem almost to meet above, and shut out the full light of day, the space is so narrow; for the river forces its way through a cleft, only fifteen feet wide between the rock, and at one place there is a gallery, two hundred feet long, cut through the solid rock. Although the river is three hundred feet below the road, yet the cleft between the mountain is so narrow that spring freshets will raise it a hundred feet or more. A woman, who, at the highest bridge, drops stones down to the tide below, for tourists to count ten before they strike the water, points out a mark upon one of the bridges, noting a remarkable rise of the river in 1834, when it came up nearly two hundred and fifty feet, to the arch of this bridge, and then solicits a few sous for her services.

This wild[452], dark, and gloomy gorge, with its huge overhanging curtains of solid rock, the pathway clinging to its sides, the roaring torrent under foot, arched bridges crossing its chasms, and tunnels piercing its granite barricades, is literally a pathway wrenched through the mountain's everlasting wall. It cannot fail to make a profound impression by its gloomy grandeur and wild beauty, especially at one point, where the eye can sweep away through the gorge, as if looking through a vast rocky tube, and rest upon green, sunny slopes, and pleasant, smiling scenery beyond.

We reach the pleasant village of Thusis, where the river Nolla flows into the Rhine; and there is, from the bridge that spans it, a beautiful view of the valley in a ring of mountains and an old castle, the oldest in Switzerland, perched on a crag, high above the river. Here, at the Hotel Adler, rest and an excellent lunch were both obtained, after which the whip cracked good by, and we rattled on, through villages, and now and then over arched bridges, and past picturesque water-wheels, or little Roman Catholic churches, till at last we come to one great bridge of a single arch, crossing the Rhine near Reicehnau—a bridge eighty feet above the river, and two hundred and thirty-seven feet long. We pass the pretty village of Ems, and next reach Coire, where our carriage journey ends, the driver is paid, and we enjoy the novelty of half an hour's ride by rail to Ragatz.

Here, while enjoying a rest at sunset, we had from the hotel balcony a glorious view of a long line of mountains, and a huge, flat wall of rock, upon which the setting sun strikes after streaming between two great mountains, and makes it look like a huge sheet of light bronze—one of those novel had in