The Project Gutenberg eBook of Nasby in Exile

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Nasby in Exile

Author: David Ross Locke

Release date: July 30, 2014 [eBook #46451]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chuck Greif and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images available at The Internet Archive)


Every attempt has been made to replicate the original as printed.

No attempt has been made to correct or normalize the spelling of non-English words.

Archaic spelllings (i.e. divers, ecstacy, graneries, asthetic, etc.) have been retained.

Some typographical errors have been corrected; a list follows the text.

In certain versions of this etext, in certain browsers, clicking on this symbol will bring up a larger version of the image.


(etext transcriber's note)

image not available

image not available






England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany,
Switzerland and Belgium,




(Petroleum V. Nasby.)
Locke Publishing Company.



Blade Printing and Paper Co.,
Printers and Binders,


ON the afternoon of May 14, 1881, the good ship “City of Richmond,” steamed out of New York harbor with a varied assortment of passengers on board, all intent upon seeing Europe. Among these was the writer of the pages that follow.

Six of the passengers having contracted a sort of liking for each other, made a tour of six months together, that is, together most of the time.

This book is the record of their experiences, as they appeared originally in the columns of the Toledo Blade.

It is not issued in compliance with any demand for it. I have no recollection that any one of the one hundred thousand regular subscribers to the Toledo Blade ever asked that the letters that appeared from week to week in its columns should be gathered into book form. The volume is a purely mercantile speculation, which may or may not be successful. The publishers held that the matter was of sufficient value to go between covers, and believing that they were good judges of such things, I edited the letters, and here they are.

The ground we went over has been gone over by other writers a thousand times. We went where other tourists have gone, and what we saw others have seen. The only difference between this book and the thousands of others that have been printed describing the same scenes, is purely the difference in the eyes of the writers who saw them. I saw the countries I visited with a pair of American eyes, and judged of men and things from a purely American stand-point.

I have not attempted to describe scenery, and buildings, and things of that nature, at all. That has been done by men and women more capable of such work than I am. Every library in America is full of books of that nature. But I was interested in the men and women of the countries I passed through, I was interested in their ways of living, their industries and their customs and habits, and I tried faithfully to put upon paper what I saw, as well as the observations and comments of the party that traveled and observed with me.

I have a hope that the readers of these pages will lay the book down in quite as good condition, mentally and physically, as when they took it up, and that some information as to European life will result from its perusal. As I make no promises at the beginning I shall have no apologies to make at the ending.

It is only justice to say that much of the descriptive matter is the work of Mr. Robinson Locke, who was with me every minute of the time, and the intelligent reader will be perfectly safe in ascribing the best of its pages to his pen.

I can only hope that this work, as a book, will meet with the same measure of favor that the material did as newspaper sketches.

D. R. L.

Toledo, Ohio, June 29, 1882.


No.  Page
2.The Departure 18
3.“Shuffle Board”22
4.The Betting Young Man from Chicago24
5.“Dear, Sea-sickness is only a Feminine Weakness,”27
6.Lemuel Tibbitts, from Oshkosh, Writes a Letter29
7.Every Sin I Had Committed Came Before Me33
8.Off for London35
9.Public Buildings, London36
10.The Indian Policy39
11.The Emetic Policy39
12.A London Street Scene45
13.A London Steak50
14.“And is the Them Shanghais?”53
15.Sol. Carpenter and the Race60
16.Leaving for the Derby62
17.By the Roadside64
18.English Negro Minstrelsy66
19.The Roadside Repast67
20.The Betting Ring73
21.“D——n the Swindling Scoundrel”74
22.Egyptian Room, British Museum76
23.A Bold Briton Trying the American Custom79
24.A London Gin Drinking Woman80
25.The Poor Man is Sick81
26.“That Nigger is Mine”82
27.St. Thomas Hospital92
28.Interior of a Variety Hall95
29.The Magic Purse98
30.The Man who was Music Proof100
31.Madame Tussaud102
32.Wax Figures of Americans103
33.“Digging Corpses is all Wrong”105
34.Improved Process of Burke and Hare106
35.Isle of Wight107
36.The London Lawyer110
37.The Old English Way of Procuring a Loan118
38.“Beware of Fraudulent Imitations”120
39.The Old Temple Bar122
40.The Sidewalk Shoe Store125
41.“Sheap Clodink”127
42.“Dake Dot Ring”133
43.A Lane in Camberwell135
44.The Tower of London136
45.The Jewel Tower140
46.Sir Magnus’ Men142
47.Horse Armory144
48.St. John’s Chapel 145
49.St. Thomas’ Tower146
50.General View of the Tower147
51.The Bloody Tower148
52.Drowning of Clarence in a Butt of Wine149
53.The Byward Tower from the East150
54.The Beauchamp Tower151
55.The Overworked Headsman152
56.The Persuasive Rack153
57.The Byward Tower from the West154
58.The Middle Tower155
59.The Beef Eater156
60.The Flint Tower157
61.The Traitor’s Gate158
62.What Shall We Do with Sir Thomas?159
63.The Easiest Way160
64.The Suits Come Home163
65.The Candle Episode168
66.The Little Bill169
67.Getting Ready to Leave a Hotel169
68.The Last Straw170
69.The Cabman Tipped170
70.The Universal Demand171
71.The Lord Mayor’s Show173
72.A Second Hand Debauch175
73.The Anniversary Ceremonies178
74.In the Harbor179
75.Isle of Wight182
76.The Unfinished Entries in the Diary184
77.Westminster Abbey186
78.Exterior of the Abbey187
79.Entrance to the Abbey188
80.The Poet’s Corner191
81.Henry VII.’s Chapel193
82.Chapel of Edward197
83.Effigy Room200
84.The Abbey in Queen Anne’s Time201
85.“If She Ever Miscalculates She’s Gone,”204
86.The Death of the Trainer206
87.The Gorgeous Funeral Procession207
88.Monument to the Trainer208
89.The Side Show Zulu210
90.The Lost Finger212
91.On the Thames218
92.Sandwiches at New Haven222
93.Off Dieppe—Four A. M.224
94.“Have You Tobacco or Spirits?”225
95.Fisher Folk—Dieppe227
96.Fisher Women—Dieppe228
97.Fisher Boy and Child229
98.The Boys of Rouen232
100.The Professor Stood Before it234
101.Cathedral of Notre Dame235
102.House of Joan d’Arc235
103.Harbor of Rouen236
104.St. Ouen—Rouen238
105.The Showman in Paris240
106.Bloss’ Great Moral Spectacle241
107.Tower of St. Pierre242
108.Old Houses—Rouen242
109.The Professor’s Spectacles 245
110.Old Paris246
111.Liberty, Fraternity, Equality247
112.New Paris248
113.The Louvre250
114.A Boulevard Cafe252
115.A Costume by Worth253
116.A Magazine on the Boulevard254
117.Mr. Thompson’s Art Purchases256
118.The American Party Outside a Cafe259
119.The Avenue de L’Opera261
120.Cafe Concerts262
121.The Faro Bankeress266
122.French Soldiers267
123.Parisian Bread Carriers269
124.Queer—to Frenchmen271
125.The Porte St. Martin272
126.A Very Polite Frenchman275
127.“Merci, Monsieur!”277
128.Paris Underground279
129.Interior of the Paris Bourse280
130.The Arc du Carrousel282
131.“How Long Must I Endure This?”285
132.Tail Piece286
133.The Mother of the Gamin as She Was288
134.The Mother of the Gamin in the Sere and Yellow Leaf289
135.The Aged Stump Gatherer290
136.A Talk with a Gamin294
137.The Mabille at Night305
138.A Mabille Divinity306
139.Professionals in a Quadrille309
140.A Male Dancer310
141.The Grisette311
142.Meeting of Tibbitts and the Professor314
143.The Cafe Swell316
144.Tail Piece318
145.Beauvais Cathedral319
146.Struggle for the Kingship322
147.Of the Commune326
148.Tibbitts and Faro Bankeress330
149.Tail Piece331
150.Palais Royal333
151.Vision of the Commune335
152.Mother and Bonne337
153.The Youthful Bonne338
154.The Aged Bonne338
155.“Who Put that Ribbon in your Cap?”345
156.Corrective Used by Mr. Tibbitts348
157.The Coco Seller349
158.In Any of the Parks358
159.The No-Legged Beggar Woman360
160.How the French Sport Kills Game362
161.Fishing in the Seine363
162.Inside a Paris Omnibus364
163.The Showman Shown the Door365
164.The Tell Catastrophe368
165.Zoological Room369
166.Cork Harbor370
168.Irish Woman and Daughter375
169.A County Cork Cabin377
170.Interior of Better Class Cabin378
171.Royal Irish Constabulary379
172.Interior of Cabin380
173.A Quiver Full381
174.Street in an Irish Village384
175.Blarney Castle385
176.Free Speech in Ireland387
177.In a Bog Village389
178.“Drop the Child!”391
179.Nature’s Looking Glass393
180.Irishman of the Stage and Novel394
181.The Evicted Irishman395
182.To Market and Back396
183.The Real Irish Girl397
184.A Small but Well-to-do Farmer398
185.Sketches in Galway402
186.Affixing Notice of Eviction406
188.The Eviction we Saw408
190.Farming in County Mayo410
191.My Lord’s Agent413
192.Kind of a Girl My Lord Wants414
193.The Woman who Paid the Poor Rate416
194.Conemara Women418
195.At Work in the Bog420
196.Duke Leinster’s Tenants422
197.Tenant Farmer424
198.In a Discontented District426
199.Protecting a Gentleman Farmer427
200.Filling the Ditch429
201.Ready for Emigration431
202.Old but Tolerably Cheerful433
203.After a Wholesale Eviction435
204.The “Faymale Painther”436
205.Old and Not Cheerful438
206.The Proper End of Royalty441
207.Meath Lads at Crossakeel443
208.A Mayo Farmer445
209.Mayo Peasantry447
210.Inhabitants of a Bog Village449
212.They Glared Ferociously456
213.Bog Village459
214.Interior French Car462
215.They were Lively Children464
217.“Your Hotel is a Swindle, Sir”474
218.Group of Swiss Girls480
219.The Sweat of Other Men’s Brows481
220.The Alpine Guide485
221.A Non-Professional Lady Tourist487
222.Young Man with Inopportune Remarks493
223.“Would You Oblige Me?”495
224.“See Me Unmask this Jew”497
225.Swiss Timber Village501
226.The Slender Bridge503
227.A Bit of Climbing504
228.Where the Maiden Leaped From511
229.The Chamois513
230.Taking the Cattle to the Mountains513
231.Outside the Chalet515
232.Inside the Chalet516
233.An Alpine Homestead519
234.“I Should Wake Them Cheerily”520
235.On the Road to Chamonix525
236.The Presumed Chamois Hunter530
237.The Fate of Two Englishmen532
238.A Frequent Accident533
239.The Mer De Glace534
240.A Slip Toward the Edge535
242.The Moraine537
243.The Dilemma538
244.Rocks Polished by Old Glaciers539
245.The Path to the Village548
246.Mt. Blanc and Valley of Chamonix550
247.The Conscientious Barber555
248.The Jungfrau557
249.Wood Carving559
250.Home of the Carver560
251.Female Costumes562
252.Our Party at the Giessbach565
253.Peasants of East Switzerland567
254.Near Brienz568
255.Lion of Lucerne570
256.End of Pontius Pilate573
257.Lucerne Rigi-Rail575
258.Ditto from Kanzell576
259.Old Way of Ascending Rigi578
260.Night Ascent of Rigi579
261.Railway up the Rigi581
262.Rigi Railway582
263.Railway up the Mountain583
264.Tell’s Chapel584
265.Tibbitts in Concert Hall589
266.Entrance Strasburg Cathedral593
267.Pig Market, Strasburg596
268.The Great Hall606
269.Tibbitts Making Plain the Point608
270.Front of the Kursale612
271.The Swimming Bath614
272.The Donkey Enjoyed It616
273.The Lichtenthal617
274.Promenade in Baden-Baden618
275.Charcoal Burners, Black Forest619
276.Heidelberg Castle623
277.Heidelberg Tun626
278.Tibbitts and the Students629
279.Rhine Steamer630
281.Tibbitts in the Cloak Room633
283.Erchenheim Tower640
285.Luther’s Home640
286.Street on the Roemerberg642
287.The Jews’ Street644
288.“Der Hind Leg of a Helty Mule”649
289.Cologne Cathedral651
290.Death of Bishop Hatto655
291.Legend of the Cathedral668



The Departure—How the Passengers Amused Themselves—Sea-sickness—Tibbitts, of Oshkosh—The Storm


London—The Englishman—A Few Statistics—The Climate—A Red-coated Romance


The Derby Races—Departure for the Derby—Sights and Scenes—Shows and Beggars—Betting


What the Londoners Quench their Thirst with—The Kind of Liquor—Tobacco—Early Closing


How London is Amused—The London Theaters—An English Idea of a Good Time—Punch and Judy


Madame Tussaud—American Worthies


The London Lawyer—The Solicitor’s Bill


English Capital—London Quacks—The London Advertiser


Petticoat Lane—The Home of Second-Hand—The Clothing Dealer—Diamonds—The Confiding Israelite


The Tower—The Royal Jewels—The Horse Armory—Interesting Relics—The Beef-Eaters


Two English Nuisances—A Badly Dressed People—An English Hotel—The English Landlord


Portsmouth—Nelson’s Ship—In the Harbor—Tibbitts’ Diary


Westminster Abbey—Seeing the Abbey—Warren Hastings—Epitaphs—Religious Service—A Little History


The American Showman—The Trainer’s Widow—Foggerty the Zulu


Richmond—The Star and Garter—Down the River


From London to Paris—The Custom House—Normandy—The Cathedral—On the Way to Paris


A Scattering View of Paris—Drinking in Paris—Wine and Whisky—The National Fête


Something About Parisians—French Cleanliness—The Polite French—The Disgust of Tibbitts


Parisian Gamin—Interview with a Gamin—A Contented Being


How Paris Amuses Itself—The Grand Opera—The Wicked Mabille—Gardens other than the Mabille—Tibbitts and the Professor


The Louvre—Art in the Louvre—The Commune


The Palais-Royal—A Tale of the Commune—The Wisdom of Therese—The Two Lovers


French Drinking—The Water of Paris—The Mild Swash


Parisian Living—The Market Woman—Parisian Washing—Female Shop-keepers—The Career of Sam


Ireland—Cork—The Jaunting Car—Another Cabin


Bantry—How My Lord Bantry Lives—The Real and the Ideal—Several Delusions—The Conversion of an Irish Lady


An Irish Mass Meeting—An Eviction—Boycotting—One Landlord who was Killed—How he was killed—Patsey’s Dead


Some Little History—The Question of Lease—A Foiled Landlord—Bantry Village—The Boatman and Nancy


England, Ireland, Scotland—Land Troubles in England—The Royal Family—The Palace and the Workhouse—Women’s Work


Paris to Geneva—A Night on the Rail—Geneva—Affecting Anecdote—Piracy on Lake Erie—The Irate Guest—Too Much Music


Switzerland—The Rhone—A Geneva Bakery—Swiss Roads—Female Climbers—Ascent of Mont Blanc—A Useful Man at Last


Chillon—Tibbitts and the Jew—On the Lake


From Geneva over the Alps—Mountain Climbing—Legend of the Gorge—Martigny—A Swiss Cottage—Alpine Ascents


Over the Alps—Tibbitts’ Idea—Dangers of Ascending Mt. Blanc


Going up the Mountain—The Mer de Glace—The Gorge—Something About Glaciers


In Switzerland—Tibbitts’ Letter—Berne and Bears—Barbers


Lake Thun and Beyond—Interlaken—Wood Carving—Geissbach


Lucerne and the Rigi—Up the Rigi—A Mountain Railway—The Rigi Kulm—Tell’s Chapel


Zurich and Strasburg—Beer and Music—The Cathedral—The Wonderful Clock


Baden-Baden—A Few Legends—Up the Mountain—To old Schloss


Heidelberg—The Great Cask—The Students


Mannheim—Opera—A Treatise on Treating


Frankfort-on-the-Maine—Red Tape—Jews’ Street—Lovely Gardens


Down the Rhine—Bingen—Mouse Tower—Tibbitts’ Romance


Cologne—The Cathedral—Eleven Thousand Virgins—Home



Charles A. B. Shepard,
The “Poetical Bookseller,”

This book is dedicated (without permission)
as a
Tribute to a most Reliable Friend,
a Thorough Business Man, and
One whose steady devotion to everything right and proper,
and whose
hatred for everything mean and disreputable,
was never questioned by any one
who knew him.




“CAST OFF!” There was a bustle, a movement of fifty men, a rush of people to the gangways; hurried good-bys were said; another rush, assisted by the fifty men, the enormous gangways were lifted, there was a throb of steam, a mighty jar of machinery, a tremor along the line of the vast body of wood and iron, and the good ship “City of Richmond” was out at sea.

image not available


I am not going to inflict upon the reader a description of the harbor of New York, or anything of the kind. The whole world knows that it is the finest in the world, and every American would believe it so, whether it is so or not. Suffice it to say that the ship got out of the harbor safely, and before nightfall was upon the broad Atlantic, out of the way of telegraph and mail facilities, and one hundred and fifty-six saloon passengers—men, women, and children—found themselves beyond the reach of daily papers, though they had everything else that pertains to civilization and luxury.

A voyage at sea is not what it was when first I sailed from—but no, I have never been abroad before, and have not, therefore, the privilege of lying about travel. That will come in time, and doubtless I shall use it as others do. But I was going to say that sailing is not what it was, as I understand it to have been. The ship of to-day is nothing more or less than a floating hotel, with some few of the conveniences omitted, and a great many conveniences that hotels on shore have not. You have your luxurious barber-shop, you have a gorgeous bar, you have hot and cold water in your room, and a table as good as the best in New York. You eat, drink, and sleep just as well, if not better, than on shore.

The sailor is no more what he used to be than the ship is. I have seen any number of sailors, and know all about them. The tight young fellow in blue jacket and shiny tarpaulin, and equally shiny belt, and white trousers, the latter enormously wide at the bottom, which trousers he was always hitching up with a very peculiar movement of the body, standing first upon one leg and then upon the other; the sailor who could fight three pirates at once and kill them all, finishing the last one by disabling his starboard eye with a chew of tobacco thrown with terrible precision; who, if an English sailor, was always a match for three Frenchmen, if an American a match for three Englishmen, and no matter of what nationality, was always ready to d—n the eyes of the man he did not like, and protect prepossessing females and oppressed children even at the risk of being hung at the yard-arm by a court-martial—this kind of a sailor is gone, and I fear forever. I know I have given a proper description of him, for I have seen hundreds of them—at the theater.


In his stead is an unpoetic being, clad in all sorts of unpoetic clothing, and no two of them alike. There is a faint effort at uniformity in their caps, which have sometimes the name of their ship on them, but even that not always. In fair weather he is in appearance very like a hod carrier, and in foul weather a New York drayman. He doesn’t d—n anybody’s eyes, and he doesn’t sing out “Belay there,” or “Avast, you lubber,” or indulge in any other nautical expressions. He uses just about the language that people on shore do, and is as dull and uninteresting a person as one would wish not to meet.

The traditional jack tar, of whom the Dibden of the last century sang, only remains in “Pinafore” opera, and can only be seen when the nautical pieces of the thirty years ago are revived. If such sailors ever existed, off the stage, they are as extinct a race as the icthyosaurus. Steam has knocked the poetry out of navigation, as it has out of everything else—that is, that kind of poetry. It will doubtless have a poetry of its own, when its gets older, but it is too new yet.

There is no holystoning the decks. On the contrary the decks are washed with hose, and scrubbed afterward by a patent appliance, which has nothing of the old time about it. The lifting is done by steam, and in fact every blessed thing about the ship is done by machinery. There is neither a ship nor a sailor any more. There are floating hotels, and help. The last remaining show for a ship is the masts and sails they all have, and they seem to be more for ornament than use.

The company on board was, on the whole, monotonous. Ocean travel is either monotonous or dangerous. Its principal advantage over land travel is, the track is not dusty.

We had on our passenger list precisely the usual people, and none others. There were three Jews of different types: the strong, robust, eagle-nosed and eagle-eyed German Jew, resident of New York, going abroad on business; the keen French Jew, returning from a successful foray on New York jewelers, and the Southern Jew, who, having made a fortune in cotton, attached no value to anything else.

I like the Jews, and ten days with them did not lessen my liking. They know something for certain; they do things, and they do well what they do.

There was a Chicago operator in mining stocks, going abroad to place the “Great Mastodon” in London. There was the smooth-chinned, side-whiskered minister, or “priest,” as he delighted in calling himself, of the Church of England, going home, and a fiery Welsh Baptist who had been laboring in the States for many years.

On Sunday evening the Chicago man and a Texan engaged the English minister in a discussion on the evidences of Christianity. It was a furious controversy, and an amusing one. The Welsh Baptist was a more zealous Christian than the Church of England man, and he did by far the best part of the argument; but the priest, by look at least, resented his interference. Being a Baptist, he was entirely irregular, and did not hold up his end of the argument regularly. The priest regarded the evangelist as a regular soldier might a guerilla serving the same side. The discussion embraced every point that religionists affirm and infidels deny, commencing with the creation and coming down to the present day, with long excursions into the future.

A terrible disaster was the result. The next morning the priest met the infidel on deck, and extended his hand humbly:

“My dear sir,” said he, “I have been thinking over the matter we discussed last night. I am convinced that you are right, and that—”

“What!” exclaimed the infidel. “My dear sir, I was looking for you. Your forcible and convincing statements satisfy me that there is truth in the Christian religion, and—”

Neither said more. The priest had converted the infidel to Christianity, and the infidel had converted the priest to infidelity. So far as the result upon the religion of the world was concerned, it was a stand-off.

The days were devoted to all sorts of occupations. There were young men spooning young women, and young women who made a business of flirtation, or what was akin to it. One young lady who could be seen at any time in the day, in a most bewitching attitude, reclining on a steamer chair, picturesque in all sorts of wraps, held a brief conversation with her mother, who had hooked a widower the second day out. The mother was skillful at looking young, and compelled her child, therefore, to be juvenile and shy of young men.


“Helen, you were flirting with that Chicago young man, this morning!”

“Flirting! Mamma! It’s too mean! You won’t let me flirt. I havn’t enjoyed myself a minute since we sailed. I wish you would let me alone to do as I please.”

The poor child envied her mother, and with good reason, for within ten minutes she was under the wing, or arm, of the widower, looking not a minute over thirty-five.

There were old maids who found themselves objects of attention for the first time for years; there were widows who grew sentimental looking at the changing waters, especially at night when the moon and stars were out; there were married men whose wives were many leagues away, determined to have a good time once more, flirting with all sorts and conditions of women, and there were all sorts and conditions of women flirting hungrily with all sorts and conditions of men. There were speculators driving bargains with each other just the same as on land—in brief, the ship was a little world by itself, and just about the same as any other world.

In the smoking room the great and muscular American game of draw poker was played incessantly, from early in the morning, till late in the night.

A portion of the passengers, including the English dominie, played a game called “shuffle-board.” Squares were marked upon the deck, which were numbered from one to seven. Then some distance from the squares a line was drawn, and what you had to do was to take an implement shaped like a crutch, and shove discs of wood at the squares. We all played it, sooner or later, for on ship-board one will get, in time, to playing pin alone in his room. The beauty about shuffle-board is, one player is as good as another, if not better, for there isn’t the slightest skill to be displayed in it. Indeed, the best playing is always done at first, when the player shoots entirely at random. There is a chance that he will strike a square, then; but when one gets to calculating distances, and looking knowingly, and attempting some particular square, the chances are even that the disc goes overboard.

However, it is a good and useful game. The young ladies look well handling the clumsy cues, and the attitudes they are compelled to take are graceful. Then as the vessel lurches they fall naturally in your arms. By the way, it is a curious fact and one worthy of record, that I did not see a young lady fall into the arms of another young lady during the entire voyage.

We had on board, as a matter of course, the betting young man from Chicago. No steamer ever sailed that did not have this young fellow aboard, and there is enough of them to last the Atlantic for a great many years. He knew everything that everybody thinks they know, but do not, and his delight was to propound a query, and then when you had answered it, to very coolly and exasperatingly remark:—

“Bet yer bottle of wine you’re wrong.”

The matter would be so simple and one of so common repute that immediately you accepted the wager only to find that in some minute particular, you were wrong, and that the knowing youth had won.

For instance:—

“Thompson, do you know how many States there are in the Union?”

image not available


Now any citizen of the United States who votes, and is eligible to the Presidency, ought to know how many States there are in his beloved country without thinking, but how many are there who can say, off-hand? And so poor Thompson answered:—

“What a question! Of course I know.”

“Bet ye bottle ye don’t!”

“Done. There are—”


And then Thompson would find himself figuring the very important problem as to whether Colorado had been admitted, and Nevada, and Oregon, and he would decide that one had and the other hadn’t, and finally state the number, with great certainty that it was wrong.

The Chicago man’s crowning bet occurred the last day out. The smoking room was tolerably full, as were the occupants, and everybody was bored, as everybody is on the last day. The Chicago man had been silent for an hour, when suddenly he broke out:


“Oh, no more bets,” was the exclamation of the entire party. “Give us a rest.”

“I don’t want to bet, but I can show you something curious.”


“I say it and mean it. I can drink a glass of water without it’s going down my throat.”

“And get it into your stomach?”


There was a silence of considerably more than a minute. Every man in the room had been victimized by this gatherer up of inconsidered trifles, and there was a general disposition to get the better of him in some way if possible. Here was the opportunity. How could a man get a glass of water into his stomach without its going down his throat? Impossible! And so the usual bottle of wine was wagered, and the Chicago man proceeded to accomplish the supposed impossible feat. It was very easily done. All he did was to stand upon his head on the seat that runs around the room and swallow a glass of water. It went to his stomach, but it did not go down his throat. It went up his throat. And so his last triumph was greater than all his previous ones, for every man in the room had been eager to accept his wager. From that time out had he offered to wager that he would swallow his own head he would have got no takers.

It is astonishing how short remembrance is, and how the knowledge of one decade is swallowed up in the increasing volume of the next. Every one of the catches employed by this young man to keep himself in wine and cigars were well known ten years ago, but totally unknown now except by the few who use them. The water going up the throat instead of down was published years ago in a small volume called “Hocus Pocus,” and it sold by the million, but nobody knows of it to-day. I once asked a sharper who had lived thirty years by the practice of one simple trick, how it happened that the whole world did not know his little game?

image not available


“There are new crops of fools coming on every year,” was his answer. He was right. The stock will never run out.


There were one hundred and fifty-six saloon passengers on board, but with the exception of those mentioned, a distressing monotony prevailed among them. Never was so good a set of people ever gathered together. They were fearfully good—too good by half.

True goodness is all very well in the abstract, but there is nothing picturesque about it. It is slightly tame. Your brigand, with short green jacket and yellow breeches, with blue or green garters, and a tall hat with a feather in it, is a much more striking being than a Quaker woman. The wicked is always the startling, and, therefore, taking to the eye.

On our ship the people were all good. There wasn’t a pickpocket, a card sharper, or anything of the sort to vary the monotony of life. It was a dead level of goodness, a sort of quiet mill-pond of morality, that to the lover of excitement was distressing in the extreme. The card parties were conducted decorously, and the religious services in the grand saloon were attended by nearly every passenger, and what is more they all seemed to enjoy it. Possibly it was because religious services were a novelty to the most of them.

The second day out was a very rough one. The wind freshened—I think that is the proper phrase—and a tremendously heavy sea was on. The “City of Richmond” is a very staunch ship, and behaves herself commendably in bad weather, but there is no ship that can resist the power of the enormous waves of the North Atlantic. Consequently she tossed like a cork, and, consequently, there was an amount of suffering for two days that was amusing to everybody but the sufferers.

Sea-sickness is probably the most distressing of all the maladies that do not kill. The sickness from first to last is a taste of death. The resultant vomiting is of a nature totally different from any other variety of vomiting known. The victim does not vomit—he throws up. There is a wild legend that one man in a severe fit of sea-sickness threw up his boots, but it is not credible. It is entirely safe to say, however, that one throws up everything but original sin, and he gives that a tolerable trial.

It was amusing to see those who had done the voyage before, and who had been through sea-sickness, smile upon those who were in the throes of agony. The look of superiority they took on, as much as to say, “when you have been through it as I have, you won’t have it any more.” And then to see these same fellows turn deadly pale, and leave their seats, and rush to their rooms and disappear from mortal view a day or so, was refreshing to those who were having their first experience.

The beauty of sea-sickness is that you may have it every voyage, which is fortunate, as having a tendency to restrain pride and keep down assumption of superiority; for when one has to suffer, one loves to see everybody else suffer.

One man aboard did not think it possible that he could be sick, and he was rather indignant that his wife should be. She, poor thing, was in the agonies of death, and he insisted, as he held her head, that she ought not to be sick, that her giving way to it was a weakness purely feminine, and he went on wondering why a woman could not—

He quit talking very quickly. The strong man who was not a woman, turned pale, the regular paleness that denotes the coming of the malady, and dropping the head he had been holding so patronizingly with no more compunction than as though it had been his pet dog’s, rushed to the side of the vessel, and there paid his tribute to Neptune. The suffering wife, sick as she was, could not resist the temptation to wreak a trifle of feminine vengeance upon him. “Dear,” said she, between the heaves that were rending her in several twains, “Sea-sickness is only a feminine weakness. Oh—ugh—ugh—how I wish I were a strong man!”

There is one good thing about sea-sickness, and only one: the sufferer cannot possibly have any other disease at the same time. One may have bronchitis and dyspepsia at once, but sea-sickness monopolizes the whole body. It is so all-pervading; it is such a giant of illness that there is room for nothing else when it takes possession of a human body.

During General Butler’s occupancy of New Orleans a fiery Rebel Frenchman was inveighing against him in set terms.

“But you must admit,” said a loyal Northerner, “that during General Butler’s administration your city was free from yellow fever.”


“Ze yellow fevair and General Butlair in one season? Have ze great God no maircy, zen?”

A kind Providence couldn’t possibly saddle sea-sickness with any other ailment.

image not available


Was there ever a ship or a rail car, or any other place where danger is possible, that there was not present the man with a sharp nose, slightly red at the tip, whose chief delight seems to be to point out the possibilities of all sorts of disaster, and to do it in the most friendly way? I remember once going down the Hoosac Tunnel before it was finished. I went down, not because I wanted to, (indeed I would have given a farm, if I had had one, to have avoided it,) but it was the thing to do there, and must be done. So with about the feeling that accompanied John Rogers to the stake, I stepped, with others, upon the platform, and down we went. It was a most terrible descent. A hole in the ground eighteen hundred feet deep, and a platform, suspended by a single rope! In my eyes that rope was not larger or stronger than pack-thread.

“Is this safe?” I asked of the sharp-nosed man.

“Wa’all, yes, I s’pose so. It does break sometimes—did last month and killed eight men. I guess we are all right, though the rope’s tollable old and yest’dy they histed out a very heavy ingine and biler, which may hev strained it. Long ways to fall—if she does break!”

Cheerful suggestion for people who were fifteen hundred feet from the bottom and couldn’t possibly get off.

Another time on the Shore Line between Boston and New York, there was an old lady who had never been upon a railroad train before, and who was exceedingly nervous. Behind her sat the sharp-nosed man of that train, who answered all her questions.

“Ya’as, railroad travelin’ is dangerous. Y’see they git keerless. Only a year ago, they left a draw opened, and a train run into it, and mor’n a hundred passengers wuz drownded.”

“Merciful heavens!” ejaculated the old lady, in an agony of horror. “We don’t go over that bridge.”

“Yes we do, and we’re putty nigh to it now. And the men are jest ez keerless now ez they wuz then. They git keerless. I never travel over this road ef I kin help it.”

Then he went on and told her of every accident that he could remember, especially those that had occurred upon that road.

And the old lady, with her blood frozen by the horrible recitals, sat during the entire trip with her hands grasping tightly the arms of her seat, expecting momentarily to be hurled from the track and torn limb from limb, or to be plunged into the wild waters of the Sound.


We had the sharp-nosed man with us. His delight was to take timid girls, or nervous women, and explain if the slightest thing should get wrong with the machinery how we should be at the mercy of the waves. For instance, if we should lose our propeller what would happen? Or if any one of the boilers should explode, filling the ship with hot steam, scalding the passengers, or if the main shaft should break, in such a sea as we were then having, or if we should run upon an iceberg, or collide with some floating hulk?

“They say all these ships are built with water-tight compartments. Sho! Stave in one part of the ship and it must go down. What happened to the ‘City of Boston?’ Never heard of. ‘City of Paris?’ Lost half her passengers. But we must take our chances if we will travel.”

And this to a lot of people who had never been at sea before, with an ugly wind blowing and a tremendous sea on. Imagine the frame of mind he left his auditors in, and he made it his business, day after day, to regale the very timid ones with harrowing histories of shipwrecks and disasters at sea till their blood would run cold.

Some night this old raven will be lost overboard, but there will be others just like him to take his place. Nature duplicates her monstrosities as well as her good things.

image not available


Among the passengers was a young man from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, named Tibbitts. He was an excellent young man, of his kind, and he very soon acquired the reputation, which he deserved, of being the very best poker player on the ship. He was uneasy till a game was organized in the morning, and he growled ferociously when the lights were turned down at twelve at night. He was impatient with slow players, because, as he said, all the time they wasted was so much loss to him. He could drink more Scotch whisky than any one on the ship, and he was the pet of the entire crew, for his hand was always in his pocket. He ruined the rest of the passengers by his reckless liberality. His father was a rich Wisconsin farmer, and this was his first experience in travel.

What time he could spare from poker and his meals, was devoted to writing a letter to his mother, for whom the scape-grace did seem to have a great deal of respect and a very considerable amount of love. His letter was finished the day before we made Queenstown, so that he could mail it from there. He read it to me. The sentences in parenthesis were his comments:—

On Board the City of Richmond, }
near Queenstown, May 23, 1881. }

Dear Mother:—While there is everything to interest one from the interior in a sea voyage, I confess that I have not enjoyed the passage at all. I have no heart for it for my mind is perpetually on you and my home in the far West. (You see it will please the old lady to know I am thinking of her all the time. Didn’t I scoop in that jack pot nicely last evening? Hadn’t a thing in my hand, and Filkins actually opened it with three deuces.) The ship is one of the strongest and best on the ocean, and is commanded and manned by the best sailors on the sea. The passengers are all good, serious people, with perhaps one exception. There is one young man from New York of dissolute habits, who has a bottle of whisky in his room, and who actually tried to tempt me to play cards with him. But he is known and avoided by the entire company.

We have regular services in the grand saloon, every morning, and occasional meetings for vocal exercises and conversation at other hours. I have just come from one, at which—

“You are not going to send this infernal aggregation of lies to your mother, are you?” I asked.

“Why not? She don’t know any better, and it will make her feel good. I have my opinion of a man who won’t give his old mother a pleasure when he can just as well as not. I will, you bet?”

“But such atrocious lies!”


“I’ll chance that. I can stand lies of that kind when they are told in so good a cause. I love my mother, I do. Let’s see, where was I? Oh yes.”

I have just come from one at which the discussion was mostly on the progress of missions in the Far West. (The old lady is Treasurer of a society for the conversion of the Apaches, or some other tribe.) Just now the sailors are heaving a log, which they do to ascertain the speed the ship is making. Mr. Inman, the owner of this ship, is a very wealthy man, and he has everything of the best. He furnishes his vessel with nothing but black walnut logs to heave, while the others use pine or poplar. Captain Leitch is a very humane man, and never uses profane language to his crew. On other ships the men who go aloft are compelled to climb tarred rope ladders, but Captain Leitch has passenger elevators rigged to the masts, such as you saw in the Palmer House in Chicago, in which they sit comfortably and are hoisted up by a steam engine.

“Great heavens! You are not surely going to send that?”

“Why not? What is an old lady in silver spectacles on a farm thirty miles from any water more than a well, going to know about a steamer? I must write her something, for she persuaded the old gentleman to let me take the trip. I ain’t ungrateful, I ain’t. I’ll give her one good letter, anyhow. Why, by the way you talk, I should suppose you never had a mother, and if you had that you didn’t know how to treat her. I hate a man who don’t love his mother and isn’t willing to sacrifice himself for her. All I can do for her now is to write to her, and write such letters as will interest her, and the dear old girl is going to get them, if the paper and ink holds out, and they are going to be good ones, too.”

I have got to be a good deal of a sailor, and if it were not for leaving you, which I couldn’t do, I believe I should take one of these ships myself. I know all about starboard and port—port used to be larboard—and I can tell the stern from the bow. On a ship you don’t say, “I will go down stairs,” but you say, “I will go below.” One would think that I had been born on the sea, and was a true child of the ocean.

Owing to my strictly temperate habits at home, and my absolute abstemiousness on the ship, I have escaped the horrors of sea sickness. As you taught me, true happiness can only be found in virtue. The wicked young man from New York has been sick half the time, as a young man who keeps a bottle in his room should be.

The nice woolen stockings you knit for me have been a great comfort, and all I regret is, I am afraid I have not enough of them to last me till I get home.

(The young villain had purchased in New York an assortment of the most picturesque hosiery procurable, which he was wearing with low cut shoes. The woolen stockings he gave to his room-steward.)

The tracts you put in my valise I have read over and over again, and have lent them since to the passengers who prefer serious reading to trashy novels and literature of that kind. What time I have had to spare for other reading, I have devoted to books of travel, so that I may see Europe intelligently.

“By the way,” he stopped to say, “are the Argyle rooms in London actually closed, and is the Mabille in Paris as lively as it used to be? Great Cæsar! won’t I make it lively for them!”

In another day we shall land in Liverpool, and then I shall be only five hours from London. I long to reach London, for I do so desire to hear Spurgeon, and attend the Exeter Hall meetings, as you desired me. But as we shall reach London on Tuesday, I shall be compelled to wait till the following Sunday—five long days.

Please ma, have pa send me a draft at my address at London, at once. I find the expense of travel is much greater than I supposed, and I fear I shall not have enough.

Your affectionate son,

“There,” said Lemuel, as he sealed the letter, “that is what I call a good letter. The old lady will read it over and over to herself, and then she will read it to all the neighbors. It will do her a heap of good. Bye-bye. The boys are waiting for me in the smoking-room.”

And stopping at the bar to take a drink—the liberality of English measure was not too great for him—he was, a minute after, absorbed in the mysteries of poker, and was “raking-in” the money of the others at a lively rate.

And the letter went to the good old mother, and probably did her good. And she, doubtless, worried the old gentleman till he sent the graceless fellow a remittance. Boys can always be sure of their mothers—would that mothers could only be half as sure of their boys.


The fourth night out we were favored with a most terrific thunder storm. I say favored, now that we are through with it, for it is a good thing to look back upon, but we esteemed it no favor at the time. A fierce storm is bad enough on land—it is a terror on water. On the land you are threatened with danger only from above—on the water you are doubly menaced. There was the marshaling of the clouds that were arranging themselves for an attack upon us, then the terrible darkness, then the first onslaught of the winds, that tossed the strong ship like a cork, then the thunder that seemed like the voice of a merciless Vengeance, and the lightnings that were its fiery fingers; pitchy darkness, except when the lightning illuminated the scene, and the sight it disclosed made darkness preferable, for it showed the great waves rolling one after another, their white crests like the teeth of enormous dragons, strong enough to crush the mass of iron against which their fury was directed. And then the wind howling through the rigging was fearfully like the shrieks of the monsters baffled and robbed of their prey. It seemed as though the entire forces of Nature were arrayed intelligently against our ship, and for the sole purpose of its destruction.

image not available


It was far from pleasant, and it is fortunate that such displays last but a little while. In less than a second from its beginning every sin I had ever committed, namely, the stealing of a watermelon in my boyhood, and the voting of a split ticket in my manhood, came vividly before me like accusing ghosts. I did remember also, once, that when a ticket-seller in a railroad station in Troy, who was very insolent and unobliging, made a mistake in my favor to the amount of thirty cents, in my anger I did not rectify it, and I debated as to whether that was a sin or not; but when I thought it over I came to the conclusion that, inasmuch as the recording angel knew how brutal the fellow was, he would blot out the record if he had to drop upon it a tear of oxalic acid.

But the good ship endured it all. The great body of iron, with its soul of steam, and muscles of steel, defied the elements and rode it out safely.

The storm hurried away to pursue and fright other vessels, and the waste of waters was once more in a sort of a light that was not lurid. Though the greatest terror was passed, the long swell which kept the ship either climbing a mountain of water or descending into its depths was anything but pleasant.

A ship at dock looks strong enough to defy all the elements, but out at sea when those elements become angry it is wonderful how frail she seems. It is man against Omnipotence.

I don’t care how many times a man has been to sea, the first sight of land after a voyage is an unmixed delight. I know that, for I have crossed the Great Lakes repeatedly, and when a boy I used to “go home” via the Erie Canal, I always got up early in the morning to look at the land on either shore. A man is not a fish, and no man takes to water naturally. It is a necessity that drives him to it, the same as to labor.

Therefore the decks were crowded on the ninth morning of the voyage when the shores of Ireland were sighted. Not because it was Ireland—nobody thrilled over that—but because it was land, because it was something that did not roll and pitch, and toss and swing, but was substantial and permanent. The Mississippi Ethiopian, when discussing the difference between traveling by rail and water remarked: “Ef de cahs run off de track dah ye is—ef de boat goes to pieces, wha is ye?”


Ireland was there and land was there and reliable. Ireland—as land—has no machinery to get out of order, no icebergs to run into—no other steamers to collide with. I was delighted to look at her, and I venture to say that the older the sailor, the more reassuring and delightful the sight of land.

The bold cliffs looked friendly, and the long stretches of green on their summits were an absolute delight. The color was the green of grass and trees, that had something akin to humanity in it, not the glittering, changing, treacherous green of the water we had been sailing over and plunging through for eight very long days. And then to think that twenty-four hours more would release us from our friendly prison, and that during that twenty-four hours we should be within a short distance of land, was a delight.

I have at times found fault with the Irish in America, and I don’t rank Ireland as the greatest country under the heavens, but that morning I felt for her a most profound respect. Had Ashantee been the first land we had sighted that morning, I presume I should have forgiven the Ashantees for killing and eating the missionaries. After one has been at sea, even for eight days, land is the principal wish of the heart. One day and night across the Channel, and we made Liverpool. There were promises to meet in London, or Paris, exchanges of cards, the passing the Custom House with our baggage, the purchase of tickets, and we found ourselves in the cars of the Midland Road and scurrying away through Derbyshire to London.

image not available


image not available



THE largest city of the world! The most monstrous aggregation of men, women, children; the center of financial, military, mental, and moral power! The controlling city of the world! This is London!

There may be in the effete East larger aggregations of what, by courtesy, may be called humanity, for in those countries the limits of cities are not properly defined, nor is the census taken with any accuracy. But these cities exercise no especial influence upon the world; they control nothing outside of their own countries; they reach out to nothing; they are simply hives.


Even an American, with all his pride in his country and her magnificent cities, feels somewhat dwarfed to find himself in a city eight times as large as Chicago, four times as large as New York, and his pride in wealth and power, and all that sort of thing, collapses when he realizes the fact that he is where the finances of the world are absolutely controlled; that he is at the very center of the vastest money and military power in the world!

There is nothing greater as yet than London, and whether there ever will be is a question. I hope not. Men, women and children are all very well, but they thrive best where they have room to develop. Four millions of them together on so small a piece of ground dwarfs them. They do better on the prairies.

England is an enormous octopus, whose feelers, armed with very strong and sharp claws, embrace the world, and London, the mouth and stomach of the monster, is sucking its prey steadily and mercilessly. The animal lost one feeler which America cut off in 1776, and her grasp is weakening elsewhere, but she has enough. India contributes its life blood, China contributes, the islands of the sea contribute, and pretty much the whole world gives more or less.

England comes by her characteristics honestly. The human being we call an Englishman, half merchant and half soldier, the soldier element being purely piratical, never could have been developed out of one race. Each race has some peculiar quality which distinguishes it and marks it everywhere. The Scotchman is noted for his hardiness, thrift, and stubbornness; the Dutchman for his steadiness, boldness, and quiet daring; the Irishman for emigrating to New York and getting on the police force in a month, and so on. But the man we call an Englishman is a composite institution.

The old Saxon was a stolid fellow, with flashes of temper. He never could control things, for he was too lazy and sensual; but he had qualities that mixed well with others. You have to have hair in plaster. But when the Dane, who was a born sea pirate, swooped down upon Britain, and the Norman, who was a born land pirate, came also, and mixed with the Saxon, there was a new creation, and that is the Englishman of to-day. He is a born trader and a born soldier, with a wisdom that the rest of the world has not. His fighting power is made subject and subordinate to his trading power.

When England wants anything she does not stop to ask any questions as to the right or wrong of the thing—she quietly goes and takes it, that is, if she is stronger than the party she desires to capture. If the other party objects, a few armies are sent out and the country is brought to reason immediately. Your bayonet is a rare persuader.

Can a country afford to fit out costly armaments and maintain vast armies for such purposes? Certainly, if it is done on England’s plan. England, after spending some millions in subjugating a country, simply assesses the cost of the operation with as many millions for interest as she thinks the subjugated party can bear without destroying it, and makes it pay. She never destroys a country entirely, for she has further use for it. She wants the inhabitants, once subjugated, to go on and labor and toil and sweat, for all time to come, to furnish her with raw material, and then to buy it back again in the shape of manufactured goods, which, as she buys cheap and sells dear, makes a very handsome profit, besides furnishing employment to her vast merchant marine in the carrying trade.

And then her merchants manage to interest a certain portion of the natives with her in plundering their neighbors, and so her rule is made tolerably safe and inexpensive. This is about the size of it. She conquers a country, and after reimbursing herself, calls a convention of native Princes and says: “Here, now, we are going to hold this country, anyhow. We are going to have the trade and the revenues, and you see we can do it. You fellows may as well have your whack in it.” (These, of course, are not the exact words used, but I am writing what a New York politician would say. A ring man’s words mean exactly what diplomatic language does, and they are always more to the point.) “Now you help us keep the others down, and you shall keep your own places and shall have yourselves fifty per cent. of what you can grind out of your people, and as we shall stand behind you with our power, that fifty per cent. will be more than you could possibly screw out of them alone and unaided.”


The native Prince sees the point, for he is as merciless and cruel as an Englishman, and I cannot say more than that, and he assents. Immediately there is a rush of native Princes, all anxious to join in for their plunder, and England apportions to each his share, according to his importance, and in less than no time she has a native army, officered by English, to keep the people down to the proper level, and to collect taxes and protect traders, and all that sort of thing, and London draws in the money and lives royally.

And, then, if any Prince, or people, or soldiery, or anybody else, fancy they have rights of their own, and question the right of the foreigner to tax them and grind them, they blow a few thousands of them from the mouths of cannon, to teach them the beauty of obedience.

It would take a wiser man than I am to determine by what right, earthly or unearthly, England holds India, but she does all the same, without a blush.

image not available


Perhaps it is as well for the Indians. The native Princes were just as rapacious and more senseless than the English. If a native Indian should swallow a diamond, his Prince would rip him open to get it, which made him useless ever after. Johnny Bull, more politic and far seeing, would force an emetic down his throat, so that he might go on and find more diamonds to swallow. He gets the diamond all the same, and saves the subject for future profit.

image not available


The strength of England is its fighting capacity, its mercantile capacity, and its wonderful rapacity. As was said of a noted criminal in the States, “he wouldn’t steal anything he couldn’t lift, though he did tackle a red-hot cook-stove,” so with England. The eyes of her moneyed power, and it is more than Argus-eyed, are being strained every day for new worlds to sell goods to, knowing perfectly well that when they find a field the Government will furnish muskets to occupy that field. And let no mistake be made. If the field is worth occupying it will be occupied beyond a doubt.

Ireland is an example, Scotland would be, only the Scotch, having a habit of standing together, are ugly customers to deal with, and as they and the English get along tolerably well together, there is no especial trouble between them.

Hence it is that London is so great. London is the center of this vast system of plunder and rapine, and the result of it all comes here. Here is the Court, here is the seat of Government, here is where the great nobles, no matter where their seats may be, are compelled to spend a portion of their time; they are all obliged to have town residences; here they bring their flunkies and retinues of servants, and they make the great city.

It is not a commercial point, as is Liverpool or New York, nor a manufacturing point, as is Manchester or Philadelphia. It is where the spoils of the present organized legal brigandage are divided, and where the surplus of the organized brigandage of past centuries is expended.

The tradesman of London would not alter the existing condition of things if he could. He believes in that shadowy myth called the Queen, not because he knows anything about her, or cares a straw for her, but simply because when she, which means the Court, is in London, trade is good. That eminent descendant of an eminent robber, Sir Giles Fitz Battleaxe, is here during the season, with all his flunkies and servitors, and the tradesmen have to supply them. As Sir Giles has vast estates in Ireland and Scotland, and the Lord knows where else, which yield him an immense revenue, Sir Giles’s steward can pool his issues with his tradesman and both get rich. Sir Giles doesn’t care, for he is paying all this out of rents of property, the title to which came from a King who stole the ground, and he has enough anyhow.


And then comes the foreign robberies, which he has an interest in, and those make up any waste that may happen at home. Even the cabman, who haggles with you over a shilling, is loyal to the Crown and the Church, for the Crown and the Church bring to London the people who make him his fares.

Rampant republican as I am, opposed to monarchy as I am, I am contributing several pounds per diem to the maintenance of the British throne. I am here to see royalty, and everybody that I come in contact with, from the boy who cleans my boots to the lady who rents me my rooms, sing hosannas to the system that brings me here to be plundered. When I give a shilling to a servant she doesn’t thank me for it, but she goes to her garret and sings, “God Save the Queen.” That amiable shadow gets all the credit for my money.

They shall give thanks to Victoria for me but very little. I will be a republican to the extent of leaving as small an amount of money in England as possible. Could there be a league of Americans formed who would refuse to pay anything, I am not sure but that royalty might be overthrown, and a republic established on its ruins.

And yet I am not certain that that would answer any good purpose. But for these advantages I don’t think anybody would live in London. It was said that if the Pilgrims had landed in the Mississippi Valley, New England would never have been settled, and, therefore, it was providential that the Pilgrims were so directed. But for royalty and the profit that pertains to a Court, I doubt if London could hold population. For if there is a disagreeable—but I reserve this for a special occasion, when, less amiable than I am now, I can do the subject justice.

London has a population, in round numbers, of four millions. Without including outlying suburbs, it covers seventy-eight thousand and eighty acres, or one hundred and twenty-two square miles. The length of the streets and roads is about fifteen hundred miles, and their area nearly twelve square miles. The area of London being one hundred and twenty-two square miles, is equal to a square of about eleven miles to the side. Assuming that it is crossed by straight roads at equal intervals, there would be one hundred and thirty-six such roads, each eleven miles long and one hundred and forty-two yards apart. The sewers have a length of about two thousand miles, and are equal to one hundred and eighty-two sewers eleven miles in length, on an average of one hundred and six yards apart. At the census in 1871 there were within this area four hundred and seventeen thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven inhabited houses, containing an average of seven and eight-tenths persons to a house, exactly corresponding with the proportion in 1861. The density of population was forty-two persons to an acre, twenty-six thousand six hundred and seventy-four to a square mile. The population, estimated to the middle of the year, amounted to three million six hundred and sixty-four thousand one hundred and forty-nine.

These statistics I know to be correct, for I got them from a newspaper. I copy it entire, for the readers of this book do not take the London Chronicle, as a rule, and it would be too expensive to send each one a copy of it. If any false statements are made it is the Chronicle’s fault and not mine.

The climate is, to put it mildly, fiendish. I have been in every possible section of the United States that could be reached by rail, water, or stage, and I was never in a location, excepting California, in which the citizens whereof would not remark: “Oh, yes; this would be a good country to live in if it was not for the changeable climate. The changes are too sudden and severe.” One blessed result of my coming to London is to make me entirely content with the worst climate America has. Tennessee is a paradise to it, so far as climate goes, and when you have said that the subject is closed.


It rains in London with greater ease than it does in any place in the world. The sun will be shining brightly in the heavens; you look out of your window and say: “I will take a walk this morning without that accursed umbrella,” and you brush your silk hat—everybody who is anybody must wear a silk hat—and you sally forth with your cane. You turn into the Strand, feeling especially cheerful in the sun, when all of a sudden the sky is overcast and you hat is ruined. You call a hansom and go back to your lodgings for your umbrella, and when you have encumbered yourself with the clumsy nuisance the sun comes out smiling, and the rain is over, only to resume operations again without the slightest possible reason.

Everybody in London carries an umbrella habitually and all the time. No man ventures out of doors without one, no matter how the sky appears. In America a fair day may be counted upon, but here there is no dependence to be placed upon anything in the form of weather. Last week (June 1) it was as hot as it ought to be the same day in Charleston, South Carolina; to-day (June 7) I came in, went out, and came in wearing an overcoat, and a tolerably heavy one at that. What the weather will be to-morrow, heaven only knows. I have experienced so many and so violent changes that I should not be surprised if it should snow. I may go skating next week upon the Serpentine.

But the Londoners don’t mind it. They are used to it. From the ease with which they carry umbrellas, I am convinced that they are born with them, as George Washington was with the hatchet. A Londoner never lends his umbrella, for everybody has his own, and he never loses it. It is a part of him, as much as is his nose. The umbrella should be in the coat of arms of the royal family, and I do not know but it is.

It is a dull and heavy climate. How it affects a native I cannot tell, but an American has a disposition to sleep perpetually and forever.

In the house I am in is an American, who insisted one morning on going across the square without his umbrella. I mildly remonstrated. “It is safe,” he said, “it isn’t raining now, for it was a minute ago.” He was right, but he came to grief for all that. It rained again in another minute.

London is a miracle of twistedness. If there is a straight street in it—that is, one that runs parallel with any other—I have not found it. The streets of Boston, it is said, were originally cow-paths. If those of London were located on the paths of cows, the cows must have been intoxicated, for there is no system nor any approach to one. They begin without cause and end without reason. There are angles, curves and stoppages, and that is all there is about it. Where a street, to answer the ends of convenience and economy, should go on, you come squarely against a dead wall, and where a street should naturally end, there has been constructed, at vast expense, a continuance, and for no apparent reason. Doubtless there is a reason, but I would give a handsome premium to have it made manifest to me.

Like all old cities, there never was a plan. This ground was never taken up at a dollar and a quarter an acre, as in America, by a set of speculators, and laid out in regular squares, and sold at so much a lot. London never was made—it grew. The original city is a little spot, occupied mostly by banks, but other cities grew around it, and they were joined by all sorts of lanes and roads, which in time became occupied, and so the inextricable jumble occurred.

The city is built entirely of brick and stone, and in the style and convenience of its buildings, is not to be compared to American cities. There is a terrible monotony in its architecture, and a most depressing sameness in color. All London is dingy. Occasionally an enterprising citizen paints his house to distinguish it from his neighbor’s, but he never does it but once. The coal consumed is bituminous, and the smoke it produces is the thickest smoke in the world, and it hangs very close to the earth. The paint becomes discolored in a few months, and the aspiring citizen finds in the smoke a protest against his vanity. His house soon drops into line with his neighbor’s, and is as dingy as before.


The streets of London are crowded to a degree that an American can hardly conceive. Isaiah Rynders said once that it required more intellect to cross Broadway than it did to be a country justice. Had Isaiah stayed a week in London he would have had the conceit taken out of him. The streets of London, all of them, are boiling, seething masses of moving men and animals. Omnibusses, vast cumbrous machines, loaded full inside, and with twenty people on the top, hansoms, cabs, trucks, drays, donkey carts, pony carts, carriages, form a never-beginning and never-ending procession, making a roar like the waters of Niagara. He who attempts to cross a street has to make it a regular business. It cannot be done leisurely or in a dignified way. You narrowly escape being run down by a hansom, only to find yourself in danger of being impaled by the pole of an omnibus, and escaping that, a donkey cart is charging full at you, and if you escape a carriage, and a dozen dog carts, you finally find yourself on the sidewalk plump in the stomach of somebody, who accepts your apology with a growl.

image not available


I shall never get over my admiration for the London driver. How he can guide one horse, or still more wonderful, two, through this vehicular labyrinth, is a mystery that I cannot comprehend. I would as soon think of taking command of the British army, and a great deal sooner, for if I didn’t stomach fighting, I could run. But they do it, and they seldom have accidents.

And while I am on the subject of driving, I may as well get through with it. The horses used in London embrace a vast variety. The draught horses are all of the Norman variety, about as large as small elephants, and magnificent in their strength. They are massive, and the loads they draw are wonderful. The trucks are enormous in size and strength, with great, broad wheels, and merchandise is piled upon them mountain high. Two of these horses, nineteen hands high, and built proportionately, with great, clumsy legs, will take an enormous load along the streets, making no fuss, and seemingly without worry.

But when one notices the condition of the streets the wonder at the loads that are drawn ceases. They are as smooth as glass. The stone pavements are evenly laid and absolutely without ruts. The wooden pavement, answering to the Nicholson, which has invariably been a failure in America, is a success here, and for a very simple reason. The contractors are compelled to do their work honestly. There is no shoddy in the pavements of London. They are all as sound as the Bank of England. They don’t lay down some pine boards in the mud, and then stand rotten blocks on end upon them, as we do in America, but there is a solid foundation of broken stone and such matter laid down first, and this is filled with sand, and then the blocks, all good timber, are placed upon that in a proper way, the whole resulting in a road-bed as solid as stone itself, and smooth and noiseless, making a roadway over which any load can be drawn without injury to either beast or vehicle, and one which will be good long after the makers are dust. The vehicles are made so strong as they are, not for fear of the roads, but to hold the enormous weights that the roads make possible.


Sometime we of America will get to doing things in a permanent way. It will be, however, after all the present race of contractors are worth several millions each. I presume in the ancient days there were rings in London. If so I can understand the uses for the beheading blocks exhibited at the Tower.

All the vehicles used in the city are massive and solid. You see none of the flimsy spider-web wheels and light airy bodies in carriages that we affect in America. The wheels of a cab to carry four people are quite three inches thick, and the bodies are correspondingly clumsy. Like their owners, they are very solid.

But the hansom is the peculiar vehicle. The four-wheeler is a sort of a sober-going cab, the one you would expect the mother of a family or a respectable widow lady to use. The driver sits in front, as a driver should, and the entire concern is closed except as you may desire to have air by letting down eminently respectable windows in the side. But the hansom is quite another thing. The occupant is in a low seat, while his driver sits above him on a perch and the reins go over the occupant’s head. Next to swindling his customer out of a sixpence on his fare, the chief ambition of the driver of a hansom is to run down a foot passenger, and in this ambition his horse shares fully, if he does not exceed him. The horses used in these piratical vehicles are generally broken-down hunters, who, too slow to longer hunt the wily fox, and harnessed in the ignoble hansom, have transferred their hunting instincts to men. When the “jarvey,” as he is called here, fixes his eagle eye upon a citizen whom he proposes to run down, the horse knows it as if by instinct, and they come charging down upon him at a pace something as did the French cuirassiers at Waterloo. And if the intended victim escapes, the driver gnashes his teeth in rage, and the sympathizing horse drops his head and moves on a walk till the sight of another countryman or stranger rouses his ambition. It is said that when a driver succeeds in running down a foot passenger the injured man is the one who is arrested.

The shops of London are of two kinds—the gorgeous modern and the respectable ancient. The modern are of the most gorgeous kind. They are not as in New York, immense show windows with a door between; but there is an immense show window in the middle, with a small passage on the side. When a London tradesman wants a show window he wants it all show. It is very like the piety of some men I know. He doesn’t care how small the opening is to get into the place, for he knows if he attracts a customer by the display of his goods in the window, he, the said customer, will manage somehow to get inside. The point is to corral the customer. Once in, his bones can be picked at leisure.

The modern shops are as gorgeously fitted up inside as out. They have silver plated rails, magnificently decorated counters and show-cases, even more than the New York stores have.

Then there are the eminently respectable shops which despise these gorgeous ones about the same as an old noble, descended from one of the first robbers, looks down upon a Knight of day before yesterday. These are the shops that have over their doors “Established in 1692.” They would no more put in a plate glass window than they would forge a note. They revel in their dustiness, and are proud of their darkness and inconvenience. They wouldn’t sweep out the premises if they could help it, and the very cob-webs are sacred as being so many silent witnesses to the antiquity of the house.

“The house, sir, of Smithers & Co., was established by Samuel Smithers on this very spot in 1692, and business has been done under that name, and by his successors, ever since, except an interval of two months, which was occasioned by a fire—from the outside. The house of Samuel Smithers & Co. could never have originated a fire upon their own premises. The business is conducted with more system. We have never had a protested paper and never asked an accommodation.”

This is what the present head of the house will say to you. He has as much pride in the house as the Queen has in her Queenship, and with infinitely more reason. He would not allow a new pane of glass to be put in, and he wouldn’t change a thing about the premises for the world. He prides himself on the inconveniences of a hundred years ago, and would die sooner than to use a modern notion in the business.


But the Smitherses are good people with whom to do business. Among the other old-fashioned customs they preserve is that of honesty. They keep good goods, no shoddy; they have a fair price, and you might as well undertake to tear down Westminster Abbey with a hair-pin as to induce any variation therefrom. They want your trade—every Englishman wants trade—but they prefer their system to trade. You buy, if you buy of them, on their terms. But you know what you get, and that is worth something.

This affection for the old is general. It is a fact that one eating house, noted for its chops and steaks, and ales and wines, which had been in existence no one knows how many years, and had its regular succession of patrons, who came in at regular hours, and ate and drank the same things, and read the same newspapers till death claimed them, fell, by reason of death, into the hands of young men. These young fellows were somewhat progressive, and they determined to bring the old place abreast with modern ideas. And so they swept out the cob-webs, painted the interior, decorated it in bright colors, put in new tables, swept and cleaned things, and replaced the old floor with modern tiles, and made it one of the most handsome places in London.

The effect was fatal. The old habitues of the place came, looked inside, ran out to see if they had not made a mistake as to the number, and finding they were right as to locality, sighed and turned sadly away. They could not eat in any such place, and they went and found some other antiquated den, whose proprietor was sensible enough not to tear down sacred cob-webs, and put in fresh floors.

The old patronage was lost forever, and the proprietors were compelled to build up an entirely new business, the cost of which nearly put them into bankruptcy.

All travelers lie. I am going to try to be an exception to this rule, and shall, to the best of my ability, cling to the truth as a shipwrecked mariner does to a spar. I shall try to conquer the tendency to lie that overcome every man who gets a hundred miles away from home. But I presume I shall fail; and so when I get home and say that living is cheaper and better in London than it is anywhere in America, please say to me, “You are lying!” You will do the correct thing.

No doubt when there I shall say to Smith or Thompson, “My boy, what you want to do is to go abroad. You want to see London. And as for the expense, what is it? Your passage across is only one hundred dollars—ten days—and that is but ten dollars a day. And then you can live so much cheaper in London than you can in New York that it is really cheaper to go abroad than it is to stay at home.”

image not available


I presume I shall say this when I get home, for I know the tendency of the traveler to lie. I have traveled all over North America, and I confess, with shame mantling my cheek, that I have at times added some feet to the height of mountains and to the width of rivers, and to the number of Indians, and once I did invent an exploit which never happened, and I have narrated incidents which never occurred. It is such a temptation to be a hero when you know you can never be successfully disputed.

While I am yet young in foreign travel, and capable of an approximation to truth, I wish to say that London is not only not a cheap place to live, but an exceedingly dear one.


“Just think of it,” said a travel-wise New Yorker, in New York, to me, “just think of a steak for a shilling! Here you pay twice that!”

So we do, but when you pay fifty cents for a steak in New York, you get a steak, and you get with it bread and butter ad libitum—you get pickles, and sauces, and potatoes, and all that sort of thing. Your fifty cent steak, with the accompaniments it carries, makes you a meal, and a good one.

In London your steak is twenty-five cents, but it is only a sample. After eating it you want some steak. Then you pay six cents for potatoes, two cents for what they call a bread—you always have more and there is a charge for each individual slice—you pay two cents for each tiny pat of butter, you are compelled to struggle for a napkin, and if you ask for ice to cool the infernal insipid water, you pay two cents for that, and you get just enough to aggravate you. And, then, when you are through, the smirking mass of stupidity and inefficiency they call a waiter wants and expects a sixpence, which is twelve and one-half cents more.

Where is your cheapness now? If you have a square, appetite-satisfying, strength-giving meal, it has cost you twice as much as it would in New York, with the difference that in New York it would be decently cooked, decently served, and done with a sort of breadth that makes it a luxury to eat, while here it is so hampered about with extras and charges for minute things—things which in America are free to everybody—that eating is reduced to a mere commercial basis and has no comfort in it.

The hotels are simply infamous in their charges. You agree to pay so much per day for your rooms, and it looks tolerably cheap, but you discover your mistake at the close of the first week, when you come to settle your bill. Though you have never touched your bell and have never seen the face of a servant, you are charged so much a day for “attendance,” you are charged for light, for fires. If you have ordered a bit of anything, no matter how infinitesimal, it is there, and these charges make up a bill larger than your room rent.

There is no use in remonstrating, nor in threatening to leave. You know, and the landlord knows a great deal better, that no matter where you go it will be the same, and so submitting to the inevitable, you draw a draft for more money, and settle down to be cheated in peace.

The lodging houses are quite as bad, only of course in a smaller way. Your accommodations are less, and the swindle less, but the proportion is very carefully observed.

Clothing is somewhat cheaper than in America, but nevertheless let me warn the intending comer against buying it here. You may buy cloths, if you choose, and pay duty on them and take them home, but never let a London tailor or dressmaker profane your person, be you man or woman. The Creator never made either for a London tailor to mar. He has too much respect for His handiwork. I have been here now two weeks, and have yet to see a native Englishman or a tailor-spoiled American who was well-dressed. The English tailor has no more idea of style than a pig has of the revised Testament. You can tell an American a square off by the cut of his coat, and an American woman by the very hang of her dress. The English tailor looks at you wisely, and takes a measurement or two, and puts his shears into the cloth. The result is a sort of a square abortion, loose where it should be close, close where it should be wide, long where it should be short and short where it should be long, and the poor victim takes it and is miserable till time releases him from it.

The majority of English women are dowdies, and by the way they have immense feet and hands. They are excellent wives, mothers and sisters, but their extremities are something frightful. They do have delightful complexions though, and are as bright and good as they can be.


Speaking of the feet of English women reminds me of Captain McFadden, of Pittsburgh. The dear old Captain—he is dead and gone now these many a year—in addition to being one of the best river men that Pittsburgh could boast of, was also,—think of it,—a poultry fancier. When the fancy for Shanghais broke out the Captain joined in it, as he did in everything in the fowl way, and he paid cheerfully twenty-five dollars for a half-dozen eggs of the famous breed, which he immediately put under a hen that was in a setting mood. But Captain McFadden had a son who was without reverence either for his father or poultry. Young Jim McFadden went and bought a half-dozen duck’s eggs and removed the Shanghais and put the duck’s eggs under the hen, the said hen not knowing or caring whether she was hatching the common duck or the royal Shanghai. In time its labors were accomplished and Captain McFadden was viewing the resultant ducklings, with Jim laughing in his sleeve as he looked on.

image not available


“Jim, me boy, and is them the Shanghais? Luk at their futs! Hevens, Jim, luk at their futs. All h—l wouldn’t up-trup em.”

I can’t imagine anything that would “up-trup” an English woman. But as small feet and hands are not essential to salvation I forgive them this. They can’t help it. I presume they would if they could, but they are so kindly, so hospitable, so bright and pleasing generally, that I shut my eyes gladly to their feet, and their bad taste in dress, and accept it all without a word.

Still I wish they could pare down their feet. Then an English woman would be the simple perfection of nature’s most perfect work. I can’t help thinking, however, that when your hostess’s shoe is—but never mind. Their kindliness and their cheery laughs and their never failing good humor are admirable substitutes for small feet. Feet are not the whole of life.

You see soldiers about London. They are as common as mosquitos in New Jersey, and to me just about as offensive. They are everywhere. Go where you will, you see a tall fellow in a blue or scarlet, or some other colored uniform, with an absurd little cap on his head, to which is attached a leather strap which comes down to his lower lip, to keep the absurd little cap in place. He has sometimes a sword hanging to him, and sometimes not, but he is a soldier all the same. England has need of a great many soldiers. In London they are used as a sort of show, as walking advertisements of the power and strength of the Government, and to make the picture of royalty complete.

As soldiers don’t cost much here, it is a luxury royalty can afford a great deal of. The ordinary soldier gets twenty-five cents a day, and his rations, and after twenty-one years service, if rum and beer and bullets—the two first are the most dangerous—have not finished him, he becomes a pensioner, which means he puts on a red coat and eats three times a day in a sort of hospital, all the rest of his life.


The army is recruited largely from Ireland and the poorer districts of England and Scotland. It is about the last thing an Englishman or Irishman does, but various causes keep the ranks full without conscription. Women are the best recruiting officers the Queen has. It is the regular thing for a young fellow who has been jilted to go and enlist. He thinks he will make the girl feel badly. But it doesn’t. She rather prides herself upon the number of young fellows she has given the army, and when the time comes to marry and settle down, she goes and marries, and laughs at them all.

Poverty is another very active and efficient recruiting sergeant. A young fellow comes down to “Lunnon” to seek his fortune, equipped with a few pounds and his mother’s blessing. He finds London quite different from what he expected. He discovers it to be a very hard and cruel place, with more mouths than bread, and more hands than work. He lives as closely as he can, but, as meagerly as he lives, his pounds melt into shillings and his shillings into pence. And finally, when his last penny is gone, and hunger is upon him, he takes the Queen’s shilling, and the next thing his mother hears of him, he is fighting the Boers in South Africa. And once a soldier, always a soldier. The life unfits a man for any other, and when he has once worn a uniform, he never wears anything else.

As I said, women are the best recruiting sergeants. I got into a conversation with one very handsome young fellow who had been in the service only a year, who told me his little story. He is the son of a small farmer in Scotland somewhere, with an unpronounceable name, where it doesn’t matter. He had been in love with a pretty daughter of a widow near by from the time he was a boy, and the girl professed to be, and doubtless was, in love with him, but as she grew up she made the discovery that she was very handsome (what woman does not?), and she found that that beauty attracted others beside poor Jamie. Other swains in the neighborhood laid siege to her, and she, exulting in her power over the young fellows, and being unquestionably the belle of the neighborhood, made it very uncomfortable for her real lover, to whom she was betrothed.

Sore were the conflicts between them. The girl delighted in annoying him, for she was as wilful and cruel as she was beautiful. She would dance with the others, and she would flirt with them to the point of driving the poor man mad, and then, just at the nick of time, she had a trick of coming back to him, and for a time being as sweet as possible, and so for several years she kept him alternating between the seventh heaven of happiness, and the lowest depths of a hell upon earth.

There was one fellow in the neighborhood as much smitten with her as Jamie, who was determined to marry her, whether or no. He was a well-to-do young man, who had a farm of his own, and being quite as good-looking and more enterprising than Jamie, was a most dangerous rival to the hapless youth. Jennie had dismissed all the others, but with the perversity that seems to be an infallible accompaniment to beauty, she persisted in receiving the attention of this man.

Finally it came to a head. Jamie insisted that she should not see him any more, and he insisted upon it with an earnestness that affected the girl, and she made a solemn promise that she never would see him again.

It so happened that the very next day after this promise was asked and given, Jamie was to leave for Glasgow on business, and he started early the next morning. He hadn’t got to the railroad station before his mind misgave him. Something worried him. He had slept all the night comfortably on her promise, but something told him that she did not intend to keep it, and that something preyed upon him to the degree that instead of proceeding on his journey he turned about and walked back.

She knew that he was going to be gone a week, and the other man knew it also. If she intended to play him false, this was her opportunity, and he would know for certain, and set his mind at ease.

Poor devil! It would have been better had he proceeded on his journey. For if he had known anything he would have known that if a woman wanted to deceive him, watching her would amount to nothing. The devil is very lavish of opportunities, that being all that he has to do, and simple human nature is certain to avail itself of them; but Jamie was not a philosopher, or a very bright man. He was a simple Scotch lad, frightfully in love with a wilful and perverse beauty.


But he did go back, and he concealed himself near her cottage, where he could watch unobserved, hoping, in a desperate sort of way, that he had made a fool of himself, but rather certain that he had not.

And sure enough, along toward evening his rival made his appearance sauntering down the road, and sure enough he had no sooner appeared in the road than Jennie, as if by accident, appeared, and the two talked across the little gate in front, very earnestly, she in a mixed sort of way.

And Jamie, full of rage at what he believed to be a betrayal, and desperate on general principles, sallied out and attacked his man, and after a fearful struggle left him almost dead on the ground, and despite Jennie’s tearful assertions that she had seen him only to tell him that he must not follow her any more, as she would henceforth and forever have nothing whatever to do with him, Jamie, who didn’t believe a word of it, announced his intention of enlisting, and started off toward the station again.

Jennie followed him, for it appears the girl’s story was true, and she, coquette as she was, did love him, but she arrived too late. He had taken the fatal plunge, and was in the Queen’s uniform.

“And Jennie?” I asked.

Jennie was in London in service. She would not stay at home after he left, and she came to town where she could see him at times, and things were so arranged between them that when his term should expire they were to marry and go back and settle down upon the old place and be happy for evermore.

If his regiment should be ordered upon foreign duty, she would manage somehow to accompany him. Anyhow, she was entirely cured of flirting, rightly concluding that one true man is enough for one woman, and he was equally soundly cured of jealousy, though it must be admitted that he had sufficient cause therefor.

And so ends a red-coated romance.



HORSE-RACING in America is not considered the most exciting, or, for that matter, the most reputable business in the world. A horsey man, except in New York, is not looked upon with much favor, being, as a rule, and I suppose justly, regarded as a modified and somewhat toned down black-leg.

I never ventured money upon but one race. I shall never forget it, for it was my first and last experience.

It was many years ago, ere time had whitened my locks, and had set the seal of age in my face in the form of wrinkles. It is needless to say I was as immature mentally as physically, or what is to follow would not have occurred.

There was a horseman in the county in Ohio in which I was living named Carpenter—Sol. Carpenter. Every horseman’s given name is abbreviated, the same as a negro minstrel’s. Carpenter was the possessor of many horses which he used in racing, but he had one, “Nero,” which commanded the confidence of all the sporting men for miles around. In a mile race he had never been beaten, and there were wild rumors, which obtained credence, that he had won a four-mile race in Kentucky (which at that time was the starting point for all the running horses), and that Sol. was holding him back for some great master-stroke of turf business.

Presently there appeared in Greenfield—Sol. lived in Plymouth—a horse named “Calico,” which the owner intimated could lay out “Nero,” without any particular trouble or worry. Carpenter laughed the man to scorn—his name was Pete Scobey—and promptly challenged him for a mile dash, two best in three.


Scobey accepted the challenge and the date was fixed. There was the wildest possible excitement in Plymouth. Greenfield did not share in it, as there were no horsemen there, the village consisting of one Presbyterian Church, a dry goods store, and a blacksmith shop. But Plymouth absolutely boiled. Carpenter poured oil upon the fire by confidentially assuring everybody that “Nero” could get away with “Calico” without the slightest trouble; that he knew “Calico” like a book, and knew exactly what he could do, and if the people of Plymouth were wise, they would impoverish Greenfield, or rather the Norwalk parties, who were to back “Calico.”

His advice was taken. Every man in Plymouth who could raise a dollar went to that race at Greenfield and staked his money on “Nero,” on Carpenter’s assurance as well as their own confidence. There was nobody doing much betting on “Calico,” except Mr. Scobey and one or two others, and they held off at first, which gave Plymouth more confidence. So eager were we to despoil the adverse faction that we gave great odds, all of which Mr. Scobey and his confreres took, finally, with a calm confidence that should have taught us better. But it didn’t. I remember that I wagered every dollar I had with me, and some more that Mr. Carpenter kindly lent me, taking my note, and in addition to this a sixteen-dollar silver watch.

The first heat was won by “Nero,” easily, and Mr. Carpenter winked to Plymouth to make another assault upon the purses of Greenfield. We did it. We gave even greater odds than before, which Mr. Scobey required, as he admitted that his chances were very slim.

“But,” he remarked, “I will bet one to ten on anything.”

To our surprise the second heat was won by “Calico,” by just about a head. Then Mr. Scobey offered to take even bets, and he would have got a great many but for the fact that Plymouth had staked her entire wealth already.

The next and decisive heat was run. It was closely contested. Each horse seemingly did his best, and the jockeys seemed to ride properly. Alas for Plymouth! “Calico” won, as he did the second heat, by just a head.

The indignation of Mr. Carpenter knew no bounds. He grasped his jockey by the neck and pulled him from the horse, and accused him of giving away the race, and he stormed about the track very like a madman.

“Pete,” he said finally, “Nero kin beat that cart horse of yours ez easy ez winkin. I’ll run yoo two weeks from to-day at Plymouth for two hundred dollars a side, and I’ll hev a rider that won’t sell out to yoo.”

image not available


“Jest ez you please, Mr. Carpenter. It’s easy enough to charge up a poor horse to the account of a rider. Here’s the boodle.”


And so another race was arranged, and Mr. Carpenter went among us and assured that his own son should ride the next time, and there would be no trouble about it.

We consulted all the next week, and Mr. Scobey was approached on the subject. Mr. Scobey assured us that he knew “Nero,” and knew his own horse. “Nero” was good for a long race, but for a dash of a mile “Calico” could get away with him every time. We shared Mr. Scobey’s opinion, and to Mr. Carpenter’s disgust, Plymouth wagered all the money it could raise upon “Calico.” It requires but few words to state the result. “Calico” won the first heat easily, and “Nero” won the other two just as easily, and Plymouth was again bankrupt.

And then one of the riders who was disappointed in his share of the plunder, came to the front and made known what, if we had not been an entire menagerie of asses, we might have known in advance, that Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Scobey were in partnership, and that “Calico” was a horse hired from Cleveland for the occasion, and that it was a very ingenious scheme put up by Mr. Carpenter to victimize his neighbors, and that out of the speculation the two had made a very nice lot of money.

I don’t pretend to say that this has anything to do with the Derby, but it illustrates the morals of the turf so well that I could not help putting it upon paper. Racing is about the same thing everywhere, except upon Epsom Downs. These races are conducted fairly, for they are under the patronage of men to whom the honor of owning a winning horse is more than any amount of money that can possibly be won. The English noblemen want this honor, and they spend fabulous amounts of money to attain it. I won’t say that the Duke of Wellington would have exchanged Waterloo for the Derby, but I do say that if after Waterloo he could have had a horse capable of taking the prize, he would have died better satisfied with himself.

Thirty Americans were in the party that, on the morning of the first of June, left the American Exchange at Charing Cross for Epsom Downs. It was a very jolly party, and none of the accompaniments were forgotten. An Englishman does nothing without a great plenty of eating and drinking, and so the inside of one of the immense omnibusses—“breaks” they call them—was filled with great hampers of lunch, and wine, and things of that nature.

As early as it was all the avenues leading to the Downs were literally packed with conveyances, to say nothing of the railroad trains which passed in quick succession, and such a motley procession! There were lords and ladies, merchants and clerks, prostitutes and gamblers, workingmen and beggars, sewing-girls and bar-maids,—in fact every sort and condition of people, who had for one day thrown care to the winds and were on pleasure bent.

image not available



The roads swarmed with vehicles, and there was as much of a surprise in the variety as in the number. There was My Lord in his dog cart, or, if a family man, in his gorgeous carriage, which does not differ materially from the American open barouche, save in the accommodations for the everlasting flunkies behind, without which no English establishment is complete. Then came the swarm of hansoms—which is a two-wheeled vehicle, with a calash top to it, carrying the driver on a high perch behind—the army of omnibusses, the tops covered with chaffing people, and the inside full of more sober ones, and add to these every variety of vehicle to which an animal can be attached, that would carry a human being, and you have some faint idea of the appearance of the roads leading to Epsom Downs on the 1st of June, A.D. 1881.

It was rather amusing than otherwise to note two kinds of vehicles and the people they hauled. They have in London a little pony, not much larger than a good-sized Newfoundland dog, extensively used by costermongers and that class of tradesmen to deliver goods. A half of these in London were at the Derby, hitched to a two-wheeled cart of twice their size, and seven heavy men and women would be packed therein, and this little mite bowled them along at a good pace, without being worried. There were literally thousands of them upon the roads, the pony pulling his heavy load, and seeming to enjoy the sport as much as those he was hauling. He was having a holiday, and his holiday was much like a human one, very hard work.

The donkey is another English institution. He is not as large as the pony, but what enormous loads he will pull, and what a slight amount of food he requires. He will breakfast on a tin tomato can, and relish a circus poster for dinner. He is a patient little brute, and bears his loads as meekly as the English laborer does his, and in just about the same way.

As we leave the city the crowd of vehicles and pedestrians becomes denser and denser. At the point where all the streets out of the city meet the throng becomes more than immense, it is terrific. The drivers of the vehicles, skillful as they are, have difficulty in guiding their teams, whether it be the pretentious four-in-hand, or the humble donkey-cart, through the mass, though they did it, and without an accident.

And now the fun begins; that is, the English fun. Troops of fantastics, with false faces, spring up, the Lord knows from where, or for what purpose, unless it be to blow piercing horns

image not available


and beat toy drums for their own amusement. On one side just over a hedge, an admiring party are witnessing a boxing match between two yokels, who are giving and taking real blows in dead earnest, while just beyond is a Punch and Judy show, which always has been popular in England, and will be to the end of time. All along the dusty road are men over come with liquor, sleeping the sleep that only the drunkard knows, with faces upturned to the hot sun. They are perfectly safe, and will not be disturbed. Every Englishman of the lower class knows all about it, and as for robbery, all that he has on him couldn’t be pawned for a penny. Next to the boxing match was a street preacher of some denomination, armed with his testament and hymn-book, “holding forth” to a throng constantly coming and going. I didn’t hear this one, for we were too much on pleasure bent to stop for a sermon, be it ever so good or our need for it ever so great. But I did hear one on the grounds, and a curious sermon it was. There was no Miss Nancying about that preacher. He did not attempt to win his hearers by depicting the delights of a heaven for piety on this earth, not any. He knew his hearers too well. The lower grade Englishman might try to be good to escape a hell, but no one ever conceived a heaven that would win him. His idea of a heaven is a pot-house, with plenty of beer, and bread and cheese, and nothing to do. And so the preacher sang the hymn:—

“My thoughts on awful subjects roll,
Damnation and the dead,”

In which his audience joined, some devoutly and some jeeringly.


And he pictured hell in such lurid colors as to frighten the most hardened. He had no fancy for a hell, such as American clergymen talk about, which consists merely in being deprived of the company of angels and all that sort of thing, but he had a substantial, real hell, with actual fire and brimstone and real devils with red hot pitch-forks, toasting and gridling sinners, and rivers of fire, and perpetual torments of this cheerful kind, forever and forever. That was the kind of a hell he had.

It had its effect. One man who stood listening, with his wife, said to her as they turned away:

“Weel, Jenny, ’ell is a hawful thing, I don’t knaw but what I’ll turn around and do better, hafter to-morrow.”

And the wife assenting to this proposition they went to the nearest beer place and buried their countenances and their consciences, or their fright rather, in pots of beer that would swamp the most seasoned American, and a few moments after were dancing like mad in a booth constructed for the purpose.

Except there be a special dispensation this party will never repent, and if there be such a hell as the preacher described they will find it. Their to-morrow for becoming good, like everybody else’s, will never come. The negro who, when asked why, in view of the punishment that must follow his sinful life, he would continue in his evil courses, replied:—

“Boss, de great comfort and ’scurity I has, is in a deff-bed ’pentance.”

“But suppose you die too suddenly to repent?”

“Boss, I alluz keeps myseff ready for ’pentance.”

The road down is lined with public houses, little quaint inns in which nobody sleeps, but which are devoted exclusively to the selling of beer and spirits. At each of these half the vehicles stopped, and the scenes about them were curious, if not altogether enjoyable. The only business done inside was the drawing and drinking of beer, and outside—heaven help an American—negro minstrelsy. Imagine three cockneys burnt corked, and dressed in trowsers striped in imitation of the American flag, with long blue striped coats and red vests, one playing the banjo, another the concertina, and the third doing the silver sand clog, with that peculiar soul-depressing, spirit-quenching expression that all clog dancers wear habitually.

image not available



A clog dance on a stage in a hall is sufficiently depressing to send a middle-aged man home to make his will, but imagine it done by an Englishman on a board outside an inn, on a hot day, so hot that the perspiration streaming down his face washed the burnt cork out in streaks, and then when this doleful performance was finally accomplished, think of a negro melody sung in the genuine cockney dialect, and accepted as a correct representation of the American African. By the way, in a first-class music hall I heard an English minstrel use the word “nothink,” and misplace his h’s as fluently as the most accomplished shopman. But the un-enlightened Englishman who had never heard the rich, mellow tones of the genuine African didn’t know any better, and so it was as well. People who love minstrelsy deserve nothing better.

By this time it was noon, and the sun was blazing hot. But the sun doesn’t mean as much on English roads as it does on American. England is some centuries old, and the roads are bordered on either side with immense trees, the hedges afford a grateful shade, and he who cannot find a delightful seat upon the soft grass is very hard to please. Exactly at noon the thousands of humble folk, the pony and donkey-cart people, stopped and unharnessed their diminutive power, and permitted it to crop the grass, while they unloaded those wonderful hampers, and spread them upon the grass and ate and drank. There was the boiled ham, the great masses of very bad bread made from the cheapest and worst American flour, the pot of mustard, and the inevitable bottle of beer. They sat under the delicious shade, men, women and children, and ate and drank and chaffed, and seemed to be enjoying themselves.

image not available


I think they all did enjoy themselves, except the women. The children got more to eat than they did other days, so they were satisfied; the men, great hulking fellows, gorged themselves, and were pleased because they were full of beer, but the poor women had the children to care for, and that ought to have been enough to have destroyed all the pleasure there was in it to them. For be it understood, no English laborer’s wife ever leaves her children at home on holiday occasions. There are two reasons for this. One is there is nobody to leave them with, and the other is there is a vague idea that it is a part of a child’s education to know all about beer and public houses from its very beginning. Therefore, almost every woman on that road to the Derby, had from one to four children with her, the youngest very frequently being at the very tender age of a month. The husbands always permit the mother to assume the entire charge of the youngsters, and the wives accept the situation uncomplainingly. They carry the “brats,” as the fathers delicately style their offspring, and the small woman with a healthy baby in her arms, keeping three others in tow, under a hot sun, must have an amusing time of it. But they seem to like it, and I don’t know as it is any of my business. Only I am rejoiced that the venerable Miss Susan B. Anthony don’t know how the lower-grade Englishman treats his wife. Could she see what I have seen she would start upon another lecturing tour, as ancient as she is.


One peculiarity strikes an American—everything has its price, which is rigorously exacted. Everything is fenced up and the slightest accommodation has to be paid for. Do you want a glass of water? It is given you, and you drink and set the glass down. Immediately the man or woman who handed it to you remarks quietly, but with a tone that admits of no question: “Penny, sir!” You pay it, for it is the custom of the country. It isn’t for the water, but for the handing it to you. At every gate stands a man who asks for his penny as he opens it, and he gets it. It got to that point with me, that when I felt a breeze striking my face and I got a breath of fresh air, I instinctively turned around to see to whom I should give the inevitable penny. Air is the only thing that is not charged for, and if there were any way of fencing that in and selling it, it would be done immediately. I remonstrated mildly at paying for a very simple service, for which in no country I was ever in would a fee be demanded, but I was silenced instantly.

“It helps me make a day’s wages, sir, and it won’t break you, sir,” was the very prompt answer.

I never dared to object again, but whenever I asked a question I offered the penny, and I did not find any one too proud to take it.

Finally we reached the Downs. Epsom Downs is an immense field, the property of the Earl of Derby, whose seat, “The Oaks,” is about two miles distant. The “Derby” is only one of many races, but out of compliment to the Earl, it is counted the chief event of the racing season. The importance given to it may be inferred from the fact that it is really a national holiday, that business is almost entirely suspended, and that Parliament adjourns to attend it.

I am not going to write a description of the race, for one very good reason. I didn’t see it. I could do it, but I am too honest, and beside I have no idea that it would interest anybody. One race is just the same as another. The horses all start, and run the course, and come in. One horse wins, and a dozen lose; as in the American game of keno, one man exclaims “Keno!” and forty-nine utter a profane word. A quarter-race in Kentucky is precisely the same as the Derby, except that one is witnessed by a hundred men in jeans, and the other by some hundreds of thousands in all sorts of clothing. At all events I was too busy studying the people to pay any attention to the horses. Possibly I made a mistake, the horse may be the nobler animal of the two. I should like to get the opinion of the horse on that point.

The sight of the field was indescribable. There were people by the hundred thousand. The railroads brought down one hundred and twenty-five thousand, and nobody goes to the “Darby” by train if he can help it. Many prefer to walk the sixteen miles to going by rail. These either haven’t the money to pay their fares, or shrink from giving money to railroads so long as there is beer to be had. The grand stand, an immense three-story structure, was black with people, and as far as the eye could reach there was nothing but people. And, as it is in America, the people were there for everything except to see the races, which is proper. For if there be anything under heaven that is exasperating it is a horse race, unless it be a regatta. Except as an excuse for something else, I never could see why people went to either. To sit or stand for an hoar under a hot sun, while a lot of jockeys are undertaking to swindle each other, simply to see a field of horses run or trot for a minute or two, or a parcel of boats start and come to the finish, always did seem to me to be the very acme of absurdity. But when you have thirty jolly fellows with you, who make good talk, a wild profusion of lunch, and oceans of wine, it is quite another thing, that is if you like lunch, wine, and talk.

The principal race this year, and the one on which the interest centered, was between “Peregrine,” the English favorite, and “Iroquois,” the American horse. There were others in the field, but these two absorbed the entire attention of the throng. It was a national matter, and a vast amount of money was lost and won on the event. As is known, “Iroquois” won the race by a very small majority, and the American eagle screamed with delight, and the British lion hung its head. The English felt more humiliated than they did when they lost the Colonies, and Archer, the English jockey who rode “Iroquois” to victory, was considered a very unpatriotic man. The English found one consolation: “Well, you know, the blarsted Yankee ’oss couldn’t ’ave won the ’eat if a Hinglish jockey hadn’t ridden ’im.” This was the remark that I heard everywhere.


The enthusiasm of the Americans knew no bounds. The glorious victory was made the reason for a fresh assault upon the lunch and wine, and a number of American parties had provided themselves with American flags, which they immediately pulled from their hiding places and flung to the breeze. And then as the emblem of freedom displayed itself upon English soil, it became immediately necessary to drink to the flag, which was done with that promptness which has ever distinguished the genuine American. Parties of Americans would arm themselves with champagne bottles, and pass to the carriages displaying the flag, and insist upon the occupants partaking with them in honor of the victory and the flag, and when one would get the address of the other, they would find the one was from Kalamazoo and the other from Oshkosh, and the coincidence was so striking that they would drink again. By that time a New Yorker would appear, and “Why, you are from New York! Open another bottle!” and so on.

It was a glorious day, but for all that anybody saw of the race, it struck me that it would have done just as well to have taken the lunch and the wine to any other field outside of London, and become patriotically intoxicated.

The country people and the laborers of London enjoyed the races about as the Americans did. For their amusement there were shows and games on the ground by the hundred. There were penny theaters; there were shooting galleries, and the cocoanut game. A dozen or more pegs are driven into the ground, and on each is placed a cocoanut. The man who hungers after cocoanuts and amusement pays a penny, for which he has the privilege of throwing a wooden ball at the row of pegs. If he hits a peg the nut drops off and he is entitled to it, with the resultant colic. There were hundreds and hundreds of tents, inside of which were cheap shows, precisely such as we see at State fairs and outside of circuses. As I gazed upon the enormous pictures of fat women, and bearded women, and Circassian beauties with enormous masses of hair, and the wonderful snakes, and the groups of genuine Zulu chiefs, and heard the inspiring tones of the hand organ, accompanied with the bass drum, and heard the man at the door imploring the people not to lose the great chance of their lives, and saw the young fellow with his girl, torn by the perplexing conundrum as to which was the better investment, the show or more beer, I fancied for a moment that I was at home. But I was not. I was three thousand miles from home, but I was seeing exactly what I should have seen had I been there. Human nature is about the same everywhere. Certainly, there is no difference in the side-showmen or the people from whom he earns his living.

Beggars and gipsies, so-called (there was no doubt about the genuineness of the beggars), were as thick as leaves in Vallambrosa. Stout men who could have wrestled with the primeval forests were begging for half-pence; women, with bloated faces, on every inch of which was written “gin” in unmistakable characters, carrying wretched babies, beset you at every turn; and hideous hags, with unmistakable Irish brogue, thronged about the carriages with: “My pretty gentlemon, will ye cross the palm ov the poor gipsy, and let her till yer forchoon? Och, and I kin till ye the shtyle ov the shwate lady ye’ll marry, and the number ov childher ye’ll hev, an bring ye gud luck.”

The absurdity of addressing me as a “pretty gintlemon,” and of proposing to tell me the sweet lady I’d marry! I, a married man this quarter of a century and the father of a family! That old lady got nothing from me. But the good-natured fellows in the carriage did throw her pennies, which she took with the regular “God bless yez,” and I have no doubt that in the course of the day she picked up a very pretty sum, enough at all events to keep her full of gin during the night.

The gipsies proper were on the ground in force, and a curious folk they are. The women were telling fortunes, and a vast number of customers they secured from the shop and servant girls on the ground, to all of whom she promised speedy marriages, no husband being under the degree of a Duke, and all of them very handsome and very rich men. The girls paid their pennies and sixpences with great alacrity, and went home to dream of their good luck, as they had a score of times before. The investment was doubtless a good one. They were satisfied with themselves for a while, at least, and when happiness can be had for a penny, why should any one be miserable?

The men were hiring donkeys, saddled and bridled, for the boys and girls to ride. To ride a donkey a certain fixed distance costs a penny, and among English children it is famous fun. And as the gipsy owner lives out of doors and steals all his food and the subsistence of his animals, and the animals themselves, it was great fun for him. Albeit, as he steals everything he uses and always proposes to, and never intends to reform and start a bank, I don’t see what he wants of pennies. Were they philosophical they wouldn’t let donkeys, but would lie down in the shade till hunger compelled them to steal something to eat, and enjoy themselves all the time.


As I said the races on this course are fairly conducted, and the best horse, or the best jockey, actually wins. But there is as much rascality here as on an American course, and I can’t say more than that. Under the grand stand is the “betting ring,” in which the book-makers stand. These are flashy gentlemen, with tall hats of painful newness, and diamonds of unearthly size and luster, which gives one a comforting assurance of solvency. These men take bets at the market rates. Thus, the betting that morning was three to one on “Peregrine.” Now in America the betting ring is under the control of the association owning the track; but it is not so here, as any number of Americans discovered. They had faith in “Iroquois,” and “laid” their money on him freely. One gentleman of my acquaintance deposited ninety pounds sterling with a book-maker, and was consequently entitled to two hundred and seventy pounds sterling, as his horse won. In great glee he hied himself to the ring, after the race, to collect his winnings. He hied himself back to the carriage sadly. Had “Peregrine” won the race the book-maker would, unquestionably, have been there and received the gentleman smilingly; but as “Iroquois” won, he folded his tent, like the Arab, and as silently stole away. None of them were to be found. Smarting under the sense of wrong, the American told his story to the party on the way home, and he was pitied or laughed at, according to the temper of his listener, quite a number laughing at more than pitying him. One gentleman laughed at him fearfully, but before we had got half way home, he broke out with “D—n the swindling scoundrel.”

image not available


“To what swindling scoundrel do you refer?”

“That blank, blank, swindling devil of a book-maker!”

“Oh! oh! you were taken in, were you?” joyously exclaimed victim No. 1.

“Of course, I was, thirty pounds sterling!”

“And you were laughing at me.”

And then one after another confessed to have been bitten the same way, and upon getting all the confessions in, it was discovered that one carriage had deposited to the credit of a set of London sharks three hundred pounds sterling, or fifteen hundred dollars.

I lost nothing, for I do not bet upon horses now, for reasons stated at the beginning of this epistle, which shows that perfect safety is only found in complete virtue.

image not available



One peculiarity of the event was the absence of fighting. During the entire day I did not see a fight or anything that approached it. Gather three hundred thousand people together in one field in America, and fill them with our whisky, or even beer, and there would be processions of broken heads, and funerals in plenty the next day. There is no question as to the Englishman’s fighting qualities, but he does not fight on his holidays. There were “d—n his eyes,” in plenty, and any quantity of talk, but no actual combats, except the boxing matches, and they were all in good humor. Why? I can’t tell. Possibly it is because the beer they drink tends to peace, and possibly it is because they find vent for their combativeness in whipping their wives at home. But they don’t fight on race courses.

The mass commenced melting away at about four o’clock in the afternoon, and the grounds were entirely deserted, except by the showmen and those who have money to make during the entire racing season. They live in their tents.

The scene on the road back was slightly different from the morning. The people on the way out started to get drunk, and a vast majority succeeded. The road was lined with prostrate forms of men and women. The English women of the lower order drink as much as their husbands and brothers. You see them in the public houses standing at the bars with their husbands or lovers, pouring down huge measures of beer, and it is a toss which can drink the most, or which enjoys it the most keenly. It is certain that the woman gets drunk with more facility than the man, she being the weaker, if not the smaller vessel. And understand, these women are not disreputable; they are hard working wives and daughters of respectable laboring people, mechanics and the like. It is their notion of a day’s pleasure.

Possibly they are not to be blamed. The life of a London workingman or woman is not a pleasant one; their pay is very small, and beer is very cheap, and for the time they are happy.

But the next morning! Dickens and all other English writers, have given most charming descriptions of the delights of a night’s drinking, but why, oh why, have none of them ever described the repentance of the next morning? That would have done the world some good.

And so we rode on through masses of people, two-thirds of them at that stage of intoxication where the idea of enjoyment is noise and horse-play, shouting, cheering, singing, yelling, waving handkerchiefs, and all without the faintest idea of the object of either, till we struck the lights of the city. Then the masses separated, and we finally reached our homes, tired, half-pleased and half-disgusted. The Derby was over.

No American, unless he be a sporting man, ever goes to the Derby twice. It is necessary to go once to see it, but once is quite enough. It is a sight to see three hundred thousand people in one mass, but it is not a pleasant thing to realize the fact that two-thirds or more of the number are under the influence of liquor, and that they did it deliberately, and went there with no other idea. It rather lessens one’s confidence in the future of the race, and leads one to the increasing of his donations to the home missionary societies. But it has always been so in England, and probably always will be. And then if the English workingman didn’t get drunk at the Derby he doubtless would find some other place for it, and as he gets a day’s pure air and sunshine, it is perhaps, as well. If any good can be drawn from it, let us hunt it persistently.

image not available




SPEAKING within bounds, I should say that one-half of England is engaged in manufacturing beer for the other half. Possibly it takes two-thirds of the entire population to make beer enough for the other third, but I think an equal division would be about the thing. The British public is very drouthy.

One is astounded at the amount of drinking that is done here. Go where you will, turn whichever way you choose, the inevitable “public,” or the “pub” as they say between drinks, stares you in the face. And on the streets almost every other vehicle you see is a vast, massive, clumsy truck, loaded either with full kegs for the publics, or taking away empty ones.

The British public house is not the same thing as the American. Except in a few instances you see none of the glass and mahogany palaces of New York, you see none of the flashy bars with plate glass, silver rails, elegant glass-ware, and the gorgeous bar-tender with diamonds as large as hickory nuts.

The London public house is a dingy affair, the dingier the better, with barrels piled upon barrels, and cob-webs as plenty as liquor. There is a wild superstition prevalent that age has something to do with the quality of liquor, and therefore, every place devoted to the sale or handling of the stuff, assumes as much of a Methuselean appearance as possible. You are to have a party of friends at your lodgings, we will say. You must have at least two kinds of liquor to entertain them withal, for no Englishman does anything without moistening his clay, and his clay is of a variety that absorbs a great deal of moisture. You pay for it and the man sends home the bottles.

Now an American liquor dealer would carefully wipe the bottles, and they would be delivered at your house as clean and tidy as a laundried shirt, but not so here. They are sent with dust on them, and with cobwebs on them, and to brush off the dust would be sacrilege. That dust is a sort of patent—a testimonial to its age, and consequently a guarantee of its excellence.

I mortally offended one liquor dealer by asking him to show me his machine for dusting bottles, and also would he kindly explain to me his process for cob-webbing them, and was it expensive to keep spiders? The man actually resented it—was angry about it. Singular how sensitive the Islanders can be about trifles like that! To keep spiders for the manufacture of cobwebs would be more enterprising than to buy cobwebs, and no American would dust bottles by hand, when a very simple machine could be devised for the purpose.

The British landlord don’t set the bottle before his customer as his brother does in free and enlightened America. Now at home,—as I have been told by those who frequent bar-rooms—the barkeeper sets before his customer a bottle of the liquor he prefers, and the drouthy man helps himself to such quantity as he deems sufficient for the purpose desired. If he is fixing himself for a common riot, he takes a certain quantity; if for a murder, more or less, according to how aggravated the crime is to be. A man would take more to fit himself to kill his wife than he would for his mother-in-law, and the wife-killing draught is at the same price as the mother-in-law annihilator.

But over here the bar-maid measures your liquor. You may have three penn’orth, four penn’orth or six penn’orth. It is measured out to you and handed to you, and you swallow it and go away.

I remonstrated with one proprietor as to the absurdity of the custom, and the meanness of it.


“I will show you the reason for it,” he said, quietly. Just then a bold Briton came in and the landlord directed the maid behind the bar to set down a bottle. The astonished customer was invited to help himself, after the American custom. He was an astonished Briton, but he managed to express his gratification at the innovation. Seizing the bottle he poured out an ordinary dinner tumbler full, and, looking grieved because the glass was no larger, drank it off without a wink.

image not available


I could easily see why the British landlord measures the liquor to the British public. Two such customers on the American plan would bankrupt a very opulent proprietor.

The quality of liquor used by the better classes is perhaps a trifle better than that consumed in America, at least so I have been informed by those who use liquors. A vast quantity of brandy is imported from France, and it is so cheap there that it doubtless approximates to purity. The whiskies drank are entirely Scotch and Irish, the English making none whatever. Wines are consumed in great quantities, and there is no question as to the purity of the cheaper grades, which is to say they are undoubtedly the pure juice of the grape. The duty on wines is so small that there is no inducement, as in America, for the manufacture of bogus varieties.

But the liquors consumed in London by the lower classes are probably the most execrable and vile that the ingenuity of the haters of mankind ever invented. The brandy they drink is liquid lightning—chain lightning—which goes crashing through the system, breaking down and destroying every pulsation towards anything good. The gin—well, their gin is the very acme, the absolute summit, of vileness. There is a quarrel in every gill of it, a wife-beating in every pint, and a murder in every quart. A smell of a glass of it nearly drove me to criminal recklessness.

image not available


And yet they all drink it, and especially the women. The most disgusting sight the world can produce is a London gin drinking woman standing at a bar, waiting feverishly for her “drain,” with unkempt hair, a small but intensely dirty shawl, with stockingless feet, and shoes down at the heel, with eyes rheumy and watery, that twinkle with gin light out from the obscurity of gin-swelled flesh, with a face on which the scorching fingers of a depraved appetite have set red lines, as ineffaceable as though they had been placed there by red-hot iron, every one of which is the unavailing protest of a long-outraged stomach.


There she stands, a blotch upon the face of nature and a satire upon womanhood. It is difficult to realize that this bloated mass was once a fair young girl, and had a mother who loved her, and it is equally difficult to comprehend how any power, even that of Nature, could ever make use of it. But the elements are kindly to man. When they have done their work, sweet flowers may grow out of this putridity.

In America this sort of being exists, but it is herded somewhere out of sight. It does not stand at the bars in the best streets to offend the eyes of decent people. But it is everywhere here. It is in the Strand and on Piccadilly and Regent street.

The average Englishman of the lower, and even the middle classes, dearly loves to booze. Drunkenness is not the result either of conviviality or desperation as it is in other countries. It is the one thing longed for and set deliberately about.

image not available


Rare John Leech, illustrated it in his picture in Punch, years ago. A man was lying very drunk at the foot of a lamp-post. A benevolent old lady of the Exeter Hall school seeing him, called a cabman. “The poor man is sick,” quoth the kindly dame, “why don’t you help him?” “Sick, is he,” replied cabby, “sick! don’t I vish I ’ad just ’arf of vot ails him?” The cabby spoke the honest sentiment of his heart. The Londoner of his class loves it for the effect it has upon him, and as he accomplishes his design with English gin, he carries with him a breath that suggests the tomb of a not very ancient king, a breath which has a density, a center, as one might say.

image not available



At twelve o’clock, Saturday night, he would fight a rattlesnake and give the snake the first bite. Were a venomous snake to bite such an Englishman the man would never know it, for alcohol is a sure cure for reptilian poison, but the poor snake would wriggle faintly away to some secluded spot and die sadly. This is why, I presume, I have seen no rattlesnakes in London; they cannot safely prosecute the business for which they were created. They are similarly worried, I believe, in West Virginia.

To drink this vile stuff successfully one would want his stomach glass-lined and backed up with fire-brick. I never would attempt it except as the man did in Kentucky. He walked into a bar, and distrusting the quality of the whisky, called up a negro and gave him a glass before drinking his own. The landlord, divining his purpose, knocked the glass out of the negro’s hand. “No you don’t!” said the Boniface, “that nigger is mine, and worth fifteen hundred dollars. Get an Irishman to try it on.”

And while I am about it I may say that alcoholization is not confined to the lower order by any means. Almost every body drinks something beside water. The tradesman who can afford it has claret at his table, and during the day his “drains” of brandy are very frequent. The gentry and nobility drink more costly wines and better brandy, but liquor is everywhere. Nothing is done without the accompanying drink; it is universal and in all places. The climate prevents the injury that would visit the same man in America, but it hurts. If the English could only live as temperately as the Americans they would be the greatest race of people on earth.

The exclusiveness of the English is manifest in their vices as in their virtues. Every bar is divided in the front by partitions, one for each class. Over the one designated as “the private bar,” you get precisely the same liquors as at the others, but you pay more for it, because laborers and the like are not admitted. One compartment exacts four pence, the next three pence, and the last and lowest two pence. But all are served out of the same wood.

But very few men are employed behind English bars, women filling those places. The London bar-maid is an institution to be studied. To begin with she must be pretty, for being pretty is a part of her qualifications. As her feet cannot be seen, owing to her standing behind the bar, she is generally pretty. Then they are required to dress well, and all in one establishment dress their hair alike. In one place the maids part their hair on one side, in another on the other, and in a third in the middle. They are alike in each shop.

They are required to make themselves pleasant to customers, for each one is expected to influence an amount of trade to the house. They are exceedingly free and easy damsels, without being positively indelicate, and there isn’t a cabman in the city who is so much a master of chaff as they are. They will wink and leer at you in the most free way possible, they will talk to the very verge of indelicacy if they think it will please you, and if they form another judgment of your tastes they will be as sedate as priests. These bar-maids were all born a great while ago, and have improved all their time.

They are not only expected to be pretty, but they must have the power of extracting drinks for themselves from the young or old fellows who delight to chaff with them. If the young fellow who is enjoying the delight of her conversation is not sufficiently prompt, the warning eye of the landlord or landlady intimates that she has wasted enough time upon him, and she simply asks him, when he has ordered a drink for himself, if he won’t treat her, and he always does. Per consequence by eleven at night the gentle maids are in a condition highly satisfactory to the house, for their drunkenness represents so much money in his till. He who serves the British public with drink would utilize the very soul of an employe to make money, man or woman.

As a rule the wife of the landlord of a popular drinking place takes personal charge of the bar, and she is a thousand times more cruel and grasping than her husband. When a woman does unsex herself, she can give a man points in wickedness that he never dreamed of. These wives are as eager to have liquor paid for for themselves as bar-maids, and the sharp eye they keep upon the girls to see that they swallow enough to make the business profitable is something wonderful.

They are invariably dressed very richly, with elaborate coiffures, and sparkling with diamonds. As the British young man prefers blonde hair to any other, the landladies are mostly of that persuasion. If they were born brunettes there are arts by which they can be changed, and besides wigs are very cheap in this country.


The British woman drinks as much as the British man, and possibly more. I am not speaking of the low, degraded woman, but of the respectability. It is nothing singular to see women, respectable women, sitting in bars with their husbands and lovers, and the amount of stout and “brandy cold,” they make away with is something wonderful.

I was through the wonderful park at Richmond the other day. It was a holiday, and all London was out of the city in the parks. All the little roadside inns were filled with the populace, women and children being largely in the majority; and there was never a woman, no matter if she had a child at the breast, who did not have a monster pot of pewter filled either with porter or ale. And they gave it to their little children as freely as an American mother would milk.

The drinking house in London is, as a rule, especially for drinking. There are no free lunches, no nibbling bits, free on any bar. Nothing but liquids are sold. An American speculator conceived the brilliant idea of starting a bar with the addition of the American free lunch, with which to attract trade. It did attract altogether too much. In twenty minutes the lunch, which should have lasted all day, was gone, and the British public was indignant that it was not renewed. They pronounced the proprietor a swindle, and the speculation was a disastrous failure.

At some of the bars an attempt is made to take the curse off the liquor traffic by making some pretence of selling eatables. But the British public knows this is a sham, and resents it by never buying any comestibles at the counter. The British public scorns eating in such a place, and insists upon drinks. Indeed, the British public won’t eat at all as long as it can drink.

What they generally have in these places under glass covers, are curiously indigestible meat pies, sandwiches, cheese, cakes and buns. Sometimes at railway stations a hungry Briton buys and partakes of these things, but not often, and never without his glass of something to wash it down. This is the time I forgive him for drinking. It is necessary.

The sandwich is made either of ham or beef, and may be said to be the universal cold refreshment. It is about four inches long by two wide, and is a miracle of thinness. It is the thinnest thing on earth. I have often purchased them, not to eat, but to admire this quality. How bread and meat can be cut so thin, especially bread, is one of the mysteries that never will be solved till I penetrate a public kitchen and see the operation. It is an art I suppose, and the professor of it gets, I presume, a very high salary. He ought to. The bread is stringy enough and the meat tough enough to be cut as thin as might be desired, but the puzzle is how any one can acquire the skill to cut it, that way. But they do it. The English sandwich is more an object of interest to me than the obelisk, and is just about as digestible. I would as soon undertake to eat the one as the other.

The meat pie is made of hashed beef, the fat being put in liberally, enclosed in a wrapper of dough, and all baked together, in some sort of way. I could procure and write out the process, but being a true American and loving the American people I will not. It is utterly indigestible. I ate one at eleven P.M. one night, and woke up in the morning feeling as though I had swallowed the plaster bust of the infant Samuel at prayer that stood on my mantel. The pie is a trifle worse than the sandwich. The cheese cake may be dismissed with the simple remark that it is a trifle worse than the meat pie. The bun is a stand-off as to the others. Altogether they make a frightful stomachic quartet. But the British public, who know nothing of our hash and other luxuries, are content with them, and I don’t know as I shall undertake to reform them in this particular. I pity them, but there are so many things to reform here that I shall not attempt any movement in that direction. Life is very short.


The Englishman takes his liquor straight, or neat, as they call it. Mixed drinks are entirely unknown. The sherry cobbler, the mint julep, the fragrant cock-tail, are never heard of in regular English bars, but the drouthy man who drinks, and they all do, takes either brandy or Scotch or Irish whisky, raw from a barrel, and swallows his portion and walks away satisfied. One woman in a famous drinking place was taught by an American to make cock-tails, and the fame of the mixture drew all the Americans to this particular place. The proprietor was sore displeased at this trade, and raised the price two pence above what was regular, to keep it away. It took too much of the girl’s time to compound the mixture.

Drinking does not have the effect upon an Englishman that it does upon an American. The Englishman is a more stolid and phlegmatic man anyhow, and the climate is less exciting. There is not the exhilaration in the atmosphere that there is in America, and the moist humidity that you exist in is very favorable to the consumption of alcoholic drinks. I had got so before I had been here a week, that I think I could have endured a glass of brandy and water. I did not do it, but I say I could have done it.

The prices of liquors average quite as high as in America, and tobacco and everything made of it, is much higher and the quality is vile. A decent cigar, or one counted decent here, costs twenty-five cents, it being of the grade that in New York sells for ten cents.

No tobacco is chewed except by sailors, and the Englishman, very properly, considers it a disgusting habit, only to be practiced by very low people. In consequence of the high price of tobacco, pipes and cigarettes are very generally used. The Englishman of the better class smokes his pipe upon the street, the same as an American does his cigar. He prefers a pipe to a cigar, possibly because it is better, and possibly because it is cheaper. Your Englishman loves dearly to get the value of his money, and he generally does it.

The lover of drink in America, especially our German fellow citizens, are emphatic in their denunciation of the liquor laws of the United States. They ought to live in England a little while to appreciate the privileges they have at home. Hartford, Connecticut, is, I believe, a paradise to those who live there. One old lady who was born and had always lived in Hartford, came to die—an impertinence of Nature, as all Hartford people firmly believe. People should die in other places, but not in Hartford. But this old lady had come to death, and her minister was consoling her.

“I trust, Mrs. Thompson,” he said, professionally, “that you are prepared to die?”

“I am,” was her answer; “I owe no pew rent.”

“And are you content with the change?”

“Well, on the whole, yes. Heaven is no doubt a very nice place, but I shall greatly miss my Hartford privileges.”

There is no especial moral to this story, except that if our German population were compelled to endure English law they would greatly miss their American privileges. While you can get all the drink you want during the day, you must either have it at home or go without it after twelve o’clock at night.

In London no liquor can be procured after twelve o’clock at night. Every bar, big or little, is closed, and this law is not evaded, for the risk is too great. A man’s license would be taken from him immediately, and without remedy.

Persons are not licensed to sell liquor in England—it is the premises that are licensed. The Board having it in charge license one public house in a district, basing it upon the supposed necessity, and these premises hold this license till deprived of it by violation of law. If you desire to sell liquor you cannot go and rent a room and open your bar; you are compelled to buy the lease of a place which carries the license with it. Consequently a licensed place is a valuable piece of property. One at the corner of St. Martin’s street and Orange, a dingy building in a dingy neighborhood, was bought by an American to be used as an American bar, and he paid twenty-five thousand dollars bonus for the lease. The annual rental of the place is fifteen hundred dollars, and the lease for which he paid the bonus has forty-five years to run. For any other business the bonus would have been next to nothing in that neighborhood.


Sunday is an especially drouthy day in London. All the bars are closed till one o’clock P.M., and are then open but an hour. Then they are closed till six, and are permitted to keep open from that hour till eleven. And let it be remembered that law in England is law. You cannot laugh at it as you do in America. There is no evasion of this law attempted. The publics are required to be closed and they are closed. There are no side-doors, as in New York—there is no selling on the sly—they are closed. The only exception is at the railroad stations. The refreshment bars there are permitted to be kept open as long as trains arrive or depart, for the British Government recognizes the necessity of an Englishman having his grog till the prescribed hour for his getting into his bed. The thirsty soul who pants for beer after twelve goes to Charing Cross station, and buys a ticket to the first station out, which is “tuppence ha’penny,” or five cents. Then he walks into the bar, and being a “traveler,” can buy, drink and pay for all the stimulants he desires, till the last train has arrived or departed for the night. His ticket he puts into his pocket, to be used when he desires.

The night trade in liquor is something enormous. A landlord in the Haymarket, whose lease is about expiring, is now paying one thousand dollars a year rent, and the proprietors have notified him that his renewal will cost him just five times that sum. He told me that he should not renew, but that he would gladly if he were allowed to keep open till half-past twelve, a half hour after the regular time. That half hour each day would more than make the difference in rent.

A walk along Piccadilly after twelve explains this difference. The street, from end to end, is crowded with prostitutes, and drunken rakes who think they are having a good time, but they are not. They walk up and down, chaffing with these poor unfortunates. They take them into the publics, and pay for their drinks, all of which the landlord not only approves of but encourages. And the English prostitute can drink as heartily and just as long as any man alive. She has just as drouthy a system, and it takes just as much to fill it. And there they sit, and chaff, and booze, till the clock strikes twelve and the place is closed. The landlord turns off the gas and puts up his shutters, cursing the law that compels him to close just as his harvest begins.

As there are literally tens of thousands of these women walking the street, and as ninety per cent of them are drunk at ten, with a carrying capacity of continuing to drink every minute as long as anybody will pay for it, and as there is an equal number of men prowling the streets whose highest idea of amusement is to pay for it, the importance of an extra half hour after midnight may be appreciated.

But it is of no use. Law is law in England, and whether the citizen likes it or not, he is compelled to obey it in letter and spirit. Were a public house to be open a minute after the hour, a policeman would walk in and close it for him, and the next day the nearest magistrate would revoke his license, and he could never get one again. No proprietor would rent him a place, for the license is too valuable to be risked by a violator of law.

There are a few bars in London that make a specialty of American drinks, which are very curious. The names they palm off as American are very funny to an American, because they are never heard of over there. None of my readers ever go into bars, except for curiosity, but just imagine this list of drinks:

“Copper-cooler,” “Pick-me-up,” “Our Swizzle,” “Maiden’s Blush,” “Bosom-caresser,” “Corpse-reviver,” “Flash-of-Lightning,” and so on.

And these names are actually believed by Englishmen to be genuinely American, and in common use in the States.

Ice is about the scarcest thing in England, and cannot be had at the majority of bars. At some of the very best it will be furnished, if very forcibly asked for, but then in too small quantities to be satisfactory to an American, who is accustomed to taking his drinks ice cold. The frozen reminiscence of Winter is rather expensive here, and, besides that, the Englishman very rightly considers it unhealthy. The water is drank in its natural temperature, and it is really wonderful how soon one becomes accustomed to it.

The prices of strong beverages run about the same as in the United States. Brandy is three pence, six cents of our Bird of Freedom money, and when the amount is considered, your three pence buys about the same as twelve and one-half cents in New York. Malt liquors are about the same. The glass is a trifle smaller, and the regular price at the small publics is two pence, an equivalent, quantity considered, of five cents.

The quality of malt liquors is a long way below the American article, and America, singular as it may seem, drinks better English ale than the Englishman does. The ale made here for home consumption is vile stuff, while that made for export is infinitely better. The Englishman eats what he cannot sell.

To get at these facts concerning drinking has cost me an inconceivable amount of wear and tear of feeling, which sacrifice I trust my readers will appreciate.



TO pass from rum to amusement is a very easy and natural transition, for unfortunately the people who drink are, as a rule, those who need and will have amusement. Having done with liquor forever, I am glad to get to a subject not quite so disagreeable.

London supports forty theaters proper; that is, forty theaters devoted entirely to dramatic or operatic representations, and several hundred places of amusement of all kinds, which may be classed as variety shows.

The regular theaters are a long way beyond those in America. I dislike to acknowledge this, but candor and fairness compels it. I cannot tell a lie, even for national pride. My hatchet is bright—it has never been used much. The London theaters will not compare with those of any of the large American cities in point of size, or convenience of access. They are generally situated in out of the way places, and the halls and entrances are as shabby as anything can be, but when you are once in nothing can be more delightful. There is a softness in the appointments, a perfection in the furnishing, a good taste generally that America has not. We are splendid, but it must be confessed, rather garish and loud.

The character of the performances excels the style of the theaters. Their pieces are put upon the stage with an attention to detail, and with a strength of cast which we at home never see, even in the best.


I witnessed a piece at the St. James, the time of which was the First Charles. In a drawing-room scene musical instruments

image not available


were necessary. In America it would have been nothing singular had a Chickering piano been used, and a parlor set in reps. Imagine the delight of seeing a drawing-room furnished with furniture of the period, with an old harpsichord, such as the ladies of the time used, with the ancient zittern, and the gorgeous harp, with the chairs and couches precisely as they were in the country house of the time. The costumes were not mere guess work—they were designed and constructed by a professional costumer, who made studies from pictures, and put upon the stage men and women of King Charles’ day. This was a delight, in and of itself, that paid one for his time and expenditure, even if he cared nothing for the play.

And then the acting. If there is any one thing in the way of amusements that is utterly and fiendishly detestable, it is the acting of the usual child. The mother or father who trains the ten year old phenomenon to play children’s parts, takes it as far away from childhood as he can possibly, and the child does not play a child at all. He does, or tries to do, Hamlet, in children’s clothes. But nothing of the sort is permitted in London. The child plays the child, and does it as it should be done. It was a comfort to see two children on the floor in one scene, playing at the game of “See-saw, Margery Daw,” and doing it exactly as children would do in real life, instead of mouthing the lines like an old-style actor in “Macbeth.”

And all the way down there was the same perfection in the acting as in the setting of the piece. There was not one star and twenty “sticks,” as is the rule over the water, but the servant who merely said, “My lord, the carriage waits,” did that bit just as well as the hero or heroine of the piece.

The Englishman is a very thorough sort of a man, and wants what he has done well, according to his notion of what well is.

The places of amusement, other than the regular theaters, are of as great variety as they are vast in number. The prevailing attraction is, of course, the regular variety theater, which does not differ materially from its brother in America. It is singular that the stock attraction at the variety theater is the negro minstrel act. Minstrelsy originated in America forty years ago, but it has as firm a hold upon England as it has upon America, and a trifle firmer. No programme is complete without it, and no part of the performances are so heartily enjoyed.

But their minstrelsy would drive an American negro crazy. It is sufficient for a London audience to have a performer black his face and hands, and put on a long-tailed coat, and striped trowsers, and sing negro songs. The rich, mellow accent of the American African, the rollicking humor, the funny grotesqueness, all that is wanting. At any music hall you shall hear the songs popular in America sung by a cockney with all the cockney peculiarities of speech, even to the misplacing of the h’s.

The leg business is even more common and more indecent than in America, and variety performance is more highly flavored generally. Magic and athletic performances are greatly in favor, albeit fine vocalism and instrumental performance of a very high character must be interspersed.

These variety performances are attended by all classes. The respectable mechanic and his family, the professional man and his family, the thief, pickpocket, and prostitute, are all mingled in one common mass, the only division being the prices in different parts of the house. And here, as everywhere, drinking goes on incessantly and forever. Waiters move about through the audience, taking orders for beverages, and men and women drink and guzzle, and men smoke during the entire performance. No matter what else stops, the flow of beer never does. It is very like Time in this particular, constantly moving.

The life of a variety actor is a very busy one after eight at night. If he has any popularity at all he has engagements at three and even four theaters. He sings one song and responds to three encores, then throwing himself into a cab he is driven to another and to another, the time of his appearance at each being fixed to a minute.


Singular as it may seem, the wretches who sing the most idiotic songs, of the “champagne Charley” kind, compositions so utterly and entirely stupid that one wonders that any audience would endure them for a minute, are the most popular. They sing them in extravagant evening costumes, in the most doleful and melancholy way, and call themselves “comiques.” One of them, probably the nearest approach to an idiot of any man on the English stage, makes from two hundred to three hundred dollars a week, and is in demand all the time.

image not available


But they have a good time at these theaters. To hear a woman sing a slang song dressed—or rather undressed—is not calculated to inflict much wear and tear upon the mind, and as all the performances are of the alleged humorous order there is abundant room for chaff and talk of like cheerful nature, which is further aided and promoted by the consumption of beer. The parties seem to enjoy it, and I presume they do.

The low Londoner has very brutal tastes. His greatest delight is a prize fight; a dog fight comes next in his estimation; a rat pit is satisfactory in default of anything more bloody; a cock-fight will answer as an appetizer; and a horse race is pleasing, though that shades up into something too near respectability for him.

A dog fight in London is a sight that is worth seeing just once, if studies of inhuman nature are what you want. The arena is always behind a “sporting public,” on whose tables in the parlor you shall always find the flash and sporting papers of the metropolis, and the walls of which are decorated with engravings of prize fights, portraits of famous dogs, and highly colored lithographs of noted horse encounters.

Gathered around the arena will be a hundred or more of “the fancy,” who were to me anything but fancy. They are the broad-jawed, soap-locked, sturdy brutes, of the Bill Sykes type, beer-bloated and gin-inflamed, who subsist by practices which, if not absolutely criminal, come as close to it as possible.

The dogs are of the English bull variety, those plucky, tenacious brutes who will die rather than yield, or even make any manifestation of pain.

At the signal the brute dogs are let loose upon each other, the human dogs about expressing the keenest possible delight at any especial and exceedingly bloody performance. The highest pleasure is attained, and the wildest enthusiasm is evoked, when one dog gets the shoulder or jaw of the other in his iron jaws, and holds it there, while the other literally eats him up. Then wagers are laid as to which will hold out the longest, and every movement is watched with the keenest solicitude, and when the bloody drama ends in the death of one or both, and the wagers are settled, the conversation flows naturally into a dog channel, and the victories and defeats of past years are discussed, much as soldiers discuss their achievements.


Dogs of this breed, of approved courage and strength, are of great value, and large sums of money are hazarded upon their performances. The aristocratic dog fanciers can have a private match made for them at any time for from one to five pounds.

Of course there are any quantity of aquariums and menageries, and institutions of a supposed usefully scientific nature, which are largely attended, but the variety theater, or music hall, as it is called, is the stock amusement of the Londoner. He can drink to better advantage in them than anywhere else, and that, after all, is the principal business of his life.

The street amusements are beyond any possibility of enumeration or description. You will not walk a dozen blocks without seeing the very absurd and very brutal Punch and Judy, which has delighted England for centuries, and seems to be immortal. One would naturally suppose that when a boy had laughed at two wooden figures manipulated by a man inside of a box, knocking each other on the head, with squeaks and idiotic dialogue, every day up to his twenty-first year, would naturally pass it by ever afterward, but it is not so. I have seen venerable men, who were doubtless bank presidents or clergymen, or something of the eminently respectable kind, stop in front of a Punch and Judy show, and laugh as heartily at the ancient performance as they did when they were boys in roundabouts. And they would stand out the performance, and at its conclusion give the performer their two pence, and go away as if they had been amused.

There never has been any change in Punch and Judy from the time it was brought to England from Italy. The fun is now, as then, in Punch knocking Judy on the head with his stick, and the shrieks of Judy with an expression on her face of enjoyment. That is all there is of it, and all there ever has been. And singular as it may seem, it is the first amusement of an English boy, and it delights him till he dies. He enjoyed it at eight, and just the same at eighty. No doubt he has a vague idea that he will find a Punch and Judy show in heaven when he reaches it.

But Punch and Judy shows are not all the amusements of the great city. Garden hose not being common, owing to the fewness of gardens and the limited use of water, the hand organ flourishes in all its native ferocity, the grinders being, as over the water, Italian noblemen with their wives. And they are just as dirty and grimy here as there. The mixed brass and string banditti perambulate the streets making the day and early night hideous, and in the side streets where the policeman is infrequent the street juggler plies his vocation.

image not available



One, for instance, has a common purse with four shillings. He places the four shillings in the purse, the country yokel sees them placed therein, and he chinks the purse. So far as the countrymen’s eyes and ears go there can be no doubt as to the fact of the four shillings being in the purse. Then the fakir offers to sell the purse to the countryman for sixpence, which, were the shillings actually inside, would certainly be a bargain. The countryman pays the sixpence, and straightway opens the purse, but he does not find the sixpence therein. It is as empty as his head. He finds that he has paid sixpence for a purse dear at a penny, and he retires amid the jeers of the populace.

As the clever juggler only finds a few victims each day, and as from each he makes only ten cents, I don’t see how he expects to ever retire from business and live upon his hard earned capital. The skill, knowledge of human nature, and hard work necessary to the successful prosecution of this little swindle would make him rich, with half the wear and tear. But such men would rather work a day to swindle somebody out of sixpence than to earn a dollar by honest work in a quarter of the time. That is why I shall never go into the business of juggling with four shillings and a penny purse. It is disreputable, and then it doesn’t pay.

Couples of negro minstrels are a common sight on the streets, one armed with a banjo, and another with a concertina, that he plays with an atrocious disregard of time and tune, which under a despotism would consign him to a block. They roam from house to house and play, as they call it. The helpless family, worried to the very verge of madness, throw them sixpence, and they move on. They stand and play till they get their sixpence. The race is not as it was in Jem Bagg’s day. He played the clarionet. “Ven the man tosses me a sixpence,” was his remark, and says ‘Now, my good man, move hon,’ I gently says to him, says I, ‘I never moves hon for a sixpence. I knows the vally of peace and quietness too much for that, and then, hif ’e doesn’t throw me another sixpence, I tips him my corkscrew hovertoor, and that halways fetches ’im.’ ”

In this degenerate day either the street musicians have forgotten their “corkscrew overtoors,” or they are satisfied with less money. A sixpence moves them on now certainly, but woe be to you if you are short the sixpence.

Next door to me lives a deaf man who is a bachelor. It is his delight to have the musicians come to this house. He sits in the doorway, and they play and play, and he assumes an ecstatic expression, and they wonder why he doesn’t order them to “move on,” but he doesn’t. It amuses him, and they play, till, lost in amazement at his powerful endurance, they put up their instruments sadly and move on of their own accord. I get very little amusement out of him now. The majority of the fiends have found him out.

image not available




ONE of the stock sights in London which every foreigner as well as every man, woman and child from the country who goes to London, does with great regularity, is Madame Tussaud’s Museum. It is known the world over and is as regular a thing to see as the Tower.

A great many years ago, some time since the flood, a Swiss woman named Tussaud, who had studied art in Paris, took the brilliant notion into her wise head that money was better than fame, and instead of spoiling marble she commenced doing some very good things in wax. She brought her figures to London and opened a museum, which she added to and enlarged as men and women became of sufficient interest to attract attention, until she got pretty much everybody of whom the world ever heard.

She died many years ago, but the collection was continued by her family, three generations of which have waxed rich and gone to join those whom they put so well in wax in life.

This wonderful museum, which actually deserves all the attention it gets, is filled with really excellent figures of the entire line of English Kings, dressed in the costumes of the period in which they lived, including arms, although court dresses generally adorn them. As the Tussaud family were, and are, artists, these figures are not the limp, misshapen, grinning effigies usually exhibited, but are in size, stature, color and general grouping, perfect.

I cannot say that the effigies of King Edward and Richard, and those other ancient marauders, are correct, for I never saw them in life. They died many years ago. But all you have to do is what Dicken’s Marchioness did with the orange peel wine: “Make believe very hard,” and they will do. The faces were modeled from portraits, and their dresses were made from actual costumes preserved in the curious repositories of which London is full. The visitor gets some notion of what the subjects were like, and that ought to be and is satisfactory.

image not available



You see, standing or sitting, marvelous likenesses of all the great soldiers and statesmen of England, but heavens! how our poor Americans have been abused! Washington is about as like our Washington as he is like an Ohio River coal-boat captain. Ex-President Grant has good cause for action for libel, for such a face as they have put upon him could not have been on a third corporal of the poorest company in the very worst North Carolina regiment, and President Hayes and Garfield have been similarly treated. That of Franklin is a tolerable likeness of the maker of infernal maxims, but there was a malicious design evident on the part of the artists to dwarf the Americans, as I fancy there was to enlarge and exaggerate the Englishmen.

The groups are something wonderful. The Lying-in-State of the Czar, a recent addition, is a miracle of naturalness and awful beauty, as is the death of Pope Pius; and they are so natural that one cannot help feeling that he is in the presence of actual death, and not a counterfeit presentment.

image not available


The Museum contains, among other curiosities that are of interest, the identical coach used by Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo, with a vast number of other relics of the great Corsican. From the number of Napoleonic relics I fancy that the Madame was at heart a French woman, though she was making her money from the English.

Great halls are filled with correct statuary in wax of the world’s great, or notorious men, all of which have to be “done,” as a matter of course.

But the great point, and one which no visitor ever fails to visit is the “Chamber of Horrors.” You pay a sixpence extra—there is always sixpence extra in England—and you are introduced to the most cheerful assemblage of monsters that the world has ever produced.

If there ever was a murder committed of an especially atrocious description, one done under peculiarly horrifying and terrible circumstances, here is a wax figure of the murderer, and, if possible, of the victim.

There is the original guillotine which made the acquaintance of so many necks during the various French revolutions. There is the identical scaffold which was devised by a man condemned to be hung, and on which he suffered, with forty-eight others afterward, before it was retired, and there are ropes and delightful articles of that nature with which criminals have suffered, and in such numbers that we come to the conclusion that the principal business of the English and French is to kill somebody and get hung for it.

The two criminals in which I took the liveliest interest were Messrs. Burke and Hare, of Edinburgh, Scotland. These gentlemen had a contract with the medical university of Edinburgh, to furnish the students with corpses for dissection, which they did by resurrecting them from various church-yards.

Mr. Burke, who was evidently the leader in the enterprise, remarked one night to Mr. Hare,—that is, I presume he did:

“Why go out this dark and rainy night and dig in the damp earth for corpses? Digging corpses is all wrong. If the friends of the deceased should ever discover that a corpse had been abstracted it would occasion the most profound feeling. We should have more respect for the survivors than to raise their dead, and then, in the interest of science, we should give the students fresher bodies for dissection. I am inflexibly opposed to digging any more.”


“But how shall we get the corpses?” asked the obtuse Mr. Hare.

“It is far easier,” replied Mr. Burke, “to knock a man on the head than it is to dig him up, and, in addition to the other reasons I have mentioned, a sand-bag or a club is cheaper than a spade.”

image not available


And Mr. Hare coinciding with Mr. Burke, they went out that night and killed a man, and they kept going out and killing men till thirty had disappeared. The authorities finally got upon their track, when Mr. Hare turned States’ evidence and hung Mr. Burke, and he went peacefully into some other business.

image not available


It is needless to add that a careful study of the faces of the two men would not lead one to purposely encounter them in a dark alley after twelve at night. Nothing earthly could be so villainous.

A little incident that occurred the day I explored the Museum illustrates the perfection of the modeling and draping the figures. There were in the party a gentleman and lady from Pennsylvania, the former being a devotee of the alleged science of phrenology, and rather fond of discussing the subject.


A female figure was standing on the floor, which attracted his attention. This was in the Chamber of Horrors.

“I want to call your attention,” he said to his wife, “to this illustration of the truth of phrenology. Could there be modeled a more vicious face? Notice the development back of the ears, showing the head to be all animal, and the pinched forehead and the general insignificance of the front head as compared with the development of the back portion. There is murder in every line of that face. Let me see who it is.”

“Thank you,” exclaimed the figure as it moved away. It was a very estimable American lady whom the phrenologist had mistaken for a wax figure.

image not available




LONDON is probably the most expensive place to do business in the world. Its business men are conservative, so conservative that they would not for the world part their hair in any way differing from their fathers, nor would they adopt a modern convenience unless it were absolutely necessary to the maintenance of English supremacy, and they would sigh as they parted with an old nuisance for a modern delight. Their professions have all got into ruts from which you can no more move them than you can the Pyramids, and their practices are so established that they may and do do as they please, without regard to the notions of any body.

An American resident in London bargained for a house, and the lease had to be transferred. Now in any country where a common school exists almost anybody can assign a lease, but not so here. A solicitor had to be employed, and afterward a contract long enough to cover a sheet of legal paper had to be drawn up. It was a very plain matter—forty words would have been sufficient. But a solicitor must be employed nevertheless. How much do you suppose it cost Mr. Foote to have this trifle of work done? As a matter of instruction to the American people and for the benefit of American lawyers, who are too modest in their charges, and I am now convinced that the majority of them are, I make a partial copy of the solicitor’s bill, as it is a more interesting document than anything that I can write. Here it is:


Clerk attending at Messrs. Ingram’s (Vendor’s Solicitors), for
draft proposed contract


Procuring and considering and found same objectionable


Instructions for contract


Drawing same, folios twenty


Engrossing in two parts


Writing Messrs. Ingram with one part


Writing Mr. Challer for schedule of fixtures to answer to contract


Same as to appointment for Monday


Drawing telegram and attending to forward and paid


Attending you, and then at Messrs. Ingram, engaged a considerable
time going through deed and documents, etc., and settling
contracts and signing


Writing your hereon, fully


Instructions for registration on title


Drawing same




Attending to deliver


Replying to your letter


Attending appointing conference


Engrossing papers, leases and covenants


Attending Dr. Thomson therewith


Fee to him and clerk


Paid conference fee


Attending conference and cab hire


Perusing his opinion


Writing you with copy Dr. Thomson’s opinion


Making copy of schedule and fixtures


Waiting upon Messrs. Ingram with same


Perusing abstract


Writing with appointment to examine deeds with abstract


Attending examining deeds with abstract, self and clerk


Attending searching liquidation proceedings of Arthur Coleman
and paid


As this remarkable document extends over four and a half pages of
foolscap paper I will not give it all. However, there are some other charges
worthy of going upon record. For instance this item:

A replying to your letter


And this:

Attending you long conference, and you left cheque for purchase money

13 4 0

Writing you fully

  3 6

Attending appointing conference

  3 6

The entire bill footed up forty-two pounds, fourteen shillings and ten pence, which, reduced to bird of freedom money amounts to about two hundred and twenty-five dollars.

And all this for transferring a lease from one party to another, about which operation there couldn’t be the slightest trouble, except as the two attorneys made it.

Doubtless the Messrs. Ingram and Dr. Thomson, whatever he had to do with it, put in a similar bill against their clients, so both sides had a very good thing of it.

But this was not all there was of it. It was necessary that Mr. Foote should have a little article of agreement with Mr. Welch, his manager, not that there was any especial need for it, but as a mere matter of form, as we say when we want a sure thing on somebody. The same attorney was employed to do this, in fact he suggested it and did it before this bill was presented.

image not available



The bill for this service is precisely like the other. There are items for “attendance,” for “preparing telegrams,” for “waiting, self and clerk,” for “instructions,” and so on, the amount charged for preparing an article of agreement being eight pounds sterling.

The attorney’s fees for the whole of this trifling piece of business footed up exactly seventy-two pounds sterling, or three hundred and sixty dollars.

“What do these items mean?” I asked Mr. Foote.

“Well, the items for attendance mean that I went to his office and told him in three minutes’ time what I wanted, and he made minutes with a pencil.”

“The clerk?”

“Oh, they never go anywhere without a clerk. His business is to carry a green bag with nothing in it, and look like an umpire. All the writing of letters, for which he relentlessly charged three shillings and sixpence each, was totally unnecessary, as they related to matters of which I fully informed him at the beginning. But he was the most industrious letter writer I ever saw. And I would answer his letters like an idiot, and he charged for replying to mine, and then he would write again and charge for that, and so on. And when he couldn’t decently write another letter, he would telegraph me and charge for that, and—well, if I had taken two leases I shouldn’t have been through till this time.”

“Did you pay it?”

“Pay it? Of course I did. To have resisted would have been ruin. He would have sued me, and I should have had to have employed another attorney, and the case would have gone into the courts, after about a thousand instructions, conferences, letters, and telegrams, and clerks, and all that, from him—the same as this—and it would have dragged along, with more clerks, and letters, and telegrams, till the crack o’ doom. Instead of bills of four pages I should have had bills of forty, and then there would have been money to be paid on account, and bail, and the Lord only knows what. A law suit in London means ruin to everybody but the lawyers and officers of the court. And in the end I should have been compelled to pay it, for the courts take care of the attorneys. And, after all, he only made the regular charges that every London lawyer does. Indeed, as he omitted twice to charge three and six pence for bidding me good morning, I don’t know but that he is rather liberal than otherwise. I think,” said Mr. Foote, reflectively, “that three times he shook my hand, and I find no charge for that. On the whole, he is a tolerable fair lawyer to do business with.”

“Tell me all about him.”

“He is one of say twenty thousand lawyers in London who get a case like this, occasionally. He occupies “chambers,” as they call their offices, and keeps a clerk, as they all have to, to ever expect any business, as a lawyer without a clerk would have no standing. The clerk spends most of his time eating ham sandwiches, having nothing else to do, except when his employer gets a man like myself on a string, on which occasion he follows him about carrying a bag which is supposed to contain papers of great moment. My lease was all that was in that bag for a month or more. He lives well all the time, for no matter how poor he may be, or how little business he has, he must live well for the sake of appearance. Finally he does get the management of a good estate, and is fixed for life. An Englishman reposes confidence in his solicitor, and would no more think of disputing a charge made by him than he would of heading a rebellion. They are doubtless a very nice lot, but the less you have to do with them the better. A little of them go a long way. Dispute his bill, not I. I don’t want to make England a permanent residence, for I hope to get back to America some time, and a law suit would keep me here all my life, provided I had money enough to pay fees and costs. They’ll hold on you as long as you’ve a penny.”

That Mr. Foote did not exaggerate, I know. Had I supposed he had been exaggerating I should not have written this. But I copied this bill from the original, which was receipted by the attorney, who, doubtless, sighed as he wrote his name, that some mistake had not occurred which made litigation necessary.



IT is a very common remark that Americans love to be humbugged. Perhaps they do, but their English cousins can give them points in this desire. The ease with which adventurers and bogus schemers get their claws into English moneybags, is something astounding. Perhaps it is because the nation has so much money that it don’t know what to do with it, or possibly because the Englishman is naturally credulous, but it is a fact that London is the paradise of the sharper, and the pleasant pasture for the bogus speculator.

There are several reasons for it. Interest is very low in England, and for the man who desires to live “like a gentleman” the temptation to increase the rate is very strong. Then again there is an immense amount of capital lying idle and seeking investment, and the man who has just enough money at three per cent. to live upon very closely, is always anxious to increase his income by making it six. Every man who has just money enough to drink beer, has an insatiable thirst for champagne. And the Englishman who has a strong sense of mercantile honor, naturally has more faith than the inhabitant of a country where the standard of honor is lower, and men are, by habit, more cautious of believing.

The papers of London are filled with prospectuses of companies organized for developing something in all parts of the world, and these prospectuses are so written that they would deceive the very elect.

The principal point at the beginning is to get a board with a great many lords, dukes, esquires, and all that sort of thing, on it, the average Englishman not seeming to realize that there are a good many of these gentry who are as impecunious as anybody else, and who would do a piece of roguery for enough to live upon comfortably upon the continent, as readily as the commonest sharper in the world. The baronet has a stomach to fill and a back to cover the same as the costermonger. In this, all humanity stands upon an equality.

Before me lies a respectable paper, its pages filled with glowing advertisements of projected companies. The first is for the “Acquiring and further developing the well-known so-and-so gold mine,” in Venezuela.

It begins with the Board of Directors, not one of whom is less in degree than an Esquire, and several “Sirs” figure in it. Then comes the bankers—nothing in London is complete without a banker—then solicitors, then brokers. After this elaborate outfit, all of which looks as solvent and sound as the Bank of England, comes a glowing prospectus.

Nothing can be finer than this prospectus. “The property proposed to be acquird consists of six hundred and fifty-nine acres, which contain the most of the noted Venezuela gold mines. The vein has been traced on the surface for a distance of one thousand nine hundred feet,” and so on. Then comes a very complete table showing the profit that has been made mining in Venezuela, and after this a statement from “Mr. George Atwood, A. M. Inst., C. E., F. G. S., etc., etc.,”—it would not be complete without all these initials, even to the etc., the etc., showing that as learned as is stated there is more behind him,—who makes a statement as to the probable profits of the enterprise, all of which are as good as anybody could desire. The estimated profits are set down at twenty per cent. on the investment.

The capital wanted is two million five hundred thousand dollars, in shares of five dollars each. You are asked to pay the moderate sum of sixty-two cents on application, which is modest enough, and the balance of the five dollars you pay as the work goes on.


What could be better than this? Here is a man with some money bearing three per cent., and here is a proposition to give him twenty per cent. There are “Honorables,” and “Sirs,” and “Esquires” on the board, and Mr. Atwood, F. R. S., and all the rest of it, shows that twenty per cent. has been made in Venezuela. Why should not the man convert some of his beggarly three per cents. into cash and take a shy at it, as Wall street would say, and set up his carriage on the profits? True, he don’t know one of the Sirs or Honorables, and Atwood, F. R. S., etc., is quite as unknown to him. But then the advertisements! They cover half a page in each paper in London, and that costs an immense sum, and were there not something in it how could they make that vast expenditure?

He takes it, never dreaming that the speculators who pay for these advertisements, do it for the purpose of catching just such gudgeons as he is, knowing, for they know human nature, that the modest announcements that are made for really solid investments, would not catch him at all.

There are projected companies for supplying London with fish, all with boards of directors, and all promising from ten to twenty per cent. profit, not one of them with less than two million five hundred thousand dollars capital, in shares of five dollars each. Now there is no city in the world so well supplied with fish as London, in fact the supply is far beyond the demand, and there is no city which has cheaper sea food. There being innumerable private firms in the business, and there being fish markets everywhere, it would be supposed that a man of fair intelligence would question the possibility of any new company being able to compete in the business profitably. But, as in the mining companies, the array of names, and the deliciously worded prospectus, are hooks that never fail to catch. It is not the fish in the sea that these fellows are after.

These are only specimen bricks. There are companies for the development of iron mines, of tin mines, of copper mines, and all other kinds of mines in England, Spain, Algeria, India, and everywhere under the sun, companies proposing to buy vast tracts of land in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Mexico, and everywhere else, each with its board of noblemen, its bankers and solicitors.

The American sharpers who have mines in Colorado and Nevada have reaped a rich harvest. The city is full of them. You shall see about the place where Americans most do congregate, sharp faced fellows, dressed very seedily, whose trowsers are chewed off at the heel, and whose coats bear unmistakable evidence of having passed through the renovator’s hands a great many times, and would again if their proprietors only had the one-and-nine pence necessary, or had another to wear while it was being done, the said coats buttoned very closely to the throat, so closely that a cheap scarf conceals the condition of the shirt beneath, if happily there be one, standing listlessly, as if waiting for some one who will never come.

They know you to be an American at once, and one introduces himself, claiming to have seen you in the States:

“What are you doing here?” is your first inquiry.

“Oh, I have been here a year. I came over to place a mine I own in Nevada.”

“How are you getting on?”

“Splendid! I just sold the half of it for five hundred thousand dollars. I ought to have got more for it, but I am tired of waiting, and want to get home, and so I let it go. Five hundred thousand dollars is a good sum, and then I retain a half interest in it. It will make me all the money I shall ever want. By the way have you met any of the nobility? No? I shall be glad to introduce you to the Duke of Buccleugh. I am going down to his country seat to-morrow. He is interested with me, and he’s a devilish clever fellow.”

You plead a prior engagement if you are wise, but you have not seen the last of your American friend who has just sold the half of a mine for five hundred thousand dollars. Oh, no! For the next day he will be waiting for you, and he will volunteer to go about with you in so persistent a way that you cannot refuse without being brutally blunt, and after taking you to all sorts of show places which are open to anybody, and which you want no guide for, he will establish himself in such a way as to make you feel, whether or no, that he has some claim upon you.

Then comes the final stroke. As you part with him, he will take you one side, and then this:


“By the way, I am waiting for the final drawing of papers to complete the sale, when I get my money. I have been here so long that I have exhausted my ready money, and my remittances did not come by the last steamer, but they must come by the next, which will be Saturday. Would you mind lending me five pounds till Saturday?”

You have but little pocket-money, you say.

“An order on the American Exchange will do as well.”

You never give orders.

He lowers his want, till, finally, when he gets down to five shillings you give it to him, glad to be rid of him so cheaply.

Nevertheless this fellow will finally sell his mine, or his alleged mine. All he has to do is to wait long enough, and he will find some credulous Englishman who will bite at the naked hook, and put his name and influence to it, and it will be done. Then he will go home and establish himself in good style, and be a prominent man.

But what becomes of the English investors? Echo answers. It is a conundrum that goes echoing down the ages, and will only be answered in that period of the next world when everything shall be made plain. The poor widow who put her little pittance in the hands of these sharks doubtless started a private school, if she was qualified for it, or made use of her one accomplishment, painting, music or what not, to earn a miserable existence. The poor clerk who was saving to purchase a home of his own, went back to his lodgings and put his nose freshly upon the grindstone, and the young tradesman went into bankruptcy, his shop passed out of his hands, and he served where he had once commanded. And the shark, if an English one, shelters himself behind his assumed name, or goes to the Continent, and lives in luxury all his days.

Inasmuch as these things have been going on ever since the South Sea bubble it would seem that people would get wiser, and know better than to put their all in such wild-cat schemes. But bear this in mind, the loser never admits that he lost in so stupid a way, and his fellows are never fully informed about it, and besides there are children born every day, a certain percentage of them with sharp teeth, and the rest with fat. The teeth find the fat, the shark finds the gudgeon invariably. That’s his business. When I read these prospectuses I find myself getting up a great deal of respect for the old barons who, when they wanted money, seized a rich Jew and starved him awhile in a dungeon, and if that gentle treatment did not suffice to extract the requisite cash, pulled out his teeth, one by one, till he disgorged. In those days a venerable Jew whose teeth were all gone was as fortunate as the man caught by the Indians who was bald and wore a wig—he saved his scalp.

image not available



These ancient robbers did not add grandiloquent lying to theft. It was with them a simple taking of what they wanted without circumlocution. It was highway robbery to picking pockets, and was certainly the preferable of the two.

Were I an Emperor, with absolute power, I should immediately discharge the honest soldier, who would work for a living were he out of the service, and draft in the army all these fellows. And the regiments composed of them should lead every forlorn hope, charge every battery, and do all the dangerous and fatiguing work that soldiers have to do. A country could afford to lose a great many battles to rid itself of these worse than thieves.

Do you remember Dickens’ Montagu Tigg in Martin Chuzzlewit? I used to think it an overdrawn picture, but it is not. It is as correct a portrait as was ever limned.

America has been deemed the paradise of the quack, but before England she must pale her ineffectual fires. Next to beer, patent medicines stare you in the face everywhere. The walls fairly shine with the advertisements of remedies for every disease known to the faculty, and when that supply runs out the ingenious proprietor invents a stock of new ailments that never did exist, and inasmuch as the least of them are six syllabled ones, it is to be hoped never will.

There are medicines for the liver, for the kidneys, for the lungs, for the feet, for the head, for the ears, for the eyes, for the scalp, for the hair, and for every part and parcel of the human body, and for every animal that man has subjugated and brought subservient to his will. There are certificates from Lords, and Dukes, and Honorables, as to the efficiency of Hobson’s Vermifuge, though with these it is always a tenant’s child that was cured, the scions of noble houses being of too blue blood to ever have so vulgar a complaint. In case of gout, or any genuinely aristocratic ailment, they are not so particular.

The advertisement of every remedy ends with the announcement:—

“As there are unprincipled parties in the kingdom who seize upon every article of known merit, to imitate the same, the purchasers of Hobson’s remedies are respectfully requested to particularly observe the label on the bottles. The name of “Hobson” is printed on the steel engraving, on the face of the bottle, fourteen hundred and sixty-three times, and without this none are genuine. Beware of fraudulent imitations.”

And the British dame will stand at the counter and count the wearying repetition, much to the disgust of the shopman, who, knowing that the remedy is only three days old, and that there are no imitations, and never will be, wants her to take her bottle of the stuff and move on and make room for another victim.

image not available



Their ingenuity in advertising is as good as that of their trans-Atlantic brethren. You see vast vans driven slowly up and down the streets, built up twenty feet with canvass, showing an emaciated mortal, with scarcely an hour of life in him, with the legend underneath, “Before taking Gobson’s Elixir,” and the same party dressed, and walking the streets with the physical perfection of a prize fighter, and underneath, “After taking Gobson’s Elixir.” Transparencies at night flash forth the miraculous virtues of “Hopkins’ Saline Draught,” and there isn’t an inch of dead wall anywhere that has not its burden of announcements. Long processions of ragged men the most of them too old and weak to do anything else, march along the sidewalks sandwiched between two boards, each one bearing testimony to the virtues of some wonderful compound, there being enough of them to weary the eye and make one wish he could go somewhere where advertising was impossible.

One of these human sandwiches remarked to me that the boards were a little uncomfortable in the Summer, but the two made a mighty good overcoat in the Winter.

And as if there was not enough of it already, an enterprising Yankee is here with a steam whale, ninety feet long, spouting water sixty feet high, the machinery and crew concealed in the boat on which it rests, which is to ply up and down the beautiful Thames, bearing upon either side the announcement of a liver pill. The proprietor gives him ten thousand dollars for the use of it for the season, and bears all the expenses of running it. It is very like a whale, and as it attracts much attention will doubtless pay a handsome profit to the man by whom it has been engaged.

The papers are full of such advertising, the only difference between England and America being that the advertisements here are more elegantly written, and couched in really superior English which ours are not, always. The English shoemaker who turns doctor, employs the best literary talent at command to write his announcements, and he pays more liberally than the magazines do the same men. Many a London writer, struggling for fame and a place in literature, makes a handsome addition to his slender income by going into the service of these patent medicine vendors.

Nearly all of them succeed. The British public are a medicine-taking people by nature. There are not many diseases upon the island naturally, but the inhabitants create a very large number by their habits. The universal use of beer—and vile stuff it is—is not conducive to general health, and the Englishman is about the heartiest eater on the globe. He is more than hearty—he verges very closely upon the gluttonous. Consequently he needs medicines, and the manufacturers adapt themselves to the market. There are more than a thousand “after dinner pills,” warranted to correct all the effect of “over-indulgence at the table,” which means that it will do something toward keeping up a man who eats about four times what he ought to, and drinks enough every year to drive an American or Frenchman into delirium tremens.

The market for these goods is world-wide, and enormous fortunes are amassed. I must say, however, that the trade is not in the best repute. Many brewers have been knighted, but no patent medicine man. In the matter of ennobling people the line must be drawn somewhere. Dickens’ barber drew it at the baker—the English draw it at the brewer.

image not available




THERE is no Petticoat Lane any more, some finnicky board having very foolishly changed the good old name to Middlesex street. There was something suggestive in the name “Petticoat Lane,” for it indicated with great accuracy the business carried on there, but there is nothing suggestive about Middlesex street. It might as well have been called Wellington street, or Wesley street, or Washington street. I hate these changes. A street is a street, and calling it an avenue don’t make it so. Why not Petticoat Lane? By any other name it smells as strong. It is Petticoat Lane and always will be Petticoat Lane, and despite the edict of the board, the Londoner calls it by that title and always will.

Petticoat Lane is a long, tortuous narrow street, properly a lane, (about the width of an ordinary alley in an American city,) in the heart of the city proper. It is probably the dirtiest spot on the globe. If there is a dirtier I do not wish to see it—or, more especially, to smell it. It is the very acme of filth, the incarnation of dirt, and the very top, the peaked point of the summit of rottenness.

A friend of mine who had lost the sense of smell was condoled with on his misfortune.

“Don’t pity me,” he said, “please don’t. It is a blessing, and not a misfortune. In this imperfect world there are more bad smells than perfumes. If I am deprived of one delight I escape a dozen inflictions. If I can’t enjoy the rose, I, at least, dodge the tan yard.”

Precisely so another friend who had his right leg torn off in a threshing machine during the war, reveled in his cork leg, because, having but one flesh and blood foot, he only took half the chances of ordinary mortals of taking cold from wet feet.

So does philosophy turn misfortunes into blessings. To carry out the idea I suppose the more troubles happen to a man the happier he should be. Would that I could take life that way, but I can’t. Unfortunately the day I was in Petticoat Lane my sense of smell was unusually acute, at least so it seemed to me.

Philosophers of this school should spend a great deal of their time in Petticoat Lane, for in that savory locality all the senses one needs are his eyes and ears. A loss of smell there would be a blessing.

It is the especial street belonging to the Jews. Not the Jews we have in America, the bright, busy, active men, who have left their impress upon every spot they have touched, who have done so much to make America what it is—not the well-dressed, well-housed leader in business and everything else he puts his hands to, but the old kind of Jew, the Jew of Poland, with the long beard and long coat, very like the gaberdine we see in pictures and on the stage, the Jew of Shakespeare, the Jew who will trade in anything, and live in a way that no other race or section of a race on earth can live. There is a denser population in Petticoat Lane, I verily believe, than anywhere else on the globe, outside of China, and it is all Hebrew.

You should go Sunday morning, which is their especial day, and get there about ten o’clock, to see it in all its glory. All places for selling liquor in London are closed part of the day Sunday, except in this street; but here they are all open and in full blast. Whether there is a special exception made by law, or whether there is a tacit winking at the violation by the authorities because of the religion of the people, I do not know; but it is a fact that in this street the beer shops are open all day and a thriving business they do.


It is the busiest place I ever saw. The streets are crowded, not the sidewalks only, but the streets, to the very center. You see no horse-drawn vehicles—it is all people. Barrows and carts drawn by people, men or women, are the only vehicles. There would be no room for any other. The fiery steed attached to a hansom, which shares its driver’s noble ambition to run down a foot passenger, would be tamed in Petticoat Lane. The number of opportunities to run down people would embarrass, and, finally, subdue him.

image not available


What do all these people do? It would be easier to answer the question, What don’t they do? They do everything. If there is an article on earth—that is, a second-hand article,—that is not bought and sold in Petticoat Lane on Sunday morning, I have not seen it. You can buy anything you want there, provided you want it second-hand, from a knitting needle to a ship’s anchor. There is nothing in the street that is not second-hand, except the people. They all bear the stamp of originality, every one of them. They are born traders. If a pair of Petticoat Lane Jew twins in a cradle don’t trade teething rings, and attempt to swindle each other, the father and mother drop tears of sorrow over them, and as soon as they are old enough, take them out of the place and apprentice them to a trade. Without this manifestation they would not be considered good enough for Petticoat Lane. Very few have, however, been so apprenticed.

Here is a hideous old woman on the sidewalk with her stock in trade under her eye, and a sharp eye it is, arranged along the curb. What is it? A few dozen or more pairs of boots and shoes, in all stages of dilapidation, carefully polished, and made to look as respectable as possible, any pair of which (by the way, they are not always mates,) you shall buy, if you desire, at any price ranging from a penny to a shilling. No matter what the ancient dame gets for them, she has made a profit. She picked them up on the streets, save a few that she may have borrowed when the owner was not looking. What anybody wants of these remnants, these ghosts of foot wear, I can’t conceive. But she sells them. The trade is consummated easily after the chaffering is over with. The purchaser pays the woman, and sheds the worse ones he has on, and puts on his acquisition, and wends his way. Probably in an hour he would be glad to trade back, but it is too late.

Next to her stands a cart, which is a portable hardware store. There are hinges, nails, all second-hand, carpenter’s tools, axes, locks, keys, and all sorts of iron-mongery, and he sells, too. Somebody wants these goods, and he gets his price. As these things are collected as were the boots, the vender is happy at every pennyworth he sells.


Here is a clothing merchant with his stock laid conveniently on the sidewalk. It is a motley mass, and his method of disposing of it is precisely the same as that of the second-hand clothing dealer the world over. I don’t know as these dealers rise to the sublime height of the New York Chatham street Jew, who claimed that a villainous green coat was made for General Grant, but that he wouldn’t have it because the velvet on the collar was too fine for his taste, but they approach it. He has everything that one can conceive of. There are flunkeys’ uniforms, sailors’ jackets, worn-out dress coats that once figured in the best society, but they decayed, and went down and down through all the grades of society, till they finally landed in Petticoat Lane, where they will be sold for a shilling, and the purchaser will tear the tails off as useless encumbrances that give no warmth and are simply in the way, and comfortable jackets will be made of them.

image not available


Under this head I might ring in Hamlet’s soliloquy about the dust of great men stopping cracks, and preach a very pretty sermon on the mutability of human affairs, but I won’t. Petticoat Lane is not exactly the place for philosophizing, nor will it be for me till I get its smell out of my nostrils. Visiting Petticoat Lane is very much like eating onions—you carry the taste with you a long time, which is a blessing—for those who like onions. The onion is an economical vegetable at any price. It may come high to begin with, but it lasts a long time.

I saw General’s uniforms, American sack-coats, trowsers that may have graced the legs of royalty, and a great many that had not, there not being many of the royalty. There were French blouses, police uniforms, Irish knee-breeches, everything. One coat I saw sold for a penny, the vender originally asking two shillings for it.

Next to this merchant was a man who had an assortment of sewing machines—Wheeler & Wilson, Wilcox & Gibbs, the Domestic, Singer—all the American machines were represented, and he sold them, too. People come there to buy these things. They went as low as three dollars, and as high as five. One bloated aristocrat, who was particular as to appearances, actually paid seven dollars for a Wheeler & Wilson, and was not above carrying it off himself.

In Petticoat Lane they don’t have wagons to deliver your purchases as they do in Regent street and elsewhere, nor do they sell on time. You buy, and pay for what you buy, and to prevent mistakes you pay for your goods just before you get them. It’s a habit they have.

The furniture stores—all on the sidewalk—are curiosities. It would delight a gatherer-up of unconsidered trifles to see one of them. I did not notice a whole piece of furniture in the lot. There was either a leg gone, or two legs, or the top, or the side, something must be gone. But the dealer didn’t mind that. “You see, ma teer, all you hef to do ish to get dot leg put on, and its shoost ash goot as new, efery bit.” Bureaus with missing drawers, tables with three legs where four were essential, chairs with the top, bottom and legs gone; in short, everything that was broken and condemned as useless by everybody finds its last resting-place here. Surely there can be no lower depth for the disabled.


As I gazed in wonder upon some of the articles I saw, and noticed how little of the original article could be sold, I bethought myself of the cooper who was brought a bung hole, with the request that he build a barrel about it.

The street vendors of eatables formed no small portion of the traffic that was going on incessantly. You can get a slice of roast beef with greens (greens is what these people call cabbage, and, by the way, they call a lemonade a “lemon squash”), for a penny, and you shall see it cut from the joint, otherwise you wouldn’t know what it was. True the plate on which the satisfying food was placed had been merely dipped in cold water, and true it was that the two hundred pound woman who served it had never washed her hands since the day she was married, but that did not matter. The dish was taken and devoured, the ceremony of paying before getting it being religiously observed. There were shrimps, and snails, and lettuce salads, and moldy fruit, and everything else that the British public eats, all on the street, which is convenient, to say the least.

Sharpers were not wanting to complete this variegated scene. The thimble-rigger was there, his game being confined to a penny, so as to harmonize with the general cheapness of the locality, and, to keep it in perfect accord, his little portable table, and his thimbles were second-hand. There were street acrobats, nigger minstrels, hand organs, hurdy-gurdys, street singers, and the inevitable street brass band, made up of four sad-looking men who appeared as though there was nothing in life for them, and that they were playing in expiation of some great crime, and were compelled to play on forever. How these people live I never could make out. During the whole day I never saw a penny given them, except one which one of our party threw them. They took it up with an expression of the most intense surprise, as though it was an astounding and unlooked-for occurrence, and immediately stopped playing, and made for the nearest cook stand and invested the whole of it in a plate of beef and greens, which was divided among the four. I was about to throw them another penny, but was checked by our guide. He protested against pampering them. I understood him. The American Indian will consume a month’s provisions in a single day’s feast, and starve the other twenty-nine. Had I given them another penny they would have had another plate of beef on the spot, and then gone hungry a week. As we intended to come again next Sunday, for their own good I reserved the penny for that occasion.

Understand it is not Jews who are the purchasers of these wrecks of goods, these reminiscences of furniture and the like; they are the sellers. The purchasers are the British public proper, who come here for bargains. They get them—perhaps.

The question is, where do all these things come from? If there are more than one in the Jewish family, and whether there is or not depends upon the age, for they marry very young, and have children as rapidly as possible, all but one of them roam through the country incessantly, buying, bartering for and picking up all the stuff, which, after bought or picked up, is brought here and fixed as far as the skill and ingenuity of the purchaser and the rottenness of the material will permit. Then it is sold, at no matter what price. The motto in Petticoat Lane is, “no reasonable offer refused.”

It is not, however, only the second-hand that Petticoat Lane deals in. You see moving among the crowd here and there quite another class of Israelites from those who are vending dilapidated clothing and broken furniture. They are well dressed men, with coats buttoned up very closely. Their raven locks are surmounted with tall hats, and their boots cleaned as carefully as any swell’s in London. They are all distinctively Hebrew, there being no exception to this rule.


Across the way is a beer-shop, kept by a Hebrew, the bar-maids and all being Hebrew. On the one side of the bar is a small dining room; back of that a kitchen, and from the bar-room is a flight of stairs. Follow your guide, who in this instance was an American Hebrew, and you find yourself in a low room just the size of the bar below, and a curious scene presents itself. These rooms, and there are scores of them in Petticoat Lane, contain on an average any number of millions of pounds that you choose to say. I could say that there were a hundred millions of wealth in each one, and perhaps wouldn’t be very much out of the way, but as I desire to be accurate, I will not. If there is anything I detest, it is exaggeration. I hope to distinguish myself by being the first tourist who adhered strictly to the naked truth.

These rooms are diamond marts. In them all the diamonds that deck out royalty and the wives of patent medicine men, gamblers, negro minstrels, and other people who are not royal, are first handled. To these dingy dens in the very heart of the worst quarter of the worst city in the world, comes the diamond merchant, and here he meets the broker who deals with the manufacturer in the city. Here all the diamonds of London are first bought and sold.

One looks at it with amazement. Enter a young Jew with the preternaturally sharp features that distinguish the race. All the merchants, and there may be a dozen, each sitting at his little table, hail him, and all in the language that the new comer speaks the best. The Hebrew speaks all languages, and all of them well. (Facts crowd upon me so fast that it is difficult to keep to my subject.) The young fellow unbuttons his coat, and then the top buttons of his vest, and takes from an inner pocket a long leather pocket-book, which he opens carefully. There are disclosed a dozen papers folded like an apothecary’s package, and he opens them. Your eyes dance as you see the contents. Diamonds! I never dreamed there were so many in the world. Each paper contains a handful of all sizes and qualities, cut and uncut, of all colors and shades known to the diamond, and the ancient Jews at the tables take these papers and examine critically the different sparklers, going over the lot as the Western farmer would his cattle. With a little steel instrument he separates this one from his fellows and puts it under a glass, and screws his eye into the stone, and then little tiny scales, which would turn under the weight of a sunbeam, are brought into requisition, and then would come more chaffering and bargaining than would suffice to buy and sell an empire.

This young fellow does not own these precious stones. He is a broker. The diamond is first brought to light in Brazil, India, or the Cape of Good Hope. From the original producer it passes into the hands of the resident buyer, who consigns it to the broker to sell, and he does it on commission the same as the elevator men handle wheat. The buyer in Petticoat Lane either cuts and sets it himself, or re-sells it to the fashionable jeweler, as he can make the most profit. Trust them for doing that. It is something the London Hebrew understands long before he cuts his teeth.

But it is not alone diamonds you find in these rooms. On the various tables may be seen jewelry of every possible description, and all sorts of goods, from a tooth-pick up. You can buy a watch or a jack-knife, a button-hook or a diamond bracelet. Especially is the variety of curious old jewelry very extensive. You find there rings and brooches set with all sorts of stones, of every period in the world’s history, which makes it the resort of the wealthy collectors of the ancient and curious. Here is a brooch, said to have been worn by Queen Anne, and another by one of the mistresses of Louis XVIII., of France. The seller says it was, and if he happens to be mistaken, what difference does it make so that you believe it? It is just as good to you as though the history was accurate. One should not be particular in such matters, though I saw enough brooches that were once the property of an English Queen to have set up a very large jewelry store, and were they all genuine it explains the high taxes in England, and justifies all the rebellions the country has suffered. But it is all well enough. The goods are actually quaint and beautiful. It is darkly hinted that these Jews have factories where jewelry once worn by royalty is manufactured by the bushel, and I should not wonder thereat. For, you see, a brooch of modern style, worth say fifty pounds, is worth one hundred pounds if it were once Queen Anne’s. “Dose goots, ma tear sir, vat ish anshent, and hef historical associations, are wort any money. At one hundred pounts it ish a bargain.”

As the price doubles because of historical features it pays very nicely to manufacture the old styles, and tarnish the gold, and make antiques. But possibly this is a weak invention of the Gentiles who do not deal in antiques.


One would suppose that it would be rather hazardous to carry about so much wealth in a paper. What is to prevent the Jew at the table who has a paper before him containing, say, two hundred diamonds, from secreting one or two? The broker hands a paper to one, and another to another, and divides his time between them, and to take a stone would be as easy as lying.

Possibly it would be hazardous among Gentiles, but not so among these Jews. There is an unwritten code among them which makes the property as safe in their hands as though one diamond were shown at a time. There is absolute honor among them, which was never yet known to be tarnished. It is absolute and perfect.

image not available


One venerable Jew was very anxious to sell me a ring, the price of which he fixed at one hundred and twenty dollars, “and no abatement.” (When a Jew diamond merchant says “no abatement,” that settles it. There is none.)

“Dake dot ring, put him in your bocket, go to any scheweler in Rechent street, and oof you can get him vor dwice de monish I will give him to you.”

“What!” was my reply, “do you say that I, a perfect stranger to you, may carry off a ring worth forty pounds? Suppose I shouldn’t come back with it?”

“Ach, ma tear sir, Philip (my American friend) vouldn’t pring nobody here vot vould do such a ting. Dake der ring, ma tear sir, and see about him. It ish a bargain.”

Philip or any one of the guild would be allowed to carry away a king’s ransom.

Would, oh would, that the other people of the world were equally honest and upright. Still, I wouldn’t advise any one to depend upon their word in a purchase. They have two kinds of morality. A trade with them is a battle royal, in which each tries to get the better of the other, but the word once passed is never broken.

The merchant sits all day at his table, his meals, always a cut of beef and greens, with a pewter of bitter beer, being brought to him from the kitchen below. He sits and eats, never permitting, however, his eating and drinking to interfere with his business. He would put down his pot of beer to continue a trade any time, something I know a great many Americans would not do.

Petticoat Lane is one of the curiosities of London, and the day was well spent. It is a world by itself—a foreign nation preserving its religion and customs intact, injected into the very heart of London.

image not available


image not available



TO visit the Tower is to draw aside the curtain that separates the past from the present. It is to go back a thousand years, and commune with those who have long ages been dust, and of whom only a memory remains. Once in the Tower, one seems to be with them, to see them, and to feel their influence as though they were living, moving beings, and not historical ghosts.

The vast structure, now in the heart of the great city, though once on its borders, is as much out of place in this day and age of the world, as a soldier would be in any of the suits of armor within its walls. It is war in the midst of peace, it is a fortress surrounded by traffic, it is lawless force against law, it is simply an incongruity, and only valuable and interesting as showing what was, in comparison with what is.

It was built originally as a stronghold, to keep the fiery and oft-times rebellious citizens of London in check, and was afterward occupied alternately, or at the same time, as a prison or palace. Many a terrible drama has been enacted within the ancient walls, many a broken heart has wasted away within the solid stone in its gloomy dungeons, and many a noble head has parted company with its body, under its cold shadow, and there is any quantity of “human interest,” as the dramatists say, connected with it. There is a strong flavor of murder all through it, there is cruelty written upon every stone, and treachery and death on every inch of the cold, paved floors.

If a king desired to put quietly out of the way a dangerous rival, or if he lusted after a woman, or wanted anything that was especially unlawful and damnable, he could not have been better fixed for the business than with this fortress, provided he had a sufficient number of servitors to do his bidding faithfully. And that sort of material was very plenty, in those days, for kings who had the means of rewarding them. The devil himself could not have fitted up a better arrangement if he had given his whole mind to the matter, and his ability in this direction is unquestioned.

There are dungeons where an unfortunate’s cries could never be heard; there are cells so strong that escape was simply impossible, even without the watchful care of the soldiery with which it was filled, and in short over each of its gates might well be written, “Who enters here leaves hope behind.” It is a wonderful but an intensely disagreeable place.

These old places are not the most cheerful in the world, but still I like them. A ride behind a tandem team through the green lanes of Hampstead, with the beautiful hedges on either hand, and the quaint old houses with their steep red-tiled roofs, and their low rooms and curious little windows that look more like eyes than windows, the broad fields, grass green, (grass is greener in England than America,) with the beautiful sleek cattle feeding peacefully, is a more pleasant thing, for it is a singular as well as delightful mixture of to-day and yesterday. The fields and cattle are of to-day, the houses are of a long ago yesterday, but there is added what the Tower has not, the sun, which is of yesterday, to-day, and to-morrow, shining down, and lighting up the quiet glories that surround you. This is not depressing. The houses fit the atmosphere—in good sooth I cannot imagine such houses in any other atmosphere, and certainly the atmosphere would not be complete without the houses. Everything adapts itself to everything else. A pale face would be as much out of place in an American rum shop as a strawberry patch in an alkaline desert. Rum requires something lurid—the quiet, soft, hazy English atmosphere exactly fits the soft brown and the subdued red that almost narrowly escapes being a brown of the houses.


But in the Tower you have nothing that is soft, nothing that is pleasant, nothing one would like to have about him.

The Tower is a good thing for a world to see, so that it can know what to avoid.

Two teachers of elocution were in great rivalry. One gave an exhibition with his pupils.

“Where are your classes to-day?” asked a friend of the other one.

“Gone to Mr. Blank’s exhibition.”

“Do you permit your pupils to attend your rival’s exhibition?”

“Certainly. I want them to learn what to avoid.”

No light ever penetrates its gloomy walls. There are but two colors—the blackened wood painted by time, and the cold gray of the stones. All the color indicates cruelty—the very stones typify the character of the men who put them together, and their successors who used them. It is the cruelest appearing place on the face of the earth, now that the French Bastile is gone, and I doubt if a Frenchman could possibly construct a place so grimly severe, so unutterably merciless as the Tower. He would have had some fancy about it—it would have been lighted up somehow.

The Tower is so severe that a picture of a beheading, or of a torture, would be cheerful by contrast and improve it.

I would suggest now, that to enliven the old place a bit, and save a man from giving way too much to the depression that governs the spot, that a fresco be painted representing the burning of John Rogers at the stake, or the disemboweling of the Waldenses, or some cheerful historical picture of that kind. Should the artist select pictures from Fox’s Book of Martyrs, that one where the soldiers are crowding people off a precipice so that they fall upon iron spikes about four feet long, would impart a cheerful tone to the surroundings in the Tower and make one feel more kindly toward his race.

As it is, he who enters and stays awhile becomes a convert to the doctrine of Total Depravity. He gets blood-thirsty himself, and feels like snatching up some one of the million weapons that are stored there and killing somebody. The articles preserved with so much care are all suggestive of blood. It is a Moloch of a place; but one must see it, all the same.

The most cheerful place in the great structure is the jewel room, or tower, as it is called. It isn’t very much of a room, but there is a great deal in it which is of interest. Here are kept the regalia appertaining to the throne. In glass cases very carefully guarded are all the crowns of the royal family, and the scepters and things which they display on state occasions, and a rare lot they are.

image not available



The prevailing impression among those not used to royalty is that the King and Queen and the rest of their “royal nibses,” as an American would irreverently say, go about dressed in velvet robes, covered with jewels, with crowns upon their heads; that when the Queen goes to bed at night she removes the crown, or a dozen maids of honor do it for her, and that she resumes it the first thing in the morning, before she comes down to breakfast. A moment’s reflection will show any one the impossibility of anything of the kind. A crown would be no protection for the head, and velvet robes would be exceedingly warm in summer, and not warm enough in winter; and besides were the Queen to wear a crown with some millions of dollars’ worth of precious stones in it, some enterprising footpad would have it in no time, and then what would she do?

For these reasons, which ought to be satisfactory to any reflective mind, the crowns and articles of like nature are kept in the tower, and are only worn on state occasions, when the public want a free show.

At all other times the Queen dresses like any other lady, with a regular dress, and bustles, and all that sort of thing, and a bonnet, and she dresses frightfully plain, so all the milliners and modistes say, too plain for their trade; for Victoria, to a certain extent, sets the fashion, which the court follows.

But in these cases you shall see the Queen’s crown, a cap of purple velvet enclosed in hoops of silver, surmounted by a ball and cross, and glittering with actual diamonds. In the center is an immense sapphire, and in front is a famous heart-shaped ruby, said to have been worn by the Black Prince. I don’t know the value of this article, or where he stole it, but if Victoria gets hard-up and wants to raise money, I presume the Jews in Petticoat Lane would advance a million or two on it, and take their chances. Queens have done this before now, and all the crown jewels in Europe have been in the hands of the Israelites at different times; but I rather think Victoria will worry through. She has an income of many thousands of pounds a year, and is very economical. If I remember aright, she sent the starving Irish a thousand pounds, which was about her income for an hour. And then an admiring Parliament, to make it good to her, voted her thirty thousand pounds sterling, which the people accepted without a murmur. She finds profit in liberality.

Then there is St. Edward’s Crown, the Prince of Wales’s, the ancient Queen’s Crown, the Queen’s Diadem, that of Charles the Second, and a dozen or two others, with scepters and rods, and all sorts of things which are carried before, or behind, or on one side or the other, of Kings and Queens, on occasions of great solemnity, when the people are to be impressed with a sense of the importance of these individuals to the world at large. The famous Koihnoor, stolen from an East India Prince, some years since, is there—in glass, which is a swindle. We wanted, and expected, when we paid our sixpence, to see the genuine article, not a base imitation. It is as it is at side-shows at a circus, you are allured inside by a picture of a vast giraffe, nipping boughs from trees, and when you have paid and are in, you are shown a stuffed giraffe, who can no more eat boughs from tall trees than he could preach a funeral sermon. Possibly we should have demanded our money back, but we didn’t.

image not available



From the jewel room you pass on to an infinity of towers, all through long halls, how long I can’t say, filled with all sorts of armor and weapons. Horses are set up and figures placed upon them, dressed in the identical armor worn by the old kings and nobles, who, in their day, rode about the country clad in iron fish scales, with a half ton of iron, more or less, on their heads, engaged in the (to them) delightful occupation of burning each other’s castles and killing the occupants. They did not require a “cause,” or anything of the sort. If Sir Hugh Bloody-bones wanted the wife or daughter of Sir Magnus Blunderbore, he simply donned his iron, picked up his lance, called together the inferior cut-throats who followed and lived upon him, and went for it. Sir Magnus, if not surprised and murdered in cold blood, and he was generally not, for those old ruffians slept upon their arms, harried the country for supplies, shut the clumsy gates of his castle, and stood the siege. If the castle was carried, all within were put to death, except such of Sir Magnus’ cut-throats who were willing to join Sir Hugh, the women were carried off, and so on. The survivors were willing, always, to join the victor. The successful Knight would say, “Now look here, you fellows, Sir Magnus is dead. I slew him, and you can’t get provisions from him any more, while with me there will always be plenty of prog. I shall keep you busy, for there are other castles to storm, and I am not very particular with my men.”

And they would all “take service,” as they called it, with the successful robber, and go right on as usual. They would take anything.

It was a cheerful life these ancient murderers lived, though the people who supported them didn’t find it so pleasant.

The Horse Armory, so called because the figures in it are mostly equestrian, is one hundred and fifty feet in length by thirty-four in width. There sits a Knight of the time of Henry VI., in complete armor, lance and all, just as he appeared when he started out to kill somebody and steal his effects. The armor, understand, is not a fac-simile, it is the genuine thing, actually worn by the marauder of that time. Then come Knights of the time of Edward III. and Edward IV., both on their horses and armored from top to bottom. How any man could carry such a load of iron and sit upon a horse, and how any horse could carry such a mass of iron, with his own, for the horses were armored also, passes my comprehension. Imagine a man in July, with the thermometer at ninety-five in the shade, with a steel pot on his head, covering his face entirely, with little holes to admit air, with a breast-plate of boiler-iron, and a similar one on his back, with his arms and hands guarded with iron, and his legs and feet likewise, with swords and battle-axes, and daggers hung to him, and a lance fourteen feet in length, to handle, doing battle. Yet they wore all this, and in Palestine, and in every other hot country in the world.

image not available


Woe to the Knight who was unhorsed with all this pot-metal on him. He couldn’t rise under the load, and the other one could prod him to death at his leisure, and enjoy himself at it as long as he pleased.


Next to this is the figure of that wonderful old Mormon, Henry VIII. The armor on this figure is the most curious and valuable in the collection. It was presented to him on the occasion of his marriage to Catherine, his No.—,—I forget what her number was—and he wore it at many a tournament. This King, it will be remembered, had a way of getting rid of wives that was far superior to Indiana divorce courts. Whenever he saw a woman that he thought he wanted, and he had an eye for women, he merely accused his wife of being unfaithful to him, and had a court which always brought her in guilty, and her head was chopped off without ceremony, and he married his new flame, only to accuse her and bring her before the court and chop her head off in her turn. He finished eight in this way. It was the Pope’s opposition to one of these little arrangements that brought about the divorce of England from the Church of Rome, and was the beginning of the Protestant movement. But for Henry’s terrible liking for women and his peremptory and decisive way of divorcing wives, I probably to-day should have been a Catholic! What great events spring from trifling causes.

image not available


All the way down the long hall are equestrian figures, all armed in the identical armor worn by the men whose names they bear, and between the figures are the arms of the various periods of English history since men took to killing each other as a trade. In this and adjoining halls are grouped very artistically the arms of every country of the globe, and of all ages and times. There are guns of every possible kind, most of them of very rare workmanship, for the mechanics of those old days put more work upon arms than upon anything else, and swords and daggers, and battle-axes, and various devices for knocking out brains.

image not available



By the way, the revolver is popularly supposed to be an American invention, but it is not. There are a score of revolvers here that were made almost as soon as gunpowder was invented and came into use. The very one from which Colonel Colt got the idea of a repeating arm is here, and it is identical in construction with that which now graces the thighs of so many Americans, and which has done so much for the glory of our happy country. They were not very much used, however, as, owing to the imperfect means of firing the loads, all the barrels were liable to go off at once, invariably killing the shooter without materially damaging the shootee. The invention of the percussion cap made the revolver practicable, and Colonel Colt’s widow is living in great luxury upon an idea taken by her husband from the Tower of London, the work of some humble mechanic hundreds of years ago. I doubt not that if she could find the heirs of that mechanic she would pension them. But they were doubtless all killed in the wars of the day, and so it probably would not be worth her while to try to seek them out.

image not available


To enumerate everything that is curious in the way of arms and armor in this hall would be to make a catalogue. It takes more than a day to merely see (not study) this collection, and then one has his mind overloaded.

The different buildings that make up what is known collectively as the Tower, have all histories, and all bloody ones. There is nothing but blood connected with it. In the White Tower, Sir Walter Raleigh was confined, and near his den is that once occupied by Rudstone, Culpepper, and Sir Thomas Wyat, who were all beheaded on Tower Hill. The Council Room was used by the Kings when they wanted to give some sort of show of law for a murder, and in this the Council sat when Richard III. ordered Lord Hastings to instant execution.

The Bloody Tower (that would be the proper name for all of them) was where Richard III. was supposed to have murdered the two children of Edward IV., his brother, on which event Shakespeare founded his play of that name. Some English historians have endeavored to show that Richard was no such a man as Shakespeare represents. Instead of being a hump backed, distorted villain, such as we see upon the stage, they insist that he was the handsomest man of his time; that he did not even try to murder the Princes, and, moreover, that he was one of the most humane, politic Kings England ever had, and during his short reign of nine months, instituted material reforms, and did more to promote the welfare of England than any King who had preceded or followed him. Also, they deny the story of his drowning his brother Clarence in a butt of Malmsey wine, and likewise his murder of King Henry.

image not available



Probably these historians are right. Since it has been shown that General Jackson did not fight his men behind a breastwork of cotton bales, a delusion that grew up with me, and since it has been demonstrated that there is no maelstrom on the coast of Norway, that takes down ships and whales into its terrible vortex, as shown in the ancient geographies of thirty years ago, I have lost faith in everything. When I want romance I read history, and when I hunger for history I read novels. But whether he was a good man or a bad,

image not available


Shakespeare has fixed his flint for all time. The essayist may essay, and facts may be piled up mountain high in his favor, but Richard will always appear to us as Shakespeare painted him, a hump-backed, withered-legged man with a villainous face, killing Princes, stabbing Kings and drowning brothers in wine. Still, I don’t suppose Richard cares now what is said of him. If he killed the Princes, they, dying young and before they could be Kings, and consequently comparatively pure, he will never meet them. If he did not, and is with them, they have had ample time to arrange their little differences. The opinion of the world makes little difference to Richard, whereever he is. Nevertheless, as I wish to stand well with the world hereafter, I shall try not to get the ill-will of the poets whose works are likely to live. Richard’s reputation should be a warning.

image not available


(From the East.)


The bloody record continues. Devereux Tower is where the brilliant Essex was confined till he was “privately beheaded.” The Byward Tower is where Duke Clarence is said to have been drowned in the wine, which was a great waste of wine, though it was a delicate compliment to the Duke, who was fond of it. It was probably distributed among the soldiers who did the job. In the Brick Tower Lady Jane Grey was immured, and in the Martin Tower Anne Boleyn, one of Henry VIII.’s wives, was confined, till she was beheaded, as well as “several unhappy gentlemen” who were foolish enough to stand up for her, who also had their heads chopped off. The word “unhappy” is not misused in their case. In the Salt Tower is shown an inscription made by a gentleman who was accused of using enchantments “to the hurt of Sir W. St. Lowe and my ladye,” who also found himself short a head one fine morning. It was a comfortable time to live when “Sir W. St. Lowe,” a court favorite, could accuse a man he owed money to of being a wizard, and then ordering him beheaded. It was easier to pay debts in those days than going through bankruptcy is now.

image not available


There were so many murders committed in the Beauchamp Tower that in the guide books it is counted worthy of a chapter by itself, not only because of the number, but because of the peculiarly atrocious quality of them. The other murderers were mere apprentices at the business compared with those who had the Beauchamp tower in charge. They were artists, and knew all about it. They gave their whole mind to it. Marmaduke Neville with fifty others who believed in Mary, Queen of Scots, were confined in this tower, and they were all beheaded in one day. Likewise Mr. William Tyrrell, who had some differences with the government; then the Earl Arundel was beheaded from this interesting old slaughter house for aspiring to the hand of Mary Queen of Scots. It appears that a man couldn’t safely make love in those days. But as he was tried for his religion—not for love—he was not beheaded, but was mercifully permitted to “languish in prison” till he died. It is probable that his jailors did not feed him on porter-house steaks.

The Earl of Warwick and the three brothers Dudley were here. The Duke, the eldest of the three, was beheaded, and the others mercifully starved to death. A gentleman named Gyfford was put to the rack in the Tower, and finally consenting to answer the questions put to him—your rack was a rare persuader—was probably dismissed. But doubtless the headsman got him. Dr. Stohr, who refused to deny his religion—he was a Catholic—was imprisoned here, and was released only to suffer a cruel death at Tyburn. Being a Catholic, and murdered by Protestants, we may draw from his history the useful lesson that persecution was not, strictly speaking, confined to the Catholic church, as is popularly supposed. The Protestants, when in power, knew the uses of the rack, and thumbscrew, and stake, just as well as the Catholics, and they were just as handy with them.

image not available



The Brothers Poole wanted Mary to be the Queen, and they went the long road from here.

But the list is too long for these pages.

image not available


That you may be perfectly sure of the accuracy of these things, the identical headsman’s block is carefully preserved, with the ax he used and the mask he wore when engaged in his delightful duty. The ax is shaped very like a butcher’s cleaver, and the mask is about the most fiendish face that a devilish ingenuity could devise. Ugly and devilish as it is, it was probably an improvement on the face it concealed. You are shown the thumbscrew and rack. The thumbscrew would extort a confession from a dead man; and the rack—well, that is something inconceivably devilish. You are laid in a box; ropes on windlasses are tied to your ankles and wrists; then the windlasses are turned, inch by inch, till your joints are dislocated. After enduring the rack and answering questions the way they desired,—for a man in that apparatus would say anything for a moment’s respite—you are hurried to the block for fear you may recant as soon as you get out of it. Then what was said in the rack was put upon record as a testimony on which to rack and behead other people. Those were the “good old days of merrie England.”

image not available


[From the West.



During the reign of Edward III. six hundred Jews were imprisoned in the dungeons of the tower for “adulterating the coin of the realm.” The trouble with these Jews was they had too much of the coin of the realm, and Edward too little. The chronicler goes on to say that so strong was the prejudice of the King against these people that he banished the race from England, but, with the thrift that distinguished the Kings of that day, he compelled them to leave behind them their immense wealth, which he gobbled, and their libraries, which, as he couldn’t read he had no use for, went to the monasteries. I suppose he sold them by the pound to the monks who could read. King Edward has a counterpart in the English landlord of to-day. He allows no foreigner to take any money out of the kingdom. It is curious how national traits show in people through ages. England has no more Barons to take things by the strong hand, but she has hotel-keepers. Their processes are different, but the result is the same. They have no racks now, but they have beds—the thumb-screw is gone forever, but bills are yet made out.

In those days it was not enough to be a heretic or disturber to gain admission to this portal to the tomb; it was only necessary to be suspected, and when a man in favor wanted to get his enemy out of the way, it was very easy to suspect. Talent, usefulness to the State—nothing was proof against it. Cromwell, one of the most brilliant men of his day, Secretary to the still greater Wolsey, on a most frivolous charge, was seized and beheaded. He was becoming too powerful to suit the favorites. Women suffered the same as men, and exalted station went for nothing. Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded please the Spaniards, one of whose Princesses the King desired to marry.

image not available


(From the East.)

A large part of the vast building is now used as a great National armory. Stored within its walls are ninety thousand rifles of the latest and most approved patterns, all in perfect order, even to the oiling, and ready for use at a moment’s notice. England is always ready for war. It would be a quick nation that could catch her napping. These murderous weapons looked cheerfully by comparison with the barbarous tools the old English used. After looking at the battle-axes, and flails, and lances, it would seem to be a comfort to be merely shot to death with a Martini Henry rifle. One could feel some sort of comfort in going out via a decent rifle ball.

image not available



The guards of the Tower are the famous “Beef Eaters,” and are all habited in the uniform of the Yeomen of the Guard of the time of Henry VII., who instituted the corps. The present yeomen are all old soldiers, who have distinguished themselves, and a very pleasant time they have of it. They don’t have to drag women to the block by the hair of their heads any more, but spend most of their time standing around listlessly and eating ham sandwiches, which is certainly better than their ancient employment. There is nothing cruel in an English ham sandwich but its indigestibility, and that only concerns the eater. It is a matter entirely between him and his stomach, and does not concern me at all.

image not available


The ancient kings did not have as good a time as one would think, for every now and then a baron would raise a rebellion, or a knight would shoot a vicious arrow at him, or the House of Commons would rise, and protest with arms in their hands against his abuses. But their followers, these fellows whose armors are before me this minute, they did have a good time. Their masters found it to their own interest to feed them well, and their little acts of oppression on their own account were winked at. And so they lived a jolly life, their bodies pampered with food, their noses in a constant blush for the liquor they consumed, and with the pick of the daughters of the peasantry, who were helpless against them. It was no small thing to be a stout man-at-arms in those days, and in the service of a powerful Lord. Fighting was really and literally meat and drink to them, and they actually liked it.

image not available


Suspected men of unusual importance were always conveyed to the Tower by water, in barges gorgeous to a degree. Hence there is a water gate called “Traitor’s Gate,” which is worth seeing, when one considers how many great men have passed through it to their death. For a commitment to the Tower was equivalent to death. If a man was accused of treason, or witchcraft, or anything else, and the party against him was strong enough to send him to the Tower, that ended it. Or if a King desired to get rid of anybody, man or woman, it was easy enough to have a charge brought, a commitment to the Tower followed, and the dispatch was easy enough. The Tower was a slaughter pen where those obnoxious to a King or his favorites could be butchered without uncomfortable publicity, and, if necessary with some color of law. As if the favorite should say:

“Your majesty, what shall we do with Sir Thomas Buster? Behead him?”


“Oh, bother, what’s the use of going to that worry. A knife under his fifth rib will do as well.”

And accordingly the next morning, just before his breakfast was served, a low-browed ruffian would go to his cell, and Sir Thomas would get the knife under his ribs, and a hole would be dug, and that was the last of him. They generally stabbed them at seven in the morning, to save the expenses of the last breakfast. He might as well go into the hereafter on an empty stomach, and it was that much saved to the King’s treasury. They had a good notion of economy in some directions. Or a hasty trial might be had, and the illustrious prisoner might be led to the block and have his head chopped off. Anyhow it amounted to the same thing, Sir Thomas was bound to die in one way or another.

image not available


I have a profound respect for the murdered of the Tower, but not a particle for their sacred butchers, the Kings and Queens of that day. To have been murdered in the Tower, no matter by what means or in what way, was a certificate of good character that should have lasted till to-day. By chance, they might occasionally kill a bad man, but as a rule the victims were men who incurred the displeasure of the powers that were by opposing infamy; by making some sort of a stand, no matter how weak, for something good. I should liked to have had time to get flowers to drop on the spots where they were supposed to be interred, and I would have done it to some extent, only no one knows where these spots are. A flower dropped anywhere within the Tower would fall on some one’s grave, but you might possibly decorate the wrong man. I didn’t do it, and I don’t suppose the illustrious deceased would care much about it anyhow. If I cared anything about what posterity should say about me after I had gone hence, I shouldn’t want anything better than to have been butchered in the Tower. That is a better patent of nobility than any that King or Kaiser can confer. Whoso died there, died in a good cause, no matter what it was. The victim must have been good, for the kingly butcher was always bad.

image not available




WITH that propensity for lying on the part of traveled men and women to which I have had occasion to refer, the intending tourist is warned by all who have crossed the water to take as little clothing as possible, for the reason that “you can get any clothes you want in London at half the money, and then you have the style, you know.” What infernal spirit seizes traveled people and compels such terrible falsification, I cannot conceive.

Quality considered, clothing is no cheaper in London than in New York. Which is to say, if you are so lost to all sense of what is due yourself and the world as to wear such clothes as the Londoner does, you can get them quite as cheaply in New York as in London, and even if you want bad clothes the style will be better. Should the American tailor try ever so hard to make a badly-fitting garment, his conscience, his taste, his everything, would rebel against doing such work as the English tailor considers quite good enough for anybody.

You can get at a fairly fashionable shop in London a suit of black or blue, frock coat, trowsers and vest, for five pounds, which looks very cheap to one who has been in the habit of paying sixty-five dollars for the same clothing in New York or Boston.

But just wait till you get the clothes and the idea of cheapness goes like dew under a July sun. All there is cheap in the transaction is the suit. The material is very cheap, cheap to the point of flimsiness, and the making—heaven help you—it is thrown together. There are no stays to the pockets, no reinforcing to the seat, no leather on the inside of the bottoms of the trowsers, and the linings of the coat and vest, or waistcoat, as these semi-barbarians call it, are of the cheapest and flimsiest material that a devilish ingenuity can weave. The suit cannot possibly wear a month and look decent.

But the worst is yet to come. You try it on. We will suppose the coat to be a single-breasted frock. You are immediately astonished at the liberality of your tailor in the matter of cloth, for when you draw the lapels together you find yourself able to button the right hand one on the left hand shoulder.

“Too much cloth in front,” you remark.

“I thought you wanted an easy fit!” the villain answers without a blush.

“So I did, but I did not want all the cloth in your shop.”

Then comes an animated discussion. You insist that it never has been your habit to go about in a sack, that you prefer not to appear habited in a bag. The tailor stands off a foot or two, and admits that while it is perhaps “a trifle easy,” it is still a proper garment and quite in the mode. But if you prefer he will alter it. Prefer! why it will fit Daniel Lambert. It is twice too large for you and of course it must be altered. Then he takes French chalk, and makes a lot of marks on it and you leave it. In a few days he sends it to you altered. You put it on, and commence swearing if you are a profane man, and objurgating, if you are not. I objurgated. For the trowsers hang about your legs like bags, the waistcoat climbs up the back of your neck to the ears, the coat is loose where it should fit closely, it is tight where it should be easy, the skirts hang about you awkwardly, it is angular, stiff and awkward, and yet it comes so near to being a garment that you are compelled to take it, especially, as, following the advice of the infernal tourist who said to you to take only one suit with you, you must have it at once. And so you put it on, and go out into the street, feeling as though you were an object to be stared at, and blighted. You bear not only the burden of physical discomfort, for a misfit is always uncomfortable, but have the consciousness that you are badly dressed, and that every bad point in your physical make-up, is made still more conspicuous by the lack of skill in a tailor.


The only comfort you have is that everybody else is just as badly apparelled. Your American friends know at a glance that it is not your fault, but that you have passed under the blighting shears of an English tailor, and your English friends are all in the same fix. But then they enjoy bad clothes, never having had any other.

There were four Americans in one house in London who each ordered a suit of clothes of one tailor at one time. The four suits came home Saturday evening, and were all tried on Sunday morning. One was tall and slender, another short and stout, the third was dumpy, and the fourth was medium in height and breadth.

image not available


No. 1 rushed into my room. “Look here,” he exclaimed “there is a mistake somewhere. These clothes must be yours. They were never made for me.”

No. 2 entered. “These d——d trowsers must be yours. They were never made for me.”

And in a minute No. 3 came in with the same exclamation. An examination of the addresses on the wrapping paper showed, however, that each had received the clothes intended for him, notwithstanding that each suit would have better fitted some other man. And then I soothed them by explaining that the English tailor makes all clothes alike; that he goes upon the supposition that every man should be so high, and so broad, and that measurement is a mere form gone through with as a professional fraud, the same as a lawyer looks the wisest when he knows the least; and that to make any fuss about it would result in nothing, and the only thing to do was to take them, pay for them, and wear them while in England. They were no worse off than everybody else, and that they should be philosophical and content. One remarked, with a great deal of truth, that all the philosophy in the world wouldn’t make a six foot man look well in a pair of trowsers constructed for a five foot sixer, and another that he knew of no philosophy that would support one under the trying affliction of a coat that bagged on the shoulders and in the back, and that had no more shape to it than a bean sack.

That is where they were wrong. That is what philosophy is made for. England has given the world its greatest philosophers, her philosophers being made necessary by her tailors, the same as every country that cherishes an especially poisonous serpent, also grows a particularly powerful antidote, and the snake and antidote grow together.

The women dress a trifle worse than the men—their dressmakers are a trifle worse than their tailors. If an English woman would only buy her gowns ready made, it would be better, for there would be a chance—only a slight one, it is true, but yet a chance—of her getting a fit; but she will not. She goes to the most expensive modiste, “to get something good,” and then all hope of a prettily dressed woman is gone, and gone forever.


You can tell an American or French woman as far as you can see one. The neatly fitting dress, so neatly fitting as to make you almost think the woman had been melted and poured into it, the dress of which an American girl said, that when she got into it she felt as if she had been born again; the neat little shoe; the grace with which the dress is carried, and the grace of the woman who carries it; all contrast terribly with the angular gown, the shawl badly hung, and awkwardly worn, the ugly shoe and the large foot it covers, and the square, steady, grenadier-like step of the English woman.

No matter how expensive the material, or how costly the garments, no matter how much Nature has done for the Englishwomen, (and they are, as a rule, magnificent specimens of womankind,) they can’t dress, and consequently lose half their attractiveness. They have strength, but they sadly lack grace.

It is all well enough for me, for I prefer badly fitting clothes, desiring to keep down to the ordinary level, and not be made too conspicuous; but it is hard upon those less favored, and who need to reinforce nature by art.

But always bear this in mind. When you come abroad bring with you all the clothes you think you will need, unless, indeed, you come flying light in the matter of baggage for convenience of transit. If that is your idea it is well, but if you come expecting to furnish yourself in England at a less price, or to get superior styles, you will be the worst deceived man or woman in the world. Quality considered, there is nothing cheaper than in America, and, as for style, it is a Parisian dandy to a Hottentot. The English tailor is the most detestable cloth-butcher on the globe. So unutterably bad is he that I cannot ascribe his miracles of misfits to lack of mechanical skill, or general imbecility; there must be underlying his work a fiendish purpose and determination. The English tailor or dressmaker must be a misanthropic individual who has a spite against the human race, and they must have a vengeance to wreak which they accomplish in this way.

I don’t wish it to be understood that all English men and women are badly dressed. I have seen some most charming toilettes, but on inquiry I found that they were well-to-do people who could afford to go to Paris to get their clothes, or those who had just returned from New York.

If you desire to be well dressed in London, take your clothes with you. This is the parting advice of a sufferer and victim. I have paid for my experience—I give it to my readers gratis. That is what I am here for, and I shall discharge my duty regardless of consequences.

The next principal nuisance you meet in England is the system of “tipping.” “Tipping,” be it known, is gratuities given to servants, or whomsoever does anything for you which, in any other enlightened country on the face of the globe, is considered an act of courtesy, or a matter of right.

It commences the moment you leave the dock at New York. You have paid a very large sum for your passage, enough to entitle you to every comfort that money can buy. But there sets upon you immediately a horde of blood-suckers who never let go, till, gorged, they drop off at Liverpool. There is a sovereign to the man who makes your bed; there is the chamber-maid, there is the table steward, the smoking-room steward, the deck steward; there are collections for asylums in Liverpool; there are collections for the man who attends to the purser’s room, where a select few are treated to a little refreshment at five in the afternoon; there are fees for showing the machinery of the vessel; there are tips for the Lord only knows what. The only thing free about the vessel is the water outside, and could a scheme be devised for making you pay for a sight of that it would be put into operation at once.

Then there is the English hotel. The landlord measures you as you come in. He inventories you. He says “this man will stand six pounds, or eight may be. That will leave him enough to get back to London, with a cab fare to take him to his lodgings.” And so when he makes his bill he manages to make it to the exact amount of what he thinks you have about your person, irrespective of what accommodation you have received. In paying this enormous bill should you display more money than he supposed you carried, he gnashes his teeth and howls with rage. But he very seldom gnashes or howls. He is a very skillful person, and knows intuitively to a half-sovereign how much you will, or rather can, bleed.


You contract for your room for so much a day—and the sum is always a round one—and it is explained to you that you may order your meals from a bill of fare, the price of each dish being set down opposite its name. Very good, you say to yourself, I know now what I am to pay, and you fall to work. Do you? Not much. There stands a waiter, who makes a frantic effort to appear like a man, but only succeeds in getting to where Darwin commenced the human race. But he rubs his hands, and smirks, and smiles, and brings you your orders, and still smiles and smiles, and would be a villain were there enough of him. He does all he can in this direction, however.

When you are through, you rise and prepare to get out. The waiter stops you with an obsequious smile in which there is much determination, and remarks, “the waiter!” You are made to understand that he expects a shilling. You give it to him. Getting to your room you want a pitcher of water. A servant brings it, and waits till you give him a six pence. You take a drink—if you do drink—I know this from seeing other victims—you pay for the drink, and the servant who brings it to you expects and manages to get three pence. The boy who cleans your boots wants six pence, the chambermaid who sweeps your room wants a shilling, the boy who goes down to see if you have any letters wants six pence, and after paying for all this you get your bill. Understand you have already paid exorbitant prices for each and every bit of service you have received, but nevertheless, there in your bill is an item, “attendance four days, eight shillings.” You pay it without a murmur, externally; and hope you are done with it. Not so. As you leave the hotel, there stands the entire retinue of servants, the boots, the chambermaid, the bar-man, the bell-boy, all with their hands extended, and every one expecting a parting shower of small coin. You pay it. There is no other way to do.

You see how it is. You pay the servants for the performance of every possible duty when they perform it; you then pay the landlord for the duties already paid for, and then as you leave the house you pay the servants over again. Three times for the same service, and that whether any service has been rendered or not.

You get into your cab and drive to the station. The legal fare is one and six pence. The cabby expects six pence in addition, for himself, the porter who shows you what car to get into, with the uniform of the company on his back, expects four pence for that, the other porter who takes your valise to the car-door, must be fed, and so on, and so on forever and forever.

I tried conclusions with a hotel clerk in a city in England, but I shall never do it again. There is no use. You might as well submit first as last. You may struggle, but they have you as certainly as their ancestors and prototypes, the old Barons, had the Jews.

I went to bed at night with two candles on the mantel. It was bright moonlight, and as I had read my regular chapter in the Revised Testament in the office, I had no occasion for light. I simply wanted to get into bed, therefore I didn’t light the candles, at all.

The next morning I found in my bill a charge for two candles, two shillings. I protested.

“I used no candles,” I said.

“But they were there,” was the cool reply. “Perhaps you used matches—it is all the same.”

“But I didn’t use matches, and if I did, I had my own.”

“We do everything for the comfort of the guests of the house. There were candles and matches for you.”

He never blushed but took the two shillings as coolly as possible, receipted the bill and said “Thank you,” and hoped if I ever visited the place again I would call upon them.

image not available


I presume I shall. It doesn’t make any difference where you go, it is all the same; and if you are to be swindled, it is preferable to have it done by somebody you have a slight acquaintance with.

It reminded me of the man who built a tavern in Indiana. A traveler stopped with him one night, and the next morning asked for his bill.


“Twelve hundred and fifty dollars,” said the landlord, promptly.

“Twelve hundred and fifty dollars for one day! It is outrageous!”

“It is a little high,” said the landlord, “but I’ll tell you how it is. I opened this house exactly a year ago yesterday. I expected to make a thousand dollars the first year, and you are the first customer I have had. I ought to charge you a little more to cover insurance, but I like you, and don’t want to be hard on you. Twelve hundred and fifty dollars will do.”

The English landlord likewise makes out his bill with the calm confidence that he will never see his guest again. He seldom does—if the guest can help it.

image not available


I have orated much against the American hotel clerk and his diamond pin and cool insolence, but I shall never do it again. He is a babe in arms as compared with his English brother.

image not available


The system of feeing goes into everything and everywhere. You are begrudged a breath of fresh air, unless you are willing to tip somebody, and I suppose a tip would be required for a snore, if a servant could possibly get into your room.

image not available


In fact, you cannot go anywhere in London without the everlasting and eternal tip, except the British Museum. That is the single and sole exception. There, on certain days, there is no admission fee, and you pay nothing for having your cane and umbrella cared for. But everywhere else you pay an admission fee, you pay a swindler for taking your cane, and you pay the guide for giving you an entirely unintelligible account of what is to be seen. Even Westminster Abbey, the most sacred spot in England, has its regular system of tips. It is not as it was in the Temple of Jerusalem, in the time of our Savior. There were money changers there—here the vergers give no change. They keep all you give them. Consequently they are not liable to be scourged out.

image not available


In the restaurants there is a charge on the bills for attendance, but nevertheless you are expected to tip the man who waits upon you. By the way, these waiters get no pay for their services; they pay the proprietors a bonus for their places.


The hackney coach driver gets about two shillings a day from the proprietors of his vehicles, and makes his money from his customers. The man who drove us down to the Derby expected, and did not expect in vain, for he demanded it directly, two shillings each from his twelve passengers, notwithstanding the fact that we had paid twelve dollars and fifty cents each for our passage.

image not available


It runs through everything. I will not say that the Queen herself divides with her servants the tips they receive, for I do not know. I will not make statements rashly. But I presume she does. I do not see how so important a source of revenue should escape her notice, or be neglected. I shall not offer her sixpence when I inspect any of her palaces, nor do I say she would take it from me. But so firmly fixed is the infernal system, so much is it a part of English life, that I verily believe it would wrench the amiable old lady’s heart not to take it, and I also believe that she would so manage that I should not get away with it in my possession.

Oh! my countrymen! It is my duty to warn you against a great impending danger. The system of tipping is, gradually but surely, getting its rapacious fingers upon your vitals. It has its clammy grasp upon your sleeping cars; it is gradually working into hotels, and everywhere else. Strangle the monster in its infancy. Declare war upon it at once, and fight it to the death. Refuse to pay the sleeping car porter for what you have already paid the corporation of which he is an excrescence. Refuse sternly to fee the servant at a hotel, the porter who handles your trunk, and the man who waits on you at table. When he says to you, “My wages are small, and I must have fees,” say to him, kindly but firmly, “Either make the proprietor pay you proper wages or quit his employ. If you cannot plow or hammer stone, go out quietly and die for the good of the many. It is not necessary that you should wear a swallow-tailed coat, and make more for trivial services than the average mechanic does for a hard day’s work. We will none of it.”

And so shall you rid yourself of the most infernal nuisance that afflicts England, the one petty worriment that makes the life of the tourist unhappy. We can endure a giant monopoly, but these small tyrannies are unbearable.

image not available




WAY down upon the Southern coast of England is an old town of more than ordinary interest. Everybody is familiar with that great depot for England’s naval and military forces—Portsmouth.

The run down from London is one of delight, that is it would be were it not for the fact that the stolid Briton will not keep pace with the times, and introduce upon his railroads modern carriages, in which a traveler may ride with some degree of comfort. He refuses to abandon the ancient compartment carriage, which is the most abominable arrangement conceivable. The cars, as we would call them, are about half the size of the ordinary American passenger coaches, but instead of being large, roomy and convenient, they are exactly the reverse. They are divided into compartments, each one of which will hold ten persons, five on each side, facing each other.

After booking your place, instead of buying your ticket—although really you do buy a ticket—you take your seat in one of these compartments, in which are nine other persons. Thereupon the guard, about like our brakeman, locks the door, and you are a prisoner until the next station is reached.

There are absolutely no conveniences. You are simply compelled to sit bolt upright, in a close, stuffy room, in company with nine other persons whom you don’t know, and don’t care to know. You can’t walk from one end of the car to the other, because there is no aisle, as in our cars. You can do nothing but sit there and think what reforms you would inaugurate were you only a Board of Directors on one of the roads.


image not available


It is possibly a finicky sort of a person who would object to trifles light as air; but there be breaths that are not as light as air, and they are no trifles. You travel second or third class, and there shall be nine sturdy Englishmen smoking short pipes, or villainous cigars, with their breaths ornamented with every variety of very bad liquor that the combined genius of the liquor compounders of all nations can produce. Likewise there are feet innocent of baths. If you happen to have an end seat you may let down the window and get fresh air, but heaven help you if you are in the middle. You inhale the fumes till a state approaching intoxication ensues, but you must sit there all the same, for there is no escape. Such a debauch may be cheap; but I never did like anything second-hand—second-hand intoxication least of all. I vastly prefer original sin. And then imagine the pleasure of traveling in such company as one must necessarily be thrown into by this system. The terrible tragedy on the Brighton road recently, gives a good idea of some of its beauties. A well-to-do merchant living in the country had been to London to make some sales of land, and was spotted by an impecunious wretch, who had previously known him. The merchant, whose name was Gold, left London on the afternoon train, and was alone in one of these compartments, securely locked with the villain, whose name was Lefroy. It seems from the facts of the case, as gathered by the police, that while between two stations Lefroy attacked Gold. There was a violent struggle, during the course of which Lefroy killed Gold, rifled the body and threw it out of the window, as it was found by the road side. When the guard unlocked the compartment at the next station Lefroy invented some flimsy story about some mysterious shooting, to account for the presence of the blood, and actually made his escape. It is comforting to know that afterward Lefroy was caught, tried and hung. England does hang murderers.

How utterly impossible such a tragedy would have been in an American car. But here the victim had absolutely no way of calling for or obtaining assistance. The two were alone, locked in the compartment, and the cries of the wretched man as he realized his danger, were drowned by the noise of the train thundering along at sixty miles an hour.

But to return to Portsmouth. The scenery from London is charming. The train rushes along, after leaving the fog and smoke of London in the rear, through the garden land of England. The fields are all cultivated, the farm houses, ancient and peculiar, have an air of solidity and comfort, and an occasional castle lends variety to the scene and makes the picture perfect.

The towns through which the road passes are, of course, all very old. They abound in red-tiled houses of antique pattern, narrow streets, that at the end of the village lose themselves in beautiful lanes, fringed on either side with long rows of stately trees that shade the close-cut hawthorne hedges. But over all these is an air of age. Everything is finished. Everything is complete. We have visited so many old towns, and inspected so many old buildings, that it would be a positive relief to see a brand new house, painted white, with green shutters, whose gable roof glistens in the sunlight with its new pine shingles. But, alas! that cannot be. Here everything is old and purely English.

Portsmouth was reached after a delightful run of two and a half hours, and soon after we were snugly quartered in the queerest hostelry imaginable, our comfortable room overlooking an arm of the sea, upon which were all manner of craft, from the diminutive dory to the massive merchantman.


Portsmouth is, and always has been, one of England’s strongest points. Situated in a most commanding position it has been an invaluable factor in her matter of defenses. Only five or six miles away, the Isle of Wight runs for miles parallel with the coast, forming a narrow passage through which the vessels for a foreign nation, if they intended to make a hostile landing in that neighborhood, must pass. Spithead, the famous place of entry and departure of vessels, is just off Portsmouth, and is guarded, as is the passage, by two immense stone forts, built at no end of labor and money, directly in the channel, effectually protecting that entrance. And then to make things more secure, there is a series of three forts on the Isle of Wight, while Portsmouth, to speak within bounds, is made up almost entirely of forts.

At first one wonders why England finds it necessary to keep these forts, and the heavy force of soldiers required to garrison them. At Portsmouth is one of the largest, if not the largest, dock yard in the world, upon the safety of which the fate of the nation’s navy depends, and if that point, strong as it is, and affording such excellent opportunities for the protection of the southern coast, were to fall into the hands of an enemy, it would open all England to it. And your English are great Generals. In time of peace they prepare for war, and keep all things in readiness for any emergency, no matter how sudden or how severe.

The harbor is a beautiful one and full of interest. Of course there is the inevitable waterman, with his tarpaulin hat and tight fitting “Jersey,” who beseeches “Y’r hon’r,” to let him row you about. And of course he carries his point.

The very first thing he does, before you can admire the strange species of ships that are on every hand, is to row you directly to Lord Nelson’s flag ship, the “Victory,” on which the gallant sailor died, at the battle of Trafalgar. But one is not sorry at that, for Nelson’s character was one that compelled the admiration of every one who had ever studied him and his glorious achievements. With what a thrill, then, one stands upon the very deck upon which he trod during one the most brilliant sea fights in the annals of history, to go upon the gun decks where he commanded his gallant sailors. With what feeling of sadness one stands on the spot where he stood when the deadly leaden ball of a French sharpshooter gave him his death wound, and with uncovered head bows before the spot where the soul of the greatest, bravest sailor the world ever knew, winged its way amid the smoke and horror of battle to the peaceful haven of the great hereafter.

image not available



The anniversary of the battle is celebrated regularly, and the old ship is once each year made radiant with flowers. A beautiful wreath is always placed upon the spot on the deck where the hero fell.

It does not seem possible that the great, clumsy-looking vessels that were used in those days could even be navigated, to say nothing of fighting with them. The “Victory,” which is only one of a half dozen of the same kind now laid up—put on the retired list—in Portsmouth Harbor, is a huge floating castle, and required, when in commission, one thousand men to operate her. She is fifty-eight feet from the main deck to the hold, though she seems, with her four decks above the water line, to be even higher than that. Comparing her with the long, narrow iron-clad of to-day, it requires a considerable stretch of imagination to realize that she had once been really in service, and no slight service, either.

image not available


A two hours’ trip around the harbor is one of constantly increasing interest. There are ships and ships. Here are immense men-of-war, full rigged and ready for a cruise, alongside of which is a trim yacht flying the pennant of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Here a huge merchantman, with a cargo from Bombay, perhaps. Beyond, a great white steamer, larger than the transatlantic passenger steamship, that takes England’s soldiers, these same red-coated fellows we see strutting about here with their diminutive caps jauntily perched over their left ear, out to India to help keep the natives quiet and subdued. Right here is the Queen’s private yacht, the “Albert and Mary,” a vessel of large dimensions, and fitted up in the most exquisite manner. This is the ship the Queen takes her little excursions in, and occasionally sends it across the channel to bring over some distinguished personage whom she wishes to honor.

Near this palatial steamer, as though to make the contrast all the greater, is an old man-of-war, built years ago, and found now to be of no use, either for the purpose for which it was originally built, or for the carrying trade. So it lies there a worn-out monument of the past, gradually yielding to the ravages of time.

But the great point of interest in Portsmouth is the dockyards, the finest in the world. A thorough survey of it would take three or four days, but a stroll of four or five hours gives one a fair idea of what it is. Here the mammoth vessels belonging to England’s naval equipment are taken for repairs, and the dry docks, of which no description is sufficient to convey a definite idea of their size and general appearance, are constantly filled with them. These docks are magnificent specimens of masonry, some of them being acres in extent, and built in the most solid, substantial manner. In the great buildings fronting on the water are vessels of all sizes and descriptions, in course of construction, some ready to launch, and others in the first stage of the work.


Just now the workmen are engaged in putting the finishing touches on a great iron-clad turret-ship, of which England is very proud. And well she may be, for the “Inflexible” is really a wonderful vessel, with her two turrets bearing each two guns of eighty tons weight. The turrets, made of heavy iron plates, are made to revolve by machinery, so that the guns may be fired in any direction. The loading and cleaning is all done by ingeniously arranged machinery, worked by hydraulic pressure. In fact, all over the ship steam power is used wherever it is possible, and in some instances where it seems almost impossible. She is built entirely of iron, and seems impregnable. As one gazes upon her monstrous proportions, her terrible facilities for dealing death and destruction, there comes involuntarily the wish that there may never be an occasion when her loud-mouthed and frightfully effective services may be required.

Impregnable as she seems to be, English mechanics are busy inventing guns to pierce her. That is going on all the time. They construct a vessel which will resist any gun they have, and then construct a gun which will pierce the vessel. Where it will end the Lord only knows. In England the irresistible is always meeting the immovable, and vice versa.

In Portsmouth, more than in any place in England, the policy of England is manifest. Portsmouth is one vast fort, and every other man you see on her streets is a soldier. You come upon vast fortifications everywhere, long lines of earth works stretch in every direction on the coast, commanding every approach to the city, and vast stores of ammunition are piled away safe and secure but ready for use at a moment’s notice. Portsmouth is a watch dog for that part of the island, and it would be a daring foe that would attack her. It gives you a very good idea of England’s strength, and of her power of defense. But heaven help the people who have to foot the bills for all this.

After a day spent in the midst of all these places suggestive of war with its terrible sequences, it was a pleasure, in the evening, when the light sea breeze tempered the heat that had been so oppressive, to stroll down to the “Old Fort,” as it is called, though it bears but faint resemblance now, to an effective fortification. Its heavy stone abutments that were once crowned with cannon, are now covered with moss; the cannons have been taken away, and in their stead are rustic seats around which happy children laugh and play, while their nurses sit talking of their red coated favorites in the adjoining barracks. There is just now an air of peace and harmony, of war days done away with, that is only disturbed by the occasional sight of a sentry who paces his beat in front of the barracks. It is

image not available



peace now, but the sentry shows how insecure the peace. England must be always ready for war. But standing upon a parapet, overlooking the sea, one forgets for the time the fact that he is in the very midst of that oppressive power, the strong arm of the soldier, and gives himself up to kindlier thoughts, brought up by the marvelous beauties of the scene spread out before him like the mystic picture painted by fairy hands. The sea, over which the last rays of the sinking sun dance and shimmer, is just rippled with a light breeze that sends the graceful little yachts skimming merrily over its surface. The misty outlines of the Isle of Wight, half hidden by a delicate purple haze, gradually fade from sight as the sun sinks lower and lower, and throws a broad path of golden light along the bright blue water. As it sinks into the sea, a great globe of brilliant red, a stately ship, with graceful masts rising high in air, cuts the path of golden light, and for an instant is clearly outlined against the glowing orb. Every mast, every rope, even, can be seen clearly and distinctly against the beautiful background. For an instant every outline is tinged with gold, then it passes slowly on, the sun sinks beneath the waves, and then comes the soft twilight, when one “sinks into reveries and dreams.”

This reverie and dream business is all very well for awhile, but it cannot last, and the awakening is not pleasant. The good old town of Portsmouth, with its historical memories, the beautiful harbor filled with so much that is interesting, must be left for others to enjoy while we go back to London and resume the routine of sight seeing—that is, to draw it mildly, becoming just a trifle tiresome. One can have too much of even London.

*   *  *  *  *  *   *  *  

On our return to London we met our old steamer friend, Tibbitts’s Lemuel, of Oshkosh. He had been traveling in the North of England, and tiring of the smaller cities and the country, had returned to London to “do it.” He was rather puffy in the cheeks and rather bleary about the eyes, which showed a season of not altogether strict adherence to the precepts of Father Matthew. He was overjoyed at seeing us, as men always are at seeing anybody of whom they want something. He was in trouble.

“Look here,” said Lemuel, “you are a good fellow, now, and I know you will help me out. You see I came over for improvement and experience, and to enlarge my mind, and all that sort of thing, and the old gentleman insisted that I should keep a diary, and note down my impressions of scenery, and industries, and modes of living, and all that, and send it to him regularly, and I must do it, or he will cut off the supplies, and bring me home.”

“Well, that is easy enough. You have done it? You have kept a diary?”

“Yes, a sort of a diary. You see there were four of us in the party, devilish good fellows, one from Chicago, and two from New York, and we went to a lot of places, and saw a great deal, and I wrote in my memorandum book every day, but it was certainly the last thing I did before going to bed, about four o’clock in the morning, or a little later. What the old gentleman wanted was not only an account of all this rot, but my impression of the places, to develop me. You understand?”

image not available


“Yes; and a good idea it is. Did you write down your impressions of the places you visited?”

“Well, yes; but I am afraid they won’t satisfy father. He is mighty particular, and awful sharp.”

“Will you let me see your memorandum book?”


He handed it to me, and these are some of the entries, which were, no doubt, written at four in the morning, the last thing before getting into bed; and they were, unquestionably, his impressions. I select a few at random, these few being excellent samples of the whole lot:—

Leeds—Manufacturing city—Beer very bad—Scotch whisky tolerable, though I never liked it cold.

Birmingham—Manufacturing city—Beer bad—Not equal to our lager—No good beer in England—Stout rather better—Went in on stout.

Manchester—Good bottle beer—Draft beer bad—All draft—(This sentence was not finished, probably for reasons. He explained that that night he slept in his boots.)

Sheffield—Manufacturing city—found some genuine American bourbon, and went for it—It was refreshing, as a reminder at home—Don’t know about the beer—There’s no place like home.

Nottingham—Don’t know what the people do—a great many of them—Beer bad as usual—Guinness’ stout in bottles fairish—Wish—

(Another unfinished sentence, explained as before.)

And so on. I told Lemuel that it certainly would not do to send these impressions to his father, as evidently he observed only one side of English life; that he had taken his observations through a glass darkly, but that I really hadn’t the time to write up a set for him, especially as I had not visited those places myself.

“But what am I to do?”

Advising him to procure a good guide-book, and remain sober for a week, and get to work, we parted.

There are a great many Lemuels getting similar impressions of Europe—a great many; I may say altogether too many.

image not available




SOMETIME in the sixth century a Saxon King, named Sebert, founded an Abbey, where Westminster now stands. It is another of the regular show places of London, and possibly the most interesting, unless it be the Tower. It has been rebuilt a dozen or more times, and is really the most beautiful building in London of its class.

image not available


The Abbey is three hundred and seventy-five feet in length, by two hundred in width, and its height from the pavement to the foot of the lantern is one hundred and forty feet. I know this, for I got it from the guide-book.

There is nothing in England, in the way of architecture, more striking or grand. The beautiful is not always the grand, or the grand the beautiful. Westminster Abbey is both. The old architects might not have been able to have built the Capitol at Washington, and they certainly could not have built the Court House in New York, and made it cost more than the Houses of Parliament, for they were not that kind of architects; they mostly died poor and did not wear diamonds, but they managed to erect a building that is worth the passage across the Atlantic to see.

image not available



On entering the Abbey you run the gauntlet of a dozen or more fellows who have the privilege of selling guide-books. They will not take “No!” for an answer, but manage somehow to compel the gratuity. They are Potiphar’s wives with designs upon your pockets, and you have to choose between yielding to them, like Joseph, or leaving some portion of your garments in their grasp. You always shed the sixpence. Then you wander about through the magnificent structure, reading tablets on which are inscribed the virtues of all sorts of men, till happily remembering that kings and queens were buried in the building, you ask whereabouts they may be lying. Some one gives the information, the party is made up, and you place yourself under the charge of what they call a verger, a beery old fellow, with a face that blazes like a comet, with some sort of a black gown over his shoulders, who conducts you to the gate of a chapel, at which stands another beery old fellow, with a like face and a similar gown on his shoulders, who deliberately asks you for sixpence apiece, which being paid, you pass in, very like you would in a circus. Then the beery old fellow commences in a sing-song, monotonous way, his descriptions:—

“The first on the left is the tomb of Queen Eleanor, who died in the year of our Lord,” and so on. He intones his service just about as those officiating in the other services do, only he goes on without making a stop or punctuating a sentence. He guides you from one room to another without the slightest pause, and when he gets through he and the one at the gate, who takes the money, go out and drink beer till another party is formed.

But it is a very cheap show, and I am under obligations to the Church of England for the delight. In fact, it is a big shilling’s worth—for a drinking man. One blast from the fiery orifice in the volcanic face of the verger is enough to save anybody sixpence in beer, and as for the book, why you have it, and it is worth the money. Thus, you see, you have the show of the building and the dead Kings thrown in. I was not sure that we should not have given the Dean a shilling or two, and I felt like offering it to him, but, unfortunately, I was out of silver.

It is not the magnificence and grandeur of the structure, or its sacredness as a place of religious worship, that give Westminster Abbey its interest to the average tourist. It is the burial place of the great dead of England, and its walls contain the dust of more great men than any building in the world.

Of course I did not enthuse a particle over the tombs of the old Kings, those ancient robbers, whose titles came from force and were perpetuated by fraud, thirteen of whom are buried here, and fourteen Queens, commencing with Sebert, the Saxon, and ending with George, the Second. They may sleep anywhere without exciting a thrill in me, for not one of them ever did the world any good, or added one to the list of achievements that really make men’s names worth remembering.

I do not like kings, and if we must have them, I much prefer them dead. Safe in an abbey, they are not making wars upon each other, and besides, a dead king can be kept much more cheaply than a living one. I pay sixpence willingly to see where a dead king lies. When I remember that they must die, I always feel encouraged.

But England has buried here those who made her glory on the field, the wave, and in the Senate and closet, and it is England’s glory that she does this. England has never let a great achievement go unnoted, or unremembered. In the floors and on the walls of this great church, are tablets, commemorating not only Generals and Admirals, but Captains and Lieutenants, who aided in repulsing the foes of the country, or extending its possessions, and the private soldier or common sailor receives his meed of praise, the same as his officer.

In this, England is wise, as she is in most things. In this faithful remembrance, the youth of England have a constant incentive to great deeds and meritorious acts.

Speaking of monuments and commemorative structures, how many has the United States? One was attempted to the memory of Washington, of the general form and style of a Scotch claymore, set on end, hilt downward, and it was placed in the mud, on the banks of the Potomac, where it has been surely and certainly sinking these thirty years at least, and is not yet half finished.


Occasionally, some enterprising woman, who wants a house, or to pay off a mortgage, or something of the kind, organizes a Washington Monument Association, and collects money for the purpose of completing it. But it never amounts to anything. The lady and the managers collect a great deal of money, but no stones are added to the monument, and there stands, or rather, is sinking, a monument, not to Washington, but to the inefficient management of the citizens of the country he freed, and their indifference to the fame of their best and greatest men.

England does not do this. There is never a name in English history that is not carefully preserved in the Abbey, and it is not permitted to wear out and fade. When time has meddled with it the chisel is brought into requisition, and it is restored.

image not available


If one wishes to thoroughly and completely appreciate the worthlessness of human reputation, he should walk through these walls and over these floors. While the fame of the heroes, poets and statesmen have been carefully cared for, the nobodies buried here and hereabouts, and there are thousands of them, have been permitted to fade out mercilessly. Sir Toby Belch, we will say, or Sir Toby Anybody Else, who was so circumstanced that he received the honor of being buried in the Abbey or the grounds adjacent, lies here under a slab, on which is a long inscription. The slab is here; but alas! where is the inscription? The iron-nailed shoes of generations have as completely obliterated it as though a chisel had been used for the purpose.

But not so the actually great. The slab that covers the remains of Dickens has flowers placed upon it every day, and the inscriptions to the memory of Shakespeare, Byron, Handel, Haydn, Macaulay, Sheridan, Garrick, Rare Ben Johnson, and others, who made English literature, and the innumerable warriors by land and sea who have extended English possessions and defended England’s greatness, are kept as distinct and as bright as the day they were erected.

One singular thing is that there are no bad men buried in the Abbey; that is, if you may believe the marble inscriptions. Marble is a bad material to tell lies upon, because of the limited space that can be used. Were there more room there would be more lies, I suppose, but the English have managed it tolerably well.

There was Warren Hastings, for instance, Governor-General of India, who in his day was held up as a monster of cruelty, and a model of rapacity and oppression. Even the English Parliament and the East India Company were forced to protest against his extreme cruelty to the East Indians. Nevertheless Hastings has a bust in the Abbey, and an inscription on it, in which he is given every virtue under the sun. He is extolled as being all that was merciful, just, kind, good, and wise, and if there is a virtue that is not ascribed to him, the man who wrote it forgot it. As a matter of curiosity I copied the epitaph, and here it is:—



Governor-General of Bengal,

Member of His Majesty’s Most Honorable Privy Council, L. L. D., F. R. S.

Descended from the elder branch of the Ancient and Noble Family of


Selected for his eminent talents and integrity, he was appointed by Parliament, in 1773, the first Governor-General of India, to which high office he was thrice re-appointed by the same authority. Of a most eventful period, he restored the affairs of the East India Company from the deepest distress to the highest prosperity, and rescued their possessions from a combination of the most powerful enemies ever leagued against them. In the wisdom of his counsels and the energy of his measures, he found unexhausted resources, and successfully sustained a long, varied, and multiplied war with France, Mysore, and the Mahratta States, whose power he humbled, and concluded an honorable peace; for which and for his distinguished services he received the thanks of the East India Company, sanctioned by the Board of Control. The Kingdom of Bengal, the seat of his government, he ruled with a mild and equitable sway, preserved it from invasion, and while he secured to its inhabitants the enjoyment of their customs, laws and religion, and the blessings of peace, was rewarded by their affection and gratitude; nor was he more distinguished by the highest qualities of a statesman and a patriot, than by the exercise of every Christian virtue. He lived for many years in dignified retirement, beloved and revered by all who knew him, at his seat of Daylesford, in the county of Worcester, where he died in peace, in the 86th year of his age, August 22, in the year of our Lord 1818.

Pretty good, this, for a man who was the terror of the East, and who was publicly branded in Parliament as the most audacious, corrupt and cruel tyrant that ever seized anything that armed force could lay its hands upon. But as England reaped the benefit of a portion, at least, of his wickedness, England manufactures a record for him and permits it to stand among its other heroes, for the admiration of future generations.

image not available


I can imagine the ghost of Hastings, as he hovers over this tablet and reads it. He must have smiled a spirit smile. However, it is probably as correct as other history, marble or written upon paper. The inhabitants of the other world must be amused as they read what is said of them in this. A great many of them must feel as the horse thief did when he wept after the speech of his counsel in his defense.

“What are you sobbing so for?” asked the counsel.

“I never knew before what a good man I am,” was the reply.

There are hundreds buried in the Abbey who have no especial claim to the honor, that is so far as to deeds that survive the ages gone. They enjoyed what we of to-day would term a mere local reputation, and all that remains of them is what the marble says. The inscriptions are all in the same strain, and are curious specimens of obituary literature. For instance this:—



formerly a chorister and lay clerk of Westminster Abbey,
and Gentleman of His Majesty’s Royal Chapel

Educated by Dr. Cooke,
He caught all the taste and science of that great master,
Which he augmented and adorned.
With the peculiar powers of his native genius,
He possessed qualities which are seldom united;
A lively enthusiasm, with an exact judgment,
And exhibited a perfect model
Of a correct style and a commanding voice;
Simple and powerful, tender and dignified;
Solemn, chaste and purely English.

His social and domestic virtues
Corresponded with these rare endowments;
Affectionate and liberal, sincere and open-hearted,
He was not less beloved by his family and friends,
Than admired by all for his pre-eminence
In his profession.

He was born 19 Septr. 1769. Died 15 April, 1821.
And was buried in this cloister,
Near his Beloved Master.

“Solemn, chaste and purely English” is very good. What could Mr. Bartleman ask more?


On the monument of Admiral Sir Wondesley Shovel the inscription reads:—

“He was deservedly beloved by his country, and esteemed, though dreaded, by the enemy, who had often experienced his conduct and courage. Being shipwrecked on the rocks of Scilly, in his voyage from Toulon, Oct. 22, 1707, at night, in the 57th year of his age, his fate was lamented by all, but especially by the seafaring part of the nation, to whom he was a generous patron and a worthy example. His body was flung on the shore, and buried with others on the sand; but being soon after taken up, was placed under this monument, which his royal mistress had caused to be erected to commemorate his steady loyalty and extraordinary virtues.”

Mr. William Lawrence, who was a prebendary, gets this poetical effusion:—

“With dilligence and trust most exemplary
Did William Lawrence serve a prebendary,
And for his paines now past before not lost
Gained this remembrance at his Master’s cost.
O read these lines again: you seldom finde
A servant faithful to a master kind.
Short hand he wrote, his flowre in prime did fade
And hasty death short hand of him hath made.
Well couth he numbers, and well measured land,
Thus doth he now that ground whereon you stand,
Wherein he lies so geometrical;
Art maketh some, but this will nature all.”
Obit Dec. 23, 1621.
Æstatus bud 29.

As a specimen of old English, this can hardly be excelled:—

Ander neath Lyeth
The Bodyes of 3 sonns
of Mr. Christopher Chapman,
Richard Christopher and
Peter Peter dyed the 11th
of September, 1672.
Richard dyed the 1th of
February, 1672, and
Christopher Chapman,
M. of Artes, dyed the 25
of March, 1675.

The next is a memorial to an authoress, who was the most popular of her day, and whose pieces were the delight of London. To-day, she is only remembered by book-worms and antiquaries:—


Dyed April 16,
A.D. 1689.

Here lies a proof that Wit can never be
Defence enough against Mortality.

This lady was the authoress of many dramatic pieces—all as dead as their author.

The Wesley family are represented in this:—


1725,   1726,   1727,   1731.
Infant children of
Samuel Wesley,
Brother of John Wesley.

The British merchant was honored, as well as the British soldier:—



who departed this life September 5, 1786, aged 74,
but whose name liveth, and will ever live,
whilst active Piety shall distinguish
The Christian.
Integrity and Truth shall recommend
The British Merchant.
And universal Kindness shall characterize
The Citizen of the World.

The helpless Infant natur’d thro’ his care:
The friendless Prostitute sheltered and reformed;
The hopeless Youth rescu’d from Misery and Rum,
And trained to serve and to defend his country,
Uniting in one common strain of gratitude,
Bear testimony to their Benefactors’ virtues—
This was the Friend and Father of the Poor.

The wandering about among the tombs of so many illustrious dead, and the reading of so many fulsome epitaphs—albeit I know they were not altogether deserved—produced an impression, a feeling of solemnity, that no other one place in all England could conjure up. It was in vain that Tibbitts tried to make fun out of some of the quaint inscriptions. It could not be done, and in a very short time the youth succumbed to the influence of the mighty memory, and became a subdued and quiet admirer of the solemn grandeur of the place.

image not available


Three is the hour that religious services are held in the large nave. More out of curiosity, perhaps, than anything else, we determined to remain during the service. As we sat there looking over into the Poets’ Corner, the deep silence of the majestic building, growing more and more profound, there came trooping through the mind constantly changing pictures suggested by the memories awakened by the vivid recollections of the once great in literature and art, science and warfare, who are still alive in the hearts of all English-speaking people, although their bodies have been lying for years beneath the massive pillars and superb arches of Westminster.

As the eye wanders upwards along the walls, covered with tablets and rare pieces of sculpture, and seeks to unravel the intricacies of the fretted roof, just discernible through the dim light, the great organ peals forth the wondrous strains of the Processional.

At that instant, as though to lend a new and greater impressiveness to the scene, the clouds, which had been lowering all the afternoon, suddenly breaking with a glorious burst of sunshine, that comes streaming in through the tall, graceful windows, beautiful with their colored designs, lights up the Abbey even to its darkest recess with a light, soft, and mellow, which only intensifies the mystic feeling of reverence and joy combined. And then the boy choristers, with their fresh, innocent faces, sing in wondrous tones the Gregorian chant. Nothing more is needed; everything is complete. You are lost in a rapturous reverie, the mind is cleansed of all things earthly, and wanders unchecked and unfettered through the boundless realms of purity. One sits almost entranced; his very being filled with the wondrous power of the place. Gradually it dawns upon him that there is a discord somewhere, that something has occurred to mar the perfection of the whole. For an instant he rebels against the thought, and strives to believe that he still dreams. But the inspiration has fled. The music, which a moment before caused the tears to fill his eyes, has lost itself in the far-away cornices of the high columns, and in its stead there is the dull, monotonous chanting of a priest, who is intoning the service in a tired sort of way, as though he thought that, having done the same thing every afternoon for forty years, it was time for him to retire upon a pension, and enjoy the quiet of a pleasant home, where there was no absolute necessity of going through the ritual every afternoon at three o’clock.


The awakening was not a pleasant one, and so we left the Abbey, disappointed, as though we had been given the promise of something wonderful and then been denied it. The service, no matter how beautiful in and of itself, is not in keeping with the grandeur of the place. There is lacking, to an American, that sense of power and majesty in it that the massive building, glorying in its wondrous architectural beauties, demands. The clergymen had an aimlessness that was simply tiresome, and as they drawled out the words, it seemed as though they did not care whether it produced an effect upon the worshippers or not. But it did produce an effect. Not the one to be desired, perhaps, but an effect after all, for the greater number of them quietly left the place, and reached the open air with a sigh of relief, as if they had escaped from some very depressing, dispiriting place.

In America religion and religious services mean something more than form, and the ministers, no matter of what denomination, or in what sort of a building, throw something of life and fervor into their services. They act and talk as though they had souls to save, and that the responsibility of the souls of their congregations were upon them. This was not of that kind. The priests went through the service as though, having offered the bread of life to their people, it was for them to take it or let it alone, as they chose. Indeed, when one was a little slow, as though he had been up the night before, the other would look at him reproachfully, as if to say, “Look here; why don’t you hurry up and get through with this, and let us get home. I don’t want my dinner to spoil,” and the boys in the choir, though they sang like angels, did it, not as if they knew or cared anything about it, but as a mere matter of business, looking from one to another, and then upon the congregation. Whatever the effect upon the people, their beautiful music had no more effect upon them than as if they had been so many oysters.

These people would not do for a Western camp-meeting, or even for a fashionable revival in an Eastern church. But they have their uses.

One room in the Abbey is devoted to the effigies in wax of seven Kings and Queens, but few people visit it. They can see a more extensive collection of murderers at Madam Tussaud’s for the same money, and they go there.

The cloisters, as they are called, form a not uninteresting portion of the Abbey, they being the former places of residence of the monks of the establishment. In the various walks, with their quaintly carved pillars, and moss-covered arches, are buried many distinguished personages, most of whom belonged to the Abbey.

image not available


Another point of interest is the “Chapter House,” a circular room, of large dimensions, which was built in 1250 by Henry III., on the site of the earlier Chapter House belonging to the Abbey, founded by Edward the Confessor. It was the chamber in which the abbot and monks, in the time of the ancient monastery held their “Chapter,” or meeting for discussion and business. The stone seats upon which the abbot and the monks sat are still preserved.


image not available


In 1265, when the House of Commons came into existence, it first sat in Westminster Hall with the House of Lords; but the two bodies having parted, the Commons held its meetings in the Chapter House for nearly three hundred years. The last Parliament known to have sat here was that which assembled on the last day of the reign of King Henry VIII. After that the House passed into the possession of the Crown, and from 1547, when the House of Commons was transferred to Westminster Palace, until 1863, it was used as the depository of public records, and was very much disfigured. In 1865 its restoration was begun, and it now presents the same appearance it did in years gone by, save where the finger of Father Time has been laid rather heavily upon its once fair paintings and graceful proportions.

It does not appear that the nave and cloisters, though the last resting places of so many eminent persons, were treated with due respect in the reign of Queen Anne. At all events, the following occurs in the Acts of the Dean and Chapter, under date of May 6, 1710.

“Whereas, several butchers and other persons have of late, especially on market days, carried meat and other burdens through the church, and that in time of Divine service, to the great scandal and offence of all sober-minded persons; and, whereas, divers disorderly beggars are daily walking and begging in the Abbey and cloisters, and do fill the same with nastiness, whereby great offense is caused to all persons going through the church and cloisters; and, whereas many idle boys come into the cloister daily, and there play at cards and other games, for money, and are often heard to curse and swear, Charles Baldwin is appointed beadel to restrain this, and to complain of offenders, if necessary, to a justice of the peace.”

The Abbey is the especial pride of England, and well it may be. It is a delight in and of itself, and would be were it empty. But filled, as it is, with the enduring monuments of its glory, it possesses a double interest. Every American visits it, and every American should, for those who built it and those who sleep under its wonderful roof, are of the same blood and kin. America shares in England’s glory, if not in her shame. But then, we have some sins to answer for, and an Englishman may not blush in the presence of his cousin across the water.



RIGHT in the heart of London—if London may be said to have any heart—is a tavern kept by an American, which is the headquarters of American “professionals,” as showmen delight to call themselves. You can never go there without meeting managers, nigger minstrels, song-and-dance-men, unappreciated actors, and all sorts of people who prefer living from hand to mouth and wearing no shirts, in this way, than to making a fortune in any regular business. I go there frequently from sheer loneliness, and to hear the kindly American language spoken; and, besides, a man alone is generally in bad company, for the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked. Any company that is fair to middling is better than none at all. Even a hostler can tell you something you don’t know. You may excel him in the philosophy of finance, but when it comes to horses you are nowhere.

I met one circus manager who is over here, as he expressed it, to “secure talent,” and he proved a delight. He was short and very thick, and wore a sack coat, of rough material, and a little mastiff followed him about constantly. His hat and necktie were something too utterly gorgeous for description, his face was of a peculiarly puffy purple, and his nose blazed like a comet. And he would sit and talk of his business by the hour, keeping before him all the time a glass of British brandy and water, which he pronounced “goodish.” You could be sure he was a showman as far as you could see him. My first interview with him was something like this:—

“I shall have the biggest list of genooine attractions that ever was taken across the Atlantic, and if I don’t astonish the showmen of our great country, as well as the people, I’m a sinner. I have got a baby elephant, and a genooine Babulus, capchered by Stanley in the interior of Africa, at a great loss of life, and I am after a performer sich as the world never seen. She does an act on the trapeze that is so risky, that sooner or later she must be killed. There ain’t any doubt about it. I have seen her. She runs up a rope like a squirrel, and jumps from a horizontal bar, twenty feet, catching hold of her pardner’s hands, and then plunges down from his body head-fust, at the frightful altitood of seventy feet, catchin’ a rope twenty feet from the ground. If the lights are ever wrong by a half inch, or if she ever miscalculates a hair’s breadth, she is a goner, sure.”

image not available


And the enthusiastic old gentleman rubbed his hands in glee, as though the death of a performer was a consummation most devoutly to be wished.


“Do people enjoy such perilous feats?”

“Enjoy em! Enjoy em! Why, bless your innocent soul, a feat ain’t nothin'—won’t dror a cent onless it’s morally certain that the performer will break his neck. This woman I’m after draws crowds every night, because she must kill herself. The trick is so dangerous that men make bets every night she will miss her lucky, and be carried out a corpse. I’m a goin’ to have that woman, no matter what the salary is. She does this trapeze act, and then goes on in the first part of the minstrel entertainment after the big show. Oh, she’s got talent into her.”

“But if the performance is so hazardous, and she should be killed, would it not entail a heavy loss upon you?”

“Killed! Loss! Where was you born? My child, there never was a feat so dangerous that there ain’t a thousand waitin’ to attempt it, and they’ll do it. When Mamselle Zhoubert gits killed, as she will, I’ll hev to hold a lev-vee to decide atwixt the dozen who will want to take her place. I’ll select one of ’em, give her a French name—yoo can’t get on in the perfesh with a English name—and she’ll go on and do it, and do it jist as well. And then wat an advertisement it is! This will be about the size of it:—

“The management begs to state that since the untimely death of Mademoiselle Zhoubert, at Cincinnati, it was doubtful if another lady competent to fill her place could be found. The feat was so difficult, so dangerous, and required such arduous training and such wonderful nerve, that it was feared that this leading attraction of the World’s Aggregation would have to be omitted. There was only one other such artiste in the world—Mademoiselle Blanche, but she was engaged at the Cirque Imperial, Paris. The management knows no such word as fail, and a commissioner was dispatched at once to Paris, with unlimited powers to treat for this stellar attraction, this acme of talent. At an expense which would bankrupt any other establishment, conducted by narrow-minded managers who advertise more and perform less, she was secured and is now with us. Mademoiselle Blanche not only performs the original feat of the sincerely mourned Zhoubert, but adds to it one so much more dangerous as to make hers seem insignificant and commonplace. Mademoiselle Blanche will appear at each and every performance, all reports to the contrary notwithstanding.”

“That’ll fetch ’em.”

“Dangerous feats! why, I run a whole season on a lion that had once eaten a keeper. The people come in crowds, expecting every day to see him make a breakfast of his trainer.”

“Was he actually dangerous?”

image not available



“Dangerous! He et another trainer, and then I lost him. His widder was actilly in love with her husband, and she swore the animal shood be killed, and the people sided with her, and as the broot was gettin’ old, and the killin’ made a sensation, I did it. But I made all there was out of it. I insisted that the husband should have a gorgeous funeral. The woman kicked at the idea of a funeral, for she sed there was nothing to berry, as the lion had eaten her husband. But ain’t the dear departed inside the lion? If we berry the lion, don’t we berry the dear deceast? Cert. And we hed it, and it was gorgeous. We hed a percession, with all our wagons in it—the regelar street parade—only all the riders hed black scarfs on ’em, and the wagons and hosses and elephants and sich was draped in black (mourning goods is cheap,), and the band played a dead

image not available


march. The widder was in an open carriage, in full mournin’ with a white handkerchief, with a black border, to her eyes lookin’ on his minatoor. There wasn’t no minatoor, but she held a case jist the same. That nite the canvass coodent hold the people, and we run on that two weeks to splendid biz. In two weeks, the woman got over her grief and went into the lion trainin’ line herself, ez ‘Senorita Aguardiente, the Lion Queen.’ I give her some old lions to practis on, and in less than a month she could do jest as well as the old man. She was a good woman, too. She rid in the grand entree, and rid in the ‘Halt in the Desert,’ did the bar’l act, rid a good pad act, and is now practisin’ bare-back. She juggles tollable, and does a society sketch song and dance in a side-show. When I git talent I pay it and keep it. My treasurer changes the names of my people every season, so as to have always fresh attractions. Oh, I know my biz. But that wuzn’t all I made out uv that afflictin’ event. I went and hed a moniment made and sot up over his grave. This is the vig., inscription and all:

image not available

And on the back uv the monument, I had this:—

“His sorrowing widow still does her unapproachable act of Equitation and Prestidigitation, in the Great International Aggregation, with which her devoured husband was so long connected, and may be seen at each and every exhibition.

“While mourning the loss of our friend, the Great Aggregation travels as usual, and exhibits without regard to weather, twice each day. Lion Kings may die, but the Great International Aggregation is immortal.”

“The widder insisted on hevin a Scriptural quotashen on the moniment, and it took me a good while lookin up suthin approprit. I know more about circus than I do about Bible, but when I set out to do a thing I do it. Ez the two hed lived together and died together, ez the lion et him for cert, it struck me that this wuz about the racket, and I put it on the base:—

They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in death they were not
divided.—2d Sam. 1:23.

“I had the monument did in galvanized iron, and it will stand there for forty years, and every visitor to that cemetery will know suthin about the Great International. I wrote it modest, for I didn’t want it to look too much like an advertisement, though, of course, I wanted to get all I could out of the afflictin event.”

Ordering another brandy cold, the pleasant old gentleman murmured more reminiscences. He had always had a penchant for wild Indian troupes, and, since the Zulu war, for Zulus, and he flowed on about them:—

“Foggarty,” said he, “was the best Zulu I ever had, and I have had a hundred of ’em. He laid over the lot. He entered into the spirit of the thing, and did the bizniss conscientiously. When he came outside with a iron girdle about him, and a pizen spear, he lept in dead earnest, he did. He made it mighty lively for the keeper to hold him, and he howled so like a savage that he skeered the wimin and gals to a degree that they couldn’t help goin’ in to see him. Foggarty was a great man, and hed talent. He was the best Modoc Chief I ever had. O’Finnegan cood lay over him on the green corn dance, and possibly drest the best, but Foggarty’s war-whoop was suthin’ sublime. We hed him one season as Scar-Faced Charley, and the next as Shack-Nasty Jim, and he did himself proud in

image not available



both. And then, there wan’t no dam nonsense about him. He wood peel out of his Injun clothes, and go and clean the lamps, and help pack, or do anything. Before the doors opened, he’d do canvasman, and howl at the door, and at the door he’d play the bass drum or grind the organ with cheerfulness. In the street parade of the big show, he was, for five years, our Washington, The Father of his Country, standing on a revolvin’ pedestal. Then, jist as soon as he got his dinner, he’d help get up the canvas, and then skin into the Zulu rig, and after that, he’d peddle lemonade, or do anything to make himself yooseful. But a woman spiled him. Wimin spile a great many good men. We hed a woman, Biddy McCarty, wich was doin’ the Circassian lady, with hair to her heels, you know ’em, and sometimes the bearded lady. Likewise, she was a Chinese knife thrower, and Foggarty yoosed to do the Chinaman she throwed her knives at. Well, Foggarty, seein’ that she was an Irish gal, and he an Irishman, coodent no more help fallin’ in love with her than fire kin help burnin’ tow. He got it into his head that ef he could marry a gal with so much talent, he might, some day, have a side-show of his own. And then, as time rolled on, and they hed kids, he cood train ’em up to the family business, and do things cheap. He wanted to be a Bearded family, or a Zulu family, or a Jap family, or suthin, and so he married Biddy, and they went double. Biddy hed a will of her own, and besides she would git drunk. Rum spiles more talent in the perfesh than anything else. She had a trick of beating Foggarty, and she led him the devil’s own life. It was at Leroy, New York. She had bin on as the Bearded Woman, and as the Circassian Lady, and hed sold all the photographs she cood, and hed changed to go on as the Chinese Knife Thrower, from Hang Fo. Foggarty hed changed to a Chinaman—Lu Fu, the Wizard—when I diskivered that Biddy hed bin drinkin'. I warned Foggarty to look out, for she was ugly, but he laughed, and said she wouldn’t hurt him, and went on. You hev seen that act. Foggarty stands agin a board with his arms spread out, and the China woman throws knives all around him. She puts ’em between his fingers, and clost to his neck and between his legs. Biddy could throw a knife within a hair of where she wanted it to go. She hed talent, as I sed. But that day she was ugly. She and Foggarty hed hed it hot, and when she came in twistin’ her queue, I knowd suthin was goin’ to happen. She throwd six or eight knives all right, and then one went, whiz! It took off Foggarty’s second finger on his right hand, as clean as a butcher’s cleaver could do it. And Biddy fired the rest of the knives at him and rushed out, yellin', ‘Be gorra, Mike Foggarty, and ye’ll bate me over the head with a tent pin agin, will ye? Ye’ll hev one finger less to do it wid, onyhow.’ Most men would hev abandoned the perfesh with that finger off, but while it was bein’ dressed Mike whispered to me, ‘Put it on the bills that the Zulu Chief lost the finger by a English saber, at the battle of—where was the battle?’ I hev Foggarty yet, but Biddy broke his heart and he aint as good as he was. She run away with the cannibal from the Friendly Islands, who cood do the tight-rope and fire-eatin', and they are doin’ hall shows and the variety business together. He taught her to do a song and dance, as well as fire-eatin', and she is now ‘M’lle Lulu Delmayne.’ They do society sketches, too. Foggarty is jest as willin’ as ever, but the blow was too much for him. He goes with us next season as a Zulu, and also lecters the sacred Burmese cattle, and has a part in the wild perarie scene, and fires the calliope. He can’t do Washington any more, for he has rheumatiz, and can’t stand an hour with his right hand in a military coat. He’s practisin’ to be a lion tamer, but I don’t bleeve it’ll do. He may git to play the snake, but that is about as high as he’ll ever git in the perfesh.”

image not available


The next day the old gentleman departed for the continent.



FOUR weeks in London! Twenty-eight days of incessant sight-seeing. A series of continual surprises day after day, from early in the morning until late at night; a constant succession of new things of interest crowded and forced upon one, until at length the senses weary, the mind refuses to take in any more, and imperatively cries out for a change, for rest. The body is exhausted. The dull, dense atmosphere is enervating. A night’s sleep gives no refreshment. One rises in the morning by sheer force of will power, with a feeling that it would be a delight, pure and simple, to go back to bed and sleep five or six hours longer, and when he does finally dress and go out on the street, he has no more ambition, nor inclination to do anything, or go anywhere, or see anything, than as if there were nothing to do, nowhere to go, nor anything to see. But that is what he is here for, and from force of habit he goes on the everlasting treadmill of sight-seeing, until the very name of London is odious, and its never-ending throng of people, hurrying along in the pursuit of pleasure or business, that, at first, was such a novel and interesting study, becomes distasteful to a degree, and he wishes he were home again or in some vast wilderness, or—anywhere, away from the narrow, crowded streets of high wall, and old-fashioned buildings, that stifle all his energies and tire his very nature.

So it seemed—so it really was—after four weeks’ stay in London, when one forenoon a trip down to Richmond, twelve miles away, was suggested. The suggestion was acted upon with alacrity, and half-an-hour’s ride produced a change such as one sees in the transformation scenes of a pantomime. Vanished the dull, heavy air; gone all the queer old buildings, with their still queerer old people; hushed the noise and bustle of the streets, with their never-ceasing turmoil of struggling humanity and ever-rolling ’ansoms, and instead a bright blue sky with a glorious flood of sunlight, its fierceness tempered by a gentle breeze, cool and delicious, that was breathing through the grand old oaks, and stirred with gentle ripple the placid bosom of the Thames, which wanders like a ribbon of silver through the wonderful meadows and dales of the beautiful country that makes Richmond seem like a paradise.

The first feeling was one of relief—that the terrors of London had been left far behind; and there was light and air and happiness again. Then this gave way to exultation. The pure air intoxicated, the green trees, the velvety turf, the warbling of the birds, after four long, dreary weeks in London, caused the heart to throb with new life, the blood to course through the veins with new strength, and there came an almost irresistible desire to throw up one’s hands and shout for very gladness. It was almost too good to be real, and once in a while one really stopped to think whether or not he would suddenly awaken and find himself in dingy, smoky London.

But no. It was all real. The pure air was there, the sunlight, the breeze, the green turf, the magnificent trees, centuries old. All, all were there, and the day was to be one of unalloyed pleasure and happiness. God made the country—man made the town.

In all truth Richmond is a most charming place. Only twelve miles from the metropolis, and in reality one of its many suburbs, it nestles among the hills, and looks off upon a broad expanse of field and meadow and forest, as though there were no such place as London in existence. It is not a commercial city, although of course it has its quota of shops. It is a residence city—or, as they call it, town—for, although it has a population of one hundred thousand, there is no cathedral, so it cannot aspire to the dignity of being a city. The town is made up in great part of families whose members do business “in the city,” and they live in quiet elegance in beautiful homes. That is the ideal suburban existence.


But aside from the quaint beauty of the town itself, its chiefest perfection is in its environs. A few minutes’ walk from the heart of the town is that famous hostelry, known the world over, “The Star and Garter,” where, in olden times, royalty disported itself under its moss-covered roof, in grand entertainments lasting for days at a time. For generations it was the resort of nobles, and then, when they tired of it, the people, imitating them as far as they were able, took it up and basked in the mellow light of its former grandeur, which has long since departed, it having become unfashionable.

Gay old times these noble roysterers used to have in this beautiful spot. The wines of the South, actually cobwebbed and dusty, flowed like water, and the most delicious food, brought from the forests and seas of all climes, graced the board. It was no trouble to them. They had no occasion to count expense as the people who go there now have to. For they had their tenants working for them at home, and they had their armies and fleets bringing them wealth from everywhere, and they could afford to eat, drink and be merry, and they did it all.

To be a King in those days was a very comfortable thing, except when some sturdy commoner, like Cromwell, tired of all this, and cut off a head. Opposed as I am to royalty and nobility and all that sort of thing, had I lived in those days I should very much liked to have been even a Duke. It wasn’t a bad situation, at all.

It is no wonder that the Star and Garter was a great favorite, and is yet in its way, for it is most beautifully situated. Standing in its broad verandas there is a rural panorama spread out that is simply superb. Near at hand is the Park, filled with gnarled old trees, under whose branches hundreds of years ago haughty ladies and imperious lords indulged in courtly pleasures, or engaged in intrigues where the nobles amused themselves in hunting the wild deer that ranged across its commons; where the flower of the youth of the country met in fierce tournaments, with all the pride and pomp of the time. Just below the cliff is the Thames, placid and serene, that winds in and out the wooded lands in graceful curves, while beyond, rising not boldly and grandly, but none the less beautiful, are green hills, dotted here and there with clumps of beautiful oaks and pines; dales and valleys that give us a view miles in extent. Over all this picture, to which no pen can do justice, is that marvelous atmospheric effect that can only be found in an English woodland scene. Not a mist, and yet a delicate haze, soft and subdued, that tones down the broad effects and gives the whole a perfection that is enchanting. One can stand, as before a magnificent painting, gazing for hours upon the scene and find new features every instant.

And then the long walk through the Park, itself a marvel of the picturesque. Along winding paths, over rustic hedges, resting here under the cooling shade of a huge chestnut, whose branches cover a vast extent of ground, stopping anon to admire the graceful deer that gaze timidly and yet curiously at the passer-by, as though wondering why he should trespass upon their domain. For a whole hour there was a continual revelation of natural beauties, and then suddenly the old town of Kingston was entered.

Here the streets were narrow, the houses low and old-fashioned, and the people quiet-going English, who have lived in the same place where their fathers lived before them, and their’s before them.


Passing the cattle market, which is about the only live business of Kingston, a large square stone, surrounded by an iron railing, attracts attention. Examination shows it to be the identical stone upon which sat the ancient Saxon Kings when they were crowned. There was nothing particularly peculiar about the stone, but of course it would not have done to have gone by without at least casting a glance at the relic of so long ago. Possibly the proper thing to do was to uncover and drop a tear as the memories of the glorious scenes thereon enacted went trooping through the mind. Possibly it would have been the thing to sit on the queer old stone and imagine the space around filled with warlike chiefs and outlandishly arrayed ladies of the Court, and indulge in a day dream of the times when such things occurred. Possibly this may have been the thing to do, but it wasn’t done, and for good reasons, too. Even if one had had the inclination to act in such an orthodox, sight-seeing manner, which is much doubted, there was a high iron railing, with sharp pointed iron palings, that would have effectually kept the greatest enthusiast outside the sacred enclosure.

Passing on through the town, the long walk begins to tell upon one’s powers of endurance, so a rest is taken at “Bond’s.” Who has not heard of Bond’s, the great resort of boating parties on the Thames? It is noted all over England, and its fame has spread even to America. A pleasant Summer garden, with trees and plants and flowers, gravelly walks and rustic arbors, on a high terrace, at the bottom of which the limpid stream glides smoothly along, while beyond, as far as the eye can reach, is the beautiful scenery that seems almost like fairyland. What better place can be imagined for a lunch—a biscuit and a bit of cheese, washed down with a pint of refreshing “shandygaff.” One could drink the bad beer of the country here. It is truly delightful. And then a quiet smoke, the light clouds curling upward in an atmosphere as pure and clear as the air of life; while all that is poetic in one’s nature is appealed to by the beauty of the scene, the sense of delicious comfort, and the faint music of distant boating parties, who, singing as they row, make a harmony that intensifies the pleasure of the hour, and makes one almost wish that this most perfect day might go on forever.

But still a greater treat is in store. A ride back to Richmond on the water, rowed by a brawny waterman, who does, as a matter of business, exactly the same thing that so many of the “swells,” who are seen skimming past in their graceful single sculls, are doing for pleasure.

“Why,” said I to the waterman, “do you make us pay for doing what those men do for nothing?”

“Ah!” was his reply, “ ’spose they ’ad to!”

Philosophic waterman! Whether any given exercise is pleasure or pain depends very much whether one “has to.” The London jarvey drives a four in hand for one pound a week, and Lord Tom Noddy does precisely the same thing for the fun of it. One has to, and the other hasn’t, and there’s the difference.

By this time the river is full of pleasure crafts. Here comes an eight-oared shell, whizzing along at a rattling pace, the little cockswain urging the crew on to still greater efforts as he skilfully guides the long, slender boat through the multitude of pleasure barges and skiffs. Over there is a trim craft gliding along lazily, a pair of brawny arms just moving the oars, while a pair of honest, manly eyes are speaking in unmistakable language to a fair-haired girl who is reclining in the stern, idly tossing the tassels to the rudder strings, as if she didn’t care about what was being said, even though the swift glances from under her broad brimmed hat, and the mantling crimson on her cheek, tell an entirely different tale.

image not available



Just beyond is a boat, large and roomy, in which five young ladies are enjoying the pleasure of the hour. While four of them pull strong and gracefully, the fifth steers the rapidly moving lapstreak with a skill and precision that shows a master hand. These English girls may be laughed at by their more delicate American cousins, but in the matter of health and strength, they are the ones to laugh. They believe in plenty of exercise in the open air, and they take it; as, for example, these girls, beautiful as a picture, who row as perfectly and in as good “form” as though they had always been on the water. See the perfection of their development, the ruddy glow of health in their cheeks, the merry sparkle of the eye, the gladness in their hearty laugh, and then talk about the usefulness of outdoor exercise.

Every stroke of the oar as the boat speeds merrily down the river, reveals a new picture, each one as perfect in its completeness as that which preceded it.

On the left bank are the country seats of gentlemen of means. They are for the most part odd looking old places, with their angular towers and turrets, and bowed windows long and narrow. The lawns sloping gradually from the house down to the water’s edge are perfectly smooth, and ornamented with clustering chestnuts and laburnums, elms and lindens, and the green foliaged birch, while the green hedges, wonderfully well kept, add to the general effect of the scene. The river winds in and out among all the charming places, for seven miles, and the town of Richmond is seen far off in the distance.

As the river makes a sudden bend there appears still another picture, the masterpiece of the series that has delighted the senses for the last two hours. There on the bluff stands the picturesque “Star and Garter.” with its background of foliage. Just below is a portion of an old stone bridge across the Thames, while to the left the beautiful landscape stretches away to the distant hills, whose summits are lost in the purple haze of the closing day. It is a sight never to be forgotten; one that will linger ever upon the memory as a revelation of the absolutely beautiful in Nature.



GOOD-BYE for the present to London. Good-bye to its smoke, its fogs, its predatory hackmen, its bad water, its worse beer, its still worse gin. Good-bye to its eternal rains, its never-ending badly dressed men and worse dressed women. Good-bye to very bad bread. Good-bye to the greatest collection of shams and realities, goodness and cruelty in the world. Seven weeks in London and its environs is all that an American can endure, who ever expects to get back to his own country. Were fate to have a spite at him, and condemn him to make his residence there forever, he would settle down as a man does in a penitentiary and do the best he could, but for one who has a hope of returning to a country that was made after the Maker had had some experience in making countries, a longer stay in London than seven weeks would be too much. Seven weeks of biliousness and depression—seven weeks of exasperation and discomfort, seven weeks of extortion and tipping, seven weeks in an English suit of clothes, is all that an average American can endure.

And so good-bye to London till we renew our strength and can tackle it again. It is not exhausted, nor could it be in a year. It is a brute among cities, but it is a mastodon. It is a very large and variegated animal.


To the south lies France—La Belle France—and thither we go. Our landlady would hold us if she could, and gives expression to many reasons why we should stay in London: It is very warm in Paris; it is very disagreeable crossing the channel; Paris is unhealthy. At this time of the year Paris is crowded, and it is probable that we will not be able to get apartments such as would be suitable. It is not the season in Paris, and we had better go there later, and so on and so forth. You see the season in London is waning, and the good lady will have difficulty in filling her rooms. It is delicately hinted that if a slight deduction in rent (we have been paying three prices) would be an object, etc. But it all avails nothing. We should go to Paris if we should be compelled to sleep under a bridge and eat in a market. It is not so much to get to Paris as it is to get out of London, and raise our spirits to something like their normal condition. And so, when the good woman finds there is no holding us, she makes out our bill vindictively, racking her imagination to find items to insert, and weeping, no doubt, after our departure, over items that she might have inserted, but, in the hurry, forgot. The cabman, knowing by the station he was driving us to that we were going, managed to charge an extra shilling, and at the lunch counter at the station we paid an extra penny for the everlasting ham sandwich, which was to be the last. And when the last tip was paid, and the last extortion submitted to, we were finally locked in our villainous compartment, and were off. London, or the fog that covered it, faded from our sight, we saw the sun, and were scurrying through the green fields and the real delights of rural England.

From Victoria Station to New Haven is not the most interesting trip that can be imagined, although there are picturesque towns, waving fields of grass, with an occasional bit of woods, that relieve the journey of some of its unpleasant features, and make it rather enjoyable. But by the time one has gone through miles and miles of such scenery, the towns become monotonous, each succeeding field of grain waves just as the one before it did, the woods, miniature forests, are just alike, and, leaning back in the corner of the compartment, the time is spent in dozing until eleven o’clock, when the train rushes into the station at New Haven, and we struggle through the dimly lighted passages to the dock, where lies the steamer that is to take us across that bugbear of all tourists, the English Channel.

And then we have the satisfaction of learning that the tide is not in, and the steamer will not leave for two hours and a half. It is a dark, windy night, and there is no way to spend the time save by pacing up and down the narrow confines of the deck, watching the enormous cranes loading huge packages of merchandize into the vessel’s hold; or taking a stroll along the dock, regardless of the momentary danger of stumbling over an unseen cable and pitching headlong into the water.

There is one other way of passing the time. Whenever a tourist can find nothing else to do, he eats. There is in the station at New Haven the inevitable lunch counter, with the orthodox ham sandwich and bitter beer. To this everybody was attracted as by a magnet. There is no escaping it. No body was hungry; but it seems to be a law of Nature that you must eat ham sandwiches while you wait at railroad stations. And in obedience to this law, a cart-load of the sandwiches were devoured and paid for.

image not available



The New Haven sandwich is very like its London brother, only it is a trifle thicker. The cutter is not as expert as the London professional, but he makes it just as indigestible. It is a trifle worse, because it is a trifle larger.

But time goes on, no matter how slowly it seems to move, and the tide comes in, although its rise cannot be seen, and so, just before one o’clock the warning whistle was given, the passengers took their places, the great wheels began to revolve, and we slowly steamed out past the breakwater into the channel.

The necessity for making the boat’s landing so far away from the deep water cannot be understood. But so it is. Instead of running the track down to the dock and establishing the station there, where there would be no occasion to wait for the tide, the steamer goes up an arm of the sea about an eighth of a mile, and has to stay there until the water is deep enough to allow the passage to be made.

Once out upon the channel, the fresh breeze blows away all the wicked thoughts the two hours’ detention had engendered, and as the moon breaks through the clouds, dimming the fast disappearing lights on shore, we give ourselves up to pleasant reverie. There is the memory of all that has occurred during an exceedingly busy seven weeks in London, and the anticipation of experiences new and strange that are to fill in the next two or three months. And as we sit on deck smoking and dreaming, until, our last cigar having gone out, and the chill air made us shiver, we go below only to find fresh cause for growling at the English, and things English.

Instead of commodious, airy staterooms in which we can go regularly to bed and enjoy a good night’s rest, there is nothing but a series of bunks, upholstered in a cheap red plush, on which the weary traveler may stretch himself, and, putting a blanket over him, get such rest as he can from such scanty accommodations. And this, too, for the first-class passenger.

At four o’clock every one was turned out, for Dieppe was in sight. Such a sorry looking lot of passengers I never saw. Most of them had caught a severe cold, and all of them looked uncomfortable and cross, as though they really had not enjoyed the luxurious quarters furnished by the enterprising manager of that line.

The view from the steamer’s deck was beautiful. The sun, about half an hour high, made the water sparkle as the light off-shore breeze rippled its surface. The channel, which had behaved wonderfully well, was dotted with fishing smacks from Dieppe, while here and there a steamer, trailing a long cloud of smoke behind, sailed along utterly indifferent to the smaller craft that had to tack with each phase of the ever-varying wind. Just ahead of us, half hidden by chalky cliffs, could be seen a part of the town, while to the right, huge white cliffs arose and stretched away almost as far as the eye could reach, the straight white sides rising abruptly from the water, reflecting the rays of the sun, and shining with dazzling whiteness. On the left, high up on the hills, were stately mansions, pretty villas, cool looking parks and pleasant drives. It was indeed a beautiful sight, and we were gazing on it with rapture when a bell sounded, the paddle wheel stopped revolving, and we drifted slowly on.

image not available


“The tide does not serve, and we will have to cruise about here for two or three hours.”

So said one of the seamen when asked why the steamer had been stopped.


It was pleasant. We enjoyed it. We fairly reveled in it.

We were hungry, it’s true, but what was hunger to the delight of waiting three hours in an abominable steamer? We were cold and tired. But what of that? We could gaze on white cliffs and talk pleasant things to each other for three hours!

When the tide did serve, and we were landed, which happened about six o’clock Sunday morning, we went through the Custom House, our countenances expressing such Christian resignation as must have indicated our character to the officials, for they never opened our baggage at all. They simply said: “Avez vous tabac ou liquers?” (observe how well we are getting on in French), and as we murmured “No,” aloud, and to ourselves, “but we wish we had,” they waved us on, and we were all right.

image not available


Adjoining the Custom House is a coffee room, and we entered. The repast spread out for us was just a trifle the worst that was ever seen. It was worse than anything in London, and more than that cannot be said.

I suppose it is all right, and for the best. I suppose that taking us out of London at six o’clock P.M., and waiting two and a half hours in New Haven for the tide, and two hours in Dieppe harbor also, for the tide, is unavoidable. But if I ever get a chance I shall ask the manager of the line these questions:

1. Do you know the hour at which the tide comes in at New Haven?

2. Do you know the hour the tide serves to enter Dieppe?

3. If so, why not give us the five and a half hours that were consumed in useless waiting at New Haven and Dieppe, in London?

4. Has your company any interest in the ham sandwich and beer counter in New Haven? and is this delay in that most uninteresting place for the purpose of compelling the waiting passengers to leave a few more shillings in England?

And I shall demand specific answers to these queries. The taste of the New Haven sandwiches is yet in my mouth.

Dieppe is a pleasant little city of perhaps twenty thousand population, devoted to the carving of ivory, fishing, and swindling tourists, the latter pursuit being evidently the most prosperous. The fisher people are a picturesque lot as to costume, and are hardy withal, men, women and children. They are bold sailors, and what they do not know about water and its contents is not worth knowing.

Bad as the English trains are, in France, where there is the same system, it was even worse, for we were a little shaky in our French. However, we put on a cheerful countenance, and said “Oui” to everything, and made believe we knew all about it, and let the guard put us where he pleased, and were soon humming along through the outskirts of Dieppe. We were just beginning to enjoy the prospect of rural scenery, when, without a note of warning, we plunged into a tunnel, which seemed to last forever, though it was only a mile long.

Emerging from this, it was seen that an immense mountain had been pierced, and we were at once in the fertile valleys of picturesque Normandy. As the train hurried along there was a constant succession of pictures that would drive a poet or painter into raptures.


The broad valleys, the hills and dales, were intersected by smooth white roads that wound around side hills, through forests and then far away over a long, level stretch, through queer little towns, the existence of which was never dreamed of by the outside world. All along these well-kept wagonways were lined on either side by closely trimmed hedges, shaded by tall and stately Lombardy poplars, that stood grim and erect as though they were the guardians of the country.

image not available


Here and there between the quaint little villages, with their one main street running their entire length, were the high, narrow houses of the peasants, with thatched roofs and queer little windows. Around them, neatly piled, were bundles of fagots, carefully done up and stored away for winter use. They are a frugal people, these Normans, and waste absolutely nothing.

image not available



Although it is Sunday morning, and we are sad because circumstances will not allow us to attend divine worship, it seems to make no difference with the people here, for in every field are seen women, with their high peaked bonnets, busily engaged in raking fragrant hay into huge piles, which the men, arrayed in the traditional blue blouse and overalls, are loading upon wagons for carriage to the barns.

image not available


These men and women are well built, sturdy people, who have thrived well upon the pure air that comes down from the mountains above. In the olden time the men were noted for their stature and strength, and furnished the French army with its best troops; and they are to-day fine specimens of physical manhood.

I don’t know why it is, but there is something irresistibly fascinating in an old castle, or the ruins of what once was a great stronghold. After passing Malaunay and getting well out into the country, we came to a series of hills stretching way back from the railroad. There was a dense forest near the summit of the highest part, upon the top of which, half hidden by the trees, was part of a castle, a bit of wall and a huge round tower, all that remained of what was, in the early history of the country, a castle that was utterly impregnable. As the train wound round the base of the hill, a better view of it was obtained, and then came the longing to plunge through the forest, clamber up the steep hillside and wander through the old ruins, hunting for trap-doors and deep, dark dungeons, where noble knights had been confined for years and years, while fair ladies pined away and died because they came not back to them. This pleasant reverie might have gone on indefinitely, even after the romantic spot had been left far behind, had not the other passengers in the compartment begun preparing to alight at the next station, Rouen.

We determined to stop over one train at Rouen, to see not only a French city, but the old statue of the French heroine, Joan of Arc, who was there burned at the stake, and the famous cathedral therein. Tibbitts, Lemuel, was of the party, and a Professor in a western college likewise.

The Professor was calmly enthusiastic, and Tibbitts was unutterably miserable. He could not speak a word of French, and it puzzled him to even order a drink. And then the wine! He did not like wine, and French brandy was not to his taste. He managed to make them understand, however, what he wanted, and managed to get it a minute after he landed from the cars.

It was Sunday, but the shops were all open, and newsboys were crying their papers upon the streets. Their announcements were very long, and Tibbitts stood and heard one of them clear through.


“Listen to the little villain,” he exclaimed. “I don’t believe a d—d word of it.” And Mr. Tibbitts preached a short sermon anent the exaggerations common to newsboys, recounting the number of times he had been induced by their false representation to purchase papers in America. He considered himself too old to be taken in by a French newsboy. “Newsboys are the same in Rouen as in Oshkosh,” he said.

After a light lunch in an arbor in a delicious garden back of a café, we started to see Rouen, its cathedral and the statue of Joan, and what else was to be seen. We urged Tibbitts to accompany us. He concluded to do it, though he protested it was far more pleasant to sit in that arbor, even though it was beastly wine he was drinking instead of the delicious whisky of Oshkosh, than it was tramping around in search of antiquities.

We came to a narrow street, one of the kind only to be seen in French cities. The entire space from wall to wall could not have been twelve feet, and on either hand were curious houses, seven stories high, entered by dark, narrow tunnels rather than passages, but with flowers at every window, clear to the queer, quaint top, which was continued after it had reached what should have been its summit. The professor stopped before one of these dark passages, and observed a parcel of illy dressed but marvelously clean children—there are no dirty children in France—playing some game.

“It is wonderful!” said the Professor, in an ecstacy; “here are we, of the new West, standing on ground in a street through which, may be, the soldiers of old France marched. Here are we within sight of the place where Joan of Arc was burned, on ground pressed by the feet of Charlemagne. In this house, perchance, were born heroes; within these walls for hundreds of years have been born children who have grown to manhood, and died. These children, playing in this gutter, were born in this historic city, and——”

“And they all speak French,” interrupted Tibbitts, “which I can’t, but, thank Heaven, I can lay all over ’em in English. Look here, Professor, don’t give us any more rot about this being old. We are just as old in Oshkosh as they are in Rouen. When the old Norman warriors were cruising about

image not available



loaded down with pot-metal, killing each other, the Indians of America were doing the same thing among themselves, only they were clothed more sensibly. A breech clout was a thundering sight more comfortable in the summer than steel armor, and I don’t know that killing a man with a lance was any more deserving of adoration than killing one with a bow and arrow. The point to it all is killing the man. Antiquity!

“What do you know about it? Here is a lot of stone that has been piled up a thousand years or more. How do you know but what the Indians are older than the Gauls? I hold that they are. The Gauls built a cathedral that is standing yet. I defy you to go anywhere in Wisconsin and find such a cathedral standing. What does that prove? Why! that the ancient Indians built their cathedrals so much farther back than the Gauls that they have all disappeared. Nothing can resist the iron tooth of time. Now I think that this cathedral is rather modern than otherwise. [By this time we were in front of the cathedral.] It is tolerably ancient, but if you want to visit a really old country, go to Wisconsin. That is so old that everything of this kind has disappeared entirely.”

image not available


We left the cathedral, and after infinite trouble, owing to the fact that the average citizen of Rouen is sadly deficient in English, found the statue of Joan of Arc. The Professor stood before it in an ecstatic mood; Tibbitts, profoundly disgusted.

image not available


“Who was Joan of Arc, anyway?” said he. “A dreamy sort of a girl who thought she had a mission. There were no lecture courses in France in that day, and no lecture bureaus. Had there been such a vent for her inspiration she would have been an Anna Dickinson No. 1. She would have gone about France lecturing for anywhere from one hundred and fifty to three hundred and fifty dollars a night, and would have made a pile of money, and bought a place in fee simple for her father, and got a lot of money in bonds; that’s what she would have done. But there were no such facilities for genius at that time, and so she put on armor, and led soldiers, and won victories, and finally was burned at the stake for a witch. I don’t see anything special to craze over in Joan. I’m going back to the café and put in the time before the train leaves in literary pursuits. I’ll write a letter to my mother. It’s a thousand pities that we didn’t go straight on to Paris, instead of stopping in this infernal old hole. We might have got there in time to go to the Mabille to-night. But it will be too late by the time we get there.”


And Tibbitts left us and returned to the café and we went on. There is nothing in Rouen that is not interesting. Sunday as it was, the sidewalks in front of the numberless cafés were occupied with chairs, the white-aproned waiters flitting hither and thither, serving their customers with the light wines of the country; the market was in full blast, and business was going on the same as any other day. There is no Sunday in France, that is as Americans understand the day.

Due honor having been done to Joan of Arc, we entered a narrow, crooked thoroughfare, spanned by an old arch, built hundreds of years ago to mark the spot where a peasant named Rouen built the first house, erected on the site that was destined to play such an important part in the subsequent history of the country.

image not available


The one great sight of Rouen, however, is the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which is one of the grandest Gothic edifices in Normandy. It dates back to 1207, and is a magnificent building. It is impossible to describe the grandeur of the structure, with its finely carved figures, its symmetrical proportions, its graceful spires and lofty towers. The interior is very fine, the high columns of white marble supporting the roof, which is formed of a succession of arches. Adjoining the high altar is the Chapelle du Christ, containing an ancient, mutilated figure in limestone of Richard Cœur de Leon, discovered in 1838. His heart, which was interred in the choir, was found at the same time, and is now preserved in the museum.

image not available


St. Maclou and St. Ouen are two fine churches of the florid Gothic style, the latter said to be one of the most beautiful in existence. It was founded in 1318, and completed toward the close of the fifteenth century.

image not available



Throughout the entire city the prevailing style of architecture is Gothic—the Palais de Justice being in late Gothic, and is a very handsome building. The residences, for the most part, are large and beautiful, surrounded by well-kept lawns and adorned with flower beds and fountains.

Rouen is a very important cotton manufacturing place, and is one of the principal depots for the wines of Bordeaux. It is a commercial center, too, the Seine affording a good harbor for large ocean steamers, most of which are in the Mediterranean trade.

When we returned we found Tibbitts sitting in the arbor, with a pile of manuscript before him, and we asked what he had been doing.

“I promised the old gentleman,” he said, “to learn the languages of the countries I passed through, and I shall do it. I shall learn French, some afternoon when I get time. And he requested me to practice writing things for general improvement. As I am in France I have written mother a letter, and I have enclosed in it a part of a chapter of a story, into which I have jerked a lot of French to show her that I have not wasted my time. Here it is, and I think it’s devilish good!”

This was Tibbitts’ part of a chapter of a story:—

“Precisely at the stroke of seven the Count was upon the ground, and the clock had not ceased to sound the hour before the Marquis appeared. Both threw off their outer clothing, and stood in their shirts, sword in hand.”

“It’s an account of a French Duel,” explained Tibbitts.

Fromage!” hissed the Count, between his clenched teeth.

Fromage Gratin!” echoed the Marquis.

The swords crossed with an angry clang.

It was a supreme moment. The two men glared at each other, each fearing to hazard a movement. Finally, tired of inaction, the Count took the offensive. His rapier flashed like lightning. With an adroit mouton, he well nigh succeeded in breaking his enemy’s guard, indeed he would have done it but for the skill with which a marrons glacê was interposed.

Both pause a moment for breath. Breath is necessary to a duelist. The Marquis was the first assailant. He delivered a fierce cotellette de veau, which had stretched many a tall fellow on the sod, followed by a mayonnaise, of which few are the master, but gnashed his teeth to find himself stopped by a poulet a la Paris. They paused again.

“I see you have advantaged by practice with Vol au Vent,” said the Marquis. (Vol au Vent was the most celebrated swordsman of Paris.) “He taught you the lunge—I invented the parry. We will resume.”

They eyed each other closely.

“This time I will finish him,” said the Count to himself.

Using the pomme de terre as a feint, he threw himself with all his force into a patè, and would have ended the contest then and there, but that the Marquis avoided the thrust by a poisson.

image not available


“Ah! ha!” said the Marquis, “I have had other masters than Vol au Vent! Didst never hear of Vol au Vent’s younger brother!”

A La Carte!” hissed the Marquis.

Table D’Hote!” was the determined reply, and again the swords crossed.


It was over in a moment. The Marquis, springing lightly back, made a rapid advance. His rapier made a motion that was as quick as the stroke of a cobra. It was as fatal. A lightning-like potage, to which the Count opposed a patisserie in vain, and he fell to the ground lifeless, the thirsty sand drinking up his blood.

Haricot!” said the Marquis, as he wiped his sword as cooly as though blood had never stained it, and walked deliberately away.

“In the name of all that’s good what is all this about?” exclaimed the Professor. “Why, Tibbitts, all this French you have taken from this bill of fare here. Pomme de Terre, means simply potato, and Poisson is fish, Mouton is mutton, and Fromage is cheese. You are not going to send this to your mother?”

“Ain’t I though! The good old girl don’t read French, and this will do just as well as any I ever saw in anybody’s novel. It shows that I have not neglected my opportunities. Send it? You bet!”

And he did fold it, and put it into an envelope, and after several frantic endeavors he made the boy understand that he wanted a postage stamp, and in the box it went.

And now that I come to think of it, I am not sure but that Tibbitts was right. If French phrases must be used in English writing, why not take them from a bill of fare? So far as the general public goes they would do just as well. I have no doubt but his French will pass muster, twelve miles back of Oshkosh.

Leaving Rouen with its rich mediæval architecture, its quaint streets and lovely parks, we cross the Seine and are whirling along at a rapid rate towards Paris, the center of the gay world. As we approach the metropolis several beautiful cities are passed, the principal one being Poissy, a town of fifty thousand inhabitants, which was the birth place of St. Louis, who frequently styled himself “Louis de Poissy.”

At Asnieres, the Seine is crossed for the last time, and in a few minutes Cluney is reached, and away over to the right may be seen the tomb of Napoleon, its gilt dome sparkling in the sunlight. Here we pass the fortifications and in another brief interval are in the station at Rue St. Lazarre, and before us with all its beauty is Paris.

In Paris the first American I met was Bloss, my circus friend. He had succeeded in getting his “wonder” in Germany, and in Switzerland he had purchased two bears, which he had with him.

image not available


“They are probably the greatest wonders of the nineteenth century,” he remarked. “Garsong, two cognacs, lo. I am pretty well up in French. I hev got so sence I hev bin here that I kin order my drinks without any trouble, and that’s the main pint. Them bears are something inscrutable. They kin waltz on their hind legs; they kin fire pistols, and will work in splendid with my Injuns. But what is more wonderful, they kin ride a horse, ef the pad is made big enuff. And that’s where I’m goin’ to fetch the public. To yootilize bears I’m goin’ to present a grand scriptooral spectacle. The public want moral amoosement, and the public is goin’ to hev it now till they can’t rest. Them bears is what is goin’ to do it. I shel present the unparalleled spectacle uv Elijah and the bears eatin the children, all on hosses. Come to think of it, wuz it Elijah, or Elisha? I’ve forgotten, and must read it up afore I git it on the bills. When yoo hev a scriptooral spectacle yoo want be very akerit on the bills.

“It will be the gorgusest thing ever seen. Elijah—Foggarty kin ride well enough to do Elijah, and I got a dozen kids in the company, mostly tumblin', wich will anser for the children. Elijah, perfectly bald-headed, will ride in on a black hoss to slow moosic, a sort uv Scriptural waltz ez it were. The kids will ride in on spotted ponies and shout, all in chorus, “Go up bald head!” Then the two bears—they ain’t she bears, but that’s no difference—will come in on white hosses, and chase the children. Then the band will play furious moosic, jist ez they do at the finish of a tumblin act, and the bears will each snatch a kid off his pony by the belt and ride out.


“But the children were eaten by the bears?”

image not available


“Cert. But suthin must be left to the imagginashen. Realism is all well enough, but it kin be carried too fur. The children will all rush out and the eatin will be supposed to have taken place outside. I can’t afford to feed them bears on children every afternoon and evenin'. It would draw, no doubt, but I couldn’t afford sich a luxury. But the spectacle will draw. It will fetch the religious people. They disapprove of the circus, as a rool, but they will all come to see a great moral lesson, illustrated. To see this great moral lesson, they will come early so as to get good seats, and when it is over they won’t go till the show is out. To accommodate their prejoodisses and give ’em the hull show I shel hev it put on the last thing, for once in they won’t leave till they see the moral spectacle. To see this they’ll shock theirselves with Mademoiselle Blanche on the tight rope, in tights. You’ve got to have a moral show, and these bears will lay over anything on the road, becoz it’s not only moral, but it’s actilly scriptooral. I’m after a lot uv attracshens here. There’s a sword swallerer that I think I kin git, and I know uv a lot uv the loveliest anacondas that ever went under a canvas.”

image not available


The old gentleman by this time had consumed a half dozen brandies and water, and was becoming incoherent. The waiter knew him so well that whenever his glass was empty he filled it without orders, all of which he approved, as it saved wrenching himself with French. “Bong Garsong,” he remarked as he went off into a doze.

image not available




WHEN an enlightened public sentiment drove the pirates from the high seas, and compelled them to seek other methods of supplying themselves with means for the enjoyment of luxury, I am convinced that every one of them came to Europe, and went into the hotel business. A few of them might have got hotels in America, but the vast majority came here. I did come across one at the Gorge de Triente, in Switzerland, who might not have been a pirate, or, if he was, he was either a mild one, or, being now very old, is endeavoring to patch up his old body for heaven. I am inclined to the belief that he was a pirate, but not of the sentimental order who shed human gore for the love of it; that when his schooner, the “Mary Jane,” captured a prize, he only killed such of her crew as were necessary, in the action, and after the vessel had surrendered he did not make the survivors walk the plank for the amusement of his men, but mercifully set them adrift in an open boat, without water or provisions. That’s the kind of pirate he was. And since he has been a landlord, he does not take every dollar you have—he leaves you enough to get to the next bank, where your letter of credit is available. I shall always remember this landlord. He is an ornament to his sex.

But the first hotel we encountered in Paris had for a landlord one who must have commanded the long, low, black schooner, “The Terror of the Seas,” who never spared a prisoner, or gave quarter to anybody, but who hove overboard for the sharks every human being he captured, without reference to age, sex, or previous condition of servitude. Indeed, I think that after he was driven from the seas, he took a shy at highway robbery before taking his hotel in Paris, thus fitting himself thoroughly for his profession.

“Ze room will be ten francs, messieurs,” was the remark of the polite villain who showed us our apartments.

We, we,” we cheerfully replied, for the room was worth it. We said “we, we,” that the gentleman might know that we understood French, and that he need not unnecessarily strand himself upon the rocks of the English language.

But the next morning! The bill was made out, and as we glanced at it we forgave the English landlords—every one of them. Apartment ten francs, candles, or “bougies,” as the barbarous French call them, two and one-half francs; attendance (we had not seen a servant), two and a half francs each, five francs. Then there were charges for liquors enough for Bloss, the American showman, not a particle of which had been ordered or had been brought to our room, and so on.

We expostulated, but when we commenced that, the clerk began to talk in French, and as all the French we had between us was “we, we,” he had rather the advantage. In reply to some question he appeared to be asking, we said, “we, we,” whereupon he dropped back into English promptly, and said that inasmuch as we admitted that the bill was right, why didn’t we pay it? That “we, we” was our ruin.

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring.”

Were we over with it? By no means. As we were ready to file down the stairs there came to our various rooms more porters than we ever supposed lived, each of whom seized a piece of baggage, when one might well have carried it all. We discovered, finally, what that meant. Those who did not carry baggage stood grinning in the passages, with their hands extended, and those who did expected each a franc. As we had passed the concierge, who had certainly been no earthly use to us, his hand was extended, and to crown the whole and have it lack nothing, a chambermaid came running to me with a handkerchief which “Monsieur had left in his room,” and out went her hand. The brazen hussy had abstracted it from my valise, and held it till the last moment, that she might have some excuse for a gratuity.


Tibbitts and the others shed silver freely, but the Professor did not. Entrenched behind his spectacles he did not catch the eye of one of them, and he stalked majestically through the lot, turning neither to the right nor the left till he was safely ensconced in his fiacre. That pair of spectacles saved him at least their cost that day. I shall wear them hereafter. They are good for this purpose, and then one behind this wall of glass can look another man in the eye steadily when he is enlarging on facts. Spectacles have uses beside aiding the vision.

image not available


We paid everybody and everything, and departed sadly. No matter how joyously you enter a French hotel, you walk out to the music, mentally, of the Dead March in Saul. But what are you going to do about it? You cannot sleep in the streets, and you must eat, and the pirates have you in an iron grip, and they realize the strength and impregnability of their position.

Paris is another octopus, differing from London only in the quality and style of its feelers. London has been built up by main strength, that being its characteristic. Paris has as many feelers as London, and they are perhaps as strong and far-reaching; but they are wrapped in velvet. It is a rather pleasant thing to be devoured by the French octopus. He does not rend you limb from limb, like the English one, but he holds you just as firmly, and sucks your life blood in so delightful a way, that you rather like the operation.

Paris is the city of luxury. No matter where you go, nor among what class of people, you see but two things—a vast population catering to sensualism, and another vast population paying the price for it.

The difference between London and Paris is shown even in its proprietary medicines. In London the walls groan, or would if they could, under announcements of liver medicines; in Paris the walls of corresponding conspicuousness are covered with advertisements of articles for the hair and complexion. A French woman will get on with almost any kind of a liver, but she must have hair to her heels, and a complexion that is faultless. No matter what kind of underclothing she has on, or no matter if she hasn’t any, the outside must be dressed in elegance and taste. Paris lives largely for the eye.

image not available



The city is made up of two distinct parts—the old and new. Old Paris, the Paris of Sue, and Dumas, and Victor Hugo, still exists, and its people are precisely the same as when these authors wrote of them. You leave the most splendid streets in the world, wide, and paved like floors, with enormous rows of palatial structures on either hand, as modern as modern can be, and in fifteen minutes you are in narrow, crooked alleys, with the quaint old houses on either hand, six and seven stories in height, with all sorts of gables, all sorts of deformities in the matter of walls; with the quaintest and most curious passages, and paved with the boulders which the Parisian of twenty or thirty years since found so useful in constructing barricades when they had their regular monthly revolution. And you see the same men and women who fought behind these barricades, and who will do it again—the wine shop politicians, who believe in “liberty, fraternity and equality” to-day, and accept an empire to-morrow for a change. A Parisian cannot endure monotony, even in a government.

Possibly he accepts imperialism, now and then, just for the pleasure of overturning it.

image not available


But the new Paris is quite another thing. All Paris was, not many years ago, like the portions of the Latin Quarter and the Faubourg St. Antoine, but the Third Napoleon intended to be Emperor all his life, and these crooked streets were not good for Imperial artillery, and the pavements were easily torn up for barricades. So he called to himself Baron Haussman, the prefect of the Seine, and said, “We will reconstruct Paris.” The Baron, thoroughly devoted to the Emperor, and himself, called about him the best talent in the world, and the work was begun.

image not available



But be it understood that the Baron and the Emperor did not go about this work carelessly. The Baron, whose ancestors were Israelites, had all the thrift of that remarkable race, and Napoleon was not much behind him. Whenever they decided upon tearing down the whole quarter and a score of crooked streets, and constructing a boulevard wider than the widest street in New York, they had an agent who, before the design was made public, went and purchased the entire property at the market rate. Then came the necessary legal steps for the condemnation of the property, and the payment therefor by the city. The new owner was allowed twenty or thirty times for it above what he paid, and vast sums were by this simple process turned into the Emperor’s private exchequer and added to the already vast estate of the astute Baron.

The Emperor used his share of the plunder in amusing the Parisians, but the Baron’s share is still in his family.

There are Tweeds in every country, but these were greater than our great peculator. The Emperor Napoleon and Baron Haussman were just as much greater than Tweed as France is greater than the single city of New York. But then their opportunities were greater. Had Tweed had a chance he might have risen to the front rank.

It is perhaps as well for Paris that it had an Emperor, and possibly it would have been better for the United States had she had a King in her earlier days. For a republic will never do toward the beautifying a city or country what an Emperor will. I helped to elect a member of Congress once, who, finding that a single door in the Capitol at Washington cost twenty thousand dollars, exclaimed against the extravagance of the country. “Why,” said he, “a good two inch pine plank door, painted white, with three coats of paint, can be had in Upper Sandusky for eight dollars, and it would do just as well as this infernal bronze thing covered all over with figures.”

Had Paris been governed by a Congress, the honorable gentlemen from Normandy, and Savoy, and other out-lying districts, would never have paid for the wonderfully beautiful boulevards that make Paris the most beautiful city in the world. The old alleys were good enough for their fathers, and why not for the present generation?

But the will of a single man did it, and the memory of that man is still worshiped in Paris. Dead though he be, he wields power in Paris to-day, and had not his son been so reckless in Africa, the chances are a hundred to one that he would to-day be occupying his father’s throne.

New Paris is made up of beautiful wide boulevards, some of them two hundred feet wide, with sidewalks at least thirty feet wide on either side, and lined with shops and cafés, the shops devoted almost entirely to the sale of articles of luxury.

The cafés are very peculiar. Paris lives, as much as possible, out of doors, for Paris desires to see and be seen. Therefore, in front of every café, under tasteful awnings, are chairs and little white sheet iron tables; there sits Paris, drinking its drinks and eating its light repasts, from early morning till very late at night.

To an American it is a most peculiar sight. No matter where you go, in old Paris or new, it is the same, except in the grade of the people. In old Paris you see blue blouses and calico dresses at these tables, and in new Paris broadcloth and silk, but the tables are there on the sidewalk, and the people sitting by them, the same in one as in the other, and very jolly they are.

image not available



Paris is the most temperate city on the globe. There is as great a quantity of liquids consumed as in London, and perhaps more, but it is a different kind. The Frenchman drinks the light wines of the country, or curious compounds of stuff that are as innocent as milk, so far as intoxication goes. He has syrups something like those the American druggist uses in his alleged soda water, and he either mixes that with pure water and makes his heart glad, or, if he is particular about it, he mixes it with Seltzer water from the gushing syphon. There are vast varieties of these syrups, but they are all alike except in the matter of flavor.

Occasionally one rushes to the extreme of dissipation and stupefies himself with German lager beer, but as a rule it is either wine or these syrups.

Of course there are French drunkards. The brain-annihilating absinthe obtains here, and a seductive fluid it is. It is the most innocent tasting stuff in the world, and does not affect one immediately. And so the ignorant stranger, on his first introduction to it, takes dose after dose of it, and goes home wondering why people are so mortally in dread of absinthe. In the still watches of the night he becomes convinced that he has been taking something, and the next morning he, or his friends, are entirely sure of it. For in the morning he is drunk, drunk clear through, and he generally manages to stay so for some days. Tibbitts, whose experience I am relating, said it was much cheaper than Oshkosh whisky, for one night’s sitting at absinthe lasted him a week. There is a vast quantity of absinthe consumed in Paris, but it is done quietly and in great moderation. An American or foreigner who likes it drinks it immoderately, and pays the penalty of his folly. The Frenchman knows exactly how much is safe for him, and very rarely exceeds his limit.

I have seen but one drunken man in Paris, and he was either an Englishman, or an American who had been long enough in London to get spoiled. He spoke English, and from the style of his clothes I should take him for an Englishman, but there was an especial wobble in his step that proclaimed the American. I have seen the same a great many times in my beloved country.

Drunkenness is impossible on these innocent liquids. The wine of the country is consumed everywhere and in large quantities, and its use by all ages and sexes is unrestricted.

It is on every table for breakfast and dinner, and is everywhere the substitute for tea and coffee. Containing as it does a very small proportion of alcohol, and as that is diluted fully a half with water, it cannot be a very dangerous beverage. At all events, the French—men, women, and children,—drink

image not available



it in great quantities at all hours, and intoxication does not ensue. Outdoor sitting is made possible by the harmlessness of their accustomed drinks. The climate of New York is well adapted to this sort of thing, but were Broadway lined with these cafés, with the public sitting at the small tables, how long would it be before a gang of ruffians, filled with the frightful whisky of the country, would swoop down upon them and scatter tables and people. A gang from the Bowery, filled with the fighting whisky of America, or the soul-searing brandy of the British land, turned loose upon the Boulevard des Italiens, or any other boulevard in Paris, would occasion as much terror as a Communist insurrection. But with the light wines of France, and the quiet pleasure-seeking and pleasure-enjoying disposition of the Parisian, everything is as quiet and orderly as could be desired.

image not available


There cannot be in city life any sight so bewilderingly gorgeous or so delightful as the boulevards, either by day or night. The streets are lined with beautiful trees, and then the shops and cafés are exquisitely beautiful, as are their contents. As I said, the shops are almost entirely devoted to the sale of articles of luxury, for the Frenchman, acute being that he is, discovered thousands of years ago, that a profit of five hundred per cent. may be made upon articles of fancy; while the dealer in things essential, which may not be dispensed with—articles of prime necessity—obtains a beggarly ten or twenty. He learned centuries since that Madame will pay any price for a hat that pleases her taste, and do it without question, while she will haggle an hour over the price of twenty pounds of sugar or a cut of beef. He who deals in necessities must find his reward in the consciousness of honesty. His customers will not let him be anything else.

image not available



You shall see shop windows filled with jewels that might well hang about the neck of royalty—indeed, so costly that only he or she who has an empire to tax can afford them—shops devoted to the sale of pipes, the price of which, some of them, go up into thousands of francs; galleries of pictures, magazines of bronzes, and all kinds and descriptions of statuary, and the thousands upon thousands of costly nothings with which rich people adorn their homes. Artistic paper hangings, ornamental work in leathers, and every other material; shops for the sale of everything that is ornamental in women’s wear, and, in a word, everything that delights the eye, but which humanity, but for its vanity and longing for the beautiful, could do without as well as not.

And an enormous trade these caterers to the non-useful carry on. The whole world comes to Paris for these things, and they bring their money with them for this purpose and expect to spend it.

Woe to the American, man or woman, who ventures into these shops. The shopman knows the moment he enters that the coming victim who is rushing upon his doom is an American; he knows that he has so much money to leave with him, and no matter how much knowledge he affects, that he is as ignorant of the real value of his wares as a babe unborn.

What should the citizen of Terre Haute, Ind., know of the value of bronzes? Nothing, whatever. But he has just made a good speculation in pork, and he has built him a two-story house, with a Mansard roof on it, and has furnished it gorgeously with upholstered chairs, and on his floors he has laid Brussels carpets, and his wife and he are taking their first visit “abroad.” Mrs. Thompson is determined to astonish her female friends and excite their envy with some “statoos” from “Paree,” and she is going to do it. The pair look critically through the assortment. They object to the Venus of Milo, because the arms are lacking, and are surprised that an imperfect sort of second-hand work of art of that kind can’t be had at a reduced price. The price of a picture takes their breath away, and Mr. Thompson suggests that a few pairs of chromos can be had a great deal cheaper, and he thinks they will make a better show than the paintings that are shown them. Perhaps he is right, when the paintings that are shown him are critically considered. But Mrs. T. will have none of the chromo business. She will have some works of art from “Paree,” and Mr. T., fired with ambition, assents, and the “works of art” are bought and paid for at anywhere from four to ten times their value, and they retire with them grieved and yet satisfied—grieved at the hole the purchase has made in their pocket-book, and satisfied to think what a sensation the purchase will make when they are displayed in their home in the West. Thompson anticipates the pleasure of calling the attention of his guests to these wonders, and remarking casually, as though he were a regular patron of art, “Oh, them! They are a few little things I bought in Paree, the last time I was over. They are nothing. I only paid four thousand francs for the pair. I shall buy more when I go over again. I really hadn’t time to look around.”

And then Mrs. T. must have a Parisian watch, and some jewelry, and the dealer sells them to her at a very large advance over what a Parisian would pay, and when they are gone, loaded with their absurd purchases, he falls upon his knees and prays for good crops in America, and a more plentiful rush of visitors. They are his wheat fields.

image not available


The difference between the English and French is admirably illustrated by two incidents somewhat similar in nature. It was our fortune to be in London on the occasion of the celebration of the Queen’s birthday, a time that is always made a general holiday by all classes. Business was suspended, and every one gave himself up to pleasure—the kind of amusement that the Londoner considers pleasure. The bands were out, the military paraded, and all the parks were filled with people in holiday attire.


As the afternoon wore on it became apparent that there was some agency at work aside from devotion to royalty. There was a boisterousness that savored of strong beer and still stronger gin. The crowd of men and women who thronged the Strand and Regent street, and Piccadilly, laughed and shouted, not with the merry ring of pure pleasure, but with the maudlin utterances of semi-drunkenness.

In the evening there was a grand illumination of the government buildings, the clubs and the prominent business houses. The streets were thronged with people—men, women, and children—all elbowing their way along, eager to see all that was to be seen, and willing to give no one an opportunity they themselves could not enjoy. It was a motley crowd, composed of all classes. The well-dressed shopman was jostled by the ragpicker; and ragged, homeless girls, arm in arm, shoved aside the elderly matron, who had come out with her children to see the illuminations. There were all classes and conditions of people, and they raved and tore about more like escaped lunatics than the staid, sober Britons they pride themselves upon being.

A walk down Pall Mall was almost worth one’s life. On this thoroughfare are located the principal clubs of London, and as they were rather brilliantly lighted with gas jets arranged in fanciful designs, the crowd flocked there to see them. The street was actually packed from curb to curb, so that locomotion was difficult. The illuminations were not on a scale grand enough to merit all this outpouring of people, this great hubbub, this drunkenness and gin-incited hilarity. For the most part the designs were simply the English coat of arms, with the letters “V. R.” on each side, the whole being done in plain gas jets. Occasionally some thriving shop-keeper, who had made a little something from the Royal family, would branch out a little more extensively, and use tiny glass shades of different colors, over his gas. But it was dreary beyond measure. The streets were dark and gloomy, the air was close, and the so-called illuminations were so very, very meager that they made the general effect only more dismal.

Yet the people surged up and down the streets, hurrahing and shouting for the Queen, for the Prince of Wales, for the Royal family, for themselves, for anybody they could think of. The public houses were open long after other places of business were closed, and there was a constant stream of thirsty people gliding from behind the half-closed doors out upon the street to yell until another dram became necessary. The customers were not limited to the sterner sex by any manner of means. There were crowds of young girls ranging from fourteen to twenty, poor working girls, who had saved all of their scant earnings they could in anticipation of this holiday, who boldly pushed their way with a coarse laugh, through the crowd of men and, standing at the bar, would call for and drink their bitter beer, or ale, or stout, or gin, even, with all the effrontery of an old toper. And old women there were too, who would quietly glide into the compartments marked “private bar,” and there drink their brandy or Irish whisky. Throughout it all there seemed to be a dogged determination to become intoxicated, just as though there could be no pleasure, the Queen’s birthday could not be celebrated properly, unless every one filled himself up with ardent spirits.

As it grew later, the crowds increased both in size and disorder. Notwithstanding the fact that most of the illuminations had been extinguished, the masses had had a taste, and they wanted more. They became momentarily ruder and more boisterous. As the time approached for the closing of the publics, the crowd received fresh installments of the worse class of women, and then drunken women tried to do worse than the drunken men, and they succeeded. A woman thoroughly under the influence of liquor is something simply terrible to see, and here we saw it. On that night the air rang with their ribald jokes and coarse songs, as they jostled each other in their unsteady walk.


This, it must be remembered, is not a scene that occurred down in Cheapside, or in the Seven Dials, or the streets down near the river. No, indeed. Pall Mall, one of the most aristocratic streets in London, Regent street, the Broadway of London, Piccadilly, the Haymarket, these were the scenes of this frightful display, and evidently nothing was thought of it. The police made no arrests, and did not seem to know that there was anything occurring that was not perfectly allowable and justifiable. So the wild debauch went on all night, and it was not until the gray light made its appearance in the east that the city quieted down and the streets no longer echoed with the maudlin cries of the host of people who celebrated in their own peculiar style the anniversary of their Queen’s birthday.

image not available


How entirely different was the grand National fête of France on the 14th of July. This, too, is made a day for general rejoicing and merry-making, and the French people get out of it all that is to be had. For days before, active preparations for the event are made, flags and streamers of the colored bunting are put up all over the city, elaborate designs in gas jets are prepared; fountains erected; electric lights put up; in a word, everything is done that can in the slightest way add to the brilliancy of the beautiful city, whose white buildings make it bright and cheerful at all times.

On the night of the 13th it was apparent that something was about to occur, for the streets, the broad, brilliantly lighted boulevards, were crowded with people, all of them full of life and animation. The great stores, with their glass fronts, were literally ablaze with lights; the gaily decorated cafés with their inviting tables on the broad sidewalks, were filled with people sipping wine, or coffee, and discussing with the animation and vivacity that a Frenchman only possesses, the attractions of the morrow. All along the principal boulevards electric lights were suspended high in the air, while in the Place de Concorde, and out the Champs Elysées, were thousands of brilliant clusters of gas jets, making the night seem day. The crowds swayed hither and thither with one impulse, to see everything, yet there was no departure from decorum. Everybody was happy. But it was the happiness that comes of a sense of pleasure, from bright and beautiful surroundings, and the knowledge that every one else is happy. There was no sign of drunkenness; there was no rowdyism; there was nothing suggestive even of offensiveness. Everybody was gay and merry. There were songs and hearty peals of laughter, but it was pure and wholesome, something that one could participate in with all his heart.


The morning of the 14th dawned with a bright, clear sky, and the sun came up with a serenity that augured well for the fête. During the night, while all Paris slept, busy workmen put the finishing touches on the decorations, and when all business suspended, Paris turned out to see itself, there was a general murmur of approval at the beautiful sights displayed everywhere. The houses along the streets were almost hidden by flags and banners and streamers; the statues were decorated; high staffs that were not visible the day before, now floated long streamers; the parks and gardens were in holiday attire. Paris was arrayed in gorgeous dress, and every one went in for a day of rare pleasure.

At all the theaters, including the Grand Opera, free performances were given during the afternoon, and there were all sorts of entertainments provided by the government for the amusement of the populace. In various quarters of the city platforms were erected, and all during that warm afternoon the working classes danced to the music of superb orchestras, which were furnished to them without money and without cost.

image not available


From the Loggia of the Opera House.

But when evening came the fête was seen to its best advantage. As it grew dark the whole city blazed with light. There were millions of lanterns of every possible color, hanging from every point that could hold a support. Electric lights flashed from every corner, and gas jets blazed everywhere. The Boulevard des Italiens, from the Madelaine to the Bastille, was as light as though a noonday sun were pouring down upon it. And so with the other large thoroughfares, while the different quartiers had illuminations of their own, each of which was wonderfully brilliant.

The one particular place that eclipsed all others was the two mile stretch from the Tuileries to the Arch of Triumph, and then on to the Bois de Boulogne. The straight promenade through the Tuileries garden was lined on either side with a high trestle work, literally covered with fanciful designs wrought in gas, while high arches of brilliant flame intersected it at regular intervals.

The Place de Concorde was a marvel of beauty. All around the immense square were hung festoons of gas jets, while all the statues of the different cities of France that ornament each corner, were thrown into bold relief by brilliant lights on the limpid water of the fountain in the center; different colored lights were thrown during the evening, the effect being wondrously beautiful.

image not available



Standing in the center of the place, and looking towards the arch, the sight was simply marvelous. Nowhere in the world but in Paris could such a thing be seen. The broad avenue, Champs Elysées, rising with a gentle slope, was lined its whole distance on both sides with a stream of light, that drooped gracefully from cluster to cluster, all the way out, as far as the eye could reach. Then the concert cafés which abound on either side, made unusual displays, swinging lines of light from tree to tree and café to café, till the effect was dazzling, and one really had to stop to realize that he was here on earth and not in some fairy land.

The Bois de Boulogne, always beautiful, with its charming lakes, long winding drives, its parks, tiny brooks and picturesque café, was unusually brilliant that night. On the shores of the lake large set pieces of fire works were displayed, while bands of music in odd looking gondolas blazing with colored fires, furnished exquisite music. The paths and carriage-ways were lined with small set pieces, which, together with the constantly burning colored fires, produced an effect that was grandly weird. All Paris was one blaze of light. And all night long the people of Paris and all France were on the streets enjoying the rare sight. After nine o’clock carriages were compelled to keep off the principal boulevards and streets, so densely were they packed with people. The Champs Elysées from ten o’clock was one surging mass of people—men, women and children—returning from the Bois. From curb to curb was one solid mass of humanity, and such a jolly good-natured crowd was never seen before. They sang patriotic songs, and laughed and joked, and had a good time generally. Now and then there would come down the street a small procession of students, wearing grotesque caps, each student bearing a Chinese lantern. They sang funny songs, and chaffed those that passed. But there was not a single display of temper. Everybody took everything in good part, and every one was superlatively happy.

During all that long day and still longer night, not a single case of drunkenness did I see, and during that time I was in a great many different places, and would have seen it had there been any. There was fun and frolic on every side. But it was the overflow of exuberant spirits, and not the outgrowth of too much wine and beer and liquor. In no city in England, nor, I am afraid, in America, could there be so gigantic a celebration, so much fun and hilarity, with so little drunkenness and so few disturbances. Verily, the French, insincere and superficial as they are, know how to get the most enjoyment out of life. They have all the fun the Anglo-Saxon has, without the subsequent horror.

Foreign travel is of a vast amount of use to a great many people. Coming from Dieppe to Paris there were seated in our compartment two ladies with their husbands, who were in New York, bankers, one regular and the other faro, and both with loads of money. The wife of the faro banker was arrayed in the most gorgeous and fearfully expensive apparel, with a No. 6 foot in a No. 4 shoe. The other lady was a lady, and she really desired to see something of the country she was traveling through. The faro bankeress talked to her from Dieppe to St. Lazarre station, and this was about what she said:—

“You never saw anything so perfectly lovely as the children’s ball last year at the Academy of Music. My little girl, Lulu, you saw her at the school—she goes to the same school with your Minnie, only Lulu isn’t studying anything but French and geography now. I want her to get to be perfect in French, because it will be such a comfort to travel with her, and see things, and not be entirely dependent upon your maid—we have a maid with us, but, of course, we have her travel third-class—not for the difference in the expense, for we don’t have to economize—but you know it won’t do to have your servants too close to you; they get to presuming upon their privileges, and you must make them know their place. Oh, how I wish we had a monarchy or something of the kind in America, so that we could be divided up into classes, and not be compelled to mix with the lower orders.”

[I may as well remark here that this fine lady was originally a McFadden; that she came to America in the steerage, and was a chambermaid in a boarding-house, where she first met her husband, who was a brisk young bar-tender, who finally got a bar of his own, which gradually blossomed into a faro bank. The maid was a thoroughly educated and refined young lady, who was compelled by poverty to take a position of this kind.]


“Well, Monsieur Bigwig, the dancing teacher, you know of him. He was a Russian or a Prussian, or one of them people. Why, he has taught the children of all the kings in Europe—the little princesses; but he came to America and has three schools in New York and one in Brooklyn, and he is perfectly splendid. Dodworth isn’t nothing beside him for giving dancing lessons. Monsieur was a great friend of Lulu’s, and showed her a great deal of attention, and paid her a great many compliments. When a new pupil came in he used to take Lulu and dance with her to show the new one the step, Lulu danced so prettily, and was altogether too sweet for anything. And at his ball he had one tableau of four little girls representing Spring, Autumn, Summer, and Winter, and he came to my house and gave me the choice of characters for dear Lulu. I remember he came to the house to do it, because he took dinner with us that day, and my husband lent him fifty dollars. Well, I selected ‘Winter’ for Lulu, for I could dress her warmer in that character than in any of the others, and the dear child is delicate; she is so spirituelle, and I had for her a costume which was altogether too sweet for anything. She had on a dress—”

“Oh heavens! do look at that beautiful valley,” exclaimed the unwilling listener.

There was a valley spread out before us, so entirely perfect in its soft loveliness that it was worth a voyage across the Atlantic to see it. The faro bankeress glanced out of the window, and with the remark, “It’s altogether too lovely for anything,” went on without a moment’s pause:—

“I had a dress made of a white material that represented ice, with little balls of white down to represent snow balls all over it, and furs, the edges trimmed with down, and a little crown upon her head, with points like icicles, and the same things tacked onto the bottom of her outer skirt, and her hair powdered so as to be like snow, and she was the Ice Queen, and had a retinoo of ice men, twelve little boys with ice axes, and she was drawn in on a sled by two boys dressed like reindeers, and in front of the reindeers was two little boys dressed like bears, and it was altogether too sweet for anything. I don’t know how the other little girls were dressed, but everybody looked at Lulu; and then, after they four had made the circuit of the Academy (it was all floored over), they formed in the center and danced a dance which Monsieur had arranged for them, and Lulu danced too sweet for anything. Everybody said to me that she was the sweetest little girl in the ball. Where did you get that lace? I got some in Paris last year; we go abroad every year; we are tired of Saratoga; we have been going there so long that it is an old story, and then you have to meet all sorts of people there, and I don’t like it. I don’t suppose it is just right, but I do wish we could have a monarchy, so that the better classes could be more select. That lace was altogether the sweetest thing I ever saw, and it cost less than half it would in New York, and then—”

image not available


“What a delightful village this is, and how quaint! Do look at it!” This from the actual lady.

There was the same quick sweep of the head by the lady of laces, with the regular remark: “Yes; it’s altogether too sweet for anything,” and she resumed:—


“Now when we get to Paris I do so want you to go with me. I can show you where you can get laces and everything for half you pay in New York. And hosiery! Well now. I always buy five dozen pairs of silk stockings in Paris. And gloves! You can get kid gloves in Paris for almost nothing, and all you have to do not to pay duties is to put them on once and swear they have been worn. I always spend my last day in Paris putting on and off gloves. And children’s clothes! Let me see; you have a little boy, and so have I. Is yours in pants yet, or is he in kilts? Mine is in pants, but I hated to take him out of kilts; he was altogether too sweet for anything in them. With a broad white collar, and lace about his wrists, and little black shoes, and red stockings, with a Highland cap and feather in it, just like a Highland chieftain and—”

At this point the train stopped at a station, and our party got into another compartment. I pitied the lady who had to stay, but self-preservation is the first law of nature. I should not like to be with her on a steamboat, where escape would be impossible. Travel does her a power of good. But heavens! how many like her are strewing their gabble all over the continent!

image not available



PARIS covers an area of thirty square miles, has five hundred and thirty miles of public streets, and has a resident population of nearly two millions, all engaged in trading in articles of luxury for the rest of the world. It supports about one hundred and fifteen thousand paupers. Its religion is a very mild form of Catholicism tinged with infidelity, or infidelity flavored with Catholicism, as you choose. Which flavor predominates in the average Parisian I have not been able to determine. I should say Catholicism Sunday forenoon, and infidelity the remainder of the week. At all events, the cafés are always crowded, while the churches never are, except by strangers, who go religiously and devoutly thither—to see the buildings and the decorations. The Parisian generally puts off going to church till next Sunday, and goes this Sunday to the country instead. One-fourth of the births are illegitimate, which is doing very well for Paris.

The city consumes annually eighty-six millions gallons of wine, and three millions five hundred thousand gallons of spirits; the latter going very largely into the seasoned stomachs of foreigners, the French themselves being altogether too acute to use anything of the kind. However, they are very willing to sell it, and welcome the Englishman or American with hospitable hands to drunkards’ graves—if they have the money to pay for it—with great politeness and suavity.

I have not yet been in any country which did not extend a hearty welcome to any stranger with money.


About ninety-five millions of gallons of water per day come from the water-works, which is mostly used in keeping the streets clean. I have not yet seen a Frenchman who ever used any as a beverage or on his person. For economy he mixes some of it with his wine, and his ablutions may require a pint or such matter a day, but that is all the use he has for water.

image not available


The very first thing that strikes an American in Paris with astonishment is the meagreness of the water supply in the houses. You look for the faucets which supply your room with hot and cold water, as at home, but you don’t find them. A chambermaid pours out about two quarts in a diminutive pitcher, and that is expected to last you for purposes of ablution twenty-four hours. And this with the Seine running directly through the center of the city. The houses are from five to seven stories high, but all the water used in them, for all purposes, is carted up to the top by men. My landlord told me it was cheaper to have it so carried than to put plumbing in his house, and pay the water-tax, “and we don’t use much of it, anyway,” he remarked, and he was right. Still, accustomed as I have always been to the use of a great deal of it, it took me some time to fall into their ways. Pure water is a very good thing to have plenty of, but it’s all a matter of habit, I suppose. A man can get to be a Frenchman, in time, if he tries hard enough. Nothing is impossible, where there’s a will and a stubborn purpose. But to keep oneself clean with a pint, or thereabouts, of water per day looks rather difficult to a novice.

John Leech was very fond of illustrating this peculiarity of the French people, in Punch, years ago. When the first English Exposition was in progress in London, the city was overrun with French. One picture he made was of two elegantly dressed young Frenchmen, standing in front of an ordinary wash-stand, on which was the usual pitcher, washbowl, soap-dish, etc., and underneath was this conversation:—

Alphonse—What is this?

Henri—I do not know. It is queer!

The good Leech doubtless exaggerated, as all satirists do, but he had sufficient foundation for his skit.


But whatever may be the condition of the French, man or woman, interiorally, the outside is as delightfully clean as could be desired. The blouse of the workman is outwardly as fresh and clean as the coat of the swell on the boulevards, and the said swell would sooner lie down and die than to wear soiled linen or uncleaned boots. The women, high and low, are invariably neat and tidy in appearance—immaculately so.

The chambermaid, who cares for your room; the washerwoman who brings you your linen; equally with my lady in her drawing room or in her carriage, is neatness itself, and not only that, but elegance itself. Condition is no excuse for outward slovenliness in Paris. The servants in the house always have white about the throat and wrist, and it is white. And then their dresses are made with some degree of taste, and are worn in such a way as to make the cheapest and most common goods attractive. With the same eye to appearance, and with the devotion to comfort that is a part of French nature, the streets of Paris are the best kept in the world. I do not wonder that the Frenchman, condemned by business or other considerations to live in New York, considers himself a sort of Napoleon, after Waterloo, and New York his St. Helena. The streets of London are kept clean; the dirt from the throngs of horses and vehicles is carefully removed, and it is done thoroughly, but not so much because of cleanliness as for want of manure. The streets of Paris are kept absolutely clean, simply for comfort and appearance. The neatly polished boots of Monsieur and Madame must not be soiled on crossings, nor must the skirts of its women be made unwearable by dragging through dust and filth. The streets of New York would send a French woman to a mad-house—they are nasty enough to send any one there compelled to wade through them.

image not available


There are no people in the world who are so delightfully polite as the Parisians. I might say the French, but Paris is

image not available



France, and it is the same all over the country. It is a delight to be swindled by a French shopkeeper, man or woman, they do it so neatly and with such infinite grace. There is so much patience, so much suavity, such a general oiling of the rough places, and such a delightful smoothing out of creases. It is Monsieur who is the obliged party if you come into his place. He feels the honor that you have conferred upon him, and he makes you feel that he feels it. True, you pay for all this politeness, and pay for it at very high rates, but it is, like all high-priced commodities, very pleasant.

He never wearies of showing you goods; your atrocious French is laboriously translated, and if you buy a franc’s worth Monsieur seems as much delighted as though you had beggared yourself by taking his whole stock. And if you have taken an hour of his time and purchased nothing, he seems to be even more pleased. Indeed, his politeness on occasions that to an English or American tradesman would be depressing, is even more marked. He bows and smiles, not grimaces, as has been vainly written, but a most gracious bow and a most delightful smile, which, if not genuine, is a most natural substitute for it, and he modestly hopes that if Monsieur or Madame desires anything in his line that they will give him the preference. Possibly he says “sacre” to himself after you are on the sidewalk, and possibly he launches all sorts of curses after you, but you don’t know it, and so it doesn’t hurt you. Go back within five minutes and you will find him with the same smile, ready and willing to go through the same operation over again.

Tibbitts tried to worry one of them, and for once succeeded. He stopped the party promenading with him on the Boulevard des Italiens, at a jeweler’s, who displayed in his window the legend, “English spoken.” The “English spoken” in the shops is good enough, as a rule, to explain the nature and quality of the goods, and that is all. Further than this, the English-speaking salesman has no more idea of English than he has of Ashantee. Tibbitts marched in boldly, and the English-speaking man appeared. He was a very well-preserved, bald-headed man of fifty, and at him Tibbitts went.

“Do you speak English?”

“Oui—yees, Monsieur.”

Tibbitts grasped his hand enthusiastically.

“It’s refreshing to meet one in a strange land who can speak one’s own language.”

“Yees, Monsieur.”

“Well, what I want to know is, is the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad cutting rates the same as the other roads, and do they cut for Western-bound passengers the same as for Eastern, and have you the remotest idea that the cutting will be kept up till September when I return, and does the Pullman Sleeping Car Company cut the same as the railroad companies?”

“Eh, Monsieur? Zeese watches—”

“You don’t quite understand me. You see the Pullman Sleeping Car Company is quite distinct from the railroad companies, and one may cut rates without the other. See? Now what I want to know is—”

The bewildered Frenchman who spoke English stared in a wild sort of way, but his politeness did not desert him.

“Ees eet ze watch, ze diamond, ze—”

“Not yet. What I want to know is, who is this Lapham and Miller who have been elected to fill the vacancies occasioned by the resignations of Platt and Conkling, and is Miller going to be a tail to Lapham’s kite, or are they both square, bang-up men, and—”

“Will Monsieur look at ze goods?”

“No, no! Is the Chicago & Northwestern in this row?”

By this time the Frenchman was out of patience.

“Monsieur, talks—wat you call ’im—gibberish. I ’ave not ze time to waste. Eef it ees ze watch—”

“Sir,” replies Tibbitts, severely, “when you announce ‘English spoken,’ you should speak English, or at least understand it. Good morning, or, as you don’t understand the plainest English, bong-swoir.”

He had succeeded this time, and should have rested on his laurels. But Tibbittses, alas, always overdo what they undertake. He had extracted so much amusement from his first experiment that he tried it over again the next day. He entered a similar place and commenced the same thing.

“What I want to know, is the Chicago & Northwestern in the railroad war, and do you suppose the cutting of rates will continue till September, when I return, and—”

“Indeed I cannot tell you, sir. It is something I do not keep the run of. You had better apply at the American Exchange, or the Herald office.”


This in the best and clearest American English. Poor Tibbitts had fallen upon a bright American who was turning his knowledge of French to account by serving as a salesman in Paris. He smiled a ghastly smile as he bowed himself out of the place. Bad marksmen who by chance hit the bull’s eye, should be very modest and refuse to shoot again. Even Napoleon, great as he was, fought one battle too many.

Politeness with the French is a matter of education as well as nature. The French child is taught that lesson from the beginning of its existence, and it is made a part of its life. It is the one thing that is never forgotten and lack of it is never forgiven. A shipwrecked Frenchman who could not get into a boat, as he was disappearing under the waves, raised his hat, and with such a bow as he could make under the circumstances, said, “Adieu, Mesdames; Adieu, Messieurs,” and went to the fishes. I doubt not that it really occurred, for I have seen ladies splashed by a cab on a rainy day, smile politely at the driver. A race that has women of that degree of politeness can never be anything but polite. When such exasperation as splashed skirts and stockings will not ruffle them, nothing will.

image not available


The children are delightful in this particular. French children do not go about clamoring for the best places and sulking if they do not get them, and talking in a rude, boisterous way. They do not take favors and attentions as a matter of course and unacknowledged. The slightest attention shown them is acknowledged by the sweetest kind of a bow—not the dancing-master’s bow, but a genuine one—and the invariable “Merci, Monsieur!” or Madame, or Mademoiselle, as the case may be.

I was in a compartment with a little French boy of twelve, the precise age at which American children, as a rule, deserve killing for their rudeness and general disagreeableness. He was dressed faultlessly, but his clothes were not the chief charm. I sat between him and the open window, and he was eating pears. Now an American boy of that age would either have dropped the cores upon the floor, or tossed them out of the window without a word to anybody. But this small gentleman every time, with a “permit me, Monsieur,” said in the most pleasant way, rose and came to the window and dropped them out, and then, “Merci, Monsieur,” as he quietly took his seat. It was a delight. I am sorry to say that such small boys do not travel on American railroad trains to any alarming extent. Would they were more frequent.

And when in his seat, if an elderly person or any one else came in, he was the very first to rise and offer his place if it were in the slightest degree more comfortable than the one vacant, and the good nature in which he insisted upon the new comer taking it was something “altogether too sweet for anything,” as the faro bankeress would say.

And this boy was no exception. He was not a show boy, out posing before the great American republic, or such of it as happened to be in France at the time, but he was a sample, a perfect type of the regulation French child. I have seen just as much politeness in the ragged waifs in the Faubourg St. Antoine, where the child never saw the blue sky more than the little patches that could be seen over the tops of seven-storied houses, as I ever did in the Champs Elysées. One Sunday at St. Cloud, where the ragged children of poverty are taken by their mothers for air and light, it was a delight to fill the pockets with sweets to give them. They had no money to buy, and the little human rats looked longingly at the riches of the candy stands, and a sou’s worth made the difference between perfect happiness and half-pleasure. You gave them the sou’s worth, and what a glad smile came to the lips, and accompanied with it was the delicious half bow and half courtesy, and invariable “Merci, Monsieur.” One little tot, who could not speak, filled her tiny mouth with the unheard of delicacies she had received, and, too young to say “Merci,” put up her lips to be kissed.


Tibbitts gave some confectionery to her elder sister, a young girl of eighteen, but she merely said “Merci, Monsieur,” and that was all. She took the candy, but declined to kiss him, much to Tibbitts’ disgust.

image not available


Oh, ye thoughtless, heedless mothers of America, would that you could all see these children and take lessons from their mothers. There is a difference in people, and a still greater difference in children. Our American Congress could well afford a commission of ladies to learn the secret of training children, and a school for mothers should be established in every city for their preparation for this important duty. It would pay better than any monetary conference.

The French family is an unknown quantity. Monsieur, the husband and father, spends his time at his café according to his quality, while Madame the wife receives her friends, or admirers, if she be not too old to have them, in her drawing-room. There are no homes in France, as the English and Americans understand the word. It would drive a Frenchman crazy if, when business hours are over, he should be compelled to eat his dinner and afterward go up stairs, sit with his wife and children quietly till bed-time, and then retire in good order. Likewise would it be distasteful to the French wife. She may be in love—in fact, she always is—but not with her husband.

A Frenchman once, who was too fond of the softer sex, pledged himself to avoid women. Later he was asked if he had kept his pledge. “Certainly, or rather partially. I have religiously avoided Madame; I can keep that pledge always, so far as she is concerned.”

He meets his wife with, “Good evening, Madame. I trust you have had a pleasant day.”

“Merci, Monsieur; very pleasant.”

He does not ask her whether she has been driving out with the children, or with a lover; in fact, he does not care. He knows she has a lover, but that is nothing to him so long as he himself sees nothing wrong.

And after dinner he bids her “Good evening,” and goes to his favorite café, where he, and other similar husbands, save the country over innumerable bottles of wine, and when the cafés are shut, and there is no other earthly place to visit, he goes home and retires to his room, only to meet Madame the next morning at breakfast.

This is not singular. The French girl is kept by her mother under the strictest possible guardianship till she is of the age to marry. She might as well be in a prison, for she is never out from under the sharp eye of her mother, or aunt, or in default of these, a governess. Her life, when she gets to be about fourteen, and begins to know something of what life really is, and wants to enjoy it, is most intolerable.


She is married in due time, but she has very little to do with it. A husband is selected for her, and she accepts him scarcely knowing or hardly caring who it is she is to wed, for she wants that liberty which in France comes with marriage, and marriage only. She knows that a wife may do that which a maiden may not—that matrimony means in France what it does not in any other country—almost absolute freedom. Once married, the mother washes her hands of her, considering that she has discharged her whole duty by her child.

image not available


The whole idea of French matrimony from the girl’s standpoint is well illustrated in the picture of the French caricaturist. Two girls are discussing the approaching marriage of one of them. The bargained-for girl exclaims lugubriously, “But I love Henri!” “Very good, my child,” replies her elder and wiser friend, “you love Henri; then marry Alphonse.”

Her marrying Alphonse made love for Henri possible. It was all there in one small picture and two lines of print, but a page of small type could not explain the situation more clearly.

image not available



Marriages are arranged by the parents of the parties, and an exceedingly curious performance it is. The girl’s parents actually buy her a husband. The two old cats who have one a son and the other a daughter, meet like two gray-headed diplomatists, and there ensues a series of negotiations that would put to shame traders in anything else. The girl has to have a dot, which is to say, a dowry, and the son must have money or property settled upon him. The mother of the girl proposes to give her one hundred thousand francs as the dot. The mother of the son insists that it is not enough, and enlarges upon the perfections of the young man. He is educated, he is polished, he is handsome, he is amiable. He isn’t a brute who would make a wife miserable; not he. Clearly one hundred thousand francs is not enough for such a paragon. The mother of the girl strikes in. The girl is the handsomest in Paris, and has had every advantage. She is a lady, and would make a desirable addition to the house of any man in Paris; but finally she names one hundred and ten thousand francs.

It will not do. “Mon dieu!” exclaims the mother, “you must remember I have three other daughters to provide for, and the estate is not large. If I give one hundred and ten thousand francs to one, what will become of the others? There is reason in all things, even in marrying off a daughter!”

And thus they haggle and haggle, just as though they were trading horses, until finally it is fixed. The happy pair are permitted to see each other; so much is settled upon the young man and so much upon the girl, and they are married, and by the laws of France and the sanction of the holy church, are man and wife. They are man and wife legally but in no other sense.

Of course there can be nothing of love, or affection, or even esteem in such marriages. Monsieur wants Madame to be handsome and accomplished, precisely as he wants a handsome horse—it pleases his eye and gratifies his tastes—but the main point after all is the dot. He has that additional income to live upon. Madame desires Monsieur to be likewise prepossessing, for she wants the world to believe that she married something beside the title of Madame, though all the world knows better.

Each wants the other to be amiable, for even living separate, as they do, they are necessarily under one roof, and bad temper on either side would make things uncomfortable. Above all, they want no jealousy or inquisitiveness. Each wants to be let alone; each desires to follow the bent of his or her inclination, undisturbed and unmolested. And they get up, doubtless, some sort of an esteem for each other, which may in time ripen into something like what outside barbarians call love. But that occurs, probably, after one of them is dead, provided the survivor is too old to marry again. It looks well for a widow of fifty or sixty to revere the memory of her dear departed, and they generally do it, no matter on what terms they lived.

image not available


Of course they have children born to them, for there must be heirs to the estate. Madame loves them very much, or appears to, but she sees very little of them. She puts them out to nurse at once. Children are tiresome and wearying to a woman whose day is divided into so much for dressing, so much for riding, so much for eating, and so much for balls or opera. She sees them and admires them, and when they are old enough, marries them off. The father is pleased to see that Henri is growing into a fine boy, or Marie into a fine girl, but he has his business and pleasures to attend to, and besides, there is invariably some woman, somewhere in Paris, that he does love, and she has children also. And so the children grow up, Monsieuring their father and Madaming their mother till they escape from under the paternal and maternal charge, only to go and do the same things for themselves.


Curious notions “our lively neighbors, the Gauls,” as Mr. Micawber says, have of domestic life. There is no such thing in Paris.

This among the upper classes. Jean and Jeannette, the baker and the milliner, are not so particular about the dot, and for a very good reason—neither of them or their parents have a sou to give more than the wedding clothes and a holiday, with an extra bottle of wine on the occasion of the wedding. They dispense with the dot, and, in very many cases, with the legal and religious ceremonies, which are considered necessary among other classes, and among all classes in other countries. Having nothing else to marry for, they marry for love, and very good husbands and wives they make. True, Jean goes to his café every night, to save the country in his way, and Jeannette expects him to, but as they do not inhabit large houses they are naturally brought closer together, and, consequently, are more in sympathy with each other. Jean, with two francs a day, even with the help of Jeannette, who may earn quite as much, cannot afford the luxury of separate rooms or separate beds. One answers them both, and not infrequently they have not that one.

But with their cheap wine and their very cheap bread, and, above all, their careless, happy-go-lucky dispositions, they manage to get along very comfortably. So long as they can work, and they do work, both of them, they live very well; and when sickness or old age comes there are excellent hospitals to go to, and after that—why, the church has fixed their hereafter, and so everything is smooth with them.

Poverty has its uses, though, desirable as it is, I find I can get on with a very little of it. I firmly believe that in time I could accustom myself to riches, and really enjoy myself. But it may never be.

Madame, the faro bankeress, is at the same hotel with us, and is getting on famously in French. This morning at breakfast—she calls it “dejuner”—much to the waiter’s astonishment, she ordered “café o’lay—with milk,” and at dinner, “frozen champagne glace,” never knowing, poor woman, that café au lait means, simply, coffee with milk, and champagne glacé is simply chilled champagne. But it did nobody else any harm except the waiter, and it pleased her. She remarked to the other lady that she was sure she would have no trouble in getting along—which she would not, as the waiter, being an Englishman, could understand even her English, except when she plunged too much into French.

“Have you been to the Louvre?” asked the other lady, or the lady, to be accurate.

“Oh, no, not yet. I have no doubt it is altogether too sweet for anything, but I have not had time. I dote on art. But I have found a new place where you can get such lovely laces, for almost nothing, and another where silk hosiery can be had for less than half what you have to pay in New York. And I bought such a lovely dress for Lulu, a pearl silk, with such a lovely waist, and an embroidered front, with roses embroidered in the skirt. It is just like the one she wore at the children’s ball, at Mrs. Thompson’s, last Winter, which cost me more than twice what this one did and wasn’t half so nice. But Lulu looked altogether too sweet for anything in that, though, and everybody at the ball was in perfect rapture over her. And then I bought a sweet suit for little Alfred, my youngest child, nine years old. It is such a perfectly sweet little pair of pants with a waist that buttons on just lovely, and with red stockings and purple shoes he will be altogether too sweet for anything. They will fit, for I have the measure of both the children with me. I have found out that when one travels to see nature and things, one ought always to be prepared. That’s why I brought their measure with me.”

At this point the husband of the other lady, who could not help hearing all this, as he had for many weary days, told me an anecdote like this:—

“A young man with a very bad voice, but who firmly and steadfastly believed that in the article of voice he was the superior of Brignoli, engaged a teacher to give him lessons. When asked how he liked his teacher his reply was that he was a good master, but he was altogether too religious for him.

“How too religious?”

“Why, while I am practicing, he walks up and down the room wringing his hands and praying.”

“What is his prayer? What does he pray about?”


“I can’t exactly say, but I caught the words, ‘Heavenly Father! how long must I endure this?’ There was doubtless something the matter with him.”

There was no necessity for him to point to the moral of this, for the stream of gabble flowed on in a smooth and continuous flow, finding no rocks of thought to give it picturesqueness, or no impediment of fact to make it pause. It was simply the wagging of a tongue that was hung on a swivel in the middle—a tongue which would wag so long as the lungs furnished breath and the muscles that moved it held out. Inasmuch as she has pleasant rooms and likes the hotel, and will not move, we are going to find another. But probably we shall find another just like her at the new place. They are the people who delight in travel and are everywhere.

Tibbitts has made the acquaintance of a wholesale liquor dealer, who is going to “do” Switzerland, and Tibbitts has determined to join him.

image not available


“Why join a wholesale liquor dealer?”

“With an eye solely to the future. In the coming years what may happen to me? Will it not be handy to drop into his place, and, after remarking about the weather, say, ‘Thompson, do you remember it was just five years ago to-day that we climbed Mont Blanc? And do you remember when you gave out at the foot of the first glacier how I pulled you up?’ Or, ‘What day of the month is this? 16th? Yes; exactly six years ago to-day we were skimming over the Brunig Pass, on our way to Lucerne.’ Then he can’t do less than to ask me to take something. And then we will sit and sit, talking over our European experiences and drinking his liquor. I shall live very near his place, so as to have it handy. It is a provision for a doubtful future. You are altogether too careless about such things. You haven’t common prudence. A man who in his youth do’n’t lay up provision for his old age is very reckless indeed. I count the association with this delightful man as good as half my living all my life. I shall try to strike a merchant tailor after I have fixed myself in this man’s memory, and after that, if I stay long enough, a boot and shoe man. The past is safe; the present I am satisfied with. What I want now is an assured future. Then I am heeled.”

image not available



PARIS has one institution possessed by no other city in the world—the genuine street Arab. London has, heaven knows, enough homeless waifs, born the Lord only knows where, and brought up the Lord only knows how; but the London article is no more like the Parisian than chalk is like cheese. The New York street boy comes nearer it—New York is more like Paris than any other city—but even the New York Arab is not to be compared with the Parisian. He stands alone, a miracle of impudence, good nature, self-possession and resource.

Where he was born he never knows and never cares. He don’t carry his pedigree in his pocket, not simply because he has no pocket, but because he don’t care a straw about it. It doesn’t concern him. He would not give a sou to be the son of the late Emperor. Birth and blood concern him very little. What his mind is running on, chiefly, is where and how to get a crust of black bread, a draught of very cheap wine, and a dry, warm place to sleep.

His mother was, and is, a seamstress, or a house servant, or woman of all work, or a shop girl. His father—well, it is doubtful if the mother could give any very definite information on that subject. She may have been a true daughter of Paris, or she may have come from the delicious valleys of Normandy or Brittany, or the mountains of Switzerland, with her heavy shoes, her quaint bodice, and her long, braided hair hanging down her shapely back. She got work, she wrought in a clothing warehouse, or she went behind a counter; then came the balls in the Latin quarter (it is a part of the nature of the girls of this country to love lights and glitter and dancing, and the like); then appeared the student with his half-polished brigandage, and then began the life of a grisette. They lived together till the student was called home, and he went back to his native country to marry and settle down into respectable citizenship, forgetting entirely the poor little girl he left behind, and the wee baby she had borne him.

image not available


But whoever his father might have been he never saw him that he remembers, and he has a very indistinct idea of what a father is.

The uncertainty of fatherhood in Paris is illustrated by the grisette who was walking with her little boy. A funeral procession was passing:—

“Who is it that is dead?” asked the boy of his mother.

“I do not know, but take off your hat, my child. It may be your father!”

It was not unlikely. I don’t think this ever happened, however, for in France, every one removes his hat while a funeral passes. They are polite to the dead as to the living. Besides this, the boy had no hat to remove.


He knows his mother, however, very well; he remembers a pale, worn woman, who always gave him the largest half of the scant bread, and assuaged her hunger by seeing him eat, and who managed somehow to keep the rags that hung about him clean, and had hidden somewhere, a neat and tidy suit of clothes which were worn only on fête days, and when they went to church. No matter about the father, since every boy knows who his mother is, and he knows likewise that whatever may happen to her, he is sure of all she can possibly do for him, even to the last, the supreme sacrifice.

They lived together in a garret, somewhere, or a cellar. With these people it is always one extreme or another,—they never have the middle of anything.

image not available


Somehow she managed to make the little den they existed in rather pleasant, and he had a tolerably happy life. Only the mother was compelled to leave him very much alone, for there was the black bread to earn, and no matter how miserable their apartment, there was something to pay for rent. He was left, always, with a score of others just like him, with an old woman who had once gone through the same experience, and who, unable now to do other work, earned her few sous a day caring for children that were short a father, and whose mothers were skirmishing on the outside borders of existence for enough to keep body and soul together. This was all very well till the little legs were strong enough to walk, and the old woman could no longer control him. Armed with the

image not available



preternatural sharpness that always accompanies poverty, he took to the streets, and, in the old times when begging was permitted, he was a beggar. Now he is anything. He scorns regular work, he is a hawk, who picks up his living here, there and everywhere. He may be on the boulevards, and a handkerchief may be dropped; the apple-women, sharp as they are, find in him a most competent brigand. There are cigar-stumps to be picked up, and they are worth something an ounce to be worked over into smoking tobacco. Everywhere in the great city there are unconsidered trifles, but an unconsidered trifle is everything to a boy who has no use for clothing, and to whom a crust of bread is enough for a day.

Finally, at the mature age of eight, or thereabouts, he leaves his mother; or, rather, some night he does not come home. He has found a dry place under an arch to sleep, or a hole in the docks, and he has associated with him other boys of the same breed; now he is an independent citizen.

His mother knows the way of the world, and she goes right on, sure that her child is living, and, in his way, well.

He occasionally goes to see her, till she moves some time suddenly, and is lost to him in the great desert.

He probably never sees her again. If she gets on well and keeps her health she dies finally in a hospital—if not, a plunge in the Seine ends her struggles with a very hard world. Not infrequently his last look at her is taken in the Morgue.

While he is a boy he leads a very independent and happy life. He toils not, neither does he spin; he does not dine at the Maison Doree; nor does he drink champagne or burgundy. He drinks wine when he can get it, and water from the public fountain when he cannot. He eats black bread when he has a sou to buy it with; lacking the sou, there are always opportunities to steal an apple, and failing in that, there are apple cores to be picked up on the streets.

As for clothing, very little does him; very little, but where he obtains that little, I have never been able to ascertain. He gets it, though, somehow, each article in the suit coming from a different source, and all just strong enough to hold together. A picturesque vagabond it makes of him.

His conversation is something wonderful. There isn’t a slang phrase in French that he has not, and as the mothers are of all nations, he has made piratical excursions into other languages, and has the worst of them all. He can swear very well in English, not the unctuous, brutal oaths of the American or Englishman, for even a Parisian gamin has taste, but English oaths lose none of their strength in him. He ornaments them, but not to the degree of weakening.

No Frenchman would ever think of chaffing a gamin twice, for he knows by bitter experience that the gamin always gets the best of it, and the first and last time he tried it he retired with everybody laughing but himself and the boy. He did not laugh, because the boy had routed him, horse, foot and dragoon—the boy did not, because to have laughed would have been undignified, and lessened the effect of his wordy victory. He professed to sympathize with his victim, which was adding insult to injury.

In this matter of talk the very cabmen are afraid of him, and the policemen dread him. It is his delight to catch a policeman or a soldier in a position where he cannot move, and to cover him with not exactly abuse, but what the English call chaff. He makes the poor fellow ridiculous; he sets a crowd laughing at him, and does it in perfect safety, too, for the official cannot leave his post to capture and punish him, and if he could it would do no good. The urchin is as slippery as an eel, and as fleet as an antelope. He can slip through the crowd and be a safe distance long before the encumbered man has made up his mind to go for him.

These boys make up no small portion of every mob that has devastated Paris for centuries, and popular risings are altogether too common for comfort in that excitable city. In all the revolutions these little fellows have handled muskets and pikes, and made much of them. The gamin was foremost in the mob that leveled the Bastille to the ground, and when that monument of irresponsible tyranny was in ruins the dead bodies of hundreds of them were found underneath them, and the living bodies of hundreds of others waved their crownless hats over the smoking debris. There never has been a barricade erected that had not gamins behind it, boys of fourteen, fighting as coolly and steadily as grizzled veterans of sixty.


They knew not what they were fighting for, nor cared. They only felt it was the people against the recognized authorities, and that was enough. The Parisian gamin hates the authorities, for his chief idea is that the name means a prison, police, and everything else that a brigand in a small way don’t like. He loves commotion, for commotion signifies excitement, and excitement is as necessary to him as bread itself. He will stand behind a barricade and load and fire as long as the oldest man, and, firing with a musket, he is as good as a giant.

There are theaters which he patronizes regularly, for next to a revolution he loves the theater. Where he procures the money for admission, small as it is, heaven only knows; but he gets it somehow, for he is there nearly every night. If he cannot get in at the beginning, he hangs about the entrances, waiting for some good-natured man, who does not care to see the performance out, to give him his check, or he wheedles a good natured doorman into letting him pass. And once in, there is no adult in the audience who is so critical an auditor. He knows all about the drama, all about the music, and all about everything connected with it. He applauds at the right place, and if there be the slightest fault of omission or commission in the representation, his hiss is the first and the most distinct and deadly.

The Parisian actor dreads the gamin almost as much as he does the newspaper critics. They have made and unmade many an aspirant for public favor.

I gave a sou to one for the privilege of a minute’s conversation. (I had a friend to translate—a street boy would not understand my French.)

“Where were you born?”

There was a comprehensive wave of the hand which took in all Paris. He might have been born all over the vast city.

“How do you live?”

There was an expressive shrug of the shoulders that meant anything you chose.

“What are you intending to do when you are older?”

Another expressive shrug, as if to say “Who knows?” (These French boys can talk more with their arms and shoulders than other people can with their tongues.)

But when he saw the sou in hand he had expression enough all over him for a dozen boys. He took it with the invariable “Merci, Monsieur,” and darting away, in a minute re-appeared with a loaf of black bread, and was as willing to be communicative as you desired.

All that could be gathered from him was that his mother was a washerwoman, his father the Lord only knew, and he had been living on the streets as long as he could remember anything. That was all. That was his beginning—his end was in the hands of fate; possibly one thing, and possibly another, but, one thing or another, he had bread enough to last him twenty-four hours, and he was more happy than many a man in a palace.

image not available


They are ubiquitous, and all alike. Their being all alike is what makes them ubiquitous. You see him on the boulevards—you dive down from those dizzy heights of splendor, from the broad glare of that magnificence, to the poverty-made twilight of the Latin quarter, or the Cimmerian gloom of the Faubourg St. Antoine, and you see him.

Just the same. He wears the same reminiscence of a hat, the same remnants of trowsers, the same shirt with holes torn in it in the same places, the flag of distress floats from the same quarter, if, indeed, the shirt is long enough to boast a lower end, and the bare feet in the summer, and the dilapidated shoes in the winter, are the same. It is not the same boy, but it is the boy cast in the same mold, and with all the others, subject to the same conditions, and consequently exactly like as peas.

Nature makes men in molds. Noblemen’s sons have something in their make-up besides their clothes, and so have the children of poverty. A pallet in a garret, or, more usually, the bare floor; a crust, or the core of an apple at rare and uncertain intervals, are as certain to produce one typical face and a typical body as luxurious beds and rich food do another.


The Parisian gamins are alike wherever you see them, for they all come from one stock, and are all brought up in one way. So nearly are they alike that the old saying might well be reversed. Instead of its being “It’s a wise child that knows its own father,” it should read “It’s a wise mother that knows her own child.” With these waifs, a child’s knowing, or even guessing, at its own father, would be an idea utterly chimerical.

Yet they are good-natured, and even kind to each other. There are girl vagabonds and girl waifs as well as boy waifs. The boys are wonderfully good to the little homeless girls who are too Arab-like to go to the retreats provided for them by the Government. If the boy has a warm place under a bridge or over a lime kiln, he gives it up to the wandering female rat, with as much chivalry as any grand Seigneur could display, and he shares with her the result of his predatory excursions, even going a trifle more hungry himself that she may not entirely starve. They are always hungry—it is only a question of how hungry they may be.

What becomes of them? I don’t know. Sometimes they get into other ways and grow into respectable citizens. Occasionally one of them is sufficiently tamed to learn a trade, if some citizen picks him up and cares for him, and now and then a street boy or girl drifts, by accident, into a profession and becomes eminent. The great French actress, Rachel, was a street girl, whose only fortune was her guitar, and whose living was made by singing in front of cafés. By hook or crook she got upon the stage, and once there her genius made her way for her. The Frenchman cares nothing for birth or position in the matter of genius. He wants good singing and good acting, and he cares not whether the singer or actor comes from the gutter or the palace. If from the gutter, the genius which delights him removes the slime, and he does it even greater honor than as though it had been pushed by more favorable circumstances.

Rachel not only made a world-wide fame, but she raised her family, all of whom were as poor and low down as herself, to the very heights of French grandeur. One of the Felix girls—that is their name—is now the wealthy and prosperous manufacturer of a face powder, which is the delight of the upper classes. With the shrewdness of the Israelite, she did not go into groceries or such trifles. She knew the French people too well. She invented a face powder and hair restorative, and waxed rich. She will marry her daughters to noblemen, and possibly Kings may spring from a line that once was delighted with a sou thrown into the gutter for them to scramble for.

One of the great chocolate manufacturers, whose name is known wherever there is civilization, who counts his residences by the dozen, and his wealth by millions, was a gamin till he was eighteen.

Some of them, like Rachel, from their intense love of the drama, get to be actors, when they are old enough. Some of them become rag-pickers, or work into other employments of a semi-vagabondizing nature; some of them become thieves, and take in all the range of crime from picking a pocket to committing murder, and numbers of them go into the army and navy.

But these instances are comparatively rare. The gamin grows, as a rule, into a vagabond, the vagabond into a criminal, and the criminal either ends at the guillotine or in the prison hospital. A lucky chance may graft something better on them, or a revolution may afford them opportunities for distinction in a military way, but those so promoted are exceptions. The rule is quite the other way.

In New York these human rats sell newspapers, clean boots, and do things of that nature, nominally. The genuine Parisian gamin might do this, for there are papers cried and sold on the street, though the most of this trade is transacted in picturesque little buildings called “Kiosques.” But he will have none of it. Should he labor or do anything approaching labor, he would lose caste with his fellows, and become to them a social pariah.

One important specimen of the kind, nine years old, and weighing, perhaps, fifty pounds, saw a former member of the fraternity, who had seceded, passing with packages to deliver, neatly dressed, and with a general air of being well cared for, and comfortably fed and housed.


The ragamuffin looked upon him with an expression of contempt never equalled off the stage, and he called the attention of a score of his ragged comrades to the seceder:—

“Look at him! just look at him! He has got to be a baker’s boy! Poor devil! Poor devil! He has clothes, he has a cap on his head, and shoes on his feet. He sits at a table with the maid, and eats three times a day, and has a bed to sleep in! He will never more be one of us! He is ruined! Poor devil! Why can’t everybody have spirit? Bah! A bed to sleep in, and regular meals!”

And the mob of ragamuffins jeered and hooted at him as he passed, and the boy himself looked as though he had been a traitor to his class, and as if he had half a mind to confiscate the bread he was carrying and return to his former fellows.

The young bundle of rags felt all that he said. To him this desertion from a life of vagabondage was a betrayal, as it were, and he felt, actually, a supreme pity for the gamin who could be anything else for so small a consideration as a comfortable life. To him the liberty of the streets was better than any house that required regularity. He would not have dined at the Grand Hotel if it required his coming at regular hours.

And after venting his opinion he went out in search of something to eat, and if he found that something he was happy—if not it was a shrug of the shoulders, and to sleep an hour or two sooner. They have a trick of making a dinner upon an hour or two of sleep, and an enjoyable breakfast by not waking up till dinner time. It is an economical way of living, but not conducive to increase of flesh. How long they can stand it has never been determined, for, not regarding the interests of science, they always manage to find a crust, or a bone, or something, just as the experiment is getting to be interesting. None of them have ever been willing to die in the interest of science. They are largely devoted to themselves.

The gamin of Paris is deserving of more credit than the gamin of New York, for he has nothing especially cheerful before him. When he ceases to be a vagabond boy he becomes a vagabond man, except in the rare cases I have mentioned, and ends his career, as vagabond men do, the world over.

In New York the ending is quite different—indeed the vagabond boy has better opportunities than the good boy. For in New York he loafs about gin mills, and he has the advantages of free lunches, an institution unknown in Paris, and the good old ladies get up excursions for him, and give him sandwiches and ice cream, in the hopes of reaching his better nature through the medium of his stomach, they firmly believing there is a better nature, and as it has never been seen it must be in the stomach. In time he grows up and gets as far along as to have that blessed boon of the ballot, and becomes useful to the politicians, who transfer him from the front of the bar to the back of it, and he has a gin mill of his own, and controls votes, and “hez inflooence in my warrud.”

When his “inflooence” is sufficient, he boldly demands office for himself and becomes a School Commissioner, or an Alderman, and finally goes to the Legislature and waxes enormously rich, and his wife—for this sort of a fellow marries when he gets off the streets and has a gin mill of his own—wears diamonds and has a carriage.

It was Teddy McShane, and Mickey O’Finnegan, two of this class, who got into the Board of Aldermen of New York. Alderman McShane had heard of gondolas and wanted a few in the little lakes in the park, for, of course, had his motion prevailed he would have got his commission from the builder thereof. And so he spoke:—

“Misther Prisidint—We cannot be too liberal in ornamintin’ our parruks. A parruk is for the paple, and they should be ornamintid. To this ind, I move ye sorr, that twinty gondolas be purchast for the lakes in Cintril Parruk to-wanst.”

Alderman McFinnegan, who saw a job in this, decided to oppose it till McShane should come to him and propose a divide. And so he said:—

“Misther Prisidint—No man in New Yorrick will go furdther in ornamintin’ the city than mesilf; but the paple’s money musht not be squandered. Why buy twinty gondolas, to-wanst? Why not buy two—a male and a faymale, and breed thim ourselves?”


The Parisian gamin can do nothing of this kind—indeed, it is impossible in Paris, and he would not want to do it if it were possible. He does not care for money; he does not long for houses and lands or a fixed habitation. If he had the best house in Paris, with silken beds and all that sort of thing, the second night he would steal away and sleep comfortably under an arch, or in one of his accustomed places. He is very like one of the chiefs of the Onondaga Indians, who was persuaded to build him a house in the civilized fashion. He slept in it one night and the next morning broke every pane of glass out of the windows. That night he slumbered with the rain and sleet pouring in upon him, and was happy. That was something like.

The Parisian gamin, grown to be a man, could not sit still long enough to make an efficient Alderman, and he would not give a turn of his hand for all the money that could be made out of the position. He can be happy with rags and a crust, and what is money to such a being? He understands better than any philosopher, that riches consist in not how much you have, as how little you can get on with. If rags and apple cores suffice, why more?

And so he doesn’t go about speculating in stocks, and getting “politikle inflooence,” as his counterpart in New York does, but he is content with what he finds himself. No one ever heard of a Parisian grown-up gamin attempting to control railroads, or build steamships, or anything of the sort. He dies as he lived, and is always happy. Possibly he is the wise man. Who shall say?

But he is a part and parcel of French civilization—a natural outgrowth of French habits and customs. Without the gamin, Paris would not be Paris. Bad as he may be, he is always like Artemus Ward’s kangaroo, “an amoosin’ little cuss,” a perpetual mystery, an everlasting study, and something that no other city in the world possesses. He can live on less and get more happiness out of it than any other human being on earth; but he could not exist out of Paris. He had rather be in prison in Paris than to have a palace anywhere else. He belongs to that atmosphere, to those surroundings, and can exist nowhere else in the world. He is a savage in the midst of the highest civilization, a drone in a hive of industry, and hungry in the midst of plenty. He is everything that he should not be. Nevertheless, I rather like him, to say the least. He is picturesque.



THE average Parisian thinks of but two things—how to get the wherewith to amuse himself, and how to get the most amusement out of that wherewith. I doubt if he ever thinks of any hereafter beyond to-night. His religion is admirably adapted to his nature. He is either a Catholic or an infidel. If a Catholic, a few minutes at the end suffices to fix him for the next world; if an infidel, death is annihilation, and therefore he proposes to have as much enjoyment as possible out of the present.

Paris would not be a good place for a series of revival meetings. The Parisian would jeer at the exhorters, and say, “Go to!”

Paris supports seventy theaters, good, bad, and indifferent. It is not fair to use the words “bad and indifferent,” with reference to the quality of acting, for there is no bad acting in Paris. It is as to the quality and material of the representations. They have all kinds, from the gorgeous Italian opera down to the small and cheap affairs in which burlesque comic opera of the funniest, and melodrama of the most lurid character is performed, for the especial delectation of the lower classes.

The theaters devoted to the melodrama are of the most melodramatic kind. There can be no crime too horrible for representation, and the situations cannot be too intense, or the plot too complicated. French life, like French cooking, must have any quantity of pepper in it.


About the least thrilling situation that would be considered good in these theaters would be the chopping up of the villain’s grandmother, and the roasting alive of a parcel of illegitimate children, to hide the consequences of a “damning crime.” There is always any quantity of blowing up of towers, of stabbings and shootings and bludgeonings, and all that sort of thing. There are secret passages in ancient castles, and paid cut-throats, and blue lights, and heroines with hair hanging down their backs, and everything pertaining to what in America is known as the “blood and thunder drama.”

One that I saw reminded me of an incident that happened at home many years ago. In a village in which I was residing, there came the usual strolling company of players of the olden time, the sad-faced men and wan women, who knew by actual walking all the various roads in the United States, to whom a good house would be a novelty that would make them uncomfortable. They had played to empty benches so long that they could not do well if living people occupied the seats.

I was fond of the drama, and the variety that we had there was better than none at all; so that I always patronized the strolling companies, attended invariably by a German physician who was quite as fond as myself of theatrical representations, and who, like myself, preferred a half loaf to no bread. We went together that night.

The play on the occasion was that cheerful drama from the French, “La Tour de Nesle.” The plot is variegated, to say the least. Margaret of Burgundy is afflicted with a desire for lovers, and she has a tower in which she receives them and holds her orgies. It is a pleasant thing to be invited to sup with the fair Margaret, while the supper lasts, but the pleasure doesn’t hold out. It is not continuous. For when you have bidden her good-evening, and get your hat on, you come across a trap door on which you step, and you go down several hundred feet, and alight on spikes situated conveniently in a bed of quick-lime, and your friends never know what has become of you; and if your life is insured there is always trouble about that, for there can be no proof of your death. Margaret loved amusement, but, for reasons, she desired no living witnesses of her escapades.

She fell in love once with a captain in the French army, one Buridan, and invited him to one of her little receptions. The disappearance of so many of her gallants had made the youth in the neighborhood rather wary of her, and Buridan was advised not to go, and good reason was given. An intimate friend of his had disappeared mysteriously a little while before, and the last that was ever heard of him was when he entered the tower.

Hearing of this, Buridan determined to go anyhow, and find out whether this friend had really dropped out of the way, via the tower. He went and supped with the fair Margaret, with whom he fell in love in the regular French fashion. For reasons of her own, Margaret did not want him to take the regular walk over the trap-door, but desired to let him out another way. All would have been well had not Buridan discovered, inopportunely, that his friend had been in the same room, and had stepped on and gone through the trap, and that the lime had finished him. Margaret confessed it, whereupon Buridan drew his sword and killed her to avenge his friend. Before Margaret passed out she informed Buridan that he was her son! Buridan then immediately killed somebody else, and that one, before dying, stabbed another, and so on, till the entire company, fifteen in all, were piled upon the stage like cord-wood, which ended the play, there being no living actors to continue it.

My friend, the German physician, rose and remarked:

“My frendt, dere ish shoost one ding lacking to make dish blay gomplete. Der beople on der stage ish all deadt. De first violin shood now stab der second violin mit his bow, and gommit soocide mit himself by schwallowing his fiddle. Dot wood endt de entire gompany.”

As we were leaving the hall a young man named Smith, who was always blatting about art, and music, and the drama, and such things, having been in New York once, seized the doctor and said, “Was it not a good performance? There is power in this company. Have you anything better in Germany?”

The doctor looked at him pityingly.

“My tear young man, you are not to plame. I pity you. When de Almighty rained common sense, de Schmidt family all shtood unter umbrellas.”


“La Tour de Nesle,” as lurid as is its plot, would be mild meat for the frequenters of the minor theaters of Paris. They would insist upon seeing the actual trap-door, and the lovers of Margaret falling through it, and I am not sure but what they would demand real spikes and lime.

You pay enormous prices in the one class and next to nothing at the other; but in both the standard of performance is a very high one, and is rigidly maintained. The Parisian, gamin or marquis, will have no bad music or acting. He may tolerate adulteration in his food, but none in his amusements.

It was always the policy of the French government to see that the people were sufficiently amused, and also to do every thing possible to attract strangers to the gay capital. Therefore, the theaters are the most gorgeous in the world, and as it would be impossible to maintain them from the admission receipts, the deficiencies are made up from the public treasury. The Grand Opera receives from the government nearly two hundred thousand dollars per year, and a number of other theaters receive like support, the entire amount thus paid aggregating something over six hundred thousand dollars per year. The citizen who may never see the inside of the Opera House is content with this, for it attracts to Paris the foreign sheep whose fleece is his living. Without the Opera the rich American would not come to Paris, and then what would trade be? The Parisian shopkeeper pays that tax willingly; and they pay their artists well, so as to have and keep the best. Any eminent tenor has a salary of twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars per annum; and other talent in proportion. It is not a bad thing to be a tenor in Paris. The salary is very comfortable.

In addition to the regular theaters there are numberless open-air concerts and variety performances in gardens, the spectators sitting on benches on the sand, the stage only being covered. These are always brilliantly lighted, and most artistically and profusely ornamented, and as attractive to the Parisian as to the stranger.

There is no entrance fee to these places. You wonder at the liberality of the proprietor, and say to yourself, if you could only find a hotel with similar views, you would immediately remove to Paris, and make it a permanent residence. But once inside, you find a pang in store for you. The free entrance is merely to evade some ordinance or other, and you are required to purchase refreshments, and no matter what it is, an ice or a glass of beer, the price is the same, three francs, or sixty cents, which makes really a high admission, even for Paris. It is the same as though a landlord should make no charge for his rooms, but compel you to pay two dollars for the privilege of getting into bed. Nowhere can something be had for nothing, and the more liberal it is at the beginning, the dearer it is at the ending.

But the chief delight of the middle and lower class of Parisians is the ball at night. There are scores and scores of gardens in every part of the city, immense enclosures, with a magnificent orchestra in the center, in which the Parisian dances and dances, seemingly never tiring. He stops now and then for a glass of wine, or the non-exhilarating syrup with which he lights his soul and ruins his stomach, if he has soul and stomach, but he seems to regret even this loss of time. The women are even more intoxicated with the dance than the men. A man may stop a minute and be easy, but the women chafe under the pauses in the music, and are impatient to be in motion.

There are gardens for the very poor, where the admission is a sou, or such a matter, for the men, and nothing for the women. The grounds outside are rather diminutive, and the ornamentation somewhat scanty, but the dancing floor is there and the orchestra likewise, and the blouses and calico enjoy themselves as thoroughly as the broadcloth and silk that frequent the higher priced places.

The Jardin Mabille, near the Champs Elysées, is the best known in Paris. It has world-wide celebrity, and no foreigner, no matter of what nation, ever leaves Paris without paying it, at least, one visit. It is a wondrously beautiful place, gorgeously illuminated with colored lights, and full to excess of trees, shrubbery, flowers and everything else that is beautiful. There are long walks, tortuous labyrinths, tables everywhere under trees, and it is filled with all sorts of attractions to take money from the visitor.


The foreigner goes there to see the peculiar dancing, of which he or she has heard so much. The whole world knows of the can-can, and the whole world has heard of the frightfully immodest exposure of person visible at these bacchanalian orgies. I doubt if a youth ever left his native home in America that his mother did not exact a promise from him that he would not visit this horrible Mabille, which promise he gave, with, “Why, mother, do you suppose I would go to such a place? Never!” And then he went there the first time he was in Paris. He wasted no time.

image not available


Inasmuch as the Mabille has, ere these pages will be printed, gone the way of the world (the ground has been sold, and is to be used for legitimate business purposes), some little account of it is proper, even though it is like embalming a fly in precious ointment.

Mabille was established in 1840 by an old and not very popular dancing master named Mabille, by virtue of his age known as Père (Father) Mabille. He purchased or leased a piece of ground on the Allée des Veuves and the Champs Elysées, and built thereon a dance house. Originally it was a dingy structure and the admission, male and female, was only ten sous. It prospered, for it was the resort of the doubtful classes who always pay.

image not available


The sons of Père Mabille took the money the old gentleman had saved, and enlarged it. They substituted gas for oil; they enlarged and decorated the grounds; they planted shrubbery and introduced decorations; they had better music, and made it the resort of the better, that is, richer class of the demi-monde, the wild Bohemians and that enormous class in Paris who live from hour to hour like butterflies.

Then commenced its prosperity. It became the fashion among all classes. The rich and aristocratic went there to get the dissipation that more correct amusements would not afford them; the foreigners flocked thither in droves, for the Jardin Mabille was one phase of Parisian life which must be seen, and every girl who wanted to display her charms and graces in a way to excite attention, chose Mabille as the stage upon which to make her essay.

Enter a girl from the Provinces of any peculiar type of beauty, any especial beauty of face and figure, with the wit and boldness for the venture. She danced at the Mabille. Some rich or notorious debauchee picked her up at once, and made her the fashion. He gave her carriages, costumes, palaces. Poets, who are never so divine as when a responsible spendthrift inspires them, sang the beauties of the new sensation, and all Paris talked of her. Of course she did not dance at Mabille after she had made her conquest—Mabille was her opportunity.


They lived their brief existence, they were attired like the butterfly while they lived but, alas! they died as does the butterfly.

Originally it was the resort of the middle class of Parisians, who worked for their living, clerks, students, and that class, and grisettes, and the women who skirted the edges of decency. The dances that made the place famous were born of the natural extravagance of feeling that possesses these classes of Frenchmen, and they were done with an abandon which their paid imitators never rivaled. It was grotesque, wild and suggestive, but it was genuine. If Finette flung herself into a position that procured applause, Marie would excel her or die in the attempt. These people, forty years ago, did the grotesque because it pleased them to do it—the paid dancers last summer were mere imitations, and bad ones at that.

The proprietors encouraged this kind of thing, for in it was their profit. And they engaged other women, not beautiful enough to become sensations, but accommodating enough to stay in the place nights, who were ready to endure the attentions of any man who had francs enough in his pocket to afford it, and who, for their society, would pay ten prices for refreshments; they getting their percentage regularly in the morning.

We saw them by the hundred, each one with some wealthy idiot attached to her, spending his money supposing that he was seeing “life.” He was, the dirty end of it, and he was paying roundly for it.

Who went to Mabille? Everybody. Thirty years ago, Harriet Beecher Stowe visited it, and described it as follows:

We entered by an avenue of poplars and other trees and shrubs, so illuminated by jets of gas sprinkled among the foliage as to give it the effect of enchantment. We found flower-beds laid out in every conceivable form, with diminutive jets of gas so distributed as to imitate flowers of the softest tints and the most perfect shape. In the centre there is a circle of pillars, on the top of each of which is a pot of flowers with gas jets, and between them an arch of gas jets. In the midst of this is another circle, forming a pavilion for musicians, also brilliantly illuminated, and containing a large cotillion band of the most finished performers. Around this you find thousands of gentlemen and ladies strolling, singly, in pairs, or in groups. While the musicians repose they loiter, sauntering round, or recline on seats. But now a lively waltz strikes the ear. In an instant twenty or thirty couples are whirling along, floating like thistles in the wind, around the central pavilion. Their feet scarce touch the smooth-trodden earth. Round and round, in a vortex of life, beauty and brilliancy they go, a whirlwind of delight, eyes sparkling, cheeks flushing, and gauzy draperies floating by, while the crowds outside gather in a ring and watch the giddy revel. There are countless forms of symmetry and grace, faces of wondrous beauty; there, too, are feats of agility and elasticity quite aerial. One lithe and active dancer grasped his fair partner by the waist; she was dressed in red, was small, elastic, agile, and went by like the wind, and in the course of a very few seconds he would give her a whirl and a lift, sending her spinning through the air, around himself as an axis, full four feet from the ground. It is a scene perfectly unearthly, or rather perfectly Parisian, and just as earthly as possible; yet a scene where earthliness is worked up into a style of sublimation the most exquisite conceivable. Aside from the impropriety inherent in the very nature of waltzing, there was not a word, look or gesture of immorality or impropriety. The dresses were all decent, and if there was a vice it was vice masked under the guise of polite propriety.

It was different in the Summer of 1881. The dancers were professionals; the poor, painted, broken down danseuses of the minor theaters, and the male dancers were professionals, or semi-professionals, who came every night and went through the same dreary performance.

Now it is no more. It existed forty years; poets have raved over its habitues; women who made their debut on the treacherous surface of Parisian life, survive only in their rhymes, and the visitor to Paris next season will find in its place imposing structures devoted to trade. It is well. The more trade and the less Mabille the better for the world.


But the American youth who thought to have a bacchanalian orgie was terribly disappointed, for there is nothing bacchanalian about it. All he saw was the entire dancing platform occupied by waltzers, who waltzed just as everybody does in good society, nothing more or less. Only after each waltz comes the terribly immoral can-can, and the eyes of the young American, or English, man or woman glitter with expected enjoyment. Alas! they do not get it. The can-can is simply a quadrille danced by two or more couples; there is no prompter, no set figure as I could see, and nothing about it singular except the extravagant poses of the dancers. They advance and retreat, not with the dignified walk-through that the English speaking races affect, but more like Comanche Indians. The male being who dances, always with his hat on, will indulge in the most terrific leaps; he will twist his body into every possible shape that the human body is capable of, and will do more grotesque work than any pantomimist on any stage. He twirls, he twists, he leaps, he dances on one foot, and then on the other. He throws his body into the air in all sorts of shapes; he squats, he lolls his tongue out of his mouth, he makes play with his hat, he puts it back on his head, either at the back or over his eyes; he springs and knocks his feet together; all without system or design, but always in time with the music. It is not the poetry, it is the delirium tremens, of motion. It is such a dance as one might expect to see in a lunatic asylum containing only incurables.

image not available


As an exhibition of absurd posturing, it is always a success; as a specimen of dancing, as we understand dancing, it is anything else. But for just once it is amusing. As between seeing it every night and serving an equal time in the penitentiary, I would unhesitatingly choose the penitentiary. The human body is a thing of joy when naturally carried, but you do not want too much of it in the can-can.

The women are, it must be confessed, a trifle freer. They will kick a bystander’s hat from his head, and in some of the movements there is a very free exhibition of leg; that is to say, if the leg be shapely. I noticed that the ladies whose general contour suggested pipe-stemmy support were as modest about their displays as though they had been nuns, and I fancied I could detect a shade of anguish pass over their faces as they observed the shapely proportions of their more favored sisters.

But be it known that the especial dancers, those who do these extraordinary leaps and contortions, are such by profession, who get so much per night, the same as at any other theater. This style of dancing was always in favor in Paris among the people, and the proprietor of the place, finding that it attracted strangers, reduced it to a system. He hires a certain number of dancers, the same as he does his orchestra, and these set the fashion for the citizens who indulge in terpsichorean gymnastics.

You can easily detect the professionals. They come on the floor at regular intervals and do their dreary performance coolly and in a purely professional way, without any more emotion than they would manifest in combing their hair.

I do not know what it might have been in other days, but at present writing it is about the tamest place I know of. I overheard this conversation between two young ladies one morning:—

“Mary, dear, where did you go last evening? I could not find you.”

“Ah, don’t tell anybody, but Mamie, and Charlie, and I, went to the Mabille.”

“Is it good?”

“Good! It is nothing. It is the most shockingly moral place I ever saw. Why, anybody can go there.

Mary dear had expected to be shocked, but she was not. Possibly the world never saw so much of her lower limbs as it did of the ladies dancing at the Mabille, but I will venture to say that she, herself, under the eyes of her prudish mamma at home, had more than made that up by display from the neck downward, a great many times.

image not available



It is not altogether pleasant for young Americans of the gentler sex to visit Mabille, no matter how good their escort. There are too many draw-backs to the pleasure, and it is being continually marred. I noticed one party, a young lady and gentleman who were perpetually troubled; they would be observing something that interested them, when very suddenly the girl would exclaim, “Charley, this way! quick! There comes Sadie Mercer, and I would not have her see me here for anything. Sammy Burton is with her!”

They rose and darted down a path-way, only to turn and meet another party whom they knew, and so on. The most of the evening was spent in vain endeavors to keep their acquaintances from knowing they were there, and their friends were similarly employed.

There was no occasion for all this effort. Everybody goes to the Mabille, once at least, because everybody must. But it isn’t worth the time, however.

image not available


At the Jardin Bullier, in the Latin quarter, there is wilder dancing and more freedom than the Mabille. It is the resort of the students and the grisettes proper, and the spectacle is genuine. There are no professionals there, and the dancing is done by those who have paid for it, and do it for the pleasure they find in it. The high-kicking girl kicks as a colt does, because she enjoys it, and not in the languid way of the paid dancers. The brigandish youth who can contort the wildest is cheered on to renewed exertions, and the grisette who can kick the highest or do the most grotesque things is applauded to the echo. And when in these extravaganzas one slips upon the waxed floor, and falls, what a shout goes up from the excited spectators! She cares nothing for it—slips are common on these floors. She laughs more heartily than the rest, and rises and resumes her place.

The French quadrille is like American hash—a mystery. There is no earthly system in it. Like volunteer soldiers, each one operates upon his own hook. They forward and back with the most sublime disregard of everybody else; they combine in the one dance the American quadrille, the German and French waltz, the Spanish fandango, the galop, the polka, and every other dance known to ancient and modern times. The only reason that they do not incorporate other dances into their alleged quadrille, is because they do not know any more. They put in all they have heard of, and one would be unreasonable to expect more of them.

But they have a good time, and, as the French world goes, an innocent one. There is perhaps more freedom in gesture than would be considered proper in England or America, but there is no drunkenness, and the utmost decorum is observed. Such a thing would be impossible with the fighting whisky of America, or face-bruising brandy of England. Get together a thousand of the lower classes in either of those excessively moral countries, and the affair would break up in a row in an hour. There would be knock-downs and dragging-outs without number; there would be bruised heads and mashed faces, and the broken nose brigade would be largely recruited.

The Frenchman does not get drunk. He drinks his light wine to the point of exhileration, and that is all. The student of art, or law, or medicine, who finds his enjoyment at these places, keeps as sober as a judge, and a great deal more sober than a great many judges in America I wot of. He looks to be capable of any enormity, but he is the most inoffensive being on earth. Indulging in the wildest vagaries—dressed in the most rakish and brigandish costume, he is scrupulously polite and intensely considerate. He could not be more so were the grisettes his sisters, and the spectators his father, mother and aunts.


One evening at the Jardin Bullier one young fellow, utterly and entirely brainless, evidently the fop of his quarter, appeared dressed, to his taste, gorgeously. He wore a pearl gray suit; the bottoms of his trowsers were so absurdly wide that they covered his boot; his coat sleeves were so wide that they made a fair match for his trowsers; his cuffs (with a showy sham button) came down to his knuckles; his shirt collar was cut half way down his breast, and his hat was the most painful in shine that I had ever seen. He was, in short, gotten up regardless of expense, and entirely for effect.

This young fellow offered some slight indignity to a girl with whom he was dancing. Very promptly she cried out, and in an instant the dancing was suspended. “Put him out!” cried those near them, who comprehended the matter. “Put him out! Put him out!” was echoed from one side to the other of the vast hall, and a rush of excited Frenchmen was made toward that part of the room. The fellow attempted some sort of an explanation, but it was of no avail. Out he went, guilty or not. In that place everybody must be like Cæsar’s wife—above suspicion. Out he went, and the dancing was resumed with redoubled fury. A duty discharged, they might abandon themselves to pleasure with increased zest. All the difference was those who had yelled “Put him out” the loudest, kicked a trifle higher than before, and went crab-like sideways with more extraordinary contortions.

Tibbitts and the Professor had an awkward experience the first night they were in Paris. The Professor had received a letter from Tibbitts’ father requesting him to look after the young man, and see that he attended to legitimate matters and be not carried away with the frivolities of Parisian life, which destroy so many inexperienced youth. In fact, he gave the Professor authority in the matter, and made him a sort of a guardian over him.

After dinner the Professor showed Tibbitts the letter and assumed control at once.

“To-night, Lemuel, I have to meet the American delegates to the International Science Congress, and I cannot be with you. But I must exact a promise from you that you will not go to any of those public balls, such as the Mabille. I have no objection to your visiting the Opera, for I understand the building itself is a study, and it is perhaps well that you should hear and enjoy the music of the masters. This is as far as I can permit you to go. You promise?”

“Certainly,” replied Tibbitts, “though it is not necessary. Without a promise I should not go to those wicked places.”

image not available


Scene the second: The Jardin Mabille—music, lights, gaily dressed women, little tables, wine, and all that sort of thing.

Tibbitts dancing furiously with a lady in silken attire, and striving in vain to do the high, grotesque dancing of the Parisian. The music ceases and Tibbitts leads his partner to a table. In his excitement he does not at once notice that at the table exactly in front of him is seated the Professor, who, inasmuch as he was holding an interesting conversation with a lady who spoke English somewhat, did not notice Tibbitts till their eyes met.


Tibbitts is a young man of great presence of mind. He was equal to this emergency. The Professor regarded him a moment, and said:—


Lemuel stared at him and replied:—

“Are you addressing me, sir?”

“Certainly I am.”

“You are mistaken in the person, sir. I do not know you. My name is not Lemuel, it is Smith. Smith, of Hartford, Connecticut. May I ask your name, and why you address me, a perfect stranger? Do I resemble any friend of yours? Am I like any grandson you have? If so, could you, for the sake of the resemblance, lend me a hundred francs?”

“Lemuel, this is trifling. What are you doing here?”

It suddenly occurred to Lemuel that he had the Professor in as close a corner as the Professor had him, and he replied:—

“Professor, what are you doing here?”

“Lemuel, I was fearful that you would break your promise to me, and I came here to be sure that you were not here.”

“Professor, I was fearful that you might accidentally stray hither after the meeting of the Social Science sharps was over, and I came here to see that no harm came to you.”

“Lemuel, we are, I perceive, both innocent of any harmful intention, but as our action might be misconstrued at home, it would be as well if no mention is made of this unfortunate matter.”

Lemuel coughed slightly and appeared wrapped in thought a moment. Finally he spoke:—

“I do not know but that I am permitting my good nature to get the better of my duty, but I will not make mention of your escapade. But I wish it distinctly understood that this must not be repeated, and that you go home at once. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. It is no place for you. You, a teacher, an instructor of youth, a man of sixty, one whose duty it is to form the morals of American youth, one to whose care is entrusted inexperienced youth, to be seen in such a place and in such a company. It is too much, and would not sound well in the West. For shame. As I said, it must not be repeated. Go. I now see why you were so willing that I should go to the Opera, and why you exacted of me a promise that I should not come here. You intended to come here by yourself, and did not want me to be a witness to your shame. But go! I forgive you! I forgive you.”

The Professor went, and as soon as he was safely away, Lemuel took the seat he had vacated, and was presently engaged in a very pleasant conversation with the lady who spoke English somewhat.

The Professor’s guardianship will not be of much use to the pleasure-seeking youth. Professors have curiosity, which they generally gratify, in one way or another. Poor humanity!

The café is the Frenchman’s especial resort, however. They are everywhere and of all classes, and from six to twelve at night are full. The regular Frenchman sees his friends here; business is transacted here; the political questions of the day are discussed, and here nations are made and unmade. In foul weather the inside is crowded; in fair, the little tables on the sidewalk under the beautiful trees are all occupied. And these little tables outside afford never-failing pleasure, to any one, native or foreign. There is a constant ebb and flow of humanity along the streets; there the costumes of all nations and the manners and customs of the world are reproduced for your benefit. Americans, English, Germans, Turks, Tunisians, West Indians, Carribeans, Russians, and Polanders. If there is a nation on earth that is not represented in the Boulevard des Italiens or any of the principal streets, any fine night, I do not know of it.

image not available


And here sits the Parisian, hour after hour, watching this human kaleidoscope, and thanking heaven that he is a Frenchman, and above all a Parisian.


The electric lights shine through the foliage of the trees, making figures of rare beauty upon the faultless sidewalks; there is the constant procession of vehicles more beautiful under this light than at noonday; opposite him are the brilliantly lighted shops with their wealth of beauty in the windows, and all around him is bustle, stir, and life. There is nothing dull or stagnant on the streets of Paris at night. The Parisian will not have it that way. The glitter may be very thin, but he will have the glitter. He lives upon it.

Paris by day is beautiful—Paris by night is superb.

The faro bankeress is getting ready to go home. She has well nigh done Europe, which is to say, she has explored every shop in Paris and London. She may go through Switzerland and Germany with us, but we hope not. We are praying that she will go home from Paris, and she can’t start any too quick. That she is making preparations for a start, she confesses. She is afraid of sea voyages; she has a mortal dread of water; she remarks that she always lives very correctly a week or so before she sails. She says her prayers regularly, attends church every service, and does nothing wrong that she knows of. She will not go to an Opera on Sunday; she declined to go to the Mabille at all; nor will she even play cards any day. This for ten days before sailing.

“And after you land safely in New York?”

“O, I ain’t on the water then, and it don’t differ so much.”

Which is very like a negro I once knew in Bucyrus, Ohio. He was very religious, of the African kind of religion, and was the loudest and most muscular man at a prayer meeting for many a mile around. A gentleman who had a piece of work to do that was not entirely legal offered Sam two dollars to do it for him.

“Massa Perkins, dis ting doesn’t adzackly squar wid my perfeshn, an’ it’s decidedly wicked. It’s suthin’ a perfessin’ Christian shouldn’t do, nohow. But two dollahs is a mi’ty heap ob money foh de ole man, and ain’t picked up ebery day. I’ll chance it. Bress de Lawd! It’s a sin, but I can ’pent. Bress de Lawd, I can ’pent.

“While de lamp holds out to bun,
De vilest sinnah may retun.”

“Bress de Lawd foh de deff-bed ’pentance. Dat is de great t’ing. Yoo can ’pent on a dying bed.”

“But, Sam,” said Perkins, “I don’t want you to do anything that grinds against your conscience. A death bed repentance is all very well, but suppose you die too suddenly to repent?”

“It’s a risk, Massa Perkins, but I’ll chance it. Two dollahs is a great deal ob money foh de ole man. It’s a mi’ty sudden deff dat’ll ketch me onpropared. And come to t’ink ob it, to be entirely safe, I’ll ’pent—jist ez soon ez I git de two dollahs.”

Our faro bankeress had the same kind of religion. Land her safe in New York, and she was easy as to her sins. It was only against the dangers of navigation that she wanted to be insured.

image not available


image not available




PARIS, the magnificent, has thousands of structures that are worth a voyage across the Atlantic to see, but there is in all that wonderful city no one that is so utterly bewildering in its magnificence as the massive pile, the Louvre, one of the largest as well as grandest places in the world. Its long galleries and beautiful salons, with hundreds of winds and turns, form a labyrinth in which, without a guide, one may almost be lost.

It required a great deal of time to build the Louvre, as its completion was being continually retarded. But through all the years and the changes in the styles of architecture, a general oneness of plan was maintained, and the noble structure, though constructed piece-meal, is consistent and symmetrical.

It is admirably located near the banks of the Seine, and with the Tuileries, occupies forty acres of ground. It is of a quadrilateral form, enclosing an immense square. Approaching it from the Place du Royale, its imposing front challenges attention and then invites study. Admiration is excited by the solidity, as well as symmetry of the pile, and this is increased by its elaborate ornamentation.

Such buildings are impossible in this day and age of the world. Private means are not sufficient. An American railroad magnate might do something in this direction, but when the idea of expending even a few paltry millions upon a residence for himself comes to him, he puts it off till after he has attempted a corner in some stock or another, which generally makes a lame duck of him, and he is glad to retire to the humble mansion which he always has—in his wife’s name.


Modern governments cannot do it, for they haven’t the facilities of the ancient Kings for this kind of work. All that the old French Kings had to do when they wanted a palace of this kind was to call upon the workmen of the nation, with spears, and set them about it, and feed them upon black bread and very sour and cheap wine, and take possession of the stone quarries and the lumber mills, and put it up. The painters and sculptors and the makers of the furnishings they were compelled to pay, but that was nothing. An extra tax on everything the people lived upon was levied and collected with great vigor and much certainty, and so without any bother or worry the King had a new palace, with fountains, and trees, and flowers, and pictures, and statuary, and all that sort of thing, in the most gorgeous style. A French King, a few hundred years ago, had what an American would not unjustly style a soft thing of it. It was a good situation to hold, and I don’t wonder that Nobles fought to be Kings, and Kings struggled to be Emperors. Everybody wants power.

And this reminds me of a little incident that happened in my own beloved America, illustrative of this principle. In a certain county in the good State of Ohio was, and is, a township called Cranberry, inhabited largely by Germans and those of German descent. These Germans, without exception, adhered to one political party, and all voted one way, and their devotion to their party was such that it was considered an unpardonable sin to “scratch” a ticket, or in any way run counter to the action of their convention. In politics they were as regular as a horse in a bark-mill.

One man, always the stoutest and best one physically, of the party, stood at the polls, and every one of his organization as he came to vote was expected to show his ticket to this recognized King, that it might be made certain that no one scratched or acted unorthodox. This man was by right entitled to a county office, and held one as long as he could maintain his position at home.

One Peter Feltzer had been King of Cranberry for a great many years, and by virtue of his position had been successively Commissioner, Treasurer, Representative, and, in fact, had gone up and down the ladder of earthly glory a great many times, and was waxing as full of glory and honors as he was of years.

There was a young man named Meyer, who had an idea that he wanted to hold a county office, and live at the county seat, and spend his time in drinking beer, at good pay, and he knew there was but one road to this summit of human bliss, and that was over Feltzer’s body. So one election day he presented himself at the polls, and ignoring Feltzer, offered a folded ballot.

image not available


“Mike, show me dot dicket!” exclaimed Feltzer.

“Yoo shust go mit hell!” was Meyer’s answer.


Feltzer divined the meaning of this revolt at once. He knew that this was a challenge to mortal combat, and that the prize of the victor was the crown. Meyer was a splendid young man, built like a bull, and only thirty. Feltzer had been, in his day, more than a match for him; but alas, he was sixty, and had been enervated by the soft allurements of official position. However, he determined not to die without a struggle, and so laying off their coats, at it they went. Meyer had no easy contract. Feltzer was fighting for life, and the contest was long and severe. Youth finally triumphed, and Feltzer, after half an hour of rolling in the mud, admitted defeat. Meyer sprang gaily to his feet, and seizing Feltzer’s hickory club exclaimed to the bystanders, “Now, yoo men vat vants to vote will shust show me your dickets!”

They accepted their new ruler the same as the French do, and he was elected to an office the ensuing Fall, and ever since, for aught I know. He held it, anyhow, till some younger man deposed him.

This has nothing to do with the Louvre, except as showing that humanity is the same everywhere. If any other moral can be got out of it I have no objection.

All over the Louvre are statues of men who are famous in French history—those who have achieved fame in art, science, literature or war. They are here, and in stone that will last for ages; longer, probably, than the memory of the acts that placed them there.

On the north side of the Place Napoleon there is a wonderful Corinthian colonnade, over the columns of which are heroic statues of eighty-six celebrated men, and on the balustrade are sixty-five allegorical groups, wonderful in design and execution, and so, all the way around the enormous building, story after story is burdened with works of art. Wondrous works, artistically bestowed, always profuse, but never overdone. Every column, every window-cap, even the ledges just under the projection of the roof, bear the impress of genius. There are statues, medallions, large groups illustrating important events in the history of France, exquisitely carved by master hands, on all four sides of the exterior, all symmetrical in design and faultless in proportion.

The interior is in keeping with the exterior. The noble pile is a fit repository for what it contains. The one hundred and forty salons into which the Louvre is divided are marvels of artistic beauty. Intended for the abode of royalty, it was royally constructed. The kingly builders did not spare the sweat or blood of their subjects. They set out to have a royal palais, and they did not allow the miseries of a few millions of their people to stand in the way of its achievement.

The most beautiful of them all is the Galerie d’Apollon, the ornamentation of which, in beauty of design and skill in execution, is marvelous. It is of itself a study. The vaulted ceiling is filled with paintings by Le Brun, one of the greatest of the French masters. The cornices and corners are ornamented with beautiful designs in gilt, elaborately wrought, and on the walls are portraits of French artists in gobelin tapestry, making it one of the finest collections of this kind of work extant. There is a perfection in the drawing that is remarkable, and the coloring is exquisite, the various shades and tints blending with a nicety that makes one almost feel that they were done by artists with brush and paint.

Tapestry, as a rule, has small degree of expression in face and feature, but in these every feature is faithfully reproduced, and the whole figure is strikingly life-like.

This room has a history. It was originally built by Henry IV., and was burned in 1661. During the reign of Louis XIV. the work of reconstruction was begun, Le Brun furnishing the designs. His death in 1690 put a stop to the work, and for a century and a half it stood in an unfinished condition. In 1848 work was resumed, and in three years it was finished as it now stands.

There are scores of other rooms of quite as much interest. In all, the frescoes and wall paintings are incomparable, and though the galleries aggregate over a mile and a half in length, in no place is there a barren spot. The great masters, through all these ages, gave to it their best years and their best work, and so long as the Louvre remains these rooms will be monuments of their genius.


The Louvre is inseparable from the history of France. In all the upheavals, the tearings down and overturnings, it has been a central figure. It was from the Louvre on that dreadful night in August, 1572, that Charles IX. fired the shot that was the signal for the horrible massacre of St. Bartholomew, which ended in the indiscriminate slaughter of the Huguenots, and from that time on to the present it has been the stage on which tragedies have been enacted. It figured in the terrible days of the Commune, in 1871, and but for an almost Providential interference, would have passed into history as a memory.

The Louvre has always been the especial object of the hatred of the Parisian mob, and no wonder. Every stone laid was so much bread taken from the mouths of French workingmen; every stroke of a chisel, every inch of the wonderful pile, was a robbery of himself of whatever it cost. It was the habitation of a nobility, supported in luxury at the expense of the French people.

It is all well enough to talk of reason, but there is no reason in a revolution. The Parisian whose wife and family were living in garrets and cellars, eating black bread and drinking sour wine, could not be reasoned with when he caught glimpses of the luxurious salons in which the few took their pleasure. He could not be expected to have much reason when he got a smell of the delicacies of the royal table, and thought of the scant fare on which he was compelled to subsist. His garret and thin pallet did not contrast well with the gorgeous apartments and silken couches of his royal masters, nor did the offal with which he was fed compare pleasantly with the wild profusion of dainties which they rioted upon.

It was nightingale tongues versus offal—it was poverty in the extreme versus prodigal waste.

And then the arrogance of these tyrants! They held the commoners as an inferior race, as another creation, much as the Southern planter used to hold his slaves.

One of the ancient nobility replied to a demand from the workingmen for better food: “The animals! Let them eat grass!” It is no wonder, a few months later, when this silken lord was beheaded, that the mob carried his head upon a pike with a tuft of grass in his set jaws.

It is no wonder that when the mob, starved and frozen to a point where death was preferable to life, wrested the power from the nobility and controlled Paris, that it should blindly destroy everything that symbolized royalty, everything that smacked of class rule.

True, the Commune should not have destroyed fountains, and statuary, and paintings, but it must be said that they did not destroy these priceless works for the mere sake of destroying them. The statues symbolized royalty. It was not a Venus that was the object of their hatred—the Venus was their wrong, in stone.

image not available


There is much to be said about these Parisian mobs, and whoever knows of the sufferings of the people, even under the mildest form of royalty, cannot wholly condemn. The many laboring for the few; the man with a hungry wife and pallid children does not care much for the art that his oppressors delight in. He looks at immortal work through eyes dimmed with suffering and half blinded with tears, and it is not singular that in his rage he strikes blindly.


At this time Napoleon had fought an unprovoked war, and to perpetuate his dynasty had dragged from their wretched homes thousands of the youth of France, and had been driven back by the Prussians in utter and entire humiliation. Had he crushed Prussia, the glory of the achievement would have atoned in some degree for its cost; but to bear the burden of defeat in shame and humiliation was too much, and though a Republic followed, the Commune was not satisfied. It would not trust the Republic. It looked upon the Republic as a partial change—it wanted a radical one; and, with the childishness peculiar to the French, they commenced the work of reconstruction by destroying what was their own, and which would delight them as much under the Republic of the future as it had their oppressors in the Monarchies of the past.

English, American or German people would have done differently. If these wonderful works reminded them too much of their sufferings to be pleasant, they would have been sold to other nations, and the proceeds devoted to the payment of the national debt.

It is well for the world that so much of the Louvre was preserved, for there are other nations than France that have an interest in it. Art has no nationality—it is the property of the world.

The Communists ruined many of the finest works in the lower part of the building, but fortunately their ravages were confined to a small space. More important matters occupied their attention, and the Louvre was virtually spared. It was set on fire, however, and the magnificent library of ninety thousand volumes was entirely destroyed, and many works of art were injured, but the troops of the Republic arrived in time to arrest the progress of the flames, and the building was preserved.

The first floor of the building is devoted wholly to ancient sculpture, and a wilderness there is of it. Too much of it, in fact, unless one has time for its study. You stop a moment to admire a Psyche; you have only time to glance at the Caryatides in the hall in which Henri IV. celebrated his marriage with Margaret of Valois; you pass through the Salle du Gladiateur, containing the Borghese Gladiator, the famous work made familiar through copies of it; you look down a long hall filled with wonderful statues and see at the farther end the outline of a figure whose very pose is a poem. The room is hung in crimson velvet, and the light, soft and subdued, makes the figure seem almost that of a living, breathing being. At this distance the effect is wonderful. There was great genius in making the sculpture; there was almost as much in placing it.

There is a long vista of beautiful statues lining the way on either side to the crimson chamber, which, with its gentle lights and shades, makes the picture perfect, and as one feels the delight of the scene wonder ceases at the ravings of artists and lovers of art over the Venus of Milo.

There, in the center of the crimson room, stands the armless figure whose perfection of form and face has never been equaled. It stands alone, with nothing near to distract the mind by divided attention, and as the lover of the beautiful looks upon the wondrous beauty of that speechless yet speaking statue, admiration ripens into adoration.

Even Tibbitts and the faro bankeress stood still and silent before it for full twenty minutes, and no greater compliment was ever paid a work of art. It interested even them.

The figure compels feeling. You do not feel that you are enjoying rare sculpture, but your sympathies go out to the beautiful form before you, not in cold marble but in life—real life, with all the tender qualities belonging in nature to such a perfect face and figure.

This may be gush, but there is something about this block of marble that is fascinating beyond expression. In it art has conquered material. The marble lives and breathes. It is marble, but it is marble endowed with life. Or, rather it is not marble, it is life resembling marble. It is a dream caught and materialized. If it is not nature, it is more than nature. It is a poet’s idea of what nature should be.


Whether it be the face with the wonderful features that almost speak, or the form so graceful in pose, or the combination of both, cannot be said; but the effect is produced, and no one can withstand the silent appeal made by this creation of an unequaled genius. It is something of which one cannot tire. The oftener it is seen the greater the impression. It can never be forgotten, nor can it be described. It cannot be reproduced, either in marble or oil. There are innumerable copies of it the world over, but to feel and realize the absolute perfection of the work the original must be seen. No copy can do it justice.

The great trouble with the Louvre is there is too much of it. If one could live to the age of Methusaleh it would all be very well, but unfortunately life is short. You wish you had not so much to see, for you want to see it all, and the very wealth is bewildering. Recollection becomes confusing and mixed.

Of course every one selects some one picture or statue which impresses him to the point of carrying away a memory thereof. We had among us a young American physician who stood in the orthodox pose before the Gladiator. Having studied anatomy, muscles and things of that nature were just in his way. He stood for full twenty minutes wrapped in what he desired us to understand as ecstacy, and then delivered himself thus:—

“A——! This is the very actuality of the ideality of individuality.”

It was a very pretty speech, and the fact that he had lain awake all the night before arranging it, and that he pulled us all around to the Gladiator to get his chance of firing it off did not detract from its merit. No one knew what it meant, but the words were mouth filling, and it did as well as though it had some glimmer of meaning. There is nothing in art like good sounding words.

From the ground-floor you ascend a broad stair-case, exquisitely carved. You come into another wilderness, only this is in canvas, instead of marble. Every school in the world is represented here, for when the French potentate was not able to buy he could always sieze. You don’t stop to inquire how the collection was made; it is here, and to an American, or any other foreigner, that is sufficient. We come to enjoy the pictures, and we don’t care whether they were purchased or taken by force. There are, as I said, one hundred and forty of these salons, and you must go through them all. There are galleries devoted to the French school, ancient and modern, the Italian school, the German, Dutch, Flemish, and Spanish, and you come away feeling a sort of satisfaction that it has been done; but no man living, in the time one usually has in Paris, can get a good idea of what is there gathered. Four miles of art is rather too much for one short effort. It is bewildering in its very profusion. One may be fond of art, but not educated to the point of taking so much of it in systematically. Nevertheless, days spent in collections like the Louvre are too good to miss. Some of it will stick to you if you cannot carry it all away.

image not available



Tibbitts and the faro bankeress were delighted. Tibbitts, with an eye to speculation, made elaborate calculation as to the cost of the entire collection, and wondered whether or not a good thing could not be made by buying it all up and exhibiting it in New York.

That was the delight he got out of it.

The faro bankeress protested that she had never enjoyed art so much, and had never before known the delight that was in it. From several of the female figures she had got ideas of lace that were entirely new to her, and she had found and fixed in her mind a design for a fancy dress for Lulu, which she should have made the next day. She wondered if she could borrow the picture to show to the modiste. She had no idea that the ladies of ancient days dressed in such good taste, or that they had such wonderful material to dress with. Some of the costumes she had studied were altogether too sweet for anything.

And that was the delight she got out of it.

image not available



THE Palais-Royal is the Parisian Mecca for all Americans. Its brilliant shops, glittering with diamonds and precious stones, are so many shrines at which Americans are most devout worshipers. They go there day after day, admiring the bewildering display, and the admiration excited by the wily shopkeeper by his skill in arranging his costly wares leads to purchases that would not otherwise have been made. There is a fascination about a shop window literally filled with diamonds, arranged by a Frenchman, that is irresistible, and with hundreds of such windows extending all the way around the immense court, there is no escaping its power. What a Parisian shopkeeper doesn’t know about display isn’t worth knowing. All Paris is arranged solely for the eye. They ignore the other senses to a very great degree.

With all its present wealth and beauty the Palais-Royal has witnessed some very exciting scenes.

It was built by Cardinal Richelieu for his residence, and he built it extremely well, little dreaming of the scenes of carnival, riot, quarrels, and bloodshed that were to be enacted there long after he had vacated it forever.

In 1663, when it was finished, it was called the Palais-Cardinal, but having been presented by Richelieu to Louis XIII., whose widow, Anne of Austria, with her two sons, Louis XIV. and Philippe d’Orléans, lived there, it was called the Palais-Royal.


Louis, on coming into possession of the Palais, presented it to his brother Philippe, during whose occupancy it was the scene of the most horrible orgies the world ever saw. The royal profligate gathered about him a host whose tastes were as depraved as his own, and with these he led a life of wild debauchery.

image not available


Later on, Philippe Egalité, exceeding the excesses of his grandfather, Philippe d’Orléans, made the Palais-Royal the scene of wilder disorders than had ever been seen there before, as bad as it had been. He was so reckless that his princely income was not enough to keep him in ready money. In fact his coffers were well nigh exhausted when he conceived the idea of deriving a revenue from some of the property that surrounded the Palais, which up to that time had been used simply for ornamentation. So he caused a number of shops to be erected around the garden adjoining the Palais, and from the rents paid for these was enabled to keep up his former manner of life until that (to him) memorable morning in November, 1793, when he took a walk to the Place de la Concorde, up a short flight of stairs, and for once in his life laid his head on a hard pillow. The deadly guillotine did its work, and the riotous life of Philippe Egalité came to a sudden end.

At that time the upper rooms of the vast galleries, now converted into handsome restaurants, were devoted to gaming, and it was no child’s play, then, either. Here the excitable nobles, fascinated by the green cloth, lived in a constant whirl of excitement. The stakes ran high. Fortunes were made and lost in a night, and the Seine never did so good a business in the way of suicide. While these elegantly furnished and brilliantly lighted salons witnessed the demonstrative joy of the lucky winner or the gloomy despondency of the unhappy loser, scenes of an entirely different nature, and far more terrible in their results were being enacted in the cafés below.

In these cafés met the leaders of the people who were organizing for the destruction of the thoughtless revelers above their heads. It was the old story over again. The canaille, as the nobles termed the people, were groaning under the loads imposed upon them. The life-blood of the French people was being drained by the parasites of royalty—it was waste on the one hand and starvation on the other. Every gold piece that passed upon the tables above represented so much unpaid for sweat from the many below. Absolute power had, as it always does, run into unbridled license, and unbridled license had made the people desperate. They might not succeed, but they could no more than die, and the life they had was not worth the having.

It was in these cafés that Camille Desmoulins organized the people, and with such arms as they could seize on that memorable morning in July, marched upon the Bastille. They did not need arms. That mob, so led, could have torn down the hoary old wrong with their bare hands. There was not a man or woman in the throng that surged out of the Palais that morning who had not some especial reason for its destruction. Confined within its walls had died their brothers and fathers. To them it was royalty, and to royalty they owed every woe that afflicted them.

Desperate, determined men they were, crazed with excitement, and caring for nothing. They reached the Bastille and hurled themselves against its stubborn sides. Again and again were they beaten back by the garrison within, but each repulse only served to more determined efforts, and finally on the 14th of July the Bastille was swept from the face of the earth. Nothing was left of it but the terrible memories of the bloody past.


In 1801-7 the first Napoleon assembled the Tribunate in the Palais-Royal, and in 1815, Lucien Bonaparte made it his residence during the “One Hundred Days.” From 1815 to 1830 it was again in the possession of Orleans family, and Louis Philippe occupied it until his ascension to the throne. Eighteen

image not available


years later, during the Revolution of February, which finally resulted in the Presidency of Louis Napoleon and subsequently his election by plébiscite as Emperor, the royal apartments were completely wrecked. The mob, wild with excitement, went through the Palais like a whirlwind, destroying anything and everything it could lay its hands upon. Of all the magnificent paintings, the exquisite statues, the marvelous collections of fine glass and porcelain, with which the royal apartments were adorned, nothing escaped their fury. Almost the entire building was destroyed.

Napoleon III., who did so much to beautify Paris, restored the Palais to its original condition, and it continued so, being the residence of Prince Napoleon, cousin of the Emperor and son of Jeróme Napoleon, until the outbreak of the war in 1870. Then in 1871, on the 22d of May, the Communists took a hand at it, and sad work they made. Almost the entire south wing was destroyed by fire, and the other portions were badly damaged.

Now it is bright and gay with its magnificent display of diamonds, its pleasant little park with fountains and statues, its long spacious galleries that form unequaled promenades, and its restaurants celebrated the world over.

The galleries, four in number, extend entirely around the square park, which is two hundred and fifty-seven yards long and one hundred and ten wide. The Galerie d’Orléans, on the south side, is the most showy. It is three hundred and twenty feet long and one hundred and six feet wide, flanked with shops, containing fine goods of all descriptions. The roof is glass covered, and when lighted up at night, presents a dazzling appearance. It was on this site that, previous to 1830, stood the disreputable shops that gave the locality such an unsavory reputation.

The other galleries, though not so fine in construction, are just as attractive, and their wide pavements, shaded by the high balcony that forms a part of the second story, are thronged day and night with strangers, to whom these windows, ablaze with the light of precious stones, are always a delight. It is a pleasure to saunter slowly along and admire the beauties that increase every minute.


Nowhere in the world can be found so great a collection of gems in so small a space as in these four galleries. The fronts of the stores consist of a huge plate glass window and a small door. Although disproportionate in size, the window suffices to show the goods, and the door is plenty large enough for any one who wishes to enter. The Frenchman has a natural love for the beautiful, and the French jeweler shows his taste in the arrangement of his window. A large space, covered with diamonds, set and unset, of fine gold jewelry, artistic designs in rubies, pearls, opals, or emeralds, is in itself a beautiful sight, but when they are all arranged so as to show them all to the best advantage, then the effect is marvelous.

But there can be too much of a good thing. As a whole day spent among the wonders of the Louvre fatigues the mind and body, so the constant succession of dazzling windows in the Palais-Royal becomes after a while tiresome, and the pretty little park is sought for rest and refreshment.

image not available


There the scene changes again, and a new and interesting phase of the Palais-Royal’s attractions is seen. Under the long rows of trees that fringe the busy galleries are groups of women enjoying the cool breeze that just moves the branches above them, and tempers the heat that elsewhere is oppressive. They have some little trifle of fancy work in their hands, and as they languidly ply the needle they talk. It may be too warm to knit. It is never too warm to gossip.

Closely imitating these are the bonnes, or nurse girls, old and young, who chatter away like magpies, while their charges are amusing themselves making pictures in the sand. The youngsters romp and roll about with all the pleasure of childhood. They don’t care whether the Palais-Royal ever saw bloodsheds and riots or not. It makes a good playground for them, and that is all they want.

image not available


Then the concerts that are given there during the afternoons are enjoyable, and they always attract large audiences. The entire space on the south side is occupied by all kinds and conditions of people, and like all French assemblages, it is quiet and orderly. The music, if not of a high classical standard, is good, and the people enjoy it. Given a little white table in the open air, some light Offenbachian music and a glass of wine, and the Frenchman is happy.

image not available


The restaurants in the Palais-Royal form another by no means unimportant feature, for the average American is no less fond of a good dinner than the French bon vivant, and in these pleasant places he can find the perfection of good living. The skill of French cooks is acknowledged everywhere. Here he is on his native heath, and is seen, or tasted rather, to his best advantage.


The clerk or bookkeeper whose salary is not in keeping with his tastes, takes his modest dinner in one of the second-floor restaurants, where he gets a small bottle of claret and a well cooked, well served meal for two francs. The place is clean, the surroundings cheerful, and though there are none of those delicate trifles the French cook delights in making, there is an abundance of hunger-satisfying viands prepared in a most appetizing manner, and they are to him better than the delicacies that grace a more elaborate table.

The more pretentious man, or the one having more money, goes to more pretentious places, and takes a dinner of several courses for five francs. There is a pleasing variety of soup, fish and entrées, with a dessert, and, if desired, coffee and cognac afterward, all prepared in good style, and well served.

But the thoroughly good liver goes to none of these. He knows the places, there in the Palais-Royal, where cooking has been reduced to a science; where the finest cooks in Paris bend their best energies to the concoction of dishes that Epicurus himself would have delighted in; where fine pictures and elegant surroundings appeal to the sense of sight, while the sense of taste is being catered to. He hies himself there and revels in the delights of a perfect dinner.

As the Parisian, man, woman, or child, will never sit indoors when the open air is possible, the Palais is always full. As a park it is delightful; the shops are just as attractive to the citizen as to the stranger, for the windows change contents every day, and the variety is such that something new and attractive can be seen at any time. It is a small world by itself, and it is no wonder that every American finds him or herself within it every day.

It is always a good thing to get hold of a good modern legend, a story that, while it may not be as gray-headed as those of the time of the gods and goddesses the ancients wrote of, has still attained a respectable age—a middle-aged legend, as it were. Such an one I have unearthed, and write it down for the benefit of coming generations.

It was during the terrible days of the Commune, Mademoiselle Therese, a beauty of the Faubourg St. Antoine, was loved by a Monsieur Adolph, the son of a rich baker in that quarter. That is to say, the baker was rich—but I am anticipating. Mademoiselle was a dressmaker of ravishing beauty. She could have married far above her condition on account of this ravishing beauty, but she was as wise as she was beautiful. She said to herself, “I could marry, by virtue of my face and figure, a grand gentleman, but—what then? I am not accomplished. I could learn to be a fine lady, it is true; but when Monsieur should tire of me, as he inevitably would, I should lead a very uncomfortable life. I am a daughter of France—I do not wish to lead an uncomfortable life. Adolph is not handsome; he is only five feet four; he has bandy legs; his hair is bad, and his nose is a pug; but his papa has much ducats, and he is so much in love with me that he will take me without a dot, and on his papa’s money we shall do business. I shall manage the business, we will make much more money, and found a family of our own, of which I shall be the head! Who knows? My sons will be gentlemen, and my daughters shall marry into the best families. Clearly, I shall marry Adolph.”

She had one other suitor whom she favored somewhat, because he was a handsome fellow of some aristocratic connections, but he lacked the money of Adolph’s father, being the heir of an impoverished house that had barely enough to live on in a sort of scrimped gentility. He was the son of a widow whose husband died with nothing, leaving her with just what she inherited from her own family, which was little enough, the Lord knows.

In some speculations at this time, Adolph’s father, to use the language of the ancients, went up the spout. He lost every sou he had and in his chagrin laid down and died, which precluded the possibility of his acquiring another fortune.

Mademoiselle Therese found herself in this predicament:—

She was solemnly engaged to Adolph.

Adolph was bandy-legged, five feet four inches in height, with a pug nose and sandy hair.

Adolph possessed the additional drawback of not having a sou to bless himself or herself with.

It was a terrible situation.

At this precise time Henri, her other suitor, had come into improved circumstances. An uncle had died leaving him something, not as much as she had expected with Adolph, but yet something. In addition to this the handsome young fellow had served gallantly in the war, had attained the rank of Lieutenant, and was well up in the military.

He came to her with his improved prospects and once more tendered her his hand.


She thought it over and decided to accept him. “It is my duty. I adored Adolph, despite his legs, and hair, and nose, but I have a duty I owe to France. How can I bring up children for France on nothing and encumbered with a five-foot four husband with sandy hair, a pug nose, and bandy legs? Clearly it is my duty to marry Henri.”

But how to get rid of Adolph? It would never do to jilt him, for it would ruin her reputation, and then she had a regard for his feelings.

“It would drive him to madness should he lose me, and once mad he would become a burden to France. I will spare his feelings.”

By this time the Commune was in possession of Paris, and the National troops were besieging the city. Henri was with the National troops, while Adolph was a bitter Communist, as were all the Parisians who had lost their money.

Women are proverbially fickle, and French women especially. Therese was not only a woman, but she was a French woman. Therefore, there could be no question as to her fickleness. She had pondered long and seriously over the situation, and was troubled. Matrimony is a very serious matter, and she finally came to the conclusion that she could not marry Henri. She loved him to distraction, but he had not enough money. Without a rich husband she should still have to depend upon her needle for a living, and if she had to needle her way through life she preferred to do it for herself alone. This interesting female found herself engaged to two men, and determined to marry neither. But she was equal to the emergency.

“I have it,” said Therese to herself. “I will extricate myself from this dilemma. I will not marry Henri. I cannot. It is a duty I owe to myself to have money, and a great deal of it. Henri has not enough, and yet I have promised to marry him. Adolph has none, and yet I have promised to marry him, though I cannot blame myself for this. When I promised him he had money. But I will marry neither, and will spare the feelings of both. No daughter of France ever wounds the feelings of those who love her. Love must be respected, even though it cannot be returned. I see my way out of these woods.”

A terrible struggle was impending. The citizens and soldiers could not help coming in collision the next day. Adolph, armed as the Communists were, called upon her, on the afternoon preceding the final struggle.

She sat calmly, frozen with despair.

“Love of my life,” said she, bursting into tears, “you, to-morrow, rush upon death; I—I shall survive—would that I might die with you. What will become of me?”

“I may not die,” said Adolph, “but if I do it will be for La Belle France.”

And he drew himself up to his full height, which was, as I have stated, five feet four. All Frenchmen draw themselves up to their full height when they say “La Belle France.”

“I have come, my darling, to bid you farewell. To-morrow we are to be attacked—”

“Yes, I know it, Adolph, and as much as I adore you, I adore France more. I am a daughter of France. Fight! Be a hero! All Frenchmen may be heroes. And listen! There will lead the enemy to-morrow an officer whom you must recognize. He is six feet tall, with a black mustache, dressed in the uniform of the Tenth. He will have a cockade on the left side of his hat. He must die! He is an aristocrat! He is brave, and being an aristocrat and brave, clearly he must die that France may live! Shoot him as you would an enemy of France! To a hero—a French hero—I can say no more!”

“He dies—I swear it!” ejaculated Adolph, drawing himself once more up to his full height.

“And now, my heart’s beloved, go; and meet whatever fate may be in reserve for you like a man—like a Frenchman. But stay! you have a watch, shirt-studs, cuff-buttons, and some money. Should you fall, this portable property would be seized by the enemy, and be used against France. That would be deplorable. In this holy cause one should think of everything. Leave them with me, and when you return—oh, my beloved, you must return! Else I shall die!”

And Adolph took his personal effects, and gave them to her, and with a passionate embrace was about to leave her.

“Stay a moment, my darling. You must not go into battle without a charm to keep the bullets from you. Here!” and she twisted a ribbon, a very red one, into a bow, and pinned it in the front of his cap. “Now go and be a hero!”


He gave her a passionate embrace, she sank to the floor in a fainting fit, and he rushed out with a gesture.

As soon as the door was shut, she rose very calmly, and inventoried the property.

“It is not much, but it is better than nothing. I am a daughter of France. I will be content with what is sent me; but I think the chain is oroide, and I know the shirt studs are snide.”

A few moments later Henri entered. She received him with evident signs of pleasure.

“Therese,” said the handsome young fellow, “I know that you love me. We attack the canaille to-morrow. I come to bid you farewell. I may never see you again!”

“Henri! I love you! But fight like a hero for France!”

“Adorable! Rapture! This is peaches! I will fight; I will be a hero—I am in the hero line just now. You have given me a new heart. Oh, Therese!”

And then there was more kissing and embracing, which was all very nice.

Then Henri rose and said he must go. Mars could not wait upon Venus. France called him.

“Must you go? Alas! But, Henri, should you fall, what would become of me?”

“Die,” said Henri, “and follow me to the next world.”

Therese said to herself, “Not much, I thank you. I know a trick worth two of that. I prefer to live.” But she said audibly:

“I cannot die, for I shall live to avenge you and France. But should you die on the field, the horrible Commune will take your watch, your chain, your personal effects, to continue this sacrilegious strife. Leave them with me.”

Henri emptied his pockets, and took off his watch and everything on his person that had value, even to his cuff buttons, and then Therese said:

“You have your money in the hands of Duclos, the Notary. Give me an order for that, for he is affected toward the Commune. France before everything. When you return we will destroy the paper. Should you fall, I will spend it to avenge you.”

Then Henri wrote the order for the money, and the prudent girl had up the concierge, who witnessed it, to make it all legal like, and then with one passionate embrace she bade him farewell.

“Stay, but for a moment, my heart’s beloved,” she said. “Foremost on the barricade to-morrow you will see a young man who is an enemy of France. There isn’t much of him, but what there is, is pizen. You will know him—he is only five feet four high, has sandy hair and a pug nose, and very bandy legs. He ought to dance well, for he is put up on elliptic springs. He wears a red bow in his cap in front. He must die, for he is an enemy to France. Swear that he shall not live.”

“I swear. He is as good as dead now. You may bet your sweet life he populates a trench to-morrow night. He shall count one in the census of the hereafter.”

“Thanks—for France. And now, my beloved, go! Be a hero. But stay, wear this for my sake.”

And she pinned very securely upon the left side of his hat, a cockade, and they embraced once more, and he left the room, leaving her in a swoon.

“Poor thing!” said he to himself, as he took one last look at her, curled up gracefully on the floor, “shall I leave her thus? Yes; she could not endure a second parting.”

And he went. Then she immediately got up and inventoried his property, and put the order for his money in her bosom, which all French women do, though I can’t say that that is a very safe place—in France. And she was pleased to find that his jewelry, though not extensive, was all genuine, and she said her prayers and went to bed, with the calmness of one who had done her whole duty.

The next day the assault was made and things worked about as Therese had calculated. Adolph had but one objective point and that was the man with a cockade, and Henri carried a carbine for the fellow with the red bow. They saw each other at precisely the same moment, both fired the same moment, and both fell mortally wounded. Having each noticed a peculiar mark upon the other’s hat they used what life was left in them to crawl to each other.


“Who put that ribbon in your cap?” gasped Henri.

“Therese! And who that cockade in yours?”

“Therese! And she took my effects?”

“And mine. Perfide! But we die for France all the same?”


And they both went into the hereafter. Therese waited quietly and with great resignation till the troubles were over, and then realized upon her trust funds. Shortly after she purchased a café in a good drinking quarter and grew wealthy. She married a rich, banker, whose place of business was just over her’s, and they waxed very rich.

“What kind of a banker was he?” I inquired of a gentleman who indistinctly mastered some of the English language.

image not available


“He eez some thing vat you in L’Amerique would call—vat eez eet?—oui, a faro banker.”

I do not vouch for the truth of this legend, though I have every reason to believe it to be true. I was personally in a café presided over by a woman whom I firmly believe could manage just such a scheme. True or not, it shows what the women of France will do for their beloved country.



THE French are the most temperate people on the globe. Why this is so is not easily explained, for it would be naturally supposed that so excitable a people ought, in the very nature of things, to be intemperate. They have no fixed code of morals, as the Saxon people have, and they make no pretense of anything of the kind. They are intemperate enough, heaven knows, in their politics, and apparently so, to a stranger who does not understand French, in their conversation; but in the matter of drinking they don’t do enough of it to injure an English baby, and an American is lost in amazement at the little stimulant they get on with.

There are drinkers of the deadly absinthe, and occasionally indulgers in the more immediate but less fearful brandy, but they are rare. The absinthe drinkers are, as a rule, literary men, reformers, and the long-haired visionaries who have a notion that in stimulants there is inspiration, and the reckless ones who hold that the more they get out of life in ten minutes the more they enjoy. They are the men who invite the guillotine, and walk to the scaffold with great alacrity, and shout “Vive La France,” in the most picturesque and absurd manner. The devotee of absinthe drinks it as a part of his social system, and generally dies of softening of the brain at about thirty-five. He thinks he has a good time, but he does not.


There are low people who stupefy themselves with cheap brandy, but they are not common. The Frenchman does not take kindly to the fierce stimulant so common across the channel, and the amount of raw whisky consumed each day by the average whisky-drinking American would fill him with astonishment. He cannot comprehend it at all, and regards such a man as a brute. Possibly he is not very much out of the way. I, for one, quite agree with him.

And when it comes to wine he is very moderate. There is very little alcohol in the red wine he drinks, so little that Tibbitts, after taking a glass of it, remarked that he had known water in America that was more exhilarating. And that wine, mild as it is, he dilutes fully one-half with water, and sips it very slowly. In an evening he consumes not more than a pint of it, getting out of that pint about as much stimulation as is held in one drink of American sod-corn whisky.

But it suffices him. He sits and laughs and talks just as well over this mild swash as the American does over his fiery, bowel-burning, stomach-destroying, brain-shriveling liquor, and a great deal more, for he enjoys himself, and the American does not. At least, so I have been informed.

The use of wine is universal. It is in the bed-room in the morning, on the table at twelve o’clock breakfast, it is taken at dinner at six o’clock, and during the evening till bed-time.

The water of Paris is very bad; at least, so all Parisians tell you, though I cannot see why it should be. I tasted it several times, and I saw no especial difference between Paris water and any other, except, as they do not use ice, it does get rather insipid in the Summer, when the thermometer reaches ninety-five. But there is a superstition prevalent that it is unhealthy, and hence it is never used as a beverage unless it is qualified. The Frenchman drops a lump of sugar in it when he takes it raw, though, as a rule, wine is used as a corrective.

Tibbitts had a bottle of cognac in his room to mix with the water. He insisted that he thought too much of his mother and her happiness to endanger his life by taking the water, bad as it was, clear, and the wine of the country did not agree with him. He wanted to get back to America, he did, that his friends might have the benefit of his foreign experience.

An American in London remarked, that in all the time he spent in that city he met but one cordial Englishman, and he was a Dublin man. So with me in Paris. In all the time I spent there I saw very few drunken Frenchmen, and they were to a man from either London or New York, and I made very thorough search. The sobriety of the people is something wonderful.

image not available


I saw plenty of men exhilarated; I heard more laughter than I ever heard in twice the time in any other country; but drunkenness, the drunkenness that maunders, and is idiotic, or the drunkenness that tends to destroying property or life, I saw none of. In the Jardin Mabille, where in England or America drunkenness would be co-extensive with the attendance, at the students’ balls, at the Chateau Rouge or at even the less pretentious places, there was hilarity in plenty, but no vinous or spirituous excess. The same condition of affairs obtains in Switzerland and Germany. I don’t want any man to say this is not so, for I assert that drunkenness is comparatively unknown in the two countries where wine and beer are the staple drinks of the people of all classes. I am aware that the same statement has been made hundreds of times before and disputed a thousand times, and therefore I was at pains to get at the truth of the matter.

The use of wine in France is universal. It is drank by the commonest laborer and the most aristocratic citizen. You go nowhere that you do not see it—it is everywhere present, and is the one drink of the country. The fruitful vineyards of France make it almost as cheap as water, and the pampered wives and daughters of the ancient nobility who bathed in wine were not guilty of a very frightful extravagance after all.


What a Frenchman satisfies his appetite with for drink is

image not available


something astonishing. The middle-aged man in America who would deliberately ask for the root-beer of his youth would be laughed at as a milk-sop. In America even the lemonade drinker is not looked upon with favor, although that is admissible.

But in Paris you shall see a sturdy man walking the streets with an immense can upon his back with cups attached, and men of all ages stop him. He draws from the can a cup full of a liquid. He drinks it and pays for it. What do you suppose this liquid is? Merely a decoction of herbs and Spanish licorice, and coco, as harmless as mother’s milk, and a great deal more insipid. Of mother’s milk I cannot speak, for it is a long time since I have tasted it. I wish to heaven that the gap between the present and the mother’s milk period were less. But the Frenchman patronizes the coco seller, and his Chinese pagoda arrangement is always well patronized.

There is no drunkenness. It may be that the Frenchman does not want to get drunk, but I am convinced that the nature of the regular beverage of the country is to be credited with this delightful exemption from the great curse that devastates other countries. I am compelled to this conclusion, for I have noticed that the French in America and England, where spirituous liquors are the rule, come to be as frightful drunkards as anybody; and, per contra, I know scores of Americans in Paris who at home drank whisky habitually, and in consequence rarely went to bed sober—so seldom that when it did happen their wives needed an introduction to them—I know scores of these men here who have fallen into the French habit, and drink nothing but wine, and are as sober as the French themselves. They are getting to be so good that some of them have felt justified in taking on other sins to keep them down to the true American average. They have discovered that they can get on very well with wine, and do not crave the fiery liquid they considered so necessary at home.


I made a point of investigating this very thoroughly, for in days past I have seen some drunkenness and the effects thereof. I have seen the dead bodies of women murdered by drunken husbands; I have seen the best men in America go down to disgraceful graves; I have seen fortunes wrecked, prospects blighted; and I have perused a great many pages of statistics. There are crimes on the calendar not resulting from rum, but, were rum eliminated, the catalogue would be so reduced as to make it hardly worth the compiling. Directly or indirectly, rum is chargeable with a good ninety per cent, of the woes that afflict our country.

The moral to all this is—but come to think of it I am not here to point out morals. I have made a true statement, and each one may extract from it any moral he chooses. This is all there is of it: The French drink all the wine they want, and the French are a sober people. It hasn’t much to do with foreign travel; but to see thousands of men sitting and drinking without a fight, an angry word, a broken head, or a black eye, was so delightful an experience that I felt it must go upon paper.



THE Parisian family, unless it be one of the bloated aristocrats and pampered children of luxury, do not occupy separate houses, as families do in American cities. Rents are somewhat too high to permit that luxury, and besides they never were used to it, and it wouldn’t suit them at all. They have been accustomed to living up stairs for so many generations that I doubt if a genuine Parisian of the middle classes could be happy on or near the ground floor.

The first floor, and, for that matter, the second and third, in the heart of the city, are devoted to business purposes. Above the third floors the residences begin, and they continue to the very top. As a rule, each floor constitutes a dwelling by itself, with halls, parlor or drawing-room, dining and sleeping rooms and kitchen, all compactly and very conveniently arranged. True, some of these apartments are small, not large enough to swing a cat in; but, as Mr. Dick Swiveler wisely observed, “You don’t want to swing a cat, you know.” The French housekeeper finds a kitchen five feet wide and six feet long quite large enough for the preparation of the food for the family, and the sleeping rooms, being only used for sleeping, may be very comfortable, if they are only large enough to hold a bed and the other necessary furniture.


The entrance to these buildings is on the ground floor, and is a wide gateway with a diminutive suite of apartments on one side, which is habited by the concierge, or, as the English call it, the porter. This personage, usually a woman, receives all messages from the different flats above her, answers all calls and gives all the information concerning the various families inhabiting it. It is she who cleans the main staircase which goes to the top of the house, and has charge of the buildings.

At night, say at eleven, the great doors guarding this common entrance are shut, and whoever desires to enter thereafter finds a bell-pull, the other end of which is at the head of the concierge’s bed. She doesn’t bother herself to get up and see who it is, but she merely pulls a wire, the bolt of the great door is withdrawn, you enter, and shutting the door after you—it fastens with a spring lock—go to your floor, and enter your own house.

Tibbitts likes this idea very much. He says that when you come home late at night, and not precisely in the condition to be accurate about things, there isn’t any nonsense about finding a key first, and then going through the more delicate operations of finding a keyhole and getting the key in right side up. “All you have to do is to catch on that bell-pull, and the more unsteady you are, the better, for you lean back upon it, and your whole weight takes it.” And he further remarked that there wasn’t a concierge in Paris who wouldn’t know his ring before he had been in the house a week.

The principal business of the concierge and her entire family is to keep the stairs clean. I once held that the Philadelphia servant girl would die were the supply of water to run out so that she could not wash sidewalks and marble steps, but she has a worthy rival in the Parisian. The stairs leading to the top of the buildings are kept sloppy all the time with the perpetual cleaning. Indeed so constantly is this going on that no time is given to enjoy the luxury of clean stairs. Not only the stairs are cleansed, but the very sides of the building are washed and scrubbed once in so many years, by law. If Paris only took as much pains with its inside as it does with its outside! But it doesn’t.

Once inside the houses, the first thing that strikes an American is the total absence of carpets; that is, carpets as we have them. The floors are of wood in many patterns, and in the center there may or may not be a rug, which covers, perhaps, two-thirds of the room. A room carpeted the entire surface is very rare, and I must say that therein the French housekeeper does better than the American. These rugs are taken up very frequently, it being no trouble, and are kept clean and free of dust, something impossible when they are fastened to the floor, as is the custom across the water.

In the Summer they are taken out of the way entirely, and the bright waxed floor is deliciously cool, and in the Winter the rug, always in warm colors, forms a pleasing contrast to the wood on the edges. The French idea is better than ours.

The French housekeeper is perfection in her way. She allows nothing to go to waste. There is not a penny’s worth more purchased than can be used, and the ending of the day sees the ending of what was bought for the day. If there are ten to sit down to the table there is soup made for just ten—not enough for twenty and the remainder to the slop bucket—and there is just meat enough to make ten portions, and no more. There is butter for ten and vegetables for ten. By the way, very little butter is used. Wine is provided ad libitum, and even that, cheap as it is, is carefully poured from the half or two-thirds emptied bottles into others and carefully husbanded till the next meal brings it out.

There is nothing of meanness in this—only the good sense not to waste. The French housewife, very properly, sees no use in throwing away food any more than she does money. Consequently, despite the much higher cost of provisions, a French house gets on in better style than an American, and at a much less expenditure.


The skill of the French cook is proverbial, and his reputation is deserved. One of the craft once said that with a pair of cavalry boots, a handful of grass and plenty of salt and pepper, he could make soup for a regiment, and I believe him. They use more vegetables than we do, and use them infinitely better. Out of the despised carrot, which seldom makes its appearance on American tables, they make a delicious dish, and their treatment of potatoes, tomatoes, and the whole race of salad-making vegetables, is something akin to miraculous. They use oil in profusion, and no matter what the raw material is that comes under the hands of a French cook, there is a taste and relish about the product that is satisfying as well as gratifying. The Frenchman at his table aims at all the senses. To begin with it is garnished with flowers, and, second, the dishes gratify hunger, and, thirdly, they gratify the taste. Then, as an appropriate finish, they will have the most cheerful conversation, and for the time all care and trouble is banished and the feeding time is the good time of the household. A Frenchman may come to his house ever so much depressed, but he has a thoroughly enjoyable time at his dinner. He may rise from the table and blow his brains out, but at the table no one would ever know or dream that he ever had a trouble.

Among the middle classes, and indeed the better, the lady of the house does the marketing in person. It is too important a matter to be entrusted to a servant, for they are exceedingly particular as to the quality, and equally so as to the price of the supplies. French market-people, especially the women, are the shrewdest and the most unscrupulous in the world, and it requires much care and skill not to be imposed upon. I went one morning with my landlady to see a French market.

The first thing desired was a lobster. One was selected and then commenced the bargaining.

“How much?” demanded the Madame.

“Five francs,” was the answer, “and very cheap it is. Observe, Madame, its size, and its condition. Oh, I have nothing but the best. Shall I put it into your basket?”

“No, it is too much!”

“Too much! Madame, you would starve me. Well, then, you are an old customer (she had never seen Madame before), I will give it to you—I would no one else—for four and a half. It is ruin, but I can’t keep them over.”

“I will give you two francs.”

“Two francs! You jest, Madame. Two francs for this king of lobsters—this emperor! Ah no! but I will say four—and little Jean shall go without shoes.”

“Two francs.”

“Say three and a half—my landlord can do without his rent till times are better.”

Precisely as the two franc offer was being accepted, a young man drove up in a stylish coupe.

“How much for that lobster?”

“Ten francs, Monsieur le Colonel,” replied the dame without a blush.

“Wrap it up and put it in my carriage,” was the reply, and it was done.

“Why did you ask him ten francs when you only asked me five to begin with, and intended to take two?” demanded my landlady, purely that I might hear the answer.

“Eh? Oh, the young man has plenty of money—it is for his little woman, I suppose. We poor must live, and I must make my profit. But here is one just like it—rather better. Shall I say three francs?”


“Well, it must be so. But I lose money.”

The old dame made a good hundred per cent. as it was.

As it was in lobsters so it was in everything. The price offered in every instance was about two-fifths of the price asked and even then it was not certain but that too much was not paid. But when a French market woman and a French housekeeper come together there is not going to be very much swindling. Both know their business and whoever gets the best in the encounter may congratulate herself upon possessing a great deal of acumen.

The servants in French families are now tolerably attentive and obliging, but their bearing depends very much upon the political condition of the country. Every Frenchman is a politician, and they have all the shades of politics down to the humblest, and the lower orders, as elsewhere, take their politics from their superiors. The retainers in the families of the old nobility are Monarchists to a man, and hate the Republic with a hatred that the dispossessed nobility themselves do not feel. The waiters at the cafés and those who entered domestic service latterly are all virulent Republicans, disagreeably so. Especially was this true just after the downfall of the Third Napoleon, and after the Commune. A lady of my acquaintance, who got out of Paris just before the Commune, returned and rearranged her household after order was restored. Her daughter had engaged servants, and the good old lady rang for one.


“Are you one of the new servants?” she asked, as a strange man answered her summons.

“No, Madame. I am in your employment, but no servant. Since the Republic, there are no servants. Address me, please, as ‘citizen!’ ”

And she was compelled to do it, or go without service. The man considered himself the equal of his mistress in all particulars, and would be counted nothing less.

Fuel is very costly in France, and consequently very little used. In Paris the climate is mild, and very little is needed. But the same economy is observed in this as in everything. Twigs of trees and the smallest bushes, cut in uniform lengths, are used for firing, and for cooking the use of charcoal is almost universal.

As the shops furnish food as cheaply as it can be prepared at home, it is only in families that cooking is done. The washing among this class is done altogether at the public wash-houses in the Seine. These are immense boats anchored close to the bank and partitioned off into spaces just wide enough for a woman to work comfortably. For two sous, the woman has the use of tubs and hot and cold water ad libitum. She takes her bundle of soiled goods, and her own soap, and washes them, using a heavy wooden paddle to drive the soap through the fabric, instead of the pounder and washboard, and, wringing them out, carries them home wet. A few sous’ worth of charcoal suffices to iron them, and the same fire cooks her little dinner, and so two very important birds are killed with one stone. The shop girls, whose attics will not admit of a fire, have no other way of washing their clothes, and so the public wash-houses are always full.

The eating of the day commences with a very slight breakfast in your room at any hour you choose. The said breakfast consists of exactly one cup of coffee or chocolate—it is measured accurately, there is exactly one cup in the little pot—two rolls and an infinitesimal portion of fresh butter. You bid good-bye to salted butter when you leave the steamer. On this you exist till twelve, or thereabouts, when you have a breakfast as is a breakfast. There are eggs and one or two varieties of meat, and wine ad libitum, ending with sweets. This over, at six you have the meal of the day, the dinner, consisting of five or six courses, commencing with the everlasting soup, and ending with black coffee. Wine constitutes the drink of this meal, as at the breakfast.

image not available



It takes an American some little time to get used to this light breakfast, but when accustomed to it he is entirely satisfied with it. If he has nothing to do it is certainly better than the heavy breakfast of his own country, and unless he has the most violent bodily labor to perform, it is better than to go to business with an overloaded stomach. Anyhow, whether you like it or not, it is all you can get, and a wise man always manages to like what is inevitable. One very soon gets to liking this very strange innovation upon one’s established habits.

The French woman esteems tidiness and cleanliness above everything on earth, that is, outward tidiness. If rumor be true, they are not so particular as to internal economy, but the outside of the platter must be as white as the driven snow. An English or American woman will walk the sloppy streets and drag her skirts in the mud and filth till they are not only uncomfortable but are absolutely indecent in appearance. All this could be avoided by merely lifting the skirts, but the notion of delicacy, the fear of exposing an ankle, prevents this. That is the Anglo-Saxon notion of delicacy. The French woman has other views. Her ankles are not sacred, but her skirts are. She will not have soiled skirts, she will not have petticoats with the filth of the streets upon them, and so when she comes to a vile spot, she lifts her skirts and passes over without carrying any of the filth with her. It matters not if her ankles are exposed. That she expects. But she does this skirt-lifting with such a grace and such a manner that to an American even it is the most natural thing in the world. The French woman hoists her skirts in a way that makes it apparent to the most critical observer that it is not done to show neatly turned ankles, but to save her person from filth. It is a necessity with her, from her stand-point, and is consequently accepted as such. She has no objection to exposing a shapely ankle, but whether the ankle be shapely or not, no Parisian woman will ever, under any circumstances, be untidy. She has a passion for neatness, and a very pleasant passion it is. Would that she were as correct in her other passions.

Every woman in Paris, or for that matter everywhere in France, works. This is the secret of French prosperity. This explains the ease with which the French people recovered from

image not available



the extravagance of the Empire, the frightful cost of the war with Prussia, and the enormous indemnity exacted by the merciless Bismarck. It is the universality of labor, and the knowing how to live well upon next to nothing. A French wife not only does the house keeping for her family, but she takes care of the shop. She sells the goods which her husband makes. Say he is a trunkmaker—he is in the shop on the floor above, or the floor below, as the case may be, working for dear life, but in the salesroom sits Madame, his wife, or Mademoiselle, his daughter, who sells the goods, takes the money, keeps the books, buys the materials, and runs the business end of the concern.

But this is not all. Customers do not come in every minute, and Madame has time upon her hands. She does not waste it. There are her children, too young to work, but they must be clothed, and if there are no children there are a few sous to be earned by knitting, or fancy needlework. And so all this spare time is put in by Madame, sewing or knitting, either for her own family or for a market. Not a minute goes to waste. Wherever you see a French woman you see her doing some thing. The nurse-maid, who takes her charges out for an airing, has work in her hands, and she works. In the gardens in the Palais-Royal you shall see hundreds of nurse-maids whose charges are playing under the beautiful trees, knitting industriously, one eye on the work and the other on the children, and in every shop you enter you see the same thing.

Wages are very low, but with this absolute economy of time and the more absolute economy in the matter of living, the French workingman manages to get on better, on an average, than those in the same station in any other country in the world. French industry and French thrift make anything in the way of living possible. There is nothing like it.

Transportation is very cheap in Paris and exceedingly good. The omnibusses are large and the street cars likewise, and have the delight of holding as many people on the top as on the inside. And then they are never overcrowded. You are entitled to and get a seat. When the seats are all taken the sign “Complet,” is displayed, and no more passengers are admitted. A ride on the top of a French omnibus in good weather is a delight.

The Frenchman tries to imitate the English and Americans in the matters of sport, but it is a sorry failure. The young French sport gets himself up in remarkable sporting costumes, and goes out gunning, and always returns with game. Does he shoot it? Alas! It can be bought, and—he buys it. But he brings in his hare or his birds, or whatever can be bought that has been freshly killed, and proudly displays it to his friends and talks loudly of the pleasures of field sports.

image not available



Fishing in the Seine is another amusement, though I never met anybody who had ever caught a fish. There are more lines in the Seine any hour of the day than there are fish, but they all fish just the same. The docks are lined with men and boys at all hours, and all standing as gravely and patiently as though they made their living by it. The sight of a fish would astonish them.

image not available


Bloss, my old showman friend, arrived last night from Switzerland. There are a number of bears kept at Berne, the property of the city, one of which, some years ago, killed an English officer who fell into his den. That bear—but Bloss may tell his own story.

“Wat I wantid wuz that bear. I wantid that identical bear, the very one that squoze the Britisher. Ef I cood hev

image not available



got that bear it wood hev bin the biggest thing in the annals of the show biznis. So I went to Berne and saw the President of the Swiss Republic. I offered him fust two hundred dollars for it, pervided he would write a certifikit on parchment and put the seal of the Republic onto it that it wuz the identical animile. Ye see, ef he hed done this I should hev put it onto the bills this way:—

That there may be no doubt in the minds of a too-oft deceived public, deceived by audacious pretenders who advertise what they know they cannot perform, that this is the identical ferocious bear that did actually kill an unfortunate British officer in the presence of his newly-made bride (he wasn’t married at all, but you can’t awaken no interest without the pathetic)—who was powerless to extricate him from the tenacious grasp of the ferocious brute, the most dangerous of the species, the certificate of the President of the Swiss Republic, with the broad seal of the Republic attached, will be exhibited at each and every entertainment, all reports to the contrary notwithstanding, and positively without any extra charge. This statement is made to counteract the envious and malicious reports of would-be rivals, who seek to make up by slander and misrepresentation, what they lack in enterprise and resource.

image not available


I should hev hed a copy—a fac-similer—uv the certifikit printed, in two colors, and I shood hev hed the certifikit itself hung out afore the big tent, and it would hev bin wuth a heap uv money to me.

“Did you succeed?”

“Succeed! Why the bloated aristocrat refoozed to hev anything to say to me, and directed a servant to show me out. A pretty Republic that is, where the President won’t hear a common biznis proposishen! And then I went to the Mayor uv the city, and when my proposishen wuz translated to him, he remarked that he wuzn’t in the bear biznis, and he hed me showed out. I shood like to be a voter in Berne at one elecshun. But I shel hev the bear that killed the offiser jes the same. That is, I shel advertise that one uv the bears I yoose that eat the children in the Elijah act is the identikle one. I don’t like to deceeve the public—I hed ruther deal strate with ’em, but I must git my expenses out uv that trip to Berne somehow, and I shel hev the President’s certifikit all the same. Yes, and blast me ef I don’t add the Mayor’s to it to make ashoorence doubly shoor. I ain’t agoin’ to Berne for nothin', nor am I goin’ to lose an ijee. Ijees are too skase to waste one.”

“Did you enjoy this trip to the land of Tell?”

The sound of the word “Tell,” was sufficient to tap the old gentleman once more, and he went off into a narrative that flowed smoothly as cider from a barrel.


“The land uv Tell! I shel never forgit Tell—Willyum, the Swiss wat shot a apple offen his boy’s head. It wuz way back in 1844, when I was runnin’ my great aggregashun in the West. We had a minstrel sideshow in the afternoon, and a regler theater for a sideshow in the evenin'. Our leadin’ man wuz Mortimer de Lacy, from the principal European and Noo York theaters—his real name was Tubbs; he wuz the son uv a ginooine Injun physician, which hed stands about the country suthin’ like a circus—who wuz very fond uv playin’ Tell. De Lacy wuz one uv the most yooseful men I ever hed. He rid the six hoss act, the “Rooshun Courier uv Moscow,” and did the stone-breakin’ act, where he bends over on his arms and hez stuns broken on his breast with sledges, and he did the cannon ball act, and in the afternoon wuz the interlocootor in the minstrel show, playin’ the triangle—anybody kin play the triangle, and he alluz sed he wood give anything ef he cood manage a banjo or even a accordeon so ez to git up in the perfesh—and in the evenin’ he did the classical in high tragedy. The afternoon minstrel show wuz for the country people, but the play in the evenin’ wuz to ketch the more refined towns folks. Well, one day De Lacy cum to me, and sez he:—

“ ‘Guvnor, I hev a idear.’

“ ‘Spit it out,’ sez I. ‘Idears is wuth money in our biznis.’

“ ‘I kin make Tell more realistic. You know the way we do the shootin’ uv the apple off the boy’s head is to shoot an arrer into the wings and the boy comes runnin’ out with a split apple in his hand.’

“ ‘Yes, that’s the way it alluz hez bin done. It’s a tradishn uv the stage.’

“ ‘I perpose to hev the boy stand on the stage in full view uv the awjence, and to shoot the apple off his head under their very eyes. It’s a big thing.’

“ ‘Big thing! I should say so. But you can’t shoot an apple with an arrer. You couldn’t hit the side of a barn.’

“ ‘Very good, but this is my idear. We only play Tell at night. We stretch a wire across the stage jes the height of the boy, and the wire runs through the apple on the boy’s head. Then I hev a loop fixed onto the arrer, and when I shoot it runs along the wire—see?—and knocks the apple into smithereens. It’s a big notion.’

“It occurred to me that it wood be a good piece of biznis and I agreed to it. My youngest boy, Sam, alluz played the boy, and De Lacy and I fixed the riggin’ and hed it all right. To make it more realistic De Lacy hed a very broad-headed arrer made so that the awjence should see it wuz reel, and everythin’ wuz ready. When that scene come on, the boy come out walkin’ very keerful—we hed the apple fixed tight upon his head so that ef he walked in a strate line it wooden’t be moved, and he wuz placed. After the speeches De Lacy sprung the bow, and let the arrer drive with all the force it hed.”

“It must have been a thrilling scene.”

“Thrillin'! Yoo bet! But we didn’t repeat it. Bekaze yoo see the wire slackened, and the arrer struck Sam on the top uv the head and scalped him as clean as a Camanche Injun cood hev done it, and he howled and jumped onter De Lacy and the wire tore down the two wings it wuz hitched onter, and De Lacy in gittin’ rid uv him tore down the rest uv the wings, and they clinched and rolled down onto the stage, and the awjence got up and howled, and the peeple all rushed on, and there wuz about ez lively a scene ez I ever witnessed in a long and varied experience. It wuz picteresk and lurid. I rung the curtain down and separated ’em. It wuz a good idear, but it didn’t jes work, owin’ to defective machinery.”

image not available



“But it turned out pretty well, after all. The smart man is he who turns wat to others wood be a misfortoon to account. I hed the scalp tanned with the hair outside, and ez soon ez Sam’s bald head healed up I exhibited him in a blue roundabout, with brass buttons—I bought the soot cheap uv a bell boy at a hotel in Cincinnati—ez the son uv the Rev. Melchizadek Smith, a missionary for thirty years among the Injuns, who wuz scalped at the time his father wuz barbariously killed, and I hed a life uv the Rev. Smith writ, and an account of the massacre, and Sam sold it after he hed bin exhibited. It did very well till he got too big for that biznis.”

“But Sam is doin’ very well. He is now an end man in a minstrel show, and he does the Lancashire clog, and does mighty well in the wench biznis, and he hez a partner in the brother biznis, the De Montmorencies, I beleeve they wuz, the last time I heerd uv ’em. He will git on—he hez a great deal uv talent and kin turn his hand to almost anything.”

image not available




“ ’Tis the most distressful country that ever yet was seen,
They’re hanging men and women there for the wearin’ of the green.”

From France the gay, France the prosperous, France the delightful, to Ireland the sad, Ireland the poor, Ireland the oppressed, is a tremendous jump. Contrasts are necessary, and my readers are going to have all they want of them.

image not available



Cork is a lovely city; that is, it would be a lovely city were it a city at all. Nature intended Cork for a great city, but man stepped in and thwarted Nature. It is situated on the most magnificent site for a city there is in all Europe. A wonderfully beautiful river, with water enough to float any vessel, flows through it; and at the mouth of that river, twelve miles below, is one of the great harbors of the world. Queenstown—I wonder that any Irishman ever consented to call it Queenstown—is the nearest port to the great western hemisphere, and Cork should be the center of all the trade from America.

It is twenty-four hours nearer New York than Liverpool, and should be the final landing-place of the American lines, instead of being simply a point to be touched.

image not available


Cork is a sleepy city of perhaps seventy thousand population, made up of the handsomest men and most beautiful women and children on the face of the globe. You shall see more feminine beauty on the streets of Cork in an hour than you can anywhere else in a week. Homely women there are none—beautiful women are so plenty that it really becomes monotonous. One rather gets to wishing that he could see an occasional pair of English feet, for the sake of variety.

The city itself is beautiful, as are all the cities of Ireland; but it is a sad city, as are all the cities of Ireland. It is not prosperous, and cannot be, for it is under English domination, and England will not permit prosperity in Ireland. It is only the attachment which an Irishman has for his own country that makes anybody stay there. With every natural advantage, with every facility for manufacturing, for trade and commerce, with the best harbor in the world, and the nearest point for American trade, it has no manufactures to speak of, and no trade whatever. Its population has decreased thirty thousand within fifteen years, and its trade is slowly but surely dwindling to nothingness.

The river Lea is a wonderfully beautiful stream, and Cork, which occupies both sides of it, is a wonderfully beautiful city, and would be an enjoyable city but for the feeling of sadness that comes to an American the moment he sees the empty warehouses, the empty dwellings, and the signs of decay that are everywhere.

There are churches everywhere, and churches with a history. Here is the church of Shandon, of whose chimes Father Prout wrote:

“The bells of Shandon
  That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters of the river Lea.”

Here is climate, soil, situation—everything to make a great controlling city; here are a people with industry, intelligence, brains, and all the requisites to make a great controlling city; but, despite all these points in its favor, Cork has decreased year by year, and is to-day absolutely nothing. The city has lost population every year; its business is leaving it, its warehouses are empty, its streets are deserted, its quays are silent—it is nothing.

What is the reason for this? It is all summed up in one word—landlordism. There is no man in the world, not excepting the Frenchman, who will work longer or harder than the Irishman. There is no race of men who are better merchants or more enterprising dealers, and there is no reason, but one, why Cork should not be one of the largest and richest cities of the world. That reason is, English ownership of Irish soil.

Irish landlordism is condensed villainy. It is the very top and summit of oppression, cruelty, brutality and terror.

It was conceived in lust and greed, born of fraud, and perpetuated by force.


It does not recognize manhood, womanhood or childhood. Its cold hand is upon every cradle in Ireland. Its victims are the five millions of people in Ireland who cannot get away, and the instruments used to hold them are bayonets and ball cartridges.

It is a ghoul that would invade grave-yards were there any profit to be gotten out of grave-yards. It is the coldest-blooded, cruelest infamy that the world has ever seen, and that any race of people was ever fated to groan under.

Irish landlordism is legal brigandage—it is an organized hell.

Wesley said that African slavery was the sum of all villainies. Irish landlordism comprises all the villainies that the devil ever invented, with African slavery thrown in. Irish landlordism makes African slavery a virtue by comparison. For when a negro slave got too old to work, he was given some place in which to live, and sufficient food to keep him in some sort of life, and clothes enough to shield him from the elements.

The Irish tenant, when he becomes old and cannot work, is thrown out upon the roadside, with his wife and his children, to die and rot. He has created lands with his own hands, which he is not allowed to occupy; he has grown crops which he is not allowed to eat; he has labored as no other man in the world has labored, without being permitted to enjoy the fruits of his labor. The virtue of his wife and daughter are in the keeping of the villain, who by virtue of bayonets, controls his land. In short, to sum it all up in one word, the Irishman is a serf, a slave.

In a country that makes a boast of its freedom, he is the suffering victim of men who claim to be Christians; he is the robbed, outraged sufferer of a few men who are as unfeeling as the bayonets that keep him down, as merciless and cruel as tigers.

From the above feeble utterances my readers will, I hope, get the idea that I do not like Irish landlordism. I hope some day to get sufficient command of words to make my meaning apparent. I really would like to make it understood just how I feel about it.

To see Ireland you must not do as the regular tourist always does, follow the regular routes of tourists’ travel. You may go all over Ireland, in one way, and you will not see a particle of suffering, or any discontent. At Glengariff, for instance, the most charming spot on the earth, you are lodged in as fine a hotel as there is anywhere; the people are all well dressed and well fed, and the visitor wonders why there should be any discontent.

This is a part of the English Government’s policy. On these lines of travel, which the tourist for pleasure always takes, the misery is kept out of sight, and the mouths of the people who serve you are sealed. The American lady traveling through that country don’t like to see naked women and squalid poverty, for it would make her uncomfortable. None of it is shown her, and she wonders at the discontent of the Irish.

But just take a boat at Glengariff, leave the splendid hotel, and be rowed two miles across the bay, and you begin to see Ireland, the real Ireland. You then know why Ireland is agitated; you then see the real reason why an Englishman is hated with an intensity that would find expression in a rifle shot, if rifles were permitted to be owned and used.

We took a train for Fermoy, a distance of perhaps fifty miles from Cork. In Fermoy, a tolerably prosperous village for Ireland, the women did not only have no shoes or stockings, but they had scarcely anything else to wear.

“This is nothing,” said the wise Mr. Redpath, who was with us; “these people are fairly prosperous—for Ireland. I shall show you something worth while before night.”

It puzzled me somewhat to understand how anybody could be worse off than to be walking in cold mud without any protection whatever for the feet, but I found it at Mitchellstown, at the foot of the Galtee mountains.


The Irish jaunting-car, being the most inconvenient and detestable vehicle on earth, deserves a description. It should be known in order to be avoided. A jaunting-car is simply a two-wheeled vehicle with the body that supports the seat reversed. Instead of sitting so as to look forward, you are on the side; the seat runs the wrong way—which is characteristic of almost everything in Ireland. The driver sits looking toward the horse, the passengers sit backing each other, and the concern is so balanced that you must hold on a rail with a death-grip, or be flung off upon the road by every jolt. As detestable as it is, it is the national Irish vehicle, and you ride on the car, or go afoot.

image not available


On one of these atrocious conveyances, we left Mitchellstown at nine o’clock in the morning, in a soaking rain-storm, the cold, misty drizzle going through our heavy overcoats, and almost penetrating the very marrow. The road wound along past well cultivated fields, over picturesque streams, now up gentle declivities that gave us, or would have given us had the day been clear and fine, an admirable view of the valley that lay spread at the foot of the Galtee Mountains. But on that day the picture was not a cheering one. The sun refused to shine, the rain was cold, and the whole prospect was bleak and desolate. Then our driver was a loquacious fellow, who had at his tongue’s end hundreds of instances of the oppression of landlords and the terrible sufferings of the poor, evicted tenants. He talked fast, and, his whole heart being in the subject, he talked well, oftentimes emphasizing his stories by pointing to bare-footed, bare-legged and bare-headed women, who went trudging along the cold, wet road, with no protection from the frightful inclemency of the weather but a light shawl thrown over the ragged dress that scarcely covered their bodies. These women, whom he pointed out as evicted tenants, were not the rough, degraded-looking beggars that are commonly supposed to overrun Ireland, and make the tourist’s life one of continual annoyance. They were bright, intelligent and handsome, and, notwithstanding the horrors of their situation, comparatively cheerful. But it was an unnatural cheerfulness, for it was noticeable that there were lines about the mouth and around the eyes that told only too plainly their story of want and suffering.

Even with these living evidences, we could hardly believe the stories of cruelties committed by the landlords and their agents, which our driver kept pouring into our ears. We could not realize that they could be true. They seemed so absolutely barbarous that we utterly refused to accept them, and did not, till, having gone about nine miles from Mitchellstown, we stopped at a little roadside cabin, as they called it, although we would have more properly denominated it a hovel.


At the invitation of our guide we alighted, shook the rain off from our great coats, and entered the place to inquire for Michael Duggan, who worked the little holding back of it. He was not at home, but his wife, a comely, buxom woman of about forty years, asked us to be seated, at the same time offering a small stool on which one of the girls of the family had been sitting near the fire, taking care of an infant.

While our guide was inquiring for Mr. Duggan, we made an inspection of the house, where a man, his wife and seven children lived. There was the one principal room in which we were standing, which was about ten by twelve feet, and eight feet high. There was no floor, except the original earth. There was only one opening for a window, and that had never known a pane of glass. In one end of the room there was a dingy, smoky fireplace, around which were huddled three or four children, scantily dressed in loose cotton slips that came to just below the knee. At the other end of the room a brood of chickens disported themselves in a pile of furze, while every few minutes a huge porker would push his nose in at the open door, only to be driven away by one of the children.

image not available


The family was very interesting. The mother was tall, well formed, and of an exceedingly pleasant appearance, while the children, shy at the sight of so many strangers, were sturdy, healthful and clean. They were bright and intelligent, and under any other circumstances and mode of life would grow up to be eminently representative citizens.

On the return of Mr. Duggan from the fields, we went with him up the Galtee Mountains, he explaining on the way that he was very comfortably fixed compared with his neighbors. He said that his grandfather had taken the little holding he occupied, when it was full of stones and rocks, and was next to worthless. He paid a rent of three shillings an acre for it. During his lifetime the land was partially reclaimed, the rocks and boulders were taken out of a part of one field, and the rent was advanced to seven shillings. His father further improved it and raised some little crops, and the rent went up to twenty shillings. When the present tenant succeeded to it, it was in comparatively good shape, and with the improvements he had made, building the house, or rather hovel, the value of the land had increased enough in the mind of the landlord to justify him in placing the rent at two pounds.

image not available



That tract of land in America, if one were to go to the few districts where such abominably bad land can be found, would be thought extremely high if it were sold at a dollar, or four shillings an acre.

“Well, how in the world can you raise enough on such a holding to pay such an exorbitant rent?”

image not available


“I can’t do it. I’ve tried my best, but it is absolutely impossible.”

“Suppose you don’t pay the rent, then what?”

“I’ll be thrown out in the road, with my family and the little furniture we have gotten together.”

“In case you refuse to be thrown out of the house you have built, and off the land you and your fathers before you made from utterly worthless fields of rocks?”

“Then those fellows would come down upon me.”

As he spoke he pointed to a flying squadron of a hundred and fifty men, who were riding back to Mitchellstown after having evicted a number of tenants who had been unable to pay the back rent. They were a fine looking body of men, well mounted and well armed, each one carrying a loaded carbine, while at his side was dangling a sword bayonet.

image not available


But our business in hand was not speculating upon results so much as to see the actual conditions that led to and still sustains the agitation. So we plodded on, through the drenching rain that was coming down in torrents, up the bleak and desolate hill side.

Along the side of the road were high stone fences, from four to seven feet wide at the top, rather good fences for so poor a country.

“Why, you see,” said Mr. Duggan in reply to an inquiry as to how they found time to make such solid substantial fences, “those stones were every one taken from that field there, and having no other place to put them we made a fence, and our rent was raised on us for doing it, worse the luck.”


We looked into the field whence these stones were taken. It was as uninviting a piece of ground as can be imagined, still full of huge boulders, rocks, weeds and the never-dying heather. It was not capable of supporting a sparrow, yet for the slight improvement that had been made, the rent had been raised. Great inducement that for a man to work!

Seeing a little low, thatched cabin just off the road, we asked in all simplicity, if it had any history, for by this time it was beginning to dawn upon us that almost everything in that vicinity had some story connected with it. But we were totally unprepared for the reply.

image not available


“No, there’s no history about it. It is simply the dwelling place of a family of people who are daily expecting to be evicted because they can’t pay the rent, the father having been unable, through sickness, to work all of the season.”

The idea that human beings, made in God’s image, having the power to think, to reason and to act, could live, even exist, in such a hovel as that was so incredible that we insisted upon going over and seeing how it was done.

Wading through mud and slush coming over our shoe-tops, we bent our heads and entered. The room, if so it could, by a stretch of the imagination, be called, was so low that we could not stand erect. The cold bare earth that constituted the floor was damp and slippery as the rain came trickling down through the broken thatch and formed little pools on the ground. Near a suggestion of a fire, were huddled a woman and four children, the eldest not more than eight years of age. As we entered they all arose. We were horrified to see that they were as usual without stockings or shoes, and their clothing was so torn and ragged that it afforded no warmth whatever. The mother and her little girls were blue with cold. Their features were pinched with hunger. Their whole appearance indicated the want and suffering they had been patiently enduring for years.

Over in one corner of the room was what they called a bed. It consisted of four posts driven into the ground. On stringers were laid a few rough boards; on these boards were dried leaves and heather, covered by a few old potato sacks. There was where this family of six persons slept. There was no window in the house, the only light and ventilation being furnished by the door and the cracks in the thatched roof.

It was too horrible and we went out again into the rain—there we could at least get a breath of fresh air. We asked our guide how these people managed to keep the breath of life in them. He said they lived as their neighbors did, on potatoes and “stirabout.”

“What is ‘stirabout'?”

“It is a sort of a mush made of Indian meal and skimmed milk. They have that occasionally, for a little luxury, or when the potatoes are so scarce that they think they must husband them.”

“You don’t mean to say that these people actually live on that fare? that they have nothing else? They at least have meat with their potatoes?”

“God bless you, sir,” and the honest man’s eyes filled with tears, “they never know the taste of meat. There has not been a bit of meat in my house since last Christmas, when we were fortunate enough to get a bit of pig’s head. But up here they don’t even have that.”


Surely this must have been an exceptional case. It was impossible that even in that country there could be more than one or two instances of such utter and abject woe and misery.

But Mr. Duggan told us to the contrary. He said that the house we had just left was only a fair sample of what was to be seen all over the Galtee Mountains. To be convinced, we trudged painfully through the rain for seven long hours.

We toiled through fields that in America would not be accepted as a gift. Here, if the exorbitant rent charged for them could not be paid, the holders were evicted. We went through roads so wretchedly bad that teams could not travel over them. Yet taxes had to be paid by those who had holdings on either side. We saw fields that had been reclaimed from the original state, had been made productive, and had been the cause of the eviction of the holder because he could not pay the rent which the improvements brought upon him. He had been thrown off the land and it was rapidly going to waste again. Large patches of heather, which is worse than the American farmer’s bane, the Canada thistle, were growing over it, choking all other forms of vegetation. It would only take another season to make the land so worthless that three years of hard work would be required to put it back to the condition it was in when the holder had been compelled to leave it, after having devoted the best years of his life to reclaiming and making it productive.

After seven hours of such sights as these, which cannot be described, we were wet, weary and mad. We had seen enough for one day, and were ready to go back. All during the long drive to Mitchellstown not a word was said. The subject was too terrible to discuss.



THE village of Bantry, in County Cork, some forty miles from Cork, is owned and controlled by My Lord Bantry, who is, or, at least, ought to be, one of the richest men in Ireland. Whether he is or not depends entirely upon how expensively he lives in Paris, and how much extravagance he commits there and in London. He certainly screws enough money out of the unfortunates born upon the land stolen from them by English Kings and given to him, to make him a richer man than Rothschild, if he has taken care of it. But I don’t suppose he has. Probably the magnificent estate, robbed from the people, is mortgaged to its full value, and he supports himself by keeping his so-called tenants down to a point, in food, shelter, and clothes, that a Camanche Indian would turn up his nose at. Indeed, were the most degraded Piute compelled to accept life on the terms that My Lord Bantry imposes upon the men he robs, he would paint his face, sing his death song, go out and kill somebody, and die with great pleasure.

image not available



Bantry is a pleasant village; that is, some of its streets are pleasant, and it has the most beautiful bay on the coast. Sailing across the most lovely body of water I have ever seen, is the famous watering place, Glengariff, which is the most delicious spot of land in the world. And Bantry itself has much in its favor, all marred by the abject poverty of nine-tenths of its inhabitants.

Leaving the main street, which is, like all the streets of Irish villages, made up of small stores, or shops, as they are called, you walk up a rather steep hill, pass through a crooked street, and you find yourself in the midst of the regulation Irish cabins.

image not available


Miserable structures of stones piled one upon the other, not even daubed with plaster, with no windows, as a rule, though the more pretentious ones have a single pane of glass in the wall somewhere. However, as that pane is almost invariably broken, its principal use is the extra ventilation it affords.

The cabin is the same size as those on farms, say from ten to twelve feet wide by fifteen or sixteen in length. In the country, however, they do have the space above, to the thatched roof, but land is more valuable in the villages, and My Lord Bantry’s expenses in London and Paris are enormous. He must get more money out of the villagers, and he makes two stories out of the wretched hovel, and by crowding in two families makes double rent. The first floor is not above five feet six inches in height, and the upper is a good foot shorter. In neither floor can an ordinary man stand upright.

We went up the miserable stairs in one of them, and gained the still more miserable den above. It was more like a coffin than a room, and the idea of a coffin was brought forcibly to the mind as you glanced at the wretched occupants. On a miserable bed of dried leaves, covered with potato sacks on the one side, was the emaciated form of a man dying of starvation and consumption. He had about forty-eight hours of life in him. Upon my word I felt happy to see he was so near death. For having an excellent reputation, having always been a good man, he is certain to go, after death, where there would not be the slightest possible chance of meeting My Lord Bantry or his agent. In the other corner was a flat stone, upon which a consumptive fire of peat was burning, the smoke filling the room. Huddled around this fire were five children, under the watchful eye of a very comely woman. The children were barefooted and stockingless, and clad in the most deplorable rags, while the mother, also barefooted, was clothed in the regular cotton slip, without a particle of underclothing of any kind or description. And into that garret, poor as it was, came other women, not clothed sufficiently to be decent, to boil their potatoes at the wretched fire. They have a practice of exchanging fires in this way, that none shall be wasted.

“What do you pay for this apartment?”

“Ten-pence a week, sor!”

“Are you in arrears for rent?”

“Yis sor. He (pointing to her husband) has been sick, sor, for months, sor, and cud not worruk.”

“What will you do if he dies?”

“We shall be put out, sor.”

This with no burst of anguish, with no special tone of anger or manifestation of emotion. To be “put out” is the common lot of the Irish laborer, and Irish wife, and they expect it.


And within a mile of that wretched spot, of that dying man and starving children, My Lord Bantry has a most beautiful castle, luxurious furniture, filled with pampered flunkies, his stable crowded with the most wonderful horses, and his table groaning under the weight of the luxuries of every clime.

image not available


Surely, not for ten pence a week will he tear this woman from the side of her dead husband, and throw her, with her helpless children, out into the cold and wet street?

Yes, but he will, though!

For this family is but one of many thousands on the land which a bad King stole from the people who owned it. Were this the only case he might relent; but should he do it in this case he would have to do it for others, and ten pence a week from thousands aggregates a very large sum, and My Lord Bantry’s expenses are very high, for it costs money to run a castle, and there is his house in London, his house in Paris, and his house in Rome, and his houses the Lord knows where; and then his yacht is rather expensive, as his officers and men must be paid, to say nothing of the larder and wines necessary to entertain his friends; and then there is the terrible expense of entertaining his friends from London during the shooting season, and occasional losses at play, and all that.

Clearly, the Widow Flanagan must either pay her rent or be pitched out into the street to make room for some other widow who can pay, for a while at least, and when she can’t pay there are others who can.

It is needless to add that there is in Bantry Bay a splendid English gunboat armed as in time of war, with burnished guns, with bombs of all sort of explosive power, rifled guns, which would knock poor Bantry into a cocked hat in ten minutes, with fine looking marines, armed to the teeth, which, with the military on shore, would make it very warm for the widow Flanagan and her friends, should they presume to interfere with My Lord’s land agent, and the bailiffs and the soldiers behind them. The widow has nothing to do but to bow her head and submit, and pray that some relief may come to her from somewhere. But where is it to come from? Not from My Lord, for, as I said, he has his private expenses to meet; not from his agent, for he was selected for his especial fondness for pitching women and children into the street; not from England, for England looks upon every country it has anything to do with as either to be plundered or traded with; not from the peasantry about them, for they are in the same boat with the widow.


What becomes of her finally, I don’t know. I am altogether too soft-hearted to stay any length of time where such things are to be seen every hour.

image not available


A pathetic little scene took place in the widow’s loft, which illustrates something of Irish character. As I said the husband and father was lying upon his wretched pallet, dying of consumption. The youngest but one of the children was the most beautiful child I have ever seen, a sweet little fairy, with long curly, blonde hair and black eyes, built from the ground up, and with a face that a painter would walk miles to sketch. She was a delicious little dream, a dainty bit of humanity. True, she had nothing but rags upon her delightful little figure, and true it was that her sweet little face was smeared with dirt, and her little hands were as grimy as grimy could be, and her little shapely bare legs were very red and somewhat pimply. But why not? Clothes cannot be had for the children when the father works for ten pence a day and is sick half the time, and nickel-plated bath-tubs and scented soap are not to be expected in the top of a cabin in which you cannot stand upright; and how can a child’s face be kept clean where there is no chimney, and where the room is so thick with peat smoke that you may almost cut it with a knife, and a child that never had a pair of shoes and stockings could hardly be expected to have white legs and feet. The cold prevents that.

In our party was an American gentleman, who was blessed with an abundance of boys, but no girls, and he and his wife had been contemplating the adoption of a girl. Here was an opportunity to secure not only a girl, but just the kind of a girl that he would have given half his estate to be the father of. And so he opened negotiations.

An Irishman who knew him, explained to the father and mother that the gentleman was a man of means, that his wife was an excellent, good woman, and that the child would be adopted regularly under the laws of the State in which he lived, and would be educated, and would rank equally with his own children in the matter of inheritance, and all that. In short, Norah would be reared a lady.

Then the American struck in. She, the mother, might select a girl to accompany the child across the Atlantic, and the girl selected should go into his family as the child’s nurse, and the child should be reared in the religion of its parents.

The father and mother consulted long and anxiously. It was a terrible struggle. On the one hand was the child’s advantage; on the other, paternal and maternal love.

Finally a conclusion was arrived at.

“God help me,” said the mother, “you shall have her. I know you will be good to her.”

Then the arrangements were pushed very briskly, and, with regular American business-like vehemence. The girl selected to act as nurse was the mother’s sister, a comely girl of twenty. The American took the child, and rushed out to the haberdasher’s, and purchased an outfit for her. He put shoes and stockings on her, which was a novel experience, and a pretty little dress, and a little hat with a feather in it, and a little sash, and all that sort of thing; and he procured shoes and stockings for the elder girl, and a tidy dress, and a hat and shawl, and so forth. And then he brought them back, instructing the mother that he should leave with them for Cork the next morning at eleven, and that the girl and the child should be dressed and ready to depart.


The next morning came, and the American went for his child. She was dressed, though very awkwardly. The mother had never had any experience in dressing children, and it was a wonder that she did not get the dress wrong side up. But there she was, and the mother wailed as one who was parting with everything that was dear to her, and the father lay and moaned, looking from Norah to the American. Time was up. The mother took the baby in her arms, and gave it the final embrace, and the long, loving kiss; the father took her in his arms, and kissed her; the other children looked on astounded, while the girl stood weeping.

image not available


“Good-bye!” said the American; “I will take good care of the baby,” and, taking her from the mother’s arms, he started for the door. There was a shriek—the woman darted to him just as he was closing the door, and snatched the baby from him.

“Drop the child!” said the father. “You can’t have her for all the money there is in Ameriky.”

“No, sor!” ejaculated the mother, half way between fainting and hysterics. “I can’t part wid her!”

And she commenced undressing the baby.

“Take back yer beautiful clothes—give me back the rags that was on her—but ye can’t have the child!”

And the girl—she commenced undressing, too; for she did not want to obtain clothes under false pretenses. But the American stopped the disrobing.

“It’s bad for the child,” he said, “but somehow I can’t blame you. You are welcome to the clothes, though.”

And he left as fast as he could, and I noticed he was busy with his handkerchief about his eyes for some minutes. And I am sorry to say he indulged in a very profane soliloquy, ’till he got out of the street, and his objurgations were not leveled at the father and mother.

What became of the clothes I know not, but I presume that, when the husband died and went where landlords cease from troubling and the weary are at rest, the widow pawned them to pay the rent, and save the dead body of her husband from being pitched into the street with herself and children; and that when My Lord Bantry saw her name on the list, as paid, he remarked:

“Ah! the Widow Flanagan has paid her rent. I thought she would! What is necessary with these Irish, is to be firm with them. By the way, is she paying enough?”

And after ascertaining that the wine had been properly frappéd, he went to his dinner, and the gunboat, and the royal constabulary felt relieved.

It is a pleasant thing for all concerned to have the Widow Flanagan pay her rent promptly, and make no fuss about it, except, of course, for the Widow Flanagan. But she, being an Irish widow, is not to be considered. But if there is a God of justice and mercy, there will come a time when she will be considered, and then it will be made very warm for My Lord Bantry, his agent, the captain of the gunboat, the officers of the soldiery, and the whole brood of oppressors. There is a Court at which the Widow Flanagan can appear on equal terms with her landlord, but it is not in Ireland.


image not available


If I ever leaned toward the doctrines taught by the Universalists, a contemplation of the system of Bantryism has entirely and completely convinced me that they are erroneous. If there is not a lake of fire and brimstone, a very wide and very deep, and very hot one there ought to be, and when the British House of Lords meet there, there will always be a quorum. And My Lord will lift up his eyes to the widow Flanagan and beg for a drop of water to cool his parched tongue. But he won’t get it. He don’t deserve it.

It is impossible to make an American comprehend the width, depth and breadth of Irish misery until he has seen it with his own eyes. No other man’s eyes are good for anything in this matter, for the reason that nothing parallel exists this side of the water. And besides this the writers for the stage and of general literature have most woefully misrepresented the Irish man and woman, and very much to his and her disadvantage.

The Irishman of the stage and novel is always a rollicking, happy-go-lucky sort of a reckless fellow, with a short-tailed coat, red vest and corduroy trowsers, woolen stockings and stout brogans; with a bottle of whisky peeping out of his pocket, a blackthorn shillelah in his fist; always ready for a dance, or a fight, or for love-making, or any other pleasant employment. There is always on his head a rather bad hat, worn jauntily, however, and though he may be occasionally rather short of food, he manages always to get enough to be fat, sleek, and rosy. And then he always has a laugh on his face, a joke on his lips, and he goes through life with a perpetual “Hurroo.”

image not available



And Katy—she is always presented to us clad in a short woolen gown, her shapely legs enclosed in warm red stockings; and she had a bright red handkerchief about her neck, with good, comfortable shoes, and a coquettish straw hat—a buxom girl, who can dance down any lad within ten miles, and can “hurroo” as well as Pat, and a little better.

The Irish priest is always represented to us as a fat, sleek, jolly fellow, who is constantly giving his people good advice but who nevertheless is always ready to sing “The Cruiskeen Lawn,” in a “rich, mellow voice,” before a splendid fire in the house of his parishioners, with a glass of poteen in one hand and a pipe in the other, the company joining jollily in the chorus. He is supposed to live in luxury from the superstition of his people, and to have about as rosy a life as any man on earth.

All these are lies.

The Irishman is the saddest man on the surface of the globe. You may travel a week and never see a smile or hear a laugh. Utter and abject misery, starvation and helplessness, are not conducive of merriment.

image not available


The Irishman has not only no short-tailed coat, but he considers himself fortunate if he has any coat at all. He has what by courtesy may be called trowsers, but the vest is a myth. He has no comfortable woolen stockings, nor is he possessed of the regulation stage shoes. He does not sing, dance or laugh, for he has no place to sing, laugh and dance in. He is a moving pyramid of rags. A man who cuts bog all day from daylight to dark, whose diet consists of a few potatoes twice a day, is not much in the humor for dancing all night, even were there a place for him to dance in. And as for jollity, a man with a land agent watching him like a hawk to see how much he is improving his land, with the charitable intent of raising the rent, if by any possibility he can screw more out of him, is not in the mood to laugh, sing, dance or “hurroo.” One might as well think of laughing at a funeral. Ireland is one perpetual funeral. The ghastly procession is constantly passing.

There is unquestionably a vast fund of humor in the Irishman, which would be delightful could it have proper vent. You hear faint tones of it, as it is; but it is in the minor key, and very sad. It always has a flavor of rack-rent in it, a taste of starvation, a suggestion of eviction and death, by cold and hunger, on the road-side. It isn’t cheerful. I had much rather have the Irishman silent, than to hear this remnant of jocularity which is always streaked with blood.

image not available



The Irish girl is always comely, and, properly clothed and fed, would be beautiful; still she is comely. Irish landlordism has not been sufficient to destroy her beauty, although it has done its best. But she has no gown of woolen stuff—a cotton slip, without underclothing of any kind, makes up her costume. The comfortable stockings and stout shoes, and the red kerchief about her neck, are so many libels upon Irish landlordism. Were My Lord’s agent to see such clothing upon a girl, he would immediately raise the rent upon her father, and confiscate those clothes. And he would keep on raising the rent till he was certain that shoes and stockings would be forever impossible. Neither does she dance Pat down at rustic balls, for a most excellent reason—there are no balls; and, besides, when she has cut and dried a donkey load of peat, and walked beside that donkey, barefooted in the cold mud, twelve miles and back again, and sold that peat for a sixpence, she is not very much in the humor for dancing down any one. On the contrary, she is mighty glad to get into her wretched bed of dried leaves, and pull over her the potato sack which constitutes her sole covering, and, soothed to sleep by the gruntings of the pigs in the wretched cabin, forget landlords and rent, and go off into the land of happiness, which to her is America. She finds in sleep surcease of sorrow, and, besides, it refreshes her to the degree of walking barefooted through the mud twenty-four miles on the morrow, to sell another load of peat for sixpence, that she may pay more money to My Lord Bantry, whose town-house in London, and whose mistresses in Paris, require a great deal of money. Champagne and the delicacies of the season are always expensive; and My Lord’s appetite, and the appetite of his wife and mistresses, and his children, legitimate and illegitimate, are delicate. Clearly, Katy is in no humor for dancing. She has her share to contribute to all these objects. And so she eats her meal of potato or stirabout—she never has both at once—and goes into sleep and dreams.

image not available


As to the priest, there never was a wilder delusion than exists in the minds of the American people concerning him. I was at the houses, or rather lodgings, of a great many of them, but one example will suffice.

Half-way between Kenmare and Killarney, in a wild, desolate country, lives one of these parish priests who are supposed to inhabit luxurious houses, and to live gorgeously, and to be perpetually singing the “Cruiskeen Lawn,” with a pipe in one hand and a glass of poteen in the other.

He is a magnificent man. In face and figure he is the exact picture of the lamented Salmon P. Chase, one of the greatest of Americans; and I venture the assertion that had he chosen any other profession, and come to America, where genius and intellect mean something, and where great ability finds great rewards, he would have been one of the most eminent of men. A man of great learning, of wonderful intuitions, of cool and clear judgment, of great nerve and unbounded heart, he would, were he to come to America, and drop his priestly robes be president of a great railroad corporation, or a senator, or anything else he chose to be.

But what is he in Ireland? His apartments consist of a bed-room, just large enough to hold a very poor bed, and a study, in a better class farm-house, and for which he pays rent, the same as everybody else does. His floor is uncarpeted, and the entire furniture of his rooms, leaving out his library, would not invoice ten dollars. His Parish is one of the wildest and bleakest in Ireland, and is twenty-five miles long and eighteen wide.

image not available



Now, understand that this man is the lawyer, the friend, the guide and director in temporal as well as spiritual matters of the entire population of this district. If a husband and wife quarrel it is his duty to hear and decide. If a tenant gets into trouble with his landlord he is the go-between to arrange it. In short every trouble, great and small, in the Parish is referred to him, and he must act. He is their lawyer as well as their priest. He is their everything. He supplies to them the intelligence that the most infernal Government on earth has denied them.

But this is a small part of his duties. He has to conduct services at all the chapels in this stretch of country. He has to watch over the morals of all the people. But this is not all. No matter at what hour of night, no matter what the condition of the weather, the summons to the bedside of a dying man to administer the last sacraments of the church must be obeyed. It may be that to do this requires a ride on horseback of twenty miles in a blinding storm, but it must be done. Every child must be christened, every death-bed must be soothed, every sorrow mitigated by the only comfort this suffering people have—faith in their church.

What do you suppose this magnificent man gets for all this? The largest income he ever received in his life was one hundred pounds, which, reduced to American money, amounts to exactly four hundred and eighty-one dollars. And out of this he has to pay his rent, his food, his clothing, the keeping of his horse, and all that remained goes in charity to the suffering sick—every cent of it.

When the father dies his nephews and nieces will not find good picking from what is left, I assure you.

“Why do you,” I asked, “a man capable of doing so much in the world, stay and do this enormous work, for nothing?”

“I was called to it,” was the answer, “what would these poor people do without me?”

That was all. Here is a man capable of anything, who deliberately sacrifices a career, sacrifices comfort, sacrifices the life he was fitted for, sinks his identity, foregoes fame, reputation, everything, for the sake of a suffering people!

“I was called to it—what would these poor people do without me!”

I am a very vigorous Protestant, and have no especial love for the Catholic Church, but I shall esteem myself especially fortunate if I can make a record in this world that will give me a place in the next within gun shot of where this man will be placed. I am not capable of making the sacrifices for my fellows that he is doing—I wish to Heaven I was. I found by actual demonstration why the Irish so love their priests. They would be in a still worse way, if possible, without them.

Ignorance of the real condition of the farming Irish is almost as common among the better class of Irishmen, I mean the dwellers in the cities, as it is among Americans. At one of the fine hotels in Glengariff, a watering place, I made the acquaintance of an Irish lady, a resident of Cork. Her husband is a wealthy citizen, a thorough Irishman, a Land Leaguer and all that, and she is a more ardent Land Leaguer than her husband. She is a more than usually intelligent lady, with a warm heart, and she realized, she thought, the wrongs Ireland was suffering, and was doing, she supposed, all she could to aid the oppressed people.

Now in Glengariff suffering is not permitted to be seen. The hotels are magnificent, the servants well-clothed and well fed, and it is so arranged that the people in rags are seldom seen in that vicinity.

But two miles across the bay and you may see all the misery you can endure. I had been over there and had gone through a dozen or more cabins, and on my return I expressed myself to the lady in as strong terms as my command of language permitted.

“Are you not exaggerating?” asked she. “I have never seen such misery as you describe. It cannot be.”

“Because you have never sought it out. But it is there. Fifteen minutes in a boat will take you to it. Will you go over now, and see for yourself if I have exaggerated?”

She went. It was a lovely morning; the waters were smiling, and the Glengariff shore, with its beautiful buildings, its long hedges of fuchsias along the winding street, the background a mountain of flowers, was a fairy scene. From this side the mountains on the opposite in the delicate brown of Autumn, were beautiful. Distance showed you only the beauties of Nature; it mercifully hid the squalid poverty the mountains contained.


We landed and began the ascent. The land was, as everywhere, bog and rock, with here and there a spot reclaimed, which smiled in green. We approached one of the regular hovels.

“How far have we to go before we come to one of the houses you spoke of?”

“We are at one now.”

The woman stood petrified.

“Do people live in such places?”

“Madam, that cabin holds a man, his wife, six children, the wife’s father and brother, pigs, calves and poultry. But you must see for yourself that I did not exaggerate. Come in with me.”

The lady entered, wading pluckily through the slush and mud that surrounded the cabin, and saw all and more than I had told her. There was the cold earth floor, wet and slippery, the two wretched beds on which these people slept, the pigs, the calves and the poultry, which must be sheltered and grown and fattened, not for their eating, but that My Lord may have his rent. There was the flat stone in one corner, with the smoky peat fire, no chimney to carry away the smoke; there were the half-ragged men, the half-naked women and children, shoeless, stockingless, skirtless, less everything; in short, there were all the horrors of absolute destitution, without one single redeeming feature.

“Take me out of this place,” she gasped.

It was not a pleasant sight for a lady delicately nurtured and daintily kept, whose hands had never been in cold water and upon whose face cold wind had never blown. These people were of her own blood, her own race, almost her own kin. She said never a word on the way back, but that afternoon she left Glengariff for Cork. But before she went, a boat went over the bay, and a dozen families had at least one square meal, and more money than they had ever seen before.

It is to be hoped that they ate the provisions, but the money—that went to My Lord’s agent for rent, beyond a doubt. And if My Lord’s agent was certain that he could depend upon the lady from Cork as a permanent almoner, he would ascertain to a penny just how much she intended to give, and raise the rent to that amount.

My Lord’s agent is as ravenous and insatiable as a grave-yard—he takes all that comes.

The lady from Cork is spending her entire time and a great deal of money in the interest of her people. It requires actual sight to understand the condition of the Irish.

image not available




MR. CHARLES STEWART PARNELL, lately in Kilmainhaim Jail for the crime of lifting up his voice in behalf of an oppressed people, represents Cork in the British Parliament, and his constituents determined to give him a reception.

In Catholic countries political demonstrations take place on Sunday, always, the Catholic having attended services in the morning, devoting the rest of the day to recreation and public business. And besides this reason for Sunday demonstrations in any country under British rule, the citizen does not have time enough on any other day to make any demonstrations, political or otherwise. He has to earn his two meals of potatoes a day, and his landlord has a mortgage upon the remainder of his time. Sunday is his only day, and it is a blessed thing for him that the Church of England stands between him and his landlord. Were not labor on the Sabbath illegal, My Lord would raise his rent to the point of making Sunday labor necessary.

I had always supposed that America was the country for demonstrations of a public nature, and indeed we do get up some monsters in this way, but the Irish, in 1881, did things, compared with which our largest are but pigmies.

Early in the morning the city began filling with people. They came singly and in pairs, and in processions. They came from down the river, from up the river, from the east, west, north and south; they came in steamboats, by rail, on horses and donkeys, in wagons and donkey carts, and on foot. By nine o’clock Cork was swarming with people, literally swarming.

Then came the most wonderful procession I ever saw or ever expect to see. The trades and occupations of the city were in bodies with emblems, flags and banners; the Land Leagues of the entire south of Ireland were there with appropriate banners, and then came a swarming, seething, boiling mass of humanity, without order, without form or coherence. There were men, women and children, on foot, and in all sorts and descriptions of vehicles, and bestriding every animal that permits its back to be crossed. There were women with children in their arms, men carrying their boys to save them from being crushed in the press; there were old men, young men and boys, maids and matrons of all ages, all sorts and conditions of people, in all sorts of garments; men and women shod, men and women barefooted, and all in one inextricable jam.

If there was an idea in the way of a banner that was not in that procession it escaped my notice; and if there was a form or manner of decoration that was not in the seemingly endless mass of humanity that I did not notice, it was because there was so much of it that one pair of eyes could not take it all in.

The procession was fully ten miles long, and there were in it not less than one hundred thousand people. I know that mass meetings are always exaggerated, but there were actually that number in that monster procession on that Sunday.

A very great deal is said about the intemperance of the Irish people. In all this vast throng, this hive of human beings, there were but three drunken men. Also, much is said about their tendency to brawls. There was not a single fight. The procession was wild in enthusiasm, wild in cheering and handkerchief-shaking, but there was not a blackened eye nor a broken head. I never saw one-fourth the number of Americans together that did not eventuate in a score or two of fights. Ireland certainly behaved herself remarkably well on that occasion.


There was one curious scene. A young man in Cork in the early days of the Land League had been suspected of playing into the hands of the government, for gain. Since the movement became overwhelmingly popular, he shifted his course and tried to curry favor with the Leaguers, but without success. They did not trust him. A carriage was set apart for the use of the prominent Americans then in the city, and he, by sheer impudence, forced himself upon them. He managed to get himself seated upon the box of the carriage, making himself exceedingly conspicuous.

It was a kind of conspicuosity which the young Irishmen did not like. They remembered his betrayal of the cause a few months before, and they believed his present zeal was for effect and not honest. They would not have him foist himself upon their American friends. There was no violence, no obstreperousness. Ten of them, five upon each side, formed beside the carriage, and they kept step as soldiers do, only instead of the regular “Left!” “Left!” the words were “Come down!” “Come down!” He tried to reason with them; he said all sorts of pretty things to them; he assured them of his entire and utter devotion to the cause; but to every word he uttered there came the one response, “Come down!” “Come down!” He came. He might have resisted force, but the moral suasion in the simple words “Come down!” was too much for him. He descended from the carriage and slunk away in the crowd, and we saw no more of him. Immediately the young men fell into rank, and the procession swept on. It was their way of punishing one who was seeking for himself instead of for the mass.

And that enormous mass of people paraded the streets all day, and in the evening, in the fields outside the city, they waited patiently and listened to speeches from the leaders of the people, every sentence bringing a quick response.

As grand as was the demonstration, it was no mere man worship that was at the bottom of it. It was not so much in honor of their leader; it was a protest of a great people against a system which has already driven out from the country two-thirds of the entire population, and which would drive out the remainder were there means enough left to take them. It was the wail of a starving people, a naked people, a robbed, outraged and oppressed people. It was a protest against bayonet rule, a protest against carbines and ball cartridges, an appeal for the right to live upon the ground upon which they

image not available



were born. Had they arms probably they would make this protest in another form, and there never was a cause in which arms could be taken up so justly, but unfortunately they have not. The British government allows the Irishman to bear nothing more deadly than the spade, and all the arms that are in Ireland are used to compel him to use that implement for British greed.

image not available


I was present at an eviction near Skibbereen. An eviction is a very simple thing. The landlord desires to possess himself of the land which a tenant holds, having been born upon it, his father and his grandfather for many generations back. When the land passed into the hands of the present alleged owners it was worthless, but several generations have toiled upon it, until it has been “reclaimed,” as they term it, and made into good soil, which will yield crops. The landlord has raised the rent regularly, keeping the tenant and his family down to the potato and stirabout point, until it is impossible for him to pay. There is no question of a desire to pay—paying is a physical impossibility, unless the tenant has a son in America, and even in that case the rent is raised to the point of absorbing the boy’s wages. Just as the crop is ripening the landlord gets out a process of eviction, a bailiff, backed by thirty constabularly, go to the house, the warrant is served, the tenant knows exactly what is to happen, and he goes out without a word. But the mother, not so well versed in English law, does make a protest. As wretched as the cabin is, as poor as are her surroundings, it is the only home she has. In this wretched cabin her children were born, this is her home, and no woman relinquishes that without a protest. But she might as well whistle against the north wind. There is no pity nor mercy in these beasts, to say nothing of justice.

First the poor furniture is pitched out into the road, then the children are thrown out after the furniture, and then the woman is hustled out, the door is nailed up, and the family are by the roadside in the cold or rain. Pat or Mick, as the case may be, is offered another farm, farther up the mountain, a piece of land, bog and rock, which he may go on and convert into smiling fields only to be evicted from that when his landlord sees fit, or he may die by the roadside.

image not available


In the village of Kenmare, there were thirteen families one cold wet morning, out on the roadside, men, women and children, some of the latter being only two months old, their only protection being blankets made of potato sacks stretched upon four sticks driven into the cold clay, and their only bed, leaves, which were wet with the rain. The mothers were boiling their potatoes, contributed by neighbors almost as poor as themselves, in pots suspended from extemporized tripods, the fuel being leaves and twigs.


image not available


What became of them? I do not know. I presume some of the children died from exposure, but that was nothing to the landlord or his agent. They were too young to work, and really stood in the way of the mother and father paying their rent. Possibly the father working in the mines in Wales, got money enough before the children were all dead to enable them to get into some kind of a shelter.

It is only necessary for me to say that they were there, and there because they could not pay an unmerciful rent unmercifully exacted and relentlessly pursued.

image not available



An English landlord’s agent would levy upon a child’s coffin for arrearages of rent, and the British government would give him thirty soldiers to protect the bailiff in serving the process. They wish it distinctly understood that rent must be paid though the heavens fall. Rent is My Lord’s living and the agent’s also. Where mercy is shown to one tenant others might expect it, and so the rule must be inexorable.

“Boycotting” is a system devised by Mr. James Redpath, of America. It is this: The landlord, when he has made up his mind that he wants to rob a tenant of the land he once owned, and which he has, does not evict him in the Spring. He waits till the tenant has dug up the ground, planted it and tended it, and it is ready for the harvest. He wants to steal the crops as well as the land, and so just before harvest he gets out his process, and accompanied by the everlasting thirty constables, armed with carbines, he makes his descent. The process is served, the tenant and his family are pitched out into the street, and the place taken possession of.

Prior to the Land League, the villain had no difficulty in employing labor to secure the crop, thus giving the agent his percentage of the robbery, and enabling My Lord to indulge in fresh extravagances in London or Paris, or wherever he might be. But the Land League steps in now, and My Lord’s agent cannot find a man who will put a sickle into the ground. No matter what price he offers, or how sorely the laborer needs work, or how cheaply he would be glad to work for any one else, he will not work for this man at any price. Consequently the crops rot on the ground, and if the robbed tenant gets no benefit from his labor, My Lord in Paris, and his agent at home, do not.

I was in one cottage over the bay from Glengariff, in a cabin in which three men were sitting listlessly, waiting for work. They had nothing to eat but the everlasting potatoes, and would have given their lives, almost, for something to do that would keep the pot boiling, even though there was nothing but potatoes in it.

Enter My Lord’s agent.

“Come, men. I want you for a few days.”

“Yis, sor, what is it?”

“I want you on Captain ——’s place. I will give you two shillings a day.”

Ten pence a day is good wages.

“Is it on Mickey Doolan’s farrum?”


“We don’t want wurruk. We’re rich, and are enjoyin’ ourselves.”

Mickey Doolan was the evicted tenant, and had the agent offered them a thousand pounds an hour he could not have got a stroke from one of them.

This is boycotting. The process was first tried upon a Captain Boycott, hence the term. It was an invention of Mr. James Redpath, as I said, and a very clever one it is.

To prevent the evicted tenant from taking another farm, and reclaiming it for the benefit of My Lord and his agent, the Land League makes him the princely allowance of three shillings a week, on which he supports his family, and it finds him some sort of a shelter. My Lord and his agent have the privilege of getting in the crops themselves, else they rot in the field.

There is no violence, no shooting or mobbing—only passive resistance. The British government cannot compel a man to labor, and there is left the Irish the blessed boon of dying from starvation. Possibly the government will make labor compulsory—it would not be worse than most of the laws for the government of the unhappy island now in force. But so far the Irishman need not labor for an unjust landlord unless he chooses to, and that means he need not labor for any of them.

There is no such thing as a just landlord in Ireland. Ireland is a cow to be milked, and just enough potatoes are given her to make the milk.


You hear a great deal in America about shooting landlords. How many landlords have been shot? It is much to the discredit of the Irish race that more have not been; but the melancholy fact is, only a very few have been put out of the way by buck-shot. When I look over the meagre list I blush for the Irish. It is something in the way of an offset to know that they are not permitted to have arms, and it may be plead in extenuation that the police and soldiery are all pervading; but, nevertheless, it does seem as though a few more might be picked off. If they cannot have fire-arms, there are at least pitch-forks and stones. Clearly, the Irish are not so public-spirited as they should be.

image not available


One was shot, some years ago, and a great to-do was made about it. In this case, as in most of the others, it was not a question of rent. My Lord had visited his estates to see how much more money could be screwed out of his tenants, and his lecherous eye happened to rest upon a very beautiful girl, the eldest daughter of a widow with seven children. Now, this beautiful girl was betrothed to a nice sort of a boy, who, having been in America, knew a thing or two. My Lord, through his agent, who is always a pimp as well as a brigand, ordered Kitty to come to the castle. Kitty, knowing very well what that meant, refused.

“Very good,” says the agent, “your mother is in arrears for rent, and you had better see My Lord, or I shall be compelled to evict her.”

Kitty knew what that meant, also. It meant that her gray-haired mother, her six helpless brothers and sisters, would be pitched out by the roadside, to die of starvation and exposure; and so Kitty, without saying a word to her mother or any one else, went to the castle, and was kept there three days, till My Lord was tired of her, when she was permitted to go.

image not available


She went to her lover, like an honest girl, and told him she would not marry him, but refused to give any reason.


Finally, the truth was wrenched out of her, and Mike went and found a shot-gun that had escaped the watchful eye of the royal constabulary, and he got powder, and shot, and old nails, and he lay behind a hedge under a tree for several days. Finally, one day My Lord came riding by, all so gay, and that gun went off, and “subsequent events interested him no more.” There was a hole, a blessed hole, clear through him, and he never was so good a man before, because there was less of him.

Then Mike went to Kitty and told her to be of good cheer, and not be cast down; that the little difference between him and My Lord had been happily settled, and that they would be married as soon as possible. And they were married, and I had the pleasure of taking in my hand the very hand that fired the blessed shot, and of seeing the wife to avenge whose cruel wrongs the shot was fired.

“Vengeance is mine!” is written. In these cases it is well to facilitate the vengeance a trifle by means of a shot-gun. I object to keeping such a man as My Lord out of fire and brimstone a minute. Give the devil his due, and never let the note he holds go to protest.

An immense reward was offered for information leading to the conviction of the noble man who fired the shot, but, though every man, woman and child in a radius of twenty miles knew exactly who did it, no one was found base enough to lodge information against him.

You see the Irish all have daughters and they are all comely, and if shooting lords for such crimes comes to be a rule, the lords will turn their lecherous eyes elsewhere. There are worse things in the world than shot-guns. That particular one should be wreathed with flowers, and hung up in the church of that Parish. There is much moral suasion in a shot-gun loaded with rusty nails.

I entered one cabin in the Galtees which rather eclipsed anything in the way of misery that I had seen. It was the smallest and the most wretched of any I had investigated, and there was a refinement of wretchedness about the whole arrangement that to an American would seem impossible. The children were the thinnest that I had ever seen. It was poverty condensed—it was wretchedness boiled down. It was the very essence of misery.

“What rent do you pay for this place?”

“Three pounds a year, sor!”

Then with an inflection in my voice that had something of sarcasm, I suppose, in it, I asked:—

“Is that all?”

“Oh, no sor, I pay a pound a year, poor rate!”

Think of it! To pay a poor rate implies that somebody is poorer than the payer. Here was a family living in a pig style, and paying fifteen dollars a year for the privilege, who, with a starving and almost naked family, was compelled in addition to this monstrous rental to contribute an additional five dollars per year for the support of the poor!

image not available


This would be humorous were it not ghastly. Had she intended it as a joke it would have been a good one, but unfortunately it was no joke. The British government is not jocular. The wretched woman was actually paying a tax to support the poor! What must be the condition of the poor if such as she were paying to support them?

I was in the postoffice at Cork, when a middle-aged woman came in and received a letter. She opened it and read it, or rather read a few lines. The letter dropped to the floor, and she staggered and would have fallen but for the friendly wall against which she leaned.

“What is the matter?”

“Oh, sor, Patsey is dead—and who’ll pay the rint!”


Here it was again! Patsey was her son, a boy of nineteen, who by the aid of an uncle who had fortunately escaped from the clutches of the British government, years ago, had been taken to America. He had found employment and had been regularly sending money to his mother to pay the rent of the miserable cabin she existed in. She had not heard from him for six weeks and had been worried about him. This letter was from his room-mate, and it conveyed the intelligence that he had been sick for six weeks, and that his sickness had terminated in death. Poor Patsey was dead and buried.

What kind of an infamy is it that will not permit a mother to mourn the death of her first born without connecting it with “rint?” This one could not, for as dearly as she loved Patsey, there were six others just as dear to her, to whom Patsey was the life. It was Patsey in America who shielded the others from starvation. What kind of an infernalism is it that grips the hearts of women, that lays its icy iron finger upon the tenderest chords in a mother’s heart?

“Patsey’s dead—who’ll pay the rint!”

Death and rent! A most proper combination. Rent is death.

Tibbitts is here, but I am sorry to say that that not altogether exemplary young man is paying a great deal more attention to Irish whisky than he is to Irish troubles.

He came in very much intoxicated last night at twelve o’clock, and I reproved him for the condition he was in.

“It’s my (hic) mother that did it,” he replied. “My mother in Oshkosh.”

“Your mother, you—well, that is too much!”

“True, ’shoor you. She wrote me a long letter, which I got this mornin'. (Hic.) R’ligious letter, and a mighty (hic) good one. (Hic.) Great woman, mother. She said man in state of nature (hic) was wicked as sparks fly upward. Struck me (hic) as true. What was duty? To get out of state of nature. (Hic.) Man full of Irish whisky is not in state (hic) nature—entirely unnatural. Ergo—man drunk not bein’ in state of nature, not sinner. See? Logic. Have too much regard (hic) for mother’s feelings to be in state of nature. Never will be, so long as the old (hic) man comes down.”

I don’t think he ever will be. Clearly, it is my duty to have the young man sent home as soon as possible.

While I am informed that Irish whisky is less destructive of the tissues than English gin or British brandy, or the vile compound they call ale, it will intoxicate, and I do not accept Mr. Tibbitt’s logic. His getting outside of whisky does not enable him to get outside of himself.

image not available

Conemara Women.



IT is very difficult to make an American understand the Irish question, for the simple reason we have nothing parallel to it in our own country; for which every American should thank his Heavenly Father, who cast his lines in such pleasant places.

Whenever you speak to an American about the woes and wrongs of Ireland he at once says, “Why does the Irish farmer sign a lease which he knows he cannot live to?” “If he don’t like the country and the laws, why don’t he get out of it?” “Why is it, the country being under one government, that the English farmer and the North of Ireland farmer are prosperous, while the South of Ireland farmer is in a state of discontent?”

The trouble with the man who asks these questions is, he doesn’t know anything about the subject. He measures everybody’s grain in his half-bushel. He supposes that under English government, as in America, there is one law which obtains everywhere, and under which all men are equal.

I shall try to make it plain how a farmer in one part of Ireland may be prosperous, and in another poorer than the pigs he fattens.

To understand this matter it is necessary to go back some hundreds of years. All grievances took root a long way back—the world has got too wise to commence or tolerate any new ones.

Originally Ireland was an independent kingdom; in fact, five independent kingdoms. Under the kings were the clans. The Clan O’Connor, for instance, held a certain amount of land—not each man an owner in fee simple, but in common. That is to say, the ownership of the soil was in the clan as a community, each family of the clan holding its land forever, and that land was distributed among them as the best interests of the clan dictated. The chief of the clan was elected, and he was their general, their counsellor, their judge, their advisor, philosopher, guide and friend. He was the father of the clan.

image not available


To support the dignity of his position, and to bear the expenses of the post of honor put upon him, a tribute was paid to him, based upon the land held—so much per acre. It was very light, for the chief farmed land, as did the clansmen; and there was, for the time, a fair degree of prosperity in the island—as much as could be expected for that day and generation. At least everybody had all they could eat, drink and wear.


The English wanted Ireland, and England did with Ireland as it has done with every country it ever desired to possess. She simply measured bayonets, and, finding her bayonet the strongest, took possession. This work was begun by Henry II., but received a great impetus from Henry VIII., the brute who was so handy at decapitating his wives, and it was followed up vigorously by succeeding kings and queens.

The country was conquered, the chieftains were expelled, the land was divided up among the favorites of the English kings, and the people found themselves tenants at will of a foreign proprietary, instead of being actually owners in fee simple of their own land.

England never does an injustice by halves. She is very moderate in the matter of mercy and justice, and things of that nature, but when it comes to robbery and spoliation she knows no middle way. When Elizabeth determined upon occupying Ireland, the orders were to spare neither man, woman nor child.

The chiefs were driven out, and the land of the clans was distributed among the favorites of the English court. Sir Walter Raleigh had forty-two thousand acres given him from the estate of the Munster Geraldines, and a proclamation was made through England, inviting “younger brothers of good families” to undertake the planting of the land from which the Irish—the owners and occupiers of the soil—had been killed or driven off, and the repopulation of the country, “none of the native Irish to be admitted.”

Under this invitation, which the English robbers were not slow to accept, scores of estates were given to the dissolute nobility of England, who were willing enough to take possession of land which they got for nothing, and which would give them means to dodge the primal curse of labor. What they wanted was to live as they wanted, by the sweat of other men’s brows, and British bayonets gave the means.

It is not possible to detail the outrages perpetrated upon this unfortunate people by the kings and queens of England, but let it suffice to say that a wholesale system of spoliation, robbery, and even extirpation, was inaugurated and most relentlessly and rigorously pursued. Man, woman and child, and even the animals that could not be driven off and sold, were destroyed.

There never was, in the history of the world, a record so black with infamy, so red with blood, or so scarlet with injustice.

image not available



This is the way England obtained possession of Ireland. This is the title by which My Lord This, and My Lord That, holds the lands he exacts rent for to-day. This is his deed to the property upon which five millions of people are eating two meals of potatoes a day, that he may gamble and keep mistresses in London and Paris.

“Why does he sign a lease, the conditions of which he cannot fulfil?”

There are no leases. It is not as it is in America, where the tenant and the landlord come together, and bargain and wrangle over the terms, and when an agreement is arrived at both are bound by the terms thereof. There is no lease, no writing, no courts, except for the landlord. The tenant is born upon the ground which British brute force, the only principle there is in British government, robbed him of. The new landlord enforced upon him by the pikes of Elizabeth’s banditti, said to him, “The rent of this land will be one shilling an acre.” He could go nowhere else. He knew no other country, and so he bowed his head and built with his own hands a cabin—in the subjugation the old homes were entirely destroyed—and went to work upon land, forty acres of which, in its natural state, would not pasture a goat.

Before it had any value whatever the bog had to be cut off, the stones dug out—in short, the land had to be made. They call it “reclaiming.”

The tenant has no lease. He is purely and simply in the power of the landlord. Whatever rent the landlord chooses to exact, that is the rent he must pay. He is a tenant at will—and the will is the will of his landlord, the English robber who lives in luxury in London and Paris, and permits himself to be fleeced by sharpers, who, differing from the English, use finesse instead of force. In brute force the English cannot be excelled; when it comes to decent robbery, the kind of robbery where the victim has some sort of compensation in the knowing that it was accomplished by superior acumen, the English are babies.

The tenant—the robbed farmer—for his own sake is compelled to go on and reclaim the land; he must raise something, for he has children who must be fed; and so he digs out the rocks, and cuts the bog, and makes good, arable land out of what was a barren and dreary waste.

What happens to him then? Why, My Lord in Paris has a subordinate watching his tenant. There is nothing so mean that there is not something meaner. Cruel as My Lord is, he has a crueller man under him. And that is My Lord’s agent. He comes to the miserable holding, and he notices that Pat has reclaimed an acre more this year. Immediately he says to Pat, “Your rent next year, my fine fellow, will be advanced.”

image not available



What can Pat do? Nothing. He can’t get off the land, for the merciless exactions of My Lord, who is living in Paris and London, have left him nothing; he cannot get away; he has no title to possession a minute; he can be evicted from his holding at any time, for any one of a thousand causes; there are no courts he can appeal to, as in America, for the magistrates are all landlords. And so he bows his head, and meekly goes on and reclaims more land, only to have the rent raised for every acre made valuable by the labor of his own hands; until, finally, it comes to a point where he has reclaimed the entire holding, and My Lord’s agent comes to the conclusion that it is better for him and My Lord—their interests are identical—to convert the farm into a sheep-walk, and Pat is evicted—which is to say, he is thrown out upon the roadside to starve, with his wife and children; and the cabin he has built is torn down.

Does he get anything for the making of the land? Not a halfpenny. All the labor bestowed upon that land, originally his, goes to My Lord, whose mistresses in London and Paris need it. They must have their silks and velvets, they must have their wines and carriages, and horses and servants—and Pat must pay for it.

It must be understood that there is no such thing as leases in the South and West of Ireland—the landlord dictates the terms, and the tenant must accept them. He has no alternative. He cannot get away; he has nothing to get away with. As to the difference between the farmer of the North and South of Ireland, it is not true that the farmer of the North is a wonderfully prosperous man, but it is true that he is better off than the farmer of the South. Why? Because there is not one law governing the whole country. The “custom” that governs one section does not govern the other.

Now, please, get this infamy in your mind, and try to comprehend it. The British government actually drove the Irish, which is to say the native owners of the soil, out of the North of Ireland into the South. The phrase “To hell or Connaught” had its origin in this. It was to Connaught that these people were condemned to go, the alternative being death.

Of course no American can understand why anybody should go to any place that he does not want to go, America being a free country. But the American must understand that England is not a free country; that the corrupt and vicious nobility of England wanted ground upon which they could commit piracy, and that they had the entire power of the British government behind it. The English bayonet is a rare persuader, especially when it has the stolid cruelty and the iron will of a Cromwell behind it. Let a man like Oliver Cromwell breathe upon a bayonet, and you may reasonably expect to see a baby impaled upon it in a minute. To have satisfied his ambition, and what he, in a mistaken way, considered his duty, he would have burned his mother.

It was considered necessary to have an English garrison in the land. To accomplish this the Irish were driven out of the North of Ireland, and when I say driven out, I mean driven out. They were forced to go, man, woman and child, into the wilds of Connaught.

Then the land vacated by this exodus, at the end of a bayonet—British rule always means bayonet, British statesmanship begins and ends with a bayonet, that being the only thing in the world that does not think—this land was divided up among the dissolute villains who infested the British Court, and for whom, they being the alleged sons of nobles, something must be done.

But a condition was attached to these grants of stolen lands. No native Irishman was to have a holding there. It was considered necessary that there should be in Ireland a garrison of what they chose to call “loyal” citizens, to hold the robbed and outraged Irish who had been driven into the South in check. Therefore the North of Ireland was given to the dissolute younger sons of dissolute English Lords, upon condition that their tenants should be English or Scotch, and in all cases Protestants.

image not available



To get English or Scotch farmers to join in this wholesale brigandage, there had to be some inducement held out. They were not compelled to come upon the ground, and they made their bargain with the Lords. They insisted upon fixity of tenure, a low rent and free sale, which is to say they would not enter upon these stolen lands except upon a low rent, and if they made improvements they should have the benefit thereof, and if they chose to quit the lands they should have the right to sell the improvements they had made, and that the improvements should be a part of the value of the lands, and their interest therein should be an interest in law and equity.

This was agreed to, and on these conditions the North of Ireland was settled by English and Scotch Protestants; the “custom” known as “Ulster custom” was established, and is law to-day.

image not available


But “Ulster custom” does not extend over the entire island. While the farmer in Ulster has fair rent, fixity of tenure and free sale, the farmer of Cork and Tipperary has nothing of the kind. He is a simple tenant at will. He holds a farm at the will of his landlord; his life is in the hands of a dissolute scoundrel who has no brains, backed by a dissolute scoundrel in the form of an agent who has brains, and both of these scoundrels are backed by the bayonets of the most infamous government on the face of the earth.

“Ulster custom” gives the tenant some rights. “Cork custom” is quite another thing. “Ulster custom” was a bribe. “Cork custom” is robbery. It is a system of wholesale confiscation of labor, of body and soul.

The farmer of Cork and Tipperary has nothing to say about himself, his wife or his children. If the son of the thief who stole his land loses money at bacaret in Paris, he telegraphs the other thief, his agent, that he wants money, and the secondary thief, who has a percentage in the robbery, goes about among the tenants, and raises the rent. And that is all there is about it. The tenant farmer has no lease. He lives upon the land at the pleasure of his landlord, and the measure of the rent he pays is the measure of the landlord’s vices and the agent’s expectations.

Each county has its own “custom,” and the poor, robbed slave lives under that custom. The North of Ireland farmer comes nearer to keeping body and soul together than the South of Ireland farmer, because the villain robbers who expelled the Irish from the North of Ireland had to make a custom more favorable to get the Scotch and English to go there to keep the Catholic Irish in check, and they would not have gone to the country except for some advantage. An English lord will do anything mean for the love of it—the Scotch are altogether too acute to do a mean thing without being paid for it.

An instance, not a very large one, but enough to illustrate the power of the landlord over his victim, the tenant, occurred upon the estate of My Lord Leitrim, who is this minute where I hope never to go if there is a hereafter.

This worthy descendant of a very unworthy race had an industrious tenant, whose farm he had been long coveting. But somehow he did not dare to take it by force, with the feeling there was in the country at the time, and so he sought a legal pretext. An Irish tenant is not permitted by the paternal government, under which he starves and goes naked, to make any improvements without the consent of the landlord. He cannot build an addition to his cabin (this condition is unnecessary, for he couldn’t if he would), he cannot dig a ditch or do anything. This is the law, but it has never been enforced, for in the very nature of things the tenant would not do more than was profitable to himself for the improvement of the land is the enrichment of the landlord, who religiously raises the rent with every improvement made.


This tenant needed a ditch preparatory to the reclamation of a bog farther back, and he had been putting in all his spare time for two years digging it. He did not suppose that My Lord would object to his reclaiming the bog.

image not available


One Saturday Mike was working in the ditch up to his knees in water when My Lord came riding by. He saw his opportunity. He knew the law.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Making the drain, sor,” replied Pat, proudly, for it was a big thing he had undertaken.

“Who gave you permission to make a ditch on my land?” demanded My Lord. “My fine fellow, you have that dirt all back by Monday morning, or out you go.”

Mike saw the trap he had fallen into. Before striking a spade he should have gone to My Lord’s agent, and got permission. But he was in for it, for he knew that My Lord had a legal excuse to rob him of his years of labor.

But the next morning he went to the chapel, and interviewed the priest. The priest asked:—

“If you get that earth back by Monday morning, will you hold the land?”

“Unless the ould—that is—My Lord doesn’t kape his worrud.”

“We’ll try whether he does!” said the father.

And so the sermon that morning was a very short one, and mostly devoted to Mike’s case. At its conclusion the father asked every man in the parish to come at once with his spade and put that earth back. They came—thousands of them—and they wrought with a will, and long before Monday morning the drain was filled up as nicely as possible; and when My Lord came riding by again to see the drain, and give orders for the eviction of Mike, he found that his cruel alternative had been fulfilled, as if by fairies.

An Irishman in Corduroy knee-breeches, with a spade in his hand and a short clay pipe in his mouth, would not make a very happy stage fairy, but he was a very serviceable fairy to Mike.

Had Mike not been so assisted he would have been evicted, and there would have been no appeal from it. He couldn’t employ counsel to fight his battle, for he had nothing with which to pay counsel, and the Justice would be a landlord anyhow, who had other Mikes to evict, and so Mike would have never gone into court at all, but would have accepted his fate in silence.

A cheerful state of affairs, surely.

And speaking of the possibility of paying rent, I remember a young man on the Galtees, insufficiently clad (that was nothing new), working for dear life in a soaking rain.

“How many hours do you work?” I asked.

“From daylight to dark, sor,” was his answer, first peering around before speaking, to be sure that no one heard him. In free Britain it is dangerous for him to talk even of so small a matter as wages.

“And what are your wages?”

“Ten pence a day, sor.”

“Are you satisfied to work for so many hours for so little money?”

“Troth, sor, it wuld be betther for my ould mother if I cud get that the year around.”


Ten pence is about nineteen cents; and understand he was not boarded. Out of that pittance he had to furnish his own food and his own bed. And yet he would have been thankful to the man who would have given him steady work at that price.

To know something of what landlordism really is, and how it all came about, read the following little history of the Barony of Farney:

In 1606 Lord Essex, who had “obtained” a grant of the Barony of Farney, leased it to Evar McMahon, at a yearly rent of two hundred and fifty pounds. And this was a mighty comfortable rent, for, understand, under the Crown grants the one receiving it was only charged for arable land, the bog and mountain land adjacent, then esteemed worthless, being thrown in.

image not available


McMahon sub-let it to poorer men, and they so improved it that, fourteen years later, the same land was let for one thousand five hundred pounds, and in 1636 thirty-eight tenants were compelled to pay a rental of two thousand and twenty-three pounds.

Under the strong hands of the original owners, the robbed peasantry, who found themselves tenants on their own lands, this piece of property was mounting up in value very rapidly.

The Earl of Essex died in 1636 A.D. “His” estate went to his sisters. There is in English families always somebody to inherit, and in case there should not be, the Crown steps in and takes it, that the proceeds of the robbery may not go out of the race. The two sisters married and had children, of course, and in 1690, when the two came together to divide their plunder, it was found that the rentals had risen to twenty-six hundred and twenty-six pounds. Then the rents began to be put up so as to produce something like.

The two daughters had children to be educated and provided for, marriages were getting to be common in the family, and the debts of the youngsters had to be paid. And so in 1769 this estate, which started so modestly at two hundred and fifty pounds, yielded eight thousand pounds.

How? Easily enough. The land in this stolen estate, as I said, was nine-tenths of it bog and stone, and only the arable land, some twenty-five hundred acres, was set down in the lease, all the bog and mountain adjacent for miles around being thrown in. By judiciously evicting the tenants from the arable land and converting it into cattle and sheep walks, and compelling the tenants to go upon the bog and stone land, which they were compelled to reclaim and drain, the original twenty-five hundred acres of arable land silently grew into twenty-four thousand six hundred acres, and fifty-seven families had multiplied to a population of twenty-three thousand eight hundred!

Can there be any way of making a great estate so delightful as this? It is a pleasant thing to have a government steal land and give it to you, and then protect you with bayonets while you are compelling the original owners to improve it for you.

Bear in mind this fact. The plunderers never put a penny upon this land. They never dug a ditch, dug out a stone, or cut a square foot of bog. The cabins the tenantry lived in they built themselves, and every improvement, great and small, they made themselves.

And this process of swindling, robbing, confiscation, spoliation and plunder went on until this estate, which commenced at two hundred and fifty-nine pounds in 1606, now yields the enormous revenue of sixty thousand pounds, or three hundred thousand dollars per annum!


Which is to say, the laborers on this estate have been yearly robbed of their labor, and starved and frozen, that one family in England may live in wasteful luxury. This is all there is of it.

About the same time that Essex got his grant, Sir Walter Raleigh got a grant of forty-two thousand acres (exclusive of bog and waste) from the plunder of the Earl of Desmond’s estates. There lived in London at the time a young lawyer named Boyle, who was probably the worst man then living. He had been a horse thief, a forger, and murder had been charged to him. Raleigh was in prison and wanted money, and Boyle offered him one thousand five hundred pounds for his grant, which Raleigh accepted. Boyle paid him five hundred pounds on account, and promptly swindled him out of the balance.

image not available


Boyle being serviceable to the court (such men always are), was created Earl of Cork, and got from James I. patents for his plunder. Then he proceeded to marry his children into noble English families, the Duke of Devonshire being one of the descendants. One small portion of the estate now yields His Grace an annual income of thirty thousand pounds, being only a part of the land for which his ancestor, the horse-thief, forger and murderer, paid five hundred pounds.

His Grace, the Duke, is not content with the land. Under some clause in the patent given by the pedantic James to the criminal Boyle, he claims the right to the fisheries in the Blackwater, and the Irish Appellate Court, an English landlord’s institution, as are all the courts, sustain the claim, and he levies tribute upon every fish drawn from the waters.

If it were very certain that there is no hereafter, and if a man had no more heart than an exploded bomb shell, it would be a very good thing to be a duke, with a forger and horse-thief for an ancestor. The duke was very judicious in the selection of a father.

The English landlord found after a while that sheep and cattle raising was more profitable than diversified farming, and with that calm, sublime disregard of the rights of the people which is characteristic of the ruling classes in England, eviction became fashionable. The policy pretty much all over Ireland was to clean out the population and consolidate a thousand small farms into one large one.

Between the years 1841 and 1861, twenty years, there were destroyed in Ireland two hundred and seventy thousand cabins, representing a population of one million three hundred thousand, all driven to the workhouse, to exile or death.

The process was a very simple one. A process of eviction was served, the tenant and his family would be pitched out into the road, and the cottage be leveled to the ground. This was originally done with crowbars, but crowbars were too slow. A mechanical genius, who was a landlord and had a great deal of eviction to do, invented a machine to facilitate the process. It was an elaborate arrangement of ropes, and pulleys, and iron dogs, and all that sort of thing, which could be run up beside a cabin and tear the miserable structure down in a few minutes and save a great deal in the way of labor.

This is the only labor-saving machine Irish landlordism has ever produced.

Any system that does not permit the marriage of two persons of sound bodies and minds and of the proper age, is an infamy that should be wiped out at no matter what cost, and no matter what means.


I was walking down a street in Bantry, when I came to a little grocery store, with a ladder projecting over the wretched

image not available


sidewalk. My Lord Bantry, who owns, or professes to, every foot of the ground in the village, is not willing to put the sidewalks in good order. His tenants, who pay him ground rent, built their own homes and are expected to build the sidewalks and keep them in order if they want them. Otherwise they may walk in the mud. My Lord Bantry has his carriage, but he never drives through the village. He does not like to see distress.

This grocery was the property of an old lady of seventy, and perched on the ladder was a girl of about seven teen—her grandchild. She was using a paint brush as vigorously, if not as skillfully, as any male painter that ever lived.

We halted a minute and greeted her. Unclosing a pair of very rosy lips and showing a magnificent row of teeth (it might have been a pride in the teeth that made her open her mouth so wide, but, if so, it was pardonable!), she exclaimed:

image not available


“I am the firsht faymale painther in Oirland! Have ye a job ye can give me?”

And she laughed a very cheery laugh at the little pleasantry.

There was with us a boatman whom we had employed for a sail on the bay. As we passed, he looked back with a pleased expression.

“Nancy, there, on the ladther, is my gurl.”


We congratulated him on his good fortune, for Nancy was a bright, handsome, buxom, cheery girl, who was just the kind that such a man should marry.

“You are to marry her?”

“Yes, some time.”

“Why not now?”

“Marry her now! What on? She has her grandmudther to care for, I have my fadther and mudther, and there is but little boating to do, and the rint is to pay jist the same. I have lived in Ameriky, and want to get back, but I won’t go widout Nancy, and God knows whin I shall git enough to go wid her.”

“Why don’t you marry her and take the chances.”

“Niver! I’ll niver marry a gurl and bring childher into the world to go through what we have had to. I’ve seen enough of it. My fadther has been upon the place all his life and his fadther afore him. They made the land they wuz born upon, and the rint has bin raised rigularly, lavin us jist what we could git to eat, and now at sixty-five and bad wid the rheumatiz, so that he can’t work half the time, he has nothing. I went away to sea, and got to Ameriky, but I had to kim back to take care of him and my mudther, and it’s all I kin do to keep ’em from bein’ evicted. An Amerikin gev me the boat, which he had built for the season, and if it wuzn’t for wat I make out of it we would all be in the workhouse. I’ll never marry Nancy till I kin find some way to git to Ameriky, and some way there to make a dacint livin'. I will niver marry and settle here, to see Nancy and her childher kim up as I kim up, and me livin’ as my fadther and mudther is livin'.”

“And Nancy?”

“It’s hard on the poor gurl, for there are any quantity uv the byes who wants to marry her, but she, with her grandmudther on her hands, knows all about it, and she has sense enough to wait for something to toorn up. It will come, we hope, some day; but it’s weary waitin'.”

And so the two, who in any other country would be wedded and have a cottage of their own, with plenty to eat, and drink, and wear, two who owe the world by this time at least three chubby urchins, the girls like their mother and the boys like their father, are kept apart by this more than inhuman system of landlordism, which is the bottom, top and sides of Irish misery. Others who never knew what it was to live better, would marry and would add to the eternal roll of paupers that make up the population of Ireland; but a residence in God’s country unfitted this man for that. He discovered that man’s natural inheritance was not rags, and filth and starvation, and he determined not to marry till he could get, somehow, to the country where that crowning achievement of the devil’s most astute prime minister, a landlord, is unknown.

image not available


But the poor fellow will have to wait a long time. He is like a bear chained to a post—he can neither fight nor run. My Lord has a mortgage on him, and My Lord’s agent will never let up on him so long as there is a penny to be squeezed out of him. What to My Lord is Nancy and her woes or her hopes? He would be willing she should marry and multiply and replenish the earth, for it would give him more muscle to enslave in time, or rather, the young lord who is riding by on his gaily caparisoned pony, with two flunkies after him, would, when he came into the estate, have the children of the boatman and Nancy to fleece, as the present lord fleeces Nancy and the boatman. But as for his having any care for the welfare of Nancy and the boatman, that is preposterous. The cost of the trappings of the young lord’s pony would make them comfortable, but he would be a bold man who would suggest such a thing to him.



THIS will be found to be a mixed chapter, but I respectfully desire every American to read it very carefully, and to give it some thought after reading it. In America, where one man is as good as another, we have so much that is good that we do not appreciate the blessings we enjoy; we do not realize how much a free government is worth. I am going to put upon paper some few governmental facts, to the end of showing my countrymen what a good government is worth to them, and what a bad government costs the people who groan under it.

In a late number of that especial organ of king-worshipers, the London Illustrated News, there is a beautiful engraving, entitled “The Princess of Wales and Her Daughter, in the Garden of Sandringham.” It is a lovely picture. The garden itself is a study, with its wonderful shrubbery, and flowers, and statuary; a garden that falls but little short of being a Paradise. And the Princess of Wales and her six or eight daughters are just as lovely—by the way, as the British Parliament gives every child born in the royal family a princely estate and an enormous allowance to start with, the royal family all have large families—the Princess herself is arrayed in gorgeous morning costume, with a hat trimmed with ostrich feathers, with a parasol with silken fringe upon it a foot deep, and everything comporting. The children are likewise gorgeously arrayed, and one of them is teaching a pug dog how to sit up, the said pug costing the British people at least an hundred guineas. The entire party are in as jolly a state as can be imagined.

Now I like such scenes as this immensely. I like to see comfort and even luxury. Had the husband of this fortunate woman and the father of these happy children been, early in life, a shoemaker, a tailor, a lawyer, a merchant, or anything under heaven, and had by his own labor and his own skill accumulated the means for all this luxury, I should insist upon his right to enjoy it because he had earned it, and had given the world something for it. But how did this woman get it? Why is she with a parasol with silken fringe a foot deep, her children in silks and satins, while just as good children, and just as good women, in Ireland, are shoeless, stockingless and almost naked! What title has she to the gardens at Sandringham, and by what right does she starve the peasantry of Ireland that she may thus disport herself and her children?

Simply this: She is the wife a dissolute middle-aged man, whose stupid mother was the niece of a stupid uncle, who was the son or brother or something or other of the worst kind of a man in the world, who happened to be the son of a king who was half a lunatic and half an idiot—the same who attempted by hireling soldiery to subjugate America—who became a king because he was the descendant of a race of pirates, who by arms wrested from the people of the countries they invaded, all their rights, and assumed to own the land.

Have these people from first to last ever added one penny to the wealth of the world? Is there any one thing they have ever done to push forward the progress of the nations? Not a thing. On the contrary, they have been the dead weights; they have been the blocks in the way. They simply live, and eat, and drink, and wear and disport themselves in the gardens at Sandringham and an hundred other gardens; they have castles, and servants, and special trains, and all that sort of thing, and hundreds of Guinea pug dogs; and to support all this, with the horde of nobility hanging upon them, and their retainers, the men of Ireland are starving, and the women of Ireland are going shoeless, stockingless, and well nigh naked.


I am not especially cruel in my nature, but were the royal family of England to invite the royal family of Prussia, and the Czar of Russia, and the King of Italy, and the Sultan of Turkey, and all the kings of the world, with all their nobles, to an excursion on the German ocean, and were the ships all to go down to the bottom of the sea, and make an end of the whole business at once, I should thank Heaven more fervently than I ever did before in my life. Royalty is larceny in the first degree. It is larceny all the way down, according to the amount of the spoil.

image not available


I did not confine my observations of land troubles to Ireland alone, though it is in Ireland that there is the worst condition of affairs, for the reason that there is a vital difference between the ruling classes of England and the entire Irish people, in race and religion, and that makes a great deal more difference in the British Empire than anywhere else on the footstool.

But the English or Scotch farmer has not so happy a time of it as he might have, and England will have just as violent a land agitation as Ireland within a very few years. The average Englishman has a vast veneration for royalty and nobility, and all that sort of thing, for he ascribes to the “system” what he himself has done to make Britain great, but his wife and children are nearer to him than Her Majesty or My Lord, and he is beginning to ask why he is yearly getting worse off, while Her Majesty and My Lord are living even more luxuriously and expensively than ever?

When a strong, vigorous race of men get to asking themselves this question, it is high time that Her Majesty and My Lord begin to look out for themselves. The French peasantry and the French artisans made it very warm for the “Divine Righters” several times, and finally they have a republic that will endure; not the best republic in the world, but a very good attempt at one; as good as we could expect from Frenchmen.

Farming in England doesn’t pay much better than in Ireland, and the reason for it, as in Ireland, is summed up in the one word, rent. In Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and Cambridgeshire, there are hundreds upon hundreds of farms vacant, and doing nothing, the reason being the insecurity of tenant farmers and the rottenness of land ownership. It all comes from the fact that in England as in Ireland, the fee simple of the land is in the hands of the few, and that the few owners regard the tenants as so many cows to be milked for their infernal extravagancies, and that they are so stupid that they cannot be made to understand that there is a point beyond which the tenant cannot go, and that when that point is reached something must break.


One farm I saw was a good piece of land of two hundred and eighty acres. It lies as dead as Julius Cæsar, and is growing up to thistles. Why? Because the rent is four hundred pounds a year, or two thousand dollars. It has been screwed up to that point by successive owners, till the closest labor and the most starving economy will not pay the rent. It would not pay it anywhere on the globe.

In Nottinghamshire the “Noble” proprietors are having their farms left upon their hands for the same reasons, and they are attempting to farm them by their agents, practically evicting the skilled labor which was born upon the soil and is best fitted to cultivate it.

These owners are those whose debts compel them to get something out of their land. They either attempt to farm them themselves, or they make leases at a rent just low enough to induce their tenants to continue.

image not available


But there is another class that is not so merciful—or rather who are not compelled to be just, and the English nobleman is never just except upon compulsion. These are the drones who are actually rich, and have an income from some plunder outside of their lands. They will not make leases at all, for fear of losing the game! They want this beautiful land to grow up into shelter for hares and birds and all that sort of thing, for the sake of the pleasure of shooting in the season. The distress of the evicted tenant—eviction by reason of exorbitant rent is as certain as eviction for non-payment—is nothing to them. They must have their preserves of game; they must have their sport.

The process is the same in England as it is in Ireland. The landlord puts his estates in the hands of an agent, selecting for the purpose a man with a heart of flint and a face of brass, one who knows no mercy, and who would not do a kind act were he paid for it.

The tenant appeals to him for a reduction, but he might as well ask mercy of a tiger. Then in his despair goes to the landlord.

“My good sir,” says the landlord, beaming upon him benevolently, “I know nothing about these things. The matter is entirely in the hands of Mr. Smithson, my agent. Go to him.”

“But I have been to him and he will do nothing.”

“Really I regret it. But Mr. Smithson knows all about it—I don’t. If he, with a knowledge of the situation—that is what he is there for—can do nothing, I cannot. I am not to be expected to know anything about it, nor can I meddle with business that is his.”

And the poor devil of a tenant, with the prospect of starving on the land or emigrating from the only place on earth which to him is a home, goes away sadly, and My Lord or the Rev., as the case may be, drops his agent a note, saying:—“Jobson was here to get a reduction of his rent. He will stay, and can be made to pay. Be firm with him.”

Then the agent tells Jobson that lowering the rent is out of the question—and Jobson stays, for he does not want to leave. He buys his artificial manures and his fertilizers from the agent, for he can get credit nowhere else, the agent has a handsome commission from the manufacturer, and so between the agent and the landlord, the manufacturer and the usurer, and the rest of them, Jobson works fourteen hours a day only in the end to either lie down and die or by the help of friends get away to America.


I know one tenant who, dissatisfied with an agent’s apology for serious and unreasonable raising of his rent, determined to see the duke himself. At the interview His Grace said he really knew nothing about the matter; he had put the re-valuing into the hands of the most eminent man recommended to him; and, in short, if the tenant did not feel comfortable, it was open to him to leave and let another man come in at the new terms. Now this was the cruel truth, but only part of the truth. The tenant could not quit without tremendous sacrifice of his property—to say nothing of his home-love and other feelings. So he answered, “Your Grace, I cannot leave without ruinous loss; I have farmed well for many years; I can get nothing else at my time of life; and hence your power to oppress me.”

All England is dotted with unoccupied farms, and these blotches upon the fair face of nature are becoming more frequent every year.

There are in England about five hundred packs of hounds, numbering about eighty each, or forty thousand in all. The hunting horses number about one hundred and fifteen thousand, and the yearly cost of these hunting establishments is estimated at more than forty-five million dollars.

image not available


These estimates do not include the original cost of the establishments, it is merely the annual expense. The first cost goes up into hundreds of thousands, for enormous prices are paid for good hunters and the better breeds of hounds.

And this hunting is no joke to the farmer. The horsemen and the hounds go across the country, and it matters little to them what damage is done to crops, grounds and animals. The tenant has no rights that the landlord is bound to respect, and he must submit to whatever burdens are imposed upon him.

It may be necessary to keep up the “good old English customs,” and to encourage “manly sports,” but are not the stomachs of the tenants and the stomachs of the tenant’s children worthy of some consideration? And then if killing game is a sport to be encouraged to keep up English manliness, why not give the tenantry, who, after all, do the fighting, a shy at it? Why keep all the good things for the nobility? John Hodge could improve his markmanship and his manhood by having an occasional shot at a deer, or a hare, and the deer or hare would not be an unacceptable addition to his remarkably short commons at table. But were John to presume to be seen with a gun in his hand he would be shot at by a burly game keeper, and if not killed would be arrested, tried, convicted and transported. What is My Lord’s amusement is John Hodge’s crime.

Inasmuch as the British government is for one class only, that class takes mighty good care of itself. Men in favor with the ruling classes are pensioned for life, and in many cases the pension goes beyond life, and is handed down to descendants on more pleas than is comprehensible. The army, the navy, the law departments, the State departments, the—well, if there is a department in the English government that is not like a comet, the pension tail ten times as long as the department nucleus, I have not found it.

The list of pensioners set in very small type, two columns to the page, occupy twenty-two large pages. And this enormous list is made up not of the common soldiers and sailors, but entirely of what are called gentlemen pensioners—men who were foisted into office as the younger sons of the nobility, or “sisters, cousins and aunts,” and after a few years of loafing about the government offices retired upon life pensions.

A fair sample of these pensions is that of the Duke of Schomberg. The duke was killed at the battle of the Boyne, in the year 1690, and a pension of six thousand pounds or thirty thousand dollars per annum was given his heirs. It is estimated that this family, the heirs of a foreign mercenary, has received from the British government the enormous sum of six hundred and eighty thousand pounds, or in American money three million four hundred thousand dollars! And this for his being a favorite of William of Orange, a Dutch King!


Rev. J. Smith, whoever he may be, served at the Lord knows what, twenty-three years, at a yearly salary of three hundred and sixty-four pounds, and was retired at fifty-six years of age with the comfortable pension for life of two hundred and thirty-one pounds annually! And so on you go, wading through twenty-two closely printed pages, two columns to the page, of just such cases, the yearly allowance for these excrescencies footing up for the year 1879 the enormous sum of one million three hundred and thirteen thousand two hundred and fifty-eight pounds! It is a good thing to be the favorite of a duke.

image not available


The Royal family have a remarkably soft thing of it. Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, receives a yearly allowance of eight thousand pounds, the Prince of Wales receives the snug sum of forty thousand pounds, which he manages to squander in questionable ways (this does not include the grants Parliament has made at divers and sundry times to pay his debts), the Princess of Wales ten thousand pounds, Prince Alfred ten thousand pounds from his marriage and fifteen thousand pounds from his majority—twenty-five thousand pounds in all—Prince Arthur fifteen thousand pounds, Princess Alice six thousand pounds, Princess Louise, she of Canada, six thousand pounds, Princess Mary five thousand pounds, Prince Leopold fifteen thousand pounds, Princess Augusta three thousand pounds, Duke of Cambridge twelve thousand pounds, and in addition the last mentioned fraud has princely pay as field marshal, general, colonel, and no one knows what else.

Whoever chooses may figure up what all this costs the people of Great Britain. I have not the patience.

And bear in mind the fact that this does not represent any portion of what these absorbers take out of the people. This is merely pin money for the female leeches and pocket money for the male! In addition to this they have enormous estates all over England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; they have offices beyond number, with a salary attached to each, and they have allowances for everything under heaven. If the tax-payer breathes it costs him something, for the nobility have revenues based upon everything.

The Royal household is a curiosity. There’s the Lord Steward, who draws two thousand pounds a year; the Lord Treasurer and Comptroller, nine hundred pounds each; Master of the Household, twenty one hundred and fifty-eight pounds; Secretary of the Board of Green Cloth, whatever that may be, three hundred pounds; Paymaster, five hundred pounds; Lord Chamberlain, two thousand pounds; Keeper of the Privy Purse, two thousand pounds; Assistant Keeper of the Privy Purse, one thousand pounds. It takes two men to keep the privy purse, and it is large enough to require it. Then there are eight Lords in waiting, who get for waiting seven hundred and two pounds each, and there are grooms in waiting, grooms of the privy chamber, extra grooms in waiting, four gentlemen ushers, one “Black Rod,” whatever he may do I don’t know, but for being a “Black Rod” he gets two thousand pounds a year. Then there’s a clerk of the closet, mistress of the robes, ladies of the bed-chamber, and bed-chamber women, maids of honor, and poet laureate, and examiner of plays.

The poet laureate gets five hundred pounds a year for writing a very bad ode in praise of Her Majesty on each birthday, which must be a very bitter pill for him, he being actually a poet. But he does not give the worth of the money, for there is absolutely nothing in the Queen of England to praise. Mr. Tennyson has a very hard place.


The Master of the Horse receives two thousand five hundred pounds, the Master of the Buck-hounds one thousand seven hundred pounds, Hereditary Grand Falconer one thousand two hundred pounds, (by the way kings don’t falcon any more), then there are eight Equerries in Ordinary at seven hundred pounds each, which is certainly cheap; five Pages of Honor at one hundred and twenty pounds each, and a Master of the Tennis Court, which is a sort of a ten pins, I suppose, at one hundred and thirty-two pounds.

These, understand, are only a few of the people belonging to the Royal household. There are over a thousand persons, male and female, attached thereto, all receiving magnificent salaries, for real or imaginary services to Her Majesty.

image not available


The Queen receives, exclusive of the vast income of her estates, for the running of her household and pensions for the dead-beats who get too old to show themselves, the enormous sum of four hundred and seven thousand pounds, or, in American money, two million thirty-five thousand dollars per annum! And this represents but a portion of the swindle, as constantly allowances are being made and annuities granted which do not show upon paper, and can only be reached by the most ferret-like acuteness and perseverance.

Ninety per cent. of all this mummery, for which the people of England have to pay in good hard cash, is the most absurd and utter nonsense. Like falconry and all that business, it has gone out of date. In the old times kings kept buck-hounds and flew falcons, and such offices were necessary, that is, if kings were ever necessary, which I deny, but it has all gone, never to return. But the offices remain—and the salaries. They are kept up to make places for illegitimate children of lords, for poor relations of royalty and nobility, and for favorites whose fathers or themselves have done dirty work for the government.

In the name of all that’s good, what does the Queen of England want of eight ladies of the bed-chamber, and thirteen women of the bed-chamber? Can’t she unhook her dress and corset, untie the fastenings of her skirts, peel off her clothes, draw on her woolen night-cap over her foolish old head, and turn in the same as other women? What does she want of all these people about her? I can understand that it would take that number and more to make the ancient nuisance presentable in the morning, but why tax the people of Great Britain forty-four thousand pounds a year for this service?

And then when it is taken into account that the entire royal family have each all this humbuggery, to a less extent, it can be figured up what a very expensive thing royalty is, and how wise the American people were to bundle the whole business off the continent at the time they did.

One thousand people at salaries ranging from one hundred to ten thousand dollars a year, to take care of one rickety old woman, who is mortal the same as is the humblest of those ground into the dust by her and hers, and who has no more title to the place she occupies than a thief has to your watch.


Ireland swarms with soldiers, and, for that matter, every nook and corner of the British Empire is scarlet with military. Royalty and nobility, having no reason for existence, have to be maintained by brute force. Royalty and nobility do not pay for this expenditure; a subjugated people pay for their own debasement. To every pound of the expenditure in the British Empire, sixteen shillings four and one-eighth pence go to the war debt and the support of the army, leaving three shillings seven and seven-eighth pence for all other purposes whatsoever. Military power is the basis of despotism everywhere. Germany groans under it; Russia sweats under it; and wherever a king is tolerated you will find bayonets and artillery in most uncomfortable plenty. Some day, let it be hoped, the kings and nobles will experience the delight of looking down the muzzles of these arms themselves.

Up to the time of the disestablishment of the Irish Church, the Irish were compelled to support the archbishops and bishops of a church whose religion is as foreign to them as Buddhism, paying therefor the sum of one hundred and two thousand eight hundred and twenty-five pounds per annum, and to other attaches, for curacies and all that business, a vast amount more. This immense amount of money was a tax yearly upon a starved and overworked people, to keep in luxurious idleness a parcel of drones whose only functions in life were to eat, sleep and hunt; who were of no earthly use to the people who supported them, either in a temporal or a spiritual way. There is one English church at Glengariff, in a parish in which there are only six Protestants, the rector, his wife, two children, and two servants. The rector has as fine a house as there is in the country-side, the cost of which and its support is a burden on a people struggling for their daily bread.

Pauperism is a certain consequence of royalty and nobility. The Queen of England cannot have one thousand men and women about her person under pay without taking bread from the mouths of many people, and the luxury of a noble must find an echo in the other extreme, the workhouse.

The number of adult paupers in England and Wales in 1880, exclusive of vagrants, was seven hundred and eleven thousand seven hundred and twelve and the cost to the labor of the country to relieve them footed up eight millions eight hundred and nineteen thousand six hundred and seventy-eight pounds.

This does not include Ireland and Scotland, but England, the most prosperous part of the British Empire. The English writers on political economy ascribe this appalling pauperism to every cause but the right one. Wipe out royalty, nobility, and landlordism, and give the people a chance to earn their bread, and this army would be reduced to almost nothing.

Crime goes on hand in hand with pauperism. In 1879 the United Kingdom had the enormous number of one million four hundred and ninety thousand four hundred and thirty-nine committals for crime. This does not include the cases of drunkenness or kindred offences which come before magistrates and are summarily disposed of.

image not available



The principal business of the aristocracy of England is to make places for themselves and their sons and nephews. No matter how large the plunder of the tenantry, the landed aristocracy must have government employment for their surplus children, for they cannot all stay on the acres originally stolen from the people. And so British arms conquer other lands, or British diplomacy, which is a lie backed by a man-of-war, “acquires” it, and immediately a full staff of officials is sent out, all under magnificent salaries, to stay just long enough to be retired upon a fat pension. If possible, the expense of governing the “acquired” possession is squeezed out of the unfortunate natives; if not, the home government makes up the deficiency.

Cyprus, an island made almost barren by years of Turkish misrule and oppression, is now in the hands of the English, with a commander-in-chief at fifteen thousand pounds a year, and a complete staff, the cost of which is not less than seventy thousand pounds per annum, to say nothing about the armament necessary to be kept there.

The island of Maritius, a speck in the Indian Ocean, thirty-six miles long and twenty miles broad, furnishes sinecures for the scions of English nobility to the tune of eleven thousand six hundred pounds per year, and three little islands off the Malayan Peninsula are governed by a parcel of “Sirs” and “Hons.” at an annual cost of twenty-one thousand two hundred and ten pounds.

These are only samples. England has such harbors of refuge for her surplus nobility everywhere, and the cost of supporting these locusts is a crushing tax upon the labor of the country. The items of pauperism and crime are easily accounted for.

Some of her stolen dependencies, however, are made to pay very well. The total receipts from British India for the year 1879, (customs, taxes, etc.), were sixty-five million one hundred and ninety-nine thousand six hundred and sixty-two pounds, while the expenditures for the same year were sixty-three million one hundred and sixty-five thousand three hundred and fifty-six pounds. India is so worked as to support a vast army of officials and leave a balance of two million pounds for profit besides. But the real profit is much larger. The manufacturers and merchants of England compel the down-trodden natives to buy their goods at their own prices, and a never failing stream of wealth flows from India to England. India was a successful piece of brigandage, and has always paid very well.

Other steals have been successful—in fact they all have been. These younger sons, legitimate and illegitimate, have to be supported some how, by the labor of the country, and to transfer even a portion of their cost to the people of other countries is a saving of just that much from the people at home. But where is the necessity of supporting them at all? What necessity is there for their existence?

The peers of the realm number four hundred and eighty-seven, and of this number four hundred and two own, or at least get rent for, fourteen million one hundred and twenty-nine thousand nine hundred and thirty-one acres of land, which bring them a rental annually of eleven million six hundred and seventy-nine thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine pounds. In addition to this enormous income the most of them have appointments of various kinds, all of which make the position of peer a very comfortable one.

They have a very pleasant life of it. They all have a castle on their estates in the country, and in the season guests made up of the same class, with a few poets, novelists and painters to supply the intellect and make variety, indulge in all sorts of festivities, and in town, in the season, their houses are constantly filled, at no matter what expense. Then they each have a membership in all the clubs, and between their country houses, and their town houses, and their clubs, they take pleasure and cultivate gout till death, which has no more respect for them than it has for their oppressed tenants, takes them to a place where there is no difference between a duke and a laborer.


Gout, by the way, is the fashionable English disease, and a nobleman or a squire of an old family would rather have it than not. It is a sort of mark of gentility, about as essential to his position as his family tree, and no matter how they suffer under it, they bear it with fortitude as one of the evils incident to their rank—an evil that emphasizes their dignity. When Dickens sent Sir Leicester Deadlock into the next world via the family gout, he did not satirize at all. The starved Irish never have the gout, nor do the working people who clamor for some measure of right. The Jack Cades never were so afflicted; only your noble, who toils not, neither does he spin, who goes to bed every night full of every flesh that exists, every wine that is pressed, to say nothing of more potent beverages. It is an accompaniment of “gentle birth,” and very liberal living—living so liberal as to be only possible by those who have other people’s unrequited labor to live upon.

An Englishman dearly loves a lord. There is a cringing servility, a hat-off reverence for noble birth, in England, that to an American is about the most disgusting thing he sees. My Lord may be a thin-haired, weak-legged, half-witted being, capable of nothing under heaven but billiards and horses, loaded to the guards with vices, and only not possessing all of them because of his lack of ability to master them. He may be the most infernal cumberer of the earth in existence, but if he is of noble birth, if he has the proper handle to his name, he is bowed to, deferred to in every possible way. A London tradesman had rather be swindled by a nobleman than paid honestly by a common man, and for one to have permission to put over his door, “Plumber (for instance) to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales,” is to put him in the seventh heaven of ecstacy. The farm population of England show outward deference, but they don’t feel it, and the Irish have so intimate an acquaintance with them that they refuse even lip service and ignore the “hat-off” requirement altogether. This lack of respect for the nobility in Ireland is considered one of the most alarming signs of the times.

I saw a sample of this bowing to royalty, in Scotland. I happened to be doing Holyrood Castle at the same time His Majesty Kalakeau, King of the Sandwich Islands, was in Edinburgh. Now King K. may be a very good man, but in appearance he is an ordinary looking man of half negro blood, and not a very remarkable mulatto at that. Our Fred Douglas would cut up into a thousand of him.

He is a sort of a two-for-a-penny king; but he is a king for all that, and so all the dignitaries of Edinburgh, the mayor, the principal citizens, a duke or two, and a half dozen right honorables showed him the city, and escorted him, and lunched him, and banquetted him. They brought him to Holyrood, and the entire lot of them formed in two ranks, and, with hats in hand, bowed reverently as this king of a few thousand breechless, semi-civilized savages, passed to his carriage. And they glared ferociously upon the few Americans who, not just au fait in such matters, and not knowing precisely who the distinguished colored man was, stood with their hats on their heads, inasmuch as it was raining. Had it been the King of the Fijis, and had it been raining hot pitchforks, these snobs would have stood with uncovered and bowed heads, simply because he was a king. To these people, “there is a divinity which doth hedge a king,” no matter what kind of a king it is. They do the same thing for that venerable old stupidity, Victoria Guelph, precisely as they did it for that amiable imbecility, Albert, her husband, and are doing it every day for those embryo locusts, their children. Burns wrote:—

“Rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
A man’s a man for a’ that.”

image not available



But this class of Scotch have forgotten Burns. Possibly they never understood him. But Burns was wrong. Kalakeau may be a man, but the snobs who toadied to him so meekly, are not, and never can be.

“Look upon that picture, and then upon this!” I have shown how the English oppressor lives. Let us go, by actual figures, taken from official sources, for a few actual facts as to the Irish tenant. The Parish of Glencolumbkille, in County Donegal, is a fair sample of the west coast. In this parish there are eight hundred families. In the famine of 1880, seven hundred of these families were on the relief list, and on to the end of the famine (if famine may be said to ever end in Ireland), four hundred families had absolutely nothing but what the relief committees gave them.

The committees were able to give each of these families per head per week seven pounds of Indian meal, costing five pence farthing, up to about five dollars and fifty cents per year.

These people all said that if they got half as much more, ten and one-half pounds, it would be as much as they would use in times of plenty.

Your pencil and figures will show you that this would be equivalent in good years, to an expenditure per head for food for every individual, of one pound thirteen shillings and sixpence a year, or for the average family of say four and one-half, seven pounds thirteen shillings and sixpence per year.

This is the cost of food for the average family per year when the times are good.

When potatoes are cheaper than Indian meal potatoes are eaten, but one or the other constitutes the sole food of the people. As the cost is always about the same, the figures are not changed in either case.

To this you want to add about three pounds a year for “luxuries.” Luxury in an Irish cabin means an ounce of tobacco a week for the man of the house, and the remainder of the three pounds goes for tea. I admit this is an extravagance, this tobacco and tea, and I doubt not that a commission will be appointed by Parliament to devise ways and means to extinguish the dudheen of the man and abolish the teapot of the woman. This three pounds a year, thus squandered, would enable the landlords to have a great many more comforts than they now enjoy. I presume the Earl of Cork could build another yacht on what his tenantry squander in tea and tobacco.

Add to this one pound for clothing (an extravagant estimate) for each member of the family, and you have the entire cost of the existence of the Donegal family, twelve pounds three shillings six and three-quarters pence, or, in American money, fifty-seven dollars and sixty-one cents!

The clothing provided by this pound a year means for the man of the house a pair of brogans, which he must have to work at all, a couple of shirts, a pair of corduroy trowsers, and a second-hand coat of some kind. The women and children wear no shoes or stockings, and their clothing I have described before. Of bed-clothing they have nothing to speak of. A few potato sacks, or gunny bags, or anything else that contributes anything of warmth, makes up that item.

The Queen and the Princess of Wales sleep on down and under silk, and the Queen has one thousand people about her person. My Lord has his yacht in the harbor, and the humblest seaman on board sleeps under woolen and has meat three times a day.

Some day there will be a Board of Equalization from whose decision there will be no appeal. Then I would rather be the Donegal peasant’s wife than the Queen. Despite the fact that she sent one hundred pounds to the starving Irish, she won’t need silken covering to keep her warm.

To pay the rent and provide this fifty-eight dollars for food and clothing consumes the entire time of every member of the household. The land will not pay it—it is impossible to get it off the soil. So the man of the house plants his crops and leaves them for the women and children to care for, and he goes off to England or Wales, and works in mines, or in harvest fields in the season, or at anything to make some little money to fill the insatiable maw of the landlord, and to keep absolute starvation from the house.

Then the boy in America sends his stipend, which helps—provided his remittances can be kept from the lynx-eyed agent, who would raise the rent in a minute if he knew that remittances were coming.


But the work of caring for the crops is not all the women

image not available


and children do. They knit and sew, every minute of the spare time they have from field work, making thereby from two to three cents a day. This knitting is done for dealers who furnish the material and pay for the work, and to get the material journeys of twenty to forty miles, and the same distance back again to deliver the finished work, have to be performed.

In brief, there is not a moment to be lost, nor an opportunity wasted to make a penny. The penny not earned makes the difference between enough food to sustain life, bare as life is of everything that makes it desirable, and absolute pinching, merciless hunger. No matter at what sacrifice, the penny must be earned and religiously applied either for rent or food. Clothing is always a secondary consideration—a place to stay in and food to keep life in the body, these are the first.

What is the amount paid the drones of England in the form of pensions? How much does the Queen receive? How much do the little Princes and Princesses cost the Nation? How much the Dukes and Dukelings, the Right Honorables and the Generals and Colonels, and the Secretaries and all that? “Look upon this picture and then upon that!” A nobility rioting in extravagance—a whole people starving!

And yet there are those who believe the people of Great Britain have no grievances, but should settle down contentedly and in quiet!

If there is an American who does not hate royalty, nobility, and aristocracy, in no matter what form they come to view, he either wants to be an aristocrat himself, or is grossly ignorant of what this triplet of infamy means. If there is an American who does not sympathize with the common people of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, he is either a heartless man or does not know the condition of the laboring classes of that unhappy Empire. And if there is an American who reads these pages, and does not from this time out, make politics just as much a part of his business as planting his crops, that American does not know what is good for him. Government is the most important matter on this earth. Good or bad government makes the difference between nobility-ridden England and free America.



FROM Ireland with its woes, Ireland with its oppressions, through England, the world’s oppressor, to Paris, and from Paris to Switzerland—that was the route our party took; not so much because it was consecutive or in order, but because the whim so to do seized us. We were out to see, and to us all countries that were to be seen were alike of interest. We spent a few more days in Paris—everybody wants to spend a few more days in Paris—and then turned our reluctant faces southward.

A dismal, gloomy night; the fine, penetrating rain, cold and disagreeable, that chills the very marrow, half hides the dimly burning gas-lights, and makes the streets utterly forlorn. The belated pedestrian bends his head to the blast and hurries along, eager to reach the cozy room where the gloom that pervades everything out of doors cannot penetrate. The cabs roll along the stony pavements with a dead, metallic sound that adds to the general dreariness.

Everything and everybody is depressed.

So it was when the train drew out of the dimly lighted station in Paris, and plunged into the unfathomable gloom and darkness of the country beyond.

Wonderful invention—this railroad! and never so wonderful as at night. The mariner has his compass to guide him—the engine-driver has the rail. You go to sleep, or try to, in Paris; you wake in Switzerland. It makes reality of the magic carpet in the “Arabian Night’s Tales.”

Though the coarse, stuffy compartment afforded no pleasure, the dull roar of the train as it sped on through the driving storm lulled the senses, gave our memory full sway; gradually

image not available



the rain ceased its pattering against the window pane, the sky broke into a rosy blue, the brilliant sunlight streamed out in the night over the beautiful white city, and Paris, the frivolous empress of the world, held out to the mind its multitudinous attractions and unlimited pleasures. We saw again, reflected in the memory of the last six weeks, the long, wide boulevards, with their cheerful cafés filled with beautifully dressed women and leisure-loving men. There was the constant, ever-changing streams of humanity surging on to some end, each in his own way. There were the lights, the flowers, the gaities of the beautiful city, where the attainment of happiness and pleasure seems to be the chief aim of existence. The Louvre with its infinity of beauties, the Palais Royal with its bewildering jewels, the Place de Concorde with its historic memories, the Champ Elysées dazzling bright, with its arch-crowned vista of brilliant equipages, the Bois du Boulogne with its flower-lined walls and flower-lined lakes. There was rare relief, ever present to us, in all its glory, all its pleasure, all its gaiety. Days passed into weeks, and weeks into months, of perfect enjoyment that came to an end only when the guard in gruff tones hustled us out of the car at Macon, to change for the train going to Geneva. The transition was sudden and decidedly unpleasant.

There were eight of us in the compartment all that night—a Frenchman and four small daughters, on their way to Geneva, Tibbitts and ourselves. Tibbitts, who could not speak a word of French, except “Der bock,” which means in English “two beers,” and “Combien?” which is “how much,” entered into a cheerful conversation with the Frenchman, who could not speak a word of English. It was vastly entertaining. Tibbitts would make a beautiful remark in English, to which the Frenchman would reply, “Oui, Monsieur.” Then the Frenchman would make an elaborate observation on something or other in French, to which Tibbitts would reply, “Oui, Monsieur,” and so on all night.

It was not pleasant for those trying to sleep, but it seemed to amuse the two participants.

At Macon, in the morning, the Frenchman followed Tibbitts around the platform, attempting by gesture and a volley of Parisian French, to make something known to him.

Tibbitts came to me alarmed.

“What is ‘Oui Monsieur’ in English?”

“It means simply ‘Yes, sir,’ or ‘Certainly, sir.’ ”

“Did you know what that Frenchman was saying last night?”

“Not a word.”

“I said ‘Oui, Monsieur’ to everything he said. Suppose he asked me to lend him a hundred francs! I am in a fix about it. I can’t go back on my word, and if he asked me that I certainly promised to do it, and if I have to do it I shall have to borrow it of you.”

Mr. Tibbitts’ fears were unfounded. A hotel-porter who could master a trifle of English, came between them, and found that the Frenchman had been so impressed with the urbanity of my Oshkosh friend as to ask him in the night to take care of his four children to Geneva, that he might return by the next train to Paris, and Tibbitts had said “Oui, Monsieur” to the proposition, and he had the babies on his hands all the way.

image not available


They were lively children, and made the poor fellow much trouble, and Tibbitts heaved a prodigious sigh of relief when he turned them over to their waiting guardian at Geneva. He immediately asked for the French word for “No,” and vowed solemnly to ever after use that word when in conversation with Frenchmen on railroads or elsewhere.


The day broke dull and cheerless, but as soon as the sun came up the clouds were driven away, and the whole country was bright and beautiful. The road passes through some of the best wine districts of France, and nearly all of the little towns through which the train whirls with only a long shriek of the whistle, are devoted to the handling of wine, although in most of them there is a church or two and some monuments, just enough to make it a show place.

A town on this side of the water is no town at all if it does not have at least two or three places that were either old or historical, or both. Thus at Tournus, a little town of six thousand inhabitants, there is an Abbey church that was begun in 960, and not completed until late in the twelfth century. It isn’t much of a church, but it attracts visitors to the town, and so adds to its revenue. It pays to have show places.

From Macon to Culoz the line passes through lovely vineyards that lie spread out almost as far as the eye can reach, over gently undulating hills and dales that are watered by pretty little streams, clear and pure, having their source way off in the mountains, dimly discernible in the distance. Soon after passing Culoz the country assumes a more picturesque appearance, the vine-clad hills giving way to rugged mountains that tower high above the fertile valley, through which the train has been rushing for the past two or three hours. Swift, deep streams, fed by mountain springs, come tumbling down the sides of the high cliffs and lose themselves in the mass of foliage that skirts the base of the range, which hourly grows more and more imposing. We are whirled through long tunnels, over high bridges, and are treated to magnificent prospects. Green mountain sides crowned with the ruins of old castles that in days long gone by had been the terror of the neighborhood, picturesque towns nestling in cozy nooks flit by as the train speeds rapidly on, until, early in the forenoon, we arrive at Geneva, the Mecca of all strangers who contemplate an Alpine or Swiss tour.

The day was perfect. A cool breeze from lovely Lake Leman tempered the heat that otherwise would have been oppressive; the sky was without a cloud and as the pure air was gratefully inhaled by long delightful breaths, there was a sense of joyousness and happiness that was heavenly. Near at hand a long range of high mountains stretched out into the country and lost itself in the range that skirts the shores of the long irregular lake. Far off in the distance, between the dimly outlined peaks of another range, Mont Blanc rears its grand white head high among the clouds, its aged covering of pure white, glistening and glinting in the sunlight. It is an impressive scene, full of strange fascinating beauty.

image not available



Grandly the view changes. A light fleecy cloud floats languidly past the summit, casting a weird shadow on the spotless white. That delicate lace-like cloud, beautiful in form and color, is followed by another, darker and more threatening. Another and another comes, each darker and more forbidding, until suddenly the whole is overcast. Mont Blanc is enveloped in a sable mantle from which, presently, issues a low rumbling noise that foretells in unmistakable language what is to come. Now long jagged flashes of lightning rend the gloomy masses of fast scudding clouds, that turned the bright day into darkness, the wind sweeps down from the mountain with a wail half human; the rain comes down in torrents, not in fitful gusts but in a steady, angry stream. The placid waters of the lake, only a moment before laughing in the bright sunlight, are lashed to a fury, as the storm increases in violence. Terrific peals of thunder that seem to shake the earth, break directly overhead and then go rolling and rumbling away up the valley, until they exhaust themselves and die away with one final crash. All the elements seem to combine to produce a grand spectacle that strikes the beholder with awe-tempered admiration.

As quickly as it came the storm died away, and in a short time all nature smiled again and seemed to feel better after the display of its ability in getting up grand sights on short notice. The sun came out with renewed splendor and tinged Mont Blanc forty miles away, with a rosy hue, that lasted all the afternoon, long until the other and less pretentious peaks had become mere outlines in the twilight that presaged the coming night. And then even the King of Peaks began to fade. Gradually but constantly the pink tints turned lighter until it was ashen. Then it became darker and darker until at length its massive proportions faded entirely away and were lost in the darkness that had come so gradually that its presence was hardly felt.

Geneva is a curious old city, one of the links that connect the dead past with the terribly active and quite distinct present. Its memories are of monks and opposers of monks; its present is of watches and music boxes. However, the Genevan has been shrewd enough to carefully preserve the dust of the past, out of which, combined with its delightful situation, it gathers many shekels from the horde of tourists who sweep over Europe every year. Everybody must and does see Geneva. It is the capital of the smallest canton in Switzerland but one, the entire territory being but fifteen miles long by as many square, a large portion of this being taken up by the lake. Its population is less than fifty thousand, but, nevertheless, it is the largest city in Switzerland, and one which has the most of historical interest attached to it.

The land is so nearly perpendicular in Switzerland that large cities are impossible.

So small was the canton of Geneva that Voltaire said of it: “When I shake my wig, I powder the whole Republic,” and when some commotion occurred in the little Republic the Emperor Paul said of it: “It is a tempest in a glass of water.”

But, small as it is, it has played its part, and a very important one it has been, in the history of the world. Here lived John Calvin, or Jean Caulvin, who originated that cheerful form of religious faith known as Calvinism. As he preached, and, to the credit of his powers of endurance be it said, practiced, it made a good heaven necessary in the next world, to compensate somewhat for what his disciples had to endure in this. He eliminated from life everything that was pleasant, everything that was cheerful, everything that was pleasurable, and brought mankind into a sort of religious straight-jacket, that made any swerving from a straight line impossible.

Daring Calvin’s reign, for his rule was almost absolute, Geneva was a safe place to live in (if you believed with Calvin, or pretended to believe hard enough), but it would hardly suit a Parisian. Theaters were considered the especially wide gateways to perdition, and everything that savored of amusement was strictly prohibited. As his was a stern and gloomy religion, which made the business of this life a constant preparation for the next, and the reward for all this sort of penance a continuance of the same in the next, his doctrines found more ardent support in Scotland than in France.

In opposing the Catholic Church, as the Catholic Church was in that day, Calvin, with Luther, did a great work, but Calvin, after all, simply wanted the people to exchange one form of spiritual despotism for another. The chief benefit arising to the world was that, in moving the people out of Romanism he taught them that they could move, and, so instructed, they lost but little time in moving out from the perpetual thunder-cloud he put over them.

For many years he was supreme in Geneva in temporal as well as spiritual matters. As a Liberal who hates authority invariably becomes in time the worst bigot, so Calvin, who commenced as a champion of liberty of conscience, came to executing and banishing all who differed with him on points of religious belief. He wanted everybody to believe as their conscience taught them, provided it taught them his belief. Castellio, one of his oldest supporters, differed with him on the doctrine of predestination, and Calvin promptly banished him. Servetus, a Spaniard, wrote a treatise on the doctrine of the Trinity. He was arrested by Calvin in 1553, and was promptly tried, found guilty of not believing as the great reformer did, and was condemned to the stake, and was burned, Calvin standing by to make it impressive.


Tibbitts told an old Boston story of a confirmed joker who was dying. A friend called upon him one morning, and finding his feet warm sought to encourage him.

“Barnes, you ain’t going to die. No man ever died with warm feet.”

“One did.”


“John Rogers!”

Servetus died with warm feet, and his ashes were scattered to the four winds. He and Calvin differed about the exact meaning of some passages of scripture and as it had not been revised at that date, Calvin made himself the authority. As he had supreme power and could do as he pleased he succeeded in having a tolerable degree of unanimity. After the burning of Servetus there were but few who desired to argue with Calvin.

I have observed that burning and otherwise killing for the up-building of the kingdom of the Prince of Peace has been common in all ages, and that the sect that does the most of it is always the one that happens to be in power. The Jesuits have published a sort of Catholic “Fox’s Book of Martyrs,” which sets forth with ghastly wood engravings the histories of the persecutions of Catholics by Protestants. The burning of Servetus by Calvin is the subject of one of the illustrations, though the editor carefully omits the fact that Servetus was not a Catholic at all.

Rosseau, the great Socialist, was born here, and here he wrote the works that have consigned his memory to infamy or glory, according as the reader believes. He was a man of wonderful genius, one of the foremost writers of the world, but he was as fantastic as any other Frenchman, and his doctrines were based upon a condition of things which only a dreamy poet could imagine as possible. He was a Socialist, a latitudinarian, and one of the kind of “world reformers” who hold that everything that is, is wrong, and that to destroy anything is to better the condition of the world.

It is a curious commentary upon French morals that after he had been the lover, (with all that the word implies) of a dozen or more of French titled women who affected men of letters, and while living openly with his cook, who bore him five illegitimate children, a French college invited him to write a treatise upon the “Effect of Science and Art Upon Morals,” which invitation he most cheerfully accepted. He was the reverse of Calvin, but like Calvin, he left his impress upon the thought of the little city.

Geneva is a pleasant place to come to, and, but for the extortionate hotels, would be a place that one would be loth to leave. Swiss hotel keepers have got swindling down to so fine a point that further progress in that direction is impossible. There is a legend afloat that hotel keepers from all over Europe come to Geneva to learn the business, and that lectures on the art of swindling travelers are given regularly by the managers of Geneva hotels; in short, that Geneva is a sort of hotel college, but I don’t know as to its truth. Any hotel keeper here, however, is competent to fill a professorship—in such an institution.

You are charged for candles, a franc each. You never use a candle, except during the minute necessary to disrobe for your bed, but you are charged a franc for it just the same. The more conscientious hotel manager wants to satisfy you with a new candle every night, and so he has a little machine, something like a pencil sharpener, with which he tapers off the top of the burned candle, making it look as though it had never been lighted, and charges you right over again for it.

Tibbitts exasperated his landlord by putting his candle in his pocket every morning, and from the front of the hotel giving it to the first poor person who passed. But the landlord smiled grimly, in French, when he saw the little trick, and promptly instructed his clerk to charge Monsieur Tibbitts two francs a day for broken glass.


You are to depart to-morrow morning, and you charge the clerk with great distinctness to have your bill made out before you retire. You want to go over the items and see that everything is correct. The clerk, with great suavity, assures you that it shall be done, but it isn’t. You come for it and find the office closed. The next morning you arise betimes and make the same request; you say you want your bill immediately, to which the same answer is given with an apology for its not having been done the night before. You get through your breakfast—it is not yet done. Minutes fly, the carriage is at the door to take you to your train, and just as the last minute possible to catch the train is on you, it comes—as long as your arm, written in French, which you can’t understand if you had time to, but which now is utterly impossible. You glance at the grand total—it is a grand total—and you pay it, objurgating because it is a trifle over twice what it should be.

Then comes the long array of servants, the chambermaid, the boots, the elevator boy, the head waiter, the table waiter, and so on, all of whom expect and plumply demand recognition, and you think you are done. But you are not.

Just as you are getting into the carriage, a chambermaid, not the one who had charge of your room, but her sister, appears with one of your silk handkerchiefs.

“Monsieur forgot the handkerchief.”

She extends the handkerchief with one hand, holding out the other for a franc. You give it to her of course, knowing all the time that your own chambermaid abstracted it and gave it to her for the purpose of wringing the last possible drop of blood out of you, and that this wretch has done the same kind office for your chambermaid, to be practised upon another victim who leaves to-morrow.

I presume the landlord compels a division of these swindles, for as they all lay awake nights to devise ways and means to wrench money from tourists it is not likely they would let so easy a source of revenue escape them.

Here everybody takes gratuities, even excelling the English in the practice.

There is a story which comes in here by way of illustration. An old lady had a case in court which was going slowly. She desired more speed, and asked an old man, who was supposed to know everything, how she could accelerate the matter.

“Give your lawyer twenty francs.”

“What! will the grave and great man take twenty francs? Would he not throw the money in my face and feel so insulted that he would throw up my case?”

“He might, but I can tell you how to know whether he will take the gratuity or not. When you come into his presence observe his mouth. If it runs up and down his face don’t offer it to him, for he would not take it. But if his mouth runs across his face offer it with confidence. Every man in Switzerland whose mouth is cut crosswise the face will accept a gratuity.”

It so happened that in sailing up the lake the question of piracy came up,—it grew out of a discussion of the charges at the various hotels—when Tibbitts broke in with that calm confidence that distinguishes the young man:—

“I have been giving the matter of piracy most serious consideration, its rise, decline and fall. Formerly piracy was everywhere on the high seas. Adventurous spirits manned vessels which were built, armed and sent out by wealthy corporations, their business being to capture merchant vessels, cut the throats of the male passengers and crew and confiscate the property. In those halcyon days money was gold and silver, and the pirates after capturing a rich prize sailed their vessels to some point on the Spanish main, where there was a convenient cove, captured a Spanish village, murdered the men, and made such love to the women that they very soon preferred the picturesque villains to their virtuous but common-place and insipid (because honest) husbands. And there they lived; gaily dancing fandangos and boleros, under the shade of palms, to the soft pleasings of the lute, till the money was spent (by the way I never could see how they spent money in such places after they had killed all the shop-keepers and saloon men) and then they sailed sweetly out to be a scourge of the seas once more.

“It was a pleasant thing to be a pirate in those days.

“The first blow this industry received was the invention of sight draft, by which money could be transmitted. The pirate who seized drafts couldn’t forge the names necessary to their collection, to say nothing of the risk of presenting himself at a bank in London to collect them.


“The second and severest blow was the introduction and general use of dollar jewelry. Dollar jewelry has done more for the suppression of piracy than the Christian religion. Imagine a pirate captain parading the crew of a captured ship to despoil their persons before inviting them to walk the plank, the hungry sharks about the vessel in joyful—not jawful—anticipation. Imagine his disgust at tearing out a pair of ear-drops from a lady’s ears of the size of hickory nuts, that ought to be worth thousands, and finding them Parisian imitation stones set in oroide gold. Such experiences were heart-breaking. Who would cut a throat for oroide gold with imitation stones?

“A score of daring spirits once organized a piratical party for a steamer on Lake Erie. We proposed to take passage Sundays, when there were excursions; to murder the excursionists, and throw their bodies over to the catfish, the nearest approach we have to sharks on the lakes. Our first attempt was our last. There was an excursion from Indiana, the party numbering eight hundred. We had a contract with a gentleman named Moses for their clothes, so much a dozen for stockings, shirts, and so on, as they run; and the money and jewelry we proposed to divide among the party, each one disposing of his share of the plunder as he pleased.

“It was a disgusting failure. We discovered that the passengers had spent all their money in purchasing round tickets for the excursion, they had brought their lunches with them in baskets, and there wasn’t a single piece of anything but dollar jewelry among them; and as for their clothes—Mr. Moses was on board, and he looked over the lot and begged us not to inaugurate our slaughter, as “ ’selp him, he vouldn’t gif tventy-fife tollar for all as it stood.” We stood idly by, endured the excursion ourselves, and were even reduced to the ineffable chagrin of paying for our own dinners and refreshments. The dashing captain actually begged his dinner of an old lady in spectacles.

“That was the last effort at piracy on the lakes, and it is about the same on the high seas. Drafts and dollar jewelry have tamed the adventurous spirit of the buccaneer, and driven them all into keeping hotels in Switzerland, the captains as proprietors, the second officers as head-porters, and the crew as waiters, chambermaids, etc. They are doing as well, probably, as before, and by similar methods, though piracy has lost its picturesqueness. Your pirate, instead of wearing a broad hat and a picturesque sash, and all that, is clad in sober broadcloth, with a white necktie; his cutlass is transformed into a pen, the deck of his vessel is the floor of the corridor of his hotel. But he preys upon mankind the same as of old. It is the method only that is changed. Dollar jewelry don’t affect them, except in cases where the landlord has to seize baggage for his bill. Sometimes he comes to grief then, but not often.”

image not available


One of the most amusing things connected with the hotels is the final talk that ensues when the traveler has paid his bill, and is buttoning up his coat for departure.

“Your hotel is a swindle, sir, and I will never darken its doors again. I will take especial pains to inform my friends, sir. This bill is an outrage, sir, an outrage! and my friends shall know of it!”

Oui, Monsieur,” says the landlord, bowing gracefully and grimacing as expressively as a monkey.


The plundered guest tells everybody not to go to the National, but by all means go to the Beau Rivage, not knowing, poor soul, that the very minute he was abusing, justly abusing, the proprietor of the National, another man just like him was abusing the proprietor of the Beau Rivage, and that, while he is sending guests to the Beau Rivage, the swindled Beau Rivager is sending his friends to the National.

“Ze zentleman ees offend,” smirkingly remarked the landlord of the National, after one of these scenes; “vera goot. He sents all hees frients to ze Beau Rivage. The proprietor of ze Beau Rivage ees my frère—vat yoo call ’im, eh?—bruzzer. Ve ees in partnersheep.”

And so it is. All the hotel men are in partnership, and, besides this powerful leverage, they know that so many come every year, anyhow; that those flayed at the National this year will go to be fleeced at the Beau Rivage next, and so on around.

Despite this modified piracy, Geneva is a pleasant and hospitable place to visit, and one difficult to leave. It is a thoroughly enjoyable old city, and life there was very full. There is just enough quaintness in its queer, rambling streets to make one wish to be constantly exploring them, hoping, yet fearing, that he would get lost. It was an especial delight to go across the river and prowl among the steep, narrow streets that end finally against a dead wall; to scale high hills, with old fashioned houses forming alleys so narrow that two people could scarcely pass. We loved to plunge into dark, forbidding passages, groping our way along under houses, until, when least expected, we found ourselves in a bright, well-paved street in another portion of the town.

And then the long rambles on the lake shore, especially at night, when, far off in the distance could be seen the twinkling lights of the city on both sides of the lake, connected by a tiny belt of light across the bridge that connected the old with the new.

And the concerts at the Jardin du Lac, a pleasant garden with trees and flowers and fountains, on the south bank of the lake, where a fine orchestra furnishes exquisite music during the soft, balmy Summer evenings. Ah! those were indeed days and nights of rare enjoyment.

Geneva is divided into two sections; one as distinct from the other as an Indiana cabin is from the cathedral at Cologne. On the one side of the river, it is the same as the freshly built and lively looking streets of a new American city. You see the modern cornice on the roofs and over the windows, the elegant plate glass fronts to the shops, the massive buildings for the factories, the orthodox basement dwellings in the main part of the city, and the modern villas with ample grounds farther out.

This is the new part, the part created by the latter day Swiss, who were compelled by the reconstruction of Paris to modernize and wipe out the old to make room for the new. There is less of reverence in a dollar than in anything else in the world. The owner of a historical old rookery didn’t care a straw for the associations connected with his premises; what he wanted was rent, and so the quaint old piles were demolished and new buildings, modeled after the new Paris, went up in their stead. The uncomfortable old streets were widened into something like boulevards, the beautifully smooth and clean asphalt pavement took the place of the wretched old bowlders, and everything that was old, no matter whether its savor was of the Puritanic Calvin, or the antedating monk, was bundled out of the way with as little reverence as a Cromwellian soldier displayed in cleaning out an English or Irish monastery.

But the other side of the river has escaped the hand of the vandal, and whoever hungers for the uncomfortable past can find all he wants of it. The streets are as wretched as the most exacting could desire, and the houses run up as many stories as you choose, and the old notion of a building being so high that you have to look twice to get to the top of it, is well nigh realized. Very like the conductor who was boasting of the speed of his train:

“Thunder,” says he, “we passed Millgrove so fast that the station master had to call out the telegraph operator to help him ketch a glance at us.”

There are passages so tortuous and cavernous, built for no earthly purpose that any one can divine now-a-days, buildings like small Alps, with the quaintest windows, the most absurd staircases, and the most inconvenient arrangements, shops in passages so dark as to require artificial light in mid-day, and human habitations in these underground burrows.


Old Geneva, like Old Paris, has a musty smell and ancient flavor that is delightful, if you do not have to live in it.

On the other side you are oppressed with watches and music boxes, the manufacture of which support the city. In the matter of watches Geneva is not so absolute as she was, for the inventive Yankee makes a better watch than the Genevan hand-worker. We do not make so many kinds or so curious specimens of horology, but for substantial wear and constant use, the American watch is conceded even by the Genevan to be the best.

But in music boxes and every species of musical machinery, Geneva has no rival. At your hotel the doors of some of the grand halls reel off snatches of opera as they swing upon their hinges, the caraffe from which you pour your water at table sings an air as the water gurgles from its mouth, and you shall see beautiful trees with gorgeous birds hopping from limb to limb, and all singing deliciously and naturally. Snuff boxes, tobacco boxes, cigar cases, everything of the kind has a musical attachment, that discusses sweet melody whenever opened. In short, there is such a wealth of melody, and it comes to you from such unexpected quarters, that one gets rather tired of it, and wishes he could go somewhere to get out from under it.

A perpetual concert is rather too much of a good thing. And they get prices for these goods, too. My friend, the faro bankeress, who has about as much of an idea of music as a pig has of the Greek Testament, paid five thousand dollars for a tree with singing birds, because, I presume, the price was five thousand dollars. Had it been fifty dollars I doubt if she would have taken it.

It didn’t matter to her. Her husband’s establishment could win that amount any night, and it pleased her to astonish the manufacturers of these airy nothings, with her profuseness of expenditure. I saw a duplicate sold to a man who knew something about these things for one thousand dollars. These sellers of whims know their customers at sight.



Some one remarked to the Rev. Mr. Henry Ward Beecher, before he had the little difference with Mr. Theodore Tilton, and was editing the Independent, “Mr. Beecher, I like your paper. You had a religious article in the last number. Now I think it is the correct thing for a church paper to have, occasionally, a religious article.” So, in a record of travels, I think it entirely proper to say something, occasionally, about the country the traveler explores.

The lake, at one end of which sits the beautiful though much mixed Geneva, is known abroad as Lake Geneva, but here as Lake Leman, the name given it by the Romans who once occupied this country, as they did every other country they could reach and conquer. The inlet to the lake is the River Rhone, and so, likewise, is its outlet; which is to say, the lake is simply a widening of the river, a huge goitre, as it were, on the lovely neck of that beautiful stream.

The Rhone collects the waters that fall on the south side of the chain of mountains, as the Rhine does the water drainage of the north side, and is created originally, and fed as it goes, by the glaciers that adorn the mountain sides, and support Switzerland by attracting tourists.

At the top of the mountains there is snow, soft, regular snow, which slides down fissures, and which, as it gets down the slides, changes from snow to ice. It melts slowly all the Summer, the water seeking the bottom of the field of ice, but its thickness being constantly maintained by fresh supplies of snow from the top.


This water brings out of the mountains all sorts of material, rocks and earth, which fill the streams that come down the mountain side in swiftly flowing streams which lose themselves in the river in the valley below.

The Rhone flows past Sion, Martigny, Bex, and other points, till it falls into Lake Leman, as beautiful an inland body of water as there is in Europe, and almost as beautiful as some of the American lakes.

Before and at its entrance into the lake, the water of the Rhone is as muddy as the Mississippi at St. Louis. It is about the color of cheap restaurant coffee, but the lake acts as a great settling bed, or filter, or both; and by the time the water finds itself in its new location it becomes the most pure and limpid of any in Europe. The water in the lake, which was so muddy and discolored in the river above, becomes so pure and limpid that the fish may be seen disporting themselves in its lowest depths, and the minute pebbles on the bottom are distinctly to be seen.

Geneva is at the lower point of the lake, and the Rhone, which was buried in it at the upper end, is resurrected at Geneva, and issues therefrom in a stream of fearful rapidity. The waters spring out from the lake with a fall that would be called rapids in America, and rush through the city actually singing as if with joy at its deliverance. It rushes out as if it spurned all impediments of shore that kept it into a well-behaved and quiet lake, and as if anxious to get the freedom of rushing through the valleys, over rocks, and tumbling around generally in a free and easy way till it runs its race and loses itself forever in the common sepulchre of all rivers, the great sea.

Laundrying is done in Geneva as it is in Paris. Anchored in the river are large boats arranged for wash houses. In these floating temples are furnaces which supply hot water, and plank tables at which the washerwomen do their work. The garment is taken and swashed in the hot water of the floating laundry, then they are religiously and conscientiously soaped, and placed upon these thick tables, and pounded with a wooden paddle till the soap and water is driven completely through them. Then they are rinsed in the swift running water of the Rhone, and pounded more, and rinsed and rinsed again, till they come out as white as the snow from which comes the water.

These nymphs of the paddle and soap-kettle are industrious workers, with strong muscular arms that seem capable of doing any kind of work, as indeed they are. It is no small matter to carry down to the river the enormous bundles of superlatively filthy clothes, and after the soaping and beating and wringing, carrying them home wet and heavy. But possibly there are no more pounds to carry home than they brought. There is added weight in the water they hold, but the dirt is gone down the river to form bars below and impede navigation. Possibly the loss of the dirt balances the increased weight of the water. It is a stand-off.

These women earn a good living, for there is any quantity of laundrying to do, not from the citizens, but from the horde of tourists who throng the city and make Geneva their headquarters for the Alpine tour, and who here lay in a fresh stock of linen.

image not available



The Genevan, like all other men of French or partially French extraction, is a tremendous worker, and this includes the female as well as the male. The male Genevan is up with the lark, or whatever bird in Switzerland has the disagreeable habit of early rising, and his labor continues as long as he can see, and even after. And he works, not in a perfunctory sort of way, but tackles his business as though he was doing it for the simple liking of it. He is a most persistent and rapid worker.

I was exploring the old part of the city one night, and in groping through the narrow, half-underground passages, I came upon a baker’s shop. As I wanted to get at the secret of the delicious bread for which the French are famous, I investigated. It was a scorching night, but nevertheless there was a roaring oven, heated seven times hotter than any furnace I had ever read of, except one. In front of this furnace, were the mixing and kneading troughs, and at them, in a space of not more than twenty feet square, were a score or more of men naked to the waist, with perspiration pouring from every pore, at work at the stiff and tenacious dough. They would lift a mass of it half as large as their bodies, and slap it about, and pull it out, and compress it, and elongate it, and torture it in all sorts of shapes, and in every way possible for dough to be tortured. It was as hard manual labor as I had ever seen performed.

image not available


And finally after the dough had been tormented a sufficient length of time it was formed into rolls, five or six feet long, and not more than six inches in diameter, and placed in the oven, from whence it emerged the most deliciously crisp bread that ever was eaten, and entirely different from the heavy, soggy English bread which has dyspepsia in every crumb of it.

The secret of this light, delicious crustiness is not only in the form in which it is baked, but also in the thoroughness of the kneading. It is worked over and over, till it is as smooth as silk all the way through, and as light as a feather. Such bread needs no butter (and, by the way, very little is used) and may be eaten with gustatory delight anywhere, and at any time.

Still, a person who has to eat bread had better not go and see it made, on the same principle that a wise old boarder of experience never ventures near the kitchen. “Where ignorance is bliss,” etc. The industry and conscientious perseverance of the kneaders cannot be too highly commended, but the consumer of their product had better remain in ignorance of the perspiration. I prefer not to live upon the sweat of other men’s brows. There are seasonings more to my taste.

One of the very pleasant things in Switzerland, and France as well, is the perfect system of roads everywhere, and the care taken to shade the roads. The road-beds are marvels of excellence, and well would it be for America could we find it in our people to pay some little attention to this important matter. Whatever else may be slighted the roads are not. In making a comparison between Swiss roadways and American, I take into consideration the fact, that Switzerland is old and America new, and that the present Swiss road represents the labor of hundreds, or, for that matter, thousands of years, while the average age of the American road is not sixty years. Still, we might, and should, with our enterprise come nearer to continental roads than we do.


Everywhere in Switzerland the earth on the roadway is removed to the depth of four or more feet, and pounded stone, gravel and sand are deposited in its stead, gutters on the side are carefully made; till you have, to travel over, a beautifully rounded way which never can be wet, and never anything but solid and smooth. Along the entire length there are, beside the road, small piles of broken stone, and at regular distances are men with tools, whose business is to keep them clean and in perfect order. Whenever a depression, no matter how slight, appears, it is instantly filled, as skillfully as a tailor puts a patch in your trowsers; thus keeping them, everywhere and always, smooth, uniform and clean.

The bridges are solid masonry, and on the edge of declivities and dangerous places are solid walls of stone. Not a point, either for safety or comfort, is overlooked.

They are rather costly to make, to begin with, and it costs something to keep them in order, but it pays, after all. Enormous loads are hauled over these smooth roads, and the wear and tear upon horses, vehicles and harness is reduced to well-nigh nothing, to say nothing of the comfort and pleasure. Bad weather makes no difference with their inland traffic, for just as great a burden can be hauled in wet weather as in dry, nor does frost affect them.

I would that every American farmer, in the month, say, of March, could see these roads, could view the enormous loads piled upon the enormous wagons, and see with what ease they are moved. Then his mind should go back to his own country, and there should come up a recollection of the last March, when he was lashing and swearing at his poor horses, who were doing their level best to pull him, in an empty wagon, through the rivers of mud we call roads. A Swiss horse would commit suicide were he taken to Illinois in Winter or Spring.

It would pay America to imitate Switzerland in this particular. Our half-made roads should be at once abolished, and the money spread out over ten miles, which the first thaw obliterates, should be used in making one mile of permanent road, and that mile should be extended just as fast as the people can bear the burden. The Swiss are not so fast as we are, but their work, when once done, stays. There is scarcely any section of America where material of some sort is not attainable to make better roads than the wretched apologies we have for them. Whoever makes himself the apostle of good roads in America will have many generations to rise up and call him blessed.

Next to the perfection of the roads comes the delightful shade that is over them. This has been done, not spasmodically and at the whim of the people residing along the roads, but it is a government matter, and as much care is taken of it as of the roads. On either hand are lines of beautiful trees, forming a most delightful arch over the road, and the shade is as grateful to the horses as to the riders. A long vista of trees, whose branches form an arch over the roadway, is not only a comfort, but it gratifies all the senses. A Swiss tree-bordered road is one of the most delightful sights in the country.

We cannot, of course, compel the planting of trees by the roadside, by law, but if the farmers of America could be made to understand the beauty and comfort there is in it, they would do it of their own free will and accord. New England has shaded roads, and some scattering parts of other sections, but it should be made general. It would add several per cent. to the value of every farm, to say nothing of the perpetual gratification it would afford. We have the best shade trees in the world, and the cost of transplanting is comparatively nothing.

Road shading should be systematically pushed in America, and the sooner it is commenced the better.

At Geneva you get the first glimpse of the Alpenstock people, male and female. They are a queer lot. They appear to you at the hotels clad as follows: The men with a sort of blouse bound by an enormous belt, for which there is no earthly use, short knee breeches with woolen stockings reaching above the knee, and the most utterly absurd shoes that ever annoyed the human foot. The soles of these shoes are an inch thick; they project beyond the uppers, and are studded with nails, as if the wearer had joined an exploring party which would require eight years of his life, and make necessary one pair of shoes that should exist all that time, inasmuch as he would be far beyond the reach of that important adjunct of civilization, a cobbler. Then he has a broad-brimmed hat, with a clout about it, hanging down behind, and a vast assortment of baskets, flasks and glasses, and all sorts of appliances, provisions enough to join Livingstone or Stanley for the exploration of the interior of Africa.


The women are either misses of seventeen or mature women of thirty-eight. They have the same outfit of material and differ from the males only in the matter of dress. Everything that savors of femininity is religiously eliminated (even the bustle is sacrificed), heavy underclothing is worn, a most ungraceful skirt, the most barbarous English shoes appear on feet never too small, and their entire hideousness is made painfully visible, inasmuch as the straight skirt never reaches below the ankle.

image not available


The Alpenstock is a staff perhaps seven feet long, of ash, very stout, with a hook upon one end and a spike in the other.

In this hideous garb, in a stern sort of a way, as though they were leading a forlorn hope and never expected to escape with their lives, but were doing it as a sort of sacrificial duty, they ride out to the foot of the Alps somewhere, as safely and in as much luxury as though they were in rocking chairs in their own homes, and coming to the hotel thereat they purchase another lot of climbing apparatus, and hire all sorts of donkeys and mules and guides, and after a day or so commence the ascent. They go up roads that are so plain as to need no guides, on donkeys or mules, over paths that could be walked as well, and tiring half way up, stop and rest and never go farther, but return, with their mouths full of lies. Every mother’s son and daughter of them claim to have made the full ascent of the peak essayed, and having read themselves up, talk as glibly about it as though they had lived upon the mountains all their lives, and knew every glacier as familiarly as they do their bedrooms.

And then when they come down they are stared at by the last arrivals, and laughed at by the old ones, and they go to a shop around the corner, and pay several francs to have the name and date of the ascent of the mountains in the neighborhood burned in upon their Alpenstocks, which they cart all over Europe, and finally hang up in their homes as “souvenirs.”

There ought to be an Alpenstock shop in New York, where all this could be done. It would save a deal of annoyance to a great many people and do just as well.


Did I ascend any of these mountains? I did not. Some of my party did, but I preferred not to essay it. The heat was intense, the paths are not good, and lifting one’s self by sheer strength up sixteen thousand feet is not the thing to do, especially when you may read it, see it in engravings, and even make the ascent yourself—with a telescope—at the cost of a franc. I did it by telescope, and have never regretted it. I could buy an Alpenstock just the same, and have burned in it, “Mont Blanc, July 20, 1881,” just as well. And, as they all lie about it, anyhow, why not, if you are going to lie, commence lying at the beginning, and save labor? If tongue work is to do it, why not use your tongue, and save your legs? Were I to lie at all, I would sooner lie from the door of the hotel than half way up the mountain.

But I will not lie at all. I did go up Mt. Blanc, perhaps five hundred feet, to the very foot of one of the glaciers, and saw and touched it. That did me. I had seen all that was to be seen, and I was glad enough to get back. I was willing that anybody who chose should do the remaining fifteen thousand feet; five hundred was quite enough for me.

image not available


It is a most amusing thing to see a woman with this absurd gown, actually glorying in looking hideous, with her ghastly blue spectacles, Alpenstock in hand, ride up to a hotel on a mule, and march boldly into the grand hall, after one of these fraudulent excursions. She speaks of the topmost peaks as though she had been there; she talks of chasms in the glaciers, of the risks she ran because the ropes were not exactly right; she abuses her guide, and says he was the worst she ever had, as though she had been climbing Alps from the time she left off short dresses; and when her little stock is run out, she goes to her room, and reads up her guide-books and such local printed matter as is attainable, and commences again. She buys Alpine flowers at the market in the village, and sends them home as gathered on the mountains; she has all sorts of carved work which she swears she purchased from the Alpine dwellers who make it (there are factories of these “souvenirs” all over Switzerland); and she loads herself with all sorts of rubbish, all of which her people at home will preserve and cherish as carefully as though the lies she told about it were truths. There are enthusiasts who make it the business of their lives to explore the Alps, and as they alone take the risk, they do no harm if they do no good. But the average amateur climber is about as absurd a being as is permitted to exist, and inasmuch as there are thousands of them, one may imagine what an offense they are.

You meet all sorts of queer people in Europe, and as many in Switzerland as anywhere, unless it be Paris, which is a common sink for all the world. I met in Geneva a very curious specimen, whose career is worth a place in history.

He was the son of one of the most wealthy men of New York. His father had made some millions of dollars in trade and judicious real-estate investments, and brought up his family as all rich New Yorkers do. The young man had gone through college, and had graduated by the skin of his teeth. He had learned much of boating and base ball, and was one of the best billiard players in his set. Out of college with a lot of knowledge that he could make no use of, for he had nothing to do in life, he became a club man in New York, and commenced the pursuit of pleasure. It was all well enough for a time. Yachting occupied him for two seasons, horses took his attention for two more. He once, in desperation, made a trip in a wagon from New York to Montreal, just to put in a Summer, with three companions, he footing all the bills. Horses palling on his taste, he entered upon a life of general and miscellaneous dissipation, and finally that tired him and he was without an aim in life.

He had hunted pleasure and now pleasure was hunting him.

In despair he took to travel, and for five years he rambled from one capital to another, seeing everything and being bored by everything.


Here he was living at the best hotel, in the best style; he kept a servant or two, and had oceans of friends, as every man has who has money, but life to him was a curse. He had nothing to do.

“Why don’t you go up the Alps?” I said to him.

“Bless your innocent soul I have been up the Alps a dozen times. There isn’t a dangerous place that I haven’t attempted, nor anything that is regular that I haven’t done. It don’t pay.”

He had seen all the theaters, all the stock places were as familiar to him as the alphabet, and as for the dissipations he had so tired of them that he was a saint. He was virtuous from necessity.

One morning I asked him to go with me to inspect a machine shop which was one of the lions of the place. For sheer want of something else to do, he put on his coat and went. I was very much interested in some of the processes which were new to me, but my friend yawned through the whole of it, in the same ennuied way that was manifest since I knew him. Finally we came before a machine known in machinery as a shaper. It was a powerful tool, which went backward and forward, cutting at each forward movement a thin thread of iron. The work it was doing was cutting a slot in a shaft of iron. The shaft, before it went into the shaper, was a round piece of iron. Delancy looked at it with the first expression of interest I had ever seen in his face.

The man at the machine had nothing to do after the shaft was put into the “chucks” but to sit and read a novel, the machine doing all the work with regularity and accuracy.

“Do you forge this shaft originally?” he asked the man.

“Certainly, sir.”

“How long does it take you to cut this slot in it?”

“About four hours.”

“Then why don’t you have the piece of iron forged with this slot made down to within say a quarter-inch and save nine-tenths of this time?”

“We never did it that way,” was the reply of the man; “it won’t do.”

“But it will do,” said Delancy. “That shaft can be forged, to begin with, something as it should come out, and it’s a cussed waste of time to do it in this way.”

The foreman assured him that it could be done in no other way. The workmen corroborated the foreman, but Delancy was not satisfied.

That evening in his room he had a dictionary of mechanics, and was intent upon the parts relating to forging. He called my attention to it, and swore great oaths that the machinists were a set of asses, and that they hadn’t a process which he could not better.

The next morning he was up at six and had an early breakfast and was at the shop driving the workmen mad with his persistent inquiries. At dinner he talked of nothing but machines and machinery, and the evening he devoted to whittling curiously shaped things out of wood.

Suddenly he disappeared. One morning I went to the shops again, and who should I see in a greasy suit of overalls, with his gold eye-glasses, but a man who looked like my friend Delancy, at a lathe.

It was a curious transformation, and about the most incongruous spectacle I had ever seen. Here was a man with gold eye-glasses, a diamond ring, thin white hands, patent leather boots, with greasy overalls. It was an earnest mechanic engrafted upon a Broadway exquisite.

“Do my eyes deceive me?”

“They do not. It is I, Delancy. Not the old Delancy, but an entirely new one. I have now something to live for.”

“Why have you quit the hotel?”

“Because I want to associate with my fellows. I am living with them. I have been admitted as one of them, and they all know me as well as though I had been born one of them, which I wish to Heaven I had. I can eat something now, and their beer—well, with a lot of good fellows it lays all over the champagne I have always paid for. You see I have made up my mind to demonstrate to these ignoramuses that a piece of iron can be forged to any shape, with any depression in it desirable, and that these men at the lathes and shapers waste ninety per cent. of their time. We have got to have machinery, and we want it cheap. I have something to live for. I shall be a machinist.”


The man had actually bribed the master of the works to accept him as an apprentice, and he had made an exceedingly good one. He was at the works at the regular hour, and stayed as late as the latest. And he developed wonderful genius in the way of mechanics, and was in a fair way to arrive at a high position in the business.

The workmen idolized him. He delighted to go with them evenings to the cafés they frequented, to be a little king among them; he helped the sick and unfortunate; he took some interest in their concerns, and they in turn did everything possible to acquaint him with the practical part of the trade.

“They are a much better lot,” he said, “than the leeches who used to hang upon me.”

He invited me to dine with him one day, and the amount of coarse food he could consume—this man who had not had an appetite for twenty years—was something wonderful.

For the first time in his life, he declared, he was absolutely happy. He had something to do.

Before he had been in the shop a week he showed the master how the iron bar could be forged to the shape required, and how two-thirds of the time at the machine could be saved, and he succeeded in having his system introduced.

He vows that he will stick to it till he has learned his trade, then go home to New York and start the most perfect machine shop on the continent, and that, moreover, he will be perfectly happy therein. He is not ennuied any more, for he has found something to do. There are others who would do well to follow his example.



ON a clear bright day, the hot air tempered by a gentle breeze wafted down from the ice-covered mountains, with others we left Geneva, to cross the mountains and visit Mont Blanc, that patriarch of the Alps. The blue waters of Lake Geneva danced and sparkled in the sunlight as our steamer sped along towards Nyon.

At last we were skimming over the surface of that wonderful body of water whose peans have for hundreds of years been sung by the poets, in prose and verse, of all countries. Rosseau, Voltaire, Byron, Goethe have revelled in the delights of its tranquil beauty and celebrated its charms in immortal words. And it is indeed a fitting theme for a poet’s song. To-day its deep blue surface is broken into a myriad of ripples. Here and there, sailing slowly along, are large barges with the graceful lateen sails that are seldom seen except upon the Mediterranean. The shores are lined with rich foliage, the cedar of Lebanon mingling its sweet odor with that of the chestnut, the walnut and the magnolia, the whole enlivened with pretty villas and picturesque hamlets.

Though more beautiful, Lake Geneva has a peculiarity that is enjoyed by Lake Constance. It is subject to a change of level. At places, where the bed of the lake is narrow, the water occasionally rises several feet above the ordinary level, and remains so for half an hour or more, this too without any previous warning of what was about to occur. Another peculiarity is that hidden springs oftentimes break forth from the bed of the lake and form a current so swift that it is impossible, almost, to stem the tide. These springs are very dangerous to oarsmen and are nearly as badly feared by the fishermen as the waterspouts that frequently occur.


Here, as everywhere, we had all sorts of people with us. We had a widower, and a widow with a daughter, and the widower had been making love to the widow all the way from London, which the widow accepted more than kindly. Indeed, the attentions of the ancient beau had become so marked, that to the mind of any widow of experience, it was only a question of time as to a proposal direct, which she was waiting for impatiently.

image not available


Among others on the boat was the Young Man who Knows Everything, who has studied everything, and who has that rasping memory that enables him to retain everything he ever read, as well as every thought that ever passed through his mind, and the self-sufficiency that impels him to thrust his own talk at you, at no matter how inopportune a time, and no matter how inapplicable it may be to whatever is being discussed. He will discuss a question with you to-day, and when in his bed at night he will remember something that he should have said at the time, and break in upon you a week after with the omitted remark, with no preface, no explanation, taking it for granted that any discussion you ever had with him was of sufficient importance to take full possession of your mind and occupy it forever and forever. He had had an argument with the widower the night before at the hotel in Geneva, upon the authority of the Old Testament, which the widower, as was natural, forgot in an hour. Our widow and widower were sitting near the stern, in loving proximity, discussing quietly the loneliness of their situation. The young man was waiting very close, entirely oblivious of what they were saying, and only anxious to fire off his charge.

“Ah, Mrs. Redding,” said the widower, “when one has once tasted the sweets of congenial companionship—”

In broke the young man:

“It was the old dispensation, and is not binding on us to-day at all. Therefore you needn’t do everything that Moses put upon the Jews; but, Mr. Thompson, you can just bet your sweet life that you are perfectly safe in not doing anything that he said the Jews should not do.”

The widower looked daggers, and the widow broadswords. As handsome a proposal as was ever to be made was nipped in the bud—an opportunity for the widow was lost which might never be regained. Who could tell? Possibly his passion might cool off. The fish was hooked but not landed, and this insufferable argument-monger was the cause of it.

“Blast your Moses,” uttered the irate widower. “Madam, if there is any part of this boat safe from the intrusion of young men who dabble in Moses, let us find it.”

And they went off, leaving the young man not at all abashed. He merely turned to an amused spectator, with the remark:

“That man’s face proves the correctness of the Darwinian theory. In time his descendants may become men. I was about to enlighten him on an important subject, but he would not.”


There never was a boat loaded with tourists which did not have on its deck the man who was doing Europe on insufficient capital. He spent money freely in London, Paris nearly finished him, and he commenced traveling on credit in Switzerland. His method was very simple: he borrowed a hundred francs of every man he thought simple enough to lend it to him. It was always the same story, he had drawn on his people at home and would have the money at the next stopping place but one. Then he always slipped away from his victim at the next stopping place and was seen no more. We had him, but he did not succeed. There were too many old travelers in the party.

Geneva, on a plateau above the level of the lake, with its picturesque background of rugged mountains, gradually melts into a solid mass of buildings, bridges and parks as we go up the lake, past the mammoth hotels, with their beautifully arranged lawns and gardens. On the left, in an immense pleasure park, is the Rothschild villa, a country seat as beautiful as the surroundings. For miles the left bank of the lake is lined with summer residences, nestling among the lovely groves of fragrant trees.

image not available


On the right bank, a range of hills, starting way up the lake, rises gradually higher and higher until it culminates, apparently, in Mt. Blanc, fifty-six miles away. These mountains, rugged and severe, slope gradually down to the bank of the lake, which is lined with well cultivated farms.

The lake is a study. Its bright blue waters are as clear as crystal, the small white pebbles on the bottom being plainly discernable. As the sharp prow cleaves the water and throws it off on either side, the hue is changed into a dark green, making a charming contrast with the unruffled water beyond, which retains its peculiar blue.

Long before Nyon is reached, the white buildings of Geneva have faded away in a mild rose colored haze, through which the dim outlines of the mountains can just be seen.

After an hour’s run, full of beauty, Nyon, a favorite resting place for tourists, is reached, and the steamer stops long enough to take on three or four mountain climbers, who, with Alpenstocks in hand and knapsacks on back, are going on a pedestrian expedition on the other side of the lake.

The sharp pointed roofs of Nyon’s houses, its quaint streets, pretentious hotels and historic buildings make it a favorite resort all Summer long.

The faro bankeress was of the party, she and her husband. The husband looked listlessly into the blue water, and enjoyed the succession of beautiful views, and studied nature in all its aspects, with a party of kindred spirits, in the hot cabin below, over a game of euchre, with a rapid succession of orders for cognac and water. That’s all he saw of Lake Leman. He played moodily, as though the time taken from his magnificent game at home was so much wasted. Green cloth was more to him than emerald water, and he never desired to see an elevation greater than a roulette ball.

His wife made the acquaintance of, and fastened herself to, a party of actual tourists, and to them she discoursed volubly of the prices of silk stockings in Paris, and of dress making and millinery and kindred topics. There was one young girl who really had the eye of a hawk for the actually beautiful, who would go into raptures as some wonderfully beautiful view dawned upon us, and who felt an enthusiasm which she must share with somebody. And so she would pull the faro bankeress by the sleeve, and interrupt her flow of talk.

“And then you see these stockings are—”

“Oh, Mrs. ——, do look at that mountain with the cataract rushing down its side!”

A hasty glance at the wonderful work of nature.

“Oh, yes, my dear—it’s nice. But them stockings. Why, in New York, at any first-class store—”

And so forth, and so on.


Tibbitts was gorgeously arrayed in a Parisian suit, with trowsers very wide at the bottom, and cuffs of preposterous length and width. He discussed all sorts of abstruse questions with grave German professors, neither understanding a word of what the other was saying, and so he passed for a very wise young man. More men would be so esteemed if they would always talk in language which nobody can understand. I remember of being wonderfully impressed with the profundity of a New England metaphysical talker, but alas! when his six syllabled words were translated into common English, I wondered at the stupidity of his commonplaces.

image not available


But poor Tibbitts was finally conquered. There was a Jew on board who was selling the “art work” of the country. He spoke all languages, as the Continental Jews all can. Tibbitts admired a little ivory carving.

“What is the price of it?”

“My tear sir ze work of art vill be given avay for ze redeecoolus sum oof two huntret francs. It gost me dwice dot.”

Then Tibbitts winked a wink of intelligence to the rest of us, as if he should say, “See me unmask this Jew.”

“I will give you five francs for it.”

“Fife francs? Fadder Abraham, but you laugh at me! I vill dake—but no, mine friend, dis ees a bat season—you dake him.”

Then the laugh was not with Tibbitts. The “ivory carving” was the basest kind of an imitation, and would be dear at a half franc. And Tibbitts retired sullenly to the cabin below, and all the way up his American friends amused themselves by asking to see his rare ivory carving.

There is so much that is beautiful on this side that time slips away without notice, so that when Thonon is reached it scarcely seems possible that it has taken an hour to make the run across the lake from Nyon.

At the entrance to Thonon, the channel is very tortuous, and once, near the landing, you may seek in vain for the entrance or the way out. There is a little lake all by itself, hemmed in on every side, apparently, by mountain and forest.

Surrounded by mountains, Thonon nestles at the foot of a vineyard-covered hill, up the sides of which low houses, with their queer, overhanging roofs, line narrow, angular streets that seem to be too steep for any practical use.

High up the side of the hill is a picturesque terrace, with pretty, vine-clad houses on the site of the old ducal palaces destroyed by the Bernese in 1536, from which a beautiful view of the lake and surrounding country is obtained.

At one time this little place was the residence of the Counts and Dukes of Savoy, it still being the capital of the Savoyard Province of Chamblais. The vineyards in this neighborhood produce the fine white wines that are celebrated the world over.


Touching for a few minutes at Evian, a favorite resort for wealthy people from the south of France, with its pretty hotels, charming oak shaded promenades, the boat sped rapidly on toward Auchy, crossing the lake again. Looking up the lake the mountain ranges, towering high above, change their form and color with every revolution of the wheel. Just ahead of us on the right, a great peak, starti